Friday, May 30, 2008

mapmyrun (2 miler)

The Contradiction of Ungodliness (4): Jude 14-15

14Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him."

In v14-15, Jude says that there is judgment coming. He quotes the book of Enoch, which is a pseudopigraphical book, meaning that Enoch didn’t write it. It was probably given his name hoping for more credibility, much like the Gospel of Thomas, or the Gospel of Judas. There are two thoughts on the book. First, it was possibly written and popular during the sub-apostolic period (say, 65-85 AD), that is, after many of the apostles died and their followers were leading the way. Second, it could have been an ancient book, surviving even the flood on the ark with Noah and popular among the Jews to this time period. Either way, it was likely a book that these false teachers would have used at this time to show their own authority. And Jude probably quotes it mocking them, showing that even their own “sacred text” rebukes them.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

mapmyrun (short route)

mapmyrun (shortest route)

mapmyrun (work)

Mapmyrun (long route)

mapmyrun (medium route)

The Contradiction of Ungodliness (3): Jude 11-13,16

11Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion. 12These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm--shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted--twice dead. 13They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever... 16These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.

Jude goes on a rampage against these false teachers in v11-13, which is similar to 2 Peter 2. We won’t focus on it all, but he gives more examples of their wicked ways, comparing them to more Old Testament examples of the same types of erroneous behavior we saw earlier – like that of Cain (they slander men more righteous than themselves), Balaam (they’re just trying to make a quick dollar), and Korah (they reject the authority God has placed over them). He says they’re fruitless, out to feed themselves, and they’re floating along the road to nowhere – to the forever-darkness reserved for them. Jude’s point in this section is that the false teachers are not living the life that a true teacher of sound doctrine would live. A person’s life shows a person’s heart. So take note of a teacher’s lifestyle, pay attention to how the teacher spends his money, and you’ll see his heart. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Finally, in v16, Jude, having taught that God will judge these false teachers, rebukes them once more with a series of adjectives describing their character flaws. Isn’t interesting that one of the most prominent things false teachers usually deny is the judgment of God? Yet we know that sound Biblical doctrine would never deny the judgment of God. Jude certainly doesn’t. And these false teachers will experience it in everlasting fullness – something we know nothing about. Repent and believe.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Contradiction of Ungodliness (2): Jude 8-10

8In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings. 9But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" 10Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals--these are the very things that destroy them.

In v8, Jude ties these examples from the Old Testament to the current situation of his audience by calling the false teachers “dreamers” who pollute their own bodies, like the folks of Sodom and Gomorrah, reject authority like the Israelites, and slander celestial beings, like the fallen angels. “By their fruits, you will know them.” These false teachers’ lives showed unbelief (rejecting authority), pride (slandering celestial beings), and immorality (polluting their own bodies), rather than pure faith, humility, and holiness, as true teachers’ lives should exude.

Jude then tells his audience about Michael the archangel. Michael – the greatest of angelic beings – in his dispute with the devil, did not engage in slanderous pride or unbelief or immorality. Rather he humbly obeyed God, appealing to Him to rebuke the evil one (Zechariah 3:2). Calvin says, “It is beyond controversy that Moses was buried by the Lord, that is, that his grave was concealed according to the known purpose of God. And the reason for concealing his grave is evident to all, that is, that the Jews might not bring forth his body to promote superstition. What wonder then is it, when the body of the prophet was hidden by God, Satan should attempt to make it known; and that angels, who are ever ready to serve God, should on the other hand resist him? And doubtless we see that Satan almost in all ages has been endeavoring to make the bodies of God’s saints idols to foolish men (referring to Catholic relics in altars). Therefore this Epistle ought not to be suspected on account of this testimony, though it is not found in Scripture… Michael dared not to speak more severely against Satan (though a reprobate and condemned) than to deliver him to God to be restrained; but those men hesitated not to load with extreme reproaches the powers which God had adorned with peculiar honors.”

And in v10, we learn that the false teachers spoke abusively against whatever they did not understand. I heard about a television preacher who said he was in a room when all of the sudden, a demonic force came in. The temperature of the room dropped dramatically and everything began to frost over. Even the furniture began to levitate. The preacher claimed to have addressed that spirit, telling him to get out, and he went out through the window. At that time the furniture fell back to the floor and the temperature returned to normal. But the preacher claimed then to have leaned out the window and said, “Come back here demon! I haven’t finished with you yet. Put that furniture back where you found it.” Now he thought that was very clever, and I’m sure it was impressive to some of his followers. But it seems to me that he engaged in slandering celestial beings, which is a sign of false teaching. It’s messing around with Biblical doctrine that ends up being, as Jude says in v10, the very things that destroy. Grace leads not to prideful immorality but to pure faith and humble obedience and holiness.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Contradiction of Ungodliness (1): Jude 5-7

The Contradiction of Ungodliness.

In v5-16 of his letter, Jude is dealing with the main characteristics of the false teachers who are troubling this local congregation to whom he is writing. And there are four distinct points in this section. First of all, in v5-7, he reminds us of three Old Testament examples of God’s judgment against the sins of the ungodly. Jude does this to diagnose the problem of the false teachers and to distance us from them; he wants us to see in the false teachers some of the very characteristics of these Old Testament people whom God had judged. That's what we'll look at today. Second, in v8-10, Jude summarizes the heart-attitude of these false prophets, and he contrasts it to the behavior of Michael the archangel. We'll notice that tomorrow. Then, thirdly, in v11-13 – though you can also see this again in v16 – Jude pronounces a woe against the false prophets, and he characterizes their character with nine, colorful illustrations. That will be the focus on Thursday. Fourth and finally, in v14-15, Jude expresses the certainty of God’s final judgment against all the wicked, but especially against these false prophets. We'll discuss that on Friday.

5Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered His people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. 6And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home - these He has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. 7In 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.

Jude says in v5 that his audience already knows the Old Testament truths of which he is about to remind them, that God’s just judgment of evildoers is a reality, as exhibited by the Old Testament examples he gives. The false teachers say, “I’ve got something new – a new revelation.” But Jude says along with the other apostles, “I’ve got something old – the unchanging but living and active Word of God.” And this message hits home with us. When we study Scripture, there’s never anything new. We’re learning the same stuff that the Christians before learned. We don’t get any new truths, and if anyone tries to teach something they claim is new – like the Pentecostal movement of the early 1900’s or the Dispensationalism of the same time period – then that’s a warning to be on guard. So Jude reminds his audience of three ancient events that remind his audience to hold fast to sound doctrine: The Israelites in the wilderness, the fallen angels who followed Satan, and the situation of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

In v5, the Israelites in the wilderness were destroyed because of unbelief and disobedience. In v6, the angels who followed Satan are bound in darkness with everlasting chains, because they did not keep their place. In pride and arrogance, they sought a position or station that God had not granted them – like Satan, perhaps they wanted God’s glory. And in v7, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were burned up by fire from heaven due to their immorality – sexual perversion. The message is that God’s grace must lead to faith rather than unbelief, humility rather than pride, and holiness rather than immorality.