The Epistle of Jude
A Transcript of James Battell Verse-By-Verse King James Bible Study
Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yLIGPC8h_A
Verses 1-2: “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.”
After Philemon, this is probably the shortest book in the New Testament, and yet it is profoundly rich in doctrine, a lot of good meat from this very tiny epistle of just 25 verses.
Jude, no doubt, was a brother of the Lord Jesus, and his brethren are found in Matthew 13 and also his family are mentioned in Mark chapter 6. He doesn’t call himself the brother of the Lord but the brother of James. James in Acts 15 and the epistle of James, which, Lord willing, I will get to next time, was the brother of the Lord Jesus, and here Jude is also a brother and yet through humility doesn’t claim to be a half brother of the Lord but claims his lineage back to James. Matthew 12:50 Jesus said whoever did the will of the Father was His brother, was His sister, was His mother, and He was meaning that until you’re born again, you are not of His family but you are an enemy of God. John chapter 6 told you to believe on the Son of God, and by believing on Him, you had fulfilled the will of God. You are now saved; you are now in the body of Christ.
Sanctified, preserved, and called – an interesting order to commence an epistle. Normally a person is called, then the person believes, and once a person believes, they are exonerated. And the biblical word for that is justified. Once a person is justified, they are sanctified, which has a twofold meaning. Initially it means to be set apart, set apart unto the Lord, set apart from sin; and also it has an ongoing meaning, a constant daily purifying. Your sins, according to Colossians 1 and John chapter 5, have already been forgiven. All your past, present, and future sins are forgiven. You’ve already passed from death unto life, and you are preserved until the day of redemption. But sanctification is the ongoing process of cleaning you and empowering you to live for the Lord.
1 John said that if we say we have no sin, we make Him a liar and the truth is not in us. Just because a person is saved, just because a person is born again doesn’t mean that he/she is immune from sinning. That is not the case whatsoever. A person can and does fall into sin, and as the late Billy Sunday once said that a person can fall into the mud, can roll around in the mud, but eventually they will get back on their feet, dust themselves off, and start all over again. And that’s very true. You can fall inboard, but you can’t fall overboard.
But here Jude starts his epistle by saying to those that are sanctified, set apart by God the Father and preserved – that’s their security by Jesus Christ, and John 10 gives us double security. The Father has you in His hand and the Son has you in His hand, hence why Jesus can say the Father and I are one. And the last part of Jude, the first verse says you are called, called unto salvation, possibly, or called unto service, more likely; but, nonetheless, it’s an unusual way of dealing with a person’s calling, belief, standing, and ultimately post sanctification, his glorification. But between sanctification and glorification, there’s also adoption. You are adopted into the body of Christ. You are adopted into the family of God, and the book of Ephesians deals with that in more detail.
Verse 3: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
Please keep in mind that all of the New Testament books are written, really, to saved people. The Gospels were more biographies of the Lord Jesus written by eyewitnesses. Mark was an eyewitness; Luke I believe could well have been one of the 70 found in Luke 10 and Matthew 10; and Matthew was certainly an eyewitness, along with John. But from Romans right up until Revelation, you’re finding primarily apostles writing their books to saved people. And, of course, vicariously we can present these writings to the world, and if they believe what we present to them, they are then saved and this book has direct application to them, this book meaning the Bible. And if they don’t believe, then it has no direct application to them. However, they are still condemned.
Whether you believe in the Gospel or not, whether you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ or not is irrelevant. God’s judgment is already on you, and it will stay on you until you believe. Creation points you to the Creator, and your conscience points you also to the Creator. So if you can picture a tribe in the middle of nowhere worshiping a stone or a tree or a slug and somebody in that village hears of the Gospel or somebody in that village sincerely seeks the Lord, that person’s conscience will convict them of their sin. That person’s conscience will point them to a higher being than themselves, higher than a tree, higher than a slug, higher than a stone. And the moment a pagan in a far-out land in the middle of nowhere gets serious for the Lord, the Lord will talk to that person. He will talk to that person if they haven’t got a Bible maybe through their thoughts, maybe in their dreams, perhaps. But what normally happens is that a person living in the middle of nowhere with no Bible who can’t even read, who can’t even write will somehow call on the Lord, and the Lord will send somebody to that person to give them the full Gospel, and they’ll believe the Gospel and get saved. But even if somebody doesn’t believe on the Lord, even if somebody doesn’t call on the Lord, that person is still going to be held accountable by the Lord.
So whether you believe in the Gospel or not, whether you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ or not is totally academic. Had you wanted to be saved, you could have been saved, and God will judge you for that. He will hold you accountable because you could have been saved had you chosen to be saved, and worshiping other deity, so-called, living another life, living a religious life, so-called, if it’s not found and substantiated in the Bible, it’s totally in vain. So just a quick footnote that I wanted to just briefly drop in as I look at verse 3.
But here the saved person is told to contend for the faith. Sola Scriptura, which means the Scripture alone. Only the Bible is inspired. No church is inspired. No priest is inspired. No pope is inspired. No pastor is inspired. No elder is inspired. No evangelist is inspired. Only the Bible was inspired. And along with Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, faith alone. You cannot save yourself.
Your baptism doesn’t save you; your good works don’t save you; your church attendance doesn’t save you; your fasting doesn’t save you; your Bible reading doesn’t save you. Only your true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is what saves you. And those two points are mandatory, I would say, to a saved person to defend, to stand for. And the moment you give way to those two areas, you’ve lost your light; you’ve lost your salt; you’ve lost your worthiness, and sooner or later, you’ll be made redundant in the eyes of the Lord. Your standing with Him, your salvation may be fixed because your positional standing with Him is unaffected, but your practical standing with Him can fluctuate, hence why you were told time and time again to make sure you get a full reward at the Judgment Seat. Don’t compromise. Don’t give in. Keep on going.
Verse 4: “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Middle knowledge – and I’ve spoken about this in other videos ‒ in a nutshell simply means that the Lord clearly knows from eternity past into eternity future everything that was ever going to happen would happen and has happened, and the Bible has always told us from Revelation’s account that the dead have already been judged; whereas we are living in time, and we are totally incapable of comprehending how God, who is eternal and lives outside of time, could speak to prophets in the Old Testament who lived in time about events which would happen beyond their lifetime, which they wrote about in their lifetime, which their recipients read in their lifetime, which we are reading today thousands of years later in our own lifetime about events which have happened pre our lifetime and yet will still happen during our lifetime and in the lifetime of future believers ahead of us.
And these men were ordained; they were chosen; they were appointed, primarily. They were singled out because of their wickedness. They were clearly never saved to begin with. They were clearly enemies of the Lord. They would take the grace of God which saves mankind and turn it into a license for sin, and by doing that, they would deny the Lord God and Jesus Christ. Also remember that the New Testament’s main enemy, really, was the Judaizers, the Jews who didn’t receive Christ as the Messiah – foretold in the Old Testament, foretold primarily in Jeremiah. But even Moses speaks about it back in Deuteronomy. And they were never going to receive the Messiah. They were going to oppose Him, and even in Paul’s day a small group of religious zealots took an oath that they would not eat until they found him and killed him. And, of course, they didn’t find him, they didn’t kill him and, no doubt, possibly even died due to their oath which they took in vain.
So just one little final point on verse 4. You can’t get people chosen before the foundation of the world to be condemned. No. It says from of old, they were ordained of old to this condemnation, simply meaning from Old Testament times seen from the perspective of the Old Testament prophets; and as I say, they got that information through middle knowledge. Had the men spoken about here reacted differently, then, of course, their actions would have been penned from a different perspective by the Old Testament prophets. But because their actions were already seen pre their own existence in the eyes of the prophets, the prophets wrote down exactly how they would handle any given situation.
Verse 5: “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.”
The wheat and the tares. A mixed multitude left Egypt, and most of the multitude, most of the people that left Egypt were not saved. They were the tares, which we find in Matthew 13, the wheat and the tares. And regrettably the vast majority of professing Christians are the tares. They are the tares found in Matthew 13. And Jesus said many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and done many wonderful works in thy name. Not some, not a few, but many would say that to Him, whereas the wheat, the true saved believer will be, I believe, fewer in number than the tares.
But saying that, there are more saved people living in China today than there are living in the UK and America combined. So when you deal with people that believe that the Rapture will only come for a handful of people or a select few, you’re dealing with people who don’t really understand what it is to be saved nor do they really appreciate the Lord’s glory. As I say, there are more saved people living in Asia than there are living in the West, and that’s a fact. That is a fact.
Verse 6: “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.”
Interesting order of events here. Six would be found in Genesis 6, and 5 would be found in the book of Exodus. But the angels here from verse 6, as I say, are found in Genesis 6, and those angels saw the daughters of men, and because these angelic beings haven’t got physical form of their own, they have to take human form, and that normally happens through demon possession. But in Genesis 6 they were able to perhaps take on physical form of some kind through possession, I would imagine, to then have intercourse with the daughters of men. And once that was done, they were condemned. These angels probably fell with the devil pre Genesis 3 and had been roaming the earth for a long period of time, no doubt, and by the time of Genesis 6, by the time of their demonic/human creation, these giants, these nephilims, by the time that had happened, the Lord just said, “That’s it. I’m going to send the flood. I’m going to drown everybody and everything out apart from Noah and his tiny family.”
Verse 7: “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.”
Hell fire is eternal. Please never ever forget that. Don’t allow anybody to tell you that the wicked are annihilated when they die. They are not. I remember having a conversation with a student in my local library, and she wasn’t a believer. She was a strong atheist. And I said to her that based on her belief, Joseph Stalin and Slobodan Milosevic and Mao Zedong and Pol Pot and Adolph Hitler and all those other wicked demon-possessed tyrants have completely escaped justice. All the victims that died under their watch died in vain, because according to her, there is no afterlife; it’s simply annihilation. And she wasn’t very comfortable with me pointing that out to her. But that is the absolute truth. If you’re not a Christian, if you’re not a believer in the Bible, then you fall into the trap of annihilation. Therefore, if you teach that in your schools, if you teach that in your communities, if you teach that in your homes, then children grow up to be ferals; they grow up to be criminals; they grow up to be dead to the Lord.
And somebody once said the worst thing that God could ever do to an unsaved person was to leave them alone. Scripture says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. When a man fears God, when a man knows God, when a man believes the Bible and walks with the Lord, he has the perfect peace which passes all understanding. But the moment somebody turns their back on the Lord and goes their own way, then they are pretty much living on borrowed time.
Two other quick points to say on verse 7. Fornication would be a reference to all premarital sex and all the perversions that would go with that and homosexuality, which would also include lesbianism.
Verse 8: “Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.”
When you read Jude carefully, what you see is a reference to the unsaved clearly from verse 4 and verse 5, but 7 and 8 also have a reference to some angelic influence, especially from verse 6. So when you get into this whole area of the Lord speaking through Jude ‒ and, as I say, Jude is writing this to his audience. He’s telling his audience, which are saved from verse 3, by the way, that there is a greater influence behind these ungodly men who he mentions several times in verse 15. There’s a greater influence behind these ungodly men, and that is an angelic influence. This is a fallen influence. He also criticizes this influence which despises dignities. And what you can’t do from this is say that it is unscriptural to criticize those that are in authority, per se, because John the Baptist criticized Herod and rebuked him for his loose living, as did the prophets from the Old Testament. But what you’re finding here, really, are demons working through unsaved people speaking wickedly of those that are in authority, primarily those that are doing the Lord’s will, the so-called good guys, as it were.
Verse 9: “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.”
Michael in Hebrew means “who is like God.” Michael is an archangel. Michael had great authority. He’s also found in Daniel 12 and Revelation 12. And the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is Michael, and yet here Michael doesn’t have the authority or the audacity or the ability to rebuke the devil. He says, “The Lord rebuke you.” And yet in Matthew chapter 4, Jesus said to the devil, “It is written, you shall not tempt the Lord thy God” ‒ i.e., Me ‒ and the devil flees. So Jesus, when confronting the devil, rebukes the devil and claims deity, and yet here when Michael is dealing with the devil, he doesn’t have the authority to do what Christ did in Matthew chapter 4. Therefore, Jesus is not Michael the archangel.
Verses 10-13: “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.”
In reverse order, this expression to wandering stars is found in the book of Job, and stars are also referred to in Revelation in reference to angels. So, again, you’ve got this demonic force behind these ungodly people. So it should be quite obvious when you look at people throughout history, whether it was Hitler or Stalin or in biblical times Herod and Pharaoh, that behind these wicked, evil men is the devil and his minions. And 12 says they are spots in your feasts of charity when they feast with you. Again, here’s the human element, the wheat and the tares, and here I believe the tares are fellowshipping with the wheat at the communion service. And they are spoken of as being without fear carried about of winds, trees whose fruit withereth. Again, Matthew 13 says that when persecution arises, they die, they fall away, because the foundation wasn’t deep enough to sustain, to endure the testing. But they are spoken of as being twice dead. They are physically dead and they are spiritually dead. They were never saved to begin with. And I need to say that, because sometimes people will go to Jude and go to the 12th verse and say that this is speaking of somebody who has lost their salvation when it doesn’t say that at all. It’s saying that they were never saved to begin with. Again, Matthew 7, always go back to Matthew 7 and read it carefully, and Jesus says that He never knew them, meaning they were never saved to begin with. And for these tares, for these demons, the blackness of darkness is reserved forever.
Now, I will just say this quickly ‒ and I’ve made videos on hell, so I don’t want to go over that same ground again ‒ but sometimes when you get to the area of Hell, you get conflicting scriptures. And this is what’s put forward by a typical agnostic, a typical uneducated biblical illiterate. You get accounts which speak of the lake of fire and you get accounts which speak of everlasting darkness. When a person dies, they either go to Heaven or Hell. For the lost person, his soul is joined to his new body, which he gets at the Great White Throne, and he’s cast alive into the lake of fire. He’s blind by this stage, according to Matthew chapter 9, and therefore a blind person clearly cannot see, hence why he’s in outer darkness and finds himself ultimately in the lake of fire. So there’s no contradiction there. And I’ve done other videos on Hell which go into it in more detail and in more time, so you may wish to take a look at one of those videos if you wish to. But here the blackness of darkness is a reference to the lake of fire, the second death, and that’s where the demons are going to go and that’s where the tares are going to go ultimately.
Verses 14-15: “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.”
Some people look at verse 14 or 15 and believe that Jude is quoting from the book of Enoch, which wasn’t inspired, by the way. And just a couple of points to give you on that hypothesis – and I use that word intentionally because it’s possible that Jude could have been quoting from Enoch. There are non-biblical books that are quoted in Scripture, so you can’t be dogmatic; but what I would say is that, first of all, not everything found in 14 or 15 is a word-for-word account of Enoch, and secondly, Jude could have been quoting from spoken Jewish accounts over the years. So you can’t say for sure that he’s quoting from the book of Enoch. But what I’m more interested in is this expression “ungodly” from 15, which appears four times. And every word is used in Scripture for a purpose. And also from 14, Enoch is the seventh from Adam. So those of you that are into numerology, let me know what you think of that.
Verses 16:-21: “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.”
Don’t lose your first love. Revelation speaks about those that have lost their first love – because the moment you lose your first love, you start to backslide; you start to become dry; you start to compromise; you neglect the Scripture; you stop being a soul winner, and you cease to function in the way that the Lord wants you to function. Keep yourself in the love of God and pray in the Holy Ghost. Read the Scriptures; meditate on the Scriptures. Try and clear your mind of all of the worldly clutter. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying – to some extent, anyway – worldly things. But when you love worldly things, then you are in a position of compromise. You’re in a position of falling from your first love. You’ve stood back; you’ve departed from your first love. And I appreciate that it’s a fine line, but it needs to be said, nonetheless.
Verses 22-23: “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.”
It’s your job, people, regardless of your standing, whether you’re a church leader or not, it’s your job to reach out to the lost, to pull them out of the fire. Sometimes people will give you that expression, “Love the sinner but hate the sin.” And I’ll go to verse 23. And I believe that came from Gandhi who clearly wasn’t a Christian. He was a Hindu with questionable credentials. But, nonetheless, you were told to make a difference. So I believe that 22 is speaking about saved people perhaps who have fallen into error, whereas 23 is speaking about unsaved people who have yet to be saved, and it’s down to us to reach out and bring them to the Lord if we can.
Verses 24-25: “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”
Jesus is God, found in 25 and 24. He can keep you faultless, and He will keep you faultless. He’s the Good Shepherd, and it’s His job to get us from A to B, and it’s His job to present us blameless to the Lord, but it’s also our job not to feed the flesh. It’s our job to walk in the Spirit, and we can do that when we yield to Him.