Jude

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Michael and Satan contend for the body of Moses

Jesus had two disciples named Judah, one was surnamed Iscariot and was the famous betrayer, the other one was simply (as spelled out in John 14:22) the Judah who was not Iscariot. Because he has been overshadowed and overlooked throughout history, Catholics have made him the Patron Saint of Lost Causes. Often you will find a prayer to St. Jude in newspaper classified ads asking him to intercede in the sale of a house or the like.

He was known as Judas the brother of James in Luke and Acts, and since James was the brother of Jesus, that makes Jude the Judas who is identified, with Joses, Simon, and at least two sisters, as siblings of Jesus. There is a Thaddeus in the list of the Twelve contained in Matthew and Mark, and Jude has traditionally been identified with him to make everything work out.

Jude urges his readers to "Contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." This postulates that the entire deposit of Christ's doctrine was delivered and closed by the time he wrote, with no further revelation possible. When he says, "remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ" he seems to be locating the apostles somewhat back in time, and excluding himself from that group.

He uses the same language that the author of 2 Peter uses to answer concerns that the Lord seemed to tarry: "How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts...' This is so close to 2 Peter 3:3 (which reads "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts") that many believe the author of 2 Peter used Jude as a source.

There is a doctrine among Protestant circles that Christians are "saved" (past tense), and can never lose their salvation, which gives God very little to do on Judgment Day. But Jude asks the reader to recall "how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not" as well as the angels who "kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day." Jude is saying, sure, no one can take us out of the hand of the Lord once we have been grasped by him...except ourselves, by falling into unbelief.

Jude quotes from the book of Enoch, "seventh from Adam", which is not part of the Bible canon. He cites Enoch prophesying, "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." Since Jude is part of the canon, that makes this small part of the book of Enoch canon too.

But Jude softens it up a bit, soft-peddling the "destroy" part of the original passage in 1 Enoch 1:9 which reads, "And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones to execute judgment upon all, and to destroy all the ungodly, and to convict all flesh af all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."

He also paraphrases an incident in a book that has been lost about Satan and Michael quarreling over the body of Moses. If the holy angel Michael did not rebuke Satan himself, but only said "the Lord rebuke thee" how much more so should we not rebuke human enemies of the faith but only pray for the Lord to make the rebuke. But at the same time Jude calls unbelievers "filthy dreamers" who "defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities".

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