Wine

What the Bible Teaches About Drinking Wine and Alcohol

A debate consisting of a series of letters between Dan Knezacek and Fundamentalist Pastor... "Roy"


Though I have not addressed the subject of alcohol in "The Spirit of Prophecy" it is a serious matter. The way you treat any subject in the Word of God will have an effect on the way you interpret prophecy.  If you are curious as to the way I do research, or are actually interested in what the bible says about the consumption of alcohol, you will find this article interesting.


Many Christians, while insisting that they follow the literal interpretation method of Scripture, often fall back on their own traditions when confronted with scripture that plainly says something different.  I insist on always following the literal interpretation method, unless the passage in Question clearly is speaking in allegory.  Sometimes there are deeper meanings than the normal, plain sense meaning of a passage, but the bible never contradicts the plain sense meaning.


The following is a debate consisting of a series of letters written between me and my then Pastor, "Roy" in 1999 and 2000.  Though the letters are a few years old the subject is timeless. (Note: Name changed to protect the guilty.  The aforementioned pastor does not want his name associated with that which he has written.  If you really believe that what you are saying is from God why wouldn't you want your name associated with it?)


The truth is that we have both made some errors. I certainly did in my early letters, and he caught them. These minor errors do not negate my point and I believe I did correct them in the later letters.  As you read you will find that the depth of my responses got deeper the more I studied.  Conflicts like this can actually be beneficial if it forces us to dig deeper in the Word of God.


Near the end I have inserted my responses between his paragraphs. I have written in Tahoma font and his letters are in Arial Italic. At times I have added comments after the fact, and these comments are in parentheses.


It has been several years since these letters passed between us. I do not know if Pastor "Roy" still holds these beliefs. I hope not.  Many Christians get saved but stay babes in Christ their whole lives, living on milk and never progressing to meat.


I am not posting these letters to mock anyone, but to show how some pastors twist scripture to make it fit their preconceived ideas. The truth is that many preachers do the same thing on a wide variety of subjects, and doing so with regard to wine is less serious, in my opinion, than it is with many other subjects, although it certainly indicates a similar mindset.  My advice to Pastor "Roy", and to all Pastors is "Preach only the Word of God, and if you don't like what's there, preach it anyway, or go and get another job."


With this in mind, I suggest you go and get a coffee before going any further. This article is rather long. If you would prefer a beer, or glass of wine, I would suggest you wait until you are done :-)

Dec. 6, 1999

Pastor Roy

Heritage Church

Somewhere, Ontario


Dear Pastor Roy,

For many years I didn’t attend Heritage Baptist because of your stand on certain subjects and because of what some of my friends said, who had attended at one time or other. Due to the number of churches heading into ecumenism and an abandonment of the bible, we found ourselves at Heritage in March of this year. I was rather surprised that most of the teaching was very biblical.  Some people told me that you’ll get a lot of milk there but not much meat, however, I’m afraid they weren’t entirely wrong.


Yesterday morning you launched into a tirade against Molson’s breweries, which I somewhat agreed with because of their blasphemous “I Am” ad campaign. That in itself is a good reason to boycott Molson breweries. But then you went on to condemn all breweries. I wonder which bible verse you use to justify condemnation of an entire industry? I’ve searched the bible and can’t find one.


In the evening service you said “we are commanded not to drink liquor”. I waited and you did not come up with any scripture to substantiate this claim. I looked and the only thing that comes close is:


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


This verse does not say “do not drink wine”, to make it say that is to change scripture, and abuse the English language.


Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.


You have taken out the word “drunk” and added the word “drink”. My friend this is a very serious thing. Just because the cause may be good doesn’t justify butchering God’s Holy Word! So here we have a case of the “good cause syndrome”. You can say anything if you have a good cause. The Catholics and other denominations feel they can also do the same thing in other areas of the bible.


Please note in Ephesians 5:18 it says “wherein is excess”, the Lord put that in for a reason! If he had wanted to say something else he could have. Why the need for the command if Christians didn’t drink as a rule?


In your text for the evening Phil 4:4 I was surprised that you didn’t go to the next verse as it would have fit with your subject: Phillipians 4:5 “Let your MODERATION be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand”. Oh, I guess it doesn’t fit, I thought it said ABSTINENCE. So, we are commanded to MODERATION not ABSTINENCE or extremism. I guess I know why you avoided that verse. ABSTINENCE is a lot easier than moderation, who knows what moderation is? That might require reliance on the Holy Spirit, wisdom or even self control!


Deuteronomy 14:26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,


This verse brings to mind some questions which I think are quite relevant:

1) If the Lord told his people to drink "wine or strong drink" why should we think that the Lord Jesus didn’t drink these beverages when he partook of the Jewish religious ceremonies?

2) Why would their soul "lusteth after" strong drink if they never had any exposure to it? If strong drink is such an evil thing why does the Lord tell them to rejoice when they partake of it?

3) Did the Lord tell them it was OK to partake of wine and strong drink and then later change his mind? Could you trust such a fickle God to save your soul?

4) Did the Lord expect the Jewish believers to buy their strong drink from unbelievers or from believers?

David, Jacob and Gideon were polygamists. It is clear from scripture that these were great men of God, yet you’ll not find a verse where God said “ye shall marry as many women as thou wouldest have”. But he did say And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, ...or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth”


Strong drink is today the same as it always has been...alcohol! If God gave permission for one group to use it and then turned around and called it a sin for another group one would never know where one stood with such a God. He might say one day that salvation is by faith, and the next say it’s by works! Who could trust such a fickle God? Please note that the money referred to here is their tithe money!


Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.


Isn’t the God of the Old Testament the same God who said:

Mark 7:15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.

Matthew 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.


Nothing means NOTHING! If God wanted to say “something” he could have. No man was ever defiled by drink, it is what comes out of him after he has had too much that defiles him. (The truth is that it is something inside a man that makes him drink to excess that defiles him, and it is there before he ever had his first drink.)


Note the very next verse:

Matthew 15:12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?


So the Pharisees were offended by what the Lord said in verse 11. Are you also offended by this saying of Jesus? So we see that the offense mentioned in Romans 14:21 is to cause a brother to stumble or be made weak, NOT to make him angry because he doesn’t like what you say or do.


Luke 7:33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. 34 The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!

Matthew 11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. 19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.


The Pharisees were evil men but they were not stupid. If Jesus was only drinking non-alcoholic grape juice then they would have had no reason to accuse him of being a winebibber! In both of these passages Jesus plainly admits to drinking alcoholic wine, but not to being drunk! He was not a drunk, drunkenness is sin, but not drinking a little wine. Nor is it a sin to associate with drinkers.


Non alcoholic wine was not invented until after Louis Pasteur in the late 1800’s. Don’t forget alcohol is a preservative. If wine was kept in wine skins or poorly sealed bottles then the alcohol would have dissipated until it got so low that the wine would spoil. This would explain why the apostles were accused of being drunk on "new wine". Grape juice in the non-alcoholic state would only be available in the fall for a couple of weeks during harvest.


IF YOU SAY THAT DRINKING ALCOHOL IS SIN YOU ARE DENYING THE SINLESSNESS OF CHRIST AND HAVE NO SAVIOR! How could he die for your sins if he was a sinner? You are forced by your philosophy, then, to deny the literal interpretation of the Word of God!


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


From the very context of these verses the governor of the feast believed that this was alcoholic wine, if it wasn’t then Jesus would have been a deceiver. It was indistinguishable from regular wine. Wine tasters don’t even swallow their wine, yet they rinse their mouths out with water, and sometimes eat bread so the taste of one wine doesn’t affect their judgment of another!


Genesis 14:18-20 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. (isn’t Jesus a priest after the order of Melchizedek?)

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


This verse does not say “do not drink wine”, It only says not to be deceived by it If it does then Deuteronomy 14:26, Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8 are all lies! I’m not deceived, clearly this verse is aimed at those who linger long over their drink. Is one raging who has a glass of wine with their meal and then goes about their business? What about those in France, Italy and Spain who have wine at every meal? They have a lower alcoholism rate than North America! Not only this but they have less obesity and less heart disease! Allowing young people to have wine while under the supervision of their parents means that they are able to develop good drinking habits before they are able to go out on their own and buy drink without supervision.


Proverbs 21:17 He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.


This verse does not say “do not drink wine”, it only says that those who love pleasure shall not be rich. Is pleasure always a sin? We are not to love it, that’s all. We are not to waste our resources on pleasure. Is consuming oil also a sin? If so then why do you serve doughnuts boiled in oil? Since both wine and oil are mentioned in the same context we must conclude that the Lord looks on them both in the same way. This verse is merely speaking of the physical consequences of drunkenness, not the spiritual!


Proverbs 26:9 As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.


This verse does not say “do not drink wine”. It only says a drunk man has no feeling. Again it is merely speaking of the physical consequences of drunkenness, not the spiritual!


Proverbs 31:6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. 7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.


This verse does not say “do not drink wine”, It says let the poor and dying drink wine and STRONG DRINK! If this verse is not inspired of God then the same also goes for the preceding verses in Prov. 31. It may mean “the poor who are dying”, but a more likely interpretation is that the dying may drink strong drink and the poor may drink wine.


Numbers 6:20-21 And the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD: this is holy for the priest, with the wave breast and heave shoulder: and after that the Nazarite may drink wine. (After a wave offering the Nazarite was permitted to sin? No, he was permitted to drink wine but obviously not to excess)


Proverbs 23:31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.


This verse does not say “do not drink wine”, only that we are not to be captivated by wine. We are to treat it as a thing to be used, and not to waste our time thinking about it. This does not say that one can’t have it with a meal, in moderation.


Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Romans 14:20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. 21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 22 Hast thou faith? HAVE IT TO THYSELF BEFORE GOD. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. 23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.


Why is it that men only quote from verse 21 when preaching against wine? Could it be that verses 20, 22 and 23 don’t support their point? Absolutely! If a man believes he has this freedom he should have it to himself and not exercise his freedom in a way that may offend a brother or sister. i.e. perhaps don’t drink in a public place and definitely stop before you are drunk. God hates drunkenness.


Are you willing to forego eating meat when in the presence of vegetarians? Your eating habits may offend them. If you are not willing to forego meat in deference to those who are offended by it then why should others give up wine just because you are offended? These verses were specifically talking about meat, we have just applied the same principles to wine.


1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

1 Timothy 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to MUCH wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to MUCH wine, teachers of good things;


There is a difference here between the pastor or bishop and the rest of the flock. Why that little word “much”? It makes such a huge difference in the meaning. Pastors and Bishops must not be given to wine, period, but deacons and aged women should not be given to much wine. (People below the pastor are permitted a little wine.) So why do you have a higher standard than the apostle Paul? Why a higher standard than the Holy Spirit demands? Are you adding to scripture? When you tell your flock that they shouldn’t have any liquor in their house you are contradicting scripture. Aren’t you afraid the people will read their bibles and find you out?


Acts 2:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.


Why doesn’t the apostle here just say that “these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing that they always abstain from strong drink”? If it was true I have no doubt that he would have said it, if it was important to the Holy Spirit. If the apostles were preaching abstinence, this is a very strange thing to say!


I have heard a (Baptist) pastor say that the water was no good in the Holy land during the time of Christ and so they had to add a little wine to the water for it’s antiseptic qualities, to make it safe to drink. If this was true then why did Jesus ask for a drink of water from the woman at the well? If it was unsafe to drink wouldn’t she have given a different answer? Furthermore, watering down the wine would destroy it’s antiseptic qualities. I think that pastor was trying to explain away scripture.


Habakuk 2:15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!


Note that in Habakuk. 2:15 that this is one sentence. It doesn’t end with “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink”, it goes on to say that the condemnation is for those who do it for the purpose “and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!” Don’t forget the “AND” and “THAT”, they are important. Those who give drink FOR THE PURPOSE of looking on another’s nakedness are the ones condemned. Your interpretation would mean that Baptist pastors who served alcoholic wine to their flock, during the Lord’s supper service, before the invention of a preservation method for unfermented juices in the late nineteenth century, were guilty of wanting to see the nakedness of their people!


Obviously some people should not drink, they have no self control. Some people should not drive cars, they have no judgment and are a danger to themselves and everyone else, but this does not mean that everyone should abstain from driving cars. The same applies to drink, only more so: if you think it is sin then TO YOU it is sin. One who believes he has freedom should not flaunt it, “have it to thyself”.


Romans 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. (it may be a sin for you to drink, if you have little faith, but not for other believers.)

1 Corinthians 11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.


In this passage it is very clear that the church in Corinth was using alcoholic wine in their communion service. The Apostle chides them for being drunken but says nothing about what they were drinking, in fact his solution is "have ye not houses to eat and to drink in?" (have it to thyself?). This would have been the perfect opportunity to denounce strong drink. Why then doesn’t he? Again there is no condemnation for what they were drinking. Surely if they were drinking the "wrong type of wine" the Apostle, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit would have said "ye are drinking the wrong kind of wine"? This is very strange indeed!


Your preaching against alcohol is an extreme reaction to a very real problem, that of alcohol abuse. I know it would be easier if every Christian would simply renounce wine, but you and I know they won’t, scripture doesn’t demand that they should. The world can see that Jesus drank, it is very clear from scripture. Then they see Christians ban alcohol when it is plain that it is not alcohol but drunkenness that is banned by scripture, it is no wonder that they call us hypocrites. Of course it is easier to ban alcohol than exercise self control. I think this policy is a tool of the devil to keep people out of the churches, and away from the hearing of the gospel message!


I recently read "the Trial and Burning of John Huss". It is a very moving book, although I can’t agree with everything he believed (ie. transubstantiation) nevertheless I believe he was a true brother in Christ. One interesting thing is that in his last supper he had a glass of wine with his meal, but the next day as he was being tied to the stake he was offered some wine by one of the guards and he refused. He knew it was not the time to drink. The guard was overcome by conviction and promptly resigned on the spot and left town before the execution was carried out. I think that Mr. Hus was exercising the biblical directions regarding wine given in the bible.


As for me I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about these things, but I have been forced by men like you to search the scriptures and find out what I believe. I originally believed as you do, but was forced to change my views to conform with scripture.


I invite you pastor, to prove me wrong with scripture, I’m not interested in opinions unless it is the Lords opinion.


Philippians 4:5 “Let your MODERATION be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand”.


In Christ,


Dan Knezacek

17 Pratt Rd. Barrie ON L4M 2K9


Dear Brother Knezacek:”

Thank you for your letter of Dec, 6, received recently, I appreciate your concern that I be biblical in my statements from the pulpit and I assure you that is also my priority.”

Like you, I also agree Molson's ad campaign using "I Am" is indeed blasphemous and I have in the past, written the company as well as letters to the Editor about this.”

You have done a good study on wine in the Bible, however, I don't believe you have gone far enough. Please read the following information taken from The Way of life Encyclopedia and listen to the tape of a message I preached on the subject. This information will answer many of the concerns you have expressed in your letter. If you still feel your concerns have not been dealt with, let me know and we can discuss this subject further.”

1 have listened to the tape from the message on the Sunday you said I "launched into a tirade against Molson's breweries." Webster's Dictionary says a Tirade is ",.a long, vehement speech, esp. one of denunciation; harangue." The total length of time spent on making that comment was 57 seconds, which hardly qualifies as a tirade, This wasn't even a sub-point in the message, but merely a comment and was not intended to be an in- depth study on Wine in the Bible.”

You mention that the Pharisees were not stupid and would not have accused Jesus of being a winebibber if he were not drinking alcoholic beverage. Does that mean they also would not have accused Him of having a Devil, or could not have bribed false witnesses against Jesus at His trial. Oh, yes, these men were very capable of telling vicious lies.”

Not only has your study on Bible Wines not gone far enough, but your 'facts' on the problems of alcohol abuse in countries where it is in regular use has not gone far enough. The problems of alcoholism in Russia is well documented. Also the problems of obesity and heart disease may be less in those countries, hut problem of liver disease and other alcohol related problems are rampant. This is to say nothing of the mountain of social ills that come with such a society.”

After listening to my message on wine and reading the material l have included, I think you will agree that I have a sound biblical basis for standing where I do on this subject. I have not tried to answer all your concerns in this letter, since I deal with most of them in the message that is on the tape.”

I also know that I will report to God someday about what I have preached and what I had done as a pastor of this church. I know that I can stand before God with a clear conscious on this subject. Even the unsaved agree the biggest drug problem in the world today is the drug of alcohol. How could we as Christians promote it's use, even responsibly? Does your position also hold true for moderate use of marijuana, or cocaine, or tobacco? Do you really believe you can drink a beer to the 'glory of God?' All that we do should be done to His glory.”

I also have a hard time understanding the inconsistency of your position that a pastor can't drink alcohol, but Jesus could. Certainly you don't feel the position of the Pastor is of more importance in testimony and example than that of our Saviour.”

I know of one Christian lady who was unfaithful to her husband, because her inhibitions were lowered and her thinking clouded because of alcohol. Had she abstained, this situation would never have happened, I could go on an on.”

If you really want to be safe on this subject, you will abstain entirely. Any other position cannot be responsibly defended for the Christian who believes and practices holiness. The heart, here, is the issue, The heart will determine what kind of testimony we are to the world.”

I am glad you wrote, for it gives me an opportunity express to you what I believe on this subject. I am not angry with you for not agreeing, but do hope you will prayerfully consider this information.”

Sincerely, for souls,”


Pastor Roy,

Heritage Church,

Ontario, Canada

01/15/2000

Dear Pastor Roy,

Thank you for your quick reply to my letter. I was actually surprised at the speed of your response. You did read all of the verses I brought to your attention? The reason I ask is that you did not tackle Deuteronomy. 14:26 at all. I have listened to one of your tapes (the other two were blank!), and I must agree with much of what you said, however I must disagree with your ultimate conclusion. Many times you said yourself that the problem was drunkenness. This I agree with. You also said many things that I believe are half truths and even twisting of scripture. Please let me prove my point. Furthermore what you said in May of ’97 was essentially a word for word copy of the article on the Way of Life web site, which I have already read, and in fact was attempting to answer with my first letter.


I do hope you will find this to be constructive criticism and not destructive. It is not my purpose to tear you down, but to show that we can trust the Lord even when he says things we don’t like. I’m afraid my first letter may have been too antagonistic, and I appologize for that. I do hope that you don’t find this hostile or boring.


When someone asks you if you drink. You will automatically answer “No”, won’t you? You understand the word drink to mean alcohol. This is exactly the same context that Jesus said in Matthew 11:19 ‘The Son of man came eating and drinking”. So we have from his own lips that he drank wine. He was not disobeying the Old testament Laws if he drank a little alcohol. Please consider the following:


Lev. 10:9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, WHEN ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:

Ezekiel 44:21 Neither shall any priest drink wine, WHEN they enter into the inner court.


Please note that this was a temporary ban on alcohol, only WHEN ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation”. It was not a lifelong ban! The little word “when” is a part of the word of God! Please don’t ignore it. Don’t stop with “nor thy sons with thee”, surely God intended for us to read the whole verse? I notice that in the section from the Way of Life encyclopedia that you gave me, that this phrase is removed. This verse is a complete thought, they do wrong to take a part out of it! Let’s see what Websters says about the word “when” - when adv. at what time.—conj. AT THE TIME! Sometimes when people participate in “higher learning” they forget what little words mean. I hope you just forgot what what it meant, or just missed the point, because if you purposely ignored it I would call that deceitful! By the way when Jesus was at the wedding in Cana or associating with drinkers he was not in the tabernacle of the congregation nor in the inner court!


Of course he does not drink wine now that he is our high priest, not even unfermented wine: Mark 14:25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.


Numbers 28:7 And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one lamb: in the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto the LORD for a drink offering.


Please note that the Lord required STRONG WINE to be poured unto the Lord as part of the drink offering. How could it be called a drink offering if it wasn’t consumed as a drink? You say wine is unclean. Are you saying that the Lord required an unclean thing on his alter? Strong Wine is alcoholic wine! I can only echo the Lord in this case:


Acts 10:15 What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.


Since you didn’t respond to Deuteronomy. 14:26 I will repeat what I said, but first I must ask; Was the Lord commanding the Jews to partake of something unclean in their worship of Him? It is my belief, (given 1 Corinthians 10:26 For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.) that wine is a holy thing, or at least a clean thing that should be treated with respect and not abused. Certainly everything that exists belongs to the Lord, and nothing should be abused, including food or wine.:


Deuteronomy 14:26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,


This verse brings to mind some questions which I think are quite relevant:


1) If the Lord told his people to drink "wine or strong drink" why should we think that the Lord Jesus didn’t drink these beverages when he partook of the Jewish religious ceremonies?


2) Why would their soul "lusteth after" strong drink if they never had any exposure to it? If strong drink is such an evil thing why does the Lord tell them to rejoice when they partake of it? (lust in this context simply means “to have a passionate desire”)


3) Did the Lord tell them it was OK to partake of wine and strong drink and then later change his mind? Could you trust such a fickle God to save your soul? Maybe a million years into eternity he might say “I’m tired of all these glorified believers, I think I’ll just toss them out into utter darkness”! If God gave permission for one group to use it and then turned around and called it a sin for another group we would never know where we stood. He might say one day that salvation is by faith, and the next say it’s by works!


4) Did the Lord expect the Jewish believers to buy their strong drink from unbelievers or from believers?


Strong drink is today the same as it always has been...alcohol! Please note also that the money referred to here is their tithe money!


Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.


You also quoted 2 Cor. 6:17 out of context. Lets look at the context:


2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,


What God is calling unclean is idols and unbelievers, not alcohol! We are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, and believe me, I know the pain that results from this!


Jesus said: Mark 7:15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.


Matthew 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.


Paul also said: Romans 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.


Nothing means NOTHING! If God wanted to say “something” he could have. What is it to be defiled? Is not one who sins defiled? Jesus said that something going in the mouth will not defile a man! Do you believe Jesus or not? I’m asking you to trust him in this, even though it goes against the grain. No man was ever defiled by drink, it is what comes out of him after he has had too much that defiles him. Yes that also applies to caffeine, marijuana and even cocaine. One cc of pure caffeine will kill you, yet you drink it on a regular basis. (My mistake; pastor Roy does not drink coffee, cola or anything that has caffeine in it, though his Church does serve it after the service on Sunday mornings. He is consistent in this.)


It also causes health problems in some of us! Did you know that chocolate, besides caffeine, has a chemical in it that is a close relative of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana? No wonder chocolate is addictive! Are you defiled when you eat chocolate? Caffeine is a drug, and an addictive substance, this is a proven fact, why do you think the soft drink makers put it in their pop? Are you saying that you can decide which drug is OK to use and which is not? People who smoke don’t get any more effect than people who drink coffee, so why is one OK and one not? I know some Christians who don’t drink alcohol or coffee, tea or cola or smoke. While I don’t agree with them, I have much respect for their consistency. I don’t believe you are consistent! You said in your tape that you wouldn’t eat food that was cooked in wine, even though the alcohol would have dissipated. I suspect that if you look in your closets you will find some vanilla flavoring or lemon or almond or perhaps some other flavor. You may even find a bottle of Scope or Nyquil. All of these things also contain alcohol. If it is a sin to touch even a little alcohol then I think it is likely that you have some confessing to do.


By the way I think that what Paul meant in Romans 14:14 is that if you think that the Lord commanded you not to do something, even if you are wrong and he really allows it, you would be sinning to do it because you are rebelling against your own understanding of God.


As for me being inconsistent with my statements on the following...

1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

1 Timothy 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to MUCH wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to MUCH wine, teachers of good things;


I think you are accusing the Lord of being inconsistent, it’s what He says, not me!


I found I had to look up the word “given” - “naturally disposed toward.” usually followed by “to”. So, it doesn’t mean he can’t partake of wine or strong drink, only that he can’t be naturally disposed toward it. I don’t have a problem with pastors having a little wine at the Lords supper, even alcoholic wine. I think pastors could have a little wine on occasion, but not as a regular thing, isn’t that what this passage says? It also makes a distinction between a pastor and one of lower position. Since this is the Word of the Lord we must conclude that, while we are all priests, there is a difference in the requirements for some priests than others.


Let me give an example of what I think it means by “not given to wine”: A few years ago I read in the introduction of a book about cartooning techniques an account of a dinner given to honour the cartoonist Charles Schultz, the creator of Charlie Brown. The author, an unbelieving journalist, noticed that Mr. Schultz barely touched his wine. He had a few sips but didn’t even finish one glass. This behaviour was quite perplexing to the author, to the point that he even made mention of it in a book. I don’t know if it did but it’s the type of behaviour that could lead to witnessing opportunities. Mr. Schultz was not given to wine, in my opinion.


In your letter you passed on a part of the Way of Life encyclopedia, which I am already familiar with. (I’ve had correspondence with David Cloud, his ministry is partly why we are attending Heritage). In the section titled “IS IT ALRIGHT FOR A CHRISTIAN TO DRINK MODERATELY?” it says;


1) " No, even slight drinking impairs one’s thinking and lowers alertness to spiritual danger(1 Pe. 5:8,9). When I looked at this verse it does not say what he just said it says. It says “be sober, be vigilant”. It does not say in the least that one should not have any alcohol! What is sober to one person may be two or three drinks to another. When a man drives to Toronto, works a 12 hour shift or more, and then drives home, he is already impaired (by fatigue) without drinking any alcohol! He is sober, yet slightly impaired."


2) “No, Christians are not to be controlled by liquor (Eph5:18)” This is true but he forgot the phrase “wherein is excess”. Only those who drink to excess are controlled by liquor. It says that in Eph 5:18!


  1. "The Bible does not forbid priests to drink, only “WHEN ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation” In Isaiah 28:7 The priests did err through wine but given the above it was either because they drank it while on duty or more likely that they became drunk since it says “they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.” This is not describing one who drinks moderately, is it? These were people who were stoned!"

  2. No, Christians are not to touch the unclean thing.” I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself” Here you and the author add to scripture as well as take it out of context. Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

  3. No, Christians are to abstain from every form of evil” Here he quoted from the NIV, the actual word is “appearance” not “form”. Is there an appearance of evil when you take a glass and put it to your lips? Don’t forget that drinking juice or wine or ginger ale looks exactly the same to an observer. You appear evil when you act drunk, even if you’ve had no wine, like the “Toronto Blessing”. He is also assuming that drinking is a form of evil. Given Deuteronomy 14:26 and all the verses quoted here this assumption is just plain wrong. He doesn’t have a leg to stand on!

  4. No, Christians who drink cause others to stumble: Romans 14:21” It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. So what does verse 22 mean? Does it mean “you have freedom but don’t exercise it”? Or does it mean that one who has faith and freedom must exercise the utmost caution so he doesn’t cause a weaker brother to stumble? I think the latter is most likely true. Why do you, and they, only use verse 21? Isn’t the rest part of the word of God? To say that Christians who drink cause others to stumble is only the opinion of the author, and is also an assumption that it must always be the case. The verse in question leaves it up to the judgment of the reader. It is not saying that drinking will always cause a brother to stumble, otherwise it would also be saying that about eating flesh. We know the apostles didn’t have a problem with eating flesh, but some did: Romans 14: 15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of: The whole of Romans 14 deserves much study, but since we haven’t the time I just wan’t to briefly point out that this doesn’t mean that one should never eat meat, but to be careful and wise when one does, the same goes for wine and strong drink. I submit to you that IF ONE IS ABLE TO DRINK ALCOHOL WITHOUT OFFENDING A BROTHER THEN ONE IS FREE TO DO SO. Romans 14 also talks about keeping days. Are you aware that some Christians are offended when you keep Dec. 25 as the Lords birthday? Is their faith going to be made weak if you keep Christmas? Is your faith going to be made weak if a brother has a little wine? I know that some brothers will be made weak, specifically former alcoholics. So clearly one shouldn’t drink when he doesn’t know the spiritual condition of his companions.

  5. No, wine is a mocker and a deceiver(Proverbs.20:1)” Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Is one who has one glass of wine “raging”? Only one who is drunk is mocked by wine.


Regarding Phil. 4:5 Mr. Lackey implies that the KJV translators were wrong to use the word MODERATION in this instance. He says that since the same word was translated differently in other places that it really can’t mean MODERATION. So here we have an instance of “higher criticism” showing it’s ugly head even amongst fundamentalists, the hour indeed is late! Obviously MODERATION is another meaning of the word and the Lord led the translators to this particular translation. If the KJV isn’t perfect then we may as well use the new translations. The Catholics use the same tactic when they say that the word brother can also mean cousins, and Jesus is really an only child, and Mary died a virgin! I think I’ll trust God’s book rather than a man who hasn’t even lived 100 years yet!


It seems to me that you are very careful to pick and choose the verses you will use. If you use all the verses that contain wine and strong drink, you can only come to one conclusion, that wine and strong drink are acceptable when used in moderation and care.


Regarding the problems in Russia and the social ills that come with such a society. Where does it say that the church is to concern itself with the problems of this world? Those problems would be there whether or not alcohol was present in that society! As you said their problem is a heart problem not an alcohol problem. The alcohol ABUSE is a symptom, not the root cause. Not only this but if all the problems in society were solved no one would ever think they need a saviour. How many “moderate drinkers” ever come to you for help? I expect the answer is none, or very few, but they are in the majority of drinkers. Only those that come to the end of themselves realize that they need a Saviour.


As for the woman who committed adultery when her inhibitions were lowered due to alcohol use. It reminds me of Flip Wilson in the 70’s saying “da devil made me do it!”. I don’t believe the devil ever “made” anyone sin, and neither did alcohol make her sin. I think adultery was already in her heart before she had the first sip. What was she doing drinking without her husband present anyway? Why was she drinking in the presence of another man? Did she have no regard for the warnings about wine in the bible? Though moderate drinking may be acceptable, those warnings are still there. I think you have oversimplified the situation. I think she is looking for someone or something else to blame instead of bearing the responsibility herself. Yes too much alcohol will lower ones inhibitions, but it is that which is already present that will come out. If a man has anger or hate in his heart he may beat his wife or children when he is drunk. If they can’t take one drink without having another they shouldn’t have the first. But this doesn’t mean that no one should drink, only those who have a problem with it.


The author says that “Christ did not come to cause others to stumble!” Please look at the following verses:


Isaiah 8:14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

1 Peter 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.


So, many were predicted to stumble over Jesus, yes they stumble over the cross but this does not rule out other things that they might stumble over. I don’t think the author is being totally honest.


A few years ago my son’s Sunday school teacher (at Emmanuel Baptist) told the class that drinking is a sin. He went home and told his mother that drinking was a sin (he was 5 years old at the time). My ex-wife and her husband were offended and told him that if I took him to church again that they would come and physically remove him from the premises. This caused such a big problem (and many sleepless nights) that we ended up going to a counsellor over it. The unbelieving (I think) counsellor convinced them that it was OK for Alex to go to church with me. The sad thing is that it was totally unnecessary. I also believe that it has permanently prejudiced two people against ever darkening the doorway of a Baptist church!


Many Great Christian leaders over the centuries had no problem if a brother had a little alcohol, including, but not limited to, John Huss and Martin Luther. The Primitive Baptists also use fermented wine in their Lord’s Supper services. I disagree with their Calvinism but not to this particular practice, they have sound reasons for doing it. I have recently read a book that identifies the teaching, that drinking wine is sinfull, as a part of the Great Apostasy. At first I was a little offended, but I looked in the scriptures and found that it seems he was right. I don’t believe that this teaching is much over 100-150 years old. Yes preachers of old did preach against drunkenness, but I have not seen any evidence that it extended to alcohol itself. I suppose it’s possible that a few did, but as seen above it was and is unscriptural.


I don’t have a problem if you say “I don’t recommend anyone drinking”. Neither does it bother me if you say that “drinking alcohol is risky”. If you want to preach against drunkenness I’ll back you 100%. But when you make a blanket statement that “we are commanded not to drink liquor” this is not true. When you say drinking is sin you are missrepresenting the bible, and inducing contradictions to scripture. Maybe it is if one “drinks with offence”, but this does not mean that it is always a sin. When you say that priests were commanded not to drink wine or strong drink you have only spoken a half truth. Don’t be afraid of the whole truth.


If you really believe Christians shouldn’t drink, there are some verses you could use without saying drinking is sin, for instance:


Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.


So for some people self denial probably does mean abstaining from drink. I don’t think it is required of the Lord for everyone, but perhaps he will honour those who give up alcohol, of their own free will, as a sacrifice to him. In the Old Testament they did not sacrifice unclean things to God, but clean. Perhaps it is reasonable to ask the Lord’s people to make a sacrifice of something that’s a legitimate right. I don’t think it’s right to demand it, since the Lord himself doesn’t do so.


There are a couple of verses that neither you nor the Way of Life Encyclopedia have brought up, and even I forgot about, but I believe they bear strongly on the topic at hand:


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

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


One who is drunk is clearly under the power of alcohol, but these verses don’t say specifically alcohol. Since it doesn’t specifically mention any substance by name I believe it is up to the individual believer which ones apply to him. (Just because one may do something it doesn’t mean one must do it) I think the principles here can be applied to a number of substances. If I have coffee in the evening I will not sleep that night, or maybe I’ll get a couple hours of sleep, so I would be under the power of caffeine. Therefore I rarely drink regular coffee and if I do it shouldn’t be after six in the evening, otherwise I suffer consequences for some time. One who is a drug addict is also under the power of drugs, and should avoid them. The problem is that some people can live an entire lifetime drinking a little wine, and never get drunk. These people are never controlled by alcohol and they know it. They may not commit adultery, rob or commit murder. Their only sin may be covetousness or impure thoughts. When you say that drinking is sin they know from their own experience that they are self controlled and not sinning, and they may end up rejecting the entire message. I believe this is a tragedy, although the Lord did predict it himself when he said “for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”


I have not brought into the discussion the health benefits of drinking that science has discovered. If alcohol were the most healthy drink in the world, but the bible said not to drink it, one would be a fool to do so. But I think I have proved that the bible does not command abstinence. And there are health benefits to moderate consumption of alcohol. If the doctor prescribed one pill a day and you saved it up and took them all on a Saturday night, would you expect to get any health benefit? Not only does the grape part of red wine help lower the LDL Cholesterol, (and this benefit can be gained by regular eating of grapes), but the alcohol itself stimulates the liver to produce the good cholesterol or HDL. The only other way to increase the HDL is through exercise. By the way aerobic exercise produces a type of alcohol in your body, it partially breaks down sugars without oxygen. I believe that this alcohol is what stimulates the liver to produce HDL cholesterol. (Ever hear of “runners high”?)(this is not the same type of alcohol that one gets from a bottle, but it is definitely a type of alcohol)


After listening to your tape on wine in the bible I don’t believe you have a sound biblical basis for where you stand. I think you have ignored some important verses in the bible, and others you have taken out of context. I don’t think a man of God needs to do that.


I thank you for what you said about bible study on Sunday, it’s too bad more people didn’t hear it. Some I have met think you are a proud or a hard man, but what I heard on Sunday was a man truly seeking the will of God for himself and his people. I have prayed much about this issue and believe that what I have said is biblical. The Lord did show me that I needed to make some changes to my letter. However I still believe that this viewpoint is the only one that harmonizes all of scripture, I don’t have to be afraid of any verse. While I haven’t used every verse that touches upon this subject, the ones I have used are representative of the others.


Your brother in Christ,

Dan Knezacek


03/16/2000

Dear Pastor Roy,


First I want to congratulate you on your series on “things that you know for sure”. I have seldom heard such clear preaching on those subjects. Very well done! When you are preaching on matters that are not so clear may I suggest you point out that certain things are your own opinion and others may come to different interpretations on certain matters? (wine, meat, Christmas and tithing for instance)


I am sorry to hear that one of your parents was an alcoholic. Was it your father? I am glad to hear that he was saved before he died. Was your mother ever saved, I hope so. I don’t believe that your alcoholic parent sinned by drinking, but they did by getting drunk. I do hope they repented. Of course as you know we are all sinners before ever taking a drop of alcohol.


I took the liberty of OCRing your letter so we can see exactly what we are talking about. Your letter is in Times and mine in Arial. Bible quotations are in “Bible Script”. I am sorry you feel I “avoided” certain verses. I was trying to save time by not pointing out verses you already knew. I have taken more time this time around and done what I think is a more thorough job. Unfortunately it will take more time for you to read it, but I ask you to do so as last time you missed some of the things I said, and accused me of avoiding some verses that I did not!


January 27, 2000

Mr. Dan Knezacek, Barrie ON 


Dear Brother Dan:”

Thank you for taking the time to do a further study and presentation concerning your convictions as they relate to alcohol.”

You have presented a very strong case and have researched the subject in depth. It has made me take a fresh look at this subject. I see now that I may not be able to prove from specific Scriptures that abstinence is taught in the Bible. However, as I will show you, I still believe it is wrong for the Christian to drink alcohol..by applying other principals of Scripture.”

Something else you should know. I grew up in the home of an alcoholic which has, no doubt, had an effect on my thinking. “Because of what I saw in my home, I determined at a young age, before I was saved, that alcohol would never be a part of my life.

Now, just a few comments on your letter and then some conclusions.

You asked if I would automatically answer ’no’ if asked if I drink. You assumed my answer incorrectly. My usual reply is..”Drink what?”


This is the way the English language is used. No one asks “do you drink?” meaning do you drink anything! People only ask that particular question if they want to know if you drink alcohol. I believe you know this and are just rebelling against the English language. You are just being stubborn because you don’t like the fact that “alcohol” is understood in the question. (Stubbornness is not always wrong, but in this case I think it is unreasonable)


And because Jesus said He came ”eating and drinking” does not indicate he drank strong drink. Just as we cannot infer from that statement that He ate anything he should not eat (lobster, snails, etc.), we cannot assume he drank anything he should not have drunk.”


Luke 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John…He was giving them something NEW and they didn’t like it! The Jews were specifically commanded NOT to eat lobster, snails, pork etc., they were not commanded to abstain from drinking wine!


You use Le. 10:9 to show the use of alcohol was only a temporary ban, while in the tabernacle. However, it would appear from this instruction that Nadab and Abihu had acted under the influence of alcohol. This is one of the finest examples in Scripture against the use and abuse of alcoho1 or drugs. The priest is to serve the Lord with a clear, steady, and sober mind.”


My point exactly. Abuse not use. Nadab and Abihu were under orders not to drink alcohol when on duty. It’s clear that they did so in direct disobedience to the Lord and lost their lives for it! They offered strange fire because they were drunk.


Today we are priests and He expects no less of us. The believer is to draw his dynamic and his zeal from the Spirit of the Lord and not from frail and human props. This passage is in fact a wonderful lesson against drugs and alcohol for us today.”


Don’t forget that believers in the old testament were also a kingdom of priests, yet they were not prohibited from drinking (Deuteronomy 14:26). There is a difference between the believer as priest and an ordained priest.


Exodus 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.


You never answered: 1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;


Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;


There is a difference between the requirements for Bishops and Deacons, both are also PRIESTS. That difference has to do with the word “MUCH”. Why do you ignore a specific command to the church?


I admit that I do not know as much about the ’drink offering’ as I would like to know, but it is obvious the drink offering was not consumed...it was poured out. My understanding is that is a picture or symbol of our sins. We bring them to the alter of God and pour them out..and He cleanses and forgives us. This offering was to be a continual offering..daily...even as our confession is to be daily.”


Numbers 18:12 All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto the LORD, them have I given thee.

Numbers 28:7 And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one lamb: in the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto the LORD for a drink offering.


If the Lord called the alcoholic wine the ”best of the wine”, why wouldn’t he allow them to drink it? Of course we see in Deuteronomy. 14:26 that He did indeed allow them to partake of it! How would they know it was the best unless they were able to taste it?


If God had a ban on people having strong drink in them when they were in the Old Testament Tabernacle and temple...because that was the dwelling place of God...don’t you think He would want the same restriction in His dwelling place now...our bodies? God wants to be the One Who has exclusive influence over our bodies. That’s why we are to be ’filled with the Spirit’...as opposed to being influenced by wine.”


The Ban was only for the priests while on duty, and not for everyone, as we see in Deuteronomy 14:26 those who were not priests were allowed strong drink as part of their worship. (they were a Kingdom of Priests, but not in the same sense as the sons of Aaron) Please see 1 Timothy 3:8 and Titus 2:3. He answered your objection in his directions to deacons and older women. We don’t have to use principles garnered from other subjects and apply them to this one when the Lord specifically spoke of alcohol.


Deuteronomy. 14:26 is admittedly a difficult verse to explain...and I will need to do more research on it.”


Why don’t you just admit the plain teaching of this verse? When you say you need to do more research on this verse, I think you mean that you will have to figure out a way to explain it away! To make it null and void! The language is plain, there is no hidden esoteric meaning. God wants you to accept him and his word at face value!


Your reasoning is flawed when you quote Mark. 7:15, Matthew. 15:11 and Rom. 14:14.

Jesus did not mean by this that a person can swallow anything without being defiled. Never! What about swallowing cocaine, which you seem to defend?”


A person is not defiled if he takes cocaine! Unwise perhaps, but not defiled. Listen to Jesus! They are defiled by what is in their heart, what comes out of the man, like the things they do to support their habit, things like theft and robbery! They are also allowing something to have them in it’s power, definitely an undesirable state, but it doesn’t mean that they are defiled. Here you are using human reasoning instead of just trusting the Lord.


Jesus was talking about eating with unwashed hands, nothing else! The Pharisees thought dirt was defiling. They made a religion of washing hands, touching nothing without a ceremonious cleansing of the hands. Jesus was appalled at the sight of evil-minded men more concerned about dirty hands than dirty minds. He was saying to His disciples, ”It’s not the dirt that defiles; it’s their attitude. Dirt just passes through the body into the drain.” He was referring to dirt only - nothing else.”


Mark 7:18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;

19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?


As usual Jesus went far beyond the subject of the moment. If he was just talking about dirt why did he use the term “purging all meats” in verse 19. As you know “meat” is used in the KJV to refer to all foods, (anything that comes in via the mouth). Just in case we didn’t understand what he meant by “nothing” he also used the term “whatsoeverin verse 18. “Nothing” means “no thing or not anything”. “Whatsoever” means “ anything which; of what kind it may be”. Look it up. He used an unlimited word, because he was refering to anything at all! The pharisees knew what he meant and were offended. It seems to me that you also are offended by these teachings of Jesus! At this point He had done away with the Law, although alcohol was never prohibited by the law anyway;


Luke 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

Matthew 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.


Regarding Romans 14 I would point out to you that Paul mentions “drink” in verse 17 and “WINE” in verse 21. I was not taking anything out of context! You are the one taking things out of context! You are the one trying to limit God and put a yoke on His Church! You don’t like what the bible says so you try to change it!


That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man” (Mk. 7:20)...you didn’t go far enough..in your quotes. It is not the alcohol that goes into the man that defiles him as much as it is the decision that came from the heart to drink alcoholic beverages.”

What are the sins that come out of the heart which defile a man? Covetousness, foolishness, pride, evil thoughts, an evil eye, wickedness - and the like. The thought of drinking alcoholic beverages is an act of defilement. Actually doing it is following through to completion an evil thought already committed in the mind.”


Nonsense. (This would be true if the subject were murder, however desiring a drink is something that everyone experiences every day. Desiring to get drunk is the sin Jesus was talking about here.) If one wants the health benefits that come with moderate drinking is that an evil thought? If your doctor gives you a drug to cure what ails you is it an evil thought to want to be well?


1 Corinthians 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.


What if your doctor gives you advice that includes moderate drinking to help with your cholesterol problems? I know what your first reply would be: “go to a different doctor”. Are you saying that heart patients should ignore the advice of their doctors? Are you saying that we should look for doctors that tell us what we want to hear? Are you giving medical advice without studying medicine? I can tell you that a couple of years ago the Canadian Medical Association voted to recommend moderate wine drinking to people who have problems with cholesterol. One would have to leave the country to find such a doctor, or else search very hard to find a quack who would go against the evidence and the recommendations of the C.M.A.! The evidence supports the fact that moderate drinkers have an average 3% longer life span than abstainers. I will include some of that evidence with this letter.


It is the sin of foolishness to drink when the evidence is so clear that it offends young converts.” (Pastor, you just used “drink” in the same context as the Lord Jesus in Matthew 11:18 & 19!)


I believe your understanding of the word “to offend” is somewhat clouded by the modern meaning and therefore mistaken in this context. It does not mean to displease or make angry, but to cause a brother to stumble, sin or lose his faith.


Romans 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.

Romans 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

These three words are synonymous in this passage (stumbleth, offended or made weak).

Matthew 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Matthew 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.


So the meaning of “offended” in the bible is to cause one to fall away from the faith, or to sin, NOT to make him angry or displeased! I don’t mind if you are angry at what I am saying, you are really angry at God not me!


It is the sin of pride to drink when so many today are becoming drunkards.”


In the 1830's the average American aged 15 or older consumed over seven gallons of absolute alcohol (resulting from an average of 9 1/2 gallons of spirits, 1/2 gallon of wine, and 27 gallons of beer), a quantity about three times the current rate.16”

16.Clark, N. H. Deliver Us From Evil: An Interpretation of American Prohibition. New York: Norton, 1976, p. 20; Asbury, Herbert. The Great Illusion: An Informal History of Prohibition.New York: Greenwood Press, 1968 (originally published 1950); Rorabaugh, W. J. The Alcoholic Republic. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979, Appendix 1.


How many are becoming drunkards? The fact is that modern day North Americans drink on average 1/3 of what our forefathers drank 170 years ago. (They must have been a very wicked people!) Conversely if this is true (and it is) we must now be in the midst of a great spiritual revival (if your theories are correct!)! So we see then that the amount of alcohol consumed (per capita) has very little relationship to the spiritual condition of a nation!


It is that self-pride that flaunts itself in the face of all the evidence, as if to say, ”I’m not that way; I can handle it in moderation; I’m in control of my appetites.” It is nothing but self- pride. It is the sin of covetousness to drink for self-gratification. He covets the taste; he covets the effect; he covets the pleasure. It is the sin of deceitfulness to witness a drunken society given over to adultery, and all forms of evil born of alcohol and then drink what they are drinking, as if immune to the same kind of alcohol-induced sins. Name any of the sins Jesus listed as defiling to a man, and you can trace every one of them to alcohol.”


I guess this means that if we don’t drink we will be immune to sin?


Drinking is not the sin. The decision to drink is the sin. For whatsoever a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Out of the abundance of the heart, an man drinks. A man is defiled by alcohol long before a drop of it touches his lips. These are all sins of the heart, coming out of the inner man. Jesus said a man commits adultery by merely looking on a woman with lust. But the same measure, the Bible warns, don’t look on the wine when it is red...and biteth..fermented.”


Another misquote. The word “fermented” is not in the bible!


To look is to covet.”


I would agree with you in this one. One who is constantly remembering the feelings of drunkenness is coveting wine, no doubt. The problem is that many who drink an occasional glass of wine don’t want to get drunk and simply have it as a part of the meal. It is no big deal to them and they have no interest in becoming drunk! They don’t spend their time planning their next big drunk but just look at wine as an enhancement to the enjoyment of their meal.


God places some obvious restrictions on what we do with our bodies. He sets up certain parameters and then gives us freedom to move with liberty and freedom within those parameters. It’s like driving on the highway. As long as you obey certain laws, you are free and at liberty to use the highway.”


Exactly! God has given us the freedom to partake of strong drink, but we are not allowed to get drunk!


Following your argument for moderation, moderate fornication, moderate adultery, moderate lying, moderate drug taking (which you seemed to defend)..and alcohol is a drug..would all be acceptable. If we are going to use your logic, we must agree a little bit of these things are all permitted...in keeping with the concept of moderation.”

Who is the referee in this moderation game many Christians play? You may be offended by adultery. By the same measure, I am offended by drinking Christians. Which one of us has the greater right to be offended? Who is the judge?”


Here you go putting words in my mouth! God gave specific permission for his people to use alcohol in Deuteronomy 14:26 also in 1Timothy 3:8 and Titus 2:3. He never did that with adultery, fornication or lying etc. Your logic is flawed! As far as the word “offended” is concerned please see the above exposition on that word.


You believe it is okay to drink as long as it is not ’in excess.’ The Bible warns of ’excess of rioting in I Pet. 4:4. Does this imply that rioting is permitted within reasonable limits?”


The problem here is that RIOTING IS the excess, just as DRUNKENNESS IS the excess.


Never! Read again this Bible reference to moderation: ”Let you moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand” (Phil. 4:5). How incongruous to say to drinkers, ”Drink within limits, because the Lord is at hand!”


I think that here he is talking to people who formerly might have gotten drunk, and is encouraging them to be self controlled, now that they are saved! It fits perfectly. Moderation means to not drink too much! In that society where wine was served at practically every meal he was saying “don’t overdo it, you could meet the Lord at any time”.


Would men preparing for the returning of the Lord be encouraged to drink a beverage such as alcohol?

"The truth is, these Christians at Philippi had been suffering terrible persecutions. They were being exhorted to be patient, gentle, and mild, because Christ was soon to come. There is not the remotest reference to drinking. They were being admonished to react to all their persecutions with mildness.”


I think Paul here is saying “don’t drink too much, the Lord is at hand”, or “don’t drink to excess and get drunk, for the Lord is at hand”. Perhaps he is saying “don’t react to your troubles by drinking too much and getting drunk, for the Lord is at hand”. It may be possisble that I have taken this a little out of context, I admit, but you do precisely the same thing when you say “touch not the unclean thing”. There is no place where the bible says that wine is unclean. If you can do it then why can’t I? Are your rules of scripture interpretation different than those that apply to me?


Jesus is our sinless High Priest and he ate with publicans and sinners and drank the pure juice of the vine. But I believe He did not touch the cup when its contents were ’red and biting” (Pro. 23:31-32...verses you have avoided)”


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


Obviously these are a reference to being intoxicated it says nothing about abstinence! It is a reference to those who long for a drink all the time. This goes along with what I said above about coveting wine.


To have done so would have been a violation of the Scripture and disqualified Him as our Redeemer.”


Not to have done so would have disqualified him as our redeemer! Please see Genesis 49:11 & 12, a prophecy about Jesus Christ Himself!


Genesis 49:11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: 12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.


Solomon said, ”Woe ...to them who seek mixed wine(fermented). Pro. 23:29,30...You won’t like those verses.”


The condemnation is to them who SEEK MIXED WINE! It is a reference to those who are always seeking to get drunk. Who want to mix different alcoholic beverages to get more alcohol. I don’t have a problem with this verse. It’s true, but not the way you have added to it!


Christ’s first miracle in Cana of Galilee is one of the most misunderstood passages in the Bible. Jesus did turn water into wine. But here is absolutely no foundation in Scripture to back the assumption that it was alcoholic. This is an important point. If Jesus did it, we should all do it...children and all.”


Absolutely! In societies where children have sips of wine during religious services they have far less problems with drunkenness when they are grown up! It is a proven fact that moderate exposure when young gives them the abillity to be self controled when they are older. On the other hand there are things that are only for adults, like sex, but I don’t think alcohol falls into this category.


Not all wine is alcoholic any more than all cider is hard. It is inconceivable to me that our blessed Lord would ever produce an intoxicant or that He used fermented wine at Passover as the symbol of His own shed blood. (Deuteronomy 14:26 would indicate otherwise) Fermented wine is decayed wine.”


No, fermented wine has the decay process ARRESTED! STOPPED! It has NEW LIFE! It is the dead blood of the grape given a NEW BIRTH, and that with power! What a picture of the new birth of the Christian! The power of God is not something that should be toyed with or taken lightly, however, and neither should wine! Alcoholic wine is often quite bitter, this is a symbol of the bitter cup that the Lord took on our behalf! It is sweet for us that he took it, but to him it was very bitter.


Can that be the symbol of the new life in the Spirit?”


YES! The alcohol KILLS THE YEAST that made it, is this not a perfect picture of Gods judgment on sin? When we sin it has the potential to destroy us. Christ was judged in our stead!


Leaven is only the yeast, which is removed from wine! By the way Wine vinegar is decayed wine! Which He tasted on the cross!


His holy flesh never saw decay or corruption. The cup of the Lord and the cup of the devil are two entirely different things.”


1 Corinthians 10:19 says nothing about fermented wine, it is only talking about that which is sacrificed to idols. So if they put wine on the altar to the idols and then drank it, it would be the cup of devils, fermented OR NOT! I don’t believe that the reference to the “cup of devils” is a reference to a physical thing, however, just as the cup of God’s wrath is not a reference to a physical cup of juice but to his righteous indignation.


Jesus also created bread to feed the 5000, but it was fresh bread, not moldy bread.”


It could have been leavened bread made with yeast, probably was. They were only commanded not to use it during their passover feast.


Nor did He create rotten fish. Christ is the Creator of life, not death! Would Christ produce something that had the potential to destroy them?”


Would doctors give their sick patients something that has the potential to destroy them? Yes, a thousand times YES! When I was a boy we used Warfarin to kill rats in our barn. Imagine my surprise a couple of years ago when I found out that doctors are now prescribing Warfarin to their heart patients! It’s true, and they didn’t even change the name! Of course they give them moderate doses! If taken to excess any drug will kill, even aspirin, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t have their place!


In the photocopy you gave me it says that we have much better pain relieving medications today than alcohol. Have you looked at what they give for pain relief? Morphine, Demerol and Codeine! All are far more addictive than alcohol, plus Morphine and Demerol are Opiates! Derived from opium! Over 1 million Canadians are addicted to these “better pain relievers”, twice as many as street drugs! I myself have been given Demerol twice during medical procedures, yet I am not addicted to it. It seems to me that one is addicted when one wants to be addicted!


Evidence has shown that Alcohol is a major contributor to hundreds of thousands of birth defects each year. Just two ounces of alcohol per day puts the fetus in a 10% risk category, and all pregnant mothers are being asked to abstain form drink even a drop of alcoholic beverage during the nine months of pregnancy. Is Jesus going to serve that at a wedding? I think not!”


The way you say that it sound’s like a little bit of alcohol will cause F.A.S. The fact is that two ounces of alcohol a day is equivalent to 14 drinks a week. That’s a lot of alcohol! This does not mean two ounces of beer, but two BOTTLES of beer! A twelve ounce bottle of beer contains approximately one ounce of alcohol just as a GLASS of wine or a mixed drink has about one ounce each! The information I have is that 8 drinks a week or more may cause some slight problems, the information you quote is more liberal! I will include an article on F.A.S. with this letter.


Drinking of any alcoholic beverage is absolutely contrary to the character and teaching of Jesus. It is not in keeping with His sinless, perfect life. It is not a standard He would set for true followers.” “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise(Pro. 20:1)...another verse you avoided.” ????


If you had read my whole letter you would have known that I did not avoid that verse! Go back and look at the section where I was talking about the Way of Life Encyclopedia! Please try to be more careful in the future.


How could Jesus, the Fountain of all wisdom and truth, not know and fulfill that teaching? Would Jesus produce a mocking and raging drink to satisfy the fleshly appetites of those at the wedding? There is no evidence as to the type of wine Jesus made, only that it was better.”

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


Here we have a clear indication that what was considered better in that day was indeed alcoholic wine, and it comes from the lips of our Saviour himself!


Often the unfermented wine of the Bible times was more highly desirable than the fermented.”


So it must have been used to sacrifice to idols, since they would have given their "best" to their gods.


It was called ”nectar” or ”ambrosia” ..for of the gods. (precisely) This is why guest at the wedding of Cana said, ”The best was saved for the last” ..it was the pure fruit of the vine. (“The OLD IS BETTER!”)


The word juice does not appear in the New Testament and appears only once in the Old. All fruit of the vine was called wine, whether it was fermented or not. There are thirteen different words used in the Bible which are interpreted as wine, nine in Hebrew and Chaldee, and four in Greek. The common work in Greek was oinos. These Greek words correspond to yayin or yain in Hebrew, and wine in English.”


In the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures of Jesus’ time, the Hebrew word for grape juice is translated 33 times as the Greek word oinos. It is also used to denote other kinds of drinks, such as lotus fruit and dates.”


The root of this word in Hebrew is yain or wine. The word does not refer only to intoxicating wine, made by fermentation, but more so to a thick, unintoxicating syrup or jam produced by boiling to make it storable. This thick substance was stored in skin bottles.”


The grape syrup was stored in new wineskins to prevent fermentation.”


The Old Testament used the word “mishrah”, meaning grape juice, only once in relation to the Nazirite vows. This shows us that the substance used the rest of the time was indeed alcoholic wine. The New Testament writers also had a word available that meant “must” or grape juice: “trux”. This word was available to them, but not used, because that is NOT what people were drinking. (http://www.cuf.org/FileDownloads/wine.pdf (accessed 11/07/2010), http://www.rbvincent.com/BibleStudies/wine.htm (accessed 11/07/2010), 

http://criswell.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/ctrgentryformatted.pdf (accessed 11/07/2010)


Mixing wine with water was a sign of poverty, and the Lord's hand against them!


Isaiah 1:22 Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:


It was referred to as 'new wine.’”


New Wine” was alcoholic wine. Please see Hosea 4:11, Joel 1:5 and Acts 2:13.


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

Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth. Joel 1:5


Old wineskins induced fermentation, just as improper canning procedures today can cause decay. This thick syrup was similar our grape jellies and could be squeezed out of the skin bottles onto bread or dissolved in water, to be reconstituted as a very desirable grape drink. This process is described in the Hebrew Bible by Solomon and among Roman writers by Pliny.”


Please give me a reference. If you make a statement such as this you should be able to substantiate it. Pliny was a pagan. Did God preserve his truth in the writings of pagans? Josephus also speaks of the preservation of fresh fruit on the fortress of Masada 100 years after it was placed there. This is an obvious exageration! His works also show evidence of tampering. He never claimed to be a Christian or lived the life of one, yet he said that Jesus did many wonderful miracles. It seems to me that he also said Jesus was the son of God (I could be mistaken on that one), yet he never followed him. Surely this is evidence of tampering! The only reliable witness we have is the bible. So show me from the bible!


I can give you a biblical reference for the making of alcoholic wine: Job 32:19 Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles.


This is a perfect picture of the fermentation process. A few years ago I visited a friend and he showed me his wine making setup. It was exactly as described here. It was in large bottles with a vent on top, sort of a tube with a ball on top to allow the pressure out but not allow the air to get inside. If there is no vent it will break the bottles with the pressure of fermentation. This is in one of the oldest books of the bible! My first thought was that this was by one of Job’s three friends, who was later rebuked by the Lord. But no! It was Elihu a man of God, and he was rebuking Job and his three friends, and he was right to do so! Furthermore look at the simple matter-of-fact way that he mentions it. He is simply using it as an illustration that everyone would understand! Unless you can prove otherwise, this is the wine of the bible!


Why would God give us such a very clear picture of the alcoholic method of preserving wine and not give us an equally clear picture of his supposed “PREFFERED” method? Or does Pliny belong in the Canon of scripture? If the Lord preferred unfermented juice why didn’t he preserve the method through use in the church, as he did with the scriptures themselves? The Byzantine text was preserved by use in the church, at the same time these same faithful congregations were using alcoholic wine in their Lord’s Supper services. You accuse these faithful men, who preserved the very bible you hold in your hands today, of being guilty of wanting to see their flocks naked! Many of these men gave their very lives for their Lord Jesus Christ!


So we see then that if it was ever possible for the ancients to preserve juice in an unfermented way, that it was not important enough for the Lord to preserve the method. In fact we can see from scripture that the proper wine for the Lords Supper service is fermented wine. Unfermented wine is a poor second best.


Alcohol has a mysterious power. I haven’t got time right now to explain how alcohol is absorbed by the body..or it’s physical effects. But men can’t seem to resist it when things go badly. It is so simple, so available, so socially acceptable, and yet, it can destroy the body as surely as cancer. It offers a substitute peace, a temporary relief from pain - healing for aches and sorrow of heart.”


This is why the Lord says to give it to those of heavy hearts: Proverbs 31:6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.


That’s what they offered Jesus when He hung on the cross...something to relieve the pain. He refused that drink. He hated it. A supernatural life was flowing through Him, and He would not corrupt it with a drink offered by the devil. You can’t drug God with alcohol!”


Mark 15:23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.


He refused it because it was mingled with MYRRH, a spice for the dead! Maybe he refused it because he didn’t like the symbolism, or maybe he just didn’t like the taste of myrrh. (The best explanation for that refusal is because Jesus had promised his disciples, at the Last Supper, that He would not drink wine AGAIN until the marriage supper of the Lamb!)


Mark 14:25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.


(Since He did drink (wine) vinegar while on the cross we know for certain that what he drank at the Last Supper was indeed alcoholic wine. He did not consider wine vinegar to be “the fruit of the vine”.)


Paul wrote, ”All things are lawful unto me....”(I Cor. 6:12). He did not mean, as you suggest the any thing goes. He was not saying he could do anything without being condemned. Adultery was not lawful...or sodomy..or covetousness.”


Adultery is not a physical thing, neither is sodomy or covetousness, they are sinful ACTS that begin in the heart. When he said “things” he meant physical things that one would eat or drink. Strong drink became lawful when God said believers could drink it in Deuteronomy 14:26. You failed to quote the entire verse, if you had you would have had a stronger case.


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


but all things are not expedient” If you said that it was not expedient to drink I probably would have a harder time arguing with you. But you believe that we are still under the law, therefore you couldn’t quote the rest of the verse. Could you?


So many Christians today misuse this passage of Paul. It is an alibi for all kinds of indulgences. Paul was not a law unto himself. He did not life (live?) lawlessly.”


Paul wasn’t suggesting that Christians could touch, taste and handle any thing they wanted...he did say...’Touch not the unclean thing.”


Collossians 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;

22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.


To me this looks like a direct and blatant contradiction of scripture. When I read this it took my breath away. Surely you don’t mean that we are subject to ordinances after the commandments and doctrines of men?


I like verse 23 here. These things have a “shew of wisdom”, but have no lasting value in the end!


2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,


I guess you didn’t read my entire letter. The context of “touch not the unclean thing” is unbelievers and idols. Didn’t you read it? Nowhere in the bible is alcohol called unclean. Yes it is lumped in with unclean things (along with grapes) in the instructions for Nazirites, for instance, but it is never called unclean, not even once! Please check it out!


He was warning that once you have tasted the good Word of God you dare not go back and taste the things of this world (Hebrews. 6:17). Paul was not preaching against rules, he was merely teaching against thinking you could be saved by following a set of rules. How sad that Christians twist Paul’s teaching to excuse their sin.

"There is no recorded command of Jesus saying, ”Thou shalt not drink.” And therefore you may be right in saying that I should not say..”We are commanded not to drink.” However, in all 66 books of the Bible there is an indictment against drinking en every past society. There are an abundance of Bible references condemning the use of alcohol. There is more Scripture concerning drinking than can be found on the subjects of lying, adultery, swearing, stealing, Sabbath breaking, cheating, hypocrisy, pride, or even blasphemy. In all there are 627 references to drink and drinking in the Bible.”


Here you imply that those 627 references are all negative. I find that somewhat deceitful! Most of those references are positive about wine, some even specifically positive about alcoholic wine, Deuteronomy 14:26 for instance. Some of them are negative, it’s true, but they all refer to drunkenness, or drinking to excess!


Isn’t it strange that there could be so many verses about wine and drinking, some even warning about excess, yet not one saying “thou shalt not drink wine nor strong drink” as a general command? This is because it was used every day in the ancient world. The Lord allowed them to use it but set strict limits on it’s use and made it clear that there were dangers in abusing it. It’s so simple, why can’t you see it?


Brother, wine is a mocker. This is God’s Word. No one doubts that intoxicating wine is what the Bible is talking about. And don’t tell me it is just a mocker if taken in excess. If you eat or drink any thing in excess is would be bad for you. So, why is strong drink called a mocker here, by God? It is because of the alcohol.”


True, it’s because the alcohol IS A MOCKER, WHEN TAKEN IN EXCESS!


Deuteronomy 21:20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.


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


Gluttony is also a sin, somewhat less serious, perhaps, because gluttons don’t get violent, nevertheless it is still a sin and it is linked with drunkenness at least four times in the bible. I’ve seen a lot of fat pastors preach against drink, yet they don’t dare say anything against gluttony!


It’s users are lured into excess. It deceives men. Its effects are gradual, almost imperceptible. It is seductive. It tripped up Noah, it deceived Ephraim and Judah, priest and prophet, when they drank it. Admit what the Bible teaches...it is a mocker and is deceitful! It is clear we are not to look at alcoholic beverage. Would God call something a ’mocker’ and then press it to someone’s lips? The answer if obvious.


Now, I may not be able to convince you that the drinking of wine is a sin per se. But I believe, the intelligent individual you are that you can see that by drinking any alcohol at all you're taking upon yourself a fearful responsibility. The effect of your example will be felt far beyond the circle of those with whom you come into contact. The higher the position of the man, the wider will be the influence of his word and deed. With thousands being swept away by the evils of alcohol, I would not want to be a bad example or a stumbling block to any one.”


Your current stand is a stumbling block to many!  Both Believers and unbelievers! Especially those who study their bibles! Of course no matter what we do or say we will be a stumbling block to someone! The gospel itself is a stumbling block to many, however I don’t think it’s right to put up stumbling blocks that are not essential to the gospel message.


I am including a photo copy of 75 Bible references and comments by Pastor W. Albert Smith, First Baptist Church, Sheffield, Alabama.

I am also including a copy of a tape by John MacArthur on ”Making the Hard Decision Easy”. Although I don’t recommend John MacArthur on many subjects, he does a good job on this area of deciding what is right and wrong.

You may benefit from hearing it.

There is an abundance of other information which could be added, but frankly, I don’t have time to go into more depth on this subject at this time.

I will modify what I say about alcohol in the future in light of what you have presented me. I still believe it is wrong for a Christian to drink at all. In the future I will not say ”we are commanded not to drink”. However I will continue to give the Bible warnings and teach the importance of abstinence.”


I hope you will give biblical warnings and not twist scripture, I also think you would be wise not to call alcohol UNCLEAN either! There is no scriptural support for such language!


Thank you for your good research...for challenging my thinking ...and for presenting your findings in an orderly and loving way.

Sincerely, for Souls,

Roy, Pastor

Heritage Church

Somewhere, Ontario”


Let’s look at some other verses that talk about wine;


Genesis 9:21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.


I don’t believe Noah knew he was going to get drunk. The earth changed during the flood. I believe that before the flood people could drink alcohol without the danger of getting drunk. Please see my letter to Dr. Kent Hovind, and his reply, which I am enclosing at the end of this letter.


Genesis 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.


Melchizedek gave alcoholic wine to Abraham as a sign of respect and friendship. The same is done today as a sign of friendship, in most cases there is absolutely no evil intent. To accuse those who give wine as a sign of friendship as if they wanted to see their friends naked, would make you a false accuser and even an accuser of the brethren, since Melchizedek was a brother and so were the baptist and protestant pastors throughout the middle ages who used alcoholic wine in their Lord’s supper services!


Genesis 19:32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

Genesis 19:33 And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.

Genesis 19:34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

Genesis 19:35 And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.


Lot’s daughters used wine to seduce their father. He didn’t have only a little wine or he would have known what they were doing.


Genesis 27:25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank.


There is no indication here as to whether this wine was alcoholic or fresh, because the Lord does not consider it important. It is only important that people don’t drink too much wine. (Of course I am only speaking of the English, the Hebrew word used is a word for alcoholic wine.)


Genesis 49:11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:

Genesis 49:12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.


This prophesy about the Messiah is not really talking about a physical drink of any kind. This is figurative language talking about the Judgment of God. The wine here is actually the blood of his enemies, that he shall slay during his second coming!


Exodus 29:40 And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering.


This wine was most definitely alcoholic wine because of Numbers 28:7, it is alcoholic, a holy thing to the Lord, and the best of the wine.


Leviticus 10:9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:


The priests were not to drink wine nor strong drink only when they were performing their priestly duties. At other times it was perfectly acceptable.


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


This section is describing the Nazirite vows. The Nazirite was prohibited from the entire grape, not just alcoholic wine. Furthermore this prohibition was only temporary as seen in Numbers 6:20


Numbers 6:20 And the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD: this is holy for the priest, with the wave breast and heave shoulder: AND AFTER THAT THE NAZARITE MAY DRINK WINE.

Numbers 18:12 All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto the LORD, them have I given thee.

Numbers 28:7 And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one lamb: in the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto the LORD for a drink offering.


Numbers 28:7 shows that the wine poured on the altar was the strong wine or alcoholic wine which 18:12 shows that this was what was considered the BEST WINE!


Deuteronomy 14:26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,


Many pastors ignore this verse because it does not fit with their pre-conceived notions about God. The truth is that it is in the scriptures and was meant for the people of God! God does not want us to ignore portions of His word! God never contradicts Himself, but men do contradict Him!


Deuteronomy 29:6 Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink: that ye might know that I am the LORD your God.


This verse does not mean that drinking wine will prevent one from knowing God, but that the Israelites did not drink these things while wandering in the wilderness NOR did they eat bread because their entire existence was dependent upon the Lord. This was the time that they depended on manna for their daily sustenance. They did not even drink unfermented wine, or grape juice, because they did not have access to vineyards.


Judges 9:13 And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?


This verse is obviously referring to alcoholic wine, since fermented wine cheers those who are in a sorry state. see Proverbs 31:6.


Judges 13:4 Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:

Judges 13:7 But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.

Judges 13:14 She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.


Samson was to be a Nazirite from his mothers womb. This was different from other Nazirites as it was a permanent thing for him. If others today believe they should be permanent Nazirites they must not cut their hair nor shave their beards either! The fact that the Lord made specific mention of Strong Drink would indicate that it was prevalent in that society.


1 Samuel 1:14 And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.

1 Samuel 1:15 And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.


Eli believed that Hannah had had too much to drink. This does not indicate that she shouldn’t or didn’t drink any wine, but only that he mistook her prayer as a sign of drunkenness. 1 Samuel 1:24 indicates that she did indeed bring alcoholic wine as a sacrifice, perhaps as a drink offering.


1 Samuel 1:24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young.

2 Samuel 13:28 Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant.


Absolom used wine to drug his brother before killing him. This has no bearing on the validity of drinking wine, only on the problems in David’s household.


2 Samuel 16:1  And when David was a little past the top of the hill, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred loaves of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins, and an hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine.

2 Samuel 16:2 And the king said unto Ziba, What meanest thou by these? And Ziba said, The asses be for the king's household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat; and the wine, that such as be faint in the wilderness may drink.

2 Kings 18:32 Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil olive and of honey, that ye may live, and not die: and hearken not unto Hezekiah, when he persuadeth you, saying, The LORD will deliver us.

1 Chronicles 9:29 Some of them also were appointed to oversee the vessels, and all the instruments of the sanctuary, and the fine flour, and the wine, and the oil, and the frankincense, and the spices.

1 Chronicles 12:40 Moreover they that were nigh them, even unto Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules, and on oxen, and meat, meal, cakes of figs, and bunches of raisins, and wine, and oil, and oxen, and sheep abundantly: for there was joy in Israel.

1 Chronicles 16:3 And he dealt to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine.

1 Chronicles 27:27 And over the vineyards was Shimei the Ramathite: over the increase of the vineyards for the wine cellars was Zabdi the Shiphmite:

2 Chronicles 2:10 And, behold, I will give to thy servants, the hewers that cut timber, twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.

2 Chronicles 2:15 Now therefore the wheat, and the barley, the oil, and the wine, which my lord hath spoken of, let him send unto his servants:

2 Chronicles 11:11 And he fortified the strong holds, and put captains in them, and store of victual, and of oil and wine.

2 Chronicles 31:5 And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.


All of the preceding verses show how alcoholic wine was an everyday beverage in Israel. How do I know that 2 Chronicles 31:5 is referring to alcoholic wine? Because the tithes referred to in Deuteronomy 14:26 refer specifically to strong drink!


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

Nehemiah 13:5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.

Nehemiah 13:12 Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries.

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

Joel 1:5 Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.


Hosea 4:11 and Joel 1:5 show that the phrase “new wine” is a reference to alcoholic wine, not unfermented grape juice as some like to tell us.


Job 1:13 And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:

Job 1:18 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:


Job knew that his children were drinking wine, and he sacrificed on their behalf, not because of the wine but because “for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Notice that he thought that they “may” have sinned, yet they were drinking wine. Clearly Job didn’t think drinking wine in and of itself was a sin! The wine of Job is described in the next verse:


Job 32:19 Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles.


This is a perfect picture of the fermentation process. A few years ago I visited a friend and he showed me his wine making setup. It was exactly as described here. It was in large bottles with a vent on top, sort of a tube with a ball on top to allow the pressure out but not allow the air to get inside. If there is no vent it will break the bottles with the pressure of fermentation. This is in one of the oldest books of the bible! My first thought was that this was by one of Job’s three friends, who was later rebuked by the Lord. But no! It was Elihu, a man of God, and he was rebuking Job and his three friends, and he was right to do so! Furthermore look at the simple matter-of-fact way that he mentions it. He is simply using it as an illustration that everyone would understand! THIS IS THE WINE OF THE BIBLE! The book of Job is one of the oldest books in the bible. This definition should colour our understanding of wine in the rest of the bible because of the law of first mention.


Psalms 75:8 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.


This verse uses fermented wine as a symbol of Gods Judgment. The dregs which accumulate on the bottom are very bitter (full of tannins) and hard to swallow. It says nothing of the morality of drinking wine.


Psalms 104:15 And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.


The wine that maketh the heart glad is alcoholic wine (Proverbs 31:6)!


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


New wine as in Hosea 4:11 and Joel 1:5.


Proverbs 4:17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.


This shows how wicked it is to eat bread! Seriously though, it is talking about excess, both of food and of drink.


Proverbs 9:2 She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.

Proverbs 9:5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.


This is a warning against keeping company with prostitutes and drinking with them. They mix their wine to get a higher alcohol content in hopes to seduce their victim. It says nothing against drinking wine per se.


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


One is raging who is drunk, this is clear. This is a warning not to get drunk! God’s hatred of drunkenness should make everyone very careful to remain self controlled! One who thinks it is OK to get drunk is one who is deceived!


Proverbs 21:17 He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.


This is a warning about the physical consequences to those who spend their time drinking too much! It is a warning not to love luxuries, of any kind!


Proverbs 23:30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.


The same as 21:17, it is a warning not to get carried away! One is not to spend one’s time thinking about wine or planning to get drunk. “They that tarry long” are those who will lose track of how much they have consumed and end up getting drunk!


Proverbs 23:31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.


Wine should not have a place greater than any other part of a meal. One should not spend one’s existence concentrating on the effects of wine, or wishing for more.


Proverbs 31:4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:


Those with greater responsibility should not drink wine for fear that it could cloud their judgment. Given what other scriptures say this does not mean that it is a sin to drink, only that a king is always on duty and his word could cause the loss of life for some person, therefore he should be sober always. The words of Lemuel's mother do not carry the same weight as the words of Jesus Christ.


Proverbs 31:6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.


This could mean that wine could be given to those who are dying and of a heavy heart, but more likely is that strong drink should be given to those who are dying as a pain killer and the poor may have wine so that they may forget their low position and their poverty. This verse is in contrast to 31:4 where kings and princes are not to partake of wine because they could make mistakes in judgment if they got drunk. These are, of course, the words of Lemuel's mother, and while inspired, do not carry the same weight as the words of Jesus.


It should be noted here that narcotics were available in the Old Testament days. Mandrakes are a plant with narcotic properties and were used during the middle ages as an anesthetic;


Genesis 30:14 And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son's mandrakes.

15 And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son's mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son's mandrakes.

16 And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.


Rachel had such a strong desire for mandrakes that she was willing to let her sister sleep with her husband in order to get them, in spite of the strong rivalry between them!


Ecclesiastes 2:3 I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.


Solomon drank alcoholic wine but didn’t get drunk, as evidenced by the phrase “yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom”. He evidently was using his intellect to make fine vintages of wine, yet in the end he says “all is vanity” it had no lasting meaning. He then said in Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”


Ecclesiastes 9:7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.

Ecclesiastes 10:19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.


What wine makes merry but alcoholic wine (prov. 31:6)?


Song of Solomon 1:2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.

Song of Solomon 1:4 Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.

Song of Solomon 4:10 How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!

Song of Solomon 5:1 I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.

Song of Solomon 7:9 And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.

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


Wine is good, but the love of God is far better! Even the love of a spouse is better than wine!


Isaiah 1:22 Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:


Wine should be taken straight, not mixed with water as that reduces it’s effectiveness! Mixing wine with water is a sign of poverty and the Lord’s displeasure.


Isaiah 5:11 Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!


Those who’s only purpose in life is to get drunk will suffer woe! This does not include those who drink a little wine, only those who purposely get drunk are covered by this verse!


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


It does no good to do something that is acceptable in the sight of God if our hearts are not right with Him.


Isaiah 5:22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:


Oh yes! How often it is that the mighty men in the army purposely get drunk! And then they go out and commit atrocities. We saw this in Vietnam and even in Somalia with the Airborne regiment, even today in Chechnya and in many other parts of the world! Once again though, the condemnation is to those who drink too much!


Isaiah 28:1 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 that are overcome with wine!


The condemnation is once again to the drunkards, to them that are overcome with wine!


Isaiah 28:7 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.


The priests who get drunk contrary to scripture are condemned in this passage, they stumble in judgment while on duty! This says nothing against drinking wine while off-duty.


Isaiah 29:9 Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.


This verse has nothing to do with wine at all. It is a condemnation to those who are drunk in the spirit! It is a condemnation of the “Toronto Blessing”.


Isaiah 36:17 Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.


This shows how important wine was to the ancient Middle Eastern culture.


Isaiah 49:26 And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.


This verse shows that “sweet wine” is also a reference to alcoholic wine.


Isaiah 51:21 Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine:


Please see Isaiah 29:9. Another indictment of the Toronto "Blessing".


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


This shows God’s judgment to those who are complacent and rich! Woe to North America!


Jeremiah 23:9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness.

The Lord made Jeremiah like a drunken man for a purpose.

Jeremiah 35:2 Go unto the house of the Rechabites, and speak unto them, and bring them into the house of the LORD, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink.

Jeremiah 35:5 And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine.

Jeremiah 35:6 But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever:

Jeremiah 35:8 Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters;

Jeremiah 35:14 The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father's commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me.


The Rechabites are commended for obeying the word of their father Jonadab even after he was dead and gone. They didn’t drink wine nor did they own houses or plant crops, but lived as nomads!


Jeremiah 51:7 Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD'S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.


This is not a reference to real physical wine, but to the spiritual drunkenness of Babylon and her Idolatries! The Toronto Blessing again!


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


This is a prohibition for the priests from drinking wine when on duty. In their day to day existence they were allowed wine!


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

Daniel didn’t drink the kings wine because it had been sacrificed to idols, and to do so would have defiled him.

Daniel 5:4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.

Daniel 5:23 But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:


Belshazzar did evil by using the consecrated vessels and praising his own false gods, even demons. He purposely used the consecrated vessels to get drunk. He was intentionally offending the God of the Jews.


Daniel 10:3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.


This does not mean that Daniel never drank wine, but only that he abstained for THREE WEEKS! Of course he also fasted for the same length of time. At the end it says that he stopped his abstinence after the end of the three weeks!  This would also expallin why he didn't drink wine earlier, it was because Nebuchadnezzar's wine had been offered to idols!


Hosea 3:1 Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.


Here the Lord told a man to do something forbidden in the law. The adulteress should have been put to death, but the Lord had mercy on her. In the end He desires that we all would repent of our sin. His love is even greater than the law. He is a merciful God!


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


Here is another verse that shows that “new wine” is also alcoholic in the old testament.


Hosea 7:5 In the day of our king the princes have made him sick with bottles of wine; he stretched out his hand with scorners.


The king erred by drinking too much wine, although perhaps kings should not drink at all.  (God Himself does not make such a command, but expects us to exercise self-control)


Joel 1:5 Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.


Here is more evidence that “New Wine” is alcoholic.


Joel 3:3 And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.


How horrible that they would value wine above their children. They valued their pleasures more than their families! Nevertheless, this says nothing against moderate alcohol consumption when one can afford it.


Amos 2:12 But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not.


They probably gave the Nazirites unfermented wine thinking that it was OK with the Lord since it didn’t contain any alcohol. But it was not. Even if it was alcoholic wine the point is the rebellion of man, not the advisability of consuming alcohol.


Micah 2:11 If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.


I believe this is a reference to false prophets falsely prophesying of prosperity when Judgment looms on the horizon. It is certainly pertinent to our day.


Micah 6:15 Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine.


It is a privilege to drink wine, it comes as a blessing from the Lord and he is free to with withold it at his pleasure.


Habakuk 2:5 Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:


To transgress by wine doesn’t mean to drink it, but to get drunk on it or for a priest to abuse it by taking it while on duty.


Matthew 9:17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

Matthew 11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.

19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.


The Lord is contrasting himself with John here and it is plain that he drank the things that John was not allowed, including alcoholic wine. We also have here a link between drunkenness and gluttony, related sins. The Lord was using the word “drink” in the same context as we use it in the English Language today when we ask “do you drink”. Very clearly Jesus did what John did not do. John was a life-long Nazirite who was not allowed to drink wine, but Jesus did. Both men came from God and both were reviled and hated by those they came to help.


Mark 2:22 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.


The old bottles (wine skins) are weak with age and cannot stand the pressure of fermentation.


Mark 15:23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.


Jesus refused wine here because he promised his disciples, at the Last Supper, that He would not drink wine again until the marriage supper of the Lamb.


Luke 1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.


John the baptist was a Nazirite, and didn’t cut his hair either. He was like Samson in that he was a Nazirite from his mothers womb and would have been a life long abstainer. This is in contrast to the Lord Jesus who did drink alcoholic wine (see Luke 7:33 and Mat. 11:18).


Luke 5:37 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.

Luke 5:38 But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.

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


The better wine was old wine that had a chance to age and take on a mellow flavour. Both “new wine” and “old wine” are terms referring to alcoholic wine.


Luke 7:33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.


John the baptist was a Nazirite, like Samson, in that he was a Nazirite from his mothers womb and would have been a life long abstainer. This is in contrast to the Lord Jesus who did drink alcoholic wine (see Mat. 11:18).


Luke 10:34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

John 2:3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.

John 2:9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

John 2:10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.

When reading these verses we must keep in mind what the Lord said in Luke 5:39: No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better. So clearly what the Lord made was indeed alcoholic wine, but in that society no one would drink enough to be drunk, it was not socially acceptable.

Acts 2:13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.


The apostles were full of the holy spirit, but Peter, when correcting the onlookers, didn’t deny that they drank but simply said that no one drinks that early in the day. If it was an essential doctrine of the Church that Christians shouldn’t drink he had a perfect opportunity to expound on that doctrine.


Romans 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.


Christians should not do anything that will cause a brother to lose his faith or stumble, even if it is spiritually acceptable. This does not mean that one must be a life long abstainer, but one must exercise the utmost caution if one is going to use one’s biblical freedoms.


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


This is again an indictment of the excessive use of wine.


1 Timothy 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;


These are the qualifications of a pastor and are a higher standard than those for a deacon, or the aged women, or anyone else in the congregation. To put the same standards on the whole flock is to add to scripture. As we have discussed above, the word “given” does not mean that a pastor cannot have wine at times, it means that he must not have a natural inclination to drink.


1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;


The deacons are not to be given to much wine. Pastors who say deacons can’t have any wine at all are saying something God didn’t tell them to say! At the very least they should say that it is their personal standard that deacons should have no wine, or that “it is the standard of this church”! When they say God requires it they are lying! Here we have a link of moderation with holy living!


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


Here we have a little indication of the medicinal qualities of alcohol. Today we know there are many sicknesses that alcohol has a beneficial effect on. Among others it helps prevent or reduce the effects of:


Stroke--A recent study published in the American Heart Association's journal found abstainers' risk of stroke to be double that of moderate drinkers. The American Heart Association has also reported moderate consumption of alcohol to be associated with dramatically decreased risk of stroke among both men and women, regardless of age or ethnicity.


Hypertension--A recent Harvard University study found the lowest levels of hypertension among young adults who consumed one to three drinks per day.


Peripheral Artery Disease--Harvard researchers recently found moderate drinkers to be almost 1/3 less likely to suffer Peripheral Artery Disease (a significant cause of death among the elderly) than those consuming less than one drink per week.


Alzheimer's Disease--A recent French study found moderate drinkers to have a 75% lower risk for Alzheimer's Disease and an 80% lower risk for senile dementia.


Common Cold--Moderate drinkers have been found to be more resistant than abstainers to five strains of the common cold virus.


And the list goes on.

(taken from Prof. David Hanson’s web page on the medical effects of alcohol:

http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/AlcoholAndHealth.html, accessed Nov. 7, 2010)


Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;


A bishop is another word for pastor, he has a higher standard to live up to because the eyes of the world are on him.


Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;


Like the deacons the aged women are allowed a little wine. Here we have another link of moderation with holiness.


1 Peter 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:


Here is another case where it is clearly excess that is condemned. Excess of wine is drunkenness, not merely having a little wine with a meal.


Revelation 6:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.


This indicates that during the tribulation that the rich will still have their luxuries while the rest of the world starves.


Revelation 14:8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.


The wine of the wrath of her fornication” has nothing to do with alcoholic wine per se but rather with her spiritual idolatries. This is symbolic and says nothing regarding the acceptability of drinking alcohol.


Revelation 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:


The “wine of the wrath of God” also has nothing to do with real wine but is symbolic language. Wine is a perfect symbol of Judgment because of it's bitter-sweet flavour.


Revelation 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.


Again the language used here is symbolic and has nothing to do with real wine.


Revelation 18:13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.


This is simply a list of things that the Harlot traffics in. She reduces the souls of men to something to be bought or sold!


In conclusion then, the bible is consistent, that believers may have a little wine but must not be overcome by it and become drunk. God hates drunkenness and if a person can’t have a little wine without losing control then they should not drink at all! For those who are able to keep control over their desires, however, some alcohol is allowed. Furthermore the symbolism of alcoholic wine is an important part of the Lord’s Supper service and is lost when churches use unfermented juice, just as it is lost when they use leavened bread.


I am aware pastor, that I likely haven’t swayed your opinion, but now at least you know that my doctrine is quite compatible with the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ. In fact I believe it is much closer to the truth than your doctrine of abstinence. It is the truth, and I am resting in Him!


Let me ask you one more thing. In all your years of ministry is this the first time someone has challenged you on this subject? What about other subjects? I guess people may be afraid of getting a label as a troublemaker, but where are all the Bereans today?


If you feel you must respond to this letter by all means do so, but please take your time. This study has been quite profitable to me, but I feel that now it is time to move on to other things. If you want to talk some time please don’t hesitate to call me.


In Christ,

Dan Knezacek

Barrie, Ontario, Canada

705-722-5032


Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?


For some excellent resources on this subject see the following: http://www.cuf.org/FileDownloads/wine.pdf, http://www.rbvincent.com/BibleStudies/wine.htm,

http://criswell.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/ctrgentryformatted.pdf

http://www.reformedpresbytery.org/books/alcoholb/alcoholb.htm

http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/AlcoholAndHealth.html


Some Closing Thoughts


As Jesus said: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32


I hope that as you have read this article you have been set free from man-made laws about alcohol consumption.   I also hope you view Scripture using the literal interpretation method.  This is the only method that makes sense in the light of all of God's Word.


The truth is that in the large scheme of things, the subject of alcohol is actually rather of minimal importance. You can live as a total abstainer, or as a moderate drinker, fully in accord with the bible's teaching on this subject, and yet still end up in the Lake of Fire!


The truth is that Abstainers, and Moderate drinkers, are in much greater danger than drunkards! Here's why: drunkards know the wretched state they are in! They eventually get to the state where they have to cry out to God for help.


If your sin is relatively small you may not recognize your utter helplessness and need for a Savior! The self-controlled, who think they have it made, are really self-deluded!


The truth is that we are all sinners deserving of God's Righteous Wrath!


For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Romans 5:12

Romans 6:23a
For the wages of sin is death;
(If you have sinned only once you deserve eternal damnation)


But this is not the end of the story, thank God! God Himself took responsibility for your sin! He didn't have to, but did so out of Love. Hell, and the Lake of Fire, are real but you don't have to go there! Jesus Christ, the God-man, died on a cross and took the just penalty for your sin.


All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men (apart from the Lord Jesus Christ), whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12


9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. Romans 10:9-11


And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
(your family should believe too) Acts 16:30

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18


You see, if you live a “good life” it is never good enough for God! As with the Pharisees this is the danger of legalistic churches.  People begin to think that they can keep the Law of God, and thus can earn salvation! 


This is why Jesus died, to suffer on our behalf so we don't have to. An Eternity in the Lake of Fire would still not pay the penalty of the sins we have committed. What He did is really beyond human comprehension. We don't understand eternity, or how much our small temporal sins offend an eternal God, but we don't have to understand everything.



Salvation is by faith. That is, we accept what He did for us and receive Him by faith. We ask Him to forgive us, and save us, and trust that He did it. Then we can pray and ask for guidance in this life. We then can have direct guidance from the Holy Spirit as we read His Word.


For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9


Did you confess that you are a wretched sinner and ask Jesus to save you? You can trust that He did it. Don't trust me, trust Him! You may not feel any different than you did before, but trust Him. Read His Word, the Bible, and ask for wisdom, in Jesus' name.


Tell someone about it and seek fellowship with other believers. It is hard to find true bible believing Churches these days, but keep on searching.  In the mean time keep praying and reading His Love letter to you, the Bible.


I would advise a new believer to read the gospel of John, first, and then the book of Romans. Follow that with the book of Genesis, for it is the foundation, and then read the rest of the Gospels, followed by Acts and the New Testament Epistles.  Do a study on the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament, such as Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53, and many others.  When you are grounded in your faith you should do a study of the End Times prophecies contained in the bible.  You will be amazed at what you find!


Dan Knezacek

© June, 2011

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