Jude 8-11

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

APOSTATE TEACHERS

In verses 1-4 we saw the -

INTRODUCTION to the epistle of Jude.

In verse 4 we saw the reason for which Jude wrote this letter -

Jude 4 - For there are certain men crept in unawares [i.e. sneaked in stealthily into the local churches], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [i.e. into licentiousness, sensuality, or debauchery], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

In verses 5-7 we also saw that -

I. THESE FALSE TEACHERS WHO HAVE CREPT INTO THE CHURCHES ARE REMINISCENT OF HISTORICAL EXAMPLES OF UNBELIEF

By referring to these three historical examples of unbelief, Jude is showing that, just as the ones in these examples did not get away with their sin and were (or would eventually be) judged for their sin, so these false teachers in Jude's day will not get away with their sin either. Judgment for them is inevitable.

The first Old Testament example of unbelief Jude cites is -

1. The unbelievers in Exodus - v. 5

The second Old Testament example of unbelief Jude cites is -

2. The angels which kept not their first estate - v. 6

The third Old Testament example of unbelief Jude cites is -

3. Sodom and Gomorrah - v. 7

As we continue our message we see some characteristics of these false teachers -

II. THESE FALSE TEACHERS ARE FILTHY DREAMERS - Jude 8

Jude 8 - Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

These filthy dreamers refers to the false teachers who had sneaked into or infiltrated the churches in verse 4.

Filthy is not in the Greek text. They are dreamers. They have dreamed up their teachings. Their teachings are not from God.

III. THESE FALSE TEACHERS DEFILE THE FLESH - Jude 8

Jude 8 - Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh. . . .

Defile is used in the sense of are defiling, are staining, or are polluting and speaks of what they are doing habitually.

They are defiling the flesh, i.e. their physical flesh. Defiling the flesh is thus used of immorality.

IV. THESE FALSE TEACHERS DESPISE DOMINION - Jude 8

Jude 8 - (8) Likewise also these filthy dreamers . . . despise dominion. . . .

Despise means they reject or they do not recognize, and its tense also denotes action in the sense of they are despising, they are rejecting, or they are not recognizing.

Dominion is lordship, ruling power, or authority. As a matter of course, they reject all authority over them including the Lord Himself.

V. THESE FALSE TEACHERS SPEAK EVIL OF DIGNITIES - Jude 8-9

Jude 8-9 - 8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers . . . speak evil of dignities. 9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

Speak evil of is the word translated blaspheme when used of God or of things belonging to Him. Its tense indicates that they are typically or repeatedly speaking evil of (or blaspheming) dignities or glories. These are apparently glorious angelic beings that they are blaspheming. The men of Sodom demonstrated an irreverence for the two angels who visited Lot's home in Genesis 19:5 . Similarly, these false teachers demonstrate an irreverence for angels in the way they are speaking.

By (or because of their dreaming) they are continuously (or repeatedly) blaspheming (or slandering) dignities, i.e. glories. As in II Peter 2:10 , these dignities could be glorious angelic beings, or they could be majestic, illustrious individuals. Inasmuch as Jude goes on to describe Michael's confrontation with Satan, it is likely that Jude meant glorious angelic beings.

By contrast Michael the archangel would not even speak a reviling judgment against Satan but left it up to the Lord to rebuke Satan.

Yet is the word ordinarily used to indicate a mild contrast and is understood in the sense of but.

Michael the archangel is one of the higher ranking angels; but even such an exalted angel as Michael would not dare to speak against so rotten a character as Satan; but these false teachers had the audacity to speak against angels.

When contending with the devil refers to an event which occurred historically but was not recorded in the Bible.

When contending with is when taking issue with or when disputing with.

The devil is the slanderer and is a specific reference to Satan.

He disputed about suggests he was disputing concerning, he was discussing concerning, or he was conversing concerning.

What they were discussing was the body of Moses. When Moses died, the Lord buried him in a valley in the land of Moab opposite Bethpeor (Deuteronomy 34:6 ); and no man knew of his sepulcher. Did Satan want to make the grave site of Moses known so that he could get people to come there to worship the site or the body of Moses? It would seem so.

Durst not bring a railing accusation against him tells what Michael did not dare to do.

Durst not is dared not. It is used in a secondary sense to did not presume to or did not bring himself to.

Bring is used in the sense of pronounce.

A railing accusation is literally a judgment of blasphemy, where blasphemy is the same word translated speak evil in verse 8 and means slander or defamation. It means a judgment characterized by a reviling accusation.

Against him means against Satan. Michael did not presume to pronounce a defaming judgment against Satan even though Satan deserved it.

But introduces a statement in strong contrast. Rather than bringing a defaming judgment against Satan, Michael said, The Lord rebuke thee.

The Lord rebuke thee is a statement of wish and means may the Lord rebuke thee. It was the Lord's place to do the rebuking of Satan and not Michael's.

Rebuke means to reprove or censure. It suggests that the Lord was the One Who needed to put Satan in his proper place, telling him how wrong he was for what he had done even though Satan would never acknowledge this. Although no character deserved a railing judgment more than Satan, Michael remembered the high position from which Lucifer had fallen and left that judgment up to the Lord. It was not his place to do it.

This shows the audacity of these false teachers who blasphemed angels. If so exalted an angel as Michael, the protector of Israel, would not even dare to pronounce a reviling judgment against such a sinister character as Satan out of respect for the high position which he as Lucifer had held, these false teachers ought not to have spoken evil of glorious angelic beings.

VI. THESE FALSE TEACHERS CORRUPT THEMSELVES IN THINGS THEY KNOW NATURALLY - Jude 10

Jude 10 - But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

But introduces a statement in mild contrast with how Michael conducted himself and how the false teachers conduct themselves.

Jude refers to the false teachers as these, not only here, but also in verses 8, 12, 16, and 19. These persons were described in verse 4 by who . . . crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

What the false teachers do is speak evil of those things which they know not.

Speak evil of is the same word used in verse 8 where they speak evil of dignities. When used of God and things pertaining to God, this word is translated blaspheme. It means defame, revile, or injure the reputation of. The main form of this same word was translated railing in verse 9.

Of those things is of what things or of all that and refers to which they know not.

Which they know not is understood in the sense of which they do not see or which they do not perceive. They have no spiritual perception; yet they speak evil of things in this realm including angels; and they do not know what they are talking about.

But introduces a statement in mild contrast between what these false teachers do not know on the one hand and what they do know on the other hand.

What they know naturally suggests what they are acquainted with by nature (or what they are acquainted with by instinct).

As brute beasts suggests as animals which are not able to reason or as unreasoning animals.

In those things refers to what things they know by instinct like unreasoning animals.

In those things they corrupt themselves suggests in those things they are corrupting themselves (i.e. destroying themselves, ruining themselves, or spoiling themselves).

VII. THESE FALSE TEACHERS HAVE GONE IN THE WAY OF CAIN - Jude 11

Jude 11 - Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

Woe unto them! or alas unto them! is an expression of pain or displeasure. It is reminiscent of woes Jesus pronounced on the cities of Bethsaida, Chorazin, and Jerusalem because they rejected Him. These false teachers are heading straight for hell, and others whom they influence will accompany them to their final destination. Meanwhile, some believers will be confused by them.

For is the word ordinarily translated because, and it should be understood as introducing the reason Jude pronounced this woe upon them.

The reason Jude pronounced this woe upon them is (because) they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

They refers to the false teachers.

Have gone is used figuratively and means they have conducted themselves, they have lived, or they have walked. They have gone in this context is a dramatic way of saying they are going. They have started out in the way of Cain and have not altered their course. They are still going this way.

In the way of Cain refers to the approach Cain took to God. The story of Cain and Abel is presented in Genesis 4 and commented on in Hebrews 11:4 . Abel was a keeper of sheep and Cain a tiller of the soil.

Genesis 4:3-5 - (3) And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. (4) And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: (5) But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect [This means that Cain's sacrifice was unacceptable to God.]. And Cain was very wroth [i.e. angry], and his countenance fell [i.e. his face was downcast, he looked rejected].

According to Hebrews 11:4 , Cain brought an excellent offering unto the Lord, but Abel brought a more excellent one. By Abel's sacrifice he obtained witness that he was righteous, but the obvious implication is that Cain did not obtain this same witness by the sacrifice he brought. Abel's sacrifice was of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. It is evident that blood had been shed in the process of Abel's making his sacrifice, and the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering. It was accepted by the Lord. By contrast Cain brought a sacrifice of the fruit of the ground. Although it was an excellent sacrifice, it was not accepted. But unto Cain and to his offering he (i.e. the Lord) had not respect. Again it is evident that Cain's sacrifice was not a blood sacrifice.

Cain attempted to come to God without a blood sacrifice. These false teachers were seeking to explain away the necessity of the blood atonement and come to God apart from it.

Cain was attempting to come to the Lord on his own terms rather than on God's terms. In the same way these false teachers were not saved men. The righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ had not been credited to their account. They were seeking to approach God on their own without coming through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. It cannot be done. It was man's religion rather than God's. It acknowledged no need for salvation and assumed that man is acceptable to God on the basis of his own goodness. Such is simply not the case. A man must come to God on God's terms and not on his own terms.

Scriptures
Series

This sermon is the 4th part of the series, Study of Jude. Other sermons in this series are: