DID JESUS SERVE ALCOHOL?
The miracle of Jesus turning the water into wine is found in John 2:1-11. Some people try to justify the drinking of alcohol by saying that Jesus made alcoholic wine. But was the wine Jesus created alcoholic? When they ran out of wine at the wedding feast at Cana, Jesus had them fill six water pots to the brim, each of which held about 27-30 gallons each. This would make a total of about 162 gallons of alcoholic wine! When it was taken to the master of the wedding feast to taste, he was surprised and said, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now” (John 2:10). The “good wine” in those days was grape juice that had not yet fermented.
The Greek word “OINOS” which is translated wine in the Bible can be either fermented or unfermented wine. We see in Isaiah 65:8, “Thus says the Lord, ‘As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one says do not destroy it’”. What is the alcoholic content in the new wine in a cluster of grapes? Zero. There is no alcohol in a cluster of grapes. Also God says in Isaiah 16:10, “No treaders will tread out wine in the presses; I have made their shouting cease.” Again we know the alcoholic content of the new wine that is being treaded out in the grape presses is zero. This wine is only fresh grape juice.
Jesus says in Matthew 9:17, “Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” New wine, which is unfermented wine as we have seen in Isaiah 16:10, 65:8, is not placed into old wine skins because the old wine skins probably have been contaminated with fermentation bacteria which will ferment the new wine. If new wine is placed into old wineskins, then the new wine will become fermented and the fermentation gasses will break the wineskins and the wine will pour out. But Jesus says that you put new wine (fresh grape juice) into new wineskins (which have not been contaminated with fermentation bacteria) “and both are preserved”.
Jesus did not create an alcoholic wine. God’s word forbade giving alcoholic wine to someone else. Habakkuk 2:15 says, “Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, pressing him to the bottle, even to make him drunk, that you may look on his nakedness.” Jesus would have disobeyed God’s word as found in Habakkuk and sinned if he had made an alcoholic wine, which was drunk by others. But Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Jesus never sinned or He could not have died for us. If He sinned He would have had to die for His own sin.
We have seen in the above scriptures that the wine Jesus made was not fermented. It was fresh grape juice, which is also referred to as wine (OINOS). To say that Jesus made 167 gallons of fermented wine is blasphemy. God’s word says “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1).
Did Jesus Drink Wine at the Last Supper?
We are often asked this question around the Easter season when many churches have Communion. “The Lord’s Supper” is what Jesus gave His Body to memorialize His death, and like the Jewish Passover, we must take it at least once a year. Those who fail to partake of Communion at least once a year have no spiritual life in them, and Jesus said that they will not be raised up (John 6:35-51). It is a serious matter not to be taken lightly.
1Corinthians 5:7-8: “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
This is written to New Testament Christians, and Paul likened us to unleavened bread. Since Christ is our Passover (Hebrew: PESACH: “lamb”), we do not need to eat lamb at Communion. We are commanded to eat unleavened bread and grape juice. Moreover, we must first purge out the old leaven of malice and wickedness. There are both physical and spiritual applications in the Communion. Since it was the eve of the Passover when Jesus and His 12 disciples gathered for the Last Supper, we should examine the origins and commandments regarding the Passover meal. Of course we should be living holy daily as commanded.
The First Passover
Passover referred to an event, Israel’s exodus out of Egypt at midnight, to the meal they ate that night, and to the lamb itself. They were commanded to keep this feast every year throughout all their generations, and anyone who did not would be cut off from Israel.
There were specifics that had to be met, such as the lamb had to be perfect, a year-old male without blemish. This typified Jesus: “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). When it was slain, its blood was struck on the header and door posts of their homes. This protected them from the death Angel that carried out the 10th and final plague, killing all the firstborn of Egypt. God said: “When I see the blood, I will pass over you” (Exodus 12:1-13).
The lamb was eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs to remind them of their cruel slavery in Egypt. They were leaving in haste and would not have time for the yeast to rise, so God commanded that the bread be baked without leaven. From this point in the Scriptures,leaven is always symbolic of sin. Not only could they not eat unleavened bread, but there was to be no leaven anywhere in their living quarters: “Seven days ye shall eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses; for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel” (Ex.12:15).
The command not to eat leavened bread was repeated no fewer than 10 times in the passages regarding Passover. Moreover, non-Jews living amongst the Israelites could not partake of Passover unless they were first circumcised. Circumcision is the sign and seal of the Abrahamic covenant, showing that one is in a covenant relationship with the God of the Bible, JEHOVAH (Genesis 17:12-13). Clearly, Communion is not to be taken by sinners. It is only for believers who are in a covenant relationship with God through Jesus Christ His Son.
How Is Bread Leavened?
Leavened bread has undergone a fermentation process which requires time. It is the decomposition of living organisms when yeast and bacteria inside the dough convert the natural carbohydrates in the wheat to carbon dioxide. This causes gas bubbles to form, which fill up with air and cause the bread to rise. This fermentation process is very similar to wine and beer and is why some people think that baking fresh bread smells like beer.
So if God forbid the Israelites to eat fermented bread at Passover — Do you think He would want them to drink fermented grape juice — alcoholic wine?
The Last Supper
Jesus, on the night of His betrayal, took the unleavened bread, motzah, and blessed it and brake it, saying, “This is my body which is broken for you; eat this in remembrance of me.” If you have ever looked at a whole piece of motzah, you saw that it has stripes and small holes throughout. Messianic Jews see these as the 39 stripes on Jesus’ back that He bore for our physical healing, and the piercings He suffered when nailed to the cross as prophesied by Isaiah: “He was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed” (Isa.53:5). Peter looking back at Pilate’s whipping post: “And by his stripes you were healed.” (1Pet.2:24).
Then Jesus took the cup and blessed it, saying, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matt.26:26-29, 1Cor.11:23-25).
The Fruit of the Vine
We know leaven is symbolic of sin in the Bible, and that only unleavened — unfermented bread can be served at Communion, so it would be preposterous to think that it would be okay to serve fermented grape juice — alcoholic wine. The blood of the sinless Lamb of God would not be symbolized by corrupted, fermented wine. Furthermore, Jesus called it “fruit of the vine”, which refers to fresh grape juice and not fermented wine. Jesus refused to drink fermented wine even when He was hanging on the cross and cried: “I thirst!” They gave Him “wine mingled with myrrh”, but when He tasted it, He refused to drink it (Matt.27:34, Mk.15:22).
There are two kinds of wine, fermented and unfermented; just as there is sweet cider and hard cider. In O.T. Hebrew, writers used several words to distinguish between fermented and unfermented wine. In the N.T. only one Greek word is used to describe both, but by understanding the context, it is easy to determine which is meant. For instance, Jesus said in 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.” (KJV). Clearly, new wine refers to fresh, unfermented wine. This is further supported by Haggai 1:11: “I called for drought upon the corn and the new wine.” Obviously, this refers to growing grapes. If the wine were in the wineskins, the drought would have no effect upon it.
Did Jesus Turn the Water into Wine?
Jesus performed His first miracle at a wedding in Cana when He turned the water into wine (John 2). Many Christians try to use this to advocate their liberty to drink wine. They ignore the fact that it is abundantly proven in the Bible that there is more than one kind of wine, and disregard the fact that the O.T. consistently disapproves of alcoholic wine. Priests who ministered in the Tabernacle and those under a Nazarite vow were forbidden to drink alcoholic wine, even on the penalty of death (Num.6:2-3, Lev.10:9-10). All believers in the new covenant are “a royal priesthood” (1Pet.2:9, Rev.5:10).
There were six water pots which held about 27-30 gallons each. This means they would have Jesus making over 162 gallons of alcoholic wine for the wedding guests! Moreover, for wine to become alcoholic, time is necessary for the fermentation process to take place. When freshly made, wine has no alcohol content at all. Because the master of the feast said that the wine Jesus made was “the good wine”, some say this proves that it was alcoholic, when he was actually complimenting the groom on its pure quality.
Why Tell Timothy to Drink Wine?
“Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities” (1Timothy 5:23). Many assume that the wine Paul referred to was alcoholic, but this is not true. There is historical evidence that unfermented grape juice was used for stomach disorders. Paul instructed him to drink “wine” as a tonic. Grape juice is an excellent tonic for the stomach, and there is no greater or additional medicinal benefit in alcoholic wine. In chapter 3, Paul said that church leaders must not drink wine (neither should their families), so he would not then advocate that Timothy, the pastor of Ephesus, drink alcoholic wine.
He also told Titus: “A bishop (pastor) must not be given to wine” (Titus 1:7). He would not tell Timothy to drink wine and tell Titus not to drink wine, if he meant alcoholic wine in both cases. Obviously, he meant for Timothy to drink grape juice.
Don’t Be A Stumblingblock!
A major reason not to drink alcohol is not to put a stumbling-block before a weaker brother and sister, causing them to fall. Paul wrote in Romans 14:21:”It is good neither to eat meat, nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbles, or is offended, or is made weak.” I personally know of cases where Christians who decided it was okay to have a glass of wine at mealtime or social gatherings, progressed into full-blown alcoholism and the sorrows it brings(MYSELF)! For someone who has battled with addiction in the past, we must not lift the cup of wine to his lips (Habakkuk 2:15). In America, there are at least 20 million problem drinkers, and alcoholism kills and destroys lives, marriages, and families. Once we have been set free from the bondages of the flesh, we are not to make provision for the flesh again to fulfill its lusts (Rom.13:14). How can we set wine before someone who was an alcoholic? How can we put him in a position of temptation? Paul concluded that if we eat or drink with any doubt, if we have any conviction in our hearts, it is not of faith, “and whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom.14:23). Further, 1 Thessalonians 5:22 “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
The Body is the Temple of God
The believer’s body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and we are warned not to defile our Temple (1Cor.3:16-17, 6:19-20, 2Cor.6:14-18). Alcoholism destroys a person’s brain, liver, blood vessels and much more. To condone drinking of any alcohol for those who are susceptible to temptation and addiction is sin. “Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles (unbelievers), nor to the church of God” (1Cor.10:32).
QUIT SEEING JESUS AS A WICKED BARTENDER.
((( ALCOHOL IN THE BIBLE, 75 POINTS )))
NO DRUNKARD SHALL INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD 1 COR 6,10.
1) Genesis 9:20-26 – Noah became drunk; the result was immorality and family trouble.
2) Genesis 19:30-38 – Lot was so drunk he did not know what he was doing; this led to immorality
3) Leviticus 10:9-11 – God commanded priests not to drink so that they could tell the difference between the holy and the unholy.
4) Numbers 6:3 – The Nazarites were told to eat or drink nothing from the grape vine.
5) Deuteronomy 21:20 – A drunken son was stubborn and rebellious.
6) Deuteronomy 29:5-6 – God gave no grape juice to Israel nor did they have intoxicating drink in the wilderness.
7) Deuteronomy 32:33 – Intoxicating wine is like the poison of serpents, the cruel venom of asps.
8) Judges 13:4, 7, 14 – Samson was to be a Nazarite for life. His mother was told not to drink wine or strong drink.
9) 1 Samuel 1:14-15 – Accused, Hannah said she drank no wine.
10) 1 Samuel 25:32-38 – Nabal died after a drunken spree.
11) 2 Samuel 11:13 – By getting Uriah drunk, David hoped to cover his sin.
12) 2 Samuel 13:28-29 – Amnon was drunk when he was killed.
13) 1 Kings 16:8-10 – The king was drinking himself into drunkenness when he was assassinated
14) 1 Kings 20:12-21 – Ben-Hadad and 32 other kings were drinking when they were attacked and defeated by the Israelites.
15) Esther 1:5-12 – The king gave each one all the drink he wanted. The king was intoxicated when he commanded the queen to come.
16) Psalm 75:8 – The Lord’s anger is pictured as mixed wine poured out and drunk by the wicked.
17) Proverbs 4:17 – Alcoholic drink is called the wine of violence.
18) Proverbs 20:1 – Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging.
19) Proverbs 23:19-20 – A wise person will not be among the drinkers of alcoholic beverages.
20) Proverbs 23:21 – Drunkenness causes poverty.
21) Proverbs 23:29-30 – Drinking causes woe, sorrow, fighting, babbling, wounds without cause and red eyes.
22) Proverbs 23:31 – God instructs not to look at intoxicating drinks.
23) Proverbs 23:32 – Alcoholic drinks bite like a serpent, sting like an adder.
24) Proverbs 23:33 – Alcohol causes the drinker to have strange and adulterous thoughts, produces willfulness, and prevents reformation.
25) Proverbs 23:34 – Alcohol makes the drinker unstable
26) Proverbs 23:35 – Alcohol makes the drinker insensitive to pain so he does not perceive it as a warning. Alcohol is habit forming.
27) Proverb 31:4-5 – Kings, Princes, and others who rule and judge must not drink alcohol. Alcohol perverts good judgment.
28) Proverbs 31:6-7 – Strong drink could be given to those about to perish or those in pain. Better anesthetics are available today.
29) Ecclesiastes 2:3 – The king tried everything, including intoxicating drink, to see if it satisfied. It did not. (Ecclesiastes 12:8)
30) Ecclesiastes 10:17 – A land is blessed when its leaders do not drink.
31) Isaiah 5:11-12 – Woe to those who get up early to drink and stay up late at night to get drunk.
32) Isaiah 5:22 – Woe to “champion” drinkers and “experts” at mixing drinks.
33) Isaiah 19:14 – Drunken men stagger in their vomit.
34) Isaiah 22:12-13 – The Israelites choose to drink; their future looks hopeless to them.
35) Isaiah 24:9 – Drinkers cannot escape the consequences when God judges.
36) Isaiah 28:1 – God pronounces woe on the drunkards of Ephraim.
37) Isaiah 28:3 – Proud drunkards shall be trodden down.
38) Isaiah 28:7 – Priests and prophets stagger and reel from beer and wine, err in vision, and stumble in judgment.
39) Isaiah 28:8 – Drinkers’ tables are covered with vomit and filth.
40) Isaiah 56:9-12 – Drinkers seek their own gain and expect tomorrow to be just like today.
41) Jeremiah 35:2-14 – The Rechabites drank no grape juice or intoxicating wine and were blessed.
42) Ezekiel 44:21 – Again God instructed the priests not to drink wine.
43) Daniel 1:5-17 – Daniel refused the king’s intoxicating wine and was blessed for it along with his abstaining friends.
44) Daniel 5:1 – Belshazzar, ruler of Babylon; led his people in drinking.
45) Daniel 5:2-3 – The king, along with his nobles, wives, and concubines, drank from the goblets which had been taken from God’s temple.
46) Daniel 5:4 – Drinking wine was combined with praising false gods.
47) Daniel 5:23 – God sent word to Belshazzar that punishment would be swift for the evil he had committed.
48) Hosea 4:11 – Intoxicating wine takes away intelligence.
49) Hosea 7:5 – God reproves princes for drinking.
50) Joel 1:5 – Drunkards awake to see God’s judgment.
51) Joel 3:3 – The enemy is judged for selling girls for wine.
52) Amos 2:8 – Unrighteous acts of Israel included the drinking of wine which had been taken for the payment of fines.
53) Amos 2:12 – Israel is condemned for forcing Nazarites to drink wine.
54) Micah 2:11 – Israelites are eager to follow false teachers who prophesy plenty of intoxicating drinks.
55) Nahum 1:10 – The drunkards of Nineveh will be destroyed by God.
56) Habakkuk 2:5 – A man is betrayed by wine.
57) Habakkuk 2:15 – Woe to him that gives his neighbor drink.
58) Habakkuk 2:16 – Drinking leads to shame.
59) Matthew 24:48-51 – A drinking servant is unprepared for his Lord’s return.
60) Luke 1:15 – John the Baptist drank neither grape juice nor wine.
61) Luke 12:45 – Christ warned against drunkenness.
62) Luke 21:34 – Drunkenness will cause a person not to be ready for the Lord’s return.
63) Romans 13:13 – Do not walk in drunkenness or immorality.
64) Romans 14:21 – Do not do anything that will hurt your testimony as a believer.
65) 1 Corinthians 5:11 – If a Christian brother is a drinker, do not associate with him.
66) 1 Corinthians 6:10 – Drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God
67) Galatians 5:21 – Acts of the sinful nature, such as drunkenness, will prohibit a person from inheriting the kingdom of God.
68) Ephesians 5:18 – In contrast to being drunk with wine, the believer is to be filled with the Spirit.
69) 1 Thessalonians 5:6-7 – Christians are to be alert and self-controlled, belonging to the day. Drunkards belong to the night and darkness.
70) 1 Timothy 3:2-3 – Bishops (elders) are to be temperate, sober, and not near any wine.
71) 1 Timothy 3:8 – Deacons are to be worthy of respect and not drinkers.
72) 1 Timothy 3:11 – Deacons’ wives are to be temperate and sober.
73) Titus 1:7-8 – An overseer is to be disciplined.
74) Titus 2:2-3 – The older men and older women of the church are to be temperate and not addicted to wine.
75) 1 Peter 4:3-4 – The past life of drunkenness and carousing has no place in the Christian’s life.