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.










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.