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        “Earnestly contend for the faith….pulling them out of the fire.”

Jude was the half-brother of Jesus. It is interesting that he refers to himself as “the servant of Jesus Christ, brother to James” and does not tell of his relationship to Jesus. He may have done this to give God the glory and not to attract attention to himself.

He wanted to write about salvation, but it was apparent that he felt it was necessary to write a different letter to the believers. This is a letter of warning for false teachers and false doctrines that are entering the church.

1. “Jude the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them, that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ , and called:”

Who was Jude writing to? “…them, that are sanctified by God”, “Called.” This letter written by Jude is to Christians or the believers. It is always helpful to know who the books of the Bible are addressed. So this book written by Jude, is a warning to the flock.

Jude is probably best known for this verse.

3. “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

I would like to point out aspects of this verse and how it applied to us today.

“Earnestly contend for the faith.”

Let me rephrase this verse using terms from the dictionary. Seriously assert for the faith. Zealously struggle with those who oppose the faith. Sincerely maintain the faith. Speak forth the truth. Even though I like, speak forth the truth, the words struggle and maintain are just as relevant. “Struggle” because as time goes on there will be more and more opposition and “maintain” because it means to retain or keep the gospel as it is in it’s original form.

All these statements set forth what we are to do, but are we? Are we studying the Word daily with prayer so that we could recognize deception if we saw it? “…which was once delivered unto the saints.”

The truth was delivered once. It is not to be changed, altered or configured to one’s owns desires. “…unto the saints.” Who are the saints? Ephesians 1:1 “…the faithful in Christ Jesus.”

4. “For there are certain men crept in unawares, 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.” “Crept in unawares?”

Remember this is the church, the believers, Jude is talking to. Men have c r e p t in u n a w a r e s . This is an alarming statement. It should make you look behind you to see who is crouching, getting ready to pounce. But the reality is that we are not always acknowledging the false teaching, because we are UNAWARE. Yes, we are unaware of all who are ungodly, condemned, denying God and Jesus, and turning God’s grace into immorality. How disconcerting… that there are those who have slipped in among us and we have not noticed.

Jude is warning us. You would think by their description we would recognize them. This would indicate another warning. If we cannot recognize these men…are we like them?

Look at this phrase…”denying the only Lord God.” How many are today saying that there are many paths to God? With the explosion of Eastern religion in the West, we will hearing this more and more. Contemplatives using eastern style meditation also are leaning toward this denial of Jesus Christ as the only way and the downplay of sin.What is implied is that these men know of God’s grace, yet….they use this grace as an excuse or pardon for sin. Also note the tense of this verse. It applies to all time. But these men are destined for condemnation and Jude gives examples.

5. “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.”

Jude is saying that we should know why the Israelites were destroyed. Do you remember the story of how God led the Israelites with pillars of smoke and fire, fed them manna from heaven, parted the Red Sea, yet they still “believed not”? They did not endure to the end because of a lack of faith.Then Jude gives two more examples of punishment and judgment. The fallen angels are being held for judgment day and similarly Sodom and Gomorrah experienced the: 7. “vengeance of eternal fire.”

These ungodly men will experience a punishment similar to Sodom and Gomorrah.

6. “Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignitaries.” This is a startling description of these godless men, yet it says that we can be unaware they are among us. How can this be? Let’s look a few possibilities.

I have read some pretty strange words from those in the prophetic movement. Before I continue…my personal view should be made known. I believe the prophetic movement to be mostly false. I have read many of the prophecies and most are the same predictions over and over again. Many I believe are channelers and are not hearing from God. They are not discerning the spirits. Their methods of contact with the spirit world, mirror the occult practices that have been used for centuries. This divination is detestable to the Lord. Deut 18:12. Nevertheless, I do believe there are some believers who have been given dreams and visions. There has also been many downfalls and scandals concerning those who are involved in false ministries. Look at the countless who have sadly fallen due to sexual sin. There is a correlation between sexual sin and those who defile the flesh. Let it be said that much of it is due to ungodliness and those who give themselves over to other forces besides the Holy Spirit.

“Despise dominion and speak evil of dignitaries”.

My bible parallels over to 2 Peter 2:10 “But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.” Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries.

Dominionism which is an end-time deception, involves two main situations. There are those who want to reconstruct the apostolic ministries of disciples and apostles, which is called the 5-fold ministry and then there is the idea that Christians need to dominate the earth and “take it back”. Those are who trying to create a new apostolic order in our churches are usually self-appointed apostles. They want to be in charge. They are rejecting God’s authority and those who are now ministering to the churches they want to take over. This was demonstrated recently by a young man who is involved with a deluded ministry. He wrote a book stating one has to ask permission of the church, to leave the congregation. What? Why should anyone in the church have this kind of control over the congregation? They shouldn’t but that is what is being put forth and implemented today. Any church that has this kind of power is a cult.

The time is here that the ungodly of this world are being called godly. We can see that the Dalai Lama was greeted with honor this year by President Bush. Would this same honor be bestowed to a Christian minister? The time is upon us that godly men will be labeled intolerant and that they are denying peace to our world. The fact that the bible says that Jesus Christ is the only way will become ridiculous to the “spiritualists” of the world. This is already happening. The narrow path to Jesus Christ is now being labeled as narrow-minded. Those who are “narrow-minded” will not accept the unity of religions and will be the fundamental outcasts. Those who will not accept the many roads to God will be the minority of the future. It is unfortunate but the future is already here.

If we jump up to Jude 10 we will find this of the godless men among us: “But these speak evil of those things which they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.”

What does “which they know naturally”, mean? Back to 2 Peter 2:12-13 “But these as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the thinks that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption. 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 deceiving while they feast with you.”

“How ironical that when men should claim to be knowledgeable, they should actually be ignorant; when they think themselves superior to the common man they should actually be on the same level as animals, and be corrupted by the very practices in which they seek liberty and self-expression.” (Green)

Many today profess to have special knowledge and prophesy falsely. One can prophecy from the soul instead of from God. Here, one who may be full of pride, purports to tell another what God’s will is.  2 Peter 1:21 says, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Does God speak to us directly? Yes, I believe He does. We can know his leading, and we should know His voice. His Still Small Voice. The Holy Spirit will guide us. But the rule is the Word of God. Those who go by what men say will be open to deception.

11. “Woe unto them! For they have gone the way of Cain…of Balaam…of Korah.” 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 witherith, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots:”

The false prophets are doomed because they have not the faith of Abel who offered his first fruits, but have murder in their hearts, the greed of Balaam, and the desire to be in charge like Korah (Cor-e) who wanted to replace Moses, but was swallowed up by the earth. Hatred, greed and rebellion . This was the downfall of these men. Do not follow anyone who resembles them. for they want to take you with them. Korah was destroyed as well as his followers, so look for godly and biblical teachers.Verse 12 does not refer to spots (blemishes) as angels but as sinful men. These spots partake of the agape feast which is meant to edify all. Instead the false leader feeds only himself instead of tending to the flock. These men are also like clouds without water, for they bring nothing to drench the crops and have nothing to drink for those who thirst.

These trees, or men, are “twice dead”. This is probably a reference to physical and spiritual death. 

13. “Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.”

Those involved in the prophetic movement constantly give words about disasters, raging seas and tsunamis. But I bet they do not know that false prophets are called “raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame:” Isaiah 57:20 says: “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.”

The wandering stars, may be as a shooting star which briefly lights up the sky and then fizzles out for good. What good is a wandering star? One cannot navigate by it, or be assured where it will be at any given time. These stars ultimately will see darkness forever.

Verses 14-15 speak of judgment. Jude is still talking about “them”, as Enoch prophesied, “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all..” Four times the word ungodly is used. “..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 (harsh words) which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

What are the characteristics of these false teachers? Jude 16: “These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration [2296] because of advantage.”

Again we can refer back to the Israelites as they grumbled and complained while wandering in the desert. God was not pleased, and obviously He is not pleased with these ungodly teachers. Teachers walking after their own lusts, are pleased with their position and the recognition they receive. Great swelling words.

Have you read some of the prophetic words out there? God must have left out huge portions of the Bible because I don’t have a clue what these “words” really mean. Many words, come from those who have “special knowledge”.  Again I believe in leadings from the Lord but one should stick to the written word.

You want to be deceived? Get on the “prophetic ministry” train, and ride through the tunnel of doom. The Greek word [2296] thaumazo also means to marvel or awe. So these men caused quite a stir in their audience. Don’t we see this today? Look at how many are marveling at the signs and wonders that false teachers are producing today. These teachers are using biblical phrases and teachings among the false manifestations. Many are not questioning where their power lies, instead desiring it for themselves.

Jude 17 “But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles our Lord Jesus Christ.”

These men were foretold by the apostles. This should be nothing new to us and so we should presently be expecting and discerning them.

1 Timothy 4:1 “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;” Acts 20:29 “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter among you, not sparing the flock.”

Grievous wolves? Matthew 7:15 “Beware of the false prophets which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”

There are the wolves again. One description is ravening and one is grievous.Strong’s defines ravening [727] as ravenous, rapacious, robbing.Grievous [926] is violent, cruel, unsparing.Now the wolves [3074] are cruel greedy destructive men.

False prophet [5578] one who, acting the part of a divinely inspired prophet, utters falsehoods under the name of divine prophecies.So among us, the church, we have ravenous, rapacious, robbing, violent, cruel, unsparing, cruel and greedy men, who are acting the part of a divinely inspired prophets, uttering lies as divine prophecies. And we have difficulty separating these men from the true believers!

Jude 18 “How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.”

You know….. I am really sick of these guys but I must continue.

Jude 19 “These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.”

There are many today who are asking “Where is this God of yours?” One might expect this of the secular world…but leaders in the church? Yes, they are asking this if only to themselves. That is why there are those who are seeking to build a kingdom here on earth. Those who truly have “no spirit”, believe they do have a special mission here on earth to sate their passions of the things that are forbidden to them.The word sensual [5591] relates to the natural, governed by the breath, like the animal world, something in common with the brutes.In this verse “they who separate” [592] are the ones making divisions and disjoining the church. I wonder what spirit these men do have….?

So far, these verses have given us a thorough view of what these men are like and their ungodly ways.So now comes verses 20-25   What are we to do about these men?

Out of the next six verses, four tell us how to keep and present ourselves and the other two, how to deal with the ungodly men.

Jude 20-21 “But ye beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

So first before we do anything we are to take a look at ourselves first. Are we building ourselves up in our faith? Are we seeking holiness? It is at this point that we can compare our lives with the lives of the false teachers. The Holy Spirit bears witness to us that we are children of God and that others who also walk in this spirit are members with us in the spiritual family of God, the church. If we walk this path following Jesus Christ, we know the direction and boundaries. Straying from this path happens to Christians, but there is a difference between stumbling, and getting up and going on.

Following Jesus Christ is the only way to contentment for those who love and desire Him only. We discover that it is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we truly glorify God, and desire to grow in holiness to please Him and live a life set apart. How do we know that the Holy Spirit lives within us? We grieve over our sin. The Holy Spirit convicts us. We may still struggle with sin but we want to overcome it.

Pray for strength. Are you in Christ? Do you desire to grow in holiness? Have you set yourself apart from the world and its enticements? Are you actually pursuing this path or just meandering? We are to keep our eye on God.

Titus 2:13 “Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;”

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.”

At first reading, I thought that making a difference, would be a result of my compassion, but this is not necessarily so.

Strong’s concordance says [1252] making a difference is:

“To separate, make a distinction, to try, decide, to learn, to withdraw from.”

So to make a difference is to discern these men and make a determination about them. Jude offers two solutions here.

The first is to make a distinction about them but to also have compassion, but we are to separate from these men. Here is where many fail. They do not know scripture and do not know how separate these men’s lies from biblical truths. Then there are those who know scripture but decide they prefer satan’s lies. Lies that satisfy the flesh.

God has called many out of deceit. God has pulled them out of apostasy, lukewarmness, and indifference. So we must have mercy and compassion on those who are stumbling but we must not follow them.

And others we are to “save with fear”.

[5401] save with fear. Dread or Terror.

We are to pull or snatch others from the fire. We are save or rescue them, hating the spotted garment. And why would we do this? Because those who walk with the Lord and have the Holy Spirit hate sin.

Okay….so who are those that we are to have compassion on yet stay separate and who are those that we are to pull out of the fire?

Are we to separate from the false prophets and snatch those who are listening to them? Hopefully, we are building ourselves up by praying in the Holy Spirit because we will need wisdom and discernment on how to approach others who are in error.

Are you in a situation with God, that you know you will never slip out of His hand? I mean you KNOW! Do you know that a life without Christ is impossible? A mediocre life in Christianity is no longer good enough for the regenerate. Do you know that your life is not in your hands anymore because you have given it back to your creator? Those who truly know Jesus Christ live every moment for the glory of His name.

One thing we do know is this:

Jude 24-25 “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, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

Thanks be to Jude who tells us we are to contend for the faith, and by its truths, snatch others from the fire.