The Book of Jude: Part 2

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.


Tonight we are going to be in the second half of our study in the Epistle of Jude, the book right before the book of Revelation; a little one chapter book, as I mentioned last time we were together. Most studies of this kind you try to do a chapter every night but with Jude you do a verse every night. We did better than that, we did eleven verses in one night and so we’ll take the rest of the study tonight.

Jude, the Lord’s half-brother as you know from our session last week, was going to write a message of salvation but at the last minute the Holy Spirit convicted him to write instead a warning against false teachers. And I’ll tell you what, in the Gospels you find that Jesus reserved His anger, if you will, His righteous indignation, He reserved that for the religious officials of the day because He saw the extent to which they had perverted the religion and not only did they no longer make it easy for someone to become a believer, they made it almost impossible.

And so, you find that the only place He ever really gets mad, the only time He raises His voice if you will, is when He’s in a discussion with one of them. And boy, He called them some names, didn’t He? The worst of them was in John 8 where He called them “the seed of the serpent” which in Genesis 3:15 is the antithesis to the seed of the woman, so He called them children of the devil basically. Now He’s talking to the leaders of the religion.

Now, when you get into the post-resurrection part of the New Testament, into the epistles, you’ll find that the worst language is always reserved for the false teachers. These men are called some of the most emotionally charged names that you can imagine whenever they are spoken of. Paul said that they are—let’s see, where did Paul say this? 1 Timothy 4.

He says in 1 Timothy 4:1:

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

Then he says in verse 2:

Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

He’s speaking of people who will be the vehicles through which false teaching comes into the world. And so, he’s talking about people who purport to be part of the Church. They hold themselves forth as being learned and teachers and experts in the things of God. But he says they will be ‘”hypocritical liars whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”

In other words, they don’t even feel guilty about what they are saying. I don’t know if you watch some of these teachers or not, but you can see that they appear very sincere and they appear very passionate about what they believe. But you, knowing something about the Bible, can listen to what they say and say, “Wait a minute. That’s just not true!” But they don’t feel bad about saying those things at all. And, according to what we are going to read here, they know these things are not true. And yet, continue to say them.

And that’s what Jude’s biggest problem is. He says:

 They have taken the way of Cain;

Now last time (this is in Jude 1:11—there is only one chapter , verse 11) they’ve taken to the way of Cain. Last time, if you remember, we went back to Genesis 4 and we found out that Cain’s problem was that he brought an unacceptable offering to God and God said, “I’m not going to accept this,” and Cain got mad, because God wouldn’t accept his offering.

And God said, “Why are you getting mad at Me? If you’ll just do what’s right, your offering will be accepted.” Now this tells us that Cain knew what was right because God couldn’t have said to him, “If you just do the right thing everything will be fine,” if Cain didn’t know the right thing, could He?

And so, Cain had to know what was the acceptable offering. He knew what was right, but he didn’t do what was right. And that’s the first thing that Jude says about these false teachers.

By taking the way of Cain he’s saying they know what’s right, but they are not doing it. Just like Cain came up with his own way to present an offering, these guys are coming up with their own ideas about what the Gospel should be.

And then he goes on, that’s where we ended last time. We’re in verse 12 now. Look at the way he talks about them:

These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves.

The love feast was, in the early Church, it was wrapped around the communion, what we call communion today. When the Church came together on their day of worship, each time of worship included a meal. We came to call these potlucks in the more modern Church. I remember a couple that was in the church I was in used to bristle whenever you said the word because they said, “There’s no such thing as luck with God; luck is a pagan term. These are pot-blessings.”

So, they’d go around making us all call these things pot-blessings. So it caught on and we started doing it because that’s what they are. They’re blessings; there’s no luck about it.

But in the early church they would have a meal, just like the Lord did with His disciples in the upper room. They had a meal and at the end of the meal He said, “This bread is My body, and this cup is My blood,” and they’d reenact that and that was part of their get together every week. And it was called, in English, a love feast. It was in the Greek called an agape feast. It was an expression of unconditional love because everybody brought food for everybody. And everybody was—it was an expression of love for each other through which they did this.

And he said, “These men, when they visit you and when they teach you in your fellowship, they are blemishes.

blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—

He says, “They don’t belong there. They don’t believe what you believe and yet they are there just as if it’s a natural thing for them to be there.” He says they are:

shepherds who feed only themselves. 

What he’s implying there is, when they teach you, they don’t feed you. You don’t gain anything from their teaching. They’re the only ones who benefit and they benefit by getting a free meal.

Next, he says:

They are clouds without rain,

 There are six of these as we go through.

They are clouds without rain. I don’t know if you know this but in the Middle East, specifically in Israel, it doesn’t rain from March until September. There’s no rain at all. I mean, there’s no rain at all. It’s the same in Mexico where I live. After the middle of March it doesn’t rain again until fall. I mean, it doesn’t ever, ever rain again until fall!

I remember when it rained this spring. I tried to remember the last time it rained, and it had been the previous spring. In fact, everybody prays for rain down there. You’d think it’s great. We get these endlessly beautiful days. The temperature is always perfect. The sky is always blue, the sun is always bright. There’s always just a nice breeze. It’s a perfect day, except for the fact that we need rain from time to time to keep things green and to grow the stuff that we grow down there.

When you see a cloud after it hasn’t rained for six months and everything is dry and dirty and dusty and then you see a cloud appear in the sky, you say, “Wow! It’s going to rain! We’re going to get some rain! It’s going to cool things down a little bit, it’s going to take all this dirt and dust away, it’s going to wash everything clean. It’s going to make everything green again.”

But then, if the cloud just goes by and doesn’t rain, you feel like, “Gee. That’s worse than if we’d had no cloud at all.”

And that’s what he says these false teachers are. They are clouds without rain. They create an expectation in you, but they don’t fulfill it. And they leave you disappointed because you not only didn’t get anything—you know, if you weren’t expecting anything and you didn’t get it, that would be one thing. But they create an expectation and then they don’t deliver.

They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead.

What that means is that they die the first time because they don’t produce any fruit. The only way a tree lives is when its seed goes into the ground and a new tree grows, that keeps the tree going. But a tree without fruit doesn’t drop any seeds into the ground. And so, that’s the first time it dies, when it doesn’t produce any fruit. The second time it dies is because it doesn’t produce any fruit, the farmer comes along and uproots it. Because it’s only purpose is fruit, right? And when it doesn’t produce any he pulls it out of the ground. Now it has died again. So it hasn’t created any future for itself and even the present is cut off—dead twice.

He says:

They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame;

That’s a quote basically from Isaiah 57:20. Let’s look at that one. Isaiah 57:20 says to us:

But the wicked are like the tossing sea,

    which cannot rest,

    whose waves cast up mire and mud.

“There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

And that’s what he calls these guys. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame.

And then the sixth one is, he says:

wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.

The term wandering stars means a shooting star. You know how a shooting star is really bright as it goes across the sky? But then it burns out and it’s gone forever, and it’s darker than when it was there. So, that’s what they’re like; they come on the scene, they’re exciting to look at, exciting to listen to, but when they’re gone it is darker than when they came. And that’s what he calls them. That’s the sixth one.

Now, in verse 14 he says:

Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them:

And here he quotes from the Book of Enoch:

“See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

So, this is a quote, verse 14 here is a quote from the book called The Book of Enoch. Now, the Book of Enoch is not in the Bible and the reason it isn’t in the Bible is because it wasn’t written by Enoch. It didn’t show up on the scene until about two hundred years before Christ. Enoch, of course, was back in Genesis 5; he was taken live into Heaven before the Flood and so he was one of the earliest. He was the seventh man from Adam, seventh patriarch from Adam. But he’s quoting from the book.

Now, it’s important for us to know that just because a book is not in the Bible, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t contain any worth, that’s one point. The second point is, just because someone in the Bible quotes from a book that’s not in the Bible, doesn’t mean then that the book should be in the Bible, okay? I get these questions all the time, people write in to the website saying, “Jude quotes from the Book of Enoch, how come the Book of Enoch is not in the Bible?” Or they’ll say, “Jude quotes from the Book of Enoch, how can he do this when the Book of Enoch is not in the Bible?” 

Well, the Book of Enoch contains a lot of valuable information about the earliest years of mankind, but the reason it’s not in the Bible is because it was not written by Enoch—that’s one of the conditions you have to meet to get into the Bible. The book has to be written by the person who bears its name. So that was one reason, and the second reason is it contains some things that aren’t consistent with the rest of Scripture. And so you have to use a lot of—if you’re going to read the Book of Enoch—you have to use a lot of discernment. You have to know the Bible well enough to know whether you are reading something that is consistent with the Bible or not. This particular one happens to be consistent with the Bible because the Bible does say that the Lord is going to come back with all of His holy ones to judge the world. And that’s what the Book of Enoch was quoting.

This has been spoken of by scholars as being the very first prophecy of the Second Coming. Not in the Book of Jude, but because it was in the Book of Enoch and that came about long before. Now the important thing for us here is this “thousands upon thousands of His holy ones.” People wonder, who are these holy ones?

In the Bible the word that’s translated “holy ones” is used to represent both men and angels, and I think, at least in this case, it represents both and I’m concluding this because of 1 Thessalonians 3:13 if you want to take a look at that with me. 

1 Thessalonians 3:13 which says:

May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy  

Now listen to this:

 in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.

Now, this one of those clues (there are a half a dozen of them in Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians) that tells us that Paul taught a pre-tribulation Rapture view of the end times. Because his desire for us as it is stated in verse 13 here, is that we will be in the presence of God, “of our God and Father when the Lord Jesus comes.” And so, that means at the Second Coming, when the Lord comes back in His Second Coming, we will be with God in Heaven. And so, we will already be up there. It doesn’t say that when He comes back for all His holy ones, it says when He comes back with all of them. And his prayer is that we would be there too when it’s time to come back.

Now, in Matthew 24, the one hint that Jesus gives of the Rapture is consistent with that view when it says in verse 31:

And he will send his angels 

Speaking of the time of the Second Coming,

with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

So that tells us at the Second Coming when the Lord is ready to come back, He wants to bring us with Him so He sends an angel out through Heaven to gather us together so we can come back with Him. Because we’re going to be out there exploring the universe and doing all the things we’re going to be doing in Heaven and all of a sudden, the angel comes on and says, “Hey, it’s time to come back! Come on, gather round here, we’re going to go back now.” And so, he gathers us all back and we come back with him. So that’s the only indication that you get from the Lord at all of the Rapture and if you didn’t already know about it you wouldn’t see it in that verse. So you can’t build your Rapture doctrine on that.

But you can because you know of it, you can say, “Oh, well that means the Lord was saying we’re going to be up there with Him when it’s time to come back here.”

{Yes, that’s right. Okay. Then there’s that—where’s that? Oh, it’s just you’ve probably got a King James version or an NASB. The literal says, “thousands upon thousands.” Ten thousand was about the biggest number they spoke of in those days and so, when he says that, he means a big number. In fact, in Daniel 7 when he sees the throne of God, he says, “Ten thousands times ten thousand.” Instead of saying “millions” which we would say today he didn’t have a number that big so he had to use the biggest number he could find so he took the biggest number and multiplied it by itself. Yeah, my translation there just says “thousands upon thousands.”} 

Okay, verse 16 now:

These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.

I know people like that; they can only talk about themselves and whenever they say something nice about you, the only reason they are doing it is to gain an advantage. So it’s insincere flattery, basically, is what he is talking about. 

And then verse 17:

But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

There he’s quoting, when he says the—remember, the disciples said this (or the apostles)—he’s actually quoting from Peter and it’s 2 Peter 3:3 where he says:

understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised?

And you hear this probably in your circles, I certainly hear it in mine. People come to me and say, “You know, you talk about these prophecies, you talk about the Second Coming and all that; people have been talking about that forever and He’s never come back yet. And you know, in the ‘70’s there was this great, big thing about the Lord coming back and they had this big Jesus movement and everything and all these people started going to church. The Lord didn’t come back, and now all the people are gone. He’s not, what makes you think He is? What makes you think He’s coming back? What makes you think He’s coming back now?” And these are the scoffers who come along.

Now, some of these scoffers are non-believers outside the Church; some of them are in the Church. Some are, you know, you hear about some of them from inside the Church who don’t believe in a literal Second Coming. Now, that would include most of the major denominations, by the way, who don’t believe in a literal Second Coming, they believe in a sort of allegorical Second Coming. Some denominations believe that when you became a believer and the Lord came to dwell in your heart, that was the Second Coming and that’s it. It’s over, that’s what you’re going to get. 

And so he says, “These people have been around since the beginning and the apostles warned you about this.” So basically, he’s telling them, “You shouldn’t be surprised about these false teachers coming because you’ve been warned that they would come.” He says, “They follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.” 

In other words, they follow a human philosophy. Instead of being enlightened and enlivened by the Spirit of God, they follow a human philosophy. Let me see if I can find what Paul had to say about this. Where is it, in Colossians? 

Yes, Colossians 2:8. Paul says:

 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

And then you read with me the one in 1 Timothy 4 where he said the time will come when people won’t put up with these things, but they’ll look for other doctrines. And then in 2 Timothy he says, “These doctrines of demons.” and so on, and he says, “This is part of what we get. This is part of the deal in the Church.” 

Many components of the Church today—what’s called the Church today—don’t really believe in the supernatural. They don’t really believe Jesus is God; they don’t believe in His deity; they don’t really believe in a resurrection; they don’t really believe in the Second Coming and they follow what Paul called “hollow and deceptive philosophies that depend on the traditions of men, not on the Spirit of God.”

And so they look around for things that are consistent with human tradition rather than talking about things of God. And so, for example, we all get questions about evolution vs creation, right? Evolution is a hollow and deceptive philosophy that depends upon human tradition. Creation, however, is of the Spirit of God because God is the one who created the Creation model for belief, right? And mankind created the evolution model. And so you’ve got one that follows the tradition of man because it was based partly on what man observed but partly on what man thought would happen if he were able to observe for a long enough time. It’s a human tradition. Creation, however, was the eyewitness account of the Creator. And so Paul says, “Don’t let anybody take you captive by these philosophies.” 

And Jude is saying the same thing, he says:

These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

But you, dear friends, 

Now here he’s done now condemning everybody, now we’re going to get a couple of verses of exhortation and then we’ll be done.

But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

And then this is my favorite doxology. When I was serving as a pastor I used this many times to end the service and we’ll end this service tonight with it. Verse 24:


To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.