Jude 1:3-5, 7-8 (AMP)
3 Beloved, my whole concern was to write to you in regard to our common salvation. [But] I found it necessary and was impelled to write you and urgently appeal to and exhort [you] to contend for the faith which was once for all [a]handed down to the saints [the faith which is that sum of Christian belief which was delivered [b]verbally to the holy people of God].4 For certain men have crept in stealthily [[c]gaining entrance secretly by a side door]. Their doom was predicted long ago, ungodly (impious, profane) persons who pervert the grace (the spiritual blessing and favor) of our God into lawlessness and wantonness and immorality, and disown and deny our sole Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).5
7 [The wicked are sentenced to suffer] just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the adjacent towns—which likewise gave themselves over to impurity and indulged in unnatural vice and sensual perversity—are laid out [in plain sight] as an exhibit of perpetual punishment [to warn] of everlasting fire.8 Nevertheless in like manner, these dreamers also corrupt the body, scorn and reject authority and government, and revile and libel and scoff at SUPERNATURAL BEINGS [things of the Spirit].
Notice this verses shows us some things. Jude wrote about the current issues facing the church in his time. Initially it seems he wanted to talk about “FAITH” and something generic for the church, however he was led by the Holy Spirit to WARN God’s sheep about false teachings and major issues facing the church in his time. He then further mentions something interesting regarding a “trend” among believing circles” that would mark the last days…those who “SCOFF” at the Supernatural. THIS IS THE SEASON WE ARE IN TODAY. Today we are confronted with the same admonishments and as Jude mentions, even a perversion of “GRACE” teaching. Jude could have said mentioned various things that can be perverted such as MONEY, or FAITH even, but the Holy Spirit led him to mention a word we find trending in the christian community today..he chose the word “GRACE”.
He warns us that in the midst of GENUINE GRACE revelation and truth, that their will also be a last days distortion of GRACE TEACHING. He says that those who pervert grace are actually revealing a condition of heart called “LAWLESSNESS” or to MAKE HIS “LAW LESS”, OR IN OTHER WORDS, TO LIVE FREE FROM LAWS AND GOVERNANCE. That in this modern time of grace and forgiveness, that God doesn’t HONOR “rules” or behavioral modification or imputes consequences. Stating we are “free from the law” because “JESUS PAID IT ALL”. Lastly we see it also will bring a wave of people groups among the church that SCOFF AT SUPERNATURAL THINGS! They DENOUNCE and CONDEMN MIRACLES or GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT or PRAYING IN HEAVENLY LANGUAGES etc. Subjects where they personally HAVE NO EXPERTISE nor any SCRIPTURAL BASIS to do so. JUDE SAYS THIS DOESN’T “CONSTRUCT” THE BODY… BUT RATHER IT “CORRUPTS” IT.
Notice the Holy Spirit shows after GRACE TEACHING is PERVERTED and thus all “restraints” or “guidelines” to bring governance or accountability are REMOVED, THEN A “SCOFFING” OF ANYTHING SUPERNATURAL BEGINS. Why? because these believers are NO LONGER EXPERIENCING any demonstration of the Holy Spirit! they then must GIVE EXPLANATION as to why if their TEACHING is right, why then does the Holy Spirit NO LONGER confirm the word they teach with supernatural demonstrations of power? so they begin to “mock” and “make trivial” the things of the Spirit because it reveals they are POWERLESS inventing doctrines of men instead of God. You see beloved, the HOLY SPIRIT is NOT a reckless phantasm of mystical ecstasies. He is ORDERLY, CALCULATED, and will not ANOINT ERROR. WHEN WE SEE NO POWER…REST ASSURED THIER IS “FLAWED TEACHING” AND “ERROR” AT THE ROOT CAUSE. We should examine ourselves “supernaturally” not just scripturally, because if the HOLY SPIRIT NEVER FALLS WHEN WE PREACH>>THEN HE DOESNT AGREE WITH WHAT WE ARE SAYING. It is here where we can wind up being guilty of falling into this issue of “scoffing” just as our spiritual leaders and predecessors were guilty of it, only in a different manner. This “devoid” of the Holy Spirit, power wise, is also due to constantly severing, controlling, and shutting down the Holy Spirit fire and move almost entirely out of our services. We must REOPEN the portal of supernatural power again, and preach a “FULL” GOSPEL MESSAGE. being merely intellectual and philosophical can tend towards “worldly mindedness” as Jude further contends:
Jude 1:19-20 – “It is these who are [agitators] setting up distinctions and causing divisions—merely sensual [creatures, carnal, worldly-minded people], devoid of the [Holy] Spirit and destitute of any higher spiritual life.20 But you, beloved, build yourselves up [founded] on your most holy faith [[d]make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], praying in the Holy Spirit;21 Guard and keep yourselves in the love of God; expect and patiently wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)—[which will bring you] unto life eternal.
We have allowed the extremisms of a select few, in the past, to cause us to exclude this essential aspect of Christ like ministry in the present. LET US BE OPTIMISTS AND NOT PESSIMISTS. SEE “ABUSE” (Abnormal use) AS AN “EXCEPTION” TO THE RULE, NOT THE RULE OF “ACCEPTION”.
Simply put, never reject something on the basis of the abuses of others. If this were the case, then SEX and MONEY should be illegalized. No, We should keep a positive neutrality of attitude to the “unknowns” in God, not constantly doubt and become disbelievers due to the bad conduct of others who have ABUSED real gifting in God. We must pioneer a NEW TEMPERANCE and find a balance and passionately endeavor to avoid duplicating errors while preserving the efficacy of the past. HISTORY IS A BLESSING OF SEEING THE FUTURE IN THE PAST, AND AVOIDING THE PITFALLS. Now when some hear “openness to the Holy Spirit moving” some think that ONLY WHAT IS DIGNIFIED, SOPHISTICATED, UNDERSTANDABLE, AND PREDICTABLE is the only acceptable ORDER for TRUE Holy Spirit ministry. That supernatural healing, wild, midnight long prayer services, even shaking, and shouting is “nonsense”.
Although this is not a ABSOLUTE EVIDENCE of Holy Spirit working in our midst, we have seen in history God takes “foolish things” to mess with our wise sophistication. Furthermore, what do we REALLY KNOW AS FACT about the “EFFECTS” of the HOLY SPIRIT on HUMAN FLESH? is the concepts of “NOISE, SHOUTING, FALLING DOWN, WEEPING, LOUD WAILING and DEMONSTRATIVE WORSHIPPING or even SCREAMS OF DESPAIR equal to “satanic” demonic manifestations… and thus COUNTERFEIT? it is safe to say from just a basic study that almost every one of these “responses” happened to godly, solid people in scripture, and a lot in Jesus miracle ministry. Even if some of us have “never” experienced it, does not mean it is not a HOLY SPIRIT REALITY.
NOW FOR BALANCE SAKE, LET ME SAY THIS, I DO NOT BELIEVE HUMAN EXPRESSIONS AND EFFECTATIONS OF THE “FLESH” ARE THE EVIDENCE BY WHICH WE GAUGE THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT’S MOVE….I BELIEVE LOVE, AND A TRANSFORMED CHARACTER BY THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ARE. HOWEVER I DO BELIEVE THE SOULISH SIDE OF PEOPLE RESPOND DIFFERENTLY TO THE SAME MOVING OF THE SPIRIT. FOR EXAMPLE, JUST AS “WATER” CAN RESPOND DIFFERENTLY TO DIFFERENT “ATMOSPHERES” SO CAN WE. WATER CAN “BOIL, SIMMER, EVAPORATE, SPILL OVER, BE STILL, BE MOTIONLESS, RUSH RAPIDLY, BUBBLE UP, FLOW SMOOTHLY, OR EVEN BURST FORTH VIOLENTLY. YET ALL ACTIVE “MANIFESTATIONS” ARE STILL FROM THE SAME SUBSTANCE….WATER. WE DO NOT SAY IT IS NOT “REAL WATER” BECAUSE IT IS NOT IN THE FORM WE PREFER, OR MAKES SENSE TO US. TRUTH BE TOLD, ALL THESE FORMS AND FLOWS OF WATER SERVE A DIFFERENT PURPOSE. LIKEWISE THE HUMAN BODY’S “EXPERIENCE” WHEN IT MEETS WITH THE “WATER” OR “FIRE” OF THE SPIRIT’S WORK CAN STIR UP DIFFERENT RESPONSES.
THOUGH IN THE SPIRIT WE CAN DISCERN EASILY WHAT IS OF GOD, YET AS NATURAL HUMAN BEINGS WE WALK A “THIN LINE” TRYING TO “HEN PECK” WHICH EFFECTS ARE “EMOTIONALISM”…OR WHICH ARE “REAL EMOTIONS”. Often times our own personal comfort levels, preferences, and personalities produce a culture of censorship to what we feel we can control. We should be “openminded” inviting the unknown, BUT prepared to correct the disorderly and yes, even “satanic imitations” used to discredit the real move of God. HOWEVER, WE SHOULD LOOK ALSO FOR THE EVIDENCE OF SOUND TEACHING, TRANSFORMED LIVES, FRUIT, AND INTEGRITY TO FILTER OUT PHONY, LEARNED RELIGIOUS RESPONSES AND BEHAVIORS.
it would behoove us to mention something here of interest. historical accounts of REAL revival had many uncomfortable, and uncontrollable things hard to explain. IT COULD GET MESSY AT TIMES. Look at this proverb that illustrates this:
Proverbs 14:4 – Where there are NO OXEN, the manger is empty and CLEAN, but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.
to say this verse another way ((FRV Commentary))-“sure if you want a perfectly orderly stable your probably not putting in any real farm work! even though the ox can seem “messy” what he brings in as a harvest is WORTH risking having a little messiness here and there. PLEASE DONT MISS THE HOLY SPIRIT’S HEART IN THIS PRINCIPLE. I BELIEVE IT IS THIS: ANY WORK THAT IS ALIVE WILL ALSO COME WITH “FLESHLINESS” THAT CAN TEND TO BECOME MESSY AT TIMES. YET DO NOT, FOR THE SAKE OF “CLEANLINESS” (MAN’S ORDER) EXPEL “THE FULL OX” (OR WORK OF GOD’S SPIRIT) DUE TO OCCASIONS OF WHAT SEEM AS “DISORDER”. JUST WORK HARD, AND CLEAN UP ANY MESS AND ENDURE. IF NOT, YOU MAY FIND NEAT, PREDICTABLE “ORDER”… YET HAVE A STABLE THAT IS “EMPTY” (POWERLESS) AND LIFELESS, DUE TO FEAR, AFFECTING THE TRUE HARVEST THE HOLY SPIRIT WANTS TO BRING IN THE HOUSE.
The move of the spirit is never messy for God, it only seems messy for man. Why does it always seem this way? it is because the very agenda’s we glorify, the Holy Spirit crucifies for HIS agenda as God. Review the history books EVERY true move of God had a core of critics yet the fruit have PROVEN these were genuine moves of God. I mean, the “quakers did just that..they “quaked” under the mighty hand of Holy Spirit upon them. Yet the theological power of the puritans were UNDENIABLE. marvelous gifts of the Holy Spirit regardless of reprisal. Genuine worship that attracts His glory (1 Chron 5:14) and such miracles and moves of presence that what the mind could not yet take in with theology, the effect on the heart from an encounter left no question of the reality of Jesus.
I see many youth falling into the worship of intellect and “me-ology” rather than biblical theology. They read all sorts of monergistic authors and writers, yet are no smarter than a fifth grader, so to speak, in regards to grasping the point of what bible study and word literacy are to produce. TO REPRODUCE CHRIST IN CHARACTER, TRUTH.. AND POWER. Look at what this verse says:
John 14:12 – He that believes upon me, the WORKS that I do, shall he do also, yes, even GREATER WORKS because I go unto my father”
To merely believe the source for deviation from Christ is what they coin today as the “prosperity gospel” is not looking at an even bigger problem at hand. For the most part, I would agree this can be a major stumbling block. For an “amenities” approach to salvation, instead of one based in “intimate affection” FIRST to Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit is an “imbalanced” gospel at best. However, the source of the moral decay of the church, and ethical erosion among leaders and the true source of materialism, or sexual impropriety goes deeper than just only an imbalanced “theology”. There is yet a greater more grievous dilemma the universal church of the Lord Jesus is facing in the 21st century… AN EPEDEMIC OF A LACK OF TRUE BIBLICAL SCHOLARSHIP THAT IS SPIRIT-FILLED, LEADING TO A TOTAL “DEVOID” OF THE LEADERSHIP AND PRESERVING POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. WHERE WE SEE NO “POWER” IN DEMONSTRATION, IT IS A DIRECT RESULT OF A DEVOID OF HIS PRESENCE.
We are in essence effectively “outsourcing” our need for the expertise and governance of the Holy Spirit’s Lordship and Leadership with corporate models and christian imitation, and not spirit led kingdom innovation. While scores of face book youth argue on social media over uneducated regurgitation from some ancient dead author they are missing the fact that “the TRUE AUTHOR” of the scriptures and the governor of the church is being completely stepped over for a new emergent church culture of SPIRITLESS LEADERSHIP. I am concerned seeing now a new young generation of church planters (which is actually very exciting on one hand) but on the other, I see “business men” who may know how to “raise 40,000 in 60 days” yet couldn’t ENDURE 40 minutes IN THEIR SET SCHEDULE of even a REAL Holy Spirit visitation. They know how to recruit other believers for a launch team, YET do not know how to go into “unchurched” areasand actually EVANGELIZE THE LOST, and building new disciples from the ground up. They can do creative, excellent social events and soup kitchens, and giveaways yet are grossly out of touch in contending for not “mere theology” but creating a raw encounter and tangible “experience” with Jesus.
If we are truly intimately yielding to the Holy Spirit’s strategies, he will inevitably lead us back to the first strategy he created for the first church. PREACH THE GOSPEL, have sound systematic SPIRIT FILLED Theology… AND PUT OUR MONEY WHERE OUR MOUTH IS, AND “DEMONSTRATE” THE RESURRECTION MIRACLE POWER OF CHRIST. NOT IMITATE OR BE INTIMIDATED BY WORLD CULTURE, AND MIMIC THEIR METHODS FOR OUTWARD “SUCCESS”..WHILE LEAVING PEOPLE “POWERLESS” AND “BIBLICALLY ILLITERATE”.