Today’s selected reading continues in the first New Testament epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy—his spiritual son in the faith and fellow labourer in Christ. More specifically, today’s selected reading is found in the first five verses of the fourth chapter. When you come to this particular passage of Scripture you will find the apostle Paul transitioning away from providing Timothy with personal and practical instruction concerning his own conduct and behavior in the house of the Lord to speaking about something which the Spirit is speaking during that hour. As you begin reading these particular verses you will find the apostle Pau taking a step back and away from providing instruction concerning church conduct and behavior to revealing something which the very Spirit of Almighty God was speaking. I have to admit that I absolutely love the language that is being used here, for the apostle Paul is not only declaring that the Spirit is speaking, but the apostle is also declaring that the Spirit is speaking expressly—thus indicating that the Spirit was speaking something very specific and very timely. I am utterly and completely convinced that we must needs pay attention to this particular passage of Scripture, for what we find and what we read in this particular passage is a powerful declaration of that which the Spirit was speaking—not only unto the apostle Paul, but also unto the churches. I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the author of the epistle to the Hebrews wrote in the opening verses of that particular epistle. Consider if you will the words which this particular author wrote beginning with the first verse of the first chapter: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they” (Hebrews 1:1-4). This particular reality of God speaking to the world through His eternal and only begotten Son is also found in the opening chapter of the gospel which the apostle John wrote unto the saints which were at Ephesus:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not…He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-5, 11-14).
It is quite clear and obvious from the words we find—not only within the first chapter of the epistle which was written unto the Hebrews, but also the gospel that was written unto the saints which were at Ephesus—that in these Last Days, God has spoken unto us through, by and according to His eternal and only begotten Son. The author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews wrote and declared unto their audience that in times past God spoke in divers manners and at sundry times through the ancient Hebrew prophets, but now has spoken unto us through and according to His Son. Perhaps the single greatest manifestation and demonstration of this reality—the reality of God now speaking to us through His eternal Son, who was far superior than the ancient Hebrew prophets—is found in the seventeenth chapter of the New Testament gospel according to Matthew. If you begin reading with and from the first verse of the seventeenth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew you will find the account of Jesus transfigured atop the mount of transfiguration before Peter, James and John. Consider if you will the account of Jesus as He was transfigured before these three disciples after He had separated them from the other disciples, and had brought them up into an high mountain: “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with Him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While He yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead” (Matthew 17:1-9).
This reality is further expressed in the first chapter of the second epistle which the apostle Peter wrote, and more specifically beginning with the twelfth verse of the chapter. Consider if you will the words which the apostle Peter wrote “to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ”—“Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; knowing that shortly I must off this my tabernacle, even our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your heart: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:12-21). This particular passage is absolutely and incredibly powerful, for not only do we find present the Spirit Himself speaking, but we also find the Father Himself speaking. Within this particular passage of Scripture we find the apostle Peter recounting the experience he, James and John had atop the mountain when—not only was Jesus transfigured before them atop the mountain, but so also did Jesus appear as speaking with Moses and Elijah. What’s more, is that during this encounter the Father Himself spoke once more from heaven and declared once more, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” What marks this particular time when the voice of the Father was heard as so markedly different from the first time the voice was heard at the Jordan River when Jesus emerged from the waters of baptism, is that on this particular occasion, the Father not only declared Jesus to be His beloved Son, and not only did He declare and express His pleasure in the Son, but He also instructed them to hear Him.
It is absolutely necessary that we pay close attention to this instruction to listen to and hear the words and voice of Jesus Christ, for when we read the words of the author of the epistle to the Hebrews we find them declaring that God in sundry times and divers manners in previous times had spoken through His holy servants the prophets, but was now in these Last Days speaking to us by and through His eternal Son who was indeed and was in fact the eternal and divine Word made flesh. What’s more, is that what we find the author of the epistle to the Hebrews writing is that the voice and words of the eternal and only begotten Son were far superior and far greater than that which the prophets had spoken. It was true that in times past the Lord spoke unto His people through His servants the prophets, but now in these Last Days the Father was speaking in a new and an entirely different way—through His eternal and only begotten Son. What’s more, is that it is actually quite astonishing that Moses and Elijah were found speaking with Jesus atop the mountain of transfiguration, for it could very well be said that Moses represented the law, while Elijah represented the prophets. Essentially that which was present atop the mountain was “The Law, The Prophets, and The Word.” There atop the mountain we find Jesus Himself speaking with Moses who represented the Law, and with Elijah who represented the prophets. In all reality—if we read the Old Testament and the Old Covenant—we will find that the two primary methods for the Lord speaking unto His chosen people was through the Law and through the prophets. If one wanted to hear the voice of the Lord in the Old Testament and under the Old Covenant one would need look no further than the Law of Moses, and/or even the ancient Hebrew prophets. If one wanted to understand that which the Lord was speaking unto them personally, or even during the particular generation they were living, they needed only search and examine the Law, or listen to those prophets which were ordained, anointed, appointed, and inspired by the very Spirit of the sovereign Lord. Under the Old Covenant, the two ways the Lord could and would speak to His people was through and according to the Law of Moses, which was given atop Sinai in the wilderness, and/or through the voice and words of the ancient prophets. We would be incredibly wise to recognize and understand this particular reality, for when we come to the seventeenth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew we find the Lord declaring the supremacy of the voice and words of the eternal Son over both the Law and the prophets.
The more I read and consider the words which we find in the seventeenth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew, as well as that which we find in the first chapter of the New Testament epistle to the Hebrews, the more I am consumed and gripped with the fact that when at one point the Lord spoke unto His people through the Law and the prophets, He was and is now speaking unto His people through His Son. I absolutely love how the apostle John refers to the Word as being in the beginning, to the word as being with God, as the Word being God, and as the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us, for the voice of the Father was now manifested in the earth in tangible, visible, and physical way. What we find in the seventeenth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew is the manifestation of the Word in direct relationship with both the Law and the prophets. How absolutely incredible it is that on that mountain in the midst of the divine glory of the triune Godhead the Word, the Law, and the prophets were all manifested and present. There in the midst of the glory of the eternal Godhead the eternal Word was manifested as not only possessing a glory that is and was far greater than that of the Law and the prophets, but also as being far superior than the Law and the prophets. It’s worth noting that Jesus did in fact declare that He did not come to abolish the Law and the prophets, but rather to fulfill them. The Law and the prophets were still present and in effect in the earth, however, Jesus came to fulfill that which was spoken within the Law and the prophets, and to fulfill that which was required by the Law and the prophets. It was true that God in sundry times and in diverse manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, however, God has and is now in these Last Days speaking unto us by His Son. No longer was the Father speaking through the Law and the prophets—at least not in the tangible sense as was manifested under the Old Covenant—but was was now speaking unto us through, by and according to His eternal and only begotten Son. It is true that the voice of the Father can still be heard through the Law and the prophets, and I do believe, and am firmly convinced that in these Last Days, we must still look and turn to the Law and the prophets to hear the voice of the Lord, as well as to gain revelation, instruction and wisdom. With that being said, however, we must recognize and understand that the eternal and living Word which became flesh and dwelt among us is speaking to us in this generation, and is far superior than the Law and the prophets. I am convinced the reason why in the midst of the glory as the Word, the Law, and the prophets met together, the Father instructed the disciples to hear [and listen] to Him, for He not only fulfilled that which was spoken and revealed by the Law and the prophets, but He was also far superior than both the Law and the prophets.
It is true that in these Last Days God is speaking to us through, by and according to His eternal and only begotten Son, however, it is also very much true that the eternal Son is speaking to us by and according to the eternal Spirit. If you turn and direct your attention to the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth chapters of the New Testament gospel of John you will find Jesus making multiple references to the coming of the Spirit who would in fact speak unto the church and unto the saints according to and on behalf of Jesus who would send the Spirit. I am convinced that in order for us to understand the reality and magnitude of that which the apostle Paul was writing unto Timothy in the fourth chapter concerning the Spirit speaking expressly in and concerning the Last Days, we must not only turn and direct our attention to the New Testament gospel of John, but we must also turn our attention to the second and third chapters of another New Testament book which the apostle John wrote—namely, the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Consider if you will the words which the apostle John records Jesus as speaking concerning the Spirit: “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:15-18). Beginning to read with and from the twenty-fifth verse of the same chapter we find Jesus speaking also the following words: “These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:25-26). If you turn your attention to the final portion of the fifteenth chapter of the same New Testament gospel you will find the following words: “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning” (John 15:26-27). In the sixteenth chapter of the same New Testament gospel we find the following words: “Neverhtless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:7-8). Only a few short verses later we find these words spoken by Jesus concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit: “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall he speak: and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you” (John 16:12-14).
Perhaps one of the greatest revelations concerning the Spirit of truth which the Father would send in the name of the eternal Son is that the Spirit will not speak or testify of and concerning Himself, but concerning Jesus who is the Christ and Messiah. Jesus made it very clear that He still had many things which He desire to speak unto His disciples, however, they could not bear or handle them at that particular moment in time. What Jesus would do was send the Holy Spirit into the earth who would bring to their remembrance all the words which Jesus spoke, taught and preached during His three and a half year ministry within and upon the earth. Moreover, the Holy Spirit will guide men into the truth, for He would not speak of Himself; but whatsoever things He shall hear, that would He speak. What’s more, is the Spirit which would be sent would show and reveal and speak of things to come, and would show it unto the disciples and followers of Jesus Christ. It is the Holy Spirit that will guide men into all truth, and would testify concerning Jesus Christ—concerning His life and ministry here upon the earth. With all of that being said, I find it absolutely incredible how when we come to the letters which were written to the seven churches in Asia we find one very specific reference which they all have in common. It is undeniable and unmistakable that these letters originated from the heart and mind of Jesus Christ, for He not only dictated the words contained therein, but He also instructed these letters to be sent and delivered unto these seven churches. If you read each of these seven letters you will find that at the end and conclusion of each letter they have one very specific element in common—one element among a number of elements. Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus Jesus Christ declared: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 2:7). Unto the angel of the church in Smyrna Jesus declares: “He that hath an ear, let Him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 2:11). Unto the angel of the church in Pergamos Jesus declared: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 2:17). Unto the angel of the church in Thyatria, Jesus declared: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 2:28). Unto the angel of the church in Sardis Jesus emphatically declared: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 3:6). Unto the angel of the church in Philadelphia Jesus declared: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 3:13). Finally, unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans, Jesus declared: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 3:22).
It is quite obvious and quite clear from each of the seven letters which are found in the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ that the Spirit is indeed speaking unto the churches. Unto each of the seven churches in Asia Jesus called those who had an ear to hear that which the Spirit was speaking unto the churches to hear. I am utterly and completely convinced that we must recognize and understand the reality that the Spirit is in fact speaking in these Last Days, and it is absolutely imperative that we not only hear, but also listen to that which the Spirit is speaking unto the churches. When we come to the fourth chapter of the first epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy we find the apostle emphatically declaring and proclaiming that the Spirit speaks and is speaking expressly concerning the latter times. When we seek to understand the voice of the Spirit, and that which the Spirit speaks unto the churches, it is necessary and imperative that we first recognize and understand that the Spirit has always and will always speak concerning Christ, and reveal and make Christ manifested within the earth. The Spirit will always first and foremost testify concerning Jesus Christ, and will reveal all things which Jesus Christ taught, spoke and preached while upon the earth. With that being said, the Spirit will indeed speak unto the churches concerning their works and deeds—those which are commendable and admirable in the sight of Jesus Christ, as well as those which are abominable and deplorable in His sight. When speaking unto the churches Jesus not only spoke concerning Himself, but He also proceeded to speak concerning the works which each of the seven churches performed before Him in the earth. To certain of these churches Jesus needed to correct them for that which they permitted and that which they allowed to creep into their midst. One of the greatest realities concerning each of these letters is that both Jesus who is the Christ, as well as the Spirit are speaking unto them concerning that which they are doing well in the sight of God, as well as that which needed to be corrected, addressed and rebuked. Each of the letters which was written unto the churches in Asia revealed the tremendous truth that Jesus does in fact know exactly what is taking place and what is going on within His church and churches, and that the Spirit is in fact speaking unto the churches. JESUS KNOWS WHAT’S GOING ON WITHIN HIS CHURCHES! THE SPIRIT IS SPEAKING EXPRESSLY UNTO THE CHURCHES! These letters are so absolutely fantastic in that they reveal the tremendous reality and concept that Jesus is aware of absolutely anything and everything that goes on in His churches, and that the Spirit is in fact speaking unto the churches. Lest we somehow forget that Jesus isn’t aware of what is going on in His churches, we must remember how He handled what was taking place in His Father’s house:
“After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and His disciples: and they continued there not many days. And the Jews’ Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the Temple those that sold oxen and sheep and divers, and the changers of money sitting: and when He had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise” (John 2:12-17).
When we come to the fourth chapter of the first epistle written by the apostle Paul unto Timothy we find the apostle Paul declaring how the Spirit is speaking expressly concerning the Last Days. The question we must ask ourselves is what is the Spirit speaking concerning the Last Days. The answer is not not found in the fourth chapter of this epistle, but also in the third chapter of the second epistle written unto Timothy, the second chapter of the second epistle written by the apostle Peter, as well as the epistle of Jude. All of these words have their foundation in the words which Jesus spoke unto His disciples, which are recorded for us in the twenty-fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew. Consider first the words which Jesus spoke unto His disciples concerning the Last Days: “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things mus come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand) then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the Houston not come down to take any thing out of his house: neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together” (Matthew 24:4-28).
In the gospels we find Jesus first speaking concerning the Last Days, however, when we come to the fourth chapter of the epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy we find the Spirit speaking concerning the latter times and concerning the Last Days. Consider if you will the words which the apostle Paul wrote concerning that which the Spirit was speaking unto the churches: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:1-5).
This wasn’t the only mention of that which the Spirit was now speaking concerning the Last Days, for if you turn to the third chapter of the second epistle written unto Timothy you will find the following words: “This know also, that in the Last Days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without. Natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:1-7).
In the second chapter of the second epistle which the apostle Peter wrote unto the saints we find the following words: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; and turning the cites of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelleth among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: but chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities..But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; and shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceiving while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: and heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserve for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantoness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, thy themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Peter 2:1-22).
In the epistle which Jude wrote we find the following words which were written unto them which are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which 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. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them, in like manner giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convinced 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. These are murmured, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a different: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 3-23).