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Lessons from the Epistle of
By Ken Raggio
Mercy, Peace And Love Be Multiplied To You
We only have this one short epistle from Jude, but we see the same pattern of greetings as were seen in all the writings of Paul, Peter, James and John. He greeted his readers by pronouncing a blessing on them. "Mercy [divine compassion] unto you, and peace [quietness and rest], and love [affection or benevolence] be multiplied [to you]." If you are sanctified, this blessing is for you. Receive it in Jesus' name.
Jude 1:1-2 - "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, ...to them that are sanctified ...Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied."
Some Men Were Ordained To Condemnation
Jude, in writing to encourage the brethren, wanted desperately to prevent them from backsliding, begging them to "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." The same people who accuse holiness teachers of being legalistic are instead guilty of turning the grace of God into lasciviousness (lustfulness) and licentiousness ("licensing" or allowing sin; without restraints). God ordained these ungodly men to crepe into the church to deceive those who do not love the truth. The modern "Grace Revolution" championed by Joseph Prince, Joel Osteen, and many others, is more accurately a "Licentiousness Revolution."
Jude 1:4 - "Certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [licentiousness]."
He Saved Them, Then Afterward Destroyed Them
The so-called doctrine of eternal security is generally defined as once-saved, always-saved. It is a damnable delusion. Apostasy and backsliding are major themes in this Bible. We cannot count the men and women throughout the ages who at one time were in right standing with God but later fell away, losing all favor with God. Study Jude's epistle closely, and take heed, lest you also fall away. See Once-Saved, Always-Saved - What does the Bible say?
Jude 1:5 - "I will therefore put you in remembrance, ...how that the Lord, having SAVED the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward DESTROYED them that believed not."
Angels Who Sinned Are Chained Until Judgment Day
We think of angels as magnificent, beautiful, heavenly creatures who serve God in supernatural capacities. But God "spared not the angels which sinned," 2 Peter 2:4. The angels who left their first estate - their original place in the will of God - have been placed "in everlasting chains," until the Judgment Day, when they will be cast into "everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels," Matthew 25:41.
Jude 1:6 - "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."
Sodom And Gomorrha: Warning Of Vengeance To Come
Sodom's sins included "giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh [homosexuality]." Sodom was a prophetic omen for this generation, "set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." Jesus told unbelieving cities of His day, "It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee," (Matthew 11:24). In these last days, these abominations are found among Church leaders - "certain men crept in unawares." God will judge this generation just as terribly as He did then.
Jude 1:8 - "Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion."
"The Lord Rebuke Thee"
You must respect spiritual hierarchy. The archangel Michael, the angelic prince of Israel, found himself contending with Lucifer over the dead body of Moses. Lucifer would no doubt have started a pagan religion with Moses' body. Nevertheless, Michael knew that he had no personal power against Lucifer. He invoked divine authority - God Himself rebuke you! We face great and evil powers today. Resist them courageously in the name of Jesus.
Jude 1:9 - "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."
They Corrupt Themselves By Speaking Evil
We can only guess what may have happened if Michael the archangel had tangled with Lucifer under his own might. Anytime anyone (man or angel) oversteps his authority by usurping dominion, disaster awaits. The powers that be (good and evil) are ordained of God. Learn to respect God-ordained authority, and do not speak evil of those who have rule over you. If some authority is oppressing you, take the matter to God.
Jude 1:10 - "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."
The Way Of Cain - False Worship
Cain made an offering unto the Lord that God rejected. Cain's brother Abel offered a blood sacrifice that God accepted. "Cain was very wroth." God urged him to do the right thing, but instead, he murdered his brother. The first sin of Cain was attempting to force God to accept the wrong kind of worship. You and I can get in serious trouble by trying to force God to accept a form of worship that He does not want. Our worship must be doctrinally, biblically correct.
Jude 1:11 - "Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain."
The Error Of Balaam - Collaborating With The Enemy
The prophet Balaam was solicited by Balak the Moabite king to curse Israel. Balaam vehemently refused to curse God's people, but eventually angered God by going with Balak (Numbers 22:22). Balaam "taught Balak to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication," (Revelation 2:14). Balaam orchestrated Israel's seduction into idolatry and immorality, which God cursed. Many pseudo-Christians nowadays seduce godly believers away from Apostolic, Pentecostal, holiness lifestyles to learn the ways of the heathen.
Jude 1:11 - "Woe unto them! for they ...ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward."
The Gainsaying Of Korah - Striving, Rebelling Against God's Anointed
Almost nobody in this generation reverences the powers that are ordained of God, or reveres the holy men that God ordains and anoints to be His ministers. God elevates men like Moses, Samuel and Paul, who have mastery of His Word with spiritual and doctrinal excellence. Men foolishly strive with and curse men of God, ignoring Biblical warnings not to touch God's anointed. Korah led a rebellion against Moses, and God killed him. God will still destroy a man for gainsaying (disputing, contradicting, striving). Beware.
Jude 1:11 - "Woe unto them! for they have ...perished in the gainsaying of Core."
Spots In Your Love Feasts
John listed three predominant sins of apostates: Those like CAIN (false worshipers); those like BALAAM (who collaborate with God's enemies); and those like KORAH (who strive with anointed leaders). They are unbelievably offensive, having seared consciences, no inhibitions, and no sense of guilt. Peter and Jude used the same vernacular. “Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you,” 2 Peter 2:13. They come into your fellowship dinners and defile everyone who will listen to them. Protect yourself. Avoid them.
Jude 1:12 - "These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear."
Clouds Without Water
On any day, clouds drift endlessly across the sky. Eventually, we expect rain from them. "If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth," Ecclesiastes 11:3. The wise man said, "Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain," Proverbs 25:14. False worshipers (like Cain), religious traitors (like Balaam), and rebels (like Korah) make no legitimate contribution to the Church. They are spiritually empty and nothing good ever comes of them. Have no fellowship with them (Ephesians 5:11).
Jude 1:12 - "These are ...clouds they are without water, carried about of winds."
Dead Trees, Dead Roots, Dead Fruit
A phony Christian or phony Church cannot possibly bear good fruit. Much of modern Christianity is carnally-minded and worldly. It is doomed. The Church of Jesus Christ cannot be built by programs, money, entertainment, music, dramas, etc. No man comes to God unless the Holy Ghost draws him. A professing Christian who is not firmly rooted in the Vine of BIBLICAL TRUTH, righteousness and holiness is a dead tree with a dead roots and dead fruit.
Jude 1:12-13 - "These are ...trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots."
Raging Waves Of The Sea, Foaming Out Their Shame
If there is evil at your core, your mouth will ultimately and finally indict you. Jude studied the predominate Christian imposters: 1. Those like Cain, whose worship is unacceptable to God. 2. Those like Balaam, who betray the righteous and collaborate with God's enemies. 3. Those like Korah, who strive against anointed leaders. All of these kind eventually spin out of control. As their conscience and inhibitions deteriorate, their mouths foam with their rebellion, bitterness and shame. You will know them by their fruits.
Jude 1:12-13 - "These are ...Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame."
Wandering Stars Doomed To Eternal Darkness
Seeing that the Word of God is the foundation of all things eternal, we must plant our feet soundly on His Word. Men whose religion is perverse, who fight against Truth, righteousness, and holiness, and who also rise up against God's anointed have lost their footing. On Judgment Day, the righteous will inherit "a city which hath foundations," but the wicked will be cast free-falling into the bottomless pit of outer darkness, from which they will never, ever escape.
Jude 1:12-13 - "These are ...wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever."
Enoch was the fellow who walked with God, and God suddenly took him before he ever tasted death. Enoch was only seven generations from Adam, but he saw the final battle of Armageddon coming. What a fantastic revelation to have been received over 5,000 years ago! In the spirit, Enoch foresaw Jesus coming with His saints to conquer the world!
Jude 1:14-15 - "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed."
Hard Speeches, Murmuring, Complaining Will Be Judged
In ancient times, Enoch prophesied that the LORD would come to judge and punish "all that are ungodly ...of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." Get this: God judges and punishes people who speak harshly against Him. That includes murmuring, complaining and insolent, contemptuous remarks. Multitudes who never committed murder or adultery will be condemned because of their mouths. Your mouth can send you to hell. Just keep on murmuring, complaining, and smarting-off. You will see.
Jude 1:16 - "These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words."
No one mocks holiness more viciously than one who was taught to live holy, but chose instead the beggarly elements. No one scoffs at separation from the world more than one who is drunk on earthly, sensual pleasures. No spirit is more antichrist than one who once encounted the Christ yet was enticed by Satan's lure.
Jude 1:17-19 - "Beloved, remember ye the words ...of the apostles ...How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit."
Building Up Yourselves, Praying In The Holy Ghost
Jesus' Apostles "told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit." These days, mockers lay siege upon the Church. Scoffers and mockers with foaming rabid atheism blaspheme God, rip the Bible to shreds, and castigate Christians and ministers of the Gospel. But true believers can survive the onslaught, building up themselves by praying in the Holy Ghost. Yes. Speaking in tongues.
Jude 1:20 - "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost."
Save Some With Fear, Pulling Them Out Of The Fire
Some people can be reasoned with about their souls. They understand right, wrong, and the consequences of sinful living. You do not have to beg, plead or coerce them into living for God. They wisely choose to please God. Others just do not understand. You have to "hang them over the flames" and magnify the dreadful consequences of unholy living. That is not an unreasonable tactic if it saves their soul forever.
Jude 1:21-22 - "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."
Give Him Glory, Majesty, Dominion And Power
Jude completed his treatise about the pervasive spiritual deceptions that would predominate in the last days by assuring believers that God will keep us from falling. No matter how dark and threatening the spiritual climate of the last days, we should faithfully give back to God all the glory, majesty, dominion and power that belong to Him.
Jude 1:24-25 - "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 Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."
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