I live in a house at a particular address in rural Michigan in the U.S. An honest person would not claim to live at an address they did not reside or in a state or country to which they did not belong. My house is a quarter mile off the road, and about half way up the drive are my pole barns. I could sleep in the barn or the camper in the barn and never go the rest of the way up the drive or into the house and still claim the address. However, if I never entered the house, it would begin to fail from lack of service maintenance. It would rot from lack of preventive maintenance. One day it would completely collapse and disappear. If I did not actually “Live In” the house I claim, it would eventually cease to exist.
It is the same for those of us claiming to “Live In” God’s house. We can claim the address of Christianity, but if we do not reside in its house then that Christianity will be no more than an empty address. Today, most claiming Christianity are happy to claim the address but sleep in the barn. They don’t want the commitment associated with actually living there. Assuming that does not describe you, let’s look at what the manual, particularly Jude, says the place we are to “Live In” looks like and what it doesn’t.
Usually, I let you show your desire for God by looking up the Scripture yourself. Occasionally, I supply the verse of reference to keep the thought flow going. In this post I will supply the whole book of Jude for that same purpose. I want to walk through his words and their message smoothly, so I include the book at the end of the post.
Who is Jude that we should listen to his instruction? First, as it says in verse 1: “Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James.” Jude, however, didn’t just follow Christ as we do, he walked with Christ. Jude got his instruction directly from the source, Christ Himself. So, as no one alive today can make that claim, his will be the Truth we will be going with. On that note, Jude begins by warning us about allowing the “ungodly” to “Live In” our house with us: “For certain men have crept in among you unnoticed—ungodly ones who were designated long ago for condemnation.” As you will see in the words that follow, Jude is referring to men that claim God but deny Christ and His teachings. “They turn the grace of our God into a license for immorality, and they deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” He was talking about Jews who were trying to convince the Jews who had chosen to follow Christ to leave His house and return to “Live In” theirs.
Jude goes on saying I know you already know this, but I will remind you anyways. He reminds us of the Exodus (see R.U. Wandering?) pointing out the behavior and consequences of not living in Christ’s house. Jude even points to the Angels “who did not stay within their own domain, but abandoned their proper dwelling,” and how they were punished. He then compares that punishment to man’s and points to the example set out by God, “Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them.” Jude points out that, unlike some of the world teaches today, this was not a random, unattached event but a warning “on display as an example.” If you “Live In” a world of “sexual immorality and pursue strange flesh,” you are not “Living In” Christ’s instruction. You do not “Live In” obedience. And that is the question: Where Do You Live? Do you “Live In” obedience to God, Christ, and Scripture… or not? There is no in-between or sort-of.
In fact, this is the next thing Jude points out: they “defile their bodies, reject authority, and slander glorious beings.” He goes on to explain that those who “reject (the) authority” of Christ live “like irrational animals, they will be destroyed by the things they do instinctively.” This is how the “unbeliever” lives, but this is also where too many Christians also live. Too many who claim Christ as their residence actually “Live In” disobedience. They do not study, believe, and follow the words of the men like Jude, Paul, James, Peter and the rest who walked with and were taught directly by Jesus. These are the “ungodly” that creep into the True Christians’ house today. Unlike the Jews of Jude, these ungodly claim both God and Christ, but, just like them, they “Live In” a world of flesh, the physical world. They are driven by their carnal natures and personal desires. Because they “Live In” that world, they too, by their actions “deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” Jude states that if we do not “Live In” obedience then we “…have traveled the path of Cain (Gen 4); (we) have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam (Num 22); (we) have perished in Korah’s rebellion (Num 16).”
Jude’s description of those who claim God but “Live In” in this world is as accurate today as it was the day he recorded it: “…shepherding only themselves (self-centered). They are clouds without water, carried along by the wind (empty and shallow, easily misdirected); fruitless trees in autumn (producing nothing of value), twice dead after being uprooted (fruitless and removed from the source of life). They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame (showing their impurities on the surface); wandering stars (erratic), for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever (destined for obscurity).”
For those who truly wish to “Live In” obedience to Christ, the markers of disobedience are easy to identify. Jude names a few: R.U. a “discontented grumbler”? R.U. “following after (your) own lusts”? R.U. arrogant? Does your “mouth spew arrogance”? R.U. fake? R.U. good to others for what you can get out of it? Do U. “flatter others for (your) own advantage”?
Lastly, Jude tells us to “Live In” “your most Holy Faith” and by “praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God as you await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you eternal life.” He also tells us how, from that place, we are to look upon those around us. “And indeed, have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; and to still others, show mercy tempered with fear, hating even the clothing stained by the flesh.” But remember, as it says in verse 8: “even the archangel Michael, when he disputed with the devil over the body of Moses,” left the Rebuking to God. He stood up against the sin, but left the condemnation to the rightful Authority, God. We must do as Jude instructs and stand up for Truth both with those who claim God and those who don’t. We must act according to Christ’s instruction but leave the final judgement on condemnation to God.
Then Jude says goodbye, but even in that there is instruction. He ends his letter in Christ’s name, in word and description. He says Christ is the one “who is able to keep you from stumbling” (if you live in His house of course). He says: Christ is the only One who can and will “present you unblemished… to the only God” and that He will do so “with great joy.” Jude ends with two important declarations “to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord,” and the all important Scriptural theme too many pretend doesn’t exist: He Is “before all time, and now, and for all eternity.” Since God the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit are the same yesterday, today, and forever, and because with Him lies all “Dominion and Authority,” and because Jude got his instruction straight from the Source, Jude’s letter is applicable preceding creation (before all time), our day (now), and beyond our days (for all eternity).
Do any of the others who were taught by Christ himself agree with Jude that we must “Live In” obedience and That we must watch for “ungodly ones” creeping into the world we “Live In”? Do they describe what it is to “Live In” disobedience?
Romans 16:26 “but now revealed and made known through the writings of the prophets by the command of the eternal God, in order to lead all nations to the obedience that comes from faith.”
It is clear that by definition* Paul would be one of the New Testament prophets, and his letter to the Galatians is particularly relevant to the discussion Jude represents. Paul wrote to the Galatians over the same issue: Galatians 1:6,7 “I am amazed how quickly you are deserting the One who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is not even a gospel. Evidently some people are troubling you and trying to distort the gospel of Christ.” There are and always will be those both outside our house and those who have “crept in” our house who will try to get us to leave His house that we “Live In.” They point to the Gospel and obedience as a “curse,” while Scripture says the opposite is true. They outright ignore the blessings that Christ says obedience brings.
*Prophet: “An interpreter; one that explains or communicates sentiments.”
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
Galatians 1:9 “As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you embraced, let him be under a divine curse!”
Romans 8:5,8 “Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh; but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit… Those controlled by the flesh cannot please God.”
Galatians 5:16,17 “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh craves what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.”
Galatians 5:22,23 “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no Law.”
Galatians 5:19-21 “The acts of the flesh are obvious: adultery, sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and sorcery; hatred, discord, jealousy, and rioting; strife, sedition, heresy, envy and murder; intoxication, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Hebrews 10:26,27 “If we deliberately go on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins remains, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and raging fire that will consume all adversaries.”
As mentioned above, the world would have you believe that to “Live In” obedience is a curse, but Christ said different: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Let not your heart be troubled; neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27) All you need to know about the benefits of choosing to “Live In” obedience are contained in these few words from Christ. In the Old Testament the word used for this “Peace” was “shaw-lome;” in the New it is “eirēnē.”
shaw-lome (H7965) From H7999; safe, that is, (figuratively) well, happy, friendly; also (abstractly) welfare, that is, health, prosperity, peace
eirēnē i-rah’-nay (G1515) Probably from a primary verb εἴρω eirō (to join); peace (literally or figuratively); by implication prosperity: – one, peace, quietness, rest.
Christ says what He came to offer you is “Peace;” not the false peace that the world offers, but True Peace. If you follow Him and “Live In” obedience to the Spirit you will be safe, you will be happy, you will prosper. Follow Him and you will find quietness and rest. Christ’s words end with, “Let not your heart be troubled; neither let it be afraid.” But the original Greek word used was “may,” defined as “that not” or “lest” (G3361). In other words, “I offer you Peace that your heart will not be troubled and that you will not be afraid.” Is that a curse? I have spoken to you before about receiving this “Peace” since I have grown in my understanding of the Promise. This Peace has grown as I have learned to “Live In” or of the spiritual world and in but “Not Of” the physical. With the death of my mother I was at “Rest.” In the four years pursuing the potentially cancerous cause of continuing bad test results I have been “Happy.” I found “Quietness” when my wife was told she needed immediate open heart surgery. Three weeks later when she was told, “Never mind, there is nothing wrong with your heart. You have your health.” I had “Peace.” While the physical world piles on the medical bills from these events I know “Prosperity.” As I face another New Year beginning with the death of an immediate family member (Carla’s sister), my “heart is Not Troubled.” I look forward to an endless future “Living In” Christ’s house and I am “Not Afraid.” With this understanding you will find the Truth of which He spoke. You can find safety and prosperity that is of the physical world, but that is nothing to the Safety and Prosperity that Christ offers. When you “Live In” obedience, you will see that the wealthiest person of the world is a pauper compared to the Prosperity promised by Christ. (see Alignment, Faith & Authority)
So, I ask you again, as Jude and Paul and other prophets have: Where Do You Live? Do you “Live In” “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?” Do you know the reward of “Peace” Christ promised? Or do you “Live In” disobedience, in any, (James 2:10: “Whoever keeps the whole Law but stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”) in any of “The acts of the flesh…: adultery, sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and sorcery; hatred, discord, jealousy, and rioting; strife, sedition, heresy, envy and murder; intoxication, carousing, and the like.” And receive the real curse? Where Do You Live? You can continue to seek peace through a life “of the world,” or you can receive True Spiritual Peace by choosing to “Live In” Him.
© Scott A Caughel 1/7/2019
Greetings from Jude
1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,
To those who are called, loved by God the Father, and kept in Jesus Christ:
2 Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
God’s Judgment on the Ungodly
3 Beloved, although I made every effort to write you about the salvation we share, I felt it necessary to write and urge you to contend earnestly for the faith entrusted once for all to the saints. 4 For certain men have crept in among you unnoticed—ungodly ones who were designated long ago for condemnation. They turn the grace of our God into a license for immorality, and they deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
5 Although you are fully aware of this, I want to remind you that after Jesus had delivered His people out of the land of Egypt, He destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own domain, but abandoned their proper dwelling, He keeps under darkness, in eternal chains for judgment on that great day. 7 In like manner, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, who indulged in sexual immorality and pursued strange flesh, are on display as an example of those who sustain the punishment of eternal fire.
8 Yet in the same way, these dreamers defile their bodies, reject authority, and slander glorious beings. 9 But even the archangel Michael, when he disputed with the devil over the body of Moses, did not presume to bring a slanderous judgment against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 These men, however, slander what they do not understand, and like irrational animals, they will be destroyed by the things they do instinctively. 11 Woe to them! They have traveled the path of Cain; they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam; they have perished in Korah’s rebellion.
12 These men are the hidden reefs in your love feasts, shamelessly feasting with you but shepherding only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried along by the wind; fruitless trees in autumn, twice dead after being uprooted. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.
14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, also prophesied about them: “Behold, the Lord is coming with myriads of His holy ones 15 to execute judgment on everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of every ungodly act of wickedness and every harsh word spoken against Him by ungodly sinners.”
16 These men are discontented grumblers, following after their own lusts; their mouths spew arrogance; they flatter others for their own advantage.
A Call to Persevere
17 But you, beloved, remember what was foretold by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ 18 when they said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow after their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the ones who cause divisions, who are worldly and devoid of the Spirit.
20 But you, beloved, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God as you await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you eternal life.
22 And indeed, have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; and to still others, show mercy tempered with fear, hating even the clothing stained by the flesh.
24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you unblemished in His glorious presence, with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all time, and now, and for all eternity.