The Bible Speaks
by Gino Geraci
These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves (Jude 12a).
The word, “these” in Jude 12a refers back to false teachers in general and Cain, Balaam and Korah in verse 11. These false teachers endanger the people of God, by removing them from the love and grace of God, and moving them toward their own wicked agenda.
The words, “spots” is the Greek word, spilas. The word referred to the ledge or the reef of rocks in an ocean harbor. In both ancient and modern times, reefs or rocks hidden in the water spell disaster for unsuspecting boats. The beautiful coral reefs in Hawaii can cut you to pieces. This is a kind of mixed metaphor. Just like ships at sea need to avoid underwater rocks, to avoid ripping open the boat, so Christians need to watch out for the treachery of false teachers who will try to blend in, and not be noticed.
They feast with you without fear, serving only themselves.
Love feasts or agape dinners were practiced in the early church. Rich and poor would come to the banqueting table to express their love and unity in Christ. Christians would end the meal with the Lord's supper, by breaking bread and sharing the communion cup.
Jude is basically saying they join in your fellowship but they have another agenda, and that agenda does not include the love of Christ and unity of the saints.
False teachers come not to give but to take. They are rip-offs. They fleece rather than feed the sheep. The Greek word translated, “serving” is poimaino. The word is elsewhere translated “feeding” or “tending.” This is the word Jesus used with Peter when He said, “feed my sheep. Tend my lambs” (Jn.21:16). False teachers come not to share fellowship or communion, but to feed themselves.
Paul spoke about this in 1 Corinthians 11:21, For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. Selfish people began to show up who thought only of themselves. Wealthier believers would bring delicacies and eat them in front of their starving poor brothers and sisters. Jude recognizes that selfishness is a sign of apostasy.
Early in church history a manual called the 'Didache' was circulated. It stated, if someone stays with you more than three days, they are a false prophet. If they ask for money, they are a false prophet. If they take up an offering to give to some needy family or needy cause, that's different. Certainly the early church took up offerings in the church to help support the work of the ministry. If a person claimed to be an evangelist and asked for a provision beyond the next day, they were to be considered a false prophet. If any prophet, speaking in a trance, says, "Give me your money (or anything else)," do not listen to him . (The Didache, "Money in Christian History," Christian History, no. 14).
False teachers seek to only serve themselves.
© 2007 by Gino Geraci
"Word from Scotland" from
Keep Looking to God and Trusting in GodRead Article »
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.
Receive the newest devotional each week in your inbox by joining the "The Bible Speaks" subscription list. Enter your email address below, click "Go!" and we will send you a confirmation email. Follow the instructions in the email to confirm your addition to this list.