“These people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively.” (Jude 10)
Those who have followed our study of the General Epistles this year may have already noticed the many similarities between the epistles of Jude and 2 Peter. Aside from the fact that the false teachers opposed by both apostles practiced sexual immorality (2 Peter 2:18; Jude 4), the examples and terminology used by one writer are often the same as those used by the other (compare Jude 5-7 and 2 Peter 2:4-10a).
So close is the thought and situation of the two epistles that most scholars believe there is some kind of literary relationship between these two inspired books. Whether Jude used 2 Peter as a source for his letter or Peter used Jude as a source for his second epistle cannot be determined with absolute certainty. In any case, we should not be surprised if one of these men used the writings of the other. It is a common phenomenon for biblical authors to do this. The author of Chronicles, for example, used the books of Samuel and Kings as sources for his writings.
Today’s passage is a further example of the similarities between these two letters, as Jude 8-10 parallels 2 Peter 10b–12 in many ways. Note the way the false teachers described in each case blasphemed “the glorious ones.” The false teachers opposed by Peter appear to have done this by disregarding the power and influence of demonic spirits. Given the story related in Jude 9, it seems the false teachers he faced blasphemed by trying to rebuke demons on their own authority. Unlike Michael, who called upon the Lord to rebuke Satan, these false teachers “blasphemed” by regarding things closely identified with God (angels who, though fallen, were once holy) too lightly, presuming an ability to resist them under their own power.
The source of this story about Michael and Satan presents an interesting problem, which we will discuss in due time. We conclude by noting these false teachers blasphemed and lived wantonly based on their dreams and not on the faith once delivered to the saints (vv. 8; 3–4). When we rely on anything besides the apostolic faith of sacred Scripture, we run the risk of doing the same.
Christians today often substitute other authorities for the authority of the Bible. Many in the Pentecostal movement base their doctrines more on visionary experiences than on the Word of God. Even among Reformed believers, there can be a tendency to spend more time studying systematic theology than Scripture. Make a plan to allow for the devotion of your time and effort to the study of God’s Word.
Passages for Further Study
Deut. 34 Lam. 2:14, Dan. 10, Acts 19:11-20, Rev. 12:7-9
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