Apostates are Savage Beasts that Foam at the Mouth – Exegesis of Jude 13-15

Wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever. It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied saying, ‘Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all and to convict the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.’” Jude 13-15

Jude continues his use of metaphors in describing false teachers by starting verse 13 with “wild waves” (kumata agria). “Kuma” derives from “kuo” which means “to be pregnant” or “to swell”. Jude is using kuma as a figure of speech to speak of “swells” on the ocean, or better yet “waves”. The Greek word “agria” derives from “agros” which gives us our English word “agriculture”. Primarily the word denotes living or growing in a field. Its secondary meaning is a metaphor that denotes something “savage” or “fierce”. Animals that are undomesticated and out in the woods or fields are untamed, unbroken, and unpredictable. Likewise, apostates are like wild, untamed waves. Just as the wind of the sea determines the direction and height of a wave, so too are apostates directed and controlled by their sin. Make no mistake, an apostate does not have control over what they do. They are so enslaved to sin that they obey its commands. Their savage nature makes them dangerous as any person that comes into their path will be wrecked. Isaiah said, “But the wicked are like the tossing sea, for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up refuse and mud.” Isaiah 57:20. I wonder if Jude had this verse in mind when he wrote verse 13. Though the ocean is beautiful it is also very dangerous and cannot be controlled. The ancients feared the sea because it was something that was unpredictable. One has only to look at what Paul endured sailing to Rome to understand the danger of sea travel in this day.

Jude continues his thought regarding wild waves by saying, “casting up their own shame like foam”. Casting up is “epaphrizo”. The preposition “Epi” (out of) intensifies the word “aphrizo” which denotes, “to foam at the mouth”. Keeping Isaiah 57:20 in mind remember that the crest of the wave slams on the shore and brings the foam and the refuse of the sea to shore. I really love the beach and try to take my family out there as much as we can. A lot of times I will look at the shore where the waves break and roll up with their foam and see what gets washed up. Sometimes I will see a dead Jelly Fish, a half-eaten fish, a dead Man of War, seaweed, or sometimes trash. It is the refuse of the sea coming to shore. Jude is using a metaphor to show that these false teachers “foam at the mouth” passionately with the filth of heresy. Remember in Matthew 15:18 when Christ said, “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.” Jude is showing us that the filth that false teachers speak correlates to what is in their heart. They are unregenerate and fully depraved, therefore, whatever comes out of their mouths not only defiles themselves, but can even defile those that hear. When I was a younger man I remember flying to Dallas, Texas to visit a vendor. I remember the vendor took me out to a comedy club with dueling pianos. As I sat there and heard the vulgarity coming from the mouths of the comedians I began to feel defiled. They said some of the most grotesque jokes about sex that I had ever heard. I felt dirty inside as my spirit went from one of joy before getting there to one of sickness. I had had enough, so I told my vendors that we needed to leave. They agreed about how disgusting the content was and we left. As we left the comedians began to make vulgar jokes about me that were sexual in nature prompting me to almost say something back to them. It was as if Satan was trying to goad me to anger. I felt so putrid in my spirit because of the excrement that proceeded from their mouths. This is true of false teachers. The refuse that they speak is meant to defile themselves and the hearer. When I wrote my two articles about the New Apostolic Reformation I felt so disgusted after listening to all of the false teaching. I needed to meditate on scripture and spend time in prayer knowing that God’s truth can wash me clean of this defilement. When I taught on NAR at my church the countenance so fell within classroom that I had to stop one of the videos. They felt like they were being tortured by the literal heresy that proceeded out of these false teachers mouths. Like the foam of the ocean which washes up onto the shore and deposits the refuse of the sea, so too is the apostate who pollutes themselves and the hearer with their heresy.

The next metaphor that Jude uses is “Wandering stars for whom the black darkness has been reserved.” The Greek words, “wandering stars” is “planetai asteres”. It is where the English words “planet” and “asteroid” are derived. The root words these derive from are “planetes” which means, “a wanderer” and “aster” meaning, “star”. Properly, “a wandering star”. Again, Jude is using “a wandering star” as a figure of speech. In ancient days people would use the stars of the sky as a tool for navigation, especially sailors. The Magi did this to find the roughly two year old Christ. What I believe Jude might be conveying here is that these apostates shine brightly, but like a falling star you cannot use it for direction. It will lead you astray. False teachers have arisen in the church and are exponentially more successful than those who are biblically orthodox. They are more well-read and recognizable when speaking about Christianity. How do I know this? I once followed a guy on Twitter who was a “Christian” and would quote Osteen regularly. During one of the Republican debates he mocked Rand Paul for quoting Os Guinness saying, “Next time you quote a Christian, quote someone whom Christians recognize like, Joel Osteen.” To which I responded that Os Guinness is one of the most well-known and well respected Christian apologists in the world. I eventually unfollowed this person. Isn’t this disheartening? People think Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar and Steven Furtick are the faces of modern day Christianity. All of them are false teachers, yet their star shines so brightly because what they speak attracts multitudes of sinners, as well as new believers to a pseudo Christianity. Their lights will quickly fade, but God’s elect will never fade.

Another attribute of a wandering/shooting star is that they go from place to place with no control or direction. Likewise, false teachers go from place to place attracting people to follow them and their teachings. They portray themselves as servants of Christ, but the gate they are leading people to is not the narrow one, but the road that is wide for those headed to destruction. Just as a shooting star has no permanence and cannot be used by ancient navigators on the sea, so too are the false teachers presenting themselves as a star in the sky, but sadly, they are leading people to the same destruction that awaits them. In fact, “darkness” which is “zophos” in Greek denotes a darkness so dense that it can literally be felt. These men and women are vessels of divine wrath, and the eternal darkness and torment of Hell is reserved for they and their followers.

It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied saying, ‘Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all and to convict the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.’” Jude 14-15

In verse 14 Jude changes gears and quotes from the pseudepigraphal book of Enoch, which is not included in the canon of scripture. Remember when Jude quoted from the pseudepigraphal book of Moses in verse 9? Neither of these books was penned by either Moses or the pre-flood Enoch. The book of Enoch was supposedly a book of prophecies from Enoch as he walked about preaching about God’s coming flood judgment. Enoch was the great grandfather of Noah (See Genesis 5:21-32 for the lineage) These writings were supposedly preserved by Noah and passed down orally through the generations until it was eventually penned. The book of Enoch was used by the Jews until the time of the apostles. It was estimated to be written between 161 B.C. and 100 B.C. Tertullian even said that the Pharisees stopped using it because it had so many prophecies concerning Jesus Christ that they tried to cover it up. I don’t know this for sure, but what I do know is that if the book is not included in the canon of scripture, it should be ignored. However, since Jude makes a quotation of that book, then only that quotation is valid because it was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Keep in mind that what Jude quotes lines up with scripture and the context of his epistle. We are getting a look at apostasy in the end times. In verse 14, we see that “the Lord comes with many thousands of his holy ones.” The word “Lord” is referring to Christ. That is how he is presented in both the Old and New Testaments. “Many thousands” in the Greek is “murios” and is where we get our word myriad. It literally means 10,000. If it is used in the figurative sense then it would denote a number too large to count. These holy ones are in fact angels and I believe “myriads” is used in the figurative sense because this quotation from Enoch is a prophecy of the tribulation/last days. With 200 million demons coming out of the abyss and many more already running around on the earth during those dark days I am inclined to believe that the Lord will have more than 10,000 angels being put to work, especially since they are executioners of His divine judgment. What is so interesting from this little excerpt included in scripture is that Enoch is prophesying pre-flood of the last days and the second coming of Christ. “Erchomai” (coming) is in the present tense speaking to the future as if it already were happening, revealing that this in fact is a prophetic utterance. Not only that, but remember that Methuselah’s name means, “his death shall bring judgment”. How apropos of Enoch to name his son this as it was part of the will of God. The year Methuselah died was the year the flood commenced. God gave them so much time to repent, yet they rejected it.

Think about this for a second: The only other prophesy of Christ pre-flood is in Genesis 3:15 and that points to Christ’s first coming (death) and second coming (victory). In this prophesy, Enoch is telling these antediluvian people about the last days of earth and the apostasy that will be present, which is exactly the same apostasy that was present during Enoch’s time. “As it was in the last days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man.” Matthew 24:37. This verse speaks not only to the warning of God’s judgment, and its suddenness, but also of the sinful practices exhibited at the time.

In verse 15, when you see the word “ungodly” it is the Greek word “asebes”. It literally means “destitute of reverence”. In other words, they have no fear of God. Jude is showing us through this prophesy that apostates will have no reverence for God either in word or deed in the last days. When it speaks of these apostates “harsh words” the actual Greek word is “skeleros”. It means “hard” but denotes that this hardness comes from “a drying out”. The best word to describe this would be, “austere”. I believe that Jude is using this figuratively. In the last days these apostates will be stiff necked, unbending, and unyielding in their heresy no matter the judgment God brings on the earth. A great example is Revelation 6:13-17 where this immense worldwide earthquake takes place and all mankind asks for the mountains and rocks to protect them from Christ rather than repent. This is skeleros (hard, unwavering) as these people would rather worship the creation rather than the Creator. It is earth worship at its finest. Not to beat a dead horse, but in Revelation 9 after three plagues that God unleashed on the earth, those that were left alive “did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and silver” (Revelation 9:20). Apostates would rather suffer torment and torture for eternity than repent and worship Christ the King.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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Author: thomascoutouzis

I was born in the United States as a second generation Greek. My family comes from the Island of Kalymnos which is the island next to Patmos (Where the apostle John wrote Revelation). My wife Kathy is of Korean descent and we have two wonderful children, Chloe and Micah. We live in a small town outside of Raleigh, North Carolina called Fuquay Varina. The Lord redeemed me as a young boy as my mother (who was a believer) shared the Gospel with me. If I had to categorize my denomination I would most likely fall into the Reformed Baptist realm with some differences over non-essential doctrine. I am an expositional bible teacher who attends Fellowship Baptist Church in Willow Springs, NC. For the last few years I have been taking God's word and teaching it on outlets like Twitter and Wordpress. I am also a fan of both J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis' fantasy novels. As such I am writing a fantasy series full of adventure, while weaving deep theological truth into the story and characters. My first book, "Athanasia: The Great Insurrection" is available in both ebook and paperback currently. I am hoping to release the second book in the series, "Athanasia: The Unknown Lands" around September of 2018.

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