The Book of Jude: Part 1

Having in mind to write to the Church about salvation, the Lord’s brother was prompted by the Holy Spirit to write this blistering criticism of false teachers instead. It’s as timely now as it was then.


All right, this study is going to be in the Book of Jude, a book that a lot of people don’t ever take much of a look at because it’s right on the way to Revelation, they just skip over Jude and go on to Revelation.  

One chapter long; most Bible studies like this you try to cover a chapter in each meeting, but some people say with the book of Jude, you do more like a verse in each meeting; we’ll see if we can beat that pace a little bit. But there’s an awful lot in here and it is very appropriate to our time, oddly enough. 

The Book of Jude is written by a fellow who claims to be the brother of the apostle James, which also makes him the half-brother of the Lord Jesus. And so, that gives us some additional insight.

Earlier in the New Testament you can find the book called the Acts of the Apostles. Some people subtitle this book, the “Acts of the Apostates.” because here Jude is warning the Church about all the things that are going to go wrong, and the things they have to watch out for, and things that will take them off the track.  

And so, this will be a study in current events, because all the things that Jude wrote about are happening. Even though he wrote about them two thousand years ago, the book sounds like it was written just for our time. That’s one of the reasons why I thought it would be a good study because, first of all, it shows the Lord’s prophetic abilities.   

The Holy Spirit put these things into Jude’s mind. At the beginning of the letter he’ll tell us that he didn’t intend to write about this, but it just came into his mind that he should, and so that’s why he did. And so we’ll see the work of the Holy Spirit here moving him to warn the Church about these things  and we’ll discover that—and it won’t be any surprise to us, I’m sure—that things that he spoke about are things that are causing us difficulty in the Church today.  

And so, a lot of people call the book of Jude the gateway to Revelation not only because it’s situated just in front of the Book of Revelation in the Bible, but also because it talks about things that will be happening in the time of the end just before the events of the Book of Revelation take place.

Now, there’s not a whole lot of other introduction I can give you. This is all we know about Jude.  He doesn’t write anything else; he doesn’t write anywhere else; he wasn’t one of the apostles.  He makes a point of positioning himself apart from them. You’ll find a lot of stuff in Peter’s letters, also in Jude’s letter, so we’ll be going back and forth between mostly 2 Peter and Jude.

But I think it’s probably a good thing if we just get right into the book because he purposely didn’t spend a whole lot of time on history or introduction or anything like that, he jumped right into it. He was a guy who had something to say, and he said it and when he was done, he stopped. Which is refreshing, isn’t it, if you stop and think about it because a lot of people (and you may have thought this about me from time to time) keep on talking long after they’ve told you everything they know. [laughs] Jude’s not that way. He said what he had to say.  When he was finished, he stopped.  And so, maybe we should follow his advice as we go through this.

So let’s get right into it here, and there’ll be plenty of places for us to detour off into other areas of the Bible and we’ll take advantage of all of those, but I’m going to watch my clock tonight because I want to make sure. This could either be a one-session study  or a two-session study and I don’t know which it’s going to be yet. And so we’ll just go. What I don’t want to have happen is I get to within four or five verses of the end and we run out of time. So, if it looks to me like we’re not going to get to the end, then I’ll stop, and we’ll finish it next time.  

There is plenty here; we could spend a lot more than just a couple of sessions on it, but we’ll see where the Lord takes us in this.  

Has everybody found it? It’s just to the left of the Book of Revelation, the next to the last book in the Bible, and so let’s jump right in and see what he has to say to us.  

Verse 1—and there’s only one chapter so it’s just going to be verse one.  

 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,

Now, we’ve already talked about the fact that this would be James, the leader of the early Church, the brother of Jesus.  

To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:

He’s writing to us, he’s writing to the Church.

Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.

And now we’ll jump right into it:

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share,

So that tells us his audience is believers.

I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.

Now, the reference we need to look at there is in the Book of Hebrews, just a couple over to the left, and I want you to look at Hebrews 10:4 because the phrase that Jude used there is also used by the writer to the Hebrews—although Jude was not that person. But there’s a very comforting verse here.  

Hebrews 10 would be the chapter and the verse we’re going to wind up with is 14 but we’re going to start with 12; Hebrews 10:12. We’re just going to be half a dozen books to the left, here. Hebrews 10:12 which says—and the comparison here, or the context of this passage, is the writer is comparing the Levitical priesthood with the priesthood of the Lord Jesus. 

In fact, let’s back up to verse 11 just to get that context more clear.  

Hebrews 10:11:

Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool.

And the verse we are looking for, verse 14:

For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

And so, the idea being here—the concept of the passage is the Levitical system required daily, weekly, monthly sacrifices over and over again; endless repetitions, none of which could ever take away the sins of the people, they could only set them aside temporarily.  

But when Jesus came, His priesthood is so superior to the Levitical priesthood that He offered Himself once, for all time. Once, for all time. And that was all it took, for all of time. 

Because by that one sacrifice, verse 14 says, He has made perfect. 

If you remember your grammar, that is a past perfect tense. That means it’s already happened and it’s complete, right? Has made perfect forever. So, if you have accepted the Lord’s death as payment for your sins, as far as God is concerned, you have been made perfect forever. Okay?  It’s all been done; not just for now, but forever.

And so, that was Jude’s point when he says, that in verse 3 where he says:

I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. 

Okay, get the idea? Now, if that verse was the only one that talked about the fact that our security in the Lord is eternal—if that was the only verse that talked about that, it would be sufficient because it’s so clear and the language in it is so specific. His one sacrifice made us, in God’s view, perfect forever.

Forever is a long time and it’s better than—it’s longer than tomorrow, for instance. So if you sin tomorrow are you still perfect in God’s eyes? Yes. Yes you are, because His sacrifice covers that sin too. And how about the next day? What if you should happen to sin the next day as well, would that cover you?  

And so, that’s the thing you have to remember here. When the Lord made His atoning death it spanned all of time, backwards and forwards. That’s why when He went into Paradise after He died and He spent the three days and three nights there in the tomb, when He came out, He brought—Matthew 28 says, He brought many holy ones with Him, because His death was retroactive to the beginning of time and so it covered all the people before Him who had died in faith of a coming Redeemer. They didn’t know His name, they didn’t know when He was coming, they didn’t know exactly what He was going to do, but if they believed that a Redeemer would come and save them from their sins, then they were saved.  

Eve’s children, if they believed that a Redeemer would come and save them from their sins they would be saved, even though it would be four thousand years after Eve that the Redeemer came. As long as they believed it, as long as they had the faith that He was going to do this, that’s all it took. And when the Lord came out of the grave, they came out of the grave with Him and He took them into Heaven with Him.  

And then, it went forward in time as well—proactive. So you’ve got retroactive (going back)  and you’ve got proactive (going forward). And it covered every sin ever committed by every human from Adam until the very last person. That’s what that one death did. Every sin is covered. 

All you have to do is agree that that applies to you, that His death not only saved everyone else for all time, but also saved you. And if you agree that that’s true, and you ask Him to be your Savior, He will say, “Yes.” And when He says “Yes” that’s it. From that point on, as far as God is concerned, you are perfect forever in the sense of your salvation. Okay?  

That doesn’t mean we don’t sin, doesn’t mean we don’t still have problems with that, but His death covered it. And so, when Satan goes now up to God and says, “Look what Jack just did, did You see that? How can You let him get away with that?” The Lord Jesus is sitting right beside the Father, you know, on His throne.  He just whispers to Him and says, “Remember? That one’s covered. He’s okay.” And the devil has to stalk away defeated because one sacrifice—every sin, forever.

Now, you may have questions about this, but hang on to them for a minute, let’s see if we can get down through the end of the session here, and then I’ll have some time for questions.  Because the people who are listening to the recording can’t hear you, they can only hear me.  

All right now we’re down – back in Jude, verse 4.  He’s telling us why he felt the need to write them about this subject. 

He says, verse 4:

For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

Now, what he’s talking about here is that there would be false teachers. You remember Paul said the same thing to the elders of the Church at Ephesus when they came to meet him. He said there would be wolves among the sheep. That’s been true all the way through the age of the Church, there have been wolves among the sheep trying to steal, trying to take away, trying to deprive by deception, by fraud, by whatever means they can.  

But he says these are godless men, so these aren’t people who are saved and are just on the wrong track, these are people who are pretending to be something they are not. They are pretending to be teachers of the Lord’s Word when they themselves are not of Him. And they try to change the grace of our God into a license for immorality.  

Now, the first thing we know about this is that there was a time, back in the first century, when a belief came into the Church and this belief started a very few years afterward. Paul spoke about it, the apostle John spoke about it, Peter spoke about it, Jude spoke about it—so it was coming into the Church almost right from the beginning and it was called the “gnostic error.” It comes from a Greek word gnosis which means to know.  And it tried to accomplish several things in order to defeat the Gospel.  

One of the things that the gnostic error said is that you’re not saved by the blood of Christ, you are saved by the knowledge you acquire about this. And that’s why it became called the “gnostic error” because it means knowledge, but wrong knowledge—you know, error.  

And so even today there are, quote, “religions” around who teach that the way to salvation is the acquisition of secret knowledge. And you go through progressive levels in these different systems, and you acquire more knowledge, and more knowledge, and more knowledge until you become one of “the adept.” And then, you’ve got it made. But it’s the acquisition of knowledge that brings you into a state of salvation, it’s not the faith in the blood of the cross.

They also believed that all physical matter was evil but that spiritual things were good, and that the two couldn’t mix. You couldn’t have physical and spiritual in the same entity. Therefore, Jesus could not have been God because God is good, but anybody who is a physical being is inherently bad, and so, you can’t mix the two. 

They believed that the Man, Jesus, was born and lived for about thirty three years but somewhere along the way at the end of that period, about three years before His death, the Spirit of God started influencing Him and influencing His behavior and His teaching. But that He took it further than it was supposed to go, and He got in trouble with the law and He got executed for it. And just before they executed Him, the Spirit left Him and left the Man there alone to die. And therefore there was no resurrection, this Man was not God, and therefore He couldn’t be your Savior. It’s not Him who saved you, it’s the knowledge that you acquire.  

Now, some took this in one extreme, and they said, “Well if all things physical are bad, that means we have to separate ourselves from society, we have to turn our back on everything of a worldly nature.” And these are the people who went into a sequestered life, where they had nothing to do with the world because all the world was evil. And they spent all their remaining lives trying to beat their bodies into submission with all kinds of penance and all kinds of things they would do to themselves trying to purge themselves of their sinfulness. And so, they went the aesthetic route, if you will.

There was another group that went the other direction. This was the group that Jude was warning them about. That group said since all physical beings are evil, it doesn’t really matter what you do because you can’t be good anyway. You might as well just get it all out of your system. They taught that you could go to any and every kind of excess and it didn’t matter.  

In fact, their view was the worse you were, the greater example of God’s grace you became.  Because, if He could save you, He could save anybody. So they went off in that direction and they actually encouraged people to behave in every deviant way you can imagine because that would just magnify the grace of God. And that’s the kind that Jude was warning about here, because he says, “there are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality.”

And so, this is the thing he was warning them about:

and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

In other words, they are saying, and they claim, that Jesus was not God. He was not deity. He was just a man.  

And so, those are the sort of things that Jude was warning about. 

Now, in verse 5 he says:

Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.

He took them all out of Egypt; He redeemed them all from slavery. Later on He destroyed the non believers and I’ll show you that in a minute. But first thing I want you to understand is the parallel that Jude is making here. It’s one that a lot of people do not understand. 

A lot of people say, “Did Jesus only die for believers, or did He die for everyone? Well, the correct answer is, He died for everyone but only the believers benefit from it. 

When Jesus died, He died for all the sins of the world. Anyone who asks can be forgiven because every sin has been covered by His death. The people who wind up not going to live with Him in Eternity, who wind up going to what we call Hell, they don’t go there because Jesus didn’t die for them, they go there because they refused to accept His death as the pardon for their sin.

You know, it would be bad enough to know that you couldn’t be saved, you couldn’t go to Heaven because Jesus didn’t really die for you. That would be bad enough. How much worse would it be to find out that He did die for you, you could have gone to Heaven, but you didn’t accept His death as  payment for your sins, now it’s too late? That’s exactly what’s going to happen at the end of the age.  

In Philippians 2—that’s a couple more books back to the left, almost every book we’re going to talk about is to the left of Jude. In Philippians 2:9, speaking of Jesus, Paul said, 

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place

    and gave him the name that is above every name,

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,

    to the glory of God the Father.

So there will come a day when every human being and every spiritual being will all agree that Jesus Christ is Lord, but that does not mean that everyone will be saved, does it? It just means that they’ll all admit, yes, He is who He said He is; He’s the Lord. Many of those who have to admit that, will also have to admit that they did not accept Him as their Savior because He’s got to be both, right? He’s got be both Lord and Savior in order to redeem us. We can agree that He’s Lord, a lot of people do that. but they aren’t saved.  

In James, doesn’t the apostle James, the brother of Jude, doesn’t he say, “You believe there is one God? Good! Even the demons believe that, and shudder.” Right?  

What that means is, all the spiritual world knows who Jesus is, but many of them do not accept Him and have rebelled against Him, and they shudder because He wins, and they lose. Much of the world will be forced to see the same thing when the Lord comes back. And when they see that He is who He says He is, they will have to agree, “Yes, Jesus is Lord!” And then they’ll have to say, “Too bad I didn’t accept Him as my Savior while there was time because now it’s too late.” And on their way to their eternal punishment, they will agree. “Yes, He’s the Lord; He has the right to do this to me, it’s my fault. I didn’t accept Him as my Savior. He died for my sins, just like He died for everybody else’s, but I refused to accept that. And so, it’s too late now, I’m beyond hope.” Won’t that be terrible to know they could have had it? It was right there, handed to them, waiting for them to just ask. And they refused.

And so, Jude is drawing the parallel here between that and how He took all the Jews out of Egypt. He didn’t leave any behind, He took them all, and He took some Egyptians too; some Egyptians came along too, you know. Anybody who wanted to come could come. I’m surprised the whole country didn’t follow Moses out of there. Even after they had been devastated by the plagues, most of the Egyptians stayed behind. But He took all the Jews, He redeemed everyone. But after the fact, some didn’t believe. 

I can already see this is going to be a two-week session.

Let’s go to Exodus 32, I’ll show you one example. Exodus 32. It’s another one of those books to the left, all the way to the left almost. [laughs] Exodus 32 and we’re going to look starting at verse 25.

Moses has been up on the mountain with the Lord for forty days; the people down below have been left in Aaron’s care. Aaron is demonstrating himself to be a weak leader, and he’s lost control of things.  

I’ve got to give you an example of this. Back in verse 21 of (chapter) 32.  Exodus 32:21—let me back you up to 19, okay? That way you’ll get the whole thing. You might not have read Exodus lately and so let’s back up to 19. 

When Moses approached the camp

He’s coming down off the mountain,

When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf

There was a golden calf there.

and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces

These are the stone tablets on which the finger of God had inscribed the Ten Commandments.  He threw them on the ground and smashed them to pieces.  

And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it.

I think he was upset. [laughing]

He said to Aaron, “What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?”

Now here’s what Aaron says: “Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil.

[laughs] “It’s not my fault!”

He said in verse 23:   

They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’ 

Verse 24—now I love this:

So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”

[laughing] Hey listen, we’ve used the same excuse with the Lord. “I don’t know what happened, Lord, I was just standing there and then all of a sudden, boom! I’m sinning!”  

Okay, 25 now:

Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him.

Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’” The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. Then Moses said, “You have been set apart to the Lord today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.”

Now, that doesn’t mean that they just went wantonly through the camp, by the way, just slicing up everybody they could find, it means that they went through the camp finding the people who were disobedient and who were involved in this idol worship. And even if it were a son or a brother, the Levites being faithful to God, slew them. You got it? The Lord doesn’t kill innocent people and He doesn’t condone wanton slaughter. 

The idea is that the Levites were so faithful to the Lord that they slew even their own family members for indulging in this idol worship. So that’s one example—we’re going to look at another one here in a minute—but that’s one example of how the Lord saved everybody out of Egypt, but later on, destroyed the unbelievers.  

Now, what that means is, the parallel as I said, is the same with the Lord when He went to the cross. His death paid for everybody’s sin but at the end of the age He is going to destroy those who didn’t accept that. The fact that He died for everyone doesn’t mean that everyone is saved.  

John 3:16 says that:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 

So, everybody is qualified for salvation but only those who ask receive. You got it? Okay, that’s one example. As I say, we’re going to look at another one later.  

Back to Jude now, in verse 6. This is a spooky one:

And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.

It is felt by most scholars (myself included) that he’s referring to angels that are first spoken of in Genesis 6, who when it says “didn’t keep their positions of authority” if you have a King James, it says, “They kept not their first estate.” Is that how the wording goes? “Proper domain” is another way of putting it. 

In other words, they left the domain they belonged in, and that’s the spiritual domain, and they entered the physical world.  In Genesis 6 it says that when they did, they saw human women, they found them attractive, and they married human women and had children with them. These children were what the King James calls the “giants of old, men of renown” the “mighty men of old.”  

The word in the Greek there is gigantes and that’s why it came into the English as giants. We know them today as the Nephilim. Is that a phrase you’re familiar with?  

The Nephilim; they are hybrids—half angel, half human. They were very powerful, intellectually superior—superior in every way to ordinary humans and they pretty much took over the world before the Flood. They are the prime reason why God had to destroy the world in the Flood because these Nephilim had pretty much taken over and were leading the whole human race astray. According to the book of Genesis, Noah was one of the few left on Earth whose genealogy hadn’t been contaminated by this hybrid race.  

And so the ultimate goal, Satan’s ultimate goal here in having this done was not just to take over the world; his ultimate goal was to contaminate the human gene pool to an extent that there couldn’t be a savior for mankind,  because mankind’s savior had to be pure, he couldn’t be a hybrid, he had to be pure.  

And so, by contaminating the gene pool they could make a Savior impossible and therefore, all of mankind would be lost. That was the ultimate goal.  

And the way he went about it is to introduce these fallen angels, we call them, into the mix and they began to mix with human stock causing the hybrid. That’s why the whole world had to be destroyed. Noah and his family were the only ones who survived because they were the only ones whose genealogy was still untouched. The Bible says Noah was found to be perfect in his generations. What that means is, his genealogy was pure.

Okay, so what Jude 6 is telling us here is that God not only destroyed the world and all those hybrids, He also got the fallen angels and He locked them up in the dungeon; they are there still, waiting for their judgment. And he says:

these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.

Turn back a little bit to 2 Peter and he had something to say about this as well. In 2 Peter 2: 4, Peter says:

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment;

This is what he is talking about; Jude and Peter are talking about the same thing, they are talking about these angels who left their proper domain and took on human bodies, which they have the ability to do but only with God’s permission. And so what this was, it’s part of the rebellion that Satan led that resulted in, really, the loss of the human race for a while. If you want to read that in Genesis it’s in Genesis 6:1

It says:

 When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God

This phrase is b’nai ha Elohim, it’s always translated angels.

saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.

Verse 4 says:

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

This is the origin of all of our mythologies, where you have these demi-gods: half man, half god. Hercules is a demi-god, he’s a mythological figure but he’s based on a real issue—the Nephilim.  All the so-called demi-gods are mythological characters, but they’re based in truth in these Nephilim that were here on the Earth back before the Flood.  

All right. We could do a whole study on that, but we’ll do that another day. Let’s go back to Jude.

Now verse 7 he says:

In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

In other words, when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, it was in the same manner that those people who are condemned to hell will be destroyed. And so, we look at this story of Sodom and Gomorrah and you know, you remember when the Lord came down with the two angels and they went into Sodom and Gomorrah. The two angels went to sleep in the city square that night and they ran into Abraham’s nephew, Lot. And Lot said, “No. Please don’t. Don’t sleep outside here. This is not good. Here, come stay at my house.”

And so he took them home with him and the people, the men in the city found out about it and they came to Lot’s house and they said, “Please,”—they didn’t say please—they said, “Send these two men out here, we want to have sex with them.” And Lot said, “No. Please don’t do this.” And they demanded and they started banging on the door and Lot finally said, “Look. I’ve got two daughters. Take them instead. You can do whatever you want to them. But don’t harm these men.”

And the people weren’t satisfied with that, they weren’t happy with that. And so they kept banging on the door trying to get in. The angels came and blinded them all and then they left.  And then the next day, they came and got Lot and his two daughters, and his wife and they said, “You’ve got to get out of this city now because judgment is coming. We can’t do anything until you’re gone.” And he took them out of the city.  

And you remember the story about how Lot’s wife looked back and took one last look at the city and it was just at the time that the city was being destroyed and the Bible says she turned into a pillar of salt—which I believe is the Old Testament way of saying that she was crystallized by the force of the blast.  

And so, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. They were destroyed as an example of what’s going to happen to those who rebel against God; they’ll suffer the same fate.  

It says, “They gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion.” Okay, there are two areas that we can look at here to get a clearer view of that. Skip down to verse 10 in Jude with me and let’s cover verse 10 (we’ll come back to take care of 8 and 9) verse 10 says:

Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them.

And so, what it says is they don’t know what they are talking about and they don’t even tell the truth about the things they do know. Betraying their own instincts; things they should know instinctively they are rejecting.

Now, go back to Romans 1 with me and we’ll look at verse 18 and a few verses after that. We’ll see a little more detail on that. Romans 1 and starting in verse 18. Romans 1:18, same issue.  Paul, this time, saying:

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

And so he’s saying, “Nobody really has an excuse where God is concerned; nobody can say, ‘I was never told.’ ‘I was never taught.’ ‘I didn’t know.’” Nobody can say that because it says these wicked men have suppressed the truth which they knew instinctively because God makes the truth plain to everyone. 

In order to reject the truth, you have to betray your own instincts, that’s what it comes down to.  This is why in the New Testament God often used the same word for “unbelief” that He used for “disobedient” because He thinks that He has made Himself so obvious to us, that there’s no way anybody couldn’t believe in Him. That what they characterize as unbelief, in His view is really disobedience. Because they should know, it should be plain to anyone that God exists. Only those who are not mentally competent to understand and to interpret what they see are without excuse.  

Look what he says, verse 19:

since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

Verse 20 now:

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

What this means is, anyone with a reasonable level of intellectual capacity should be able to walk outside, look at the world around them, and realize it couldn’t have just happened, that there had to be a Creator—that’s what it’s saying. 

That is the bottom line; that is something that no one can deny intellectually. In order to not believe that they have to deny their own innate intellectual abilities. You understand? In other words, it’s like looking down the street and seeing a car coming, knowing innately that you shouldn’t walk out in front of the car, but doing it anyhow and then saying after you’ve been smacked by the car, “Oh! I didn’t know that!” It comes down to that. 

That is the bottom line where God is concerned. There is no excuse other than intellectual incapacity, that’s why children are born saved and up until the age of accountability, children belong to God because they are presumed to lack at some level the intellectual capacity to understand all this. But once they develop the intellectual capacity to understand it, they are accountable for knowing this. 

And so, he says, “These wicked men, they don’t speak out of ignorance. They are suppressing the truth. They aren’t ignorant of it, they are denying it and trying to make sure you never hear it.”

Now let’s go look at verse 21:

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him,

I want you to see the five things that happen when you know God but deny Him—which is everybody. Everybody should know God but lots of people deny Him.  

There are five things that happen. Here’s the first thing, it’s in verse 21:

their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

And so, they lose their power of reasoning. This is why you can have these great intellectuals, these scientists, these biologists and zoologists and anthropologists who can argue passionately about the theory of evolution. Because having known the truth, they have denied it and now their thinking has gotten all twisted up, and now they can’t express the truth anymore and so they develop this passion for this alternative explanation.  

Verse 22:

Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools

Here’s the second thing that happens to them:

and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

They develop a counterfeit to God, an alternative to God. This has been going on since the beginning of time. Now, here’s the first thing that happens when they do this:

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.  

And so the first sign you see in society that this idea has taken over. Look at our own history—once the theory of evolution got into the school system and became the accepted explanation for our origins—and when that happened, God had to be kicked out of the schools for that to happen. And what happened when God got thrown out of the schools in this country (it happened in the start of the late ‘50s and ‘60s) what happened then—it says He gave them over in the sinful desire of their hearts, to sexual impurity for the degrading of their own bodies with one another.  

So, the first thing that happens is sexual promiscuity. And didn’t that follow? I mean, you can trace that, you can look back and there are statistics. You don’t have to take my word for any of this. You can look back and you can start with the day when school prayer was forbidden, and you can start looking and what you’ll find is, that the average intellect started going down, SAT scores, school grades and things started going down, the median began to decline, sexual promiscuity began on the increase. And those two things started happening immediately.  

If you look at the overall standards, you’ll see that it appears that the intellectual level of students has stayed about the same. But do you know what? If you take kids from Christian schools and kids who were homeschooled out of the mix, you’ll find that that’s what is holding the averages up—that when you take out Christian students and home school students, the scores plummet. 

But they leave the scores of those students in there to make it appear as if everything is staying the same. But the statistics are there, you don’t have to take my word for any of this. Thanks to the internet all of that is available to you. You can go find that and what you’ll see is, the minute we kicked the Lord out of school, things started to go bad. Our kids started to become problems and we started dumbing down our children to a point where now we’ve got a startling percentage of high school graduates that can’t read or write. And on it goes. That’s another story too we don’t need to get into that tonight. And this is because of the fact that we’ve abandoned God. 

So that’s the first thing; that was the result of that.

Then you go down to verse 25:

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Now don’t think of this just as some statue that they carved and started bowing down in front of.  The world worships created things, we are a materialistic society. We don’t have idols in our bedrooms anymore; we’ve got them in our garages, and in our family rooms, and we worship the material possessions that we have, and we worship the lifestyle that we have, and we worship the things that we have instead of the Creator who made these things possible for us.

So, the next thing that happens when society starts to celebrate that kind of stuff and become very materialistic and very hedonistic, the next thing that happens in verse 26:

Because of this,

Remember, everything is happening as an effect. In verse 24 we saw “therefore”—why?  Because they exchanged the glory of God for images, therefore, sexuality promiscuity results.  Now in verse 26, “Because of this,”—because of what? Because they worship and serve created things rather than the Creator. 

It says in verse 26:

God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

For this cause God gave them over to shameful lusts: and even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.

And so, that’s the next effect of all this: that you start, as a society, celebrating homosexuality. Now, if you went into all the history and you went into the relationship in various civilizations between the civilization and God, you find two things spell doom for every civilization down through history. One of those things is child sacrifice and the other is the open acceptance or tolerance of homosexuality. Those are the last two things on the Lord’s list, that’s when His patience runs out. And you’ll find that every society has sooner or later come to accept those two things, and following that, they’ve been destroyed as a society. Homosexuality, child sacrifice. We are doing both in record numbers and to record levels today. And so that’s why I’m saying that this study in the Book of Jude is as current as is our headlines. Once a society gets to the point where they begin condoning and then even celebrating these things, then you know our days are numbered.  

In Romans you see all this has been the effect of man’s disobedience, it’s been the effect of man’s rebellion. It’s been gradual and it’s been progressive. First you get a little rebellion, then you get a little negative effect. You get more rebellion, the negative effect gets greater. More rebellion, it gets greater. And you really are—as a society, you can plot your own destruction with God. He’ll give you years and years and years to do it, but if you’re determined enough you can destroy your own society. 

And this is what makes some people so angry in this day and age. You should see some of the letters I get on the website from people who are just angry at what’s happening to our country.  Because they become believers, they begin reading the Bible and they begin to see that this didn’t have to happen. We had the greatest civilization ever in the history of the world, there was nothing we couldn’t accomplish, and then we abandoned God. And as soon as we did, as a society, things started to go the other way, didn’t they? We went in a span of less than a decade from being the biggest lender in the world, to being the biggest borrower in the world.

And the size of our debt? Do you know if you sold everything you and I own, everything everybody in this country owns, if you sold it and got fair market value for all of it and paid off whatever debt you have on it—if everybody, including the governments of this country did that, sold every asset in the country for what it’s worth after they paid off the debt on it—there wouldn’t be enough to retire the country’s national debt. There wouldn’t be enough left. 

Now, in our lives when that happens it’s called bankruptcy. I mean, when you sell all your assets and you still have debts left you are bankrupt, right? Well, that’s where we are as a country, and it did not have to happen. We were the wealthiest, most looked-up-to, most envied people in the history of mankind.  According to what the Bible says here, we have been destroyed from within by men who knew better but who refused to follow their own instinctive knowledge that God exists. They refused that, they rejected that, and brought us to ruin. And so you can see why some people get upset about this. Myself, I’m not emotional at all about it but there are people around who feel like it’s a terrible thing.

All right. Well, we don’t want to get off onto that tangent. So let’s go back to Jude, in verse 8 now.  Remember I told you we’d come back to do (verses) 8 and 9?

In verse 8:

In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams

These false teachers he is talking about.

these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. But even the archangel Michael, 

Now he’s the most powerful angel in creation.

But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

See, even Michael doesn’t dare slander celestial beings, even when the celestial being is Satan.  He knows the rules. He knows the order of things, he knows what’s right and what’s not. He’s the captain of the Lord’s host, he’s the general of the Lord’s army, and he didn’t dare bring a slanderous accusation against another celestial being. And yet, men don’t seem to hesitate doing things like that at all.

Verse 10:

Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them.

Verse 12 now, we’ll see if we can get  a couple more verses in here:

Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; 

All right, we’re going to see three big mistakes they’ve made now. Here’s the first one: they have taken the way of Cain. I’ll give you all three of them and then we’ll come back.

they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.

Okay, so you’ve got the way of Cain, you’ve got Balaam’s error, and you’ve got Korah’s rebellion. Let’s take the way of Cain first, let’s go back to Genesis 4 and we’ll look at verse 3 and 4. Genesis 4:3 and 4. Okay, verse 3 says:

 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

You know the story: Cain and Abel each brought offerings to the Lord, the Lord accepted Abel’s offering, rejected Cain’s. Now Cain was a grower, and Abel was a shepherd and so some have said, “Well that’s because the Lord likes meat better than vegetables.” But I don’t think that was it.  

Let’s read on and when we get to verse 6, it says:

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

All right. So, what is this? The Lord is saying that Cain knows what’s right—he’s just not doing what’s right. The Lord is saying to him, “What are you mad about? Just do the right thing and everything’s going to be fine. But if you don’t do the right thing, you’ve got an enemy here who is trying to get you.” Okay. So what does that tell us?  

Abel brought the fat of the first born of his flocks; Cain brought the produce from his fields. They both brought things that they had helped create, but Cain’s was not acceptable, Abel’s was.

See, I’m convinced that this story tells us that the sacrificial system that was made formal in the times of Moses when the Torah was written (the Book of Leviticus prescribing all the different offerings, the animal sacrifice system went into formal effect) I’m convinced that mankind had been taught that from the time of the Fall. 

I’m convinced that the reason that God took the clothes that Adam and Eve had made for themselves, which they made out of vegetation, took those clothes off them and gave them clothing that He had made out of the skins of animals—I’m convinced that He was teaching them a spiritual principle as well as providing clothing for them.  

And the spiritual principle is: it is not by the works of your own hands that you’ll be covered, but by the shedding of innocent blood. I’m convinced that was the principle that was taught to Adam and Eve when they were first clothed and that was the principle that their children, Cain and Abel were aware of when it came time to give the offering. 

I think that when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden, and it says cherubim were stationed there with a flaming sword—I believe that was an altar for offering and that they were instructed to bring offerings there to set aside their sins so that they could be, one day, redeemed. And that Cain knew what was right but rejected what was right.  

And that was the error that Jude was talking about, that Cain tried to make himself right with God by the works of his own hands. Abel tried to make himself right with God by offering the blood of an innocent sacrifice. Abel’s offering was acceptable because that was what the Lord had prescribed. It’s the shedding of innocent blood that covers us; it is not the works of our hands. You see the illustration there? Is that making any sense?

And so God couldn’t have said to Cain “If you do the right thing, everything will be fine,” if Cain didn’t know what the right thing was. God can’t expect of you something that you couldn’t have known. He would not be just if He did that.  

And so this tells us that while the Levitical system, as we call it, was formalized in the wilderness several thousand years later, it was first instituted on Earth at the Fall. And all through the ensuing time, men knew how to present themselves before God and how to maintain a relationship with Him. He would not have just let them go and then condemn them for doing the wrong thing without having taught them the right thing.  

And so, when Jude talks about “the way of Cain” he is talking about mankind’s attempts to work our own salvation by our own works.

Balaam’s error. Balaam is talked about in Numbers 22, I think it is, and it’s a long story; we won’t go into it all today. It turned out that Balaam wound up doing the right thing but it’s his approach that was wrong and that’s what he was condemned for and that’s what Jude is condemning these false teachers for. Because Balaam’s error was in being a prophet for hire.  The Lord made the teaching of His Word, He made the understanding of His Word through prophets, He made all that available to mankind without charge. It was illegal for the priests to charge people to study the Bible, it was illegal for them to be paid for these things. They were to be supported out of the tithes of the people and anybody who needed or desired instruction in His Word could go to them and they could receive it without charge. That was the way it was set up.

Balaam charged money for his work, and that was the error. What we read in 2 Peter 2:15 about this is that he said, speaking of these men, he said,

2 Peter 2:15:

They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness. 

And so he was in it for the money, in other words. You know any evangelists today who you suspect being in it for the money? Okay, enough said about that.

The third thing, back in Jude 11, the third thing we see is that they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion. Korah came out of Egypt with the Israelites and incited a rebellion against Moses, and he got quite a few people to follow him. 

They confronted Moses with this, and they said (this is in Numbers 16) they said, “We aren’t going to follow you anymore because we’re all a holy people. You’re no better than we are, who made you in charge of us?” Some of them even refused when Moses called them to account for this and asked them to a meeting and explain this, they refused to come.  

Korah had, over a period of time, developed 250 followers. Many of them had been made leaders among the Israelite community. And so, Moses brought them all together into a meeting and he said, “Now, the Lord is going to show you whether or not I’ve been given the authority to be in charge here.”

And the Lord said to Moses, “Back away from these people. I’m going to destroy them all.” And Moses said to the Lord, “Lord, don’t destroy them all just for the sake of these!” And the Lord said, “Tell all the people to back away from them, too.” And you can see (this would make a great movie) you can see, here’s Korah and his associates standing there with him, their families, and they are all together there, and the whole nation of Israel backed away from them and the Earth opened up and swallowed them alive, and they went into the pit, alive. And the ground closed back up. You might expect that this unnerved the people somewhat and they were afraid the same thing was going to happen to them, and Moses said, “No, no. It’s just the ones who are rebellious.” And then the 250 followers were struck by fire and incinerated, in the sight of all the people.  

Sometimes I wish the Lord would do things like this these days. There’d be a lot fewer discussions, wouldn’t there, about whether He’s got the right to do these things or not? And so, he says that these men will be destroyed in the same way. Their destruction is already determined and it will be in the same way.

And so you have the way of Cain, which is working our own salvation.
You have the error of Balaam, which is being a prophet for hire or a teacher for hire.
And you have Korah’s rebellion, rebelling against God’s constituted authority.  

And this was happening, these people have done this. They had taken the way of Cain, they were showing an alternate way of salvation; they had demanded money for their teaching because they were profiting from all this. As Peter said, they went off the path in favor of the profit of wickedness and then, they’ll be destroyed (he says they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion) the Lord will not tolerate this. They’ve rebelled against the constituted authority of the Church, and they’ve come up with an alternate religion and the Lord says, “You’ll be dealt with in exactly the same way that Korah and his comrades were dealt with in their rebellion.”

All right.  So let’s stop here at verse 11 and we’ll pick this study up next time at verse 12.