Jude 1:12-13, “These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.”
We continue where we left off in verse 12.
On top of the description about raging waves, Jude then piles on yet another, they are “late autumn trees without fruit,” and what are trees without fruit good for? Firewood. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” – Matthew 7:19-20. Notice the severity of this statement from Jesus Himself. This is from one of the most controversial chapters in the church today. Why? Because it is known as the “thou shalt not judge,” chapter although hardly anyone goes beyond the first few verses. Yet here we see judgment, or rather so as not to confuse with semantics, DISCERNMENT, a gift of the Holy Spirit put to practical use.
Trees that don’t produce or produce bad fruit are only worth the firewood you can salvage from them. Jude was not holding back on his rhetoric with his writing concerning these people of falsehood. He states they are “twice dead, pulled up by the roots.” Now there is a lot of controversy over what constitutes apostasy, but the Bible and the Holy Spirit Who inspired it made it very plain to follow along.
Jude is being very specific with this statement. You can be once dead and yet be redeemed by your spirit going through a rebirth. Jesus told Nicodemus this is what being “born-again” was about. Now I am going to once again use a Scripture from Hebrews I have been relying on to make a point that confirms this statement of Jude’s.
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.” – Hebrews 6:4-6.
This signifies being dead once again! You were dead once, then enlightened and renewed, yet through choice and choice alone fall away to suffer a second death. Christ was crucified ONCE for all. He cannot be crucified again when you BY CHOICE, repent of your repentance!!
But look at the reference with that; they are like trees “pulled up by the roots.” Now how do we reference that? Speaking of those who walk in godliness, “He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.” – Psalm 1:3 and then, “For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:8.
But what Jude is saying is that these who are twice dead, have been “pulled up by the roots.” They are no longer getting nourishment from the Living Water, therefore all the promises that Psalms and Jeremiah state about that tree, no longer apply to these apostates! The Bible just does NOT contradict itself, but will continually confirm its truths.
But Jude, who wanted to write about more pleasant things continues on. These people are “raging waves of the sea.” In other words, just like the sea when its waves crash and tumble, these people are disorderly, furious, full of wrath and boisterous! Have you ever seen or witnessed raging seas? For all of their noise and commotion they have nothing to display except their shame. It is nothing more than froth and foam lapping upon the shore. Just bluster with no substance.
And I love this last description he uses. They are like “wandering stars.” What ARE wandering stars? Think about it and especially in relation to when this was written. Today, we might think of the asteroids, colliding and bumping into one another. They’re celestial bodies that don’t move in necessarily regular or orderly patterns. Here’s the thing I love; mariners and others who travel, can’t use them as navigational aids. Think about that for a moment.
Here Jude is using analogies for us to picture the character and nature of these false teachers and apostates. You can’t get reliable spiritual direction from these “religious” celestial bodies either. They collide with others and some like bright comets might shine momentarily but then fizzle out without any tangible substance. The only thing they have going for them is “the blackness of darkness forever.”
Now I want you to contemplate that statement. Jesus is the Light of the world. The Apostle John in his Gospel writes in the first chapter that He IS the Light that came into the world. The darkness does not comprehend it; in other words, the darkness rejects the Light. It tries to deny it but it can’t, it can only reject it. These apostates and false teachers only have reservations in that “blackness of darkness.” Where they are headed and all like them, there will be NO light whatsoever because in this life they rejected it and wanted nothing to do with it. They will be given in eternity what they wanted here. They chose darkness and that is what is in store for them.
If you have ever been in a position to go cave exploring, you can imagine then total blackness. You go into the depths of the cave with your light and when the light of the entrance is no longer able to penetrate you turn off your light and you are immersed in total blackness. The thing is, even then, there is a hint of light. Imagine however, utter and absolute darkness. Not even a little hint of light available. THAT is what awaits the wicked and those who reject the Light. It’s a scary thought if you seriously think about it for any amount of time.
To choose to reject the Lord, once you have tasted His Light and the blessings and joy that accompany walking in Him and with Him is a scary thought indeed. The choice to walk daily with Him is just that, it is a choice. Now understand, I am not talking about falling into temptation, sinning and then repenting of that sin. I am talking about outright rejecting the Light of His love. It is beyond imagining, and yet this is what Jude is warning against and illustrating the type of person who demonstrates that character. It is a warning that more than Jude wrote about for a reason. This is why it is so important to pray for one another and to shoulder one another’s burdens, as the Word describes.