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Anointed To Serve


"Now it happened that when all the people were being baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, "You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased."

Good Morning my beloved,

We welcome you to worship in the name of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I am delighted to have all of you here with us today.
I want you to know how grateful I am for each and every of you. I humbly ask for you to please pray for God to continue to use this ministry as we continue to work with a  number of countries, in Europe, the Middle-East, North Africa and Asia, these people are so hungry to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, it's bittersweet joy, since there are only so many hours in a day, so at least for the time being, I'll only have time to study and prepare one message per week on Sunday instead of twice a week.  I believe every pastor lives for the preaching of the Word of God, he prays for the success of the message as it goes out in the church, that it may go out into the world wherever God wants it to go to penetrate the hearts of those who need to receive His Word. Not everyone is going to respond the way some of you have, trusting in Jesus Christ for your salvation. There are many faithless people in some of these areas who are hostile toward Christ, they want to shut our mouths so the Gospel can't be preached, so beloved, will you please pray for me and this ministry to be effective for our Great God's glory, no matter what opposition may come from those who are the enemies of Christ? I have every confidence that our Lord is faithful and will never allow anything that doesn't serve His divine purposes or isn't part of His plans.

Our Lord Jesus Christ always spoke the Truth, like John the Baptist, He called out sin and hypocrisy and urged people to repent, and warned them of eternal Hell and in doing so, He faced the strongest hatred, the greatest evil the world has ever known. We're living in a day when God's Word is not only being twisted and perverted, it is being completely ignored, and in many in cases, God Himself is being rejected. We could even go so far as to say that our society not only mocks God, rejects God, but there is absolutely no fear of God in their hearts at all. Sadly, this seems to have even made its way into the Church. Is it any wonder that America is on the brink of a disaster, a nation where evil and wickedness abound? We are facing the divine judgment of God. I am appalled that the church could turn their backs on the God they claim to serve, these Christ denying hypocrites have overstepped their bounds, turning God's grace into licentiousness, celebrating sexually immoral behavior and call it "loving your neighbor" to cover up the wretchedness of soul damning destructive doctrine. There is little doubt, we are engaged in a relentless spiritual battle, an all out war that is raging against the Truth of God. 

It is important to realize that you can’t believe everything you hear from Christian preachers who claim to represent God, not everything that is being purported to come from God is biblical, much of it is coming from a demonic source. It amazes me, frankly, that even though the Bible is explicitly clear about the dangers of false teachers, who secretly introduce destructive heresies, and those who blindly follow them. I’m afraid that much of what we're seeing, what looks to be a great revival happening across our country, is nothing less than a preoccupation with Christian celebrity, everybody from godless politicians to famous athletes, musicians and movie stars that are supposedly coming to Christ. I’m not so sure this quasi-reformation is all really centered on God, it looks more like an attempt to regain fame and rejuvenate a dying career. While many Christians and the church, those who have a divine mandate to uphold and defend the Truth, just sit back and smile at those whose souls are in jeopardy. 
I believe that we must consider what's really at stake here! I'm just not buying into the hunk of lies that Satan is selling, to just receive  everybody in the name of love, anybody that utters the name of "Jesus" from their lips, even if they don't believe the right doctrine, or else we might potentially lose them for Christ. Nobody loves the lost more than God, and nobody preached a stronger warning of divine judgment and Hell than Jesus Christ. I do not believe we can afford to be soft on sin, and water down the doctrine to keep from offending anybody. We must confront an evil, doomed society right where it needs to be confronted. SIN. In fact, Revelation chapters 2 and 3 tells us Christ is indeed going to judge those who tolerate sexually immorality in the Church. Therefore, we need to repent, submit and obey to Christ, following the lead of the head of the Church and trust Him to build His Church His way. 
However, as the church continues to grow, we need to understand new people joining the church will be looking to those of us who have been in the church for a while as sort of biblical role models, this is particularly true if you’re a leadership role in the church, it's important to make sure we're all being obedient to the faith, living above reproach and that includes our conduct on social media. I've seen some extremely inappropriate discussions, language that should never be coming from the lips (or keyboards) of Christians frankly, it's embarrassing to even be associated with individuals who behave in such a manner, much less be asked why some Christians act the way they do.
We must understand the church is facing many cultural challenges that did not exist in years past, deep-seated complex beliefs that are ingrained, I believe everybody should be welcome in Christ's Church, but that can have no effect on the message preached. The message must remain the same because God Himself never changes, what was sin two thousand years ago is still sin today, regardless of the cultural perspectives. One's cultural or religious background is irrelevant; it doesn't matter who you are, how you lived or where you come from, the Gospel never changes, whether we're talking to Atheists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Mormons, New Age gnostics, the LGBT community or whatever, the message never changes, it's the same Gospel anywhere it's preached in the world. And that message is we’re saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as revealed in Scripture alone, to the glory of God alone. I'm reminded of Heinrich Heine, the 19th-century German philosopher, who once said, "Show me your redeemed life and I might be inclined to believe in your Redeemer," there was a strong emphasis on "might."
There seems to be a serious defect in contemporary church ministry, modern evangelicals are reaching in their little bag of tricks, both unconventional and unimaginable, trying to woo non-believers into a building and they want to call it church. I've recently encountered some places that are offering dimly lit auditoriums, including concert-style lighting, movies with popcorn, and even acrobatics. While that all may be very entertaining, let me make it perfectly clear, that's not a church! The church is a gathered assembly of believers, who have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, who have completely dedicated their lives to worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ. There's a huge difference between creating an event that specifically targets unbelievers and designing your entire ministry around them and calling it a church, that's a misrepresentation of the truth. Salvation doesn't come through entertainment and gimmicks, it comes through the proclamation of the Gospel and by the power of the Holy Spirit to everyone who believes.
The church is marked by the assembly of a regenerate congregation, and the proclamation of the Gospel that causes the sinner to say, "God is in this place," whether it's in a parking lot, a tent or a house, it's not the building that makes it a church. It's not that I seek to be unpopular with the world, but I'm not about to alter the message to gain the world's approval. The Gospel is offensive to those living in rebellion to God, until He opens up the eyes of the sinner, calling them out of darkness. Just remember, the darker the world becomes, the easier it is to see the Light.

Let's pray

Heavenly Father, 

Father, as always we thank You for Your Word, my prayer is that You will give us a greater understanding of the call to repentance. Supernaturally move in the hearts of those who are living in open rebellion to You and do a gracious work in every needful life willing to receive Your holy Word. Lord, I would pray that You would call some out of the darkness into Your glorious Light to be added to Your church, even today. Thank You for making us part of Your Church, what a privilege it is to be loved, blood-bought, sanctified and given the mind of Christ, we long for that glorious day when we will shed this earthly body and be glorified like our Lord. Until then, help us to be a light in the midst of the increasing spiritual darkness of the present age, as we keep spreading the Gospel for Your glory and for Christ's sake, trusting that You will grow Your Church. It is in His Name we ask and pray these things.

Today's Message: Anointed To Serve

We've been addressing some of the serious problems effecting the modern church today, but if I were to narrow it down to just one problem, I'd have to say the church has left its first love, shifting away from her original passion of glorifying God and exalting Christ, and is now characterized by her willingness to engage in questionable negotiations and compromise with Satan, tolerating every imaginable form of wickedness and evil in the house of God. In Revelation 3:20, the glorified Christ says "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me." Most of us have heard this verse used to evangelize unbelievers, I’m sure we've all seen the artists paintings of Christ standing outside knocking on the door. But this is really a picture of Christ standing outside the apostate church, the church that bears His name, I hasten to say, it's a church where He's not welcomed to come inside. I dare say there are a lot of churches like that day, you can find them in nearly every city all across America. Allow me to remind you, He won't go where He's not invited, He won't stay where He's not welcomed, but it only takes one true believer in a church to open the door and let Christ come inside and fellowship. 
It's sad that the church today that is supposed to be the pillar of Truth, uphold Truth has been infected with a compromising, and deadly doctrine. I believe we must take a firm stand on the Truth, but we must never lack compassion for the lost, the totally rejected or become so hostile toward a particular group of people that we lose our perspective. I've heard some pretty horrific stories recently about pastors who have said "We don't want those people (fill in the blank) here in our church, God doesn't want them here, they're worthless!" May I remind you of your own wretched spiritual condition when the Lord called you? (c.f. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11) I thank God for leading me out of the darkness, it's still astonishing all these years later that the Lord would choose me for such a high calling. There’s more hope for the salvation of an atheist than a self-righteous hypocrite who thinks he knows the truth while his lifestyle clearly denies it.
Christ didn't compromise with the world, He compassionately confronted those who were trapped in sin, and graciously offered them grace, mercy and forgiveness to repentant sinners, that should be our attitude as well. 

Open you Bibles with me, if you would and turn them to Luke chapter 3, verses 21 and 22. Luke 3:21-22. I trust that you will be following along with me read these two to you, to set it in our minds as we open our hearts and listen for the voice of our Lord. "Now it happened that when all the people were being baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, "You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased."
Everything in up to this point in Luke's gospel has been building up to the defining moment that sets the course for the ministry of Jesus, His baptism. Yet, as significant as this event is, this transition from John the Baptist to Jesus is, Luke simply mentions it without fanfare, "Jesus was also baptized." Notice, he instead focuses on several events that were going on at the baptism, Jesus was praying, heaven opening up, the Holy Spirit coming down, and of course the Father's voice that came out of heaven, the divine confirmation of Jesus as the Messiah, "This is My beloved Son, in Him I am well-pleased," which is the main point that Luke is making. For thirty years Jesus has lived virtually unknown to the people of His own town Nazareth, He had no public ministry, no public persona, in fact, there was nothing about Him that would indicate that He is the Messiah, that He is the Anointed One, that He is God incarnate, the Savior of the world up to this point.
Let's look at verse 21, "Now it happened that when all the people were being baptized, Jesus was also baptized" we'll stop there for a moment.  Now John the Baptist, has already been preaching repentance for the forgiveness of sins in the wilderness, baptizing people in the Jordan river for about six months telling them of the One that is to come when Jesus comes from Nazareth to Galilee, a sixty or seventy mile journey, to be baptized. The Apostle John records that John the Baptist didn't immediately recognize Jesus even though they were relatives, which isn't really as surprising as it sounds. John the Baptist lived in the wilderness of Judea his entire life, and Jesus lived in the village of Nazareth. But I believe what John was actually saying was he didn't recognize Him physically, and there had been no divine confirmation since the last time they encountered one another, which as far as we know was before Mary had given birth to Jesus. Surely, John's mother, Elizabeth, would have told John that he was the forerunner of the Messiah, Who was actually a relative of his, but since he probably hadn't seen Him for since they were children growing up, he wouldn't have known what He looked like as an adult. It wouldn't have been so different from many of our families today, where the older generations prioritized family gatherings, but it's not so much the case today. I've known many people who have lived their entire lives without ever meeting their grandparents, aunts and uncles or cousins.

John was already baptizing large crowds of people, which verse 7 tells us there were multitudes of people coming to be baptized, so when Jesus shows up to be baptized, as far as John wouldn't have known He was just another Jew among many coming to be baptized in preparation for the arrival of the Messiah, there was nothing significant about Him to identify Him at this point. Unless you read Matthews account, you wouldn't know that John tried to prevent baptizing Him saying, "I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?," because being the sinless Son of God, He's not alienated from God. He had nothing to repent of. Matthew tells us in chapter 3, but Jesus answering said to him, "Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he permitted Him." Doesn't sound like much of an argument, does it? I believe there must have more dialogue between them, but all we get is "Then he permitted Him." Matthew adds Jesus said to him, "Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." It was important for Him to be baptized to fulfill all righteousness. In other words, He's saying is that what God required, God sent John to baptize people so that people would be cleansed of sin and live a righteous life.  It was after being baptized, when Jesus came up immediately from the water that heaven was opened and the voice of God that comes out of heaven proclaiming Jesus as His Son, and His perfection, saying that He is well pleased with everything about Him, which being inspired by the Holy Spirit, what Luke focuses on is the perspective of the Trinity.

We know that not everybody was being baptized, Luke later says in chapter 7:30, that the Pharisees and the scholars of the Law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John. They would have seen no need for themselves to be washed and cleansed of sin, that was for Gentiles outside the covenant of God, called proselyte baptism. They prided themselves on being the children of Abraham and the sons of the covenant. That's why John told them in verse 8, that "from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham." So the word "all" doesn't mean literally everybody, it simply means all of those who came down to the Jordan during the ministry of John to be baptized, and Jesus would have gotten in line like everybody else, of which there were many. Matthew 3:13 says "Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John to be baptized by him," using the Greek verb "paraginomai," which is the equivalent of making a public appearance, which is exactly what Jesus did after thirty years of living in obscurity. There's nothing in Scripture to indicate that they ever met up again after John announces, "Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world." 
Jesus alone would fulfill the whole Old Testament because He lived a perfectly righteous life, Jesus did everything that God ever required of a righteous person. He fulfilled the ceremonial law, the whole ceremonial system came to an end. He would become the ultimate, final sacrifice for the sins of those who would believe on Him. He fulfilled the judicial law, all the statutes and ordinances, in a negative way, when Jesus died on the cross. But He fulfilled it so that He could build His church out of Jews and Gentiles, He Who knew no sin, became sin for us. Salvation was intended for all who would be believe, but the Jews decided it was just for them, because they were set apart, God's chosen people. They misunderstood God's purpose, so Jesus came to set everything straight, that's why God ripped the veil into upon His death. He fulfilled the Passover and instituted the Lord's Supper. He came to do what the law couldn’t do, and give us His righteousness, so that we could live a righteous life. God wants His people to be Holy, because He is Holy. (c.f. Leviticus 11:44)  Jesus fulfilled everything God required so that through Him, you and I can, His perfect life could be credited to your account and mine. He did it all to pay for all our sins and give us a clean slate. 

That brings us to verse 22, "And the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased." Mark says "And immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening." That significant because heaven came down, first, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove and secondly, God speaks, this is divine confirmation that He was the Messiah. Listen as I read John 1:31-34, "I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water." John testified saying, "I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God." Now, I've heard some pretty crazy comments about Christ's baptism, so allow me just say a few things here, this is not Jesus receiving the Holy Spirit, this is to demonstrate that God's official anointing has put on Him as the true Messiah, connected to His ministry, to empower Him in a special way so that everybody recognized that He was Who He said He was. He never ceased to be Who He was, but He set aside the independent use of His divine attributes and He yielded Himself to the power of the Holy Spirit, to take on the form of a man. (c.f. Philippians 2:7) That's what's being symbolized here at His baptism to convey that reality in a profound way, by the Holy Spirit descended upon Him, He made it possible for those who would believe in Him to be filled with the Holy Spirit, so that we too could fulfill the law. That is exactly what happens when we come to Christ, we receive the Holy Spirit, to live a life controlled by the Holy Spirit, guided by the Holy Spirit, and live a life that is pleasing to God. So that we can say, "Not as I will, but as You will." We cannot outwardly manifest the righteousness of God by living inwardly disobedient to God's Word. That's why Jesus said in Matthew 5:20, "For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." Their righteous was all external, their hearts were corrupt. There are a lot of people who claim to belong to the kingdom, whose deeds are righteous but frankly their thoughts and desires are unrighteous. God is not concerned about who people think you are, He's concerned about who you really are. That's why God judges the heart, men judge the outside.
No matter what you may have heard, God's Word never changes. Jesus didn't come to lower the standards for Christians, He came to raise the bar back to where God intended, He even condemned the hypocritical religious leaders for putting the traditions of men about the law of God. The key to living a righteous life is changing the Word of God, it's keeping His commandments, through Christ's perfect life, He gives us the power and ability to obey His law, and the desire to obey, though imperfectly, it should the ongoing direction of our lives. The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is pretty amazing if you stop and think about it, helping us to grow in wisdom and spiritual maturity, transforming our lives, encouraging us and strengthening us for what we have to do. What has God anointed you to do? Whatever it is, if God has called you for that purpose, He will equip and empower you, as long as you are obeying His revealed will for your life, so don’t be afraid.
How have you glorified God in your thoughts and desires today? Or are you just another religious hypocrite like the scribes and Pharisees? God knows our hearts, He knows if we’re really a Christian or if we're just playing church. You better examine your own heart to be sure that you are in the faith, unless you indeed fail the test. It's sad that so many pastors today want to reinterpret the Bible, to make it less offensive, to fit the sins of our culture, because it makes people uncomfortable when He confronts people where they don’t want to be confronted. When the Holy Spirit comes to live in us, we begin our new lives lived in and through Christ, leaving our old sinful lives behind.

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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