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Archive for the ‘Personal Growth’ Category

What Kind Of Son Are You?

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What Kind Of Son Are You?

There was a certain Father who had many sons and daughters. The children by now all lived on their own and seemed happy. He had treated them all so kindly that they doted on Him and often just stopped by His house to tell Him that they loved Him.

More often than not they would ask Him if there was anything they could do for Him. That always made Him smile. Sometimes they would say, “Father, if You see me doing something that displeases You… please let me know. You have been so good to me, that I want to spend the rest of my life doing things that please You. It made the Father’s heart rejoice to know His children loved Him.

One day two of the oldest brothers noticed that the youngest brother only came around the Father’s house on Sunday mornings about 10 AM and occasionally on Wednesday evenings around 7 PM when the special family meals were prepared.  He wasn’t always punctual, and they noticed that when he did come around it was only for food. Most of the other children came early before meal time to talk with their father and enjoy the comfort of His presence and love, and stayed late. The youngest son never came early, and seldom on time.

Once in a while, he would come to his Father’s house because he needed money or some help with a desperate situation. He would always show his thanks and appreciation for the blessing.

The two brothers watched one night as the youngest came late to the table where the others were already eating and with a sheepish look slid into his chair. They gave each other a knowing look.

The oldest said to the youngest, “How come you only come around the Father’s house when there are loaves and fishes on the table? How come you never want to just come and visit a while with our Father and enjoy His company? Man, you’re really missing out! There’s no one in the world more wonderful than Him! Everyone notices that you have plenty of time to go visit all your friends or do your fishing and hunting. Don’t you know that when the rest of us come to visit with Him that we see Him looking down the road towards your house? He watches you walking in the other direction from Him to be with your friends, or go do your thing. And, then when a need arises you have the gall to act as though you love Him so that you can ask Him for a favor, hit up for money and mooch off of Him. He’s always giving to you and you give nothing back to Him. What’s wrong with you? What kind of son are you?

The supper table grew quiet. A tear ran down the Father’s cheek. The younger son glared at his older brother and left the table. The children put their heads down fearing to see the expression on their Father’s face. They knew how much their Father loved the one who wouldn’t return His love.

 

 

Is this your story?

 

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 11, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Confusion

with 10 comments

Guest Blog – Written by my life-long Friend, Pastor Dennis Morris.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confusion

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

 

Confusion: instability, disorder, commotion, tumult.

I think we can accurately conclude from this scripture that there is an author of CONFUSION! Satan is that author!

Another conclusion is the peace authored by God is the target of the attacks of confusion.

Ephesians 6:16 speaks of the fiery darts of the wicked!

 

Fiery: ignited, to be inflamed with anger, grief, to burn or be on fire.

Caution! Sometimes even people can be fiery darts, inflamed themselves with passion for their grievances.

Flaming arrows, if not striking a fatal wound, can be distracting nevertheless. Inflammatory to the point that we take our focus off the enemy and put it on the immediate pain or danger, becoming confused about the problem and disoriented about who our enemy really is. Many have fallen prey to the spiritual tumult caused by confusion. Not suffering natural death but spiritual wounding some never recover from and suffering even death.

 

Peace: to join, by implication, have prosperity, quietness, rest, to set at one again.

God’s plan is for peace to reign in our hearts and minds. That we be bound together in love, with peace and joy our being our signature presentation before the world. Having through every trial and test “the peace of God which passes all understanding“!

 

James 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Envy: heat, jealousy, malice, emulation, fervent (or fevered) mind, indignation (taking offense).

Strife: intrigue (suspicion), factions, contention.

James lets us know that confusion has companions “every evil work”.

The fevered mind of envy and the suspicions triggered by strife make the perfect storm for confusion to cause us to turn against those who God instructs us to love and to even charge God for not caring and doing something to help us! Why God am I wounded?

 

Isaiah 9:5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.

(Confused) Noise: vibration, bounding, uproar, commotion, earthquake, fierceness, quaking, rattling, rushing, shaking.

Someone said that “War is hell”, I’m not sure it qualifies to be compared to hell but according to Isaiah there are similarities.

 

Eccl. 8:8… there is no discharge in that war…

No matter how bad it is, we can’t just decide not to fight anymore! No matter how fierce the battle gets we must not get confused by the noise and even the death and dying around us!

Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat. Wheat sifted, is just flour, wheat ground to powder.

Satan wants to remove all resistance and leave us so devastated that we’ve no recovery possible. Giving in to the confusion will only make matters worse.

  • Fight the good fight…
  • Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good…
  • Having this same mind in you…
  • Run the race with patience…

 

As the battle rages don’t just listen to the clamoring and confusing noise. Listen with a spiritual ear! There is a still small voice, encouraging you to “fight the good fight”.

“We’re not wrestling flesh and blood,”

Go ahead “lay hold on to eternal life”

Child of God, don’t take a chance, through the power of prayer “put on the helmet of Salvation“ don’t get confused!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 24, 2019 at 9:58 pm

What Type Of Spiritual Leader Are You?

with 2 comments

 

Guest Blog By Ramona Yandris

Ramona Yandris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Sister, Ramona Yandris is married to Bishop Nathan Yandris. They have served for many years at Faith Tabernacle Apostolic Church, Tracy, CA. She has served a lifetime as a gifted Speaker, Musician, Singer, and Music Director. May her words be a blessing to you!

 

 

What Type Of Spiritual Leader Are You?

This is in no way meant to reference any one person… this is just the musings and thoughts while studying God’s Word.

Great Spiritual Leadership has always caused a great and notable outcome!  It is getting harder to find Spiritual leaders that rise up in this day and age and lead with no guile. (Hear me out before you judge) But when they do… The Miraculous happens!  In this day, when pulpit ministry looks so glamorous….when crowds follow speakers to every conference to “hear” a sermon… then we raise up a “glorified speaker!”

If that same speaker… builds a church… rolls up his sleeves… also puts his shoulder to the wheel, outreaches his own community, tends to his own flock tirelessly, prays for the sick, gives to the poor, lifts a hand to the down and out, builds faith and instills Gods Word in his congregation and actually “Leads” then he raises up ministers and workers in the “Harvest” under him who also will replicate his work!

 

We learn so much from each leader…

  • Some are called to evangelize…
  • Some are called to be Apostles…
  • Some are called to Pastor…
  • Some are called as Prophets…
  • Some are called to teach…

Then there are secondary leaders, those who are called to “help.” Someone who feels supporting the ministry they were called into as essential in upholding the arms of God’s man!  They defend Him. They take the load off of him. They love him for what he is and are loyal to the cause, seeking nothing in return!  This is a rare gem in ministry to find such a secondary leader as most only want advancement and the ultimate spotlight. Although most are called to advance further, it is refreshing and a blessing to see someone understand and walk in this secondary leadership role hand in hand with God’s appointed leader.

Sadly, in this day we rely on a vote for a man (most times it is necessary) and have gotten away from a man who was so in tune with the Holy Ghost that he could say with power and knowledge,  “God has called me to ???,” and then wade through many adversities until a monument for Christ is built to Glorify God and win the lost! My proverbial hat is off to church builders who work it from the ground up. They literally give everything to the Kingdom of God.  The next man stepping in reaps the rewards with no labor… seems not fair… right?

I began to think what story certain leaders in the Bible left us with that revealed traits like character, strength, honor, dishonor, compassion, True Agape love, dishonest, Loyal/disloyal, offended, cruel, harsh, gentle, Anointed, prayerful, righteous, lovers of God more than lovers of self, and steadfast. I ask myself, “How do so many with these obvious human flaws get used by God?”  See, we humans think “YOU” (we don’t include ourselves in that exclusion)  have to be perfect before we can be “used.” There are so many places God can use us all!  We just have to first know and always remind ourselves that “Kingdom First” should be our motto.

If someone sings better than you, don’t attack them and use jealous tactics to get the part you crave.  Be a team member in ministry!

Be the first to give up your seat at the piano/organ/bass/guitar/drums/bongos/tambourine/etc.  if someone else can more skillfully bring others to worship. Yes, there is a place for us all but none of us own our positions. We should all ultimately be on the “Kingdom Team” and want God Glorified!

 

He literally can use ANYBODY!  It just takes a WILLING and Anointed VESSEL!

So, in each church leadership, you might recognize some of the following traits in these biblical examples. See where you fit in or where you recognize the reference.

Let us also not be so quick to point our finger at the reference of others. There are always at least a few fingers pointing back at us. That is humbling!

Here goes…

 

The Elijah Leader!!!!

1 Kings 18:22 Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.

Some are like Elijah. They operate in hopelessness. They think they are doing it all alone. They whine and gripe that they do it alone. They simply do not know how to delegate and use others. Sometimes God has to remind them that He has many more doing the same thing!  We are not in this alone! We need and use each other to advance not our Kingdom but rather God’s Kingdom!

 

The Jezebel (wannabe) Leader

Jezebel. This spirit wants to control everything and everyone!  It can be male or female.

Every spirit of control in the church that does not line up with the pulpit, the man of God and God’s Word is OUT OF ORDER!  You are an accident waiting to happen!  You cannot muzzle the Ox (referring to the pastor), nor can you insert your control over the man of God and the departments of the church!  God will see to it that you and your household will come to ruin.  You simply have the wrong spirit and outlook on God’s man and His Work!  If you don’t love the man of God (your pastor), then how can you say you love God? Don’t worry though pastor… God’s got this. You just keep right on working for the Kingdom.  The Jezebels will fall by the wayside and the church will roll right on!

 

The Jonah Leader!

Jonah leaders run from responsibilities. Oh, how easy this temptation is for humanity.  Like the saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”  In this day of ease, most don’t stick it out.  They crash and burn at the first sight of trouble! Their blinders have been removed and they get overwhelmed at the very thought of the “work set before them!” They forgot that God promised that His Grace was sufficient for EVERY need!  He gives us sometimes (as the song used to say).

“Just enough to take me through one more mile.

Just enough to dry my eyes a little while

When I get home…

I won’t need it.

But as I travel, this weary land

He always gives me

Just enough Grace to stand!”

If God calls you into a difficult ministry or position!  Stay the course.  Don’t quit or defect EVERY-TIME  you think someone is talking about you, or you have adversity.

If God calls you TO it,

He will bring you THROUGH it!

Stay the course and quit being a QUITTER!

 

The Moses Leader!!!!

Moses let anger lead.  So many events happen in our lives as ministry that brings us to anger. Yet, the scripture says “Let he who rules WELL be worthy of DOUBLE Honor!”  The decisions a pastor makes has to be from a clear head.  We may have our own personal opinions about someone but remember the person you are angry at is STILL a child of God and your outburst of anger can not only cause defeat in your flock but can also keep you from where God actually intended for you to attain to in your own promised land!  If people disappoint us and walk away, let them go.  Let them go!  Let them go!  Not everybody fits our unique circle or within the personality of a church.  Don’t assault them with unkind and angry words.  We bless them and pray God’s best for their life.  It doesn’t mean you have to have contact. In fact, it’s best to not. What’s the point? It keeps your anger and bitterness at Bay. So, allow people to go and flourish elsewhere.  God always sends a replacement usually sooner than later who will be faithful.

 

The Saul Leader!

Saul tried to destroy other anointed leaders. This is one of the most commonly used tactics among ministry today.  If someone is offended at you for ANY reason, the petty flesh tries to tear down a person’s reputation. If they can destroy you among the brethren then you just might quit coming around.  If you will quit coming around then they can remain “King of the Roost!”  This type of man (or woman) is definitely not Kingdom minded and seeks only to elevate themselves! They also promote their flock to honor only them and have “preacher worship” mentality. A premiere flock (and a tribute to the former pastor) is one who stays and is loyal to the Kingdom in spite of XYZ!  Love and honor your pastor (this is Biblical), but don’t have preacher worship!  Have God worship!  He shares His Glory with NO ONE!

 

The Judas Leader!!!

Judas… untrustworthy! Reveals secrets to wound another to gain power. Will sell you out for advancement or validation! This takes the life out of so many of us. It is a trick of the enemy to cause offense! Yet in the end, the person you are really hurting is yourself!  God will fight the Battle of those wronged!  He keeps excellent records and you will be judged by your words and your deeds!  Keep your tongue in check!  If you are a friend to the ministry, be confidential!  You are there to support not tear down! If you are a minister and friends with another minister and you have information that tears down the other person… don’t go sell those secrets to the highest bidder. Shut your mouth and pray for your friend!  Go to them and in the spirit of love and unity reason with them regarding the error of their ways. Only then have you done what the Scriptures say to do!

Just for the record, the scripture says to “Mark them that cause division among you AND avoid them”. Nowhere does it say if a brother/sister is in error or taken in a fault to mark them and avoid them!  Yet, sadly that is what we do and we wonder why the person finally goes to another group… well it just may not be because they WANT an easier way… it just might mean they were treated so unjustly and unscriptural that in their mind, they had no way out.  Let’s love people back into our fold… My goodness!  Aren’t we tired of the “exit?”  It’s not all standard reasons folks…a lot of it is simply offense gone wrong!

 

The Enoch Leader!

Enoch… had a prayer life unrivaled!

The ministry friends that I have had in this day and age that greatly affected my life are the ministers that had an obvious powerful prayer life.  One in particular who was my pastor for a short season was Bro. Verbal Bean… Do you want a demonstration of the Holy Ghost like he had?  Get a prayer life like he had!  I can name so many men and women of God that has become an icon, not because of their gifting but rather because of their anointing resulting from their prayer life!  If you want to be caught up in the Heavens like Enoch, then DAILY walk with God!  Don’t leave it to “after service” prayer, but find your own space, your own room, no matter how “Big” you become. Keep that prayer life consistent. You don’t need to “tell” anyone “while I was in prayer today.” Your actions and unction will tell on you!

 

The Esau Leader!

Esau will sell out cheaply for an easier way. You don’t prepare for the task ahead?  You don’t value what you have been given?  You take it for granted? Your decisions are based on fleshly desires?  Then yes, we have another Esau in our hands.  One who will abandon what God meant for him because he wanted to quickly satisfy his flesh!  These people will sell out to the first person that will advance them… make their life easier and not make them accountable.  This simply speaks for itself!  No more words needed here!

 

The John the Revelator Leader!

John The Revelator works even though abandoned and wounded. Tortured for Christ sake and sent to die alone. This man of God decided I will leave a mark in this world for the sake of the Kingdom. God trusted him that He gave him visions and placed him in a solitary place where his mind and writings were solely devoted to what God gave him. “They” meant it for evil, but God meant it for GOOD!

The struggles and the trials you go through as ministry may not be to destroy you but rather to save the lost coming up behind you. God has a purpose and a plan.  If you truly mean for Him to use you, don’t get upset when things go bad.  When you can’t see the way, when you can’t figure out the why,  just trust Him! We may not understand it until we reach the other side.  When you are sold out, you are there to the bitter end.

We better toughen up!  As the “Day” approaches we are all going to be that much more offended, hurt, rejected, wounded, talked about, mistreated, persecuted. Instead of giving up… Take up YOUR CROSS, take up a pen… write encouraging words to yourself and to others!  Be strong and faint not!

 

The Peter Leader!

Peter let fear rule his actions

Yes, he was so afraid of Jesus going to the cross that he cut a man’s ear off… (yet he was bold enough to do that). He was so afraid of being found out that he was a disciple that he cursed and lied to prove he was “not of His!” He was so afraid that he never showed up at the cross!

When you are so sensitive that when things do not go your way or turn out like you would like them to, when the dream you had is shattered and fear grips you… affecting your words… your actions… your loyalty… (all of this was nothing more than a lack of faith) yet through all this foolishness… Jesus had great faith in Peter!  So many times, Jesus had to emphasise a point to Peter. ”Peter, do you love me?”  I often wondered why this line of questioning until you look at the overall high/low passion of Peter.  Jesus knew he operated out of passion.  Anger/Fear falls under that category.  Yet, emotional people can sometimes be the worst friends and worst leaders!  They always feel someone is talking about them. They are fatalistic in their words and kill hope and faith every time you converse with them. They are Spiritually Bi-polar!  You are exhausted when you leave their presence.  But Jesus knew one thing… if He could “channel” the passion Peter had in the right way, then there would be no stopping him.

  • Knowing that Peter denied Him.
  • Knowing that Peter disassociated himself from Him.
  • Knowing that Peter was angry.
  • Knowing that Peter was offended.
  • Knowing that the Disciples were offended at Peter.

Yet, when Jesus arose from the tomb he left a “young man, clothed in white” with a special message to the Disciples AND to PETER!  See at this point Peter had angered and offended himself (in his own mind) right out of the ministry. Yet Jesus, knowing Peters temperament left an angel to speak to him….to make this reference so the Disciples would accept him back….made special mention to the emotional future powerhouse in Mark16:7….”Go tell the disciples AND PETER that He (Jesus) goeth before you into Galilee”

That was a potential fatal flaw in Peter.  Anger and Fear can destroy a ministry… a marriage… a job… if you are in any ministry you MUST keep your emotions in check!  Peter was so overwhelmed at Jesus’s tolerance and forgiveness that he was humbled and became a Holy Ghost powerhouse for the Kingdom.

 

The John the Beloved Leader!

John stayed at the cross even though he could have been arrested.  Real leaders walk with you through the fire if you will allow them to! Before Jesus bowed His head and died He looked at His mother and said of John “Woman Behold your son!”  Take a look at someone who is sold out and will stay with you even though the odds are stacked against you!

He was one of the first to reach the tomb after Jesus arose.

John 19:26-27

John 20:1-10

Follows Jesus even though the other disciples questioned his involvement…

John 21:20-23

He was one of the 7 fishermen that fished all night when it looked hopeless… yet his persistence paid off when Jesus showed up!

John 21:1-25

Even though the other disciples cut him out of written involvement… he still kept ministering!

No wonder he was the “Beloved” of Jesus!  He exemplified more fruit of the Spirit than all of them put together!  He was completely “Christlike!

Maybe jealously caused him to be shut out!

So, whatever Style of Leadership you are given to,  make sure it lines up with advancing the Kingdom of God!  Don’t allow the flesh to rule spiritual things!

Please above all rule in love.  Don’t Lord over God’s heritage, nor be a Pharisee!  Be humble in spirit and in deed and let God be Glorified in all that we do!  If you have no ability to bind people together in love and in unity, you may merely have a desire, not a calling.

 

This is the Will of God!

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 9, 2019 at 1:14 pm

You Might Not Be A Saint!

with 16 comments

 

You Might Not Be A Saint!

 

This Is Strong Meat.

So, I may offend some here. (Sorry)

I have no desire to be harsh or unkind.

 

I’m Going To Be Straight Forward…

  • Like they preached to me when I was young.
  • Before anyone heard of being ‘Politically Correct’

 

A Fact:

Before You Can Be A Saint, You Must Be Born Again.

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

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

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.

 

Then, After You Receive The Holy Ghost, You’re Called To Be A Saint.

1 Cor. 1:2  Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

 

(Side Note: You MUST be a Saint before you can ever be a preacher.)

 

Being A Saint – That’s Our Calling.

Are You Willing To Accept The Call?

  • Count the cost if you accept.
  • Count the cost if you don’t accept.

 

To Accept The Call And Qualify To Be A Saint…

1.)  You Must Be Willing To Do Whatever It Takes To Be A Saint. 

  • I’m talking to everyone.
  • I don’t care how long you’ve been a church member.

 

If You’re Just Going To Church:

  • To get your shout on.
  • To get your blessing.
  • For the loaves and the fishes.
  • For the fellowship.
  • Because of the great Youth Dept.

 

Your Actions Describe You More Like A Spiritual Moocher Than A Saint.

If All Church Is For You, Is Just A Place That Gives You Loaves And Fishes…

  • Then I can’t help you.
  • Because you most likely will never change.

 

You Don’t Have To Be A Saint…

  • But if you choose to be a saint…
  • You cannot become a saint on your terms!

 

“Saints Are Not Born, They’re Made” – My Dad Always Said.

  • If you are a saint…
  • Or ever become a saint…
  • It’s because you listened to your pastor!

 

If You Are A Saint, It’s Because There Was A Change In Your Life.

  • It may be, “Come as you are,”
  • But it’s not… “Stay as you are!”
  • The Gospel is all about change.

(Do you still want to be a saint?)

 

If You’re Looking For An Easy Route To Heaven,

  • One that you never have to make a change, inside or out.
  • One that requires no commitment,
  • One That requires no submission…

Then you are just looking for a social group that lets you live like you want.

Isa 30:9  That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:

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:

 

If That’s You, You Won’t Be Happy In A Real Apostolic Church. You Might As Well Move On Down The Road. Because ALL Of God’s Word Gets Preached In An Apostolic Church.

(Do you still want to be a saint?

Or do you want a compromised and watered-down version of the Word of God

 

Saints Don’t Argue With The Word, They Submit!

 

 2.) A Saint Always Has A Teachable Spirit.

Jas 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

If You Do Not Have A Teachable Spirit, You Don’t Really Have The Holy Ghost.

 

 3.) A Saint Loves Doctrine.

Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

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

2 Tim. 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

 

If Doctrine Is Boring To You,

If Doctrine Is Irritating To You,

If Doctrine Seems Unnecessary To You,

If Doctrine Is Harsh To Your Tender Spirit,

Then You’re Not Really A Saint.

 

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

4.) A Saint Is Willing To Submit God’s Correction.

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

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

 

All The Sons Of God Receive Correction.

Because They’re Not Perfect.

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

  • Remember, you won’t stand in the judgment by yourself!
  • Your pastor will be there too. He must give an account of your attitude and spirit.

 

If Allowing The Word Of God To Correct You Or Your Children Is Unacceptable To You,

Then you’re not really a saint!

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

5.) God Hears The Prayers Of Saints.

Prov. 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

James 5:16… The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

 

If God Doesn’t Hear Your Prayers,

Then maybe you’re not really a saint.

 

 6.) All Saints Worship.

John 4:23  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

Psa 150:6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

 

If worship is a problem for you…

You’re not thankful.

2 Tim. 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2 Tim 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

2 Tim. 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

2 Tim. 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

2 Tim. 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

 

Then you’re not really a saint.

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

 7.) If You Say You’re Not Being Fed…

It’s because you’re not a saint!

A saint always obeys and is willing.

Isa. 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

 

8.) If Holiness Is Debatable Or Just Something That Is Only A Personal Conviction To You.

Then you’re not really a saint.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

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.

 

Holiness is God’s lowest standard.

1 Pet. 1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

1 Pet. 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (lifestyle)

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

 

If you have a problem with Holiness,

Then you’re not really a saint

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

 9.) If Wearing Modest Apparel Is Not Your Style Of Dress And You Refuse To Change…

Then you’re not really a saint.

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

 

Shamefacedness =

  • a sense of shame,
  • ability to blush

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

10.) If Your Life Is Wrapped Up In Hollywood, Sports, And Worldly pleasures,

You’re not a saint.

 

Ball Games

If you go to a sports event, your heart will beat with the heart of the world.

Saints don’t want their heart beating with the world’s heart, only God’s heart.

 

Hollywood

Saints do not bring Hollywood into their homes, regardless of whatever format it comes in.

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

 

If The Love Of The Father Is Not In You…

Then you’re not really a saint.

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

 11.) If A Woman Thinks That Wearing Men’s Apparel Is Not A Problem,

And She Defies The Scriptures…

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

Then she is not a saint.

If he wears women’s clothing, then he’s not a saint.

 

12.) If A Man Thinks It’s Ok To Let His Hair Grow Long,

Then he’s not really a saint.

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

 

 13.) If A Woman Cuts Her Hair,

Then she’s not really a saint.

 

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

1 Cor. 11:5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

1 Cor. 11:6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

 

If You Cut Your Hair, Sister, You’re Not Really A Saint

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

 14.) If Jewelry, Ornamentation, And The Wearing Of Gold Is Your World…

Then you’re not really a saint.

1 Pet. 3:3  Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

 

(Adorning Definition = World)

1 Pet. 3:4  But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

 

Every Time Israel Drew Close To God, They Took Off Their Ornaments.

Every Time They Backslid, They Put Them On.

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

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

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

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

 

Hos 2:13  And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD.

 

(The wearing of earrings was associated with Baal worship. That’s why Jacob’s wives gave him their earrings when they surrendered their idols of Baal.)

 

If keeping your jewelry is your thing,

You’re not really a saint.

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

15.) Real Saints Don’t Rob God.

Mal. 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Mal. 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

Mal. 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

 

If you are a God-Robber, You’re not really a saint.

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

16.) If You Are A Tale Bearer Or Critical, And Say Negative Things About The Church Or The Pastor…

Lev 19:16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.

If you’re a gossiper, you’re not a saint.

You will be shunned.

1 Co 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.

If you’re a critic of what your pastor does,

You’re not a saint.

A saint is a pastor’s friend.

 

If You’re A Railer And Gossiper,

You will be shunned.

Because You’re Not Really A Saint.

 

17.) If You Think You Are On The Same Level As Your Pastor Then You’re Not A Saint.

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

You are not a saint.

(It does not matter the number of degrees you have, you will never be equal to your man of God.)

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

 18.) If You Cannot Forgive, You Are Not A Saint.

Matt. 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

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

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

 19.) Saints Love One Another.

Unity cannot happen without loving one another. Without unity, no church can enjoy lasting revival.

If you are unable to love your brother or sister, you’re not a saint.

  • If you can’t get past personality differences,
  • If you can’t get past everyone’s yesterdays,
  • If you can’t get past the past,
  • If you can’t get past ethnicity and realize we are one in Christ,

You’re not really a saint.

John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

 

20.) Saints Are The Only Ones Going To Heaven.

Eph. 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

(So, Are You A Real Saint?)

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 2, 2019 at 12:31 am

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

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

 

Come As You Are? Yes.

Stay As You Are? No.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

When Jacob Prepared To Go To Bethel, He Changed.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Let’s Get Real Plain…

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

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

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

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

 

Why?

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

 

How Do We Lay Sin Aside And Not Change?

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

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

  • (Growth is change, too)

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

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

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

 

Our Heart Must Change

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

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

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

 

Our Speech Must Change

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

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

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

 

Our Outward Appearance Must Change

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

 

Change Requires Modesty For Men And Woman

1 Timothy2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

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

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

 

Hair Care Changes

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

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

 

Our Priorities Must Change

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

 

Even Our Furniture Must Change

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

 

The Things We Love Must Change

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

 

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

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

 

Who Are We Fooling? Only Ourselves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

No Conviction of Sin?

No Fear of God?

No Respect?

No Obedience to His Word?

No Love for His House?

 

Are we just being Rebellious?

Are we just Clueless?

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

Are we just Insincere?

 

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

 

Ask Yourself…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

We Must Allow God To:

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

Change us like He changes a Caterpillar into a Butterfly.

 

“Thanks, Dad! I got it for myself!”

with 4 comments

 

The Apostolic Tabernacle, located 905 S. Pike Street in Shelbyville, Indiana, was celebrating its anniversary. Bro. Carl Ballestero had just finished teaching the afternoon Bible Study. The service ended in prayer, and then the crowd was dismissed. Bro. Cavaness promised to feed his guests a BBQ feast and the crowd showed their excitement to go eat. Well, all except one teenager.

The dark-haired young man looked for a side room or a place to hide until the church emptied. He hoped that no one would miss him or come looking for him. He didn’t want to be seen by anyone right now. He couldn’t find a classroom.

Without anyone noticing, he slipped through a door that led him to the baptismal tank area. There, he bent over so as to remain unseen and moved to the side of the tank and laid down on the bare floor, flat on his back. He closed his eyes and waited. It seemed like forever before the sounds of conversations to died out and then he heard the front door close. He listened for any sounds of footsteps, but all was quiet. That’s when it started.

The boy began to cry, when I say cry, I don’t mean that there was a tear or two. I mean he began to sob. He wanted the same experience with God that his parents had. He felt shallow, empty, and unfulfilled. He wanted more of God. The sobs turned into groans and heartfelt travail. Time wasn’t important, food wasn’t important, getting something from God at that moment was all that mattered now.

Most of the afternoon the young prayed. His eyes were almost swollen shut. Some hours later, as folks gathered in for the evening service, he slipped out of the baptistery and into the Men’s room to comb his hair and wash his face. No one seemed to notice his earlier absence. His parents never mentioned it.

The young man became a pastor and many years later he invited Bro. Roger Evens to preach for him. One day, Bro. Evens said, “Do you remember the day at Shelbyville that you prayed behind the baptistery and didn’t go eat with everyone else?

The young pastor’s mouth dropped open. “How do you know about that?” he asked.

“I was there,” Bro. Evens said. “I came back into the church with your dad looking for you and making sure you had a way to go eat. That’s when we heard you crying out to God. I told you dad to go pray with you because I couldn’t go eat knowing you were crying like that.”

“Your dad said, ‘No, I can’t go pray for him.”

“Why not?” I said.

“Like a baby chick getting out of its shell, it has to do that by its self! If he doesn’t get this for himself he will never amount to a hill of beans.”

“With tears in your dad’s eyes and in mine, we walked out of the church that day.”

 

 

Fifty-five years later, all I can say now is, “Thanks, Dad! I got it for myself!”

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 19, 2018 at 1:55 pm

The Cracker Barrel New Year’s Sermon

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The Cracker Barrel New Year’s Sermon

 

 

Near the Savannah, Georgia exit 102 on I-95, sits a Cracker Barrel next to our motel. The chalk-written New Year’s message is plain for all to see. It says:

 

“Cheers to New Beginnings and Old Traditions”

 

May this New Year be a time for all of us to start afresh. Regardless of past failures or yesterday’s disappointments.

We need to leave our paradigm of failure-thinking and begin again. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve had to begin again. What you have been through was neither your final chapter nor your epitaph.

 

Proverbs 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:

 

It’s not abnormal for good people to make mistakes and have to start over or begin again. Even Paul said he died daily. He started over every day.

 

 New Beginnings:

 

 Has your Bible reading been almost nonexistent lately?

Begin again.

 

How about your prayer life? Been busy? Hard to get to pre-service prayer for some reason or another?

Begin again.

 

Got out of the habit of responding during the worship service?

Begin again.

 

Has there been an absence of you saying amen to the preaching lately?

Begin again.

 

You haven’t taught a Home Bible Study in a long time?

Begin again.

 

How long since you made it to midweek service?

Begin again.

 

How about your tithes? If you’ve quit giving tithes and offerings…

Begin again.

 

Have you resigned or quit participating in your church?

Begin again.

 

Have you stopped kissing your spouse good morning, good night, and good-bye?

Begin again.

 

Been awhile since you said, “I love you” to your spouse?

Begin again.

 

Been awhile since you said I love you to your parents?

Begin again.

 

Been awhile since you said, “I am proud of you,” and “I love you,” to your children?

 Begin again.

 

Have you stopped saying, “I love you” to your in-laws?

Begin again.

 

 

Begin again In God. Recover yourself.

 

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

2 Tim. 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

 

 

Traditions

 

Traditions make homes and churches special. When our large family gets together, there are always certain meals everyone can count on.  You just know that there will be gumbo one day and enchiladas and tacos on another. And the morning we all have to leave, there’s s special breakfast restaurant we go to. It’s our custom. It’s just how it is in our family.

Churches have customs and traditions too. It’s a huge disappointment to go back to your ‘home’ church and find out how different it is or that they have changed.

 

Hold fast to the old Apostolic Pentecostal Traditions.

When backsliders and those who have had to move away, come back to visit… Let them that see your church is still holding on to the old-time ways!

 

And, as Cracker Barrel would say if it was preaching this sermon,

“Cheers to New Beginnings and Old Traditions!”

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 30, 2017 at 7:57 pm