This letter seems to be written to the Christians at large but one verse hints it's written to the Church leaders.

(Jude 1:1) Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

Jude is the brother of James.

Christians are sanctified (made holy), preserved (kept in the faith), and called (redeemed). I'm not sure if the order of these matters. Perhaps the calling is the encounter with Jesus at death in which he calls us to himself and we accept him.

(Jude 1:2) Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.

(Jude 1:3) 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.

I suppose the congregation at large could contend for the faith but I wonder if the leaders of the congregation is what Jude had in mind?

One of the key tasks of the early Church was to contend for the faith, to ensure heresy was squelched.

I can't imagine why these phony Christians would want to be part of the Church and the Christian community. Nor can I understand why liberal Christian (non-Christian in my opinion) scholars would devote their lives to studying and teaching the Bible, deriving spiritual meaning from it?

(Jude 1:4) 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.

Just as the redeemed are called, the unredeemed are ordained to their condemnation.

How does one deny Jesus? In the context it seems to be by living an immoral lifestyle and denying the truths of the faith, of the gospel.

(Jude 1:5) 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.

(Jude 1:6) 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.

The wicked spirits have possessed humans and animals, and have genetic engineered new creatures such as the serpent and the giants.

(Jude 1:7) 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.

Certain of the wicked angels were imprisoned until the final day of judgment, presumably near the time Satan is cast into the lake of fire. Angels are pure spirit beings and so their place of imprisonment is composed of pure spirit; therefore, the spiritual realm has objects corresponding to physical objects.

(Jude 1:8) Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

Four characteristics of these wicked people...

  1. filthy dreamers — their hopes, dreams, and aspirations don't match that proper for a disciple of Christ. All apostates have wrong thoughts about spirituality and sin.
  2. defile the flesh — notice that their thoughts affect their behavior. When you long for something sinful, it is a matter of time before you do it.
  3. despise dominion (reject authority) — presumably the authority referred to is that of God over his created creatures who are to honor, serve, love, and worship him.
  4. speak evil of dignities — it's hard to imagine why it's a problem to revile and insult wicked spirits. In fact, Charismatics often call down curses upon the powers of darkness and command them to leave. The significance of this is probably based on a Jewish idea. Perhaps it doesn't refer to wicked spirits but, rather, good spirits; those who assist the Church, the angels of the Churches.

The word "flesh" refers back to the phrase in verse 4, to those who are "turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness". These are using the gospel of grace to justify living sinful lives.

(Jude 1:9) Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst [dared] not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

(Jude 1:10) But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally [by instinct], as brute beasts [irrational animals], in those things they corrupt themselves.

These wicked people just don't think, but do things based on bad habits. They are like animals with one difference; they are accountable for their words and actions.

(Jude 1:11) 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 [rebellion / dispute / say against] of Core [Korah].

Cain — had a bad attitude leading to mortal sin

Balaam — corrupted God's people

Korah — attempted to usurp authority from God's chosen leaders

Woe: they would experience extreme grief from their impending calamity; ultimately from not being redeemed from their sins.

(Jude 1:12) These are spots in your feasts of charity [agapao], 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;

Notice that these celebrations of the community are referred to as "love feasts" using the word agapao for love. This provides evidence that the word agapao does not refer to sacrificial love as is usually claimed.

(Jude 1:13) Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

(Jude 1:14) And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

How did Jude know Enoch said this? Just because the noncanonical Book of Enoch says he did doesn't mean he did. There is a similar reference in the book of Deuteronomy but it doesn't include the whole passage.

(Jude 1:15) 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.

The quoted passage is from the book of Enoch which contains teachings contrary to God's word, yet Jude singles out a passage which is true and quotes it. Presumably Jude learned of this from Jesus or from the other apostles (who learned of it from Jesus.) Jesus did teach quite a bit on the end times.

(Jude 1:16) These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.

(Jude 1:17) But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of [by] the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Apostolic teaching is our authority and is infallible. Jesus chose them, taught them, passed on his teaching mantle to them. We are to always remember apostolic teaching. We must compare what our churches and preachers teach with what the apostles taught.

(Jude 1:18) How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

The last time, the end times. Those first reading this letter were in this time period as are we of today.

(Jude 1:19) These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

This probably refers to those who cause divisions in the congregation, who are not focused on the spiritual and religious life with Jesus.

(Jude 1:20) But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,

Our source of spiritual power is the Holy Spirit. Christians are to look forward to spending eternity with Jesus in the new heavens and new earth.

Charismatics often interpret the phrases "building up" and "praying in the Spirit" to refer to speaking and praying in tongues. This seems far-fetched.

(Jude 1:21) Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Eternal life will only finally occur in the new heavens and new earth.

(Jude 1:22) And of some have compassion, making a difference:

Other translations say something like, "have mercy on those who doubt", presumably meaning to not judge them too harshly if they are not willfully in rebellion and rejection but are merely weak in faith. Provide spiritual support and encouragment to these.

(Jude 1:23) And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Jude is speaking to Christians at large but emphasizing the leaders. They are to aggressively minister to the spiritual condition of the wayward who are clearly on the wrong path leading to eternal damnation. I suppose this includes preventing the from destroying the congregation of true believers.

Notice the image of fire referring to judgment. Notice the image of uncleanness from the Old Testament.

(Jude 1:24) Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

(Jude 1:25) To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

King James Version