Jude: now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling.
Heavenly Father, Bread of Life, Light of the world, Gate, Good Shepherd, Resurrection and Life, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and True Vine, teach us Your word. We pray that You will help us to unlock the book of Jude and give us the keys to understanding and application, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scholars agree that the author of Jude is Jude, the half-brother of Jesus Christ and the brother of James the just, Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3. It is believed to have been written around 65 AD. This is a general epistle written to all Jewish and Gentile Christians to warn them against the immoral, false, ungodly, heretic Gnostic teachers who maintained that salvation by grace is a license to sin.
Matthew 13:55, “is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?”
Mark 6:3, “is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him”.
VV 1-2, 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.
Jude identified himself as a bondservant or slave of Jesus Christ, and a brother of James. His audience was those sanctified by God and preserved by Jesus Christ. Greek for preserved is “teteremenois”, which means kept. Greek for sanctified is “kletois”, which means called. Christians are divinely called by God and kept in the faith by Jesus Christ. Jude pronounced mercy, peace, and love to his audience.
VV 3-4, 3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jude initially wanted to write a general letter on salvation but he changed his mind when he saw immoral and ungodly men who perverted the grace of God and taught wrong doctrines to the Christians.
V 5, But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.
God delivered the Jews under the leadership of Moses out of Egypt but because of unbelief, they perished in the wilderness. Only Joshua and Caleb made it into the promised land after 40 years of wilderness wandering.
V 6, And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;
This verse supports the view that in Genesis 6:4, fallen angels had sex with women on earth and produced giants. These fallen angels were to keep locked up in the bottomless pit.
Genesis 6:4, “There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown”.
VV 7-8, 7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. 8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries.
The Gnostic teachers behaved like the people of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19. God destroyed these two cities were because of immorality and sexual perversion.
Genesis 19:29, “So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived”.
V 9, Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
God buried Moses after his death and His body was never found. According to Jude, satan disputed with God over Moses’ body because he was a murderer. Archangel Michael challenged satan saying “The Lord rebuke you!”.
V 10, But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.
The Gnostic teachers spoke evils, behave like beasts, and were corrupted in their activities.
V 11, Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.
These immoral, heretic and false Gnostic teachers behaved like Cain, Balaam, and Korah of the Old Testament.
The story of Cain is found in Genesis 4. Cain and Abel were brothers. God accepted Abel’s offering and rejected Cain’s offering because Abel offered a better sacrifice than Cain. Out of jealousy and wickedness, Cain murdered Abel.
The story of Balaam is found in Numbers 22-24. Balaam was a greedy Jewish prophet who accepted a bribe from the Moabite King Balak to curse Israel. Every time Balaam wanted to curse Israel, he ended up blessing Israel.
The story of Korah is found in Numbers 16. Korah and his followers were Levites who challenged the leadership of Moses and Aaron. God divided the ground under their feet and buried them and their families alive.
V 12-13, 12 These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; 13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
The Lord’s supper in the first century Church was also called the agape feast. These false teachers would come to the agape feast serving themselves, behaving badly, causing harm, and deceiving the Christians.
Acts 2: 46-47, “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved’’.
1 Cor 11: 20-21, “So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk”.
VV 14-15, 14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
According to Jude, Enoch the 7th descendant of Adam prophesied about these false teachers, quoting from the book of Enoch, a pseudo-epigraphical book, which is not part of the Christian Canon.
VV 16-19, 16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. 17 But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: 18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. 19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.
The false heretic teachers were boastful, lustful, ungodly, opportunistic, and dishonest who grumbled and complained. Jude reminded his audience to remember and hold fast to the words of the apostles.
VV 20-23, 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And on some have compassion, making a distinction; 23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.
Jude encouraged his audience to live holy lives, to pray in the Holy Spirit, and to love God. He encouraged his audience to have compassion for some and to save others by pulling them out from sin and judgment.
VV 24-25, 24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless, before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.
The epistle of Jude ended with a beautiful doxology, giving praise, honor, and glory to God, our Savior.
The epistle of Jude reminds us that there are false teachers out there who come as wolves in sheepskins to deceive Christians. We need to stay vigilant and build up a strong foundation of scripture. We need to countercheck with scripture whatever we hear to discern false theology.
Acts 17:11, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so”.
Heavenly Father, thank You for speaking to us through the epistle of 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude. Thank You for preserving Your inspired, inerrant, and infallible word through the millennium for our benefit. Thank You for Your amazing love, in Jesus’ name, Amen.