Friday, November 14, 2014

Like unreasoning beasts - Jude 8-11

"Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!' But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed." (Jude 8-11)
Darby, in translating this passage, simply calls such men "dreamers." So what is so wrong with being dreamers? After all, the only other place this Greek word is used in the whole New Testament is where Peter quotes the prophet Joel saying, "and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams." (Acts 2:17) So what is so bad about dreaming? Even in the world around us, each new invention and each new creation first existed in the mind of some dreamer who dreamt about something that had yet to exist and who had the foresight to being something new to life. So what is wrong with dreaming?

The problem is not dreaming, but dreaming apart from reason and apart from the knowledge of God. Just because something comes into our minds does not mean that it is so, and every dream that is dreamt is not always either devilish or divine but may simply be a dream. When we engage in dreaming and allow our minds to be influences by various forces from within and without, we must always examine our impressions, thoughts, and conclusions based on reason and truth, not on the sweetness of the dream. We must be like the Bereans who "received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so." (Acts 17:11) No matter how eager we are to receive a revelation, we must always run it through the filter of reason and truth before we accept it as such. To do otherwise is to be "tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming." (Ephesians 4:14)

Jude warns us about such unstable men who are always tossed to and fro by every new idea that passes through their mind. They are also men of unnatural pride. The see themselves as the rule of life and take delight in bravado more than humility and true strength. Their life is about themselves and what they project goes only as deep as their own inflated conceit. Their is no real life within them only boisterous, self-centered, demagoguery. Finally, they are men without knowledge, without understanding, and without reason. They live by what is natural to them but never extend their minds to understand the world around them. They live by what they can see and are completely ignorant of the spiritual realities that are hidden from natural eyes. They prove themselves no better than animals, living by instinct, ignorant of God, and uncaring about others. Such men are worthless to society and to the church and are fit only for destruction. Of such men we ought to be wary and cautious.

David Robison

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