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Age-Old Tree Near The Pavilion of One Thousand Autumns in Forbidden City, Beijing

But these people scoff at things they do not understand. Like unthinking animals, they do whatever their instincts tell them, and so they bring about their own destruction. What sorrow awaits them! For they follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they deceive people for money. And like Korah, they perish in their rebellion. When these people eat with you in your fellowship meals commemorating the Lord’s love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you. They are like shameless shepherds who care only for themselves. They are like clouds blowing over the land without giving any rain. They are like trees in autumn that are doubly dead, for they bear no fruit and have been pulled up by the roots. ~ Jude 1:10-12, NLT



Seduced by devils,

End-times’ faith dissenters

Defile their bodies,

Despise authority,

Speak evil of decorum.


Once appreciative of Christ’s love for the world,

Now unstable deniers,

Lewd, ignorant, and bestial in nature,

Possessing Cain’s self-righteousness,

Balaam’s money covetousness,

Korah’s ‘wannabe’ leader usurping arrogance.


Instead of King David’s envisioned sturdy, fruitful trees

Whose leaves never wither,


Apostates are twice-dried trees:


Righteously unfruitful—born spiritually dead—morally unproductive.

Converted to fruit trees, then barren trees.

Doubly unfaithful—grew consciously iniquitous—doubly infertile.  

Like homicidal Cain who slew his brother, or

The vicious, rebellious fallen angels, or

Sodom and Gomorrah’s sexual deviants, or

The faithless, wandering Israelites, or

Seditious Korah and his followers, or

Avaricious, devious Balaam,

Yesterday’s and today’s apostates

Teach heretical doctrines,

Live blameworthy lives,

Some commit unto death sin—

The deliberate, willful, continuous, unrepentant sin.


These are biblical apostates…

They’re either deceived or devoted.



Cain, condemned to be a fugitive and vagabond;

Balaam, forbidden to curse Israelites.

Symbolize those who can be prayed for,

Those who still can be “saved”;

Scorched, rescued: smelling like smoke;

Plucked from Hell’s fire.



Chained unto Judgment Day angels in Tartarus;

Swallowed up Korah, his family, and his friends by Earth;

Rained upon Sodom, Gomorrah’s dwellers with igneous sulfur, fire;

Perished in wilderness Israelites from Egypt;

Vomited unregenerate Blind Guides into Tribulation.

Symbolize those who cannot be prayed for,

Those who cannot be “saved”;

Fruitless, uprooted:  twice-dried trees;

Thrown into Lake of Fire, eternally “lost”….



~from True Devotion: A Poetic View Of The Consuming Fire Of Total Praise, Worship, And Obedience