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Part III.

 

    (vs.14-15) “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken

   

This that Enoch of Genesis 5:21-25 he was a prophet who no doubt prophesied to his generation of the coming judgments; not only of the deluge, but of the second coming of Jesus Christ. Enoch, who lived so long ago, had a clearer vision of the judgment to come than many so-called preachers of our day. We can use some true prophets in our nation who are not afraid to set the trumpet to their mouths. We too are a nation, and a world on the brink of divine judgment, but where are the voices of the prophets? As a matter of fact, I believe that America is already undergoing the beginnings of divine retribution. The saddest part of all is that, there are few voices who warn the righteous and the wicked any more. We love to hear about a God of blessings, a God of love and grace, but a God of judgment; a God who is angry with the wicked everyday; a God of wrath we seem to know nothing of.

     Enoch walked with God, this means that he was sensitive to the divine pathos, because of the sin of his generation. What about us, are we stirred concerning all the wickedness of our day, and of America in particular? God said that the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all nations that forget God. In Psalms 7:11, “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” All peoples, languages, and nations are on a collision course with the second advent of the Lord Jesus Christ. The coming of the Lord is a dreadful prospect for the wicked. The purpose for the return of the Lord is, “To execute judgment upon all. . .” that is, “a decision against, a tribunal; by implication, justice.” The second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ was the major theme of the Old Testament, even more than his first advent. The prophets saw a day when the Lord would come to judge the nations in righteousness, and the glory that would follow. They saw a day when Israel would be oppressed no longer by gentile kingdoms, and how they would become the head of the nations under Messiah, and King David. The second coming of Jesus Christ will affect nature and the brute creation. Isaiah prophesied of this in the eleventh chapter of his book when he writes, “. . The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the water cover the sea.” (Vs.6-9)

    There shall also be a cessation of wars and plenty of resources for all; there shall be no more famine, no child will ever go to bed hungry again. The prophet Micah spoke of this when he said, “. . . And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of host hath spoken it.” (Micah 4:3-4) The saints of all ages will reign with Christ for a thousand years. This planet shall experience a time like none other since creation, it shall be glorious. But before all this of which I have just alluded to commences, all the world shall wail, and howl because of him. “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindred of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” (Rev. 1:7) Disconcerting it may be to some, Jesus Christ will return to judge the nations. When he returns, he shall not come as the Savior, but he shall come as judge. He shall be king of kings, and lord of lords; his robe shall be dipped in blood, ready for the battle of the great day of God Almighty. “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” (Rev. 19:15)  I am convinced that many in our day do not believe in the coming of the Lord. We know that there shall be scoffers, and mockers walking after their own sensual desires saying, where is the promise of his coming. This reveals that one of the major tenets of false teaching in the last days will be a denial of the literal return of our Lord. This would also include a repudiation of the rapture of the Church. This kind of heterodoxy will be prevalent in the last of the last days. Jesus will come to his Church and for his Church first according to the chronology given in the first three chapters of the book of Revelation. Then we see the next sequence of events taking place after the things of the Church in the succeeding chapters. God pours out his holy wrath on this planet like it has not seen before, nor ever will see again. We have the seal judgments from chapter six, verse one to chapter eight, and verse one. Then we read of the trumpet judgments from chapter eight, verse two, to chapter eleven, verse nineteen. The twelfth to the fourteenth chapters are parenthetical between the trumpet, and vale judgments. In chapter sixteen we see the pouring out of the vales of judgment on the earth, and the Antichrist kingdom. Also under the vale judgments is the destruction of spiritual Babylon, and literal Babylon in chapters seventeen, and eighteen. Then in chapter nineteen we see the return of out Lord Jesus with myriads, and myriads of his holy ones. This second coming is not for his Church, but to saved the Jewish people from the Antichrist, and to destroy the armies of the world in the valley of Megiddo, also known as the valley of Jezreel, valley of vision, valley of decision. Also we see in chapter nineteen the final doom of the Antichrist, and the false prophet as they are thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone to be tormented day and night for ever and ever. In chapter twenty we read how Satan is bound with a chain, and put in the bottomless pit for a thousand years. The myriads of saints that have returned with Christ shall reign with him for one-thousand years. Also in chapter twenty we read of the second and final separation of the wicked dead from God in the lake of fire and brimstone. The lake that burns with fire and brimstone is the final, destination of all the wicked of all ages. Here they shall undergo unmitigated torments of pure punitive wrath to all eternity, “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:14-15)

     In chapter twenty-one we have the new heavens and the new earth. The heavens and the earth which are now will experience a renovation of fire and all the works of man shall be burned up. (2 Pet. 3:10-12) Also, the New Jerusalem shall descend from planet heaven to planet earth. God shall move his headquarters from heaven to earth. In chapter twenty-two we read of the river of the water of life, and the tree of life. This is none other than paradise restored to man that was lost from the beginning. Then in verse seven of this chapter, Jesus reminds us, “Behold, I come quickly” This is the whole theme of the book of Revelation, and this is why the rapture of the Church, and the second coming of the Lord should be preached more now than ever before. In verse sixteen of chapter twenty-two, we read, “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the Churches.” What this means is that we should be preaching more about the coming of the Lord now that ever before; for now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed. The spirit of prophesy is the testimony of Jesus Christ. Those who are under the impression that we need not speak of the eminent return of our Lord, do not speak from a biblical standpoint, but a personal standpoint. When the Lord returns, he will “. . . convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” In

2 Thessalonians 1:7-10, the apostle Paul gives us a spine-tingling account of this event; “. . and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” This is the patience and the comfort of the saints. God shall avenge his own though he suffers long with them in all their tribulation. Baruch haba ba’shem adoni.

   The second coming will answer all the murmurers and complainers. This is another description of these false teachers, “These are murmurers, and complainers, walking after their own lust; and their mouth speaking great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.” These murmur against God in their hearts. In other words, they find fault with God himself. The word for “complainers” in the Greek is, “mempsimoiros” ( literally) blaming fate, or more poignantly, blaming God for one’s position in this life. These murmurers, and complainers find fault with other people to hide the fact that they are really angry with God. There are many in the churches that complain against God all the time whether they realize it or not. Maybe they see others serving in positions they desire for themselves, and are upset with God. This anger against God is often exhibited in their fault finding with those who are in these positions. As a result of this, they are leading themselves by their own inclinations. Jude puts it like this, “. . walking after their own lusts” that is, according to their own lust. The word in the Greek for, “lust” is, “epithumia” this Greek word means, a longing (especially for that which is forbidden), concupiscence.  Not only do they walk after their own evil desires, but “. . their mouth speaketh great swelling words” That is they attach great importance to what they say, and urge it in a pompous and positive manner. They also seek to impress and sway with these words those whom they esteem, thinking to secure their own selfish ends. This is evident when we continue to read, “. . having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.”

   In verse seventeen, Jude reminds us of, “. . the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ” The true church of Jesus Christ is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets of holy writ. It was through the Jewish Hebrew apostles and prophets that God inspired his word to be written down for the church in all ages, and for all time. This is the faith that Jude spoke of in verse three, the faith that was once and for all given to the saints. This is the more sure prophetic word that we must take heed to if we are not to be deceived in this final hour. Enoch mentioned in verse fourteen represents the true prophets; and the apostles mentioned here in verse seventeen is a clear contrast between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error found in false teachers. The apostles were God-inspired, while these false teachers are Satan-inspired. Jude continues in verse eighteen as he appeals to the apostles concerning his warnings, “. . . that . . . there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.” The word for mockers in the Greek is, “empaiktes” that is, a derider (by impl.) a false teacher, a scoffer. These mockers separate themselves from the general assembly base on the deceived notion of superior wisdom, while all the time being lead by their own sensual desires, and not by the Spirit of God. “These be they who separate themselves sensual, having not the Spirit.” The word in the Greek for “who separate” is the word, “apodiorizo” this word means, “to disjoin by lines of demarcation” or, “make separations.” This is what they do in their arrogance, and religious pride. Some of these of whom Jude speaks are able to draw others after their ways. This is why we are warned, and encouraged by the Holy Ghost through Jude “But, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire: hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” ( vs.20) The term “beloved” is a term of endearment that speaks of the great love that our Lord God has for the saints. In the Greek this word is, “agapetos” that is, “divinely-loved ones” we have become the beloved of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. The word, “But” sets us in contradistinction to the false teachers, that we are to exemplify a different spirit altogether different than these false teachers described in this holy epistle. The phrase, “building up” in the Greek is, “epoikodomeo” that is, “to build upon, to build up” to finish the structure of which the foundation has already been lade. Metaphorically, “to give constant increase in Christian knowledge and in a life conformed thereto” We are to be built up, and build upon our “most holy faith” what is this holy faith spoken of here by Jude? This isn’t the exercise of faith that the believer should exhibit in the Lord, but this speaks of the faith that was once delivered unto the saints, the Christian faith. There is a cost to following Jesus Christ. This is why Jesus admonished that before we start off on our Christian journey, we must first count the cost. We must settle it in our minds that following Jesus Christ is worth any and every sacrifice. Anyone who chooses the Lordship of God and the discipleship requirements of Jesus must understand what he or she is undertaking. This means that our goal in life is to let our thinking, and our doing to be controlled by God alone. Only a minority are able to meet the required conditions of the Lordship of God, and the discipleship attachment to Jesus that opens wide the entrance into the kingdom of God.

   We are to build up, and pray up “. . praying in the Holy Ghost” not necessarily praying in tongues although it certainly includes this. Praying in the Holy Ghost always involves the perfect will of God. We should understand that we know not how we ought to pray as we should, but the Holy Spirit helps us by interceding for us according to the will of God. Only God knows how many of his children chart there own course. Many today do not seek the Lord concerning our life and walk. Many walk today who call themselves “Christians” that pray little if any concerning the will of God. They seem to presume upon God that what they want and desire for themselves (especially ministry) is what God wants. Many waste their lives trying to make happen what God has not ordained, and become unprofitable and vain persons. But “praying in the Holy Ghost” will bring to our lives the grace, and the strength we need in these last days to stand and having done all, stand. Also, “praying in the Holy Ghost” will lead us and guide us into the will of God. The bible says, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)

     In verse twenty-one we are given this admonition: “keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Here in both verses (20-21) we have the faith, hope, and love principle; the three stranded cord that can not be broken. Here in verse twenty-one we are told to, “keep yourselves. . ” Not only are we kept by God, but we in submission to God have a responsibility to keep ourselves according to the teachings of God’s word. This means we must watch our life, and doctrine. God’s word teaches us to love one another as Christ loved us. The word of God teaches us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind. Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (St. John 13:35) In I Corinthians 13 we read of the divine-kind of love that we are to exemplify; a love that suffers long, is kind, envies not, is not puffed up with pride, not soon angry, rejoices in the truth, thinks no evil, bears all things, believes all things, endures all things. This kind of love is only possible through the power of the Holy Ghost. “. . Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”  This speaks of the Christian hope, the hope of eternal life, the hope of the resurrection of the dead. We, who are the children of God, have been begotten again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. We are not to look for a grave, a tomb, or a mausoleum, but we are to look up to heaven from whence we look for the Savior. Everything in the New Testament points the believer upward, not downward. The hope of the church according to the bible is not to conquer this world, but our hope is in that glorious appearing of our great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the arch-angel, and the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (I Thess. 4:16-18)

   “And of some have compassion, making a difference. . .” (Vs. 22) that is, we should be patient with brethren that have been deceived by false teachers, and seek to deliver them from the snare of the Devil. This is a ministry in itself; in this day and hour there are so many that are being deceived, and lead away by seducing spirits and doctrine of devils. To be effective in the deliverance of people from error, we must bring to bear the truth of God. The only thing powerful enough to deliver from the seduction of Satan is God’s eternal truth. Satan has ministers the have infiltrated the church of our Lord Jesus Christ, and they do not spare. We must with all imperativeness oppose all heresy, and expose those who propagate another Jesus, another gospel, by another spirit.

   “And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” (Vs. 23) In verse twenty-two we are instructed to rescue our brethren that have been deceived by false teachers. In this verse of scripture we are to be evangelistic in our life for the sake of turning men from darkness to the light. If we believe the Holy Scriptures, then we are compelled to believe that all men everywhere are under the wrath of God. If this is true (and it most certainly is true), then this should be the foremost and greatest concern of all who believe, and those who do not believe. Of those who believe that we may be used of God to turn many to righteousness, and of the unbelieving that they are in a dreadful condition in the sight of a holy God, and should repent toward God, and believe on the Lord Jesus for salvation sake. We must always bear in mind as Christians that the final destiny of all men will be a paradise of joy, peace, and love forever more, or a fiery torment to all eternity. Our God is a consuming fire. As long as God hates sin, there will always be a lake of fire to torment all those who die impenitent.  While we reach out to testify to others of the grace of God; we are to watch our own life, and doctrine. “. . hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” That is, abstain from all appearances of evil; not just the doing of it, but even if it looks evil, avoid it. Also our doctrine must come from the Holy Scripture, for which we are to preach with all longsuffering.

 

(Vs. 24-25) “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

 

   In these last days many are falling away from the faith that was once delivered to the saints. If we are not to go astray ourselves, we must realize that only God can truly keep his people. This doesn’t negate our own responsibility to obey the word of God, but in our obedience we recognize that it is not us, but God Almighty who watches over us and protects us from the pitfalls of the last days. Our obedience is to co-operate with God’s eternal plan for the ages, and take our God-given place in this plan to his glory and honor. Only he is God only wise, powerful; worthy of all dominion and majesty both now and unto all the ages.

         

 

 



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