There is nothing new about departing from the truth of ADONAI. It is as old as the history of the human race, for Cain was an apostate. Jude uses three historical illustrations of divine judgment to show what must be the doom of all apostates. The nation of Isra'el, the angels who sinned, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are familiar examples in the TaNaKh for falling away from the LORD. We know these records well enough, but a continuous decay of knowledge demands that we be reminded of them in view of the coming apostasy from the faith in the last days.
Every believer knows the necessity of daily reading of the Scriptures. God calls upon us to meditate on His Word day and night. If we are to be on guard against spiritual apostasy, if we are to contend earnestly for the faith, we must allow Jude to take us back to the ancient inspired records. This recounting of past apostasy has a twofold purpose: they contain lessons we need to learn again and again; and to serve as a stern warning to the apostates who had begun to enter into the messianic synagogues to pervert its belief and practice.29
But before we are reminded of specific cases of apostasy (Jude 11), we are asked to recall three cases of what might be called general apostasy from the revealed will of ADONAI. Jude’s strategy is obvious. By identifying the false teachers with traditional examples of notorious sinners, he moves his readers to reject these wolves in sheep’s clothing, and indeed, to regard them with horror.30 The first concerns a falling away of the people of Isra'el who were under the blood of the Passover lamb (Jude 5). The second is taken from the history of sinning angels in the invisible spirit world (Jude 6). The third is found in the story of some of the most wicked sinners in all the Bible, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah (Jude 7). Here are representatives of each of the three great classes of those who have fallen away: apostate Israelites, apostate angels and apostate Gentiles.