Friday, July 25

EXPOSING The Zombie Craze

In the movie World War Z, at the box office it took in $25.5M in just the first weekend alone. In World War Z the "Z" stands for, you guessed it, “ZOMBIES!” Listen to the PODCAST about this message.


2 Corinthians 2:11 says we should not be ignorant of satan’s devices, lest he should get an advantage over us. It is our desire to expose a major demonic device that is afflicting many in the American Church today: zombie cult activity.

  One does not have to look far to see that zombies have become a popular phenomenon in modern society. In the past ten or so years, there has been a significant increase in the number of prime-time television programs and major motion pictures that use zombies as their main theme.
I suggest you stop looking at this from Hollywood’s perspective, however, and ask God to reveal to you the truth of this matter, because the zombie craze is not being driven by Hollywood at all. Hollywood is merely being used, unknowingly, to reveal the escalating decline in the spiritual state of society today. They call it, “art imitating life”; I would say, it is “art imitating DEATH.” You see, zombies are walking in and out of American churches every Sunday.
You may be thinking, “Lighten up guys. Zombies are movie characters. Everybody knows the dead can’t walk around killing people.”
I direct your attention to Matthew 8:22 and Luke 9:60 where you will find that Jesus said to “let the dead bury their dead”. On the other hand, the Living are to follow our Lord and “preach the Kingdom of (or that IS) God.”
The Truth is, if you do not have The Person of the Holy Spirit living in your heart, you will NOT be able to see these things! And no matter how well-versed you may be in The Scriptures, if you have not asked The Person of the Holy Spirit into your heart, you are dead!! Therefore, all you can do, to coin another zombie phrase, is "spew death"!
Without being under the tutelage of The Person of The Holy Spirit, rather than preaching the Kingdom (that IS) God, all you will be doing is mis-representing God to those around you.
"Who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives Life." (2 Corinthians 3:6)
"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Romans 8:13-14)
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." (Galatians 5:22-24)
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”
(2 Timothy 2:15)




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Wednesday, July 16

Pearl Harbor through Eyes that SEE!

Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz…
his profound insight into the bombing of Pearl Harbor.


“Thanks to Admiral Nimitz’ ability to see, we have, on record, a much better account of what actually happened at Pearl Harbor than the accounts told by the script writers of the movies TORA! TORA! TORA! (1970) and PEARL HARBOR (2001)." - Keith

Our part is to recognize that, when it seems we are
surrounded by troubles and woe, in the words of the prophet Elisha, “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha." (2 Kings 6:16-17)

Find this, and more, in our 30-year review of TTM in TTM MAGAZINE.
The rare ability to see, instead of merely looking, is illustrated in the true account of U.S. Navy Admiral Chester Nimitz’s profound insights as he surveyed the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Admiral Nimitz had eyes that could see with respect to tactical naval warfare. He was so well studied and experienced in the art of war that it did not take him long to recognize where the Japanese had made three fatal mistakes in their planning for and execution of their attacks on our ships at Pearl Harbor. These three errors rendered them unsuccessful in their attempt to utterly destroy the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet.
If you visit Pearl Harbor, you will find boats ferrying people out to the USS Arizona Memorial every 30 minutes. In the gift shop there you will find a book entitled, “Reflections on Pearl Harbor” by Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz. In that book, you will read that on Sunday, December 7, 1941, Admiral Nimitz was attending a concert in Washington, D.C. when he was paged and told there was a phone call for him. When he answered the phone, he found that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was on the line.
The President told Admiral Nimitz that in light of the attack on Pearl Harbor Admiral Nimitz would now be the Commander of the Pacific Fleet. Admiral Nimitz flew to Hawaii to assume command of the Pacific Fleet, landing at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941. He found such a spirit of despair, dejection, and defeat that it would seem the Japanese had already won the war.
On Christmas Day, 1941, Admiral Nimitz was given a boat tour of the destruction wrought on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Big sunken battleships and navy vessels cluttered the waters everywhere you looked. As the tour boat returned to dock, the young helmsman of the boat asked, “Well, Admiral, what do you think after seeing all this destruction?”
Admiral Nimitz’s reply shocked everyone within the sound of his voice. Admiral Nimitz said, “The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could ever make or God was taking care of America. Which do you think it was?”
Shocked and surprised, the young helmsman asked, “What do you mean by saying the Japanese made the three biggest mistakes an attack force ever made?” Nimitz’s explanation is summarized below.
Mistake number one: The Japanese attacked on Sunday morning. Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave. If those same ships had been lured to sea and then sunk, we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.
Mistake number two: When the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking those battleships, they never once bombed our dry docks that were sitting across from those ships. If they had destroyed the dry docks, we would have had to tow every one of the damaged ships to America to be repaired. As it is now, the ships are in shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them over to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time it would have taken to tow them to America; and I already have crews ashore anxious to man those ships.
Mistake number three: Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war is in storage tanks on top of the ground only five miles away. One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our entire fuel supply.
That’s why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could make or God was taking care of America. It was Admiral Nimitz’ many years of first-hand tactical experience that gave him the ability to recognize that “The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could ever make.” In turn, it was that same experience that equipped him to be able to see God’s divine intervention where most saw only despair and defeat.
The young helmsman and so many others looked at the devastation and were in many ways crippled by the destruction and despair. On the other hand, Admiral Nimitz looked at the same devastation and saw something completely different. He knew how unlikely it was that the very capable Japanese war planners would miss three such obvious tactical points while preparing their assault, and this made it evident to him that God had intervened on America’s behalf on December 7, 1941. As devastating as the loss of our brave men and women were that day, as Admiral Nimitz states, the results would have been much worse if God had not intervened on our behalf.
Even as Admiral Nimitz looked at utter devastation and could see the grace of God at work on the behalf of our great Nation, we have the same opportunity to look beyond whatever it is that we may be going through and see the redeeming power of God working on our behalf as well. As the Scripture says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” These are not empty words: God means every one of them, and He wants us to trust Him to do His part.
God promises that in every trial He will provide the way of escape. He also promises to never leave us or forsake us. We need to believe Him and we need to seek Him early, so that when we do find ourselves in trouble, He will open our eyes that we may truly see: because eyes that look are common; eyes that see are rare!



For more on this topic, and many others, see "TTM Magazine," celebrating 30 Years of Service, on our website at TowardTheMark.com.   


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Wednesday, July 9

BITTERNESS for the Believer

"This I've learned... We don’t pursue forgiveness because we are told to or because we are simply wanting to silence something in us. We pursue forgiveness because it’s a matter of life and death." - Keith

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15)


"Being 'born again' is the paradigm shift that occurs in our heart as the result of what we see through God’s eyes the moment we enter into oneness with Him."

Find this, and more, in our latest edition of TTM NEWS.


Whether it’s our skin color, an opposing team, or “that other church,” the truth is this: people tend to criticize harshest those things they understand the least.  Therein lies satan’s deadly trap.  You see, it is when we are IN God, as Jesus teaches us in John 17: 20-26, that we can see ourself and others through His eyes.  It is what we see, when we are looking through His loving eyes, that breaks the chains of bitterness and unforgiveness in our heart against ourself and others.
When we finally see ourself and others the way God sees us, it is at that moment that we are born again.  Being “born again” does not happen at the altar when we give our life to Jesus Christ.
What takes place on the day that we “commit our heart and life to Christ” is we make the commitment to turn our backs on our old stinkin’ flesh nature, with all of its sinful ways, and pursue oneness with our Father.  Being “born again” is the paradigm shift that occurs in our heart as the result of what we see through God’s eyes the moment we enter INto oneness with God.
If we cannot see ourself and others the way God sees us, as His beloved children created uniquely and with a divine purpose, we will not know who we are, or who anyone else truly is.  And then, it is a fact that, if you do not know the purpose for a thing, you will only abuse it.  The purpose for a thing can only be found in the mind of the maker of the thing.  The Maker of you, me, and each one of us is God, so only HE knows what we are made to do and to be, so we must pursue Him for a fulfilled purpose, and "LIFE".  People, by nature, tend to most abuse the things, and individual people, they understand the least.  This is why, seeing ourself and others through God’s eyes is imperative.
Before we can see ourself and others for the priceless works of art that God has created each of us to be, we must be clean of all bitterness in our hearts.  Jesus, knowing better than anyone, the way to free ourselves from the deadly effects of holding on to bitterness against others, said,Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24).
Jesus also teaches us,Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-22).
You see, we don’t simply pursue forgiveness because we are told to, or because we are trying to silence hurtful voices in our minds.  We pursue forgiveness because it is a matter of life and death. Bitterness in our hearts separates us from God.  God is life.  Without, or on the outside of, Him we can do nothing, including truly LIVE.
Let’s see, 70 x 7= 490 times to forgive.  In other words, Jesus told Peter that forgiveness is essential!  Therefore, bitterness for the believer ... is NOT an option!

"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11:25)


For more on this topic, and many others, see "TTM Magazine," celebrating 30 Years of Service, on our website at TowardTheMark.com.   



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Wednesday, July 2

SIN is Snake Venom to the SOUL






"I came away from this experience with a much deeper understanding of how destructive sin is to the human soul!" Keith

“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.” (James 1:14-15)

"Like sin’s effect on the soul, the snake’s venom had numbed my senses so much that I could not hear the one thing that means more to me than life itself–God’s voice. I came away from the experience with a much deeper understanding of just how destructive sin is to the human soul." Find this, and more, in Keith's book LETTERS FROM THE FRONT.

"The doctors worked on me for a while, kept me there to make sure that I was in the clear, and sent me on my way to begin what turned out to be about 3 months of some pretty weird side effects."
         Early one spring, I began preparing to plant my vegetable garden, but I had no idea that a very profound life lesson was on its way. If you are not familiar with the first chapter of my book Letters from the Front, it is entitled “Sin Makes Ya’ Stewpit” and, in that chapter, we draw the parallel between the toxic effects of snake venom on the human body and the damaging effects that sin can have on the human soul. Looking back, when I wrote about the effects of snake venom on the human body, I wrote it based solely on my own research that I had done, and on what I had learned by talking with physicians that I know. Prior to my writing the chapter, I had no personal knowledge of the terrible toll that snake venom can have on a person. I regret to inform you, that has changed.
One evening early in August, as I was watering my garden, I reached into the cucumber plants to pick up the water hose and was bitten on my right forearm by a rattlesnake. Earlier that day I had been stung by a wasp on the left arm, and the day before I was bitten on the top of my right foot by a spider that left a pretty nasty and painful wound. So, when I felt the snake bite me I figured that it was another wasp or a bee. Only after my arm started to burn did I reach over with my left hand to rub it. When I did, I immediately noticed that my hand was covered in blood. I bent my arm around so that I could see what was causing all of the trouble, and I noticed there were two fang holes. Right away I began sucking the venom out of the puncture wounds. Later the emergency room physician told me that doing so saved me a world of hurt and possibly even saved me my arm as well.
Immediately after I had been bitten I called my doctor and asked if I could stop by his house–in hopes that he might tell me that it was not a snake bite, give me some antibiotics or something, and send me home. Instead, he took one look at it, said that it was definitely a viper bite, and told me to go straight to the emergency room. He called the ER and told them that a snake bite victim was on his way, and off I went.
If you have ever had to experience the horrors of being processed through a hospital’s ER, you know how I felt, and frankly, the thought of having to go through all of that was more frustrating to me than the bite itself. The doctors worked on me for a while, kept me there to make sure that I was in the clear, and sent me on my way to begin what turned out to be about 3 months of some pretty weird side effects. One example occurred a few days after the snake-bite incident as I was driving home from a rather fuzzy trip to the post office–I think. In other words the snake venom in my system had apparently burned up a mess of my brain cells, temporarily costing me my short-term and even some of my long-term memory.
There I was, driving home from somewhere when I was pulled over by a motorcycle officer. I did not think I was speeding so I was looking forward to hearing his reason for stopping me. You need to know that, up until that day, I had a spotless driving record and, frankly, I took great pride in that. The officer got off his motorcycle and walked over to my car. He asked for my license and proceeded to ask what my reason was for running that stop light. I was stunned. I had just run through a red light and had no idea that there was even one there. After the officer had written me a ticket, I very cautiously made my way home and called my doctor, because the staff at the hospital had not warned me about the strange side effects that I was beginning to experience. As a result, my doctor addressed a nice letter on my behalf to the court explaining my situation.
On my court date I pleaded guilty and handed the letter to the judge. The judge read it and was amazed. He immediately excused my case and said that he would like to hang on to the letter as a souvenir. We all had a good laugh and I went home.
Although the whole thing seemed a bit funny in court that day, the tormenting effects of the snake’s venom on my body’s systems was not funny at all. To the contrary, it was terribly traumatic!
Where my prayer life was concerned, it was as if there had been a huge wall built between me and the Lord. The more I tried to focus on hearing His life-giving voice, the more frustrated I grew. Like sin’s effect on the soul, the snake’s venom had numbed my senses so much that I could not hear the one thing that means more to me than life itself–God’s voice.
I came away from the experience with a much deeper understanding of how destructive sin is to the human soul. My advice–stay clear of sneaky ole snakes and anything that tempts you to invite the devastating effects of sin into your life!
Never forget, there is nothing or nobody worth your personal relationship with Jesus Christ!

            “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.” (James 1:14-15)


For more on this topic, see Chapter 1 in Keith's book, "Letters From The Front."    


and "TTMSingingSgt"on Twitter for more Scripture-based truth, unveiling God's Word on real-life matters - what the devil does NOT want you to know!
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