This is the 20th lesson in a series of lessons on the book of Jude. In this lesson I will look at verses 17 and 18 and talk about mockery in the end time.
Verse 17 starts out with the words “but you”. The word “but” indicates a contrast. The content and focus of this verse is quite different from that of the prior verses. Then Jude gave his readers a command to remind themselves of something. The reason they were supposed to remind themselves had to do with the existence of mockers at the end time.
In this lesson, first, I’m going to look at the context of Jude to see why these verses are a contrast. Then I’ll talk about apostles, the end time, and the concept of mockers. At the end I’ll explain what all this means for us today.
Watch the video or scroll down to read a transcript.
Hi. Thanks for visiting Bible Mountain. This is the 20th lesson in a series of lessons on the book of Jude. In this lesson I’m going to look at verses 17 and 18 and talk about mockery in the End Time.
Let’s start by reading these two verses.
But you, beloveds,
remind yourselves of the words
spoken ahead of time
by the apostles of our master Jesus Christ,
because they were telling you,
“At the end time there will be mockers
following after their own lusts of
This verse starts out with the words “but you”. The word “but” indicates a contrast. The content and focus of this verse is quite different from what we’ve been seeing in this book up to this point. I’ll talk about that more a little bit later.
Jude gave his readers a command to remind themselves of something. Then we see the word “because”. Jude told them why they were supposed to remind themselves. The reason they were supposed to remind themselves had to do with the existence of mockers at the end time.
In this lesson, first, I’m going to look at the context of Jude to see why these verses are a big contrast to everything that we’ve seen so far in the book of Jude. Then I’m going to talk a little bit about apostles and their activity in the New Testament time period. I’ll talk about the end time. I’ll talk about the concept of mockers. Then at the end I’ll talk about what all this means for us today.
Let’s start at the beginning of the book of Jude.
In verses three and four Jude explained why he wrote this book. He urged his readers to contend for the faith because certain people had crept into the church secretly. Then Jude described these people who had crept into the church secretly. Throughout this book, we see the pronouns these and them.
In verse eight, he said these men were dreaming and defiling flesh. In verse 10 he wrote about the blasphemy of these men. In verse 11 he issued a warning to them and compared them to Cain, Balaam, and Korah. In verse 12 he described them as stains, unfruitful, and dead. In verse 14, he applied a prophecy of Enoch to these men. In verse 16 he described them as being grumblers, fault-finders, following after their lusts, speaking boastfully, and admiring people for the sake of gain.
Then we get to verse 17. Jude wrote, “But you, beloveds.” Up to this point, he had described these people who had crept into the church secretly. He had written about their sins and bad characteristics. But in verse 17 he told true believers, true Christians, what they were supposed to do instead. They were supposed to remind themselves of the words spoken ahead of time by the apostles.
Notice the word spoken. He did not remind them of things that had been written at that point in time. He reminded them of things that had been spoken. He reminded them of things that had been spoken by the apostles. Let’s think a little bit about the activity of the apostles and the words that were spoken by them.
This is a map of the Middle East. All the events in the New Testament happened in this area of the world. Across the top is a timeline with 0AD at the upper left. That is roughly when Jesus was born. 100AD is at the upper right. That is roughly the end of the New Testament time period.
Jesus lived on earth from about 0AD up until about 35AD. Jesus spent most of His life in the area of land we know today as the nation of Israel.
After Jesus went back to heaven in the mid-thirties AD, the apostles began their ministry. Some of that is recorded in the Book of Acts. The events in the book of Acts took place roughly between 35AD and 65AD. The apostles shared the truth about Jesus in Jerusalem, and then Judea and Samaria, and then they starting spreading it throughout the whole Roman world.
In particular, we read in the book of Acts about Paul taking the gospel message to Turkey. Then Paul took the gospel message over to Greece and eventually to Rome.
As the apostles were spreading out from Jerusalem, they were telling people about Jesus. According to Jude, another thing the apostles were telling people was “At the end time there will be mockers following after their own lusts of ungodliness.” Notice this concept of the End Time. Let’s talk about that concept.
Let’s go to a concordance. A concordance is a reference work that lists every word that is used in a particular writing. In this case, I’m looking at a concordance of the New American Standard Bible. I’m looking for any verse that has either end day, end time, last day, or last time. Also I have asterisks in the search terms so I can catch both singular and plural versions of these words.
Let’s look at the results of this. This is Isaiah.
Is. 2:2 Now it will come about that
In the last days
The mountain of the house of the LORD
Will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And will be raised above the hills;
And all the nations will stream to it.
The prophet Isaiah included this concept of the last day in his prophecy.
Let’s scroll down to Jeremiah.
Jer. 49:39 ‘But it will come about in the last days
That I will restore the fortunes of Elam,’”
Declares the LORD.
Ezekiel talked about the last days.
Ezek. 38:16 and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It shall come about in the last days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog.”
Daniel mentioned the end times multiple times, including in chapter 12.
Dan. 12:9 He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time.
We see the last days referred to in Hosea.
Hos. 3:5 Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days.
Then we see it in Micah.
Mic. 4:1 And it will come about in the last days
That the mountain of the house of the LORD
Will be established as the chief of the mountains.
It will be raised above the hills,
And the peoples will stream to it.
The point of all this is simply to point out that, in the Old Testament, they had this concept of the last days.
Let’s take a look at a timeline to make sure we understand where all of this fits time-wise. This is a timeline of world history. We have 4000BC on the left, which is roughly creation. We have 2000AD on the right which is roughly our day. The Old Testament tells us about people and events from 4000BC up to about 400BC. The New Testament tells us about things from the first century AD.
Adam lived from 4000BC up to roughly 3000BC. Noah lived between 3000BC and 2000BC. Abraham lived just after 2000BC. David lived roughly 1000BC. Jesus, as you know, lived in the first century AD. The book of Jude, which is what we’re focusing on in this series of lessons, was written in the first century AD.
The prophets that we just read from in the Old Testament, who talked about the end times, lived and prophesied roughly between 900BC and about 400BC. These prophecies about the End Time from the Old Testament came very late in the Old Testament time period. Overall, they were just after the middle point of world history. David was pretty much right in the middle of world history.
That is some context on what the Old Testament says about the end times. The point of this is simply to say that in the Old Testament time period, the prophets did know about the concept of the end times, the end of time, the end of days. Now let’s see what the New Testament has to say about this.
John 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
Notice the word day is singular. That is important. For example, if you talk about the last day of the year, that means you’re talking about December 31. If you talk about the last days of the year, that means you could be talking about the last week of December, the last two weeks of December, or perhaps the whole month of December.
The same thing is true in the New Testament. Jesus spoke about the last day. The word day is singular. Jesus said He is going to raise people up on the very last day, the very end.
Now let’s scroll down to Hebrews.
Heb. 1:2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
This refers to Jesus coming to earth the first time in the first century AD. We see that that is referred to as the last days. Notice the word days is plural. When the Bible talks about the last days, using the plural form of the word, it’s not just referring to the very end of time that comes after our lifetime. This verse implies you and I are already living in the last days. We’re not necessarily living in the last day, but we are living in the last days.
Now let’s scroll down to 1 Peter where we see something similar.
1Pet. 1:5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
The word time is singular, so this refers to the very end of time.
1Pet. 1:20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you
Here, the word times is plural. This also refers to when Jesus came to earth the first time in the first century AD. Again, we see the concept that from the first century AD up to the present is all part of what is referred to as the last times. It is not the last day or the last time, but it is the last days and the last times.
Then if we scroll down some more we come to Jude 18.
Jude 18 that they were saying to you, “ In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.”
Here, the word time is singular. When Jude wrote this, he was referring to things that would come after him. The mockers would come later.
What we see so far is that the apostles were telling you that at the end time, there will be mockers. Let’s talk about the concept of mockers.
Let’s go back to the concordance. The word mockers is a translation of the Greek word empaiktes. We see that this word is a variation of another Greek word which is empaizo. Empaizo is a compound word. The second half of that word is the Greek word paizo.
This word is interesting because it means to play as a child. The point of this is that mocking, to a certain extent, includes the concept of childishness.
As I said, the Greek word that’s used in Jude 18 is empaiktes. There are a couple other Greek words that are related: empaigmone, empaigmos, and empaizo. Let’s go to a concordance and search for all for these words.
We see that there are 16 verses in the New Testament that contain a variation of this word. Let’s take a look at these. Let’s start in Matthew.
Matt. 2:16 Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi.
Here we see this concept of mockery is actually the concept of being tricked. Herod was tricked by the Magi.
Let’s scroll down to Matthew 27.
Matt. 27:29 And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “ Hail, King of the Jews!”
The soldiers made fun of Jesus.
Let’s scroll down to Luke. This is a parable of Jesus about a man who started building something and didn’t have the money to finish it.
Luke 14:29 “Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him,
If you start to build something and don’t have the money to finish it, then people will ridicule you and make fun of you. They will mock you.
Luke 23:11 And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate.
The soldiers made fun of Jesus.
We also see the word contempt. Part of the concept of mocking someone is having contempt at them.
Let’s go down to 2 Peter.
2Pet. 3:3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts,
We see something similar in Jude, and this is the verse we’re looking at today.
Jude 18 that they were saying to you, “ In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.”
The apostles said this in the first century AD. They said in the last time, sometime after their lifetime, there will be mockers in the church, people making fun of Christians and making fun of what we believe. Is this happening today? Are there people in our churches who are making fun of traditional Christian beliefs? Are there people in our churches who are making fun of, mocking, and having contempt toward the inerrancy of Scripture, the belief that only men can be elders, and the belief that women should be silent in church? Are there people in our churches who are making fun of the traditional definition of marriage? Are there people in our churches who are making fun of people who have a very strong pro life stance? Yes, all those things are happening.
We see in this verse that Jude said to Christians, remind yourselves that the apostles were telling you at the end time there will be mockers. Why did Jude write this? Why did he write to remind people that the Apostles said there would be mockers?
Let’s go back to the beginning of Jude and remind ourselves why Jude wrote this book. Jude wrote his letter because certain people had crept in secretly and they were turning the grace of God into sensuality and denying Jesus. Part of the problem is there might be some or a lot of people who would not believe Jude. They might not believe that this had happened. There might be people today who would read the book of Jude and say that can’t happen to us or it can’t happen in their church. When Jude told us about the mockers, the point was the apostles of Jesus themselves warned us the mockers would come. They said there are going to be people in the church who have bad ideas and are teaching bad things and are making fun of correct theology and traditional beliefs. Because of that, we should not be surprised when people creep into the church secretly, and are turning the grace of God into sensuality and denying our only Master and Lord Jesus Christ. We should not be surprised that in our churches today there are people who are causing problems
As we go about our lives as Christians and we participate in the life of our local church, we have to be aware that there may be people in the church who are a cancer. There might be people who are not truly Christians. There might be people who mock and make fun of traditional Christian beliefs like the definition of marriage, the role of women, and the inerrancy of Scripture. We have to be willing to accept the reality that this might be happening in our churches because Jude reminded us that the apostles said from the very beginning that this kind of stuff was going to happen.
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