THE NEW TESTAMENT
Chapter One hundred-twenty-nine
The Epistle from Jude
The following introduction is taken from the NKJV Personal Study
Bible, published by Thomas Nelson, 1990, 1995.
This small epistle is a much-neglected gem in the Christian
Scripture. The content of Jude is powerful, and the imperative to
steadfast commitment is as compelling as any in the New
Testament. The problem addressed in the letter is still with us,
and we need to hear again these solutions.
The Jude (Judas) named in v. 1 is most probably the half
brother of Jesus (see Matt.13:55). James, also mentioned in v.1,
is another half brother of Jesus, James the just, spiritual
leader of the Jerusalem church (see Acts 15:13 and Introduction
to James: Author and Date). There is no historical or literary
evidence which compels us to reject the authenticity of this
Jude was written during the last half of the first century,
as indicated by the content of the letter. False itinerant
prophets had been accepted into the congregation (v.8), and there
was evidently an openness to their teachings.... Also in Jude, as
in other New Testament books, we find a first-century emphasis on
the imminent return of the resurrected Lord in judgment (v.14,
15). This doctrine did not receive the same emphasis in most
second-century Christian writings.
We may then with good reason assert that Jude is more a
reflection of the apostolic faith of the late first century than
it is of the middle or late second century. Although the epistle
could have been written as early as A.D.50, it was probably
composed and circulated a bit later.
Exactly when Jude is dated depends to some extent on the
literary dependency of 2 Peter. Many Bible scholars note the
marked similarity between Jude 4-19 and 2 Peter 2:1-3:3. Because
the wording is so similar, most scholars believe that Peter
borrowed from Jude, or Jude used Peter's s words, or both used
ideas from a common source no longer extant.
(How about it was simply the Holy Spirit guiding both of them -
Keith Hunt). Because of this projected literary relationship
between the two, Jude was probably written by the sixth or
seventh decade of the first century, contemporary with the
writing of 2 Peter.
CONTENT AND PURPOSE
Jude wrote this letter to a group of Christians who were
dear to him and who were being led astray by false teachers. He
writes to urge them to fight for the truth (v 3). These false
teachers had even rejected the authority of Christ (v.4). God
would judge them just as He judged those who were rebellious of
old (vv.5-7, 14,15). Jude describes their pride, self-
centeredness, and their sexual immorality. They were out to get
what they could for themselves by any means (vv.8-13,16). Jude
concludes with instructions on how to deal with these teachers
(vv.17-23) and a hymn of praise to the God who is able to keep
them from falling (vv.24,25).
(I). Introduction (1,2)
A. Address and author (1)
B. Salutation (2)
(2). Occasion and theme (3,4)
A. The appeal (3)
B. Background for the appeal (4)
(3). The doom of the ungodly (5-16)
A. Three Old Testament examples (5-7)
B. Condemnation of false teachers (8-13)
C. The prophecy of Enoch (14-16)
(4). Exhortation to the godly (17-23)
A. Warning from the apostles (17,18)
B. Spiritual division (19)
C. True spirituality (20,23)
(5). Doxology (24,25)
As we read let us remember that it could well have been 60-
80 A.D. when Jude wrote this letter.
He was a servant or bond slave to Jesus and the brother of
James which many believe was one of the main leaders in Jerusalem
(see Paul's remarks in Galatians 1:15-19; 2:6-10).
Jude addresses his letter to "them that are sanctified (set
apart) by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and
You will again notice there is no addressing or mention of
the Holy Spirit being also a third individual as like the Father
and Son. Enough said on that. The reader can study my studies on
the Holy spirit and the "Trinity" doctrine for the truth of the
matter on that subject.
He desires mercy, peace, and love, for them, to be
THE TRUE FAITH BEING DESTROYED!
Remember what you read above? Many, if not most, scholars
agree that Jude was probably written between 50 to 80 A.D.
LOOK AT VERSES 3-5! They are SHOCKING verses! Before 80
A.D. THE TRUTH, THE FAITH ONCE DELIVERED, was BEING CHANGED AND
PERVERTED, TWISTED AND CORRUPTED!
As Jude was writing about the COMMON SALVATION, the easy to
understand, simplicity that is in Christ, as Paul once called it.
Jude had to STOP and REALIZE he could NOT write like that,
because the FAITH ONCE DELIVERED had been CORRUPTED! He fully
realized he had to write to his readers that they EARNESTLY
CONTEND, STRIVE for, with MIGHT AND DETERMINATION they needed to
get back or hold on to the FAITH ONCE DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS!
Certain men had CREPT IN, kinda un-noticed, not openly seen
at first (remember how Paul wrote that Satan can come as an angel
of light), but finally their true colors came through, all too
clear to be seen. But their damage was powerful, it turned many
away from the true faith once delivered to them. These men - some
of them, were from the very Eldership of the Church of God (read
Acts 20 once more - get the picture set in your mind and never
forget this truth). They were classified by Jude as "UNgodly men"
and they TURNED upside down the "grace" of God - they turned it
into a LICENSE to sin. "Oh, this commandment of God does not
apply any more." Or "This law is changed in the New Testament of
grace." Something along those lines would have been their
reasoning and teaching. Their theology in a grace of
lasciviousness was in fact DENYING both the Lord God, the Most
Holy One, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Friends, brethren, I did not come and put this in your Bible
last night while you were sleeping. It has been there from the
first century, before the first century A.D. had finished! The
true Gospel was being TWISTED AND CORRUPTED into a license to sin
before the fist century came to a close. I ask you, HOW MUCH MORE
IS IT CORRUPTED TODAY? Do you really believe the tens of millions
that call themselves "Christian" are all following the faith once
delivered to the saints?
That is not the way human nature works. Do you really think
it is only the FEW that are following a deceptive Christianity
while the masses are in the true light? That is NOT what Jesus
taught nor did He look down to the end-times and predict the
masses would be in the light while the few would be deceived. It
was THE OTHER WAY AROUND! Jesus said that people coming in His
name, even saying Jesus was the Christ, would be the many, and
they would deceive the MANY, so much so, that IF it was possible
even the very "elect" would be deceived. Yes, Jesus did say that,
you will find it in Matthew 24.
Jude reminds his readers that God saved Israel out of Egypt,
only to destroy them that did not have the faith, the belief,
that was the right belief. You should get the connection here.
You can know the faith once delivered, the true ways of the Lord,
and be in a "saved" condition, BUT if you leave that true way,
reject the true faith once delivered, then you can be in an
"unsaved" condition, and be heading for final destruction.
God can do the right thing for you, call you, give you all
that is good, just as He did for the angels that He created. But
free agency is never taken away from you, as it is not taken away
from angels. There was a time in the past, when some angels under
the leadership of a great covering angel REBELLED against God,
and decided to turn to SIN. They rose up towards heaven and tried
to unseat the Almighty One. They left this earth that had been
given to them to care for, and fought against God and the
righteous angels. There was a "star war" that is hard for the
human mind to comprehend. The end result of that war you can see
in the moon of this earth and planets like Mars. It was Spirit
Beings fighting in a "spirit" war with power we can not imagine,
and throwing around comets etc. like marbles. Satan was cast down
to earth again, and with him came his hench-men. All this is
fully explained in studies on this Website.
God cast them back out of heaven, and set limits on them, to
reserve them in types of chains, spiritual ones that only God
has, until their judgment of the great day (verses 3-6).
Sodom and Gomorrah and nearby cities, are an example to us.
Those people went whoring after false ideas, false and corrupt
ways to live, strange fleshly practices, living not according to
God's standards and commandments. They were destroyed in "eternal
fire." They were finally punished for unrighteousness. You will
note it was "eternal fire" - yet that fire is not still blazing
away. It was "eternal" in its end result. It destroyed the people
and the cities. They are not there today. This is not a verse to
prove the "immortal soul" theology. The immortal soul and
destruction of the wicked in the fires of hell, are all covered
in various studies on this Website.
These false ministers are defiled with their "dreaming"
teachings. They teach things that get "You must be dreaming"
phrase thrown at them, by people like myself. They are, with
their teachings actually ignoring God, ignoring the truth that is
before them in the Bible. They will not be corrected. They will
not stop leading people into erroneous Christianity and false
theology. Hence in their work they are in effect speaking evil of
the dignities of the Father, and the Son, and the holy righteous
angels. They do not "shiver in their boots" - they have no "fear"
of God before themselves. Yet Michael the archangel when he was
contending with the Devil about the literal body of Moses (what
was going on at the death of Moses we are not given), did not
dare bring an railing accusation, but said to the Devil, "The
Lord rebuke you."
Here was an EVIL one, but Michael had respect, for God had
created that being. The point of truth is that these false
minister should be shaking in their boots to not have respect
towards God, but they do not! Somehow they have twisted their
mind to think the wrong theology does not matter. They are
teaching, "It's okay, we'll all get to heaven, but on different
roads." Just stop and think about all the crazy and out and out
sin ways to live that many "churches" teach. You have homosexuals
getting married in churches, you have ordained "ministers" that
are homosexuals or lesbians who then teach it is fine to be a
practicing homosexual or lesbian in God's sight.
That is just ONE thing I mention. I will not apologize for
coming back to the FOURTH commandment of the BIG TEN. Many
"ministers" KNOW the truth on that one, but will NOT teach it!
Then you have the WRONG yearly Festivals that popular
Christianity teaches. Easter was replacing Passover in the first
half of the second century. It's in the "church history" books.
Christ-mass was not observed in the "Christian" church until the
4th century. The immortal soul teaching came into the Roman
church and hence into Protestantism. The burning forever in hell
fire was a powerful teaching to scare people "into" the "church
of Christendom" - both the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches
used it for advantage of church growth, and on and on we could
go, with false teachings that are for the most part STILL in the
popular Christian churches.The minsters of that Christianity do
not shake in their boots before God. If they do NOT REPENT they
are heading for destruction. That is what Jude is saying in
Jude goes on to say that such teachers speak evil of things
they know nothing about. It's like the prophets of old said, the
days have come when evil is called good and good is called evil.
These teachers only know what is natural, what they have grown up
being taught at home, in their schools, or at their theological
colleges. Yet, let me add, somewhere along the way in their
theological studies they have met the truth on many subjects but
they refuse to accept it, which makes the matter even that much
more serious and so they corrupt themselves in an even greater
way, and those who come in contact with them are also corrupted,
as branded with a hot iron (verse 10).
Jude gets at the base foundation of it all in verse 11. The
false teachers are looking after themselves, they like the fame
of leading the mass (pun intended for Roman Catholic priests)
population of people who are "into Christianity." They like the
money, the salary, the adoration, the acceptance they get for
being in the main stream of Christianity. So some of them are
talented "writers" of books which have a much wider market in
popular main-stream Christianity. And so it goes, with whatever
makes you "popular" with the large audience of people.
It's frank and plain words that God inspired Jude to use
about false teachers of false theology. I can but record them as
the KJV gives it:
"These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with
you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without
water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth,
without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves
of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom
is reserved the blackness of darkness forever" (verses 12-13).
The true Church of God, the very body of Christ, was getting
cancer from within. The truths of God were being corrupted, right
while those false teachers were feasting with the children of
God. On the surface most of the false teachers and false prophets
looked friendly and looked to be "nice guys" just like good ol'
Santa Claus looks friendly and loving and so nice to people.
Satan (who has deceives the whole world - Revelation 12:9) knows
how to cover all angles, from the outward right in your face
evil, to the smooth soft chocolate dipped ice-cream-cone. But the
Almighty God knows the heart and inner most being of it all -
dress it up how you like, you are reading the facts of it all.
The last phrase of verse 11 is interesting "wandering stars,
to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever." Now,
stars can represent "angels" (Rev.1:20). Satan and the demons
were created "good angels," until wickedness was their down-fall.
Is this last part of verse 11 telling us about the final fate and
punishment of Satan and his gang of demons? Maybe it is. Maybe
when there is no more human flesh and blood, when the new heavens
and new earth shall be, that Satan and the demons will be
banished to outer darkness of the universe forever. I can think
of no more a terrible punishment for them than that fate. They
would have nothing but themselves to deceive, and they are
already in deep deception and evil. They would have nothing to
influence and posses, not even any pigs (remember how the demons
Jesus was casting out of a person, wanted to at least have some
pigs they could enter), indeed what a punishment that would be
Way back in the time of Enoch, the seventh from Adam (in a
writing that we do not have preserved for us today), it was told
that eventually God would come with 10 thousand of His saints (or
"holy ones" - so it could mean angels, or it could mean saints,
maybe it is both) and execute judgment upon the wicked or
ungodly, and all the words they have spoken gainst Him who is
perfect righteousness (verses 14-15).
This is probably the picture of Jesus coming in power and
glory, with holy angels, resurrecting the dead saints, who meet
Him in the clouds of earth, and continue down to the Mount of
Olives at Jerusalem, when the wicked, and specifically in the
context, the wicked of the false Christian religion, will be
punished with destruction. The WOMAN WHORE of MYSTERY BABYLON
RELIGION in the book of Revelation, will meet her doom.
Once more God fires both barrels, concerning the false
"These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts;
and their mouth speaking great swelling words, having men's
persons in admiration because of advantage" (verse 16).
You may like to read this verse in a modern translation. It
is a kind of "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours." The
"spiritual politicking" that goes on behind closed doors of
"Christianity" would shock most people if it was all known
openly. And the true body of Christ's believers are not immune to
that swelling vanity of ego and "I'll pat your back if you'll pat
mine" syndrome. All done so personal gain in this life can be
satisfied and the "status quo" preserved.
So it already was in place in the Church of God, and the
people that were calling themselves under the name of
"Christian." As early as 30 to 50 years after the death of Christ
on the cross, the true way of the Lord was being corrupted. Jude
tells his readers that they should not be dumbfounded at this
happening, for it was predicted by the apostles of the Lord
Jesus. They, the apostles, had already said that in the last
days, the last time (note again here that "last time" is thought
of as the days Jude was writing this letter - it has to be even
worse by the time another 2,000 years has gone by), people would
come who as far as the truths of God was concerned, they were
mockers of it, and they would walk after their own desires to
satisfy their own interests for the physical life (verses 17-18).
Jude said those false teachers were even then, beginning to
separate themselves from the true body of Christ. It was starting
to take place. It took a another century or so to really DIVIDE
and CONQUER. Polycarp and later Polycrates (from Asia Minor -
Polycarp stating he was personally taught the Passover observance
of Jesus' death by the apostle John) in the second century tried
to debate the question of the Passover/Easter with the Bishop of
Rome, to no avail as for the truth, Easter was adopted by the
church of Rome, and so began the slide into A BREAKAWAY FALSE
CHRISTIAN RELIGION! (verse 19).
Jude was confident that they were building up their faith,
the most holy faith as he put it, and praying in the holy Spirit.
He tells them to keep themselves in the LOVE of God, and we have
seen in the letters of the apostle John, what LOVE IS. In so
doing they are to then look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus
Christ unto eternal life (verses 21-22).
The LOVE of God and the MERCY of God are indeed connected,
intertwined, they go together. It is law AND grace, not law OR
grace, as many false teachers will tell you. Those who try to
tell you it is law OR grace, or that under the New Testament age
it is GRACE not law, do NOT KNOW what they are talking about.
Eternal salvation has ALWAYS been law AND grace. From the very
beginning it has been law and grace and FAITH in the sacrifice of
God, the death of His Son on the cross, to forgive sins. Those
BEFORE Christ came in human flesh and blood, looked FORWARD to
that crucial sacrifice, those AFTER He died on the stake look
BACK to that atoning sacrifice.
It's ALWAYS been that ANYONE, past, present, future, are
saved BY GRACE through FAITH. But the law of God, which IS the
LOVE of God has never been abolished. It cannot possibly be
abolished. The real truth of the matter, as how anyone is saved,
is found in my study called "Saved by Grace" on this Website.
Jude tells his readers a VERY IMPORTANT practice of life as
Christian people deal with each other, and as Christian leaders
teach and guide others in the truths and righteousness of God.
Some people have to have an abundance of COMPASSION given to
them, a great deal of patience extended to them. Their up-
bringing, past ways of living in this world, their emotional
state, their twisted minds coming from backgrounds that are so
horrific as having to live through, must be handled with care,
patience, sympathy, and compassion. People who as children, were
abused by parents or relatives in one way or another, children
born and growing up with alcoholic parents, children and adults
who were or are, into drugs, now trying to clean up their lives.
People who were sexually abused as youngsters, and all the other
kinds of terrible backgrounds that people are coming from, NEED
SPECIAL COMPASSION. We as mature Christians trying to lead and
help those people, must make a difference at times in HOW we help
and guide them into true Christianity.
Then on the other hand, there will be at times, people
coming into Christianity, or all ready there for a number of
years, who have no background as mentioned above. They come from
steady and we might say "clean backgrounds" - they are
emotionally stable, have a sharp mind, were well brought up, and
well educated. And they are just doing things they should not,
not because of great weakness of the flesh, but just because they
want to, they get themselves into the wrong attitude for one
reason or another. So Jude instructs that sometimes some people
like that have to be handled with a firm hand, as Jude put it
"with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment
spotted by the flesh." It's a delicate balancing act, to be the
guide and teacher of other Christians. It is not always just
black and white in dealing with people as you try to lead them
into mature Christianity. Some you deal this way with, others you
handle that way, and still others another way.
It real is true what the apostle James said in his letter,
"Not many [of you] should become teachers [self-constituted
censors and reprovers of others], my brethren, for you know that
we [teachers] will be judged by a higher standard and with
greater severity [than other people; thus we assume the greater
accountability and the more condemnation] (James 3:1 Amplified
We have come to near the very end of the New Testament
books. What wonderful books they are. What magnificent teachings
they give us. Just think if the whole world, all nations and
peoples on earth were LIVING by the New Testament, what a
GLORIOUS and HAPPY world we would be living in. There would be
PEACE, JOY, GOODNESS, FRIENDLINESS, CO-OPERATION, LOVE, KINDNESS,
PATIENCE, and everything that is RIGHTEOUSNESS, would be filling
this earth. If the world was living the New Testament, they would
be living the TEN COMMANDMENTS, every single one of them. The day
WILL COME when that will be a REALITY! We continue to pray "Thy
Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
With the book of REVELATION yet to investigate and read and
expound to you, I know that it would seem the world will not
WILLINGLY TURN to God and His way of His commandments. So, sad to
say, the world must go through a time at the end of this age,
that will be so horrific there will never have been a time like
it in the entire history of mankind, nor will there be such a
time again. Yet, beyond it all there will come a new age, for a
one thousand years under Jesus the Christ, and then for all
eternity under the Father. That is for the next pages in this New
Testament Bible Story. I leave you with the last words from Jude.
"Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to
present you faultless before the presence of His glory with
exceeding joy." Yes indeed, it is possible to fall away from the
grace of God, you are not once saved always saved. You must walk
the walk till the end, you must endure to the end as Jesus put
it, then you will inherit eternal life. At the end of the road
you will be presented before His glorious presence FAULTLESS. See
my study called "The Truth about Judgment Day." That day will be
"To the only wise God our Savior, be GLORY and MAJESTY, dominion
and power, both now and ever. Amen
Written October 2007