Jude compares what Old Testament villains to false Christians?
In this “The Truth Will Set You Free” TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami’s Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will continue our study of the little book of Jude from a prophetic perspective.
Jude, Comparing Villains (Verse 11)
Vic Batista: As we continue making our way through a verse-by-verse study of the book of Jude, we’ll next look at verse 11: “Woe to them for they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.”
Nathan, expound on who Jude is talking about.
Nathan Jones: You have to go back a few verses to the beginning of this book. Jude is subject matter-wise dealing with people who have crept in unnoticed into our churches. These people are like wolves in sheep’s clothing. They wish to kill the sheep, and they do so by sneaking in and pretending to be sheep themselves.
These false Christians it says in verse 4 were long ago marked out for condemnation, for they are ungodly men. They turn the grace of our God into lewdness. They deny the only Lord God and our Savior, Jesus Christ. These are definitely false converts. They are false believers. Their actions are like a spy sneaking into our churches in order to disrupt our Great Commission purpose.
Vic Batista: We see this happening increasingly in the current times that we are living in. More and more these individuals are sneaking in through the back door rather than coming through the front. They are trying to come into our churches stealthed and unnoticed. When they do make it in, they cause divisive issues and great problems which divide our churches and make them ineffective. This was happening in the days of Jude and it continues to happen today. Paul in Acts 20 also talked about how this phenomenon was something that was going to happen even more frequently in the Last Days.
Nathan Jones: Good reference, Vic, for the Apostle John in 1 John addressed the same thing. He warned about the Gnostics who were probably the first false teachers and a heretical cult of the First Century time period. As soon as Christianity came on the scene, Satan started doing his work of trying to confuse people about what Jesus truly taught.
When the Gnostics came into the churches, they started teaching that all things material are bad and only all things spiritual are good. It refers back to basic Greek teachings. Therefore, they taught, Jesus didn’t come as a man, but He was a spirit, for to come in the flesh would be detestable to the Gnostics. So, these false teachers were trying to infiltrate the churches even in Jude’s time.
In verse 11, Jude is comparing these false Christians to some of the villains of the Old Testament. Obviously, most people know who Cain is. He was the brother of Abel and the first child born to humanity. Cain killed his brother Abel. He was jealous of his brother, for Abel had a real heart for God, but Cain did not. Likewise, these false teachers don’t have a heart for God, and just like Cain, they want to kill the faithful ones who love the Lord.
Another example Jude compares these false teachers to is Balaam. Balaam was hired to put a curse on Israel. His is one of the weirdest stories in the Bible. That’s when Balaam’s donkey turned around and started talking. I don’t know how God worked that out, if He spoke through the donkey, or an angel did, or the donkey was given the ability to speak. We don’t know. It’s one of those Bible stories that is really hard to fathom.
Remember the donkey turned around to Balaam and asked, “Why are you beating me?” And Balaam repented. Likewise, as Balaam was hired to bring calamity upon Israel, these false teachers are trying to bring calamity on the Church.
Another example Jude gives us in verse 11 is Korah. He led a rebellion while the Israelites were wandering around the desert for 40 years. Korah tried to lead a rebellion against Moses, but God destroyed him and all his followers because of their rebellious hearts.
And so, these examples are some of the villains of the Old Testament. They come in and they try to destroy God’s people. They try to steal God’s children away from Him, but God promises that we are firm and secure in His hands.
Vic Batista: The examples Jude mentioned from the Old Testament — Cain, Balaam, Korah — they were detractors of the fellowship of God’s people.
Nathan Jones: Excellent point, yes, the true fellowship between God and man is exactly what these false teachers were trying to interrupt. They were trying to put a wedge between God and His children. That is what Satan does. He knows that he will be going down in flames to Hell one day, but he wants to drag as many people as possible along with him. Or, if you are saved, he will try to make you weak in the faith and so unproductive.
That is what these false teachers are attempting. They are coming in sounding like Christians in order to be accepted. They say, “We’d like to become part of your church and are hoping to know Jesus.” Or, “We’re already saved, but have some different ideas you should consider.” But, what they really end up doing is causing chaos and rebellion. And, like Korah, they need to be destroyed.
Now, I’m certainly not encouraging you to kill these false Christians, but they need to be ejected out of your church. Don’t put up with them. There is a point when you have to do as Paul did and knock the dust off your shoes and move on. These people are not really coming to get saved, rather they are coming to destroy the church body. You need to get rid of them!
Vic Batista: A healthy body purges itself of disease. As believers in Christ, we need to recognize it is a healthy thing from time to time to obey God and purge ourselves of these individuals. If we leave false teachers in our churches, they will become like an infection. If we do nothing about them, they are going to affect the whole body.
Nathan Jones: Jesus compares the Church to a body. Jesus is the head and those who are saved are the body. When we allow foreign particles in, the white blood cells kick in and they start destroying the foreign particles.
Likewise, these false teachers are foreign particles. They are people who are trying to destroy the Body of Christ. They need to be removed.
In the eleventh segment of our study of the book of Jude, we’ll look at the poetic descriptions Jude uses in verses 12-13 to describe false Christians.