Author: Ron Graham
Enoch’s Promise of Judgment
This lesson in our studies of Jude’s epistle looks at verses 14-16 where Jude quotes Enoch’s promise that the wicked will be judged by the Lord.
¶“14It was also about these persons that Enoch, the seventh [patriarch] from Adam, prophesied, saying, 'Behold, the Lord comes with myriads of his holy ones, 15To execute judgment on all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly acts done in their ungodliness —and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.' 16These are grumblers, complainers, following their own lusts. Their mouth speaks swelling words to flatter people for profit’s sake.” (Jude 1:14-16).
1 The Day of Judgment is Coming
[Enoch says] “Behold, the Lord comes with myriads of his holy ones to execute judgment on all” (Jude 1:14-15).
Very ancient is the promise and knowledge of what we call “the second coming”. Enoch lived in times before the great flood. That flood was certainly an execution of judgment, but not the final judgment in which the Lord will come with his angels in fire.
“...when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don't know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:8).
Jude is aware that only one thing can save us on that day of judgment, namely to be in Christ through “the faith once for all delivered to the holy people” (Jude 1:3), also known as “the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:8).
2 The Ungodly Will Be Convicted
[Enoch says] “The Lord comes... to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly acts done in their ungodliness” (Jude 1:15).
The verb convict here does not mean to convince but rather to judge guilty. It is “the faith once for all delivered —the gospel” that now convinces people of sin and provides a way of forgiveness to those who obey. Those who don't obey, must, at the judgment, be convicted as wrongdoers and be punished.
That’s why it's so important to “continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel... Let no one cheat you of your reward...” (Colossians 1:23, 2:18).
Notice how Enoch uses the word “ungodly” four times in quick succession (Jude 1:15):
- They are ungodly in their alienation from God —they don't know God.
- They are ungodly in their acts —they don't obey God.
- They are ungodly in their selfish attitude —they don't contend for (or even care about) the faith delivered by God.
- They are ungodly in their arrogance having spoken evil against God.
We now focus on that last point...
3 Meanwhile They Try to Deceive Us
[Enoch says] “...ungodly sinners have spoken [harsh things] against him.” (Jude 1:15).
Jude follows these words of Enoch with the comment: “These are grumblers, complainers, following their own lusts. Their mouth speaks swelling words to flatter people for profit’s sake” (Jude 1:16).
Out of one side of their mouths they say harsh things against God, complaining against his way of grace and preferring their own way of lust. Out of the other side of their mouths they speak high sounding words that itching ears like to hear, rather than the truth from God.
If we listen to the talk of such persons, they will cause us to weaken our trust, gratitude, and love toward God. We will be deceived into thinking right is wrong and wrong is right. “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20).
The Source of Enoch’s Words
Some say that Jude quotes the Book of Enoch. Indeed R.H. Charles’s translation (1917) of 1Enoch 1:9 (from two manuscripts) reads...
“And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones to execute judgment upon all, and to destroy all the ungodly: And to convict all flesh Of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
This is substantially the same as Jude’s quotation, except Jude has “...and to convict all the ungodly...” instead of “...and to destroy all the ungodly: And to convict all flesh...”.
This does not mean that when Jude quoted Enoch his source was necessarily the “Book of Enoch”. But even if it was, that does not mean that he considered the whole book to be Enoch’s words, true words, or words inspired by God.