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Author Topic: Jude 1:8-10  (Read 2961 times)

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Hidden In Him

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Jude 1:8-10
« on: October 20, 2015, 05:44:01 PM »
The Wicked Are Baited Into Hell Like Unwitting Animals

     Those who adopted Simon's heresy were sexual predators. What they were unaware of, however, was that Satan was baiting them through their lusts into adopting a belief system that would damn their souls to Hell for eternity unless they repented. To catch predators in ancient times, pits were dug and then filled with water or spikes. Then they were covered over with branches and leaves and meat was placed over the top to lure a predator in. So, too, was Satan using sexual temptation as a bait to lure such men to their spiritual demise, yet they were just as blissfully unaware of it as animals were in the natural.
     This was the point Jude would now begin making regarding these men, who as we shall see were developing such a disregard for God that they were even blaspheming His angels, who were "clothed in glory":

     Nevertheless, these dreamers likewise also defile flesh, repudiate Lordship, and blaspheme angels clothed in glory. But the archangel Michael, when arguing with the Devil in legally disputing over the body of Moses, dared not bring a defamation against him in accusation, but [simply] said, "The Lord rebuke you." But these men know not what they defame, yet like unwitting beasts, what things they observe in the natural, through these they succumb to bodily corruption. (Jude 1:8-10)

     Jude was here simply repeating what the apostle Peter said before him, who put it this way:

     Daring and self-willed, they do not tremble at blaspheming angels clothed in glory, whereas angels who are greater in strength and power do not [even] bring against them a defaming accusation before the Lord. But like instinctual and unwitting beasts born for capture and bodily corruption, these men will perish in their corruption in blaspheming what they are ignorant of, for they are about to receive the reward of unrighteousness... (2 Peter 2:10b-13a)

     So how specifically were they defaming the angels of God, and why? The followers of Simon's heresy came to be referred to as the Gnostics, after the Greek word for knowledge. The reason is because they claimed to have knowledge which others didn't, namely that the God of the Old Testament and His angels, instead of being holy and just, were actually self-serving and tyrannical rulers who had given laws on moral conduct to mankind only to bring them into enslavement and subjugation.
     But for Jude, these men didn't have near the knowledge they claimed to have. For starters, they were blindly unaware of just how powerful the angels of God were whom they were defaming, or the danger they were placing themselves in by corrupting God's people. The angels of God might soon be the ones to execute judgment against them if they continued to seduce unstable souls into sin and heresy. But sadly, they were nevertheless accepting the delusion that the angelic powers were self-serving and dictatorial, and merely out to secure power for themselves over mankind.
     Irenaeus described Simon's teaching as follows:

     Since the angels ruled the world wickedly because each one of them coveted the principle power for himself, [Simon] had come to amend matters… Moreover, the prophets uttered their predictions under the inspiration of those angels who formed the worlds, for which reason those who place their trust in him and Helena no longer regarded them, but, as being free, live as they please; for men are saved through his grace, and not on account of their own righteous actions. For such deeds are righteous, not in the nature of things, but [only] … as those angels who made the world have thought fit to constitute them, seeking, by means of such precepts, to bring men into bondage. On this account, [Simon] pledged himself that the world should be dissolved, and that those who are his should be freed from the rule of those who made the world. (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, XXIII, 3)

     Such defamations of angels continued with later Gnostic leaders like Basilides, a successor to Simon, who further developed this doctrine by claiming that the God of the Jews, as "the chief of the angels," was the most self-serving of them all in trying to bring all of humanity into bondage to Himself. According to Basilides, had it not been for "Christ" descending to the earth from the unknown father (i.e. unknown even to the angels), the nations would have eventually been completely destroyed as a result of this war going on between the God of the Jews and the other "gods" for control of humanity:

      Those angels who occupy the lowest heaven, that, namely, which is visible to us, formed all of the things which are in the world, and made allotments among themselves of the earth and of those nations which are upon it. The chief of them is he who is thought to be the God of the Jews; and inasmuch as He desired to render the other nations subject unto His own people, that is, the Jews, all the other princes resisted and opposed Him. Wherefore all other nations were [also] at enmity with His nation. But the father without name, perceiving that they would be destroyed, sent his own first-begotten… to bestow deliverance upon them that believe in him from the power of those who formed the world. (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, XXIV, 4)

     More will be taught about this "unknown father" Simon had made up out of thin air, a god supposedly so much higher than the God of the Jews that he was beyond His comprehension, in later studies. But to illustrate how foolish it was for men to even dare to speak defamations against the angels, both Jude and Peter cited the story of the burial of Moses, where despite being more powerful than the Devil, even the archangel Michael nevertheless refused to speak defamations against another angel but left it up to God to rebuke him for standing in the way of allowing the body of Moses to be buried.

Michael and Satan's Dispute Over The Body Of Moses

     According to the early church writer Origen, Jude was here citing a first century document entitled The Assumption Of Moses. Unfortunately this document has not survived to the present day, but an understanding of events surrounding the death and burial of Moses can be gleaned by references from later Christian and Jewish writers.
     The following two accounts, when taken together, fill in most of the details. The first explains how Satan justified his claim that Moses did not deserve a proper burial: He had not given a proper burial to the egyptian man he killed, so he should reap what he had sown. The second explains Satan's motivations for why he did not want Moses' body to be buried:

     But at the end of the same year in the twelfth month, on the seventh day, Moses the servant of God died and was buried on the fourth of the month of September on a certain mountain by the chief captain Michael. For the Devil contended with the angel, and would not permit his body to be buried, saying, "Moses is a murderer. He slew a man in Egypt and hid him in the sand." Then Michael prayed to God, and there was thunder and lightning, and suddenly the Devil disappeared; but Michael buried him with his [own] hands. (The Slavonic Life of Moses 16)
     And Moses said to Joshua, the son of Nave, "Let us go up into the mountain." And when they had gone up, Moses saw the land of promise, and he said to Joshua, "Go down to the people, and tell them that Moses is dead." And Joshua went down to the people, but Moses came to the end of his life. And Samael [i.e. Satan] tried to bring his body down to the people, so that they might make him a god. But Michael the chief captain, by the command of God, came to take him and removed him, but Samael resisted him, and they fought. So the chief captain was angry and rebuked him, saying, "May the Lord rebuke you, Devil!" And so the adversary was defeated and took flight, but the archangel removed the body, and no one saw the burial place. (Palaea Historica)

     Scripture itself confirms that no one knew where Moses was buried (Deuteronomy 34:6). In the second quote, the Devil was pictured as trying to prevent Michael from burying the body of Moses because he wanted the Israelites to worship Moses instead of God, i.e. seducing them into thinking all the miracles they witnessed were the result of Moses being a powerful magician. After all, Moses was raised as an Egyptian, in a nation known for their involvement in the occult and the magic arts, and he appeared to display greater "magical powers" than did the magicians of Egypt by turning his staff into a serpent that devoured theirs, by striking the Red Sea with his staff and it parted, which then destroyed Pharaoh and his army by drowning them, by striking the rock with his staff which then split apart, producing water for all the Israelites to drink, and a host of other "magical works" that he apparently performed in the desert.


     Indeed, that Satan might have made Moses out to be a magician and a "god" seems plausible enough, given that modern Gnostics do present him this way today, in keeping with their own occultic interpretations of the Book of Exodus. Take for example the following excerpt, written by a modern Gnostic by the name Samael Aun Weor, who paints Moses as a magician rather than merely a servant of the Most High God:

     When one reads Exodus, one cannot do anything but be amazed by Moses’s formidable powers… by raising his staff (the י Iod of the Rabbis, the Tau of the prophets) the waters were transformed into blood... With another movement of his staff, the waters became clear... then Moses raised his scepter and all the houses of the Egyptians were filled with monstrous and gigantic frogs... thereafter Exodus explains that he provoked a hailstorm upon the land of Egypt... Moses then made swarms of flies and other plagues appear over the land of Egypt, yet the Pharaoh did not want the Hebrew people to go... Moses stretched his staff over the sea and caused the waters of the sea to be separated so that the people could cross the midst of the sea upon the dry ground… So, there is power in all these passages about Moses. There is a lot of alchemical and kabbalistic symbolism that is worth scrutiny, i. e., when he smites the rock with his staff, and water springs out of it… When he came down from the Mount Sinai, his face shone, and when the multitudes beheld the shining skin of his face they were frightened… there is no doubt that Moses possessed remarkable powers. (Moses: The Great Kabbalist And Alchemist Magi, Lectures By Samael Aun Weor, Gnostic

     As for why Michael refused to defame the Devil, Jude stated that he dared not do so, for despite being "greater in strength and power," Michael still respected Satan as a formidable adversary. The suggestion is that Michael knew why Satan was trying to keep the body of Moses from being buried, and thus he may have been severely tempted to deride him as a deceiver intent only on destroying God's people. But Michael refrained, and showed obedience to God in the midst of it.
     The followers of Simon, however, were not so wise, for they "did not tremble at defaming those clothed in glory [i.e. and power]." As will be seen, this folly arose from the fact that they actually had no idea what they were really defaming, or the kind of power these angels truly possessed.

The Gnostics Only Wielded Power Over Demonic Spirits

     Thus, as fantastic as it seems, Simon of Samaria and the other Gnostic magicians who succeeded him all claimed to wield power over the gods of the nations. To quote Irenaeus again:

     They practice also magical arts and incantations; philters and love potions; and have recourse to familiar spirits, dream-sending demons, and other abominations, declaring that they possess power to rule over, even now, the princes and formers of this world. (Ante Nicene Fathers, V.1, P.350)
     At least where the gods of the nations were concerned, this boast of theirs was plausible in one respect: The gods the nations worshipped were in reality demonic spirits, and from very same class as those which were empowering these magicians to perform their works of sorcery. As was revealed to Harold Pittman in a vision given to him in 1980, this class of demons were half-animal, half-human in appearance:

     Demons from the third order appeared to be part man - part animal, resembling figures from Greek mythology… This group possessed skills in the area of the black arts, such as sorcery, false religion, magic, self-destruction, psychic phenomenon, the occult, necromancy, Satan worship, and all the other related areas of expertise. (Pittman, Demons: An Eyewitness Account, P.34, 35)

     Basilides, one of Simon's successors, taught that the "unknown father," the highest of all the gods and higher than the God of the Jews and His angels, was actually named Abrasax (often mistranslated Abraxas). Yet amulets and magic rings that survive of this god make it abundantly clear that Abrasax was nothing more than lowly demon of witchcraft, depicted as having the head of a bird, the torso of a man, and serpents for legs.

     But what the Gnostics were either blindly or willingly unaware of was that the angels which protected the Jewish nation were NOT demonic spirits. They were angels of God, some more powerful than even Satan himself. And whereas demons allowed themselves to be used by magicians whenever it served Satan's purposes, no man on earth wielded control over the angels of God. Rather, they executed judgment against mankind whenever the commandment of God went forth for them to do so. One angel alone is credited with having killed over 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in a single night when king Sennacherib attempted to conquer Jerusalem:

     “Therefore, this is what the Lord says concerning the king of Assyria: ‘He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here. He will not come before it with shields, or build a siege ramp against it. By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city,' declares the Lord. 'I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David, My servant.’ That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning - there were all the dead bodies. So Sennacherib, king of Assyria, broke camp and withdrew. (2 Kings 19:32-35)   

     Again, First Chronicles records that a single angel killed 70,000 people in Israel by means of pestilence in the aftermath of Satan seducing King David into trusting in the strength of his armies rather than in the power of Almighty God:

     Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel… So Gad went to David and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Take your choice: three years of famine, three months of being swept away before your enemies, with their swords overtaking you, or three days of the sword of the Lord - days of plague in the land, with the angel of the Lord ravaging every part of Israel.’ Now then, decide how I should answer the One who sent me.”
     David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into human hands.” So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell dead. And God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem. But as the angel was doing so, the Lord saw it and relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord was then standing at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing between Heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand extended over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell facedown. (1 Chronicles 21:1, 11-16)


Like Balaam, The Gnostics Were Dead Men Walking

     For Jude and Peter, the prophet Balaam was a forerunner of the Gnostics, because he too resorted to the occult arts as a soothsayer and a diviner, yet was blind to the dangers he was placing himself in by defying God. When the ambassadors from Balak first came to Balaam, he went to inquire from God whether he should go with them to curse Israel or not. The Lord strictly forbid Balaam from going, telling him the Israelites were blessed (Numbers 22:12). However, when the ambassadors returned with offers of even greater reward and Balaam went again to inquire if God would permit him to go, the Lord then responded, "If the men have come to call you, rise up and go with them. But you shall say only the word which I speak to you." (Numbers 22:20). Having already told him the Israelites were blessed, the context suggests God expected Balaam to interpret this to mean, "If they insist on you going with them, by all means go right ahead, but you will bless them and not curse them." Had Balaam properly relayed this message to the ambassadors, they would have finally been deterred from continuing to ask. But Balaam, blinded by greed, simply saddled his donkey and went with them, implying he was now agreeing to their request.
     From here, the rest of the Biblical account flows naturally:   

     And God was very angry that he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a sword drawn in his hand, it turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat it to get it back on the road.
     Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path through the vineyards, with walls on both sides. When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat the donkey again.
     Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?” Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.” The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” “No,” he said. Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown. The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.” Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.” The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” So Balaam went with Balak’s officials. (Numbers 22:21-35)

     The apostle Peter likened the followers of Simon's heresy to people leaving the straight way of Christianity to go astray, following the way of Balaam instead, and insanely walking headlong towards their deaths in doing so. Even dumb animals were smart enough not to dare angels of God to take their lives. And, as is evident from numerous Bible passages already covered, God was executing judgment through His angels during New Testament times just as He had during Old Testament times.   

     Forsaking the straight way, they went astray, having followed in the footsteps of Balaam of Bosor, who loved the reward of unrighteousness, but received a reproof of his own wickedness, the dumb donkey, having spoken in a man's voice, hindered the insanity of the prophet. (2 Peter 2:15-16)

The Lusts Of The Flesh: A Lure For The Masses

     In First Timothy, Paul used graphic imagery to show how Satan used the temptations of the flesh to lure people away from the faith. By pursuing after these lusts instead of God, they were falling into a trap that would lead to their spiritual deaths:

     But those who wish to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many senseless and harmful desires which plunge men into destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all evils, which some, aspiring after, were led astray from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many painful wounds. (1 Timothy 6:9-10)

     As already alluded to, the imagery used here was of a trapper digging a deep pit, covering it with branches and leaves, and then placing bait over the top to entice wild beasts. Upon falling through the animal plunged to its death, for at the bottom of the pit they would place sticks, sharpened to a point, and embedded into the earth. Sticking up out of the ground, these pierced the animal's body upon impact, killing it.   
     The Gnostics fit this analogy perfectly, for like animals they were being baited by lusts of the flesh. But Satan was in turn using them to create a form of "Christianity" to tempt the masses with as well, for a lifestyle of feasting and sexual indulgence is what many during ancient times sought after. And Gnostic teachings that were being presented offered them a religion that allowed them to indulge these lusts, and even attend the Roman festivals to fulfill them without having to worry about practicing anything resembling religious self-control.
     The Romans held several festivals every month in honor of various gods. During these festivals, those who attended ate meat sacrificed to idols. But the true Christians shunned these feasts for obvious reasons. As Paul would tell the Corinthians:

     What am I saying then? That meat sacrificed to an idol is anything? [No]. But that the things which the nations sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not God. And I do not want you to be fellow partakers of demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Or do we not provoke the Lord to jealousy? (1 Corinthians 10:19-22a)

     Several such festivals would degenerate into sexual immorality. Saturnalia, a week long festival held in the month of December, was famous for dissolving into debauchery and drunken orgies. Attendees reclined in luxury to engage in feasting and drinking, and later gave themselves to whatever sexual indulgences presented themselves.     


     According to Revelations, not was this the lifestyle that the followers of Simon's heresy led, but they were encouraging true believers within the churches in Asia Minor to do so as well, and with success:

     And to the angel of the church at Thyatira write: "These things saith the Son of God… I have against you that you suffer the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and teaches and misleads My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her time that she might repent of her sexual immorality, but she does not want to repent of it. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and those who commit adultery with her into great affliction if they will not repent of their works. And I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the reins and hearts, and will give to each of you according to your works. (Revelation 2:18-23)

     Most tragically, however, the Gnostics regarded the Christian feasts like any other pagan feast, as an opportunity to indulge in the lusts of the flesh. Early Christian feasts were referred to as Agapes or "love feasts" because they were an opportunity for wealthier believers to provide poorer members with a good meal. But the Gnostic "Christians" were attending these gatherings looking only to engorge themselves, prey sexually upon the spiritually naive, and then lead them into heresy: 

     They are spots and blemishes, luxuriating with deceitful intentions while feasting among you, having eyes preoccupied with an adulteress and incessant sin, alluring unstable souls, having a heart trained upon sexual covetousness… For, by speaking egotistically inflating words of vanity, through the lusts of the flesh they allure into sexually licentious practices those nearly escaping from among the ones living in error, promising them freedom, yet themselves being slaves of corruption. (2 Peter 2:13b-14, 18-19)

     This last passage explains exactly how the lure was being used. The heretics were taking them aside and promising them "freedom" to attend whatever feasts they wanted and engage in whatever sexual sins they desired. But in reality, this so-called freedom was ending in enslavement: After death, they would find they had been lured into a pit of suffering from which they would never escape, and never know freedom again.   

Facing Eternal Corruption In The Pits Of Hell

     True to the analogy, most of those whom Satan baits through the lusts of the flesh find themselves in a pit of Hell after death. Others are taken to prison cells, but the vast majority are taken to the pits. Most tragically, unlike bodies on earth, in Hell they come to realize that their spiritual bodies are eternal, which means they will exist in this state of torment forever. So, too, does the knowledge slowly set in that they will never ever get out.
     As was shown to Mary K. Baxter in a vision, the realities of Hell are now being revealed in greater detail than ever before in human history. Included in these visions are descriptions of the exact dimensions of these pits that sinners are cast into after death. The following is Mary's description of what she saw upon entering the left leg of Hell:

     Jesus and I stepped from the tunnel onto a path with wide swaths of land on each side of it.  There were pits of fire everywhere as far as the eye could see.  The pits were four feet across and three feet deep and shaped like a bowl.  Jesus said, "There are many pits like this in the left leg of Hell.  Come, I will show you some of them."
     I stood beside Jesus on the path and looked into one of the pits.  Brimstone was embedded in the side of the pit and glowed red like hot coals of fire.  In the center of the pit was a lost soul who had died and gone to Hell.  Fire began at the bottom of the pit, swept upward and clothed the lost soul in flames.  In a moment the fire would die down to embers, then with a rushing sound would sweep back over the tormented soul in the pit. (Baxter, A Divine Revelation Of Hell, P.23)

     As those who have read or heard her testimony know, eventually the Lord allowed her to experience Hell as if she were a sinner died and gone to Hell herself. One of the first things she noticed was how quickly bodily corruption began to set in:

     As I lay there, a strange, gooey film began to cover my body with a stink so horrible I felt sick. I did not know what was going to happen. And then I felt my flesh and skin begin to fall off my bones! I screamed and screamed in abject horror. "O Jesus," I called out, "where are You?" I looked at myself and saw that holes were beginning to appear all over my remaining flesh. I began to turn a dirty-gray color, and gray flesh fell off me. There were holes in my sides, my legs, my hands and my arms. I cried out, "Oh, no! I am in Hell forever! Oh, no!" I began to feel the worms inside me, and looked to find that my bones were teeming with them. Even when I could not see them, I knew they were there. I tried to pull them off me, but more came to fill the place. I could actually feel the decay in my body. (Baxter, A Divine Revelation Of Hell, P.175-176)

     As shown in the opening study to this series, Satan is working hard to reintroduce Gnostic heresy into the earth today by means of numerous books, television documentaries and movies (See Study #2). If he succeeds, the same warnings Jude and Peter gave in their epistles will again need repeating to the faithful. Those foolishly baited by the lusts of the flesh into turning against God and defaming Him will only to end up victims of a trap far more horrible than anything ever set for an animal. They will never get out, and forever know just how true the warnings of Jude and Peter had been.

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