Study Notes

Jude 1:12-15


Jude has been warning us against apostates in the church - those who begin with a form of faith, but just use grace as a license to sin, and who try to drag others down to hell with them. Jude now begins to describe what apostates are like.

1:12-13 Love Feasts

In the early church, love feasts were basically what we call potlucks. People would bring food - as much or as little as they could. Everyone would eat together, and then partake of communion together. The apostle Paul rebuked the Corinthians for their behavior during these love feasts, saying...

1Cor. 11:20-22 Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper, for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? 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 will not praise you.

People were selfishly putting themselves first, and carnally getting drunk at these potlucks. The council of Laodicea finally prohibited love feasts in the middle of the fourth century, because of the same abuses that the Corinthian church encountered.

Jude says that the apostates were hidden reefs at these feasts. To a sailor, a hidden reef was deadly. You couldn't see it on the surface, but it would destroy your ship as soon as you came into contact with it. Apostates, being wolves in sheeps' clothing, look just like other Christians. You sit down with them at the potluck, and before you know it, they've got you completely shipwrecked. Just as Jude told us to contend for the faith, Paul warned Timothy,

1Tim. 1:18-19 ...fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.

Apostates are deceivers, trying to drag others down along with themselves.

Clouds Without Water

They are also described as clouds without water. Clouds promise rain and refreshment. But a cloud without water is an empty deception. The Bible tells us,

Eph. 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Col. 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

Titus 1:10-11 For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not {teach} , for the sake of sordid gain.

Apostates' words and promises are just empty deception.

Trees Doubly Dead

Jude also calls them trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted. A tree without fruit is useless to a hungry man. Jesus told the parable,

Luke 13:6-7 ..."A certain man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it, and did not find any. And he said to the vineyard-keeper, 'Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?'"

A fruitless tree is just using up the ground. In this respect, it is already dead. Then it suffers a second death when it is cut down and burned in the fire. The Bible speaks of people who will also suffer the second death (Rev. 2:11, 20:6)

Rev. 20:14-15 And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

The only way to avoid the second death is to be born again. If you're born twice, you'll only die once. But if you're only born one, you'll die twice.

Wild Waves

Waves make a lot of noise, stir up refuse from the bottom, and are often deadly to sailors. This is what apostates are like. Isaiah wrote,

Isa. 57:20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea, for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up refuse and mud.

These people make a lot of noise - I've never met a quiet apostate. They're always spouting off something that turns out to be grossly heretical refuse.

Wandering Stars

Stars were used for navigation by land or sea. A knowledgeable navigator could set his course to follow the stars. But following a wandering star would insure you losing your way. It would lead you onto the wrong path.

Apostates do the same thing. People trust them to guide them in their walk, but are always led astray, and getting lost.

Black Darkness Reserved Forever

The Bible describes this scenario repeatedly:

2Pet. 2:17 These are springs without water, and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved.

Matt. 8:12 but the sons of the kingdom shall be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Matt. 22:13 "Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

Matt. 25:30 "And cast out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Why has God chosen this dark place to send all who reject Him? It's where they've all chosen to go. Remember that...

John 3:19 "And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil.

Men hate the light of Jesus Christ. They reject the light, and rebel against the Light. God, by sending them to outer darkness, is simply giving them what they've spent their whole lives desiring.

1:14-15 Enoch

Enoch, the seventh generation from Adam, is written about in Genesis 5...

Gen. 5:21-24 And Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had {other} sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

The writer of Hebrews tells us that Enoch was a man of faith who was pleasing to God.

Hebr. 11:5-6 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. And without faith it is impossible to please {Him} , for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and {that} He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Enoch was also a prophet. Incredibly, his first prophecy was not that the Lord would come to execute judgment in the last days, but that the Lord would execute judgment in those days. He named his son "Methuselah," which means, "His death shall bring." What would Methuselah's death bring? Methuselah died 1,656 years after Adam was born, the same year that the flood was sent.

The Lord Came

Enoch's other prophecy had to do with God's judgment coming in the last days. God is coming back to this earth to judge the world - the Scriptures call it, "The great and terrible day of the Lord." Many of the prophets wrote of this day. John describes it thus...

Rev. 19:11-15 And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it {is} called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. And His eyes {are} a flame of fire, and upon His head {are} many diadems; and He has a name written {upon Him} which no one knows except Himself. And {He is} clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white {and} clean, were following Him on white horses. And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

What is this wine press described? It is a picture of God stamping out His enemies. There is a graphic account of this in Isaiah 63, when the Lord is asked about His garments:

Isa. 63:2-4 Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press? "I have trodden the wine trough alone, and from the peoples there was no man with Me. I also trod them in My anger, and trampled them in My wrath; And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, and I stained all My raiment. For the day of vengeance was in My heart, and My year of redemption has come."

This day is drawing near.

Thousands Of His Holy Ones

Now, although Jesus will tread the wine press alone, He does return with a great army.

Zech. 14:5 ...You will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!

Rev. 19:14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white {and} clean, were following Him on white horses.

Who are these holy ones? We know that the armies include angels, for Jesus said,

Matt. 25:31 "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.

2Ths. 1:7 ...the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire

But the church will be part of those armies as well.

Col. 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

1Ths. 3:13 so that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.

Angels and all God's people will be coming back on the day of the Lord to execute judgment.

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