Wine in the Bible


April 19, 2015

Tonight's sermon is called "Wine in the bible". Wine is something that is mentioned in the bible 231 times, so this is a big subject in the bible. Now the first thing that I want to establish right out of the gate, and this can be easily proven. In fact, I don't think there really is a debate about what I'm about to say amongst anyone who's actually looked at it, but wine in the bible is not always referring to an alcoholic beverage, and yet this is the number 1 mistake that people will make going in is to just assume every time the bible says wine, it's talking about an alcoholic beverage. Any serious student of the bible will easily see that that's not the case. You say "Well why do you think it's such an open and shut issue, pastor Anderson?" Well here's why. Because the word "Wine" is mentioned 231 times, how many times is the word "Juice" mentioned? Only once. Go to Songs of Solomon, chapter 8.

The one time that the bible uses the word "Juice", it says "The wine of the juice," so it's in the context of wine. To sit there and say "Well, every time wine is mentioned, it's referring to an alcoholic beverage" would make no sense because what you're saying then is that the bible never mentions fruit juice from cover to cover, from Genesis to Revelation, 1189 chapters, 31,100 something verses, 231 mentions of wine, but if you're going to say that's all alcohol, then you're saying God never mentioned fruit juice. Even the less common drink "Milk" gets 48 mentions, but you're going to tell me that fruit juice is never mentioned? Because that's basically what you'd be saying if you say that every time it says wine, it's referring to alcohol.

No, actually in the bible, the word "Wine" can refer to either the unfermented or the fermented beverage. It could be referring to an alcoholic beverage or it could simply be referring to fruit juice. Now here's the one time that the bible actually uses the word "Juice". It says in Song of Solomon chapter 8 verse 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." Now you say "Well why in the world would they only use juice in this one place?" Well because wine ... Here's the thing. "Juice of the juice" wouldn't sound good and neither would "Wine of the wine", so when you have 2 things right together like that, they have to use 2 different words in order to make it sound good or else it wouldn't sound right.

Now you say "Pastor Anderson, why didn't they just make our lives easier by just every time it's a non-alcoholic beverage, they just translate it as juice, and then every time it's alcohol, translate it as wine and they would just be easier to understand." Here's the problem with that logic. In the original languages, Greek and Hebrew, it's the same word, so if you're going to translate the bible faithfully into English, you have to use the same word, otherwise, the translators would have to sit there and decide each time. "Is this alcohol or is it not?" Then basically, they'd be putting their interpretation on to the text. Now the way the bible is originally written in both old and new testament, the word can go either way, so when they brought it into English, they used an English word that could go either way.

Now unfortunately, in our modern vernacular, we only use the word "Wine" to refer to an alcoholic beverage. That's where the misunderstanding's coming from, but instead of changing the bible, we just need to change the way that we think about that word and just understand that the word "Wine" can refer to either just what we would call fruit juice or it can refer to the alcoholic beverage. This is why, and if you would go to Proverbs 23, this is why Proverbs 23 talks about a certain type of wine, and he says "Don't look on this certain type of wine." Why? Because there are multiple types of wine. There could be just a fruit juice, and then there's also one that would get you drunk and cause you to behold strange women and say perverse things.

Another proof that "Wine" sometimes refers to "Juice" besides the fact that "Juice" is never mentioned anywhere in the bible except what I just showed you is that in Isaiah 65:8, it says "Thus saith the Lord, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all." He's talking about wine being in the cluster of a grape. Well obviously, that's not a fermented beverage, it's still in the cluster and it's being called "Wine". It's talking about fruit juice, it's clear, it's obvious. In fact, I've rarely, if I had anyone actually have the gall to say that every 231 mentions of wine in the bible are all referring to alcohol because that's such a ridiculous interpretation, because then you're claiming the bible never mentions fruit juice anywhere, just all wine, wine, wine meaning alcohol.

Look at Proverbs 23 verse 29. The bible says "Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright." It's not saying here, "Hey, don't look at any wine." No, it says "Don't look at a certain type of wine," right? Why? Because there's more than one type of wine. There's the type of wine that's just a harmless fruit drink, and then there's the type of wine that's alcoholic, and he says "Look not on the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright."

Now you say "Pastor Anderson, what is that talking about red, moving itself aright, giving its colour in the cup?" This actually is a great description of fermentation. Let me explain to you why. When wine is made, it is fermented with yeast, and that yeast is found on the outside of the grape. Have you ever gotten grapes and they have kind of a white film on the outside of the grapes? Do you ever wonder what that is? That's actually yeast on the outside of the grape, and when wine is made, what they do is they crush the grapes and that wine from the skin of the grape is what is used to ferment the wine.

In the olden days, they would actually step on the grapes with their feet, and even today, some wineries will still do it that way where they actually have human beings step on the grapes, and what happens is if you then let it ferment, then the yeast from the outside of the grape will ferment the sugars that are within the grape. Now the byproduct of this process is carbon dioxide. In fact, let me just read you some information online. This is not biblical information, this is just information from sources that talk about how to ferment things and so forth.

First of all, let me say this. The word "Effervescence", which we would call "Carbonation", right? "Effervescence", when things are sparkling or carbonated, actually comes from the same root word as the word "Ferment", because "Effervescence", "Fermented", that's actually where that word comes from. It's derived from the Latin word "Fervēre" which means "To boil", okay? During fermentation, the yeast cells feed on the sugars in the must and multiply, producing carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. Yeast is normally already present on the grapes, often visible as a powdery appearance on the grapes. Alcohol fermentation can be done with this natural yeast, but since this can give unpredictable results depending on the exact types of yeast that are present, cultured yeast is often added to the must.

One of the main problems with the use of wild ferments is the failure of the fermentation to go to completion, which is to say that some of the sugar remains unfermented, so let me just kind of boil that down for you. Basically what this information is saying is that normally, you can just ferment wine using the yeast that naturally occurs on the outside of the grapes, but when you do that, you don't get as high of an alcohol content as when you bring in outside yeasts, so a lot of the winemakers now will bring in other types of yeast in order to boost the alcohol content of the wine. For every gram of sugar that is converted, about half a gram of alcohol is produced, so to achieve a 12% alcohol concentration, the must should contain about 24% sugars.

If the sugar content of the grapes is too low to obtain the desired alcohol percentage, sugar can be added, which is known as chaptalization, and in commercial winemaking, chaptalization is local to local regulations. Alcohol of more than 12% can be achieved by using yeast that can withstand high alcohol. Some yeasts can produce 18% alcohol in the wine. However, extra sugar is added to produce a high alcohol content. Now I just read that for you just from the commercial wine industry, just so that you can kind of get an understanding of how the world views this process and of how this is done, okay? With that in mind, what we just read and heard, look what the bible is saying here. He says "Look not on the wine," verse 31, "When it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright."

Now the "Moving itself aright" is referring to the carbon dioxide that is released during fermentation. That's what I just read to you, when it says "Hey, the yeast ferments, the byproduct carbon dioxide," so when God says "Don't look at the wine that moves itself aright," what's he saying? Fermented wine. Don't look at the wine that's fermented when you see that telltale carbon dioxide, and you say "Well why does he bring up when it's red? Is he just talking about red grapes versus green grapes?" Here's the thing. Did you know that white wine can actually be made from red grapes? Who knew that? Several people.

You can make white wine from any color of grape because here's what makes it red more than anything else, the outside of the grape. It's actually the peeling, outside, that makes it red, not the what's inside, so there are winemakers that will make a white wine just from the inside of a red grape, so the reason that God's bringing up the color, he's bringing up the source of where the yeast is coming from. That red outside of the grape is what's bringing in the fermentation. Now obviously, when they make a white wine from a red grape, they can bring in their own yeast, and we already talked about the fact that even when they're making red wine, they bring in outside yeast in order to boost the alcohol content.

I don't see how anybody could look at the scripture and not understand that he's saying there's a type of wine that we should not look at. I mean how can you walk away from this, no matter what your beliefs are on this, that there is some wine that we shouldn't look at. Can't we all agree on that? It's pretty obvious, right? "Look not on the wine when it's red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright." What's he trying to get out with the color and the effervescence? He's getting at fermentation, and he says "At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder." What does" This particular type of wine that we're not supposed to look at.

"Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again." This is clearly describing what it's like to be drunk. The babbling, the wounds without cause, beholding strange women, uttering perverse things, he's saying "This is what the wine that moves itself in the cup will do to you. This is what the one that gives its color in the cup will do." He's saying "Do not look upon this alcoholic beverage, this wine." There is some wine out there that we shouldn't even look at. What is it today?

I want to ask all these pastors and preachers and Christians who'll say "Well, it's okay to drink a glass of wine with dinner. It's okay to do it in moderation." I want to know what drink this is referring to. Don't tell me this is referring to Jack Daniel's because they didn't have that back then. Don't tell me this is about vodka, they didn't have that back then. This says "Wine". It didn't say a type of grain alcohol or hard liquor. No, it says "There's a type of wine that we shouldn't look at." Which kind? "The one that gives its color in the cup, moves itself aright," we're talking about fermentation from the yeast that is found on the outside of the grape. Crystal clear, okay?

Now let's stop and talk about the alcohol content of wine versus other drinks and other alcoholic beverages. Let me say this, first of all. Any drink with sugar in it has a tiny bit of alcohol in it, even if it's orange juice. If you go to the store and buy Tropicana, there is trace amounts of alcohol in it, okay? Any drink, any Coca Cola, Pepsi, Sprite is going to have minuscule trace amounts. If you go and buy unalcoholic beer, it still has a tiny trace, 0.14% alcohol level or whatever, so anything that's less than a half a percent alcohol content is considered a non-alcoholic beverage.

Now why a half a percent? Because anything under a half percent alcohol content is impossible to get the results described in Proverbs 23 because by the time you drank that much of it, you'd have to drink a whole gallon of it or something, and by the time it went through your system and everything, it's impossible to be drunk. That's why you could walk in and be 5 years old and buy these drinks or even buy Kombucha, which is a fermented drink, super low alcohol content, or vinegar or anything. Any drink that has any sugar in it is going to have trace amounts of alcohol, okay? What we have to understand is that God said there's a drink that we shouldn't even look at, whatever it is, whatever your beliefs are, okay?

Now let me give you the alcohol content of various drinks. I already told you everything has a trace amount, but this would be ridiculous to worry about that. "Oh, man. I'm consuming these trace amounts of alcohol in orange juice." Obviously, that would be foolishness to talk about, so let's about Miller Genuine Draft, okay? 2.8% alcohol, okay? Bud Light, 4.1%, Corona, 4.6%, Dos Equis, 4.8%, Budweiser, 4.8%, so you get the picture that beer has about 3 or 4% alcohol. Everybody got that? Wine on the other hand, if you go to the store and buy wine that is considered very low alcohol, it's 12% alcohol. Did you hear that? Budweiser, I'm sorry, Bud-dumber, Bud Light, MGD, Corona, Dos Equis, all these beers are like 3 or 4% alcohol. Are you getting this?

Wine, on the other hand, very low alcohol in the industry is considered 12%, low alcohol, 13%, high alcohol, 14%, and very high alcohol is 15 and above. This is in the winemaking industry, so when you go to the store, and by the way, when we read that information earlier about fermentation, you remember what it said with pretty much the highest alcohol you could get out of actual grapes and their yeast was around 12%. In order to get to these higher levels of 13, 14, 15, 16, you have to start culturing other types of yeast and bringing them in, adding additional sugar, so the point is the bible we know is talking about something that is less than 12% alcohol because that's the max that they could make back then. Is everybody following the sermon tonight?

Back then, if you said "Hey, I'm going to make an alcoholic beverage. I'm going to make wine and get drunk." What are you going to do? You're going to take grapes, you're going to step on them, you're going to crush them, you're going to ferment that drink, and it's going to have a maximum of 12% alcohol in it, right? Everything you buy at the store labeled as wine is more alcoholic or at least as alcoholic as the most alcoholic drink possible in bible days because they didn't drink vodka. This is what they drink. Therefore, to sit there and say "Oh, well I know there's a type of wine I'm not even supposed to look at, but a glass of wine with my dinner is fine as a Christian" is ridiculous because whatever wine you pour on that table has more alcohol in it than what the bible is warning. Don't even look at it.

God says of your little glass of wine with dinner, "Don't even look at that drink. That drink is so wicked, you're going to say perverted things, you're going to behold strange women, you're going to do all kinds of wickedness." Why? He said "Don't even look at it. It's fermented wine. Stay away from it." It's funny how whenever you talk to these Christians that promote this stuff, they're never saying "A glass of beer with dinner." Isn't it always the proverbial "Glass of wine"? The reason why is because they think like "Oh, you're going to think that all the wine in the bible is alcohol."

They love to use the word "Wine" because it's a bible word and they're mixed up about the fact that the bible is half the time talking about just juice, so they use the word wine, like "Well I could have a little wine with my dinner," but here's the thing about wine. It has 3 to 4 times as much alcohol as beer in it, hello? It doesn't make sense, you'd be able to make a better case to say to say "Well, drink a little beer," but see, that doesn't sound as good. That's not as easy to deceive Christians with when you show up and say "Hey, let's all have a beer." It's like "Whoa," but a little "Glass of wine with dinner," which makes no sense because the wine is like drinking 3 times as much. Seriously, even that little glass of wine has more alcohol in it than a big bottle of beer. If you'd have a big 12 ounce bottle of beer, it's going to have less alcohol in it than your 6 ounce glass of wine.

Fact, because I just read you from MGD, Budweiser, Corona, they all have like a third the alcohol of wine, so you see how this attitude that says "Well I can go get the wine," what we call wine today in the United States, "And I can drink that in moderation," when God says "Don't even look at that drink," and I hope that everybody has processed all these numbers because this is very important. Now as we get into the sub scriptures on this, and the main purpose of my sermon tonight is this, it's to debunk a lot of the arguments that I've heard people use for social drinking, or "Hey, it's okay for Christians to drink as long as it's in moderation," okay?

I've done other sermons where I just screamed and foamed at the mouth at the evils of alcohol, I did a sermon called "Drunkards and wine behaviors," I did a sermon called "Be drunken and spew," I did a sermon called "Alcohol," but tonight's sermon, I want to go into some of the arguments that people will try to bring forth to justify drinking. To justify drinking a 12% alcoholic beverage, the most alcoholic beverage that they were even able to make in bible days, and they justify drinking that when the bible says not to even look at it, okay? Now before I do, let me start out by saying this. Those who will bring these kind of arguments will always try to differentiate between drinking and getting drunk. "It's okay to drink just as long as you don't get drunk," right? Whereas what the bible actually teaches is sobriety.

Over and over again, the bible tells us to be sober. Go to Titus chapter 2, if you would. Titus chapter 2. Listen to 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 while you turn there, verse 6. "Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation." Now their argument is usually "Well sober in the bible, that has nothing to do with not being drunk. It just means you're serious, you're alert, you're awake, you're paying attention." Guess what? When you're drunk, you're not alert and paying attention and sober like you are.

That's why they call that being sober when you don't drink. There's a reason why they use the word "Sober" to describe people who aren't drinking at all, because the words do go together and I just read for you from 1 Thessalonians where in the same breath, he says "Be sober" in verse 6, he says in verse 7, "Those that are drunk," and then in verse 8 he says "Be sober" again, which connects being sober and being drunk as being 2 opposite conditions, okay? Now when you drink. They'll always tell you that even after the first sip of alcohol, and I've been to a lot of driver's training. Don't look into my driving record, but I've been to the survival school and I've been to a lot of driver's ... What do they call it when you have to take that? Defensive driving training?

Speaker 2: I'm a PhD graduate.

Pastor Anderson: You're a PhD too? Yeah, so am I. Basically, they always tell you, the first thing to go is your good judgment. Even after 1 sip, your good judgment, and here's the thing. When you start drinking, your good judgment goes out the window, so then, another glass doesn't seem like such a bad idea, and remember, 3 little tiny glasses of wine equals 3 beers, big bottles of beer, okay? The good judgment goes out the window, you're not as alert, and it's often likened on to being really tired and sleepy. Have you ever been up real late at night and you're tired and you start acting kind of silly and goofy, and then you're kind of like "All right, it's time to go to bed," but see, that's kind of how people act when they've had just a little bit of alcohol too, so the bible's telling us over and over again, we need to be alert, we need to be sober, we need to stay sharp, okay?

Look what the bible says here in Titus chapter 2 verse 2. "That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience." Verse 4, the older women says "That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children." Verse 6, "Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded," so all 4 groups, old men, young men, old women, young women, be sober, be sober, be sober, be sober.

Look at verse number 12. "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world," so 4 different times in this one chapter, he says "Be sober, be sober," and they're so hung up on "Don't get drunk, don't get drunk," I'd rather just say "Be sober" because they say "Well, after 1 glass of wine," which one little glass equals a big beer and a half, okay? "One glass of wine, you're not drunk." Yeah, but you're not sober either, and by the way, just because you're not drunk by whatever definition, I don't know how drooling and making an idiot of yourself you have to be before you're considered, but after 1 glass of wine, you're what people would refer to as "Tipsy, a little bit tipsy," whatever that means.

I don't want to go through life tipsy. I want to be sober, I want to be sharp, I want to be grave, I want to be alert, and you know, I don't want to behold strange women a little bit or say a little bit of perverse things, okay? I don't want my good judgment to be inhibited a little bit, but if you would, let's look at some of these arguments that people would make. Let's go to John chapter 2. This is obviously the one that every town drunk knows. This is his favorite bible verse, this is life verse. "Well, Jesus turned the water into wine, hiccup," and people would bring this out as the proof of the fact that drinking alcohol's fine, and we already proved from Proverbs 23, there's a type of wine we're not supposed to look at.

It's the one that moves itself around the color, it's describing a fermented wine, because you have to ask yourself, "Where do we draw the line with what wine we're not supposed to look at and what wine God gave us to be a blessing?" Here's where you draw the line. Unalcoholic, good, alcoholic, bad. It's not that complicated. It's not like "Well, you can drink a beer that's 5%, but just don't drink the 12% stuff," but here's the thing. These idiots are all promoting the 12% all day long. That's all they promote. I've never heard pastors get up and make the case for drinking beer, just because it sounds trashy, but the case for beer would make like 100 times more sense in light of Proverbs 23, but they're trying to use the bible. The bible warns us about the beer preacher or the wine preacher.

Listen to this while you're turning to John 2. Micah chapter 2 verse 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." The bible talks about a prophet of strong drink, the prophet of wine, the liar. It says in Isaiah 28 verse 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," it's talking about pastors, preachers. "They are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean," so the bible warns us about pastors and preachers that would indulge in alcohol and preach alcohol, okay?"

Look at John chapter 2, this is the story of Jesus turning water into wine. It says in verse 7, "Jesus saith unto them, fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: but the servants which drew the water knew; the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have," and I want you to pay close attention to this, "When men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now."

Let's get the picture here. Jesus turns water into wine. Now I believe that the wine he made was unalcoholic, just a fruit drink, a juice beverage. Now you say "Why would anybody get excited about fruit juice?" That's just your wicked, carnal heart that can only get excited about liquor and drugs and everything that's wrong. Some of us enjoy a good glass of Welch's grape juice, and you know what? Because we're not so warped, and by the way, back then when people had to step on it, it was expensive. Have you ever juiced stuff yourself without machines? Have you ever tried making orange juice without a machine? Like you have a big bag of oranges and you have like a little cup of juice like that, so when you're giving out, when you've got an open bar back then, even if it's Welch's, people are excited. It didn't have to be booze to get excited, my friend.

Now it says here that Jesus turned the water into wine and he's commending him on bringing out the best possible wine at the end, which is the stuff Jesus made, was the highest quality stuff according to this guy. That's pretty clear from the story, right? Jesus brought out the high quality wine and they were blown away saying "Whoa, usually, late into the part is when you would start getting out the cheap stuff. You've saved the good wine and so," and he says "After men have well drunk." Now let me ask you something about the adverb "Well". "Well" is the adverb of the adjective "Good". Now isn't that a positive description, "Well"? "Well drunk." Listen to this in the NIV, okay?. Brother Garret, can you read this for me from the NIV? John chapter 2, you look down at your King James bible, he's going to read John 2:10 from the NIV.

Garret: "And said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

Pastor Anderson: According to the NIV, they've already had too much to drink, so the King James used a positive word, "Well drunk", and it's not talking about them being drunk, it says "They have drunk," like drink, drank, drunk, like sink, sank, sunk, and don't say "Think, thank, thunk," all right, but anyway, he's saying "Look, they've well drunk." Basically, here's the thing. The first bite of everything is the best. The first bite of that burger's the best bite and then it goes downhill from there, right? The first drink of that can of soda is the best taste, so after you've drunk glass after glass, you can bring out, you can switch from Coca Cola to Cragmont and Shasta. No offense, Shasta, but you can get out the Cragmont, the Shasta, you can break out the store brand because people don't care as much anymore. That first taste is when it's the best.

Just stop and think about this. The NIV is saying that Jesus, when they'd already had too much to drink, gives them more, and it talks about making these giant pots, so he just creates these giant water pots, turns them into wine, "Oh, you guys have had too much? Let me give you more." This is the bizarre doctrine, though, from the NIV. Now look, either way, you say "Well I don't use the NIV, so that's not relevant," but even if you're King James, if you interpret this as "Hey, I'm making them alcoholic beverage," that's what you're saying, you're okay if it's alcohol then they've well drunk alcohol and let's give them more. It makes no sense.

Now if you take the interpretation that he's just making fruit juice for these people, I don't believe Jesus, and listen to me, there's so much foolish doctrine out there, I was a teenager in a youth group at Antelope Springs Baptist Church in Antelope, California, when I was a teenager, I sat there, and the youth leader did a lesson and he said "Jesus was at a drunken party," and he said that's why it was okay for us to be at a drunken party. That's what he's teaching teenagers in a baptist church. "We can go let our light shine at that drunken party." This is the kind of stupid doctrine you get from reading an NIV, but here's the thing.

Even if you're reading the King James, if you're going to interpret it the way the NIV puts it, you're basically coming out with the same thing. Everybody's drinking, they well drunk, "No, let's get on more." Mary's like "Dude, we need to make a beer run." "What am I to do with thee?" Is that what these new versions are going to start saying? "Dude, bro, we need more kegs." This is a stupid way to read the bible, friend. The bible here is not talking about booze because if it were, then Jesus would be in sin by giving it to people who've already well drunk. They're done. Cut them off, okay?

Here's another scripture that people will use. Go back to Deuteronomy chapter 14. Tonight in this sermon, I just want to hit some of the most popular scriptures that people will pull out to say "Hey, it's okay to drink so long as you don't get drunk," and by the way, I know the exception proves the rule, my friend, but everybody who I've ever known personally who said "It's okay to drink but don't get drunk" always got drunk. I'm not saying there's not somebody out there who just limits themselves to that one little glass with dinner. Does this sound so sophisticated? To just drink a glass with dinner? Because you're so civilized and you smell the cork and ... Spit it out, and people, they think they're so cool.

These rich people, and they've got their marble counter top, and they've got their little wine cooler on the counter and all their little wines, but why don't they just put up all their trailer trash beer bottles? It'd be less alcoholic, but see, if you walk to their house, there were just like Coors, Bud, Miller, then it'd be like "Whoa, this person's a derelict," but if you just put a ... You could just triple the alcohol content, triple it, and then just put a label on it. "Chateau de ... " whatever, then all of a sudden, it's all classy. You're a wino. I haven't heard that word in a long time. Bring it back. Here's another verse that the prophet of strong drink would bring or that Christians will point you to. Deuteronomy 14. In Deuteronomy 14, what they'll do, they'll take this out of the context to change the meaning.

Look at verse 26, it says "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," so they'll quote just that one verse and they'll say "Look, God's telling you buy strong drink and drink it. Go to church and you and the Levite can rejoice together and booze it up with strong drink," but here's what they're missing, the context. What's the passage actually about? The passage is actually about tithing, because jump back to verse 22 and I'll explain to you in a moment.

It says in verse 22, "Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always. And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the Lord thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the Lord thy God hath blessed thee:

Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the Lord thy God shall choose," and here's the verse that we come to, "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," et cetera. Now keep your finger there and go to Numbers 28, just a few pages in the left of your bible, because here's the thing. He's saying that you're supposed to give 1/10 of everything to the lord. The sheep, the oxen, also the fruits of the land, they were supposed to give 1/10 unto the lord, the first fruits of all their increase. He said also of liquids like the oil and the wine, you give the tenth unto the lord, okay?

They're bringing the sheep and the oxen, and just let me ask you this. What are they going to do with the sheep and the oxen when they get there? What are they going to do with them? What's the point? Why don't they just hand the money to the Levite? What they're going to do is they're going to bring sheep and oxen, they're going to offer them as sacrifice unto the lord. Part of it's going to be burned on the altar and part of it, they're going to eat. They weren't supposed to eat the whole animal. Parts of it is to be burned upon the altar for a sweet savor. That's what they're doing with the sheep and the ox, that's why they get there with money and buy sheep, but an ox, and they can offer their sacrifice instead of having to bring the sheep and oxen a super long distance, it's easier to turn it into money.

Take their best sheep and oxen, sell them, take the money, bring the money, get there, buy a new one, offer it. Everybody understand that? Okay? Here's one of the offerings that they were supposed to do: The drink offering, and the drink offering was to be poured out unto the lord, okay? Now it says right here in Numbers 28 verse 7, "And the drink offering thereof," and by the way, the thereof there, he's referring to along with the meat sacrifice, along with the animal, there would be like a meat offering to go with it of flower and oil, like a little pancake, and then there's also a drink offering, so they would offer animals but they would also offer drink offering, meat offering, et cetera.

Look what it says. "The drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one lamb," so per lamb, 1/4 part of a hin, "In the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto the Lord for a drink offering," so are they drinking the strong wine? Did he say "Get the strong wine and drink it. Get the strong drink and drink it." No, he says "Pour out the strong drink unto the lord for a drink offering. And the other lamb shalt thou offer at even: as the meat offering of the morning, and as the drink offering thereof, thou shalt offer it, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord. And on the sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof," so these animal sacrifices, they also had a drink offering associated with it. Did everybody get that?

The drink offering, the wine, why would they pour out the wine or the drink offering? It's part of the process, part of the sacrifice, that's what it says, so notice in, go back to Deuteronomy 14. Notice here, where does he ever say in this passage, and remember, there are plenty of scriptures telling us the dangers of alcohol, the dangers of wine, don't look at that wine and don't be drunk, be sober, but they're like searching the scripture to try to find something to tell us because every other time he's talking about strong drink, he's saying no, "But what about Deuteronomy 14?" Where in this passage does he ever tell you, "Hey, drink that with the Levite." No, no, no.

They're bringing this stuff to make offerings unto the lord. Are they drinking the oil? "Take a bottle of oil and just drink it." No because the bible doesn't mention here that they're drinking anything. It says that "Thou shall eat before the lord." Does everybody see that? Therefore, this strong wine that they're bringing is used for 2 things. It could be used, number 1, to be poured out unto the lord in the required drink offering, the drink offering that has to happen. What if you just decide to skip the drink offering, are you following scripture at that point? No, it prescribes an animal sacrifice and there's flower and there is oil that is poured out unto the lord.

If you're not pouring out the strong drink, you're not fulfilling scripture, so you got to buy the drink so that you can dump it out in the drink offering. He's not saying "Drink this and get drunk," and by the way, there are people who use strong drink also to cook food that they eat, and guess what, that doesn't get you drunk. This isn't like a pot brownie or something. If you cook with wine, it doesn't make you drunk at all because it cooks off all the alcohol, so anyway, this doesn't hold up if you have an understanding of scripture where you understand the drink offerings are there, then this kind of falls apart real fast since it never tells you to drink strong drink, and elsewhere it says "Wine is a mocker and strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise."

Flip over, if you would, to Romans 14. This is another one that people will bring out to try to say that it's okay to drink alcohol as long as you don't get drunk, which again, in my personal experience, everybody I've known who claimed this was getting drunk, in my opinion. For example, I remember we had some neighbors that were real big on this. They went to a church that we called "The beer church" when I was growing up because they just all drank and they all condone drinking, but they would always say "Well, it's a sin to get drunk," but this family that lived down the street, the mother and father had one other couple over and they went through like a case of 24 beers for people, but none of them got drunk, so that's amazing, and I don't know that much about alcohol, thank God, because I've never even tasted beer in my life, but I do know this.

If the bible's telling that alcohol is going to do this stuff to me that's all negative, I can't see any benefit that this could have for me, then why would I ever touch the stuff he says don't even look at it? Here's the thing, but I'll tell you this right now. Drinking wine is the worst possible alcoholic beverage you could be recommending, even worse than beer, worse than The Beer Church is The Wine Church, the winos, winebibber baptist, but the bible says here in Romans 14:1, it says "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him"

In this passage, he's talking about the fact that people are going to come along that are weak in the faith, and because they're weak in the faith, they think that certain things are wrong that are not really wrong, these things are actually fine but they think it's wrong. An example here is one who is a vegetarian. There are people out there who are vegetarians, they don't eat meat, okay? Now the bible's clear here that the one who's eating herbs is weak, so he is stating who's right here, isn't he? The guy who says "To eat meat is right," the one who says "To eat herbs is wrong," what's the bible saying? "Him that is weak in the faith," the vegetarian Christian, he says "Receive him but not to doubtful disputations," so we're not supposed to just reject that person. "Hey, you can't be part of our church because we need to all eat of the same spiritual meat and drink of that same spiritual drink."

We need to receive people like that because obviously, that person is probably just young in the faith, they probably just need to learn more. Once they read Leviticus a few times and see all those animals getting slaughtered like every chapter, then they're going to rethink that whole vegetarian thing, okay? People that don't really know the bible or weak in the faith, they have this thing of just being vegetarian, and you know what? Let me ask you this. Is it really making them a bad person to be a vegetarian? Is it really hurting anybody if they're vegetarian? No. It's fine, right?

Now I'm not hurting anyone by eating meat and they're not hurting anyone by eating herbs, but you know what? Alcohol is hurting people, so trying to use this chapter in a discussion about alcohol to say "Well, you know it's sort of like that issue of vegetarianism versus eating meat" or the next thing he brings out is the different days of the week where he says "One man is esteemeth one day: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." Again, there's no harm in somebody saying it's wrong to work on Sunday if that's their own personal conviction. Now that isn't wrong, I esteem everyday alike, but some people think that we should still have that one day off. Okay. Is that really hurting anybody if they decide "Hey, I'm never going to work on Sunday." No, it's not hurting anyone, is it?

If somebody works 7 days a week, as long as they're faithful to church, though, a lot of people work between the services or work before or after, is that really hurting anybody if they're working 7 days a week? No. That's the type of things that we're talking about. Don't get into these doubtful disputations, don't stand in judgment of people and condemn people, "Well, I just don't trust a vegetarian. I just can't be around somebody who doesn't eat meat with me." It's like just get off of it, it's okay, and look, I've been tolerant of vegetarians, even though I think it's ridiculous. I'm like "Oh, okay. Sure, let me help you find something on the menu that's vegetarian." I'm not just like "Pathetic weakling. I'm going to pump you up. Eat some meat." I'm not going to sit there and talk down to them, okay?

Then also, in 1 Corinthians 8, he talks about this same type of an issue in regard to, it's a parallel passage with Romans 14 except in that one it's about eating things sacrificed unto idols, and he's saying the idol isn't real, it's just a statue, it doesn't really mean anything, but he's saying it's bad if it's associated with worshiping Satan, so he says if you eat meat that's been offered and sacrificed unto idols, as long as you don't know about it, it's sort of a don't ask, don't tell. Just eat the meat and who cares, but if somebody comes to you and says "Hey, this was offered and sacrificed unto idols," he says you need to refuse that, okay?

This might not be an issue in America, but in a place like India where there's over a billion people living right now, this is an issue because they offer food to sacrifice, and I talked to a guy who said they bring it to his work and bring it to the cubicles and "Hey, this is from the temple of whatever. It was offered," literally. He's in a situation where this comes into play. Thank God, America still has a culture of a once Christian nation so we don't have to deal with that level of idolatry, but other places in the world do deal with that, in China, in India and places like that, and he says "You don't want to wound their weak conscience. If you do, you sin against Christ." 1 Corinthians 8:13 says "Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend."

He's saying "I'm not out to offend people and just eat meat in their face and just rub their nose in it and everything." Now here's where they're tying this in with wine. Go to Romans 14 and look at verse 13. It says "Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. 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." Again, kind of like the days of the weak, food, it's not really simple, is it? "But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died." I don't know why I don't have the verse in my notes so let me just look down in the bible here in verse 14 where it mentions the wine.

There it is, I found it. Verse 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," so because of this just in passing, he doesn't go into any detail because he's talking in detail about the meat and the idols and the days and everything, but in passing, wine is on the list. Eating flesh, drinking wine, anything whereby thy brother stumbleth, or offended, and right there, look. This is saying that if you think drinking is wrong, you are a weak Christian, so basically, they're trying to equate this to being alcohol, which is it's not alcohol and I'll explain it to you in a moment, but they're saying this is alcohol, so he' s saying "Just stuff where weak Christians, like drinking alcohol."

It's like "Whoa, why does that make you a weak Christian if you don't drink liquor when there's all the scripture telling you not to and don't even look at it, it's going to make all these bad things happen." I've had, and virtually, any Christian you talk to about this that'll justify drinking alcohol, they'll just say "Well you're just a weaker brother. You're weak," so they turn it around to where those of us who abstained for drinking were weak Christians. Now here's the thing. When you don't eat meat, you actually get weak physically. Hello? Is anybody home? There's protein in meat, and if you try to get enough protein without eating meat, it's difficult. That's why a lot of these vegans that you see look like they came out of a concentration camp.

There are ways to get enough protein without eating meat, but you have to make eating like a full time job. If you look at these vegan athletes or fruitarian athletes, eating is like their whole job because it takes hours a day to figure out how to get that much protein down your gullet, because if you look and people will say "Oh, rice and beans." Yeah, but beans has less than half the protein of meat, and guess what? There's just only so much beans you can eat, buddy. How many beans are you going to eat to get your protein that you need? I mean rice? "Oh, rice and beans." Look, rice, it has like a couple of grams of protein if you eat a little bit of rice. It has, I don't know, a tenth of the protein or a fifteenth of the protein or something of what you find in meat?

The closest thing you can get to meat on protein is yogurt, which is an animal product, so the vegans don't do that, and if you read books on pregnancy, they'll tell you like "Hey, it's really cool and trendy and stuff that you're a vegan, but now that you're pregnant, you need to stop being a vegan because your baby's relying on you to get enough protein," and not getting enough protein when you're pregnant can be dangerous, okay? Not only that, if you're pregnant with twins, they say vegetarian is not even an option if you have twins. It better be meat and yogurt. The closest thing you can get to meat is dairy and eggs, but if you're not doing dairy and eggs, woe unto you if you're trying to get all your protein, and here's the thing.

Maybe women, maybe it's not as important to them if they're not pregnant, but us men, we don't to just all of our muscle be consumed as protein. We don't want to just be like ... Because if you don't eat enough protein, you now what's going to happen? Your body will cannibalize your muscles to get the protein. We don't want to be skinny like that, so we want to eat enough protein, so the bible is actually quite literal when it says "Another who's weak eateth herbs" because eating a vegetarian diet will not make you as strong as somebody who eats a lot of protein. Just ask any body builder or whatever. I'm not into body building but I'm saying they'll tell you you got to eat a lot of protein, right?

That makes sense, but it doesn't make sense that "Oh, drinking alcohol makes you weak." It's not like "Oh, you're going to the gym? Be sure to get this post workout beverage of Chateau de whatever." You don't see people at the gym with a bottle of wine, like "Oh, yeah, I just finished a big set of bench press. I'm going to drink this, maybe stronger." Eating herbs makes you weak, okay? But guess what, not drinking doesn't make you weak spiritually. It doesn't make you weak physically. We're talking about spiritual weakness, there's a secondary meaning of physical weakness, but guess what? Alcohol doesn't do either to you. It doesn't make you stronger spiritually. How can you say "I'm a stronger Christian because I'm just at liberty to drink the number 1 most alcoholic possible beverage without modern technology," and this is just demonstration, it's only water.

Anyway, where was I going with this? You say, "Well done, what's he saying? How could he be talking about juice here?" Again, you're failing to understand that wine in the bible represents luxury. That's what it represents because it was expensive back then, because they didn't have machines and stuff, so juice and wine were considered a luxury item. That's why Nehemiah, when he's kind of bragging about how much provision he has, like "Hey, every 10 days, we were able to drink wine." Why? Because it's a status thing. It's luxury. When the bible talks about oil and wine, it's talking about having a lot of money. It's talking about being rich and lavish.

Now here's the thing about a lot of people, okay? They want to live an ascetic lifestyle and impose that on other people. Think about how Buddhism is where it teaches you "Oh, you got to suffer and go through all this pain," and think about what did they accuse Jesus of when he was on this earth; being a glutton and a winebibber. Now look. What's wrong with eating a lot of food? What's wrong with eating ... No, what they're saying when they say "He's a glutton and a winebibber", they're accusing him of indulging the flesh, right? "Hey, he's a glutton and a winebibber."

What does it mean when they call him a glutton? What are they accusing him of? Just indulging the flesh and basically just living a lavish, luxury, and they're comparing him to John the Baptist who's out in the wilderness, eating grasshoppers, right? He's eating locust and wild honey, so John the Baptist is living outside, sleeping outside, eating this real austere diet, and they're coming to Jesus and saying "Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but thy disciples fast not?"

They have this attitude of just like punishing their bodies, and there are religious people who go down this road, right? Where they get really ascetic and they just get really minimal and get really austere, and they go overboard into that instead of realizing that God does want us to also enjoy our lives a little bit and have some fun and relax and whatever, and not to just live this super austere, Buddhist monk type lives. Does everybody see that? He's saying "Oh, you're a glutton and a winebibber." You know why they call him a glutton and winebibber? Because he came eating and drinking. The drinking wasn't like "He came drinking." "Hey, everybody. Hey, I can turn water into wine. Come on over."

That wasn't Jesus' big draw with the people. They're calling him a man gluttonous and a winebibber, they're accusing him of living a lavish lifestyle, okay? There are people like this today that get real upset when they just see you like feast. Even on food, even if you're not overweight, they just don't want to see you feasting, but we had a chili cook off, and somebody was like saying, somebody online was like "You guys should be intercessory prayer on that night, and we shouldn't be sitting around eating chili, we need to be on our faces before God, praying and fasting." They go overboard, and the bible says "Be not righteous over much. Why shouldest thou be destroyed?" God wants us to live a godly, righteous life and he wants to abstain from sin, and he also wants us to make sacrifices and suffer, but not this over the top, overboard, and there are people who are crazy like this.

This is what we're talking about, so what he's saying is when he said "Oh, you might offend people with your meat and your drink and whatever," he's talking about people being offended basically by you feasting and having a good time, and that could be offensive. What is he saying? "If meat makes my brother to offend." What's the meat there? It's just enjoying expensive food because guess what? Rice and beans is cheaper than meat, right? He's saying "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." This is the thing where Jesus is called a glutton and a winebibber because he's eating meat and drinking wine and sitting around at the Pharisees house when they thought he should be out in the desert fasting and praying, and he did.

There were times of fasting and prayer for Jesus, but there were also times of feasting and fellowship, but that offends some people, so again, your grasp in its straws to just take this little drive by mention in Romans 14 which is not even what the chapter's about where he just throws wine into the mix, well you know what? I say the wine here is unalcoholic beverage. He's just talking about eating meat and drinking wine, expensive food, that's all he's talking about. Living a luxury life, and obviously, we want to make sure we don't go overboard on the luxury life either. Balance if what we need, okay? I think that that's all pretty easy to understand.

Not only that, but there could be people who would say "Oh, we shouldn't drink wine whatsoever, even grape juice because maybe they're misinterpreting the Nazirite Vow where the Nazirites weren't even allowed to eat a grape. The Nazirites weren't allowed to eat a raisin. Not even a raisin, let alone any grape juice, so they could be confused on that, and you say "Well, how could anyone be confused on it?" How can anyone be confused and think that eating meat is wrong? Right? If people can mix that up, they could probably mix up and say "Oh, well God's perfect will is that we abstain from grapes and grape juice or whatever. It's only for the lord's suppers."

There's a new weird doctrine everyday, folks, so again, I don't have time for anything else, but the bottomline is as we study the bible, just a quick recap, is that wine is mentioned 231 times in the bible. That's not all alcohol. A lot of that is just talking juice. We proved that by showing you the word juice is not used, except the Song of Solomon scripture. That's why he has to differentiate us and tell us there's a good type of wine and a bad type of wine. Don't look at the bad one. What's the bad one? He describes fermentation. He says their wine is the poison of asps and dragons and its horrible. He says "Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, to puttest thy bottle to him, and make him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness," right?

Then you have other positive mentions of wine where it's in the context of bread and oil and wine and everybody's rejoicing and feasting and having a good time, okay? When you look at the couple of proof text that these winos will come at you with, the water and the wine, it falls apart when you actually look at the story. Romans 14 doesn't hold up when you compare a scripture with scripture, Deuteronomy 14 falls apart when you understand the drink offering and understand it says "Eating" not "Drinking", okay? I'm sure they'll come up with some other scripture to come at you with and hit you with, but listen. Don't let people go all Romans 14 on you with this or 1 Corinthians 8 on this because this is not a doubtful issue. Not a doubtful issue.

This is an issue that God talks about over 100 times, and if God brings something up over 100 times, don't tell me this is some doubtful Christian liberty. "Hey, if the holy spirit's convicting you, then don't do it, but I'm going to drink." No. He said "Don't look at it." It's a commandment. "Be sober." This is not optional, this is not a maybe, this is not a slightly different interpretation, it's not doubtful, alcohol drinking has no place in any Christian's home, period. Jesus didn't make it, he didn't serve it, he did not drink it, it's always negative, it's always bad when we're talking about strong drink, alcohol consumption. Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer.

Father, we thank you so much for your word, lord, and we thank you for the luxuries in life that we do get to enjoy, such as wholesome fruit juice and fresh baked breads, lord, hot, buttery slather pieces of bread with a glass of grape juice with it, lord. Help us to actually enjoy these type of innocent things in our life and not just read the bible through a carnal lens of every time people are enjoying wine, it must be booze. Help us to just enjoy the things that you do permit us to have and not seek after these forbidden things, lord, and help us not to be fools that are deceived by alcohol, lord. Help us to be wise, and in Jesus' name we pray, amen.

We broke the record again, so how many people do we have tonight? All right, we only broke it by 1, so how many people do we have? 149 is our new Sunday night record, all right. We don't do ice cream ... We're doing ice cream again? Okay, all right, the double dip. Now look, I don't want to cause any of the weaker brothers to offend here by eating ice cream twice in one day. No, I'm just kidding. Remember that sermon about not being too austere? Having fun, enjoying luxury, all right, we're having ice cream again because we broke the record twice.