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 (Living Waters 1981 Volume 2)
Contend for the True Faith: The Way to Salvation in the Book of Jude
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Shengmin Tchaikov

The Book of Jude, a single letter containing only 25 verses in total, is indispensable to all the true members and ministers in the end-time.  Significantly, it precedes the Book of Revelation, and may be considered a prelude to Revelation.  In the last days false teachings abound, truth is confused and believers are threatened by apostasy.  This book thus reminds us to “contend for the common salvation (or common faith) which was handed down once for all” (Jude 3).

What Is the Common Faith, or the Apostolic Message of Salvation?

The true message of salvation is delivered once for all.  Just as God created the universe and the creation was good and complete (Gen 1), salvation was given to men by the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross (Jn 19:30).  The common salvation that the Lord Jesus handed to the EarlyChurch furnishes mankind with genuine faith, love, and hope.  It includes the sacrament of water baptism, sacrament of foot-washing, and sacrament of Holy Communion, Spirit baptism, and the holy Sabbath under spiritual grace and freedom.  We must come to the true knowledge and grace of God, and be obedient to the Lord Jesus and the apostles so as to please God and receive the outcome of the common faith - eternal life and bliss.  The Lord Jesus instituted the sacraments and commanded their performance in His Name as Church ordinances.

1.       Sacrament of Baptism: The Lord Jesus told us to be "born again from water and the Spirit" (Jn 3:5, Tit 3:5), and go and teach all nations, baptizing them in His Name (Mt 28:19, Acts 22:16, 10:43, 48, 19:5).  Its purpose is for remission of sins, justification, adoption of the children of the Heavenly Father, putting on Christ and salvation (Mk 16:16, Acts 2:38, Gal 4:5, 3:27-29).  One must believe the Lord Jesus as the Savior, who died on the Cross was buried, resurrected, and ascended to Heaven, and repent of his own sins before he accepts water baptism performed by a holy and spiritual minister.  The valid and effective mode of this "one baptism" (Eph 4:5) has been given by the Bible is: baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38), head bowed (Rom 6:3, 5, Jn 19:30), full immersion in the river, ocean, or spring (Jn 3:23, Acts 8:38).

2.       Sacrament of Foot-washing: As an integral part of the sacraments instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ, foot-washing teaches us to love, forgive, serve, and be humble and holy, so as to have a part, portion, or fellowship with Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of God (Jn 13:8).  The mode: As recorded in Jn 13:3-5, the minister, commissioned by the Holy Spirit, performs in the name of the Lord Jesus the sacrament of foot-washing for the newly baptized converts (Jn 13:3-7).

3.       The Holy Communion: As a remembrance of the death of Jesus Christ (I Cor 11:23-24, 26, Lk 22:19), Holy Communion (the bread: unleavened bread, and the cup: grape juice) is administered by the Spirit-commissioned minister.  After consecration in the Name of the Lord Jesus, the bread (broken by hand into pieces) and subsequently, the cup are distributed to the Church members.  The importance of this sacrament: the flesh and the blood of Jesus Christ is neither a transubstantiate neither real presence, nor a mere symbol or token.  The elements, after consecration, become the flesh and the blood of Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.  To partake of the Holy Communion is to have the nourishment of spiritual life, the prospect of eternal life and resurrection at the Last Day, and above all, a mystic union between the Lord Jesus and the individual believers (Jn 6:53-5,6).  Only the guiltless and worthy believers are permitted to enjoy this Communion (I Cor 11:2.7-32).

4.       Receiving the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is called "the Comforter" (Jn 14:16), the Spirit of God (I Cor 3:16), the Spirit of the living God (II Cor 3:3), the Spirit of the Father (Mt 10:20), the Spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9), the Spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:7 RSV), the Spirit of the Son (Gal 4:6), the Spirit of truth (I Jn 4:6) and so forth.  The Spirit is one and the same as God and Jesus Himself. Thefore His ascension the Lord Jesus Christ told the disciples 1) to be endowed with the power of the Holy Spirit, i.e., to receive, or to be baptized by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5, Jn 20:21-23); 2) with the commission of the Holy Spirit they must preach to the nations the gospel of the kingdom (Mt 28:20, Luke 24:44-49, Acts 1:8). All Christians, ministers and believers, must receive the Spirit to prove: 1) that they have been born from the Spirit (Jn 3:5), belong to God (E7ph 1: 13.14, 2 Tim 2:19, Rev 7: 1 3), and are the children and heirs of God (Rom 8:16, Gal 4:6-7); 2) that receiving the Holy Spirit is a guarantee or a “passport” for the heavenly inheritance (Eph 1:14, 2 Cor 1:22, 5:5).  For this reason, Spirit baptism is vitally related to salvation. It should be noted that the Holy Spirit is equated with the truth (Jn 14:6, 16:13).  If any church group or individual preaches and adheres to Gospel truth, that church or person will certainly receive the Spirit of the Lord, With the same Spirit of God Christians will come to the unity of the common faith and the Spirit (Eph 4:3-6).  As human traditions and religious hypocrisy stand in God's way, and pulpit rhetoric is full of dry, artful, and worldly oratory, we urge the Christians to return to the Bible and the ecclesiastical, doctrinal, and spiritual experience of the Lord Jesus and His apostles in the EarlyChurch.  If any one believes, repents and is baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (Eph 1:7, 1 Jn 5:6-8, Acts 20:28, Heb 9:13,14,22,10:19-22), the promised Holy Spirit will be given to anyone who asks in His Name (Lk 11:9-13).  If one receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the immeasurable Spirit will become a living spring, overflowing unto eternal life (Jn 3:34, Is 32:15, Jn 7:37-39).  The recipients of the Holy Spirit speak in tongues, both in private and congregational prayer sessions.  The spiritual tongues well up from the depth of one's innermost being and are the mysterious utterances with which one communicates with God and is one's spirituality edified (I Cor 14:2,4, Rom 8:26).  To receive the Holy Spirit is a Christian privilege of "praying in the Holy Spirit" (Jude 20) and a unity between God and His Children (Jn 14:16, 17, 1 Cor 2:10-16). With the help of the Holy Spirit, the believers will bear the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) and put to death lusts and the lower nature of the flesh (Rom 8:4, 13).  The believer's spiritual life is always renewed and sanctified as "new creatures in Christ" (Tit 3:5, 2 Thes 2:13), having true holiness and righteousness of God (Eph 4:24).  Moreover, to receive the Holy Spirit is to confirm the divine commission (Rom 10:14, 15) - the power and authority from above, so as to remit or to retain sin (Jn 20:21-23, Acts 5:1-11), or to execute divine healing (Heb 2:3, 4). For Church edification, the Holy Spirit grants various spiritual gifts (charismata): utterance of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, discernment of spirits, various kinds of tongues, and interpretation of tongues (I Cor 12:1-12).  To reveal His special purpose God will give the special gift of tongues and of interpretation to the congregation as a vocal or auditory miracle.  This charisma is neither given all the time nor to all the members (I Cor 14:5, 6, 12, 18, 19, 26, 1 Cor 12:30).  It is, however, wrong to assume that Christians do not have to speak in tongues.  The apostles and believers of the Early Church and the members of the True Jesus Church, for instance, have demonstrated the same spiritual phenomenon: speaking in tongues (Acts 2:1-4,33, 8:14-19, 10:44-48, 11:15, 19:2-7, 1 Cor 12:2, 4) and enjoying the spiritual communication with God.  Furthermore, Christians should be warned against the phenomena which might have ignorantly been taken as "receiving the Spirit" or "Spirit baptism": rolling, spasm, foaming, agony, wild screams, "to be spiritually slain" with its resultant unconsciousness, or other weird expressions.  The false tongues may be a sheer human contrivance or a delusion from the other spirits.  It should be noted that the good endowment and perfect gift of God should be distinguishable from the earthly, unspiritual, and devilish.  The vibration of the body and glossolalia are the visible and audible manifestation of receiving the Holy Spirit, but God is the author of decency and order (I Cor 14:33) and the gift of God is pure, peaceable, powerful, and spiritually bright and joyful.

5.       The holy Sabbath under the spiritual blessing and freedom of the Lord Jesus Christ: To keep the seventh day of the week is a matter of Christian conscience and obligation in relation to the indisputable Ten Commandments.  God instituted the Sabbath even from the beginning of the creation as He had rested, sanctified, and blessed this day (Gen 2:1-3).  Jesus Christ, Lord of the Sabbath (Mk 2:27, 28), designated this day as a day of spiritual joy and rest.  He observed it as his custom was (Lk 4:16) for worship and teaching, while he repudiated the Pharisaic bondage to the legal restrictions evolved in the oral and written Jewish traditions.  The Lord Jesus Christ wants His disciples to observe this seventh day in a manner as in the Edenic innocence and freedom. Like Jesus Christ, the apostles observed the day of Sabbath, enjoying the spiritual blessing given by the truth and grace of God (Acts 13:14, 44, 16:13, 17:1,2, 18:4, Jn 1:14, 2 Cor 3:17).  The apostle Paul kept this day as his custom.  He dissuaded the Christian Jews from observing such Mosaic ordinances as cleansing rituals, days of fasting, meat and drinking rules, special holidays and others (Rom 14:1-6, Gal 4:9, 10, Co] 2:14-17).  Incidentally, all theories about the Christian Sunday are not recorded in the Bible.  The reference to the first day of the week points to the verity of Jesus' resurrection against a definite setting (Mt 28:1, Mk 16:2,9, Lk 24:1, Jn 20:1,19), a special farewell gathering for the apostle Paul (Acts 20:7), or for contribution collection (I Cor 16:2).  These scriptures have nothing to do with the celebration of the day of resurrection.  It is the Catholic Church that ordained the celebration of Sunday as "the Lord's Day," and it is "Sunday" legislation that emerged in the 4th century Roman Empire.  A conscientious Christian must understand and uphold the dignity and solemnity of the Ten Commandments including the Fourth Commandment, despite the fact that the Leviticus ordinances regarding festival days, priesthood, sacrifices, and others have been fulfilled by Jesus Christ.  Indeed, if one loves God and other people as himself, he will keep the Commandments of God and enjoy the Sabbath under His grace.


Jude in his letter cites the unbelievers, backsliders, and turncoats from the history of the chosen people to warn the saints against the danger of fallen faith.  To be sure, the saints must constantly keep what they have received from the Lord (2 Tim 1:6, Tim 4:6, 2 Pet 3:1), lest they should fall away.  Church ministers must also be aware of faith crisis in order to carry out by the power of the Lord Jesus a better pastoral work and maintain the purity of the saving gospel.  The following predicaments or maladies of the faith must be removed from the body of Christ:

1.       The Israelites who did not believe (Jude 5-6).  Out of love, compassion, and great power, God delivered Israel from the land of slavery into the prospect of entering the Promised Land.  Unfortunately, most of them perished in the wilderness because of disbelief (I Cor 10:5, Heb 3:15-19, 4:1-2).  Even Moses and Aaron were disqualified to enter Canaan on account of their loss of faith (Num 20:12).  The faith of the Lord's disciples must always be strengthened by Jesus Christ (Lk 17:5).  They must "hold their first confidence to the end" for the participation in Christ (Heb 3:14).

2.       The angels who did not keep their original position (6).  Satan was originally an archangel in a high position, but for his beauty and wisdom (Eze 28:17), he had become proud and wanted to equate himself with the Most High (Is 14:14).  For that reason, he and his followers have kept in "eternal chains in the nether gloom until the judgement day" (6).  Their final destination is the "lake of fire" (Rev 20:20).  Those who are beguiled by false teachers and turn away from God will suffer the same horrible end (Rev 20:15).

3.       The wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (7).  Because of lust and perversion, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed (Gen 19:6-7, 2 Pet 2:6-7).  On account of lust and wickedness Noah's generation was destroyed by the flood (Gen 6).  The apostle Paul lists sexual immorality as the prime in a myriad of sins.  Those who commit such a sin cannot inherit the kingdom of God (I Cor 6:9-10). Another form of fornication is to compromise with the world (Jas 4:4).  This is a spiritual fornication (Eze 6:9).  The believers must keep good faith and godliness.  They must never gratify the desires of the flesh (Gal 5:16), nor commit spiritual fornication.

4.       The self-righteous Cain (Jude 11a).  Abel offered a lamb and blood for atonement of sins, but Cain offered the fruit of the land - an act of self -righteousness.  Sin entered the world through one man and all humans have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 5:12, 3:23).  There is not a single righteous person and all righteous deeds are like polluted garments (Rom 3:10, Is 64:6).  Only through the redemption of Jesus' blood (Rom 3:24) and sanctification of the Holy Spirit (I Cor 6: 11), can one have the share of the kingdom of heaven.  The self-conceited Cain so wantoned in anger that he murdered Abel.  Curse was heavy upon him (Gen 4:3-12).

5.       The greedy Balaam (11b).  Originally a prophet of God, Balaam "loved gain from wrongdoing" (2 Pet 2:15).  Hired by Barak, king of Moab, Balaam was to curse the Israelites (Num 22-24).  God turned the curse into blessing (Num 23:4-5).  Later on, Balaam became a false prophet.  He even caused the Israelites to the sin of idolatry and fornication (Rev 2:14, Num 25:1-3), and he himself was destroyed (Num 31:8).

6.       Rebellious Korah (11c).  Defiant to the God-instituted leadership of Moses, Korah instigated division and rebellion.  Korah's arrogant usurpation of God's power brought forth an unusual death to himself and his gang (Num 16:31-35, 49).

Important Steps into Spiritual Perfection, a Requisite for Salvation (Jude 17-21)

Jude cites the prophecy of Enoch to warn against the danger of apostasy.  Now he turns to the "beloved" brethren (Jude 3, 17, 20), once again calling them to remember what the apostles had spoken about the "scoffers" (2 Pet 3:3).  The scoffers follow their own ungodly passions, and cause division and strife.  Devoid of the Holy Spirit, they mislead the people away from the truth (Jude 17, 19).  Then, Jude points out four important steps, which lead one to ultimate salvation:

1.       Build oneself upon the most holy faith (20): The most holy, true Gospel will sanctify the believers (Jn. 17:17, 15:3), and build them up until they become perfect and achieve salvation.  One ought to diligently search and study the word of God, and meditate on the way and law of God all day and all night (cf. Ps 119:1, Dt 4:1-2, 5, 29-33, Ps 1:2-3).

2.       Pray in the Holy Spirit (20b): To receive the Holy Spirit and to pray in the spiritual tongues viiii enable one to utter mysteries and talk to God in spiritual depth.  Moreover, the Holy Spirit will intercede for the believers (Rom 8:26-27).  If one prays and walks in the Holy Spirit, he will bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22), so as to perfect the spiritual and moral character.

3.       Keep oneself in the love of God (21a): The love that God has given to the world is the salvation of Jesus Christ, the words of life, and the Holy Spirit.  Only by keeping the truth and the Holy Spirit, can one keep the love of God.  Besides, one must be holy, because the Bible addresses the chosen people as the "holy and beloved" (Col 3:12).  Without holiness one cannot see God (He 12:14).  God is holy and so we must be holy so as to abide in the love of God (Lev 11:44, 19:2, 1 Pet 1:16), and be qualified into the holy city (cf. Rev 21:27).

4.       Wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life (21b): Humans are weak, and so must turn to the mercy of God for eternal life (Tit 3:5).  Even in the daily life of the Christians, temptation and attack come from without, and weakness and tendency to err from within.  Without the mercy and compassion of the Lord, our wrongdoing can never be forgiven.

5.       While we are waiting for the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus and the Kingdom of Heaven, we must:

1.       Guard against the Devil (Eph. 4:27, Jas 4:7-8).

2.       Apply the true words to our life (Ja 1:22, Lk 11:28).

3.       Follow the Lord Jesus closely (Mt 7:24-25), asking Him to strengthen our faith (Lk 17:5, Rom 15:4).