Analogies of False Workers: Jude 1:12-13
“12) These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; 13) wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.” Jude‬ ‭1:12-13‬ ‭
Jude now shares five analogies of what these false workers are like who sneak into the church. Toward the end I will add a sixth analogy from Paul. Let’s examine what prompted Jude to contend earnestly for the faith that was for once and all delivered to the saints. (Jude 3)
First, they are like hidden reefs to shipwreck agape love in the church. A church can be sailing along well with Christian love and care and suddenly these uncaring people spread strife and tear the rudder and keel off. Because they are hidden, you don’t see it coming until it is to late and the church crashes into a rocky reef. It can be illustrated by the shipwreck Paul and his shipmates experienced in Acts 27:40-44 upon striking a reef.
Second, they are like clouds during times of drought that produce no rain. They offer hope but leave more despair in their path. They are empty and do nothing to irrigate the spiritual needs and thirst in the church. To the contrary, they contribute to the psychological despair of the drought.
Third, they are like fruit trees in the fall that are barren and produce no fruit or harvest. A hungry soul finds no nourishment from them. The farmer is left broke because he gets no crop or yield. The doctrine and teachings of these false workers cannot produce a crop of Christian fruit or godliness.
Forth, at some point they are like relentless wild waves of the sea crashing into godly morals. No biblical standard of righteousness is spared from their endless assault. At some point they openly flaunt and revel in their sin so as to affect others and drag them off in the undercurrent. Many fall victim to their cunning ways. They make evil look and sound good while painting godliness and righteousness in tainted ways like repulsive brown foam.
Finally, Jude says these false workers who creep in among Gods people are like wandering stars. They have no moral direction in their own lives and they drag others off into darkness and eternal destruction.
Paul uses another analogy in Acts 20:29. At some point these devious and false workers who secretly creep in among Gods people become like a pack of savage wolves that ravish the flock and spare none. They leave the sheep confused, scattered, wounded, bleeding and dying. An attack by a wolf pack is violent and lethal.
These six analogies are sobering and serious. Make no mistake, Satan targets churches and Christians for relentless attack. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, and yet Satan sends his devious agents into the church to spread discord from within.
The key to distinguish these false agents from immature and struggling believers was disclosed in the previous verse. Jude 11 forces us to discern if they come with the attitude and temperament of Cain, Balaam and Koran, or are they in need of intervention and freedom from personal sinful bondage. Beware lest you mistake struggling sheep for revenging wolves.
Make no mistake, churches and sincere Christians are under attack. Satan desires to divide and conquer. These false workers sneak in and leave carnage behind them. They only care about self and have no care for the health and welfare of the bride of Christ.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global