Jude -15

Saturday, 1 August 2020

…to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” Jude -15

Jude places a heavy stress on the idea of ungodliness here. In doing so, he makes a play on words using the adjective form twice and both the noun and the verb form once. The final time, he places the words “ungodly sinners” at the end of the verse, thus emphasizing them. A literal reading to see the structure of the sentence would be –

“…to execute judgment against all, and to convict all the ungodly concerning all the works of ungodliness of them which they have done in an ungodly way and concerning the harsh (things) that have spoken against him sinners ungodly.”

The context of Jude’s words is that of the coming of the Lord with His saints (from the previous verse). This coming will be “to execute judgment on all.” The world by the time of the coming of the Lord will be an utter ruin, both morally and literally. The rapture will have taken place, the peace deal with Israel will have been signed and broken, and Israel will finally call out to the Lord Jesus – “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

At that time, the Lord will return to rescue them, and he will come to execute judgment. In doing so, it will be “to convict all who are ungodly.” By this time, very few believers will be left who were not executed for their faith in Christ – meaning those who received Jesus after the rapture. Those who do not receive Christ will have a bloodthirst for those who do. It is these people who will be convicted “of all their ungodly deeds.”

The Lord will judge all nations and all people. Those who received the mark of the beast will be destroyed for their allegiance to the antichrist and to the world system which was set up against God. Everything people will do during that period will be deeds “which they have committed in an ungodly way.” There will be no true religion in them, no spark of caring about Christ or what He did. Instead, everything they do will be aligned against what the Bible proclaims as right, just, and moral.

Even their words will be abusive of Him. As Jude says to finish the thought, “and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” As noted above, the words “ungodly sinners” complete the thought. Jude stresses this. They not only act in ungodly ways, but they spend their time railing against God in every word they speak. So defiant will be their hearts that there will be no room for even the slightest fear of God. There will be no reverence and no thankfulness directed toward Him. In this, the only anticipation for them is to be cast away from His presence for all eternity.

Life application: Far too often in Christianity, Christ’s followers commit their entire theology to the Sermon on the Mount and the other passages which speak of Jesus’ love and tenderness. Modern churches often stay away from anything controversial or judgmental, even in the gospels, and they hardly bring in Paul or the other apostles at all.

The book of Jude is almost never mentioned and when Revelation is taught, it focuses not on the point of the book – God’s wrath on an unrepentant world. Rather, they focus on spiritual applications which diminish the fierceness of God’s hatred of sin. However, God’s anger at sin will be directed to a world that has all but disregarded His offer of peace. This will come to an amazing culmination when Jesus Himself will come back and execute judgment on the entire world.

This won’t be a demonstration of the loving, tender Jesus of the first advent, but of the conquering King who is returning to destroy the nations of the world who come against Israel and who work iniquity. It is sad that so many people refuse to take the whole counsel of God into their theology. All this does is lead to a watered-down gospel of weakness, hopes of earthly prosperity, and a nod to licentious living and ungodliness.

The first point of the gospel is that Christ died for our sins. If He had to do this, then it means that God truly is angry at our sins. We cannot escape the wrath of God without the covering of Christ’s perfect atonement. Be sure that when you convey the gospel message to others that you don’t water down the gospel. Sin must be dealt with. It will either be in Christ’s cross, or in an eternal swim in the Lake of Fire.

Heavenly Father, please open the eyes of those who follow a weak and ineffective gospel that tolerates sin and rebellion against You. Judgment is coming, and all people need to be aware of sin’s consequences before they too are lost in Your great Day of Judgment. Turn those hearts now to the message concerning the offering of peace that came through Jesus’ glorious cross. Amen.









Jude -14

Friday, 31 July 2020

Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, Jude -14

Jude now introduces a second apocryphal account into his letter, the first being that concerning Michael the archangel. He begins this next one with, “Now Enoch.”

Little is recorded in Scripture about Enoch. In fact, the Old Testament references to him total six nondescript verses and one which is somewhat vague. In the New Testament, apart from this verse from Jude, he is mentioned in Hebrews 11 – “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, ‘and was not found, because God had taken him’; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”

Knowing this, we can determine that the reference in Jude’s words is a non-biblical one. Instead, it is similar to references in the Book of Enoch – a non-canonical book. From that book, we read –

“Behold he comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon them, and to destroy the wicked, and to strive (at law) with all the carnal for everything which the sinful and ungodly have done and committed against him.”

Jude next says, “the seventh from Adam.” That is easily determined from Genesis 5:1-18 where the narrative records the generations of Adam. In those verses, it lists them in the following order: Adam, Seth, Enosh, Cainan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch. Thus, Enoch is the seventh from Adam.

Of this person, Jude says he “prophesied about these men also.” Jude notes that Enoch “prophesied.” As noted in the introductory comments to Jude, just because Jude cites the book of Enoch, it does not mean it is inspired. Others (such as Paul citing Greek philosophers) cite non-canonical references, and that does not mean they were inspired either.

With this understanding, the words, “these men,” are still referring to the dreamers noted in verse 8. Jude says that the prophecy about these men is true. Thus, it will certainly come to pass. Jude next conveys the words of prophecy “saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints.’”

Here the Greek reads, “Behold, the Lord has come in His holy myriads.” It is similar in thought to Deuteronomy 33:2 –

“The Lord came from Sinai,
And dawned on them from Seir;
He shone forth from Mount Paran,
And He came with ten thousands of saints.”

Again, it is also similar to Zechariah 14:5 –

“Thus the Lord my God will come,
And all the saints with You.”

Taking this verse in proper context, it reveals that it will occur at the Second Coming of Jesus.

The Greek term murias, or “myriads,” once denoted a group of 10,000 soldiers, but it can also be an indefinitely large number. Whatever the exact number, it will be whopping. The “saints” are most probably those who departed at the rapture and are returning with Christ at the end of the tribulation period, although angels could be included too. However, this seems unlikely because the Bible is about the redemption of man, not angels, and the Son of Man is returning with those He has purchased with His blood.

Life application: Only two people are recorded in all of human history who didn’t die but were instead taken directly to heaven. The first is Enoch, the seventh man from Adam. The other is Elijah the great prophet of Israel.

Although the Bible doesn’t specifically say this, it is a good analysis that these are the two who serve the Lord as is recorded in Zechariah 4 – “These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.” They would therefore be the two witnesses of Revelation 11. Several key verses clue the reader into this fact.

However, the fact that they were taken directly to heaven without dying means that there is a precedent for such an event already recorded in Scripture. As it is so, there is no reason to then dismiss the “rapture” verses laid out by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4. In fact, to do so is a rather poor way of interpreting what is said there. The words are clear, precise, and really don’t leave any other option available to the reader.

In the end, those saved believers who deny the rapture will not be left behind, but they will be a bit more surprised at the event than those who long for the coming of the Lord. We will be taken out, we will be spared from the wrath to come, and we will be returning with the Lord to execute judgment on an unrepentant world. It will be an awesome experience for those who have called on Jesus!

What a glorious day it will be, Lord Jesus, when you come for us at the rapture and again when we return with You at the second coming. Surely You have done great things for Your people. Great things indeed! How awesome and splendid You are! Amen.












Jude -13

Thursday, 30 July 2020

…raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. Jude -13

Jude continues the metaphors he began in the previous verse to describe the “dreamers” of verse 8. So far, he has not been very friendly in his descriptions of such people. We will see if he lightens up on them a bit in this verse. He continues his words beginning with, “raging waves of the sea.”

Some versions translate this, “wild waves of the sea.” In this, it describes the class of the wave rather than its action. There are waves that can be immense and terrifying, but they are normal waves. These, however, are waves which are “foaming up their own shame.” In other words, the waves are out of character, like a tsunami. They bring to the surface many useless and dangerous items such as seaweed, logs, rocks, and other rubbish. They then cast them on the shore. The false teachers and lewd living people in the church are like this. They spew forth vulgarities and their lives produce nothing but that which is both dangerous and unsightly.

The idea of “foaming up their own shame” is that what they speak is shameful, but there is no care. Further, the word “shame” is plural. It isn’t an isolated thing they say that identifies them. Rather, they spew forth their shames in a constant stream of unholiness. The word Jude uses, which is translated as “foaming,” is found only here. It signifies to foam out at the mouth. Thus, the things they say are vulgar, unholy, and contrary to the excellence of speech which is expected of Christians.

When shame is no longer shameful, there is no remedy for that person. When a church is led by such vile people, eventually shame will be lost by the congregation altogether. And once that occurs, there is no longer a remedy for them as well. Unless sin can be identified as sin, and thus seen to be shameful, there is no restraint. Such people then foam up their shame for all to see. Jude was probably thinking of Isaiah 57:20 when he wrote this –

“But the wicked are like the troubled sea,
When it cannot rest,
Whose waters cast up mire and dirt.”

Jude then says they are “wandering stars.” The word translated as “wandering” is planétés, and it is found only here. It signifies a wanderer, but it is akin to the word “planet,” because planets wander through the stars in a fashion different to the eye than the otherwise “fixed” stars. Jude just used a nautical term, and he is probably continuing with that thought now while referring to comets.

When comets are seen, they are of no value at all to the navigators of a vessel. Attempting to follow their paths is useless and they cannot be depended on to safely guide anyone. The same is true with those he is describing. The words they speak, the actions they employ, and the direction they take are useless to guide anyone to a safe haven. Of them, Jude finishes with, “for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” The Greek says, “the darkness.” He is referring back to the darkness he mentioned in verse 1:6.

The words are similar to 2 Peter 2:17, where he says, “for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” The Greek word translated as “blackness” gives a sense of gloom. It is a murkiness which hangs as a pall for those who are caught in it.

It speaks of a darkness which was considered an understood condition of the regions of hell. There is no light, and the gloom of the place will leave the soul yearning for any hint of relief, but it will never come. Jesus spoke of this darkness three separate times in Matthew, such as in Matthew 8:12 –

“But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

The darkness, then, is a place of separation. As God is the source of light, and the light is called good – even at the very beginning of the Bible – one can see that it is a place where no good exists. The source of all that is good, of light, and of that which provides joy and abundance will be lacking. Such is the place where these false teachers have a forever-home reserved. And, sadly, those who follow after them will be there as well.

Life application: Jude didn’t lighten up from his previous attack upon these people. There is no room for tolerance for the wicked. This is especially so when the wicked infiltrate churches. All must be on constant guard for such people. They must be spoken against, and the words we use are to be firm, accurate, and convicting.

Jesus had no tolerance for such people, the apostles had no tolerance for such people, and we are to have no tolerance for such people. Stand fast and hold to the word. When the word is spoken against, we are to call out those who do so, quickly and unambiguously.

Glorious heavenly Father, you know that we all have walked in darkness and in untruth in our lives. But because of Your great love and tender mercies, you have led us into new lives that can glorify You. Thank You, Lord. And, help us to be proper examples to others who have yet to turn to You. May Your praise cover the earth like the waters cover the seas. Amen.













Jude -12

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; Jude -12

Jude now turns from biblical examples of comparison about the perverted people he has been discussing, and he now makes comparisons to them from nature. In this verse, he will use three of them – spots, clouds without water, and late autumn trees without fruit. And so, he begins by saying, “They are spots in your love feasts.”

This is actually an unfortunate rendering which follows the error of the KJV. In a comparable passage found in 2 Peter 2:13, it says, “They are blots and blemishes.” There, he uses the Greek word spiloi. One can think of spilling something on clothes. That is an entirely different word than is used here. Rather, the Greek word spilades is used. It means “reefs” or “sunken rocks.”

What Jude is saying is that these people are like underwater obstructions that tear easily through a moving ship, causing it to be rent and destroyed. The symbolism is clear – a congregation which isn’t on guard against these types is doomed to share in their same fate.

As Jude ties them in with the “love feasts,” he is certainly saying that their conduct, during the time of fellowship and communion directed by the Lord (see Luke 22:14-22 and 1 Corinthians 11:17-26) will turn into an unholy gathering. They sneak into the congregation and turn this sacred time into a time of drinking and other perversion. This was evident at the time of Jude, and it is now found in countless major denominations and local churches today.

Jude then says this is all done “while they feast with you without fear.” They enter into the love feasts, they treat the entire occasion without any fear of God, and they introduce unholiness and ungodly practices into the rites of the church. There is no shame in their conduct, no care about what is passed down in Scripture, and no fear of the God who deemed it necessary to send Christ to die for sin, indicating that He is truly angry at sin.

Jude next says, “serving only themselves.” The word translated as “serving” signifies “shepherding.” In other words, there is no care for the flock, but rather they feed themselves, provide drink for themselves, and they ignore the others as they enter into debauchery and illicit conduct. They do not have the shepherding heart of the Lord, and they have no heart for the Lord as well.

Jude then says, “They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds.” In the arid regions of the world, or in any place that has sustained a long drought, this is easily understood. Long times of rainless skies cause the land to crack and moan for water and shade. Along come the highest wispy cirrus clouds which tempt the poor souls below with the prospect of shade and maybe even rain. But they provide neither. Instead, like these clouds, these unholy people look as if they will provide spiritual increase, but instead they are useless mirages, blown easily by the wind. They change their doctrine to suit their unstable souls, they have no substance, and they deprive those they instruct of any true spiritual invigoration.

Jude then calls them “late autumn trees without fruit.” Late autumn is when the trees are expected to bear fruit and yet they have none. Instead, they are barren of anything nourishing. Just as one tree will look like another, these people come in and appear to be bearers of fruit. But eventually, when it is too late for those who listen to them to find another source, it is discovered that nothing of value has been produced by them.

In this state, Jude then adds on another descriptor. When inspected more closely, it is determined that they are “twice dead” because their roots are already decayed. Any leaves were simply left over as the tree itself died away. After the autumn harvest, it is expected that the trees will lose their leaves and appear dead until spring comes again. But these people had no life in them all along. They aren’t just appearing “dead” after a fruitful harvest, they are already dead, and thus the final state of such a tree is to be “pulled up by the roots.”

It is a rejected plant that will burn in the fire because even its wood has suffered the decay of rot. Such will be the case with the refuse of sexually immoral, unrepentant souls who never believed the truth in Christ. They invade and corrupt the church of the Living God. Hell is their final destination.

Life application: In today’s world, saying words such as Jude has used would be considered “offensive.” Calling out sin results in the one who does so being called a bigot, a homophobe, or some other term intended to shut him up. But Jude sets the example here. He is direct and explicit in his condemnation of such people. As this is what the Bible conveys, it is what we are to also convey when faced with such people.

If a teacher is teaching immorality, heresy, or that which diminishes the reliability of the word of God, he is to be called out – even by name if necessary. This is not simply a matter of holding fast to the integrity of the church and the word for the sake of harmonious conduct. It is a matter of saving souls from the grasp of wolves. The people in such a congregation, if not alerted to the false nature of what is being presented to them, may never come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. It is the duty and responsibility of those who see such conduct to call it out when the circumstances permit.

May we never be timid in our words when it comes to such things. Pray in advance for the internal strength to speak out, for wisdom in what to say, and then open your mouth and speak when the time is right.

O God, Your word presents a clear and unambiguous reminder that You will not tolerate sexual immorality in Your church. Those who sneak in and proclaim that they are free from the moral underpinnings of Your character are deceivers. Please alert us to such people who creep into the fellowship and attempt to infect the congregation with their immorality. May they be kept away from where we attend so that we can live holy and pure lives to You. Amen.










Jude -11

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. Jude -11

Jude continues to speak about the “dreamers” of verse 8. In order to explain what they are like, he will reach back to some concrete examples from the Old Testament Scriptures. First, he begins with, “Woe to them.” The word “woe” is a primary expression of grief which is used many times by Jesus in the three synoptic gospels. It is used once by Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:16. However, it is in the noun form there when he says, “Woe is me.” It is used by Jude this one time, and then it is found 14 times in Revelation. Jude is using it as it is normally used, which is as an imprecation.

From there, he says, “For they have gone in the way of Cain.” Cain, the first person ever recorded as being born to humanity, killed his younger brother because God accepted the offering made by Abel but not his. Why? Hebrews 11:4 tells us it is because Abel’s offering came through faith, something Cain’s lacked. But, Hebrews 11:6 then says that without faith, it is impossible to please God.

These people are like Cain. They are faithless, treacherous people. The obvious thought about them is that they would be willing to kill their own sibling in order to gratify themselves. Anyone lacking faith in God will also lack a fear of God. In this, anything goes – even to the slaying of another.

Next, Jude says they “have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit.” The word Jude uses literally means “to pour out.” The Douay-Rheims Bible follows this literal translation, saying, “and after the error of Balaam they have for reward poured out themselves.” It is as if they have spent all their energy, riotously running ahead in order to make a profit. There is no restraint in their conduct, but they rather shamefully press forward for the sake of earthly treasures and earthly pleasures.

Balaam was hired to curse Israel as they prepared to enter the Promised Land. His attempts failed and he was left without a reward by the king who hired him. In an attempt to regain his lost wages, he offered a plan to bring Israel to ruin through sexual immorality and idolatry. Those Jude refers to now are no different. The sphere in which they live is one defiled by the lust of greed, and they will seek new ways in order to fill their desires.

Jude then finishes the thought with, “and perished in the rebellion of Korah.” Here, the word translated as “rebellion” signifies a contradiction, dispute, contention, and so on. During the wildness wanderings of Israel, Korah attempted to usurp the duly established authority of Moses and the High Priest Aaron.

The obvious idea Jude is conveying is that there are scriptural rules of authority that have been established. Christ is the Head, His word has been given through chosen apostles and men of God, and the church is to be obedient to what has been put forth within those parameters as laid out in Scripture. And yet, these people have set out to usurp that line of authority.

As Christ is risen and in heaven, and as all of the authors of the Bible have died, the only remaining authority we have at this time is the word of God, the Bible. But this sacred word is resisted with contradiction and dispute. The authority of the word of God is diminished in order to elevate their own supposed authority. In this dismissal of the word of God, they will perish.

Life application: Concerning the morally twisted people Jude has been discussing – Woe to them! They are self-condemned and doomed. In his words, Jude has cited three Old Testament accounts to express the types of people he is dealing with.

Taken together, we see a trilogy of wickedness – Cain demonstrates unrighteousness; Balaam represents a covetous and deceitful spirit; and Korah reflects a rejection of duly established lines of authority. Individually, or in any combination, these examples demonstrate those in the church who really don’t belong there. Why? Because all three of these examples ultimately lack the necessary faith of the believer. From faith to faith, we are established in Jesus Christ. So, when faith is lacking, a spirit of wickedness and deceit will naturally follow. Hold fast to your faith, which is more precious than gold which perishes.

Heavenly Father, we have all seen people in churches and in our daily lives who lack faith in You, who run greedily after profit, and who resist authority at every turn. For those who have wormed their way into churches, we would ask that You would highlight their deeds so that they may be exposed for who they truly are. Remove them from the lives of Your faithful so that we may be established, kept safe, and become strong in our doctrine. Amen.