Unbelief is rampant in our world. Specifically, unbelief in the gospel. What’s a Christian to do? We have seen from the little epistle of Jude that first, we are to keep ourselves strong in the faith (vv. 1-4). Second, we must be aware of attacks on the Christian faith (vv. 3-4). Third, we must be prepared to do battle for Christianity’s truths (vv. 3-4). Fourth, we must acknowledge the fact that the God who delivers is also a God who destroys (vv. 5-7). We must, fifth, realize the dangers of false teaching (vv. 8-10). Sixth, we must see that false teachers are simply repeating the errors of history (v. 11). Seventh, we should realize that false teachers have nothing to offer (vv. 12-13).
Let’s look at an eighth part of our response to unbelief in our world and it is this —
Step #8- We must recognize that false teachers inevitably lead to ungodly living! (vv. 14-16).
14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.
These false teachers may have taken the believers to whom Jude is writing by surprise, but they did not surprise God. We saw at the beginning of the epistle that these teachers are “certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago.” We see in verse 14 that they were prophesied about by Enoch. Who is this Enoch? He is described as “the seventh from Adam,” so he can’t be Enoch, the son of Cain (Gen. 4:17) who was the third from Adam.
The saying of Enoch here quoted is found at the beginning of the Book of Enoch (Jude 1:9): “And behold He comes with myriads of saints to execute judgment on them, and He will destroy the ungodly and judge all flesh concerning all things which the sinners and ungodly have committed and done against Him.” These words are taken from a speech in which an angel interprets a vision which Enoch has seen, and in which he announces to him the future judgment of God.
Enoch was a important person mentioned in Genesis 5:24, the 7th from Adam, the son of Jared (Gen. 5:18) and the father of Methuselah (5:21; Luke 3:37). After the birth of Methuselah at 65, Enoch lived 300 more years (Gen 5:23-24). “So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” Hebrews 11:5 says, “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, ‘and was not found, because God had taken him’; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Enoch was transported into heaven without dying. With Enoch was conveyed the teaching of both heaven and immortality.
The concept of ten thousand saints is not unique. In Deut. 33:2 And he said: “The LORD came from Sinai, and dawned on them from Seir; he shone forth from Mount Paran, and He came with ten thousands of saints; from His right hand came a fiery law for them.” Revelation 5:11 says, “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands. ” The Bible teaches that heaven has a vast population of both angels and people — saints. These are those (either one or both groups) who will come with him when he comes to earth to judge and set up his kingdom.
Jude was writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21), so we know that what he quoted from Enoch was true. This is confirmed by the fact that the same idea about the Lord returning with His holy ones to render judgment is found elsewhere in the Bible (Zechariah 14:5, Isaiah 66:15, and Psalm 96:13, Deut. 33:2).
The true prophecy of Enoch, though unrecorded, could have been handed down by tradition, as the Jews had a meticulous way of keeping both written and oral tradition. Paul mentions Jannes and Jambres the Egyptian magicians, names known in Jewish tradition, but not from Scripture (2 Tim. 3:8). For him to do this and be accurate God would have had to confirm the tradition.
“Even if Jude cites a passage from this non-canonical book, it does not mean he accepted the whole book as true, only this particular statement. I think it is more likely Jude did not lift this statement from the non-Biblical book of Enoch,. It was either something passed on orally or he received it as a direct revelation from God.” (http://www.letusreason.org/Biblexp118.htm)
At any rate, we have Jude predicting (from this non-biblical source) God’s judgment upon ungodly, false teachers. His emphasis in on their ungodliness! “. . . to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (v. 15).
He then describes the present teachers as “grumblers and faultfinders.” They follow their own desires, boast about themselves, and flatter others for their own advantage. (v. 16). We must recognize and point out ungodliness, especially if we wish to guard God’s people!
“Sin is not judged by what we think about it — but by what GOD thinks about it!”
1. Would you say from the quote above that Rob Bell is advocating ungodliness?
2. How difficult it is to stay biblically true, regardless of the blowing winds of culture. What are other examples of ungodliness that you see today?