Wisemen still seek…

Michael, the archangel, is God’s most powerful angel. He is the chief angel, the commanding officer of the other angels. The word archangel is not found in the Old Testament and only twice in the New Testament. The other reference is in 1 Thessalonians 4:16~For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. (NIV) At the Great Catching Away, Michael the archangel will probably be in charge of getting all the angels, resurrected saints, and raptured believers into formation. Called the Rapture, it will be an orderly affair because of Michael. 1 Corinthians 14:33~For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints, (ESV)

This verse 9 of Jude has always begged the question of why does the devil want Ole Mo’s body? We don’t know, but he might want to display it in a shrine to lead people into some kind of idolatry. Or perhaps he thought the power was still there, like the bones of Elisha’s who raise a dead man in 2 Kings 13:21. Deuteronomy 34:6~The LORD buried him in a valley near Beth-Peor in Moab, but to this day no one knows the exact place. (NLT) God will not have anything stand in His place to be worshiped. Which leads us to believe that the Lord Himself personally buried Ole Mo, protecting him from any kind of abuse or false worship. 

Jude concludes this section sharing that these people speak evil of those things which they don’t know. Jude 10~But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. (ESV) These false teachers claim superior knowledge but do not understand spiritual things. Even highly-educated false teachers can be like brute beasts. This is especially true when relating to teaching that Satan and demons are real beings. Have you ever tried to teach a dog or horse about the devil or demons? No, because they can’t understand it. False teachers are like that. Romans 1:22~Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools. (NIV)

Our Takeaway: Wise men and women seek God. How are you seeking the Lord today? Are you learning from the lives that fill the Biblical page and then applying that knowledge to become wise in the ways of God? In the words of Jesus, Matthew 10:16~Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (ESV) Today, I am sending you out to be salt, light, hope, as you share the Lord of God.

Reject Evil

Reject those who deny or pervert biblical truth (Jude 8-10). As Jude continues he writes in Jude 8~Yet in like manner (ὁμοίως homoiōs) these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. (ESV) (ὁμοίως homoiōs) likewise, in like manner means false teachers demonstrate the same traits as the rebellious Israelites, fallen angels, and the perversion of Sodom’s people. Some of us need new people in our lives. If we hang around false teachers we find that they often use visions and dreams as sources of their authority. They say God uses dreams and visions to tell them things you can only hear from them. This is especially true in the cults. Their founders teach they have an exclusive word from God. 

However, the Bible gives us all we need pertaining to life and godliness. Listen to the Apostle Peter, 2 Peter 1:3~By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. (NLT) False teachers are also described as those who defile the flesh (8b). Today, these false teachers declare that what the Bible teaches about sex is outdated, or as some in the gay community claim, it is just misinterpreted by ignorant people. False teachers also despise dominion and reject authority (Jude 8c). Have you noticed that our world does not like being corrected? I am not saying I love, but it is necessary. Growing up when my dad would get corrected by my mom, he would walk around shouting Buke, Buke, Buke. It wasn’t until much later in life that I once heard them talking, and he was sharing how he was wrong and needed the correction. Do you know the two hardest words in the English language to speak and master? They are: I’m sorry. False teachers do not want to be corrected.

They dismiss or pervert the authority of God’s Word and the reality of a coming judgment on their sin. Hear me no one loves to be convicted by the Holy Spirit, but we must if we are to come to repentance. That is why false teachers also speak evil of dignities (Jude 8d). Blaspheming the glorious ones of God. In light of the next verse, this probably refers to fallen angels; therefore, these false teachers slander spiritual powers they do not understand. This would include those who don’t believe in a literal devil or demons. However, Jude doesn’t give us any specifics, other than what we read in the next verse. To illustrate the point, Jude writes. Jude 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.” (ESV)

The sheep & goat

Illustration number two, The Angels. Next, Jude writes to help us Remember, Jude 6~And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—(ESV) The source of this illustration is debated among scholars. However, the point is that even rebellious angels will be punished. Jesus says in Matthew 25:31-32~When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. (ESV) Matthew 25:33~And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. (ESV) As we began today, there are only two choices. Life in Christ or eternal death. Listen to how the second is described in Matthew 25:41~Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (ESV)

The point is angels, scholars, pastors, deacons, Bible teachers, small group leaders, or anyone else who rejects God’s truth and His authority will face severe judgment. Illustration number three: Sodom and Gomorrah. Jude 7 ~Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. (ESV) This verse obviously teaches that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was not inhospitality, as some teach. God clearly says their sin was sexual in nature and practice. They were immoral, living a life of perversion. 

The destruction of Sodom and other cities warns us how serious God is about His commands regarding sexual behavior. Those who practice sexual immorality or pervert God’s teaching about it, of which Sodom and Gomorrah are examples, will suffer the vengeance of eternal fire. As believers, we are to take a stand for the gospel. To proclaim Jesus Christ as the only way to God. Understand that there is only one true God. Who is the one true God? It is a profoundly important question. 

Because we live in a world with many competing claims of truth. Where many so-called gods, want to detract from YHWY, thus the identity of the one true God matters. The one true God is distinguished from all false gods that have been foisted upon mankind by evil spirits and deluded men. Gods that are fashioned by the imaginations and hands of men are absolutely worthless. Isaiah 44:9-10~All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? (ESV) But the one true God is full of glory, grace, and truth. John 1:14~The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. (MSG) Jude is writing to us to share How we can take the Initial Steps and discover at least two ways to avoid being a fool, by Remembering the Biblical illustrations like Israel, Angels, and Sodom. What step(s) do you need to take today to strengthen your relationship with the Lord.