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  • Writer's picturePastor Bowler


Our most dangerous enemies are the enemies who appear as friends. May God give us discernment to know the real enemies of the cross of Christ and the work of the Lord Jesus. In this passage, we notice something very definite about these people. Notice particularly in verses 16-19, “These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of ad-vantage. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.”

Notice the words, “having not the Spirit.” With this in mind let us consider 1 John 4. The Bible says in verse one, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

The Bible says in Jude 19 that they have “not the Spirit” speaking of the Holy Spirit. In 2 John chapter 4 the Bible says, “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits…” The word here, “spirits,” is plural. “…whether they are of God.” There are many spirits in this world, but there is only one Holy Spirit. The question we must face is whether or not we are in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit. Are you sure that the Holy Spirit lives in you? At the moment of salvation the Holy Spirit comes to indwell every believer forever.

The things that characterize the lives of these apostates are sometimes shocking. The Bible says very plainly that, when God looks inside the hearts of these apostates, they do not have the Spirit—the Holy Spirit.

In the 15th verse of Jude the Bible says,“To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

They speak against Jesus Christ. The direction of all their hard speeches is against Jesus Christ. Some people may have the idea that what these apostates speak is against someone who stands for Christ or against some church that takes a stand for Christ, but the Bible says that everything they are doing is against Christ.

The Bible says in the 16th verse, “These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.” They murmur and complain, and they mock the truth, “having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.” These apostates are not motivated by truth but rather by the approval of men.

The faithful pastor must love people and must love to be around people, but he has a message to preach and his God to please. Whether people accept it or not, if God wants the people to hear it, then the preacher should preach it.

If the preacher simply pats you on the back and tells you everything you want to hear and does not preach the truth to you, if he will not stand up and tell you what God wants you to hear, he is not helping you. He is hurting you.

Stay with the truth! Every word of the Bible is the Word of God. Hell is real. I do not enjoy talking to people about hell. I do not enjoy preaching on hell, but nevertheless hell is a real place. If I said to you that hell is not a real place, I would be calling Jesus Christ a liar because he said in Luke 16:23-24, “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” This is what the Lord Jesus said. Hell is a real place.

Heaven is also a real place, not a state of mind. The only way to heaven is by trusting in Jesus Christ and Him alone for salvation. The Christian life is a holy life. Every Christian should be a Spirit-filled Christian. We must not say what we say because we think it will please people. We must say what we say because we know that preaching and teaching the truth pleases God.

We have been warned. The Bible says in verse 18, “How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.” Remember the word “mocker.” Take warning here!

God concludes with this group before He turns our attention toward those who know and love Him. He lists definite things about these apostates in verse 19.

Jude 19 says, “These be they who separate themselves.” This group says that we separate ourselves, but that is not what the Bible says. The Bible says, “…they who separate themselves.”

Those of us who, by faith, stand where God’s Word stands realize that there are times when people do not continue to stand where they once stood. By refusing to disobey the Lord and the clear commands of His Word, we are often accused of being stubborn, or even pharisaical. The truth of the matter is, if we, as the apostle Paul said to Timothy, “continue” in the things we have learned, there are those who separate from us because they do not “continue.”

There are those who “separate themselves” from us by their doctrine and deeds. Let us stay with the Bible and never waver.

Truth reveals division. Everything religious people believe is not true, and the truth of God’s Word provides the standard for faith and practice. Those who do not believe the Bible to be without error have separated themselves for those who do.

“Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” — Acts 20:30

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