Apostle Jude shows that Archangel Michael contends for the faith. March 12, 2008Posted by mercedescoleen in God.
Tags: About Angels, Angels, Angels at Work, Angels of God, Archangel Michael, God, Heaven, The Archangels
I used the previous post to show how Apostle Jude used a series of conjunctions and similarities to show that any one who disbelieved the truth would experience this condemnation, of everlasting chains, darkness and eternal fire. This was the vengeance given to the Jews who died in the wilderness, the angels that fell and the men of Sodom and Gomorrah. It was the fate reserved for the false and ungodly teachers of his day as well as anyone who would disobey the truth, deny God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
These groups sinned also by despising dominion and speaking evil of dignities or of the Lord in the same way that the men of Sodom disrespected the Lord when He visited their city to determine the nature of the sins (Gen 18 and 19).
I also said in the last post that Prince Michael was introduced in Jude 1: 9 with the words:
“Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee”
The use of the conjunction “YET” at the beginning of the verse is a direct relationship to all that was said before about false and ungodly teachers and particularly their attitude to the Lord.
1. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN VERSES 8 AND 9/INFERENCES THAT WE CAN MAKE
Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
These scriptures reveal the fierceness of the wrestling between Chief Prince Michael and the devil for Moses’ body. The devil must have called the Lord all sorts of names, accusing and railing against Him, making false claims about his right to Moses’ body. Yet Prince Michael did not respond in kind as He exerted His authority over the devil by rebuking the enemy in the name of the Lord.
The Lord asked me why was the devil contending for Moses’ body. As I pondered, several possible reasons came to me. First, the devil is a liar, thief and accuser of the brethren. He must have said that had Moses lost his right to inherit heaven because he struck the rock rather than speaking to it. Remember that he did so out of anger and that the Lord had told him that he would not inherit the Promised Land? Secondly, Moses was the greatest Prophet of his time. His power was comparable to that of the Lord Jesus and he talked with God face to face.
Moses had told the Jews “The LORD … God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken” (Deut 18: 15).I do not know if the miracles that he had done were comparable to any other Prophet in scripture. I believe that the devil wanted his body in revenge for the great warfare he waged and embarrassment suffered by the kingdom of hell.
Is there significance in the Prince’s rebuke to the devil? Yes, there is. All power is given to Him in heaven and earth and God had declared before the foundation of the earth that every knee would bow and every tongue would confess to Him:
I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear (Isa 45: 23).
No weapon formed against God will prosper (Isa 54: 17). The psalmist had prophetically said that God would not allow Jesus to go to hell (Ps 16: 10, Acts 2: 31). While speaking about Jesus, scriptures also revealed that God claimed all of His sleeping saints and took them into His presence. Did He not reveal to Moses that He was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Ex 3: 6). Jesus later taught the Jews that God is the God of the Living and not the dead. In God’s vocabulary, saints sleep while the dead are in hell (Mt 22: 32; 1 Cor 15: 51). Did not Jesus in the transfiguration reveal that Prophets Moses and Elijah were alive in Paradise? (Mt 17: 1-3). Did not the rich man see Abraham alive rather than in the place of torment? (Lk 16).
Based on Jude 1: 8,9, we know from scripture that there is continuous contention between God and man since humans disrespect God and continually refuse to walk in His ways. For example, God was in continuous contention with the Jews of Moses’ day. He had to repeatedly destroy many of them for their licentiousness (remember how Moses found them naked and involved in idolatry after returning with the Commandments?).
How about the contention between God and the angels that fell as satan tried to become God, inciting angels to riot? War resulted in heaven and Chief Prince Michael tossed the devil out as fast as lightning (Isa 14; Ezekiel 28; Rev 12: 7-10; Lk 10: 18).
The Lord’s temptation in the wilderness is another example of how the devil rails against and disrespects God. Jesus contended with the devil in that situation by rebuking him with the word of God.
Prince Michael is revealed in scripture as the Great Contender against the devil. Apostle Paul talked about the “terror of the Lord” (2 Cor 5: 11) and we know that He never loses a battle. As captain of the Lord’s host, Prince Michael used His authority against the devil when contending for Moses’ body. He said instead, “The Lord rebuke thee”. The principle here is that there are three that agree in heaven under one name LORD. Every word of the Lord is established in the mouths of two or more witnesses. What God says is forever settled in the heaven (Ps 119: 89). Did not Jesus use the same approach when rebuking the enemy as he used Peter to deter Him from going to the cross?:
But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men (Mt 16: 23)
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve (Lk 4: 8).
2. THE BELIEVER’S CONTENTION
Jude began by saying that the saints should earnestly contend with false teachers in order to uphold the truth of the faith. He links the nature of our contention with that of Prince Michael’s by using the same word to describe the warfare for Moses’ body.
The Prince contended based on His authority over the devil and knowledge of the word. Moses did not belong in hell since he was the servant of the Lord. Satan is revealed here as a thief of God’s property. God never lets the enemy escape with his devices. We are to follow Prince Michael’s lead in the warfare. He taught us how to war and showed us that the gates of hell shall never prevail against the church.