Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.
Jude here begins to describe the apostates of his time. He describes them as:
1. Filthy Dreamers
2. Defiled the flesh
3. Despise Dominions – reject authority
4. Speak evil of Dignities – Those of honor
Those who lack faith, are envious, and immoral directly results from rejecting God as ultimate authority. It’s the natural end for all who are not birthed by the Spirit of God. They are very selfish and seek to fill their own pleasures outside of their creator.
Jude mentions Michael the Archangel arguing over the body of Moses with Satan. Moses was a very honored man among the Israelites and if Satan could have used his body for evil it would have caused huge problems among that nation. It’s not hard to see why Satan would want to use this man’s body for idolatry and other acts of evil. The Israelites respected this man and in some cases it’s an easy line to cross from respect to idolatry. Now according to this passage Michael would not let that happen and Moses’s grave is disclosed even to this day (see Deuteronomy 34:5-6). What is Michael`s response to Satan? Michael understands that Satan is an accuser and the father of lies so instead of stooping to his level he puts the judgment due him into God’s hands. He acknowledges that God is the final judge and therefore he acts in faith and chose not to use abusive language towards Satan.
Our typical responses to false teachers is anger and probably slander. Our instincts tell us “we need to set them straight” and that mixes with our emotions and causes us at times to speak in an unkind manner. We know what they are teaching is wrong and its deceiving people so we get upset. Jude here is using Michael as an illustration of our proper response to false teachers. We understand the character and motives of these men and we as Christians ought not to follow this same pattern no matter the morality of the subject.
Jude describes them as heavily relying on instincts. Just as animals live by instinct or without reason, so was the manner of these false teachers. This very instinct leads to their corruption. Jude is using strong language when describing false teachers instincts as like “brute beasts.” These beasts are senseless and unreasonable. As Christians we understand our depravity and the spirit undoubtedly reminds us of that on a daily basis. Christians are to rely on God and his Spirit to guide us and his word to change us (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
So what is our response to false teachers? How do we approach those who are teaching a false gospel and completely denying Christ or even the existence of God? Is our response to slam a door in their face or yell at them for believing craziness? Or do we take the time to show them scripture and even pray for them? God calls us to not only love our neighbor but to also love those who hate us. You never know if God is working in the hearts of those refuting his authority. Leave the judgement of their teachings up to God and focus on sharing the gospel to these apostates. This doesn’t mean that we ignore their lies and not confront them but most importantly if they never hear the gospel we have failed them and the great commission.