“It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, 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.”
The blackness of darkness from the previous verses is amplified in verses 14 through 16 where we see the judgment of apostates. Enoch prophesied about apostasy to come during the Tribulation. But he prophesied specifically about unbelievers and specifically about the Baptism of Fire. So we have a perfect illustration of apostasy based on Enoch’s prophesy.
Enoch had a successful life as a believer on the earth. (Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5) Enoch was not only a great believer but he was a communicator of doctrine as a prophet. Enoch was only seven generations removed from Adam. A person who functioned as a prophet in the Old Testament times communicated Bible doctrine and predicted events in the future. The source of the prophet’s material was conversations with God, dreams, visions, sometimes angelic teaching. As the Bible developed, they studied the Bible.
Enoch could not prophesy about apostasy in the Church Age because he lived in Old Testament times and the Church Age dispensation was a mystery not known to Old Testament prophets. (Ephesians 3:1-6; Roman 16:25-26; Colossians 1:25-26) So the prophecies of Enoch dealt with apostasy in the Tribulation, after the Church Age. The Lord comes at the end of the Tribulation. It is the end of the Age of Israel when there is so much apostasy, especially among unbelievers. The apostasy of unbelievers is terminated by the Second Coming of Christ. So Enoch looked to the period of the Tribulation with emphasis on the Second Coming where there will be one of the greatest judgments against apostasy in human history. His holy ones refers to believers that accompany Christ at the end of the Tribulation to do battle and execute judgment.
The Greek word for ungodly is “asebes,” which means without reverence for God by acting in a contrary manner to His mandates. Ungodly is a technical word for unbelievers during the Tribulation. To execute is the Greek word “poieo,” which is the word for doing something. The tense used means it is a point of time in which something occurs by way of the passing of a sentence and the execution of a sentence. The execution of the sentence is the Baptism of Fire. Jesus Christ will be the judge. All judgment is committed to Him according to John 5. It is God’s purpose for Jesus Christ to judge apostasy since He is the revealed member of the Godhead and all apostasy is against Him.
To convict is the Greek word “exelencho,” which means to convince the unbeliever of his ungodly deeds. They have rejected Christ as Savior and their deeds are mentioned, just as at the last judgment referring to all of the human good and evil of these apostates, and their “trial and conviction” includes the fact that the accumulation of their human good is not satisfactory and is not the basis of a relationship with God.
The Baptism of Fire is the judgment of the Tribulation unbelievers at the Second Coming of Christ (fire represents judgment). The Jews know more about the past, their spiritual heritage in Israel, and eschatology than they do about the time in which they were living. Therefore the writer illustrated what was about to happen to them by using the illustration of the Baptism of Fire that will be executed against the Tribulation unbelievers at the Second Coming. The Jews were about to lose everything — their national identity, their lives, their freedom — so Jude used a future event to show them that they could not depend upon the pseudo-doctrine taught by the apostate teachers to survive what was about to occur (the destruction of Jerusalem, etc. in 70 A.D.)
“These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.”
Grumblers are malcontents and it refers to that characteristic of apostates which is negative volition toward doctrine. When people are negative toward doctrine they are not only critical of the doctrine, they are critical of those who communicate doctrine, they are critical of the principles of doctrine. Their attitude is one of being malcontent and expressing their malcontent.
Whereas “grumblers” is the expression of malcontent, fault finders is really entirely different. And the only way we can really bring it out in English is to use the word discontent. The difference between malcontent and discontent is found in the Greek word “mempsimoros,”which means faultfinding.So the critical attitude of the grumbler advances to the point of faultfinding. The word actually means to be a “nit-picker,” to be highly critical and look for things or persons to criticize.
Following after their own lusts describes a person who always thinks that by changing his circumstances, changing his environment, that he can somehow find happiness. The Greek word for following is “poreuomai,” which means to go from one place to another and it portrays instability. After their own lusts begins with the Greek word “kata,” for the word after, which sets up the preposition of a norm and standard. And the norm and standard by which they jump from one place to another is their lust pattern. The Greek word for lusts is “epithumia” and refers to at least four different types of lust — approbation lust, power lust, materialism lust, and sensual lust. The apostates go from one place to another seeking to gratify their lust pattern. The idea is really instability.
Speaking arrogantly, flattering people means apostates communicate something that appeals to the person’s ego. Their words are boastful, excessive, haughty, and puffed up. In other words, the apostate communicates ideas that appeal to human pride — helping the downtrodden, socialism, the whole social gospel concept, etc. They cater to personalities for the sake of advantage. The advantage they gain from their followers is wealth, popularity, power and pseudo-prestige.
“But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, ‘In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.’ These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.”
In the previous verses there were warnings against apostasy. In the verses 17-19 we have transitional verses before the divine solution to apostasy is given by Jude.
Beloved is designed to remind us that because of our eternal relationship with God we are provided the solution by God the Father against apostasy. Remember means to recall Bible doctrine from the frame of reference in your soul for the purpose of application. There will be a point of time, some circumstance that will require using Bible doctrine. Therefore, it must be brought out of the frame of reference. If we are going to win the battle over the false doctrines, the false concepts, and the apostasy which exists at the present time (or any period of the Church Age), then there must first be intake and storage of Bible doctrine followed by the application of that doctrine. So the believer must know doctrine to detect error.
Mockers is the Greek word“empaiktes,”which means someone who rejects or scoffs at authority. In the case of the apostates they reject divine authority and seek to establish their own authority. But they are the ones who cause divisions which means they are troublemakers. When anyone rejects the teaching of Bible doctrine normally leaves a wake of trouble when he finally moves on to his next victims. Many times they also cause division within the local church. The phrase worldly-minded is used to describe an unbeliever under emotional revolt of the soul who is devoid of a human spirit and the Holy Spirit.
“But you, beloved, building up yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. Now unto Him Who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you to stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”
The proper response to apostasy is clearly given to us in Jude 20-25. It is interesting that we can find all of the problem-solving devices in these verses:
Build yourselves up in the most holy faith is a reference to Doctrinal Orientation. Building up refers to the Edification Complex in the Soul. It means to build up your spiritual life and spiritual advancement and it is something that you do for yourself. Your most holy faith refers to the entire body of Bible doctrine.
Praying in the Holy Spirit is a reference to The Rebound Technique and The Filling of the Holy Spirit. We rebound after sinning by naming, admitting or citing a particular sin directly to God. Only God can forgive sin. Rebound means to be restored to fellowship with God and the filling of the Holy Spirit.
(I John 1:6-9; Hebrews 10:17; 12:1-2; Philippians 3:13-14) All effective prayer is offered by means of the Spirit. This means that to be effective in prayer you must be filled with the Spirit because the believer who offers a prayer when out of fellowship and not controlled by the Holy Spirit will not be heard. (Matthew 21:22; Matthew 11:24; Psalm 66:18; James 4:2-3; Proverbs 21:13: I Peter 3:7; Job 35:12-13; I John 3:22, 5:14; Ephesians 6:18)
Keep yourselves in the love of God is a reference to Personal Love for God. The love of God refers to God’s love for you which is provided for you in the Christian Way of Life. Personal love is based on the virtue of the object, the one who is loved. Personal love for God is a function of the Royal Priesthood of the believer. Before we can love one another, we must learn to love God. We learn to love God only by getting to know Him through His attributes as revealed in His Word. As we get to know Him through His Word and obedience to His Word, we develop capacity to appreciate Him and enjoy His blessings. Our personal love for God is based upon our thinking, not our emotions.
Waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life is a reference toGrace Orientation and to A Personal Sense of Destiny. Mercy is grace in action. In the Christian life, when allowed to do so, God the Holy Spirit does all the work of producing the character of Jesus Christ in a believer. (Romans 8:29, Galatians 5:22-23) We should be truly thankful that God’s plan does not depend upon us, but upon Him. If you have your eyes on what you are doing for God, or even what someone else is doing for God (even the pastor), you will never be grace-oriented. Our focus should always be on what God is doing. God treats us in grace because of His character. Therefore, we are able to treat others with grace by using Divine Viewpoint Thinking. A personal sense of destiny solves the panic problem for the child of God. Regardless of what life brings our way, if we have a personal sense of destiny, we know that God is at work behind the scene working things to our benefit. (I Corinthians 2:9; Romans 8:28)
And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh is a reference toImpersonal Love for All Mankind. So we have two kinds of people who get involved in the fire of apostasy: 1) an unbeliever who is snatched, not only is snatched from the danger of fire now, but from the eternal Lake of Fire 2) the believer apostate who is snatched from the judgment of fire at the Judgment Seat of Christ (the burning of wood, hay, and straw) by his negative attitude toward doctrine. The word save means deliver, and includes salvation for the unbeliever and saving the spiritual life for the believer. The apostates have accepted false doctrine but if they hear the truth once or twice they might respond to it. So you do not like their apostasy (dirty garments) but your attitude toward the person who is apostate is one of impersonal love and, therefore when he shows positive signs you just keep on giving him the accurate doctrinal information. Have mercy with fear refers to the fear of their eternal destiny.
Now unto Him Who is able to keep you from stumbling is a reference to The Faith-Rest Technique. Faith in its verb form is “to believe” and must have a subject and an object. In salvation, the subject is whosoever and the object is Jesus Christ. (John 3:16) In the Christian life, the subject is the believer and the object is the Word of God. (II Timothy 2:15) Faith is effective in the believer’s life only if faith has the right object. Faith is thinking. The content of what you’re thinking is what determines faith’s effectiveness in your life. Doctrinal content in the soul is what determines the strength of your faith. Faith is developed by the study and application of God’s Word under the control of God the Holy Spirit. (Romans 10:17; Hebrews 4:1-3, 12:2; Galatians 5:22-23; I Peter 1:7-9; I John 5:1-5)
Make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy is a reference to Occupation with Christ and Sharing the Happiness of God. You become occupied with Christ when you obey the same mandates that He obeyed, concentrate on what He concentrated on (Divine Viewpoint Thinking), make positive decisions from a position of strength as He did and use the Problem-Solving Devices constantly, as He did. Sharing the happiness of God is having permanent contentmentas your constant companion. This happiness is permanent because it does not depend on the circumstances in your life. It is actually God’s own perfect happiness that He shares with the advancing believer as a grace gift. Sharing God’s happiness is obtained only by consistently learning, believing and applying the Word of God over a period of time.