Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 58
JUDE – PART 2
Okay, let’s be turning back to the little book of Jude, for those of you out in television, we just want to welcome you to our Bible Study. We’re just teach verse by verse, – I don’t claim to have all the answers. I don’t mind if somebody disagrees, if you can do it Scripturally. But the name of the game is to just simply search the Scriptures and see if these things are so. You remember that’s what the Bereans did back in Paul’s day. When he came to the little town of Berea and showed them from the Scriptures that Jesus indeed was the Christ, they went home and searched the Scriptures And of course, you have to understand how to rightly divide God’s Word.
In fact, I looked all through my Bible, I don’t know what I did with it, but I had a quote from one of the old original, I think, translators of the King James, and someday I’ll think to bring it along, where in so many words he says, what I’m always saying, you have to determine to whom this portion was written, who wrote it, what are the circumstances, when was it written and then in that light, all of this falls in place. You can’t just take it as a mix mash. It will do nothing but confuse. But if we learn to rightly divide it, as Paul says in II Timothy, and to separate what was written for the Jews and leave it in it’s place, and keep what Paul wrote for the Body of Christ in it’s place. When you do that then you rightly divide the Word of Truth, and the Bible will become alive to you.
But here we’re back still in these little epistles that were written by Peter, James and John and now Jude is following up and they are all dealing with believing Jews in view of the coming horrors of the Tribulation. And as I’ve said almost now on every program, at the time they were written, they thought that the Tribulation was right in front, the Second Coming and if they could survive all that, they’d be going into the Kingdom and the glory of it. But of course, God stopped the Jewish program and opened up the Church Age and through the Apostle Paul has now had the revelation of what we call the mysteries and this age of the grace of God, whereby God will save the vilest sinner who will just simply believe the work of the cross. And what a difference. Not under Law, but under grace.
But here, they were still predominately under the Law, the temple is still operating and no one has told these Jewish believers to stop law keeping. And I can again show verses after verses where these Jewish believers that they had believed that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, had been crucified, gone back to glory, but He in short order would be coming back and still fulfill the promises made to the fathers. (Romans 15:8) And so they are writing in that view. But remember now, that God in His sovereignty stopped that program and then went to the Gentile world with the teaching of the Apostle Paul, not with the message of repentance and baptism, but rather the message of faith in that finished work of the cross for salvation. (I Corinthians 15:1-4)
Okay, so now then back in Jude, verse 10, we’re still dealing with the constant reminder to beware of false teaching. And of course, Paul has the same warning for those of us in the Age of Grace, but this is dealing with the Jewish people who were looking at the possibility of the Tribulation right out in front of them. And so the warning is: don’t give in to the false teachers. Contend for the faith.
“But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally,….”
In other words, now I gotta use another Scripture verse, don’t I? I Corinthians chapter 1, because this is exactly the way it is in any stage in time, that unless there is a supernatural work of the Spirit to give us understanding, you can’t understand it. Here in I Corinthians chapter 2 verse 13 and 14 and this is the Apostle Paul writing to you and I. This is Gentile ground, the is the Age of Grace.
I Corinthians 2:13-14
“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (see the difference?) 14. But the natural man (the unsaved, the unregenerate who has not this indwelling Holy Spirit) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (or understood).
Well, doesn’t that say it all? There’s no way for the unsaved person to understand what this is talking about. This is over his head. But as soon as you come into a salvation experience, and the indwelling Holy Spirit opens our understanding, then we can learn, learn, learn, learn, and it’s an unending process. We can never fathom the depths of it, never. Not until we get to glory.
Alright, back to Jude. So these false teachers they know nothing of the Truth of the Word of God. And they speak as brute beasts. If animals could talk, they could almost converse with them. Quite an analogy isn’t it?
“…as brute beasts, in those things (which they think they know spiritually) they corrupt themselves. (because they can’t know spiritual things. So now what’s their end?) 14. Woe unto them!…”
Now don’t ever lose sight of who we’re talking about. We’re talking about these false teachers who act as they know something and spiritually they know nothing, because they have not the indwelling, teaching power of the Holy Spirit.
“…for they have gone in the way of Cain,….”
Now we’ve got to go back, won’t we? Go back to Genesis. My, what happened to old Cain? And you’ve heard me say it a hundred times. He was probably a nicer guy up front than Abel was, very possible. There’s nothing in here to indicate that he was any kind of a reprobate. It doesn’t indicate here that he was grossly immoral or anything like that. He was simply a man who couldn’t believe what God had said.
Genesis chapter 4 and this is again one of the instances that Scripture uses to teach us. It’s an example. Don’t be like Cain who again acted in self will. He made a horrible choice simply because it was going to take a little effort on his part. But look what happened. Eve at this time has the two boys, Cain and Abel.
“…Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.”
In other words he didn’t have any livestock. He didn’t have any cattle or calves or oxen to offer for a sacrifice, he simply produced things from the ground. On the other hand, Abel had sheep and of course it was real easy for him to go and get a sacrificial animal.
“In the process of time…”
In other words, after a time of instruction. God never leaves the human race ignorant of His design. He will always reveal what the responsibility of that particular time is. Like Adam and Eve in the garden. Did God wait until after they ate of the tree and then said, “Hey, wait, wait, wait. You weren’t supposed to eat of that.” No, He told them right up front “of that tree you shall not eat,” So they were not to eat of that tree. Well the same way here.
“And in the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground as offering unto the LORD.”
Now the Hebrew implies, even though it may not say it specifically, that this process of time again, was a time of instruction. In other words, Cain knew just as perfectly well what Abel did in order to approach God. It had to be done with a blood sacrifice. (Hebrews 9:22b)
Cain knew that, but you see, he didn’t have animals of his own, so again, you read between the lines, what did God expect him to do? Go to his brother and barter with some of his grain or fruit or vegetables or whatever he may have had, and get a lamb. That’s all he had to do. But what does Cain do? Self will – “I’m not going to do that. I’ll take Him an offering of what I have worked for with the sweat of my brow.” And in his rationalization, I think is a good word, he rationalizes that God will accept him. His motive is good. He realizes that he sinned. Surely God will accept me. And isn’t it the same way today? Oh, if I join the church, if I give, if I do this or if I do that, God will be pleased. No He won’t cause that’s not whatHe’s telling us today. “you believe with all your heart for your salvation, that Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again.
Now the reason I’m emphasizing the “with all my heart,” I had a call just before we left this morning. In fact, I had to kind of rush the phone call to an end, and the question was,“How do I understand that I am believing the Gospel with all my heart?” Because you’ve got to be so careful that we don’t give the impression that “if you just give a mental assent that Christ died and rose from the dead, you’re alright.” No, that’s not what it means. When you believe for salvation, it means you put your total, eternal destiny in God’s hands by simply believing the work of the cross. But it has to be a sincere, total commitment.
And I again use the old simple illustration, and I did with him on the phone. If any of you have ever flown on an airliner, you find your seat, you buckle the seatbelt, and you sit back and relax. Why? Because you have committed yourself to that airline to take you to where they say they are going. Do you unbuckle the belt and run up to the front every few minutes and say, “Well is it really going where I’m supposed to be going?” No. Well, see, that’s salvation, that’s faith. We trust God, that what He said is true and by believing it, I have the promise of eternal life. It’s that simple, but you’ve got to really believe it, and not just a mental assent historically.
Alright now, it’s the same way here. God gave the instructions to both these fellas. And even though Abel had the situation in hand because he had the flock, that still doesn’t excuse Cain from coming over and getting a lamb. But why wouldn’t he? Because he said in his own heart and mind, “surely God will accept me.” No, he won’t! And now Hebrews tells it so plainly. I think that’s all I need here. Come back to now, flip back all the way to Hebrews chapter 11. Cause this is serious business, because we’ve got multitudes of church people that are just like Cain. They’re rationalizing. ‘Well, I’m doing the best I can. I’m not all that bad. In fact, I’m pretty good. I give. I work in the church. I sing in the choir. I teach a Sunday School class. Surely God will accept me.’ No, He won’t. Not until you’ve placed your faith in what He has done for you, and not try to add to it!
Hebrews chapter l1 verse 4, and I have to hammer this home. I’m responsible, the Lord has given us this opportunity to reach so many and I dare not cut corners. Here it is.
“By faith (by believing what God told him to do) Abel offered unto God a more excellent (or a better) sacrifice than Cain,…”
Now that’s plain enough isn’t it? Abel did what God told him to do and consequently it was a better sacrifice than that bloodless thing that Cain brought, whatever it was, we don’t know. But it was not an animal sacrifice. And so then the rest of the verse says, and when Abel offered what God told him to offer
“…he obtained witness (from the Almighty) that he was righteous,…”
Now maybe Cain was a better man than Abel, we don’t know. But that’s moot because Abel came into that place of righteous, right standing with God because of his faith. It was the faith and then of course, the required sacrifice.
And remember back a page or two in Hebrews, come back to chapter 9 I think it is, verse 22 and from the time we started on television, we’ve rehearsed this periodically, the two absolutes of Scripture in order to attain salvation from a righteous God. Two of them, absolutes, by which you can never detour or cut corners or compromise – they are absolute.
“…. without shedding of blood there is no remission (or forgiveness)”
Impossible. Now up until the cross, it took animal’s blood to cover sins. That’s what God required. That’s why all through the Old Testament Law they were to bring a lamb of the flock, or they were to bring an ox, or this or that, depending on that particular kind of offering. But it always had to be a blood sacrifice. Had to be or God wouldn’t accept it.
Now when the cross was accomplished, then no longer any need for animal’s blood. Now while you’re in Hebrews might as well rehearse it. Come back earlier in chapter 9, starting at verse 11. It’s it amazing how things just fall into place one right after the other?
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;”
In other words, this whole floor plan of the tabernacle in the temple was originally in heaven. I think it still is. The very holy of holies and all the things that were in the tabernacle were in heaven, and that’s what he’s talking about here. That Christ is now the high priest, not of the temple in Jerusalem, not of Judaism, but that which is heavenly. Alright, “and that is to say not of this building.” Christ didn’t approach the holy of holies with:
“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, (as Israel’s priests did) but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13. For if the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: (as it did back in Israel’s economy) 14. How much more,(see?) shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
So, all of this now then has to be appropriated by faith. We believe what God has said, it’s that simple. And Cain couldn’t. Cain just could not believe that he had to go and get an animal for a sacrifice. So he rationalized, “Why can’t what I have sweated and worked for be sufficient.” I think when I taught this way, way back in the beginning, I used a verse in Proverbs. We won’t take time to look at it – Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” See, many of you know it. And that’s exactly what Cain did. He thought it was okay. He thought it was right, but it wasn’t. It was his doom.
Alright now then back to Jude and we’ve got another Old Testament analogy. See, all these things Paul says in Romans 15, “all these things are written back there, not for our doctrine, not to give us salvation, but for our learning,” so that we can see the big picture. That’s what I like to show. The big picture from beginning to end, how that everything fits. It all falls in place. So now then, we’ve seen the lesson from Cain.
The next on is old Balaam. You all know the story of Balaam to whom the donkey talked. And – yeah it’s Balaam – Core comes later. What was Balaam’s big problem? Well, you remember he was a hireling prophet and Israel was coming through Moab. Coming around, coming in to the east side of Jordan. And they had to come through Moab. But the old king of Moab stopped them in their tracks and he said, “No way.” But he knew he didn’t dare bring up a military confrontation because the children of Israel were millions now, and he was probably still in the hundreds of thousands. So he knew he would be foolish to try and confront them militarily. But he gets a Satanic brainstorm. “If I can cause Israel to sin against her God, then God will take care of them and He’ll destroy them.”
Remember? And so old king Balack goes out to the east and brings in this hireling prophet Balaam, with the distinct purpose of causing Israel to sin so miserably that God would destroy them. But see, what Balaam had no comprehension of was the grace of Israel’s God. And even though God would deal with Israel when they failed, yet His promises were such that He would never let Israel disappear from the scene.
And so He didn’t curse like Balaam thought. He had it all wrong. And so that was the error of Balaam. God works on a higher moral plane than any human person could ever imagine. And it’s the same way with believers today, there are probably a lot of believers that mankind would say, “Well why doesn’t God punish them?” Well you let God take care of it in His own way, cause He doesn’t deal like humans do, thank goodness! Huh? Yeah, thank goodness that He doesn’t. But don’t fall into that error.
Alright but now let’s go on quickly to Core. [Note: “Core” in Jude 1:11 is the same person as “Korah” in Numbers 16:1.] And so these false teachers walked in the footsteps of old Balaam, totally unaware of how God operates. And they are just like the foolish tribe of Core. Now again, I’m not going to take time to go back, you can look it up when you get home. What did old Core start griping about? Well, he says, “Moses you’ve got too much authority. Why should you and Aaron have everything that we are supposed to follow? I and my tribe can just as well handle some of that priesthood work as you.” And so Moses says, “Alright, (under God’s instruction) tomorrow morning at this time you meet with your tribe out in front and we’ll see whether God wants you to have some of this authority.” And what happened? Well, Core and all his tribal relatives were standing out in front of Moses and Aaron and the earth opened up and ftttttp! They were gone. Well, what was the lesson? You don’t dare usurp God’s men of authority such as Moses and Aaron. And that was the lesson.
Well, these false teachers don’t know that. They don’t know how God operates. They are totally ignorant of it. Now, we’ve got to go on. So these false teachers are:
“…spots in your feasts…”
Now here’s the Jewish element again. What were these Jewish believers still practicing? The feast days of Judaism, the seven feasts a year. We don’t in Christianity. We don’t celebrate the feast days. We don’t have any, so this is Jewish. Alright so he says:
“These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear; clouds they are without water,….”
Now we in Oklahoma know what it can be to be hot and dry. And most of us, especially that depend on rain for our crops and so forth, now when it gets hot and dry and you see a cloud coming up in the west, your hopes are buoyed and I think the last couple of years, we’ve been seeing it more and more. They just blow on over and you get almost nothing. What is that? Total disappointment. Well, that’s what these false teachers are. The false teachers may just put out a bunch of stuff that sounds so good and people sit there and lap it up, but after a week, what’s happened? It’s all disappeared, there’s nothing to it. It’s all false. It’s fluff. And that’s a beautiful illustration of how false teachers operate. And they’re like:
“…clouds they are without water, carried about of winds: (they are) trees whose fruit (what?) withereth,….”
Have you ever had an apple or peach tree just before the fruit is ready to really get good eatin’ and all of a sudden a blight hits and it just shrivels up, it’s worthless? You don’t get a bite of any of it. Well, that’s false teachers. These are all beautiful illustrations. They are like:
“Raging waves of the sea, foaming….”
Now again, have you ever walked along the seashore. Is that foam pretty? Hardly. It’s got dirt mixed in with it, it’s got debris mixed in with it, and it almost turns you off. Well, that’s what these false teachers are. They are nothing but the foam that stays on the seashore where the waves roll back.
“…foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.”
Do you see that? What’s ahead of them? Oh, they’re swaying the multitudes today, and they’re putting out all this false stuff, but what’s their own end? Eternal doom! That’s what the Book says. “They’re foaming out their own shame.” They are deceiving the multitudes and they’re going to pay the price. Don’t think they won’t. And so “as to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.”
Alright now verse 14 and imagine our time is going to be gone again. Here is one of the first inklings of the Second Coming of Christ and it was evidently somehow or other spoken or written by old Enoch way back in the Old Testament, and with this we gotta quit.
“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, (he foretold) saying, Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints.”
Well did that happen at the first coming? NO! He didn’t come with ten thousand of His saints, but the Second Coming, absolutely He is going to come in the clouds of power and glory.