The Ungodly (the apostates)
Understanding to contend!
Understanding to contend!
Certain men, ungodly men have crept in, unnoticed to the body (see Jude4) and Jude is warning the church to contend for the faith (See Jude3). To contend you need to understand. This evening we are looking to understand the nature of the ungodly (apostates).
I think maybe we better give the scripture here to start with
3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Ungodly men who turn grace into licentiousness (Jude4)
Ungodly men who deny The Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ (Jude4)
Peter also describes them (2Pt2:10-17)
Jude is not just repeating on what Peter says, but will add more information in our passage tonight on it, but maybe we should look at Peters words to help us on our journey.
10 and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties, 11 whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord.
12 But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, 13 suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you,
14 having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; 15 forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
16 but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet. 17 These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved.
As we go tonight I would like for us to look at the ungodly men who:
Reject divine authority (Jude8-11)
Resort to deliberate hypocrisy (Jude12-16)
Ungodly men who reject divine authority
Ungodly men who reject divine authority
All authority comes from God. All authority has been given to Jesus (Mt28:18). These ungodly men are rejecting God given authority, are rejecting divine authority and setting up their own perceived authority.
8 Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. 9 But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
What are some of the qualities of these ungodly men according to (v.8)?
They are dreaming, they defile flesh, they reject authority and revile angelic majesties
Did Michael revile, rail against Satan (v.9)? what did he do?
No he did not, he said the Lord rebuke him.
10 But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. 11 Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.
More describers of these ungodly men are found in (v10), what are they?
They revile what they do not understand
They act by instinct like unreasoning animal
Jude then offers three Old Testament examples (v.11) what are they?
Way of Cain, Error of Balaam and Rebellion of Korah.
We will get into talking about these things as we go tonight.
Cause of their rebellion (Jude8; Gen3:5; 2Pt2:12, 22)
They are dreamers, they are deceived like in the garden.
5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
They are suckered by Satan’s lie. They have the truth, but reject the truth
They like the world today are feeding themselves on false doctrine that relies on self, inflates self-importance and encourages rebellion against God has His word.
Peter says it like this.
12 But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed,
and add in
20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
Course of their rebellion (Jude8-11; Ps12:4, 73:9, 11)
Because of rebellion and pride they are defiling the flesh, living to satisfy animal lusts, like brute beasts (Jude10).
They despise God’s authority
They disobey God’s law
How can we despise God’s authority and disobey God’s law, or are we capable of it today?
21 “Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills.
It is despising God’s authority and disobeying God’s law by knowing what to do and not doing it.
With tongues they speak evil (Jude8, 10; Ps12:4; Ps73:9, 11) )
This phrase speak evil means to blaspheme, let me give some examples
4 Who have said, “With our tongue we will prevail; Our lips are our own; who is lord over us?”
With the tongue denying the authority of God
9 They have set their mouth against the heavens, And their tongue parades through the earth.
With the tongue they speak against God and his authority, speaking as if they had the authority
11 They say, “How does God know? And is there knowledge with the Most High?”
With the tongue speaking, questioning God and his power and authority. - This is taking God’s word, God’s power, God’s authority lightly or in jest, this is rebellion!
Consequences of their rebellion (Jude8-10, Ecc8:11
They corrupt, they destroy themselves (v.8, 10)
Though they speak of things they think they know but do not know, promoting self, but really destroying self.
The way of rebellion is always the way to ruin
11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.
Judgment is not always passed immediately, so many discount God, His word, His authority, His ability and they live as if there was no God.
Let me bring back in a verse and discuss it a little more
9 But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
Things we can get from this, and then i will expand.
Michael did not pronounce against Satan for the body of Moses. But said the Lord rebuke you.
Why were they contending, disputing, arguing about the body of Moses? Let me give you a scripture to help us
5 So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. 6 And He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but no man knows his burial place to this day.
The Jews though they rebelled against Moses at one time, would have lifted him up and esteemed him high, so God kept him low and hidden.
Now was for Michael not rebuking Satan it is a dangerous thing for anyone to try to come at Satan, he is powerful and at the time he had authority over death. We today have victory because of Jesus but still we need to know Satan is a powerful foe and we better be alert
8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.
The condemnation of the false teachers, the apostates (Jude11)
11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.
Woe to them!
Those who have gone the way of Cain (Gen4; 1Jn3:11-12; Gen3:21; Eph2:8-10)
In Genesis chapter 4 we see the story of Cain and Able and acceptable and unacceptable sacrifice, it is noted in John too.
11 For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; 12 not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.
Cain rebelled against God’s way of salvation. See by God providing animal skins to Adam and Eve
21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.
God is making in clear that blood was necessary for salvation, forgiveness comes through the shedding of blood, by the way of Faith as noted in (eph2:8-10).
God rejected Cain, because He rejected Cains offering, for it was not with right heart, right thing. The way of Cain is a way of pride, resting in your own works and righteousness and not that of God that comes through faith. To us faith in Christ Jesus.
1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. 2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.
3 For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
The way of Balaam (Jude11, 2Pt2:15-16)
15 forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet.
What is the way of Balaam (v.15)?
He is one who is selling his God given calling, gift (prophet) for a price, to make money.
The apostles were not in it for the money (1The2:5-6) in fact Paul turned down money to the Corinthian church (1Cor9:15).
The gospel is not to be a means for personal gain (see 1Tim6:6ff)
Balaam was a true prophet of God who prostituted his gifts.
You can read about the spirit of Balaam:
14 ‘But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.
Teaching of Balaam was a stumbling block, trying to get Israel to compromise. This goes hand in hand with turning the grace of God into lasciviousness (Jude4). This now leads to our next example.
Rebellion of Korah (Jude11; Num16; TIt3:1-2)
The rebellion of Korah is found in (Num16) where he and 250 leaders of the sons of Israel rose up against Moses and his God given authority and leadership
Today the same thing can be, people rise up to speak against God given leaders, even when we may not like them.
1 Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, 2 to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.
We are to be subject to them. With Korah it did not end well
32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions. 33 So they and all that belonged to them went down alive to Sheol; and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.
So, what we have here is
Cain rebelled against God’s way of salvation
Balaam rebelled against God’s call for separation
Korah rebelled against God’s given authorization for service
Resort to deliberate hypocrisy
Resort to deliberate hypocrisy
False teachers, apostasy is very dangerous to the church and it can slip in unnoticed (Jude3). Our passage now gives us some vivid pictures to recognize why so dangerous to the church.
12 These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.
What are these men according to (v.12-13)?
Hidden reefs, they are without fear, they are clouds without water
14 It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, 15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.
What more do we learn about the false teachers from (v.16)?
They are grumblers, fault finders, speak arrogantly, flattering for own gain.
In the limited time we have left tonight let me expand on some of these things.
They are hidden reefs (v.12)
- filthy spots, blemishs (see 2Pt2:13 too). They come to the assembly, to the love feasts and defile them instead of adding to. Judas was an example
They are selfish shepherds (v.12)
-they are looking out for themselves vs. looking out of the church, feeding themselves vs. feeding the flock. Some good biblical examples can be found in (Isa56:10-12 and in Eze34).
10 His watchmen are blind, All of them know nothing. All of them are mute dogs unable to bark, Dreamers lying down, who love to slumber; 11 And the dogs are greedy, they are not satisfied. And they are shepherds who have no understanding; They have all turned to their own way, Each one to his unjust gain, to the last one.
12 “Come,” they say, “let us get wine, and let us drink heavily of strong drink; And tomorrow will be like today, only more so.”
We have the Good shepherd, Jesus Christ as our example who laid down His life for His sheep.
They are clouds without water (v.12)
- clouds promise the potential for rain, but these fail to produce. They are disappointing. They promise liberty, but in fact are in bodage
19 promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.
They are dead trees (v.12)
- they should be producing fruit, but are producing nothing at all. And we know Christians are known by their fruit (Mt7:16) they will be cut off, plucked up by the root . They are twice dead.
They are raging waves (v.13)
- making a lot of noise but only producing foam. They are arrogant, prideful in their speech (v.16) all they do is stir up strife
20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea, For it cannot be quiet, And its waters toss up refuse and mud.
True teachers bring up treasures from the deep, false teachers produce only refuse and mud.
They are wandering stars (v.13)
Stars are placed in the heavens by God, they have positions, they have orbits, these are like falling stars , meteors, they are there then they vanish. Vanish into the darkness. Fixed starts provide light for leading, guiding through the darkness.
I think you can get the picture on why Jude is addressing these ungodly, apostates who are dangerous to the church then, and dangerous to the church today. May we learn to see, recognize and be ready to not be led astray when they show up.