Jude 11-12

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Text: Jude 11 b-12

APOSTATE TEACHERS

In verses 1-4 we saw the -

INTRODUCTION to the epistle of Jude.

In verse 4 we saw the reason Jude wrote this letter -

Jude 4 - For there are certain men crept in unawares [i.e. sneaked in stealthily into the local churches], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [i.e. into licentiousness, sensuality, or debauchery - it speaks of sexual excesses], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

In verses 5-7 we also saw that -

I. THESE FALSE TEACHERS WHO HAVE CREPT INTO THE CHURCHES ARE REMINISCENT OF HISTORICAL EXAMPLES OF UNBELIEF

By referring to these three historical examples of unbelief, Jude is showing that, just as the ones in these examples did not get away with their sin and were (or would eventually be) judged for their sin, so these false teachers in Jude's day will not get away with their sin either. Judgment for them is inevitable.

The first Old Testament example of unbelief Jude cites is -

1. The unbelievers in Exodus - v. 5

The second Old Testament example of unbelief Jude cites is -

2. The angels which kept not their first estate - v. 6

The third Old Testament example of unbelief Jude cites is -

3. Sodom and Gomorrah - v. 7

We are in the process of seeing some characteristics of these false teachers -

According to verse 8, they are dreamers, they defile the flesh, they do not recognize authority, and they blaspheme glorious angelic beings.

According to verse 10, they are ruining themselves in things about which they have no spiritual perception.

According to verse 11a, they are attempting to approach God on their own terms apart from the blood of Christ rather than on God's terms through the blood of Christ.

Next we see that -

VIII. THESE FALSE TEACHERS HAVE RUN GREEDILY AFTER THE ERROR OF BALAAM FOR REWARD - Jude 11

Jude 11 - (11) Woe unto them! for they . . . ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward. . . .

Ran greedily after is the word ordinarily translated poured out. Here it is used in the sense of gave up themselves to or abandoned themselves to.

At the very time he was writing, they were abandoning themselves to the error of Balaam for reward.

The error of Balaam is the delusion, the deceit, or the deception to which Balaam was subjected.

Reward is literally wages and was used figuratively of reward. Balaam was a hireling prophet who sold out to the highest bidder. He was not a man of God with a good character.

The story of Balaam is found in Numbers 22-25 . Balak, the king of Moab, attempted to hire Balaam to curse Israel. Balak had seen how the Israelites had defeated other nations in the area and knew that he and his nation were next in line. He sent his messengers to hire Balaam to curse Israel.

Balaam showed his true character when he even bothered to consult the Lord to see what he should do. He should have said no and immediately sent these messengers on their way. It was not an idea he should have considered in the first place, not even for a moment. The Lord had already told him that he should not go.

Balak sent additional messengers with more gifts, and Balaam again inquired from the Lord regarding what he should do. He already knew the Lord's will on this matter. There was no point in asking the Lord about it again.

This time, however, the Lord told him to go, but Balaam should not have gone. This is clear because when he was on the way, the angel of the Lord met him with sword drawn.

Balak told Balaam to curse Israel; but every time Balaam opened his mouth, a blessing came out of his mouth instead.

Eventually, Balaam counseled Balak to have the Moabites intermarry with the Israelites, knowing that this would corrupt them.

The error of Balaam was that he used his prophetic office for personal gain, whether for money, popularity, fame, or applause. Not only did Balaam go wrong himself, but he used his position, his influence, and his reputation to lead Israel astray from worshiping the Lord to the impure worship of Baal.

In the same way these false teachers in Jude's day were using whatever abilities they had for the purpose of promoting themselves and endeavoring to make their services attractive by excluding whatever was strenuous, difficult, or unpalatable to the unbeliever or to the carnal Christian, thereby opening the door to every kind of indulgence imaginable.

Jude reminds us that the cross is an offense to unbelievers. They want heaven apart from the cross, and there are enough false teachers around to teach them something different, anything different, but not the cross and not personal salvation.

IX. THESE FALSE TEACHERS HAVE PERISHED IN THE GAINSAYING OF CORE - Jude 11

Jude 11 - (11) Woe unto them! for they have . . . perished in the gainsaying of Core.

They have perished is a dramatic way of saying they are perishing. They were still alive at the time Jude wrote, but they would perish eternally just as surely as the fact that they were false teachers.

Perished is the same word translated perish in John 3:16 [For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.] Perished means have been destroyed, have been ruined, have died, or are lost. They are lost in their sins and are going to die physically. However, their physical death is only the first death they will experience. They will also experience the second death when they are cast into the lake of fire, and they will perish forever in the lake of fire.

In the gainsaying of Core is literally in the contradiction of Core. Here it is used in the sense of in the hostility of Core or in the rebellion of Core.

Core is spelled Korah in the Old Testament.

The story of Korah is found in Numbers 16 .

Korah and some with him rose up before Moses in the presence of two hundred fifty princes of the assembly of Israel and told Moses and Aaron that they took too much on themselves, that the Lord was among all the congregation, and that Moses and Aaron had exalted themselves above the congregation. Moses told them that the next day the Lord would indeed show them whom He had chosen. On the next day the earth opened up and swallowed Korah and those who had joined him in his rebellion along with their houses and goods. They went down alive into the pit; the earth closed upon them; and they perished from among the congregation.

These false teachers in Jude's day will also endure the Lord's wrath for their sin, and they will perish in hell. Their comparison to Korah in his rebellion suggests that they likewise were rebelling against God's appointed leaders.

X. THESE FALSE TEACHERS ARE SPOTS IN YOUR FEASTS OF CHARITY - Jude 12

Jude 12 - These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear. . . .

These refers to the same false teachers Jude has been discussing throughout his epistle.

Are spots is are stains or are blemishes. Another possible meaning of the word is are rocks washed by the sea, are reefs, or are hidden reefs. The difference is that as spots or stains they would be detracting and, perhaps, embarrassing; but as hidden reefs they would be dangerous and pose a threat to shipping in the area. Either meaning is possible, and both appear to be true regardless of which Jude intended. They would be detracting and embarrassing to genuine believers, and they might definitely make shipwreck of others whom they would lead astray.

When the believers came together for worship, they would have feasts of charity or love feasts, i.e. fellowship meals. These were common meals held in conjunction with church services, having the purpose of fostering and expressing brotherly love.

When they feast with you suggests that, while at the same time they are eating with believers, they are spots in the love feasts or fellowship meals.

Feeding themselves without fear also occurs at the very time they are spots in the feasts of charity.

Feeding is the same term used of pastors who feed their flocks. Here it is themselves they are nurturing.

Without fear suggests without reverence. The word may also mean shamelessly. Both meanings seem appropriate for this group.

The fact that they are feasting with believers, feeding themselves without fear (or shamelessly), indicates that they have infiltrated the local church and are posing as believers.

XI. THESE FALSE TEACHERS ARE CLOUDS WITHOUT WATER - Jude 12

Jude 12 - These are . . . clouds . . . without water, carried about of winds. . . .

They are waterless clouds or dry clouds. They promise a lot, but they do not deliver. They do not fulfill the purpose for which they exist.

A farmer whose crops are in need of rain will be greatly disappointed by these clouds. People in spiritual need will likewise be greatly disappointed by these false teachers who promise more than they can deliver.

Carried about by winds is carried here and there by winds. They do not even seem to be going in a consistent direction.

XII. THESE FALSE TEACHERS ARE TREES WITHOUT FRUIT - Jude 12

Jude 12 - These are . . . trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots.

This suggests these false teachers are trees belonging to late autumn. This would be the time of the harvest, and these trees should be expected to have fruit.

Without fruit, however, tells us that they were fruitless. Although they should have had fruit in late autumn, they did not. Thus, these trees do not fulfill the purpose for their existence any more than the clouds without water did. Similarly, these false teachers in Jude's day are fruitless.

These trees are also described as twice dead. They have the apparent death of winter in that they are fruitless, and they are also dead in that they have been plucked up by the roots.

Plucked up by the roots means pulled out by the roots. Once they are plucked up by the roots, they will never bear fruit in the future either.

Similarly, these false teachers are twice dead.

They have not been saved; so, they are dead in their trespasses and sins. There can be nothing fruitful about them.

They are also dead because they have strayed away from Bible Christianity. The fact that they have strayed from the teachings of Christianity means that they also will not be saved in the future if they continue their present course because they have already rejected the only means of salvation there is. They are heading in the wrong direction spiritually.

Although one might expect these men to minister the Word of God, there is no spiritual food for the saints.

Scriptures
Series

This sermon is the 5th part of the series, Study of Jude. Other sermons in this series are: