Jude Bible Study – #1 – Jude vs. 1-16 | Mike Mazzalongo | BibleTalk.tv

We begin today with the epistle of Jude Jude for beginners We’re gonna cover verses 1 to 16 in this one chapter epistle This is part one of a two-part series Well in a regular adult Bible class there are a variety of ways to approach the study of God’s Word The most common approach is to study about a person, pick a character in the Bible or you pick a topic or an event or a specific teaching or doctrine and you go through the Bible or through the New Testament if you wish always looking at all the passages that have to do with that person or that event or that particular teaching These types of lessons you know where you’re looking at you know a person or teaching or an event, something like that, they are called topical lessons, because the teacher has a topic or a person and teaches us what the Bible says about that particular person or topic and so on and so forth but this is not the the only style of preaching and teaching as you well know Another approach is called expository preaching or expository teaching Expository preaching is where a teacher focuses on a single verse of scripture He picks one verse of scripture and explains the meaning of that verse of scripture in the context of the entire passage in which it is found as well as the context of the entire Bible So in expository teaching the key is to determine what the passage (you know the selected passage) what does that passage mean or what did it mean to the people it was originally spoken to and then once you’ve kinda discovered that you kind of make you make applications in the modern era or for today’s hearers Now aside from a topical lessons or sermons, an expository Bible teaching and preaching there’s also what’s called textual preaching and teaching this is where the teacher will try to explain the purpose and the content of an entire chapter or even an entire book of the Bible and the goal of textual preaching or teaching is to summarize the reasons why the book was written, who wrote that book or epistle, and what it said to the people at that time as well as what it says to the people of today. So you may be wondering why my explaining all this as we go into the study of the epistle of Jude? Well the reason I’m telling you give you this little bit background is this two-part series that we’re doing is a textual lesson that will review the author and the content and the purpose of this particular epistle. So just a few preliminary remarks before we begin our actual study. So let’s take a look at you know in that context of doing a textual study Let’s do a little bit a background about Jude the individual whose name is attached to this particular epistle We know that Jude names himself in the very first verse about this epistle and says that he is the brother of James Now the fact that he assumes that his readers will know who James is, suggests that it is the James you know one of the leaders of the Jerusalem church at the time And the writer of the epistle of James The fact that there’s no explanatory information about who this James is, this suggests that he was the James that was well known in the church for his epistle and of course for his leadership in the key Jerusalem church As I mentioned So this would make Jude another brother of Jesus (Earthly brother of Jesus) We know in Matthew 13:55, Matthew names Jesus’ earthly brothers: James, Joseph, Simon and Judas Which is another form of the name Jude Now along with his brothers Jude did not believe while Jesus was ministering here on earth and must have been converted after the resurrection and we know

therefore that he was with the Apostles in the upper room on Pentecost Sunday We learn about that in Acts 1:14 Now there’s not a lot of information about Jude, only what we can gather from putting together the the clues if you wish in his epistle but church historian Eusebius in 96 AD wrote that Jude the brother of Jesus suffered the arrest of his grandsons during the Roman persecution and they told, apparently, they told the Emperor at that time that they were farmers and that the kingdom of Jesus was not of this world but of the next world when Jesus would return to judge everyone. Aside from that mention in history, we don’t know much else about this particular person the the writer of the letter of Jude Now the Epistle itself, let’s take a look at that There are similarities between Jude’s Epistle Epistle is a word that means letter so you know they are interchangeable There are similarities between Jude’s Epistle and the second chapter of II Peter As matter fact one of the passages is a direct quote. This has led to the conclusion that during the period when various heresies we’re entering into the church at that time, Peter the Apostle wrote his second Epistle in order to refute some other false doctrine that was being spread in the church Now Jude had been intending to write an Epistle with a with a broad themes something based on the idea that you know salvation is only in Jesus Christ, he writes about that in verse 3: but when he recognized the threat to the church after reading Peter second letter he wrote this much shorter and much more pointed Epistle concerning the very same subject that Peter was writing about Remember these people here are contemporaries and they’re reading each others material and they’re circulating in the same circles. Now there’s been no doubt about the authorship of this letter by Jude and the subject matter suggest that it was written around the same time or perhaps a slightly later then II Peter and that would put it around 67 AD Now it took a while for the letter to be accepted into the New Testament canon The term canon, not like a cannon, a gun, but ‘canon’ means a measure and it was the the canon of the New Testament refers to those books which measured up if you wish Which were permitted to be included in the group of books which are considered inspired, so the New Testament canon is made above those books which measured up, if you wish, to be included in that group so it took awhile for this particular letter to be accepted into the New Testament canon because of its brevity and the fact that it refers to non inspired sources You’ll see as we study that Jude refers to Enoch and then to the Book of Moses and these are two books that were not in the Old Testament canon, in other words they weren’t inspired books and so there was some question as to should we include an epistle or a letter in the canon that refers to other material that is not in the canon but eventually it was, eventually its authenticity and the soundness of its teaching were recognized and accepted as inspired material Now, Jude’s goal in this letter was to encourage or exhort the church not to depart from the established teachings of Jesus Christ and his apostles and you know he was telling them to stick to that and not move towards the false teaching of the false teachers that are at that time Who were teaching a form of gnosticism I’ll explain what that means in a moment. So from his writings we conclude that there existed in the first century, a body of Christian doctrine that was recognized as authoritative and complete for the purpose of evangelisation and teaching and so on and so forth And according to his writing, this body of information, this body of Christian teaching was not to be added to or taken away from or changed in any way so this is the main thrust of his exhortation to those who are reading his letter Now, we in the churches of Christ, we believe that

this body of doctrine was recorded and preserved in the Bible and as Jude wrote in his epistle in the modern day, today, we’re very careful to teach and to preserve and to pass on this body of doctrine to the next generation and we encourage them of course to do the very same thing until Jesus comes. So this approach to Scripture is a actually unique in many ways to our brotherhood and it’s one of the important ways that we are different then many of our neighbors in the religious community. Alright, so there’s a little bit a background about the times in which this letter was written, some information about Jude himself, the letter, how it was accepted in the early church and a little bit about the main theme or main idea Let’s take a look at the outline of this letter. Jude’s letter focuses on the danger of following or teaching things which are false and so the outline follows this particular theme So you have the salutation in verses 1 and 2 Then the danger at hand – he explains what the danger is to the church vs. 3 and 4. Then he talks about the people who are bringing this danger who are causing this danger – vs. 5 to 16 An exhortation or encouragement to avoid the danger and how to avoid this particular danger and then a doxology or or praise in the last a couple up verses. Alright, so there’s the outline let’s start to look at this text, as we follow the same outline for our study So we begin with verses 1 and 2 he says, Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you Now the name Jude could be a form of common names of that era, Judas or Jacob, that the writer changed for obvious reasons, you know, he wouldn’t wanna call himself Judus and be confused with the disciple or the apostle that had betrayed the Lord So what does he say about himself? Well he claims to be a bond servant or a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, which as I mentioned helps us fix exactly who we is in the context of that time in that family and the church So this is an indirect way, if you wish, of referring to his other relationship with Jesus as his earthly brother. He didn’t come out and say it I think humility restrains him from actually saying it but he says it in an indirect way, everyone knew that James was an earthly brother of Jesus and so he says well I’m a brother of James and so it’s left to the reader to kind of, you know, connect the dots if you wish. We know that James was killed by the Jews in 66 AD and that this letter here may have been Jude’s attempt to step into his brother’s place as one of the leaders of the church in Jerusalem. Natural He was involved He was recognized. His brother James, a very important leader in the Jerusalem congregation is killed and so Jude steps up to fill some of the vacuum left behind So he refers to the church in these first 2 verses in 3 ways, very interesting, He first of all, refers to the church as the “called” in the Greek, which is the language in the New Testament ‘ecclesia’ which literally meant the called out Now originally this term ecclesia or the called out was a term used for the elders or the leaders of a city or a village, who were chosen or called out to occupy a certain position, a position of leadership, a bit like the city council, the city fathers, if you wish, but Jesus took this term and applied it to those who were called out of the world by the gospel and became his people, the church, and ultimately this term ecclesia was used exclusively in reference to the church. He refers to the church as the “called” then as the beloved in God the Father Now these people, the church, have a new status in regards to God, they’re no longer condemned sinners,

they’re no longer enemies of God because of disbelief Jude says they are now beloved and cherished, especially loved, group by God and then the third term “kept” for Jesus Three ways are referring to the very same people, God’s hand, he says, is protecting these people from the second death, from condemnation and punishment so they can be with Jesus forever when he returns. So there end he says at the very beginning of the letter, will be different then the destiny of others. They are kept aside They’re protected. They’re kept safe for the time that they will be transported, if you wish, or changed or glorified into a heavenly realm with Jesus So after this introduction and reading he moves on to the to the matter at hand. This is verse 3 and 4 he says, Beloved while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long before hand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turned the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ He begins by sharing the motivation behind you know his writing of this particular letter His original thought was to write to them a kind of a summary of the Christian faith and encourage them to, you know, persevere in the faith and pass it on to other people, but it seems that he changed the substance of his letter and redirected the thought to deal with some of the issues that Peter, as I mentioned before, that Peter the Apostle dealt with in his second epistle. So this was the influence, what he’s talking about here is the influence above the gnostic teachers and the gnostic type doctrine that was being promoted in the church Now the persons that he mentions are the teachers who have crept into teach these things in the church and he says that these people were marked and judged beforehand. The fact that he says this is a reference to Peters epistle and the denunciation of these people Peter talks about the very same people, very same problem in II Peter chapter 2 and following. He says that their sin is that according to their teachings anything done in the body has no effect on the soul That was the essence of the false teaching that was beginning to creep into the church at the hand of these teachers the idea that you did whatever had no effect on your soul So this idea here lead to all kinds of immoral behavior effectively turning the idea of God’s grace into a kind of permission to do pretty much anything you wanted to do You know, the net result of this kind of thinking and lifestyle was to grossly disrespect the fact that Jesus sacrificed his body in death to obtain forgiveness for the very things that these teachers were promoting You know, they were saying, “look whatever you do it doesn’t affect the soul” you know it was based on the idea of duality there’s a separation you know between the body and the that the spirit in the flesh they didn’t co-mingle in any way, so whatever you did in the body was just in the body it didn’t affect the soul it didn’t affect the spirit Well you know, that was a dangerous teaching, it was a very dangerous teaching we’ll talk about how this would play out in the congregation and in the minds of people In the end he says Jude says in the end the false teachers were found guilty of denying Jesus and the danger for those who followed them was that they would be guilty of the same kind of sin that the teachers were guilty of So you know, they were dangerous people who were going in to the church Let’s read some more and he talks about these, he says, Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds

under darkness for the judgment of the great day And then he says, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire So what’s he talking about? First of all, he’s talking about this false doctrine permeating and then these men here who are teaching this are going to be condemned. Well he mentions here, he gives examples of what happened to various individuals who disobeyed or disbelieve in the past so he mentions the Israelites, at first, you know, they were God’s people and they were freed from slavery in a miraculous way but Jude says when they disbelieved and rebelled God destroyed them in the desert. I mean from the generation that left Egypt the only people that made it to the promised land alive were Joshua and Caleb All the others died in the desert and why Jude said because of their disbelief because of their disobedience Then he mentions angels He says angels who are you know of course more powerful beings than human were also punished when some of them rebelled against God. They each were created and were placed at a certain station, or rule or dominion in the spiritual world we know that Ephesians 1:21 & Colossians 1:16 tells us that However, Jude says, some of them were dissatisfied with their place and they desired a position not available to them and what happened? They were punished for their pride now you know that a lot of speculation about this we We don’t know the details of this rebellion (about the Angels) only that it happened and the results. Now some think that the sin here that Jude is talking about is that angels took wives Let’s look at a passage here In the Genesis chapter 6:1-4 Now it came about when men began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men were beautiful and they took wise for themselves whomever they chose Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever because he is also flesh; nevertheless as his days shall be hundred and twenty years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward when the sons of God came into the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men were of old, men of renown So, this passage here where Jude is talking about angels and they went after strange flesh some people believe or the theory suggests that angels took women as wives and this theory suggests that in doing so they created a race of super type humans who led the rush to wickedness that eventually resulted in the flood And those who promote this idea, this theory, suggests that this was an attempt by Satan to destroy humans and of course avoid the eventual coming of Christ Again, speculation about what exactly Jude is talking about So let’s get back to our main point right, so Jude is saying the false teachers are going to be judged and he give some history about others who were judged for disbelief and disobedience the Israelites, for example, were judged for a disbelief then and disobedience then he mentions the angels who left their proper place whatever they did, they disobeyed God, they also were punished and then he mentions the pagans they also are punished the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, because of their disobedience of God and their disobedience of God’s law concerning sexual conduct They were destroyed by fire So the point that Jude is making here is that regardless of the person or the being, whether it is a saved person, you like the Israelites, a chosen person by God, or a spiritual being like an angel or even a pagan people like the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah and by extension even a Christian who denies Christ somehow

If you disobey God’s command, if you deny God’s Savior, if you disbelieve his Word, Jude is saying, you will be punished and you will be destroyed. So a very strong warning against the false teachers and their teaching and those who are seduced by that and go over to that particular teaching So now Jude turns his attention to the false teachers themselves not just their judgment, their eventual judgment, but those people themselves and he describes the manner in which they operate and the sins that they commit in their quest to capture unsuspecting souls. So let’s read verses 8, 9 and 10, shall we, it says, Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and rejected authority, and revile angelic majesties But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed So the things these false teachers teach have no basic authority, this is what Jude is saying, apostolic teaching and divine interpretation They have no authority to teach like the Apostles have authority to teach. Jude is saying their work is a result of nothing more than their imagination, their dreams. The results of their dreaming however are threefold First of all he says, they cause men to defile their flesh In other words, they cause man to participate in immoral behavior Well think about that for a second If you believe the idea that nothing you do in your body has any effect on your soul or your spirit, well then you can do whatever you want in your body conscious free, right? With a clear conscience. You can commit adultery. You can participate in any form of sexual immorality or dishonesty or whatever because you’re saying you know whatever I’m doing in my flesh has no effect on my soul. So that’s one of the results of the teaching Another one it says they reject the authority of Christ and his Word over them. The idea there is this is not at all what Jesus taught and what the Apostles taught So by teaching this and accepting their particular doctrine the brothers there, the Christians there were in effect rejecting Christ, rejecting his authority and then he says, they insult (they the teachers) they insult angelic beings who are greater than they are with their attitude and teachings Perhaps their teaching, (they the false teachers) perhaps they’re are also teaching incorrect things about the role angels and so on and so forth and by doing so they insult the angels And he uses Michael the archangel his humility not bringing you know a curse on satan So Jude cites an inspired example of what angels are really like and how they act in regards to respect for Christ And that final passage, where he talks about Michael the archangel in a situation where Michael would have a reason to pronounce judgment on Satan he restrains himself and defers to Christ’s judgment knowing that this is not his place only the place of Christ. In other words, Christ will do the judging Christ will do the judging So even a mighty angel who is greater than a human being in power and so on and so forth, will not pronounce judgment, will not leave his place, will not do something against God’s Word like these false teachers. So these men ,these teachers, however they have no such restraint, no such respect for the Lord and the act like animals he says Following not reason or revelation but like animals following their feelings their instincts and he says they’re going to end up like animals who are oblivious to the fact that they’re being fattened for the purpose of slaughter You know, God permits their disobedience and rebellion so that there will be no question that their punishment will be justified when it comes. It’s as if God is saying, “go ahead do your worst.”

but there’ll be no excuse at the end when you’re judged and when you are punished So in verse 11 it says, “Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.” So Jude names other infamous people who like these false teachers faced condemnation and punishment for following unrighteousness He uses Cain, for example, as an example, about what happened to Cain. We know what happened to Cain he was ostracized. He was marked Then he talks about Balaam. Balaam was a false prophet who led the Israelites into idolatry and then later was killed for his rebellion and if we remember also the Old Testament the sons of Korah they rebelled against Moses authority, and what happened to them? They were swallowed up by the earth We read about that in Numbers 16:1 So these false teachers will all be destroyed like their predecessors Basically what Jude is saying, giving example after example of those who acted in the same way as these false teachers and what happened to them So let’s read verses 12 and 13, he says, “These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.” So Jude rebukes these false teachers for their sins and basically points out how worthless they are and I don’t know if you noted here the ways that he talks about how worthless they are First of all, he says they are they are reefs that present the unseen danger in what seems like a calm water of congregational light. You know the reefs are always under water, the water looks calm and you think you can just the take your boat or ship but the reefs lie underneath, and present danger. He says well they’re like reefs their under the surface there, the calm water of peace and love in the congregation but underneath you know there’s the danger of these guys here, their work, their teachings, to destroy the church He says they’re like waterless clouds promising a lot but delivering nothing He says they’re like fruitless trees that require care and pruning and so on and so forth but they don’t produce anything, so therefore they’re not worth anything He calls them waves that make noise and produce only their shameful deeds as a result And then he says they’re like wandering stars, you know, in other words, not fixed stars, that are up some use but wandering stars that will be swallowed by the blackness of hell So quite a rebuke, quite a powerful rebuke here So Jude delivers a stinging attack on the value and character of the ones advocating this false doctrine, this false teaching, and also this immoral and unfaithful lifestyle that this particular teaching seems to produce So he goes on and talks about in verse 14 and 15, he says, “It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying “Behold the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” So Jude does something interesting here I mentioned at the beginning He goes to an unusual source for a prophecy against such people and how they will be, how they will be punished Now so far, Jude has referred to the Old Testament to different chapters in the Old Testament and also to Peter’s epistle for quotes and for ideas to build his case but now he goes to the book of Enoch as a basis for how God will treat the likes of these false teachers So let me tell you a little bit about the book of Enoch Now, the book of Enoch was, rather not the book but Enoch was the seventh generation from Adam and as Genesis 5:21-27 says

Enoch was a prophet of God for his generation Enoch was the father of Methuselah, right? we know Methuselah, the oldest recorded life span, Methuselah So Enoch was the father of Methuselah and he it says that Enoch did not suffer death but was taken up by God So in some way Enoch’s prophecies were handed down verbally and then in written form so that the Jews of the first century had access to them in some way Now even though Enoch’s words or book were not sufficiently accessible, or complete enough, to be included in the Old Testament canon, (those inspired writings) Enoch’s book was not included in that group writings It seems that Jude, as an inspired writer, used a portion of his ancient prophecies to apply them to this particular situation So Enoch spoke of the end times when God would judge all evil men and Jude uses this quotation, if you wish, to apply to these particular men in his time, in his generation Now we don’t know what you know Why did Jude use Enoch’s word. You know we don’t why but we do know however that the words fit the occasion So I make a speculation here, perhaps Jude is using a non-inspired, you know, source here to show that their type, in other words these false teachers, these type of evil men were always known even in antiquity and their end was predicted from long ago So the point I’m making here is that, he uses Enoch, a writer and a person that goes all the way back to before the flood, okay, and he shows that even in those ancient times the prophets of God knew who evil men were and knew what would become of them in God’s judgment. So he’s saying, look even the men of old knew these guys and knew what would happen to him and so he brings it forward and he says these are the same types, the same spirit, the same evil, is going on and the same judgment will be visited upon these individuals Then in verse 16 he says, “These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.” So verse 16 is kind of a bridge, if you wish, to the final section of the letter where Jude will address the faithful and encourage them He’s finished talking about the evil ones He’s talked about the teaching and the emptiness of their teaching, the danger of their teaching, he’s talked about the individuals who are doing the teaching and what will happen to them, and in our next lesson we are going to take a look at some of the things that Jude says to the faithful about maintaining their faith So in this verse he describes the character and the style of these men and as I said he’s gonna go on to encourage the faithful not to emulate their particular action Okay, so there’s the starting lesson, first portion of Jude We’re going to continue in this series, another lesson next time we meet Thank you very much for your attention