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Forsaking The Right Way


"15 forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet. 17 These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved. 18 For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error."

Good Morning my beloved,


Welcome to worship this Lord's day! We're so glad that you are here with us today. Please know, that we continue to lift all of you up in our prayers. We respectfully ask that you would pray for this ministry to continue to reach the lost, the broken and the hopeless. And 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 help, and God's blessing, it will reach those that need it most. 

False teachers will claim to love the Church, yet work behind the scenes work to hinder its effectiveness. Pretending to speak truth,  twisting the Scripture for their own personal gain. No matter how successful or prosperous these false teachers may appear to be, their judgment does not linger; judgement is not idle. The day is soon coming when all false teachers will pay dearly, with their lives for teaching destructive heresies, because they did not teach the truth of Christ. 
Throughout church history there have been many examples of those who would pervert the Gospel of Christ and they have deceived many. In the 1970's Jim Jones, who led the Peoples Temple, convinced his entire congregation to follow him to South America and over 900 of them, including many children, drank cyanide laced Kool-Aid in a mass suicide.
In the early 1990’s David Koresh, claimed to be Jesus and his cult the Branch Davidians moved into a compound in Waco Texas. Koresh became the polygamous husband of all the females and there were many reports of sexual abuse and statutory rape in the compound. In a 1993 raid by the ATF & FBI… 76 Branch Davidians died in a fire that was set by the cult itself. In the late 1990's Marshal Applewhite, the leader of the "Heaven’s Gate" cult convinced 38 people to commit suicide in order to reach what they believed was an alien space craft following the Hale–Bopp comet.
Today, there are many false teachers, who offer lies disguised as the truth, they water down and manipulate the Word of God and ignore sound biblical doctrine, replacing it with humor, communicative skill, edgy comments and a powerful voice, entertaining and luring masses of people, who lack biblical discernment, and are unable to tell the difference between truth and lies. Those who are often in the church, but are not in Christ. 
They refuse to preach the whole counsel of the Bible, rather than teaching "Deny yourself,and take up your cross" they focus on "Indulge yourself, God wants you to have everything you want." Encouraging those who are not truly craving the Lord to be the sovereign ruler of their lives, to pursue their own lusts and doing whatever they want. Even if God's Word says its unwholesome, immoral and sin.

Let us pray

Heavenly Father,

Father, we thank You for Your Word. The truth that breathes the same fury of Christ that He breathed  fire upon the Jewish leaders in His day. As difficult as it may be for us to hear, thank You for warning us. Thank You for giving us the insight that we might know who are speaking truth and truly representing You and those who are not. 

Lord, we pray that we might be faithful, defending the faith against error, that we might expose Words full of nothing that convicts and nothing that converts, nothing that transforms lives. Help us to deal with the sin in our own lives, speak to our hearts, that we might treat uncomfortable doctrines as Your instruction to change, rather than treat them as obsolete and out of place in our lives. May we be found spotless and blameless before You.
In Christ's name we pray

Today's Message: Forsaking The Right Way

In our society today, mankind’s depraved nature despises submitting to authority of any kind. In fact, the mantra of our day is live your own truth and you do you. Tragically, even those who outwardly identify Christ as their Savior, will not inwardly nor practically live under His rule, or His Word, His ways or His will, ultimately refusing His Lordship. 
They claim to love Jesus, to follow Him, yet they refuse to live by His commands, refuse to follow His Word, and refuse to reject all man-made wisdom while only following Christ. God’s Word is minimized, Christ’s Lordship is ignored in their lives. They look upon His commands, which conflict with their immoral desires and lifestyle with contempt, and they do it continually, all the time, in every way. They refuse to be confronted with the sin in their lives, manipulating Jesus' command to love, to suit themselves and condone the tolerance of their sin. Outwardly, they appear to serve God, while inwardly, feather their own nests.
True Christians see themselves as freed from sin and darkness, being finally able to become obedient to the Lord and to obey all His appointed authority. If you are truly submissive to God as the sovereign authority over your life, you will either submit to ALL the authority which God Himself set up, established and designed for your life or you have failed to submit to any of it. There's no half way with God, Jesus didn't go half way to the cross! We are not privileged to pick and choose what and when we will obey His Word.

Open your Bibles with me to II Peter chapter 2. As I previously mentioned, our passage runs from 10b through verse 22, which is the end of this wonderful chapter. Today, in our ongoing study, we come to verses 15 through 18. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the truths keep exploding with vivid illustrations and strong words. It is my honor and great privilege to be able to share this passage, in which is filled with fiercely strong language, fiery powerful truth and blasts of divine fury. 
Some years ago, God laid a heavy burden on my heart, to confront the error of false teachers. As I'm sure many of you have notice, I have taken a very serious and aggressive stand against it. And, as long as He sees fit to keep me alive I will continue to do so. The Word of God is very precious to me and I do not take pernicious heresies that have infested and ruined the church lightly.
I invite you to follow along with as I read verses 10b through 22, to again set the entire text in our minds, as we prepare our hearts for what the Spirit of God is saying to us. Listen for the voice of our Lord. II Peter 2:10b-22.  

"Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties, whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord. But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you, having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet.
These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved. For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, "A dog returns to its own vomit," and, "A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire."
In this world of increased tolerance, man calls sin a liberty, God calls it lawlessness. Man calls sin an infirmity, God calls it an iniquity. Man justifies sin, God hates sin. I encourage you to examine your hearts, take your sin seriously and be motivated by the consequences of sin. Whether you’re battling with porn, if you are fornicating or committing adultery, or are close to compromising, confess it and repent today.

Numbers 32:23 says "You have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out."
Now, in verses 15 and 16, Peter very vividly makes his point that false teachers  are in it for what they can gain. "Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet."
The phrase the "right way," is an Old Testament metaphor, which refers to obedience to God's Word. The right way is to walk in obedience to God. So, Peter is saying they have forsaken the way of obedience.
In Acts 13:10, the Apostle Paul, being filled with the Holy Spirit said "You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?"  By the way, forsaking the right way is an act of deliberate intent. It describes a direct act of rebellion against the Word of God. True Christians are not rebels, they obey God's authority. Submission is a direct result of being filled by the Holy Spirit. Willful disobedience  is a blatant rejection of the Word of God.
Peter says they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam.  Balaam had a prize and a payment that motivated him. I won't go into the story, you can find it in Numbers 22, 23 and 24. I'll just summarize for now, Balaam was a prophet, who had been given by God the ability to speak for God.  The Moabites wanted victory over Israel., so they came to Balaam, who apparently had a reputation as being a prophet for hire. 
King Balak of Moab went to Balaam and said "We will pay you a great sum of money if you will pronounce a curse on Israel." As a footnote, King Balak kept upping the ante because Balaam said, "I can only speak the word of the Lord." It all sounds good, he sounds like a very faithful and loyal man.  However, you get the sense that he is just saying that so Balak will come back with a higher offer. He kept refusing what was offered, saying "I can only speak what God tells me to speak." Interestingly enough, he never did curse Israel, but instead blessed the nation. If you read the story, it was evident that he wanted the money and God stopped him from cursing Israel. 

Peter, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit looks right into Balaam's heart and says "Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness." In other words, he loved to get paid for doing evil, he preferred money to obeying God. 

Deuteronomy 23 says "Because they did not meet you with food and water on the way when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you. Nevertheless, the Lord your God was not willing to listen to Balaam, but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the Lord your God loves you."
By the way, God stopped him by receiving "a rebuke for his own transgression."  And what did God use to rebuke him, look at verse 16, "But he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet." There was no outward transgression because he hadn't prophesied anything yet, his heart was wicked.
The word restrained is the Greek verb "kóluó," which means to hinder or prevent. And the word madness is the Greek word "paraphronía," which means "out of ones mind." In today's vernacular, we would say he was beside himself. So, there he is, riding his donkey with the anticipation of money. This is really a fascinating story, I would encourage you to read it for yourself, if you haven't. Allow me to just read a bit of it.
Numbers 22, "So Balaam arose in the morning, and saddled his donkey and went with the leaders of Moab.  But God was angry because he was going, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey and his two servants were with him. When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand, the donkey turned off from the way and went into the field; but Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back into the way. Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path of the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pressed herself to the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall, so he struck her again. The angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn to the right hand or the left. When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam was angry and struck the donkey with his stick. And the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” Then Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a mockery of me! If there had been a sword in my hand, I would have killed you by now.” The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I ever been accustomed to do so to you?” And he said, “No.”

Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed all the way to the ground. The angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me. But the donkey saw me and turned aside from me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, I would surely have killed you just now, and let her live.”   

In verses 34 and 35, "Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you were standing in the way against me. Now then, if it is displeasing to you, I will turn back.” But the angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but you shall speak only the word which I tell you.” So Balaam went along with the leaders of Balak."

This is really an absolutely fascinating story, I strongly encourage you to read it on your own, if you haven't already done so. I really love the way that God makes an absolute fool out of this mad prophet. That donkey had more prophetic vision than Balaam, because his reason and moral sense had been perverted by his sin. God stopped him because he was about to prostitute his prophetic gift. God had restrained him and made him prophesy a blessing.

False teachers are in it for money, but fleshly carnality and immorality always goes along with their greed. Look at Revelation 2:14, here the Lord write to the church of Pergamum and says  "But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality."

What was his teaching, in Numbers he doesn't do any teaching? Since he couldn't curse Israel, he tried to corrupt Israel. He used his powers and influence to get the men of Israel to be seduced by the women of Moab. To pull them into intermarriage, orgies and Moabitish idolatry. He knew this would lead to the destruction of the Jewish race, it would become lost in paganism. It sucked them right into their immorality, their idolatry and idolatrous intermarriage. So, Balaam was the prototype for false teachers. He sought money and he sought sexual immorality. 

To sum it up, the false teachers follow the way of Balaam because they say we're Christians, we're pastors, we're preachers, therein lies their subtlety and deception. By decision, they have gone astray from the right way. Next, they accept error rather than sound doctrine. Wearing their religious robes, they teach what is contrary to God's Word. They are in it for their sexual gratification and they're in it for the money. And, they encourage others to follow them on the same path. That's the pattern. 

In verse 17, Peter characterizes their teaching. "These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved." He's saying that like a dry oasis in the desert or a cloud that looks like rain, but just blows over, with their eloquent and persuasive language, these false teachers promise to quench your thirst, but they don’t deliver on their promises. Rather than calling people to holiness, they appeal to their fleshly lusts, claiming God surely wouldn't want them to deprive themselves of the pleasure.

I'd like you to notice that Peter keeps injecting their doom every few verses. There's one at the end of verse 13, then verse 14 and now at the end of verse 17.  First, Peter represent two very precious things in the Middle East, springs and rain. It can be a very hot place, they cannot survive without them.  Their promises are a far cry from the words of our Lord, who said "If you drink of this well you'll never thirst again." It's all part of their deception. They make claims to bring water to the thirsty soul, but they have no refreshment to offer.

Peter says of their judgment, "For whom the black darkness has been reserved." He's talking about hell, its a mixture of fire and darkness.

In verse 18, because Peter is so righteously angry, he continues to inject direct statements of eternal damnation. "For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error." They tickle the ears of people who are enthralled by their pompous words, that's their weapon. Deceive people with their high-sounding words, as if it were a direct revelation from God. When in reality, they say nothing spiritual and nothing divine. They speak demonic theology to damn people to hell, all part of Satan's system.

You know, today, there are so many ignorant preachers who literally make up their theology even as they speak. Tragically, their empty words entice people. They make the impression upon sinners that their happiness is the supreme motive of being religious. They void preaching doctrines that are offensive to the carnal mind. If you preach that way you're not going to say anything to offend anyone, however, you surely aren't going to convert anyone either. They do not rebuke worldly tendencies, or sin instead they teach self-indulgent, pleasure seeking messages that God loves them and wants them to have everything they desire, money, power, cars, houses. Pursue these things, God wants you to have it all. However, you have to listen very carefully to be able to discern it.


In Closing..

You will never be right with God until turn from your sin in humble repentance and turn to Christ. There is no way you can deal with sin on your own. You will never defeat sin in your own strength. Only Jesus Christ, can forgive your sin, cleanse you of your sin and make you new. It’s a sin not to honor His authority, however, it is to lack submission because it puts you outside of God’s will for your life. 

I encourage you today, to surrender to Christ's sovereign authority, to honor Him with your worship and praise, an obedient life. 

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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