The book of Jude is a small epistle with a powerful punch, especially for those who proclaim a false grace message. This epistle shows how God sees those false teachers, regardless how likeable and popular among man. This epistle is twisted, discarded and/or ignored by most in our day, that is, those who support financially or attend any once saved always saved or Calvinistic congregation, ministry, outreach, mission, etc.
This is the same Jude (or Judas) who is mentioned with James—two half-brothers of the Lord Jesus through their common mother Mary:
Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things? (Mt. 13:55,56)
Jude describes himself as a servant (or slave) of Jesus Christ. We are kept by Jesus Christ only as we follow him. The righteous can die spiritually.
Jude was urging all Christians (men and women) to fight against the grace changers. This is the purpose of his epistle, which was written because of that particular false teaching. If this command to contend against the grace changers is ignored, it is a sin and nothing less.
They were teaching a dangerous counterfeit grace as the genuine. Their grace was a license for immorality, which makes it just like the once saved always saved (or eternal security) doctrine of our day. Hence, this was a very serious problem, which all Christians were to actively oppose, as in our day. This shows how important true grace teaching is and how it is not and can not be a license for immorality, the essence of Calvinism.
The grace changers are clearly shown to be spiritually dangerous people, who do much damage. Jude describes them here as condemned and godless. Not even once does Jude say anything complimentary about the grace changers. They needed to be stopped, not ignored. They are to be fought against by all Christians, not supported and helped. They are not helping the cause of God, but instead hurting it. Remember these key points.
Jude starts to refute the false grace message by mentioning how God saved the Israelites from Egypt, then destroyed the ones who didn’t believe. This alone shows God does destroy the very ones he previously saved, if they become unbelieving. Such is a good point against eternal security in our day too. (Jude referred to Numbers 14:27-37, which is also mentioned in 1 Cor. 10: 5-11.)
Jude next refers to the unfaithful angels of the past, who abandoned their home and are now bound in chains awaiting judgment. They weren’t safe either. There is never security for man nor angels who are unfaithful to God.
Thirdly, Jude mentions Sodom and Gomorrah. For anyone to give themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion will mean the same punishment—eternal fire. It seems that the grace changers were doing such, who Jude also calls dreamers here.
Little known towns which surrounded Sodom and Gomorrah and which were also destroyed are listed here:
The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur—nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in fierce anger. (Deut. 29:23)
Jude also said those false teachers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings.
Verse 9 is one of the great mysteries of the Bible and only mentioned here. Why did the devil want Moses’ body? We might never know the answer. But the point in mentioning this is that Michael the archangel, the chief warring angel, didn’t even bring a slanderous accusation as the grace changers did.
They spoke abusively and gave out slanderous accusations.
Jude goes into details about those false teachers by referring to three evil OT characters they resemble: Cain, Balaam and Korah. Cain murdered his own brother, but also had an easy, false religion, which was rejected by God:
In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. (Gen 4:3-5)
John also wrote of Cain:
Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. (1 John 3:12,13)
Besides taking the way of Cain, those false teachers also rushed for profit into Balaam’s error. That implies that they taught the way they did for the finances they would get by spreading their counterfeit grace and license to sin. Those people were getting rich by disseminating their dangerous lies about grace which were hurting people spiritually. That is also how it is today.
When Jude said they were destroyed in Korah’s rebellion he referred to their spiritual destruction, which came upon them because of their doctrines.
The grace changers were people in the office of pastor (shepherd). They were really ferocious wolves in sheep’s clothing, the worst type of wolves for sheep to be around, especially if undetected and in close contact.
Jude said they were twice dead, likening them to a fruitless tree that has been uprooted. This implies the grace changers were once Christians. The same is implied in 2 Peter 2, a close parallel to Jude.
Jude continues on with a description of the enemy. They are clearly unsaved at this time and going to hell—blackest darkness.
Jude quotes from the Book of Enoch to apply the part about ungodly sinners to the grace changers. This quote from Jude is not an endorsement of inspiration for the Book of Enoch, which anyone who has read it should readily be able to detect.
Besides all of the other derogatory ways Jude describes the grace changers he continues to add to the list.
Besides everything else, the grace changers were divisive! Remember: It is false doctrine that is divisive, not sound teaching. NOTE what Paul wrote:
I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. (Rom 16:17,18)
We are commanded to keep away from false teachers like those who teach eternal security.
Jude moves away from the grace changers and how God sees them to tell the Christians to build themselves up and keep themselves in God’s love.
Jude now instructs them how to treat others in spiritual trouble, while hating their sin-stained spiritual clothes. Christians are to be spiritual firemen rescuing others from the fire.
After all of that, he comforts the Christians by telling them that God is able to keep them from falling, etc. Such doesn’t mean Christians can’t fall, because other Scriptures show such does occur (Mt. 26:31; Lk. 8:13; etc.). It states that not falling is possible, which once saved always saved people sometimes teach against when they say a Christian sins all the time. The grace changers have a double message, which clashes with itself, but it doesn’t seem to be noticed or make any difference to the sin-loving proponents. Remember the above truths about the false grace teachers, which the book of Jude speaks of.
PO Box 265
Washington, PA 15301