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Archive for the ‘Holy Ghost’ Category

Have Ye Received The Holy Ghost? 1893 Song

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Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 4, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Posted in Holy Ghost

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Presenting The Best Home Bible Study Ever!

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The Best Home Bible Study Ever!

It is a distinct honor to present to my readers a magnificent Home Bible Study in both English and Spanish. It is by far the best I have ever seen!

This great study was created by Rev. Sterling L. Busby and is called, Bringing Men To Jesus. In my opinion, this is a “must have” for every Apostolic soul winner.

The Following Is From The Introduction:

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“Home Bible Studies have been a big part of my life for over 20 years. I have used the one and two day studies as well as the ten and twelve part studies and have seen great results from them all. However, recently I have been impressed by the Spirit to develop an intermediate study. Pastors and soul winners alike have expressed to me the need of such a resource.

‘Bringing Men To Jesus’ is a simple Home Bible Study with five easy to teach lessons. It has something of the feel of an extended study yet it is brief and direct. It is not meant to be an exhaustive study on Jewish history nor to be an in-depth study on ceremonies and customs. Rather, when a key character or event is highlighted the concept or principle is discussed and the study moves on. It says what must be said to bring a candidate to an understanding of who God is and how to find Him.

Lesson 1, ‘Who Is God’ is a faith building introduction to key attributes of the Spirit of God. It is evident in today’s society that there is a tremendous need to reintroduce this generation to the God of the Bible. For a person to find Salvation in God, they must begin with believing that He exists and that He controls the universe.

Throughout the other lessons key Bible characters have been used to teach faith in God and obedience to His Word. The problem of sin, its origin and consequence is dealt with in an evangelistic manner. The types and shadows of the Tabernacle of Moses are introduced and then explained with their New Testament counterparts; the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It is my sincere desire that this Home Bible Study will be an effective tool in leading souls to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. When we see all that is taking place around us, it is evident that the coming of the Lord is very near. We must do what we can to reach our world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no ‘joy’ like the soul winner’s ‘joy’.

Sterling L. Busby

Sterling L. Busby

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Testimonies

 

Eugeio Dominguez, Missionary

I personally took Bringing Men to Jesus home Bible study to the country of Peru to use in our work there. The first week I was there I taught a denominal Pastor and his daughter the study. They saw the Truth and both were baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Ghost.

 Pastor W E Davis, Macon GA

This is a great Bible study.  I have taught it to my entire congregation and I also use it when following up on church guest!

Pastor Caleb Adams, Memphis, TN

“We are excited about the results we have seen with “Bringing Men to Jesus’ ‘Home Bible Study.”

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To View And Purchase The Bible Study Chart,

Teacher’s Manual And Power Point.

Click On The Link Or Image Below.

http://www.mentojesus.org/purchase-bible-study

Bringing Men to Jesus is a new and exciting home Bible study with five easy lessons. The flip chart measures 18″ by 12″ and includes 28 full color illustrations. A concise 80 page manual guides the teacher in presenting each lesson in a time frame of 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bringing Men to Jesus says what should be said to bring a candidate to a basic understanding of who God is and how to receive Bible-based salvation.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 11, 2012 at 9:57 pm

What Is Your Quality Of Life?

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What Is Your Quality Of Life?

According to dictionary.com, the phrase quality of life entered our American language in the early 1940’s. We commonly use this expression to describe the availability of comforts, or the lack thereof.

Auntie Fern

As a seven-year-old boy, I was aware that my Auntie Fern was dying with cancer. She was quite young, but the disease had exhausted her strength. My mind still sees pictures of her sitting in Grandma Gleason’s house at 711 Polk St, Oregon City, Oregon in her special chair.

Auntie Fern smiled at me a lot as she sat covered in her lap blanket. I have no memory of ever seeing her walk, but before the cancer, she always had. She had a beautiful twelve-year-old daughter Carolyn. Cancer quickly takes away what we may have determined to be, our quality of life.

Beverly

My sister, Beverly Anne, was fourteen months younger than me. Problems at her birth complicated the health conditions she was already born with. She was a very sickly child. She was not strong enough to go to school after the fourth grade. She never got to skip rope a day in her life.

Her hair never grew long, her eyes were weak, her nails wouldn’t grow and her broken bones couldn’t mend. Her body produced no calcium.

She never had a boyfriend, or ever went out on a date. She never got a love letter. The lack of calcium, plus other critical health issues occasionally caused her to go into convulsions during the last two years of her life. She kept a bell by her bed to ring for help when she felt another episode coming on.

In her last years, I carried her in my arms from the parsonage to the church every service, and placed her in a special chair at church. Beverly died at seventeen. But she died talking in tongues.

The case can certainly be made about her not having much in the way of any quality of life. But I guess the measurement depends on the yardstick being used.

Daddy

After nearly eighteen years, I still carry the mental images of my Alzheimer’s stricken, father. His world was even further complicated with the addition of Parkinson’s disease.

His seven-year journey into that alien realm was heart breaking to watch. This was the man whose mind was so sharp, he had preached the 1964 UPCI General Conference in San Antonio, using notes he had scribbled on the back of his hotel cleaner’s receipt. Now, he had to be led everywhere. Now, he had to be fed. Now, he had to be dressed. Now, he had to be cared for as a small child, while the disease held him securely in its grasp.

He did not easily recognize his friends or even all of his family.  He soon got to the place where he could no longer carry on any meaningful conversations. Yet, something was still alive in him on the inside.

Some visiting ministers came to see him one time. They talked about the Lord, and about the Oneness of the Godhead. They talked about the Mighty God in Christ. Daddy came out of his mental fog and started quoting ‘One God’ scriptures. Tears flowed as his visitors listened to his words.

When they were ready to leave, they wanted to pray with Daddy. As the prayer started, an invisible switch turned on inside of him. He began to pray with power and anointing. All wept again just listening to him pray. The Holy Ghost filled the room. When the prayer was over, he retreated back into his Alzheimer’s oblivion. On 9/11/1994, we watched as the hands of the Lord led him where no other hand could lead him.

Did he have much in the way of quality of life during his last years? No, not from where you’re standing. No, not from what my eyes or my heart could see either.

Mama

January 13, 2012 my loving sisters and I laid our sainted Mama in the arms of the Lord. Her dementia was different from Daddy’s. Her short-term memory left her a couple of years before she left us. Yet, she still always responded warmly to our affection.

I tried to call her every day, after Daddy died in 1994. The last year, however, it was almost impossible from me to have any meaningful conversation with her on the phone. I tried using Skype video calls, with my sister Nila assisting Mom. Her eyes always lit up when she saw me, she would then tell me that she loved me. When I told her how much I loved her and what a wonderful mother she was, she would smile and say, ” Keep talking, ‘Say some more Honey Baby,’ or ‘Cha La La.”

But… If someone were to start quoting a Psalm, her mind became alert, especially, if Psalms 100 was quoted. She may not even open her eyes, but she would automatically quote the verses with you, or if you paused, she would quote the next verse. She came alive when any Psalm was quoted.

Other than that? Not much, but just sit in her chair all day. No more playing the piano. No more singing. Not eating much either. Just sleeping the day away.

A few days before she died, she had a stroke in the middle of the night. Her fall broke her hip. She was in so much pain. Did she have any quality of life in her last years? Not like you would hope to enjoy.

So, What Does It Mean To Have Quality Of Life?

  • Does it mean good health?
  • Does it mean wealth?
  • Does it mean love?
  • Does it mean living in a good neighborhood?
  • Does it mean having needed amenities in your house?
  • Does it mean living in a nice house?
  • Does it mean owning a new car?
  • Does it mean eating well?
  • Does it mean having nice clothes?
  • Does it mean something that money buys?
  • What does it mean?
  • Does it mean being able to walk?
  • Does it mean being able to speak?
  • Does it mean being able to hear?
  • Does it mean being able to see?

Careful now…

In your mind,

  • Does quality of life mean being active?
  • Does it mean having the strength to exercise?
  • Does it include bike riding?
  • Does it include riding motorcycle riding?
  • Does it include going fishing or hunting?
  • Does it include going shopping?
  • Does it include getting out of the house?

Actually, our definition of the term, Quality of Life is quite different from God’s opinion.

Jesus Said That He Was Life!

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

John 10:10 I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

What the phrase, quality of life, has come mean to me is simply that there is NO quality of life without Jesus! The good news is that He came to give Life, and give it more abundantly!

How do you obtain this supreme Quality Of Life?

The answer is simple. You must be born again of the water and of the Spirit! On the Day of Pentecost, the multitudes asked Peter how to obtain this experience.

Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Quality Of Life really hasn’t much to do with mobility and health, (if we go by the Lord’s standard of judgment.) You may be rich, healthy and wise, and still not enjoy any real Quality of Life… until you’ve met the Giver of Life at an altar of repentance.

  • Don’t Die Until You’ve Received The Holy Ghost… Which Is, Christ In You!
  • There Is No True Quality Of Life Without Him!

That’s What I’m Talking About!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 4, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Everyone Deserves To Be Loved!

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Everyone Deserves To Be Loved!

I grew up knowing nothing but the blessing of a loving family. Sure we were poor! We lived below the poverty level for years. It didn’t feel like we were poor, because of the warmth of love from family and friends. Not everyone in this world is so fortunate. Not everyone knows how it feels to be loved all your life.

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Unwanted Children

UNICEF defines an abandoned child as one who:

  • Does not know where his or her next meal is coming from.
  • Does not know where he or she is spending the night.
  • He or she does not live with either the mother or the father.

While defining a problem is helpful, no definition illustrates the plight of abandoned children as clearly as the following set of statistics:

  • Every 2 seconds, a child becomes an orphan.

Nearly 60,000 children are reported to be abused or neglected each week in America, with an estimated 900,000 confirmations of violence every year. When these children are dumped into foster care, they too often lose not only their childhood, but their dreams, and their futures.

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  • 40,000 new infants are placed in foster care each year
  • 25 percent of the individuals who end up in prison spent time in foster care
  • 30 percent of all people who are homeless spent time in Foster Care
  • The average number of home placements per child is three
  • Girls in foster care are six times more likely to give birth before the age of 21
  • 50 percent of foster youth are unemployed four years after leaving foster care
  • 37 percent – 48 percent of foster children don’t finish high school
  • Only 7 percent of foster children attend a four-year college
  • Only 1 percent of foster children graduate from a four-year college

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-moulene/americas-abandoned-childr_b_867265.html

 

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Abused Children

2011 CHILDREN’S ADVOCACY CENTER STATISTICS (January through June) 3

Among the over 141,000 children served by Children’s Advocacy Centers around the country from January through June 2011, some startling statistics include:

  • 53,932 children were ages 0 to 6 years
  • 51,196 children were ages 7 to 12 years
  • 36,131 children were ages 13 to 18 years
  • 95,120 children reported sexual abuse
  • 25,414 children reported physical abuse
  • 88,312 children participated in forensic interviewing at a Children’s Advocacy Center

Among the over 116,000 alleged offenders investigated for instances of child abuse from January through June 2011, some startling statistics include:

  • 75,829 were 18+ years old
  • 11,973 were ages 13 to 17 years
  • 7,911 were under age 13 years
  • 45,496 were a parent or step-parent of the victim
  • 23,763 were related to the child victim in another way
  • 36,628 were an unrelated person the victim knew

http://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/NCANationalStatistics

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Parents Selling Babies

News reporters tell of parents selling babies on the black market. We only know about the ones that got caught.

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Battered Wives

One in four women (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime.

Between 600,000 and 6 million women are victims of domestic violence each year, and between 100,000 and 6 million men, depending on the type of survey used to obtain the data.

Separated and divorced males and females are at a greater risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.

On average, more than three women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day.

http://www.dvrc-or.org/domestic/violence/resources/C61/

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Infidelity Statistics

Too many spouses feel the pain of rejection. Below are compiled statistics on infidelity and marriage:

  • Percentage of marriages that end in divorce in America: 53%
  • Percentage of men who admit to committing infidelity in any relationship they’ve had: 57%
  • Percentage of women who admit to committing infidelity in any relationship they’ve had: 54%
  • Percentage of men who say they would have an affair if they knew they would never get caught: 74%
  • Percentage of women who say they would have an affair if they knew they would never get caught: 68%

http://infidelityfacts.com/infidelity-statistics.html

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1639 Buried In A Mass Grave This Month

I have grieved all week for the unclaimed bodies that were recently buried in a mass grave. No one claimed them. Most were never missed. Others, family members knew they died, but decided to let the county bury them.

  • The annual mass burial in LA has been a December custom since 1896.
  • The remains of 1,639 people were buried this year.
  • The coroner’s office says bodies of those never claimed are kept in storage for two to three years before being sent to the common grave.
  • There currently are 5,199 people on the coroner’s unclaimed persons list.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgibin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/12/08/state/n061159S93.DTL#ixzz1gBZ3COgt

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Holiday Suicides

The overwhelming feeling of loneliness, weighs heavy. For some, it is too much to endure. (Note: suicide should never an option.)

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All these facts are stark indicators to me of a world without love. True love.

The Most Beautiful Love Anyone Could Ever Experience, Is The Love Of God.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

Jesus Really Loves You!

  1. Let Him be your Comforter

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

  1. Let Him Be That Friend That Sticketh Closer Than A Brother.

Proverbs 18:24 …there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

  1. He Loved Us First! Even, While We Were Sinners.

1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

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There is a precious old song that still brings tears to my eyes. It’s called, “No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus.”

“No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus”

Words and Music by C.F. Weigle


I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus,
Since I found in Him a friend so strong and true;
I would tell you how He changed my life completely,
He did something that no other friend could do.

No one ever cared for me like Jesus,
There’s no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me,
O how much He cared for me.

All my life was full of sin when Jesus found me,
All my heart was full of misery and woe;
Jesus placed His strong and loving arms about me,
And He led me in the way I ought to go.

No one ever cared for me like Jesus,
There’s no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me,
O how much He cared for me.

Ev’ry day He comes to me with new assurance,
More and more I understand His words of love;
But I’ll never know just why He came to save me,
Till some day I see His blessed face above.

No one ever cared for me like Jesus,
There’s no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me,
O how much He cared for me.

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He Loves You, Even When No One Else Does.

  • He’s Been Waiting A Long Time For You To Love Him Back.
  • His Love Is Unconditional.
  • His Love Never Ends!

Everyone Deserves To Be Loved. That’s How God Thinks!

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 10, 2011 at 10:23 pm

He Came To A Stable!

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He Came To A Stable!

Luke 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

 

Of all the places in the world for the King of kings to make His inaugural appearance to mankind! He chose the lowliest place of all! He chose a Stable. It was a place where filth and stink were all too common.

Imagine a God so holy, that He had to humble Himself to look upon heaven. I can understand Him having to humble Himself to look upon earth, but heaven too? He came to a stable. Man’s mind cannot completely fathom a Divine introduction into such a lowly estate.

It wasn’t like the sanitized nativity setting in a Macy’s Department Store window. The stable where He was born wasn’t used to elegance. It was only familiar with life on the lowest level. Straw, dirt, old boards, rusty nails, spider webs, bird nests, a rough-hewn manger, and smelly animal droppings created the ambience for the birthplace of our Lord.

Animals made this stable their home. They had spent all day eating the finery of the plush fields heaven had provided. At night, these same creatures turned heaven’s best into earth’s worst.

One step inside the stable was convincing enough. The animals had created an atmosphere of nothing but filth and stink. There was an overwhelming odor. There was excrement that had to be removed. That’s the place He chose.

 

He Came To A Stable!

Garden of Eden

Sin takes heaven’s best and turns it into earth’s worst. That is what happened in the Garden of Eden. It’s still doing that today. God closed down man’s Paradise because of the filth of sin, and evicted Adam and Eve. Yet, in the New Testament, symbolically, he came to the same kind of place. A place of filth.

Mary Magdalene

He was called a friend of sinners. He was a friend of those that lived in filth. Remember the story of Mary and her alabaster box? She had lived her life in filth. But in Jesus, she found cleansing and forgiveness.

Woman At the Well

“I must needs go by Samaria,” Jesus said. What was in Samaria? Samaria was an off-limits place for Jews to even visit. The Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans. It was as dirty to them as a stable.

“I must needs go by the stable,” was what His statement may have sounded like to the disciples. A stable creature was what He found when He went there. A woman who had been married five times, and was now living with someone else, was the reason He came. She ran back to her village and brought everyone out to meet Jesus.

Peter’s Vision

The Apostle Peter had a difficult time at first. He couldn’t comprehend God’s willingness to deal with the unclean. A vision from God of a sheet being let down with all kinds of unclean animals, was shown to him. A voice said, “Rise Peter, slay and eat.”

Peter vehemently protested, because to him they were common, and unclean. The voice finally instructed Peter.

Acts 10:15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

Because of this, Peter went to the household of Cornelius and opened the door of Salvation unto the Gentiles. The very people Jesus had called dogs. Peter was sent to unlock the door of the stable and let every one out.

 

He Came To A Stable! He Is Not Afraid Of The Filth In Your Life! He Loves You!

It will be the biggest mistake of your life, if you buy into the thinking that Jesus will not forgive you because you’ve been too bad. That is not true. There is no sin common unto man who He won’t forgive.

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.

1. Washed – God specializes in cleaning up lives. Let Him clean yours.

2. Sanctified – He makes you into a pure and holy vessel He can use.

3. Justified – NOW, it’s just as if you’ve never sinned.

  • In the name of the Lord Jesus – (The Biblical mode of Baptism)
  • By the Spirit of our God – (The in-filling of the Holy Ghost)

 

He Came To A Stable, He Knows About Filth! He Wants To Make You Clean!

We couldn’t go to where He was, so He came to where we were. He came to a stable. He came to save the drunkard, the drug user, the immoral, the profane, the unbeliever and other sinners. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. God is not afraid of the dirt and filth in your life. He will cleanse you and wash you if you’ll just repent.

Get baptized in Jesus Name, and let Him fill you with His wonderful Spirit, just like the disciples did:

Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Only Love, Could Have Made Him Come To A Stable!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 8, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Esse Quam Videri

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Esse Quam Videri

This year, Thanksgiving time finds us with family in Raleigh, North Carolina. My wife and I are trying to catch up on hugs from seven of our grandchildren, that live here.

No words can describe how complete a grandpa’s or grandma’s heart feels when they hold one of their precious little one in their arms. Besides, I love North Carolina, the country, the people and the food.

I toured downtown and went by the state capital building today. I loved what I saw. I was surprised when I walked out of “The Pit” BBQ Restaurant and saw the state motto inscribed on their window. Esse Quam Videri.  It means, “To be, rather than to seem.”

The founding fathers of North Carolina, evidently, were impressed with men and women who were the real deal. They respected those that talked the talk and walked the walk, those that either put up or shut up.

When the world looks at the church, they also can easily spot those that seem to be, as opposed to them that really are! If it is that evident to the world, then we surely are not fooling God. Pastors and the church family can readily spot these religious actors as well.

Paul and James both wrote Epistles to local churches dealing with this subject, as well. It tells me that these same kinds of folks have been hanging around our churches for 2,000 years. Some things never change. They seem to be godly. They seem to be Christians. They seem to be living for God, but they are just acting.

Galatians 2:6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:

James 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.

In the above two verses, they that “seemed” contributed nothing of value to anyone. Their religion was in vain.

May our walk with God be one that is genuine and filled with the Spirit.

Esse Quam Videri.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 24, 2011 at 12:14 am

The Old Oregon Trail, And The Apostle John

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The Old Oregon Trail, And The Apostle John

No, the Apostle John never travelled the Oregon Trail. Yet, there is a common thread here and a simple truth worth sharing, found in their stories.

Ezra Meeker

Ezra Meeker

In the early 1920’s Ezra Meeker, the world-famous wagon train master, walked into my grandfather’s Oregon City Art Studio. My mother’s father, Turner Hubble Gleason, had been commissioned to paint the portrait of one of the most prominent citizens of the state of Oregon. A copy of his portrait remains in our family to this day.

By now, Mr. Meeker was a very old man. His beard was full and long and his hair white. His steps were still steady. His life had been filled with more adventure than most men could ever dream about. He had seen his life’s dreams come true.

“Before his death in 1928, just a few days shy of his 98th birthday, Ezra Meeker had not only walked the Oregon Trail several times, he’d ridden along it in an automobile and aboard a train, and flown over it in an airplane: he’d come a long way, and for many his story symbolized the opportunities that had been available on the frontier.” – http://www.lib.washington.edu/exhibits/frontier/local/case8.html

He had met with Indians. He had become friends with Indian Chiefs and had even driven his ox team to Washington to meet with President Teddy Roosevelt and several congressmen. The President had even walked out of the White House to see Ezra Meeker’s ox team and to talk of his future plans for him.

As the last Wagon Master to lead a train over the Oregon Trail, Mr. Meeker had been called on to verify the trail for the building of a new federal highway.

Unscrupulous men for years had side-tracked the unsuspecting traveler on the trail with their bogus signs. Signs with arrows proclaiming such things as “Custer’s Last Stand.”

In reality, the side trails took the weary and naïve off the true trail. To their dismay, they found that this was just a trading post or curio shop.

There was much confusion for the unsuspecting traveller. Something had to be done to straighten out the true Oregon Trail.

The President commissioned Ezra Meeker to guide surveyors, engineers and project managers to show them the original trail… The Old Oregon Trail.

Regardless of what the current signs said, Meeker ignored them and fully trusted his memory of the trail. He had spent a lifetime climbing every mountain and crossing every river. He knew the trail. That’s why they had chosen him.

Oregon Trail pioneer Ezra Meeker erected this boulder near Pacific Springs on Wyoming's South Pass in 1906.

Meeker, would say things like:

  • “We crossed the river right here.
  • “We went up the mountain on this side.
  • “Over there is where we made camp.
  • “Right here is the trail, ignore what that sign over there says.”

He then would remark the trail with his own signs that said. “Old Oregon Trail”

Because of Ezra Meeker’s life experience with the trail, the United States government trusted only him to lay the trail out right.

When the final stake was driven, they began construction of the famous east-west highway. Today, they call it, U.S. Highway 30. It remains as true as possible to the original trail.

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The Apostle John

Mr. John Phillips in his commentary on the Gospel of John, starts his preface with something similar to this…

Matthew, Mark, and Luke were all dead. Peter, the Prince of Apostles had died too.  John was the first, and now the last Apostle. He alone of all the Apostles remained alive.

He was approximately 90 years old. Banished on the Island of Patmos, he began to write to his children in the Lord. He wrote as if he was the last defender of the New Testament doctrine.

Already the church was beginning to drift. They were deviating from the old paths in doctrine and in separation from the world, among other things. Grievous wolves had entered the flock.

His Epistles were the last known attempt to set the record straight. He had traveled the Trail of Truth from the very start. He wasn’t about to let anyone pervert this glorious message.

He drove down verbal markers and stakes, fearlessly proclaiming the message. It was the message that Jesus had given to the Disciples. The only message the Apostles ever preached.

John was prepared to die. But before dying, he was making sure that generations to come would know the Truth. As he made each point and drove it home, he would say: “This is…” He left no room for error.

 “This Is Our Message”

  • He Began His Gospel and Epistles Saying, This Is The Most Important Revelation.
  • That There Is Only One God. His name Is Jesus!

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.

He then went on to proclaim in his epistles to the churches, the true Message.

1.) “This is the Promise.”

1John 2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

2.) “This is the Message.”

1John 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

3.) “This is His Commandment.”

1John 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

4.) “This is the spirit of the Antichrist.”

1John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

5.) “This is the Love of God.”

1John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

6.) “This is the Victory.”

1John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

7.) “This is He.”

1John 5:6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

8.) “This is the Witness of God.”

1John 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

9.) “This is the Record.”

1John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

8.) “This is the Confidence.”

1John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

9.) “This is the True God.”

1John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

10.) “This is Love.”

2John 6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

11.) “This is a Deceiver and an Antichrist.”

2John 7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

_____________________________________

If you ever plan to drive to the state of Oregon and arrive there safely, one of the men you can thank is Ezra Meeker. He did everything he could to make sure that generations to come would follow the “Old Oregon Trail.”

If you ever plan to go to heaven and see Him who is God manifested in the flesh, one of the men you can thank, is the Apostle John. He did everything he could to keep the New Testament Church following “The Apostolic Message.”

Obey Acts 2:38

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Professional Wine Connoisseurs Are In Your Church!

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Professional Wine Connoisseurs Are In Your Church!

They’re a snobbish lot. Some, if not most, may consider themselves a marked cut above the general population.

After all, their sensory gifts are able to determine the “great” from the “mundane” or even from the “good.”

Some are so good, that just by tasting they can tell you the name of the wine and the year it was bottled.

They also run in very elite circles and hobnob with the movers and shakers in town. Good wines cost a lot of money. So it they aren’t blessed with the green stuff, they hang out with those that are.

From time to time in the upper-crust circles, wine tastings are hosted. Often, it is even a black tie event.

The Sniff

The connoisseurs know their stuff. They all know that judging the color is the first step in tasting wine.

There are five basic steps in tasting wine I am told: These are sometimes known as the “Five S” steps: see, swirl, sniff, sip, savor.

 

The Sip

 

Then comes the scoring of the wine.

1. The appearance of the wine,

2. The nose or smell,

3. The palate or taste, and

4. Overall.

After watching the wine tasters swirl the wine in the goblet, sniff the bouquet, sip it and then hold it momentarily in their mouth… they spit it out. That’s right.

The Spit

There are even websites that boast that they can teach you how to spit wine like a pro.

Expectoration may have been the last thing some would have expected. But the connoisseur, the professional wine taster, chooses not to swallow. He is not here to drink. He has come to judge.

I suppose that in the secular world their logic makes sense. The problem is, that the same thing is being done in God’s House.

 


Who would have thought it? Of all the places wine tasters could have met, most of them seem to meet in our churches.

“What are they doing in our churches?”

“Why, they are wine tasting of course!”

“During the service?”

“Sure!”

“During the preaching?”

“Why, that’s when they do it the most!”

They sit there listening.

They can’t afford to get inebriated like others around them.

They look at the color as they swish it around in their glass.

They sniff at the thought process of the sermon.

They take a sip of it and hold it in their mouth.

They are so gifted; they can identify in their mind the very vineyard it came from and the year it was bottled.

  • Umm… that was “Worship 1977.”
  • I think that was “Holiness 1962.”
  • That was “Doctrine AD 34.”
  • “New Birth, Day of Pentecost!”

Oh yes. They know it when they hear it.

Then they spit it out.

They hear the Word, but they refuse to apply it to themselves. They feel they are superior in doctrine, and quite possible in intelligence, to almost every one in the church. Including the pastor.

They’ve heard it all before. They know it all forwards and backwards. But if you think they are going to swallow what they hear in church today, “you got another think a coming.”

They’ve been spitting it out for years! They will keep spitting it out too, until they die. To change and start swallowing would draw too much attention. They would lose their place in the church as a ‘deep’ saint of God. they would also lose face.

Actually they are not deep at all. Anyone can spit. That doesn’t require a gift or ability. They are not connoisseurs of the preached Word of God. They are only critics.

The reason they spit it out is because they are truth rejecters. (While I am on the subject, it seems like God mentioned spewing some folks out of His mouth too.)

The greatest danger you can do to yourself is to hear the Word and not apply it to your own life. Receive it and prosper. Receive it and live. Reject it and die.

They didn’t spit it out when Peter preached to them on the Day of Pentecost!

 Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

 

The only way to grow in God is to be a doer and not just a hearer.

James 1:23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

James 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

So…     What are you going to do the next time you hear preaching?

Spit it out, or receive it?

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 23, 2011 at 12:42 am

Do You Have enough, Or Do You Have Enough?

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Do You Have enough, Or Do You Have Enough?

The Showdown

The two men stood facing each other. One man was armed the other was not. The armed man had vowed to kill the other. Behind the armed man were about four hundred warriors. The two enemies were close enough to see each other, and the gap could close fast.

Today was the showdown. A life-long grudge was about to be settled. The fight was certainly going to be one-sided and it wouldn’t take long.

The unarmed man was known for his underhanded dealings. He had a shady past. Today was the day for his comeuppance.

The armed man stood still as the unarmed man walked toward him. They hadn’t seen each other in many years. Then the unarmed man did something very unexpected. He dropped to his knees and bowed his head to the ground. Then he got up and walked a bit closer and dropped to his knees again and bowed his head to the ground. He did the same thing over and over for seven times.

The armed man started running towards the other. The two men hugged each other and cried like boys. The flood of tears washed decades of hate away. There would be no blood shed here today.

At length the unarmed man presented the other with a great herd of cattle and sheep.

The armed man modestly declined and said, “Thank you, but I already have plenty.”

The unarmed man nodded and still persisted that his gift be received. He said, “I have all!”

33:8 And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord.

33:9 And Esau said, I have enough my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.

Esau’s enough – (Strong’s #7227 “rab” = Much, Plenty),

33:10 And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.

33:11 Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.

Jacob’s Enough – (Strong’s # 3605 “kole” = All).

The difference between the two men’s possessions is explained in their own descriptions. Esau had plenty as far as the carnal mind could evaluate wealth. Jacob on the other hand, realized that since he had the blessings of Jehovah, he in fact had ‘All’.

As far as earthly possessions go, many wealthy people today may feel that they have enough.

But while those that have received the Holy Ghost may be poor by this world’s standards, they are actually rich.

  • They have Jesus Christ in their hearts.
  • They have His blessings.
  • They have Enough.
  • They have ‘All’.

Esau had enough. Jacob had more. He had Enough!

Do you have enough? Or do you have Enough?

You will never have Enough in this life until you have received the Holy Ghost!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 20, 2011 at 12:42 am

Tell Him You’re Stupid!

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Tell Him You’re Stupid!

The National City Church, Rev. Leamon Reynolds, Pastor. circa 1959

Betty parked her Austin Healey convertible in the parking lot and walked into the modest sized Pentecostal church in National City, California. She was doing quite well for a single girl in the business world in the late 1950’s.

Betty Picklesimer looked professional in her classy dark suit. She was, after all, an Officer at the local Bank. She knew very little about Pentecost, only what her brother had told her. She had seen wonderful changes in him and wanted to visit his church.

She sat near the back on the right side as she entered the revival service. The church was full. Her brother, Alan Picklesimer was already a member there. He was 21 and the Sunday School teacher for teenage boys. I was 14 and in his class.

My father, Carl Ballestero was the nightly evangelist. Betty came down to the altar when he finished preaching and the invitation was given.

She repented and cried for a long time. When she finished praying, she asked to be baptized. The church rejoiced and shouted when she received the Holy Ghost and began speaking in tongues while still in the water.

The next night, Betty was back in service again. She was praising God and rejoicing in her newfound relationship with the Lord.

During the altar service that night, Betty began praying with new seekers in the altar. My father became curious about what this new convert was saying to them.

Betty began praying with a woman from Tijuana, Mexico. Here she was, a well-dressed professional businesswoman, praying with a very poor and uneducated woman. Dad moved closer so as to overhear her words. Betty shouted words of encouragement into the little lady’s ears.

 “Tell Him you’re stupid! Tell Him you’re ignorant! Tell Him you don’t know nothing!” Betty was yelling in the new seeker’s ear. “That’s what I told Him and He gave me the Holy Ghost!”

The Mexican lady received the Holy Ghost!

Seeker? Are you ready to tell God that you’re stupid? That you’re ignorant? That you don’t know anything? Maybe you should.

The Holy Ghost comes easily to hungry hearts that are willing to humble themselves.

Sister Betty Picklesimer 2007

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 3, 2011 at 1:05 am

Posted in Holy Ghost

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