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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

December 18, 2013

Jude 12-16

  1. Verses 12-13. Jude continues his stern warning to the false teachers. Jude shares with his audience the main reasons they should avoid these false teachers and contend for the faith. Jude describes these false teachers in several ways to highlight the falsity of their message.

    1. The first description is their presence at the large communal gatherings of the church. These gatherings were to unite the church and draw them closer to God; the false teachers used these gatherings to undermine the gospel and the very intent of the feast. The feast that Jude refers to was called the "love feast" and is addressed by Paul in l Corinthians 11:20-22. The love feasts were gatherings of believers that were times of breaking bread and fellowship. These fellowships were the ancient communion celebrations. We only do a small commemoration, but the early church did more of a barbecue type of event. The verse is saying the people who participated in the love feasts, were "spots" in their fellowship. A spot normally is something that has contaminated what was pure. This word refers to a hidden rock or reef under the sea that could rip the bottom out of a ship. The false teacher is an ever-present danger lurking just out of sight waiting to destroy the unwary child of God. Their presence had the danger of sinking the “ship” of the church instead of supporting the church.

    2. The description continues saying they are clouds without water carried about by winds. A cloud without water can produce no rain on which plants must have. These waterless clouds look productive, but are empty. Within the last decade, we have seen examples of these teachers who with great fanfare and excitement promote new movements. However, in time they all fail because they are not based on biblical principles. They do not uplift men, but instead leave them spiritually empty. They appear to be able to water your soul, but instead they leave you thirstier and not satisfied.

    3. Jude says they are like trees whose fruit as the season progresses withers, and have no fruit are "twice dead plucked up by the roots." Jesus said in Matthew 15:13 "But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." The analogy is that these apostate teachers are like barren and worthless trees. They are worthless and should be plucked up and destroyed. Jude says they are "twice dead." They began as all men are, lost in their sins, but they falsely professed to come to the light, and after a time went back in their former state. Apostates are spiritually dead inside and cannot produce good fruit. Their end is that they are hopelessly spiritually dead; looking like trees in the winter that are devoid of leaves and fruit. When summer comes, these trees remain dead showing they have no life in them.

    4. He continues his description by calling them foaming waters. This is how the tide brings up the sea debris as it hits the shore. The junk that should be at the bottom keeps getting brought up to the top. These false teachers have a tendency because of their lust to bring the filth of the world into the church. Instead of leaving that stuff on the bottom they bring it to the top.

    5. His final description is that of wandering stars. Jude is not an astrophysics professor, but he knows that when so called shooting stars appear in the night sky they start off bright but their brightness is only short-lived because they soon disappear and their whereabouts are unknown as they fall into the darkness of the night.

  2. Verses 14-16. It is noteworthy that Jude mentions that Enoch, who was the seventh generation from Adam, and who prophesied of the coming of these apostate teachers. Genesis 5:24 says of Enoch, "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” He was unique because he pleased God and the Lord took him directly to heaven and he did not see death.

    1. Enoch was the only prophet before Noah that the Bible mentions. This is also the only place in the Bible that mentions the prophecy of Enoch. Jude shares that Enoch foretold that Jesus would come with "ten thousands of his saints." The number expressed means tens of thousands or a great number of holy ones. Jude shares that at the judgment the Lord will come with thousands upon thousands of his beloved children to judge those who have rejected the message of the gospel. Enoch said that when the Lord returns He comes to execute judgment. This is a stern warning to the apostate teachers and predicts their doom unless they repent.

    2. Jude reveals the character of these false and apostate people. They are grumblers forever complaining about something. Their lives are marked by pursuing the lusts of their flesh. They are great talkers who boast about themselves with pompous arrogance presenting themselves as experts on everything. The phrase "flatter others for their own advantage" is a literal rendering of the Greek text. It means people will use flattery to get the advantage over people. These "positive” preachers play up to the audience and preach to please the crowd. They certainly would not say anything to offend the sinner or expose his sin.

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