March 18, 2019
The annual campmeeting of the church of God, in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, has started in an amazing way! The Lord is freeing His saints in a way not yet seen; evidenced by much liberty in worship and praise. The saints rejoiced as we sang the songs, I’ve Found a Refuge in Spanish and I Am a Child of God in English. Before the beginning of the service, Apostle Ray Tinsman announced this to be a completely bilingual meeting, with both Spanish and English languages freely spoken.
Bro. Benjamin Tinsman exhorted us, as we prepared for corporate prayer, to thank God that we can still be stirred by the simple things of salvation. Sometimes we get hung up on the deep things of spirituality and we miss the basics of salvation. Thank God that He is freeing us from conservative religion that won’t allow people to really be themselves!
Following prayer, the singers sang a remix of the song, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, before Apostle Tinsman brought the message of the hour. In the words of Apostle Stephen Hargrave, the message was very foundational as the basis of this entire meeting.
If you are saved it is a miracle. If you don’t believe me, look at the lowest person out on the streets. Short of a miracle, he won’t believe you when you tell him about salvation. He won’t believe you when you tell him how good salvation is; and he’ll walk away from you and refuse to be saved.
Bro. Ray had everyone from the age of 13 to 26 stand up. He said that he wanted to preach a message directly to those in this age group. He declared that there are many voices in the world and that he was glad that he could be the one talking to the young people and walking into their minds to help them think correctly. The world, from the fashion industry to the media, is geared toward the young. They really don’t care about the old people. If there is one thing that they will hate the preacher for, it is that he will influence the young people, against their system.
Taking his text from Esther, Bro. Ray preached that Haman was a wicked man with some evil plans, but there was one thing that he forgot to take into consideration. Esther. She went to her the man who had raised her as his daughter and he began to help her to see that it was for much more than her own benefit that she was placed into the kingdom. For such a time as this. Everything that she went through was for the reason that she would be able to help someone else. In the same way, everything that we might consider a problem or a disadvantage is for our good to help someone else. Our background, our failures, our problems, our personality flaws can all be used to help someone else who is in the same position.
At the end of His message, Bro. Ray said that there has been a “line drawn in the sand” and and he invited the young people to step across it. Will you? We must be done with our troubles and petty things and foolishness that has held us back. We must see that we are fighting for far more than self. There is a cause for us to fight. Are you going to put your “John Hancock” down and sign a declaration of war big enough for everyone to see?
The service closed with the congregation having a good time of prayer together, praying for one another and for ourselves that the Lord will help us to fulfill our calling and His purpose for our lives. DM
March 19, 2019
The rejoicing during the singing only helped prepare the platform for the minister’s tonight. After a few songs had been sung, Bro. Benjamin Estrada stepped to the pulpit to exhort us do something for God. Those who serve the devil labor for him with abandon, and since we are God’s billboard, His advertisement to the world of the joys of salvation, why would we not put our all into the service of God?
A group of five young girls sang a very special song about the apostles and their calling by God. Bro. David Rabel and Bro. Maiki Tinoco then preached together a wonderfully anointed and powerful message titled, Stop Singing and Start Swinging.
During the Civil Rights Movement, there were effective marches. Children were filling the streets and jailhouses. But then politicians began organizing the marches, effectively shutting down the power of the revolution that at work in the people. A man saw this situation and told the people that they had been singing we shall overcome, we shall triumph, but getting nowhere. He introduced the philosophy, “stop singing and start swinging.”
In Second Samuel we read about David’s mighty men. These men had two things in common– they were in trouble, and they had an enemy. Through history, weakness has always birthed power. These men were not knit together by personality or background, but by their enemy. Although David fought and killed Goliath, he had not gone to the battle intending to enlist. But he heard the defying of his God, and though he had not enlisted or been drafted, something arose in him so he cried, “Is there not a cause?” Within him there was something that had been birthed at the killing of the lion and the bear. He had tasted of the blood of his enemies. When Saul tried to deck out David with his armor, David realized that it was not in armor that he had won the previous victories of the lion and the bear. Identity is not in the style of the fighting, but in the hatred of the enemy. How do you look to your enemy? How does your Goliath see you? Are you wanting other armor than your own? Do you have the anger that David had against his enemies? Face your giants! Your style of fighting the enemy may not be the same as another’s, but you can make your giants fall just the same.
There is no need to leave your culture when you meet the saints. Be who you really are! There are giants specific to cultures and backgrounds, families and makeups, and they cannot be fought with another man’s weapon. It’s time to take off Saul’s armor and be a David, a Samson. Pick up your jawbone, if that is your weapon, and go to war. All you must do to join the fight is hate the enemy. It is time to grab the nearest object and not try to transform it into another weapon, but use it as it is. Don’t try to identify in style, identify in hatred. As you start moving, others will recognize your move. Let’s band together and start swinging!
Apostle Tinsman closed service with an exhortation to remain in your own culture and not try to conform to the cultures of others. To complete the service which had given us so much liberty the saints whooped, cheered, danced, and shouted together as a great army of people ready to go to war, each with a weapon of his own. HM
March 20, 2019
Wednesday evening, we had an extra special service. At the opening of service, Apostle Tinsman asked that all the saints from Guadalajara come to the front so we could see them all together. There was much rejoicing as the saints came forward. Surely God is doing a great work in this end time. After they went back to their seats, Bro. Benjamin Sims called up the singers, and they sang about our need for a special touch from a real angel. After one song, Apostle Tinsman requested Bro Eder to sing a mariachi-style song about Jesus, Who is our Lawyer, and He’s never lost a case. After this song, Apostle Tinsman had another special request. He asked Apostle Benion to sing a revised version of “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”. It was beautiful. The saints were on their feet almost the entire time.
After the singers returned to their seats, one young brother, Bro Alejandro from Guadalajara stood to his feet. He began to testify how he is so excited to be saved, to be a saved Mexican, and he isn’t going to be ashamed of who he is, who God created him to be. He spoke of his determination and desire for God to use him to save his people. When he sat down, his mother stood to testify. She is so happy to be saved. She shared that it was her teenaged son, who encouraged her to make a radical change for the Lord. Another sister from Guadalajara, a widow with five sons, testified that she has searched for the truth for years. She tried her best to teach her children about God, but she couldn’t find what they really needed for their souls. Each one of them testified to feeling at home now in the church of God. Amen!
Sis Gabriela, from the mountains, got up and testified of how she had been rescued from the jaws of the enemy. She’s determined to help save her people. As she was testifying, Apostle Hargrave instructed Bro Thomas Tovstiga to close the service. In closing, Bro Thomas reminded us of the scripture “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” There was much rejoicing and shouts of praise as the saints were dismissed in the name of the Lord. LS
March 21, 2019
Tonight’s service was a very special service– the ordination of Bro. David Kauffman– the pastor of the congregation in Baja California. Apostle Ray Tinsman gave an exhortation about the need for the salvation of souls and how that is only accomplished through the “foolishness of preaching”. There are two kinds of wisdom; the wisdom of God and worldly/human wisdom. What the world calls wisdom is foolishness and what they call foolishness is wisdom. God has a desire to save the world, this plan, to the wisdom of man, is foolish- that plan is preaching. How can people be saved? Believe the preaching– what the world calls foolish.
Bro. Kauffman then had opportunity to give a testimony to the congregation. He expressed his deep love for souls and desire to be faithful in his calling and bring many souls into the kingdom.
The main message of the service was brought forth by Bro. David Kauffman along with Bro. Benjamin Tinsman. The title of the message was, It Behooved Him.
When man was created, he was given a part of God Himself. But by disobedience man lost his place with God. However, man was not left in that place of lost hope but was given a promise, that there would come a day when the serpent would be bruised. (Gen. 3:15)
A virgin shall conceive. To us a son is given. These are prophecies that were pointing toward a new covenant. A new covenant where the law of God was in the hearts of the people.
God knew He had to become a man in order to restore the human race. He had to subject Himself to be a man. This was no easy thing. To fix what man had destroyed, He had to send His Son not for one day but for 33 years.
I John 4:10– God loved us first. He had to come to show us what love was in order that we would know how to love Him. He, the Creator, became or took on the creature. What a Saviour! One Who had an immaculate reputation, made of Himself no reputation just for us. What a God! That He would take on this body that was cursed by the fall. He took on the emotional ups and downs of a human, subjected Himself to a dirty reputation, allowed Himself to be evil spoken of and cursed, that he might span the gap between God and man. He was born with them, ate with them, slept with them, worked with them, wept with them, and last of all, He died with them. He came from the highest all the way down to the lowest. If he had been born in a palace, only the rich would have had access to him, but because he was born in a manger, the lowest of all people had access to the Saviour of the World. He came to where we were that he might be accessible to us. We have an accessible Saviour. Jesus purposefully placed Himself in a location where He was accessible and where He would come into direct contact with the bleeding, suffering side of humanity.
Because of this wonderful accessible God that became man for us, that puts us as His followers in a very particular location. We as His witnesses have to be accessible to this world. We have to put ourselves down on the level where Christ put Himself. We are here for the lowest of sinners. We are here for the suffering, for those whom the world would look at as dirty. We are their only hope. We have to be willing to eat, drink, work, play, weep, grieve, and die with those poor souls of this broken world. We are never too good to help those of our human brothers that have been broken by sin and abused by the system of this world. ES
March 22, 2019
Because this meeting is coming to a close and the saints are growing tired, Apostle Tinsman decided that we would have an abbreviated service tonight, leaving time for a short and hot message. After one song, Bro. Uriel took prayer requests, quoting the scripture “Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith.” The scripture stands true, but thank the Lord we can have a lot and still have the fear of the Lord! We can have the world under our feet! Nearly all the saints were on their feet as the singers sang, “I Got Saved” and “Alaba a Dios”. The singing started a wave of rejoicing that carried over and the saints, many of whom have recently taken their stand, began testifying as quickly as they could work their way up the aisle. Brethren testified that they wanted their all to be used up for the gospel, that their hearts, their souls, their all is in this work. One sister joyously exclaimed, “I’m so happy I can’t even stop talking!” So many saints testified that the preacher could not work his way to the pulpit for a long time.
At last Bro. Jonny O’Shea got up, announcing right away that his message would be “short and sweet.” In 1 Corinthians 1, we read how not many wise, mighty, and noble are called, but how God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. These verses explain themselves easily by looking around at who is in this tent. Some people think they are good in themselves, but if we take a good look in the mirror, we come to see that it took the power and mercy of God to reach down and bring us to where we are today. First Corinthians 2, speaks of our faith not standing in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. We are tempted to have faith that stands in the wisdom of men and can understand everything, but we must have a faith that trusts in the unseen. We may think we are weak, but God has provided power. We must say, “Through God I am strong!” We are about to have an explosion of the power of God in human vessels.
It took a little girl to cure Naaman’s leprosy. God has called many of us to tell Naaman that there is a prophet in Israel. At first, when Naaman was told to dip in the river, he stood in the wisdom of men and only thought of how nasty the water was, but he received healing when he obeyed and stepped into the water–so must we!
We have been greatly encouraged by our time together with all the saints and anticipate a wonderful service tomorrow! HM