Men Revile Things They do not Understand, and Things They Know by Instinct
In verse 9, we can see the clear contrast of false narratives taught in complete arrogance by false teachers to that of the humility and respect of Michael the archangel for the Law of God who surrenders himself and his circumstance to the order, value, and authority of his Creator. His rebuke of God’s enemy “the devil” is not a hate-filled revenge rant but rather a precise protocol for resisting the advance and action of all darkness and evil – THE LORD REBUKE YOU.
Jude exposes the core cause of hate-speech, faith shaming, and self-righteous virtue signaling when he wrote…
‘But these people speak abusively against whatever they do not understand’.
Their verbal attacks on the angels who (Pre-Temple and Sacrificial System) mediated the Law of God shows that they had no appropriate understanding of ministering angels dispatched of God who is both Lawgiver and Judge (Hebrews 1:7;14).
And of the angels He says, “WHO MAKES HIS ANGELS WINDS, AND HIS MINISTERS A FLAME OF FIRE.” Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
The slanderous teachers referred to in verse 8, no doubt claimed of visions, revelation, special knowledge, and insight (Gnosticism) into the world of angels, and yet their attitude and behavior is a complete contradiction to that of the ministering angels of God. Jude says, they actually despise and reject the Law of God which the angels revere and guard. There is no real knowledge or understanding anymore – there is simply google.com, sermons.com, and Wikipedia. No study, no prayer – no truth (and even less wisdom). Like the men of Sodom, they were engrossed in their appetite for wrongful passions and unnatural desires — failing to recognize an angel when an angel was right in front of their face.
What things they do understand, by instinct, like unreasoning animals—these are the very things that destroy them. The NIV translation is a very accurate rendering of Jude’s anacoluthon.
Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will certainly destroy them.
The point is clear. What they understood were the physical appetites and unrestrained basic instincts they shared with wild animals which have no conscious rationality and reason; they are aloga zōa, unreasoning, irrational, reliant upon instinct and cravings – the very things that… Think of the irony, that when men claim to be visionary, influencers, and trending, they are actually lacking in full understanding and acting in arrogant ignorance; when they presume themselves superior to the common man, presuming to know what is best for common man, they are actually on the same level as irrational animals. Corrupted by the very practices they have used to seek their self-expression and independence from the order and authority of God they are destroyed by their own presumptions.
Jude is stating a profound truth in linking these two characteristics together. If a man is persistently blind to spiritual values, deaf to the call of God, and prioritizes self-determination as the highest good, then a time will come when he cannot and will not hear the call he has rebelled from, but rather, left to the mercy of the chaotic instincts that were once wrongly used in search of freedom. And those instincts, given free reign, are merciless. Evil and wrongful desires, when indulged and unrestrained, becomes a killer. Present-day example: 25 million children sex-trafficked, and another 10 million children trafficked into forced labor world-wide in 2022 or 12,500 Third Trimester 2022 abortions in the US.
With the three warnings of verses 5–7 already out there, Jude’s readers are asked now to beware of the spiritual decadence of the false teachers. This pervaded their whole personalities. Physically, they became immoral. Intellectually, they became arrogant. Spiritually, they denied the Lord. ‘Progressive morality’ and ‘progressive thinking’ often go hand in hand with ‘progressive deafness’ to the voice of God. To live like that is to live a dream world. The judgment of God will catch up with them as surely as John Dutton’s Yellowstone cattle to the slaughterhouse. The whole thrust of Jude’s letter constitutes a stirring call to awaken to moral integrity, intellectual humility, and spiritual sensitivity.
Gone the way of Cain:
Cain is used as the “poster-boy” for hatred in 1 John 3:11-12.
1 John 3:11-12
For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s deeds were righteous.
At first glance here one might think verse 11 of Jude refers to “the murderous sin of Cain” and that he was accusing the false teachers of murder. But that is not the reality; Cain’s way was determined in his first sin where his self-centered, angry, jealous, and hate-filled character were exposed after God accepted Abel his brother’s sacrifice of a lamb rather than his crop sacrifice.
Rushed into the Error of Balaam: Balaam a non-Israelite seer whom the Moabites hired to curse the Israelites as they travel from Egypt to the promised land. It was Balaam who involved Israel in the immorality and idolatry at Baal-peor (Numbers 31:16). God forbid Balaam three-times from cursing the Israelites. No doubt then he told the Israelites that they were so firmly positioned in the favor of God that nothing could affect their standing with Him. They could sin with impunity (no worries). With that falsehood in mind, Balaam led them into the error of fornication and the dishonoring the sovereignty of Yahweh sovereign and ultimately worshipping and submitting to other, inferior deities/gods. Jude’s false teachers had done the same. Like Balaam, they were greedy for money. Like him, they practiced and led others into immorality. Like him, they boasted of prophetic dreams and visions. Like him, they encouraged apostasy (disbelief). Like him they would perish.
Perished in the Rebellion of Korah: Finally, Jude compared his false teachers with Korah, who was notorious for his rebellion against Moses and Aaron, the divinely appointed leaders of Israel. (Numbers 16)
Jude’s false teachers, had like Korah clearly defied the chosen and constituted leadership of the church, refusing to accept their authority and setting themselves up in opposition. Korah from the tribe of Levi, historically known as a grumbler, a negative complainer, divisive, insubordinate of leadership and authority. Jude calls out the false teachers of the early church for being the same as Korah. It is not insignificant that Jude references the fate of Korah and his people. The consequence and fate for their rebellion was so graphic and sudden (Numbers 16:35).
Where are we on the spectrum of Jude’s call-out? Have we been deceived by a cultural man-made, man-centric teaching that affords us the pleasure of rebellious and defiant sin? Are we buying into the indulgence of our imaginations, convincing ourselves that we are right, and He is wrong, that God is no longer righteously sovereign? Can you hear Jude’s call out?
Here is the “out the door message.”
Our one hope remains in Christ Jesus. This hope is not a long shot it is a covenant promise given and a covenant promise fulfilled. The only way we can mess this kind of hope up is with our disbelief in the provisions of God, the expectations of God, and the call of God to righteousness in Christ Jesus. And there is of course the whole rebellious, arrogant, and defiant response to God’s order, value, and authority thing. Yeah that.
Here is the “keep this in the back of your mind message.”Hey Jude, I believe I just heard you say that these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very irrational and unnatural things they do understand — are the very things that will destroy them?
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