Daily Bible Verse
By Charlie Garrett
and Rory Wilson
Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth. Psalm 115:1
This page comprises the Daily Devotionals that I sent out while working through the book of Jude. If there's a particular passage in this book that you don't understand, scroll down to read the analysis. I hope what you find will bless you. I want to give my sincere appreciation to Rory Wilson who took the time to compile and edit these for me. God bless you brother!
Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ: Jude -1
Today we begin the last general (or catholic – meaning “universal”) epistle in the Bible. Its authorship is Jude (or Judas) the brother of Jesus. He is mentioned twice in the Gospels, in Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6:3 –
Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? Matthew 13:55
Those who have attempted to say this wasn’t written by Jude are doing so only because of their disapproval of the message it contains, not for any valid historical reason. Because Jude was never a prominent figure in the early church, there is no reason why anyone would claim to be him in a letter. However, because he cites a couple of non-biblical books in the letter, namely the books of Enoch and the Assumption of Moses, attempts have been made to dismiss the book.
The book has been called the Acts of the Apostates in contrast to the Acts of the Apostles. This is because it highlights apostasy in the church as its main theme. Jude calls himself a “bondservant” or a “slave” in the same manner that Paul did and then he claims to be the brother of James. The only notable James who would carry authority simply by his name is James the Lord’s brother, early leader of the church, and author of the book of James. Therefore, this is certainly the same Jude and James who are referred to in Matthew above.
He is writing his letter to the “called.” In this context it is referring to those who have followed in God’s path to salvation which is through Jesus Christ. Such people are “sanctified by God the Father” – an indication of eternal salvation. They are also “preserved in Jesus Christ.” Again, this denotes eternal salvation. To assume that one can lose their salvation with the power of the Father and the Son sanctifying and preserving them is to serve God in weakness and with an unhealthy view of His great nature.
O God! How we look forward to peering into this final epistle of the New Testament. Open our eyes to see the treasures You have placed there for us for both our growth and our edification. Help us to properly and carefully handle Your word that we may be approved students of the intent and purpose of the words You have placed there. Amen.
Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. Jude -2
What Jude says in today’s verse is something that can be linked to the Jewish culture in a very specific way. It is a trilogy of blessing, if you will, and it’s not at all unique to the Bible. Let’s take a moment and do a two-step down the hall of biblical greetings until we arrive at something very similar which was penned by Paul –
To Timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Timothy 1:2
Usually Paul uses a double greeting, such as Grace and Peace to you. Sometimes almost no greeting is given, but rather the writer of the book just jumps into his message – such as with Hebrews. Introductions can often give us insights into what the writer will say, simply because the amount of blessing provided. Paul’s triple blessing to Timothy lets us know that God’s mercy was certainly needed in addition to His grace and peace. In other words, the content demanded its inclusion. Such is the case with Jude.
He’s going to be speaking on some very important issues, culminating in “contending for the faith.” His greeting demonstrates the importance of the matter to him. Think about your own correspondence. A post on someone’s Facebook wall is usually pretty simple. An email may have a more careful and thoughtful tone. But if you were to take the time today to send a card or a letter, it will probably be the most delicately worded greeting.
The brevity of the letter shows us that he had exacting points to make without a lot of fluff and so he wishes them
1) Mercy – a demonstration of God’s withholding of wrath or judgment;
2) Peace – the blessing of contentment, not only in mind, but in body, relationships, finances, etc. which lead to complete wholeness; and
3) Love – the highest love, known in Greek as agape. This love is more than superficial or mere friendliness, but is rather a deep-seated concern for the person in all aspects of their life.
Heavenly Father, surely You are worthy of all praise and glory. Thank You for the abundance of love and joy You’ve set before me in this life. Thank You for the family, friends, food, and favor which demonstrate Your caring hand in my life. May I rise to praise You, go to bed praising You, and praise You as I walk along life’s roads. Yes, praise You, O Lord! Amen.
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. Jude -3
Jude follows the same pattern as John in his epistles by calling his recipients “beloved.” By doing so, he sets the tone which will need to be remembered because of the strong words to come in his short letter. His intended purpose was to write about “our common salvation.” However, due to the apostasy going on around him, he changed his direction, even before starting. This tells us that Jude’s letter was intended as a word of encouragement and the shared blessing of salvation in Christ, but the Holy Spirit prompted him to amend this as a warning for all Christians of how that shared blessing can be lost without diligence.
When a generation of saved believers doesn’t contend for the faith, those around them and those coming after them will be the ones to suffer loss – through never coming to salvation. And so Jude’s exhortation is that these people “contend earnestly” for the faith. The term used for these words derives from the strong and combative competition of athletes. Such a forceful manner is what’s necessary to preserve “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”
What Jude is saying has nothing to do with a loss of salvation for the already saved individual. Instead, it points to those who have never heard the truth and receive a false version instead. The message of Christ was given at the beginning of the Church Age and had not come incrementally. Instead, it was a body of knowledge centered on the work of Jesus and given to us by the apostles. “Once for all” allows no other interpretation in this context.
In other words, when the apostolic age ended, God’s revelation of the work of Christ ended. There are no “prophetic words” from the Lord today and only perverse and twisted individuals who think too highly of themselves would claim prophetic revelation. We have God’s revealed truth in the Bible, not in continued apostolic authority or in the depraved claims of wayward teachers. Hold fast to what has been since the beginning with no additions and you will have that which was once delivered for all to the saints.
Heavenly Father, help me to be strong in my reliance on Your word and the truth it reveals about Jesus Christ as Lord. I know that nothing can be added to what You have said or done, so help to open the eyes of Your people to those who falsely claim prophetic revelation today. Keep us on the straight and narrow path recorded in the word You have given. Amen.
For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Jude -4
Today’s verse begins to detail the brunt of the message Jude puts forth for us. It’s a summary of the rest of Jude’s thoughts. What he says today is more exactingly detailed in the chapter of 2 Peter 2. If you take time to re-read that passage, you’ll see exactly what Jude is beginning to refer to.
The term used for “have crept in unnoticed” is comparable to a thief breaking in. Heretics come in stealthily and set themselves up as if they belong where they are. But their actions are entirely opposed to the truth of Scripture. Because of this, they were “marked out for this condemnation” long ago. Such people are no different than Judas who betrayed Jesus. In John 13, it says that when Judas went out to betray Jesus “… some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, ‘Buy those things we need for the feast,’ or that he should give something to the poor.” In other words, even those who lived and associated with him didn’t know the true type of person he was.
This is the trouble with not knowing the Bible properly. If you aren’t soundly grounded in Scripture, then a heretic has complete control over your future theology. This has happened throughout the Christian age and examples from the recent past are enough to fill a swimming pool – Joseph Smith, Ellen G. White, Charles Tazz Russell, David Koresh, James Jones, Gene Robinson, and on and on. The list of those who are ungodly and who turn the “grace of our God into lewdness” is appallingly long. In the end, they “deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” They don’t usually do this with their lips, but rather with their actions and the abuse of what comes from their lips.
Be careful who you listen to. Check what you’re taught and be wise in your understanding of God’s word.
Heavenly Father, give me the wisdom to pursue your word now so that when a false teacher comes along, I will be able to identify him as the stealthy thief he really is. Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, but in the end, he is filled with lies and wickedness. Keep me from such people and such spiritual entities so that I will always be secure in You. Amen.
But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. Jude -5
Jude brings to remembrance the violent rebellions which occurred after the Exodus from Egypt. Two larger accounts and many smaller ones dot the time in the wilderness before the people entered Israel. One major account occurred after 12 spies were sent into the Promised Land. When they came back, 10 of them spread a bad report and the people who were lacking faith rebelled against the Lord. The response from the Lord was this –
“…as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD— because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it. Numbers 14:21-23
Out of the entire congregation of Israel 20 years old and older, only two people entered the Promised Land because of their lack of faith. A second major rebellion occurred under the attempted coup by Korah. This is detailed in Numbers 16 and the result of the rebellion was the destruction of those who rebelled along with a portion of the congregation – almost 15000 in total. Both of these rebellions occurred because of a lack of faith. Because the people wanted to throw off the rule of the Lord, they perished.
Jude reminds us that we have the word of the Lord in its fullness in the Person and work of Jesus and in the Bible which records His deeds. Therefore, to disbelieve what God has so carefully prepared for us will also lead to our eventual destruction. Rather than the “Promised Land” of heaven, there will be the eternal destruction of a self-chosen hell. The consequences for lacking faith are immense.
O God, give me faith to believe the precious word You have blessed us with. Also, give me understanding in what it contains so that my doctrine will be pure and my understanding of Jesus and His workings on my behalf will be correct. Thank You for all You have done for me and keep me ever-reminded of those things. This I pray to Your glory. Amen.
And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; Jude -6
This particular verse doesn’t find its overall support elsewhere in the Bible. In other words, this is not speaking of the “sons of God” referenced in Genesis 6. Rather, that verse is speaking of the line of Seth intermarrying with the line of Cain. Today’s verse is either received from an oral tradition or it is referring to the book of Enoch, a later non-canonical writing. If this is referring to Enoch, this doesn’t make Enoch inspired.
We make such an error at the expense of sound doctrine. Just because a document contains truth doesn’t make it wholly true. The Koran says “God is merciful” which is true, but the Koran is overall a false book. If the book of Enoch has information contained in it from a reliable source, such as today’s verse, then Jude used it despite the soundness of the rest of the book.
What is being explained today is that a number of angels rebelled against the loving authority of the Creator, leaving their “own abode” for an existence apart from His direction. In doing so, they have consigned themselves to “everlasting chains under darkness.” The concept of darkness here is a completely and utterly dark place – devoid of any light at all. An apt comparison of this would be when the Egyptians suffered in the plague of darkness at the time of the Exodus –
“Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt.” Exodus 10:21
This is their station as they wait the “judgment of the great day.” Unlike humans, angels have no chance of redemption. They will remain in outer darkness for all eternity. However, as long as there is breath in our lungs, we have the chance to repent and turn to God. May we not withhold this truth from those around us who will someday find themselves in the same horrifying station as these angels if they don’t come to God through Jesus the Lord.
Lord, as long as it is Day, give me the wisdom to use my time wisely – telling others about the glory of Jesus and the doom that will occur without accepting Him. Let my heart not become calloused and cold toward the pitiful state of the lost, but let it be broken for their condition. Use me, O Lord, to get the message out before it is too late. Amen.
… as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Jude -7
This is the third example of judgment presented by Jude. The first was the disbelieving people who came out of Egypt, the second was the disobedient angels who left their heavenly station, and the third noted today are the debauched and perverted souls who have given themselves over to sexual immorality. All three are common in today’s church, but the last noted is especially heinous because it involves the first two sins, disbelieving and disobedience, as well as the third, debauchery. Paul says this about sexual immorality –
Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18
Jude takes this example and stresses it in an even more poignant way. He specifically cites going “after strange flesh.” This is referring to homosexuality. That this is worthy of “the vengeance of eternal fire” is noted not only in the Law of Moses, but it predates the law, having been cited prior to the giving of the law in the account of Sodom and Gomorrah. Paul, in Romans 1, says that it is universally understood to be perverted and that we must “suppress the truth” in order to commit such an act. The term Jude uses today is ekporneusasai and is a term which intensifies the concept of sexual sin because of homosexuality.
Churches that fragrantly flaunt homosexual behavior are facing self-condemnation right beside the other unregenerate people of the world. What God has ordained in the union of man and woman cannot be shunned because of our own perverted lusts and desires without the expectation of the most severe and eternal punishment.
Heavenly Father, who are we to shake our fists in Your face and upturn that which You have ordained and sanctified? But we do and we fail to repent after our actions. Turn us away from such things and back to what You have given us in the loving and blessed relationship of a man and a woman as Your word declares. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. Jude -8
“Likewise” takes us back to the previous verses and the habits of those being discussed; Jude will be adding to the list which has already brought up: disbelievers; angels who rejected their proper domain; and the sexual sin of Sodom and Gomorrah in comparison to those who revel in sexual immorality. “Likewise” these same dreamers –
1. Defile the flesh. The people in the church at Jude’s time, and which are in the church today, act in the same manner. They are perverts; they are sexually abusive of what God has ordained; they are defiled and impure.
2. They reject authority. They cast off those who are trained in proper theology; they dismiss the moral code written upon every heart; and they reject the word of God as authoritative. Instead, they cling to their own fantasies and the teachings of depraved individuals.
3. They speak evil of dignitaries, literally “glories.” Such people reject not only the positions (authority) but they reject those who fill the positions – angels possibly, apostles and elders certainly. But Paul says in 1 Timothy 5:17, “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.”
Jude warns against these things because the senseless dreamers of religion are prone to each of the aberrant attitudes and we must be on guard against them, lest we be caught in the same net.
Lord God, Jude isn’t holding back in his accusation of the immoral and godless and I know that I shouldn’t either. Rather, give me boldness to stand against the perversion and ungodliness of the world around me and to stand fast in that which is holy, pure, and righteous. Amen.
Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” Jude -9
The account today is not a part of the Old Testament but is rather from the pseudepigraphal book The Assumption of Moses. Despite this, it doesn’t make that book inspired. Rather, the account is true and was probably an oral tradition which was used by the writer of the Assumption of Moses.
The name Michael means “Who is Like God?” It’s important to relate here that Michael is the archangel, not Jesus. There are several cults – such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses – that claim Jesus and Michael are one in the same. Only a poor analysis of the Bible could come to such a conclusion. Michael has the roles of defending Israel and opposing Satan elsewhere in the Bible.
In today’s verse there is an argument between Michael and the devil over the body of Moses, which God Himself buried (see Deuteronomy 34). Yet rather than “bring against him a reviling accusation” he called on the Lord to rebuke him. The point is made to bring a distinction between Michael, an angelic being with great authority, and the apostates mentioned in the previous verses. These people have no true authority and are mere humans that aren’t even in the covenant people and yet they arrogantly boast, accuse, and revile against the Lord and His duly established authority.
Another instance in the Bible which is similar in tone to today’s verse is in Zechariah chapter 3, verses 1 and 2—
“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”
In this case, the LORD (Jehovah) Himself is rebuking Satan as is proper. In the case of Michael in today’s verse, Michael defers to the Lord to rebuke him. We should likewise take care in how we rebuke others, understanding God’s authority and the hierarchies He has established.
Lord Jesus, give me wisdom as to when I should rebuke another and when it is improper. Also, give me wisdom as I strive to maintain proper doctrine and warn against those who lack it and abuse Your word. May I be used as an instrument of Your word and Your truth. Amen.
But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves. Jude -10
This verse begins with “but” which takes us back to the preceding verses which spoke of the Archangel Michael who wouldn’t revile the devil, but rather said, “the Lord rebuke you.” In contrast to such a demonstration, the people referred to in verse 4 and 8 have no such sense of propriety. Instead they “speak evil of whatever they do not know.” In other words, they diminish the absolute reliability of God’s word even when they have no idea of the depth and intricacy of the riches it contains.
They may be intelligent by the world’s standards, but they have no concept of the true knowledge which comes from God. Modern churches are full of such people. They promote tolerance, inclusion, and perversion but they diminish morality, godliness, and holiness. The things they rely on for their doctrine come from the flesh and from humanistic viewpoints. They are like “brute beasts.”
Contained within the phrase “like brute beasts” is the Greek word epistantai. This word is indicative of knowledge that comes through instinct alone – it is how animals conduct their lives – by their five senses. The NIV translates this portion of the verse “like unreasoning animals” and it accurately reflects the mental state of such perverse and twisted people. Jude says, “…in these things they corrupt themselves.” This wouldn’t be so sad if they only did this, but by infiltrating the churches and moving into the hierarchy, they take along precious souls in their corruption.
By doing so, they remove the very chance at salvation that these people originally came looking for. Jesus spoke of this type –
But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Matthew 23:13
Lord God, how sad it is to think that such wickedness pervades Your church as we have read today. Open the eyes of those who come looking for You that they may see the disgusting and twisted attitude of these people. Keep our eyes on Jesus, our hearts tender toward what is proper, and our lives pure and spotless as we live in Your presence. Amen.
Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. Jude -11
Concerning the morally twisted people Jude has been discussing – Woe to them! They are self-condemned and doomed. He cites three Old Testament accounts to express the types of people he is dealing with –
1) Cain, the first person ever born to humanity, killed his younger brother because God accepted the offering made by Abel but not his. Why? Hebrews 11:4 tells us it is because Abel’s offering came through faith, something Cain’s lacked.
2) Balaam was hired to curse Israel as they prepared to enter the Promised Land. His attempts failed and he was left without a reward by the king who hired him. In an attempt to regain his lost wages, he offered a plan to bring Israel to ruin through sexual immorality and idolatry.
3) During the wildness wanderings of Israel, Korah attempted to usurp the duly established authority of Moses and the High Priest Aaron.
Taken together, we see a trilogy of wickedness – Cain demonstrates unrighteousness; Balaam represents a covetous and deceitful spirit; and Korah reflects a rejection of duly established lines of authority by malcontents. Individually, or in any combination, these examples demonstrate those in the church who really don’t belong there. Why, because all three of these examples ultimately lack the necessary faith of the believer. From faith to faith, we are established in Jesus Christ. So when faith is lacking, a spirit of wickedness and deceit will naturally follow. Hold fast to your faith, which is more precious than gold which perishes.
Heavenly Father, I have seen people like those mentioned today many times, both in the work environment and within the church. I would ask that You would highlight their deeds so that they may be exposed for what they truly are. Remove them from the lives of Your faithful that we may be established and strong in our faith and doctrine. Amen.
These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; Jude -12
Jude is going to turn from biblical examples of comparison about the perverted people he’s been discussing and now make comparisons to them from nature. Today’s verse contains three of them – spots, clouds without water, and late autumn trees without fruit.
The terms “spots” comes from the Greek word spilades and means “reefs” or “sunken rocks.” These people are like those underwater obstructions which tear easily through a moving ship, causing it to be rent and destroyed. The symbolism is clear – a congregation which isn’t on guard against these types is doomed to share in their same fate. Such people serve “only themselves” and have no heart at all for the Lord.
They are “clouds without water, carried about by the winds.” In the arid regions of the world, this is easily understood. Long times of rainless skies cause the land to crack and moan for water and shade. Along come the highest wispy cirrus clouds which tempt the poor souls below, but provide neither shade nor water. Instead, like these clouds they are blown easily by the wind and change their doctrine to suit their unstable souls; they have no foundation.
They are “late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots.” Late autumn is when the trees are expected to bear fruit and yet they have none. Instead they are barren of anything nourishing. When inspected more closely, it’s determined that they are “twice dead” because their roots are already decayed. Any leaves were simply left over as the tree itself died away. The final state of such a tree is to be “pulled up by the roots.” It is a rejected plant which will burn in the fire because even its wood has suffered the decay of rot. Such will be the case with the unrepentant refuse of sexually immoral, unrepentant souls who invade and corrupt the church of the Living God. Hell is their final destination.
O God, today is a clear and present reminder that You will not tolerate sexual immorality and sexual debauchery in Your church. Those who sneak in and proclaim that they are free from the moral underpinnings of Your character are deceivers and being deceived. Please keep them away from where I attend so that we can live holy and pure lives to You. Amen.
…raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. Jude -13
To properly tie in today’s verse let’s re-quote yesterday and today together –
These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
The verse yesterday spoke of “spots” (meaning reefs below the water line); clouds without water; and trees without fruit. Today completes the analogies from nature.
Raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame. When the sea rages, it brings to the surface many useless and dangerous items such as seaweed, logs, rocks, and other rubbish and it casts them on the shore. The false teachers and lewd living people in the church are like this. They spew forth vulgarities and their lives produce nothing but that which is both dangerous and unsightly.
Wandering stars. This comparison is of shooting stars and possibly comets which flash for only a short time and then they are engulfed in “the blackness of darkness forever.” The Greek term used for “wandering” alludes to their ability to lead astray, thus causing others to stray from the proper path as well. Jesus spoke about the eventual doom of everyone who lives in the manner spoken of here –
“Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” Matthew 22:13
It is therefore of the utmost importance that we heed the Master’s call which is to holy living and proper worship of our Creator.
Glorious heavenly Father, you know that I have walked in darkness and in untruth in my own life. But because of Your great love and tender mercies, you have led me into a life which can glorify You. Thank You, Lord, and help me to be an example to others who have yet to turn to You. May Your praise cover the earth like the waters cover the seas. Amen.
Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, Jude -14
Only two people are recorded in all of human history who didn’t die, but were taken directly to heaven. The first is Enoch, the seventh man from Adam. The other is Elijah the great prophet of Israel. Although the Bible doesn’t specifically say this, it is a good analysis that these are the two who serve the Lord as is recorded in Zechariah 4 – “These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.” They would therefore be the two witnesses of Revelation 11.
Little is recorded about Enoch. In fact the Old Testament references to him total 6 nondescript verses and one which is vague at best. In the New Testament, apart from today’s verse, he is mentioned in Hebrews 11 – “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Having analyzed this, we can determine that the reference in today’s verse is a non-biblical one. Instead, it is similar to references in the Book of Enoch – a non-canonical book.
As with other references to non-canonical books, just because there is truth recorded in them doesn’t mean they are inspired. We err when we come to such a conclusion. What is recorded in the Bible is inspired, regardless of its source. When it says “the Lord comes” it is in a tense which clearly identifies it as occurring in Jude’s future. Taking this verse in proper context shows that it will occur at the Second Coming of Jesus.
The “tens of thousands of His saints” uses the terms “myriads.” This once denoted a group of 10,000 soldiers, but it can also be an indefinitely large number. Whatever the exact number, it will be whopping. The “saints” are most probably those who departed at the rapture and are returning with Christ at the end of the tribulation period, although angels could be included too. This seems unlikely as the Bible is about the redemption of man, not angels, and the Son of Man is returning with those He has purchased with His blood. It will be an awesome experience for those who have called on Jesus!
What a glorious day it will be Lord Jesus – when you come for us at the rapture and again when we return with You at the second coming. Surely You have done great things for Your people. Great things indeed! How awesome and splendid You are! Amen.
…to execute judgment on all, to 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. Jude -15
Let’s put this entire thought in context –
“Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to 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.”
Far too often in Christianity, Christ’s followers commit their entire theology to the Sermon on the Mount and the other passages which speak of Jesus’ love and tenderness. Modern churches often stay away from anything controversial or judgmental even in the gospels and they hardly bring in Paul or the other apostles at all. The book of Jude is almost never mentioned and when Revelation is taught, it focuses not on the point of the book – God’s wrath on an unrepentant world, but on spiritual applications which diminish the fierceness of God’s hate of sin. However, God’s anger at sin and a world which has all but disregarded His offer of peace is coming to an amazing point when Jesus Himself will come back and “execute judgment on all…”
This won’t be the loving smiling Jesus of the first advent, but the conquering King who is returning to destroy the nations of the world who come against Israel and who work iniquity. It’s sad that so many people bury their heads in the sand and refuse to take the whole counsel of God into their theology. All it does is lead to a watered down gospel of weakness, hopes of earthly prosperity, and a nod to licentious living and ungodliness. In the end, many more souls are lost through a weak presentation of God’s word than one which proclaims both Christ’s goodness towards the repentant and His fierceness towards those who fail to repent.
Heavenly Father, please open the eyes of those who follow a weak and ineffective gospel which tolerates sin and rebellion against You. Judgment is coming and they need to be aware of its consequences before they too are lost in Your great Day of Battle. Turn those hearts now to the message and offer of peace through Jesus’ glorious cross. Amen.
These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. Jude -16
Today Jude sums up the apostates among us with four overall descriptors of their character –
Unfortunately, you can find these types of people all over churches today and you can find them almost anytime you turn on Christian TV as well. Be very careful who you trust and always evaluate them based on the Bible, not on their showy presentation.
Yes Lord, I have seen the types presented by Jude today many times. Sometimes I have been lured in by their smoothness only to find out later that they were seeking glory only for themselves. Such is the ability of them to deceive. I ask You Lord, please keep me from being seduced by such corrupt people as I pursue You with all my heart. Amen.
But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: Jude -17
“But” is a clear marker showing that Jude is going to move from what he’s been talking about – the ungodly that creep into the churches with their destructive lifestyles and teachings. He will now begin to contrast them with sound instruction.
He addresses this portion to “you beloved” indicating that they are saved and faithful Christians who are residing in the fellowship of Christ and not merely heretics who proclaim such. The next word, remember, is the first command that he’s given in the letter. It’s taken 17 painful verses of apostasy and woe to get here, but now he can start his directives.
“Remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles” – the words of those designated as apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ are on the same line of authority as all other Scripture. Interestingly, he doesn’t directly quote any of the earlier apostolic writings, but rather uses concepts found throughout their writings; writings given by Luke, Paul, Peter, and John. He is authenticating their words as an overall body of law. It is also implicitly understood that it is these writings and any others by the apostles that are authoritative.
Once the apostolic era ended, the Bible was sealed and God’s revelation was complete. We no longer have the apostolic word from God – regardless of what others claim. We can be completely and absolutely sure that nothing else is to be placed on the same level as Scripture. This includes the writings from church bodies, the writings of supposed prophets, or the mentally unstable claims of those who stand in the pulpit and claim a “word” from the Lord. Rather, we have the word of the Lord and it is recorded for all believers to conduct their lives in a manner prescribed by God Himself. Stand firm on the doctrine of the Bible and don’t be led astray by anything else.
Heavenly Father, I do believe the Holy Bible is Your word. Help me to have faith that it stands alone as all that I need to conduct my life in holiness and propriety. Keep me away from the careless and false claims of those who say they have some special prophetic or authoritative word from You. Amen.
…how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. Jude -18
Jude is certainly quoting Peter today. Let’s revisit 2 Peter 3:3, 4 –
…knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 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 creation.
Jude leaves off the explanation given in Peter because he is merely reminding them of what Peter said. By giving the first portion of Peter’s note, the rest would be called to memory. The “last time” is the time before Christ’s return. Because Christ could come at any time after His ascension, it covers the entire Church Age, including Jude’s time. What Jude has been saying clearly shows that these mockers were already at work with their despicable life and behavior.
The term which is used for “mockers” are those who laugh at and deride God’s word. At the time of Jude, it was the Old Testament, any writings of the New Testament which had been compiled, and the authoritative teachings of the apostles. People were mocking what was revealed to them and also surely mocking those who followed the Christian lifestyle. Today nothing has changed.
The Presbyterian Church, USA has just recently ordained its first homosexual minister. This is in direct defiance to the words of the Bible. Those who ordained him and the minister himself are clearly “mocking” the word of God. By their actions, they are also mocking those who adhere to it, claiming they have a new way which is better. But God has stated He doesn’t change. What He has ordained stands despite the mocking and belligerence of these self serving people.
Well Lord, despite the way of the world and the high-handed attitude of the disbelievers, I stand with You – on Your side and on Your truth. May my life be an example of one who is willing to suffer mocking, derision, prison, torture, and death if necessary to bring You the honor You are rightly due. May I never compromise the truth of Your word. Amen.
These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. Jude -19
Jude has already described the immoral state of these people in several ways. He sums those verses up by saying they are “sensual persons.” The NIV clears up the terminology even more for us when it says they “follow mere instincts.” Like the “brute beasts” or “unreasoning animals” that were mentioned before, these people are on the level of farm animals – conducting their lives by outward senses and not thinking through the consequences of the lusts they act upon.
In a like manner, they “cause divisions.” In order to elevate themselves and their treacherous lifestyles, they point at truly regenerate believers and accuse them of being the ones who are wrong. Today’s common phrase which is used by these people is “intolerant.” When they accuse Christians of being intolerant, they attempt to make it appear that they are on the right side of the Lord, who is loving and merciful. However, in order to do this, they have to dismiss the very nature of God who is truly loving, but also just, righteous, and holy.
When looked at from the outside, and as is clearly described by Jude, these types of people are on the outside and stand condemned for their lewd and licentious living. Jude says very clearly that they do not have the Spirit. Taking this in proper biblical context, they are unregenerate, self-condemned, and destined for outer darkness and eternal destruction – all metaphors used in Scripture to describe their state and doom. As Paul explicitly points out in Romans 8:9 –
But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. Romans 8:9
In the end, we all have choices to make concerning Jesus Christ. Will we be obedient to Him, or will we follow our natural instincts and lusts all the way to the Lake of Fire?
Heavenly Father, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and Your word says that by doing this I am saved. Help me to live the holy and respectable Christian life that You desire for me and may this life I lead bring You great honor and glory. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,… Jude -20
This is Jude’s second “but you beloved” in a row and begins a series of positive commands. This one is in contrast to those mentioned in verses 18 and 19 – the mockers who walk according to their own ungodly lusts and who live by natural instincts, cause divisions, and who don’t have the Spirit. In contrast, Jude speaks to the beloved in the faith.
He acknowledges that in order to be pure and undefiled instead of like those people, they need to be built up in the most holy faith. This is done by “praying in the Holy Spirit.” The “most holy faith” is the truth of Jesus Christ as is established by the apostles and as is contained in His word. Nothing can be added to it without corrupting the message given.
In order to understand and fellowship in this faith, we don’t need a certain secret knowledge, nor do we need a specific religion (such as Catholicism, Adventism, etc). What we need is to maintain our doctrine. This comes through study, meditation on our studies, and praying in the Holy Spirit. Praying in the Holy Spirit then is not an emotional event meant to raise our heart levels, improve our appreciation of music, or sweep us into an ecstatic state. Rather, it is an act of our will to be combined with the will of God – both in knowledge and in purpose.
Unfortunately in today’s world, the concept of living in the Spirit and praying in the Spirit has degraded to mere emotional states and misusing Scripture for personal gain. Prayers and requests for immediate blessings of healing, prosperity, and comfort fill our churches, but a desire to know and adhere to God’s word is almost entirely lacking. Let us turn our hearts from the superficial and emotional to the personal and intimate knowledge of God’s will for our lives.
Lord, it’s true that far too often I hear people claim prosperity, abundance, and contentment when they don’t even have a superficial knowledge of Your word. It breaks my heart that this is so and I ask that You help me to be an effective teacher and a right instructor of the truth of the Bible. This I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
…keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Jude -21
Keeping things in context, let’s review 20 and 21 together –
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
We can organize this thought thus – “By praying in the Holy Spirit, you will build yourselves up in the most holy faith and keep yourselves in the love of God.” As believers, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit the very moment we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This action is permanent and the believer is eternally saved. However, living in the Spirit involves continual action.
As has been stated in the past, a believer can never get more of the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit can get more of the believer. This occurs as we yield ourselves to God through continual prayer. This doesn’t have to be “on the knees in the closet” prayer. Rather, it is a state of life where we talk to the Lord every moment – thanking Him for each blessing received, petitioning Him for each desire as it comes, and acknowledging His hand in each event that occurs. This is how we keep ourselves in the love of God and how we build up our most holy faith.
In this ongoing mindset, we are always expectant of the “mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ” to take us “unto eternal life.” This then is the goal of our salvation. We live it out with the prayer in our breath and we look forward to it as we would anticipate the feeling of a cooling rain on the horizon as we stand in a dry land watching it approach. The anticipation of Christ’s return and the mercy it will bring from this walk of woes should be our very heart’s desire.
Lord Jesus, turn my heart to become continuously and permanently in tune with Your will and with Your presence in my life. Let me always remember the words of Paul as he spoke to the Athenians – “…in Him we live and move and have our being.” As this is so, keep me reminded of this fact that You will be in my heart and on my lips always. Amen.
And on some have compassion, making a distinction; Jude -22
For the past two verses, Jude has focused on the individual and what they are to do for themselves. Today he changes track and brings in the state of others. The Greek in this particular phrase is apparently difficult and has been translated differently by others because of this.
The NIV translates it this way – “Be merciful to those who doubt…” This seems to make more sense as a stand alone thought, whereas the quote from the NKJV above needs verse -23 to be understood fully. Either way, the focus is on us as believers to look to others who have doubts about the faith and deal with them compassionately.
There is a giant difference between those who are belligerent and those who simply question out of real doubt. Belligerent people are looking for an argument and will often come to the table acting innocently – “I just want to know…” However, they have already made up their minds and are actually just setting a trap for those who are willing to supposedly guide them. Their innocence turns to attack after attack about the veracity of the Bible, its reliability, etc. True doubters will respond with gratitude and hopeful contemplation, but the argumentative type simply become more bull-headed in their challenge.
This is a VERY common way of getting people to begin to doubt their own understanding of difficult verses and so Christians need to be aware of this type of shenanigan. The true doubters may or may not come to Christ, but they will at least maintain a spirit of fellowship and dignity during the seeking process. So, when you talk to others about the Bible, make a distinction between a true doubter and a perverse contrarian. There is a point where arguing a point no longer serves any function except to waste time and idle away one’s ability to help others who are truly wanting answers.
Dear Lord, I have faced perverse people who love to challenge the truth of Your word while disguising their challenge as honest seekers with legitimate doubts. I’ve wasted time and effort in the process and so I would ask You to keep these people at arm’s length from me so that I can focus on what is truly important – honest seekers with real questions. Amen.
…but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. Jude -23
Jude is certainly drawing on Old Testament parallels. One possibility is the account in Zechariah 3:1-5. Another possibility is that of Lot who was literally pulled back inside his house by the angels and then later forced from Sodom in order to flee the destruction which was to come.
The Greek word for “pulling” is referring to yanking someone with force, such as if you were to yank someone back from an oncoming car.
The idea of the garments “defiled by flesh” goes all the way back to the Law of Moses. The specific “garment” described today is a chitona and is the inner garment, closest to the body. The book of Leviticus describes how to handle the effects of leprosy. One of the effects of this disease is that the garment itself could become a carrier and therefore was to be burned in order to prevent its infectious spread. This is the symbolism that Jude is using. We are to “save others with fear,” being on guard not to let their infection spread to us while we are involved in their conversion.
When it says, “pulling them out of the fire,” it is certainly speaking of the anticipated effects of their life if they remain unconverted – hell and the Lake of Fire. Christians then are to –
1. work actively to bring about a change in the people around them;
2. make every effort to divert them from the reckless path which leads to hell; and
3. while doing so, keep free from being entangled in the very sins these people are engaged in.
Today’s verse is a profound call to the Christian to actively engage in battle while being constantly on guard that the battle doesn’t consume them in the process.
Jesus, I will determine to work in the manner You have prescribed in today’s verse, but I acknowledge my own weakness toward sin and dependence on You for protection. As I evangelize this lost world, please keep me from being entangled in the very sins that I am warning against. Thank You for being with me through this battle. Amen.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,… Jude -24
Jude finishes his epistle with two resounding verses which form a doxology and a benediction comparable in the New Testament to Romans 16:25 and 1 Timothy 6:14-16.
One may question who “Him” is at the beginning of the verses – is it God or is it Jesus. The answer is “both” as we will see from the terminology in tomorrow’s verse – “to God our Savior.” Jesus is identified numerous times as our Savior and thus this benediction is acknowledging His place in the eternal Godhead.
He is able to “keep you from stumbling.” Despite “stumbling” in this life in occasional sins and faults, Jesus is able to guard us against stumbling in the sense that we could never lose God’s favor once we are saved. This then is speaking of eternal salvation. Just as we may stumble slightly when climbing a mountain (comparable to intermittent sins in this life) Jesus is keeping us from stumbling over the precipice completely. The result of His careful attention is that He will have us “stand before the presence of His glory.”
Nothing in creation can keep the saved believer from this final end. It is a promise, a guarantee, and in God’s mind it is already accomplished. When we so stand, we will be “faultless” and “with exceeding joy.” The Greek term for “faultless” is used in 1 Peter 1:19 when speaking of Jesus – “but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” This doesn’t mean we are faultless in and of ourselves then, but because of Christ’s imputed righteousness. When we accept Jesus as Lord, Jesus’ perfect life is transferred to us so that we are completely innocent before God.
Lord Jesus, surely You have done great and mighty things for us. And Jude promises that these wonderful works will continue to transfer to us until the day we stand holy, blameless, and without the stain of sin – in Your glorious presence. How can we do anything but praise You!! Hallelujah to the perfect Lamb of God! Amen.
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever. Amen. Jude -25
Seven times in the New Testament God is said to be our “Savior.” Likewise, almost 20 times Jesus’ is given the title of Savior. In the Old Testament, it was Jehovah who is called the Savior. This clearly demonstrates that the doctrine of the deity of Jesus Christ belongs not to the invention of the church, but to God who authored Scripture.
Jesus’ title of Lord is carried over from the Old Testament LORD (all caps), referring to Jehovah – He is the incarnate Word of God. Jude in His magnificent doxology says that God alone is wise. The wisdom of God is evident in His creation and also in the glorious plan of redemption that He alone controls as the Savior. To Him, Jude ascribes four honorific words –
1) Glory – the manifestation of God’s attributes such as His radiance, splendor, brilliance, etc;
2) Majesty – a word ascribed to kings, thus signifying His authoritative reign;
3) Dominion – God’s Kingship extends to the entire spectrum of the created order, from one end of the universe to the other;
4) Power – God created and even now sustains the universe. Every aspect of the created order is under control of His mighty hand.
Jude completes the doxology with the notion that these words of praise and adoration exist now and into eternity. God, being the author of time, space, and matter is outside of them and therefore eternally existent; His glory has no end. Despite the words of woe and caution in his epistle, Jude means for us to be confident that God’s plan is being worked out and that He will satisfactorily lead His redeemed to the new heavens and the new earth that is promised in the book coming up next, Revelation. Jude’s closing is the familiar word of firm belief in what has been presented – Amen, or “so be it.” Yes Lord, Amen.
Thank You, heavenly Father, for the book of Jude which is one of caution for the believer. It is good and right to be reminded in this last epistle of the New Testament that we are to be constantly on guard against the deceitfulness of man and to rely solely on You and Your word for our life, our doctrine, and our hope. Thank You for our Hope – Jesus our Lord. Amen.