Jude -20

Thursday, 6 August 2020

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, Jude -20

In verse 17, Jude set a contrast to the people he was referring to by saying, “But you, beloved.” He now does this again. He just further described the same depraved people in verses 18 and 19. To again contrast his reader with them, he says, “But you, beloved.”

He is speaking to any and all who are willing to read and apply his words. In the previous verse, referring to the mockers, he said that they are “sensual persons, who cause divisions.” In contrast to that, he says to his readers, “building yourselves up.” Instead of dividing, there should be a united effort to build. When something is built, a cohesive unit is the anticipated result. Therefore, “building yourselves up” is expected to produce such a cohesive unit. Each person builds himself up and together each person becomes an effective part of the whole.

Jude then says that this act of building up is “on your most holy faith.” The “faith” here can be referring to either the faith that establishes a person in Christ (e.g. you are saved by grace through faith), or it can be proper observance in the doctrine of faith as followers of Christ (e.g. you are to walk properly in the faith, holding to sound doctrine).

If the former, it would align with the words of 2 Peter 1:5-9 –

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.”

If the latter, it would then align with conduct within the faith as outlined by Paul in Ephesians 4:11-16 –

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

Both refer to actions that build up. The first is personal and inward faith, building up the individual. The second is a unifying and interconnected faith that builds up the body. Either way, Jude finishes his thought with, “praying in the Holy Spirit.” This is set in contrast to those in the previous verse who are “not having the Spirit.”

As noted, then, that was probably not referring to the Holy Spirit, but to someone being wholly unspiritual, but who is rather sensual. This can, and often does, describe Christians who are living in the flesh. Therefore, Jude is saying, “instead of living in the flesh, you are encouraged to be praying in the Holy Spirit.”

If one is praying in the Holy Spirit, he will have his mind directed to that which is holy, godly, and proper. When not praying in the Holy Spirit, the mind gets distracted from those things and begins to move to that which is worldly, ungodly, and sensual. This is the battle believers must be engaged in at all times because there are forces set in opposition to properly directed faith which will constantly come against us as we live out our lives.

Life application: If the “most holy faith” is referring to the truth of Jesus Christ as is established by the apostles and as is contained in His word, rather than the act of faith which establishes the believer, we must remember that nothing can be added to it without corrupting the message given. The word is our manual, and the Spirit is the One to guide us into a right understanding and right application of it.

In order to understand and fellowship in this faith, we don’t need a certain secret knowledge, nor do we need a specific religion (such as Catholicism, Adventism, etc). What we need is to maintain our doctrine. This comes through study, meditation on our studies, and praying in the Holy Spirit. Praying in the Holy Spirit then is not an emotional event meant to raise our heart levels, improve our appreciation of music, or sweep us into an ecstatic state. Rather, it is an act of our will to be combined with the will of God – both in knowledge and in purpose.

Unfortunately, in today’s world, the concept of living in the Spirit and praying in the Spirit has degraded into mere emotional states and misusing or total neglect of Scripture. It is often expressed this way by church leaders so that they may gain personally. Teaching doctrine correctly is hard work, but it leads to mature Christians. Making stuff up is easy and it leads to easily manipulated sheeple.

Prayers and requests for immediate blessings of healing, prosperity, and comfort fill our churches, but a desire to know and adhere to God’s word is almost entirely lacking in many denominations and churches. Let us turn our hearts from the superficial and emotional to a personal and intimate knowledge of God’s will for our lives. Let us turn our hearts to Jesus and His will for us as is revealed in His word.

Lord, it is true that far too often we hear people claim prosperity, abundance, and contentment when they don’t even have a superficial knowledge of Your word. It is heartbreaking that this is so. We ask that You help lead us to effective teachers and right instructors of the truth of the Bible. This we pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.












Jude -19

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. Jude -19

Jude continues describing the people he has been describing for quite a few verses. Here, he says, “They are sensual persons.” The word signifies something natural, as in the natural body of man. To understand the most likely intent of what Jude is saying, the NIV says they “follow mere natural instincts.”

In other words, they follow instinct more like brute beasts or unreasoning animals than they follow the higher spiritual life in emulation of God. They are on the level of farm animals – conducting their lives by outward senses and not thinking through the consequences of the lusts they act upon. Of these, Jude then says, “who cause divisions.”

He uses a word found only here in Scripture, apodiorizó. It is a combination of apo (away), and horizó (to mark off by a boundary). Therefore, it signifies separation. They cause unnecessary division – either themselves from others, or in setting up an “us against them” mentality within the church.

In order to elevate themselves and their treacherous lifestyles, they point at faithful believers who hold to the whole counsel of God and accuse them of being the ones who are wrong. Today’s common phrase which is used by such people is “intolerant.” When they accuse believers of being intolerant, they attempt to make it appear that they are on the right side of the Lord, who is loving and merciful. However, in order to do this, they have to dismiss the very nature of God who is truly loving, but who is also just, righteous, and holy. In their divisions, there is not the unity of fellowship that is supposed to exist within the church.

Jude then says, “not having the Spirit.” There is no article before “Spirit” in the Greek. Because of this, it can be argued that he is not referring to the Holy Spirit. Further, the fact that he refers to Pneumati Hagiō, or “Holy Spirit,” in the next verse indicates that in this verse he is not speaking of the Holy Spirit.

Indeed, if he is referring to the Holy Spirit, he would be making a determination that such a person never believed the gospel. If this is so, it is making a claim that only the Lord actually can make. What seems more likely is that he is making a comparison to what he just noted about them being “sensual persons.”

Because they follow natural instincts, they are, as the Weymoth Version states it, “wholly unspiritual.” Thus, “not spirit having” (as the Greek reads) would not be speaking of the Holy Spirit, but not possessing the higher spiritual life in emulation of God. The two thoughts are complementary then, one supporting the other.

The difference in the two approaches to this final clause are of the greatest importance. There are those who are referred to in Scripture who are clearly presented as saved, and yet they are living their lives in a carnal or apostate manner. Yet their salvation is never questioned. On the other hand, it is assumed.

For Jude to state that certain people do not have the Spirit in a general manner, as he has, would then allow anyone to question anyone’s salvation based on improper conduct – something not seen in Scripture. Therefore, the conservative view of saying such people are “wholly unspiritual” is probably the correct view. We can easily say that of people who have fallen away from the truth without questioning their salvation. This is especially important because we actually have no idea if they are saved or not. Only the Lord will make that determination.

Life application: In the end, we all have choices to make concerning Jesus Christ. Will we be obedient to Him, or will we follow our natural instincts and lusts? If a person who acts this way was never saved, he will continue his course all the way to the Lake of Fire. If he was saved, but has fallen from what is right and proper, he will continue his course right to the judgment seat of Christ, where he will lose the many rewards he could have heaped up in a life of righteousness and faithful observance to the word of God.

Heavenly Father, when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, Your word says that we were saved at that time. As Your word indicates that we cannot lose our salvation, but that we can depart from faithful living in our salvation, help us to live the holy and respectable Christian lives that You desire for us. May we conduct ourselves in holiness, and may we bring You great honor and glory in doing so. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.























Jude -18

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

…how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. Jude -18

Jude finishes the thought that he introduced in the previous verse. Taken together, they read –

“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.”

Jude had been describing these vile people (the “dreamers” of verse 8) for many verses, and then introduced words that called to memory what the apostles had previously warned them. With that stated, he continues the thought now, saying, “how they told you.”

First, Jude excludes himself from this, saying, “told you.” Thus, it indicates a possibility that Jude was considered as an apostle. Or, it simply could be that Jude is warning those who had been told. Either way, it speaks of whatever way this message was conveyed to them. It could be in writing as in some of the epistles, or it could be spoken directly to them during an apostolic visit. Whichever way they heard, they had been told the same consistent message.

A spoken example of this, from Paul to those in the Ephesian church, is recorded in Acts 20:29 –

“For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.”’

A written example is 2 Peter 3:3, if that epistle was written before Jude. What is clear is that the message was conveyed, and Jude is stirring up their memories concerning the truth “that there would be mockers.”

Here is a word that is only found in this verse and in 2 Peter 3:3. It signifies a mocker or a scoffer. Thus, by implication, it speaks of false teachers. The warning was that they were coming. Jude now, unfortunately, says they have come. That was seen in verse 4, where he said, “For certain men have crept in unnoticed.” Jude says the warning of the apostles was that these people would come “in the last time.”

Jude is using this term in the same manner as Paul does in 2 Timothy 3 when he said, “in the last days.” It speaks of the entire church age, right up until the new age is ushered in at Christ’s return. This is certain because Jude says these people have already crept in. This isn’t merely speaking of a time just before Christ’s return, but the entire time before Christ’s return – because Christ’s return could come at any time. Thus, the church was being warned to be on guard at all times. However, the guard had been let down, and Jude was providing his warning in this epistle that it was so.

Understanding this, Jude then reminds them – yet again – what these people are like, saying, “who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.” Here, the Greek uses two nouns, saying, “lusts of ungodliness.” The people Jude is referring to conducted their lives not according to the apostolic word that had been conveyed, but in a manner completely contrary to it.

The word of the apostles was inspired by God. The conduct of these people was from their own twisted thinking and lusts. In this perverse mindset, they followed their lusts of ungodliness. Jude will next continue to describe these people.

Life application: As noted earlier, the “last time” is the time before Christ’s return. Because Christ could come at any time after His ascension, it covers the entire Church Age, including Jude’s time. What Jude has been saying clearly shows that these mockers were already at work with their despicable life and behavior.

The term which is used for “mockers” refers to those who laugh at and deride God’s word. At the time of Jude, it was the Old Testament, any writings of the New Testament which had been compiled, and the authoritative teachings of the apostles. People were mocking what was revealed to them and also surely mocking those who followed the Christian lifestyle. Today nothing has changed.

The Presbyterian Church, USA, the Episcopal Church, and many other denominations now ordain homosexual ministers. Other denominations are considering following this same unholy path. This is in direct defiance to the words of the Bible. Those who conduct the ordinations and those who are ordained are clearly “mocking” the word of God.

This is just one example of the unholy practices that are filling churches around the world. By their actions, they are also mocking those who adhere to the word of God, claiming they have a new way which is better. But the word of God will be vindicated in the end. What God has prescribed for His church stands despite the mocking and belligerence of these wicked, self-serving people.

Well Lord, despite the way of the world and the high-handed attitude of the disbelievers, we shall stand with You – on Your side and on Your truth. May our lives be examples of those who are willing to suffer mocking, derision, prison, torture, and death, if necessary, to bring You the honor You are rightly due. May we never compromise the truth of Your word. Amen.



















Jude -17

Monday, 3 August 2020

But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: Jude -17

Of verses 17 and 18, Albert Barnes notes –

“There is a striking similarity between these two verses and 2 Peter 3:1-3. It occurs in the same connection, following the description of the false and dangerous teachers against whom the apostle would guard them, and couched almost in the same words.”

The parallels between 2 Peter and Jude show that one was relying on the work of the other, and it helps explain Jude’s words of verse 3. There, he had originally intended to write about the common salvation, but decided instead to write to contend for the faith. Both apostles found it necessary to do so, and one probably used the letter of the other as a template to build upon.

For now, Jude says, “But you, beloved.” Unfortunately, the KJV – without any textual support at all – simply says, “But, beloved.” Arbitrarily leaving off the word “you” destroys the emphatic nature of the contrast that Jude is conveying. He has just spent the past nine verses highlighting the depraved nature of the “dreamers” he referred to in verse 8. Now, in order to completely contrast his readers to them, he says, “But you, beloved.”

With that complete contrast highlighted, he then says, “remember the words which were spoken before.” These words, being so close to what Peter says, show that Jude was probably written based on 2 Peter, not the other way around. There, Peter says –

“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…” 2 Peter 1:1-3

A few things should be considered:

First, it is only supposition that Jude is writing his letter after Peter and using Peter’s letter as a guide, but it is a good one. The fact that Jude cites “the apostles,” and says “spoken,” could simply mean that the words of prophecy were consistent, and that he is building upon their spoken words. Being under inspiration, it would be natural for his words to be consistent with Peter’s (and the other apostles).

Secondly, Jude is not excluding himself as an apostle, even if he was not reckoned among the original twelve. The fact that he will, in the next verse, say, “they told you,” and not “they told us,” shows that he could be considered an apostle (just as Barnabas is noted as one in Acts 14:14).

Thirdly, it is evident that Jude’s audience had, in fact, heard the words of the other apostles because he says, “remember the words which were spoken before,” and then he completes the thought with, “by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.” If the first two points cannot be dogmatically argued one way or another, this point is completely certain. Jude’s letter is a reminder of what had already been passed on.

The apostles of Jesus Christ carried a unified message concerning what Jude will next say, and it is thus a warning that needs to be carefully heeded by all. Unfortunately, the very people Jude will describe (and that he has been warning about) literally fill the churches of the world today. The guards were let down, and the unholy have flooded in.

Life application: This verse sets a clear marker showing that Jude is going to move from what he has been talking about – the ungodly that creep into the churches with their destructive lifestyles and teachings – and contrast them with sound instruction.

In stating, “you beloved,” it indicates that they are saved and faithful Christians who are residing in the fellowship of Christ and not merely heretics who proclaim such. The next word, “remember,” is the first command that he has given in the letter. After 17 painful verses of apostasy and woe, he can now start his directives.

In not directly quoting any of the earlier apostolic writings, he is authenticating their words as an overall body of law. What he says conveys concepts found throughout other writings, such as those given by Luke, Paul, Peter, and John. It is also implicitly understood that it is these writings, and any others by the apostles, that are authoritative.

Once the apostolic era ended, the Bible was sealed, and God’s revelation was complete. We no longer have the apostolic word coming from God – regardless of what some claim. We can be completely and absolutely sure that nothing else is to be placed on the same level as Scripture. This includes the writings from church bodies, the writings of supposed prophets, or the unstable claims of those who stand in the pulpit and claim a “word” from the Lord.

Rather, we have the word of the Lord, and it is recorded for all believers to conduct their lives in a manner prescribed by God Himself. Stand firm on the doctrine of the Bible, and don’t be led astray by anything else.

Heavenly Father, we do believe the Holy Bible is Your word. Help us to have faith that it stands alone as all that we need to conduct our lives in holiness and propriety. Keep us away from the careless and false claims of those who say they have some special prophetic or authoritative word from You. What more do we need than what You have given us in Your wonderful and precious word! Thank You for this marvelous treasure of wisdom and love. Amen.









Jude -16

Sunday, 2 August 2020

These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. Jude -16

Jude continues to refer to the “dreamers” of verse 8. So far, he has heaped verse after verse of negative comments upon them. He continues with that now, beginning with, “These are grumblers.” It is a word found only here in the Bible, goggustés, or “murmurers.” It comes from goggýzō, or grumble, which is found elsewhere in the New Testament. It is an onomatopoetic expression derived from the sound of doves cooing. In other words, these people drone on in low and constant grumbles, just as a flock of doves seems to do.

Jude next calls them, “complainers.” It is another word found only here, mempsimoiros. It comes from a word meaning “a portioned amount,” and thus it signifies those who moan about their allotted portion. Instead of striving to better and improve themselves, they grumble, moan, and complain. They blame God for their station instead of being grateful for the lives they have been given. When they are sick, they complain that they are not healthy. But when they are healthy, they complain that they have to go to work. When they don’t have, they complain about those that do. But when they have, they complain because it is not enough. They are never satisfied, but they rather drone on about their state. They are whiners.

Next, Jude says of these, they are “walking according to their own lusts.” The people Jude describes reject the holiness and sanctity found in Scripture that asks us to forsake immorality and to conduct our lives in a manner worthy of the honor of being followers of Christ. Instead, they follow after their own unholy appetites, bringing their vile behavior into the church and promoting every other form of wickedness that is introduced. The only thing that cannot be tolerated is holiness and morality.

Jude continues with, “and they mouth great swelling words.” The word translated as “great swelling” is only found elsewhere in 2 Peter 2:18. It speaks of the oratory skills of these people being exceptional. They may have flawless presentation in their words. And their delivery may be without a stutter or a slur. However, the words they speak, despite being so perfectly stated and placed, are intended for “flattering people to gain advantage.”

Here, the word “flattering” comes from a word signifying “to marvel” or “to astonish.” The word translated as “people” literally means “faces.” It speaks of a person’s countenance. One can see that Jude is speaking of a person who speaks so boastfully of others that he could flatter them into submission, gaining advantage over them. This would obviously be geared toward each individual and how he could be manipulated for full advantage.

To the rich, the words would be to gain favor from his wealth. To the politician, it would be to gain favor from his position. To the electrician, it would be to gain favor from his skill. The idea of gaining for self, by the flattering of others, is the intent of Jude’s words here.

Life application: As we go through a short recap of these three categories, think on those you may have encountered who are like them. This will help you to be on guard against such types as you meet them in your daily walk –

They are grumblers. This is reflected in the same way as those who grumbled in the wilderness wanderings. They mummer below their breath and are overly dissatisfied with every good thing God has given them. They walk in continual ungratefulness.

They are complainers. They find fault in everyone and everything around them. These are the whiners of the world who want everything their way and wouldn’t be happy with the biggest banana in the bunch because it was the one without the label on it…selfish to a T.

They walk according to their own lusts. The Bible prohibits sexual immorality, it prohibits licentiousness, and it prohibits greed – among other things. But these people are full of any or all of these prohibitions, and they act out their desires without a care for God’s sure hand of judgment. They are self-condemned.

They mouth great swelling words. They are bombastic and pompous in the words which proceed from their mouths, but their words are empty and contain no redeeming value. What they say is meant to flatter others in order to gain control and advantage over their hearers – “Look at me, fawn over me, hand your money…to me.”

Unfortunately, you can find these types of people all over churches today, and you can find them almost anytime you turn on Christian TV as well. Be careful who you trust, and always evaluate people based on the Bible, not on their showy presentation.

Lord, there are so many in Your church who are only there to take advantage of others. Sometimes we may have been lured in by their smoothness, but then we found out later that they were seeking glory only for themselves. Such is the ability of some people to deceive. And so, Lord, we ask You to please keep us from being seduced by such corrupt people as we pursue You with all of our hearts. Amen.