Ungodly Living

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Note: this passage contains more detail than it was possible to do justice to in a sermon. So at a few points in this transcript you'll find a reference to a footnote which goes into some more detail. The footnotes are at the end of the sermon.

I wonder what's your attitude to a fight? Eg, what goes through your mind when you watch the news of British forces - in Sierra Leone, or the Gulf, or the former Yugoslavia, or the Falklands? Or what goes through your mind when it's you who's faced with a possible fight - eg, over some consumer right, or disciplining one of your children? I guess there are two main questions to ask about a possible fight: 'Am I right to fight? And is it worth it?' Well, last week we began to look at this letter of Jude - which is a call to fight. Let's re-cap from v3:

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.

And 'contend' is the 'fight' word. They used it about gladiators. So Jude's saying, v3, 'Although I'd rather write positively about our Christian faith, I felt I had to write and urge you to fight for it.'

And v4 gives the reason: For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a licence for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. Read on, and you find that these 'certain men' were teachers in the church; that they rejected the authority of God's word in the Bible; and that they were into, and encouraged others into, sexual immorality.

Which makes v3 surprising, doesn't it? If these 'certain men' were so obviously false teachers, why was this church not doing anything about them? Why did they need to be told to fight? Well, it seems they were uncertain about those two main questions, 'Am I right to fight? And is it worth it?' Whenever Christians are uncertain about that, they won't fight false teachers. Sometimes we're not certain we're right. After all, you hear it said, 'Different people interpret the Bible differently, don't they? And we don't want to come across as judgmental, do we?' But then sometimes we're not certain fighting is worth it. Won't it spoil our unity and our witness? Isn't fighting in the church the worst possible scenario?

And Jude vv5-16 is written to answer those uncertainties. Verses 5-10 answer the question, 'Is it right to fight?' Answer: 'Yes, because we know what God's judgement on these teachers really is.' And vv11-16 answer the question, 'Is it worth it?' Answer: 'Yes, because we know what harm these teachers are really doing.' And those are my two headings:

We know what God's judgement on these teachers really is We know what harm these teachers are really doing


First, WE KNOW WHAT GOD'S JUDGEMENT ON THESE TEACHERS REALLY IS (vv5-10)

The first reason we don't fight false teachers is that we're not sure we're right. They try to sell us a different interpretation of the Bible and we doubt our own judgement. And even once we're sure we've got the Bible right, we don't want to sound judgmental. So we think the right thing, but stay quiet. Now it's right not to set ourselves up as judges: God alone is the Judge. But it's wrong not to make any judgements. Because the truth is: God has made his judgements clear in the Bible and we are simply to follow them.

Look again at v4. Notice the very first thing Jude says about these false teachers: their 'condemnation was written about long ago.' Ie, God's judgement about them is perfectly clear - it's there in the Old Testament (OT). (Remember that for Jude the whole Bible wasn't yet written. For us, the Bible equals OT plus New Testament (NT). For him, the Bible equalled just OT.) So, where in the OT do you find God's judgement on the teaching, the attitude, the lifestyle of these false teachers? Verse 5:

Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home - these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgement on the great Day. In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. (vv5-7)

Jude takes three OT examples of God's judgement on certain groups of people. Verse 5 refers to Numbers 14, where the people God rescued from Egypt don't believe his promise to give them the promised land. They refuse to go in to capture it. Ie, they rebel against God's word. And, as a judgement, that whole generation dies outside the promised land. Verse 6 refers to Genesis 6 where angels rebel against the boundaries God has set and come to our world for sexual intercourse. Verse 7 begins 'In a similar way' - ie, it's another example of rebelling against God's boundaries for sexuality. It refers to Genesis 19 - the example of Sodom and Gomorrah, where two angels come to warn Lot that the cities are about to be destroyed. And the men of the town hammer on Lot's door and say:

'Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.' (Genesis 19.5)

[For more detail on vv 5-7, see footnote 1]

What point is Jude making? He's saying we should not be uncertain what God's attitude is to those who reject his word and who rebel against his boundaries for sex - either heterosexually or homosexually. God has made his judgements perfectly clear. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by what the insurance companies call an act of God. Some of Jude's Jewish contemporaries wrote about the site still smouldering with volcanic activity in their day. They regarded it as a standing demonstration of God's judgement. And vv5-7 contain just three examples. The OT is littered with acts of God in history which make his judgements perfectly clear. And Jude says those acts of God in history show us what God's attitude will be to the same offences at the end of history - on the day of judgement.

That's the point of the end of v7: They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. [On the end of v 7, see footnote 2] So in vv5-7, Jude says: we know from the Bible what God's attitude is to rejecting his word and sexual immorality. And in v8 he applies that to the problems in the church in his own day:

In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings.

'These dreamers' refers to the false teachers - maybe because they claimed that their teaching came by direct revelations from God. And he says: 'in the very same way' as my examples in vv5-7, 'they pollute their own bodies' - ie, they're into sexual immorality of all kinds. And 'in the very same way' as my examples in vv5-7, 'they reject authority' - God's authority, that is; God's supreme authority to set moral boundaries; God's supreme authority to define right and wrong.
And, end of v8, 'they slander celestial beings'. It's not immediately obvious what that means. Probably the celestial beings are angels (angels were involved in communicating the law to Moses - see Galatians 3.19, Hebrews 2.2). So 'slander celestial beings' is probably to do with their rejection of God's law. So, v8, these church teachers in Jude's day - like church teachers in our own day - were sexually immoral, rejected God's authority to define right and wrong, and rubbished his revealed words.

In v9, Jude gives yet another example from the OT, to strengthen the point he's just made. He says these teachers actually set themselves up in the place of God. They reject God's judgements on right and wrong and live by their own. And v9 basically says not even archangels - the servants closest to God - would dare to make moral judgements of their own rather than humbly submit to God's judgements. [For the detail of v 9, see footnote 3]

Verse 10:

Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand [ie, against God's word]; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals - these are the very things that destroy them. [Ie, the only language they really understand is the language of desire. When you cease to be ruled by God's word, you become ruled by desires - whether they be desires for sex, success, money, power, pleasure, whatever. Which ultimately dehumanises people - 'like unreasoning animals' who live 'by instinct'. Hence, eg, our expressions 'the rat-race' or 'fat cats'.]

So you see what Jude is doing. Verses 5-7: we know God's judgements from past Bible history. Verses 8-10: we know these people today are doing the same things God condemned then. Conclusion: we know what God's judgement on these teachers really is. We're not being judgmental. We're just taking our cue from what God's judgement is, revealed in the Bible - and it's perfectly clear. L

et me give a recent example: the Church of England's Statement by the House of Bishops, Issues in Human Sexuality. I'll quote the section on homosexuality. I'm not doing so to highlight homosexual sin over above heterosexual sin - they're both sin; they both remove sex from its God-given context of marriage, but in different directions. I'm using it because it's such a good example of what Jude is on about. The statement has just talked about how some Christians experience homosexual desires and refuse to act on them because they know God's will is that they don't (and that's right). Then listen to this:

"At the same time, there are others who are conscientiously convinced that this way of abstinence is not the best for them, and that they have more hope of growing in love for God and neighbour with the help of a loving and faithful homophile partnership, in intention lifelong, where mutual self-giving includes the physical expression of their attachment. In responding to this conviction it is important to bear in mind the historic tension in Christian ethical thinking between the God-given moral order and the freedom of the moral agent. While insisting that conscience needs to be informed in the light of that order, Christian tradition also contains an emphasis on respect for free conscientious judgement where the individual has seriously weighed the issues involved. The homophile is only one in a range of such cases. While unable, therefore, to commend the way of life just described as in itself as faithful a reflection of God's purposes in creation as the heterophile, we do not reject those who sincerely believe it is God's call to them. We stand alongside them in the fellowship of the Church, all alike dependent upon the undeserved grace of God." (p41, paragraph 5.6)

It sounds so plausible, doesn't it? It talks about the grace of God. It sounds so non-judgemental, so humble. But in fact, like Jude 3, it 'changes the grace of God into a licence for immorality'. Like Jude 8-10, it's appallingly judgmental: it's sitting in judgement on God's word and saying that we know better than God. So, humble is the last thing it is. There's nothing more arrogant than thinking we know better than God, when God has spoken clearly.

Let me pull briefly into a lay-by from the passage. If you're still weighing up what you think of the Christian message, you've caught us on a heavy night. This is quite an 'in house' part of the Bible about serious problems in the church. So can I say this? What's at stake here is the central Christian message. The Christian message basically starts like this. It says all of us, by nature, have rebelled against God - said to God, 'I don't want you in my life; I want to run it myself, my own way.' And we all deserve God's judgement for that. But God doesn't want it to come to that with any of us. He wants us to be forgiven and change sides - come back to him, and let him have his rightful place in our lives as our King. That's why he sent his Son, Jesus, to become a man and die on the cross in our place - taking the judgement we deserve so we could be forgiven. And that's what that word 'grace' means. 'Grace' is God's undeserved love to people who've turned their backs on him - love that has costly forgiveness at the heart of it.

So the central Christian message is about this offer from God to all of us to stop living our own way, be forgiven and start life over again with him in his rightful place as God. So, God will accept any of us just as we are. We don't have to try to make ourselves acceptable to God - in fact, we can't. We do have to humble ourselves and ask forgiveness. But the point of forgiveness - in any relationship - is not that the forgiven person should just go on offending the other person, presuming on more forgiveness. No, the point of forgiveness is to give us a fresh start in which we try to treat the other person properly.

And so it is with God. He doesn't offer his grace (love with costly forgiveness at the heart of it) so we can just go on rebelling against him without guilt. That, according to Jude 3, is to 'change the grace of our God into a licence for immorality'. No, God offers his grace to draw us into a relationship with him where we'll change - albeit imperfectly - to please him. And if we're sinning sexually - heterosexually or homosexually - we'll need to change, with his help. So, yes, God accepts us just as we are - when we first become Christians, and thereafter. But he never leaves us just as we are. He doesn't affirm any of us just as we are. All the time, he's working on us to change us to be more pleasing to him.

So, if you're still thinking about the Christian faith - 'on the outside, looking in' - that's the central message you need. Are you willing to admit you've turned your back on God and offended him grossly? Do you yet believe that Jesus died on the cross so that you could be forgiven? Are you willing to humble yourself and ask God to forgive you and then to have him as King of your life, allowing him to change you?

Let's pull out of the lay-by again. What's the main application of this first point if we are already Christians? It's this: we must each use the Bible to judge the teachers and teaching we hear. Jude is written to the whole church, not just a few church leaders. So if you're a Christian, you're responsible for judging the teaching and lifestyle of the teachers you hear by comparing them with the ultimate measure of the Bible. That's Jude's method: 'Verse 5-7: this is what the Bible says. Verses 8-10, now let's judge these teachers by that.'

That's why at this church we teach through passages of the Bible like this. That's why we have Bibles in the pews. That's why we encourage people to follow in the Bible, to take notes, to think critically whether this person is actually saying what the Bible says and applying it fairly. That's why it alarms me when I see people not doing that Sunday by Sunday. Because if we don't do that, we're going to be suckers for false teaching. That's the first thing. We know what God's judgement on these teachers really is.


Secondly, WE KNOW WHAT HARM THESE TEACHERS ARE REALLY DOING (vv11-16)

One reason we don't fight is that we're not sure we're right. The other is that we're not sure it's worth it. Partly that's Britishness - we're apathetic, we want a quiet life, we find fighting distasteful. But partly it's the slightly better reason of regarding fighting in the church as a bad thing. It seems bad for unity. And bad for our witness. (How many times have non-Christians said to you that the church looks as divided as the world? - 'Get your own house in order.') But Jude says: the worst possible thing is not fighting false teachers, but what harm the false teachers really do. Which is exactly what Jesus said. Listen to his words in Matthew 23:

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are! (Matthew 23.13-15)

And in vv11 onwards, Jude is only saying what the Lord Jesus said. Namely: false teachers lead people to hell. Three more OT examples. Verse 11:

Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion.

Cain (in Genesis 4) is the first murderer in the human race, and in Jewish thought he was regarded as a leader in sin. His committing murder led to the whole history of murder and violence in the world. Balaam (in Numbers 22-31): to cut a long story short, his influence led to mass sexual immorality among the Israelites and the death of 24 000 of them under God's judgement. Korah (in Numbers 16): he rebelled against the leadership of Moses; he didn't see why Moses' word should be accepted as the word of God any more than anyone else's word. And he led others into a rebellion which ended with the deaths of over 250 under God's judgement. In each case, an individual led others into rebellion against God - and, therefore, under God's judgement.

The point is: false teachers aren't harmless. They don't do their stuff in a vacuum. They influence people; end of v11, they destroy people. [For more detail on v 11, see footnote 4] And then Jude applies that biblical principle to the current situation. Verse 12:

These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm - shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted - twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved for ever. (vv12-13)

'Blemishes' in v12 translates a word that literally means 'rocks' or 'reefs'. It's the picture of being at sea in a boat, facing the threat of ship-wreck. False teachers are like those rocks or reefs. Next, they're shepherds who don't care about you. Don't care about the harm you'll come to in this life, let alone the next, by following their teaching. Next, they're clouds without rain and trees without fruit. Ie, useless.

But v13, they're worse than useless. They're like a heavy sea that throws up a load of filth on a nice clean beach. And they're like a wandering star, ie a planet. We still navigate by the stars. But if you confuse a fixed star with a moving planet, it can lead you to your death.

The point's very simple. What do you do about rocks and reefs if you're at sea? Avoid them. What do you do with fruitless trees on the allotment? Get rid of them. What do you do at a polluted beach? Go somewhere else. What do you do with a wandering star? Don't follow it. So what should you do with false teachers? All of the above. Exactly the same. So, how does this second point apply to us?

Well, if you're moving over the summer, you'll be moving churches. The application is: avoid one with false teachers. Don't tolerate a church where the Bible is not submitted to as God's word and the supreme authority for belief and behaviour. Don't be lazy and settle for a church that's near you, when it's teaching falsely. Many people have been ruined that way by a misguided loyalty to their nearest, local church, or to the denomination in which they were brought up.

And then here at JPC, we've had to fight the bishop of Newcastle's false teaching on homosexuality. Down in St John's Kidderminster, a pastor called Charles Raven is having the same fight with the bishop of Worcester's false teaching. God's lines have to be drawn, even when the false teachers say you're being judgmental and separating from the wider church - when in reality it's they who are being judgmental of God's word and they who are separating from the truth, and therefore from the real church.

Another application arises from the illustration of the 'trees' in v12. Fruitless trees shouldn't have fertiliser expended on them - which is why we don't pay a large 'quota' of money into the central fund of the Church of England. We shouldn't be 'fertilising' the very false teaching we're called to fight. And another application is this: although much of the contending recently has fallen to David on our behalf, remember Jude is written to the whole church. Each of us is involved - as you'll know if you had to run the gauntlet of that demonstration outside the morning service a while back; as you'll know if your friends criticise you for belonging to 'that church'.

Lastly, two details from vv14-16:

Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him." These men are grumblers and fault-finders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage. (vv14-16)

[For Enoch, see footnote 5]

One detail is in v15. Notice that the Lord will 'convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.' Ie, God won't only condemn false teachers who lead people into sin by their own immorality. He'll condemn false teachers who lead people into sin by their words - by the things they've taught which have either criticised or gone against the Bible. I guess many of the Bishops behind that Statement I quoted earlier are heterosexual, married and faithful to their marriages. But lead people into sin by your words and God sees it as no different from leading people into sin by your actions. Theological sin probably does at least as much damage to the church as does the immorality of professing Christian leaders.

The other detail is the end of v16:where false teachers 'flatter others for their own advantage'. Literally, they are 'partial to what people want to hear, for their own advantage.' The tell-tale sign of false teaching is that it tells us what our sinful natures want to hear (see 2 Timothy 4.3). It's all positive, it's all affirmation. But you can only define the truth by saying what's not true; you can only define what's right by saying what's wrong. And that's what God does throughout the Bible. Beware of any teaching ministry where it's always positive, where you always feel affirmed, always feel comfortable (no danger of that with our pews, I know).

Next week we'll see the positive part of Jude - how to grow as Christians so we don't fall for false teaching. But for this week, that's the negative - what to do about false teachers. And Jude says: fight. Are we right to fight people who reject the authority of the Bible and encourage sexual immorality? Yes, says Jude, because we know what God's judgement on these teachers really is. It's there in the Bible. And is it worth the fight?

Yes, says Jude, because we know what harm these teachers are really doing. Regrettable as it is, fighting for the faith in the church is necessary. Because fighting isn't the worst possible scenario. The worst possible scenario is people being deceived to hell.


FOOTNOTES

Footnote 1 (Jude v5-7)

Verse 5: see Numbers 14, especially v11 for their refusal to believe the LORD's word, and vv12, 20-35 for the LORD's judgement on that generation.

Verse 6: see Genesis 6.1-4. The 'sons of God' are almost certainly angels (see Job 1.6 and 2.1, with NIV footnote). So this is a massive transgression of God's boundaries for human sexuality. The angels were culpable and held for judgement (Jude 6), but so were the human fathers and daughters who participated - which is why this incident was the final straw in the run-up to the announcement of the flood - a judgement on human beings.

Verse 7: see Genesis 19.1-29, especially vv1-9. Recently, 'pro-gay' commentators have questioned whether the offence in this passage is attempted homosexual practice. Literally in v6 the men of Sodom say, 'Bring them out so that we may know them'. But the Hebrew word, 'to know' was frequently used in the OT to refer to sexual intimacy/intercourse (eg Genesis 4.1). In Genesis 19, it must be interpreted this way because of what happens next: however bad a solution it sounds to us, what Lot did was to offer a sexual alternative to the men of Sodom (vv6-8), so the original demand (v6) must have intended sex. Jude says that 'Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities gave themselves up to sexual immorality [the original Greek word covers all forms of extra-marital sex] and other flesh [literally].' Some have argued from this that the offence in Genesis 19 was not men attempting to have sex with other men (ie, homosexual practice) but men attempting to have sex with angels, with 'other flesh'. But Genesis tells us that angels were often perceived to be men (eg Genesis 18.1-2, 16, 22, 19.10). And it is unlikely that the men of Sodom perceived Lot's visitors to be anything but men. And since Jude accuses the false teachers of his day of acting 'the very same way' (v8) as the men of Sodom, it is unlikely that Genesis 19 is about the offence of sex with angels.

Footnote 2 (Jude end of v7)

Twice this part of Jude refers to hell: 'the punishment of eternal fire' (v7) and 'blackest darkness… forever' (v13). As the 18th century evangelist George Whitefield said, 'All talk of hell should be done with a heavy heart and a tear in the eye.' Christians believe in hell not because they delight in the thought, but out of submission to the authority of the Bible - and no-one in the Bible talked more of hell than the Lord Jesus himself. It is a dreadful reality. Recently, the view has gained ground that hell is not an eternal punishment, but that it is a destruction of the person at death so that the punishment is non-existence, not conscious existence outside the presence of God (a view called 'annihilationism'). But verses like Jude 7 argue the opposite. See also Matthew 25.46, where one group go away to 'eternal life' another to 'eternal punishment'. Those are parallel statements: if eternal life is conscious existence, eternal punishment is parallel to it. And that explains Jesus' references to hell as a place of 'weeping and gnashing of teeth' (Luke 13.28f) and consciousness of wrong earthly choices (Luke 16.19-31).

Verses like Jude 7 and 13 raise at least two questions.

1) How are we to interpret apparently contradictory details like 'fire' and 'darkness'? The beginning of an answer is that they are metaphors to describe different aspects of the reality of hell: 'fire' suggests the painfulness of realising the plight one has chosen; 'darkness' the absence of God and all that is good and godly.

2) Isn't hell unjust? Does the punishment fit the crime? Isn't an eternal punishment utterly disproportionate to a temporal crime? Again, the beginning of an answer is: a) that the punishment is 'the other side of the coin' of the crime. If I say to God in this life, 'Keep out of my life; I don't want you in it,' the punishment is that I get what I wanted - life without God, before and after death. If I will not relate to God, then God will not relate to me. That reflects the awesome dignity and seriousness of being human. And b) it is possible that the crime is not temporal - that those who die in rebellion against God continue to rebel beyond death. There is some Bible warrant for that view.

Footnote 3 (Jude v9)

We know of the existence of the archangel Michael from Daniel 12.1. The 'disputing with the devil about the body of Moses' refers to Deuteronomy 34.1-6. Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land but died outside it. Deuteronomy 34.6 says, 'He buried him in Moab… but to this day, no-one knows where his grave is.' The best interpretation is that, 'He buried him' means 'The LORD buried him' - in some way left unexplained by Deuteronomy. In Jude's day there was a Jewish writing called The Assumption of Moses. Jude and his contemporaries probably knew it. It built on the facts of Deuteronomy 34 and envisaged Satan arguing that Moses did not deserve an 'honourable burial' because of his sins along the way. So, in this Jewish writing, Satan brings a slanderous accusation against Moses in the presence of God.

The point of Jude 9 is that the archangel Michael would not dare to presume to make such a judgement: he leaves all judgement to the one and only Judge, namely the Lord. Hence, Michael's response to Satan, Jude says, would have been to say, 'The LORD rebuke you, Satan.' Ie, 'I'm not going to pass judgement on you, Satan; that is the LORD's prerogative alone.' NB: the words 'The LORD rebuke you, Satan' appear in Zechariah 3.1-5, where Zechariah has a vision of Satan trying to accuse another of the LORD's servants. So, Jude is probably referring to a Jewish tradition that his readers knew of, but his points are firmly grounded in Scripture, in Deuteronomy 34 and Zechariah 3. Just because he alluded to a Jewish tradition which would have been familiar to his readers does not mean he believed tradition to be an authoritative source of truth outside the Bible. It's like when a Christian preacher quotes C.S. Lewis' Narnia Chronicles. Narnia is a 'traditional writing' based on Bible truth. When a preacher quotes it, he does so to illustrate Bible truth, not to establish truth from a source outside the Bible. So it is with Jude when he alludes to Jewish tradition about Moses - and, in v14, when he quotes a Jewish writing about Enoch (see footnote 5, below).

Footnote 4 (Jude v11)

Cain: see Genesis 4.1-16. 'The way of Cain' could be the way that Cain allowed sin to master him, rather than mastering it (Genesis 4.7). But more probable is that v11 has a common theme: leading others into sin. In Jewish writing outside the Bible, Cain was regarded in just this way. And Genesis 4-6 itself gives hints that violence increased, once Cain had given the lead (see Genesis 4.23-24 for one of Cain's violent descendants; Genesis 6.11, 13).

Balaam: Numbers 22-24 tells how Balak, king of Moab, tried to hire Balaam (some kind of spiritualist? - see Numbers 22.7) to curse the Israelites, so that Moab could gain advantage over them. To cut a long story short, Balaam did not actually curse the Israelites. But later in Numbers 31.16 we discover that he did advise Moab to get the upper hand over Israel by sending their Moabite women to seduce the Israelites, so that the Israelites would bring judgement on themselves. This in fact happened - see Numbers 25. So, Balaam is a second example of one who led others into sin and therefore under judgement.

Korah: see Numbers 16. In vv1-3, Korah rebelled against Moses. In v4f, Moses set up a test by which God would show which of them really had God's approval and authority. Ultimately, Korah and those who followed his lead were destroyed. One point of the story is that Moses urged people to separate from Korah so as not to be judged along with him (v23f). This has obvious application to false teachers in the church today.

Footnote 5 (Jude v14)

For Enoch see Genesis 5.21-24, Hebrews 11.5. Jude apparently quotes from a Jewish writing called 1 Enoch, which purports to be a prophecy. Again (see the last paragraph of footnote 3 above), this does not imply that Jude regarded 1 Enoch as Scripture. And, in fact, the content of the 1 Enoch prophesy he quotes can largely be found in prophesies in the OT. See Deuteronomy 33.2-4, Isaiah 66.15-16, Isaiah 40.10, Jeremiah 25.30-31, Micah 1.3-4.

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