Wine! Its In The Bible

by Stan Schirmacher 


Only eternity will reveal how many people have been misled by their ignorance and misunderstanding of the word “wine” in the Bible! Unbelievers and drinkers have wielded a whip tipped with scriptures and Christians have allowed the whip to continue to snap, because they don’t know how to clip the point – not understanding that the message is against liquor, not for it! 


Take Christ’s first miracle, the turning of water into “wine” (John 2:1-10). What a well-worn whip that has proven to be! But listen, Christian, to the truth of the point: Many different Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic words or vocables used in the Bible have been indiscriminately translated as “wine” or “strong drink”. In other words, in some cases the word ”wine” in the Bible means a non-intoxicant, or a food! Fresh grape juice, to make it keep without fermentation, was boiled until it became thick like molasses, and in that form was stored away in large jars for future use, to he eaten spread upon bread, or to be mixed and stirred up in water to make a drink. 


Read John 2:9-10. “The governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” The Roman writer Pliny records that when grape juice was boiled down to one third of its hulk to secure the finest flavor, it was called ‘Sapa” (the “best wine’). So, you see, the “tip of the whip” is but a “slip of the lip,” for Jesus produced a non-intoxicating, unfermented wine!


Isaiah 55:1 says, “Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” Here the preserved grape juice, sometimes called “sweet wine” in the Bible, was mixed with milk! 

Here’s another “whip”. “For thy stomachs sake and thine often infirmities” (1 Tim. 5:23)! And here’s the tip clipped off: “Stomach wine” or “wine for the stomach” according to the writers of old Greek medicine, was a grape juice prepared as a thick, unfermented syrup for use as a food for dyspeptic and weak persons! Pliny, who lived in the apostolic age, wrote, “The beverage is given to invalids to whom it is apprehended that wine may prove injurious!” 


You see, it is no more true to say that the word “wine” always meant intoxicating wine than it is to say that the word “bread” always meant fermented (leavened) bread! The word ‘oinos” (wine) was sometimes used to describe the grape juice when it was fermented, and sometimes when it was unfermented! In Haggai 1:11 we read, “I called for a drought …upon the corn, and upon the new wine!” It is clear that the word “wine” in this case means the growing grapes, for if the wine had been in the skin bottles, the drought would have had no effect upon it! This translation, like many others, is misleading! Instead of saying “new wine,” it should say “vine fruit” (thirosh). 


Let Luke 5:37-38 show you how the word “wine” is used: “No one puts new wine [fresh grape juice] into old wine-skins; otherwise the new wine [grape juice] will [spoil and] burst the skins, and the fermented wine will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine [juice] must be put into fresh [unused] wine-skins” and both will he unfermented and preserved!


And Isaiah 65:8 says, “As the new wine is found in the cluster,” “Wine,” you see, also means grape juice, and not only in the Bible; for Varro speaks of “hanging wine” (grapes on the vine); Catro, of “hanging wine”;  Columella. of “unintoxicating, good wine.” Ovid says, “And scarce can the grapes contain the wine they have within. Ibycus says, “And the new born clusters teem with wine, beneath the shadowy foliage of the vine.” Goethe beautifully says, “And bending down, the grapes o’erflow with wine into the vat below.”


But look, withal the ignorance of the various meanings of the word “wine,” too many persons are guilty of using that misleading word where the Lord didn’t even use it! The word “wine” (oinos) is used in none of the four passages that give account of the Lord’s Supper ) Matt. 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:15-20, and 1 Cor. 11:23-26). The word that is actually used is translated “fruit of the vine.” 


Here’s the harm that that particular incorrect usage has done. “All the Sahib’s servants in Calcutta are ‘Christian’ now,” said Mr. Bayard Taylor’s native attendant to him during his travels in India. “I did not know our religion had spread so much in India,” the American answered. “Oh, yes it has,” was the reply. “for they all drink brandy!” (The names “Christian” and “drunkard” are held in the popular mind of Asia to have the same meaning, all because “wine” was incorrectly substituted for “fruit of the vine”!)


So watch out for that word and be armed with the shears of truth. “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Pet. 3:15).


Bibliography: The Bible and Wine, Loizeaox Bros., Publishers. 

This tract is intended to strengthen the believer by pointing out the truths contained in his handbook, the Bible. But we would think that we had failed if we produced a world of total abstainers, but left them all unbelievers; so here are some more truths:


“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt he saved’ (Romans 10:9). Jesus said, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved’ (John 10:9).


     ‘There is a Door – and only One, 
     Yet its sides are two:
     inside and outside;
     On which side are you?’

What about where the Bible says “give strong drink”?


“Give strong drink unto him that, is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more” (Prov. 3 1:6-7). 


This quotation is the write-up of Solomon’s mother, telling of the Jewish custom based on the old legal practice of giving a stupefying drink to condemned prisoners when they were going to execution. It was regarded as a means of tempering justice with mercy. We have a carry-over of that in the United States: Before a prisoner “walks the last mile’ he chooses his own menu. It usually consists of ice cream or strawberry shortcake, something to revive his drooping spirits for the last, woeful moments. King Lemuel (pet name for Solomonóused by his mother), is asked to abstain from strong drink. Jesus, you will recall, was offered this legal strong drink as He was ready to perish: but, of course, He refused it. Scientifically (not religiously), you see, such a drink eases the struggle. ó S. S. and Sanden’s Scripture-Science Information Service. (Read Prov. 31:4-54)

This tract is available in print from:
Osterhus Publishing House, 4500W. Broadway, Minneapolis, MN 55422


Wine in the Bible: A Biblical Study on the Use of Alcoholic Beverages by Samuel Bacchiocchi

Politically Correct Or Biblically Correct?

biblically correct or politically correct

Politically Correct

Biblically Correct

Tolerance of other religious beliefs is a virtue. Ephesians 5:11 “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
Psalms 119:104 “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.”
Galatians 1:8 “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”.  Tolerating different paths to hell is nothing to be proud of.
No particular religion is better than any other. All are equally valid. John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”. God does not tailor His salvation program to suit the whims of His creatures.
All people are basically good. Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Romans 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:  11 There is none that  understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.  12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”  If all people were basically good, we would never have to teach children right from wrong.
Homosexuality is just an alternative lifestyle. Anyone who does not think so is homophobic. Leviticus 18:22 “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”.  AIDS, VD, and suicide are nothing to be “gay” about.
Abortion is a woman’s right that no one else should interfere with. Exodus 20:13 “Thou shalt not kill.”
Proverbs 28:13 “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”  Other than in wars and in the execution of justice, nobody has a right to destroy human life, be it inside the womb or outside.
Prostitution is a victimless crime. Leviticus 19:29 “Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.” If prostitution were a victimless crime, no one would ever have to worry about getting a disease, or an unwanted pregnancy nor would people have to worry about being found out.  In addition, prostitution is an insult to the intimacy of the marriage relationship.
Pornography and profanity is protected free speech. Psalms 101:3 “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.”
Proverbs 30:12 “There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.”
Matthew 12:37 “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
James 3:8 “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”.  Offending the eyes and ears of other people and of God with ungodly behavior has nothing to do with freedom of speech.
The death penalty is inhumane. Exodus 21:12 “He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.” The death penalty is not about being humane to murderers. Its about being obedient to God’s command to provide justice for victims and punishment for criminals.
We have a right to protest against our government. Romans 13:1 “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”  Christians are to change the world by prayer and proclamation of the Gospel.  It is time to be more preoccupied with one’s neighbors and less concerned about people you will never have a chance to witness to.
Cloning and medical research of any kind is OK as long as it provides the greatest good to the greatest number. Proverbs 16:25 “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” It is never OK to create and destroy embryos in an attempt to make somebody else’s life better.
Animals are just as important as people. Genesis 1:26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Animals are NOT created in the image of God. Ironically, many animal-rights activists are pro-abortion.

“Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” [Luke 13:3]

A Biblical Critique of Chuck Smith’s Study:

“Calvinism, Arminianism & The Word Of God”


In this article we will look at the unbiblical and incorrect statements of Mr. Chuck Smith of “Calvary Chapel” fame, with respect to his study on election and predestination. His study reflects not only his own personal views but that of the leadership of most, if not all Calvary Chapel churches. The “Calvary Chapel” collection of churches represent a sort of pseudo denomination that branched out from Mr. Smith’s original mega church out in Costa Mesa California. These folks are correct about many spiritual issues but they are dead wrong about their views on Calvinism as I will point out in this study.


My comments are in bold print and the text of Mr. Smith’s study is in unbolded print.
Please read this study carefully and completely. It is not meant as an exercise in speed reading. You are bound to miss some important points if you do not spend QUALITY TIME digesting this material.


Here is the original article on Calvinism from chuck Smith.






Table of Contents

1. The “Five Points of Arminianism”
2. The “Five Points of Calvinism”
3. Calvary Chapel’s Perspective



What does it mean to be a part of the growing number of Calvary Chapel Fellowships? There are certain distinctions that cause us to stand out among other evangelical churches. We could point to our shared commitment to systematic Bible teaching or the emphasis upon love that transcends all cultural and ethnic barriers. Calvary Chapels have also been known for focus on worship, featuring contemporary music loyal to the Word of God and the desire of His people to praise their Lord. Without exception, Calvary Chapels have taken a strong stand for a pre-tribulational and pre-millennial view of the second coming of Jesus Christ. We have also expressed a steadfast love and support for the nation of Israel, its right to a historic homeland and its need for the Messiah. But most importantly, Calvary Chapel has been known for striking a balance between extremes on controversial theological issues that have often caused division rather than unity in the body of Christ.


Calvary Chapels have no desire to be divisive nor dogmatic in areas where Bible believers and teachers have disagreed.


Believers and teachers may disagree on what the Gospel is but church leaders still need to be dogmatic about what that Gospel is, as dogmatic as the apostle Paul and as dogmatic as the Psalmist:


Galatians 1:8 “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”


Psalm 119:104 “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.”


After all, there is only ONE true gospel, one narrow road:


Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”


John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”


However, it is important to state as clearly as possible the doctrinal basis of our fellowship and unity with one another, especially in the area of pastoral leadership and teaching. While we welcome believers who disagree with us to our fellowship, we do encourage a measure of doctrinal understanding and unity among our pastors who teach us the truths of God’s Word.


Calvary Chapels try to avoid conclusions, terminology, and arguments which are not clearly presented in the Bible. In no area of controversy is this approach more essential than in the long simmering debate between Calvinists and Arminians.


It is quite true that there is a great deal of controversy in this area, but that does not give a Christian the option of not proving all things, testing the spirits and studying to show oneself approved, especially in such a crucial area of doctrine…


Jude 1:3 “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.”


1Thes 5:21 “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”


1 John 4:1 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”


2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”


In the midst of this heated argument it is easy to ignore or neglect the plain statements of the Bible, or to believe that we have the ability to fully understand the ways of God (Romans 11:33-36). But how tragic it is when we become more concerned with being “right” than being loving. When we discuss the ministry of the Holy Spirit, it is easy to disagree over terms such as “baptism” and “filling” and to miss the blessing and power of God’s Spirit in our lives. The way we conduct our debates and express our opinions will sometimes “quench” as well as “grieve” the blessed Spirit who dwells within the believer. In the midst of our arguments over spiritual gifts, we can miss the Biblical admonition to love, which clearly is greater than all the gifts (I Corinthians 12:31 – 14:1) Our desire is to bring believers together in the love and unity of the Holy Spirit. Our focus is on our awesome God, not on ourselves. We are committed to glorifying our Lord in all we say and do.


Perhaps no issue is as important or as potentially divisive as the doctrine of salvation, reflected in the debate between followers of John Calvin (1509-1564) and those of Jacob Hermann (1560-1609), best known by the Latin form of his last name, Arminius. Since the Protestant Reformation in the 16th Century, Christian churches and leaders have disagreed over such issues as depravity, God’s sovereignty, human responsibility, election, predestination, eternal security and the nature and extent of the atonement of Jesus Christ.


Disagreement on doctrine does not mean that both sides are wrong or that no one can know for sure about certain doctrines.


Although trained in the reformed tradition, Arminius had serious doubts about the doctrine of “sovereign grace” as taught by the followers of John Calvin. He was a pastor of the Reformed congregation in Amsterdam (1588), but during his fifteen years of ministry there, he began to question any of the conclusions of Calvinism.


Lots of people question Calvinism, including believers who are under the hearing and teaching of Arminian pastors. Also, lots of people are not saved and so they view many spiritual truths as absurd…


1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”


To deny the BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES that Calvin systematized is to deny the Word of God.
Most people who take the side of Arminianism, do so because they do not understand the sovereignty of God and they do not understand all the Bible has to say about man’s total depravity and God’s elective plan of salvation.


He left the pastorate and became professor of theology at the University of Leyden. It was his series of lectures on election and predestination that led to a violent and tragic controversy. After his death in 1609, his followers developed the Remonstrance of 1610 which outlined the “Five Points of Arminianism.” This document was a protest against the doctrines of the Calvinists, and was submitted to the State of Holland. In 1618, a National Synod of the Church was convened in Dort to examine the teachings or Arminius in the light of Scripture. After 154 sessions, lasting seven months, the Five Points of Arminianism were declared to be heretical. After the synod, many of the disciples of Arminius, such as Hugo Grotius, were imprisoned or banished. When John Wesley took up some of the teachings of Arminianism, the movement began to grow, and it affected the Methodist tradition as well as the beliefs of most Pentecostal and Charismatic churches.


This growth in the teachings of Arminianism is not a sign of discovered truth, but rather a sign of its popularity among men, men who want a salvation plan that gives them some element of control over their eternal destiny, control that God has not granted them. The control that Arminianism grants a subscriber to that doctrine, is that you can get saved any time you want merely by accepting Christ or saying a sinner’s prayer of some sort. Such a gospel is a man-made gospel, no matter how many so-called Christian churches are preaching it.


1. Arminianism


The “Five Points of Arminianism” included the following:



Arminius believed that the fall of man was not total, maintaining that there was enough good left in man for him to will to accept Jesus Christ unto salvation.


This free-will belief promoted by Jacobus Arminius is in conflict with scripture’s description of man’s TOTAL depravity, total inability to turn to God, the real God, on His terms:


Romans 3:11 “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.”


Romans 5:6 “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”





Arminius believed that election was based on the foreknowledge of God as to who would believe. Man’s “act of faith” was seen as the “condition” or his being elected to eternal life, since God foresaw him exercising his “free will” in response to Jesus Christ.


The problem with this idea is that God FOREKNEW WHOM HE HAD ELECTED TO SAVE – HENCE THOSE WHOM CHRIST CAME TO DIE FOR, not those whom God foreknew would choose Christ. AS YOU CAN SEE, IF WE DON’T UNDERSTAND THE SCOPE OF CHRIST’S ATONEMENT THEN WE WON’T SEE PROBLEMS WITH THE FREE-WILL VIEW REGARDING GOD’S FOREKNOWLEDGE. Christ could not have possibly have died for EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING who ever lived or will live, because judicially, God cannot be a JUST God and punish the guilty in Hell if He has already punished His Son at Calvary for those same sinners and their sins!


Many Christians are told that God has looked into the future to see who would accept Christ and therefore those people are the ones whom God has predestined to be saved. Where is this idea stated in the Bible? This idea is a false doctrine, perhaps based on a misunderstanding of scriptures like Romans 8:29 and Romans 11:2. After the fall of Adam, if God ever looked forward in time, the only thing He saw was this:

Genesis 6:5 “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”


If we look at Romans 8:29 and Romans 11:2 in context, we will see PLENTY of evidence for election by God’s sovereign grace and ZERO evidence for that election being based on God looking into the future and seeing people accepting Christ:


Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are . 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s ? It is God that justifieth.”


God FOREKNEW that there were NONE that seeketh after God (Romans 3:11) and knowing that, He had no choice but to call people out of the world if He was going to have a people for Himself. God does the electing. Sinners do no elect themselves to be saved. God has the right, and HIM ALONE, to choose the BRIDE for HIS SON whom He will be presenting to the Lord Jesus Christ at the wedding in heaven!


Romans 11:2 “God hath not cast away his which he foreknew. Wot [know] ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, 3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. 5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. 7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded 8 (According as it is written, God, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.”


Note in verse 5 above, that election is according to grace, NOT according to foreknowledge. If it was according to God’s foreknowledge of our acceptance of Christ, it would be according to works and not according to grace. Note also in verse 7 that God blinded the rest. He did not intend for the rest to be saved, only His elect. Does that sound unfair? Remember, “who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?” (1 Cor. 2:16) and also “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” (Prov. 16:4). Also, if God were to be fair, everyone would end up in hell.



Arminius held that redemption was based on the fact that God loves everybody,


This idea is very popular today and I was taught it and once believed it but it happens to be unbiblical. God loves His people but hates the workers of iniquity:


Psalm 5:5 “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.”


that Christ died for everyone,


If God is just (and He surely is) and if Christ died for everyone, then no one would go to hell. Yet scripture is full of warnings about hell, including warnings directly from Christ when He walked the earth two thousand years ago…


Matthew 5:29 “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”


Matthew 5:30 “And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”


Matthew 10:28 “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”


and that the Father is not willing that any should perish.


This scripture verse cannot have the “obvious” meaning since God is capable of saving whomever He wishes. So if He truly desired that not one solitary soul would perish, then no one would have to be concerned about hell. Yet we know from scripture that hell is very real and it will be quite full of sinners, not because God failed to save people but because those people were not among God’s elect.


 The death of Christ provided the grounds for God to save all men,


Christ paid a specific ransom for specific sins of specific sinners. His suffering and death was not ambiguous. It was as specific as the various animal sacrifices outlined in the Old Testament.


but each must exercise his own “free will” in order to be saved.


This idea makes man his own saviour (at least in part) and it attributes abilities to man that man does not possess… the capability and the desire to come to Christ while he is still an ungodly, unregenerated, spiritually dead sinner.



Arminius believed that since God wanted all men to be saved, He sent the Holy Spirit to “woo” all men to Christ, but since man has absolute “free will,” he is able to resist God’s will for his life.


This idea that man can resist God’s will is in violation of scripture…


Romans 9:19 “Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? FOR WHO HATH RESISTED HIS WILL?”


John 1:13 “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”


He believed that God’s will to save all men can be frustrated by the finite will of man.


Apparently the god of Arminius was not the God of Daniel:


Daniel 4:35 “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”


He also taught that man exercises his own will first, and then is born again.


Arminius taught contrary to scripture, which says God gives the sinner the new heart first, and then the sinner is born again (able and willing to walk in God’s statutes)…


Ezekiel 36:25 “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”



If man cannot be saved by God unless it is man’s will to be saved, then man cannot continue in salvation unless he continues to will to be saved.


Again, we make man his own saviour with this idea of “salvation on the maintenance plan” and we deny scripture. The salvation of a true believer is the work of God through and through. God does the saving and God ensures that none of His sheep perish… they can’t possibly perish since their sins have already been completely paid for by Christ at Calvary. Christ cannot UNSUFFER what He already suffered for His elect!!! To think so is preposterous!!! LUDICROUS!!!! Yet that is what would have to happen in order for Arminius (or anyone) to be right about a saved person losing their salvation.


Jude 1:24 “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy”


2. Calvinism


Interestingly, John Calvin, the French reformer, did not formulate what today we know as the Five Points of Calvinism. This came out of the Canons of the Council of Dort (1618), and subsequent statements among the many Reformed Confessions have expanded upon these matters. Calvinism has been known for outstanding scholars, theologians, preachers, and reformers, men such as John Owen, George Whitefield, William Wilberforce, Abraham Kuyper, Charles Hodge, B.B. Warfield, J. Gresham Machen, and Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Those in the reformed tradition who answered the teachings of Arminius chose the word “TULIP” as an acrostic to summarize their answer to the Five Points of Arminianism”:
Chuck Smith is correct in saying that Calvin did not formulate the five points of Calvinism. What Smith failed to mention is that the Council of Dort was convened TO ADDRESS THE HERESIES OF JACOBUS ARMINIUS, the very doctrines that Smith is defending in this article of his on Calvinism!


1. “T” = TOTAL DEPRAVITY – The Calvinists believed that man is in absolute bondage to sin and Satan, unable to exercise his own will to trust in Jesus Christ without the help of God.


The Bible teaches this (total depravity)…


Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”


Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”


This is why man needs a saviour, one who does it all.


2. “U” = UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION – The Calvinists believed that foreknowledge is based upon the plan and purpose of God, and that election is not based upon the decision of man, but the “free will” of the Creator alone.


The Bible teaches this (unconditional election)…


Ephesians 1:4 “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:


3. “L” = LIMITED ATONEMENT – The Calvinists believed that Jesus Christ died to save those who were given to Him by the Father in eternity past. In their view, all for whom Jesus died (the elect) will be saved, and all for whom He did not die (the non elect) will be lost.


The Bible teaches this (limited atonement)…


Limited atonement (also known as Particular Redemption) refers to the fact that Christ’s death was not literally for every person ever born or conceived. It was a transaction whereby God paid for the sins of those He came to save and those alone:


Acts 13:48 “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were believed.”


“As many as were ordained” is a clear reference to limited atonement, is it not? John 17, verses 2 and 9 indicate the same thing:


John 17:2 “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.”


John 17:9 “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.”


Christ was a ransom for many, but not for all:


Matthew 20:28 “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”


No one would end up in hell if the ransom for their soul was paid. To do such a thing would violate God’s justice. He would not punish both His son and the sinner for the same crimes.


1Corinthians 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”


Are those who were “not ordained” bought with a price? Was the ransom payment on their behalf? No. The ransom was only for “as many as were ordained” and not one more.


Christ’s atonement is limited to God’s people – that group of people whom God ordained to be saved are referred to as HIS people:


Matthew 1:21 “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”


Psalm 85:2 “Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.”


God’s people are limited to those whom God the Father gives to Christ:


John 6:37 “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”


Christ’s atonement is limited to God’s sheep:


The sacrifice of Christ does not apply to the goats (the non-elect). Christ only laid down his life for the sheep:


John 10:15 “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep..”


Christ’s atonement was limited to the Church:


Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”


Christ’s atonement is also limited to those whom He predestinated, whom He called and whom He justified and to no one else:


Romans 8:30 “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”


So we see above that Christ did not die for everyone. His death, His atonement, was limited to the elect. They are the only ones who are justified – declared just and righteous – on account of Christ’s full payment of their sin debt. Everyone else will have to spend eternity in hell paying for their sins themselves. And no one will be in hell for whom Christ died. His blood was not shed in vain for any man.


4. “I” = IRRESISTIBLE GRACE – The Calvinists believed that the Lord possesses irresistible grace that cannot be obstructed. They taught that the free will of man is so far removed from salvation, that the elect are regenerated (made spiritually alive) by God even before expressing faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. If a totally depraved person wasn’t made alive by the Holy Spirit, such a calling on God would be impossible.


The Bible teaches this (irresistible grace)…


Nothing is too difficult for God. He is capable of saving people in spite of their own will, as it was with the apostle Paul who was quite busy about his work of persecuting Christians when God decided it was time to convert Saul to Paul on the Road to Damascus. Luke describes what happened to Paul in Acts chapter 22:


Acts 22:4 “And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. 5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished. 6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. 7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. 9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me. 10 And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. 11 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus. 12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, 13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. 14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.”


Do you think in a test of wills, that man can overpower the Almighty? I think not!


Acts 6:10 “And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.


Romans 9:19 “Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?”


1Corinthians 3:6 “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.”


Galatians 1:15 “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood”


But, you may ask, what about verses like these:


Acts 7:51 “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist <496> (5719) the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.”


496 antipipto {an-tee-pip’-to} from 473 and 4098 (including its alternate);; v
AV – resist 1; 1
1) to fall upon, run against
2) to be adverse, oppose, strive against


2Timothy 3:8 “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist <436> (5731) the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.”


436 anthistemi {anth-is’-tay-mee} from 473 and 2476;; v
AV – resist 9, withstand 5; 14
1) to set one’s self against, to withstand, resist, oppose
2) to set against


We must remember that it is the nature of unsaved man to resist God, to fight against Him, to rebel. That is why we need God to transform us into new creatures who do not continually resist God just as God transformed Saul the rebel, who was actively resisting God, into Paul the Apostle:


Acts 9:5 “And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: [it is] hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”


When we examine this conversion experience in Paul’s life we see him at one moment “kicking against the pricks” and then at the next moment he is asking Jesus “what wilt thou have me to do?”. God was not at Paul’s mercy hoping that Paul would stop persecuting the Church and hoping that Paul would stop resisting the Holy Spirit. It was clearly Paul who was at God’s mercy and who was subject to God’s will and God’s instructions, not the other way around, as we see in Acts 9:6:


Acts 9:6 “And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”


Paul was trembling – he had a fear of the Lord. God had converted him at this point. He was aware of who Christ was and who he had been persecuting and he was now willing and able to do the Lord’s bidding and forsake his own previous self-righteous agenda.


5. “P” = PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS – The Calvinists believed that salvation is entirely the work of the Lord, and that man has absolutely nothing to do with the process. The saints will persevere because God will see to it that He will finish the work He has begun.


The Bible teaches this (perseverance of the saints, also known as preservation of the saints)…


We might get the impression that we can lose our salvation (fall from grace) when looking at the following isolated verse:


Galatians 5:4 “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.


But then when we look at the verse that immediately follows, we get additional information regarding what Paul was talking about:


Galatians 5:5 “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith


Paul is saying here in Galatians that salvation (i.e. Christ’s righteousness) is received by faith, not by the works of the law. His point is not that we can fall from grace. He is telling the Galatians that they are missing the whole meaning of grace if they think they are justified by the law. In fact, this point is the main reason for him writing the epistle to the Galatians. The Greek word for ‘fallen’ is ‘ekpipto’ which means “to be driven out of one’s course”. So the Galatians were falling off course with respect to their understanding of the Gospel of grace. So was Paul telling the Galatians they were in danger of losing their salvation? Not in view of 2 Timothy 1:9, Jude 1:24, and other verses mentioned above, and we are not at liberty to ignore these other verses. More information on this subject can be found in my study titled: Eternal Security & Backsliding


3. Calvary Chapel’s Perspective


It is not our purpose to take sides on these issues or to divide the body of Jesus Christ over human interpretations of these Biblical truths concerning our salvation. We simply desire to state how we in the Calvary Chapel fellowships understand the Bible’s teaching regarding these matters.


You had better take sides Mr. Smith. Truth matters to God and He expects it to matter to His children…


Psalms 119:127 “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.  128 Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.”


And in fact you have taken sides – against the biblical doctrines of Grace (a.k.a. Calvinism).  I have visited Calvary Chapel churches where tables of books were made available to visitors and those tables contained books attacking Calvinism.


We believe that all are sinners (Romans 3:23) and unable by human performance to earn, deserve, or merit salvation (Titus 3:5). We believe that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and that apart from God’s grace, no one can be saved (Ephesians 2:8-9). We believe that none are righteous, or capable of doing good (Romans 3:10-12), and that apart from the conviction and regeneration of the Holy Spirit, none can be saved (John 1:12-13; 16:8-11; I Peter 1:23-25). Mankind is clearly fallen and lost in sin.
Well you got that right Mr. Smith. However, you neglected to mention that sinners in an unregenerate state are enemies of God (Romans 5:10) and do NOT seek God (Romans 3:11) which makes your view of salvation very problematic – getting God hater’s to seek God of their “own free will”.


We believe that God chose the believer before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-6), and based on His foreknowledge,


Salvation is based on God’s grace, not on foreknowledge of which spiritually dead sinner would choose Christ.


Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”


If man can get himself saved, then he could boast that he was better than those who did not choose Christ. However, there is no boasting with God’s salvation program where God turns rebels into new creatures in Christ.


Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost”


has predestined the believer to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29-30). We believe that God offers salvation to all who will call on His name. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” We also believe that God calls to Himself those who will believe in His Son, Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 1:9). However, the Bible also teaches that an invitation (or call) is given to all, but that only a few will accept it. We see this balance throughout scripture. Revelation 22:17 states, “And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” I Peter 1:2 tells us we are, “elect according to the foreknowledge of God, the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” Matthew 22:14 says, “For many are called, but few are chosen (elected).” God clearly does choose, but man must also accept God’s invitation to salvation.


Man WILL accept when and only when God gives him a new heart and a new spirit. See who does the choosing:


John 15:16 “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”


John 15:19 “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”


2 Thes 2:13 “But we are bound to give thanks alway 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:”


Psalm 65:4 “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.”


Acts 13:48 “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”



We believe that Jesus Christ died as a propitiation (a satisfaction of the righteous wrath of God against sin) “for the whole world” (I John 2:2; 4:9-10), and that He redeems and forgives all who will believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as their only hope of salvation from sin, death, and hell (Ephesians 1:7; I Peter 1:18-19). We believe that eternal life is a gift of God (Romans 6:23), and that “whosoever believeth” in Jesus Christ will not perish, but will have eternal life (John 3:16-18). I Timothy 4:10 says “we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.” Hebrews 2:9 states that Jesus, “was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man.” The atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ was clearly sufficient to save the entire human race.


Did Christ pay for the sins of people who end up in hell? Were their sins atoned for? Would a just God punish BOTH HIS SON AND THE SINNER for the same sins? NEVER! Hence, we can only honestly say that Jesus died for the ELECT, PERIOD! However, when we evangelize, we don’t need to know who is elect or not. That is God’s concern and His concern only.



We believe that God’s grace is not the result of human effort or worthiness (Romans 3:24-28; 11:6), but is the response of God’s mercy and love to those who will believe in His Son (Ephesians 2:4-10).

The problem with that idea is that no one believes in Christ (they way they are supposed to) until God saves them. Catholics believe in Christ, but their Christ is a multitude of idols – false christs.
It appears that the Christ of Calvary Chapel is a false Christ also… one who needs sinners to like Him before he saves them.
The Gospel is not a matter of convincing God haters to love God. It is a matter of preaching the Gospel, preaching the Bible, about sin, judgment, and righteousness and letting God use that preaching to convict and convert those for whom Christ died…
Romans 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Grace gives to us what we do not deserve nor can earn by our performance (Romans 11:6).

This statement above contradicts the previous sentence where Mr. Smith says man is required to “believe” in order to get God’s grace (grace being – as SMITH says – the response from God for a sinner “believing” in Christ). It sounds like Smith is saying in this above sentence that we are earning grace by our performance, that is, by our believing in Christ. This ignores the reality that spiritually dead sinners cannot believe in something or someone whom they cannot see:
John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”


We believe that God’s grace and mercy can be resisted by us.

Then is God a liar Mr. Smith?…


Romans 9:19 “Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?”


Jesus said in Matthew 23:37, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them who are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.” We are not condemned because we have no opportunity to be saved, but a person is condemned because he makes a choice not to believe (John 3:18).


A person is condemned because he is a sinner, period! Disbelief is just one of many sins that separates a sinner from a thrice holy God…


Isaiah 59:1 “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”


Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”


In John 5:40 we read “And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life.” Jesus also said in John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:40 states, “And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that everyone who seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life.” In John 7:37 Jesus said “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.” In John 11:26 He adds “whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.”

Jesus clearly acknowledges the fact of human resistance and rejection. In John 12:46-48 He said, “I am come as a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not; for I came, not to judge the world but to save the world. He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath One that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”


In Stephen’s message in Acts 7:51, he concluded by saying, “Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so do ye.” In Romans 10:21, the apostle Paul quotes Isaiah 65:2 when he speaks of God’s words to Israel, “All day long I have stretched forth My hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” In one of the five warning passages of the book of Hebrews, we read in Hebrews 10:26, “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” Verse 29 adds, “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, with which he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” Clearly, God’s grace can either be resisted or received by the exercise of human free will.


The WILL of an unsaved man is in bondage to sin.  It is NOT free.


Proverbs 13:19 “The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.”


God’s grace can only be received by the “new heart”. The old heart wants no part of God, God’s commandments, God’s holiness, or God’s salvation plan.


Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”




We believe that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 8:38-39), and that there is no condemnation to those who are in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:1). We believe that the promise of Jesus in John 10:27-28 is clear: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.” Jesus said in John 6:37, “him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” We have this assurance in Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” We believe that the Holy Spirit has sealed us unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30).


But we also are deeply concerned over the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:21-23: “Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father, who is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” Apparently there are many who claim to be believers that in fact are not.


Jesus said in Luke 9:62, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” I Corinthians 6:9-10 insists that “the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God” and warns us not to be deceived. A list is then given of various kinds of sinful lifestyles with an ending remark that they will not inherit the kingdom of God. Similar statements and conclusions are given in Galatians 5:19-21 and Ephesians 5:3-5.


Galatians 5:4 says “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” Colossians 1:22-23 says about Jesus Christ “In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight, if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature that is under heaven, of which I, Paul, am made a minister.” II Timothy 2:12 says “if we deny Him, He also will deny us.” Hebrews 3:12 says, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” Can true believers (“brethren”) depart from the living God? I Timothy 4:1 says that “in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith.” II Thessalonians 2:3 speaks of “a falling away” or an apostasy. II Peter 2:20-21 makes these remarkable statements: “For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in it, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.”


It is no wonder that Peter says in I Peter 1:10, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” We thank God for the encouragement of Jude 24 – “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.”

OK Chuck, you just quoted Jude 24. Now if Jude 24 is true, then we can know for sure that our salvation is secure in the atonement of Christ and in His ability to keep us from falling. However, if we think salvation depends on US in any way, for example – to avoid losing it by maintaining some level of performance in the Christian life, then we have a works gospel that is no gospel. Either salvation is of us or it is of the Lord. It is never the Lord plus us. 1 John 5:13 says:
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life”
If salvation can be lost, then the apostle John would not have said “ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life”.


Maintaining a Bible centered balance in these difficult issues is of great importance. We do believe in the perseverance of the saints (true believers), but are deeply concerned about sinful lifestyles and rebellious hearts among those who call themselves “Christians.” We don’t have all the answers to these matters, but we desire to be faithful to the Lord and His word. If we find ourselves basing our view of salvation on the performance and attitudes of people we become discouraged and concerned. But when we keep our eyes on the Lord, and trust in Him alone and in His power, we say with Peter in I Peter 1:3-9:


“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to His abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations, that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ, 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, receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”


It is not easy to maintain the unity of the Spirit among us on these matters. It seems that the sovereignty of God and human responsibility are like two parallel lines that do not seem to intersect within our finite minds. God’s ways are “past finding out” (Romans 11:33), and the Bible warns us to “lean not unto thy own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). To say what God says in the Bible – no more and no less – is not always easy, comfortable, or completely understandable. But Scripture tells us that the wisdom from above will be loving and kind toward all, seeking the unity of the believers, not trying to find ways to divide and separate from one another. May God help us all to love each other, to be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as Jesus Christ has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32)! In difficult doctrinal matters, may we have gracious attitudes and humble hearts, desiring most of all to please Him who has called us to serve Him in the body of Christ. Discussion – YES! Disagreements – YES! Division – NO!


Jesus said, “By their fruit ye shall know them.” When a particular position on the Scriptures causes one to become argumentative, legalistic, and divisive, I question the validity of that position. I seek to embrace those things that tend to make me more loving and kind, more forgiving and merciful. I know then that I am becoming more like my Lord. If you have come to a strong personal conviction on one side of a doctrinal issue, please grant us the privilege of first seeing how it has helped you to become more Christ-like in your nature, and then we will judge whether we need to come to that same persuasion.


Mr. Smith, what could be more Christ-like than to give God His due: to acknowledge His power, His authority, His sovereign right to save whom He wills? What could be more Christ-like than to give Christ all the credit for saving souls, rather than insinuate that He cannot save those who don’t first accept Him? Is it not more glorious to acknowledge that Christ saves those whose hearts are in rebellion against Him? He saves in spite of rebellion. After all, Christ died for the ungodly. Those who turn TO Him, have already received a new heart FROM Him…


1 John 4:19 “We love him, because he first loved us.”


Let us always be certain to look at the fruit of the teaching.


The Arminian position (the free-will position), is a position of sinful human pride, where man thinks he is better than God declares him to be, where man thinks he is capable of coming to Christ of his own “free will” and capable of accepting the lordship of Christ – before God gives him a new spirit and a new heart. This theology is perhaps the greatest deception of the Church age, the greatest deception of these last days. Don’t fall for it if you are truly a blood bought child of God. Let us give God all the credit and all the glory for our salvation…


2 Corinthians 10:17 “But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”


Jonah 2:9 “Salvation is of the Lord”

Seek those things that produce the loving nature of Jesus in our lives. I would rather have the wrong facts and a right attitude, than right facts and a wrong attitude. God can change my understanding of the facts in a moment, but it often takes a lifetime to effect changes of attitude.


Yours in love,
Chuck Smith


Mr. Smith, the right attitude about biblical truth is this:
















In conclusion, I wish to note that no malice is intended towards Chuck Smith, his church leaders or members. My desire is to fulfill the spirit of James 5:19-20:


“Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;  Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”


— RM Kane – ComingInTheClouds.org



Why Chuck Smith And Calvary Chapel Produce So Many Calvinists

by James White



Who Is Telling The Truth?

How To Identify A religious Cult – Primarily A Christian-Like Cult

Christian cults characteristics signs definition identifying traits






First, let us identify what we mean by a cult: a counterfeit Christian organization that is not preaching the truth about how to get to heaven.


“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8)


So then, in order to identify a cult, we need to show that they are preaching a false gospel, a false message of salvation. To identify a false gospel, we must first know what the true Gospel is. According to the Holy Bible, the true Gospel is the message that only the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ (plus NOTHING) can cleanse us of our sins and save us from eternal separation from God in Hell. Because the Bible says that “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Any religious institution that adds ANY other criteria for salvation to this message is preaching another gospel! Christ’s work is now complete. We sinners have nothing to offer God that will in any way contribute to our salvation. Many other Bible verses back up these statements such as Titus 3:5, Romans 5:8, and Isaiah 64:6.




God has given true believers His Spirit and His Word, the Holy Bible, to guide the true Church and protect the true Church from heresy and apostasy. If we, like the Bereans mentioned in Acts 17:11, study the scriptures CAREFULLY, we will find out how to distinguish between the genuine and the counterfeit. As with money, a good counterfeit is not easy to spot. You must be looking for it to find it. Likewise, a false church preaching a false gospel will not always appear false on the surface. We may have to ask probing questions and dig deep to find out how a false church’s doctrine conflicts with the true Gospel.


“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)


True Bible-based Christianity is truly unique and its message of salvation is of immeasurable value and like many genuine things of great value, there are many who wish to counterfeit it. At the same time, there are many who don’t like the plan of salvation that God provided so they have invented a kind of salvation more to their liking with lots of bells and whistles to disguise the fact that they are hopelessly lost sinners without Christ. Likewise, there are many who believe and preach that mankind can somehow save himself or at least contribute to his own salvation.


“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)


True Christianity is not just another legitimate religion in the vast smorgasbord of world religions. It is positively ONE OF A KIND. It is the only religion where God truly revealed Himself (in person) to mankind and where God Himself became man’s Savior. This is dramatically different from all the man-made world religions which are just man’s attempt to define God and to specify man’s own idea of salvation. God already made the rules. He has already outlined the plan of salvation. He already earned salvation for those He intends to save since He knew we were incapable of meriting it.


“Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” (2 John 9)


Any religious organization whose teachings are not in agreement with the true Gospel mentioned above, is a false religious system in the eyes of God and people who follow these false religions, trusting in them and their unbiblical teachings for salvation, are headed for hell.




“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)


Fundamental biblical truths are those characteristics of Bible-based Christianity that make it unique from all other religious systems. They are the doctrines of the Christian faith that support Christ’s claims that there is only one narrow road to heaven, faith in the substitutionary death (and resurrection) of Christ alone as the sole means of a person’s salvation.


“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)


Considering that the Bible says we must worship God in spirit and in truth, it is important for people to know what the truth is, especially with regards to God’s precious gift of eternal life and with regards to the simple plan of salvation described in the Bible. Unless a Christian really understands how God saved them, they will not know who to pray for (with regards to salvation) or who to share the gospel with. A Christian’s job is to share the true Gospel with those who are lost so that through the scriptures, God can reveal to the lost that they are truly lost.




“Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Mark 7:7)


Some of the major so-called Christian groups that preach false gospels of Christ (our definition of a cult for this discussion) are listed here along with some of their writings that they elevate above the authority of the Bible:

  • Mormons (Latter Day Saints) – the book of Mormon and other writings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses (Russellites) – Awake magazine, Reasoning From The Scriptures and other publications of The Watchtower Society

  • Seventh-Day Adventists (Millerites) – The Great Controversy and other writings of Ellen G. White

  • Christian Science – writings of Mary Baker Eddy

  • Unification Church (Moonies) – the teachings of Sun Myung Moon

  • International Church of Christ (the Boston movement) – the teachings of Chuck Lukas and Kip McKean and the original Churches of Christ

  • Roman Catholic Church – various Catechisms and the decrees of popes and Vatican Councils

  • the Catholic-like Orthodox churches (Eastern, Greek, Russian, etc.) – decrees of Ecumenical Councils, writings of various “Saints” and “Church Fathers”

All the above religious organizations teach that you must DO something to obtain salvation from sin, primarily: follow the example of Jesus Christ or the teachings of some prophet, prophetess or some church/cult founder. True Christianity has to do with trusting in NOTHING BUT the FINISHED work of Christ on the cross on behalf of those He came to save:


“For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” (Matthew 18:11) …”He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36) … “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1John 1:8) … “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Hebrews 9:12)


Salvation according to true Christianity and according to Jesus Christ is not a matter of human effort (i.e. following some doctrine or creed or tradition). In fact, Christ repeatedly made this point very clear:


“Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” (Matthew 15:1-3)


In contrast, the Bible teaches that salvation is a gift that is not earned by man (because Christ earned it) and that a person receives salvation in this lifetime:


“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)


Upon receiving the gift of salvation, a person becomes able (through the power of the Holy Spirit indwelling them) to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ – able to follow those teachings the way that Christ intended as compared to how the unsaved follow Christ:


“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (Romans 10:3)




“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matthew 24:24)


Some of today’s false prophets in Christian circles who preach false gospels involving miracles, prophecies, prosperity, positive thinking, visions, ‘words of knowledge’, etc. include:

  • Edgar Cayce
  • Kenneth Copeland
  • Paul Yonggi Cho
  • Morris Cerullo
  • Robert Tilton
  • Paul Crouch
  • Kenneth Hagin
  • Marylin Hickey
  • Benny Hinn
  • Norman Vincent Peale
  • Frederick Price
  • Oral Roberts
  • Pat Robertson
  • Robert Schuller

See the links below for more information about the above false Christian preachers & televangelists.

You may wonder why the above people have such large ministries with so many people following them and supporting them. The answer is found in the Bible:


“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” (2 Timothy 4:3)


“The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (Jeremiah 5:31)




“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)


The beliefs listed below are not necessarily the beliefs of individuals but rather teachings of their organizations. All false Christian-like organizations subscribe to at least one of the beliefs listed. This list is by no means complete, but it covers many of the most common and significant conflicts with Scripture – things that cults and false churches do or preach because they do not understand or believe in the sufficiency of Christ’s finished work of salvation.


1. They deny the inerrancy of the Word of God (the Holy Bible) directly or indirectly by elevating someone or something such as traditions, customs, or private revelations of some individual, above God’s word. They may have some books or writings that they believe have equal or greater weight than the Bible. This belief is contrary to Psalm 138:2. See also Matthew 15:5-9 & Mark 7:13.


2. They preach that something in addition to the completed work of Christ is required for salvation, most often something unique to their organization. This may include having to be baptized, being a member of their organization, some kind of works or rituals or human effort of some kind. This belief is contrary to Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, and Colossians 2:10.


3. They have false prophets who have made false prophecies. This is a fulfillment of warnings in Matthew 24:23-24 and 1 John 4:1.


4. They deny the deity of Jesus Christ (that Jesus is eternal God). This belief is contrary to John 1:1, Colossians 2:9 and 1 Timothy 3:16.


5. They claim man can become a god or god-like. This is what satan said to Eve in the garden of Eden in Genesis 3:5.


6. They deny the existence of a literal hell – the place of eternal judgment in torment of those whose names are not written in the Book of Life (Rev 20:15). They might offer the ‘annihilation theory’ as an alternative, where it is claimed that you cease to exist when you die if you don’t qualify for heaven. This belief is contrary to Matthew 18:8-9 and Revelation 20:15 & 21:8.


7. They have a unique founder (who had his or her own unique revelations) or they have their own messiah – other than Jesus Christ. This belief is contrary to John 14:6 and Colossians 1:18.


8. They deny the existence of the Holy Trinity – God manifested in 3 persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This belief is contrary to Genesis 1:26, Isaiah 9:6, Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19, Luke 1:35 and 1 John 5:7.


9. They control what information members can access and they usually tell followers that anything that is not official church material is corrupt, of the devil, etc. They may also tell members not to visit other ‘unapproved’ churches. This attitude is contrary to 1 John 4:1 which says we should test the spirits to see if they are of God.


10. They claim that the nature of man is basically good rather than sinful. This belief is contrary to Isaiah 53:6 and Romans 3:10-12 and Romans 3:23.


11. They claim that only certain elite individuals in their organization are able to properly interpret the Bible for the rest of the followers. This is a fulfillment of 2 Peter 2:1-3 and contrary to 2 Peter 1:20.


12. They offer legalism, which is the earning of salvation based solely upon obedience to a set of rules which they determine. This is contrary to Matthew 15:17-20, Colossians 2:16 and Titus 3:5.


13. They have a false concept of heaven such as:


A. it is a place for an elite few, who their leadership usually specifies. This belief contradicts Deuteronomy 10:17.


B. it is a place where everyone will end up. This contradicts Matthew 7:14.


C. it does not exist. This is contrary to John 14:2-3, Matthew 6:10 and Revelation 4:1.


14. They say the head of the ‘Church’ on earth is someone other than Jesus Christ (i.e. THEIR leader). This is contrary to Ephesians 1:22 and 5:23.


15. They say that the true ‘Church’ is some physical, visible organization (i.e. THEIRS) rather than a world-wide group of spiritually-born believers in Christ who are united by the Holy Spirit. This belief is contrary to 1 Corinthians 12:13.




It is important to remember that there may be some people who have become truly, scripturally saved (born-again) and yet are members of churches that subscribe to some of the unscriptural beliefs listed above. These individuals must sooner or later, by the prompting of the Holy Spirit, leave their corrupt churches and seek out born-again, Bible-believing churches if they wish to be obedient to God who says His worshippers “worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).


If you have not yet realized your spiritual bankruptcy before an infinitely holy God, then ask God to open your eyes to the truth about your spiritual condition and about the one and only remedy, Jesus Christ, for your lost sin-sick soul. No amount of good deeds or self-righteousness can save you from the wrath of God. Only by Christ’s precious blood, can a person’s sins be completely blotted out so that they are made fit for heaven. Human effort of any kind saves no one. God must do ALL the work. It is He alone who takes hearts of stone and turns them into hearts of flesh, through the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Cry out to God to have mercy on your sin diseased soul that he might save you just as you are.


“And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man [Jesus], after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:11-14)


How do you know if this material you are reading is true? Check the various Bible references and ask God, in prayer, to reveal the truth to you. He will – in His time, if you seek Him and search for Him with all your heart.


“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32)



The Question Of Hermeneutics

by Jim Riscinti

bible with page markers principles of interpretation




When discussing the topic of hermeneutics, (the Biblical method of interpretation), we should search the Bible for Biblical examples, commands, and proclamations concerning this all important question. As in all spiritual matters we should look to the infallible Word of God for our answer. If we do not look to the Word of God, but instead, employ our own ideas as to how to interpret the Bible, we will likely get the wrong interpretation.




The basic principle of comparing Scripture with Scripture is found throughout God’s Word. A few verses that demonstrate this are as follows:


(1 Cor 2:13 KJV) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.


(Romans 7:14) “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.”


(2 Pet 1:20 KJV) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.


(John 6:63 KJV) It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.


The above verses tell us to use scripture (i.e. the law) to interpret scripture. We cannot and must not trust any information outside of the Bible. Only the Bible itself is completely trustworthy. We can be sure that the reason there are so many interpretations of various Bible passages nowadays, is because the above biblical principle is NOT being adhered to OR it is not being used as the sole method of interpretation.




The biblical hermeneutic is not just a matter of comparing scripture with scripture, but using ONLY scripture to interpret scripture. This method is essential because God declares in Isaiah 55:8 & 9 that our thoughts and ways are far from His thoughts and ways. The pertinency of this method is further developed when one realizes that in the flesh of mankind dwelleth no good thing, (Rom 7:18) “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”

We find an interesting note in the book of Acts regarding Bible study:


(Acts 17:11) These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.


Notice that there is no mention in Acts 17:11 of the Bereans searching the secular history books or other literary works. Similarly, the Gospel of Luke has another bit of information on this subject:


(Luke 24:27) And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.


Notice that there is no mention in Luke 24:27 of Jesus using any other material than the scriptures (i.e. Moses and all the prophets). We must be VERY careful to avoid using ‘helps’ outside of the Bible to interpret passages in the Bible. God repeatedly warns us not to trust in the vain ideas, opinions, and writings of man, especially unregenerate mankind:


(Psa 94:11) The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.


(1Cor 3:20) And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.


(Job 15:31) Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence.


Do we wish to use that which God considers to be vain, in our method of Bible interpretation?




A related question concerning the topic of hermeneutics is, “What is the overall theme of the Bible?” Again, we must go to the Bible to answer this question. In John 5:39 we read Jesus’ admonition to, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” Here we are told that the Scriptures are about Jesus. In Luke 24:27, 44-45 we find this same truth expounded and an example of the use of Scripture to understand Scripture, for it is God alone who opens the understanding that one may understand the Scriptures:


(Luke 24:27, 44-45) {27} And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. {44} And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. {45} Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,


Hebrews 10:7 also answers the question concerning the overall theme of the Bible, declaring the Bible as an encyclopedia concerning the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, “Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.”




To gain a better understanding of the Lord Jesus Christ one would not dare consider looking into any secular historical book, such as the volumes of the historian Josephus, whose writings contain approximately seventy pages concerning Jesus. Yet many readily look to these secular sources to gain greater insight into the Word of God! Keep in mind the Bible defines Jesus as the Word of God made flesh:


(John 1:1, 14) {1} In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. {14} And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.


Therefore, let us heed the admonition of Matthew 22:29, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” Notice that the Bible nowhere insinuates that one is in error because they are missing some type of secular historical information. Many scholars justify their utilization of secular historical information to understand difficult Bible passages by rationalizing that, “many scholars rely on such resources,” however, when such a path is followed in the absence of Biblical validation, one should keep in mind Romans 3:4, “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” Let us rather follow the Biblical example of the Bereans of Acts 17:11, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”




If the hermeneutical use of secular history to interpret the Word of God is void of biblical validation, then what must be its origin? Again we must search the Scriptures for our answer, looking for examples of those who wanted more than what God has sufficiently provided. Most would agree that the Scriptures clearly teach that God has included in His Word all that should be included and has excluded all that should be excluded. The first example (Gen. 3:1-7) is the coveting of the forbidden fruit of “knowledge” which resulted in spiritual death (Gen. 2:17). Another example (Num. 11:4-6, 13) of the discontent of man with what God has provided is the lustful weeping for something more than Manna “This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.” (Ex. 16:15b) which resulted in physical death (Num. 11:33-34). In both instances, a desire for more than what God has declared as sufficient resulted in judgment because God includes what should be included and excludes what should be excluded (Deut. 2:7; Psa. 34:10; Prov. 30:6)




The sufficiency and certainty of the Scriptures are declared in 2 Timothy 3:14-17: “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; {15} And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. {16} All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: {17} That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”


Jesus faulted those who erroneously practiced the “tradition of the elders” in Mark 7:1-13. Various forms of this type of error are still present today through the use of additional revelation and the subtle hermeneutical use of secular history to interpret the Word of God. In many instances, the use of secular history to interpret the Scriptures has abrogated and/or neutralized the Scriptural interpretation. The Watchtower’s utilization of secular history to support their denial of the tri-unity of God is an example of a grave misinterpretation of Scripture. A less evident misinterpretation is the historically based perspective of Zechariah 9:1-8 which has yielded a disposition concerning Alexander the Great and/or Jonathan the Maccabee, rather than the biblically based interpretation which would yield the implications of Christ’s first and second advents (Scriptural commentary of Zechariah 9:1-8). If God desired to speak of Alexander the Great, God would have mentioned him by name as God did with the yet to be born Cyrus (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1).


Modern day historical resources and controversies are a clear demonstration of the deceitfulness of the heart (Jer 9:17). Presently, drastic alterations of historical revisionism has already infiltrated today’s educational system, and this “revised” history will undoubtedly be accepted by the future masses. It is erroneous to think that one can utilize the words of any man-made historical document to engender proper interpretation of the pure and holy Word of God (Psa. 12:6-7), so we should shun the interpretive mingling of the adulterated with the pure (2 Cor. 6:14-17; 11:2-3)




There are three biblically validated principles which one should always follow when comparing Scripture with Scripture. These three principles can be surmised in an analysis of the method Jesus utilizes when He explained the Parable of the Sower:


  1. The interpretation centers on God’s redemptive program and the Redeemer.
  2. The Bible is it’s own interpreter.
  3. Any conclusion and/or interpretation must agree with the rest of the Bible.




This stated hermeneutic can be implemented to understand Mark 4:3-8 so that the findings may be compared to Jesus’ explanation of these verses in Mark 4:14-20. “And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?” (Mark 4:13), where Psa. 78:1-7; Prov. 1:5-6; Eccl. 12:9; Mt. 13:10-18, 34-35; Mk. 4:30, 34; Luke 8:4, and Heb. 9:9; 11:19 clearly indicate the parabolic implications of both Old and New Testaments.


Verse being interpreted:


(Mark 4:3 KJV) Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:


Interpretive scriptures:


(Isa 55:10-11) For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: {11} So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.


Verse being interpreted:


(Mark 4:4) And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.


Interpretive scriptures:


(Psa 79:2) The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth.


(Gen 15:11) And when the fowls came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away.


(Isa 18:6) They shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountains, and to the beasts of the earth: and the fowls shall summer upon them, and all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them.


(Psa 140:5) The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah.


Verse being interpreted:


(Mark 4:5) And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:


Interpretive scriptures:


(Hosea 10:12) Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.


(Ezek 36:25-26) Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. {26} A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.


Verse being interpreted:


(Mark 4:6) But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.


Interpretive scriptures:


(Mal 4:1) For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.


(Isa 11:10) And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.


Verse being interpreted:


(Mark 4:7) And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.


Interpretive scriptures:


(Gen 3:18) Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

(Isa 10:17) And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day;


(Ezek 2:6) And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.


Verse being interpreted:


(Mark 4:8) And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.


Interpretive scriptures:


(Psa 1:3) Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. {2} But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.{3} And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.


(Isa 44:3) For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:


In counterpoint, Jesus’ explanation from Mark 4:14-20:


(Mark 4:14-20) The sower soweth the word. {15} And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. {16} And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; {17} And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. {18} And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, {19} And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. {20} And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.


This exegesis, Scripture defining Scripture, is accomplished without the use of external sources. No allusions were made by Christ to extra-biblical sources to unravel His words. A major difficulty in the use of extra-biblical sources is the realization that many Christians are without such sources. An excellent example, is the tribe to which Wycliffe translators come and create a written language, then translate the Scriptures for them. No other information of any sort is available.


If historical or other sources are needed, it would leave them with no ability to understand the Holy Word. Jesus said this was not possible because, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31b-32) The truth is not taught with “… enticing words of man’s wisdom…” (1 Cor. 2:4) but is taught to us directly from God. ” It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. (John 6:45)




What or rather Who, does God use to teach us? “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26) Likewise, “For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.” (Luke 12:12)

Just the references in Psalm 119, as to the instruction available, are quite demonstrative of God’s intentions to teach us through His Word. It would be evident, then, that God has made adequate provisions for our instruction without going outside His Word.


“Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”

(Proverbs 30:6 KJV)