Thursday, July 12, 2012

HEY JUDE...

                                        Kiss of Judas Iscariot-The First Apostate
Jude the Apostle's exact family history is the subject of much debate. Catholics call him St. Jude, the "Patron Saint of Lost Causes." Some feel that he was the brother of Jesus. The issues that create this conundrum are that the Greek word for Jude and Judas is the same, and that the writers of the four gospels call him by completely different names. 


Despite all the confusion on the actual author of this Epistle, it is short, sweet and to the point. We know that he was one of the original 12 disciples of Jesus, and that he was the brother of James. James who, you say? Well, that's another conundrum for another day. In Jude, verse #1, he flashes all the credentials he needs, as follows:
  1. Sanctified by God the Father.
  2. Preserved in Jesus Christ.
  3. Called.
Ever see a police detective or government agent flip open his credentials? Me neither, except on TV...It gives them instant credibility in our world. Jude's credentials give him dual citizenship in the spiritual world and in our secular world. He has two Passports, one for here and one for all things heavenly. The one that really counts was Purified by God the Father, Protected by Jesus and Proclaimed by the Holy Spirit! Put that on the back of your business card and at the bottom of your emails/texts...What a great way of identifying your relationship with God to all.
                                                                              Passport Please
After flashing his credentials, Jude immediately puts up huge warning signs, like those you see just before an incredible hair-pin turn in the mountains of West Virginia. This Biblical warning is about the word, apostasy...It comes from the Greek words, "APO" and "SYSTEMI." It means literally, "to stand away from," but in this context it means to stand away from the Word of God, while accepting false doctrine." Jude's entire writing is devoted to teaching the early churches the history of apostasy, so that they can begin to see the apostasy that has crept in around them. How about the Hebrew Nation in Exodus? With God leading them and supplying them with food and water every day, they still worshiped other gods and created false idols. How about the fallen angels who came to earth and took human wives, abandoning their creator and His law? Jude says that just as it happened before, it is happening right now!


If you take it one step further you can see that over the following 2,000 years this spiritual virus has infected many believers and unbelievers alike. It seems that all through the ages, we have all been exposed. If you have a terrific immune system built on the foundations of the truth of the Word of God and Prayer, you can protect yourself; however, there is no antibiotic for a this virus either, and Satan uses it sour the hearts of well-meaning souls everyday. Jude says, "PAY ATTENTION PEOPLE, APOSTASY IS AROUND THE NEXT CORNER OF YOUR LIFE."
                                                                                     Cell 666
He thought he was describing only his generation when Jude described apostates:

  1. They are "evil dreamers" that fill their minds with unholy thoughts repeatedly, producing evil dreams.
  2. They "reject authority" because in their minds they are above the laws of God and man.
  3. They "defile their flesh" so often that they can now justify their actions in their polluted minds, and wonder why you do not join them. 
Jude could never have understood that his words through the Holy Spirit would be ageless. Think of how these apply today, and better yet, how they apply to YOUR life right now. So how do you recognize apostasy? Jude says the following:

  1. They believe that they are always right, because they know everything...Sound familiar?
  2. They follow in the "way of Cain." Remember when God rejected Cain's offering? It wasn't the offering that God disliked, it was Cain's heart full of pride and hate for his brother...Sound familiar?
  3. They "ran greedily" in the "error of Baalam for reward." They are not just greedy. They let their lust for wealth and power become a carrot in front of them. They spend all their time chasing after this world reward, leaving little or no time for the pursuit of heavenly reward in service to our God and Savior. 
  4. And finally, they "perish in the gainsaying of Korah." If you recall Korah rebelled against his cousin Moses in the desert. He became jealous and resentful, making an opposition group against the authority of Moses. This from a privileged Levite from the tribe of Reuben...Korah literally led an internal rebellion against Moses and his brother Aaron. The characters are from the OT, but the message about apostasy right in our ranks is crystal clear...
One of the reasons I am so enthralled by Jude's style of writing is because it is filled examples, stories and analogy. Some of this appears elsewhere in scripture, but after you read Jude five or six times, you get a glimpse of a man who was keenly able to express himself with language. It is my belief that the Holy Spirit was able to use his gift to communicate this biblical WARNING in a very special way, because of its extreme importance to every saint, no matter your age, IQ, or level of spiritual understanding. 

My final thoughts on this special passage are kindled by Jude's description of apostates. He goes into some very colorful analogies to bring home his point:
  1. They are "spots in your feasts of charity." I never met a white shirt that I did not get a spot on, for more than 34 years; just ask my wife. That's exactly what Jude is saying here. You set up a great feast for those less fortunate, and even though you are unaware, the spots of apostasy are their pretending to blend right in. They may attend and eat while saying all the right things, but the truth of their everyday lives is not consistent with what they profess.
  2. They are "without fear." There vision has been clouded by living a lie for so long, that they no longer see or feel the error of their way. The Greek word used here is, "APHOBOS." It is where we get phobia, as an example. The letter A or Alpha when used in front of a word means without or against. You put them together, and you get fearless or without phobia. Someone or something has pulled the proverbial, "wool over their eyes," making them incredibly more dangerous to all believers and useless to God's cause.
  3. They are "clouds without water, carried by every wind." On the exterior they look like they are carrying the water of life, but in truth, they are nothing but wisps of vapor that move with every breeze. Strength and stability only comes from God. Without His influence you will be moved by every belief system that comes your way. True believers carry the water for God in their lives, 24/7. Its not just a Saturday or Sunday thing, it is an everyday thing. If you are not one of God's water boys or girls, you better did deep to find out why you have dried up. Its one thing to dry up and produce no fruit for a period of time. It's a completely different thing to produce no fruit and starve the roots to death. Jude calls it dying twice. 
The Epistle of Jude is filled with more than I have been able to share in this Post. It requires time, repetition and digging to get the whole truth contained in this scripture. Jude thought he was living in the "end times," just as many of us believe some 2,000 years later. I have no idea, and frankly don't care when Jesus decides to return. That is quite clearly beyond my pay grade and would be sheer speculation. What is NOT speculation is that Satan deceives believers and non believers every day. He is actively pushing this world away from all things godly. We can no longer pray in public schools, references to our Creator have been deemed illegal in all parts of our country. As disheartening as that my be, it should not be a complete surprise to any believer. 
                                                                               Carrying the Water
The real message from Jude is that we have believers that are impostors among us. They look like a duck, they quack like a duck, but they do NOT swim in the same pool of God's love and grace. They are hollow, and many do not even know it. If Satan can get you to become "twice dead," then he has won a tremendous victory. He did not win your soul, but he has guaranteed that you will bear no fruit and will never stand solidly for your God and Savior. 

Please join me in carrying the water of life...

The Digital Disciple

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hearing from you is certainly not a requirement. Consideration of what is researched and written is all I ask of anyone who stumbles upon my writings. I believe that my God will take it from there. With His help I try to separate fact from fiction, sense from nonsense, and ultimately clarity from chaos.

IDENTITY THEFT!

Marketing in the 21st century has taken a serious turn for the worse...All you have to do is listen to the news, watch a commercia...