Powered By Blogger

Monday, May 2

The Stones that the Builders Rejected

One day as we were in prayer, thanking God for all of His faithful saints down through the ages that have, through much sacrifice, brought the Church of Jesus Christ to where it is today, I (Keith) had a vision. The vision was of a massive NASA rocket sitting on its launch pad being prepared for take-off. Suddenly, as I was looking on, I became a bit overwhelmed. I began to see the ocean of people who have, in one way or another, contributed to the Space Program at NASA since its inception.
           Then, realizing how many employees of NASA had to be involved, I also began thinking about the thousands of independent contractors that had also played their own individual roles in making it all possible. I was struck with how enormous that project really was, but then something brought the enormity of it all into real perspective. I realized then that, there wasn't just thousands upon thousands of people needed to make the Space Program possible, but there were millions upon millions of American tax-payers who paid their hard-earned money into making the Space Program happen financially. Because of every individual, team, and project fund helping in the massive plan and program, the NASA Space Shuttle was able to obtain its ultimate objective.

           As I was being a bit overwhelmed just thinking about the numbers of people it took to get that one rocket on that launch pad, suddenly in the vision the rocket launched! I watched as massive plumes of smoke billowed out from all sides of the massive rocket. As I watched the rocket lift into the air, making its way toward space, a part of the rocket just fell away. Shortly after that, another section of the huge rocket fell away also.

           It was then that, just as I had the vision of all of the people it took, working together, to get that massive rocket off the ground and headed toward its destination, I saw in the vision the beginning of The Church of Jesus Christ. I then began seeing the countless numbers of people down through the years, great men and women of God who have, like the various stages of the massive rocket ship, sacrificed everything they had to get The Church of Jesus Christ to where it is today.

           After writing down what I saw in the spirit, we couldn't wait to share what The Lord had revealed to me with our wonderful brother in The Lord, 30-year partner in this ministry, and computing scientist at NASA, Bennie Lee Nelson. Bennie is a prolific writer and author of the seven-volume series, "Friends of The Living God",  and is a co-author and editor for our five original books and many TowardTheMark teaching messages. Bennie is "family", a cherished brother in The Lord who we can't even begin to appreciate enough for his work and dedication to helping get this TowardTheMark ministry to where it is today!  In fact, Pastor Clayton R. Davis said of Bennie Lee Nelson's writings, "I sincerely believe that every pastor and church leader should dig into Bennie Lee Nelson's incredible 7-volume book series 'Friends of The Living God'. I truly consider him to be a modern-day Matthew Henry! You will be refreshed as God's Word comes alive in your heart." - Senior Pastor Clayton R. Davis

           Just days after our sharing this vision with Bennie, it became obvious that our NASA expert brother and The Holy Spirit had begun collaborating together on what Bren and I believe has become, not just a prolific message but, a "monument" that honors each of the countless individual Believers who, down through the years, gave up houses, lands, relationships, jobs, and their very lives to diligently pursue oneness in God through Jesus Christ by the leading of The Holy Spirit, and who resisted all manner of distractions, fulfilling God's plan in their lives for the building of The Church of Jesus Christ... a vast majority of whom, for whatever reason, were looked at and not seen, listened to and not heard. They are THE STONES THAT THE BUILDERS REJECTED. - Keith and BrendaLee Shealy

"The Stones that the Builders Rejected"
by Bennie Lee Nelson

           How did men get to the Moon and back again?

           America's first mission to the Moon was completed on July 24, 1969, when the Apollo 11 crew returned to the Earth, fulfilling the national goal set forth by President John Kennedy on May 25, 1961: "This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth." At the time of that declaration, only two men had flown in space capsules above the Earth: Yuri Gagarin, and Alan Shepard. The accomplishment of that goal is one of the greatest achievements in all of History.

           We know they did it, so looking back, it may not seem as magnificent as it truly was. Indeed, there are still those who doubt it happened, but if you put yourself in the place of the people who started working on the project in 1961, you would realize that they had a massive number of challenges to overcome and tremendous amounts of knowledge to gain. The details are staggering, starting with the work force: NASA estimates that 400,000 people in the United States were involved in the Apollo program.

           To reach the Moon and then return the crew safely to Earth, the Apollo project was divided into numerous smaller, achievable tasks that were assigned to teams. This division of responsibility can be seen very clearly in the Saturn V rocket itself: Stage 1 with five F-1 engines, Stage 2 with five J-2 engines, and Stage 3 with a single engine. Stage 1 took about two and half minutes to get the rocket 38 miles above the Earth. After Stage 1 separated, Stage 2 achieved an altitude of 115 statute miles and a speed of 15,500 MPH. After Stage 2 separated, Stage 3 first achieved Earth orbit, and then, after check out procedures were completed, Stage 3 reached escape velocity (25,000 MPH), and the space craft headed for the Moon.

           The focus of each team on their specific roles was crucial for the success of the mission. For instance, the goal of the Stage 1 team was not to go to the Moon. Rather, they needed to get the Saturn V rocket off the ground, reaching an altitude of 38 miles in 2.5 minutes. They were not even responsible for what happened to Stage 1 at that point. Others were responsible for what happened after the fuel was spent and Stage 1 separated from Stage 2. Likewise, the Stage 2 team started with the assumption that the rocket, minus Stage 1, was 38 miles up, traveling at approximately 6000 MPH. Their objective was to get that rocket to an altitude of 115 miles and going 15,500 MPH.

           This approach was obviously very successful, and can be used to understand other complex endeavors, including some of God's dealings with the Church.

            Like the Apollo program, the Body of Christ is intended to be distributed instead of centralized. Each and every believer is supposed to shine the Light of Christ. Each gathering of believers is meant to be the Light of the World, a City set on a hill. It should be apparent that the Body of Christ is far more complex than the Space Program, and further that only God can truly manage it. As Jesus said, "I am the True Vine, and my Father is the Husbandman (John 15:1)." The Lord also said, "I am the vine, ye are the branches (John 15:5)."

           The early Church flourished under the leadership of God's Holy Spirit as He distributed His gifts to the members of the Church. Note that not everyone receives the same gifts, because the Spirit divides the gifts to each person individually according to His will (see 1 Corinthians 12:4-11).

           After the time of the first Apostles, however, the History of the Church saw a massive movement towards greater and greater centralized control by people rather than by God, and this was inevitably accompanied by a dimming of the Light. Not surprisingly, this period in History is called the Dark Ages. During that time, the centralized so-called Church used corrupted texts in place of the original New Testament manuscripts, and maintained strict control over the existing copies. In other words, the official agents of that Church had access to those documents and would dispense information as they saw fit. This was inevitably accompanied with many heresies and much abuse of the flock, the latter being kept in gross ignorance of God and God's Word.

           Nevertheless, God never allows His Light to be totally extinguished, and He always provides Himself with witnesses on the Earth. So even during those dark years, tens of thousands of copies of the uncorrupted original texts were kept and preserved by believers who remained separated from the organized Church. Over the centuries, these separatists were often persecuted by agents of the apostate Church.

           From the body of separated believers, God rekindled the Light, by raising up revolutionaries to act like the separators of the stages in the SATURN V rocket. We can see this in the Old Testament when God used Noah and Moses to make sharp breaks in Human History. While those historical divisions occurred during their lifetimes, the breaking up of the centralized control over Christendom happened over several centuries, punctuated by significant events and accomplishments, including the following milestones.

           In the 14th Century, John Wycliffe translated much of the Bible into English, believing it should be available to everyone. His work was revolutionary, challenging the Church's control over the minds of the flock. He was martyred before he could complete the translation.

           In the 15th Century, Johannes Gutenburg invented a method of printing that started a revolution in the dissemination of information. His first project was to print the Bible, and the Bible remains the best-selling book to this day.

           In the 16th Century, Martin Luther challenged the centralized Church, igniting the Protestant Reformation. Also in that century, William Tyndale became the first man to print the New Testament in English, and he also translated much of the Hebrew Old Testament into the English language. Eventually, he was executed for printing the Scriptures in English.

           In the 17th century, the aforementioned efforts, along with many others, came together in fulfilling the project initiated by King James of England: The King James Version (KJV) of the Holy Bible. Also of significance in the 17th century, John Bunyan wrote Pilgrim's Progress while he was imprisoned for his faith. The KJV and Pilgrim's Progress would accompany and influence many preachers, evangelists, missionaries, pioneers, and settlers around the world, becoming the lasting foundation for much of what followed in the world to this present day.

           The establishment of Liberty in the American Colonies and the subsequent rise of the United States, the abolition of slavery both in England and in the United States all required the foundation of Truth provided by the KJV. During the Great Awakening in America that preceded the American Revolution, God's Truth was preached by George Whitefield, John and Charles Wesley, among many others. Fearless preachers, nicknamed by the English The Black Robed Regiment, urged the colonists on to victory over the oppressive English government.

            In England, William Wilberforce spearheaded the movement that resulted in the abolition of the slave trade and slavery within British possessions. In America, the Second Great Awakening, driven by preachers such as Charles Finney, began the build up to the movement to abolish slavery in the United States, and in 1861 Julia Ward Howe's The Battle Hymn of the Republic became the stirring anthem for those fighting to free the slaves in America: Many believers suffered, up to and including death, to rid America of the scourge of slavery. His truth is marching on!

           The tremendous success of the two Great Awakenings in freeing people in their hearts was necessary for winning the struggle against slavery in England and in the United States. The fight to free people's hearts, however, continues with each generation, and the wicked spirits in the heavenlies continue waging war to this day, attempting to keep people enslaved. Though the tactics may seem new, they date back to the Garden of Eden.

           The Serpent beguiled Eve by twisting God's Word, and the Father of lies continues waging war against the Truth. From the time of Moses to the time of Christ, the Mosaic Law was mangled and distorted, and The Lord Jesus Christ dealt with many doctrinal errors during His earthly ministry (see, for example, the Sermon on the Mount), including frequent denunciations of Hypocrites who are outwardly Religious but who lack Righteousness in their hearts.

           "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (Matthew 23:27-28)."

           "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men (Matthew 15:8-9)."

           Similarly, the Apostle James distinguished between vain Religion and pure Religion: "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world (James 1:26-27)."

           In this excerpt, the Greek word for "religion" is threskeia, which means "religious worship, especially external; that which consists of ceremonies; religious discipline; religion." The word translated "religious" is threskos, which is defined as "fearing or worshipping God." Mataios (vain) means "devoid of force, truth, success, result; useless, of no purpose." Katharos (pure) means "clean, pure: physically, like a vine cleansed by pruning and so fitted to bear fruit; in a levitical sense; or ethically."

           John the Baptist and The Lord Jesus Christ publicly denounced the vainly Religious, the Pharisees and the Sadducees, calling them a generation of vipers. Although these Religious leaders feared to do anything to John, Herod the tetrarch was persuaded by his wife to have John imprisoned and then beheaded. The Religious leaders turned Jesus over to the Romans and coerced Pontius Pilate to have Jesus crucified, fulfilling the prophecy in Psalm 118:22-23, "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is The Lord'S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes."

           The persecution of the Righteous by the Religious dates back to the first murder: Cain killed his brother Abel, because God approved Abel's offering and reproved Cain for not conforming with the expressed instructions for sacrifices. Abel believed God and obeyed, while Cain, who clearly knew The Lord and spoke with Him, chose disobedience and murder. So it has ever been: "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12)."

           The persecution of believers is not limited to physical violence. Jesus delivered warnings about false christs and false prophets, especially as the End of the Age draws near. Similarly, the letters of Paul, James, Peter, John, and Jude contain many references to people spreading false doctrines within the Body of Christ. This corruption had begun well before the passing of the first Apostles, and is documented in the Book of Acts, in some of the epistles, and in the Book of Revelation.

           There are two references in Revelation to the Nicolaitans. The first was in the letter from The Lord to the Church at Ephesus, where Jesus commended them because "this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate (Revelation 2:6)." The second appearance of Nicolaitans was when The Lord told the church at Pergamos that their congregation included "them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate (Revelation 2:15)."

            The Lord Jesus Christ hates both the deeds and the doctrine of the Nicolaitans and, consequently, we must also hate their deeds and doctrine. Nicolaitans means "destruction of people." As Jesus said, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy (John 10:10)." Strong's Concordance tells us that the Greek word rendered "thief" in this verse is kleptes, which means "an embezzler, pilferer" and "denotes one who steals by stealth." Strong's also provides this information: "the name is transferred to false teachers, who do not care to instruct men, but abuse their confidence for their own."

           The infiltration of the Church by thieves started in the days of the Apostles and continues to this day. Much like the Pharisees who proceeded them, these thieves corrupted the body of believers by replacing the Word of God with doctrines designed to fleece and enslave the flock. As mentioned earlier, this was done on a grand scale during the Dark Ages until the stranglehold on Knowledge was broken up with the mass production of Bibles translated from uncorrupted manuscripts.

           The darkening of Knowledge began to be reinstated in the 19th Century with the inclusion of the corrupted manuscripts in the Revised Version. Since that time, the pace of corruption has accelerated until today the Church is fractured and divided by a veritable Tower of Bibles. This situation is spiritually akin to the Tower of Babel.

           "And The Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So The Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because The Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did The Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth (Genesis 11:6-9)."

           For centuries, the churches who preached, taught, and studied God's Word using the KJV had one scriptural language, and God wrought many great and wonderful things through His people. Now the language of the churches is confounded by the multiplicity of corrupted texts, and not surprisingly, as in the Dark Ages, this widespread darkening of the understanding of many is being used by thieves to plunder the churches.

           Thievery in the churches can be categorized as either material or spiritual. There are those who use heresies to make merchandise of the flock for material gain (see, for example, 2 Peter 2:1-3). Others are guilty of spiritual theft. It is crucial to realize, however, that robbers and plunderers of churches may not even consider themselves to be thieves, because over time religious thievery becomes institutionalized.

           Consider, for instance, Saul of Tarsus, who became the Apostle Paul. He was a religious thief, but he did not know that that is what he was until after he had met The Lord Jesus Christ. Saul was a deeply religious man who had received written authorization from the religious leaders to persecute those who believed in Jesus Christ. "As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison (Acts 8:3)." Saul's destructive career continued until he was confronted by The Lord Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus.

           "And he [Saul of Tarsus] said, Who art thou, Lord? And The Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And The Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do (Acts 9:5-6)."

           Saul obeyed The Lord and went on to become the Apostle Paul, a wise master-builder (the Greek is sophos architeckton), laboring with God to lay the foundation of Jesus Christ in peoples' hearts and helping them to build thereupon with spiritual building materials. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians: "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:9-11)."

           Observe in this passage the blending of husbandry and building construction. When the foundation of Jesus Christ is laid in a person's heart, they become a living stone, a branch grafted into the True Vine. Each believer is to become conformed to the image of Jesus Christ: "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29)." Even so, this in no wise means that God wants uniformity within His household. Indeed, the very Universe proves that our Creator is the wisest of Master-builders, and that He loves infinite variations on each and every theme He has created. This includes especially the Household of Faith.

           Believers do not lose their identities by coming to Christ and then afterwards having their Souls conformed to His image. Instead, it is in this way and only in this way that each believer finds the greatest expression of their own God-given individuality. In this next quotation, the word "life" appears twice. In both instances "life" translates psuche, which refers to a person's Soul and not to their Spirit.

           "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it (Matthew 16:24-25)."

           The construction of God's spiritual house begins with the Spirit, as each believer is joined as one with the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17), being grafted into the True Vine. The building process continues as each believer "loses" their soul (that is, their old nature), and finds it again as the New Creature in Christ. The Apostles Peter and Paul both discussed this building up of God's people into His spiritual house. Note that in this next passage from First Peter, the Greek word zao is rendered both "living" and "lively".

           "To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed (1 Peter 2:4-8)."

           "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in The Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22)."

           Jesus Christ is the Chief Corner Stone, the Head of the Corner of God's Holy Temple. The foundation is comprised of the Apostles and Prophets, even though the builders, the religious thieves, rejected Jesus as the Chief Corner Stone, persecuted the Apostles and Prophets, and killed many of them. Each believer is a living stone that God uses to construct His Temple, and although thieves will try to rob believers of their rightful places, God's Will ultimately prevails. There will be severe consequences for those who knowingly or in religious ignorance seek to use the living stones to build a dead church.

           The modern centralized Church combined with the return of the corrupt scriptures are an effective platform for religious thieves. Instead of helping people to become conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, much effort is spent in the churches in getting people to conform to the image of the particular church, denomination, individual leader, and so on. This can be clearly seen in the manner in which an individual is viewed within the context of a particular congregation, namely how can they fit in with the vision for the church or within the church model? For instance, someone with musical ability frequently becomes a member of the worship team or the choir.

           Usually missing from the mind set of leadership, and by consequence the congregation, is God's plan for the individual believer. Specifically, how does God want this particular living stone to fit into His spiritual house, and what does God want the leadership and the members of the church to provide for that individual to help them to grow into the image of Jesus Christ? Rather than asking how a believer can serve in a congregation, the leadership and the members should be asking how they can serve the believer. This is God's love in action.

           "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others (Philippians 2:3-4)."

           How can the believer be assisted in building upon the foundation using gold, silver, and precious stones, instead of wood, hay, and stubble? (See 1 Corinthians 3:11-12.) When believers are molded into the image of the church rather than Christ, being taught from so-called Bibles that are based upon corrupted manuscripts, the workers are using wood, hay, and stubble.

           Conversely, those who seek God's gold, silver, and precious stones as they seek God's righteousness and the fulfillment of their God-given roles as living stones will be judged and condemned by people who are trapped in religious vanities, such as dogma and rituals. The Religious will often accuse the Righteous of rebelling against the leadership, of being of the Devil, and so forth.

           "And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us (Luke 9:49-50)."

           In response to criticism from the Pharisees concerning the disciples' behavior on the sabbath, Jesus "said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath (Mark 2:27)."

           Similarly, the Apostle Paul wrote about avoiding religious condemnation and divisiveness: "He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto The Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to The Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to The Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to The Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks (Romans 14:6)."

           As with the Apollo rocket, each living stone is built upon those who came before, but none of these are the final stage, none of these represent God's spiritual house in its entirety. The older members of the churches often fail to recognize the purpose of stages, and so they reject the changes or differences as not being of God. If it is not what they have known (or grown comfortable with), then it must not be of The Lord. They fail to understand that not everyone in the Body of Christ is a member of the same stage, or as Paul put it to the Corinthians, "For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body (1 Corinthians 12:14-20)."

           The Human Body is amazingly complex, and Paul's selection of body parts shows the wondrous differences between the senses of touch, smell, sight, and sound. Nevertheless, the Body of Christ is far more complicated than our bodies, and the differences in all of the members are given to us by our Creator so that He may work His will: the Fullness of Christ in every one of us.

           "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love (Ephesians 4:11-16)."

           The word edifying means "the act of building; building up." The Body of Christ, fitly joined together, with every part working together, makes the Body grow by building up the Body in Agape, the Love of God. When we all have come in the unity of the Faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto perfection, God will have completed His spiritual temple using the living stones that the builders refused. -- Bennie Lee Nelson

           Remember to get your copies of Bennie Lee Nelson's book series, "Friends of The Living God" a must-read series of seven books in progress now.

           In closing, be encouraged as Paul The Apostle encouraged and teaches us, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:1-2)."

           Over the course of our continuing to pray for The Body of Christ, our hearts continually see the faces of the countless individuals of all ages who, down through the years, had a great or even all-consuming passion to share with others everything The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has done for them but, for whatever reason, they have been rejected by those in an organization who could not recognize the gifts given to them by God.

           This blog message is for each individual who has been rejected, along with all that had been created for the purpose of leading others to Jesus Christ, having an overflowing passion to tell the world about Jesus Christ, for the building of the Body of Christ. If you are among those who have been held at arm's-length from fulfilling God's purpose for your life, by church leaders, bosses at work, teachers or professors, sports coaches, or anyone else that had the authority to promote you , Bennie Lee Nelson, Brenda and I, and all who collectively make Toward The Mark possible, humbly dedicate this message to those who have been looked at and not seen, and to those who have been listened to and not heard... YOU are "The Stones that the Builders Rejected"! If you are one of the stones that the builders rejected, we have wonderful news for you! YOU are in the company of The King that is above every king and The Lord that is over every lord, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

           As Paul The Apostle teaches us, "That if you confess with your mouth The Lord Jesus, and will believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on Jesus Christ will not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of The Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:9-13)."

           We must come to the place in our hearts where we know without a shadow of a doubt, "There is no-body and no-thing worth our fulfilling our Heavenly Father's Plan for us, following the leading of The Spirit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!"

Your friends and servants in Christ Jesus,

           If you have not asked Jesus Christ into your heart to be your Lord and Savior, or if you've not given your life and your God-given abilities toward building His Church here in Earth, pray this prayer, rest in His presence, and watch what He will do...

           "Father God, in the precious Name of Jesus Christ, the King of kings and The Lord of all lords, I give my entire life over to You. I come before You to confess to You that I am a sinner, and I ask for You to forgive me of all my sins - those that I know I have committed, as well as those that I am not even aware of. I ask for You to come into my heart and be my Lord. I lay my life, and everything in it, at Your Feet, and I ask You to please take me, and begin the process of changing me and molding me to be like YOU. Father, I ask You to please redeem the time that has passed and allow me the opportunity to become exactly who You predestined me to be, even before the foundation of the earth. I commit my life, and everything I have, to You now. Thank You for receiving me as Your own. All this I pray in the wonderful Name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, Amen." AMEN!!

           WELCOME HOME!

           If you have just prayed this prayer we want to congratulate you for making the greatest decision that you could ever make! By accepting Jesus Christ, or rededicating your life to Him as your personal Lord and Savior, you have begun the wonderful process of being grafted into the family of God. We would like to invite you to contact us so that we can send you information that will help you begin growing in your relationship with God, in your journey to become *one* with our Father in Heaven, as Jesus prayed in the garden! We have books, music CDs, customized individual teachings, blogs, podcasts, Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn messages, and videos you can take advantage of simply by contacting us. We would like to be among the first to welcome you into the Family of God... right where you "belong", now and always! (Selah)

           We would also encourage you to begin attending a Holy-Spirit-filled, Bible-believing church right away. Also, we advise that you begin reading The Holy Bible daily, whether you understand it or not. Always remember, God's written Word in The Holy Bible is like no other book that has ever been written! When we rendezvous with The Person of The Holy Spirit as we read what God has written there, it becomes stored in our heart for The Holy Spirit to access it to bring to our remembrance. You will find that the Scriptures will become applicable to whatever you are going through, at any given time!

           There are wonderful Bible teachers on television and on the radio that can, especially early in your walk with God, Jesus Christ, and The Holy Spirit, help you to begin receiving good teaching, and encouragement, right away. Although very informative, these programs are never to be a substitute for close relationships with people who love and serve God. At times, the transformation process that you have now begun will be difficult, and you will be tempted to go back to your old ways of living your old life. It will be during times like these that hanging out with strong Christian friends and mentors will be crucially important. There really IS strength in numbers!

CONGRATULATIONS!!! And, remember, no matter what Keep PRESSIN' IN!

           You might consider using our book  LETTERS FROM THE FRONT, the special collection of keys to defeating hindrances that have kept many of God's servants from walking with the confidence and authority that Jesus Christ died to give us! Twelve life-changing teaching chapters:

Sin Makes Ya Stewpit!
The Cart's Before the Horse
The Crisis of Eroding Integrity
The Fruit's on the End of the Limb
Too Quick to Compromise
The Rarest of All Breeds!
Please...Stop Stinkin'
Three Keys to God-Pleasing Faith
Let It Go
Understanding the Fear of The Lord
Into the Secret Place
Give to Give

  To help you further your fight to victory through the battles that confront every one of us in these turbulent times we live in, get your copy of our book, " LETTERS FROM THE FRONT." In this collection of 12 letters written from the front lines of battle fought in the spiritual, natural, and theater of the mind, Keith's Scripture messages will build your faith and help you reach God's full potential for your life.
available by
clicking here to connect with us by e-mail.

We pray God uses this message, and all of our resources, to fan the flame in your heart for Christ Jesus, His wonder-full Ways, and His Plan and Purpose for you in this life. If you have any questions about our work, or if you would like to make a special tax-deductible donation, place a special order for any of our books, magazines, or CDs, or to share a testimony or prayer request with us, please  e-mail us. Also feel free to write a letter and mail it to TOWARD THE MARK, P.O. Box 1152, Yorktown, VA 23692-1152.
May God bless you greatly as you carry this truth in your heart. We are eternally grateful for our loving Toward The Mark Family of sponsors who make this blog, and all of our resources, possible by their faithful prayer and monthly financial support!
Your friends and servants in Christ,

To Show GOD BIG in a World that Sees Him small… 
sums up the reason Keith stepped out in faith to focus on reaching the lost and strengthening believers everywhere, through Toward The Mark, Inc.  Keith and Brenda's prayer is that you will be encouraged and edified by the Secrets from God's Word that Keith recounts in our written and recorded products.

We couldn't do this without the help of our friends!
This blog message, along with the complete collection of original podcasts, music, blogs, books, CDs, and other Bible-based resources of Toward The Mark, Inc. is made possible by the faithful prayer and financial support of the TTM Sponsorship Family. We'd like to invite you to come on-board, to become a part of the TTM Family as well by becoming a monthly financial partner? Your support will go toward fulfilling our God-given calling to help provide effective, contemporary outreach tools that are available to everyone, the churched and un-churched alike, who desire to know more of the love, truth, and salvation of Jesus Christ. We invite you to partner with us, as we, "press Toward The Mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14)


We INVITE You ... to follow and share these resources that are also available, for helping build your faith in God, His Will, and His Ways: 

  "Between The Lines PODCAST" on TTM's Podcast Channel
     Hear Special Request (Podcast): *FOCUS*

CLICK HERE to make a tax-deductible contribution securely by PayPal.
Every gift is tax-deductible and helps! And we thank you for it!

Mail tax-deductible contributions by check or money order made out to:
Toward The Mark, Inc., P.O. Box 1152, Yorktown, VA 23692-1152. 

Thank you in advance for sowing your financial seed into the fertile soil of this ministry! We pray God bless you with a 100-fold return for your generosity!

"Blessed be The LORD my Strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and He in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me (Psalm 144:1-2)."
Toward the Mark, Inc. © 2005 - 2022 | Privacy Policy and Terms of Use apply | Visit TowardTheMark.com website |  Connect with TowardTheMark on e-mail.

No comments :