The Bible Speaks
by Gino Geraci
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 (Jude 11).
“Woe to them!” What does that mean? Woe speaks of anguish -- the inevitable anguish of God's judgment for sin and rebellion. It refers back to verse 10, where Jude reproaches those who speak evil about things they don't understand. These false prophets are carnal, they only understand the natural realm, they corrupt themselves. Isaiah 3:11 reads, “Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what they have done.”
“Woe” is more than just feeling sorry for false prophets who “make mistakes.” False prophets lead people away from God. False prophets die--and sometimes kill others. Because of that, their judgment is harsh.
In Jude verse 11, Jude warns us by giving three Old Testament examples of notorious sinners. These three examples focus on three specific sins.
First there is Cain. Cain failed to accept God's way of forgiveness, peace and reconciliation. Cain invented his own religion, and then murdered his brother (Gen.4:1-15). Cain's sin is anger.
Second there is Balaam. The error of Balaam included deceit and covetousness and the attempt to lead the children of Israel astray (Numbers 22-24). Balaam's sin is greed.
The last example is Korah, who rebelled against the God-given authority and leadership of Moses (Numbers 16:1-36). Korah's sin is envy. Godless men are committed to destroying God's people.
Anger, greed and envy often play key roles in the formation of cults, sects, false religions and with occult practitioners. False religions begin with false religious leaders who are not satisfied with the revelation of God, the Word of God and the authority of God.
But we are kidding ourselves if we only apply in a detached, scholastic sense, the lessons to false teachers and false teaching. We would do well to remember that anger and greed and envy are also the enemies of the Christian, in our homes, in our ministries, and in our fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
God judged Cain, Balaam and Korah because they disobeyed. God's judgment will certainly come upon all false teachers who disobey in the present day.
False teachers may seem to prosper for a season. False doctrine spreads, corrupts, distorts, perverts and then destroys its victims. False teachers are like spiritual cancers.
What happens when people reject God's plan of salvation? What happens when people deny, ignore, and then reject the love of God in the person of Jesus Christ?
They go the way of Cain. They run greedily in the error of Balaam. They become soldiers in rebellion like Korah.
Anger, greed and envy are powerful pitfalls. False teachers and false teaching will produce anger, greed and envy. Fruit does not fall far from the tree.
What about you? What do you care about? What do you live for? What preoccupies your thoughts, your words, your deeds? Is your life marked by anger, greed and envy?
© 2007 by Gino Geraci
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He has served as a police chaplain for several police departments and currently serves as a Police Chaplain for the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Department. Gino has provided emergency service support in many national tragedies. He was a first responder at Columbine High School, Ground Zero in New York, and Platte Canyon High School.
Gino has appeared on scores of national and local radio programs as a guest, including television appearances with Lee Stroebel's Faith Under Fire. He currently hosts a daily radio program with Salem Media in Denver, Colorado area.
Gino is a much sought after conference speaker. He has conducted leadership conferences, Bible conferences, and emergency service support conferences with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritans' Purse, Gospel for Asia in India and Sri Lanka, the Bible League in Africa, Food For The Poor in Jamaica, Mike McIntosh Crusades in Mexico, Somebody Loves You Bible Conferences with Raul Ries in Chile, Columbia and Peru, and pastor's conferences in much of the continental United States.
Gino is currently the pastor of Calvary South Denver where he continues to minister, preach, teach, and serve.
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