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Jude by Robert Dean
Series:Jude (2012)
Duration:55 mins 42 secs

Angelic Conflict: Judgment on the Genesis 6 Angels, Jude 6-7

 

We should be reminded that Jude sets forth his purpose in the third verse: "Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation [his original intent], 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." He had to write about a different topic, a topic related to the false teachers who had now come into the congregation. He is warning them about them, and part of his challenge is to remind those sitting in the pew that there is definitely judgment in the plan of God the those who are disobedient to Him. The examples that he uses are not going to be examples that relate to a person's individual eternal destiny. There are some who would want to come to Jude and interpret him in light of unsaved versus saved, those who are justified and those who aren't. But that is not the context and focus of his illustrations. The illustrations relate to those who God judges, those who are disobedient to Him. And he is going to give these examples of God's judgment.

 

The first judgment we have looked at is judgment upon the Israelites when they came out of Egypt. Then exodus generation was disobedient to God, and even Moses was disobedient at one point. For these acts of disobedience this generation was not allowed to enjoy the blessings of the promised land. God brought judgment upon them; they died in the wilderness before they could enter the land. This is not eternal destruction, not eternal judgment; it illustrates the fact that there is accountability in this universe because it is God's universe, and God is going to bring judgment on those who disobey Him.

 

The second illustration has to do with a group of angels who disobeyed God. They disobeyed in a certain way and then were judged. We see in the last part of the verse that they are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day. That judgment is future, so the focus is that they are held now under these eternal chains of darkness. It is talking about present time judgment as a result of a past disobedience. None of this has to do with the doctrine of individual salvation because angels aren't saved in that sense like human beings are; they donÕt have an option of trusting Christ as savior.

 

This is an important verse, and it is important because it helps us understand a somewhat enigmatic episode in the Old Testament. There are questions a lot of people have about this episode and about the interpretation that is most obvious and clear, i.e. an invasion of the human race by a group of fallen angels.

 

Jude 1:6 NASB "And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day." "Eternal bonds" is the main thought because it is illustrating God's certain judgment on those creatures who are disobedient. So He kept these disobedient angels in eternal bonds under darkness for the [future] judgment of the great day. [7] "just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire." This shows a comparison between what these angels did and what it meant to not keep their own domain, and what happened in Sodom and Gomorrah. The focus is on punishment.

 

The first key word that we should look at is the word "domain." This is a translation of the Greek word arche [a)rxh], and it is translated in Arndt and GingrichÕs lexicon as domain or sphere of influence, or power. It has to do with that which is first in order. The word is also used in John 1:1: "In the beginning"—en arche [e)n a)rxh]. The word "angel" (angelos in the Greek) means a messenger—its primary function. It is used of human messengers; it is also used n these creatures that are basically immaterial in their makeup, can be invisible to human beings, who were the first order of intelligent creatures that God created before He created the human race. These angels are then subdivided into two classifications. There are the elect or holy angels, the angels who stayed loyal to God in the time of the angelic rebellion when the highest of all the angels, Lucifer, gave into his arrogance, became self-absorbed, and asserted his desire to be higher than God and to take for himself all of the worship of God. Approximately one third of the angels followed Lucifer in his rebellion. Lucifer was later named satan (Heb.), or Satan, a name for him as the adversary or the accuser of God.

 

The revolt took place between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 which depicts the universe in some state of judgment and chaos. God rebuilt and recreated the universe for the habitation of man. Man was created in order to resolve the angelic conflict. What is meant by that is that the human race was going to demonstrate the justice of GodÕs decision in punishing Lucifer and the angels that followed him with eternal punishment in the lake of fire. The reason for that is because the sin of disobeying God, the sin of thinking that you can make life work apart from God, is so horrible and terrible in its consequences that it is worthy of such a horrible punishment.

 

If we just think about that and the original sin in the garden of Eden when Adam ate the fruit, that plunged the human race into sin. It had the consequent effect of plunging the universe into sin so that everything becomes impacted by the corruption of sin. Prior to Adam biting off a chunk of that fruit there was not any sin, no suffering, nothing that was horrible; everything was perfect. But as a result of AdamÕs sin the entire universe plunged into corruption and so all of the horrible things that we have seen in history are the consequence. All of the suffering down through the ages is a result of rebellion against God, and so what God is demonstrating in human history is that the consequence of an act, no matter how innocent it may appear, no matter inconsequential it might seem, that is independent of GodÕs will, that goes against GodÕs will, brings about such horrible consequences that punishment of eternal condemnation in the lake of fire fits the crime.

 

When Adam ate from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and plunged into sin, as part of the legal punishment he died spiritually. But God also provided a solution to that spiritual death and it is indicated in a rather broad form in Genesis 3:15. God said that the woman would give birth to the seed, and her seed (in a future generation) would destroy the seed of the serpent. Genesis 3:15 NASB ÒAnd 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.Ó The bruise on the heel would still be a fatal wound but it is not the kind of destructive wound that we have where the seed of the woman [Jesus Christ] crushes the head of the serpent. That sets up GodÕs plan of redemption and salvation from the penalty of sin, demonstrating that He is a loving and gracious God and that SatanÕs charge that no loving, gracious God would ever send His creatures to the lake of fire is false and fraudulent.

 

Once God announced His plan via the seed then something else happened. Satan understood that he had to destroy the human nature of the seed in order to prevent the coming of this promised savior. That set up various attacks against the human race. The first of these great attacks against the human race was SatanÕs temptation of Eve in the garden. Multiple attacks occur during the Tribulation period. This involves a demon assault army that currently is imprisoned in the Abyss under the command of a demon called Apollyon (Revelation 9:1-12). That is the fifth trumpet judgment. The sixth trumpet judgment involves a second demonic assault army which is currently invisible and held in reserve under the Euphrates river (Revelation 9:12-21). Then there is a third army of demons which are currently stationed in heaven under the command of Satan, and this is spelled out in Revelation 12:7-17.

 

Between the attack of the garden of Eden and the future attack on the human race in the Tribulation period there was a major assault against the human race, and this took place in the ancient world during the time of Noah. That is the reference in Jude 6. So these are angels who did not keep their original sphere of influence or their original place of power. God had created all of the angels to be heavenly creatures to serve Him in the heavens, and yet this group that left not only that position and followed Satan but then left the domain of heaven in order to enter into history to seduce human women in order to infiltrate and destroy the human gene pool.

 

The first key word is they left their original Òdomain.Ó They abandoned their proper Òabode,Ó the Greek word oiketerion [o)ikhthrion] which refers to a habitation or dwelling place. So they didnÕt keep their original station or purpose which had to do with serving God in heaven and they abandoned their proper abode or dwelling place, i.e. they left heaven and went to the earth. This tells us two things about this group of angels. They violated their original purpose or mission as having been created to serve God—and that would be their identification with Lucifer in rebellion—and then they left heaven and entered into earth. They left their domain and they left their proper abode.

 

Then we are told: ÒHe has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.Ó This means that they are under condemnation, they are in a place of complete and absolute darkness, and that they are not going to be released from these chains. So they are imprisoned right now for a future judgment, which is called Òthe judgment of the great day.Ó This refers to a future time at the end of the seven-year Tribulation when Jesus returns to save Israel from the armies of the Antichrist, Satan and the false prophet. The Antichrist and the false prophet are sent to the lake of fire and Satan is confined for a thousand years in the Abyss. It is believed that at that time the fallen angels also are judged and sent to the lake of fire. This is a subset of demons. Not all demons are free to roam about the earth. There are actually four groups of demons, three that are confined and one that is currently serving Lucifer in heaven.

 

But when we come to verse 7 there is a comparative at the beginning telling us that there is something common between the second example of judgment, i.e. the angels who are judged and imprisoned, and the judgment of God upon two of the cities of the plains, Sodom and Gomorrah, because of their sexual perversion. It says Òjust as [like] Sodom and Gomorrah.Ó It is a comparison. The kind of sin that occurred among the angels is the same thing that occurred among those in Sodom and Gomorrah. Verse 7: Òjust as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around themÉÓ The word for ÒcitiesÓ is a feminine noun, and it is going to be followed by two pronouns, them and they. These are feminine plural pronouns. The pronoun has to agree with the original noun according to gender and number. So ÒcitiesÓ is feminine plural and therefore any pronouns referring back to ÒcitiesÓ has to be feminine plural. The first ÒthemÓ and ÒtheyÓ are feminine plural pronouns. But the next pronoun translated ÒtheseÓ is a masculine plural and therefore it does not refer back to Òcities,Ó it must refer to a plural masculine noun. The only previous plural masculine noun is verse 6—the angels. So there is a comparison made between the perversion of the cities of the plains—Òjust as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they [the cities around them] in the same way as these [angels]ÉÓ So the angelic rebellion of sexual immorality that this references is some event that precedes the event of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Sodom and Gomorrah event happened in Genesis 19, so this has to be referring to some event among the angels that is prior to Genesis 19.

 

ÒÉ indulged in gross immorality and went after strange fleshÉÓ What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? It was homosexuality. Men lusted after other men, women after other women, and so there was homosexuality and lesbianism rampant in the cities of the plain. There was pure licentiousness and so they were not following the restrictions that God placed upon human beings where sexual relations were to be between members of the opposite sex, and married members of the opposite sex. So the comparison is that just as Sodom and Gomorrah indulged in sexual relations with those with whom they should not have sexual relations the angels had sexual relations with those with whom they were not to have sexual relations with. That only fits one scenario prior to Genesis chapter nineteen.

 

Jude is reminding his readers that God judges disobedient creatures. ÒÉ are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.Ó The eternal fire here is a reference to the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah in time, in history. And that is the fire and brimstone of God that came down from heaven and destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Eternal fire here is not a reference to the eternal fire of the lake of fire. That comes later and is related to salvation. But in each of these cases we are focusing on judgment that comes on a disobedient group at the time of their disobedience. The Israelites are punished when they are coming out of Egypt and they refuse to trust God to provide victory for them in the promised land. The fallen angels here that enter into human history in Genesis 6 are punished at that time and put into these everlasting chains of darkness. The focus of the judgment is on that judgment, putting them into the everlasting chains of darkness, not the future judgment of the great day. And the Sodom and Gomorrah judgment, therefore, to fit the pattern being set up would relate to the judgment of God on the cities of the plains through the fire and brimstone coming from heaven. 

 

There are other passages in the New Testament that give us some clarity on this in the epistles of Peter. Remember, 2 Peter was written to the same group of people as Jude. Peter wrote much earlier warning them of the coming of certain false teachers; Jude is writing at the time they have shown up. 2 Peter 2 describes these false teachers that will be coming. 2 Peter 2:1 NASB ÒBut false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.Ó 

 

2 Peter 2:2 NASB ÒMany will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned [blasphemed]; [3] and in {their} greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.Ó Peter is saying the same thing Jude will say. Even though it may look like God delays there is judgment that will come. God judges disobedient creatures. Then he gives as an example a reference to the same event that Jude references in Jude 6. [4] ÒFor if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell [Hades, a place of confinement for the dead generally] and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment.Ó In the Old Testament there were two compartments, the compartment of torments and a compartment related to Paradise. After Christ rose from the dead He took those who were in Paradise, Old Testament saints, to heaven. But there is another compartment and that is the place of darkness where these fallen angels are confined. Peter goes to this same event as Jude and says that if God is going to judge the angels for their sins He is going to judge these false teachers for their sin. The terminology here is very similar to that in Jude. The darkness is a deep darkness that is so dark that they canÕt see anything; there is no light that penetrates it whatsoever. There are twp punishments here. They are in a holding cell until they are eventually taken to the place of punishment. The sentence has already been pronounced.

He goes on to give us additional information which helps us to locate these angels and their sin in history, the second example of judgment. 2 Peter 2:5 NASB Òand did not spare the ancient world ÉÓ So there is a connection between the sin of the angels in verse 4 and the judgment of God upon the ancient world at the time of the Noahic flood. ÒÉ but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly.Ó Previously as we looked at the Jude account what we learned was that the rebellion of the angels occurred prior to Genesis chapter nineteen. This verse tells us that this sin of the angels occurs before the flood began at the time of Noah and the preservation of Noah and his family. This tells us it has to have happened between Genesis chapter three and Genesis chapter six verse 18.

Ò É when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly.Ó This us a use of the word ÒungodlyÓ in a context similar to Jude where ungodly can only refer to unbelievers. The term ÒungodlyÓ is not a term that technically refers to believers but to unbelievers or the acts that are consistent with being an unbeliever.

 

 2 Peter 2:6 NASB Òand {if} He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing {them} to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly {lives} thereafter.Ó So we see another example coming from Sodom and Gomorrah.

 

1 Peter tells us even more about this event. 1 Peter 3:15 NASB Òbut sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always {being} ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; [16] and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. [17] For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.Ó And now he is going to give an example of Christ who was perfect who suffered for doing good, not for doing evil.

 

1 Peter 3:18 NASB ÒFor Christ also died for sins once for all, {the} just for {the} unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.Ó That is the beginning of the thought. Then he says that there is something that happened with Christ after He died physically on the cross. He is put to death in the flesh, the body is buried in the grave, but the immaterial part of Christ—His soul and His spirit—go and [19] Òin which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits {now} in prison.Ó So there is some sort of intermediate body, not physical but immaterial. How do we know there is an immaterial body? One example is in Luke 16 and the account of Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man looks across the great gulf that separates torments from Paradise and the Scripture says the rich man is burning and in pain. He begs Abraham to let Lazarus come and dip his finger and touch it to the rich manÕs tongue. HeÕs dead, so how does he have a tongue? The only way to explain that is that there is some sort of immaterial transitional body between the physical body and our future body, either the resurrection body of the believer in heaven or the body that the unbeliever receives that is capable of enduring the eternal torments of the lake of fire.

 

So Jesus goes in some sort of intermediate body to make a proclamation. 1 Peter 3:19 NASB Òin which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits {now} in prison.Ó Who are these spirits? This word ÒspiritÓ in the Greek is the word commonly used for the angels and these angels are further defined in the next verse [20] Òwho once were [previously] disobedient ÉÓ So we learn here that this is referring to a class of angels who were disobedient in the past. Well that could be either fallen angels as a whole or a subset of fallen angels. What we have looked at already is that in Jude we are told that that group not only left their original station in life, serving God, but they did something in addition to that; they left their abode in heaven and went into human history. So that group is a smaller subset of the whole group of fallen angels. That was also defined in 2 Peter.

 

In the previous passages that prison was defined as eternal darkness. It is interesting that the Greek word used in both of those places isnÕt the normal word for darkness, it is a word that references a more profound, gloomy, deep darkness that is associated in literature with depression and gloom and misery. So that is the nature of their punishment.

 

Now we are told specifically when that occurred. ÒÉ when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through {the} water.Ó The passage in 2 Peter 2 shows us that this had to be before the flood, but it is near the flood in close proximity, just prior to the flood. So it makes it clear from comparing these passages that this group of angels had a sin that was sexual in nature and occurred during NoahÕs lifetime, and that it is that sin that is the cause of their judgment and being locked down in this gloomy, depressing, deep, profound darkness until they are brought before a final judgment and sent to the lake of fire.

 

There is only one event this could possibly describe in the Old Testament and that is in Genesis chapter six. It has to occur some time before the end of that chapter which is when Noah gets his instructions for building the ark. Because based on 1 Peter 3:20 they were continuing in this sexual activity even during the time of the construction of the ark.

 

Genesis 6:1 NASB ÒNow it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them.Ó The word translated ÒmenÓ isnÕt a word that means males, it is a word that just refers generically to the human race (adam). We are descended from Adam in the garden and so adam refers not only to the individual Adam, it also refers to the human race, male and female who descended from Adam. The emphasis here in this verse is going to be upon the daughters, they are the focal point.

 

Genesis 6:2 NASB Òthat the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautifulÉÓ So this is a one-sided event. It is not the daughters of God and the sons of men, it is not a joining that occurs between the sons of God and men but the sons of God and women. It is a one way event from the group called the sons of God who are taking ÒdaughtersÓ (females)—Òand they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.Ó

 

What in the world is going on here and who are the sons of God? It is important to understand that this is a technical term, beni ha Elohim, and it refers to the angels as the direct creation of God. It is not referring to church age believers who become children of God—that is true but it is a different terminology. Israel is described as the son of Yahweh, but that is a different term; it is beni-ha-Yahweh, not beni ha Elohim or beni Elohim. It is that generic term Elohim that is important here because it is showing that they are the direct creation of God.

 

There are three interpretations that are suggested for Òsons of God.Ó The view that most scholars take is the third one. There are exceptions, good scholars who disagree on this but we think that sometimes scholars pick a position just because they want to be contrary. The first view is that they are apostates, where terms Òsons of GodÓ and Òdaughters of menÓ relate to two classifications of human beings, spiritual and apostate. There  is also a view that most people donÕt ever hear. It is the view that says the sons of God are the good guys, the believers, and the daughters of men are the unbelievers. It is when believers intermarry with unbelievers and this is what causes all the trouble. That is a fact but that is not what this is talking about.

 

The other view is that these are dynastic rulers or autocrats, ancient tyrants who forced themselves on young, beautiful maidens, marry them, develop huge harems, and this causes a breakdown in social institutions.

 

The third view is the angel view that the sons of God are a subset of fallen angels that have left heaven in order to invade human history in order to take on and transform themselves with human bodies so that they can take on human wives and reproduce in such a way that they are destroying the purity of the human DNA chain, and this would then make it impossible for God to send a savior who would be true humanity. 

The term Òsons of GodÓ and Òdaughters of menÓ clearly identify two different groups. The first option, the apostates, tries to take the position that Òsons of GodÓ stands for either the descendants in the line of Seth or just believers in general. The view that we usually run into is that the Sethites begin to intermarry with the Cainites (daughters of Cain) and that is what causes the problem. In this view they try to treat all the son terms and phrases as interchangeable and generic as opposed to technical. There are other verses they will go to, Like Exodus 4:22 NASB ÒThus says the LORD, ÔIsrael is My son, My firstborn.ÕÓ But this is an adoption text: God adopting Israel. It doesnÕt really fit.

 

Deuteronomy 14:1 NASB ÒYou are the sons of the LORD your GodÉÓ It is not beni ha Elohim. That term is used in a lot of places and every time beni ha Elohim is used it always refers to fallen angels.

 

Deuteronomy 32:5 NASB ÒThey have acted corruptly toward Him, {They are} not His children ÉÓ It is not using the term beni ha Elohim, it is referring to this unique status of Israel as a nation to God.

 

Hosea 1:10 NASB ÒYet the number of the sons of Israel Will be like the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered; And in the place Where it is said to them, ÔYou are not My people,Õ It will be said to them, Ô{You are} the sons of the living God.ÕÓ This is not the same as beni ha elohim.

 

The name beni  Elohim is what we find in passages like Job which was written during the same early period as the events of Genesis 6. Job was probably the first book written in the Bible, before Moses wrote the Pentateuch. Job 1:6 NASB ÒNow there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.Ó Sons of God refers to the angels as a whole and it includes both holy and fallen angels. Job 2:1 NASB ÒAgain 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.Ó Again, this refers to all of the angels, not just to fallen angels. Job 38:7 NASB ÒWhen the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy?Ó So there is unity in this verse at the time of the laying of the foundation of the earth, all of the sons of God are united together.