Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
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;
 

11 way of Cain. Like Cain (Genesis 4:2-5; Hebrews 11:4), they reject the doctrine of redemption through the shed blood of a sinless substitute, the Lamb of God.

11 error of Balaam. Like Balaam (Numbers 22–24; II Peter 2:15-16), they use their religious connections not for the honor of God or the spread of His Word, but for their own personal agendas, whether money, pleasure, or power.

11 gainsaying of Core. Like Korah (Numbers 16:1-3,31-33), they reject God’s authority, as expressed in his day through Moses, and in our day through His inspired Word.

12 feasts of charity. Literally, this means “rocks in your love-feasts.”

12 feeding themselves. Literally, “shepherding themselves,” with each man doing what is right in his own eyes for his own purposes.

12 twice dead. In contrast to born-again believers, who are occasionally called “twice-born” men and women, there are some people who already are “twice dead.” That is, not only are they “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), like all other people inheriting Adam’s sin-nature, but they are already participating in the “second death” (Revelation 20:6). These are, from the context in Jude, those apostate teachers who turn “the grace of our God into lasciviousness, . . . denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4). They have fully understood the true gospel, and willfully repudiated it, so that, for them, “there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26, see note; also see notes on Hebrews 6:4-6).


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