Wine: Drink it or not?

Preface

"Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us…." (Luke 1:1)

Brethren, "Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to command you what is fitting, yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you." (Philemon 1:8, 9) I quote this verse so those that would be contentious, believing I’m forcing them to obey something, might know our heart.

My duty is to declare to you the truth of our Lord and God. Today, we have many Christians that believe drinking wine is a sin. Some believe it's not a sin but forbidden, and some believe its ok to drink it. Some even think nothing of drinking hard alcohol and wine and going to parties.

Many have preconceived ideas or personal hatred (for example someone knows someone that is an alcoholic, was killed by a drunk driver, etc.) for something that appears forbidden. Just as we would hate alcohol that alters the mind, a drug that alters the mind, or guns that kill; we cannot say those items are evil. Rather, it's the misuse of those things that is evil. We shall deal with what wine is, how it is used, and what our response to it should be. As always the Bible is our textbook and the Holy Spirit is our guide.

What is wine?

First, the Bible says it is a mocker, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." (Proverbs 21:1) Understand that verse because you will need it for later.

There are two types of "wine." First, the kind that comes from pressing and squeezing grapes. For example, if you take a handful of grapes, hold a cup under them, and squeeze them what drips in the cup is what the Bible calls "wine" or "pureblood of the grape" (Deuteronomy 32:14) and "fruit of the vine" (Matthew 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18) We call it grape juice. The other is when you press or squeeze the grapes and let that juice ferment; that is also called "wine" or strong drink. This is pretty simple stuff. There is also the "two wines" principle that we shall cover later. The word wine and all the other words combining that word appear in the Bible over 230 times.

If you look in a dictionary printed fifty years ago or so you will see clearly wine often had a dual meaning fermented or unfermented fruit juice. If you go back further in time you will see the dual meaning was more prevalent, until you reach a time last century (the nineteenth) and before, where this was the accepted and general meaning. So what was meant by wine then may not necessarily mean what wine is today. Even before the grapes enter a crushing and processing stage the juice that comes out of them the Bible clearly calls this wine at this stage.

The process is simple:

1.        Grow grapes.

2.        Pick the grapes.

3.        Crush the grapes.

4.        Collect the grape juice in a fermentation cask.* In the cask, yeast transforms the sugar in the juice into alcohol through a process called fermentation.

5.        Let the wine mature in casks for some length of time.

6.        Age the wine in bottles.

*In the fermenting vats the grape sugar is converted into alcohol.

Someone long ago figured out, intentionally or by accident, that grape juice stored (up to 14 days) will turn to alcohol—the sugar in the grape juice with the help of yeast converts to alcohol.

"Wine making requires a series of steps…The winemaker must first decide which grapes to use and when to harvest them. Once at the winery, a machine called a crusher breaks the grape berries and removes them from their stems. Amazingly enough, this is a very gentle process and the stems that come out of the machine look as though each grape must have been removed by hand. The machine then crushes the grapes, skins, pulp, juice, seeds and all and the result is called must. Winemakers separate the skins and pulp from the juice before it enters the tank or barrel for fermentation. Fermentation is the chemical change in which yeast converts the natural grape sugars into alcohol. Carbon dioxide gas is a by-product of the fermentation process and is released as bubbles. The yeast also produces various other by-products which may add to the flavor and aroma of the wine. Once the wine is fermented and clarified, it is time for the aging process to begin and the wine is transferred into wooden barrels or stainless steel tanks where it will remain until bottling. The temperature and humidity conditions, the length of storage time and the size and age of the barrel all influence the aging process and thus the final character of the wine. The wine is bottled after some aging, and will continue to age slowly in the bottle. Most white wines are ready to drink soon after bottling, but many reds require an additional few years to soften the harsher flavors and allow desirable flavors to develop." (http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/4908/winemaking.htm)

"Mixed wine is meant old wine that is drawn from jars where it becomes turbid and strong by mingled. Wine kept long with the dregs mixed therefore it is old and strong. Pouring wine from one vessel to another to improve its quality." (Taken from James M. Freeman, Manners and Customs of the Bible, Whitaker House, 1996)

"The oriental (middle east) wine press was hewed out of solid rock. It was of two depressions hewed out of solid rock, one higher than the other and larger in size where the grapes are trodden with the feet of men or women and sometimes children. The juice flows into the lower depression. Then collected in clay pots and stored for fermentation." (Taken from Fred H. Wright, Manners and Customs of the Bible Lands, Moody Press, 1953)

The question is always asked, is wine in the Bible just mere fermented juice of the grape, or is it just the extract from the grape whether fermented or unfermented? We have shown that there is a wine that is squeezed grapes in a cup to drink, and there is a wine that is squeezed into vessels and allowed to ferment into alcoholic wine. So, do you believe Jesus supplied alcoholic wine at Cana? Do you believe He and His disciples drank alcoholic wine at His last supper? And if you believe that why? 

Think about it? Did Jesus really did supply alcoholic wine, in bulk, for the wedding party to indulge in and get drunk on? He could have turned the water into wine (the straight grape juice kind) and He could have turned it into the alcoholic type. Seeing wine straight from the cluster was a common drink at the time why would He make it the alcoholic type? That doesn’t make sense.

Let’s look at this for a minute. Jesus asks the servants to fill six pots with water, they then bring the water pots out to the guests and as they are serving it it turns to wine. We then find the ruler of the feast saying, "Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now." (John 2:10)

Think in terms of Biblical wine here. To them good wine is fresh straight from the vine, and worse would be that which has been allowed to get rotten or old. Today we have reversed it—men desire old aged wine. Do you see this?

What wine is called straight from the vine.

"As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, destroy it not; for a blessing is in it." (Isaiah 65:8)

"Gather ye wine, and summer fruits, and oil, and (then) put them in your vessels, and dwell in your cities that ye have taken." (Jeremiah 40:10)

"Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape." (Deuteronomy 32:14)

How can one drink the "pure blood of the grape" if it has been allowed to ferment? The pure blood of the grape is fresh juice and nothing else.

"I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother's house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate." (Song of Solomon 8:2)

The verse is clear that the "spiced wine" is from simple pomegranate juice nothing more or nothing less.

"Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grapegleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit." (Micah 7:1)

"Is not the gleaning of the grapes (before juice extraction has had a chance to ferment) of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer?" (Judges 8:2)

The above verse proving again that the vintage is not the result of processed alcohol but the harvested fruit!

"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" (Matthew 26:29 see also, Mk. 14:25.   Luke. 22:18)

Jesus says the "fruit of the vine" not the processed fermented alcohol type!

"Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes." (Numbers 13:20)

"I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time." (Hosea 9:10)

"All thy strong holds shall be like fig trees with the firstripe figs: if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater." (Nahum 3:12)

In the next verse the wine was being withheld due to spiritual consequences from the Lord.  What we also learn from here is that no doubt whatsoever the juice was before being treaded out (long before fermentation) is simply called wine:

"The treaders shall tread out no wine in their presses" (Isaiah 16:10)

Wine #1 grapes squeezed into a cup and the juice drank.

Wine #2 grapes taken, squeezed, stored in a vessel, and allowed to ferment.

Noah pre-flood

Before the flood there is no mention of drunkenness. The reason there is no record of drunkenness before the Flood would be because of the pre-flood era of the earth being a different world than it is now. This is because there were three vast amounts of water found in Genesis 1. One was a huge underground water system to balance temperature control and for natural irrigation purposes. There was also a 'water covering' established on the earth (the ocean) and the other being locked in the firmament above (a water canopy in other words). 

This water or vapor canopy which existed around the earth would have inhibited cosmic radiation from entering the earth's atmosphere, harming and damaging the life elements, unlike our world at present.   This was also the reason a person's life span lasted almost a 1,000 years as the earth was continually watered without the aid of wind and rain, being lush and teaming with abundant life, compared to the present (as mountain loads of fossil discoveries have proven).  A bit like what researchers have created with the Eden Project in Cornwall, England.  It is also the reason why the fermentation process of fruit juices would have been different, until this world was destroyed when the water canopy collapsed and the bowels of the earth spewed forth its liquefied content (Gen. 6:11) causing great upheaval and major catastrophe everywhere.

Genesis 9:20-29 in verse 21 Noah got drunk. The reason Noah got drunk - seeing he had no prior history of it - was that the post-flood conditions as compared to the antediluvian conditions were much more different. That is, the atmospheric pressure was different then before the flood (See "Panorama of Creation" by Carl Baugh). Which had a significant affect on plant life, and there by making the wine after the flood much more potent than in the antediluvian conditions.

Therefore, the vintage Noah and his family were used to would've been the pure juice variety, whereas, after the Flood, man would have been subject to a far greater amount of alcohol content. Hence, two types of vine produce in the Bible one being pure and the other having passed through a decaying process, which was responsible for corrupting the righteous man of God, Noah, at the beginning of this new world.

How did natural conditions change during the Flood?  The majority of experts share the point of view that antediluvian Earth's atmosphere (which is called "firmament" in Genesis 1:7) was covered with a vapor canopy equal to 12 meters' layer of liquid water.  Consequently, the collapse of that vapor canopy caused the rain to fall upon the earth for forty days and forty nights during the Flood. Due to the waters which were above the firmament that caused the greenhouse effect, atmospheric pressure was 1.14 atmospheres higher than it is today - more than twice as high!  So before the Flood the alcoholic effect of dry wine may not have been any stronger than the effect of common milk fermentation products of today.

The collapse of the vapor canopy surrounding antediluvian Earth's atmosphere caused the reduction of atmospheric pressure (and the partial pressure of oxygen dropped as well) more than twice.    That certainly had an effect on alcoholic metabolism.  So, alcoholic intoxication would have been at least a great surprise to Noah, if not the first such experience for all mankind. This is another indirect evidence of the Genesis record's credibility.

Wine #1 grapes squeezed into a cup and the juice drank.

Wine #2 grapes taken, squeezed, stored in a vessel, and allowed to ferment.

Two Types of Wine

"And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved." (Luke 5:37-38)

Please note here both NEW WINE and the NEW BOTTLES are to be preserved. This is the whole essence of this exercise (representative of the New Covenant of course). The idea was to stop the new wine from fermenting. So if new wine was deliberately put into new bottles and sealed, the end result would be no fermentation, as intended (what we now call wine in modern terms). In the word of God wine can also mean grape juice, simply because the sealed wine mentioned here (preserved in new skin) has not been fermented.

The two are as follows:

Old wine in the natural is the stuff that has a bearing on our judgment. (Proverbs 31:5)

New wine in the natural is "the fruit (straight) of the vine."

Old wine in the spiritual is religion or the Old Covenant.

New wine in the spiritual is the new and living way or the New Covenant.

To expound a little further it goes something like this:

New wine = sweet wine, grape juice, fruit of the vine, the summer fruits, grape gleanings of the vintage, and the pure blood of the grape. The new wine is found in the cluster! The New Covenant poured into new structures (people - without the corrupting process of leaven). The NT also calls this the new and living way. As this 'better covenant' replaces serving regulation and format, or license to the other extreme, it also means the emphasis has now shifted from retaining physical observances, temporarily, within a system, to living out the recorded oracles of God and a better hope, spiritually and perpetually.

Old Wine = fermented juice, contaminated, intoxicating, stupefies the senses and speciously dulls pain.  Signifying the Old Covenant—the old structure which was destroyed at the cross.  This is what Jesus said people tend to go back to after tasting the new preferring what the Old could do for them in the past (Luke 5:39).

In order for new wine to be kept as untainted juice it was necessary to seal them in fresh new skins for preservation. If the fresh blood of the grape was to be placed in old moldy structures it would contaminate fermenting the juice in the process causing both the damage of the structure and the loss of the wine. By incorporating the new together (both the skin and the juice), both would be kept (the believer in the freshness of the Spirit) and so fulfill their functions. Jesus at Cana of Galilee turned the water into wine (real straight juice from the grape) in an instant. Thus He does the same with us tainted water (our sinful lives) He turns in an instant into wine (regenerated born again believers).  

Did you know that there is a similarity between the two wines in the Bible? Differentiating religion from the bona fide the Old Covenant from the New Covenant in other words. There are still many Christians around who do not realize there are two main covenants in the Bible.

Old Testament

The first mention of wine and its affect.

Genesis 9:20-29 in verse 21 Noah got drunk. The reason Noah got drunk - seeing he had no prior history of it - was that the post-flood conditions as compared to the antediluvian conditions were much more different. That is, the atmospheric pressure was different then before the flood (See "Panorama of Creation" by Carl Baugh). Which had a significant affect on plant life, and there by making the wine after the flood much more potent than in the antediluvian conditions.

"And Noah began [to be] an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine. And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent." (Genesis 9:20,21)

"Wine [is] a mocker, strong drink [is] raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." (Proverbs 20:1)

"For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe [a man] with rags." (Proverbs 23:21)

See also Genesis 19:32-35; Exodus 32:6; Deuteronomy 21:20; 29:19; 32:33; Judges 16:25; 1 Samuel 1:13-15; 25:36,37; 2 Samuel 11:13; 1 Kings 16:9; 20:12,16; Esther 1:10; Psalm 16:4; 60:3; 69:12; 75:8; 78:65; Proverbs 4:17; 9:2,5; 23:20; 30-35; 26:9; Ecclesiastes 2:3; 7:2; 10:17; Isaiah 5:11; 19:14; 22:13; 24:9,11,20; 28:1,3,7; 29:8,9; 49:26; 51:17,39,57; 56:12; 62:6; Jeremiah 13:13; 23:9; 48:26; 51:7,39,57; Lamentations 3:15; 4:21; Daniel 5:1,2,4 Hosea 4:11,18; 7:5,14; Joel 1:5; 3:3; Amos 2:12; 4:1; 6:6; Obadiah 1:16; Micah 2:11; Nahum 1:10; 3:11; Habakkuk 2:5,15; Zechariah 9:15,17; 10:7.

As a beverage.

Genesis 24:54; 27:25,28,37; 29:22; 40:9-11,21; 43:34; 44:5; 49:11,12; 24:11; Deuteronomy 15:14; 32:14; Joshua 9:4,13; Judges 6:11; 8:2; 9:13,27; 19:4,6,19,21,22; Ruth 3:3,7; 1 Samuel 1:9,24; 10:3; 25:18; 30:16; 2 Samuel 6:19; 11:11,13; 16:1,2; 1 Kings 1:25; 4:20; 10:21; 18:41,42; 2 Kings 9:34; 1 Chronicles 16:3; 29:22; 2 Chronicles 2:10,15; 9:4,20; Ezra 3:7; 6:9; Nehemiah 1:11; 2:1; 5:15,18; 13:5,15; Esther 1:7,8; 3:15; 4:16; 15:6,8; 7:2; Job 1:4,13,18; 32:19; Psalm 4:7; 23:5; 104:15; 102:9; Ecclesiastes 2:24; 3:13; 5:18; 8:15; 9:7; 10:19; Song of Solomon 1:2,4; 4:10; 5:1; 7:9; Isaiah 1:22; 25:6; 27:2; 55:1; 62:9; Jeremiah 13:12; 16:7,8; 31:12; 32:15; 35:2; Daniel 1:5,8,10,16; 10:3; Joel 3:18; Micah 6:15.

As part of an offering to God.

Exodus 22:29; 29:40; Leviticus 23:13; Numbers 15:5,7,10; 18:12,27,30; 6:15,17,20; Deuteronomy 14:23,26; 16:13; 18:4; 32:38; 2 Chronicles 29:35; 32:28; Ezra 7:17,22; Isaiah 57:6; 65:11; Ezekiel 45:17.

The Priest's were not to drink wine in the tabernacle

Leviticus 10:8-10; Ezekiel 44:21.

Nazarene vow.

Numbers 6:3

God gives wine/grapes.

Deuteronomy 8:8; 11:14; 12:17; 23:24; 24:21; 28:39; 33:28; Judges 14:5; 15:5; 21:21; 1 Samuel 8:14,15; 22:7; 2 Kings 6:27; 18:32; 2 Chronicles 26:10; Nehemiah 5:11; 13:15; Isaiah 5:2; 10:16,18-10; 24:13; 36:17; 61:5; 62:8; Isaiah 63:2,3; 65:8,21; Jeremiah 6:9; 40:12; Lamentations 1:15; 2:21; Hosea 2:15,22; 14:7; Joel 2:19,24; 5:11; Zephaniah 1:13.

At times God commands some not to drink.

Judges 13:4, 7, 14; Jeremiah 35:5-8, 14

Judgment is typified as wine cup or vineyards.

Jeremiah 25:15, 16, 17, 26, 28; 48:33; 51:7; Joel 1:10; Habakkuk 2:16; Haggai 1:11.

Pagans offered it to other so-called gods.

Jeremiah 7:18; 19:13; 32:29; 44:17,18,19,25; Ezekiel 20:28; Daniel 5:4,23; Hosea 2:8,9; 3:1; Amos 2:8.

Isaiah declares "they also have erred through wine" (Isaiah 28:7) And Proverbs 20:1 says that wine deceives.

"It is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink." (Proverbs 31:4)

"Neither shall any priest drink wine, when they enter into the inner court." (Ezekiel 44:21)

"Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart." (Hosea 4:11)

"Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?  They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine." (Proverbs 23:29, 30)

"And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them." (Amos 9:14)

"Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way. Be not among winebibbers among riotous eaters of flesh." (Proverbs 23:19-20)

"And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe (music and celebration), and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands." (Isaiah 5:12)

"Be not among winebibbers..." (Proverbs 23:20)

"And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands" (Isaiah 5:12).

"Look not upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright…" (Proverbs 23:31)

"Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.   Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.  At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.  Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things" (Proverbs 23:29-33).

"Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness." (Habakkuk 2:15)

New Testament

As always, rightly following the proper principles of hermeneutics, we turn to the New Testament to rightly divide God's word on this issue.

Wine was a beverage.

"When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: [but] thou hast kept the good wine until now." (John 2:9, 10 and see comments above)

See also Matthew 9:17; Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37-39; 10:7,34; 17:8; John 2:3; 10:46; Colossians 2:16; Revelation 6:6; 18:13.

Jesus drank wine non-alcoholic type.

Matthew 11:18,19; 26:27,29; Mark 2:16; 14:23-25; Luke 5:30,33; 7:34; 13:26; 22:18,30; 1 Corinthians 11:25,26-29 (<- This was wine at the fellowship meal)

God gave wine/vineyards.

Matthew 20:1,2,4,7,8; 21:28,33,39,40; Mark 12:1,2; Luke 20:9,10,13; Revelation 14:18

Drunkenness.

"And shall begin to smite [his] fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken." (Matthew 24:49)

"But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken." (Luke 12:45)

"And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares." (Luke 21:34)

"And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit." (Ephesians 5:18)

See also Matthew 24:38; Mark 6:21; Luke 12:19; 15:13; 17:27,28; Acts 2:13,15; Romans 13:13; 1 Corinthians 5:11; 10:7; Galatians 5:21; 1 Thessalonians 5:7; 1 Timothy 3:3,8; Titus 1:7; 2:3; 1 Peter 4:3; Revelation 14:8,10; 17:2,6; 18:3.

As medicine.

Mark 15:23; 1 Timothy 5:23.

John the Baptist did not drink wine.

Luke 1:15; 7:33.

We are to avoid drunkenness.

Romans 12:1, 2, 9; 13:12, 13, 14; 14:17.

If drinking wine in front of a weak brother or sister we ought not to do that.

Romans 14:21.

God's judgment is used in types with wine or the wine cup.

Revelation 14:19, 20; 19:15.

"No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better." (Luke 5:39)

"And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit." (Ephesians 5:18)

Wine #1 grapes squeezed into a cup and the juice drank.

Wine #2 grapes taken, squeezed, stored in a vessel, and allowed to ferment.

The Early Church

"The wine, which was produced by God in a vineyard and which was consumed first, was good." (Irenaeus A.D. 180)

It is good, then, neither to eat flesh nor to drink wine…yet, if one partakes of them, he does not sin." (Clement of Alexandria, A.D. 195)

"Although, Jesus made water into wine at the marriage, he did not give permission to get drunk…" (Clement of Alexandria, A.D. 195)

"Be sparing of an abundance of wine, lest by means of it you should go wrong." (Commodianus, A.D. 240)

Prohibition of it and final thoughts

Today, many different countries make wine in abundance. There's old wine and new wine. Wine is not a main beverage as it was in ancient times. Today it's a social or complementary beverage. Many winos are addicted to wine to get drunk to loose themselves of the cares of their life. Most choose wine because it is cheaper then other hard alcohol.

The mature believer would never get drunk. We should never give the appearance of evil. We would never think of going into a bar and have a glass of wine with the guys, for that would be approving of that lifestyle.

Wine today is nothing more than a glass of processed liquid containing modified poison, liquor, a modish mood altering drug, something that bites. Professionally packaged, labeled, and presented and sold as a beverage. Booze of any type is a stumbling block and a destructive substance!  

A glass of wine is not going to damn you to hell. Salvation is not a matter of what you eat or drink. Being a moderate drinker will not stop you from being saved. But it will hinder God's blessing. Furthermore, it will certainly ruin your witness and bring confusion to the unbelieving.

"A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine." (1 Timothy 3:2, 3)

Don't be deceived this verse is saying don't drink wine (alcohol type). As sober (serious) believers why waste your time on an intoxicating drink?

Hear the words of Jesus "Are ye so without understanding also"? "Do ye not perceive"? 

Do you see? Jesus was talking about the (spiritual) heart not the (organic) belly? Just the same way as when He was talking about the Temple (John 2:19-21) people misunderstood the (material) building from His (spiritual) body. 

What we eat and drink can corrupt the body.

"Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things." (Philippians 3:19)

And alcoholic beverage is a sedative and a drug it corrupts the mind and "whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise."

"Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart." (Hosea 4:11)

"Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?  They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine." (Proverbs 23:29, 30)

No doubt the scripture here is condemning wine and its use.

"And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them." (Amos 9:14)

Here it is encouraged because it is from the vine—juice not alcohol.

"These men are full of new wine." (Acts 2:13) But Peter corrects them saying, "For these are not drunken, as ye suppose…." (Acts 2:15)

The New Testament scriptures have verses commanding abstinence from drunkenness. This is why many of the elect have been deceived in our day. They have influenced themselves with the doctrine of the Nicolaitans and have not checked things out.

Furthermore, the verse in Ephesians 5:18 "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit", is not a sanction, but is actually an indictment against the use of alcoholic wine by scripture.

"Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities." (1 Timothy 5:23)

This scripture, used most to justify drinking wine, is clear if we would see it. This is not a license to go and drink alcoholic wine, but what does it say? "…use a little wine." Why? "for thy stomach's sake" apparently Timothy (remember that's who Paul is talking to) had a bit of a stomach problem as many do I do. So it was for medicinal purposes not to be free to get drunk. Again it was for health reasons. We are exalted to be filled with the Spirit not wine the alcohol type.

"Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." (Matthew 16:6)

Leaven stands for corruption and alcoholic wine is leaven. 

"Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?" (1 Corinthians 5:6)

Do you think the Lord wants you to drink alcohol? No, He doesn't. 

"Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us." (1 Corinthians 5:7)

"Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." (1 Corinthians 5:8)

Remember the following:

"Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder." (Proverbs 23:31, 32)

The Great Apostasy is exploding in our time and social drinking, following heresy, parties, smoking, sexual sins, greed, lust and the like are acceptable today with Christians.  It has been made fashionable to drink. I have heard all the excuses for drinking among Christians and I can't accept any of them. It is puerile to believe that Jesus drank alcoholic wine, served it, and allows us to do the same. We need to be more mature than that.

Don't give in to the mounting pressures of worldliness in the disguise of spiritual freedom. What has happened to us saints of God when we can sit idly by and not rebuke the eroding morals in Christianity?

As someone pointed out:

Noah got drunk and caused his son to stumble.

Drunkenness allowed Lot to be seduced by his own daughters.

Isaac was drinking when he mistakenly blessed Jacob.

Nabal died after a binge.

David tried to cover his sins by getting Uriah drunk.

Amnon was killed by his brother in a drunken brawl.

A king was killed while drunk by a rebellious captain. (1 Kings 16)

King Ashasuerus rejected his wife at a drinking party.

Belshazzar was drunk when he lost the kingdom and his life.

John the Baptist lost his life at the whim of a drunken king and his party.

Jesus refused the wine offered to Him on the cross.

No drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:10)

"Abstain from all appearance of evil." (1 Thessalonians 5:22)

"That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world." (Philippians 2:15)

Drinking is an issue in the Body and the "moderation" teaching has been an excuse for all sorts of liberal behavior. 

"But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak." (1 Corinthians 8:9)

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." (Galatians 5:1)

Why return to something if you are set free, which could bring you into bondage again or speak to your brother or sister as a stumbling block?

"For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another." (Galatians 5:13)

"As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God." (1 Peter 2:16)

Are you a servant of your new found liberty, or are you a servant of men?

"While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage." (2 Peter 2:19)

Therefore, there is no excuse for Christians to drink alcohol as a beverage in this day and age and allow it to affect their judgment in any way. It is one of the most effective tools of the Devil in fuelling sin.  Just as the Bible says that wine is deceitful (Proverbs 20:1) it also says this in regards to the condition of the heart of man (Jeremiah 17:9). Today many who name the name of Christ are aiding it by misquoting scripture or only using certain verses that suits them in this instance. Is this tampering of scripture the main reason for the present Great Apostasy? God is a God of order and not bedlam and madness. 

Drinking wine is OKAY as the pure extract of the grape.

Drinking spirits is NOT OKAY (Proverbs 31:5) as it perverts judgment.

"Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment." (Job 34:12)

Alcohol by itself is OKAY as it is not banned in the Bible as it serves us with domestic, pharmaceutical and medical purposes.

Alcohol as a beverage is NOT OKAY as it is a poison!

"All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any." (1 Corinthians 6:12)

"All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not." (1 Corinthians 10:23)

Remember, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." And "How long wilt thou be drunken? Put away thy wine from thee."

Conclusion

   1. The Scriptures are clear God condemns drunkenness.

   2. The Scriptures are clear wine fermented is alcohol.

   3. The Scriptures are clear we are to be careful with our liberty with others.

Amen?

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