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Charlatans, False Prophets, and Fake Leaders That the Book of Jude Wants to Warn You About

Reformed Eve is a daughter of God, which makes her royalty - no matter what the world throws at her. She straightens her crown quite often.

False Prophets, Fake Teachers, and You

I wanted to focus on the General Epistle of Jude, as I have to admit, I never truly read this letter in the Bible. I am familiar with the other names, but one doesn't hear much about Jude. It does contain extremely important information that is essential for the Christian and non-Christian alike. Jude's letter is very similar to Peter's secondary letter. Jude's purpose was to alert the various churches of the heavy presence of false teachers and false prophets. Because this letter mirrors Peter's letter almost exactly, there is an extreme urgency and severity within the words and the messages that Jude shared, especially in regards to Jerusalem and its unfortunate destruction.

After reading Jude's letter, Jude was reminding the church that they need to be vigilant in a world where the threats of false teachers loom over the church. Interestingly, while we are experiencing these things today, these issues have been happening since the first century. This letter was written as a motivational piece to those who were willing to read it. Jude’s goal was to offer a sort of spiritual protection and to try to reel in those who strayed away from the church and its essence. At that time, the false leaders and teachers performed as they wished without thinking of the consequences. They felt that they could somehow dodge the punishment that would eventually come from God. Jude talks about an interesting term called apostasy.

Before reading Jude, I was not cognizant of this term, or much less, what it stands for. Apostasy is turning away from, negating, and abandoning faith in Christ. Ultimately, Jude wanted individuals to defend the truths of God, and the values and morals of the Christian. He wanted to alert others as to how the false teachers distort, bend, and reinvent the truth to fit or create doctrines that are more suitable to their buffet-style beliefs. People who are not close to God's word are in danger of apostasy. Turning away from the truth of God and accepting the truth of False prophets is concerning to Jude. Individuals at that time, and even to this day, have compromised the accuracy of the Bible. When the truth is manipulated, people are misled into walking down a path of destruction instead of walking the narrow, righteous path. When Jude started the letter, he wanted to guarantee that the readers remembered the root, the foundation of their faith. Jude asked the readers to content to their faith. This implies that they shouldn't put full faith in leaders and pastors in providing absolutely all the information that is required.

Christians are called to do the research themselves, read the Bible, learn, study, and grow in a Church but also, as individuals. Many false teachers base God's love only on knowledge, however, being a Christian is more than regurgitating scripture. Being a Christian, at its core, is having a relationship with Christ. While the church may not consider the effects of ill leadership right away, they must know that God is aware of the motivation of the false teachers. These false teachers are toying a line that will lead them into disturbing destruction. They will be judged for not only promoting sin but for accepting and tolerating it.

While Jude started off by reminding believers of their Christian roots, he used examples to build his case against the false prophets. In Jude 1, 5-7, he mentioned the disobedient and non-trusting children of Israel, fallen angels, and Sodom and Gomorrah's sin-city lifestyle.1 In today's modern church society, there exist many false doctrines and false teachers. These groups may divide themselves into religion, and many religions pick and choose what verses or interpretations to preach and follow. Many churches put a sole emphasis on money. Some sell holy water and blessed oil or anointed cloths online. Others promise that other books exist that are added on to the Bible, and are considered God's divine word. There are those who scare people into thinking that only a certain amount of people will enter Heaven. One of the worst kinds of false teachers is those who turn the church into a circus event, where actors stand up from wheelchairs and supposed miracles are performed while wild music plays in the background. Jude was a brother to Jesus.

At some point, Jude was not a believer, in accordance with John 7:5 where it says this: "For not even His brothers were believing in Him."2 Jude knows what it's like to live in spiritual darkness, being a god to oneself and riding the waves of the dark world. With renewed faith and life, Jude decided to let everyone know that we are all connected through Christ. Jude 4 mentions this: "For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ." 3

These individuals weren't curious about God. They were there to observe the Church and Christ as a freak sideshow, denying Christ and his Grace. They infiltrated the church in order to spread the disease of greed, lust, and negativity. This sad, downward spiral is alive in today's churches, unfortunately. False teachers in today's world appear in many forms. One of these is heretics. These individuals teach everything that is against the Christian faith. Heretics may say that Mary was not a virgin and that Jesus never resurrected. They may change the word of God in a completely twisted way, or they may add to it, claiming saintly, Godly authority.

Another false teacher of today's society would be considered more of a charlatan. They are the ones who have sole motivations within the money aspect. How many religions today sell indulgences, and then endure a life full of mansions and expensive automobiles? Numerous people today appeal to the vulnerable nature of Christians and potential Christians - trying to buy their faith so that they may have fat wallets. Modern-day prophets pretend that they have been sent by God to present Scripture in a way that is too, too far from what is considered classic. Many people today, especially on television, pretend that they speak through the Holy Spirit. These manifestations are usually extremely extravagant. These individuals use strange hand gestures and seizure-like activity to demonstrate unnatural events. Some individuals act as a modern-day Miss Cleo, giving advice, holy-spirit-filled advice - for a price. Interestingly, many modern-day devotionals are supposedly inspired by the Holy Spirit but teach doctrine that is grossly altered or watered down. There are abusers that are false teachers. These make themselves into a god, use people's weaknesses against them, and take advantage of them. Usually, this happens in the form of sexual abuse, and lechery and lust are encouraged. Jude said this: "For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ”.4

There are many religious beliefs today that are constantly on the front news with reports of inappropriate behavior with adults and children. A false modern-day teacher is a divider. These kinds of false teachers create division on purpose so that groups of people will hate each other. Jude 18-21 mentions that "In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.’ It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit."5 Another kind of false will teach in today's society is like an empty vase. He looks good on the outside, he induces a huge smile and professional appearance, but the gospel he preaches is empty, void, and more of regurgitation than spirit-filled words. This kind of false prophet has almost a narcissist mindset - it's all about, him, the fame, and flashing a blinding smile. Speculators, as false prophets of the modern-day, becomes obsessed with a singular aspect of the Bible and throw everything else away. An example of these is extreme prepper- religious groups that plan for the rapture, or some kind of apocalyptic event. This kind of false prophet invents dates, times, and scenarios for catastrophic happenings in accordance with ancient sun wheels or astrology. These might get too deep into certain codes that are hiding in paintings and possibly they're just too focused on the Book of Revelations and nothing else.

Either way, all of these kinds of false prophets are Satan's ambassadors in disguise. We might think they are obvious to point out, but the truth is, they attempt to mingle among us, or inspire us, or influence us. They may not be in a strange religion, but they may share a perverted version of God's word. Satan is clever - he wants to secretly, quietly infiltrate us in order to bring us down to his level. This is why Jude commands that we remain vigilant.

1 Graham Robb, Life Application Study Bible [Place of publication not identified]: Tyndale House Publishers, 2010.

2 Graham Robb, Life Application Study Bible: Tyndale House Publishers, 2010.

3 Graham Robb, Life Application Study Bible, 2010.

4 Graham Robb, 2010.

5 Graham Robb, 2010.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

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