Jude 8-16 – 2023 Nov 30

In our last study, we ended kind of in the middle of a train of thought to make it fit into our allotted time, and we STILL went a little long.  We were speaking of the kind of judgment incurred for the kind of unrighteous behaviour such individuals display.  I should remind you that we defined that as “what they really believe.”  To summarize the point, what you really believe, that is your faith (it is the same Greek word, one is the noun, one is the verb) is seen by what you do.  We looked at Jesus’ words that talk about two gents whose father asked to go work in the field.  One said no, but felt bad later and went, and one gave an enthusiastic yes, and never got around to it.  Then the Lord asked, “Which one did the will of His father?”  The Pharisees rightly said the first one did.  Then Jesus blasted them about their own beliefs by telling them that unclean prostitutes and the hated tax collectors would get into the kingdom of God before them because of their Pharisaical disobedience.

It turns out that Phariseeism is very related to this topic, in that Phariseeism, otherwise known as modern Judaism, was in fact a cult from the intertestamental period.  These individuals actually “added” to the Word of God.  They claimed that not only was there the Tanakh, the written word, but also an oral tradition known as the Mishna, which was eventually written down (twice) and named the Talmud.  Classic biblical Judaism ends in Christianity.  Pharisaical Judaism ends in this Jewish cult that does no one any good because it invalidates the Word of God with tradition, according to Jesus.

With that as a context, we are about to embark on an investigation of the lifestyle of these false teachers under review by Jude at the urging of the Holy Spirit.  There is no coincidence that we are studying this now, that you are here for this study, or that you are watching this video if you have joined us online.  We are about to analyze the lifestyle of such individuals that can ALWAYS be used as a means of identifying a false teacher, because in their false teaching, what they really believe MUST be displayed for all to see.  Good fruit cannot come from a bad tree, and bad fruit cannot come from a good tree.  That’s what the Lord specifically told His disciples, and in context, he was talking about false teachers.  I’m excited to get into this.

I broke the text we are studying this evening down as follows:

KV8:  How to recognize wolves who wear sheepskin…

8: Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties.

8-10:  Ungodly men are like unreasoning animals

11-13:  Their ungodly lifestyle is always on display

14-16:  These men were forecast from ancient days

Just as false teaching was rampant in Jesus’ day and even at a state governance level, it is even worse today.  One of the reasons for this is that even when good biblical scholarship refutes the heresy that these false teachers come up with, it doesn’t go away.  I witnessed something like this in the Servetus Christi controversy when we exposed him as a human trafficker who gaslighted and imported a bride from South Africa just for sex, put on a fake wedding (we have the pictures), and then when it became clear that she could not financially support the young Joshua Chavez (Servetus Christi’s real name), he sent her packing back to South Africa.  After the expose on Protestia.com, he lost a BUNCH of YouTube followers, which was good if you know anything about what he holds as the truth, but the ones that stayed, about 45-50 thousand followers, were likely only the goats following the entertaining clown, to invoke Spurgeon on this.  I must say that I was in some awe and fear over the response to the expose.

We knew that Mr. Chavez was a false teacher because of his behaviour, specifically his behaviour towards other teachers of Scripture, but this clinched it for anyone wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt.  But the thing that should bother us all is that he has about 77K followers on YouTube as of Wednesday 29 November 2023.  His heresy didn’t just go away.  He’s still out there, teaching his falsehoods.  So are many, many others.  Time would fail if we spent time digging into Charles Taze Russell, the founder of the so-called Jehovah’s Witnesses, or Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon cult.  These heresies did not go away.  False teachers like Andy Stanley keep them alive (he’s a follower of Marcion who unhitched the Old from the New Testament and an Antinomian).  All of these men were wolves trying to disguise themselves like sheep.  Let’s jump in and learn how to recognize them.

KV8:  How to recognize wolves who wear sheepskin…

8: Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties.

With all we have already said about how to detect a false teacher, it should come with a bit of a caveat.  We are not to be looking at everyone who claims to be a Christian to detect false teachers.  We are not to become self-appointed fruit inspectors, that’s not right either.

The people we should be subjecting to doctrinal and lifestyle inspection are those who claim to be leaders of the people of God.  These are those that ostensibly are to be feeding the sheep.  These are the ones that we are at risk of turning to feed on us, and these are the ones we are to be alert for in our watchfulness.  This is one of the reasons that James tells us in his letter that not many of us are to be teachers.  It is because we are held to a higher standard and for good reason.  Those of us who take that charge to feed God’s flock seriously would not DARE take advantage of our position, because we know who it is to whom we answer.  These individuals have no fear of God, and that is one of the biggest issues of these people.  That. And they don’t like it when we catch them at this stuff.  Let’s get into the text here.

8-10:  Ungodly men are like unreasoning animals

This is not my phrasing, it is Jude’s, but I agree with it.  One of the reasons I disagree with the “evolution” of mankind is that we are NOT unreasoning animals.  We are much more and intentioned by God to BE much more.  If these “evolutionists,” as well-intentioned as they may be, are able to make us a mere “animal,” we are simply driven by instinct and circumstance.  Both of these lead to gross error, like Pragmatism or worse.  Man at creation was stamped with the image of God.  However, these individuals (and there are women among them)  seem to have abandoned the image in favour of the form alone, so that as the Apostle Paul says in Romans 1, they suppressed the truth in unrighteousness and worshipped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever (cf. Rom. 1:18-25).  It is in this way that Jude justifiably compares these individuals to unreasoning animals, and analyzes their behaviour to illustrate the point.

8:  Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties.

  • “In the same way.”  This is the Greek word homoios, which could be translated as “likewise,” or “in similar fashion.”  These people, in the same way as the people in the previous examples, perform the following actions.  This is the word that bridges the context of this verse with the immediately preceding verses that were examples of how people (including angels here) did things wrong and faced the consequences of their wrong actions.
  • “Also by dreaming.”  The Greek word for dreaming in this passage carries the meaning, “to be beguiled with sensual images and carried away to an impious course of conduct,” according to Strong’s Dictionary and Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words.  Vine says that this is a metaphorical statement, but I’m not sure what else a dream could be, so I’ll drop that here.  Whatever you think about the metaphor, it defiles the flesh, according to Jude.  That’s the first thing they do–dream things that defile them and those with whom they share it.
  • The next thing these do is “reject authority.”  Vine gives the meaning of that as “to put as of no value.”  This specific reference is that straight up, in that they set at no value those who have authority.  I think every Pastor at some point has experienced that.  People do not listen, and it does nothing but bring sadness as people pay the price.  These people take it to the next level and turn it into a lifestyle choice it seems.  If the boss says to do it this way, these folks will do it any way except how the boss said to do it, and they do it on purpose because they think they are their own highest authority.  This is what they mean by “reject” authority–they replace it with their own authority.
  • They “revile angelic majesties.”  This is a little different.  Though they would argue that angels exist in most cases, they would reject the good angels as subordinates, because the Apostle Paul said that someday we would judge angels (we know this is still a future event), and they “bind the devil” (without the requisite authority to do so by the way) and shout that victory.  That too is a reviling of an angelic majesty. 
  • Before I go on, I have to say that this is most obvious in a movement today known as the New Apostolic Reformation, which isn’t a reformation, has no real apostles, and really isn’t new, it’s an old lie.  The primary spokesman of the movement is probably a guy named Che Ahn, and he is no real believer.  He shares the stage with another bunch of self-appointed apostles like Bill Johnson of Bethel in Redding, California, Ken Copeland of the Southwest (un)believer’s church in Texas, and many, many others.  None of them are real apostles, and their chief apologist is Dr. Michael Brown, who seems to run biblical interference for any and everything that is un-Christian about Christianity.  This isn’t the only place it can be seen, but it is most clear and is displaying the most obvious and radical forms of this, so we may pull examples from this area as we go. 
  • To sum up, false teachers have “dreams” that defile the flesh, they reject authority, particularly biblical authority, and they revile (put at no value or even speak against) angelic majesties.  That’s bad enough because it gets worse.

9:  But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

  • Now, if you need a further example of what it means to “revile an angelic majesty, the archangel Michael gives an example of how NOT to revile them immediately after the phrase.  These individuals of the modern era, who we will collectively refer to as “the demon slayers,” are big on binding and casting out the devil or the like.  Um.  No.  The archangel Michael didn’t even dare talk like that to Lucifer, arguably his own created equal.  I know that people think we have this authority from Christ, but I’m not sure about that.  When you see someone casting out demons or spirits in the New Testament, you see them addressing the demon or demons directly, and then giving a simple instruction to leave.  If the individual had heavenly authority like the Apostles did, those demons left.  Examples include the 12, the 70 (or 72 depending on which translation you pick up), and the Apostle Paul.  We also have an example of people who didn’t have the authority trying to use the name of “Jesus whom Paul preaches.”  That would be the seven sons of Sceva, renowned Jewish exorcists.  The Demon did not recognize their authority.  “Jesus I know, I know about Paul, but who are you?”  Then the demon-possessed man beat the tar out of all seven of the brothers, so badly that at least some of them fled without clothes.  (See Acts 19:13-17.)  Michael knew that he only had the authority that God gave him, and that’s all He said.  No railing judgment, no hyperbolic “casting out,” no open hostility of any kind.  Just a pronouncement of what the Lord will do when He sees fit.  Next verse.

10:  But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed.

  • However, these individuals don’t do that.  Instead, there is no effort to understand, no effort to see any form of godly justice or even kindness, they simply say nasty things about things of which they have no real understanding.  It just seems good to them to react that way, like the instinct of an animal.  There is no thinking, no higher reasoning, just made-up explanations and twisting of reality.  It says that by these things, they are destroyed.  Who are they?  These individuals whom we have called false teachers.

Such individuals have a self-destructive behaviour that will in the end destroy them.  Don’t let them take you with them, Beloved.  Think about things logically and biblically.  If you can’t do that, ask someone with some real spiritual acumen like your pastor or elder.  It is our job to help you think things through and choose to live for the Lord.  God forbid we should not.  Just be prepared, because unlike these folks, we won’t tell you what you want to hear and tickly your ears.  We want to you grow in Christ, and that means we have to tell you the truth about your sins, the truth about your decisions, and the truth really about anything you ask.  Moving on.

11-13:  Their ungodly lifestyle is always on display

The people who would infiltrate and ruin your church and your own spiritual life will always have this kind of lifestyle on display.  This is where it can get tricky for us.  We can ALL fail in some of the ways that are described here.  None of us will be perfect until the King of kings and Lord of lords comes back to get all of us and bring us to Himself.  Sometimes we can even stay there for a while.  But eventually, we repent, that is admit (confess) our sins to God and believe that He paid for OUR sins on the cross, and we get back to walking after the Spirit!  It is not so with these people.  It is ALWAYS on display.  Let’s see what Jude says.

11:  Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

  • The very first thing Jude does here is write ouai.  It is a denunciation of these individuals, a pronouncing of bad tidings that will come upon them.  Jude is not making it happen, just explaining that it will, and then explaining why with examples!  The first thing he says is that “they have gone the way of Cain.”  What does that mean?  The answer is found in Genesis 4:3-8, which says, “So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.”  Cain did not offer a proper sacrifice.  And when God Himself confronted him about his bad attitude, he killed his own brother who had offered a proper sacrifice with the proper attitude.  That attitude is the “way of Cain,” and it made him a murderer because he could not control himself or his emotions.  None of these guys can deny themselves.  Watch the way they act and then ask how much they get paid and how they spend that.  Is there accountability?  Or are they gluttonous wolves who feed and only want more and more and more all the time?
  • The error of Balaam is that of leading people to follow their own baser nature by saying that it is what God wants.  It is best summed up in Num. 31:16, which says “Behold, these caused the sons of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, so the plague was among the congregation of the Lord.”  The king of the Moabites (Balak by name) wanted to curse Israel for a variety of reasons, and Balaam the prophet taught him that if Balak could get them to sin, God would do it themselves.  He deliberately set a trap for them in their own behaviour, and worse, Jude reminds us that he did it for PAY.  He taught Balak to cause the sons of Israel to intermarry with the daughters of the Moabites and mix the nations and compromise on the basic idea of the NATION of Israel before they were even in the Land God gave them.  Today, this is more done with ideology and philosophy, but the effect of this mixing is what we call idolatry.  And remember, Balaam did for MONEY.  There is an amount of Greed there.
  • Then Jude says that they perished in the rebellion of Korah.  Korah was a Levite, of the family of the caretakers of the Tabernacle, the tent that Israel carried around with them to meet with God, where God sat on Earth.  They had the idea that they were as good as the very individuals that God chose to lead His people, and that wrong view caused them to rebel and call out Moses, Aaron, and Miriam as the leaders of Israel.  God destroyed them in His own time.  This is all over the place today.  People ignore the qualified individuals that God has called to lead His own people today and want a say in it for themselves.  This is truly Laodicea, the power of the people over the diocese from the Greek.  Everything is done by vote of the congregation or else.  Voting on something is an interesting concept, but no true Christian can actually advocate democracy without a basis in God the Father.  I’ll not start that fight here, but all these things are seen and displayed by these false teachers, and even put forward as a model of a godly church.  Next verse.

12:  These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted;

  • Anyone ever seen a reef?  Reefs are hidden features that can be hazards to navigation of maritime vessels.  They are big, they don’t move, and you can’t see them, and because water levels can change, they can become a danger to boats on the water.  If a boat strikes one, it can open a hole in the boat below the waterline and cause the boat to sink!  That’s what these false teachers are. 
  • Further, Jude says that they have no fear when they feast with you.  I want to address what fear means here.  There are places where it means holy reverence and respect, and though that is also true here, it goes further.  What or Who should these people be afraid of?  They should be afraid of a holy God who will not compromise with sin and who will make things right when He returns.  If they are teaching things to lead people away from Christ, they should quake in their boots for the punishment that is in store for them.  These people have no fear of God.  This means, as per proverbs that they don’t even begin to have wisdom or true knowledge.
  • They care for themselves.  That isn’t necessarily bad, but Jude is indicating that they aren’t in the mood to share the blessing.  They ONLY care for themselves.  There is no fear of God, and neither is there any humility in agape love for the saints.  Remember?  The condition of placing the needs of someone else above your own needs, like Christ did when He died to pay for the sins we could not pay for ourselves.  There is none of that with this crowd.
  • This is because they have no provision or real refreshment to share.  Jude tells us that they are clouds without water.  Given that clouds are made of water vapour, that’s saying something.  What it’s saying is that they can put on a show, but they cannot help you grow or even live as far as the Christian life goes.
  • They are carried along by winds.  Circumstance and situation dictate what they say and believe, more often than not.  Contrast the true servant of God that teaches the true word of God.  He always has fresh material to refresh and ground you and help you grow in Christ.  Circumstance and situation, even the metaphorical hurricane-level storm, will not move them from the eternal word of God!  Why?  Because it is Christ in writing. 
  • They are autumn trees without fruit.  Jude is saying that no fruit is found at the time when it should be being harvested.  Beloved, that should be whenever you are lost in a spiritual trial of some kind and need help and provision to see your way through.  That’s what a pastor should be doing, not just getting rich off your back.  If they will pick your pocket and God’s at the same time, they are no servants of His.
  • They are doubly dead, uprooted.  The conditions are related though different.  The best way I can explain this is to refer to Revelation 20, though we won’t look there today.  It refers to the second death.  Those who are Christ’s will be raised from the state of death, and the second death has no hold on them.  All others will face death a second time, where they will be separated from the love of God for an eternity to suffer in the lake of fire according to that chapter.  Uprooted is a state of death, certainly, but it is a condition where no more growth or life is possible.  Such individuals are dead while they live.  And the list continues.  Next verse.

13:  wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.

  • Have you ever wondered how waves on the sea are created?  The main force of the waves comes from the wind, according to an old navigator I know.  The waves can get bigger if the water is deeper, if the bottom is smoother, or other things like that.  These people are like “wild waves on the sea.”  they are only under their own control so far as the wind is blowing in a given direction, and they cause a church that creates foam to spray about if the sea is being tossed actively enough.  Well, like these wild waves, these cast their own shame like that foam.  Foam is a kind of scummy froth of all the yuck in the water, it isn’t particularly helpful or refreshing.  It makes things slippery. 
  • They are like wandering stars.  Before the days of GPS, safe navigation depended on stars as being fixed points, or at least predictable points in the sky so that the navigator of the ship could know their position on the sea.  Can you imagine if a new navigator took a stellar fix on his position on say Jupiter, which appears as a bright star in the night sky?  He would be hundreds of miles off course from his destination in an hour.  These individuals are not a fixed point on the theological horizon.  They need to be avoided for navigational purposes.
  • It is these individuals that mislead many and help people to make shipwreck of their faith, which Paul said and Jude seems to know about.  As a “reward” for their task, they will live in a place with no light forever.  No points of reference to help mark the passage of time.  Did you know that can cause mental anguish?  Such is the reward for their deeds.

Such people can be easily identified.  The big problem is that we often do not want to do so.  We know they are a bit off in these doctrinal areas, but we like their music.  They are good teachers with what they say.  They know how to produce a really good worship time.  They say nice things.  They make people happy.  And there is no soundness of any kind in them.  And if you know what to look for and are willing, you can at least avoid these people who are reefs in your love feasts, because even though they may have no fear of God, YOU SHOULD.  Moving on.

14-16:  These men were forecast from ancient days

That these people are here now is irrefutable.  But they were predicted by some of the earliest dwellers upon the earth before Genesis 6.  I suspect that God even knew such individuals would come and planned for the assault.  Enoch certainly knew about them in advance, and in this passage, Jude even tells us so.  Think about this from the perspective of a military campaign for a moment.  You know they are coming, so you know what to do to prepare for them.  Because you know everything if you are God, you are not surprised, or even distressed by the knowledge.  There isn’t a move they can make you don’t know about ahead of time, and you can protect your people from them, and even use them to purify your people by using them to draw out those disguised as your people, because your real people will only follow you.  That’s how much you know, and so you let your people know what and who is coming and how to identify and deal with them.  That’s what Jude is writing about.  Let’s see what he says.

14:  It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,

  • This is the place where Jude quotes Enoch in verse 14 and 15.  For the record, I dug out my copy and I found the passage.  It depends on what version you have as to what the numerical verse reference is, but the version I have has it as the only verse in Chapter 2, so here it is.
  • 1 Enoch 2:1–“Behold, he comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon them, and destroy the wicked, and reprove all the carnal for everything which the sinful and ungodly have done, and committed against him.” 
  • The first thing you can see is that the passage from Enoch spans two verses in Jude, and we’ll finish it when we get to that verse.  That Jude knew about and was familiar with the book of Enoch does not mean that he agreed with everything it said, or even that he thought it was correct, though in this case I think it was so, because he speaks an ancient prophecy from Earth’s early days.  Whatever you may want to say about that, Jude believed there was a man named Enoch who was the seventh generation from Adam, and by extension also believed in a man named Adam.  By implication, Jude believed that Adam was the first man, a direct creation of God.  That’s all how logic and inference work, we aren’t making that up.  What did He say?  First, he said the Lord came, past tense.  Did Enoch see all this?  He seems to have.  God is outside time, and he wasn’t the only prophet to muddle up time inferences.  It shouldn’t be a surprise, God is outside of time.  Daniel, John, Paul, and apparently Enoch all experienced this.  Enoch also said that the Lord did not come alone.  He came with tens of thousands of His “holy ones” here in Jude’s text.  Beloved, it’s the same Greek word used for “saints,” as used in the book of Enoch.  Maybe it’s talking about angels, but maybe it’s speaking about US!  Next verse.

15:  to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

  • Whoever it is that comes with the Lord Jesus at His return, will have quite a show.  Jesus Christ will be coming next time to execute judgment on the earth.  He is going to make final verdict upon all in this case, and he will convict all the ungodly.  Vine tells us the reference here means “put to shame.”  What is he convicting?  All the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds committed in an ungodly way.  I get the impression that this is more than an ironic repetition of the word ungodly to make the point, although it is that.  This is the same treatment as Isaiah gave God in Isaiah 6.  God is holy, holy, holy.  Those who will not live for Christ are ungodly, ungodly, ungodly.  Man is the complete moral opposite of God, and that is why God will punish all ungodly sinners.  He will also punish all of the harsh words spoken by these ungodly sinners against Himself.
  • I personally believe this will take place at the Great White Throne judgment in Revelation 20.  I know this seems like it all happens at once, but just because it is mentioned all in one breath doesn’t mean the Lord and Jude and Enoch were not referring to the whole thing in a 20,000-foot view for a big picture.  We can debate that all day, and that isn’t my intent here.  That, however, is the fate that Jude tells us WILL happen to all those who fill the role of false teacher.  Last verse.

16:  These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.

  • Here are more publicly displayed characteristics that can help identify false teachers in case you didn’t already get enough.  It starts with grumbling.  Uh oh…anyone here ever grumbled about something?  It’s okay, you don’t have to confess publicly brothers.  This is more like a lifestyle than an occasional slip-up, Beloved.  I’m talking about grumbling out of lack of contentment.  Paul tells us to learn to be content.  These people never have enough, and that is what causes the grumbling, at least in my opinion.
  • These people find fault.  Again, this is more of a lifestyle choice.  Occasionally, we’ve all done this.  I’ve heard you.  I’ve heard ME!  I’ve heard you ABOUT me!  No, it’s true!  And I repent of that here and now.  God help me.  But again, this is an occasional slip-up for a Christian.  God gave Christ to us, His only begotten Son, His very best.  And Christ has met our most basic need in the gospel by dying in our place to pay for sins for which we alone were guilty and could not resolve!  With false teachers, nothing is ever good enough, and therefore they find fault with everything.  With you, and even with Christ.  Some have claimed to be better than Christ.  Recently, the blasphemous Kenneth Copeland mixed his own blood with the wine at a communion service.  With that act, whether he acknowledges it or not, is saying that the blood of Christ alone is not enough.  That’s a form of finding fault.
  • They follow after their own lusts.  That one is about as anti-Christian as one can get.  We are commanded to take up our cross daily and follow Jesus.  That precludes us from following “what we want” in the main.  But that’s all these people ever follow.  I can name “evangelists” that have left a string of violated teenage girls in their wake.  That guy was married with an infant child by the way.  It’s a very safe thing to say he was following his own lusts.  His name is Clayton Jennings, for the record.  A friend of mine broke the story after speaking with several of the young ladies involved.
  • They speak arrogantly.  Do they ever.  They speak as if they are the only one that knows.  They are special and everyone else is dirt.  They are trying to set themselves up as the authority by ridiculing everyone else in any way they can.  However, James has a warning for these people in James:  “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.””  Lest you think that this is unique to the New Testament, James is paraphrasing Psalm 138:6, which I will give for the record:  “For though the Lord is exalted, Yet He regards the lowly, But the haughty He knows from afar.”  Arrogance is the result of pride, and pride is the original sin that ruined their father the devil.
  • Finally, they flatter people for the sake of gaining advantage.  We have all encountered that at some point.  I have friends, who at God’s direction still remain my friends, who have flattered me to try to gain a closer seat to me in the circle, speaking metaphorically.  Just because I tolerate that as a Christian doesn’t mean I don’t know what that is.  Flattery is always used to gain something from you that will benefit them.  Don’t give them the advantage if you can help it, but DO love them as a fellow sinner that is likewise lost without Christ.  That’s who we all are, lost without Christ.  Share with them the greatest favour you could ever do for them–share Christ and His truth with them.

There is a song that was written by a friend of mine in about 1990 that deals with who these people are, and I would like to read it to you in its entirety.  It is about these false teachers specifically, and it may help you remember some of the things that will help you identify them.  It is titled The Agony of Deceit.

They are wolves in sheep’s clothing

They will try to seduce your soul

Teaching doctrines of demons

For lies are all they know

They are prophets of destruction

These are New Age heretics

They say they’ll show the way to salvation

But their cross is a bloodless stick

This is the agony of deceit

Promising truth for lies they teach

They come in Jesus’ name

But they’re sons of Hades

This is the agony of deceit

They are clouds without water

They have hearts trained in greed

They are like wild animals

And you are the food they eat

Depraved in their minds and deprived of the truth

They promise prosperity

Ah, but the cash they steal from you

Will buy the coffin to seal their defeat

This is the agony of deceit

Promising truth for the lies they teach

Oh, they come in Jesus’ name

But they’re sons of Hades

This is the agony of deceit

Beloved, rest in the truth of the Lord

Hold fast to the faithful Word

Guard the treasure by the Spirit of God

The foundation which stands sure

They have eyes full of adultery

That never cease from sin

They’re exalted in heresy

Deception is their friend

Speaking out prideful words of vanity

They entice by fleshly desire

Like a dog returns to its vomit, you see

Like a sow mallows in the mire

This is the agony of deceit

Promising truth for the lies they teach

Oh, they come in Jesus’ name

But they’re sons of Hades

This is the agony

Oh, the agony of deceit

Beloved, God is warning us not to be deceived.  By the way, this is a fascinating time to be warned, and I do not believe it is a coincidence.  Our temporary pastor is urging us to find a real pastor to care for the congregation.  He is retired and wants to continue his retirement, and personally, I think he deserves to.  Before you ask, I will not be the next pastor here.  I won’t even be interviewed based on what happened when I applied for the interim position.  That isn’t an “oh woe is me” statement, either.  I do not have the qualifications they want for their pastor.  I have other opportunities, just pray for those.  No matter what happens, we can take comfort in the fact that God is sovereign and in full control of what is going on.

Beloved, God knows all about all of these false teachers.  In His sovereignty, He has decreed that we should deal with this challenge, and deal with it effectively.  If a congregation will not deal with it, then it is a good thing that judgment begins at the house of God, as it says in 1 Peter 4:17–“For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”  If we deal with it effectively, then praise the Lord, He is with us.  If we as a congregation do NOT deal with this issue with discernment and instead of a shepherd for the flock, the congregation hires an unqualified clown to entertain the goats as Spurgeon said, then so be it.  For me, it will be time to walk away and do something else.  I have been hesitating to do this for a long time, and then Pastor Victor came and he is as solid as they come, forestalling what I have been thinking.  Again, I humbly ask for your prayers for leading as to what exactly to do in whatever situations arise here.

Remember, a false teacher can be seen in his behaviour.  When we see it, we must mark that individual and avoid them.  The interesting thing is that we don’t have to go out of our way to do this because they are already creeping in while we are unaware.  Beloved, put on your discernment hat and keep it on. 

That’s what I saw in the text.

Next time, we will look at verses 17 through 25.  After that, we will be breaking from study until the second week of January, and I will explain why.  As you know, we are not following preplanned lessons here, we are doing the work ourselves.  There are no handouts or commentaries we are relying on, we are doing all of this work as we need to do it, and it is simply the best way of doing this.  The next book we are looking at is Revelation!  I need all the time I can get!  So we will be resuming study after Advent, where we celebrate the coming of God the Son to earth as a human throughout December.  Also, I will take a week or so in there to rest, as you are aware I am a diabetic heart patient and not in the best of health, so please pray for the effectiveness of that rest.

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