Warnings in Comparison
9. What was the significance of likening the ungodly false teachers to “rocks hidden below water”?
9 Continuing to give warning, Jude said in comparison:
“These are the rocks hidden below water in your love feasts while they feast with you, shepherds that feed themselves without fear; waterless clouds carried this way and that by winds; trees in late autumn, but fruitless, having died twice, having been uprooted;
Among other things, the false teachers were like “rocks hidden below water.” Those men made a pretense of love for believers and therefore were like jagged underwater rocks that could rip and kill swimmers or wreck ships. Unless Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to “put up a hard fight for the faith,” such deceptive teachers could lead unstable individuals to “shipwreck concerning their faith.”—1 Timothy 1:19.
10. (a) The early Christian “love feasts” may have been what, and with what motive did the “ungodly men” attend them? (b) What must be avoided at social gatherings among Jehovah’s Witnesses?
10 Those “ungodly men” frequented the Christians’ “love feasts.” Such occasions may have been banquets to which materially prosperous Christians invited poor fellow believers. But the would-be flesh defilers attended with base motives. (Compare 2 Peter 2:13.) Likewise, there are some today who try to turn social events among Jehovah’s Witnesses into occasions for excesses in eating, drinking and worldly song and dance. Let faithful Christian witnesses never allow this to occur at their social gatherings.
11. (a) The ungodly false teachers were shepherds of what kind? (b) What attitude should loyal Christians have toward such false teachers today?
11 The ungodly false teachers also were like shepherds that fleeced and sacrificed the flock to dress and feed themselves. They tried to lead the unsteady into a wayward course and did not feed them proper spiritual food. (Compare Ezekiel 34:7-10.) How vital that loyal Christians reject the views of any such false teachers today!
12. How were the false teachers of Jude’s day like waterless, windblown clouds?
12 The false teachers of Jude’s day also were like deceptive clouds promising much-needed rain, but that were really waterless and driven by winds. Those men were carried about by winds of error, and because of being like “waterless clouds” they were spiritually empty and unprofitable. Let Jehovah’s Witnesses beware of all such presumptuous false teachers.
13. Why were the false teachers like fruitless trees that had “died twice” and were “uprooted”?
13 Lacking the fruitage of God’s holy spirit, those vile men also were as trees without fruit in the fall, at the end of the fruit-bearing season. They were like trees that had “died twice,” or were “completely dead.” (Today’s English Version) Those men “slipped” into the congregation by pretending to be alive spiritually after being formally baptized in water. But since they bore no fruit to God’s glory, they had to be dealt with as were unproductive fruit trees in ancient Palestine. These were uprooted and destroyed so as to escape the tax on fruit trees. Being “uprooted” clearly indicated that those unrepentant apostate teachers faced destruction.