Jude wanted to write about their common salvation but felt compelled to write to address false teachers that have penetrated the community and teaching heresy.
5-19 God’s promise of judgment of the ungodly
5-7 Historical precedent
He recalls three examples of gods judgment as a warning to these false teachers. We are all prone to spiritual amnesia so we must give attention to what God has done in the past. (Ie testimony; history repeats itself; open theism). They knew it already, a reference to OT and probably the faith handed down (maybe even 2 Peter). They do not need new revelation to contend as much as they need to remember and apply what they already know and have read. Remembering Gods word and gods work in history, both blessing and judgment is necessary for perseverance. Scripture is meant top be meditated on and committing to memory to be useful throughout the day. This is an argument against the false teachers who are teaching new revelation. Knowing scripture is a means of grace God uses to cause us to persevere. These examples have two goals: give assurance to those who are being kept and give resolve to those who are wavering.
The first example is the people of Israel. God saved them out of bondage in Egypt and later destroyed those who literally did not continue in belief, they apostatized. Jude’s point is that even if one is part of the believing community, if they turn away for whatever reason (unbelief, heresy, etc) they lose their hope. The same God that saved them destroyed them for their unbelief; both the saving and the destroying are manifestations of God’s power. The NT tells us that not all Israel (physical) is Israel (spiritual) (Rom 9:6-8).
Second are the angels who fell or apostatized and are now kept awaiting judgment (not all angels are elect 1 Tim 5:21). Can This can be a reference to the original fall of angels or the sons of God in Gen 6:1-4. They left their positions of their own choice because they were not satisfied with their God given position. They are bound in chains so that they cannot move; in darkness so they cannot see; and therefore cannot unite. Not all are bound, some still roam actively (Luke 8:31; Rom 8:38; Col 2:15). Gen 6 is Satans plot to usurp the promise of God in Gen 3:15.
Third example is Sodom and Gomorrah who were judged for their sexual immorality. Sodom and Gomorrah in Gen 13:10 was part of the Sidon Valley that is described as well watered but because of the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah God rained down sulfur on it and to this day it is barren (volcano). Their punishment is suffering presently. Lk. 16:19-31. Have you ever thought about how people in hell will be sustained for all eternity? God will supernaturally sustain body and soul for their just punishment. What is common to all three examples: rebellion; sexual immorality; corporate departure
8-13: Parallel: characteristics of present ungodly is same
Based upon the three examples the false teachers deserve the same. In like manner the false teachers have clear warnings but their arrogance has blinded them of history and truth.
The False teachers are described as dreamers, who defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme angels. The dreams, revelation, are the source of authority and teaching. Defile own flesh and the flesh of followers because pervert Gods grace. Blaspheme by creating own authority. Gives the example of Michael the archangel. The say they have spiritual insight but their teachings show that they don’t understand the spiritual realm (vs. 10). Irony is they claim to have special knowledge of the spiritual truth and realm but in reality they don’t. it is their own instincts, reason.
Three more OT examples
They have walked the way of Cain is a reference to his unbelief and jealousy that led him to murder his brother (ie Jewsih leaders and Jesus; Heb 3:12; Gen 4).
The next example is Balaam. He was greedy and covetous. He prostituted himself and his gift for gain and ultimately led Israel into idolatry (Num 22-24; 31:16 and Rev 2:14; 2 Peter 2:15). The influence of the Spirit does not equal conversion.
The last example is Korah’s rebellion. Korah is best known as the man whom the opening earth is said to have swallowed up along with his associates when they were challenging the authority of Moses and Aaron (God’s ordained leaders) in the wilderness (Nu 16; 17). Korah is presented as the ring leader. The company is spoken of as his company, and those who were swallowed up as being "all the men that appertained unto Korah." (Nu 16:11 ,32).
They are blemishes or reefs is a reference to reefs that are underwater along the coast that look safe on top of the water but underneath the reefs jetted out and could boats. The are dangerous because they are shepherds who look out only for themselves; waterless clouds. They have no value, holding out empty promises. They are fruitless trees that bear no fruit; they are spiritually dead. HE will later say they are devoid of the Spirit. Next, they are wild waves that contaminate everything they touch. Last they are wandering stars. Stars were used by sailors to guide them at night. Wandering stars are dangerous because they are not fixed or stable. Their judgment is being kept for them. It is like it is being stored up for them.