Jude 1:8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
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.
We have noted already that Jude was chosen by God to write about the falling away. Paul also wrote about such a time. Paul wrote about it as a future time, while Jude was directed to write about that which was happening already in his time. Jude used illustrations that the recipients of that day would be well familiar with. In today’s world, many people might not be very familiar with those illustrations. Thus it is important for local church pastors to remind people of the details of the illustrations given. God pointed out that His judgment was in response to the defiant actions of those God referenced.
In verse 8 God directed Jude to address the apostates of his day.
Notice the descriptive words that God used to expose these people. They were filthy dreamers. The Greek word translated as “filthy dreamers” has the meaning of immoral thinkers.
Jude stated further that these people do not just have these filthy dreams, but they act on them as well. They defile the flesh. Sadly we are hearing of too many religious groups where the leaders have been exposed for their immorality. We also know that there are pastors who thought they were secretly involved in pornography on the internet, but some of them have been found out. A person does not usually leave their evil thoughts to themselves. They eventually want more than what their thoughts can give them. Sin has a way of increasing its influence in a person’s life.
These evil people also lack respect for authorities. This dominion can relate to the home, and it can relate to the church. In the home, the husband and father has dominion over the home. These filthy dreamers will try to undermine that authority and will seek to steal the wife or any children that they lust after. They can also do that with their wicked teaching which seeks to undermine that of a godly father. This is again why it is so important to be in a good church and to be saved and part of that good church. There is a need to grow in the Lord and be well grounded in truth.
These people also speak evil of dignities. They do their best to try to undermine those who are in authority. They will attack the pastor or some other church leaders. As mentioned, they will also go after the authority in the home.
The devil will do anything he can to try to destroy the work of the Lord. We know he was not afraid to go after Jesus Christ. He tempted Him with lies. Jesus knew his tactics and He did not fall for his temptations. Jesus Christ used the Word of God to respond to the devil’s lies. The devil thought he had won when Jesus was sentenced to death and was nailed to the cross. He died on that cross and He was buried. The chief priests convinced Pilate to make the tomb secure and to set a guard at the tomb. None of that stopped Jesus from rising from the dead on the third day. He did not need that stone rolled away to get out of that tomb. The stone was rolled away to let the disciples and others see that Jesus was not there.
Since we know the devil tried to interfere with Jesus’ work on earth, we can expect he will try to interfere with those who are saved and seeking to serve the Lord faithfully. Jude was told to write about this and to remind us of the importance of contending for the faith once delivered unto the saints.
In verse 9 we see that we need to walk humbly before God and understand that we are no match for the devil. God used the example of Michael the archangel here. Paul wrote of the archangel in I Thessalonians 4:16:
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
The archangel is not named there, but from Scripture we can know this is Michael.
Michael is also mentioned in Daniel 10:13:
Daniel 10:13 But 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.
From that passage we learn that Michael is one of the chief princes of the nation of Israel. He is further mentioned in Revelation 12:7:
Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
He has been given great authority by God and he has proven himself to be a faithful angel. Jude reminds us that even Michael did not bring a railing accusation against the devil when disputing over the body of Moses. We know from the Old Testament that God told Moses to go up into Mount Pisgah to get a view of the land that God had promised to Abraham. Moses was not allowed to enter that land due to his sin of disobedience to a very important command of God. Moses died in that mount. No one was there with him and no person buried him. God took care of that matter.
We are not given the details of what the devil wanted to do with his body, but Michael was there to protect that body. However, Michael understood that he did not have the authority to get into a verbal war of words with the devil. Michael knew his rank, and he knew that he needed to trust the Lord to deal with the devil. Thus he called upon the Lord to rebuke the devil.
We can learn some important lessons here. We can see that we need to be saved first of all. We can also see that we need to be faithful students of God’s Word. We need to understand that when we are saved we become God’s children. We do not take matters into our own hands, when it comes to the devil. We understand that he is more powerful and more subtle than we can imagine. We need to draw nigh to God and resist the devil. We do not call him out. We do not rebuke him. We draw nigh to God and leave the devil in His hands. We can be deceived. We can get a fat head and think we have power that we do not have. We need to walk humbly with God and exalt Him. He will take care of the devil. He will also protect His child from the attacks of the devil, if we draw nigh to Him.
The Bible is clear that the saved are in a spiritual war. We do not use carnal weapons in this war. We do not assume that we have the power to fight that war ourselves. We put on the whole armour of God and we trust in Him to deal with the devil. There are things we need to do such as contending for the faith once delivered unto the saints. We need to know that faith and we need to be seeking to help others to know that faith as well. We need to guard against the tendency to be careless allowing the spirit of apostasy get a foothold in our own lives and in our churches. Faithfulness to God and His Word is important.