Jude lists examples of apostasy in the past and the judgment of God upon them:
1) Israel at Kadesh-barnea refused to enter the Promised Land. God judges men and nations for their sins. Unbelief is sin.
2) Angels rebelled and are now kept in chains. The judgment for angels is special and separate. Angels do not escape the judgment of God.
3) Sodom and Gomorrah sinned in sensuality; destroyed by fire. Defiled flesh, perversion, sodomy, and gross immorality (“new morality”) have been judged in the past as a warning to modern man.
Jude identifies characteristics of apostate teachers:
1) “Dreamers” (omit filthy) indicates that they live in an unreal world, probably having drug-induced dreams.
2) “Defile the flesh” connotes base and abnormal immorality.
3) “Despise dominion” is to reject authority.
4) “Speak evil of dignities” is protest against rules and those in authority
Satan is a fallen creature and an avowed enemy of God. Yet Michael, when contending about the body of Moses, would not bring a sentence that would impugn the dignity of Satan. Michael even respected the position of Satan. Apostates protest against that about which they do not have absolute mental comprehension; but they follow what they know by instinct, like an animal. The “Way of Cain” characterizes an apostate who is religious but who denies he is a sinner — yet who could be redeemed only by the sacrifice of life and shedding of blood. There is a vivid, graphic, dramatic, frightening description of apostates of the last days. They are likened to spots. “Spots” are hidden rocks that wreck a ship — make shipwreck of faith. They are characterized as “Feeding themselves”. A true shepherd feeds the sheep. They are described as clouds. “Clouds…without water” means that they look as if they are filled with the Word of God, but they are empty and dry. They are Trees…without fruit”— no spiritual fruit. They are “Raging waves” meaning they are unashamed. They are “Wandering stars” which means to be lawless, following no course. True believers will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air; make-believers will be judged. The organized church will go into the Great Tribulation. At the Rapture this apostate church is split…the true believers leave and the make-believers remain.
1) “Murmurers” — they mutter their complaints.
2) “Complainers” is literally blamers of their lot; discontented.
3) “Walking after their own lusts” means they live to satisfy their craving and desires.
4) “Speaking great swelling words” is addiction to flowery, extravagant, and exaggerated language.
5) “Having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage” means that they do not look to God but to men for help and advancement