Jude Warns Against Wicked Men Infiltrating
“HATE what is bad.” “Abhor what is wicked.” Why does God’s Word thus warn us? Because what is bad or wicked, while often promising us pleasure or mundane rewards, can turn us from following Jehovah’s righteous standards.—Ps. 97:10; Rom. 12:9.
All through Bible history God’s faithful spokesmen have expressed strong hatred for what is bad, wicked. One fine example of this is found in the brief Bible book of Jude.
Who was Jude? He speaks of himself as the brother of James; this James could be only the well-known James (of the latter part of the book of Acts), who was the half brother of Jesus. True, Jude does not speak of himself as Jesus’ half brother, even as James does not, and doubtless for the same reason, modesty. Too, Jude may have thought it unbecoming to claim fleshly relationship, since his half brother Jesus was now a spirit person in the heavens.
Jude’s letter is addressed to Christians who are called by God and who have a loving relationship with him. Most likely Jude wrote his letter in Jerusalem and before its destruction in 70 C.E., as he makes no reference to the event as having occurred. Moreover, since he evidently quotes from Peter’s second letter, it seems he must have written his letter about 65 C.E.
Jude is greatly incensed because certain wicked men have infiltrated into the Christian congregation, “ungodly men, turning the undeserved kindness of our God into an excuse for loose conduct and [so] proving false to . . . Jesus Christ.” (Jude 4) He then cites warning examples: the Israelites who perished in the wilderness because of their lack of faith; the angels who took on human form to cohabit with women, for which ‘God has reserved them with eternal bonds under dense darkness for the day of judgment’; and inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah who likewise practiced gross immorality and were destroyed.
These men who have sneaked into the Christian congregations are, not only very immoral, but also proud and rebellious. They disregard lordship and speak abusively of glorious ones in the Christian congregation. Even Michael the archangel did not dare to use abusive terms when disputing with the Devil over the body of Moses, but said, “May Jehovah rebuke you.”—Jude 9.
Continuing, Jude likens these to Cain, who murdered his righteous brother, to Balaam who greedily went after selfish gain, and to Korah who rebelled against Moses in the wilderness, only to be consumed by fire.
Waxing indignant, Jude describes these as treacherous rocks, hidden under the surface of the water; as clouds promising rain but being without water and as trees that were uprooted because of not bearing fruit. They are like wild waves of the sea, foaming up filth and are also like wandering stars, by which no sailor would dare set his course. He further brands or stigmatizes these malcontents as murmurers, complainers, as being motivated by selfish desires, speaking great swelling words, admiring personalities for self-gain, animalistic, having no spirituality. No question about Jude’s hating what is bad, and in doing good service to all Christians by alerting them against such wicked men.—Jude 11-13, 16.
Having thoroughly exposed these wicked ones and giving warning against them, Jude counsels faithful Christians to keep themselves in God’s love. How? By building themselves up in faith, by prayer and with the help of God’s holy spirit. He further counsels Christians to help those who may have doubts, so as to snatch them out of the fire, as it were, and also to help those whose conduct has been unclean, doing so, however, with fear, lest they be influenced in the wrong way.—Jude 17-23.
Jude mentions several incidents not recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures, such as Michael’s contending with the Devil over the body of Moses and Enoch’s prophecy. These facts he could have obtained by direct inspiration or it could well be that he had access to reliable sources apart from the Holy Scriptures, which contained Enoch’s prophecy. A parallel may be found in Paul’s reference to certain ones who withstood Moses, which persons are not mentioned in Exodus, and to certain words of Jesus not found in any of the Gospels.—Acts 20:35; 2 Tim. 3:8.
It might be said that never have Jude’s severe censures been more apropos than now when wickedness abounds and the love of many has grown cold. Because of not appreciating these facts, more than a few have turned the undeserved kindness of God into an excuse for unbridled conduct, or have succumbed to a spirit of rebellion. Truly these facts should impress all dedicated Christians to do their utmost to remain in God’s love and to be on guard against wicked men who may infiltrate the Christian congregation.