“These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever” (Jude 12-13).
Compressed into five vivid word pictures, Jude graphically describes the sobering perils false teachers/change agents are to themselves and others.
They destroy Christian fellowship and brotherly love: They are spots (or hidden rocks–ASV) in your love feasts.
In the first century, Christians ate together (Acts 2:46, 20:11). Regardless of whether these meals were potlucks where everyone brought a dish or were dinners furnished by wealthier Christians for their destitute brothers and sisters, they were called “love feasts”. They were intended to be a time of pleasant social interaction which would strengthen the bonds of fellowship and brotherhood.
Like a hair in a sumptuous dish, change agents are spiritual pollutants—“spots”—which can and will destroy the brotherly kindness and love which prompt these occasions.
Like a dangerous reef just below the water line in a river, these spiritual dreamers are a covert and sure peril to the love and unity of God’s people.
Even though these occasions of eating together are intended to encourage unselfishness and greater, more fervent brotherly love, spiritual dreamers use them for self-serving purposes. They were so successful in their efforts that church historians state these meals were discontinued by the fourth century because the change agents had selfishly turned them into ungodly debaucheries.
Spiritual dreamers pollute and shipwreck Christian fellowship and brotherly love.