Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties.Jude 1:8(NASB)
Though very short in length, the epistle of Jude contends earnestly for the faith. It strives to maintain an uncompromised gospel and to expose the various heresies that were infiltrating the early Church and Jude strongly denounces those that use God's grace as a license to sin.
Some 2000 years later, we continue to be indebted to this short, punchy letter, which exhorts us to be spiritually discerning and increasingly vigilant in these final days of ever-increasing apostasy within Christendom today.
Jude, the half-brother of the Lord Jesus, identified himself as a slave of Christ and set about unmasking the prominent heretics of his day, by making comparisons with various Old Testament characters and using Jewish tradition to illustrate his message.
Jude reminded his readers that most Israelites murmured against God and rebelled against His law, despite their miraculous escape from Egypt. He recalled the rebellion of certain angels who did not keep their first estate, but are kept in chains until judgement day... and he used the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as an illustration of those who follow their own lustful leanings and receive the justified consequences of their sinful lives.
Jude used these three historical examples of rebellion and the dire repercussions that followed, to emphasise the importance of eschewing evil, holding fast to the faith, pursuing truth, and rejecting the deadly message of the heretics and apostates of his day.
Indeed, he gives three identifying characteristics of these false teachers and their satanic doctrines. 1) they defile the flesh 2) they reject authority and 3) they speak evil of angelic dignitaries such as Michael the archangel - and this would also include earthly leaders and dignitaries: "For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God."
1)They defile the flesh and pollute their bodies through depraved acts, foul imaginations, ungodly words, and blasphemous deeds - often debasing their God-given image with disgusting sexual activities which pollute their soul and too often abuse the rights and beauty of others.
2)They reject authority like the disobedient Israelites who murmured against God, resisted His authority, and rebelled against His anointed servant, Moses. Rebellion is the sin of witchcraft and is exemplified in the lives of those who display contempt for authority and flaunt their ungodly attitude through disrespect, disorder, rioting, and violence, which eventually gives way to insurrection and anarchy.
3)They speak evil of angelic dignitaries, both divine and human, by cursing the Creator, scorning His appointed leaders, deriding His minister, and denigrating His established authorities.
The three identifying characteristics of these antichrists, false teachers, and their satanic doctrines is very prevalent today, both in society at large and in much of what is called Christendom. Their words and actions reveal the spirit of rebellion and Jude gives a dire warning against embracing such doctrines. They defile the flesh, reject authority, and revile angelic nobility, through make-believe dreams which are formulated in the foolish imagination of their sinful hearts.
Let us hold fast to the Word of truth and render to no man evil for evil. Let us pray for our leaders, support the weak, help the afflicted, love and serve all men, and let us read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the Word of God, knowing that we are living in perilous times - and our only confidence and help lies in Jesus Christ, our Blessed Hope.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the short epistle of Jude which exhorts us to contend earnestly for the faith and to maintain an uncompromised gospel. Help us to expose and reject the various heresies and apostasies that are rife in our time. May we look to Jesus our Blessed Hope and give us courage to pray earnestly for our leaders, support the weak, help the afflicted, and love and serve all men, to Your praise and glory. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.
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