Thursday, December 14, 2017

Jude, Part 9

In today's study we take a closer look at what Jude is referring to in regards to the accusation that false teachers, and those who follow them, have gone the "Way of Cain."

The scripture is our authority. Where and when we come into conflict with it – we are wrong and must make the necessary adjustments. An old preacher said one time, “Where God puts periods, don’t you go putting question marks.” We do not stand in judgment of the Bible. The Bible stands in judgment of us.

Fourth, they not only reject authority, but “they speak evil of dignitaries.” When men speak evil of God, His Son, the prophets, or of God’s men, they speak evil of dignities. We are to esteem God, His Son Jesus, and His Church in holy awe! Peter made this abundantly clear when he penned 2 Peter 2. The bottom line is that all of this comes about as a result of rejecting authority.

I’m amazed at some of the things that I’ve heard people say about other pastors, let alone myself. We live in a day in which men have no respect for authority at all. We will see in the next verse that Michael the archangel when contending with the devil over the body of Moses would not dare to make a “railing accusation” against him. And yet, church members will go out to lunch after a service and chew their pastors up and spit them out like it is nothing at all. They have no fear of God. They are rejecting authority and in so doing, they are rejecting the ultimate Authority who placed that pastor over them. The problem in our culture today is that everybody thinks that they have a right to be right and to be heard. Not according to the Bible my dear friend. You gave up that right when you came to the cross.

Verse 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 must remember that the context of this verse is rejection of authority and speaking evil of those whom God has placed over us. The point is that if Michael, an archangel, would not dare speak evil of Satan himself, then who are we to speak evil of those around us who are in positions of authority?

After being in the ministry for a few years and ministering with several churches in different staff positions, I’m amazed at how many in the congregation honestly think that it is their divine calling to keep the man of God in check. Watch out! God doesn’t need your help. Trust me, God will police that man in his own time and in his own way and He doesn’t need your help to do it. If He brought him in, He can take him out. You better worry about the speck that is in your own eye (Matthew 7:3-5).

Verse 10: “But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.” Again, this is referring to these apostate teachers that had crept into the church. Notice it says that they speak evil of “things which they know not.” In other words, they don’t have a clue about the true things of God. Instead, they are like “brute beasts”. It’s essentially the same thing that the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:14, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." These men are natural in that they have not truly given their lives to Christ and are therefore incapable to truly understanding and appreciating the things of God. 

Verses 11-13: “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.” This is the judgment of God that is surely to fall upon these natural brute beasts or filthy dreamers. Notice that he compares them to Cain, Balaam, and Core. What is the “way of Cain?” They way of Cain, is a bloodless religion of works. If you will remember that when man first sinned by eating of the forbidden fruit in Genesis 3; God immediately made them “coats of skins, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). Now, in order for God to make coats of skins for Adam and Eve, something had to die. Blood had to be shed so that their nakedness could be covered. God clearly demonstrated to them how a sacrifice had to be made for the atonement (covering) of their sins.

Later in Genesis 4:1-8 we find their children Cain and Abel bringing their sacrifices to God just as they had been taught by their mother and father. However, Cain chose to do something different. Instead of bringing a blood sacrifice as he had been taught by his parents like his brother Abel, he chose to bring the works of his own hands. In other words, he brought a bloodless sacrifice. This event is spoken in both Hebrews 11:4 where it says, “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” Also, it is spoken of in 1 John 3:12, “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.” So too, these apostates that Jude is speaking of have denied the power of the blood.

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