Jude 1:1 - 25
NKJV - 1 Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ: 2 Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
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In my view, Jude deliberately did not tell the local church who these men were by name. Why? Because he wanted the church to watch out for and recognize them by their behaviour, then deal with them appropriately, so they don’t corrupt the church. Jesus said we would know a tree by its fruit – a good tree would bear good fruit, an evil tree would bear wicked fruit. Paul, also did not mention by name the man in the Corinthian church who was having sex with a family member and bragging about it. Paul said to cast the man out of their fellowship and let Satan attack him for a time, then welcome him back when he had repented. So what can we learn about these “godless men” from this short book. 1. These are not Christians but pagans who are condemned to face God’s judgement (v4) 2. They have secretly slipped into the fellowship of the church (v4). Jesus warned us to expect wolves disguised as sheep in out midst. Peter said that Satan masquerades as an angel of light. 3. They change the grace of God into a license for immorality (v4). Paul dealt with this same issue in the Roman church (see Romans 6:1-23). 4. They deny Jesus Christ our only sovereign and Lord (v4). Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12:3 “Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says ‘Jesus be cursed’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.” 5. They serve as an example of those who will suffer the punishment of eternal fire (v7). 6. These dreamers pollute their own bodies (v8) 7. They reject authority (v8) [this would be the authority of the spiritual leaders in the local church] 8. They slander celestial beings (v8). 9. They speak abusively against whatever they don’t understand 10. They are like unreasoning animals who only act by instinct 11. They have taken the way of Cain (v11). They give God the leftovers but still expect his blessing. 12. They rush for profit like Balaam (v11). 13. They rebel against the leaders of the Lord’s people, like Korah (v11) 14. They eat at the church love feasts without any qualm [guilt] about their sinfulness (v12) 15. They are shepherds who feed only themselves (v12) 16. They are clouds without rain, blown by the wind, autumn trees without fruit & uprooted, wild waves of the sea foaming to their shame, wandering stars in blackest darkness 17. These men are grumblers and faultfinders (v16) 18. They follow their own evil desires (v16) 19. They boast about themselves (v16) 20. They flatter others to their own advantage (v16) 21. They are scoffers who follow their own ungodly desires (v18) 22. These men divide you [bring disunity to the local church] (v18) 23. They follow natural instincts and do not have the Spirit (v19) Do we know such godless people in our local churches today? In my view, there are two types of godless people in churches; 1) those who are genuinely seeking to find a relationship with God, and 2) those who claim to be Christians but don’t act like it because they don’t have the Spirit of God. For Group 2, the scriptures tells us to avoid fellowship with them because they will corrupt our faith. To protect ourselves from such corruption Jude tells us to build ourselves up in our most holy faith, to pray in the Holy Spirit, and to keep ourselves in God’s love (v20, 21). For Group 1 Jude says “Be merciful to those who doubt, snatch others from the fire and save them, show mercy mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh” (v22,23). As we reach out in love to those who are genuinely seeking God, we must be careful that we do not become stained, by the corruption in their lives, that God will deliver them from when he saves them.
In my opinion, although Jude did not further identify the men of whom he was speaking, he was referring to the Nicolaitans, who were later condemned by name by the glorified Christ in His messages in Revelation to the churches at Ephesus (Revelation 2:8) and Pergamum (Revelation 2:14-16). The Nicolaitans were a heretical sect in the early Christian church. Specifically, they advocated or allowed the eating of food that had been sacrificed to idols, as well as fornication or sexual licentiousness, both of which had been activities that the apostles had warned Gentile Christians not to practice in Acts 15:29.
Jude 4 Mockers. Jude foresaw the coming of mockers in the last time who would walk after their own lusts— 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. 17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken beforef by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. and godlessness, and "having NOT the Spirit": Jude 1:18 How that they told you there should be mockers... 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. That is what they DON'T HAVE! But instead, this is what they DO HAVE: 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. And by their deeds we see clearly that they have no hope, for they rage furiously and live shamelessly and desire inordinately and persecute arrogantly and seize and grasp everything that they can plunder or steal or gain. EZE 23:11 "And when her sister Aholibah saw this, she was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she, and in her whoredoms more than her sister in her whoredoms." COL 3:5 "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:" All these things are tokens of their godlessness and despair. Like their father the devil -JOHN 8:44 --"Ye are of your father, the Devil," Jesus said--, they are harsh toward everybody, refuse the joy and consolation of salvation,-- unlike fallen King David who said in PS 51:12: "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit", and [these mockers] despise every warning that might turn them from error. JUDE 1:8 "Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities." They will not retain God in their knowledge. RO 1:28 "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;" So they begin to experience already that eternal perdition that in the world to come they will fulfill eternally. Jude 1:14: :And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 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.’” But the true Christian has another destiny to look forward to, unlike these mockers. (PHP 1:28 "And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.") Ulrich Zwingli
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