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Dangerous Dreamers

Jude 8-10
In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’ Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct – as irrational animals do – will destroy them. (NIVUK)

These are very strong words!  Jude is leaving his readers in no doubt about the extreme danger posed by false teachers who have no respect for God’s Word, who believe themselves more powerful than angels and demons, and who have no moral restraint.  Although people like that appeal to the worst fleshly instincts, they were being tolerated in some churches.  So Jude emphasised the words of Jesus: “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)

Jewish readers would have known a traditional story about the devil demanding to have the body of Moses, and not even the archangel Michael dared to use his own authority to rebuke Satan; instead, he left the fate of the Evil One in God’s hands (Deuteronomy 32:35).  Jude uses the story to demonstrate the stupidity of playing with spiritual fire.  In the same way the false teachers had no idea of the physical and social damage caused by immoral behaviour (Revelation 2:14-16).  Neither did they understand the spiritual danger of assuming God-like authority; nor did they realise that the wrath of God is upon those who practise and teach such things (2 Peter 2:13-22).

When truth has been abandoned, and people think that nobody can stand in their way, they become like animals that cannot understand the future (2 Peter 2:12). Understanding and wisdom comes from God, but when He is rejected they cannot see where they are or the consequences of their actions.

When people refuse to give glory to God, He removes the privilege of wise observation and blinds their eyes so that they stumble around in the dark (Jeremiah 13:16).  The Apostle Paul wrote, “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.” (Titus 3:10)  That may seem harsh (some would even say un-Christian) but false teaching is a poison which will destroy God’s people.  So keep clear of it: personally, with your family and friends and in the church.

Almighty God. I believe that all truth comes from You and that You know everything. I repent of sometimes believing that I can make up my own ‘truth’ to justify the way I want to satisfy my own desires. Please forgive me; give me an honest appetite for Your Word and a renewed heart to obey You. And please give me, and the pastors of Your flock, the wisdom to understand when teaching is not true to Your Word, and help me to protect others from the danger. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams