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Tuesday, October 14

HEAR how...In his Darkest Hour, Keith Receives a Life-changing Promise From God

Unveiling the secrets the devil DOESN'T want us to find, as we look BETWEEN the Lines.  God bless you and your family!

Podcast33-In his Darkest Hour, Keith Received a Life-changing Promise  #ChristIsTheHopeAtTheEndOfYourRope #Top5requestedTTMpodcasts

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Saturday, October 11

INto The Secret Place...

"Thou wilt show me the path of life: in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore."  Psalms 16:11

"Did you know that there is actually a place you can go where your inadequacies will totally melt away, where your sorrows are turned into joy, and that is the only place where you can find out what you were put on this earth to do?  This 'wonder-filled' place is the presence of God." - Keith
The following verse in Psalms gives us one of the most profound instructions in all of the Bible concerning the importance of pursuing and living in the presence of God. “He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalms 91:1)
In order to better understand what this means, let’s take a moment and break this scripture down. The first statement, “He that dwells in the secret place of the most high” means the one who makes his home, or lives in the presence of God. The second part, "shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” means to live our lives in the place where God protects, heals, provides, teaches, frees, changes, and so much more. In God’s presence, and only IN God's presence, will we reap and enjoy the benefits that come with Him and being in relationship with Him.
It is crucial at this point to note that our entrance INto The Secret Place is a result of diligently seeking God with our whole heart, for the secret place is reserved for those who love Him and are thankful to Him for Who He is more than for what He does, or can do, for us. We must "abide" or "live IN" God!
Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abides in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples. (John 15:4-8)
The primary reason there are so many disillusioned people in our churches today is simply because they practice "periodic visitation" much more than they do "permanent residency." Everything God does is for the purpose of establishing ongoing relationships, having one-ness, with each one of us - a Father/son or Father/daughter relationship.
When we allow ourselves to become more focused on God's miracles or His deeds than on God Himself, we have allowed ourselves to be separated or severed from our source of life; and we will wither and die as Jesus teaches us. Paul, in his letter to the Romans addressed that very thing when he said, “They worshipped and served the creature more than The Creator.(Romans 1:25) This is in fact the birthplace of idol worship and dead religion. This is where style becomes preferred and sought after more than substance, where more attention and effort is placed on seeking signs and wonders, or on doing things a particular group’s way, than on pursuing God Himself.
Herein lies the root cause of the Church’s declining effectiveness in our communities! Paul, dealing with this same problem in Corinth said, “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:16-18) We are to be separate from everything and everyone that would keep us from being separate unto God. Never forget, sin is anything that separates us from God! This includes miracles. God does not intend for miracles to distract us from Him.
Never before have so many kinds of distractions, including miracles, made it so difficult to stay focused on the Lord. Deceptive armies of anxious spirits are laying siege to the minds of anyone who succumbs to their temptations, and their major objective is our complete and total separation from our loving Father.
Whether through the media, those closest to us, substance abuse, trying to do too much too fast, the love of money, being bound by the chains of indebtedness, striving for material possessions, or just the hustle and bustle of everyday routines, the battles to steal, kill, and destroy our relationship with our God and King have never raged hotter. Jesus Himself said, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.(John 10:10) Satan knows full well that his days are numbered and that anyone who presses their way INto The Secret Place will be one less notch that he can carve into his gun stock. Satan hates anything and anyone who brings pleasure to God, and will spare no expense in doing whatever it takes to separate us from Him. If we are going to develop and maintain the ability to live our lives in the presence of God, we are going to have to master the art of "staying focused on Him" as a lifestyle.
There is a little saying that goes, “Pursuit is the proof of desire.” Luke put it this way, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.(Luke 12:34)  In other words, what you truly want, you will pursue. My Dad used to say, “Keith, isn’t it amazing how people, no matter how poor or busy, seem to always find the money and/or the time they don't have to do what they really want to do.” It’s just a fact – without the “want to” we will never find our way INto The Secret Place. At any and all cost, we must stay focused on God. Paul addressed this when he said, “Pray without ceasing.(1 Thessalonians 5:17)  Contrary to popular belief, this is possible!
Always remember, there is nobody or nothing worth your relationship with God! Peter admonishes us “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.(1 Peter 4:7)  We must be clear-minded and self-controlled so that our communication with God is never interrupted! Failing to reach the secret place is only caused by allowing our focus on God to be broken. We must stay focused!
Have you ever given any thought to why the Scriptures would say, "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son" (Galatians 4:4a)?  As I was praying about that, the Holy Spirit whispered something to me that I hadn't thought of before.  What I saw was that, in order for the people to understand what Jesus would be saying concerning the Kingdom of God, Kingdom protocols, etc. there must first be a point in time when kingdoms were established in the earth.  So, when Jesus came preaching of the Kingdom of God, the people were able to understand what He was saying.  Before we can dwell with God, we must learn this most important Kingdom protocol by which God designed the Kingdom of Heaven to operate.  God’s Word is clear when He directs us to “enter his gates with thanksgiving and enter his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” Any deviation from this crucial Kingdom protocol, will result in our stopping short of a close, loving relationship with God and, as Jesus prayed in the garden, oneness with our Heavenly Father – us in Him and Him in us.
Now, are you ready to make your pledge to enter "INto The Secret Place"?  Print the declaration below, sign it, and put a copy in your wallet or purse, on your refrigerator, bathroom mirror, and everywhere you look, to help keep you constantly reminded to stay focused on your Destination.

THANK YOU for downloading this weekly blog message today! We pray God will use it to bear tremendous blessing in your life!

You can find this message in its entirety, along with 11 others, in Keith's (printed or audio) book Letters From The Front available at TowardTheMark.com.

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Friday, October 3

Vampires in the Church?

"But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us." 1 Thessalonians 5:8-9

"Just as we are each concerned about our own physical health, we must be concerned about the health of the body of Christ. The spirit of vampirism in the Church is a spreading cancer that must not be ignored. It must be destroyed!"

- Keith

The Scripture says that we should not be ignorant of satan's devices, "Lest Satan should get an advantage over us." (2 Corinthians 2:11)  In that light, it is our desire to expose a major demonic device that is afflicting many in the church today: vampirism.  One does not have to look far to see that vampires and vampirism have become popular phenomena in modern society.  In the past ten years, there has been a significant increase in the number of prime time television programs and major motion pictures that use vampires as their main theme.  Similarly, many metropolitan police departments and other law enforcement agencies are reporting a staggering rise in vampire cult activity.

Now, it is crucial to realize that the popular portrayal of vampirism, the folklore, and superstitions regarding it are all part of satan's scheme, because these hide the true nature of this very destructive and seductive weapon in his arsenal.  Vampirism truly is one of satan's most divisive tools against the body of Christ.  The idea that a vampire is some colorful little character with fangs and a cape is as wrong as thinking that the Devil runs around in a red suit carrying a pitch-folk. Make no mistake, vampirism is very real.
So, what is a vampire?  The Webster’s dictionary defines a vampire as “an unscrupulous person who preys ruthlessly on others, as a blackmailer or usurer.”  Webster’s also defines vampirism as “the act or practice of preying ruthlessly on other people.”  The Lord Jesus Christ defines it thusly:  “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.”  (John 10:10a)  The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  A vampire is simply one kind of thief according to the Lord.
It is also quite important to note the context of the Lord’s remark.  He continued by contrasting the works of the thief, including vampires, with His own, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”  (John 10:10b)  Jesus brings life and that in abundance for His people.  Vampires come to destroy that Abundant Life by stealing time and energy.  No matter how much they take, they are never satisfied.
A vampire is a human parasite; a human leech often times influenced by a demonic accomplice; someone who is focused solely on themselves to the point of depleting or draining others of the resources and life within them to achieve or satisfy their own selfish objectives or cravings.  Another way of describing this is out-of-control selfishness.  A person who has succumbed to the spirit of vampirism would simply be one who is leading a misguided life of tearing down or using others in an attempt to exalt themselves.  We are dealing with wicked spirits seeking to fulfill the devil’s missions: steal, kill, and destroy the person who gives it place in their life and anyone who becomes involved with that person.
Now, while vampirism can involve both human and demonic activity, this is not always the case.  Unclean spirits must look for humans to influence, because that is how satan’s work of killing, stealing and destroying is ultimately accomplished.  He must have a willing host body in order to do his bidding in the natural realm.  However, people can be vampires without any help or prodding from unclean spirits.
Observe also that there is a vast difference between a person who has become overtaken by a spirit of vampirism and someone who genuinely hungers for the things of God.  People who truly hunger for God and are being transformed into the image of Christ, eventually enter the place where they die to their own selfish wants and desires in order to become an asset to those around them.  On the other hand, someone who is operating as a vampire is always on the take.
Consider these verses in Proverbs: “There is a generation that curses their father, and doth not bless their mother. There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men. The horseleech hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough: The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough. The eye that mocketh at his father, and despises to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.” (Proverbs 30:11-17)
The apostle Paul warns us about this, as well:  “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  (2 Timothy 1:7)
This passage says that in the last days, these days that we are in, society would succumb to vampirism.  This is coming to pass in our day and the Church is right in the middle of it.  We are in perilous times, and the Church needs to deal with that kind of person by applying discipline as commanded by Jesus.  “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”  (Matthew 18:15-17)
For example, in the days of the Apostles, Paul was told that the Church at Corinth would not discipline a member who was living openly with his father’s wife (1 Corinthians 5).  In 1st Corinthians, Paul wrote that the Church was not to fellowship with the unrepentant brother, but they were to put him out of the Church, delivering him over to satan for the destruction of the flesh that his soul might be delivered.  He said, “Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened.”  (1 Corinthians 2:6-7)  The Church had to put the man out or the whole Church would be poisoned and the man’s soul would not be delivered.  They obeyed.  This worked and the man repented.  The problem now for this poor fellow was that the Church wouldn’t accept him back!
So, Paul wrote, "Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.” (2 Corinthians 2:6)  And he concluded with, “To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”  (2 Corinthians 2:10-11)
Note that in the case of those who do not repent of the wrong behavior, the Church is commanded by the Lord to turn our backs on them.  This is a difficult thing to understand, and even more difficult to do.  Failure to properly apply Biblical discipline has crippled the Church.  When Pastors don’t do it, they are drained dry by the parasites in the Church.  And, when you and I don’t do it, we are drained dry as well.  Most importantly, the sin that is allowed to remain in the camp will fester and spread to others in the Church:  the leaven will inevitably leaven the whole lump.
The objection can be raised that we’re supposed to love everybody, and we’re not supposed to judge anyone.  However, true love is not blind to sin.  True love, God’s love, covers the sin by dealing with the sin at the Mercy Seat.  It is not love to ignore sin; we must deal with sin according to the Lord’s commandments.  We have a responsibility as the Scripture plainly puts it that, if we see our brother taken in a fault, to go to that one and restore him in a spirit of meekness.  This is true love!  The scripture clearly states that we must first die to our own selfish desires before we can be effectively used of God to help reach and meet the needs of others.
Now we have reached the very heart of the matter.  It is impossible to correctly discipline another until we have disciplined ourselves by first submitting to the Lord’s discipline.  As Jesus said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but consider not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”  (Matthew 7:1-5)
Jesus said do not judge, but he did not say to not deal with the mote in your brother’s eye.  Elsewhere, the Lord commands us to, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”  (John 7:24)  By combining this verse with the passage from Matthew, we can see that we must deal with the beam in our own eyes so that we can be able to help our brother with the mote in his.  If we attempt to correct our brother for the mote in his eye without first having dealt with our own hearts, then we are hypocrites.
It is sin to deal improperly with a brother who is in sin.  It is also sin to do nothing about it.  When a brother or a sister in the church sees an unclean spirit working through the life of a fellow church member, then the matter should be brought to the attention of the leadership of the Church.  The worst thing that can be done is to “share” the information with another member of the Church under the guise of a “prayer request”.  This is called gossip and backbiting in the Scripture.
This is not about fault finding, nit-picking, and idle, hurtful talk.  If you engage in that kind of behavior, you’re playing right into satan’s hands!  Do not underestimate the importance of this. It is a life and death matter!  The Church is a body, a living body: the body of Christ.  Just as each of us is concerned about our own physical health, we must be concerned about the health of the body of Christ.  The spirit of vampirism in the Church is a spreading cancer that must not be ignored.  It must be destroyed!
We are convinced that we are in the last days and it is time now more than ever for each of us to examine our own hearts and motives to make doubly sure that we are not giving place to the self-seeking spirit of vampirism to work through our lives to bring harm to others.  We pray that this message would serve as a spiritual mirror to help you see, deal with, and evict any unclean spirits that you may have given place to in your life.  It must be our life’s goal to be an asset and not a deficit to everyone we come in contact with.
We can’t stress enough the importance of getting understanding where this topic is concerned.  Also, please understand that it is our hearts’ deepest desire to expose the deadly work that this spirit has been inflicting on the Church, and that this is not, in any way, an attempt to promote animosity towards those among us who may be overtaken by this spirit of vampirism.  “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  (Ephesians 6:12)
1 Thessalonians 5:4-10 says, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.”  I pray that you will make it your goal to always be an asset and a giver of life to all you come in contact with each day.  The apostle Paul said, “I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  (Acts 20:35)
By the way, you must realize that you are either part of the solution, or part of the problem.  If you stand in front of the mirror of this teaching and can see your yourself in it, you are well on your way to becoming an asset to the body of Christ.  However, if you stand in front of the mirror of this teaching and cannot see yourself, we suggest that you read it repeatedly until you can!  In either case, you will recognize the truth concerning this, which is far better than being blind to it.

THANK YOU for downloading this blog today! We pray God will use it to bear tremendous blessing in your life! 

Find this message, along with 11 others, in Keith's book, "XII Smooth Stones" available on our website TowardTheMark.com.

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