In our last session of Jude, we ended in verse 10 where Jude describes the condition of the heart of these false teachers.
He mentioned that these men revile or blaspheme what they do not understand.
We came to the realization that they do not understand the things of God because they are unbelieving men.
In fact, Jude expresses that these false teachers operate off of their own instincts which he states are “like unreasoning animals”.
Jude takes a note from Peter’s previous warning in 2 Peter 2:12.
False teachers are defined in this way because they are spiritually dead, unbelieving men.
These men, although stealthy, have an end.
As we explore verses 11-16, Jude will use historical and natural examples to convey these men’s deeds and their end.
If I were to put a tag to the text, it would be “Woe to them!”
With that being said, pick me up in verse 11 for the reading of the word of the Lord.
The prince of preachers, Charles H. Spurgeon, once said this about false teaching and false teachers:
Church, may this never be the case for us.
The moment that will allow the YOLO mentality to dictate who we are and what we do, is the moment that we fail to reflect a redeemed witness.
Jude will make it clear that false teachers who come to corrupt the truth of the Gospel seek to undermine Christ.
Their lack of regard for God’s holiness and His word, is reflective of their corrupt deeds.
The error of their ways can only lead to destruction and unrest.
Jude’s striking examples are a desperate plea for believers to truly contend for the faith, at all cost.
Pick me up at Jude 11 as we walk through this study verse by verse.
Jude begins verse 11 by proclaiming a heavy judgment against the false teachers.
Woe was a term used for announcing a coming judgment.
The use of this term against wicked men was common.
Jesus proclaimed woes against the Pharisees
And we see a similar instance of announcing judgment in the use of the word “woe” in Revelation 18:10. Here’s what it reads:
He first mentions that they have “gone the way of Cain”, in our 6th triad.
Two questions come to a head. What is the way of Cain and how do these men’s motivations relate to Cain?
In order to properly answer these questions, we need to understand Cain a bit more.
We know that Cain is the first-born of Adam and Eve in Genesis 4.
Cain and Abel are to present their sacrifice and tithes before the Lord.
Abel presents a sacrifice and tithe to the Lord that is pleasing whereas Cain’s offering is not.
Here’s what the text informs us regarding the matter, Genesis 4:4-7.
It could be assumed that Abel’s knowledge of a sacrifice for atonement was previously understood.
So why would Cain not provide a sacrifice for himself?
We see the need for atonement in Genesis 3:21, check out the text:
Well, this serves as a foretelling of Jesus Christ, and how He would be the propitiation for our sins.
So clearly, Abel understood this by faith. One could presume this knowledge was shared.
So what did it say about the very heart of Cain?
It alludes to Cain’s rebellious heart and lack of submission to the Lord.
He is more satisfied with his approach to God than he is to approach God the way God has established it to be.
We see this confirmation of Cain’s heart in scripture, check out Genesis 4:5-6.
Do you see God’s question to Cain? Understand that these questions are rhetorical.
Remember, God is omniscient, meaning that He knows all things.
This appeal to Cain is for him to examine his heart before a Holy God.
Cain became angered because his attempt to get over on God failed, rather than simply obeying God’s instruction.
However, the Lord mercifully extends an opportunity to Cain to present a proper sacrifice before Him.
The Lord mentions in verse 7 that the same opportunity to atone for his sins, is made available.
Check out verse 7:
The lamb of the sin offering is lying at the door.
Simply put, if Cain offers the sacrifice, the Lord would be Cain’s Master as well.
However, we see Cain’s unwillingness to submit to God based on his outward response towards Abel.
Cain ends up killing Abel and herein lies the way of Cain; rejecting the very person of Christ who is the very sacrifice for our sins.
False teachers reject the only means of atonement by which sin is forgiven for the sake of their own fleshly desires.
Jude continues in verse 11 by stating that false teachers “…have rushed headlong in the error of Balaam”
Here is yet another example of how rejection of authority and pursuit of personal desires truly displays the heart of a person.
Balaam was the son of Beor and he was known as a seer and was considered a pagan prophet who worshipped many gods for his personal gain.
He was chosen by King Balak of Moab to place a curse on Israel for a large monetary gift for his services.
This is documented in Numbers 22:7-8 check out what the text says:
Verse 8 reveals that Balaam has some knowledge or understanding of the true God.
However his deeds have no indication of a true relationship with the Lord God.
Balaam’s inner motives are revealed by the Lord. Balaam had no love for God.
He was a counterfeit using the Lord as a means of financial gain.
Check out what God tells Balaam in Numbers 22:32
God is sovereign and His purposes and plans can never be usurped. His word will never return to Him void.
There is nothing and no one that is out of reach for God.
Although Balaam did not see immediate judgement for his wickedness, God still had the final say.
Check out Joshua 13:22.
Don’t ever think that somehow God’s timing is delayed… He is always on time.
Lastly, the 6th triad mentions “Korah’s rebellion”
Korah was the leader of an insurrection amongst Moses and Aaron.
Korah was of the tribe of Levi, and managed to recruit 250 people to stand against Moses and Aaron.
The question on the table for us is, what caused the rebellion?
Number 16:3 records why Korah feels entitled to rebel against the leadership of the Israelites.
Check out what the text says:
Korah is challenging the very leadership that God has established.
Rather than submitting to God’s chosen leaders, Korah demands that the people rule themselves.
We must recognize what is really happening here.
Korah is not just usurping just any kind of leadership, he is rejecting the very authority of God.
If there is anything that we are to see from this example, it is that God chooses those in whom He chooses.
And when He establishes leadership in any arena of life it is His sole choosing.
Any usurping of God’s authority is a direct attack against the Lord.
But don’t just take my word for it, check out the text:
It began with a perverse heart sowing seeds of subtle division amongst the Children of Israel.
“Hey guys, we’re holy too?” “Who is Moses and Aaron to tell us what we can and can not do?”
Ill-motive, within the heart of Korah, has now spread discontentment and division amongst others.
The text tells us that because of Korah’s rebellion these men, their households and goods would be swallowed by the earth.
This event is recorded in the Psalms, more specifically in Psalm 106:16-18. Check out what the text says
It shows us that there is nothing new under the sun.
Let’s keep moving, verse 12 and 13.
Jude is going to draw 6 similarities using nature as a descriptor of the false teachers and their deeds in these 2 verses.
The seventh triad will include the first 3 similitudes while the last three similitudes will contain the eighth triad.
I will make sure to indicate the triad transition for those of you taking notes.
In verse 12, Jude mentions that the false teachers are “hidden reefs in your love feast that feast with you without fear”. Here is our first Similitude.
The first question that comes to mind is, what is a “hidden reef”?
The word “hidden reefs” in Greek is spilas. It is defined as a hidden danger. It can also mean a blemish or spot.
These hidden reefs are underneath the surface to remain hidden with the intent of causing shipwreck.
In the same way, false teachers cause the lives of believers to be shipwrecked.
Remember, that believers in Jesus Christ can not lose salvation;
However, men and women can fall away from the truth of the word of God, right living, and right knowing.
This similitude continues on with regards to a love feast and false teachers feasting with believers in these meals.
The next question becomes what does Jude mean by a “love feast”?
A love feast or agape feast is, as you would imagine, a gathering or a fellowship of believers and typically, the Lord’s Supper would follow.
It’s kind of like that family thanksgiving meal where we all gather together in unison and in harmony with one another.
There is commonality and common ground within the fellowship because everyone is on the same page.
So Jude is alluding to the fact that there is a blemish or hidden stones amongst this fellowship.
Clearly, these false teachers are blending into these gatherings or fellowships with the primary aim to bring about stumbling and destruction amongst the body.
2 Peter 2:13 says it this way:
He makes the effort to mention they do so “without fear, caring only for themselves”.
To provide a clearer picture, I want to read Jude 12b from the NIV translation so we can see how this all fits together.
This is where we will see our 2nd similitude.
Some of these men, today, are bible teachers, pastors etc., so they appear to have this shepherding and compassionate heart for the body.
However, there is no concern for the spiritual life of the believer, only a means to use them for personal gain, not because of love for them.
There is no love demonstrated from these false teachers, only an external appeasement for the sake of closer proximity to bring destruction.
Isaiah 56:11 confirms this, check out the text:
In essence these men bring about the appearance of providing refreshment of truth in the word of God.
They can talk a good talk but yet their words are empty and they bring no benefit to the people.
These men are here today and gone tomorrow.
We will now transition into the 8th triad which will be composed of the last 3 similitudes.
The 4th similitude mentions that the false teachers are “fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted.”
It would typically be within late autumn that farmers would gather their harvest.
The fruit would be ready for picking and eating.
However Jude says these trees are fruitless, meaning that the trees are dead.
Jude reemphasizes the point that these false teachers are spiritually dead, and unregenerate therefore reaffirming these men are unbelievers.
Let's keep moving along to verse 13:
Verse 13 will contain our last two similitudes. We see wild waves of the sea and wandering stars reserved for darkness.
In the fifth similitude, the imagery here is quite clear. Wild waves symbolize chaos and destruction.
These men have no peace and are untamed in all their deeds.
If you have ever seen live feed from Galveston, Texas or other coastal cities like Corpus Cristi, Texas, during hurricane season you will notice no one is at the beach.
The reason being, because the waters are not calm or peaceful.
Those particular waves bring about devastating results.
Residue, debris, and destruction are the end result.
This is why Jude mentions that the false teacher’s shame is casting up like foam.
Check out what Isaiah 57:20-21 says about their results:
Friends, these men’s deeds simply speak of the chaos that is within their hearts. You will see it and you will know it.
Now for our 6th similitude, “wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.”
Wandering stars in the Greek is the word planētēs .
This word is derived from the Greek word planaō, which means “to go astray.” It is also where we get our English word planet.
We see this word within the Greek New Testament as it pertains to being deceived or that of an imposter or false teacher.
For example, in 2 Peter 2:15 we see the exact variation of the word. Check out what it says:
So Jude’s use of this cosmic term is closely related to their understanding of the cosmos.
Clearly they did not have the Hubble telescope during that time so their understanding of planets and shooting stars were not fully grasped.
However, Jude does make the connection of wandering stars to that of fallen angels from Jude 6
Check out verse 6 really quickly.
We will now see how, in verses 14 and 15, Jude introduces us to yet another piece of apocryphal literature, the Book of Enoch.
Pick me up at verse 14 and 15.
It is at verse 15 that we will arrive at our tenth triad.
Again, just as a reminder, extra-biblical material is not inspired.
Apocryphal literature was familiar writing that Jewish men and women were accustomed to and it contained some truth.
In this context we are introduced to a man named Enoch who is the seventh generation from Adam.
And the text mentions that Enoch prophesied something.
It mentions that Enoch prophesied that “the Lord was accompanied by thousands of His Holy ones to execute judgement on all the ungodly.”
Well with anything, the question we would need to seek is where is this information found to be true, and more specifically, where in scripture?
However, we come across a bit of a dilemma. We do not see, within the scriptures, Enoch prophesying anything.
Secondly, Enoch lived 700 years before the flood, so how would anyone during Jude’s time know what Enoch said for that matter.
With this in mind we must remember what we do know about scripture according to 2 Timothy 3:16. Paul states:
We simply need to find it.
What we can surmise is a particular detail from a Jewish historian named Josephus who reports that Enoch’s son Methuselah was an ancient historian.
Josephus records that during Methuselah’s long lifespan that he wrote the history of the world since Adam, on two large obelisks.
Supposedly these obelisks stood on earth somewhere in Arabia during the time leading up to the flood.
Interestingly enough, Methuselah died in the year the flood came about.
So because of Methuselah’s long life, he was able to record all the events of Genesis 1-6.
If what Josephus has documented is historically accurate, then this potentially can explain how Moses could have written Genesis during the desert wanderings.
It could be that the Lord led Moses to these writings to learn the story that would eventually lead to the documentation and preservation of the Torah.
Therefore Enoch’s prophecy would be preserved for Jude to eventually document them in his letter which is within the canon of scripture.
What can be clear, whether Josephus’ recording are true or not, is that God is sovereign and in control of His word and there is no detail that He misses.
Before we move on to Jude mentioning Enoch being of the 7th generation of Adam, I would like to point out a contextual detail at the beginning of verse 14.
If we notice at the beginning of verse 14, Jude is connecting the judgement of false teachers to that of Enoch’s prophecy.
What is Jude doing in connecting the previous verse to that of Enoch’s prophecy? How do they relate?
In one way Jude is drawing on the judgement that the ungodly will experience from the previous verse.
Jude is going to connect that judgment of the false teachers to Enoch’s prophecies in the book of Enoch, which he directly quotes in verse 14 and 15.
What Jude is ultimately showing the reader, in a way, is that the judgment of the false teacher then versus now is all the same.
But Jude is also drawing about another contrast of another biblical character who is also the 7th generation of Adam. His name is Lamech.
To see this connection more clearly, we will need to see the lineage from the seed line of Adam and understand how Enoch and Lamech differ.
It is documented in Genesis 5:24 that “Enoch walked with God and he was not and God took him.”
Literally meaning that Enoch did not die, but rather the Lord took him up.
Now remember, Jude makes an effort to mention that Enoch was the seventh in the seed line from Adam. (Put a pin right there, we are going to come back)
For those of you who have done the VBVMI Revelation study, you know that the number 7 has much significance.
It means 100 percent, complete, the whole.
With that in mind, let’s put a pin here because we will come back to this detail a little later on.
So, Enoch was considered to be righteous before the Lord.
And Jude is adamant to remind us that Enoch is the 7th generation from Adam.
So why would Jude fail to mention Lamech at all? Here’s why…
Lamech, too, is the 7th generation in the line of Cain.
However, Lamech exhibited great sinfulness, rebellion, and did not honor the Lord.
The scriptures even indicate that, in essence, he was seventy-seven-fold more ruthless than his forefather, Cain.
Check out Genesis 4:23
What was Jude really doing here? What is he trying to draw the reader’s attention to?
We clearly have a differentiation in lineage, spiritually.
Jude is ultimately showing us that Cain’s line is the way of unbelief and rebellion, whereas the line of Seth is the line of the seed promise and faithfulness.
This clearly points us to the anticipated end of those who are men and women of unbelief and rebellion. They are in essence, of the “Way of Cain” which leads to destruction and judgment.
Jude is reminding these Jewish Christians that God’s people will be separated from those who are unbelieving.
Two questions should come to mind at this point. First, How does the number 7 play a role in our understanding of Enoch’s prophecy?
Secondly, what about the believers? What happens with us?
Here is where the exciting news comes about. Let's first start by addressing the number 7.
Enoch having walked with God and being 7th generation in the seed line and being taken up 700 years before the flood which was the judgement of sin in the world, paints a picture.
Enoch’s removal from the earth before the flood is a picture of a future removal of God’s people from the earth prior to death.
The future removal represents the resurrection, better known as the rapture of the church, which has not happened yet.
The Lord will remove the righteous (those who have faith in Christ) before He brings about judgement on earth
This picture is a whole, complete picture of what God is doing in separating believers from unbelievers.
If Enoch is a picture of all believers in Jesus who will be raised up in the rapture before judgment on the earth takes place
Then Cain is a picture of all unbelievers who will experience the wrath of God and His Just Judgement.
We can further confirm this separation of believers versus unbelievers within Enoch’s prophecy where he mentions “the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,”
It is clear that Enoch, long ago, understood that the Lord would come back a second time.
But it also mentions that Christ will not be coming back by Himself.
So the question is who are the “holy ones” that will accompany our Lord and Master?
Well friends when you look at the word “holy ones” in the Greek, it means set apart, dedicated, saints.
To make it a bit more clearly, pick me up in 1 Thessalonians 3:13. Here’s what it reads:
Friends, you and I will be accompanying Christ at His Second coming.
We now arrive at our last verse for this session of Jude, verse 16.
Here is what it says:
Here is where we find our tenth triad.
Jude wraps up these false teachers as the following 3 words: grumblers, fault finders, and arrogant talkers.
Let’s address each of these really quickly:
Jude first mentions that these false teachers are grumblers (murmurers).
For the reader of this letter, the imagery or connection for this audience should go directly to that of the Children of Israel.
The Old Testament documents well how grumbling, in essence, was the people’s lack of faith in the Lord especially in Israel’s wilderness wandering.
After the Lord had rescued them from Egypt, they insisted that where they were in captivity was somehow better than God’s provision.
Next, we see that Jude mentions these false teachers are fault-finders.
This word in the Greek is interesting because it is not found anywhere else in the New Testament.
It is the word which eventually became a synonym to that of grumblers or murmurers.
This complaint from the false teachers regarded how they felt that Christ's demand for our lives in holiness was somehow too cumbersome.
There was not enough freedom. There was a feeling from the false teachers that the teachings of Christ were too restrictive.
It is interesting that the false teachers of today tend to expand their own belief systems in order to accommodate their itching ears and passions.
These men, just like the way of Cain and Balaam, seek their own desires above that of the only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Lastly, Jude mentions these men are arrogant talkers.
That word arrogant in the Greek is hyperonkos which simply means swelled or pompous.
Meaning these false teachers can talk the talk, and rally the troops ultimately resulting in getting what they want or desire.
This is ultimately what we witnessed with Korah’s rebellion, a rallying up of men of known stature to usurp authority for the sake of personal gain.
And from these three examples, Jude not only shows the end of these men, but he shows through illustration that the behaviors of these men do not change.
These types of men will not only be held accountable for what they say but they will also be held accountable for what they do.
And the woe that Jude proclaims about these men are certainly fitting.
So how should we as believers govern ourselves accordingly?
You must know who you are dealing with and handle them accordingly by not giving them the time of day.
It’s like my mom used to tell my sister and I, because you know better you gotta do better.
We will see in our next teaching of Jude that we as believers in Christ must stand firmly on the truth that we know and hold dear to.
We will also witness how we must deal with believers in Christ who have found themselves under false teaching.
And how, by mercy and the power of the Spirit of God, we can help others come to the truth of the only Gospel that stands.
And that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I pray you will join us in that teaching next time.