Metaphors for Apostasy
Jude 12 – 13
A Metaphor is a comparisons by direct statement. In Jn. 15:1 Jesus says that “I am the true vine”. This does not mean that He is a literal vine, but that He can be compared to one. Jude uses here nature to compare the evil works of the apostates.
I. These are spots in your feasts of charity ( hidden dangers of apostasy)
A. The word “spot” here in Greek means “rock”.
B. These apostates were compared to “hidden rocks” who threatened the peace and purity of the church.
C. Hidden rocks are the seamen’s worst dangers, and they generally prove the most fatal. They account for the disappearance of many ship and its brave crews.
1. The Apostates have crept into the Church sneakily, not being possessed of the spiritual qualifications they professed to have.
2. They perverted the gospel to evil ends. “They turned the grace of our God unto lasciviousness.” They separated religion from good morals and good life.
3. There was denial of essential Christian doctrine. “Denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
D. The “feasts of charity” were meals common to the apostolic age at which the saints met for social, charitable, and humanitarian reasons. Mostly the rich and the well to do supplies the foods.
E. These “feasts” are somewhat connected way with the Lord’s Supper;
F. “Feeding themselves without fear.” Jude 8-11
G. The word translated “feeding” means “shepherding.” Instead of shepherding the flock and caring for the needs of the people, these apostates only take care of themselves. Jude may have had in mind Isa. 56:10-12 and Ezek. 34, where the prophets condemned the political and spiritual leaders of the nation (“shepherds”) for exploiting the people and caring only for themselves.
H. The apostates turned the love feasts into ordinary meal resulting into greed, pride, and drunkenness while other poor members were neglected and become hungry.
I. Paul sharply rebuked the corruption of the supper into a meal (I Cor. 11:17-34).
With the recent Pentecostal Scandal, the supposed to be spiritual leaders were guilty of spending the church money so they can live luxuriously, engage in extra marital relationship, even having sex with a prostitute. The latest scandal in one of the biggest congregation in the Philippines the “Iglesia ni Cristo”, teaches that Christ is only a human. The church leaders takes bribes from the politicians before elections and use that huge amount of money for their enjoyment.
II. “Clouds they are without water (false promise of apostasy)
A. Like “clouds” which offer promises of refreshing waters, they however, leave no rain. Compare Proverbs 25:14.
B. These clouds are said to be carried away by the winds.
C. No doubt, the winds here are demonic activity. Apostates are captives of Satan
III. “Trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit (fruitlessness of apostasy)
A. The Greek here indicates “late autumn trees” without fruit.
B. These trees remain fruitless or barren when fruit is expected
Clouds and Trees: Jude tells his readers that the false teachers are like clouds without water and autumn trees without fruit in that they appear to be valuable in their teaching, but they are of no benefit to the church and will thus be judged just as the fruitless tree is uprooted. Fake healers and those who claim to raise a deceased person from the dead is the best example for this. Benny Hinn is one of them. Take a look at other “faith healers”, they promise healing from sickness but never fulfil their empty promises, everything is fakery.
IV. “Raging waves of the sea. (chaos and its debris)
A. The sea is often a symbol for evil in the Bible (Isa. 57:20, 21).
B. Jude warns his readers that the false teachers are like the turbulent sea which throws up its debris on the shore in that the teachers have a harmful, corrupting effect upon those who come under their influence.
C. The apostasy of the last days will be characterized by much learning (2 Tim. 3:7)
Health, wealth, and prosperity preachers are on this category. Pastors who are great speakers but don’t really know the Word of God. They include psychology in their teachings and variety of ways on how to be happy and rich. Joel Osteen may have the biggest congregation in the US and to the standard of the world, he is successful, but in the eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ, I honestly think that he is not. The Pentecostal crowd is really very big, but are they really “big” in the eyes of God? I don’t think so.
V. Wandering Stars for whom the gloom of darkness is forever reserved.”(metaphor for error and sin) Compare Isaiah 57:20, II Peter.
A. Jude warns his readers that the false teachers are like “stars” which go astray from their ordained courses and thus mislead men, who look to them for guidance, away from God’s design resulting in judgment
B. Wandering stars shines in a moment and since they have no direction, they will be gone forever.
C. Wandering stars does not necessarily refer to ordinary stars that continuously shine and have fixed location or orbit.
D. The term may mean a meteor or “shooting star” that flashes across the sky brightly shining and then disappears forever into the utter darkness (cf. v. 6).
E. False teachers often appear for a short time and become famous. They promise enduring spiritual light and direction but deliver nothing but an erratic, aimless, worthless doctrine. The utter darkness of hell has been reserved forever for them (2 Peter 2:4, 9, 17).
I would mention the name of David Koresh here of the Branch Davidian and Jim Jones who encouraged his congregation to commit suicide. Usually the head of the cults fall on this category and there are so many of them for me to mention it here.
It is a fearful thing to be associated or to be indoctrinated with the erroneous doctrine and practices of these Apostate False teachers. We need to warn and teach those people who are in danger of being led to hell by them. Will you do your duty as a soldier of Jesus Christ? Let’s warn others while there is still time. Tomorrow may be too late.