Hebrews, James, Peter, John, Jude

Southern Christian University

Lesson On II Peter #2 & Jude

James A. Turner


Read all the references, they will help you to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord


According to the reading of II Peter 2:16 the false teacher, had not come in, but he is foretelling that they will come in, and that many will follow their lascivious doings by reason which the way of truth will be evil spoken of, but he says their sentence from of old is established that just as surely as they go this course, God will judge them as terrible sinners.  Then for proof that God will judge the ungodly, he gives the three points.  In verse four, the angels that sinned were cast down and committed to the pits of darkness unto the judgment, and two he did not spare the ancient world in the days of Noah, but he spared Noah and the other members of his family; and three, he turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes and condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those that should live ungodly.  We will talk about that further when we get to Jude and read what Jude says about Sodom and Gomorrah. 


In verse seven, “and delivered righteous Lot, Sore distress by the lascivious life of the wicked: vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their lawless deeds."  They were very open with their lawless deeds, and Lot was vexed by their behavior every day.  The people were much like the gay community today that wants to demonstrate and let everybody know how great their life style is, and they must have been doing that in the city of Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities round about them.  Verse nine, "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment unto the Day of Judgment."  Those who died in disobedience to God are now in that bad part of the Haden world, and they are under punishment until the Day of Judgment; and then there will be eternal destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power (II Thessalonians 1:8).  Verse ten, "But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of defilement."  The way of the lust of the flesh is a way of disease and defilement. It looks like from Romans 1:24-27 that they must have had a bad disease back there.  "And despised dominion."  Think of those in our American society today that go the way of lust and defilement and despise any kind of authority today.  It is down with the police force, down with established religion, down with the sanctity of marriage, and on every hand, they are against any show of authority. 


So we have many today that have the same characteristics of these people that are described here. "Daring, self-willed, they tremble not to rail and dignities.  Where angels, though greater in might and power, bring not a railing judgment against them before the Lord.  But these, as creatures without reason."  They are human beings created in the image of God, but they have gone the wrong way so long until they act like brute creatures and dumb animals rather than human beings.  "Born mere animals to be taken and destroyed."  In other words, behaving like animals that just live primarily by instinct and to be taken and destroyed.  "Railing in matters whereof they are ignorant, and shall in their destroying surely be destroyed."  So you see he has defined them as they walk after the flesh and lust of defilement, and they trembled not the railing dignities.  And he says, "Shall in their destroying surely be destroyed."  "Suffering wrong doing as the hire of wrong doing, men that counted to pleasure to revel in the day time."  What is the difference between reveling in the daytime and reveling at night, both are wrong?  So why does Peter stress that these people are the kind of people that revel and do sinful things in the daytime? STUDENT:  Well, in the opening words, at night or whatever, they seem to have no secrets about it. BROTHER TURNER:  Okay.  Which means they have gone further in the way of sin, to the point that they feel no embarrassment.  In other words, they have seared their conscience so long until they think it is so great, like homosexuals that want to come out of the closet and declare to everyone that they are homosexual. 


Verse thirteen, about three years ago CNN put on several programs champing the cause of homosexuals. After millions of deaths by aids, and then they want more homosexuals in our American Society! Is that not conduct like dumb animals? "Suffering wrong is the hire of wrong doing, that count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime.  Spots and blemishes, reveling in their deceiving while they feast with you."  So they will be going among the people of God and trying to deceive them into thinking that they are among the Lord's people.  Here is another way they are described.  "Having eyes full of adultery; that cannot cease from sin."  They have gone that way so long until it has become a pattern of everyday living with them.  They are always lusting, and always adding to their lusting camp.  "Enticing unsteadfast souls:  Having a heart exercised in covetousness, children of cursing."  Again, the kind of men who would encourage, giving vent to all the lusts and passions of the flesh and also ready to teach what people want to hear for money.  They have a heart exercised in covetousness, children of cursing.  But notice they have been Christians.  "Forsaking the right way, they went astray."  If there was not another passage in all of the New Testament, this would show that that claim of once in grace always in grace, once a child of God, always a child of God is false doctrine.  Note that they were not born astray, but they went astray.


They had been Christians, but they had turned from the right way to the devil's way. Verse fifteen,  "Forsaking the right way, they went astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the hire of wrong doing.  But he was rebuked for his own transgression:  The dumb ass spake with a man's voice and stayed the madness of the prophet."  The prophet Balaam was so mad that he even talked back to his old ass.  But we will deal with Balaam in a few minutes when we deal with Jude.  "These are springs without water, and mists driven by storm; for whom the blackness of darkness have been reserved.  For uttering great swelling words of vanity, they entice in the lusts of the flesh, by lasciviousness, those who are just escaping from them that live in error."  They would be the ones that are usually the easiest to get hold of, those that have just become Christians, and making some progress in reformation. When a person is baptized, he is not a full-grown Christian when he comes up out of the water, and all those bad habits are still going to be coming up, so it would be easy for them to lead them back into ‑‑ especially in that Gentile society where they had been living such a life, it would be so easy for them to pull them back by telling them freedom in Christ gives us freedom to do whatever we want to do. Verse nineteen,  “promising them liberty while they themselves are bond servants of corruption. For whom a man is overcome of the same is he also brought into bondage." STUDENT:  The last part, if you would, of eighteen. BROTHER TURNER:  Of eighteen?  Those who were just escaping from them that live in error.  In other words, newborn babes in Christ.  They were promising them liberty like leaders of the so‑called new morality have been doing for how many decades?  About thirty now.  I have forgotten the name of one of the leaders back yonder who was speaking at a women's educational institution, he encouraged them that you are free to do whatever you want to do in regard to sex, that freedom in Christ, just gives you freedom to do whatever you want to do, and that is the kind of thing that these false teachers would do.  But like Peter and Paul said, with whom a man is overcome of the same is he brought into bondage.  Peter uses about the same words that Paul uses in the sixth chapter of Romans. 


Verse twenty, "For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled."  Now, entangled is not talking about a person that makes a mistake but gets up and tries again, but he is talking about the person that is really entangled in the wrong kind of living again.  And he says the last statement is worse than the first.  He says, "For it's better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered unto them  It has happened unto them according to the true proverb, “The dog is turned to his own vomit again."  (Proverbs 26:11)  But the other part is not there.  "And the sow that had washed to her wallowing in the mire."  It is nauseating to us to watch a dog to return to its vomit! How then does God feel when a child of God is entangled in sin again?


NT 4414A Hebrews, James, Peter, John, Jude

Southern Christian University

Lesson On Jude

James Turner


Read all the references, they will help you to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.”


Now, I think this is an appropriate time for us to turn over to the book of Jude and read it.  There is general agreement on the part of those that have written commentaries ‑‑ maybe a few exceptions, that the author Jude is one of the half brothers of Jesus.  We are ready to read from the book of Jude.  Remember Matthew thirteen beginning with verse fifty‑five gives the names of the brothers and in that listing, there is a Judas, and he is generally thought to be the author of this epistle.  And if that be the case, notice that the salutation is very appropriate because he says, "Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James."  That  identifies him with James the Lord's brother.  And when the New Testament writers like Peter and Paul say a servant of God and Jude says a servant, that word servant means bond servant, meaning they have been bought (I Corinthians 6:19-20) “and ye are not your own; for ye were bought with a price; glorify God therefore in your body.”  So a Christian does not belong to himself, he has been bought and redeemed from sin by the blood of Christ, and he is to say no to self.  Jesus says, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me (Matthew 16:24).” Jude is saying that he is a bondservant of Jesus Christ.  Remember that John 7:1-5 shows that a short time before the cross the earthly brothers of Jesus did not believe that he was the Christ, but seemingly the cross made all the difference.  And the Lord appeared to James during that forty‑day period and made him an apostle, and here another one of his brothers writes one of the New Testament epistles.  "To them that are called, (called by the gospel in obedience to Christ) beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ; mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied."  Notice that the following verses show that Jude is writing sometime later than Peter.  Peter was foretelling that false teachers would creep in privily and the kind of false teachers they would be as described in that second chapter of Peter, and here Jude was ready to write a letter to them, an epistle about their common salvation in Christ when he was constrained to write a different epistle as stated here in verses three and four.  "Beloved, while I was giving all diligence to write unto you of our common salvation, I was constrained to write unto you exhorting you, to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints.  For there are certain men crept in privily, even they who were of old written of beforehand unto this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ."  Now, Peter warned that such men are coming and they will come in privily, and so they have come in; and Jude changes his plans to write to them and warn them about these false teachers and to tell them to contend earnestly for the faith which was once and for all delivered unto the saints.  Of course, that does not mean that all of the books of the New Testament had been written when Jude wrote.  All of John's books come later, but when a message from an inspired writer is given, it is given once and for all time.  Remember Jesus told the apostle Peter that, “whatsoever thou shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven,” and of course, that applied to all the apostles.  When the Holy Spirit spake through them that was God's law that was delivered once and for all, never to be changed.  Peter mentioned three things to show that these ungodly teachers are under the wrath of God,  and Jude mentions three things.  Peter mentions about the angels that sinned being cast down, and the flood, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  And one difference with Jude, Jude mentions that the people that God brought out of Egypt, he destroyed them that believed not.  Verse five, "Now I desire to put you in remembrance, though ye know all things, once for all that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not." 


The people as a whole had grumbled and murmured against Moses and Aaron, and when they were murmuring against them, they were murmuring against God. When it was time for them to go into the land of Canaan, you remember that the spies were sent out, and ten of the spies told the people what they wanted to hear that there were giants in the land, they could not take the land.  And God had made promise after promise to them that he would drive them out, but, anyway, when they rebelled and would not go into the land, God caused those people to wander for thirty-eight more years in the wildness.  It had already been about two years, and they finished out forty years, during which time all of those men of war above twenty years of age fell in the wilderness.  That is surely what Jude is talking about.  If you turn back and read from Numbers 14:26-38, God talks about how that those who had rebelled against him these ten times, that they would not go into the land, but it would be their children that would go in and inherit the land. 


Numbers 14:26 ff reads, "And the Lord said unto Moses and Aaron, how long shall this wicked congregation murmur against me?  I have heard the murmurings of the people of Israel, which they murmur against me."  They counted themselves murmuring primarily against Moses and Aaron.  "Say to them, as I live, says the Lord, what ye have said in mine hearing, I will do to you:  Your dead body shall fall in this wilderness; and all of your numbered, numbered from twenty years old and upward, who have murmured against me, not one shall come into the land, where I swear that I would make you to dwell, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.  But your little ones, who ye said would become a prey, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.  But as for you, your dead body, shall fall in the wilderness.  And your children shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and shall suffer for your faithlessness, until the last of your dead bodies lies in the wilderness."  Think how the children suffered so unnecessarily by all of those years of wandering in the wilderness, and that is what Jude is talking about.  God led them out of Egypt and promised them the land of Canaan, that he would drive out the nations before them and give them the land, but they did not have enough faith in God to go in when he was ready for them to go in.  And all those above twenty years of age died during that period of wandering.  Deuteronomy 2:14 reads, “And the time spent from our leaving Kadesh-barnea  (from where the spies were sent) until we crossed the brook Zered was thirty-eight years, until the entire generation, that is, the men of war, had perished from the camp, as the Lord had sworn to them.” 


Jude also mentioned angels.  "And angels that kept not their own principality."  They evidently tried to exalt themselves from the principality that God had given them.  They were free moral agents,  "but left their proper habitation, he hath kept in everlasting bonds under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."  Peter says he cast them down, and they are reserved for the Day of Judgment, but Jude’s is a little different, but the wording of Jude means the same thing.  "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them having in like manner with these, giving themselves over to fornication, and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire."  In verse seven Jude is giving one of the primary reasons why God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around about Sodom and Gomorrah.  They had given themselves over to fornication and had gone after strange flesh.  What is meant by giving themselves over to fornication and gone after strange flesh? 


What is meant they are gone after strange flesh? STUDENT:  Unnatural habits. BROTHER TURNER:  Unnatural sex, perverted sex is the meaning of it, and we learn from Genesis nineteen and Judges chapter nineteen and twenty about how sinful perverted is. There are at least five passages that you need to remember.  This is something that needs to be dealt with today, because it's so prevalent in our society. The latter part of the first chapter of Romans tells us that God gave up the Gentile people as a people, because they were ready to exchange the truth of God for a lie and worship and serve the creatures rather than the creator and other things mentioned by Paul; that God gave them up to their vile passions, that men burned in lust for men and the women did likewise.  The Gentile people had become so wicked that he gave them up. God let them go and did not try to discipline them to the point that he had in former days, and he let them go. 


In verse seven Jude is telling why God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.  And Genesis nineteen tells about the angels going out into the streets in Sodom.  Do you remember, from the eighteenth chapter of Genesis how the three angels appeared to Abraham, and one of them was Christ himself.  He stayed behind and talked to Abraham, and two of the angels went on to Sodom.  The two angels were out in the street of Sodom where they would be if they needed a place to stay.  No one had taken them into their house until Lot saw them, and Lot was ready to provide for them and took them into his house. 


What did the men of Sodom then do? STUDENT:  Knocking on the door. BROTHER TURNER:  Yes, they went knocking on the door and commanded Lot to “bring them out to us that we may know them.”  Lot was ready to give them his two virgin daughters instead, but they did not want the virgin daughters, they wanted the men!  They said this man came in to sojourn among us, and he thinks he is going to be a judge, and they thought they were going to break the door down and take the men; and the angel struck them blind.  So they were homosexuals, and they were living in the open.  They wanted everybody to know about their wrong lifestyle.  In Judges chapters nineteen and twenty, we read about the Levite who was dwelling in the territory of the tribe of Ephraim, and his concubine left him and went back to Bethlehem.  After four months, he decided he would go after her, and his father‑in‑law was glad to see him and persuaded him to stay a number of days, and finally he left late in the afternoon.  He had a servant with him, and they came to the city of the Jebusites, they were foreigners, and the servant wanted them to turn in and spend the night there; but he said no, we will go on to Gibeah or one of the other cities that belonged to the people of Israel. 


They went on to Gibeah a city of the tribe of Benjamin, and those men of the tribe of Benjamin, they did the same thing.  They wanted to have sex with the men that had come.  And the old gentleman from the tribe of Ephraim that had taken them in tried to persuade them not to, and finally the man put his concubine out and they sexually abused her all night, and the next morning she was lying dead at the door steps.  The man put her on his ass and carried her home, and when he got home and cut her up into twelve parts and sent part of her to each tribe to let them know what had happened.  And Israel mobilized all the tribes, except the tribe of Benjamin they assembled to decide what to do about the matter.


The man spoke of it, and said, they have done an abomination to the Lord.  With God's consent, all the other tribes went to war against the tribe of Benjamin and almost wiped out the tribe, they killed all the men of the tribe except six hundred men.  Well, they first called on them to deliver up the homosexuals and they would not do it, and then they made war against them.  So with God's consent, they nearly destroyed a tribe because of homosexuality in the tribe of Benjamin.  And a few of our congressmen are ready to affirm it is just a different lifestyle, it does not make any difference.  In Leviticus chapter twenty and verse thirteen, it says if a man sleeps with a man as with a woman, they have committed an abomination.  Leviticus 20:13, "If a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed an abomination:  They shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."  That is what the law said, that they will be put to death. 


The Bible teaches that fornication and adultery is wrong, and any person that commits fornication or adultery will go to devil's hell if they do not repent, but nowhere is fornication or adultery spoken of as an abomination unto the Lord.  So, again, perverted sex is a farther step into sin, and we are surely living in the day when it looks like many of the societies of the world are becoming much like the Gentile society back there when God gave them up to their vile passions.  It is a terrible thing on our society today. Well, do you think the nature of God has changed?  Is God winking at it today?  No, God has not changed.  If it was abomination then and was, it is an abomination to the Lord today.  And notice that Peter and Jude said that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them, and Jude says, “because they had given themselves over to fornication and gone after strange flesh  And both of them emphasize that they were set forth as an example, Peter says for those who would live ungodly, and Jude says for an example suffering the punishment of eternal fire.  In other words, those who die living in such a way that they will receive the punishment of eternal fire.  And God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and turning them into ashes is what he will do to such ungodly men in the Day of Judgment. 


Jude then describes these and some of his descriptions are very similar to what Peter gives.  And some are ready to say that Jude copied Peter or Peter copied Jude.  Well, if both are inspired men, they would receive what that wrote by revelation of the Holy Spirit, and there are also several differences in their writings.  Verse eight, "Yet in like manner, these also in their dreamings defile the flesh, and set at nought dominion, and rail at dignities."  Peter said they railed at dignities.  Peter said the angels did not bring railing accusation, but here Jude ‑‑ here is one of the things not found anywhere else in the Bible.  Jude says, "But Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing judgment, but said, The Lord rebuke thee."  We would like to know what the devil was trying to convince Michael of by telling him about the body of Moses.  God had Moses to go up on the mountain, and he died on the mountain, and it says that God buried him, and nobody knows the details about his grave (Deuteronomy 34:1-6). 


It was because Moses and Aaron did not give God credit for the miracle of bringing forth water from the rock, they said, “see to it you rebels how we must bring forth water from this rock  and because of that, God would not allow them to go into the Promise Land.  It does not mean that those men were lost.  They died as faithful men, but God would not allow them to go into the Promise Land because of that. He made Moses and Aaron to be object lessons to the people (Deuteronomy 3:23-28). So when Michael the archangel ‑‑ that must be the chief angel.  "When Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, and durst not bring against him a railing judgment."  Michael did not bring a railing judgment even against the devil himself.  "But said, The Lord rebuke thee.  But these rail at whatsoever things they know not:  and what they understand naturally, like creatures without reason."  Well, Peter also described them as living like creatures without reason.  In other words, they just do things by instinct, acting like animals instead of human beings. 


Verse eleven, "Woe unto them!  For they went in the way of Cain."  Anytime you have in the scripture, woe unto them for this, or that, it is "Woe unto them!  For they went in the way of Cain."  What does it mean when Jude says these false teachers are going in the way of Cain?  What was the way of Cain?  If you have not read these passages   carefully you need to do so and get good understanding of them, and try to remember these passages.  What is the way of Cain?  In Genesis chapter four, we read about the two brothers Cain and Able worshiping God, and Cain offered up what kind of sacrifice?  The sacrifice of the fruits of the field, but Able offered up an animal sacrifice and the fat thereof.  God accepted Able's offering and rejected Cain's. 


Why did God reject Cain's offering?  A lot of colorful fruits would have made a very pretty sacrifice!  Would an animal sacrifice, the shedding of the blood of an animal make a pleasing ‑‑ as far as human eyes are concerned, pleasing sacrifice?  In Hebrews 11:4, what does the writer say about the sacrifice of Able?  By faith he offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice, by which he received witness that he was faithful.  And it goes ahead to say, “he being dead yet speaketh  How does faith come?  Romans 10:17, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God."  So God back there had given them instruction as to what they were to offer.  Able offered up what God required, an animal sacrifice.  Cain offered according to his own choosing, and you know there are still people that think they have a right to choose what they want to do in the way of worship.  Cain chose what he wanted to do, what looked good to him, but it was not what God required.  And then he wanted Able to go out in the field with him, and he rose up against him and killed him.  He was jealous and envious because God accepted Able's sacrifice and rejected his.  God has never asked man to worship him, and left man to grope in darkness about how he is to worship. God has always given plain instruction as to what he wants, and we are to do in worship only those things that God has instructed us to do. And John then talks about it in his book. So they went in the way of Cain.  The way of Cain is the people trying to worship God according to their own thinking rather than going according to God's instruction.  We have no right to do anything in the way of worship in which God has not given us instruction to do.  "And ran greedily in the error of Balaam for hire, and perished in the gainsaying of Korah."  Do you get the full meaning of the passage? 


What does it mean when he says they ran greedily in the error of Balaam for hire?  You have to read several chapters to get that story, Numbers twenty‑two through twenty‑four for the whole story.  The people of Israel had camped in the plains of Moab.  The Moabites were descendants of Lot by his oldest daughter after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  In Genesis nineteen, Lot was living in a cave with his two daughters, and they made him drunk and slept with him, and both of them had children by their father.  The oldest daughter named her son Moab, and he became the father of the Moabites.  The younger daughter called her son Ammon, and he became the father of the Ammonites; and so they were kin people to the people of Israel and their territory joined the territory of the land of Canaan. So the people of Israel were encamped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan, on the east side of the Jordan and the king Balak of Moab sent for the prophet Baalam to come and curse the people of Israel. He reasoned they are too numerous and they are going to lick us up like an ox licks up grass unless we do something.  And so the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian (Numbers 22:7) left with their rewards of divination in their hands.  Balak's message was, these people are too mighty for me, come over and curse them.  When they get to Balaam's house, Balaam told them to spend the night and he would see what the Lord had to say about it.  And the Lord in verse twelve, God said unto Balaam, “thou shalt not go with them.  Thou shalt not curse the people for they are blessed,” and so the next morning he told them that he could not go with them, to get into your own land for “Jehovah refuses to give me leave to go with you.”  I think that implies that he wanted to go.  


Evidently, Balak knew that if he would give him promises of enough reward that he could be bought.  And so Balak sent back more princes, more honorable than the first, with the promise he would give him whatever he was ready to charge if he would come over and curse the people of Israel.  Verse eighteen, I believe it is, and I used to read this passage, more or less read it to sympathize with Balaam as though he was a faithful man, and was not ready to do anything that God did not want him to do!  How did Balaam respond? "If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of Jehovah my God, to do less or more."  And all the time he wanted to go to receive the reward of wrong doing,  he had them to stay that night, and he was going to see what more the Lord had to say.  The Lord had already told him very plainly that you are not to go and curse them that they are blessed, but since he wanted to go so bad, the Lord told him to go. 


So Balaam rose up in the morning and saddled his ass and went with the princes of Midian.  Here is a bad scene early in the morning. The angel of Jehovah got in the way of the ass, and the ass turned aside when he saw the angel with his sword drawn and Balaam’s ass turned out of the way into the field. Balaam smote his ass because it turned into the field, and then the angel went again and got in a narrow place between vineyards with a wall on both sides, and the ass seeing the angel with the sword drawn, crushed Balaam's foot against the wall, and Balaam cursed his ass again.  Then the angel got into a narrow place where there was not any room for the ass to go by him, and the ass fell down under Balaam, and Balaam smote the ass again, and that is when God opened the mouth of the ass.  Verse twenty‑eight, "And Jehovah opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?"  Balaam was so mad that he even answered the ass.  "And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me:  I would that there were a sword in mine hand, for now I would kill thee.  And the ass said unto Balaam, Am I not thine ass, on which thou hast ridden all thy life long unto this day?  Was I ever won't to do so unto thee?"  In other words, have I not been a good ass all these days, and Balaam answered that she had never done that before.  So that is what Peter means by saying he was rebuked by a dumb ass.  Then the Lord opened Balaam's eyes so that he saw the angel, and the angel of Jehovah said that he had come forth for an adversary.  He said in verse thirty‑two, "Because thy way is perverse before me." Balaam reasoned that if you do not want me to go I will go back, but the angel told him to go ahead.  "But only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that shalt thou speak." 


Balaam then made three attempts to curse the people of Israel.  He had the king to prepare seven altars and seven rams on three different occasions trying to curse the people of Israel, and God pronounced a blessing on Israel through him each time.  Then after that according to Revelation 2:14, Balaam taught Balak what he could do to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel.  Look at Revelation 2:14.  Like I said, I used to more or less sympathize with Balaam, because of his words, “Though Balak should give me a house full of silver and gold, I ca not go beyond what the Lord has spoken.” You know that sounds so good, but all the time he wanted to go beyond.  Look at Revelation 2:14, the Lord said to the church at Pergamos, "But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there some that hold the teaching of Balaam who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication."  We have a record of that in Numbers chapter twenty‑five, and if you have never read Numbers chapter twenty‑five with that understanding, you need to turn and read Numbers twenty‑five. 


The way that Balaam taught Balak what to do, he told him to let the Moabite and Midianite women invite the men of Israel to worship with them, and they did.  And they worshipped their idol gods and committed spiritual fornication, and I think physical fornication as well, Numbers chapter twenty‑five.  And how many thousand were killed, that the Lord killed because of that spiritual and physical adultery? "And these that died by the plague were twenty and four thousand," Numbers 25:9.  And several times later in the Old Testament we read about the sin that they had committed by worshipping Baal‑Peor.  This is also mentioned in I Corinthians chapter ten where Paul gives warning to the Corinthians how the people of Israel were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.  They were God's people, but most of them were overthrown.  Look at verse eight of I Corinthians ten, "Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and there fell in one day three and twenty thousand."  He is talking about what's recorded in Numbers chapter twenty‑five.  They had already put the chiefs to death, and then God sent a plague among them and there fell from the plague twenty‑four thousand in all, twenty‑three thousand in one day. 


So what kind of a man was Balaam?  Evidently, up until then he had been a faithful prophet of the Lord, but he wanted that hire of wrongdoing.  And so Peter and Jude both say that these false teachers are covetous men and they have gone in the way of wrong doing for hire.  They have gone in the way of Cain and perished in the gainsaying of Korah.  What was the gainsaying of Korah?  Korah was one of the families of Levites that were not priests.  There were three families of Levites that were assigned special duties as far as the tabernacle worship was concerned, and to the Korahites was assigned the carrying of the holy vessels.  They were the nearest thing to the priests, but turn and read Numbers chapter sixteen, and they tried to usurp the office of the priesthood.  Numbers 16:1 reads, "Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men."  Two hundred and fifty leaders rose up before Moses and Aaron and they say, “you have gone too far,” talking about them being the leaders and Aaron being the priest.  They said in verse three, "For all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them:  Why then do ye exalt yourselves above the assembly."  Look at verse eight, "Moses said to Korah, hear, ye sons of Levi:  Is it too small a thing for you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do service in the tabernacle of the Lord."  They were the ones that carried the holy vessels.  "And to stand before the congregation to minister to them?  And that he hath brought you near him, and all your brethren the sons of Levi with you:  And would you seek the priesthood also?"  So they thought they were going to take over the priesthood.  "Therefore it is against the Lord that you and all your company have gathered together:  What is Aaron, that ye have murmur against him?" 


Then Moses told the people of Israel to separate from the tents of these men, and he told the people that if these men die a common death, verse twenty‑nine, or if they are visited by the fate of all men, then the Lord has not sent me.  In other words, if they die just an ordinary death, you can count it that the Lord hasn't sent me, and I am a false prophet.  "But if the Lord creates something new and the ground opens its mouth, and swallows them up, with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then ye can know that these men have despised the Lord."  The Lord opened up the ground and swallowed them up, and the two hundred and fifty men that had made their censors and thought that they were going to offer incense to the Lord as priests. Verse thirty‑five, "And the fire came forth from the Lord, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men offering the incense."  And then those that were left the next day said to Moses and Aaron, you have killed the men of the Lord.  And the Lord sent a plague among them and Aaron had to take his censor and go in‑between the living and the dead and stop the plague.  And verse forty‑nine, there were fourteen thousand seven hundred besides the two hundred and fifty that were killed.  Do you see that, verse forty‑nine? 


Then chapter seventeen, in order that such a thing would not occur again, God had Moses to take a rod from each one of the twelve tribes, and from the tribe of Levi to take Aaron's rod and put it up before the table of testimony.  And the next morning, Aaron's rod had budded and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds.  And God told Moses to put it before the testimony, put it in the ark of the covenant along with the Ten Commandments to be kept as a sign for the rebels, that ye may make an end of their murmurings against me, lest they die, Numbers 17:10.  Now, why have I gone into such details on matters like this?  Can such a thing as that, take place today?  God had appointed Moses as the leader,  and Aaron as the high priest.  But these men said we are just as holy as you are, all the people are holy.  We are going to be priests too.  You have just taken too much for yourself. 


Can we have a similar thing like this today?  STUDENT:  By us keeping our mouth shut, just letting evil take place right around us, and putting the wrong people in political offices. BROTHER TURNER:  Well, when it comes on down to the church, and the eldership are men over the Lord's congregation.  What about a church that tries to overthrow a qualified eldership, when men are properly qualified, and good examples to the church, and there are those who would rise up and overthrow the eldership. Would not that be the same kind of thing as “the gainsaying of Korah Or in some congregations where they just absolutely do not want an eldership, and if they can prevent the church as a whole from agreeing to an eldership they will.  That comes very near to being the same kind of thing. STUDENT:  Upholds to do contrary to the will of God. BROTHER TURNER:  Yes, upholds that which is contrary to the will of God, and rebels against God.  And so Aaron's rod was put up in the Ark of the Covenant as a testimony to future rebels, do not try to change what God has done!  Aaron’s rod was a witness against all future rebels.  These false teachers were wicked men, “they ran riotously in the error of Balaam for hire,  and perished in the gainsaying of Korah.” 


He further describes these ungodly men in verse twelve, "These are they who are hidden rocks in your love feast, when they feast with you, shepherds without fear feed themselves."  And he further describes them, let us get down to verse fourteen, "And to these Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying Behold, the Lord came with ten thousand of his holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all the works of ungodliness which they have ungodly wrought and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."  Jude is the only writer of the whole Bible that talks about the prophecy of Enoch, how that Enoch prophesied, the Lord would come with ten thousand of his holy ones.  I think that means enumerable.  The footnote in my Bible says a mirage, another word for just a great enumerable host of angels to execute judgment on the ungodly. 


Verse sixteen, "These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, showing respect of persons for sake of advantage."  When we have murmuring and complaining in the church, what does it testify of?  All of us I think do a little of it, and if we are not careful, it becomes somewhat a way of habit with us. STUDENT:  James states that murmuring and complaining does not come from above.  In other words, it comes from the earth. BROTHER TURNER:  Yes, that is characteristic of Satan’s camp, and we need to try to keep that way in the devil's camp and not in the church.  One of the great weaknesses of the people of Israel was, time and time again they murmured and complained, and when there is a lot of murmuring and complaining in the church it is wrong! Some of us can do quite a bit of it if the temperature gets off a few degrees.  We need to receive the lesson from this instruction.  That is not the way for the Lord's people to go.  Now, if we want the temperature right, maybe we need to move to get things fixed, but there is not room for a lot of murmuring and complaining.  Another way that he describes them, “they speak great swelling words, showing respect of persons for the sake of advantage.”  They are covetous, and so they will make people swell up so that they can get an advantage. 


Verse seventeen, "But ye, beloved, remember ye the words which have been spoken before by the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ; that they said to you in the last times there shall be mockers walking after their own ungodly lusts, in the last days."  Last times, latter days, end of these days all refer to the Christian dispensation beginning on the day of Pentecost.  Do you remember what Peter said in that first gospel sermon? The Holy Spirit had fallen upon the apostles and some were charging that they were drunk.  And Peter said that these are not drunken as you suppose, seeing it is but the ninth hour of the day, “but this is that which is spoken by the prophet Joel that in the last days God would pour out of his spirit upon all flesh  So   Pentecost was the beginning of the last days, and on that first Pentecost after the resurrection of the Lord and will continue until the second advent of the Christ.  The Christian dispensation is spoken of as the last days, latter days, end of these days, because when this dispensation is up, what?  Christ will come, and the resurrection of the dead and  eternal judgment. There will not be another dispensation. Remember there had been the patriarchal dispensation and the Jewish dispensation prior to the Christian age, but the Christian age is the last age.


Verse nineteen, "These are they who make separations, sensual, having not the Spirit. (they do not have the Spirit of God) But ye, beloved, building up ourselves in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit. "  How do the children of God build themselves up in the most holy faith?  By study of the word of God, learning and doing the will of God, we build ourselves up in the most holy faith.  Jude gives the command, Verse twenty-one, "Keep yourselves in the love of God."  In recent months and years, I have heard more than one of our preachers say that regardless of what we do God still loves us, and to come very near saying that the eighth chapter of the book of Romans teaches that one cannot remove himself from the love of God.  Is that what the Bible teaches?  Such an interpretation of Romans eight is not in harmony with this passage, because this passage implies that a child of God can get himself outside the boundaries of God's love. 


The Old Testament scriptures teach very plainly that when people stubbornly rebel, over a long period of time, that God counts them as enemies and he makes as it were war against them as enemies.  There are numerous, passages in the Old Testament that teach that God will do this. 


Turn to Isaiah chapter one, and he is talking about how unfaithful that the people of Israel were in the days of the prophet Isaiah.  Look at verse twenty‑one, how the faithful city has become a harlot.  She that was full of justice, meaning that the people in the city of Jerusalem that were once faithful, but they had turned and were worshiping idol gods, and they had become as a harlot.  And verse twenty‑three, "Every one loves a bride, and runs after gifts, and they do not defend the fatherless, and the widow's cause doth not come unto them.  Therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will vent my wrath on mine enemies, and avenge myself on my foes."  Who is he talking about?  He is talking about the people of Israel, that he is going to treat them as an enemy.  "And I will turn my hand against you and smelt away your dross, as with lye."  It is figurative language, but come to verse twenty‑seven.  "Zion shall be redeemed by justice, and those in her who repent by righteousness, but rebels and sinners shall be destroyed together.  And those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed."  God is going to bring enemies against them, and he is going to bring calamity to Israel to the point that the rebels and sinners are going to be destroyed. 


Chapter 4:1, there would be so many men destroyed by enemy nations.  He says, "And seven women shall take hold of one man, in that day, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own clothes; only let us be called by thy name; take thou away our reproach.”  In other words, we will make our own living, you will not have to do a thing for us, only let us be called by your name and take away our reproach.  Seven women were ready to share one man.  A few years ago an African American woman in a Bible class said, “It is about like that among our people today, the difference is that the men are in jail!”  And I think that is one of the things that accounts for so much illegitimacy, because there is a much larger number of women than there are men. But they are going to become his enemies to the point that most of the men would be killed by their enemies. That is just a little bit of what is in the book of Isaiah.


STUDENT:  If you look at the eighth chapter of Romans, you have to look at the seventh chapter.  Well, coming into what he was saying.  That way we will not misunderstand what he was talking about. BROTHER TURNER:  Yes, Paul was expressing his confidence in the Romans that you are not going to let any of those things turn us away from God.  He did not say that those things cannot turn us away from God, all those things enumerated can, but he is persuaded that they are not going to allow them to turn them away.  If man cannot be separated from the love of God, man cannot be separated from Christ either.  For the same passage says, “the love of God which is in Christ Jesus  God's love was manifested in Christ (Romans 5:6-8), and if a person cannot get outside the boundaries of God's love, he cannot get out of Christ either. 


Back to Jude, we lacked a few verses. " Keep yourselves in the love of God."  There is always the human side of salvation, and here is part of that human side.  We keep ourselves in the love of God when we walk in the light as Christ is in the light. When we continue to hear and follow Christ and keep his commandments, as long as we are putting forth all diligence to do that the love of God is unbounded.  But if we turn around and rebel, we will separate ourselves from the boundaries of God's love and mercy and grace.  "Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."  No man is going to heaven apart from God's love and mercy and grace, but we have to do our part to keep us in the boundaries of God's love, mercy, and grace.  Salvation is a gift of God.  No man can earn it, and no man is worthy of it.


Verse twenty-two,  "And on some have mercy who are in doubt."  Show mercy and get them out of that doubting.  I read a good article years ago, Feed your Faith and your Doubts will Disappear. That is a good statement, and when we begin to doubt anything that the Bible teaches it means that we are not feeding our faith enough, you know what the Lord will do.  "Some save safe snatching them out of the fire, and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."  So, Jude is saying brethren those of you that are stronger and spiritual, you need to save these weaker brethren. You need to snatch them out of the fire.  "Now unto him that is able to guard you from stumbling."  Romans 14:4 says concerning the weaker brother, "Yea, he shall stand because the Lord has the power to make him stand."  So Christ has the power to make one stand.  He can keep one from stumbling; he will guard every Christian who wants to be guarded. “Now unto him that is able to guard you from stumbling Christ guards a child of God (I Corinthians 10:13; John 10:27-29). "And set you before the presence of his glory without blemish and exceeding joy, to the only God our savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and power, before all time and now and for ever more.  Amen."  So Jude does have a lot in common with II Peter, but be impressed with the fact that there are a number of differences.


Back to II Peter chapter three, "This is now, beloved, the second epistle that I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your sincere mind by putting you in remembrance."  So the second epistle is written to those large areas that the first epistle was written to. So Peter said this is the second epistle I am writing, and in both of them I stir up your minds by putting you in remembrance.  Proper teaching and preaching in the church today turns primarily on stirring up our minds by putting us in remembrance. "That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of the Lord and Saviour through your apostles."  And remember that the commands given by the apostles, are just as authoritative as what Christ said during his personal ministry, (John 16:13-14).  Verse three, "Knowing this first, that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts; and saying, Where is the promise of his coming?  For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.  For this they willfully forget, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth compacted out of water and amidst water:  by which the world that then was, being overflowed with water perished." 


Let me emphasize how important it is to read and have full faith in what is recorded in Genesis, chapters seven and eight about the flood.  A world‑wide flood destroyed the world.  There is evidence from the standpoint of the earth today; that this earth is an entirely different world than what it was in the days of Noah.  Before the flood, men lived to be very aged.  After the flood, it was not long until they decreased down to about two hundred years and then came on down to about seventy years.  Seventy years was the life span in the days of one of the writers (Psalms 90:10).  So Peter said, scoffers will come in the last days, in the Christian age.  And they say, oh, the father has promised that the world is going to be destroyed.  Where is the promise of his coming?  All things continue as they were.  Peter says they willfully forget that the flood has already destroyed the world one time.  What does he say that is going to happen to the world that now is?  Reserved for fire!  The water back there was literal, and the fire will be literal just like the water was literal.  Some make fire figurative, but that is contrary to II Peter 3:7-10.


Verse seven, "but the heavens that now are, and the earth by the same word, have been stored up for fire, until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."  When you see that word perdition, what does it mean? STUDENT:  Destruction. BROTHER TURNER Yes, it means going into that eternal destruction.  "But beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."  Here is another passage that is very much misused.  Does this mean that the Lord does not know how to count time, that there is  no difference in his sight between a thousand years and a day?  What does he mean by such a statement in the context here? STUDENT:  That he's got patience with us. BROTHER TURNER:  That he is longsuffering, and he does not want anybody to be lost, but wants all to come to repentance.  But the Lord has said that he is coming in judgment, and just as surely as he said he is coming, he is coming.  Whether it is tomorrow or ten million years from now, he is coming.  So the passage really means that the Lord is in no way restricted by time.  They were scoffing and saying he is not coming, it will not happen. Well, Peter says they willfully forget that he has already destroyed the world one time.  


Note what Peter says,  "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but longsuffering to us‑ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."  So instead of being slack, God is longsuffering, wanting men to repent.  He wants as many as possible to be saved, and the Lord is no way restricted by time; but when he says he is going to do something, there is a sense in which it is already done.  When Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself  In one sense, it is as good as done.  For all we know, it might be tomorrow, it might be ten million years or more, but the Lord is going to keep the promise that he has made, he is in no way restricted by time.  We are very much restricted by time!  We better not be making very many promises, because we are so restricted by so many different things, but the Lord is not restricted by time in any way.  So just because he has not come does not mean he is not coming, he is just longsuffering. 


Then he talks about how the Lord will come beginning with verse ten, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with the great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat, both the earth and the works that are therein will be burned up."  To say the Lord is coming as a thief means that he is coming unexpectedly.  Jesus said in Matthew twenty‑four that it would be like it was in the days of Noah.  In the days of Noah, they were eating and drinking and giving in marriage and knew not until the floods came and took them all away, so shall it be in the coming of the Son of man.  "Watch therefore, for ye know not the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." And Paul in I Thessalonians chapter five talks about the Lord will come as a thief in the night, but that that day should not overtake Christians as a thief.  We are sons to the day, sons of the light that we ought to watch and be ready for his coming, but he will overtake the ungodly as a thief in the night. 


Remember that the chapter division between chapter four and five of I Thessalonians is not a good division.  I Thessalonians 5:2 reads, “When the are saying, Peace and safety (Satan’s camp) then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as trivial upon a woman with child; and they shall in no wise escape  I Thessalonians 4:13-18 teaches that when Christ comes, he will bring the spirits of the righteous with him, and before the living righteous are changed, the righteous dead ‑‑ their bodies will be raised and the joining of the spirit with the body.  Then those that are living will be changed and “caught up together to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever meet with the Lord.” 


Verse eleven, "Therefore, seeing that all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy living and godliness."  In other words, you know that the Lord is coming in judgment.  And when he comes the heavens and the earth will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat and the earth and the works therein shall be burned up  The great buildings that man has built and all of the other marvelous things that man thinks he has done, all of those will be burned up when the Lord comes.  And seeing that all these things will be dissolved, think what manner of persons you ought to be all holy conduct and godliness.  "Looking for and hastening the coming day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.  Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things be diligent to be found in him in peace, without spot, and blameless."  In other words, live a pure and holy life before the Lord that you will be found in peace when Christ comes.  And remember the words of Paul that he said that the coming of Christ should not overtake you as a thief of the night, for you are sons of day, so watch and be sober.


Verse fifteen, "And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation as also our beloved brother Paul according to the wisdom given to him hath written to you."  So Peter and all those people in that great area that these epistles were sent to, went forth, were familiar with the epistles of Paul, and it looks like from verse sixteen that they must have been familiar with the epistle to the Romans.  So Peter is saying that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation as our beloved Paul as written to you.  Where did Paul write a like passage about the longsuffering of God that it  was for the purpose of saving people?  Turn to the second chapter of Romans.  Here Paul is talking to the Jewish people who were ready to pass judgment on the Gentile people because of all their wrongdoing.  Romans two beginning with verse three, "And reckonest  thou this, O man, who judgest them that practice such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?  Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?"  So Paul also said that the purpose of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering is to lead men to repentance.  "But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasureth up for thyself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his works."  That is one of those passages that are against that doctrine of giving the people back there in the days of Noah a second chance.  The Bible teaches over and over that God is going to render to every man according to his work.  Hebrews 9:27, "It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment."  "Render to every man according to his works:  To them that have patience in well doing seek for glory and honor and in corruption, eternal life:  But unto them that are factious, and obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness, shall be wrath and indignation, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that worketh evil of the Jew first, and also of the Greek."  So I believe that is the exact passage that Peter is talking about here when he says Brother Paul has written to you about how the longsuffering of God is for this purpose. 


Verse sixteen, "as also in all of his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which those who are ignorant and unstable wrest to their own destruction, as they do also to the rest of the scriptures."  I can remember a day when a few of our brethren would teach that the word of God is so simple, that there is hardly any room for anybody to misunderstand anything.  Well, Peter says there are some things that are hard to be understood.  It requires a lot of time with the scriptures to get correct understanding of many passages, and when we spend a lot of time and do our best, there will be those passages that we do not have a clear understanding of. The tendency on the part of the ignorant and the unstable is wrest them to their own destruction.  "Ye therefore, beloved, since you know these things beforehand, beware lest ye also, fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked."  Peter is giving good warning, do not follow these false teachers as described in chapter two, and do not listen to these scoffers who will try to undermine your faith. Peter closes this second epistle with a command, "But grow in grace, and the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.  To him be the glory both now and forever.  Amen." Are you keeping this command? Keeping this command is the rule of safety. If we are not growing in grace and knowledge we are letting our salvation slip away from us.