Does Praying In The Holy Ghost Mean Praying In Tongues?

An exposition of Jude verse 20

Jude 20: But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost

Charismatics generally conceive that to pray in the Holy Ghost means to pray in tongues or to speak in tongues when you pray, and the carry this interpretation and sense into the 20th verse of Jude. It is easy to see and grasp the true sense of this passage, if we would submit to the rule of context.

We can get a very quick and short context of the above passage by starting our reading from the 17th verse:

17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

From verse 17 above, we see the apostle Jude reminding his audience of the warnings they had earlier received from the rest of the other Apostles; in verse 18, the warning was about mockers who would rise up in the last days, walking in their ungodly lusts, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, and cavilling the doctrine of Christ’s second coming and final judgement of the world See (II Pet 2:1; 3:3, 4); verse 19 informs us of the characters of these mockers, they shall separate themselves from the body of Christ to form an entirely different and new movement; observe the Apostle Jude says of them that they are those who separate themselves, which we are to understand as not a separation from the world or sin but a separation from Christ, his Church and his doctrine. A further character identity of these mockers is that they are sensual, that is, carnal and lustful, conforming not to the Holy Scriptures but walking according to the dictates of their fleshly senses; they are also void of the Holy Spirit: having not the Spirit.

After giving the description of these last day mockers and their character traits, be moves on to admonish his audience. The conjunction “but” contrasts them with the mockers in the preceding verses.

“But ye, beloved, that is, in contrast to these last day mockers, beloved, I proceed to give you some word of exhortation and to enjoin you to some duties which will make you different from these men who mock and walk in lusts; and the first is for you to build up yourselves in the most holy faith, which is, grow in the knowledge of the faith into which you have been called. Second, pray and let all your prayers be in line with the Holy Spirit of God leading you in your prayers. Let not your prayers be done out of lusts, do not pray out of evil desires and carnal appetites (See James 4:3). In verse 21, he further admonishes them to continue in the love of God and to seek God’s mercy.

We can see there is nothing in this verse nor in its context about speaking in tongues or rolling on the floor or barking like dogs in the spirit. Jude was not giving a Charismatic Seminar on speaking in tongues at all. His whole end was to enjoin his audience to the necessary duties which would shame the sensual, lascivious, last days mockers.

From the opening of the epistle, the Apostle Jude informs us of what his goal was: to contend for the truth and to confute the errors of false teachers crept in unawares, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ (Jude 3-4).

To bring in the concept of speaking in tongues into this passage is a violation of the context, a disregard to hermeneutics, and an open proof of either biblical ignorance or spiritual blinding from God or both! It would be equal to bring in the concept of healings, visions, and interpretation of dreams into the passage.

Jude never wrote of speaking in tongues or of any of the apostolic gifts. He had a burden to establish his audience in the truth against the heresies which would show up in the last days.

Kenneth Hagin once wrote that speaking in tongues stimulates one’s faith, but this is not true; speaking in tongues will not stimulate your faith but your feeling and fantasy! It will not help you to trust God the more but only lead you to trust your feelings and experiences.

What stimulated your faith to receive Christ Jesus as your Lord and Saviour? Was it tongues?

Daniel in the Lion’s den, Samson, David before Goliath, Gideon before the hosts of the Philistines, Moses before Pharaoh, Paul before Nero, what stimulated their faith? Was it speaking in tongues or was it the simple acknowledgement that Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it? I Thess 5:24; Heb 10:23.

Abraham and Sarah, at such age that their ability to bring forth children were already withered, and their seemed to be no hope, what stimulated his faith so that “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God”? Was it the gift of speaking in tongues or because he was fully persuaded that, what God had promised, he was able also to perform? Roman 4:20-21.

What Wiser Men Have Said On Jude 20

Though the Charismatics have no regard for what others who have gone ahead of them have said on several passages of the Scriptures relating to speaking in tongues, I will here subjoin what few men have written relating to this passage.

CALVIN, John: Praying in the Holy Ghost. The way of persevering is, when we are endued with the power of God. Hence whenever the question is respecting the constancy of faith, we must flee to prayer. And as we commonly pray in a formal manner, he adds, In the Spirit; as though he had said, that such is our sloth, and that such is the coldness of our flesh, that no one can pray aright except he be roused by the Spirit of God; and that we are also so inclined to diffidence and trembling, that no one dares to call God his Father, except through the teaching of the same Spirit; for from him is solicitude, from him is ardour and vehemence, from him is alacrity, from him is confidence in obtaining what we ask; in short, from him are those unutterable groanings mentioned by Paul (#Ro 8:26). It is not, then, without reason that Jude teaches us, that no one can pray as he ought without having the Spirit as his guide.

CLARKE, Adam: [Praying in the Holy Ghost] Holding fast the Divine influence which ye have received, and under that influence making prayer and supplication to God. The prayer that is not sent up through the influence of the Holy Ghost is never likely to reach heaven.

GILL, John: praying in the Holy Ghost; which is a special means of increase and establishment in the doctrine of faith; the Holy Ghost is the author and enditer of prayer, and an assister in it; without him saints cannot call God their Father, nor pray with faith and fervency, or with freedom and liberty.

POOLE, Matthew: Praying in the Holy Ghost; i.e. by the assistance of the Spirit, who teacheth what to pray for, and how; from whom faith, fervency, and all praying graces do proceed. #Ro 8:26,27: The Spirit maketh intercession (prays) in us, to note the excitations of his grace; here we are said to pray in the Holy Ghost, to note the concurrence of our faculties.

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5 thoughts on “Does Praying In The Holy Ghost Mean Praying In Tongues?

  1. The bible gives its own commentary as we compare “spiritual things with spiritual”. In regard to praying in the Holy Ghost in Jude 20 you neglect to search the scriptures. What about 1 Corinthians 14-15 where praying with the Spirit is contrasted with and clearly not praying with the understanding? Ask yourself why you haven’t made this obvious connection whilst appealing to extra biblical authorities to support your case. And if you are still convinced you are right please give me a sincere reason why.

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  2. ALEX,

    thanks for your comment.

    I am also glad you believe the Bible gives its own commentary as we compare spiritual things with spiritual, but I would have you know that the first rule of interpretation is CONTEXT; so that we must stick to CONTEXT in attempting to open up the SENSE of every passage.

    Your method of introducing I Corinthians 12 – 14 into the epistle of Jude openly violates the rule of context! The passage from the epistle of Jude must be interpreted in line, and in agreement with its context, first and foremost.

    Take for example, Exodus 14:13, And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the SALVATION of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day. Here we see Moses encouraging the people to wait patiently for SALVATION. If it be inquired, what SALVATION is in view here – whether SALVATION from hell, or SALVATION from sin, or SALVATION from physical danger; wouldn’t it be a pretext for someone to run to Matthew 1:21 to fetch from thence another sense of the word salvation, and force it into the text in Exodus 14, and still tell us, as you have done, that the Bible gives its own commentary as we compare spiritual things with spiritual?

    To know the SALVATION under consideration we need to FIRST grasp the context in which that SALVATION is spoken of; and it is obvious that the SALVATION in Exodus was NOT salvation from sin, but a SALVATION from the Egyptians!

    In I Corinthians 12 through 14, Paul was speaking on the supernatural gifts of the Holy Ghost then upon the Church, whereas Jude used the words “Praying in the Holy Ghost” in a different sense than Paul used it in his epistle to the Corinthians!

    It is ridiculous that one would run to Paul’s epistle to the Corinthians and fetch a completely different sense into the epistle of Jude. It is obvious both were not writing to the same audience, and they used similar words in different senses.

    Again, you act dishonestly when you accuse me of running to extra-biblical materials to serve my purpose. I would love to ask you,

    1) When did Bible Commentaries become extra-biblical materials?

    2) Is there any good Christian Literature you can recommend to someone else? If yes, are you not guilty of recommending extra-biblical materials to others?

    3) Did you read the preface I wrote before I subjoined those “extra-biblical materials” to the article on Jude 1:20? Here is the preface:

    “Though Charismatics have no regard for what others who have gone ahead of them have said on several Scriptures relating to speaking in tongues, I will here subjoin a few”

    I anticipated that you would call those commentaries from older divines an “extra-biblical materials”, so I prefaced them with those warnings, but how soon you still stumbled on them!

    Lastly, before I conclude, I would like to ask you,

    1) When the Holy Ghost drove Jesus into the wilderness to fast and pray 40 days and 40 nights, were those prayers of his during those 40 days- were those vehement prayers in the Holy Ghost or not?

    2) When the 120 prayed together in one accord in the upper room, prior to the descent of the Holy Ghost and their receiving the gift of speaking in tongues, were those prayers performed and done in the Holy Ghost or not?

    3) When the thief on the cross prayed thus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom, was that plea and prayer done in the Holy Ghost or not?

    4) If praying in the Holy Ghost be only and exclusively praying in tongues, then all our prayers before we received speaking in tongues were not in the Holy Ghost but in the flesh?

    I look forward to your answers to these questions, with scriptural proofs, just as I have taken the time to answer yours to the best of my ability.

    Again, thanks for commenting and edifying us… You are welcome!

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    1. Dear Abuoma,

      Thank you for responding and thank you for allowing open discussion on your site. Your example about context in interpreting Exodus 14:13 makes good sense.

      Here are my responses to you in square brackets…

      >In I Corinthians 12 through 14, Paul was speaking on the supernatural gifts of the Holy Ghost then upon the Church, whereas Jude used the words “Praying in the Holy Ghost” in a different sense than Paul used it in his epistle to the Corinthians!

      [You are just asserting this without support from the word of God.]

      >It is ridiculous that one would run to Paul’s epistle to the Corinthians and fetch a completely different sense into the epistle of Jude. It is obvious both were not writing to the same audience, and they used similar words in different senses.

      [I’m sorry, I think you are mistaken. Firstly if we are going to be teachers of doctrine we need more than ever to be humble lest we should lead others astray, as I’m sure you’ll agree. That is why the Holy Spirit warns us to “…be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man..” With this in mind I would like to say regarding your argument about context that my reading of Jude tells me that he explains his context at the beginning in verse 3.

      “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

      My understanding is that the “common salvation” and “the faith which was once delivered to the saints” means the entire new testament. The fact that this faith was ONCE delivered to the saints tells me that it had not changed and that it will never change until all is fulfilled. I am also satisfied that Jude is writing later and the context of his letter is everything that has been written beforehand. I am also of the view that Jude was writing to the exact same audience as Paul – that is the body of Christ, the body of all new testament believers.]

      >Again, you act dishonestly when you accuse me of running to extra-biblical materials to serve my purpose. I would love to ask you,
      1) When did Bible Commentaries become extra-biblical materials?
      2) Is there any good Christian Literature you can recommend to someone else? If yes, are you not guilty of recommending extra-biblical materials to others?
      3) Did you read the preface I wrote before I subjoined those “extra-biblical materials” to the article on Jude 1:20? Here is the preface:
      “Though Charismatics have no regard for what others who have gone ahead of them have said on several Scriptures relating to speaking in tongues, I will here subjoin a few”
      I anticipated that you would call those commentaries from older divines an “extra-biblical materials”, so I prefaced them with those warnings, but how soon you still stumbled on them!

      [Firstly, I regret if I have given the impression that I am accusing you. That is the devil’s role. Secondly, when I say extra-biblical I mean everything that is not the word of God. Commentaries are men’s opinions about God’s word and may be valuable in helping us come to a better understanding of the word of God; but they remain men’s opinions and they are not authoritative as the word of God is authoritative. As it is written, “Let God be true and every man a liar.”]

      >Lastly, before I conclude, I would like to ask you,
      1) When the Holy Ghost drove Jesus into the wilderness to fast and pray 40 days and 40 nights, were those prayers of his during those 40 days- were those vehement prayers in the Holy Ghost or not?
      2) When the 120 prayed together in one accord in the upper room, prior to the descent of the Holy Ghost and their receiving the gift of speaking in tongues, were those prayers performed and done in the Holy Ghost or not?
      3) When the thief on the cross prayed thus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom, was that plea and prayer done in the Holy Ghost or not?
      4) If praying in the Holy Ghost be only and exclusively praying in tongues, then all our prayers before we received speaking in tongues were not in the Holy Ghost but in the flesh?

      [Thank you for your questions. The bible says that no one can say that Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Ghost. So yes to your first three questions. Regarding your 4th question, I believe in my heart that praying in the Holy Ghost is not only and exclusively praying in tongues as we find evidence for praying with the understanding and with the spirit in the scripture.]

      >I look forward to your answers to these questions, with scriptural proofs, just as I have taken the time to answer yours to the best of my ability.

      Again, thanks for commenting and edifying us… You are welcome!

      Sincerely
      Alex

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  3. Thank you brother Alex for your Comments. I am sorry for the delayed response; I have been away for 4 days visiting some family relations.

    I must say that your arguments for interpreting speaking into Jude verse 20 is not substantiated on the Scriptures, and you are almost derailing from the point of discussion here: we are not on this thread arguing for or against the continuity of tongues today; that will be in another thread, or after we have settled the controversy at hand.

    Our point of discussion here is, What is the proper sense of “praying in the Holy Ghost” in Jude 20? if we don’t keep to this main point, we may find ourselves arguing about Infant Baptism, how Christian funerals should be conducted, if smoking and drinking wine a sin, etc., and by then, we would end up more confused and ignorant than we first began!

    Having said this, I shall now answer you, putting my answers against your arguments in square brackets; and I hope you should be able to allow me deal nicely to you as you have done to me (Matthew 7:12).

    Alex said: Thank you for responding and for allowing open discussion on your site

    I answer: [That was the purpose of this my little site. To allow discussion with people who differ with me in several doctrines of the Christian Faith so I can be edified by then, seeing I myself I am still ignorant of so many things. Every comment on this blog will be approved exactly as it is: I will not delete, edit, or rewrite anybody’s view. Only the opinion of atheists will be trashed, for once a man avows there is no God, he puts himself outside the sphere of reasonable discussion. Psalm 14:1-4; 19:1-3; Prov 9:10; Eccl 12:13; Romans 1:19-21; Acts 17:24; II Thess 3:2. No one in the Bible ever worried about those who rejected the existence of God, and neither will we. Such fools will meet Him soon enough, and they will be without excuse, for the natural creation is more than sufficient.]

    Concerning my assertion that Jude in the twentieth verse of his epistle used the term “Praying in the Holy Ghost in a different sense than Paul used it,

    Alex said: You are just asserting this without support from the word of God.

    To which I answer: [The above article which has stirred this discussion between us has over seven to eight scriptural references, not including the subjoined excerpts from different commentaries, which you have inveighed as “extra-biblical authority”, and I wonder if you have even opened to those passages to see their connections and context as it relates to what I have said on Jude 20.]

    Further on this head,

    Alex said: I think you are mistaken. Firstly if we who are going to be teachers of doctrine we need more than ever to be humble lest we lead others astray

    I answer: [First, I am not a teacher here, but a blogger who wants to foster discussion between Christians of diverse opinions and see how we can edify and be edified by one another. If I were a teacher here, I should just state my opinions and leave no room for others to comment – If I were here to pose myself as a “teacher of doctrines”, to use your own words, I would close the comments option so that no one will be able to post their comments. Again, if you have found me to be prideful, arrogant, or to be leading others astray, I would have you convince me from the Scriptures, and I trust I shall be ever willing to repent and change. By nature we are all blind to our own failings, and it is as we commune with one another that God will convict us of our errors and bring us to renounce our false ways; so if you have found any of these in me, be honest and convince me, but until then I shall be ever more and more dogmatic in stating what I believe the Scriptures teach, especially on the subject of speaking in tongues.]

    Further done on the same paragraph,

    Our brother Alex said: My reading of Jude tells me that Jude explains his context at the beginning in verse 3,

    3 ¶ Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

    Then our Brother Alex tells us, My understanding of “the common salvation” and “the faith which was once delivered to the saints” means the entire new testament.

    I answer: [Alex, where in the Scriptures are we told that “the common salvation” spoken of in Jude 3 means the entire New Testament? Where? Is this handling the word of God honestly? Does this your assertion prove you a workman, rightly dividing the word of truth? And when you say the “entire new testament”, you are using an ambiguous term that needs clarification; for when you say, the “entire new testament,” you need to specify if by “entire new testament” you mean exclusively (1) the new testament Scriptures, or (2) the doctrines delivered by Christ and the Apostles in the new testament dispensation which replaces the Old Testaments ceremonial laws, or (3) do you mean the same thing Christ meant when he said in Luke 22: 20, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you?

    Since you fail to specifically state the sense in which you have used the ambiguous term “new testament”, I shall leave that for you to do in your next comment. Nevertheless, lest the readers of this thread be at a loss as to the true and proper sense of the term “the common salvation” spoken of in Jude verse 3, I shall endeavour, through the grace of God, to give my own thoughts on it.

    By “the common salvation” spoken of in Jude verse 3, I apprehend, not the entire new testament Scriptures, nor the doctrines delivered by Christ and the Apostles in the New Testament Dispensation to replace the Ceremonial laws of the Old Covenant; nor yet do I conceive it to be in any sense with that of Christ, when he said in Luke 22:20, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

    But by “the common salvation”, I apprehend that salvation and grace of God which is universal and COMMON to all the elect of God, the mystical body of Christ, and to all true believers alike. Salvation here is called common, or it is said to be common, because it was a COMMON spiritual blessing and grace bestowed upon Jude, the author of the epistle, and upon those to whom he wrote; and the context on which I lay this assertion of mine is not from the 3rd verse, but from the very 1st verse:

    1 ¶ Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.

    From whence I observe that “the common salvation” is that salvation which is common TO THEM THAT ARE SANCTIFIED BY GOD THE FATHER, AND PRESERVED IN JESUS CHRIST, AND CALLED. This salvation is COMMON to all of God’s children, running from their fountain head, Christ, as the source and author and finisher of it, and flows down gently to his last member whose name is written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life; it was COMMON to Abel, Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Samuel, David, in the Old Testament (See Hebrews 11); and it was COMMON to Peter, James, Paul, Jude, and will be COMMON TO THEM THAT ARE SANCTIFIED BY GOD THE FATHER, AND PRESERVED IN JESUS CHRIST, AND CALLED, to the end of the world.

    No where in the Holy Scriptures do we read that “the common salvation” means “the entire new testament”, as our brother Alex would have us believe. If he objects to what has been said on “the common salvation”, let him bring on verse, or one one context to prove that “the common salvation” spoken of in Jude verse 3 means “the entire new testament.” So much on “the common salvation” of Jude verse 3.]

    I hasten now to answer another of our brother Alex’s argument.

    Alex said: The fact that this faith was ONCE delivered to the saints tells me that it will never change until all is fulfilled.

    I answer: [The faith that was ONCE delivered to the saints in this context is the DOCTRINE of the New Testament Dispensation; this, I believe as you do, that it will never change until all is fulfilled. But if you you try to make the supernatural endowments that was upon the Apostles a part of this DOCTRINE that was once delivered to the saints, then I trust, by God’s grace enabling me, that I will prove you wrong on every single verse of the Scripture you will attempt to pitch your foot on.

    (1) If you still insist that ALL the supernatural endowments that was bestowed on the early church has not changed till now, then I would have you know that the gift of INFALLIBLE INSPIRATION was as well given to the Apostles to write INSPIRED SCRIPTURES; so that if none of those supernatural endowments have been taken from the saints, why is it that these our MODERN DAY APOSTLES AND PROPHETS are not inspired to write Inspired Scriptures?

    What? Did the Apostle have that special ability to write inspired Scriptures and we don’t have it now? Was that one of the faith which was ONCE delivered unto the saints, and yet, we who are saints as well do not have it now? Ah Sir, if you can’t give us a reasonable explanation as to why God has kept this special Apostolic ability from the saints today, then you better know that you have pulled down with your own hands everything you have laboured to build.

    (2) What about the supernatural gifts of UNPREMEDITATED APOLOGY, by which the Apostles and Early saints like Stephen were able to give a thorough and infallible defence of the Christian Faith, without having to study, prepare or premeditate, for an answer. This special ability to accurately defend the faith against all adversaries, so that they will not be able to gainsay it, was promised to the Apostles and the Early Christians in Luke 21:12-15:

    12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.

    13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony.

    14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:

    15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.

    Here, Christ tells them expressly, Settle it therefore in your hearts, NOT to meditate before what ye shall answer; they were forbidden to make any form of preparation or premeditation to answer their critics, why? Because, says Christ, I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.

    Let’s bring the application home now. If you and I were called to give a defence of the Christian faith, and we fail in our duty to study and prepare, what shame and ignominy will attend our labour! What mud of clay will cover our face and muddle our Apology! We would as soon build an aircraft without a basic knowledge of Mathematics than attain to that supernatural “MOUTH and WISDOM” by which Paul and the rest of the Apostles were able to beat their adversaries and critics such that they were not able to gainsay.

    Paul would not have Timothy trust that he still had this supernatural MOUTH and WISDOM, or the WORD of WISDOM, as the Original Apostles had it, so he bid him “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Tim 2:15).

    If Timothy must not be ashamed in his defence of the Faith, he must study for that because he had not what the Original Apostles had, that is, the WORD of WISDOM, or the MOUTH and WISDOM.

    Let our beloved brother Alex be kept six months without a King James Bible, and after that, let him be brought in to defend the doctrine of Trinity before a learned Unitarian, and we will see if he has this supernatural MOUTH and WISDOM, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. Let him further be kept without a Bible for some two years, then bring him to defend this his doctrine of speaking in tongues, and you will see how his eloquence and wits will fail him. I wonder if our brother Alex has ever thought of these things, yet, he still tells us that the supernatural gifts bestowed on the early church – “it had not changed and that it will never change until all is fulfilled.”

    Let me exhibit a bit of my pride (as our brother Alex has indirectly charged me) and say that Charismatics are guilty of perverting the plain sense of Holy Scriptures! When they tell us that the gift of the word of wisdom is the ability to give directions on what is yet in the future, they lie without conscience! The word of wisdom, which is one of the nine gifts of the Holy Ghost mentioned in I Corinthians 12, has nothing to do with predicting the future. It was that supernatural MOUTH and WISDOM which our Lord Jesus Christ promised to his Apostles, by which they had no need to study or meditate before they gave an apology or defence of the Faith. WORD, in a metonymy of Cause for effect, is sometimes put instead of MOUTH; so that instead of saying the MOUTH and WISDOM, as Christ did, the Apostle Paul used WORD of WISDOM!

    If they can’t figure out how the Scripture uses diverse figures of speech, they had better heed the very warning of James 3:1, which Alex has already rehearsed in their hearing:

    ¶ My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

    If Alex still objects to what has been said thus far concerning the cessation of the supernatural endowments upon the Apostles and early church, let him produce his cause, and let him bring forth his strong reasons (Isa 41:21), and God willing, I shall answer them.

    My conclusion on this head is this, If brother Alex and the modern Charismatic church cannot lay claim to having the supernatural ability to write Inspired Scriptures – If they cannot lay claim to possessing that supernatural MOUTH and WISDOM (Luke 21:15), otherwise known as the WORD of WISDOM (I Cor 12:8), they had better also give up the claim of possessing the supernatural ability to speak in diverse earthly languages – they had better lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save their souls (James 1:21).]

    I hasten to another particular which needs to be answered, in which our brother

    Alex said: I am also of the view that Jude was writing to the exact same audience as Paul – that is the body of Christ, the body of all new testament believers.

    To which I answer: [This your assertion does not serve your purpose here, brother. You write and speak ambiguously, leaving us at a loss on what you actually mean. Did you ever read in any place where I said that Paul, or Jude, or any other Apostles, wrote to any other audience except to the body of Christ? Have I ever asserted that any of the epistles were written to the body of unbelievers? I most confidently affirm that none of the Apostolic Epistles were written to any unbeliever. They were all were to the Body of Believers; but each of Epistle addresses some separate and distinct needs different from what other epistles aimed at. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians was to the Body of GENTILE BELIEVERS: to still the divisions and contentions in the Church which had come to the hearing of Paul (1:11), and it was also written as a response to a letter they had earlier sent him (Chapter 7:1); but Jude wrote to address the body of JEWISH BELIEVERS: to stir them up, and exhort them to contend against “certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude verse 4).

    Again brother Alex, when you say I am also of the view that Jude was writing to the exact same audience as Paul – that is the body of Christ, the body of all new testament believers you are almost confounding the nature of Paul’s Epistles with that of the other Apostles, which I believe is not wise. Paul’s Epistles are of an entirely different nature than that of the other Apostles, and as such, they ought to be handled careful, not by mangling and jangling, but prayerfully and spiritually. Why? Because in the Epistles of Paul are contained “some things hard to be understood, which they that are UNLEARNED and UNSTABLE wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Pet 3:16).

    To give you the full context of this admonition, here is it from the pen of the Chief Apostle, Peter, who himself understood that Paul’s Epistles needed very much trembling and reverence to handle:

    14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

    15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

    16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

    Peter would have his audience understand the nature of Paul’s Epistles, and would have them read and interpret them with caution and care, because even while the Apostles themselves were alive, some men – UNLEARNED and UNSTABLE men – were already wresting, mangling, confounding and confusing Paul’s Epistles, but only to their own destruction.

    To prove to you that Paul’s Epistles, or the Pauline Epistles, as some love to call it, have some peculiarity in them different from that of the other Apostles,

    (1) Paul’s Epistle is the one Epistle that broke what was decided upon in the Council of Jerusalem. The Council at Jerusalem forbade the disciples eating things offered to Idols (Acts 15:28-29); Paul in his Epistles would later go on and say it didn’t matter if they ate things offered to Idols, or if they even eat idolatrous meals while sitting down in pagan shrines (I Cor 8:1-13; 10:27,31)! How would the UNLEARNED and UNSTABLE men in II Peter 3:15-16 reconcile such discrepancies? No, they would sooner wrest them to their own destruction!

    (2) Paul’s Epistle is the only one that gives an in-depth survey of the supernatural gifts of the Holy Ghost to the Early Church; Peter’s Epistles does not come near the subject in such depth and details.

    (3) Paul’s Epistle alone is that of which Peter said there are in them things HARD to understand.

    (4) James, touching upon the case of the sick in the Church, would have the elders anoint the sick with oil for healing (James 5:14 – 15); Paul, in contrast to James’ direction for the sick, required home remedy, that is, that the sick Timothy and others resort to ordinary means of providence for their bodily cure. Let the UNLEARNED and UNSTABLE man in II Peter 3:15-16 attempt to reconcile this contrariety, and he would swiftly fall into either the ditch of Modern Charismaticism, affirming that the anointing oil can still heal the sick today, or he will fall into the ditch of saying that I Timothy 5:23 was not penned down by the Apostle Paul, who himself was a champion for healing, and could have sent a healing handkerchief or apron across to Timothy at the same, and in the same way, he sent him the two Epistles.

    (5) Paul had more insight into the New Testament Dispensation as it relates to the Gentiles, than all of the other Apostles (Ephesians 3:1-8).

    These are but few peculiarities of the Pauline Epistles, calling you and I to take heed how he handle the Pauline Epistles, lest we be found wresting them to our own destruction.

    I stand amazed now, and wonder that ALL the arguments for the continuation of tongues and visions are founded only on Paul’s Epistles, and especially on the 12th and 14th chapters of 1st Corinthians. Why? Because Paul’s Epistles are hard to be understood, and easy to wrest to our own destruction. Paul’s Epistles contained in them some things hard to be understood, and the UNLEARNED and UNSTABLE men of our time, starting from Charles F. Parham and William Seymour, have wrested them to their own destruction.

    In prior centuries (1500-1900) when Christianity was still the religion of the Book, and men studied hard to rightly divide the word of truth, so as not to be ashamed, no one in orthodox circles ever avowed the continuation of speaking in diverse earthly languages, as the Original Apostles did; but in these days wherein God has poured out his Spirit upon on flesh, as Modern Charismatics tell us, and sitting and learning the doctrines of the Christian Faith have become wearisome to their flesh, so that everyone now seeks for entertainment and smooth words to scratch their itching ears – In these modern times, UNLEARNED and UNSTABLE men rise day by day, wresting Paul’s words to their own destruction – and those who tremble and humble themselves in approaching the Pauline Epistles are condemned as prideful, divisive, schismatic, and so forth. We dare not follow popular opinion, but confine ourselves to that form of Christianity which has stood the test of time even before Charles Parham and William Seymour came to the scene. We would follow the path of the Old Baptists, the Ancient Puritans; and the others may choose the “New Wave” Path, and make themselves happy.

    So much on the different audiences to which the individual Apostolic epistles were addressed.]

    Now brother Alex, let us check the arguments with which you try to disprove the reliability of Bible Commentaries, especially those Bible Commentaries predating the era of Modern Charismatic Movement.

    Alex said: Commentaries are men’s opinion about God’s word… but they remain men’s opinions and are not authoritative as the word of God is authoritative.

    I answer: [Commentaries are not only the notes written along side the verses of the Bible to help explain them; every preaching of every minister of the Gospel is a Commentary, for in preaching, we only COMMENT and give our opinion on the text we have chosen for our sermon. If brother Alex goes to church every Sunday morning, every sermon his pastor preaches is his pastor’s commentary, and they cannot be as AUTHORITATIVE as the INSPIRED Scriptures are. If the several written sermons of his pastor be gathered together to make huge notes on the Bible, they become his pastor’s Bible Commentary.

    In my Oxford English Minidictionary 6th Edition, I am told that a Commentary is:

    (1) The expression of opinions about an event;

    (2) A broadcast account of an event as it happens;

    (3) A set of notes on a text.

    Let Alex choose whichever definition he wills, he must still concur that every sermon (including my own sermons) is a Commentary; and all our sermons put together to form notes on the different texts of the Bible, would become a Bible Commentary.

    To prove this, Matthew Henry’s Commentaries on the first eleven chapters of the Bible were largely taken from the notes and sermons of his own father, Philip Henry; Matthew Henry did not live to finish his Commentaries on the whole Bible as he died of stroke while just approaching the Epistles of Roman; but large excerpts from his notes and sermons were taken to make up and finish the remaining Commentaries on the other Epistles.

    John Gill wrote his Commentary from many of his sermons and notes; and on and on we may go to prove that every sermon we hear is but the preacher’s own commentary – his own opinion as to what he believes the Bible to teach. Now if this is so, I see no reason why Alex should inveigh against Bible Commentaries, calling them “extra-Bible Authority”, “mere human opinions, etc.” as if he does not know that a Commentary is the same thing as sermon notes.

    When himself preaches to others, does he not know that he is giving his own commentary, except he should affirm that his sermon’s are authoritative, inspired and Apostolic.

    When men attempt to undermine ancient truth built upon Apostolic traditions, the rail against Commentaries, Church Histories, and ancient writings. To discover the true colour of the Roman Catholic Church, the reader only reads to read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Martyrs of the Catacomb, Bunyan’s Pilgrim Progress, and what other Primitive Authors have said on the same subject, and they will know the need for TRUSTED Commentaries and writings.

    No wonder many Jesuits of the Church of Rome attempted to discredit the accuracy, record and dating of John Foxe in when he first published the first edition of it to the world. They inveighed against it as unreliable, having no trusted proofs, wrong dates assigned to the events, etc., and all these were in order to undermine ancient truths! So much in my defence for Bible Commentaries predating the modern Charismatic Movement.

    If Alex will be consistent with his words and assertion, he must also inveigh against all gospel preaching and sermons as “extra-biblical authority”, “mere human authority”, etc.]

    Alex said: I believe with all my heart that praying in the Holy Ghost is not only and exclusively praying in tongues

    I answer: [Since you believe so with all your heart that praying in the Holy Ghost is NOT only and exclusively praying in tongues, why is it that praying in tongues is the only sense and interpretation you want to FORCE into the text in Jude verse 20?]

    For the Cause of Christ and His Gospel, I am your servant in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ,

    Abuoma Boanerges.

    Liked by 1 person

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