Contend for the Faith
Comments for Study 1
Memory Verse: 4
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I. Greetings (1:1-2)
>1. Who is the sender of the letter?
* Jude 1:1a "Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James"
* "Jude" -Jude is the English form of the Hebrew Judas. Jude’'s lack of elaboration on his office suggests that he is the well-known Jude, brother not only of James but of Jesus as well. Although a son of Joseph and Mary, he now describes his half-brother Jesus as “Lord” rather than as brother. (Bible Background Commentary -The IVP Bible Background Commentary –New Testament)
* "Jesus Christ" -Jesus is Greek for the Hebrew Yeshua. Yeshua was the name given by the angel to Joseph just before Jesus was born. Jesus means "God saves" and "God's salvation". Christ is Greek equivalent to the Hebrew word Messiah. It means anointed one. Most people in the time that this was written spoke Greek, including Jews. Few could read and write. Those that could knew the Greek language rather than Hebrew. So even though Jude was a Jew he wrote this letter in Greek including using the Greek name, Jesus Christ for our Lord. Recently there has been a rise in Jews accepting that Jesus is the Messiah. This is a great movement of the Holy Spirit and a sign that Jesus is coming soon. However, at the same time a few of these Messianic Jews have been pushing Jewish culture onto their Gentile brothers in Christ. I've read books and watched television shows that say all Christians should learn, read, speak, and pray in Hebrew rather than their native language. A few even go as far as to say that Hebrew is the language that God understands. If that is true, then why did Jude, a Jew and half-brother of Jesus write this letter in Greek and not Hebrew?
* "a servant of Jesus Christ" -Jude is the half-brother of Jesus. Yet he acknowledged his place in Christ. He was a servant. Jesus called himself a servant too. Jesus gives us the greatest example of what it means to be a servant. He is humble and meek. Jude followed Jesus' example. We should too.
* "a brother of James" -James was a common name. James was the name of the half-brother of Jesus.
* During Jesus' earthly ministry his family did not understand and accept Jesus mission. Once while Jesus was teaching about the sign of Jonah his mother and brothers wanted to speak to him and he refused them saying his disciples are his mother and brothers. (Matthew 12:46-49) Mark 3:31-35 seem to record him saying the same thing at another time. John records in his gospel, "For even his own brothers did not believe in him." (John 7:5) John makes this comment when he recorded that Jesus' brothers tried to get Jesus to do their will instead of God's. However, no one is beyond hope as long as they are in this world. Jude and James repented and accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
* The Roman Catholic church holds that Mary only gave birth to Jesus. This is incorrect. Many places in the gospels are his brothers and sisters mentioned. (Mark 6:3)
>When does this appear to have been written? (17a)
* Jude 1:17a "But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold."
* According to what Jude wrote in verse 17 this letter was written after almost all the apostles had passed away, probably in the late 60s A.D.
>How did he address the recipients? (1b, 3a)
* Jude 1:1b "To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ"
* "To those who have been called" -God calls us before we know and/or want to know him. God chooses, not us. He alone decides who he will call, how he will call, and when he will call. He does not call us because he have a quality that he finds he needs or likes. He does not call us because we are righteous. He calls us because we need him and need his love. He calls us because he wants to make us righteous. He calls us because he is omniscient and omnipotent. He calls us because he is love.
* "who are loved by God the Father" -You are loved by God. God loves you just as you are. How do you know you are loved? He sent his son to die in your place so you can be with him forever. Perhaps your life is not what you want it to be and you are wondering, "If God loves me why doesn't he do something to change my life?" Or perhaps someone close to you is ill or has died and you wonder, "If God loves me why does he allow this to happen?" Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world." What does this mean in regard to God's love for you and your life situation? The world as it is now is infected and infused with sin. Sin brings pain, illness, death, and misery. In this world there will be trouble. In this world people sin. In this world we sin. Even though we sin God loves us. He made a way to have our sins taken away and in turn take away the trouble of this world. Jesus has overcome the world. Consider this parable. Let say that you are omnipotent, wise, pure, and eternal. Being so you create children that you love greatly and make everything perfect for the children. Then the children come to you and said, "You don't love me and I don't trust you. I hate you and want to have nothing to do with you. I hate everything you have done. I am going to leave you and never return." They leave and you know they are going to hurt themselves and each other. Thus they make themselves imperfect and its called sin. In this state (this world) your children have trouble. You still love them more than anything else so you devise a way for them to be made perfect again and have fellowship with you again. Being all wise your plan doesn't require your children to do anything to be restored to you. Instead you do it all. Being holy this requires a sacrifice, and you become that sacrifice. Being full of love all your children have to do is to decide to accept your sacrifice of love. This is exactly what God has done and is doing in your life. Take heart, Jesus has overcome the world and has promised us complete restoration when he comes again.
* "kept" -The Greek word here "tereo" is used four times in this letter and can be called the main underlined theme. It can also be translated preserved as food is preserved by surrounding it with salt, vinegar, sugar, or smoke. Jude writes in his letter of the apostasy and how God keeps his children in the midst of the apostasy. How? We are surrounded by the blood of the Lamb.
* "kept by Jesus Christ" -As we walk a life of faith in Jesus we can be sure that Jesus keeps us on track to be with him forever. He who holds the whole universe together will see that God's children are kept in the faith and that they reach the eternal inheritance.
* John 10:27-28 "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand."
* "Dear friends" -Jude saw the readers as his friends.
* See John 3:16 and Romans 8:28-39
>2. What three things were they to have in abundance? (2)
* Jude 1:2 "Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance."
* "be your" -Present tense. We have these now. Jude writes this as a definite statement. It is not a prayer or wish. Mercy, peace, and love are in Christians forever.
* "in abundance" -In Greek this is "plethyno" meaning to multiply and abound. Imagine a cup being continually filled up and overflowing from an endless stream of fresh cool water.
* Although these words were commonly used in the greetings of secular letters, the words that Jude follows these up with show that he intended a spiritual dimension.
>What is mercy?
* "mercy" -Compassionate kind forgiveness to those under one's authority. Mercy is action more generously and compassionately toward someone than they expect. Mercy is kind and forgiving to the needy. Mercy provides for the needs of sinful man, but not the salvation of sinful man.
* "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." (Exodus 33:19; Romans 9:15)
* Jesus was full of mercy. While on the cross, Luke 23:34 records Jesus saying, "'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.'" To forgive is not easy to do. But it can be done in Christ, through the Holy Spirit when we remember God's mercy, grace, and forgiveness in our own lives through merciful Jesus Christ. Mercy is a characteristic of God and Jesus is God. John 3:16 says of the mercy of God, "For God so love the world that he sent his son into the whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." And Romans 5:8 also says of the mercy of God, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
* Where grace is for guilt; mercy is for misery.
>What is peace?
* "peace" -God's peace comes from His Spirit. God's peace is the profound well-being of soul that flows from experiencing God's grace. (John 14:27, 20:19; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2) Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) God's peace surpasses understanding; when trouble comes we are calm and don't worry. God's peace is a more than contentment. Apart from God, man's soul is a violent storm spinning in the oceans, turning up giant waves, wind, rain, and lightning. Apart from God, man's soul is a violent volcanic earthquake ripping the earth apart, heaving it to and fro, throwing hot ash, melted rock, steam, and gasses. When we allow God to enter our soul the waters of our soul are placid and the earth is quiet -producing plants; grain, herbs, fruit and vegetables.
Being at peace with God we are no longer at war with God. Before we repented we were at war with God in the members of our body. Now a peace of heart that surpasses understanding is available to us if we remain united with Jesus. God restores us to friendly relations with him so that we coexist in harmony and complete comparability with him.
* Colossians 1:21-23 "Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-- if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant."
* Peace is "eirene" in Greek (shalom in Hebrew, a greeting) comes from no longer resisting God, but following God's lead. (Rom. 5:1)
* Jesus promised his disciples peace. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27)
>What is love?
* "love" -The Greek word used here is "agape". It is the only word used in the New Testament for God's love toward man. It is the greatest love of all loves; Greek has more words for love/like than the English language. Agape love is unconditional sacrificial love.
How great is God's love indeed for we were all wretched sinners, far from God, revolting, and at war with him by the sins we committed due to lack of control in the sinful nature. Yet, God accepted and cleansed us and gave us a new spirit. Sin and the sinful nature are gone. God did this when we accepted Jesus, the Son of God, as our Savior and Lord. What love God has!
* Agape(o) is Greek used for God's love in the New Testament. Fallen man cannot achieve this love. Phile(o) is Greek for human brotherly love, less than Agape love. (John 21:15-17)
II. The Sin and Doom of Godless Men (1:3-16)
>3. What was Jude eager to write to them about? (3a)
* Jude 1:3a "Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share"
* "I was very eager to write to you" -Jude was eager to share the gospel. Are you eager to share the gospel? Why should we share the gospel? The good news is that Jesus came to save us from sin and death. He came to free us. He loves us and wants to make us whole and right. He will give eternal life to all who believe in Jesus and love him with all their mind, heart, and soul. Why not be eager to share this good news?
* "salvation" -Jesus saves us from sin, death, and a corrupted system brought on by sin (rebellion).
* The teaching we must pay careful attention to is the message of salvation. God himself witnesses to the greatness to this message, so that we may notice it and pay careful attention to it.
* "the salvation we share" -All Christians share a common salvation in Jesus. This salvation transcends race, age, gender, social status, and physical appearances. The salvation through Jesus is universal to those who believe.
* Paul wrote to the Philippians congregation, "continue to work out your salvation". (Philippians 2:12) We are to work our salvation out to the finish; not a reference to the attempt to earn one's salvation by works, but to the expression of one's salvation in spiritual growth and development. Salvation is not merely a gift received once for all; it expresses itself in an ongoing process in which the believer is strenuously involved (Matt. 24:13; and 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Hebrews 3:14, 6:9-11; and 2 Peter 1:5-8) in the process of perseverance, spiritual growth and maturation.
* Our transformation is not complete as long as we are in this dying body. Jesus' sacrifice has cleansed our spirits. Our spirits are new creations. They are not filthy sin filled rages. They are white as snow. Yet, the body that we live in is cursed with the rest of the dirt of the soil. The fleshly body is fading away with the rest of the earth. Also, we are in a sinful and unbelieving generation. When Jesus comes he will take us away and we will receive an incorruptible body so that we will be like him as he is now in heaven. Jesus will save us from this generation and the decaying body. When Jesus comes again he will install his kingdom. He will rule the earth. Then our salvation will be complete. The glory of the body we receive when he comes depends on the service we live by faith, hope and love in this life. The positions we are given depends on the life we live in this life. Salvation is freely given by grace. Rewards in the future are earned now.
>What is the salvation we share and how was it obtained? (Acts 4:10-12)
* Acts 4:10-12 "then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is "'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone'. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
* Salvation is for "all the people of Israel". The apostles realized that salvation is not just the Jews (They are not all twelve tribes of Israel.) Rather he is writing and referring to spiritual Israel. The apostles realized that the salvation that Jesus brings was not just for the Jews, but for the Gentiles too. Together the Jews and Gentiles who accepted Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord became members of spiritual Israel. Paul wrote about this in Romans and Galatians. John expounded this in his gospel.
* 1 Peter 1:3-5 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time."
* Ephesians 2:8-9 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast."
>What did he write to them about instead of the salvation we share? (3b)
* Jude 1:3b "I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints."
* "I felt I had to write and urge you" -Jude had in important message. The message was no small matter; it was of great importance. Our salvation is a wonderful message to hear and we enjoy hearing it again and again. However, there are sometimes more important messages that need to be preached. What are they? Warnings of threats from without and within.
* "the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints" -Jude uses faith as a subject, a nown and add "the" meaning a specific article. Faith here is used as a title to the body of truth held by believers everywhere -the gospel and all its implications. (1 Timothy 4:6) This truth was under attack and had to be defended. The basic gospel truths are entrusted to us from God. The truths has finally and is not subject to change.
* The basic truths must be accepted throughout our life. What are these basic truths? A good place to start would be The Westminster Shorter Catechism.
>What does it mean to "contend for the faith"?
* "to contend for the faith" -Contend is "epagonizomai" in Greek and is only used here in the Bible. It means fight and struggle for something we believe in. We are to contend without being contentious.
* Acts 2:42 "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."
* Ephesians 4:15 "Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ."
* 1 Peter 3:15-17 "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil."
>Who is it entrusted to?
* "that was once for all" -All Christians have been entrusted to defend the gospel and basic truths therein.
* "entrusted to the saints" -Saint here means sanctified. Jesus' blood sanctifies us, cleanses us.
* "saints" -Saint means "sanctified", "holy" and "purified". A saint is someone who has been sanctified, made holy, purified by the Jesus' blood, not because of good conduct. Israelites were called holy, separated, and consecrated. (Exodus 19:6; Deut. 7:6, 14:2, 21; Daniel 7:8, 22) The Christian church has inherited the title and the privileges of the Israelite nation. So are you a saint or a ain't? If the latter, what are you waiting for? Admit your sin and helpless state, turn to God in humble repentance and ask for his forgiveness and for him to become the Lord of your life giving him complete control.
* In the Old Testament two Hebrew words are used for saints: "qaddish" and "chasid". Qaddish comes from the qadosh and means holy. To be holy is to separate oneself from evil and dedicate oneself to God. This separation and union is seen both with things and people. All the items of worship are separated for the Lord's use: altar (Exodus. 29:37), oil (Exodus 30:25), garments (Exodus 31:10), and even the people are to be holy (Exodus 22:31). This separation reflects God's very character, for He is holy (Leviticus 19:2). Holiness is clearly portrayed as an encounter with the living God, which results in a holiness of life-style (Isaiah 6). So holiness is more than a one-time separating and uniting activity. It is a way of life. “Ye shall be holy: for I am holy (Leviticus 19:2). Saints are people who try to live holy lives (Daniel 7:18-28).
Chasid means "to be kind or merciful".” These are qualities of God. Thus, chasid people are godly people because they reflect His character. Saints praise the Lord for His lifelong favor (Psalm 30:4), rejoice in goodness (2 Chronicles 6:41), and know that God keeps their paths (1 Samuel 2:9). God's encounter with His people through the covenant enables them to walk as His saints.
In the New Testament, one word, hagios, (Greek) is used for saints. This word, like qadosh, means holy. Consequently, saints are the holy ones. There is only one reference to saints in the Gospels (Matthew 27:52). In this verse, dead saints are resurrected at the Lord's crucifixion. The death of the Holy One provides life for those who believe in God. In Acts, three of the four references occur in chapter 9 (Acts 9:13, 32, 41). First Ananias and then Peter talks of the saints as simply believers in Christ. Paul continues this use in his Epistles to the Romans, Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, and Philemon. In each case, saints seem simply to be people who name Jesus as Lord. In the Book of Revelation, however, where the word saints, occurs more times than in any other single book (13 times), the meaning is further defined. Saints not only name Jesus as Lord, but they are faithful and true witnesses for Jesus.
Little wonder then that the early church considered witnesses who were martyred for their testimonies to be saints. In fact, soon these saints were accorded special honor and then even worship. Unfortunately, the term saints came to be applied only to such special people.
Biblically, though, the term saint is correctly applied to anyone who believes Jesus Christ is Lord. To believe in Jesus demands obedience and conformity to His will. A saint bears true and faithful witness to Christ in speech and life-style. To be a saint is a present reality when a believer seeks to let the Spirit form Christ within (Romans 8:29; Galatians 4:19; Ephesians 4:13). (Holman Bible Dictionary)
* See a drawing of John Wycliffe to the right. He contended for the faith, the God given right for everyone to be able to read and study the Bible.
For hundreds of years, only one version of the Bible had been available to English-speaking peoples: The Vulgate (The Latin translation). But it was written in Latin, a language most people could not understand. In addition, only clergy were allowed to read the Bible. But, inspired by one of his professors, a student named John Wycliffe became committed to personally understand more about the Bible. Wycliffe studied at Oxford, and later taught there, all in Latin.
In 1348, the Black Death spread throughout Europe, killing half the English population. Stirred by this tragedy, Wycliffe wanted God's perspective. He poured himself into the Bible and became convinced that everyone needed to be able to read the Bible in their own language.
Completing an English translation in 1382, it was the first new European translation in more than 1,000 years. Then he sent men (called “Lollards”) to bring the Word to the people.
Concerned about these unauthorized actions, the Roman Catholic Church banned Bible translation and expelled Wycliffe from his teaching position. Even though he and his followers experienced persecution, they had begun a revolution that changed the world.
>4. Why did he have to write to them? (4a)
* Jude 1:4 "For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you."
* "certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago" -Jude reference may be to Old Testament denunciations of ungodly men, or to Enoch's prophecy (14-15), or their judgement has long been about to fall on them because of their sin.
* False prohets has always been around following in Satan's example set with his lie in the garden of Eden. Like him they twist God's word into a lie.
>How are these men described? (4b, 8a, 12-13, 16)
* Jude 1:4b "They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord."
* Jude 1:8a "In the very same way, these dreamers"
* Jude 1:12-13 "These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm--shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted--twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever."
* Jude 1:16 "These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage."
* "They are godless men"
* "who change the grace of our God"
* "into a license for immorality"
* "deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord"
* "these dreamers"
* "blemishes at your love feasts"
* "eating with you without the slightest qualm"
* "shepherds who feed only themselves"
* "They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind"
* "autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted--twice dead"
* "They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame"
* "wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever"
* "These men are grumblers and faultfinders"
* "they follow their own evil desires"
* "they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage"
>What does it imply that they "secretly slipped in among them"?
* "secretly slipped in among you" -Crept (slipped) in is one of the most interesting phrases in the Greek language. It is "pareisduno". "Duno" means "to enter"; the preposition "eis" means "into"; and "para" means "beside". It means "to enter alongside", or as Dr. Vincent puts it in his commentary: "To get in by the side, to slip in a side door." This is the way the apostates have come into the church. (Thru the Bible Commentary, J. Vernon McGee)
* Matthew 7:15-20 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."
* Matthew 10:16-18 "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. "Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles."
* Acts 20:28-31 "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears."
* John 10:12-13 "The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep."
>In what can someone deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord?
* "who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ" -They change the truth of the faith so that they can do what aught not to be done.
* They change the identity and work of Jesus; often not all aspects of him, but just a few.
>Is this possible today?
* Yes. It has always been happening.
* Who are these? Mohammed, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons (Church of Latter Day Saints), The Way to name a few. Mohamed, the Jehovah Witnesses, the Mormons, and other false christs take away from who Jesus said he is.
>5. What is the first example given as a warning? (5; Ex. 32:27-28, Num. 14:20-23)
* Jude 1:5 "Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe."
* Exodus 32:27-28 "Then he said to them, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.'" The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died."
* Numbers 14:20-23 "The LORD replied, "I have forgiven them, as you asked. Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth, not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times-- not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it."
* The Lord leading Israel (and others) out of the bondage in Egypt is used as an analogy of Christians being lead out of the bondage of the law, sin, and death. (Galatians 5:1) Just as not everyone who was lead out of Egypt entered the promised land, so not everyone who hears the gospel and initially accepts it will enter the kingdom of God. Jesus taught of that we must continually walk in the truth in the Parable of the Sower. (Luke 8:4-15)
>The second example? (6)
* Jude 1:6 "And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home--these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day."
* "And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home" -The fallen angels are used as an example of those who started good and ended terrible.
* "angels" -Angels comes from two Hebrew words. The first is "ben." It means; "a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of lit. and fig. relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc.,"
The second is "elohiym." It is plural of the Hebrew word "elowahh" which comes from the Hebrew words "el", "ayil", and "uwl". "Elohiym" means; "gods in the ordinary sense; but spec. used (in the plur. thus, esp. with the art.) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative: -angels"
* Satan leads the revolt against God. Satan is a Hebrew word. It means; "an opponent; espec. (with the art. pref.) Satan, the arch-enemy of good:- adversary, Satan, withstand." In other words "Satan" means "accuser". In Job the Hebrew for this word is always preceded by the definite article. In the Hebrew of 1 Chronicles 21:1 the article is not used, because by then "Satan" had become a proper name.
Verses about the Satan are as follows:
Genesis 3:1 "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
Genesis 3:14-15 "So the LORD God said to the serpent, 'Because you have done this, 'Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.''"
Zech. 3:1-2 "Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?"
Mark 4:15 "Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them."
Luke 13:16 "Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?"
Luke 22:31 ""Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat."
John 8:44 "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."
2 Cor. 2:11 "in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes."
2 Cor. 11:14 "And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light."
2 Peter 2:4 "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;"
Revelation 12:7-9 "And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him."
Rev. 20:2 "He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years."
Rev. 20:7 "When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison"
Satan's purpose is to separate men and women from God and each other and so destroy their life and God's work. Satan is condemned already. Satan and his kind are spiritual with authority and they have a free will just as man did. They choose to rebel against God and all who rebel are his children.
* "these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains" -Most of the fallen angels (demons) are in chain in hell. (1 Peter 2:4) They cannot leave hell as many modern day movies and television shows claim. A few demons are not in chains yet and have influence the kingdoms and many leaders of the world since Adam and Eve sinned.
* "judgment on the great Day" -Jude is not writing about Jesus' second coming. Rather, the judgement at the end of His one thousand years reign.
>The third example? (7a)
* Jude 1:7a "In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion."
* "Sodom and Gomorrah" -Place names of uncertain meaning. Two cities in Palestine at the time of Abraham. Sodom and Gomorrah were among the five cities of the valley. (Genesis 13:12; 19:29; KJV, plain) of Abraham's time. Exact locations are unknown, but they were probably situated in the Valley of Siddim (Genesis 14:3,8,10-11) near the Dead Sea, perhaps the area now covered by the Sea’s shallow southern end. Lot moved to this area, eventually settling in Sodom. (Genesis 13:10-12; 14:12; 19:1) Sodom and Gomorrah were renowned for their wickedness (Gen. 18:20). (Holman Bible Dictionary)
* "the surrounding towns" -Five towns existed around the Dead Sea in Job and Abraham's time. (Genesis 19; Job 1)
* "sexual immorality and perversion" -The sin of the men of Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding cities included homosexuality. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar. Genesis 19:4-5 records, "Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house. They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."
* The unnatural lusts of the men of Sodom (Genesis 19:4-8; Jude 7) have given us the modern term sodomy, but the city was guilty of a full spectrum of sins including pride, oppression of the poor, haughtiness, and abominable things (Ezekiel 16:49-50). Together, Sodom and Gomorrah provided a point of comparison for the sinfulness of Israel and other nations (Deuteronomy 32:32; Isaiah 1:10; Jeremiah 23:14). The memory of their destruction provided a picture of God's judgment (Isaiah 13:19; Jeremiah 49:18; Matthew 10:14-15; 11:23-24) and made them an example to be avoided. (Deuteronomy 29:23-25; 2 Peter 2:6). (Holman Bible Dictionary)
* Romans 1:26-28 "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done."
>What example do they serve to us? (7b)
* Jude 1:7b "They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire."
* "They serve as an example" -The book of Genesis is full of examples that are repeated in the rest of the Bible.
* "who suffer the punishment of eternal fire" -Eternal fire here is "aionios pyr" in Greek. Hell (Hades) is often described as an eternal fire in the Bible. Hell is not a fun place. Hell is so much more miserable than our darkest concept of it. Jesus taught that hell is a real place, an unpleasant place. Holman Bible Dictionary states, "The abode of the dead especially as a place of eternal punishment for unbelievers. Hell is an Anglo-Saxon word used to translate one Hebrew word and three Greek words in the King James Version of the Old and New Testaments. The Hebrew word that hell translated was Sheol. The word Sheol occurs sixty-five times in the Hebrew Bible. The King James Version translates thirty-one of the occurrences as hell; another thirty-one occurrences as grave; and three occurrences as “pit” (Numbers 16:30,33; Job 17:16). The Revised Standard Version never uses hell to translate Sheol. It does use grave one time as a translation of Sheol (Song of Solomon 8:6). Sixty-four times it simply transliterates the word as Sheol. NAS always uses Sheol, while NIV intentionally avoids Sheol, using grave." Jesus quoted Isaiah 66:24 when describing hell saying, "where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.' Everyone will be salted with fire." (Mark 9:48)
* Hell is complete separation from God. In hell one is all alone for eternity. God cannot send anyone to hell. This is a good example of darkened thinking. God does not send anyone to hell. Rather people run to it when they run away from God. Everyone has a choice in this life, accept Jesus of Savior and Lord or reject him. Those who reject him remain apart from God. Die apart from God is running into hell. People don't exercise their freedom, but are left alone. People aren't set to hell, but they are allowed to freely walk into it despite God's continual plea that it is a terrible existence. Still, they insist that that is the only way that they will go. So God lets them go. He does not force anyone to accept a relationship with in him in paradise and bliss.
* The unrepentant will be punished eternally in hell. Jesus compared hell to burning several times. Hell is a place without God forever. It is a place of complete loneliness and torment of soul. Thus, the soul which was meant and created to be joined with God is incomplete, a being that is like the flesh burning.
>What is similar with the three examples?
* Unbelief results in eternal punishment on the day of judgement.
>6. How are the men who secretly slipped in like the examples given? (8)
* Jude 1:8 "In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings."
* "pollute their own bodies" -Through sin of homosexuality of Sodom and Gomorrah mentioned earlier.
* "reject authority" -The authority God has established.
* "slander celestial beings" -Angels are described as celestial beings here. Celestial beings is "doxa" in Greek meaning dignity, glory, and honor.
* 2 Peter 2:10-12 states, "This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord. But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish."
>What example of humility is given? (9)
* Jude 1:9 "But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!'"
* Humility is knowing one's place and mission. Jesus said during his first coming that he had not come to judge, but to save. He will judge in the future. Before his judgement we should not pre-judge, condemn, and slander others; especially before the Lord in prayer. This does not mean that we don't recognize sin and preach against it. Jesus and the apostles preached against sin.
* According to several church fathers, this verse is based on an Apocryphal work called "The Assumption of Moses". Other New Testament quotations from or allusions to, non-Biblical works include Paul's quotations of Aratus (Acts 17:28), Menander (1 Corinthians 15:33) and Epimenides (Titus 1:12). Such usage in no way suggests that the quotations, or the books from which they were taken, are divinely inspired. It only means that the Biblical author found the quotations to be a helpful confirmation, clarification, or illustration. (NIV Study Bible)
>How were the slanderous men different? (10)
* Jude 1:10 "Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals--these are the very things that destroy them."
* "these men speak abusively"
* "whatever they do not understand"
* "what things they do understand by instinct"
* "like unreasoning animals"
>What can we learn?
* "these are the very things that destroy them" -We will be judged based on our motivations for the actions we take. The fundamental problem and motivation stems from if we have a relationship with God or not.
* God is just.
>7. Who was Cain, Balaam, and Korah and how were the secret godless men like them? (11; 1 John 3:12; 2 Peter 2:15-16; Rev. 2:14; Num. 16:1-3)
* Jude 1:11 "Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion."
* 1 John 3:12 "Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous."
* 2 Peter 2:15-16 "They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey--a beast without speech--who spoke with a man's voice and restrained the prophet's madness."
* Revelation 2:14 "Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality."
* Numbers 16:1-3 "Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites--Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth--became insolent and rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council. They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, 'You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the LORD's assembly?'"
* Cain was selfish. He was jealous of and killed his brother Abel. (Genesis 4)
* Balaam prophesied for prophet. (Numbers 22)
* Korah tried to overthrow God's established leader Moses.
>What can we learn from these three examples?
* They did not accept what God had established. They refused to repent. They wanted to do things there way instead of God's way.
>8. Who was Enoch? (14a; Gen. 5:21-24; Heb. 11:5)
* Jude 1:14a "Enoch, the seventh from Adam"
* Genesis 5:21-24 "When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away."
* Hebrews 11:5 "By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God."
* "Enoch" -Enoch appears in the Book of Genesis and a figure in the generations of Adam. Enoch is the son of Jared (Genesis 5:3-18), the father of Methuselah, and the great-grandfather of Noah. The text reads uniquely in the Generations that Enoch "walked with God: and he was no more; for God took him". (Genesis 5:22-29) The New Testament has three references to Enoch. (Luke 3:37, Hebrews 11: 5, Jude 1:14–15)
* The illustration to the right is from the 1728 Figures de la Bible; illustrated by Gerard Hoet (1648–1733) and others, and published by P. de Hondt in The Hague. (Bizzell Bible Collection, University of Oklahoma Libraries).
>What did he prophecy?
* Jude 1:14-15 "Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him."
* The quotation is from the Apocryphal book of Enoch, which purports to have been written by the Enoch of Genesis 5, but actually did not appear until the first century B.C. The book of Enoch was a well-respected writing in New Testament times. That is was not canonical does not mean that it contained no truth; nor does Jude's quotation of the book mean that he considered it inspired by God. (NIV Study Bible)
* "prophesied" -All prophets prophecy, but not all prophecy is from the one true God.
* "the Lord is coming" -The prophecy of Enoch here is elsewhere in essence in the Old Testament. (Isaiah 19:1, 26:21, 27:13, 40:10, 66:15; Ezekiel 7:5; Joel 1:15, 2:1, 31; Micah 1:3; Zephaniah 1:14; Malachi 4:1)
* "thousands upon thousands of his holy ones" -Several passages speak of Jesus coming with his holy ones. "Holy ones" include angels and redeemed men. Matthew 24:30-31 records Jesus saying, "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." Mark 13:26-27 and Luke 21:27 records the same thing. Matthew 26:64 records Jesus saying, "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." Mark 14:62 records the same thing. About the angels coming with him Jesus said, "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." (Mark 8:38) Paul told the Thessalonian congregation, "May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones." (1 Thessalonians 3:13)
* See a painting of Jesus Coming in Glory to the right.
* "to judge everyone" -God has decreed that Jesus will conduct three kinds of judgments; one each for Jesus' bride, the unrighteous, and the nations. (John 5:22) These judgments will not happen at the same time or with the same result. First, Jesus' bride will be judged at the mercy (Bema) seat, but not in the sense that we will be condemned. Instead Jesus will hand out rewards to those who believed in him. Second, there is a judgment of the nations. This is when Jesus comes when the seventh trumpet is sounded. (Matthew 25:31-34) Third, those who are not Jesus' bride will be judged and condemned. (Pro. 1:20-31) Jesus will be the judge and he will know what is truly in their hearts. (Rom. 2:16) If they did not accept Jesus as their King and Bridegroom, that is accept him into their hearts, then they will be condemned. (Mark 3:28-29) This judgment is after the Millennium and after Satan is released and deceives the nations for a short time. This judgment will not be conducted on the earth.
* "to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way" -"All the ungodly" is repeated three times to the point of sounding silly.
* "of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him" -My generation has greatly increased in blasphemy.
* Daniel 12:1-3 "At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people--everyone whose name is found written in the book--will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever."
* Matthew 24:27 "For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man."
* Revelation 20:11-15 calls it the final judgement the great white throne, “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
* Jesus said, “Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out--those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” (John 5:22-23, 28-30)
>Considering this, how should we conduct ourself in these last days?
* Many of the people who are judged on that day will be people who attended churches, served at various functions, had impressive family trees, lived clean lives, and were filled with knowledge and teaching skills. They may have even donated to various fund drives and given to missions. Yet, they missed the one most important entrance requirement to the Kingdom of God. They did not truly believe in Jesus. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'” (Matt. 7:21-23)
Isaiah 65:8-12 tells the results of accepting or rejecting the invitation of the King. “This is what the Lord says: "As when juice is still found in a cluster of grapes and men say, 'Don't destroy it, there is yet some good in it,' so will I do in behalf of my servants; I will not destroy them all. I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, and from Judah those who will possess my mountains; my chosen people will inherit them, and there will my servants live. Sharon will become a pasture for flocks, and the Valley of Achor a resting place for herds, for my people who seek me. But as for you who forsake the Lord and forget my holy mountain, who spread a table for Fortune and fill bowls of mixed wine for Destiny, I will destine you for the sword, and you will all bend down for the slaughter; for I called but you did not answer, I spoke but you did not listen. You did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me."
III. Keep Yourself in God's Love (1:17-25)
>9. What did the apostles warn us about godless men amongst us? (17-18)
* Jude 1:17-18 "But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, 'In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.'"
* "remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold" -Inspired by the Holy Spirit that Jesus sent, the apostles foretold the future. Their words are similar to the prophets and Jesus himself. The apostles spoke a lot of the lives of sinners and the effect they would have against the church.
* "In the last times" -This phrase is "eschatos chronos" in Greek. "Chronos" is a space of time in general, not a fixed space of time nor a particular period. "Eschatos" narrows the time period to the end time. With other New Testament writers, Jude viewed the whole period beginning with Christ's first coming (more precisely his ascension) to his second as the last days. (Acts 2:17, and 2 Timothy 3:1, Hebrews 1:2, and 1 Peter 1:20) They understood this to be the "last" of the days because neither former prophecy nor new revelation concerning the history of salvation indicated the coming of another era before the return of Christ. The word "last" in "last days," "last times" and "last hour" also expresses a sense of urgency and imminence. I as a Christian am to be alert, waiting for the return of Christ. (Matthew 25:1-3) Last day also refers back to the six days of creation and the one day of rest. We are now at the last hour of the sixth day. The next day, the Sabbath rest, starts when Jesus comes again.
* The Old Testament prophets often spoke of "The day of the Lord" as the time when God reveals His sovereignty over human powers and human existence. For example "The day of the Lord" is the dominant theme of Joel. Besides Joel six other Old Testament prophets (Isaiah 13:6,9; Ezekiel 13:5, 30:3; Amos 5:18,20; Obadiah 1:15; Zephaniah 1:7,14; Malachi 4:5; perhaps Zechariah 14:1 too) uses the term "the day of the Lord". Sometimes the prophets of Israel and Judah abbreviated it to "that day". It was familiar to their audience, a term by which the audience expected light and salvation (Amos 5:18), but the prophets painted it as a day of darkness and judgment (Isaiah 2:10-22; 13:6,9; Joel 1:15; 2:1-11,31; 3:14-15; Amos 5:20; Zephaniah 1:7-8,14-18; Malachi 4:5). The Old Testament language of the day of the Lord is aimed at warning sinners among God's people of the danger of trusting in traditional religion without commitment to God and to His way of life. It is language that could be aimed at judging Israel or that could be used to promise deliverance from evil enemies (Isaiah 13:6,9; Ezekiel 30:3; Obadiah 15). The day of the Lord is thus a point in time in which God displays His sovereign initiative to reveal His control of history, of time, of His people, and of all people.
* The apostles Peter and Paul also used the term "day of the Lord" (in place of "Lord" they also put "God" and "Lord Jesus"). (Acts 2:20; and 1 Corinthians 1:8, 5:5; and 2 Corinthians 1:14; and 1 Thessalonians 5:2; and 2 Thessalonians 2:2; and 2 Peter 3:10-12)
* The apostles used the terms "last times" and "last days" referring to the whole period introduced by Jesus' first coming. (John 11:24; Jude 1:17-18; Acts 15:16-18; Hebrews 9:36; and 2 Peter 3:3) These days are last in comparison to Old Testament days, which were preliminary and preparatory. (Romans 16:25-26; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:26) Also, the Christian era is the time of the beginnings of prophetic fulfillment. (1 Corinthians 10:11) The "days" can be interpreted as "ages" (Matthew 12:39, 13:39-40, 49, 24:3, 28:20; Ephesians 1:21, 2:7; and 1 Timothy 6:19; Titus 2:12; Jude 1:25) (periods of time) that reflect the six days of creation with the seventh day as a day of rest. Indeed the apostles very clearly call the one thousand year reign of Jesus as "the Lord's Sabbath" and "the day of rest". (Hebrews 4:1-11, 6:5; Revelation 14:13) Jesus himself invited us to his day of rest (Matthew 11:19; Luke 18:30, 20:34-36) and to work now and rest in the future (John 9:4). Since this is the time just before the Sabbath rest, then we are in the sixth day, the time when man and woman (Adam and Eve) were created. The Lord God Almighty is called the "King of the ages". (Revelation 15:3)
* Blackstone wrote in his book Jesus is Coming “The division of time into sevens, or weeks, permeates the Scriptures. A fundamental enactment of the Mosaic Law was the keeping of the Sabbath (Ex. 20:8). This was based upon God’s great rest day in Genesis 2. Upon this is founded not only the week of days, but also the week of weeks leading to Pentecost (Lev. 23:15-16); the week of months, with the Atonement and seven day's feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month (Lev. 23:27-28); the week of years, ending with the Sabbatic year (Lev. 25:4); and the week of weeks of years, ending with the seventh Sabbatic year, and followed by the year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:8-12).” He continues with more and quotes 2 Peter 3:8 then continues, “…so we also have the great week of Millenniums. Six thousand-year days of labor and then the Millennium, or blessed seventh thousand-year of rest.” He is not the first to see the significance.
* For more on this time period read the manuscript "The Believer's Future - Hope that Inspires" found on this site.
* Imminence is about being ready even though we don't know when Jesus will come, more than what most understand as the Christian meaning of the word.
* Habakkuk 2:2-3 "Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."
* Jesus often told us the same thing in parables about his return; the nobleman who went to a far country, the servants given talents while their master is away, the ten virgins, etc. The letters of the apostles also address the timing of Jesus' return. Many who call themselves Christians believe in imminence, that is, that Jesus can return at any time since his ascension. Is this in line with Jesus' parables? And what of claim that the gospel must be preached in the whole world before he came again? This did not happen until recent years. Below is a quote from "The Church and the Tribulation" by Robert H. Gundry in chapter 3 under the heading "Expectation and Imminence".
* If the second coming could not have been imminent for those originally commanded to watch at the time they were so commanded, then the commanded expectancy could not have implied imminence of the event looked for. It then becomes unnecessary for us to regard Jesus' coming as imminent, for we have received no further and no different exhortations. In other words, if a delay in the Parousia of at least several years was compatible with expectancy in apostolic times, a delay for the several years of the tribulation is compatible with expectancy in current times. Jesus clearly indicates to the early disciples that His coming will be delayed for some time. The express purpose of the parable concerning the nobleman who went to a "far country" is that the disciples should not think "the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately" (Luke 19: 11-27). "While the bridegroom was delaying" also intimates delay (Matt. 25:5). In the parable of the talents, Jesus likens His return to the lord who "after a long time" came back from a far country (Matt. 25:19).
Jesus bases the parable of the servants on the presupposition of a delay in His coming, for without the delay no interval would have provided opportunity for the servants to display their true colors (Luke 12:41-48; Matt. 24:45-51). And when Jesus has the wicked servant say, "My master will be a long time in coming," He tacitly admits that there will be a delay. As the wicked servant's eternal judgment "with the unbelievers (or hypocrites)" shows, the contrast in servants distinguishes true disciples, whose characteristic it is to watch, from false disciples, whose characteristic it is not to watch. The necessary delay made no difference to the expectant attitude of the true servant, but it revealed the falsity of the wicked servant. Jesus does not condemn recognition of delay, but the attitude which takes selfish advantage of the delay. Moreover, readiness denotes not so much tiptoe anticipation as faithful service day by day: "Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants to give them their rations at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes" (Luke's version).
We might suppose that the long period of delay required in the parables would be satisfied by "a few years." But a few years is all the delay post-tribulationism requires. Jesus could not have given in good faith the great commission with its worldwide extent -"all the nations" and "the remotest part of the earth" -without providing a considerable lapse of time in order that the "disciples might have opportunity to perform the task. The long-range missionary endeavors of Paul may not possess independent argumentative weight (Paul's journey to Rome was contingent on the Lord's will, Rom. 1:9, 10). Yet as the Lord's commission for him to go "far away to the Gentiles" (Acts 22: 21) and to witness before "kings" (Acts 9:15) and as the promise in Jerusalem that he would "witness... at Rome" (Acts 23:11; cf. 27:24) link up with the great commission generally, they gain considerable weight.
It may be countered, with an appeal to Paul's statement "the gospel... was proclaimed in all creation under heaven" (Col. 1:23), that "the extensive preaching of the gospel in the first century might... satisfy the program of preaching to the ends of the earth." However, Paul wrote his statement during his first Roman imprisonment, some thirty years after Jesus gave the great commission, an interval more than four times as long as the tribulation. And Paul had not fulfilled his intention of visiting Spain, where the Gospel had not yet been preached (Rom. 15:20, 24). Evidently he himself did not regard the great commission as fulfilled. Apparently, then, in Colossians 1:23 Paul is not affirming a fulfillment of the great commission, but is setting the universality of the Gospel (the good news is for all men, even though it has not reached all men) in opposition to the esotericism of the Colossian heresy.
Of corroborative value is the personal history of Peter (John 21:18, 19; 2 Pet. 1:14) . Jesus foretold that Peter, then middle-aged ("when you were younger... "), would die at an infirm old age ("when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will gird you ... "). If we try to save the imminence of the Parousia by saying that Peter could have been martyred at any time, we forget that his infirmity and old age were not imminent. And if we say that the prediction concerning Peter was not common knowledge among Christians until long after his death, we overlook the presence of other apostles on the occasion of the prediction. Furthermore, John writes of the incident in order to correct a misimpression which had arisen concerning his own death. The whole matter, then, must have received some publicity in the early Church.
To claim that these delays were "general in nature, without specific length;" merely avoids the issue. Whether general or specific, long or short, the delays were delays and, by being stated, rendered the second coming non-imminent to the apostolic Church. Moreover, the delays were not entirely general in nature. The specificity of the great commission ("in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth"), of the promise that Paul should bear witness at Rome, and of Peter's old age as a time of infirmity to the degree of inability to dress himself make the delays much more pointed than the doctrine of imminence can allow.
Again, to claim that "the delays had been fulfilled by the time the exhortations to watch were written" runs afoul of historical facts. At least those exhortations to watch in the epistles appeared in writing before the disciples could have fulfilled the great commission, before Paul had completed his extensive missionary efforts, and before Peter had reached old age, become infirm, and died. From the very beginning, even before the written exhortations, Christians knew that they were to watch through the oral ministry of Jesus and the apostles and prophets. In one of his earliest epistles Paul already commends believers for their watchfulness (1 Thess. 1:9, 10). The point remains that if watching could not have connoted imminence in the apostolic age, it need not connote imminence now.
But should we not think that all else was contingent upon the second coming, that an "only if Christ does not return beforehand" qualified every other expectation? Possibly, but only possibly, in connection with the personal circumstances of Peter and Paul. It is very hard to think, however, that an imminent return of Christ might have taken away sufficient opportunity to fulfill the great commission. Moreover, when imminence becomes the ruling principle by which all else was and is rendered contingent, even the events of the tribulation do not have to take place; they might "die on the vine" just as the great commission and the predictions concerning Paul and Peter would have done had Jesus returned beforehand.
* This ends the quote from "The Church and the Tribulation" by Robert H. Gundry.
* "there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires" -These are not only outside the church, but a growing number inside the church.
>What is the difference between natural instincts and the leading of the Spirit? (19)
* Jude 1:19 "These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and who follow mere natural instincts."
* "These are the men who divide you" -Many from within the church will divide congregations. How is this possible? Look at congregations today. Do they study the Bible? Do they read the Bible? Do congregations have weekly Bible study groups? If they do, how many attend? Of those who study the Bible, do they walk in the truth they study? Are they filled with the Holy Spirit? The sad truth is that many who call themselves Christians have Bibles on their shelves collecting dust. Since those who call themselves a believer in Jesus do not know the truth, they easily believe half truths and lies.
* "who follow mere natural instincts" -This is another way to say the sinful nature.
* What does it mean to live by the Spirit? I can't remember a message ever on the subject. I have had studies that discussed the Spirit and his work, but few where the Holy Spirit is the main subject. The Bible teaches about the Holy Spirit. Yet, not as much as it teaches of the Son, Jesus the Messiah. Often Bible studies and sermons do not deal with the teaching on the Holy Spirit. Why? There's a simple answer. The scriptures are inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit leads Bible teachers, Bible preachers, Bible evangelists, Bible book writers, and Bible web sit creators. With Holy Spirit doing all this work, why is so little presented about his work? Jesus told us the answer.
Jesus told his apostles about the Spirit and his work. He said, "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me." (John 15:26) And he said "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John 14:26) John 16:13 records Jesus saying, "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come." The answer is that the Holy Spirit does not focus us to him. Rather he focus' us to our Savior and Lord. The Holy Spirit's desire is the same as the Father's. They want us to be freed from sin and death and have fellowship with them forever. Since faith in the Son is how we can have a relationship with them. So he leads us to him in teachings and in our heart.
So how can we answer the question? What does it mean to live by the Spirit? Can we know? Yes, for Paul would not have instructed the congregation in Galatian and us "live by the Spirit". Go to last generation's Pentecostal church and you would hear several definitions on what it means to be lead by the Spirit. Some would include the false teaching that contains a lack of self control and order. Today Pentecostal congregations speak less on the subject of being lead by the Spirit and being filled by the Spirit because of false teachings that lead to problems in some congregations. At the same time many Pentecostal church's have sound teachings on the subject. They are not the only ones.
Tozer wrote, "Are you sure that you want your personality to be taken over by One who will expect obedience to the written and living Word? Are you sure that you want your personality to be taken over by One who will not tolerate the self sins? For instance, self-love. You can no more have the Holy Ghost and have self-love than you can have purity and impurity at the same moment in the same place... Self-love, self-confidence, self-righteousness, self-admiration, self-aggrandizement, and self-pity are under the interdiction of God Almighty, and He cannot send His mighty Spirit to possess the heart where these things are... [Do] you desire to have your personality taken over by One who stands in sharp opposition to the world's easy ways?... The Spirit of God, if He takes over, will bring you into opposition to the world... Are you sure, brother? (Tozer on the Holy Spirit.)
To live by the Spirit means to be taken over by the Holy Spirit. Yet he will never force himself on anyone. He has the very nature of the Son and the Father. Jesus said, "I am meek and humble in heart." He is gentle. He wants a loving relationship. A loving relationship is reciprocating love. It is full of trust and holiness.
>10. What seven bits of advice are given in verses 20-23?
* Jude 1:20-23 "But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear--hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh."
* "build yourselves up in your most holy faith"
* "pray in the Holy Spirit"
* "Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life."
* "Be merciful to those who doubt"
* "snatch others from the fire and save them"
* "to others show mercy, mixed with fear"
* "hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh"
>11. When will Jesus present us? (24)
* Jude 1:24 "To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy"
* "To him who is able to keep you from falling" -Consider the popular New Testament analogy of the life of faith as a race to understand what Jude means by "falling" here. A runner who falls during a race will hurt himself and not win the race. He or she may get back up again and start running again. However, the likely hood of winning the race is slim if not impossible. Why do runners fall? Someone trips them, something on the race track trips them, or they just stumble on their own feet. While in Junior High and High School I ran track and cross country races. I was an average runner considering times. I never fell. However, I did see other runners fall. What a horrible scene it was for the runner, their coach, and family. It's the same for falling during a life of faith. Yet we don't need to fall. Our eternal coach, Jesus Christ is able to keep us from falling.
* "present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy" -A day is coming when we will be presented to Jesus as his bride. We will be free of sins. This is the Bema seat of Christ, after the resurrection of the saints.
* The mercy seat, (aka Bema seat) is real and only for those who have believed and confessed the name of Jesus.
* Philippians 2:12 says we should continually work out our salvation "with fear and trembling". As we live our life, we should live it humbly for we will all stand before the Bema seat of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:10 and Romans 14:10 tell us that believers will be brought into examination before the Son of God, the King and their Bridegroom. The New Testament uses the Greek word Bema for this judgment seat. Bema means a raised platform which had a seat on it. Sale-Harrison wrote in the book The Judgment Seat of Christ, “In the Grecian games in Athens, the old arena contained a raised platform on which the president or umpire of the arena sat. From here he rewarded all the contestants; and here he rewarded all winners. It was never used as a judicial bench.” Paul used the Athen's games as an example of his goal to gain a prize and a crown. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27, and 2 Timothy 2:5, 4:6-8, Philippians 4:1, and 1 Thessalonians 2:19)
* Jesus is reviewing and will review our actions at the Bema seat. I wrote of this in The Beleiver's Future - Hope that Inspires.
* See a picture of the Bema Seat at Corinth to the right.
>To whom will we be presented? (25)
* Jude 1:25 "to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen."
* "to the only God our Savior"
* "majesty, power and authority"
* "through Jesus Christ our Lord"
* "before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen."
>Considering this how then should we live? (Matt. 10:32-33; and 2 Cor. 5:6-10)
* Matthew 10:32-33 "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven."
* 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 "Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad."