“Likewise also these [filthy] dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion and speak evil of dignities.” Jude 8
Translation. Of four translations checked, Lenski’s, one of them, is certainly textually the most satisfactory. It reads, “Yet in similar manner these, too. dreaming, for one thing, defile flesh; for the other, set at nought lordship; for still another, blaspheme glories.”
“These, too,” are those of verse 4 who crept in unawares. They in a manner similar to those already cast out of the church, out of heaven and out of this world into hell, commit a similar set of crimes to those made warning examples of terrible judgments. Devising, dreaming, fantasizing they defile flesh, reject rulership and blaspheme glories. This is what not false prophets but false teachers (1 Pet.2: l) do. Note what they do in the public-school system and in the modern humanistic educational institutions. They defile flesh with their “Planned Parenthood” and S.I.E.C.U.S. type of sex-education programs; they teach pupils to reject the authority of Christ, of parents, even of government; and they blaspheme such glories as God, His church, the Gospel and the doctrines of Scripture. The King James Version is justified in adding its brand to mark them “Filthy dreamers.” They rub shoulders with sodomites, claiming “equal rights” for all abominable life-styles.
These false teachers were originally Judaizers. They stirred up the Jewish people with hatred and lies against the apostles and the burgeoning Christian church, as we know from the Book of Acts. But these false teachers of Judaism still stand inimical to the church. Piously they defend their cause with cries of “Anti-Semitism!” while they are as anti-Christian as they can be. In a tourist information book, “Jerusalem”, by Leon Uris (Doubleday, 1981), we find this: “Jesus, whose Hebrew name was Joshua, was never anything but a pious Jew from birth to death. His conversion to Christianity was made by others long after his mortal departure. . .For decades after the death of Jesus the Jew religion depended solely on oral tradition. Christian literature was very slow. . .in establishing itself. When the written literature finally did emerge, it was long after the fact, highly suspect as to accuracy, and so unreliable (totally ignoring such literary documentation as Luke’s Gospel, cp. 1:1-4: 60 A.D. rch) in parts it has confused and embarrassed Christian theologians in all ages. . . Much of the actual Christian religion was invented long after Jesus’ lifetime. . .as Jews we believe him a genius, a great prophet and teacher, and one of the world’s foremost humanitarians, but a mortal. Treating him as a man rather than a deity, we often get contrasting views, for the historical Jesus and the religious Jesus are often wholly different. . .” (pp. 127, 128). As Jude said they blaspheme glories, this quotation shows that they still do, Also the Jewish Encyclopedia (1905) probably still may be found in a college library where it may be noted that Balaam the false prophet is viewed as a type of Jesus, himself one of the worst of the false prophets; that his birth was illegitimate: that in Egypt he took to magic, witchcraft and idolatry. More in this vein presents Christianity as most base and vile. The Talmud upon examination soon strikes the reader with its propensity to anarchy. A vast work of 63 books, it defiles flesh, sets at nought the lordship of Jehovah and His law and blasphemes the glories (attributes) of the God of Israel. In character the Talmud is irreverent, even irreligious, markedly apostate and self-declarative of ingrained anti-Mosaicism.
Dreaming. They speak of God revealing himself to them, not in Scripture, or in the preaching of the Word, but in dreams, voices, apparitions, angel (spirit) manifestations, in private miracles, in sensational conversion experiences. They say, “The Lord said to me this or that,” or “. . .told me to do so and so,” or “The Lord gave me this verse” (out of context, of course). All this is dreaming. So men tickle themselves with frothy delights, running from one bizarre religious experience to another, entertaining themselves continually with sweet dreams. In the place of Scripture, the only infallible rule (standard) of faith and life, they substitute the shifting sands of human experience. Men thus walk a while in the light of their own sparks, but eventually they will lie down in sorrow (Isa. 50:11). To hold the strange doctrines (opinions) of Jehovah’s Witnesses or of the Mormons is dreaming. This they do for they have allowed themselves to be blinded. Some of them take up with “transcendental meditation.” They let the mind go blank, attempting not to think anything. This opens the mind to the temptations of the devil. Take the dreaming of Christian Science – no such thing as “sin, sickness or death.” The reasoning is, that must be true which is pleasing and which allows one to enjoy one’s own interests. Their hope is to make an easy jump from Delilah’s lap into Abraham’s bosom. But dreams and lies cannot compete with the canonical books of Holy Scripture.
For one thing, they defile flesh. With their cursing, swearing, swilling, boozing, smoking pot and dreaming on drugs, they defile flesh. The theater, movie house, singles’ bar, discotheque, occult book store, the abortion clinic – these all defile flesh. The influence of error and false doctrine in the church pervert the heart, resulting in the taking of liberties the Lord never allowed. Christ’s yoke is cast off, conscience is lulled to sleep and a course of disobedience follows. Therefore avoid error in doctrine if you would avoid error and filthiness in life. For when a church is corrupted and perverted from the right way, flesh is defiled .
For another thing, they reject lordship. (KJV: they despise dominion.) The unjust judge is a good example of this: he “feared neither God nor man” (Lk. 18). Man is by nature an antinomian, an anarchist, a libertine (lecher), a libertarian (free-willist), so much so that he will not be ruled even by the dictates of conscience. Nothing may stand in the way of his lust. Nothing may be permitted to discriminate against his life’s style of sin. When God’s law is no more the ground of civil law, no life is safe. When we can have abortion on demand, infanticide (especially female) will be next, then euthanasia. Already the young are being taught that they have the right to decide how long the old shall live. Next is a facist, communist dictatorship in which all life daily hangs in the balance. The thinking of the feminist movement is also a despising of lordship. Women are viewed as equal parties over against men, giving them the right to rule, not only in the church, but also in the state. This is to despise the lordship of Christ who ordained that men have the place and authority to rule. The Old Testament church was the doctrine of verbal and plenary controlled by priests (not priestesses), patriarchs (not matriarchs), elders, kings, prophets, judges; in the New Testament, men (not women) were chosen as apostles, pastors, teachers, evangelists and missionaries.
“Despise dominion” and an attack is made on the divine authority of Scripture. Apostates cast aside the Bible as the only authoritative rule of faith and life. Creeds and confessions based upon the sole authority of Holy Writ have either been put into the discard or so changed and modernized that they no longer confess the truth they once did. The threat to our nation at this hour comes not from the Fundamentalists, much less from the Reformed, the Calvinists, but from those who deny the lordship of Christ in His role of sole Head of the church and King of nations.
As to still another thing, they blaspheme glories. (Cp. the same word glories in v. 9 and in I Pet. 1:11). These glories refer to the glories of God, of Christ, of heaven, of the church and of the gospel. Among the glories of heaven were the angels (called thrones and dominions) which the Sadducees rejected. The Sanhedrin rejected the apostles, glories in the church. The glories of the gospel are the doctrine of the Trinity, of the Deity, Sonship and Lordship of Christ, the Personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit, the doctrine of Predestination (the heart of the gospel), and the doctrine of particular, efficacious grace, to name a few. Apostates also reject the teaching of a personal God, a personal devil, a six day creation week, a literal and natural Adam, serpent, garden and flood. Also included among these glories of God’s truth is the glory of Scripture itself in inspiration and its final, infallible authority. Apostates blaspheme and speak evil of all these glories of the Faith. Their philosophy is expressed in the goodness of man’s nature, the power of man’s wisdom and the advancement of man’s kingdom.
Apostates are triple-dyed sinners in that they persist to the end in these three evils of defiling flesh, denying authority and blaspheming glories. Since this goes on within the church let us labor all the more to keep out of the church those who belong outside, and to keep in it those who belong in it. Sometimes when we thought a church would be organized in a certain locality (where apostasy prevails! and where today does it not prevail?), yet, because of these evils, that never happened. Nevertheless, the cause of Christ, never lapsing, goes forward with two churches springing up elsewhere. So that the devil never makes a gain over the cause of the mighty God of Jacob. The ungodly apostate world laughs as it causes so much devastation and ruin. Yet every day the Lord reverses evil by the Word of His power and the enemy falls pierced by the sword of truth. A group of Presbyterian believers were once expelled from and locked out of their church. They lost the church property, including their hymn-books. They had to meet in a rented building. One day that old church edifice, formerly theirs suddenly collapsed and went tumbling like Jericho’s walls right out into Philadelphia’s Broad Street a heap of ruin. Then let the enemy rage and sneer, but let us release more arrows of God’s word, pray more faithfully and vehemently, and labor more diligently for the cause of God’s kingdom!