Topical Studies

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What the Bible says about Spiritual Intoxication
(From Forerunner Commentary)

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

Jeremiah 51:6-7

Literally, the original Hebrew of the first half of verse 7 means, "A golden cup is Babel in the hand of Yahweh, intoxicating the whole earth." Jeremiah sees the material splendor of Babylon, but the "wine" that she makes the nations of the earth drink will result in God's wrath coming down upon them. As God's hammer, Babylon was strong, and as His cup of gold, she was rich and beautiful—but neither saves her from ruin. Jeremiah therefore admonishes everyone to flee this perverse, world-ruling system.

The global scourge of slavery is the essence of the Babylonian slavery system that the prophet Jeremiah warned about. It exists in its zenith in the last days. Babylon's perversion, audacity, and pride represent the height of direct defiance against almighty God. This humanly devised governmental, religious, educational, and economic system controlling the world today originates from Satan's initial rebellion against God. Satan, the Adversary, has done a tremendous job of enslaving the whole world under his system of slavery.

Martin G. Collins
Slavery and Babylon

Revelation 17:2

Those caught up with Babylon become drunk—spiritually drunk—as the result of imbibing its way of life. Figuratively, wine has significant spiritual meaning. Proverbs 20:1 says, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." That is quite a warning, yet God stops short of forbidding wine. In fact, it says in Judges 9:13 that wine cheers the heart of both God and man.

What we are being warned of in Proverbs 20:1 is that wine initially has a pleasant, lifting, energizing effect. However, it is deceptive in that it has a depressing, secondary effect that ensnares those who allow themselves too much. In other words, wine can make a person drunk. Remember Revelation 18:2: "For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."

A drunk's mind becomes dizzy, fuzzy, and unfocused. His perception of reality changes, becoming distorted and uncertain. His body staggers under the effect of the drug, not reacting normally as the drinker commands it to act. At the same time, he is deluded into thinking he actually has greater powers than he had before becoming drunk. The reality is that he has made himself a helpless victim and is dangerous to himself and others.

The wine in this word-picture of Revelation 17:2 is Babylon's way of life. In Revelation 18:2, the wrath is the penalty that comes down upon its hapless victims as they practice the sins of their unfaithfulness to God in their conduct. Fornication figuratively portrays faithlessness, such as one would experience within a covenant relationship such as marriage.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Laodiceanism and Being There Next Year


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