Survey of Jude
Ok, I couldn’t resist. Sorry, it’s just how I roll.
Let me just say from the outset, I’m a huge fan of the book of Jude. There are several verses that would allow a deeper study of several weeks, but we’ll just highlight a few of them and scratch the surface. I promise, though, we’ll come back later.
We know very little about Jude himself, other than his name. He identifies himself as the brother of James, which likely means he is a half brother of Jesus. The Roman Catholic Church say this is the Judas, aka, Thaddeus, who was one of the original 12 apostles. Frankly, the majority of scholars and ancient Church leaders agree with the former understanding. Do your own homework.
If you read this little letter right after, or right before, 2 Peter, you’ll immediately see there are similarities. They seem to be written for similar reasons, to a similar audiences, and about the same time. I date this book in the mid 60s A.D. Do your own homework if you really want to dig into that some more.
Jude begins his letter by saying he wanted to write about our common salvation, but feels the need to address some false teaching and teachers. How often have we heard that in recent weeks.
Jude wants to be positive, even joyful. His heart is to talk about our hope in Christ. Our eternal destiny in a Kingdom where all but love passes away. A place with no pain, no heartache, no sickness, no oppression, no death. Who wouldn’t want to talk about that?
Unfortunately, the urgent matter of false teaching has reared it’s head and Jude feels compelled to address it. The bad guys here appear to be the same Gnostics, Peter, John, and Paul in his later years, had to confront in their letters.
We’ve talked about the Gnostics ad nausaeum the last few weeks, so I won’t go back over it. If you’re new to the show, go back and listen to the episodes on 2 Peter and the epistles of John. For what it’s worth, this Gnostic problem plagued the Church for at least 300 years, and it made a big reappearance in the latter quarter of the 20th century and is nipping at the heels of the Gospel, even today.
Jude spends the overwhelming bulk of this letter, comparing these false teachers to just about every villain in the Old Testament.
As an aside, his many references to the Old Testament suggest strongly that Jude is writing primarily to Believers from a Jewish background.
Jude compares them to The Jews who sinned in the desert, to the angels who sinned in genesis 6, to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, Cain, Balaam and Korah. Folks, that’s a Hall if Shame, if their ever once was. This is like the anti Hebrews 11 chapter.
Jude also talks about them Denying the Lord Jesus. I am convinced this is a reference to the Gnostic teaching that Jesus was not really human. The New Testament, on the other hand, constantly and consistently testifies to Jesus dual nature as both Man and God.
It’s also important to note, that Jude points to these false teachers’ love of money and sexual sin. It would appear that not much has changed in the last 2,000 years.
When we come back to a deeper study of Jude, we’ll drill deeper into all these issues, but I want to spend just a moment on Verse 6.
Jud 1:6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—
Who are these angels? I believe these are quite literally the fathers of what we call today, Demons.
I want to refer you to 2 Peter
2Pe 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;
And to Genesis 6
Gen 6:1 When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them,
Gen 6:2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose.
Gen 6:3 Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.”
Gen 6:4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.
Gen 6:5 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
It is obvious from the language that these ‘fallen’ angels are not the Biblical Demons, because they are chained in gloomy dungeons awaiting judgement. But when we look back to the story of their sin, we finally gain some clarity.
We’ll look at this subject several times during our Old Testament Survey, but let’s do a flyover right now.
It appears from Genesis, that at some point between The Garden of Eden and Noah, that some Angels (sons of God) decided to intermarry with humans. It is not something God designed or ordained. It was a violation. The offspring of these marriages were human/angelic hybrids, called, Nephilim. These Nephilim are evil and do all they can to interfere with God’s plan for His people. First, here in Genesis, then when the Israelis are trying to get from Egypt to the Promised land. They appear again during the United Kingdom as they try and prevent David from establishing a dynasty. Then they disappear, only to reappear as ‘unclean spirits’ during the ministry of Jesus. They make a final, albeit feeble stand during the ministry of the Apostles, then disappear from Scripture. It is my contention, though, that we will see a greater manifestation, a reappearance, as it were, as we grow closer to the return of Christ.
For now, these angels, await judgment , chained and incarcerated far away from the earth and humans they tried so hard to pervert.
Jude says that the false teachers he’s warning the Church of, are just like these fallen angels; evil, defiant, perverted and defeated.
Let’s finish this glance at Jude by looking a little closer to home. We have an abundance of teachers, preachers, pastors and evangelists who are truly devils in disguise. Just look at the prosperity Gospel peddlers. Everything is all about money. But the truth is, we can’t serve both God and money.
Think how many Christian Celebrities have been found out as adulterers and perverts. I know of many so called shepherds who are constantly scanning the flock for easy prey. These monsters are not shepherds, but predators, wolves looking for their own pleasure and to satisfy their own appetites. I remember reading of a female Christian singer who said she would watch the crowd to find a boy to take back to her hotel after a concert.
Jude has had his fill of these predators, getting away with their green and lust and warns the Church to watch for them.
We need to be on the lookout for them, too. Don’t be sheep. Be like the Bereans who searched the scriptures daily.
And that’s all I got. Drop me a note with your thoughts. Next week, we’re finally in REVELATION. Can you believe it. I’m excited. Until then, be blessed and be a blessing.