We are arrived at those days now of which the Epistle of Jude speaks. I might say we are further, for the Epistles of John, although they are put before this Epistle, imply from their own contents that they were after. The order of the books in the N.T., we know is entirely human, and, in fact, is not the same in all Bibles. In English ones it is, but abroad it is not so, and in the more ancient copies of the Scriptures there was another order, in some respects even less correct than that which we have; because these Epistles of Jude and John are put before the Epistles of Paul. I need not say that there was no divine wisdom in that. I only mention it for the purpose of emphasising the absolute need of the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is no matter what it is. The people in early days, it might have been thought, would have had a good sound judgment of how to arrange the books of Holy Scripture, but they had not. I am speaking now of a time long after the apostles, and we are still more distant. But we are at no disadvantage because of this, for the reason that the Holy Ghost Who was given, still abides. The ruin of the church does not affect that gift. It is a very solemn fact, and it does greatly bear upon the practical answer of the church to the glory of the Lord Jesus, and it makes not a small difference for the members of Christ. But the Lord provided for everything when He sent down the Holy Spirit; and He made known through the apostles that this was the sad history which awaited the church. It is the apostles who tell us what disasters were to flow in with a strong tide—nobody more so than the apostle Paul, who says, “I know that after my decease shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” Oh, what characters! What successors! Apostolic successors!—there are none. The successors were to be grievous wolves and perverse men. Nevertheless, he commended the saints none the less confidently “to God and to the word of His grace.”
-From the Introduction
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- Title: Lectures on the Epistle of Jude
- Author: William Kelly
- Publisher: Galaxie Software
- Publication Date: 2004
William Kelly (1823–1906), born in Ireland, moved to London after attending Trinity College in Dublin. Becoming highly involved with the Plymouth Brethren, he also became a prolific writer, earning the respect of theologians such as Henry Alford. He is quoted as having said "There are three things real—the Cross, the enmity of the world, the love of God."