The General Epistle of Jude: as taught by Reverend Daniel G. Caram, *M. Div., at ZMI (Feb 12-13, 2009).
The following transcript was taken from a six-hour recording. This transcript has been edited in order
to make it more palatable for the reader. (The class discussion has been edited out.)
Note: You will find redundancy in this study: There is purposeful repetition as the accepted maxim
states that the student must hear something three times before it is retained.
Please feel free to copy or promulgate
Preserved in the Worst Case Scenarios
Jude gives us some of the worse case scenarios. Yet, we also see that even in some of the worst case scenarios, God preserved some. This is also a viable theme in the book; the preserved. In fact, one of the last statements in the book is that, "God who is able to keep you..."God always kept some – in every circumstance. Probably the worst case scenario of them all is found in Jude verse 6: It says, "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."Of course, not all of the angels are chained. We are talking about the fallen angels. Some angels still have ministries on earth that they must fulfill before they are taken away.
Here is Lucifer in heaven. How many angels are mention be name in Scripture? Only three of them are mentioned by named: Lucifer, Michael and Gabriel. One-third defected – one-third of the stars. Remember, they defected with Lucifer. Two-thirds made it, and they are represented by the two angels on the mercy seat, falling down for mercy. We are kept by the mercy of God. In fact, it says that in Jude in the latter part of verse 21: "Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."
In every one of these rebellious scenes, God did spare some. Even in Sodom and Gomorrah, we see that God did spare some. So we want to be those that find mercy, Amen. We want to be those that fall down and find mercy – as the two-thirds in heaven that fell down and found mercy. Not all of the angels were in agreement with Lucifer’s rebellion. There is no redemption promised to angels. In John 3:5 it says: "…Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Only human beings are born of water, angels are certainly not born of water and there is no salvation offered to them. They are created beings. There is a doctrine called, ultimate reconciliation; that says God is going to restore everything in the end; even Lucifer and the fallen angels. (This doctrine originated with Origen.)
In verse 7 of Jude, we have Sodom and Gomorrah: "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." Here is a wicked place, full of perversion and homosexuality that is set forth as an example. Today we have various ministers that try to justify and condone alternative lifestyles (or whatever they want to call it). However, here is an example – a precedent that says; this is how God views such conduct. He gave them over to the eternal flame.
Some interpret the eternal fire to mean "momentary" and they also interpret hell to be momentary. Just a momentary flame and then it is all over. However, this is not what Jesus taught. He taught about a place where the worm dieth not – the human worm. We are given a scene in hell where the devil and his followers are in eternal flame and the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever. There is no end to eternity. There is no end in hell. As I have said before, it is more the fear of hell that got me into the kingdom, than my desire to go to heaven.
However, God did rescue some out of Sodom. We will bring that out later on because there is another verse that kind of relates to this. But do you see that God sets a precedent by what was done in Sodom. What was the sin of Sodom? We are told in Ezekiel 16:49: "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy." Actually, most of these sins are the sins of America today: It is far more dangerous to prosper than it is to be in want; far more dangerous spiritually to have much free time and a lot of spending money…they just didn’t know what to do with themselves, so they invented evil things to do. America today is on the road to perdition and there is not going to be an immediate recovery for what is happening until this country repents.
Sodom and Gomorrah are figures of the end. They are figures of the wicked cities that God is going to judge. The Seventh Day Adventists interpret eternal fire as momentary and they use Sodom as a point of reference. Yes, they were destroyed with hell fire, but the inhabitants of Sodom are still in hell and will rise in judgment against those who have had the greater light.
There is a network of radio stations - "Family Radio" and there founder Harold Camping, has some very strange doctrines. He asserts that the end of the world is coming on May 21st of 2011. He also asserts that there is no millennium; and that the earth is going to be burned from May 21st until October 21st (five months). Then it is all over…that is it and eternity begins. So, he reckons that the inhabitants of the world are going to be on fire 5 months. *Individuals like H. Camping give Christianity a black eye – another excuse to reject Christianity when it does not happen.
Many verses reference the unquenchable fire. It is not going to be anything that can be put out. There are people in hell now who have been there for centuries. We have a little picture of this in Luke 16: Before the cross everybody went down into the lower parts of the earth; everybody - the good and the bad. The good people went into paradise because heaven was not opened at that time. Man was still waiting for his redemption to come (Christ). They were not redeemed completely yet. The good went down and the evil, only they were divided by a wide chasm. We see this in the dialogue between Abraham and the rich man (as he was in the lower parts of the earth). The evil occupants of hell were not just burned up – they have been there since Cain. There are other torments in hell besides burning.
But just so we get our doctrine correct; in the final resurrection everyone will be bodily resurrected – the good and the bad. And, it is an immortal body that we stay in forever, whether it is in hell or whether it is in heaven. Those who are in hell now are in their soul/spirit. The same is true of those in heaven. However, in the great resurrection everybody gets a body and they spend eternity in that body.
God did preserve a few even in Sodom: 2 Peter 2:6: "And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly." God made them a prototype to learn from. This is what is going to happen to those that live as the ungodly Sodomites. Continuing in verses 7-8: "And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds.)"
God is able to deliver the godly. It says of Lot that he was righteous, however, he was not holy. That was the problem with Lot. He was a righteous man, but he was not holy. He vexed his righteous soul from day to day, hearing their evil conversations. Does it vex you when watch the news or flip through the channels on TV? You cannot watch something for ten seconds without a line of smut and filth. It makes me want to reach through the screen and grab somebody. Maybe that is my problem. I hate evil. I cannot help it. So, God is able to deliver and Lot also is a figure. But to the others; this is their end. There are preachers who try to say that sodomy is a life style, but God says it is perversion and their end is in hell.
Easy-Living and the Welfare Mentality
Continuing in Jude 1:8: "Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities." Evil imaginations…they did not have anything else to do but sit around and meditate upon evil things. Our country is adapting to a welfare mentality. Why don’t "they" do this or that…? "They" is the contributing part of the country – the part of the country that supports everything. When I was young, we were very poor and when we did not have money to buy, we did not buy. Today, people think that the government has an endless supply of resources. Well, why don’t "they"… They are broke, they are in debt. And in all truthfulness, this nation needs to humbled. If the younger generation in this nation had to spend the day toiling and sweating just to have enough to eat, there would not be time to meditate upon evil.
I am taking a little detour here; but when we think of some of these big unions, like the auto makers, who procure these hefty packages for the laborer. For example: the average laborer (auto industry) in Detroit receives about $75 an hour. The package includes medical and other benefits. Could you live with $75 an hour? I could. We are talking about thousands a week. Yet, their mentality is: no, we are not going to compromise one dime. This is why our country is going down.
In Hershey, PA there is a chocolate factory where they are getting a nice wage. The owners say to the people: "We cannot afford to give you any more and make a profit." Now, if you are getting $20 an hour; that is a decent wage for a small town. Hershey told their workers they had reached the saturation point and they were going to have to be content with their wages. The workers told them: "No way, we want more." The owners told them, if they did not concede on this they would lose their jobs. The workers response was: "No concessions!" So, they are no longer making chocolate bars in Hershey PA. They have now moved their operations to the fair land of Mexico. That is the kind of mentality that has ruined our country.
Years ago, when I grew up, we did not have credit cards. If you did not have the money, you did not buy. What happened to that mentality? I am getting off the subject, however I was thinking about what a lady told me once; a Singaporean lady. She was talking about the nation of Brunei. Here is a rich little island, wealthy beyond measure. Seven star hotel – and there are only a couple of those on the face of the earth. Forty years ago, the sultan generously started to make everything available – no charge: Free education, free everything. And, this is what the lady said about the people in Brunei: "They are a nation full of good-for-nothings." Today they are having a big problem; they have produced a generation of do-nothings, and good-for-nothings. All they want to do is receive.
This is what unmerited welfare does to people. This is not what America is about, not what made this country great, but it is the way we are going. By the time this administration is through with us we are going to be a welfare state. (That is if we continue on present course.)
This was Sodom; fullness of bread, idleness of time, nothing to do except invent wickedness. "Filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion." Do not tell us what to do! "Speak evil of dignities." No respect for authority. God puts authorities over us and they are to be respected. We are to respect our parents, the police and the school teacher and the pastor. Today it is a different story. Today if a teacher corrects a student, the teacher gets fired. It is one of the signs of the time. Anarchy is lawlessness.
Sins of the Mouth
"Speak evil of dignities" – do you realize all of the sins that relate to the mouth in this little epistle: In verse 9: "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." Even the archangel did not bring a railing accusation against Satan. Even angels respect rank.
Verse 10 – 11: "But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying (Contradiction) of Core." .
Verse 15: "To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."
Verse 16: "These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage." Their mouths speaking great swelling words – flattery.
Verse 18: "How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts." Many sins of the mouth mentioned in this little book.
Did you ever murmur? What is murmur anyway? Have you ever gone camping and sat next to a murmuring stream? You hear the little brook in the background just murmuring; very low key – minor key. Now imagine Moses walking through the camp and he is listening to that low key murmur. The whole camp is alive with murmur - grumbling. "These are lousy accommodations, when are we are getting out here; we are tired of this manna, when are we going to get out of here." That is why they never got out of the desert.
Sins of the mouth: The antichrist is called a flatterer – we will consider this more fully when we come to verse 16. The Scripture says that many shall cleave to those with flatteries. Some Christians always want to hear something good about themselves. They always want to feel good about themselves; and there are ministers who are tailor made for the job. They make their congregation feel good about themselves even when they should be feeling conviction.
They bless them, favor them, please them, but never tell them the truth because that might hurt. David said: "Let the righteous smite me, and it will be a healing oil that will not break my head." Let the righteous give me a good whack when I need it. Remember this; the kisses of the enemy are deceit. Would you rather have somebody kiss you with their deceitful little words, or would you rather have somebody give you a good smack and say: "Look you need to get your life straightened out!" Did you ever have anybody do that to you? Give you a holy slap.
We want to have a sanctified tongue. The tongue is a little member of our body that causes a lot of trouble. As James said, if we can control this little monster in our mouth, then we are living victoriously and the same is a perfect man. "He that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God" (Psa 50:23).
Let us consider the thought of speaking evil of dignities because it can start so very subtle. Some years ago, somebody gave me a book on the Nicolaitanes. The Nicolaitanes are mentioned in Revelation a few times. The word in Greek: "nico" means lording over: and "laitanes" means laity. So, it means "lording over the laity." The book was about ministers with the discipleship mentality. Ministers who tell their people every move to make – they control every aspect of their congregant; tell them when to take a vacation, etc. This book that was given to me was almost a backlash to the authority that God has given to the minister. (The other extreme to the Nicolaitanes.)
The protestant church in their backlash from the Catholicism kind of turned the church into a democracy. As the reformation continued it gradually brought democratization to the church. We vote in the pastor; we vote in the elders and Sunday school teachers, etc. This is not Scriptural either. In fact, you are to obey the person God puts over you. However, he is to lead by example, he is not to lord over you. We must understand that the minister is not one of the boys. In fact, the minister gives account for his flock. If he has not led them in the right way, he has to answer for it and (as the song writer said): "A strict account to give…"
The minister is accountable for the blood of his people. God appoints the leader and all who are in charge. Even the boss at work is appointed from heaven – the good the bad and the ugly. So there has to be a certain respect for the office or position. Even dictators fulfill a purpose, and if you don’t believe that, study the kings of the North. They were there as instruments of judgment. If God allows a dictator then there is good reason. However, I certainly would not honor someone like that.
When Paul is writing Romans 13, Nero was the emperor and he was very evil. Paul is talking about respecting authorities. In fact, Paul had to stand before Nero himself. Bottom line – you have to respect the office; if not the person, you have to respect the office.
In Hebrews 13:17; we are looking at the minister: "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." It is God who appoints the minister over the flock. God appoints them and we must respect that appointment. The pastor must give an account for his flock. God has set him apart for this responsibility.
We could go into a long exposition on this, but to contrast the minister from the congregation…looking at Leviticus: When a minister sinned; his sin offering was equivalent to that of the whole congregation together when they sinned. There are congregational sins, but the minister’s sin is equivalent to that of the whole congregation put together. God judges the minister on a much higher scale.
Jude 9: "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." Here is an interesting little scenario; Moses was being resurrected before the time because God had a purpose for Moses. Moses is a type of the man-child (being resurrected before the resurrection). Of course, Satan had claims to the body because the penalty had not yet been paid on the cross. However, God said: I want to resurrect Moses before the time. He was to be one of the encouragers to Christ upon the Mt of Transfiguration.
God allowed Moses to die, but He took Elijah up alive and He took Enoch up alive. However, Moses had to fulfill a certain pattern. Moses and Elijah had to appear on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt 17). God had a purpose for Moses to be resurrected; he was a type of the man-child – those who are taken up before the general resurrection (Rev 12:5-6). Moses had to fulfill a type. However, Satan tried to contend for Moses’ body and resist Michael’s interference. Bear in mind that the price of redemption had not yet been paid, but God is God and He can do whatever fits His purpose. The Lord can break His own rules.
Yet even Michael, when he came for the body of Moses did not bring against Satan a railing accusation, but said: "The Lord rebuke thee… I am sent here by the Lord, you must stand aside." Michael had a mandate from the Lord and he had the authority to rebuke Satan in the name of the Lord. There is an authority structure in the kingdom and Lucifer was given certain power too. In fact, that is what he is here for. He is here to test the church. He has his ministry too.
We have some interesting scenarios in this little book of Jude. This account (Vs 9) gives us an insight into Revelation 12; where the man-child is being taken up. The woman – (the church) brings forth the man-child. Included in this man-child are those from previous centuries. There are those who are presently living, but also those (like Moses) who have died, but are being resurrected before the resurrection at the second coming. There are a few resurrections mentioned in Scripture, however, the great resurrection is at the end of the millennium.
*The man-child speaks of those who will govern the nations with Christ in the Millennium. They are men who have been faithful in their generation – like Enoch, who walked with God.
There was a little firstfruits resurrection at the time of Christ as well. When Christ was resurrected, there was a hand full of saints that were resurrected with Christ when He arose from the grave – not all of them, just a firstfruits (sample) resurrection. These went into the city and appeared unto many. If you want a reference on this incident, it is found in Matthew 27:52-53.
Continuing on in Jude 10: "But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves." Referring to the ungodly from verse 8, who have turned unto lasciviousness. These are governed by the baser instincts (sensual). They speak evil of things that they know nothing about. There is a proverb (20:25) that speaks of the folly of devouring something holy, and then later inquiring to see if it is true or not: "It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, and after vows to make enquiry." When you touch the holy things you want to be very careful about what you are saying. It says here (Jude 10): that they speak evil of things they know nothing about. We give an account for all of our idle words.
Balaam, Cain and Core
In Jude 11: "Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core." Let’s take Balaam first: Balaam gives us a picture of the prosperity preacher. He prostitutes the gift for a reward – that is Balaam. The error of Balaam…he could be bought. Here is a man that could be bought for a price. Genuine gifts; make no mistake about it, he was a prophet of God. He had tremendous visions of the latter end of Israel. However, he is somebody who could be bought. Many ministers who have had gifts fall into the Balaam category. Prostituting their anointing – their gifts; and that is the temptation of a gift. When a minister really has something in the spirit, and he knows it; then there is the temptation to use that gift to enrich self.
Then we have Cain: "…The way of Cain." Now what can be said about Cain? Here is the offspring of Adam and Eve, the firstborn son. This is what the apostle says about Cain: (1 John 3:10-12): "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous."
It is interesting how that even in the church-world there are those who despise others because they are righteous. And why is that…because their own works are evil or suspect. They put down the standard of righteousness – that is the generation we live in. They have gone in the way of Cain. The apostle also says (1 John 4:20): "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" Cain did not love God because he did not love his brother.
Even after Cain was confronted with the murder of his brother he was unrepentant. Cain never accepted his sentence. He said that God was not fair. He said that the judgment God had given him was far greater than what he deserved. Cain would not acknowledge his sin nor was he repentant. Thus Cain was marked. God put a mark on him so that all could see his guilt and thus identify him with the evil-one. How would you like to have a mark put on you that said: "murderer?" Cain had to wander around with that mark for the rest of your life – and nobody dared to touch Cain. That was part of his judgment.
Let us move on to the "gainsaying of Core:" Gainsaying means to contradict: "the contradiction of Core." God does not like his word or his messenger contradicted. Remember the story of Core in Numbers 16: Core contradicted Moses; he withstood Moses and the eldership. He said (in essence) we are priests as well as you, who do you think you are taking authority over us; we have what you have, etc.
*Believe me, during the course of your ministry you will have the little Core companies that rise up in your church. Yes, they will do you damage but in reality they collect the rebels from out of your group – (the ones that will give you trouble later on). It is good that they manifest themselves before revival comes so that God can remove them and they do not spread their leaven amongst the new converts.
The Lord was so infuriated about this confrontation that He told Moses stand aside and that He would wipe the whole congregation off the map. Once again, Moses and Aaron fall down and plead for Israel. The Lord then concedes and tells Moses to have Core and company present themselves before the Lord with their censors and that He would prove who was who. Moses then told the congregation to separate from Core and company for the Lord was going to do a new thing. Moses tells the audience (in essence) that if God had spoken by him (Moses), that God would bear witness by doing a new thing – He would open up the earth and take this company alive into hell… which came to pass!
It is interesting that even some of the sons of Core separated themselves from their fathers. If you go through the Psalms you will find many different Psalms ascribed to the Sons of Core. They were Levite musicians – the sons of Core. God makes a difference. Those who did not rally with Core and separated were later used of God. So, once again God preserved some during a time of blatant apostasy.
Spots in the Church
Moving on to Jude 12: "These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots." Jude is speaking about their love feasts and communion. The early church often had a love-meal followed by communion. It was often a daily thing. The church world today does not give a lot of attention to the ordinance of communion – at least in this country. Jude is talking about those within the church who were spots. "…They feast with you, feeding themselves without fear…" They did not have the fear of the Lord upon them. Members that were stained – morally- blotched. Morally blotched but feeling "no condemnation."
"Clouds without water…" We are talking about people that boasted of a false gift. The Proverbs talk about false gifts as being clouds without water. There is also the thought of a false anointing: Gifts that are propelled by the dark side.
"Carried about of winds…" Ephesians 4:14, speaks of being carried about by every wind of doctrine. "That we be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine" The early church had many doctrinal winds blowing through it. In our early experience, we too are unsure of where we stand. Before we have learned to sort things out, this may sound good, so we go with this. Then, this sounds better, so we go with that. Thus, we can be here and there, tossed around a little bit until we become stabilized. Finally, God brings us into the right place and says; now, I want you to be established in this place. Many of you are younger, so you are still growing into some of these experiences.
…Trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots." No life in them, plucked up by the roots; bringing no fruit to perfection. Jude is giving a description of the tares in the group. Jesus said: "By their fruits ye shall know them." Those being described here are those who are no longer abiding in the vine!
"Twice dead…" We are born twice, and we can die twice. If we are not born twice then we are going to die twice. Did you ever hear about the second death…Or the second birth? There is the natural birth, there is a spiritual birth – the second birth. We die a natural death – the first death. The second death is at the judgment, when one dies spiritually. So, if we are not born twice we are going to surely die twice.
Let’s talk about the spots that have mingled themselves into the fellowship: In Acts 2:46, we are told about the intimate fellowship of the saints – they had their love feasts everyday. "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart."
We have to get into Leviticus to appreciate what these spots and blemishes are all about. Leviticus tells us about the lepers and the garments that are spotted by the flesh – spotted by issues of the flesh. Leviticus is teaching us about human defilement in our garments. However, we need to translate this into spiritual terms. We are talking about moral – fleshly blemishes.
The church that the Lord is coming for is a glorious church without spot or wrinkle or blemish. Thus, our spiritual garments, our undergarments (so to speak) must be pure and clean. Somebody once was sharing a vision they had about a minister. This minister had on an outer-garment; suddenly a wind blew (this was in the Spirit) and the outer garment blew aside and revealed the undergarment that was all spotted and blemished. The vision was a revelation of the spiritual life – full of spots and blemishes.
Peter says things that are very similar. In 2 Peter 2:13-14: "And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness." These are all signs of the times. There is a sift coming to the church. May we find mercy and grace so that we are not a statistic.
Descriptive Adjectives – The Positives and the Negatives
Jude uses many descriptive words and phrases that carry a very negative message. However most of these descriptive adjectives can be turned around to portray the true church. For example, a phrase such as: "Clouds without water…" can be reversed to mean something very positive. Clouds full of rain: It says of Job that when he spoke his words were like the latter rain.
*Psalms 1 tells us that we can be like trees whose roots go down and are planted by the rivers of living waters that brings forth fruits in there season.
*Isaiah 48:18 speaks about waves of righteousness. To see the contrast you could connect the next verse in Jude, verse 13: "Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." I am just showing us that the true church is just the counter of what we see here. May we be waves of righteousness rather than waves of wickedness.
*Daniel 12 speaks about the true stars who lead many to righteousness. So there is a positive and negative to everything isn’t there? You see both sides. Even nature has its lessons, it has its flukes and negatives. For example, there are stars that serve as a warning to us… stars that get off course and they end up in the black hole. We are living in a generation that is out of touch with nature because we have such high tech instruments today. We do not need to use the stars for guidance; we do not to see which way the sun came up or the color of the sky. We have our GPS and all those little gadgets that alienate us from creation.
Enoch – Type of the Man-Child
Jude 14: "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints." Enoch – his name means teacher. He was a prophet and a teacher. He is a type of the man-child who goes up prior to the time. The Scripture says of Enoch that he walked with God. He lived at the end of the first millennium, (which was very wicked) and the Lord took him. He was translated, he walked right into heaven. Enoch pleased God and his testimony is found in the faith chapter.
If you look at some of the metaphors in Revelation chapter 12, you will find three groups: One group is taken up before the flood; one is preserved during the flood and the other is persecuted. Enoch was taken up before the flood. Noah was preserved during the flood. The remnant perished in flood. So you have the three groups which equate with the Holy of Holies, Holy Place, and Outer Court. Consider what Jude says of Enoch: He prophesied of the Lord’s coming with ten thousands of his saints. Enoch saw this and he was living at the time of Adam. Adam lived for 930 years and so Enoch and Adam overlapped for about 300 years. Enoch was 365 years old when he was taken up. So, these two lives overlapped for about 300 years. Thus, I would suggest from this; that Adam actually heard the message of the second coming from Enoch.
Enoch the seventh from Adam… Thus, the first man that ever lived upon earth heard the message of the second coming from one of his great, great, grandsons. This is interesting because the argument is: "Well, people have said this forever" – well, that is true. The first man that ever lived heard the message of the "Second Coming:" The Lord is coming back with ten thousands of His saints. However, no other generation has lived at the end of the sixth day as we. We are at the end of the six thousand years given to the Adam creation and then will come the one-thousand year Sabbath or the millennium (the thousand year rest).
So, Enoch is a type of the man-child, he is a prophet/teacher and he is translated before the flood. He was a man that walked with God. There are some very interesting little scenarios in this little book. To me, Enoch is the central figure of this book because he was preserved in the midst of a very wicked generation. The year 1000 (From Adam) was very wicked. It is funny because every time the millennium changes, men think that the end of the world has come as well. Even the last turn of the millennium (1999/2000) people were prophesying that this is the end of the world. Going back to the year AD 1000, everyone thought that this would be the end of the world. Things were so dark and so evil by the year AD 999 that men were all looking for the end of the world at the conclusion of the year.
Here is the key to being preserved in Genesis 5:24; it says that Enoch walked with God. We walk with God by keeping his commandments. Hebrews 11:5: "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." Sounds rather vain, doesn’t it? If somebody told the church: "My life has pleased God," we might tend to think, this man needs to be humbled. However, his translation absolved all doubts concerning his testimony. Wouldn’t you agree?
He comes with ten thousands of His saints… to do what? Jude 15 "To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." So, what is the millennial reign all about? It is all about ruling the nations with a rod of iron... to execute the judgments written. I would love to be a part of that company (by God’s grace). Especially, when I see how evil things are and how things are so mismanaged and how black is called white and bitter is called sweet. Even the ordinary saint today has more common sense than most of those who are leading us.
You will notice the word ungodly is used quite a few times – six times in Jude; which holds the record for any New Testament book. The word ungodly, in conjunction with some of the words it is used with means contravention. In the text, it means to oppose or to fight against God. It means anti-Christ. As it says of Nimrod; that he was a mighty hunter against the Lord. He was in opposition to the Lord. He was the one who orchestrated the Tower of Babel. He was a type of the antichrist. However, in the millennium the Lord comes with His saints, and they will get things straightened out. Do you want to be here? It is a privilege that is given to the meek. The meek shall inherit the earth.
*Note down Psalm 2, because it is a picture of the Lord ruling the nations with a rod of iron.
You can imagine that Enoch must have experienced an anti-Christ society – judging by what Jude is saying. You can also imagine that Enoch had experienced the message – living with the evildoers, with the ungodly deeds and the hard speeches of those who were totally opposed to the truth. When Enoch returns with the Lord and the saints, they will be dealing with the same kinds of people that existed 5000 years ago.
*At the end, the harvest will be totally ripe. That means that the evil man will be at his zenith and so will the righteous.
The Last Days
Jude 16: "These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage." Murmuring and complaining are sins that kept Israel out of the Promised Land. That was the big sin, and the warning is passed down to the church as well (1 Cor 10). The thing about this type of sin is that it reveals a deeper problem. Ingratitude and un-thankfulness are the beginning of a darkened heart, which eventually becomes incapable of making a sound judgment (Rom 1:21-). When Israel complained against circumstances, they were really complaining against the One who led them there. These are not candidates for the promised land.
"…Their mouth speaketh great swelling words… Then we have the flatterers who are out to take advantage of the simple. Many of these flatterers fall into the category of ministers. They are seeking their own fleshly/worldly desires at the expense of their congregation… Telling them what they want to hear; making them feel good with the promise of temporal blessings.
Jude 17-18: "But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts." We have been warned from the beginning concerning things to come. The last days have been compared to the days of Noah. Noah preached against an onslaught of contradiction and mockery. I remember once having a park service. We had to contend with mockers in the background trying to drown us out.
We don’t want to waste our time fighting against these types of people; it is just something to be expected. The mockers are saying: "They have been saying this from the beginning." Or, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep all things continue…" Well, the day comes when the ark is shut and the rains begin. Our job is to preach truth and righteousness. Their job is to contradict us, as Solomon said: "There is nothing new under the sun."
Jude 19: "These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit." In short, they are disconnected from the vine. Often times it is a pride thing – they think they know something or have something that others do not. And often, it turns out to be a cult. Timothy gives us a number of cult signs in (1 Tim 4:1-3). However, we want to get our perspective right on this; God is going to remove the tares from the church - not the church from the tares. I would like to site one current example from the ministry of Family Radio with Harold Camping. Mr.Camping is saying that the church age is over and that God is no longer saving people in the church. He is urging people to remove themselves from the church. He is also predicting the Lord’s coming in May of 2011.
Camping’s following falls more into the category of being mislead. However, there are going to be a lot of offended people on May 22nd 2011. Nevertheless, it is the sensual pride of this individual that is calling for separation. He thinks he has an edge on truth; he thinks that he has had a revelation that no one else has had. Incidentally, his last prediction was wrong too.
*Remember: the tare are removed from the true church, the church is not removed from the tares.
Praying in the Spirit
Jude 20: "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost." How do we do build up ourselves praying in the Holy Ghost? Well, the Apostle Paul makes this quite clear in 1 Corinthians 14:4 – praying in tongues: "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself…" The word edifies, means to build up – praying on your most holy faith. Paul is talking about praying in tongues. Many times we do not know how to pray the way we should. Praying in the Spirit helps us to intercede for the things that we really need. We are not speaking to men but to God and we are speaking things inspired by the Holy Spirit. As Paul said in another place: "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered" (Rom 8:26).
Often times we pray for the wrong things because we are praying with our human intellect. In fact, we are actually countermanding what God really wants to do. For example, we had an evangelist friend who got his RV stuck in the sand (down in Florida). He looks up and he sees storm clouds gathering and he is afraid it is going to rain. So he begins to pray: "O God, please do not let it rain, I will never get out of here if it rains." Just then, the neighbor from across the driveway sees him stuck in the sand. He then runs over and says: "No problem, I’ll have you out in a minute." He grabs a garden hose and fills up the ruts around the tires with water. The sand firms up and he drives out. Do you see…he was praying for the wrong thing. What he really needed was water to firm up the sand.
We often do this in prayer don’t we? "Lord, do this…or do that…" And, we never touch the real issue. Praying in tongues builds you up –strengthens you. It is also interceding for the right thing…praying on your most holy faith.
*We are almost through with this class, but I would like to come back to the thought of heresy from previous discussion: There is usually a bit of truth in every heresy – a certain element of truth. But this is often the way that it goes. It is a truth that is taken to some kind of extreme. For example; Calvinism or Arminianism: The one extreme says that God does it all, the other says that we do it all. Heresies are often truths that have been taken to an extreme. There is an element of truth in the prosperity message. However, it is when people take it to the extreme that makes it error.
Mr. Camping is always jangling on this line: "We are all under the wrath of God. Even we Christians are under the wrath of God." So he continually hammers on this line. Well, I left the city of destruction a long time ago – that is why I left. Like the pilgrim, I packed up and said I’m out of here. The Scripture says that He has delivered us from the wrath to come. But do you see, when people always jangle on certain points it usually indicates that what they are jangling on is wrong. It is a tell-tale sign.
Jude 21: "Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." How do we keep ourselves in the love of God? Keeping the commandments: John 15:10, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." We play a part in our election. "Keep yourselves in the love of God." We play a part in our election by obeying.
My mother was seventeen years old and she was struggling with the world. This was back in the 1930’s. Even back in those days they struggled with the world – believe it or not. One day the Lord spoke very clearly into her heart: "Make your calling and election sure." That word changed her life. Interestingly, she died on Election Day. Of course, she was in her 80’s when she died, but she died on Election Day. "Make your calling and election sure." The house that stands in the end is comprised of those who hear and do. The house that falls is the one that hears and does not do.
Jude 22-23: "And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." Of some have compassion… Some people are doomed because of their impenitent hearts, yet there are others that God wants us to reach out to, or intercede for. Lot is a good example here isn’t he? God was going to completely destroy this city, but because of Abraham’s intervention, Lot and his family were given opportunity to be saved. Lot was literally pulled out of the fire.
Some of the hyper-Calvinist mentality is that if we are really saved we would never be associated with certain sins. But of course that doesn’t allow for the backslider, does it? Was the backslider saved to begin with or not? Of course he was saved – then he went back. God wants us to reach out to the backslider. However, not all backsliders get back. I want to make that very plain. There are some that God wants to redeem; there are some that are not granted repentance.
He is Able to Keep You – True Grace
Jude 1:24: "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy." He is able to keep you from falling. That is why we want to find grace and mercy. We want to keep ourselves in the love of Jesus by keeping His commandments. He is able to do His part. However, there is a certain responsibility that falls upon us as well. In the book of Hebrews 12:15, it says: "Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God…" What does this mean? It means that if we fail, it is because we did not find grace. Grace is available and offered freely to all who appeal to the throne of mercy (Heb 4:16).
Also notice that there can be a complete victory at the end: "…To present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy." The Gospel promises complete salvation to those who obey Him. There are many that will lose their reward or their crown because of some compromise. I was once shown the end of my life…standing before the throne; it was truly joy unspeakable and full of glory – "With exceeding Joy." The promise is to the faithful!
Jude 25: "To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." The book of Jude ends on a note of praise. In fact, that is what Jude means: praise. We have every reason to praise Him: He is Omniscient, He is Omnipotent and he is Omnipresent and He is all Glorious. He gives us all that we need to be a part of His glorious kingdom. We can abide in Him as we keep His commands. The Lord said to Abraham: "Walk before me and be thou perfect." We can be perfect as we keep his commandments.
To Him be glory!
The General Epistle of Jude: as taught by Reverend Daniel G. Caram, *M. Div., at ZMI (Feb 12-13, 2009).
The following transcript was taken from a six-hour recording. This transcript has been edited in order
to make it more palatable for the reader. (The class discussion has been edited out.)
Note: You will find redundancy in this study: There is purposeful repetition as the accepted maxim
states that the student must hear something three times before it is retained.
Please feel free to copy or promulgate
The Enemies of the Cross
In reflection: Paul was recounting those who were once with him but now are enemies of the cross. We also considered Hebrew 6, concerning those who had apostatized. If you look for the word apostasy in the New Testament you won’t find it in English. You will find it in Greek, but you only find it several times. It means: "to fall away" as in 2 Thessalonians where it speaks of the falling away. In Hebrew 6, the word isn’t apostasy, but it means to apostatize – same idea here. This is somebody who knew, who tasted of the powers to come: Hebrews 6:6, "If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." There is no way to renew them again to repentance. The word fall away means to apostatize, but it is not the same word as apostasia. "Apostasia" is used only twice in the New Testament in Greek, and one of them is in 2 Thessalonians.
The point is that it is impossible to restore an apostate – one that has tasted of the power of God. Judas healed people and cast out devils. He tasted of the powers of God and then rejected it. A backslider doesn’t deny the faith. Most backsliders know they are backslidden. But as we said, there is hope for a repentant backslider. In fact, many parables of Christ tell us that the Lord wants to restore the lost sheep. The one who wanders away is a backslider – not an apostate. Peter was a backslider. In fact, Peter talks a little bit about it; he knew what it was like to wander away. Peter was restored and Judas went to hell. Judas was called the son of perdition, the son of hell. He was blotted out of the book, as it says in the Psalms.
Let us look at 2 Peter 2:1 for a moment: "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you." Peter is talking about something that is coming, whereas Jude is talking more in the present tense – it was happening at the moment. Jude had to be after Peter, even though we don’t have an absolute date. It could have been written after the fall of Jerusalem. Peter says: "…There shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." Note: "…Even denying the Lord that bought them."
These are people that were saved. "…And shall bring in damnable heresies." There is a difference between heresy and heresy. For example; if I believe in the pre-tribulation rapture, that is a heretical view, but it is not a damnable doctrine. One could teach that Christ is coming before or in the middle or at the end… the point is, your eschatological views could be erroneous but they are not going to damn your soul (unless there is more to it than just timing). The church has a lot of heresies that don’t affect their salvation. They might affect the way you live; the way you dress, the way you eat; they could affect a lot of the way you live your life. But what you eat and what you wear isn’t going to affect your salvation.
Are you with me here? There is a difference between a heresy and a damnable heresy. To teach people that they can sin and they are still going to make it to heaven is a damnable heresy. Some of the Calvinistic teaching promotes this line. In fact, I heard one of the more renowned Calvinistic preachers preaching on radio several years ago. His preaching came across like this: When we are saved, we are saved to the uttermost; nothing can take away that salvation from us. It was almost as if you could say to the Lord: "Lord, I don’t want to go to heaven now; I don’t want to serve you any more; I want to go to hell." The Lord replies: "I’m sorry, but you’re going to heaven anyway. You are saved no matter what…you are going to heaven whether you like it or not." That was the way it was coming across. To me, only people that love delusion can buy that kind of line. It doesn’t mesh anywhere in Scripture.
"Denying the Lord that bought them…" That sounds like a traitor – denying one’s own experience. Denying the Christ that saved them; denying His divinity, the virgin birth and etc. These are anti-Christ doctrines. When a person denies the virgin birth – and every cult pretty much denies the virgin birth – that is the spirit of antichrist. The teaching of the virgin birth is that God became a man through a woman. God had to become man so that he could die in order to atone for the sins of mankind. To deny the virgin birth is to say that Christ was not Divine.
Other doctrines teach that Christ was just a phantasm or that it was some spirit that took on the form of flesh. All of these doctrines tell us (in effect) that Christ was not Divine. We are saved because it was Divine Blood that redeemed us. God had to become a man so that he could bleed and die – God cannot die. Christ had to put on flesh and blood in order to pay the penalty. (There is no human being worthy enough to atone for the sins of the human race.) Christ also had to resurrect in order to break the curse. To deny the virgin birth and the resurrection is to deny your salvation.
Remember, the church started with the Acts of the Apostles, it ends with the acts of the apostates. Apostasy means to defect from the truth. For example in 2 Thessalonians 2:3: "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come…" (This is in reference to the second coming.) "…Except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition."
The Second Coming is preceded by a great sifting out of the church. We are being a bit redundant on this point, but the word falling away in the Greek translation is G646: which is "apostasia." That word is only used twice in scripture. Falling away means to apostatize. It means to defect from the truth. Interestingly, if you look at the Greek translation of that word G647, it also means to divorce. Interesting isn’t it? Divorce is a kind of an apostasy, isn’t it? Not being true to the pledge made to your mate – it is a type of apostasy.
*Also note the phrase, son of perdition. There are only two people in Scripture that are called the son of perdition. One of them is Judas and the other one is the antichrist.
Why do people defect from God’s truth? The reason is because they do not love the truth. While we are in 2 Thessalonians 2:10, it speaks about the power of the antichrist, coming with all signs and lying wonders, "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them…" Who shall send delusion? God shall send delusion! "….Strong delusion that they should believe a lie. That they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." Because they did not love the truth; because they did not love righteousness, God allows them to be taken with error and to believe a lie and to be damned.
I don’t think Christians realize the state of the church today. When you consider that 1/3 of Christian young people voted for Barack Obama; they could as well have voted for the anti-Christ. It has nothing to do with race – it has to do with character and the substance of the man.
Coming back to 2 Thessalonians 2:10, "Those that do not love the truth..." If you check out the word love in your concordance, it is translated "agape." Now that puts things into another perspective doesn’t it? Who dearly love the truth… supreme love, who supremely loves the truth. There are 3, even 4 forms of the word love in Greek. Agape is supreme love. That means that we love truth – above life itself. We are willing to give our life for the truth. I like to do word studies as I am studying; especially when I have access to a computer. It is so easy to stop at a little phrase or a word and click on the Greek or the Hebrew. It gives you a better sense of what is being said. Sometimes it can open up a message to you. If you don’t have a computer, you can use the old fashion book. But it is far easier to do it on the computer.
(See the deceitfulness of sin - Hebrews 3:13). They had pleasure in unrighteousness. The Christian life is a fight to the end – he that endures to the end. It’s a fight to be right. Don’t ever get too comfortable, where you say, "Well, we’re here, not to worry…." Or, "We are above temptation, etc, etc." It is how we finish the race. Jesus made this very clear in Matthew 10:22, "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved." For my name sake – for Christianity sake… he that endures to the end shall be saved.
We must dearly love the truth and (in time) be even willing to die for the truth. I don’t think that we fully appreciate the concept of truth when we are first born again. Peter thought he was ready to die for truth – but was he? No. There really needs to be a work of grace in a person’s heart before they come to this place. I don’t want to put anybody under condemnation about something like this. Being a martyr is not something that God requires of a new babe – although in some countries that has been the case – to accept Christ means ‘your life.’ That is why we are told in Jude 1:3, to: "Contend for the faith." There is a battle to be right.
Sometimes the battle can be over doctrine or moral convictions. But, what ever form it takes, the enemy tries to undermine what God has said. One of the first things that we learn about our ancient foe in Scripture is that he is a fallen star. In fact, he pulled out 1/3 of the stars of heaven. The book of Judges (chap 5), speaks about the stars fighting in the heavens. So, you have the good stars and the bad stars in combat.
The first thing that the "fallen" star said to Eve was: "Yea hath God said?" Did God say that? What our ancient foe seeks to do is to challenge truth. He wants to challenge everything that God has said. This is the tactic of the enemy; to try to undermine or weaken or disestablish truth.
Considering the Author – Jude
Let us look at Jude 1:1: "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father…" Jude is addressing the church. "…And preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:" Jude first identifies himself as a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James. So, who was this Jude? He was a half brother of Jesus Christ. There is only one Jude mentioned in scripture who has a brother by the name of James and that is Jesus’ half brother.
Jesus had four brothers mentioned by name. The Scripture also mentions sisters (Matt. 13:55-56). It doesn’t give any names of the sisters. But we must note the humility of the man (Jude) – One could easily be tempted to say: "Jude the half brother of Christ", however, reflecting upon Jude’s past, he had been agnostic himself – that is, in the sense of not being a believer. Jude grew up in the same house as Jesus. How would you like to grow up in the same house as Jesus and see the model brother; hear the stories your mother would tell you about his birth and you still don’t believe in him. Jude had rejected his brother as well as James (John 7:5).
Let us consider to whom Jude is writing: It is a general epistle, but it is to the saved. To the sanctified and preserved. And of course, we are preserved by the grace of God; however, this word preserved has the sense of being in a fort. The enemy cannot come in, nor can he get to you. Yet, we can easily leave the fort. I know that some of the Calvinistic brethren like to talk about being in God’s hands and that no man can pluck us out. This is true; however, there is nothing that prevents us from leaving God’s hand either. We can walk out of our own free volition. The enemy can’t walk in and drag you out, but we can walk out ourselves. We are preserved by grace, but grace only works as we continue to walk in obedience.
Jude knew what it was like to be apostate in the sense that he had rejected the elder brother. The Scripture says that a prophet is not accepted in his own house – Christ said that of Himself. Christ was the prophet of all prophets and he was rejected by his own brethren. In fact, it says that his brethren did not believe in him.
*There are a few verses that mention Jude:
Of course, Jude is the same as Judas, but we don’t like to use that name do we? Jude is also a derivative of Judah. In Mark 6, his brethren are mentioned. Mark 6:3-4, "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon?" Juda of course is Jude. "And are not his sisters here with us?" And they were offended at him. But Jesus said unto them: "A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house." Jesus is relating His own experience. It also says that in Matthew’s gospel.
The Catholics do not accept that Mary had other children. I remember once sitting with some of my Lebanese cousins out in Boston. They are Maronite Catholics. Maronite Catholics do not take their orders from Rome. They claim to be the true Christians, tracing their origin to Antioch, Syria, where they were first called Christians. The Maronite Catholics have a different rulebook. For instance, their priests can marry. However, they believe in the Virgin Mary as the Virgin Mary. They believe that she retained her virginity even after Jesus was born. I once mentioned to them that Mary had other children. They said, no! So, I told them to open up their Bible and I would show them where it says that she had other children. They were awe-struck by the fact the Jesus had brothers and sisters. They said, "How come no one ever told us this?" I said I don’t know, but there it is.
In Acts 1:13-14, "And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren." Interestingly, in the upper room, after the resurrection, for some strange reason, His brethren believed in Him. Here they are in the upper room – they didn’t believe in him before. But now they believe in Him.
Jude 1:2, "Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied." We are kept by the mercy of God. The Lord said: "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy." I believe that one of the reasons; (if not the foremost reason) that God has mercy on us is because he knows what we are going to do. This is one of the cardinal doctrines of Romans – Predestination: God predestines according to His foreknowledge. He also keeps them by the same precept. He knows who are going to be true…who will be faithful; who will cry out for grace.
"…And peace." Never underestimate the anointing of peace. Few people really have it. It is a wonderful thing to have peace. Peace sounds so mundane, lackluster or un-inspiring. Yet, peace is (perhaps) one of the most powerful anointings in the Christian arsenal. Peace is very destructive to the enemy. "The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet" (Rom. 16:20). The peace of God keeps us from going into the panic mode, or from doing something foolish.
Reflecting back to the 70’s when our troops were pulling out of Vietnam; there was a panic. The nationals where hanging on to plane wings, they were trying everything to escape S. Vietnam before the communists moved in. It was utter pandemonium. The peace of God keeps people from that kind of panic and hysteria. We can be at our best in the pulpit or under any circumstance when we have the peace of God. It is beautiful how the anointing can flow through a person who has peace. It is wonderful to have the peace of God because you are uninhibited; you are not bogged down by mental blurriness or anything else. The word can flow through you. And, of course when you have peace you can bring peace and that anointing has a wonderful affect.
Paul speaks of the gospel of peace – the shoes, which speak of the preparation of the gospel of peace (Eph. 6:15). Where our feet go, we should bring peace. Amen! The gospel of peace is not a gospel of the crusader; it is not a gospel of politics, or much of anything that you see portrayed today under the banner of the gospel.
Jude 1:3, "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation…" There is only one salvation. We all come in the same way, through the same door. There are not two ways to be saved, there is only one way. "…It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith." There is a spiritual struggle against an ancient foe that seeks to challenge our faith. We are going to be challenged on our doctrine and our walk. Contending for the faith is essentially standing for the truth, standing for what you believe.
There is a legitimate ministry of apologetics. I do not recommend that people get into apologetics as a ministry. There are some very well known apologists. Probably the most renowned apologist is an Indian brother (from India); Ravy Zacharias by name. He has a radio program entitled: "Let my people think." He is quite an intellectual. He goes to colleges and universities and debates with the evolutionist or the existentialist or the atheist. He often uses terms and words that lose the ordinary lay person. He quotes the philosophers, the theorists and the free-thinkers. But in truth there is very little fruit that is gained from philosophical argument.
Here is what it comes down to most of the time: It is intellect fighting intellect, and that is what we want to avoid. And, truth be known; the intellect of the atheist is a mind blinded by another spirit. One of the first pseudo (so-called) Christian apologists was Justin Martyr. We are going back to the second century. He is called the first Christian apologist. He tried to sell Christianity through philosophical debate. Greek philosophy was one of the plagues of the early church; however, his ploy was to try to win people through philosophical debate. This is intellect fighting with intellect. Or, as I have already said; what this really amounts to is intellect fighting against spirit.
It is the god of this world that has blinded the minds of people so they cannot see (2 Cor 4:4). So, (in effect) we are trying to fight with a spirit with our intellect… it just doesn’t work. We want to be armed with the Spirit and the truth of God’s Word. We want to be able to give answers to those who ask us. We want to be able to defend our faith from proven Scripture – the doctrine of Christ. We will produce a lot more spiritual fruit by simply expounding and reasoning our faith from the Scripture.
The Early Church Leaves the Pattern
Here is where the early church lost it. If you study church history, you will discover that they departed from the original pattern laid down by the apostles. Doctor Bailey once made a point concerning a Gothic cathedral in Cologne, Germany. This cathedral is the largest Gothic structure on the face of the earth today. It is 550 feet high. It is an enormous structure that was built over a period of 6-700 years. It began in the 12th century and it continued on for the next six to seven centuries. The point that Dr Bailey made was this: The cathedral was built in increments. They would build and then stop. However, every time they were going to continue, they had to come back to the original pattern. They had to come back to the original pattern before they could proceed.
The problem with the early church was that they departed from the original pattern. When we consider the reformation, we see that they had to return to the original pattern. The church went down hill until Luther who then returned to square one – the original pattern: Justification by faith was Luther’s revelation and on that precept the church began to rise again.
To "earnestly contend" means that we cannot be passive about our faith. We must stay on the cutting edge and to do that we must continually study the scripture. Continually study and continually add to your knowledge of the scripture. When Jesus was in combat with the enemy, what did He do? He quoted Scripture. We must have a nice resource of Scripture in our heart and in our mind. Not just in your head – but in your heart.
Reflecting upon years past; whilst my brother Paul was attending Elim Bible Institute; he would type out his notes word for word from class. Then, he would send his notes to me. So I had an advantage because I didn’t have to sit in class and take notes. They were already taken for me. I could sit down and I could meditate and weep over the word. I could let the Word get into my heart. I could digest it as I was taking it in. This is how we get it into our heart – by meditating upon it. The most important thing is that we get the Word into our heart – not just into our head.
As we examine the lives of some of the luminaries of the early centuries – men like Origen. I am referencing Origen because he fits the sum of many: He was a mixture of Greek philosophy and asceticism (extreme self denial) – things that Jesus never taught. Origen’s disciples also imitated him. For example, if the Scripture said: "If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out." Thus they would do: Origen’s disciples dismembered themselves… some had no eyes, no hands. He even had disciples that had neutered themselves.
This was all in the attempt to be holy. Origen held all kinds of ridiculous doctrines such as ultimate reconciliation. The Doctrine of ultimate reconciliation says that God is going to restore everything in the end…including the devil. One of my good friends; Daniel Kropf, who is in Africa, challenges whether Origen was even saved. Origen believed that some of the Greek philosophers were saved. On what grounds…who knows? These were the kinds of people that were leading the church in the beginning.
We are warned about getting into philosophy. Paul warns the Colossians against the dangers of philosophy – and essentially we are talking about psychology and humanism – (human wisdom and rationale). As mentioned previously, this is how Charles Templeton (one of the Billy Graham associates) lost his faith. He went to Princeton, sat under the atheistic professors who rationalized away his faith. Perhaps he might have stood his ground had he understood the gap theory.
Losing the Crown…Losing Eternal Life
The letters to the seven churches recorded in the book revelation give us a picture of how things were deteriorating by the end of the first century. John’s revelation also gives us a picture of the last days as well. When we consider everything that is said concerning the last days, we realize why we need to be equipped and why we need to let these truths get into our heart. Jesus said that in the last days there would be false prophets who could deceive (if it were possible) the very elect. We are talking about people whose names are in the book of life.
In 1 Timothy 4:1, it says: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." As we read earlier from 2 Thessalonians & 2 Peter: strong delusion and damnable heresies will be the plague of the church finale. As mentioned, not all heresy is damnable, however it can rob you of a crown - it can take your crown. In Colossians 2:18: "Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind."
Christians can be seduced by another spirit into a false worship. We can lose our reward in being duped into worshipping another spirit. This is why music in the church needs to be guarded. Music today is so corrupted by Satan that people actually get caught up into a worship and they are worshipping another spirit.
David Wilkerson relates how he was invited to a "Christian" rock concert. He was always against "Christian" rock and he believed that it was another spirit. However, he was challenged to attend and his friend encouraged him to be objective: Just come and listen and be opened minded. So, he went to the concert and one of the long-haired singers came out and began to talk about the blood of Jesus and salvation. Wilkerson’s heart began to melt a little and he began to feel convicted. He thought maybe he had been a little too hard on these people, and maybe he should ease up a little bit… But then the music started accompanied by puffs of smoke which came out of the stage and etc.
Wilkerson said he could literally see demon spirits coming up in these puffs of smoke. This was what they were worshipping. That is why we have to warn our people about contaminated worship. Christians can be duped out of their reward by alien worship or even worse, they could receive bondages that could eventually take them out of the kingdom.
New converts might not know the difference. However, when established Christians leave a stable church to go to a church that tolerates or promotes this type of worship; it is a revelation of an uncircumcised heart. Many attach to such churches to accommodate their teenagers – whom are also in rebellion. Alien music in the church is like a rerun of the golden calf, and such idolatry associates itself with immorality.
Defining the Antichrist Spirit
Jude 1:4: "For there are certain men crept in unaware…" This is present tense. There are certain men crept in unawares – tares. Who can spot the tare? A tare can look so authentic that (naturally speaking) you can’t sort them out. Verse 4 continues: "…Who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." So we are now talking about present tense heresy. Note the last part of this verse: "Denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." These are people that are in the church, yet somehow have turned to the place where they are now denying the faith that they once embraced. The Weymouth translation reads like this – (the last part of that verse): "And disowned Jesus Christ our only sovereign and Lord." They disown Him.
What is an antichrist? John defines the antichrist for us in 1 John 2:22: "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son." So, the antichrist denies the Son and if he denies the son, he denies the Father also. Also, in 1 John 4:3, "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." An antichrist denies that Jesus Christ came in the flesh – denies the virgin birth.
John actually was dealing with a few sects at the end of the first century. The leader of one of the sects was a man by the name of Cerinthus. This man started the Docetist movement. Their assertion was that Christ did not really come in the flesh. He appeared in flesh, but He really was not flesh and blood. John literally confronted this man in Ephesus.
If Christ did not take on flesh and blood, then he really did not die either; nor did He literally resurrect. The Docetists were denying that Christ came in the flesh. The whole concept of Emmanuel is: "God with us." God came in the flesh. God became man so that he could die and break the curse of death through His resurrection. To deny this doctrine is antichrist. Every cult denies the virgin birth. Just like the Jehovah witnesses; they deny the virgin birth because they don’t believe that Jesus Christ was literally God. They believe like the Arians; (another sect), that Christ was a super-being – a super-man, but not really God. We must realize that Christ was God; He was with Father from the beginning; He stepped out of the bosom of the Father from the beginning of time (Prov. 8:22-30). There was not anything made that He did not make (Heb. 1:2, John 1:3).
There was another movement in the second century that denigrated the God of the Old Testament – the Marcionites. Marcion tried to disconnect the God of the Old Testament with the God of the New Testament. In fact, Marcion re-edited ten New Testament books. He edited out every reference that would link the God of the Old Testament to the God of the New Testament. When Marcion first came on the scene, he sounded real good. He spoke about the love of Jesus…the God of love, etc. But after a time, the true Christian community began to pick up certain betraying signs in his message. Marcion had edited any connection of the Christ of the New Testament to the Christ of the Old Testament. He pictured the God of the OT as a God of wrath. It was as though Christ was another God.
If you study the early church, you will find that there were certain movements that were corrupting the church. You will also glean from John’s writings that he was actually refuting certain prevailing heretical winds. The Gnostics (for example), promoted a doctrine that said that the sins of the flesh did not matter… God only condemned the sins of the spirit. The Gnostic scorned the keeping of the Ten Commandments. If we could understand some of the antichrist movements of the day, then we could understand what John was contending with.
Those Who Once Knew – Later Destroyed
Jude 1:5, "I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this…" Are we getting the point here? The church was losing the grasp on some of the elementary doctrines. They were forgetting that one can begin and not finish. "…How that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not." The Lord brought them out; He saved them and then later destroyed them for their rebellion. What is Jude telling us? He is saying: "Listen, we can lose our salvation" – that is the point.
In Numbers 16, we find a vivid example of this verse. Here is a group, delivered from Egypt who later rebelled and were taken down into hell alive. They never died. The earth opened up and they went down alive into the pit.
Let us talk a little bit about "eternal security." You would be surprised how many people actually embrace the message of eternal security. In Brazil, even the Pentecostal churches embrace the eternal security doctrine. In Matthew 6:23, Jesus said this: "But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" When we are saved, the candle of the Lord is lit within our being. There is a light within us and yet Jesus said that if the light that is in us becomes darkness, how great is that darkness. When God snuffs out that candle, it becomes gross darkness.
We are talking about those that knew God, but for one reason or another God put out their candle. When light becomes gross darkness I seriously doubt that the light will be restored. It can be flickering in a backslider, but when it is gone, it becomes gross darkness – and that puts them into a worse state then they ever were before. We will find those who will argue the Calvinist view of eternal security; however, it is a very difficult view to support from Scripture.
Let us look at Hebrews 10:26, 27 - "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" In other words, the blood of Christ does not cover willful sin. Verse 27 makes it very clear--there is somebody that has been set apart, (sanctified by the Blood), yet, he willfully continues to sin. Sinning willfully…no repentance, no remorse is like trampling upon the blood of Christ. God’s grace only extends so far. God does not just let people go. He entreats them; He deals with them; He gives them every opportunity to get straightened out. But if they yet despise His correction, then they are judging themselves unworthy of eternal life.
2 Peter 2:20, 21, "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." Now here is an example of one who fully knew; who had escaped the pollution of the world and then gone back. Peter said, it would be better for them had they never known than to have known and turned from it. Peter compares this to a washed pig returning to the mire. Clearly, what these verses tell us is that people can lose their salvation. Never let anybody deceive you on this. Romans chapter eleven dissolves all doubt. Paul’s illustration of the olive tree tells us that if God did not spare natural Israel because of sin and unbelief, neither would he spare spiritual Israel because of sin and unbelief: "For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee" (Rom 11:21).
*As ministers, make sure to emphasize a present tense – good relationship with heaven.
Jude’s main exhortation to the saints was to contend for the faith because there was going to be sifting. One of the big problems in the late (first century) church was the lack of ready scripture. That is why there was an emphasis on hearing the word. They did not have access to the Bible – or very few had access to it. The emphasis was to hear what God was saying and get it into their hearts – thus the enemy would be prevented from picking it away. We have privileges that they did not have. However, we still want to get the Word into our heart, we want to love the truth.
The reason that the early church was deteriorating was because they were departing from the original pattern that the apostles had taught. The church was going down for about 15 centuries until Luther; then it started to rise again.
Another big problem in the early church (as previously mentioned) was the taint from the Greek philosophy. There were many schools of Greek philosophy in the empire and many of the early luminaries were alumni from these institutions. Justin Martyr tried to win his opponents to Christ through intellectual debate. We cannot deal with spirits through the intellect – it can only be through the anointing. Mars’ Hill gives us a good picture of this concept. Paul is reasoning (under the anointing) with these blinded philosophers on Mars’ Hill in Acts 17. Yet, how many of them really heard what he was saying? How much fruit did he glean from Athens?
Athens was the cultural/intellectual center of the empire, yet Paul had had very little fruit there. When Paul spoke of the resurrection of the dead, they mocked. Human rational; worldly wisdom rejects the resurrection. Worldly wisdom/philosophy is governed by the god of this world: "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (2 Cor. 4:4).
Be Careful What You Study
I do not recommend that you study what these luminaries wrote. It is just a mixture (a drain) and it is quite demoralizing as well. As I have previously stated, I do not advocate getting into apologetics as a ministry. In fact, I had a nephew who wanted to immerse himself in this field of ministry. Well, he got into an argument, which is what apologetics is really about – and he lost. He not only lost the argument but he lost his faith too. At this present time he is not serving the Lord. We cannot argue with the devil and win – not with the human intellect.
Just quote the word and do not argue with the enemy. If you examine the lives of the early luminaries such as Martyr or Origen or Augustine; they were all steeped in Greek philosophy. They had all attended these philosophical schools where they studied the works of men who were reprobate. Many of them were homosexual; many were ascetic – such as the stoics (see Acts 17). When you sit under the teachings of such men, you will naturally absorb some of their spirit. That is why you do not want to study the philosophers.
Study the pure word, and commentaries of men that you respect – men such as Pastor Bailey and even some of the commentators on e-sword are very good when it comes to facts and figures. They have researched things out and they can give you good interpretations of words or historical events, although some of their spiritual input is not clear. They might interpret the third heaven as different spheres of the physical heaven. You would also be surprised how many of these renowned commentators are a millenialist. That means they do not believe there is going to be a millennium – a thousand year reign.
Many of the commentators on the radio are cessationist. They believe that the day of miracles or that the supernatural power of Pentecost ended in the first century. Well, that is not a damnable heresy; however it keeps people in the outer court. It keeps people from the full reward. It will keep them reigning in the millennium. Of all generations we are the most accountable because we have more light in our generation.
Augustine was of the cessationist mentality. His assertion was that all the miracles had ceased in the first century. However, he had to change his position when he saw some very real healings take place. Thus he revised some of his doctrine on that score. Actually, there are many accounts of miracles in later centuries and there are still miracles taking place.
I want to look at a few more points before we move on: Pure doctrine (for example) is possible if we do the will of God. God gives good doctrine to those who obey Him, to those who do His will (John 7:17). If you want your doctrine to be pure, then you have to be willing to obey what He says. Some people do not want truth, because they are not willing to obey it. They hear what they want to hear and that is it. A person who really wants the truth is willing to suffer the consequences of that truth. There can be consequences….
In our introduction we talked about turning grace into lasciviousness. (Some interpret grace to be tolerance). But in Romans 6:1, Paul says this: "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?" Grace does not tolerate sin. In fact, in Romans 5:20 it says, "…But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." So grace is the power to have victory over sin. We want to get things correct here. Where sin abounded… grace more abounded. That means that I can now have victory over sin.
Now, let us go back to the latter part of verse 4 (Jude). "…And denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." Who would ever deny the Lord God or Jesus Christ that claim the banner of Christendom? Who could do that and not be immediately recognized as an enemy to Christianity? I want to give you a verse from Titus 1:16 so we can get another slant on this. Scriptures are like gems, there are many different slants to them. You can never limit a scripture verse to mean just one thing. There may be a literal meaning and a general meaning to it, but you can spiritualize many times on the same verse. Titus 1:16: "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate."
So a person does not have to come out and say I deny God the Father and the Son. Their works tell you that they deny Him. They are not imitating Him; there is no reflection of Christ in their walk. In short, they are not living up to His standard; they are not keeping His commandments. Their works deny Him. So – that puts denial into another light.
In verse 5 of Jude, Jude tells us about those whom the Lord saved and then afterward destroyed. As we contemplate the ministry of Judas, there must have been a time in his life where he crossed the line – where light turned into darkness. His denial was very subtle. He was the hypocrite (play-actor) described in Proverbs (26:24-26), that has seven abominations in his heart. Proverbs uses the word dissembler – it means hypocrite. Judas was a play actor. He was denying the Lord in his heart and miming out the rest.
Calvinists believe they might lose their reward but not their soul. But listen, even the typology of the OT disproves that idea. For example: the incident in Numbers 21, where Israel was being bitten of serpents. This account is toward the end of their journey. Israel was complaining and in Numbers 21:6 it says, "And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died." Moses was then told to erect a pole with a serpent upon it and all Israel had to do was to look upon that serpent… John gives us the significance of that pole: In John 3:14, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up."
Even as the sting of death was transmitted to the pole in the wilderness, Christ also took the sting upon Himself so that we could live. All they had to do was to look at the pole... Did you ever sing that old hymn: "Look and Live"? Look and live, my brother live, look to Jesus now and live…. All they had to do was look at that pole with the brass serpent on it and they would live. Yet, thousands of them died there, which tells you that they refused God’s provision to be restored. They refused to look and live. "Look to Jesus now and live…" If we refuse to look to Jesus for our repentance and restoration, we too shall perish.