Don’t you just love it when God works things out? Months ago back in February, I was praying and seeking God’s face for direction. It was there that He shared His plan, how we would have a discussion on the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. Then in the week following unpack the discussion to enrich our faith. What could be more fitting? Isaiah 46:10~I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ (NIV) You are not here by accident, my friend. 

Welcome to your divine appointment. God sees everything. We’ve been discussing what it means to live an authentic life in Jesus Christ. Now how do we implement this as we live an authentic life in the Last Days? We need the message of Jude today as much, if not more than his original audience because our culture, like theirs, is becoming more and more heretical and immoral. 

In the last portion of his epistle, Jude shares four requirements for Authentic Living in the last days. The Last days are the days we live in. When people do not want to hear sound doctrine or live righteous lives. Is there anything in your life today that you need to adjust or confess? One of our goals as believers is to be Authentic Believers. Why not take time today to ask the Lord to search you as the psalmist said in Psalm 139:23-24~Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (KJV) Remember also, to pray for our nation and it’s leaders.

Healing the broken

Today, we are going to Examine Their Character (Jude verse 16) Like diligent fruit inspectors we are reading Jude’s epistle and applying how we can unmask those who set out to deceive us. In the last portion of this section, Jude concludes this section of his epistle with more descriptions of false teachers. If you have not been able to get a handle on inspection process Judes says here are four really good descriptive ways to inspect. 

Character Inspection #1—Grumblers and Complainers Jude 16~These are grumblers (γογγυστής goggystēs), malcontents (μεμψίμοιρος mempsimoiros), following their own sinful desires…(ESV). This describes people who complain about those who faithfully proclaim God’s Word. They are querulous and discontented.

Character Inspection #2—Lustful Jude 16~…following their own sinful desires (ἐπιθυμία epithymia)…(ESV). They have an insatiable lust for sensuality and monetary seek their own satisfaction. 

Character Inspection #3—Impressive Orators. Jude 16~ they are loud-mouthed boasters (ὑπέρογκος hyperogkos)…(ESV) They speak great swelling words boasting much, but remember there is no rain in their cloud. They use an impressive religious vocabulary that makes them sound super-spiritual when in reality they are a shame.

Character Inspection #4—Flatterers. Jude 16~…showing favoritism to gain advantage. (ESV) They flatter people to get what they want. And some are amazingly good at telling people what they selfishly want to hear, even making it all sound spiritual. Paul warns the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine 2 Timothy 4:3~For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. (NIV)

Our Takeaway: The salve of Lord is found only in the Bible. The Balm of Gilead is an Old Testament reference to the healing power of Christ who is the saving salve of healing for what ails us. Every time we unpack, unmask and inspect we need the healing salve of Christ to soothe us. Jude writes us a letter and says my fellow believers Jesus is the only way. He is the spiritual medicine that we all need for life. So saints, don’t be Deceived—Unmasking Prophets for Profit is possible when we Examine: Company, Content, Message, Character. As you read over this devotional, is there a tender place in your life that you need the Balm of Gilead, why not take the time today to have a consultation with the Great Physician, who can apply His healing salve to your life.

Trust the Process?

Today, we Examine The Message of those who attempt to deceive us. (14-15) Jude writes. Jude 14~ It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied…(ESV). We don’t know much about the Enoch the cobbler, but from what we do know, he was a wonderful follower of God. God was so pleased with Enoch, that in Genesis 5:24~walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared because God took him (NLT).

Enoch was a preacher of righteousness in the wicked era before the Flood. According to Genesis 5:22, Enoch faithfully walked with God for over 300 years. Only Jude tells us what Enoch preached: Jude 14-15~Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousand of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.  (ESV). Enoch’s prophecy was fulfilled by the Flood during the time of Noah. However, his prophecy also clearly refers to God’s judgment at the end of time. Our Lord says when the end comes, the world will be as the days of Noah. Matthew 24:37~As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. (NIV) At that time, Jesus will according to Matthew 13:41~The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. (NIV) Today, I want us to consider our preparation for the Lord’s return. Are you ready? Have you placed your whole life under the blood of Jesus? And if so, who do you need to remind that Jesus is coming soon?