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Jude 1:12-19

Sunday Morning Bible Study

March 3, 2013


Do people see Jesus?  Is the gospel preached?  Does it speak to the broken hearted?  Does it build up the church?  Milk – Meat – Manna  Preach for a decision  Is the church loved?

Announce: Spanish Church Plant – the Spanish fellowship growth has made us aware that we need to move towards setting them up as a separate church, the initial impact will be starting their own Children’s Ministry. We’ve already launched a Spanish Children’s Ministry on Thursday nights, soon on Sundays as well. College Group Leader – John Knowles, College group is restarting on Sunday after Easter, April 6, 1pm.

We have begun working our way through this little letter written by one of Jesus’ half-brothers.

Half-brother? They had the same mother (Mary) but different fathers (Jesus was God’s Son, Jude was Joseph’s son).

Jude is apparently the youngest of Mary’s five sons.

Play Hey Jude clip

To help you remember that he’s the youngest brother …

Play “Hey Jude” clip

I mentioned last week that there are quite a few parallels between Jude and 2Peter.  Did any of you read 2Peter?  You get extra credit!

We mentioned last week that Jude’s main theme is his concern for the false teachers that were beginning to crop up in the church. We read in verse 3

(Jud 3 NKJV) 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.

Today we will look a little further into the dangers of false teachers.

:12-15 Apostates Doomed

:12 These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves.

:12 love feastsagape – brotherly love, affection, love, benevolence

When the word is used in the plural, it is used to describe the potluck dinners that the early church would hold each time they gathered to take communion.

The early church had a nickname, “Calorie Chapel”.
These false teachers would show up at the potlucks…

The practice of gathering together for a meal goes back to the very beginning in the book of Acts.

(Ac 2:42 NKJV) And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

{plural } love feasts expressing and fostering mutual love which used to be held by Christians before the celebration of the Lord’s supper, and at which the poorer Christians mingled with the wealthier and partook in common with the rest of the food provided at the expense of the wealthy.

(Ac 2:46 NKJV) —46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,

(1 Co 11:17–34 NKJV) —17 Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. 20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you. 23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. 27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. 33 Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.

:12 spotsspilas – a rock in the sea, ledge, reef

The translation “spots” is an unfortunate one.

The translation “spots” seems to be influenced by the parallel passage in 2Pe. 2:13, where spiloi (“spots”) is used (Vines)

This is talking about people who can “sink ships”

 (Jud 12 NLT) — they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you.


In 2012, the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship made a poor choice.
Play Costa Concordia clip
The rocks that tore open the hull were just under the surface. It was enough to sink a HUGE ship.
Bad religion can sink you.  It can sink a church.

:12 while they feast with yousuneuocheo (“with” + “well” + “to have”) – to entertain together; to feast sumptuously with

Present deponent participle

:12 without fearaphobos – without fear, boldly

:12 serving only themselves

servingpoimaino (shepherd) – to feed, to tend a flock

; to rule, govern; to furnish pasture for food; to nourish; to cherish one’s body, to serve the body

Present active participle

While these false teachers ought to have been “shepherding” or “tending” the church by helping the church, they are only out to have their own needs met.

God spoke to Ezekiel:

(Eze 34:2–4 NKJV) —2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. 4 The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them.

Jesus set the example we need to follow:

(Jn 10:11–13 NKJV) —11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.

For those of you who are in leadership roles in the church –

It’s not that you don’t ever get any kind of benefit from leading.
But the benefit you should always seek is for those you are leading.
The flock always comes first.

:12 They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds;

:12 cloudsnephele – a cloud

:12 without wateranudros – without water

:12 the windsanemos – wind, a violent agitation and stream of air; a very strong tempestuous wind

:12 carried aboutperiphero – to carry round; to carry here and there; to be driven

Present passive participle

:12 clouds without water

When you live in a desert climate like Israel, you look forward to the time when the rain comes.

But not every cloud brings rain.
Some clouds look good, but in the end they just pass by without any rain.
The false teachers will talk a good talk, but in the end, your thirst isn’t satisfied.

:12 late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots;

:12 treesdendron – a tree

:12 late autumnphthinoporinos (“corrupt” + “autumn”) – autumn trees; trees such as they are at the close of autumn, dry, leafless and without fruit

:12 without fruitakarpos – without fruit

:12 twicedis – twice

:12 deadapothnesko – to die

Aorist active participle

:12 pulled up by the rootsekrizoo – to root out, pluck up by the roots

Aorist passive participle

:12 late autumn trees … twice dead

Twice dead because in autumn a tree looks dead because it has lost its leaves, but these “trees” have also been pulled out by the roots, making them “doubly-dead”

There are trees that aren’t going to come back to life in the spring.
These are trees that will never, ever bear fruit.

The false teachers will bear as much good fruit at these kinds of trees – none. Jesus said,

(Mt 7:16–17 NKJV)16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

In contrast, when a man is connected to the Word of God:

(Ps 1:3 NKJV) He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

:13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame;

:13 waveskuma – a wave (swell) esp. of the sea or of a lake; of impulse and restless men, tossed to and fro by their raging passions

:13 ragingagrios – living or growing in the fields or woods {Mt 3:4 Mr 1:6 }; of animals, wild, savage; of plants which grow without culture; of men and animals in a moral sense, wild savage, fierce; boorish, rude; of any violent passion, vehement, furious, savage, fierce {Jude 13 }

:13 seathalassa – the sea

:13 foaming upepaphrizo – to foam up; to cast out as foam, foam out

:13 shameaischune – the confusion of one who is ashamed of anything, sense of shame; ignominy, disgrace, dishonor

:13 raging waves of the sea, foaming

The picture seems to be about making a lot of noise.

J.Vernon McGee writes, “They just stand in the pulpit and rant.”

Jude will say in vs. 16 – they mouth great swelling words

Like the ocean, they make a lot of noise, but what do they produce?

Isaiah wrote,

(Is 57:20 NKJV) But the wicked are like the troubled sea, When it cannot rest, Whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

:13 wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

:13 starsaster – a star

:13 wanderingplanetes – a wanderer: wandering stars

from planos – wandering, misleading, leading into error

:13 the blacknesszophos – darkness, blackness; used of the darkness of the nether world

:13 darknessskotos – darkness

:13 foreveraion – for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity

:13 is reservedtereo – to attend to carefully, take care of; to guard; to reserve: to undergo something

Perfect passive indicative

:13 wandering stars

Stars are stationary in the sky.

The formations we call “constellations” are based on the fact that stars all stay in the same grouping, even though they move across the sky together.

For thousands of years, ancient people would navigate at night by the stars.

You can plot your path based on the stars.
Unless you pick a star that isn’t so stationary, a “wandering” star, like a meteor.
There is one “wandering star” in particular we need to be careful about:
(Is 14:12 NKJV) “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!

A leader at church ought to be a fixed point.

A leader is a person you can count on, they are faithful.
A person who won’t lead you away from the path of God.
They ought to be a person who has built their ministry on an immovable, fixed point, the Word of God.
If you build your ministry upon what “feels good” at the moment, or “what’s popular” at the moment, you’re heading into dangerous territory.

Those who lead people astray have a place reserved for them in hell.

:12 spots in your love feasts


Dangers at church

We try very hard to make sure that our church is a “safe place”.
But sometimes there can be dangerous people, even at church.
They are like a reef just under the surface of the water, something that’s able to sink a ship.
You and I are responsible to “test” what happens in a church.
John wrote,
(1 Jn 4:1 NKJV) Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
There is a “different” gospel.
(Ga 1:6–9 NKJV) —6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

It does matter “what” you believe.

Paul rebuked the Corinthian church for being “too open” to the wrong things:
(2 Co 11:4 NKJV) For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!

There is “another Jesus”

We ought to learn from the Bereans. When Paul first came to their town and preached the gospel, they put his words to the test.
(Ac 17:11 NKJV) These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

You have the best tool in the world to see if a person is telling you the truth. Compare what is said with what the Bible says.

:12 serving only themselves


Other Centered

The problem with the false teachers is that they were self-centered.
Jesus made it simple for us:
(Lk 9:23 NKJV) Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Do you want to guard yourself from being like these false teachers?
You need to deny yourself.
You need to face the difficulties in your life (your cross)
You need to follow Jesus.
Do you ever get impatient with the people around you?  Perhaps it’s because your focus in life is all on you instead of on others.
Play Get Service clip.  We need to be other centered.

: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.”

:14 prophesiedpropheteuo – to prophesy, to be a prophet, speak forth by divine inspirations, to predict

Aorist active indicative

:14 seventhhepdomos – seventh

Enoch was the seventh generation after Adam.

(Ge 5:18 NKJV) Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Enoch.

:14 EnochEnoch – “dedicated”

:14 ten thousandsmurias – ten thousand; an innumerable multitude, an unlimited number

:14 saintshagios – holy; holy ones

:14 Enoch … prophesied

We saw this last week. Jude is quoting from the apocryphal book of Enoch. We don’t consider the book of Enoch as infallible Scripture, but where Jude quotes, it is.

:14 the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints

When the Lord comes back, He will be coming with His armies. John records that when Jesus returns on His white horse …

(Re 19:14 NKJV) And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.

:15 to executepoieo – to make; to do

Aorist active infinitive

:15 judgmentkrisis – a separating; judgment

:15 to convictexelegcho – to prove to be in the wrong, convict

Aorist active infinitive

:15 ungodlyasebes – destitute of reverential awe towards God, condemning God, impious


:15 deedsergon – business, employment, that which any one is occupied; an act, deed, thing done

:15 ungodlyasebeia – want of reverence towards God, impiety, ungodliness

The noun

:15 they have committed in an ungodly wayasebeo – to be ungodly, act impiously

Aorist active indicative

The verb

:15 harsh thingsskleros – hard, harsh, rough, stiff; violent, rough, offensive, intolerable

:15 sinnershamartolos – devoted to sin, a sinner

:15 ungodlyasebes – destitute of reverential awe towards God, condemning God, impious

The adjective.

Jude uses the noun, adjective, verb, and adjective.

:15 to execute judgment on all

When Jesus returns, He will judging among other things the false teachers.

He will deal with “ungodliness”.  Forms of the word are used four times in this verse.

ungodlyasebes – destitute of reverential awe towards God, condemning God, impious

He will be bringing judgment on those who DO ungodly things.

He will be bringing judgment on those who SAY ungodly things.

The implication is that these false teachers both DO and SAY ungodly things.

These false teachers are pretty bad dudes, right?

:16-19 Apostates Predicted

:16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.

:16 grumblersgoggustes – a murmurer, one who discontentedly complains

This is the word that describes much of what the Israelites did when they wandered in the wilderness in the days of Moses.

(1 Co 10:10 NKJV) nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.

:16 complainersmempsimoiros – complaining of one’s lot, discontented

The word contains the idea of “finding blame” (memphomai) with your “lot” in life (meros)

:16 walking according to their own lusts

These fellows do whatever they feel like at the moment.

:16 lustsepithumia – desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust

:16 walkingporeuomai – to lead over; to pursue the journey on which one has entered, to continue on one’s journey

Present deponent participle

:16 they mouth – “their mouth speaks”

:16 great swelling wordshuperogkos (“over” + “weight or burden”) – overswollen; metaph. immoderate, extravagant

:16 they mouth great swelling words

“A Traveling Evangelist”

A traveling evangelist always put on a grand finale at his revival meetings. When he was to preach at a church, he would secretly hire a small boy to sit in the ceiling rafters with a dove in a cage. Toward the end of his sermon, the preacher would shout for the Holy Spirit to come down, and the boy in the rafters would dutifully release the dove. At one revival meeting, however, nothing happened when the preacher called for the Holy Spirit to descend. He again raised his arms and exclaimed: “Come down, Holy Spirit!” Still no sign of the dove. The preacher then heard the anxious voice of the small boy call down from the rafters: “Sir, a yellow cat just ate the Holy Spirit. Shall I throw down the yellow cat?”

Sometimes I think we need to be careful to pick apart the emotion of the speaker from the content of what he’s actually saying.

It’s not wrong for a preacher to be passionate.
There just ought to be some sort of actual content to what he’s passionate about.

:16 flattering – two words used here:

to marvel atthaumazo – to wonder at, marvel

Present active participle

faceprosopon – the face

Back in the Eighties, Billy Crystal used to have a character he played on Saturday Night Live named Fernando, the ultimate flatterer…

PlayYou Look Marvelous” clip

:16 flattering people to gain advantage

The reason for the flattery is to take advantage of you.

(Pr 29:5 NKJV) A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet.

:16 advantageopheleia – usefulness, advantage, profit

:16 to gaincharin – in favor of, for the pleasure of; for, for the sake of; on this account, for this cause

:17 But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ:

:17 belovedagapetos – beloved, esteemed, dear, favorite, worthy of love

:17 remembermimnesko – to remind; be mindful of

Aorist passive imperative

:17 the wordsrhema – that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, word; subject matter of speech, thing spoken of

:17 which were spoken beforeprolego – to say beforehand, to predict

Perfect passive participle

Not “spoken before” as in they had previously said it, but “spoken before” in that they spoke these things before they came about.  They predicted these things.

:18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.

:16 grumblers, complainers …

:18 they toldlego – to say, to speak

Imperfect active indicative

They “were saying”

:18 the lasteschatos – extreme; the last

:18 timechronos – time either long or short

:18 there would beeimi – to be, to exist, to happen, to be present

Future deponent indicative

:18 mockersempaiktes – a mocker, a scoffer

Peter was one of those apostles saying this:

(2 Pe 3:1–3 NKJV) —1 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), 2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, 3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,

:18 lustsepithumia – desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust

:18 who would walkporeuomai – to lead over; to pursue the journey on which one has entered, to continue on one’s journey

Present deponent participle

:15 ungodlyasebeia – want of reverence towards God, impiety, ungodliness

The noun here.  Literally “who would walk according to their own lusts of ungodliness”


Word Problems

I know that for some of us, “word problems” in school were always the worst kinds on tests. Like how about these:
A man builds a house with four sides to it and it is rectangular in shape. Each side has a southern exposure. A big bear comes wandering by. What color is the bear?

The North Pole is the only place where you can have four sides of a house that all face south.  The bear has to be white – a polar bear.

Don’t you hate word problems?
Actually, we’re talking about a different set of “word problems”
One of the issues with these false teachers is their use of words.
They grumble – complain – flatter – mock

I have to confess that I do one or two of them quite often.

Play Trunk Monkey Road Rage

Some of us need a Trunk Monkey to hit US over the head.

PlayTime Out” clip
We need to watch what comes out of our mouths.
(Php 2:14–15 NLT) —14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.

:19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.

:19 who cause divisionsapodiorizo (“from” + “through” + “horizon”) – to disjoin, part, separate from another; making divisions or separations

:19 sensual personspsuchikos – of or belonging to breath

the principal of animal life, which men have in common with the brutes; governed by breath; the sensuous nature with its subjection to appetite and passion

From psuche, which means “breath” or “soul”. It might be better to say they are “soul” persons.

:19 the Spiritpneuma – spirit

:19 not havingecho – to have, to hold

Present active participle


What controls me?

Humans are three part beings – body, soul, spirit
Before becoming a believer, people operate either with their “body” as a priority, or their “soul” as a priority.
When the body is a priority – we are concerned about physical things like eating, appearance, health, and sex
When the soul is a priority – we are concerned about mental things like our emotions, how we “feel”, or even good sounding things like cultivating our mind
A person who is not born again is “dead” spiritually.
When a person becomes “born again”, their “spirit” is no longer dead, but now has the life of God.
But to be honest, a person can be “born again” and the things of the spirit may not be a priority.

This is what we call a “carnal” or “fleshly” Christian.

When we learn to allow our lives to be “filled” with the Spirit, then the things of the Spirit become our first priority.

We are concerned about the things of God – things like prayer and God’s Word. We are concerned about what God wants for our lives. We are concerned about the people that God is concerned for.

How can I be “filled” with the Holy Spirit?  You just need to ask.

(Lk 11:11–13 NKJV)11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”Paul wrote,

(Ga 5:16 NKJV) I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.