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The Bible Speaks

    by Gino Geraci

Additional Characteristics of False Teachers (Jude 8-10)
Date Posted: May 17, 2007

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 he 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

False Teachers Denounce Dignitaries

Who are the dignitaries Jude refers to? The words, “dominion” and “dignities” are used of spirit beings in the New Testament. Jude follows his statement regarding those who speak evil of dignitaries with an illustration of two spirit beings: Michael the Archangel, and Satan. For this reason, I think it is best to define dignitaries in terms of angelic beings.

Jude gives the interesting illustration of Michael's battle over the body of Moses. This incident is not spoken of anywhere else in the Bible. What was Jude's source? Some scholars believe it comes from the pseudepigraphal (not recognized as canonical) book entitled The Assumption of Moses. Sometimes Bible writers drew on sources not considered “accurate” in all its contents--nevertheless containing some true statements.

Why do they fight over the dead body of Moses? Could it be God didn't want the Jews to venerate the corpse of the lawgiver? One interesting explanation is God has a future use for the corpse of Moses! Satan may be trying to prevent or hinder the work of God by kidnapping the body!

What about human leadership? What about dignitaries in the church? We are certainly supposed to give proper respect and love for godly leaders. This was a high priority in the early church. Paul wrote to the saints to esteem those who labor among you very highly in love (1Thess.5:13). Elders who rule well should be considered worthy of double honor (1Tim.5:17). The writer of Hebrews told his readers to "obey those who have rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls"(Heb.13:17).

But rather than showing respect, false teachers slander godly Bible teachers. Worse--they slander celestial beings! Don’t be afraid of false teachers who lead people astray, or who pronounce curses and judgments on you and your family if you threaten to leave their sick and perverse teachings.

Rebuking the Devil

Some people say things like, "I bind you devil!" but the devil always winds up getting loose! People who talk to the devil are suspect. We are never commanded to bind the devil or speak to the devil. James wrote we should resist the devil and he will flee from us (James 4:7) and Michael, the archangel, did not rebuke the devil himself, but rather said, “The Lord rebuke you.”

Speaking Evil of What They Don’t Know

There is an old saying among those who speak for a living: “Listen carefully when the preacher pounds the pulpit, because when it is the pulpit and not the speaker who speaks the loudest, it is probably the speaker’s weakest point!” One of the characteristics of our flesh, our fallen nature, is to speak the loudest and the most emphatic, when we know the least. Thus, false teachers are more likely to speak loudly and emphatically on the subject they know the least about!

Brute Beasts

Jude likens false teachers to dumb animals or brute beasts. Sorry animal lovers. The point Jude is making is, false teachers are irrational like animals. Without even knowing it they "corrupt" themselves. The Greek word for corrupt is phtheiro which means to destroy oneself. We might use the term “self-destructive behavior.”

One of the false teachings rampant at this time was called gnosticism. The gnostics prided themselves on knowledge and mental superiority. They were, as Spiro Agnew used to call the press, “effete, intellectual snobs.”

Kistemaker translates this verse, "yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals--these are the very things that destroy them.”

Jude is saying that people without spiritual discernment are abysmally ignorant of reality and depend on instinct. That is, they have lowered themselves to the level of animals and in their sexual pursuits are guided by instinct. Yet unlike the animals which abide by the laws of nature, these godless men are destroyed by the very things they fail to understand. They are on the same level of animals, but they refuse to obey even the most basic laws God has placed in nature and are thus destroyed.

Guard Yourself

It’s possible for any of us to be deceived by false teachers, but the most likely victims are those who are spiritually immature (1 Peter 2:2). To guard yourself against false teachers, immerse yourself in the Bible, for it is your greatest source of light, growth, and information.

© 2007 by Gino Geraci

(Jude 8 - 10)

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Biography Information:
Gino Geraci is the founding Pastor of Calvary South Denver.

He has served as a police chaplain for several police departments and currently serves as a Police Chaplain for the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Department. Gino has provided emergency service support in many national tragedies. He was a first responder at Columbine High School, Ground Zero in New York, and Platte Canyon High School.

Gino has appeared on scores of national and local radio programs as a guest, including television appearances with Lee Stroebel's Faith Under Fire. He currently hosts a daily radio program with Salem Media in Denver, Colorado area.

Gino is a much sought after conference speaker. He has conducted leadership conferences, Bible conferences, and emergency service support conferences with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritans' Purse, Gospel for Asia in India and Sri Lanka, the Bible League in Africa, Food For The Poor in Jamaica, Mike McIntosh Crusades in Mexico, Somebody Loves You Bible Conferences with Raul Ries in Chile, Columbia and Peru, and pastor's conferences in much of the continental United States.

Gino is currently the pastor of Calvary South Denver where he continues to minister, preach, teach, and serve.
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