Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 58
THE NATION OF ISRAEL MUST BE
I want to show my appreciation for all of you who take the time and to come in and be a part of this. For those of you out in television of course, we always like to emphasize that we’re just an informal Bible study. Hopefully, I’m not going to be preaching at you – we’re just going to be teaching the Word and let the Holy Spirit do the work.
Alright, we’re in the little book of Jude, we’re winding up these Jewish epistles and this will wind up, hopefully, if the Lord tarries before the afternoon is over, Book 58. That means since we begin our television ministry we have done 696 lessons.
Okay, Jude, the last of the little Jewish epistles and of course Revelation is written in the same vein. But we always like to give a little introduction to everyone of these singularly different books. Jude, now is not one of the Twelve. He was evidently a half brother of Christ. He’s a full brother of James, who wrote the little letter of James and who also was at the Jerusalem Counsel, you remember. And so Jude has a close affinity to the Twelve, but he was not a member of the Twelve.
And he too, of course, is concerned about these Jewish believers, scattered out of Jerusalem now, because of the persecution that arose around Saul of Tarsus and of course they had been scattered throughout that part of the Middle East, but I always feel that primarily these little epistles were written to a congregation or maybe to several congregations in Western Turkey. We picked that up in the seven letters in the Book of Revelation, where it’s Thyatira, and Smyrna, and Pergamus and all those which are in the Western end of what is today, Turkey. So whatever you do as you read these little Jewish epistles, just realize that this is being written to Jews who as yet know nothing with Paul’s economy, they know nothing of the Gospel of the grace of God sent to the Gentile world.
It’s still all based on coming out of the Old Testament, through the Gospels, through the first part of Acts. Now when we start Revelation in our next taping, I’m going to put a timeline back on the board. I just don’t feel like I have to yet, because we’ve had it up not too long ago, but again, we’re going to show the timeline, how that everything just comes right straight across and without Paul’s epistles, nothing has changed. But, we know now that back here shortly after these little epistles were written and the Apostle Paul comes up with this Gospel of the grace of God, primarily sent to the Gentile world, then we have this whole new economy of what we call the Gospel of the grace of God and that is totally around that Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, was the One who went to the cross, suffered and died, was three days in the tomb and then risen from the dead. And that’s the victorious part of the Gospel, that He is not dead, He is alive evermore.
And Paul emphasizes that primarily in I Corinthians chapter fifteen, the great resurrection chapter. So as I’ve said in James and Peter and the three little epistles of John, I’ll say the same thing with Jude, you won’t find any church language in these little epistles. There’s nothing concerning the Body of Christ, you’ll find nothing concerning the power of the resurrection for salvation by faith alone. But it’s still dealing with Jews who were saved by believing that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah, the promised Christ. And that was all that was mandated. Now, these believing Jews are still under the Law. In fact they were zealous to the Law. (Acts 21:20) Never forget that. Nobody had told these Jewish believers that they’re not under the Law and they really don’t come to that until the Temple is destroyed just a few years later.
“Jude the servant (or again, the Greek term is a bondslave,) of Jesus Christ, the brother of James, (now he’s writing) to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ and called:”
Now here is language that we can certainly appropriate just as well in the Age of Grace as it was back here for the Jew. That when we become a believer, we too are incorporated into Christ but in a different vein than the Jews were. We are brought in to the Body of Christ and as such, we are positioned in Christ and we’re preserved. Now that word, “preserved” is a word that most of you ladies that come out of the age of canning and everything, you know what that means. And when you sealed those jars or whatever you were putting up, hopefully, it was good for years to come. That nothing would spoil it. Well, that’s the same term here, that when believers come into a right relationship with God, God by His mercy and grace preserves us, He keeps us, and even Jude could write with that kind of language. And the true believer, now I have to emphasize the true believer, because you see, we’ve got a lot of professing believers, but they’ve never possessed. And what a difference!
And if you remember, in my last newsletter I quoted from a survey, an official, professional survey, how that the vast majority of “born again” really aren’t. And I think he boiled it down to only 8 percent of 40 percent which brings it down to less than three percent. And so we have to be rather alarmed that vast numbers of people who think they are, aren’t. And it’s a sad commentary. But for those who are truly saved, whether it was back here in the Jewish economy, or whether it’s for us now in this Age of Grace, it means that we are safe – we are eternally safe – and we’re in His care.
Alright verse 2. And as a believer, this certainly is appropriate for us as well as it was for the Jews.
“Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.”
Now verse 3 is an interesting verse. You ever stop to think about it? I imagine very few people do, where Jude says:
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence…”
In other words, he had every intention, as we’d say today, to write a little epistle based on salvation, which is the number one subject of this Book. And even Jude thought that was the most important thing he could present to this Jewish group of people. But then the Spirit entered in and changed everything.
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, (in other words getting in right relationship with the eternal God,) it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for (what?) the faith…”
Not A faith, but THE faith. Now I’m a stickler on words, you know that don’t you? What’s the difference between THE faith and A faith? Well if you’re basing it on A faith, you pick and choose. Whichever you happened to have landed on, that’s your faith. But that’s not what it says. It’s THE faith. There is only one. It’s an exclusive Gospel, absolutely it is. And there’s no watering it down or compromising it.
Now what’s the opposite of contending for the faith? Compromising it in my book. And we’re not to compromise. We are to know what the Book says and then contend for it. Not by being contentious, but simply sticking our heels in the ground and saying “This is what the Word says and this is where I stand, and I’m not going to compromise it. I’m not going to adulterate it with some of these foolish ideas like we’re seeing today.” So we’re to contend for the faith.
Now, of course the Apostle Paul did it with an individual that I suppose a lot of people cringe and think “Where did he think he was coming off?” Come back with me to Galatians chapter 2, and this is of course at the Jerusalem Counsel held at about 51 or 52 A.D. and the whole purpose of the Counsel originally was that the Judiasers from Jerusalem were coming in behind Paul’s Gentile converts, undermining them with the false teaching that they now have to also practice circumcision and keep the Law or they couldn’t be saved. Now you pick all that up in Acts 15. But Paul contended for the faith and he says so plainly here that he would not give in. He could have. He could have just given in and say okay, you guys have been in authority a lot longer than I have. Evidently you have what the world needs. But he didn’t. And so in verse 5 of Galatians 2 he says:
“To whom, (that is to the Twelve in the Jerusalem leadership,) to whom we gave place by subjection, (they were pressuring him.) no, (he says,) not for an hour; so that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.”
He contended, he stayed with it. Alright now then some time later, after all this agreement was covered and consummated with a handshake down in verse 9, now Peter, verse 11, comes up to Antioch, where the trouble had originally started. Now Peter comes from Jerusalem to Antioch and he’s visiting Paul in the Gentile congregation there.
“But when Peter was come to Antioch I withstood him to the face….”
Peter, mind you, Peter, the chief spokesman for the Twelve, who had really had all the clout at the Jerusalem church, and now this little fellow, I think Paul was small in stature, confronts him.
“…I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.”
He was at fault and what was Peter’s problem? Well, until others from the Jerusalem church came up and joined him visiting there at Antioch, he had been fellowshipping and eating with Paul’s Gentile converts, realizing that now under grace, we’re not under Law, including the kosher food. And so Peter wasn’t having much problem until some men came down from Jerusalem and now he runs scared and becomes hypocritical. And now look what happened.
“For before that certain came from James, (that Jewish Jerusalem church) he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.”
When those fellow believing Jews came down from Jerusalem, Peter withdrew and separated himself fearing them who were of the circumcision. Doesn’t sound like Peter does it? My, what a sad commentary. But you see, Paul wasn’t being contentious just to be contentious. He wasn’t just trying to build a case against Peter. But Peter was graphically in error and Paul calls him on it.
And so that’s what we mean by contending for the faith. We have to stand uncompromisingly for that which we know is the truth of the Word of God. And remember, the vast majority of Christendom does not like the truth. They’d rather be tickled, as the Scripture says, and have things that will satisfy their itching ears, but beloved we must stand on the truth and never compromise it. You have to contend for the faith.
Now back to Jude, and verse 4. Why do we have to contend for the faith. And listen, things are not one iota different today than they were Nineteen hundred and something years ago. Oh, we’ve got more technology, we’ve got more intellect, we’ve got more of this and more of that, but the human nature hasn’t changed a bit. We are just as human today as they were back then and we’ve got the same problems when it comes to the realm of the Spirit and what is it? False teachers. Now I trust most of you have read Jude often enough to know that the whole chapter is going to be dealing with false teachers.
Now as I was preparing for this, I also went back and listened to our last taping and I always have to be aware that I don’t run something into the ground and repeat and repeat and repeat. We have to repeat but I don’t want to do it too much. And so all of a sudden now, I’m realizing how the Scripture is just permeated with warnings against false teachers. Paul’s got it throughout his epistles. Beware! Beware! Don’t be deceived! James was warning his folks against false teachers. Peter was warning against the false teachers. And now here comes Jude and he just puts the frosting on the cake and he almost really drums it home, that the whole problem against the truth of the Word of God are the false teachers. And listen, we are getting deluged by it today, I think like never before, because Satan knows his time is short.
Now it’s not quite at the level it will be in the last half of the Tribulation when Revelation makes it so plain, that he knows that his time is short. But nevertheless, I think we have to understand that Satan is pulling the plug on anything and everything to keep people from the Truth. You know I was so tickled in yesterday’s mail somebody sent us some tracts along with their letter and if you remember, in one of my programs, here probably a taping or so ago, I likened staying on the line of Truth to be genuinely saved and know it, I likened it to shooting the bull’s-eye with a rifle. Any of you remember that? That it doesn’t count if you go off to the side or right, up or down. You’ve got to be on the center bull’s-eye. Well, if this tract didn’t say the same thing. And I just thought well hallelujah, I’m not the only one that can make that analogy. To know the Gospel of salvation, which is by believing in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again, you have to be on target and you cannot be off 45 degrees one way or the other and still make it. I think a lot of people are hoping that. Well, maybe God will let me in. Maybe He’ll compromise. I don’t think He will. I think God is too absolute for that.
“For there are certain men crept in unawares,…”
Unaware! You know, after we have taught people for awhile, then they’ll tell us, “You know, Les I remember a few years ago a fellow came into our church and he said this and this and this and at the time we didn’t think anything about it. We didn’t know any better. But now that we have learned what the truth is and we think back, how did we sit there and listen to that stuff?” Well, you know why? Because they are not exercised by this need to realize that there are false teachers. And they’re not going to come in to your pulpit, I don’t care what your denomination is, they’re not going to come in to your pulpit and say, “Okay now, be careful now, I’m a false teacher!” Anything but. They’re going to come in just as sly as a fox. They’re going to come in wolves in sheep’s clothing. And unless you know the Book, you’re never going to catch it. They come in unawares, and people are just caught sleeping.
In other words, we’ve been warned from time immemorial that these false teachers are coming. So it’s nothing new. Alright, and what are they doing?
“…who were before of old ordained to this condemnation , ungodly men …”
You don’t really expect a guy from skid row to come in to your pulpit do you? Well, that’s not the kind of ungodly people we’re talking about. You remember when we were – come back with me to Romans chapter 4 because here is where I usually define the term “ungodly”
“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him who justifies (the what?) the ungodly,…”
The ungodly. Now if you remember when I taught this years ago in Romans I defined the word that whenever you put UN in front of another word, what does it simply make it? Without! When you say UN something, it’s just that without. Alright now when you use the term UNGODLY it doesn’t mean that they are falling down drunk. It doesn’t mean that they are something on skid row. It doesn’t mean that they are the bottom of the social scale. This could be someone at the very top of the social scale and they are still, what? UNGODLY. Why? They are without God in their life, see? God is not in their life. So they are UNGODLY.
Alright now that’s exactly what Jude is talking about. You’re not going to have someone come in to your church or your Sunday School class and be a derelict of society. He’s not someone who is sleeping under a bridge. He can probably come in with a three-piece suit and bunch of degrees behind his name, but he’s still what? UNGODLY. He doesn’t have God in his life. He is a false teacher. And false teachers are not what you would call Godly people. Alright, so here’s the warning. These men are ungodly. No matter how much education they may have, no matter how finely they’re dressed, they’re ungodly men.
“… turning the grace of our God into (what?) lasciviousness,…”
Now that’s the kind of a tough word to define, but lasciviousness is usually associated with the sexuality immorality. Isn’t that where we are today? My, I’m getting letters from all these major denominational people, heartsick at what’s going on in their denomination. Well, this is it! This is it! Ungodly men with their frocks and with all of their clout, and with all of their power, and with all of their so-called knowledge. But they are turning the grace of God into something that is contrary to Scripture. And it’s breaking the hearts of a lot of the people, but they can’t do anything about it. They can’t stop it. They can’t turn it around. Oh, they can try withholding funds, but it just doesn’t seem to do it. And like I said, I’m hearing it from all the major denominations. And you know it. It’s in your news everyday. Now continuing on in verse 4.
“…they’re turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness (and at the same time) they deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now what does that tell you? Who is Jesus Christ? He’s God! Now you know there are groups that can’t buy that. There are some who just don’t feel that Jesus of Nazareth was God. He was something created. He was something less than God. But listen, this Book declares that He was God. The Apostle Paul makes it so plain that He was the Creator God.
And then they have the gall to say that “No He wasn’t God. He was a prophet, or He was this or He was that.” But now, even Jude says, “that He is the only Lord God and He is our Lord Jesus Christ” Now in that same vein let’s come back a few pages to Titus. That’s back there in the T’s. Titus chapter 2 verse 13. This is one verse I use on these people that just adamantly reject Christ’s deity because a lot of the other verses, they’ll say, “Well, that isn’t what it means.” But this says what it means and means what it says and you can’t argue with it.
“Looking expectantly for that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of the great God our Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Now can you separate that? I can’t. I don’t think anybody else can. Our Savior Jesus Christ, out of Nazareth, born at Bethlehem, promised all the way back to the Old Testament – He’s God and He’s our Savior and He’s Lord. How can they argue with that? Oh, they’ll try. They try, but don’t give them one inch. Contend for these things. Alright back to Jude once again and our time is almost gone. And so they refuse to believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Creator God, that He was Lord. Now verse 5. Because of what’s coming in to these little Jewish churches and it’s the same way today. Now as I said earlier in the other epistle, remember they were preparing the Jewish believers for the coming Tribulation, the day of wrath. Oh, here we are Nineteen hundred and some years later and it’s the same scenario. Once again, these little epistles are preparatory for Jews in particular, for the horrors of the Tribulation that are right out in front of the world, they are coming. So always remember that, that this is still just a appropriate today as it was Nineteen hundred and some years ago. Because of this influx of ungodly men claiming to be something that they’re not.
“I will therefore put you in remembrance, (to stop and think) though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, (God the Son, Jesus of Nazareth) having saved the people out of the land of Egypt,…”
And you say the Lord was in Egypt? Absolutely He was. The same one, the same God the Son that became flesh and walked the highways of Israel was the one that worked with Israel back to bring them out of Egypt.
“…having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward (in other words, after they had escaped Egypt) destroyed them that believed not.”
Now here again, here is one of the dilemmas – Oh my goodness, we’ve only got 14 seconds left. I’ll just have to wind this down and we’ll pick it up here in our next program. Right here in Jude verse 5.