Walking By Faith

Things here are starting to get busier by the day. As you may have noted that I now have a video on YouTube and you can view it by its title: Spiritual Reality 1A on YouTube. It is a Training Video and requires an investment of time and study. I am currently working on a second video that will continue the first lesson on Spiritual Reality and will address how to walk in the Spirit, once you are saved. There will be 5 additional lessons on discovering and developing our spiritual senses.

I spent nearly two hours on the phone with my translator who is translating my book, The Mystery of Faith into Japanese. He informed me that the translation is now completed and that it is ready to go to publication. This process is different in Japan so I do not know how long it will take before it is available but I will let you know when I know. It may take a while but I am not sure what that means. The Chinese translation is also completed and has been printed in China, however, the printing has been halted due to the Chinese government’s crackdown on religious printing. Hopefully, we can locate a publisher in Japan that can print both and then they will be made available to anyone desiring a copy.

I currently have Bible study groups in China, Japan and Africa who are signed up for the training videos and there are additional countries that have expressed interest but have not yet made the commitment to the studies. I am so amazed at the growth to Christian Training Center (CTC) and its effort to offer training to Christian leaders. The Lord is moving it right along. All of this has required much more of my time and I am just trying to stay close to Him. I would really appreciate your prayers and support to this effort.

On another note, my wife and I are in good health and have remained Covid 19 free. Also, I just had some work done on my pickup that cleared an electrical problem that has persisted for several years.

What an adventure as we walk by Faith in the Lord.

Announcement

Training Video 1A is now a reality. I just posted my first training video entitled Spiritual Reality 1A on You Tube. You can view it on You Tube at https://youtu.be/2NxOfqk8xho

This video (1A) and video (1B) together comprise the first lesson of a series of 6 lessons on Spiritual Reality. This series of lessons address the missing part of reality that most people know very little about. We pass through three worlds to arrive at our final destination in eternity. The first world is the world of the womb, where we get our body and physical senses. With these we discover life outside the womb in the world we describe as time and space. It is here that we can miss the most amazing and wonderful part of life, the spiritual world. It cannot be detected by the physical senses but it is discovered and experienced by the spiritual senses that come with the New birth. Just as an unborn baby is only slightly aware of this physical world so also is the natural man only slightly aware of the spiritual world that Jesus said was so absolutely necessary. This is a training video for Christian pastors and church leaders that have little or no training available to them but is also valuable for those who are just growing in their spiritual walk. This series is designed for individual or small group study so that you can proceed at your own pace. Subscribers receive the full benefit of additional resources and support.

This is what has been taking so much of my time and keeping me from posting more here. I have had to purchase the software. learn how to use the program, construct the content, edit the material multiple times, send it out to be critiqued and revise again. It is a lot of work but I really believe that it is worth all the effort.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments. I really appreciate your feedback.

The Messenger’

Vernon Ball

Update 8.31.2020

A lot has been happening here since my last post.  I have been receiving several request from different countries to lead them in Bible Studies.  Three of these countries are China, Japan and Africa and there are others countries that have expressed interest as well.  This has been very humbling as well as leaving me in a state of re-examining a lot of things.  I never saw myself in an international ministry, let alone leading it. 

After much prayer and waiting on the Lord, as well as counseling with my pastor and church leaders, I have come to believe that this is from the Lord and so I am following His leading as I understand it.  Perhaps the most notable adjustment I have made is that I am now producing training videos that I will be posting on You tube.  This action has required an investment into software to make these videos and then I have spent untold hours learning how to use it.  I have begun a study on Spiritual Reality.  It is a series of 6 lessons from the Bible that identifies the necessity of our passing through 3 worlds before we enter our final destination we call heaven.  It also identifies the spiritual senses that enable us to interact in the spiritual world. 

The first lesson is broken into two videos and the first video is nearing completion and will be posted in the near future.  I will post its availability as soon as it has been finished. 

These are training videos and require commitment of study and work beyond just watching the video.  Entertainment is not my goal but I try to make them interesting and rewarding.

One of the ways that the Lord has shown me that this is His working and not mine is that it was not my idea to start with.  Additionally, He has provided multiple people to assist in this endeavor, such as a man who has his own ministry and is making Christian videos as I am, who incidentally has the exact same software and lives very close.  He said he is helping because this is an important work.  I sent out a preliminary copy of the first video to a number of people I know  and requested them to critique it and I got back multiple pages of insights and suggestions.  No one was overly complimentary nor were they critical.  I really appreciated their honesty, responsiveness and candor.  These are but a few of the ways that the Lord has made it clear that He is the one doing it and it is not me directing it.  Please pray that I stay close to Him and simply follow His leading.

I plan to continue this website however my post may not be as often as they were in the past.  In addition to this website, I now have a channel on You Tube and I will share that with you as I begin to post these studies on it.

Thank you for your prayers and I hope that you will continue to remember me as we lanunch into this new venture of faith.

Judge Not

I have attached a list of Scriptures below that should be studied together to see what the Lord had instructed concerning the common directive that is so often quoted out of context.  The phrase is “Judge not lest ye be also judged” and is used to silence those who disagree or would condemn an action. 

The verses (Matthew 7:1 and Luke 6:37) were a part of Jesus’ sermon on the mount, where Jesus was instructing those who would live righteous in this world.  They were not given as prohibitive and all encompassing laws but rather the prohibition of devaluing others.  The words “judge not” simply means do not pass judgment or condemnation and has to do with a person’s worth.  It does not mean to have no opinion or discernment about an action but rather to not allow that discernment to lessen that person’s value to you or to God. 

A good example of this is iron in its natural state is rust mixed with soil and has no apparent value.  When that Iron is mined and processed, the impurities are removed and heat is added, along with other minerals is specified amounts, it becomes steel that becomes quite strong.  Because we see others in their raw and impure form we should not consider them of no value, but God knows what He has in mind for each of us and that is of great value to Him.

When placing these verses along with the other verses such as I John 4:1 where we are commanded to “try the spirits”, it sounds like a contradiction, but it is not.  Even though we are forbidden to pass judgment on a person’s value, we are commanded to measure the spirit behind the action and to know if that spirit is of God.  These are two completely different responses to two completely different applications for two completely different reasons.  Judging deals with another person’s value in his service for comparison, while discernment addresses the spirit behind the action for the benefit of the fellowship.

Further, discernment is based upon the fruit of the individual which exposes the spirit directing the action.  Mt 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.   Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.  Jesus went on to say in John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.  It simply cannot be that we are directed to “judge not” in one place and then “Judge righteousness judgment” in another place unless there is a difference of application.  The answer is that we are forbidden to pass judgment based upon appearance (respect of persons) but we are commanded to discern the force behind the actions.  We are commanded to examine the fruit and the witness of the Spirit of God. 

Another point is that we should listen and follow those whom God has placed as our spiritual leaders who have given their lives into His service and have grown into spiritual maturity.  These gifted leaders are chosen by God and given to the church to equip the membership.

In summary then, we are not instructed to disregard sinful or evil activity, but rather, to stand on principles and against evil spirits, not against people.  The person is not the problem but the evil spirit must be confronted.  This is why we should pray for our pastor and church leaders as they stand between evil forces and the church and we are to support them.

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

 Lu 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

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

 1Co 4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. {judgment: Gr. day}

******************** versus *********************

1Jo 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.

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

 Mt 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

1Th 5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

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

Heb 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Video Conferencing

Greeting to all my followers:

I have been quite busy for the last couple weeks getting set up on Zoom which is a video conferencing program.  I  now have a license and we have been doing our Sunday Bible Study via Zoom for the past two weeks.  For those of you who are not familiar with Zoom or have little to no tech savvy, it is a program that does not require much knowledge of computers.  It is a means by which you can both see and hear each other as though you are in the same place, even though you may be thousands of miles apart.  Think of it as a telephone with a camera and multiple people can be on at the same time.  It has become very useful during this pandemic crisis.

I know that you have been impacted by the Coronavirus in many ways.  We are living through a life changing event that will impact us for some time.  Hopefully, you or your loved one do not have the virus, but even in that event, I know that there are many questions and few answers.  Life as we have known it may very well be changed permanently.  All of this is not bad news for there are some good things coming out of this event as well.  For example, we now have more time than we have ever had and can focus on those “other things” that we never could get around to.  We are forced to reevaluate our priorities and our attention is being placed on other things.  I know that there are many people that have been praying for revival all over the world for many years.  In order for revival to come, our grip on “things” had to be broken and this could be the time for real life changing revival.  When I had stage 4 cancer, I heard someone say, “don’t waste your crises”.  As a result I saw many wonderful things happen as a result of the cancer, and then came the amazing miracle of total healing from the cancer, now going on 8 years.

One of the benefits of this world wide crises is that video conferencing has become available for not cost.  I am now wondering if some of you would like to also connect via Zoom?  All you need is a computer, laptop or phone that is equipped with a camera and microphone as well as an email address.  If you will send me your email address and let me know that you would like to connect in a video conference, I will set up a meeting and we can see and talk with each other.  If you speak another language, we can chat because I have a translator.  My email address is  vball_one@hotmail.com .  If you will contact me I will send you and invitation to meet me on a video conference call and then I can walk you through the process as it is very easy to do and you don’t need to be an expert with the computer.  It will not be possible to use this service if your government has blocked you to the outside world.  I am also considering doing a weekly Bible Study video that you can watch but will not be able to participate with directly.  Please contact me via email or through this web site.  New things are ahead.  Life as we once knew it has once again changed.

Response Needed

If this website is a help to you, I would appreciate hearing from you.  Where do you live?  What would you like for me to address?  How often do you check in?  How can I help?  My curiosity grows with the passing of time.  I have been doing this blog for over 2 years now and I really would like for your input on how I need to improve it. 

I did get one individual to interact with me recently and he told me that he couldn’t find a place to respond in the Q & A.  I looked at it and found he was right so that has been corrected.  You can go to any part of the site that has a response block to contact me and I will get it.  I am the only one that views your comments and I will not post anything that you don’t want posted.  Further, even if I post a comment I will make every effort to protect your confidentiality.  I do not share the information with anyone or any organization that can be hacked and endanger you in any way.  My sole interest in this website is to share things that will be beneficial to you in your faith walk with the Lord Jesus.

I have tried to let you know who I am and what I am about.  Further information is available in the about section or by request if you do not find it there.  You can review all of my post by searching them by topic or you can review them by date.  You can click on the cloud at the top of each post to drop me a note or ask a question.

This blog is for you and your benefit.  I make no money from it and I purposely do not allow popups and adds that waste your time and insult your intelligence.  I do it because I have been given insights that I want to share and I want to be a blessing, rather than seek a blessing.  I will do all I can do to make this site a true blessing to as many as I can.

Brother Vernon

The Gates of Darkness

As I write this blog, I am thinking of the burden that the Lord has placed on my heart about training the church leadership in the Eastern Asia Countries.  It began last year when I made a mission trip to china and saw the hunger for the Bible and also saw the lack of training available for the house church pastor and church leadership.  The sacrifice they were willing to make just to attend a bible training meeting was soul searching. 

Then to be invited to speak at a Bible training conference in Japan this year had another impact on me.  As we were preparing for the conference, we visited a shrine and a temple there in Japan.  We were told that the entrance to the shrine or temple is always through a gate such as the one shown here. 

The entrance through a shrine gate

The purpose of the shrine is that the people have a place to worship and they would go through various exercises in order that the “gods” would bless them.  The gods were somewhat mystical in how they would respond but there was a void in the culture and this was established to fill that void.  It reminded me of Acts 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

My thoughts then turned to Mt 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  If this worship is not of the only true God, then it is not a god at all but one of Satan’s haven of refuge that teaches his false doctrines and holds people in bondage.  Simply put it is the entrance to hell.  Jesus promised that the church would storm the gates of hell and they would not stand against the forces of God that He would bring against the forces of darkness This faith is the power and method of Christ working through the church.

We felt this power all through the conference that was attended by leadership of churches from 6 countries.  The conference was presented in three languages, English, Japanese and Chinese.  This may seem odd to some as the Chinese and Japanese have fought each other for a long time, yet about half of the attendees in this Japanese setting, came from China.  The theme of the conference was walking by faith and it extended over 4 days.  One of the features was the session in the evening where those attending the conference would share from their observations, what they had learned from the days events.  The worship sessions were a special blessing as the music was sang in three languages as well.  As we sang and worshiped together there was a unity of spirit that overshadowed all other separations so that we all focused on Christ alone and His presence was especially felt.  The afterglow that followed the day’s events was also a special blessing as it was spent in sharing and counseling as late as midnight and beyond.  This was a tremendous meeting and following it there have been additional results of three additional mission trips, and opened doors to additional possibilities.

This brings me to my burden for a training center in Japan.  I shared it with my pastor who not only endorsed it but also stated that this is where our mission efforts are projected.  He challenged me to write down my vision for such a conference and agreed to work with me in its concepts.  One of the pastors that attended the conference is now moving to Oklahoma to pastor a Chinese church there and we are meeting in December to also pray and plan for this Training Center.  Also, we will be meeting with Dr. Alan Bandy who is the NT professor at Oklahoma Baptist University who I spent a few days with over the Thanksgiving Day holidays.  I have also contacted some other Christian education schools who have also indicated their intentions to work with us on this project.

As my wife and I were returning home on the flight, I was following our progress on the monitor and considering the idea of a training center, I was jolted by what I saw on the monitor.  The route showed a satellite view of the ocean floor and just below the Aleutian Islands and on our route I saw 17:7, below the route and near the center of the picture.  The Aleutian Islands are above the route line and the islands are shown as the white portions.  You can see it also on Google Maps in the satellite view.

It has been there for thousands of years and was truly put there by God when He created the earth.  It was so plain but what did it mean?  I noted that this is the chapter and verse designation used in the Bible of separating the chapter and verse by a colon.  I began to look at each book that has 17 chapters or more and in the 17th chapter has a 7th verse.  There are 23 such verses in the Bible so which one was intended? 

Of the 23 verses in the Bible that have a 17:7 location, one stands out above all the rest because it is the only one that  references sacrifices offered unto devils and it is found in Leviticus 17:7 And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a statute forever unto them throughout their generations. 

So I sense that the message is simply this, Go in faith that God intends to deliver those in bondage to false gods so that they may come to know the only true God, Jesus who is the Christ and He will deliver them.  Satan does not have the power to withstand against the church that walks by faith in Christ alone.

Planning Ahead

Here it is the middle of January, 2020 and already the calendar is starting to fill up. 

The one project that I have every year is filing my taxes so this year I have already started.  I got out my receipts and began to organize them so that I can lay my hands on the necessary information much easier.  I was able to get many of them together and organized and am already feeling less stress.

Another project is to teach a 10 week course on Faith, using my book as the basic of the study.  We had our first meeting last night and I felt it went well.  We covered the first 1 ½ chapters and while that sounds like a lot, the first few chapters are rather short and since there are 11 chapters, we will have to hurry to be able to complete the book in 10 1 hour sessions.

Another project that I hope to complete this year is the translation of my book into Japanese and Spanish.  The Japanese translation is nearing completion while the Spanish translation is stalled and I’m not sure what the problem is.  I know that my translator’s mother is not in good health and takes a lot of time but I sense that there is more to it than that and I need to know how to pray for her that Satan’s schemes can be thwarted. 

My Japanese translator’s oldest daughter is going through a tremendous spiritual battle and really could use your prayers.  She must make a choice that will affect her for the rest of her life and she is being pulled greatly in both directions.  Please pray for her victory.

We are in the planning stage for this year’s mission projects.  As you may know, our church is involved in mission projects all over the world.  It is our task to get our marching orders from the Lord.  Sometimes it is hard to distinguish between request from others, our own perception and what the Lord is actually directing.  There are many needs and limitations but we are given the ministry of reconciliation so it is a labor of love. 

Today we went to see the doctor for my wife’s three month checkup since her knee replacement.  She was told that everything looks great and that she is progressing very well.  The doctor even commented that they would like for all their patients to do so well.  We have sensed that the Lord has really helped her through this experience.  She now walks like she did years ago and she is mostly pain free.  She will continue to improve for several months yet and could even become better than she was before she started having problems with it.

Bits and Pieces

Yesterday was a day of progress in several ways.  I began my day with sleeping in because I was up past midnight.  I took a leisurely shower got dressed and spent time with my wife as we usually do.  I then spent some time in my office catching up on different projects and miscellaneous paper work. 

My wife had a luncheon with one of the ladies at church so I fixed myself some lunch.  I had a meeting with my pastor at 2:30 in which we discussed the status of the latest developments of the Christian Training Center for Eastern Asia, that I am working on.  I shared with him about my meeting in Oklahoma City with a Chinese pastor and his chairman of deacons.  We considered the establishing of the Christian Training Center and a suggestion was made to consider Taiwan as a central location as it was fairly central and visas would be easier. What do you think?

We then discussed the organization plan and objective.  My pastor had given me an assignment to write out my vision of what that was and I went over it with him.  We then considered the target audience and I shared the need I see from my perspective.  This is where I need your help.  Would you write me and share with me your ideas and needs?  I know that I do not have a complete view of the real need but here is what I have so far.  The main target is the new pastor or church leader with little or no training in his role in the church.  The objective is to assist and enable him in his development so that he can equip his people in Christian living.  He will be charged with self-study within the bounds of the curriculum.  Our task is to provide an environment of support and guidance as well as the resources for him to accomplish that task.  To this end we noted that we need the curriculum of specific courses of study and identified the first as being that of walking by faith.  This is a project that I will begin immediately.

To achieve this end, I need your prayers, ideas and input to provide the best program to meet your needs.  I need individuals who the Lord has placed in this time and space to step forward with wisdom, resources, prayers and a heart to be God’s hands and feet for such a time as this.  I need to be sensitive to what the Lord is doing and keep in step with Him. 

After my meeting with my pastor, I met with our pastor of Discipleship and shared with him our present status of this project.  He then shared with me that we have within our church, two additional resources.  One is a project that our church is already working with and that is a similar project in Africa.  He will be getting me in contact with the leaders of that project to see what we can glean from what they have already done and enable us to avoid wasted motion.  The second is an individual who has worked with Eastern Asia radio and how we might utilize that resource in our efforts.  I continue to see God’s fingerprints on every step of this effort and am continually being amazed at what He is doing.

I think that it is important to remember that this is not my project, nor is it our project but that this is God’s project.  He began it and has led it along the way.  We are finding the different resources that He has provided ahead and we proceed based on His power and provision.  In the final analysis, our own development and transformation is His first objective while in the process we become tools in His hands to build His kingdom.

Moses’ Sin

In our Sunday School class yesterday there was some discussion on the severity and purpose of God’s judgment of Moses’ in Moses allowing his anger to change God’s directive to get water for the children of Israel. Here is some information to help clear up the importance of that action.

When the Hebrews ran out of water, Moses was directed to smite (strike) the rock the first time which he did.  Exodus 17:1-7   (Notice verse 6 “I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb”) This was a picture of the once smitten Christ – the price paid for our sin.

40 years later, Moses was directed a second time to get water from a rock but this time to only speak to it. (Numbers 20:8-13)  In his anger and desperation he struck the rock twice which incurred the Lord’s anger and he was forbidden to enter the Promised Land. 

1Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 

Hebrews 10:10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  (RSV)

The provision of water from the rock was to be a picture of the crucified Christ who’s death would be sufficient to redeem man from his fallen state.  Moses’ sin wasn’t just that he failed in a moment of weakness for that is common to all men, but his sin was that he spoiled the picture of God’s salvation.  Had God not disciplined Moses, all who followed thereafter could conclude that every time a person sinned, we would have to start over and get saved again.  That would mean that His death was not sufficient and that there was no security in God’s promise to save us.  It would be an insult to God’s Holy name.  Sadly, that is exactly what some teach today. 

The truth is that the death of Jesus on the cross is totally sufficient to satisfy the righteousness of God.  The just dying for the unjust, so that if we are found in Him we are forgiven. He only needed to suffer the death of the cross once and after that, when we sin, we only need to come and confess our sin to be fully forgiven.  1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.