The Ballestero Blog

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Archive for November 2012

You’re Scaring Me To Death! I Just Wished It Scared You Too!

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You’re Scaring Me To Death! I Just Wished It Scared You Too!

Kaleen and Linda sat mesmerized on the couch in the darkened living room. The eerie blue light from the big flat screen flickered on their faces. The half-eaten bag of popcorn now sat idle and cold on the coffee table.

The screen showed a vampire holding the young woman in his arms. His fangs seemed to grow longer just moments before they sank into her neck. The blood flowed freely. The sight of blood excited the vampire and he immediately pressed his lips into the blood, not wanting to let any escape.

The girls watched the video with great interest. They actually found the moment rather titillating and sensual.

Linda had confided to Kaleen that her boyfriend Derrick asked her to let him bite her on the neck and drink her blood, and then he wanted her to bite him back and drink his blood. That way, they truly would be a part of each other, he had reasoned. Linda had refused.

They were watching this movie because it was all the rage and talked about so much at school. Quite a few young people from their church had even clicked its ‘Like’ button on Facebook.

The doorbell rang, momentarily scaring them and bringing them back to reality. It was their friend Anna. She was a member of The First Pentecostal Church across town.

Anna froze in her tracks as she saw what they were watching. “Turn that junk off right now. I won’t stay another minute if you leave that on! I’m serious!”

Kaleen complied with her demand.

“What wrong with you guys?” Anna asked in dismay. “Did your Holy Ghost just quit working, or have you overridden your conscience so much this stuff doesn’t bother you anymore? What’s the difference between you and the world now? Where are your Mom and Dad in all of this? Don’t they care what you bring into their house? Even if my Pastor didn’t care, my Parents would have put their foot down!”

Linda went into her defensive mode. “You’re starting to sound just like my Grandma, and she’s really old school.”

Anna ignored the insult and continued with her lecture.

“Two years ago, you said your Pastor said he was going to quit preaching against you guys watching videos. You told me then, that you didn’t see any harm in watching stuff like Laurel and Hardy, and the Three Stooges.

“Well, I’m not your Pastor, so I didn’t say anything. After watching your funny clips, you eventually got bored and started looking for something else to entertain you.

“It didn’t take long for you to start watching all of the current and popular movies on the rack. You told me about watching romantic and love stories. Then the next thing you tell me is that you now love monster movies.

“Then it was not long before I heard you using names and terms like The Walking Dead, Twilight, and The Undead. I may not have those titles right because I don’t watch them. But, if those types of movies and shows are about what I think they are about, then I am very afraid for you. Aren’t those the movies that include stuff like witchcraft, ghosts, black magic and the occult? Evidently, for you it’s not a far journey from those innocent shows to this.

“Now, today I walk in here and I see blood sucking vampires on your screen. What’s happened to you two? You’re OK with the message this sends to young people? My Lord have mercy, and you’re acting like you are really into it!

“Don’t you know that all this mess you’re watching opens your spirit and mind up to the work of the devil? I sincerely fear that you are making yourself available for demon possession! Is that what you want? Aren’t you afraid?

“I wouldn’t even read a book that had any thing about black magic, ghosts, witchcraft or occult subject matter in it! None of this is Holy Ghost compatible and you should already know that!”

Anna looked at her friends. They had gone to school together all their lives. They regularly went to Youth Rallies together in the same van. She couldn’t believe the mess her friends were involved in. Vampires! Blood sucking! Oh, Lord help!

Her Pastor’s warnings were right on target. She was glad that he tried to be protective of her and guard her from the evils and wickedness of life.

Kaleen went into her defense mode. “Don’t come in here getting all super holy. How do you get off telling us what we can watch and what we can’t watch? What are you now, holier than everyone else? You are starting to sound like them holier-than-thou ultra conservatives, and you know how I feel about them.

Anna was silent, she’d didn’t want to argue with her friends. She had made her point. She could feel the resentment in the room. Their friendship had already been fragile enough over the last year, ever since she’d disproved of Linda liking Derrick.

Standing there silently before her friends, she was quickly brought back to reality of the moment by their loud words. She realized that they were both talking loudly and feeding off of each other.

“We don’t want friends that preach to us. I thought you were our friend!” Kaleen said. “If our Pastor said it’s OK to watch films, then who are you to tell us no? Maybe it’s best if you go.”

Anna looked at them both with unbelief in her eyes. “This is a sad day for me. I love you guys, and I’ll never stop praying for you. But, what you are doing is scaring me to death! I just wished it scared you too!”

With tear-filled eyes, Anna walked slowly toward the door.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 24, 2012 at 12:17 am

What Happens When I Say Amen?

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What Happens When I Say Amen?

In Deuteronomy 27:14-26 is a list of twelve curses. All Israelites were required to say Amen to them when they were read. “And all the people shall say, Amen.” (That is what is written at then end of every Verse.)

The phrase Amen is written twelve times in those twelve verses. Could it be today, that if we say Amen at all, we would only choose to say it when it’s in regards to blessings, healings or revival? I hope not!

The thing that makes this stand out is the fact that the Levites were directed by God to speak to all the men of Israel with a loud voice, while they read the curses contained in this passage. The people then were required to shout Amen back to the preacher and to God.



By Saying Amen Israel Acknowledged To God:

  • They understood the curse.
  • They believed God meant what He said.
  • They accepted what He said.
  • They agreed with what He said.


But, Something Else Happens When We Say Amen!


It Speaks To The Preacher And Encourages Him.

  • He knows someone in the congregation has received the Word of the Lord.
  • He knows someone in the congregation is standing by him.
  • Saying Amen to the preacher is like saying sick ‘em to a dog.


It Speaks To The Saints And Encourages Them.

  • Saying Amen involves everyone in worship.
  • Saying Amen signifies to those around him, that he accepts and believes what was said.
  • Saying Amen makes others feel comfortable to join in.
  • It also signifies to every rebellious church member, where you stand as a Saint.
  • It signifies to everyone, that you are standing by the Book. Not by your Family or your Friends, but by the Book.


It Encourages The Sinner.

  • Saying Amen signifies to the unbeliever that a Truth has just been spoken.
  • Saying Amen says to them, “This is right and this is what I have, and you should have this too.”


You Don’t Say Amen? Why Not?


The Word Amen Is Found Fifty Times In The New Testament? 

  • All but two of the New Testament writers made use of the term.
  • In most of the New Testament books, Amen is used as the final word of that book.


We Have Seen A Change In Our Churches In The Last Generation.

  • Some Have Gone From: Hymns To Contemporary Or Even ‘Christian’  Rock Music;
  • Some Have Gone From: Holiness To Hollywood.
  • Some Have Gone From: Praise To Performance.
  • Some Have Gone From: Saying Amen To Applause.


Why Do We Clap Our Hands Instead Of Saying Amen?

  • The word Clap or Clapped is only mentioned in Eight Verses in the Bible. About half of those were showing disapproval and shame.
  • The Word Amen is used in Seventy-two Verses.


Evidently, some believe that it is OK to hear the Word preached and not say Amen or respond in any verbal form whatsoever. They may justify that position by saying they are afraid they will miss something that the preacher is saying.

I can only imagine how your theory will play out if you use that on your spouse. Go ahead, let them talk for a half hour and you show absolutely no reaction. Let me know how that works out for you. If you wouldn’t do that to a spouse, why do that to God?

I am not sure if I can even get on the same page with some folks, if they claim to have the Holy Ghost and can sit quiet during the preaching. I can’t.

God didn’t require a polite handclap from the audience in my text; he wanted a verbal response. I don’t think He’s changed.

I am also not willing to let my hand clapping be a substitute for saying Amen. If I clap, I will certainly say Amen as well.

Like Jeremiah, I want to feel so much of the Holy Fire shut up in my bones, that I can’t help but say Amen to the Preacher and to the Word of God, whether it instructs me, blesses me or warns me.


If I Don’t Say Amen – My spirit feels like it is showing rebellion or disapproval of what is being said.

If I Don’t Say Amen – I feel like I am not joining in.

If I Don’t Say Amen – I feel condemned.

If I Don’t Say Amen – I feel backslidden.


If I Don’t Say Amen – I know that God is watching.

If I Don’t Say Amen – I know that the Pastor is watching

If I Don’t Say Amen – I know that my Family is watching

If I Don’t Say Amen –I know that the Saints are watching

If I Don’t Say Amen – I know that the Visitors are watching

If I Don’t Say Amen – I know that the Devil is watching


Now, Tell Me Again Why You Can’t Say Amen?

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 20, 2012 at 12:31 am

He Gambled With His Life

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He Gambled With His Life.

He was born into a world of slavery, so his name was a common slave’s name of the day. They named him Epaphroditus after the Greek god, Aphrodite. His name, among other things, meant lovely, beautiful or charming.

No Christian would ever give their child such a name. But it didn’t matter now. He was a first generation follower of Christ.

His Background

He was born and raised in Philippi. He had received the Holy Ghost and was baptized in Jesus Name in the church that was started after the imprisonment and then the deliverance of Paul and Silas. His church just happened to be in the very city that Nero lived.

Nero was a most perverted emperor who crucified Christians regularly and killed them just for sport. Yet, somehow he could not stop the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Christians could even be found in his own household.

It is thought that Epaphroditus was a man of means and respected by those in the congregation. It is known, however, that he was a delegate of the church and was their personal representative to the Apostle Paul.

Paul Got Arrested

About A.D. 61 word had been received in Philippi, that Paul was unjustly imprisoned in Rome, some 800 miles away. (According to Roman custom, if he were not actually in prison, at least he would be placed under some kind of house arrest, and chained to a Roman Soldier. Phil 1:13)

As a prisoner, Paul now had no opportunity to make tents and sell them. He certainly desperately needed help on many levels. He needed money, he was writing letters (Epistles) to churches, and there was no one to minister to his personal health needs.

The church family of Philippi took up a love offering for Paul, and commissioned Epaphroditus to deliver the money and minister to whatever needs Paul may have.

Epaphroditus readily took that commission to heart, and carried it out the best of his ability.

Whatever Paul needed, Epaphroditus obtained for him. Serving Paul was the honor of his life. This was the man who had brought the Gospel to his city and was greatly punished for it. This man was his hero, so he served him willingly.

If the Apostle Paul had never visited Philippi, Epaphroditus most likely would still be living in sin. That thought could not be erased from his mind.

Epaphroditus knew well the meaning of living outside of his life. His background now came to the foreground. He was a slave by birth, now he was a voluntary love slave unto the work of the Lord. He had the heart of a servant, and it showed.

He served Paul diligently day and night without even stopping to take care of himself. He never looked at his work as sacrifice. He willingly served. He burned the candle of his life at both ends.


Here Is What Paul Wrote To The Church At Philippi:

Phil 2:25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.

Phil 2:26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.

Phil 2:27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

Phil 2:28 I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.

Phil 2:29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:

Phil 2:30 Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.

Paul Called Epaphroditus His:

  1. Brother
  2. Companion
  3. Fellow Soldier

It is commonly believed that Epaphroditus was retired after serving the mandatory twenty-five years in the Roman Army.

He was the kind of man who would rather burn out, than rust out. He didn’t just retire. He refocused and threw himself into the work of the Lord. His local church had seen that willingness in him and chose him to represent them, to Paul. He did not let them down.

His Name

Now let’s look again at the name Epaphroditus. Remember I told you that it meant that he was named after the goddess Aphrodite? Aphrodite was the goddess of luck; actually, she was the goddess of luck and the goddess of beauty as well.

And when the Greeks rolled the dice in their games of chance, they would say “Epaphroditus” as they rolled the dice. His name not only meant Beautiful, but Luck.

A Servant Doesn’t Quit

  • A servant doesn’t quit just because the task is hard.
  • A servant doesn’t quit just because he is tired.
  • A servant just doesn’t quit.


Epaphroditus Gave All

All Epaphroditus knew to do was to give himself to the work of God, no matter how lowly the service. He gave his all and his health as well. He almost died. A man called Beautiful risked his life for the work of the Lord. A man called Luck risked everything for the work of the Lord. He did it without thinking twice about it.

What If Epaphroditus Attended Our Church? Would He…

  1. Show up for the Epaphroditus workday at the church?
  2. Show up for Visitation?
  3. Teach Home Bible Studies?
  4. Make sure the Church was clean and ready for service?
  5. Volunteer, or have to be recruited?
  6. Freely minister to the needs of his Man of God?
  7. Ask if there was anything else he could do?

Lord, Give Us Another Epaphroditus!

Lord, If You Need Another Epaphroditus, Send Me!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm

The Best Worshipper In Pentecost Has Just Died!

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Most of us are thunderstruck when we read about the emotional outbursts of King David as he worshipped the Lord! David was wild in his worship!

David was well-known for dancing and clapping his hands and lifting up his voice in praise.

In one place, the King even twirled in the air as he danced, when the Ark was coming back home.

But, I’m afraid the good King David will only win the 2nd Place Award in Heaven, when the Awards are handed out for Exuberance In Worship.

The 1st Place Trophy for Exuberance in Worship will just have to go to none other than Brother Donald L. Zhiss!

I can imagine King David taking lessons on the Street of Gold from him, right about now, laughing his head off, just watching Brother Don cavort and rejoice!

I’m also sure they are joining together in worship. I can see it now. Both of them Worshipping and Praising like they never imagined they could!

Today, part of me is sad that this chapter of life has closed for Bro. Don.

But, going to Heaven and seeing Jesus was what he always longed for.

The other the side of me has a big Holy Ghost grin pasted on it.

How many nights have the dear old saints of Christ Temple in South Bend heard Brother Don Zhiss thrill us, as he rejoiced in the revelation of the mighty God Jehovah, manifested in the flesh of Jesus Christ?

I’ve lost track how many times he would quote:

Deut. 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.


1 Tim. 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

I can still hear him quoting;

Isaiah 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

(And then he would proceed to tell us what His name is… Jesus!)

By the time he was finished with his scripture quoting, you could count on him to be out in the aisle. That’s when the shouting would begin. You’ve never seen such rejoicing since the days of King David.

He continually, and exuberantly, rejoiced over the revelation of one God, and knowing that his name is Jesus!

I’ve seen him run the aisles, and a time or two fall down in his running. That didn’t stop him, he would even roll on the floor.

One thing for certain, no man in his right mind would run very close behind Bro Don while he was taking a lap or two around the church, because he was known to change his mind.

Many times he would do a quick reversal a run back the other way, without giving anyone notice. Slower thinking people might be apt to get accidentally run over. How a man of his stature could be so quick on his feet was amazing!

If you don’t have a Don Zhiss story, then you never visited Christ Temple twice.

I never knew him to have an off night, when it came to praise and worship. Will we miss him? You know it!

Worshippers are the ones we miss the most. No one misses a stick in the mud.

This man was a pastor dream. Never, in the 52 years have I known him, have I been aware of him causing a pastor or a saint any problem.

He had no enemies. He was indeed, a pastor’s friend.

Every time he drove by the parsonage and saw a car, with an out-of-state license plate, he would immediately go the Kentucky Fried Chicken and pick up a big bucket of chicken to help us feed our guests.


  • Remember the night during Bro. Duke’s revival when he thought he could fly?
  • Remember the night when a table got flattened during a worship service in the basement?
  • Remember the night when he “forgot to mind the things of the flesh?”
  • Remember the night when he didn’t wear his suspenders?
  • Remember the night during Testimony service, when Casey got his head polished?
  • Remember the night when all the men were out in the aisle, and Ted Stone got run over, several times?
  • Remember the night he came home from a Youth Rally in La Porte, with Bro. Jimmy Wyant and Brother Dick Nicely and they had to stop the car several times so he could have a ‘run-away’?
  • Remember how many dead services he single-handedly brought back to life with a testimony?


That’s a little of what I’m talking about.

Stories about this dear man will make you laugh harder than you’ve laughed in ages.

When I was a Pastor, Missionaries, Pastors and Evangelists from all around America repeatedly asked me about Brother Don Zhiss.

Their comments would always go something like this:

“What’s the name of that big Jew guy that’s in your church? You know, the man who worships real good?

“What’s his name again?”

“Don Zhiss?”

“Yeah, that’s him! How’s he doing? Is he still alive? I sure did like him! Man he loved to have church!”

They never asked about anyone one else. They all loved this man, because he never had to be prompted to worship.

What Brother Don possessed was like a well of living water springing up!

He was ‘cited about name of the Lord. He never said excited, he just said that he was ‘cited about the Lord!

  • Brother Don was almost always the first one to say amen to the preacher.
  • He also had a conscious that was very tender and very careful.
  • His life was wrapped up in church.
  • When the church doors were open, you could count on him to be there.
  • As long as I’ve known him, he faithfully attended church, when his health permitted.
  • He never let the fire in his soul go out! He never lost his Joy.

Almost every church in Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan has enjoyed a visit or two from Brother Don Zhiss. When he came, few ever forgot him.

Wednesday of this week, we said our final good byes to the best worshipper you could ever hope to meet.

What’s Going On In Heaven Right Now? “I Can Only Imagine!”



At The Request Of Family And Friends, Here Is His Home-going Service.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 16, 2012 at 10:25 am

Posted in God's House, Praise, Worship

Tagged with


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  • Getting To Be 1st In Line
  • Chicken Dinners, Nice Suits
  • Weddings & Baby Dedications
  • Preaching On Sunday With A Smile
  • Going Fishing
  • Receiving Compliments,
  • Driving A Nice Car,
  • Going To Conferences


  • Harder Than Digging Ditches
  • More Distasteful Than Toilet Cleaning
  • Lonelier Than Stranded On An Island
  • As Undesirable as Being A Skunk Skinner


  • But Only God Can Give A Preacher A “Pastor’s Heart”
  • Often It Seems He’s Punished Because He Cares.
  • If He Didn’t Care, He Wouldn’t Be So Bothered
  • Let’s Have A look Inside A Pastor’s World
  • At the Heartaches He Has
  • (Or The Less Glamorous Side Of Pastoring)
  • So You Still Think You’re Called?


 (Amos 3:12)  Thus saith the LORD; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear;

  • Sometimes All That’s Left Of A Situation Is Bits & Pieces
  • Unwed Mothers, Immorality
  • Marriage Conflicts, Divorce
  • Internet, Porn, Chat Rooms
  • Rebellious Teens
  • “taketh” – (progressive verb) The pastor’s job is never over.


Samuel(1 Sam 15:11)  It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.

(Saul didn’t cry all night. Samuel did.)

  • Watching Those You Love Mess Up
  • You Can’t Help Those That Won’t Let You Help Them.
  • The Preacher Can’t Save You Without Your Help
  • Preachers Often Hang On For A Soul Even After God Gives Up (Moses/Israel) (Samuel/Saul)


  • No Response = Rejection of Message
  • No Worship
  • No Amens – Seed On Stony Ground
  • Never Moved By Word
  • If You’re Not Working With The Pastor, You’re Working Against Him.



Elijah (1 Ki 18:17)  And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?

(18)  And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.

  • Ahab: Hast thou found me o’ mine enemy?
  • Paul: Am I your enemy…  ‘Cause I Told You The Truth?
  • Miciah – Ahab hated him.
  • Sanballat – Tobiah, Let Nehemiah Build The Wall while they found fault.
  • Israel – Moses, You Brought Us Here To Die?

(Rom 13:3)  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

(Rom 13:4)  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.


 Paul (Gal 4:11)  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

  • Sermon Goes Unheeded,
  • Your Spinning Your Wheels?
  • Plowing In the Sand?
  • No Results, No Progress, No Fruit?
  • Remember Noah?
  • Elijah Felt Alone – “I’m Only One Left”


Elisha   (2 Ki 2:23)  And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.

(2 Ki 2:24)  And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.


 Nathan   (2 Sam 12:7)  And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man.

  • Preaching Is Meant To Save You, Not Hurt You
  • Blood On Preacher’s Hands If He Don’t Say What God Said.
  • Not Knowing Their Reaction Of The People


 Paul (2 Tim 1:15)  This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me;

(2 Tim 4:10)  For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world,

 (2 Tim 4:16)  At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

 (2 Tim 1:16)  The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:


  • Our Over Zealous Worship, When Visitors Come
  • Holiness Preaching, Standards
  • Long Dresses, Long Hair
  • Old Time Pentecost


  • Babies Out Of Wedlock
  • Charismatic Worship, No Depth
  • Quiet Prayer Rooms
  • Gospel Rock “Worship” With Spirit-less Singers
  • Make Up On Our Women,
  • Dressing Like The World
  • Jewelry
  • Laodicean Spirits
  • The Effeminate Men Among Us
  • Our Rebellion & Disobedience
  • Trimmed Hair On Ladies
  • Robbing God,
  • Board Run Churches
  • No Missions Burden
  • Our Love Of Hollywood
  • Gossipping
  • Whore Mongers,
  • Backbiters


(Heb 13:17)  Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.


 (3 John 1:4)  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Make Your Pastor’s Life A Lot Easier. 

  • Love Him
  • Live Right,
  • Show Him Honor
  • Be Supportive
  • Be Faithful,
  • Receive The Word,
  • And Keep Him In Your Prayers

Thank God Every Day For Your Pastor!

You Want The Blessings Of God On Your Life? Then Bless God’s Man And God Will Bless You!



Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 10, 2012 at 8:40 am

Posted in Pastors

Tagged with

Some Apostolics Are Happy Their Pastor Ignores A Few New Testament Scriptures.

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Are Apostolics Happy Their Pastors Ignore Some New Testament Scriptures?

Apostolics by nature should be firm believers in “coming out from among them” and being separated from the world, and unto Christ. Yet, Christian approved sins may number more than we might first think. There is also a crowd that would ignore Biblical cautions and warnings because in their mind, that was only a guideline, not an actual sin.

It is our understanding that Holiness in both inward and outward. I find it safe to also say that what is on the inside will soon show on the outside.

We sometimes hear the subject of modesty talked about behind the pulpit. We also have many new choruses about God being a holy God. Yet, if we made a list of things we are comfortable not hearing about, it just might include a few of these New Testament Scriptures. There just too many to post here.


Heb 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

  • Bitterness (Holding a Grudge)


Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

  • Wrath, Anger
  • Clamour (A Big Outcry)
  • Throwing Fits
  • Evil Speaking (Criticism)
  • Malice


Eph 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

  • Be Tenderhearted
  • Forgiving one another


1 Tim 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

  • Gossipers
  • Busybodies


1 Tim 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

  • Love of Money (Includes putting job before church?)
  • Coveting To Be Rich


1 Tim 6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

  • Envy (Jealousy)
  • Strife
  • Railings (Words of Criticism)
  • Evil Surmisings (Imagining the Worst about someone)


1 Tim 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

  • Getting Caught Up In Twisted Doctrines And Beliefs


1 Tim 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

  • Costly Array
  • Modest Clothing
  • Gold,
  • Pearls


Heb 13:17  Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

  • Obey (The Pastor)
  • Submit Yourselves (One may obey without submitting, but it is impossible to submit without obeying.)


1 Tim 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

  • High mindedness


2 Pet 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

2 Pet 2:11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.

2 Pet 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

  • Lust of Uncleanness
  • Despise Governments (Don’t want to be told what to do.)
  • Presumptous
  • Self-willed
  • Not Afraid to speak evil of dignitaries (Especially means your pastor)
  • Railing Accusations
  • Speaking evil of things they don’t understand.


Jude 1:16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.

  • Murmurers
  • Complainers
  • Walking after their own lust (Doing whatever they want)


1 Pet 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

  • Fleshly lusts


Matt 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

  • Emotional Adultery


2 Tim 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

  • Flee Youthful lusts (If it includes more than the sensual, could it also include sports?)


2 Tim 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

  • Avoid Foolish and Stupid Questions (They just start fights)


1 Cor 11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

1 Cor 11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

  • Men – Get A Haircut.
  • Women – Don’t Ever Cut It


Matt 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

  • Don’t Do The Minimum


Matt 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

  • Love The Neighbor (Neighboring Countries Too?)


Matt 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

  • Love Your Enemies
  • Bless Them That Curse You
  • Do Good Things To Them That Hate You
  • Pray For Them That Are Unkind To You


1 Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1 Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

  • Love Not The World
  • Love Not The Things In The World
  • Lust of the Flesh
  • Lust of the Eyes
  • Pride Of Life


Jas 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

  • Humility


Jas 4:11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

  • Speaking Evil And Unkind Things Of One Another


1 Tim 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

  • At Least Two (or Three) Witnesses Needed Before Accusing An Elder.


1 Tim 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

  • Saints That Sin Should Be Rebuked In Church?


Jas 4:15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

  • Not Saying, “If The Lord Wills)


Jas 4:16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

  • Boasting


Jas 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

  • Ignoring The Word


Jas 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

  • Not Watching What You Say


Jas 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

  • Visit The Sick Orphans And Widows
  • Keep Yourself Unspotted (Unaffected by) The World


Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Rom 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

  • Surely This Doesn’t Need To Be Explained Further


2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2 Tim 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

  • There’s A Reason For Every Scripture In The Bible.
  • Don’t Ignore
  • Don’t Pick And Choose.


Acts 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

  • Peter Wasn’t Afraid To Say What Needed To Be Said
  • May God Help Us All



Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 6, 2012 at 12:03 am

Have Ye Received The Holy Ghost? 1893 Song

with 3 comments


Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 4, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Posted in Holy Ghost

Tagged with

I’ve Come To Be Paid!

with 7 comments


I’ve Come To Be Paid!


The knock at the door was totally unexpected! It was late, very late, too late for a polite social visit.

“Who in the world could that be?” Buster asked out loud, to no one in particular, as he headed towards the front door. The peephole in the door revealed very little. It was too dark outside to see clearly. Or maybe, whoever it was didn’t wish to be seen.

Throwing safety and caution to the wind, Buster flung the door open. There he stood! He looked unsmiling and very serious!

“I’ve come to be paid!” The dark figure said in a threatening tone of voice as he handed Buster a demand notice.

“Paid?” Buster blurted out incredulously! “I don’t even know who you are, and I’m sure I don’t owe you anything. Besides, it’s too late for bill collectors to be knocking on doors.”

Buster lowered his eyes and quickly scanned the bill. He felt the blood drain from his body immediately as he read the amount owed on the bottom line. There was no way on earth he could ever pay the amount being demanded of him! It would ruin him financially to pay that price! It would devastate him. It would devastate his wife and his family as well! This was ridiculous!

“Just who are you, and what makes you think I owe this?”

“My name is Temptation,” the dark figure explained in a self-assured tone. “You know who I am, you’ve used my services regularly, and now I’ve come to collect payment.”

“What are you talking about? I can’t pay the kind of price you are demanding!” Buster stammered, as he held the paper high and in the face of the intruder.

“Oh, you’ll pay it all right,” Temptation said in a threatening tone as he raised his voice, “I’ll see to that! You’ll pay it right now, too. All of my clients pay. They always pay the full price. I don’t give no discounts.

“And besides, what’s the matter with you, trying to act like you don’t know me? You and I have talked almost every day for years, and you have always done as I have advised. You’re crazy if you think you can use my services and not pay me.”

With that, Temptation pushed Buster aside and barged into the house and yelled, “I’m not leaving here until I get paid in full!”

Buster knew then that his life would be forever changed, Temptation wasn’t playing games anymore, and he was demanding payment. And, he was demanding it now!

Panic gripped Buster as he turned away from the door. Looking past Temptation, he saw his wife and family huddled in the corner. They were clinging to each other in fear, as the sounds of loud voices filled the room. Tears were on their cheeks.

Buster could see the pain in their faces. But, he knew that the pain he’d just brought to his family, had only just begun!


James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

James 1:16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.




Yield Not To Temptation

H.R. Palmer

Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin;
Each victory will help you some other to win;
Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue,
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.


Ask the Savior to help you,
Comfort, strengthen and keep you;
He is willing to aid you,
He will carry you through.

Shun evil companions, bad language disdain,
God’s Name hold in reverence, nor take it in vain;
Be thoughtful and earnest, kindhearted and true,
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.


To him that o’ercometh, God giveth a crown;
Through faith we shall conquer, though often cast down;
He Who is our Savior our strength will renew;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.



Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 3, 2012 at 12:39 am

Posted in Temptations

Tagged with

When Your Word Is Made Flesh

with 5 comments

When Your Word Is Made Flesh

I love the Gospel of John. I especially love these verses in chapter one!

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.

John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The glorious truth of the Godhead is unfolded here. The Word was made Flesh. God wrapped himself in a garment of flesh! And we beheld His Glory! Simply Beautiful!

That truth is the candy stick of Apostolic believers everywhere. Allow me to do an injustice to those precious words by bringing it down to a more personal level.


What Happens When Your Word Is Made Flesh?

Not Everyone That Talks The Talk, Can Walk The Walk!

We’ve all heard someone brag and say something like:

  • “I would never do that!” Or…
  • “If I were you, I would.”

Regardless Whether The Subject Is…

  • Correcting children
  • Losing weight
  • Coping with a fatal disease
  • Dating
  • Pastoring
  • Dealing with someone’s harness.
  • Married life
  • Raising children alone.
  • Job-hunting
  • Coping with a cheating spouse
  • Choosing a used car
  • Planning a portfolio
  • Trying to collect money someone owes.
  • Etc.

Some people are quick to give throw in their two cents worth. It’s easy to give others your opinions and make boasts about living life. But what happens when you have to walk through the very moments you previously made boasted that you knew what to do.

  • What happens when your trial comes?
  • What do you do when heartache knocks on your door?
  • What happens when you are introduced to pain?
  • What about it now, after you had to walk the walk?
  • What about it now, that your words have become flesh?


It’s At That Moment That YOUR Word Becomes Flesh!

Your Flesh Must Attempt To Live Your Words!

1 Kings 20:11  And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell him, Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off.


It’s easy for someone to brag while they are putting on the armor. But it’s the one who has fought the battle and is taking the armor off whose words hold weight.

That’s When The Warrior’s Words Become Flesh.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 1, 2012 at 11:46 pm

“Put That Cigarette In Your Mouth And Eat It Right Now, You Stupid Fool!”

with 4 comments

“Put That Cigarette In Your Mouth And Eat It Right Now, You Stupid Fool!”

My old white ’68 Dodge pick-up truck rattled west on Dragoon Trail through the south side of Mishawaka, Indiana. My Hospital calls had all been made, and I had visited some sick folks in their home as well.

It was almost five o’clock on this lovely Sunday afternoon in October.  I looked again at my watch. I had to get to church in South Bend on time.

I came around a gentle curve and saw a 1970’s style convertible upside in my lane. No one else was at the scene, although several houses were nearby. Stopping my truck about fifty feet away, I ran towards the car.

Five bodies lay still on the asphalt. The smell of beer and gasoline was overwhelming for me. Gas was dripping freely on the ground and on them too. Blood was everywhere on their faces and it pooled freely on the asphalt, mixing with the gas.

Half of a tongue was on the pavement beside a two-year old’s head. A soft whimper could be heard and a groan came from someone.

Beer cans from the car littered the area. These people all had to be extracted from under the car, now.

I knew I should wait and call for an ambulance under normal conditions. But this was long before cell phones, so I had no way to call.

There was nothing normal about potential gas explosions, and I couldn’t leave these folks here to burn up. I had to do something.

I was in my Sunday suit, but I got on the ground anyway and crawled under the upside-down convertible. Gas dripped readily on me too. I searched for the baby who was whimpering.

I heard footsteps behind me as I carefully pulled the baby out first. An Indiana State Trooper was the second person on the scene. I was very relieved to see him and gave him the baby. He wrapped it up carefully and carried it to a safe place and came back for more.

He told me to stay under the car and hand him the children. I removed the second child from under the car, to the safety of the Trooper.

By now, two-dozen travelers and neighbors gathered around to watch. I overheard a voice saying, that the drunk driver had been dating the young mother for several weeks now and had taken her and her family for a Sunday drive even though he was drunk.

She loudly told us all that the man was just no good, in her opinion, and she hoped he was dead. She especially wanted us to know that the woman was too good for him, but she that just wouldn’t listen to anyone say so.

The third lifeless child was in my arms by now. There was no proper setting under the car to give CPR. They had to be moved to a place of safety first. My suit reeked with the smell of gasoline, and I had blood me. I feared for my own life, but I feared for theirs even more. They were helpless, they were injured, and they were at the mercies of those around them.

I was still on my belly scooting backwards with the third child in my arms when I heard the Trooper yell at a man standing a few feet away. The Trooper, although partially under the car by now, had drawn his service revolver and was pointing it up at a man’s head. I froze.

The Trooper screamed, “Put That Cigarette In Your Mouth And Eat It Right Now, You Stupid Fool! You’re Going To Blow Us All Up Because There’s Gas Here And You’re Smoking A Cigarette! NOW! EAT IT NOW!

The man put the burning cigarette in his mouth and began to chew. The Trooper put away his revolver after the man swallowed, I then handed him the last child. That’s when the fire trucks and ambulances arrived. I crawled out, when the Fireman asked me to, as he crawled under the car from the other side. They were now in charge, and my work was done.

The Officer shook my hand and thanked me. But our efforts were to no avail. All five were pronounced dead at the scene.

In his drunkenness, the man had killed himself and four others. For the first time in my life I felt hatred well up in my mind against the driver for what he had done to the innocent people in his car. (I had to pray about that hatred later, but for now it was real and still very alive.)

Over the years, most of us have turned a corner on Life’s Road and seen a tragedy or two of some sort. Our hearts have no doubt ached at their great loss, even though we didn’t even really know them.

  • What we do, and how we react at such an event, says so much about us.
  • Do we stand around smoking “our cigarettes” just watching the tragic scene for its entertainment value?
  • Does it ever occur to us that our careless handling of fire at such a time may endanger more than we realize, and blow things up?


How Do You React When You Hear Bad News About Someone?

  • Do you try to help?
  • Do you just watch and make comments
  • Do you say things that stir up hatred in someone else’s heart?
  • Do you bring explosiveness to the situation?
  • Some church folks ignore the “I am my brother’s keeper” verse.


Remember, how we respond to tragedy, tells the world a lot about us, and we don’t even have to say a thing.

I’ll never forget the lady who gossiped about the dead man and woman. She told things about them I won’t write about. She wanted everyone to know.

I’ll also never forget the Trooper’s words: “Put That Cigarette In Your Mouth And Eat It Right Now, You Stupid Fool! You’re Going To Blow Us All Up Because There’s Gas Here And You’re Smoking A Cigarette! NOW! EAT IT NOW!

What Do You Do When You See A Backslider? How Do You React?

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 1, 2012 at 12:10 am

Posted in Death, Gossip, Mercy

Tagged with , ,