“Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.”
The Jewish Exodus generation who came out of Egypt and wandered in the desert for 40 years all the time complaining, grumbling and disobeying God were not allowed to go into the Promised Land. The Greek word for destroyed is key in this verse, which is “appollumi” meaning ruin or loss of well-being (not utter extinction). Ultimately some did perish as a result of their unbelief in Jehovah (Jesus) as their Savior, but in this verse we have a reference to the destruction of the spiritual lives of believers who follow after false teachers/gods. What many Israelites failed to believe was that God was going to take care of them and that He had a wonderful plan for them, which included a land “flowing with milk and honey.”
The followers of apostate teachers are those who allow themselves to be seduced. They are those who reject truth and believe the fabricated lies of the false teachers. Peter tells us that many will follow their evil ways, so it should come as no surprise when these ministers of Satan “pack the pews.” The pivot (remnant according to grace) has always been a small elite group of believers who refuse to compromise accurate Bible teaching. The others who follow after the “about to” ministers (God’s about to do this or that, but never seems to get around to doing it), have become enemies of the Cross of Christ and partakers in satanic doctrine and activity. They have been enticed by words of flattery, which promise wealth and physical healing from a “fairy godmother” type of god. (II Timothy 3:6, 4:3-4; II Peter 2:2,3,14,18; Jude 12,16)
As a result of being seduced, these followers of false teachers become slaves to the idea that God is going to bless them with houses, cars, money, the perfect job, family harmony and healing of the body. Failure to seek truth from the Word of God leaves them with only Human Viewpoint Thinking and its resultant misery and bewilderment. They cannot understand how God can allow them to suffer so much and why He doesn’t wave His “magic wand” and fix all their problems (after all, they prayed about it!).
These same duped believers send their hard-earned money to these deceivers in hope that they will receive blessing in return. They become the “shopping mall” for the false teacher, as he calls in any needed revenue for his personal desires. It is often called “seed money,” but only the false teacher gets to harvest the crop. Year after year these poor, ignorant believers send their rent money, car payment money, even their food money for a chance at the “Christian lottery.” It is a sad state of affairs, but no one has an excuse before God for being seduced by false doctrine. If a person wants to know truth, God will provide it for them.
The followers of the apostate teachers fail to take responsibility for their own decisions and actions, entering into the arrogance of self-justification, self-deception and self-absorption. Because of their instability from lack of Bible doctrine in the soul, they are easily lured away into apostasy themselves. Like a fisherman catching a fish, these false teachers entice weak believers, not only into taking the bait, but paying for it.
“And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.”
This illustration of apostasy is from Genesis 6 where we see an angelic infiltration into the human race as a result of rejecting the message from God’s servant Noah. Instead, this generation was duped by Satan and his followers into believing that no harm was eminent and that Noah was a lunatic.
“That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful; and they took them wives for themselves, whomever they chose.” (Genesis 6:2) The Hebrew word beni-ha-Elohim, translated “sons of God,” appears only four times in the Old Testament: Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7 and in this verse as a reference to fallen angels, not men. There are two types of fallen angels: those called “demons” and those who are imprisoned. From passages like I Peter 3:20; II Peter 2:4 and Jude 6 we learn that the fallen angels in Genesis 6:2 later became eternally bound angels. These were the angels who observed the beauty of the daughters of men. They took them wives of all which they chose means that they cohabited with women on the earth.
Now immediately certain questions arise as to the physical possibilities and capabilities of such a plan. First, aren’t angels invisible to the human race? The answer to this is yes. However, they can also appear to human beings. As a high order of creation, they are extremely beautiful and therefore can appear as strikingly attractive, masculine human beings! This brings us to a second question. In view of Matthew 22:30, which says that the angels “neither marry nor are given in marriage,” how is procreation possible between angels and humanity? We must keep in mind that the pre-flood period was a unique time in history and we are told that Satan performs miracles as the god of this world and his demons can take on the form of human beings.
“The Nephilim were on the earth in those days; and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.” (Genesis 6:4)
As a result of angelic procreation with humanity, a super-race evolved. They were called Nephilim, “fallen ones,” in Hebrew and translated “giants” in English. They had fallen from the human race in that they were no longer true humanity. Half man and half angel, they were creatures of remarkable strength and brilliant intellect. The children which the women bore to these angels “became mighty men which were of old [antiquity], men of renown,” that is, famous men of hero category.
The half angelic, half human super-race had completely taken over and corrupted the human race of the antediluvian (pre-flood) civilization except for the few who resisted — Noah plus seven! The reason that Noah and his family did not get involved was that they were faithful believers and God protected them physically from the super race who were exceedingly warlike and brutal. Ultimately there was no other way to preserve true humanity than to destroy the Nephilim and all who rejected the truth. Man’s evil finally reached the saturation point because of his involvement with fallen angels. Evil is primarily what you think, not what you do. Therefore, their thinking was totally engulfed in malignant, satanic concepts.
“Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.”
The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is apostasy among unbelievers. Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities around them refer to five cities located in one of the most beautiful spots that the world has ever known outside the Garden of Eden. This is a reference of course to the inhabitants of the Jordan valley. The five cities were all very great cities with a population that was quite extensive. In addition to the two cities mentioned there were three other cities which are mentioned in the Scriptures. (Hosea 11:8; Lamentations 4:6; Jeremiah 49:18; Amos 4:11) All three of those prophets, Hosea, Jeremiah and Amos, were talking about apostasy, and when they wanted to make an illustration of apostasy they mentioned a city known to their generation. These cities were very famous in the year 2065 BC. The geographical location of these cities is now established as the southern end of the Dead Sea which is now covered with water.
Out of the population of these cities, as far as we know, only three people were believers — Lot and his two unmarried daughters. And the population, of course, had been famous for homosexuality and for lesbianism. This is also very clearly taught in the scripture and substantiated in Romans 9:29 and Revelation 11:8. However, what is going to be mentioned here is even more extensive as far as the results of apostasy. The area was destroyed in the middle of the 21st century BC. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is not only taught clearly in Genesis 19 but is referred to specifically under doctrinal concepts in Matthew 10:15 and II Peter 2:6. Sodom represents the degeneracy of apostasy and sinfulness. Sinfulness always reaches a degenerate peak under periods of apostasy. (Genesis 13:13; 19:4-5; 1 Kings 14:24; Jude 7)
In the same way refers to the fallen angels of Genesis 6. The Greek word for immorality is “porneuo,” which means fornication and gross refers to things outside of the proper area of sexual relationships. Strange flesh is the Greek word “heteros,” and means other or different. In other words, it means something outside the norm, like homosexuality and lesbianism.
At certain points in the human race certain events are used as examples to warn the human race of impending danger. So the fallen angels of Genesis 6 and the unbelievers of Sodom are examples used for warnings against apostasy. But not only does it have temporal repercussions, but there are also eternal repercussions (undergoing the punishment of eternal fire). (Matthew 25:41)
“Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties.”
In the same way refers to apostate actions of those in Sodom and Gomorrah, the fallen angels, and those of the Exodus generation. There are three categories of apostasy listed in this verse: 1) defilement of the flesh 2) rejection of authority and 3) reviling of angelic majesties. By dreaming, means to have delusional dreams of grandeur, i.e. power, wealth and popularity. If all you have is human viewpoint in your soul, your dreams of grandeur can be only delusional. This delusion of human viewpoint results in the three categories of apostasy. So apostasy can be anything that is contrary to accurate Bible doctrine (divine viewpoint).
Category one of apostasy in this verse is defilement of the flesh. Defile is the Greek word “miaino,”which means to have your clothes stained or polluted. In the ancient world they did not have inside toilets or garbage disposals. They had chamber pots which they dumped with their garbage over the balcony, and sometimes onto people passing by. In this verse defile is used for the contamination of the soul.
“And every man that hath this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure.” (I John 3:3) By following the example given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ while on earth, we can live in God’s power system and bring honor and glory to our Savior. The word in Greek for hope is “elpis” and means confident expectation. The believer’s hope is in Christ. With this confident expectation in mind, the believer is to purify himself. To purify means to cleanse from defilement. We are defiled by Satan’s world system. It is the human viewpoint thinking of Satan’s world system that defiles the mind of the believer. Though you and I cannot live a sinless life, we can learn to sin less by thinking divine viewpoint, which will greatly reduce the effects of the contamination from this world system and keep us from becoming apostate.
Category two of apostasy in this verse is rejection of authority. And apostasy is defined in this verse as the rejection of authority whether it is human or divine. God has set up a system of authority for all mankind which we call Divine Establishment. For the Royal Family of God, He has set a system of authority we call the Protocol Plan of God. Violation of either authority will result in apostasy (nationally or individually).
Protocol is strict adherence to precisely correct procedure. In the case of the believer, protocol is strict adherence to the mandates from God and using the correct procedure for carrying out those mandates. These mandates and the precisely correct procedures are found in only one place, the Word of God. By learning and applying the truth found in the Bible, the believer can fulfill God’s purpose, plan and will. When this truth is presented from the Word of God in a systematic manner, it allows any believer to grow spiritually (regardless of I.Q.) by following God’s plan.
Category three of apostasy in this verse is reviling of angelic majesties. Angelic majesties is a bad translation of the Greek word “doca,” which means glories. It is in the plural because “glories” refers to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. In other words, these apostates are blaspheming the members of the Godhead and those who are carrying out God’s duly constituted system of authority. One way or another, all apostates blaspheme the members of the Trinity or their representatives.