I'm teaching a bible study at work. We did Jude first, so I thought I'd post my notes.
This book is a warning about the apostate teachers that will be prevalent in end times. I don’t think there’s much question that this has begun to come to pass. Lots of non-sense going around. Jude will tell us early in the book to be serious about the faith. To guard against these people who make their way into churches and try to draw people after themselves. He gives some history on what’s happened to them in the past. He describes what they are like and he tells us what’s going to happen to them in judgment. He closes by telling us how to defend against the apostate – namely to be grounded in the word and to perform the work that God has put you here to do. As I went through this, I seemed to get side-tracked by the service theme. I know for me, the best way to keep growing is to keep serving. If you’re not serving you’ll end up focused on yourself and while you may not be lined up with the apostate, you will be vulnerable. The apostate isn’t necessarily the obvious sham. Satan more clever than that. Jude describes them as hidden reefs. You don’t even see them until they smash your ship. Staying in service, in God’s will, is one of the best defenses against them because you are being built up so you will be less likely to fall for any of their tricks.
v1 written to believers (preserved, called)
Preserved – How are we preserved? B/c you said a prayer? B/c you go to church?
NOPE: It’s b/c you do what He says.
Deut 6:24 And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.
Ps 37:27-28 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore. For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
Called – what does it mean to be called? It actually means a lot of things.
1. Having your eyes opened. Eph 1:18-19 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
2. You are called for a reason. That’s a good thing. Gives you purpose.
Eph 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
We each have a particular vocation (job) that we are gifted for. Everyone’s is unique. Even if it’s the same gift or job, the performing of it will vary based on the individual and how the Holy Spirit sees fit for that time/place/situation. (1 Cor 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.) This is a whole separate topic…not sure it’s appropriate here. Rom. 12:4-8.
3. To be glorified in eternity. How much God loves you is:
2Th 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is also the process we go through while we are on the earth. The perfecting of the saints. You were called to assist other Christians in their perfection…completeness, being all you are supposed to be in Christ and for His kingdom. Again, not just waiting around for Jesus to call us to Heaven.
4. According to God’s plan and purpose before the world began.
2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
2Ti 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
2Ti 1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
This starts to morph into a gifts of the spirit or predestination discussion…more dangerous ground I will only cover if you want me to. Suffice it to say that there has been enough division in the body of Christ over gifts & predestination that I am not sure I want to go there right now. There’s always a lot of jealousy, manipulation and division when the false teachers (what this book is about) get going on these topics. And they use them to tear up the church.
I’d rather encourage everyone to choose to live for Christ and find their gifts and use them. I’m not convinced you’ll be satisfied until you do.
1Co 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
v3 Earnestly – with passion, with a sense of urgency.
Our society is chipping away piece by piece at the Gospel. Some of that is because we allow it in the church as well. (Remember what this book is about…apostates)
Contend – fight for. Not just defending. Be instructed and built up. Then beware of the false teachers and take them on. Does that mean face to face confrontations? I don’t know. I’ve done that and I think all I did was prove Proverbs 9:8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee. One very effective way to contend with these individuals isn’t taking them head-on. It’s using your gifts to build up others. If you share the truth with someone who’s been lied to, they will notice the difference. And the Holy Spirit will reveal to them the truth.
How do you do that? By being grounded in the gospel and having as your goal the perfecting of the saints around you. Anyone not sharing that goal is a false teacher and their teachings will become clear because they contrast the truth. The gospel and a self-seeking heart are mutually exclusive.
v5. The Lord did not allow the doubters to go into the promised land.
Psalm 106 recalls the praise-complain cycles of Israel. But God never turns away from them, or from us.
v7 Sodom and Gomorrah are a temporal example of the eternal punishment awaiting the ungodly.
v8 Unlike Michael, these people rely on their own authority. They think they have power or a system or a method, etc.
But even Michael admits his power comes from the Lord.
v10 some people just don’t want to listen to reproof. They think they know what’s best. So they go off doing “what’s right in their own eyes.” and are destroyed.
Prov. 3:5 Lean not on your own understanding.
Prov. 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
v11 Balaam Numbers 22
Balak sends his messengers to Balaam to ask him to curse Israel. He doesn’t go, so Balak sends a second group with more honor than the first. This time, Balaam goes, against God’s wishes. So God sends an angel to block his path. Balaam is so messed up with his greed that he doesn’t even see it. The donkey does and runs into the field. Balaam hits the donkey. The angel ends up in a narrow path so the donkey just hits the deck. Balaam yells at the donkey, “I wish I had a sword so I could kill you.” Now the donkey speaks to Balaam, “Hey, I’ve always been good to you. Why do you think I’ve turned my back on you for no reason?” Balaam answers the donkey, “No.”
Then his eyes were opened and he sees the angel with a sword in his hand. YIKES! I’ll go back if you want me to. The angel sends him on. He gets to Moab and he and Balak build 7 alters, do sacrifices. Then Balaam prays and God gives him a word. He goes back to Balak and speaks the word which is a blessing on Israel. This happens three times. But Balaam goes home with nothing. He went seeking gain and got nothing.
Korah – Numbers 16. Korah and his sons didn’t think Moses was all that. They wanted to be priests. So they did what they wanted. So God told Moses to warn everyone not to stand so close to Korah and his sons’ tents. And the earth opened up and swallowed Korah and his 2 sons.
v12 spots – hidden reefs or rocks
Clouds without water – that’s not really a cloud at all.
Trees without fruit. Remember the fig tree in Mk 11. It looks like a fig tree, but it should have fruit.
v15 So, do you think there’s a point here?
UNGODLY! Not people falling down, making mistakes, but getting up, dusting off and getting right with God and proceeding on in their walk. That’s anyone. The apostate lives in sin without remorse. Convinced that his own way is better than God’s.
v16 Beware the flatterer.
Draw the distinction between flattery and encouragement. Flattery is a compliment with a price tag on it. Time will always work out the flatterer. Eventually, this person will get around to asking you for something. If you decline, they become angry and sometimes vengeful. If the compliment was really meant as an encouragement, your not doing what he wants won’t bother him. He’ll be in touch with the Holy Spirit and know that God will provide another way.
v20 similar to v3
v21 looking = Hoping for, waiting anxiously for
vv22-23 these deal with having discernment of how to handle people differently. Being sensitive to the person’s individual situation and needs.
GOAL: Always wanting to build the person up.
Helping to perfect the saints.
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