Today we start a series on the book of Jude. A small book of 25 verses that often hides in the shadow of Revelation. Though it is small, it still packs a huge punch and it is a punch that needs to be delivered in the 21st century.
Those who know me know that I am passionate about the truth. Truth matters because it is the truth that sets us free. Jesus Christ is the way the TRUTH and the life. Satan, on the other hand is the father of lies. He has been telling lies and twisting God's truth since he first appeared in Genesis 3. What do forgery experts spend most of their time studying? Real money. Why – because when you know what is true it is easy to tell what is false.
John Macarthur says:
My whole life is devoted to the truth. My whole ministry is devoted to the truth. It's driven by the truth revealed in the Scripture. Really I live and breathe for the truth. I realize that God has exalted His truth as high as His name. I know that He is the God of truth, that's how He identifies Himself. I know that Jesus Christ, the glory of God in human flesh, according to John, is full of truth. He is the way, the truth and the life. I know that Jesus said that the truth would set the sinner free from sin and death. The Bible is called the Word of Truth. Jesus said to His Father, "Your Word is truth." And in the Scriptures we are commanded to worship God in truth. We're commanded to obey the truth, to love the truth, to judge by the truth, to speak the truth, to walk in the truth and to love in the truth. Literally, we are engulfed in the truth. That's why the Apostle Paul calls the church "the pillar and support of the truth." We are responsible to hold up the truth, to wield the truth against all the speculations raised up against the knowledge of God. The church is to proclaim the truth, to bring deceived souls to the knowledge of the truth that saves and frees.
Have you ever heard the term ”it was an inside job”? When the company I worked for went bankrupt they were bothered by how other companies knew secret information about them which hurt their business. Who was this enemy that was working to bring them down? After careful investigation it was found to be an inside job. One of their own employees was actually working for another company and destroying them from the inside. There is no bigger danger to an army than an imposter. The enemy within is far greater than the enemy without and the book of Jude is a letter written to help the church expose imposters who are poisoning God's people with false teaching.
It would seem in many modern evangelical churches today that the eleventh commandment, which is clearly the most important commandment, is that thou shalt never criticize. I cannot tell you how many pastors and leaders have so strongly told me that we should never criticize anything anyone else teaches. These people are not only ignorant of the book of Jude, they are ignorant of the rest of Scripture. Much of the New Testament is about dealing with false teaching. John's letters, Peter's letters, Paul's letters to the Corinthians and Timothy, and Jesus Himself had much to say about ”wolves in sheeps clothing”.
Paul told the church in Rome:
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (Romans 16:17)
In the King James it tells us to ”mark” those false teachers or point them out and avoid them. Paul goes so far as to pronounce damnation on anyone who preaches any other gospel:
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-9)
Scripture has so much to say about false teachers and how we should treat them. But Jude is special in that it is the only book in the Bible 100% devoted to dealing with these false teachers. In contrast with the Acts of the Apostles, John Macarthur calls this little book the Acts of the Apostates. And Jude calls us to engage as Christians in a truth war against these apostates who are as prevalent today as they were in Judes time . . . perhaps even more so!
Who are these apostates or false teachers, how can we identify them, and why should we expose them. All will be revealed - to be continued . . .
Go On To Part 2