Jude 010 – Avoiding Apostasy: A Call to Remember

SUGAR LAND BIBLE CHURCH

Gabe Morris  2-10-2019

Avoiding Apostasy: A Call to Remember

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. [12] 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; [13] wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.  [14]  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, [15] 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.” [16] 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’m 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 to the present day failures of apostasy, verses 8-10.

[Jude 1:5-7, “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. [6] And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, [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.

Jude 8-10, “Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. [9] But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” [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.”]

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 the believers and lead them astray.  Leading God’s church astray is apparently a crime so serious that Jude called them marked for condemnation.  He also called them ungodly, licentious, denying the Lord Himself.  Verse 4 says that.  [Jude 1:4, “For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”]

They were dangerously rebellious, wickedly perverse, unnaturally defiling their own flesh, verse 7.  [“Verse 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, verse11 and 13. [Verses 11-13, “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. [12] 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; [13] wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.”]

And the certain judgment of their error, verses 14-16.  [Jude 1:14, “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, [15] 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.”  [16] 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.”]

So serious was their sin, please notice verse 11, Jesus says, “Woe to them!”  “Woe to them!”  The phrase woe to you, depending on 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 9:12, 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 passed 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 D. Edmond Hiebert.

An example of this woe would be in 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 is expressing lament for these people on earth.  Tyndale describes this 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 has already stated that they were destined for God’s judgment, a judgment that is certain, that no man can thwart.

Verse 10, if we look back at verse 10 it says, “…like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed.”  [11] Woe to them!”  So right out of the gate this has 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 that when I see church culture today they would 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 pastor teaching something 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 in 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 let the world rebuke us.  Right?  Oh, you’re unloving. Oh, you’re a homophobe or an Islamaphobe, or whatever, whatever phobia it is, you fill in the blank.

So 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 Jesus’ 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 showed a holy intolerance for sin and error.  Yes, there was great regret and sorrow on the part of Jude but Jude was not afraid to come back or contend of come against the sin of these people, especially when it threatened or endangered the body of believers.  And we see churches struggle with this.  There are people out there, including 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 reactions.  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 verse 5 and 7.  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 consult the past and remember because you 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 of an impact on humanity than I think we could put into words.  This is why I have 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 characters, Cain, Balaam and Korah.  And he sums up their infamy in a matter of phrases.  So “they have 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 dis-obedience 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].  We cannot do that.  And when God’s pleasure was apparent… 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 equates these false teachers with the first murderer.  And so we see (in the Cain and Abel account) we see LORD ” 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 porotype of hatred, of envy towards one’s own brother.  And some sources in fact it says Jude saw Cain as the first heretic because of his outward cloak of religiosity.  Cloak of religiosity.

Notice Jude again, his second triatic example.  “For they have gone the way of Cain,” the first triatic element, “and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam….”  [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.”]

Who is 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 we 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 and 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 he said, “…Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me.”  [Numbers 22:32, “The angel of the LORD said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me.”]

And as we continue to trace the life of Balaam, even after the blessing where God made Balaam bless the nation of Israel, Balaam… remember the story?  Balaam and Balak went their separate ways; Balaam went home, 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.  Now by you power but by God’s power.  In Numbers 31:16 it says, “…through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass 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 twenty-four thousand 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 a 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 it while getting paid.  And we must remember in the first century church traveling teachers, traveling missionaries, traveling pastors would travel and teach the Word of God, going house to house.  And did not Paul say that pastors and teachers are worthy of double honor?  [1 Timothy 5:16, “The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.”]  So they were abusing this system, the system of benefits for those who were the teachers.

Paul warned about this in 1 Timothy 3:8 and Titus1:7.  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 word, this Greek word “error” there in verse 11, Balaam’s error, it literally means wandering or one led astray from the right path; error, Balaam’s error.  [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.”]

Notice, if you will, Jude’s final triatic example.  He equates these false teachers to a final Old Testament example.  Quote, verse 11 says, they “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, let a rebellion of two hundred and fifty leaders against Moses and Aaron, whom God put in charge.  The rebelling was essentially a discontentment with Moses’ position.  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 of the men who belonged to Korah in his rebellion, including their position, were all swallowed up, Scripture says, by the earth.  The earth opened up and swallowed them, then closed its mouth.  What a scene.  [Numbers 16:32, “and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions.”   Numbers 26:10, “and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up along with Korah, when that company died, when the fire devoured 250 men, so that they became a warning.”]

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 had 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 could only conclude that they had been influenced already wholly 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, if they were they would 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, then quickly graduating into causing many to apostacize, Balaam, and consequently all reference and honor lost, all authority towards God would be lost and then it metastasis  into rebellion against the ordinance and authority of God Himself.  At that point we’ll be used.  This is why apostasy is so serious and this is what Jude was trying to prevent and exhort his audience to fight for the truth.  This is not a game to Jude.

We just be constantly pursuing Christ and His Word.  Let this creeping disenchantment come overtaking the things of God.  When I read this it kind of reminded 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, it says this:  “Cable television mogul Ted Turner criticized fundamentalist Christianity and said Jesus probably would be “be sick at his stomach over the way His ideas have been twisted,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.  Turner made his 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 had a strict Christian upbringing and at one time considered becoming a missionary.  He said I was paid,” [quote] “I was paid 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 the faith the better I felt.”

Jude was concerned for this 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 who 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 concerned people had crept in unnoticed.   [Jude 1:4, “For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”]  They were “hidden reefs” in your love feast caring for themselves.   What are hidden reefs?  Well, I don’t know.  Some would say way above my pay grade they say that the word “origin” is uncertain and it’s this Greek word [σπιλάδες] spilades. It carries two meanings, either a rock in the sea or a spot of stain, depending on the context.  So a rock or a stain or a blemish.  Other Bibles would reflect this, and also scholars vary in this choice or words .

But being of an agrarian culture, farmers and what not, this would make a lot of sense to this audience, the Jews audience,  spilades or a hidden reef.  A hidden reef would cause extensive damage to a fisherman’s boat, right, or 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 shipwreck, would be shipwrecked or sink.  Did not Paul use this kind of language in 1 Timothy 1:19?  “keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.”  And this phrase also ties in 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 “are hidden reefs in your love feasts.”  [Jude 1:12, 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.”]   What are “love feasts”?   According to Arnold Fruchtenbaum, love feasts refers to early believer’s practice of eating a full meal in connection with the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.”  You know our fellowship Sundays are biblical?  Amen!

You could argue also that this word spilades could also mean a spot or a blemish, a stain.  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 spilades, not [can’t understand word], that’s what Jude has, “ 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 says they are stained 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 is, in 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, “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.”]

This is very interesting because Jude said these unbelievers, we’re talking about unbelieving false teachers, granted themselves the role of a teacher, they were traveling teachers, right?  False teachers, yet not feeding the spirit man of the believer, rather only feeding themselves in these feasts, in this fellowship Sunday.  They had no awe, they had no fear of the Lord whatsoever.  And why would they, they denied it in verse 4, they denied our Lord and Savior.  They rejected authority, verse 8. [Jude 8, “Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties.”] And they had a façade of biblical teacher but not really having the results of a true shepherd that fed the flock.

We can notice Jude launches into more metaphorical language to support this idea.  Verse 12 again says they were, “clouds without water, carried along by winds;” again Jude is coming from an agrarian mindset  and a I understand it the most grueling time in Israel is in the summertime.  Right?  It’s very hot, long, dry, sometimes a 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 come into clear perspective if  you’re a farmer in the hot climate.  When the farmers see clouds in the distance I imagine excitement is 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 fall.  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 CDS was the [can’t understand word] with NATO.  This was 98, 99 time frame, and they directed Cookeville to rebuild right after the NATO bombing.  This is some photos I took from Fabie’s collection, these bombings, 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 employment and we built over 80 sea huts, all of 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] there, but I can remember clearly up on those roofs as the sun beamed down and cooked my skin.  I could just remember those little clouds in a 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.  It lowered moral, it slowed productivity, it was bad!

But I can imagine that Jude 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 wind and the Word is not in them.”  And it’s interesting, the more I follow this metaphoric phraseology of a waterless cloud and as they were carried by wind, it was always connected or in the context of deception, lying, trickery.

But Jude continues with this same idea but a different picture, notice verse 12 again, These men are “…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.  Not only that, incredible hardships 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 oratories 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 verse 13, he says they’re not just waves, they’re “wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam;” you know sometimes in the Bible it talks about or refers to the seas 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, “they are wild wives” he says, “they cannot be controlled, they are unpredictable.”    They also cast their shame up like foam. [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.”]

You know 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, [19] whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.”  Boy, this sounds like Jude.  Paul said they “glory in their shame.”  Jude said they cast up their “shame like foam.”  They were proud, they were arrogant.

Notice 13 again, covering the spectrum of land, sea and now the heavens, they were “wandering stars,” in verse 13, “for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.”  Here again Jude gives  this very 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 [can’t understand word] side, trolling side?  There’s absolutely zero.  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 Jude close this section out 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, places like Genesis, we learn that Enoch pleased God and God raptured him to heaven.  Enoch is also mentioned in Hebrews, a hero of the faith.  And then here in Jude as a prophet.

In the Book of Enoch Jewish people revered his writings, this was a very popular and strong influence in the Jewish communities, even the early church fathers revered his writings because, one because of his credentials, he was raptured up by God, and the number 7 there, very Jewish in nature; 7 spoke of the grace of God.  Of course, if you said seven the Jewish community would immediately turn to or think of the sabbath.  So putting that together this is very Jewish in nature.  And apparently Jude, inspired by the Holy Spirit, included Enoch, the single prophecy of Enoch and took it as truth, historical fact.  And he said this, notice what Jude 14 says.

Jude 14, “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, [15] 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 is a very big deal in the Jewish mind.

But notice the prediction there, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,” this is classic Hebrew construction, prophetic construction.  And Enoch actually was not Jewish, this was pre Israel.  But somehow he had a working knowledge of the Coming One.  I find that fascinating.  Jude translated Enoch’s word here, “Lord” as 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.”  Hmm, that sounds familiar.  This Greek word, “many thousands” myriasin, is myrias or innumerable.  Didn’t we hear this before?  He said “holy ones,” hagios, D. Edmond Hiebert says this a very broad term which 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 and us elders, right, 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’s 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 convert all of the ungodly and their ungodly deeds .  [Jude 1:15, “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.”]

If I recall correctly Jude mentions these false teachers as ungodly, verse 4.  They are marked for judgment, verse 4.  [Jude 1:4, “For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”]  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’s coming to execute judgment on all the ungodly; no one will be overlooked or escape.  Can you imagine just how sad this day will be?  There will be a Coming One to convict them of all their ungodly deeds, their empty works of religiosity, heretics as he already tells us.  All of their pride and rebellion will come to a complete halt.

And notice, he says all the things which they have spoken against Him.  [Jude 1:15, “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.”]  I’ve heard it said, and I’ve 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 powers, our words, and also horrific consequences; they will not be overlooked, both works and deeds  of these ungodly.

And for our last hoorah notice Jude summarizes his denunciation of these false teachers with a tenth triad.  Imagine that.  He said “these” again, “these”!  He’s putting emphasis on “these.”  He is no longer speaking in metaphor, he’s speaking directly of them.  He’s pointing the accusing finger.  My mom always taught me it was never nice to point.  Apparently Jude never was taught that.  But with descriptive details he calls them grumblers who always find fault.  Other versions call them murmurers, they’re murmuring. This is a word that describes an individual dominated with discontent, so much discontent that it expresses itself not in loud boisterous noise but with soft muttering, grumblings.  Does anybody know someone who does that, who grumbles?  I looked at my wife to see if she was raising her hand… [laughter]  But that’s, you know, Jesus witnessed it 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 would mutter, they would whisper their whispers of discontent.  And they found fault with everyone and everything but themselves.  They grumbled.

And thy in the world would they do that?  Because it says, “they follow after their own lusts.”  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.    [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.”]  That comes with no surprise does it?  They flatter people for the sake of advantage.  That phrase there they “speak arrogantly,” actually means an over inflation of themselves, an exaggerated sense of self.  They saw 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 had gone headlong.

So it was a dog and pony show in other words, to 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 did Jesus say?  What does Jesus say?  Christ’s younger half-brother said we, as believers, must do.

Look with me at verse 17 very quickly.  It says, “But you beloved….”  “But you beloved….”  [“But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  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, for our next session where we begin that section where Jude turns his attention to the believer.  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, [can’t understand words] 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 and it’s already been predicted, as we see here in Enoch’s prophecy, but the refreshing truth is of 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.”  Not tomorrow, not next week, TODAY, because tomorrow, the next week is not guaranteed.

Please don’t wait.  Before you walk out of here, before you, before you turn off the computer, please get this settled.  It’s called salvation, it’s called the gospel.  How do you get saved?  How do you get saved!  Acts 16:30-31, the jailor asked Paul, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  [31] They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved,” Paul never gave them a self-help program, or a series for a life challenge to prove themselves.  All he said was to “Believe,” just believe!   And when one believes solely on Jesus Christ and what He has accomplished on the cross, that He died, was buried and rose again on the third day, you are saved.  A transaction takes place and you become a son or daughter of God, trusting Him for your salvation.  When you do that you have gained and secured eternal life, never to be taken away.   You are now on His side; He calls you His own in fact.  So if you did this or are doing this or thinking about it, let me rewind, if  you did this congratulations,  you are a child of God.  If you’re thinking about it and need more information about it I’m available 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 steadfast, and faithful to  Your Word and faithful to  Your Son, Jesus Christ.  We ask that You would bless the remainder of this day.  We love you, we thank You, and it’s in Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.