“These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.”
Verse 16: Grumblers and Complainers:
“These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want” (New Living Translation).
Verse 16a: “Grumblers…”
The Greek word, goggustes, describes the discontented voices of the “murmurers” like the murmurings of the children of Israel against Moses as he led them through the wilderness…one who makes an audible expression of an unwarranted dissatisfaction. Goggustes is a low sound continually repeated, as that of a stream running in a stony channel, or that of flame. These wicked men in the time of Jude are the modern counterparts of the murmuring children of Israel in the desert, people full of sullen complaints against the guiding hand of God. –adapted from Wm. Barclay
This is the kind of thing that Israel was so good at when God brought them out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the Promised Land, giving them everything their heart desired. And things didn’t go the way that they thought they should go, they began to grumble.
Verse 16b: “Complainers…” Fault finders, malcontents, it literally describes those who are blamers who are dissatisfied with their lot in life and so they are discontented complainers, constantly finding fault and blaming!
“You know the sort of people alluded to here, nothing ever satisfies them. They are discontented even with the gospel. The bread of heaven must be cut into three pieces, and served on dainty napkins, or else they cannot eat it; and very soon their soul hates even this light bread. There is no way by which a Christian man can serve God so as to please them. They will pick holes in every preacher's coat; and if the great High Priest himself were here, they would find fault with the color of the stones of his breastplate.” –Spurgeon
“Grumbling and complaining” is to insult the God who gives us all things; it is to forget that whatever befalls us, nothing can separate us from His love, nor deprive us of that most priceless of all treasures, the Lord's presence in our lives.” –Green
1 Corinthians 10:8-10 NLT, “And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day. Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites. And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death”
Philippians 2:14 “Do all things without complaining and disputing” “Do everything without murmuring or questioning [the providence of God].” (Amplified).
T. Davies describes grumblers and complainers:
1. Insinuators. The whisper, the shrug of the shoulder, the half sentence containing a surmise of the other half, and the warning of some awful revelation to come respecting the servant of God and his character, mark these men in every age. They succeed to create distrust of the ministry, and dry up the fountain of Christian sympathy and prayer.
2. Fault-finders. Nothing is done to please them. They are on the alert to find out mistakes. They turn even the love feast into a scene of embitterment.
3. Libertines. The root of their character is a love of sin--some form of gross immorality. They hate the truth because it exposes their villainy and shame.
4. Pretenders. They are full of ostentation, fond of tall talk. To the ignorant, loud swelling words sound grandly, but to the wise, “the crackling of thorns under a pot.”
5. Dissemblers. They put on smiling face, and speak smooth words to persons of rank, to secure their approbation and gain their support. They subject principles to appearances. Let the mantle of Jude fall on our ministers. –T. Davies, M. A.
I remember the story about a family visiting a church for the first time. In the car on their way home they were discussing the church. The dad starts by saying, “That was one of the worst messages I’ve ever heard! Where dod he get his degree, a local kindergarten?” Then the mom chimes in, “And the choir was horrible, one of the worst performances I have ever heard!” The teen-age daughter puts in her two-cents, “The youth department was awful, the kids were very unfriendly to me, I don’t want to go back there again!” The eight-year-old boy was taking this all in when he remarked, “I thought it was a pretty good show for a quarter!”
Verse 16c: “Walking according to their own lusts…”
“Lust” does not necessarily mean sexual immorality. It could be anything that omits God. It could be wealth, recognition, music, literature, cars, or even religion. It is that which demands all their time and effort, even to the ignoring of family and God. They are lacking in self-discipline and self-control. To them moral law is not part of their make up, it is only a burden. Duty and honor is not a part of their thinking. They feel no sense of responsibility toward others. Their one value is pleasure and their one dynamic is desire.
2 peter 2:10, “But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.”
2 Peter 3:3, “Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts.”
“Walking” is the idea is that the planned course of their conduct is governed by their strong sensual desires. Wuest says these men are “ordering their course of conduct in accordance with their own passionate cravings.”
“Lust,” in Greek is, epithumia and it describes strong desires which are perverted and unrestrained and which originate from our corrupted, fallen, anti-God Sin nature we all inherited from Adam. “Lust” means a strong desire of any kind.
These apostates main motive is their own “lusts.” It may be lust for praise, for wealth, for power, or for social position.
Verse 16d: “They mouth great swelling words…” NLT: “They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want.” MSG: “Talking big, saying anything they think will get them ahead.” Barclay: “They speak with pride and arrogance.”
2 Peter 2:18, “For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness.”
“This is an accurate description of the words of many liberal preachers and false cultists. They are accomplished orators, holding audiences spellbound by their grandiose rhetoric…Their erudite vocabulary attracts undiscerning people. What their sermons lack in content, they make up for in a dogmatic, forceful presentation. But when they have finished they have said nothing.”
“Swelling words” is, pompous arrogance, these false teachers present themselves as experts on everything. We used to say about people like this was, “What he doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing.”
2 Timothy 4:3,4, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”
Verse 16e: “Flattering people to gain advantage…”
“Flattering” in Greek is thaumazo, literally “admiring faces.” The idea is to show partiality to others in order to gain an advantage.
These false teachers know how to use smooth, flattering speech in order to take advantage of others. They are loud-mouthed boasters, bragging about themselves, and never giving glory to God! They flatter and show favoritism to anyone from whom they can gain an advantage.
Titus 1:10 AMP, “For there are many rebellious men who are empty talkers [just windbags] and deceivers.”
“In short, what Jude is doing here is giving us characteristics which should help us identify these snakes in our midst – they are boastful, pompous, haughty, tumid, grand, inflated, bombastic in their speech with the goal of such pretentious palaver (misleading, beguiling speech) being to impress and entice. Mark it down - High sounding words make a great cover for false teaching. They impress people with their vocabularies and oratory, but what they say is just so much hot air.” –Wiersbe
Verse 17,18: There will be Mockers:
But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: 18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. 19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.
Verse 17a: “But you beloved” Now Jude shifts his focuses from denouncing apostates, to giving loving guidance and encouragement to the saints.
2 Peter 2:2-4, “I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder, That you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?”
Verse 17b: “Remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Some Bible scholars believe that the apostles had a meeting about these apostates, and that they gave jointly, by common consent a communication for all the New Testament churches.
However, these Christians do not need to be disturbed by these false and ungodly people who have come in among them. Rather they should remember that the Apostles have continually warned them of such things, and that such warnings are on record.
Jude was not quoting from any known Apostolic writing, he may have been quoting something that was shared orally by a New Testament saint. He may be giving the general sense of some of the Apostles, such as:
1 Timothy 4:1-3, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.”
2 Peter 3:1-3, “Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts…”
The word of God is always the answer to dangerous situations in the church.
Verse 18: “How they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.”
The Greek word for “mockers” in Jude 18 and “scoffers” in 2 Peter 3:3 are the same Greek word. It is empaiktai, meaning “mocker, scoffer, deceiver, to play upon, mock, deride, trifle with, play, to sport.” This word is used only in these two verses in the entire New Testament. But listen to God, Proverbs 3:34, “The Lord mocks the mockers…”
What were the mockers mocking? “Scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? (2 Peter 3:3).
2 Chronicles 36:16, “But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy.”
Titus 1:10,11, “For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.”
One would have to be blind and deaf to not see the “signs of the times” End- time events are happening all around us. It seems as if the world is getting more and more troubled. There are wars, famines, earthquakes, new diseases; there are increases in corruption, immorality, and violent crime all over the world. It is no wonder that many ask if we are living in the Last Days, if the end of the world is near.
1 Timothy 4:1, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons…”
2 Timothy 3:1-5, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away.”
Matthew 2410,11, “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.”
“The sad fact of the matter is, today's evangelical church is headed up by a group of frauds - fakes who present themselves as evangelicals and as the heirs of our evangelical faith, and who trade on the godly reputation of yesterday's evangelicalism, while all the while they deny the very doctrines which empowered that church and made it what it was. It may be an indication of how close to the end we really are. The Bible says, "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils ...” (1 Timothy 4:1 KJV) –Steve S.R. Shearer, Antipas Ministries
Verse 19: “These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.”
“Sensual in this context has nothing to do with sexual attractiveness. It describes the person who lives only by and for what they can get through their physical senses, and they live this way selfishly. Their motto is, “If it feels good, do it” or, “How can it be wrong if it feels so right?” Who cause divisions: These certain men had an instinct to separate themselves and make divisions. “The word, found only once in the Bible, denotes those superior people who keep themselves to themselves–Christian Pharisees (Pharisee–Greek pharisaios : signifying to separate, owing to a different manner of life from that of the general public).” –David Guzik
Verse 19a: “Sensual” in Greek is psuchikos, “soulish,” and it pertains to the natural man versus the spiritual man. A sensual person is governed by sensual appetites and is living apart from the Spirit of God. Sensual is the opposite of spiritual. These men to whom Jude refers do not think and act not like spiritual men but like natural men. “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).
“Living as brute beasts, guided simply by their own lusts and passions, their Bible being the manifold devices and covetousness of their own hearts; for they have not the Spirit - they are not spiritually minded; and have no Holy Ghost, no inspiration from God.” –Adam Clarke
Verse 19b: “Who cause divisions…” By their selfish words and actions, these evil men upset the unity of the church.
Romans 16:17,18, “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus[a] Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.”
1 Corinthians 1:10, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
Philippians 2:3, “Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”
What is the Holy Spirit saying here: Be like-minded. Think the same things. If you have disagreements with your church, leave! Do not stay and cause division! If you are in doctrinal disagreement, find a church where you agree with their doctrine. 2 Corinthians 6:17, “Therefore, ‘come out from among them and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.’”
Having the same love… Love the same things! Believers love Christ; love their fellow Christians, and love the lost, showing them how to find Jesus.
Being of one accord… “A word closely related is koinonia that which is in common, belonging to several or of which several are partakers. It means fellowship, the state of sharing mutual interests, experiences, activities, etc.; a relation in which parties hold something in common.” –Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
Someone has suggested that we are to be Honda Christians: “They all came in one Accord.”
Verse 19c: “Not having the Spirit.” If Jesus is your Savior, God’s holy Spirit lives in you!
1 Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into[a] one Spirit.”
Ephesians 1:13, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”
Romans 8:1,2;10-12, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death…But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
Unless otherwise noted, the New King James Version of the Bible was used. Also The New Living Translation (NLT); The New American Standard Bible (NASB); The Message (MSG); The New Century Version (NCV); The Amplified Bible (AMP); The King James Version (KJV), The New Life Version (NLV); English Standard Version (ESV); J.B. Phillips New Testament; Easy to Read Version (ERV) and The Living Bible (TLB).