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Jude verses 12-25


"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 withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.  And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, 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, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.  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.  But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 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.  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.  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.  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 Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.  Amen."


In Review


"Jude, the Lord's youngest half-brother, sitting down to write to the Church about our common faith, and then telling us as he was determined to do that very thing he was moved by the Spirit, he was compelled to rather exhort the Church that they would contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints.  And he begins by saying 'because we know there are those who have come in among the Church,' and this is early, 'and that they have a different agenda, that they're carnal, they're worldly, they don't have the Spirit' he's going to tell us.  'And they're troubling to the Church, and for the believer.'  And he gives us a very strong outline of who these people are, and the lack of respect that they have, and what they are undermining.  And as we came to verse 11, he said, "Woe unto them!  for they have gone in the way of Cain," their own religion, "and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward," they're in it for their own rewards, "and perished in the gainsaying of Core" who through envy and discontent caused rebellion and division.  And the grammar and language as we come now to the 12th verse, that's where we left off, there is no break that changes subject or force, so as a continuation of a perspective of these troublemakers that he has been talking about. 


Jude Gives Some Word-Pictures Describing These Troublemakers


1. 'They Are Spots In Your Feasts'---Like Hidden Rocks That Sink Ships


And he gives us a series of word-pictures here describing them.  He says to us "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 withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots." (verse 12)  Now King James says "spots", that speaks of uncleanness.  I know the Revised Standard says "hidden rocks", and in Classical Greek, Homer's writings and so forth, that's the way this word was translated.  You read through the scholars and they disagree to some point.  But it doesn't matter, because it's a word-picture, whether he's saying "these are spots", in other words they contaminate you, or whether these are hidden rocks, something that a sailor would dread [I know about that, sailed small boats all my life], he's saying the same thing, they cause damage.  'They're sitting in your love feasts,' and remember the early Church, as they gathered, many of them were poor, there were 60 million slaves in Rome [the Roman Empire] who were owned, who had nothing of their own, and were considered property amongst Roman citizens, many of them coming to Christ.  And when they would gather on Sunday for their agape-feasts, they would come together.  [Comment:  Historically, the early Church was Judeo-Christian in Asia Minor, right up to around 325AD, and this early Church while Jude and John were still alive was most certainly Judeo-Christian, which would have been observing the Sabbath and Hebrew Holy Days of Leviticus 23 as their "days of worship."  This has been historically proven.  See,  So their agape-feasts were more than likely held on the Sabbath when they would gather together, helping to feed the poor amongst them.]  Paul challenges the church at Corinth because they were coming together, eating before everybody was there, they were getting drunk at that dinner, and they were not partaking worthily then of the Lord's supper, because at the end of that meal, they would break bread, remembering the Lord's broken body and shed blood.  [Comment:  1st Corinthians must have been written just after the Christian Passover they were observing, because Paul says in 1st Corinthians 5:7-8, "Your glorying is not good.  Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?  Purge out therefore the old leaven, then ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:  therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."  "let us keep the feast" refers back to the subject, "Christ our Passover," so this is referring to the Passover feast and Days of Unleavened Bread, by context with everything Paul is saying here.  He goes further into the wrong way they were observing the early Christian Passover service in 1st Corinthians 11:20-34, and he was explaining how it should be observed.]  Well he says here, 'There are those, they've come in among you, and they're like hidden rocks, they're something that would defile,' it's like a sailor, not being able to see a rock under the surface of the water, and they can cause damage [been there, done that, put a nasty dent in my centerboard].  You know, they can sink you.  And he says 'they're right there in your midst, feasting with you in your feasts of charity, your love-feasts.'  And look, it was nothing new.  Judas Iscariot had sat at the last supper with Jesus and his disciples, and interesting, when Jesus said 'One of you here will betray me,' you know, they didn't all look at Judas and say 'That's the guy, with the black mustache and beard, and the sunglasses.  We knew there was something shady about him all along.'  It says they all began to say 'Lord, is it me?'  Now imagine you and I sitting actually at the table with Jesus.  The Rapture happens, ok?  And there's 12 of us sitting at the table with Jesus, and he says, 'One of you really doesn't belong here.'  I know, you're thinking 'I can't believe it, I thought I was in for sure…'  He says at Communion [the last Passover Jesus had with his disciples] 'One of you is going to betray me,' and they all start to think 'Lord, is it me?'  they didn't all point at Judas.  Which tells us that that person is not easy to recognize [the "spots" that have come among us that Jude's talking about].  Judas had walked with them for several years.  Jesus said 'Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil,' he says.  So the warning is, 'They're among you,' because look, 'By this shall all men know you're my disciples, by the love you have one for another,' again, the proper atmosphere, what should be going on here, regardless of our creed or our race or social standing, it should be a different environment than anywhere in the world.  You know, when Jesus tells the parable of the marriage feast, and goes out and invites these notable people, and they all make excuses.  And then he says, 'I'll tell you what, go out into the highways and the byways, and bring in the halt and the cripple and the lame,' and here we are (cf. 1st Corinthians 1:26-29).  We just think much more of ourselves than that.  And the Church [Body of Christ] should be the place where everybody, those of us who always get picked on, can walk in and let their guard down.  The Church should be that place.  Well, because it is that place, we want it to be the place where we can be vulnerable and let down our guard, it becomes a place then for wolves to come in and take advantage too, because people are willing to be open, willing to be vulnerable.  And he warns here, he says 'They've come in, into your love-feasts,' he says, 'they're there,' "when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear:"  Interesting, he says "feeding themselves without fear", he says, 'they are shepherding' literally, 'themselves.'  Not shepherding the flock, not feeding the flock, which of course was the exhortation that came to Peter, but they are shepherding themselves.  Paul says this in 2nd Corinthians chapter 11, he says, 'You suffer if a man,' or 'you allow it, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.  I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak.  Howbeit wherein any is bold, I could speak foolishly,'  Paul says, 'It's not as though we're weak, we just have, there's an openness in the Church,' but says, 'I'm surprised,' he's talking to the Corinthians, 'you allow it, they're there, they're taking advantage of you, to the point where they're abusing you, and you're not doing anything about it.'  Jude here, gives an exhortation 'Keep your eyes open, they're there.  They're like hidden rocks in a shallow sea [like the ones I hit off Fort Foster in my sailboat], they're shepherding themselves, they're not interested in anyone else,'


2. 'They Are Clouds Without Water'---Giving No Rain


He says, "clouds they are without water, carried about of winds;" (verse 12b) that's the next word-picture.  In an agricultural society  everybody depended on the rain, particularly in this part of the world.  And when the clouds came, everybody gained expectancy.  Remember when Elijah, it hadn't rained for years [3 years, precisely], and he sent his servant to look over the horizon for clouds, and he came back and said 'I see a small cloud the size of a man's hand,'  and Elijah said to Ahab, 'Get ready, because the rain's coming.'  But Jude says these guys, they promise, they get people's expectations up, you know, they come and they say all this stuff, they make people vulnerable, they make people let down their guard, but they're like clouds without water, he says, they disappoint, carried about with different winds. 


3. They Are Fruit Trees Without Fruit


"trees" or autumn trees is the idea, "whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;" (verse 12c)  That's a sad tree.  He says 'They are fruitless, and they are rootless.'  They're not producing anything, because they have no root.  Remember, 'Blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful, but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he does meditate day and night, and he is like a tree planted by the rivers of water, and bringeth forth his fruit in season,' it tells us in Psalm 1:1-3, that there is the individual who abides in the Lord, who meditates on the Lord's Word, is somebody who is to be fruitful.  Jesus said that in John 15, that we should bring forth fruit, and that the fruit we bring forth should abide, he wants us to reproduce, as it were.  Ah, we get saved, that's genuine, our lives are changed, we're excited about Christ.  And if we're really saved, we can't be content about our unsaved friends that we love, or our unsaved relatives.  So he says these guys are like fruitless trees, and it's because they have no root in them. 


4. They Are Like Raging Waves Of The Sea, And Wandering Stars


He says they're like "raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." (verse 13)  Now I like sitting by the seashore, I'm not a boat person [I am, former subsailor as well], maybe in a lake or the bay, maybe.  I'm not an 'out on the ocean' boat person.  I thought I was going to die out there years ago, and I've been content on the ground ever since [landlubber].  [laughter]  But I do enjoy sitting, you know my family, they love the beach, I'd rather they took me to Canada and put me on the side of a mountain with a hot mug of coffee and fur hat and a shotgun, and just leave me alone.  But they like the beach, you know.  But you've been down there after a storm [my favorite time, or during one, especially a hurricane], and to see all of the junk that gets washed up on the beach when the waves have been raging [usually seaweed, because storm waves act like a lawnmower on the bottom, mowing tons of seaweed, which gets piled up on the beach.]  These days of course it's hypodermic needles and all of that kind of stuff.  Isaiah says this, and perhaps he has Isaiah in mind as he quotes this.  It seems that Jude and James were both remarkable Old Testament scholars.  But Isaiah says 'But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.'  And here Jude probably thinking of that, 'They're like raging waves of the sea, noisy, unable to rest, foaming out their own shame, their behaviour comes out into the open,' he says.  He says, they are "wandering stars," interesting of course, pointing possibly to meteors or shooting stars, which are short-lived.  But our idea here is of wandering stars, for the mariner it meant you couldn't put your sextant on it and get your bearings, that you would be off-course if you followed them, or took any reading from them.   And the idea seems to be that, that they're going to throw you off-course, they're like wandering stars.  And he says this, "to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever."  These are light-haters, so God will take them out of the light and put them into the darkness.  "to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." No doubt speaking of Gehenna, so speaking of these troublers in the Church,


What Enoch Prophecied About These Troublemakers


and he says, "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints," now he's being specific because Cain also had a son named Enoch and he wants us to know which Enoch he's speaking of.  "Enoch also, the seventh from Adam" and all we know about this man is from Genesis 5, verses about 18 to 24, and Hebrews chapter 11, verse 5, that's all we really know about Enoch, and what Jude has to say to us here.  Ah, "the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these" troublers, the idea is, "saying, 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, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." (verses 14-15)  It's interesting, he picks Enoch, now by the way, for those of you that dig [historically, Biblically], there are those who say 'Well he's quoting the Book of Enoch,' and you can get a copy of the Book of Enoch, they're in print, it's not…but what he says is slightly different.  We believe he's {Jude is] inspired by the Spirit of the holy God, and that what he's writing down here for us is what an inspiring God wanted us to have, and the fact that it's completely true, and it's in keeping with what we have in Scripture.  This Enoch, and it tells us that he walked with God, he lived to be 365 years old, it says Enoch lived to be 65 and then he had a son at 65.  Most of us don't wait that long [he might have been waiting for a young wife], and his son was named Methuselah.  Now Methuselah means 'When he dies it shall come.'  So at 65 years old God reveals something to Enoch about judgment that was coming on the world.  And he must have said, 'Lord, when?'  And he said, 'When he dies.'  Let's name him Methuselah.  So it says after he had Methuselah he walked with God, so he was pretty serious after this kid was born.  You imagine every time this kid got a runny nose or the chickenpox or something he thought 'This was it, the Lord's coming.'  Well of course Methuselah lived over 900 years.  But it says after Methuselah was born Enoch walked with God for 300 years, 'and God took him.'  [and there's a lot of religious speculation about that, but we really don't know what that means.]  He walked right into another dimension, he was Raptured, the Lord took Enoch, 'and he was not.'  Because he walked with God, and it tells us in Hebrews 11:5 he had this testimony that he pleased God.  Wait, listen, this is in the midst of the most Godless generation the world has seen until the day that we live in.  God was going to wipe out, with the Flood, the entire population of the earth.  And that's a different study, because of the complication of their sin and what was going on.  And Enoch in the middle of all of that, walked with God.  God revealed something to him about what was coming.  And part of it, and the way it's written here in the grammar, speaks 'the Lord cometh' is coming, speaks to our day, 'with ten thousands of his saints,' no doubt that was part of what God revealed to him when Methuselah was born, that he's the only one that we have specifically in the era before the Flood that is a prophet that we know of, and tells us what's happening down to our day.  And he saw the Lord, and it's important, I think a prophet needs to do that, and I'm glad the prophets did that, that they may have seen the difficulty in their generation, and the difficulty of their culture and the world falling apart around them.  But they always saw the light at the end of the tunnel, they always saw the Lord of glory, they always saw the final plan, they always saw, in the final analysis, no matter how tough it gets here, Jesus is coming!  He's coming, and he's going to set up his Kingdom.  And he says here he's coming "with ten thousands of his saints," "with".  It doesn't say he's coming "for his saints," "he's coming with his saints."  I like that, because I intend on being "with him" when he comes.  "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints," some say 'Well that's 'holy ones,' probably speaking of angels,' well, some say that.  Colossians chapter 3, verse 4 says, 'that we should seek those things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand,' and so forth, and it says 'When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory.'  When?  'When Christ appears, then you also shall appear with him in glory.'  Then in 1st Thessalonians it says this, 'To the end, that you may establish your hearts, unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, with all of his saints.'  And it tells us this in Revelation chapter 19, it says, 'And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean,' and it tells us that linen is the righteousness of the saints, so the picture of us coming with Christ, through the heavens, Psalm 149 says this, and I like this, 'Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud upon their beds,' I like that, I'm going to have a bed in glory, I'm going to lay down on it and nobody is going to get me up, I can lay there as long as I want to.  Psalm 149, see it for yourself, don't believe me, 'Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud upon their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people, to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute upon them the judgment written, this honour have all his saints.  Praise ye the LORD.'  That we will come with him.  And it says Enoch, whose the seventh from Adam, prophecied in regards to these troublers and these false teachers when he said, "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, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." (verses 14b-15)  Notice, verse 15, "ungodly" there four times, he's trying to make a point.  He says, 'This judgment will be personal.'  This is not going to be with famine, this is not going to be with hail, this is not going to be with flood, this is a judgment that will be personal, Christ himself will come to mete this out.  And when he comes to mete out this judgment, it will be complete, it says it will be upon all that are ungodly, all that have committed ungodly offenses, all who have spoken hardly against him, all, all, all, all, it is a complete judgment.  And he says this, it's going to be a righteous judgment, he's going to be completely just, it says "to execute judgment upon all," and our word there "to convince."  "…to convince all that are ungodly among them", what is he going to convince them of?  "of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."  It says when he comes, he will convict or will convince them, his coming will be the rude awakening of ungodly people.  When Christ actually comes, they will be staggered, because they'll realize it's all true, when he comes.  And he will be just in his judgment when he comes in regards to all of their ungodliness, all of the ungodly things they have done, all of the ungodly things they have said against him, you watch the media today, you watch some of the things that are going on, you watch people that mock God.  When he comes, he will deal with all of that, Jude says.  Enoch even prophecied of this.  That time is coming.  There will be a judge, with no jury.  There will be a prosecution, without a defense.  There will be sentence, without appeal.  Because when he comes, he will convince all of their ungodliness, and it says there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  They're going to realize, and he will be completely just in what he does, the balances will be just.  It's not going to be 'Oh he's unfair, look at what he did, how could a God of love do this?' no, no, it says here, let's read it together, he says, he's going "to execute judgment upon all, and 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." (verse 15) …We haven't seen the worst of it yet.  This world is headed somewhere that's unimaginable, unimaginable.  The world that we sit in this evening is a tinderbox, it's a tinderbox [and ten years after he spoke this, it is currently arming itself to the teeth while the U.S. slowly disarms itself, and that's just the military picture].  And God is gracious, and he's restrained it.  And I think it is because you, alone, emphatic, are the salt of the earth, you are the preservative right now, because you're still here on this ball of dirt.  That means that God is still up to something.  And that's exciting.  And if he's still up to something, it means we need to continue to pray for our friends, and our relatives, and the unsaved that are around us.  The day of grace is still upon us, and his love is still available, to anyone, no matter what they've done.  Hey, I'm in, I'm in, if I'm in, anybody gets in.  Of course, now that I'm in I'm ready for him to come, and to heck with everybody else, but I'm glad he waited until 1972, that's when I got saved, and that's the way we are as Christians, 'O Lord, come Lord Jesus!'  Well, he's got more, evidently, to gather in.  And we need to be busy about his business, because the sooner that happens, evidently, the faster we're outa here. 


Further Description Of These Troublemakers'


Verse 16, he describes them again, "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."  They play the game, they say what they say to this person, and they say what they say to that person, and they're not genuine at all, you know, the advantage of buttering somebody up is all they care about, stepping on whoever they need to step on to get ahead.  Sometimes I look at these people on TV, these big things, and they honor each other, and pat each other on the back, and give each other little gold idols and awards, and I think 'yea, the rest of us are working for a living,' and you can sit around impressed with how great everybody is.  Jesus said that things that are esteemed among men are often an abomination before God, you know, not to be caught up in those things.  And look, if we're actors, we should be the best, I'm talking about professionally, not that we should be actors besides that, it makes us hypocrites.  But you know, if we're musicians, if we're artists, if we're computer programmers, if we're carpenters, whatever we do, we should excel at what we do, we should try to be the best for the cause of Christ.  But it says the world's system, and I talk to lots of Christians that are often frustrated with it, because they don't want to play the game.  They don't want to butter up their boss and say stuff that they know isn't true, they know that their coworkers sometimes are being deceitful, being dishonest, they're stepping on anybody they can step on to get ahead.  He says, 'Hey, this whole world system works like that.'  And the kind of people that come into the Church that are not believers, that take advantage of you, that would do injury to the Body of Christ, this precious Bride of Jesus, work by the same system, by the same values.  They care about the admiration and the advantage that they can have in front of men. 


'Remember The Words Of The Apostles' (Now Contained In The Epistles)


Now, verse 17 he says this, he's gone on this long dissertation about how sneaky these guys are, what trouble they are, guys and gals, there's girls that are trouble-makers too, I don't want to leave anybody out.  And now he's going to say "But, beloved, remember" we have resources, he's going to go on to say, it doesn't mean we have to be sunk, we need to be aware of what's going on around us, but we are those, who in the beginning, he said, need to defend the faith that was once delivered to the saints.  But we have that capacity in a world where everything has gone arriy.  That we are those who bear the truth.  So he's going to give his first command in the letter, a direct command in verse 17, and that is to remember.  "But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts."  And he's insinuating that he's not an apostle, but that he knew them, no doubt.  He said, first line of defense, is we need to remember that we know these things.  The apostles, John wrote and warned us, 1st John, about things that would happen, with antichrists and false christs and deceivers coming into the Church.  Peter wrote about the same thing.  You read 1st and 2nd Peter.  Paul wrote about it in 1st and 2nd Timothy, warning us.  Jude writes about it here in this letter.  Jesus himself, we have in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, the warnings of Christ about the Last Days, and in the Book of Revelation.  We have been warned over and over and over and over, so we're not blind about these things.  We shouldn't be shocked that these things are going on around us.  But the challenge comes, let me tell you, the challenge comes this way.  It comes to each of us.  It doesn't come just to pastors, this letter is written to all of us.  Everybody here has a responsibility to stand up for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints, everybody in this room.  Warren Wiersby does an interesting thing in his little commentary on Jude, he talks about the Great Wall of China here.  And he says "The Great Wall of China was only breached three times, and all three times it was because guards were paid off."  Now just think of that.  You know, this wall was started, and he didn't say all of this, he just got my curiosity up, so I had to look into it, and I was worming this out.  It starts, there's like outposts built between the 7th and 3rd century BC, until finally one emperor commands everything to be completed, and that wall then was completed in ten years.  It is 4,163 miles long.  We're going through this big thing now about protecting our borders.  I'm not pro or con here, ok.  So I'm just making a point.  We have a 1,500 mile border with Mexico, and you see these different groups going out there now to protect the border, and politicians say 'It's impossible, we can't, we'd have to militarize,'  Look, wait a second.  2500 years ago, without any modern technology, without bulldozers, without sonar or radar satellites, the Chinese built a wall 4,163 miles long, and it was only breached three times, all three times because guys were paid off.  And we can't do that?  You know what it would take to do it?  Determination.  That's what it would take.  It would take determination to do that.  And I'm not talking, and I'm going to bring that back here and say, it takes the same determination to protect the territory that the Lord has given to us.  We can sit on our lees, we can come to church Sunday morning and placate God and think he's happy by how much we throw in the offering, and we give him our once-a-week one-hour offering, and then we're off and do whatever we want to do, or no, no, we can say, 'You're my Saviour, and my Lord, and I want to serve you, I love you, and I love you because you first loved me, you hung on the cross, you bled out your life into the ground, and somehow you suffered in those three hours of darkness, eternally, eternally, for me.'  Remember, before he died he said 'It is finished.'  It was finished before he died physically.  He had died eternally already.  And now Jude is saying to us, to the Church, 'Look, remember the words of the apostles, remember the things that were spoken to you, remember how they warned that these days would come.  And in light of that,'  Now this is his first command to us, to remember, think of all the things we have to remember in life.  My wife rarely tells me something important, because that takes memory.  And by the time I leave the house and get to church she's already called Judy, saying, "Remind him," because my mind is always somewhere else, thinking about heavenly things.  [laughter]  But, you know how busy life is.  This is his exhortation 'Remember the words of the apostles,' we have a great resource in God's Word.  We don't need to stumble, we don't need to be taken as a prey by deceivers.  We don't need to.  They may plunk them into our living room on television, we may hear them on radio, their literature gets handed out all over, we don't have to be deceived by any of that.  "But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ", that's our foundation, the apostles and the prophets.  When we begin to question that Word, ok, you are vulnerable.  It starts in Genesis 3, verse 1, 'Hath God said?' and Satan, as soon as he could get Eve to question the Word, she was vulnerable.  You can, you know, you can study, we have so much available to us, the voracity of the Book that you hold in your hand outweighs everything, that they have on Shakespeare, and Plato, and every other historical figure.  There is no comparison.  The closest existing manuscript of Plato was written 1300 years after he lived.  We have thousands of manuscripts [of the Textus Receptus] written in the 2nd and 3rd century, we have enough written by the Church fathers to put together the entire New Testament.  You know, you read Robert Dick Wilson, and the scientific investigation of the Old Testament text, you read through these things, and it is miraculous what we have in our hands, the inspiration of it and the preservation of it, God, if he's miraculous enough to inspire it, he is miraculous enough to preserve it, and what we hold in our hands thousands of years after the quill went to the page, is the Word of God, it's the Word of God.  [see]  And there are all kinds of movements in the Church [Body of Christ] today to lessen it, to put the emphasis on all kinds of other things, to turn the Church and the sanctuary into a big entertainment center, so you feel like you're in your own living room, to put the emphasis on music instead of the Word of God, to put the emphasis on every other thing [and this would be the dead and dying part of the Body of Christ, in a vain effort to stir up spiritual life in their churches, because they have forgotten where that Life comes from, the Holy Spirit coupled to giant doses of the Word of God.  Church denominations go through life-cycles.  See,]  But God communicates in words, words, 'remember the words of the apostles,' that God speaks to us, he speaks to us.  And you mess with this a little bit [probably holding up his Bible], and let me tell you something, get a translation, if you want to read a paraphrase, fine, if it blesses you sometimes.  I like Philips, I'll read the Living Bible occasionally, but I have a "translation" that I love.  The message is not a translation.  It isn't even a good paraphrase, get an accurate translation [probably why Pastor Joe uses the King James Bible].  And the reason is, is because if you were going from here to the moon, and you started out one degree off, where would you end up by the time you got to the moon?  Ok?  The God who gave us this, and inspired this, is the God that puts the code in our DNA and our chromosomes.  And now of course they're numbering all our genes and chromosomes, mapping them all out [the Human Genome Project, which may have been just recently completed].  If you are short one chromosome or there's one gene that's off, there's one glitch in your DNA, now they can predict the diseases you might get, and the diseases you have.  Well if the God who invented genes and chromosomes tells us that we better not add or delete from this [holding up his Bible], which the more we study it, probably has more information in it than the genetic code, we shouldn't mess with it either.  And we should remember the faith that was once delivered to the saints, the Jesus of the Bible, the Jesus of salvation, the blood of Christ, the sin of mankind, the resurrection, the ascension, the return of Christ, the essential things that have been at the center of every revival in Church history.  And you can placate a culture and a society, and you can fill the room with all kinds of stuff, we can draw a crowd just by starting a fire.  If we started a fire in a parking lot we would draw a crowd.  But I believe if God is ever going to start a fire again, it's going to be where his Word is honoured as his Word, without compromise, without apology, without yielding up any of its truth, the faith that was once delivered to the saints, and like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, say, 'and if not, we still ain't gonna bow to thee, to their gods, not gonna happen.' 


'These Troublemakers Are Soulish, They Don't Have God's Holy Spirit'---What Does That Mean?


He says "But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;" his messengers, those that were with him "how 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." (verses 17-19)  Notice, first of all, they "separate themselves", they cause divisions in the Body of Christ, they sow discord.  Secondly, he says, 'they are sensual,' that's not in the sense sexual, it's psuchikos [Strongs # 5591, psuchikos (lower, bestial nature), natural, sensual] 'they are soulish.'  Paul tells us that 'the spiritual man,' the matukos 'the spiritual man discerns all things, and that the carnal man, the soulish man, does not.'  The soulish man relates to this world through what he sees, what he hears, what he tastes, what he touches and what he smells, the five senses.  That's how you learn everything in school, that's how you learn everything.  And what happens is when you get saved, all of a sudden another capacity opens up in your life called discernment.  And it says that 'eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love him, but by his Spirit he's made those things real to us.'  (1st Corinthians 2:9)  [Let's read that whole section in 1st Corinthians 2:9-13, to better understand the point Pastor Joe is making.  "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit:  for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of man, save [by the] spirit of man which is in him?  [i.e. the human spirit, which gives man his ordinary intellect and ability to understand the natural world around him through the five senses]  even so the things of God knoweth no man, but [except by] the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world [i.e. our knowledge and understanding as Holy Spirit indwelt believers is no longer limited to just knowledge we can gain through the five senses], but [now we have] the Spirit of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual."  Zeroing in on this point, now let's read 1st Corinthians 2:14-15 "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:  for they are foolishness unto him:  neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man."]    It says, you know, 'Whom we have not seen, but we love him with joy unspeakable, full of glory,' that there is a witness inside of us.  Again, that is why people say 'Well how do you know?' and you say, 'I don't know, I know that I know, I just know that I know that I know that I know.'  [and they look at you like you got three heads!]  You know everything you know, with your eyes, your ears, your taste, your touch, your smell, and I have something beyond that.  And it's the Spirit of the Living God that's taken up residence in my house, I have eternity.  You know, God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever would believe would not perish but have eternal life, not when we get to heaven [into the kingdom of heaven], when you get saved, 'you have eternal life.'  And the second you get saved, eternity moves into your heart in the living person of Jesus Christ (cf John 14).  So, he says here, but 'These' who trouble the Church 'are soulish.'  They might have a Ph.D., they might have all kinds of brags, but they're soulish, they're dead spiritually, and he says that. 


'Be Building Yourselves Up In Your Most Holy Faith'


Look, let's read the whole verse, 19, "These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit."  Now, contrasting, "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" (verses 20-21)  Our context in tenses here, is 'continually be building 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."  He gives us an exhortation now, in regards to keeping ourselves in the love of God.  He does not say 'keep God loving you.'  A lot of Christians spend their whole life doing that.  'You know, I know God said in his Word whomsoever will come, he never thought I was going to take him up on it.  And he's been bummed out ever since I got saved, so I gotta keep him happy with me.'  No, it doesn't say 'keep God loving you,' it doesn't say 'keep yourself saved,' there's none of that here, not 'earn his love,' not 'work for it,' it's there [God's love is there, already].  It says, 'Keep yourselves in the sphere of that love, to walk in it.'  Jesus said, in regards to God's love, 'that we should abide, continue ye in my love,' he said.  It says 'if we keep his commandments, the love of God abides with us.'   So, he's going to tell us some things we need to do here.  "But ye, beloved," 'continually be building up,' in contrast to those he's been talking about, who were tearing down, 'be building up yourselves on your most holy faith,' is in regards to and in the sphere of, it's locative, 'in the sphere of your most holy faith,' "most holy faith" is the faith that was once delivered unto the saints.  The grammar sets it aside as exclusive, there isn't anything to compare with it [with this "most holy faith, which was once delivered unto the saints"], there isn't anything like it.  There isn't anything you can line it up with, it's not 'Jesus and this thing,' it's not 'Jesus and the ascended masters,' it's not 'Jesus and flying saucers,' etc.  It's Jesus, it's the Jesus of the Bible, 'most holy, most separate, building yourselves up in your most holy faith.'  It's exclusive, it means what it says, it says what it means, 'As you have received Christ,' Colossians 2:6, 'so walk ye in him,' 'be building yourselves up in your most holy faith.'  What is it?  That he died for us.  That he loves us.  [i.e. the Gospel of Christ, all five points in it.  What is it?  See,]  I love prophecy, and that's part of it.  I like practical instruction about marriage, and I always have fun when we go through those things, child-raising, purity.  But when I sit alone with God, I am still staggered that I can lift my heart to heaven and say "Father, Father."  And he doesn't look down and say 'Oh, is that a pastor there?'  Because he didn't hire me, he gave birth to me, he didn't hire me.  Something much higher than being a pastor is being his son.  And right in the center of that is the blood of Jesus Christ.  And it is always there when I think of the fact that I have access to him, that he will sit with me, he will talk with me.  Because I'm always aware of the things that are not perfected in my life, and yet the communion with him is open, and it flows, and it's because of the most holy faith that's been given to us, that the blood of Christ has paid the price in full.  'It is finished, Tutelisti,' Christ said.  So, first of all, 'be building up on yourselves in your most holy faith,' Peter had said, 'grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.'

'Praying, continually praying in the Holy Ghost,' now how do we pray in the Holy Ghost?  Because some people like to take this and make it awful exclusive, 'Shine the old commode, economy car show,' you know, that's praying in the Holy Ghost.  Look, anybody here who prays knows this, there are some times when we're before the Lord, when sometimes just our hearts soften, and the tears come, and it's very obvious that he's met with us, and he's given us a burden and we're bearing something before him, and we're praying according to his will.  There are sometimes that's praying in the Holy Ghost.  There are some times, when we come before him, and our hearts are so broken, and what we want to pour out in front of him is so huge we can't even get it out, it's like a great big lump in your throat physically, and you just can't swallow, sometimes there's just that groaning.  And it tells us in Romans 8:26 that there are groanings that are too deep to be uttered, we can't even say them, but the Holy Ghost makes intercession for us, because we don't know how to pray as we ought to in certain circumstances like that.  That is praying in the Holy Ghost, there have been times when I just get before him, and I just drop my head, and the tears flow, and I can't even say the words, and I am broken before him, and it is a groaning.  That is praying in the Holy Ghost.  And there are times, when I'm alone with him, and he grants me to pray in a prayer-language [he's talking of speaking in tongues, in the privacy of prayer with God], I pray in tongues.  I don't do it here, neither do you, we're here to study the Word.  And believe me, I have enough people come up, 'You're quenching the Holy Ghost because I can't speak in tongues in church.'  Well you know, you're here an hour a week, you have six days and 23 other hours to pray in tongues.  Are you frustrated or something?  You know, just go on and let it out all week, so when we come together we can study the Bible.  But that's a way to pray in the Spirit too, no doubt, no doubt.  And we have not excluded that.  So, first he says, 'building yourselves up in your most holy faith,' that is objectively, related to the Word.  'Praying, in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking,' and that is specifically 'expectantly looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.'  You know, Titus says, 'Looking for the coming of our great God and Saviour, that's the blessed hope of the Church, faith, hope and love are put before us in these practices.  But we should build ourselves up in our most holy faith.  That's staying in the Word, it is praying and getting before the Lord, and not just a monologue, but a dialogue to where he's communing with us, and our hearts are broken before him, and there's something genuine that takes place.  And living our lives looking for his coming, looking expectantly.  He says if you do those things, 'you'll be building yourself up in your most holy faith, keeping yourselves in the sphere of his love.'  If you're out there backsliding and you're compromising, goofing off, you know it's hard to get alone with him and say, 'Boy, I really feel like you love me, Father.'  He loves us because of what Christ has accomplished on our behalf.  But like John says, we should walk in the light.  Jude says 'we should keep ourselves in the sphere of his love.  And that's the place where we're praying, we're staying in the Word, we're looking for his coming.'  And it's a place of health, where we're invigorated, and we're safe from all of the false teachers he's been warning us about.  You know it says in Zechariah 12:10 'that he's going to pour out on the house of David in the last days the spirit of grace and supplication.'  And so the Holy Spirit working in our hearts, in our prayers, very important. 


'Some Have Compassion On, Others Save With Fear'---What Does That Mean?


Now, those of us that are walking, we're remembering the words of the apostles, we're maintaining our spiritual health, then we don't become islands, we have a relationship to those around us.  And sometimes to those who need encouragement, that are weaker.  He says, "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." (verses 22-23)  There are some around you, you'll see, they're struggling, they're doubting in one thing or another, so defer to them, making a difference.  Just they're doubting, they're struggling, have compassion on them.  Don't be 'Oh you knucklehead, you've been in the new-believer's class three times, and you haven't graduated yet!?'  No, it doesn't say that, because growth is a process.  It's very interesting for me, and it's a great privilege for me for me now to do the wedding of someone I dedicated when they were an infant, and to realize, 'You know, this is an 18-year labor in this life, and so worthwhile.'  I did a wedding last summer and I said "You know, I was your grandmother's pastor, and your parent's pastor, and I've been your pastor since I've dedicated you, that's three generations in your family.  And if you get pregnant and give me a baby to dedicate, that would be four generations in your family."  But I think of Chriswell in Texas in the Baptist church there, he was 52 years in one pulpit, and I think 'What a privilege, you must get to see five generations.'  And as you watch that process of years, growth is slow, people struggle, they stumble, they go through things, and God is gracious, and he picks them back up again, and he lets them learn, and he lets them come to appreciate their own depravity, and the glory of his grace, and what he has done on their behalf, and he encourages love.  And some of them have to go bang their heads against the wall and come back with a lump and say, 'Is that why you said not to…'   'Yea, I've got one of those too.'   But some, he says, if you're healthy spiritually, have compassion, there's some around, they're doubting, they have questions, don't grind them to powder, treat them like Jesus would treat them, be compassionate, he says.  "and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." (verse 23)  So, some you're going to encourage by love.  Some, the only encouragement they get, you're going to have to pull them out of the fire.  Some people move forward when the heat gets too much behind them, some people move forward when the openness and compassion is in front of them.  We normally need both somewhere along the line.  But some people just need to remember 'heaven and hell are real, the stakes are high, they're eternal, and you're messing up, and where are you?'  Examine yourself to see whether you're in the faith (cf. 2nd Corinthians 13:5).  Some people, Jude says, you need to scare the hell out of them to get the hell out of them.  He says, 'Some, save with fear, pulling them out of the fire,' and the idea is being careful, even hating the garment that's spotted by the flesh,' i.e. we should take heed to ourselves because we could be overcome too, we're supposed to do it with wisdom, with compassion certainly.  But there needs to be a stern reproof to some people, they need to hear the truth, and you need to get them right between the eyes with it, and for some folks that's the most loving thing that you can do for them.  Because you need to yank them out of the fire.  Maybe he's thinking of Zechariah and Isaiah, about a branch plucked from the fire.  Different people, you treat them different ways, everybody's not the same. 


Closing Doxology


But now this great doxology, beginning in verse 24, and many of us know this, and we should, and many of us love this, and we should.  And Jude ends up here, in spite of false teachers and in spite of the trouble and the spots and the blemishes he sees in the Church, he says, "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 Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.  Amen." (verses 24-25)  The idea is, he's able to guard, to garrison you from falling.  It doesn't say 'Oh yea, are you trying to say that I can't go out there and bang my head against the wall,' no, if you want to, go on.  But it's saying 'if you're turned towards him, and you want to walk with him, he keeps us from falling, he will guard us, and lead us, he's a great Shepherd and a great Father.'  That's in this world.  "and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,"  that's in the next world.  Jude says this, 'now unto him who is able to guard you from falling, he's a faithful Shepherd,' and I love this, 'and to present you, he's going to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,' that's our joy, by the way, in the grammar.  'Now unto him who is able to guard you from falling, in this pilgrimage that we're on, and at the end, make a presentation of you in his glory.'  Here's the thing about it, when he does that, you'll be faultless.  "When this corruption puts on incorruption and this mortal puts on immortality"---you are not going to be faultless until then.  Again, I always say that at a wedding, "Wife, your husband is not faultless, if he was, he wouldn't need to be presented faultless then."  "Husband, your wife is not faultless, she's not perfect."  But there is a perfect Contributor, and one day he will present us faultless, and it will be the first time in our existence that we will be faultless.  Imagine that.  The Rapture [1st resurrection to immortality] takes place, and he says 'Father, I'd like to present your son, Joe.'  And I'm not there saying 'No, no, no, no, present Frank first, there's just a few things I need to get straightened out here.'  No, no, the idea is, no sin, no shame, nothing to hang our heads about, nothing unChristlike, we will be faultless at the presentation, and it says because of that, we will be exalting, in exaltation, with unspeakable joy.  That when he says 'Father here's Dave, here's Sarah, here's Dan,' and we're presented, at that instant, we will be faultless and go 'Yihaa!'  We're going to jump up in the air, we're going to fall right on our face and praise him.  But we're going to be completely faultless and completely at home and comfortable in his presence.  I like this, this is a great way to end the letter, "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," I like that, I've had some joy, I can't wait to have exceeding joy.  "to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.  Amen." (verse 25)  This is speaking of the Deity of his older half-brother.  What an interesting thing for Jude to say, "to the only wise God our Saviour," and what thoughts he must have had, "be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.  Amen."  Take note of that. We're going to have the musicians come, we'll sing a last song.  Look at this, "to the only wise God our Saviour,"  It doesn't' say 'to the only wise God the Saviour,' it doesn't say 'to the only wise God their Saviour,' it says "to the only wise God our Saviour,"  You have to be able to say "my Saviour", not 'I believe Christ is the Saviour,' you have to be able to say 'Christ is my Saviour.'  As Paul says, 'I know in whom I have believed.'  Very important.  Because it's all about relationship and it's not about religion.  And if you ever expect to be presented faultless before the glory of his presence, it's because you have come to the place in this life where you say 'he is my God and Saviour.'  That is the faith that was once delivered unto the saints, that you can know Jesus.  Not you can be Lutheran, not you can be Catholic, not you can be Baptist, not you can be Calvary Chapel [and not that you can be United Church of God], that you can know Jesus Christ, and you can say to him, "You are my Lord."  When you sit alone with him you can say, 'Oh my Lord, Father.'  Do you have relationship?  It's within the confines of that relationship that one day you'll be presented faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy…[transcript of a connective expository sermon on Jude verses 12-25, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]


related links:


"Jesus is coming with ten thousands of his saints."  See,


"Remember the words of the apostles" (now contained in the Epistles)  See,


The Word of God is provable.  See,


What is the faith once delivered unto the saints?  See,     


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