The Dangers of Alcohol Part I

by Frances Swaggart



Recently we discussed a topic on “Frances and Friends” that I believe bears repeating – it is the subject of alcohol. 

I opened our show by reading an email which stated:


Email:

“On your program, you got on the subject of alcohol again, and I wonder why this is such a big issue to you. I’ve never drank and I have no desire to, but almost every Christian has an occasional glass of wine.

My husband was told by his doctor to have a glass of wine each night to help his heart. The Bible doesn’t discourage drinking in moderation, so why do you keep harping on it? Even the extremely conservative Protestant Reformation churches here call wine, ‘a gift from God.’ I don’t drink, so I’m not trying to justify it. I just think it’s quite legalistic to condemn something that the Bible doesn’t condemn.

Drunkenness is another matter though entirely.” While that email went on to address other topics, I want to deal with these comments made about alcohol because they come up again and again from our audience. One point the email addressed concerns Christians and social drinking. Just what is the harm in a Christian drinking one glass of wine on a holiday or special occasion?

I liked how our panellist, Associate Pastor, Jim Nations, responded to this issue. As one of our Associate Pastors here at the Ministry, Jim does quite a bit of counseling on this topic, and he was quick to mention Proverbs 20:1 KJV, which reads: “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. (The Holy Spirit here says that ‘wine mocks,’ and it causes a ‘raging’ in the hearts and lives of all who imbibe. As well, it is a great ‘deceiver.’ This means that every Believer ought to be a teetotaler.)” The Expositor’s Study Bible

Think about what the Holy Spirit is saying to us in this Verse of Scripture. As Christians, we should not be deceived by the mockery of alcohol because its use causes so much hurt and pain to people. As Jim went on to say, “No one starts out as a drunk, they start out with a drink.” That’s why we will continue to address the problem of alcohol, even when others perceive our stand against it as judgemental. I think what we’re doing, instead of being judgemental, is that we’re looking at the facts. It’s well-known that drunk driving has killed maybe more people than anything else.

In 2010, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That’s one death every 51 minutes. Just recently, I read stories of two lovely Christian families that had their lives literally shattered because of drunk drivers who either killed or maimed members of their families, affecting these precious people for the rest of their lives.

Tragedies like these started with one drink or one glass of wine.

I’m sure it makes little difference to families who have suffered such painful losses to know that the person who killed their loved one was a social drinker or a hard-core drunkard. Too many of us hear these numbers and shrug our shoulders, but we are talking about death – death! And many of the people who died in alcohol related car crashes did not know Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. How can a Christian condone anything that causes souls to be lost to an eternal Hell?

According to Scripture, Believers have a responsibility. We are not to cause others to stumble. We ARE our brother’s keeper. So, even if you can have one drink and stop, you don’t know who will NOT be able to stop. You don’t know who will become the next alcoholic or drunk driver, so your social/moderate drinking is actually quite unloving. You do NOT love your brother, “And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones who believe in Me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea(Mk. 9:42 KJV).

The email also stated, “The Bible doesn’t discourage drinking in moderation . . .” but, I beg to differ. The Bible certainly doesn’t encourage moderate drinking! In fact, there are many warnings in Scripture regarding alcohol. One Verse says not to even LOOK at wine. In other words, don’t even consider it! “Who has woe? who has sorrow? who has contentions? who has babbling? who has wounds without cause? who has redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they who go to seek mixed wine. Look not you upon the wine when it is red, when it gives his colour in the cup, when it moves itself aright. At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder. Your eyes shall behold strange women, and your heart shall utter perverse things(Prov 23:29-33 KJV).

Alcohol is like any other sin; it gets a hold on you. First, you take one drink; then, two makes you feel better, and then three makes you feel even more carefree. Before you know it, you’re keeping a bottle hidden in your desk, at home, or purchasing it on air-planes when you fly. Once addicted to alcohol, you find ways to get it. Alcohol is a serious, serious problem and addiction. We have people out there who are struggling within an inch of taking their own life because of this sin that so many others are trying to justify. Sadly, we have “pastors” preaching in churches that social drinking is acceptable.

The seriousness of alcohol use becomes very clear when you get an e-mail from a self-described alcoholic ready to take his own life because he couldn’t stop drinking. I received an e-mail exactly like that during the program on this topic. He wrote, “Please help me.” I am so thankful that we were able to pray with that man and give him the hope of the Gospel. What I told him applies to anyone struggling to break free from alcohol and that is this: the Lord Jesus Christ is standing there with an outstretched Hand, and He is desiring to break every bondage and save your soul from an eternal Hell and give you life, and life more abundantly.

Jesus Christ can and will set you free. You see, alcoholism is only a symptom; sin is the root of the problem. So while this Ministry may be viewed as judgemental because we preach a message of consecration, we will continue to do so because the only answer to the sin of alcoholism is found in the Cross of Jesus Christ.

I have never taken a drink of wine or any alcohol, so I can’t speak of its so-called benefits. But, all of us have seen or read in the news about alcohol’s effect on other people, how it makes them act and what it can make them do.

For some, their personality completely changes when they get a little drink under their belt, so to speak. People who drink lose their dignity and start acting foolish and silly. Others turn mean and violent, capable of doing untold harm to their families or themselves. Police reports show that alcohol use is a direct contributor to reported cases of domestic violence and child abuse. So I fail to see why people, especially Christians, would want to defend the use of alcohol in any amount. Yet, there are plenty of doctors and even preachers who defend the use of alcohol, saying there is nothing wrong with drinking in moderation.

We have pastors preaching today that social drinking is acceptable and, sadly, some drink themselves. Remember . . . so goes the church, so goes the nation. Actually, the main health benefit, the “resveratrol,” is really found in the grape, not the alcohol itself. If you want the benefit of the grape, drink grape juice or eat grapes. It’s simply an excuse for sin to try to say you are drinking alcohol for health reasons. Any “benefit” can easily be found from other sources.

There is no such thing as a safe level of alcohol consumption

In fact, there are actually many health risks to drinking alcohol. Why do you think they ask you if you drink alcohol when you apply for health insurance? Because there is actually GREATER RISK for adverse affects to your health than there are benefits.

As Brother Carl Brown pointed out on the “Frances and Friends” program, “Christians who don’t really want to consecrate to the Lord are the ones who take up issues such as social drinking,” and he is absolutely correct. Quite simply put, drinking alcohol appeals to the flesh, not to the Spirit. The Holy Spirit will never lead one to drink alcohol. Churches defending alcohol use may as well have a big red neon sign blinking for everybody to see that says, “We’ve lost the Power of God, and we’re having to imitate.” In other words, “We’ve got to put something in to take the place of the Moving and Operation of the Holy Spirit.

Ladies and gentlemen, be assured that there is absolutely nothing else that compares to the Anointing and the Power of the Holy Spirit in our personal lives and in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. “For these are NOT drunken, as you suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the Prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh . . .(Acts 2:15-17 KJV).

As Believers, the Lord gives us the Power to live a consecrated life and He reminds us, in 1 Corinthians 6:19 KJV, that our “body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit.” Something in man always thinks he can control sin. Something in him says, “Oh, I can handle this; I can stop at one drink,” but, when you play around with sin, you are actually dealing with the spiritual realm. And, believe me, no mortal man is stronger than the spiritual powers of darkness. You are playing with fire.

This is what you call deception! It’s deception to think you can drink moderately and it has no effect on you. You are deceived. What if a problem arises in your life? You may turn to the alcohol when you never thought you would have before.

You are tempting yourself and God to try to drink moderately. “. . . You shall not tempt the Lord your God(Mat 4:7 KJV). Even if you do not become an alcoholic, drinking alcohol can affect you spiritually in other ways. It is more than a coincidence that alcohol is referred to as “spirits.” Alcohol, like any other drug, actually opens your mind to the spirit world. Satan has more leeway to plant suggestions in your mind that are anti-Biblical when you use drugs.

It’s a well-known fact that other religions purposely use drugs in order to get in touch with their “gods” or spirits, which we as Believers know are nothing more than demon spirits. People often hallucinate after drinking, particularly after a tragic event or a stressful time in their life. These hallucinations are demonic in nature. They often appear as “familiar spirits.” The Bible says that the last days would be marked by “pharmakeia,” – sorcery, drugs! “. . . For by your sorceries were all nations deceived(Rev 18:23 KJV).

So, maybe you will not become the next alcoholic, but you may engage in some other sin. Many end up in fornication or homosexuality because they have opened themselves up to spirits of lust through alcohol and drug use. Many become angry and even commit murder under the influence of drugs. Many begin to believe false doctrine and fall away from Truth in some way. You may leave the Message of the Cross.

You see, if you give your mind over to Satan often enough, if you yield your mind to spirits rather than the Holy Spirit often enough, you will have no control over what lies you start to believe. “BE SOBER, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet 5:8 KJV).

When people are given over to false doctrine, it’s actually a sign of God’s Judgement. I don’t find it a coincidence that both false doctrine and the acceptance of alcohol are on the rise in our churches. The two go hand in hand.

Really any Believer should be convicted of drinking alcohol, but many have pushed away the conviction and chosen not to obey. The Holy Spirit will never lead you astray, but He does not force us to obey Him either. If we push Him away, He will not override our will or force us to repent. “Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts(Rev 9:21 KJV).

This is why it’s so important for Believers to develop a close personal relationship with the Lord and be Spirit-led. He will show you right from wrong, but you must draw near to Him. The more you allow Him to be Lord of your life, the more that answers to moral questions such as these become very simple. It’s our own “thinkings” and intellect that get in the way. It’s our intellect that devises excuses or tries to justify our sins. Look to the Lord for your answers.

Scriptures from: (The Expositor’s Study Bible)[KJV/ESB]. iPad & iPhone & Hard Copy: by Jimmy Swaggart. 

The Dangers of Alcohol Part II

by Frances Swaggart



I want to begin Part II of this article with two emails that were written to me in response to our discussions of alcohol on my SonLife Broadcasting Network program, Frances and Friends.


Here is the first email from Georgia:

“I wanted to contact you to tell you that I appreciate your program so much, and my husband and I are dependent on it and Jimmy Swaggart’s sermons throughout the week. My husband and I recently were ‘moderate’ drinkers before watching your program this past month or so. Please don’t assume we were defensive of alcohol to begin with; we simply were never exposed to any other way. We are in our early 20s, are newlyweds, university students, and we are learning to live as the Lord wants us to.

Unfortunately, my husband was raised in a home where both his guardians are undoubtedly alcoholics. However, they defensively claim to drink ‘socially’ or ‘moderately’ even though they drink nearly every night, they also profess to be Christians and are very involved in their church.

I grew up in a home in which the teachings of the Lord were completely foreign and blasphemed. I was emotionally, physically, verbally, and sexually abused during my childhood. Alcohol, I know very well, influenced how I was treated and was raised. Alcohol is not a foreign notion to either of us, and because neither of us were raised in a home that believed in conviction, we just assumed there was nothing wrong with it.

My parents have always led me to believe that I deserved the way that I was treated, so I never bothered to evaluate the consequences of the consumption involved in my abuse. I wanted to point out, that drunkenness is a sin.

No one can call in and argue with you about that. If the Lord meant for moderate drinking to be acceptable, that would mean it would be a moderate sin, and there is no such thing. 

I study history and criminal justice. I would implore those who defend alcohol to look up for themselves the percentage of crime in this country that involves either the abuse of drugs or the consumption of alcohol, and even more so, the TYPE of crime that occurs, for it is rarely a victim-less crime. I am especially thankful for your program due to the discernment the Lord has revealed to me through it. In America today, what is right and wrong is no longer black and white, but instead has been manipulated over the years into a large grey area. If children are raised to pick and choose from the Lord’s Instruction what to enforce into their lives, they will eventually grow numb to the Holy Spirit’s convictions. This is so dangerous. If a ‘Christian’ parent believes in moderate drinking, either because they fail to look up what wine means for themselves or they simply denounce it so that they may choose their own preferences over the Lord’s Instruction, they are teaching their children not only to be lukewarm, but that that lifestyle is acceptable.

Shortly after we received the above email, we received another one dealing with the issue of “moderate drinking” (or drinking in moderation), which is really what we are dealing with in this article (more so than drunkenness or alcoholism).

As the first emailer already mentioned, no one really argues that drunkenness is a sin. The disagreements, as well as lack of understanding, conviction, and repentance usually come concerning social or moderate drinking.

Both emails make very important observations and points concerning this issue. There are many pastors and believers still out there who do NOT agree with moderate drinking and are still convicted of it, even in these last days, even in this late hour.

I’ve even heard of new believers who were convicted to leave their job after coming to Christ because their job involved the distribution of alcohol. They were not even consuming the alcohol, just distributing it. Ladies and gentlemen, we are far from being the only ones against the drinking of alcohol.

Here is the second email:

“Dear Frances,

“How ignorant is this so-called pastor that just called? ‘Everything in moderation?’

So, according to him, we can KILL A MODERATE amount of people, STEAL MODERATELY, LIE A MODERATE AMOUNT, TAKE COCAINE MODERATELY, AND TAKE POISON IN MODERATION TOO?! WOW! This guy is teaching people?!

RUN FLOCK RUN!

I wrote you a previous breakdown on the Greek word ‘wine,’ used for three different types of ‘JUICE OF THE GRAPE/VINE,’ which you might not have got. There were three types of ‘JUICE of the grape or vine.’

1. Mixed with water (to stretch for the poor) like Kool-Aid; 

2. Old wine (turned to vinegar for vegetables and herbs); and,

3. Strong drink (fermented grape juice, made by adding some form of sweetener, sugar, etc.) to produce what we call WINE.
    (one definition in ENGLISH), containing ALCOHOL. 

“ALL ALCOHOL IS POISONOUS TO THE HUMAN BODY IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.”

It causes the brain to lose logic, bleed, and to blackout or die! Alcohol also poisons the whole body — stomach, blood-stream, kidney, bladder, etc. It also removes collagen from the skin, causing wrinkles and ageing skin. This is why animals will usually stay clear of it, a lot smarter than humans? It is now the #1 killer in the United States, and possibly the world now!

This pastor is really scary! He never studied as thoroughly as he said, or he would have known this.

CHRIST

Never Could Have Drank Poisonous Wine
,

Or Made It For Others! He Was Without Sin!

He Produced the Best ‘Wine (Perfect Whole Grape Juice’)

(for the wedding, as this was very hard and costly to get without the heat turning it to vinegar)

(Remember there was no refrigeration other than water, or underground storage.)

(STRONG DRINK ACTUALLY WOULD BE EASIER TO GET, BECAUSE OF THE HEAT THERE)

THIS IS WHY THE GUESTS WERE SO SHOCKED!)

Something like I am about a man in the pulpit teaching wrong interpretations of the Word. Your husband did a sermon on this in one of his crusades in the 60s — ‘Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing’?

Final: The translation into English used the word ‘Wine,’ which had only one meaning in English, ‘Fermented Hard Drink.’ A confusion in translation resulted!” Let’s continue to dig into how wine was used in the Bible and during ancient times. Keeping in mind that the Greek word for wine is “oinos,” let’s look at what Dr. Spiros Zodhiates said in the “Lexical Aids To The New Testament.” Zodhiates said, “Wine derived from grapes. The mention of the bursting of the wine skins in Matthew 9:17 KJV; Mark 2:22 KJV; and, Luke 5:37 KJV implies fermentation (see Eph 5:18 KJV; cf. John 2:10 KJV; 1 Tim 3:8 KJV; and, Titus 2:3 KJV).

From the intoxicating effects of wine and the idolatrous use of it among the heathen, wine signifies communion in the intoxicating idolatries of the mystic Babylon (Rev 14:8 KJV; cf. Jer 51:7 KJV).

From Jewish custom of giving a cup of medicated wine to condemned criminals just before their execution to dull their senses, it figuratively denotes the dreadful judgements of God upon sinners (Rev 14:10 KJV, Rev 16:19 KJV; cf. Is. 51:17, 21, 23 KJV; Jer 25:15 KJV). The drinking of wine could be a stumbling block and Paul enjoins abstinence in this respect, as in others, so as to avoid giving an occasion of stumbling to a brother (Rom 14:21 KJV). Contrast 1 Timothy 5:23 KJV, which has an entirely different connection (cf. the word gleukos [1098], sweet new wine, and sikera [4608], strong drink).”

Then, on page 1756 of the same reference, we find the meaning of the word “sikera.” Zodhiates continues, “Strong drink, and intoxicating liquor, whether wine (Num 28:7 KJV), or more usually, that which is prepared from grain, fruit, honey, dates, as in Luke 1:15 KJV where it occurs together with oinos (3631), wine. See Leviticus 10:9; Deuteronomy 29:6; Judges 13:4, 7, 14.” In “The Words & Works of Jesus Christ,” by J. Dwight Pentecost, on pages 115-116, he quotes J.W. Shepard as saying: “Jesus made real wine out of water. But there was a great difference between the Palestinian wine of that time and the alcoholic mixtures which today go under the name of wine. Their simple vintage was taken with three parts of water and would correspond more or less to our grape juice. It would be worse than blasphemy to suppose, because Jesus made wine, that He justifies the drinking usages of modern society with its bars, strong drinks, and resulting evils.

It is necessary to understand the use of wine in the New Testament. In his article, “Wine-Drinking in New Testament Times,” Robert H. Stein says: “In ancient times wine was usually stored in large pointed jugs called amphorae. When wine was to be used it was poured from the amphorae into large bowls called kraters, where it was mixed with water. From these kraters, cups, or kylix were then filled. What is important for us to note is that before wine was drunk it was mixed with water. The kylix was not filled from the amphorae but from the kraters.” Wine was always mixed with water, both to help purify the water of that day and also to prevent intoxication. So, often when the Bible spoke of wine, it was basically speaking of purified water.

The ratio of water to wine varied. Homer (Odyssey IX, 208f.) mentions a ratio of 20-to-1, 20 parts water to one part wine. In “Bible Wines” by William Patton, we learn that Hippocrates also considered, “Twenty parts of water to one part of the Thracian wine to be the proper beverage.” Pliny (Natural History XIV, vi, 54) mentions a ratio of eight parts water to one part wine.

In another ancient work, “Banquet of the Learned of Athenaeus,” which was written around A.D. 200, we find, in Book Ten, a collection of statements from earlier writers about drinking practices. A quotation from a play by Aristophanes said, “The ration of water to wine is 3-to-1.” Sometimes the ratio does go down 1-to-1 (and even lower), BUT when the mixture gets this low, it is referred to as “strong drink,” which was completely unacceptable. Drinking wine unmixed, such as this, was looked upon as a “Scythian” or barbarian custom.

Solomon wrote, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging . . .(Prov 20:1 KJV). Proverbs 31:4-5 KJV says, “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,” pointing out the use of alcohol is especially forbidden for those who would be leaders.

It is evident that wine was seen in ancient times as a beverage. Yet, as a beverage, it was always thought of as a mixed drink. Plutarch (Sumposiacs III, ix), for instance, states, “We call a mixture ‘wine,’ although the larger of the component parts is water.” The ratio of water might vary, but only barbarians drank it unmixed. And, a mixture of wine and water of equal parts was seen as a “strong drink” and frowned upon.

The term wine or oinos in the ancient world, then, did not mean wine as we understand it today, but rather wine mixed with water, and sometimes just simply grape juice. Usually writers simply referred to the mixture of water and wine as “wine.” To indicate that the beverage was not a mixture of water and wine he would say “unmixed (akratesteron) wine.”

Some even suggest that Timothy was so concerned with separating himself from those who used wine improperly that he had stopped mixing wine in his water altogether and caused himself stomach problems (1 Tim 5:23 KJV). Again, the water of that day needed the wine for purification. It could be boiled, but that was difficult to do in those days. It could be filtered, but that wasn’t really a safe method. So, it was easiest to add a little wine to kill the germs.

There is no such thing as a safe level of alcohol consumption

Today, we do not need to add wine at all. We have other things for purification, as well as for medicines. Clearly what people drink today and call “moderate,” the Bible and cultures of ancient times (including even many pagan cultures) would have considered a wrongful, and even barbaric, use of wine. It’s amazing that with all of our increased knowledge in modern times, our consciences have been so dulled. We, as a people, have become quite good at rationalizing whatever it is we want to do, while we have become terribly inept at sensing the convictions of the Holy Spirit. And, of course, our in-sensitivities include much more than just alcohol use. As well, false teachers make it even easier to ignore our convictions as they tell us what our flesh wants to hear and help us dismiss what the Lord is speaking to our hearts. “. . . Having their conscience seared with a hot iron(1 Tim 4:2 KJV).

As the above emails pointed out, “There is no such thing as moderate sin.” God, help us to hear Your Heart on this subject instead of our fleshly desires! And, make no mistake; it is always our flesh that draws us to want to drink alcohol and never the Holy Spirit.

Scriptures from: (The Expositor’s Study Bible)[KJV/ESB]. iPad & iPhone & Hard Copy: by Jimmy Swaggart. 

The Dangers of Alcohol Part III

by Frances Swaggart



 

We believe the Bible teaches total and complete abstinence at all times from any and all kinds of alcoholic beverages. Just as in Bible times, there is presently that which is holy and that which is unholy. As ought to be overly obvious, alcohol falls into the category of the unholy and the unclean.


The main Hebrew and Greek word for wine, “oinos,” can mean either unfermented grape juice or intoxicating wine. The English word for wine originally had two meanings also — unfermented juice or alcoholic drink. In the Bible, anytime there are Verses showing God’s Approval of drinking wine, it is speaking of the unfermented grape juice.

Verses that expose the evils of wine are speaking about intoxicating wine/alcohol. The Bible says all alcoholic drink is evil. It is not just the amount one drinks that makes drinking a sin. God condemns the drinking itself.

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise(Proverbs 20:1 KJV), God does not lead us into evil; He delivers us from it. He does not teach us to practice evil in moderation either. Jesus did not make, use, approve, commend, or tell us to use intoxicating wine.

God made man to have fellowship with Him, but alcohol goes directly to the brain, which is the communication center of the body. Alcohol, thereby, interferes with God’s Purpose for mankind and our relationship with Him. 

Remember what I wrote last month: “There is a great difference between the Palestinian wine of that time and the alcoholic mixture today which goes under the name of wine.1)J. Dwight Pentecost, “The Words & Works of Jesus Christ,” 115.

In ancient times, their wine was a mixture, usually of three parts water to one part wine. Drinking wine unmixed was a barbarian custom. “In the Talmud, which contains the oral traditions of Judaism from about 200 B.C. to A.D. 200, one tractate (Shabbath 77a) states that wine that does not carry three parts of water well is not wine. In a most important reference (Pesahim 108b) it is stated that the four cups every Jew was to drink during the Passover ritual were to be mixed in a ratio of three parts water to one part wine.”2)Ibid, pg. 116.

So, clearly, the Bible did not justify the drinking of intoxicating wine then or now. ““Woe unto him who gives his neighbour drink, who puts your bottle to him, and makes him drunk also, that you may look on their nakedness!” (This “Woe” speaks of drunkenness. “Woe unto him who gives his neighbour drink,” refers, first of all, to the deepened idol-worship and debauchery to which the conquered nations were exposed upon their defeat by the Babylonians. All sense of nationhood was taken away from these conquered peoples, with them virtually reduced to slaves; consequently, they were reduced to constant inebriation in order to try to stand the pain, etc. As well, even though in a secondary position, it pertains to all those who make and distribute alcoholic beverage. The Lord has pronounced a “Woe” of “violence” on all who participate in this scourge of debilitation to one’s fellowman. “That you may look on their nakedness!” refers to the total debilitation of the individual. “Nakedness” refers to the person having no covering or protection, being exposed to the mercy of others, of which there is precious little)”(Hab 2:15 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

There is no such thing as a safe level of alcohol consumption

So, not only is it wrong for one to drink alcoholic beverages, it is wrong to serve alcoholic beverages to others, even in your own home. Read this email we received from one of our viewers, as this is what happens when Christians disobey God’s Words: ““I’m a new Media [Church] member and have been watching your show regularly since I found it this year. I just had to write and make a comment before my head exploded. It is beyond my scope of understanding at the amount of people, who say they are Christians, that are defending this absurd idea of Jesus sanctioning the use of alcohol. If drinking were permissible, then there would be no need to cure the alcoholic upon his or her redemption. During the Christmas holiday, I travelled with my husband to his family home, knowing all too well that alcohol would be served. You cautioned the listeners time after time, not to put yourself in that atmosphere. But he is my husband, and I wanted to please him by going. Well, it didn’t take too long before I fell into the trap by just one drink. It tasted so pleasant until I had to have another one. Let’s just say my evening was short in duration, and the room was spinning. The next morning, after the room stayed in one place, I felt the Holy Spirit convicting me of my misdeed, and I was extremely sorry for that blatant error. So, as you stated, people cannot defend the use of alcohol and be truly saved at the same time, and not have the Holy Spirit shout out to them that it is wrong.

And this email: 

“Fifteen years ago, my husband and I moved and began going to a new church — we went to a house gathering to meet the elders of the church and some of the staff. We were shocked to find out alcohol was being served. After the party, we went to the pastor to notify him of the drinking his elders were doing. I asked the pastor what should be done? He told me to join them in the drinking and explained that Jesus drank wine in the Bible, and it wasn’t wrong.

We felt very strange about this and, being ex-drinkers, we resolved to only drink one glass, thinking we should be able to minister or pray with someone at any point and to stop drinking if we could not do so. Of course, as time progressed, we went to two glasses and so on. I knew in my heart it was wrong and would stop off and on over the years. In 2011, the Lord started convicting me to quit drinking, and I ignored Him. Then, we were encouraged to watch your program and Donnie brought up the tremendous point that Jesus would not violate Jewish Law nor would He ingest something that was decaying.

I had never thought of that and was convicted even more. This past Easter, my husband and I quit drinking wine all together. I was so ashamed to have bought into that lie. We had to apologize to our children and tell them we were wrong for drinking, and that Jesus did not drink wine. Of course, our Christian friends have tried talking us out of quitting! I have never wanted to go back to drinking, and we never will. The desire is gone and replaced with repulsiveness.” 

Numbers 28:7 KJV says, “And the Drink Offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one lamb: in the Holy Place shall you cause the strong wine to be poured unto the LORD for a Drink Offering,” meaning it was to be poured on the Altar and burned with fire.

Numbers 28:8 KJV says, “And the other lamb shall you offer at evening: as the Meat Offering of the morning, and as the Drink Offering thereof, you shall offer it, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.

Many of you thought that because it was called a Drink Offering, it was to be consumed by men. That is not so. It was to be burned on the Altar, producing a sweet savour or aroma because it represented the Lord. ““And you shall bestow that money for whatsoever your soul lusts after (desires), for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever your soul desires: and you shall eat there before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you, and your household, And the Levite that is within your gates; you shall not forsake him; for he has no part nor inheritance with you. At the end of three years you shall bring forth all the tithe of your increase the same year, and shall lay it up within your gates: And the Levite, (because he has no part nor inheritance with you,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within your gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do. (The meaning of the third year is as follows: the tithe of the first and second years was to be eaten before the Lord at the Sanctuary. What was not used, and they only used a small part, the balance was given to the Sanctuary; the tithe of the third year was for the poor and needy, including the Levites)” (Deut 14:26-29 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

Verses 22 through 29 of this Chapter in Deuteronomy are dealing with tithes, and you might have thought that this meant you could use your tithes to buy and drink alcoholic beverages. That is not true. Where Verse 26 says “strong drink,” the word “shekar” was used, and in his Young’s Analytical Concordance of the Bible, Robert Young states that shekar denotes a beverage that is either fermented or unfermented. Instead of “strong drink,” Young actually defines it as “sweet drink,” that which satiates (to fully satisfy), or one that intoxicates. It can be either, depending on what the drink is. According to John Kitto’s Cyclopaedia of Biblical Literature, “Shekar is a generic term, including palm-wine and other saccharine beverages, except those prepared from wine (grape juice).”3)John Kitto, 1845 Edition, Vol. 2, 953.

Several standard English dictionaries and Bible encyclopedias derive our English words “sugar” and “cider” from “shekar.” This connection further establishes that shekar originally denoted a sweet beverage and not necessarily a strong drink. Some translations do translate shekar as “strong drink.” However, some translate it as “similar drink,” as in the New King James. Many of you are overlooking all of the other Verses throughout Scripture that are clearly in opposition to the drinking of strong drink.

Paul said: ““But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. (In other words, if they will not accept what Paul is saying, there is no way they will ever learn the Truth. They will remain ignorant, and could lose their souls)” (1 Cor 14:38 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

People are always looking for Scriptural justification to support their willful ignorance of the Word of God. ““My People are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall be no Priest to Me: seeing you have forgotten the Law of your God, I will also forget your children. (“My People are destroyed for lack of knowledge,” is the cause of all the problems in the church, and the world, for that matter! The “knowledge” spoken of is the Bible. This “lack of knowledge” was not ignorance, but rather a willful rejection of the Law of God. They didn’t know, but it was because they didn’t want to know!)” (Hos 4:6 KJV) The Expositor’s Study Bible

As Christians, we should heed the word of Bath-sheba to her son Solomon. Lemuel was another name for Solomon in this Verse: ““It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink (the admonition of the Holy Spirit through Bath-sheba to her son Solomon is clear and plain: “Leave strong drink alone!”): Lest they drink, and forget the Law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. (The pain of “strong drink,” even moderately consumed, causes men to “forget the Law,” which means to forget the Word of God; consequently, “Judgement” is perverted in such a case, and in whatever capacity.)” (Prov 31:4-5 KJV) The Expositor’s Study Bible

Or, as Leviticus 10:8-10 which says: ““And the LORD spoke unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the Tabernacle of the congregation, lest you die: it shall be a Statute for ever throughout your generations (the Law given here by the Lord has led to the thought that Nadab and Abihu had acted under the excitement of intoxicating drink; in other words, they were drunk; so we have here in this Verse a prohibition “forever” against any type of strong drink): And that you may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean (without a proper understanding of the Cross, it is very difficult to properly discern the difference as demanded here [Gal 2:20-21 KJV]).” The Expositor’s Study Bible

In the New Testament, we see the requirements and expectations for Deacons, Pastors, or leaders in the Church in several different Verses, and we always see the admonition that they should abstain from alcohol. 1 Timothy 3:2-3 KJV states, “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, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous.” 1 Timothy 3:8 KJV states, “Likewise must the Deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre.” Titus 1:7 KJV states, “For a Bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre.” Isaiah 28:7 KJV  talks about how the Priests would lose their way and become deceived because of strong drink: “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.

Isaiah’s words actually carry right over to the New Testament Believer, as well, because in 1 Peter 2:9 KJV , we see that all Believers, whether Pastor or laymen, are called a royal priesthood: “But ye are a chosen generation, a Royal Priesthood, an Holy Nation, a Peculiar People; that you should show forth the praises of Him Who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.” You see, there is simply no room for alcohol in the life and witness of a Believer. Whether clergy or newly Saved, we all need to keep our minds sober so that we will keep the right Doctrines of the Faith, particularly in this age of deception.

It’s no coincidence that many in the church who have started believing false doctrines have also started drinking alcohol as well. Alcohol is a deceiver.

Scriptures from: (The Expositor’s Study Bible)[KJV/ESB]. iPad & iPhone & Hard Copy: by Jimmy Swaggart. 

References

↑ 1. J. Dwight Pentecost, “The Words & Works of Jesus Christ,” 115.
↑ 2. Ibid, pg. 116.
↑ 3. John Kitto, 1845 Edition, Vol. 2, 953.

What Should Be The Christian’s Position In Respect To Alcohol? – Part I & 2

PART 1 

By Jimmy Swaggart | October, 2011

‘It was no accident, but a willful breach of modesty.’

QUESTION: What Should be the Christian’s Position in Respect to Alcohol?

ANSWER: We find here that intoxication tends toward sensuality, inasmuch as Noah ‘uncovered himself.’ And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent” (Gen. 9:21 KJV). This is speaking of Noah.

The situation with Noah is the first mention of wine in the Bible, or any type of intoxicating beverage for that matter. 

Some have claimed that the fermentation process didn’t exist before the flood and that, consequently, Noah was not familiar with the possible product of the grape; however, there is no proof of such a thing and, in fact, the Hebrew language indicates that the Patriarch was familiar with what could be done with the grape as it regards fermentation. As well, Moses does not say this was the first occasion on which the Patriarch tasted fermented liquor (Moses wrote Genesis).

Since the sin of Noah, and it was sin, cannot be ascribed to ignorance, we can only ascribe it to the weakness of the human being.

Also, we find here that intoxication tends toward sensuality, inasmuch as Noah “uncovered himself.” Ellicott says, “It was no accident, but a willful breach of modesty.”

Inasmuch as the first mention of intoxicating beverage in the Bible revealed such a shameful episode, we cannot help but garner from this illustration as given by the Holy Spirit through Moses concerning Noah, the lesson that is being taught here.

• What should our stand be as a Christian, as it regards alcohol?
• Is moderate drinking permissible?
• Is alcoholism a disease or a sin?

Due to the seriousness of this matter, I think it would be proper for us to give it a little more thorough treatment.

ALCOHOL

Back in the 1980’s, the News Media seemed inordinately preoccupied with nuclear energy protestors, as if it was their civic duty to convince the American public that nuclear power was extremely dangerous. In view of this constant media barrage against this particular industry, which incidentally caused the stoppage of all construction of nuclear power plants, we are now experiencing a severe power shortage.

In view of this, I would like to focus on another subject of even more consequence — and I’d like to use the Media’s rhetoric regarding nuclear power plants, as they then claimed such to be:

• What if 40-50 people were killed every day by malfunctioning nuclear power plants?
• What if such malfunction seriously injured 1,500 more every day?
• What if the presence and influence of nuclear plants caused 8-20 people per day to commit suicide?
• What if the secondary effects of nuclear power caused 200 broken homes each day?
• What if it caused 250 people each day to suffer permanent brain damage — besides the injuries already described?
• What if it caused some 3,000 parents to abuse their children, or to assault loved ones each day?
• What if it caused 50 billion dollars a year in direct damages, and an inestimable amount in indirect damages every year?

For every ten automobiles on the road, one is driven by a drunk. It’s no wonder that (in 2011) 40,000 people a year are killed because of alcoholics behind the wheel.

Awesome and disturbing statistics? Well, if you will “double” every figure I have just cited, you will have a fragmented picture of the effects of alcohol on American society today. In view of the fact that after decades of use, there hasn’t been a single case of a person in the public sector being injured by nuclear power plants, one would have to question why the Media remains silent on alcohol’s effects, while carrying on a scathing campaign against other things.

I can’t answer that, but we can probe the reason behind the Media’s silence on the alcohol question. But first, remember this.

Alcohol is responsible for:1)facts dated to 2011 Stats

• 50 percent of all automobile fatalities.
• 80 percent of all home violence.
• 30 percent of all suicides.
• 60 percent of all child abuse.

Alcohol-Related Deaths:

  • An estimated 88,0002)Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Alcohol and Public Health: Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI). Average for United States 2006–2010 Alcohol-Attributable Deaths Due to Excessive Alcohol Use. Available at: https://nccd.cdc.gov/DPH_ARDI/Default/Report.aspx?T=AAM&P=f6d7eda7-036e-4553-9968-9b17ffad620e&R=d7a9b303-48e9-4440-bf47-070a4827e1fd&M=8E1C5233-5640-4EE8-9247-1ECA7DA325B9&F=&D=. Accessed 1/18/17.  people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States.3)Mokdad, A.H.; Marks, J.S.; Stroup, D.F.; and Gerberding, J.L. Actual causes of death in the United States 2000. [Published erratum in: JAMA 293(3):293–294, 298] JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association291(10):1238–1245, 2004. PMID: 15010446
  • In 2014, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 9,967 deaths (31 percent of overall driving fatalities).4)National Center for Statistics and Analysis.  2014 Crash Data Key Findings (Traffic Safety Facts Crash Stats. Report No. DOT HS 812 219). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2015. Available at: https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812219. Accessed 9/19/16.

Economic Burden:

  • In 2010, alcohol misuse cost the United States $249.0 billion.5)Sacks, J.J.; Gonzales, K.R.; Bouchery, E.E.; et al. 2010 national and state costs of excessive alcohol consumption. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 49(5):e73–e79, 2015. PMID: 26477807
  • Three-quarters of the total cost of alcohol misuse is related to binge drinking.6)Sacks, J.J.; Gonzales, K.R.; Bouchery, E.E.; et al. 2010 national and state costs of excessive alcohol consumption. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 49(5):e73–e79, 2015. PMID: 26477807

Global Burden:

  • In 2012, 3.3 million deaths, or 5.9 percent of all global deaths (7.6 percent for men and 4.0 percent for women), were attributable to alcohol consumption.7)World Health Organization (WHO). Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health. p. XIV. 2014 ed. Available at: http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/publications/global_alcohol_report/msb_gsr_2014_1.pdf?ua=1(link is external). Accessed 1/18/17.
  • In 2014, the World Health Organization reported that alcohol contributed to more than 200 diseases and injury-related health conditions, most notably DSM–IV alcohol dependence (see sidebar), liver cirrhosis, cancers, and injuries.8)World Health Organization (WHO). Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health. p. XIII. 2014 ed. Available at: http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/publications/global_alcohol_report/msb_gsr_2014_1.pdf?ua=1(link is external). Accessed 1/18/17 In 2012, 5.1 percent of the burden of disease and injury worldwide (139 million disability-adjusted life-years) was attributable to alcohol consumption.9)World Health Organization (WHO). Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health. p. XIV. 2014 ed. Available at: http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/publications/global_alcohol_report/msb_gsr_2014_1.pdf?ua=1(link is external). Accessed 1/18/17.
  • Globally, alcohol misuse is the fifth leading risk factor for premature death and disability; among people between the ages of 15 and 49, it is the first.10)Lim, S.S.; Vos, T.; Flaxman, A.D.; et al. A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990–2010: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet 380(9859):2224–2260, 2012. PMID: 23245609 In the age group 20–39 years, approximately 25 percent of the total deaths are alcohol attributable.11)World Health Organization (WHO). Alcohol. 2015. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs349/en/#(link is external). Accessed 9/19/16.

WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF ALCOHOLISM?

According to statistics, there are about 20 million alcoholics in this nation, a figure which is equivalent to two out of every five heavy drinkers. Actually, I find it hard to see the difference between the alcoholic and the heavy drinker.

Think about it: 

For every ten automobiles on the road, one is driven by a drunk. It’s no wonder that 40,000 people a year are killed because of alcoholics behind the wheel. In addition, over one million are injured — some never to function normally again.

Incidentally, it is a scientific fact that if it takes ten beers to make a person drunk, one beer makes them one tenth drunk. That means, according to the amount of alcohol consumed, whether little or much, that a person is not in full control of his faculties.

That’s the reason for the accidents. ACCIDENTS?

SICKNESS OR SIN?

I picked up an article some time back written by a Minister. Unfortunately, his name wasn’t credited, so I have no way of acknowledging him for his statement.

What he said was excellent, however, and I want to share it with you.

He asked the question, “What is wrong with the drunkard?”

And then went on to say this:

“Years ago, while holding a city-wide Meeting in Salinas, California, I was attracted through an article in the daily paper, to a Convention to be held in a Northern California town.

Psychiatrists from all over America were coming out to the coast for this Convention.

“The object of the Convention was the thing that attracted me. They announced as their project . . . the discovery of what causes alcoholism, and then to suggest a cure.

Here is the sum of the findings of this body.

No, the problem isn’t a sickness, and it’s not in the genes. It’s not heredity, and it’s certainly not God.

“They stated that an alcoholic is not a moral degenerate, but a sick man. He can’t help being sick anymore than an asthmatic or arthritic. (Notice the lack of personal responsibility.)

“He should not be picked up in a police car and thrown in jail, but should be picked up in an ambulance and put in a hospital. He shouldn’t be treated as a moral degenerate, but a respected member of society who is sick.

“That was the trend of thought all through the deliberation, and not once during the Convention was whisky mentioned. The closest to it was the word ‘alcoholism.’ They never said if a man simply didn’t drink, he would have no problem.

No such ugly insinuations were made.

“The final session was the clincher.

Headlines in the San Francisco paper stated:

‘Psychiatrists decide,’ then, in smaller print, ‘alcoholism is caused by an unknown quantity that we shall choose to call “X” . . . until this unknown quantity can be isolated and defined, we have no suggested cure.’”

The Minister went on to state, “I would hate to be an alcoholic depending on psychiatrists to help me!” 

I can only say “Amen” to that.

I am not a psychiatrist, but I know what makes men and women alcoholics. I’m certain it is not, as one alcoholic figured it: he railed against God for having done this to him. He shook his fist at his genes, at his heredity, at his father. He felt he had been programmed before birth to be a victim of alcohol.

No, the problem isn’t a sickness, and it’s not in the genes. It’s not heredity, and it’s certainly not God. The problem is “sin” — which results in an even more frightening word — bondage.

TODAY THE BIG EXCUSE FOR ALMOST EVERYTHING IS “SICKNESS”

Today, everyone is sick: the alcoholic, the thief, the child molester, the rapist, and the murderer. As one august Supreme Court Justice said some time ago, “Everybody ought to be turned out of prison, because the prisoners are not really guilty; it’s all of society that’s responsible.” This statement might be humorous if it weren’t so “stupid.”

You see, the Bible says that men are liars, thieves, drunkards, immoral — and all the other things mankind is inevitably prey to — simply because they are sinners.

They have turned their backs on God. Man is a product of the Fall. His Salvation lies not in treatment of a “sickness,” but in treatment of his sin — and Jesus took care of this at Calvary. Until men accept this treatment, they will not be cured. And, in fact, treatment is not really the correct word that should be used, but rather “deliverance.”

“But the problem is people want to escape the bondage of alcohol, without accepting Christ. I’m sorry, but there is no other answer to the ills of man.”

Our Lord said concerning this: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me . . . to preach Deliverance to the captives” (Luke 4:18 KJV).

When Jesus died on Calvary’s Cross, He addressed every sin, every bondage, every perversion, and every aberration that may attach itself to mankind, and did so by the giving of Himself as a Perfect Sacrifice, which was accepted by God. When the believing sinner places his Faith in Christ and what Christ did for us at the Cross, the Holy Spirit will then help such a person, Who, to be sure, has the Power, and because He is God. In fact, this is the only cure, the Deliverance afforded by Christ.

THE GREAT PROBLEM

But the problem is people want to escape the bondage of alcohol, without accepting Christ. I’m sorry, but there is no other answer to the ills of man. It is Jesus Christ and what He did for us at the Cross, and that is the only answer.

At least one of the reasons that the world of psychology labels alcoholism as a disease is the effort to escape responsibility. One of Satan’s favorite ploys is to make someone else responsible!

But what does the Bible say?

It says, “All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.” Of course, man doesn’t want to hear that. He doesn’t want to admit he’s a sinner and that he’s lost.

Most of all, he doesn’t want to admit that unless he comes to God he will remain eternally lost. So we give it a new name. We call it a disease or a sickness. Well, listen to this.

If it’s a disease, it is the only disease . . .

• That is contracted by an act of the will.
• That requires a license for distribution.
• That is bottled and sold.
• That requires outlets for its sale.
• That produces revenue for the Government.
• That promotes crime.
• That is habit-forming.
• That is spread by advertising. (Can’t you see this in the supermarket’s ad? “Get Coors, it’s the best disease we have in the store.”)
• For which we are fined and imprisoned when we exhibit its symptoms.
• Which brings death on the highway.
• Without a bacterial or viral cause, and for which there is no corrective medicine.
• Last but not least, alcoholism bars the patient from Heaven.

For the Bible clearly states in 1 Corinthians 6:10 KJV that no drunkard shall inherit the Kingdom of God (and I hasten to point out that while no drunkard will inherit the Kingdom of God, the Power of God can set the drunkard free and make him a fit subject for the portals of Glory — just as it can for anyone else).

No, alcoholism is not a disease.

So this crutch that is being used by the medical profession, the Psychiatrist, the Psychologist, and many others is merely that — a crutch. It serves to shift blame (and thus, remove the responsibility) from the one who is actually to blame, and that is the individual himself.

WHO PROMOTES ALCOHOL?

Constant attention is drawn to the terrible use of such mind-destroying drugs as heroin, marijuana, and cocaine, etc., and this should be done, but very little is being said about the most sinister drug of all — alcohol — the drug that is destroying our nation. It causes untold pain and suffering, and there is scarcely a word said against it. The newspapers are silent, newsmen seem unaware of the problem, and the pulpits (sad to say) are almost silent. As one realizes the tremendous amount of physical, financial, moral, and spiritual damage wrought by alcohol, one can’t help but ask, “Why?”

Of course, the answer is obvious.

Whereas cocaine, heroin, and other drugs are considered to be outside the limits of “decent society,” alcohol has been socially accepted.

Why is this so?

• Because it kills a little more slowly than the other type of drugs.
• Because there are vast amounts of money to be made from alcohol and the same people who control the distribution of alcohol control the dissemination of the information that influences people to use alcohol.

TELEVISION AND MOVIES PROMOTE ALCOHOL

It is a sad fact that the image of alcohol is tremendously manipulated on Television. In one recent survey it was found that alcohol related violence was twenty-five times higher in real life than on Television dramas. In other words, the sinister aspects of alcohol are greatly downplayed on TV programming. Again, I ask why? Well, one should keep in mind that the TV Networks receive millions of dollars in revenues from beer and wine accounts.

“The facts show us that fifty percent of real-life balance is associated with alcohol consumption!”

A short time ago one of our Telecasts was censored because we mentioned the name of a specific brewery on one of the programs. Should this shock us? Not if we consider beer and wine accounts that keep TV Stations operating in the black. No one who loves money will bite the hand that feeds him.

Dr. Thomas Radecki of the National Coalition on Television Violence recently stated, “With the new research in the past two years, it is increasingly clear that TV advertising and program use of alcohol is playing a major role in the increasing abuse of alcohol.”

Radecki noted that the average child will see alcohol consumed 75,000 times on TV before he reaches the legal drinking age! When he must make his personal decision in regard to drinking, what will the subliminal influences tell him? That the “in people,” those who are bright, sophisticated, and successful on Television are almost inevitably seen holding a drink in their hands. In other words, as far as Hollywood and network television people are concerned, if you are bright and smart, you too will have a drink in your hand.

He also observed that on network programming the typical viewer sees 5,000 incidents of alcohol intake per year. Ninety-nine percent of these cases of drinking will be portrayed as favourable or at least neutral!

THE REAL WORLD

Another question must be asked. Is this what life is like in the real world? The facts show us that fifty percent of real-life balance is associated with alcohol consumption!

On Television, only one percent of televised violence is associated with drinking. Dr. Radecki believes that TV’s benign portrayal of alcohol consumption is one of the major reasons why alcohol abuse and violence are the two most rapidly increasing causes of death in the United States.

A total of seventy-six percent of those shown drinking any kind of beverage on television will be shown drinking alcohol.

TV characters spend twice as much time drinking alcohol as tea or coffee. They consume fourteen times more liquor and beer than soft drinks, and they drink fifteen times more alcohol than water, or at least it is promoted as such, whatever is in the glass. Television viewers will see an average of three incidents of alcohol consumption for each hour they watch during prime time.

“They’re in the business of selling the poison they produce; however, it’s the manner in which they promote it that’s despicable.”

Those watching daytime TV will see six instances of drinking per hour. (Obviously soap opera characters have a higher percentage of alcoholism than the evening characters have.) 

Contrary to what one might expect (if TV is supposed to reflect the real world), it isn’t the villains who do the most drinking. The heaviest TV drinkers are well-known stars appearing in regular series where they serve as role models for our children and young people. TV characters seldom refuse a drink — nor do they express disapproval of someone else’s drinking. In situation comedies, excessive drinking is often used as a “good natured” way to get more laughs.

It is now understandable why over three quarters of all high school seniors use liquor regularly — with one-half getting drunk at least once a month. It’s also easy to understand why the White House Drug Abuse Office states that pressure to drink begins as early as the fourth grade. It might be a fine thing if someone led a crusade to get wine and beer commercials taken from the air as cigarette ads were.

THE MAIN PROMOTERS OF BEER AND WINE

It certainly isn’t hard to imagine the producers of a product as the main promoters of that product. They’re in the business of selling the poison they produce; however, it’s the manner in which they promote it that’s despicable.

Let’s take a look at this.

We’re told that beer in Australia is vitamin-enriched.

Researchers at the University of Queensland report that chronic vitamin deficiencies in alcoholics could be offset if brewers were to add vitamin B-1 to their products.

They assert that “A lot of heavy drinkers stand to benefit.” They also said, “The average person in the northern Territory consume 60 gallons of beer yearly!”

This will, of course, be yet another advertising plus for the breweries. They will suddenly be able to trumpet the nutritional benefits of drinking — trying to divert the consumer’s attention from the bondage that comes along with the intake of a little vitamin B.

A California winery has introduced Red Life, a light wine aimed at these soda drinkers who want something “a little stronger.” The main idea of course, is to get young people — even children — interested in drinking at an early age so they will then graduate to something stronger.

You must remember, the breweries help to manufacture customers — and they have to start with the children to do this.

I’ll give you another example.

In the Oklahoma City Times, containing the report of a speech William Coors (then Chairman of the Adolph Coors Company) made to a Convention of security analysts meeting in Denver — he described the advertising of his own company as well as other breweries as “outrageous” for its lack of ethics.

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He referred especially to the fact that his company pays 250 college students throughout the United States to promote its beer through campus “Wet T-Shirt Contests,” “Get Drunk,” and “Chug-a-lug” parties. He said the other breweries did this so his company followed suit as something “strictly defensive.”

Coors said, “We do this — not because we think it is right — but because other brewers do it. They will steal our lunch — if we don’t do it.” He added, “I personally think it’s outrageous, and everyone in the company thinks it’s outrageous. One way or the other, the country is going to stop this because our industry doesn’t have the ethics to stop themselves.”

In legal parlance, testimony against self-interest is the most damaging type possible in a court of law. Coors certainly testified against his own self-interest when he confessed the lack of ethics among the brewery owners and managers. And by the way, his company sold nearly 15 million barrels of beer in the first nine months of last year — 15 percent increase over the same period for the previous year.

At the same time Coors was confessing his sins, he also lashed out at do-gooders who were trying to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21 — questioning the motives of such crusades. He then went on to claim that only five percent of alcohol users are abusers.

However, what he neglected to add is that the other 95 percent of non-abusers are on the way to becoming abusers — in other words, drunks. They will eventually get there if they drink long enough. Simply stated, the 5 percent who are now abusers were not guilty of drunkenness when they started drinking!

Yes, the boys who make the alcohol are their own best promoters, and they do so in the most hypocritical, and perverse manner imaginable.

POLITICIANS

“Preachers — no matter what it costs you — stand up before your congregation and make your position known.”

Legislators in the state of Wisconsin some time back argued recently whether milk or beer should be the state drink. Wisconsin is known for both its dairies and breweries (“The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous”) so the competition was intense. One State Representative declared his choice was alcohol, because, in his words, “Beer tempers the emotions of our hard-working adults.” This Representative should be reminded that beer murders scores of Wisconsin motorists every year. Alcohol also compels some of those so-called “hard-working adults” to beat their wives and deprive their children.

To  my knowledge, milk has never been cited as a cause of broken homes or bruised bodies. Since marijuana is the number one cash crop in several sections of the United States, maybe it’s only a matter of time before some political opportunists will nominate pot as the official drug for the state.

One cannot help but say and think that the Legislators of Wisconsin ought to have better sense.

One doctor stated the other day that the reason stiffer laws are not enacted for drunk driving (or stiffer sentences not imposed) is because too many of the Legislators and Judges are drunks themselves.

This could well be true.

PREACHERS

Sadly, it is true, from the American pulpits, there is seldom heard a discouraging word — on the subject of alcohol.

As I write this, I am reminded of a religious periodical that stated (from a teletype news report) that one of the world’s noted Evangelists said there was nothing wrong with an occasional drink. Talking to reporters, this particular Evangelist said he didn’t believe the Bible taught teetotalism.

“After all (this Preacher went on to say) Jesus drank wine,” and he pointed to the Biblical account in which Jesus is said to have turned water into wine at a wedding feast. And as the Evangelist put it, “that wasn’t grape juice, as some try to claim.” I wonder if this statement was made to please and excuse the cocktail-drinking friends of the Preacher.

(We will discuss momentarily the water that Jesus turned to wine.)

Not so long ago, one major Missionary Evangelist told me personally that in a great religious conclave (with thousands of Preachers present) he asked all the Preachers (who were Pentecostal incidentally) in the congregation to stand if they did — or would — take a public stand against any and all use of alcohol. He was startled at the number who would not stand!

I had a Preacher tell me just today that our institutions are the way they are because our Churches are the way they are — and our Churches are the way they are because our families are the way they are. I wonder if our families are the way they are because the pulpits are silent.

I want to make a statement: any Preacher of the Gospel who won’t take a public stand against any and all use of alcohol — and be vocal in that stand — is doing his people, his God, and his country a disservice. The position that many Preachers take, that they never mention alcohol because “their people already know it’s wrong,” is a cop out.

Many take this position because they don’t want to offend the “sipping Saints” in the congregation.

The Preacher of the Gospel has always been the one to whip the nation into line. The Preacher of the Gospel is supposed to address the moral issues. It may not be popular at times but it is our business. And if we fail to do it — there’s no one else to do it. You could be dead-level sure that the Media aren’t going to do it, and you can also be sure that the politicians aren’t going to do it.

(Although, in the last couple of years, a few politicians have stood up and taken a stand on this matter — perhaps a reaction to the dead, dry sermonizing they hear from the pulpits.)

Preachers — no matter what it costs you — stand up before your congregation and make your position known.

Warn the young people of the terrible ravages of alcohol.

Make no bones about it, pull no punches, and quibble not. And if you don’t have strong feelings about seeing death and carnage all around you as a result of America’s worst drug — there’s something wrong with you!

PART II

By Jimmy Swaggart | November, 2011

We must remember, every alcoholic in this nation or anywhere in the world, didn’t start out as an alcoholic.

So What Should be the Christian’s Position in Respect to Alcohol?

Any true Christian in today’s society, desiring to set a good example for the Cause of Christ will be a teatotaler.

It’s just that simple.

All types of arguments are offered to defend social drinking. Some say that it’s the culture of some places, such as beer in Germany and wine in France. But Believers must understand, when we come to Christ, we leave the culture of this world, whatever it is, and come into the culture of the Lord, which is Bible Culture.

We must remember, every alcoholic in this nation or anywhere in the world, didn’t start out as an alcoholic.

It started out as a lark, but it began with their first drink.

Where it is true that some people do not become bound by alcohol and can stop with what is referred to as moderation; however, millions can’t. And as a Believer, we certainly should desire to set a good example before the world, and setting an example that can lead to alcoholism, is certainly not a Biblical example. Considering the damage that alcohol does, to which we have enumerated, it would seem to me that Believers should desire to shun alcohol in any fashion, whether it be social drinking or whatever.

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ON THIS SUBJECT?

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise

(Prov 20:1 KJV)

Who has woe? who has sorrow? who has contentions? who has babbling? who has wounds without cause? who has redness of eyes? They who tarry long at the wine; they who go to seek mixed wine. Look not upon the wine when it is red, when it gives his colour in the cup, when it moves itself aright. At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder

(Prov 23:29-32 KJV)

Woe unto them who rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; who continue until night, till wine inflame them!

(Isa 5:11 KJV)

Woe unto them who are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink

(Isa 5:22 KJV)

Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them who are overcome with wine!

(Isa 28:1 KJV)

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 Judgement

(Isa 28:7 KJV)

ALCOHOL’S CONSEQUENCES 

I was in a Midwestern city in a Meeting many years ago, and a tragedy had struck locally that riveted the attention of the whole area.

Services had ended for the night. After almost everyone had left, I walked back to the Pastor’s office. I saw him sitting behind his desk, his head in his hands. I asked him what was wrong. He looked at me and asked me if I had heard about the tragedy that had taken place that very day. I had, and then he gave me this background.

The young lady who was murdered was raised in his Church. She had once been Saved and followed Jesus, but had turned her back on God. She and her boyfriend had been to a party and both had been drinking heavily.

They left this particular party and then went to a bar — and then left it and were on their way to another bar.

The boy made advances toward her, which she repelled.

He grew incensed and started beating her with his fist.

He had a large ring on his finger, and in his anger and drunken delirium he beat her to death. She was beaten so badly that they were unable to open her casket for the service.

“Once again, and because it is so important, let us say it again: it is a scientific fact that after just one drink, your judgement is impaired and your reflexes are slowed.”

Some hours later, after he had sobered up, he wandered into a police station and gave himself up.

He really didn’t know why he did it.

He said, “I was drunk.”

Incidents like this are repeated many thousands of times every year. I can’t comprehend how any Christian could see the misery and the heartache that alcohol has caused and not be a teetotaler.

Of course, the contention we are told is always this: 

It’s the abuse of alcohol that is wrong. If you drink moderately, they say, it then becomes a question of “social relaxation.”

However, who with any sense would question that those who are now abusers (over 20 million in this country) started out as social drinkers, but wound up as falling-down drunks? No, that argument is too thin to skim. Let’s go a little further with it.

As previously stated, I personally do not know how many beers it takes to make a person drunk (or shots of whisky or glasses of wine for that matter), and I suppose it’s a different intake for different people. But if it takes ten beers to make a person drunk, then it is a scientific fact that one beer makes the person one-tenth drunk. The vision is impaired by that much, with the motor responses also impaired. The reaction time is also slowed. And this is not merely the conclusion of a Preacher — this is a scientific fact after exhaustive investigation.

Even one drink will affect reflexes and will take two hours to leave the body. 

That’s why it’s dangerous to drive after only one drink!

Once again, and because it is so important, let us say it again: it is a scientific fact that after just one drink, your judgement is impaired and your reflexes are slowed.

After only one drink, a person is “a little drunk.”

No, alcohol has broken up more homes, murdered more human beings, made paupers of more people, starved more children, started more wars, wrecked more careers, broken more marriages, caused more crimes, sent more souls to Hell, and wrecked more lives than any single factor on the face of the Earth.

In view of this, I must ask the question again.

 How can any Christian justify even one drink?  

Alcohol is the most rotten, debilitating, damnable, despicable devil that ever fastened itself upon the human race.

WHAT IS THE ETERNAL FUTURE FOR THE USER OF ALCOHOL?

The Bible is crystal clear on the eternal Judgement of the drunkard. Galatians 5:19 begins a list of the works of the flesh, and Verse 21 lists drunkenness among them. Then the conclusion of Verse 21 states, “They which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.” So the eternal destiny of those who engage in drunkenness is eternal Hell.

The Bible is very clear in regard to this. Of course, the answer always comes back, “But Brother Swaggart, I’m not a drunkard, I only take a social drink now and then, and I can’t see where the Bible condemns it.” Let’s look at it this way.

As we have mentioned, when a person takes just one drink, he is partially drunk. So the question we must ask ourselves is this, “Where will it lead in regard to the road we’re traveling?” It’s not so much the single drink as it is the path that one drink leads to — the example it sets.

Woe unto him who gives his neighbour drink, who puts the bottle to him, and makes him drunken also, that you may look on their nakedness!

When a Christian takes one drink, he’s voting in favor of all the broken homes, twisted lives, and broken dreams caused by alcohol. He’s declaring himself in favor of all the hell and horror that alcoholism has caused over the centuries. When you take one drink, you’re saying you’re in favor of all the world stands for, all the flesh stands for, and all the Devil stands for.

No sir, no Christian who wants to serve his Lord as he should will countenance even one drink. But the Bible has more to say about it than even that.

Woe unto him who gives his neighbour drink, who puts the bottle to him, and makes him drunken also, that you may look on their nakedness! You are filled with shame for glory: drink you also, and let the foreskin be uncovered, the cup of the LORD’s Right Hand shall be turned unto you, and shameful spewing shall be on your glory. For the violence of Lebanon shall cover you, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all who dwell therein” (Hab 2:15-17 KJV).

ONE TRAGIC EXAMPLE

A lot of people have looked with great sorrow, and rightly so, on the terrible tragedies that have befallen the Kennedy family. Despite untold riches, fame, power, and popularity, this family has suffered a jarring succession of tragedies.

Joe Jr. was killed in an air-plane crash in WWII and one daughter was born with serious mental problems.

No, sir, alcoholism is not a sickness — it is a sin that results in bondage.

Everyone knows the horror of the terrible assassinations of Jack Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy. Then there was the tragedy of the Chappaquiddick incident with Ted Kennedy — and then the untimely death of David Kennedy from a drug overdose. And then of late, the death of John Jr. in a plane crash with his wife and others. Admittedly, all of these tragedies would not fall under the category of being alcohol induced. But I feel there were too many of them to just be chance. Let’s look at the Kennedy background. 

When prohibition ended, Franklin Delano Roosevelt told Joseph Kennedy, Sr. that the legislation of prohibition would be repealed. Once again, it would be legal to make and sell alcoholic beverages in the United States. Joseph Kennedy, Sr. bought up the great Haig & Haig Scotch Whisky Industries in England. The hour of prohibition ended — and it became legal to make and sell alcohol in the United States — Joseph Kennedy had a ready supply of alcohol stored in warehouses in many cities in the United States. He had received permission to store it under the guise of medicinal purposes. So, for a considerable period of time, a good portion of the whisky sold in the United States came from Joseph Kennedy.

That was one of the ways in which multiplied millions of dollars were amassed, which later helped to finance the political aspirations of Jack Kennedy, and his election to the Presidency of the United States.

In short, one might say that whisky money at least helped buy the presidency for Jack Kennedy. What produced this money?

Multiplied millions of homes inflamed with violence, heartache, dissipation, pain, and death. Multiplied millions were started on the road to ruin. And God said plainly, “Woe unto him who gives his neighbour drink, who puts the bottle to him.” He also said in the first part of Verse 17 that “Violence . . . shall cover you” (Hab 2:17 KJV).

That identifies perfectly what has happened to one of America’s most famous and powerful families. However, this applies not only to people like the Kennedy’s who amass great fortunes, but also the bartenders serving it, the grocery store owners selling it, the liquor store distributing it, and the brewery manufacturing it.

It also holds for the restaurants that sell it. All are cursed by God. This could be one of the reasons America is the violence capital of the world. It could be the reason that violent crimes are increasing at an unprecedented rate.

LINCOLN’S WORDS

Abraham Lincoln delivered the following words in Springfield, Illinois, on February 22, 1842: “Whether or not the world would be vastly benefited by total and final banishment of all intoxicating drinks, seems to me not now an open question. Three fourths of mankind confess the affirmity with their tongues, and, I believe, all the rest acknowledge it in their hearts . . . turn now to the temperance revolution. In it we shall find a stronger bondage broken; a viler slavery manumitted; a greater tyrant deposed. In it, more of want supplied, more disease healed, more sorrow assuaged. By it, no orphan starving, no widows weeping. By it, none wounded in feelings, none injured in interest.

“If the relative grandeur of revolutions shall be estimated by the great amount of human misery they alleviate, and the small amount they inflict, then indeed will this be the grandest the world shall ever have seen. “And when the victory shall be complete — when there shall be neither a slave nor a drunkard on the Earth — how proud the title of that land, which may truly claim to be the birthplace and the cradle of both those revolutions, that shall have ended in that victory. How nobly distinguished that people, who shall have planted, and nurtured to maturity, both the political and moral freedom of their species.”

A DOCTOR SPEAKS OUT

A doctor wrote this to a newspaper some time ago: “Recently we saw another preview of Hell in the Parkland Hospital Emergency Room. A woman was struck down by a drunken driver, a college student lying semi-conscious following a head-on collision with another drunken driver, who was himself critically injured. The drunk’s companion was dead. Four other drunks, with lacerations and stab wounds, waiting to be treated.

“Night after night, year after year, the same bloody trail of horror — major auto accidents, stabbings, rapes, and wife beatings. Nightly emergencies, treated and released, are admitted to the hospital or pronounced dead on arrival. And almost always the bloody trail is led to that honoured man of distinction — the weekend drinker.

Almost always this is the moderate drinker, not the alcoholic. I wonder if there is that much joy to be gained, from the total consumption of all the beers and whiskies made, to equal even a small fraction of the innocent suffering, the damaged bodies, the broken marriages, the discarded children, the total brutalities, and crimes that accompany its use.

“What a quiet place our Emergency Room would be if beverage alcohol were ever abolished from our city.” No, sir, alcoholism is not a sickness — it is a sin that results in bondage.

Now the pure, sweet juice of the grape could rightly be denoted as ‘intrinsically good’; but the rotted, fermented, decayed, spoiled, intoxicating kind of wine could hardly be called good.

No, sir, the moderate drinker is not socially acceptable — for every alcoholic starts out drinking moderately.

No, sir, no Christian who wants to serve his Lord can even remotely accept the consumption of even one drink.

WAS THE WATER THAT JESUS TURNED INTO WINE IN JOHN, CHAPTER TWO, THE KIND OF WINE THAT WILL MAKE ONE DRUNK?

No, and I will explain why: If the wine is understood to be intoxicating wine, our Lord is automatically placed in a position of providing who had already “well drunk” (John 2:10 KJV) with more wine. 

If it was intoxicating wine, the Lord would have been breaking His Own Law against temperance. The total amount of water turned into wine that day was about 150 gallons. If this had been an intoxicating beverage, it would have served as an invitation to drink and would have placed our Lord in the unsavoury position of providing a flood of intoxicants for the people who had already consumed a considerable amount.

GOOD WINE

No, Jesus’ First Miracle was not the making of wine that would make one drunk.

The word “good” was used to describe what the Lord had miraculously brought about. It was the Greek word “kalos” and is defined in “Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words” as denoting what is intrinsically good. Now the pure, sweet juice of the grape could rightly be denoted as “intrinsically good”; but the rotted, fermented, decayed, spoiled, intoxicating kind of wine could hardly be called good. It is easy to think of the term “good” in describing whatever the Lord makes.

For example, in describing the Creation, Moses said, “And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Gen 1:31 KJV). It is unthinkable that our Lord would have made corrupted, fermented wine at Cana and called it “good.” You see, fermentation is a kind of decomposition, just as are putrefaction and decay. It would be almost blasphemous to call that “good” in connection with our Lord.

Pliny (an ancient Greek scholar) said that “good wine” was a term used to denote the juice destitute of spirit. 

Albert Barnes says, “The wine referred to here was doubtless such as was commonly drunk in Palestine.” That was the pure juice of the grape; it was not brandied or rugged wine. Nor was it wine compounded of various substances, such as people drink in this land. The common wine of that day, which was drunk in Palestine, was the simple juice of the grape, i.e., “grape juice.”

As well, it is tantamount to blasphemy, in my opinion, to suppose that the First Miracle performed after being filled with the Holy Spirit (compare Mark 1:9-12 KJV; Luke 4:1 KJV) with an act of creating an intoxicating wine for a crowd of celebrants, the kind of wine that would make them drunk, it is unthinkable!

Still another fact from the record in John, Chapter 2 is this: those men who had already drunk a considerable amount praised the bridegroom for having kept the “good wine” until the last. Now, it is a simple fact that alcohol drunk to any excess, will deaden the taste buds of the drinker.

If the wine in Cana of Galilee, that the guests had already been partaking of was intoxicating wine (and they had already partaken of quite a bit at this point), then when the wine that Jesus miraculously made was given to them, they could not have detected its taste. Their taste buds would have been deadened.

To be honest with you, they would have been drunk by this time, or almost so. Only if they had been drinking the form of the vine’s fruit that we know as grape juice, and then had been provided some fresh grape juice would the Governor of the feast had been able to make the observation he did.

WINE IN BIBLICAL TIMES

There are several words in the Bible which describe wine; however, two of these words are the most commonly used. In the New Testament, it is the Greek word “oinos,” which can mean either fermented or unfermented wine.

Dr. Ferrar Fenton, a Biblical translator (The Holy Bible in Modern English), lists six different meanings of the word “oinos”:

• Grapes, as fresh fruit.
• Raisins.
• Thick grape syrup.
• A thick jam.
• Fresh grape juice.
• Fermented grape juice.

The last type is the only one which would make one drunk. Dr. Lyman Abbott said that fermented wine in Bible times was the least common of all wines. Even in the fermented kind, the percentage of alcohol was small.

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for wine most commonly used is “yayin.” That word is found 141 times in the Old Testament, and is used interchangeably, depending on the context. In other words, it can mean either grape juice or alcoholic beverage.

I think the reasons given are sufficient proof that Jesus did not change water to the kind of wine that would make one drunk. Instead, it was a sweet, pure grape juice.

Before prohibition “wine” was considered to be exactly what it was in Bible times. However, when prohibition was enacted in 1929, the term had to be defined more closely; consequently, “wine” was designated to mean something that will make you drunk.

The other kind of non-intoxicating beverage was called by whatever name desired, grape juice or whatever; consequently, many people today confuse the simple word “wine” as it was used in the Bible without understanding of that word presently, but that is not universally true.

No, Jesus’ First Miracle was not the making of wine that would make one drunk. It was pure, sweet, fresh grape juice; and I believe Scripturally, scientifically, and legally we have proof of that.

DID THE SAVIOUR USE INTOXICATING WINE IN THE LORD’S SUPPER?

In the description of the Lord’s Supper, the Lord never used the word “wine.”

We are told, “He took the cup and gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, drink you all of it” (Mat 26:27 KJV).

Mark says, “He took the cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them” (Mk 14:23 KJV).

Luke says, “He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves” (Luke 22:17 KJV).

JESUS CALLED THE DRINK, “FRUIT OF THE VINE” in Matthew 26:29 KJV and also in Mark 14:25 KJV and Luke 22:18 KJV.

It becomes clear, when the Passages are read consecutively that God intended for us to use grape juice.

It seems the Holy Spirit carried this directive right on through even into the Early Church. The Apostle Paul said, “After the same manner also, He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the New Testament in My Blood” (1 Cor 11:25 KJV). Then, following, He mentioned “this cup” and then, later on, “that cup.”

It becomes clear, when the Passages are read consecutively that God intended for us to use grape juice. I also think the Holy Spirit took particular pains not to use any words that could be construed as referring to any kind of intoxicating beverage. There’s not a single reference in the Word of God that a person should use intoxicating wine for the Lord’s Supper.

THE SYMBOL OF DECAY

The very meaning of fermented wine makes it unsatisfactory to represent the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that’s exactly what the grape juice of the Lord’s Supper is to represent. I do not know a whole lot about fermentation or the wherefores of making alcoholic beverages, but I do know that fermented wine is grape juice in which decay (or rot) has taken place. In other words, the process of fermentation is the breakdown of large molecules caused by the influence of bacteria or fungi. Wine, then, results from the degenerative action of germs on pure substances.

Fermented wine used in Communion would actually symbolize tainted, sinful blood and not the Pure and Perfect Blood of Jesus Christ that had to be made evident to a be a Perfect cleansing for our sins. Pure, fresh grape juice tends toward life, but fermented wine tends toward death. Alcohol use for drinking purposes is both a narcotic and a poison. It could hardly be used as a symbol for the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

THE PASSOVER FEAST

To give an example, the Jews were required to use unleavened bread with the Passover Feast, and they were commanded that during that time, “There shall no leavened bread be seen with you, neither shall there be leaven seen with you in all your quarters” (Ex. 13:7). As early as this, bread that had been tainted with bacteria or yeast was considered unsuitable at the religious events celebrated by the Jews. Jesus also used unleavened bread in initiating the Lord’s Supper. (Of course, the New Testament made no special issue of the unleavened bread; and as far as that is concerned, any bread made without yeast today would serve as unleavened bread.)

Consequently then, from Exodus to the Gospels we are told to use only untainted, pure substances in Spiritual Celebrations. Consequently, the point that I make is this: if the Lord specifically chose bread that had no bacteria, no fungus spores in it, to picture His Broken Body, do you honestly think He would choose alcoholic wine, fermented wine, which is directly the product of fungi and bacteria, to represent His Blood? I hardly think so! The pure Blood of Jesus Christ would be best represented by pure grape juice.

THE MORAL STATUTES

Next, even the High Priests were commanded, “Do not drink wine nor strong drink . . . when you go into the Tabernacle of the congregation, lest you die: it shall be a Statute forever throughout your generations” (Lev 10:9 KJV).

You must remember, these Priests entering into the Tabernacle were types of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is our great High Priest. Now I ask you a question. Would
Jesus, the night He was betrayed, drink intoxicating wine before going to the Crucifixion and entering into His High Priestly Work? I think not. It would have been
a rejection and a contradiction of His Own Word given in Leviticus.

I close by saying this, we must always remember that the word “wine” in the Bible simply means “the fruit of the vine.” It can either mean unfermented grape juice or
intoxicating wine. So, when the Word is read, whether it is New Testament or Old Testament, this distinction must always be kept in mind according to the context.

No, I do not believe the wine that Jesus used at the Lord’s Supper was intoxicating wine, nor do I believe it is proper and permissible for us to use such wine in the Lord’s Supper today. I think it is a travesty of His Word and a perversion of His Intent.

To sum up, and as we’ve already stated several times, every Christian should be opposed to alcohol in any form, even to the slightest amount, as it regards its consumption.

As Believers, we are to set an example of Righteousness before the world. Being a moderate drinker of any type does not serve that purpose. Saying “no” to all alcohol, does!

JSM Expositors Study Bible [PRINTED]: shopjsm.org

JSM Expositors Study Bible [DIGITAL]: jsm.org: download expositors-bible

By Jimmy Swaggart  Extracted from The Evangelist | November, 2011 | (This message was derived from the book, “Brother Swaggart, Here Is My Question . . .”.)

References

↑ 1. facts dated to 2011 Stats
↑ 2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Alcohol and Public Health: Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI). Average for United States 2006–2010 Alcohol-Attributable Deaths Due to Excessive Alcohol Use. Available at: https://nccd.cdc.gov/DPH_ARDI/Default/Report.aspx?T=AAM&P=f6d7eda7-036e-4553-9968-9b17ffad620e&R=d7a9b303-48e9-4440-bf47-070a4827e1fd&M=8E1C5233-5640-4EE8-9247-1ECA7DA325B9&F=&D=. Accessed 1/18/17.
↑ 3. Mokdad, A.H.; Marks, J.S.; Stroup, D.F.; and Gerberding, J.L. Actual causes of death in the United States 2000. [Published erratum in: JAMA 293(3):293–294, 298] JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association291(10):1238–1245, 2004. PMID: 15010446
↑ 4. National Center for Statistics and Analysis.  2014 Crash Data Key Findings (Traffic Safety Facts Crash Stats. Report No. DOT HS 812 219). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2015. Available at: https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812219. Accessed 9/19/16.
↑ 5. Sacks, J.J.; Gonzales, K.R.; Bouchery, E.E.; et al. 2010 national and state costs of excessive alcohol consumption. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 49(5):e73–e79, 2015. PMID: 26477807
↑ 6. Sacks, J.J.; Gonzales, K.R.; Bouchery, E.E.; et al. 2010 national and state costs of excessive alcohol consumption. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 49(5):e73–e79, 2015. PMID: 26477807
↑ 7. World Health Organization (WHO). Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health. p. XIV. 2014 ed. Available at: http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/publications/global_alcohol_report/msb_gsr_2014_1.pdf?ua=1(link is external). Accessed 1/18/17.
↑ 8. World Health Organization (WHO). Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health. p. XIII. 2014 ed. Available at: http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/publications/global_alcohol_report/msb_gsr_2014_1.pdf?ua=1(link is external). Accessed 1/18/17
↑ 9. World Health Organization (WHO). Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health. p. XIV. 2014 ed. Available at: http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/publications/global_alcohol_report/msb_gsr_2014_1.pdf?ua=1(link is external). Accessed 1/18/17.
↑ 10. Lim, S.S.; Vos, T.; Flaxman, A.D.; et al. A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990–2010: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet 380(9859):2224–2260, 2012. PMID: 23245609
↑ 11. World Health Organization (WHO). Alcohol. 2015. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs349/en/#(link is external). Accessed 9/19/16.

Should Christians Throw Back Beers and Sip Wine?

Yes or No feature

True freedom in Christ allows for personal freedoms, but most freedoms are intended to work within a framework of social responsibility (see Gal. 5:13). Food and beverage, for example, are good, but we are warned against extremes such as gluttony and drunkenness. Most anyone who has lived with these abuses understands why.

By Shane Idleman
The person who consumes alcohol walks a very fine line between freedom and sin, responsibility and carelessness, liberty and abuse—over-indulgence can even disqualify a person from leadership (see 1 Tim. 3). This discussion is not about a glass of wine or beer now and then, it’s about abuse. Damage done to families and individuals demands a closer look. Here are samples of the correspondences that I have received:

“I won’t watch my kids be physically abused anymore. My husband’s alcohol consumption is killing our family.” Others write, “Leaders in my church don’t recognize that they are hurting people by abusing alcohol.” One man wrote, “My wife has co-workers and parishioners fooled, but she is destroying our family from the inside out.”
crisis-01

Alcohol is a dangerous liberty.

I learned this lesson the hard way, even as a Christian involved in ministry. I could have a beer or two on special occasions, but because of my past problem with alcohol as a young adult, the addiction was always ready to take hold of me again. It took an embarrassing situation for me to realize that my supposed “liberty” was really an opportunity to awaken a dormant addiction. I apologized to those I affected. I also told my wife and a few trusted friends that I could no longer exercise this liberty; it was too easy to digress beyond the boundaries of responsibility. God used this situation to reveal my blind-spots. God may use this article to speak to you as well, but we must be humble and teachable.

The demands of life often tempt us to seek gratification in alcohol and other things. We must be on high alert. The enemy uses “opportune times” to draw us away from God (see Luke 4:13). The line is so thin that it is often hard to determine when we cross over. Personally, I believe that abstinence should be practiced by most Christians, especially if they drink often and in excess (these can be signs of alcoholism). And this is especially true of leadership. The list of men and women who have lost a great deal because of alcohol is proof enough that liberty has limits.

Jesus said that “wisdom is justified by all her children” (see Luke 7:35). Does this liberty result in contentions, hurt feelings, negative comments and questions about your drinking? Is it dividing friendships or causing unnecessary problems? This speaks for itself and can also be early warning signs of alcoholism.

Alcohol abuse has created a sad commentary on the spiritual condition of the church. We often flaunt liberty and laugh in the face of God’s grace. We use the opportunity to post our favorite beer brands on Facebook and feature our favorite wines, all under the guise of “exercising liberty.” Be careful … Romans 14 has warnings in this area. Ironically, many use Romans 14 to support alcohol use, when the opposite is true: “It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall” (vs. 21, NIV).

Those who promote abstinence and avoid alcohol are often not “weak in the faith” (Rom. 14:1, NKJV); they are solid mature believers who have genuine concern. Those who are “weak in the faith” are often those who abuse this liberty. It is the selfless motivation of love that keeps us from stumbling others. If love is not the motivation, then a form of legalism may arise.

We all make mistakes, and a “holier than you” attitude is not the right approach. My intent is not to argue, but to help those crossing the line.

If this article upsets, that’s usually an indication that change needs to take place.

Consider the following:

  • If you continue to exercise this liberty, keep it private.
    A few years ago, I attended a conference where pastors were encouraged to meet at a pub after the general sessions. A few of these pastors could exercise their liberty, but why publicly? I wondered how many people at the conference stumbled because of it.
  • Social media influences on a broad scale.
    In Jesus’ day, society was much more isolated—no Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. We have no idea how many people are affected by social media. We can foster temptation by the things we post.
  • Don’t play with fire and walk into the enemy’s camp.
    Liberties can easily become habits, and habits form addictions. God does not want us to be enslaved to anything. It is important that we take an account of our lives and see if this area has a hold on us.
  • Be honest. How much do you drink?
    Is it really one beer or a glass of wine now and then, or is it throughout the week and in large amounts? Is it a large goblet that holds ¾ of a bottle of wine and do you fill it twice? Ale beer, for example, often has two or three times more alcohol than normal beer. Those having two ale beers may have the equivalent of six regular beers.
  • Do you make excuses in order to exceed moderation and plan activities around alcohol?
    Do others comment on your drinking? Do you often argue and try to justify your position? Paul said that even though we have freedom, not everything is good for us. We should not become a slave to anything (see 1 Cor. 6:12).

1 Peter 2:16 reminds us that many use liberty to hide sin: “A cloak for vice.” If these points raise concerns, I encourage you to say, “Lord, I’ve been wrong … remove my carnality, crush my pride, draw me closer to You. I repent of my sin and turn completely and unconditionally to you.”

In our freedom, we can become a liability to ourselves, others and the message of the gospel. It’s often not “if” alcohol consumption causes damage but “when” it causes it. “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise” (Eph. 5:15,NIV).

Watch my sermon, “Breaking the Chains of Oppression”: on vimeo

Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California, just north of Los Angeles. He just released his seventh book, Desperate for More of God. Shane's sermons, articles, books and radio program can all be found at www.WCFAV.org.
 5/12/2015 | By Shane Idleman | Source: charismanews.com "Should Christians Throw Back Beers and Sip Wine?"

Related Article:

 5 + 2 Denominations / Ministries Explain Varied Stances on Alcoholism 

Read Here


Five Denominations & Two Ministries Explain Varied Stances on Alcoholism

Yes or No feature

How do some of the nation’s Christian denominations address alcoholism among their leaders? Here’s a sampling:

1. SOUTHERN BAPTISTS

no-alcohol-drugs-iso-sign-is-1100The Southern Baptist Convention has passed more than 50 resolutions about the “deleterious effects of consuming alcohol,” said Roger S. Oldham, spokesman for the convention’s Executive Committee. The most recent resolution, passed in 2006, urged that “no one be elected to serve as a trustee or member of any entity or committee of the Southern Baptist Convention that is a user of alcoholic beverages.

“In instances where a pastor may need treatment for substance abuse, he or his church would seek services in the same way other members of their communities would,” Oldham said.

2. ROMAN CATHOLICS

Limit_alcoholJoe Zwilling, spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, said his archdiocese has responded to priests with alcohol and other addictions, including drugs and gambling. An independent network of Catholic treatment centers helps priests battling any number of problems.

“We do work with them in terms of finding a treatment facility for inpatient treatment, if that’s required, and then follow-up care with them afterwards,” he said. “We try to be as open as possible with the congregations involved, particularly if we’re talking about a pastor, so that they’re aware of what’s happening.”

3. UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Limit_alcoholAt one time, the denomination had a requirement that all clergy and youths sign abstinence pledges,” said the Rev. Cynthia Abrams, director of the General Board of Church & Society Health & Wholeness program, but that ended decades ago. “I’m sure there are United Methodist hospitals, and other health facilities that have treatment services. There are churches that have recovery ministries, some very extensive, others nominally, such as opening their church buildings to 12-step groups.”

4. ASSEMBLIES OF GOD (usa)

no-alcohol-drugs-iso-sign-is-1100We are in the process of writing a more complete paper supporting our historic and official position on abstinence from alcoholic beverages,” said Assemblies of God General Superintendent George O. Wood. “We require all ministerial applicants to agree to refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages; and recommend to our constituents that they also abstain.

The Assemblies of God does not have its own treatment facilities for leaders dealing with alcohol addiction. “If a minister is drinking alcoholic beverages and their usage becomes known to the district in which their credentials are held, the district will take appropriate action to refer, discipline with rehabilitation or dismiss the minister,” he said.

ABSTINENCE This statement on abstinence was approved as the official statement by the General Presbytery of the Assemblies of God on August 6, 1985.

Alcohol, Tobacco & Drugs 

5. EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA

Limit_alcoholThe Evangelical Lutheran Church in America addressed addiction and substance abuse in its “Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline” of ordained ministries, which states: “The approach of this church to such a problem may be to insist upon effective treatment or to initiate immediate discipline.”

Candice Hill Buchbinder, a spokeswoman for the ELCA, said the “self-care” expected of ordained ministers can include receiving counseling for substance abuse. Regional ELCA synods handle referrals to treatment facilities that are approved by health insurance.


6. JACK VAN IMPE MINISTRIES

no-alcohol-drugs-iso-sign-is-1100

7. JIMMY SWAGGART MINISTRIES

no-alcohol-drugs-iso-sign-is-1100

via 5 Denominations Explain Varied Stances on Alcoholism.