Character traits are consistent enough wherein they become a credible barometer. If you doubt me, think back to how you reacted when someone did something outside their character. A guy who’s always yelling is easily ignored, but if the quiet guy at work with the pocket protector and button-down collar suddenly starts screaming at the top of his lungs, you know you have a problem. Why? Because it was uncharacteristic of him to begin screaming, so either there was an emergency, or you saw someone snap in real-time.
Thankfully we know what to expect from the devil and his minions. They can never take us by surprise because their playbook is obvious, and the way they attempt to deceive those of the household of faith is, by this point, repetitive to the point of being monotonous. It’s not in their nature to do something uncharacteristic. They’re not creative that way, so you look for the telltale signs that clearly foreshadow their intent.
I find myself continually having to make this point because repetition is the mother of learning: The devil is not your friend, he doesn’t want what’s best for you, he is not misunderstood, he didn’t get a bad rap, and he doesn’t need a little time to grow on you. There is nothing redeeming about the devil, and there is nothing noble about his intent. He has no desire to be friends, pen-pals, or Instagram buddies.
To this day, people are shocked that the devil lies. It’s his nature. It’s what he does. It’s like being surprised that a scorpion stings or a snake bites. It should shock you if he didn’t lie, but that’s never going to happen, so you’re safe.
As Jude continues his letter to the church, he not only informs them of certain individuals who have crept in but also how to spot them. There are telltale signs that are consistent and obvious if you know what to look for.
The first is the blatant attempt to turn the grace of God into lewdness or licentiousness. In layman’s terms, it’s insisting that grace is a license to sin rather than an impetus to abstain from it. By doing so, these individuals are essentially devaluing the blood of Christ and not placing the requisite value on His sacrifice. If Christ died that you might have life but every chance you get, you’re dancing with death and embracing its bony fingers are you really honoring God? Once saved from death unto life, why would you want to return there?
Another telltale sign that Jude tells the church to be on the lookout for is denying the singularity of Christ as the only way, truth, and life. That whole nonsense about many paths to the same destination that Oprah was pushing, you know where that came from, and you were warned that it was coming, but still, the gullible took the bait and asked for seconds. Tell us how we can circumvent the authority of Christ. Tell us how we can live like the world and expect heaven just because we feel as though we’re entitled to it.
The truth of it is that if you’re looking for confirmation bias, you’re going to find it. If you’re looking for someone to wink at the depravity and carve out some special dispensation for you, there are enough liars, thieves, and fools who are more than willing to do so. At least be honest with yourself and admit that they don’t care about you, have no love for you, and can’t be bothered with the fact that save for repentance, hell is your final destination.
Rather than allow ourselves to be confronted by reality, we call good evil and evil good, and those who, out of love, tell those in darkness that there is light are deemed bigoted and hateful.
Jude 8, “Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries.”
What is it to defile the flesh? We can speculate, or we can go to Scripture and allow it to elucidate the matter. When you use the Bible to interpret the Bible, the conclusions you come to are undeniably Biblical. When you use opinion, especially subjective opinion, usually what you have is an interpretation of your own making.
Matthew 15:19-20, ‘For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murder, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”
It’s only a matter of time before one of my daughters uses this verse to justify not washing their hands before dinner, but as far as what it means to defile the flesh, Jesus outlined no less than seven things. That these all proceed out of the heart is a lesson unto itself, going a long way to explain the current spiritual climate of the contemporary church, but each of these seven things corrupts or makes unclean those practicing them.
You cannot practice adultery, fornication, theft, blasphemy, or entreat evil thoughts and not be defiled somehow. Once defiled or corrupted, the individual in question remains compromised until such a time as true repentance is forthcoming. Other than the obvious public relations release about how they still love each other very much but have made the painful decision of going their separate ways, how can you tell if someone has been defiled? A surefire way is that the content of their messages changes dramatically from Biblical to Quazi-biblical. It shifts in a pronounced and visible way because they are subconsciously trying to justify their rebellion.
A more important question still is, what if they were never Biblical, to begin with? What if, for the entirety of their so-called ministry, all they were was a discount soothsayer who did nothing to prepare the people of God for what was coming?
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.
Posted on 14 May 2023 | 10:42 am
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