["In verses 5-7 we saw three cases of past apostates who were judged. In verses 4 and 8-10 we see three characteristics of the apostates' nature: immorality, insubordination, and irreverence. They are immoral, verse 8, they defile the flesh (sexual sins). They are insubordinate, they reject authority. And they are irreverent, they revile angelic majesties or glories as seen in the illustration of Michael and his battle with Satan over the body of Moses. So, they are irreverent in the way they speak about angels. They are insubordinate in the fact that they reject divine authority. And they are immoral in that they defile the flesh. And in verse 11 we have three connections to apostate examples from the OT." John MacArthur]
V. 8-9 – "Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming (Deut. 13:1-5), defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"
["In comparison to these men who revile angels, Jude uses Michael, a supreme being, as someone who dares not revile another. It is significant however for Jude's comparison that these men revile angels, while the chief of angels refuses to do so. The exact time of this encounter or the details of the dispute is not in the Scriptures. The phrase ‘the devil' makes prominent the opponent of Michael. This name for Satan denotes the slanderous nature of the "serpent of old" and shows that although Michael was arguing with a slanderous being he refused to ‘revile' him, while these men of Jude's day revile all angels, no matter the character. The account of Moses' burial is found in Deuteronomy 34:6 but it does not indicate any discussion taking place between Satan and Michael. Jude, therefore, is giving us insight into what took place in the spiritual realm after the death of Moses. One of the more prominently held positions is Jude was quoting the Assumption of Moses but other possibilities are: 1) The event could have been simply revealed to Jude by the Holy Spirit and therefore Jude did not even attempt to allude to the Assumption of Moses (Woods 393); 2) There is no proof the Assumption of Moses was written during the time of Jude (Barnes e-sword); 3) Jude could have been simply remembering the oral tradition passed down by the elders (Wolff 88); 4) Even if Jude is quoting from the book it does not make the whole book inspired but only the section of which Jude quoted (Just like Paul quoting the Cretan poet does not make all of the writings of the poet inspired-Titus 1:12). In conclusion, "A constant search of secular writings to try to determine where Jude received his ideas is unnecessary and possibly even futile when one considers the inspiration of the Spirit under which he wrote" (Fream 270). The use of the word alla (but) shows Jude wants to make a strong contrast between what Michael could have done if he had the same nature as the false teacher, with what he actually did. Michael did not take matters into his own hands but rather he turned to the Lord to take care of Satan and put his trust in him (Barnes 1516). The comparison of Jude is thus: The false teachers of Jude's day had no problem defaming others, but the chief of angels, himself, refused to defame the most slanderous individual of all time. Michael did not take matters into his own hands but rather he turned to the Lord to take care of Satan and put his trust in him (Barnes 1516)." Jude Commentary .com] The main point is to show the irreverent, anti-authority spirit of the apostates and Michael's example of humility to submit to God and trust in His authority and power.
V. 10 -"But these men (these apostates seen in vv.4, 8) revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed (corrupted)." ["They could not comprehend the true wisdom of the one faith. Their wisdom was based on natural desires and fleshly passions. It is said that this is probably referring to a Gnostic mindset, that was based on things, which their flesh desired (Rutherford 1441,2). "Gnostics were totally blind to all of the highest knowledge; and the things which they could not help knowing, such as their passions, they used only for the purpose of sinning" (Coffman 535). "Unreasoning animals" – This is similar to Peter's description of them as "brute beasts" in 2 Peter 2:12, 22 (Elkins 244). What Jude is showing here is animals live after their own natural instincts and fleshly desires in the same way these men do. It is important for one to note those who openly rebel against God and His authority in order to pursue fleshly desires, always sink to the level of beasts (Mitchell 294). "By these things they are destroyed" – Destroyed is the Greek word phtero and is used to describe corruption. The inspired writer is saying that by living as animals and blaspheming the things they do not understand, these men corrupt themselves (Merkel 469)." Jude Commentary .com]
V. 11 – "Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain (followed Cain's example), and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah." The word "woe" is used to pronounce denunciation and the only other time this word is used outside of the gospels is here and in the Revelation. ["Notice the progression: gone the way of, rushed headlong, perished.
It starts out with Cain. He is a model of one who disobeyed God. It goes to Balaam, he is a model of one who tries to influence others to disobey God. It ends up with Korah who led a full rebellion. Apostates are the spiritual children of Cain, Balaam and Korah.
Cain brought an unacceptable sacrifice. God did not accept his sacrifice and God did accept the sacrifice of Abel. This presupposes that they had been told what to bring. He knew God required a blood sacrifice. But he wasn't interested in the way of God, he was only interested in the way of Cain. He rejected the way of God. He did what he wanted in the name of worship. He invented his own worship. He rejected revelation and followed his own desire and his own intuition. He defied the Word of God. He was disobedient, in a word, and the character of his heart which led him to disobedience manifests in his anger, in his sullenness and in his immoral act by which he murdered his own brother.
He is immoral. He is insubordinate. And he is irreverent. He is a model of an apostate mentality. Sin dominates him. Self-will dominates him. He will invent his own kind of worship and not submit to God's.
And irreverence characterizes him as well for he takes the life of one made, of course, in the image of God and disdains God in the process. His offering was, in itself, a kind of blasphemy and irreverence. He rejected revelation and he operated on his own instinct. He did what he wanted, not what God instructed him to do." John MacArthur]
Woe!! His punishment: "Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth." (Gen. 4:13-14; 6:7) died in the flood!
"For pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam." [" Balaam was a prophet for hire. He would simply make a prophecy for the highest bidder. You give him the money, you get the prophecy you want.
Israel was about to enter Canaan and they were running into some conflict at some points and one of the tribes that they engaged was Moab. Balak was the king of the Moabites and he tried to hire Balaam to curse Israel. Talk about superstition. Talk about not understanding the power of the true God, these people were so superstitious they actually believed in curses like animistic people do,
Well Balaam never can pull it off but as the story unfolds, one thing is very apparent and that is that he's driven by covetousness. Since he couldn't pronounce effectively a curse on Israel because he feared their God, he went to the women of Moab and he persuaded the women of Moab and also Midian to seduce the Israelite men to commit sexual sin and to worship idols. And his plan was if I can't bring a curse on them, I'll get them to be seduced by these Moabite Midian women and when they commit sexual immorality and get involved in idols because they're drawn in by these women, then their own God will have to punish them. And that's exactly what happened.
And here again is a man who is immoral, insubordinate and irreverent. This is blasphemous against God. This is insubordinate to what he knew was right according to the will of God. And this is, of course, immoral. Balaam then represents two things, the covetousness of the false teacher who loves money and the apostate who influences others to sin.
In a sense, he's a step beyond Cain. Cain just sinned. Balaam collected the crowd to sin. And so in a very real sense, this third point, three connections to apostate examples, you have the first example of a single man's sin, the way of Cain.
This second example is of a man who was able to influence a whole group of people to sin. And this is described, as I read earlier, in 2 Peter 2:1- 3, leading many, many astray. Of course, there are many modern Cains, modern false teachers, false Christians, apostates, who have their own self-styled religion, their own self-invented religion, their own spin on Christianity, their own way of interpreting the Bible, or literally denying the Bible and inventing their own insights. And you have plenty of Balaams out there seducing people to go after lies, to go after false gods, to go after false religions so they can make money." John MacArthur]
Woe!! His punishment: "They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword." (Numbers 31:8)
"And perished in the rebellion of Korah." – ("rebellion Gr. antilogia, meaning, against the Word) ["The story of Korah is told in Numbers 16. He was a Levite and his job was to take care of the temple, take care of the worship. See, he fits the picture, doesn't he? Here's another immoral, insubordinate, irreverent worshiper.
Korah had been excluded from the priesthood. Maybe they knew something about him and it peeved him. He greatly resented this. So he got a couple of his friends by the name of Dathan and Abiram and he started a rebellion. And the target of his rebellion, of course, was Moses because Moses was the Lord's chosen leader.
Apostate false teachers will set themselves against God's Word. They will invent their own self-styled religion. They will attempt to seduce people into their false system, like Balaam did. And they will inevitably attack the true leaders. They will mock those with sound doctrine. In Numbers 16:3, Korah said this, "All the congregation is holy." What he was saying was, "We don't have to listen to Moses. Each one of us is equal to Moses." He was disputing the idea that they even needed a leader, that they even needed somebody who was responsible, a theologian, somebody who spoke for God.
I hear this so often. "Oh you heresy hunter, you. You know, the Holy Spirit is leading us all, we're all following the path to truth on our own. We're all entitled to our own insights and our own viewpoints. Don't act like any spiritual authority over us. Everybody is his own authority. Everybody's opinion is equal to everybody else's opinion."
False teachers are bent on overthrowing any spiritual authority, on attacking any definitive dogmatic truth-telling spiritual leaders. And so, Korah, Dathan and Abiram and the people who joined in their rebellion were intent on overthrowing Moses. And the rebellion ended in a very rapid fashion. "As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions. They went down alive into the realm of the dead, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community." (Num. 16:31-33)
Fifteen thousand people died in a subsequent plague. That's how effective their rebellion was. They had a major rebellion going on. They had an anti-God denomination. They had a cult. They had a new religion, an anti-Moses, anti-God's Law, anti-spiritual leadership, anti-divine authority. They had an immoral, insubordinate, irreverent cult. You see how this thing escalates? Cain got his own religion, Balaam gets many people seduced and here we have a rebellion, of 15,000, that's what these apostates do." John MacArthur]
SATAN BEHIND IT ALL!! As with the King of Babylon in Isaiah 14 and the King of Tyre in Ezekiel 28 and these apostates seen in Jude and in the world today, Satan is the hidden influence working to steal, kill and destroy (physical and eternal death) as Jesus said in John 10:10.
All unsaved people are under Satan's power and control: "We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world (all unsaved people) is under the control of the evil one." (1 John 5:19) And we as believers are either a slave to Jesus (as Jude calls himself – v.1) or slaves to sin: "What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness." (Rom. 6:15-18)
We, like Michael, must cry out to God in dealing with Satan and say, "The Lord rebuke you!" Because of Jesus' perfect life, His shed blood and His resurrection from the dead, He has all authority in heaven and in earth and in His Name we can have His victory over Satan. "And He (Jesus) said to them, (and to us today) I saw Satan falling like a lightning [flash] from heaven. Behold! I have given you (My) authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you." (Luke 10:18-19)
But as James (Jude's brother) instructs us we must first submit to God (versus insubordination) and then resist the devil (in Jesus' Name). "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)
But is we don't fear God (irreverence) we will be insubordinate and Satan can have his way with us. Thus the strong warnings of Woe from the examples of God's dealings with insubordination.
There is this painting in a museum of a chess game between the devil and a young man. The devil has a big smile on his face as he says: Checkmate!! A champion chess player saw the painting, wrote down the position of all the pieces and went home and studied it for 2 days. He discovered a move that the young man could make that would reverse the outcome and make him the winner.
Jesus is that champion and he saw you and me completely guilty before a holy and just God and Satan shouting "Death and Hell" with a smile on his face. But Jesus made a move that reversed the outcome and we who believe became winners. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. God's justice was satisfied. The innocent One was raised from the dead. And we are declared not guilty and righteous in the courtroom of God. And the devil will be thrown into the lake of fire and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever!!! Rev 20
Until then Satan can only operate thru lies. When he tempts you to be an immoral, irreverent, insubordinate apostate as he is; Say: Satan the Lord Rebuke You!!!!
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND APPLICATION
1. What is your main take away from the message and table discussion and how can you apply it to your life?
2. What can we learn from Michael's example in dealing with Satan and demons?
3. What are the three marks of apostasy as seen in v. 8 and in stronger terms in v. 10?
4. What three individuals are examples of apostasy and what can we learn from these examples? (v.11)
5. "If you do not submit to the authoritative Word of God, if you do not submit to the truth of God and show reverence to God and honor to God, and stay away from immorality and give evidence of a transformed life by the grace of God, if you do not submit to spiritual authority and those who have been called by God and are faithful to the teaching of the Word of God, if you fight against all of that, then you have followed the way of Cain, the way of Balaam and the way of Korah." John MacArthur "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-unless, of course, you fail the test?" (2 Cor. 13:5) Don't let Satan kill you eternally (hell). Ask Jesus to save you now! (John 5:24)
6. Share some of the victories Jesus has won for you as you submit to Him and cry out for His power to defeat the enemy.