The Epistle of Jude ACallForEarnestContention
Resources • The Expositor on Jude by Bro. Mansfield • The Epistle of Jude by Bro. Ullman - Christadelphianstudies.com • Jude Bible Marking Notes by Bro. Cowie - Adelphosweb.com • Various references to the letter of Jude in the writings of Bro. Thomas.
Who Was Jude? • Jude, the Lord’s half brother – Matt. 13:55; Mk. 6:3; Gal. 1:19 I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children. Psa 69:8
Why Did He Write? • He wrote concerning the common salvation. • The letter is a call to contention. • The letter is an endorsement of apostolic teaching, particularly 2 Peter. • Shows that the corruption within the Ecclesias, prophesied earlier by the apostles, had become a reality.
Why Did He Write? • v. 4"There are certain men crept in, unawares. " • v.10"These speak evil. . . " • v.11"They have gone in the way of Cain . . . "and ran greedily after the error of Balaam . . ." • v.12"These are spots in your feasts . . ." • v.16"These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts . . . Their mouths speaketh great swelling words” • v.19“These be they who separate themselves”
Who Were the False Teachers? • They were brethren who had taken up an extreme position in opposition to the Judaizers. Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? Rom 6:1-2
Who Were the False Teachers? • Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away (the-RV, WEY) disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.Acts 20:30,31 • As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.2 Pet 3:16,17 • See also: 2 Pet. 2:3, 18, 20; 3; 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:1
Who Were the False Teachers? • They had craftily perverted the apostolic doctrine: By grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God Eph. 2:8
Three Key Words 1. "Beloved" Occurs 3 times. V.1, 17, 20. 2. "Ungodly"Occurs 6 times. (The number of flesh!) V.4, 15, 18. 3. "Preserved"Occurs 5 times. V.1, rendered "reserved", V.6, 13; "kept", V.6; and "keep", v. 21. Thus both parties are "reserved" for something in the Divine purpose: the "beloved" will be preserved to inherit the Kingdom; the "ungodly" will be "reserved" for Divine judgment!
Outline of the Epistle • 1. INTRODUCTION — Vv. 1-2 • *What constitutes a true Believer Vv. 1- 2 • 2. THE NEED TO CONTEND — APOSTATE • TEACHERS — Vv. 3-16 • *Their evil perversions: Three basic denials .... Vv. 3- 4 • *Their certain doom: Three historic examples Vv. 5- 7 • *Their impious ways: Three historic examples Vv. 8-11 • *Their utter depravity: Six terrible metaphors Vv. 12-13 • *Their final destruction: Enoch's testimony .... Vv. 14-16 • 3. THE WAY TO CONTEND — AVAILABLE • RESOURCES — Vv. 17-25 • * Recognize that apostasy has been foretold Vv. 17-18 • * Analyze actions and fruits V. 19 • *Draw upon Divine resources Vv. 20-21 • *Seek to reclaim where possible Vv. 22-23 • *Rest upon the help of Yahweh Vv. 24-25 • The natural division in this epistle occurs at verse 17 with the statement: "But, beloved". Having warned them of the dangerous influence of apostasy, Jude then instructs his readers how to counter it.
What Constitutes a True BelieverVerses 1-2 • For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.1 Cor. 7:22 • Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. Eph 6:5-8
What Constitutes a True BelieverVerses 1-2 • That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word Eph 5:26 • As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy 1 Pet. 1:14-16
What Constitutes a True BelieverVerses 1-2 • “Preserved” - Gk. tereo — "to watch over, guard, preserve"—a military term. • “Called”— Gk. Kletos — derived from klesis, which forms part of the word for "ecclesia". It conveys the idea of a call or invitation, or appointment to an office; and also the welcome that one receives on such occasions. It is therefore a word which defines the wonderful binding together in love, of the family of God.
What Constitutes a True BelieverVerses 1-2 • The "call" to the truth involves: -INVITATION -SEPARATION -DEDICATION
Jude’s Urgency Verse 3 • "When I gave all diligence to write unto you" — "Though I was using all diligence to be writing unto you concerning our common salvation, yet have I had necessity to write AT ONCE unto you", (Rotherham, our emphasis). • "diligence" — Gk. spoude — "earnestness, zeal, and sometimes the haste with which a thing is done". • "The common salvation" — Gk. koines — somewhat akin to the word for "fellowship" (koinonia). Koines means "belonging to several". This phrase represents a further reminder to Jude's readers that the Brotherhood of Christ held the one faith and the hope of salvation in "common", as a community. The community of Believers must therefore be of one mind on all vital elements of the one faith.
Jude’s Urgency Verse 3 • "And exhort you"— Gk. parakaleo — From "para" ("to the side") and "kaleo" ("to call"), thus, "to call to one's side". • Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. EX. 32:26
Jude’s Urgency Verse 3 • "That ye should earnestly contend"— Gk. epagonizomai (Strg. Bullinger)—"to contend about a thing, as a combatant" (Vine) • Described by some authors as the strongest word in the New Testament, the word literally means “super-agony”. • Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel Phil. 1:27 • This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare 1 Tim. 1:18 • Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 1 Tim. 6:12 • I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2 Tim 4:7-8
Jude’s Urgency Verse 3 • "The faith"— This was to be the subject of the contention. "The faith" is not something vague or abstract; nor is it mere theoretic knowledge. It is “the power (English, dynamo) of God unto salvation”Rom. 1:16 • “The faith" comes by "hearing . . .the word of God" Rom. 10:17. • Without “the faith” it is impossible to please God – Heb. 11:6 • It has been delivered as a finality- “once for all” (R.V. and Roth)
The Three Basic Denials Verse 4 • "Crept in unawares"— This phrase is one word in the Greek, pareisduno — "to settle in alongside; to lodge stealthily" (Strong); "to slip in, insinuate one's self, to go or come in by stealth" (Bullinger). • And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage Gal. 2:4 • But there were false prophets also among the people, even as 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. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 2 Pet. 2:1 • How did such men manage to rise to prominence and influence in the Ecclesias? Matt. 13:24-25. Cp. Acts 20:29-31; Eph. 5:13-14
The Three Basic Denials Verse 4 • Liberty to License • Misunderstood the Doctrine of the Atonement • Denied the Doctrine of God Manifestation
Their Certain DoomThree Historic ExamplesVerses 5-7 • The Children of Israel – the doom of faithlessness. (Lust of Eyes) • The Angels Which Kept Not Their First Estate – the fate of pride. (Pride of Life) • Sodom and Gomorrha – the destiny of self- indulgence and depravity. (Lust of Flesh)
The Children of Israel – The Doom of Faithlessness “Men were not ushered into being for the purpose of being saved or lost! God Manifestation, not human salvation, was the great purpose of the Eternal Spirit. The salvation of a multitude is incidental to the manifestation, but not the end proposed.” -Dr. Thomas
The Children of Israel – The Doom of Faithlessness • Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall 1 Cor. 10:12 • They might be unto Yahweh for a people, and a name and a praise and a gloryJer. 13:11 • Every one that is called by My Name . . . I have created him for My gloryIsa. 43:7
The Angels Which Kept Not Their First Estate – The Fate of Pride • The rebellion of Korah, Dathan and Abiram Num. 16, Num. 26:9-11. 27:3, Deut. 11:6-8. Psa. 106:16-18 • They "left their first estate," or "their own principality" (see mg.) or position of authority. The word archon, here translated "estate," signifies "authority," or "rule." • Habitation – “they deserted their proper abode” Weymouth, “they forsook their proper dwelling” Roth.
Sodom and Gomorrha – The Destiny of Self- Indulgence and Depravity • Not just their sin but their attitude towards it…The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves Isa. 3:9 • The people openly supported the wicked in opposition to the righteous…I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah Jer. 23:14 • Their sin was fleshly pride induced by idleness…Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy Ezek. 16:49
Sodom and Gomorrha – An Example of the Destruction Awaiting Babylon the Great Rev. 14:10, 18:8 • “Her judgment is consummated by a fiery overthrow—“she will be consumed in fire”. The foulness and filthiness of her abominations, and the similitude of the fate that awaits her, has caused the Great City and State to be “spiritually called Sodom and Egypt” (ch. 11:8). The punishment of Sodom will be Rome’s, and perhaps, that also of the whole “Patrimony of St. Peter”. This will consummate the plagues which begin her torment and sorrow in one and the same year after the Aion-tidings of good salutes the ears of Israel in Rome. But following upon “pestilence, and famine” is the twofold rendering of torment and anguish by the troops of Michael, the Great Prince, who invades her territory and becomes a smoking furnace of judgment, “a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (ch. 19:19). From this she never emerges, and therefore, like Sodom, suffers the vengeance of a fire which is eternal (Jude 7)” -Dr. Thomas
Their Impious WaysVerse 8 • "Likewise" — The word signifies "in like manner," and not merely "also." • Rotherham “In their dreamings”, sometimes a divine agency Acts 2:17. But the law warned against false dreamers Duet 13:1-5, Jer. 23:22-32
Their Impious WaysVerse 8 • "Defile the flesh" — They recognize no restrictions as to what they can do, and thus indulge in the grossest immorality, as did Sodom. • "Despise dominion" — They despise "lordship" (Diaglott), or authority, divine or otherwise, as did Korah, Dathan and Abiram. • "Speak evil of dignities"—Lit. they "blaspheme glories" (doxas) that which should be the subject of praise (see 2 Pet. 2:10).
Their Impious WaysVerse 9 • The example of Michael the Archangel: - “Who is like EL” - The Angel of Yahweh’s presence Isa. 63:9, Ex. 23: 20-23; 33:14 - Archangel = “chief messenger” –Roth. - Israel’s Prince Dan 10:13, 21; 12:1 *His work to be assumed by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Their Impious WaysVerse 9 • And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Zech. 3:1-2
Their Impious WaysVerse 9 • Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.Rom 12:19 • My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart. God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. Psa. 7:10-11
Their Impious WaysVerse 10 • They spoke evil of those things they understood not; namely, the doctrine of the Atonement, God manifestation and the true liberty of the Gospel. (The 3 denials of verse 4) • “Brute Beasts” – They reasoned from the standpoint of the flesh just like animals. Hence the term "brutish" is used of such people. See Psa. 49:10; 92:6; 94:8; Prov. 12:1; Jer. 10:8; 5:17.
The Great Difference Between Man and the Lower Creation • While image, then, hath reference to form or shape, “likeness” hath regard to mental constitution, or capacity. From the shape of his head, as compared with other creatures, it is evident that man has a mental capacity which distinguishes him above them all. Their likeness to him is faint. They can think; but their thoughts are only sensual. They have no moral sentiments, or high intellectual aspirations; but are grovelling in all their instincts, which incline only to the earth. In proportion as their heads assume the human form in the same ratio do they excel each other in sagacity; and, as in the monkey tribe, display a greater likeness to man. But, let the case be reversed; let the human head degenerate from the godlike perfection of the Elohim, the standard of beauty in shape and feature; let it diverge to the image of an ape’s, and the human animal no longer presents the image and likeness of the Elohim; but rather, the chattering imbecility of the creature most resembling it in form. Adam’s mental capacity enabled him to comprehend and receive spiritual ideas, which moved him to veneration, hope, conscientiousness, the expression of his views, affections, and so forth. Seth was capable of the like display of intellectual and moral phenomena; and of an assimilation of character to that of his father. He was therefore in the likeness as well as in the image of Adam; and, in the same sense, they were both “after the likeness of the Elohim”. Dr. Thomas
Their Impious WaysThree Historic ExamplesVerse 11 • Cain—an example of unbelief and repudiation of God's will. • Balaam — a prophet speaking the words of Yahweh, yet descending to seduction and immorality to gain his ends. • Korah—an example of personified pride, illustrating the inevitable end of those who refuse to submit to the authority of Yahweh's Word.
Their Utter DepravitySix Terrible MetaphorsVerses 12-13 • Spots in feasts of charity • Feeding themselves without fear • Clouds without water • Trees without fruit • Raging waves of the sea • Wandering stars
Spots In Feasts of Charity • “Spots” – “hidden rocks” Diag. • Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck 1 Tim. 1:19 • “When they feast with you” – “They boldly carouse together” RSV
Feeding Themselves Without Fear • "Feeding" is literally "shepherding”. Like the greedy, ignorant "shepherds" of Israel, these false teachers fed themselves but not the flock; they consumed the well-fed of the flock (Ezek. 34:1-3) by gross commercialization of religion, "making merchandise" of the wealthy among the ecclesia (2 Pet. 2:3).
Clouds Without Water • “Clouds without water” – impressive, full of promise, but empty. Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rainProv 25:14. • "Carried about of winds"—Paul uses a similar term in Eph. 4:14, when he describes certain "winds of doctrine." These false teachers carefully select their words and teaching to conform to popular desires, thus pandering to the flesh.
Trees Without Fruit • The Diaglott renders: "Bare autumn trees, unfruitful for two seasons, dead, rooted up." • RSV renders: “Fruitless trees in late autumn” • How different to the righteous who are destined to constitute "the wood of life for the healing of the nations"Rev. 22:2
Raging Waves of the Sea • Wild, vehement, furious, uncontrollable, destructive. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked Isa 57:20-21 • But to the righteous…Yahweh on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea Psa 93:4
Wandering Stars • Refers literally to “meteors”, not fixed, useless for light and guidance, but impressive. Compare these to the wise…And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever Dan 12:3
Enoch’s TestimonyVerses 14-16 • His name means “dedicated” or “initiated”. • Typical of those alive at Christ’s return. • "The Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints" en hagiais musiasin autou, which literally signifies, "in holy myriads of himself”.
Enoch’s TestimonyVerses 14-16 • "To execute judgment"—See 2 Thess. 1:6-10. • "Upon all"— The judgments of the Flood involved all: both the sons of God, or the line of Seth, as well as the arrogant and blasphemous line of Cain. Christ's judgment will do likewise. He will judge both the household and the world at large (Rom. 2:5-16; 2 Thess. 1:5-10), but it is a Divine principle that "judgment must begin at the household of God"
Enoch’s TestimonyVerses 14-16 • "Murmurers"— The word in Greek gongustes signifies to mutter. • "Complainers"—The Greek word mempsimoiros is compounded of memphomai, "to blame," and moira, a fate, or lot, hence, "blamers of fate," or people who find fault with life as ordered by God. • "Walking after their own lusts” —This third characteristic links with the third example: Sodom and Gomorrah (V.7). • "Speaking great swelling words” —These are people who rule by words, who say "our lips are our own, who is Lord over us" Psa. 12:2-4. • "Having men's persons in admiration”"Because of advantage" — The Diaglott renders: "For the sake of gain." They are prepared to defer to others if it means that they themselves will benefit.
The Way To Contend — AvailableResources Verses 17-25 • Recognize that apostasy has been foretold Vv. 17-18 • Analyze actions and fruits V. 19 • Draw upon Divine resources Vv. 20-21 • Seek to reclaim where possible Vv. 22-23 • Rest upon the help of Yahweh Vv. 24-25
Recognize That Apostasy Has Been Foretold Verses 17-18 • Both Peter and Paul had clearly warned of the danger that now threatened every believer (see 2 Pet. 2:1; 1 Tim. 3:1-9; 4:1-2). • Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 2 Pet. 3: 3-7
Analyze Actions and Fruits Verse 19 • "These be they who separate themselves"— The Greek word apodiorize signifies to "set up bounds," "establish lines of demarcation,“ "create sects or cliques." • "Having not the spirit"—The "spirit" is a term used to define the power of the Truth believed, so that to be "led of the Spirit“ is to be led of the Truth (Gal. 5:18)… “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law”
Draw Upon Divine ResourcesVerses 20-21 • 4 steps or means to successful living in the Truth: • "Building up yourselves on your most holy faith" • "Praying in the Holy Spirit“ • "Keep yourselves in the love of God" • "Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ"