Jude 14-19: Last day scoffers, grumblers and flatterers

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Bible Study Series: The Book of Jude - The Acts of the Apostates

Bible Study: Jude 14-19: Last day scoffers, grumblers and flatterers

By Fraser Gordon

Bible Study Message Jude 14-19 Last day scoffersJude has spent a big portion of this book so far warning his hearers about apostasy and false people creeping into the fellowship. This study covers Jude’s final warning to the church before he addresses how the saints should live amongst apostasy. 

The Book of Enoch 

Jude 1:14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,

Jude introduces the character Enoch who was alive pre flood. Scripture tells us that Enoch walked and talked with God, God was pleased with him, and then he was taken. He was raptured prior to God pouring out his wrath on the world in Genesis 6. Jude quotes from the Book of Enoch, which was well known in Jude’s day, to illustrate that Jesus is coming to earth again. He is not proclaiming a new truth, but is using the Book of Enoch to establish a known biblical truth; which is the second coming of Christ. The Book of Enoch is an apocryphal book which wasn’t added into our canon of Scripture, so we can't take it as being authoritative or otherwise the Holy Spirit would have included it. Jude uses Enoch as a reference to what his Jewish hearers already know, affirming a biblical truth that Jesus is going to return again. 

Jude 1:15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."

Jude sees the Lord coming with ten thousands of his saints to execute judgement. Sometimes we think this world is going to go on and on and on and never come to an end. It's a bit like a football game. Sometimes it seems to go on forever but the ref has a whistle in his hand and when the time is up he will blow it. It will be like that with God. He's allowed this earth a certain amount of time. But the final whistle will come at some stage and it'll be full time. At that point the Lord Jesus will return to set up his Kingdom. 

Two mountains and a valley

At the start of His ministry on earth the Lord Jesus stood up to read in the synagogue. He was given the book of Isaiah and He opened it to Isaiah 61. (Luke 4.16-20).

Isaiah 61:1 "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,...

He stopped right there, halfway through verse two and didn't read the second-half of the verse. The Lord was reading about His first coming. It was the year of the Lord's Salvation, to proclaim liberty, the opening of the prison, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. The acceptable year of the Lord is the good news of the gospel, that Jesus Christ has come to earth to save sinners - you and I. He stopped midway through the verse then He closed the book and sat down. Then in Luke 4.21 He said to them “today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing”. 

Isaiah 61.2 …and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn. 

The second-half of the verse is about His second coming. There is a day of vengeance coming. The old testament prophets only saw two mountains. They saw Messiah coming and they saw the Messiah setting up His kingdom and reigning, but they didn't see the valley in between. Right now we are in the valley where the game is being played out. But there will be a final whistle and the second mountain top will come to pass; the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to set up his millennial kingdom and reign on earth. Christ’s return will come as the day of vengeance of God. 

An established truth

That there would be a second coming of Christ is an already established truth in scripture. 

Zechariah 14.4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. 5 Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the Lord my God will come, And all the saints with You. 6 It shall come to pass in that day That there will be no light; The lights will diminish.

Isaiah and Zechariah both say that the Lord God will come to earth on the day of vengeance, and not only Him, but all the Saints with Him. There are other new testament scriptures which also support this truth.

Matthew 24.29. "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Everyone will see Christ at his second coming and He will be accompanied by angels. 

2 Thessalonians 1.5 which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; 6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.

Thessalonians speaks of a day when He comes, that He will be glorified, and He will punish the ungodly. 

Revelation 1.7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

Every eye will see him.

Revelation 19.7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!' " And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God." 10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

In other words, the whole prophetic book is about a person. It's about the Lord Jesus Christ. Then it carries on.

Rev 19:11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

All these scriptures back up what Jude referred to in verse 14; that there is a second coming of Christ where He will judge earth. This is an established truth in scripture so Jude is not proclaiming a new truth just using Enoch as an example of an established truth.

The ungodly

Jude 1:15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."

Firstly the judgement is on all who are ungodly. God, in his graciousness, has allowed this world to go on and on and on. We are in the age of grace, and we don’t think it's going to come to an end. But there will be a time when the whistle blows and God will say that's it. The age of Grace is over and He is coming back. Sin would have reached its fullness and God will judge this world and all who live in it. Notice how many times in this verse Jude mentions ‘ungodly’. The last days will be the day of the ungodly, and when they are visited they will be visited by the wrath of a righteous God. 

Secondly God will convict the ungodly for all the ungodly deeds done in an ungodly way. Everything that man has done from the natural man is from a sinful self and ungodly at its core. Notice that there will be a conviction when He executes His judgement. They will be convicted by the works they have done. 

Thirdly, the words they have spoken against God and all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him. In the Book of Revelation, man curses God because of the judgments He brings on the earth. They don't repent, they don't feel sorry for the way they've acted, instead they curse God. This judgement is for all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against a loving God. Remember saints that God is always listening. Not only is He watching every deed and motive of the heart, but He's listening to all the words that come out of our mouths. 

The grumblers and complainers

Jude 1.16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. 

They are grumblers, always complaining about something. When He brought Israel out of Egypt, He led them into the wilderness. The wilderness life was one of grumbling and complaining at every provision God made. They didn't like the mana or the quail. Nothing was good enough. In the end God had had enough and wanted to wipe them out completely but Moses interceded on behalf of the people.

The first sign Jude tells us to watch for is grumbling. The second is complaining. They are grumblers and complainers, always complaining about their lot in life. Unfortunately, there's a lot of people like that. You ask them “how's it going?” and it's always ooh I've got this wrong and that wrong. They're always complaining and never have a good thing to say. It reminds me of a monk that committed himself to a parish. When he came in, he made a vow of silence while he served as a monk. After the first 10 years the superior came to him and  asked “do you have anything to say?” The monk said “the food's bad”. Ten more years passed. The superior came to him again. Do you have anything to say? He responded “My bed is too hard. Another 10 years went by and the superior came to him once again and said “do you have anything to say?” The monk said “I quit”. The Superior replied “I'm not surprised one bit. You've done nothing but complain ever since you got here”. Complainers are always complaining. 

The flatterers

Jude goes on to say ‘…walking according to their own lusts, and they mouth great, swelling words flattering people to gain advantage’. Beware of flattery. False people will say what you want to hear to gain advantage. Beware the man that puffs you up using flattery to gain your approval. There are plenty of people who do it. Watch out for it. They don't really mean what they say, they're just looking for your approval. They'll puff you up or say something nice, but it's not heartfelt. They will also flatter people to gain advantage so they might rise in their position. Get on the good side of the Boss, intentionally puffing them up, and use flattery to their advantage. 

2 Timothy 4.1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

A time will come when people won't want to hear the solid food of scripture. Instead they'll heap up for themselves teachers who will puff themselves up and give false teachings because they've got itchy ears to hear only what they want to. Now he turns his attention from false people to the saints. 

Jude 1.17 But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ:

How quick we are to forget, our brains are like sieves. Information comes in and goes out. This is why we need to be in the word of God daily. We need to let the words speak to us, and we need to let it come into our lives and affect us. When you've finished reading it, read it some more. When you've got spare time, read it, even one scripture. Think about what it is talking about. We need to remember everything that the Lord Jesus has said, and everything that the apostles taught. 

The mockers and scoffers

Jude 1.18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.

What we need to remember is that there’s nothing new under the sun. The apostles spoke of apostasy coming to the church especially in the last days. That it would rise and rise. The main trait of false people in the last days is that they will be mockers of the things of God and mockers of Christians. 

2 Peter 3.2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, 3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation."

Peter is saying the same as Jude. Be mindful, remember what has been spoken before. In the last days the world will be full of mockers and scoffers, and so will the church. It's easy to identify mockers outside the church. Plenty of people mock the existence of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. They scoff at the Lord Jesus Christ and his claims to be the only way to the Father. They mock the saints too. If you are separated apart to the Lord Jesus Christ you will receive mocking and scoffing from those in the world. They don't understand your separation to God; that you don't want to hang out at the pubs, you don't want to gamble, you’re not interested in looking at women, you don't want to join in their foul jokes, and you're not climbing the ladder and getting ahead materially at the expense of others. 

They also mock the Christians hope of His return. All things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. That's the world's view. “You Christians talk about a judgement to come, but everything continues the same. Where is this righteous God?" They say. “There's no judgement”. But know this, there will definitely be a day of judgement. The referee will blow his whistle, the time will be up, and the Lord Jesus will return. It will be a day of vengeance. When Jesus came the first time, He came as a suffering servant to lay down His life for the sins of the world. But when He returns the second time. He will be the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He will have a sharp sword in His mouth and will execute the divine wrath of God Almighty upon the ungodly. 

There's also mockers inside the church. Unfortunately date setters, those that have got a little bit carried away with eschatology, have put dates on the second coming of Christ. This damages our testimony and end time prophecy. The world, and even some Christians, look at that and shake their heads. They mock those that look at end times. “Oh, not that again, always looking at everything as though it's the end”. But the scripture tells us saints that we are to watch. We will not know the day or the hour but we are called to watch and are called to pray. 

We should know the seasons. When I first became a Christian end times eschatology was everywhere in the church. I got saved in the early 90s and there were always people teaching about the Lord’s second coming from the Book of Revelation and Daniel. Have you noticed how quiet it's become in the church now? Eschatology is not preached much anymore and even looked down upon. People don't go near the Book of Revelation or Daniel, they're not taught it much any more. We should look out for the mockers and scoffers because they are a measure of the last days, both inside and outside of the church. 

The natural man

Jude 1.19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.

They are worldly minded and sensual, they deal with everything of the soul of fallen man. This is what psychology attempts to do, make the soul of man better without the Holy Spirit. These sensual people will divide, setting one group against another. There will be people in your church who will cause division. They do it because they operate from their soul. Your soul is your mind, will and emotions. If you are not born again, you are controlled by an independent fallen self that has no time for God. The only hope that we've got is to be born again where the Holy Spirit comes in to control our life; our mind, will, and emotions so that we come in line with the Spirit of God. Apart from that, if we are unregenerate, is bring forth death. They wreak havoc dividing the fellowship. They do it because they operate from their fallen soul where self is centre. This is called the natural man.

1 Corinthians 2.14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Fallen man is born dead to the things of God. He's dominated by a fallen self which rules his soul and dominates his mind, will, and emotions. Therefore he causes divisions and separates himself because he doesn't have the spirit of Christ to rule his soul and bring his life into submission to the Holy Spirit which will then bear fruit. If you've been in church long enough you know that a division can be started with  just a small spark.

James 3.14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

There is wisdom from above that is controlled by the Spirit of God. It is pure, peaceable, gentle, and willing to yield. It's full of mercy, and good fruits. It is without partiality, or hypocrisy. That is the life of the Spirit. But the life of the fallen man inevitably creates divisions. He works from his soul, and is sensual. They will fall out with people and put one against another. Then they form into groups and you've got group against group. We wonder why we've got so much trouble in our churches. 

He has promised

In light of these last warnings of Jude in Verses 14-19 how do we live while all this is going on around us? In 2 Peter we read that scoffers will come. How do we live knowing that scoffers will be in the world and in the church? 2 Peter also addresses our position and how we should respond. 

2 Peter 3.8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Stop right there. Do you remember back in 2 Peter 3.4, they mocked and said, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? Since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’ Well, Peter now addresses this. The time is in the hands of the Lord. One day is like a thousand and a thousand is like one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise. He has promised to return, and He will return on an appointed day. He is giving enough time in this valley between the two mountain peaks of His first and second coming for as many to repent and come to the saving grace in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

2 Peter 3.10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;

How are we to behave and live? Be holy, live in godliness of character, looking for His return. In verse 12 it says ‘looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God’. Somehow living a holy righteous life, looking for the 2nd appearing of our Lord and Saviour can speed that day up. Holiness can hasten that day.  Yes, there are going to be scoffers. Yes, we're going to get mocked. Our response is to remain holy, pure, and in peace, without spot and blameless as we look toward the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. I want to end with that because we need that hope. Life is going to get harder and harder and there's going to be more and more apostates and false people. It will get worse as we see the day approaching. Remember what God says, that we are to hold fast and stay true in our Christian faith looking for His return. 


Two thirds of the book of Jude;, verse 4 through to verse 19 warns the Saints. Jude didn't want to, he wanted to talk about grace, but was compelled by the Spirit to warn, rebuke and convince. Just as it was in Jude’s day, these false people will increasingly creep in. What a great little gem of a book. In the next verses Jude addresses believers and what we should do in light of all these things that we find going on around us. I pray that you have got something out of these passages. Remember, the Lord will return and He will return to execute judgement. We need to remain steady and faithful. Looking toward that great day of His return. 

May the Lord bless you all. And I pray that you would see more than I've given you in these passages. 

God bless. Amen.