Bible Study given 11 November 2017

The Book of Jude

by Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

Most of the people listening to my voice, be it here in the room right now, or on the internet, will have grown up in a family. Lived in a family, and had brothers and sisters, mother and father and so on; started life in that family, and stayed, and been nurtured in that family. I know there are dysfunctional families often found today; but nevertheless there is still the family structure that we understand. If you would turn with me over to John 7:3, because Christ also grew up in a family and here we read that:

"His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly [you can almost see the contention here a little bit between him and his brothers], If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him." (John 7:3-5)

So they were carnal individuals that Christ was growing up in amongst. If you turn over to Matthew 13:55, right towards the end, you find that the brothers of Christ are actually mentioned here:

"Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? [or Jude, so the two we know about are James and Jude; and as far as we understand James wrote the book of James, and Jude wrote the book of Jude] And his sisters, are they not all with us? [He had at least two sisters, perhaps more than that, so there was a family of seven with Christ Himself] Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, [and notice..] and in his own house [these brothers and presumably his sisters, as well, didn't believe in Him]. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief." (Matthew 13:55-58) And 'their unbelief' includes His own house, as well.

Now I want you to imagine yourself: imagine having a brother, an elder brother who is perfect. Now I had three brothers, none of them were perfect. My eldest brother has died now, but growing up with them, I can vouch for the fact that none of them were perfect. But imagine having a brother that is absolutely perfect. That never sinned. Yet Jude and James had that opportunity to live and to actually watch an individual living in a human form, fully human and fully God. He had the Spirit of God without measure. Jude and James would be watching this. They wouldn't believe it, they wouldn't see it at all - it would be later after their conversion.

As far as conversion was concerned, it looks as if it was the time of the resurrection. It talks in I Corinthians 15 about the resurrection; it says at different stages of people actually witnessing Christ after His resurrection. It mentions James there. It doesn't mention Jude, but it mentions James. So we assume that perhaps Jude was with him. Jude seems to have been the younger of His brothers. But once they started to understand just what it was they witnessed, all these memories, literally memories of a life being generated by the very Spirit of God in a way that none of us have ever seen anybody.

Yet Jude would have seen this. He witnessed a love. When Christ died on the cross, and said; "...Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do..." (Luke 23:34). Did that just suddenly appear there? Of course, it didn't. He was given the Spirit of God without measure, that's the same kind of love, the same kind of concern, the same kind of 'agape'- the character of God - was there right from the very beginning. And Jude witnessed a life that had that kind of love there.

When He got into a tussle with somebody, He would react in a way that was not human and he witnessed this. Joy, although it says He was; "...a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief [notice the next verse] ...and carried our sorrows..." (Isaiah 53:3-4) talking about the crucifixion. But in general life He was joyful, was happy, He had peace. All of these qualities are of the Spirit of God, and all of these qualities Jude would have witnessed, and James and his other brothers as well - again it doesn't give us any indication of who in fact became converted, but all these brothers, and his sisters as well - would have witnessed longsuffering, and patience Somebody who is perfect in patience. An elder brother who is perfect in patience; unimaginable almost. This was what they witnessed. This is what the family had witnessed, this is what Jude witnessed.

What I would like to do today, I would like to do a Bible Study going through the book of Jude. I want to do it in the sense that this is a book written by the half-brother of Christ, who really knew what he was talking about. Who really understood because he had actually grown up from his earliest recollections, he had seen an individual walking as a God-being in human flesh. And when you think about that, just think about what he had witnessed and how his understanding would be. He had an understanding which would be greater than almost anybody else, even the disciples, because he had witnessed it all his life.

Again you go through the fruit of the Spirit; long-suffering and patience, gentleness, goodness, faith. If all He decided to do was those great miracles, did the faith to do those miracles suddenly come to Him there and then? Well no, it wasn't a case of that. He had this faith from the very Spirit of God and it was something that Jude would have witnessed, Jude would have seen. Meekness, self-control, all these qualities and again without sin.

He never broke any of the commandments. And I am not talking about just physically - Paul kept the law perfectly, without fault. But He was able to keep the law perfectly, without fault spiritually as well. Again how did He do it? As Mr Armstrong asked in; 'What Is A Liberal?.' Did Christ really urgently want to disobey God, to break God's law? He said; "A THOUSAND TIMES NO!" He would do it because that was His character. His character was set so that He didn't want to break God's law.

Jude was witnessing this. He was witnessing an individual whose character, whose way of life reflected a God-being's way of life because He was a God-being in human flesh. He was also fully human, absolutely fully human. He gave an example as to the way in which we all have got to walk. Jude witnessed that. He understood what it was like, and therefore having witnessed that, he understood the way we need to walk, the way we need to conduct ourselves.

Therefore when you look at the problems they were having, written in the times they were having. The book of Jude, written as the half-brother of Christ yes; but also written at times of great apostasy, at a time of great apostasy, and quite frankly, we are in a time of great apostasy today.

What I want to focus on is why it says; "...earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 1:3). It says faith. It doesn't say doctrine, it doesn't say way, it doesn't say truth, it doesn't say commandments. And all these things are all to be contended for, but it zeros in on the faith. Again look at the position Jude held as a half-brother of Christ who witnessed Christ all through his life, his entire life, until Christ Himself was crucified, he was witnessing this individual.

Introduction (PLAY FROM 10:34)

So turn over to the book of Jude. I strongly recommend that you put a marker in as it is a Bible Study as such, and we will be going back and forth between the book of Jude and elsewhere in scripture as well.

The first two verses are really a bit of an introduction:

"Jude [I want you to notice what he says], the servant [or slave] of Jesus Christ [he didn't mention the fact that he was his brother, or his half-brother, because he understood just what the difference in that sense, between him and Christ was. Christ had the Spirit of God without measure but He was also fully human], and brother of James [we have just seen James and Jude mentioned in Matthew 13:55 where it refers to the brethren of Christ], to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:" (Jude 1:1)

It actually doesn't say 'and' called - the word 'and' is in italics. It says: "...to them that are sanctified [sanctified means to be made holy, it is 'hagiazo' Strong's 37, it is the same Greek word used for saint, the same derivation of the word used for holy, made saints] by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, called:" (Jude 1:1). In other words we have to be called. When you think about Jude, he obviously wasn't from what we just read over in John 7:5. Many of his brethren didn't believe on Him, and it was his conversion that had to take place, when the Father chose the conversion to take place. Turn over if you would to I John 1:8 and notice:

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."(I John 1:8-9)

This is the process which Jude goes into, and this is the process which the apostate ministers, and the apostate people at that particular time, and even today, are leading people away from - from being cleaned up. It says; "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to [clean us up] from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:9). We need to be cleaned up, and after being cleaned up, we go on and walk as if - well let's go on and see:

"If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (I John 1:10)

So it is a case of confessing the sin and walking as a brother of Jesus Christ. I John 2:1:

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous [sanctified and we are made saints by God the Father, and then preserved in Jesus Christ after being called]: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments." (I John 2:1-3)

Again - these people, and the problems of this apostasy at that time, were that they weren't keeping the commandments. They were giving license to go out and sin. I John 2:4:

"He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." (I John 2:4-6)

Right at the very beginning Jude is saying; we are preserved in Jesus Christ, and I John reiterates the fact that, " abides in him, ought himself also so to walk..." (I John 2:6). And Jude had seen Christ walk. He knew what Christ was like. He knew it wasn't the antinomian idea, antinomian concept, which we have come across ourselves with the apostasy that we have had to experience, and it is all coming from the same source as we will see. 'Antinomian' is against law, or against the commandments of God. Yet Christ walked a certain way. Jude, his brother saw that way, he knew what He was like, he knew what his brother was like obviously. Go back to Jude I:1

"...sanctified [or made a saint] by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ [so we are walking in the flesh as if Christ was walking], called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied." (Jude 1:1-2)

So we have mercy, our sins are forgiven, peace, we are reconciled to the Father and therefore have peace with God and love. "...the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit..." (Romans 5:5); because the Holy Spirit is what gives us the power to keep God's commandments. It is interesting if you go back to I John 2:7:

"Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning [notice what he says, an old commandment which you had from the beginning]. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning." (I John 2:7)

People have tried to make out that it is purely a New Testament thing, and that is not what this book says, because in I John 3:11 it mentions:

"For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning [which is what he has been saying], that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous." (1 John 3:11-12)

Again it is going right back to Cain, and to the Spiritual Law of God, and obedience to that Spiritual Law of God which is the Ten Commandments. And the Ten Commandments are, ten points, ten words, ten phrases that define, that describe the way of life: the way of God for human beings; and one of which is, you shouldn't do any murder or you shall not kill.

But this is the message that you have heard from the beginning. So that is Jude's introduction. It is very much of a case that Jude sets himself not above everybody else; but he puts himself as the slave of Jesus Christ. The brother of James, yes; but he is also by saying that, he is the brother of Christ, or the half-brother of Christ.

"...to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, [the] called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied." (Jude 1:1-2)

The Reason for Writing (PLAY FROM 19:52)

Then he goes into his 'SPS', his specific purpose statement, the reason why he is writing this, Jude 1:3:

"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation..." (Jude 1:3)

Now the common salvation, this was what he wanted to write about, but he found that he couldn't. He had to deal with something else as well, a two-fold reason, but he still touches on the common salvation. Turn over to Romans 5:9:

"Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved [salvation, the saving] from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son..." (Romans 5:9-10)

Then again we are looking at this fact that; "Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied." (Jude 1:3). Peace with God the Father, so you can go to God the Father and receive the Holy Spirit. Again in this same passage it says; "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us." (Romans 5:5). In Romans 5:9 it says:

"Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." (Romans 5:9-10)

So the common salvation is by the life; and again what are you looking at? You are looking at Jude who lived with Jesus Christ, who grew up with Jesus Christ, who knew exactly how Jesus Christ walked and this is it. This is what is being said; you are reconciled by the death of His Son, reconciled to the Father, the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And it is his life that is being lived within us. Jude had witnessed that. He had witnessed that life. He saw it exactly what it was like. He saw exactly how Christ walked. How Christ lived. Go back to Jude 1:3:

"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 1:3)

Why faith? Why faith? You could certainly say "earnestly contend for the way". In the book of Acts you find "this way" being mentioned. Earnestly contend for the way once delivered to the saints. The word 'once', Strong's 537 is a single time. It's not a case of once way back, sometime, maybe. It is a case of a single time, something delivered to the saints at a single instance. Why not the way, earnestly contend for the way that was once delivered to the saints? Or earnestly contend for the doctrine that was once delivered to the saints? Or the gospel - earnestly contend for the gospel once delivered to the saints, all of them? The commandments once delivered to the saints. Turn to Philippians 1:1, because this is really part of the lesson of Jude:

"Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi [again we have seen we are reconciled by the death of his Son, we are saved by His life, His life in us. Again, what is he saying?], with the bishops and deacons: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ [ So often we can read the introductions to the letters and the epistles and yet there is an incredible amount of meaning found within them]. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" (Philippians 1:1-6)

The confidence, the faith, is that He that began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. It is the love of God shed abroad in our hearts, and God is going to take us through. He has got the authority, He has got the jurisdiction, He has got the ability.

When you consider what Jude had actually witnessed - this individual, that was Christ, as God in the flesh, which was Emmanuel, and he knew on his conversion that he would therefore become like Him. He had to be a spiritual brother of Christ, the same as you and I, and yet the gap that was there was huge.

And yet you see in the case physically; Christ, and you, and myself, and everybody in this room, everybody listening to me, was once the size of a full stop or a period. Was once a microscopic cell, half-cell which was fertilised by the sperm, and then began to grow and in the space of forty weeks became a child, and was born. That an outstanding thing, absolutely outstanding. The difference between that full stop and the fully functional child is as great as the difference between a carnal human being and what God expects us to become. And yet it says here:

"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" (Philippians 1:6)

And will continue to do so, and finish it on the day of Jesus Christ. So until the time that Christ returns, by the time we are inheritors of the very kingdom of God and have our place there; we can be confident that we can have a faith that God can do what He says He is able to do. So it is not just the way, it is not just doctrines, truths, word, gospel, commandments or whatever else you can put in there. It is faith that is necessary. It is faith in God's creative power. It is faith in God's jurisdiction.

The Apostasy (PLAY FROM 28:10)

Go back to Jude 1:3 again:

"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation [common rescue], it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you [so he was going to go ahead and write about the common salvation, the common rescue, the life that was really necessary, but he found it was needful for him to write and exhort] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." (Jude 1:3-4)

So there was an apostasy there. Turn to Nehemiah 4:11. Interestingly when we are looking at where the apostasy was coming from, it was coming from this area, which was Samaria. And that is what he was facing at that time, it was the same mentality today, but it is the same thing that Nehemiah was facing as well:

"And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst [notice what is happening] among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease." (Nehemiah 4:11)

Now these were building the wall of Jerusalem. The preparation construction prior to the building of the temple. And what are we suppose to be doing? We are supposing to be building the temple. "And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them..." (Nehemiah 4:11). We are looking at these individuals who were causing problems, which caused Jude to say; "...it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered..." (Jude 1:3).

These people were in amongst them. And what did we find? We found exactly the same thing. And we say; "Why, why does God allow this? If He is all powerful, why does He allow it?" And the only explanation I can think of, that makes it so imperative that we understand what it is like, is that we do understand what it is like! Because when God found that Satan rebelled, where was Satan? He was the covering cherub. He was right there at the throne of God. He was in amongst them and we have got to understand what it was like, and it says here in Nehemiah 4:11:

"And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease. [Verse 15] And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work. [Verse 17] They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon." (Nehemiah 4:11,15,17)

So it wasn't a case of just reminding them of the common salvation. That was one aspect. The common rescue, and that rescue was the power to God the Father and Jesus Christ to actually work with us, so that we are able to live a certain way; to live a certain way so that we can then become the very temple of God. A dwelling place of God and the work involved is to become that temple, to become that dwelling place. And yet sometimes we have to have one hand on the work, and one hand on our weapon, because we need protection. And this example is why Nehemiah been saved for us. Well the example of the Samaritan influence at that time was certainly very great. Nehemiah 4:17

"They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me." (Nehemiah 4:17-18)

Look to the Message (PLAY FROM 33:20)

Go back to Jude again. What is our purpose? What is the reason we are being called? Why is the temple being built now? Well our purpose is to teach God's law. What is going to bring in the Utopia in the millennium? What is going to actually cause that Utopia to come about? It is where people are living a certain way. If they are living a certain way of life, then Utopia can come. If they are not living that way of life, Utopia can't come, and we are learning to live that way of life ourselves.

And it is not just keeping the commandments, not just keeping the commandments physically; it's keeping the commandments spiritually. To do that, the actual essence of what we are has got to change; we have got to become converted. It has got to be what Jude witnessed in Jesus Christ. Jude witnessed a certain way of life in Christ. He witnessed a certain way of life that led to a God being in human flesh, and he knew from his conversion point forward that that is what all of us have got to become. We have got to be the same way, live a life as though if we were in the flesh of Christ, the brothers of Christ. He was the brother of Christ physically, but it was also the fact that he was a brother of Christ spiritually. It is that application of that brotherhood with all of us as well, that was so vitally important; that we will need to go ahead and teach God's law, his Torah, His way, His mindset, to change the world. And so the controversy, Jude 1:4:

"For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation..." (Jude 1:4)

What did they do? How did they actually cause the problem? Well they basically had a misdirection, like a magician. A magician will have his hand doing something in front of you, but his other hand will be at his side, or behind his back, or whatever, doing what was really important. So what you are watching at one time, while you are watching his major hand, it's a misdirection. The attention is being drawn into a certain area, and the focus is on the person.

The focus is on the person of Christ and it looks right, it looks the right way. The focus is on the messenger instead of the message. And we think we are not going to have that happen to us today. But you have got to be very careful about that, because again we saw it within the apostasy where they focused on Christ as a person, and the message was therefore put to one side.

But there is another way as well, we can focus on the person of Mr Armstrong even, as a messenger, and we can focus on that to such a degree that we no longer really understand and comprehend his message. When he said, we're not getting it, it was a case of we are not getting the dramatic change that there has got to be. I think it was Mr Henderson who asked him basically; "What is it that we are not getting?" He picked up a photograph and said; "You see this photograph; what you don't see is the silver and the mining that went into the photograph." He said; "Everything has got to change, everything has got to change in the world tomorrow."

It is not just a case of tweaking a few details, not just a case of one or two laws; it's the whole attitude of mind, the frame of mind. The Two Trees is the entire way of life. It has got to be turned, it has got to be turned around from the way of get to the way of give. From a mindset which is led by Satan, to a mindset which is led by God's Spirit. From a life which is carnal, which is human, to a life which is God in the flesh. And it has got to be done now.

So if we focus on the person of Jesus Christ instead of His message, we can find ourselves doing the same thing. We can focus on the person of Mr Armstrong and fail to get his message. Fail to really understand it. We can be doing all the various things that we are doing, as far as putting out transcripts and everything else, sermons and so on and yet his message has got to be there. The message of the Two Trees, that's the core. That is what he left us with. It's the message of the Two Trees: two different ways of life, two different mind sets, two different spirits. A life that is being led by the Spirit of God.

As I say, Jude is classic, because Jude was the brother of Christ, he lived and was brought up by a household which had this example. This sterling example of a perfect human being that he saw, day in and day out, continually from the year dot. It is an outstanding thing. Yet we saw the Samaritan problem in building the temple physically but here it says in Jude 1:4:

"For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [into license to disobey, to license to break God's law], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." (Jude 1:4)

Simon Magus (PLAY FROM 39:55)

Now if we turn over to Acts 8:9:

"But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria [again this was the area from which Nehemiah was writing about], giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God." (Acts 8:9-10)

So they were looking to him; notice it is a case of getting power. This man was the great power of God. Power was the thing, and if you go down to Africa today, you find it in witchcraft, and everything else. It is power that they are after, it is power to disobey. And in Acts 8:18:

"And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit."

Again he was after power. And the Two Trees, one is the way of 'give' which is God's way; the other way is the way of 'get,' which is Satan's way. And what was he doing? He wanted to get power.

It is the Gnostics, wanting to get knowledge which also is part of it. There are two ways the Gnostic heresy developed. One was the Ascetics, where they punish the body to want to get knowledge; from which you get the Roman Catholic church today. And the other ones were the Hedonists, where they satiate the body. And Simon Magus appears to have been a Hedonist. It doesn't matter which way you go, the end is the same. Acts 8:20:

"But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money [notice it is a gift of God, God's way is the way of give, not the way of get]. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness [it says 'in' the gall of bitterness], and in the bond of iniquity." (Acts 8:20-23)

The Greek word 'in' is actually more often translated 'for', Strong's 1519. William Ramsay in his 'Pictures of the Apostolic Church' says that Peter rebuked him in strong and prophetic terms. The prophecy is concealed in the ordinary translation, but the Greek means, you are for a gall of bitterness and a fetter of unrighteousness or lawlessness. In other words you are a cause of bitterness and corruption in others.

This is what in fact what happened. When you are looking at the heresy, the apostasy that Jude was writing against, and it is interesting that it mirrors the same area that Nehemiah was also contending against, it is a cause of bitterness and corruption to others.

Lange's Commentary says; Peter's words literally mean, I regard you as a man whose influence will be like that of bitter gall, poison in a bond of unrighteousness or lawlessness. Or as a man who has reached such a state. Acts 8:23:

"For I perceive that thou art [for] the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me." (Acts 8:23-24)

There was no repentance whatsoever. It is interesting that the 'gall of bitterness' - notice over in Deuteronomy 29:16, it is here that he was referring back to, or taken as, referring back to this section here.

" (For ye know how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the nations which ye passed by; And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them:) [the Samaritans certainly had their fair share of idolatrous items] Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the [Eternal] our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;" (Deuteronomy 29:16-18)

And wormwood is bitterness. So this is a very clear reference to the paganism, to the self-centredness, for not obeying, for not believing the gospel. The gospel being the character of God created in man, which gives rise to the kingdom of God.

Believe What God Says (PLAY FROM 46:20)

So going back to Jude 1:4 again:

"For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication [porneuo], and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of [age lasting] fire." (Jude 1:4-7)

So he gives them three examples, and the examples that he gives are the fact that God allows sin for only so long. God allows certain things to happen for a certain length of time, and then He will step in and put an end to the things that were going on. "I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not." (Jude 1:5). Again we can go back to Numbers 13:30:

"And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it [this is demonstrating and indicating his belief and his understanding]. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we." (Numbers 13:30-31)

And it is a case of God's power was to give the Promised Land to them. He had given a promise to them that they would inherit the Promised Land in Canaan and yet they didn't believe it. They didn't have that belief. Again what are we you looking at? We are looking at a faith, hang on to a faith once delivered. We are given a promise that we can inherit the Kingdom of God. That we can be the sons of God and through all our trials, through all our problems, through all our difficulties, God will see us through this, and actually allow us to get through.

It says; "But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we." (Numbers 13:31). They didn't believe, and Numbers 14:1:

"And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. [They too didn't believe, verse 3] And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt." Numbers 14:1,3-4)

Look what these people were saying, basically they were saying - the apostate individuals, those that Jude is talking about, were saying - let us return to Egypt, to sin. Paul was actually accused of saying; "Let's sin, that grace may come, that good may come." Numbers 14:6:

"And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the [Eternal] delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey [he had a different spirit, as God points out]. Only rebel not ye against the [Eternal], neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the [Eternal] is with us: fear them not. But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the [Eternal] appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel. And the [Eternal] said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?" (Numbers 14:6-11)

Again, the aim was to go back to Egypt, and to forsake the Promised Land. The problem with the apostasy that Jude was facing, he was saying; "Look it is not just the case of having the common salvation, the common rescue, it is a case of making sure that we can fight against the negative aspects as well." The two are taken hand in glove. Numbers 14:27:

"How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward which have murmured against me." (Numbers 14:27-29)

And in Numbers 14:24:

"But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. [Verse 39] And Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel: and the people mourned greatly. And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain [they were disobedient to the government of God, which said they would die in the wilderness, but they said OK, we'll go up ourselves], saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the [Eternal] hath promised: for we have sinned. And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the [Eternal]? but it shall not prosper. Go not up, for the [Eternal] is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies." (Numbers 14:24,39-42)

And they were smitten before their enemies.

God Only Allows Sin for So Long (PLAY FROM 53:20)

So let's go back to Jude. God allows sin for only so long. His power was to give them the Promised Land and it says in Jude 1:5:

"I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not." (Jude 1:5)

They wanted to go back to Egypt again, and those who turned the grace of our God into lasciviousness, were taking people back into Egypt again, taking them back into sin again. And Jude knew what the standard was. He knew the benchmark; and the benchmark is the life of Christ, and he knew how Christ behaved, how Christ operated. He knew exactly that, that was the case. Not only that; but also God is able to jail angels, able to cause angels to be restricted. If He can do that, how much more to mere flesh and blood. God is able to see and destroy sin, and in the case of Sodom and Gomorrha He was able to see and destroy sin at the right time.

Turn back to II Peter. It is interesting that II Peter is almost a parallel of Jude, written round about the same time. You wonder whether one was written having read the other, or were they both in Babylon, were they both discussing these things, and therefore came up with the same thing. Both of them are part of the scriptures, inspired by God, the canonised scriptures. II Peter 2:1

"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of [the Nicolaitans were there at that time, and probably the ones being talked about here]. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to [tartaroo], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood...turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes...And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: [Verse 9] The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of [trials], and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:" (II Peter 2:1-7,9)

So He is able to see and destroy sin. He is able to do it at the right time and this is the message of Jude; "...that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 1:3). That faith that God, with His power is able to extend that power when necessary. In addition to that He has also power to take two half-cells and combine them, which are microscopic, and in forty weeks produce a child. He is also able to take two half-cells which is your carnal human body and human mind, and take the very Spirit of God, the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Spirit of God, impregnate that mind and in a life time produce a Son of God.

That is much greater, that is much, much greater than even the forty weeks of a human birth if we really understand it. And Jude really understood it. Why? Because he saw the example of Christ from an early age. God's power was to give the Promised Land, He was able to jail the angels, He was able to see and destroy sin at the right time.

God's Government Must Not Be Ignored (PLAY FROM 58:22)

Jude 1:8:

"Likewise also these filthy [the word filthy is not in the original] dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core." (Jude 1:8-11)

God's government was basically ignored by these individuals. Turn over to Genesis 4:1 and let's have a look at Cain. It is interesting that the word Cain means 'get', that is what it literally means:

"And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the [Eternal]. And she again bare his brother Abel ['Hebel', Strong's 1893, means 'nothing'. Why was this was the case? Perhaps they were different races or whatever, but Eve seemed to be the one doing the naming]. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And [at the end of days, is probably better translated. A certain time - perhaps Tabernacles time] it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the [Eternal]. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the [Eternal] had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the [Eternal] said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth [crouching] at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him." (Genesis 4:1-7)

And as far as Cain was concerned it was the way of get. Cain was Cain-centred, he wasn't God-centred. Abel was God-centred, he actually went ahead and his offering reflected that. His offering reflected an offering to God. Cain was just Cain-centred and it was just a case of getting away with as little as he dared.

Balaam was the same way. Balaam wanted to go as far as he dared in his direction, for the money that he would receive. He knew that he couldn't go too far, but his entire aim was to go as far as he dared against God. He was a pagan priest for a start. If you turn to Psalm 119:25 you contrast that with someone like David:

"My soul cleaveth unto the dust: [make me alive] according to thy word. I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes. Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works. My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word. Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously." (Psalm 119:25-29)

Notice the difference in mindset that is here, compared to say Balaam who was trying to do as little as he could get away with, and go as far as he dared against God. And when you are looking at Korah, the rebellion was against Moses and Aaron - it was also against God, because God had also put Moses and Aaron in the position. Psalm 119:29:

"Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously. I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me. I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O [Eternal], put me not to shame. I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart." (Psalm 119:29-32)

The mindset compared to Balaam, compared to Korah, and compared to Cain was totally the opposite. He was God-centred. God-centred on His way and again when you are looking at Jude, given the examples, it has got to be seen within the mindset of someone who has seen Christ from an early age, who witnessed throughout their entire life Jesus Christ, and the kind of life of a God-being in human flesh. The kind of standard that we have all got aspire to. Even though we don't make it in most cases.

The Fate of Troublemakers (PLAY FROM 1:04:14)

Jude 1:11:

"Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots [the actual word is not spots. These are reefs, they are submerged rocks. That what it literally means.] They are submerged rocks in your feasts of [agape] [character, agape, God's character], when they feast with you, [these individuals] feeding themselves without fear..." (Jude 1:11-12)

On the Feast days, the Feast days are there to give us the plan of God, to give the structure of the plan of God. To give the way in which God is actually changing us, how in fact this is talking place. These individuals were submerged rocks, they were reefs in that process, submerged rocks trying to destroy that process. It goes on and gives their destination, the stages of their fate. The purpose of the Feast is to give the process of producing brothers of Jesus Christ. That's what it is for. To show us how God intends to do that; and with each Holy Day that goes by we examine the meaning of that day, giving us a stage in that process.

"These are [reefs] in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds [winds are symbols of spirits]; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;" (Jude 1:12)

These are stages that you can see, in somebody's demise, in somebody's direction of life. "These are [reefs] in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you..." (Jude 1:12).

Talking about these individuals; first of all they are clouds without water, they don't have the Spirit of God therefore they don't give anything. They are carried about by winds; in fact being led by the nose by Satan. Trees whose fruit withers; in other words there is no evident fruit there; and the fruit that they had is withered and perished. Without fruit, so there is no fruit there. Twice dead; physically dead and spiritually dead. Plucked up by the roots and destroyed. And that's the sequence of events; the stages of their fate - if there is no repentance. Jude 1:13:

"Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." (Jude 1:13)

It says carried about by winds; the spirits, the demons, the demonic powers, the broadcast, the ones that are behind the broadcast; these are going to be these wandering stars reserved in the blackness of darkness forever. Again we need to recognise the source, we need to recognise the destination of that source, if something doesn't change. Jude 1:14:

"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment [remember that Jesus Christ is described as the Word of God] upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage." (Jude 1:14-16)

Those words are to be judged. Mr Armstrong actually covered this to some degree. If we go back to Matthew 12:33, which is where Mr Armstrong was, just remind ourselves again:

"Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit [Mr Armstrong went on and on about the Two Trees and the focus of everything that he left us was really that at the core]. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (Matthew 12:33-37)

So again these individuals are going to be judged by the word. The word 'devil' means slanderer. In using words, you slanderer with words, you undermine with words. These individuals were being led by a certain spirit, certain broadcasts, a certain way and; "out of the...of the heart the mouth speaketh...and by thy words thou shalt be [judged]." (Matthew 12:34,37).

Remember the Words (PLAY FROM 1:10:56)

It goes on and says in Jude 1:17:

"But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; " (Jude 1:17)

Again it is the Word, it's a message, and as I said before; people deify the messenger, as far as Christ is concerned, and ignore His message of the Kingdom. And the same thing can apply if we are not careful. We can deify the messenger, Mr Armstrong, and yet not listen to the words he had for us. Jude 1:17:

"But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who [divide you, rather than 'separate themselves'. Cause division] sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves 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." (Jude 1:17-21)

Turn over to Colossians 2:4:

"And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words [I mentioned that 'the devil' means the slanderer, and it is done with words, enticing with words]. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ [again, we are saved by His life. His life is the thing that will actually give us rescue; we are reconciled by his death]. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving." (Colossians 2:4-7)

They had been taught this. Again Jude had seen Christ, and had lived with Christ, he had been brought up with Christ. He knew exactly what the process was involving. Colossians 2:8

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." (Colossians 2:8-9)

What Jude saw in his elder brother was all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and he knew that was what he had to become. Once he had had conversion, he had to become not a physical brother of Christ, but a spiritual brother of Christ. The same as you, and I, have got to become that same type of individual. Colossians 2:10

"And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ [it is not a case of license to disobey, and license to please ourselves, regarding the Sabbath or whatever commandment is being attacked]: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead." (Colossians 2:10-12)

Strive earnestly for the faith which was once delivered. And the faith in that operation, faith in the circumcision of the sins in our lives - that in fact is all part of what is being said here in Jude. Going back to Jude again: Jude 1:22:

"And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." (Jude 1:22-23)

If we just turn back to I John 5:16:

"If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it [if someone has set their mind to go in a different direction, committing the unpardonable sin - sin that is not repented of doesn't matter what it is - unrepented sin; he is not saying pray for that]. All unrighteousness is sin [all unrighteousness is sin]: and there is a sin not unto death. We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness [there is a distinction between the two groups]. And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, [Jude understood this principle], even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life." (I John 5:16-20)

It is eternal life because we have to become truly God. We have got to have the love of God shed abroad in our hearts; which Jude recognised and saw. He was a physical brother of Christ, but he was even a spiritual brother of Christ. Once that really sunk in, he therefore understood that this perfect individual, this perfect elder brother that he witnessed all his life, he had to become a true brother with the same mind, with the same heart, with the same attitude of mind, same frame of mind. I John 5:20:

"...even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols..." (I John 5:20-21)

Apostasy is anything that detracts from becoming God's sons, as Jesus Christ. Anything, anything at all that undermines that, is apostasy. Apostasy is away from that process; encouraging us not to be obedient. Now notice what it says in Jude 1:24:

"Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling..." (Jude 1:24)

This is what we have faith in, his SPS, specific purpose statement; "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 1:3).

And that faith focuses around that fact that God is working in us. That God is quite capable of punishing those who need punishing. He is quite capable of dealing with those who need dealing with. But He is also quite capable of bringing us through, and causing us to be able to become the brothers of Jesus Christ in a spiritual way, as well as Jude was in a physical way. Jude 1:24:

"Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy [that's an astounding statement, absolutely astounding, that is what it is all about, and Jude knew this, he knew exactly what the standard, the yardstick was because he lived with Him], To the only wise God our Saviour [our Rescuer, the One that is going to do this], be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." (Jude 1:24-25)