Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ (1:1),
The word servant is doulos and it is a bond slave of Jesus Christ. In the New Testament, there are three Judes. Jude is the same as Judas, it’s the same name as Judas and it is the Greek for the Hebrew name, Judah. And so there are three men by the name of Judas in the New Testament. There is the one that we’re most familiar with is Judas Iscariot. He is the one that is mentioned more than all of the others.
But in Mark chapter six, verse three, we have an interesting passage when Jesus had come to Capernaum, the people were stumbled because they knew Him, they said, Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James and Joses and of Judah and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us? And they were offended at Him. And so there was a Judah or Judas, Jude, who was a brother, half-brother to Jesus, Son of Mary, son of Joseph, a half-brother to Jesus. He had a brother by the name of James. And you have other passages where it makes mention of Jude, the brother of James. He tells you here that he is the brother of James.
There is one more Judas in the New Testament and he is found in just one verse and that’s in John fourteen, verse twenty-two. Judas Iscariot had gone out to betray Jesus and as Jesus is talking to His disciples and saying, If you love me, you keep my commandments. And my Father will love you and we will come and manifest ourselves unto you. And Judas, it says, not Iscariot, said unto Him, Lord, how is it that You’ll manifest Yourself to us and not unto the world?
In Acts chapter one, verse thirteen, as it is naming some of those that had gathered in Jerusalem after the resurrection of Jesus, waiting for the promise of the Holy Spirit, as it lists some of those, it does list Jude the brother of James.
Now it would appear that the brothers of Jesus did not really believe that He was the Messiah until after His resurrection. They really thought that this brother of ours is a little odd. And they didn’t, and of course, you could understand, didn’t really understand it.
There was one occasion when they heard that so many people were coming and pressing around Him and coming to be healed and all, that Jesus wasn’t even taking time to eat. And they heard the reports and they thought, We better go down and rescue Him from the people. And so they came to Capernaum and there was such a crowd of people around the house where Jesus was teaching. They just sent a note in to Jesus that your mother and your brothers are here. And Jesus said, Who is my mother? Who is my brother? Looking around He said, The same that do the will of My Father, they are My mother and My brother.
That would give you a little bit of a qualm, I would think, if you were praying to Mary to get favors from Jesus because when she was trying to get His attention, He just said, Who is My mother? And so I wouldn’t really want to trust her to carry messages to Him for me. But why should I when I can go directly to Him? The door is open where we can come and “there is only one mediator between God and man, and that’s the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).
So “Jude, the servant, or the bond slave of Jesus Christ.” After the resurrection, James and Jude both of them became pillars in the early church. And the Book of James is written by James, the half-brother of Jesus. This Book of Jude written by his brother and half-brother of Jesus also.
It is interesting that Jude isn’t seeking nor did James seek to build upon that relationship. They didn’t seem to try to elevate themselves because of that relationship. Rather than saying, Jude, the half-brother of Jesus, I grew up with this guy, he just says, Jude, a bond slave of Jesus Christ.
brother of James (1:1),
So it identifies him.
to them that are sanctified (1:1)
Some of the old manuscripts there have the word, agapao, which would be those that are loved. And I don’t know which I prefer. Some of the manuscripts have the word for sanctified and others have the word for love but they’re both true in that we have been loved by God and we have been sanctified by God. So he is writing “to you who are loved of God or sanctified”
by God, to you who are preserved by Jesus Christ (1:1),
Now he’s going to close this little epistle by saying, “Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling” (1:24). Kept by the power of Jesus Christ. Actually as Peter was writing his epistle, he said, “Thank God we’ve been born again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, To an inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, fades not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith” (1 Peter 1:3-5). And so that keeping power. Jesus said, “All that the Father hath given Me shall come to Me” (John 6:37). And He spoke about “no man can pluck them out of My hand” (John 10:28). So preserved in Jesus Christ.
and then called (1:1):
You’ve been called to be a child of God. As all have been called but not all have responded. But we are among those special ones who have responded to that call. And thus recipients of the blessings of being called by God. Typical salutation,
Mercy unto you, peace and love, be multiplied (1:2).
We need them all. The mercy, the peace, the love, and I like this, not added but multiplied. I love God’s mathematics. In the book of Acts so many times we read, “And the number of disciples was multiplied” (Acts 6:7). It doesn’t say, And was added but was multiplied. And I have discovered in the ministry that many times as you begin pastoring a church, you have blessed subtractions. But I’ve also discovered that God never subtracts but what He multiplies. So we after years learned not to worry about the subtraction because we knew that oftentimes it was necessary for God to subtract before He could multiply. And so “mercy, peace, love, multiplied.”
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write to you of the common salvation (1:3),
Jude had started a letter to them that he never finished–a letter of just encouragement. A letter of exhortation and encouragement and he was going to write to them about the common salvation. But he received news of some false teachers who were bringing false doctrines into the church. And so rather than talking about their common salvation, he felt a necessity to warn them against these false teachers that had crept in. They’re a bunch of creeps. “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation,”
it was needful for me to write unto you, and to exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (1:3).
Hold on to the faith once delivered. Don’t go for any of these new high flying kind of ideas that men are bringing in. Weird interpretations and these other things. Stay with the basics. The basics that you were originally taught.
This was something that became a real problem in the early church. False teachers that were going around. Many of them claiming to have the authority of Paul. And they would come to churches like Thessalonica and they would say, Paul sent us to tell you this and so forth. And so Paul wrote and said, Now I don’t want you to be frightened by word that you’ve received as though it came from me. And so here is Jude now saying, Look, you’ve been taught the basic fundamental truths. Hold on to them. “Earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered unto you.”
For there are certain men who have crept in unawares (1:4),
This is sad but it is also true, that so many times people creep in and they get involved, but they have some kind of weird slant on the Scriptures and they’ll get involved in a little prayer group or whatever and then they’ll begin to try and bring this particular twisted understanding that they have of the Scriptures and begin to try and promulgate it among the body of Christ. That happens today. That happened in the early church. So much of the letters in the New Testament and so much of what Jesus said was the warning of the false teachers and the false prophets that would come along.
I do not believe that God is revealing new truth. I’m not interested in new truth. I’m interested in new experiences in the old truths. There’s enough right here to keep me going several lifetimes. There are things that I have not yet attained or achieved that I would love to have that are already here. I don’t need something beyond the Word of God. But I want to hold on and earnestly contend for the faith that has been delivered to us here in the Scriptures.
these men were before of old ordained to this condemnation, they are actually ungodly men, for they turn the grace of our God into lasciviousness, denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ (1:4).
There is the glorious truth of God’s grace. One of the most wonderful revelations in the New Testament is the revelation of God’s grace. God’s unmerited favor. “By grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: a gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
Paul wrote much about the grace of God. It was something that set Paul free. He had been trying to attain a righteousness by his own efforts, by his own works, by the keeping of the law. And it led him to utter frustration. And then he discovered the grace of God. He discovered the passage of Scripture, which God spoke to Habakkuk in the Old Testament, “The just shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). And this was just a glorious revelation to Paul and he began to write about the wonderful grace of God, how that we have been accepted in Jesus Christ and it’s not by the works of righteousness that we are justified but it is by faith, by the grace of God that we are justified before God. And “where sin abounds, grace does much more abound” (Romans 5:20).
Paul, in teaching these things, people began to misinterpret as even they do today. When you begin to really teach on the grace of God, there are always those who are really willing to take the truth and twist it as a cloak to cover a life of lasciviousness. And that’s what they were doing in those days. Peter warned. Paul, he said, told us a lot of things that are difficult to understand that people have wrested, they twisted to their own destruction. Paul was, even as he wrote, “where sin abounds, grace does overflow.” He said, “Shall we then sin freely, that grace should overflow? God forbid. How can we, who are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:1,2).
So there was that group who would come in and they would take certain Biblical truths but they would put a twist on them in order to use these things as a cloak for their unrighteousness. You see, if God’s declared, All men are sinners, so they’d say, God said we’re all sinners and so if we go out and sin, we’re only proving that God tells the truth. How can God get angry with you for proving that He’s true? And this kind of silly logic. Twisting things so that they were living lives of lasciviousness, trusting that the grace of God would cover and Paul comes out against that, but Jude comes out very strong because this movement had been growing in the church. So “they turned the grace of our God into lasciviousness, denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
And so there was that denial of Jesus being the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. And there was that denial that He was the only true God. Thus today, the mark of the cult is the denial of the deity of Jesus Christ.
I will therefore put you in remembrance (1:5),
I’m going to remind you of this.
though you once knew this (1:5),
It’s interesting how that they saw the necessity of reminding people of basic truths. Peter, when he wrote his second letter, said I know that you already know these things that I’m writing to you. But I’m writing to remind you of these things and the reason why I’m writing them down is that after I die, you’ll still have them to remind you. The Lord knows how quickly we forget the goodness of God, the blessings of God, the provisions of God. And in the Old Testament, God set up many things as memorials. When you see these, you’ll be reminded. Samuel set up the Ebenezer stone to remind the people that God has brought us this far! When you see that stone, you’ll realize God has kept us this far, brought us this far.
And so Jude, like Peter, is writing to remind them of truths they already know. Teaching is something that you learn by repetition. And so many of the truths are repeated over and over in order that they might be really planted deep within our hearts. So “I’ll put you into remembrance, though you once knew this,”
how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not (1:5).
I see this as sort of tied with verse twenty, twenty-one, where Jude says, “Keep yourself in the love of God.” And I believe that he’s building up to this exhortation of keeping yourself in the love of God. And he’s illustrating the necessity of keeping yourself in that place where God can do all that He is wanting to do. All that He desires to do.
Here were the children of Israel. What was God’s desire? To bring them into the land that was flowing with milk and honey. That they might enjoy the fruit from the trees that they didn’t plant and that they might just have this wonderful land that God had promised unto Abraham, their father. So they were in bondage in Egypt. They were slaves and they began to cry out unto God because of the hardship and the reason of their bondage. And God spoke to Moses, sent him to the Pharaoh to demand the release of the children and with many miracles, signs and wonders, God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, out of their bondage.
Paul as he writes of these things in Corinthians said, “These things all happened to them as examples for us” (1 Corinthians 10:6). They are types. The bondage in Egypt was a type of a person’s bondage in the life of sin. How that sin gets such a grip and a hold upon your life. It makes you its slave. And so many people are enslaved by sin, by their lust.
Pharaoh is a type of Satan who, while they were in bondage, made it heavier and heavier. Paul said they were all baptized in the Red Sea, it was coming out of Egypt. Baptism into the new life, into a new relationship with God. Delivered from the bondage of Egypt. Now moving into the wilderness. Now there was a legitimate journey of about two weeks from Egypt to the promised land. But it took them forty years to make a two-week journey because of their unbelief.
And so I will remind you, he said, concerning our fathers. Though they were delivered out of Egypt, yet they perished in the wilderness. Why? Because of unbelief. They didn’t enter in to the full blessings that God desired to give to them because of their lack of faith. And so it’s an example and a warning to us!
Many, many Christians have been delivered from sin. They’ve come to Jesus Christ. They’ve known the power of Jesus in delivering them from sin. But they have wandered in a wilderness experience. They haven’t come in to the full blessing of the life in the Spirit. They can find their identity in the last verses of the seventh chapter of the book of Romans. They haven’t made the transition and come in to chapter eight. That glorious new life of the Spirit. And they spend their whole Christian experience roaming, wandering in the wilderness. And that’s a tragedy. The failure to enter in to all, that God has for you.
He give then the example of,
the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day (1:6).
Or the great day of judgment. We are told in the Bible that Satan was created by God, he was one of the cherubim. He was one of the anointed cherubs. He was “perfect in beauty, perfect in wisdom, perfect in all of his ways until iniquity was found in him” (Ezekiel 28:12,15).
We’re told by Isaiah chapter fourteen that Satan rebelled against the authority of God in his “I wills” and there are five “I wills” of Satan. It is the exercise of his will in opposition or rebellion to the will of God. “I will exalt my throne. I will sit in the congregation of the sides of the north: I will ascend above the clouds; I will be like the most High.” And the exercise of that will against the will of God caused him to fall. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! Thou that didst weaken the nations! For you said in your heart,” (Isaiah 14:12-14). The I wills.
There is a passage of scripture in the New Testament, chapter twelve of the book of Revelation, we’ll be getting to that in twelve weeks, but there in Revelation as it speaks concerning Satan, the dragon, that “when he was cast out of heaven he drew a third part of the stars [and angels were often referred to as stars in the Bible] he drew a third part of the stars with his tail” (Revelation 12:4). And thus an intimation that when Satan fell, a third of the angels went with him in that rebellion against God. They did not “keep their first estate.” Which was that? It was to be there in the presence of God. To be ministers to God. Serving God.
“Are they all not ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to them that are heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 1:14)? And we find the angels in the Old Testament running errands for God, ministering or serving God. We find them in the New Testament around the throne of God, giving glory to God. Of course, we find that in Ezekiel also. And so these angels left that place of habitation, their first estate. But today, “they’re in chains of darkness as they await the great day of judgment.”
Paul wrote to the Corinthians and he was sort of rebuking them because they were going to the secular courts with problems that were within the church. He said you ought to be able to settle those within the church. Don’t you know that you’re going to be judging angels (1 Corinthians 6:1-3)? And so the angels are coming up for judgment. Those that rebelled with Satan against God. Interesting that they are kept in, it says, “the chains under darkness.”
The final disposition of Satan, his angels that followed him, and men who have chosen to follow Satan, their final disposition is to be cast into a place in the scripture called Gehenna. Jesus describes it as a place of “outer darkness: where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:12). “Where the worm dieth not, neither is the fire quenched” (Isaiah 66:24). Outer darkness.
It is interesting that with the Hubbell telescope and new ways of probing the skies, we are finding they say, the edge of the universe. And it is estimated to be something like eighteen billion light-years out there and they’re talking now about the edge of the universe. That’s with the telescopes that we presently have. Who knows as science can develop perhaps even better telescopes to probe the sky, we might find that that may be the middle of the universe rather than the edge of the universe. We don’t know how vast the universe really is. All I know is that God can measure it with the span of His hand.
So when they say the universe is actually eighteen billion light-years rather than fifteen billion, I say, Wow, God’s even bigger than I thought He was. “He measured the heavens, it says, with His span” (Isaiah 40:12). How big is your God? Mine is sure big, I’ll tell you. Big enough to take care of me and any problems that I might have. As the disciples when they began to pray, they said, O Lord, You are God. You created the heavens and the earth and everything that is in them. When you put that address on your prayer, there’s no problem with your prayer from then on out. If your God’s that big, He can sure handle your little problems.
Isn’t it interesting how we say, Now God, this is a real tough one. I don’t know. This is really big, God. Yeah, yeah. But it’s interesting to me, Jesus said that He didn’t come “to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. And he that believes on Him is not condemned: but he that doesn’t believe in Him is condemned already, seeing he has not believed in the only begotten of the Father. And this is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, but men will not come to the light because men loved darkness rather than light, for their deeds are evil” (John 3:17-19). Isn’t that sort of poetic justice? Men who loved darkness rather than light. Where does God consign them forever? Outer darkness.
Probably somewhere way out beyond the edge of space, so far out that even the light of the universe doesn’t reach that far. Or perhaps in one of what they call the black holes in the universe. But consigned to darkness. And so here are the angels. They are chained. They’re waiting in darkness.
There are some who believe that these angels are possibly the ones that we’ll be reading about when we get to the Book of Revelation who, when the angel comes with the key to the abusso, they’re released upon the earth and they go forth wrecking havoc upon the earth that they are chained in this darkness awaiting the day of judgment and some interpret that as the day of God’s judgment on the earth and that these angels are so fierce that God has kept them chained because they would wreck havoc on the earth, now. But in that great tribulation period, God’s going to release them and all hell breaks forth on the earth. That’s a possible interpretation.
But the idea is, here are created beings of God that knew the glory of dwelling in the presence of God who didn’t keep themselves in the love of God and tonight are in chains in darkness as they await this day of judgment.
Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire (1:7).
So these people living in Sodom, beautiful place. Very fertile. They had an abundance of bread, the Scripture said. And the reason why is it’s just ideal for growing crops. The weather is warm year-round. You go into the Jordan valley today in the wintertime, you’ll see corn growing, you’ll see tomatoes in abundance, cucumbers, eggplant and all of these growing in the wintertime. It’s much like the vegetables that we buy from Mexico in the wintertime, the tomatoes and all, you’d have that in the Jordan valley and the produce from the Jordan valley is sent all over Europe in the wintertime because it’s just very fertile and it’s very warm all winter long. There is plenty of water.
And so the abundance of fruit, vegetables. The ease with which to grow them gave people a lot of spare time. What is it your mother used to tell you about empty mind is a devil’s workshop or something? When you don’t have enough to do, you start getting into mischief. So it was with Sodom and Gomorrah because of these easy conditions of living. They began to give themselves over to find excitement in sexual thrills, in sexual experiences. And it ended up in homosexuality. We get the word sodomy from Sodom and the experiences with Lot back in the book of Genesis. And so they were destroyed by God’s judgment upon them. The fire and the brimstone. Lot being delivered by the angels.
They failed to keep themselves in God’s love. And though they had many natural advantages, yet they lost out everything in the judgment of God. It’s a good lesson for many of you who have been blessed of God with natural talents, natural advantages but you fail to keep yourselves in God’s love. The judgment of God. So he says,
He uses these illustrations. “Likewise,” these men that are going around,
these filthy dreamers they defile the flesh, they despise authority, and they speak evil of dignities (1:8).
These men and it’s interesting how that so many people try to raise their own estimate in the eyes of others by attacking and tearing down authority or men that God has anointed. I find it very difficult to understand a person that would speak in a derogatory sense against Billy Graham. A man that obviously has been used mightily by God in bringing so many thousands of people to Jesus Christ. And yet there are those little guys taking potshots at him. But someone has said, The little dogs always bark when the lion walks by. “They despise dominion, they speak evil of dignities.” But he says,
Yet Michael (1:9)
He is one of the archangels. It is thought that there were three archangels. One of them was Lucifer prior to the fall. Michael and Gabriel. Gabriel announced himself to Zechariah as “I’m Gabriel, I stand in the presence of God” (Luke 1:19). Michael, called one of the chief angels. And of course, Lucifer was called the son of the morning and “the anointed cherub that covered” (Ezekiel 28:14). And that is why they feel that he took perhaps a third part of the angels with him. So “yet Michael,”
the archangel, when he was contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, and he dared not to bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee (1:9).
Wisdom, wisdom! Don’t ever try and get in a direct confrontation with Satan! You’re no match. Always keep the Lord between you and Satan and you’ll be alright. I never say, I rebuke you, Satan. No way. The Lord rebuke you, Satan! Keep the Lord between you and you’ll be okay. And so even “Michael the archangel didn’t rail against him, but said to him, The Lord rebuke thee.”
But these men [these creeps] they speak evil of those things which they know not (1:10):
They don’t really understand. They have no understanding yet they speak evil.
Yesterday after things were over at the Pond, some guy came up to me and he said, Why don’t you tell the people about, actually he was a King James only guy and saying, Why are you, why don’t you come out against the modern translations and so forth? And I said, Have you listened to my tapes on the sure foundation of the Word? And he just goes on railing. I said, Wait a minute. Haven’t you listened? The guy knew nothing. And yet here he was yelling, Why don’t you tell the people the truth? Fellow, you’re off the rocker. You don’t even know what we’re teaching. We’re teaching out of the King James–he wasn’t, he was just. Well, poor guy. “They speak evil of things that they don’t know.”
but what they do know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves (1:10).
That is, they live like animals. Now there is tremendous attempt today to try and it’s from the homosexual community, to try to say, Well, the Bible actually condones homosexual activity. And they like to suggest that maybe Jesus even had homosexual activity with the disciples and that David and of course, Jonathan surely were involved in a homosexual relationship. And they are twisting, twisting and denying the plain teaching of the Scriptures because they are living like beasts. “As natural brute beasts,” he says. And “in those things they corrupt themselves” as they are living like animals.
Now he tells you again of three individuals that like these filthy dreamers, like the children of Israel, like the angels, have not kept themselves in the love of God and thus, failed to receive the full blessings that God desired for them.
Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain (1:11),
Cain, mastered by hatred, killed his brother Abel. These people are mastered by hatred, venom.
they greedily ran after the error of Balaam (1:11)
Balaam was blinded by greed and because of the greed and the desire for the king’s rewards went beyond the word of God the way he was warned over and over not to do it. He went beyond the word of God to bring a curse on the people of God and Balaam thought he could wipe out the people of God. That was his error. God said that they were His people and He would bless them. Though many were wiped out, ultimately Balaam was wiped out by the children of Israel when they attacked Moab because they had been led by the Moabites into idolatry.
and they have perished in the gainsaying of Korah (1:11).
Korah who led the rebellion against Moses’ leadership. Speaking evil of a man that God had called to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt who perished in a very fascinating way. He said,
They are spots in your feasts of love (1:12),
Now in the early church, they had sort of potlucks. A lot of the people in the church were slaves. And the only really decent meal they had in the week, was when the church would gather together with a potluck. And they would close the potluck with a communion service. And so they called them the feast of love because everybody would bring as they were able, and they would share together and it was a loving thing of sharing with each other.
We used to have potlucks when the church was smaller. We’d go up to Irvine Park and we would have big steak fries. And the church would furnish the coals and people would come and bring their steaks and that was when we had all of our communal houses, the hippies here. They would come to the potluck and they’d bring a big thing of beans and they would bring salads because they have what they call their garbage run. They would go to the major supermarkets and go behind where they trim the vegetables and all and if tomatoes have spots on them, they’d throw them in and the lettuce, the trimmings and so forth. And they’d go around and collect all of these good vegetables. Actually the real vitamins are in the outward leaves and so they were healthy kids. But they would bring these great salads and we’d get up there. And of course, we’d have, people brought all their steaks and these kids would bring their beans and their leafy green salads and then they’d head for the steaks. And we ate beans. It was a real love feast.
But this was a common thing in the church. They call it a feast of love and it always culminated in taking the cup and the bread and being reminded of God’s love for us manifested in Jesus Christ. But these people coming to these feasts of love would be spots. They would be blemishes.
when they feast with you, they’re feeding themselves without fear (1:12):
He’s using some very descriptive language here.
now they are clouds without water, they’re carried about with the winds (1:12);
They really have no purpose. They just are carried about by winds. Driven by winds but there’s no water, there’s nothing to refresh there. They are,
trees whose fruit has withered, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; they are like raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; they are like wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever (1:12,13).
As we mentioned earlier, cast into outer darkness, Jesus said, the blackness of darkness forever.
Now Enoch also, the seventh from Adam (1:14),
He was the father of Methuselah, the great grandfather of Noah, Methuselah, Lamech and Noah. So “Enoch, the seventh from Adam,” seventh generation,
prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all of their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all of their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him (1:14,15).
When Jesus Christ returns, He’s going to judge the world. Enoch prophesied of this judgment. Matthew tells us about it in chapter twenty-five. Jesus tells us about it in Matthew’s gospel chapter twenty-five. “When the Son of man comes with His glory and the angels with Him, then He will gather together the nations for judgment” (Matthew 16:27). And so these people will face the judgment of the Lord.
These are murmurers, complainers, they walk after their own lusts; and their mouth speak great swelling words, as they have men’s persons in admiration because of advantage (1:16).
They’re flatterers. They pander unto men.
But, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ (1:17);
You remember, he was going to write on another subject but he felt impelled to write to them to earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered unto them. So “remember, beloved, the words which were spoken unto you before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
How that they told you there would be mockers in the last time, who would walk after their own ungodly lusts. These are they who separate themselves, but they are sensual, and they have not the Spirit (1:18,19).
You’ve been warned in the last days, Peter tells us, scoffers would come scoffing at the idea of the second coming of Jesus Christ. These men “separate themselves, they’re sensual, but the main problem is they don’t have the Spirit.”
But you [in contrast], beloved, building up yourselves in the most holy faith (1:20),
Now he’s talking about keeping yourself in the love of God and he’s couching it with how to do it. “Building up yourself in the most holy faith,” the first way to keep yourself in the love of God is to be built up in your faith. Awfully hard to trust someone you don’t know. Easy to trust someone who has proved himself faithful time after time.
If you were, say, up on Bristol walking past Coco’s and some stranger come up to you and say, Sir, would you mind loaning me twenty dollars? I found that I left my wallet at home and if you’ll loan me twenty dollars, I’ll meet you here tomorrow at one o’clock and I’ll give it back to you. How apt are you to loan him twenty dollars? If you say, Sure I would, I’d like to meet you after church.
But say you were walking there on Bristol and Romaine comes running out of Coco’s and he says, Oh, am I glad to see you! I invited this guy to come to lunch. When I went to reach for my wallet, I realized that I had taken it out and I put it on my desk and it’s back at the church. I don’t have anything. I’m very embarrassed. Could you loan me twenty dollars and I’ll meet you right over at the church and give it back to you right away? You’d say, Sure, Romaine, and you’d be glad to because you know that Romaine is trustworthy.
Sometimes people come up to me and they say, Chuck, I have the hardest time trusting God. What are they really saying? Chuck, I really don’t know God very well. You see, if you really knew God well, you’d have no problem trusting God. It’s only that you don’t know Him that you have problems trusting Him. That’s why the Bible tells us that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17) because what does the Word of God tell us? It tells us of the faithfulness of God. It tells us how God will come through, that God will keep His Word. And when you really come to know God and you study and you know the faithfulness of God to keep His Word, then you have no trouble. You have no trouble having faith in God.
So “building up yourselves in the most holy faith.” That is, by studying the Word of God.
praying in the Holy Spirit (1:20),
And as we mentioned this morning, three ways: One, to ask the Holy Spirit to guide your prayer; two, Romans chapter eight, just groaning over a situation. Here is this guy, he’s in trouble again, he’s been arrested once more, he’s called you and he’s begging you to come down and post bail but this guy is sort of a perennial, and you don’t know exactly how to pray. I mean, you love the guy and you want to help him but are you helping him by bailing him out again? Or are you just enabling him to continue because he’s not facing the consequences of what he has done. God, what do I do about this guy? God, I bring Tom, Dick or Harry, whatever, before You. He’s in a mess again, Lord. Oh God, this fellow’s having so much, God. Now God, You interpret that as prayer according to Your will. “The Spirit also helps our weaknesses because we don’t know how we ought to pray but He makes intercession through groanings which cannot be uttered. Because He knows what is the mind of the Father and He makes intercession according to His will” (Romans 8:26,27).
Of course, the third way is given to us by Paul in 1 Corinthians 14 where Paul said, “When I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays, though my understanding is unfruitful. What will I say? I will pray with the Spirit, I will pray with understanding” (1 Corinthians 14:14,15). If God has given you the gift of tongues, then that is a wonderful way to pray in the Spirit.
It’s probably, I won’t say it’s better than not praying in the Spirit, they’re all good. It doesn’t matter how. Whether or not you’re asking the Spirit to guide your prayers, or whether or not you’re just groaning or whether or not you’re praying in tongues, they are all valid, they are all good. It doesn’t matter how you do it. Just do it. Pray in the Holy Spirit.
Keeping yourself in the love of God (1:21),
Keeping yourself in that place where God can do the things He wants to do because He loves you.
looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life (1:21).
That great day when the Lord is going to come and receive us unto Himself. That day that isn’t very far distant, I believe. That day “when the Lord is going to descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel: the dead in Christ shall rise: and we who are alive and remain shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air: and ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17). “Looking for that glorious mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
And of some have compassion (1:22),
Now there are some people that are just simple-minded and have compassion on those. But where a fellow is deliberately twisting Scriptures and all,
it’s a big difference: Others (1:22,23)
And this shows really in reaching out and witnessing to people, some you just have love. I mean, you win them by love. Don’t you know that it’s the goodness of God that leads a man to repentance? But others,
save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even their garments that are spotted by the flesh (1:23).
There are some people that really need a good hell-fire sermon to scare the hell out of them! And there are others who are drawn by love. And so use discernment. Making a difference, seeing that there are people with different characteristics and all, and there are some that are drawn by love and there are some that are brought in by fear. The fear of the judgment of God. And that’s a legitimate thing. God’s judgment is going to come. But many are motivated by love. God loves you so much, you’re missing out on so much by resisting His love. So God has Romaine to reach those who need the fear of God.
He closes this little epistle,
Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling (1:24),
What a glorious Scripture. Though we are not able of keeping ourselves, He is “able to keep you from falling.” I like these Scriptures that talk about God’s abilities. “Now unto Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or you think” (Ephesians 3:20). One of the keys of Abraham’s faith was he believed that God was able to do what He promised. “Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling,”
and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy (1:24),
One day Jesus is going to present you to the Father. And as He presents me to the Father, forgiven, cleansed, kept by His power, I’ll tell you, the joy that I will experience in meeting the Father, seeing the Father! “Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). He’s able to keep you from falling. He’s able to present you faultless. When He presents you before the Father, it will be faultless. Now this is the grace of God. This is what we’ve talked about earlier that some people were twisting, using it as a cloak for lasciviousness. But this is the glorious part of the truth of the grace of God, for by grace you are saved, by grace we stand, and it is through the grace of God that I will be presented faultless in Christ Jesus. “To present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.”
To the only wise God (1:25)
Who is He? He’s our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
be glory and honor, dominion and majesty, both now and for ever. Amen (1:25).
Father, we thank You for the exhortations that we received in this little book of Jude. Help us, Lord, that we might give heed and that we might indeed earnestly contend for the faith once delivered. And Father, we pray that we might indeed keep ourselves in that place of love where You can do for us what You desire to do because we are living, Lord, in harmony with You. And even as Your eyes go to and fro throughout the entire earth that You might show Yourself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are perfect toward You, Lord, let out heart be perfect toward You. That You might show Yourself strong in keeping us through the power of Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.
One further little thing I’d like to draw your attention to in the Book of Jude. Remember back in verse one, as he is addressing it, “To those that are loved by God and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.” Preserved in Jesus Christ. He’s keeping you. That’s in verse one. Then in verse twenty-one, he says, “Now keep yourself in the love of God.” So you start out with God’s part or the Lord’s part, He’s keeping you. But then there’s our part, too. It’s important that you keep yourself in the love of God. And then he closes it by saying, Now unto Him who is able to keep you. So His part comes in again. Our part, hang in there. Just hold on to Jesus Christ and you can be sure He’s going to hold on to you. Keep yourself in that place.
Transcribed from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #8239