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Bible Commentaries

Wells of Living Water Commentary
Judges 1

 

 

Verses 1-25

Jude's Certain Men

The Book of Jude

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

The statement, "Thy testimonies are wonderful" is nowhere more strikingly true than in the Book of Jude. No photographer ever made a better likeness and no scientist with his X-ray ever made a truer photograph than the Book of Jude makes concerning "Certain Men."

Jude is in reality a preface to the Book of Revelation. Jude is apostate Christendom manifested; Revelation is apostate Christendom judged. Jude describes conditions preceding the Coming of the Lord for His saints; Revelation describes the curse which follows.

The Epistle as a whole is a needed warning concerning certain men who are false teachers, mockers , and who are to arise in the last days.

This is established beyond a doubt by comparing two passages in Jude with two passages in Second Peter.

1. Jude's Certain Men are false teachers (Judges 1:4 ).

In Jude we read: "Certain Men have crept in unawares * * denying the Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." In Second Peter we read: "There shall be false teachers among you who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them." The identity is complete. The Certain Men are false teachers.

2. These Certain Men are to arise in the last days.

In Jude we read, "Remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts" (Judges 1:17-18 ).

In Second Peter we read: "That ye 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 Saviour: knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His Coming?" (2 Peter 3:2-4 ).

These Scriptures suffice, for they are conclusive.

3. The Certain Men are indeed false teachers, mockers, scoffers: The Certain Men are to arise in the last days.

In Jude, therefore, the trend and the end of twentieth century apostate teachers is given in detail.

If any should question the import of the words "last days," let them remember that the expression refers to the days which close this age and immediately precede the Lord's Coming.

The parallel passage in Second Peter tells of the judgment that the day of the Lord, when He comes "as a thief in the night," will bring upon these mockers who deny His Coming. In Jude, not only is the same warning given, but the little epistle assures those who contend for the faith, that they shall be presented faultless "before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy."

As the apostasy which began in the days of the Apostle Paul ripens into the last days, the Certain Men, of the Book of Jude become more and more plainly prominent.

Should one object to the strong and stirring statements which follow, let him remember that the Lord strenuously condemned the Scribes and Pharisees of His day they were the ripened product of apostate Judaism. No marvel, then, that the most condemnatory language of the epistles is to be found in this little book, which announces God's judgment against the ripened product of apostate Christianity.

Jude presents apostate teachers gone to their full length, and therefore, gives no uncertain sound either in description, in condemnation, or in the clarion call to contend earnestly for the faith.

I. THESE CERTAIN MEN ARE "UNGODLY * * TURNING THE GRACE OF GOD INTO LASCIVIOUSNESS" (Judges 1:4 )

The charge against them is not personal lasciviousness, but making the grace of God lasciviousness. God's grace reaches down to the vilest and lifts him up through redemption into perfect legal whiteness bloodwashed, he is ready for audience with God.

These men have turned from grace men are not to be saved by the blood of the Cross, but by social regeneration and by "exerting their own manhood," "cultivating their own better self," "lifting themselves above themselves."

The critic who seeks to relegate the divinely penned story of creation in Genesis, and to enforce his theory of evolution with its "origin and endless capabilities of the species" and its "unlimited time to make the variations produce new forms," and its "inherited effects of use and disuse," and its "natural selection," is ungodly turning the grace of God into lasciviousness.

The evolutionist when he says that man "fell upward, not downward," that man has evolved from a jelly-like protoplasm to the splendor of God, denies the grace of God which says:

"God created man in His own image."

"By one man's disobedience many were made sinners."

"So death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned," and "Christ died for our sins," "the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God."

The critic who denies God's creative act, man's fall, Christ's substitutionary death, is ungodly turning the grace of God into lasciviousness.

The critic who denies the coming catastrophic judgment of this inhabited earth, and who proclaims instead the "up-ward progress" of the race; the critic who berates the severe denunciation of Almighty God concerning sin, and preaches instead the "essential goodness" of the race; the critic who rejects the righteousness which is by faith in Christ Jesus, and proclaims the final "supremacy of good" - that critic be he optimist, moralist, or esthetic, is ungodly, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness.

Those who deny the power of the Cross would make God welcome into His presence the unwashed, the unclean, the corrupt, and the guilty; they make the Holy God unholy; they make His grace lasciviousness.

II. THESE CERTAIN MEN "DENY THE ONLY LORD GOD, AND OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST" (Judges 1:4 )

These Certain Men have fallen under Satan's Edenic stroke, the dethronement of the sovereign Lord with the consequent enthronement of dependent man. With the sovereignty of God and the deity of Christ Jesus denied, every step of the apostasy, as set forth in Jude's Epistle, is made easy. If Christ is God and Sovereign Lord, we are dependent servants servants who seek truth, not shun it; servants who preach truth, not prevent it; servants who live the truth, not libel it.

These Certain Men would bring Christ down to man's level, and exalt man to Christ's level. If the one is divine, so is the other. If one is the Son of God, so is the other. Distinction lies in attainment, not in attributes. The divine in Christ merely reached a higher state of development than the divine in the average man. Christ was not deity.

These Certain Men make Christ no more than a perfect human. They say that Christ, in a moment of rapturous emotion, saw within Himself the divine nature and declared Himself to be the Son of God. In like manner, all men are sons of God, and should recognize in themselves the divine spark, fanning it until it glows with God-like splendor.

With the Lordship of Christ renounced and the Sonship of man recognized, the ascendancy of the apostasy Is assured, and the day of the apostate teachers has dawned.

Men who renounce the Lordship of Christ find it easy to repudiate the Book of Jonah although in doing so they make Christ, who accepted it, a liar.

Men who renounce the Lordship of Christ find no difficulty in refusing to believe Moses and the prophets, although the Lord Jesus, beginning with Moses and the prophets, expounded in them the things concerning Himself.

Men who renounce the Lordship of Christ can readily reject Moses and the prophets, and still accept the Pauline writings; although the Apostle Paul believed "all things written in the law and the prophets."

The Pantheist who recognizes God as merely an "unknown force," and the agnostic who professes to know nothing about God, are in no sense justified in joining the Certain Men contingency and sitting with them as critics on the Word of God a God who is, to them, an ethereal nonentity.

The scholastic preacher, who professes to be neither pantheistic nor agnostic, but who avows faith in the triune God, and yet, denying Lordship, worships at the shrine of his own philosophical and scientific vagaries, is in no sense justified in joining the critical contingency and sitting in judgment on the Word of God.

Is the critic "ut Deus" that he should feel himself authorized to accept or reject portions of the Holy Scriptures, accordingly as they fit or tail to fit every twist and turn of his theological theories?

"Certain Men" who deny Lordship , and who speak of the Inspired Word as "insipidity and monotony" and as a mere "product of poetic imagination," are obsessed with folly.

"Certain Men" who deny Lordship and vainly vaunt their specious speculations as infallible, while they proudly parade the infallible, unchangeable, and ever enduring Bible as fallible, are possessed with irrational madness.

"Certain Men" who deny Lordship will worship the premises and the conclusions of their human reasonings as unerring, and profane the Divine Word as no more than the erring collection of scattered writers, worthy of notice merely as a "conception of the customs and habits of early times," such men are Satan-deceived and Satan-driven.

Let those, who are "servants of the Lord Jesus Christ," "sanctified by God the Father," "preserved in Jesus Christ and called," let those who are "looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life"; let those who worship "the only wise God, our Saviour," beware of the subtleties of apostate teachers. "While they deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ, let us ascribe to Him "glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever, Amen."

III. THESE CERTAIN MEN HAVE CREPT IN UNAWARES (Judges 1:4 )

There have always been apostate teachers, but formerly the leaders were outside the churches.

One hundred years ago, Tom Payne, the infidel, (an avowed oppressor of the truth) taught outside the churches what the destructive critics of today (accepted apostles of the truth) are teaching within the churches. The supposedly new scientific, conclusions which the critics parade, are little more than a rehash of Payne, Huxley, Spencer, and others.

These "Certain Men" have the privilege of rejecting the Word of God, in part or in whole. But why should they creep in unawares? Why should wolves array themselves in sheep's clothing?

These "Certain Men" have a right to liberty of conscience. But why should they seek fellowship with those who are "holding forth the Word of life"? Outside the camp, they are enemies; inside, they are traitors.

These "Certain Men," outside the church, have a right to preach "another gospel which is not another," but they have no right to bring their perversions inside the church as a substitution for the Gospel of Christ.

Their gospel is not God's Gospel, themselves being witnesses.

The righteousness they seek to establish, based on the achievement of man is not the righteousness of God, based on the work of Christ, The peace they seek to inaugurate, through the prowess of man, is not the peace that God will inaugurate at the Coming of the Son of Man.

Their salvation is a "process of development," humanly wrought out, and dependent upon environment. It is not a creative act of God, divinely wrought within and dependent upon grace.

Let men who are apostles, "not of men, neither by man, hut by Jesus Christ, and God the Father": let men who preach a Gospel which is not after man but "by the revelation of Jesus Christ," beware of these "Certain Men" who have crept in unawares. "Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel * * let him be accursed."

IV. THESE CERTAIN MEN ARE SPOTS IN YOUR FEASTS OF CHARITY (Judges 1:12 )

Literally "sunken rocks in your love feasts."

Let the angels weep! "Reprobates concerning the faith," sitting at feast with the faithful!

Let the heavens marvel! Those who "have departed from the faith" sitting at food with those "nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine."

Let the saints tremble! Those who have "wandered away from the faith" sitting at table with those who "fight the good fight of faith."

Shall we feast with them? Shall the "Wisdom that cometh down from above" feast with "the wisdom of this world"; the wisdom which crucified the Lord of Glory?

Shall those who believe that "without shedding of blood there is no remission" fellowship with the so-called "respectable intellect" that partakes of the Lord's Supper, but denies the efficacy of the Cross?

Shall those who believe that "without shedding of blood there is no remission" fraternize with the "advanced thinker" of this world who keeps Easter, but denies the resurrection?

These men are "sunken rocks," hidden rocks, danger points in our "feasts." Rocks where hundreds "concerning faith have made shipwreck"; rocks where multitudes having "departed from the faith" have "turned aside unto Satan."

Let "good ministers of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine"; let those who "refuse profane and old wives' fables"; let those who would avoid "profane and vain, babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so-called," cease to feast, to fellowship and to fraternize with those who are "hidden rocks in their feasts of love."

Welcome to your feasts of love the scholarship that sits at the feet of the Lord Jesus and learns of Him; but wisely avoid the scholarship that seeks to instruct the Almighty.

V. THESE CERTAIN MEN DESPISE DOMINION AND SPEAK EVIL OF DIGNITIES Judges 1:8-9 )

Men who reject the Lordship of Christ will, of course despise dominion. They will acknowledge no God, other than their conscience. They will worship at no shrine other than their reason. They will accept no sovereignty other than their wills.

These men, having disposed of divine dominion, find it easy to "despise dignities." To be sure, Michael, the archangel, durst not bring against the devil a railing accusation; but these men speak evil of things they know not: and as irrational animals they corrupt themselves. To such men, Satan is a myth, a mere figment of mythology.

Their "radical theology" cannot concede Satan as "a roaring lion, going about seeking whom he may devour."

Their "revolutionary theories" cannot imagine Satan as "the prince of the power of the air." "energizing the sons of disobedience."

Their researches and reasonings cannot permit that Satan is "blinding the minds of the unbelieving."

These dreamers, who despise dominion and defame dignities, recognize no power to lift themselves up and no power to pull themselves down, existing outside of themselves. Their god is themselves, their, "possible man"; their devil is themselves, their "baser man."

VI. THESE CERTAIN MEN HAVE "GONE IN THE WAY OF CAIN" (Judges 1:11 )

They will pass compliments with God, but will not confess the need of a bleeding sacrifice.

They will meet God on common ground, parading their "wondrous works," their "scientific achievements," their vain "reasonings"; but they will not seek approach to God through the Christ of Calvary. The "way of Cain" is a better way to them than that of Abel.

The "new thought" is an improvement upon the "old theology." The way of the Cross is no longer absolute, it is obsolete. The atonement is a bloody relic of past ages. The bleeding sacrifice is a story of the shambles. The "new way" has forgotten that Jesus Christ is "the way, the truth and the life." It is builded upon advanced scientific knowledge; it bristles with ethical conceptions. It breaths forth the spirit of the twentieth century.

The "new religion" denies the old foundations. The Cross is a fabric of the faith doomed to fade. Philosophy needs no Cross. Modern science and the modern social-spirit would make Christ of no effect.

VII. THESE CERTAIN MEN HAVE "RUN GREEDILY AFTER THE ERROR OF BALAAM FOR REWARD" (Judges 1:11 )

Balaam, who could not curse Israel, suggested to Balac conditions upon which God would curse her. The "error of Balaam" consisted in his failure to grasp the fact that God viewed Israel through, and dealt with Israel upon the substitutionary work of Jesus Christ.

Destructive critics, who have gone in the way of Cain, quickly run in the error of Balaam.

There is no place for the atonement in their theology. The message that proves a stumbling block to the Jew and foolishness to the Gentile, is to the critic a rotten basis for redemption.

"Advanced thinkers" have forgotten that God, who dwells in the midst of the Cherubim, can look through the mercy seat where the blood was sprinkled, upon the holy, but broken law that lies within the ark of the covenant.

The rewards of a Cross-despising age have allured men to follow the way of Balaam. The new gospel appeals to the world. It fascinates the ungodly. The new gospel calls forth the praise and plaudits of men it offers preferment.

Alas, alas, many have forsaken the blood-marked track and "have run greedily after the way of Balaam for reward."

These Certain Men, unsatisfied with being present at our feasts of love, would seek to dominate them.

VIII. THESE CERTAIN MEN HAVE PERISHED IN THE GAINSAYING OF CORE (Judges 1:11 )

Korah defied Moses and sought to press himself into the priesthood. Like Korah, the gainsaying of these "Certain Men" is amazing. To hear them talk, one would judge that wisdom liveth and dieth with them. They speak of the men who hold to the "old paths" as the "common herd," "dolts, devoid of understanding,"

They imagine that all men of brains have given up the orthodox platform. That those who still hold the "old truths" are "obsessed with a decadent theology."

These men are Jannes and Jambres all over again. They cannot endure preachers of sound doctrine, but withstand them as vigorously as they witness against the truth they preach.

They not only sneer at the seers of God, but they press themselves into the seership. They not only withstand a faithful ministry, but seek to direct it. They make themselves leaders.

Their voice must be the oracle that plans the policy, maps out the missionary activities, indites the doctrines, composes the creed, directs the discipline, and busies itself with the budget of the local church, and of the denomination.

These Certain Men seek to be oracles, although the masses of the churches and of the denominations they seek to dominate, stand, or are supposed to stand, for the old, old story of Christ crucified, risen and coming again.

IX. THESE CERTAIN MEN ARE "MOCKERS" (Judges 1:18 )

The advent of mockers during the last days is a definite prophecy of Scripture. False teachers, with Korah defiance, will ever mock the men who stand for the things of God, and the things for which they stand.

Debarring the fact that many of the world's brainiest men, are men yielded to the Holy Spirit, and standing foursquare on the side of truth; yet, to these "Certain Men," mockers that they are, a man is indeed a "little fellow," "untutored," and "untaught," who dares to believe in the whole Bible.

Debarring the fact that the men who are bringing things to pass for God, spiritually, are the men standing foursquare for the truth, yet to these men, mockers that they are, all who accept the atonement are "back numbers," "old fogies," and "fossils."

Debarring the fact that the men who are owned and blessed of God are the men who preach a full Gospel, yet, again, these "Certain Men," mockers that they are, ridicule those who believe in a risen and ascended Lord, as past all hope of being restored to mental equilibrium.

These men mock at the verbal inspiration of the dear old Book they juggle with the Word of God. These men mock at redemption by the Blood they know nothing beyond the social uplift. These men mock at punishment for sin. Hell, to them, is a relic of the dark ages a word too harsh for cultured ears, an offense to the ethical sense of the elite they know nothing beyond the miseries of this life.

The mockery of these "Certain Men," however, as it is revealed in Second Peter, reaches its height of infamy in denying the imminent Return of our Lord Jesus.

Not all postmillennialist are destructive critics, but all destructive critics are either postmillennialists, or nonmillennialists.

There is a twofold biblical mark given to mockers, deceivers, antichrists: They deny that Jesus Christ came in the flesh; they also deny that Christ Jesus is coming in the flesh.

Jude is tremendously prophetic. A sure sign of the last days is the advent of these mockers. The mockers are here. Their blasphemy is the bane of the hour. The last days are here. Soon the Lord will judge apostate Christendom.

X. THESE CERTAIN MEN ARE SENSUAL, HAVING NOT THE SPIRIT (Judges 1:19 )

The Greek word is " psuchikoi " (soulish). They are men who are led of the mind, vain reasoners, possessing not the Holy Spirit.

These men. have forgotten that "the natural man receiveth not the things of God."

These men have spurned the fact that "God has made foolish the wisdom of the world."

These men have disdained the fact that "the Spirit searcheth the deep things of God"; and, "that no man knoweth the things of God save the Spirit of God." Men who are soulish , having not the Spirit, are not fit guides in spiritual things. Men who are soulish, having the spirit of the world, cannot know "the things that are freely given to us of God."

Men who are soulish , walking according to the spirit of their minds, cannot receive "the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto them, neither can they know them, for they are spiritually discerned."

The wisdom of the world is, and will ever remain, the deadly foe of the things of God. The wisdom of this world dismisses the God of the Bible as no longer worthy of the credence of a cultured people.

Paul counted such wisdom as refuse. He was wise, graciously wise, but his wisdom was that which the Holy Ghost teacheth. His was the wisdom which "cometh down from above,"

Psychical men possess a wisdom of this world, a wisdom which rests in a restatement of truth, a wisdom which irrationally relies in the "religious consciousness of the twentieth century," a wisdom which rejects every Biblical sentence which it cannot "adjust."

XI. THESE CERTAIN MEN ARE SELF-SHEPHERDIZERS FEEDING THEMSELVES (Judges 1:12 )

The whole trend of modern thought teachers is paralleled by the false shepherds of Israel:

"They feed themselves and are fat * * but they feed not the flock."

"They clothe themselves with the wool, and kill them that are fed."

"They have not strengthened nor healed that which was sick."

"That which was broken they have not bound up."

"That which was driven away, they have not brought again."

"That which was lost, they have not sought."

Because these men are self-shepherdizers, feeding and clothing themselves, God's "sheep have been scattered," and "have become a prey to every beast of the field."

These men, who make merchandise of the saints, must some day stand before God, the "Great Shepherd of the sheep." Then He will require His flock at their hand.

XII. THESE CERTAIN MEN ARE MURMURERS, COMPLAINERS, WALKING AFTER THEIR OWN COVETINGS (Judges 1:16 )

They murmur at the divine teaching of God's Word.

They complain at the divine justice of God's dealings.

They walk after their own coveting.

What is there in the Book of books that these up-to-date murmurers and complainers have left to simple saints?

Some deny the Pentateuch.

Some denounce the Prophets.

Some defame the Poets.

The story of the creation is a myth.

The story of the Cross is a phantasma.

The story of the Coming is an illusion.

The historicity of the Word is doubted, The scientific accuracy of the Word is disputed.

The verbal Inspiration of the Word is done away.

Christ was not born of the Holy Ghost and Mary.

Christ was not in very fact the Son of God deity.

Christ was not the eternal, unchangeable, omniscient God.

Job and Jonah were not actual characters.

The miraculous must be scientifically explained, or else expunged .

Prophecy and revelation express the poetical fancies of the writer.

Murmurers, complainers, walkers after their own desires. What have they left us?

Where is the God of Elijah?

Where is the Christ of Paul?

Where is the Holy Spirit of truth?

XIII. THESE CERTAIN MEN SPEAK GREAT SWELLING WORDS (Judges 1:16 )

Who can measure the length and the breadth and the height and the depth of the vocabulary of these Christless thinkers?

They talk in a language that is unknown to the common man.

They Invent phraseology that is above the masses.

They fashion expressions that overreach the public.

They tell of "Calculated Archaism," of "Essential Possibilities" and "The Laws of Life." They delight in "The Coming Civilization of Brotherly Love" and in "The Ineradicable Social Nature of Man." They sound the note of "The Ethical Sphere" and of the "Contagion of Good." They speak of "The Ultimate Problem" and of "The Supremacy of Love." They believe in the "Basic Qualities of Life," and in the "Possibilities of Boundless Achievement." They hold forth "The Forward Thought of the Church" and "The Problems of Socializing Property."

They preach about their "J" and their "P" and their "E," as the writers of the early chapters of Genesis. If it suits their caprice they find no difficulty in changing their fancied "J" or "Jehovist" writer to "J" the "Judak" writer; or their fancied "E" or "Elohist" writer to "E," the "Ephraimitic" writer. They proclaim with marvelous assertiveness that the Bible story of the flood was written by some such men as "J" and "P" and "R," who gathered fragments, written in at least twelve sections, and placed them into the Word of God.

They speak of "fabricated Scripture," of "bundles, of tradition" of "stories derived from the best storytellers," of "antiquated vagaries" prepared by unknown writers and "muddled together" by "J" and "E" and "P." In fact these Certain Men offer "fine veins of ethical and religious reflections," they present "'Hypotheses of perplexities" and accept the "hypercritical and capricious" theories of an "erroneous analysis."

Great swelling words to be sure.

Great swelling words that call for obeisance and demand obedience.

Men so gifted and so great must be heard .

Men who speak such words, such great words, such great swelling words must be worth while.

A Little Man who knows nothing save his Bible, who has no guide save the Holy Spirit must sit still and listen.

The Untutored Masses who have no time or desire to delve into the density of the debris of defective deductions, destitute of divine approval, and who are too weary to wade into the weird writings of worldly wisdom, and who have but one antiquated book, the Bible, must heed these teachers with great swelling words.

The University Student should never deign to think himself educated until, with cap and gown, he has become an adept in critical analysis and destructive research.

Not only do these Certain Men use "great swelling words" In disclosing the wisdom of their scientific researches, but they also use great swelling words as they discourse on the achievements of man .

This age, to these men, is worthy of their most brilliant oratory.

Man has wrought marvelous things and deserves highest commendation.

Their high sounding phrases, call this age: The day of man, The day of enlightenment, The day of knowledge, The age of science, The age of advancement, The age of improvement.

They parade a falsely conceived optimism on. every occasion.

They glow in fervor as they speak of Social Regeneration and the betterment of the race.

They kindle their speech into fire as they tell, of the coming day of peace and righteousness, brought about by the evolution of man.

They stir up themselves as they set forth the Brotherhood of Man.

The world loves these swelling words of boastful approval and approbation.

The fact that the words are not true does not matter, they at least sound nice, and men love to be flattered.

XIV. THESE CERTAIN MEN "HOLD MEN'S PERSONS IN ADMIRATION" (Judges 1:16 )

These "Certain Men" have forgotten the admonition: "Cease ye from man" and "glory not in man."

They lean upon the arm of the flesh.

They look to the wisdom of man.

They long for the advantage to be obtained from man.

If there is a conflict between the conclusions of these men and the Word of God, their conclusions must stand. God is great; so is man. The Bible has its rights; so have men. If there is a clash between Genesis and geology, the voice of God In earth's strata must outweigh the voice of God in the Book. After all, the real conflict is not between Genesis and geology. God's voice in Genesis and God's voice in geology is one voice. The conflict is between God and man. On the one hand, it is: "Thus saith the Lord"; and against that it is: "Thus saith the false conclusions of science."

The same men who deny the Lordship of Jesus Christ, "hold men's persons in admiration." This is utterly a fault. Men seem never to ask, "What does God say?" But, "What do the critics say God means by what He says, if He really said it?"

Preachers too frequently ignore a plain "thus saith the Lord, while even at the cost of honest conviction, they seek to know what "preachers higher up" will think and say. Churches seem to forget what the Spirit saith unto them, while they swing in line, with the plans, propaganda and preaching of other churches who hold "the balance of power" and who fashion the "policies of the denomination,"

XV. THESE CERTAIN MEN ARE "CLOUDS WITHOUT WATER SWEPT ALONG BY WINDS" (Judges 1:12 )

Critical teachers, advanced thinkers, new thought preachers, are clouds that promise rain but give none.

Such men never cause the people to "revive and grow as the corn."

Such men never bring messages which are like "the snow and the rain which cometh down from heaven and causeth the earth to bring forth and bud."

Such men are not living water, that causes the trees to bring forth fruit in their season.

These men are more than clouds without water, they are clouds carried about with winds.

Men who have never come into "the unity of the faith" are clouds "tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine."

Men who have not "the full knowledge of the Son of God" are clouds carried about by the winds of "the cunning craftiness" of systematized error, by the "sleight of men," "whereby they lie in wait to deceive."

Men who speak not "the truth in love" and who have never grown up into Him In all things; men who walk in the vanity of their minds, having their understanding darkened; men who are alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts; such men are clouds swept along by Satan, the "prince of the power of the air."

Men who denounce the Holy Scriptures, who displace the atonement, who decry punishment for sin, who depreciate the virgin birth of the Lord, are clouds without water, driven of the wind and tossed.

XVI. THESE CERTAIN MEN ARE "AUTUMNAL TREES WITHOUT FRUIT" (Judges 1:12 )

Trees of the autumn, trees with fading leaves fruitless.

Those who follow "New Thought" theories, and preach a Crossless Christ, bring no converts to the faith. Waterless clouds produce fading and fruitless trees chaff which the wind driveth away.

Instead of "building up saints in the most holy faith," these "Certain Men" destroy the faith of saints.

Instead of "causing men to grow in grace," they cause men to turn from grace.

"Higher Criticism" diminishes our converts, disrupts our churches and depletes our congregations.

"New Thought" breeds doubt, not faith; despair, not hope, malice, not love.

"Advanced Thinking" produces degeneration, not regeneration, apostates not apostles, worldliness and not worship.

Trees of Autumn, trees with fading leaves fruitless.

Was D. L. Moody a mighty evangelist because he denounced the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures?

Was Chas. H. Spurgeon a mighty soldier of Jesus Christ because he denied the grace that is in Christ Jesus?

Was I. M. Haldeman a mighty teacher-preacher because he doubted the efficacy of the atonement?

No! The men and the only men who are "completely furnished unto every good work" are the men who believe that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God."

No! The men and the only men who are good soldiers of Jesus Christ," faithful to their trust, are the men who confess "the grace which is freely given us of God."

No! The men and the only men who are constructive and not destructive are the men who are the friends and not "the enemies of the Cross of Christ."

Instead of teaching men to "rightly divide the Word of Truth," to "hold forth the Word of Life," to give heed to "the more sure word of prophecy," these blind guides teach men to turn aside to fables, to believe a lie and to give heed to the doctrines of demons.

College students who follow these "Certain Men" are never sent home on fire for the salvation of the lost,

Pew holders , who hear these "Certain Men" are never spiritually Quickened with the fire of the faith that follows the Lord fully.

Lost sinners , who listen to these "Certain Men," know nothing of that fire of conviction of sin which cries out: "What must I do to be saved?"

XVII. THESE CERTAIN MEN ARE WILD WAVES OF THE SEA (Judges 1:13 )

Not merely clouds carried about by winds!

Not merely autumn trees, fruitless; twice-dead!

They are wild waves of the sea!

Wild waves, foaming out their shame!

Wild waves foaming, breaking, scattering wreckage!

Oh, that these men could see themselves as God sees them!

Oh, that they might behold their madness and acknowledge their folly!

Oh, that they might know the senselessness of their sense, the weakness of their wisdom, the sterility of their science!

The doctrines of these "Certain Men" are like the wild waves which never rest .

Their theories of today they reject tomorrow.

Their conclusions are never conclusive, their deductions are a maze of contradictions, uncertainties and impossible assumptions.

Their philosophies are devoid of the stability that marks the messages builded on the impregnable rock of the Holy Scriptures.

XVIII. THESE CERTAIN MEN ARE WANDERING STARS (Judges 1:14 )

STARS but not stars held in the right hand of Him who walketh in the midst of the seven golden lamp stands, STARS but not stars keeping their orbits in true relationship to the great Morning Star, But STARS Wandering stars.

But STARS Unguided stars.

But STARS Fallen stars.

Wandering in the gloom of doubt, unguided amid the shadows of denial, fallen into the night of despair.

Wandering unanchored .

Wandering unhelmed .

Wandering unsphered .

Wandering! Their minds darkened! Wandering on and on in the night! Wandering on and on into "the blackness of darkness" forever.

Their sentence of old lingereth not.

Enoch prophesied of these Certain Men, these ungodly men, these men who have ruled God out, Enoch prophesied judgment when the Lord comes judgment for all their ungodly deeds, which they have ungodly committed judgment for all their hard speeches, which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

Oh, that "lovers of truth" might have compassion and save from wrath, these men, these STARS, wandering from their orbit, wandering on and on into the gloom of darkness forever!

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on Judges 1:4". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lwc/judges-1.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, December 5th, 2019
the First Week of Advent
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