Rather than pretending that false teaching, unbelief, and immorality were something new, Jude provides three Old Testament illustrations of those who were deceived about the truth and faced God’s judgment. First, Jude writes concerning the Israelites (God’s chosen people) whom He delivered from Egyptian bondage only to watch them engage in worship of idols and participate in wickedness (v.5). This generation of unbelievers was not able to enter the land which God had promised to Abraham and his descendants (Numbers 14:22-30, 35). Secondly, Jude refers to the fallen angels who possessed the bodies of men (Genesis 6:1-3) in order to defile and deceive; however, the end of these angels would be everlasting judgment (v.6, see also Revelation 20:10). The final illustration used by Jude was the incident at Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19) when men were giving “themselves over to sexual immorality” (v.7) and were eventually judged by earthly fire, which is a preview of the coming judgment in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).
Much like those who denied the truth in times past, the false teachers of Jude’s day proved that they did not represent God because they did not follow His commandments. Jude reveals three characteristics of these false teachers – they “defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries [angels]” (v.8). Jude gives an example of what he talking about when he mentions that the false teachers “speak evil of dignitaries [angels].” It seems that Michael (God’s chief angel) struggled against Satan himself in a battle for the body of Moses after he died (Deuteronomy 34:5-6). Satan may have wanted to use Moses’ body for some uncertain purposes which were obviously contrary to God’s will. Instead of taking matters into his own hands, Michael left the final decision in God’s hands and did not dare curse an angel as powerful as Satan. Apparently, the false teachers of Jude’s day, being arrogant, felt as if they possessed all authority above even angels and could speak anything on behalf of God. Jude condemned their actions. Anyone who speaks with this type of prideful authority, speaks without knowledge and will ultimately face divine judgment.
It is important that Christians do not believe everyone who says that they represent God, but rather compare their teachings and lifestyle with God’s standards. Those whose teachings contradict Scripture must be rejected as well as those whose lifestyle demonstrates immorality.Dear God, help those who believe in You to continue in the truth and expose those who, in error, claim that they speak on Your behalf.