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Silencing The Wolves


"10 For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain."
Good Morning My Beloved,

Welcome to worship this Lord's Day!
We are so very grateful to have you, our beloved brothers and sisters here with us today.

I would like to encourage you to visit our Prayer Wall, not only to pray for our brothers and sisters in their time of need, but to also add any prayers or concerns that you may have as well. We are all called to pray with and for one another, in keeping with the commands of our Lord.

Many Christians need to take to heart the lesson that there are many wolves in sheep’s clothing, who prey upon God’s flock. Some of them are masters of trickery, deception and disguise. They talk like Christians, they quote verses from the Bible. They appear to be nice people. They even seem so loving! However, rest assured, they will draw you in to devour you for dinner! 

One would think, that not many would would fall prey, and be fooled by such deception. However, because the enemy is so active in promoting false teachings, destructive heresies, I believe that it is imperative, that pastors must be godly men of the Word, who are vigilantly guarding the flock. Allow me to assure you, this is never a pleasant task. And, to be honest, I would much rather focus on the positive messages about the goodness of God. 
However, if the world were free of all disease, we wouldn’t need doctors or hospitals, would we? If that were true, we could all live very happily ever after. And, the same is true of  the spiritual world, if it were free of spiritual errors, we wouldn’t need pastors to confront and correct these deadly spiritual errors. But, as we are well aware, the world isn’t like that, therefore, pastors must constantly guard the flock by exposing and correcting the many errors that keep creeping their way into the church. Because Satan is set against the plans of God, the people of God, there will always and ever be, in this life, there is a constant war, between good and evil.

Let us bow our heads in prayer.

Heavenly Father,

Father, we again are so grateful for Your Word for us today. We gather together to worship and praise, aware of the vital importance, the necessity of our text. As Your children, we are well aware of the day in which we live, and through technology, social media venues, they have more access to people than ever before. Lord, I pray that You would help those who are in spiritual leadership to realize that part of the responsibility as a under shepherd of the flock, is to protect them, and the importance of silencing those who speak error. I pray that You would give all of us who are teachers of Your Word, responsible to guard Your flock, the wisdom and discernment we need in this day. That You would raise up Your faithful leaders, in the news media, the Christian media, and social media, who are wise and discerning, and who will silence those who speak error to Your beloved people. Giving a strong voice to those who speak for You, who speak truth in the face of opposition and adversity. Help us to understand the importance of our responsibility to warn and watch over those in Your church, to defend Your precious flock from the grievous wolves and predators, who intend lead them astray. It is a load bearing weight because of its imperative nature.
Father, give us a passion for truth that leads us to accept and rise up to the challenges of silencing these would be predators, that we may keep Your church faithful and committed to Christ. May it be for Your glory and for Christ's sake.
In His precious name we ask and pray

Today's Message: Silencing The Wolves

There is certainly, a need for pastors today, to hold firm to the apostolic doctrine. I believe that is a permanent requirement for those who hold the office, and this need is particularly intense when false teachers arise to threaten the peace and purity of the church. As is often the case with false teachers, they are driven by their insatiable lust for power and money, rather than the glory of God.

It is the presence of these false teachers, who would rebel against the Word of God, that our Lord has ordained pastors to provide the correction and guidance needed to protect His church, teaching truths which are foundational to Christian living. How we live and grow as followers of Christ, is by the renewing of our minds daily, focusing on the truth of God, as found in the Scriptures. Therefore, I believe that as pastors, we must always be on constant watch, guarding the flock, as not to give silent permission to evil and dangerous doctrines to make gradual progress, or to afford the wicked and evil men an opportunity of spreading them. Therefore, I believe, that we must be always in God’s Word, in order to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable. 
When we do come against those who come after the flock, sometimes it is best to ignore them, however, there are other times, when we must speak succinctly and concisely to them. The first thing that we need to recognize who they are. The second is, that we must know how to respond them. And third is, that we must keep our focus on the ultimate solution. 
Open with me, if you would, your Bibles to Titus 1:10-11. As we continue in our study of this section of God's Word, we come to a very important part of the Scripture, the part, where I believe, the rubber meets the road, in the responsibility of evangelism, protecting Christ's flock against the wolves, the rebellious false teachers. The Apostle Paul wastes no time, in describing those whom the Elders are to going deal with.
I would encourage you to follow along with me as I read to set our text in minds, as we prepare our hearts, as we listen for what the Holy Spirit is saying to us. Titus 1:10-11.

"For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain."
This which Paul is describing, was certainly the case in first-century Crete, where its young churches were in desperate need of godly, as well as biblically literate men to stem the tide of error that was beginning to rise against them. This was the kind of society in which the Christian church was living, and this was the type of national character that Titus was up against. Whenever the church is true to its authentic message in God's Word, it will most certainly be against the status quo. The church is a revolutionary body, and since the beginning of church history, it always has been. While there are times, we we can be sympathetic to some of the revolutionary movements of our day, the difference is that the church challenges the status quo with the Word and  power of God, and, this is something that no other group or organization is capable of doing!
How are we to respond to people who act like wild animals, snarling and grumbling with one another, people who engage in stupid controversies and violent quarrels and disputes over the law, and who are factious one with another, who are further characterized as pleasure seeking, sin loving people? This is the greatest reason, pastors are to be men of the Word of God, because there are many who are not. This is the widespread problem, we are witnessing today. And, it is unfortunate, that sinners often seem far more willing to throw their money at people and organizations, who water down the message of the gospel or worse yet, teach an outright perversion of it. Therefore, I believe, those of us who are faithfully committed to the biblical teaching found in the gospel, must be even more willing to support those persons, organizations, and churches that faithfully proclaim Scripture.
It is certainly no secret, that there are rebellious people today. The Greek word used, "anupotaktoi,"
refers to those who were literally uncontrolled, unwilling to submit to authority, not subject to rule. It’s also translated as unruly and insubordinate. This is the same word that Paul used to describe rebellious children in Jude, which characterizes uncontrollable people in 1:6 who reject authority. In II Timothy 4, Paul referred to Alexander the coppersmith, as one who did a "great deal of harm."
The Apostle Paul tells us in verses 10 and 11, "For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain."
There is a basic need of the people to have "sound doctrine," a phrase that Paul uses several times throughout his letter. The Apostle Paul recognized the change in society, therefore, people must be told the truth. This is the same problem that we face in our world today. We all know of someone who talks a lot,but doesn’t really say anything.  These kinds of talkers were very common in Crete and are also common in most churches today. This reminds me of the character called, "Talkative" in John Bunyan's Pilgrim’s Progress. As Christian and Faithful are walking along, Talkative comes up and engages them in a dialog. Faithful is enjoying the conversation but notices that Christian is being rather quiet and walking several feet away. While Faithful likes Talkative; Christian is more perceptive when he says, "This with whom you’re so impressed will beguile with his tongue twenty people who don’t know him." 
Faithful eventually sees that Talkative is full of words but empty in his heart. Christian advises that the best way to be rid of him is to begin a serious discussion about spiritual matters. And, sure enough, Talkative does not want to talk about what’s really important and says goodbye. Christian is pleased with Faithful’s straightforward style and says something that sounds a lot like Paul’s teaching to Titus: "It was a good thing you talked to him plainly as you did…I wish everyone would deal with them as you’ve done. Then they would either be made to conform to religion, or the Fellowship of the Saints would be too hot to remain."
Let's be honest, we have all all used venomous verbs and noxious nouns, and the truth is, we would all sin a lot less if only we talked less. In Proverbs 13:3, it links our lips to our lives in a very unsettling way. "The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; the one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin."
Proverbs gives us several examples how the tongue is used to hurt, destroy and kill. In Proverbs 20:19, we're told "He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do not associate with a gossip."
There are some people who feed on gossip. And, Proverbs 18:8 says "The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, And they go down into the innermost parts of the body." I am certain, that there are some of you have experienced the pain and destruction that can come from being around someone who speak angry, hurtful word, spewing volcanic verbiage. Furthermore, I believe that we have all experienced the horror of responding too quickly, saying something as we open mouth and inserting our foot.

When we transparently and truly live out the gospel in our day-to-day lives, then our families, our communities, and our culture will be transformed. God uses the testimony of our lives in an evangelistic way, and ultimately, people will take notice! In I Timothy 4, Paul says "But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth." Often, those who talk too much are also the ones who have a deceptive demeanor.

In Romans 16:17-18, "Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting."

The Apostle Paul’s ministry was plagued by these legalists and he dealt with them severely in Acts 15. In verse 2  "And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue." Paul recognized the danger of legalism , which sucks the life out of grace. 

In Galatians chapter 3, Paul said "You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun  by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?"

When we watch political debates on TV, we like to see who won. And the one who wins is usually the one with the best responses and the most cutting lines. It’s pretty clear that no politician today could even come close winning a debate with the Apostle Paul. And yet, when Paul writes to Titus, he tells him in verse 11 to "silence" these teachers. Titus task is not to engage these false teachers in debate or discuss. The idea that Paul is conveying, is to literally shut their mouths by means of a muzzle. In other words, they must be gagged, so that their voices would be made inaudible.

These teachers who are only after money, who seek dishonest, have purely selfish motives that are centered solely around self. These Cretans had a reputation for having prophets who simply wanted to make a profit. They walk around in darkness, like wild animals, devouring the vulnerable, without truly understanding themselves or the world. Paul not only tells Titus what these people are like, he empowers him to do something about it by prescribing a course of action.I believe this holds a very valuable lesson for us today, in the times in which we live. The Apostle Paul is very clear, they must be silenced! He was adamant, that these false teachers not be allowed to spread their poisonous venom. 

Because they were teaching that salvation does not come about by the death and resurrection of Jesus, rather that people can essentially save themselves by keeping the Law. The Apostle Paul had zero tolerance for a "works-based" theology because he knew first-hand that it didn’t work and that it essentially gutted the doctrine of God’s grace. herefore he tells Titus in verses 13 and 14 to "This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth." The word reprove, is the Greek word, "elenche," which means to expose, or to convict. 

You may recall, Paul gave young Timothy similar instructions, in II Timothy 4, in which he wrote 

"preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.Paul's instruction to Titus was to make sure that he reproves them severely and not softly because of the high stakes. The illustration here is similar to knocking down a door with an ax when a house is on fire so as to save the occupants.

I'd like to make mention, that the goal of a rebuke should always be restoration. That's the point. So, Paul tells Titus to rebuke sharply "so that they may be sound in the faith." Beloved, we are not to blast off at someone harsh words, just because we’re angry. A rebuke should lead to realignment and repentance. The word "sound" is the word from which we get the English word "hygiene," and is used metaphorically to describe someone who is spiritually healthy. A spiritual rebuke should have as its motivation a return to spiritual health.  

In Matthew 18:15, Jesus taught us that "If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother." I believe some of the most dangerous deceptions in our society today are being propagated today. Books and movies like The Da Vinci Code, and The Da Vinci Deception, both of which I’ve read and I was appalled by its attacks on the Bible, the deity of Christ, and the origins of Christianity. As believers, were are not to pay attention to such myths.

 In Closing...

 It's not an easy task, confronting error, however, it is most certainly a necessary one. As followers of Christ, we cannot just sit back and silently watch, as those who teach heresy work to destroy God's Word. Because false teaching always damages people! There seems to be the common notion that it really doesn’t matter what you believe, just as long as you are sincere about it and that you believe something. Nothing could be further from the truth! We are not all on different paths, heading to the same destination, as many today often claim. 

In fact, Jesus Himself taught in John 14:6, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." Doctrine matters!

If you do not know Jesus Christ and have a personal saving relationship, if you have not accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, accepting His death and resurrection as payment for your sins, you cannot and will not enter into God's kingdom! 

The greatest distinction between those who follow Christ and those who rebel is not found in the outward activities of an individual, though those are certainly present, however, it is in heart. Both the intellectual and moral capacity is also defiled in those who have not truly been converted.

In Matthew 15, Jesus said "It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man."

I cannot help but to wonder, how many among, who proclaim the name of Christ, who have convinced themselves they're going to heaven. When the shocking reality is, they're not! One of the dangers of coming to church, is that over a period of time, you can start to convince yourself, believing that you’re a Christian, simply because you have exhibited some outward expressions of a relationship with Jesus Christ. There are likely, a number of you today, who have professed to be a believer, some for many years and yet, if you would take the time to examine your heart, you may just find out that you're not.. I pray that is not the case. However, if it is, today, there is still time to commit your life to Christ, to receive the precious gift of salvation by grace alone, through faith in Christ alone.

I pray that you will give careful consideration to His offer now, today..

May it be so...

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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