Sermon #26                                                    Jude Sermons


     Title:           Preachers and Their Lusts

     Text:           Jude 1:16

     Subject:      The False Prophet’s Motives

     Date:          Tuesday Evening — April 26, 2005

     Tape #        Jude #26

     Readings:   Larry Brown and Larry Criss



Illustration: Rolfe Barnard — Olney, IL 1951


Our text tonight is Jude 1:16. I am going to talk to you about Preachers and their Lusts. Before we read our text, let me remind you of what Jude has already told us about all false prophets. Remember, Jude wrote this short, but powerful and needful Epistle by divine inspiration. This is the way God the Holy Spirit would have us think about all false prophets. They are not nice men. They are…


1.    Men who have “crept in unawares” into the churches of Christ.

2.    Justly condemned men.

3.    Men who turn “the grace of our God into lasciviousness.

4.    Men who deny “the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

5.    Filthy Dreamers.

6.    Men who “defile the flesh.

7.    Men who “despise dominion.

8.    Men who “speak evil of dignities,” speak evil of authority, and most particularly of God’s majesty revealed in his attributes.

9.    Men who “speak evil of those things which they know not.”

10.           Brute Beasts.”

11.           Men who “corrupt themselves.

12.           Men who have “gone in the way of Cain.”

13.           Men who have “ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward.”

14.           Men who have “perished in the gainsaying of Core.”

15.           These are spots in your feasts of charity,” hidden rocks that will wreck your vessel.

16.           Clouds they are without water.

17.           Men “carried about of winds.”

18.           Trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots.”

19.           Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame.”

20.           Wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

21.           Ungodly sinners” upon whom the Lord Jesus Christ will execute the judgment of God when he appears in his glory.


Now, in verse 16, the Holy Spirit shows us the ungodliness of these men in six specific areas, in six specific things that characterize all false prophets.


(Jude 1:16)  “These are (1.)murmurers, (2.)complainers, (3.)walking after their own lusts; and (4.)their mouth speaketh great swelling words, (5.)having men’s persons in admiration (6.)because of advantage.”


False Prophets


Let me be crystal clear. When I speak of false prophets, I am talking about preachers, teachers, and religious leaders who, pretending to be the servants of Christ, really serve themselves, “walking after their own lusts.” They are men (and women) who preach a false gospel, because of their greed and desire to promote, elevate, and improve themselves. They have no motive in life higher than their own, base, animal lusts. They are men who, if you follow them, will take you to hell. I cannot warn you with sufficient adequacy or urgency to “beware of false prophets.” They always come in sheep’s clothing, with the appearance of humility and devotion. But inwardly they are “ravening wolves,” bent upon the destruction of your soul. Here are three things that are true of all false prophets.


1.     The false prophet will always put something between the sinner and the Savior.


·       Works

·       Repentance

·       Feelings

·       Knowledge


2.     The false prophet always makes salvation in some way dependent upon you.


·       Your Righteousness

·       Your Devotion

·       Your Experience

·       Your Knowledge

·       Your Doctrine


3.     The false prophet is always motivated by his own lusts.


This is the thing Jude deals with in our text. He here gives a dogmatic, summary condemnation of all who would turn us away from Christ and his gospel.


(Jude 1:16)  “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.”


Utter Hatred


These are not words of sweetness and love, but of utter contempt and hatred. It appears that Jude had the same attitude as David toward such men (Ps. 139:21-22).


(Psalms 139:21-22)  “Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? (22) I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.”


Those words may shock you, but there they are, words penned under divine inspiration by that man whom God describes as a man after his own heart. True Christian love is not universal. It does not extend to all men. The fact is, if I love the Lord Jesus Christ there are some people I cannot love. There is such a thing as a righteous hatred.


Listen, again, to God’s servant David, the man after God’s own heart. He wrote these words under the infallible influence of God the Holy Spirit — “Do not I hate them, O Lord,- that hate thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with a perfect hatred. I count them mine enemies.A reasonable inference from those two verses is that those who are the Lord’s enemies, those who hold our God in contempt, are to be counted as our enemies and held in contempt by us.


Yes, the Lord said for us to love our enemies and to pray for those who despite fully use us. That, by the grace of God, I can and will do. If a man abuses me, slanders me and does me harm, I can love him, forgive him, pray for him, and seek the best for him. But our Lord never commands us to love his enemies! And that is something I cannot do.

·       Elijah held the prophets of Baal in contempt.

·       The Apostle Paul pronounced a curse of irreversible woe and eternal damnation upon any who came preaching another gospel.

·       John the Beloved forbids us to receive into our homes those who deny the doctrine of Christ, telling us neither to feed them nor wish them well.

·       David hated those who hated his God.


And I find that same passion in my heart for the false prophets of our day. Love for Christ constrains me to hold those in contempt who rob him of his glory as our Redeemer and King. Love for the souls of men compels me to denounce those who preach a false gospel. Love for the church of Christ, the family of God, compels me to despise those who pervert the gospel of Christ. Love for the Lord God constrains me to hate those who deny his sovereignty and despise the gospel of his saving grace and majestic glory.


How can I do otherwise? Those who are the enemies of the cross of Christ are my enemies. If I love Christ I cannot love those who deny the efficacy of his blood. I will not, I cannot cease to denounce and oppose the doctrines of antichrist and those who preach them, whether it comes in the form of papacy, in the form of modern fundamentalism, or in the form of religious intellectualism.


Loyalty to Christ demands loyalty in opposing his enemies. It would be far easier, and much more reasonable, for me to embrace as my friend a man who had brutally raped and murdered my wife than it would be for me to embrace as my brethren men who are set in opposition to the gospel of the grace and glory of God in Christ.


What about you? Will you embrace as true preachers and brethren men who deny the gospel of God’s electing grace, redemptive glory, and saving power? Will you attend a house of worship where the blood of Christ is despised and the Word of God is trampled under foot? Will you be identified with those who are the enemies of the cross of Christ? I admonish you who love the Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel of his grace. Search the scriptures to see what God has revealed about his Son, find a man who is preaching the gospel as it is revealed in the New Testament, and hear what he has to say. God may just speak to you through him.


Read the text with me one more time, and ask God the Holy Spirit, whose words these are, to be our Teacher as we look at this fivefold description of the character of all false prophets.


(Jude 1:16)  “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.”




All false prophets are first spoken of here as “murmurers.” Thomas Manton wrote that murmuring is “the scum of discontent, or the vent of impatience.” The word that Jude uses here for “murmurers” is used nowhere else in Scripture. It means “mutterers.” Jude here tells us that false prophets are men who mutter against God and his servants, conferring together in secret, grumbling with dissatisfaction. Though this exact word is used nowhere else, there are many muttering, murmuring men held before us in Holy Scripture.


·       The children of Israel murmured against God and his servant Moses in the wilderness (Ex. 16:8). They griped discontentedly against God in sullen rebellion.

·       In John 6:41, we read that “The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.” After that, many of our Lord’s professed “disciples went back and walked no more with him” (v. 66).


“In the text, you see first men mutter and then complain; the heart boileth with impatience, and then the froth is cast out in passionate speeches and complaints.” —Thomas Manton


·       In the parable of the servants, “They murmured against the goodman of the house, saying, These last wrought but one hour” (Matt. 20:11).

·       The elder brother murmured against the restored prodigal (Luke 15:30).


The sad fact is, there is such an envious nature in many men that they would all shine alone and make the common salvation theirs alone. Some men are of a yokeless, libertine spirit, will acknowledge no other law but their own lusts. If the Lord God is pleased to use another, they consider it an encroachment upon themselves. Therefore they murmur against those God has chosen to use, inwardly muttering, or as John Gill put it, “grunting like hogs.”


False prophets murmur against God. They murmur against his sovereignty, his decrees, his judgments, his providence, his Word, and his distinguishing grace. Particularly, they murmur against God’s salvation, against the gospel of his free, saving grace in Christ.

·       Divine Election

·       Limited Atonement

·       Irresistible Grace


They murmur and mutter against God’s servants. They go about privately slandering faithful men with innuendoes of evil.




When one man begins to envy the gifts or usefulness of another, his heart boils with jealousy, causing him to mutter slander. But soon the poison erupts into open complaint. Therefore Jude says that false prophets are both murmurers and “complainers.” Complainers are men who find fault. I heard someone say, recently, “Any jackass can kick down a barn. It takes a builder to erect one.” That is what Jude is telling us about false prophets. They are men who do nothing, build nothing, and are useful for nothing. All they do is find fault with, criticize and tear down others who are doing something for God, building his kingdom, seeking his glory, preaching his gospel, and serving his people.


Complaining is loud murmuring. Murmuring is a sullen, under-the-breath expression of discontent, complaining is a louder version of the same basic attitude. To complain is to grumble about your life situation. Apostates are grumblers. They’re always finding fault. They don’t know the meaning of “godliness with contentment.”  Again, there are many examples of such complainers in Scripture.


·       The fallen angels were dissatisfied with their estate and habitation (Jude 1:6).

·       Israel was dissatisfied with God’s providence in the wilderness (Ex. 16:2-3).

·       Korah was dissatisfied with Moses God’s prophet and Aaron his priest (Num. 16:1-3).

·       Cain was dissatisfied with God’s sacrifice (Gen. 4:5).

·       Balaam was dissatisfied with God’s will and decided to set it aside for money (Jude 1:11).


Their Own Lusts


Apostate false teachers murmur and then complain in open rebellion about their situation and God’s will. Instead of obeying God, Jude says that they walk “after their own lusts” (v. 16). They habitually seek to pacify their lack of contentment by satisfying their own lusts.


·       They walk after their own carnal reason and intellect, believing only what they can comprehend by brilliance. They make their own intelligence and knowledge the rule, test, and standard of all truth, casting aside the Revelation of God in Holy Scripture.


·       They are motivated by personal ambition.


Swelling Words


Such men are deceivers of others. They speak with “great swelling words” against God, his gospel, and his servants. They use big words to say nothing. Their boasted knowledge and intellect, from which they build their empty doctrines, cause them to speak and write in bombastic language, using terms no one can comprehend. They are characterized by pompous verbosity that actually signifies nothing. Their speeches may sound like great oratory, but they consist of empty words that have the purpose of seducing people.


(2 Peter 2:18)  “For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.”




Next Jude tells us that all false prophets are flatterers. They say what people want to hear, acquiescing to popular opinion, in order to gain favor. They puff up men who hear and follow them, giving them flattering adulation, to promote themselves and their own cause. Unlike God and his servants, they are respecters of men’s persons. They study ways to please men and then use them for their own purposes.


For Advantage


What is it that motivates men to compromise the truth and glory of God? What motivates all false prophets? The Holy Spirit tells us that these men to what they do “because of advantage.” the corrupt, the rich, and the great, to further their own selfish designs. Pride, covetousness, and sensuality have ever been besetting sins with false prophets. They flatter the wicked, the rich, and the great, to obtain means for their own selfish gratification. Faithful men oppose them, point out their errors, and declare their certain destruction if they continue in sin. While they speak great swelling words, they are really just bowing and scraping towards those of wealth and rank.


“All the flatterers of the rich are of this kind; and especially those who profess to be ministers of the Gospel, and who, for the sake of a more advantageous settlement or living, will soothe the rich even in their sins. With such persons a rich man is every thing; and if he have but a grain of grace, his piety is extolled to the skies! I have known several ministers of this character, and wish them all to read the sixteenth verse of Jude.”

Adam Clarke


After having written about false teachers and scoffers, Peter concludes his second epistle with these words…


(2 Peter 3:17-18)  “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. (18) But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”




Though there are no false prophets here, God the Holy Spirit here warns us again to beware of them. Do not be duped by men who seek to use you.


Yet, there is an application of Jude’s warning to each of us. Let us exercise great care not to be like them, murmuring and complaining against God or others. Complaining is easy to do; we may not even be aware that we are doing it. During the next few days, listen carefully to yourself at work, home, and any other place where you spend time. When you are faced with obstacles or bad attitudes of others at work, do you murmur and complain about them? Do you go home and repeat the same complaints to your family? If complaining is one of your weak areas, then try giving those you work with some compliments and encouragement.


(Ephesians 4:29)  “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”


(Philippians 2:14-15)  “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: (15) That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;”


·       Let us seek grace to walk before our God in contentment and peace, free of envy and jealousy.


·       Seek grace from God not to be motivated by your lusts, but by his will and his glory.


·       Seek nothing for yourself, but rather seek the good of others.


(Philippians 2:1-8)  “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, (2) Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. (3) Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (4) Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. (5) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”


(Philippians 2:12-16)  “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (13) For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (14) Do all things without murmurings and disputings: (15) That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; (16) Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”