Jude: Warnings, Deceptions, and the End Times Certainties from the Book of Jude

Updated: Oct 3



Hey Jude, don't make it bad

Take a sad song and make it better

Remember to let her into your heart

Then you can start to make it better

- Paul McCartney


Jude 1

Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ: ² May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you.

³ Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. ⁴ For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

⁵ Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. ⁶ And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, ⁷ just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.

⁸ Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. ⁹ But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” ¹⁰ But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. ¹¹ Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. ¹² These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; ¹³ wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.

¹⁴ It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, ¹⁵ to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” ¹⁶ These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.

¹⁷ But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, ¹⁸ that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” ¹⁹ These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. ²⁰ But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, ²¹ keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. ²² And have mercy on some, who are doubting; ²³ save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.

²⁴ Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, ²⁵ to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen

- Jude, the brother of James and Jesus



Introduction

For this humbled caretaker of human souls, the series Hey Jude might well be the true work of what scripture describes in Isaiah 21:6-12 as "Watchman what time of the night"? Certainly, the warnings, deceptions and end-times certainties of Jude were more than I imagined, and far more than I could have ever hoped for, as spiritually rich and relevant today as any text we have in the Bible. That seems a heavy conclusion, but not one arrived at very easily or carelessly. Nonetheless, I stand on my conclusions (or on the wall as it were) based on the following actualities.


(One) the strength of a comprehensive hermeneutical and interpretive process for the text of Jude.


(Two), a world culture that is currently feeding itself on the weak and innocent in order to satisfy an appetite of insatiable desire and distortion for self-obsession and self-pleasure. This would include the unrighteous compulsion for power and the use of human flesh for all manner of evil (sexual perversion, slavery and trafficking, social experimentation, and the identification and elimination of expendable people groups.


(Three), an undeniable move of the Holy Spirit, leading and confronting me with a present-day revelation of Jude's text. I was drawn in by Jude - I became tethered to Jude - and then in study and prayer led to a contextualized and spiritual understanding of Jude.


Finally, everything that I woke up to for the past three months screamed to me, Hey Jude, don't make it bad - take this sad song and make it better. I am certain that I am not channeling my inner Beatle; and I am even more certain that there is a present-day message and mission for you and I to receive and embrace from within the Warnings, Deceptions, and End Times Certainties of the Book of Jude.


It is very difficult to deny that we live in a global culture predominantly navigated by the deceived hearts and minds of evil powers and authorities, strengthened by an all-consuming, unchecked, and unrestrained will to gratify the depravity of the flesh.


In smaller circles, very few among us are whom we believe them to be. In larger circles, most among us are precisely who we believe them to be. With the aid of demonic forces all things absolutely true have been reassigned as untrue. And all things untrue have been reassigned as absolutely “my” truth. The one exception left are those who hold fast to the Gospel of Christ Jesus, who believe the Word of God as their moral authority and singular path to God the Creator and eternal life in Christ Jesus. All of hell has risen against Christ, His Word and those who are true (old definition) believers. The demonic and evil forces, the celebrated deceivers within the Church that threaten and come against us are not metaphorical or figurative – they are literal, they are real. Jude will tell us how to prevail by warning us of the deceptions from within the household of faith that exist, the notable people in which they have existed, and how history and patterns of mankind will repeat themselves. Jude will lead us to conclude that there is indeed an anti-Christ spirit manifested deep within the will and behavior of humankind within and without the Christian Church. To articulate and identify this manifestation with a more concise definition I will use one word - narcissism. That one word represents and is embodied in only one spirit – the spirit of the anti-christ. Obsessive and deceptively destructive self-love, that cannot be reconciled to the sacrificial love of God and the servant-like love of one another.


nar·cis·sism | ˈnärsəˌsiz(ə)m |

excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one's physical appearance and social approval; Psychology of selfishness, involving a sense of entitlement, a lack of empathy, and a need for recognition and admiration, as characterizing a personality type; Psychoanalysis self-centeredness arising from failure to distinguish the self from external objects and feelings, either in very emotionally immature personalities or as a feature or symptom of mental and emotional disorders.


[Origin/Etymology]

Early 19th century: via Latin from the Greek name Narkissos or Narcissus.

In Greek mythology, Narcissus (/nɑːrˈsɪsəs/; Ancient Greek: Νάρκισσος Nárkissos) was a hunter from Thespiae in Boeotia (modern day Karaburun) who was known for his beauty. According to Tzetzes, Narkissos rejected all romantic advances, eventually falling in love with his own reflection in a pool of water, staring at it for the remainder of his life. After he died, in his place sprouted a flower bearing his name.


The origins of the character Narcissus are from Greek Mythology and introduced the term narcissism; meaning - a fixation or obsession with oneself. This definition, in turn, contributed to the clinical definitions of narcissistic personality disorder, a psychiatric condition marked by grandiosity, excessive need for attention and admiration, and an inability to empathize.


The narcissistic obsession with self and the idea that personal feelings and emotions determine circumstantial and situational reality have been seized upon by the demonic forces of evil and darkness, and are now a cultural gateway to the anti-Christ spirit. As I said earlier, Jude will expose us to where the deceptions of darkness exist and how a deceived ideology and practice remind us of the darkness gone before us. Jude warns us of the consequences of repeating the past, equips us to walk forward right and righteously, and finally blesses and empowers us for the certainties of that which lies ahead. So, Reunion Church, it's here that we are - and it's forward in faith that we go. Hey Jude, may mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you.


- Dr. Stephen Isaac


Authorship, Audience, Literary and Genre Style

Of course, ancient letters differed based on form, context, and content. Jude is seen as one of the canonized collections of written letters that make up the 21 epistles of the New Testament. The Epistles were intended to influence, instruct, and encourage churches or individuals to persevere and live out the Christian faith during difficult and hostile circumstances. Jude is written to the Christian Church. So not surprisingly, the Epistles all begin with a warm greeting which their authors used to acknowledge the foundation of a relationship and the respect and authority that came with it. Jude’s greeting was used as an introduction to not only himself but his credentials and why his words are important and contain value and influence to the Church and those who are following Christ and contending with darkness for their faith.


The recipients know of Jude and his letter is not a to whom it may concern – there was both a specific audience and a situational focus. The target audience was a grouping of churches and small group ministries. These communities of faith were more vulnerable to the deception of false teachers and spiritual predators, intended to derail and invalidate their faith in the Gospel of Christ Jesus.


Jude was not one of the original disciples nor was he included with the first group of apostles (those who were sent). However, he was the brother of both James and Jesus, Jude was called to the very difficult and dangerous ministry to Jerusalem and certainly recognized as an influencer of mission and authority to the Gospel of Christ. (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3)


Jude's letter was a truth entirely relevant to the early Church attempting to navigate the influence of deceitful, divisive, and dishonest teachers from within, as well as suffering under the weight of hostile persecution from without. The truth of Jude remains entirely relevant for the present-day Church. A Church in great need of a relevant word of truth for that same specific audience, situational focus, and hostile circumstances.


Jude by his own description is a servant of Jesus Christ, meaning he has subjected himself to the authority of the master. It is a significant point to understand that after the resurrection of his brother Jesus, Jude (in true humility) did not promote himself as the brother of Jesus – but rather as servant to his Lord and Messiah. The deeper point of understanding is that the authority to minister is based not on the nepotism of family ties or titles, but more so in surrender to the Lord’s claim on those followers, for which the designation “servant of Jesus Christ” makes a more respected and reputable claim.


Jude’s title or role within the early Church structure is not specified, but more than likely when wrote or spoke he did so as a well-known key figure within the ministry of the Jerusalem church with James, and certainly in the context of Christian mission and ministry to the unbelieving Jews. Jude’s literary Greek was above average, and his letter’s pattern seems to suggest that he was reaching out to the vulnerable Christians in Asia Minor. His purpose for writing is clearly missional in its original context. Preaching in primarily a Greek region would require a good command of the language, which he had. Jude was well qualified to address this message to a group of oppressed and at-risk believers and the text clearly remains relevant and insightful in present-day context.


Since the redemptive story of God’s people began, true followers of faith have been transformed by the supernatural and divine actions of God. Actions sovereignly planned to unite us in faith and fellowship for an active participation in the work of His kingdom here in this world. Jude gives prominence to these kingdom actions emphasizing the divine origin of this community and the cooperative role of God and Christ in transforming lives and sustaining faith.


Pre-Suppositions and Pre-Conceptions

Since the redemptive story of God’s people began, true followers of faith have been transformed by the supernatural and divine actions of God. The work and faith of the historical Church must be studied and recognized as a relative and proven template for both contending and preserving the faith, and preaching and teaching the Gospel of Christ. Actions sovereignly planned to unite the Church and Christians from all over the world in faith and fellowship for an active participation in the work of His kingdom here in this present-day. Jude gives prominence to these kingdom actions emphasizing the divine origin of this community and the cooperative role of God and Christ in transforming lives and sustaining faith.


My struggle as well as millions of other Christians living life in western civilization is that our pre-supposed and pre-determined ideas of what contending for the faith and preserving the truth really looks like and what it will ultimately require of those resisting the global push of darkness to finally extinguish the light of Christianity. Far too many have reduced themselves to a social-christianity, baptized into the cultural narcissism of western ideology.


When I read Jude all of my bias towards a western ideology whereby the great God of the Universe, and the almighty Jehovah of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob downloads and implements His every purpose, plan, and blessing through the convenience, comfort, and approval of American Evangelical Christianity. How can I rightly interpret and receive a divine revelation of Jude when I have already pre-determined that his warnings of deception, self-pleasure, resistance to divine sovereignty, and the certain realities of what is to come keep me from His message of truth? My often times narcissistic insistence towards wanting my truth and not His, is a form of spiritual rebellion (verses 4-16) and keeps me from right and righteous relationship with Him. I am not alone - the American Christian Church finds itself in much of the same deception that Jude addresses. So it is spiritually healthy to the interpretive process to identify and address those pre-conceptions that we bring to any passage or text.


Pre-Supposition / Pre-Conception One: Immersed in my westernized ideologies and cultural thinking I too have often read a text of the similitude of Jude as it pertains and applies to others and not first myself.


For example: (Verses 16-23)


¹⁶ These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.

¹⁷ But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, ¹⁸ that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” ¹⁹ These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. ²⁰ But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, ²¹ keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. ²² And have mercy on some, who are doubting; ²³ save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.

Pre-Supposition / Pre-Conception Two: Too often I have used my very cloistered and isolated interpretation of "common salvation" to exclude those that I deem as not meeting my standards - and yet I know there is indeed a "common salvation" that has standards known and judged fully by God and God alone. Is my "contending for the faith" a contention that has always served God's purposes or my own, thereby leading my interpretation to be self-serving and self-promoting (prideful).


For Example: (Verse 3)


³ Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.

When I read Jude through the vanity of my obsessive self-love, self-service, and self-pleasing thinking and behavior towards the ungodly desires of my flesh I can no longer understand the reasons why the same God who loves and died for me also says He will one day judge and reward me for how I have lived and how I have loved, for what I have done with what I have been given. By exposing my pre-suppositions and pre-conceptions I can be free to interpret and receive the text from Jude as I should.


Psalm 139:23-24

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

Context: (Historical, Biblical, Original Language and Linguistics)

About Reunion Community Church

We are a Bible teaching Christian church in Peoria, AZ. We love God and teach His Truth. We invite you, your family and friends to join us on the faith journey, growing closer to one another, the Christian community of believers at Reunion, and most importantly with God. Read more about the timeless Truth we build our lives and faith in Christ on HERE.

We are conveniently located just off the 101 on 83rd Ave and Cactus Rd. Join us on Sunday mornings, Weds. evenings, and throughout the week at our small groups, meeting in homes around the Valley, including Surprise, Glendale, Peoria, Phoenix, Goodyear, Litchfield, and more. Connect with us on Facebook and watch our live streaming service on YouTube.

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