Chapter 1: Contend for the Faith
Jude was written about a.d 68-69—just before the a.d 70 destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. That destruction was only a type of a far greater calamity in this end time.
Jude discusses the “last time” (verse 18) for good reason. The Greek word for last means “extreme, most remote,” in reference to “time generally that which concludes everything” (Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible).
The Greek word translated time means “measure of moments” and “time of opportunities.”
As the Apostle John wrote, we are in “the last hour.” But here, Jude refers to moments—or a time frame of less than an hour—a time of minutes, or moments.
It is the worst time ever. But it is perhaps the best time ever for opportunities—just prior to the Second Coming of Christ. There are spiritual and physical opportunities galore in this end time. However, there is only a very short span of time to exploit those opportunities.
The greatest danger is in forgetting what we have learned. So Jude admonishes us to remember (verses 5, 17).
Ninety-five percent of God’s people have forgotten what they were taught in this end time. What sets the 5 percent apart is their remembering. God puts their name in a book of remembrance (Malachi 3:16).
Our single greatest act of remembering was a six-year court case! We fought in court for the writings of Herbert W. Armstrong and won. We had to show God the depth of our remembering! These fruits show how profoundly we remembered and loved God’s truth.
God is teaching us to remember forever. We must reach the point where we will never forget!
If you look at the history of God’s Church and national Israel, this was their big sin. They didn’t love God’s truth enough to remember it.
The end-time Laodiceans don’t love God’s truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10). God tested our love for Mr. Armstrong’s writings in court. Because of our love for that truth, we prevailed.
How much do you love Mystery of the Ages? The United States and Britain in Prophecy? The Missing Dimension in Sex? The Wonderful World Tomorrow? The Incredible Human Potential book and the booklets?
God wants to know!—because all of those books were revealed to Mr. Armstrong by God.
I believe Jude 3 applies directly to our court case, more than to any other battle we will face. Christ’s wife contends for the truth. She reflects the character of her Husband! Without that spirit we would not have Mr. Armstrong’s writings, and therefore could not deliver God’s message to the world!
If we had failed, we too would have been Laodicean. It was our faith in Mr. Armstrong’s God-inspired writings that caused us to fight, or contend.
Also, Jude discusses the 10,000 saints (verse 14). This too is an end-time phenomenon, which we’ll discuss later. It all happens at Christ’s Second Coming.
The commentaries discuss Jude’s “harsh view.” He wrote more forcefully than other biblical writers. However, there was a good reason why. Jude’s work and our work today have the goal of snatching Church members out of the fire—physically and spiritually! (verse 23). The Jews were facing the worst suffering ever up to that time—the a.d. 70 catastrophe. But it was only a type of the worst suffering ever, to come upon the nations of Israel in this end time (Matthew 24:21-22; Daniel 12:1; Jeremiah 30:1-9).
Jude, like the other apostles, thought he was living in the end time—the time we are now living in.
Even in Jude’s time, it was getting frighteningly bad. The Romans were closing in on the Jews, which was to lead to widespread human cannibalism!
The unparalleled catastrophe of a.d. 70 was almost upon them. God’s true Church was about to be taken to a place of safety, called Pella (located in Jordan today).
And today it is getting close to a worse calamity, where God’s people will once again be taken to a place of safety (Revelation 12:14). Jude’s tribulation was only a type of what is coming upon the American and British peoples, and the little nation of Jews in the Middle East. (If you don’t know who the nations of Israel are, request our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.)
But the physical is only a small part of the problem. Fifty percent of God’s own people are going to lose their eternal lives. That is the worst catastrophe in this end time—by far! And perhaps the worst catastrophe ever in God’s Church in terms of numbers.
Are we spiritual enough to even comprehend the magnitude of that disaster?
Thankfully, 50 percent of God’s people will repent in the nuclear Great Tribulation. That time is dangerously close. We are giving our people the final warning!
This is why Jude’s prophecy is so “harsh.” Time is running out. And we are facing the worst crisis ever.
God’s people are in a war in this last hour. We live in a dangerous time, physically and spiritually.
Spiritually, it’s a wonderful war—if we follow Jesus Christ, our Commander in Chief, and attain the victory He wants us to have. What spectacular rewards will come to those who win this war! But it’s also a terrifying war, because not everyone is going to win—even though each one of us should.
Jude has a message primarily for us today—at this specific time! This message reveals how we will get through the trials ahead to finish this work.
This is new revelation from the book of Jude. Herbert W. Armstrong did not understand this epistle the way we now understand it.
Saving People From the Fire
“Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied” (Jude 2). God’s mercy, peace and love are always to be multiplied. We are given God’s wonderful revelation to give to others as He gave it to us. We must give it to the world as a witness.
We must always be thinking multiply when it comes to God’s revealed truth.
Next comes the shocker. “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” (verse 3).
Jude was going to give a message concerning “the common salvation,” or show that what most people think salvation is, really is not. But an extreme crisis developed within the Church which made him realize that he needed to give a different message. “It was needful” for him to write on this more serious subject. That could be translated, “I felt constrained, or compelled, to do something I wasn’t planning on doing.” He too was living in dangerous times, having to deal with shocks and crises, just like we do.
False teachers were proclaiming a shocking heresy. It was like a jarring alarm in the night. Then Jude delivered a stirring call to arms!
Jude used the word beloved three times. He loved those people and wasn’t crying wolf.
After the Apostle Paul was killed, the Apostle John began tending to his area, which took him up into what is now Turkey. Based on my study I would speculate that Jude stayed in the area where John was and took care of God’s people in and around Jerusalem. Jude was Jesus Christ’s brother. I imagine he was a fairly impressive minister of God.
It was at this same time, however, that false teachers were rising up inside the Church of God! Does that sound familiar? Those of us in the Philadelphia Church of God have lived through an even worse nightmare.
The indication is that Jude wrote this epistle just before the holocaust of a.d. 70. “And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (verse 23). The Revised Standard Version (rsv) translates this, “snatching them out of the fire.” There is a dual meaning here. This “fire” refers to the a.d. 70 holocaust, when some thought the world would end (it was so bad that the Church had to flee to Pella). It also refers to a coming holocaust just ahead of us that will be much worse than a.d. 70! God’s Church again will have to be delivered to a place of safety.
The coming holocaust will not be pleasant. The first-century holocaust was something that caused Jude to do everything he could to try to snatch people out of the fire, physically and spiritually, just like we are doing today. If people don’t wake up and repent, the fire will consume them!
A still deeper meaning is that these people are also being snatched out of the lake of fire.
The best evidence that Jude wrote this epistle just before a.d. 70, I believe, is that God is revealing this truth to us now—in the last hour, just before our holocaust! This is prophecy for us. Jude’s experience probably had everything to do with making his book so intensely powerful and urgent for us today!
We are getting very close to the time when we will be taken to a place of safety, as was the Church in a.d. 70. Jude knew it was close. And, amazingly enough, the closer it got, the more people rebelled against God’s truth—just like today!
Jude had a harsh message for those people—and our people today.
Contend for the Faith
Jude 3 in the rsv reads, “Beloved, being very eager to write to you of our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”
What is Jude talking about? Think about this: He says to contend for the faith that was delivered. He is not talking about something ethereal or intangible. He’s talking about faith in a body of beliefs, or authoritative teachings, that were delivered to them!
God had delivered and restored His truth to that era. He did the same in our day, through the end-time Elijah (Matthew 17:10-11). Mr. Armstrong gave us 18 restored truths. Do you think someone else will come and restore those truths again? No—Jude says they were delivered “once for all.” They are all of the foundational doctrines that we are to receive in the end time! And now it is up to us to contend for that faith!
Can we see that there is no other faith on Earth that matters? Do we have deep faith in those restored basic doctrines of God? Christ told us an Elijah would “restore all things,” but that man would not author those things—it was really Christ who did the restoring! He did that through a man, before His Second Coming. Christ restored the faith once delivered in the end time—through Mr. Armstrong.
Now we have to contend for that truth. Contend is a military word! That word means war! It means fighting for the truth. The rsv reads, “contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). That means, win the court case or lose everything! If we had failed, then we would have lacked the strength to do God’s Work. These are the only restored truths we will receive in this end time (summed up in the 19 works of the copyright victory). Lange’s Commentary reads, “No other faith will be given.”
Mr. Armstrong established “the faith which was once … delivered unto the saints.” This too happened in what is described as the end time (Matthew 24:14; 17:10-11). The Laodiceans today are now failing to get that message to the world.
They stopped contending for much of what God established through Mr. Armstrong. Does anybody really think God will accept people into His Kingdom who allowed all that restored truth to just be buried? No—we get it one time around, and that’s it. There is one fundamental body of beliefs; Christ restored them, and He won’t do it again.
Satan wants us to have faith in something fuzzy and hazy. His version of faith is similar to his version of love—something confusing and meaningless. God’s faith is specific and exact: something you would even go to court over—not some vague spiritual blob!
Can we see how specific Jude’s message is for us?
Here is an interesting quote from the Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible: “Jude is thought to have written this book after Peter’s death, but before the destruction of Jerusalem (a.d. 70)” (emphasis mine). Peter discussed his own future death in his epistles (2 Peter 1:13-15). He knew his death was imminent—that he was about to be put to death for preaching Christ’s message!
When Mr. Armstrong died, the preaching of heresy almost immediately destroyed that church. Is it possible the same thing happened when Peter was put to death? I believe so, and here’s why. Jude is comprised of only one chapter, and it quotes 2 Peter 2 very heavily. Compare 2 Peter 2 with Jude. There is no greater case of plagiarism in the Bible, and I think for good reason.
Peter was the chief apostle. Peter’s being killed would have made his prophetic words ring in the ears of God’s people. His death would have stirred God’s Church more than anything—except substituting what he taught with heresy!
If that happened—and the time frame has to be close to right—God may not have wanted Peter’s name mentioned in Jude’s book. The main focus is on our time—not Peter’s.
We must remember that Jude is specifically about a Church takeover from the inside, in the Laodicean era of the “last time.”
Imagine how Peter’s being killed would have shocked God’s Church. But even more, Peter’s prophecy (especially in chapter 2) was now being fulfilled in Jude’s time (and even more so in this end time). It would have had a sledgehammer impact!
James was killed about a.d. 62, Paul about a.d. 66-67, Mark and Peter around a.d. 68-69. The book of Peter was written from Babylon on the Euphrates (Iraq today) in the period a.d. 67-69. Peter prophesied about the “last days” (2 Peter 3:3). His book also focuses on the end time.
Did the death of the Apostle Peter and the Apostle Armstrong both lead to a U-turn in God’s true Church? After the death of both, evil men crept into the ministerial offices (Jude 4). Then the churches were destroyed—spiritually and physically.
Who was and is responsible for rejecting the false teachings? First, the ministry, and secondly, the members. Many observed the preaching of heresy today and did little or nothing. They often said, “This is God’s Church, and we can’t leave.” But God’s Church can become Satan’s before our eyes, if we don’t contend for the truth! That is exactly what happened in five of the seven Church eras (Revelation 2 and 3).
Each one of us is responsible. God judges each one of us in this area.
First Peter prophesied of what was coming. Then he was killed. He told the members exactly what was coming, and it all happened precisely as he had prophesied. Mr. Armstrong prophesied that if we didn’t learn from the Church’s rebellion in 1978-79, history would repeat itself! Overall, the Church did not remember, and history did repeat itself!
Sanctified, Preserved, Invited!
Before we get into more of the sober aspects of Jude, let’s look at something that is very encouraging.
In the rsv, Jude addresses his letter, “To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ” (verse 1). That is the way it reads in most commentaries: something like called, beloved and kept, in that order.
But that is wrong. In the King James, which really is a better translation, this letter is addressed “to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.” Notice the difference! Most Bibles switch the order around, but if you look at the original Greek, the word called is listed third. This is the inspired order. Why?
This verse confirms something that God’s people have believed for many years, but never had a scripture to reinforce the idea.
This “calling” is not some casual thing like just happening to turn on the Church television broadcast. This word called has a deeper meaning. Jude says that first of all we are sanctified by God the Father, then preserved in Jesus Christ, and then finally we are called. Quite a different sequence of events! But that’s the way it reads in the Greek.
In verse 1, the word called would better read invited—that is the first definition of the word, and the one the translators should have used. This is talking about something different from the verse that says “many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14), where we preach God’s message to the world. This verse teaches us God’s careful selection process. First a person is sanctified, or set apart, by the Father, then he or she is preserved by Christ, then invited into God’s Family!
If God the Father sets us apart, certainly Christ would then have to preserve us, or Satan would destroy us spiritually!
So before God invited you, you had a history with God. Every one of us had some history with God before we were invited.
We were under the closest scrutiny by the Father, probably for years, before we were invited. During that period of time, Christ had to preserve and protect us from Satan. Then, when, and if, we are ready, the Father invites us into His Family! God even has to prepare us for the invitation.
If God invites us, at this point He knows that our chances of being born into His Family are excellent.
How special is it to be invited into the very Family of God? If some king on this Earth invited you over, you would probably think, Wow, that’s really something! But what about God the Father and Jesus Christ inviting you to be part of the bride of Christ? Inviting you right into His Family? This is the greatest invitation you could ever have!
Doesn’t it make sense that the Father would take a good look at these people before they were actually invited, and see how they responded to trial and test, or how they responded to some of His truth or correction? What father wouldn’t do that before saying, “I’d like you to marry my son”?
That is just what is happening: God the Father is setting people apart to see who will be His Son’s bride! Of course He would assess our chances of succeeding before extending the invitation. Eternal life is at stake! We’re either going to live forever or die forever! He would have to get very scientific about it. Can you imagine anything else being more important to Him?
What an inspiring truth!
This is the best the Father could ever give us. We will be that bride forever! No divorce! The most exalted marriage ever!
God is going to expand His Family. But first He needs a bride—a helpmeet—who can help work with the rest of that Family who will be invited during the Millennium and Great White Throne Judgment. This invitation is given to only a tiny few—the most selective invitation there ever will be! Though we are the lowly of the world, we are the elite of God—and will be so for eternity!
When I think back on my experiences as a young man, it is easy for me to see how God must have been behind some of them. At one point, I moved into a building with six other guys, one of whom was a deep thinker. He got me interested in reading some fairly challenging material. I don’t believe God could have ever worked with me, with my ignorance and temperament, before I got to know this young man. That experience conditioned my mind in some ways to receive God’s truth.
Sanctified—preserved—invited! This is not a sloppy, hastily-put-together plan. You were invited into God’s Family after careful calculation. That must mean God knows and loves you in depth! Imagine how profoundly He knows you if He invited you in that way.
And surely that means there are some people He decides not to invite. Why go through the process, if that is not so?
You are a super-special son. You were invited. This is the greatest invitation God will ever give for all eternity!
This brings up an interesting question: Why would God have waited until now to reveal this inspiring truth to us?
I think we can understand why if we realize that we are in the last hour—the time of Satan’s worst attack on the world, on the nations of Israel, and on God’s people. He has never been so angry, and a terrible, satanic storm is coming upon us—the worst ever. In these times, I believe we are going to need to know all about our spiritual roots: why we are here and how we got here.
You didn’t just stumble into God’s Church! You were invited by God! There are no accidental sons in God’s Family—like an accidental pregnancy. God calculates it to the most minute detail!
This is exactly what God wants us to understand in this last hour.
After this invitation into God’s Family, your stature skyrocketed! God is offering His firstfruits transcendent glory, beyond anything ever known to carnal men! We must be thankful—we were invited to be Christ’s only bride forever! Eternal majesty is at stake. It defies common sense to think that God would do this in a haphazard way. We are the bride to be married to the Father’s Son forever—unequalled stature for all eternity!
We are going to be a helpmeet to our Husband and rule the Earth and universe forever. We are the Father’s sons and the Bride of Christ. If we comprehend this reward, we will understand why fiery trials and intense tests are necessary. We are being prepared for the most exalted offices God will ever offer to mankind!
The Slave of Christ
Jude’s letter begins, “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James ….” The word servant should actually be translated slave. Jude called himself a slave of Jesus Christ.
He didn’t call himself the brother of Christ (or an apostle). He only called himself the brother of James, who also was Christ’s brother. (James also did not discuss Christ as his physical brother.)
Of course, anyone who does the Father’s will, Christ considers a spiritual brother (Matthew 12:49-50).
But why did Jude make this omission, calling himself a slave, not a brother?
John 7:3-5 show that Christ’s physical brothers didn’t believe Him for quite a long time. I’m sure Jude would have been in that category. Perhaps he was remaining humble, thinking, I waited so long before responding to my brother, I’m not even worthy to be called the brother of Christ.
Also, Jude was trying to impart a far more profound understanding of the eternal Family of God, and make us see why physical family. This is the ultimate vision that we all must have.
Realize, Jude grew up with the Logos. He was a normal human being who just happened to be reared and who grew up right alongside a man from outer space! And to make it even more difficult, He was perfect! I think you can see why Jude would have had difficulty with that. His brother was the Logos—the Spokesman for God the Father!
But by this time, Jude was a different man—a deeply repentant man. He knew who his brother really was.
Do you call yourself a slave of Jesus Christ? Do you act like a slave of Jesus Christ? Jude let the members and world know he was the slave of Jesus Christ by teaching and example.
Do people see you as a slave of Jesus Christ? He died for us. We were bought and paid for with a mind-boggling price. Being Christ’s slave is the ultimate freedom! Then you are free from the bondage of the world, Satan and human nature.
In verse 4 of his epistle, we learn what Jude was so alarmed about: “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.”
As Mr. Armstrong always taught, lasciviousness is the absence of restraint. In other words, people were turning the grace of God into lawlessness. They didn’t like to be restrained. They despised God’s law—His government.
These enemies of God “crept in”—into God’s own Church! This is an end-time prophecy specifically for the Philadelphians in the Laodicean era!
Our ministers must be very careful about who they allow to attend services with the pcg. At the same time, we have to be careful who we ordain into the pcg ministry. Obviously, we don’t want to go too far, but in both cases we must be careful of spiritual terrorist attacks!
The people Jude described “crept in unawares,” or, as the Vincent Word Study describes, they slipped in by the side door. They were not invited by God into His Family.
This shows us how important it is to ensure that God is doing the inviting! He wants to set prospective members apart and let Christ preserve them until He invites them. We have no right to invite people into God’s Church! If we do it ourselves, people will creep in who will cause tremendous problems. Look at what happened in the Worldwide Church of God.
Study this one verse, and you will see why God’s Church does not have an open-door policy!
We often get criticized for that. But that criticism just shows a lack of understanding about God and His truth. No one would think it’s alright to invite just anyone to be a doctor or lawyer, but when it comes to religion, a “come as you are” attitude is common in mainstream Christianity. But look at the problems Jude faced from within the Church!
These rebels were “turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness,” or lawlessness. They had the grace of God and perverted it—turned it into lawlessness! They had the government of God and turned it into a form of Satan’s government—a government that no longer clings to God’s law. This is specifically aimed at the Laodicean era today.
We must contend for what God gave us. Nothing was ever worth fighting for more than this!
Satan is the one who proclaims grace without law. So these “ungodly men” follow his deceitful lawlessness. They reason that grace gives them a license to sin—when just the opposite is true.
A true minister of God is a gift from God (Ephesians 4:11-12). He doesn’t deny our “only Master and Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4; proper translation). False ministers don’t want Christ to rule them and be their Master. True ministers say, with David, “Oh how love I thy law” and government (Psalm 119:97). God invited them into His ministry.
There is a second part to this equation. Jude was undoubtedly also referring to men already in the Church, whether invited or not. Then they crept into the ministry, where a person can be most effective in teaching heresy!
Satan knows how to exploit such a spiritual disaster. That is how he was most effective in destroying the wcg (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4). And that is the focus of Malachi’s Message to God’s Church Today (request a free copy if you don’t have one).
Saved From Egypt
Now let’s see how Jude deals with this problem. We have experienced these same problems in this end time. Even today, there are still people falling away, from God’s remnant. Jude has a powerful warning for us.
Notice the theme that Jude begins to focus on in 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.” “Ye once knew this” is better translated in the rsv: “You were once for all fully informed,” as opposed to two, three or several times. The Laodiceans still know about coming out of Egypt, which means coming out of the world for us today. There are some things the Laodiceans today cannot forget.
Jude reminds them that God destroyed those who believed not. He brings people out of the world, and afterward He is going to have to destroy some of them! Prophecy shows that 50 percent of those invited in this end time will have to be destroyed forever—even after being brought out of Egypt with the power of God!
This is why the Philadelphia Church of God agitates the Laodiceans so much. They even recommend each other’s Laodicean groups, but at the same time, warn people to avoid the pcg. Why? We remind them of what they were taught by God, and they know it and can’t refute it! In their heart, they know we are right. That is why 50 percent of them will repent so quickly and so profoundly in the Great Tribulation.
Have the Laodiceans forgotten that all the adults who came out of Egypt died in the wilderness? No. Have they forgotten that this is a type of our being called out of the world today, and a strong warning? No. Have they forgotten the government and law that God ruled them with for many years? No. Have they forgotten that God teaches there is only one true Church? No. But they have refused to understand what God is doing today. They have chosen not to remember, as far as that is possible. And here God illustrates the terrible penalty for not remembering.
Jude is reminding the first-century Christians of their own history, and prophetically he is doing the same for the end-time Laodiceans, with the pcg’s help. Yes, God did bring them out of the world. That is true. But He is about to destroy them physically in the Great Tribulation, as He destroyed ancient Israel in the wilderness. Thankfully, 50 percent of the Laodiceans will repent in the Tribulation. But 50 percent will not repent, and will be destroyed forever—by the God of love and judgment!
This is dangerous knowledge! We either change and grow, or lose it all forever!
God performed many miracles to free us from Satan’s bondage. We were “saved” from this evil world. And now God wants to save us forever. This also requires many miracles. But we have to repent and seek our transcendent future, which surpasses all human imagination!
The ancient Israelites were destroyed in the wilderness because they lacked faith. We must believe God’s Bible and have faith in God’s miraculous, saving power.
Do we yearn for the world’s ways? We must realize that if we go back to the world, we will die for eternity—unless we repent.
It’s true that keeping your distance from the world is hard. But sometimes people say, I just can’t do it. God thunders back, Yes you can! You used my power to come out of Egypt—you can certainly use my power to stay out of Egypt! We must do so! That is what Jude is prophesying for us.
Verse 5 shows that we were “saved” from Egypt—from suffering in this world. God worked miracles to save us from that evil way of life. It took God’s power. That history is evidence against us forever, if we turn our backs on Him. We have the power to conquer our problems!
The theme continues in 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.”
Mr. Armstrong taught us all about this history of Lucifer and the angels. The angels are called stars in the Bible (Revelation 1:20). In verse 13, Jude calls them “wandering stars”—stars out of orbit. Their “first estate” was Earth, where they were sent to administer the government of God. They failed, and that is why we are here today—to complete the monumental job they left unfinished. We are going to help restore God’s government on this Earth.
Look at your potential! Jude talks about stars to help us think in universe terms, and of all that God is offering us if we keep ourselves within a lawful orbit. We’ll be given the authority to rule over those angelic stars!
The majority of God’s own people are out of orbit—a worse tragedy, in some respects, than what happened to the rebellious angels! When a begotten son of God, a member of Christ’s Bride, wanders out of orbit, we are talking about eternal life and death. There is nothing worse. Jude applied that history of the angels to the people of his day, and he prophesied about the people of our day.
Jude says those fallen angels are “reserved in everlasting chains”—as if they are chained, mad dogs—and “under darkness,” a blackness that broods over them. They live under an oppressive pall of gloom. It is always there, weighing on them! And, to one degree or another, that is true of the rebellious Laodiceans. They know about the Great Tribulation and the lake of fire. They try to forget these significant truths—but it broods over them. They also can’t escape this oppressive, black cloud of doom hanging over their rebellious lives.
These angelic beings cannot die, and they know their future. That is why they are in such a rage! All they can think about is the black abyss they will enter very soon, and they know they have nothing to lose. These wandering stars have caused many of God’s people to wander after them.
Jude puts it all into perspective with this history. Look at what the angels lost! They had the opportunity to beautify the Earth and to administer God’s law—and then do the same to the whole universe! When you implement God’s law, you always create beauty, because God is doing it through you. First the world, then the universe—that is why we are here! Imagine what the angels would have done to the Earth if they had listened to God! And imagine what we will do when we administer the law and government of God.
You can see why it is so important that we develop the character of God. We must build more character than even the righteous angels have—we must become perfect as our Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48). God wants to know whether we truly love His law and government, whether we really want His rule over us, whether we truly yearn to help Him build His beauty in the universe!
The fallen angels left their first estate of ruling this Earth with God’s law, and their potential to rule the universe. Jude shows us that this is exactly what has happened to the Laodiceans today. The stakes are enormous. We have so much to gain and so much to lose. Oh, the magnificence of our estate!
The angels are dazzling in their appearance. They have such brilliance that it has struck fear in men and caused some to faint, when they were allowed to see some of the angels’ brightness. But we are to look like the God of Ezekiel 1 and Revelation 1. This estate is fabulous beyond words to illustrate. But we can go out of orbit like the “wandering stars.” And our potential is so much greater. We must submit to God’s law and government to keep us in our spiritual orbit. If we fail, it is a far worse tragedy than that of the fallen angels! If we succeed, we are destined to rule over them as incorruptible, immortal members of the God Family forever.
Jude sees all this in terms of fallen angels, stars and the universe. We are Christ’s Bride and must not leave this magnificent estate. Now is the time to comprehend our universe-shaking future!
The Hubble space telescope has been orbiting the Earth for over two decades. It is the size of a Greyhound bus, and so far the cost has been $7 billion. It is the most perfect telescope ever—now we can see at least 1,500 different galaxies! It has been called the most important scientific discovery in history. The Hubble images are the most spectacular ever.
What is the purpose of this telescope? “So we can understand our origins,” we are told. Of course, these scientists scorn the Bible—at least in this respect—because only the Bible gives us understanding of our origins. Jude discusses our origins. (For more information on your origins, request our free book The Incredible Human Potential.)
Scientists think they see the beginning of the universe. But they don’t. Scientists also remark that Hubble “has given us the universe.” But only in pictures. God wants to literally give us the universe to rule! That universe is tied directly to our purpose for being here.
We are not called to marry Christ just to help rule the Earth. We are destined to rule the universe too!
Why can’t our scientists get excited about their true origins and transcendent potential?
The Lawful Orbit
Why did one third of the angels experience such a mega-disaster? For one very simple reason: They stopped keeping and administering God’s law. Their government became corrupt.
They broke the law, and the law broke them, as it has broken the Laodiceans today.
Jude puts heavy emphasis on God’s law and government. God saw that the angels lacked the character to rule the universe because they couldn’t administer the law of God on this Earth. That is when God knew He had to recreate Himself through men (Genesis 1:26). It was a big turning point in the history of the universe. One third of the angels turned away from the only way the Earth and universe could be ruled. Now God knew it had to be done through His Family. So men were created to be born into the Family of God. The universe can only be ruled by the very character of God! That is the character required to administer God’s government.
What is the gospel, or good news? It is the Family of God administering the government of God. And that government is what rules the pcg—the same government that was rejected by the rebellious angels and Laodiceans. Satan rebelled, and mankind has followed and worshiped him instead of God (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Those saints who submit to God’s law today will rule as Christ’s Bride for all eternity.
Chapter 2: The Most Urgent Prophecy Yet
It seems that Jude was slow in coming to repentance. But he finally realized who his brother really was—the Logos, God in the flesh.
Christ came from the northern heavens, then was born as a baby and grew up in the same family as Jude. After Jude became deeply converted, he knew his brother really came from outer space!
Then he wrote one of the most powerful small books in the Bible. He showed us that we must build the character to rule the universe. That is why we are here. We must learn to keep and administer God’s law—be executives of God’s government—in the World Tomorrow. That is what the gospel is all about.
This is what Jude was trying to get God’s own people to fully understand. But his book is primarily prophecy for God’s end-time Church. Many of God’s people are dying spiritually today, as they were at the time of Jude’s warning. Nothing could be more important for us to comprehend.
This book shows us why the angels on this Earth failed and how we can succeed.
A Sequence of Warnings
In Jude 7, Jude continues with this incredible sweep of history: “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.”
He wrote about Israel’s history in Egypt, the angelic rebellion, and Sodom and Gomorrah—a type of the end-time nuclear holocaust. Jude saw the big picture! He must have begun to remember a lot of what his brother, Christ, had said.
How bad was it at the end of the Ephesus era? How bad is it in God’s Church in the Laodicean era? Well, let’s look at what happened to Israel, when, after coming out of Egypt, all the adults (except two) died in the wilderness. Let’s talk about what happened to one third of the angels, and how they are going into outer darkness forever. And now let’s focus on Sodom and Gomorrah, where God totally destroyed all of them with fire from heaven! Think about that; think about the history of massive failures of angels and mankind!
What is Jude saying? He is talking about many of God’s people turning away from the law, into lawlessness! He’s talking about the death knell of the Ephesus and Laodicean eras!
Jude is describing these damnable catastrophes that came upon angels and men, to get through to us—the Philadelphians in the Laodicean era
Even Jude’s mention of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah “going after strange flesh” is prophecy for today. Homosexuality and lesbianism have become chic today in the nations of Israel. What does God think of that?
Those people “are set forth for an example” for us. First, our people are “giving themselves over,” utterly surrendering, to an evil spirit of fornication that destroys marriages and families. Then they go after “strange flesh,” or “change the natural use into that which is against nature” (Romans 1:26).
We must get to the real cause of homosexuality. It is a product of sin in marriages and families. Homosexuals are surrendering to a satanic spirit and power. This is why Jude began with the angelic rebellion. Satan is the spirit to which they are “giving themselves over,” in spite of the fact it is unnatural. Satan is forcefully behind homosexuality and the breakdown of our families. (To learn more, request our free booklet Redefining Family.)
Satan and the demons are “‘under’ darkness” (Jude 6). “Under carries the sense of the darkness brooding ‘over’ the fallen spirits” (Vincent’s Word Studies in the New Testament). Now that same darkness broods over the homosexual community. They call themselves gay to try and hide the wretchedness and misery. This is why they fight now for marriage rights, which really confuses and destroys the concept of a God-plane marriage ordained of God. Homosexuals gain no more legal rights if they are “married.” Homosexuals too are “under darkness”—this is their real motivation. They want to destroy God-ordained marriage because they are in the rebellious spirit of Satan.
However, the heterosexuals are often in the same spirit. They too destroy marriages as God ordained them. So we are all reaping the whirlwind of disintegrating God-ordained families. Marriage and family are God-plane relationships.
We would not have the homosexual problem if we were building God-plane families. Upside-down families are the primary cause of homosexuality.
These people are being stirred by the devil to live twisted lives. They are led into lawless perversion. Homosexuals and lesbians have been racing to get “married” unlawfully—that is, unlawfully according to both man’s laws and God’s laws. They are following Satan’s lawless way of life.
The news media rush to televise those depraved homosexual “marriages” around the world. America has become a polluted spectacle to the inhabitants of the Earth! And God, in His wrath, is going to strike some terrifying blows, as He did against Sodom.
Even the homosexuals have been stunned by their successes. How is it happening so fast? Because Satan has been cast down to Earth and has no more access to God (Revelation 12:9). Now Satan is full of his worst wrath ever, because he knows he has only a short time left before God imprisons him (verse 12).
What makes it worse, many ministers are leading the way into depravity by example (in America and Britain). Most colleges and universities are promoting this Satan-inspired perversion as well. But first, Satan is causing the breakup of traditional families, which is the foundation of homosexuality!
God’s plan is to expand His own Family through human families. Great nations can only be built through great families. Family is at the core of all that is essential in this life.
Homosexuals and lesbians demonstrate that there is a total breakdown of families within our society, and it is a sign that such nations are cursed by God and about ready to be destroyed!
America’s most profitable worldwide industry is pornography! The second is perverted music. It promotes homosexuality and all kinds of perverted sex—as it destroys millions of marriages and families. Jude 7 is the strongest warning in the Bible against the nations given over to Sodomy! Sodom and Gomorrah received fire from heaven and were reduced to ashes by God. If we live like Sodom, we are going to die like Sodom!
The major prophets discuss the great cities of America and Britain becoming “without inhabitant.” That means nuclear fire is going to reduce our major cities to ashes!
It is hard to imagine God giving us a stronger warning!
Some of the men of ancient Sodom were struck blind. But they continued in their attempt to molest God’s angels who appeared as men! (Genesis 19). Shortly after that, God destroyed the whole city. He had to send a message, and destruction was the only language they understood! Only one family escaped. Lot, his wife and two daughters escaped because they were a family guided by God. But even Lot’s wife turned to salt because she looked back in sorrow at the destruction of Sodom as they were leaving.
So the end result of sinful marriage and families is Sodom—ashes! But those families who remain loyal to God will be saved physically and spiritually.
Marriage is a type of the firstfruits’ marriage to Christ. The Church, Christ’s wife, must get herself ready to marry Christ (Revelation 19:7). We must prepare now by having righteous marriages. This is what homosexual “marriages” are working to destroy. And Christ is not taking it lightly. He is full of wrath; He never looks upon such a perverted relationship as a marriage. A physical family is a type of the God Family. We must look to our Father as the Head of the Family for all eternity. We can only be a part of that glory if we pattern our physical families after the God Family. And all the members must strive to be perfect, as our Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48).
Remember, Jude 7 gives us an “example,” or warning—of people “suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” Now is the time to heed this warning!
There is no warning stronger than this in the entire Bible!
Look at this series of monstrous warnings: 1) All of the adults brought out of Egypt died in the wilderness (except two), 2) all of the angels sent to this Earth (one third of the total host) failed, and 3) all of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah died (except Lot and his family). This must be the most condemning chapter in the Bible! Jude is bluntly and soberly warning us to learn from these examples now! God doesn’t want us to become ashes.
All of these chilling examples refer back to Jude 3. They will not “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” First of all it is referring to the Laodiceans, the 95 percent of God’s people who rebel in this “last hour”!
Again, the word faith means a body of beliefs, or Church doctrines. We fought in court to obtain the body of beliefs that God gave us through Mr. Armstrong. We had to exercise faith to win that battle. And now, we can take God’s message to the whole world.
This is the specific message of Jude. It is aimed precisely at the Church of God today—the Philadelphians and the Laodiceans.
Courage at the right moment will finish God’s Work—and set the course of Church history and prophecy!
This is the moment. Only God’s faith in us will win the war.
Jude then brings his warning right up to the present date. Verse 8 in the rsv reads, “Yet in like manner these men in their dreamings defile the flesh, reject authority, and revile the glorious ones.” This refers back to verse 4, and the lawless men within the Church.
“Yet,” in spite of these monstrous warnings, these people persist in their deadly rebelling. They refuse to earnestly contend for the faith and instead turn grace into lawlessness. They do this in spite of Jude’s scathing prophecy.
The King James uses the word likewise instead of yet. That is a bad translation. The word yet shows how hard, or contemptuous, these rebels are. They don’t fear God. But God knows how to reach such hardened and defiant transgressors.
They “revile the glorious ones”—God’s very elect. They turn people from God and persecute us, as in the court case. pcg members regularly receive mailings from dissidents who are trying to deceive them. Jude says their ideas are just “dreamings”—with no logic, totally founded in fantasy.
These people “reject authority” in the Church. That is a serious problem, because it is God’s authority
But notice now this inspiring insert, in the middle of the condemnation of Laodicea: “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” (verse 9). Here is an example of an archangel who is keeping God’s law and government.
Jude says Michael contended with Satan over Moses’s body. Why did Satan want Moses’s body? Undoubtedly to get people to look to the man, instead of the law he delivered to them.
There is no other scripture in the Bible that discusses Moses’s body. Jude must have gotten this information from Christ.
Also, the prophecy of Enoch (verse 14, which we will study in a moment) is revealed only by Jude. Christ probably also discussed this subject with His brother and family.
This is also a powerful reminder of who the Head of our Church is—Jesus Christ, the second Adam! He is the one who delivers prophecy to this Church.
Jesus Christ must have discussed many examples with His family that are not even mentioned in the Bible. This is a good insight into why Jude could write so powerfully. How explicit and stirring he was in announcing the death knell of the Ephesus and Laodicean eras!
Michael set a great example here. He is fighting the arch-enemy of God. Satan still possesses a measure of power; he rules the Earth, and we must respect that. In the midst of this conflict, Michael never allowed himself to forget God’s law and government. Even though he was dealing with the most evil being in the universe, he didn’t say to Satan, I rebuke you. He said, “The Lord rebuke thee”! That is God’s job, and Michael saw what trying to take God’s job did to Satan! Michael is an impressive archangel who has learned some deep lessons in his lifetime. He has a marvelous attitude toward government and authority.
Michael represents two thirds of the angels, the righteous angels who were loyal to God. We must learn from their good example.
Cain, Balaam, Korah
Then Jude returns to the subject of the Laodiceans, and the intensity of his message increases. “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” (verse 10). They are like brute beasts—there is no Holy Spirit there guiding them. We must be able to discern that. I am learning more deeply as time goes on that we must look at fruits—we can’t measure conversion by sweet smiles.
Animals act according to their instincts. These “brute beast” rebels act according to their natural carnality. God has been pushed out of their lives. They were and are guided only by evil human reasoning.
“They corrupt themselves”—at one time these people were uncorrupted. Then they stopped contending for the faith and lost their body of beliefs. They no longer trust God.
“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” (verse 11).
Jude compares the Laodiceans to Cain, the first murderer. They are guilty of murder
Only God’s own saints could be guilty of such massive physical murder. Jude wrote specifically to those in the first century and the last century, the only two centuries in which God’s gospel was preached around the world. Satan was able, in time, to destroy both of those works. This end-time work was able to reach many millions of people! When God’s people became lukewarm, they became guilty of murder on an enormous scale.
But those murderers are worse than Cain in another way. They are also guilty of aiding in the eternal destruction of 50 percent of their Laodicean brethren (Matthew 25:1-10). Also, they help to cause the other 50 percent to be plunged into the Great Tribulation.
Cain’s murderous sin was trivial compared to the guilt of these murderers! These are weighty and dangerous words for the Philadelphia Church of God today!
This warning is about how much we hate or love physical and spiritual Israel. Each of us is being judged now! Everything depends on our dedication to God’s Work of love. God is going to save His very elect, physically and spiritually—if they do His worldwide work.
Then Jude likens God’s leaders and Laodicean Church to Balaam, who wanted to sell out God’s people (Numbers 22-24). The rsv says they “abandon themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error.” This ties in with Revelation 3:17, which states the Laodiceans are “rich, and increased with goods.” They wanted things more than God, so God gave them things. Oftentimes, the greatest curse we could have is to get exactly what we want
Balaam took a bribe to corrupt Israel. He was repeatedly warned by God, but he kept sinning. The Laodiceans have been repeatedly warned today, but they continue to put things and themselves ahead of God.
A lot worse than the fate of Balaam awaits them. They are dying spiritually!
Korah divided Israel. Many leaders today have divided God’s Church. So what kind of penalty can they expect? Here is a summary of the account of Korah from the Interpreter’s Bible: “Korah was the leader of a group of malcontents who ‘became arrogant and took their stand before Moses.’ They ‘gathered in a body against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “Enough of you; for all the community are holy … since the Lord is in their midst; why then do you exalt yourselves above the Lord’s assembly? …”‘ Moses then induced Israel to move away from ‘the tents of these wicked men’ and the ground under their tents ‘opened its mouth and swallowed them up … and all the men who belonged to Korah. … So they … descended into Sheol alive … and they perished from the community’ (Numbers 16:1-34, passim, Amer. Trans.).”
Korah and his rebels thought they were as righteous as Moses and God’s government. Today the Laodiceans “have need of nothing.” They think they are more righteous than God’s chosen government.
Are they going to perish in the “gainsaying of [Korah]”? Jude is prophesying of the greatest rebellion ever in God’s Church, in terms of numbers. And it’s all about rejecting God’s government. They are against any man who teaches God’s law as Moses and Mr. Armstrong did!
Never has mankind lived in a time when God has revealed so much truth. And God is going to hold us accountable for every word!
At the same time, it appears many of God’s people follow a Satan-possessed man! (Write for a free copy of Malachi’s Message for more information.)
How can such people ever survive spiritually? How “blind” the Laodiceans are! Jude piles on one scathing rebuke after another.
Korah and his self-righteous group were killed. If we commit such sins, we must understand what our fate will be!
The examples of Cain, Balaam and Korah are about rebelling against God’s government. They are some of the most prominent rebels in the Bible. These are examples of towering sins! And how did they end up? Cain was cursed, Balaam was slain and Korah was swallowed up in an earthquake.
We only have a short time to wake up. To this point, Jude is the most urgent warning in the Bible.
“These are spots in your feasts of charity [love], when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear …” (Jude 12). Vincent’s Word Studies says this of the word mistranslated “spots” or “blots”: “These men were no longer mere ‘blots,’ but elements of danger and wreck.” One source says it is a reference to reefs, “a chain of rocks near the surface of the water.” The Interpreter’s Bible renders it “hidden rocks.”
This is how ships are wrecked! There is a lot of danger, and we have to be careful in our ship of faith. How could evil people in the Church be “hidden rocks”? Remember, the time setting is today, during the Laodicean era. People crept into the Church or ministry and became hidden rocks! Even Paul talked about faith becoming shipwrecked (1 Timothy 1:19). Those rocks can wreck spiritual ships, and lives can be lost!
Why do the translators refer to this chain of spiritual rocks as “spots”? It is because they have no concept of the eternal danger to God’s Spirit-begotten people!
It is so easy to have our eternal glory wrecked. The Laodiceans are “without fear.” We must see the danger and have a deep fear of God.
Satan is fully aware of the damage that can be done from within. Nothing is more important than guarding our spiritual treasure!
These “feasts of charity,” or love, could be called feasts of law. God is love and His law is a law of love. We must fear breaking God’s law of love. And we must highly exalt the government that proclaims and protects that precious law.
The United States has been involved in a war against terrorism. In the Church, we must be concerned about spiritual terrorism, which is a much more serious threat! Do you realize that God would rather see the World Trade Center wrecked than see a single one of His saints turn away from Him? That is because there are eternal consequences!
Jude says these spiritual terrorists are “feeding themselves” when they should be feeding God’s people. And they are committing all these heinous acts “without fear.” They don’t fear breaking God’s law. They don’t fear God!
“[C]louds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots” (Jude 12). The clouds block out the sun—the light and righteousness of God—and they give no rain. Clarke’s Commentary says, “The doctrine of God is compared to the rain, Deuteronomy 32:2, and clouds are the instruments by which the rain is distilled upon the earth. In arid or parched countries the very appearance of a cloud is delightful, because it is a token of refreshing showers; but when sudden winds arise, and disperse these clouds, the hope of the husbandman and shepherd is cut off. These false teachers are represented as clouds; they have the form and office of the teachers of righteousness, and from such appearances pure doctrine may be naturally expected: but these are clouds without water—they distill no refreshing showers because they have none; they are carried away and about by their passions, as those light fleecy clouds are carried by the winds.”
Regarding the trees whose fruit withered, Adam Clarke writes, “Galled or diseased trees … according to Phavorinus … a disease (in trees) which causes their fruit to wither; for although there are blossoms, and the fruit shapes or is set, the galls in the trees prevent the proper circulation of the sap, and therefore the fruit never comes to perfection” (ibid). The trees bear no fruit.
And God warns that these people are “twice dead”—meaning they will suffer the second death
Jude gives a stark warning in these verses. Will we heed? Christ yearns to protect His bride!
The semicolon after verse 12 shows the thought is not complete. It continues in verse 13: “Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.” The Laodiceans had everything, but then were conquered by this evil spirit. Since they spun out of spiritual orbit, they will never shine like the stars forever (Daniel 12:3). They’ll miss out on the glorious reward awaiting us. That is the real tragedy. We must not be enticed by the wandering stars that have led the Laodiceans away from God.
Verse 13, like verse 6, is about wandering stars—Satan and the demons. They are behind the Laodicean rebellion. These evil beings are out of spiritual orbit—no longer fulfilling their purpose for being created. Like demons, the Laodiceans no longer give light to the world through God’s Work. They are being led into the blackest gloom by the devil!
We are here to conquer the devil as Christ did (Revelation 3:21). We either conquer him or he conquers us.
The novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote about the effect of radical ideas on the psyche. He virtually prophesied the Communist movement. He could see it coming because of the violent political ideas in his time.
Jude is warning us to avoid radical and explosive ideas that destroy our stable and joyful spiritual lives.
Enoch the Prophet
“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands [10,000] of his saints” (Jude 14).
This verse ties in with Deuteronomy 33:1-2, which speak of 10,000 saints coming from Mount Paran, located in Petra, Jordan. It is a prophecy about Christ personally bringing His people back from a place of safety in the end time. This too shows the time frame of Jude’s message. This book is aimed at the pcg today!
“And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. And he said, The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them” (Deuteronomy 33:1-2).
The expression “ten thousands” is from the Hebrew word rbabah; 12 out of 15 times in the Old Testament it means 10,000. A reference for one other time also says 10,000. The word can also mean a myriad or a large but indefinite number, but that couldn’t describe the little flock of God, nor even all of the firstfruits. This is specifically discussing 10,000 saints that Christ brings from Paran.
So the most accurate figure we could use is 10,000. However, since this Hebrew expression is translated differently for 3 out of the 15 times it appears in the Old Testament, we should not say it is a precise figure. It is a “ballpark figure,” as we say in the vernacular—but we shouldn’t be alarmed if the actual number is a little more or less. Also, the number may be exactly 10,000.
Those called by God today are being invited to be one of those 10,000 saints. If among them, very soon you should be born as a son of God and helping Christ to put down all rebellion on Earth. What an honor!
The verb in that sentence, “The Lord comes with 10,000 of his saints,” literally reads came. God sees this as having already happened. That is the kind of vision you and I need! This is how we keep ourselves positive and inspired.
Mr. Armstrong did not prophesy about 10,000 saints. That is because this event unfolds in the Laodicean era, which began after he died. These people are alive when Christ returns.
But notice: Jude describes Enoch as being the seventh from Adam. If you study the genealogy, you’ll see that he was actually the sixth “from” Adam. How do we explain this?
We have to look at this spiritually. Christ was the “last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45). When He came to Earth, He made Peter the physical head of the first era of the Church. Today we are living in the seventh era from that second Adam. There is a type of Enoch today—the seventh from Adam, or in this seventh, Laodicean era.
Study what the commentaries write about the seventh from Adam. They are confused and cannot explain this verse. But you can understand if you study this booklet. Only God’s Philadelphia Church understands this prophecy. Christ always “revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).
Jude says that Enoch “prophesied of these,” speaking of the evil men in the previous verses. One commentary explains, “Enoch prophesied primarily of the coming Flood and the end of the known world.” The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary says, “His reference was not to the antediluvians alone, but to all the ungodly (Jude 15). His prophecy applied primarily to the Flood, ultimately to the final judgment.”
So there must be a prophet today prophesying about the end of the world—not by water, but by fire. This world will be held accountable for its sins, just as Noah’s world was (Matthew 24:38-39). Who is prophesying about 10,000 saints today? You are reading about this prophecy now.
Enoch prophesied about the end of Noah’s world. But that was only a type and prophecy of the destruction of this world today.
Methuselah was the son of Enoch (Genesis 5:21). He was also the grandfather of Noah. The Smith Bible Dictionary says that according to the Hebrew chronology, Methuselah died the year of the Flood. Jamieson, Fausset and Brown says of him, “Methuselah … literally, man of sending, particularly with reference to water …. Hales interprets the name as signifying, ‘He shall send his death;’ and referring to the time when this patriarch was to die. His inspired father, who had announced the approaching judgment of God for the wickedness of his contemporaries (Jude 14-15), probably bestowed upon his son the name of Methuselah as prophetic of the threatened flood; and accordingly it is computed that Methuselah died that very year in which the deluge commenced.”
The point is, Enoch did prophesy about the end of the known world. And someone must be on the scene in this end time prophesying about the end of the world—a far more cataclysmic event! That is what Jude is talking about.
If Enoch made his son a prophecy, surely he knew a lot about the Flood and foretold its coming. Most people didn’t listen, as they don’t listen today. But still, the warning is proclaimed.
Genesis 6:5 says that at the time of the Flood, “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Their minds were totally depraved. By comparison, Daniel 8:23 shows that we are now in a time when “the transgressors are come to the full”—they are filled to the full with sin and evil! That is the world we live in today—and it is going to come to a fiery end!
“To execute judgment upon all [that is what the Flood did, and that is what will happen in this end time], 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 [Jesus Christ]” (Jude 15). This is still talking specifically about the antichrists. They have hard speeches against Christ, and they will be punished for that. At the end of the seventh era, God will “execute judgment upon all”—the whole world.
Noah and his family were saved from the Flood. God’s end-time very elect—His Family—will be saved from the nuclear Tribulation. We are now entering into the hundreds of prophecies about the worst time of suffering ever on Earth.
This is the focus of Jude’s prophecy—which would be revealed to an end-time type of Enoch—the seventh from Adam. Enoch “prophesied” about the days leading up to Noah’s Flood. And as it was in the days of Noah, “so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37-39). God warned the evil world of the end in Noah’s day and shall do the same at the end of man’s rule on this Earth.
The people in Noah’s time refused to heed God’s message and were caught unaware, as a rat being caught in a trap. So shall it be when Christ returns.
Both worlds had to come to an end because the minds of the people were on evil continually.
America’s president has said that “we are good people.” But God disagrees! We are the most sinful, lawless people ever!
The people of our nations are “ungodly,” with “ungodly deeds” that have been “ungodly committed” by “ungodly sinners.” God is about “to execute judgment upon all,” and then use the firstfruits to rule “all”—the whole world! These rebels have insatiable lusts and despise God. And some of them belong to God’s own lukewarm Church.
Measure the Moments
“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” (Jude 17-18).
The word time comes from the Greek chronos, which means “a succession or measurement of moments, as in a chronometer”—a device for measuring time with great accuracy.
God has recently revealed exciting new truth from the epistles of John, which are just before Jude. In those epistles, God revealed that we are in the last hour of this world (1 John 2:18; rsv).
Now Jude gets into the measuring of minutes and moments! We have less than an “hour” of time left. Truly, Satan’s rule on Earth is almost over.
Why would Jude even discuss the “last time,” if it is not for these latter days? We have only “minutes” left to do God’s Work of warning the world. God is trying hard to fill our lives with urgency!
Pray in the Spirit
“These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit” (Jude 19). The Companion Bible reads “are separating themselves.” These individuals had it and lost it, or they never had it. The rsv reads, “It is these who set up divisions.” The International Critical Commentary states, “These are they that make separations.” They try to divide and conquer God’s Church! There will always be a few of these people within the Church, trying to destroy the harmony.
Some people who don’t have God’s Spirit are leading God’s Spirit-begotten people astray. How condemning!
“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy [Spirit]” (verse 20). We need that most holy faith of Jesus Christ, who should live in us. Pray in the Holy Spirit with that faith—that is truly effective prayer. That prayer will always get results.
Praying in the Spirit is not just prayer. It is life-changing prayer that gets through to God. It gets marvelous results. This is how we keep building that most holy faith.
Can you discern if you are praying in the Spirit? This is a vital question that we all need to answer!
Jude is condemning 95 percent of God’s people today. Too many of their prayers have become sinful. Most of the time, they are not praying in the Spirit.
Snatch From the Fire
“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking [or waiting] for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 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” (Jude 21-23). We really can make a difference by helping those in the Church who need it. We all need help from time to time.
We must be spiritual enough to make “a difference” in how we deal with sinners. God’s Holy Spirit must guide us. We have to be aware of how much damage we can do to God’s people, especially weak people.
We can also do great damage to our own spiritual lives. How many pcg members have been taken away by dissenters? Not just a few. Fear of God must always be with us.
You can’t “keep yourselves in the love of God” if you never had it. God warns us to keep ourselves in God’s love and all the revelation given through Mr. Armstrong and the pcg today.
“Looking for” reads waiting for in the Revised Standard Version. We must wait patiently for God to give us eternal life. That time is coming fast.
I went to Ambassador College in Pasadena in 1967. I graduated in 1970. After working in the editorial department for one year, I was sent to Norwalk, California, as a ministerial trainee. Then, in 1973, I was ordained a local church elder. Shortly after that, our Norwalk church building burned down.
We moved around for months, renting other buildings. For two Sabbaths, we were able to use the Ambassador Auditorium in the morning before their weekly afternoon services.
I was honored to give a sermon in the auditorium on one of those Sabbaths—probably one of the few local elders ever to do so. This building was appropriately called God’s house. The only such house on Earth at that time!
I spoke on the subject of God’s government. One of the leading ministers heard that sermon and told me it was very good.
Today they have no college and have sold that campus. Why? Because they didn’t “keep” themselves “in the love of God.” They would still have God’s college if they had kept God’s family government of love.
I believe God could have had a hand in my speaking in that auditorium. Today God has given us a beautiful college and His house, Armstrong Auditorium. Hopefully we have all learned how easily we can lose this gift of God. It’s not easy to keep yourself in the love of God. And what a staggering price we have to pay if we don’t.
“[S]ave some, by snatching them out of the fire; on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (verse 23; rsv). We must not have close contact with Laodiceans! Their garment is spotted—they are “spiritual lepers.” There is a contagion there that you must be so careful about! We have to hate even the garments they are wearing. In some cases, they are spiritual terrorists!
Now, some of those people we may snatch right out of the fire. We may be able to help them by doing this work. You can help the ministry by supporting God’s warning message. That is how you reach out to them and try to get them out of that fire, physically and spiritually. That is an urgent work! We want to save them from a fiery destruction if we can.
Zechariah 3:1-2 talk about Joshua being a brand “plucked out of the fire.” That rebellious man started the Laodicean era on fire. He is a type of all Laodiceans. And any of them who turn back to God will be a brand plucked out of the fire. We want to try to help pluck them out, because they are in grave danger. But if we try to do that on our own, we’ll be in danger right alongside them! This “fire” is the Tribulation and the lake of fire! We must know what we are dealing with, and be careful we don’t get burned—we must “save with fear”! Eternal lives are at stake! We mustn’t fall prey to hidden rocks that can wreck our faith. We can easily end up being destroyed by trying to help others.
“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” (Jude 24-25).
Don’t ever forget that Christ can “keep you from falling”! Look to your Leader, and you’ll never fall. He has promised absolutely that one day you will be in His glorious presence with exceeding joy! We will be right there at the marriage supper, ready to assist Him in saving the world.
We have a Savior, and He is teaching us to be co-saviors. God is teaching us how to save people today and during the Millennium. We are becoming like the Savior God!
What a wonderful life this is! And what a future we have to look forward to. Stay with your Savior, and you will never fall.
This message is real. We are helping to usher in a new civilization. We are going to assist Christ in ruling the Earth and the universe for all eternity!