Study Notes

Jude 1:5-7


Last week, we looked at the introduction of Jude's epistle - how he had sat down to write to Christians everywhere regarding our common salvation. But the Spirit compelled him to tell us to contend for the faith against apostates in the church. Those who fall away from the faith, yet remain among us.

We talked about how we can recognize them by their fruits - they claim to be religious, yet live ungodly lives. They claim to be saved by grace, yet use grace as a license for sin.

Now, as we pick up at verse 5, Jude begins to give us historic examples of apostates who fell into apostasy - people who should have delighted in the grace and mercy of God, but instead rebelled and fell away.

1:5 Those Who Did Not Believe

In his first example, he reminds us of the Israelites that were delivered from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. God had not forgotten his chosen people, and He raised up Moses to deliver them, even dividing the Red Sea to save them from the pursuing Egyptian army.

But remember that it wasn't too many days after passing through the Red Sea that the people began to grumble and complain, to fall into fear and faithlessness. By the time Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai, the people had descended into idolatry, worshipping the Golden Calf. Three thousand were killed that day for their sin.

As you read the book of Numbers, the situation only got worse. As the people fell into sin, the were killed by fire, by plague, by enemies, and by serpents.

When they refused to have faith that God was going to give them victory in the Promised Land, and said, "we're going back to Egypt, the Lord said,

Num. 14:22-23 "Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs, which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it."

Nearly all of the Israelites who were 20 years old and upward died in the wilderness over the next 40 years. God had literally saved them out of Egypt, but destroyed those who did not believe. It is not enough to simply be in the church - each of us must make sure that we walk every day for the rest of our lives in faith. Paul lived his faith day to day with this in view.

1Cor. 9:23-10:10 And I do all things for the sake of the gospel, that I may become a fellow partaker of it. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified. For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. Now these things happened as examples for us, that we should not crave evil things, as they also craved. And do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, "THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY." Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.

Listen: Apostates begin just like we do - just like the Apostle Paul did. But by falling into sin and immorality, they fell away. Now in verses 6 and 7, Jude gives us another example of this.

1:6-7 Angels Who Did Not Keep Their Own Domain

Angels who did not keep their own domain. Who are they? Of course, most people would assume these are the angels that fell with satan at his rebellion. But look at the three things we're told about them:

1) They did not keep their own domain.

2) They are kept in eternal bonds until the judgment

3) Their sin was the same as that of Sodom and Gomorrah - indulging in gross immorality and going after strange flesh.

We must ask: are these the angels that fell with satan?

Angels Who Fell With Satan

Most of us have heard the story of satan's rebellion. As a cherub, he was the most beautiful of all creation. Having, according to Ezekiel 28,

Ezek. 28:12 ...had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.

He had music and harps (Isa 14:11), but became pompous because of them. He wanted the worship - he wanted to be higher than God (Isa 14:13-14). The Lord said,

Ezek. 28:15-17 "You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you. By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; Therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground..."

Now it appears that when satan fell, some of the angels went with him. We infer this from the signs in Revelation 12...

Rev. 12:3-4 And another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads {were} seven diadems. And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth.

This is where we get the idea that a third of the angels fell with satan - because angels have been referred to in Scripture as stars (Job 38:4,7; Isa 14:12-13). And if this is true, then we've got three problems:

1) They didn't abandon their abode - they were thrown out.

2) They weren't placed in eternal darkness under bonds - they were thrown to the earth

3) Their sin was rebellion, not the immorality of going after strange flesh.

Thrown To The Earth, Or Bound In Darkness?

Paul tells us that since being thrown to the earth, satan's cohorts are in the world, fighting against the work of God.

Eph. 6:11-12 Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

So satan's angels are cruising around causing trouble. But Jude tells us that the angels he's talking about are bound. Peter also tells us of sinful angels that are bound:

2Pet. 2:4-5 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly

That is interesting: Peter ties in these angels' sin to the ancient world - the days of Noah.

The Days Of Noah

The story of Noah begins back in Genesis 6, when we read,

Gen. 6:1-2 Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.

Many Bible teachers say that the "sons of God" are the descendants of Adam's son Seth. But the term "sons of God" is used throughout the Scriptures only of direct descendants of God. Adam was directly created by God, and is called a son of God (Luke 3:38). Jesus is the Son of God, and referred to as such. When we are born again and become a new creation, we are called sons of God.

Plus, in the Old Testament, the term sons of God is used only four times apart from Genesis 6...

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.

Job 2:1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord.

Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy...

Dan. 3:25 He answered and said, "Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of Gods!"

In all four of these cases, the Scripture is specifically speaking of angels. So in Genesis 6, we find out that some of the angels became attracted to strange flesh - to human flesh, the daughters of men. They abandoned their proper abode - leaving heaven to marry human women.

Do Angels Marry?

Now maybe you've heard that angels don't marry. In fact, Jesus said that in the resurrection, people:

Matt. 22:30 ...neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels IN HEAVEN.

Notice that both times He mentions the lack of angelic marriage (Matt 22:30, Mark 12:25), He uses the phrase "angels IN HEAVEN." He told us that the angels in heaven are not married, but Jude is telling us that some angels "abandoned their proper abode."

The Nephilim

If angels left heaven and married human women, what was the result of these marriages?

Gen. 6:4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore {children} to them. Those were the mighty men who {were} of old, men of renown.

The Nephilim were the offspring of the sons of God and the daughters of men. They were mighty - stronger than other men on the earth. They were also very, very big. When the spies that were sent into the Promised Land came back to report to Moses and the congregation of Israel, they said,

Num. 13:32-33 ..."The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of {great} size. There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight."

The sons of Anak, or the Anakim, are part of the Nephilim. The Anakim are described in the book of Deuteronomy a number of times as being "great and tall." There are other giants in the Bible. Goliath was about ten feet tall, and Og king of Bashan slept in an iron bed that was 13 1/2 feet long and 6 feet wide!

Where in the world did these God-rejecting nations get the corrupt genetics to produce men over ten feet tall? How were these giants able to be mighty men, when we know that human bone cannot carry such massive weight? Today, a ten-foot-tall man would be in a wheelchair, not on a battlefield. The answer, I believe, is that their genetics were not completely human.

The Seed Of The Woman

If humankind was quickly becoming "inhumankind," God needed to do something drastic. He decided that He must destroy mankind within 120 years of this happening. But there was a problem. You see, Adam and Eve had forfeited the earth to satan. In the first prophecy of the Kinsman Redeemer, Jesus Christ, God said to the devil in Genesis 3,

Gen. 3:15 "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel."

The Deliverer had to be from the seed of the woman. If God destroyed every human, there could be no true "kinsman redeemer!" Then satan would be rule the earth for all time! Fortunately, there was this guy named Noah.


The Bible says of him,

Gen. 6:9 Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time...

The literal translation of "blameless in his time" is that Noah was "undefiled in his generations." God preserved Noah because his generations, his genealogy, his genetics, were undefiled. And you know the story - God had Noah build an ark, and he, his wife, his three sons,their wives, and some of every animal species survived the flood that wiped out all other life on earth.

And Also Afterwards

If God destroyed them all, then why are there giants after the flood, even as Genesis 6 told us,

Gen. 6:4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward...

How did giants make it through to the other side of the flood? In searching out the genealogies in Scripture, all nations with giants can be traced back to one man: Ham, the son of Noah. It would appear that Ham's wife was a carrier of the "demonic DNA." Today there are no more left - the last of the giants were wiped out by Caleb when God led the Israelites into the land of Canaan.

Apostate Angels

The angels that sinned in this way are Jude's second example of apostasy. They were in the presence of God - they had tasted of the blessings of heaven. But they were drawn away by their desire for immorality. Today, they have nothing to look forward to but judgment.

May this be a frightening reminder to us that we must maintain our walks with God - if the Israelites that passed through the Red Sea can fall away, if the angels themselves can fall away, then how should we walk?

Phil. 2:12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;

Hebr. 3:12-14 Take care, brethren, lest there should be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is {still} called "Today," lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end;

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