“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.” Jude 1:11 (KJV)
Verse 8 of Jude explains who the “Them” are of verse 11. “Filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.” The study continues…
It is a very important time for Christian leaders to stand up and teach the truth of God’s word and the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is important in every day, every era of time, but as the time of the coming of Christ draws nearer we ought to give very earnest heed to the truth. It does make a difference what you believe. What you believe is how you will live.
The apostate, heretics of which Jude has been warning us are going to be held to the ultimate judgment. “Woe” is the warning of such judgment being held for them. It is a sad thing for Christians of today, when they will more readily accept the teachings of the “Name it and claim it” bunch, than they will the plain and clear teaching of the Word of the Lord where the cross of Jesus Christ, His deity, His shedding of His own blood, His burial carrying our sins away, and the plain and clear teaching of His bodily resurrection fulfilling the Word which He spoke.
These apostates follow the way of Cain (the son of Adam and Eve who killed his brother Abel); in that, they deny the power of the blood of the cross of Christ by their teaching that it is for material gain, applying their own works to the work of Christ. They follow the “error of Balaam” by seeking gain for themselves. Balaam was a false prophet who sought profit by serving God. He deemed that the Israelites were not worthy of God’s blessing and so cursed them by showing the enemy their weakness (Numbers 25:1-17; 31:16), bringing a plague into the camp, stayed only by the quick hand of Phineas, who was the grandson of Aaron. Balaam eventually was killed by the children of Israel before they entered the promised land. Then, there is Korah (Core of Jude 11), the rebellious one who led Dathan and Abiram in a rebellious act against Moses. They spoke ill of Moses, thus were speaking against God. We put our lives on a very thin layer when we speak ill of our leaders, especially the spiritual leaders. Korah, Dathan, and Abiram were swallowed up by the ground opening and taking them, and those who stood with them, alive into the belly of the earth. Read Numbers 16.
We are given ample warning in Scripture of following false teachers and leaders. The ones who expose heresy are not the ones who are causing the problem. The problem lies in those who teach error and seek to lead people astray. If you know God and know His Word you know who the false teachers and their false teachings are. If you don’t know the God of the Bible nor His Word you will be deceived and led astray becoming just like your leader. Finding your own way, always for gain and profit, and no true spiritual leader will ever be right, but you are. At least in your own mind.
Guard your spiritual life. Know the God of the Bible by turning to His Son Jesus Christ who died on the cross that you might live. He was buried carrying your sins away, and He rose bodily from that grave, and He ever lives to make intercession for you. Read His Word – the Bible – learn Him, know Him, trust Him with all of your life. To walk in the Way of the Wayward will lead to death. The way of God and His Son Jesus leads to life everlasting.