Lesson #4: Five Analogies to Apostasy, Verses 12 - 13
Five Analogies to Apostasy, Verses 12 - 13
As we continue our study in the book of Jude, we are going to see in verses 12 & 13 five analogies to apostasy. As found in the King James Version of the Bible they are:
1.- "Spots in your feasts of charity...." vs 12.
2. - "Clouds without water...." vs 12.
3. - "Trees whose fruit withereth....." vs 12.
4. - "Raging waves of the sea....." vs 13.
5. - "Wandering stars....." vs 13.
VS 12 - These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
These are spots - The Greek word for "spots" is SPILAS, meaning, "a sharply cleft rock, hidden or covered by the sea, a reef." This word was used in ancient Greek writings to refer to "a flaw, a stigma, a spot, or a stain."
These rocks or reefs or flaws refers to the emotional revolt of the soul. The rock, reef, or flaw itself is the emotional revolt, and the water that covers it refers to phony hypocrisy, pseudo love and pseudo happiness.
A rock or a reef covered with water can be very dangerous to a novice sailor, and sometimes to an experienced sailor. These water covered rocks or reefs have caused many sailors to be shipwrecked, simply because they can't see the rocks, or the reefs until their ship strikes one, and then it is to late.
In our context here, these believers are already in emotional revolt, and they have put on such a phony front that they pull other believers in, and cause them to be shipwrecked in their Christian life. Literally, "These ones are like rocks of destruction."
In your feasts of charity - This a prepositional phrase in the Greek. The words "feasts of charity" is a translation of one Greek word, AGAPE. The Greek word for love. In the first and second centuries after Christ, this word, AGAPE, developed a technical meaning referring to meals that the early church had either before or after its Bible classes. These meals were very easy to organize because all church services were held in the homes of believers. But the Gnostics began to be involved in these meals under a false pretense so the early church discontinued these meals. Therefore, it is not correct to translate AGAPE as "Feasts of Charity." These feasts were not started by the apostles, and these feasts did not endure very long. when positive believers saw the problems that these feasts caused, they simply cancelled the entire program.
AGAPE is the strongest Greek word for "love." It refers to a love that is impossible for humans to produce apart for the ministry of God the Holy Spirit. Some have called this "virtue-love." It is a love that is totally free from any mental attitude sins. When a believer in Jesus Christ is functioning in AGAPE love, he is free from all mental attitude sins. The point in this passage is that mental attitude sins destroy all areas of love in life, and the spots (rocks and the reefs) point to mental attitude sins resulting in emotional revolt of the soul. Mental attitude sins destroy the capacity for love, and that is why these apostates "Are rocks of desruction in your love."
The word "love" is in the plural in the Greek for one reason: it refers to all categories of love.
CATEGORY one love: Love toward God.Therefore, Jude is telling us that apostates put on a phony front of hypocrasy portraying love, when in reality they do not love at all.
CATEGORY two love: Love toward your spouse.
CATEGORY three love: Love toward friends.
When they feast with you - This is actually one Greek word, SUNEUOCHEOMAI, which means, "to feast, to banquet, to party with, to socialize with." This refers to socializing with people you know, and in our context here it refers to a local church.
Literally, "These men keep on being rocks of destruction in the area of your loves when they are socializing with you."
Feeding themselves - The word "feeding" (15) is one of the Greek words for pastor or minister. It is POIMAINO, and it means, "to tend the flock, to direct, to superintend, to feed, to rule." This actually refers to a local church getting together and attempting to feed themselves spiritually. In other words, this refers to a local church who does not follow a system of authority in its function. This indicates that these people have rebelled against the duly appointed authority of the pastor-teacher. They in essence are revolutionists, and this resulted from the emotional revolt of the soul.
Literally, "These men keep on being rocks of destruction in the area of your loves when they are socializing with you, shepherding themselves."
Technically, this situation does not constitute an authorized New Testament church because there is no pastoral authority.
Without fear - The Greek word used here is actually the adverb APHOBOS, meaning, "fearless, fearlessly, boldly, shamelessly, without cause to be afraid, without reverence."
Literally, "These men keep on being rocks of destruction in the area of your loves when they are socializing with you, shepherding (pastoring) themselves without any cause to be afraid."
In other words, because of their degenerate apostate condition, their hearts have hardened to the point where they see no danger, they are without fear, and therefore they have no cause to be afraid. They are like an indvidual whose nerves have been deadened in his hand, and he has no feeling there. When he sticks his hand in the fire he feels no pain even though his hand is being damaged beyond repair. These apostates are like deadened nerves. They see no danger in their apostasy. In fact, apostasy is equivalent to novacaine in the soul. It deadens the soul to the point that it can't see danger or disaster.
The second analogy of apostasy deals with clouds.
Clouds they are without water, carried about of winds -
Clouds - The clouds here are analogous to apostates. Many times clouds may give the promise of rain, but no rain comes. Sometimes man even tries to "seed" the clouds to cause it to rain, but there is simply no water in the clouds. This teaches us that people can come to church, they can even participate in church functions. They can pray and they can give and they can offer help in many areas, but they are lacking what they should have.
They are - This is not in the Greek text, but it was inserted to smooth out the English.
Without water - Water is used three different ways in the Bible.
(1) - As literal water, H2,O.
(2) - Water is used as an analogy to represent something else, like salvation. Isaiah 55:1, Come all of you who are thirsty, come to the waters...."
John 4:13-15, "Jesus answered, Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
Revelation 22:17, ".....whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life."
(3) - Water is used for Bible doctrine, for the perfect Word of God: Ephesians 5:26, "....to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word." Jude 12, our passage.
Always keep in mind that apostate believers are negative toward the Word of God, and in being negative toward the Word of God, they do not have water, which means, they do not have Bible doctrine in their souls.
Carried about of winds - The Greek word for "carried about" is PARAPHERO, which means, "to be swept along, to be led away, to be misled, to be seduced." The little word "of" is a translation of the Greek prepositon HUPO meaning, "Under or by" referring to authority. This literally says, "under the authority of the winds." The word "winds" refers to "false doctrines." Ephesians 4:14 uses this same Greek word for "wind" referring it to false doctrines. "That we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every WIND of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming."
Literally, "Being led astray under the authority of the winds of false doctrines."
Therefore, this second analogy deals with the result of emotional revolt of the soul. You not only reject the Word of God, but you always get involved with false teaching.
The third analogy in this verse deals with production.
Trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots -
Trees - This refers to the believer as a producer. Trees produce fruit.
Whose fruit - This is not in the Greek text.
Withereth - The Greek word is a word that means "autumn," referring to the fall of the year. This word characterizes these trees in late autumn, and this refers here to "autumn trees without fruit." In other words, at the time that they are expected to have fruit, they have none. Palestine has trees that produce its fruit late in the season. In this way they manage to have fruit going into the winter months.
Without fruit - This simply means "unfruitful, barren." By interpretation this simply means "no production of divine good, no fruit of the Spirit." The fruit of the Spirit is listed in Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Literally, "Autumn trees without fruit."
Twice dead - This says literally, "having died twice." Since the tree should have borne fruit but did not, it is considered dead. In other words, it died once by being "without fruit." The second death is described in the next phrase.
Plucked up by the roots - The Greek simply says, to root up, or to eradicate."
(1) - The first death here refers to no fruit, or no divine good. And the second death refers to be rooted up, or being eradicated.
(2) - Being rooted up refers to the sin unto death, which is maximum divine discipline for a believer. Matthew 3:10 says, "....every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire." Read also Matthew 7:17-20.
EXPANDED TRANSLATION VERSE 12 - "These men keep on being rocks of destruction in the area of your loves when they are socializing with you, shepherding (pastoring) themselves without any cause to be afraid, just like waterless clouds they are constantly being led astray under the authority of the winds of false doctrine. They are like autumn trees without fruit having died twice, and were therefore rooted up and destroyed."
VS 13 - Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
In this verse we have first of all the instability of the believer type apostate under the analogy of "waves." Also in this verse we see the analogy to the unbeliever apostate under the word "stars."
The apostate believer has eternal life, he does not lose his salvation. He has a home reserved in heaven for him, but by going negative toward the Word of God he develops scar tissue (hardness of heart) in his soul, and eventually he comes to the place of emotional revolt in his soul.
The apostate unbeliever is a person who runs contrary to the establishment which is recorded in the Word of God under the divine institutions. Therefore, he is a revolutionary, he is a criminal, he is opposed to law and order, he has rejected the authority of society, and he is anti-God.
Raging waves of the sea - The Greek word translated "raging" means, "fierce, wild, savage, untamed." This refer to a person who appears to be normal one minute, and abnormal the next minute. The sea can be very calm one day, but very fierce, wild and savage the next. The sea is very unstable and very unpredictable. This is exactly like the instability of an apostate believer. Anyone who suffers from the emotional revolt of the soul will be one thing one minute and something else the next. A believer who is in emotional revolt of the soul does not have the capacity for true love. So one minute they love you and everything is sweetness and light, but the next minute they hate you. One moment you are a friend; the next moment you are an enemy. You never know from moment to moment what the "weather" is going to be. This is always true of anyone who is in emotional revolt of the soul.
The Greek word transated "waves" means, "a wave, a surge, a bellow." These two words used together "raging waves" describes the instability of life that comes to the believer who rejects the Word of God. Not only is the believer who rejects Bible doctrine very unhappy, but his life is very unstable.
The words "of the sea" completes the analogy. The negative believer who is in emotional revolt of the soul is "like waves of the sea that are wild."
Foaming out their own shame - The words "foaming out" is a translation from the Greek word EPAPHRAIZO, meaning, "to foam out, to pour out like foam, to vomit forth." I'm sure you have noticed along the shore of the sea, all of the foam from the power of the waves rolling in on the shore, or beating against the rocks on the shoreline. The foam is all that is left of the power of the waves and that soon vanishes. And just as the waves of the sea foam out, or lose their power, so do the believers in emotional revolt. Their unstable lives are always crashing in on the shoreline, smashing against the rocks of life, and the more this happens, the less they apply the Word of God to their situations, and they lose the power of grace, and they lose the power of the Word of God, and they even lose the capacity of life.
The words "their own shame" is a translation of the the Greek word AISCHUNE, meaning, "disgrace, dishonorable conduct, shame." This word is actually in the plural in the Greek because there are many types of shame that accompany emotional revolt of the soul. Such as: mental attitude sins shame, sins of the tongue shame, drug addiction shame, alcoholism shame, and so on and so forth. So this refers to born-again believers who have a home in heaven, but who are very unstable here in this life because of their rejection of the Word of God.
Literally, "Like waves of the sea that are wild, they foam out their many shames."
Wandering stars to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever - (16) This is the second analogy in this verse, and this refers to the unbeliever.
Wandering stars - The word translated "wandering" is the translation of the Greek word PLANETES, meaning, "a rover, a wanderer." This Greek word is where we get our English word "planet." The word "stars" is the translation of the Greek word ASTER, meaning " a luminous body." This could refer to a "star," or a "comet," or an "asteroid." In our context this refers to a nova type of luminary body. They shine bright for awhile but eventually they burn out and pass into darkness. In other words, they do not follow the regular planetary laws, they simply come and go. Again we see the analogy to those in emotional revolt of the soul.
To whom is reserved the blackness of darkness - This phrase tells us that Jude is talking about unbelievers. "The blackness of darkness" has a double meaning here:
This phrase "blackness of darkness" is amplified in verses 14 - 16 where we have the judgment of apostates. As far as the judgment of apostates is concerned, we have a correlation between the book of Jude and the book of Revelation. One reason why Jude was placed next to Revelation in the canon of Scripture is because of the section in verses 14 - 16. In that particular section we are going to see apostasy judged, and the illustration will be taken from the apostates in the Tribulation. The judgment of the apostasy of the unbeliever will culminate in the Baptism of Fire at the Second Advent of Jesus Christ.
(1) - First of all it refers to spiritual darkness, in which they lose all ability to understand God or His Word. Ephesians 4:18 says, "They are DARKENED in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their heart."
(2) - Secondly, it refers to eternal darkness. Eternal darkness is first experienced in "hell," then lastly it is experienced in the second death and the Lake of Fire as recorded in Revelation 20:11-15.
EXPANDED TRANSLATION VERSE 13 - "Like the wild, untamed waves of the sea, they foam up their own many shames; they are like wandering meteors for whom the blackness of darkness has been reserved forever."
In the next lesson we will see the judgment of apostasy in verses 14 - 16.
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