In the next paragraph of this warning one chapter letter, Jude selects several illustrations to capture the various aspects of the boldness, emptiness, shamefulness and judgment of the false teachers of his day. They are not just “nice people” who are a little confused. Instead, he writes….
“These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm–
shepherds who feed only themselves.
They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind;
autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted–twice dead.
They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame;
wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.”
Why these graphic descriptions? These false teachers are bold, selfish, spiritually dead, shamefully evil and are facing a severe judgment. Perhaps God’s true followers can “wake up” and recognize the danger these false teachers introduce into the assembly of the saints. Perhaps the false teachers will realize that the Spirit of God has exposed them for what they really are and they will repent of their evil ways.
The love feasts – the common fellowship meals where true Christ-followers celebrated together what Christ had done – had been infiltrated by those who had never really grasped the love of Christ.
These shepherds charged with caring for the flock were caring only for themselves.
In a land needing water, these ‘storm-clouds’ boasted rain they never produced. They were like a forest of trees stripped of their leaves and uprooted from the soil in which they were planted. Their shameful conduct overflowed into the lives of others and instead of being a useful source for guidance they are illustrated as ‘wandering stars.’