All graphics and images are copyright of A True Church


See Also Archived Blog

Last updated 5-2-2017

Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2017 2:56 PM
Subject: Re: Re:
Well, you certainly did some googling.  Here is the only thing you need to listen to on the website.  If you have an answer for the question I ask in this Bible Study then you will be the first I have ever met.  I'm about to publish a book starting with this very subject.  I would love to hear your refutation.  In fact, if you have time, after listening to the lecture, I would love to talk with you over the phone.  I am assuming you are nowhere near San Jose.  Here is the link.

Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 9:30 AM
Subject: Re:
I’m not a Protestant, as noted on my home page,
All of the religions of the world lead to nowhere but hell. For example, Protestantism, Evangelicalism, Catholicism, . . . . (
I believe the Protestants (and the rest, including the Orthodox) “know nothing” (1 Timothy 6:3-5), for they teach “otherwise” and do “not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Timothy 6:3). I believe the reformers (Luther, Calvin, etc.) were false teachers leading people to nowhere but hell. Those who claim to believe “Sola Scriptura” (Reformers, Protestants, etc.) are hypocrites, for, as the Jews of old (John 5:46-47), they do not believe the Scriptures (as my articles and our videos well illustrate).
Not to address what others might mean by “Sola Scriptura,” you asked where the Bible teaches only Scripture? When you understand Scripture and Jesus are One and the Same (which I suspect you do not), when you understand Jesus and God are One and the Same, when you understand God (Scripture) is the only Way (John 14:6) and He is all you need (2 Peter 1:3) and are to live by (Matthew 4:4), then you see it is found throughout, but summed up well in Acts.
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Act 4:12)
This “name is called The Word of God” (Rev. 19:13). The Word (Scripture, John 10:35 word of God/Scripture) “became flesh” (John 1:14). “The handwriting . . . was . . . nailed . . . to the cross” (Colossians 2:14). It is this Word “to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:12-13).
Moreover, I do not believe Scripture is limited to the Bible we presently have. There is much we likely do not have that was written (Numbers 21:14; Joshua 10:13; 2 Samuel 1:18; 1 Samuel 10:25; 1 Kings 11:41; 1 Chronicles 29:29; 2 Chronicles 9:29; 13:22; 2 Chronicles 12:15; 2 Chronicles 20:34; 19:2; 2 Chronicles 33:19; Colossians 4:16). The Word of God is also declared in the heavens (Psalm 19; Romans 10:17-18) and constantly crying out to men (e.g. Proverbs 8:1f). It does not take a physical written text in hand to be saved (Romans 2:13-15). It takes the miracle of salvation via faith in His Word (Ephesians 2:8-9).
In your message you claimed γραφὴ in Paul’s epistles is always a reference to an OT text. But, then you admitted some of Paul’s epistles (which are γραφὴ) were probably already written by the writing of 2 Timothy 3:16 (γραφὴ). So, your message contradicts your claim. Also, I would like to ask you what OT passage do you think Paul was referring to in 1 Corinthians 15:4 (γραφὴ, third day)?
In your message you asked,
If the Bible didn’t say anything about God creating the world, would you believe God created the world?
No one believes God created the world. No one believes in the real God, let alone Him creating anything. All men are fools, and fools don’t believe. As it is written,
The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good. The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, no, not one. (Psalm 14:1-3)
The only reason I believe in the real God and that He created the world is because “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). That’s the only way anyone can believe. Though all men know it, they all suppress it (Romans 1:18-32).

From: Sebastian Carnazzo
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2017 4:01 PM
To: Darwin Fish
Subject: Re: Re:
The links of the bible studies are all here
The first three I believe are most critical for someone of your protestant background.  It's there that the three major theological errors of Luther are addressed and it is there that, if you are willing to listen to them in humility and prayer, will find the answers to why Hank Hanegraaff did what he did.  May God bless you.  Christ is Risen!

Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 9:40 AM
Subject: Re:
In regards to the supposed “Apostolic Tradition,” when I see a church (as the Orthodox) disregard the Scriptures (though they claim to believe them, as the Jews of old), and then claim they have a tradition from the apostles, there is no credibility whatsoever that the claim is true. Since, they don’t follow the apostolic tradition written in the Scriptures, why should I believe this supposed “Apostolic Tradition,” which for all I know (and all they know) was made up by some church leader (non-apostle) years ago? Man’s history (not God’s/Scripture), be it “church” history or otherwise, is not a reliable source of truth (Ecclesiastes 1:11). Men are known liars (Romans 3:13). When I see a liar (1 John 2:4 “liar”), I am not inclined to believe them (Proverbs 14:15). Any true apostolic tradition would be consistent with the written (Scripture) apostolic tradition, and I have found the Catholic (Orthodox and Roman) tradition to be just the opposite (which I have documented). The Catholic church (Orthodox and Roman) being hypocrites (1 John 2:4) only work (in truth) to dissuade people from believing the Word of God (Scripture), since they don’t keep it themselves. As it was written of the Jews, who took on God’s name but heeded not His Word,
the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you (Romans 2:24).
Moreover, the only reason anyone knows the Bible is true and heeds the Word of God is because God has given them understanding (Proverbs 2; Ephesians 2:1-10). It is not because a group of men (“Church” or otherwise) got together and decided what the Word of God is. Man’s history (Catholic) makes this claim, but it is immaterial whether they did or didn’t. The Jews of old indeed held the true Scriptures (Romans 3:2), yet they were wicked nonetheless. As it is written,
The priests did not say,`Where is the LORD?' And those who handle the law did not know Me (Jeremiah 2:8).
People today follow the same faulty Catholic (Orthodox and Roman) logic with the Jews. They think since the Jews were the keepers of the law, they are people to be trusted and followed. Yet, they are deep into falsehood just as the Catholics are. They don’t follow the very text they claim to follow. Because people have physical possession of the Word, or even recognized Scriptures as Holy (as the Jews), that by no means indicates they are to be trusted or believed or followed.
In regards to “Faith Alone,” the Bible teaches just the opposite.
You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. (James 2:24)
for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified (Romans 2:13).

From: Sebastian Carnazzo
Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 11:02 AM
To: Darwin Fish
Subject: Re:
From the tone of your email, and your website, it seems that you are a very angry man.  I am sorry that you are so angry.  I am sure something traumatic must have happened to you.  May God bless you.  It is this anger that is clouding your reasoning.  In response to your first message, among the angry ramblings, I was able to discern one clear statement to which I could respond.

 In your message you claimed γραφὴ in Paul’s epistles is always a reference to an OT text. But, then you admitted some of Paul’s epistles (which are γραφὴ) were probably already written by the writing of 2 Timothy 3:16 (γραφὴ). So, your message contradicts your claim. Also, I would like to ask you what OT passage do you think Paul referring to in 1 Corinthians 15:4 (γραφὴ, third day)?

I will say it again and I know you know you are in a conundrum, which is why you zeroed in on it.  It is a well known fact, not a "claim", that every place where Paul used the word graphe, he is making an unambiguous reference to the Scriptures of Israel.  I have a PhD in Biblical Studies but you can consult any scholarly lexicon and they will all tell you the very same thing.  Now, regarding 1 Cor 15:4, I hope you are not trying to imply that the scriptures here are referring to the passion, death, and resurrection narratives of the gospels that everyone knows were written after Paul wrote 1 Corinthians.  Otherwise Paul would be referring to something that had not yet been written.  I also hope that you have read the NT so you should already know the stock passages that the NT quotes regularly.  Regarding the suffering of Jesus, the NT authors quote and allude to Isa 53.  Regarding the resurrection of Jesus, the NT authors quote and allude to Psalm 16:8-11.  Again, any scholarly commentary will tell you this.

Here is the most scholarly Greek Lexicon (BDAG) entry on the subject


grafh,, h/j, h`  : gener. that which is written: ‘writing’.

1. a brief piece of writing, writing (g.=piece of writing: Diod. S. 1, 91, 3 price-list; Maximus Tyr. 16, 1b indictment; GDI 4689, 49 and 58 [Messenia]; PHib 78, 18; 1 Ch 28:19; 1 Macc 14:27; Tat. 38, 1) Hv 2, 2, 1.

2. sacred scripture, in the NT exclusively so

a. h` g. individual scripture passage (4 Macc 18:14; Philo, Rer. Div. Her. 266; Just., D. 65, 2 al.; Mel., P. 1, 3.—S. also TestNapht 5:8 grafh. a`gi,a of a written word of a divine sort outside the Bible) Mk 12:10; 15:28 v.l.; Lk 4:21; J 13:18; 19:24, 36f; Ac 1:16; 8:35; Ro 11:2; 2 Ti 3:16; Js 2:8, 23; 1 Cl 23:3.

b. scripture in its entirety

a. the pl. ai` grafai, designates collectively all the parts of Scripture: the scriptures (Philo, Fug. 4, Spec. Leg. 1, 214 ai` i`erai. g.; Rer. Div. Her. 106; 159; Jos., C. Ap. 2, 45 t. tw/n i`erw/n grafw/n bi,bloij; Just., D. 68, 8; 137, 3 al.; Did., Gen. 70, 13: qei,ai g.) Mt 21:42; 22:29; 26:54; Mk 12:24; 14:49; Lk 24:27, 32, 45; J 5:39; Ac 17:2, 11; 18:24, 28; Ro 15:4; 2 Pt 3:16; PtK 2 p. 15, 4; ai` g. tw/n profhtw/n the writings of the prophets Mt 26:56 (cp. ai` tw/n profhtw/n tou/ qeou/ kai. tw/n avposto,lwn tou/ VIhsou/ g. Orig. C. Cels. 5, 5, 10). ai` i`erai. g. 1 Cl 45:2; 53:1 (s. Philo and Joseph. above); g. a[giai Ro 1:2 (Just., D. 55, 3); profhtikai, 16:26 (Just., D. 85, 5 g. profhtikw/n; on the absence of the art. in both Ro passages and 2 Pt 1:20 [b next] s. gra,mma 2c).

b. the sg. as designation of Scripture as a whole (Philo, Mos. 2, 84; EpArist 155; 168; cp. 1 Ch 15:15; 2 Ch 30:5, 18; Just., Mel; h` qei,a g. Theoph. Ant. 2, 10 [p. 122, 33]; Did., Gen. 71, 15) Ac 8:32; J 20:9; 2 Pt 1:20 (s. ba above); ei=pen h` g. J 7:38, 42; le,gei Ro 4:3; 9:17; 10:11; Gal 4:30; 1 Ti 5:18; Js 4:5; 1 Cl 23:5; 34:6; 35:7; 42:5; 2 Cl 2:4; 6:8; 14:1f; B 4:7, 11; 5:4; 6:12; 13:2, also 16:5 in a quot. fr. En 89:56ff (Just., D. 123, 1 al.); perie,cei evn g. 1 Pt 2:6; peplh,rwtai, evplhrw,qh h` g. J 17:12; cp. 19:28 v.l.; pisteu,ein th/| g. J 2:22; ouv du,natai luqh/nai h` g. scripture cannot be set aside 10:35. W. Scripture personified: proi?dou/sa h` g. scripture foresaw Gal 3:8. sune,kleisen u`po. a`marti,an vs. 22.—kata. th.n g. (w. ref. to a contract CPR I, 224, 6 [Dssm., NB 78=BS 112f]; PAmh 43, 13; 2 Ch 30:5; 35:4; 1 Esdr 1:4) Js 2:8; kata. ta.j g. (BGU 136, 10 kata. g. w. ref. to the laws) according to (the prophecy of) the holy scriptures 1 Cor 15:3f (Just., D. 82, 4) a;ter grafh/j without scriptural proof PtK 4 p. 16, 6.—JHänel, D. Schriftbegriff Jesu 1919, 13ff; Harnack, D. AT in d. paul. Briefen u. in d. paul. Gemeinden: SBBerlAk 1928, 124-41; OMichel, Pls u. s. Bibel 1929; HvanCampenhausen, D. Entstehung d. christl. Bibel ’68. S. no,moj, end.

Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 12:31 PM
Subject: Re: Re:
Thank you for the email and compliment. “God is angry everyday” (Psalm 7:11), so I am in Good company (Galatians 2:20). Nevertheless, I think you don’t understand. These are my beliefs. I indeed “hate every false way” (Psalm 119:104, 128). But, I was not angry with any kind of fleshly fuming anger as I wrote. You are just having a hard time with what I believe, and you attribute it to “something traumatic.” That something traumatic is called salvation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and belief in the Bible; and when that happens this happens:
 Indignation has taken hold of me because of the wicked, who forsake Your law. (Psalm 119:53)
So indeed, that shows itself in what I believe.
You missed my question regarding 1 Corinthians 15:4. It says,
He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:4).
I’ve never found anywhere in the OT Scriptures that talks about Him rising on the third day. Have you? But, you will find it in John 2.
Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." Then the Jews said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?" But He was speaking of the temple of His body. Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said. (John 2:19-22)
My point being, “Scripture” (γραφὴ) was not limited to the OT. 1 Corinthians 15:4 illustrates this. Likewise, Daniel 10:21; John 7:38; James 4:5 illustrate “Scripture” was not limited to the OT. David spoke of more than just the OT when He wrote,
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. (Psalm 139:16)
You wrote,
Now, regarding 1 Cor 15:4, I hope you are not trying to imply that the scriptures here are referring to the passion, death, and resurrection narratives of the gospels that everyone knows were written after Paul wrote 1 Corinthians.
Indeed, the simple-minded (Proverbs 14:15) do so, who believe what men claim. Modern day newspapers have lies in them and they are only 24 hours old history, and we trust what ancient history claims? I have no such faith in man. You think you know they were “written after,” but you really don’t. You weren’t there. You simply believe what you’ve been told.
Finally, thanks for the Lexical quotes, but the “scholarly” so and so’s (men) don’t mean anything to me. It doesn’t matter if you have a PhD in Biblical Studies. I have a BA in Biblical Languages. So what! Degrees mean something to men, but not to God. What matters to Him is whether we believe His Word or not.
Now, if the Scriptures bear out some truth and a Lexicon helps display that, great. I like Lexicons for that reason. BDAG – Good Lexicon (my favorite for Greek). May I ask, where did you get the copy and paste abilities for BDAG? Online? Bibleworks? Logos?

Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 11:15 AM
Subject: Re:
Ok, again, you need to drink less coffee, take a deep breath.  Ask that this anger be taken from your heart.  Again, your message is filled with off topic statements but you didn't address the problem you face.

1. Paul says clearly that Tradition is authoritative and even uses the words specifically in regards to liturgical gatherings (1 Cor 11:2) and doctrine (2 Thes 2:15).  There's no way around it.  He also clearly refers to the Holy Spirit guiding and protecting the apostolic teachings "orally" and for many generations (2 Tim 1:12-13; 2:1-2). 

2. It is due to this Apostolic Tradition and the secure handing of it down that you even have a Bible and know what books belong in the Bible.  Even the "ordering" of the books in your Bible is due to Tradition from the Early Church.  How do you know that Matthew wrote the Gospel of Matthew?  The Title put there by a Chinese publisher can't be your authority.  The table of Contents put there by the same publisher can't be your authority.  A burning in the bosom can't tell you either, unless you are a Mormon or had too much pizza.  The only reason you have to claim that Matthew was written by Matthew, that it is an apostolic document, that it belong in the Bible, is the Early Church Tradition.  Like it or not, everything you believe is due to the Apostolic Tradition being handed down through the Early Church to today.

3. You need to listen to the audio recording before trying to refute it.  This is again due to your anger.  May God bless you.

Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 12:44 PM
Subject: Re: Re:
In your prior email dated 4-20-17 (2:57 PM) you wrote,
Here is the only thing you need to listen to on the website.
And you gave the link ( I listened to it and responded. Now, that’s NOT “the only thing [I] need to listen to.”
You ask me to listen to your sermons, but did you even read what I sent you? You write as if you didn’t, because I have addressed everything, including Paul’s statements about Tradition (in my notes about Greek Orthodoxy). I’m not into repeating myself. Surely, you don’t agree. Nonetheless, I did address it.

Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 11:18 AM
Subject: Re:
Here is the audio link for the topic of Tradition.  Please take the time to listen to it this time before trying to respond to what you might think it contains based upon your reading of the title:

Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 12:47 PM
Subject: Re: Re:
Maybe you address this in your sermon, but may I ask: what makes your tradition correct and the Roman Catholic tradition incorrect?

From: Sebastian Carnazzo
Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 12:47 PM
To: Darwin Fish
Subject: Re: Re:
1 Cor 15:4 cannot be a reference to John.  They are decades apart.  Paul is referring here to the fact that he "rose" on the third day according the Scriptures (Ps 16), which is exactly how Peter uses the psalm in Acts 2.  Sola Scriptura is a doctrine of men and you are wasting your time trying to defend Luther's twisting of 1 Tim 3:16 to support it. 

Now, on another note, great to hear of your study of the Biblical Languages.  I have all the major lexicons on Bible Works.  You may enjoy learning that Biblical Greek is now being taught again as a living language so that one can actually hear and understand the way the original authors of the NT expected their texts to be heard and understood.  Here are two very short videos I know will make you smile.

Classical Greek in-classroom on the Central Coast

I look forward to hearing from you.  Hopefully with a bit more of a smile ;)

May God bless you.

In Christ,

Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 1:26 PM
Subject: Re:
You wrote,
1 Cor 15:4 cannot be a reference to John.  They are decades apart.
Ok then, to follow your logic, 1 Corinthians 15:4 “cannot be a reference to” the OT. “They are decades apart.”
You wrote,
Paul is referring here to the fact that he "rose" on the third day according the Scriptures (Ps 16), which is exactly how Peter uses the psalm in Acts 2.
Neither Psalm 16 nor Acts 2 say anything about Him rising on the third day.
Bibleworks – great program. I have an older version, and I just got the updated version but haven’t installed it yet.
Thanks for the links. Couldn’t access the first (no google account). On the second, yes that’s how I studied modern Hebrew in Israel for 9 months.

Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 12:55 PM
Subject: Re: Re:
Of course I read what you wrote.  It wasn't very long.  But nowhere do I see you addressing the points I raised regarding the texts 1 Cor 11:2 and 2 Thes 2:15 and nowhere do you address the fact that you are relying on that very tradition to know what book belong in your bible, who wrote them, and even the very order in which they appear!  It's all tradition.

Here are a few short writeups about the issue that I think you would enjoy.  They are attached.  May God bless you.

Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 1:42 PM
Subject: Re:
I addressed 1 Corinthians 11:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; and your claim on tradition in the pdf I sent you on Orthodoxy. Because you don’t agree does not equal I did not address it.
“nowhere do you address the fact that you are relying on that very tradition to know what book belong in your bible, . . .”
I did address it. I said it’s immaterial. You just don’t agree. If you want more, see my FAQ under Q14 (
“. . . who wrote them, and even the very order in which they appear!”
The order doesn’t matter. The Hebrew Bible is not in the same order. Does it matter? No. The content is the same.

Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 1:56 PM
Subject: Re:
Time moves forward not backward.  Paul can't be using a text that doesn't exist until after Paul wrote 1 Corinthians as a proof text by which the Corinthians will find evidence for belief.  Please tell me you are joking.

Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 2:12 PM
Subject: Re: Re:
1. You assume John was not written when 1 Corinthians 15:4 was written. This you do not know, nor does it matter.
2. Scripture is Scripture whether it is written somewhere on earth or not. This you do not see, but it is clearly portrayed in Scripture (verses given in prior email).
3. You’ve yet to provide a OT passage of which 1 Corinthians 15:4 (“rose again on the third day”) was a fulfillment of (“according to the Scriptures” 1 Cor. 15:4). There’s not a single OT passage that speaks of Him rising on the third day. Yet, this is what 1 Corinthians 15:4 says. This doesn’t fit your scheme, and you are unwilling to admit it.

From: Sebastian Carnazzo
Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 2:38 PM
To: Darwin Fish
Subject: Re: Re:
This is the most illogical argument I have ever heard.  However, I will take at face value and show you that your position is without any foundation.  By what authority do you determine that 1 Corinthians is Sacred Scripture?

Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 3:22 PM
Subject: Re:
As I wrote earlier in a previous email,
the only reason anyone knows the Bible is true and heeds the Word of God is because God has given them understanding (Proverbs 2; Ephesians 2:1-10).
The Bible is self evident, just as God is self evident (e.g. Romans 1:18-21). The Bible (the Scriptures) and God are one and the same (e.g. John 10:35; Galatians 3:8; Revelation 19:13). The authority is the Word of God itself.
As Romans 1:18-32 well illustrates, the existence of God is not something that has to be proven. Because,
what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Romans 1:19; see also John 1:9)
The same is true for the Scriptures. All men know they are true, but they “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom 1:18). When God saves a man (Ephesians 2:1-10), He saves him from this suppression, and He knows the Truth (John 14:6), the Word of God, the Scriptures (John 10:5).

Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 4:17 PM
Subject: Re:
So you're no different from a Mormon.  Mormon's believe that their scriptures are inspired based upon a burning in the bosom.  Indigestion, or emotions in you case, can't be an objective determination of what is scripture or what is inspired.  How did you come to the knowledge that 1 Corinthians is inspired?  At some point someone handed you a bible and so your canon, order of books, number of books, version of books, was all put in your hand by someone else.  You then accepted it as inspired and then you were off to the races with your wild interpretations.  You are basing all of your interpretations, all of your ideas, upon your own reading of a collection of books that someone told you was inspired and your using indigestion to support your acceptance of it.

Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 4:59 PM
Subject: Re: Re:
What makes your tradition correct and the Roman Catholic tradition incorrect?

Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 5:04 PM
Subject: Re: Re:
Can't answer the question can you?

Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 5:50 PM
Subject: Re:
The question is about your beliefs, not mine.

From: Sebastian Carnazzo
Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 6:07 PM
To: Darwin Fish
Subject: Re:
Everything I hold to is the product of the Early Christian Church as they received the Apostolic Tradition.  If you have never read the Didache or the Seven Letters of Ignatius, or Clement of Rome, then you may have no idea what I am talking about.  These are the men, these are the churches who gave us the Bible, assembled it as a result of their lectionary in the liturgy.

Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 6:37 PM
Subject: Re: Re:
Read those years ago. That has nothing to do with my question, especially since those are Ante Nicene and the issue at hand is much after that.
You’ve placed such an importance and trust in tradition. You really can’t answer my question? How would a person know which tradition to follow? I’m surprised by your non-answer. Wikipedia says, for example,
The Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church have been in a state of official schism from one another since the events of 1054. (
Since you place such heavy trust in tradition, I was hoping to get your perspective on how one could know to follow Eastern Orthodox tradition and not Roman Catholic tradition.

Sent: Saturday, April 22, 2017 11:20 AM
Subject: Re: Re:
Well, if you rely upon wikipedia for your knowledge of church history then certainly you are going to have a problem understanding the Antiochian Tradition.  It may come as a surprise to you but the Antiochian Church never got involved in what people like to call the "Great Schism" which was between the Bishop of Rome and the Bishop of Constantinople.  Regarding our Tradition, it is the Apostolic Tradition that we follow.  Everything you read in the NT you will find continued to be believed in the Apostolic Fathers.  It's really not all that complicated.  How does it work, well it's the opposite of Sola Scriptura.  The Apostolic Tradition is the umpire that resolves the disputes of modern fragmented christian bodies, shattered by the effects of Sola Scriptura.

For example: Should one Baptize "In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" or "In the name of Jesus."  Some modern sects, based upon their reading of Acts, and not knowing about the attempt therein to make a distinction from the baptism of John (Acts 19), mistakenly think that the Apostles baptized "In the name of Jesus."  Modern Protestants have no real good argument against this except to point to Matt 28 where one sees the trinitarian formula and try to explain the issue about John's Baptism.  But in the end, we have another doctrine of men that has now arisen which is dividing Christianity and there really is no way to solve it based on Sola Scriptura.  But all one has to do is acknowledge that Christianity didn't cease to exists with the death of John the Apostle as evidenced by the fact that here we are today still talking about it right now.  Once this is acknowledged, then with a little humility, both sides need to lay down their arms and ask the very simple question, "what do we find in the earliest christian writings after the NT?"  Well, that's quite obvious.  The Trinitarian formula is the only one that has any evidence.  For more on this you can go read here

What about the "real presence in the Eucharist"?  It's pretty obvious from a simple read of John 6, Luke 22, 1 Cor 10, 1 Cor 11, but many modern sects deny it.  Well, again, all one has to do is read the Apostolic writings on the subject and the debate is ended.

I could go on but I think you get the point, if you want to that is.  As St. Paul said, Tradition is the guide (1 Cor 11:2; 2 Thes 2:15) and the Church is the Pillar and Foundation of Truth (1 Time 3:15).  Put yourself outside the Church and you find yourself in a fog of confusion. 

I think we have spent enough time in this conversation.  You still have not presented an argument for 1 Corinthians being scripture.  I believe it is because the Apostolic Tradition tells me it is.  You believe it simply because, well, its in the bible someone gave you and you have assumed it ever since.  In the end its only two options: Do you rely upon indigestion or the Apostles?  Sorry, for me Mormonism just doesn't work.  May God bless you.

Sent: Saturday, April 22, 2017 8:31 PM
Subject: Re:
“Well, if you rely upon Wikipedia for your knowledge of church history then certainly you are going to have a problem understanding the Antiochian Tradition.”
You speak contrary to what you’ve been told and what is before you. I told you I had read the Ante Nicene documents you mentioned, had a degree (which typically covers things like church history), and have a website that you are obviously ignorant of. I make one mention of wikipedia and you assume I might rely upon it for my “knowledge of church history.” A bit disingenuous don’t you think?
“Regarding our Tradition, it is the Apostolic Tradition that we follow. Everything you read in the NT you will find continued to be believed in the Apostolic Fathers.”
You’re not the only ones making this claim. What makes yours true and others false? Sorry, but I ask again. You said you can’t answer this (in regards to Rome). Unable to answer gives no evidence or proof of conviction of knowing you’re in the right tradition.
“The Apostolic Tradition is the umpire that resolves the disputes of modern fragmented christian bodies, . . . .”
How does it do that, when others have their own supposed apostolic tradition inconsistent with yours (Roman Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, Nestorian Church)?
The baptism question you mentioned is such a silly argument. The Bible mentions both.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, . . . .(Mat 28:19)
Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)
“’what do we find in the earliest christian writings after the NT?’”
Indeed, what do we find? We find “good” Roman Catholic teaching, even the successions of the authoritarian Roman bishops.
Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority, . . . (The Ante Nicene Fathers, vol. I, book III, chap. III)

Your Church agrees with this Church, the Roman Catholic Church? Why then are you not Roman Catholic? Not being Roman Catholic is not an agreement, as Irenaeus well illustrates. Soon after this quote, Irenaeus lists off the bishops (Popes) of the Church of Rome, and the first sentence in the title of his next chapter is,


Notice the word “SOLE.” Context here dictates the Roman Catholic church. But, you are not in the Roman Catholic Church. You said you follow this stuff. But, you don’t follow this. If you did, you’d be Roman Catholic.
“What about the "real presence in the Eucharist"?  It's pretty obvious from a simple read of John 6, Luke 22, 1 Cor 10, 1 Cor 11, but many modern sects deny it.  Well, again, all one has to do is read the Apostolic writings on the subject and the debate is ended.”
Indeed, those early “Christian” writings well establish the Eucharist. Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus do well at establishing this false doctrine contrary to Jesus’ words. In the context of eating His flesh and drinking His blood Jesus said, “the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).
“Put yourself outside the Church and you find yourself in a fog of confusion.”
Outside which “Church”? Roman Catholic? Coptic? Eastern Orthodox? Nestorian? Confusion indeed.
“You still have not presented an argument for 1 Corinthians being scripture.  I believe it is because the Apostolic Tradition tells me it is.”
The argument is there and was given. You even called it something which was not argued or said, which reveals your hypocrisy. You say it wasn’t given, but then acknowledge an argument was given by calling it “indigestion.” It’s your acceptance of the argument that is lacking, not the presentation thereof. Of course, I expected disagreement. I’m a little surprised by the sorry argument of “not presented.” I guess I assumed better of you. It seems if you disagree with a particular argument, you pretend the argument wasn’t ever presented, as you have argued on more than just this. Fantasy land is a nice place to live until reality hits.
Nonetheless, I thank you for the discussion.

Sent: Sunday, April 23, 2017 12:54 AM
Subject: Re:
On Trinitarian Baptism: Here's the Father's.  Three strikes and modern pentecostal sola scriptura ideas strike out

The Didache

"After the foregoing instructions, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living [running] water. If you have no living water, then baptize in other water, and if you are not able in cold, then in warm. If you have neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Before baptism, let the one baptizing and the one to be baptized fast, as also any others who are able. Command the one who is to be baptized to fast beforehand for one or two days" (Didache 7:1 [A.D. 70]). 

Tatian the Syrian

"Then said Jesus unto them, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and earth; and as my Father has sent me, so I also send you. Go now into all the world, and preach my gospel in all the creation; and teach all the peoples, and baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; and teach them to keep all whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you all the days, unto the end of the world’ [Matt. 28:18-20]" (The Diatesseron 55 [A.D. 170]). 


"When the one being baptized goes down into the water, the one baptizing him shall put his hand on him and speak thus: ‘Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty?’ And he that is being baptized shall say: ‘I believe.’ Then, having his hand imposed upon the head of the one to be baptized, he shall baptize him once. Then he shall say: ‘Do you believe in Christ Jesus . . . ?’ And when he says: ‘I believe,’ he is baptized again. Again shall he say: ‘Do you believe in the Holy Spirit and the holy Church and the resurrection of the flesh?’ The one being baptized then says: ‘I believe.’ And so he is baptized a third time" (The Apostolic Tradition 21 [A.D. 215]). 


"After his resurrection he promises in a pledge to his disciples that he will send them the promise of his Father; and lastly, he commands them to baptize into the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, not into a unipersonal God. And indeed it is not once only, but three times, that we are immersed into the three persons, at each several mention of their names" (Against Praxeas 26 [A.D. 216]). 


"The Lord himself told his disciples that they should baptize all peoples in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit . . . for indeed, legitimate baptism is had only in the name of the Trinity" (Commentary on Romans 5:8 [A.D. 248]). 

The Acts of Xantippe and Polyxena

"Then Probus . . . leapt into the water, saying, ‘Jesus Christ, Son of God, and everlasting God, let all my sins be taken away by this water.’ And Paul said, ‘We baptize thee in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Ghost.’ After this he made him to receive the Eucharist of Christ" (Acts of Xantippe and Polyxena 21 [A.D. 250]). 

Cyprian of Carthage

"He [Jesus] commanded them to baptize the Gentiles in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. How then do some say that though a Gentile be baptized . . . never mind how or of whom, so long as it be done in the name of Jesus Christ, the remission of sins can follow—when Christ himself commands the nations to be baptized in the full and united Trinity?" (Letters 73:18 [A.D. 253]). 

Eusebius of Caesarea

"We believe . . . each of these to be and to exist: the Father, truly Father, and the Son, truly Son, and the Holy Ghost, truly Holy Ghost, as also our Lord, sending forth his disciples for the preaching, said, ‘Go teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ Concerning whom we confidently affirm that so we hold, and so we think, and so we have held aforetime, and we maintain this faith unto the death, anathematizing every godless heresy" (Letter to the People of His Diocese 3 [A.D. 323]). 

Cyril of Jerusalem

"You were led by the hand to the holy pool of divine baptism, as Christ was carried from the cross to this sepulcher here before us [the tomb of Jesus at Jerusalem]. And each of you was asked if he believed in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. And you confessed that saving confession, and descended three times into the water, and again ascended, and in this there was suggested by a symbol the three days of Christ’s burial" (Catechetical Lectures 20:4 [A.D. 350]). 


"And the whole faith is summed up, and secured in this, that a Trinity should ever be preserved, as we read in the Gospel, ‘Go ye and baptize all the nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost’ (Matt. 28:19). And entire and perfect is the number of the Trinity (On the Councils of Arminum and Seleucia 2:28 [A.D. 361]). 

Basil the Great

"The Holy Spirit, too, is numbered with the Father and the Son, because he is above creation, and is ranked as we are taught by the words of the Lord in the Gospel, ‘Go and baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.’ He who, on the contrary, places the Spirit before the Son, or alleges him to be older than the Father, resists the ordinance of God, and is a stranger to the sound faith, since he fails to preserve the form of doxology which he has received, but adopts some newfangled device in order to be pleasing to men" (Letters 52:4 [A.D. 367]). 

Ambrose of Milan

"Moreover, Christ himself says: ‘I and the Father are one.’ ‘One,’ said he, that there be no separation of power and nature; but again, ‘We are,’ that you may recognize Father and Son, forasmuch as the perfect Father is believed to have begotten the perfect Son, and the Father and the Son are one, not by confusion of person, but by unity of nature. We say, then, that there is one God, not two or three gods" (The Faith 1:1[9–10] [A.D. 379]). 

Gregory of Nazianz

"But not yet perhaps is there formed upon your soul any writing good or bad; and you want to be written upon today. . . . I will baptize you and make you a disciple in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; and these three have one common name, the Godhead. And you shall know, both by appearances and by words that you reject all ungodliness, and are united to all the Godhead" (Orations 40:45 [A.D. 380]).   


"[S]eeing that a man, baptized in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, becomes a temple of the Lord, and that while the old abode is destroyed a new shrine is built for the Trinity, how can you say that sins can be remitted among the Arians without the coming of the Holy Ghost? How is a soul purged from its former stains which has not the Holy Ghost?" (Dialogue Against the Luciferians 6 [A.D. 382]).  

Gregory of Nyssa

"And we, in receiving baptism . . . conceal ourselves in [the water] as the Savior did in the earth: and by doing this thrice we represent for ourselves that grace of the resurrection which was wrought in three days. And this we do, not receiving the sacrament in silence, but while there are spoken over us the names of the three sacred persons on whom we believed, in whom we also hope, from whom comes to us both the fact of our present and the fact of our future existence" (Sermon For the Day of Lights [A.D. 383]).  


"Baptism in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost has Christ for its authority, not any man, whoever he may be; and Christ is the truth, not any man" (On Baptism, Against the Donatists 4:24 [57] [A.D. 400]). 

"O Lord our God, we believe in you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. For the truth would not say, ‘Go, baptize all nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,’ unless you were a Trinity" (The Trinity 15:28[51] [A.D. 408]). 

Theodoret of Cyr

"And what need is there of many words, when it is possible to refute falsehood in few? We provide that those who year by year come up for holy baptism should carefully learn the faith set forth at Nicaea by the holy and blessed Fathers; and initiating them as we have been bidden, we baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, pronouncing each name singly" (Letters 145 [A.D. 444]).

“Trinity” – as defined in the Athanasian Creed is “not three Gods.” Yet conversely, Joshua in the Hebrew described Yah, the One true God as, “He is Holy Gods” (Joshua 24:19, plural adjective, plural noun). Abraham said,
when Gods caused me to wander from my father's house, . . . (plural noun, plural verb).
Genesis 35:7 reads in the Hebrew,
And he built there an altar and called the place, "God, the house of God," because there the Gods were revealed to him in his fleeing from the face of his brother. (plural noun, plural verb)
Moses, David, and Jeremiah knew He is Holy Gods when they referred to the Lord as אֱלהִים חַיִּים ('elohiym chayyiym) "living Gods" in Deuteronomy 5:26; 1 Samuel 17:26, 36; Jeremiah 10:10; and 23:36.
It was said of Daniel that in him was “the spirit of the holy gods” (Daniel 4:8-9, 18 KJV), and these Holy Gods are spoken of later in the same chapter.
This decision is by the decree of the watchers, and the sentence by the word of the holy ones, . . . . (Daniel 4:17)
That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule. (Daniel 4:25-26 KJV)

For more see

Sent: Sunday, April 30, 2017 9:12 PM
Subject: John Mcarhur

I learned some valuable information regarding some of the errors of John McArthur's teaching so thank you for the site.

I was more than a little startled, considering how reasonable everything else on the site was, to see your position regarding suicide and the believer.

Frankly, I was also a bit sad. It seems to me for you to hold the position that everyone who has committed suicide has forfeited heaven undermines the Biblical teaching of salvation by faith, through grace ALONE. Your position in no way differs from McArthur's "Lordship Salvation" in that what you have ultimately is a salvation of "works" and not "faith". The Scriptures you cited to support your position confirms in my mind that you do not hold to the doctrine of salvation by faith through grace alone, and that it is the believer's responsibility to not only receive salvation, but also to preserve it. I believe God when he says not one can pluck His sheep out of his hand and that your position would make God a liar, even if that hand happened to be one of his own children suffering from deep depression. May God bless you in your ministry.

In Christ,


Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:5 (KJV)

Sent: Monday, May 1, 2017 12:06 PM
Subject: Re: John Mcarhur
Thank you for the email.
Suicide itself does not damn the soul. It is just evident of a life that does not hope in God (even though they may claim to, 1 John 2:4).
It’s quite evident that your idea of “salvation by faith, through grace ALONE” is unbiblical and in agreement with those “who turn the grace of our God into lewdness” (Jude 1:4). You can’t live anyway you please and end up in heaven. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians,
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
He likewise wrote to the Ephesians,
For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (Ephesians 5:5)
True salvation from God gives a person the grace to live right before God - not in sinless perfection (1 John 1:8-10), but not caught in any trap of unrepentant sin either. As Paul wrote,
For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:14)
And how does Paul later describe this grace?
Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (Rom 6:16)
But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. (Romans 6:22)
Only “slaves of God” who have been “set free from sin” receive “everlasting life,” because it is these who have saving faith. As James tells us,
You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. (James 2:24)
faith without works is dead (James 2:26).
Dead faith saves no one.
Even the favorite “faith alone” or “grace alone” passage speaks of both no works andgood works.”
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
No one is given salvation (faith and grace) because of their deeds (works). We are all sinners deserving of wrath. But, when God saves someone, “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
Sadly, I expect none of these Scriptures to move you. You’ve bought a false gospel, and you will certainly perish in it; if you continue on such falsehood. As it is written,
For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. (Rev 22:15 KJV)

Sent: Monday, May 1, 2017 12:33 PM
To: Darwin Fish
Subject: Re: John Mcarhur

Thanks for the reply and the Scriptures.

I want to say to you in the love of Christ that what I detect in your disposition is remarkably harsh spirit to those of God's children, who because of weakness of faith, falling into the snare of the devil, or discouragement in their walk, may by their actions not adorn the doctrine of Christ. I certainly do not want to enter into any kind of strife with you over this matter, but I see a startling lack of GRACE in your statements.  We can of course agree to disagree. No less an eminent scholar than Martin Lloyd Jones contended that Romans 7 was not speaking of the experience of the Apostle Paul after his regeneration. I suspect that would also be your position. Equally Godly scholars as well as I, disagree with him.

I am glad that we agree that just because someone takes his own life, that does not mean he forfeits eternal life if that person had placed his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. God alone knows the state of the human heart, and who are truly His. Is is the very height of arrogance for any mortal to presume to be able to do that which angels cannot; namely, distinguish wheat from tares with absolute certitude. I for one, on reading the Old testament would never had judged Lot a righteous man. I would have bee wrong.

In Christ,


PS My comments are made in view of a deep understanding of the medical condition of depression, and how over the years even the very Godliest of saints have suffered from its ravages.

Sent: Monday, May 1, 2017 2:18 PM
Subject: Re: John Mcarhur
Thank you. As for the “remarkably harsh spirit” both David and Proverbs speak of this Spirit.
Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; It shall be as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it. (Psalm 141:5)
If you knew the love of God, you’d know my words were words of kindness. As Proverbs says,
Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. (Pro 27:5-6)
I have not given you the “kisses of an enemy” (flattery). I’ve spoken to you as a true friend would – words of truth and Scripture, “the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). Truth hurts (“wounds”) and you’re not liking it.
You “see a startling lack of GRACE,” because you do not know God’s grace. What you call grace is lewdness (Jude 4). As you wrote,
God alone knows the state of the human heart, and who are truly His. 
Those who believe the Bible (God’s Word) know also, because they believe God. He has made Himself very clear who goes to heaven and who goes to hell throughout His Word (e.g. Rev. 21:8; etc.; etc.). Your claim we can’t know reveals your utter unbelief and rejection of the Bible.
I believe Martin Lloyd Jones to be a minister of Satan (as in 2 Cor. 11:13-15). If that is what he teaches on Romans 7, no I do not agree. Paul clearly speaks of himself in the present tense.
No, we don’t agree about suicide. You think it says nothing on the state of the soul, since you cannot know such things. I believe it reveals they have been “moved away from the hope of the gospel” (Colossians 1:23), have not held “fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end” (Hebrews 3:6), and have not remained in Christ. Jesus is no liar. He says such a one,
is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. (John 15:6)
You stated,
Is is the very height of arrogance for any mortal to presume to be able to do that which angels cannot; namely, distinguish wheat from tares with absolute certitude.
So, the servants who could see the tares were at “the very height of arrogance”?
So the servants of the owner came and said to him, “Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?” (Matthew 13:27)
I would like to know who you think these very proud servants are, who can distinguish the tares from the wheat. Can you tell me? I ask in all sincerity, curious as to how you would answer.
Apparently, Isaiah was ignorant of “the medical condition of depression” when He wrote,
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3)
You’re deceived by the claims of godliness, because you don’t believe the Scriptures that give the discernment to distinguish between the “the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (e.g. 1 John 4:6; 2:3-5; etc.).

Sent: Monday, May 1, 2017 2:43 PM
To: Darwin Fish
Subject: Re: John Mcarhur

I am certainly glad  I have thick skin. I stopped counting the number of accusations  you have made after five or so. 

You are certainly right about one thing, and that is that heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.

That goes for both your heart, and mine. Unless you have of course already obtained sinless perfection. Have you?

It would do us well to maintain a posture of humility when dealing with holy things.

The Master gave a very specific reason for why the tares were not to be uprooted by the servants despite their zeal to do so. If you understood  the instructions He gave, and you should as his instructions and reasons were explicit. you would have perceived what I was trying to alert you to.


Sent: Monday, May 1, 2017 3:21 PM
Subject: Re: John Mcarhur
Your question was answered in my first email. I would really like you to answer mine. Who do you think these very proud servants are, who can distinguish the tares from the wheat in Matthew 13:27?
Yes, the Master gave a very specific reason:
. . . lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. (Matthew 13:29)
Do you think to “gather up” means simply to know or recognize them as tares? That’s not what it means when they finally do gather them up (vs. 30). Then it means judgment (“and will cast them into the furnace of fire” Matthew 13:41-42).
In your email you claimed, “angels cannot; . . . distinguish wheat from tares.” How then are they able to determine who is a tare when they finally gather the tares up in Matthew 13:41-42? And again, if the angels can’t tell who a tare is, who are the servants in verse 27 who can see the tares among the wheat?

Sent: Monday, May 1, 2017 4:10 PM
To: Darwin Fish
Subject: Re: John Mcarhur

It was not intention to imply that the servants were proud or arrogant. It was my intention to point out the narrative should have been a cautionary note to all of us against presumption. The text tells us that the separation would take place at the harvest by the reapers, who are identified as angels. We are not specifically told in the text who the servants are. We are told that they were prohibited from trying to separate forcibly the wheat from the tares. While it is true that one could assume the Master was concerned about collateral damage as the tares were being removed, a careful exegesis of the text suggests another reason, and that is the potential for mis-identification. If this is the case, the implication is clearly that the servants, whoever they were, would not necessarily be able to distinguish the two in every case. It is possible, but speculative I admit, that this could have been a skill that the reapers possessed that other servants did not, or perhaps that it would not be entirely obvious to observers until the time of the harvest. We can harbor an opinion about someone's spiritual state I agree by looking at the fruit their life is producing. Remember the thief on the cross. By your standards there should have been no hope for him. He had lived a wretched life. You should be much more careful about the way you throw around the Holy Scriptures and seek to find close application to both the person addressed, and the topic at hand. I can see why we believers are so often despised by the lost because of this kind of blunt force trauma we employ to try and make a point. Neither you nor I can be absolutely certain about whose name is written in the Lamb's book of life. To act, and speak in such as way as to convey to anyone that we are in possession of that knowledge is what I consider to be the very height of arrogance and pride.


Sent: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 8:22 AM
Subject: Re: John Mcarhur
Thank you for the answer. Your speculation is against the text. For in the very first mention of the tares once grown, they are identified without equivocation as tares and not wheat. There is no lack of identification or misidentification anywhere in the text.
The only precautionary note found in this Matthew 13 parable is not to take the tares out of the world before due time (judgment day), which is nothing humans can do. We are not capable of gathering or uprooting the tares from the world (the field, vs. 38). But, we are capable of seeing these “sons of the wicked one” (vs. 38), noting them and removing them, not from the world, but from the church.
1 Corinthians 5 says to “put away from yourselves the evil person” (1 Corinthians 5:13). That takes discerning who is evil and judging those in the church (“Do you not judge those who are inside?” 1 Cor 5:12). Likewise, Paul said,
note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. (Romans 16:17)
And what does Paul say about these people? That they are misguided believers? No.
For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. (Romans 16:18)
Such people are not believers, as Jesus said.
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.  (Matthew 6:24)
If they do not serve Christ, they serve Satan. There’s no middle ground, as Jesus well illustrates:
Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:21-23)
Obviously, those who practice lawlessness are rejected by Christ, and as the above illustrates, end up in hell (“depart from Me”).
Moreover, what kind of theology teaches a sinner can’t be saved? That’s nothing I teach. That’s all that happened to the thief. The thief on the cross was reviling Christ, along with the other robber, as he was hanging there next to Jesus (Matthew 27:44; Mark 15:32). Then God gave him a new heart (salvation, Luke 23:39-43).
So, evidently you believe Paul was at “the very height of arrogance and pride”?
. . . help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life. (Philippians 4:3)
I have not been talking about the book of life. I’ve been addressing what Scripture addresses over and again: A person’s present state (lost or saved) can be quite clear by how they speak and live. As it is written,
He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1 John 2:4)
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. (2 John 1:9; etc.)

Sent: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 10:21 AM
To: Darwin Fish
Subject: Re: John Mcarhur
Respectfully, the cautionary note was the possibility of uprooting the wheat. You should also consider that while it is true that Scripture gives us a standard which we may apply to our own lives and others, not all believers display the same maturity. Some abundantly display the fruit of the Spirit, sone are babes in Christ, some are carnal and may not be walking in ghe truth. The grreat apostle Peter himself faced severe rebuke from Paul for his hypocrisy. The Godly Barnabus as well allowed himself to be swayed by Peter's conduct. They were no less Christians, their failure notwithstanding. I would also finally suggest to you that none of us is beyond deception. The enemy of our souls can transform himself into an angel  of light. As you correctly point out, many who do wonderful works will be told to depart from the Saviour. Christ Himself warns about the possibility of even the elect being deceived in the last days. I am simply saying that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. To attach any other conditions or caveats, no matter how well-intentioned, is to preach another gospel.

Sent: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 1:31 PM
Subject: Re: John Mcarhur
Yes sadly, believers can and do sin, and we are all deceived (Rev. 12:9). Those who don't know they are, are all the more (Ephesians 4:17-18). And, most don't acknowledge, it is God who has deceived us. As Jeremiah wrote,
O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me. (Jer 20:7 KJV)
Ezekiel wrote,
And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. (Ezekiel 14:9 KJV)
God has given every last one of us a heart “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). He has made us all think “every way . . . is right in [our] own eyes" (Proverbs 21:2), when our every way is evil (“none who does good” Romans 3:12). Our hearts are “full of evil; madness is in [our] hearts” (Ecc. 9:3). We “seek only rebellion” (Proverbs 17:4), and it is God who has made us this way. As it is written,
The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. (Pro 16:4 KJV)
God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. (Romans 11:32)
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:36)
It’s quite the curse to which we have been born.
You say “faith alone,” but Scripture says, “not by faith only” (James 2:24). James did not preach another gospel. He simply described the kind of saving faith that God gives (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is not without works (Ephesians 2:10 “good works”). Christ lives in a believer and works godliness in them (Galatians 2:20). Faith without works is dead faith (James 2:26). Christ is not dead. His faith is not dead. Dead faith is not the God-given Savior’s faith. Dead faith is no avenue to life.

a true church, P. O. Box 130, Moodys, OK 74444