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I Am The Church

with 6 comments

 

Many years ago on a July 4th, I was driving to To Chicago to pick up my son, Martyn. During my trip, i was listening to the Bob and Betty Show on WBBM.  Betty began to read an article that captured my attention. It began something like this…

 

I am America.

You use to call me:

George Washington

Abraham Lincoln

Nathan Hale

Patrick Henry

But now you call me…

That’s when I turned the radio off and began to scribble some notes while driving. I wrote…

 

 

I Am The Church

Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

 

I am a Divine experience, built upon a Divine revelation

I am built upon the Rock.  That Rock is Jesus.

I was born in obscurity, in an upper room.

I have lived in palaces and poverty

I am no stranger to the poor.  I was raised on the wrong side of the tracks.

 

Some have called me:

Saul of Tarsus

Simon Peter

Cornelius

Philip

Stephen

Timothy

Lois

Eunice

Lydia

 

Of late, you have called me:

Andrew Urshan

G.T. Haywood

Robert Tobin

Verbal Bean

Carl Ballestero

Robert C. Cavaness

Paul Jordan

William R. Starr

Jimmy Davis

Bill Dross

Morris E. Golder

Nathaniel Urshan

Kenneth Haney

 

I am the church

I was chosen from a life called:

Foolish

Weak

Base

Despised

Nothing

 

That I should not glory in His presence!

 I am College Students and High School Dropouts,

Factory workers and Housewives,

Store owners and clock punchers,

I am all ages and all sizes,

I am teens with braces and Grandma’s with canes

I am Sunday School kids whose parents are still asleep.

 

I’ve lived on welfare, stood in soup lines,

I used to be addicted to drugs, push dope, and belong to a gang.

I was a streetwalker, alcoholic, liar and thief.

But now I am washed, Now I am sanctified, Now I am justified, by the blood of Jesus.

 

I am the church

I have lived in the guttermost, but have been raised to the uttermost.

I have been lifted from the deep miry clay.  My feet set upon a solid rock, He has established my goings.

Angels attend me daily. I am guided by Divine Direction.

Heaven protects my every move.

I am an army, I have never lost a battle. I am predestinated to win.

I am victorious.

 

I have been given authority in His Name, over:

Every evil spirit

Every disease known to man

I have the power of the Name of Jesus at my command.

I speak unto mountains and they are cast aside, In His name

I walk by faith and live in the Spirit.

 

I am the church

Throughout history, I have been:

Crucified

Stoned

Beaten

Mistreated

Banished

Persecuted and Ostracized, I still prevail.

 

I’ve been Lied on,

Talked about

Laughed at

Mocked

Scorned,

But Death still can’t stop me.

I shall not be defeated.

 

By Divine Help,

There’s no mountain I haven’t climbed,

No river I haven’t crossed

No valley too deep.

There’s no problem too big!

I have been made to survive and flourish.

 

I am the church

I have been hindered but never stopped.

Knocked down, but never defeated.

Cast down, but never destroyed.

Dictators can’t stop me

Kings can’t stop me

Presidents can’t

Generals with cruel armies can’t

Even Communism can’t.

The Iron curtain, Bamboo Curtain, The Berlin wall couldn’t stop me.

 

Even the gates of hell shall not prevail against me.

God is with me

He is on my side.

 

Why do I not live in fear?  I have been given precious promises:

 

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

 

Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear Him and delivereth them.

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be

afraid?

 

I am predestinated. 

I am the church.

I have lived in prisons, in castles, in cities, and in desert places,

I have lived in villages and barrios, in every continent and in every nation under heaven.

I am more colors than the rainbow.

I speak the languages of many tongues.

Tongues of men and of angels.

I entertain no prejudices

I am one body

 

I am the church

I am commissioned to the Great Commission

I live for the Word.

I shout Amen,

I run the aisles

I dance in the spirit

I love praise and worship

I speak with tongues and prophesy.

I clap my hands and sing.

I raise my hands in prayer and worship.

I leap for joy.

 

I exist to give Him praise.

Psa. 150:1  Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

2  Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

3  Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

4  Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

5  Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

6  Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

 

I will bless the LORD at all times

His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

 

I am the church

Holiness is my trademark

Worship is my hallmark.

Prayer is my secret.

 

I am a tired missionary

An exhausted parent of small children,

I am a tear-stained altar worker,

A tired visitation team

A Sunday School teacher with children that won’t be quiet

A Home Bible Study teacher, burning the midnight oil

I am a weary all-night prayer meeting

I am an evangelist with a hoarse throat.

I am an exhausted musician in a lengthy altar service,

I am a King’s son wearing clothes from Goodwill,

I know what it’s like to shout my hair down,

I know what it’s like to get Holy laughter,

I know what it’s like to shout during the preaching,

I know what it’s like to travail in the spirit,

I know what it’s like to make intercession.

I know what the Pentecostal croup is

I know what it’s like to see someone go home drunk in the Holy Ghost,

I know what it’s like to be lost in the Spirit,

I know where the prayer room is,

 

I am the church

I’ve seen lives changed

Families restored

Marriages put back together

Gays and Lesbians delivered

Bodies healed

Minds restored

Drug Addicts delivered

Smokers set free

Alcoholics dried out

Hard hearts softened

Bitterness erased

Anger dissipate

Mistakes forgiven and wrongs righted.

Unity restored

All by the Hand of God

Some, in moment’s time

I am the sole possessor of Truth

I possess the secret of eternal life and of peace with God

 

I am the church

I am preaching that changes and that touches the heart

I am an experience that changes the lives

I am testimonies that ring that Jerusalem ring

I am singing, that stirs the soul,

I am prayers that reach heaven’s throne,

 

I am the church 

I am faces without make-up

I am long dresses and uncut hair.

I am modesty on a pedestal,

I am virtue and purity on parade with heads held high.

I am holiness without an apology

I am dedicated to separation from the world.

I refused to be influenced by immoral thinking

I shun immodest apparel

I hate every false way

I deplore the works of the flesh

Carnal thinking is not for me

I keep myself unspotted from the world.

I proudly represent the King of Glory

He is Holy, therefore, I must be holy

My adornment is spiritual and precious, rather than worldly and cheap.

My men look like real men

My women are my glory

I am not a slave to fashion, but rather a servant of Jesus Christ.

I am clothed rather in garments of Salvation.

 

Immodesty does not become me,

Impurity has no place in my world,

I live a separated life.

I don’t look like Satan’s children, talk like them, neither do I act like them.

I do not feel comfortable in their environment.

I hate all the works of the flesh

I am not comfortable in Satan’s realm

The world is not my home

I walk ONLY on the OLD paths.

 

I am the church

My worship, my music, and singing have been copied, mimicked, and duplicated.

But like the magicians, who cast down their rods before Moses, they still didn’t have the message.  Moses had the only message of deliverance.

I alone have the message of deliverance for a lost and dying world.

I alone have the keys to eternal life.

I alone have the message that sets men free

I alone have the truth

I alone have the revelation of who Jesus is

I alone am the bride of Christ

I alone know the truth of being born again of water and spirit

I alone baptize in the only name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved

I alone have a world to reach

 

I am described as:

Glorious

Not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.

Holy and without blemish.

As terrible as an army with banners

The salt of the world

The light of the world

A Great House

The general assembly

Mount Sion

The city of the Living God

The church of the firstborn

An heir of righteousness

A chosen generation

A royal priesthood

The Family of God

The Habitation of God

The Temple of God

The Bride of Christ

 

I AM NOT:

A social center

A board run entity or a clever tax shelter

I am not Political or politically correct

Or Socially acceptable

This Secular world was not created with me in mind.

I don’t fit into their societies or programs, their sports or their entertainment.

 

I AM A REDEMPTION CENTER

A Hospital for the hurting

An oasis for the weary

A home for everyone.

Give me your weary, your homeless, your outcast, your oppressed, your needy and your distressed.

 

I am the church

I am called to show forth the praises of Him who hath called my out of darkness in to this glorious light

I am the sole possessor of the name of Jesus in redemption.

I alone have taken His name.

I am His bride.  I love His Name.

 

Revival is my heartbeat,

Calvary is my song,

The blood of Jesus is my hope,

The name of Jesus is my love,

Deliverance is my message,

The coming of Jesus is my prayer

 

I live only to:

Worship Him

Witness to others

Love one another

Praise His Holy Name

Pray unto Him

Help my brother

Obey His Word and His will

 

I am sanctified

Blood washed

Blood bought

Spirit-filled

Water baptized in Jesus name

Tongue talking

Endued with power from on high

My name is written in the Lambs book of life

I am the reason for Bethlehem,

I am the reason for Calvary

I am Pentecost in action

 

I am the church

I grow with tears

I become stronger when I decrease

I am love with a sword in its hand

I am a soldier with compassion

A rich man with no money,

Royalty with no recognition

I am an heir with no earthly home.

I am a burden in shoe leather

I am joyful when there is repentance

I celebrate the death and Home-going of my own,

Knowing that to absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

But I grieve for all others.

 

I have prayed teeming thousands out of sick beds,

Seen countless others raised up from their deathbeds,

Watched blinded eyes opend, and seen the lame walk.

 

Yet I still reach out to help others who have never heard of Jesus.

While hope and time remain, I am dedicated to helping others find Christ.

I live in the Supernatural, I walk in the Spirit, and I enjoy the benefits of eternity right here on earth.

 

I am the church

I love the unlovable,

I reach out to the rejected and outcasts of society while giving hope to the discouraged and depressed.

I am a refuge in troublesome times.

I am a comfort from despair and a shelter in life’s storms.

I give hope to the hopeless and help o the helpless.

I minister to the needs of both the body and soul

 

I am blessed most when I am being a blessing.

I bear my brother’s burdens

I am an encourager to all

I am an edifier and a giver of strength

I point all men to Calvary

I lead the hungry to Heaven’s banqueting table

I take no glory for myself

 

I am recognized by the fruit that I manifest.

Love,

Joy,

Peace,

Long-suffering,

Gentleness,

Goodness,

Faith,

Meekness,

Temperance: against such, there is no law.

 

I am the church

I am betrothed to the King of Kings,

To The Lord God Almighty

The Alpha and Omega

The Beginning and The End

The First and The Last

The Prince of Peace

The Rose of Sharon

The Chief Cornerstone

The Captain of Salvation

The Desire of All nations

The Great High Priest

The Good Shepherd

Emmanuel

The Lamb of God

The Lord of Glory

The Most High God

 

He who is called: 

Wonderful,

Counselor,

The mighty God,

The everlasting Father,

The Prince of Peace, This is my beloved.

He is altogether lovely.

I get excited about the Name of Jesus.

His Name is above every other.

I am the apple of His eye.

I am my beloved’s and He is mine.

 

I love the sound of His voice.  His words to me are life and strength.

I delight in them. I am excited when He speaks to me.

I long for His touch.

I live to be in His presence.

I have no other joy. For all that thrills my soul is Jesus, He is more than life to me, and the fairest of 10,000 in His blessed face I see.

 

My days are limited, my time is short.

I am redeeming the time.

I am going to be caught away very soon.

The Lord Jesus is coming to take me to a place He has prepared for me.

 

I must work while I still have the time.

My light is lit

There is oil in my lamp

It is trimmed and burning

I am watching and praying

I am looking for His soon return

I am on fire with Pentecostal fire

The vision is great

The harvest is great

My garments are without spot or wrinkle

I am ready for the 1st resurrection

 

I am the church

My job is never done, nor my task finished till all have come to the knowledge of the truth.

My focus must not be upon myself but upon others.

I cannot rest while one lost sheep is astray.

I am called to rescue the perishing

I am charged the responsibility of lost souls

 

Heaven is watching

Hell is watching

The world is watching

I must not falter

I must not fail

I must not weaken or tire

I shall not fail

I shall be triumphant over all

 

I will pray on

I will sing on

I will preach on

I will go on

I will keep on keeping on

I will reach out to all that need Him

I am determined to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

The challenge before me is great, but He is greater.

I shall be victorious over all, because of Him

I am triumphant because of Him.

 

I am Called

I am Chosen

I will be Faithful

 

I am the church

Are you in the Church Triumphant?

Are you in the Saviour’s Bride?

Come and be baptized into the body,

And forevermore abide

 

 

I’m talking about the church

In the book of Revelation

It’s built on the Rock

Got a firm foundation

It’s been through the storm

It’s been through the fire

And one of these days,

This church is gonna move up higher

 

It’s the church, triumphant, Oh Lord,

And it’s built by the hand of the Lord.

 

Are you in the Church today?

If not, then GET in it.

If you are IN it, then STAY in it

 

Come to the altar

Be a part of God’s Church

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 4, 2018 at 10:48 pm

The Sound Man Was Blind!

with 2 comments

 

The Sound Man Was Blind!

It was Youth Rally Night in the little Tennessee country church. I sat in the audience, only two or three of the people even knew me. The small building was very full. The weather very bad. The guests had all braved the storm. They opened the service with prayer. They prayed for the storm to pass on by. “We beta hope de Ward heas our pwayer!” That was what the tongue-tied service leader said, trying to encourage faith in the congregation.

Something was terribly wrong with the microphone. They tapped it, they shook it, and then examined the cord. Nothing worked. All heads turned toward the small sound booth. The sound man was not looking down; he was looking up while he adjusted the board. What? Then it became apparent. He was blind. The sound man was blind and he was the one adjusting the board! Someone had changed the microphone settings and he was trying to restore them by feel. He got it back pretty close to normal too. Unbelievable.

He also ran the computer music software for the overhead projector. The slides on the screen did not always match the words being sung. But, no one seemed to care.

The organ player was taking pictures of the congregation with one hand while playing with the other. She extended her arm full length toward the audience as she took the photos.

They sang! They worshiped! They Shouted. The visiting ministers were all asked to testify. The teenage guest preacher for the Youth Rally was really nervous and it showed. He had never “preached out” before. He preached with anointing and then conviction fell. Young people moved to the altar area to pray. While she played for the altar call song, the organ player took flash photos with her left hand, of the folks coming down the aisle.

No, it wasn’t “perfect church”, like some of the big churches might have, but the congregation went home rejoicing and happy knowing they had been in the presence of the Lord.

This is Home Missions

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 10, 2018 at 12:45 am

Don’t Bother Praying? Yes, You Heard Me Right… Don’t Bother Praying!

with 2 comments

 

 

Don’t Bother Praying? Yes, You Heard Me Right…

Don’t Bother Praying!

 

The Holy Scriptures screams the need for us all to pray. The Apostle Paul even said for us to pray without ceasing. Every pastor encourages his listeners to pray. I certainly agree with the admonition.

 

  • Yes, we know that God is a prayer-answering God!
  • He specializes in responding to our needs.
  • He specializes in healing our bodies and saving our souls.
  • He will hear a sinner’s prayer of repentance.
  • He answers all prayers for deliverance, forgiveness, and salvation.
  • He encourages us to just to ask, and He says, it shall be given.

 

But, There Are Times, When The Lord Tells Us It Won’t Do Any Good To Pray!

(Yes, You’ve Read That Last Sentence Right!)

 

1.) God Will Not Choose To Ignore Your Sinning, And Bless You Anyway…

Don’t Bother Praying!

Isa 59:1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Those who think they can continually gratify their fleshly lusts and ignore God’s Word when they pray are only fooling themselves.  God is not in the mood to listen to them. Be warned.

 

2.) If You Still Want To Hang On To Your Sin…

Don’t Bother Praying!

Psa. 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

(NLT) – Psa. 66:18 18 If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

(ESV) – Psa. 66:18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

 

3.) If You Refuse To Receive Instruction From God’s Word…

(Saying you’re not convicted, e.g.)

Don’t Bother Praying!

Proverbs 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

 

4.) When You Ask For What You’ve No Right To Ask For.

Don’t Bother Praying!

James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

 (The Message) – James 4:3 And why not? Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way.

 

5.) If You’re Guilty Of Destroying God’s Men And His Saints With The Sword Of Your Tongue, And With Your Railing…

Don’t Bother Praying!

Isa 1:15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

 

6.) When You Mistreat Your Wife…

Don’t Bother Praying!

1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

(NCV) 1 Peter 3:7 …do this so that nothing will stop your prayers.

(The Message) 1 Peter 3:7 …so your prayers don’t run aground.

Every husband must show his wife honor and respect her at all times. If he doesn’t, there is no need for him to bother God by trying to pray. God already has said He chooses not to listen to that man when he prays. No matter who he is.

A man who abandons his wife and family needs to remember that the only prayer God will entertain from him is one of true and complete repentance. He also owes the same repentance to his wife and family.

Sir: Don’t Make God Place A ‘Do Not Answer” Stamp On Your Prayer Request.

 

7.) If Your Refuse To Forgive

Don’t Bother Praying!

Mat 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 

  • God hears the prayer of the humble.
  • God hears the prayer of the repentant.
  • God hears the prayer of the submissive.
  • God hears the prayer of the obedient.
  • God hears the prayer of those hungry for Him.

 

May We All Pray Prayers That God Will Hear!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 8, 2018 at 8:08 pm

Just Imagine!

with one comment

 

Just Imagine!

 

Just imagine a thoughtless and demanding husband who is married to a wife who caters to his every need. Imagine him sitting relaxed in his little command center, his Lazy-Boy, while he bellows out orders.

  • “Hey Pearl, bring me a Diet Coke.”
  • “Get me the newspaper.”
  • “Did you call Bob like I asked you?”
  • “Get the phone will you, I’m busy.”
  • “How much longer do I have to wait for supper?”
  • “Since you’re up, get my slippers.”

 

Just imagine a man who constantly makes demands like that on his wife. If she complied willingly and without comment, he’s a most fortunate man.

Just imagine what she might feel like if he never thanked her for serving him.

Imagine too what she would think of him if all he ever did was make more demands and never took time to talk to her or say sweet words of affection to her.

Imagine what future the relationship would have if the man said, I don’t really have time to talk to you, I just need you to do what I asked you to do.

Some wives might be content to be in a relationship like that, but I have never met them yet. A loving relationship is not a one-way street.

 

Then There Is The Flip Side Of That Problem.

 

Imagine a demanding wife that is married to a husband who she expects to cater to her every need.

  • Her Honey-Do-List never ends.
  • Her requests are only for her benefit.
  • She nags him if she doesn’t get what she wants when she wants it.
  • She feels like he doesn’t love her unless he is always giving to her and doing things for her.
  • His needs are not even on her radar screen.
  • She has no time to just talk to him.
  • He can’t remember when she last said, “I love you.”
  • Her world is only focused on her own happiness.

 

What A Mess! I Can’t Imagine Living Like That!

I don’t know who would ever want to enter into any kind of relationship such as this. How could their life’s story have a happy ending? What future do they have? It’s a world without love!

 

Yet That Is Exactly The Spiritual Relationship Many Of Us Have With The Lord.

  • The only time we talk to Him is to make more demands.
  • Our prayers are only to ask for more.
  • We ask for healing.
  • We ask for finances.
  • We ask for housing, transportation, and employment.
  • We ask for blessings for ourselves.
  • And yes… We are invited to ask. But…
  • We never just take the time to say,  “Thank You, Jesus.”
  • We are too busy to just stop and ‘chit-chat’ with Him.
  • We find ourselves so busy asking for more favors that we almost never stop to say, “Have I  told You today Jesus, that I love You?”

 

What’s The Chances Of Our ‘Relationship’ With God Lasting Very Long?

Actually, I am afraid it sounds one-sided.

It doesn’t sound like much of a relationship.

If it were a marriage, it might soon go on the rocks.

 

So, Where Is Our Walk With God Headed?

 

Just Imagine…

Just Imagine a husband been separated from his wife and writing over five dozen letters to her. Imagine the wife taking the unopened letters from the mailman and stacking them on the coffee table for all to see. Just imagine her never reading the letters from her husband. Imagine her thinking, “How precious of him to write, but reading his letters is boring to me.”

Imagine the two of them talking on the phone from time to time and him realizing by the things she says and doesn’t say, that she has not been reading any of his letters. Now what?

Absurd as it may sound, it happens everywhere, every day. We have letters and epistles written to us. Although cherished by us all, The Holy Bible remains unread and untouched. It is placed on the coffee table for others to see. But many of us will die, never reading what He wrote just to us. Now what?

 

Just imagine what our life would be like if we told the Lord several times a day that we loved Him, and not just asked for something every time we prayed.

Just imagine what our life would be like if we read the letters He wrote to us and got to know Him better!

Just imagine knowing Him in His fullness!

Just Imagine!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 21, 2018 at 8:50 am

It’s Come As You Are, Not Stay As You Are!

with 3 comments

It’s Come As You Are, Not Stay As You Are!

 

Come As You Are? Yes.

Stay As You Are? No.

 

Most churches have promoted an open-door policy to every new visitor. They want everyone to feel welcome to attend. Although the Bible doesn’t actually say, “Come as you are,” churches reach for everyone. Apostolic Pentecostal Churches are no different. (But, it might be amazing to see what some actually are willing to wear to God’s House using the ‘come as you are’ umbrella as an excuse!)

 

That, however is not the real problem. Some folks not only come to church as they are, they have chosen to stay as they are. They are not willing to change. They ignore how the saints dress, worship and live. They have chosen not to change or to submit.

 

Living for God is all about change. Completely change. Change is necessary. Change is required. Change is the will of God for everyone. With salvation comes change. With deliverance comes change. Unchanged people have no hope of deliverance, no hope of being a testimony, no hope of being used of God, and no hope of heaven.

 

How Do We Become A “New Creature In Christ Jesus” If We Don’t Change?

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 

How Do We Become “Transformed” If We Don’t Change?

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 

How Do We Become “Born Again” If We Don’t Change?

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God

 

How Do We Become “Holy” If We Don’t Change?

1 Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

 

How Can We Come Out From Among Them And Be Separate, If We Don’t Change?

2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

 

How Can We Have Christ In Us And He Never Changes Us?

Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

 Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

 

Do You Mean To Tell Me That When We Repent We Really Don’t Have To Change Anything?

Do You Mean To Tell Me That When We Get Baptized In Jesus Name, We Don’t Change?

Do You Mean To Tell Me That We Can Be Filled With The Holy Ghost And Never Be Changed?

 

When Jacob Prepared To Go To Bethel, He Changed.

Genesis 35:1 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.

Genesis 35:2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:

Genesis 35:3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.

Genesis 35:4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.

 

 When normal people come into the presence of the God, they quickly remember their sins. At that point, they must choose to keep them or confess and forsake them.

God might be merciful and forgiving, yet His word tells every confessor to forsake their sins.

If the God you serve lets you do whatever you want, and live like you want, then your god is you. You became your own god!

 

Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

 

 If We Want God’s Mercy, We Must Not Only Confess Our Sins But Forsake Them!

Mercy comes to those who confess and forsake. That is the change God looks for. Forsaking your old life is what living for God is all about.

1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1 Corinthians 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

  •  (And Such Were Some Of You!) That Is Change!

 

Repentance Must Bring Change. If It Doesn’t Bring Change It Wasn’t Real Repentance!

In The Old Testament, God Chose Not To Bless Israel Until They Changed.

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

  • Change Puts Us In The Direct Path Of God’s Blessings.

 

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

Romans 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

 

Let’s Get Real Plain…

If you see a sinner man and a Holy Ghost-filled man standing together talking, you should be able to tell which one is which.

If you see a sinner woman and a Holy Ghost-filled woman standing together talking, you should be able to see the difference.

When we obey Acts 2:38, (by repenting of our sins, getting baptized in Jesus name, and being filled with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues.) We are no longer the same. We are changed on the inside. What is changed on the inside quickly shows on the outside!

  • We don’t do the things we used to do
  • We don’t talk like we used to talk
  • We don’t go where we use to go
  • We don’t have the kind of friends we used to have
  • We don’t dress like we used to dress
  • We don’t drink what we used to drink

 

Why?

Because Now We’re A New Creature In Christ Jesus.

 

How Do We Lay Sin Aside And Not Change?

1 Peter 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,

1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

  • (Growth is change, too)

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

  • Removing things from our life that will keep us from being saved, is change.

If we say we are saved, yet remain unchanged… We are not honest with our soul, with God, or with the truth.

 

Our Heart Must Change

Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Ephesians 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation (our old lifestyle) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

Ephesians 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

 

Our Speech Must Change

Ephesians 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

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

 

Our Outward Appearance Must Change

1 Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

 

Change Requires Modesty For Men And Woman

1 Timothy2:9 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;

1 Timothy 2:10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

Deuteronomy 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

 

Hair Care Changes

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

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

 

Our Priorities Must Change

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

 

Even Our Furniture Must Change

Psalms 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

 

The Things We Love Must Change

1 John 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.

 

We Say We’re A Christian, (Christ-like) And Yet…

  • We’ve Never Changed On The Inside Or The Outside?
  • We Neither Look Like Nor Act Like An Apostolic Saint?

 

Who Are We Fooling? Only Ourselves.

James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

If we balk at Biblical correction and refuse to allow God’s Word to change our life… then we have shown to everyone that we are not a true child of God. We are of illegitimate birth in the Kingdom of God.

Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

Hebrews 12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

 

What’s Missing In Our Lives That Would Keep Us From Allowing God To Change Us?

No Conviction of Sin?

No Fear of God?

No Respect?

No Obedience to His Word?

No Love for His House?

 

Are we just being Rebellious?

Are we just Clueless?

Are we not able to see that we don’t measure up to God’s Standards?

Are we just Insincere?

 

How can we come to church for months and even years… claiming to be Spirit-filled, and never change?

 

Ask Yourself…

If we had a beard and applied for a job at a company that had a ‘no beards’ policy, would we be willing to change?

If we worked for a fancy restaurant that had a no tattoo ‘visible’ policy for its employees, would we be willing to cover ours?

If we got hired by a good paying company but we had to work nights, would we change our sleeping habits?

If our job gave us a promotion, but we had to relocate, would we be willing to change towns?

If the doctor ordered us to change our diet because of cancer, would we?

If our heart doctor wanted us to change our lifestyle to live longer, would we?

If our homeowner’s association didn’t approve of our lawn display, would we take it down?

What if God reminded us in the Judgment of all the changes in our life that we made for man and for money, yet we chose not to make any changes for Him. What will our answer be then?

 

We Must Allow God To:

Change us like He changes Night into Day, Winter into Spring.

Change us like He changes a Caterpillar into a Butterfly.

 

“Just Stay On The Bus!”

with 3 comments

 

“This Bus Is Going To Chicago”

 

I often flew out of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport when I lived in South Bend, Indiana. It was about 120 miles away. Many times, it was cost-effective for me to take a shuttle bus from the South Bend Airport to the Chicago Airport rather than to drive to Chicago and pay to park.

My wife dropped me off at the Ground Transportation area in the South Bend terminal. I hurriedly picked up my reserved bus ticket.

The waiting area was large and comfortable. I sat where I could see the buses pull up. The bus line originally was called United Limo, and then it later merged with Tri-State Coach and Coach USA. Its company serves Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

I watched as buses with their destinations showing above their windshields began to arrive. I looked for the one that said ‘Chicago’. When it finally pulled up, it was in Lane 2.

I promptly stood up and waited for the announcement over the intercom that it was time to board.

When the bus departure was declared, I hustled outside and presented my suitcase to the Driver. His name tag said ‘Steve.’

“This bus is going to Chicago,” Steve said, verifying I was getting on the right bus.

“Yes sir,” I replied, “That’s where I’m going.

He stowed my suitcase underneath, punched my ticket and I climbed on board.

I settled down for the 2-hour ride to O’Hara. I saw a few others lay their seats back to relax. It looked like a good idea, so I joined them.

About 20 minutes later, I felt the bus swerve onto an off-ramp. I curiously looked around wondering what the deal was. They told me this was the Chicago bus and this wasn’t Chicago.

I sat up and waited. The driver looped around behind an old service station/café building and stopped in the front. The air brakes hissed as the Driver announced, “LaPorte”

We sat there a few moments and several more passengers got on board. No one got off. In five minutes we were back on the highway again.

Another twenty minutes or so later we again turned off the big four-lane highway and stopped in front of a motel. This time driver said, “Michigan City.” One got off, and one got on.

Once again, we were rolling down the road. This time we were on the I-94 west-bound. We did good for a while, then the driver stopped again. This time, the name he said on the bus intercom was, “Portage.” Four more got on board. No one got off.

I wondered, how many more stops before we get there? I was not surprised when the bus turned off the road again and stopped at Griffith. Three got off there, but seven or eight got on board. The bus was pretty full.

The last hour of the ride was non-stop. We finally pulled up to the Bus Parking Area of the Airport’s lower level.

“Chicago,” Steve said. I stood up.  I had made it to my destination. It wasn’t anything I did. It’s what I didn’t do that got me there. I didn’t get off the bus. I just stayed on the bus, even when others got off.

I could have gotten off at any of the stops along the way, but I didn’t. That’s why I arrived at my destination. I just stayed on the bus.

I do not believe in individual predestination. I do believe in corporate predestination, however. The Word of God firmly declares, that His Church is predestined for Glory. All you have to do is stay on the bus and since the bus is predestined; you will go where it goes. Just don’t get off this bus.

Some may be tempted to get off the bus along life’s journey. You can if you want too, but you should know, this is the only bus going to Glory. Don’t get off.  Someone else will take your seat if you do.

I don’t care who else gets off, or what the attraction or distraction is, just stay on the bus!

“This Bus Is Going To Chicago!”

 

Just Stay On The Bus!

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 29, 2018 at 1:03 pm

The Kiss Of Death

with 7 comments

 

The Kiss Of Death

“Remember Elizabeth? She just got a hearing implant to see if that would cure her deafness,” my wife said. We were eating lunch in Georgia, at a National Country Club.

“They call that, The Kiss Of Death, in the deaf community,” offered the court certified Interpreter for the deaf who was seated at the table with us.

The Kiss Of Death?” I was in shock! “Why would they call being able to hear, The Kiss Of Death?

“Hearing would ruin their life, as they know it. Many deaf people are very happy in their own world,” she said. “It’s a very tight-knit society.  Lip reading is a coveted gift. Most deaf people don’t want to be healed. They are happy being deaf.”

She related an incident about signing to a client. The client signed back to her that she could read lips and only wanted to be spoken to, not signed to by a hearing person. Although the court had certified the Interpreter, she was still an outsider to the deaf.

The Interpreter began to describe some of her client’s anti-hearing sentiments. She served several expectant mothers who were deaf. These moms-to-be wanted their babies to be deaf as well.

As a hearing person, I’ve had very limited communication with the deaf. If they can read my lips, that’s wonderful. I cannot read theirs. We can only write notes back and forth to each other. I cannot imagine anyone not wanting to hear.

I also have no way of knowing how accurate the Interpreter’s opinion was. She was only relating her life experiences.

Although my interaction with the natural deaf is somewhat limited, I am however, very familiar with the attitudes of the spiritually deaf.

The spiritually deaf that I know, don’t want to be healed. They resist getting a spiritual implant to hear the Word of the Lord. To them, that would be The Kiss Of Death!

Forty-two times the Bible uses the phrase, “He that hath an ear to hear.” Evidently, not everyone can hear what the Spirit saith. Their Pastor/Interpreter is an intrusion into their world.

They too do not wish to be healed and want all of their children to be deaf as well. The preached Word of God is something that the spiritually deaf person cannot hear. They can’t hear sermons about:

  • Doctrine
  • Tithes
  • Holiness
  • Separation from the world

It is really futile to try to communicate with those that are deaf to God’s Word. The interference of hearing people into their life is resented.

Jesus healed the deaf. We read about it in the Gospels. He is still able to heal the spiritually deaf today who want to be healed.

My father had been the pastor at a church for three years. A brother came up to him after the Saturday night service and complimented his sermon. Dad thanked him. Sunday morning the same man gave him another compliment.

Sunday night, the same brother came up to Dad and with tears in his eyes said, “Bro. Ballestero, I thank you for that message! That was the best I’ve ever heard! You saved me tonight!”

My father invited the man into his office. When they sat down, my father began his inquiry.

“Brother, for the last three years you’ve fought me tooth and toenail. You have resisted me at every turn. Not one time have you said a nice thing to me since I’ve been here. You have never complimented any of my messages before. Now, for three sermons in a row, you’ve bragged on me. What’s your game?”

The brother broke down and cried. He apologized to my Father. He said, “I am so sorry I’ve been like that to you Pastor. The reason I’ve complimented your preaching, is because I just got my ears open!”

All a Pastor can pray for is that his hearers will get their ears opened! He knows that for those who are content not to hear preaching, it is truly, The Kiss of Death!

 

The Last Thing You Lose Is Your Hearing

Bro. Henry Baskins fell like he’d been shot. The sound of his head hitting the floor was enough to make those nearby sick and alarmed. His fellow workers called 911 and anxiously watched for the ambulance.

Within minutes, my phone rang and informed me that one of the most precious men in the Kingdom of God was in a coma and being taken from the ER to ICU. My heart sank. Bro. Baskins was near retirement age. No one had an answer why he had passed out on the job. He’d had no previous health concerns.

Henry Baskins

He was a church favorite. Even though he drove over 20 miles each way to church, he was always an hour or so early. He had been an usher as long as I could remember. His pockets always contained a bag of candy for the children. That made him a very popular man after church.

Sis. Baskins lived a pampered life. He waited on her hand and foot, did the grocery shopping, chauffeured her anywhere she wanted to go. What if he died? What would happen to her? She’d never even driven a car!

After calling the Prayer Chain in our church, I rushed to the Osteopathic Hospital. As I headed for ICU, I noticed family and saints were gathering too. There was a waiting room next to the ICU door.

No one, not even family was allowed to go in and see him yet. I told the folks in the waiting room to pray for Bro. Baskins. They prayed Pentecostal style.

I pushed the call button and announced myself. The nurse buzzed me in. She escorted me to Bro. Baskins’ room. My heart sank when I saw him. There were more tubes connected to him than I’d ever seen. There were tubes down his throat, up his nose, in his chest, his arms, his hands and his leg. It seemed like there were 10 monitors going. The pumping sounds of the machine doing the breathing for him were hard to ignore. He looked hopeless.

Even though he was unconscious, I announced myself to him. I said, “Bro. Baskins, this is Bro. Ballestero and I am here to pray for you.

My prayer was probably only a minute or so. I felt guilty being the only one allowed back in his room. I really didn’t want to leave even though my prayer was over.

My Dad had always said that the last thing we lose is our hearing, naturally and spiritually. I remembered that and began to talk.

I said, “Bro. Baskins, no one knows what happened at work today. Those close to you said you just fell over and hit your head. You have been in a coma ever since. The ambulance brought you to the Osteopathic Hospital.

“The doctors are trying to find out what the cause of the problem is. They don’t know. No one but me is allowed back here right now. So, don’t worry about your family not coming in, because the nurses are being very protective of you right now.

“Your wife is in the next room. All of her needs are being taken care of. Your children are here. The saints have filled up the ICU waiting room and I have the Prayer Chain praying for you.

“When they start letting family come in here, it will only be once every 4 hours and then, just for a few minutes. Now don’t worry about anything. You just focus on getting well, we’ll keep praying. I love you!”

Every time I went to see him, I prayed, and then I chattered. I told him of the news in the church. I talked about his family. Reassured him of his wife’s comfort. Every day for about 3 weeks I visited his room.

One Friday, he woke up. They checked him over and checked him out. When I heard the news that he was home and walking around. I rejoiced! This was awesome news.

Sunday morning when I stepped into the auditorium, there was Bro. Baskins standing at his usual ushering post. He hugged my neck and tears came into his eyes.

“Bro. Ballestero, when you came into my room and prayed for me and talked to me, I heard every word you said. Thank you, Thank you!” He said.

He could still hear! Unbelievable! Even when he was in such bad shape!

Dad’s words again echoed through my memory. “The last thing you lose is your hearing, naturally and spiritually.”

Can you still hear?

If You Can Hear, It’s Not The Kiss Of Death,  It’s The Kiss Of Life…  Spiritual Life!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 22, 2018 at 7:33 pm