Introduction: John MacArthur refers the reader to 2 Peter 2:12-17 when referring to the description and aim of false teachers. Peter uses some of the same words and phrases as does Jude.
Verses 12-13: Chuck Swindoll writes concerning verses 12-13: “View together, these vivid pictures bring to life the character sketch of these false teachers. They are as deceptive as hidden reefs, as disappointing as clouds without water, as dead as trees that are without fruit and uprooted, as destructive as wild waves of the seas, and as doomed as falling stars.”
Verse 14-16: Their ways are godless. Jude now goes back to early days of time to introduce us to an individual mentioned just a few times in Scripture. Chuck Swindoll calls him “an obscure prophet in Israel’s history whose writings are preserved outside the canon of Scripture.”
In his book, “Spiritual Patriots,” Aubrey Johnson writes: “In confronting the false teachers of his day, Jude cited a prophecy attributed to this holy man of God who withstood evil in his own time. When Jude contemplated the corruption he saw spreading through the church, he found encouragement by reflecting on Enoch’s reassuring words. Enoch, who knew God more intimately than any man of his day, promised that the Lord would not allow evil to triumph. He had no doubt that God would punish the wicked and reward the faithful. Under the direction of the Holy Spirit, Jude applied these words to evil men in the first century.”
Enoch was the 7th from Adam. He is commended in Scripture because “he walked with God” and was taken to heaven without having to die (c.f. Gen. 5:24; Heb. 11:5).
Enoch prophesied about these people.” Chuck Swindoll wrote: “One of the unusual things about Jude is that he takes his quotations not only from Scripture but from the apocryphal books as well—that is, from books not in the Old Testament. These works of literature were popular and widely used in Jude’s time, so to his readers, the quotations would be extremely effective.”
Verse 14-15: Enoch also was a prophet. MacArthur says, “Enoch, before the Flood, prophesied about Christ’s second coming in judgment.” (V. 15) Execute Judgment: The sentence will be eternal Hell.
Verse 15 in some of the other versions mentions the word “ungodly” a couple of more times. (4 times in the NKJV) The use of it “once” should be enough to warn us about the motives of these false teachers. It references their failure to reverence God.
Verse 16: “Grumblers” This word is found only here in the New Testament references the attitude of the Israelites in the Wilderness. “Complainers.” “Finding fault.” They mouth worthless words void of any spiritual good. They are arrogant and haughty. They “flatter others.” They tell people what they want to hear. Paul talks about these type of preachers and teachers in 2 Tim 4:3-4.
Verse 17; In the midst of all this negative terminology, Jude contrasts these evil men with a charge to his readers “to remember.” Paul contrasts the unbelieving life with the godly upbringing of Timothy in 2 Timothy 3.
Verse 18: Jude reminds his readers that they should not be surprised at what is transpiring or what is being taught. He tells them that the “apostles of the Lord Jesus” predicted this would happen. We remember what the Apostle Paul told the Ephesian elders in Acts 20: 28-31. Other instances in Scripture: I Tim. 4:1-2; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 2 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Peter 2:1-3:4; I John 2:18 and 2 John 7-11.
Verse 19: Jude reminds his readers and us again of the true nature of these false teachers. They don’t have the Spirit. We know that one is not a Christian if he or she does not have the Spirit of God.