Book of Jude Part 9 (series: Lessons on Jude)
by John Lowe
These filthy dreamers. The word filthy has been supplied by our translators, but there is no good reason why it should have been introduced. The Greek word (ενυπνιαζω) means to dream; and is applied to these persons as holding doctrines and opinions which sustained the same relation to truth which dreams do to good sense. Their doctrines were the fruits of mere imagination, foolish notions, and dreams. The word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, except in *Acts 2:17, where it is applied to visions in dreams.
(Acts 2:17) ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:’”
Defile the flesh. Pollute themselves; indulging in corrupt passions and appetites. “10But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 11Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord” (2 Peter 2:10,11).
These men are so bold in their false teachings that they despise (which means “reject”) dominion (probably God’s rule) and speak evil of dignities. These false prophets evidently openly rejected God’s Word and all things spiritual, and were so bold that if Michael the Archangel was standing beside them, he would look timid! These false teachers blaspheme those things which they know nothing about; compare Paul’s words in I Timothy 1:7—“Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.” But with what they know naturally, as brute beasts, they corrupt themselves. Here in a very cryptic sentence would seem to be another reference to their wickedly perverted conduct (homosexuality and gluttony) in which they become completely corrupt, and for which they are to be justly destroyed (both meanings are possible for the Gr ptheirō).
Despise dominion (lordship).
They consider all government as insignificant—they will come under no restraints; they despise all law, and wish to live any way they want to. “But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities” (2 Pet. 2.10).
and speak evil of dignities.
They blaspheme or speak injuriously of supreme authority. (See 2 Peter 2:10, 11.) They treat governors and government with contempt, and, malign and misrepresent all Divine and civil institutions.
9 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.
This verse has given more perplexity to expositors than any other part of the epistle; and in fact, the difficulties in regard to it have been so great that some have been led to regard the epistle as bogus.
Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses The false teachers take liberties which even Michael the archangel would reject. When Michael disputed with the devil about the body of Moses, he did not dare berate him but simply said, “The Lord rebuke you!” Here Jude shares with us an incident which is found nowhere else in the Bible. The question naturally arises, “Where did he get this information?” Some say that the information was passed down by tradition. This may or may not be so.
The most satisfying explanation is that the information was supernaturally revealed to Jude by the same Holy Spirit who moved him to write the Epistle. We have no definite knowledge why the dispute arose between Michael and Satan about the body of Moses. We do know that Moses was buried by God in a valley in Moab. It is not unlikely that Satan wanted to know the spot so that he could have a shrine built there. Then Israel would turn to the idolatrous worship of Moses’ bones. As the angelic representative of the people of Israel *(Dan. 10:21), Michael would strive to preserve the people from this form of idolatry by keeping the burial site secret.
*(Dan. 10.21) “But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.”
But the important point is this. Even if Michael is an archangel, the one whom God will use to cast Satan down from heaven*(Rev. 12:7–9), still he did not presume to speak reproachfully to the one who rules in the realm of demons. He left all such rebuking to God.
*(Rev. 12.7-9) “7And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
Notice these features of Michael the Archangel:
(1) His name. It means “Who is like God?” This bears testimony to the uniqueness of the God he serves.
(2) He is clearly designated as “the archangel.” Nowhere in Scripture is there a plural to this noun.
(3) He has the added description of “the great prince” (cf. Dan 12:1).
(4) He has power even to challenge Satan.
(5) He has angels at his command (cf. 12:7).
(6) He will be present at the Rapture of the church (cf. I Thess 4:16).
(7) He is the champion of Israel and the espouser of their cause (cf. 12:7; Dan 12:1).
Yet Michael the archangel. Many things are spoken of this archangel in the Jewish writings "Rabbi Judah Hakkodesh says: “Wherever Michael is said to appear, the glory of the Divine Majesty is always to be understood." So it seems as if they considered Michael to be a sort of Messiah manifested in the flesh.
Nowhere in Scripture is the plural "archangels" used; but only ONE, "archangel." The only other passage in the New Testament where it occurs is 1Thess. 4:16, where Christ is distinguished from the archangel, with whose voice He shall descend to raise the dead; they, therefore, err who confuse Christ with Michael. The name means, “Who is like God?” In *Daniel 10:13 he is called "One of the chief princes." He is the champion angel of Israel. In Rev. 12:7 the conflict between Michael and Satan is again alluded to.
There can be only one archangel, one chief or head of the entire angelic host. Nor is the word devil, as applied to the great enemy of mankind, ever found in the plural; there can be but one monarch of all fallen spirits. Michael is this archangel, and head of all the angelic orders; the devil, great dragon, or Satan, is head of all the * diabolic orders. When these two hosts are opposed to each other they are said to act under these two chiefs, as leaders; hence in Revelation 12:7, it is said: Michael and his angels fought against the DRAGON and his angels. Michael, though provoked by the opposition of the worst being in the universe, still restrained himself from an outbreak of passion, and used only the language of mild but firm rebuke.
*Diabolic. (2 meanings)
1. of devil: connected with the devil or devil worship
2. evil: extremely cruel or evil
The Archangel. T
he word archangel occurs only in one other place in the Scriptures. 1 Thessalonians 4: 16. It means ruling or chief angel—the chief among the hosts of heaven. It is nowhere else applied to Michael, though his name is mentioned several times: Daniel 10:13, 21,16... “13But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia…21But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince…16And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me and I have retained no strength.”
Revelation 12:7-- “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,” Notice these characteristics attributed to Michael: (1) His name. It means “Who is like God?” This bears testimony to the uniqueness of the God he serves. (2) He is clearly designated as “the archangel” (cf. Jude 9). Nowhere in Scripture is there a plural to this noun (cf. I Thess 4:16 Jude 9). (3) He has the added description of “the great prince” (cf. Dan 12:1). (4) He has power even to challenge Satan (cf. Jude 9). (5) He has angels at his command (cf. 12:7). (6) He will be present at the Rapture of the church (cf. I Thess 4:16). (7) He is the champion of Israel and the espouser of their cause (cf. 12:7; Dan 12:1). He appears when they are in question and their interests are involved. His presence immediately alerts the reader that the events related to Israel and her enemies.