Devotional and Doctrinal
On the book of
Written by Rénald Leroux Jr.
A Doctrinal and Devotional Commentary of Jude.
© Copyright 2018 by Rénald Leroux Jr.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author except as provided by the Canadian copyright laws.
One can use this commentary for personal use and for teaching as long as one does not change the text and gives credits to its author Rénald Leroux Jr.
The entire text of Jude is taken from the Lexham English Bible (LEB).
Scripture quotations marked (LEB) are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.
All verses taken OUTSIDE of the text of Jude are from the NKJV (108 verses). Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Complete Word Study New Testament, Edited by Spiros Zodhiates, A.M.G Publishers, Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Exhaustive concordance of the Bible, James Strong, Abingdon Pub., Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, W.E. Vine, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Interlinear Hebrew/Greek English Bible (N-T), Jay Green Gen. Editor and translator, Ass. Pub. and Authors Inc., Lafayette, Indiana, U.S.A.
New Testament Word Studies, John Albert Bengel, Kregel Pub. , Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.
Word studies in the New Testament, Marvin R. Vincent, Eerdmans Pub. Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.
Word study concordance, Edited by R.D. Winter and R.H. Winter, Pub. Cooperatively by William Carey Library and Tyndale House Pub., U.S.A.
Word study New Testament, Edited by R.D. Winter and R.H. Winter, Pub. Cooperatively by William Carey Library and Tyndale House Pub., U.S.A.
Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible. General Editor M.C. Tenney, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.
The author introduces himself as the brother of James. Jude is named as a half- brother of Jesus (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3). He is therefore the brother of James who was also a half-brother of Jesus.
This epistle is difficult to set in time. There are no indications within this letter that would give any clues. The time frame is rather large from AD 65 to 80.
This is again difficult to answer. We know that it was written for Christians and it is believed that they lived in Syrian-Antioch. The recipients of this letter were probably of Jewish descent for the most part. The use of Jewish Apocrypha would seem to lead us to that conclusion.
4. The relationship between 2 Peter and Jude
There are striking similarities between both epistles. Jude and 2 Peter 2 are easily paralleled. Fifteen of the twenty-two verses of Jude are also found in 2 Peter. Same themes and words are also found in both letters.
5. Jude’s use of Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphon writings
The assumption of Moses (v.9)
The book of Enoch (v.6, 13,14,15)
The testament of Naphtali (v.6)
The testament of Asher (v.8)
It seems that Jude was quoting these extra-canonical book while not regarding them as Sacred Scriptures. We see that Paul also quotes external material in Acts 17:28 and Titus 1:12.
6. The purpose of this letter
It was to discuss their ‘common salvation’ (v.3).
Table of contents
01 – Greetings
1 Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those who are called, loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ. 2 May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you.
The author of this letter calls himself Jude. He identifies himself as ‘a slave of Jesus Christ’. The word ‘slave’ (DOULOS) means: a slave, in subjection and a bond servant. This is the way that he first describes himself. He sees himself as totally dependent upon Christ. Christ was his very life and breath. He also sees himself as being at his command. He lived to serve Christ which meant that he automatically served the brethren. This is the way that all true believers should see themselves: Christ being their head and they being his servants. Paul called himself a ‘doulos’ (Rom. 1:1), James called himself a ‘doulos’ (James 1:1) and Peter called himself a ‘doulos’ (2 Peter 1:1). May I ask if this is the way you see yourself? Is Christ truly your Master and are you doing his bidding?
Jude then describes himself as the ‘brother of James’. This is the James who, along with Peter and John, were the pillars of the church of Jerusalem. This James is the half-brother of Jesus (Mat. 13:55).
9 and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.
If his first claim was his spiritual link (with Christ) his second is his blood-link (with his brother James). There is one thing that is worth noticing. Jude was ALSO the half-brother of Jesus (Mat. 13:55). The name Jude and Judas are both interchangeable when translated into English. This being true it manifests the character of Jude. He did not claim to be Jesus’ half-brother! He was too humble to mention this. He could have bragged far and wide that ‘Jesus is my brother’ but he didn’t. Imagine how people could have revered, esteemed and admired him. He chose not to mention this just as James did not mention this in his epistle.
Humility is always a sign of spirituality. People who are filled with pride are not blessed by the Lord God but he resists them (James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5).
The letter is written ‘to those who are called’. The word ‘called’ (KLEPTOS) means: invited, appointed and called. ALL people who have become part of the family of God, ALL OF THEM, is by God’s calling. It is NEVER by any merit or works on our part. For if it were it would be looked upon as something that is ‘due’ and not by grace.
6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
God still calls people unto himself, just as Abraham, Moses and David were. Jesus called people unto himself in several occasions such as:
For the heavy laden (Mat. 11:28)
For the children (Mat. 19:14)
For all of those who are spiritually thirsty (John 7:37)
The problem is not the calling it is the receiving for Jesus said in John 5 40 "But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. Have you heard the call from God? Have you repented and asked Christ to save you from the coming judgment? I hope you have and if not there is no better time than right now to do so!
(v.1) … loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ.
The actual word for ‘loved’ (HAGIAZO) means: to make holy, purify and consecrate. One can say that the sum of being made holy, totally purified and consecrated as a child of God can be said to be ‘loved’. Those who are called are the recipients of God’s love. In a very real way God poured his love into the true believer. He loved the believer so much that he prepared a way for him to become righteous through the sacrifice of his beloved son – Jesus the Christ (Rom. 5:8). No greater gift or honor can be received than being cleansed from our sins and becoming adopted children of God. This phrase also says that believers are ‘kept for Jesus Christ’. We are no longer under the wrath of God and waiting for its manifestation at the last judgment. Believers are ‘kept for Jesus Christ’. The word ‘kept’ (TEREO) means: to guard from loss or injury. No judgment awaits those who believe from the heart and rest solely on what Christ has done at the cross for their salvation. This simple phrase should encourage all who still wonder if God will accept them – even after all they have done and the sins that have ‘piled up’ during their life. Remember what Paul wrote in these two verses:
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Yes, we are kept in Christ by the Father himself and are actually hidden in Jesus. No one can rob the believer of his salvation or do him any harm (John 10:28,29). If you are ‘kept for Christ’ by the Father is it not appropriate that you should ‘keep yourself for Christ’? Should you not desire to walk on the narrow path? If this is not your heart’s habitual desire then I would search my heart to see if it has really been given to Christ at all!
2 May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you.
Here Jude ends his ‘greetings’ with a three-fold blessing. He first wishes ‘mercy’ (ELEOS) meaning: compassion and tender mercies. We all need God’s mercy in our life. We need for him to look down upon us and act kind-heartedly towards us. It is written 30 times in the Book of Psalms that ‘His mercy endures forever’. Amen that there is no shortage of mercy on God’s part.
The second blessing id for ‘peace’. The word ‘peace’ (EIRENE) means: to join, peace and prosperity. Jude was writing in a very turbulent time. Often Christians were hated and suffered cruel treatment from both governments and people surrounding them. They needed God’s peace and so does the modern believer. Our soul needs to be stilled by God’s own hand. Remember what the Psalmist wrote:
10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
The third and final blessing is for ‘love’ (AGAPE) meaning: love, affection and benevolence. This is the greatest need of every human being - to be honestly loved and that is what only the Lord God can give to you. No one else is capable of truly loving you simply because we all are sinners (Rom. 3:23) and our capacity to love has been warped by our fallen nature.
Jude not only desires that God’s mercy, peace and love be in the life of the believer but he actually adds to this! He desires that God’s blessings be ‘multiplied’ (PLETHUONG) meaning: to increase, abound, multiply. Jude wants a superabundance of these three things in the believer’s life. May we be as Jude and intervene in favor of the brethren before the Lord. May we ask him to bless them abundantly and also desire to be a blessing for them.
02 – Exhortations against ungodly men
3 Dear friends, although I was making every effort to write to you concerning our common salvation, I considered it a necessity to write to you to encourage you to contend for the faith delivered once and for all to the saints. 4 For certain men have slipped in stealthily, who were designated long ago for this condemnation, ungodly ones, who change the grace of our God into licentiousness and who deny our only Master and Lord Jesus Christ.
Jude opens this section with ‘Dear friends’ (AGAPETOS) meaning: dearly or well loved. This gives us the opportunity to see inside the heart of Jude! We can actually perceive what his true intentions were for these Christians. I believe that the rendering of AGAPETOS is better understood with ‘dearly beloved’. Being a friend is one thing even if the person is a ‘dear friend’ but being ‘dearly beloved’ gives it an additional sense. We see that Jude truly cared for these believers in Christ. We do not know if he had the opportunity to see them or not but one thing is certain he had a deep sincere concern for them. He saw them as brothers and sisters in the faith and not just a group of people whom he was writing to.
(v.3) …I was making every effort
Jude is describing the intention he had towards them. The word ‘effort’ (SPOUDE) means: speed, eagerness and diligence. He really wanted to get in touch with them and was placing all his ‘efforts’ into this. Jude is a wonderful picture of a Christian with true intent. He not only thinks of doing some good but he actually does it and does it speedily. He is not wasting time or letting ‘life’ interfere. How many times do we intend to do some good but let other things take priority and finally land up by not doing anything at all! How many opportunities are missed simply because we are not intentional? This reminds me of what the apostle James wrote:
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,
16 and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?
17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Let us also ‘make every effort’ to do the good that we know the Lord God wants his children to do.
(v.3) …to write to you concerning our common salvation,
Jude wrote to the brethren. It seems that he was not at hand yet he desired to do something for their good, therefore he wrote. We may also not be nearby but like Jude, let us also do something to come to the aid of others. A letter, a card of encouragement in sickness or of our deep sympathy to a bereaved family can easily be sent. A telephone call or an Email does not take a lot of time, yet has great value in the eyes of the ones on the receiving end.
Jude wanted to write concerning ‘our common salvation’. Our salvation story is the link between all true believers. The word ‘common’ (KOINOS) means: shared by all or several. As a child of God there are things that we ALL share and are partakers of. We share the same heavenly Father, loving Savior and indwelling Holy Spirit. When believers understand that they ‘share’ so much with others, this changes their insight concerning other believers and also their hearts towards them.
(v.3) …I considered it a necessity to write to you to encourage you to contend for the faith delivered once and for all to the saints.
There was some urgency that Jude felt. The words ‘I considered’ (ANAGKE) means: constraint, distress, necessity. There was an internal pressure causing Jude to write his epistle. This may have been the Holy Spirit’s leading and Jude followed it. May all Christians listen to the Holy Spirit when he internally speaks to them. This reminds me of the apostle Paul and how he allowed himself to be led by the Holy Spirit during a mission trip.
6 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.
7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them.
8 So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.
9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."
10 Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.
The reason why Jude wrote is the following:
(v.3) …to encourage you
The word ‘encourage’ (PARAKALEO) means: to call near, to comfort or exhort. He wanted to build and to fortify the believers. Again we see his spiritual intent. Life often brings discouragement especially if you are being persecuted for your faith like many of the believers in Christ were in Jude’s time. The Roman government and the Jewish authorities detested those who followed the Nazarene. It is said that persecution of Christians has never been as prominent in the world as it is today! Hatred against the true children of God is rampant and our hearts should go out to them by praying and interceding for them. I hope you are an encouraging person taking at heart the plight of others.
(v.3) …to contend for the faith delivered once and for all to the saints.
This is what Jude wanted to encourage the believers about. The word ‘contend’ (EPAGONIZOMAI) means: to struggle. He wanted them to persevere, to continue and to endure in the ‘good fight’. It seemed that all was going against them and that persecution in one form or another would never cease. When opposition is so great, many believers ‘drop their shields of faith’! Christians become tired of going against the current of this world and fighting against ‘the system’. Many become ‘closet Christians’ and no longer live as the light and the salt of the earth. When the apostle Paul described the importance of persevering and wearing the armor of God he wrote the following:
16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
The fight that Jude is speaking about is ‘the faith delivered once and for all to the saints’. It all has to do with ‘faith’ (PISTIS) meaning: persuasion, credence and conviction. The faith that you have in Jesus as the Son of God and the Messiah of your soul is worth persevering and being determined about. Far too many true believers are silent instead of being witnesses of Christ (Acts 1:8) to the world. Jude is encouraging the believers not to ‘bend the knee’ but rather to stand tall and let the world know about the ‘Good News’ that is only found in Jesus Christ.
Now this faith was ‘delivered once and for all to the saints’. The word ‘delivered’ (PARADIDOMI) means: entrust, transmit and bring forth. In other words the faith that was in the believers was planted in them by God himself.
2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The faith that is in the believers was transmitted ‘once and for all’. The term ‘once and for all’ (HAPAX) means: one single time. This is a very important statement since many teach that one can lose their salvation. Salvation is a gift from God to those who place their trust in Christ as their sole means of becoming righteous before him (Eph. 2:8-10). This gift of salvation is given and God will never take it back, for the sacrifice of Christ is perfect and eternal (Heb. 10:10-14). This should encourage the recipient of this saving faith to persevere and be eternally grateful to the Living God.
4 For certain men have slipped in stealthily, who were designated long ago for this condemnation, ungodly ones, who change the grace of our God into licentiousness and who deny our only Master and Lord Jesus Christ.
Condemnation of the Ungodly False Teachers
Here Jude explains why he was so pressed to write to them. He speaks about ‘certain men’. The word ‘certain’ (PIS) means: some, a kind. So there were men who were different from the other ones within the congregation. Jude begins to describe them by writing that they ‘slipped in stealthily’ (PAREISDUNO) meaning: to settle in alongside, to creep in unaware. There were men who were different than the believers, who became part of the congregation, but in a very subtle way, slowly but surely. It seems that at first they did not make a sound or ‘ruffle feathers’. They seemed quite ordinary and partook in the everyday life of all the others.
(v.5) …who were designated long ago for this condemnation,
Jude presents another aspect of these men by speaking of their ‘condemnation’ (KRIMA) meaning: a decision, avenge and condemned. What they were doing would bring them a ‘condemnation’, surely they were not men of God for the wrath of the Lord was upon them! This condemnation was ‘designated’ (PALAI) meaning: formerly, sometime since and in past time. The judgment against what they were doing had been established a long time ago. Since the prophets of old, God had warned about men (false prophets, teachers and shepherds) and their judgment to come. Things had not changed! People still tried to entice others to follow their ways instead of the Lord’s. If Jude’s warning was important in his day how much more it is for us today! The world is literally infected with people who claim that they are from the Lord God and yet renounce him by their lives and teachings! Christians need to be like the Bereans and verify closely the Word of God to determine if people teach the truth or not.
10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
Jude continues to describe these men. His description is clear and precise and it is noteworthy that he does so. There is no ambivalence – he knows what they do and what will happen to them!
(v.4) …ungodly ones, who change the grace of our God into licentiousness and who deny our only Master and Lord Jesus Christ.
These men were ‘ungodly ones’ (ASEBES) meaning: irreverent, impious and wicked. They looked godly but were just the opposite! Jesus teaches about these men. He warns his disciples that they will creep in and look just like them but they will actually be there to devour them!
15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
16 "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 "Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
These ungodly men ‘change the grace of our God into licentiousness’. This is the first thing that they do; they want to bring ‘change’ (METATITHEMI) meaning: to transfer, to change sides. They take the teachings of the Holy Scriptures and twist them to make something new out of them. Paul calls these new doctrines the doctrines of demons.
1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
It was ‘the grace of our God’ that they wanted to change. No wonder, since grace is the foundation to our relationship with him! Without grace there is no salvation, no communion and no hope for forgiveness. This is what they were attacking. Have you noticed that all false religions have attacked the grace of God? They all declare that grace found in Jesus Christ is not enough for salvation. They teach that different types of laws, and regulations and good works are also needed to have peace with God. What does your religious affiliation teach concerning the grace of God? Is it grace plus works or rule-following? If so I would (as Jude does) warn you about them.
(v.4) …into licentiousness’
This is the change that these ungodly men were bringing. They were twisting the holiness of grace and turning it into ‘licentiousness’ (ASELGEIA) meaning: filthy, wantonness. In other words they were bringing in depravity, debauchery and immorality into the churches. The grace of God brings the true believer towards a life of holiness, for this is what the Lord God desires for all of his children:
15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
Any Christian who belittles holiness should be disciplined, for this is a sure sign of spiritual depravity and we know how fast sin can infect others in the congregation!
(v.4) …and who deny our only Master and Lord Jesus Christ.
This is the second thing that they taught:‘and who deny’. The word ‘deny’ (AREOMAI) means: to contradict, disapprove or reject. What had been taught either by the Scriptures, prophets, apostles, pastors and teachers was rejected by the ungodly men. They contradicted and twisted and turned around what had been taught concerning ‘our only Master and Lord Jesus Christ’.
If these ungodly men first attacked the grace of God their second target was the Lord Jesus Christ. Again this has not changed a bit. The person of Jesus Christ is demeaned and depreciated by many. Godless men teach that he no longer is the Son of God and certainly not Deity! His miracles are false, simple illusions and his resurrection just a cover up. His death was not real for he had been substituted by another criminal! His saving sacrifice is not perfect and we need to add to what he has done.
May we be warned against modern day ‘ungodly men’! Be very careful and analyze what they teach. If you find them at fault, denounce them and leave if you have to. Find a group who teaches the Word of God with reverence and truth.
03 – The outcome of these ungodly men
5 Now I want to remind you, although you know everything once and for all, that Jesus, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, the second time destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not keep to their own domain but deserted their proper dwelling place, he has kept in eternal bonds under deep gloom for the judgment of the great day, 7 as Sodom and Gomorrah and the towns around them indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire in the same way as these, are exhibited as an example by undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
In his continuing statements Jude will speak of others who were wicked and rebelled against the Lord God. He is now pointing to past events as an example of what God does to those who are like these ungodly men who change and twist his Holy words for their own benefit. May this section also remind ALL true believers that they also need to be very careful in what they do! No one is to believe that they are immune to God’s warnings and punishments simply because they have come to saving faith (Gal. 6:7).
1 Peter 4
17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
Jude will give three examples of the righteous judgment of God. The first deals with those who are faithless. The second with those (even angels) who openly rebel against God’s established decrees. The final example deals with those who pervert sexuality. Why would Jude usher these examples in his text? What is his goal in doing so? He answers this with his opening statement:
5 Now I want to remind you
Jude desires his readers to remember what God has done in the past. By doing so, and with a little wisdom, the believer can prevent God’s wrath from falling upon himself. Too often the child of God forgets or does not take time to remember the spiritual lessons of the past that are presented to us in the Scriptures.
In his letter to the Corinthians the apostle Paul declared that the things which are written in the Holy Scriptures are ALL there to remind and warn believers.
1 Corinthians 10
6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.
7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play."
8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell;
The word ‘remind’ (HUPOMINESKO) means: to remind quietly, put in mind. Jude is not forceful but gently reminds the believers of God’s will. This should be an example for all true believers. This should be our ‘modus vivendi’ – the way we do things. We are not called to force God’s word with a sword but rather simply speak the truth and allow the Holy Spirit to do His work. Jesus never used any force over his audience and we should follow his lead. So Jude is reminding them:
(v.5) …although you know everything once and for all,
It seems that Jude knows that they know. He is not teaching them something new but recalls to their mind what they already have known. Repetition of God’s laws and commandments is the standard way of helping others grow and be fortified in the Lord (1 Cor. 4:17; 2 Tim. 1:6; 2 Peter 1:12). Jude even declares that what was taught was done ‘once and for all’ (HAPAX) meaning: a single time. This is the second time that Jude speaks of something that is ‘once and for all’. The first is FAITH and the second is KNOWLEDGE. These two things never change. Both faith and knowledge of God are immutable. This teaches us to be aware of those who come up with new and different ways of explaining what has been plainly believed for centuries.
The first example given by Jude is the following:
(v.5) …that Jesus, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, the second time destroyed those who did not believe.
The Lexham English Bible is one of the few that translate ‘KURIOS’ into Jesus out of seventeen translations I have searched fourteen of them translate ‘KURIOS’ into Lord (ASV,AMP,CJB,DARBY, EHV, GNV, HCSB, ISV, PHILLIPS, AKJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, YOUNG’S) and three (CSB, ESV, LEB) with Jesus. This is the personal choice of the translators since there are a few early manuscripts that read Jesus, God or God Jesus.
As you can see the vast majority simply write Lord. It just may be that the best translation is from the Revised Standard Version (RSV) which writes: ‘that HE who saved a people’. It is always the context of the Scripture that gives us the clues to who the Lord is (Father, Son or Spirit) and in the case of the punishment of the Jews in Egypt, the fallen angels and Sodom and Gomorrah it seems to be clear that it is God – the Father who brings judgment.
Jude explains that God ‘saved the people out of the land of Egypt’. It is therefore without any doubt that the Jews were saved from slavery and taken out of Egypt by the mighty hand of the Lord God (Ex. 3:20). The word ‘saved’ (SOZO) means: to save, deliver, protect. This is probably one of the greatest feats done in favor of the Jews by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
(v.5) …the second time destroyed those who did not believe.
The term ‘second time’ (DEUTEROS) means: second in time, place or rank, afterward. After saving his people from their Egyptian oppressor God did what seemed to be unthinkable! He ‘destroyed those who did not believe’. The Lord God ‘saved’ and then he ‘destroyed’. Now the word, 'destroyed’ (APOLLUMI) means: to destroy fully, perish. If the Lord God had enough compassion to step into history and free his people (Ex. 3:7-10) why would he then make some of them perish in the desert? It is only when we understand the entire story that we come to a satisfying conclusion. Jude concludes with ‘those who did not believe’. Some (not all) still rebelled against God even after he had freed them. Imagine just a few days into the wilderness, God’s people complained and even wanted to go back to Egypt (Ex. 16)! The reason why God dealt so severely with his people is because some of them ‘did not believe’. The word ‘believes’ (PISTENO) means: to have faith, to entrust. Some no longer (or never really) trusted God and became faithless. The words ‘did not’ (ME) mean: never, absolute denial. We can see the heart of some of the redeemed from Egypt. As soon as hardship came along they abandoned faith in God! This reminds me of the parable of the sower and what Jesus said about the second seed:
20 "But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
21 "yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
Jude is referring to the judgment that the Lord God brought upon those (who like with the second seed) who immediately received their liberation with joy BUT ‘had no root in himself’.
Their faith was just superficial and when difficulty arose their true state of heart was manifested and they abandoned the Lord. These ‘ungodly men’ who Jude is speaking about have also abandoned (or never had) true faith and they will be judged also.
The second illustration deals with fallen angels. In Jude, the Bible offers us one of the few indications of what happened at the time of the rebellion in the heavens.
6 And the angels who did not keep to their own domain but deserted their proper dwelling place, he has kept in eternal bonds under deep gloom for the judgment of the great day,
The word ‘angels’ (AGGELOS) means: a messenger (especially an angel). These are the spiritual beings that were created before God created man in his image. Some of these celestial beings rebelled against the Lord. It is written ‘who did not keep their own domain’. The word ‘keep’ (TEREO) means: to guard, to keep the eye upon. God had given them liberties and duties, freedom and limitations in what they were to be and to do. Some, with Lucifer as their head, did not accept the limits set upon them by the Lord. They did not guard or keep an eye on what the desires of the Lord for them were and they ‘crossed the line’. They went beyond ‘their own domain’ (ARCHE) meaning: a commandment, rule, first estate. Often rebellion desires to go further than what is allowed by God. So these angels ‘deserted their proper dwelling place’. They ‘deserted’ (APOLEIPO) meaning: to leave behind, forsake. They said ‘NO’ to God’s plan for them and left ‘their proper dwelling place’ (OIKETERION) meaning: a residence, habitation, house. So what did God do with these rebellious angels?
(v.6) …he has kept in eternal bonds under deep gloom for the judgment of the great day,
Since they left their proper abode God prepared another one for them but this time they will never be able to leave it! They will be in ‘bonds’ (DESMON) meaning: a band, a shackle, an impediment. They will be locked-up and this will be ‘eternal’ (AIDIOS) meaning: ever during, eternal. They will be ‘under a deep gloom’(ZOPHOS) meaning: gloom, blackness or darkness. They will be ‘jailed’ somewhere in total darkness and will not be able to escape. Actually the only time they will be liberated from this ‘deep gloom’ is to present themselves ‘for the judgment of the great day’. The word ‘judgment’ means: a decision, a tribunal and damnation. The word of God speaks of this great Day of Judgment in the book of Revelation (20:7-10). The great judgement of Satan has arrived and he is cast into the lake of fire where the beast and the false prophets are already there. This is followed by the judgment of the Great White Throne which will be for all people whose name is not found in the Book of Life (Rev. 20:11-15).
These angels were first created for the glory of God and for a time they did glorify God. However some rebelled and no longer desired to keep their place in creation and opted to become more glorious. This section concerning the fallen angels manifests that rebellion is always judged by the Lord God – even if you are an angel. Jude was reminding his readers that these ‘ungodly men’ will also be severely judged.
The third and last example of what happens to those who openly rebel against the Lord by openly breaking his decrees is the following:
7 as Sodom and Gomorrah and the towns around them indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire in the same way as these, are exhibited as an example by undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is well known and can be found in Gen. 18:16 – 19:29. The sin of these towns was the following. They ‘indulged in sexual immorality’. The idea of ‘indulging’ (EKTENES) means: without ceasing, fervent. They enjoyed without any restriction their ‘sexual immorality’ (HETEROS) meaning: other, different or altered, and (SARX) meaning: the flesh. Their sexual activities were foreign to what the Lord had set out from the beginning in the Garden of Eden. The Scripture call this an ‘unnatural desire’. This type of sexual activity is not natural; it goes against what had been established as ‘good’ in the Garden. Paul describes it this way:
22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
Shame on mankind to accept as ‘normal’ the sexual activities that are condemned by the Lord! The coming judgment is coming upon those who practice them and declare them ‘good’. Amen that the grace of God is there for all who repent, even of these sins and practices. The blood of Christ can cleanse them if they call upon him with a sincere and contrite heart.
(v.7) …these, are exhibited as an example by undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
Jude states that these three examples are ‘exhibited’ (PROKEIMAI) meaning: to be before, to present or to stand forth. They are there for the reader of the Scriptures to see, reflect and take action upon. If one practices these sins that are mentioned, this is a grave warning for them. They need to end their practices, repent and ask Christ to save them from the coming judgment. For this judgment is ‘eternal fire’. The word ‘eternal’ (AIONIOS) means: perpetual, eternal and forever. While the word ‘fire’ (PUR) means: fire or fiery. Jesus speaks of this eternal place of judgment (Mat. 3:12; 5:22; Mat. 13:40-42; Mat. 18:8,9).
Jude is telling the believers what sort of judgment is waiting for the ‘ungodly men’ who are among them, for those who are faithless, those who rebel and those who practice sexual perversions. Hell fire will be their outcome unless they truly repent of their ways!
04 – A description of these ungodly men
8 Despite that, in the same way also these men, because of their dreams, defile the flesh and reject authority and blaspheme majestic beings. 9 But Michael the archangel, when he argued with the devil, disputing concerning the body of Moses, did not dare to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 But these persons blaspheme all that they do not understand, and all that they understand by instinct like the irrational animals, by these things they are being destroyed. 11 Woe to them! For they have traveled in the way of Cain, and have given themselves up to the error of Balaam for gain, and have perished in the rebellion of Korah. 12 These are the ones feasting together without reverence, hidden reefs at your love feasts, caring for themselves, waterless clouds carried away by winds, late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, uprooted, 13 wild waves of the sea foaming up their own shameful deeds, wandering stars, for whom the deep gloom of darkness has been reserved for eternity.
14 And Enoch, the seventh from Adam, also prophesied about these people, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with tens of thousands of his holy ones 15 to execute judgment against all, and to convict all the ungodly concerning all their ungodly deeds that they have committed in an ungodly way, and concerning all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 16 These people are grumblers, discontented, proceeding according to their desires, and their mouths speaking pompous words, showing partiality to gain an advantage.
In this section Jude describes these ungodly people. It is necessary for the follower of Christ to be alert and to be able to identify these false prophets for they are like wolves who desire to destroy the Lord’s sheep.
15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
16 "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 "Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
This is exactly what Jude is doing. He is teaching the believers what fruit to look for in a person to be able to identify him as an ‘ungodly man’.
In our first section we will see that these ‘ungodly men’ live a life of blaspheme.
8 Despite that, in the same way also these men, because of their dreams, defile the flesh and reject authority and blaspheme majestic beings. 9 But Michael the archangel, when he argued with the devil, disputing concerning the body of Moses, did not dare to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 But these persons blaspheme all that they do not understand, and all that they understand by instinct like the irrational animals, by these things they are being destroyed.
The first thing we must notice is that these men act this way ‘because of their dreams’. They follow their ‘dreams’ (ENUPNIAZOMAI) which simply means: to dream. Here we see that the foundation of their actions and teachings are NOT from the Holy Scriptures but from dreams they have. They are controlled by an outside force that is not of the Lord. We know that God sometimes speaks through dreams (Mat. 1:20; 2:12,13,19,22). What we also know is that these dreams bear holy fruits. The problem with the dreams of these ungodly men is that the fruits that they bore were fruits of the flesh. By this we instantly know that they were not of the Lord. There are three things that these dreamers did which definitely manifest they were not of God.
The first is that they ‘defile the flesh’. The word ‘defile’ (MIAINO) means: to taint or contaminate. This speaks about their desires of the flesh and how they deterred from the moral teachings of the Lord. They perverted the true meaning of sexuality and its place within marriage. They lived as whoremongers and abandoned themselves to all sorts of perversions. Still today this is one of the common points that leaders of sects have.
The second point is that they ‘reject authority’. The word ‘reject’ (ATHETEO) means: to set aside, to disesteem or to despise. This can either mean human authority or spiritual authority. In most cases it means both types of authority. These ungodly men only have one authority – themselves. Their dreams carry them away from reality and they begin to establish their own! They often form their own little society and set themselves apart from others. They cut all family and social relationships. They live by their own rules and naturally, the cult leader has all authority over their lives. This reminds me of what John wrote in his third epistle concerning Diotrephes.
3 John 1
9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us.
10 Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.
11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.
The third point is that these dreamers ‘blaspheme majestic beings’. The word ‘blaspheme’ (PLASPHEMEO) means: to vilify, defame, rail and revile. They used their speech to insult, slander, degrade and belittle ‘majestic beings’. Here Jude is speaking of angels these wonderful creatures that serve the living God and even come and help his adopted children (Heb. 2:16).
9 But Michael the archangel, when he argued with the devil, disputing concerning the body of Moses, did not dare to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
In verse nine Jude gives us an example of NOT blaspheming majestic beings. The information that Jude brings forth is not of the Bible but from an outside source called ‘The assumption of Moses’ which is an apocryphal book. The Holy Spirit guided Jude to this specific fact. We must conclude that what Jude is writing is true.
He speaks of ‘Michael the archangel’. Michael is one of the only three angels that are named, along with Gabriel and Lucifer in the Bible. Michael can be called a ‘warrior angel’ for he battles for the Lord. We see in the Book of Daniel that Michael fights against the prince of the kingdom of Persia (10:13). We see him watching over God’s people (12:1). We also see him battling in the heavens (Rev. 12:7) against the dragon and he wins. Here we see Michael disputing over the body of Moses. Actually the Bible does not say where he was buried but only that he died. Jude writes that Michael ‘did not dare to pronounce a blasphemous judgment’ against the devil. This is in opposition with these ‘ungodly men’ who do blaspheme against the ‘majestic beings’. If Michael, who seems to be the most powerful angel, does not blaspheme the devil and rather said: ‘The Lord rebuke you’ how much more should these ‘ungodly men’ do the same! This should be a warning to all of God’s children concerning what we say regarding others. Denigrating others is not to be done. We should let the Lord be the judge of all things and keep judgments for ourselves. Peter says the following concerning Christ Jesus:
1 Peter 2
22 "Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth";
23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;
Coming back to these ‘ungodly men’ Jude continues and writes the following:
10 But these persons blaspheme all that they do not understand, and all that they understand by instinct like the irrational animals, by these things they are being destroyed.
We are told one of the foundations of their blasphemies. It is that ‘they do not understand’. They place themselves as judges and they come to false conclusions because they do not have all the facts. They think that they are superior and that their knowledge and wisdom oversee that of the others. Yet their pride and vain dreams manifest the contrary! They know very little because they are filled with darkness. They think they understand but it is not spiritual understanding but rather ‘by instinct like the irrational animals’. Their thoughts, views, beliefs and judgments are of the flesh and not of the Holy Spirit. No wonder Jude writes ‘by these things they are being destroyed’. This is their downfall, demise and defeat. They are people of the flesh and not of the Spirit. They are controlled by their natural instincts and are blind to spiritual truths. May believers be warned concerning being led by their own thoughts! The apostle Paul also warned us:
8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
The second description of these ‘ungodly men’ is the following:
11 Woe to them! For they have traveled in the way of Cain, and have given themselves up to the error of Balaam for gain, and have perished in the rebellion of Korah.
Here Jude speaks of the path that they are on. We know the teachings of Jesus concerning the narrow and wide gate and the wide and narrow path:
13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
14 "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Again Jude gives three examples, this time of people who have walked on the wrong path. Please notice that his examples are of people who have willingly walked away from the Lord.
His first example is Cain. We know that he is the first human murderer for he killed his brother Abel (Gen. 4:1-8). Cain had walked away from the Lord by offering the sacrifice he desired (fruits of his labor). God refused his offering but accepted Abel’s (a lamb). As a result of his jealousy, Cain killed Abel. In our first example, we see that these ‘ungodly men’ do things their own way and expect the Lord God to accept them.
The second example is that of ‘Balaam for gain’. In this story (Num. 22) Balaam is called by Balak to curse the Jewish people for a sum of money. Balaam tries but he can not because God stops him from doing so. The lesson given by Jude is that these ‘ungodly men’ desire to ‘curse God’s people’ by infecting them with false teachings and all of this for some profit that they will gain.
The third example, is that of the ‘rebellion of Korah’ (Num. 16).Korah and his followers rebelled against the authority that God had given Moses. He was displeased that Moses was their leader and he threatened Moses. God saw it differently and manifested it by opening the ground beneath the feet of Korah and all of his followers! The way of Korah is one of open rebellion against God and his representatives. The ‘ungodly men’ Jude is speaking about were also walking in open rebellion and will reap what they have sown (Gal. 6:7).
The third description of these ‘ungodly men’ is found in verses 12 and 13.
12 These are the ones feasting together without reverence, hidden reefs at your love feasts, caring for themselves, waterless clouds carried away by winds, late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, uprooted, 13 wild waves of the sea foaming up their own shameful deeds, wandering stars, for whom the deep gloom of darkness has been reserved for eternity.
In these two verses, Jude gives a third description of these ‘ungodly men’. This section is divided into seven segments. Jude is very detailed and also very descriptive.
12 These are the ones feasting together without reverence
First, they are described as people who love to be ‘feasting together’. The word ‘feasting’ (SUNENOCHEO) means: to entertain sumptuously with and feasting with. The Christian feast Jude is speaking of is probably their weekly gatherings where they celebrated the Lord’s Table, sang, prayed and were edified by the teaching of the Word. These ‘ungodly men’ had absolutely no shame and were openly hypocrites! They joined with the real brethren and posed as one of them! Yet they were ‘without reverence’ (APHOBOS) meaning: without fear, fearlessly. They neither feared God nor his judgment upon them. They disdained the Lord’s Table and were under severe sentence as the apostle Paul writes:
1 Corinthians 11
27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
Secondly, Jude describes how dangerous they are.
(v.12) … hidden reefs at your love feasts
We all know how dangerous reefs are to approaching boats! When a boat hits a reef it is shattered and water pours inside causing the boat to sink. Not only is there a loss for the boat but also for the merchandise placed in it! There is also the possibility of losing one’s own life if the boat you are in sinks to the bottom of the water. They are like these reefs, giving the idea that all who come in contact with them will suffer great loss. By giving this second description Jude is telling the believers to ‘stay away’ from such men. Paul speaks of the ‘shipwreck’ of one’s conscience and the consequences of this:
1 Timothy 1
19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck,
20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.
The third example speaks of their true concern:
(v.12) …caring for themselves
There is a valley that separates Jude and these ‘ungodly men’ concerning their outlook on God’s people. We have seen the true care, love and compassion Jude had for the Brethren. What a contrast when we read that these ‘ungodly men’ were ‘caring for themselves’. The word ‘caring’(POIMAINO) means: to tend as a shepherd. What a vivid description! They were shepherding themselves! They had no care for the sheep but rather used them for their own benefit. This makes me think of all the ‘ungodly’ pastors, teachers and prophets of today who live in sumptuous homes, have many cars and airplanes and live as kings while the people they ‘serve’ have very little compared to them! Be on the lookout for such men and women, for they are not of God but are filled with greed.
The fourth example, speaks of how powerless they really are.
(v.12) …waterless clouds carried away by winds
Have you ever seen massive clouds coming in your direction? The winds pick up because of the mass of air and humidity they produce. You instinctively believe that there is a great storm coming so you protect yourself by going inside your home. The winds rise and after a little while the clouds are gone and not a single drop of water has fallen! This is the fourth picture Jude gives concerning these ‘ungodly men’ – they are full of ‘hot air’! There is no true spiritual substance to them. This reminds me of what the Lord God told Moses concerning false prophets:
20 'But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.'
21 "And if you say in your heart, 'How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?' -
22 "when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
Do not be afraid of all of those who say they are from the Lord and prophecy in His name and this does not happen. It only takes ONE prophecy that does not happen to manifest that this person is a fraud.
If this simple test would be applied today, the vast majority of tele-evangelists, preachers and teachers would be out of business! These ‘ungodly men’ have no spiritual power over you – do not be afraid of them.
The fifth example Jude brings, speaks of the fruit they bear.
(v.12) …late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, uprooted,
Late autumn should be the time of harvest where fruit of all sorts abound. Yet these ‘ungodly men’ are ‘without fruit’. Jesus warns his listeners to beware of false prophets who dress in sheep’s clothing (Mat. 7:15-20). Again I wish to remind you that you must test those who speak for the Lord. The evidence lies before your eyes. Just analyze the fruits that they bear.
43 "For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.
44 "For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush.
45 "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Why are they fruitless? It is simply because they are ‘twice dead, uprooted’. When a tree is uprooted (when its roots are above ground) it dies because it is cut off from the nourishing soil! These men are also cut off from God and they are spiritually fruitless.
The sixth example is that of the waves of the sea:
13 wild waves of the sea foaming up their own shameful deeds,
This speaks of their way of life, the hunger that inhabits them. They are ‘wild’ (AGRIOS) meaning: wild, fierce or raging. There is a fire burning inside of them and it is out of control. They are ‘foaming up’ (EPAPHRIZO) figuratively meaning: to exhibit vile passions. These ‘ungodly men’ openly manifest the vileness and ungodliness that inhabits their hearts. They are not ashamed of what they do and say. Paul was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16) but these men are not ashamed of their ‘shameful deeds’ (AISCHUNE) meaning: shame, disgrace and dishonesty. They are un-shamefully proud of who they are and are spiritually blind.
The seventh and last example Jude, gives to describe these ‘ungodly men’, has to do with the heavenly bodies.
(v.13) …wandering stars, for whom the deep gloom of darkness has been reserved for eternity.
Shooting stars appear once in a while and what they are is simply broken pieces of asteroids that pass through the earth’s atmosphere. Most of the time, when this happens, the pieces of asteroids burn up and simply disintegrate before touching ground. They light up the sky but for a brief moment and fade away. This is a perfect picture of what the life of these ‘ungodly men’ looks like. On the canvas of eternity they appear but for a few seconds and die away. While the child of God is the light of the world (Mat. 5:14) these men will be ‘in deep gloom of darkness’. This speaks of their eternal abode, once the final judgment has come upon them. They will forever be in ‘darkness reserved for eternity’ far away from God, locked up in eternal darkness for ‘eternity’. Once a person dies there is no second chance (Heb. 9:27)!
The fourth description of these ‘ungodly men’ is found in verses 14 and 15. This section describes the judgment that awaits all ‘ungodly men’.
14 And Enoch, the seventh from Adam, also prophesied about these people, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with tens of thousands of his holy ones 15 to execute judgment against all, and to convict all the ungodly concerning all their ungodly deeds that they have committed in an ungodly way, and concerning all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
In the Bible Enoch is described this way:
23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years.
24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
We may wonder why the Lord God took Enoch with him. There are no clues in this text (that help us to understand this very rare feat)other than ‘he walked with God’. Actually only Enoch and Elijah were taken by God. Fortunately there is another text that offers us more information:
5 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.
Here we see that Enoch was a man of faith because ‘he pleased God’. So Enoch ‘walked with God’ (Gen 5:24) and ‘he pleased God’ (Heb. 11:5). This is in direct contrast with these ‘ungodly men’ that Jude is writing about. Jude loosely quotes from another apocryphal book called ‘The Book of Enoch’. Once again, Jude is not approving that it is God’s word but simply stating a phrase found in it. This is not an exception found in the Book of Jude. Other writers have also given references to books that are not found in the Bible:
1 Chronicles 29
29 Now the acts of King David, first and last, indeed they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer,
2 Chronicles 9
29 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are they not written in the book of Nathan the prophet, in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat?
2 Chronicles 12
15 The acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days.
2 Chronicles 20
34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, indeed they are written in the book of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is mentioned in the book of the kings of Israel.
The fifth and last description is found in verse 16 and speaks of their attitude.
16 These people are grumblers, discontented, proceeding according to their desires, and their mouths speaking pompous words, showing partiality to gain an advantage.
First, we see that they are ‘grumblers’ (GOGGUSTES) meaning: to grumble, a murmurer. Here we see their inability to be satisfied or to settle things with others. It seems that they have a difficult time with accepting things that are not in their favor.
Second, they are 'discontent’ (MEMPSIMOROS) meaning: blaming. They do not only grumble inside but they are very vocal about their discontentment. They ‘point fingers’ at others, blaming them for all their tribulations.
Third, they are ‘proceeding according to their desires’. The word ‘proceeding’ (PORENOMAI) means: to travel, remove or depart. They move towards what they desire and believe that what they desire is what counts and they make a ‘big thing’ out of it! As a child pulls a tantrum when he absolutely wants to get a toy and there is an objection from his parents, so these ‘ungodly men’ also pull tantrums to get what they want. Again we see that their eyes are fixed upon themselves.
Fourth, Jude speaks of their speech being ‘pompous words’. The word ‘pompous’ (HUPEROGKOS) means: building over, great swelling and it seems that they use their language to persuade or to fascinate their listeners. In other words they are ‘sweet talkers’. They must have been great orators like Apollos was:
24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus.
A final and fifth description of their attitude was that they were ‘showing partiality to gain an advantage.’ The word ‘partiality’(THAUMAZO) means: to admire, marvel or wonder at. What they really wanted and desired the most was ‘to gain an advantage’. Real shepherds are ready to give their lives for their sheep (John 10:11-13).These ‘ungodly men’ only wanted to profit from them.
May these warnings about ungodly men and women who may be in our churches make us concerned and watchful for they are only with you to take advantage of you.
05 – A defense against these ungodly men
17 But you, dear friends, remember the words proclaimed beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18 for they said to you, “In the end time there will be scoffers following according to their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly, not having the Spirit. 20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith, by praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt, 23 and save others by snatching them from the fire, and have mercy on others with fear, hating even the tunic stained by the flesh.
This is the last section that deals with these ‘ungodly men’. Jude is bringing one last reminder about them and what they can do to deter their malicious effect.
17 But you, dear friends, remember the words proclaimed beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18 for they said to you, “In the end time there will be scoffers following according to their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly, not having the Spirit
Jude begins to address the believers in v.3 with ‘dear friends’ and now comes to the conclusion of his epistle again with ‘dear friends’. They are both from the same Greek word AGAPETOS meaning: dearly or well-beloved. We see that his entire letter is written with love. His love pushes him to call upon the memory of his brothers and sister. He asks them to ‘remember’ (MNAOMAI) meaning: to bear in mind, to recollect. He wants to emphasize a few last points. These are not new, they have been heard many times before: ‘remember the words proclaimed beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus.’
The brethren had already been warned about false teachers and prophets, these ungodly men who twisted the Word of God. They had been told ‘by the apostles of our Lord Jesus’. We see by this that the teachings of the apostles had spread across the Roman Empire and were recognized by the Christian Community. We also see that these teachings had authority in themselves. It is by God’s grace that we have all the teachings given by the Holy Spirit to the apostles and others (ex: Jude and also the author of Hebrews). May we also consider them trustworthy and a guide for our everyday living.
18 for they said to you, “In the end time there will be scoffers following according to their own ungodly desires.”
Now this is what Jude wants the Christians to remember concerning what the apostles had already taught. He writes ‘In the end time’. Does this mean that we presently ARE in the End-Times? In a way we truly are! We have been in the End-Times ever since the day of Pentecost when the church was born. Remember these words of the apostle Peter:
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.
15 "For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.
16 "But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.
18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.
We have been witnessing a last period of time given to mankind. This is a period where grace is poured on any person (Jew and Gentile) that repents and calls on the name of Jesus to be saved (Acts 2:21). This period of time will last until the church is taken up to be with its Savior.
Now in this End-Time period ‘godless men’ will rise and they will be ‘scoffers’ (EMPAIKTES) meaning: false teachers and mockers. They will believe in lies and teach lies. They will mock and ridicule the Holy Scriptures, the Lord Jesus and his apostles. They will do this ‘according to their own ungodly desires’. The word ‘desires’ (EPITHUMIA) means: a longing especially for something forbidden. Remember what the Lord said about the provenance of what people say:
45 "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
These ‘ungodly men’ have an evil heart infected by sin and the fruits of their lips bear the same essence as their hearts.
19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly, not having the Spirit
It is by the weapon of their mouths that they ‘cause divisions’. Things have not changed throughout the centuries! False men and women of God infiltrate churches and with their lips destroy the unity (which is the bond of peace) and divisions flare up which sometimes causes churches to split! The apostle Paul spoke concerning these men who bring divisions and enflame the brethren.
1 Corinthians 3
1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.
2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;
3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
4 For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not carnal?
5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?
6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.
Jude writes ‘not having the Spirit’. These ‘ungodly men’ either did not have the Holy Spirit and therefore were not saved at all (Rom. 8:9) OR were not under the influence of the Holy Spirit and were carnal Christians. Either way they were under the wrath of God.
As we will see, this very last section deals with ‘what to do’ to stand up against these ‘ungodly men’ and not be influenced by them.
20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith, by praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt, 23 and save others by snatching them from the fire, and have mercy on others with fear, hating even the tunic stained by the flesh.
Shifting his eyes off these false teachers, Jude now focuses on the children of God. He repeats the phrase ‘dear friends’ for the third time. No one can contest the fact that they were beloved in the eyes of Jude. His desire for them was to see them ‘building yourselves up’. He wanted to edify them, to see them grow in the Lord and become mature in the faith by solidly standing on Christ the rock. It was their faith that these men were attacking and the reason is simple. If you can deter people from their faith, if you can get them to stand on sand then it will be simple to ensnare them. That is why Jude calls upon their ‘most holy faith’. Resisting such people can be and must be done by the faith that is in our hearts.
To be built up in the faith and to be able to resist these 'ungodly men' they needed to do so 'by praying in the Holy Spirit'. Now this is not some mystical or supernatural secretive way of praying that only some initiated Christians can do. 'Praying in the Holy Spirit' is in contrast to be 'praying in the flesh'. When a child of God prays in the Spirit he is praying for things that are aligned with the character and will of God. Jesus said it very plainly:
42 saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done."
All the prayers of the Lord Jesus were 'in the Holy Spirit' because he always wanted to do his Father's will. Take time to read all of His prayers and you will get a greater sense of what it means to 'pray in the Spirit'. May our prayers reflect our deep desire to honor and glorify our blessed Lord.
21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
Another step which allows the believer to be built up in the Lord is to 'keep yourselves' (TEREO) meaning: to guard, keeping an eye upon. Believers have to persevere 'in the love of God'. If we let our hearts be invaded with carnal thoughts and wordily desires, if our eyes are fixed upon ourselves and our love grows cold, we will stop being 'built up'. Remember what Jesus said to the Ephesians:
4 "Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
5 "Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent.
May we remain in the love as we are commanded to. Jesus spoke about abiding in his love on the night he was betrayed. Having his last meal with his disciples Jesus spoke these words:
9 "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.
How can believers stand strong and resist false prophets, if they do not have in themselves the following?
(v.21) ...looking forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
This was the hope of all believers of the first century and this should be the living hope of all modern-day believers. A better man-made world where social justice and harmony reigns, where peace between all peoples exist WILL NEVER ARRIVE! It is only when Christ will return and establish his kingdom will, there be heavenly peace. This is our only hope and our eyes should be fixed on that day, hoping for it arrival.
22 And have mercy on those who doubt, 23 and save others by snatching them from the fire, and have mercy on others with fear, hating even the tunic stained by the flesh.
As believers wait for the return of their Messiah, as they build themselves, pray in the Holy Spirit and remain in the love of Christ, they are also to 'have mercy on those who doubt'. The word 'mercy' (ELEEO) means: to have compassion by word or deed. How do believers act with those who are not of the faith or those who are not certain? We are to be compassionate with them. Look at Jesus and how he acted with people, not those who were spiritually hypocrites but the general crowd. Was he not compassionate even with the greatest of sinners. We are not called to be 'bible bashers' but rather 'builders of bridges'.
Believers are called to 'save others by snatching them from the fire'. The fire spoken of here is the eternal fire - the second death. This is where all rebels and blasphemers, all who have rejected Christ will spend eternity along with the devil and his fallen angels. Jude is writing that believers are to be evangelists and carry the message of the 'Good News' wherever they may go. Let us not be silent but rather heralds of the salvation found in Christ Jesus.
(v.23) ... and have mercy on others with fear, hating even the tunic stained by the flesh.
This is Jude's last comment on how we are to live and be built up in the faith. It speaks concerning our general attitude. We first must have 'mercy on others' we have spoken of this but Jude brings another facet of how to do this. he writes 'hating even the tunic stained by the flesh'. This is a warning concerning not being absorbed by the way non-believers live. There is a modern-day tendency to 'live as others' so we can get closer to them and show them that we are just normal people. This is a grave fault for those who do this have fallen into the devils net! Children of God are called to be a seperate people - a holy people. We ARE different and it is this difference that must be lived. Peter wrote the following:
1 Peter 2
1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking,
2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,
3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,
5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, "Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame."
7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, "The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,"
8 and "A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense." They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
Believers need to manifest mercy and compassion, but at the same time:
(v.23) ...hating even the tunic stained by the flesh.
We need to be very aware of their sin and how they live in the flesh and not want to be infected by it. The neglect of this has brought a great many downfalls and has destroyed many fine men and women of God. They walked a 'fine line' between the Spirit and the flesh, slowly being drawn to the dark side and sometime not even being aware of this. One day they find themselves having abandoned the faith and living in sin.
If you are such a person - repent with tears and return to the Father like the prodigal son did!
06 - Doxology
24 Now to the one who is able to protect you from stumbling and make you to stand before his glory blameless with exultation, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time and now and for all eternity. Amen.
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia describes a doxology as: A hymn or liturgical formula expressive of praise to God. This is how Jude ends his epistle. He bursts out in praise and worship unto the Lord. We can find doxologies in the book of Psalms in verses such as Ps. 41:13; 57:5; 72:18; 89:52; 106:48; 150:1-6. In the New Testament it is mainly Paul who uses doxology such as: Rom. 11:33-36; Eph. 3:21,22; Phil. 4:20. Here are some other examples:
27 to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.
1 Timothy 1
17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
The book of Revelation has wonderful doxologies:
8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!"
11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
12 saying: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen."
In verse twenty four we can say that this is a general doxology and verse twenty five is a more specific doxology.
24 Now to the one who is able to protect you from stumbling and make you to stand before his glory blameless with exultation
God is first described as 'the one who is able'. The word 'able' (DUNAMAI) means: to be able, might, be of power. Jude is describing the capacity of God to bring about his personal plan for each and every born-again believer. We need not be afraid for our future and our eternal security. God is able, he has the capacity to guard his children until the safety of heaven for all time. It is the One who created and maintains the entire universe who 'is able'. Let the true child of God rest in his hands. This reminds me of what Jesus said concerning his Father's power:
29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.
God is able to do what exactly? Jude writes:
(v.24) ... to protect you from stumbling and make you to stand before his glory blameless with exultation
Two things are mentioned. The first has to do with our daily living here on earth. God is able 'to protect you'. The word 'protect' (PHULASSO) means: to watch, to be on guard. God is watching over you, writes Jude. His eye is upon you and he is keeping you in his mind. As a result of this, God can 'protect you from stumbling'. The word 'stumbling' (APTAISTOS) means: not to stumble and fig. without sin. This verse is not saying that a believer is protected from all human harm or hardships. There are countless believers who are presently persecuted, jailed and executed all around the world! Rather, this verse is saying that God has the power to keep you from falling into the hands of the evil one. He has given each and every one of his children the Holy Spirit who guides, teaches and strengthens them. Having the Spirit living in the believer, his heart can be guarded and protected.
The second mention has to do with our life once we have passed from earth to heaven.
(v.24) ... and make you to stand before his glory blameless with exultation
One day, every child of God will 'stand before his glory'. This will be the glorious day when we will enter the Lord's presence. How will we "stand' (HISTEMI) meaning: to stand, appoint or bring before God? Christ will be with the believers and will receive them, for he has prepared a place for them to be with him (John 14:2). Believers will 'stand before his glory'. The word 'glory' (DOXA) means: praise, honor, dignity, worship. The believer will be plunged into God's glory which is an impossible thing to describe! He will stand 'blameless' (AMOMOS) meaning: unblemished, faultless. We will be pure as snow, undefiled by sin! All of this because of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. He was the perfect sacrifice and it can not be replaced or reproduced, for it is perfect and eternal (Heb. 10:10-14). When this event happens it will be celebrated 'with exultation' (AGALLIASIS) meaning: welcome, gladness, exceeding joy. Like in the parable of the prodigal son who finally arrived home and was greeted by his father, so will our celestial Father do the same for his children.
32 'It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.'"
We now come to the last verse of Jude's epistle, one final doxology:
25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time and now and for all eternity. Amen.
It is sometimes very difficult to separate the persons within the Trinity. Here is a perfect example of this. Jude writes: 'to the only God our Savior'. Because Jude later speaks of Jesus we can understand that this phrase is referring to the Father. Here God is spoken of as 'the only Savior'. We can quickly notice that Paul describes BOTH God and Jesus as Savior! God the Father is Savior (1 Tim. 1:1; 2:3; Titus 2:10; 3:4) and Jesus is also Savior (Eph. 5:23; 2 Tim. 1:10; Titus 1:4). John describes Jesus as Savior (John 4:42). Luke says that God has made Jesus Savior (Acts 5:31). Paul says that Jesus is God and Savior (Titus 2:13) and Thomas declares Jesus to be his God and Savior (John 20:28). The Trinity is a mystery and I would like to leave at that!
(v.25) ... be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time and now and for all eternity. Amen.
Yes, to God is given: glory, majesty, power and authority. This reminds me of certain verses that we can find in the book of Revelation (1:6; 4:9; 5:12,13; 7:12; 14:7; 19:1). God is all in all! He is the Alpha and the Omega (Rev. 1:8;11; 21:6; 22:13). It is understandable that all glory is given to the only Glorious One. This admiration, honor and worship will be for 'now and for all eternity'. There will be NO END to the glory of God and to his worship for who he is. May all his children bow down before his majesty, declare that he is the only God and serve and love him with all their capacities - Amen!