Jude now moves to the main body of teaching which will support the stated reason for this letter which we examined in verse 3-4 which was the exhortation for the Body of Christ to “Contend earnestly for the faith”. This was urgently necessitated due to what Jude described of the fourfold description of these false teachers in verse 4 namely that they were:
- Have crept in unnoticed: They were already active in the Church, and the believers weren’t aware of the danger that was already at work in the pulpits.
- Ungodly men: They were not to be underestimated as they were as “committed” to the lies they taught as those who were apostles were committed to the truth.
- Who turned the grace of our God into lewdness: Their lies were extremely affective as they appealed to the flesh giving excuses to remain in bondage top our former life of sin.
- And deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ: They were extremely dangerous as their lies came against the very foundation of the believer security. They sought to divert and destroy the believer security and identity in Christ.
Now as we move own we see their methods these false teachers employed to divert and destroy the believers trust in THE TRUTH! These methods are NOT NEW as they are as old as human history and Jude will show this going all the way back to the beginning as in verse 11 he will bring up “The way of Cain”. The failure of the believers to heed these words of Jude are not due to “ignorance” instead they are due to “willful disobedience”, and this isn’t new either. All we need to do is read the pages of our Bible to see the repetition of deception. Paul wrote of this in 1 Corinth 10:11-12 “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the end of the ages have come. Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” This week in verses 5-7 we will look at three “corporate departures” from truth. What I mean by the use of that phrase as these are groups of that we can learn from and not individuals. The point of Jude is to cause his readers and through this letter us today so that we would not repeat the errors today with regards to the present danger that false teaching holds. If you are inclined to take notes you will find these three examples of their mannerisms as they would want the follower of Christ to forget these three things with regards to truth:
- Vs. 5 Truth Cuts both ways: “Saved out of Egypt destroyed because they didn’t believe”: Here the example is taken from the history with regards to Israel “God’s people”. These were the folks that were under the blood of the Passover yet after they were saved by obedience to God’s word at the Passover we see afterward many of them in the wilderness being destroyed because they refused to obey.
- Vs. 6 Knowing truth doesn’t guarantee obedience to it: “Angels did not keep their proper domain…left and are not reserved for judgement”. In a difficult passage Jude uses this illustration to show that these angels that were in the constant proximity to ALL TRUTH didn’t guarantee obedience to it.
- Vs. 7 Ignorance of the truth is no excuses; “Sodom and Gomorrah…given themselves over…gone after strange flesh..” The final illustration is that of two worldly cities that were ignorant of truth so much so that Lot was sent there to try to bring truth into these wicked cites and there were not 10 righteous and it appears that wickedness had a greater impact upon righteousness then righteousness had upon wickedness.
These warnings cause the reader to understand that such deception from false teachers is not a new phenomenon, nor is it isolated to a specific location, time, or even specific creation. This is an important few verses so the reader will not think that somehow they are immune to this warfare and attack. False teachers have always been around to deceive the faithful away from the truth of the glorious life in Christ. They have always employed the same methods of creeping in unnoticed, perverting the doctrines of grace given lies to keep people in bondage to the fallen nature. And they have always attacked the person and work of Jesus! There is nothing new about people departing from the truth that have appealed tour fallen nature.
Vs. 5 Truth cuts both ways
Vs. 5 The question for the Bible student is, “What is the Holy Spirit through Jude trying to teach us”? The event mentioned first by Jude is the contrast of two events by the same group of people and what that has to say to us believers that can serve as a warning to us about false teachers who have crept in? The same group of people were told the truth of the need to obey God exactly or they would suffer the same experience of those who didn’t have the regular access to the truth the Egyptians. Yet some of them later suffer death when they refuse to obey the word of God. It is our “continual” obedience to truth that preserves our fellowship with God and the enjoyment of the life in Christ He has given us. The lesson in Exodus is that “the blade of truth cuts both ways”. Truth is NOT a respecter of persons! Furthermore, past obedience doesn’t make present obedience automatic, we will need to continue to obey truth. It seem as though there were some of the Israelites that viewed the blessings of obedience as a once for all guarantee even if they chose to disobey God word and follow after lies. We must NOT fail in our understanding that our transformation has NOT made obedience to God’s word obsolete, instead it has made it a necessity! There is no doubt that there were those who came forth from the land of Egypt that had a deeper understanding of the work of God in their salvation. So, there was a mixed multitude that came from this obedience that include those that were not convinced of the necessity obey God Word and it these that perished in the wilderness. All those who had escaped the angel of death at the Passover all experienced the same three truths:
- They all crossed through the sea
- They were all under the cloud by day and fire by night
- They all ate the same food and drink provide by God
Thus, the exhortation that peter gave in his 2nd letter applies here: 3:17 “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked.” The truth obey saves, the truth disobeys destroys!
III.Vs. 6 Knowing truth doesn’t guarantee obedience to it
Vs. 6 Here the example changes to the very ancient past from the realm of humanity to the angelic realm. Here is what Jude gives us in this passage that we will need to understand in order to heed the warning of this illustration. We are given two clues in this verse as to the timing of this illustration was when:
- “Angels did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode”
- “He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day”
The questions are “When did this angelic apostasy take place?” “Is there anything in scripture on it?” “What lessons does Jude intend the reader of this letter to understand about the illustration?”
There are three views on this verse in Jude:
- We are not supposed to know or understand anything more than what Jude provides. In this view of this illustration a person would just repeat what the text provides without any interpretation. “The angels were dissatisfied, wanted a still higher domain that didn’t belong to them, so they left their own. The place God had given them wasn’t grand enough for them, so they sought higher.” There is no attempt to know their sin and placement in everlasting chains under darkness for judgment of the great day. The reader is only supposed to be on guard against this characteristic within false teachers even if we don’t know what exactly it is that we are to be on guard against.
- The second explanation of verse 6 is that it refers back to the fall of Lucifer, who became satan. The biblical reference to this is Isa. 14:12-17 and Ezek. 28:12-19 which describe a sin that swept a 1/3 of the angelic realm from their heavenly abode. The problem with this view is that some of the details of this story in Jude agree with this interpretation while clearly others are not. The biggest problem with this interpretation has to do with the second part of this verse and the statement of “He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day”. The problem is that according to Rev. 12:9 and Matt. 10:8 neither satan or his demons are presently bound and that means to use this as the interpretation for this illustration would cause some biblical gymnastics to make it fit.
- The final explanation as to the reference that Jude is alluding to comes from Gen 6:4. The Bound angels are in this present condition do to the events of Gen. 6:4 but the problem of accepting this view is that though it best fits the illustration it doesn’t leave todays reader with any better understanding.
To best see why we will need to examine Gen. 6:1-7 and cover the interpretation of the event: “Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not strivewith man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intentof the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So, the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” A brief examination of this passage reveals the commentary as to the reason for the crumbling of the global society.
- Multiplication of people: Vs. 1 describes the first condition that led to the crumbling of the global society. “When men began to multiply on the face of the earth”. At this time humanity due to the global atmospheric conditions at the pre-flood time people lived hundreds and hundreds of years making the global population of close to 10 trillion people. If you were to start with Adam and Eve and increase the population by todays 2% a year and then span that out over the 1,656 years from Adam to the flood that is approximately the number of people that would be on the earth. Also realize that this pre-flood people possessed a common language where thoughts and ideas were freely exchanged, and you can see that this first family of humanity was not prehistoric but extremely advanced. The problem was that they were all “sons of Adam” and as such offspring of those infected by the humanity’s fall from an intimate relationship with God. When society multiplied they did so largely as sinners apart from a relationship with God. In the beginning of this first family of humanity God had warned Cain the first son of Adam and Eve “sin lies at the door and its desire is for you”. What this reminds the reader is that at the root of all moral and social evil is the root of sin which has the only antidote for its effects the blood of Jesus.
- Compromise: “and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.” Whatever else that can be said about this passage one thing is certain and that is that societies downfall came about do to compromise.
To understand specifically what the compromise was we will need to answer a few questions related to this passage:
- Who are the sons of God?
- Who are the daughters of men?
- Who are their offspring, “the giants upon the earth” verse 4?
To answer the first question, “Who are the sons of God?”; we will need to realize that there are three views to this:
- Sethites: Genesis makes it clear that this line began to call upon the name of the Lord, thus this view assumes that ALL of Seth’s decedents were godly while all of Cain’s were ungodly. The problem with this view is that we know that the godly line intermarried with the ungodly line. Furthermore, this would be impossible because it would mean that all Seth’s descendants would have to have been boys while all of Cain’s were girls’ which id biblically and mathematically impossible. A further problem is that 100% of Adam’s descendants were in the image of fallen man and not God which means all were born sinners.
- Children of rulers: Some have chosen to interpret “the sons of God” which is the word “elohim” in its plural form “gods” which in some places can be interpreted “rulers”. In this interpretation the point is to say that theses “sons of God or rulers” were those men from influential homes and they took women from whomever they wanted making offspring in verse 4 that were “mighty men who were of old, men of renown.” The trouble with this interpretation is that the Jewish scribes translated the word into Greek in the singular form and in the three other places the phrase “sons of God” appear the meaning is never rulers as this interpretation suggests.
- Demon possessed men: The Hebrew phrase has always been interpreted by the Jewish Scribes as “angels of God” and this fact is further implied in the text of Jude 6. This interpretation is the one that best suits the text, grammar, and Jude 6 in my opinion.
It can also be cross-referenced to 2 Peter 2:4-6 where it appears that the fallen angels of demons left their own habitation of which they have no sexual reproduction and possessed ungodly men who in turn took women sexually who were themselves demon possessed producing an offspring that were genetically altered into giants, mighty men of renown.
The second question, “Who are the daughters of men?”: The simple interpretation is the best as “daughters” have been born into families prior to this as the words “and that they were beautiful” implies and without daughters being born there would be no increase in population. What the phrase “and that they were beautiful” tells us is that “the sons of god” were looking at the daughters of men with only the eye to the beautiful ones, classifying the ones that were physically more attractive. They were not examining the “daughters of men” with an eye upon their inward heart and as such they were blinded to the heart of the women and tended to make choices to those that were ONLY attractive outwardly instead of inwardly! The problem with this interpretation is that marriage to ungodly isn’t a good idea but it doesn’t produce genetically altered children or even ones that are more sinful for that matter.
The final question is Who are their offspring, “the giants upon the earth” verse 4?: The word “giants” is a word that has a double meaning in the Hebrew: “Fallen ones” and the “physical stature” of some of the people in the land of Canaan.
Now taking all of this together I come up with the possibility that “demons” left their own habitation of which there was no sexual reproduction and possessed ungodly men who took women that appealed to their flesh and were possibly demon possessed as well that the offspring was genetically altered into giants, mighty men of renown. The purpose of this seems to be to prevent the redemptive plan according to 2 Peter 2:5 and was the reason for the flood as humanity was polluted by this genetically altered humanity. All of this difficult interpretation leads me to see Jude’s point which is that following false teachers leads to the pollution of God’s word and leads people away from their only redemption the blood of Christ.
We will pick us next week verse 7 and the final “corporate departures” from truth.