These small group studies of Jude contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Jude 12-16 Inductive Bible Study

Jude 12-16

Clouds without Water

Summary-Jude finds many illustrations in nature to describe the empty promises and dangers of the apostates. Long ago, Enoch prophesied that the Lord would come with His holy ones to judge these ungodly people who have done ungodly deeds. Such people grumble, find fault, follow after their own lusts, speak arrogantly, and flatter people for their own profit.


Central Teaching- These ungodly people will be judged for their ungodly deeds.


Key Verse- 15


Key Words- without, forever, prophesied, judgment, ungodly


Ten things this passage says-

  1. Apostates are dangerous to believers, and can wreck their lives.
  2. They promise rain, but deliver only dryness and death.
  3. They promise a feast, but deliver a famine.
  4. They promise power, but deliver confusion and destruction.
  5. They promise guidance, but their glory is fleeting, and their wisdom disappears.
  6. Enoch prophesied that the Lord would come with many thousands of His holy ones to execute judgment upon all ungodly ones for their ungodly deeds.
  7. Apostates are grumblers.
  8. Apostates find fault.
  9. Apostates follow after their own lusts.
  10. Apostates speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining advantage.

Ten things this passage does not say-

  1. Apostates are basically harmless.
  2. Their ways bring relief and refreshment.
  3. Their ways are filling and nourishing.
  4. Their ways propel them and their followers to great power.
  5. Their guidance is faithful and lasting.
  6. God’s stance on apostates is a new development.
  7. Apostates are thankful people.
  8. Apostates look for the positive.
  9. Apostates practice self-control of the flesh.
  10. Apostates speak humbly and truthfully, no matter what the consequences for themselves.

What does this passage teach me about God?

He created our bodies to be a temple, and He desires us to keep them holy.

He wants us to submit to the authorities He has placed over us.

His judgment may seem to tarry, but it is sure, and He will accomplish it.

Everything that God promises, He delivers.

His judgment is eternal.

He is consistent. As he judged in the past, so He will continue to judge.

He desires us to be thankful.

He desires us to seek the positive.

He desires us to control our fleshly desires.

He desires us to speak humbly and truthfully, no matter what the consequences are.

How does this passage apply to my life?

Trust in God to deliver on His promises.

Be discerning when listening to teaching, and know truth from error.

Don’t grumble.

Seek the positive in each situation and person. Don’t focus on the negative.

Practice self-discipline of the flesh and emotions.

Speak humbly and truthfully in all things.


What does it mean, that these men are “hidden reefs in your love feasts”? V12

What does it mean, “they are clouds without water”? V12

What winds are they carried along by? V12

What does it mean that they are “autumn trees without fruit”? V12

What does it mean “doubly dead, uprooted”? V12

What does it mean  they are “wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam”? V13

Why are they called “wandering stars”? V13

What is the “black darkness” that is “reserved for them forever”? V13

According to various cross reference, what do we know about Enoch? V14

When is the coming of the Lord spoken of here going to be? V14

Why does it say the Lord “came” instead of the Lord “will come”? Has it already happened? V14

Who are the “holy ones” who are spoken of in this verse? V14

When will the judgment be that the Lord will execute? V15

What will the judgment be? V15

In what ways are the apostates ungodly, according to this verse? V15

What do you think the root of their ungodly deeds is? V15

What are some characteristics of apostates according to this verse? V16

What does it mean that they are grumblers? What are characteristics of grumblers? V16

What does it mean that they find fault? What are characteristics of fault finders? V16

What does it mean that they follow their own lusts? V16

What does it mean that they speak arrogantly? What are some characteristics of arrogant speakers?V16

What does it mean that they flatter people for the sake of gaining an advantage? What are some characteristics of flatters? V16

Cross References-

Jude 12-

2 Peter 2:13-14

13 suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children;

1 Cor 11:21-22

21 for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you.

Ps 78:29-31

29 So they ate and were well filled,

And their desire He gave to them.

30 Before they had satisfied their desire,

 While their food was in their mouths,

31 The anger of God rose against them

And killed some of their stoutest ones,

And subdued the choice men of Israel.

Isa 56:10-12

10 His watchmen are blind,

All of them know nothing.

All of them are mute dogs unable to bark,

 Dreamers lying down, who love to slumber;

11 And the dogs are greedy, they are not satisfied.

And they are shepherds who have no understanding;

They have all turned to their own way,

Each one to his unjust gain, to the last one.

12 “Come,” they say, “let us get wine, and let us drink heavily of strong drink;

And tomorrow will be like today, only more so.”

Ezek 34:8

8 “As I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock;

Ezek 34:18

18’Is it too slight a thing for you that you should feed in the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pastures? Or that you should drink of the clear waters, that you must foul the rest with your feet?

Luke 21:34

34 ” Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap;

Phil 3:19

19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their  appetite, and whose  glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.

James 5:5-6

5 You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.

Prov 25:14

14 Like clouds and wind without rain

Is a man who boasts of his gifts falsely.

Hos 6:4

4 What shall I do with you, O Ephraim?

What shall I do with you, O Judah?

For your loyalty is like a morning cloud

And like the dew which goes away early.

2 Peter 2:17

17 These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved.


Eph 4:14

14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;

Ps 1:3

3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,

Which yields its fruit in its season

And its leaf does not wither;

And in whatever he does, he prospers.

Ps 37:2

2 For they will wither quickly like the grass

And fade like the green herb.

Matt 13:6

6 “But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

Luke 8:6-7

6 “Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture.

John 15:4-6

4 ” Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.  5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.  6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

1 Tim 5:6

6 But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives.

Heb 6:4-8

4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. 7 For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; 8 but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.

2 Peter 2:18-20

18 For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, 19 promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.

2 Chron 7:20

20 then I will uproot you from My land which I have given you, and this house which I have consecrated for My name I will cast out of My sight and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.

Ezek 17:9

9 “Say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Will it thrive? Will he not pull up its roots and cut off its fruit, so that it withers — so that all its sprouting leaves wither? And neither by great strength nor by many people can it be raised from its roots again.

Matt 15:13-14

13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted.

Jude 13-

Ps 65:7

7 Who stills the roaring of the seas,

The roaring of their waves,

And the tumult of the peoples.

Isa 57:20

20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea,

For it cannot be quiet,

And its waters toss up refuse and mud.

Jer 5:22-23

22’Do you not fear Me?’ declares the LORD.

‘Do you not tremble in My presence?

For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea,

An eternal decree, so it cannot cross over it.

Though the waves toss, yet they cannot prevail;

Though they roar, yet they cannot cross over it.

23’But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;

They have turned aside and departed.

Phil 3:19

19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose  glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.

2 Tim 3:14

13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

Rev 8:10-11

10 The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. 11 The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.

2 Peter 2:17

17 These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved.

Rev 14:10-11

10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”

Rev 20:10

10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Rev 21:8

8 ” But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Jude 14-

Gen 5:23-24

 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

1 Chron 1:1-4

 Adam, Seth, Enosh, 2 Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, 3 Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech,

Heb 11:5-6

5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Deut 33:2

2 He said,

“The LORD came from Sinai,

 And dawned on them from Seir;

 He shone forth from Mount Paran,

And He came from the midst of ten thousand holy ones;

 At His right hand there was flashing lightning for them.

Ps 50:3-5

3 May our God come and not keep silence;

 Fire devours before Him,

And it is very tempestuous around Him.

4 He summons the heavens above,

And the earth, to judge His people:

5 “Gather My godly ones to Me,

Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.”

Dan 7:9-10

“I kept looking

Until thrones were set up,

And the Ancient of Days took His seat;

His vesture was like white snow

And the hair of His head like pure wool.

His throne was ablaze with flames,

Its wheels were a burning fire.

10 “A river of fire was flowing

And coming out from before Him;

 Thousands upon thousands were attending Him,

And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him;

The court sat,

And the books were opened.

Matt 16:27

27 “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.

Matt 24:30-31

30 “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.  31 “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

1 Thess 3:13

13 so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.

2 Thess 1:7-8

7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

Jude 15-

Ps 9:7-8

7 But the LORD abides forever;

He has established His throne for judgment,

8 And He will judge the world in righteousness;

He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity.

Ps 37:6

6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light

And your judgment as the noonday.

Ps 98:9

9 Before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth;

He will judge the world with righteousness

And the peoples with equity.

Eccl 11:9

9 Rejoice, young man, during your childhood, and let your heart be pleasant during the days of young manhood. And follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes. Yet know that God will bring you to judgment for all these things.

Eccl 12:13

14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

John 5:22-23

22 “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

Rom 2:16

16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

Rom 14:10

10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.

1 Cor 4:5

5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait  until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.

Rev 20:12-15

12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Rom 2:5

5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

Rom 3:19-20

19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

Ex 16:8

Moses said, “This will happen when the LORD gives you meat to eat in the evening, and bread to the full in the morning; for the LORD hears your grumblings which you grumble against Him. And what are we? Your grumblings are not against us but against the LORD.”

Mal 3:13

13 “Your words have been arrogant against Me,” says the LORD. “Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’

Mal 3:13-15

13 “Your words have been arrogant against Me,” says the LORD. “Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’ 14 “You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked in mourning before the LORD of hosts? 15 ‘So now we call the arrogant blessed; not only are the doers of wickedness built up but they also test God and escape.'”

Matt 12:31-37

31 ” Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.  32 ” Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.  34 ” You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.  35 ” The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.  36 “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.  37 “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Ps 1:5

5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

Ps 31:18

18 Let the lying lips be mute,

Which speak arrogantly against the righteous

With pride and contempt.

Jude 16-

Num 14:36

36 As for the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land and who returned and made all the congregation grumble against him by bringing out a bad report concerning the land,

Deut 1:27

27 and you grumbled in your tents and said, ‘Because the LORD hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us.

Ps 106:25

25 But grumbled in their tents;

They did not listen to the voice of the LORD.

1 Cor 10:10

10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.

Phil 2:14

14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing;

Gal 5:16

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

Gal 5:24

24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

1 Thess 4:5

5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;

2 Tim 4:3

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

James 1:14-15

14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

1 Peter 1:14

14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,

1 Peter 2:11

11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.

1 Peter 4:2

2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

2 Peter 3:3

 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts,

Ps 17:10

10 They have closed their unfeeling heart,

With their mouth they speak proudly.

2 Peter 2:18

18 For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error,

Lev 19:15

15 ‘You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly.

Job 32:21

21 “Let me now be partial to no one,

Nor flatter any man.

Job 34:19

19 Who shows no partiality to princes

Nor regards the rich above the poor,

For they all are the work of His hands?

Ps 15:4

4 In whose eyes a reprobate is despised,

But who honors those who fear the LORD;

He swears to his own hurt and does not change;

1 Tim 6:5

5 and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.

James 2:1-9

 My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of  personal favoritism. 2 For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, 3 and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? 5 Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be  rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court? 7 Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?

8 If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

2 Peter 2:1-3

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3 and in their  greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

Study Jude 17-25
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