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Standing Firm In Shaky Times


"Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." 

Good Morning my beloved,


Welcome to worship this Lord's day! We're so glad to have all of you here with us today. Please know, that we continue to lift all of you up in our prayers. We respectfully ask that you would do the same for us. We are so grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness to share God's Word with others has brought about tremendous results. Where will God's Word be heard today? With your continued help, and the many prayers of the saints, may God's Word w
ill continue to reach those who most need to hear it.
As your pastor, it my hearts desire to serve as a catalyst for your personal spiritual growth. It is my goal  to encourage you, to help you to form some personal habits that shape and direct the focus your life, where it belongs, on Christ. I know that many of you, want to wake up one day and see huge dramatic breakthroughs in your personal and spiritual growth.
Unfortunately, spiritual growth doesn’t happen that way. Spiritual growth happens through small advances over time. God has designed your growth to happen through spiritual disciples, Bible study, and through prayer and fasting . Much like a seed, a Christian needs certain things to grow. In Jesus Christ, you have everything you need. 
As I'm sure you are all aware, all throughout Scripture there are warnings against false teachers. In fact, I believe that we are all very, very aware of that. False teachers have been around since the beginning.
They are charismatically attempting to damn souls to hell by beguiling them, by deceiving them with lies, masquerading as spiritual divine saving truth. I won't belabor the point by naming names again, as you know, I've done that from time to time.

They are sons of Satan, they are out right liars, motivated by greed, moved by their love of money, power, prominence and prestige. They are the pawns of demons, who lead them to propagate Satanic lies to deceive souls,who will ultimately perish in hell. False teaching, false teachers, false prophets, false doctrines, is an age old problem. One he has been successful in since the beginning, in the Garden of Eden, and in every age, he is still successful today.

Let us pray

Heavenly Father,

Father, we thank You for Your Word, truth that is so rich, it overwhelms our hearts. When we were blind to the truth, You opened our eyes. You took us all the way from what is wrong to what is right. You have not only clearly revealed Your truth, but You have blessed us with a resident teacher, Your Holy Spirit. May we build our lives upon the truth, may we grow in the knowledge that is the substance of our salvation and the One Who said He was the truth. Strengthen us through Your Holy Spirit, so that we may be able to stand against the errors of our day.
We pray that we might set our defense by knowing our true spiritual condition, salvation, and being assured that we are in Christ. May we continue to grow in grace, living in the light of Christ's return. Thank You for reminding us, that we are not to seek to condemn people to hell, but we are to seek to take them with us to heaven, speaking truth, protecting those who are Your people, who are being mislead and deceived. And sharing the truth with those who are not yet Yours. Reveal to us Lord, those hearts that You have prepared to receive the truth, open our eyes and hearts to the opportunities as they present themselves.
In Jesus' name we pray
Today's Message: Standing Firm In Shaky Times
Fundamentally, false teachers attack the gospel of Jesus Christ. While the church today may be soft on such things, the Apostles of Jesus Christ were not! They boldly exposed the error of those false teachers who preyed upon the church. Sound doctrine is crucial to salvation and growth in spiritual maturity. God has always had those around for the purpose of boldly speaking His truth, confronting false teachers and demonic doctrine. There have always been those whose calling has been to warn about the deceivers and their deception teaching.
In order to be able to recognize false teachers, we must first be clear in our understanding of the truth, which they seek to undermine, pervert and distort. Let us now turn to the only standard, the true source for teaching and practice, the Word of God.
Open your Bibles with me to II Peter chapter 1, verses one and two. As we begin a new study, a new chapter which runs through the first eleven verses, today, we'll only be looking at the first four verses. Here, in his second letter, Peter is writing to warn the flock of the error, of lawlessness, and the wicked false teachers. Peter pulls no punches, in fact, much of his letter is given to direct statements of warning against being led astray by the error of the wicked.  
I invite you to follow along with me as I read to you our text, to set it in our minds, as we prepare our hearts, for a Word from the Holy Spirit. Listen for the voice of our Lord. II Peter 1:1-2

"Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord."

The purpose of Peter's letter, is exposing, thwarting, and defeating the invasion of false teachers in the church. It is well suited that purpose, it was when Peter wrote it and I believe that it still is today. A
great portion of it is very similar to the epistle of Jude, in fact, it's almost repetitive. They were obviously being used as an instrument of God, endeavoring to help us, against this kind of evil deception, to ensure that we don't fall victim to these damning lies and heresies, which is so prevalent today.

Because this is Peter's last letter, we get the sense that there is something very urgent in Peter’s heart. The undertone is "I'm not going to live very long, and if there’s one thing I want to do, I want to make sure that you remember these things. So, I'll remind you over and over, so that when I’m gone, you will have them in mind." False teachers were already moving were already moving among the people to whom Peter wrote. in on those to whom Peter wrote. They were not just in the future. There were no specific details revealed, in fact, there is no description of this heresy given whatsoever.  Peter's purpose is not to deal with the doctrine of these heretics, as much as it was to deal with their character. 
Peter wants us to be aware of the kind of people that they are. In fact, all he says about their doctrine, is it's damnable, damning and destructive. He does however say in chapter 3, that they mock the coming judgement of God. He's says very little beyond that. I believe that Peter's reasoning behind this is while their doctrine may change, their character doesn't! In other words, Peter wants the church to be able to defend itself against this incessant onslaught.

In verse 1, Peter introduces his second epistle by identifying himself as a bond-servant, an apostle of Jesus Christ. The gospel which Peter defines is the apostolic gospel.In fact, defining the true gospel was the mission of the apostles. You will not be capable of living for God in these days of apostasy, unless you have the true knowledge of God.

The Second Epistle of Peter was a long time in being accepted by the church into the canon of Scripture. The Canon was developed over a period of 300 years. No one questioned the authorship of I Peter, however, there were some who questioned the authorship of II Peter. They argued the fact that writing style was different within the two books and vocabulary was different. The style and word differences may well have come naturally because of the subject matter.  I believe we often choose a different vocabulary for a note of condolence than we will a letter of complaint.
It was accepted at the council that met at Laodicea in 372 A.D. and then again at Carthage in 397 A.D., which was really the first time that the church had taken that kind of stand. While that gives you a little of the history of the background of this epistle, the specific reasons that this epistle has been rejected by some cannot be substantiated. In my studies, I believe that the evidence is conclusive, the Apostle Peter wrote this epistle.
This, his second epistle was written around 66 A.D., shortly after his first epistle and just before his martyrdom. The similarities between Second Peter and Second Timothy are striking. Both Peter and Paul speak in a joyful manner of their approaching deaths. Both epistles identify the awful apostasy that was on the way at that time and which in our time has now arrived. The Apostle Paul knew that the time of his departure had come. He said that he fought the good fight, he had finished his course. And,that he had kept the faith. You will find that same triumphant message here in II Peter, as Peter also faces the prospect of his death.
Peter gives us three basic defenses that we need  to protect ourselves and not fall victim to the dangerous attacks of false teachers. As we will discover, this is a major concern for Peter. He says number one, know your salvation. Be sure that you're saved and that your standing with the Lord is settled. 
Number two, he tells us to know your Scripture. The Scripture which is from the Holy Spirit. We are eyes witnesses, moved by the Holy Spirit, we've written it down. Be sure that you follow it. Then, Peter says number three, know your sanctification. Deal with your own holiness. These are the three defenses that you need. So, be sure that you understand the truth. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Tell me what a man believes and I'll tell you what he'll do."  I believe this is a profound truth. People act on their convictions. People live according to their beliefs. What one believes as truth, will ultimately control his behavior. Error is one thing, however, the moral implications of that error serve to compound the problem even further.  
These self professed media preachers that teach an erroneous belief system, which feeds their materialistic obsession, their arrogant behavior, their pride and is unable to restrain their flesh and sin. In fact, many of the most widely listened to, most popular teachers are guilty of scandalous conduct, including immorality. I'm sure that you don't need any further illustration of this. They simply do not rightly interpret the Word of God. The Word of God is wrongly interpreted as subjective truth, strongly influenced by their personal feelings and opinions, rather than God's standard of objective truth. God's objective truth is true for everyone, whether they agree with it or not! The point of verse 1, "To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours," this is to put his readers on the same spiritual plane. What is most important in anyone's life is their faith. Peter learned this from Jesus Himself.

Jesus said in Luke 10:19-20, " Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.
Biblical Christianity teaches us that the Scriptures rightly interpreted are the ultimate and only standard and the source for all spiritual truth. Everything else is heresy! These charismatic teachers do not understand the rules that govern Scripture or the processes of interpreting the Bible. They have become mindless victims of their own subjectivity. Historically, we find this in Roman Catholicism and in theological neo-orthodoxy. They interpret the Scriptures on the basis of their feelings, emotions and their self-authenticating experiences think they're spiritual. With an aberrant process, a subjective process of interpretation, the foundation of their doctrine, is error. Therefore, their conduct will soon follow.
What I find to be terribly disturbing, is how can you claim to teach the gospel, the message of Jesus Christ, if you do not rightly understand the Bible! Because they speak visions of their own minds. So, ironically, they're always quoting Psalm 105:15, which says "Do not touch My anointed ones,
And do My prophets no harm." And, Matthew 7:1, which we are all familiar with "Do not judge so that you will not be judged." A strategy they often use to deflect from their own sinfulness.
As Christians, we must be able to recognize false teachers in order to know when we are being led down a path which God did not intend! Therefore, it should come as no surprise, that God warns us many times in Scripture to be aware of false teaching. Since these people are making their error public and since it's coming constantly coming like a flood, I feel that I need to react publicly. I do not believe that these people have come to error by careful honest process. That they've somehow gone through the right method and mistakenly come to the wrong answer. Nor do I believe that there is something within them that just compels them to teach what is wrong.
I rather believe that they are lacking the proper methodology, I believe that it's ignorance. However, there are a number of media salesmen who have an already rejected the view of God.For example, Jimmy Swaggert has said "Many people conclude that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all one and the same.  Actually they are not." He went on to say "You can think of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit as three different persons exactly as you would think of any three other people, their oneness pertaining strictly to their being one in purpose, design and desire. " That beloved, is heresy! That is a blatant denial of the Holy Trinity and the essence of the nature of the Living God.
There have been a number of others, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Joel Osteen, Paul Crouch, Robert Schuller, Casey Treat, Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson, I mean the list literally goes on and on of those who have been teaching heresy. They have a wrong view of salvation and a wrong view of Christ. In fact, Peter wrote this epistle to help believers face a world of subtle spiritual deception. And, God has a lot to say about false teachers in His Word, I'll just give you a few.
In Deuteronomy 18:20, God says "But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die."
And, in Jeremiah 14:14, He says "The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds."
Then, in Ezekiel 13:9, the Lord says "So My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will have no place in the council of My people, nor will they be written down in the register of the house of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel, that you may know that I am the Lord God." 
Many Christians today, are confused and are unwitting to the tactics of Satan. Many of them are deceived by false teaching, those who twist Scripture. I believe this is an issue that must be dealt with. They might promise you that you can live your best life now, but they cannot deliver it! They're dominated by lust, power and greed. They're characterized by immorality.
In verse 2, Peter says "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." 
Grace and peace come in unending, abundant streams to those who know God, who know our Lord, Jesus Christ. As you will remember,  Peter has been giving us defenses. The first, was to know your salvation. The second, was to know the Scripture. And, third, know your sanctification.Now he says we need to know the substance of our salvation. 
Look at the end of verse 2, "In the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." The word "knowledge," is the word "epignsisi," it is strengthened form of form of gnsis, which is a basic personal information.   Therefore, the word epignsis would be a full, exact, rich, and involving an intimate knowledge and understanding. You cannot become a Christian until you hear the truth about Jesus Christ.  
The Bible says that the truth is not in us, our hearts lie, they will deceive us. Man doesn’t understand his own depravity, he's a fool. Apart from the Word of God, he cannot understand the objectives and the power of salvation. Salvation’s substance is not based on emotion, feeling or intuition! It is based upon the revealed truth through God's Word, the knowledge of that truth. The substance of our salvation is we know God through knowing Jesus Christ.  
Judges 2:10 says "All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel." It's talking about a whole generation of people who didn’t know the Lord.
That's why Peter says in II Peter 3:18, "Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." It is in the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord, our grace and peace is multiplied.
In Romans 5:20-21, Paul says "The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,  so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." That is the reality of blessing flowing out of the forgiveness that Jesus Christ has given. If we are to stand against false teaching, it's imperative that we know the source of your salvation and the substance of your salvation is knowledge. You need to understand that. 
In Closing..
There’s no place for mysticism, imagination, rationalization or visualization. The substance of your salvation is not mystical, the substance of your salvation is knowing the God of truth, the Christ of truth, and they truth which they have revealed.  It's not merely know the truth about God, rather it’s knowing God through His truth. That's how we know God, through the revealed truth in His Word. 
All that false teachers can offer, leads to a life of self-indulgence. They seek to turn us from Christ to something else. True salvation knows of no second-class citizens in the kingdom of God. All men stand equal before Almighty God, because it is His righteousness in Christ which saves us and not our own righteousness. The gospel transforms men from sin to righteousness, having escaped the corruption that is in the world. True knowledge comes through God, who has called us. When we willing surrendered  our hearts and wills to Christ, we became a bond-servant to whom we trust with our very souls.
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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