Lesson 5 – Vs. 16-19
Vs. 16 - These men are grumblers and fault-finders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.
Grumblers – False teachers grumble against anyone who does not join with them. They call them all kinds of names, intimidating anyone who disagrees. But they only grumble. They don’t know how to argue from the facts or from the Bible. When you try to help them come back to the truth, they accuse you and persecute you. They even curse you as Benny Hinn, John Kilpatrick, Paul Crouch and many others have done. Those who grumble against the saints are really grumbling against the Lord, just as Israel, in grumbling against Moses, was really grumbling against God.
Fault-finders – When false teachers cannot defend what they are teaching from the Bible, they resort to finding fault with people. They cannot find fault with arguments against them, so they attack the person who is trying to admonish them. Steve Hill called ALL Christians who disagreed with what was going on at Brownsville AG "fault-finders" and "devils". Fault-finders cannot argue with sound doctrine and they choose to ignore the truth when it is pointed out to them. They try to tear people down, backstab, make unfounded accusations, and even curse people to death. True believers argue from the facts and from the Word of God. They are able to stand up for what they believe. Later this kind of “fault-finding” will turn to persecution, lawsuits, jail, and finally murder. It has in the past and it will in the future. Cain tried to lay the blame off on someone else, and it ended in murder. True believers have been persecuted and killed by the millions through the ages for simply standing in the truth. But if we are followers of Christ, we cannot do anything else but take up our cross and follow Christ to death. Certainly we are crucified with Christ in a spiritual sense, but we may also have to follow him to physical death for the truth.
Follow their own evil desires – Those caught up in this new signs and wonders Third Wave movement are more concerned with how they feel than how God "feels" about what they are doing. They are more focused on themselves than others. Meanwhile they run after what God has not told them to run after--namely signs, wonders, miracles, experiences, feelings, and new revelation. Instead of following the promptings of the Holy Spirit within to get away from false teaching and practice, they ignore the leading of the Holy Spirit and follow their old man in the flesh and soul. If they keep on doing this, they will surely wander from the faith. Many false teachers today have wandered from the faith for the love of money.
Flatter others for their own advantage – One of the biggest tricks of false teachers is to flatter people. Today it is especially done through so-called “prophecy”. They lay hands on people and prophesy something over them that makes them sound important, like God is calling them to be a prophet themselves, or an apostle, or something really important. I had a man prophesy over me that I would raise the dead in Micronesia. Now God can raise the dead, but what purpose would it serve to tell me in advance that it would happen? None, except to make me puffed up with pride. This is typical false prophecy. Beware of it and rebuke those who practice it. Another way they flatter is to get together in unity with anyone, regardless of what they believe. Today the Catholics, Oneness Pentecostals who don’t believe in the Trinity, Third Wavers and others are all getting together to flatter one another. Tomorrow it will be the Muslims, Mormons and others cults getting together with Christians. There is already a move in the Third Wave to try to build bridges with the Muslims on the basis that we supposedly all worship one God. But Allah is not YHWH. Allah has no Son, and Jesus did not die for the sins of the world according to the Quran.
Vs. 17-19 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires." These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
Scoffers – I have never seen so many false teachers poking fun at Christians, churches and missions as I do today. They are also scoffing at the truth, the Word of God, by the way they treat it. They teach ideas that are not supported in the Bible. They have a very low view of Scripture, saying that it is “dusty old love letters” and that we need to hear directly from God today out of the air. But the Bible is alive and active and sharp.
Following ungodly desires – We’ve already listed some of the demonic and/or fleshly manifestations in the Third Wave revivals. False teachers are in love with the flesh and the soul. They elevate soul power and fleshly experiences above the Word of God and the Gospel. They live like kings while their followers give them more and more money. They have desires for power and fame and make sure to demonstrate that love every time they get on the stage.
Division – False teachers are the ones who cause division rather than unity in the body of Christ. We already have the unity of the Spirit as believers. We are told to strive for the unity of the Faith. That means unity in the teachings of the apostles.
Following natural instincts – Those who search for experiences, who follow their feelings instead of the Bible, are like animals. Animals don’t have much brain power, and just enough instinct to help them survive. False teachers and those who follow them have bought into New Age ideas like "Luke, trust your feelings" from Star Wars. They rely on visions, talking to the dead (necromancy), unproven testimonies, and manifestations outside of the Bible for their truth. Because of that they aren’t really following the Holy Spirit, but have given in to their own flesh and soul and demonic influences.
Notice that Jude ends by saying those he is describing do not have the Holy Spirit.
No fruit (not fruits) = no Spirit