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The Devil is in the Bottle

Good morning. It is Friday, June 4, 2021.


I want to talk about alcohol today. It can be a very touchy subject for some people; it certainly was for me some time back. I struggled with alcohol for over 40 years; from the age of 14 in fact.

1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"


First two words: Be sober.


Although raised in a loving, Christian home, my father was killed when I was 8 years old. My mom remarried someone she only knew 2 weeks and the rest of my childhood was hard and filled with dysfunction.


I was attracted to a dirty cigarette butt on the bathroom floor in a public park at the age of 12. And was soon smoking cigarettes. I was smoking pot at 13. My boyfriend at the time gave me a pint of Grape Wine on my 14th birthday and soon after that followed, taking speed and acid. By the time I was 20 years old I was shooting Meth into my veins.


Looking back, I can see the Devil was trying to destroy me. He wanted me addicted and he wanted me dead, but only by the grace of God and the prayers of many, including my mother, I am a free person today!


John 8:36 has become my tenet. "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."

There is a lot of debate regarding alcohol in the Bible. And this is my understanding on the topic. There are different words used to describe wine. It is critical that we know the difference!


I used a Strong's Concordance for today's writing.


yayin, pronounces: yah'-yin; is from an unused root meaning to effervesce; wine (as fermented); by implication, intoxication:—banqueting, wine, wine(-bibber). As in Gen 9:24 when Noah awoke from his wine..

Gen 19:32,33 The kids plotted to get their father drunk with wine. Same word "yayin."

But when we talk about wine in Deuteronomy 6:13 for instance it is: tîrôš it is fresh or new wine, freshly pressed wine, just squeezed. (not fermented)

I found a fantastic article on-line and I want to share bits of that with you. I will put a link at the bottom so you can read more if you wish.


The popular belief that Jesus...was a moderate drinker of fermented wine who even "miraculously ‘manufactured’ a high-quality (alcoholic) wine at Cana" and instituted the Last Supper with alcoholic wine, has no doubt influenced the drinking habits of millions of Christians around the world more than anything else that the Bible says about drinking...

The writer divides the chapter into the following five wine-related stories: (we will look at only 2)


(1) The Wedding at Cana: John 2:1-11.

(2) New Wine in New Wineskins: Luke 5:37-38; Mark 2:22.

(3) Is Old Wine is Better? Luke 5:39.

(4) Was Jesus a Glutton and a Drunkard? Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:34.

(5) The Communion Wine: Matthew 26:26-29;

Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-23.


PART I: THE WEDDING AT CANA


The belief that the wine Christ provided in Cana was alcoholic rests on five major assumptions.:


1) it is assumed that the word oinos "wine" indicates only "fermented-quality grape drink, i.e. wine."


2) it is assumed that since the word oinos "wine" is used in reference both to the wine which ran out and the wine that Christ made, both wines must have been alcoholic.

3) it is assumed that the Jews did not know how to prevent the fermentation of grape juice...

4) it is assumed that the description given by the master of the banquet to the wine provided by Christ as "the good wine" means a high-quality alcoholic wine.


5) it is assumed that the expression "well drunk" (John 2:10) used by the master of the banquet indicates that the guests were intoxicated because they had been drinking fermented wine.

The Meaning of Oinos: The popular assumption that both in secular and Biblical Greek the word oinos meant fermented grape juice exclusively was examined at great length...We submitted numerous examples from both pagan and Christian authors who used the Greek word oinos referring both to fermented and unfermented grape juice. We also noticed that oinos is used at least 33 times in the Septuagint to translate tirosh, the Hebrew word for grape juice.


The second assumption, that both the wine that ran out and the wine Jesus made were alcoholic, depends largely upon the first assumption, namely, that the word oinos means exclusively alcoholic wine....

This assumption is discredited by two facts:


First, as mentioned earlier, the word oinos is a generic term referring either to fermented or to unfermented wine. Thus the fact that the same word oinos is used for both wines in question does not necessitate that both wines be alcoholic.


Next assumption, that it would have been impossible to supply unfermented grape juice for a Spring time wedding about six months after vintage, rests on the assumption that the technology for preserving grape juice unfermented was unknown at the time.

The latter assumption is clearly discredited by numerous testimonies from the Roman world of New Testament times describing various methods for preserving grape juice.

In the Roman world of New Testament times, the best wines were those whose alcoholic potency had been removed by boiling or filtration. Pliny, for example, says that "wines are most beneficial...when all their potency has been removed by the strainer."


Similarly, Plutarch points out that wine is "much more pleasant to drink" when it "neither inflames the brain nor infests the mind or passions"


"Pliny, Plutarch and Horace describe wine as good, or mention that as the best wine which was harmless or innocent—poculis vini innocentis. The most useful wine—utilissimum vinum—was that which had little strength; and the most wholesome wine.

The wine Christ made was of high quality, not because of its alcohol content, but because...it was "new wine, freshly created! It was not old, decayed wine, as it would have to be if it were intoxicating....It thus was a fitting representation of His glory and was appropriate to serve as the very first of His great miracles (John 2:11)."15


Moral Implications. Another reason leading us to reject the assumption that "the good wine" produced by Christ was high in alcoholic content is the negative reflection such an assumption casts upon the wisdom of the Son of God. If, in addition to the considerable quantity of alleged alcoholic wine already consumed, Christ miraculously produced between 120 and 160 gallons of intoxicating wine for the use of men, women and children gathered together at the wedding feast, then He must be held morally responsible for prolonging and increasing their intoxication. His miracle would only serve to sanction the excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages. If this conclusion is true, it destroys the sinlessness of Christ’s nature and teachings.

It is against the principle of Scriptural and moral analogy to suppose that Christ, the Creator of good things...would exert His supernatural energy to bring into existence an intoxicating wine which Scripture condemns as "a mocker" and "a brawler" (Proverbs 20:1) and which the Holy Spirit has chosen as the symbol of divine wrath."

You can read it all for yourself with the link I am providing.

I am going to skip:

(2) New Wine in New Wineskins: Luke 5:37-38; Mark 2:22.

(3) Is Old Wine is Better? Luke 5:39.

(4) Was Jesus a Glutton and a Drunkard? Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:34.

And just speak briefly on the 5th.

In the following chapters and verses regarding Communion it is not called wine. In every single case Jesus refers to it as the "fruit of the vine." Not to mention, it was Passover and he would have been following the Mosaic Law.


(5) The Communion Wine: Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-23.

"Jesus used unfermented grape juice at the Last Supper because He understood and observed the Mosaic law requiring the absence of all fermented articles during the Passover feast. The law forbade the use and presence in the house of seor (Ex 12:15), which means leaven, yeast or whatever can produce fermentation."


This last topic is one that has always bothered me. Why do we use unleavened bread at Communion? Have you ever thought about that?


Leaven is the substance that causes fermentation and spoilage. The Bible also uses Leaven to describe a type of evil which contaminates and spoils that which is good. 1 Corinthians 5 is one such message. Matthew 13:33 is another.


There are several others, but my point is, if we are told to eat unleavened (unfermented) bread which represents Christ's body, does it not also make since that the grape juice which represents his blood, also be pure, unfermented? It does to me.


The Bible tells us we are the temple of God. The temple does not need to feel buzzed. The temple is Holy and has no place for drunkenness.


The Bible says "...Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV


Do you think we will need alcohol to dull our senses with all the glory God has planned for us? NO WAY!


One last thing and then I will step down off my soap box. I have a family member that struggles with alcohol. It is like a demon in this person. One day, I heard a commotion outside and stepped out to see this family member on a rampage, drunk. I walked over, put my hand on his head and just started praying out loud. I don't remember what I said, other than begging God to deliver him. In that moment I had a vision. I saw the devil and his evil angels in that bottle of alcohol. And each time this person would take a drink, he was actually drinking in the devil. I got goosebumps and prayed all the harder.


Have you ever wondered why some restaurants have a sign that reads "Good Food and Fine Spirits"?


Why is alcohol called spirits?

Aristotle wrote in 327 B.C, that he believed drinking a distilled beer or wine put "spirits" into the body of the drinker"


Regardless if this is actually happening, I think we can all agree it changes people.


Alcohol destroys lives. It destroys families. It causes people to do and say things they would never do had they not been under the influence. It is now known to cause Breast Cancer in women. It can harm your pancreas, causes cirrhosis, it messes with your insulin, it attacks your central nervous system, it makes you dependent on it, it attacks your digestive system, and circulatory system, it harms your bones and muscles and immune system, it harms your sexual and reproductive health. People are killed behind the wheel, suicide, and abuses of every imaginable kind, all because of alcohol.


Do you really think it belongs in our homes? The devil is in the bottle, do not drink him in!


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

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