Empty clouds raise the hopes and aspirations of farmers whose crops desperately need the rains but in the end, fail to give the rains. Farmers in such situations become heavily disappointed and frustrated as they throw their hands in despair.

The apostates and the false teachers, according to Jude, look like men who can give spiritual help, and they boast of their abilities, but they are unable to produce.

Dead trees, on the other hand, are similar to empty clouds in the sense that even in seasons where they are supposed to produce fruits, the farmer gets disappointed in them. No wonder Jesus cursed the fig tree because it failed to produce fruits even in its seasons.

As leaders, these apostates were clouds without rain, blown along by the wind. These men had no water for thirsty souls; they only pretended that they did. And they were soon gone, unstable as wind-driven clouds.

These apostates were also referred to as dead trees by Jude in the sense that just as a spiritually dead tree in the autumn (the time of gathering fruit from fruit trees) without fruit is fruitless and a dead tree so were the false teachers.

The dead condition of apostate leaders was indicated by two things: (a) they did not bear spiritual fruit in others, and (b) they were without spiritual roots themselves thus twice dead.

One evidence of true salvation is producing spiritual fruit. The seed that fell on the hard soil, the shallow soil, and the crowded soil did not produce fruit; but the seed that fell on the “good ground” did produce fruit (Matt 13:1-9,18-23).