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1) [This is being written by] Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ, and a brother of James [Note: This AJude@ was probably not the apostle. See verses 17-18], to those who have been called [by God], who are also loved in [fellowship with] God the Father, and who are kept [safe] in [fellowship with] Jesus Christ. 2) May there be mercy toward you people, and may your peace and love increase.

3) Dearly loved ones, as I was very eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we share in common, I felt it necessary [instead] to write urging you to contend earnestly for the faith [i.e., the teaching of Christ] which was once and for all delivered [by the apostles, See verse 17] to the saints [i.e., God=s holy people]. 4) For certain men have secretly infiltrated [your ranks]; they are men who had been written about long ago that they should be judged [and condemned] for perverting the unearned favor of our God into [a license for] living unrestrained, indecent lives, and who deny [the identity and work of] our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

5) But, I want to remind you, [even] though you already know the stories about how the Lord delivered His people from Egyptian [bondage], and then [later] destroyed those who did not believe [in Him]. 6) And angels, who did not remain within [the bounds of] their proper authority, but left their own realm, God has kept in perpetual bondage, under [thick] darkness, awaiting judgment on the Great Day [when they will be punished]. 7) So also, in a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah, and their surrounding towns, which had abandoned themselves to sexual immorality and [sexually] pervertedbehavior, serve as an example [of people] who [will] suffer the punishment of never ending fire.

8) In the same way, these people have dreams of committing physically corruptive practices; they reject authority over them [i.e., by both God and men], and speak against glorious [i.e., heavenly] beings. 9) But, when the ruling angel Michael disputed with the devil over [the final disposal of] the body of Moses, [even] he did not dare to bring derogatory charges against him [i.e., the devil], but said, AMay the Lord rebuke you.@ [Note: Some suggest that this account appeared in an apocryphal book, possibly AThe Assumption of Moses@]. 10) But these people [i.e., the Acertain men@ of verse 4] speak against whatever they do not understand, and what they do understand naturally, the way animals do,proves to be their ruination. 11) It is too bad for these people, for they have followed the example of Cain [the murderer]; for the sake of money they have rushed into the [same] error as Balaam committed [See Num. 25:1-5; 31:16]; they [will] perish [spiritually] for having rebelled [against God] like Korah did. [See Num. 16:1-3, 31-35].

12) These people are like rotten spots [contaminating the food] at your love feasts, while they gorge themselves without fear [i.e., unashamed of their selfish indulgence]. [Note: This passage may mean Alike selfish shepherds, looking out only for themselves,@ even eating the grain set out for the animals]. They are like clouds that blow over without producing rain; [they are like] trees in the fall that do not produce any fruit and have been uprooted, [thus] being dead twice [i.e., fruitless and rootless]. 13) [They are like] raging ocean waves, whose shameful actions bubble up like foam. [They are like] shooting stars [whose light quickly goes out], for whom total darkness has been reserved forever.

14) And it was also prophesied about [these] people by Enoch, the seventh [descendant] of Adam [Gen. 5:18-24], who said, ALook, the Lord came with thousands upon thousands [Note: The Greek uses the plural form of Amyriad,@ which means 10,000] of His holy ones [i.e., angels], 15) to bring judgment upon all [such people], and to convict every person of their ungodly behavior, which they have wickedly committed, and of all the evil things that [such] ungodly sinners have spoken against God.@ 16) These people are gripersand complainers, living according to their own [evil] desires, whose mouths speak boastfully, and who show partiality [toward certain people] to gain some advantage.

17) But you dearly loved ones, you should remember the message that was previously told to you by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18) for they were saying to you people, AIn the last times [See I John 2:18; Heb. 1:1-2] there will be mockers [arise], who will live according to their [own] ungodly desires.@ 19) These are people who cause divisions [among God=s people]; they follow their natural inclinations [i.e., worldly principles], for they do not have the Holy Spirit [in their lives].

20) But, you dearly loved ones, build yourselves up [spiritually] on [the foundation of] your most sacred faith; pray in [the power of] the Holy Spirit. 21) Keep yourselves in God=s love [i.e., continue to love God], as you look forward to [receiving] the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, [who will grant you] never ending life. 22) And you should show pity toward some people because they have doubts [regarding spiritual matters]; 23) you should save others [from hell, as thoughyou were] snatching them out of the fire. And you should show pity toward some people, [coupled] with a fear [of the consequences of sin], hating the clothing contaminated by a physical sore [i.e., hating sin so much as to avoid it at all costs].

24) Now, may there be honor and majesty and power to God, who is able to guard you people from stumbling [and falling away from Him, See Gal. 5:4], and [who is able] to place you before His glorious presence without any [moral] blemish, but with great joy. 25) [May these qualities be attributed] to the only God and our Savior, through [the person and work of] Jesus Christ our Lord, before [the beginning of] time [as well as] now and forever. May it be so.

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Copyright 1994 by William E. Paul.

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