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Wine is a Mocker

Written by: John Sernaque

Dear Reader,


As we continue in the “holiday season”, an alarming custom of this world is the “need” to include and consume alcohol in the festivities being celebrated. This is unfortunate as many professed Christians will be among those involved in consuming alcohol, whether drinking it themselves or offering it to their guests. The Bible teaches that we are not to be influenced by those in the world.


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


Solomon was endued with wonderful wisdom, but the world drew him away from God. Men today are no stronger than he; they are as prone to yield to the influences that caused his downfall. As God warned Solomon of his danger, so today He warns His children not to imperil their souls by affinity with the world. “Come out from among them,” He pleads, “and be ye separate, ... and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18. {PK 59.2}


The response you hear from Christians who look to their “higher reasoning” to justify drinking alcoholic beverages is “Jesus drank wine.” Did he really? To understand the answer, one must have an understanding of how the Bible uses the word “wine” and in what context, and in what combination. The word wine in the Bible is used interchangeably with “new wine” or “strong drink.” When mentioned as new wine, it is simply describing grape juice, fresh and new from the grape vine. On the other hand, when it is described as strong drink, it is referring to fermented grape juice, or the alcoholic wine that we know of today. Familiarize yourself with the context, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.


The Good:

Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: Genesis 27:28


For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers, where [are] the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God. Nehemiah 10:39


For how great [is] his goodness, and how great [is] his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids. Zechariah 9:17


So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. Proverbs 3:10


But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old [wine] straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better. Luke 5:38-39


The Evil:

[It is] not for kings, O Lemuel, [it is] not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. Proverbs 31:4-5


Yea, [they are] greedy dogs [which] can never have enough, and they [are] shepherds [that] cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.

Come ye, [say they], I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, [and] much more abundant. Isaiah 56:11-12


But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble [in] judgment. For all tables are full of vomit [and] filthiness, [so that there is] no place [clean]. Isaiah 28:7-8


For their vine [is] of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes [are] grapes of gall, their clusters [are] bitter: Their wine [is] the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps. Deuteronomy 32:32-33


They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. Isaiah 24:9

And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. Revelation 16:19


Take a closer look at the verses and their context. What is going on in the surrounding verses will clue you in to whether it is grape juice or fermented wine being spoken of. Christ Jesus did not drink alcoholic wine. Even while dying on the cross, when they put the sponge full of vinegar to Jesus’ mouth to drink and quench his thirst, Jesus did not drink it. Nothing vile and unclean was to pass his lips.


And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled [it] with vinegar, and put [it] on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. Matthew 27: 48-50


He shall separate [himself] from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried. Numbers 6:3


At the last supper, Jesus offered drink as a symbol of his blood that was shed for us, and that he would not drink of it again until we drink it together with Him in heaven. Can you imagine how glorious that will be? Jesus refers to it as the fruit of the vine. Alcoholic wine does not come from the vine. The grapes have to first be fermented and made putrid to become alcoholic, when it moveth itself aright.


Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and [one] saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing [is] in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all. Isaiah 65:8


And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave [it] to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 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 26:27-29


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 colour 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. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, [shalt thou say, and] I was not sick; they have beaten me, [and] I felt [it] not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again. Proverbs 23:30-35


Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: [it shall be] a statute for ever throughout your generations: And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; Leviticus 10:9-10


Nadab and Abihu would never have committed that fatal sin had they not first become partially intoxicated by the free use of wine. They understood that the most careful and solemn preparation was necessary before presenting themselves in the sanctuary, where the divine Presence was manifested; but by intemperance they were disqualified for their holy office. Their minds became confused and their moral perceptions dulled so that they could not discern the difference between the sacred and the common. To Aaron and his surviving sons was given the warning: “Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations: and that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; and that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord hath spoken.” The use of spirituous liquors has the effect to weaken the body, confuse the mind, and debase the morals. It prevents men from realizing the sacredness of holy things or the binding force of God’s requirements. All who occupied positions of sacred responsibility were to be men of strict temperance, that their minds might be clear to discriminate between right and wrong, that they might possess firmness of principle, and wisdom to administer justice and to show mercy. {PP 361.3}


There is nothing good that can come from intoxicating drink. As Ellen G White stated “The use of spirituous liquors has the effect to weaken the body, confuse the mind, and debase the morals.” Nadab and Abihu learned that the hard way. There are so many innocent lives that are affected by those who choose to drink alcohol. All the broken lives that result from this dreaded disease, killing and destroying families, communities, nations, and the world. Minds, souls, and bodies going to waste.


The body is a most important medium through which the mind and the soul are developed for the upbuilding of character. Hence it is that the adversary of souls directs his temptations to the enfeebling and degrading of the physical powers. His success here often means the surrender of the whole being to evil. The tendencies of the physical nature, unless under the dominion of a higher power, will surely work ruin and death. The body is to be brought into subjection to the higher powers of the being. The passions are to be controlled by the will, which is itself to be under the control of God. The kingly power of reason, sanctified by divine grace, is to bear sway in the life. Intellectual power, physical stamina, and the length of life depend upon immutable laws. Through obedience to these laws, man may stand conqueror of himself, conqueror of his own inclinations, conqueror of principalities and powers, of “the rulers of the darkness of this world,” and of “spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12. {PK 488.4}


But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Daniel 1:8


As Bible believing Christians, it is our duty to set the example for this fallen world. Jesus was our great exemplar for us to follow. We will be held accountable not only for our own actions, but also the influence we exert on those around us. We must be vigilant, and watch our gates, that we would receive blessings and not curses.


There are few who realize how far-reaching is the influence of their words and acts. How often the errors of parents produce the most disastrous effects upon their children and children’s children, long after the actors themselves have been laid in the grave. Everyone is exerting an influence upon others, and will be held accountable for the result of that influence. Words and actions have a telling power, and the long hereafter will show the effect of our life here. The impression made by our words and deeds will surely react upon ourselves in blessing or in cursing. This thought gives an awful solemnity to life, and should draw us to God in humble prayer that He will guide us by His wisdom. {PP 556.1}


A congregation may be the poorest in the land. It may be without the attractions of any outward show; but if the members possess the principles of the character of Christ, angels will unite with them in their worship. The praise and thanksgiving from grateful hearts will ascend to God as a sweet oblation. {PK 566.1}


For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Luke 1:15-17


It is my prayer that you will give praise and thanksgiving to God from a grateful heart. That you will turn from the evils and temptations of this world and turn to the Lord our God. That you will not defile yourself with the wine of this world. That you will congregate as children of God, reflecting His character and His light unto others, that they may be led to God’s truths. To have faith in the Bible as the only source of truth, that you may be saved and have eternal life through Jesus Christ, our LORD. Amen.


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