Book of Jude Part 18 (series: Lessons on Jude)
by John Lowe
who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. Drawing on the apostles’ teachings, Jude describes the barren cultural environment that will be prevalent in the last days. Matthew, one of Christ’s apostles, wrote a gospel account that provides confirmation of Jesus’ teaching concerning such rebelliousness. “Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. And because there will be more and more lawlessness, most people’s love will grow cold” (Matthew 24:11-12). Peter, the leader of Jesus’ apostles, also warned of this approaching apostasy. “First, you must understand this: In the last days, people who follow their own desires will appear. These disrespectful people will ridicule God’s promise” (2 Peter 3:3). Paul, an apostle appointed by God after Christ’s death, further affirmed the mockery that would become the distinguishing characteristic of the last days: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:1-7). “The last days” includes the whole church age. Paul stated these conditions would be prevalent in Timothy’s day, for he said to him, “from such turn away” (vs. 5). Perilous times are evident today as well. Other predictions by Paul are:
1. Men will be Lovers of their own selves. Everyone does that which is right in his own eyes. Selfishness abounds. Covetous is a normal characteristic. People must keep up with the Joneses. Few are content with what they have.
2. Children are disobedient to parents. Juvenile delinquency is a familiar term in this generation, but now it is more common and rampant.
3. There is no loyalty or thankfulness for anything but only wanting more.
4. Unholy people are without natural affection. Romans 1:26 is accepted as a way of life—“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature.” The gay crowd, who practice sex out of bounds from God’s limits, is accepted by much of society.
5. Nations have become Trucebreakers. One only has to look at Korea and Vietnam to see blatant truce breaking. I can truthfully say that today many people are incontinent (Gr akratēs) meaning “no power” or “restraint” over oneself. Senseless killings and atrocious sex crimes give evidence to this today.
6. The all-American boy is not emulated, but the radicals and immoral celebrities are. The honest, wholesome teenager is so often ridiculed! Those who do good and act good are greatly in the minority.
7. Both men and women are lovers of pleasures. One would have to be blind not to see that pleasure-seeking is skyrocketing today. The cry of first-century Rome was, “Give us bread and the circus.” The two “necessities” of life were welfare and entertainment. The situation hasn’t changed a bit.
8. There is a form of godliness. Church attendance is at an all-time high, but powerless. No longer are God and His teaching considered in matters of divorce, sex, or abortion. Most Christians and churches are powerless in the community. Many so-called Christians only appear to be godly. Inwardly they are impotent because of sin.
Silly women are lead captive. Eve was the first to be deceived: “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (I Tim 2:14). A sad fact of life is that Satan consistently attacks the women in the area of discernment. Christian women must be especially dependent upon God to give them doctrinal direction and understanding. Many cults today are directed and dominated by women who have had their discernment taken captive by Satan. A Christian woman must be wise enough to seek the counsel and advice of the pastor and church leaders so that she does not fall prey to the snares of the devil in the areas of doctrine and conduct.
19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
To this testimony (vs. 17, 18) Jude now adds the explanation that these scoffers have three prominent characteristics, and he further identifies how these people operate within the body of Christ’s church. They are sensual persons, which means that they think and act as natural men. They are totally motivated by their carnal appetites and, therefore, cause divisions in the church. This would not be true if they were under the authority of the Spirit. Jude identifies these men as sensual, translated from Greek words that literally refer to those things that pertain to the natural man. They cause divisions, drawing disciples after themselves and perhaps dividing people into various classes according to their progress in apostasy. This is the same terminology that the Gnostic heretics applied to describe the Christians, and as such, Jude turns the tables on these ungodly men by using their own epithets against them. These frauds were strictly carnal, driven by the world system and completely immersed in its enticements.
.Additionally, such imposters are void of the Holy Spirit. “A person who isn’t spiritual doesn’t accept the teachings of God’s Spirit. He thinks they’re nonsense. He can’t understand them because a person must be spiritual to evaluate them” (1 Corinthians 2:14). “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Romans 8:9).or, more literally, to men who do not have the Spirit. They do not have the Spirit. They were never born from above and therefore have a total incapacity to understand the things of God.
These be they who separate themselves. That is, from their brethren, and from the work of benevolence and truth. “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17). Paul’s admonition and warning to his friends at Rome concern those who would cause divisions among the brethren. He commands two things; mark (Gr skopeō) them as to who they are, and then avoid them (Gr ekklinō). Those who cause divisions may have been antinomians who pushed their liberty in Christ to the “nth” degree. They may have been the ubiquitous Judaizers who seemed to incessantly plague Paul. But Paul characterizes them as those which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned. This may mean any group which denied the teachings of the apostle.
These be they -- showing that their characters are the same as Peter and Paul had foretold.
Who separate themselves—from the true Church, which they leave after being affected by the Holy Spirit. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25) They do not participate in Church communion in its vital, spiritual reality: for outwardly they took part in Church ordinances, but they lack the Spirit, so it becomes a useless act done for the eyes of the brethren. Arrogant setting up of themselves, as having greater sanctity and a wisdom and peculiar doctrine, distinct from others, is implied.
Sensual— literally, "animal-souled": —living as brute beasts, guided simply by their own lusts and passions, their Bible being the manifold devices and covetousness of their own hearts; for they do not have the Spirit—they are not spiritually minded; and have no Holy Ghost, no inspiration from God. They are sensual -- as opposed to the spiritual, or "having the Spirit." It is translated, "the natural man," in1Co 2:14. In the threefold division of man's being, body, soul, and spirit, the due state in God's design is, that "the spirit," which is the recipient of the Holy Spirit uniting man to God, should be first, and should rule the soul, which stands intermediate between the body and spirit: but in the animal, or natural man, the spirit is sunk into subservience to the animal soul, which is earthly in its motives and aims. The "carnal" sink somewhat lower, for in these the flesh, the lowest element and corrupt side of man's bodily nature, reigns paramount.
having not the Spirit -- In the animal and natural man the spirit, his higher part, which ought to be the receiver of the Holy Spirit, is not so; and therefore, his spirit not being in its normal state, he is said not to have the spirit *(compare John 3:5, 6) . In the completion of redemption the parts of redeemed man shall be placed in their due relation: whereas in the ungodly, the soul severed from the spirit shall have for ever animal life without union to God and heaven -- a living death.
*(John 3:5, 6) “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” To be a part of God’s kingdom, one must be born of water and of the Spirit. There are three interpretations as to the meaning of water: it refers to the washing of the water of God’s Word (I Pet 1:23); it refers to baptism; or it refers to physical birth. The first of the three seems to be the most logical. Christ contrasts physical birth and spiritual birth. The flesh produces flesh while the Spirit produces that which is spiritual.