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THE BOOK OF JUDE

For some time we studied together on the "Bible Nuggets" Page the brief Epistle of Jude.

In that time we covered every verse in the Book.  There are only twenty five! 

I have here on this "Jude" Page reproduced each of those studies.  Therefore we have here a "commentary" on the General Epistle of Jude.

If this material proves to be a help to someone's spiritual growth ... it will be worth all the effort involved.

--- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

JUDE, VERSE 1:

May I briefly mention something to you today from the book of Jude. (Next to last Book of the Bible)  It's found in verse 1.

"Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called ..."   (Jude 1)

Now there are several "nuggets" in this verse alone!  Let's take them one at a time.

First, the name "Jude" jumps out at us!  It is a shortened form of the name "Judas!"  It is believed that this Jude is one who was raised in the same home as Jesus.  (Mark 6:3)  After Mary and Joseph were married (and after Jesus was born ... for His Birth was a Virgin Birth) they apparently had other children.  One of these was Jude (another was James).  What I'm telling you is common well-known doctrine in fundamental circles.  With such a background, this child still had to carry the name Jude (Judas)!  Judas is the disciple who betrayed Jesus! Do you know any children today named Judas?  Yet .. somehow Jude did not let his name (with all its "baggage") get him down!  He overcame all that and went on to be a godly man for Christ!  (Friend, with the Lord's help, you can do the same!  Forget what's behind you!  Put it under the Blood of Jesus!  Go spiritually forward and live for God!)

Secondly, notice that Jude calls himself simply a "servant" (doulos) of Jesus Christ!  He could have taken credit here for being the brother (half brother, really!  same mother but NOT the same daddy) of Jesus Christ!  He could have said that he ate every meal with the young Jesus ... or that he worked with Him in the carpenter shop ... but he just said that he was a SLAVE (what doulos means) of Jesus Christ!  Talk about elevating servanthood!  Let's forget about "status" and get busy working for our Lord!

Thirdly, observe what Jude says we are because of our salvation!  (3 things)  We are sanctified, preserved and called!  "Sanctified" (hagiazo) means "set apart!"  "Preserved" (tereo) means protected or guarded!  And "called" (kletos) means summoned or invited!  When God saved you He picked you up out of the miry clay and set you upon a rock!  He brought you out of sin and set you on the road to heaven!  He sanctified you and is sanctifying you!  Furthermore when He saved you, He also put you in His safety protection program!  He guards you every minute of every day!  You are safe in Jesus!  And to get you to this place ... He called you!  He apprehended you!  (Not only did He do so in the past ... but is still doing so!  Every day He nudges us to closer and closer fellowship with Him!)  Glory to God!

Lastly, did you understand Who did the sanctifying, preserving and calling?  Each Member of the Trinity is involved!  God the Father sanctified us!  God the Son preserved us!  Who "called" us, preacher?  Only One Member is left!  God the Holy Spirit called us ... convicted us and drew us to Jesus ... and lives within us to daily call us to godly living!

How blessed the Believer is!  And all that is from just one verse in Jude's great epistle!  Think about these things today (and try not to shout too loudly on the job.)  You may disturb someone!

That's today's "nugget!"  Really, I think we got into a whole patch of nuggets, don't you!

                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

JUDE, VERSE 2:

"Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied."  That's Jude, verse 2!

What a verse!

One could make a good case that this is a prayer! The mood of the verb "be multiplied" is in Greek an "optative." That means it expresses a wish or desire (here to God)! Jude (the Pastor) prays for his people to grow in Grace! (He particularizes his longing in a threefold manner. He desires to see the believers advance in mercy, peace and love!)

Preacher, why not stop right now and pray for someone in your church (or everyone in your church) and ask God to develop them further in these graces! Notice that Jude did not pray for their bank accounts or their gall bladders! The most fruitful (and most mature) prayers deal with spiritual things! Also remember (from verse 1) that these people are already saved (called, preserved and called) ... but yet need more mercy, peace and love!

Mercy is the word "eleos" and means compassion (actively so). It is the outward manifestation of pity! It assumes need on the part of the recipient! (Vines Dictionary) I once heard a preacher put it this way: "Mercy is for the miserable. Grace is for the guilty. Grace addresses legal issues while mercy addresses feelings.) God KNOWS just how you feel ... how you suffer ... what youíre going through! The old timers called mercy "the darling attribute of Deity!" God has plenty of Mercy! He uses the word (in the singular) 276 times in the Bible! (40 more if you add "mercies) In Ephesians 2:4 God is rich in mercy! In Psalm 103 His mercy endureth forever! In 1 Peter 1:3 God has abundant mercy! In 2 Corinthians 1:3 God is called the "Father of mercies!" (Glory!) Micah 7:18 says that God delights in mercy! (As bread takes away hunger ... and water quenches thirst ... so does mercy relieve misery! Man canít do that for you!) In the Old Testament mercy is often translated by the word "chesed." It has the idea of covenant love! (Marriage is an example. The husband stands by the wife because He has vowed to do so. He loves her unconditionally! So with Godís "chesed" to us!) That Hebrew noun also means compassion from the GREATER to the lesser! God (the GREAT One) to me the nobody ... offers His great mercy!

Peace is Judeís second prayer request! It comes (Greek) from the word eirene (the English name "Irene" is the very Greek word for peace). It means "to join." (Two things that were at enmity ... now put together as one!) The Hebrew word for peace is "shalom" ... and we donít have time or space to discuss that! Letís just say it means blessing, prosperity, goodness, absence of war, wholeness, etc.! There is only one place where you can get the peace of God! That is from the God of peace! (Philippians 4:9) One writer called this peace the "undisturbableness" of God! D. L. Moody once wrote in the margin of his Bible: "Worry about nothing. Pray about everything. Thank God for anything!" Pretty good advice! (Have you ever thought about praying for the "peace" of others?) Jude did! But ... this peace is costly (to God)! It cost Him His very Son! Isaiah 53:5 "The chastisement of our peace was upon Him!" If we enjoy Godís peace today ... He can make everything else be at peace with us as well! Proverbs 16:7 says: "When a man's ways please the Lord, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him." God can calm our very enemies if He so chooses! Our Lord is the peacemaker!

Then comes love! The word is "agape" and Iím sure you know what that means! Itís Godís love. It is a love that gives ...not a selfish love that only "gets." (John 3:16) Where does that love come from? From the same Source as every good and perfect gift! (James 1:17) Love such as this comes from God Himself! Romans 5:5 says that when God saved us, He: "shed abroad His love in our hearts by the Holy Ghost." (That verb "shed abroad" is ekcheo and means to "pour out!" God opened us up and via the Spirit poured a big dose of His love down into our hearts!) Jude is just asking for more and more and more! How does one get more love? Apparently by prayer!  Also Paul says in Ephesians 3:19 that this love "passeth knowledge!" Now, if one loves God he will love other things rightly! The believer will consequently love the Word of God (Psalm 119:47)! He will also love the saints of God (Psalm 16:3)! He will love mankind (John 3:16)! Also ... let me quickly add that there are some proofs of Godly love! Psalm 97:10 says:  "Ye that love the Lord, hate evil!" (How about that?) 1 John 5:3 thunders: "This is love, that we KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS!" And Paul in 1 Thessalonians 1:3 talks about the "labour of love!" Love works for the Lord!

Remember that these 3 attributes are sought for Godís people by Jude in a time of apostasy and backsliding. Perhaps of all the godly virtues ... these three are paramount in times of spiritual declension. How we ought to be praying for these today in our lives!

Lastly, Jude seeks that these graces be "multiplied!" The Greek verb is "plethuno." It means to abound ... to overflow ... to get out of the banks (as a river in flood stage)! To increase, spread or grow! Artificial flowers do not grow. Neither do artificial saints! One sure sign of salvation is growth in these graces. If Jesus grew in "wisdom and stature" (Luke 2:52) we surely had better do so as well! One sign of the world is their covetousness. More money ...more possessions ... more everything! One sign of the growing Believer should be a holy "covetousness!" God give us MORE mercy and peace and love! Remember, God is the only One who can give this growth! It is said plants grow best when watered by the DEW than by man-treated water! Godís graces also flourish best when Godís DEW (SPIRIT) falls upon them!

Let me close with this. Samuel Gordon in his great book "Jewels from Jude" (Buy one if you can find it!) says that mercy relates properly to God! Peace concerns our inner man! And love extends to our fellow Brethren!

He adds that mercy is the inflow. Peace is the downflow. And love is the outflow!

The upward look of mercy, the inward look of peace, and the outward look of love characterize this great salutation of Jude!

By the way, it looks to me like the same three virtues (mercy, peace and love) reappear at the closing of this epistle of Jude. He "brackets" his whole letter with them. This is called "inclusio" and is one way the Holy Spirit shows us what He is emphasizing in a body of Scripture! (Without Godís good mercy, peace and love NO ONE could survive in days of darkness and apostasy!)

This is today's "nugget."  (Or is it more of a sermon?  Do you think it's too long for this column?  It is useful in your Bible study?  Could it help your prayer life in any way?)  Our website is new ... and your advice is appreciated!

I have now (under the Lord's leading, I believe) written on 2 verses from Jude!  Tomorrow (Lord willing) I shall write of Jude verse 3!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

JUDE, VERSE 3:

Today's "Bible Nugget" looks at one complete verse ...!  It's a little longer than usual.  Stay with me!  You'll learn the PURPOSE for the Book of Jude!

Jude (verse 3) says:  "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."

What a verse!

The word "beloved" is a derivative of Greek "agape." It means Godís love! It is the deepest, most mature love known in the Bible! Jude loves his people not with emotional fickle fleshly love ... but with the very love God has "shed abroad" in his heart by the Holy Spirit! (Romans 5:5) This love is first in line as an aspect of the Fruit of the Spirit! (Galatians 5:22-23)

The verb "gave" is a use of the Greek verb "poieo." It means "to make or to do." It is a present participle which just means that Jude kept on constantly trying to hold "salvation" in front of his people! This verb actually gives us our English words poem and poet! Jude beautifully tries to be diligent in portraying the salvation God has so graciously given us! Donít ever forget that HE saved you!

"Diligence" is a neat word! Itís "spoude." It means eagerness, or speed, zeal, effort or even earnestness. (The "root" idea is "speed.") The modifier "all" ("pas") is in the text also! Jude summoned ALL the speed he could to preach the beauties of salvation to his hearers! Jude is really exerting himself to be a good minister of Jesus Christ! (Brethren, can we do any less?)

"To write" is Greek "grapho." It means to engrave or to write. As a present infinitive Jude means to keep on writing a while. Perhaps he believed his "sermon" would be much longer than it became (only 25 verses). Maybe the great "need" that developed (of contending for the Faith) overwhelmed him. He HAD to fight apostasy! (And WE better do so too!) For some reason Jude is not with his people physically at that very moment. He has to use the medium of writing to convey the message. (Paul did this too! In fact, without their writings we would lack a New Testament!) This very internet ministry is the result of sitting at a keyboard and writing to unknown (and unseen) brothers and sisters.

His intended subject was the "common salvation." Greek = koinos soteria! The word "common" means "shared." (belonging equally to several) By the way anyone in the true church who is saved ... is just as saved as anyone else! The newest convert is just as "saved" as the oldest believer! Brethren, we do have some things in common! We read the same Bible (or should). We worship the same Savior! We enjoy the same salvation! That what Jude means here. And the word "salvation" means to "deliver" or to "rescue!" (I have been rescued!) Itís a word picture! To save (sozo) carries these ideas: VICTORY AFTER BATTLE! (I was under siege from the devil. Captain Jesus came and brought me victory!) HEALTH AFTER SICKNESS! (I was dying with an incurable sin disease ... Dr. JESUS came and healed me!) UNITY/HARMONY AFTER SEPARATION! (I was separated from God because of my low-down wickedness ... but Jesus came and via His Blood brought reconciliation with the Father in Heaven! Now, instead of being at enmity with God ... He is my Friend!) AND FREEDOM AFTER PRISON! (I was locked up to my sins and passions and fleshly desires ... JESUS came and via Calvary led a jail break and set me free!) Glory to God for these pictures all involved in the Greek word "salvation!" No wonder Jude wanted to preach of the common SALVATION!

BUT, there was a greater need that day! God didnít allow the preacher (Jude) to preach his message. God lead him to another text! He needed to encourage the believers to fight for the Faith! (What preacher has not had that happen? God can change our message, canít He?) Jude says that something was more "needful!" It "was needful" equals Greek "echo anagke." The verb "was" is indicative aorist. Something has happened at that moment in time that demanded a sermon! The saints MUST be exhorted to fight for the very Faith they believed! (Something like that happens in America every day now!) Echo (the verb "was") means to have or to hold. Today preachers have been told not to preach to people needs ... but to their desires, their wants! (todayís modern philosophy) Men of God are being encouraged to preach to folkís "feelings and aspirations." JUDE DID NOT GET ALL THAT. HE STILL BELIEVED HE HAD TO PRACH TO PEOPLEíS NEEDS! Thatís what we had better do also!) "Needful" (anagke) means distresses, pressures and troubles. Jude means on a spiritual level too! Man may not "feel" it ... but his real need is to live godly! That Greek word gives us our English word "ache" says Strongís Concordance. Preach to their spiritual hurts. Here we see a pristine example of NEEDS being used of God to direct a preacher in his preaching! (If your people need messages on worry ... go for it! Preach to them on the great peace that is ours in Christ Jesus!) At least thatís how God led Jude here.

Next we see that Jude plans to "exhort" his people to do something! Now, thatís a great word! "Parakaleo" is the Greek verb here. It means to call alongside. (kaleo = to call and "para" = beside) Itís the word paraclete ("Comforter") as used by Jesus of the Holy Spirit! He is called alongside us to help! To exhort is to encourage! (to beseech or to intreat) It also can mean to beg or encourage or request! It can carry the idea ... "to stir to action!" Itís a KEY New Testament word! Preachers, at times in our preaching we are to REBUKE, at times TEACH, and even at times MILK FEED, but here we are to ENCOURAGE Godís dear people! (Also here the verb is a present participle meaning that Jude plans to continually encourage them in this way! Hebrews 3:13 tells us to "exhort one another daily!")

"Should earnestly contend for" is all one word in Greek. Itís "epagonizomai." If you will look into that little verb youíll see the letters "agoni." Thatís our little English word "agony!" The "ep" at the front of it intensifies the meaning. It is to vigorously AGONIZE (wrestle) for the Faith God has given unto us! Itís worth fighting for! This verb is in infinitive form and is present middle in tense and voice. That all means that it must be an ongoing activity (no rest)! It also means that we must each get involved (active voice)! The preacher canít do it all. The middle voice means as you do so (agonize, fight for the Faith) ... you yourself will be impacted! It will HELP you to struggle for the FAITH against its enemies!

Also notice that Jude says "the faith!" (Not a faith or not even my faith or your faith ... but THE FAITH) That means something. When THE FAITH is in view, usually the WORD OF GOD is the subject! Thatís where we get faith anyway (Romans 10:17). To contend for the faith is to STAND UP for the Scriptures! To fight for the revealed WORD OF GOD!

But notice something about that faith. It is "once" delivered to the saints! The word is "hapax" and means once and for all! The Bible is a completed project! The 66 books are final! (There will be no 67th book of Scripture.) It has been once and for all given to us by God! (You can quit looking for extra-biblical revelations. There are none!) Preachers, it would be interesting to look through the New Testament and see what else with God is "hapax!"

"Delivered" is obviously a verb. Itís Greek "paradidomi." It literally means to give beside! God placed the Scriptures beside me to help me live for Him! (You can also put them "in your heart!") It has the idea ... "to entrust!" One source says "to hand over or to give over!" What a GIFT we have in the Bible itself! Godís written, living Word! The time action of our verb here is: aorist participle, passive voice. The giving of the Word is past action and is completed ... not to happen again! The passive voice means that man didnít write or deliver the Bible. That was done for him ... by an Almighty God! That proves inspiration, doesnít it?)

To whom was the Bible given? Primarily to the "saints.í The noun is Greek "hagios" and means holy ones ... set apart ones ... sanctified ones ... dedicated, consecrated ones. I realize that through the Word sinners can be (and are being) saved ... but PRIMARILY the Bible is written to help the saints live to God! (There are relatively few verses in Scripture that tell a sinner how to get saved. With that you HAVE to agree. But there are thousands upon thousands of verses telling Christians how to live in this old wicked world and how to grow in Christ and how to be faithful until we all get to Heaven!) Dear saints (those are just believers to Jude ... and Paul and all the new Testament writers), treat that old Bible reverently ... obey it ... and earnestly defend it in these last days!

Thatís todayís "nugget." (Or is it nearly a whole gold mine?) Its value is NOT in my comments ... but in the fact THAT IT IS THE LIVING POWERFUL WORD OF GOD!)

If you finish this article ... you're either a real reader or have a passion for verse-by-verse Bible study.  Is it too long?  I want the preachers to enjoy (and feed) from this verse ... but also I want it to help everyone who chooses to visit this page!  Those of you who complete the verse, quickly drop me an e-mail and evaluate this for me.  We now have studied every word in the first 3 verses of Jude!

                                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

JUDE, VERSE 4:

Here is today's "Bible Nugget."  We've been spending time in the great book of Jude this week.  This fourth verse describes those who come into our churches who are in reality "enemies" to the good grace of God!

Here Jude tells us how to identify that crowd!  This verse should prove to be exceedingly "profitable" to us in these last days!

Jude, verse 4

"For there are certain mean crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."

"ENEMIES OF GOD'S GRACE!"

That's what they are! And Jude insinuates that they may be within our ranks even now! He basically talks about this crowd and the problems they create for the rest of his epistle!

"Certain men" are identified here. Not all the men, praise God! (And even these "certain men" are needed and used by God! They will help prove who in the church is TRUE AND LOYAL AND GENUINE! Read 1 Corinthians 11:19 --- "For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.") Watch out for this crowd. In these last days they seem to be especially present!

How did they come "in?" They "crept in unawares." This Greek verb (pareisduno) is a hapax legomenon! (That means a word used only once in the whole Bible!) It is unique and rare. We must study it. It is really three words fused together! Para + eis + duo! Duo is the verb that means "to go down into." To slide into! Even as one slides into his coat! (To be "endued" is an example!) The prefix "eis" means "into" and just intensifies the word. And "para" means alongside! This group of certain men slid in (deeply within) alongside us perhaps without our even realizing what had happened! (They are sneaky!) It is an aorist verb ... meaning the action occurred at a point in the past. It is not going to happen ... Jude says it has already happened! They are likely already there! (Maybe even in your church fellowship there is one or two who deep within their hearts will exhibit some of the traits Jude is about to give us!) By the way, in the Greek text (textus receptus) this verb is the first word in the sentence! That means it gets top priority in emphasis! Notice who has slithered into the assembly! (Birds do lodge in the branches, you know! Snakes in the grass!)

These men did not take God by surprise either! He knew they were coming! "Before ordained" is a verb (prographo) which means "written of before hand!" God has described them long ago! He wrote of them in His Word! That's a perfect participle! It means it was written in the past ... but that writing still has influence and impact yet today! It is true of all the Word of God! (Usually this is the sense of time all the verbs have when referencing Scripture! God's Word just does not lose its power! And is it completely written. There's no more to be added! We are enjoying doctrinal truth based upon Bible grammar!) Way back in Moses' day: old Korah (written of a long time ago) is a forerunner of today's apostates! (So were Balaam and the false prophets and Judas and many more!) The verb has a synonym in English: to "prescribe." God wrote the prescription for these boys a long time ago!

"Condemnation" is Greek "krima" from "krino" and means to pass sentence. The sentence of a judge or even "penal judgment" is the idea here. One source says "to punish" would be the force of this semantic field. This crowd of compromisers will meet God some day. Then they will have their just rewards!

They are "ungodly" men. The word ("asebes") means not reverent! (no adoration) They have no reverence for God, no Fear of the Lord! This is not yet a description of their deeds (that's coming though) ... it's a description of their attitudes! (No reverence for the church or the preacher or the Bible or the God of all!) Is this ringing any bells for anyone? Are any lights flashing? The word is only used 9 times in the New Testament!

"Turning" is Greek "metatithemi" which means to taanspose or to transfer. The root verb means "to place" and the prefex (a preposition) means initially amidst or accompaniment. They have not necessarily replaced God's grace as such ... but have mixed in with it the lax teaching of permissiveness towards sin! (Wow!) Watered down Grace of God! A "cheapened" Grace! And that's exactly what's preached in many places today! The verb is a present participle which indicates that the action is still ongoing! (You know. That old attitude that is soft on sin. It says, "God is soooo loving! He knows you're human! Go ahead and sin a little. It'll be all right! God is not a tyrant!) Church dances on Saturday nights. Hollywood movies on Wednesday nights. Immodest dress anytime ... just come as you are! Pulpit "cussing" allowed as well! Fornicators welcome! No more preaching against drinking, either! Any of that sound familiar?

Grace is God's unmerited favor! (charis) What Jesus accomplished for us on the Cross of Calvary! It is God's grace that brought Jesus to earth to die for our sins! It is His grace that gives us victory over sin! (not complacency with sin!)

But wait until you see the word "lasciviousness." It is Greek "aselgeia" and means not (the "a" part) plus controlled (continent) "selges." NOT ABLE TO CONTROL ONESELF IN REGARD TO SIN! (Absence of restraint ... says Vine's word dictionary.) Shameless conduct! Living without moral rules! It is exactly where American society is today, isn't it? And ... the sad thing ... it is infiltrating our churches! And where did it come from? Certain men (it can be women as well) who have slid in without our knowledge!

Denying is "arneimai" and means NOT (the "a") TO SPEAK OR SAY (rheo). It isn't their standing up and blasting the grace of God or the Name of our Lord! They just refuse to say some things that they need to say! Like "Crucify the flesh!" Or "Jesus is Lord!" Or Search me, O God!" (LEARN TO READ PEOPLE NOT JUST FOR WHAT THEY SAY ... BUT ALSO FOR WHAT THEY DON'T SAY!!!) "To contradict, to disavow, to reject or to abnegate" are further definitions given by Strong's concordance. The time sense of the verb is present participle in middle voice! They constantly deny the Lord and in so doing damage themselves irreparably. (Middle voice means the verb's actions boomerang on the subject!)

Note Whom they deny! The Lord God ... that's God the Father! AND our Lord Jesus Christ ... that's the Son! And they deny the precious Holy Spirit by the way they live! Notice that the Father and the Son are linked with a conjunction "and." That coordinating conjunction means that the Two are equal! (as is the Spirit also!) There is no rank One over Another in the Godhead! God is co-eternal and co-equal in His Persons! That first use of the word "Lord" in reference to "God" is the word "despotes." The Greek is transliterated into English ... despot! (des = house plus potes = husband! according to the etymology in my Miriam Webster dictionary) The Father is our sweet heavenly DESPOT! He is my Husband of the House! He is my LORD!

Watch that crowd of "sneaks" who want to come in and ruin your church! They are dangerous! Ultimately, they are "enemies of God's Grace!"

I pray you find a "nugget" or two in this study today. Something that will help you live for our dear LORD!

                                                                                                   -- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

JUDE, VERSE 5:

Today we get back to our Jude verses!

It's time for Jude 5.  Our prayer is that the verse will be a blessing to you.  Jude is warning us to not stray from the faith!

"I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not."  (Jude, verse 5)

I'll have to admit that this has always been a hard verse for me. I've asked the Lord to help me as we study it today.

In the paragraph we now begin (verses 5-7) Jude uses three illustrations of those who have departed from the faith! Today we shall only study the first one.

I don't want to go into too much detail, but the verb "I will" gives us vital information. It's "boulomai" in Greek and means "to desire, wish, intend or plan." W. E. Vine says that it is the "deliberate exercise of the will." The verb is also indicative (mood) and present (tense) and middle (voice). That means Jude stays willing to illustrate with Bible accounts. It also means that in the relating of this Old Testament Bible story Jude himself is impacted (as well as his hearers)! It will become obvious that Jude knows his Bible very well. (So did his half-brother Jesus! It ran in that family, I think! James knew the Scriptures, didn't he? Of course their Mother Mary was a capable Bible student too! Read her "magnificat" in Luke 1:46-56!)

To "put in remembrance" is a combination word (hupo + mnaomai) meaning to call to memory or bear in mind + the preposition "under." The preposition intensifies the word. The picture given here is to lift up someone's memory and slide another chapter underneath! (to reinforce) This verb is aorist. Jude does not intend to have to preach this over and over again. He will remind them this time ... and they should GET IT! God would have his preachers to put folks "in remembrance" of His truths! Paul told Timothy that if he "put the brethren in remembrance of these things" he would be "a good minister of Jesus Christ!" (1 Timothy 4:6)

"Once" is "hapax." It is supposed to mean "once and for all!" Perhaps Jude is being a bit sharp here! He says, "You were supposed to know this forever." Oh, how forgetful we are!

"Knew" is the Greek verb "eido" from "oida." It means to know in a special sense. It is not necessarily book knowledge. It is "intuitive" knowledge! What's that? It is knowledge (for the Christian) that God has given you via the Holy Spirit. They learned of the Israelites in the wilderness through spiritual means. (They had no New Testaments yet.) They learned it via godly prophets and priests who taught them the Bible. The old Scripture scroll down at the synagogue perhaps enlightened them as well.

The noun "Lord" is Greek kurios. It means one with supreme authority! To Jude there is no doubt that God (and Jesus) is LORD! It's just another name for Deity. The word LORD in the Old Testament is the Name of God JEHOVAH! When New Testament writers began calling Jesus LORD ... they were saying that Jesus is Jehovah! (Glory! He is indeed!)

"Having saved" is an aorist participle of the verb "sozo." It means to deliver or to rescue! Remember that night in Egypt? The Blood of the Lamb? The death angel? The passover? The "exodus" across the sea? The miracle of safety? That's what Jude has in mind here. The aorist sense of time means it is a once and for all event. It is locked in time past. They are SAVED and nothing can be done about that. It is a fact! (And notice Who did the saving! The LORD did! He still does!) They were saved OUT of Egypt and INTO Canaan! You were saved OUT of hell and INTO heaven!

"Afterward" is an interesting word. It is "deuteros." It means "second." It comes from the word that means "two." God had to visit this grumbling, unbelieving crowd a second time ... this time to punish them! (I don't ever want to get over His first visit ... the time He saved me!)

"Destroyed" is "apollumi" and means to "kill." (indicative, aorist, active) God literally took the lives of His people who had turned on Him and were complaining in unbelief! (Christians can be unbelieving in reference to the further promises of God!) Elsewhere in Scripture this is called "the sin unto death." (1 John 5:16-17)

Here is a clear example of a group of saved people who turned their backs on God. The result was their destruction. (And it happened quickly!)

What a warning! Let us all (as believers) be SURE we don't fall into a pattern of unbelief (or apostasy) as detailed in this book of Jude. Doing such has dire consequences! Those consequences may not any longer be immediate death ... but they are severe just them same.

(In Scripture God killed Ananias and Sapphira for lying to the Holy Spirit! He made Zacharias dumb for his unbelief! He ended Moses' life prematurely for a few unadvised words. He turned Lot's wife into a pillar of salt! And He's still the same God today!)

Now in this age of grace God's judgments seem to have taken a different form. Instead of immediate judgment, God works more slowly ... but every bit as surely. He killed Korah ... but someone today might have their spiritual sensitivities dulled! He removed Moses .. but today one might lose his power in prayer! He dealt strictly with Lot's wife ... but today he might just remove His restraints on a man's heart!)  There's a sermon hidden in this part of our verse!

The primary "sin" in question here is described in Numbers 14. It happened at Kadesh-Barnea. A whole generation of Jews perished because of their unbelief in entering the land! (All except 2 ... Joshua and Caleb!)

The reason I believe this crowd WAS saved is found in 1 Corinthians 10:1-11. What a sermon it is! There Paul plainly says that this crowd of folks had ALL eat spiritual Meat and drank spiritual water (from the Rock) and That was CHRIST! They were saved! But saved folks can turn on God and drift away into doubt. At times God has then taken them on to heaven (prematurely)! Again, I believe that is the "sin unto death" which 1 John 5 mentions! (You don't have to agree with me here. But this preacher believes in eternal security!  I do not believe they lost their salvation ... just their physical lives.  They got a "quick" trip to heaven!)

(That crowd in the wilderness who doubted and grumbled "would God we had died in Egypt ... or this wilderness!" God simply heard their wish ... and granted their request! He just let them die in that old desert!) We better be careful what we say ... especially when we are discouraged!

Are some of you having trouble seeing that believers can be guilty of "unbelief?" Zacharias the priest (father of John the Baptist) did! (Luke 1:20) The disciples also had problems with unbelief! ((Luke 24:25) Paul in Hebrews spoke to Jewish Christians who were on the verge of unbelief! (Hebrews 3:12)

In Scripture only 2 things made Jesus "marvel." Great faith (Matthew 8:10) made Jesus wonder in admiration! And great unbelief (Mark 6:6) did the same! He just can't comprehend unbelief with all the evidence of God available today!

Mark 9:24 states: "Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief." Maybe that should be the prayer of us all!

Oh, how we need our faith to grow! The BIBLE way for faith to be increased is found in Romans 10:17 "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."

I surely trust that in this rather unfamiliar verse you have found some "nuggets" to help you live for the Lord today! I believe I've found a number of them!

I'll let you go for now. I want to go "chew" on some of these truths a while!

                                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

JUDE,VERSE 6:

Our "Bible Nugget" today centers on what one Bible teacher called "the most difficult verse in the whole Book  of Jude and one of the most difficult in the whole Bible."  Read with me carefully and get Jude's message:  DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM THE FAITH!  BE STEADFAST AND UNMOVEABLE!

Jude, verse 6

"And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto judgment of the great day."

Jude is illustrating the fact that some have departed from the faith. He does so in three ways. He uses three groups to make his point. The Israelites of old (verse 5), the angels who fell (verse 6) and Sodom and Gomorrah (verse 7) are his specific Bible examples. All were guilty of rebellion against God!

Today we study the middle group. There are different "ranks" of angels! There are Seraphim. Mentioned only in Isaiah 6, they have a name that means "to set on fire" or "to burn!" Then remember the "Cherubim." The meaning of the name is unknown. (That alone may tell us something.) They are found numerous times in the Old Testament and are likely described in the New Testament as well.

Then there are just "regular" angels. Untold numbers of them exist. Their name implies that they are the "messengers" of God! Hebrews 12:22 tells us that there are "an innumerable company of angels."

And we have not yet considered the "named" angels such as Michael, Gabriel and even Lucifer (before his sin).

Yet our verse indicates another group! This is a group of angels who have fallen from their original position! The verb "kept" is Greek "tereo" and means "to warch or to guard." It seems all these problems begin when people (or angels) forgot some key things! They let some things "slip" that are crucial!

The term "first estate" is Greek "arche" and means " a commencement!" (First in order of time) It is often translated "beginning" in the King James Version. (Some just arenít satisfied with what God gives them!) These angels were not satisfied with Heaven! and serving God Himself! and eternal Peace! and glorious Joy! (I wonder if dissatisfaction is at the heart of all apostasy?)

The verb "left" is Greek "apoleipo" and means to leave (leipo) away from (apo). It is active voice. No one made them abandon their "first estate." They themselves departed from it! They were no longer content with Godís perfect will.

Habitation is Greek "oiketerion" and comes from the word "oikos" which means "house." If their habitation was heaven (which we assume it was), they left the very abode of God! What could possibly entice an angel to forsake Heaven itself?

"Hath reserved" is a verb "tereo" which we studied earlier in the verse. It means to guard or to watch. (What they did to God ... God did in turn to them! Thatís called reaping what you sow!) God Himself is guarding this crowd!

"Everlasting" is "aidios" and means always! These wicked angels are chained until the day of judgment. (And after the judgment they will be tormented forevermore!)

"Chains" is an interesting word. It is "desmon" or "desmos" and means to bind! (Or a "band" if used as a noun) God has them in confinement. Now, remember that most demons are free and roam the earth performing their wicked schemes.

It is believed that the word for "darkness" ("zophos") comes from a word that means gloom. Its "root" word means cloud! According to the Englishmanís Concordance it is only used 5 times in the whole New Testament! (All but one in the context of the darkness of eternal punishment!)

"Judgment" is Greek "krisis" from "krino." The meaning is "decision made by court." Except here God is the Judge and He controls all.

"Great" as an adjective is the Greek word "megas." It means BIG! The awful coming day of judgment is the greatest day yet (next to the Day Jesus died on the Cross and the Day of His Resurrection).

Now letís see if we can piece together what has happened here. I believe that this event with these angels has some specific Old Testament reference in mind. (As does verse 5 with the wilderness wonderings. Or verse 7 with Sodom and Gomorrah) Where could that incident be located, preacher?

It looks to me like there is only one place it can be! Genesis 6 describes some kind of sin that occurred in that day. The "sons of God" and the "daughters of men" cohabited and giants were the offspring of that union! (Many believe that this is what led to the world-wide flood of Noahís day!) Who are these "sons of God" whose children by the daughters of men became such mammoth giants? When one investigates that term "sons of God" carefully, he comes to the conclusion that it well may have been a band of angels! (That "string" of words, "sons of God," as used in the Old Testament always or nearly always refers to angels.)  If so, it is likely that itís the very same angels described here in Jude verse 6!

So ... that may be the answer to an earlier question I had! WHY? Why would these angels be willing to forsake heaven, turn their backs on God, deny the Faith, and face certain Judgment? The answer: Women! Sex! Lust! Wild wanton abandon! (Sounds a lot like the sensual spirit of our day, doesnít it?)

By the way, the verse in which Jesus says that there is neither marrying or giving in marriage in heaven DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY ADDRESS THIS ISSUE OF SEX AND ANGELS! (Matthew 22:30)

Whatever you believe about the Genesis 6 situation ... you must believe that Jude 6 speaks of some angels who apostasized (departed from the faith) and are incarcerated by Almighty God until their dreaded day of judgment!

All I know for sure is this. IF EVEN ANGELS became unfaithful ... I KNOW I HAD BETTER BE CAREFUL!

Lord, help us all to be always strong!

The real thrust of the book of Jude is this: "earnestly contend for the faith!" If certain backslidden Christians attack the faith (as in verse 5), WE ARE TO DEFEND IT!

If even the angels of God forsake the faith (verse 6 here), WE ARE TO STAND WITH IT!

If godless reprobates flaunt their immoral behavior in the face of Almighty God, WE ARE TO LIVE HOLY, JUST LIVES IN OBEDIENCE TO THE VERY FAITH THEY MOCK! (Verse 7)

I donít know about you, dear friend, but these Jude verses are giving me more determination than ever before to live for God.

Thank God for The Faith!

I do pray that those of you who read the "nuggets" page today will find truth embedded in these paragraphs.  Truth to make you stronger in your stand (and in your walk) for our Lord!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell  

 

 

JUDE, VERSE 7:

Here's another Jude "nugget."  Those of you who read this Bible study page will just have to let me know if I go too long ... or if  the series in Jude becomes too technical or even a bit tiring.  You know, the Bible has many subjects with thousands of verses!  What variety!

Jude, verse 7

"Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."

What a verse of Scripture! How very sobering!

This is the third of Judeís string of examples of "apostates." Those who have departed from the truth (the faith)!

I would first like to discuss some of the main words in the verse.

"Even as" seems to compare these cities with some previous point Jude has made. It is likely there is a connection between Sodom and the fallen angels of the sixth verse of Jude. With both there is a sexual connotation. (Further indication that we may have got it "right" about those angels in yesterdayís "nugget!")

"Sodom" according to the Strongís concordance has behind it the root idea "to lower!" One canít get much lower morally than Sodom had gone! The Hebrew here literally gives us our word "chasm!" Isnít a "chasm" a "pit?" (Wow!)

"Gomorrah" comes from an Arabic word meaning "to overwhelm with water!" This definition is from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Scientists believe today that the sites of ancient Sodom and "Gomorrah" are covered with water (!!!) at the south edge of the Dead Sea! (Is God amazing, or what?)  In fact, (talk about being covered with water) this whole crowd of sinners will be doomed to the "Lake of Fire" forever according to Revelation 20:11-15.

The word in Greek for cities is "polis.í (As in metropolis!) It may come from a word meaning "many," an indication of the fact that a cityís population is manifold!

"Like" is a word that means "the same." See here how the sins of the big cities influenced the little cities! A little leaven (or sin) leavens the whole lump! I wonder if Hollywood has any influence on America today? (YES! Coast to coast!)

"Manner" means (tropos) a manner or style. Literally to be "turned!" These little cities and their people were "turned" on the same wheel that made the sodomites! (Talk about "impact" or "impression!")

"Giving themselves over to fornication" is basically one Greek term. It is "ekporneuo." To fornicate (porn) plus out of (ek). Porneuo means "to act like a harlot" or "to indulge unlawful lust!" (This gives us our word pornography!) Generally speaking in Scripture "fornication" is sexual relations between unmarried people. Adultery is illicit sex between married folks (but not married to each other)! So in Godís eyes it is fornication to "play around" with the opposite sex ... or with the same sex!

"Going after" is Greek "aperchomai" which means to go away after! They pursued their same sex lovers! This is aggressive lovemaking!

And the adjective "strange" is Greek "heteros." It means another of a different kind! Howís that? For generations man had been loving woman ... marrying woman ... bearing children by the women (the wife)! Now things have changed dramatically! Men are doing something different. (Not a little differently ... but totally differently!) Another type of "partnering." Something that is of a different kind than ever before!

The noun "flesh" is "sarx" and simply means (here) bodies! This is physical sensual love making and God is against it.

"Set forth" is an amazing verb! Itís Greek "prokeimai" and combines 2 words. "Pro" means before ... (here) open to public view. "Keimai" is the verb meaning "to lie outstretched!" This may be some of Godís Holy Humor! (Divine Irony!) I donít know if you see it or not ... but Iím not going to elaborate on it. God says that HE WILL STRETCH THEM OUT IN PLAIN VIEW FOR ALL TO BEHOLD THEIR SIN! (No sins remain secret for long!) But with this crowd ... they are eager to stretch themselves out for public view! Talk about rebellion in the Face of God! (Go read about their behavior in Genesis chapter 19! GOD HAS SET THEM FORTH AS AN EXAMPLE OF HIS JUDGMENT UPON SIN!)

"Example" is Greek "deigma" and means a "specimen," or a "public display." The verb means to advertise! What God did to Sodom and the surrounding area was meant to be such a fearful example that others would be deterred from such wickedness!

"Suffering" is another picturesque verb. It is "hupecho" and again combines 2 words. "Hupo" means under. "Echo" means "to hold!" The verb suffer here is a picture of God holding them under the eternal flames of punishment ... thatís hell itself! (I believe in hell as taught by Jesus! Donít you?)

"Vengeance" is "dike" (pronounced die - kay), a Greek noun meaning "making things right!" Some day when Jesus returns He will make some things right! The Day of His Wrath (Vengeance) will come! Then ... the whole social order of this wicked world will be rewritten! And Strongís Concordance even says that "dike" comes from the root verb that means "to show!" When God judges this crowd, He will put it on display for the whole universe to see!

"Eternal" is Greek "aionios" and means perpetual or through the "ages." (eons)

And, of course, "fire" means ... FIRE! I strongly suggest you take that word literally and accept Jesus today! Thatís the way to miss the fires of judgment!

While Lot was in Sodom, Abraham was in Hebron. Hebron means "communion" or fellowship" and in type speaks of walking in harmony with God! The first mention of "Sodom" in Scripture is in Genesis 10:19 where we are told that it was on the "border" of the Canaanites! (Abraham lives with GOD! Lot lives on the border with the filth of the heathen world!)

Jude here says, "Remember Sodom!" Jesus earlier said, "Remember Lotís wife!" (She turned back too!) Both these preachers (raised in the same home) knew the dangers of departing from the faith!

We have here in todayís verse another example of the crowd who rebels against God Almighty! Rejecting the Faith once delivered to the Saints! What a price it cost them! The groups in verses 5, 6 and 7 all paid dearly, didnít they?

What should these verses do for us? Encourage us to live faithfully for God. Help us NOT to depart from the faith! May they do just that is my prayer!

I add to that prayer my desire that God will give you some "nuggets" out of todayís meditation on this single verse of Jude!

A single "nugget?" Why, I personally feel like Iím in a gold mine! (Or is it a cave of diamonds? Have we struck a vein of silver?)

Godís Word is rich!

Thank you for studying with me today!

Itís about time to ask some of you (if any are left reading this material) to e-mail me with some comments.

Again, are the articles getting too long?

                                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

JUDE, VERSE 8:

Here is this Thursday's "Bible Nugget."  We are in a series on the Book of Jude.  Here are the 3 traits of those who have departed from the faith.  If your church is "average," there are some in it who fit these categories!

Jude, verse 8
"Likewise these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities."
 

Here Jude gives us the three "major" traits of this crowd of apostates! And here is the amazing thing. The Israelites that died in the wilderness (verse 5) spoke evil of dignities (Moses and Aaron)! The angels that sinned and fell (verse 6) despised dominion (God Himself)! And the people of the Sodom metroplex defiled the flesh (sexual preferences)! Wow!

By the way, now that we can look back on verses 5-7, we see an outline of what Jude is saying: (#1) The sins of the CHILDREN of Israel in verse 5. (#2) The sins of the CELESTIAL beings, angels. And (#3) The sins of the CITIES in the plain of Sodom!

These groups are so skillfully chosen to preach to today's sinful society! (Another one of the beauties of inspiration!)

"Likewise" serves well to tie this verse to the previous discussion. It means that which is "similar." (Homos = same place or same time)

"Filthy dreamers" translates one Greek noun. "Enupnaizomai" means in one's sleep! (en which means in or into! PLUS ... hupnos which means sleep! The word may even derive from "hupo" which means under!) The word is only used twice in the New Testament. These folks live in a world of dreams! I think the word today for this kind of "dreaming" is "fantasizing." Imagining a world of filth and iniquity and jumping right in the middle of it! I suspect this crowd of filthy dreamers would love the dirty side of the internet too! God's children are also warned about the things of the "mind." Paul in Philippians 4:8 just plainly tells us what to think! Also we are urged to wear the "helmet of salvation." That's got to involve our thoughts somehow!

Preachers, some of you who alliterate your messages might enjoy this little thought. It comes from a writer named Samuel Gordon. He says that our verse here describes the deeds of these "apostates." They DREAM! They DEFILE! They DESPISE! And they DECRY (which means to belittle someone)!

Simon Peter in describing these same men says in 2 Peter 2:14 that they "have eyes full of adultery that cannot cease from sin!" Their thoughts are on sexual filth constantly! Wicked imaginations!

Note that they do three things: Defile the flesh! Despise dominion! And speak evil of dignities! We should briefly look at these. It's the heart of Jude's sermon in this verse!

What is it to defile the flesh? It's the verb "miaino" which means to "soil" or "dirty!"  The word picture describes something that happens to one who works in the sewer!  (This verb is used 5 times in the New Testament) These people are guilty of sexual sins galore! They fornicate or commit adultery constantly! They are even proud of their immorality! Again "flesh" means the physical body here. Usually when a person rebels against God vehemently ... there is some form of sexual sin behind that rebellion! (Belief and behavior always go hand in hand!)

Next they "despise dominion." To "despise" (atheteo) is to NOT (that's the "a" prefix) plus TO PUT OR PLACE (tithemi)! It means not to put them in their place (of respect or honor)! To think down upon! Rebels like these always have trouble with authority figures! The noun "dominion" means mastery or lordship or authority or control! It comes from the Greek word for lord (kurios). Where Paul says to give "double honor" to the man of God, this crowd would strongly disagree! See 1 Timothy 5:17. These apostates in recent American history were often involved in subversive activities and communist front organizations! (Today they side with the feminists and abortionists, etc.!) To me some of the big denominations and world-wide church councils fit into this mold perfectly!

Lastly they "speak evil of dignities." To speak evil is the Greek verb "blasphemeo!" You know that word. It comes from a verb that means to speak and a noun that means injury (or injurious ... as an adjective). To speak with the desire to hurt someone! Sharp tongues! My mind goes back over the years to certain (but rare) church situations! I've met some of these apostates fact to face! Their target? "Dignities!" That's Greek "doxa!" It really means glory ... or glorious ones! This is almost certainly a reference to church leaders! Godly preachers, evangelists, pastors, missionaries, Bible teachers ... all are hated by these reprobates! And, of course, the Highest of the Glorious One is God! Have you noticed in recent years how the liberal attacks on Jesus have increased and become more bitter? Now days, the Bible is questioned. Isaiah and David and Jonah are even denied their historical existence. Jesus is reinterpreted! And the crowd doing all that is going to hell!

I hope I'm not being too plain. But the verses we are studying are pretty bold too! Let's all ask God to help us stand faithful and true in these last days!

There's today's "Bible Nugget."

                                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

JUDE, VERSE 9:

Here's today's "Bible Nugget." 

Jude, verse 9

"Yet Michael the Archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee."

Thereís more in this verse than first meets the eye! As with all Scripture, its depths will never be plumbed until we get to heaven!

The verse happens to tell us something heretofore unrevealed in all the Bible! Read of the life and death of Moses in the Old Testament. Youíll never come across the event discussed in Jude 9! (Other examples of previously unrevealed Bible facts surfacing at a later time ...Acts 20:35 and 2 Timothy 3:8.)

 Read everything the Bible says about the devil. In no other verse (except Jude 9) will you come to anything like this battle between Michael and Lucifer over Mosesí body! (There is a confrontation between them in Daniel 10 ... but no mention of Mosesí body!)

But little "Jude," one of the shortest books of the whole Bible, gives us singular information we could get nowhere else! (Wow!) Truly, it takes ALL Scripture!

"Michael" has a name that means "who is like God!" He obviously spends a lot of time directly in Godís presence ... a few thousand years by now ... and He is LIKE HIS CREATOR! (Iíve got good news for you, Christian friend, when you go to be with Him ... you also shall be like Him! 1 John 3:2) Michael lived (and still lives) up to His name! Lucifer did (and does) NOT! (The name Lucifer deals with the concept of "light!")

Notice that Michael is the archangel. Greek "archo" means "to be first!" And "aggelos" means messenger! This alone proves that there is rank among the heavenly beings. And within that angelic rank, Michael is the chief! (But do note that the archangel is still UNDER the command of Almighty God!)

Contending is not a real strong word. It is "diakrino" and combines "dia" (through) with "krino" (to judge, to discern, to distinguish). In the form we have here (middle voice) it can mean "to separate oneself from" or "to contend." It involves the idea of "a differing opinion." (I guess there would be a vast difference of opinion between "one who is like God" and the deceiver himself!)

"Devil" is that picturesque Greek noun "diabolos!" It means to throw (ballo ... in fact, it gives us our word "ball") and the preposition through (dia)! The devil is one who throws (accusations) through you! Heís the "accuser of the brethren." (Rev. 12:10) He goes to God and tells bad things about you! (Of course in heaven you have defense counsel! An "Advocate!" Jesus Christ the Righteous! 1 John 2:1)

The verb "durst" is Greek "tolmao." It means "to venture" or (probably) "to be courageous!" Vines assigns the meaning "to dare to do!" Michael refused to attack satan but put him in the Lordís Hands! (Now it seems obvious that Michael has the POWER to defeat satan! In fact in Revelation 12 he does! Why does he not fight Lucifer? BECAUSE MICHAEL REFUSES TO ACT LIKE THE APOSTATES! HE WILL NOT ACCUSE (EVEN FORMER) ANGELS (DOMINIONS, DIGNITIES)! He lets the Lord do that! How un-apostate of Michael! (I wish some long tongued Baptist would read that verse!)

Even the words "bring against" have significance here! Greek "epiphero" is a compound verb. "Epi" means upon (superimposition). While "phero" means to bear or to carry! Michael would not carry against the devil an accusation! (active voice) Do you remember how Paul never spoke evil of the Emperors ... even Nero!

Michael seems to especially have the job of the protection of the Jewish people and their heritage. All 5 times he is mentioned in Scripture, he is seen in the context of Godís people Israel! Especially see Daniel 12:1. Perhaps in this capacity Michael was to guard the body of Moses! (Of course the BIG question is why satan wanted the body? Maybe he would have had people worshipping it if it could have been located.  Read Deut. 34:5-6. God buried Moses and thatís all we know about it!) Remember people did worship Mosesí brazen serpent! 2 Kings 18:4!

"Railing" is blasphemia. Michael would not do to the devil even what the devil does to everyone else! Some things this "godly" angel would not do! (Even less should we believers do them! These in our context must include gossip, slander, lying, and like sins.)

"Accusation" is Greek "krisis" which means judgment! (Literally, a decision) The LORD is The Judge! Now Michael is not a coward or any such thing. He (again in Revelation 12) fights a WAR against satan at Godís command! A war in which Michael conquers the devil!

"Rebuke" is the Greek verb "epitiamo" which is obviously compounded. "Epi" means upon. "Timao" means to prize, to revere, to evaluate! Michael will simply let the Lord weigh the matter and act accordingly!

What lessons are here! Lessons on keeping our mouths shut! And valuable truths about letting God handle matters concerning His dignitaries. Also here be taught to turn your battles over to the Lord. Thereís a pretty good lesson in how to talk to the devil, too! (Say very little! "The Lord rebuke thee" will do just fine!) Here is a pretty good text for preaching against "relics" also! Here Michael contended but not to the point of a "railing accusation!" (What a sermon on contending without being contentious! Titus 3:2 "Speak evil of no man.")

Now there ought to be a "nugget" or two in these meditations. Happy hunting!

Warning: I picked up a Bible "nugget" the other day and it got Holy Spirit conviction all over me! Be careful please! These "nuggets" ... while beautiful ... have the power to be life changing!

                                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

JUDE, VERSE 10:

Today we shall  study the little Epistle of Jude.  We are in the tenth verse.  Let's look at it together.  (We have been looking at Jude for several days now.) May God give you some real Bible thoughts (upon which you can meditate this Monday) as you read the material.

Jude, verse 10

"But these speak evil of those things which they know not; but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves."

Jude now further describes this crowd of "apostates." The word just means those who have departed from the faith! Now, remember (based upon Judeís three illustrations found in verses 5-7) one can depart from the faith verbally. This is what the Israelites of verse 5 did! The grumbled and complained against God doubting His ability to provide their needs. They doubted so much that God that they spoke unadvisedly saying, "We wish we would just die in this wilderness!" (Numbers 14:2) God heard them and granted their request! He just killed those ingrates over the next 40 years! None of the doubters (un-believers) entered the promised land! They "apostasized!"

The angels in verse 6 also departed from their "first estate" or the faith! It seems they got wrapped up in some kind of sexual escapade with the daughters of men (Be sure about it. There ARE demons of lust and perversion!) These departed from the faith lustfully! (In their desires!) God has locked them up in darkness until judgment day! This is a second example of how to apostasize! (For us it's an example of ... how NOT to apostasize!)

And the third case is that of the people of the Sodom-Gomorrah metroplex. They went after "strange flesh." That in context means same-sex love affairs! (Of course, EVERYBODY didnít do this. But the society as a whole accepted this practice and condoned it.) That is another example of departing from the faith (via "politically correct" behavior). But behavior is just an indication of belief! Our deeds reveal our doctrine! Our actions reveal our faith!

In each of the 3 above cases ... God focuses on the behavior that is indicative of their belief. But ... in each case (as in every case yet today) the first thing to "go" is the FAITH! (Little wonder Jesus prayed for Peter "that his faith fail not!" Luke 22:32)

Let me tell you something about sin. A specific level of sin never satisfies for long. One must go "deeper" into iniquity to keep content! Just ONE grade of sin gets boring after a while! For example if a man becomes unfaithful to his wife and commits adultery with another woman ... the affair may be "exciting" ... for some time. But (I promise you) soon he will tire of this new girlfriend and go on to another. Until the thrill of being with the new one dies away. (And it will die away!) Then on to a third, etc. It becomes a habit. But soon one at a time will not be enough! Heíll have 3 or 4 women on the side! Then maybe group sex is next! But soon that will grow old. Next heíll probably start looking at the guys (or is it the "boys")? And even after some time the boys will become a little tiring. Then itís on to ... (Get the picture?) Bestiality, etc. and other unmentionables follow because God has given that old sinner over to a reprobate mind! All restraint is removed and he sins like a snowball rolling downhill! Hear me! YOU HAD BETTER PUT THE BRAKES ON THAT SIN TODAY! IT WILL GET OUT OF CONTROL AND YOU WILL BE DOOMED! Go read Romans 1 where Paul describes this "slippery slope of sin!" Paul further says that: "Evil men and seducers will wax (become) worse and worse!" (2 Timothy 3:13)

Notice the first verb in verse 10. "Speak evil" translates the Greek verb "blasphemeo." To blaspheme is to speak injuriously of someone. To talk about them in order to hurt them. (Intentionally or not! Some "gossips" may just be repeating tidbits of private information ... but if itís hurtful to someone ... it is blasphemy! At least it is by the Greek definition!) These apostates speak evil of Jesus, of the preacher, of Christian brothers and sisters, of the church and of many other people and things! (This is one of their trademarks! Remember verse 8!)

"Know" is eido ( from a root verb that gives us our word "optician!"). It means to discern or see or know ... but in a special sense. It is an intuitive knowledge. That means a knowledge (not that is given via book learning or lectures) that comes via the touch of inspiration. You just KNOW it instinctively! (We Christians know What that Inspiration is, donít we? It is the precious Holy Spirit of God!) These reprobates do NOT have the Holy Spirit. They therefore have no idea the of the seriousness of their blasphemy! They ONCE knew. They could have stayed sensitive to the Spirit of God! But they quenched Him and grieved Him and ignored Him and He has long since quit dealing with them!

Then our verse turns right around and uses another word for "know!" It says: "What they do KNOW ..." This verb is "epistamai" and obviously is a compound term. "Epi" men upon and serves to intensify the action. "Histemi" means to stand upon! Their lifestyles prove what theyíre standing upon! Grumbling! Sexual promiscuity! Sensual perversion! Popularity that spits in the face of God! (Here their knowledge is illustrated by their skill at sin!) Everybodyís good at something!

The adverb "naturally" is a classic! It is Greek "phusikos" and is derived from the word "physical!" In every case Jude has used thus far ... apostates have committed physical sins of rebellion! Use of the tongue is physical! Love for pretty women (not your wife) is physical! Love for same sex individuals is physical! These people live in the "flesh." All the world to them is only a PHYSICAL realm. They do not see or appreciate (or some even believe) in the spiritual or the Godly!

The word "beasts" is the Greek noun that gives us the word "zoo." It means animals! This crowd lives like animals! (By the way, if you teach a man long enough that he is just an evolved animal ... he will soon believe you and begin acting like an animal! Thatís what has happened today!) The apostates act upon their physical desires only! ("If it feels good ... do it!" Thatís their motto.)

The word "brute" is "alogos." It means "a" = no, not!  And "logos" is our word "thought" ... or "logic!" They live like not logical (that means stupid) beasts! (Wow!)

And, lastly, the verb "corrupt themselves" (both words come from one Greek term) is "phtheiro." The verb means "to shrivel! To pine or waste away! To spoil, to ruin! (Isnít a good Bible dictionary a wonderful tool! And a pretty good "preacher!")

The implication is that this crowd of apostates via their own sins have implanted within themselves the seeds of their own destruction! Sin has within itself a ticking time bomb that will explode one day and destroy the sinner! (This preacher has no doubt whatsoever that certain sins ... once committed ... plant deadly "mines" of mental and moral explosives within the psyche. Itís just a matter of time.) Notice that after people commit certain sins ... they become suicidal or depressed or violent, etc. (Of course today we have psychiatrists who can dope folks up and cover the symptoms until they finally die off!)

There is only one solution to the sin issue. That is the Blood of Jesus Christ, Godís Son! He (and He alone) can wash away sin and its guilt! (Thatís the whole idea behind the great Bible words of Atonement, Propitiation, Redemption, Regeneration, etc.) Glory to God!

Last year I did a study of "parasites." They are a perfect picture of the devil! There are parasites that scientists have studied who invade a host animal and (Thatís what sin does. It invades the sinner and makes a "host" out of him or her! It "eats" at you until youíre gone!) ... kills off various aspects of the "hostís" life systems SO THAT THE PARASITE ITSELF CAN COMMANDEER THE CREATURE FOR SELFISH PURPOSES! Sin shrivels the sinner away as far as his being a whole person is concerned! Sin will kill you ... all for satanís purposes. And his goal for you is ... DEATH! DEATH IN HELL IF YOU ARE LOST! AND IF YOUíRE SAVED THE DEVIL JUST WANTS TO ROB YOU OF ALL JOY, VICTORY AND FRUIT FOR JESUSí SAKE! He will shrivel you spiritually!

What a verse weíve "discovered" today!

Let me go think on some "nuggets."

This is going to take a while!

                                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

JUDE, VERSE 11:

I believe Jude 11 is one of the KEY verses in this whole book of Jude!  See if you agree:

"Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core."

If ever a verse could stand on its own, this is the one! What a sermon! It describes the pack of apostates that Jude has been describing for his last 7 verses! It is placed in the middle of Judeís startling epistle!

"Woe" is the Greek term "ouia" and is usually expresses denunciation. At times it also expresses grief. It is an interjection. Bad things are ahead for this crowd! In fact this "woe" may indicate that these people have gone so far down the road of apostasy that there is no recovery available! (Their coming "judgment" is already pronounced and sealed!)

"Have gone" is the verb "poreuomai" which means to travel. (Root = to pierce from one side to the other! Therefore we have the picture of a trip ... from beginning to end!) Just as a Christian is on a journey to the heavenly city ... so are these rebels on a journey. But there is a big difference! We are following Christ Jesus. They are following Cain! (and Balaam and Korah!)

"Way" is the noun "hodos" and means road! Hereís further evidence of the "trip" metaphor.

Cain has a name that means either "spear" or "smith." Whatever that may signify, it is exactly a description of what Cainís descendants became! (manufacturers of brass and iron products) Genesis 5:22 This was a departure from the work God gave Cainís father Adam. He was to originally to tend a garden. So we already see some drifting from Godís plan! (Cainís children nearly started from day one falling away from the faith!) Furthermore, Cain refused to worship the way God taught man to worship. (He brought no Blood sacrifice ... he brought the fruit of his own hands!) Cain was also a man of great temper (anger)! Cain became the first murderer. And Cain raised ungodly children! Catalog these wicked traits ... sum them up in a word or two ... and you have a picture of the troublemakers in todayís religious world! (Perhaps even in your own local church!) The primary story of Cain is found in Genesis chapter 4.

Next this group runs! On the WAY of Cain they walked. Now, they are running! (See the progression of sin!) Next, they "fall" ... into the pit! The words "ran greedily after" translate one Greek verb. It is "ekcheo." It means (ek = out of! cheo = to pour or to pour forth) to bestow or to shed abroad. They just "oozed" the error of Balaam! They overflowed with Balaamís very sins! (What a picturesque verb!) "Error" is Greek "plane" from "planos" which gives us our word planet! (Something out there in the blackness of darkness wondering around!) It means roving aimlessly. (When planets were first observed it was not known that they had orbits. They were thought to travel pointlessly.) And how appropriate is the meaning of Balaamís name: "devourer!" (Thatís the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia definition.) And just in case we still miss the point, Jude adds "for reward." Reward is "misthos" and means $$$, pay, financial gain! These apostates do what they do for money! Balaam was literally for sale! He would change his message for gold or silver! Or for political correctness! (He worked for the king!) Or for popularity! Today I fear many professors of religion will change any belief they have for the same reasons! They have given in to the abortionists, feminists, homosexuals, liberals, rationalists and even atheists! (When God would not allow Balaam to "curse" Israel, he just reasserted himself and taught the Moabites how to seduce Israel to sin!) Anyone with a "soft" view of sin must be watched! Things that used to be wrong ... ARE STILL WRONG IN GODíS EYES! Balaam can be studied in Numbers chapters 22 through 24.

Lastly note that these who have denied the faith "perished." The root of the verb means ruin, death, or punishment! They died in their rebellion. The Bible illustration given is that of Core (Korah is the Old Testament spelling.). See Numbers 16! He was a prince in Israel and he led a rebellion against Godís man Moses! "Gainsaying" is "antilogia." It means literally "against the word!" The contradicted both the Word of God and the words of Moses! For this the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them alive into the pit! They died! (Korah was a cousin of Moses ... and no doubt his rebellion was fueled by some kind of jealousy!) Ever know anybody to be "jealous" of the preacher? This was a "power struggle" and they still occur in churches today!

All I know to tell you is to stay away from the sins of Cain, Balaam and Korah. They indicate the tendencies of apostasy! Donít be a judge, but learn to watch for these "signs" in others around you at church! Help protect your pastor and pray for him daily!

Notice this apostasy thing in our single verse happened to people (Cain), prophets (Balaam), and princes (Korah)!

Cain got on the wrong WAY! Balaam ignored the TRUTH! And Korah lost his LIFE! (Get it?) The verse is a reversal of the WAY, TRUTH, LIFE principle found in our Lord Jesus Christ! See John 14:6!

I sincerely pray that you will find a "nugget" somewhere in this great verse today!

                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

JUDE, VERSES 12 AND 13:

Our "Bible Nugget" today is found in the book of Jude!  May it feed your soul! 

Jude, verses 12 and 13

"These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withered, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever."

I am placing verses 12 and 13 together because they seem to form one thought in the mind of Jude. He is using a set of word pictures to further describe these false believers.  (Preachers, here is a good lesson on HOW to use word pictures in our preaching!)

He first calls the "apostates" (those who have departed from the faith) "spots in your feasts of charity!" The word "spots" is "spilas" which originally meant rocks! Another meaning it has acquired is that of "spots." This rendering of the word is in keeping with Peterís parallel text "spots they are and blemishes." (2 Peter 2:13) The term "feasts of charity" is "agape!" The great Greek noun for love! The early church had common meals where they came together for fellowship and everyone brought food. That was especially helpful and "loving" for the slaves among them as well as other poor members. Apparently these apostates attended the church services and came to the "love feasts" also. There they ate well! They "feasted" ("suneuecho") which means with + well or good + to have or hold! What is that? It means to fare well! It means to eat heartily! "Feeding" is the verb form of the noun for shepherd! This crowd is taking good care of themselves. (They probably brought no food! But ... they sure could eat it!) "Without fear" is Greek "aphobos." It means with no phobias! Fearlessly! Sometimes the word phobos means reverence. These false professors have no reverence or respect for the things of God! The "shepherding" image here may suggest that some of these apostates are pastors or preachers! Paul describes some of the problems at these feasts (which concluded with the Lordís Supper) in his epistle to 1st Corinthians. Apostasy is characterized by selfishness!

Next they are "clouds without water." "Clouds" is the common word for clouds, and "without water" is Greek "without" (a) plus hudor (water). "Hudor" gives us words such as hydrant! This is a simple illustration from the world of weather. Their being "carried about of winds" (para + phero = to bear or carry plus alongside) implies aimlessness. (However the winds blow!) Paul talked of those who were blown about by every wind of doctrine! (Eph. 4:14 where he used the verb peri + phero!) Clouds promise water to a dry and thirsty land! But when the clouds come ... and donít deliver that precious commodity ... they are hypocritical! By the way, clouds prevent the sun from shining! (The sun being a picture of Jesus.)

The "trees" metaphor is rather lengthy. The Greek for "trees" is "dendron." Their word for "oak" is drus. So likely Jude has big trees in mind! "Fruit withered" is an unusual word. It is "phthinoporinos" and means autumn ("late hour") and a verb meaning to wither or wane. Note the implication here that at some time they HAD fruit! "Without fruit" is Greek a + karpos. (no fruit) It means having nothing "to seize or pick!" Truly in their spiritual lives ... they have nothing to be desired! "Twice" is from duo, meaning two. Dead is the normal word for death, specifically meaning "killed off!" (The fruit is dead. And the root is dead too!) "Plucked up by the roots" is one Greek verb! It is the word for root plus the prefix "ek" meaning out of! Rooted out! (In the hands of the Gardener!)

Then they are compared to "raging waves of the sea." Remember that the sea in Scripture is often used as a picture of the masses of humanity without God! (Isaiah 57:20) Raging is agros and means of the "field" or country. (not tamed or domestic!) Waves is the noun kuma ... meaning to swell or bend or curve. (As the waves do!) "Foaming out" means to slobber! (to froth) One source says it means to "to exhibit vile passions." And "shame" is the word that means disgrace! It actually ties in with the idea of confusion! This word is translated "dishonesty" once in the King James Bible! (2 Cor. 4:2) These descriptions should help us spot (identify) any "enemies" of God's Grace.  Jude says they may have "slipped" into our churches!

Next they are like "wandering stars." Stars is "aster" from which we get the word astronomy (or the Houston "Astros!") Wandering is Greek "planetes" meaning to rove about! It was a word they used for an erroneous teacher also! "Reserved" is the verb "tereo" and means kept or guarded." God has a place set aside just for these apostates! "Blackness" comes from the word that gives the noun for "cloud." (God can hide your sin behind the dark clouds ... or He can put you in the dark clouds! Isa. 44:22) "Darkness" is the Greek term meaning shade or shadow. Hell is a place of "outer darkness." For "ever" uses the word "aion" meaning age or eon! Eternally in darkness! (A "wandering star" could surely throw a ship off course, couldnít it?)

Jude has used one social word picture and four nature scenes! He is quite an artist!

One Bible teacher sees in their descriptions a downward spiral! Love feasts ... clouds blown by wind ... trees with no fruit ... waves foaming out shame ... and (finally) stars in blackness forever! (Wow!) And think about this. The true saints of God are the very OPPOSITES of each of these word pictures Jude has used! (Non-spotted ones! Possessors of Water of Life! Trees planted by rivers of water! No shame or confusion but glory to God! Stars shining forever!)

Well, there are some "nuggets!" (Praise the Lord!)

Take your pick!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

JUDE, VERSES 14 AND 15:

Here is today's Bible Nugget lesson:

Jude, verses 14 and 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 against Him."

Look at this! In reality we have more about the preaching of Enoch here than we are told anywhere in the whole Old Testament! However, the Old Testament does give us more about the LIFE of Enoch than Jude. (Still this little epistle of Jude excels in many ways!) Jude, the half-brother of our Lord (Mark 6:3), believed on Jesus later in life (after Jesusí Death and Resurrection)... but he grew in Grace rather rapidly I would say!

The Bible dictionaries say that the name Enoch means "initiated" or dedicated!" I would say that when you got saved you were "initiated" pretty good! You were born again! You were placed in a rather "prestigious" group (the Church of the Living God! the Bride of Christ!). You were given "information" that can save the lost! You even know the "secrets" of how this age is going to end! And you are also "dedicated" or consecrated to the Lord. He has sanctified (set apart) you to the glory of God! It is amazing that old Enoch had the same type "reputation" in the long ago.

The Old Testament tells us of this great man Enoch. You can read of him in Genesis chapter 5.

Notice that Jude tells us something of the genealogy of Enoch. He was the "seventh" from Adam! Now I am interested in those 7 names! They were: Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, then Enoch! Adam means "red" or of the earth! Seth means "compensation," the idea of money or pay! Enos means "man," just plain lost man! Cainan means "possession," a symbol of materialism, not a symbol of godliness! BUT thankfully Mahalaleel means "praise of God!" Jared means "descending," or going down! Finally, Enoch means "dedicated!" Here in context this is dedication to God Almighty! Hereís my point. Apart from Godís saving Grace upon Adam and Mahalaleel (praise of Jehovah God), old Enoch would have been all alone in his godliness (for seven generations)! This genealogy is a "pattern." Most of the men are lost ... only a few are "saved." (This is true yet today ... and always will be Jesus said.) Also notice that the Grace of God canít be predicted! It follows no pattern. It just "appears" in individual lives according to Godís great Wisdom! Then see that most men are preoccupied with things worldly! (Is it not still so?) And one of the men illustrates (Jared) what is the truth of human development! It flies in the face of evolution ... but man is spiraling downward on his race to hell!

It says Enoch "prophesied." The verb means to tell before or to tell forth! Both ideas are included in Bible prophecy! (Prophets tell what has not yet happened! And they also speak forth the truth of God as revealed to them by the Spirit!) Prophecy does these 2 things: FORE-TELLS and FORTH TELLS! (predicts and declares) Enoch was a preacher!

"Ten thousands" is the Greek noun "murios." It gives us our word myriads and means an innumerable company! This group no doubt includes the saved multitudes in heaven plus the angels of God as well!

Do recall that the word "saints" means set apart ones! Holy ones!

Here is Enoch, an Old Testament preacher, talking not of the Lordís first coming (yet thousands of years in the future) ... but declaring the SECOND COMING even further into the prophetic future!

But he preaches of the second coming in the context of these wicked false teachers known now as apostates!

"To execute judgment" is a neat expression! The word "execute" is Greek for "to do or to make." It is the verb that gives us our word poem! Even Godís wrath will be beautifully poetic and His children will declare His glory and righteousness as they behold it! (Judgment is a "verdict!")

The verb "to convince" is a strong word meaning "to prove to be wrong!" There will be no talking back to God by wise-guy sinners on judgment day! As they are consigned to hell ... all they can say is "God is right!"

The word so repeated here is "ungodly" and in Greek is "asebes." It has the idea of being irreverent. Some dictionaries say it means "NOT TO ADORE!" This crowd reveres no one but themselves!

"Hard speeches" further amplifies their character. The Greek is "skleros" and means harsh, rough, stiff ... with the root idea being perhaps that of leanness! What they say is ugly and mean ... but it really has no substance! (Listened to any democratic party debates lately?)

Lastly, notice against Whom they have been talking. AGAINST GOD HIMSELF! (A United Methodist "preacher" recently wrote a nearly 200 page book in which he says one thing ... that Jesus was a homosexual!) THAT AUTHOR IS AN APOSTATE BY THIS DEFINITION!

By combining some Old Testament mathematical facts, one realizes that Enoch walked with God for over 300 years! Now ... that is faithfulness!

Thatís today "Bible Nugget" information.

It should make all Godís children want to live for Him more fervently ... and fight the devil more zealously than ever before!

                                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

JUDE, VERSE 16:

Here is today's "Bible Nugget." 

Jude, verse 16

"These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having menís persons in admiration because of advantage."

Several more key characteristics of these "apostates" are given. We shall examine them one by one.

They are "murmurers." The verb is from a Greek root "gogguzo" which means to grumble. It has the idea of "habitual grumbling." As a noun the word is here only in the New Testament. As a verb (or a verbal): John 7:12 "murmuring" and Acts 6:1 "murmuring" both provide examples. While they grumble about everything, this word may especially refer to grumbling about the things of God. (Of course, all things that come into our lives are at least "allowed" by God.)

"Complainers" is a noun that means "blaming fate!" It actually contains the verb "to blame" and the noun "fate." It also is found only here in the entire New Testament corpus. This crowd is not satisfied with much at all!

"Walking (present participle)" means (again) that this has become a habit! "Lusts" is a pretty strong word (epi + thumos) for passion! (Usually for something forbidden) Their life is driven (controlled) by very strong sensual physical desires. They are slaves to their desires! (If it feels good ... do it! Thatís their attitude!)

Here is an interesting side light. The word for "mouth" is Greek "stoma." It became our English word stomach! (Our mouths lead food to our stomachs!) "Speaketh" is the Greek verb "laleo," meaning to talk, with the emphasis being on the sounds and words ... not on the logic and thought behind those words! It can be just "chatter" or "jabber." The term "great swelling" words is interesting. It is one word, "huperogkos." It means "over" (hyper) plus "a mass or burden." It is superabundant mess of words! They are "talkers!" I believe this is a lot like the politicians' speeches of nothingness today!

"Menís persons" is a compound word with the idea of "toward the face" of someone. Speaking to flatter or impress! ("prosopon") They sure know how to "butter someone up." "Admiration" comes from the Greek verb that means "to wonder!" (to be amazed) They not only praise these men with their words ... they are actually overwhelmed by their personalities or positions! These apostates are the kind who would admire folks who are wicked and reprobate! And the noun "advantage" comes from a Greek word that means "benefit" or help! These apostates want something from the men they flatter!

They surely are presented here in Holy Scripture in a bad light!

They have rotten attitudes and sticky fingers!

When you spot one of these ... stay away from them. And just to think that a crowd like this eased into the New Testament church of first century Christianity! Then it should NOT surprise us today who (or what) might be in our churches in 2003!

Christians, count these wicked traits.  Memorize them.  Then reverse them!  (Do not murmur!  Do not complain!  Do not lust!  Do not flatter!  Do not covet!)  This would be acting very UN-apostate!  It would be behaving like a real Christian!

Thereís another "nugget."

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

JUDE, VERSES 17 AND 18:

Here is today's "Bible Nugget."  Jude remembers what the Apostles of our Lord Jesus said when they were on earth.  May the Lord today speak to our hearts through these verses is my prayer.

Jude, verses 17 and 18

"But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts."

Here is a simple reminder from Jude. He appeals to the great men of God (Apostles) who had gone before him. What those Apostles wrote is part of the inspired Word of God! (Look at 2 Peter 2 when you have opportunity!)

He calls his brethren "beloved," from the Greek noun "agape." It does mean "loved ones." It does NOT mean that there was homosexuality rife among Jesus and his followers (as one Methodist preacher said just the other day)! If you doubt me I can supply with his name, his position and his book! The verb "remember" is in the imperative mood. It is a command! "Words" is Greek "rhema," meaning to utter or pour forth (speech). The slight difference between rhema and logos (according to Vinesí Greek Dictionary) is that rhema is the more specific term. Rhema is a slice of Logos. Logos is the whole pie ... rhema is the piece of it you will eat right now! "Spoken before" is a compound word meaning to speak beforehand (to utter before). They prophesied that these wicked men would come on the scene! Here Jude, Jesusí half brother (Mark 6:3), admires and respects the Disciples (perhaps by now including Paul)!

Notice that in every case in this little epistle, when Jude refers to "Jesus" ... he never calls Him that alone! He always includes the Divine Title along with Jesus! Here in our verse it is "our Lord Jesus Christ!" Lord = Sovereign!  Jesus = Saviour!  Christ = Sanctifier!  (See John  17:19 for proof!)

They "told" you! The verb is "lego" (to speak, say or even preach!). It has an imperfect sense of timing, which means it was done ... with ongoing impact. They told us ... it is written in Scripture ... and their message has lived and empowered us ever since! Written Scripture, although now complete in volume, still does its work yet today!

"Mockers" is just too critical a word to skip. It derives from "empaizo," a Greek verb meaning to sport ... to make fun of ... (hence) to mock! It is only used twice in the Bible. Its other location: 2 Peter 3:3. (In the book of Proverbs we meet the "scorner."  Much is said there about him!  One meaning of "scorn" is to mock!)

"Last" is "eschatos." I want you to learn this Greek word. It means final or ending! (farthest in time or place) The reason it is significant is that the Bible study of prophecy is called "eschatology!" It comes from our very word here and means the doctrine of LAST things! (The Second Coming, etc.)

"Walk," the verb is in the present tense, middle voice. They pursue this lifestyle (walk) perpetually, habitually! The middle voice means that the lifestyle they have chosen impacts them greatly! In fact, it aids in their eternal damnation! 

"Ungodly" is that little adjective that means irreverent or disrespectful. It seems to apply to all areas of life ... especially to the things of God!

And "lusts" is again "epithumos," meaning strong passions! (Like brute beasts, remember?)

Jude seems to "layer" the truth throughout this Epistle. He tactfully repeats these traits of the ungodly to teach us learn to spot them ... then to avoid them ... partly by removing them from our assemblies!

Let me summarize.  Jude has taught us perhaps the TWO KEY TRAITS of false believers.  (Other traits follow in the next few verses.)  Number one ... they are "mockers!" Ever hear anyone "mock" the preacher?  Or the Bible?  Or some godly brother or sister?  Someone on C-SPAN recently was mocking our President.  Makes you think of Jude 18!  Number two ... they are consumed with their own irreverent "lusts" or (very) strong passions!  In church they are going to have THEIR WAY or no way!  They couldn't care less about the will of the Lord of the desire of the whole church family!  They fully intend to "run" things their way!  (That's what's got the "liberals" so enraged in American politics today!  They're not controlling things as much as they would like right now!  And if they can't RUN it ... obviously they intend to tear it up so the other crowd, the conservatives, can't either!)

Another "nugget" I pray might have been revealed today. Isnít the Bible an amazing Book?

                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

JUDE, VERSE 19:

Here is Tuesday's "Bible Nugget."  It describes this crowd of people who have "departed from the Faith!"  Jude tells us of three traits that they all have.  This verse (I guarantee you) will remind you of someone you've known through the years!

Jude, verse 19

"These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit."

The verb "separate themselves" is a tough one to explain. It comes from quite a "combination" of Greek words. It is spelled "apodiorizo." It combines "apo" and "alektor" and "aner" and "horizo!" Four different word "colors" are here! Letís see if I can "paint" for you the word picture Jude uses. "Apo" is a preposition and just means from. Often these prefixes intensify the meaning of the verb! "Alektor" has the meaning "to ward off!" It came to mean a male fowl (a rooster, for example)! "Aner" means a man, but in the sense of the "male" of the species. And "horozo" means "to mark out or to appoint or decree (to specify)".  Strongís Concordance quoted in the PC Study Bible says the whole word means "to disjoin." The idea is that of separating into groups or little cliques! It is a present participle. That suggests that these rascals are constantly causing little "clubs" to form. They are constantly making distinctions between people.

Now to give you Bible students just a "taste" of the variations you get during research: the Vines Expository Dictionary says the word derives from : "apo" and "dia" and horizo." You can see thereís a slight difference of opinion here. (Nothing major!) With these "colors" we still get the same basic "picture" and definition! Here it is: "apo" = from! "dia" = asunder! and "horozo" = to limit! (Horizo" gives us the noun "horizon!") Basically we still come up with THIS DEFINITION: "TO MAKE SEPARATIONS! TO MAKE DIVISIONS!" (This is the spirit of sectarianism.)

They draw borderlines and make limits thereby creating new "groups." Of course, they then want to lead those new groups in some sort of rebellion (against the Pastor, etc.). They "worm" their way to the top and attack leadership! They create "factions" and "schisms" within the church itself.  (Here's the beginning of church "cliques!")

Naturally they will not take the blame for creating such divisions! They will blame the Pastor by saying (I should say "lying.") such things as this: Pastor overstayed his time here! Thatís caused all the problems! It's his hard preaching (against sin) that has caused people to leave! Letís have some meetings and try to get rid of that old fundamental preacher!

Another viable possibility is that the word "horizo" (borders, limits) suggests these apostates have gone way beyond the limits God has set for His people! For example, condoning homosexuality! Permitting infidels (people of "no faith") to join the church or even speak from the pulpit! Denying the infallibility of Scripture! (See how this would create splits and divisions? True believers would have to LEAVE such a church because it no longer took a godly stand on the issues of life!)

By the way, though I do not have the time to go into it right now, 1 Corinthians 11:19 gives us the theology behind such divisions. God has a REASON for allowing them. Read the verse! In the little epistle of 3 John (verses 9 and 10) we are told of a man who loved to be first place in the church! Diotrephes was like these apostates in his behavior. Watch out for this crowd. They are "trouble!"

Next this crowd of apostates are described as "sensual!" This adjective is the Greek word "psuchikos." (Really it is kin to our word "physical.") This word is found six times in the New Testament. Four times it is translated "natural." Twice it is rendered "sensual." It means sensitive or natural. It comes from the word "psuche" which means breath. It means the "merely biological life within." It indicates one who is "limited to the realm of the senses!" (The "natural" man of 1 Corinthians 2:14.) The earthly life (the worldly) was vastly more dominant in them than the spiritual life! (If these men were teaching the false belief system known as Gnosticism, Jude surely did burst their little bubble! They would have prided themselves in being "spiritual." Jude just called them spiritually bankrupt ... and only men of natural inclinations! Just body and soul! NOT body and soul and spirit! He just told them they were spiritually DEAD!)  They live only for the physical, sensual dimensions of life!

Lastly Jude turns his implications into declarations! He just plainly tells us that these folks have not the "Spirit!" The verbal here is "having not," and it is a present participle. They do not have the Spirit now and thatís an ongoing condition with them! (continually without the Spirit)  Thatís sad!  The word "Spirit" is the Greek "pneuma" and when capitalized our KJV translators believed it referred to the Holy Spirit of God! "Pneuma" literally means "wind or air!" (Remember Jesusí illustration of the Spirit as the wind blowing where it desires in John 3:8?) These particular men are NOT saved! (One preacher says, "This is the difference between synthetic saints and sincere saints.")

I have good news for you! If you are saved ... you DO HAVE THE SPIRIT! ("Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Romans 8:9)

I almost feel like we should take off our shoes! We are standing on holy ground!

And all around on this ground are placed golden "nuggets" for our benefit. Go ahead. Pick up one or two of them. Use them today to help you live for God!

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

JUDE, VERSES 20 AND 21:

I believe today's "nuggets" article may be a real encouragement to someone!  Let me know.

Jude, verses 20 and 21

" But ye, 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."

Now Jude turns his attention from the false believers back to the true believers! Notice he calls them "beloved," meaning loved ones. They are in the Family!

"Building up" is a verb consisting of three words! "Epi" means on or upon. "Oikos" means house. And "doma" is from demo and means to build! (especially to build a roof) Therefore "epoikodomeo" is to build a house! It is in the imperative mood signifying that it is a command! It is a present participle meaning that the building is a process! It will take a while! Keep at it! It is also active voice meaning that the Christians there must do some things themselves in regard to this building! (You canít lay back and just let the Pastor, etc., do it all for you!) Upon what foundation are they to build? Their "most holy faith" "Most holy" is an adjective (hagios) in the superlative degree. Every bit as wicked and vile as these apostates are ... in like measure these Christians are holy and pure and consecrated unto God! (Thatís what the precious Holy Spirit can do! He is the Sanctifier!) Remember in 2 Peter 1 we are told to "add" some things to our Christian lives! Add to your FAITH virtue and knowledge and temperance and patience, etc. The FOUNDATION (as here in Jude) is FAITH!

Next Jude asks that they be "praying in the Holy Ghost!" The verb to "pray" ("proseuchomai") means to express a desire or wish! Added to that stem is a prefix meaning "to the face" or "toward." Put it all together! To go before the Face of Someone (the Lord God Almighty in Jesusí Name) and share oneís needs! That is a BIBLE definition of prayer if Iíve ever seen one! It is imperative mood ... meaning a command is here given! It is a present participle ... meaning that it is to be habitual action! And it is in the middle voice ... meaning that the action will IMPACT the doer (the subject)! You cannot pray without being "changed" in the process! (True prayer is not designed to change God ... but to change you and me!) The "Holy Ghost" is the One Who motivates and encourages our prayers according to Paul in Romans 8:26. The word "Ghost" implied to the old English folks (KJV days) that someone who had died had returned in spirit! That returned spirit was known as a ghost! Thatís exactly WHY they often translated the Spirit a the Holy Ghost! They knew that Jesus had returned through His Spirit to minister to His children! (Pentecost!) Of course this is not the literal second coming of our Lord. That yet (as of this writing) lies in the future.

"Keep" is a verb meaning to ("tereo") guard or watch! It is an aorist imperative. This shows us it is another command from God through Jude to the beloved ones. The aorist tense is a little puzzling. It indicates that the keeping has already been done! It is a completed task. (action finished in the past) Glory to God! Do you see it? There is not a thing I can do today to keep myself saved. My safety is based upon a finished transaction! The Blood has been shed at Calvary. The Saviour is literally raised from the dead! He sits at the Fatherís Right Hand interceding for me. I am already a citizen of Heaven! I am already now seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus. I am secure! I am "kept!" It is a done deal! (And even Judeís grammar proves that point!) "Love" is "agape," that brand of love that is unselfish and unconditional and of God! The preposition is "en" and means in, on or at! We have jumped right in the middle of the overwhelming Love of God! Praise His Name!

Jude here suggests that the antidote to apostasy may be the LOVE of God! (Matthew 24:12 says that love becomes cold because iniquity abounds! In other words, love and iniquity are deadly enemies! 1 John 2:15 tells us that if the love of the world is in a man ... then the love of the Father is NOT in him!)

"Looking" is Greek "prosdechomai." This means "to receive" (dechomai) with an added prefix (preposition) "pros" which is "to, toward, to the face!" We are going one day to see Jesus and gladly embrace Him face to face! It is another present participle. We are to keep looking until He comes! (continual action) The verb is also middle voice. When we see Him ... it will change us! In fact, grammatically here ... even the LOOKING will CHANGE us! (Wow!) "Mercy" is "eleos" and means compassion or even pity (and it is a very active concept)! Mercy that does something! (Like die on the Cross!) Jude loves to use the full Name of our Saviour! (Lord Jesus Christ) "Unto" (Greek = "eis") as a preposition (with the accusative case as here) means ... into the sphere of! The channel God used to get me into Jesus via His shed Blood is the channel of Grace/Mercy! The open area at the Tabernacle in the wilderness (by the brass altar of sacrifice) was 20 cubits wide! (Thatís 30 feet wide!) If thatís not a picture of mercy and grace I donít know what is! And what kind of "life" is it? Eternal means ("aionios" = from eons = ages) never ending! Age upon age! Also the very word chosen for life ("zoe" from the verb "zao" = to live") indicates life on the highest plane! This is not just biological life with cells and tissue ("bios") but life abundant and delightful! See John 10:10!

Can you find any "nuggets" in todayís study? I surely pray so! Happy hunting! I sometimes feel like a spiritual prospector!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

JUDE, VERSES 22 AND 23:

Can you believe that we have nearly completed the Book of Jude, one "nugget" at a time?  Today notice with me Jude 22 and 23:

"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."

Here it seems that Jude is telling us how we might help some of these who are departing from the faith! Among Judeís closing words will be an admonition to "reach others!" The last words of Jesus on earth also included this desire to see the lost saved!

"Having compassion" is a verb ("eleao") which contains the very Greek word for mercy! To show mercy means having a real feeling for the "misery" of others. We are to be touched with their feelings. This verb is imperfect present indicating that the action (giving mercy) once started ... is to continue indefinitely! We are not to hate sinners ... but feel for them in their misguided walk of life. A walk which is going to lead them to many a hurt and sorrow and ultimately plunge them into hell fire itself!

The next part of the verse is "making a difference." Itís a participle (present tense middle voice) combining the Greek words "dia" and "krino." It literally means "to judge through." One of its meanings is "to doubt." Perhaps it suggests that of these who are departing from the faith some are not so sure theyíre doing the right thing! They are doubling their decision. THEY might be helped by the discerning mature Christian! Jude says go get them!

However, it is possible that "diakrino" (making a difference) could modify the Christian himself. Another of the verbís quite valid meanings is "to distinguish" or "to evaluate" or "to judge through!" Maybe Jude is teaching us believers that some of the apostates can be helped while others cannot! We need to be careful and discerning to help those who might respond and stay away from those who would be dangerous to our faith! That sense also fits perfectly with our context. Expositors are divided on which way to apply this "making a difference" clause.

Others (There must be "levels" of apostasy then!) we are to "save with fear." Sozo (to save) is an imperfect present verb. It represents ongoing action (once started). We are to be busy trying to deliver (a meaning for "saving") or rescue lost souls ... including some of this crowd Jude has been describing! We are to seek to reach them fearfully! There are dangers in reaching out to save a drowning man! (Throw out the life line!)

"Pulling" is "harpazo," meaning to catch up, snatch away, pluck! It is an imperfect present participle. We are to be "harpooners" of lost souls! The root idea is to seize or take to oneself! Notice where they are: in the fire! Thatís as close to hell as one can be without being eternally lost! This is true "rescue" work ... but on a spiritual level! Lot and his daughters were truly pulled from the fire!

Hating is the normal verb implying: "to detest." Garment is the word ("chilton") meaning undergarment or inner clothing. It is the tunic or shirt worn under an outer robe or coat. This would show that the filth of sin stains not only the outer clothing ... but seeps into the undergarments as well! (The penetrating dirty influence of sin!) "Spotted" means stained or soiled. It is a perfect participle of "spiloo." Once sin stains ... the stain stays ... until and unless the Blood of Jesus washes it away.

It in a way surprises me that Jude (after describing this crowd in such a precise and "final" manner) suggests that they should be compassionately led to the Saviour!

I guess the lesson is: never give up unless the danger of reaching someone is so great that personal spiritual welfare is threatened.

Thereís another "nugget" from Jude!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

JUDE, VERSES 24 AND 25:

Here is the last "nugget" article from the Epistle of Jude!  If there was a good way to do it, I'd give all of you that have studied Jude with us a "test," and upon your completing it (with a passing "grade") I would send you a certificate of Bible Study!

There is just nothing as exciting as getting into the Word of God!  There's no other book like it on earth!

Jude, verses 24 and 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 Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."

Here is Judeís great benediction. (benediction = 2 Latin words meaning "saying something good")  It contains much truth to encourage us!

He (our Lord) is "able" to keep us. The word "able" is a translation of the Greek term that transliterated into English as "dynamite!" ("dunamis") When it comes to God protecting us from the pit into which these apostates have fallen ... donít worry! Our Lord is fully capable! He has the power!

"Keep" is the verb "tereo" meaning to guard, protect, or defend! What have I to fear with the Almighty God being my Shield? It is an aorist infinitive. This keeping is a decision already made in the past. Our "keeping" somehow is linked to our "salvation!" If you are saved ... then you are (already) kept! (That is taught us here by the grammar alone!)

"Falling" is a word with a beautiful heritage. The Greek form is spelled "aptaistos." Ptaio is the verb "to trip." It is here prefixed with "a" --- which negates the whole word. It says: NOT TO TRIP! God can keep you and me from even tripping! If you have been faithful for years and have avoided major sin ... DO NOT BRAG UPON YOURSELF! It is the LORD Who has prevented your tripping!

"To present" is the word "to stand." Jesus will pick you up and cause you to stand in the Fatherís Presence some day spotless! This also is an aorist verb ... this in Godís eyes is a accomplished fact! You are already there! (Glory!)

"Faultless" is "anomos," which means no + flaw or blot! Without flaw! It is only used 7 times in the New Testament. Itís translated in the KJV as unblameable, without spot, without rebuke, etc. What a position is ours!

"Presence" is "katenopion," an unusual word here. It literally means "before the face of!" As believers we shall be before His Face ... and He will see no stain! (Oh! The Power of the Blood of Jesus!)

"Glory" is "doxa," meaning splendor or grandeur! As humans we could not handle this. It would kill us. But we shall in that wonderful day be in our glorified bodies ... fully equipped to enjoy His ineffable Glory!

"Exceeding joy" is another great word! (Jude is ending with a grand finale!) It has as its root ("hallomai") a word meaning "to jump (for joy)! Its prefix is "agan" meaning MUCH! It means exultation ... especially at a time of welcome! (right out of the dictionaries!) We are going to have a "time" when we see Him!

The "only wise God" is, of course, our Lord Jesus Christ! Only is Greek "monos," meaning one and only! (sole or single) Wise is "sophos," which comes apparently from a stem that means "clear." In Godís eyes education is NOT what makes one wise. Purity does! God is "theos," from which we get such words as theology or theism, etc. (The Latin word for God is Deus.)

Jude now further qualifies the only wise God. He is our "Saviour!" (This, again, is Jesus!) The noun is "soter," which comes from the verb "sozo." It has several word pictures! To win a war and be proclaimed victor! To set free from a jail cell! To make well from a dreadful sickness. To counsel bitterly alienated parties until they come together in reconciliation! To declare acquitted (justified) in a court of law! Wow! What pictures of our salvation! Pastors, this would preach!

Jude ascribes to our Lord four things. (Notice how in the Book of Revelation particularly the benedictions grow! Early in the book Jesus is given a couple of praises. In the middle this has grown to a 3-fold or 4-fold adoration. But by the end of the book itís a 7-fold benediction! Amen!)

First is Glory ("doxaí). Now understand, God already has all GLORY! We canít give Him one ounce more! But we can mention His glory! We can point it out to others (or to one another)! Some preacher said that Godís glory is the GLO of God! (Get it? Glo! glory!) He is a God of majesty. Glory may be the sum total of all His attributes also!

Then comes "Majesty." "Megalousune" is "mega" majesty. That means BIG majesty. A restaurant I know has a MEGA-bar where they serve all kinds of food! It means real big! God is a MEGA God! (Greatness belongs unto Him!) Tell Him so often!

He then has "dominion." The noun is "kratos." meaning vigor, strength, power! Particularly (Vines Dictionary says) it speaks of "manifested power!" Visible strength!

Lastly is "power." The word is Greek "exousia." It means authority! It is thought to come from "ek" and "eimi." Put together it means "I am" plus "out of." He is the great I AM! He has all power (Matthew 28:18). A giant wrestler has strength and power. A 100 pound police lady with a badge on has authority!

Both "now" and "ever" give time dimensions to the adoration. Now ("nun") means for the present! Every minute a believer lives on this earth ... praise of some kind is being lifted to our Father and His Son in Heaven! He receives (and deserves) constantly present praise. But when we all get in His Presence ... the praise will not end. It goes on for "ever." Get this: "eis pantas tous aionas!" It translates: into all the ages! (Glory to God!)

What a way to end an epistle!

Excuse me, Iím too busy picking up "nuggets" to say good-bye.

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

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