“But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. 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;” Jude 1:10-12
This is a pretty harsh rebuke and dire warning, but what exactly does it mean? What manner of person is it identifying and what will happen to them? To answer that we need to dissect the passage piece by piece.
One of the biggest clues in this passage is the fact that it states that these people “have run greedily after the error of Balaam for reward“. So who was Balaam? Balaam was an Old Testament prophet who at first spoke God’s words of blessing over the Israelites, but later for the promise of money, title, notoriety, and the appearance of power, he sold them out. Balaam chose to be a prophet of Baal and serve the Israelite’s enemy while pretending to still serve them and their God so that he could covertly cast temptations and stumbling blocks before them that they would sin against God and be cursed. So basically Balaam was a prophet of Satan pretending to be a minister of God in order to lead the people of God astray and bring curses upon them.
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” – 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
The passage also states that they (and those that choose to feast, or commune with them) are carried around by winds. What winds is this referring to?
“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”- Ephesians 4:14
You see, when Balaam caused God’s people to stumble, he knew what he was doing. He acted in intentional, cunning craftiness, and deceit. He knew what God expected of the people and he led them astray from it on purpose, turning them to the doctrines of idols for personal gain and control knowing that if they strayed outside of the pure doctrine of God, then they would stray outside of the protection of God also.
Yes there are actually ministers out there that, knowing the word and will of God, purposely twist it to lead people astray, that they might build their own kingdom at the expense of God’s. They may have even once been true men and women of God, but their fruit is long dried up and replaced with thorns and poison. They seek earthly rewards with no fear of God or the sure judgement that awaits them. Yet they will surely face it as they die twice, once a physical death, and then a spiritual death in hell’s tormenting fire.
“Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” – Matthew 7:19-23
It’s important to note that Balaam did serve as a true prophet speaking God’s word to both the Israelite’s and their enemies, yet for the promise of greatness he turned and became a minister of Satan. So beware of false prophets, teachers, apostles, and ministers. Just because they were once trustworthy does not mean they always will be. Seek God for discernment and test the spirits rather they be of God continually less these people remain among you and be a spot in your feast of charity. Remember that God is coming back for a spotless bride only. Don’t be found unclean by association or acquiescence.
“Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean. Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the Lord; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean.” – Haggai 2:13-14
“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” – 2 Corinthians 6:16-17
Be warned, God will not receive those that choose to be apart of that which is unclean in His eyes. Do not believe the prideful lie that your being part of Baal’s kingdom will change it for the better, it will only change you for the worse. God never calls us to be a part of Baal’s kingdom (the world), he calls us to be separate from it and to call others out of it and into the pure doctrine of His undefiled and uncompromised Holy Word.
Yes there or false prophets, yes there are ministers of Satan, and yes there are those that with malicious intent, knowingly and deceitfully lead people astray for the promise of gain. Don’t be naïve and don’t be deceived, test the spirits always. In the end, Balaam’s true reward was death by sword and the judgement of God. Know that the promises of reward or short lived at best, for sin is pleasurable but for a season, and after that, death. So seek God, use discernment, touch not the unclean thing, come out from among them, and be ye separate.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” – 1 Timothy 4:1-2
“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; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.” – Jude 1:11-13