DIG: What might make the congregations of God vulnerable to false teachers: Boredom? Attraction to charismatic personalities? Lust? Poor teaching? Rebellion? In what sense were they dreamers? How are the false teachers much like the religious leaders in Jerusalem who confronted Jesus? Why do the apostates slander God’s holy angels? What will be their end?
REFLECT: How can you recognize these false teachers in your place of worship? Why do you think these apostates are wolves in sheep’s clothing? What would you do if you thought you discovered one? What is the evidence that God’s judgment is just?
In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings (Jude 8).
This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, these people are not afraid to slander celestial beings (Second Peter 2:10).
Three times Jude has taken us back into the TaNaKh to remind us of familiar examples of apostasy that resulted in the judgment of ADONAI. These case studies have been placed before us, three snapshots of wrath against a particular kind of sin, where there has been an apostasy from the truth of God. When the three are taken together, as we see here in Jude 8, they give us three characteristics of apostasy as Jude knew them in his day, and as the Church will know it in the last days before the LORD returns to execute judgment on the people of the world (Jude 15a NLT).
Apostates, when they are finally exposed for what they really believe, pollute their bodies in the very same way as the men of Sodom and Gomorrah (Jude 7); reject authority, as did the angels did when they did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their home (Jude 6); and slander celestial beings because they speak abusively against whatever they do not understand (Jude 10).
Jude starts this verse with the phrase: in the very same way (homoios) or likewise. This is an important transition, further unlocking the significance of the previous passage. Apostates usually display ungodly character traits, just like the apostate Israelites, apostate angels and the apostate Gentiles of Sodom and Gomorrah. Although they have these fearful examples before them in Jude 5, 6 and 7, they continue to persist in their sin.
Jude introduces the apostates as these dreamers (Jude 8a). The evil behavior of these ungodly people often originates from their dreams. The Greek New Covenant normally uses the noun onar to refer to dreams (Mt 1:20; 2:12-13, 19, 22; 27:19). But Jude chose a form of the verb enupniazo, which is only used by Peter on the Feast Shavu'ot (Acts 2:17). Joel’s prophecy (Jl 2:28-32) affirms Peter’s sermon and demonstrates that the dreams in question may refer to revelatory dreams rather than normal dreams. During the Great Tribulation, prophecies, revelations and visions that have now ceased will return, along with divine revelation. ADONAI will speak to people through dreams just as He did earlier in biblical history with Joseph in Egypt, Daniel in Babylon and others.
False teachers often claim dreams as their divine source, their authority, for their “new truths” (Joseph Smith’s myth of Mormonism is a good example of this). Their “new truths” are really nothing more than lies and distortions. Such claims allow apostates to substitute their own counterfeit authority for God’s true scriptural authority.53
The present tense of the participle shows the dreaming of these apostates are a continual, persistent thing, and the middle voice shows how much this dreaming is to their liking. The participle pertains to all three verbs in the statement: pollute, despise, and slander.54 Deuteronomy 13:1-5 describes what is to be done with the person described as the prophet or the dreamer of dreams (RSV) who corrupts Isra'el and seduces them from their devotion to ADONAI. That false prophet or dreamer must be put to death. The people whom Jude attacks are false prophets, false dreamers and seducers of believers, and must be treated as such. Their false teaching resulted in the fifth triad. They are accused of lust, rebellion and irreverence.
First lust, they pollute their own bodies, and do not consider their actions sinful. These false teachers, as Jude previously noted in verse 7, have come into the congregations of God to satisfy their lust. They use Yeshua as a disguise to hide their sin. When Jude says: these dreamers, he is speaking of prophetic dreams. The Greek word for dreamers is used only here and in Acts 2:17. Jude indicates these false teachers claim special revelation from the Lord as a justification for their lifestyle. But they are merely led by their own evil desires and not the Holy Spirit (Jude 16).
Those who scoff at the truth of the Bible in the last days are to be, according to Peter, people following their own lusts (Second Peter 3:3). Whether they try to hide it from other believers or not, their immorality inevitably surfaces. After all, they have no ability to restrain their lusts because they do not know God (First Thessalonians 4:5). This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature (Jude 8b and Second Peter 2:10a). The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like (Galatians 5:19-21a). Our Savior taught that sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander come out of their hearts because they do not have the Holy Spirit (Jude 19b). True faith in Christ, however, is obvious in a walk that is not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:4). Faith leads to good works. The fruit produced by the Holy Spirit includes godly self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Second rebellion, since apostate teachers love their immorality, it follows that they reject and despise authority (Jude 8c and Second Peter 2:10b). They refuse to subject themselves to human authority in general and to the elders of the messianic synagogues or churches in particular. Because they demand to rule their own lives, apostates deny Yeshua Messiah our only Master and Lord (Jude 4). In reality, they are much like the religious leaders in Jerusalem who confronted Jesus in Matthew 23:27-28 CJB: You are like whitewashed tombs, which look fine on the outside but inside are full of dead people’s bones and all kinds of rottenness. Likewise, you appear to people from the outside to be good and honest, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and far from the Torah.
It is not surprising that people who deny the trinity (see Ac – The Book of Jude from a Jewish Perspective: Purpose), the virgin birth, the miracles, the substitutionary death, the resurrection and the return of Yeshua Messiah should refuse to submit to Him as Lord. In fact, no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit (First Corinthians 12:3b). Consequently, these people of whom Jude writes cannot claim Jesus as Lord because if anyone does not have the Spirit of the Messiah, they do not belong to Him (Romans 8:9b CJB).
Third irreverence, they slander celestial beings, literally slander glories or doxa (Jude 8d). Bold and arrogant, these people are not afraid to slander celestial beings (or angels) including God Himself (Second Peter 2:10). These people were not merely irreverent, they were blasphemers, especially of holy angels.
Ever since the Adversary’s initial rebellion (Ezekiel 28:17), pride has been the main characteristic of ADONAI’s enemies. False teachers, of course, are no exception to this. Both their words and their actions betray their attitudes of self-centered arrogance and self-willed disrespect that are typical of these rebels who are Satan’s children. They are brazen and foolhardy, actually daring to defy ADONAI, and promote themselves no matter the consequences (Second Chronicles 32:25; Esther 3:5; Daniel 4:40, 5:20, 22-23; Acts 12:21-23). There is nothing they won’t do to have their own way.55
But why do the apostate teachers slander God’s holy angels? Throughout the LORD’s history of salvation, holy angels, have been devoted to His doxa (His glory). They have had a special role in establishing His moral order. For example, the LORD gave them the ministry of helping communicate His Torah. In Stephen’s speech before the Sanhedrin (see my commentary on The Life of Christ Lw – The Great Sanhedrin): You have received the Torah that was put into effect through angels (Acts 7:53). Holy angels will also assist in the ultimate judgment of the rebels who refuse to submit to the Savior. Jude informs us: See, the Lord is coming with thousands of His holy ones to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against Him (Jude 14b-15 NLT). By their lawless immorality and rebelliousness, these false teachers not only curse the holy angels – they also curse ADONAI Himself.
In keeping with the Word of God, divine judgment will ultimately come upon all His enemies (First Corinthians 15:25-26). As in the past, ADONAI will finally destroy all who oppose Him – including the apostate teachers and all who follow them. Yet, at the same time He will rescue believers from such an unspeakable end. This echoes Paul’s words to the believers at Thessalonica:
We have kept thanking God for you always, brothers and sisters (adelphoi), as is appropriate; because your trust continues to grow greater, and the love you each have for one another continues to increase. Therefore, we boast about you in the congregations of God because of your perseverance and trust in all persecutions and troubles you are going through. This is clear evidence that God’s judgment is just; and as a result, you will be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God for which you are suffering. For it is justice for God to pay back trouble to those who are troubling you, and to give rest along with us to you who are being troubled, when the Lord Yeshua is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in a fiery flame. Then He will punish those who don’t know God, that is, those who don’t listen to the Good News or our Lord Yeshua and obey it. They will suffer the just penalty of eternal destruction, far away from the face of the Lord and the Shechinah glory of His might. On that Day, when He comes to be glorified by His holy people and admired by all who have trusted, you will be among them, because you trusted in our witness to you (Second Thessalonians 1:3-10 CJB).
Dear Friend, if your hands are firmly holding on to the steering wheel of your life, you need to slide over and let Jesus take control. It is an illusion that you are controlling your destiny. You need to make Yeshua the Lord of your life. Without Him you are dead in your sins. The Bible says that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures (First Corinthians 15:3b-4). If you believe that and have never asked Messiah to be your Lord and Savior would you pray this simple prayer today: God, I admit that I have sinned. I believe Jesus Christ died for my sins, and I want to trust Him to save me right now. Why should ADONAI let yu into His heaven? That's right . . . because Jesus paid for all of your sins, past, present, and future. Now you need to find a good messianic synagogue or church that teaches the Word of God faithfully so you can grow in your faith and have fellowship with other believers.