Let us worship God. The Lord is nigh onto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him. He also will hear their cry and will save them. Oh, thou that hearest prayer, onto thee shall all flesh come.
RJ Rushdoony (00:29):
Let us pray. Oh Lord, our God, we come onto thee, mindful of the greatness of our need. We do need thee every hour. We pray, our Father, that thou wouldst work in us that which thou pleasest, and give us grace to rejoice in thee even though thy will confounds our will. Make us joyful in thy word, that by thy Spirit we may behold wondrous things out of thy law. Guide us all the days of our life, and to faithfulness, and to joyful service, and to communion and community in Christ. In his name we pray. Amen.
RJ Rushdoony (01:42):
Our scripture this morning is Jude verses 8 through 16. Our subject, righteous judgment. Jude 8 through 16. “Likewise, also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the Archangel when contending with the devil, he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke thee.’ But these speak evil of those things which they know not, but what they know naturally as brute creatures, in those things they corrupt themselves.”
RJ Rushdoony (02:48):
“Woe onto them, for they have gone the way of Cain and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity. When they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear, clouds they are without water, carried about of winds, trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots. Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame. Wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.”
RJ Rushdoony (03:42):
“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord cometh with 10,000 of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.’ These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts, and their mouth speak great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.”
RJ Rushdoony (04:43):
Irreverence is the scene Jude now sites as basic to the ungodly. In fact, in particular the sin of those who pretend to be true believers and are not. In verse 8, the Authorized Version reads, “Filthy dreamers,” and filthy is italicized, which means it is not in the Greek original. But the word as used here implies a loss of reality of a sinful nature. Their dreaming or false imagination, a fallen imagination leads to first a contempt of the flesh or of man’s humanity. They want to see man as far more than man.
RJ Rushdoony (05:48):
Second, they despise dominion. Dominion, kyriotes, from the word Lord, kurios in the Greek, refers to angelic offices in a number of passages such as Ephesians 1:21, Colossians 1:16, and 2 Peter 2:10. These alien peoples in the church want authorities other than the God-given ones.
RJ Rushdoony (06:24):
Third, dignities refers to other authorities in the biblical scheme of things, and they are despised by these enemies of the faith who speak evil of them.
RJ Rushdoony (06:42):
In verses 9 and 10, we find a clear statement about the use of language which ties in very clearly with what James had to say about the tongue. When the Archangel Michael was contending with the devil about the body of Moses, and we know nothing about that episode, he did not dare make a railing accusation against the devil simply saying, “The Lord rebuke thee.”
RJ Rushdoony (07:18):
Judgment is the prerogative of God. Where God empowers us and requires us to render judgments, then we can do so. Otherwise, like Michael, we leave it to God. Very clearly, judgment is to be exercised only as God permits it. Michael’s restraint here is very telling and instructive.
RJ Rushdoony (07:58):
It is a bit shocking for us in the namby-pamby 20th century to go back to the end of the first century and the beginning of the second at the time when the second generation of Christians and some of the first comprised the church. What we find was required at the communion service would make it virtually impossible for church members now to take communion, because they were plainly told that if you dislike anyone here in the fellowship of Jesus Christ and you think ill of them or you are critical of them, you cannot take communion. For God will bring his judgment upon you if you do.
RJ Rushdoony (09:10):
Now, that’s how strongly what Jude is talking about here was practiced by the early church. Not even Michael the Archangel could criticize Satan. It was God’s prerogative. God can condemn, and anyone whom God appoints through law abiding channels to give judgment has a right to give judgment, but no one else. Well, the Gnostic element in the church was especially discernible, because they were the fastest on the draw with a judgment about someone else.
RJ Rushdoony (10:04):
In verses 9 and 10, we find a clear statement about the use of language, which ties in clearly with what James had to say about the tongue. Michael’s restraint in these verses is very telling, very instructive.
RJ Rushdoony (10:36):
The enemies of Christ who are within the church are very ready to speak evil of those things which they know not. Their only source of knowledge is like that of animals, simply a physical one. They have no religious insight, and in their judgment on others they corrupt themselves. Quite a statement.
RJ Rushdoony (11:11):
We are all sinners saved by grace. But if we judge one another, what do we do? We corrupt ourselves Jude says, which is quite a statement. In verse 11, Jude says that such people run frantically and wildly and the very ways of Cain, Balaam, and Core. These three are examples of men who should have known the truth clearly, but were totally wedded to error by their sin. Cain is a type of unrighteousness, Balaam of deceit and covetousness, and Core of rebellion against godly authority. Such people are against all godly authority because they refuse to acknowledge any authority except their own.
RJ Rushdoony (12:18):
Can you imagine what would happen to most Bible believing churches today if they applied this standard or the standard of the early church and the generation after the apostles? You cannot partake if you harbor judgment and ill will towards anyone else and the fellowship of Jesus Christ.
RJ Rushdoony (12:55):
Well, all such are a blight on the church scene. Their presence at the church love feasts or dinners is an ugly one. Apparently they fed themselves gluttonously, although unwilling to help. They were clearly like clouds without water. They were unfit to be regarded as at all giving nourishment. They were like a drought in the church. They were also, verse 12 tells us, dead trees without fruit, twice dead because rootless. The reference defeating themselves without fear is to Ezekiel 34 versus 2 and 8. As pretended leaders, they were to feed the flock, not to be parasites on it, which they were. In their self-importance, they felt entitled to whatever they wanted.
RJ Rushdoony (14:19):
I’m reminded, one man I knew when I was a student at the university who later went into the ministry of a very prestigious church. One of the first things he did was to have his secretary pass out to all the members a list of the things he wanted for Christmas. Before purchasing, they were to check with the church secretary and make sure that no one else had reserved that as their presence. I’m happy to say that his misconduct in time put him out of the priesthood.
RJ Rushdoony (15:21):
In verse 13, Jude continues his description of these pretenders to the faith and their false claims to wisdom. They are comparable to raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame. They are thus a troublesome hindrance to the church. They are also like wandering stars to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. The reference is to dead heavenly bodies, lifeless and barren, which are visible in the sky but useless.
RJ Rushdoony (16:10):
That’s an interesting verse to me, because it tells you a great deal about the ability at observation of people at that time. There are not too many people now who can identify the planets and the stars at night, but in those days people could identify all the planets and hundreds upon hundreds of stars. They could even discern, and this is what the verse refers to, that here and there it had to be some kind of dead asteroid or a star that was hurtling through space. Of course there were no urban lights at night to cut the night vision and in summertime people slept the flat roof tops, and it was easy to learn the sky at night.
RJ Rushdoony (17:30):
Then in verses 14 and 15, Jude refers to a statement by Enoch, the seventh from Adam, who prophesied of these saying, “Behold, the Lord cometh with 10,000 of his saints to execute judgment upon all and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed and of all their hard speeches, which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
RJ Rushdoony (18:15):
At this point, it is important to call attention to the fact that in verse 9 we have a reference to Michael, which appears only in an apocryphal work, The Assumption of Moses. Here in verses 14 and 15 a reference to Enoch, which appears in the book of Enoch, both apocryphal books. Was Jude quoting from them, or rather was not Jude citing two historical statements which were well known and used by apocryphal writers also? We know that the apocryphal so-called gospels did quote from the legitimate ones. Jude was citing a source used by others as well.
RJ Rushdoony (19:06):
Jude then summarizes his views of these heretics. “These are murmurers,” he says in verse 16, “Complainers, walking after their own lusts, and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having man’s persons in admiration because of advantage.” Their priorities are all man centered.
RJ Rushdoony (19:40):
One scholar, J.E. Huther, noted that Jude depicts these intruders as teachers of the worst sort and as destructive in nature. To quote him, “These words indicate their emptiness and the fact that being thus empty, they are born long anywither and consequently are unsafe to follow,” unquote. Interesting that quotation because of the use of a word we no longer use, anywither. Anywhere we would say. But at any rate, these are men whose goal is personal advantage.
RJ Rushdoony (20:37):
At this point, it is important to contrast what Jude says here with what Michael said to Satan in verses 9 and 10. Michael says to Satan simply, “The Lord rebuke thee,” whereas Jude very bluntly condemns the false teachers with strong language. We must recognize that Jude could do this, because Jude by inspiration is speaking for God. God himself is rebuking these Gnostic teachers. Jude’s words are more than his own. We even more than Michael must watch our tongue.
RJ Rushdoony (21:35):
Jude calls attention to the evil character of these false leaders. First they are grumblers, complainers whose pretends to greater holiness is based upon their supposed sensitivity. Nothing pleases them against themselves.
RJ Rushdoony (21:59):
If you were to go back and read the surviving writings of these Gnostics, both those in the church and outside the church, and they both sounded the same, you would be amazed at their pretentiousness and their stupidity. They were deluging everyone with super scientific, super philosophical terminology that very few would ever be able to follow and overwhelming them with their supposed wisdom.
RJ Rushdoony (22:43):
Second, then these false leaders are malcontents whom nothing pleases, because they believe nothing and they are determined to bring down the truth, to bring down the faith. Third, their soul guide is there a passionate love of advantage. We must conclude then righteous judgment as our Lord said in John 7:24 is necessary. It must be exercised by the leaders of a community and only upon due occasion by the members also.
RJ Rushdoony (23:44):
Let us pray. Our Father, we give thanks unto thee for thy words through thy servant Jude. We would pray that thou wouldst burn these words upon our hearts, mind, and being. That our speech may be godly speech, that our tongue may be controlled by our faith. Guide us in the way that we should go, speak to us the word that we need, and make us strong in thy truth. In Christ’s name. Amen.
RJ Rushdoony (24:47):
Are there any questions now about our lesson? One of the curious things by the way about our text is that verse 15 is often cited by those who have a Rapture perspective, although the whole point is judgment upon those whose speech is ungodly and judgmental in unbiblical ways.
Speaker 2 (25:31):
What are the biblical ways? What are the biblical ways of that judgment?
RJ Rushdoony (25:40):
Of judgment? Yes. It has to be substantive, not personal. Too much of our judgment is because we don’t like people. One of the problems for example within many churches is that they are stratified along class lines, and you don’t fit in if you are not in the proper social situation.
RJ Rushdoony (26:25):
I recall, I’ve mentioned it once before I think, this pastor who earlier in this century in one of the major cities of the East, in New York in fact, found a lot of slum kids playing in the streets. The church was only a few blocks away, of course in a wealthy neighborhood. He rounded them all up and told them they could hear some fine stories, wonderful stories if they followed him. He took them to Sunday school, and the kids loved it. They’d never been inside a church before. He invited them to stay for church and hear him, and there’d be a story or two in his sermon, and so they stayed very happily.
RJ Rushdoony (27:32):
Afterwards, one matron told the pastor indignantly, and the man told me this story about 60-some years ago, that from where she was sitting very near the front, she could smell a distinct odor, which was true. The pastor said, “Indeed, yes. I could up there too. It was the odor of sanctity.” That type of thing has been too prevalent in the history of the church.
RJ Rushdoony (28:25):
Well, if there are no questions further, let us conclude with prayer. Our Father, we give thanks unto thee for this, thy word. Speak to us the word that we need. Give us grace to hear it and to grow in thy grace and in thy nurture. Guide us all the days of our life. Grant that we daily seek separation from our sins and shortcomings and growth in thee. Now go in peace. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost bless you and keep you, guide and protect you this day and always. Amen.