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Jude
Skip Heitzig

Jude 1 (NKJV™)
1 Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ:
2 Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
5 But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.
6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;
7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries.
9 Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"
10 But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.
11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.
12 These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots;
13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,
15 "to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.
17 But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ:
18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.
19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having 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, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22 And on some have compassion, making a distinction;
23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.
24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
25 To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.

New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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65 Jude - 1990

The small epistle of Jude is a powerful book that warns against apostasy and encourages contending for the faith. Skip Heitzig expounds on this call for discernment in the church.

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When Jude sat down to write this little letter he did not intend to write what he wrote. He intended to write a quiet, soft little devotional that dealt with our common salvation but the Spirit of God impressed upon him a new direction and as he sat down to write it, he became concerned for the people that were being swallowed up by the heresies that prevailed during his age. Cults, heresies, denying of the basic doctrine of Christianity, is not new. It's been around since the truth began, since the gospel was first put forth there have been people who have sought to twist it and to pervert it. We remember this morning in the parable of the sower and the seed, as soon as the sower sowed the seed on the wayside, the birds of the air were following close behind to pluck it up. And so it is in every age where truth is proclaimed there is always evil. And evil follows closely behind to snatch up the truth. You could call this epistle the Acts of the Apostates. You just like you have the Acts of the Apostles, this is the Acts of the Apostates because the church was in a state of apostasy, which means falling away from the true faith. There were people who had the outward semblance of religious expression. They had a form of godliness, but they denied the power thereof. They had a form, but no force, in their lives to change them. And Jude really didn't have the desire to hammer these people about it, but it was the direction that the Spirit of God took him.

So it begins by saying, "Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ." Jude is another word for Judah, which means praise, or Judas, same derivative, just different forms of the name. Almost every scholar that has written a commentary or looked at this Scripture determined that the one who wrote this epistle was none other than Jude, or Judah, the flesh brother of Jesus Christ. Jesus was born of a virgin. He had no physical father; Joseph was His foster father. Mary was His mother. She conceived by the Holy Spirit and Jesus came. The Scripture tells us that Joseph had no sexual relationship with Mary until after Jesus was born. After Jesus was born, however, the Scripture tells us that Mary and Joseph had a normal marriage and they had other children and they're even named in the Scripture. The people of Nazareth, when Jesus came back preaching the gospel, said, "Is this not the carpenter's son. Are these not His brothers? Are these not His sisters?" Jesus had a few younger half-brothers. That's the safest way to put it--they were half-brothers. One was named James. One was named Joseph, after the dad. You know every father wants a namesake. And the angel said, "You shall call His name Jesus for He shall save His people from sin," so that ruled out Joseph, Junior on that one. But after Jesus came they had the chance to have a normal marriage. And Joseph said, 'I want a Junior, honey.' And so He had Joseph, James, and Jude, as well as sisters.

James was really the elder of the church of Jerusalem in the book of Acts. He was the one that wrote the letter, or the epistle, of James and Jude was his brother who wrote this epistle of Jude. It's interesting to note that Jesus' brothers did not believe in Him until after the resurrection. They thought he was nuts. The Scripture tells us that in the Gospels of Mark and John. Before the feast in Jerusalem, His brothers came up to Him and said, 'Go show Yourself openly to the Jews. For no man who wants to be known publicly will do these things in secret. For His brothers did not believe in Him." In the Gospel of Mark it is recorded that Jesus went about healing, teaching, so much so that He didn't even have time to eat. And this worried His family. His family heard about it and His family came to Him, His brothers came, because they said, 'He is out of His mind.' After the resurrection, Jesus publicly appeared to large groups of people at a time as well as having private apparitions. And it says He appeared in 1 Corinthians 15 to James the brother of Jesus and he believed. And James grew up to be a leader in the early church and Jude also became a leader in the early church.

History tells us that Jude had his own children and that his children had to stand before the Emperor Dometian who was persecuting the early church and it was around 90 AD and the Christians were being persecuted and Jude's sons stood before Dometian. They were going to be executed except that Dometian saw their hands, that they were calloused and the hands of hardworking, honest men, and he let them go. And so they had a good heritage with Jude and the family of Jesus.

This epistle has 25 verses. It's short. But it's one of the most powerful and most needed books for today because Jude speaks against heretics, heresies, those that deviate from orthodoxy. Orthodoxy means a straight rule, a straight line of practice. Now all throughout church history, from the early church on, there has always been an orthodox line of belief. Certain things that make a true Christian and if you miss that, you're not a Christian. That is the deity of Jesus Christ. He is God come in human flesh; He is not a god--He is God in human flesh. Secondly, the vicarious atonement. Jesus died in your place because you're a sinner. Third, the bodily resurrection. Not the spiritual, the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead on the third day. The virgin birth, as well as the second visible Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the earth. The early church always held to those truths and pushed for them throughout history.

Because heretics sprung up from age to age, the church needed to form creeds of Christendom. Because people were believing in all sorts of nonsense, the early church fathers would get together and say, 'We've got to form some kind of a document that says what we believe in--a statement of faith that shows what we believe in so that we are able to determine a true Christian from a fake one.' An orthodox Christian from a cult. And that really began in the early church with writers like Jude as they wrote against these kinds of people. Jude had discernment and how we need discernment these days. It seems like we are willing to sacrifice truth in the name of love saying it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you believe something. As long as you have God mixed in your vocabulary, or you mention Jesus, hey, he's a Christian.

I get letters from people every now and then that ask why I speak out against good Christians like Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. How can I not show much love? The most loving thing to do is to tell people the truth. Jude writes this fiery letter because he was a man of discernment. Now some of the things we're going to read and discuss will probably not be all that popular, and that's ok. As a disclaimer, I've got to let you know something. I don't speak to be popular. I don't do this to attract people to come and hear the message at this church. Whether one person comes or millions, I could care less. I'm not doing this to please people. If I were doing this to win a popularity contest, I'd take a whole different approach, believe me. There are all sorts of methods you can get to attract people and be popular. And Jude really didn't care about winning a popularity contest--he cared about discernment. It is so needed. But the interesting thing about having discernment, when God gives you discernment, especially when we talk about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the gift of discerning of discerning of spirits, when you have the gift it's one of the most frustrating gifts to have because you see through the schemes of weirdo's and heretics. And it's frustrating to you because if you have that gift, you wonder how come nobody else sees it. How come so few understand and how come people follow after this stuff? And are sucked in by it? And they'll turn to you and say, you don't have any love. And you're thinking, how can they fall for this stuff? I'm sure felt Jude himself in that kind of a predicament from time to time.

When I was a young Christian and I lived in an apartment in Santa Ana with a couple roommates, one evening I was in bed reading my Bible, the lights were still on and the kitchen door opened and closed. I don't know what it was, I just got a feeling and I'm not one to be given to how I feel all the time. But I felt like a check in my spirit, I just thought something weird is happening, as the door closed. And my other roommate brought home one character who he introduced to me and said he's a brother in the Lord and he wants to spend the night. And I was very skeptical, I just thought, well, alright, we got a bed for him out in the living room. But something wasn't right and it was just a check in my heart. I knew that this guy shouldn't be here. But I couldn't put my finger on it. A couple hours later, he woke us all up because he had some wild vision, some dream of a half-man, half-horse and he went on and on. Finally, I just thought, you know what? This guy's out to lunch. He says he's a brother, but I'm going to risk that he's not. So I took all my roommates, brought them out to the living room, and I put my eye-to-eye with this character and I said, I want you out of the house in five minutes. But brother! How could you put another brother out in the cold? I love Jesus! And he gave me all the Christian vocabulary. At that time, also, it started to rain outside. And so I felt, if I'm wrong, I'm going to go into deep depression here for about a week. And he put all of the spiritual words on me and I finally said, listen, I'll risk it. I feel like God is giving me some discernment on you and I want you out of the house. You can't spend the night. I want you gone. But it's raining! Tough, go get wet. My roommates looked at me like, how cruel, how hard-hearted could you be. The next day, we started calling around different ministries and they were all looking for this character because they said, this guy will come in, say he's a Christian, in the middle of the night he'll rip you off and he'll leave. There were about five different ministries looking for this guy. Which direction did he go in? And I just thought, thank you, Lord, for discernment. But when you have it, people don't understand it. Not that I always have it, by the way. Not that I'm the only one who understands. A lot of you have discernment. But when you have it, you're amazed that so many people can follow so many flakes.

I don't know if you watched a few years ago when a person by the name of Amazing Randy, who's a non-believer, was on the Johnny Carson show. Now this guy has more discernment than a lot of believers and he's not even a believer. But when a guy in California by the name of Peter Popoff used to have a big nationwide television show and used to call out supposed words of knowledge, Amazing Randy found him out--that the guy had a little headpiece in his ear and a microphone under his shirt. And his wife would be communicating, there's a guy in the third row, this is his name and address. So he'd walk to the crowd and say, is there a Peter Tompkins here, third row? Yeah, that's me! Peter, do you live at? And he gave the address as she was saying it in his ear in this little receiver. But so many people have fallen for it and he's still around today. And you wonder, where is the discernment? I've gone to meetings and I've heard people stand up and say, the Lord is speaking right now. It's a word from God. The Lord is laying on my heart that there are 100 people here tonight that are going to give $1,000 each. And I think, now everybody's got to see through this one. This is a full scam. But they don't! Willing to have their money taken from them in the name of the Lord and they don't see it! That's what Jude was confronted with here.

Now we see that many of the epistles, many of the letters, much of the writings of the early church, were written against heretics. The book of Colossians was written against the Gnostics. The book of 1-3 John was written against the Gnostics. The book of Galatians was written against the legalistic Judaisers, because these flakes were around everywhere in the early church and there was the necessity of writing a polemic against them. In the book of 1 Timothy 4, "The Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies and hypocrisy and having their own conscious seared with a hot iron." That's apostasy. That's falling away from the faith. Or as The Living Bible puts it, "Some in the church will turn away from Christ." And we have seen an apostasy. Peter, in his epistle, predicted apostasy. Jude is writing saying, it's already here. The prophecy has been fulfilled. If it was fulfilled 1900 years ago, it has blossomed today. Trace the spiritual heritage of this country, how this country was founded and how far it's fallen. How many universities, how many high schools, can you openly go into class and proclaim the gospel in the United States? Not many. You know, in Russia you can do it all over because of the recent happenings. It's more often in Russia than it is in the United States.

When people began to establish the great universities, the great high quality colleges, of this nation, the Ivy League schools on the east coast, they were established for the purpose of evangelizing the eastern seaboard and training up ministers for the gospel. To go to Harvard University, you had to be in the Scripture and spend time in it twice a day--prerequisite to stay in school. Oh how the mighty have fallen! We'd be hard-pressed to find a true believer in those schools these days. Departing from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. That's why I believe every Christian needs a basic training course. If you're a believer, and you're a baby believer, get into a new believer's class. Be instructed in the fundamentals of the faith. All of the holy doctrines or creeds of the faith--what the Bible teaches: that Jesus is God. Know what you believe and know why you believe it so that when somebody comes and tries to pass off something false, you'll be able to spot it. And you'll be able to say, that's not right. The Bible doesn't teach that. And that's the tragedy so often is that these people, who are the false teachers, will worm their way into fellowships and seek to find very vulnerable, young Christians who haven't been rooted and steal them away. And Jude talks about that.

But he says, "To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ." The word preserved means carefully watched and guarded. God called you. You didn't find God--He was never lost. God found you. He called you. You responded to the call, now God is in a process of sanctifying you, even though the word is past tense, God sees it as a finished event because He knows the end from the beginning. And also you're preserved. You're carefully watched and you're guarded in Christ Jesus. You don't have to wake up one day and think, am I saved or am I not saved? I was saved yesterday, but I don't feel saved today. I guess I'm not saved. I haven't read my verses. I haven't prayed like I did yesterday. Therefore, I'm not saved. That's a bunch of bunk. You're preserved in Christ. He keeps you.

"Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you." Now there's something I noticed about good old Jude and James. Although they were related to Jesus Christ, they never write about it. He never says, Jude, by the way, the related half-brother of the Messiah. I lived with Him for many, many years. He was my flesh brother. We used to play on the donkeys together. We grew up together. He never mentions that because, to him, the spiritual relationship is greater than the physical relationship. No doubt, he remembered some of the things Jesus was saying when it says, His brothers and His mother were outside asking for Him, Jesus turned to the disciples and said, whoever obeys the word of God, hears it and keeps it, the same is My mother, My brothers. This is My family. The spiritual relationship always supersedes.

"Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." He's saying, I sat down to write a whole different letter. I was going to write you a nice little devotional about our common salvation. Perhaps he was going to speak about grace or about faith but, I felt impressed, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting. It's a strong word. I have to urge you; I have to admonish you. To contend earnestly for the faith. That word contend earnestly for the faith means put up a good fight for it. Not that you're to be contentious and cantankerous, but you're to defend the faith. You are to put up a good fight for the faith. "Once for all delivered to the saints." Mark that please. Not once upon a time delivered to the saints, once for all. You should remember that, especially when some cultist comes up to you and says, hey, God is not finished speaking. We have other books. Pearl of Great Price, Doctrines and Covenants. Book of Mormon. Watchtower and Awake Magazine. God is speaking today through us, His prophets. Well Jude said that by the time he wrote, by the end of the first century AD, the body of truth was once for all deposited with the church. Period.

I had a couple Mormons in the office a few months ago and I brought this verse to their attention as they were telling me all the wonderful prophecies of Joseph Smith and all the other false prophets of Mormonism. I said, I want you to look at this verse, it says it's once for all delivered. There are no more new revelations. As we started getting into it, one of the young fellows started crying. The young Mormon said, I can't believe two Christian brothers, speaking of myself and another Mormon, arguing about the precious faith. And he looked at me and said, how can you speak this way to another brother? I said, now wait a minute. I appreciate the tears and the sentiment but back up just a minute. I'm putting up a defense. I didn't come and knock on your door. The Mormon church came along and said, everything you have learned in the past. We now have the new truth. The church has been lying to you. That's what Joseph Smith taught. There is no true orthodox sect of Christianity. I and I alone have it as deposited to me by the angel Morona. You attacked first; we're making a defense for the faith. We're not attacking you--we're defending your attack on us. So the tears are nice but it won't work here. And we're called to make a good fight for the faith. Like Paul said in 2 Timothy, "Put up a good fight for the faith." Contend earnestly, or put up a good defense, for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

You know what? I can sympathize with Jude. He sat down and said, I find it necessary to write about this. I would much rather encourage people than have to get into a battle about which is right and which is wrong. Because if you just share encouraging words all the time, pats on the back, people love you. If you start speaking like Jude, people get a little offended. And I'm sure that Jude just felt that tension inside of himself. "For certain men have crept in unnoticed." How is it that they crept in unnoticed? Well, the soldiers weren't keeping guard--they were sleeping at their post. The leaders, the elders, the deacons of the early church, weren't watching for falseness that was going in around. They were just kind of letting anybody in. It doesn't matter what you believe, great, no problem, you're a believer. "Who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ." They were saying, you're saved by grace, you can do anything you want to do. You can live any way you want to live. They were turning God's grace, His unmerited favor, into license for sin. Licenstiousness. You can sleep with a girl before you're married, you can drink alcohol and take drugs, anything you want to do, just come and say, God, I love you. Grace, grace, isn't it great? And they were twisting the very teachings of Paul.

Not only that, but it says they deny the only Lord God and the Lord Jesus Christ. The NIV is much more accurate in this verse: "They deny the Lord Jesus Christ as the only sovereign and Lord." Speaking about His deity. There were people who were denying that Jesus Christ is God. Like modern day cultists who knock on your door and pedal their bicycles. They were denying the deity of Christ. Jude does not have nice things to say. However, keep something in mind. Jude is attacking the doctrine and the teacher who's perverting the doctrine, not the victim of the doctrine. A lot of times, people will come to your door who are victims. At the end of this epistle, Jude teaches you how to deal with them. Some you deal tenderly, having compassion, and others you deal very sternly, pulling them out of the fire. It just depends on if they're a victim or if they're a teacher. But they denied Jesus Christ as the Lord.

In verse five, he begins by giving three examples of apostasy. In the past, people who have fallen away and God's judgment upon them. "But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe." That's the first example. Of course, he's speaking about the children of Israel at a very important crossroads in their history. They came to a place called Kadesh Bar and Moses was before the Lord and the Lord said, Moses, I want you to send twelve representatives into the new land to spy it out and to bring back a report. So Moses took twelve men, one from each tribe, sent them out, up the Negev, into a land, the southern part of Israel, called Hebron. And as they were up there, they saw, this place is fruitful. And they brought back a huge stick that was resting on one person's shoulder and the person behind them and it was filled with one huge bunch of grapes. It took two men to carry it--one single bunch on a vine with some pomegranates and some figs. And they brought it back and said, Moses, indeed the land you sent us into is a land of milk and honey. It's very fruitful. Just like you said, just like God said. But ten of the people said, however the inhabitants are strong, the villages are numerous, well fortified, and besides that, we saw giants in the land and we're only grasshoppers in their sight. Let's not go. And Caleb and Joshua said, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! God gave us the land, we're able to do it. God gave us a promise, let's go for it. But the ten circulated an evil report in the crowd and the people bought it. They lacked the faith to go from Kadesh and take the land. So they had to wander for forty years in the desert. And because the evil report spread and people believed the evil rather than the good, every single male twenty years old and up died in the wilderness and a new generation had to be brought in. A faithful generation.

The example is this: the Lord having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. Those who fell away from a position of faith in the Lord, who didn't believe His promises, probably the mixed multitude, those who really weren't of the children of Israel, were the ones that incited this and really spread the fear and the rumor around. And God judged them. In verse six: "And the angels who did not keep their proper domain." This is example number two. "But left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day." As you read the Scripture there seems to be two different apostasies or fallings away of angels. One of them was when Lucifer fell from the position of being one of the good angels. It's described in Isaiah 14: "How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning? How are you cast down to the ground, O you who did weaken the nations?" And because of Lucifer's pride, he fell and it seems like a third of the angelic beings followed him. Now they are alive and well, running around and they are not bound--they're very open. We call them demons. And they try to keep unbelievers from following the Lord, they try to rip off believers from growing in the Lord, and they wreck all sorts of havoc in the earth. But there is another incident that this verse is talking about. Angels who did not keep their first estate or proper domain, but left their own habitation, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day."

Something somewhere happened that caused God to chain up or to keep in bondage angels until a day of judgment. It's also spoken about in 2 Peter 2:4, "For if God did not spare the angels who sinned but cast them down to hell and delivered into chains of darkness to be reserved for judgment and did not spare the ancient world but saved Noah, one of the eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly." But it speaks about angels who sinned, cast them down to hell, delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved for judgment. What this is exactly I don't know. I'll tell you what most scholars think it is and you can take it or leave it. In the book of Genesis 6, it says when men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born to the sons of men that the sons of God came in to daughters of men and took them as wives and then God said My Spirit will not always strive with men and He started to judge the earth. And it says there were giants in the land in those days. There are people who believe that the sons of God were fallen angels. You say, sons of god, fallen angels? Well you read the book of Job and it says that Satan appeared before God with the sons of God who were angelic beings. So sons of God is a term for angels. And these people theorized that these angelic beings left their proper domain, they were out of line, they came to the earth in the form of a man, they had relationships with the daughters of men and because of that produced a race of evil giants, one of the reasons that caused God to judge the earth with the flood. That's one of the theories. It could be backed up by Scripture but I could go both ways, I could give you the other side as well.

The main point that Jude is making is that angels blew it, they fell away, and God's going to judge them, too. That's my second example, he's saying. In verse seven of Jude is his third example, Sodom and Gomorrah, which is getting to be closer to home these days. "Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." Sodom and Gomorrah, you remember, were addicted to homosexuality. So much so that when the angels came into Sodom and Gomorrah to take Lot and his family away, the people in Sodom didn't know they were angels, all the men of the city knocked on the door and demanded that these two men come out that they might have homosexual relations with them. It was aggressive homosexuality. The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was many-fold, but one of its main sins was homosexuality that was very aggressive.

Billy Graham years ago once said something that I think is very pertinent and true. He said, "If God does not judge America, He owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology." I think he's right. When the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah gets as blatant and as aggressive as Sodom and Gomorrah, we are ripe, ripe, ripe for judgment. That scares me as I look at our nation; it doesn't delight me in the least. And what also scares me is the prediction in Zechariah where it says in the last days, all of the nations--all of the nations--will be gathered against Israel. And God will judge them. And this whole Middle East crisis could be the beginning. There's a change happening in our country. There's open homosexuality, blatant lasciviousness, and it could be that we're setting ourselves up for judgment and God could use the hook of Israel in the end times to bring that to pass. But it says, "They have given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh," speaking of homosexual relations. Doing something contrary to God's natural order. So three examples of apostasy.

It's amazing that these people had come into the church because it says way back in verse four, "certain men have crept in unnoticed." These kinds of people were pretending to be teachers, ripping off some of the young believers. They were saying, you can be saved, grace of God, do anything you want to, and Jude has some pretty scathing things to say. There are many people today in churches that are sending out a message that homosexuality is alright. I found an article I wanted to share with you. I collect these kinds of things. "The general senate of the Church of England, trying to satisfy both conservative and liberal wings, has decided that homosexual acts are not outright sin but fall short of Christian ideals of marriage." Now listen to this: "The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement." Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement? "Pushed for Anglican church parliament to sanction permanent and monogamous homosexual relationships. The Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the church, admitted that homosexual acts are condemned in the Bible, but argued that the church had not condemned disciplined and responsible homosexuals. He warned the Senate of the danger of driving homosexual clergy out of the church. A proposal to discipline such clergy was turned down." Some of you also heard on the news or read about John Cardinal O'Connor in New York City, the Catholic priest, who spoke out about homosexuality and 450 homosexuals marched in front of his church, interrupted the mass, screaming, running down the aisle, throwing condoms in the air, disrupting the entire service, aggressive homosexuality. Within churches.

In the 1700s a man by the name of John Wesley, on fire, started a movement of revival that became known as the Methodist church. And if you want to get fired up in your faith, read the sermons of John Wesley. He was the one who said, "I like my religion like my tea--I want it hot." He condemns such lasciviousness and yet today, the Methodist church is starting to condone homosexual clergy in some of its parts. Big movement going on. So people who endorse that be careful to read this verse. "Are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." Now he goes into a description of them. "Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh." In other words, their thought life is polluted. They have filthy fantasies that they eventually live out. They reject authority. They're not accountable to anyone; they don't listen to godly counsel; they reject God's authority or anyone else's. "And speak evil of dignitaries." Here's his example about speaking evil of dignitaries and how you shouldn't. It's one of the most interesting in the New Testament: "Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" What a wild verse. That has always puzzled me. Because we never read about Satan disputing with Michael about the body of Moses. We just know that Moses died, he wasn't allowed to go into the Promised Land because he misrepresented God beating the rock to bring water out of it, and it says that God buried him. Here we find out that Satan disputed with Michael. How Jude found this out, we don't know. Either by supernatural revelation or perhaps, since He lived with Jesus, He could have gotten that information through that channel. He knew all things. He was the Creator.

Just for a moment, why would Michael and Satan dispute over a dead body? Unless God wanted to preserve that body for some future use. That's why it's interesting to read the book of Revelation chapter eleven, where the two witnesses, one of them has an incredible likening unto Moses. His ministry is much like Moses. In fact, I believe in the tribulation period, one of the two witnesses in Jerusalem for the Jewish people will be Moses and the other Elijah. And it could be that God had a future plan for that body, just like Elijah. By the way, he never died. You know that. Elijah was taken up into heaven in a fiery chariot because has also a future use for him. But we read here that Satan disputed with Michael. Who is Michael? Michael is the representative of the Jewish nation. In the book of Daniel, it was Michael who is called the prince of your people, the Jews. In the book of Revelation chapter twelve, John said, I saw war in heaven. Michael and his angels making war against Satan and his angels. And Satan was cast down. So Michael is one of those representatives for the Lord's people, the Jewish nation.

What's interesting about this, and the whole point of this, is that even Michael, who had the ability to cast Satan down and all of his force, but not presumptuous in bringing a reviling accusation against the devil. He respected his office even though he was wicked and rebellious. He didn't even talk to the devil. He said, "The Lord rebuke you!" If you were to read the book of Zechariah chapter three, it goes something like this: "And when Jeshua the high priest stood before the Angel of the Lord, Satan stood at His right hand, accusing him, and the Lord said to Satan." He didn't say, I rebuke you. "The Lord said to Satan, "The Lord rebuke you!" So God didn't say, I rebuke you. He said, the Lord rebuke you. And Michael, this strong arm of spiritual authority, said, the Lord rebuke you.
 
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