In this epistle, John expressed concern over apostate influences in the Church. This rejoicing illustrates the joy and gratitude that Church leaders, both ancient and modern, feel for those who remain faithful to the Lord. We do not know the location of its composition. In this epistle John warned about false teachers who had entered into the Church. John warned Church members not to heed or befriend these individuals.
He warned of antichrists. John rejoiced that he found the children of the elect lady walking in truth and following the gospel of Jesus Christ. John was not suggesting that the Saints should fail to extend common courtesy to those who taught contrary doctrines. However, since early Christian congregations gathered to worship in the homes of Church members, traditional customs of hospitality could inadvertently enable heretical teachers to infiltrate congregations.
President M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles warned modern Church members not to associate with deceivers and antichrists operating in our day:. They reject the need for a Savior. In this brief epistle, John praised Gaius, a Church member who was loyal during a time of rebellion against Church leaders. John also warned Gaius about one Diotrephes, who may have held a local leadership position in the Church or perhaps was the host of a local house-church congregation.
John praised Gaius, who was charitable to men who spoke the truth. He warned Gaius about Diotrephes, who sought for power and refused to take in Church leaders when they visited. Diotrephes was apparently either a leader in a local branch or the host of a house-church. Traditionally the author has been understood to be Jude the half-brother of Jesus Christ see Matthew ; Mark Though Jude does not appear to have held a prominent leadership position in the early Church, early Christians held his epistle in sufficient esteem to include it in the New Testament canon.
If this letter was indeed authored by Jude the brother of Jesus, it was probably written between A. The location of its composition is unknown. Jude cited scripture and Jewish apocryphal accounts to show how God had dealt in times past with individuals who openly opposed His work. McConkie noted several unique characteristics of Jude:. Jude encouraged his readers to defend the faith. Here Jude was referring to the faith that was taught originally by Christ Himself and then by His Apostles. President Wilford Woodruff —98 related how as a young man he had sought after the faith that had been taught by Jesus Christ and the Apostles:.
I learned verse after verse and chapter after chapter. It taught me that the organization of the Church consisted of Prophets, Apostles, Pastors and Teachers.
I believed in them; yet I had never heard them taught by any clergyman or divine upon the earth. I was quite young then. Why do you not contend for that religion that gives unto you power before God, power to heal the sick, to make the blind to see, the lame to walk, and that gives you the Holy Ghost and those gifts and graces that have been manifest from the creation of the world?
He was baptized just a few days later. Jude acknowledged the ongoing apostasy in the ancient Church as he described ungodly men who entered the ranks of the Church without the awareness of the members and then taught false doctrines see Jude Jude also gave the example of the angels in the premortal world who chose to rebel against God and follow Satan see verses 5—8. While serving as a member of the Seventy, Elder L. Even with the possibility of their eternal damnation, Heavenly Father would not take their agency from them.
To do so would be counter to eternal law. Sodom and Gomorrah were ancient neighboring cities located somewhere near the Dead Sea, probably at its southern end. Jude says that Michael the archangel disputed with the devil over the body of Moses. This non-canonical work presents the doctrine that Moses was translated and taken up into heaven without tasting death. Satan opposed the burial. From the Book of Mormon we learn that Moses was translated and taken into heaven without tasting death see Alma Apocryphal books like the Assumption of Moses are not included in the Bible because of their dubious authenticity or validity.
There are structure words that provide the framework for the material and content words that provide understanding. In preaching preparation you should pay attention to the repetition of words, phrases, and transitional words. After considering these broader issues of the book, we determine the purpose of the material. Why is Jude writing? What is his purpose? What is the rationale for his writing?
It is very easy to discover in the book of Jude since the third verse provides the purpose of the book. Jude is dealing with the subject of apostasy and with apostates. In fact, these words are not found anywhere in the New Testament. The words describe concepts clearly presented in the New Testament.
Jude is a book concerned with the subject of apostasy. It can be placed beside other books in the New Testament that also deal with apostasy. The idea of apostasy in the New Testament is tied closely with the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the period of Tribulation mentioned in the Scriptures.
The Greek word for apostasy is in the same word family as the word for divorce. When a couple divorces, what has happened? They have fallen away from one another. So apostasy is a departing from the faith or a falling away from the faith. An apostate, then, is someone who teaches apostasy. It is important to also consider the authorship of the book of Jude. The important question to consider is which Jude?
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First, it is suggested that this Jude was one of the twelve disciples, Jude the son of James, which of course is not Judas Iscariot see Luke ; Acts This option is not likely because the book of Jude seems to talk of the Apostles as if he is not one of them vs. A second option is that this Jude is the half-brother of Jesus see Mark ; Matt There are two arguments offered for why this view is not likely.
First, the Greek style is too good, though it is dangerous to suggest what people did or did not know in New Testament times. The preponderance of opinion, however, is that the author is Jude the brother of James and the half-brother of the Lord Jesus Mark According to this view, the letter was written by an unknown author who adopted the name of Jude and wrote pseudonymously.
This was a common practice in the literature in the New Testament days.
However, if you read 2 Thessalonians , the Apostle Paul disapprovingly mentions a letter circulating falsely under his name. The question is then raised, if Jude is a pseudonymous author, why did he not pick someone better known than Jude? We also need to consider the audience. He is not writing to a specific group of believers in a specific location. Jude describes these called ones as those who are sanctified, loved by God the Father, and preserved in or for Jesus Christ. There is some indication that Jude carried on an itinerant ministry.
The New Testament Epistles Are Letters to the Early Churches and Believers
This has led some to believe Jude is writing to believers in the places where he had preached and who were now affected by the problem of apostasy. The occasion and theme of the letter is also important to consider. Verse 3 very clearly addresses the occasion. There is an interesting difference of verb tenses in the text. His intention was to write a leisurely little letter about the common salvation.
Apparently something happened that then changed his plan. This occurrence was so serious and important that he said it was needful to write. This second Greek word is in the aorist tense and carries the idea of an inner compulsion.
The structure of Jude has all of the common elements of New Testament letters except the final greeting. The letter utilizes the rhetorical style of the day: exhortium, oratio, probatio, peroratio. This structure could be used in the sermon preparation, however, a simpler structure is thus: verses is the greeting, verses provide the theme, verses give evidences to support the theme, verses provide the summation of the argument, and, finally, verses burst forth into a doxology. The outline for the book of Jude is simply divided into three categories.
First, Jude provides words of explanation in verses This introduction, or words of explanation, consists of a greeting in verses and a warning in verses Second are words of exposition in verses There are some who say that the writers of the New Testament did not engage in Bible exposition; however, in saying so, they merely reveal their ignorance. When one considers the book of Jude, what is discovered is that there actually are two expositions.
Notes & Outlines
Two sermons are clearly placed in the middle portion of Jude. The expositions found in Jude are similar to a Jewish form of interpretation known as Midrash. This form was a genre of literature used in the time of the early church wherein the exposition, meaning, and application of Hebrew Scripture is provided. These interpreters expound a Scripture passage, apply that passage, illustrate that passage, and then apply it again. This is exactly what is in the middle portion of the book of Jude. The first of the two sermons is in verses First, he presents the children of Israel who came out of Egypt, went into the wilderness, and those who did not believe were destroyed.
The second event deals with the fallen angels. Third, he mentions the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
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His point is that God condemns apostasy collectively. Following these presentations of Old Testament apostasy Jude illustrates and applies. In the second sermon, Jude presents three Old Testament individuals as examples of apostates.
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As a pastoral aside, it is interesting to notice that Jude did not call any apostate by name who was alive, he only called the name of dead apostates. This is a good example to follow. The first apostate he mentions is Cain, next Balaam, and third, Korah.