Monday, October 5, 2015

The Prophetic Book of Jude: Uncovering the Machinations of the Mockers (Verses 16-19)

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

Why do the haters hate?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will continue our study of the little book of Jude from a prophetic perspective.

TWave Study on the Book of Jude

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Jude, Uncovering the Machinations of the Mockers (Verse 16)

Vic Batista: In Jude verse 16, he continues to unravel the true character of the mockers of God who are showing up at our churches in order to cause division and discontent. Let's read verses 16-19 in the NKJV.

Nathan Jones: Jude is opening up both barrels on these divisive, false, counterfeit Christians. Here is how he describes them:

"These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit."

Vic Batista: Wow! That's definitely descriptive. Another attribute that we learn about these mockers from this passage is that it says they are grumblers and complainers. We don't find that today, right, Nathan? That was for people of another time?

Nathan Jones: Sadly, even Christians can fall into this habit of grumbling and complaining. I worked at a nursing home throughout my college years. My co-workers were a bunch of older women actually. You had street gangs influencing you, Vic, and I had older ladies influencing me. These ladies complained about everything non-stop. I felt that I too was becoming a complainer and a grumbler. That's not a good thing for Christians, because how can you show the joy of the Lord when you are always grumbling and complaining all the time? That is the opposite attitude of what the Lord wants.

So, we have different backgrounds in bad influences, Vic, but I had to get over that bad habit as much as any gang-banger has to get over their bad influences. I realized that if I was going to show the joy of the Lord that I could not be a grumbler and complainer. That type of behavior is what defines the apostates. They are grumbling and complaining all of the time.

These false Christians Jude is warning the churches about also walk according to their own lusts. In other words, they are totally self-centered. Life's all about them and all about what they can get out of life. They exist for whatever can appease and titillate them. The world's all about them, and it's never about God.

I think what Jude says here about the ungodly walking after their own lusts is why so many people rebel against God. When God is all about loving and giving outside of oneself, and for people who rebel against God life's all about selfishness and what they can do to gain for themselves, well that's a totally opposite view of how God wants us to exist.

Vic Batista: Excellent point! It is so sad that people live that way, so self-absorbed. Christians instead are called to be different than the world.

Jude, Deflating the Flatterers (Verse 16-19)

Vic Batista: Another behavior we discover here in Jude concerning false prophets and false teachers and mockers can be found in verse 16. It says "With their mouth they speak great swelling words, flattering people," and notice "in order to gain advantage." The False Prophet of the Tribulation will come also using flattering words, or swelling words, to gain power, correct?

Nathan Jones: Correct. Revelation 13 foretells of sort of a side-kick to the coming one-world leader, known as the Antichrist. The Antichrist will become the emperor over the entire world at one point in the future. The Antichrist will have a PR man whom the Bible calls the False Prophet. When he comes on the scene he will get the people of the world excited about worshiping Satan through the Antichrist.

Revelation portrays the False Prophet as a gentle lamb. He will come peacefully and loving. Everyone will love him, but really his words are deceitful, for he is boastful and flatters people for his own gain. He will be like the best used car salesman ever. He will smile broadly, and with a glint in his eye, he will convince the people of the world that the Antichrist is the Messiah the world has been waiting for to fix all of the world's problems. Therefore, you've got to worship the Antichrist. And, that is exactly what the ungodly people of the Tribulation do.

A modern-day example I would use is this. If you follow the Atheistic movement, then you know who Richard Dawkins is. He's probably one of the most outspoken Atheists out there, railing at a God he supposedly doesn't even believe exists. He encourages his fellow Atheists by calling them "Brights." In other words, if you're an Evolutionist and you reject God, then you are "Bright." You are smarter then everybody else. That would logically make the rest of us "Dims." You don't want to be a "Dim," you want to be a "Bright." Dawkins flatters the people that follow all of his teachings about Evolution, and with that he gains an advantage. He's like the pope of Evolution, and treated with a similar reverence by his followers.

But, as Jude reveals, Dawkins is acting in selfishness. His loud and frequent denials of God are really all about his own lusts and passions.

Vic Batista: We find in Jude that the reason these false teachers flatter in this way is to gain an advantage. False prophets often times try to fleece the flock. We have this whole Prosperity Gospel movement as the perfect example. What's sad is that there are so many good Christians who are falling for these lies. These counterfeit Christians are even on the airwaves spreading their false teachings and false doctrines to the point that we see people actually selling "anointed handkerchiefs" right on Christian television!

Nathan Jones: That reminds me of Creflo Dollar. He's one of the biggest Health and Wealth Gospel prosperity preachers out there. He told his followers that God wanted him to own a $64 million jet. I was like, "Really?! He can't fly coach? He needs his own $64 million jet on top of all the other jets, cars and planes that he already possesses?"

That is not want humble ministers of God are supposed to go out and ask for. Jesus wants His servants to bring people to Himself in order that they may be free of their sins. These false teachers, these false prophets, are out there asking for more than their daily needs in order to fleece the flock, and all for their own lusts.

Vic Batista: When Jude shared this message warning about counterfeit Christians, to me he approached the subject like a shotgun blast, awakening true believers in Christ so they'd recognize that this problem is going to just get worse and worse. In Matthew 24, Jesus had previously warned that in the Last Days there will be many false prophets who will deceive many. Here again in Jude, the book is warning against these grumblers, complainers, and those who are flatter people in order to gain an advantage.

Jude goes on to further describe these conterfeits and their motives in verses 17-19:

"But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit."

Jude calls the entire Church Age the "last time," meaning the last days or end times. The mockers of God would be busy at their master's, Satan's, work of causing divisions among the Body of Christ. The reason they behave like this is because they are ungodly people who live selfishly and only for their own sensuality and lusts. The Church represents the moral law of God, and so these ungodly people in order to engage in their lusts work hard at removing any social conscience and moral constraints. What Jude's talking about here essentially is Evil.

Jude, Loving on the Beloved (Verse 17)

Vic Batista: In verse 17, Jude talks directly to the true believers in Jesus Christ: "But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ:" It is almost like a reminder, "Don't forget what was taught you in the beginning!"

Nathan Jones: Jude calls his church or churches beloved. Isn't that wonderful? That outward, unconditional love of Jesus just shines through Jude and onto his cherished people.

Apostates don't exude unconditional love. To them, they want the love flowing their way, and they want the money and the prestige flowing to themselves, but never back to the people following them. Here Jude is loving on his church. He is trying to protect his church, and the love flows out of him and onto them. That is the huge difference between those who have accepted God and those who are rebelling against God.

Vic Batista: I love that term of endearment — "beloved." God talks to His people that way. He loves those that are His. He calls them "beloved."

In Spanish the word for beloved is amado, or "dearly loved." That was my dad's name — Amado.

Every time I see this portion of Scripture, it reminds me of how God thinks of me. He's not a judgmental God looking to see who He's going to beat over the head. No, he calls us "beloved." Those who have a relationship with Him are loved.

If you would like to be loved by God, then make sure you have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Accept in repentance Jesus as your Savior, then you too will become part of God's family.

In the sixteenth segment of our study of the book of Jude, he'll train us in spiritual bodybuilding.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Prophetic Book of Jude: Soaping Out the Mouths of the Mockers (Verse 15)

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

What does Jude say are the crimes and fate of those who mock God?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will continue our study of the little book of Jude from a prophetic perspective.

TWave Study on the Book of Jude

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Jude, Executing Judgment on the Ungodly (Verse 15)

Nathan Jones: Interestingly, Jude uses a repetitive word in verse 15: " execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."

Jude keeps on using the word "ungodly." He refers to the "ungodly among them" who engage in "ungodly deeds" due to their "ungodly ways" because they are "ungodly sinners". Who are these ungodly? The ungodly live the opposite of the godly, simply said. Godly beings love the Lord and so seek Him out and try to live holy lives. These ungodly people hate the Lord and they try to do everything they can to thwart Him, as if that was possible. They are sinners who are in rebellion against God. They are shaking their fists at God. That ungodliness is what defines these counterfeit Christians.

Vic Batista: Nathan, you pointed out something very important. It's the ungodly, not the righteous, who enter into God's wrath known as the Tribulation. Such a claim that some people make that puts the Church in the Tribulation and says that the Church is going to go through the Tribulation and are going to experience the judgment to come, I believe is a disservice to God's people. That claim is just not so. Here Jude is talking about a specific group who are comprised of the ungodly. God's wrath is not for the godly, but for the ungodly.

Nathan Jones: Exactly, the ungodly are those whom the Tribulation was made for. God's wrath is not for the godly, or in other words, those who are saved and so are members of the Body of Christ. The Church is exempt from God's wrath and will not have to endure those awful years (1 Thes. 4:13-18 and 1 Thes. 1:10; 5:9; Rom. 5:9; Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:4; Rev. 3:10).

The silver lining concerning the Tribulation is that millions upon millions of people Revelation 7:9 says from every tongue, nation, tribe and people — such multitudes that they cannot be counted — will accept Jesus as Savior during that time. So, we know that many of these ungodly people will give their lives to Christ because of the judgments of the Tribulation, the Two Witnesses who will preach during the first half of the seven-years, the 144,000 Jewish evangelists, and a Gospel Angel. Hopefully, all of the witnessing material Christian's leave behind will also teach people about Jesus Christ.

So many of those considered ungodly going into the Tribulation will give their lives to Jesus Christ after the Rapture. So, there will be ungodly people who will convert and become godly, but overall the Tribulation is God's wrath upon this world for its great evil. Tragically, there will continue to be many ungodly people during that time who will refuse to accept Christ's salvation.

Jude, Soaping Out the Mouths of the Mockers (Verse 15)

Vic Batista: The prophet Enoch describes the ungodly in verse 15. When talking about people's ungodly deeds he says that Christ is returning "to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."

Today people are saying terrible things about the Lord. The way they use Jesus' name in vain just makes me so sad.

Nathan Jones: Being in rebellion against God means being ungrateful. Here is the all-powerful God who made the whole universe, He made each of us, He gave His Son's life on the cross so that we may be reconciled with Him, and He gave us this wonderful earth to live on. To think that God sent His own Son to die on the cross to take our sins upon Himself so that if we believe in Jesus as Savior we will be free of the condemnation of Hell. God's done all of that for us because He loves us that much.

And yet, the ungodly people speak about God in such blasphemous ways. They constantly reject Him. They deride Him. They constantly speak out against Him. We have Atheists going around saying that God doesn't even exist. All this terrible behavior demonstrates an ungodly rebellion and hatred towards God.

Ironically, that hatred does play into God's plan for the ages. God wants to return humanity to that Garden of Eden fellowship. Remember in Genesis that God walked and talked and had fellowship with both Adam and Eve? There was a face-to-face relationship between God and Man. And then sin broke that personal relationship. Since then, God has been working towards bringing a believing remnant from this earth back to Him. This remnant is made up of those who have trusted in Jesus as Savior. God wants to live in eternity forever with a people who love and accept Him. That is where human history is going and what God's plan of redemption and glorification is all about.

Vic Batista: What hope knowing God that has plans for us! He desires for us to spend eternity with Him. And, what a great verse 15 is concerning the judgment that is coming on the ungodly. Their evil will finally meet true justice.

In the fifteenth segment of our study of the book of Jude, we'll look at the reasons behind why the mockers of God do what they do.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Prophetic Book of Jude: Prophesying With Enoch (Verse 14)

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

What prophecy did the ancient Enoch foretell concerning the Second Coming?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will continue our study of the little book of Jude from a prophetic perspective.

TWave Study on the Book of Jude

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Jude, Identifying the Flu (Verses 14-15)

Vic Batista: We are continuing our study through the prophetic book of Jude and are now going to address Jude's warning about being aware of mockers. All throughout history there have always been mockers, false prophets, and false teachers trying to bring doubt about the Word of God. Jude next begins to uncover all of their machinations.

Nathan Jones: Vic, I appreciate studying through the book of Jude with you. In the past I read through Jude believing a pastor could preach only one sermon on it, but we've gone through many segments now and I have a much deeper appreciation of the book. I love the Calvary Chapel methodology of studying the Bible where one goes verse-by-verse. That way we can "suck the marrow" out of a passage, so to speak. I really thank you for utilizing this methodology because we're learning so much more as we go along. I'm just amazed at how much a wealth of information there is in the book of Jude.

Vic Batista: Absolutely! Studying the Bible verse-by-verse helps one better grasp all the incredible prophecies that are being put together, especially here in the book of Jude. For example, we covered in verse 9 regarding Michael the Archangel some incredible insights. Then Jude talked about those impostor Christians who ruin the Christian fellowship, especially at a church's Communion love feast. I believe such an increase in Satan attempting to infiltrate and bring down our churches is prophetic and applies to the times in which we are living.

Nathan Jones: Exactly, yes, both imposer Christians and full-blown apostates are purposely trying to thwart God's plan through the Church. These false teachers existed in the early Church Age and they exist today, but like a flu in flu season, now in such a greater abundance. That unfortunate End Times phenomenon is in a roundabout way what Jude is addressing.

Jude warns about those people who aren't Christians, but pretend to be Christians, who come into our churches and try to sow dissension. They try to teach doctrines different from the clear, biblical text. They attempt to break down the Church Body. They are like spies who go out during wartime in order to get information and sow seeds of discontent for the insidious purpose of breaking down the system. That is what these guys are, these heretics and apostates.

These false Christians are plaguing in abundance the Church today. When you read Matthew 24 and Luke 21, Jesus foretells about certain signs of the end times and how they'll increase in frequency and intensely the closer we get to His return. Three times in Matthew 24 Jesus warned about false prophets and false teachers and how they'll increase in frequency and intensity the closer we get to Jesus' return. With 500 cults in the U.S. alone, according to, we are seeing a tremendous number of these impostors entering into our churches. Sadly, there are so many churches falling apart because they've allowed these apostates to stay in our congregations and have even put them into leadership positions.

I highly recommend It's James Walker's ministry. He is a former Mormon who got saved and now has dedicated his life to teaching people about the cults and helping them protect themselves from false teachings. His website has 500 cults listed in the United States alone. He lists and teaches on not just cults, but false religious systems such as Hinduism and Buddhism and other non-Christian religions.

James, like Jude, is attempting to warn us of these false teachers and counterfeit religious systems that are attempting to pull people away from Jesus Christ. Satan is trying to drown out the Gospel message that God's speaking through the Church.

As Jude points out, these false teachers are infiltrating the Church for the purpose of destroying it. From his teaching we learn how to be very wise and discerning in looking out for and recognize who these counterfeits truly are. Jude lists many descriptive, colorful comparisons throughout his little book. You can tell that Jude is very mad about these people, and so he's giving a very detailed description unmasking what these people are really like.

Vic Batista: Indeed, Jude is very colorful and descriptive. When I first read the book I thought, "What's going on here?" But, likewise we as true believers in Christ also need to become upset and angry at times when it comes to false doctrines and false teachers, because if we are not careful with what they are teaching and sharing with people, they are going to lead our people astray and straight to Hell.

Jude, Prophesying With Enoch (Verse 14)

Vic Batista: The Bible warns that in the end times mockers will come mocking all things of God, but especially the Flood and Jesus' Second Coming. In Jude verses 14-15 an ancient prophet is mentioned who foretold the coming of the Lord to punish these mockers.

Nathan Jones: Verse 14-15 reads from the New King James:

"Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, 'Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.'"

Vic Batista: Jude mentions Enoch. Nathan, you are the expert on Enoch?

Nathan Jones: Well, I certainly wasn't around when Enoch was walking the earth! Enoch is an interesting character because he lived during the Pre-Flood era. How amazingly different life must have been at that time period.

Enoch was the father of Methuselah. Here's Bible Drill question time. What is Methuselah known for?

Vic Batista: You're referring to the Genesis 5 account of Adam's earliest descendants? Noah was in the lineage of Methuselah and lived a very long time, then the Flood came shortly after his death.

Nathan Jones: Methuselah is known in the Bible for being the oldest recorded man in the Bible. Having died at 969 years, he lived to be almost a thousand years old. That's very, very old!

Enoch was Methuselah's father. Enoch's claim to fame is that he was so godly and loved the Lord so much that the Lord actually took Enoch off this earth before the Flood came. I would even say God had raptured Enoch. God caught Enoch up, took him up off this earth, and brought him up to Heaven so he would not have to endure the wrath of God through the coming Flood. Enoch's claim to fame was that he was the first ever raptured.

Enoch, whose name means "dedicated" interestingly enough, was referred to in Hebrews 11:5: "By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, 'and was not found, because God had taken him'; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God."

Talk about a close fellowship with God! Enoch was commended as a man of strong faith who held an unswerving conviction in God. God protected Enoch from His wrath by removing him from the earth before the Flood.

Getting back to Jude, he tells us that Enoch prophesied, so Enoch was also a prophet. What he prophesied is very interesting: "the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints." We know that at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ our Lord will return with His Saints. That's us! That is the Church, one day raptured off this earth to dwell in Heaven with Jesus as God's wrath yet again in the Tribulation is poured on the world. As the seven years of Tribulation rages on the earth, we "saints" will be safe up in Heaven with our Lord. And, when Jesus comes back to earth to defeat Satan and the Antichrist as the Tribulation closes, we as some of the "ten thousands of His saints" come back with Him along with the angel armies of Heaven. We return with Jesus Christ to watch Him defeat the Antichrist and his army and the False Prophet. We will have ringside seats to witness Jesus command an angel to throw Satan into a bottomless pit!

That is what Enoch was predicting so many millennia ago, even if he most likely couldn't understand at the time the incarnation of God as Jesus Christ. Enoch foretold how the Lord will execute judgment on the world. We read in Revelation 20 about the White Throne Judgment, where at the end of human history God is going to resurrect and then judge all those who have rejected Him, and they will be sentenced to Hell.

In the fourteenth segment of our study of the book of Jude, we'll look at the crimes and fate of those who mock God.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Prophetic Book of Jude: Recognizing a True Christian (Verse 13)

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

How can our churches determine who is a real Christian?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will continue our study of the little book of Jude from a prophetic perspective.

TWave Study on the Book of Jude

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Jude, Sentencing to Blackest Darkness (Verse 13)

Jude continues to wax poetic in verse 13: "...raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever."

The false teachers Jude is referring to are like the raging waves of the sea, but they only produce their own shame. They are like beautiful stars, but they are reserved for blackest night. It is very important to mention that they are reserved for the blackness of darkness forever, for Jude is referring here to Hell.

Many people when they think about Hell they think fire, and so they think Hell is going to be bright, but there are many verses in the Bible that describe Hell as "outer darkness." You cannot see into it. And so, Hell is where these people are destined to go forever. God's punishment is Hell. These false Christians will never be included in our heavenly church services.

Vic Batista: Christians need to talk about what the Bible teaches about Hell because it is a real place. We often times don't focus on talking about Hell in our Bible studies, but we do love to talk about Heaven where all Christians are going to spend eternity. On the flip side, there is a place called Hell, and sadly those who don't turn to the Lord for salvation will have to spend all of eternity separated from God. How sad that is, right!

Nathan Jones: Hell was created for Satan and his angels because of their rebellion against God. When mankind fell into sin, when we each sin, when you and I was born into a sin nature, then all of humanity came under the judgment of Hell. Thank goodness the Lord sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins and take that punishment of Hell upon Himself if we accept Jesus in faith.

These false teachers and false congregants, when they are coming into our churches, they don't care about accepting Jesus as Savior. Instead, they want to make sure that as many people as possible are dragged away from Jesus. That's why Jude is so emphatic about bringing up the truth that these people should not be allowed into our churches.

Jude, Recognizing a True Christian (Verse 13)

Nathan Jones: Some churches have a real problem with ejecting from their churches pastors, staff and congregants who are living in sin and teaching false doctrines. They are worried about lawsuits nowadays. They are worried about being sued. They don't engage in church discipline because they are worried about frivolous lawsuits. But, we have to stand up for what is right, because if we don't, our churches will suffer and our people will suffer, and we can't allow that to happen.

Vic Batista: Excellent point! Pastors and elders need to look at these verses in Jude very carefully.

There is nothing more disappointing than a raincloud that doesn't bring any rain to a hot and thirsty land. Imagine if you were a farmer and you were waiting for that rain to come to bring refreshing to your parched crops, and at the end of the day the cloud brings nothing.

Nathan Jones: Well said, Vic! Down here in Texas for the last three years we've had terrible droughts. The little water we had left in our lakes and rivers was almost gone. This spring we've received a tremendous amount of rain. Some of our lakes are now back up to 100%. But, if those rainclouds came without rain, we would have been so disappointed and kept on praying to the Lord for deliverance from the drought.

The rain signifies something. It signifies refreshing. It signifies revitalization. It signifies life. The real Christian will be brought by the Holy Spirit into the Church where they will find spiritual revitalization and refreshing. True Christians bring life to a congregation. It is very important that our churches are discerning and can recognize true believers in Jesus Christ.

How do we do that? We know a true Christian by the spiritual fruit they produce.

Vic Batista: When you plant a tree you are looking forward to that tree producing fruit, and not just any kind of fruit, but healthy fruit. Likewise, concerning false prophets, Jesus said in Matthew 7 that you will know them by their fruit.

Nathan Jones: Exactly! I have two fruit trees that I planted in my backyard. They produce the saddest looking fruit. I just picked the fruit but had to throw it away. I'm thinking I just need to chop those trees down. They are pathetic.

Likewise, these false Christians bear no good spiritual fruit. They are not the type of people you want in your church.

Christians are members of churches in order to have Christian fellowship and accountability and to worship the Lord. But, we have turned our churches into evangelistic centers. Instead of going out into the public and sharing Christ with the lost, we are now getting lazy and expecting the lost to come into our churches in order to hear the Gospel and get saved.

This is what Bill Hybels calls the Seeker-Sensitive Movement. The movement was welcomed into our churches with open arms, but tragically it has converted many of our churches into houses of paganism. We now have more unbelievers than believers coming through our doors. Non-Christians have been put into positions of power and authority in our churches. They don't even have the fruit of the Spirit in them.

The Seeker-Sensitive Movement is ruining our churches. As a matter of fact, the Willow Creek Association even came out a few years back and admitted that the seeker sensitive initiative was not working and they needed to stop it. But still, many churches unfortunately have not stopped.

What happens when every service is an outreach service? The sermons and Bible studies remain at a 101 level and the more spiritually mature are never fed, and so they leave. You end up with an entire church of spiritual babies who never grow, or who want to grow and so have to move on to find spiritual meat.

This is not what our church services were meant to be. They were meant to worship our Savior and edify and grow the believer in Christ. They're an oasis in a sea of paganism. You can't do that when your services are all geared towards unbelievers.

Vic Batista: Great point, Nathan! Jesus and Paul prophesied that a proliferation of false teachers and a growing apostasy in our churches would intensify and become worse as we see the day of Jesus Christ's return approaching.

Jude, Discouraging the Wrong Motives (Verse 13)

Vic Batista: Verse 13 says, "These are raging waves of the sea, foaming in their own shame." Those who are playing a game with their relationship with God, it is really to their own shame.

Nathan Jones: It is. Eventually every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. These false Christians will one day have to stand before the Lord. They will have to give an account of their lives. Instead of saying that they gave their life to Jesus Christ and so had meaning and purpose, what they can only report is that they spent their life trying to destroy the Church by turning people away from believing in Jesus.

There are people out there, especially the militant Atheists, who live in their attempts to destroy the Church. We just cannot let these people become part of our churches. We should love on them, sure. We should witness to them, definitely. We should do everything possible to bring them to the Lord, but they should not be part of our congregations. Like you said, Vic, they are a blemish on a perfectly white shirt.

Vic Batista: As a pastor, I love people coming into my congregation, but they have to come with the right motives. They should desire to grow in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ and not cause division or troubles for our people. Certainly, we know that there is no perfect church. I often quip if you find the perfect church, don’t join it, because you will end up ruining it!

Nathan Jones: Well said! That's right, what is their motive for coming? Are they coming genuinely to learn about Jesus and so grow spiritually in Him? Or, are they coming to destroy it with division? That would be as crazy as saying we want to bring a bunch of militant jihadists into our country just so that we can get to know them better. You don't do stuff like that. And so, why would we want to bring into our churches a bunch of doctrinal jihadists who come only to destroy our churches? It just doesn't make sense!

Pastors, I really encourage you to stand up for church doctrine and follow church discipline. The Apostles were clearly dealing with a lot of incoming heresy, as we read about in Jude here. We can't be timid about this lest we lose our congregants to Satan and our churches start falling apart.

Vic Batista: I think this is also a message for those who don't have a relationship with Jesus Christ. If you recognize that you are not right with the Lord, there is still time for your to come to the throne of Jesus and allow Him to make things right in your life.

Nathan Jones: But there isn't a lot of time left, for Jesus could come at any moment and Rapture the Church away. So, if you are ready, you need to put your faith in Christ now. Give your life to Jesus Christ. Pray in your heart, "Dear, Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and be my Savior." He promises to do just that. He will forgive you of your sins, take away your guilt, and give you a new life with that eternal hope of Heaven.

I don't know how long that we have until the Rapture, or even death, but we know that Jesus is coming back soon. Therefore, we need to get real serious about giving our lives to Jesus Christ for the salvation of our sins and the acquittal of our punishment in Hell.

Vic Batista: Turn to Jesus Christ now. It's not complicated to start a relationship with the Lord.

In the thirteenth segment of our study of the book of Jude, we'll look at what Enoch prophesied so many millennia ago concerning the Second Coming.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Prophetic Book of Jude: Bleaching Out the Spots (Verses 12-13)

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

Is it okay for churches to kick people out of their congregations?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will continue our study of the little book of Jude from a prophetic perspective.

TWave Study on the Book of Jude

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Jude, Bleaching Out the Spots (Verses 12-13)

Nathan Jones: Jude starts this next section in verses 12-13 by really getting poetic. I don't know if Jude had a literary bent, but he kind of reminds me here of King David.

"There are spots in your love feast, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit twice dead pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the seas, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackest of darkness."

Vic Batista: Each one of his points is a sermon in and of itself. Poetically Jude says in these verses that the false teachers infiltrating our churches are spots in our love feasts. As I look at the word there — spots — it makes me think of when you wear a nice white shirt but then you get a little ink on it. You get a spot that ruins the whole shirt. Here I look at these churches who are engaged in having a beautiful fellowship and they are having a time of feasting, but here comes one of these false Christians who just ruins the party.

Nathan Jones: This reference to love feasts is a reference to Communion. The Church is following what the Lord had told them to do, and that is to observe Christ's sacrificial death by drinking from the cup that commemorates His shed blood and eating the bread wafer to remember Jesus Christ's broken body on the cross. Doing so was called a love feast, and then usually churches have fellowships afterwards. Some of them even hold foot washings. These love feasts commemorate the death of Jesus Christ.

So, here our churches are, allowing in these people who are false teachers and false prophets. They hate Jesus Christ, and yet we are allowing them into our communion services. And, like you said, Vic, they are spots, they are blemishes, on what is supposed to be a perfect and holy sacrament.

Vic Batista: Purity is so important among God's people, both spiritual purity and doctrinal purity. But, what Jude is warning about is that there are a lot of heresies being allowed into our churches. They come in as seekers, and the congregation wants to be hospitable, but they're not really seeking. Also, a lot of guest speakers are being invited into our churches who really come in with messages that are contrary to the Word of God. We need to be careful.

Nathan Jones: I've got to wonder about some pastors. What are they thinking when they bring in New Age gurus?! Yoga is a Hindu teaching. It is pure Hinduism. There is nothing good about yoga for Christians. Now our churches offer Christian Yoga. We've got Islamic clerics being brought into our services in order to understand their point of view, with some pastors going as far as trying to merge Christianity and Islam into Chrislam!

Pastors need to stick to the Word of God. Why do they need to delve into extra-biblical teachings? They need to stick solely to the Word of God. The Word of God has everything we Christians need. When you stick to the Word of God, you don't have to go to man to find truth, for God alone holds all truth.

Vic Batista: Excellent point! That is a question we need to put out there for those Christian leaders who might be dabbling with apostate teachers. That is a very valid question. We cannot compromise. Do not compromise the truth!

When you encounter good Bible teachers who have strayed a little bit, confront them and correct them lovingly. I think from time to time we need to do that with one another when we're not seeing clearly through the lens of the Bible.

Nathan Jones: It's great and all to have unity and love within the Body, but at the same time Jesus didn't put up with doctrinal impurity. He didn't put up with falsehood. Why then would our churches want to put up with false teachings? Instead, stick to the Bible! Don't be bringing into your churches false teachers and false prophets as if you're going to glean anything of value from them. More than likely, it is almost inevitable that they are going to dilute and blemish the Body of Christ. They are going to hurt your church and it will become a mess. So, don't do it.

I think the Jesus Christ and the Apostles were very clear on taking such a stand.

Vic Batista: Let's look again at Jude verse 12: "These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots..."

"Serving only themselves." That is what these false teachers are really all about, right, Nathan?

Nathan Jones: I'm reminded of the Corinthian Church. They were actually celebrating communion by getting drunk. They were taking something that was supposed to be holy and pure and turned it into a wild binge party. That is not what being a servant of Jesus Christ is about!

Our love feasts don't have to be all formal and serious, but they do have to be reverent. It is very important that we keep reverence in the Church. And, when we bring these false teachers Jude is warning us about, they are only coming because they are thinking about themselves and what their true master, Satan, wants. Therefore, we need to cast them out of our churches.

It is interesting how Jude compares these false Christians to something that looks good on the outside. They are like beautiful clouds, but they don't have any water and are swiftly carried away. They are like trees with beautiful fall leaves, but these trees are dead. Therefore, they need to be pulled up by their roots.

In the twelfth segment of our study of the book of Jude, we'll look at how our churches can determine who a real Christians is.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Prophetic Book of Jude: Comparing Villains (Verse 11)

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

Jude compares what Old Testament villains to false Christians?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will continue our study of the little book of Jude from a prophetic perspective.

TWave Study on the Book of Jude

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Jude, Comparing Villains (Verse 11)

Vic Batista: As we continue making our way through a verse-by-verse study of the book of Jude, we'll next look at verse 11: "Woe to them for they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah."

Nathan, expound on who Jude is talking about.

Nathan Jones: You have to go back a few verses to the beginning of this book. Jude is subject matter-wise dealing with people who have crept in unnoticed into our churches. These people are like wolves in sheep's clothing. They wish to kill the sheep, and they do so by sneaking in and pretending to be sheep themselves.

These false Christians it says in verse 4 were long ago marked out for condemnation, for they are ungodly men. They turn the grace of our God into lewdness. They deny the only Lord God and our Savior, Jesus Christ. These are definitely false converts. They are false believers. Their actions are like a spy sneaking into our churches in order to disrupt our Great Commission purpose.

Vic Batista: We see this happening increasingly in the current times that we are living in. More and more these individuals are sneaking in through the back door rather than coming through the front. They are trying to come into our churches stealthed and unnoticed. When they do make it in, they cause divisive issues and great problems which divide our churches and make them ineffective. This was happening in the days of Jude and it continues to happen today. Paul in Acts 20 also talked about how this phenomenon was something that was going to happen even more frequently in the Last Days.

Nathan Jones: Good reference, Vic, for the Apostle John in 1 John addressed the same thing. He warned about the Gnostics who were probably the first false teachers and a heretical cult of the First Century time period. As soon as Christianity came on the scene, Satan started doing his work of trying to confuse people about what Jesus truly taught.

When the Gnostics came into the churches, they started teaching that all things material are bad and only all things spiritual are good. It refers back to basic Greek teachings. Therefore, they taught, Jesus didn't come as a man, but He was a spirit, for to come in the flesh would be detestable to the Gnostics. So, these false teachers were trying to infiltrate the churches even in Jude's time.

In verse 11, Jude is comparing these false Christians to some of the villains of the Old Testament. Obviously, most people know who Cain is. He was the brother of Abel and the first child born to humanity. Cain killed his brother Abel. He was jealous of his brother, for Abel had a real heart for God, but Cain did not. Likewise, these false teachers don't have a heart for God, and just like Cain, they want to kill the faithful ones who love the Lord.

Another example Jude compares these false teachers to is Balaam. Balaam was hired to put a curse on Israel. His is one of the weirdest stories in the Bible. That's when Balaam's donkey turned around and started talking. I don't know how God worked that out, if He spoke through the donkey, or an angel did, or the donkey was given the ability to speak. We don't know. It's one of those Bible stories that is really hard to fathom.

Remember the donkey turned around to Balaam and asked, "Why are you beating me?" And Balaam repented. Likewise, as Balaam was hired to bring calamity upon Israel, these false teachers are trying to bring calamity on the Church.

Another example Jude gives us in verse 11 is Korah. He led a rebellion while the Israelites were wandering around the desert for 40 years. Korah tried to lead a rebellion against Moses, but God destroyed him and all his followers because of their rebellious hearts.

And so, these examples are some of the villains of the Old Testament. They come in and they try to destroy God's people. They try to steal God's children away from Him, but God promises that we are firm and secure in His hands.

Vic Batista: The examples Jude mentioned from the Old Testament — Cain, Balaam, Korah — they were detractors of the fellowship of God's people.

Nathan Jones: Excellent point, yes, the true fellowship between God and man is exactly what these false teachers were trying to interrupt. They were trying to put a wedge between God and His children. That is what Satan does. He knows that he will be going down in flames to Hell one day, but he wants to drag as many people as possible along with him. Or, if you are saved, he will try to make you weak in the faith and so unproductive.

That is what these false teachers are attempting. They are coming in sounding like Christians in order to be accepted. They say, "We'd like to become part of your church and are hoping to know Jesus." Or, "We're already saved, but have some different ideas you should consider." But, what they really end up doing is causing chaos and rebellion. And, like Korah, they need to be destroyed.

Now, I'm certainly not encouraging you to kill these false Christians, but they need to be ejected out of your church. Don't put up with them. There is a point when you have to do as Paul did and knock the dust off your shoes and move on. These people are not really coming to get saved, rather they are coming to destroy the church body. You need to get rid of them!

Vic Batista: A healthy body purges itself of disease. As believers in Christ, we need to recognize it is a healthy thing from time to time to obey God and purge ourselves of these individuals. If we leave false teachers in our churches, they will become like an infection. If we do nothing about them, they are going to affect the whole body.

Nathan Jones: Jesus compares the Church to a body. Jesus is the head and those who are saved are the body. When we allow foreign particles in, the white blood cells kick in and they start destroying the foreign particles.

Likewise, these false teachers are foreign particles. They are people who are trying to destroy the Body of Christ. They need to be removed.

In the eleventh segment of our study of the book of Jude, we'll look at the poetic descriptions Jude uses in verses 12-13 to describe false Christians.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Prophetic Book of Jude: Comparing Brute Beasts (Verse 10)

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

Why does Jude compare false teachers to brute beasts?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will continue our study of the little book of Jude from a prophetic perspective.

TWave Study on the Book of Jude

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Jude, Slanderers and Brute Beasts (Verse 10)

Vic Batista: Let's continue making our way through Jude and cover verse 10.

Nathan Jones: Jude says in verse 10, "Those people slander whatever they do not understand; the very things they do understand by instinct as irrational animals, will destroy them."

It's interesting that one of the characteristics that Jude tells us concerning these false teachers, these heretics, is that they don't understand what's right. They don't understand truth, so they just make up what they wish to believe. They try to pull and entice people and tempt them away from Jesus in order to have more people who would support their rebellious inclinations.

The thinking of false teachers Jude compares to wild animals. Overall, my dog is pretty smart, I have a beagle and she can do chores like dig. But, she doesn't work out combination locks. She doesn't write letters. She's not working the remote. Animals are smart, but they aren't anywhere near as smart as humans.

That is what Jude is saying about these people. They are like dumb, irrational animals. They don't realize that by spreading their lies they are actually destroying themselves.

When Jude says destroying, it means two different phases of destruction. There is their destruction on earth, because without sound judgment and without the wisdom from God we make stupid decisions that can possibly destroy us. But, mostly Jude is talking about destruction in Hell where they will go and be judged one day for their rebellion against God and all the evil they committed on this earth. The punishment for their sins is Hell. That is the destination for all these false teachers, Jude is saying.

Vic Batista: There is always hope in the Lord though. Destruction is coming, and judgment is coming, but not for those who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ.

But, for those who speak evil of whatever they do not know, and whatever they know naturally like brute beasts, in these things they do corrupt themselves. These false individuals are brute beasts; animals who are destined to be judged and sent to Hell.

I also have a dog and her name is Flower. She is very smart, just like a beagle, but you're right, they're still just animals. And here these individuals are behaving like animals when they reject the wonderful truths of God.

Nathan Jones: Have you ever heard the saying, "pearls before swine"? It means you don't give the good stuff to the swine because they will just stomp on all over it and move on without realizing the value of the gift. That is what Jude is comparing these people to. They are spiritually blind and in rebellion against God, so anything good that God has for them they just trample in the mud and move on.

Jesus Christ has given His life for mankind. He sacrificed His own life on the cross so that our sins would be placed on Himself. If we believe in Jesus as our Savior, we will be saved. But, these false teachers hate that gift. They throw it in the mud and they stomp all over it. They belittle Christ's sacrifice. They trash it. They use Jesus' name as a curse word. And so, they are like stupid animals because in doing this, that very act of rebellion against God, they destroy themselves both here on earth and forever in Hell.

Vic Batista: We always want to close with a word of hope. God does have a wonderful plan for people, but they must first come to the cross. They must first choose Jesus Christ.

Nathan Jones: Jesus loves you. He died for you. Who dies for anybody? Doing so is true love. God wants your sins — your rebellion against Him — to be forgiven. To have that happen and have that punishment for your sins paid in full, God sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the punishment on your behalf. All you have to do is reach out to Jesus in faith and believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Savior.

Pray from your heart something like, "Dear, Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and be my Savior."

Jesus promises that He will do just that. He will forgive you of your sins. He will get rid of your guilt. You will have a new life and you will have the eternal hope of Heaven with God. To go to Heaven, all you have to do is in repentance accept Jesus as your Savior. Afterwards, be water baptized as your public expression of your newfound faith in Christ.

In the tenth segment of our study of the book of Jude, we'll continue to look the book from a prophetic perspective.