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The following letter-form was brought about as a means of teaching my children the Word of God through the mail. And of course, quite naturally so, that’s the reason I begin these letters with "Dear Children" and end them with "Love Dad". So for the rest of you who participate in these weekly messages, please keep their original intended purpose in mind.


Print/PDF15 January, 2006


Dear Children,


It is with great sadness that I write this sermonet entitled “Stiff-Necked And Hard-Hearted Christians – Beware!!!” And of course the reason for my despair is that far too many of those who I’m called to disciple fit into this very same category. In other words, if I were to call out the names of those who I personally minister to, that claim the name of Christ but yet refuse to “hear God and obey God” in all their ways, the list would be very, very long indeed!


However, as you will see in this message of today, the consequences of such “fool-hearted behavior” can be more severe than most “stiff-necked and hard-hearted Christian” have ever imagined. In other words, the consequences of being “rebellious to God” can be much, much worse than most would care to endure. In fact the single most important question that I ask those who “claim Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour but yet continue in their sin” is “what size hammer do you really want God to use?” In other words “what’s it gonna take to knock you to your knees in total submission to the Lord?


Well in today’s “WARNING to the fool-hearted”, God Almighty has instructed me to use two real-life examples…and their names are “Elijah Gardea” and “Abelordo Jaloma”. The first one I hope to see again in the very near future (this life time), and the second I hope to see again in Heaven. And along with those two examples of “stiff-necked and hard-hearted Christians”, we have the following two “hammer” Scriptures to “drive” my point on home:


Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1 Peter 5:6-8 KJV)


It is reported commonly that there is fornication among youconcerning him that hath so done this deed…deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 5:1-5 KJV)


So were you able to put those two Scriptures together and come up with God’s “WARNING to the fool-hearted”? Well the way it works is that in the first Scripture we have Brother Peter’s warning to the Christian to “hear God and obey God in all things”…because Satan is a “roaring lion” ready to “drink down” (devour) all those who don’t! Then in the second Scripture we have Brother Paul turning this same “roaring lion” loose on one of those “sinning saints” who has refused to “hear God and obey God in all his ways”…and he did it as a means of driving him into a walk of “total submission to the Lord”.


But just how bad, you might ask, can this “roaring lion” actually be? Well Smith’s Bible Dictionary has the following one-liner to say about these horrific “flesh-eating” beasts:


The most powerful, daring and impressive of all carnivorous animals, the most magnificent in aspect and awful in voice.


And then we have the following from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:


“A quadruped of the genus Felis, very strong, fierce and rapacious [ravenous, insatiable]. The largest lions are eight or nine feet in length. The male has a thick head, beset with long bushy hair of a yellowish color. The lion is a native of Africa and the warm climates of Asia. His aspect is noble, his gait stately, and his roar tremendous.”


So do you get the picture? I mean do you really understand what this “roaring lion” thing is all about? Well I don’t think so!!! And here’s the Scriptures to prove it:


Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them: I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them. O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.” (Hosea 13:7-9 KJV)


And breaking that down into bite-size chunks we have the following:


‘And will rend the caul of their heart’ - Every savage beast goes first to the seat of the blood when it has seized its prey; as in this fluid they delight more than in the most delicate parts of the flesh.
‘There will I devour them like a lion’ - The old strong lion; drinking the blood, tearing the flesh, and breaking the bones to extract the marrow. (Adam Clarke’s Commentary On The Bible)


And adding just two more Scriptures for clarification:


“I reckoned till morning, that, as a lion, so will he break all my bones: from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me.” (Isaiah 38:13 KJV)


“And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.” (Daniel 6:24 KJV)


So now do you get the picture? Well when it comes down to this “roaring lion that devours (drinks down) it’s victim”, it’s truly the “life” of the victim that it drinks…as in the marrow that produces the blood, and the blood itself!


So now do you get the picture of “Satan seeking whom he may devour”? Well let me help you see it just a little bit clearer. Because you see our first example of a Christian who did not “humble himself under the mighty hand of God” is Elijah Gardea.


“Elijah!” What a name!! What a calling!!! And just where is this great prophet of God right now? Would you believe back in the streets, pushing a needle into his veins! So is Elijah Gardea being “sober and vigilant” in his walk with the Lord? I don’t think so!!!


Now before we proceed any further, let’s do a little backtracking. Because it was on 1/25/04 – almost two years ago to the day – that we published the sermonet “The Demons Of Cristo Rey And El Paso, Texas!” And it was in that particular message on “demonic possession” that we gave “Elijah” his formal introduction. In fact here’s a sample of what we had to say:



So are you ready for this one? Well believe it or not but the real-life character of this real-life story is a man by the name of Elijah who had a lovely wife (Maria) and three adorable children. The first day I met Elijah was the day he came into the Rescue Mission after the bottom had dropped out of his life. He no longer had a place to call home, and his wife was on the run (AWOL: left home without permission). And seeing how the "powers to be" had temporarily put "Elijah and kids" in the chapel until more room was available, I had the awesome opportunity of getting to know Elijah first hand.


Now, as it turned out, Maria came back to Elijah and the six (6) of us became real good friends. In fact our "friendship" was actually a whole lot more because I had been called by God to disciple Elijah as a Brother in Christ.


Well as time went on I was privileged to hear the story of these two childhood sweethearts - Elijah and Maria - who I so appropriately nicknamed "Bonnie and Clyde". And the very good reason that I did it was because of the fact that Maria and Elijah had lived a life full of drugs, alcohol, and mischievous fact so much so that they were always just inches short of losing their lives! In other words, whatever evil they did in life they did it to the max; defying death by knowing when to stop.



Now to give you a just a few more of the details on “Elijah and family”, our initial meeting took place in the later part of 2002. I was “homeless for Jesus” when they walked into my life, living in a homeless shelter and working as the assistant chaplain. My “bond” to “Elijah, Maria, and the kids” was instantaneous and rock solid. I truly loved this family like none other. Without a doubt, it was a God thing!


There is no way possible for me to explain what I saw in this family, but in simple words it was beautiful: a father, a mother, and three very special children. In fact seeing how this family didn’t own a car, they would do a whole lot of walking. How well I remember seeing Elijah and Maria pushing Cathleen in her stroller with the two boys in toe. What a sight to behold – the perfect family. Who would ever think that Elijah and Maria had such a demonic past.


Well things started to turn around for the Gardea family that day when Elijah and Maria walked into the Rescue Mission and gave their life to the Lord. God started speaking to them in a supernatural way. They became empowered from on high to overcome the spirits of darkness that had worked so hard to destroy their life through drugs, alcohol, and mischievous deeds.


So the Lord started blessing them. Both Elijah and Maria found part-time jobs, and then an apartment only a short distance away. We continued to fellowship and pray together through regular meetings, and then the Lord instructed us to go out and minister. Elijah and I went on a few assignments, and it was truly awesome to see God developed him as a prophet.


But then came the day when the Lord directed the two of us to minister in a particular bad section of town (his old stomping grounds)…but Elijah didn’t have the time to go. He was too busy with his family to do the work that God had called him to do. And that was right about the time that the Lord gave me a strong warning for Elijah: “If you don’t voluntarily deny yourself the things that are keeping you from doing God’s Work, you will lose the things that are keeping you from doing God’s Work!”


What a Word! I could feel the power of it every time I reminded Elijah of the work that needed to be done for Jesus. But the days turned into weeks and Elijah never found the time. And then came the day when that “roaring lion” appeared in the Gardea family. Because you see one day, on their return from Mexico, the U.S. Immigration pulled a check on Elijah…and what they found was a warrant for his arrest.


Now unbeknown to me at the time, it was only a few days later that I went by to pay them a visit. However, what I found was not what I expected. You see when Maria answered the door she immediately burst into tears and buried her face in my chest. Through heart-breaking sobs she told me the story…of how Elijah was arrested and the Social Service took custody of their children. What a mess! And on top of all that, her apartment rent was due but she didn’t have the money to pay it. What was she going to do?


Well after seeking the Lord in prayer, I was directed to make a call and arranged for a place for Maria to stay. This I did, and Maria agreed to the arrangement. I was to pick her up and drive her over to her new home later on that day, but when the time came Maria was no where to be found.


That was three long years ago. Since that time I have searched high and low for Elijah, Maria, and their three children. I have given out my phone number to anyone and everyone that might “bump” into them, along the way. However, no one seemed to know of their whereabouts. But then on the 8th of January 2006 I finally received a call from Elijah…and this is the message he left:


“Bruce, this is Elijah. I’m staying at the Rescue Mission. The number is 532-2575. I miss you Brother and God bless you. Bye.”


Well, it was the next day before I finally got Elijah on the phone, but what a blessing it was! We only had about fifteen minutes to talk, but during that short time I was able to get the skinny. His three children are living with his aunt, he divorced Maria because she went back on the needle, and he is now married to another woman. He went on to say that he served his time for the warrant and was released from prison about a year ago. During his lock-up he prayed for me daily, spiritually discerning that I was going through some very hard times. And amazingly enough, he had even managed to keep a small picture of me as a daily reminder of the Brother he was praying for. He confessed to me that he was back on the needle, and I reminded him of his failure to obey God in all of his ways. I then asked him if he was ready to get back on track with Jesus, but his heart-breaking reply was “I’m not ready yet”.


So as instructed by the Lord, I then asked him if we could meet “downtown El Paso” at the park. I told him that the Lord had given me 1:00 p.m. as the meeting time, but he needed to pick the day. He agreed to meet the following day (Tuesday), and that was the last I heard from Elijah.


Because you see it was the next day that Brother Alan and I arrived at the park a few minutes past 1:00, but there was no Elijah to be found. In fact, as the Lord directed, we waited for an hour and a half before leaving…but there was no Elijah to be found.


What a shame! I didn’t even have the opportunity to give Elijah the “Word from God” that applies to his life. Because you see what the Lord had instructed me to do was give him a copy of our most recent sermonet “Evil Lording Husbands!”, and also share with him the newspaper clipping entitled “Fingerprints link 2 men to slaying”.


Now as the “Evil Lording Husbands!” applies to Elijah, it was his disobedience to God Almighty that caused the problems in his family. In fact he had no right to divorce Maria for “going back on the needle”, because it was his disobedience to the Father that caused them to lose their children, that caused her to get the blame, and that likewise caused them to separate. The finger points at Elijah…and the buck stops there!


That was “Part I” of God’s message to Elijah! Then “Part II” consisted of the newspaper clipping that told the very gruesome story of yet another “stiff-necked and hard-hearted Christian” like Elijah…and what it took to bring him to his knees before the Lord.


Because the man who was murdered was just another Brother in the Lord that Elijah and I both knew. His given name was Abelardo but we called him Aaron. I first met Aaron at the Christian Home shortly after becoming homeless for Jesus. Aaron was a very kind-hearted man who God had called to minister to the youth. Aaron was called, but Aaron did not answer the call because of his demons. You see Aaron, like so many others, was not able to overcome the dark spirits in his life because he wasn’t willing to “hear God and obey God” in all things. Aaron had a drinking problem, and Aaron had a drug problem, but the biggest problem Aaron had is what kept Aaron from walking in obedience to the Lord.


You see during the months that I knew him, the Lord gave me many words of encouragement for Brother Aaron. I reminded him of the special gifts that the Lord had entrusted him with, and I also reminded him of the things that God was instructing him to do that he wasn’t willing to do. And then came that fateful day when Elijah, myself, and a few other Brothers from the Rescue Mission went over to the Christian Home to pray.


As instructed by the Lord, it was upon our arrival that I invited Brother Aaron to be a part of our prayer meeting. I asked, he accepted, and what happened next was awesome. Because you see one of the Brothers in our group was a young boy who had recently accepted Jesus. And it was during this particular prayer meeting that the Lord chose to “anoint him for service”. The Holy Spirit moved in a great and mighty way that day, and it moved on Brother Aaron to prophesy over the young boy’s ministry. That was truly the moment that I saw how God wanted to use Aaron to minister to the youth.


But then, as our meeting was drawing to a close, I was able to experience the true source of evil that was keeping Aaron from fully serving God. Because it was right about the time we embraced each other with a “brotherly hug” that I felt a spirit emanating from Aaron that wasn’t very brotherly. What I experienced that day gave me a sick feeling that I will never forget. Aaron was a homosexual! (See “Homosexuals In The Church: Fact Or Fiction? (12/14/97) ”.)


The last time I saw Aaron was toward the end of 2002. But yet there was another Brother (George) who had the awesome privilege of seeing Aaron just hours before his death. You see Brother George was in a store that day when Aaron walked in with two other men. George said that Aaron looked as though he had been on a binge. His eyes were red and swollen, and his basic appearance was very unkempt. And the following newspaper article tells us the story of what happened next:




Fingerprints link 2 men to slaying
By Daniel Borunda
El Paso Times

   The fingerprints of two robbery suspects linked them to the slaying of a 50-year-old man found Sunday in a Lower Valley ditch, court documents stated.
   Noe Moreno, 25, and Francisco Mora Sanchez, 37, were charged with capital murder for allegedly beating to death and robbing Abelardo Jaloma, whose body was found at 6:48 a.m. Sunday by Border Patrol agents checking a canal system in the 6900 block of Delta Drive.
   Jaloma, of the 7600 block of Franklin Loop, was found lying face down in a pool of blood with his feet bound and hands tied behind his back, according to a complaint: affidavit acquired Wednesday by the El Paso Times through the Texas Public Information Act. Jaloma’s pants pockets were turned inside out.
   Fingerprints at the scene allegedly matched those of Morreno and Sanchez, both of Juarez, who were jailed after being arrested Saturday night for a separate robbery in the area, police said.
   The affidavit doesn’t tell the amount of money taken from Jaloma.
   Footprints and blood evidence were also found at the crime scene, the affidavit said.
   Moreno and Sanchez “subsequently provided written confession statements as to how they tied, assaulted and beat (Jaloma) to death,” according to the affidavit. Capital murder is punishable by death or life in prison. Both men are being held without bond.
   Jaloma was El Paso’s ninth homicide of the year. It was the second of three separate killings since Friday.
   (Daniel Borunda may be reached at



And of course in order to get the full impact of this message, we need to include Aaron’s official obituary from the same newspaper:


DeadAbelardo (Arby) Jaloma, born September 26, 1948, died August 3, 2003. Abelardo was preceded in death by his parents, Carmen and Roberto Jaloma. He is survived by his sisters Irmo Y. Keith and her husband Jerry Alan Keith and Isela G. Jaloma. His nephew and nieces Edward Marrufo, his wife Veronica and daughter Marlo Danniel and Melissa Roberta Anguilar and daughter Cassandra Carmel. Visitation will be from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Friday, August 8, 2003 at Sunset Funeral Home – East, Chapel of Peace. He was loved and will be remembered by his family and friends, may God rest his soul in peace. Services entrusted to Sunset Funeral Home – East.


So, you tell me: do you think Aaron made it into Heaven? Well that was the question that plagued me from the time I heard of his death until July of 2005 when I received a copy of that El Paso Times newspaper article. Because it wasn’t until I read all the gory details of that article that the Lord finally gave me the answer to my long sought-after question.


The fact of the matter is that Aaron did make it into Heaven, but with very little time to spare. You see it was not until Aaron had been beaten to a pulp (literally), and laid dying in a pool of his own life’s blood, that he finally repented of his “life of sin” and got things right with Jesus. In other words God in His mercy allowed these two men to do what they did to Aaron so that Aaron might be saved:


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


Now do you get the picture? Well when it comes down to this “roaring lion that devours”, my question to you is “do you really want to go there?”


Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1 Peter 5:6-8 KJV)


So, is this message for you? Are you a Stiff-Necked And Hard-Hearted Christians?? If so, what size hammer do you really want God to use??? In other words, what’s it gonna take to knock you to your knees in total submission to the Lord????


Let’s all get serious in our walk with the Lord. This is no time to be fooling around with the Devil. Seek God in all your ways, and then just do whatever he tells you to do, so that you too can “keep on keeping the faith in Jesus!!!




Dad (Bruce Hallman)



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