The Book of JUDE
James J. Barker
APOSTATES WALKING AFTER THEIR OWN LUSTS
- My message tonight is entitled, “Apostates Walking After Their Own Lusts” (Jude 16, 18).
- Jude does not actually use the word “apostate” to describe these ungodly false prophets. He often just says, “These…” (Jude 16; cf. vss. 19, 14, 12, 10, etc.).
- “These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts…” (Jude 16; cf. II Peter 3:3).
- These apostates not only walk after their own lusts, verse 18 says, they “walk after their own ungodly lusts” (cf. vss. 4, 15).
APOSTATES MURMUR AND COMPLAIN (JUDE 16).
- We must not tolerate murmuring and complaining in church.
- The Israelites developed the bad habit of murmuring. The first time we find the word “murmur” in the Bible is in Exodus 16:7, where Moses said to the murmurers, “And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that He heareth your murmurings against the LORD: and what are we, that ye murmur against us?”
- The children of Israel murmured against the LORD and against Moses as well. When people murmur and rebel against God’s appointed leaders, they are actually murmuring against God Himself.
- Moses went on to say in Exodus 16:8, “For that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against Him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.”
- The apostle Paul refers to these murmurers in I Corinthians 10:10, where he says, “Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition.”
- Our Lord warned about murmuring in John 6:43. “Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.”
- Murmuring and complaining and griping can destroy a church. If a Christian hears someone murmur, he or she should try to put a stop to it right away.
- Some Christians think they are good Bible-believers. But if they are chronic complainers or grumblers they are not good Christians. Murmuring and complaining is the mark of an apostate (Jude 16).
APOSTATES WALK AFTER THEIR OWN LUSTS (JUDE 16).
- “Lust” means “a strong desire” of any kind. This same Greek word is translated “desire” in Philippians 1:23, where Paul writes, “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.” This is a good desire.
- Another example of the word being used in a good way would be in I Thess. 2:17, “But we, brethren…endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.”
- But in the Bible, the word usually refers to sinful lusts – the lusts of the flesh, such as in Matthew 5:28 where our Lord says, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
- Or in Galatians 5:16, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
- It is in this context that Jude warns that apostates “walk after their own ungodly lusts” (Jude 18). Unbelief and ungodly lusts go together (e.g., apostate churches have been overrun with sodomites).
- Ephesians 2:3 speaks of “the lusts of our flesh.”
- First Timothy 6:9 warns of “many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.”
- Second Timothy 2:22 says, “Flee also youthful lusts…”
- Second Timothy 3:6 and Titus 3:3 warn of “divers lusts.”
- Second Timothy 4:3, 4 says, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
- Titus 2:12 says we should deny “ungodliness and worldly lusts.”
- James 1:14, 15 says, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
- Second Peter 3:3 says, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts.”
- First Peter 1:14-16 says, “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
- First Peter 2:11 says, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.”
- First John 2:15-17 says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
- Revelation 18 describes God’s judgment upon “Babylon the great.” Verse 14 says, “And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee…”
APOSTATES ARE CARNAL AND SENSUAL (JUDE 16-19).
- I have mentioned in previous messages that apostates are often good orators. Jude 16 says, “their mouth speaketh great swelling words.” But their “great swelling words” are arrogant words – blasphemous words – words that contradict the plain teachings of Scripture.
- T.D. Jakes is a very popular preacher. His church in Texas has thousands of members. But he denies the Trinity. He is a “Oneness, Jesus-Only United Pentecostal” preacher. He teaches modalism – the belief that God is a single person who has revealed Himself in three modes or forms. Jakes often uses the term, “three manifestations.”
- Foolish unregenerate sinners fawn over these apostates – “having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage” (Jude 16b).
- The New King James translation says, “flattering people to gain advantage.”
- Rowan Williams, the apostate archbishop of Canterbury, is a practicing druid. Druids are pagan devil-worshippers.
- Recently, Mr. Williams said that England should adopt Islamic Sharia law. Also, in a recent interview with a Muslim magazine, Mr. Williams strongly criticized America’s war against the terrorists, and commended the Muslim practice of praying five times a day, which he says allows the remembrance of God to be “built in deeply in their daily rhythm.”
- It bothers Mr. Williams that America is trying to stop the Muslim terrorists from taking over the world. And he implys that Allah is God, which is not true (Jude 15, 16). Yet this “archbishop” is highly esteemed by the worldly crowd.
- HA Ironside said, “The extent to which the public laudation of church dignitaries is often carried (even in their very presence) is shameful and disgusting. Adulation is carried to such an extreme as to be positively nauseating” (Jude).
- This is all leading up to the emergence of the antichrist. Revelation 13:5 says, “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies.”
- Apostates are carnal and “sensual” (Jude 19). Jude says, “having not the (Holy) Spirit” (Jude 19).
- Jude 19 says, “These be they who separate themselves…” In his commentary on the epistle of Jude, HA Ironside refers to these apostates as “unholy separatists.”
- There is a good Biblical separation – “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (II Cor. 6:17).
- But there is the wrong separation. In Acts 20:30, the apostle Paul warned the elders in Ephesus that apostates “draw away disciples” after themselves.
- Look at this way. Fundamental Christians are still preaching the true Gospel and are committed to obeying the Bible in every detail.
- But there are many churches and preachers who are replacing old-time Christianity with strange and worldly innovations. Therefore it is they who are “separating themselves” (Jude 19) from Biblical Christianity.
- Strictly speaking, we who are fundamental are not separating from them. By departing from the true faith (Jude 3), the apostates have separated themselves.
- I would like to conclude with a few comments on Jude 17 and 18. Jude reminds us that the apostles have already given strong warnings about apostasy.
- In Paul’s epistles he warns of legalism and gnosticism. He says in I Timothy 6:20, 21, “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.”
- The second chapter of II Timothy and the second chapter of II Peter both deal with the dangers of apostasy.
- The book of Revelation clearly draws a contrast between the true church, depicted as the bride of Christ, and the false church, depicted as a wicked harlot.
- We must carefully study the Bible and ask God to give us spiritual discernment. These are perilous times indeed.
- We must take our stand against all religious error – Romanism, liberalism, ecumenism, new-evangelicalism, the seeker-friendly movement, etc.
- This is the great theme of the little book of Jude – “that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).