Chris and Hope Woods are extremely valued and loved at our Ekklesia, The Rock of Panama City. This is a video of Chris and Hope sharing their testimony of salvation and experience with Apostle F. Nolan Ball and The Rock Ministry. Yahweh is faithful and he does all things well! See more testimonies on Apostle F. Nolan Ball’s new testimonial website, http://www.nolanball.org.
In pursuing Yahshua the Christ of Yahweh, my heart has been to know Him and to find in Him my purpose. With me, it has never been about heaven–what it will be, nor how to get there. My thinking has been, if I can know His purpose for me and accomplish it, everything else will be alright. I have found great comfort and an enduring rest in Yahshua’s word found in John 7:17: “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know….”
For me, doing the stuff, such as fervently praying, fasting, or whatever, has not resulted in my knowing the way of the Lord. But, as I have rested at the close of my “day,” i.e. a span of time during which I had very clear and concise knowledge of what I was to do and/or say, I have entered into a sabbath–a time of rest and refreshing. I have found that accomplishing Yahweh’s purpose does not require me to be busy working, working, working, day and night. Our failure–or perhaps I should say, my repeated failures–to observe and enjoy Yahweh’s rests, has without a doubt provided my adversary opportunity to find an opening in my defense. But, Yahweh is gracious and long-suffering with His children and I am certain that my “times of repentance” have provided Yahweh access into my life for the purpose of putting me back on track that I may continue pursuing Him and His purposes for me.
In bringing a close to this small book, I will write a very simple, yet profound explanation of how Holy Spirit will spiritually–not physically–join together all the members of this one thing called the Body of Christ, the Ekklesia.
In writing of the resurrection of our bodies, the Apostle Paul stated that the order is, “…first the natural and afterward the spiritual.” I Corinthians 15:46. For myself, concerning the receiving of revelation, the order most often is first the spiritual, then the natural. For instance, concerning the various governments of man, the first government was Yahweh’s, i.e., the family. That was and is Holy Spirit’s order; it is what He empowers, it is the one form from which He can work from the inside-out. The natural man’s government is always designed to appeal to man’s lower nature–not his highest and finest.
If Yahweh were an ice cream maker, there would be only one flavor. On the other hand, man seeks to cater to the flesh, à la Baskin-Robbins® 31 flavors.
It has long been quoted: “You cannot learn anything new if you are doing all the talking.” But, years ago, there was a day when I spoke in disagreement with that axiom: “You can learn many new things if you will talk in the Spirit.” Many times, I have been talking to another person (or to myself if no one is present) and in the moment I realize that I have just learned something I never knew. Did not Apostle Paul say that he who speaks in the Holy Spirit, speaks mysteries? Yes, he did. It has occurred many times to me.
Years ago, I began saying, “Theoretically it would be possible to build a dome that would cover an entire hemisphere of the earth without any supporting columns, if you had a strong foundation that encircled the equator. Later I began hearing about and reading about a concept introduced by Buckminster Fuller, about 1948, called the geodesic dome. As soon as I saw one, I realized that this was a physical expression of the spiritual law that would enable all Believers to be related to all the members of the world-wide Ekklesia, apart from any doctrinal or denominational ties. This was exciting and encouraging to me, because in my preparation to exit the Assemblies of God churches, Holy Spirit had explicitly instructed me to not join any man-controlled religious system, no matter how attractive it would be. Also, I was instructed to never organize something others could join. Additionally, I was told to never establish a litmus test of doctrines by which I would relate to others.
Once I understood the geodesic dome and transferred that concept from the physical to the spiritual, I immediately understood how Believers throughout the earth can be spiritually one with all other Believers.
Later, I came to “see” that the dome conforms to the principle found in all of Yahweh’s plans for man: the beginning and the ending are always the same.
Some polygons used to constitute a dome are triangular, such as the dome at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort in central Florida. Some domes such as you see in some soccer balls are a combination of two different polygons, e.g., triangles and hexagons (six sides).
My understanding of the geodesic dome as it pertains to the unity of all Believers is that each polygon, no matter its shape, represents one family of Believers. I believe that a group of five-fold ministers whose association with one another revolves around an apostle or around an apostle and a prophet who are joined together by Holy Spirit for a common purpose, constitutes a family–the family being Yahweh’s basic unit for all human activities and interaction with other families.
Yahweh’s order has been, is, and shall be generational in nature: fathers produce sons and daughters, constituting a family. Through extension by marriage, many families make a tribe. Many tribes make a Holy Nation.
As I presently understand this matter, I, as a founding father, along with those “sons” now joined to me by the Spirit and not by obligation, constitute a clan. In the process of walking this out, I meet and am joined to the fathers of other clans, thus we together become a Holy Nation. In time, the processing of Holy Spirit will join these spiritual nations together so that the promise of the knowledge of Yahweh’s glory filling the earth, shall be fulfilled!
Religion cannot prevent this promise from being fulfilled, though it may hinder. If men become impatient and seek to legislate this fusion of the many into one, that will hinder. If men, called, gifted and anointed to step into their roles as apostles, refuse to do so, that will hinder, but it cannot prevent what is to be. If we become impatient and attempt to bring these various units into a communion other than that which is fostered by Holy Spirit, that will hinder, but not prevent.
Ultimately, Holy Spirit will have His way; that which He has given to Yahweh’s holy apostles and prophets to speak, shall come to reality. Men will no longer be peering through a glass darkly nor will their ears not hear what Holy Spirit is speaking; we shall all be without excuse.
We may choose to be in line with this great move of Holy Spirit or not, but either with us or without us, the Kingdom of Christ will appear in the earth and His will shall be done.
Nolan Ball, Apostle
As a very young boy, I began to be conscious of God, though at that time I had little, if any, understanding of what that meant. But, even at that age I knew (though I would never have revealed it to anyone) that in some way I would serve God. Shortly after my seventeenth birthday, I knew that I would be a preacher, whatever that meant.
Along the way, I encountered a few people who were manifesting something, or rather someone (Holy Spirit) by speaking in “tongues.” That experience left me with a deep impression that this thing of “knowing God” was much beyond anything I had experienced. Though that experience was frightening to me, I knew that it was genuine and in my mind I knew that I would never settle for anything else.
It would be more than seven years between that experience and my coming to Christ. During those seven years, I packed in a lot of maturing: four years in the U.S. Air Force; meeting, courting and marrying Shirley–the love of my life; becoming employed in a newly developing realm of finance–consumer finance. All of that will cause a young man to mature quickly.
After our marriage in August 1951, Shirley and I lived in southeast Washington D.C., near my station at U.S.A.F. Headquarters, Bolling Air Force Base. Upon getting my discharge and taking employment in Alexandria, Virginia, we moved there. While there, we visited two or three Methodist churches. In 1953, we moved to Mobile, Alabama, near my family, a move we quickly aborted and returned to Arlington, Virginia, in late summer of 1953.
In late September of 1953, we attended Full Gospel Tabernacle (First Assembly of God) in Alexandria. It was there that Shirley and I committed ourselves to Christ on October 10, 1953. The people of Full Gospel Tabernacle were very friendly and gracious, enveloping us into the life that was so evident in them. We were instructed to seek for Holy Spirit, which we did. Shortly afterward, we were baptized into Holy Spirit, evidenced by speaking in tongues, though only a little.
Our experience seemed to satisfy them and seemed to qualified us for being one of them. So we moved comfortably into the life of the congregation. But, while it seemed that the people were satisfied with our progress, Holy Spirit did not agree and there began to develop within me a desire for more–although what, I did not know. Had I been asked, “Have you been baptized with Holy Spirit?” I would have responded, “Yes.” But that was based more on what the people had told us than what we knew within ourselves. That changed on a fateful Sunday night in November 1953 when I stepped into a dimension of Holy Spirit that can never be defined by words, even by those who have experienced this “Baptism of Fire.”
I wish that I could say that after that experience my life has been one of only ascending higher and higher into Yahweh’s glory, but something that can best be defined as “religion” got in my way. Rather than trusting and allowing Holy Spirit to begin to change me from within, with all sincerity on my part as well as on the part of those endeavoring to instruct me more perfectly in the ways of Holy Spirit, I started down a long, never-ending, twisting path from which few ever escape. I call it “religion.”
The call to ministry which I had received at seventeen began stirring within me and I began inquiring about what steps I should take. It seemed that the best thing for me to do was to enroll in a Bible college, but not just any Bible college; it had to be Assembly of God since I was going to be a minister in that denomination.
I was told of two colleges, one in Pennsylvania and one in Lakeland, Florida. Having no desire to live north of Virginia and having grown up not far from Lakeland, I chose Lakeland. So, in August 1954, Shirley and I, along with Donna Kay, our first child (born February 2, 1954) moved from Arlington, Virginia, to Lakeland, Florida, a trip perhaps more like the one depicted in the movie, “Grapes of Wrath,” than the move Jed Clampett and his kin made to Beverly Hills.
We moved into government housing along with other “pore” folks, paying $13.00 a month rent. I enrolled in Southeastern Bible College and got a night job at Orange State Processing Company. From that time until arriving in Panama City in 1969, I never had less than two full-time jobs. A glutton for work, in January 1957, I began pastoring Northside Assembly in Lakeland. So for two and a half years, I had three full-time jobs. From August 1959 until June 1969, I continued to hold more than one job, along with growing our family to six of us.
While going through some of the most challenging times of our lives, it was in 1968 in Tallahassee that the most important event, other than my salvation, took place. It was then and there that my Heavenly Father began to instruct me in the possibility and necessity of praying almost exclusively in tongues. There probably were other individuals who were of that “school,” but I did not know of even one. From that time to this, my life can best be described as “from glory to glory, from faith to faith, from revelation to revelation.” The day that I began to know Holy Spirit as the Revelator of truth was and remains second in importance to no other day in my life.
Without the revelation of praying in the Spirit, there is no way I could have survived either the spiritual or the physical attacks leveled against me in the last forty-four years. To Yahweh, I ascribe all honor and glory. Truly He is doing great things in me, that I might do great things in the earth.
The years of 2009 and 2010 were certainly trying, as so much of that time my physical life was being held in the balance. But, today I am well and more excited about where I am and where I am being led than at any other time.
The year leading up to the celebration of the fortieth anniversary of our coming to what at that time (June 1969) was known as Dirego Park Assembly of God, was a year of dichotomies for me: some things were working strongly for us and at the same time, other things were working against us. In the spirit, things were looking great, while in the natural, darkness was working hard to overcome the light. While much of the time I was being beset with life-threatening issues, I was never more alive in my spirit than I was at that time. At some point during that time period, Holy Spirit began to show me some critical mistakes made by the very apostles whom Yahshua appointed and “deputized” to not only continue the ministry He had begun, but to use it as a launching station to go beyond.
“The works that I have done, you shall do and greater works than these shall you do.”
We are very blessed here at The Rock of Panama City to celebrate 46 incredible years of ministry. Holy Spirit has guided us through every step of the way and we are so thankful. This is only the beginning…
The term “The Kingdom of God,” is being used more and more among church people, for which I would be rejoicing, except for the fact that I believe most people are doing so because it is the vogue thing to do in this day and time. While they say “kingdom,” they are visualizing “heaven.” They use terms that would indicate they are thinking “here and now,” but are actually visualizing “there and then,” as in “won’t it be wonderful there.”
Let me draw some lessons from the just-ended space shuttle program. NASA’s vision was never to change the government nor the climate of the atmospheric “heaven” it was invading. From the moment the astronauts were strapped in their shuttle, they were committed to invading a hostile environment, but their mission was never for the purpose of changing that environment. Their purpose was to learn from that environment and prove that man can live in and even prosper in a deadly and hostile environment, but only if he is encapsulated in an “earth suit” and connected to the vitals, such as oxygen, water and food, which can only be provided by earth. Also, the pressure around his body must be maintained at the same pressure as what he experiences when living on the earth, in his earth suit. We are, after all, “…of the earth, earthy.”
The vision of NASA was never that of subduing space and imposing earth’s government upon it. The goal was how to invade what to man is a deadly environment, learn from it, and return safely to earth, which is his natural environment and from which he needs no special protection.
Now, let’s look at and consider carefully our assignment as it was given by Yahshua.
There was nothing about Yahshua’s preaching that was ambiguous, from the very beginning it was clear; He came preaching the gospel of the Kingdom and made very clear that His Kingdom is not of this world when He said, “…pray, ‘Thy Kingdom (Yahweh’s Kingdom) come, Thy will be done as it is in heaven (spirit realm),’” so let it be done in the earth.
The purpose of the Kingdom is not to displace the kingdoms of this world, i.e., the Babylonian system, but to (by Holy Spirit) establish Yahweh’s Kingdom for the purpose of giving people an option. Men talk of the church as though it is the Kingdom of God. Not so. The word “church” in no way captures and expresses the picture Yahshua had in His mind, when He said, “I will build….”
None of the teachings and discourses of Yahshua that are recorded in Scripture, make any practical sense, if they are not set in the context of “Kingdom” thought. For instance, why would we need to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves,” if we were not establishing another government, an alien government, complete with its own officers, its own culture, etc., in the same area and among the same people?
We have a lot of hard work ahead of us. First, we must dismantle the old system and totally remove it. Nothing of the old will fit into the new; it has no redeeming qualities. For this to take place under the all-seeing eye of the present Babylonian systems, it must first be done in, of, and by the power of Holy Spirit. The physical must never precede the spiritual. The tendency of those who follow the pioneers is to focus on the physical expression of the anointing, rather than discerning the Spirit of Christ or the anointing from which the physical originated.
Through we try, we cannot measure the anointing; it cannot be weighed, measured or assayed by any means known to man. But, the result of the applied anointing can be measured, so that is what we do. How many, how much, how long, how traumatic, etc., those are how the results of the applied power of the anointing are reported to following generations. So, because the focus of the natural man is almost always on that which can be measured and recorded, then the following generation of leadership endeavors to reproduce the same or larger measurements, little attention is given to the spiritual–the anointing–by succeeding leadership, little place is given to the anointing by which the beginning began. And so, the cycle begins again: prophet, priest, scribe, educator.
I cannot recall one church growth conference that focused on the anointing; they are all about the results.
I remind us all, Yahshua never left us a plan, nor a program. He sent us the Person of Holy Spirit, with the promise that when we receive Him and submit ourselves to Him, we shall be endued with power. Miracles, healings, signs and wonders, are all expressions of power. But, so are: discernment, a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge, a word of prophecy, the casting out of demons, and on and on. Let us follow hard after the “Sent One,” rather than the “Sender.”
F. Nolan Ball is an apostle to the Body of Christ. In July 1969, he and Shirley, his wife, came to the church now known as The Rock of Panama City. Up to this present time, the church continues to grow and extend its ministry–locally and internationally. The ministry is overseen by Apostle Ball, working with a Presbytery of Elders representing the five-fold ministry. In addition to these responsibilities, Apostle Ball relates to and oversees the establishing of other men and churches. He is the author of three books: ”God’s Plan for Financing the Ministry” (available in English, Russian, and Spanish), “Quotes from a Modern Day Apostle,” and “The Kingdom: What Will it Look Like and How Will it Come to Be?” – all available in The Rock Online Bookstore (Media & Resources).
Nolan Ball was born in 1929 in Green County, Mississippi. His father was a sawmill worker. He has one sister, Johnnie Ruth. He attended schools in Avery,Mississippi; Gulf Hammock, Florida; Bronson, Florida, and Bay Minette, Alabama. In 1951, he met and married Shirley Navello of London, England. They have three daughters and one son, five living grandchildren, and three great-granddaughters. Nolan served in the U.S. Air Force 1947-51, with the rank of Sergeant. Following his Air Force service, Nolan worked for a financial institution until he entered college in 1954, following his and Shirley’s conversion to Christ in 1953.
He graduated from Southeastern College in Lakeland, Florida in 1957, with honors, and from Florida Southern College in 1958, with honors. He is a member of Delta Epsilon Chi.
During the years of 1957-1986, Nolan and Shirley pastored churches of the Assemblies of God in Lakeland, Florida; Angel City, Florida; Talladega, Alabama; Tallahassee, Florida, and Panama City, Florida. He served both as a District Presbyter in the Alabama and West Florida Districts of the Assemblies of God, and as a General Council Presbyter from the West Florida District.
He has worked with national leaders in Peru, South America; Jamaica, West Indies; Kenya, East Africa, and Zaire, West Africa to establish churches.
Apostle Ball has served as the senior minister of The Rock of Panama City, formerly Dirego Park Assembly of God, since 1969. In 1986, in order to more fully pursue the purposes of Yahweh, Apostle Ball and The Rock of Panama City withdrew from the Assemblies of God with a good record and a good attitude. The primary reason for withdrawal from the denomination was to be able to raise up, send out, establish and release others whom God had called into the ministry.
Apostle Ball is a spiritual father to numerous men who have come to him and submitted themselves to him for the purpose of becoming spiritual sons. In time each man is raised up and sent out to other cities where, with apostolic oversight and financial support, that man establishes and builds his own “house.” As of September 2013, the number of “sons” sent out is twenty-four.