Commentary on Jude

 

 

 THE BOOK OF JUDE

 

Jude is concerned with apostasy. Even in his day, the church was already being infiltrated by religious Quislings, men who posed as servants of God but who were actually enemies of the cross of Christ. Jude’s purpose is to expose these traitors and to describe their ultimate doom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



PROLOGUE

Authorship. In the normal manner, this author identifies himself in the salutation as Jude, the brother of James. This means that he was also the brother of our Lord (*Mt 13:55 ; **Mk 6:3). He preferred not to mention the family relationship to Jesus directly; perhaps the mention of James, who was a leading figure in the church in Jerusalem, was enough to give weight to his identity. His boast, like that of Peter and Paul, was that he was a “slave” of Jesus Christ.

*(Mt 13:55: “Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?” Two of these brothers, James and Judas (Jude) wrote New Testament epistles and played an important role in the early church.

**(Mk. 6.3) “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.”

At one time, Jude was listed as a disputed book; this means only that there were some who did not accept it. However, external evidence for this book is strong. It was quoted by several early church Fathers (Polycarp, Clement of Rome, etc.), and is listed in the second-century Muratorian Canon.

The outstanding reason for disputing the authenticity of Jude in ancient and modern times has been the fact that Jude quotes from the apocryphal Enoch, evidently accepting that he is the seventh from Adam. Another problem is the amount of duplication from II Peter, although there could have been a common oral or written source behind both. There is no real reason for not accepting the traditional canonical status of Jude.

Occasion and purpose. Jude, like Peter, writes to encourage believers to continue to hold to the faith against the diabolical attack of false teachers. The Old Testament Scriptures and the common apostolic preaching are the authorities which predict both the presence and the doom of the scoffers. His letter has the stated purpose of encouraging his readers to contend for the faith (vs. 3). The letter assumes an existing danger of apostasy into immorality and deep sin because of the influence of shrewd and greedy teachers. Jude writes to correct this.

Date and place of writing. Whether before or after II Peter, Jude is at least in the same general period. There is the possibility that both draw heavily from a contemporary oral or written source which is no longer existent. The fact that Jude is more definite in his reference to the false teachers as a present reality to his readers (vs. 4) suggests that he wrote after Peter when the problem had more fully developed.

No hint of who the readers are is given in the book, except that they are perhaps in the Palestine area so that they will know who James (vs. 1) is; they may be Jews or Gentiles. The date must then lie somewhere between about A.D. 65 and 80, perhaps A.D. 67–68. The place of writing is not indicated but quite likely is Jerusalem.

Characteristics. The book is characterized by the strongest apocalyptic condemnation of the ungodly and immoral false teachers. Jude, like Peter, refers to the Old Testament to prove his point about the judgment of God upon sin; unlike Peter, he freely refers also to the apocryphal works that were current. Of all New Testament writers, Jude is more noted for this, but he is not alone in doing it. Matthew, Paul, and the writer of Hebrews all do things with quotations which require strained explanations if we judge their literary practices by twentieth century western standards. The book is definitely in character with the other apostolic writings and there is no reason not to accept it as authoritative today.

 

OUTLINE
                                                      
     I.     Introduction. 1–2.                                                              
     II.     Occasion of the Epistle. 3–4.
          A.     Change of the Purpose. 3.                                
          B.     Purpose of the Change. 4                                  
     III.     The Apostate Past. 5–7.
          A.     Israelite Apostasy. 5.
          B.     Angelic Apostasy. 6.
          C.     Pagan Apostasy. 7.
     IV.     The *Apostate Present. 8–16.
          A.     Activity of the Apostates. 8–10.
          B.     Warning of the Apostates. 11–16.
     V.     Exhortations Against Apostates. 17–23.
          A.     Exhortation by the Apostles. 17–19.
          B.     Exhortation by Warning. 20–21.
          C.     Exhortation by Example. 22–23.
     VI.     Conclusion. 24–25.

 *(Apostate) somebody who renounces a belief or allegiance.

 

Scripture

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:
2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.
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.
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.
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.
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.
7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
9 Yet 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.
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.
11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
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 withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
15 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.
16 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.
17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
24 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,
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

 

I.     Introduction. 1–2.

 

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:

*(called) invited (by the proclamation of the Gospel) to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom through Christ.

Jude was almost certainly the apostle, who was *surnamed  Thaddeus and Lebbeus; he was the son of Alpheus, and the brother of James the less, Joses, and Simon. Notice **Matthew 10:3; *** Luke 6:16; ****Matthew 13:55. God used a righteous Jude (or Judas, or Judah) to unmask the apostates , of whom another Jude, Judas Iscariot, was a prime example. All that we know for certain about the good Jude is that he was a *****bondservant  of Jesus Christ, and brother of James (who was well known as the leader of the church in Jerusalem). Another thing we know for sure is that he was name-sake to one of his ancestors, the patriarch, Judah—the son of Jacob, out of whose loins the Messiah came. His was a name of worth, well-known, and honored; however, he also had a wicked name-sake. There was one Judas (one of the twelve, surnamed Iscariot, after the place of his birth) who was a vile traitor, the betrayer of his and our Lord.

*(Surnamed) Somebody’s family name: the name that identifies somebody as belonging to a particular family and that he or she has in common with other members of that family; the last name.

**(Matthew 10:3) “Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;” 

( *** Luke 6:16) “And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.”

(****Matthew 13:55) “Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?”

*****(bondservant) A serf: or enslaved person

St. Jude writes to all believers everywhere and not to anyone in particular or to any specific Church, that's why this epistle has been called a general epistle. When addressing the Letter, Jude gives three designations that are true of all believers. They are called, sanctified  by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ. God has called  them out of the world by the gospel, to belong to Himself. Note, Christians are called to higher and better things, heaven, things unseen and eternal,—called from sin to Christ, from vanity to seriousness, from uncleanness to holiness; and this while pursuing divine purpose and grace; for whom he did predestinate those he also called, Rom. 8:30. They are set apart by God to be God’s special and pure people. And they are marvelously preserved from danger, damage, defilement, and damnation until at last they are ushered in to see the King in His beauty.

The word servant (Gr. doulos) is literally “slave” and conveys the picture of a bond slave who belonged to another person. Even though, as the brother of James, Jude was the brother of Christ, he prefers that we know him as the “slave” or property of Christ. Peter *(II Pet 1:1)  and Paul **(Rom 1:1)  also spoke of themselves in this way; it is a ***metaphor  for complete dedication. As far as the readers are concerned, we know only that they were ****sanctified,  *****preserved, and called, and that they must have lived somewhere in the vicinity of Palestine in order to know who James was.

*(II Pet 1:1) “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:”

**(Rom 1:1) “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God”

***(metaphor) all language that involves figures of speech or symbolism and does not literally represent real things; one thing used or considered to represent another 

****sanctified (Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words)
1)     to render or acknowledge, or to be venerable or hallow
2)     to separate from profane things and dedicate to God
2a)     consecrate things to God
2b)     dedicate people to God
3)     to purify
3a)     to cleanse externally
3b)     to purify by expiation: free from the guilt of sin
3c)     to purify internally by renewing of the soul

*****(Preserved) conserved, well-looked-after, well-maintained, well-preserved, well-kept-up, well-kept, unspoiled.

Now those who are called are also Sanctified: Sanctified by God the Father. Sanctification is usually spoken of in scripture as the work of the Holy Spirit, yet here it is ascribed to God the Father, because the Spirit works as the Spirit of the Father and the Son. Note that all who are effectively called are sanctified, and made partakers of a divine nature *(2 Pt. 1:4); for without holiness no man shall see the Lord **(Heb. 12:14). Observe; our sanctification is not our own work. If any are sanctified, they are sanctified by God the Father, not excluding Son or Spirit, for they are one, one God. Our corruption and pollution come from ourselves; but our sanctification and renovation are from God and his grace; and therefore if we perish in our iniquity we must bear the blame, but if we are sanctified and glorified all the honor and glory must be ascribed to God, and to him alone. The called and sanctified are preserved in Christ Jesus. “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). The meaning is, that they owed their preservation wholly to him; and if they were brought to everlasting life, it would be only by him. What the apostle says here about those to whom he wrote, is true of all Christians. They would all fall away and perish if it were not for the grace of God keeping them. Since it is God who begins the work of grace in the souls of men, consequently it is He who carries it on, and perfects it. What He begins he will perfect; though we are fickle, he is unvarying. He will not forsake the work of his own hands ***(Ps. 138:8). Let us not therefore trust in ourselves, nor in our stock of grace that we have already received; but, instead, let us trust in him and in him alone.

*(2 Pt. 1.4) “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

**(Heb 12.14) “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” To follow (Gr diōkō) more precisely means to pursue. This is not a passive role that one just lets happen; it is an active concept that one must strive for. They must pray for a life of peace with both other believers and the world (I Tim 2:1–2); they must labor for it, too (Ps 34:14; Rom 12:18). Yet this must not be peace at any cost. We are to strive for peace and holiness, for without holiness no man can see the Lord. This holiness has been imputed through Christ to those who have made Him their Savior and Lord (10:10–14; II Cor 5:21; I Pet 2:24).”

***(Ps. 138.8) “The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.”

If the view taken by Jude in this introduction to the epistle is correct, Jude maintained a close relationship with the Lord Jesus, since he, as well as James was, "the Lord's brother;" “But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother” (Galatians 1:19). The reasons why he did not call attention to this fact, which would serve to designate him as a well-known person, with authority to address others in the manner in which he proposed to do in this epistle, probably were:
1) that the right to do this did not rest on his mere relationship to the Lord Jesus, but on the fact that the Lord had called certain persons to be His apostles, and had authorized them to do it; and, 
2) that a reference to this relationship, as a ground for authority, might have created jealousies among the apostles themselves. We may learn from the fact that Jude merely calls himself "the servant of the Lord Jesus," that is, a Christian,

    a. that this is a distinction more to be desired than would be a mere natural relationship to the Savior, and consequently
    b. that it is a higher honour than any distinction arising from birth or family. Notice Matthew 12:46-50. “46While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 47Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 48But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

Jude, who once doubted his brother’s teaching, finally realized the necessity of being related to Jesus by faith. Each believer has been individually called out by God. “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44). The Father has set believers apart from the rest of the world by providing for reconciliation with God through His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who are called and set apart are also preserved or kept safe in Jesus Christ because He freely obeyed the Father’s will and endured the burden of mankind’s sin on the cross. “11And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 12While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled(John 17:11-12).

2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.

Jude wishes mercy, peace, and love for his readers. The greeting is especially suited to those who were facing the onslaught from those whose aim was to undermine the faith. All our comfort flows from the mercy, peace, and love of God, all our real enjoyment in this life, all our hope for a better life. Mercy means God’s compassionate comfort and care for His beleaguered saints in times of conflict and stress. The mercy of God is the spring and fountain of all the good we have or hope for; mercy not only for the miserable, but also for the guilty. Although the word mercy is often used to describe the relationship among people, it is primarily used in the New Testament as the overriding blessing of God toward His people. Even the best men have no merit, and must receive every blessing and grace by the way of God’s mercy Next to mercy is peace, which we have from the sense of having obtained mercy. Peace is the serenity and confidence that come from reliance on God’s word and from looking above circumstances to the One who overrules all circumstances for the accomplishment of His own purposes. This is that same peace “beyond anything we can imagine” (Philippians 4:7). We can have no true and lasting peace except for what flows from our reconciliation with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. The same mercy springs from peace, so from peace springs love, his love for us, our love for him, and our brotherly love for one another. Love is the undeserved embrace of God for His dear people—a super-affection that should then be shared with others. The word used for love here is αγαπη (agape), of which the Lord God is the only source. This love is most clearly demonstrated by the fact that God gave His only Son to be the only acceptable sacrifice for mankind’s sin *(John 3:16). Such love is totally self-giving **(1 John 3:16).

*(John 3:16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The gospel in a nutshell. The love of God shown in action. (1) The source of love—God. (2) The extent of love—the world. (3) The sacrifice of love—He gave his only begotten Son. (4) The results of love—whosoever believeth in him should not perish.

**(1 John 3:16) “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

He wishes for these three blessings to be multiplied. Not measured out in meager amounts, but by multiplication! These things are mentioned as the choicest blessings which could be conferred on them: mercy—in the pardon of all their sins and acceptance with God; peace—with God, with their fellow-men, in their own consciences, and in the prospect of death; and love-to God, to the brethren, to the entire world.

These godly attributes are manifested in the believer through the indwelling Holy Spirit of the living God. By that same Spirit, these blessings continue to grow and bear fruit in the lives of believers.

 
II.     Occasion of the Epistle. 3–4.

A. Change of the Purpose. 3.

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.

Jude had originally intended to write about the glorious salvation that is the common possession of all believers. But God’s Spirit so influenced this yielded scribe that he sensed a change of direction. A simple doctrinal essay would no longer do; it must be a fervent appeal that would strengthen the readers. They must be stirred up to contend earnestly for the faith. Attacks were being made on the sacred deposit of Christian truth, and efforts were already launched to whittle away the great fundamental doctrines. In order to combat this, God’s people must stand uncompromisingly for the inspiration, inerrancy, authority, and sufficiency of God’s Holy Word.
Yet, in contending for the faith, the believer must speak and act as a Christian. As Paul wrote: “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient” (2 Tim. 2:24). He must contend without being argumentative, and testify without ruining his testimony.

What we contend earnestly for is the faith which was once and for all delivered to the saints. Notice that! Not “once upon a time” but once and for all. The body of doctrine is complete. The canon is finished. Nothing more can be added. “If it’s new it’s not true, and if it’s true it’s not new.” When some teacher claims to have a revelation which is above and beyond what is found in the Bible, we reject it out of hand. The last word has been delivered and we neither need nor heed anything else. This is our answer to the leaders of false cults with their books that claim equal authority with the Scriptures.

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you. This diligence is really “eagerness” to reveal the real purpose for him writing this Epistle. It is like saying, “Although I’ve wanted to write to you for a long time about our common salvation, I now find that there is a compelling necessity, I must write.” Common salvation is an abstract (theoretical) term like Christianity. Peter begins the first General Epistle with a discussion of salvation, as he does in his second epistle; so does Paul in all of his epistles, and Hebrews and James assume that their readers are saved. None of the epistles are primarily evangelistic; they are not like “gospel tracts,” but are written to Christians who have some specific need for correction, reproof, encouragement, or instruction. Here Jude sees that it was needful for me to write unto you. The word needful (Gr anangkē) implies a compelling, pressing need; a serious problem has come up among the believers, and it must be dealt with. He had to write to encourage them to earnestly contend (Gr epagōnizoman) for the faith. This word means “fight for” someone; here Jude is writing to encourage whatever “agonizing struggle” might be necessary to defend the good name of the faith. The faith is synonymous with “common salvation” or Christianity; they are to “fight for” the honor of the faith. Note that the emphasis is not on contention, but on the faith which is now described further as once delivered unto the saints. What is being promoted here is the apostolic preaching, that is, the Word of God, not an attitude of constant fighting with other believers. This is reinforced by the use of once, which is not the word for “once upon a time” assuming a considerable passage of time, but rather means “once for all,” and refers to the fact that the apostles preached this Word as a final and authoritative message which cannot now be changed by the false teachers.

Next, we must see to it that it is really the Christian faith that we believe, profess, propagate, and contend for; not the teachings of some TV evangelist, not any new age religion that stresses its own ideology instead of the inspired writings of the holy evangelists and apostles. Now observe:
I. The gospel salvation is a common salvation, that is, it is offered to all mankind; to those that the message reaches: because the commission that Jesus gave us says,
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mk. 16:15, 16).
II.  Surely God means what He says; he does not deceive us with vain words, like men do; and therefore none are excluded from the benefit of these gracious offers and invitations, except those who obstinately, unapologetically, finally exclude themselves. “Whoever will may come and drink of the water of life freely,” Rev. 22:17. "All good Christians meet in Christ the common head, are actuated by one and the same Spirit, are guided by one rule, meet here at one throne of grace, and hope shortly to meet in one common inheritance. This common salvation is the subject-matter of the faith of all the saints.
III. The apostles and evangelists all wrote to us about this common salvation. This cannot be doubted by those who have carefully read their writings. It is enough that they have fully declared to us, by inspiration of the Holy Ghost, all that is necessary for every one to believe and do, in order to obtain a personal interest in the common salvation.
IV. Those who preach or write about the common salvation should do it well: they should not allow themselves to offer to God or his people that which is not their best. They should be careful not to treat God irreverently, and man unjustly. The apostle (though inspired) gave all diligence to writing about the common salvation. What then will become of those who (though uninspired) give no diligence, or next to none, but say to the people (even in the name of God) quicquid in buccam venerit—whatever comes next, who, so that they use scripture-words, care not how they interpret or apply them? Those who speak of sacred things ought always to speak of them with the greatest reverence, care, and diligence.
V. Those who have received the doctrine of this common salvation must contend earnestly for it. Earnestly, not furiously. Those who strive for the Christian faith, or in the Christian life, must strive lawfully, or they lose their labor and run great danger of losing their crown,* 2 Tim. 2:5. Observe, those who have received the truth must contend for it. But how? As the apostles did; by suffering patiently and courageously for it, not by making others suffer if they will not immediately embrace every notion that we are pleased (proved or unproved) to call faith, or fundamental. We must not permit ourselves to be robbed of any essential article of Christian faith, by the cunning craftiness of any who lie in wait to deceive, **Eph. 4:14. The apostle Paul tells us he preached with much contention ***(1 Th. 2:2), that is (as I understand it), with earnestness, with a hearty zeal, and a great concern for the success of what he preached.

*(2 Timothy 2.5) “And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” Paul now speaks of one of his favorite subjects, that of athletics. Strive (Gr athleō) means to engage in athletic contests. To win the prize, he must strive lawfully (Gr nominos) or actually keep the rules of the game. To run the race of life one does not break God’s rules and get away with it. As the umpire of the game of life, God calls the fouls real close!

**(Eph. 4.14) “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”

*** (1 Th 2.2) “But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.

'Beloved. Beloved is an expression of strong affection used by the apostles when addressing their brethren: Romans 1:7, “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ;” 1 Corinthians 4:14, “I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you;” Philippians 2:12; “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”; and often elsewhere.”
when I gave all diligence to write unto you  This phrase is a Grecism for being exceedingly intent upon a subject; taking it up seriously with determination to bring it to a good outcome. The meaning of the apostle seems to be this: "Beloved brethren, when I saw it necessary to write to you concerning the common salvation, my mind being deeply affected with the dangers to which the Church is exposed from the false teachers that are gone out into the world, I found it extremely necessary to write and exhort you to hold fast the truth which you had received, and strenuously to contend for that only faith which, by our Lord and his apostles, has been delivered to the Christians."

Some think that St. Jude intimates that he had at first wanted to write to the Church at large, on the nature and propose of the Gospel; but seeing the dangers to which the Churches were exposed, because of the false teachers, he changed his mind, and wrote intentionally, against those false doctrines, exhorting them strenuously to contend for the faith; some need impelled him to write at once, more briefly perhaps than he had purposed.
of the common salvation. The common salvation is the Christian religion, and the salvation which it brings. This is called common because it equally belongs to Jews and Gentiles; it is the saving grace of God which has appeared to every man, and equally offers to every human being that redemption which is provided for the whole world. There are great matters of religion that are held in common by all Christians, and it is important for religious teachers to address their fellow Christians on those common topics. After all, they are more important than the things which we may hold as peculiar to our own party or sect, and should be more frequently dwelt upon.

it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith. Jude longed to share the joys of salvation, which was the dominant theme uniting all of the Christian community, but an insidious cancer developing within the body of the believers threatened to destroy their peace and unity. Because of this, Jude saw that it was far more important to bring this battle into the open, to expose its heresy, and to encourage the believers to stand firm in the faith that had been delivered to them. Christians are not only to contend for their faith but to fight for it earnestly and wholeheartedly. The followers of Jesus Christ must be diligent, defending the faith that has been delivered to them with clarity of thought and strength of conviction in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The word faith as used here does not pertain to anyone’s personal relationship to Jesus Christ but refers to the doctrine consigned to them through the teachings of the apostles and the Scriptures. They were to forcefully uphold the true doctrine originally entrusted to them against the false doctrine infiltrating their ranks. One’s personal faith exists within the parameters of this great body of God-inspired truth. These are the teachings that must be defended against the onslaught of those who deny the authority of the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, as revealed in His Holy Word.
which was once delivered unto the saints. The saints are all Christians, holy (that is, consecrated to God) by their calling, and in God's plan.

 B.     Purpose of the Change. 4.

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.

For there are certain men crept in unawares, The nature of the threat is unveiled here in verse 4. The Christian fellowship was being invaded by subversive elements---"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction"  ( 2 Pe. 2.1).  Certain men had wormed their way into the Christian fellowship, unnoticed; and, when in, began to sow their bad seed. It was an underground movement with stealth and deceit. Not long ago they were condemned in writing for the following reason: They are people to whom God means nothing. They use God’s kindness as an excuse for sexual freedom and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Who are these men? They are supposed ministers of the gospel. They hold positions of leadership in Christendom. Some are preachers or church council members or seminary professors. But they all have this in common—they are against the Christ of the Bible and have invented for themselves a permissive or legalistic “Christ”, stripped of glory, majesty, dominion, and authority.

Jude writes this short, powerful epistle to encourage us in the midst of this battle. He focuses our attention on a serious conflict within the body of believers between those truly called and those who only appear to be called. The latter labor within the church under the guise of the redeemed but are in truth under the penalty of death. They may look and sound good, but they are ungodly people.

who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, These false Christians were marked out for this condemnation. This seems to say that God selected these particular individuals to be doomed. But that is not the meaning. The Bible never teaches that some are chosen to be damned. When men are saved, it is through the sovereign grace of God. But when they are finally lost, it is because of their own sin and disobedience.

This expression, “who were before of old ordained to this condemnation,” teaches that the condemnation of apostates has been determined long beforehand. If men choose to fall away from the Christian Faith, then their condemnation is the same as that of the unbelieving Israelites in the wilderness, the rebel angels, and the Sodomites. They are not foreordained to fall away, but once they do apostatize by their own choice, they face the punishment predetermined for all apostates. The text says these men were ordained to live under condemnation for this offense against the church of Jesus Christ. This simply means that all persons who falsely pervert the truth of the gospel are included in this judgment. Unfortunately, in our current age, there are many who serve our churches and espouse a doctrine that comes straight from Satan. They deny the only Lord God and the inerrant truth of His Scriptures. They affirm that the only criterion is sincerity. They commend other forms of religion that deny the true God. This is perversion because every man has sufficient evidence of Almighty God, so when he rejects the truth, he is without excuse. “From the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly observed in what he made. As a result, people have no excuse. They knew God but did not praise and thank him for being God. Instead, their thoughts were pointless, and their misguided minds were plunged into darkness” (Romans 1:20-21).

What was before . . . ordained was also "forewritten," namely, in Jude’s prophecy--"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.” (Jude 1:17, 18). And in Paul's before that--"(1 Ti 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;”  And--"(2 Ti 3.1) “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” The last days includes the whole church age. Paul stated these conditions would be prevalent in Timothy’s day, for he said to him, “from such turn away” (vs. 5). Perilous times are evident today as well; and by implication in the judgments which overtook the apostate angels. The disobedient Israelites, Sodom and Gomorrah, Balaam and Core, and which are written "for an example"  *(Jude 1:7 , and Jude 1:5, 6, 11). God's eternal character as the Punisher of sin, as set forth in Scripture "of old," is the ground on which such apostate characters are ordained to condemnation. Scripture is the reflection of God's book of life in which believers are "written among the living." "Forewritten" is applied also in **Ro 15:4  to the things written in Scripture. Scripture itself reflects God's character from everlasting, which is the ground of His decrees from everlasting. BENGEL explains it as an abbreviated phrase for, "They were of old foretold by Enoch (Jude 1:14), who did not write his prophecies), and afterwards marked out by the written word."

*(Jude 1. 7, 5, 6, 11) “7Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.5I 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. 6And 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. 11Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.”

(Ro 15.4) "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

ungodly men.  Two prominent features of these ungodly persons are their depraved conduct and their corrupt doctrine. By their behavior, they turn the grace of God into vulgarity. They twist Christian liberty into license, and pervert freedom to serve, into freedom to sin. In their doctrine, they deny the only Lord; God and our Lord, they deny Jesus Christ. They deny His absolute right to rule, His deity, His shocking death, His resurrection—in fact; they deny every essential doctrine of His Person and work. While professing an unrestrained liberality in the spiritual realm, they are rigidly and fiercely opposed to the gospel, to the value of the precious blood of Christ, and to His being the only way of salvation.

Ungodly men live without God in the world, and have no regard for God and their own conscience. They perverted the truth of the gospel and in so doing undermined the grace of God. They are to be dreaded, and consequently they should be avoided, not only those who are wicked due to sins of commission, but also those who are ungodly due to sins of omission, who, for example, inhibit prayer before God, who dare not reprimand a rich man, when it is their duty to do so, for fear of losing His favor and the advantages they hope to obtain from him, and who do the work of the Lord without taking due care and attention. In the Bible all such persons, false doctrines, and impure practices, have been forbidden and condemned; and in the following verses the apostle immediately produces several examples, namely, the disobedient Israelites, the unfaithful angels, and the impure inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. The punishment of such men was also written down in the Bible: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter 2.1).

turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, Turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness— refers to making the grace and mercy of God a covering for crimes; insinuates that men might sin safely who believe the Gospel, because in that Gospel grace abounds. But perhaps, what is meant here is the goodness of God, for I cannot see how they could believe the Gospel in any way, and yet deny the Lord Jesus Christ; unless, which is likely, their denial refers to this, that while they acknowledged Jesus as the promised Messiah, they denied that He was the only Lord, Sovereign, and Ruler of the Church and of the world. There are many in the present days that hold the same opinion.

As discussed previously, the false teaching of Gnosticism taught that the spiritual realm and the physical realm were totally separate and incompatible. These imposters within the church believed that the Lord God ruled the spirit world but did not concern Himself with the things of the earth. Therefore, it was possible to pursue the special knowledge required to gain access to the spirit world while simultaneously indulging in the excessive pleasures of the flesh. Since one did not affect the other, the Gnostics did not perceive this as inconsistent with Christian teaching, although the early church quickly identified it as heresy. Jude cautioned his audience to be vigilant against these terrible fallacies that dilute and destroy the truth *(Ephesians 4:14).

 *(Ephesians 4:14) “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” God desires that we be stalwart Christians with doctrinal stability, spiritual perception, responsibility, and direction toward the goal. Too many are content to remain in weakness and immaturity, spiritual infancy. Tossed to and fro. Cast about as driftwood on the waves of the sea. This is a picture of instability, helplessness, and restlessness. Carried about with every wind of doctrine. Christians should not be whirled around in circles by every shifting wind of false doctrine. If not anchored in Christ, Christians are at the mercy of these ever-changing winds which blow unstable souls in every direction. By the sleight of men. By the deceit and dishonesty of the religious quacks. And cunning craftiness. These unscrupulous, scheming frauds stop at nothing to ensnare fickle souls by their clever deceit and treacherous trickery. Whereby they lie in wait to deceive. By deliberate planning and scheming deceit, they wrestle, twist, and pervert the Word of God (Acts 13:10; Gal 1:7; II Pet 3:16). The Christian’s only hope is to “search the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11).

the grace of our God—A phrase for the Gospel especially sweet to believers who appropriate God in Christ as "our God," and so rendering the more loathsome the vile *perversity  of those who turn the Gospel state of grace and liberty into a ground of **licentiousness, as if their exemption from the law gave them a license to sin.

*perversity--stubborn unreasonable behavior: being perverse, especially willfully persisting in actions that seem contrary to good sense or your own best interests

**licentiousness: sexually immoral: pursuing desires aggressively and selfishly, unchecked by morality, especially in sexual matters. 

and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. These words may be translated, ‘Denying the only sovereign God, even our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Such imposters as we have here deny the Lord Jesus Christ. They do not deny the existence of Jesus but simply reject that He is Lord, the Christ, the Anointed One. They deny that He is God and that He is coming again. They deny that He paid for sin on Calvary, that He is Messiah and Savior, or even that they need a Savior. However, denying any or all of these facts does not alter the truth about them. One day, everyone will stand before Almighty God and acknowledge Who He is. In human terms, such people may be very moral, but from God’s perspective, they are immoral and spiritually bankrupt.

The remainder of Jude’s letter issues warnings and judgments against these kinds of people. They have always endeavored to destroy the work of Christ and will do so until Christ comes again. In the meantime, we are charged “to continue your fight for the Christian faith that was entrusted to God’s holy people once for all time.”

III.     The Apostate Past. 5–7.


A.     Israelite Apostasy. 5.


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.yed

*Afterward: Greek, "secondly"; in the next instance "destroyed them that believed not," as contrasted with His in the first instance having saved them.

Like the Jews in the wilderness, the fallen angels, and the evil cities of the plain, these false Christians reject the authority of God. Their words are defiant and defiling. Like Cain (Gen. 4), they have no saving faith, but they do have religion. Like Balaam (Num. 22–24), they use religion as a way to make money; and like Korah (Num. 16), they defy the Word of God and the authority of God’s chosen servant.

I will therefore put you in remembrance. The believers to whom Jude was writing had already believed the gospel of Jesus Christ. They were also aware of the fact that a number of ungodly people had infiltrated their congregations and were a threat to the peace and security of the church. Because of this budding cancer, Jude was compelled to remind them of the ancient history of the Jewish people; specifically, of how God speaks judgments on sinners; the first example is recorded in *Deuteronomy 13:1–11, and it supports this verse.

 *( Deuteronomy 13:1–11) “1If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. 5And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. 6If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; 7Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; 8Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: 9But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. 10And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 11And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.”

Now what are these things which we Christians need to be put in remembrance of? There are four examples given in this passage. The first is found in this verse; the destruction of the unbelieving Israelites in the wilderness. Paul reminds the Corinthians of this, *(1 Co. 10.1-10). No one, therefore, ought to presume upon their privileges, since many who were brought out of Egypt by a series of amazing miracles, eventually perished in the wilderness because of their unbelief. Let us not therefore be high-minded, but fear; "That is so. They were broken off because of unbelief, but you are there because of faith. So do not become haughty, but stand in awe" (Rom. 11:20). "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it" (Heb 4:1: KJV). They had miracles in abundance: they received their daily bread; yet even they perished in unbelief. We have greater (much greater) advantages than they had; let their error (their so fatal error) be our awful warning.Let us therefore fear. God's promises are conditional. A rest is promised, but we must take heed that we do not come short of it by failing to keep the conditions.—People's New Testament, The

*(1 Co 10.1-10) “1Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.”

though ye once knew this, St. Jude is to be understood as saying; I will therefore put you in remembrance, even though ye are THOROUGHLY instructed in this. That is, you were formerly made acquainted with these things, though they may not now be fresh in your recollection. The thing which seems to have been in the mind of the apostle was an intention to call to their recollection, facts with which they had formerly been familiar, and about which there was no doubt. It was the thing which we often endeavor to do in an argument—to remind a person of some fact which he once knew very well, and which bears directly on the case.

The Jewish people had often experienced the saving hand of the Lord Jehovah. However, that did not preclude His judgment on those who disobeyed Him within the context of His covenant.

how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, The bearing of this fact on the case, before the mind of Jude, seems to have been this—that, as those who had been delivered from Egypt were afterward destroyed for their unbelief (see footnote 23), or as the mere fact of their being rescued did not prevent destruction from coming on them, so the fact that these persons seemed to be delivered from sin, and had become professed followers of God, would not prevent their being destroyed if they led wicked lives. It might be inferred from the example of the Israelites that they would also be destroyed if they led wicked lives.

The Lord -- The oldest manuscripts and versions read, "Jesus." So "Christ" is said to have accompanied the Israelites in the wilderness;   another example of how perfectly Jesus is one with the God of the Israelites.

Saved -- brought safely, and into a state of safety and salvation.

Saved the people. Delivered them from the Egyptian bondage.

*afterward destroyed them that believed not. First, those who believed not were destroyed--“I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.” (Num 14:35). That great tragedy in the wilderness before they entered into the Promised Land, you will remember, was called the “day of bitterness,” or “day of testing--"Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD" (Numbers 14:29, 37) . The greatest responsibility for that tragedy falls upon those “spies” or scouts who brought the “evil report.” They not only disbelieved themselves, but they caused the people of God to despair and disbelieve the Word of God. The result was that they were destroyed, because they neither believed His word, nor were obedient to His commands. This is the first example of what was mentioned in Jude 4 (see Numbers 14:22-37, for the story).

“Afterward,” (the second); that is, the second thing in order of occurrence. The expression is unusual in this sense, but the apostle seems to have fixed his mind on this event as a second great and important fact in regard to the Israelites. The first was that they were delivered; the second, that they were destroyed.

As the apostle Paul warns, this history provides an example of the judgment upon those who disregard the salvation that has been offered through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Such judgment is reserved for all those who faithlessly reject the salvation that was purchased at such a great price. They may participate in the fellowship of the body of Christ, but they are frauds.

B.     Angelic Apostasy. 6.

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.

*Estate. The word rendered estate is often translated principality. Here it refers to the rank and dignity which the angels had in heaven. That rank or pre-eminence they did not keep, but fell from it. On the word used here, comp. Ephesians 1:2, 3:10, Colossians 2:10.

The second example of rebellion and apostasy is the angels who sinned. All we know about them for certain is that they did not keep the domain that was assigned to them, they abandoned their own abode, and they are now restrained in everlasting chains under darkness for their final judgment.

It seems from Scripture that there have been at least two apostasies of angels. One was when Lucifer fell and presumably involved a host of other angelic beings in his rebellion. These fallen angels are not bound at the present time. The devil and his demons are actively promoting war against the Lord and His people.

The other apostasy of angels is the one referred to by Jude and also by Peter--"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” (2 Pet. 2:4). There is considerable difference of opinion among Bible students as to what event is referred to here. What I suggest is that you have a personal viewpoint on this subject, and not a rigid assertion of fact. however, I feel obliged to state what I believe about this. I believe that Jude is referring to what is recorded in *Genesis 6:1–7. The sons of God left their proper estate as angelic beings, came down to the earth in human form, and married the daughters of men. This marital union was contrary to God’s order and is an abomination to Him. There may be a suggestion in verse 4 that these unnatural marriages produced offspring of tremendous strength and wickedness. Whether or not this is true, it is clear that God was exceedingly displeased with the wickedness of man at this time and determined to destroy the earth with a flood. There are three objections to this view: (1) The passage in Genesis does not mention angels, but only “sons of God.” (2) Angels are sexless. (3) Angels do not marry.
It is true that angels are not specifically mentioned but it is also true that the term “sons of God” does refer to angels in Semitic languages (see Job 1:6** ; 2:1*** ).

*(Genesis 6:1–7) “1And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. 3And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. 4There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. 5And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.”

**(Job 1:6) "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

***(Job 2:1) "Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.

There is no Bible statement that angels are sexless. Angels sometimes appeared on earth in human form, having human parts and appetites (*Gen. 18:2, 22 ; later on **19:1, 3–5 ). The Bible does not say that angels do not marry but only that in heaven they neither marry nor give in marriage. Whatever historical incident may lie behind verse 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.), the important point is that these angels abandoned the sphere which God had marked out for them and are now in ... chains and in darkness until the time when they will receive their final sentence to perdition. Created holy, they had sinned and become wicked angels, or evil spirits.

*(Gen. 18:2, 22) “2And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground…22And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.” The angel of the Lord was accompanied in this visit by two others, evidently ordinary angels. All three, at first, were simply called three men (vs. 2). It is clear that one was truly the angel of the Lord (a Christophany); for He is called LORD (Yahweh) in verses 1, 13–14, etc., and He also referred to himself as I when speaking in the capacity of God (vss. 17, 26, etc.). 

 **(Gen. 19. 1, 3-5) “1And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground…3And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat. 4But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: 5And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.”

The angels which kept not their first estate. Their own principality. It could be that they invaded the assigned sphere of influence of some others, or that for some reason they forfeited their own. We generally refer to this group as “the fallen angels”; but we are not told what they fell from, or what caused their fall. However, it is by and large thought to have been pride; but this is simply conjecture. Some of the later Jews supposed that they relinquished heaven out of love for the daughters of men. One thing is certain; the angels who fell must have been in a state of probation, capable of either standing or falling, as Adam was in paradise. They did not continue faithful, though they knew the law of God; that is, that they should stay within the boundaries He had set; that is why they are given as the second example. A second case denoting that the wicked would be punished--"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;" (2 Peter 2:4). The Lord did all this; he knows how to rescue godly people when they are tested. He also knows how to hold immoral people for punishment on the Day of Judgment. These angels were created in righteousness and holiness. How much more will God judge the race of man, who is born in sin? We must realize the seriousness of disobedience when we walk contrary to the Creator’s direction.

But left their own habitation (in heaven). This seems to imply that they had invaded the territory and responsibility of others, and attempted to seize control of it. They lived in heaven; all bright and glorious, as opposed to the "darkness" to which they now are doomed. Their ambitious plans seem to have had a peculiar connection with this earth, of which Satan before his fall may have been God's vicegerent, whence arises his subsequent connection with it as first the Tempter, then "the prince of this world."

The word rendered habitation occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. Here it means that heaven was their native abode or dwelling-place. They left it by sin; but the expression here would seem possibly to mean that they became dissatisfied with their abode, and voluntarily preferred to change it for another. If they did become dissatisfied, the cause is wholly unknown, and conjecture is useless.

He hath reserved in everlasting chains. That is, in a state of confinement from which they cannot escape. Peter says, "chains of darkness;" (2 Peter 2:4) that is, the darkness encompasses them like chains. Jude says that those chains are "everlasting," Paul says in *Romans 1:20, "his eternal power and Godhead." The word does not occur elsewhere. It is an appropriate word to denote that which is eternal. The sense is, that that deep darkness always endures; there is no intermission; no light; it will exist for ever. This passage in itself does not prove that the punishment of the rebel angels will be eternal, but merely that they are kept in a dark prison in which there is no light, and which is to exist for ever, with reference to the final trial. The punishment of the rebel angels after the judgment is represented as an everlasting fire, which has been prepared for them and their followers--“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).

*(Romans 1.20) “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”

Under darkness. Alluding probably to those dungeons or dark cells in prisons where the most notorious culprits were confined.

The judgment of the great day. The final judgment, when both angels and men shall receive their eternal doom--"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;" (2 Peter 2:4).

C.     Pagan Apostasy. 7.

7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

The third Old Testament  apostasy which Jude mentions is that of Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them (Gen.18:1–19:29). The introductory word ‘as’ shows that the sin of the Sodomites had features in common with that of the angels. For both, it was gross immorality that was utterly against nature and abhorrent to God.

The specific sin of perversion is discussed by Paul in Romans: “Their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due” (Rom. 1:26b, 27). The men of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboi im were greatly addicted to homosexuality. The sin is described here as having . . .gone after strange flesh, meaning that it is completely contrary to the natural order which God has ordained.

Is it mere coincidence that many modern day apostates are in the vanguard of those who publicly defend homosexuality and campaign for it to be legalized as long as it is done between consenting adults? To all such libertines the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are exhibited as an example in suffering the punishment of eternal fire. That last expression eternal fire cannot mean that the fire which destroyed the wicked cities is eternal, but rather that in the thoroughness and vastness of its consuming power, it pictures the eternal punishment which will fall on all rebels.

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha. What their sin and punishment were may be seen in Genesis 19. This is the third example to illustrate what is laid down in Jude 4. The apostle Peter wrote this about what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah: “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
and the cities about them in like manner. The cities about them would be Admah and Zeboim,

  • “That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.”
    (Genesis 14:2);
     
  •  “And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath:”
      (Hosea 11.8)
  • “How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together” (Deuteronomy 29:23).

There may have been other towns, also, that perished at the same time, but these are specifically mentioned. They seem to have taken on some of the same general characteristics, as neighboring towns and cities generally do.

In like manner. "In a manner like to these." The Greek word rendered ‘these’ indicates a plural number. There has been much diversity in interpreting this clause. Some refer it to the angels, as if it meant that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah committed sin in a way similar to the angels; some suppose that it refers to the wicked teachers about whom Jude was discoursing, meaning that Sodom and Gomorrah committed the same kind of sins which they did; some believe that the meaning is, that "the cities round about Sodom and Gomorrah" sinned in the same way as those cities; and some that they were punished in the same manner, and were set forth like them as an example.

I see no evidence that it refers to the angels; and if it did, it would not prove, as some have supposed, that their sin was the same sort as that of Sodom, since there might have been a resemblance in some respects, though not in all. It seems to me, therefore, that the reference is to the cities round about Sodom; and that the sense is that they committed iniquity in the same manner as the inhabitants of Sodom did, and were also portrayed as an example in the same way.

giving themselves over to fornication. Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities committed fornication and went after strange flesh according to Jude. The use of fornication, which occurs only here in the New Testament, with “strange flesh” refers to the distinctive and terrible sin of Sodom, homosexuality, for which God destroyed the whole area. The point in this passage is that the people of God were lured away from the true worship of God by the homosexual cities (see Gen 18–19) and therefore they were destroyed. In the Bible, the most serious sins are those which draw others away from the true worship of God or hinder others from believing in Christ (see *Deut 13:1–11; **Mk 9:42 ).

*(Deut 13:1–11) “1If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. 5And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. 6If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; 7Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; 8Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: 9But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. 10And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 11And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.”

**(Mk. 9.42) “And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” To offend (cause to stumble) one of these little ones is so serious that immediate death would be better than further involvement, and thus, greater judgment.

and going after strange flesh. The reference seems to be to the particular sin which, from the name Sodom, has been called sodomy--“And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet”  ( Romans 1:27). Homosexuality is the result of idolatry. Although today the world seeks to popularize and legitimize homosexuality, nevertheless it is despicable to God and condemned by Him. Increased homosexuality is a sign of the soon return of the Lord (II Tim 3:2). God never overlooks this blatant misuse of the body and consequently those who have engaged in this perversion receive in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. The meaning of the phrase “going after” is that they were greatly addicted to this vice. The word “strange”, refers to that which is contrary to nature. Later on, the most enlightened heathen nations indulged in the sin of Sodom without regret or shame.

are set forth for an example. Jude continues to stress the seriousness of disobedience and rebellion by reminding them of two infamous cities renowned for their rampant wickedness—Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:1-25). Because of their sexual perversity, these cities became a barren wasteland--“And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath:” (Deuteronomy 29:23). What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities near them is an example for us of the punishment of eternal fire. The people of these cities suffered the same fate that God’s people and the angels did, because they committed sexual sins and engaged in homosexual activities.

Some of the sins in Sodom, in addition to homosexuality, were pride, gluttony, laziness, and self-centerednes--"Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good” (Ezekiel 16:49-50). But the sins for which they are here reprimand were those of sexual wickedness. Jude uses these cities not so much as an example of their wickedness but rather as an example of the consequences of such epidemic homosexuality and promiscuity. Just as Sodom and Gomorrah, the people who committed such abominations would also suffer the eternal judgment of a holy and righteous God.
Both of what God will do to such transgressors, and of the position laid down in Jude 4, which is, that God has in the most open and positive manner declared that such and such sinners shall meet with the punishment due to their crimes.

The punishment meted out to Sodom and Gomorrah, the angels and God’s people furnish a warning against all such conduct, and a demonstration that punishment shall come upon the ungodly. The condemnation of any sinner, or of any class of sinners, always furnishes such a warning--“And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly" (2 Peter 2:6) .

suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. The word rendered here as “suffering” is used metaphorically to mean ‘to sustain, undergo or suffer punishment.’ The word is applied to Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them; but the things stated relate to the inhabitants of those cities. The word “vengeance” means punishment; that is, such vengeance as the Lord takes on the guilty; not vengeance for the gratification of private and personal feeling, but like that which a magistrate appoints for the maintenance of the laws; such as justice demands. The phrase "eternal fire" is one that is often used to denote future punishment—like expressing the severity and intensity of the suffering--"Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Mat. 25.41). As it is used here, it cannot mean that the fires which consumed Sodom and Gomorrah were literally eternal, or were always kept burning, because that was not true. The expression seems to denote, in this connection, two things:
          (1.) That the destruction of the cities of the plain, along with their inhabitants, was as complete as if the fires had been burning forever— the consumption was absolute and enduring—the sinners were entirely cut off, and the cities were rendered for ever desolate; and
          (2.) that, in its nature and duration, this was a striking symbol of the destruction which will come upon the ungodly.

I do not see that the apostle means to affirm that those particular sinners who dwelt in Sodom would be punished forever, since his expressions do not directly assert that, and his argument does not demand it; but still the image in his mind, of the destruction of those cities, was clearly that of the utter desolation and ruin of which this was the symbol; of the perpetual destruction of the wicked, like that of the cities of the plain. If this had not been the case, there was no reason why he should have used the word eternal—meaning here perpetual—since, if in his mind there was no image of future punishment, all that the argument would have demanded was the simple statement that they were cut off by fire. The passage, then, cannot be used to prove that the particular dwellers in Sodom will be punished forever—whatever may be the truth on that point; but you can take it to the bank that there is a place of eternal punishment, of which that was a striking symbol. The meaning is that the case was one which furnished a demonstration of the fact that God will punish sin; that this was an example of the punishment which God sometimes inflicts on sinners in this world, and a type of that eternal punishment will be inflicted in the next.
As far as their being rebuilt, that is impossible, because the very ground on which they stood is burned up, and the whole plain is now the immense lake called Asphaltites. As far as the destruction of the cities is concerned, it has no end; they were totally burnt up, and never were and never can be rebuilt. Their ruin is a warning to all people to take heed of, and flee from, “fleshly lusts that war against the soul” *(1 Pt. 2:11).

*(1 Pe. 2.11) “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
  lasciviousness. Absence of restraint, wantonness, indecency.


IV.     The Apostate Present. 8–16.

A.     Activity of the Apostates. 8–10.


8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

Jude turns to the subject of present-day apostates, and launches into a description of their sins, their indictment, their counterparts in nature, their doom, and their ungodly words and deeds (vv. 8–16).

First of all is the matter of their sins. By dreaming they defile the flesh. Their thought life is polluted. Living in a world of filthy fantasies, they eventually find fulfillment of their dreams in sexual immorality, just like the men of Sodom.

They reject authority. They are rebels against God and against governmental institutions. Depend on them to be advocates of lawlessness and anarchy. Their names are on the membership rolls of organizations that are dedicated to the overthrow of government.

They speak evil of angelic dignitaries. It means nothing to them that “there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Rom. 13:1b). They scorn the divine command, “You shall not ... curse a ruler of your people” (Ex. 22:28). They speak contemptuously and spitefully against authority, whether it is divine, angelic, or human.

Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh. Jude returns to the present condition that existed in the young Christian churches. The ungodly people who had joined themselves to the believers were consumed with lasciviousness (lustfulness). They were agitated by impure dreams. They contaminate their bodies with sin, reject the Lord’s authority, and insult His glory.

They rejected any authority and hated those in positions of leadership. They paid no attention to law and order but did what they desired, especially seeking sensual pleasure. It was a very permissive philosophy with no inhibitions. They reviled heavenly things. They libeled the reputation of anyone who was a believer or made any attempt to seek heavenly things. “There is a way that seems right to a person, but eventually it ends in death” (Proverbs 14:12).

Jude now shows the complete and total corruption of these false teachers to prove their similarity to the sort of people mentioned in the above examples. The word “filthy” is not in the original text and may have been mistakenly supplied; dreamers (Gr enypiazomai) means that they are prophets, or actually false prophets, who claimed to get their teachings by revelation or dreams *(see Deut. 13:1–5). That they are filthy is not to be denied but is brought out by the fact that they defile flesh which seems to mean men as opposed to angels, and also connects them with the people of Sodom who went after strange flesh. Today, we have many preachers; especially those on TV who claim to have received a special revelation from God or the ability to heal the sick and infirmed.  They will be judged to be the same as the false prophets and suffer the same fate.

*(Deut. 13:1–5) “1If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. 5And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.”

Likewise also. In the same way do these persons defile the flesh, or resemble the inhabitants of Sodom; that is, they practice the same kind of vices. What the apostle says is, that their character resembled that of the inhabitants of Sodom; the example which he cites of the punishment which was brought on those sinners, leaves it to be clearly inferred that the persons of whom he was speaking would be punished in a similar manner.

Likewise also these filthy dreamers. He means to say that these false teachers and their followers were as unbelieving and disobedient as the Israelites in the wilderness, as rebellious against the authority of God as the fallen angels, and as impure and unholy as the Sodomites; and that consequently they must expect similar punishment.

These filthy dreamers. The word filthy has been supplied by our translators, but there is no good reason why it should have been introduced. The Greek word (ενυπνιαζω) means to dream; and is applied to these persons as holding doctrines and opinions which sustained the same relation to truth which dreams do to good sense. Their doctrines were the fruits of mere imagination, foolish notions, and dreams. The word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, except in *Acts 2:17, where it is applied to visions in dreams.

(Acts 2:17) ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:’”

Defile the flesh. Pollute themselves; indulging in corrupt passions and appetites. “10But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 11Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord” (2 Peter 2:10,11).
despise dominion,

These men are so bold in their false teachings that they despise (which means “reject”) dominion (probably God’s rule) and speak evil of dignities. These false prophets evidently openly rejected God’s Word and all things spiritual, and were so bold that if Michael the Archangel was standing beside them, he would look timid! These false teachers blaspheme those things which they know nothing about; compare Paul’s words in I Timothy 1:7—“Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.” But with what they know naturally, as brute beasts, they corrupt themselves. Here in a very cryptic sentence would seem to be another reference to their wickedly perverted conduct (homosexuality and gluttony) in which they become completely corrupt, and for which they are to be justly destroyed (both meanings are possible for the Gr ptheirō).

Despise dominion (lordship). They consider all government as insignificant—they will come under no restraints; they despise all law, and wish to live any way they want to. “But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities” (2 Pet. 2.10).

and speak evil of dignities.
They blaspheme or speak injuriously of supreme authority. (See 2 Peter 2:10, 11.)  They treat governors and government with contempt, and , malign and misrepresent all Divine and civil institutions.

9 Yet 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.

This verse has given more perplexity to expositors than any other part of the epistle; and in fact the difficulties in regard to it have been so great that some have been led to regard the epistle as bogus.

Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses The false teachers take liberties which even Michael the archangel would reject. When Michael disputed with the devil about the body of Moses, he did not dare  berate him but simply said, “The Lord rebuke you!” Here Jude shares with us an incident which is found nowhere else in the Bible. The question naturally arises, “Where did he get this information?” Some say that the information was passed down by tradition. This may or may not be so.
The most satisfying explanation is that the information was supernaturally revealed to Jude by the same Holy Spirit who moved him to write the Epistle. We have no definite knowledge why the dispute arose between Michael and Satan about the body of Moses. We do know that Moses was buried by God in a valley in Moab. It is not unlikely that Satan wanted to know the spot so that he could have a shrine built there. Then Israel would turn to the idolatrous worship of Moses’ bones. As the angelic representative of the people of Israel *(Dan. 10:21), Michael would strive to preserve the people from this form of idolatry by keeping the burial site secret.

*(Dan. 10.21) “But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.”

But the important point is this. Even if Michael is an archangel, the one whom God will use to cast Satan down from heaven *(Rev. 12:7–9), still he did not presume to speak reproachfully to the one who rules in the realm of demons. He left all such rebuking to God.

*(Rev. 12.7-9) “7And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

Notice these features of Michael the archangel:

(1) His name. It means “Who is like God?” This bears testimony to the uniqueness of the God he serves.

(2) He is clearly designated as “the archangel.” Nowhere in Scripture is there a plural to this noun.

(3) He has the added description of “the great prince” (cf. Dan 12:1).

(4) He has power even to challenge Satan.

(5) He has angels at his command (cf. 12:7).

(6) He will be present at the Rapture of the church (cf. I Thess 4:16).

(7) He is the champion of Israel and the espouser of their cause (cf. 12:7; Dan 12:1).

Yet Michael the archangel. Many things are spoken of this archangel in the Jewish writings "Rabbi Judah Hakkodesh says: “Wherever Michael is said to appear, the glory of the Divine Majesty is always to be understood." So it seems as if they considered Michael to be a sort of Messiah manifested in the flesh.

Nowhere in Scripture is the plural "archangels" used; but only ONE, "archangel." The only other passage in the New Testament where it occurs is 1Thess. 4:16, where Christ is distinguished from the archangel, with whose voice He shall descend to raise the dead; they therefore err who confuse Christ with Michael. The name means, “Who is like God?” In *Daniel 10:13 he is called "One of the chief princes." He is the champion angel of Israel. In Rev. 12:7 the conflict between Michael and Satan is again alluded to.

 There can be only one archangel, one chief or head of the entire angelic host. Nor is the word devil, as applied to the great enemy of mankind, ever found in the plural; there can be but one monarch of all fallen spirits. Michael is this archangel, and head of all the angelic orders; the devil, great dragon, or Satan, is head of all the *diabolic  orders. When these two hosts are opposed to each other they are said to act under these two chiefs, as leaders; hence in Revelation 12:7, it is said: MICHAEL and his angels fought against the DRAGON and his angels. Michael, though provoked by the opposition of the worst being in the universe, still restrained himself from any outbreak of passion, and used only the language of mild but firm rebuke.

*Diabolic. (2 meanings)
1.  of devil: connected with the devil or devil worship
2.  evil: extremely cruel or evil 

The archangel. The word archangel occurs only in one other place in the Scriptures. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 . It means ruling or chief angel—the chief among the hosts of heaven. It is nowhere else applied to Michael, though his name is mentioned several times: Daniel 10:13, 21,16... “13But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia…21But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince…16And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me and I have retained no strength.”

Revelation 12:7-- “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,” Notice these characteristics attributed to Michael: (1) His name. It means “Who is like God?” This bears testimony to the uniqueness of the God he serves. (2) He is clearly designated as “the archangel” (cf. Jude 9). Nowhere in Scripture is there a plural to this noun (cf. I Thess 4:16 Jude 9). (3) He has the added description of “the great prince” (cf. Dan 12:1). (4) He has power even to challenge Satan (cf. Jude 9). (5) He has angels at his command (cf. 12:7). (6) He will be present at the Rapture of the church (cf. I Thess 4:16). (7) He is the champion of Israel and the espouser of their cause (cf. 12:7; Dan 12:1). He appears when they are in question and their interests are involved. His presence immediately alerts the reader that the events relate to Israel and her enemies.

When contending. This word (διακρινομενος) refers here to an argument or fighting with words—a disagreement. Nothing farther is necessarily implied, for it is used in this sense in the New Testament: (Acts 11:2, 12) “2And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him. 12And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house:”

Disputed about the body of Moses. I cannot tell what this means; or from what source St. Jude obtained the information, unless it came from some tradition among his countrymen or was supplied by the Holy Spirit.

The contention mentioned by Jude is not about the sacrifice of Isaac, nor the dispute over the soul of Moses, but about the BODY of Moses (his literal body.); but why was that so important that the two argued about it. Some think the devil wished to show the Israelites where Moses was buried, knowing that they would then worship his bones; and that Michael was sent to resist this discovery.

Dr. Macknight says: "In Daniel 10:13, 21; 12:1, Michael is spoken of as one of the chief angels who took care of the Israelites as a nation; he may therefore have been the angel of the Lord before whom Joshua the high priest is said, Zechariah 3:1, to have stood, Satan being at his right hand to resist him, namely, in his design of restoring the Jewish Church and state, called by Jude the body of Moses, just as the Christian Church is called by Paul the body of Christ. Zechariah adds, And the Lord, that is, the angel of the Lord, as is plain from Zechariah 3:1, 2, said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan! even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee! “This is the most likely interpretation which I have seen; and it will appear to be more plausible when it is considered that, among the Hebrews, ‏BODY is often used for a thing itself. So, in Romans 7:24, the body of sin, signifies sin itself; so the body of Moses, ‏may signify Moses himself; or that in which he was mainly concerned, that is, his institutes, religion, etc.

It may be added, that the Jews consider Michael and Samael, one as the friend, the other as the enemy, of Israel. Samael is their accuser, Michael their advocate. "Michael and Samael stand before the Lord; Satan accuses, but Michael shows the merits of Israel. Satan endeavors to speak, but Michael silences him: Hold thy tongue, says he, and let us hear what the Judge determines; for it is written, “He will speak peace to his people, and to his saints” (Psalm 85:8).

He disputed. διελεγετο. This word may denote merely an argument  (Mark 9:34, Acts 17:2,17, 18:4,19; Acts 24:12); or it could mean a judicial contest (debate) over something controversial.

durst not bring against him a *railing  accusation,
It was a Jewish saying—"It is not lawful for man to use humiliating criticism, even against wicked spirits.”

durst not. "Did not dare." It is not said that he did not dare to do it because he feared Satan; but that he did not dare to do it because he feared the Lord, or because in any circumstances it would be wrong due to Satan's former dignity (Jude 1:8).

*Railing. (or blasphemy)
1)     slander, detraction, speech injurious, to another’s good name
2)     impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty

A railing  accusation. The Greek word is blasphemy (evil-speaking). The meaning is, he did not indulge in the language of simple rebuke; and it is implied here that such language would be wrong anywhere. If it would be right to bring a railing accusation against any one, it would be against the devil. Peter said, Angels do not, in order to avenge themselves, rail at dignities, even those who are ungodly, when they will eventually have to contend with them: Jude says that the archangel Michael himself did not rail even at the time when he fought with the devil, the prince of evil spirits -- not from fear of him, but from reverence for God, whose delegated power in this world Satan once had, and even in some degree still has.   but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
The word ‘rebuke’ originally meant to put honor upon; and then it came to mean ‘to adjudge or confirm.’ It is also used in the sense of commanding or restraining; *Matthew 8:26 , **Mark 4:39. Then it is used in the sense of admonishing strongly (commanding or ordering); with the idea of censure, ***Matthew 18:18 , ****Mark 1:25. This is the idea here-the expression of a wish that the Lord would take the matter of the dispute upon himself, and that he would properly restrain and control Satan, with the implied idea that his conduct was wrong. The language is the same as that recorded in *****Zech 3:2 , as used by "the angel" respecting Satan. But, as before observed, there is no reason to suppose that the apostle referred to that. The fact, however, that the angel is said to have used the language on that occasion may give confirmation to what is said here, since it shows that it is the language which angelic beings naturally employ.

*(Matthew 8.26) “And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”

**(Mark 4.39) “And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 

***(Matthew 18.18) “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

****(Mark 1:25) “And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.”

*****(Zech 3.2) “And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?”

A Lesson for Today’s believers

 The apostasy of these ungodly people was abundantly evident, but Jude urges caution in pronouncing judgment on such ungodliness. Michael, the great archangel, was entrusted with great authority by the Lord Jehovah. According to Jewish tradition found in the book, The Assumption of Moses, Michael was sent to bury Moses’ body, but the devil argued with the angel about the body, claiming the right to dispose of it. Nevertheless, Jude reminds his readers that even Michael, as great as he was, would not rebuke Satan. Instead, Michael said, “May the Lord reprimand you!” This was not Michael’s authority, so he did not presume to exercise judgment on a matter that clearly belonged to the Lord God. Other Scriptures also support the exercise of caution when judging the actions of others. “O Lord, God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, appear!” (Psalm 94:1). “Don’t take revenge, dear friends. Instead, let God’s anger take care of it. After all, Scripture says, ‘I alone have the right to take revenge. I will pay back, says the Lord’” (Romans 12:19). “Angels, who have more strength and power than these teachers, don’t bring an insulting judgment against them from the Lord” (2 Peter 2:11). If even the archangel will not exceed his authority, how much more careful should believers be?

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.

But these speak evil of those things which they know not: Contrary to Jude’s admonition (v. 9), this precept is not followed by those degenerate sinners. It is natural for unbelievers to speak evil of others, but it is distressing that they speak evil about those things of which they know nothing about. “These false teachers insult what they don’t understand. They are like animals, which are creatures of instinct that are born to be caught and killed. So they will be destroyed like animals and lose what their wrongdoing earned them. These false teachers are stains and blemishes. They take pleasure in holding wild parties in broad daylight. They especially enjoy deceiving you while they eat with you” (2 Peter 2:12-13). These people insult things of which they know nothing because they have not been redeemed and do not enjoy the indwelling Spirit of God. These people know nothing about God, His Son Jesus Christ, or the Holy Spirit. They do not know God’s Holy Word, the Bible, but only know what comes naturally born of their sin nature. Consequently, they themselves will perish in the evil they have pronounced on the children of God. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:18-31).

The teaching about Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection is foolishness to those who have not been called into fellowship with the Creator and Redeemer by His Spirit. Even the wisdom of the smartest men will one day perish unless that wisdom is founded on the truths contained in God’s Word. The Word of the Lord will never perish. The natural man does not know the things of God. He considers himself as little more than the animals and thus is corrupted with this thought. He does not believe there is eternal life for man any more than for the beast. When he enters the doorway of death, he will be surprised to be under eternal condemnation.

Headstrong and brazen, the apostates speak disrespectfully in areas of which they are ignorant. They do not realize that in any ordered society, there must be authority and there must be subjection to that authority. And so they surge forward and swagger around in arrogant rebellion.

The area in which they are most knowledgeable is that of natural instincts, the gratification of sensual appetites. With the mindlessness of unreasoning animals, they abandon themselves to sexual gratification, and in the process they corrupt and destroy themselves.

those things which -- Greek, "all things whatsoever they understand not," namely, the things of the spiritual world.

but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

But what they know naturally. They are destitute of thought; their minds are uncultivated; they follow sheer natural instinct, and are slaves to their animal tendencies. As inconsequential men; as animals; that is, in things pertaining to their physical nature, or in which they are on a level with the brute creation. The reference is to the natural instincts, the impulses of appetite, and passion, and sensual pleasure. The idea of the apostle seems to be, that their knowledge was confined to those things. They did not rise above them to the intelligent contemplation of those higher things, against which they used only the language of reproach. There are multitudes of such men in the world. Towards high and holy objects they use only the language of reproach. They do not understand them, but they can rail at them. Their knowledge is confined to the subjects of sensual indulgence, and all their intelligence in that respect is employed only to corrupt and destroy themselves.

As brute beasts. Like the irrational animals; but, in the indulgence of their animal inclinations, they corrupt themselves, beyond the example of the brute beasts. They live only for sensual indulgence, and sink deeper and deeper in sensual gratifications. A fearful description; and true of many in the present day.

B.     Warning of the Apostates. 11–16.

11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying (opposition, rebellion) of Core.

Woe unto them! They (still talking about false teachers) are doomed as certainly as Cain … Balaam … and Korah. A stinging indictment is pronounced upon them. Woe to them! Because of their stubborn and unrepentant heart, they store up wrath for themselves in the Day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.

These false teachers are denounced as being as worthless as spots (blemishes) in your feasts (vs. 12), rainless clouds (vs. 12), fruitless trees that have been plucked up by the roots (vs. 12), Raging waves (vs. 13), and wandering stars (stars out of orbit, vs. 13). “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” (Matthew 11:21). 

Christendom today is leavened by the sin of greed. If the profit motive could somehow be removed, much of what passes as Christian work would come to a screeching halt. C. A. Coates warns: Man is so base that he makes gain for himself out of God’s things. The ultimate point of man’s baseness is that he will make gain out of God’s things for himself. The Lord has a definite judgment on it all. We can see how Christendom is full of it, and we have to watch for it in ourselves for fear that that elementwill come in.

The third reason for the woe pronounced by Jude is that these false teachers have perished in the rebellion of Korah. Along with Dathan and Abiram, Korah rebelled against the leadership of Moses and Aaron and desired to intrude into the priestly office (Num. 16). By this they were actually spurning the Lord. For their insubordination, they were swallowed alive in a great earthquake. God, by taking the lives of these men showed His extreme displeasure at rebellion against those whom He has set up as His representatives.

The denunciation of woes, common in the Lord's ministry, is only found here in all of the Old Testament.

for they have gone in the way of Cain. Their career is described as a plummeting fall of ever increasing velocity. First they have gone in the way of Cain. They have run greedily in the error of Balaam. Finally they perished in the rebellion of Korah. Error and apostasy are never static. They lead people pell-mell to the precipice, then over it to destruction. They are haters of their brethren, and as such they are murderers; and by their false doctrine they corrupt and destroy the souls of people. They live selfish lives, full of hate.

The way of Cain is basically the rejection of salvation through the blood of a sacrificial victim (Gen. 4). It is the attempt to appease God by human efforts. C. H. Mackintosh says, “God’s remedy to cleanse is rejected, and man’s effort to improve is put in its place. This is ’the way of Cain.’” But, of course, reliance on human effort leads to a hatred of grace and to the objects of grace. And that hatred eventually leads to persecution and even murder). “But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell” (Genesis 4:5). You probably already know the story; jealousy in the heart of Cain caused him to kill Able. *(Genesis 4:5-12). 

*(Gen 4.4-12) 'And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.”

For they have gone in the way of Cain. That is, they have envisioned disobedience and rebellion as he did; they have shown that they are proud, corrupt, and wicked. The apostle does not specify the points in which they had imitated the example of Cain, but it was probably in such things as these-pride, haughtiness, the hatred of religion, restlessness under the restraints of virtue, envy that others were more favoured, and a spirit of hatred of the brethren **(comp. 1 John 3:15) which would lead to murder.

**(1 John 3.15) “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”

and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward,

The error of Balaam—For the sake of personal gain they corrupt the word of God and refine away its meaning, and spoke it so as to suit the passions of the immoral. This was literally true of the Nicolaitans, who taught some of the most impure doctrines, and followed the most wanton practices.

The error of Balaam is the desire to become personally wealthy by making a business out of the service of God. Balaam professed to be a prophet of God, but he was covetous, and willing to prostitute his prophetic gift for money (Num. 22–24). Five times Balak paid him to curse Israel, and he was more than willing to do it, but he was forcibly restrained by God. Many of the things that he said were true and beautiful, but for all that, he was a hireling prophet. He couldn’t curse the men of Israel, but he eventually succeeded in luring them into sin with the daughters of Moab: “And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel. And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.” (Num. 25:1–5).

Like Balaam, the false teachers of today are suave and convincing. They can speak out of both corners of their mouths at once. They suppress the truth in order to increase their income. The principal point is that they are greedy, seeking to make the house of God a house of merchandise.

and perished in the gainsaying  of Core.

And perished. They perish, or they will perish. The result is so certain that the apostle speaks of it as if it were already done. The thought seems to have lain in his mind in this manner: he thinks of them as having the same character as Korah, and then at once thinks of them as destroyed in the same manner, or as if it were already done. They are identified with him in their character and doom. The word rendered perish (απολλυμι) is often used to denote future punishment--“Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” Thus, we may conclude that it is not the ultimate wish (or desire) of God that anyone perishes. While God permits man to perish in his unbelief, He does not relogate him to such condemnation against his will. Rather, all of heaven rejoiceth over every lost sheep which is saved. The contrast of the imminent danger to the lost sheep and the safety of those in the fold (of faith) clearly express where the majority of our attention and concentration should be in the ministry and activity of the church as we fulfill our commission to the world.”
(Matthew18:14).  

In the gainsaying of Core. Of Korah, Numbers 16:1-30. The word gainsaying here means contradiction, or speaking against; then controversy, question, strife; then contempt , reproach, or rebellion. The idea here seems to be, that they were guilty of insubordination; of possessing a restless and dissatisfied spirit; of a desire to rule, etc. See the account of the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and their company, in Num. 22. It appears that these persons (those false teachers) opposed the authority of the apostles of our Lord, as Korah and his associates did that of Moses and Aaron; and St. Jude predicts for them a similar punishment.

 12 These are spots (metaphor for men who by their conduct damage others morally, wreck them as it were) 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;

Next Jude chooses five examples from the world of nature to picture the character and destiny of the apostates. Moffatt says that “sky, land and sea are ransacked for illustrations of the character of these men.”

These are spots (False teachers) in your feasts of charity. They are spots in the love feasts which were held by the early Christians in connection with the Lord’s Supper. These men fear neither God nor man, and care for themselves rather than for the flock. They lure others to treat the faith with disrespect.

In your feasts of charity...Your feasts of love. The reference is probably to the Lord's Supper, called a feast or festival of love, because
1. It revealed the love of Christ to the world;
2. It was the means of strengthening the mutual love of the disciples: a festival which love originated, and where love reigned. It has been supposed by many, that the reference here is to festivals which were subsequently called Agapae, and which are now known as love-feasts-meaning a festival immediately preceding the celebration of the Lord's Supper. But there are strong objections to the supposition that there is reference here to such a festival.

The word used for "spots" by Peter is not exactly the same as that used here. Peter uses the word σπιλοι-spiloi; Jude, σπιλαδες-spilades. The word used by Jude means, a rock by or in the sea; a cliff, etc. It may either be a rock by the sea, against which vessels may be wrecked, or a hidden rock in the sea, on which they may be stranded at an unexpected moment. The idea here seems to be, not that they were spots and blemishes in their sacred feasts, but that they were like hidden rocks to the mariner. As those rocks were the cause of shipwreck, so these false teachers caused others to make shipwreck of their faith. They were as dangerous in the church as hidden rocks are in the ocean.

It appears that these persons, unholy and impure as they were, still continued to have outward fellowship with the Church! This is strange: but it is very likely that their power and influence in that place had swallowed up, or set aside, the power and authority of the true ministers of the chuirch.

There was so much misuse of, and conflict over the so called love feasts that they were prohibited to be held in the Churches; and, having been abused, they fell into disuse. In later days they have been revived, in all the purity and simplicity of the primitive institution, among the Baptists, Pentacostals, Methodists, Cathlics, and most denominations, excapt today the name has been chagged to "Potlucks." There are people that go to church when there is a potluck that you will usually not see there.

Among the ancients, the richer members of the Church made an occasional general feast, at which all the members attended, and the poor and the rich ate together. The fatherless, the widows, and the strangers were invited to these feasts, and their eating together was a proof of their love for each other; therefore, such celebrations were called love feasts. The love feasts were at first celebrated before the Lord's Supper; but in process of time they appear to have been celebrated after it. But they were never considered as the Lord's Supper, nor any substitute for it.

Feasts in the early Church.

(1.) There is no evidence, unless it can be found in this passage, that such celebrations had the sanction of the apostles. They are nowhere else mentioned in the New Testament, or alluded to, unless it is in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 , an instance which is mentioned only to criticize it, and to show that such appendages to the Lord's Supper were wholly unauthorized by the original institution, and were liable to gross abuse.

(2.) The supposition that they existed, and that they are referred to here in order to provide a proper explanation of this passage  is not necessarily the case. The writer wants to show, among other things, is that the early church celebrater the lords Supper and they incorporated into the celebration a diner; a Festival of Love. The words will appropriately apply to that, and there is no reason for supposing anything else in order to meet their full significance.

(3.) There can be no doubt that such a custom existed early in the Christian church, and that it was widely celebrated; but it can readily be accounted for without supposing that it had the sanction of the apostles, or that it existed in their time.

          a. Festivals prevailed among the Jews, and it would not be unnatural to introduce them into the Christian church.

          b. The custom prevailed among the heathen of having a "feast upon a sacrifice," or in connexion with a sacrifice; and as the Lord'sSupper commemorated the great sacrifice for sin, it was not unnatural, in imitation of the heathen, to add a feast or festival to that ordinance, either before or after its celebration.

          c. This very passage in Jude, with perhaps some others in the New Testament, (see 1 Corinthians 11:26 , Acts 2:46 , 6:2 ,) might be so construed as to seem to lend credibility to the custom. For these reasons it seems clear to me that the passage before us does not refer to love-feasts; and, therefore, that they are not authorized in the New Testament.

when they feast with you, Showing that they were professors of religion. “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 deceivings while they feast with you;” (2 Peter 2:13).

feeding themselves without fear. Eating, not to fuel the body, but to pamper the appetite. Once in elementary school the teacher asked the class, " Why do you eat?" She asked several students, who gave excellent reasons for why we eat. And then she looked at me and said, "Tom why do you eat?" "I blurted out, "Because it tastes good!" To this day, I can still feel the embarassment and hear the laughter. 

When Jude was written, It seems that food was abundant, and they ate like the gluttons they were; they drank wine and their minds became cloudy and dark, and their actions riotous. This was what brought the love feasts into ill repute in the Church, and was the means of their being at last completely laid aside. This abuse is never likely to take place among the Baptists, since they only use bread and grape juice, and the amount of these elements is not sufficient to provide a tenth part of a meal.

Unbelievers (non-Christians), when they observed such uninhibited actions: that is, gluttony, drunkenness and loud foul language, they were led to form a conclusion concerning the state of the Church; it must be very corrupt, to have in its communion such corrupt men, who lack a proper respect and reverence for the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper. Instead, they treat it like any ordinary feast, and make it an occasion for rioting and gluttony--"When you meet together, you are not really interested in the Lord’s Supper. For some of you hurry to eat your own meal without sharing with others. As a result, some go hungry while others get drunk.  What? Don’t you have your own homes for eating and drinking? Or do you really want to disgrace God’s church and shame the poor? What am I supposed to say? Do you want me to praise you? Well, I certainly will not praise you for this!" (1 Cor 11:20-22; NLT).

feeding themselves—“tending themselves." What they look forward to is the pampering of themselves, not the feeding of the flock.
without fear—Sacred feasts, above all, ought to be celebrated with fear (Respect for the one being honored and for others). Feasting is not faulty in itself, but it needs to be accompanied with fear of forgetting God, as Job was in the case of his sons' feasts.

clouds they are without water. They are like clouds without water, appearing to hold the promise of refreshment to the parched countryside, but then carried along by the winds, and leaving disappointment and disillusionment. Here Jude compares the doctrine of God is to the rain—“My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:” ( Deuteronomy 32:2), and clouds are the instruments by which the rain is distilled upon the earth. In arid or parched countries the very appearance of a cloud is delightful, because it is a token of refreshing showers; but when sudden winds arise, and disperse these clouds, the hope of the husbandman and shepherd is cut short. These false teachers are represented as clouds; they have the outward appearance and status of the teachers of righteousness, and from such appearances pure doctrine may be logically expected: but these are clouds without water—they distil no refreshing showers, because they have none; they are carried away by their passions, like those light fleecy clouds are carried by the winds. “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” (Eph. 4.14). In this verse Paul sets forth the negative results of spiritual unity and maturity. God desires that we be stalwart Christians with doctrinal stability, spiritual perception, responsibility, and dedicated to the goal. Too many are content to remain in weakness and immaturity, spiritual infancy. Tossed to and fro. Cast about as driftwood on the waves of the sea. This is a picture of instability, helplessness, and restlessness. Carried about with every wind of doctrine. Christians should not be whirled around in circles by every shifting wind of false doctrine. If not anchored in Christ, Christians are at the mercy of these ever-changing winds which blow unstable souls in every direction.“Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain” (Proverbs 25:14). Clouds in the sky awaken in men the hope of showers, and disappointment is experienced when the promise is not realized. So, when a man talks of giving gifts to others but fails to fulfill his promises, he is likewise a cause of great disappointment.

carried about of winds;
The oldest manuscripts have "carried aside," that is, out of the right course (compare Eph 4:14 above).

trees whose fruit withereth. They are late autumn trees, stripped of leaves and fruit. They are damaged or diseased trees; which causes their fruit to wither; for although there are blossoms, and the fruit shapes properly, the wound in the trees prevent the proper circulation of the sap, and therefore the fruit never comes to perfection. Hence the apostle immediately adds, without fruit; i.e. the fruit never comes to maturity. This metaphor expresses the same thing as the preceding. They have the appearance of ministers of the Gospel, but they have no fruit.
The idea here is substantially the same as that expressed by Peter, when he says that they were "wells without water;" and by him and Jude, when they say that they are like clouds driven about by the winds, that shed down no refreshing rain upon the earth. Such wells and clouds only disappoint expectations. So a tree that should produce fruit, but whose fruit always withers, would be useless. The word rendered withereth (φθινοπωρινα) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means, autumnal; and the expression here denotes trees of autumn; that is, trees stripped of leaves and greenness; trees on which there are no fruit. The sense, in the use of this word, therefore, is not exactly that which is expressed in our translation, that the fruit has withered, but rather that they are like the trees of autumn, which are stripped and bare. "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:4-6).

  •  Abide in me (Jesus Christ). In order to be a fruitful Christian, one must learn to depend on Christ and let the power and Spirit of Christ flow through him.
  •  Christ now clearly states the implications of this story. He is the vine and we are the branches. Note the total dependence upon the Vine. Without that abiding relationship ye can do nothing. In verse 2 it refers to more fruit, and in verses 5 it refers to much fruit.
  • Verse does not refer to everlasting punishment in hell. Note that there are results of not abiding in Christ as a branch. The man himself is not the branch; the branch represents the fruits of his relationship with Christ. When the Christian fails to abide in Christ, he withers, dries up, and his fruit or works will be judged by fire “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
    " (I Cor 3:12–15 ).

without fruit, What they are. False teachers promise much but produce little, like rainless clouds and fruitless trees. Either they are wholly barren, like the barren fig-tree, or the fruit which starts to grow never ripens, but falls off. They are, therefore, as useless as religious instructors-as much so as a tree is which produces no fruit. Enoch had the best word for them: ungodly.

twice dead, First, naturally and practically dead in sin, from which they had been revived by the preaching and grace of the Gospel. Secondly, dead by backsliding or apostasy from the true faith, by which they lost the grace they had received before; and now likely to continue in that death, because plucked up from the roots, their roots of faith and love are no longer fixed in Christ Jesus. THEY SHALL BE plucked up from the roots—God will exterminate them from the earth.

Another explanation has been offered, which says: That they are seen to be dead in two successive seasons, showing that there is no hope that they will revive and be valuable; or, using the word twice to denote emphasis, meaning that they are absolutely or altogether dead. Perhaps the idea is that successive summers and winters have passed over them, and that no signs of life appeared.

plucked up by the roots. The wind blows them down, or they are removed by the husbandman as only taking up space on the ground. They are not cut down-leaving a stump that might sprout again-but they are eradicated root and branch; that is, they are totally worthless. There is a regular rise in this climax, first, the apostle sees a tree apparently of autumn, stripped and leafless; then he sees it to be a tree that bears no fruit; then he sees it to be a tree over which successive winters and summers pass and no signs of life appear; then as wholly done away with. So he says it is the same with these men. They produce no fruits of holiness; months and years show that there is no vitality in them; they are fit only to be torn up and cast away. Regrettably! How many professors of religion are there, and how many religious teachers, who answer to this description!

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

Jude uses the same metaphor as found in Isaiah 57:20: “The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.” These false teachers are like the sea in a storm, where the swells are like mountains; the breakers lash the shore producing sound like thunder; and the great deep, stirred up from its very bottom, rolls it’s muddy, putrid sediment, and deposits it upon the beach. That is how it is with those proud and arrogant boasters, those headstrong, unruly, and ferocious men, who swept into their own vortex the souls of the simple, and left nothing behind them that was not symptomatic of their folly, their turbulence, and their impurity. For all their noise and motion, there is nothing to show but the foam of their shame. They glory in what they should be ashamed of and leave nothing of substance and value behind.

Shame—“Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” Their glory is their shameless conduct. They boast of liberty, yet are slaves to Satan, sin, and self.

wandering stars--Jude describes these false believers as “wandering stars.” Stars provide light and direction. By virtue of their mathematically precise orbits, sailors can chart their course by them. However, these “stars” that Jude refers to behave erratically. Like shooting stars, spectacular in their dazzling display as they blaze a trail across the night sky, they careen toward their final death, but no one can set a course by them. They are unreliable and temporary. Their brilliance lasts for only a brief moment. Then, they disappear forever in the blackness of the night, which, according to Jude, has been reserved for them, indicating again that none of these things happen outside of God’s sovereignty. These reprobates are bound for hell as Jesus Himself promised. “Then the king will say to those on his left, ‘Get away from me! God has cursed you! Go into everlasting fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels!” (Matthew 25:41)

to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. Finally, these false teachers are like wandering stars, for who is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. Wandering stars are celestial bodies that do not move in regular orbit. They are worthless as navigational aids. How appropriate a description of the false teachers! It is impossible to get spiritual direction from these religious meteors, falling stars, and comets who blaze brightly for a moment, then fizzle out into darkness like firework rockets.

14 And Enoch also, the seventh (To the Jew there was a sacredness in seven) from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

Verses 14 and 15 are quoted from Enoch 1:9 (and 60:8) verbatim. They stress typically the ungodliness of the sinners (ungodly appears four times) and the judgment they deserve and get at the Lord’s coming. These two verses should be studied together.

And Enoch also, the seventh  from Adam. The line of descent is Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahaleel, Jared, Enoch, see Genesis 5:3 .On the character of Enoch: “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5). Enoch was a very unusual man. His devotion to the Lord Jehovah was exceptional. While there is little history about Enoch, what the Scriptures do say is enough to conclude that there was no one like him in regards to godliness. “Enoch walked with God; then he was gone because God took him” (Genesis 5:24). Faith enabled Enoch to be taken instead of dying. No one could find him, because God had taken him. Scripture states that before Enoch was taken, God was pleased with him.

The doom of the apostates was foretold by Enoch [the holiest man in the ancient world] who lived among the seventh generation from Adam. It is a prophecy that is found only in Jude’s Epistle, and there is no mention made of it in any other part of scripture. Some think it is taken from the apocryphal Book of Enoch, a work long lost, but recovered in modern times in Abyssinia. Some believe it was created in the century before Christ. Wherever Jude met it, he was familiar with the prophecy, but there is no proof that that bogus book existed in the time of Jude. Kelly said: It [the Book of Enoch] has every mark of having been written subsequent to the destruction of Jerusalem [and therefore after Jude’s Epistle was written], by a Jew who still buoyed himself up with the hope that God would stand by the Jews. I for one do not believe that the Book of Enoch is Holy Scripture, since it is not included in the Bible. The Bible is complete without the Book of Enoch; in fact, that is backed up by Revelation 22.18-19: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” This book may have some value, but it is definitely NOT to be considered on the same level as the Bible.

While we do not know how Jude learned of this ancient prophecy, a simple and plausible explanation is that the Holy Spirit revealed the words to him just as He guided in all the rest of the Epistle. However, there are some who say that this prophecy of Enoch was preserved by tradition in the Jewish church.

The prophecy begins: “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints.” The prediction will have a preliminary and partial fulfillment when the Lord Jesus returns to earth after the Tribulation to destroy His foes and to reign as King. It will have its complete and final fulfillment at the end of the Millennium when the wicked dead are judged at the Great White Throne.

Perhaps the word ‘prophesied’ means no more than preached, spoke, made declarations, etc., concerning these things and persons; for without question he reprimand the ungodliness of his own times. It is certain that a book of Enoch was known in the earliest ages of the primitive Church, and is quoted by Origen and Tertullian; and is mentioned by St. Jerome in the Apostolical Constitutions, by Nicephorus, Athanasius, and probably by St. Augustine.

prophesied of these, saying. "These" were the blasphemers. Enoch possessed the ability to prophesy with accuracy the judgment that would come on all those who did not fear the Lord God. The fact that he had a spirit of prophecy is evident from the name he gave to his son, Methuselah, which means “when he dies is the emission,” or the sending out of the waters of the Flood. This cataclysmic event came to pass the very year Methuselah died.

The prophesies spoken by Enoch are applicable to the false Christians we have been studying. But that does not necessarily mean that he had these men specifically in his eye; but what he implies here is, that his predictions do describe them accurately. There is no mention made in the writings of Moses of the fact that Enoch was a prophet; but nothing is more probable in itself, and there is no absurdity in supposing that a true prophecy, though unrecorded, might be handed down by tradition-- “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith” (2 Timothy 3.8).  Withstood (Gr anthistēmi) is forceful and means “to set oneself against.” The boldness of Jannes and Jambres to set themselves against Moses is manifest today in multitudes who adamantly “resist” the truth. (Also see Jude 1:9 ).

The source from which Jude derived this passage with regard to the prophecy of Enoch is unknown. But, I suppose that amidst the multitude of traditions, the prophesies of Enoch were handed down by the Jews from a remote antiquity; although many of them were false, and many of a trivial nature, it is reasonable to presume that some of them were true and were of importance. No man can prove that the prophesy before us is not of that character; no one can show that an inspired writer might not be led to make the selection of a true prophecy from a mass of traditions; and since the prophecy before us is one that would be every way worthy of a prophet, and worthy to be preserved, its quotation furnishes no argument against the inspiration of Jude. There is no clear evidence that he quoted it from any book in existence in his time. There is, indeed, now an apocryphal writing called "the Book of Enoch," containing a prediction strongly resembling this, but there is no certain proof that it existed so early as the time of Jude, nor, if it did, is it absolutely certain that he quoted from it. Both Jude and the author of that book may have quoted a common tradition of their time, for there can be no doubt that the passage referred to was handed down by tradition.

The mention of Enoch’s prophecy being only seven generations from the first man: " And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45 ). demonstrates that this witness of judgment against such ungodly men was foretold from even the earliest moments of Creation. There is no biblical reference for this prophecy by Enoch outside of this single verse, which in itself is sufficient to deem it verifiable. However, the prophecy is also referenced in the non-canonical Book of Enoch (Enoch 1:9). It may be that this prophecy was known by these early Christians either through oral tradition or perhaps even familiarity with the writings chronicled by Enoch. However, I believe that the entire Bible was written by men that wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit—Jude’s epistle cannot be an exception.

Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints. Christ’s coming to be the judge of all those who rejected Him was prophesied as early as the middle of the patriarchal age, and was therefore even then a received and acknowledged truth.—The Lord cometh with his holy army (too numerous to count), including both angels and the spirits of just men made perfect. What a glorious time that will be, when Christ will come with ten thousand of these! And we are told for what great and awful ends and purposes he will come, namely, to execute judgment upon all (see v. 15).

The Lord cometh. That is, the Lord will come. “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.” (1 Corinthians 16:22). It would seem from this to have been an early doctrine that the Lord would descend to the earth for judgment.

Ten thousand of his saints. This seems to be taken from Daniel 7:10: “A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” A scene of judgment came into Daniel’s vision next. God the Father was pictured on the throne in all wisdom (white hair), surrounded by countless angels, preparing to judge. The only other place where God the Father is actually seen in the Bible is *Revelation 5:1 and 7, but both occurrences are only visions; for God the Father is spirit.

*(Rev. 5, 7; NKJV) "And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.  Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.

The passage as found in "the Book of Enoch" is in these words: "Behold he comes with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon them, and destroy the wicked, and reprove all the carnal, for everything which the sinful and ungodly have done and committed against him," chap. ii. Bib. Repository, vol. xv. p. 86. If the Book of Enoch was written after the time of Jude, it is natural to suppose that the prophecy referred to by him, and handed down by tradition, would be inserted in it.

With ten thousand of his saints. Or, of his holy ones. The word saints we now apply commonly to redeemed saints, or to Christians. The original word is, however, applicable to all who are holy, angels as well as men. The common representation in the Scriptures is that he would come attended by the angels-"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory" (Matthew 25:31), and there is doubtless allusion here to such beings. It is a common representation in the Old Testament also that God, when he manifests himself, is accompanied by great numbers of heavenly beings.  (Psalms 68:17) “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.” The chariots of God are thousands upon thousands of angels; and they surround the Almighty God in His holy place, both with reference to the ark of the covenant in the tabernacle on Mount Zion and God’s throne in Heaven. (Deuteronomy 33:2) “And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.”

"Lord." “And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.”  (Zech 14:5). And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal (probably located on the eastern side of the city). The prophet compares this future event to an event in past history: "Like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. The earthquake is the same one referred to by Amos more than two hundred years earlier" (Amos l:l ). It must have been unusually severe, for it left an indelible print on the memories of the people of Israel. The important thing about the whole event is that the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with Him. Note that the event is so striking to the prophet that he shifts to direct address. This is the great event when the Lord will return to the earth with His saints to set up His kingdom!

This prophesy was first articulated, a long time ago, but even then it is spoken like a thing just about to happen. We observe a great span of time as Jude explains Enoch’s prophecy. As Enoch gazed with clear vision toward the end, he saw the Lord Jesus coming “with countless thousands of his holy angels” to fulfill judgment as explained in the following verse.

15 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.

I cannot pass v. 15 without taking notice of how often, and how forcefully, the word ungodly is repeated in it, no fewer than four times: ungodly men, ungodly sinners, ungodly deeds, and, as to the manner, ungodly committed. Godly or ungodly means little with men now-a-days, unless it is to scoff at and put down even the very expressions of godliness; but it is not that way in the language of the Holy Ghost. Notice that omissions, as well as commissions, must be accounted for on the Day of Judgment. Notice, further, that unkind language when directed toward one another, especially if it is meant to be hurtful, will most certainly come into account on the Great Day of Judgment. Let us all take care to be a Good Samaritan; if we happen upon one of God’s true saints who is bleeding we ought to bind his wounds and take him to a place where he will be cared for. Let’s do it for his sake and let’s do it for the Lord’s sake.

Christ comes to execute judgment on all; this will occur after Christ’s 1,000 year reign. The rest of the verse shows that the ‘all’ here means all the ungodly. True believers will not be included. Through faith in Christ, they have been granted immunity from judgment, as promised in John 5:24: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” As the Son of Man to whom all judgment has been committed, the Lord Jesus will 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. Four times in this one verse we find the word ungodly occurring. The people are ungodly, their deeds are ungodly, the manner in which they perform these deeds is ungodly, and they further manifest their ungodliness by their blasphemies against the Lord. He will convict them of the whole ungodly business, not just in the sense of making them feel a deep sense of guilt, but convicting them by pronouncing sentence as a result of their proven guilt.

He (Jesus Christ) cometh:
1. To execute judgment—He shall come to judge all the dwellers upon the earth, good and bad.
2.  To convince (convict) them. We now commonly use the word convince in a somewhat limited sense, as meaning to satisfy a man's own mind either of the truth of some proposition, or of the fact that he has done wrong, and in this latter sense it is the same as the word convict. This conviction is commonly produced by argument or truth, and is not necessarily followed by any judicial condemnation. But this is clearly not the sense in which the word is used here. The purpose of the coming of the Lord will not be to convince men in that sense, though it is undoubtedly true that the wicked will see that their lives have been wrong; but it will be to pronounce a sentence on them as the result of the evidence of their guilt.

Observe, Christ will condemn no one without precedent (an action or decision that can be used subsequently as an example for a similar decision or to justify a similar action), trial, and conviction. Then every mouth shall be stopped, the Judge and his sentence shall be approved and applauded, and even the guilty condemned criminals shall be speechless, when all ungodly men are convicted of their ungodly deeds.
All that are ungodly among them. All that are not pious; all that have no religion.

Of all their ungodly deeds, etc. Of their wicked actions and words. This is the common doctrine of the Bible, that all the wicked actions and words of men will be called into judgment: “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works" (Rev. 20.13) Death (used here for the grave) gives up the bodies; hell gives up the souls. No one is said to escape or enter eternal bliss. All the unsaved will suffer their eternal doom *(cf. 20:6). Even the unsaved who have died on the seas, whose bodies have never been recovered, will not be exempt from this august tribunal--"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (Jn 5:28, 29).

*(cf. 20:6) Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."

In regard to this passage, quoted from an ancient prophecy, we may remark.
1. That the style bears the marks of its being a quotation, or of its being preserved by Jude in the language in which it had been handed down by tradition. It is not the style of Jude. It is not so terse, pointed, and energetic.
2. It has every credible mark of its having been the actual spoken words of Enoch. The age in which he lived was corrupt. The world was ripening for the deluge. He was a good man, and, perhaps, he was almost the only good man of his generation. Nothing would be more natural than that he would be the object of ridicule and made out to be a fool. And nothing would have been more natural than for him to have pointed the men of his own age to the future judgment.
3. The doctrine of the final judgment, if it was voiced by Enoch, was one of the earliest doctrines in the world. It was well-known even in the first generations of the race. It was one of those great truths communicated early to man to restrain him from sin, and to lead him to prepare for the great events which are to occur on the earth. The same doctrine has been transmitted from age to age, and is now one of the most important and the most effective that refers to the final destiny of men.

When Jesus returns, He will execute His judgment. In the Greek text, Jude uses derivatives of the word ungodly four times in this verse. Apparently, he could not state his case strongly enough. Such people are so despicable that words cannot fully describe them. Nevertheless, Jesus will pronounce judgment on them for their godless deeds and for the abusive things they have spoken against God. These imposters have been able to fool many in the church, but they have never fooled the Lord. When Jesus returns, He will separate those who are His people from those who are not, and the hypocrites will be revealed. “When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all his angels are with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. The people of every nation will be gathered in front of him. He will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats... These people will go away into eternal punishment, but those with God’s approval will go into eternal life” (Matthew 25:31-32, 46).

Ungodly sinners—not merely sinners, but proud despisers of God: impious.

Against him—those who speak against God's children are regarded by God as speaking against Himself.

16 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.

Their ungodly words and deeds are now described in more detail. They are grumblers, complaining about the providences (divine intervention) of God instead of being thankful for His mercies. They are always finding fault with the Lord. Why does He permit wars and suffering? Why?

A clearer translation of verse 16 would be, “These grumblers and malcontents follow their own lusts; their bloated words are nothing but flattery.” Jude continues to describe the behavior of these imposters because he wants believers to be equipped to identify them. If true believers can observe their behavior, it is less likely that they will be deceived by their outward appearance.

These are murmurers. Grudging and grumbling at all men, and at all things; complainers; complainers concerning their fate or destiny—finding fault with God and all his heaven-sent dispensations (the time during which a religious doctrine or practice is believed to be in force), making and governing worlds in their own way; persons whom neither God nor man can please. The word murmurers does not occur in any other place in the Bible, though the word murmur is used frequently, *Matthew 20:11 , **Luke 5:30
The fact that God hates such griping is proved by His punishment of Israel in the wilderness.

*(Matthew 20.11) "And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,"

**(Luke 5.30) "But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners

Complainers. Literally, finding fault with one's own lot in life. The word does not occur anywhere else in the New Testament; today, it looks like everyone finds time to complain about something. Nothing is more common than for men to complain of their lot; to think that it is hard; to compare theirs with that of others, and to blame God for not having made their circumstances different. The poor complain that they are not rich like others; the sick that they are not well; those in prison that they are not free; the bereaved that they are deprived of friends; the ugly that they are not beautiful; those who live a humble life that their lot was not cast among the great and the famous. The virtue that is opposed to this is contentment-a virtue of inestimable value. “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11). Self-sufficient, not needing outside help, able to make ends meet. Paul was totally independent of man because he was totally dependent upon God. Paul’s satisfaction and sufficiency were in Christ. “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (II Cor 12:9).

Walking after their own lusts. Taking their wild, disorderly, and impure passions for the ruling force of their conduct, and not the writings of the prophets and apostles. It follows then that they will give unlimited indulgence to their appetites and passions. “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts” (2 Peter 3:3). The secret of their murmuring and complaining is the restless voraciousness of their desires. They continually mutter discontentedly with an undercurrent of ungodly talk. They are complainers, blaming some unseen fate for their unfortunate lot in life. Believers’ attitudes are to exemplify a stark contrast to that of unbelievers. Deceivers, on the other hand, are never happy and walk after their own lusts. They are always trying to satisfy their own desires, hoping vainly to achieve some measure of satisfaction. Such pursuits of material things survive only for a short time and then give birth to profound emptiness. This emptiness breeds discontent and murmuring; thus, the vicious cycle of worldly pursuits goes round and round, never achieving lasting results.

Great swelling words. “For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error” (2 Peter 2:18). Probably this means; it is by their well-modulated, authoritative, bloated vanities that they are able to lure (Gr deleazō, a fishing term) those that were clean escaped (rather, those who are just now barely escaping). New converts are easy prey for these slick-talking pseudo-Christians who are really false teachers.

Having men's persons (their mere outward appearance and rank.) in admiration. Time-servers  and flatterers; persons who pretend to be astonished at the greatness, goodness, shrewdness, learning, wisdom; etc., of rich and great men, hoping thereby to acquire money, influence, power, friends, and the like; showing great respect to certain persons, particularly the rich and the great. The idea is that they were not fair in the esteem which they had for others, or that they did not appreciate them according to their real worth, but paid special attention to one class in order to promote their selfish ends.

Because of advantage. For the sake of money and wealth, and because they hoped to derive some benefit for themselves. All the flatterers of the rich are like this kind; and especially those who profess to be ministers of the Gospel. With such persons a rich man is every thing; and if he has just a grain of grace, his godliness is extolled to the skies! I have known several ministers and many false Christians with this type of character. These people may be wealthy themselves, because they have taken advantage of others in the church. They may appear cultured, and proficient in the arts and sciences. While their talents convey eloquence and sophistication in human terms, their spiritual lives are empty and void of meaning. “They arrogantly use nonsense to seduce people by appealing to their sexual desires, especially to sexual freedom. They seduce people who have just escaped from those who live in error” (2 Peter 2:18). Nevertheless, they are admired by many people simply because they may have a position of wealth or high standing in the community. However, the believer is warned to avoid the admiration of the world because it all comes from vanity. “You unfaithful people! Don’t you know that love for this evil world is hatred toward God? Whoever wants to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God” (James 4:4).

 

V.     Exhortations Against Apostates. 17–23.

 

A.     Exhortation by the Apostles. 17–19.

17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

Jude now turns away from the apostates (renouncers, defectors, deserters, renegades: somebody who renounces a belief or allegiance) to the believers’ role in the midst of these hireling shepherds. First he reminds them that they have been forewarned with regard to the oncoming peril. Then he encourages them to maintain themselves in a strong spiritual condition. Finally, he counsels them to use discernment in ministering to those who have been victimized by the apostates. The apostles had predicted the rise of false teachers. This can be seen in the ministry of:

  • Paul (Acts 20.29-30) “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” Paul later wrote to Timothy who was in Ephesus concerning these grievous wolves (see I Tim 1:3–7). His warning was later fulfilled in the apostasy of such men as Hymenaeus, Alexander, and Philetus.
    (2 Tim 3.1-9) “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.”
  • Peter (See 2 Pet. 2:1–22)
  • (2 Pet. 3:1–4 ) “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;”
  • and John (1 Jn. 2:18, 19)--"Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they  would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."

But, beloved. Jude now aserts that there is a contrast to this picture of judgment on these imposters. Jude shows that this is not the way for those who are truly redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. He addresses believers as “dear.”

remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; “Spoken before” has been taken to mean that Jude is a late author writing in another generation than that of the apostles; this is not a valid inference, since the word does not necessarily mean “a long time ago.” Paul often used this word to refer to his own previous statements made only weeks or months before; once, in *Galatians 1:9, he uses it to refer to his statement in the previous verse! The whole purpose of the letter is to remind them that the Word of God was given once and for all by the apostles. The words were not, of course, spoken of the apostles, but “by the apostles,” as is obvious from the next verse.

*(Galatians 1.9) "As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let himbeaccursed."  Paul no doubt had warned them of the dangers of false teachers as he did the Ephesian elders (Acts 20:29–32). The perfect tense of said (Gr prolegō) means that it was a certain and clear pronouncement.

There is a striking similarity between these two verses (17, 18) and 2 Peter 3:1-3--"This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,” The reminder is that, although there are false teachers among them who claim to be also representing God, believers must recognize, accept, and obey only the true word of God as found in the Old Testament (the holy prophets) and in the preaching of the apostles (meaning himself and the others). It occurs in the same connection following the description of the false and dangerous teachers against whom the apostle would guard them, and understood almost in the same words. When Jude entreats them to remember the words which were spoken by the apostles, it is not necessarily to be inferred that he was not himself an apostle, for he is speaking of what was past, and there might have been a special reason why he should refer to something that they would distinctly remember which had been spoken by the other apostles on this point. Or it might be that he meant also to include himself among them, and to speak of the apostles collectively, without particularly specifying himself.

While the pretender is despised by the faithful and will be judged by Christ, those who have been forgiven by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross will be embraced in the bonds of love. In the midst of this gross apostasy, great comfort is provided in knowing that this kind of hypocrisy had been predicted by the apostles of Jesus Christ. The Twelve learned it at Jesus’ feet as He carefully taught them all of those things pertaining to the kingdom. “False messiahs and false prophets will appear. They will work miraculous signs and do wonderful things to deceive, if possible, those whom God has chosen. Be on your guard! I have told you everything before it happens” (Mark 13:22-23).

Remember…the words. Instead of following those teachers and their corrupt doctrine, remember what Christ and his apostles have said; for they foretold the coming of such false teachers and impostors. Jude is implying that his readers had been contemporaries of the apostles. Peter uses the very same formula in reminding the contemporaries of him and the other apostles.

spoken before. Spoken already; before now.

How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time. The gist of their message was that there would be mockers in the last time (the end of the Jewish nation as a political entity), following their own ungodly lusts. There are close verbal correlations with II Peter3.3--"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts;" and I 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.” To some it seems harsh to attribute false teaching as coming from Satan, and one must be careful not to attribute everything with which he disagrees to Satan--which seems to hint at some kind of oral formula in apostolic times.

Mockers. The word rendered mockers is the same which in the parallel place in 2 Peter 3:3 is rendered scoffers. Peter has stated more fully what was the particular subject on which they scoffed, and has shown that there was no reason for it: “And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Peter 3:4).

who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. Drawing on the apostles’ teachings, Jude describes the barren cultural environment that will be prevalent in the last days. Matthew, one of Christ’s apostles, wrote a gospel account that provides confirmation of Jesus’ teaching concerning such rebelliousness. “Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. And because there will be more and more lawlessness, most people’s love will grow cold” (Matthew 24:11-12). Peter, the leader of Jesus’ apostles, also warned of this approaching apostasy. “First, you must understand this: In the last days people who follow their own desires will appear. These disrespectful people will ridicule God’s promise” (2 Peter 3:3). Paul, an apostle appointed by God after Christ’s death, further affirmed the mockery that would become the distinguishing characteristic of the last days: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:1-7). “The last days” includes the whole church age. Paul stated these conditions would be prevalent in Timothy’s day, for he said to him, “from such turn away” (vs. 5). Perilous times are evident today as well. Other predictions by Paul are:
1. Men will be Lovers of their own selves. Everyone does that which is right in his own eyes. Selfishness abounds. Covetous is a normal characteristic. People must keep up with the Joneses. Few are content with what they have.
2. Children are disobedient to parents. Juvenile delinquency is a familiar term in this generation, but now it is more common and rampant.
3. There is no loyalty or thankfulness for anything but only wanting more.
4. Unholy people are without natural affection. Romans 1:26 is accepted as a way of life—“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature.” The gay crowd, who practice sex out of bounds from God’s limits, is accepted by much of society.
5. Nations have become Trucebreakers. One only has to look at Korea and Vietnam to see blatant truce breaking. I can truthfully say that today many people are incontinent (Gr akratēs) meaning “no power” or “restraint” over oneself. Senseless killings and atrocious sex crimes give evidence to this today.
6. The all-American boy is not emulated, but the radicals and immoral celebrities are. The honest, wholesome teenager is so often ridiculed! Those who do good and act good are greatly in the minority.
7. Both men and women are lovers of pleasures. One would have to be blind not to see that pleasure-seeking is skyrocketing today. The cry of first-century Rome was, “Give us bread and the circus.” The two “necessities” of life were welfare and entertainment. The situation hasn’t changed a bit.
8. There is a form of godliness. Church attendance is at an all-time high, but powerless. No longer are God and His teaching considered in matters of divorce, sex, or abortion. Most Christians and churches are powerless in the community. Many so-called Christians only appear to be godly. Inwardly they are impotent because of sin.

Silly women are lead captive. Eve was the first to be deceived: “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (I Tim 2:14). A sad fact of life is that Satan consistently attacks the women in the area of discernment. Christian women must be especially dependent upon God to give them doctrinal direction and understanding. Many cults today are directed and dominated by women who have had their discernment taken captive by Satan. A Christian woman must be wise enough to seek the counsel and advice of the pastor and church leaders so that she does not fall prey to the snares of the devil  in the areas of doctrine and conduct.

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

To this testimony (vs. 17, 18) Jude now adds the explanation that these scoffers have three prominent characteristics, and he further identifies how these people operate within the body of Christ’s church. They are sensual persons, which means that they think and act as natural men. They are totally motivated by their carnal  appetites and, therefore, cause divisions in the church. This would not be true if they were under the authority of the Spirit. Jude identifies these men as sensual, translated from Greek words that literally refer to those things that pertain to the natural man.   They cause divisions, drawing disciples after themselves and perhaps dividing people into various classes according to their progress in apostasy. This is the same terminology that the Gnostic  heretics  applied to describe the Christians, and as such, Jude turns the tables on these ungodly men by using their own epithets  against them. These frauds were strictly carnal, driven by the world system and completely immersed in its enticements.

.Additionally, such imposters are void of the Holy Spirit. “A person who isn’t spiritual doesn’t accept the teachings of God’s Spirit. He thinks they’re nonsense. He can’t understand them because a person must be spiritual to evaluate them” (1 Corinthians 2:14). “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Romans 8:9).or, more literally, to men who do not have the Spirit. They do not have the Spirit. They were never born from above and therefore have a total incapacity to understand the things of God.

These be they who separate themselves. That is, from their brethren, and from the work of benevolence and truth. “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17). Paul’s admonition and warning to his friends at Rome concerns those who would cause divisions among the brethren. He commands two things; mark (Gr skopeō) them as to who they are, and then avoid them (Gr ekklinō). Those who cause divisions may have been antinomians who pushed their liberty in Christ to the “nth” degree. They may have been the ubiquitous Judaizers who seemed to incessantly plague Paul. But Paul characterizes them as those which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned. This may mean any group which denied the teachings of the apostle.

These be they -- showing that their characters are the same as Peter and Paul had foretold.

Who separate themselves—from the true Church, which they leave after being affected by the Holy Spirit. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25) They do not participate in Church communion in its vital, spiritual reality: for outwardly they took part in Church ordinances, but they lack the Spirit, so it becomes a useless act done for the eyes of the brethren. Arrogant setting up of themselves, as having greater sanctity and a wisdom and peculiar doctrine, distinct from others, is implied.

Sensual— literally, "animal-souled": —living as brute beasts, guided simply by their own lusts and passions, their Bible being the manifold devices and covetousness of their own hearts; for they do not have the Spirit—they are not spiritually minded; and have no Holy Ghost, no inspiration from God. They are sensual -- as opposed to the spiritual, or "having the Spirit." It is translated, "the natural man," in1Co 2:14. In the threefold division of man's being, body, soul, and spirit, the due state in God's design is, that "the spirit," which is the recipient of the Holy Spirit uniting man to God, should be first, and should rule the soul, which stands intermediate between the body and spirit: but in the animal, or natural man, the spirit is sunk into subservience to the animal soul, which is earthly in its motives and aims. The "carnal" sink somewhat lower, for in these the flesh, the lowest element and corrupt side of man's bodily nature, reigns paramount.

having not the Spirit -- In the animal and natural man the spirit, his higher part, which ought to be the receiver of the Holy Spirit, is not so; and therefore, his spirit not being in its normal state, he is said not to have the spirit *(compare John 3:5, 6) . In the completion of redemption the parts of redeemed man shall be placed in their due relation: whereas in the ungodly, the soul severed from the spirit shall have for ever animal life without union to God and heaven -- a living death.

*(John 3:5, 6) “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” To be a part of God’s kingdom, one must be born of water and of the Spirit. There are three interpretations as to the meaning of water: it refers to the washing of the water of God’s Word (I Pet 1:23); it refers to baptism; or it refers to physical birth. The first of the three seems to be the most logical. Christ contrasts physical birth and spiritual birth. The flesh produces flesh while the Spirit produces that which is spiritual.

Notes/Applications

Immersed in Christ’s sustaining love, believers can look to the future with bright and joyous confidence because they know how things will turn out. Jesus Christ is the source and goal of their faith: " Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2 ). In John’s gospel, Jesus repeatedly informed both His followers and His detractors that this was the whole purpose for the Father sending Him into the world. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John 5:24-30).

There is no viable reason for the Christian to live in fear—fear of heresy, fear of ridicule, fear of the future, or fear of this earthly life. Instead, Christians rest securely in the hands of a loving God Who gave His Son, Whose power and authority holds our future. Then, everyone will know the truth as He ascends the throne and as the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our Lord and His Christ

A. Exhortation by Warning. 20–21.

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

The believer’s resource, of course, is to stay close to the Lord and live in unbroken fellowship with Him. But how is this done? Jude gives four steps.
The first is building yourselves up on your most holy faith, that is, the Christian faith. We build up ourselves on it by studying and obeying the Bible. Constant familiarity with the word guides us positively in the way of righteousness, and warns us against the perils along the way. I firmly believe, “Men may belittle doctrine, but it is faith that produces character and not character that produces faith.”
The second step is praying in the Holy Spirit. This means to pray as guided by the Spirit, in accordance with the will of God as revealed in the Bible or as privately revealed by the Spirit in a subjective way to the believer. It is in contrast to prayers which are recited mechanically or spun off without any real spiritual involvement.
Third, keep yourselves in the love of God—by building up yourselves on your most holy faith, and praying in the Holy Ghost; for without this we shall soon lose the love of God.
Finally, we must be looking for the mercy of our Lord—For although they were to build themselves up, and to pray in the Holy Ghost, and keep themselves in the love of God, yet this building, praying, and keeping, cannot merit heaven; for, after all their diligence, earnestness, self-denial, watching, obedience, etc., they must look for the MERCY of the Lord Jesus Christ, to bring them to ETERNAL LIFE.

But ye, beloved (esteemed, dear, favorite, worthy of love).

building up yourselves on your most holy faith. Building up yourselves refers to having the most holy faith—the Gospel of our Lord Jesus, and the writings of his apostles, for your foundation; establishing, all your expectations on these, and seeking from the Christ who is their sum and substance; all the grace and glory you need.

The apostle Paul wrote this to the Colossians, "Building up" Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:7). A Christian must be permanently rooted in Christ and firmly anchored in Him. This is what God does; through the process of sanctification. This is a continual process; we being built up constantly like an ever-expanding building.

Stablished in the faith. This means to make firm or stable.
Abounding. The natural consequence

praying in the Holy Ghost--Holding on to the Divine influence which you have received, and under that influence making prayer and supplication to God. The prayer that is not sent up through the influence of the Holy Ghost is never likely to reach heaven. “Praying always with all prayer and *supplication **in the Spirit, and ***watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication ****for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18). “Pray without ceasing” (I Thess 5:17) as you engage in battle. Keep the lines of communication open with the Captain of our salvation:

(Josh 5:13–15) "And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.”
  (Heb 2:10) “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”

“Supplication” refers to making specific requests.

**"Praying in the Spirit" does not mean that we pray for the Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who prays in us, through us, and for us (Rom 8:26–27).

(Rom. 8.26, 27) “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities. The great consolation we have during this period of waiting for the Lord’s return is the presence of the Holy Spirit. He is the One who helps our infirmities which is better translated in the singular. We have one great infirmity while waiting for the Lord to return to us, and that is we know not what we should pray for as we ought. The only thing our Lord’s disciples asked Him to teach them was how to pray. Each believer encounters that same difficulty in knowing how to pray and for what to pray. Consequently, God has given His Holy Spirit to make intercession for us with groaninges which cannot be uttered. Even when we do not know what to say to God, the Holy Spirit interprets our innermost feelings and intercedes in our behalf. These inarticulate sounds are heard by God when intercession is made for us by the Holy Spirit.

And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit. The Scriptures frequently speak of God as One who searches the heart (cf. I Chr 28:9; Ps 139:1, 23; Jer 17:10; I Cor 4:5; Heb 4:12–13). As the omniscient eye of God searches even the inarticulate groanings of Our hearts, the Spirit of God makes intercession for the saint of God. Thus, intercession is made for us not only by God the Son, who sits at the right hand of God the Father, but also by God the Spirit who dwells within the believer.

**“Watching” means we are to be on guard, vigilant, wide awake (Mt 26:41) 

  (Mt. 26.41) “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Man’s regenerated spirit may have good intentions, but it must control his body (cf. Rom 12:1) in order to gain spiritual victory.

***"For all saints" is an admonition for believers to pray for all Christians.

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. Jude admonishes believers to behave in a way that is sharply different from the way that the lawless intruders behave. The word “faith” is used in the same way as it is in verse three. Christians are to establish their personal faith on the sure foundation of the testimony of the God-breathed Scriptures--(1 John 5:4) “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” Overcometh denotes gaining victory over; it is used four times in verses (4–5). Its first occurrence is present tense in the original, giving the sense: “The true believer is always victorious over the world.” Victory is normal and natural, and that is why His commandments are not difficult. This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. This could be put, “Our faith is the key to victory over the world.” Faith, in verse 4, is defined as “believing” that Jesus is the Son of God; This faith, saving faith, is what makes us true children of God, which in turn assures us of victory over the world."

Those false teachers must firmly establish their relationship with God through Jesus Christ by faithful, consistent devotion to His Word by which they were brought to the throne of grace and received their eternal salvation. Using the adjective “holy,” Jude was reminding the early Christians of his original opening statement that declared that God had called them, separated them, and will preserve them.

Only by the work of the Holy Spirit can the lost be found, the sinner saved, and the believer confirmed in his faith. Once the believer is firmly established within the community of those who are faithful to their calling in Jesus Christ, then the Spirit also gives to him the ability to discern what is true from what is false—the brother in Christ from the fraud, and faithful teaching from heresy “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (Ephesians 6:18).

Keep yourselves in the love of God--Believers are urged to keep themselves in the love of God. Again, the word used here for love signifies the kind of love that God showed to man when He gave His only Son as the only acceptable sacrifice for sin. Man did not reach out to God and ask Him for this forgiveness. The heavenly Father initiated the act of redemption and gave to mankind the mediation for its sin. “This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the payment for our sins. Dear friends, if this is the way God loved us, we must also love each other” (1 John 4:10-11). Only within the context of this love can the believer be sustained in the midst of the conflicts and trials that come his way throughout the course of this life. The only hope any believer has to endure these conflicts and trials while on life’s highway is to keep ourselves in the love of God. Here the love of God can be compared to the sunshine. The sun is always shining. But when something comes between us and the sun, we are no longer in the sunshine. That’s the way it is with the love of God. It is always beaming down upon us. But if sin comes between us and the Lord, then we are no longer enjoying His love in practice. We can keep ourselves in His love, first of all by lives of holiness and godliness. And if sin should come between us and that Godly love, then we should confess and forsake that sin immediately. The secret is to let nothing come between us and God.

According to the apostle, we have a duty to love God; "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love." (John 15:9).  The phrase "the love of God" (v 21) may mean either God's love for us, or our love for him. The latter appears, however, to be the sense here, because it is not a subject which could be ordered; that we should keep up God's love to us. That is a point over which we can have no success unless we are led to love God by the Holy Spirit rather than listening to these false prophets who do not have the Spirit at all (vs. 19). And, keep yourselves by looking for (anticipating) the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Finally, we should be eagerly looking for (in hope) the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. The mercy of our Lord here refers to His imminent return to take His people home to heaven. In days of darkness and apostasy, we are to keep the light of the blessed hope burning in our hearts. It will prove a comforting and purifying hope: (1 Thess. 4:18) "Wherefore comforte one another with these words.”  (1Jn.3:3 ) "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."

B. Exhortation by Example. 22–23.

22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

As Jude ends his short epistle, he addresses a vitally important aspect for Christians who are surrounded by unbelievers, some who openly oppose them and others who have infiltrated their fellowship through deception. How are believers to respond? How can they avoid conforming to the world’s culture and to the imposters’ false teachings? Most important, how are the ones who are redeemed by God’s grace to conduct themselves toward those who would seek to destroy their relationship with God through Jesus Christ?

First, believers are to conduct themselves with compassion toward those who have not accepted the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. To display true compassion, one must have genuine empathy. Believers can truly understand the plight of unbelievers because they remember that they, too, are sinners who, but for the grace of God, would not have received the forgiveness of their sins-- “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:1-10 ). Believers can truly understand the unbeliever’s quandary because they were called by God while in that same state of rebellion. However, true compassion goes one step further. Just as God reached out to us, we must take the initiative toward others who do not believe. True compassion involves action that will make a difference.

However, there is a qualification to the exercise of compassion toward those who have not received forgiveness of their sins. Believers are charged to make a distinction, meaning to exercise discernment or to make a difference between those who are openly hostile toward God and His people and those who are simply struggling with doubt. Not all people are moved by the act of compassion. Some are so hostile toward the Christian message that it is best to avoid them entirely. “If anyone comes to you and doesn’t bring these teachings, don’t take him into your home or even greet him” (2 John 10). This type of spiritual discernment has been encouraged by Christ in the Gospels and by the apostolic teaching. “Don’t give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls to pigs. Otherwise, they will trample them and then tear you to pieces” (Matthew 7:6).

Jude seems to have some mercy himself for the false teachers (more likely, for some of the brethren who may have been influenced by them) and we would translate, “Have mercy on those who waver in doubt; save those you can by snatching them, as it were, from the flames. Show mercy in godly fear, although you hate the clothes they wear, stained as they are by the flesh.”

And of some have compassion. That is, we should show a compassionate interest in them and try to guide them out of doubts and disputes into a firm conviction of divine truth.

This cannot be intended to teach that they were not to have compassion for all men, or to regard the salvation of all with concern, but that they were to have special compassion for a certain class of persons, or were to approach them with feelings appropriate to their condition. The idea is that the particular feeling to be shown towards a certain class of persons when seeking their salvation was tender affection and kindness. They were to approach them in the gentlest manner, appealing to them with such words as love would prompt. Others were to be approached in a different manner, indicated by the phrase, "save with fear." The class that is referred to here, to whom pity was to be shown, and in whose conversion and salvation tender compassion was to be employed, appear to have been the timid, the gentle, the unwary; those who had not yet fallen into dangerous sins, but who might be exposed to them; those, who would be more likely to be influenced by kind words and a gentle manner than by reprimand. The objective then amounts to this, that while we are to seek to save all, we are to adapt ourselves wisely to the character and circumstances of those whom we seek to save. “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.” (1 Corinthians 9:19). When understood in the context of his Christian liberty, Paul was indeed free. But when understood in the light of his Christian responsibility, yet have I made myself servant unto all. With all die freedom in the world open to him, why did the apostle restrict himself so severely? The answer is that I might gain the more. His foremost interest was to preach the gospel and win men to Jesus Christ. Whatever it took in terms of personal freedom, he was prepared to pay the price. It is only fair to point out here that the apostle is not teaching that the end justifies the means. Or that compromise is in order. Certainly if there was anyone who was prepared to stand rigidly upon matters of principle, it was the Apostle Paul.

Making a difference. Making a distinction between them, not in regard to your desires for their salvation, or your efforts to save them, but to the manner in which it is done. To be able to do this is one of the highest qualifications to be sought by one who endeavors to save souls, and is indispensable for a good minister of the gospel. The young, the tender, the delicate, the refined, need a different kind of treatment from the rough, the uncultivated, and the hardened. This wisdom was shown by the Savior in all his preaching; it was eminent in the preaching of Paul.

And others. Another class; those who were of such a character, or in such circumstances, that a more bold, earnest, and determined manner would be better adapted to them.

Save with fear. That is, by appeals adapted to produce fear. The idea seems to be that the arguments to be used were to be drawn from the dangers faced by these persons, or from their dread of future wrath. It is undoubtedly true, that while there is a class of persons who can be won for Christ by mild and gentle persuasion, there is another class who can be aroused only by the terrors of the law and the possibility of spending an eternity in hell. Every method is to be employed, at the proper time and in its proper place, so that we by all means may save some. “Some of them are snatched from the fire: but when they repent, they have mercy upon them. And some of them are scolded for their sins; and on others have mercy when they are convicted; and others save from the fire and deliver them."—Erpen's Arabic. Mr. Wesley's note has probably hit the true sense of it. "Meantime watch over others as well as yourselves; and give them such help as their various needs require. For instance,
1.  Some that are wavering in judgment, staggered by others' or by their own evil reasoning; endeavor more deeply to convince them of the truth as it is in Jesus.
2.  Some are snatched with a swift and strong hand out of the fire of sin and temptation.
3.  On others show compassion, in a milder and gentler way; though still with a jealous fear, lest you yourselves become infected with the disease you endeavor to cure. See therefore that, while ye love the sinners, ye retain the utmost abhorrence of their sins.

Pulling them out of the fire. For example: just as you would snatch persons out of the fire; or as you would grab hold of a person that was walking into a volcano. Then, a man would not use the mild and gentle language of persuasion, but by every word and gesture show that he was deeply concerned, and that concern would turn into action intended to save the person.

*Hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. The allusion here is not quite certain, though the idea which the apostle meant to convey is not difficult to be understood. By "the garment spotted by the flesh" there may be an allusion to a garment worn by one who had the plague or some offensive disease which might be communicated to others by touching even the clothing which they had worn. Or there may be an allusion to the ceremonial Law of Moses, by which all those who came in contact with dead bodies were regarded as unclean:

Leviticus 21:11--“Neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother;”

Numbers 6:6 , 9:6 , 19:11--“All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body.”...“And there were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body of a man, that they could not keep the passover on that day: and they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day:”...“And there were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body of a man, that they could not keep the passover on that day: and they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day:”

*Hating—Even hatred has its legitimate field of exercise. Sin is the only thing which God hates: so should we.

Or there may be an allusion to the case mentioned in Leviticus 15:4,10,17--“Every bed, whereon he lieth that hath the issue, is unclean: and every thing, whereon he sitteth, shall be unclean…And whosoever toucheth any thing that was under him shall be unclean until the even: and he that beareth any of those things shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even… And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even.”

Or perhaps the allusion is to a case of leprosy. In all such instances, there would be the idea that the thing referred to by which the garment had been spotted was polluting, contagious, or loathsome, and that it was good not even to touch such a garment, or to come in contact with it in any way. To something of this kind the apostle compares the sins of the persons referred to here. While the utmost effort was to be made to save them, they were in no way to participate in their sins; their conduct was to be regarded as disgusting and contagious; and those who attempted to save them were to take every precaution to preserve their own purity. There is a good deal of wisdom in this counsel. While we try to save the sinner, we cannot loathe his sins too deeply; and when approaching some classes of sinners there is the need of taking as much care to avoid being defiled by them, as there would be to escape the plague if we had any contact with one who had it. The writer of Hebrews concurs: "What do you think a person who shows no respect for the Son of God deserves? That person looks at the blood of the promise (the blood that made him holy) as no different from other people’s blood, and he insults the Spirit that God gave us out of his kindness. He deserves a much worse punishment. We know the God who said, “I alone have the right to take revenge. I will pay back.”God also said, “The Lord will judge his people. Falling into the hands of the living God is a terrifying thing" (Hebrews 10:29-31).

Some will be persuaded to repent of their sin when reminded of the judgment that awaits those who have despised the grace of God.
This method of contending with the forces of unbelief has its inherent dangers. As believers snatch some from the fire of hell, they must take great care that they are not singed by the flames of that fire. As they move onward in their journey of faith, believers must confront the world with all of its allure. Jesus knew that these circumstances were a very real threat to those who were called to be His. Therefore, on the night before He was crucified, Jesus interceded on behalf of those who followed Him. “I have given them your message. But the world has hated them because they don’t belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world but to protect them from the evil one. They don’t belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. Use the truth to make them holy. Your words are truth. I have sent them into the world the same way you sent me into the world” (John 17:14-18).

Flesh: "Flesh," in the ethical sense, is the whole natural or unregenerate man, spirit, soul, and body, as centered upon self, prone to sin, and opposed to God-- “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” (Rom 7:18). The regenerate man is not "in [the sphere of] the flesh, but in [the sphere of] the Spirit--“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Rom 8:9), but the flesh is still in him, and he may, according to his choice, "walk after the flesh" or "in the Spirit" :

(1Co 3:1-4) "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?”

(Gal. 5.16, 17) “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

In the first case (1Co 3:1-4) he is a "carnal," in the second (Gal. 5.16, 17) he is "spiritual," Christian. Victory over the flesh will be the habitual experience of the believer who walks in the Spirit:

(Rom 8:2, 4) “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death…That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
(Gal 5:16) "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."
 

Walk in the Spirit. Have the habit of continually walking by the energizing power and under the divine direction of the Holy Spirit. This is the only way of deliverance from selfish lusts.

And ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  You will never gratify the sinful desires originating in and overflowing from the lower nature. When God saved us, He did not eradicate the old nature, neither did He reform the old life; He gave us an absolutely new life--"That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit' (John 3.6). The old nature is “not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom 8:7). The Christian can conquer the self-life and have continual victory by walking by the Holy Spirit.

 

  VI.     Conclusion. 24–25.

 

24 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,

In closing and after the turmoil and passion of this short letter, Jude gives one of the most balanced and beautiful benedictions in the New Testament. It is a prayer fitting for his readers who are threatened both with falling and with fault because of the false teachers who are trying to lure them into sin with claims of false revelation. Only by recalling the Word of God, i.e., the Old Testament, and especially the preaching of the apostles which showed it to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ, can they be “kept” from falling, and “presented” faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. This verse can be changed to modern language to clarify the great message found there: “God can guard you so that you don’t fall and so that you can be full of joy as you stand in his glorious presence without fault.” This glorious doxology expresses praise that truly springs from the Spirit of God.

Here, the redeemed are taken by the eye of the mind, into the very courts of God and before the throne of the King of kings and Lord of lords. The stress of the letter fades from their minds and hearts as they are confronted with this glorious picture of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who has saved them. The imposters and frauds that surround them seem less threatening. Their salvation is secure. They can never be lost amid the confusion and strife that ungodly people have caused among the churches. This truth is absolute and irrevocable. This is the most substantive fact of the believer’s life. This is unalterable not because of their strength but because of Christ’s power--“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” (Ephesians 3:20 ). It is immutable because of the faithfulness of God. Their hearts soar with Jude’s in this glorious outpouring of praise to the Sovereign God.

Truly, the Lord has given His Son and has called His own into fellowship with Him. In this life, believers can be certain of their redemption. In the life to come, they may be equally certain that their sin is blotted from God’s record. They shall be found blameless when they stand before the Lord on that great day when they shall see Him face-to-face. “I give them eternal life. They will never be lost, and no one will tear them away from me” (John 10:28). We are His and have been held in the hollow of His hand from the beginning to the end of time. “Before the creation of the world, he chose us through Christ to be holy and perfect in his presence” (Ephesians 1:4). This love exceeds human comprehension, and will remain so for all eternity. The redeemed can only bow before the Lord of glory and sing His endless praise.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling. Jude closes with a beautiful benediction. It is the assigning of praise and worship to Him who is able. He is able to save—“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25); able to establish—“ Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began” (Rom. 16:25); able to aid—“ For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Heb. 2:18); able to subdue—“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Phil. 3:21); and here He is able to keep. He is able to keep us in perfect peace“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isa. 26:3); He is able to keep that which we have committed to Him until that Day—“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day”  (2 Tim. 1:12); He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think—“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Eph. 3:20); and He is able to keep us from stumbling. This latter promise is especially timely for the days of apostasy to which Jude is referring.

Now (But) unto him (God) that is able (to work out our full salvation) to keep you from falling—Who alone can preserve you from the contagion of sin, and preserve you from falling into any kind of error that might be prejudicial to the interests of your souls; and thus to present you faultless, or, as many others read, without spot, alluding to the spotted garment mentioned above.

This acclamation to one who was able to keep them from failing is made in view of the facts referred to in the epistle-the dangers of being led away by the skill and the example of these false teachers. “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. 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” ( Jude 1:3, 4).

The phrase "to keep from falling" means here to preserve from falling into sin, from yielding to temptation, and dishonoring their religion. It is God only who, amidst the temptations of the world, can keep us from falling; but, blessed be his name, he can do it, and if we trust in him he will.

and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. But the promise doesn’t stop with “He will keep you from falling.” He is able to make us stand faultless in the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. This is truly stupendous! When we think of what we were—dead through our trespasses and sins; when we think of what we are—poor, weak, failing servants; and then to think that one day we will stand absolutely faultless in the Throne Room of the universe, rejoicing with exceeding joy—what grace is this!

Faultless—"blameless." The same word is rendered “unblameable” in Colossians 1:22 .

before the (glorious) presence of his glory—that is, before Himself (Jesus Christ), when He shall be revealed in glory. It is where nothing can stand that does not resemble Christ, with exceeding great joy, in finding yourselves eternally out of the reach of the possibility of falling, and for having now arrived at an eternity of happiness. The saints are to be presented there as redeemed and sanctified, and as made worthy by grace to dwell there for ever.

with exceeding joy—literally, "with exultation" like those who leap for joy. They will leap with abounding joy because they are redeemed, and because they are rescued from sorrow, sin, and death, and that heaven is to be their eternal home. Who now can form an adequate idea of the happiness of that hour?

25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

He is not only our Keeper and Perfecter—He is God our Savior.  It is an amazing thing that God would be so interested in us that He would also become our Savior, in the sense that He devised the plan whereby we are saved and He provided His sinless Son as the sacrificial Lamb.

To the only wise God—Who alone can teach, who alone has declared the truth; that truth in which ye now stand. “To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen” (Romans 16:27). Ultimately all wisdom comes from God--"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (Jas. 1:5). Our wisdom is merely derived from the fount of wisdom, the only wise God--“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:17 ).

Our Savior—who has by his blood washed us from our sins, and made us kings and priests unto God the Father. The word Savior may be appropriately applied to God as such, because he is the great Author of salvation, though it is commonly applied to the Lord Jesus Christ. It may be that the author’s intention was that it should be applied here to the Lord Jesus, certainly no one can deny that, nor can it be denied that the language may be applied to God as such, it is most natural to give the phrase that interpretation. Be glory and majesty.

Jude’s doxology concludes with this final outpouring of praise to “God, our Savior.” The most important perspective for all true Christians is the full revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Like Isaiah, we see God, our Father and Redeemer, high and lifted up. “In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a high and lofty throne. The bottom of his robe filled the temple. Angels were standing above him. Each had six wings: With two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They called to each other and said, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory’” (Isaiah 6:1-3).

be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. If worship (Old English “worth-ship”) means ascribing to God what He is worthy of, it will be glory, and majesty, dominion, and power. It is common in the Scriptures to ascribe power, dominion, and glory to God, expressing the feeling that all that is great and good belongs to him, and the desire of the heart that he may rein in heaven and on earth. With the expression of such a desire it was not inappropriate that this epistle should be closed with the utterance of the same wish. In all our affections and aspirations, may God be supreme; in all the sin and woe which prevail here below, may we look forward with strong desire to the time when his dominion shall be set up over all the earth; in all our own sins and sorrows. It is our pleasure to look onward to the time when in a purer and happier world his reign may be set up over our own souls, and when we may cast every crown at his feet and say, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.-Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God," ( Revelation 4:11, 19:1).

Glory—the superlative honor He deserves for all He is and all He has done for us.

Majesty—the dignity and splendor He deserves as the Supreme Monarch of the universe.

Dominion—the unchallenged authority which is His by sovereign right. All rule and government in the world and in the Church, in earth and in heaven.

And power or liberty —the might and prerogative to rule all that His hands have made. He was worthy of such praise in the past, He is worthy at the present time, and He will be worthy of it throughout eternity. Apostates and false teachers may seek to rob Him of glory, detract from His majesty, grumble against His dominion, and challenge His power.

Both now—In the present state of life and things.

And ever—To the end of all states, places, dispensations, and worlds; and to a state which knows no termination, being that ETERNITY in which this glory, majesty, dominion, and power indescribably and incomprehensibly dwell.

Note: But all true believers find their greatest fulfillment in glorifying and enjoying Him both now and forever.

Amen. So let it be, so ought it to be, and so it shall be.

There seems no more fitting conclusion for this letter, or to the General Epistles as a whole, than this final verse of Jude’s letter. Nothing can be added to this expression of praise for God, our Savior. We can only echo Jude’s words and acknowledge that God alone is wise and that His glory, majesty, power, and authority are for eternity. Before such love and majesty, we bow our human frames to the dust and shed great tears of joy because He has revealed Himself to us, lifted us up, and shared His glory with us. Amen!

 
     

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