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Bible verses about Alcohol
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Leviticus 10:8-10

The influence of alcohol may have contributed to what Aaron's sons did. Perhaps they were not drunk, but had been drinking. Alcohol deludes one into thinking he is in control when he is not.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Presumption and Divine Justice (Part Two)


 

Leviticus 10:9-10

This suggests that alcohol may have been the reason they did what they did. They may not have been drunk, but they may have been drinking. Remember, it was a time of great celebration. The Tabernacle had been erected, Aaron had been sanctified as High Priest, his sons were installed as priests, and the Levites had been set apart for their duties. Undoubtedly, a lot of celebrating was going on. The placement of these verses seems to indicate that Nadab and Abihu had been drinking. They were not thinking properly when they used common fire. Alcohol has a way of deluding a person into thinking that he is in control when he is not.

Perhaps all the other biblical references to drunkenness are nothing more than veiled references to this occasion. Someone under the influence of alcohol cannot serve God properly.

God describes the world as being drunk with the wine of Babylon's fornication. They are people who are in no condition to serve God because they cannot think straight spiritually. They think they are in control when they are not, so they cannot be holy. They attempt to serve Him in immorality and unethically.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Examples of Divine Justice


 

Proverbs 23:19-21

These verses are among those often quoted by those who believe that it is wrong to drink alcoholic beverages. They claim that this passage proves it is sin to drink wine, and by extension, any drink containing alcohol. However, this scripture does not say these things. What then does it say?

It warns that:

» The excessive drinking of alcohol is a sin. The winebibber drinks too much and too often.

» Improper use of alcohol is as poisonous as a snake's venom (verse 32).

» God's children should avoid company with winebibbers (verse 20; see also Matthew 24:49; I Corinthians 5:11).

» Poverty is just one potential negative result of drunkenness (verse 21).

» Other potential—even probable—negative consequences of chronic drunkenness include woe, sorrow, contentions, complaints, bloodshot eyes, hallucinations, nightmares, addiction, lack of self-control in speech and other matters, and bodily injuries without apparent cause—the cause being forgotten because of drunken stupor (verses 29, 33-34).

» We should not tarry long at wine (verse 30).

On this last warning, we know that a person who lingers where alcohol is consumed can so easily become a winebibber, or in plain, modern English, a drunkard. God, through Paul, lists drunkenness as one of the works of the flesh, warning that no drunkard will inherit God's Kingdom:

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, . . . envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19, 21; emphasis ours)

Staff
Is It a Sin to Drink Alcoholic Beverages?


 

Ecclesiastes 7:26

From his own life, Solomon vividly provides an example of temptation that requires wisdom to face and overcome. He describes a woman whose heart is “snares and nets and whose hands are fetters.” It seems he writes of this woman in Proverbs 7:1-27.

Jesus testifies, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). In this case, the temptress' very heart is snares and nets, which she uses with consummate skill to accomplish her purpose. Notice her flattering secrecy. It is as though she is letting him in on something nobody else has access to. She makes it seem as if she deliberately sought him to the exclusion of all others. She puts her all into the part, an actress playing in a dangerous drama. She continues to use alluring salesmanship, emphasizing enjoyment and safety, since her husband would be away for a long time. This fellow is trapped from the beginning, as it seems he deliberately took the path right past the place where she frequently plied her trade.

What principles are at play in this illustration to provide wisdom in facing temptations beyond the use of a prostitute? The temptress stands as a type of the enticement of any unlawful desire burning in the mind as that desire seeks fulfillment. Notice how many tricks the prostitute employs to play on her customer's desire.

In another situation, that desire might be for drugs. Some are greatly vexed by the desire to smoke, while others have a keen yearning for alcohol. Others crave great quantities of food or certain foods that are not healthy for them. These days, through its easy availability on the Internet, pornography is a strong temptation. Perhaps the possibility of winning is the lure that draws some to gamble. Some desire to skip work or school. Many drivers hanker to drive much faster than the law allows. Sometimes it is a desire to put off a distasteful chore that needs doing.

Whatever the desire, the enticement's purpose is to induce some form of pleasure. It is like a siren's song, increasing the pressure by offering one reason after another why it would not be so bad to fulfill that desire just one more time. All too often, the lusting person becomes progressively more willing to fulfill his desire until he caves in. He can no longer endure the sacrifice of denying himself.

In reality, we argue ourselves into surrendering and fulfilling our desire. Like the young man in Solomon's illustration, we deliberately walk in temptation's direction. Despite the Bible's counsel regarding wisdom's value, when we give in, it has done us little good to that point, if at all.

In an overall sense, Solomon found what we might label “the overwhelming, general sinfulness of mankind.” Worded another way, he found that sinfulness is not rare and not hard to find. In fact, it is everywhere, universal. Conversely, it is righteousness, purity, and wisdom that are hard to find.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Ecclesiastes and Christian Living (Part Thirteen): Confessions


 

Hosea 4:11-12

Undoubtedly, the Israelites of Hosea's day were literally getting drunk and involved in harlotry, but for us today the application is spiritual. At the end time, God predicts, His people will be deceived by a force near demoniacal in its deceptive power. Because of their closeness to the world, they will share the great harlot's attitude, "drunk with the wine of her fornication" (Revelation 17:2).

Hosea's word-picture illustrates the effect a drug like alcohol has on a person's mind. Under the influence of alcohol, one's reactions slow, even though the person thinks he has better control. Most fatal accidents in the United States involve automobiles and roughly half of them occur with at least one driver under the influence. In driving while intoxicated, one's ability to make right decisions is severely hampered. Alcohol obscures judgment. When one cannot think clearly, a sound judgment is nearly impossible.

Linked to this inability to make sound judgments is the destruction of inhibitions, modesty and restraint. In addition, alcohol produces a false sense of security and confidence, so people do silly and senseless things while drunk and regret them along with their hangovers.

The same process occurs to a person drunk with the wine of the wrath of this spiritual prostitute. The attitude of this world deprives people of their spiritual judgment and removes their spiritual inhibitions. Their resistance to evil weakens, and they will begin to do things that they vowed they would never do. Like a drunken man's fidelity to his wife is destroyed by wine, so is a Christian's loyalty to God when he imbibes of this world's attitudes. His judgment is shattered.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The World, the Church, and Laodiceanism


 

Hosea 4:11-13

Everyone understands the addictive and destructive power of alcohol in wine and new wine. It can affect a person's mind (heart) insofar as he will lose the right perspective of situations he encounters and, with it, his discretion. Alcohol has the power to enslave the heart. It also has a subtle quality to draw a person into dependence on it while promoting the destruction of his will.

Amazingly, God lists harlotry (faithlessness) alongside wine and new wine, teaching us that it can affect us the same way! This fact is not nearly so well known. Faithlessness is every bit as enslaving and destructive as drug addition, and it has ensnared far more people in its entangling web than have ever been addicted to a drug.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Seventh Commandment (1997)


 

Habakkuk 2:15-17

Fourth Woe: Promoting debauchery and other shameful acts. This breaks the seventh commandment, as it refers primarily to sexual sins. This horrible practice of intoxicating another to perform lewd and abominable acts on another is still taking place in our society, not only using alcohol, but various "date rape" drugs. God predicts a dire end to those who practice such wickedness.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Habakkuk


 

Zephaniah 1:12

Pictured as holding aloft a lamp as He walks, God searches through the city—Jerusalem, Zion—shining a light to reveal everyone to His judgment. No one escapes the judgment of God. Who is He looking for in particular? He looks for complacent men, like the Laodicean. Just as Hosea uses wine to illustrate the principle (Hosea 4:6, 11-12), Zephaniah also mentions wine though it is obscured in the translation: the words "settled in complacency" are literally "settled on their lees" like the dregs of wine (cf. the footnote on this verse, NKJV)!

Again, the prophet speaks of a prosperous people who had deluded themselves into believing that their physical wealth meant that they were equally rich spiritually. As the years passed, their relationship with God had diminished into lip service and complacency. When God describes them saying things "in their heart," He means a reasoning process that happens internally. A person could not see it with his eyes, but the attitude cannot be hidden from the Judge walking the city with the lamp of truth.

In today's parlance we call their problem "sins of omission." Like the Laodicean, the religious Jew of that day was not on the streets committing horrible crimes like murder or rape or armed robbery. These verses speak about the thousands and thousands of ordinary people who were stagnant and indifferent toward their relationship with God. Their problem was not what they did, but what they did not do.

Nor does God accuse the Laodicean of the more apparent sins in Revelation 3. He is angry with him because of what he is not doing! He is not a true and faithful witness, and indeed cannot be, because of his poor judgment in prioritizing his life. In focusing on his selfish pursuits and self-centeredness, he leaves God almost completely out of his life. Still, he bears the name of God, attends Sabbath services, and at least in a superficial way, worships God on the Sabbath. Yet the relationship is growing cold as he fails to seek Him earnestly as in courtship.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The World, the Church, and Laodiceanism


 

Luke 7:33-34

Why would anyone call Him a winebibber if it were anything other than wine that He had been seen drinking? Jesus drank wine with His disciples at His last Passover service, promising that He would again join them in a glass of wine after their resurrection: "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom" (Matthew 26:29).

Staff
Is It a Sin to Drink Alcoholic Beverages?


 

Ephesians 5:15-20

"Joy" does not appear in this passage, but Paul's purpose is to instruct us how to produce the sustained sense of well-being that should mark a Christian's life. When a person feels good about life, about who and what he is, what he is doing with his life, and where it is headed, a sense of joy is always present. Paul's instructions are timeless in producing this.

"Walk circumspectly" indicates keeping the commandments. Paul advises us to make the most profitable use of our time, considering the state of this world. He warns us not to be foolish, and always to consider, search for, and focus upon the purpose God is working out. Then in verse 18 he makes an interesting contrast that directly involves producing the joy that should accompany the life of anyone heeding these instructions.

The verse contains a play on words. It is no accident that alcohol is associated with "Spirit." Paul's counsel is not to seek joy in the sensuous, self-centered, worldly ways that produce dissipation or debauchery, but rather to be filled with the Spirit, singing and meditating on God's Word as we give thanks in all circumstances. This formula is guaranteed to produce a sustained sense of well-being because it removes the natural self-seeking from our lives and replaces it with a God-centered way of glorifying Him. This allows joy to be the fruit, the blessing of the Almighty, rather than the direct object of our pursuit.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fruit of the Spirit: Joy


 

 




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