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.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Prophetic Book of Jude: Stopping Spiritual Oppression (Verse 9 Continued)

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

Who empowers both angels and Christians when fighting Satan?

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, Determining Source Scriptures (Verse 9 Continued)

Nathan Jones: Jude verse 9 reveals an interesting story. "Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!'"

Sometimes people ask where Jude got this story about Moses' body. They don't remember reading about it in the Old Testament.

Well, if you go to Deuteronomy 34:6, it says that Moses' body was buried in Moab in the valley opposite of Beth Peor. But, to this day, no one knows where Moses' grave lies. Jewish tradition teaches that Moses' body was possibly taken by Satan and his forces, but they don't know that for sure.

This theory about the fight over Moses' body ended up being put into a book and being added to what is called the Pseudepigrapha. The Pseudepigrapha contains many of the books that were written later after Christ. These writings were proven they weren't real biblical books and so they were compiled into this collection. The story about Moses' body can be found in the book called The Assumption of Moses. The Assumption of Moses is a book that should not be connected to the Bible, but it does hold to the Jewish tradition that Moses' body was debated over by Satan and Michael. Jude decided to put that story into his letter.

Vic Batista: We have other extra-biblical books like the Book of Enoch and some other writings where we can learn some things about biblical history that is not found in the Bible. For good reasons, though, these books were not added to the biblical canon.

Nathan Jones: Some of the teachings that came out of these extra-biblical writings are clearly contrary to biblical teachings. Concerning the Book of Enoch, later in verses 14-15 Jude will talk about some things that are found in Enoch 1:9. But, the Book of Enoch has long been discredited from being an authentically inspired book. Enoch lived before the Flood happened. If there was any book he wrote it would have been destroyed. And, as a matter of fact, most of the copies that have been found of the Book of Enoch were written 3,000 years later. So, it was pretty clear to the Councils during the first few hundred years of Church history that the Book of Enoch and the Assumption of Moses are extra-biblical books. They are not written by the original authors or they hold to mere Jewish traditions.

Jude therefore was not quoting from the Book of Enoch. He's not quoting from the Assumption of Moses. He is just quoting from Jewish tradition about what they believed happened. There could be a grain of truth in that tradition, because obviously the Book of Jude is in the Bible, so that means the Holy Spirit breathed this letter.

Therefore, there was indeed a battle between Michael and Satan over the body of Moses. Maybe Satan wanted to use Moses as something to be worshiped, as a totem or idol. The staff that Moses held up in the desert was worshiped as an idol for many years until it was finally destroyed. Maybe that is why Satan took Moses' body, or at least tried to.

Vic Batista: "When the Bible is silent, we stay silent." I took that saying from Pastor Chuck Smith. People are always wanting to pin pastors down and insert into the Bible what is not there. But, if it's not written there, we simply have to say, "I don't know."

Nathan Jones: Exactly! That's the best way to interpret the Bible. Some people try to make stuff up and they just get themselves in trouble. I would say if it's not in the Bible, we should say, "We don’t know."

Vic Batista: Absolutely, and that's why I really love ministries that don't engage in sensationalism. Just don't try to insert ideas into the Bible that aren't there.

Nathan Jones: An example of sensationalist Bible prophecy would be the whole Blood Moon hysteria. That theory is really sensationalist and extra-biblical. The idea that four lunar eclipses will have some kind of prophetic significance, or they might, or they might not, is pure conjecture. Like you said, Vic, when the Bible is silent, all I can say is, "I don't know."

Jude, Stopping Spiritual Oppression (Verse 9 Continued)

Vic Batista: Back to this battle between Michael the Archangel contending with the Devil. I think that story really proves that there's a spiritual battle being waged. Revelation 12 also talks about an angelic battle that takes place in the heavens, right? So, angelic warfare is for real?

Nathan Jones: It is for real. In Revelation 12, Satan leads a third of the angels — his demons — into a final rebellion against God. God finally and forever casts them out of Heaven and the demons become trapped on earth.

Some of the demons we read about in Jude verse 6 were locked in darkness in everlasting chains waiting for judgment on that great day. This is referring to the Great White Throne Judgment. So, there are some demons, and I don't know why for maybe they had something to do with the Nephilim story in Genesis where the possessed men tried to create a super race in order to water down the human race, maybe that's when God put these demons into chains and why. Or, maybe these demons were just so evil they had to be put away.

In Revelation 9 we're told that millions of demons who had been in chains will be released during the Tribulation to inflict pain upon people for five months. Maybe that's why. That means that of the third of the angels who were first kicked out of Heaven and became demons, they are not running lose here on earth. Quite a number are chained until that great day that Jude tells us about verse 6.

That means that there are two-thirds of the angels who have remained loyal to God. Even if it was 100% of the angels who rebelled against God, Yahweh is on our side. When Jesus returns in victory, all He does is speak and His enemies just literally fall apart. They melt before Him. If Jesus wanted to say, Enough is enough; let's do something about these demons right now," well within seconds it would all be over. True power is on the side of Jesus Christ!

Vic Batista: I came under a major spiritual attack recently. For us pastors, every time we get up to preach or do something to serve the Lord, the Enemy will try to come in and mess with our minds and bring fear into our hearts. My wife and I were going to speak somewhere and I felt this incredible oppression and spiritual attack. It woke me up to the reality of spiritual warfare. It was one of those things when the Enemy comes in to attack, and all I could do was call on the name of Jesus. All I called out was "Jesus" and the spiritual oppression was gone. That's the power available at the Christian's disposal!

Nathan Jones: Praise the Lord! What to do comes right from Jude. Michael said, "The Lord rebuke you, Satan." The power is the Lord's. If Jesus wants us to get up and speak or preach or witness to somebody, and if there's some major obstacle in our life, we need to pray to the Lord and let Him deal with it. That is the example that Jude gives us through the Archangel Michael.

Jude, Gasping at the Angelic Realm (Verse 9 Continued)

Vic Batista: Again in Jude verse 9, he talks about Michael the Archangel. Michael is mentioned throughout the Bible and he's always involved in different ways both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Nathan Jones: Michael is the Archangel but, he is also the protector of Israel. There are different angels protecting different countries, all the way down to cities and towns, and even probably little communities. There is a hierarchy of angels just like there is a hierarchy of government. God has tasked the most powerful of all the angels, Michael, to protecting Israel.

We especially read about Michael pertaining to Jesus' Second Coming. Michael is not only protecting Israel, but likely he is the one who chains up Satan and throws him into the Abyss for a thousand years. Michael is an extremely important angel.

I look forward to actually seeing the angelic realm someday. Hollywood always pictures angels as white guys with curly blond hair and big white wings, but that's not the case. We read in the Bible that some angels can take the form of humans. There are some who look like animals, and some who look like forces of nature. Some have different types of wings. So, there are many varieties of angels.

Yes, I'm looking forward to seeing what angels look like someday! I think in this earthly body I'd be scared to death by some of them. You read in the Bible occurrences where angels came and they weren't in human form but their own form, and immediately everyone falls to the ground terrified of them. So, it will be a terrifying thing to see an angel, so I will save that experience for after this life.

Vic Batista: Absolutely! Heaven as well is going to be a beautiful place. Revelation 4 talks what we will see there with all the different beings in Heaven and the living creatures. Revelation 4:7 describes these angelic beings, "The first living creature was like a lion, second like a living creature like a calf, and the third living creature a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. The four living creatures each having six wings, full of eyes around and within and they do not rest day or night, saying 'Holy, holy Lord God almighty who is, and was, and is to come.'" There are so many different types of angelic beings.

Nathan Jones: Those four angels before the throne of God are particularly different, for there's nothing like them in all the Bible. How weird that they have eyes covering all over them. I don't know how that works, but likely it represents the omnipresence of God — His ability to see everything at all times. These unique angels sit before the throne of God and they worship God day in and day out. And yes, they are very different looking then your typical angel.

The idea that angels are little babies — cherubs — flying around with little bows and arrows with hearts at the end of the arrow and you fall in love with people when they shoot you is just nonsense. They're not described in the Bible.

Vic Batista: I'm so glad that the outlook that we are taking with Jude is a biblical outlook into his teachings. Verse 9 is a very important subject matter.

In the ninth segment of our study of the book of Jude, he calls out the false teachers for what they really are.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Prophetic Book of Jude: Glimpsing Spiritual Warfare (Verse 9)

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

Does angelic warfare wage behind world events?

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, Warning of an Invasion (Verses 1-8)

Vic Batista: As we continue our study of the incredible prophetic book of Jude, let's first recap verses 1-8. In previous segments we read how Jude encouraged believers in Christ to contend for the faith. In another segment we read about the judgments and punishments that are coming for those who turn their backs on God. Jude also warned how there'd be many false Christians creeping into our churches bringing destructive heresies.

Nathan Jones: I think that Jude in writing his letter to the churches was kind of like a Paul Revere. Paul Revere during the Revolutionary War rode through the American countryside yelling, "The British are coming! The British are coming!" Revere was warning Americans of possible death as the British troops marched across the colonies. Likewise, Jude wanted Christians to know that danger was coming to the Church. Jude is doing the same thing by saying, "The heretics are coming! The heretics are coming! They are going to try to lie to you and teach you false teachings and pull you away from Jesus. Watch out! Watch out!" That is what Jude is saying in his letter.

Jude was the half-brother of Jesus, but obviously he was not of God. Being the son of Mary and Joseph, that's make Jude Jesus' half-brother. Jesus' brothers and sisters did not believe that their oldest brother was the Messiah until after He was resurrected. Afterwards, Jude and his brothers gave their lives to Jesus Christ. By the time his letter was written, Jude was now a leader of the Church.

The heretics Jude was warning about were called Gnostics. Gnosticism was the earliest heresy at the time. Gnostics believed they held a superior knowledge that wasn't in the Bible. Rather, they made that "secret knowledge" up as they went along. It was a very Greek type of philosophy.

So, Jude is warning that these Gnostics, these heretics, were coming and they were going to teach the Church false doctrines. They did so for their own pleasure and for their own benefit. But, God will judge them for pulling Christians away from the truth of Jesus Christ. That is where Jude is at this point.

Vic Batista: We know according to other teachers in the Bible, even from Jesus Himself, that more of these heretics are coming. More false prophets and more false teachers and more heretics would come even into the Last Days. That's why Jude is addressing this phenomenon concerning his time and into our time today.

Nathan Jones: In Luke 21, Jesus said three times that one of the major signs of the end times would be false prophets, false teachers, and false Christs. They may have always been with us, but they will increase in frequency and intensity as we get closer to these last days. That's where we are as the Church today.

Vic Batista: These dreamers in verse 8 defile their flesh and they reject authority. Jude is pointing out that these heretics don't want to be under God's authority.

Nathan Jones: No, not at all. They live in rebellion against God and His moral law. They lie and make up falsehoods that God never said in order to pull people away from Jesus Christ.

Another characteristic of these false teachers Jude says is that they pollute their bodies, likely with alcohol, drugs and sexual immorality. They dream, in other words, they don't have a grasp on reality. For example, these would be people today who believe that if Israel gave up half their country the world would be safe. Or, if we let Iran get a nuclear bomb they wouldn't use it against another nation. Or, if we tax the rich to death then all of a sudden the country will flourish. These are dreamers of nonsense with destructive ideas.

Jude, Glimpsing Spiritual Warfare (Verse 9)

Vic Batista: Nathan, can you continue with Jude verses 9-10 as we unravel the incredible prophecies contained in the book of Jude?

Nathan Jones: Verse 9-10 in the NKJV reads:

"Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!' But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves."

A further characteristic of these false Christians is that they heap abuse on celestial beings. They have no respect for the hierarchy in Heaven. They don’t understand it, and so they heap abuse on the very concept of a heavenly realm.

Vic Batista: Ephesians 6 clearly tells us that Christians are in a major spiritual battle with celestial beings. The world is indeed at war — a spiritual war. There are many angelic beings who are behind the scenes protecting Christians and are on our side.

Nathan Jones: Few people ever think about the spiritual warfare we are in. Behind all the events that are going on in the world with political and military battles, there is a spiritual battle being waged between God's forces and Satan's forces, but it's all in the background. We don't see the spiritual side until the fallout occurs. That's probably a good thing that we can't see angels fighting, for we'd be pretty shaken. Imagine seeing giant angels duking it out, but that's what is going on in the spiritual realm.

It's interesting that Jude gives us a little behind the scenes in verse 9 when he talks about the Archangel Michael. He's the head over all the angels. He took the job when Lucifer lost his position, because Satan used to be the head over all the angels. Jude says that Michael was disputing with the Devil about the body of Moses who had died before entering the Promised Land. Michael didn't rebuke Satan, but instead said, "The Lord rebuke you." Michael put his own authority under God's power.

In the eighth segment of our study of the book of Jude, we'll continue to learn more about the Archangel Michael and about the true power behind the spiritual realm.

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Prophetic Book of Jude: Reminding of Judgment on the Wicked (Verses 7-8)

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

Would God really send the wicked to Hell?

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, Reminding of Judgment on the Wicked (Verse 7)

Nathan Jones: Satan works to wear down a person's faith is God so that our morality becomes so compromised to the point where we become like verse 7 describes — Sodom and Gomorrah and their surrounding towns. As verse 7 reads, "as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."

The people of these towns were horrifically evil, known for their homosexual rape gangs. Homosexuality was their defining sin. The abuse they put on people visiting was equally deplorable. The people of Sodom were the most evil, perverse, and sexual immorality of all people of all times. They were perverse against the natural order of things. And so, they became an example of what God will do against those who are so depraved that God has to finally step in and remove them.

Verse 7 says, "They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fires." And that is what God did. God sent an incredible, sulfuric fire down upon Sodom and Gomorrah and literally wiped them off the map. I've been to the Dead Sea a few times and the Dead Sea is just that — it's dead. There's no life in the waters. The sulfur and salt content are so high that nothing can live in it. The hills are also covered in salt. Nothing can grow in the Dead Sea region except barely a little scrub brush here and there. It is by all accounts totally dead.

When people rebel against God and turn their hearts against Him, their lives get darker and more corrupt and more perverse. At some point God will decide to remove them from the world before they destroy any more people's lives.

What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah scares me, because we are seeing as a culture, and not just in the United States but around the entire world, that as the world gets more immoral and accepts more perversion and glorifies and promotes its perversion, we have finally descended to the level these towns had sunk. Society has now reached the point where mankind has become so evil that God has to step in and deal with us, because He is a just judge. I believe we are getting really close to God's judgment.

Vic Batista: The signs are all around us. We see Romans 1:27-28 right before us:

"In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done."

Nathan, that is very scenario you are describing. That is the scene that we are living in today.

Nathan Jones: Exactly, I do believe so. Romans 1 is probably one of the best chapters on the subject of the moral decline of mankind. As men grow more perverse, these godless men will continue to fall deeper and deeper into their sin. They think that God is never going to do anything about it. He's never going to stop them from hurting themselves and other people. They live more lewdly with each passing day until they destroy themselves.

That condition is really sad, for these terribly lost people attempt to fill their lives with ever more sin in order to fill the hole that God should fill. These people just can't fill the God-shaped hole in their hearts.

And so, these lewd people become so perverse and so evil that God inevitably will step in. He promises He will be patient, for He is waiting for everyone who is meant to come to salvation to come to Him.

All these examples of the fallen nature that Jude gives us here concerning fallen men and celestial beings explains how they pollute their bodies because they reject the authority of God. That rejection is the common characteristic of these beings.

Vic Batista: God is so good and so gracious, and there's always hope even for those people who are struggling in these sinful types of lifestyles. Paul reminded the Corinthian church about how some of their numbers had come out of the homosexual lifestyle, so there is hope. That hope comes through repentance. It comes through acknowledging their sin and then turning away from their sin. Then God can offer them the opportunity to be forgiven and cleansed.

Nathan Jones: Yes, that is exactly right. God hasn't given up on anybody who has adopted a gay lifestyle. Anyone who lives in homosexuality, who lives in adultery, who continues to have sex outside of marriage which is called fornication, anyone who lives constantly lying all the time, anyone who is a gambler or a drug addict or an alcoholic or a prostitute, and everyone who's hardened their lives in rebellion against God can be saved. God sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer and die for their sins. God loves us so much that He sent His own Son to die for our sins, and when we accept Jesus Christ in faith as our Savior and repent of our sins, we can be cleansed and purified. God offers that free gift to all people, including those whom the Bible describes here as the worst of the immoral.

Remember when the Angel of the Lord was traveling to Sodom and Gomorrah with Abraham? Abraham was following along with the preincarnate Christ and Abraham was interceding on behalf of the townspeople. He pleaded, "Lord, if there are 50 people in the city, will you destroy it?" The Lord said, "No, I won't." Abraham asked, "Well, what about 25 people?" The Lord replied, "No I won't." Again, "How about ten people?" He answered, "Even for ten people I won't destroy it."

I believe because we have so many believers in Christ in the world today that God has held His wrath back from destroying the world. The fact that the Church remains on this earth is what's keeping God's wrath from annihilating the planet. But, there will be a time coming, called the Rapture, when Jesus will remove the righteous off this planet and do to this earth just as He did to Sodom and Gomorrah. God promises that fire and destruction will eventually fall to punish mankind's rebellious heart.

Vic Batista: That is why I believe God has called Christians to sound the alarm in these last days. Thank God for the Church of Jesus Christ, and for Lamb & Lion Ministries as well, and for those who are being salt and light in their communities trying to make a difference. We are fighting to the end for the souls of men.

Nathan Jones: Christians have indeed been given a Great Commission. Jesus in Acts 1:8 ordered His followers to go out into Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and all the earth to share the Gospel of the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Church is the body of Jesus Christ. We are the hands and feet that go out and share the message for the head, which is Christ. We need to share the Good News with people in hopes that they will accept Jesus as Savior, for our time is short. And that time is very short, for the signs of the times point to the fact that Jesus is coming back really soon.

We've got to be ready for Jesus' return. For those who have not given their lives to Jesus Christ, they should ask themselves, "Are you ready?" Are you ready to accept Jesus as your Savior? Or, if you continue to reject Him, do you want to face the fire of punishment that is coming, not only on the earth, but which Jude says is an eternal fire? This is the reality of such a decision. We need to accept what's real and believe. Deal with these questions now while their's time left.

Vic Batista: Judgment is coming. I often at times say that anybody who goes to Hell is trespassing, because Hell was meant for Satan and his demons. But, when we turn our back on God and choose lifestyles that reject God's moral law, then in a sense we don't leave ourselves any alternative. We choose to go to Hell.

Nathan Jones: Exactly, the choice is ours. Mankind is born in rebellion against God. People are born in sin. The Gospel has been given to us to provide the rescue from sin's punishment, which is Hell.

God has made His existence so obvious, which is called general revelation, for not only did He create the universe, but through Jesus Christ He has given specific revelation about who He is and how we might be forgiven of our sins so we don't have to go to Hell. God loves us so much that He sent His own Son to die to make salvation happen. He's given us everything, including His own death, so that we don't have to go to Hell.

These lewd people that Jude is explaining have rejected God's authority. They want to live their own lives apart from morality. God allows them to do just that, but still the judgment of Hell hangs over them. If they don't deal with that condition then when they die they will face the eternal fires of Hell, as Jude calls them.

Jude, Warning Dreamers to Face Reality (Verse 8)

Vic Batista: Looking at Jude verse 8, what I hope is that people will recognize the severity of the situation their eternal souls are in. We don't always mention Hell in our churches. That is not our main focus even in this study. But, the Bible does speak about an eternal fire that's waiting for all those who die without their sins forgiven and their punishment exonerated by Jesus Christ.

Verse 8 speaks to us why this judgment came about, right? "Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries."

Nathan Jones: Right, people are destined to go to Hell as long as they continue to reject the authority of God. There is an order to the universe. God created it. God is in charge of it. He's the owner of it. He sets the rules. He's not a terrible task master, nor is He trying to burden us or hurt us. God loves us, for He wants to spend eternity with us. He even died for us and beat death by being resurrected so that we could be forgiven and come to salvation.

And yet, many people still refuse Christ's love. They don't want it. They want to hold onto their sin like some rusty old penny. They don't want to accept the billions of treasures that are the spiritual riches of God, so instead they hold onto the sin in their lives. They want to be in control, but such control is an illusion, because they are still headed down that road to Hell. That is the destination of all those who reject salvation, sadly.

Vic Batista: That is right, Nathan. Jude verse 8 again reads, "Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries." We find that people have lots of issues with authority, whether that authority is pastors and ministers, or civic leaders, the police and government. Such anarchy is also a sign of the spirit of the Antichrist.

Nathan Jones: Remember when we were kids we would say, "Dream on. Dream on"? And that is what these people are doing. They've convinced themselves that they're going to wink out of existence when they die. They hope they'll be annihilated. Or, they misguidedly believe they can talk God into letting them get into Heaven. Or, they cling to the false conception that there is no Heaven and they'll just become one with the cosmic universe. They "dream on." They are dreamers.

God gave us the Bible to tell us exactly what reality is. People reject that divine knowledge. They "dream on." Sadly, they are willingly missing the purpose of life. By rejecting the authority of God, they reject the very lifeline to eternal life. That is so tragic.

Vic Batista: That is sad, because such self-deluding dreams will soon turn into a nightmare for anyone who dies without Christ.

Nathan Jones: Yes, that dream will become a nightmare, but people can avoid that nightmare by submitting to God's authority. That can be hard to submit to, for the sin nature in us burns with rebellion. But, remember that God loves you so much that He sent His own Son to die so that you could have that freedom.

To accept Jesus as your Savior and so be forgiven of your sins, pray from your heart something like, "Dear, Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and be my Savior." Jesus promises that He will forgive you of your sins. He will give you a brand new life here on earth, and He will give you the promise of life with Him everlasting. No longer will you be under the judgment of Hell. You have been saved from it.

In the seventh segment of our study of the book of Jude, we'll look the world from a spiritual warfare perspective.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Prophetic Book of Jude: Reminding of Judgment on Fallen Angels (Verse 6)

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

What is the inevitable destiny of Satan and his demons?

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, Reminding of Judgment on Fallen Angels (Verse 6)

Nathan Jones: In Jude verse 6 we read, "And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day."

This verse is about the judgment involving the angelic beings who once served up in Heaven but then joined in Satan's rebellion. A third of these angels rebelled against God, led by Lucifer whom we now know as Satan. They held these wonderful positions of authority, but they abandoned their proper dwelling, meaning Heaven, to rebel against God. God since putting down the rebellion has kept many of these demons in darkness and bound many of them with everlasting chains until their final judgment on the great day called the Great White Throne Judgment.

While the Bible states that there is actual demonic activity happening across the planet, quite a number of the fallen angels have been bound in chains. I don't know why these particular demons are bound in chains. Maybe they are particularly worse? Some 200 million of them are bound until they are released during the Tribulation to become a horrific judgment on mankind. At that time these 200 million demons will be released from their chains and the pit they've been cast in to inflict pain upon the world for five long months. These demons are the ones possibly that Jude is referring to in verse 6.

How interesting that angels have a free will to choose God or not. The result was that a third of the celestial angels chose to reject their Creator.

Vic Batista: That really goes to show the sovereignty and power of God. The power that we Christians have in the name of Jesus Christ to bind fallen angels is by the power of God. I'm so glad that the Lord is on our side!

Nathan Jones: This goes back to what you said about Jude writing in verse 5, "I want to remind you." We forget that there is a spiritual battle going on behind world events today. We see ISIS marching across the Middle East slaughtering and murdering and setting on fire and beheading all in their path, particularly Christians. Such behavior is clearly demonic. There's spiritual warfare behind that movement.

In politics as well there is a spiritual war being waged. Satan has control of the earth right now and his demons are over all the nation of the world. So, when we see crazy things happening in government, we know that there's also a spiritual battle going on behind it as well. We have to be reminded of that now and again when the world appears to be spinning out of control.

Vic Batista: That's why I want to encourage everyone to pray earnestly. The focus of these attack will be against ministries in particular that are trying to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and His soon return. Spiritual warfare is why life has become so difficult for Christians.

Nathan Jones: Exactly! We can easily see the persecution of Christians and Jews by the world system. Even though many of the Jews don't all believe in God, they are still under the promises of God. The whole world hates the Christian and the Jew, and you've got to wonder why. Such loathing is unnatural. Sure the Muslims and the Buddhists and the Hindus kind of fight with each other, but there is nothing like their hatred of the Christian. Such disproportionate hatred proves that it's spiritual in origin. The hate is proof that spiritual warfare is being waged, because Satan hates the true representatives of God. Satan also hates the Jews, for their race will one day represent God during the Millennial Kingdom, and so Satan is trying to wipe them out in order to thwart God's plans.

Vic Batista: We also feel that spiritual warfare in our personal lives. That is why marriages are so much under attack. Christian homes are falling apart. Attacks on the foundational family structure is part of this spiritual warfare and it affects everyone of us.

Nathan Jones: Vic, have you have read C.S. Lewis' book The Screwtape Letters? It's a fascinating book that C.S. Lewis wrote from the viewpoint of a demon. The characters are one professor demon teaching a student demon how to destabilize all of God's works.

Screwtape says sin is like water that's seeped into the cracks in the pavement, that when it freezes swells and cracks the pavement even more, breaking it apart. Likewise, sin gets into little bits of our lives here and there and then adds a little more sin here and a little more sin there, and like water turning into ice the sin swells and cracks the pavement of our faith. That's what Satan is trying to accomplish.

As a matter of fact, C.S. Lewis had to stop writing The Screwtape Letters because he was getting physical sick from writing about Satan's deplorable methodology. But, what Lewis wrote was true. Satan works in the background. These spiritual forces are constantly at work trying to tear down the Christian's faith and make us useless in our service to the Lord.

Vic Batista: The Enemy works secretly and tries to tear us down slowly.

In the sixth segment of our study of the book of Jude, he'll remind us in verse 6 that the wicked will inevitably be judged.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Prophetic Book of Jude: Reminding of Judgment on the Unfaithful (Verse 5)

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

Will God really destroy those who refuse to believe in Jesus Christ?

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, Reminding of Judgment on the Unfaithful (Verse 5)

Vic Batista: We are continuing on with our study of the prophetic book of Jude as we talk about contending for the faith and divine warnings. So far this study has led us on a wonderful journey through the book "chapter-by-chapter," verse-by-verse, even though it's only one chapter long!

Nathan, in a previous segment you took us through verses 1-4 about contending for the faith. Jude warns us that there will be individuals who are going to be creeping into our churches and ministries unnoticed for the purpose of introducing apostasy. Long ago they were marked out by God to face condemnation. These would be ungodly men who turn the grace of God into lewdness and deny the only God, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Church bears witness right now to this very happening, as false prophets and false teachers are coming into our congregations bringing in all sorts of heresies.

Nathan Jones: Jesus foretold in Luke 21 and Matthew 24 that false prophets, false teachers, and false christs would multiply the closer we came to Jesus' return. They are trying to water down the Gospel Message to confuse people so they don't really know about the biblical Jesus and that He's coming back soon.

To recap, Jude was the brother of James, a child of Mary and Joseph, and half-brother to Jesus. He came to accept the fact that his half-brother, Jesus, was actually the Son of God only after Jesus' resurrection.

As one of the leaders of the Early Church, Jude started warning his people that false teachers were going to come into their churches and they were going to deny Jesus Christ. These wolves in sheep's clothing would tell the people to just live however they wanted. God's moral law shouldn't matter to them. Their purpose in doing this was to get the people to not follow Jesus Christ, but in truth to follow Satan away from God. Satan knows that his time on this earth is short, so he's going to take as many people down to Hell with him as he can before his time finally runs out. Satan achieves this often by infiltrating the Church with false teachers who try to redirect seekers from the biblical Jesus and pull Christians away from their faith in God.

Vic Batista: Jude will now relay some divine warnings from God in verses 5-8. Nathan, continue to take us through this journey through the book of Jude.

Nathan Jones: Just a reminder that the book of Jude is only one chapter long. The whole book is pretty much a letter written by Jude to Christians, specifically for his own congregation.

"Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling — these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings."

Vic Batista: That's an amazing number of biblical references from the Old Testament.

Nathan Jones: Jude in this section gives us a number of real life examples concerning those he just warned us about in verse 4. He's talking about the lewd men trying to infiltrate the churches in order to destroy them. These ungodly people pervert the grace of God and they deny Jesus Christ. They've been around with true believers since the beginning of time like tares among the wheat.

The first "lewd man" is Satan himself. He was there in the Garden of Eden tempting Adam and Eve. Ever since Satan there have been different people and groups of people trying to destroy people's faith in God.

The first example Jude gives us is from Exodus when God sent Moses to bring His people out of slavery in Egypt. Even though God delivered all the Jews out of Egypt, there were quite a number of them who continue to be rebellious against God, such as Korah who lead a rebellion. He was one of the many who continued to rebel against God, and so God destroyed many of them. As a matter of fact, by the time the entire race of Jews reached the Promise Land some 40 years later, an entire generation had died out due to their rebellion. God knows how to weed out the tares from the wheat, so to speak.

Vic Batista: All the way throughout the Old Testament to the New Testament, there are divine warnings from the Lord. God gives His people reminders. Like verse 5 says, "I want to remind you." We humans easily forget what happened in the past, right?

Nathan Jones: That's true. We have to be reminded quite a lot.

It's of interest that Jude points out in verse 5, "afterwards destroys those who do not believe." Belief is always the key factor. Faith in God is the key factor for deliverance, for being saved, and for being rescued from the wrath of God. The wrath of God fell upon the Jews for their unbelief in the desert on their journey to the Promise Land. A whole generation, other than Joshua and Caleb, died.

In the fifth segment of our study of the book of Jude, he'll remind us in verse 6 that fallen angels will inevitably be judged.