These people defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones – Jude 1:8-9 – 12/11/2015
Thank you for reading this Bible study on the book of Jude. This bible study is part of a series on the book of Jude, in order to see the full series please check out our “epistle” page or alternatively please check out our page dedicated to the book of Jude for other studies in this book.
Let’s start in verse eight of the first chapter of Jude.
Jude 1:8-9 (ESV) Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. 9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”
Jude who was continuing in his thought when he spoke of those folks at Sodom and Gomorrah and their lust for sins of the flesh he made a similar statement that there were people who were like these people who defiled the flesh and rejected authority. Jude states that the lawless men and the Angels wanted to be in authority, they rejected God’s authority and did not want to be bound by a heavenly code of conduct.
It is very similar to the atheistic, humanistic view that we are seeing rise in more recent times that we are our own authority, which we only have to answer to ourselves. Let us look at this “self-morality logically…
• Let’s remove the laws of the land – would everyone still behave if there were no consequences?
• Let’s remove the defense of our nation – Would no-one attack us if we were vulnerable?
• Let’s abolish Government and everyone is in charge – Would we have a cohesive policy on everything?
• Let’s abolish code of conduct at work – Would anything get done if you could not be fired?
Those analogies may seem extreme or ridiculous but with those four measures I reduced any nation in the world to be vulnerable to attack, archaic chaos, lazy nation who would have companies going out of business every day with an economy in the toilet. There would be no crime because everything is legal but people still get murdered, raped, looted and harmed, but the victims are never punished due to no legal system and often die because the hospitals cannot cope with the volume of patients in the ER and with a very weak economy and no Government to direct policy the aging hospital system cannot be upgraded, but hey at least we are in charge of our own destiny and we are all in charge huh?
And I deliberately did not remove God and the whole system went to pot! I just removed all the human made stuff and can you imagine trying to live in a society like that and that would be like what Jude is saying, these people reject authority. Let’s look at the possible ways you could reject authority on a Christian level…
• Bible – based an isolated doctrine based on only liking certain passages and not the full counsel of scripture
• Bible – Form incorrect doctrine by rejecting valid scripture
• Beliefs – Seeing Christianity as a buffet as opposed to a main meal, discarding beliefs that may actually be needed in our lives or be life changing
• Prayer – not submitting to a vibrant and regular prayer life and wondering why you are not growing in God.
• Lifestyle – confessing God with our mouths but not changing our lifestyle and being “worldly Christians” living in sin.
• Submission to God’s will – not submitting to God’s will in your life and worshipping a glorified deity version of yourself! If your God never says no to you, you may not be following Gods will after all.
• Rejecting leadership/pastoral authority – Have you been through 5 churches in the last year? Are you always offended? Is no church good enough? Has everyone hurt you? I say this in the deepest of love but it may not be those pastors.
This is tough stuff and it truly is where the rubber hits the road. If you want something easy then join the Marines. In the words of a Calvary Chapel Pastor (Calvary Chapel Monterey) I truly respect called Nate Holdridge “If you are not tired then you may not be doing it correctly” and in order to get the point of what I am driving at, let’s learn from a biblical account of a people when they were in the worst of their rebellion against God, the Children of Israel and let’s see what it says in the book of Judges…
Judges 21:23 (ESV) And the people of Benjamin did so and took their wives, according to their number, from the dancers whom they carried off. Then they went and returned to their inheritance and rebuilt the towns and lived in them. 24 And the people of Israel departed from there at that time, every man to his tribe and family, and they went out from there every man to his inheritance. 25 In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
We come in as they are discussing how to provide for the wives of the tribe of Benjamin. Once they had their provisions and they had what they had come for, we read that “there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Even although there was no physical presence on the throne they still should have been giving thanks to God but they followed the heart and the heart was not striving for the things of God. The obvious result is that they rebelled and went further and further away from God.
Jude calls the “dreamers” because they were not in touch with the reality that God was sovereign and in many cases when we slide into sin and get deeper and deeper in, we start to concoct fantasies and alternate realities in where we can justify what we are doing. If we give ourselves over to our sin or our desires and live in that life instead of the life that God has for us eventually it will become unhealthy.
Sometimes we can “holy” our fantasies and desires and seek to promote ourselves in Gods kingdom and place ourselves in places God never intended us to be, sometimes we can let our desires cloud our visions and we could end up blaspheming because we may be in error and deceived in what we believe is prophecy or a spiritual gift that we have tried to promote ourselves into to make ourselves look holy.
These people sound like the latter, the deceivers because they appeared holy in gifts, visions and prophecies but they were gossips, slanderers and the first to rail against the ones that God had in charge of the assemblies. I see this more than most having not accepted any positions in the churches I have attended but the ones who are awesome to the pastors face are not necessarily the ones who should be trusted with the ministries of God because they are the ones who ignore the assembly to schmooze the leadership in order to get the best places. Pastors be aware of these people and look first at the servants who clean the bathrooms or stack the chairs without prompting.
V9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”
Talk about a clash of the Titans that Dana White from the UFC would love to see in the Octagon in the Red (pun intended) Corner – The Devil and in the Blue Corner – Michael the Archangel. Everything Jude has said thus far has lead up to this visual matchup between the one who is loyal to the authority of God and the one who was the chief musician in heaven, had a lot of authority himself and rebelled against God. Michael is on our side as God is love, the Devil seeks only to destroy.
First of all I have no idea where this idea of a dispute about the body of Moses originated from, if you wish to read about the physical body of Moses we last read about it in Deuteronomy 34 if that is of interest to you but regardless of what the dispute was or why there was a dispute in the first place and my guess is that the devil was probably looking to do something to do any of the following…
• Maybe use Moses body in some way to lead Israel away from God in some form of idol worship or some form of Messiah type plan.
• Maybe he knew about Moses appearing in bodily form at the transfiguration
• Maybe he thought Moses would need the body in the book of Revelation as one of the two witnesses
This again is speculation and who knows why it was being disputed. I am a simple guy and smarter guys than me have got stuff like this wrong so I will let you the reader pray over it and if it is something you wish to pursue then I wish you well. The overall point is not why there was a dispute but how Michael dealt with it and we as Christians could learn so much from this. He knew that the devil was cunning and was more than a match for him and knew that this spiritual warfare had to be won for the greater good.
Michael did not promote himself or puff himself up and say “I am Michael the archangel” He merely said “The Lord rebuke you!” Michael handled this like a boss, he did not leave himself open to attack by the devil, he learned from the Garden of Eden. He did not descend to the devils level and accuse or mock the devil, he used the name above all names that he knew that the devil could not compare or stand against. Let’s bring it back round to what Jude is saying and let’s look at the conduct of these “certain men” against the conduct of “Michael the archangel” and see that although Michael was the one in battle he handled it appropriately and how much more do these certain men be shamed because they have “spoke evil of authority”
I am not blameless in this way and I am certainly pondering ways that I have not always fully respected those the Lord had over me and now I am entering a season where the Lord has me lead people I am seeing it a lot from the other side and trying to not give people a reason to speak evil of me. My advice is pray for your pastor and always intercede for your leaders as often as you remember.
God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to