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Death By Misadventure

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Death By Misadventure

 

The Coroner has only so many options to describe the cause of death on the certificate. They are as listed

  • Murder
  • Suicide
  • Self-Defense
  • Accidental Death
  • Lawful Killing
  • Unlawful Killing
  • Natural Causes
  • Still Birth
  • Self-Neglect
  • Lack Of Care
  • Death By Misadventure

 

The Death By Misadventure option has nagged at me for many years. Wikipedia gives this definition:

“A death by misadventure, as recorded by coroners and on death certificates and associated documents, is one that is primarily attributed to an accident that occurred due to a dangerous risk that was taken voluntarily.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_by_misadventure

With that definition and description in mind, the old pastor part of me remembers precious people who once made what seemed like a harmless decision, but the end result was their spiritual demise. They didn’t mean to backslide; but they did.

For one young lady, it was just choosing a boyfriend who sat on the front row at church. He had good looks, a great personality, a good paying job and a nice car. He was a real charmer. He just wasn’t committed and fully in love with Jesus. She was desperate not to be an old maid. He lost out because he loved the world. She lost out because she chose to love him and be with him. He pulled her out of church. She didn’t mean to backslide; she just made a choice that she never dreamed would be fatal. It Was A Spiritual Death By Misadventure.

A young man desperately needing a job took one that kept him out of church. Not only did it make him miss being in service, there were negative influences from people at work that he was not strong enough to handle. When he did find time to come to church, he didn’t even try to make up for lost time. He just sat there and dried up in his soul. In time, he no longer came back. He didn’t mean to quit church. He just chose a job that paid well, but lost his soul in the process. He didn’t mean to backslide; he just made a choice that he never dreamed would be fatal. It Was A Spiritual Death By Misadventure.

A newlywed couple chose friends who they thought were fun to be around. They often visited each other’s homes and often dined together. They even took a vacation together once. The other couple influenced them to question authority and standards. Both couples quit church. The newlyweds only wanted to find friends to have fun with. They didn’t mean to walk away from God. They didn’t mean to backslide; they just made a choice that they never dreamed would be fatal. It Was A Spiritual Death By Misadventure.

A man got offended and disagreed when the pastor showed mercy to a person with a horrible past and allowed the backslider to come back to church. Like the elder brother in the Bible, he got angry. He also quit church. He had his own opinion about to whom God should and should not extend mercy. He wanted the pastor to send them to another church and not the one he attended. He refused to go to the same church with the man who had such a horrible past. So, he quit, stayed home and read his Bible, prayed and justified himself in so doing. He didn’t mean to backslide; he just made a choice that he never dreamed would be fatal. It Was A Spiritual Death By Misadventure.

He sat by his good friend in church. The friend never worshipped nor went up to the altar very much to pray. Sitting by him in church was intimidating in a way. It felt odd saying amen, clapping hands and standing up during the singing or preaching when your friend didn’t. So, in time, he joined his friend in being unresponsive. He was intimidated to not worship. He didn’t mean to backslide; he just made a choice that he never dreamed would be fatal. It Was A Spiritual Death By Misadventure.

She found an old friend from high school on social media, and only wanted to say hello. She never dreamed that reconnecting with that person would lead her right out of church and back into sin and break up her marriage. She didn’t mean to backslide; she just made a choice that she never dreamed would be fatal. It Was A Spiritual Death By Misadventure.

 

The Scriptures Tell Of Others Who Suffered The Same Fate:

  • The Unknown Prophet didn’t mean to get eaten by a lion. He just chose to listen to a backslider.
  • Balaam didn’t mean to die with the Moabites on the battlefield. He just chose to make extra money.
  • Demas did mean to backslide and lose out. He just made a bad choice.
  • Samson didn’t mean to get his eyes put out and die. He chose the wrong woman.
  • The 200 Princes Who Stood By Korah didn’t mean to have the ground open up and swallow them. They just chose to stand by the wrong friend.

 

Today…

The least we can do, is ask for God to lead us and guide us in every decision we make. It is wisdom to ask the Lord to close every door that is not His will for our life.  Just because we like the idea doesn’t mean it will be a good choice for us. Never think that because it seems good to you that it is the will of God.

Why not include God’s man in your important decision making? It’s a major safety factor you surely need to include in your choosing. When God fearing kings in the Old Testament had to make a serious decision, they counseled with the man of God and asked his advice. They asked him to seek the Lord on their behalf. That action never lowered anyone’s respect for the king, but rather raised it higher. Likewise, you will be more respected by God fearing people when you become willing to include God in all of your choices.

 

Prov. 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Prov. 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

 

Acknowledge Him. Recognize His Divine ability to guide you flawlessly through all life choices.

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 12, 2017 at 12:26 am

We Will Adjust To Your Lifestyle

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We Will Adjust To Your Lifestyle

 

The dietary nurse stood beside my Memphis hospital bed with a clipboard in her hand. I was confident that I already knew the speech she was about to give me. I’d heard it almost seven years earlier, the first time I had gotten blood clots.

“Is this the Anti-Vitamin K speech?” I asked her, expecting that I would not be able to eat anything green as long I was on the Coumadin blood thinner again. Nothing green had entered my mouth in over a year during my first bout with blood clots.

“Oh No!” she responded with enthusiasm.

“We don’t do it that way any more. We now adjust the medicine to fit your lifestyle. We’ve had too many complaints from our patients. They didn’t want to change, so we changed. They didn’t want to change how they ate. That’s why we changed our approach to the treatment of blood clots. We now tell the patient to keep eating like they always have and we will adjust the medicine to suit them.” She said this with a big smile, feeling certain I would share her enthusiasm.

“Really?” I said with my eyebrows raised in surprise.

“Yes,” she said. “For example, if you eat two helpings of turnip greens this week, then just eat two helpings of turnip greens next week too. Keep on living like you always have and we will adjust the meds to adapt to your lifestyle.”

I looked at her not believing my ears. I remembered the many monthly trips I had made to medical labs around the country to let them draw my blood for a PT-INR test. The results were faxed to my doctor so he could check up on my dietary compliance.

She smiled and assured me that I now could have all the salads, green beans, and broccoli I wanted. This news was unreal. The doctor would adjust the medicine to accommodate me. I wasn’t going to be required to change. The doctor and the medication would have to change, but not me. I could live like I always had.

My mind went back to the incident Bro. Wayne Huntley experienced with his heart some years ago. When he returned for his check up one year later, the doctor congratulated him and said, “Most of the patients like you do not make it to their first year check up because they refuse to change their diet. You’ve changed how you live, that’s why you are still here.”

 

Gentle Reader? The reason you got sick in the first place was because of how you were living, and now you say you want to be healed but aren’t willing to change? Oh my!

 

What was I missing? Doctors once required their patients to change and adjust their lifestyle, but not any more? Some tell me it’s progressive thinking. But then again, that is the spirit and mindset of the end times, especially for the church.

Evidently, not many want to change their lifestyle to live for Jesus. Over a hundred years ago church folk sang songs like:

 

Leaving All to Follow Jesus

Ida M. Budd, 1898

 

Leaving all to follow Jesus,

Turning from the world away,

Stepping out upon the promise,

All I have is His today.

 

Refrain:

Leaving all to follow Jesus,

Turning from the world away,

Stepping out upon His promise,

All I have is His today.

 

Some folks don’t want to give up much anymore to live for God. There are women who say they are Pentecostal but still wear their flashy jewelry and make up. They certainly want to wear their tight pants. Even if God did say it was an abomination, it doesn’t bother them. They will not change. They want the preacher to adjust his doctrine and standards to suit their lifestyle while they keep on wearing their skinny short skirts and other immodest apparel. Holiness is distasteful to them.

What do the preachers do about it? Not much as a rule. A surprising number of Pentecostal pastors are presenting the Gospel of Christ in much the same way as my dietary nurse. Pastors who are people pleasers are not God pleasers. The Scripture calls them ‘hirelings’. They are pastors who are not real shepherds. They are employees of the people, nothing more. The wishes of people govern their form of the Gospel, (Which is not a Gospel.) They are truly Laodicean.

Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

 

To understand the meaning of the word ‘Laodicean,’ and why it is used in this passage, examine the Greek root words from which it is derived: Laos (Strong’s #2992, meaning ‘people’) and Dike (Strong’s #1349), meaning ‘principle, decision’. Laodiceans trusted in their own ability to rule themselves, judging and deciding matters while disregarding Christ and His rule in the Church. The people wanted to rule the church. They didn’t want a pastor who was a God-called pastor to lead them. But, that is really nothing new. The same problem existed in the Old Testament.

Isa 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

 

Oh yes! Some like their modern churches with their hireling pastors because no inward or outward change is required. (Just put your money in the basket.)

 

On The Other Hand, The Bible Is Full Of Examples Of Men Changing:

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

 

Rom 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.

 

2Cor 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,

 

The Rich Young Ruler didn’t want to change.

Ruth was willing to change.

 

No one in God’s Kingdom will ever be healed of sin until they are willing to change. Even before the Holy Ghost was given, Jesus continually reminded those He healed to go their way and sin no more. He told them to change.

 

Obedience Always Brings Change.

Arguments Come From The Disobedient Attempting To Defend Themself.

 

The reason you argue about Holiness is because you don’t want to change your way of living. You want to find a church that will preach a message that comfortably conforms to how you want to live, and you will.

Don’t tell me you are not convicted by what is written in the Bible. Don’t even say you’ve prayed about it and don’t feel it’s necessary to obey. If it’s in the Bible, believe it and obey it!

Men change, fellowships and organizations change. Denominations change. God’s Word NEVER changes. The very fact that your hireling pastor won’t preach and enforce God’s Word should be enough to keep you up at night. How can you stay in a church with a compromising pastor and a worldly congregation who like it like that?

In the Old Testament, Israel never argued about God’s Holiness requirements. They just obeyed. On the Day of Pentecost no one argued about the need of Jesus Name baptism or the need of the Holy Ghost. They just repented, got baptized in Jesus Name and were filled with the Holy Ghost.

 

Paul changed every day. (1Co 15:31… I die daily.)

 

The High School Driving Instructor taught my class, in 1960, that the average driver makes approximately sixty corrections or adjustments per minute while driving. What if they didn’t make any changes or adjustments?

When a couple marries they must make adjustments and changes, those who refuse will likely divorce.

If someone wanted to play on the football team, they must be willing to change their life to reach that goal. If they don’t change, they won’t make the team. Yet, in living for God, with Heaven in view, we foolishly refuse to change. Why?

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 25, 2016 at 11:28 pm

Every Judas

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It is my great honor to have The Together Magazine publish this article in their current issue. For those readers who may not have access to this wonderful publication, I am posting a copy of it here:  – MB

judas with the bag

Every Judas

Just ten miles from Hebron and eighteen miles from Jerusalem was the little known village named Kerioth. It was a haven for bandits, thieves and highwaymen. People from the area were known to be assassins, murders.

Into this environment a man named Simon raised his son Judas. In Holy Scripture he was called Judas Iscariot, signifying that he was from the town of Keriot(h)

Simon must have been somewhat responsible for his son’s raising and behavior. His name is always mentioned together with his son’s name. He was called Judas, Simon’s son.

We know nothing of the boy’s mother. What was she like? What kind of teaching did she give him as a boy?

By the time the scriptures introduce us to him, we quickly see that Judas was outspoken and didn’t hesitate to disagree with what he saw.

“Why wasn’t this sold and given to the poor?”

That’s what he said criticizing Mary’s extreme sacrifice. But the Bible is quick to point out that he cared not for the poor, but was a thief and that he held the bag. There was a reason that was said. Why would Jesus allow him to carry the bag?

As a Judean he was a misfit among the disciples. The other disciples apparently were Galileans. He was no doubt a loner. He couldn’t let them see him sneaking money from the bag. He was a thief. I am sure that Judas had a less than stellar past before he met Jesus. Some Commentaries even call him a murder.

The sad news is, that no amount of the preaching and confronting that Jesus did seemed to change Judas into a John The Beloved. The same is true today. If all the words and actions of Jesus could not transform Judas in the Bible days, then neither will our preaching and confronting convert a modern day Judas.

Thirty is number of pieces of silver Judas agreed on to betray Jesus. There are thirty obvious and negative characteristics of a Judas. The Judas Iscariot of the Bible may be dead, but his spirit is still alive today.

 

Here Are Some Keys To Recognize The Judas In Your Midst.

  1. Every Judas Shows Enough Potential To Be Placed In A Leadership Role.
  • Judas was hand picked. He was allowed to be a privileged disciple. He was chosen to be in charge of the group’s finances.
  • Confidence was placed in him.

 

  1. Every Judas Thinks And Acts Like He Owns His Appointed Position.

John 12:5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

  • Every Judas loves to take the finances with him when he goes.

 

  1. Every Judas Lives On A Carnal Level And Is Oblivious To The Spiritual.

John 12:5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

 

  1. Every Judas Lets His True Colors Show At The Wrong Time.

John 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

 

  1. Every Judas Has A Personal Agenda That Is Separate From The Leaders.

John 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

 

  1. Every Judas Gets Disenchanted With His Leader.
  • He is willing to sabotage the whole thing if there is enough in it for him.

 

  1. Every Judas Receives A Warning From The Lord But Continues Anyway.

John 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

John 6:71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

 

  1. Every Judas Sees The Same Miracles And Hears The Same Sermons But Is Unaffected, Unconvinced And Unconverted.

Luke 9:1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.

 

      Peter Talked About Judas In The Upper Room

Acts 1:17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.

 

  1. Every Judas Plans His Move Carefully.

Matt. 26:16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

 

  1. Every Judas Is An Opportunist.

Matt. 26:16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

 

  1. Every Judas Is Driven By Greed.

Matt. 26:15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

 

  1. Every Judas Courts Those Whom He Thinks Can Help His Cause.

Luke 22:4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

  • A modern Judas may recruit his people with private meetings,
  • Private dinners
  • Facebook likes

 

  1. Every Judas Possesses An Evil Spirit.

Luke 22:3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

  1. Every Judas Can Even Fool His Own Friends And Brothers.

John 13:27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

John 13:28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.

 

  1. Every Judas Gets His Key Players In Place Before He Makes His Play.

Luke 22:4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

 

  1. Every Judas Gets A Divine Warning And Still Ignores It.

Matt. 26:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

 

  1. Every Judas Should Have Been Still Born.

Matt. 26:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

 

  1. Every Judas Gets Revealed By The Lord And Has A Chance To Repent.

Matt 26:21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

 

  1. Every Judas Lives In Denial To The Truth And Deceiving Himself And Others.

Matt. 26:25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.

 

  1. Every Judas Makes His Move When He Thinks The Odds Are In His Favor.

Matt 26:16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

 

  1. Every Judas Is A Hypocrite.

Matt. 26:49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.

 

  1. Every Judas Is Controlled And Guided By Satan.

John 13:27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

 

  1. Every Judas Displays False Affection Toward The Leader.

Matt. 26:49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.

 

  1. Every Judas Is Surprised When God Still Manifests Himself In The Midst Of The Betrayal.

Luke 22:50 And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.

Luke 22:51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.

 

  1. Every Judas Is Temporarily Happy.
  • He could go back to doing what he was doing before.
  • He had brought Jesus down in his own mind to the point that he no longer believed in Him.
  • He actually believed he could live with his choice.

 

  1. Every Judas Has Second Thoughts.

Matt. 27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

 

  1. Every Judas Tries To Appease His Guilty Conscience.

Matt. 27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

 

  1. Every Judas Wakes Up To His Horrible Sin Too Late.

Matt. 27:4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

 

  1. Every Judas Repents Too Late.

Matt. 27:4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

 

  1. Every Judas Will Hang Himself.

Matt. 27:5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

 

In Spite Of Judas

 

In Spite Of Judas – The Will of God was accomplished.

In Spite Of Judas – Jesus rose from the dead.

In Spite Of Judas – The Holy Ghost was poured out.

 

In Spite Of Judas – The Church was established.

In Spite Of Judas – Revival came.

In Spite Of Judas – The Gates of Hell did not prevail.

 

In Spite Of Every Judas Today

 

In Spite Of Every Judas Today – God still has a triumphant church.

In Spite Of Every Judas Today – The church will prosper and go forward.

 

In Spite Of Every Judas Today – The Glory will fall when the bad spirit is gone.

In Spite Of Every Judas Today – The church will rally and unify like never before.

 

In Spite Of Every Judas Today – Worship will be better than ever.

In Spite Of Every Judas Today – The Pastor will be loved more than ever.

 

Judas Was Replaced With A Man Named Matthias.

His name means, “Gift of God.”

There was a gift of God for the church back then. There will be a gift of God after your storm today.

 

Have You Had To Deal With A Judas?

Take hope, your Matthias, your Gift of God is coming!

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 14, 2016 at 2:26 pm

Boycott Trashy Gumbo

with 5 comments

“If There’s Anything I Can’t Stand, It’s Trashy Gumbo!”

I love pretty much everything about the South. I’m neither a Southerner nor a Cajun Chef, but I do have taste buds that seldom lie. Before I married at the age of twenty-one, I’d already lived in twenty-two houses and attended twenty-six schools. So, I’ve gotten to see all of America growing up. It feels like I’ve lived everywhere, but most of my life has been spent in Indiana, so that feels most like home. It certainly is a non-gumbo state.

Since the beginning of my ministry, I have preached mainly in the South. Everyone there considers me a Yankee, even though I am a Westerner by birth. That being said, since I know I how to say, ya’ll and you guys, I somehow must be bi-lingual.

For the benefit of my non-southern friends, the folks down in Cajun Country are very particular about their Gumbo. They don’t freely call someone’s chicken and sausage soup, a Gumbo. Family recipes are treasured and protected. The Seafood Restaurants that serve great Gumbo will always have full parking lots.

I’ve eaten Gumbo with light rue, dark rue, and very dark rue. There are some Gumbos so thin that one could almost read a newspaper at the bottom of the bowl. I even eat my Gumbo with a scoop of hot potato salad and a boiled egg in it. My family really loves good Gumbo. Our cupboard always has some Tony’s, Cajun hot sauce and Creole seasoning in it too.

I have often been treated to what in my mind is the World’s finest Gumbo. But I didn’t start out eating good Gumbo. I preached a revival in rural Louisiana in the early sixties and the poor pastor and his wife made me my first taste of what they said was Gumbo. I ate it, not knowing if it was good or bad.

My teaching at home was to eat what was set before me, so I did. They told me after the dishes were done that it was ‘possum gumbo. My stomach had a board meeting that night to decide whether to keep the possum down or let it go free. It stayed, much to my disappointment.

Catching Southerners in candid moments when they are talking about someone else’s cooking is always memorable. I recently heard a dear southern friend confide to me, “If there’s anything I can’t stand, it’s trashy gumbo.” They really meant it too.

I’ve eaten ‘good Yankee Gumbo’ and good ‘Cajun Gumbo’ and I love it when I can get it. I’ve eaten stuff passed off as Gumbo and felt the need to pray for strength to get it all down. If gumbo tastes trashy, I may not even get through the first bowl.

Trashy Gumbo? Well, yes! You see, all the cooks have at their disposal the right ingredients, but the way bad cooks put it all together leaves a horrible distaste in the mouth of those who know the difference between good gumbo and trashy.

  • No table guest in the South is prepared to suck his or her gumbo up through a straw because it got watered down so much in the kitchen.
  • There’s some cooks make Gumbo so hot that no one can eat it without getting heartburn.
  • Others use meat so sparingly you wonder why they even bothered.
  • Then there’s some Gumbo that make’s me wonder if my old possum had any kin folks that made it over into my Gumbo again.

When It Comes To Doctrine And The Important Things Of God, Apostolic Preachers Have The Right Ingredients.

 

If There’s Anything I Can’t Stand, It’s Trashy Gumbo.

 

Brother Ballestero, Are You Talking Gumbo Or Church?

I’m Talking Mainly About Church.

Some folks may feel like they are actually being fed when they hear a watered down message, or one with no meat, no doctrine or substance. Then there are some that love it so hot that everyone gets burnt.

But, I still love it when the preacher gets up to preach and pulls out the old Apostolic Family Recipe and feeds the flock as though it was the Lord Himself who prepared the meal. It ‘s always nourishing and tastes just right!

My advice for today is:

Boycott Trashy Gumbo!

 

Boycott2

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 14, 2015 at 5:16 pm

“Who Are You To Judge Me?”

with 3 comments

“Who Are You To Judge Me?”

How many times have we heard someone say that, whether it was directed to us or to someone else? It’s easy for most of us to get offended when others express disapproval of our actions.

gavelBy nature, most of us are very private. We resent outsiders intruding uninvited into our personal lives. We automatically throw up a defensive barrier. Somewhere in all of us there is a storage room that houses cryptic phrases designed for rebuttal and justification. We quickly grab one and use it with the hopes of silencing our accuser. Sometimes, it works.

Most church members and ex-church member alike consider the act of judging a grievous fault. So, since most of us have been judged at one time or another, let us look at the subject of judging others.

As citizens, we are used to being judged every day on our skills, behavior, and performance.

Judgment Is Common In Every Day Society

  • Television shows, such as American Idol, judge contestants on their ability to sing and perform.
  • At the County Fair, someone will judge which pie is the best.
  • There are judges at dog shows, and the dollar value of someone’s beloved pet may be at their mercy.
  • When a prospective new driver turns 16 years old, his or her driving ability is judged. Someone must determine if they should be issued a driver’s license.
  • To be promoted to the next grade and even graduate, a teacher must determine the student’s academic ability.
  • To become a licensed minister in an organization. An applicant’s worthiness is determined when he appears before a licensing board.
  • Every new pastor that is voted on by the church has his qualifications judged by the congregation’s yes or no vote. The same holds true for politicians.
  • The Bank Officer judges the applicants credit rating and payment history before loaning any money.
  • The Miss America beauty pageant uses Judges to determine who should represent the U.S.A.
  • There are multitudes of judges for every Olympic event.
  • The gardener judges whether or not the tree’s branches need pruned, or if the tomatoes need watered.
  • Someone will be a judge over who gets custody of the child, and who gets what, in the divorce settlement.
  • The Traffic Cop judges whether or not you should be pulled over and cited.
  • Every employee knows the meaning of a “Performance Review.” Someone must sit on the other side of the desk and judge the employees worthiness.
  • Actually, everyone that wants the bragging rights of being the best, the fastest, or the most gifted, must first meet the judge.

We seem to be comfortable with the idea of being judged according to our fleshly activities. We understand that no one receives approval without a judgment of some kind. However, it’s man’s judgment of our spiritual pursuits, or lack thereof, that brings the fire into our reactions.

 

Webster Defines The Word, “Judge” As:

Judge

1: to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises.

 

You’re Sick And Tired Of Others Judging You? I Understand. Let’s Look At The Subject Of Judging In The Bible.

Is it true that Christians are told not to judge? The surprise answer is no. In fact, according to Scripture those who do not judge are more likely to be led astray by false doctrines and are less than effective witnesses for Jesus Christ.

 

Most People Who Cite The Lord’s “Command” Not To Judge, Use Following Quotation:

Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Matthew 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Matthew 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Matthew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

 

To Whom Were These Words Spoken?

This whole passage is addressed to the religious hypocrites of the day. Jesus warned these self-righteous people who criticized others, but were guilty of the same things… or worse.

 

You’re Sick And Tired Of Others Judging You? As Much As Our Flesh Doesn’t Like It, Church Members Must Make Judgments.

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

  • False prophets are to be recognized (judged) by their fruits.

Should Christians Judge Each Other? Absolutely!

The Lord is pleased with those that judge righteously.

John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

 

Some Lukewarm Church Members Feel That A Preacher Should Not Be Their Judge.

I would point them the Lord’s instruction to the Priest Joshua.

Zechariah 3:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.

 

Remember John The Baptist saying:

Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Mark 6:17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her.

Mark 6:18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.

  • John had guts enough to tell King Herod that he was wrong, that he was living with his brother’s wife. Herod had John thrown in prison and finally beheaded. John was not afraid to make a righteous judgment.

The Prophet Nathan Looked King David In The Eye And Judged Him.

2 Samuel 12:7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;

 

There Has Always Been Resentment In The Congregation Against Messages That Judge.

Isaiah 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

  • Even in the days of Isaiah, men wanted to be left alone by the man of God. They only were willing to hear smooth preaching. Not much has changed. They wanted to do what ever their conscience allowed them to do.

Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

  • Without accountability, even the people of God sink to this level. The shocking news for our flesh is that what is right in our eyes may not be right in God’s eyes. We all need help. We just need it in different areas.

 

What About Discernment Of Spirits?

1 Corinthians 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

  • This is a gift that God provided for His body, whereby Holy Ghost filled people may be able to determine what spirit another is manifesting. In a way, it’s like being able to see what’s on the inside of another person.

 

Try The Spirits. (Judge Them)

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

 

Samuel

The Prophet learned about judging spirits the hard way. He found out quickly that God looked not only on the outside, like humans, but He looked especially at the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

(Note: They that are spiritually wayward love to justify their carnal and maybe even sinful outward appearance by saying that God looks on the heart. (As if that were the only place He looks.) This passage strongly makes the point that God did not even like what he saw on the inside. Maybe the self-righteous should not use this verse as their defense.)

 

If You Don’t Want Anyone Judging You, Be Glad You Weren’t There When The Apostle Paul Preached.

 

Paul Judged Situations Publically Without Being Present.

  • Case 1. Immorality

1 Corinthians 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,

1 Corinthians 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

1 Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

(Called a…)

  • That person’s lifestyle resulted in the church judging them guilty and calling them by the name of their sin.

1 Corinthians 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

1 Corinthians 5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

  • Case 2. Church Factions During The Lord’s Supper

1 Corinthians 11:17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.

1 Corinthians 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

  • Paul Openly Judged Sensitive Situations.

 

Judgment Is Required Of All Spiritual People.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

(The Message) 1 Corinthians 2:15 Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics.

 

Spirit Filled Saints Are To Judge All Things.

Godly Spirit-filled saints are required to judge all things. Judge spirits? Yes! Judge things as well? Absolutely!

 

We Are To Judge All Things By God’s Standard Of Judgment. Things Such As:

  • Life Situations
  • Events
  • Relationships
  • Friendships
  • Music
  • Internet Activities
  • Entertainment
  • Hollywood Presentations
  • Sports
  • False Doctrines
  • Styles of Dress
  • Compromise
  • Immodesty

Just To Name A Few

 

(Note: EVERYONE that I have seen who re-evaluated their Holiness Standards or Convictions has not grown closer to God or resembled the Old-time Pentecostal lifestyle, but rather moved closer to looking and acting like the present world.)

 

The Apostles Judged A Situation Correctly And The Holy Ghost Confirmed It.

Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

Paul Wasn’t Afraid To Have His Brethren Weigh His Words.

1 Corinthians 10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

1 Corinthians 10:15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

 

You Dislike Being Judged? I Understand, But Even Prophets Are Subject To Being Judged.

Prophets Judge Other Prophets.

A Prophet’s reward is not money or fame. It is simply that his prophecy comes true. If the prophecy does not come true he is, by all standards of measurement, a false prophet.

1 Corinthians 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.

The Pastor Must Make Judgment Calls.

Some situations a Pastor has to deal with are not mentioned specifically by name in the Bible. So, he must make a judgment call, or a ruling. Hence, they that make good rulings are worthy of double honor.

1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

There’s No Doubt A Good Reason Why Some Make A Loud Noise About Not Wanting Anyone To Judge Them.

Scenario 1

Maybe They Are In Rebellion And Don’t Want To Change.

  • Because they are not doing right, and they do not want anyone reminding them.
  • They know what they have been taught.
  • They remember how they used to live.
  • They chose to ignore the Word of God and the Pastor.

Scenario 2

Maybe God Has Turned Them Over To A Delusion.

  • They feel they are right and will debate you tirelessly in their attempt to justify themselves.
  • They feel saved and content even though they have never been farther away from Truth.
  • They wouldn’t love Truth, so God handpicked their delusion and gave them something they would love. Error.

Scenario 3

A Humble Heart Will Repent When Judged And Correct The Error.

2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

Preacher… Preach The Word. It Is God’s Plumb Line.

  • Preach Without Fear or Favor.
  • Be Not Afraid Of Their Faces.
  • You Must Answer To God For What You Preached And Didn’t Preach.
  • Preach It Even if It Affects Your Friends Or Family.
  • Preach it Because It Is Truth.

 

Correction Must Be Given When The Actions Of A Saint Are Judged To Be Wrong.

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

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

 

If We Willingly Receive Correction and Instruction, We Show Evidence Of Being God’s Son.

Hebrews 12:5 … My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

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?

 

If You’re Still Sick And Tired Of Others Judging You…

  • How Then Can Anyone Help You?
  • You Don’t Want A Pastor.
  • You Don’t Even Want A True Friend.
  • You Choose To Do What You Want.
  • No One Can Be Helped Without First Being Judged To Be In Need Of Help.
  • Please Don’t Put Up A Wall Of Defense Any More When Your Life Is Judged To Be Not Pleasing Unto God.

 

Who Are You To Judge Me?

  • A Tender Hearted Person Would Never Speak Those Words.
  • Have You Become Unteachable?
  • Are You Past Help?
  • Have You Become Hard Hearted?
  • Do You Want A Tender Heart?
  • Do You Want To Be Saved?
  • Then Start By Humbling Yourself And Submitting To God’s Word.

The Passing Of Bishop Rodney McDonald

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When I was a small lad of ten or so, my father, Evangelist Carl Ballestero preached a revival in Texas City, Texas for a Pastor Titus McDonald. My memories of those days are faded somewhat with time. But I remember being there.

I remember also meeting Brother Titus McDonald’s son, Rodney. He  was about my age. I never dreamed that someday we both would find ourselves in the ministry and that I would preach for him like my father preached for his father, and later preach revivals for his son.

In the early sixties, I attended Western Apostolic Bible College in Stockton, CA. That is where I met Bishop Rodney McDonald’s lovely future bride. Her name then was Sister Karen Hedger.

Imagine my surprise years later to find out that my old acquaintance was married to someone I had met out in California years ago.

Over the last decade or so our paths have crossed with the McDonald family quite frequently. It has been my great honor to preach several revivals for Pastor Nathan McDonald, their son. The church is in great hands with his leadership and is experiencing a wonderful move of the Lord.

IMG_2037Last month, I preached a revival at their church and one afternoon was honored to go out to eat lunch with the Bishop and his wife in downtown Oklahoma City. No one knew that it was to be one of my last moments to be with them together.

I was awaken with the news today of his impending passing. He was given “minutes or maybe hours” to live. My heart hurt with the news. I became overwhelmed with emotion.

This morning Bishop Rodney McDonald went from this life into the Glory World. He had struggled with health issues for several years now, and it hurt to even watch him try to breathe on his bad days.

 

I Salute Him and Honor Him.

  • The Godliest of men.
  • Pristine in his principles and motives.
  • A man of honorable ethics.
  • Accurate in doctrine.
  • Devoted to his wife.
  • Devoted to God.
  • He gave his life to the Work of God
  • Uncompromising.
  • A Preacher’s Preacher
  • He held fast to the Old Paths.
  • He lived what he preached.
  • He was given to hospitality.
  • Everyone that knew him loved him.

 

Goodbye My Dear Friend. I Love You!

I will always treasure our moments, meals, and the memories we made. We were just together a few short weeks ago. It doesn’t seem possible!

Join with me in prayers and support for the whole family, especially Sister Karen McDonald, their son Pastor Nathan McDonald and church, Apostolic Faith Tabernacle, Oklahoma City, OK.

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 23, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Please Read – “Anthology” The Life And Times Of Thomas L. Craft

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photoAnthology – The Life And Times Of Thomas L. Craft

 

I just finished reading Anthology the biography of Bishop Thomas L. Craft and loved it. I would encourage every one of my readers to do the same.

The Ballestero family has loved and cherished the friendship of Bro. Craft since I was a small child. My father referred to him as his 5th Friend. (It’s in the book.)

Once in a lifetime God may allow you to meet a man like Bishop Thomas L Craft. No one ever met him or heard him and walked away the same. He is truly a Pentecostal treasure and an unchanging landmark on the Gospel Highway.

  • What a Burden for souls!
  • What a Vision!
  • What a Passion!
  • What an Accomplishment for the Kingdom!
  • What an anointing!
  • What a Godly man!
  • What a Preacher!
  • What a Friend!

It’s a Life Honor to call him Friend!

 

 

Click This Picture To Go To His Website.

photo

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 29, 2014 at 12:21 pm