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Hey Jude 12.4.22


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 obviously one because of their fall, but unnatural passion and wrongful desire certainly was another. That is the implication of the story in Genesis 6:1–4, and in a whole gamut of OT/NT writing and literature.


Genesis 6:1-8

When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

The fallen angels were consigned to outer darkness and bound in eternal chains: 1 Enoch describes this in detail. Imprisoned now, their fate will be sealed in Gehenna at the Day of Judgment. False teachers should probably be aware - and take note.


Were the false teachers arrogant? Yes. Jude says, ‘be reminded that it was arrogance that ruined the angels and their created purpose for God’. Were they consumed by unnatural passion and wrongful desire? Again, yes. And because they were consumed, it brought on their drastic downfall and eternal expulsion from God's favor and gracious tolerance. In the end the result for the fallen angels was the just judgment of the Creator, and to face the inevitable consequence rebellious sin. Privileged position and full knowledge had not saved the angels whose faith had grown dim, and whose selfishness and narcissistic desires 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, without remedy. Jude clearly means that the lex lustitiae talionis (the law of just retaliation) cannot be excluded even from the heavenly places.


Sodom and Gomorrah


The third “type” of false teacher that Jude called out he chose to relate to the judged and destroyed cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns of 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 with God and saved the city. Then two angels visited Lot, Abraham's brother, and warned him and his family to flee, the cities and not even look back. Jude describes the people as “filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion,” with the immorality referring to their unnatural sexual identities (same sex) and desires (pedophilia) and the “perversion” relating to their desire to have sex with angels. This association between the perverse sin of the angels (verse 6) and the reprobate men of Sodom (verse 7) would make an interesting transition here. If God condemned angels for sex with humankind, 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 merge and assimilate Christian ideas with a pagan (Godless/value-less) lifestyle, but it failed.


According to Genesis 19:24-25, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by “fire and burning sulfur”. As rebellious and condemned cities, they provide another “warning of the eternal consequences of God’s judgment.” According to 2 Peter 2:4-10, there was still physical evidence of this judgment in Jude’s day.


For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.


The difficult and offensive messages regarding the dangers of eternal punishment in the lake of fire by an sovereign and authoritative God are well documented in the New Testament. The fact of eternal fiery punishment is not hidden in the New Testament, especially in the Apocalyptic text of the Revelations (14:9–11; 19:3; 20:12–15). The idea of God condemning sinners to eternal torment is offensive and loathsome to most in today's culture. A culture nearly void of biblical absolutes, personal responsibility, and any moral order, boundary, or restraint, we must be consciously aware that this is due in large part to the fact that we do not understand the nature of God and how and He detests/hates sin. The laws of clean and unclean and the ancient sacrificial system developed because people did not see how they could approach God and come back alive. God must and will punish rebellious and unrepentant sin. And of course, we all know by experience that all sin has its 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.


[Verse 10]

Men Revile Things They do not Understand, and Things They Know by Instinct:

In verse 10, there is the contrast of the false narratives of the false teachers to Michael the archangel who, out of humility and respect for the Law of God surrenders himself and his circumstance to the order, value, and authority of his Creator.


‘But these people speak abusively against whatever they do not understand’.


Their attacks on the angels who mediated the Law shows that they have no appropriate understanding of ministering angels dispatched of God who is both Lawgiver and Judge (Hebrews 1:7;14).

And of the angels He says, “WHO MAKES HIS ANGELS WINDS, AND HIS MINISTERS A FLAME OF FIRE.” Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?


These dreamers of verse 8, no doubt claimed of visions, revelation, and insight into the world of angels, and yet their attitude and behavior is a complete contradiction to that of the angels. They despise and reject the Law of God which the angels revere and guard. There is no real knowledge - simply google.com and Wikipedia. No truth and even less wisdom. Like the men of Sodom, they are engrossed in sexual appetite and unnatural desires —and failing to recognize an angel when an angel was right in front of their face.


What things they do understand, by instinct, like unreasoning animals—these are the very things that destroy them. The NIV translation is a neat rendering of Jude’s anacoluthon.


Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them.


The point is clear. What they understand are the physical appetites and unrestrained instincts they share with the animals which have no share in their rationality; they are aloga zōa, unreasoning animals. Think of the irony... that when men claim to be visionary, they are actually ignorant; when they think themselves superior to the common man they are actually on the same level as irrational animals, and corrupted by the very practices in which they seek liberty and self-expression. Jude is stating a profound truth in linking these two characteristics together. If a man is persistently blind to spiritual values, deaf to the call of God, and rates self-determination as the highest good, then a time will come when he cannot hear the call he has spurned, but rather, left to the mercy of the turbulent instincts to which he once turned in search of freedom. And those instincts, given free reign, are merciless. Evil and wrongful desire, when indulged, becomes a killer.


With these three warnings of verses 5–7 before them, Jude’s readers are urged to beware of the spiritual decadence of the false teachers. This pervaded their whole personalities. Physically, they became immoral. Intellectually, they became arrogant. Spiritually, they denied the Lord. ‘Progressive morality’ and ‘progressive thinking’ often go hand in hand with progressive deafness to the voice of God. To live like that is to inhabit a dream world. The judgment of God will catch up with them as surely as the slaughterhouse with the cattle. The whole thrust of Jude’s letter constitutes a stirring call to awake to moral integrity, intellectual humility and spiritual sensitivity.



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