Fruit of the Vine
Pastor K. T. Hansard, Sr.
As stated by some of the brethren, “The cup must be unfermented or the communion of the table has not been observed in an acceptable manner.” We must keep in mind the opposite of such a statement could be true. “The cup must be fermented or the communion of the table has not been observed in an acceptable manner.” If God commands an unfermented cup, it must be unfermented. If God commands a fermented cup, it must be fermented. The answer lies, not in man’s opinion, traditions or practice but in God’s command.
The churches of the Lord Jesus Christ must follow what the Bible commands on the cup just as we should in all church order and doctrine. Where in God’s Word does the inspired Scripture command the fermented cup? Likewise, where in God’s Word does the inspired Scripture command the unfermented cup? We are instructed to study and receive God’s Word with all readiness of mind, searching the scriptures for truth.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15).
“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” (Acts 17:11).
“That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (II Tim. 3:17).
All will not be convinced, but all should be edified. The Bible plainly and clearly gives the following facts regarding the cup.
“But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matt. 26:29).
“Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine…” (Mark 14:25).
“For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until…” (Luke 22:18).
“After the same manner also he took the cup…” (I Cor. 11:25).
In these three places it states, “the fruit of the vine” and in one place “the cup.” From these clear statements we can conclude the contents —fermented or unfermented.
The clear statement “fruit of the vine” (pure blood of the grape) led us to the conclusion the contents of the cup—unfermented! No where in the Bible have we ever heard or read of the “fruit of the vine” being fermented. When we crush the “fruit of the vine” (grapes) for the communion observance of the Lord’s Table never—not once has anything but the PURE BLOOD of the grape flowed—unfermented! We have never—not once tasted or witnessed a fermented juice in the crushed cluster.
This short, simple and just presentation, of God’s Word does not require the opinion or practice of OTHERS—with all due respect to the research of both the dead and living on this matter.
Such conclusions, drawn from the well trodden “old paths” of inspired Scripture, calls for no qualifying statements seeking to convince you we are not pro alcohol nor social drinkers. The Bible speaks in a clear negative tone as to the mockery and deception of alcoholic drink.
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Prov. 20:1).
Finally, such divine truth gives comfort and peace of mind that we have not put the “mocker/raging cup” to our youth’s lips (or in the mind of other youthful readers) in observing this New Testament Church Ordinance—Lord’s Table!
The contents of “the cup” are in symbol, a picture of the blood of Christ which He shed for His sheep.
“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26:28).
His blood flowed forth. Therefore, when the “fruit of the vine” (grapes) are crushed, the liquid or juice that flows forth is a pure representation of the shed blood of Christ at the communion of the Lord’s Table.
God’s Word teaches “fruit of the vine” as the acceptable manner yielding no fermentation in the squeezed cluster. If we are to be condemned by others let it be for the truth of God’s Word and not willful ignorance or spiritual blindness.