JUDE 1:23-26—-How to Respond to a MYRIAD OF PEOPLE in a WORLD OF APOSTASY

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on December 22, 2007

Before procedding, please consider a testimony from my dear sis, Sos22, that really deals with the issue:

“With regard to WOF I think the Spirit, if asked will direct us in dealing with the error in this doctrine. I’ll give you an example. I have a sweet Christian friend who is chronically ill. She belonged to a WOF church for a time and would not hear a word against them even though I had had experience of the fruits of their doctrine.

She happily shared a tape with me once of an American speaker who had come to the church. He boasted how he owned a private aeroplane and how such material riches would come to any who sowed into the Lord’s work – Translation – gave your last penny to the church. He also said that whoever outside the church queried this teaching, even if it was your best friend was to be shunned absolutely, that they were tools of Satan –, sorry, have to pause here, that one always makes me laugh, I’ve always wanted to be a ‘tool of Satan’. She was a young Christian and thought all of this was wonderful, that, and their promise that if she had faith she would be healed of her illness.

My human response to this was to yell and roar at her to get out of this place but when I prayed He told me to do none of that. Psychologically she loved the certitude, the promise of good things, the sense of belonging, the safety of this golden future that awaited her. She would have dropped me if I had spoken as I had wished to, she was so under the spell.

So I did as the Lord asked, I prayed and prayed and prayed and I waited for the fruit of this place to show itself. It soon did. She was not healed as she thought she would and she became a thorn to those in the fellowship who admonished her harshly for her lack of faith. She realised that the only people getting rich in the chu rch were the elders and that one by one all the chronically sick people were excluded and finally left.

The Lord had me come alongside her as her ‘dream’ caved in and she became able to hear again the truth of Christ’s love and provision; that He would meet all her needs but in His way, and in His time. She left, after much pain, and now cannot understand what possessed her to be there. That church, in our city, is now under investigation for tax fraud and account irregularities.

I’m so glad that I listened to the Lord. What seemed utterly the right thing to do, to slam them from a height, was not the right thing at all. And her trust and rest in Jesus now is a wonderful thing to see.”

Powerful Points……(and for more information on the issue, consider this article:



Not only did it remind me of similar experiences I had in college and still with others today, but it served to challenge me moreso in never approaching the issue of CULTIC MOVEMENTS/THEIR FOLLOWERS in any other mentality but one of NEVER TAKING WITNESSING LIGHTYL—for it is A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH-

Proverbs 24:11-12 is an EXCELLENT SCRIPTURE to note on the situation.

Proverbs 24:10-12

1 Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter. 12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?

Also, consider James 5:19-20, as it relates to the work of contending for the faith.

Additionally, one can NEVER forget that there’s something else to keep in mind when it comes to defending the Faith, as found in the instructions of how the Lord’s servant should conduct his or her own self with those opposing in the faith/who are decieved, II Timothy 2:23-26.

As another said on the subject,

“God is the agent of change WHILE WE ARE A CHANNEL THROUGH WHICH HE DISPENSES HIS LIFE-TRANSFORMING GRACE. Therefore, it is crucial that we be clear channels who do not obstruct what He would send through us. It is for us TO BE (vs. II Timothy 2:24-25) and for God TO DO (II Timothy 2:25-26) (



And in trying to bring people to Jesus, be it in presenting Truth they know not about or in trying to find common ground, that we always follow the SPIRIT OF GOD FIRST (as you did when You PRAYED FIRST BEFORE GOING INTO BATTLE) rather than letting Him FOLLOW US and doing things as WE SEE NATURALLY SEE FIT.

Can’t tell you how often I’ve done this and, sadly, still see other Christians doing likewise and yet never realizing how in their zeal to FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT they may be FIGHTING THE WRONG WAY, without any inquiring from their Commander in Chief as to what paticular method to use for specific battle or guidance as to how HE THINKS BEST THEY SHOULD do, even when it seems UNREASONABLE IN OUR MINDS..…..and how much damage could’ve been avoided if people chose not go with the “ONE SIZE FITS ALL” approach and see the DIVERSE GUIDELINES God has already given WAY AHEAD OF TIME for the many DIVERSE SCENARIOS/PEOPLE WILL INEVITABLY DEAL WITH REGARDING THE FAITH.

The analogy of a soldier following his Commander in Chief is a good one. No soldier would storm ahead of the wishes of his leader. He know his place and waits for intruction to come to him from above. Think of the damage a renegade soldier can do.

Jesus had no formula. His ministry was not applying formulas to people and squeezing them into the required cookie cutter shape. His ministry was utterly individual and seemingly similar requests from people were dealt with in completely individual ways. His truth and His grace never faltered, but its expression was myriad and diverse and person centered……& Scripture seems to support this:


Jude 1:17-23

A call to persevere

17But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

20But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. 21Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

22Be merciful to those who doubt; 23snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mer cy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

It’s crucial to remember that The Deceived VARY in class…… & remembering this (AS WELL as various other principles when it comes to dealing with Hersesy) is VITAL when dealing with apostasy/cultic groups:




Sadly, however, what often happens is that many choose the “ONE SIZE FITS ALL” approach by labeling EVERYONE/EVERY SITUATION the same (as well as the fact that many will attempt contending for the faith & forget to PRAY/BE IN LINE WITH THE SPIRIT OF GOD, much like a soldier going out into battle based on some instructions his commander gave him but never making certain that the commands his commader gave in one situation are the same he wishes for the next….or never studying the battle to see what weapons would be appropiate and using whatever he wishes)……& that’s dangerous in our battle to contend for the faith.

Here, by the way, is an excellent commentary on the passage/subject I found in a most Excellent Book I’ve been reading callled “The Truth War” (by John Macarthur),

“Jude mentions a way we ought to respond in an age of apostasy: REACH OUT. Not only are there decievers in the church; many have been decieved…..our duty is not only to oppose the false teachers/their teachings but also to resuce those who have been led astray by them.The language Jude uses is very pituresque: “And have Mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snacthing them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh”……Notice that Jude describes three kinds of people who are affected by apostasy. The first group are the confused. They are the doubters. They have been exposed to false teaching, and it has shaken their confidence in the truth. They aren’t committed to the error yet, just doubting. Perhaps they aren’t committed to the truth yet either. These may well be people who have never fully and savingly believed the gospel. On the other habd, they could be authentic believers—either young or spiritually feeble. Either way, EXPOSURE to false teachers has revealed a dangerous weakness in their faith by causing them to doubt.

HAVE MERCY ON THEM, Jude says. Don’t write them off because they are weak or wavering. They are CONFUSED because they are ABSOLUTELY OPEN to ANY AND EVERY TEACHER, and they are UTTERLY DEVOID OF ANY DISCERNMENT. They are the most accessible and the most vulnerable. They need the truth, but they are being offered (and duped by) almost everything else.

Churches today are filled with people like that. They drift from church to church. They are often more concerned about whether they like the music than they are about whether they are hearing the truth. They are usually absorbed in religion for self-centered reasons. They want a better life. They are “recovering” sinners looking for fellowshi p. They are therefore susceptible to anyone who promises to meet their “felt needs.” They are the first-line victims of false religion.


And, of course, the chief mercy they need is the mercy of the GOSPEL. Once they lay hold of that truth, they will have a foundation for true discernment and the endless cycle of confusion will be halted

Group two are the CONVINCED. They pose a more difficult problem. You have to snatch them out of the fire, Jude says—suggesting, of course, that they are ALREADY in the FIRE. He pictures apostasy as a burning, destructive, potentially lethal conflagration. The imagery underscores both the urgency of the need for rescue and the magnitude of the evil in the false teaching.

The fact that these people are in the fire suggests that they have bought the lie
. They have (to some degree) owned the false doctrine. They are alre a dy being singed by HELL. They need something more than mere mercy; this is an URGENT RESCUE OPERATION. Jude is urging us to use ANY MEANS0—-that is, EVERY LEGITIMATE MEANS—to pull them from the fire. These circumstances call for aggresive action.


At the same time, you cannot embrace someone as a part of the true fellowship who REJECTS ESSENTIAL ASPECTS OF GOSPEL TRUTH. You don’t offer someone who is convinced of serious falsehood UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE as a Believer. But Juse is very specific about how we should respond to such people: go after them in a very critical rescue operation. TRY TO SNATCH THEM OUT OF THE FIRE.

Again, snatching them out of the f ir e means giving them the truth—but with accents of urgency befitting the serious danger such people are facing. You come with force. You don’t toy with such error or invite the purveyors of it to a dispassionate discussion over tea and biscuits. You treat the situation with an urgency and sobriety that is commensurate with the evil of apostasy.

That’s exactly how Jesus responded to the Pharisees. He was strongly confrontive, very blunt; His warnings to them were severe; He spoke to them of judgement, devastation, and Hell. His warning was analogous to the kind of warning you would give a neighbor if his house caught on fire and you knew he was still inside.

In II Corinthians 10:4-5, Paul describes Spiritual Warefare as the DEMOLISHING OF IDEOLOGICAL FORTRESSES:

“The weapons of our warfare are not CARNAL but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obediance of Christ.”

The language is deliberately militant….But notice he is not talking about PEOPLE. He is describing a battle against evil ideas,–thoughts, arguments, fortresses made of satanic lies. People are basically victims of the ideas, trapped and imprisioned by false doctrines and evil systems of thought. The point of warfare is to liberate people from those fortresses.

So, there is a ministry to the confused. There’s a more urgent/solem ministry to the convinced. And then Jude speaks of a third group: THE COMMITTED.

Here Jude employs his strongest and most vivid language: “On some have mercy with FEAR, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.”

Obviously, pulling people from the fires of apostast requires us to get close to them. Jude suggest there is SEVERE DANGER in this. We can’t always tell the difference between the merely convinced and the fully committed. Some are decieved; others are deliberate decievers. Some are disciples of error; others are the propagators, THE LEADERS—-the FALSE TEACHERS THEMSELVES.

Jude suggests that we ought to show EVEN THE FALSE TEACHERS THEMSELVES a kind of MERCY (for sometimes even the decievers themselves are, to a degree, DECIEVED, and occasionally, by GOD’S GRACE, EVEN THEY CAN BE PULLED FROM THE FIRE). So….show them mercy, Jude says, But do it with fear, despising the defilement of their evil…..

FALSE DOCTRINE and the WICKEDNESS of those who believe it STAIN THE SOUL. Don’t get close enough to be corrupted. Paul s aid something similar at the end of Romans:

“I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned , and AVOID THEM” (Romans 16:17).

You can’t build a real friendship with a false teacher. You cannot pretend to accept such a person as a fellow believer. You have to understand that people who but into apostasy and DAMNABLE error are (either wittingly or unwittingly) agents of the kingdom of darkness and enemies of the truth. Don’t risk being defiled by their corruption.


To clarify, I was planning on mentioning that Macarther was not advocating for a “THE MEANS JUSTIFY THE ENDS” mentaliy in dealing with opposition.….or that one should not be careful to consider the various classes of people we deal with when witnessing.
As Macarther says,


“Many Christians today are weary of the long war over truth. They are uneasy about whether doctrinal disagreements and divisions are a blight on the spiritual unity of the church and therefore a poor testimony to the World.

These and similar questions are constantly heard nowadays:

  • “Isn’t it time to set aiside our differences and just love one another?’
  • “Rather than battling people with whom we disagree over various points of doctrine, why not stage a cordial dialouge with them and listen to their ideas?”
  • “Can’t we have a friendly conversation rather than a bitter clash?”
  • “Shouldn’t we be congenial rather than CONTENTIOUS?”
  • “Does the current generation really need to perpetuate the fight over beliefs and ideologies? Or can we at last declare peace and set aside all the debates over doctrine?”

Of course, there is a legitimate concen in the tone of such question. Scriptures commands us:

Romans 12:18
18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Hebrews 12:14-15
Warning Against Refusing God 14Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Galatians 5:22-23
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Taken together, these pasages make it clear that what Scripture demands of us is the POLAR OPPOSITE of a CANTANKEROUS ATTITUDE.

No one who exhibhits the Fruit of the Spirit can possibly take delight in the conflict….So it should be plain that the call to contend for the faith is NOT A LICENSE FOR PURGNACIOUS SPIRITS TO PROMOTE STRIFE DELIBERATELY over INSIGNIGICANT MATTERS.

Even when conflict proves unavoidable, WE ARE NOT TO ADOPT A MEAN SPIRIT

But conflict is not always avoidable. That is Jude’s whole point in writing his epistle. To remain faithful to the truth, sometimes it is even necessary to wage “Civil War” within the church—especially when the enemies of truth posing as bretheren and believers are smuggling dangerous heresy by stealth.’…….

Verses 3-4 (Jude 1:3-4) constitute one of the most compelling and sobering introductions to any epistle in the New Testament. Think of it: Jude is saying that he sat down to write a positive, encouraging epistle celebrating the joy of salvation, but—-grasping the current urgency and willingly following the Holy Spirit’s sovereign control and inspiration—-he was compelled to write something other than he had intended. His letter thus became a short, strongly worded warning urging them to fight for the faith.

Perhaps before he started writing, he recieved information from somewhere—a report, a letter, or an eyewitness account telling him of a threat to the spiritual well-being of this flock. Or it could be simply that the Lord supernaturally revealed something to him that prompted this change in the message. Whatever the case, the Holy Spirit compelled Jude to take up an issue he had not planned to adress. The glorious salvation about which Jude had planned to write was in danger of being severely compromised unless the church rose to the occasion of fighting for the gospel.

So what evidently started out as a warm, friendly attempt to offer comforyt and encouragement turned out instead to be a shrill CALL TO ARMS. The whole epistle is a war cry that applies to all believers in all ages. Jude urges us to join the Truth War and side with the Lord.

This was necessary even in the days of the apostles…….from the very beginning, the enemies of truth launched an effort to infiltrate and confuse the people of God by mangling the truth and by blending the lies with Christian Doctrine. Attacks against the truth REGULARLY came not only from perscutors outside but also from FALSE teachers and professing believers within the visible community of the church.

Satan’s strategy of placing his ministers within the church to sow bad doctrine was proving dangerously effective even while the NEW TESTAMENT was still being written (II Corinthians 11:14-15)…….false teachers had infiltrated the church. They were at the moment safely ensconeced in the community of believers. They were being accepted by fellow believers, and their poisnouis false teaching was spreading in the church….and Jude urged believers to OPPOSE THEM rather than EMBRACE THEM, FOR THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH DEPENDED ON IT.

Our task is simply to interpret, understand, publish, and defend the truth God has once and for all delivered to the Church. That is what the TRUTH WAR is ultimately all about. It is not mere wrangling between competing earthly ideologies.

It is not simply a campaign to refine someone’s religious creed or win a denominational spitting contest. It is not a battle of wits over arcane theological fine points. It is not an argument for sport. It is not like a school debate, staged to sse who is more skilled or more clever in the art of argumentation. It is not merely academic in any sense. And it is certainly not a game. It is a very serious struggle to safeguard the heart and soul of the truth itself and to unleash that truth aginst the powers of darkness—in hopes of rescuing the eternal souls of men and women who have been unwittingly ensnared by the trap of devilish deception.

This is a battle we cannot wage effectively if we ALWAYS (i.e. IN EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE WE ENCOUNTER) try to COME across to the world as merely nice, nonchalant, docile, agrreable, and fun-loving people. We must not take our cues from people who are merely happy to compromise the truth whenever possible “FOR HARMONY’S SAKE”….ALONE

Friendly dialouge may sound may sound affable and pleasant. Butt neither Christ nor the Apostles ever confronted SERIOUS, SOUL-DESTROYING ERROR by building collegial relationships with FALSE TEACHERS . In fact, we are expressly forbidden to do that (Romans 16:17, II Corinthians 6:14-15; II Thessalonians 3:6, II Timothy 3:5, II John 1: 10-11.) Scripture is clear about how we are to respond when the very foundations of the Christian faith are UNDER ATTACK, and Jude states siccinctly: It is our bounden duty to contend earnestly for the faith.

However, notice carefully: JUDE IS NOT SUGGESTING (nor am I) that CHRISTIANS SHOULD CONTEND AMONG THEMSELVES over EVERY PETTY DISAGREEMENT or DIVIDE into FACTIONS OVER EVERY PERSONALITY CONFLICT.In fact, that is the very thing the apostle Paul CONDEMNED in I Corinthians 3:3-7. Divisiveness and SECTARIANISM are terrible sins that hurt the church when major divisions are manufactured out of PETTY DIFFERENCES over TRIVIAL, DOUBTFUL, INDIFFERENT, or less-than-vital matters
This ties into a point that I’ve brought up before regarding the issue of NOT GETTING INVOLVED IN FOOLISH AND UNPROFITABLE ARGUMENTS–II Timothy 2:14, Titus 3:9—for as said before, Paul clearly warns against petty quarrels, though this does not mean that we should refuse to study, discuss and examine difficult Bible Passages…….for that is what one should be seeking, as was the goal of this thread: HONEST DISCUSSION THAT LEADS TO WISDOM)

Also, as Macarther states,

“False teachers still assualt the church with QUASI-CHRISTIAN ideas,=…….and Herectics also still arise from within the church itself, and they still demand recognition and tolerance from Christians, even while they were laboring to undermine the very foundations of true faith. They are repeating all the same lies. Their teaching must be opposed and clearly refuted wit the plain truth of God’s WORD.The apostle Paul said something similar , but in even stronger terms: “Their mouths must be stopped (Titus 1:11)……….To note, neither Paul nor any other New Testament writer EVER SANCTIONS VIOLENCE, PHYSICAL FORCE, or CARNAL WEAPONRY in the TRUTH WAR.On the contrary, such things are emphatically and repeatedly condemned (Matthew 26:52, II Corinthians 10:3-4). Titus 1:11 IS by no means an exception to that principle. Paul is in no way suggesting that herectics’ mouths must be stopped by physcial force. He is very clear about how Titus was to silence the “insurbordinate……idle talkers and decievers” (Titus 1:10): Titus needed to confront and refute their lies thoroughly with the clear proclamation of the truth. There is a negative aspect to that:

“Rebuke them SHARPLY, that they may be sound in the faith” (Titus 1:13)

. And there is positive duty for this as well:

“As for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1)

And even though it is clear from the context that Paul is not advocating the use of any kind of brute violence, his statement about stopping the mouths of false teachers has both a tone of authority and a settled certainty to it that makes it sould less-than-politically-correct to postmodern ears. This is not a message suited for our age. But then again, SCRIPTURE HAS ALWAYS BEEN CONTRARY TO WORLDLY CULTURE.

Regarding the last point Macarther brought up on Titus, prior to that Paul HIMSELF brought up the issue of qualifications of elders (Titus 1:5-9)—–WITH MOST OF THE QUALIFICATIONS DEALING WITH CHARACTER rather than one’s KNOWLEDGE OF TRUTH or SKILL they may have—-and he SPECIFICALLY speaks on the things that OVERSEERS/Ministers in God’s Work should NOT have but that are frequently DEMONSTRATED by TOO MANY PEOPLE CLAIMING THE NAME OF CHRIST and claiming to “SPEAKING THE TRUTH”—–“NOT OVERBEARING (i.e. by definition, “hasrshly and haughtingly ARROGANT), Not QUICK-TEMPERED…..and VIOLENT (by definition, notably furious or vehement) among other things.And Paul even says point-blank that those who are Christian leaders should be WELL-KNOWN for their HOSPITALITY (Titus 1:8), for God wants us to be generous, courteous, and hospitable with those who are not Christians; and through our friendship/being led by the Spirit in all things, some may be won to Christ (as it was for your friend and befriending her when all others abandoned her at that WOF church)……
But it needsand it needs to be remembered that the Hospitality may not apply the same way when it comes to those who are FALSE TEACHERS THEMESELVES, which Scripture again prohibits us from entertaining (II John 1:10),
and as Paul warned Titus, we need to be on guard/o n the lookout for people who ACTIVELY SPREAD/TEACH WRONG DOCTRINES AND LEAD OTHERS INTO ERRORAnd whether those false teachers teach simply out of confusion, speaking misguided opinions without checking them against the Word, or whether they have evil motives and pretend to be Christians only so they can get more money (“dishonest gain”), additional buisness or a feeling of power from being a leader in the church, we’re still again warned to be on the lookout for them since their teachings attack the foundations of truth and integrity upon which the Christian faith is built (Mark 13:22, Acts 20:29, II Thessalonians 2:3-12, II Peter 3:3-7 and given directions in how to deal with such people (Titus 1:10-14)
By the way, By no means am I saying that we shoudn’t love them, or not pray for them.

As John Piper once wisely said on the issue of adressing/interacting with false teachers themselves,

Romans 16:17…..with regard to the second command at the end of verse 17 (avoid them), we need to be sure we leave room for obedience to the teaching in Romans 12 that says we should “Bless those who curse you” (v. 14), and, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (v. 18), and so on.Avoiding someone does not mean: Stop caring about him, or stop praying for him, or even stop talking to them. When Peter acted contrary to the gospel in Galatians 2, Paul did not first avoid him. He first confronted him with a view to winning him back. That kind of contact is not forbidden. What Paul commands with the words avoid them, is not no contact at all, but the kind of contact that communicates life can go on as usual between us. It can’t. If you, as a professing Christian, persist in departing from the doctrine the apostles taught, we can’t simply hang out together like we used to.http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceL…rom_the_Truth/
Pray that the information has truly blessed someone…!!!!!!!!

One Response to “JUDE 1:23-26—-How to Respond to a MYRIAD OF PEOPLE in a WORLD OF APOSTASY”

  1. […] https://emissary7.wordpress.com/2007/12/22/jude-123-26-how-to-respond-to-a-myriad-of-people-in-a-worl… […]

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