By Nathan Jones
Who empowers both angels and Christians when fighting Satan?
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, Determining Source Scriptures (Verse 9 Continued)
Nathan Jones: Jude verse 9 reveals an interesting story. "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!'"
Sometimes people ask where Jude got this story about Moses' body. They don't remember reading about it in the Old Testament.
Well, if you go to Deuteronomy 34:6, it says that Moses' body was buried in Moab in the valley opposite of Beth Peor. But, to this day, no one knows where Moses' grave lies. Jewish tradition teaches that Moses' body was possibly taken by Satan and his forces, but they don't know that for sure.
This theory about the fight over Moses' body ended up being put into a book and being added to what is called the Pseudepigrapha. The Pseudepigrapha contains many of the books that were written later after Christ. These writings were proven they weren't real biblical books and so they were compiled into this collection. The story about Moses' body can be found in the book called The Assumption of Moses. The Assumption of Moses is a book that should not be connected to the Bible, but it does hold to the Jewish tradition that Moses' body was debated over by Satan and Michael. Jude decided to put that story into his letter.
Vic Batista: We have other extra-biblical books like the Book of Enoch and some other writings where we can learn some things about biblical history that is not found in the Bible. For good reasons, though, these books were not added to the biblical canon.
Nathan Jones: Some of the teachings that came out of these extra-biblical writings are clearly contrary to biblical teachings. Concerning the Book of Enoch, later in verses 14-15 Jude will talk about some things that are found in Enoch 1:9. But, the Book of Enoch has long been discredited from being an authentically inspired book. Enoch lived before the Flood happened. If there was any book he wrote it would have been destroyed. And, as a matter of fact, most of the copies that have been found of the Book of Enoch were written 3,000 years later. So, it was pretty clear to the Councils during the first few hundred years of Church history that the Book of Enoch and the Assumption of Moses are extra-biblical books. They are not written by the original authors or they hold to mere Jewish traditions.
Jude therefore was not quoting from the Book of Enoch. He's not quoting from the Assumption of Moses. He is just quoting from Jewish tradition about what they believed happened. There could be a grain of truth in that tradition, because obviously the Book of Jude is in the Bible, so that means the Holy Spirit breathed this letter.
Therefore, there was indeed a battle between Michael and Satan over the body of Moses. Maybe Satan wanted to use Moses as something to be worshiped, as a totem or idol. The staff that Moses held up in the desert was worshiped as an idol for many years until it was finally destroyed. Maybe that is why Satan took Moses' body, or at least tried to.
Vic Batista: "When the Bible is silent, we stay silent." I took that saying from Pastor Chuck Smith. People are always wanting to pin pastors down and insert into the Bible what is not there. But, if it's not written there, we simply have to say, "I don't know."
Nathan Jones: Exactly! That's the best way to interpret the Bible. Some people try to make stuff up and they just get themselves in trouble. I would say if it's not in the Bible, we should say, "We don’t know."
Vic Batista: Absolutely, and that's why I really love ministries that don't engage in sensationalism. Just don't try to insert ideas into the Bible that aren't there.
Nathan Jones: An example of sensationalist Bible prophecy would be the whole Blood Moon hysteria. That theory is really sensationalist and extra-biblical. The idea that four lunar eclipses will have some kind of prophetic significance, or they might, or they might not, is pure conjecture. Like you said, Vic, when the Bible is silent, all I can say is, "I don't know."
Jude, Stopping Spiritual Oppression (Verse 9 Continued)
Vic Batista: Back to this battle between Michael the Archangel contending with the Devil. I think that story really proves that there's a spiritual battle being waged. Revelation 12 also talks about an angelic battle that takes place in the heavens, right? So, angelic warfare is for real?
Nathan Jones: It is for real. In Revelation 12, Satan leads a third of the angels — his demons — into a final rebellion against God. God finally and forever casts them out of Heaven and the demons become trapped on earth.
Some of the demons we read about in Jude verse 6 were locked in darkness in everlasting chains waiting for judgment on that great day. This is referring to the Great White Throne Judgment. So, there are some demons, and I don't know why for maybe they had something to do with the Nephilim story in Genesis where the possessed men tried to create a super race in order to water down the human race, maybe that's when God put these demons into chains and why. Or, maybe these demons were just so evil they had to be put away.
In Revelation 9 we're told that millions of demons who had been in chains will be released during the Tribulation to inflict pain upon people for five months. Maybe that's why. That means that of the third of the angels who were first kicked out of Heaven and became demons, they are not running lose here on earth. Quite a number are chained until that great day that Jude tells us about verse 6.
That means that there are two-thirds of the angels who have remained loyal to God. Even if it was 100% of the angels who rebelled against God, Yahweh is on our side. When Jesus returns in victory, all He does is speak and His enemies just literally fall apart. They melt before Him. If Jesus wanted to say, Enough is enough; let's do something about these demons right now," well within seconds it would all be over. True power is on the side of Jesus Christ!
Vic Batista: I came under a major spiritual attack recently. For us pastors, every time we get up to preach or do something to serve the Lord, the Enemy will try to come in and mess with our minds and bring fear into our hearts. My wife and I were going to speak somewhere and I felt this incredible oppression and spiritual attack. It woke me up to the reality of spiritual warfare. It was one of those things when the Enemy comes in to attack, and all I could do was call on the name of Jesus. All I called out was "Jesus" and the spiritual oppression was gone. That's the power available at the Christian's disposal!
Nathan Jones: Praise the Lord! What to do comes right from Jude. Michael said, "The Lord rebuke you, Satan." The power is the Lord's. If Jesus wants us to get up and speak or preach or witness to somebody, and if there's some major obstacle in our life, we need to pray to the Lord and let Him deal with it. That is the example that Jude gives us through the Archangel Michael.
Jude, Gasping at the Angelic Realm (Verse 9 Continued)
Vic Batista: Again in Jude verse 9, he talks about Michael the Archangel. Michael is mentioned throughout the Bible and he's always involved in different ways both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Nathan Jones: Michael is the Archangel but, he is also the protector of Israel. There are different angels protecting different countries, all the way down to cities and towns, and even probably little communities. There is a hierarchy of angels just like there is a hierarchy of government. God has tasked the most powerful of all the angels, Michael, to protecting Israel.
We especially read about Michael pertaining to Jesus' Second Coming. Michael is not only protecting Israel, but likely he is the one who chains up Satan and throws him into the Abyss for a thousand years. Michael is an extremely important angel.
I look forward to actually seeing the angelic realm someday. Hollywood always pictures angels as white guys with curly blond hair and big white wings, but that's not the case. We read in the Bible that some angels can take the form of humans. There are some who look like animals, and some who look like forces of nature. Some have different types of wings. So, there are many varieties of angels.
Yes, I'm looking forward to seeing what angels look like someday! I think in this earthly body I'd be scared to death by some of them. You read in the Bible occurrences where angels came and they weren't in human form but their own form, and immediately everyone falls to the ground terrified of them. So, it will be a terrifying thing to see an angel, so I will save that experience for after this life.
Vic Batista: Absolutely! Heaven as well is going to be a beautiful place. Revelation 4 talks what we will see there with all the different beings in Heaven and the living creatures. Revelation 4:7 describes these angelic beings, "The first living creature was like a lion, second like a living creature like a calf, and the third living creature a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. The four living creatures each having six wings, full of eyes around and within and they do not rest day or night, saying 'Holy, holy Lord God almighty who is, and was, and is to come.'" There are so many different types of angelic beings.
Nathan Jones: Those four angels before the throne of God are particularly different, for there's nothing like them in all the Bible. How weird that they have eyes covering all over them. I don't know how that works, but likely it represents the omnipresence of God — His ability to see everything at all times. These unique angels sit before the throne of God and they worship God day in and day out. And yes, they are very different looking then your typical angel.
The idea that angels are little babies — cherubs — flying around with little bows and arrows with hearts at the end of the arrow and you fall in love with people when they shoot you is just nonsense. They're not described in the Bible.
Vic Batista: I'm so glad that the outlook that we are taking with Jude is a biblical outlook into his teachings. Verse 9 is a very important subject matter.
In the ninth segment of our study of the book of Jude, he calls out the false teachers for what they really are.