Sermon Transcript: Exposing the Enemy 1/19/2020 Jeff Schwarzentraub 42 min read Well, thank you so much for choosing to worship with us today. And before we go to the Lord in prayer, I just wanted to thank you for being such a wonderful congregation. It was about Wednesday this week as I was preparing this message and I was thanking God that as a pastor I know that I can preach the word to people that want to hear what God has to say. Amen. It's awesome to serve a church to like that where you don't have to apologize for what God is saying. These are strong messages in the Book of Jude. I know that they are, and let's just allow the Lord to speak directly to us. Would you pray with me today? Lord Jesus, we just give you praise, glory, and honor for who you are. Lord, as we just sang about, there's nothing that you cannot do. You are the all powerful. You are the almighty. You are the eternal God of the universe. There is no other but you. And so Lord, we gather today to hear your living and active word spoken directly to us. Lord, I ask for your help. Be helpful to me as I proclaim your word and Lord, be helpful to us as we hear and receive it. Lord, that we would understand who you are and our response to you. And so now for all of us who are gathered here today who desire to hear what Jesus has to say, who would say, I want to own what God's word says and by faith, I want to put it into practice specifically what he shows me. Will you agree with me loudly this morning by saying the word with me? Amen. Amen. Amen. From the time I played Little League all the way upon through, at the end of a season or sometimes in the middle, coaches will select those on that team who had a significantly good year to be elected to an all-star team. It happens at the Little League level. It happens all the way at the professional level. In the NFL, they have the Pro Bowl after the season for those who had so them of the best seasons at their position. In Major League Baseball and in the NBA, they do it during the middle of the season and they play a game to honor the guys who were the best at what they did that year. When it comes to the kingdom of God, there's really two teams. There's the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ and the kingdom of darkness. And last week we talked about what it looks like to assemble an army for the Lord. What is God trying to establish? And what do we need to be aware of and how do we need to believe and place our faith in him? And what Jude is going to tell us about today is what the satanic all-star team looks like. Because Satan himself is an angelic being, is one who desires to thwart the kingdom of God. And he has selected people on his team that he wants to be all stars for his great name and those that would infiltrate the church and speak on his behalf. And Jesus's half brother, Jude wrote 25 verses in the Book of Jude. I'm going to ask you to open them. Last week, we looked at the first seven verses. Today we're going to take a look at verses eight through 16, and then we'll unpack and take a look at some of the men that Satan selects for his Satanic all-star team, why we need to be aware of them and what characteristics that they have. Notice verse eight. He says this. "Yet in the same way, these men also by dreaming, defile the flesh and reject authority and revile angelic majesties. 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.' 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. 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. These are men who are hidden reefs in your love feast when they feast with you without fear, carrying for themselves clouds without water carried along by winds, autumn trees without fruit doubly dead, uprooted. Wild waves of the sea casting up their own shame like foam. Wandering stars for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever. It was also these men that Enoch in the seventh generation from Adam prophesied saying, 'Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of his holy ones 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.' These are grumblers finding fault, following after their own lust, they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage." And here in these short verses, Jude, who's the half brother of Jesus Christ, spells out the satanic all-star team, what character qualities they have and who the enemy goes after to exalt. And the first that we see is this, so the enemy exalts men who are self-centered and ignorant of spiritual realities. The people that Satan selects to his team and who he tries to exalt are men who are self-centered and ignorant of spiritual realities. Notice in verse eight, it starts out by saying, "Yet in the same way, these men..." In the same way as what? In the same way as those who don't believe. When we talk about apostates, we're not talking about people who have fallen away from the faith. We're talking about people who have never believed in the faith, who have ultimately fallen away. For us, sometimes it's difficult as Christians when we know people who have gone to church for a number of years who have acted like Christians, who have talked like Christians, who at some point in their time walk away, not from church, they walk away from the faith. They no longer believe. They say, "I never believe in Jesus, or I don't believe in Jesus anymore. I'm done with church. I'm done with Jesus." Those are what the Bible would call apostates. When it comes to somebody that says something like that, it's not that they left the faith, it's that they never had faith to begin with. The Bible makes clear that those who place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, that they're in God's hands, that no one can snatch them out of God's hands. When someone, quote unquote, 'leaves the faith', the reality is they were never in the faith to begin with. When we're talking about leaving the faith, I'm not talking about backsliding. I'm not talking about Christians who have sinned grievously and have come back to God. I'm talking about those who deny the Lordship of Jesus Christ, who have walked away from him. They are apostates. They are people who have never, ever believed. And that's who Satan goes after. Just like he talked about with the three examples that he ended in verse five, six, and seven, how the Lord delivered all of Israel from Egypt but not all of those who were delivered were believers. They were all destroyed in the wilderness because they didn't believe. Just because God had common grace for everybody doesn't mean that every Israelite believed in God. And he said the same about angels who did not keep their own domain but abandoned their proper aboard. Just because God created them and God had a purpose for them, they didn't respond to God the way that they were supposed to. And in the same way, he talks about Sodom and Gomorrah and all the immorality that went on there. The reality is for those who are born again, there's a desire to live like Christ. Desire to honor God. For those who don't have a desire to honor God and ultimately say, "I want nothing to do with Jesus, I want nothing to do with God," are apostates. They're people who have never believed at all. They're pretenders. Some of these apostates are knowingly apostates. Some I believe are unknowingly apostates. Some people know they are. Some people don't know they are, but the reality is they don't have their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. And so in the same way, when he's going to exalt these men, Satan's going to tell us who these men are. Jude wants us to be aware. You need to know what the apostates look like so you'll know who not to follow. He says this, "Yet in the same way these men also by dreaming defile the flesh and reject authority and revile angelic majesties." Now, when you see the word dreaming here, it's used of a prophet. It means this. It means that they have authority in and of themselves. Very similar to what was going on in Jeremiah's day. God told Jeremiah to preach a message of judgment. Jeremiah did not like that. He's like, "I don't want to preach a message of judgment, but every time I don't want to, there's a fire in my bones. I can't keep it in. So I tell everybody judgment is coming. That's what I'm doing." But then he's complaining to God. He said, "God, why am I preaching this message of judgment when all the other priests are saying, 'Peace, peace?'" And God says, "I don't know why. They're preaching peace, peace when there is no peace because they're not listening to me. They're listening to their own dreams, their own revelations, their own stuff." What this does not mean is that God doesn't speak through dreams. God told Joel in the Old Testament that when his Holy Spirit was poured out, that young men would see vision and old men would dream dreams. So that's probably why I haven't had a dream because I'm not old enough yet. So that's good. But revelatory dreams are okay. But at the end of the day, they're not authoritative. God can speak through dreams, people come to Christ in the Middle East oftentimes because they've had a vision of Jesus or in India because they've had a vision of Jesus, but that's not authoritative. When they discover who Christians are and they see in the word for themself that the vision they have was of the resurrected Christ, that's what they place their faith in. Apostates don't place their faith and trust in this book. They don't place their faith and trust in the word of God, they're dreamers. So you'll often hear them say stuff like this. "God told me this." "You need to know this." "God told me to tell you this." "I had a dream." "I had a vision." "I went and visited heaven." "I went and saw stuff you've never seen before." Now when you're listening to people tell stories and you say to yourself, "I've never heard anybody talk like that before," then ask yourself why haven't in 2000 years of church history have I ever heard anybody talk like that before? Most likely because it didn't come out of God's word and they're false prophets and they're apostates. They're dreamers. They're dreamers. It means the authority is not rooted in God. The authority is rooted in themselves. And when the authority of an apostate is in front of people leading people, they will do three things. They'll defile the flesh, they'll reject authority and they revile and judge majesties due to their ignorance of spiritual reality and the fact that they're self-centered. So let's talk about them. What does it mean to defile the flesh? When we talk about defiling the flesh, we can talk about the lust of the eyes and the pride of life and living for this world and doing all that and certainly that's some of it. But in the Old Testament and New Testament, when it comes to defiling the flesh, just talking about sexual immorality. Every apostate that's not living for Jesus in some area in their life are likely sexually immoral. If you study any cult in history, there's sexual immorality rampant from the top on down all the time. And why wouldn't there be? Because these false prophets and these apostates are only looking to please their flesh and to please themselves. So in any cult, you'll always hear stories about sexual immorality from the leadership on down because there's no fear of God in those who are speaking. It fleshes itself out in that their message is all about pleasing your flesh. All their message is about your life. All their message is about what's best for you. Because at the end of the day, they don't honor the Lord. They're not fearing the Lord. They're just trying to tell people whatever their itching ears want to hear. That's what it means to defile the flesh. What does it mean that they reject authority? Well, Jude already told us in verse four that they deny our only master and Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Lord. When you reject the Lordship of Jesus Christ, what does that mean? That means that you're the Lord of your own life. And so they will put authority on themselves and they will reject the true authority of Jesus Christ. This happened during Jesus's earthly ministry. He saw the Pharisees, the religious leaders of the day. And he would tell them things like this, like in John 5:39 and 40, he says, "You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life. It is these that testify about me yet you are unwilling to come to me so that you may have life." In other words, he affirms them, hey, you're reading the word, you're reading the scripture, that's great. You think that because you read them, you have eternal life, yet these very scriptures you're reading testify about the fact that I am the Christ and I'm standing right before you. And yet you refuse to come to me to have life. They reject authority. So how do you know who these people are? How do you know who the ones are that reject authority? God's word tells us. God's word is crystal clear on who these are that reject authority. In Matthew chapter seven and verse 15, he says, "Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves." Here's what you should know about false prophets. They look like sheep. They talk like sheep. They can smell like sheep, but they're not sheep. They're wolves. They're in sheep's clothing so if you were ever to try to expose one and say, "Man, that is a wolf, there would be a lot of sheep there being like, "Bah, it looks like a sheep, but how can you say that? They're so nice. They're so sheepy." But they're wolves in sheep's clothing. You say, "Well, how do I know who the wolves are that are pretending to be sheep that really aren't sheep?" He says this, "You will know them by their fruits." You'll know them by their fruits. He says this. Just think about it. "Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." Verse 20 says, "So then you will know them by their fruits." Well, we know one fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control against which there is no law. You'll see that a growing fruit of the spirit. You'll see a growing love for God, a growing desire to honor God, a growing desire to honor God's word, a growing love for God's people, a growing willingness to put God above everything else. You'll see fruit in their life. When you don't see that, what you will see is that they are their own authority and they think they know better than God what to tell you. That's why Jude spends an entire chapter. Matthew chapter 23. "Woe you Pharisees, woe to you teachers of the law, woe to you, woe to you, woe to you. Woe to those of you who lead my people astray." He says, "You travel the whole world over to win a single convert and when you do, you make them twice as much of a son of hell as you are. Woe to you, you clean up the outside of the dish but inside you are full of wickedness and dead men's bones." Woe to you, woe to you. What was Jesus saying? He was telling the false prophets of his day, the false religious leaders of his day that they're going through religious activity, but because they have no honor for the Lord, because they don't respect his authority, they're leading people in the wrong way. It's the blind leading the blind. That's how he referred to them. So when you see apostates, they defile the flesh. They reject authority and you'll know it because they lack humility. It's really interesting in Second Corinthians, chapter 12 and verse nine, when Paul was complaining about some of his weaknesses, God said, "My grace is perfected in your weakness." When you see true prophets of God, you'll see people that are dependent upon the Lord that know that they can't do what they do without the Lord. They're not defiling the flesh. They're trying to live life that is virtuous. They're honoring the authority of God. And the third thing that these false prophets do that true prophets don't do is they revile angelic majesties. Now you might say, "What in the world does that mean?" Well, think about out this. We just got finished teaching through the Book of Colossians. And in Colossians chapter one verse 16, we learned that God created everything. It says, "For by him all things were created both in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible." So everything, whether it's in heaven, whether it's on the earth, whether you see it or whether you don't, what does it say? Whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things have been created through him and for him. So Jesus created everything. We don't understand everything about angelic beings and demonic beings and evil spirits and all their rank, but there's a rank in order and file for how God set up all authority on the planet. Here's what you'll in false prophets. Because they're spiritually ignorant, because they're not connected to the true vine, because they don't love Jesus, they'll speak about things which they do not know. They will start telling you about angelic beings and different spirits and how all this stuff works. You'll be like, where did they get that? They got it right from the pit of hell. That's where they got it. And that's why they're talking about these things. They'll always talk about angels, they'll always talk about their visions. They'll talk about their secret angel that's whispering stuff in their ear, all this kind of nonsense, right? They revile angelic beings. And notice what it says in the Bible. Notice what it says back in the book of Jew. Notice what it says. It says in verse nine, "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, we don't really know anything about this. We just learned this from Jude. In Deuteronomy 34, we learned that when the body of Moses was buried, that God didn't want anybody to know where the body was buried. Presumably so nobody would try to exhume it. Presumably so nobody would build a shrine to Moses. Presumably so God would still get all the glory. So no one knows where he is buried. Now we learn in Jude that what took place was that Satan himself and Michael who's the archangel, Michael is the most powerful of all the angels. He's the one that watches over Israel. They're having this debate about the body. But even though Michael is the most powerful angel in the universe, he did not even bring a reviling judgment against Satan. But what did he say? "The Lord rebuke you." Now I say this just as a pastor just to help you out because you'll hear people pray like this. I'm just going to encourage you this way. This is not a rebuke. This is encouragement. A lot of times I'll hear people when they pray talk to Satan. Like Satan, we bind you here. Satan don't do this. Satan you have no business. Satan. Satan's not worth your breath. Amen. Okay? You don't need to talk to Satan. Have the Lord do the work for you. Prayer is depending upon the Lord to do the work. And I'm not telling you this so that if you're at a first Tuesday and you hear somebody pray like that that you like stand over them and, "Rebuke you, don't talk like that." No, that's what I'm saying. I'm just saying, as I'm shepherding you, I'm telling you, you don't need to talk to Satan. You don't need to tell Satan, "Get behind." You don't need to do all that. Let the Lord do that for you. Let the Lord cancel the assignments of the enemy for you. You don't need to waste your breath talking to Satan. Spend your time talking to Jesus. He's the king of kings. He's the Lord of Lords. And yet what you will see in false teachers and false prophets, instead of telling you that Christ in you is the authority, here's what they'll tell you. You have the authority. You have the ability. You can change the world. You can do this. Here's what God wants to do through you. You, you, you, you, you. False prophets always make you the center of all theology. True prophets of God make the Lord Jesus Christ the center of everything we're about. Amen? And so when you see this, when you see people that are defiling the flesh and rejecting authority and reviling angelic majesties, you will know that they're not of the Lord. Because it says in 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're destroyed. When you hear a false prophet, when you hear a false teacher, they're not referencing the word of God. They're not going back to the word of God. They might reference a Bible verse here. They might reference a Bible verse there. But the reason that people listen to false teaching is because they're elevating a man or a woman above the authority of God's word. There is no man and no woman that has authority on what God says. God's word is the authority on what God says and true prophets of God make his word the authority on what God says. They, false prophets, apostates like unreasoning animals. Meaning they're just going at it because this is what feels good. This is what draws a crowd. This is what people want to hear. This is what I'm going to tell you. This is what you can have. This is what you can be. This is how God works. This is how you can get healed. This is what it is. It's all about you. It's all about you. It's all about you. It's all about you. And there's something in our flesh that says, "Good, I've always wanted it to be about me. That's why I like them. They make me feel good." But true prophets of God, they love you enough to say the greatest relationship you can have is when you're honoring the Lord Jesus Christ and when you're in pure fellowship with him. And that's what it's about. So who does Satan go after? He goes after those who are self-centered and ignorant of spiritual realities, unbelieving apostates. You say, "Well, Pastor Jeff, how do you know that they never believed? How do you know they weren't just Christian one day and then they left the faith?" Because the Bible tells us. In First John 2:19, it says, "They went out from us, but they were really not of us. For if they had been of us, they would've remained with us, but they went out from us so that it would be shown that they are not of us." People do not leave the faith who are genuinely converted. People leave the faith because they never believed in the first place. Which would make us pause and say, do I really believe that Jesus Christ is Lord? And when you hear false prophets talk, they might reference that, "Hey, pray this prayer at the end of my message. Hey do this." But the centrality of what they're teaching is a theology that says you're awesome and God came to earth to serve you. And whatever he can do to make your life better, that's his job. And if it's not working for you, it's because you just don't have enough faith. Garbage, garbage, garbage, garbage, garbage. Some of the greatest saints in the history of the world have gone through some of the greatest persecution, some of the greatest sickness, some of the greatest trials because they love the Lord and they're at peace with God and they're yearning for his appearing. Amen. Amen. False prophets don't teach that. He says so you'll know them by their fruits. So the enemy will exalt the self-centered and the ignorant of spiritual realities. But guess who else he exalts. He also exalts those who are blind to biblical history and spiritually dead. Those who are blind to biblical history and spiritually dead. He says in verse 11, "Woe to them..." Same thing his brother Jesus told the Pharisees. "Woe to them for they have gone the way of Cain and for pay they have rushed headlong in the error of Balaam and perished in the rebellion of Korah." Now, if you were a Jew who'd been converted to Christ, you would know all the Old Testament stories. If you've read your Bible enough, you know these stories, but many of us don't know them. So let me just tell you about these stories. First is this, they've gone the way of Cain. Remember Cain? Adam and Eve were born, they gave birth to Cain and Abel. Cain was the older brother. Abel was the youngest. They were told to bring an offering before God. Do you remember what happened? So Abel goes and sacrifices an animal to bring God his best. Blood was shed so that God could be honored. What does Cain do? Cain brings like a vegan fruit and veggie tray. Right? And he presents it to the Lord. It costs him nothing. He didn't want to worship the Lord. He didn't want to honor the Lord. He just went and got some stuff and said, "Yeah, it's offering time. Here you go." God was not pleased with Cain's offering. God was very pleased with Abel's offering. This made Cain mad, so mad that he ended up killing his brother, right? What's the way of Cain? The way of Cain is this, it's complacent worship. It doesn't cost you anything, right? That's the way of Cain. The way of Cain is a cavalier style of worship that costs you nothing. False prophets and apostates will always tell you, "We're just so glad you came. We're just so glad you're here. God has zero expectation on you. Nothing. Just do whatever you want, live however you want, give God whatever you want whenever you want, however you want and it's God's job to be pleased with you." That's never how the Old Testament and New Testament teaches worship. Worship is I'm bringing God my best at all times. Whether I'm talking about my finances, whether I'm talking about my time, whether I'm talking about my energy, whether I'm talking about my service, everything I do is a response to how much I love God by saying, "God, it's a sacrifice of praise. It costs me something to give this to you." And we live in a world now where as we continue to see the political landscape and our culture change, there comes a day in my generation or for sure in my children's where it's going to cost you something to be a Christian, differently than it does now. Where you're going to just take a stand and it may cost you more than you ever thought it was going to cost you before. And praise God because even in that, the gospel will be proclaimed and the gospel will be bright and the gospel will be good and it's totally worth it. But here's what false apostates teach, false prophets teach, apostates teach, just do whatever you want. It doesn't matter. God should just be lucky that you showed up in the first place. I mean, you're here twice a year, big deal. It's good. Man, we're so glad you're here. God's totally pleased. Just check the box. Right? True prophets of God would say, "No, your worship should cost you something. It should be you wanting to bring God your best. It should be a sacrifice of praise no matter what area of your life we're talking about. It shouldn't be just being able to write a check or show up or I'm giving God my best because I love God and I want him to see my heart behind it. Apostates and false prophets go the way of Cain because they're blind to biblical history and they're spiritually dead. They also do this. "For pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam." Notice that word, for pay. You can read the story in Numbers 22, 23 and 24, but you'll remember when Israel was getting ready to take over the land, the Moabite king, Balak was getting nervous because he was seeing these two million Israelites in camp near his country and he was all scared. So he hired out Balaam who was a prophet to prophesy negatively against Israel. He's like, "I'll pay you to say bad things about God's people." And Balaam was kind of open to it, but he told him, he goes, "I can't really do it that way. I got to speak what God wants me to speak, but I'm willing to try it because here's what drives me, money drives me. I'll do anything for money." Here's what you'll notice about apostates and false prophets. Money drives everything they do. That's right. Everything. Now, it's not wrong to be a minister and get paid. I mean, that's how you take care of your family and do all that. I'm not talking about getting paid. I'm talking about when money drives everything. You'll see it on TV sometimes. You'll see people like these apostates that talk like this, "Hey, as I was just sitting here tonight, God just showed me there's 10 of you that need to give $50,000 right now and he is going to bless your life like never before." I'm glad you're laughing. "If you're not and you really want to do that, I will give you my name and my mailing address, send it to me." It's garbage. That's all I'm saying it's garbage. It's garbage. God doesn't bless because you give to him. God's a prospering God whether you give to him or not. Our blessing to him is because I want to serve him and I want to give my money towards the things that are advancing the kingdom, not I'm giving to you so that God's going to give me more. That's garbage. Right? The way of Balaam is I'll do anything for pay. So if you remember the story, Balaam sets out to go prophecy against Israel. You remember the story? So he's on a donkey and he's riding out to go do this. And an angel of the Lord shows up and the donkey sees the angel of the Lord, but Balaam doesn't. And when the donkey sees the angel of the Lord, it's like slowing way down. So Balaam starts beating the donkey and then gets him to move a little bit. So he starts moving over by this fence and he kind of stops over there. So Balaam beats him again. And the third time he gets up, he gets right in front of the angel of the Lord and the donkey sees the angel of the Lord. So the donkey drops to his knees and Balaam beats him for a third time. At which point in time the donkey turns around and God gave him the ability to speak. It's awesome. My paraphrase is this. Here's what he said. "Listen, buddy, I'm a jackass and I can see the angel of the Lord in front of me. What is your problem?" Right? That's what he said. How come you can't see him? Because apostates don't see the living God. And God could use a donkey to talk better than an apostate. So eventually because Balaam tries to go out and prophesy against Israel, but every time he tries to say bad things, he ends up blessing them, that here's what he does instead. He's like, "I can't say anything bad about them, but here's what I can do. I can teach you how to lead them into immorality." So he teaches the king of Moab how to lead Israel into immorality. They all intermarry. There's a great punishment by God and all sorts of things because what? Because false prophets and apostates are willing to do anything for money even if it means taking God's people over the cliff, right? Just watch what you hear people say, there's nothing wrong with doing a fundraiser in a church. We've done fundraisers in a church. I'm talking about the people every time they open their mouth, every five minutes, "It's time to give money. It's time to give money. It's time..." Well, what are we giving the money for? Well, because God will bless you if you give it to me. That's not a good reason to give your money. You want to give your money where God is at work. And you want to give your money to the things that God is doing not to individuals in the body of Christ, not to profit off God's people. And notice what it says about these people. As he goes on to talk about these people, he goes on to talk about Cain, cavalier worship, Balaam, greed for hire, I'll do anything for money. And then he talks about Korah. Remember this? He says in the last one, and perished in the rebellion of Korah, remember Korah? So God called Moses. Remember when God called Moses? He called him in a burning bush. He called Moses to go to the people of Israel in Egypt and speak to Egypt and say, "Let my people go." So it was God's design for Moses to go. Moses said, "Not me. I'm not the guy." God says, "No, I'm telling you you're the guy. You got to do it." So who called Moses? God. So check out what happens after they get out, after they've been released. In numbers chapter 16 and verse three, there was an assembly that came against Moses. It says, "They assembled together against Moses and Aaron and said to them, 'You have gone far enough for all the congregation are holy, every one of them and the Lord is in their midst. So why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?'" Okay. Now, listen, God always appoints those that he wants. God calls people to be ministers of the gospel. God calls pastors and teachers and evangelists and apostles and prophets. That's God's decision. Why did God choose them? The only thing I can find in scripture is that God chooses the shameful things of the world to confound the wise. God doesn't pick people from ministry based upon qualification. God picks people from ministry based upon his grace and what he wants to do. Here's what's going on in the Book of numbers. Hey Moses, Aaron, hey, why do y'all think you're in charge? Enough is enough. All of us have the spirit of God. All of us are about God. Who put you in charge? Moses starts pleading on behalf of these people. There's this whole thing that goes on with sensors and the very next day, Korah, his family, 250 other men and all their families, God opened up the earth and swallowed them and sent them all to hell. And then guess what happened? Now the congregation's really ticked. Well, we liked Korah. He was a nice guy and you guys just killed him all. So then there was a plague that broke out over all of Israel and God told Moses, "Step aside, I'm going to destroy them all." And this is where you know Moses was the most humble man of God ever called, because Moses is like, "No, no, no, no. I'm going to intercede for them. Aaron, go put the sensor in. You'll save them. Because I think there's times like in our flesh, like if God said, "Jeff, step back, I'm going to destroy them all," I'd be, "All right. Cool. Just go ahead. You're God." Right? Our flesh does stuff like that, not Moses. He was praying for God's people. He loved God's people and there were about 14,700 that died in that. And then God rallied it. What's the whole point? Listen, do not go after God's anointed. Don't talk bad about the people God's called. I'm not just talking about me because I'm a pastor, because some of you don't go to Brave. You're visiting this weekend. I'm talking about every pastor everywhere in every place. Why? Because that's who God selected. Don't talk bad about them. Don't be part of a pastor bashing service. Don't be the person that comes to Brave Church and tells me your story and say, "Pastor Jeff, I left that church down the street, man, that pastor there, he blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." Because all I'm thinking in my head is man, I wonder how long it's going to be until you're saying that about me. Don't talk negatively about God's people. Don't do it. Especially those God's put in places of leadership. When God calls a man to do God's work, that's God's choice to do that thing, support them. But don't say, "Hey, I should be the one." That's what Korah was doing and trying to rally other people against God's anointing. And it didn't go well for him and it didn't go well for his team and it doesn't go well today. I had a football coach in high school where I respected his socks off. I remember watching a football game about 15 years ago and I was at his house and we were watching this game and I was complaining about the offensive coordinator of this team. And I thought it was going to be a great conversation because we could kind of talk bad about this offensive coordinator that was absolutely pathetic. And so I mentioned everything that he was doing wrong. And my high school coach just sat in his chair, just kept looking straight forward. Didn't even acknowledge that I was talking. And the message came loud and clear to me, which was this. I've been a coach my whole life. And all people have done is complain about the way I call plays. I want you to know something, I'm for all coaches and I will never listen to people that talk bad about a coach and I am for all coaches. It communicated to me. Let me tell you something. I'm a pastor. I love all pastors. I am for all pastors. If people talk bad about pastors, that says more about you than it does about the pastor that you're talking about. Because if you truly understand who God's put in charge and you're talking bad about them, here's what you're saying. God, I know better how to lead your kingdom than you do and I want my way to be done. Don't ever do that. Don't ever do that. Does that mean pastors are perfect? No. Does that mean pastors don't need people in their lives that can hold them accountable to their character? Of course, we do. Does that mean people need pastors that are going to preach the word and have people say, "Hey, when you said this, I didn't..." No, we need that. That's accountability. That's good. I'm talking about people that are saying, "Who do you think you are to be a pastor?" And it happens in churches all the time where people attack pastors and attack pastors' wives and attack their families and go after them when that group of people is only trying to feed the flock of God. I'm just telling you, don't do it. And praise God for all of you here that do such a good job of loving me and loving my wife and loving our family and being supportive to us. I love that. It's an honor to be your pastor. It just is. But that's what he's saying. Now, when you think about these things, when you think about cavalier worship and prophecy for hire and grumbling over God's anointed, notice what he says about these people in verses 12 and 13. He gives a list of what these people are like. He said, "These men who are hidden reefs in your love feast when they feast with you without fear." Now a love feast or a love fest was what took place after communion. Oftentimes the church would gather, it'd be similar to having like a potluck supper now. And he said, "They're hidden reefs." A hidden reef is a stain. The reason they're a stain is because they have no fear of God. The reason if you have no fear of God, you have no love for God's people. The only reason that they're there is for themselves, everything they're doing within the body that they're not even a part of is to draw people to themselves rather than to lead people to Jesus Christ. He's like, watch out for them. They're stains. They're hidden reefs. What else are they? He said, "Because they have no fear of God and they care only for themselves." Notice what he says, "Clouds without water carried along by the winds." Now the purpose of clouds, one of the purposes of clouds are as clouds fill up with moisture and they get big, then ultimately what happens is rain begins to happen. And the purpose of rain is to feed and refresh the plants and vegetation so they have something which they can grow. He says, not apostates, not false prophets. They appear like clouds, but they blow over. In other words, seemingly, they're going to feed me, seemingly, they're going to give me something God says, seemingly, they promised to give me some refreshment. But in reality, we don't ever get anything. They're just blowing on by. Why? Because they care only for themselves. They care only for what they're going to say. They care only about their visions, their dreams, their ideas, their stuff, and they don't care about the people of God. He goes on to say this. "Carried along by the winds, autumn trees without fruit." We've already spent a lot of time on that. You would think in the fall that trees would produce fruit. These people never produce any fruit and what are they? They're doubly dead, uprooted. Now it's one thing to be dead, I don't know what doubly dead means. It means you're dead, dead. And if you're not saved, you're dead. And so when you're dead but you're trying to lead dead people to be alive, you're doubly dead. If you've ever flown on an airplane and you've listened to the speech that they give before, you've heard it so many times, you tune it out now. But what they'll tell you is if oxygen masks drop and you have small children, what do they tell you to do? First put your mask on and then help your child. Why? Because they know if you're not breathing, you can't help anybody else. Right? These apostates and false prophets, they're dead and so they can't help anybody that's dead be made alive. And the Bible claims that all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. So all of us are dead in our transgressions and sins. And so what we need is a savior to be made alive, but they don't give us the savior. All they give us is how to live your same dead life now and make yourself feel better about your same dead life that you're ultimately going to face judgment with. They're doubly dead. They're uprooted because they're not connected to the true vine. He says they're like wild waves of the sea casting up their own shame like foam. Think about wild waves. You ever been to the ocean before where the waves are just jutting in? They make so much power and so much noise. He says they're like that. But the only thing they're really bringing is their own shame. They have nothing to offer of any value. They have no freedom to offer you in your life. You get to still live with the guilt of all your sin. Then he says, "They're wandering stars for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever." A wandering star is like a shooting star. Have you ever been out in a dark place, like on a camping trip or something where you can look up in the sky and see all the stars when there's no lights? Every now and again, you'll see shooting stars go, fum, fum. And when you see one, what do you say? Wow. Wow, that was awesome. They had the appeal that when you see an apostate or a false prophet to be like, wow, whoa, never heard of that. Wow. But they're like shooting stars. They're not like the North Star that's fixed that you can trust, that's solid, that's not going anywhere, that's anchored to the truth of God's word. Why? Because they're not anchored to the truth of God's word. They just move and go. And what's reserved for them? The black darkness, hell. The darkest of darkness awaits people like that. There's different levels of hell. The Bible talks about that. We don't know a ton about it, but for those who have spent their entire lives not only disbelieving God but then trying to lead other people away from God, the blackest darkness is reserved for them. If you spend your whole life being an apostate, you spend your whole life teaching people how to walk away from the true God, you spend your whole life not teaching people that Jesus is the way the truth and the life, the blackest darkness is meant for you. And so when you think about this, I mean, this is a hard message to preach, right? James is, or Jude rather is pulling no punches. He's saying self-centered and ignorant people who are ignorant to spiritual realities and people who are blind to biblical history and spiritually dead. But guess what they do, the reason we need to be aware of them is they produce something in us if you're listening to people like that. And here's what they produce. Who the enemy goes after are people who are ungodly and self-promoting. Ungodly and self-promoting. Now notice what it says in verse 14. It says it was also about these that Enoch and the seventh generation from Adam prophesied saying, "Behold the Lord came with many thousands of his holy ones to execute judgment upon all." So he was saying, we don't see this prophecy anywhere else than in the Book of Jude, right? There's a book that's an uninspired book called the Book of First Enoch, which has similar words which Jude may have drawn from knowing the truth of reality. But we know that God through his Holy Spirit inspired Jude to write these words. So this was definitely a prophecy. And he writes it as if it's already happened in past tense because he is so sure that it's going to come. It aligns with every other scripture that teaches that one day Jesus will come with all of his holy angels to judge the world and convict everyone of all their sin. It's coming. It's coming soon to a city near you. Trust me judgment is on the way. All the father has to do is tell the son, "Go get my people. Go get my kids." And it's over. Jude says it's going to happen. And what's going to happen? He said the prophecy was coming to execute judgment on all and what? 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. Do you see the word ungodly, ungodly, ungodly, ungodly? It's four times right there. You can't miss it. It means this. Here's what false prophets will teach. Here's what apostates teach. Listen, here's what they'll teach. They might even reference that Jesus died on the cross and they might even reference Jesus rose from the dead. And then they'll give you some little thing that you can do like pray this prayer, jump through this magic hoop or sign this card or do this thing. But here's what they're also telling you. Just do it, just get it done, because it doesn't matter how you live. You can live as ungodly as you want for the rest of your life, but because you did what I told you to do, God's obligated to take you to heaven. That is a false teaching from the pit of hell, because those who are dead in their sins, who are convicted that they're going to hell, who are repenting to trust Christ recognize that they want Jesus on the inside of their life. So when we go through this list here in a minute about what ungodliness looks like, as a non-believer, you should be trembling when we walk through this knowing that you need to repent and trust Jesus. And as a believer, much like I was doing on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and last night, you should be feeling conviction in your heart of areas with which you need to repent so that Jesus Christ is truly living as the Lord of your life. Because here's what the Bible says. The Bible says, if you've trusted in Christ, over time, there will be a desire to grow into obedience. In Paul's letter to the Romans, which was his treatise on the gospel, especially in the first eight chapters. When he opens up the book in Romans chapter one and verse five, he says this, "Through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about what? The obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for his name." If you truly are saved, there will be a desire to grow into Christ's likeness. If you are truly saved, there'll be a desire to grow into obedience. So many people don't like the Book of James, who's also the half brother of Jesus, because James said this, "You show me your faith without works, I'll show you my faith by what I do. Because faith without works is dead." It doesn't mean you work for your salvation, but it means if you're truly saved, there's going to be fruit that happens in your life over time, that there's going to be a desire to live obediently. And even Jesus said the same thing in John chapter 14 verses 23 and 24. "If you love me, you will keep my word." If you do not love me, you will not keep my word. How do you know that you love Jesus? Because you want to live obedient to him. Does it mean you're going to get it right every time? No, no, no, but it means if you're a believer, that's not getting it right, that the spirit of God is going to convict you of your sins so that you desire to live right? There's no such thing as a gospel that says you can go to heaven and live disobedient and you'll be cool with that. Why would you even want to go? Because the only thing that's going on in heaven is holy, holy, holy, holy. If there's not a desire for holiness here, why would you want to have a desire for holiness there? Right? That's what false prophets teach. And notice what it says, because here at this end, this last verse in verse 16 that we're looking at today, here's what he spells out. "If you listen to apostates and you listen to false prophets, this will be the ungodliness in you that will produce a self-promotion of who you are in your life." Notice what he says. "These are grumblers finding fault, following after their own lusts, they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage." We just walked through these. This is the third time I preach this. I feel convicted every time I preach it and I felt convicted all week as I was listening to it. How do you know that you have that spirit in you that's satanic that is not the way God would want you to live? Well, first of all, you're a grumbler. You're a grumbler. Now there's a lot of sins that are listed in the Bible. Sin is sin. All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But in the Old Testament, if there's one sin that God consistently hated, it was what? Grumbling. Grumbling, whining, complaining, right? Grumbling, it's happened from the Old Testament, it happens now. Grumblers are simply this, they're complainers. Complainers. Now, it happened in the first century, it happened in the Old Testament. It even happens today. Here's how you know you have the spirit of grumbling. It's when you see things in the church and you know they need to change, but instead of doing something about it, you talk about how bad it is. You come into church and you're like, "Yeah, I don't like the way the music was today. It was too loud. It's too soft. They didn't have enough of this. They didn't do enough of that. They played too long. They didn't play long enough. I don't like that Pastor Jeff's in that book. Who gave him the right to teach that way? I wish he taught more like this. How come the kids' ministry is like that? Why do they do small groups like this? How come they don't have this ministry over here? That how come that?" Grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble. God hates that because it's sin. So let me give you a proactive one. So when you come into church and you see things that need to change, which, oh, by the way you will, because we're just an imperfect people looking to glorify God and you see things and you're like, man, it could be better, it could be better. Here's what God's telling you. Just listen, receive this in love too, by the way. It's love. Here's what God's saying. Shut your mouth and do something about it. That's all he's saying. God's saying, I gave you vision as to why that's not good because you know how to do it better. So get in and help. Don't grumble. Don't complain. Don't whine. Right? Because the second thing on the list is what? Finding fault. Fault finders. Let me tell you what limited brain knowledge it takes to find fault with something, read the newspaper, watch the news, watch politics, can you find some fault there? Can you find fault in the church? I passed through this church, I know more that's going on here than you do. But think about this, with the way you find fault towards God's people, would you want people to pursue you that same way? Would you want to invite people from the church into your house and say, "Hey, check out my marriage. We want to tell you everything about it. Check out my kids. Check out how my kids relate to us. Check out how we spend our money. We're going to show you everything. And then we want you to find fault with all of it." Anybody want that? Nobody wants that. But then why do you bring it in the house of God? See, it gets to this thing called church hopping. You ever heard of this? See, the way we do it in North America, the church hop thing is a selfish thing because really what we're saying is man, I'm going to find that church with the pastor that I like, with the children's ministry I like youth ministry, youth ministry I like, young adults, it's on fire. Young marriage is growing. They got a seniors group that's great. It's the best music you've ever seen. It's all this stuff. It's going to be just perfect. We're going to find the perfect church. Let me tell you something, you will never ever find that church on this side of heaven. But see, if church hopping is biblical, then it looks kind of like this, hey God, I know I'm broken, but I know you saved me and I want to find a place where I can pour my highest and best into a church that faithfully proclaims your word, that worships you, that seeks your face in prayer, that proclaims the gospel with a bunch of other broken people just like me where I can give all my best to that. And when I find a place like that, God, you can count on me. I'm giving you everything I have. And if you're looking for a church like that, we're one of them. You can give it all here. You'll get a great return on your investment. Oh, by the way, there's no place in our church that's too filled up where we would say, "Oh, you can't serve there. We got too many people." Elders all the way on down, we are looking for people that love the Lord that want to serve. Amen? Amen. So serve. No grumbling, no fault finding. How about this? Following their own lust. We've really kind of touched on that already, means I want church to be for me what I need best for me. I expect all the people there from the elders and the pastors all the way on down to meet every single one of my needs. If you want to live a life of disappointment, have that attitude. Nobody ever will. But if you contribute in an uncommon way saying, I'm here to meet the needs of others because I consider others more important than myself, then I'm not meeting my own lust. I'm asking God to do something through me to help others. They speak arrogantly. Speaking arrogantly is when you think you know best. There's nobody here that knows best. Jesus knows best. And what do they do? They flatter people for the sake of gaining an advantage. It means I'm willing to tell you whatever you want to hear so long as you continue to like me and I can gain an advantage from our friendship. Apostates and false prophets would probably never preach Jude eight through 16 because there would be too much of a concern that there'd be too many people that would be listening saying, "I didn't come to get that. I just wanted you to tell me how awesome I was." Right? And if you're listening to false teachers, there's this presumption that you have a right to grumble and complain and fault find and speak arrogantly and flatter everybody all because everything you're doing is only for your advantage. Which means this, if you're here today and you've never trusted Jesus, I'm telling you all this because I love you like crazy. And God loves you like crazy. And God loved you so much that the father sent his son to be the savior of the world because you were dead in your sins and what God was trying to communicate to you is not how to make your life better. God was trying to communicate that your life's dead and it's over and you need the resurrected Christ and you need to repent and trust Jesus. That's what he's telling you. And if you've repented and trusted Christ and you know him, when you hear that list, there should be those things in your ear and in your heart where the Holy Spirit's like, "Yeah, you've kind of been that way here. Oh yeah, you've kind of been that way here," where you get to repent and tell God, "Lord, I've been a bit of a grumbler or I've been a bit of a fault finder. I've been a little bit of a complainer. Lord, I've been flattering people just because I want to gain my own advantage. And Lord, I've been wanting my ears tickled. And Lord, I repent of that because I want to be in right relationship with you." And wherever you're at, that's what God wants to do in your life today. This is a hard teaching, right? But it's just as true as anything else we teach in the Bible. God loves you so much. He wants you to know about the satanic all-star team so that you don't fall prey and are a victim of that. God wants you to grow in the true knowledge of his word and love who he is. Amen? Amen. So if you just close your eyes and bow your heads, I just want to pray for us here this morning that wherever you are, you could respond according to how God wants you to respond. So Lord, we come before your throne. And Lord, we just invite you to do a work. And if you're here today and you're listening, you're saying, "I don't know that I've ever let Jesus truly be the Lord of my life and Jesus, I know that I'm dead and I want you," then you can pray like this. Lord Jesus, right now in this place, I confess to you that I'm a sinner. I know that I'm dead spiritually. I know that I'm separated from you. And Lord, I desire to have a relationship. I believe you died on the cross for my sins. I believe that you were buried. I believe that you rose from the dead. And right now I confess you as my Lord. Come into my life, change me and do a work today. Make me new in you. Lord, for many of us who have prayed that prayer who truly know that you're our Lord. Lord, where you've shown us things today, Lord, help us repent. Lord, maybe we've been listening to some false teaching that we need to let go of, Lord, maybe we've become a grumbler, a fault finder, arrogant, pursuing our own lusts, flattering other people so that they'll like us more. Lord, we just repent of all these things and we desire for you to do a work in us. Lord, we love your word. Lord, sometimes your word comforts us and sometimes your word exhorts us and challenges us. Lord, you're challenging and exhorting us today. Lord, let us respond accordingly. Let us be men and women and boys and girls that go after you with everything we have. For Lord, we give you all the praise, glory, and honor for who you are. In Jesus name, amen and amen. Can we praise God for his word this morning?