Thursday, 23 July 2020
And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; Jude -6
Jude had just referred to those who were saved out of Egypt, but who were later destroyed through unbelief. He now moves to a second type of example, that of willful pride. He begins with, “And the angels.”
It is speaking of heavenly beings. Jude’s words here follow along with Peter’s words found in 2 Peter 2:4 –
“For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment.”
It is the same thought now being presented by Jude. Peter did not state precisely what sin was involved, but Jude expands upon it here, saying, “who did not keep their proper domain.” The word translated as “domain” is arché. It signifies beginning, as in time, but also the first as in principality or rule. Some translations will choose one option, others the other option. As this is speaking of angels, which are being in a place of authority, it is certainly speaking of the latter. Paul uses it this way in Ephesians 6 –
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
These angels departed from their place of rank and authority. It is these angels which today are known as demons, and it is these unholy forces that Paul refers to. Jude next continues with, “but left their own abode.” The word he uses here speaks of a place of habitation; a house. The obvious conclusion is that in leaving their place of rule, they left their place where the rule occurs, meaning heaven.
In heaven, they were in a particular authority where angels were created to minister to man (see Hebrews 1:14). However, rather than ministering to man, the angels wanted to rule over man. This is clearly indicated in Paul’s words of Ephesians 6, but it is also found in Matthew 8, Mark 5, and Luke 8 in regard to the demoniac in the country of the Gergesenes (also known as the Gaderenes).
In these passages, it is seen that having left their heavenly abode, they came to earth, not as ministering spirits for God, but as invaders under Satan. Instead of being servants for the benefit of men, they came as tyrants over men. Of these, Jude says that “He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness.” Peter says that He “delivered them into chains of darkness.” The word Peter uses may signify a pit, rather than chains.
The idea is that those that have been imprisoned by God are bound in that state. There are others that are not yet bound, as noted above from both the gospels and Paul, but those that are have been so bound “for the judgment of the great day.”
In other words, there is a judgment not only for men, but for these fallen angels. Until the day of that judgment, they are securely bound by God. Someday they will be cast into the Lake of Fire for all eternity.
What needs to be remembered here is that Jude is speaking in categories – unbelief, pride, and then sexual sin. This is important to understand, because far too many people tie what occurs in this verse with what Jude will describe in the next verse, claiming that these angels were punished for sleeping with humans and creating a human/angelic hybrid. This is a forced reading into Genesis 6. That passage has nothing to do with angels sleeping with human beings.
Angels are spirit beings, and thus they have no matter. They cannot procreate with women. However, they can dwell in humans, as noted in the gospel references above. The proper domain of this verse is not speaking of sexual interactions with men, but abandoning their proper place of principality. Unfortunately, being captivated by single translations of the Bible, which present faulty renderings of what is being conveyed, has led to very poor theology in this particular regard.
Life application: This particular verse doesn’t find its overall support elsewhere in the Bible. In other words, this is not speaking of the “sons of God” referenced in Genesis 6. Rather, that verse is speaking of the line of Seth intermarrying with the line of Cain. This verse is either received from an oral tradition or it is referring to the book of Enoch, another non-canonical writing. If this is referring to Enoch, this doesn’t make Enoch inspired.
We make such an error at the expense of sound doctrine. Just because a document contains truth doesn’t make it wholly true. The Koran says “God is merciful,” which is true, but the Koran is overall a false book. If the book of Enoch has information contained in it from a reliable source, such as this verse, then Jude used it despite the soundness of the rest of the book.
Unlike humans, angels have no chance of redemption. We are shown that these fallen angels will remain in outer darkness until their judgment. However, and unlike them, as long as there is breath in our lungs, we have the chance to repent and turn to God. May we not withhold this truth from those around us who will someday find themselves in the same horrifying station as these angels, if they don’t come to God through Jesus the Lord.
Lord, as long as it is Day, give us the wisdom to use our time wisely – telling others about the glory of Jesus and the doom that will occur without accepting Him. May our hearts not become calloused and cold toward the pitiful state of the lost, but may they be broken for their condition. Use us, O Lord, to get the message out before it is too late. Amen.