The Infiltration of False Teachers: vs 4 - 7
(VS 4) For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jude begins to explain why the saints should carry on the fight by means of the Word of God. It is because false teachers have crept into the church. In verses 4-7 he gives us a warning concerning false teachers.
For there are certain men - This refers to false teachers.
Crept in unawares - The Greek word used to translate this phrase means, "to sneak in, to infiltrate with secrecy, dishonesty and deception."
Literally, "For certain men have begun to infiltrate in a dishonest manner."
Who were before of old ordained to this condemnation - The words "before ordained" comes from the Greek meaning "to write previously or to write before hand." Jude is referring to previous Bible writers, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, who both taught about apostasy. The words "of old" actually means, "long ago, former, old days." The words "to this condemnation" comes from the Greek prepositional phrase meaning "concerning this judgment" or "concerning this condemnation."
Literally, "For certain men have begun to infiltrate in a dishonest manner and have been received with open arms, men who had been previously written about long ago concerning their judicial sentence."
Ungodly men - The Greek word is ASEBES, meaning, "wicked or sinful." This word is used five times in this epistle. Once in verse four, and four times in verse fifteen. This word refers to "refusing subjection to God, acting independently of and in opposition to God." This word is used technically for unbelievers. It was for the "ungodly" that Christ died (Romans 5:6).
Turning the grace of God into lasciviousness - The word "turning" is taken from the Greek word meaning, "to transfer, to pervert, to change over." It refers to "perverting" in a bad sense. Jude is saying here that "Every beautiful, wholesome, wonderful principle they teach is a "perversion" of the truth. The ones who are negative toward the truth will accept the "perverted" teaching of the "perverted teachers."
The word "lasciviousness" comes from the Greek word meaning, "intemperance, licentiousness, outrageous behavior." This word was used of a person who "acknowledges no restraints, or one who dares whatever his wants and desires may suggest." This word involves the spirit of anarchy. Those who advocate total freedom are anarchists. Total freedom not only means the absence of authority, but the absence of individual restraint.
Literally, "Perverting the grace of God into unrestrained behavior."
And denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ - The word "denying" means, "to deny, to disown, to renounce, to refuse, to contradict." Who are they "denying?" Who are they "refusing?" Who are they "contradicting?" "The only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ." The first word for "Lord" is from the Greek word DESPOTES, meaning, "a master of slaves, a sovereign, a person in supreme authority." This word is used here because the problem in apostasy is the rejection of authority, and DESPOTES, refers to one in supreme authority.
The word "God" is not in the Greek text. But the next phrase, "and Lord Jesus Christ," brings the reader to the true issue in the human race. "What do you think of the Lord Jesus Christ?" The word "Lord" is from the Greek word KURIOS, meaning, "Lord, sovereign, or deity." The words "Jesus Christ" refers to the God-Man. Jesus is His human name and refers to His humanity. Christ is the name of His office or appointment. It means "the chosen One," and refers to His deity. Jesus Christ is undiminished deity and true humanity in one person forever. Jude put this in here because the Gnostics did not accept the concept of the God-Man.
EXPANDED TRANSLATION VERSE 4: "For certain men have begun to infiltrate in a dishonest manner and have been received with open arms, men who had been previously written about long ago concerning their judicial sentence, unbelievers perverting the grace of God into unrestained behavior, and denying the only absolute master, even the Lord Jesus Christ."
Verse four is actually an introductory verse on apostasy. The next three verses give us illustrations of three different aspects of apostasy. Each generation illustrated had a segment of its population destroyed because of apostasy.
(1) - In verse five we have the Exodus generation. Believers were destroyed because of their negative attitude toward the Word of God. They did not believe what God said through His prophet Moses.
(2) - In verse six we have Noah's generation. Noah's generation had both angels judged, and the half human creatures destroyed because of their negative attitude toward the Word of God. They did not believe what God said through His prophet Noah.
(3) - In verse seven we have Abraham's generation. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of their immorality and degeneration caused by apostasy, and their continued negative attitude toward the Word of God.
The thing we must all remember is that no matter what the problem may be, whether it is personal, political, social or military, the root cause of that problem is apostasy or the negative attitude toward the truth of the Word of God. We can never solve any of these problems by simply facing these problems as psychologists and philosophers tell us. The problems we have today can only be solved by facing the apostasy that caused the problems in the first place. The solution to the problems in America today is for Americans to turn away from apostasy in at least two areas. First of all, for the unbelievers, the non-Christians should turn to Jesus Christ and accept Him as their personal Savior, and secondly all believers in Jesus Christ should learn and apply the Word of God on a daily basis. You would be surprised how many problems that would solve.
The Word of God is the answer it is not education, not humanism, not religion, not any political party or political leader, and not the Christian Coalition. It is the Word of God.As far as the constitution of our great country is concerned, it is only as good as the character of the people who enforce it. As you very well know, our great land is in dire need of leaders who have integrity, honesty, and great moral character. But where do these types of leaders come from? From the Bible classes of local churches who consistently teach the Word of God. Great leaders also come from a strong establishment background apart from the teaching of the Word of God.
In the illustrations of apostasy in our passage, we begin with believers as apostates in the Exodus generation and end up with unbelievers as apostates in Abraham's generation, and we have the angels in between. You can deduct from reading this passage that this is not in chronological order, but logical order.
Each of these three generations illustrated were the recipients of maximum grace from God.
(1) The Exodus generation was delivered from slavery in Egypt. God provided for every situation in their lives, yet there was apostasy, there was negative volition toward the Word of God.
(2) In Noah's generation there was the preaching of the gospel for 120 years before the flood began. This was a maximum grace effort on the part of God to save those individuals in that generation, yet there was apostasy, there was negative volition toward the Word of God.
(3) In Abraham's generation, there were warnings from the invasion of Chedorlaomer in Gen 14, from the intercession of Abraham for Sodom, and from the visit of the angels. All of these things indicate that God showed grace toward Sodom and Gomorrah, but they remained apostate. They remained negative toward the Word of God.
VS 5: I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
I will therefore put you in remembrance - The words "I will" means "a desire or a wish" on the part of the writer. The words "put you in remembrance" comes from the Greek word HUPOMIMNESKO meaning, "to remind from a position of authority." Reminding someone of something from a position of authority refers to using the Word of God to stimulate one's thinking.
Literally, "After serious and careful deliberation, I have, therefore, decided to remind you from a position of authority."
Though ye once knew this - Jude is saying that these people still have Biblical information in their souls that they learned years ago. But the doctrine resident in their souls is not being applied in everyday living.
Literally, "After serious and careful deliberation, I have, therefore, decided to remind you from a position of authority what you have constantly known."
How that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt - (7) The word "Lord" refers to Jesus Christ as their deliverer. The word "saved" actually refers to their "deliverance" out from the land of Egypt.
Afterwards destroyed them that believed not - The word "destroyed" means that He put them to death. This refers the sin unto death. The reason the Lord killed them with the sin unto death is because "they believed not." In other words, they did not take God at His Word, and therefore, they did not trust Him. Verse five is an illustration of apostasy involving believers who were disciplined by God with the sin unto death because of their constant negative attitude toward the Word of God.
EXPANDED TRANSLATION VERSE 5: "After serious and careful deliberations I have, therefore, decided to remind you from a position of authority what you have constantly known, that first of all the Lord, having delivered the people out from the land of Egypt, then, secondly He destroyed the ones who did not believe."
PRINCIPLE: Before anyone ever moves into apostasy they must first of all be thinking apostasy. This principle is true for almost every concept of life, and any expression of negativeness toward the Word of God is basically apostasy. Before a believer overtly rejects the teaching of the Word of God, he has rejected it in his thinking.
Soon after their deliverance from Egypt, Moses went up on Mount Sinai to be taught by the Lord. While he was gone, the people talked Aaron into making a golden calf to worship, and they began to party. Their party was nothing more than an old fashioned orgy with wife swapping and other forms of fornication. Before these people did this overtly, they had been thinking it for a long time. With a leader like Moses, all they did was think about it. But, when he was gone, restraints were gone, and what they were thinking came out in the open. So whatever a person does overtly, he has generally been thinking about it for a long time.
VS 6: And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
And the angels (8) - This refers to "the sons of God" in Genesis 6:1-9. They are also mentioned in II Peter 2:4. (II Peter chapter two also deals with apostasy.) These fallen angels were involved in an ingenious Satanic plot to frustrate the incarnation of Jesus Christ. These angels took human women as their wives and produced a generation of offspring that were half angel and half human. If this evil plan had succeeded, the human race would have ceased to exist as pure humanity, and Jesus Christ could not have been born as a human. That would have stopped God's salvation plan for mankind. But their evil plan failed. God destroyed all living creatures on the earth except for Noah and his family, the only ones who were not corrupted by the angelic infiltration.
There are those who are skeptical concerning "the sons of God" in Genesis six being angels. But all they have to do is to check out the other times that phrase "the sons of God" is found throughout the Old Testament, and they will discover that it is always used to refer to angels. (See Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7.) Everytime this phrase is used in the Old Testament, it is used for angels, and only angels. In the New Testament, the phrase "the sons of God" always refers to believers in Jesus Christ. You will never find a New Testament reference to "the sons of God" being angels. The reason for the difference between the testaments is because of the difference of the languages. The Old Testament is written in Hebrew, while the New Testament is written in Greek. Plus, angels have a greater position in the Old Testament plan of God, but in the New Testament human beings replaced angels as being God's primary messengers.
Which kept not - This is a translation of the Greek word TEREO, which means, "to keep watch upon, to guard, to watch over protectively." This refers to watching or guarding something which belongs to you innately. Inherently, they belonged to another race, a race of super creatures. These angels were personally involved in sexual misconduct with women of the human race; therefore, they were consigned to a place called TARTARUS (translated hell in your English Bibles). This is a place that is actually lower than hell, and they are there today waiting judgment (II Peter 2:4).
Their first estate - This literally says, "their own beginning." In other words, they began as angels, and they were to stay with angels and angels only. They violated that principle.
Literally, "And the angels who did not keep watch over their own beginning."
But left their own habitation - They "left" or "abandoned" or "deserted" their own personal dwelling or home.
Literally, "And the angels who did not keep watch over their own beginning, but deserted their own private dwelling place."
He hath reserved - The Greek word is TEREO. The same word we just saw in the phrase "which kept not." It means," to guard, to keep watch upon, to keep in custody." In other words, God Himself is "guarding and keeping in custody" these angels He threw into TARTARUS. It then says that they are: In everlasting chains under darkness - This literally says, "in everlasting imprisonment under the authority of darkness."
Unto the judgment of the great day - This refers to the final judgment called "The Great White Throne Judgment" in Revelation 20:11.
EXPANDED TRANSLATION VERSE 6: "And the angels who did not carefully keep their original position for which they were created, but deserted their own private dwelling place, He has kept them guarded in continual imprisonment under the authority of total and complete darkness for the purpose of the judgment on that great day."
VS 7: Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
In verse seven we have the third type of apostasy. In verse five we had apostasy among believers in the Exodus generation. In verse six we had apostasy among the fallen angels in Noah's generation. Now in verse seven we will see apostasy among unbelievers in Sodom and Gomorrah.
In this particular verse we have a commentary as to what happens when apostasy begins to bloom. When apostasy hits believers it also has an effect in the invisible spiritual war, and eventually the one who suffers the most is the unbeliever. He suffers in time because of the very poor environment that develops because of apostasy, and he suffers in eternity because he has rejected God's plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. Therefore, when there is apostasy among believers in Jesus Christ, it will eventually spread to the unbeliever, and the environment will become very bad. Therefore, the unbeliever gets it bad in both now and in eternity.
Even as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them in like manner - This refers to a total of five cities located in one of the most beautiful spots the world has ever known, the Jordan Valley. In fact, when Abraham gave his nephew Lot first choice as to where he wanted to live, he chose the Jordan Valley.
These five cities were all very great cities, and the population of the Jordan Valley at that period of time was very extensive. The five cities involved were Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar.
The words "Even as," and "in like manner," compare the people of Sodom and Gomorrah with the apostasy of the fallen angels in vs 6. In other words, the fallen angels of vs 6 were not only negative toward the Word of God, but they carried this negative volition to detestable acts. They were not satisfied with normal sexual relationships among themselves, so they went to a lower creation of being and fornicated with human women. Now "in like manner," the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were not satisfied with normal sexual relationships, so they went first of all into homosexuality, then they went to a lower creation of being, animals. In other words, both of these beings (angels and the people of Sodom) went in for abnormal sexual relationships.
Giving themselves over to fornication - This refers to first of all normal adultery, then moving into the area of homosexuality.
And going after strange flesh - This refers to the downward plunge into bestiality, having sexual intercourse with animals.
Are set forth for an example - This means to be placed in public view, or to expose.
Suffering the vengeance of eternal fire - First of all it should be noted that no one is ever thrown into the lake of fire for being a homosexual or being involved in bestiality. He is thrown into the lake of fire for rejecting Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. In our passage, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were unbelievers. Therefore, they were all thrown into hell, and at the last judgment of Rev 20, they will be judged and thrown into the lake of fire. However, they were killed and destroyed in time by the judgment of God because of their lifestyle. There are lifestyles which God does not and will not tolerate. Homosexuality is one of them.
EXPANDED TRANSLATION VERSE 7: "Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, in a similar manner to these angels, they have totally given themselves over to abnormal sexual acts, going out after a different kind of flesh from their own, cohabiting with beings of a different nature. They are used as an example to us by being held in suffering (in hell) awaiting the justice of eternal fire (the lake of fire)."
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Copyright 2000 by Robert H. Kreger. All rights reserved. Anyone may reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.