The Book of Acts is sometimes called the Acts
of the Apostles because it's a record of their experiences in
building the early Church.
That being the case, the Book of Jude could be called
Acts of the Apostates because it's devoted to warning the Church
of the false teachers who were coming.
This being the time of the Great Apostasy (2 Thes. 2:3)
we should review Jude's 1 chapter letter the the Church and see
what it says to us today.
Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a
brother of James, To those who have been called, who are loved
by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ:
Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance. (Jude:1-2)
The author identified himself as a servant of
Jesus and a brother of James, who was head of the
Church in Jerusalem in the years between Pentecost and
his death just prior to Jerusalem's destruction.
Since James was a half brother of Jesus, Jude would also
have been the Lord's half brother.
Neither James nor Jude were believers until after the
resurrection. (John 7:5)
Jude was clearly writing to the Church.
The Greek word translated “called” in verse 1 means
sanctified (set apart) and is from the word for saint. The claim
that we are loved by God and kept by Jesus Christ
combines John 3:16 (For God so loved the world)
and John 6:39 (my father's will is that I should lose
none of all that He has given me) and confirms other passages
that say once we're saved the Lord takes responsibility for
keeping us that way.
Dear friends, although I was very eager
to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to
write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for
all entrusted to the saints.
For certain men whose condemnation was written about long
ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men,
who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality
and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. (Jude:
Jude wanted to write about loftier things,
but already the Church was being invaded by false teachers,
something that continues to this day, and he felt the need to
warn us about them.
Like it is today, these teachers were saying sin doesn't matter,
Jesus wasn't really God in the flesh, and he's not the only way
to salvation. Back
then this was called the gnostic error, one teaching of which
held that all Spirit is pure and all matter is evil, so what we
do in the flesh is irrelevant to our spiritual life.
This same teaching held that God, being
spirit, is pure and could never have dwelt in a physical body so
Jesus could not have been divine.
They said the
Spirit of God came to be with Him for a time but departed before
His crucifixion leaving Him to die a broken man.
Followers of gnosticism believed that salvation could not
be attained through the death of a man, but by the acquisition
of secret knowledge.
(The Greek word gnosis means to know.)
The New Age religions are modern examples that build on
this kind of thinking.
The doctrine of inclusivism in liberal
Christian theology teaches that Jesus is not the only way to
religious philosophies outline their own beliefs and as long as
people are sincere in practicing the beliefs of their chosen
religion, they can find the way to God.
They say it would be arrogant of Christians to insist
that ours is the only way.
Though you already know all this, I want
to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who
did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their positions
of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in
darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the
great Day. In a
similar way, Sodom
and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual
immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who
suffer the punishment of eternal fire. (Jude:5-7)
These people might think they're smart,
behaving like they do.
The way they intellectualize the Scriptures and emphasize
their advanced degrees shows them to have a superior attitude,
acting as if they're the only ones who really understand.
But we should remember what happened to those who thought
they were too smart for God in the past. Paul said, “Although
they claimed to be wise they became fools” (Romans 1:22)
and reminded us that God promised the wisdom of the wise will
perish and the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.
He was quoting Isaiah 29:14.
Having learned nothing from history these people who
think they're so smart will find themselves repeating it.
Even the angels had to
learn this. When
some of them thought they could rebel and begin a new order,
they took on human form without permission, chose human women as
wives and produced a hybrid race of super humans (Genesis 6:4).
Before long the human gene pool was almost entirely corrupted.
But God brought the Great flood and destroyed them all,
preserving only Noah and his family to begin again.
Those who led this rebellion have been chained in
darkness for over 4,000 years, awaiting their judgment.
Peter also had this in mind when he wrote,
“God did not spare angels when they
sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons
to be held for judgment” (2 Peter 2:4)
Later, Satan tried to pull this same stunt
again, infesting the land God promised to His people with giants
to frighten the Israelites away.
It worked for a while, but God gave His people
supernatural strength and courage to drive them out.
Some are convinced Satan will try this one
more time, as the End of the Age approaches.
They say the
Nephilim of Genesis 6 are returning as extra-terrestrials
to help Satan kick God off the planet for good.
I have no first hand evidence to prove or disprove this
theory. But this I
know. The Bible says
it has happened before, and there are hints it could happen
again. (For our complete study on the Nephilim go
And who could deny the current effort to
re-create Sodom and Gomorrah
in our midst? Using
the law of the land to force the acceptance of deviant behavior
on the people pits human governments directly against the Word
of God and will produce the same response that has followed
every preceding attempt. Judgment.
very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject
authority and slander celestial beings.
But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing
with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a
slanderous accusation against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke
Yet these men speak
abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what
things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning
animals—these are the very things that destroy them. (Jude:8-10)
The Gnostics of old felt comfortable
indulging to excess in every form of perversity.
And if you think this kind of thing only happened long
ago, just watch a few prime time TV shows. A short generation
ago such behavior would have been scandalous, unfit even for
Now it's openly celebrated, and even admired.
In this passage we come closer than any
other place in the Bible to understanding why God allows Satan
into His presence. Satan is a dignitary, a celestial being at
the top of the order.
Even Michael the Archangel,
occupying the second highest position in the angelic
hierarchy can not speak disrespectfully to him. With all the
harm Satan has done to the creation, at least for now he is
still afforded the courtesy due his position.
But the false teachers of yesterday and
today feel free to slander anybody, including God, who they
They even rebel against the things they intuitively know are
right. One of these
is the indisputable fact that our world had to have been
created. In Romans 1:18-19 Paul wrote,
The wrath of God is being revealed from
heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who
suppress the truth by their wickedness,
what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has
made it plain to them.
Scientists are intelligent enough to read
the signs God has plainly shown them in the Creation. Their
insistence upon believing the so-called theory of evolution is
not due to the fact that they've proven it to be true. In fact a
growing mountain of evidence is showing it to be false.
It's due to the fact that they don't want to believe the
Biblical account which they intuitively know to be true, and so
they suppress the truth by promoting a lie.
Another self-evident truth is when life
begins. There isn't
a person alive who doesn't know deep in his or her heart that a
pre-born child is a living being.
And yet these false teachers relentlessly spout theories
that contradict their intuitive knowledge in a failed effort to
justify their behavior. These
are the ones to whom God will one day shout, “What were you
thinking?” as He shows them the millions of defenseless children
don't make the mistake of thinking I'm only talking about
the secular world here.
Remember, Jude said these teachings would come into the
Church. And so they
have. Today only a
minority of those who call themselves Christian believe the
Bible is true just as it's written.
Speaking of these false teachers Peter
said, “Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander
yet even angels, although
they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous
accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord.
these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand.” (2
continues, Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they
have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been
destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.(Jude:11)
The way of Cain is to offer the works of our
hands as payment for our sins rather than accept the sacrifice
of an innocent substitute (Genesis 4:3-4).
The Bible says Cain knew what was right, but refused to
do what was right (Genesis 4:6).
Similarly some preachers today put their flocks in
greater bondage than they were before they were saved by
teaching that although Jesus died so we could be saved it's up
to us to earn the right to stay that way.
Balaam's error was to offer false prophecies
for a fee. He loved
the wages of wickedness (2 Peter 2:15) Today we would
say, “He's in it for the money.” Some of our most prominent
televangelists teach things they know in their heart to be
untrue just to get money from their gullible followers.
Korah rebelled against God's chosen one
(Moses) inciting the people to disobedience (Numbers 16).
Because of him many people refused to follow God's
For the Church today, God's constituted authority is His
word. But I get
emails almost every day from people who can't find a Bible
believing church where they live.
Others write to bemoan the fact that the church they've
grown up in is suddenly taking a dramatic turn away from the
Bible into things its writers have
repeatedly warned us against doing.
So far it's not looking good for the false
teachers whether of Jude's time or ours.
But Jude is far from concluding his rant against them and
before we're finished Peter will have more to say too.
Better stay tuned. Selah 01-29-11