This morning we find ourselves in session 3 of Jude.
In Jude verses 4-8, we witnessed that these false teachers have been entering into these Christian communities “unnoticed”.
These men were counterfeits with the aim to bring about division, confusion, and ultimately, destruction.
The means by which these men attempt to infiltrate the church is by looking the part.
They speak the Christian vernacular and use wording that convinces you that they are in alignment with you doctrinally and theologically.
Saying the name Jesus is one thing, yet being submitted to Him as Lord is another.
These men are stealthy. They may attend a local small group, volunteer for a needed ministry, and even attend seminary.
By any means necessary, they will do what it takes to blend right on in.
However, Jude explains in the latter half of verse 4 that these men have particular characteristics.
He mentions that these men are the following: They are...
Turning the grace of God into a license to sin (Licentiousness)
Denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ
Jude continues on by providing 3 Old Testament examples for these Jewish believers as to the ending result of these men in verses 5-7
We found that these examples that Jude uses are quite familiar to this particular audience.
The audience that Jude is writing to is primarily Jewish Christians which means that they are familiar with these stories.
These examples that he uses would have been passed down to them generation after generation so that they would know their history.
Imagine a family reunion where the family historian, typically the patriarch, shares the history of the family and their origins.
In this same way, these Old Testament stories would ring into the hearing of these readers and listeners.
But ultimately they would serve as a warning to these Jewish believers.
The warning would be made clear: Those who sin against a holy God will be rightfully judged and condemned.
As we recap verse 8 and walk through verses 9 through 10, it is my prayer that we see the following things:
Revelation without the affirmation of the scriptures leads to deception and purposeful misinterpretation.
True Gospel transformation and sanctification is assessed by the fruit of your life not the fruit of your lip service.
Submission to the scriptures and our Savior point to who our true authority is and not our own desires.
Lastly, a high view of scripture will produce high reverence for God and His Glory.
If I were to put a tag to this text, it would be “Right belief leads to right behavior”.
With that being said let’s read verses 8-10, together.
Dr. Tony Evans said, “We do not fight for a position of victory, but we fight from a position of victory”.
In few short words, Dr. Evans makes mention that the victory that the believer experiences in Christ is not our victory but rather, it is God’s victory.
As believers beloved by the Father, called by the Spirit, and kept for Jesus Christ our greatest place of position is under the authority of Christ.
This means that there has to be complete and total dependence upon the very person and work of Jesus Christ.
It is Jesus Christ who is our Master and Lord.
Jude, by means of extra-biblical material, will make known the staunch difference between that of believers versus unbelievers.
Let’s recap verse 8 from our last teaching in Jude.
If you recall from our last teaching in Jude, verse 8, we mentioned several things regarding these false teachers in the fifth triad.
We mentioned that these men were unbelievers that had no hold of truth, righteousness, or authority.
As a matter of fact, Jude provides Old Testament examples for us to understand that these men and their actions are not surprising.
The very history of false teachers’ deeds and motivations has existed for ages.
As Solomon mentions in Ecclesiastes 1:9, he says:
Jude mentions that they defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak abusively or revile angelic majesties, depending on your Bible translation.
And apparently, all of this is done by way of demonic dreaming. Do you see that in the first half of verse 8?
As a recap from the last teaching, The word dreaming in greek is enypniazomai (en-oop-nee-ad'-zom-ahee). This word simply means a dream or a revelation.
This way of dreaming spoke to prophetic dreaming as if given in a divine sense, however, remember who we are dealing with here.
If these men are ungodly, misleading miscreants, these dreams are simply delusions and wicked perversions to mislead men and women of God.
These special revelations are dreams that have been shared while using Jesus’ name as a means to verify and authorize their wickedness.
Just to remind you that there is nothing new under the sun, check out Jeremiah 23:25-28.
These false teachers have been using the name of God to permit sin amongst believers even before this letter was written.
Here’s what the text says:
This “dreaming” is evident even today, but what is even worse, but not surprising, is that this type of false gospel is emerging all the more within Christian churches.
Friends, this is what Jesus, Peter, and Jude were warning believers about.
We tend to want to warrant ourselves from those who are outside of the church or even outside of the faith (there is wisdom there)
However, Jude and Peter mention that if we are not diligent in studying the scriptures and contending for the faith, the greatest threat will be from within.
And dare I say it, we are seeing this more and more every day in churches around the world.
We are hearing more and more about an inclusive Gospel, prosperity teaching, universal salvation, and the like.
All of these various teachings have come from men within the church all using the name of our only Master and Lord, for the sake of their gain.
Whether that be monetary gain, social status, sexual gain…the list goes on and on.
Jude continues by mentioning 3 things regarding these ungodly men that create parallelisms within Jude’s examples. He mentions that these men:
Defile the flesh (give into their lustful desires )
Reject authority (deny the authority of God)
And speak abusively of angelic majesties (shaming the Glory of God)
Jude, in verse 9 will directly contrast these wicked, unbelieving men and their behaviors to that of the archangel Michael's reverence and submission to God’s authority in response to contending with the devil.
Pick me up at verse 9.
It is here in verse 9 where we are introduced to the first use of apocryphal literature referenced in the book of Jude. He references the “Assumption of Moses”.
Now before we dive into verse 9, let us recall that the use of this reference within the scriptures is what is inspired not the source itself.
Why do I note this?
Because the reality is these apocryphal writings were common reading for Jewish men and women and they contained some historically accurate information.
We must be very careful in differentiating between the authenticity and inspiration of the canon of scripture and the use of extra-biblical material used within the canon.
For example, the Assumption of Moses is not an inspired work of scripture.
Meaning that the Holy Spirit did not inspire the writing or the writer of the words of that particular work.
But rather the Assumption of Moses was written by someone to tell the history of the Israelite nation.
Similar to other writings in the world, there are some books that contain some truth even if the book isn’t based upon true events.
For example, it’s like an old adage that you grew up on. That proverb may not be found in the bible word for word, but it contains some truth.
For example, there is an old saying “A friend means well, even when he hurts you”
Although this saying is not found in scripture, it bears some truth.
How can we attest to its truth? By looking at scripture: Look at Proverbs 27:6
In this same way Jude, by the inspiration of the Spirit of God recalls truth from this particular piece of literature that is in fact historically accurate.
So with that being said, let’s examine this excerpt from the Assumption of Moses regarding Michael the archangel, the devil, and the body of Moses.
If you notice, Jude uses this example in direct connection to his previous statement regarding false teachers speaking abusively about angelic majesties.
Or as some of your translations may say, reviling angelic majesties.
Before we move too far ahead, it is important to define terms, so let’s understand what the word revile means.
The greek word for revile is this word we have heard previously, it is the word blasphēmeō.
The word literally means to slander, defame, or speak profanely about sacred things.
In other words, these false teachers defame the very glory of God and speak profanely about the very wondrous and glorious works of God.
By mere process of elimination, you can see how the very rejection and slander of God’s power and Glory is the rejection of His authority.
These are the very characterizations and behaviors of these types of men.
Jude mentions that Michael the archangel is contending with satan regarding the burial of Moses’ body.
To a reader unfamiliar with Jewish literature, this reference may be a bit confusing and questionable.
However, we have to remember that the use of the Assumption of Moses ties to a particular event in the Old Testament that contains some truth.
This event is well known to many Jewish men and women as they are familiar with these ancient readings.
The question that we should be asking ourselves as believers is, where is this truth of the burial of Moses found in scripture?
I’m glad you asked! We can read about the death of Moses at the end of Deuteronomy.
Check out Deuteronomy 34:1-6
We are made aware in Deuteronomy 34:4-5 that Moses will not be entering the promised land.
Deuteronomy 34 verses 4 and 6 will establish 3 big questions that will address verse 9 of Jude.
Those questions are the following:
Why will Moses not go into the promised land?
Why doesn’t anyone know where Moses is buried?
What significance does this hold?
We are not told why specifically in this verse but previous study through the book of Exodus reveals why Moses was not able to enter the promised land.
Due to our time restraints in the message we are not able to go into deep detail regarding how Moses disobeyed God.
However, I would like to simply provide you with a brief cliff note on Moses’ disobedience and inability to enter the promised land, based on the Exodus study by VBVMI (Verse By Verse Ministry).
If you are interested in learning more about it in detail, I encourage you to check it out.
So Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land because he disobeyed the Lord’s instructions.
It begins in Exodus 17 where the Lord instructs Moses to strike a rock that is before him in order to produce water.
This account is found in Exodus 17:6. It says:
Rather than speaking to the rock as God instructs Moses to do, Moses strikes the rock again.
Here is that account in Numbers 20:9-11
The significance of this rock in Exodus and Numbers was intended to establish a picture of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah having to be struck once for all.
Throughout scripture, we see the text uses the imagery of a rock to speak about Christ being the solid rock on which we stand.
For example, Deuteronomy 32:4 says:
If not rectified, the picture would have demonstrated that the promised Messiah would have to be repeatedly struck for our sins.
So how does God bring clarity to this picture for His people after Moses’ misstep?
It results in Moses not entering into the promised land. God, by His grace, allows Moses to see it, but not enter it.
This marks the start of a new picture being formed in using Moses’ inability to enter the promised land.
The next question that comes about is, who does God use to lead the chosen people of Israel into the Promised land?
He uses a man by the name Joshua.
God uses Joshua to lead the Children of Israel into the promised land.
With God preventing Moses from entering the promised land, this new picture begins to unfold.
Moses is the picture of the law as law-giver and his inability to enter the promised land shows that the law does not provide means to salvation or eternal life.
Therefore, if Moses represents the law then what does Joshua represent?
Joshua, who’s name is Yeshua in Hebrew which translates as Jesus, represents how men enter into salvation and attain eternal life.
It is only through and by Christ that men can be saved. It is by Christ and Him crucified.
So we have answered our first question: Why Moses didn’t enter into the promised land.
But we still must answer the second question from earlier: Why doesn’t anyone know where Moses is buried and what significance does this hold?
Here is our answer to the second question:
God buries Moses’ body Himself so that Satan could not use someone to dig up the body to make it into an idol.
Imagine if Satan were able to locate the very body that represents the Law of God and raise up Moses’ body.
This type of act would have caused false worship and misplaced trust and faith in Moses rather than the true Law Giver, God Himself.
I think we can witness several things from the text alone regarding God’s word.
One, God’s word and redemptive work in Christ is beautifully preserved.
Secondly, the enemies’ plans will not stand against the work and power of our Great God.
If there is anything you see from this story alone it is that God is sovereignly in control and holds all authority.
Let's look back at verse 9 regarding the dispute between Michael the archangel and the devil.
We see that further in the verse between Michael and Satan that the archangel Michael refuses to pronounce railing judgment against Satan.
Remember that word “railing judgement” is another way to say blaspheme or revile.
What I don’t want us to miss this morning is how Michael contends with Satan.
Michael does not stake claim to his authoritative position as the Chief Angel or even his power and ability.
Clearly, Michael could pull his Chief angel card, however, according to Ezekiel 28, Satan was a Cherub.
Cherubim are the highest order of the angelic beings and angels are of a lesser form.
So rather than Michael being contentious and flexing his own power and status regarding Satan’s fallen state, Michael honors the angelic position in order to refrain from reviling God’s order.
In other words, Michael appeals to the only authority that has the ability to Judge all creation, and that is God Himself.
It’s clear that Jude is contrasting the characterization and actions of false teachers and their rejection of authority to that of remaining in position and recognizing true authority, and that is God, Himself.
If I could briefly park here for a moment I want to encourage us as believers in Jesus, as we come up against spiritual warfare, to be mindful of how we pray.
If Michael the archangel dares not revile a railing judgment against Satan, what makes us think we have the ability to in our prayers?
The only authority we have is the very word of God. It is God Himself that is able to rebuke Satan, not you and I.
When it comes to how we are to approach spiritual warfare and prayer, you and I can’t attack the enemy or rebuke him.
This way of praying has crept into so many churches especially those of the charismatic persuasion.
They believe that somehow rebuking Satan in our prayer time is doing something.
We must default to the only authority that we have and know and that is the scriptures, and acknowledging that there is only one judge and it’s not us.
We must appeal to the Lord in our moments of distress and spiritual attack.
Why? Because we must have a proper theology.
Clearly, this is something that the false teachers know but reject because they have no fear of the Lord.
If we have an understanding of the text and a high view of our God, we know that God has provided the means of safety for us in His word.
We can easily look at James 4:7 where James records these words:
Notice what the text does not say: It doesn’t say revile the devil and he will flee from you.
How are believers able to resist the devil? James gives us the answer before that comma, Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Submission is something that these false teachers not only reject, but they can’t do it because their own authority trumps the authority of scripture.
As believers in Christ, we resist temptation and are victorious in the spiritual battle because we are in Christ.
We are children of God and because our trust is in Christ, our strength alone is in Christ. It wasn’t ours, to begin with.
We must turn to the Lord and what the scriptures say because God has the final say and has all authority and power in His hands.
Let’s keep moving to verse 10.
Jude is going to summarize for the reader what these false teachers are really all about and their ultimate end.
Jude mentions that these men revile “what they do not understand”.
We find ourselves seeing the word “revile” once again.
It is apparent that these men, false teachers, have a consistent habit of blaspheming the very handiwork and Glory of God.
Here in the text, these men blaspheme what they do not know or understand.
Don’t miss what Jude is showing us here. These men due to their “special revelations” believe that what they possess and say is correct.
These men can’t be corrected because they “got it all figured out”.
At best, these men are egotistical and have no desire to be corrected or shown what is truly right.
It’s that annoying kid in grade school that is convinced that the answer he gave is correct and everyone else including the teacher is wrong.
There is no going back and forth with that person because only what they say is true.
Friends this is just one way to gauge the teachability and heart of a person. Are they willing to be addressed and repent if they sincerely see they are wrong, doctrinally?
Are they willing to submit under the authority and leadership of church leadership, the elders, and ultimately the scriptures?
These false teachers want nothing more than to be right because they see themselves and their deeds as permittable because they are their own authority.
Jude further explains the very root issue of these men’s hearts.
He states, “and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed”
Jude juxtaposes the fruit of these men’s knowledge of what they don’t know (spiritual and biblical matters) versus what they do know.
It is apparent that these false teachers stake no claim to biblical truth because their lives bear no fruit of what they claim to know.
Paul mentions in Romans 1:19-28 an interesting comparison between the rejection of the knowledge of God and the false teachers.
Check out what Paul says to the church in Rome regarding unrighteousness and ungodliness.
The false teachers that Jude describes in Jude 10 are deprived, unbelieving, and spiritually blind, and dead men.
Notice the characterizations of these men based upon Paul’s description of ungodliness in Romans coincide seamlessly with what Jude describes of false teachers in the book of Jude.
Follow me really quickly in the train of thought because I want you to see the pattern for yourself.
Romans 1:21 – Rather than relying on God’s revelation of Himself, the ungodly trust their own instincts and dreams.
Romans 1:27/28 – A rejection of God’s established order leads to corruption, death, and destruction. Simply put, the defilement of the flesh leads to further error.
Romans 1:23 and 25 – Rather than worshipping the true and living God they reject the Creator for the sake of created things. (Idolatry is the root).
Can it be any clearer?!
Spiritual arrogance and ignorance is a result of spiritual corruption and blindness.
Unless God regenerates the hearts and lives of an unbeliever, these things are the result of their lives. Unfruitful and unproductive.
This is why Jude uses this simile “like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed”
In the same way that animals are instinctive in nature, so are the false teachers instinctive in their sinful behavior.
To simply define instincts, it is genetically hard-wired behaviors that enhance our ability to cope with environmental contingencies.
These men’s beliefs are motivated by their behaviors.
If it satisfies their desires, they go for it. If it pleases their palates, they go for it. If it tickles their fancy, they go for it.
These false teachers will always accommodate their beliefs for more opportunities to sin.
It’s like the person that constantly changes the rules of a game in order to take advantage and win.
If the rules don’t cater to them they’ll adjust for their pleasure.
In the same way, Jude is making 2 things extremely clear, one, these false teachers are incapable of being spiritually mature or living holy.
Secondly, it is evident that these men are spiritually dead because they are unregenerate, meaning the Holy Spirit is not in them, therefore they are unbelievers.
These men are not called by the Spirit, loved, by the Father, nor are they kept for Jesus.
These men are carnal men masquerading as Christians!
In 1 Corinthians 2:14, Paul says these words:
So what does Jude show us in these 3 verses?
He shows us, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, that these false teachers:
Hold to no authority but their own
Reject our Master and Lord Jesus Christ in word and deed
Defile their flesh as if ravenous and instinctive animals themselves
Are unbelieving, spiritually deprived men
Yet have found a way to creep into these churches unnoticed, blending in as if they are one of us.
Jude makes it clear that corruption from within, if not careful and watchful, can cause much disruption and chaos.
Friends, we must be diligent in knowing the truth, be watchful and discerning.
Right belief will always lead to right behavior.
In our next teaching in Jude, we will discover more in detail how the unregenerate hearts of men can only yield to, at best, false promises which lead to eternal judgment.