There is a very specific and categorized interpretation taking place in verses 5,6,&7 of Jude's epistle. Jude exposes or literally "calls out" three types of false teachers (heretical infiltrators) in the body of Christ. The symbolic application of their deceptive traits and motives are explained in verses 8–10 with three examples of their sinful characteristics (Jude likes triads - groups of three). The three traits presented revolve around reminding true believers of the character of the ungodly and their ultimate outcomes.
The Unfaithful in Israel at the Exodus (verse 5) - Those who were saved from captivity yet continued to reach back towards the place of their deliverance. You can take the Israelite out of Egypt, but you can't always take the Egypt out of the Israelite.
The Fallen Angels (verse 6) - Those angels whose pride and unnatural desires cost them not only their position and authority but had them forcefully cast out of heaven into eternal darkness ultimately God's judgement.
Sodom and Gomorrah (verse 7) - The great twin cities so overcome and consumed with moral depravity, and the futility of perverse thinking that God chose to justly judge and destroy rather than having to extend mercy and redeem.
All three are seen in their disobedience and in the judgment they received. This is paralleled in 2 Peter 2:4–6, where the triad is the angels who rebelled and sinned, the sinful world of Noah’s day, and the moral depravity of Sodom and Gomorrah. The theme in 2 Peter and Jude is the same in that the certain outcome for those who teach anything other than the gospel of Christ or deny His divine authority: intentional, defiant, and rebellious sin is always followed by the same consequence - righteous and just judgment. Jude creates an intensity for his readers regarding God's Judgment of sin - from physical death (verse 5), to being bound in darkness (verse 6), to the ‘punishment of torment in an eternal fire (verse 7).
Verses 5–10 introduce Jude’s central section regarding God’s condemnation of man's defiant evil. They are followed in verses 11–13 with three more types applied directly to false teachers and heresy (verses 12–13), then by Enoch’s prophecy of divine judgment (verses 14–15) also applied to these condemned and unwanted (verse 16). In all three sections (verses 5–10, 11–13, 14–16) Jude's typological examples come from the prophetic past in (verse 4, “The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago”) and lead into a description of these false teachers and the just reasons why God’s righteous and just judgment is going to fall on them.
Jude begins with a reminder by using what are called biblical disclosure principles. Paul also used this in all of his writing and teaching when wanting to remind believers and leaders of principles they once knew but had forgotten. Here is an example of Paul using disclosure principles.
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles.
I want to spend time investing in you the Gospel of Christ Jesus so that you will be reminded of God's great goodness and experience the freedom that comes from knowing the truth that has been delivered to those who diligently seek Him.
1 Corinthians 11:3
But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.
There is an order, a priority, and an authority to the sovereign God's Kingdom and His love and mercy. This is good and not bad. It is for your good and for your success in righteousness.
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Delivering the faith, speaking the truth, comes with a price and a struggle. That struggle is worth every moment to just see the encouragement, unity, love, assurance, on the faces of those who are now understanding the treasures of God's wisdom, and the knowledge of Who He Is.
So, Jude begins his disclosure principle with this in verse 5. “I want to remind you,” to introduce the importance of remembering who God is, what He has done, and why He did it. Remembering in this way normally has as its objective deep within the traditional truths of the Christian faith (verse 3); here, these truths will expose the serious error behind the ideas of the heretical infiltrators (they are not outside the Church they have wormed their way into the Church and into its culture). As in 2 Peter “remember” means not only to bring something to mind but to act on it as well—to allow it to change both thinking and actions (do something about it - do something with it). This could refer us (the reader) back to what Jude said in verses 3–4 about defending the faith (thus reminding them of gospel truths). Yet more likely it refers to what he discusses in the rest of the letter, truths tied to their knowledge of the Old Testament and Jewish events and traditions Jude was going to utilize. Jude uses the Prophetic truth of the past - being fulfilled in our present or in our near future to sound the alarm - REMEMBER WHO GOD IS AND WHAT HE HAS DONE FOR YOU.
People Out of the Land of Egypt
First, Jude reminds readers of the Exodus, when Israel was “rescued” (Grk; sōzō) from Egypt. He wrote, "Jesus who saved a people out of Egypt" and in doing so Jude uses OT events to connect the timelessness of Jesus the Messiah with the eternal sovereignty of God the Father. There is ample precedent for this. John the beloved revealed Jesus as “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word became flesh.” Paul the apostle called Christ the “spiritual rock” who accompanied Israel in the wilderness, and Jesus is frequently identified with Yahweh (John 12:41; Rev 1:12–16). There is nothing strange in Jude connecting Christ with the judgments of verses 5–7. The emphasis is upon Israel experiencing divine “deliverance” at the Exodus (Exodus 6–14) and then being “unfaithful” in the wilderness.
In the plagues God had shown that the Egyptian gods were not divine but were mere forces of nature under his control. He proved his sovereignty to both the Egyptians and the Israelites. Then he delivered them from the Egyptian chariots at the Red Sea and took his people to Mount Sinai, where he gave them the law.
But in the wilderness the people of Israel failed to put their trust in Yahweh. In the golden calf incident (Exodus 32), in the constant murmuring and rebellion in the wilderness (Numbers 14), and in the worship of Baal at Peor (Numbers 25), Israel angered God, and only Joshua and Caleb (the faithful witnesses) were allowed to enter the Promised Land (check out 1 Corinthians10:8–10). God “destroyed” that generation in the wilderness. After committing immorality with Moabite women (Numbers 25:1–9), 24,000 of the Israelite men were killed. The deaths of the rest of the people are recorded in Numbers 26:64–65, which says “not one of them survived” apart from Caleb and Joshua. The reason for this judgment, according to Psalms 95:7–11; 106:25; Hebrews 3:19; 4:6, 11, was disbelief and hardness of heart toward God. Jude was warning his readers that if they fell into the same kind of sin (buying in with false teachers) the same judgment would fall upon them as well.
Angels Who Did Not Keep their Own Domain
Jude’s second example concerns the angels. They, too, were intended to be ‘a people for God’s own possession’. They, too, had many privileges on which they might have relied. In both respects they were like the false teachers to whom Jude is warning of. He refers here to the sin and fate of the fallen angels. The Jews were very interested in angels in the last few centuries BC, and 1 Enoch records some of their speculations on the subject. The Greek myth of the destruction of the Titans by Zeus, the Zoroastrian legend of the fall of Ahriman and his angels, and the rabbinic elaboration of Genesis 6:1 all show how widespread such a belief was in popular religion, as an attempt to rationalize the contradictions and the evil in the world. Jude does not necessarily endorse its truth; he does, however, like any relevant preacher, use the current language and thought processes of his day in order to connect with his readers, using terms highly significant to them, the perils of self-pleasure (various forms of narcissism) and pride (arrogance and delusion).
For it was their pride and self-centeredness that led to the downfall of these angels. Pride, because they were not content to keep their positions of authority (archēn) given them by God; the word archēn here probably means, as Wycliffe interprets it, ‘princehood’. Each nation was thought to have its governing angel (check out Deuteronomy 32:8). Pride in the angels caused civil war in heaven, and the evil angels were cast out (check out Isaiah 14:12; 24:21) and sentenced by God to everlasting doom.
Pride then, was one central cause of their fall. But unnatural lust and wrongful desire was another. That is the implication of the story in Genesis 6:1–4, and in a whole range of OT/NT writing and literature.
The fallen angels were consigned to outer darkness and bound in eternal chains: 1 Enoch is full of it! Imprisoned now, their fate will be sealed in Gehenna at the Day of Judgment. False teachers should probably be aware - take note.
Were the false teachers arrogant? Let them remember that arrogance had ruined the angels. Were they consumed by unnatural lust and wrongful desire? This, too, caused the downfall of the angels. Privileged position and full knowledge had not saved the angels whose faith had grown dim, and whose selfishness had only intensified. Jude reinforces his lesson with a touch of brutal irony. The evil angels had been too arrogant to keep their position—so God has kept them in punishment. Jude clearly means that the lex talionis (the law of retaliation) cannot be excluded even from the heavenly places.
Sodom and Gomorrah:
The third example (verse 7) or “type” of the false teachers is Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns (Admah, Zeboiim, Zoar; Genesis 19:22; Deuteronomy 29:23). The three angels visiting Abraham had planned judgment against these cities because of the “outcry … their sin is so flagrant” (Genesis 18:20), but Abraham had interceded and saved the city. Then two angels visited Lot in Sodom, warned Lot and his family to flee, and then destroyed the area. Jude describes the people as “filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion,” with the immorality referring to their unnatural sexual preferences (same sex) and desires (pedophilia) and the “perversion” possibly to their desire to have sex with angels. This association between the sin of the angels (verse 6) and the men of Sodom (verse 7) “would make an interesting transition here. As angels are condemned for sex with humans, so the people of Sodom are condemned for seeking to have sex with angels.”
The emphasis here on their sexual perversions provided an apt warning for the readers of this epistle, for sins of immorality were evidently a major part of the false religion spawned by the heretics Jude was combating. This false, new religion (Jude emphasizes that it is not part of the Christian religion) tried to bring together Christian ideas with a pagan lifestyle, but it failed.
Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by “fire and burning sulfur” (Genesis 19:24–25). As such, they provide another “warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment.” As stated in 2 Peter 2:7, there was still evidence of this judgment in Jude’s day. The message on the danger of eternal punishment in the lake of fire is incredibly plentiful in the New Testament. The fact of eternal fiery punishment is quite prevalent in the New Testament, especially in the Apocalyptic verse of the Revelations (14:9–11; 19:3; 20:12–15). While the idea of God condemning sinners to eternal torment is offensive to many today, we must be consciously aware that this is partly because we do not understand how God detests/hates sin. The laws of clean and unclean and the sacrificial system developed because people did not see how they could approach God and come back alive. God must/will punish rebellious and unrepentant sin. And of course, we all know by experience that all sin has it's own consequences. He is not just a loving God, He is a holy and just God. His holiness is expressed in his love and his justice; these are interchangeable and sovereign aspects of his being.
We are a Bible teaching Christian church in Peoria, AZ. We love God and teach His Truth. We invite you, your family and friends to join us on the faith journey, growing closer to one another, the Christian community of believers at Reunion, and most importantly with God. Read more about the timeless Truth we build our lives and faith in Christ on HERE.
We are conveniently located just off the 101 on 83rd Ave and Cactus Rd. Join us on Sunday mornings, Weds. evenings, and throughout the week at our small groups, meeting in homes around the Valley, including Surprise, Glendale, Peoria, Phoenix, Goodyear, Litchfield, and more. Connect with us on Facebook and watch our live streaming service on YouTube.