By Nathan Jones
Does angelic warfare wage behind world events?
In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will continue our study of the little book of Jude from a prophetic perspective.
Jude, Warning of an Invasion (Verses 1-8)
Vic Batista: As we continue our study of the incredible prophetic book of Jude, let's first recap verses 1-8. In previous segments we read how Jude encouraged believers in Christ to contend for the faith. In another segment we read about the judgments and punishments that are coming for those who turn their backs on God. Jude also warned how there'd be many false Christians creeping into our churches bringing destructive heresies.
Nathan Jones: I think that Jude in writing his letter to the churches was kind of like a Paul Revere. Paul Revere during the Revolutionary War rode through the American countryside yelling, "The British are coming! The British are coming!" Revere was warning Americans of possible death as the British troops marched across the colonies. Likewise, Jude wanted Christians to know that danger was coming to the Church. Jude is doing the same thing by saying, "The heretics are coming! The heretics are coming! They are going to try to lie to you and teach you false teachings and pull you away from Jesus. Watch out! Watch out!" That is what Jude is saying in his letter.
Jude was the half-brother of Jesus, but obviously he was not of God. Being the son of Mary and Joseph, that's make Jude Jesus' half-brother. Jesus' brothers and sisters did not believe that their oldest brother was the Messiah until after He was resurrected. Afterwards, Jude and his brothers gave their lives to Jesus Christ. By the time his letter was written, Jude was now a leader of the Church.
The heretics Jude was warning about were called Gnostics. Gnosticism was the earliest heresy at the time. Gnostics believed they held a superior knowledge that wasn't in the Bible. Rather, they made that "secret knowledge" up as they went along. It was a very Greek type of philosophy.
So, Jude is warning that these Gnostics, these heretics, were coming and they were going to teach the Church false doctrines. They did so for their own pleasure and for their own benefit. But, God will judge them for pulling Christians away from the truth of Jesus Christ. That is where Jude is at this point.
Vic Batista: We know according to other teachers in the Bible, even from Jesus Himself, that more of these heretics are coming. More false prophets and more false teachers and more heretics would come even into the Last Days. That's why Jude is addressing this phenomenon concerning his time and into our time today.
Nathan Jones: In Luke 21, Jesus said three times that one of the major signs of the end times would be false prophets, false teachers, and false Christs. They may have always been with us, but they will increase in frequency and intensity as we get closer to these last days. That's where we are as the Church today.
Vic Batista: These dreamers in verse 8 defile their flesh and they reject authority. Jude is pointing out that these heretics don't want to be under God's authority.
Nathan Jones: No, not at all. They live in rebellion against God and His moral law. They lie and make up falsehoods that God never said in order to pull people away from Jesus Christ.
Another characteristic of these false teachers Jude says is that they pollute their bodies, likely with alcohol, drugs and sexual immorality. They dream, in other words, they don't have a grasp on reality. For example, these would be people today who believe that if Israel gave up half their country the world would be safe. Or, if we let Iran get a nuclear bomb they wouldn't use it against another nation. Or, if we tax the rich to death then all of a sudden the country will flourish. These are dreamers of nonsense with destructive ideas.
Jude, Glimpsing Spiritual Warfare (Verse 9)
Vic Batista: Nathan, can you continue with Jude verses 9-10 as we unravel the incredible prophecies contained in the book of Jude?
Nathan Jones: Verse 9-10 in the NKJV reads:
"Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the 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."
A further characteristic of these false Christians is that they heap abuse on celestial beings. They have no respect for the hierarchy in Heaven. They don’t understand it, and so they heap abuse on the very concept of a heavenly realm.
Vic Batista: Ephesians 6 clearly tells us that Christians are in a major spiritual battle with celestial beings. The world is indeed at war — a spiritual war. There are many angelic beings who are behind the scenes protecting Christians and are on our side.
Nathan Jones: Few people ever think about the spiritual warfare we are in. Behind all the events that are going on in the world with political and military battles, there is a spiritual battle being waged between God's forces and Satan's forces, but it's all in the background. We don't see the spiritual side until the fallout occurs. That's probably a good thing that we can't see angels fighting, for we'd be pretty shaken. Imagine seeing giant angels duking it out, but that's what is going on in the spiritual realm.
It's interesting that Jude gives us a little behind the scenes in verse 9 when he talks about the Archangel Michael. He's the head over all the angels. He took the job when Lucifer lost his position, because Satan used to be the head over all the angels. Jude says that Michael was disputing with the Devil about the body of Moses who had died before entering the Promised Land. Michael didn't rebuke Satan, but instead said, "The Lord rebuke you." Michael put his own authority under God's power.
In the eighth segment of our study of the book of Jude, we'll continue to learn more about the Archangel Michael and about the true power behind the spiritual realm.