The Infamy of Apostasy — Contending for the Faith
1-20-16 Jude 009 1:11-16
Open your Bibles to the Book of Jude, verse 11. It says, “Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.  These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted;  wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.  It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,  to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”  These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.”
Can we pray; Father, thank You for what You have already said in Your Word, Your Word is “a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. I pray, Father, that You would illuminate Your Word this morning to us and may we live accordingly. Bless the teaching of Your Word this morning. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
We have been traveling through the Book of Jude verse by verse and I don’t know about you but I’ve been learning a lot so far from this little book. So by way of review we covered Jude 8-10 in our last session about the present failures of apostasy, verses 5-7. Then going through the present day failures of apostasy, verses 8-10. And in Jude’s day he singled out these men, these were the false teachers creeping in unnoticed. And I tried to make the case that it was fruitless, in fact dangerous for the believer to give him or herself more authority than they have and go so far as to rebuke or reprove demons or the devil. This is a prerogative that only the Lord Himself holds.
We emphasized the nature of their error and what these false teachers are capable of. In short they lure believers and lead them astray. Leading God’s church astray is apparently a crime so serious Jude called them mark for condemnation. He also called them ungodly, licentious, denying the Lord Himself; verse 4 says that. [Jude 4, “For certain persons have crept in … and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”] They were dangerously rebellious, wickedly perverse, unnaturally defiling their own flesh, verse 7. [Jude 7, “just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.”] And Jude employs a full funnel attack on these false teachers, exposing them to who they were. He verbally attacked them so hard he even called them unreasonable beasts.
So we’ve reached in our outline a reminder of their apostasy, verses 11 and 13, and the certain judgment of their error, verses 14-16. [Jude 1:11, “Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.  wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.”  It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,  to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”  These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.”]
So serious was their sin, please notice verse 11, Jesus says, “Woe to them!” The phrase “woe to you” depending how it’s used in its context can either mean a prophetic or an apocalyptic judgment, disaster, or it could mean an expression of horror, regret or sorrow. It’s sort of like lament. For example, in Revelation 11:14, this is immediately after the trumpet which, God willing, we’ll get to in Andy’s series, this is what John says, “The second woe is past, behold, the third woe is coming.” In other words, another terrible disaster or judgment is certain to take place. And why is that? Because God willed it to take place. BDAG, a Greek Lexicon, favors the latter rendering of “woe” here in Jude, Jude 11, which is an expression of regret or sorrow, lament. And so does late scholar [can’t understand name]. An example of this woe would be Revelation 8:13 which says, “Then I looked,” John here is speaking, “and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!’” The angel was expressing lament for these people on earth.
Tyndale described “woe” as “an expression of regret or sorrow about the miserable situation that promoted this exclamation.” And I think Jude 11 is just that; it begins with an interjection of sorrow, of lament, because we have already covered in previous lessons, Jude’s already stated that they were destined for God’s judgment, a judgment that is certain, that no man can thwart.
Verse 10, as we look back at verse 10 it says, “like unreasoning animals by these things they are destroyed.  Woe to them!” [Jude 1:10, “But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed.”  Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.]
So right out of the gate this has here applicational value. We live in an age of political correctness do we not? Do these false teachers, do they really pose a threat? Do they represent something that threatens the church if left unchecked? I say this because many churches, by and large, employ an unholy tolerance, a tolerance that ought not to be there. And I am amazed when I see church culture today they/we can tolerate such things, all sorts of things that we ought not tolerate. You know, many times we are intolerant of truth, right? If we see or hear some pastors teaching doctrinally incorrect we say oh no, we won’t tolerate that. But when it comes to certain sins, blatant sins, we are tolerant of it. We are an age where we wouldn’t dare say anything strong or criticize someone else or rebuking things like homosexuality, adultery, transgenderism, whatever the case may be left in the world rebuke us, right? Oh, you’re unloving! Oh, you’re a homosexual or an Islamicist or whatever, you fill in the blank.
But when we reach a book like Jude we quickly discover that the spirit of this book is contrary to the spirit of this age. In Jude’s day there was no such thing as political correctness. And as a man or woman of God we call a spade a spade. Amen! Jude was not a… fill in the blank…phob. He said “Woe to them.” If anything Jude shows as holy intolerance for sin and error. Yes, there was great regret and sorrow on the part of Jude but Jude was not afraid to combat or contend or come against the sin of these people, especially when it endangered the body of believers. And we see churches struggle with this, do we not? There are people out there, including in Christian circles that we ought to contend with or stand against. There is such a time with a balance of love and truth to confront or contend. That’s what Jude is saying here, to stand against error, AND we should not be afraid of their irrational reaction.
So Jude, being the poetic genius that he was, he goes on to employ yet another triad, three human examples, as he did back in verses 5 and 7. [Jude 5, “Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.” Jude 7, “just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.”]
No doubt these examples are very familiar to the Jewish audience, notice verse 11, it says, “Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.” Again, Jude prompts his audience to consul the past and remember because we can learn a lot about history (amen). In his first poetic device he mentions a character named Cain. Who was Cain? The son of our forbearers, Adam and Eve. Cain was (of course) pre-Israel, however his infamous legacy had more an impact on humanity than I think we could put into words. This is why I’ve entitled this message “The infamy of Apostasy.” There is a sure and certain tragedy when one takes the road of apostasy.
And I like, I admire the way Jude concisely introduces these character, Cain, Balaam and Korah. And he sums up their infamies in a matter of phrases. “For they have gone the way of Cain,” what’s “gone the way of Cain”? Well if we trace the life of Cain we quickly discover that “way”. We are all familiar with Cain and Abel in Genesis 4; Cain’s way began with a posture of bold, prideful and reckless disobedience to God. He essentially refused to give God His proper worship and offering. Cain didn’t agree with God’s method of salvation, in other words; he came to God as Cain saw fit. [can’t understand word]. He cannot do that. And when God’s displeasure was apparent in a fit of rage Cain killed his brother; he was the first murderer. And he murdered the man of God, the man of God who sought to be faithful to God and His Word. And he murdered his brother!
So Jude would equate these false teachers with the first murderer. And so we see in the Cain and Abel account, we see God’s judgment coming on Cain, and the Bible says “Cain went out from the presence of the Lord.” [Genesis 4:16, “Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.”] And according to one commentary he was not only the first murderer, he was also the archetype sinner, the instructor of others to sin. Others saw Cain as a prototype of hatred, of envy, towards one’s own brother. And some sources, in fact, said Jude saw Cain as the first heretic because of his outward cloak of religiosity.
Notice Jude again, his second triatic example. So “they have gone the way of Cain” first triatic element, “and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam,” who was this character, Balaam? And what was his error? Simply put Balaam was a prophet in the Old Testament who used his gifting of prophecy for gain, for sordid gain. As you know, Balaam aligned himself with the enemies of Israel, he influenced the nation of Israel to commit idolatry and destroy themselves from within. And even despite warnings from God Himself to cease and desist, Balaam still went because of his lust for wealth and power. Despite witnessing a talking donkey an evading Balaam’s only demise by a preincarnate Christ Himself, his love for money and power still got the best of him.
Remember what the angel of the Lord said? This is the preincarnate Christ. In Numbers 22:32 it says, “…Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me.” And if we continue to trace the life of Balaam, even after the blessing where God made Balaam bless the nation of Israel Balaam, if you remember the story, Balaam and Balak went their separate ways. Balaam went home, right? He never got paid, but in Numbers 31 we see that he advised a Midianite king on how to destroy Israel, not from without but from within; not by your power but by God’s power.
In Numbers 31:16 it says through the counsel of Balaam the sons of Israel trespassed against the Lord. [Numbers 31:16, “Behold, these caused the sons of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, so the plague was among the congregation of the LORD.”] So Balaam went down in history infamously for the one responsible for the apostasy of Israel, which by the way, caused the death of 24,000 Israelites. And we later, at his death, at Balaam’s death we find him with the Midianite king as Israel killed him. What was Balaam doing with the Midianite king? Why was he there? He was there to collect. Jewish tradition says that he was there to collect. So like Balaam these false teachers of Jude’s day were enticing children of God to apostacize, all doing this while getting paid.
And we must remember that in the first century church traveling teachers, traveling missionaries, traveling pastors, were travelling, teaching the Word of God, going house to house. And did not Paul say that pastors and teachers are worthy of double honor? So they were abusing this system, this system of benefit for the teachers. Paul warned about this in 1 Timothy 3:8 and Titus 1:7. Right. [1 Timothy 3:8, “Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain,” Titus 1:7, “For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain.”] Leaders or deacons should not be “fond of sordid gain.”
And by the way, this Greek word “error” there in Jude 1:11, Balaam’s error, it literally means wandering or one led astray from the right path. [Jude 1:11, “Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.”] Error, Balaam’s error!
Notice, if you will, Jude’s final triatic example, he calls teachers to a final Old Testament example, Korah. Verse 11 says, “perished in the rebellion of Korah.” Now what was Korah infamous for? Korah’s infamy was characterized as rebellion against the Lord Himself. Korah, along with two other individuals, led a rebellion of 250 leaders against Moses and Aaron whom God put in charge. The rebellion was essentially a discontentment with Moses’ leadership. And really an assault on God’s ordained structure for the Israelites. So Korah somehow neglected to see this, God structuring it that way, and believed in his heart of hearts that he could do a better job than Moses and Aaron. Not content with his already privileged position Korah demanded a priestly position. And we all know that that didn’t go well. Moses essentially said to Korah, don’t get mad at me, this is the Lord’s doing, and if this is my doing then nothing will happen to you for this rebellion, but if this is your fault, Korah, then God will deal with you and everyone with you.
How do you think that turned out? The Bible says Korah, his family, his household, all the men who belonged to Korah in his rebellion, including their possessions were all swallowed up, the Scripture says, by the earth; the earth opened up and swallowed them, then closed its mouth. What a scene. And this was to let millions of people, millions of Israelites who were left under the leadership of Moses to understand that what the Lord has structured and put into place no man could usurp or change. Korah rebelled against God. And so even his wife and children went down, and some people say weren’t they innocent? If they were why were they with Korah at the tents of Moses? One can only conclude that they had been influenced already, totally by Korah.
So Cain, Balaam and Korah, a very creative style of writing, as we said before, a triad used very strategically. Notice these examples are not in chronological order; it they were they’d be Cain, Korah, then Balaam. But you notice these are examples that intensify in sin and end in judgment. I think that’s the whole point of Jude in emphasizing these false teachers. It starts with an ill will towards God and the people of God, Cain, then quickly graduating into causing many to apostacize, Balaam, and consequently all reverence and honor lost, all authority towards God would be lost. And it metastasis into rebellion against the ordinance and authority of God Himself. At that point [can’t understand word] will be used.
This is why I thought this is so serious and this is what Jude was trying to prevent and expressed his audience, to exhort his audience to fight for the truth. This is not a game to Jude. We must be constantly pursuing Christ and His Word lest a creeping disenchantment comes, overtaking the things of God. When I read this it kind of reminded me of the media mogul, Ted Turner, founder of CNN. You know, we might see this guy in heaven. I read an article from the Spokesman Review that says this: “ Cable television mogul, Ted Turner, criticized fundamentalist Christianity and said Jesus probably would be” quote, ‘“be sick at His stomach over the way His ideas have been twisted the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. Turner made the remarks Friday evening at the banquet in Orlando, Florida where he was given an award by the American Humanist Association for his work on behalf of the environment and world peace. Turner said he has a strict Christian upbringing and at one time considered becoming a missionary. He said I was saved,” quote “I was saved seven or eight times” the newspaper quoted him saying, “but he said he became disenchanted with Christianity after his sister died, despite all his prayers.” Turner said, “The more he strayed from faith the better I felt.”
So Jude was concerned for the maturation, the maturity of his audience; their faith was at stake. He said “contend for the faith.” [Jude 1:3, “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.”] This is why Jude is giving descriptive detail after descriptive detail of who these people were and what they were capable of.
Notice Jude 12, Jude 12 gives more descriptive details, this kind of series of metaphors from nature. He says, “These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear.” This phrase here is tied very closely with verse 4 which says, “For certain people have crept in unnoticed,” they were “hidden reefs in your love feasts caring for themselves….” What are “hidden reefs”? Well, I don’t know. Scholars say, way above my pay grade, they say that the word “origin” is uncertain and it’s this Greek word spilades, it carries two meanings, either a rock in the sea or a spot, a stain, depending on the context, so a rock or a stain or a blemish. Other Bibles would reflect this, and also scholars vary on the choice of words, but being of an agrarian culture, farmers and what not, this would make a lot of sense to this audience, this Jewish audience, spilades, or a hidden reef.
A hidden reef would cause extensive damage to a fisherman, right, who were out at sea on a ship if they didn’t catch it in time. In fact, the damage would be so bad that the boat could possibly be shipwrecked or sink. Does not Paul use this kind of language in 1 Timothy 1:19, speaking to Timothy, “keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.” And this phrase also ties nicely with verse 13, Jude 13, “wild waves of the sea,” they were very dangerous. In fact, they were detrimental because they were unnoticed. [Jude 13, “wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.”]
You know, in boxing they say the punch that knocks you out is the one that you don’t see. That’s right. They were hidden reefs in your love feast. What are love feasts? According to Arnold Fruchtenbaum “love feasts” refer to the early believers practice of eating a full meal in connection with the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. You know our fellowship Sundays are biblical? Amen! So you could argue also that this word spilos, could also mean spot or blemish or stain. Right? Doesn’t the Bible talk about that in Ephesians 5:27, “that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot” that word there is spilos “or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.”
This could be the proper rendering because over in 2 Peter 2:13 Peter also predicts these false teachers. He said, “They are stains and blemishes, reveling in this deception as they carouse with you.” [2 Peter 2:13, “suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you,”] That word “carouse” means as they feast together with you. And I sort of favor this latter rendering, but I think no matter what word you use or meaning you use I think both ideas give an appropriate sense of serious danger; both are serious and both have repercussions. Notice, they also “feast with you, without fear, caring for themselves,” again in verse 12. [Jude 1:12, “feast with you, without fear, caring for themselves.”]
This is very is very interesting because Jude said these unbelievers, we’re talking about unbelieving false teachers, granted themselves the role of the teacher, the traveling teachers, false teachers, yet not feeding the spirit man of the believer, rather only feeding themselves in these feasts, in their fellowship Sundays. They had no awe, they had no fear of the Lord whatsoever. And why would they? They denied it in verse 4, right, they denied our Lord and Savior. They rejected authority, verse 8. And they had a cathode of biblical teacher but not really having the results of a true shepherd that fed the flock.
If you notice, he launches into more metaphorical language to support this idea. In verse 12 again, it says, “clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted;” again Jude is coming from an agrarian mindset and as I understand it the most grueling time in Israel is in the summer time. Right? It’s very hot, long dry, sometimes total absence of rain (as I’ve heard) but not all the time. Winter, on the other hand, is distinguished by its rain and the rest of the seasons are relatively short, sometimes lasting as little as six weeks in Israel. And I imagine this comes as a clear perspective if you’re a farmer in a hot climate. When the farmers would see plows in the distance I imagine excitement generated because this will essentially give their crops refreshment and enrichment. But what an incredible disappointment when the clouds that they see would pass and nothing falls. In other words, the clouds and wind were deceptive, they were giving the farmers an illusion of something better.
I remember my first deployment in the Navy Seabees was [can’t understand word] with NATO, this was 98-99 time frame, and we went to [same word] to rebuild right after the NATO bombing, this is some photos I took from [can’t understand name] collection, these bombings were… they essentially displayed the Serbian force so we could move in and establish a presence. And I was so excited because this was my first deployment and he built over eighty sea huts for all the branches of the military and our allies. And I remember when the sun reared its ugly head, it was so hot, I mean HOT, and I can remember clearly… I was on a roof crew and I built those trusses and [can’t understand word], but I can remember clearly up on those roofs as the sun beamed down and cooked my skin. I can just remember those little clouds in the distance, praying that they would drop some water or at least give me a moment of shade and nothing, NOTHING. And the crew and I just a wave of disappointment came and it lowered morale, it slowed productivity, it was bad.
But I can imagine that Jesus had this in mind. I think even Solomon had this in mind, Proverbs 25:14 says, “Like clouds and wind without rain Is a man who boasts of his gifts falsely.” I think the prophet, Jeremiah, also had this in mind when he says, “The prophets” speaking of false prophets, “are as wind, and the Word is not in them.” [Jeremiah 5:13] And it interesting, the more I follow this metaphoric phraseology of waterless clouds and that were carried by wind, it was always connected or in the context of deception, lying, trickery.
But Jude continues with the same idea but a different picture. Notice verse 12 again, these men are like “autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted…” In Israel autumn is the season when farmers and gardeners expect a harvest, expect their final crop for the year in fact. If nothing came they must endure a tremendous disappointment and not only that, incredible hardship through the winter. So farmers would consider these crops dead, worthless and they uprooted them. In other words, these false teachers likewise characterized promise but no performance, no fulfillment. There were maybe fanciful oratory but empty in producing any type of value for the believer.
- D. Edmond Hiebert called these men “spiritually barren, offering the believer absolutely zero nourishment. And if that’s not enough for you notice Jude 1,verse 13. He says they were, “wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; [wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.”] Sometimes when the Bible talks about or refers to the sea it symbolizes those who do not know God, drawing from Jewish sources no doubt, Jude had Isaiah 57:20-21 in mind. He said, “But the wicked are like the tossing sea, For it cannot be quiet, And its waters toss up refuse and mud.” In other words, they spit out waves , their wild waves he says, they cannot be controlled. They are unpredictable. They also cast their shame up like foam.
Paul knew a bit about false teachers. In Philippians, chapter 3, he warned the church about false teachers. He says, [Philippians 3:18] “For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping,” he says, “that they are enemies of the cross of Christ,  whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.” Wow, this sounds like Jesus. Paul says they “glory in their shame.”
Jude says they cast up their shame like foam. They were proud, they were arrogant. Notice verse 13 again, covering the section of land, seed and now the heavens, they were “wandering stars” in verse 13, “for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.” [Jude 1:13, “wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.”] Here again Jude gives us this new unique metaphor, stars! Of course stars help navigate the ships at night guiding the captain, the ship’s navigator. So what use to the ship’s navigator is wandering sights, trolling sights. Absolutely zero, they are worthless to him. And he climaxes this series of metaphors with certain judgments. Notice the double designation there, “black darkness.” Black darkness that’s been reserved forever. This group is so dangerous that they will be separated from the very light of God, the true source of all light forever. One scholar said that they will be plunged in the most intense awful indescribable darkness forever.
And then we see Jesus close this section off again referring to a non-canonical source there, this time the Book of Enoch. This is unique because Enoch is mentioned a handful of times in the Bible, like Genesis, we learned that Enoch pleased God and God raptured him to heaven. Enoch is also mentioned in Hebrews being a hero of the faith. And then here in Jude as a prophet. In The Book of Enoch Jewish people reviewed his writings because this was a very popular and strong influence in the Jewish community. Even the early church fathers revered his writings because (1) because of his credentials he was raptured up by God, and the number 7 there, very Jewish in nature, seven spoke of the greatness of God. Of course, if you said seven the Jewish community would immediately turn to or think of this status.
So putting that together this is very Jewish in nature. And apparently Jude, inspired by the Holy Spirit, included Enoch, this single prophecy of Enoch and took it as truth, a historical fact. And he said this, notice what Jude 14 says: “It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,  to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” Now when we read this there’s a lot to consider. Notice the word “also,” meaning this passage is very intimately connected to the previous.
Again, the number seven, a very big deal in the Jewish mind. And notice the prediction here, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,” this is classic Hebrew construction, prophetic construction. And Enoch, secondly, was not Jewish, this was pre-Israel but somehow he had a working knowledge of this coming one. I find that fascinating. Jude translated Enoch’s [can’t understand word] kurios, this is a title given only to God the Son. It’s very, very fascinating. And it sounds very familiar, right? He says, “this coming one, who is He coming with? Many thousands of His holy ones. Hmmm, that sounds familiar. This Greek word “many thousands” is [can’t understand words] or innumerable.
Didn’t we hear this before? He said “holy ones,” hagios. [can’t understand word] says this is a very broad term, we shouldn’t just immediately translate it as angels, this is a very broad term, broad enough to include the church age saints. Didn’t we learn in Revelation 5:11 Revelation 5:11 says, “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands,” Who is around the throne? Angels [can’t understand words] the church. Do you think Enoch’s prophecy falls in line with John’s prophecy? I think that would be a safe guess.
Or how about Paul’s prediction in 1 Thessalonians 3:13 in line with Jude or Enoch’s prophecy, “so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.” Paul talks about this again in Colossians 3:4, “When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” What a prediction.
Oh but wait, there’s more. There’s also a horrific side to Enoch’s prophecy. Yes, there will be a coming one, praise the Lord, coming with His holy ones, but also coming to execute judgment. Judgment on who… “to execute judgment upon all,” Jude 15, “and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds….” If I recall correctly Jude mentions these false teachers as ungodly, verse 4. They are marked for judgment, verse 4. They deny our Lord, they rebel against God.
And notice here Jude concludes with his ninth… this is his ninth and perhaps scariest triad yet, increasing in nature and in specificity. He is coming to execute judgment on all the ungodly. No one will be overlooked or escape. To me can you imagine how sad this day will be? There will be a coming one to convict men of all their ungodly deeds, their empty works of religiosity, heretics as he’s already covered. All their pride and rebellion will come to a complete halt.
And notice, it says all the things they “have spoken against Him.” I’ve heard it said and I taught this just today in youth about the tongue, sticks and stones, I’ve heard this before, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will” what? “never hurt me.” On the contrary, according to God they have tremendous power, our words and also horrific consequences. They will not be overlooked, both work and deeds of the ungodly.
And for our last two notice Jude summarizes his denunciation of these false teachers with a tense triad. Imagine that. He says “These” again, “these,” he’s putting emphasis on “these.” He’s no longer speaking in metaphors, he’s speaking directly of them. He’s pointing the accusing finger… my mom always taught me it’s never nice to point, and apparently Jude was never taught that. But with descriptive details, he calls him [can’t understand word], who always finds fault. Other versions call him murmurers and murmuring. This is a word that describes an individual dominating with discontent so much discontent that it expresses himself not in loud voiceless noise but with soft muttering or grumbling. Does anybody know someone who does that, soft grumbling. I looked at my wife to see if she is raising her hand…. [laughter]
But you know, Jesus witnessed this when He was on the scene, when He spoke truth, when He did miracles, the Bible says the people and the Pharisees against Christ they wouldn’t mutter, they would whisper their whispers of discontent. And they found fault with everyone and everything but themselves. They grumbled, and why in the world did they do that? Because it says they follow after their own lusts. [Jude 1:16, “These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.”
Contrary to you, beloved, we who are led and governed by the Word of God and by the Holy Spirit, these men were governed by their lust, their lust that could never be satisfied. That was the reason why they would grumble and fault-find. “…they speak arrogantly,” he continues, that comes to no surprise, right? They “flatter people for the sake of advantage.” That phrase, “they speak arrogantly” actually means an over inflation of themselves, and exaggerated sense of self. They thought themselves as important, more important than their audience. Swelling words they would say, extravagant speech, only to gain something from the congregation. Financial gain? Yeah, you could say that. That was the case, for pay, right, they have gone headlong.
So it was a dog and pony show in other words, take your money, take your possessions, take advantage of the body of believers, feed their bellies and consequently lead many astray. Are we aware that this is happening in the churches? Are we willing to stand for truth, contend for truth, call a spade a spade despite their irrational reactions, because if we’re not, expect a long and arduous road ahead for the church. As a matter of fact, what does Jude say? Christ’s younger half-brother says we as believers must do? Look with me at verse 17 very quickly. He says, “But you beloved,” … “But you beloved,” I think he’s talking to us, he switches his focus from these false teachers to “you beloved.” And if we want to know about what Jude says my prayer is that you will come back, God willing to our next session where we begin that section where Jude turns his attention to the believers. I’m looking forward to that study.
We spoke earlier about there will be a coming one, who will return to the earth with his holy ones, his angels and the church, and we will witness, as Andy would say, the scene as having the best seats in the house, right? The greatest judgment that will ever take place! My question to you is will you be on His side or will you be on the side that’s being judged? This is a sobering truth at the end of this judgment; it’s already been ordained, it’s already been predicted, as you see here in Enoch’s prophecy but the refreshing truth is the weight lifting truth is that there’s still time.
There’s still time to be transferred to the winning side. If you have breath in your lungs you still have time. But I’ll say this, you don’t have much time. The Bible says “Today is the day of salvation.” [2 Corinthians 6:2, “for He says, ‘AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.’ Behold, now is ‘THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,’ behold, now is ‘THE DAY OF SALVATION .’”] Not tomorrow, not next week, today because tomorrow, the next day is not guaranteed. Please don’t wait. Before you walk out of here, before you turn off the computer, please get this settled. It’s called salvation; it’s called the gospel.
How do you get saved? Acts 16:30-31, the jailor asked Paul, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  ‘They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…” Paul never gave them a self-help program or a life challenge to probe themselves. All he said was to believe, just believe. And when one believes totally on Jesus Christ and what He’s accomplished on the cross, He died, was buried, and rose again on the third day, a transaction takes place and you become a son or a daughter of God. Trust in Him for your salvation. When you do that you have gained and secured eternal life, never t be taken away. You are now on His side; He calls you His own in fact. So if you did this, if you’re doing this, if you’re thinking about it, let me rewind, if you did this congratulations, you are a child of God. If you’re thinking about it and you need more information about it I’m here to talk. Shall we pray.
Father God we thank You for the Book of Jude; we thank you for the sobering reminder of false teachers and how they can creep in unnoticed. And Father, we pray that we remain alert and stick fast and faithful to Your Word and faithful to your Son, Jesus Christ. We ask that You will bless the remainder of this day. We love you, we thank You, in Jesus name we pray. Amen.