or Being Contentious?
Gen. James Green
“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 1-23).
[contending/contend: Gk epagonizomai= “to struggle for.” The word “earnestly” (Jude 3) is added to convey the intensive force of the preposition.]
[contentions/contentious (Titus 3:9): Greek eris= “a quarrel, wrangling, strife” is the expression of “enmity.” The stress is a rivalry; see also Greek philonekios= “a quarrel, disputations”]
“But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain” (Titus 3:9).
J UDE DESCRIBES “apostasy” and “apostates.” But before I get into this study, let it be known that there is a difference between CONTENDING for our Christian faith, and simply being CONTENTIOUS. “Contending,” in Jude 3, is front line fighting with the enemy, or enemies, of our faith; being merely contentious is no better than having a bad attitude, and arguing for the Hell-of-it with those who you do not like or agree with (within our own ranks).
I might as well call this article: “The Acts of the Apostates.” We may recall Jesus’ Words in Mt. 24:11: “Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.” I’m sure He also had in mind “false teaching” and “preaching”…in the last days MUCH of Christendom will be in APOSTATE condition (like NOW!!). Loyalty and commitment to Christ and His teachings, that of the New Testament (and much of the Old Testament) and Word, along with Biblical righteousness and discipline, will be shunned; “religious man’s” teachings will replace the original; professing believers will reject New Testament revelation, and will accept “new revelations” (even thought it conflicts with the Word of God), and make up a “new morality” that suits one’s humanness (see 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:8; 4:3 etc.).
We cannot deny that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been DISTORTED, even MORIBUND and the teachers/preachers use chicanery (which has many nuances) in order to deceive and take advantage of the “believers”…in turn, this makes the “believers” languid and lethargic. How can we win a war against the BIG 4 (Eph. 6) in such a state of weakness?
Now, the Church has invited the GLBTQ perverts in (acronym for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer), as if fornicators and adulterers/adulteresses weren’t BAD enough! And to add insult to injury, the Church now has a “Queen James Bible!” And if this isn’t BAD enough, the Church embraces occultism, astrology, black and white witchcraft, spiritism, and even Satanism (much of this comes in the form of musical entertainment). First Timothy 4:1 tells us so.
This “falling away” from the faith is so common these days that no one seems to notice or even care. Biblical Truth is now looked upon as a “pain.” The lack of loving Truth causes one to lose faith (2 Thes. 2:10); this, in turn, causes one to stop RESISTING sinful trends/behaviors (2 Tim. 3:2-5). Narcissism has replaced humility these days. Too many teach/preach that a LACK of LOVE for SELF is a grand sin; Biblical Apostolic revelation teaches the very opposite. Next to this, the “love of money” has captured the minds and hearts of the Churchites…with $$ one can pursue their own selfish desires. Loving Jesus and obeying Him is pushed into “religious osmosis” whereby only “religious nerds” do such things. This contumacious spirit prevails in today’s backslidden/apostate Church…thraldom to sin! And with this “pink fastidious” spirit leading the way (unto Hell!), God will, I repeat, WILL HAVE A TRUE PEOPLE. All this iconoclastic BULL is pharisaical at its roots (see Jesus’ indictment of the “religious” of His day in Mt. 23. Their supercilious attitude put them directly in contention with that of Christ).
The Time Will Come :…IS Here!
First Timothy 4:1 tells us (by Paul) that “in later times some shall depart from the faith,” he wrote in 2 Tim. 4:3, 4 that “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine…and will turn away (apostasy) their ears from the truth.” Paul goes on in 2 Thes. 2:3: “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first.”
So, dear readers, Jude is all about APOSTASY!!
Jude’s letter was specifically addressed to the born-again believers, but it certainly applies to all believers for all times. Jude put forth this letter as an urgent warning against the false teachers and their SUBVERSIVE influence within the Ekklesias, as we should also. His warning is followed up with a forceful challenge to RISE UP! and “earnestly contend for the faith” (v. 3). Note this: Jude indicts the apostates as being sexually impure (vv. 4, 8, 16, 18). This ought to tell us something about our day (the whole GLBTQ package is now part of today’s Church!). Jude points out that they are like Cain (v. 11), covetous like Balaam (v. 11), rebellious like Korah (v. 11), arrogant (vv. 8, 16), deceptive (vv. 4a, 12), sensual (v. 19), and divisive (v. 19). He states the certainty of God’s judgment on ALL who commit such SINS, and illustrates the same by 6 Old Testament examples (vv. 5-11). A 12-fold description of their lives reveals their ripeness for the LORD’S WRATH (vv. 12-16). Jude exhorts the true believers to guard themselves, and to have compassion mixed with fear for those who are wavering (vv. 20-23). Finally, Jude concludes with a crescendo of inspiration in his benediction (vv. 24, 25).
Our protection against such religious deception involves utter, complete loyalty to God, Jesus, and the Word of God…allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us onward and upward in this great war. TOO MANY have either stopped contending for the faith, or have grown weary and slowed down.
We who fight on must not think that because apostasy is so prevalent today—church after church and denomination after denomination caving in to the homosexual agenda, caving in to the fear of the terrorization of Political Correctness, fearing the atrophy of this nation...its apathy, its lassitude—that authentic recovery is not possible. I’m not speaking of a short-lived Church revival, but a MILITANT REVOLUTION whereby we rise above the moribund state America finds herself in.
Let us recall Acts 2:16-21: “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This baptism in the Holy Spirit (with all its accompanying spiritual manifestations can come upon ALL who desire it…seeing not just an end-time “revival”…but an end-time “revolution” setting things right once again. God, just this morning (April 16, 2015), told us that He is going to raise up a New Breed of Believers; but He also said the old Church game-players would also continue. SO, YOU DON’T HAVE TO REMAIN IN THE SPIRITUAL WHOREHOUSES CALLED “CHURCHES”...YOU CAN COME OUT AND BE SEPARATE (AS WE DID YEARS AGO).
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).
Pray for this “time of refreshing,” although apostasy and perilous times are all about us. Outpourings of miracles are not limited to the first century believers...they ARE FOR US NOW!!
Many believe that his original intention was to present a treatise on “our common salvation” (v. 3), but, no doubt the problem of “falling away” weighed on his heart. This ought to weigh heavily upon all minister’s hearts, but most, I dare say, are backslid. To be balanced, we need to present both, especially the first—the common salvation aspect. Too many these days even leave this out—presenting church growth, self-esteem, prosperity, and entertainments etc. instead.
Our “faith” needs strengthened! Our warfare needs to be exercised! Our faith is that fixed and UNALTERABLE TRUTH given by the Holy Spirit and embodied in the New Testament. However, “the faith” is a bit more than objective truth. It is also a way of life to be lived in love and purity—something that is lacking in today’s modern churches (see Col. 1:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:5). Faith is in a Kingdom...and in the King.
The Apostate Snake!
Too many protestant ministers have taken up the battle cry: “God is not afraid of new things. That is why He is continuously surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in un-expecting ways” (quoted by Roman Catholic Pope Francis). This is pure nonsense; this is pure Political Correctness and New Age bologna! He was referring to the Roman Catholic Church including homosexuality.
Hey, pope!, there are no NEW THINGS to God, especially this sickness and abomination of homosexuality (write for our many magazines, CDs, and DVDs on this “pink Terrorism”).
How many protestant ministers/ministries have fallen for this DAMNED LIE!
Hey, ministers/churchites, it’s time to CONTEND for the faith again. Look up this Greek word: “epagonizesthai” (Strong’s number G1864)—and you’ll discover the word “agonize.” Jude was not just being contentious for the sake of causing trouble, but to “struggle against” a formidable/damnable opponent: apostasy.
If your focus is on a comfortable, prosperous, self-loving life (called “Churchianity”) in which you are NOT going to sweat one ounce for your faith, you want your religious thermostat just at the right setting: not too hot, not too cold…PUKEWARM (see Rev. 3:15-17).
Once for All (v. 3)
The core of the Biblical Christian faith is a solid nucleus of truth…not in a state of flux, but in a state of unmovable, unchangeable, truth. God’s Word does not change between Testaments. How He felt about say, sodomy in Lev. 18, 20, He feels the same way in the New Testament (Rom. 1; 1 Cor. 6; 1 Tim. 1; Gal. 5; Mk. 7 and here in Jude 7).
One minister said it right when he stated: “Unlike modeling clay, it can’t be molded around each new generation’s lifestyles.” Our Christian faith is firmly structured around the “Good News” delivered ONCE (for ALL) at the Cross. This WAY of salvation is not just for a select few, but for everyone—anyone who will repent of (turn away from) their sins and ask Christ to save them. Christ’s truth is not esoteric—for a few. It’s egalitarian—for all.
Apostasy=A Permanent Falling Away
Backsliding is not apostasy; it can and will lead one there. Apostasy is defection/desertion—like the phrase “bill of divorce,” where the word “divorce” is a translation of the Greek word “apostasia.” The Emergent Church is an apostate Church…although they insist on using the name “Christian.” HA! They are CHRISTLESS! Apostates do not harbor any doubts in their minds and hearts, but a solid defiance against Biblical truth (there are degrees, of course, in all this). Jude contended with these “snakes-in-the-grass.” They “crept in unnoticed.” This phrase comes from the Greek word “pareiseduo,” meaning “to slip in stealthily.”
In William Barclay’s “The Letters of John and Jude,” 1973, p. 211, he relates how this word was used in Biblical times:
“It is used of the specious and seductive words of a clever -pleader seeping gradually into the minds of a judge and jury; it is used of an outlaw slipping secretly back into the country from which he has been expelled; it is used of the slow and subtle entry of innovations into the life of state, which in the end undermine and break down the ancestral laws. It always indicates a secret, stealthy, and subtle insinuation of something evil into a society or a situation.”
In Professor C. R. Swindoll’s New Testament Postcards, 1977, p. 29, he writes:
“In classical Greek literature, the word referred to slipping poison into someone’s glass. As poison dropped furtively into a silver chalice, these men surreptitiously penetrated the church. And their effect was lethal, striking at the very core of Christian truth. Jude describes these “ungodly persons” in two ways. First, they “turn the grace of our God into licentiousness;” second, they “deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
It is easy to take grace for granted. These apostates, however, went several steps further. They twisted it, and turned it into an opportunity to satisfy their own sensual appetites. The word “turn” in verse 4 means “to transpose,” or, “change the place of.” It is used to describe the altering of a conclusion, or the changing of a person’s name, mind, or loyalties. In secular literature written at the time of the New Testament, this word is used to describe Dionysius of Heracleia, who deserted the Stoics for the Epicureans. He is termed “the turncoat”—the same word that is found in Jude 4. Reversing grace into a cloak for evil, the “ravenous wolves” (see Matt. 7:15) broke the leash of Christ’s authority, running wild and, apparently, unchecked. The words of Edmund Burke serve to underscore the urgency of the situation:
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Personalizing Jude’s Instructions
As the saying goes, “one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel.” But people in New Testament times used a different metaphor to describe the same idea: “A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough” (Gal. 5:9). Leaven, or yeast, was used figuratively to refer to, among other things, the hypocrisy of the Pharisees (Luke 12:1), the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matt. 16:12), and malice and wickedness (1 Cor. 5:8). Like yeast permeating dough, these covert forces of evil spread from small beginnings. Doctrinal and moral defection usually begin from almost imperceptible microbes of impurity. Contaminations like these are always easier to nip in the bacterial stage. Left to themselves, they can become a doughy mess virtually overnight.
Verses 5-7 tell us about people and events connected to God’s judgments. Verse 5 is taken from Num. 13-14 where Israel’s graveyard (in the wilderness) is discussed (see 1 Cor. 10:5-11 and Heb. 3:18-4:2 reverts back to this event). It is good if we re-read these verses, for they tell us that God eventually punishes evil doers.
In verse 6 the scene changes from men to angels. Jude points back to Gen. 6:1-4 where unlawful sex was judged.
In verse 7 he recalls the awful destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18-19). I have written and taught on this subject many times, yet the Church in this generation insists and persists on doing the Sodom and Gomorrah thing. But, God will not be mocked.
Jesus, in Luke 6:45 tells us about the “good man” versus the “evil man.” Likewise, Jude recounts the revilings of these “evil men” (vv. 8-10). The “angelic majesties” (v. 8) means “glories.” The sickos in Sodom and Gomorrah defiled the flesh with their homosexuality, so did these apostates. The fallen angels rebelled and broke rank, and so did the apostates reject authority. The rebellious (freed slaves) Israelites reviled Moses and Aaron, so these apostates did the same to God’s instruction/teachers/ministers.
We know a half a dozen ex-ACMTC members who are apostates—not just backsliders, but clearly apostates. They all have one thing in common—their cynical irreverence toward God and His Word, as well as their characteristics of demons—lying and murdering the truth. They have allowed their “flesh” to be fully, satanically unleashed and unrestrained. We know a woman who once was a captain in our ranks who has spent the last 27 plus years trying to DESTROY us for correcting her for infidelity. She, no doubt, will go to her grave (then Hell Fire!) trying to GET BACK at us. Sorry, God’s judgments STAND SURE.
Apostasy: Nothing New
A lesson from History: If you are defecting from Jesus, denying Him as Master and Lord over both your mind and morals, remember: God does not show partiality (Rom. 2:11). As He punished the wicked people of Sodom and Gomorrah, so He disciplined unbelieving Israel: “the apple of His eye” (Zech. 2:8). And as He punished men who sinned, so He punished angels, who, before defecting, once sang His praises.
Verse 11 tells us that these apostates had “...gone in the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.”
CAIN: the way that leads unto destruction (see Mt. 7:13, 14).
BALAAM: the teachings and treachery of an Old Testament prophet who was bought off (like Judas Iscariot of the New Testament).
KORAH: the Levite and cousin to Moses (see Ex. 6:18-21), who stood against the authority of Moses/Aaron. He and his rebels were killed under God’s wrath (Num. 16:31-33).
You see, God is no respecter of persons. Cain was a farmer; Balaam was a prophet; Korah was a Levite.
Note Jude’s words:
“They have gone…”
Where do we find such words besides here? Oh, yes, in Mark 5:12, 13.
Why have soooo many ministers (and their congregations) gone the WAY of Cain, Balaam, and Korah? The Bible puts forth these warnings for us folks so we will avoid ruin. Man’s way—which is really Satan’s WAY—is diametrically opposed to Christ Jesus the Lord. HE IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE.
Cain vs The Way of Christ;
Balaam vs The Way of Christ;
Korah vs The Way of Christ.
Vv. 12 and 13 describe the apostates who, by the way, were once real believers. “Twice dead” (v. 12) literally means “twice having died.” They once were saved out of spiritual death at salvation—being born again, “passed from death unto life” as Jn. 5:24 puts it—but fell away, passing out of life back unto death (see Eph. 2:1 and Rom. 8:13). Apostates die in their sins.
Enoch: vv. 14-16
Swindoll’s comments on verse 14 which mentions Enoch (See note* for more info. from other sources):
“Their ways are godless. Quoting Enoch, an obscure prophet in Israel’s history whose writings are preserved outside the canon of Scripture, Jude now launches the most frontal attack in his battle against the apostate-teachers:
And about these also Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, 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. These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.’ (vv. 14-16)
As Jude puts aside his palette, and the paint of these verses begins to dry, we can take a step back and get a full view of this portrait: we see the lips sneering contemptuously in complaint, a faultfinding finger pointed in ridicule, eyes glinting with lust, an eyebrow lifted in arrogance, the appearance of a manipulative flatterer...this portrait of the apostate—grotesque and repulsive.”
*[One of the unusual things about Jude is that he takes his quotations not only from Scripture, but from the apocryphal books as well—that is, from books not in the Old Testament. These works of literature were popular and widely used in Jude’s time, so to his readers, the quotations would have been extremely effective. The practice of quoting non-canonical literature raises a red flag in some people’s minds. However, it is no different from a preacher using quotations in his sermon that are not from the Bible. Both Stephen (in Acts 7) and Jesus (in Matt. 23) refer to historical incidents not mentioned in the Old Testament. Even a pagan work could contain elements of truth, as Paul attests when he quotes the poet Aratus’s Phaenomena 5 to his educated Athenian audience in Acts 17:28. For further discussion, see Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties by Gleason L. Archer (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Publishing House, 1982), p. 430.
One might want to compare the similarity between Jude’s apostates and Peter’s:
Jude 5-16 ↔ 2 Peter 21-22
The interpretation of Jude 6 has resulted in a babel of commentators. However, it appears to be an echo of Genesis 6. Work through the following points to see how we arrived at this conclusion. First, the Bible commonly used at the time Jude was writing was a Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint. In that version, the phrase “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2 and 4 is translated “angels of God.”
Second, support for this translation can be found in Job 1:6, 2:1, and 38:7, where the phrase “sons of God” can only refer to angels. In these passages, the Septuagint also translates the phrase as “angels of God.”
Third, the context of Genesis 6:2 and 4 favors this interpretation. There was something strange and terrible in the unholy unions described in this passage—something much more serious than godly men taking ungodly wives. Obviously, it was a problem of potentially catastrophic proportions. Why else would God have resorted to such a catastrophic remedy as a worldwide flood?
Fourth, the context of Jude 7 favors this interpretation. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah are said to have gone after strange flesh, “in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality.”
Fifth, the broader context of the New Testament seems to support this view as well (2 Pet. 2:4). Extra-Biblical literature from Jude’s time also supports this view.
Sixth, the apocryphal book of Enoch, from which Jude quotes and to which he alludes, refers to a similar fall of angelic beings. Josephus, a great Jewish historian and contemporary of Jude, notes: “Many angels accompanied with women, and begat sons that proved unjust” (Antiquities 1:3:1). For support of this interpretation, see “A Commentary on the Book of Genesis” by Umberto Cassuto (Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 1961), vol. 1, pp. 290-301. Also, “Biblical Demonology” by Merrill F. Unger (Wheaton, Ill.: Scripture Press, 1952), pp. 17-19, 45-52. For other interpretations, see “The Pentateuch, vol. 1 of Commentary on the Old Testament in Ten Volumes” by C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1965), pp. 127-138. See also, “Divine Kingship and Genesis 6:1-4" by Meredith G. Kline, Westminster Theological Journal (Nov. 1961-May 1962), p. 197.]
With all this said and done, just where do you stand on this issue? ARE YOU FIGHTING FOR WHAT IS RIGHT, OR COMPROMISING?
Pray for America to repent. Pray for the church of America to repent. Keep repenting yourself, as we do every day here. Pray for us.