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Wednesday, 5 February 2020


Andy Woods
Sugar Land Bible Church
Secure In Christ ~ Revelation 3:5-6

Andy Woods is a staunch pre-tribulation rapture "eternal security" teacher. His repeated claim, based primarily on Revelation 3:5-6, that overcomer (νικῶν) is by definition a synonym for a Christian regardless of conduct is extremely problematic for a number of reasons. For the sake of consistency, the bible quotations in this post are taken from the New American Standard Version as per Andy Woods' Sermon.

'He who overcomes (νικῶν) will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ (Revelation 3:5-6).

Andy Woods': "'He who overcomes' is a positional fact already made about the believer based on what Jesus Christ has already done for the believer, rather than what the believer does for himself." (17:15 mark). 

This statement is true only in so far as it applies to the believer in the present tense. The assertion that the believer is a guaranteed overcomer, both now and in the future, violates the grammar. The Greek verb νικῶν (overcomes) is a present active participle, i.e. it describes an action which is taking place now. The present active participle refers to an action that is currently taking place or which takes place repeatedly, but not indefinitely. For Andy Woods to be correct, νικῶν would have to be written in the perfect tense (a past action with an ongoing effect) e.g. but take courage; I (emphatic) have overcome (νενίκηκα / perfect active indicative) the world." (John 16:33).

There is a distinction between the believer who overcomes in a present ongoing sense, and Jesus Christ who has overcome (aorist). The scriptures put the onus on the believer to progressively "overcome", not in his/her own strength in the flesh, but by the power of the Holy Spirit.

'He who overcomes (νικῶν), I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame (ἐνίκησα) and sat down with My Father on His throne. (Revelation 3:21).

νικῶν = present active participle. 
ἐνίκησα = verb aorist active indicative - first person singular.

and one of the elders said to me, "Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome (ἐνίκησεν) so as to open the book and its seven seals." (Revelation 5:5).

ἐνίκησεν = verb - aorist active indicative - third person singular.

Works Salvation?

Andy Woods: "He who overcomes (νικῶν ) - that means I have got to do something." 

For Andy Woods, conditional salvation is an abhorrent doctrine, because, in his terms, it is dependent upon works. In fact the opposite is true. What many fail to appreciate (apparently), is that the believer who abides in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit obliterates the charge of "works salvation". Those who abide in Christ will necessarily produce evidence of their faith. (James 2:20).

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. (John 15:4-6 cf. John 6:56).

Abide in Me, and I in you.. The imperative is followed by the promise i.e. the latter depends upon the former. In other words, without abiding in Christ the promise cannot be gained.

Jesus' past victory does have continuous ongoing effect, with the proviso that it applies to those believers who endure in the faith and stand firm to the end. (Matthew 10:22; Colossians 1:22-23).

But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:39) The KJV has draw back unto perdition (εἰς ἀπώλειαν). In other words, those who shrink back experience eternal destruction!

Andy Woods' examples from 1 John 4 and 5:

You are from God, little children, and have overcome (νενικήκατε) them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4).

In this instance νενικήκατε is in the perfect tense. However, in context, the remainder of 1 John 4 expresses the necessity of believers fulfilling certain conditions. (Psalm 119:160).

God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment;

..If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. (1 John 4:16b-21).

For whatever is born of God overcomes (νικῶν) the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is the one who overcomes (νικῶν) the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4-5).

Andy Woods' example from Romans 8:37: (24:00 mark)

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer (υπερνικωμεν) through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37).

υπερνικωμεν verb - present active indicative.

In a very serious sense, Andy Woods' repeated misapplication of the simple present tense has the devastating result of altering the scriptures. (Revelation 22:18-19; Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:6).

Andy Woods: "The believer compared to the unbeliever is called an overcomer.. It doesn't matter what is going on in your personal life.. you are already an overcomer." (26:00 mark) "No amount of backsliding, no amount of disobedience can cancel who you are in Christ Jesus." (33:00 mark) I regard Andy Wood's false optimism as highly irresponsible considering that the scriptures prophesy the terrible reality of coming apostasy:

At that time many will fall away.. (Matthew 24:10).

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.. (1 Timothy 4:1 cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 1 Timothy 4:16; Romans 2: 6-8). 

Andy Woods' example from Revelation 21:6-8:

Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. “He who overcomes (νικῶν) will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. (Revelation 21:6-7).

Revelation 21:6-7 applies to specific individuals i.e. the one who thirsts.. He who overcomes.

'He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. (Revelation 3:5).

Revelation 3:5 is not an imperative (a command), it is a conditional promise. It describes Christians. but not necessarily all Christians, since it is not inevitable that all Christians will overcome. (Matthew 24:10 cf. Matthew 11:6; Matthew 13:21, 57).

If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; (2 Timothy 2:12).

Vincent's Word Studies: "The meaning of the last clause is, will not acknowledge us as his own. Comp. Luke 9:26; Matthew 10:33." {1}

God is not some ogre willing Christians to fail, quite the opposite.. hence the repeated exhortations to stand firm and to overcome. (2 Peter 3:9; Romans 2:4; Psalm 46:1). Sin is inevitable. (1 John 1:8-10). However, it is God's will that we confess our sins and work through our various issues, as in the case of Euodia and Syntyche:

I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. (Philippians 4:2-3 cf. 1 John 1:9). 

It is worth noting that the early Church Fathers clearly taught that Christians must continue in the faith in order to be saved. {2}

..and one of the elders said to me, "Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals." (Revelation 5:5).

The overcomer is Jesus Christ. All the reference to Jesus Christ as the overcomer are in the perfect tense, but in the case of believers it is a conditional promise in the present tense:

John 16:33... I have overcome the world. (perfect tense)
1 John 4:4 and have overcome them.. (perfect tense)

For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome (ἡττῶνται), the last state has become worse for them than the first. (2 Peter 2:20).

For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. (Hebrews 6:4-6).

It was very remiss of Andy Woods not to teach Revelation 3:5 in context with the preceding verse. He completely omits the link "thus" (in this way, in like manner) between the few who are worthy in Sardis (Revelation 3:4) and He who overcomes. (Revelation 3:5).

‘But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ (Revelation 3:4-6 cf. Matthew 10:38).

Meyer on Revelation 3:5: "An express pointing backward to what precedes is made by the οὕτως, which makes the promise here bestowed upon the victor (οὕτ. περιβ. ἐν. ἱμ. λευκ.)[1382] appear to coincide with that which (Revelation 3:4) was given to the one whose garments were not defiled.[1383]" {3}

Logically it is not possible to defile garments that are not pure at first. The question is: What is the fate of those who have defiled their garments and have brought shame upon Jesus and His church? Only those who have pure garments will be present at the marriage supper and will subsequently return with Jesus at his second coming. (Revelation 19:7-8,14; cf. Matthew 22:11-12).

Two Books of Life?

Andy Woods admits that the OT references to being blotted out of the book of life contradict his teaching. (Exodus 32:31-33 and Psalm 69:27-28). His "solution" is that there are two books i.e. the book of life (the book of the living = physical life), and the Lamb's Book of life (eternal life). However his arguments for this are unconvincing.

Exodus 32:32

Moses plea regarding the sin of the Israelites: "But now, if You will, forgive their sin-- and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!" For the second time, Andy Woods skews the context by quoting Exodus 32:32 in isolation. Verse 33: The LORD replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot out of My book.. (Exodus 32:31-33).

Note: Moses refers to the book that God has written. The book of life in both the OT and the NT is a heavenly book in which the names of the righteous are inscribed. Those blotted out of the book have sinned grievously and are excluded from the company of the righteous. In other words, the upshot is that those blotted out are rendered unrighteous and have forfeited their place in heaven:

- the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9 cf. 2 Peter 2:9; Revelation 21:27).

Pulpit Commentary: "And if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book. Some interpret this as merely equivalent to, 'Blot me out of the book of the living,' and explain that phrase as meaning simply - 'Take my life - kill me instead of them' - but something more seems to be meant. 'The book of the living' - 'the book of life' - the book of God's writing - is not merely a register of those who happen to be alive at any given time. It 'contains the list of the righteous, and ensures to those whose names are written therein, life before God, first in the earthly kingdom of God, and then eternal life also' (Keil). Thus Moses declared his willingness - nay, his wish - that God would visit on him the guilt of his people, both in this world and the next, so that he would thereupon forgive them." {4}

Psalm 69:28

This is the third time that Andy Woods fails to mention the critical preceding verse:

Add iniquity to their iniquity, And may they not come into Your righteousness. (Psalm 69:27).

Benson on Psalm 69:27: "The words may be rendered, Add punishment to their punishment, (for the word עוןis often put for the punishment of iniquity.) Send one judgment upon them after another, without ceasing. And let them not come into thy righteousness.." {5}

May they be blotted out of the book of life And may they not be recorded with the righteous. (Psalm 69:28).

The question of "righteousness" puts severe doubt upon Andy Woods' argument that these OT examples are limited to those physically alive and to temporal consequences.

Below - Andy Woods' chart alleging that there are two books of life:

The phrase "the Lamb's book of life" occurs only twice in the New Testament (Revelation 13:8 and 21:27). The phrase "the book of life" (as against "the Lamb's book of life") is also found in the book of Revelation. (Revelation 3:5; 17:8 20: 12,15; 22:19). Paul also refers to "the book of life". (Philippians 4:3). Luke makes reference to those whose names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20). This expression is also found in Hebrews 12:23.

The white throne judgement in Revelation refers to only one book of life, whereas books (plural) applies to unbelievers: 

And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. (Revelation 20:12-13, cf. Revelation 20:15).

Andy Woods teaching that "the book of life" referred to throughout the scriptures is not the same book as "the Lamb's book of life" is unsubstantiated. I submit that there is no compelling evidence to suggest that the book of life and the Lamb's book of life are two separate books. Andy Wood's theory matches his false doctrine, and his attempt to muddy the waters is extremely questionable. (Ezekiel 34:18).

The pre-tribulation rapture doctrine is also promoted by Andy Woods. These two lethal false doctrines (the pre-trib rapture and eternal security) are often taught in tandem. The result is that they diminish the gospel and the criticality of remaining/continuing in the faith to the end. Careful exegesis shows that the rapture cannot occur until after the Antichrist takes his seat in the temple of God half way through the 70th week of Daniel. (2 Thessalonians 1-4). I recommend Alan Kurschner on this subject and also Paul Dorgan's comprehensive pre-wrath video on YouTube. (see Further Links).

The challenge for all Christians is to be Bereans. (Acts 17:11). I warn those attending Sugar Land Bible Church to test Andy Woods' teachings very carefully and to be very wary of his self assessment regarding doctrinal soundness. (1 John 4:1).

Further Links:

The Great Deception ~ Joe Schimmel ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAQBTybv2mk&t=1432s
Alan Kurschner Eschatos Ministries ~ https://www.alankurschner.com/
Paul Dorgan End Times Seminar Session 4 - The Day of the Lord ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0Ynrb2qugA&list=PLDS6L4dOrrh2b31rfWbTduK8Dv7LlQNlk&index=4
Once Saved Always Saved? ~


  1. Interesting article Treena. I have heard some of his sermons. Did not know he taught two books of Life. Your points regarding the sanctification process are very good. I once heard a Calvinist teach that Demas continued as a churchgoer!? So many take our security in Christ to an extreme. They normally focus on sins. I believe all sins (apart from taking the mark, which MacArthur teaches is forgivable!?) post salvation can be forgiven, even 7 x 70 in a day if need be. However, people who depart doctrinally from the fundamental truths of the gospel are in great peril if they do not repent, in my opinion.
    Christ commended Antipas for not denying His name unto death and Paul warned saved believers in Corinth not to exchange the truth for ANOTHER Jesus, spirit and gospel. I believe I was guilty of doing this as a WOF charismatic following the false Christ of Hagin, Kenyon et al and embracing the Kundalini spirit, thinking it was the Holy Spirit. However, my initial conversion from the non-gospel of Anglicanism to the true gospel was genuine so that even after years of being under false teaching, my plea to be shown the truth was answered. For those who continue in serious doctrinal error (which produces failure to overcome sin) who will not be corrected, the story must be different or the warnings in scripture are valueless.


  2. I find the comments on this video very concerning Mike. Those who find Woods' sermon "uplifting" etc. are extremely gullible. Woods' teachings are very dangerous to the Body of Christ. He appears as an impressive academic, but his omissions and speculations are quite chilling.
    God bless.

  3. So you kind of write in circles in this article so I'm a bit confused. Are you trying to tell us that if a man slips and falls and looks at a girl crossing the street that he's not married to, (lust with the eyes same as adultery) and a semi that's driving too fast hits and kills the young man before he confesses and asks Christ to forgive him (again) that he will go to hell?

    Since Paul said "I would that I do what I should, and would that I not do what I should not" (paraphrase mine) and Paul wrote the epistles of salvation... I'm assuming you're not saying what I think your saying. Or are you?

    1. You make an important point regarding unconfessed sin.

      Hopefully, as genuine Christians, we are all aiming high. Nevertheless we cannot avoid sin. (1 John 1:8). "We all stumble in many ways".. James 3:2.. Every one of us will, no doubt, have "unconfessed sin" in one form or another when we physically die. However, I do not think that unconfessed sin in a follower of Christ falls into the same category as a person who has hardened their heart through continual or habitual sin or apostasy ..having one's conscience seared. (1 Timothy 4:2) .. Some become offended and turn away from the Lord. (Matthew 11:6). These have obviously turned away from the Lord.. and yet they originally been "enlightened.. tasted.. have shared the Holy Spirit":

      For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned. (Hebrews 6:4-8).
      God bless.

  4. You do know that Kurschner is a five point Calvinist, right? So he would also hold to eternal security.

    1. Yes I do know that Alan Kurschner is a Calvinist.
      I have noticed that Calvinism appeals to intellectuals, or at any rate, wannabe intellectuals.
      Although I do not agree with him in this respect, I do recommend him on the prewrath rapture.
      God bless.

  5. Hebrews 10:39
    39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

    The Holy Spirit now moves from future considerations to what believers were facing in the first century.

    There is a connection between a weak faith and withdrawal from a faithful walk with the Lord. There is also a similarity between the Christian life and the exodus generation (He 3:6–4:13).

    39 But we [emphatic, including the author] are not of those who draw back

    “Draw back” does not refer to apostasy but contextually to the failure to be consistently true to what God has said (Ga 2:12). The class of those who draw back contrasts with the “faith” class. The author of Hebrews fears that some may have misunderstood the warning of the previous verse (He 10:38).

    to perdition [ruin],

    “Perdition” here is not hell; it is not eternal destruction of the soul. This word means ruin. The term can refer to either eternal destruction in hell or temporal discipline. Here to draw back will ruin the believer who does this in his present life. These believers “who draw back” will face temporal disciple from God.

    The believer cannot draw back to eternal ruin. However, the Christian can ruin their testimony of walking by faith and keeping the clarity of their message if they minimize the finished work of Christ.

    but of those who believe to the saving of the soul [life].

    The word “saving” in the Greek does not always refer to saving the soul for eternity. It has a range of meanings that include saving the consistent life of the believer. Peter cried while walking on the sea, “Lord, save me.” He meant, ”Save me from drowning.” The salvation here is the saving of the believer from ruining his Christian life. This phrase has nothing to do with the conversion of the soul. The point is that the believer is to be careful not to lose his or her reward.

    The word “soul” can mean simply normal day-by-day life. Here the meaning is the saving of one’s daily life (He 10:32–39). If one lives by faith during times of duress, then she will receive reward from God. This is the point of the next chapters (He 11 and 12). Thus, the “saving of the soul” here has to do with ruining the Christian life. The believer will have wasted opportunity for rich reward in heaven.


    The Christian can lose his or her reward by not remaining true to truth.


    The purpose of the conclusion of Hebrews 10 is to warn believers of God’s disciplining them for distorting doctrine and walking away from a consistent Christian life. Under duress a believer must not give way to her personal pain.

    The point of the concluding verses of chapter 10 is not apostasy but the danger to believers of willfully departing from the will of God.

  6. “But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”

    The writer sets up two exact opposites:

    The context does not therefore refer to temporal discipline.

    Concerning the Antichrist: "it goes to destruction." (Revelation 17:11 cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:3).

    The wicked: "..vessels of wrath prepared for destruction" (Romans9:22).

    Judas is identified as "the son of destruction." (John 17:12).

    " Destruction and perdition, are named together in 1 Timothy 6:9.

  7. Death Blows To Once Saved Always Saved
    Good Fight Radio Show
    There are some excellent points in this podcast from Joe Schimmel and his team.

  8. God is not the author of confusion!
    Matthew 11:25 have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. There is no one in the Bible who lost there salvation!

    Recommending Joe Schimmel as a sourcevl is no different than recommending Jacob Prasch-imho!!
    The Lord isnt a mob boss who cuts us off if we mess up!
    Those who believe in "falling away" accuse those who believe in "eternal security" of promoting "cheap grace." The latter is in itself an unbiblical expression. To call it "cheap" is really a denial of grace, since it implies that too small a price has been paid. Grace, however, must be absolutely free and without any price at all on man's part, while on God's part the price He paid must be infinite. Thus for man to think that his works can play any part in either earning or keeping his salvation is what cheapens grace and devalues this infinite gift to the level of human effort.
    In the Greek, Christ's cry from the cross, "It is finished!" is an accounting term, meaning that the debt had been paid in full.
    If, having received eternal life, we could lose it and perish, it would make Christ a liar. Yet this is the teaching of Roman Catholicism. Therefore the Mass is declared to be a sacrifice of Christ's body and blood whereby God pardons sinners. Thus Christ's once-for-all sacrifice upon the cross was not sufficient. And like Roman Catholicism, the idea that a person once saved could be lost also denies the sufficiency of Christ's death upon the cross 1,900 years ago.
    If sin causes the loss of salvation, what kind or amount of sin does it take? There is no verse in the Bible that tells us. We are told that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 Jn:1:9
    )—so apparently any sin can be forgiven. Even those who teach falling away rarely if ever say they got "saved again." Rather, they confessed their sin and were forgiven. Hebrews:12:3-11
    tells us that every Christian sins, and that instead of causing a loss of salvation, sin brings God's chastening upon us as His children. If when we sinned we ceased to be God's children, He would have no one to chastise—yet he "scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." Indeed, chastening is a sign that we are God's children, not that we have lost our salvation: "if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons."
    Matthew 7:23 refers to those who thought by their works they were saved but the Lord called them workers of lawlessness because they weren't clothed in his "Finshed everlasting salvation" And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
    Repent and believe the gospel

  9. I have read your various comments Slaw777 - I will not publish them all as they tend to be very repetitive.

    I wonder if you have read my post properly, or if you have, you have not understood it. I believe that to abide in Christ necessarily produces fruit - fruit is never something we can achieve in our own strength. I totally agree with you that we can never earn salvation.

    "falling away" in the most serious sense is to become offended and to reject Jesus Christ.

    "If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that." 1 John 5:16.

    I have been greatly blessed by Joe Schimmel's ministry. I do see the rapture slightly differently, but I rarely argue prewrath versus post-trib since both positions safeguard believers against the lethal pre-trib error. I see none of Prasch's abuse in Joe Schimmel's ministry, and I think it is very unfair to make the comparison.

  10. Good comments Treena. Thank you again for your strong, thorough writing on scriptural truth.