In the three years of writing this book, we have grown as teachers. We now understand why teachers are expected to write a book. It is
a good way for God to stretch your capacity to let Him work and to enhance the two-way communication between you and Him. But it is
a fine line between flesh and spirit, and they are so intertwined. Flesh must be submitted to God, and fleshly desires must be taken to the
cross so a person may be used in the fullness of all God has planned for kingdom work.
We are presuming that God had us write about Jude because we needed the lessons that it contained. The areas of sinful action and
thought are natural to our sin nature. Many of the things that are wrong in our lives, we have been taught by example from the cradle
time of our lives. They are so much a part of our nature that separating them from our character is something that we can only accomplish, with God's intervention and sustenance.
Even as we grew through the development of this work and as we wrote and taught from it, the development edit of the publishing
process was where God really begin to say, "Dig in." Our prayer life increased substantially as the editing process moved forward.
The truth of Jude, a warning about false teachers, apostates and mockers, grumblers, and complainers, began to penetrate. We became so much more aware of the scriptural warning to teachers from James 3:1, that is, we will be held accountable and receive a stricter judgment.
We didn't ask God for the gift of teaching. He freely gave it, and it has brought us to some level of maturity based on our willingness to
submit to Him.
Teaching is a terribly irritating gift in the immature stages.
In 1996, when we stood in line to receive our M.Ed. diplomas, Dr. Jack Layman, our beloved professor, said "God grows things." We cannot forget that. This is not to say that we have grown at the rate God would have liked. But we have grown some in spite of our stubbornness and fleshly battles.
The areas that Jude warned about are becoming clearly engraved on our minds as we have probably read the material for this book hundreds of times, not to mention the number of times we have combed the research materials for answers. But we do not ever want to forget the hope that is within us.
At first, Jude's examples showed us areas where we felt pretty sure we were not in error, and then God would take us deeper and reveal our hearts. We want to reinstate these in abbreviation for our clarification and your edification on Jude's examples.
False teachers and/or leaders who sometimes used divine revelation as a guise to mislead the people were using these examples. They were
also teaching and leading people in the same sinful activities as Scripture had already revealed to be wayward and that God had specifically demonstrated would lead to destruction.
1. Fallen angels, even angels who surrounded the throne of God, saw God face to face constantly, and were aware of the work of the
Father, have served God constantly and ministered alongside of the Holy Spirit. Even they can fall and will suffer the consequences. So here we are humans with a sin nature. The only chance we have to please God is in His strength and power. But God is a God of second
chances. Look at the Israelites in the example number three.
2. The folks of Sodom and Gomorrah were the example of the ultimate indulgence in flesh. We have not reached the level they did, but we still have the tendency to indulge the flesh on occasion. And in completing the work on this book, God showed us areas of which we were not even aware, and He made us aware that one
indulgence leads to another when the flesh has not been crucified with Christ on the cross. Self indulgence causes us to focus on self when we should be focused on God. We cannot serve two masters. If we focus (serve) on God, He will take care of the "self " for us.
3. The Israelites, complainers, and grumblers saw God's hand move in their lives. His presence was clearly with them as He delivered
them from Pharaoh when they followed God's instructions. God parted the water, kept them in food and clothing that didn't wear out, and kept them safe in the wilderness. He even showed
them His presence in a cloud by day and a fire by night. Yet they complained, couldn't trust God, and lost the blessing of
living to enter the Promised Land. Think of it. They died in the wilderness when all of God's provisions were right there before them.
4. People are like Cain, who was self-serving and cared only for himself, greedy like Balaam, and rebellious like Korah.
5. Jude lists others: dreamers who live in their own dreamed-up world, brute beasts who do what comes naturally, mockers who walk according to their own ungodly lusts, and sensual persons who cause divisions. "But you" (me and we) are to submit to the will of the Father and His strength that keeps you on the path to righteousness. It is the duty of man to examine and prepare themselves (2 Corinthians 13) in order to live in the full blessings of spiritual health. 2 Corinthians 4 tells us that "even though this treasure is in earthen vessels (this is you) . . . it is the power of God at work" . . . "We are not to lose heart" . . . "even if our gospel is veiled" . . . "and the world has blinded our minds" . . . "Light shall
shine out of darkness."
We must stop, look, and listen. We are called to "awaken from sleep (Romans 13:11, 1 Thessalonians 5:46)," "be alert (Matthew 24:42)" and "being sent out the midst of wolves . . . be wise as serpents and harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16)."
It is our duty to be aware, heed The 11:45 Call, and turn and walk in the new way (Hebrews 10:26). The call, to "contend earnestly for
the faith (Jude 3)," is both personal and global. We are, after all, called to obey the commands of God, not man (Acts 5:29).
Our prayer for ourselves and those who will become readers of The 11:45 Call, is that we will allow God to continue to teach us so we will be strengthened to embrace our salvation, listen to the hope that is within us, seek first the
Kingdom of God and His righteousness, heed the warning, and flee from the devil.
We ask, Lord, please continue to bring people into our lives who will embrace us and hold us accountable to hold fast to the true faith, and we will not cause anyone to stumble. Help us to be found faithful and to diligently search for the Truth and accept nothing else. Help us to do the same for others so God's love may be manifested in our relationship. Help us to be found faithful to do what it takes to get this book into the hands of those you have called to read it.
Brenda Klutz Blakely, M.Ed.
Brenda Blakely is a co author of The 11:45 Call, An Expository Bible Study of the Book of Jude. The book was the culmination of forty nine years of God's tuning she and her husband to work together. Amazing what God can do with two donkeys. Faithwriters #7537
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