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.
Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
When we were in the Charismatic and Pentecostal, we understood this verse of the Scripture as teaching the need for prophecies, visions, dreams and interpretations of dreams. We understood it in the sense, “Where there is no dreams and revelations, the people perish;” but there are many problems with such interpretation. First, “vision” does not necessarily mean dreams and trances. If in the Daily Sun Newspaper tomorrow, we should see the heading, NIGERIA IS A NATION WITHOUT VISION, would we not be so stupid and foolish to assume “vision” in the above heading of the news means prophecy? Would any one interpret it to mean Nigeria is a nation without prophecies and trances and dreams?
In like manner, to assume and conclude that “vision” in the above passage of the Scripture means only dreams and prophecies, is to show how shallow our understanding of the Holy Scripture is, and to uncover our ignorance of divine truth!
The verse has nothing in it purporting prophecies and dreams, much less the idea of praying in tongues!
Vision here means a guide, a direction, or light from the word of God.
Without vision, that is, without guide, and direction from the word of God, the people perish.
“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” I Pet 1:8
How this passage of the bible rebukes the crazy, tongues-obsessed Charismatic movement! How it lays the axe to the root of the 21st Century evangelists who claim they have seen the risen Lord, and that the Lord Jesus Christ has appeared to them in one way or the other!
Here the Apostle Peter writes to his converts who at that time were “scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia”, and possibly, a great number of them were of the 3, 000 that were converted upon hearing his sermon on the day of Pentecost (See Acts 2).
He testifies of their love towards the Lord Jesus Christ, and this their love towards the Lord Jesus Christ was in spite of the fact that this Jesus whom they love was one whom they have never seen. What a love!
Copied from http://www.letgodbetrue.com/bible/heresies/tongues.php – used here with permission.
“Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”
I Corinthians 13:8
“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
II Corinthians 11:4
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
II Corinthians 11:13-15
The obsession of Charismatics and Pentecostals to speak in tongues is the devil’s lie to deceive and destroy some sincere saints; replace sound doctrine and Bible preaching with entertainment, fables, and showmanship; and to disgrace the gospel of Jesus Christ. Modern speaking in tongues cannot be separated from the widespread healing frauds, laughing revivals, slaying in the Spirit, money begging, dog barking, drunk in the spirit, and other profane practices of the same parties. The leading ministers and churches of this movement are totally different from apostolic religion in doctrine and practice. This simple study will show once and for all that speaking in tongues had ended by 70 A.D.
Copied from http://www.letgodbetrue.com/questions/elijah.php – used here with permission.
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.
– Malachi 4:5
Scofield, Larkin, LaHaye, Van Impe, and other prophetic speculators love to talk about the second coming of Elijah the prophet. They run to the last verses of the Old Testament and get so excited with their discovery.
But they make two big errors in this passage. They think Elijah actually means the wild prophet of Israel, and they think the day of the LORD is the second coming of Jesus Christ. Both of these assumptions are dead wrong.
An interesting brief history of the Word of Faith movement can be found here:
Is the “Prosperity Gospel” a Variety of Evangelicalism?
By Roger E Olson
“But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13).
There are three things here which deserve special attention. First, the fact that we are expressly told that God’s elect are “chosen to salvation”: Language could not be more explicit. How summarily do these words dispose of the sophistries and equivocations of all who would make election refer to nothing but external privileges or rank in service! It is to “salvation” itself that God has chosen us. Second, we are warned here that election unto salvation does not disregard the use of appropriate means: salvation is reached through “sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” It is not true that because God has chosen a certain one to salvation that he will be saved willy-nilly, whether he believes or not: nowhere do the Scriptures so represent it. The same God who “chose unto salvation”, decreed that His purpose should be realized through the work of the spirit and belief of the truth. Third, that God has chosen us unto salvation is a profound cause for fervent praise.
Note how strongly the apostle express this – “we are bound to give thanks always to God for you brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation”, etc. Instead of shrinking back in horror from the doctrine of predestination, the believer, when he sees this blessed truth as it is unfolded in the Word, discovers a ground for gratitude and thanksgiving such as nothing else affords, save the unspeakable gift of the Redeemer Himself.
“All men fell in Adam and became sinners worthy of condemnation, and void of the perfect righteousness which God demanded. Therefore all men deserved hell. But God chose to save some sinners by his mere mercy, and he chose them to salvation. He sent Christ to die in their place, and for their sins alone, and none of them shall perish. Not one soul for whom that precious blood was shed will be lost. No matter how much men might try to pervert the gospel truth, it stands in the Scriptures, clearly written in characters of light: “AS MANY AS WERE ORDAINED TO ETERNAL LIFE BELIEVED” (Acts 14:38).
It is unspeakably sad that the atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ-the most wonderful event that has ever happened or will happen-should have been made the occasion of contention and controversy. That it has been so, affords an awful example of human depravity. The more so, that throughout the centuries of this Christian era, some of the hottest theological battles have been waged over the vital truth of the Atonement.
Speaking generally, only two views or interpretations of the Cross have received much favor among the professed people of God: the one which affirmed that the Atonement effected to make certain the salvation of all who believe; the other which supposed that atonement was made in order to make possible the salvation of all men. The former is the strict Calvinist view; the latter, the Arminian. Even here, the difference was not merely one of terms, but of truth over against error. The one is definite and explicit; the other indefinite and intangible. The one affirms an Atonement which actually atones (i.e. fully satisfied God for those on whose behalf it was made); the other predicates an Atonement which was a sorry failure, inasmuch as the majority of those on whose behalf it was posed to be offered, perish notwithstanding. The logical and inevitable corollary of the one is a satisfied, because triumphant Savior; the other (if true) would lead, unavoidably, to a disappointed, because defeated Savior. The former interpretation was taught by such men as Wickliff, John Calvin, Latimer, William Tyndal, John Bunyan, John Owens, Philip Dodderidge, Jonathan Edwards, Augustus Toplady, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, etc. The latter by men who, as theologians, were not worthy to unloose their shoes.
It is very important we understand that which is most important concerning the salvation of a sinner. We can make mistakes on any other subject in the word of God, but to be mistaken on this all important subject is to lead men astray, and to cause the shipwreck of many souls. The doctrine of salvation is the most important subject of all, and it is very important we grasp the most important thing concerning the salvation of a sinner’s soul.
(1.) The most important thing is not you accepting Jesus, but Jesus accepting you.
“To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved” (Eph. 1:6). We are not saved because we accept Jesus; we are saved because Jesus accepts us. Your accepting Jesus will not save you. What will save you is Jesus accepting you. Much is said and written today on the sinner accepting Jesus as his Saviour as though man can impose himself on God, but very little or nothing is said about Christ the Lord accepting us, which of course, is the most important thing for our salvation.