Jude doesn’t waste words. I think Jude’s middle name was either “Brief” or “Concise”. 😉 😉
He starts by establishing his authority, his credentials. “A servant of Jesus Christ”. It appears probable that this author was one of the half brothers of Jesus, according to this link. As anyone can, I verified what that link says – that “Jude” in the Greek is really “Judas”, but was shortened to Jude by the English translators, probably because the translators didn’t want any subliminal connections with Judas Iscariot to mar this letter.
So not only was Jude claiming to be aligned with Jesus in what he says, he is probably also claiming close lineage with Him biologically. So Jude / Judas-not-Iscariot had access at a high level to the truth about Jesus. And apparently he acted on what he claimed to believe: 1st Corinthians 9:5. He was committed.
This is necessary verification, because Jude has some extremely harsh charges to file against some church members, and harsh actions to prescribe. He wisely leaves no room for doubt that he has the knowledge and the authority to make these charges and tell the other church members to “contend for the faith”.
He expects it to be difficult. The “false teachers” have wormed themselves into comfortable positions of some power, and they won’t give up without a fight. Jude’s choice of “epagonidzomai”, “contend” for the faith, means to fight an anguishing or agonizing struggle. Jude knows there is going to be spiritual warfare of an extreme degree if these false teachers are to be rooted out of the Body of Christ, or even confronted.
Jude describes “certain people” in such a way that I believe the label “psychopath” is amply justified.** “False teachers” is too mild a label for the character and conduct he describes.
Jude urges “those who are called, who are beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ” to purge their church of those teaching false doctrine, if possible. At least to make it clear to observers in the church what is true doctrine and righteous practice, and what is false.
Let’s look more closely at the type of people Jude is targeting for removal.
They are deceitful: they “secretly slipped in among you.”
“They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”
To take the highest moral standards the world has ever seen and turn them into a license for immorality is perversity of the highest degree. This is the equivalent of law enforcement officers or judges who use their authority to commit crimes instead of prevent and sentence crimes.
To deny Jesus Christ as Sovereign and Lord? “Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist – denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” (1st John 2:22-23) A very old Biblical command is still necessary: “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isaiah 8:20)
Jude mentions demons and Sodom and Gomorrah, then says, “In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings.” Anyone who mocks or reviles powerful spiritual beings, whether demons or angels, is far removed from reality, not to mention risking his life. Jude notes that even the archangel Michael did not dare to talk tough to the devil. Instead, Michael called on the Lord to rebuke the devil.
When I was young, if kids wanted to do something and urged their parents to allow them because “the other kids are doing it”, Mom would say, “If the other kids jumped off a cliff, would you?” Likewise these false teachers are idiots leaping blithely off every cliff they can find. Listen to the thumbnail description that should chill the blood of anyone in the same church with these psychopaths:
Jude says, “Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.”
Those aren’t just empty phrases. Jude knew the meaning of words, and he knew the Scriptural record:
1. Cain was a murderer.
2. Balaam schemed to find a way to get around (he thought) God’s warning and showed Israel’s enemies the way to drag the Israelites into sin – for money.
3. Korah was one who rebelled against Moses and Aaron so boldly that you’d have thought there was no God and Korah had never seen the miracles that brought Israel out of Egypt. At Moses’ request, God caused the earth to open up and swallow alive Korah “with all that belongs to them”.
Jude calls them “hidden reefs” (deadly danger to boats), “clouds without water” (offering no life-giving water for plants, animals or people), “fruitless trees that are twice dead” (by their fruit you shall know them; the second death is the eternal death), “raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame” … that takes us about halfway through Jude’s description of their sins. Had enough? Jude personified the word “rant”, but with complete justification.
They must be exposed at the least, and preferably removed from the local church. Truth must be spoken, at any cost.
Do Christians today see this kind of individual in their churches? If so, have we done what the Holy Spirit through Jude instructed us to do about it?
“The common features of a psychopath and sociopath lie in their shared diagnosis — antisocial personality disorder … Psychopaths tend to be more manipulative [than sociopaths], can be seen by others as more charming, lead a semblance of a normal life, and minimize risk in criminal activities … The DSM-51 defines antisocial personality as someone have 3 or more of the following traits:
Regularly breaks or flouts the law
Constantly lies and deceives others
Is impulsive and doesn’t plan ahead
Can be prone to fighting and aggressiveness
Has little regard for the safety of others
Irresponsible, can’t meet financial obligations
Doesn’t feel remorse or guilt “