Jude 9-12
Jude 9
(Jude 1:9 KJV) 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.
When we look at this verse, we see that it is a continuation of verse 8. In verse 8, we saw that these bold false teachers were so audacious, that they spoke against high dignities which may have included angels, since the subject now turns to the discussion of angels. Now there are some who teach that Michael is the Lord Jesus Christ. Not that He is a created being but by reason of the name “Michael” which means “who is like God.” No created angel in the universe can ever be like God! Satan wanted to be like the Most High God but look at what happened to him.
Whether Michael is the Lord Jesus or he is a chief angel in Heaven, remains to be seen. The comparison here is that even a high ranking individual like Michael, will not even dare bring an accusation against Satan, instead he leaves it to the Lord to bring the judgment. The dispute over the body of Moses may be concerning the fact that Moses sinned against God and was not allowed to enter the promised land and maybe Satan thought he had a case against one of God’s Elect. Verse 9 has been a stumper and has been one of the hardest verses in the Bible to interpret, since there is no more information given about it.
There might be a hint of the same type of situation in Zechariah 3 where we read about the LORD rebuking Satan by saying, “the LORD rebuke thee.”
(Zec 3:1-2 KJV) And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. {2} And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
It almost seems that Satan is trying to make a case against the children of God, as he did against Job. In verse 9, Satan seems to be doing the same thing he did in Zechariah and Job. He was literally challenging the Grace of God in the lives of His children. Satan was working from the belief that if you take away a Christian’s earthly things, then they will fail as believers and that God is unable to keep them. Of course, that is impossible since the Bible teaches in many places that the Christian is safe and secure in Christ. Satan was probably attacking the disobedience of Moses at the waters of Meribah. (Deu 32:51 KJV) Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel.
Probably what we have in verse 9 is Satan continually making accusations against any child of God and that he is right there to accuse us for the most minute sins so he can rail against the Grace of God. We can also see that same scenario every day in our life as we see unbelievers waiting to pounce on us to discredit us as Christians. Satan tried it with Moses, Job, and Joshua. Don’t give the enemy any cause to dispute over you.
Jude 10
(Jude 1:10 KJV) 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.
In today’s verse we see a double indictment of these false teachers. First, they tend to speak evil of things that they really have no knowledge about. Even in worldly situations, when a person or persons do not understand something, instead of trying to learn, they will mock at it. This is what these false teachers do. Whenever they do not know something, they will speak evil of it. How many times have you read cult material where they tend to attack the cardinal doctrines of the faith. The Jehovah’s Witnesses tend to attack the trinity simply because they do not understand it. How many Christians inside churches today reject the deity of Christ? The words “speak evil” is really the word “blaspheme” in the Greek. Ignorance coupled with arrogance is the worst of two worlds. Keep in mind, the only reason that a teacher is false is because they do not have the truth because they are unsaved. If they were saved and had the truth, then they would be speaking the truth. Now that is the unsaved. What about Christians in the church who rebuke true biblical doctrine? The only reason many Christians rebuke true doctrine is because they refuse to investigate any teachings before they accept them. For example, how many Christians do you know reject the teaching of Predestination and Election? They replace these Biblical doctrines with man’s doctrine that a person has free will to “accept” Christ at any time, yet the Bible is absolutely void of such teaching. This is a case of Christians teaching a doctrine of which they know nothing about. To hold to and teach a false doctrine, is akin to blaspheming the essence of the Holy Scriptures because you are replacing them with man’s ideas. Blasphemy does not always have to be a full frontal assault , it can be a backdoor offensive on truth. Now when we couple verse 10 with verses 8 and 9, we see that these blasphemers are really railing against God. Since they do not know Him nor do they want His true doctrine, they must re-direct the thinking of their hearers. They do this by beginning to place doubt about God and His salvation plan in the minds of their audience and then fill the faith breach with their teachings.
Then Jude goes on to tell us that they are like brute beasts. Basically, the idea which is being conveyed is that these teachers are using only the same senses that the animal kingdom uses, the natural ones and not spiritual. When was the last time your pet wanted to go to Sunday School? These teachers focus on the here and now and give no heed to the eternal destiny of their hearers. The knowledge they possess is being used to destroy not only their hearers but also themselves. Sometimes false teachers can begin to start believing their own material. When we speak of beasts, what principles do they live by? Basically, they live by survival of the fittest. Like an animal is in competition with other animals, these false teachers are in competition with truth. They live only to satisfy their lusts and to gain what they can of these world’s goods. The Greek word for “corrupt” carries with it the idea of “destruction or ruin.” Since this verse focuses on the natural, it is obvious that the spiritual aspect of their teachings are non-existent and therefore false teachers, no matter who they are or how prominent they are, must not be listened to because the possibility always exists that their false teachings can lead to the downfall of even a true believer. I have personally known some Christians who have swallowed false doctrine to the point that they have now become defenders of false teachings. Some have followed the false teachings of: “Satan doesn’t exist;” “slain in the spirit;” “Church age is over.” These are just three which means it is possible for a true Christian to swallow a false doctrine. This is why it is dangerous for Christians to concern themselves with learning about false doctrine. Learn to identify it but don’t make it your life’s task to try and understand it. Be babes in evil! (Phil 3:2 KJV) Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. (1 Cor 14:20 KJV) Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
Jude 11
(Jude 1:11 KJV) 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.
As we saw in verse 10, these false teachers were blaspheming what they did not know and with the knowledge they did possess, were intentionally misusing it for their own personal gain. Now in verse 11, Jude goes on to tell us that there are major consequences to their actions. The Bible pronounces woes against them. Normally when a woe is pronounced it is forecasting eternal destruction. The three examples which are given to us are familiar biblical events.
The first example we see is the circumstances which surround Cain. As you know Cain and his brother Abel both brought offerings unto the Lord but Cain’s was not accepted and Abel’s was. This infuriated Cain with raging jealousy that he lashed out and murdered his brother. Basically, we can label this section “the murder of the innocent.” The false teachers were coming in and teaching doctrine that cannot save and their hearers which were following them were in an unsaved state. This meant that these false teachers were spiritually murdering their hearers. When a person dies unsaved, they will be sent to eternal damnation which is much worse than just physical death. As we saw that the false teachers were in competition with the truth teachers and their jealousy of desiring to have followers have caused them to bring people to damnation. The false teachers do not concern themselves with a person’s spiritual condition because they are too involved in building a following. Whether they know they are false teachers or not, is not the issue because either mindset will lead a person to eternal damnation.
The second woe which is pronounced is that of the error of Balaam. If you recall, Balak who was king of the Moabites, had hired Balaam, a false prophet, to curse Israel as they came through his territory. He wanted to be able to defeat them and send them away from his land. So Balak thought that if he could hire one of their own to curse them, then maybe God would hear it and consider the message and curse Israel. However, God placed His message in Balaam and instead of cursing Israel, he blessed Israel much to the chagrin of Balak. Jude uses this example to show that these false teachers are also using the same method as they seek to curse the truth and begin to gather followers which always yields donations. One of the main reasons that people become false teachers is wealth. If they can get a large enough following, they will be able to become wealthy. Now we see this same scenario today as we see the Signs and Wonders preachers on TV and in their own assemblies mishandle the Word of God and use it to their own financial benefit. It is very easy to find a false teacher who will tell you anything as long as you make it worth their while. Jude is warning us that we need to stay away from those preachers and teachers who are hucksters of the Gospel for financial gain. However, it is not only preachers and teachers who require big money but many in the Christian music industry will not even grace the doors of a church for under $5000 for a single night. Do they think they are that good? Who gave them their talent? What ever happened to free will donations and a laborer is worthy of his wages?
The third example that Jude gives is the rebellion of Korah. This insurgence was totally steeped in rebellion to God’s authority. Moses was appointed by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and nothing was going to change that. Even Miriam had a lapse of pride believing she was something but God gave her leprosy for 7 days to cool her down. We see many false teachers today who simply cannot be under anyone’s authority and therefore do not go into or join a church unless they can be the ruling authority. These people are following in Korah’s footsteps which is nothing but rebellion against God. So instead of repenting of their attitudes, they will simply go somewhere and start some type of group where they can be chief. The example of Korah is for anyone who refuses to be under authority. When a person refuses authority, they will suffer the same fate as Korah and his 250 followers. You cannot rebel against God and expect to be blessed. You can only expect judgment. This is why it is imperative for true pastors and elders to be on their spiritual toes, so they may spot a false teacher coming in who may divide the congregation. It is sad to say, but with the high level of biblical illiteracy among the Christians today, it is not hard to draw people away into false teachings.
Jude 12
(Jude 1:12 KJV) These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
In today’s verse we read that Jude is now giving three comparative analogies concerning the false teachers and their boldness.
In the first analogy, Jude calls them “spots.” The word “spots” in the Greek is a very interesting word which appears only once in the New Testament. It carries the meaning of “a spot as a stain” but it also carries with it the meaning of a “rock or dangerous reef.” A dangerous reef to a seaman is something to be avoided because it can damage a ship to the point of sinking. This is the analogy that Jude is getting across to us that these false teachers are as dangerous to believers and unbelievers, as a dangerous reef is to a ship.
Now the feasts of charity might be speaking of the Lord’s Supper which may have been followed by a feast for those who were the poor. In the time of the early church, Jewish festivals were brought into the church and these festivals may have had a religious overtone. Now the reason that this may be referring to the Lord’s Supper is because of the last part of the first section, which reads that they were feeding without fear. In 1 Corinthians 11, we read that those who partake of the Lord’s Supper unworthily are subject to judgment by God which includes physical death. If these false teachers were partaking of the Lord’s Supper and were unconcerned about the possibility of judgment, it may explain why they were eating at the feast without fear. If it was just a plain banquet, then there would be nothing to fear concerning any type of judgment.
The second analogy that we read is they are clouds without water which are carried by the winds. (Eph 4:14 KJV) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; Whenever we see clouds without water, they are normally light clouds which are taken in the direction the wind is blowing. This is what the false teachers do. They can assess the times they live in and the belief systems that some adopt to, then they begin to bring a message which feeds the intellect or the ignorance of people, and they will then have a following. A cloud without rain has no purpose except to obscure the sun as it goes between the earth and the sun. In the Book of Proverbs is an excellent verse which describes the false teachers. (Prov 25:14 KJV) Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain. Clouds and wind are evidence of a dry storm, but when you have rain, it at least nourishes the ground and even leaves a nice aroma. These false teachers leave nothing but destruction, as a heavy wind can do.
The third analogy that Jude gives us is they are trees that bring forth withered fruit and no fruit. These trees are plucked up by the root making them twice dead. First of all, their fruit withers and withering fruit is a sign of dead fruit and when the tree is plucked out of the ground it dies, because there is no nourishment. So being twice dead is both them and their fruit (or message) is dead. This is the same with any false teaching. (Mat 23:15 KJV) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. In Matthew, Jesus was chiding the Pharisees that they would travel far and wide to make a convert to their religion and since the Pharisees were teaching a false religion, they were making converts from one false religion to another. It would be like a Jehovah’s Witness converting to Mormonism. He was already a child of hell being in the JW’s but now that he went into another false religion, he is still a child of hell, since he now has the teachings of the JW’s and the Mormons, neither of which are the truth.
(Mat 15:13 KJV) But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. This verse teaches that every false teacher will be judged and cast into an eternal hell. This means that not only was their fruit withering but that it shall not bear any fruit unto salvation but only unto perdition.