Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 26, 1953


Cecil B. Douthitt, Box 67, Brownwood, Texas

Lord's Supper: Is The Fruit Of The Vine Fermented Or Unfermented?

Dear Brother Douthitt: I understand you are very good at answering Bible questions. I was given your address by who __________ preaches for the congregation here. I will appreciate your answer to the following questions:

1. According to the New Testament the Lord's Supper consists of unleavened bread and fruit of the vine. Was this fruit of the vine fermented or unfermented, or in other words, wine or just juice?

2. From reading Numbers 28 would you say that it was wine or just juice that the Jews were commanded to use in the Passover?

3. Shouldn't we use the same kind of fruit of the vine that was on the Passover table that the Lord used when He instituted the Lord's Supper? If not, why not?

4. Can you show by the scriptures that this fruit of the vine the Lord used was not wine but rather just unfermented juice?

Please make your answers very brief, or as brief as possible. Thanking you, I am, Sincerely, 1. I do not know whether the fruit of the vine which the Lord used in the institution of the Supper was fermented or unfermented.

2. There are two kinds of wine, fermented and unfermented. Both are "juice" from the grape. The "fruit of the vine" is juice from the grape and may be either fermented or unfermented. I do not know which the Israelites used in the Passover.

3. We should use the fruit of the grape vine in the Lord's Supper, but I do not know whether the Lord used fermented or unfermented juice, and I do not want to legislate where He has not; therefore I drink either kind that is presented to me in the Lord's day worship.

4. I cannot show by the scriptures whether "this fruit of the vine the Lord used" was fermented or unfermented.

RELIGIOUS PAPERS, COMMENTARIES, BIBLE COLLEGES AND WOMEN TEACHERS The following letter was addressed to Brother Yater Tant:

"I am acquainted with a brother who won't take a religious paper of any kind, nor will he own a commentary. He never loses an opportunity to speak, in class or elsewhere, of the uselessness of reading any such literature. He has gotten the members of the congregation afraid to mention the name of a commentary or religious paper except in an apologetic manner for fear, I suppose, that he will create a disturbance. This brother also hates Bible colleges as much perhaps as the Baptists and the devil hate baptism for the remission of sins, and is outspoken against them, claiming they are usurping the work of the church. Women teachers are also his special target. Is he right in his contentions? A prompt reply would be appreciated, by mail or through the columns of the Guardian."

This brother is not right in his contentions. He should subscribe to the Gospel Guardian at once, read it every week, and pass it around for others to read. The members of the congregation might find the written comments in the Gospel Guardian almost as useful as this brother's oral comments on the uselessness of written comments.

He does not seem to think his own commentary on the uselessness of commentaries is useless. Why does he think that reading the other fellow's commentary is so much worse than listening to his?

Does he hate the Bible college because the Bible is taught in it? Does he think the Bible college usurps the work of the church by teaching the Bible? If the Bible colleges would quit teaching the Bible, would he quit opposing them? His position is not clear.

If this brother is opposed to older women's teaching young women how to conduct themselves as wives, mothers and workers at home, he is opposed to their doing what the Holy Spirit requires of them. (Titus 2:3-5) Does he make Priscilla (Acts 18:26) and Philip's four daughters (Acts 21:9) his special targets too?

Grocery Closet: Is It Scriptural

"Is it scriptural to build a grocery closet in the church of Christ building, and the minister to publish in the bulletin each Lord's day for each member to bring groceries to store in this closet for the needy? If so, please give me scriptures on it."

Baptizing penitent believers is scriptural. (Acts 2:38) A baptistery somewhere in the building is a convenient arrangement for carrying out this commandment of the Lord.

In worshipping God in song (Eph. 5:19) we need song books. A suitable place should be prepared for the books when not in use; receptacles fastened to the backs of the seats afford such a place.

Men must worship God in prayer with their hats off. (1 Cor. 11:4) They should have some place to put their hats while worshipping. Of course, they could hold them in their hands or sit on them, but hat racks or shelves in the foyer or some other room near the entrance of the building are more desirable.

The church must feed the hungry. (Acts 6:1-3; Gal. 2:10) What is more appropriate than groceries for a hungry person? Members of the church sometimes give groceries more conveniently than anything else. Some may be able to give groceries and canned goods, who could not give money. Under such conditions the elders should see that a place is prepared to store this food contributed for the hungry. What could they prepare better than a "grocery closet" for storing the groceries until the time for distribution to the needy?

The nature of the work and worship of the church justifies baptisteries, song book receptacles, cloak rooms, offices, broom closets and grocery closets in church buildings.

The church bulletin is only one of several good ways of keeping the people informed concerning these utilities.