“Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way. Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.” – Proverbs 23:19-21
There are over fifteen words in the Greek and Hebrew of varying meanings that were all translated to the word “wine” in the English Bible. These words encompassed a wide range of meanings from fermented wines, to simple non fermented grape juice, to even jelly. An example of this is the passage that states not to put new wine into old wine skins or bottles. The “new wine” in this passage refers to grape juice and the “old wine” refers to fermented wine. If fresh grape juice were to be added to an old vessel that still contained remnants of its farmer content, the pure would be contaminated by the corrupt and the grape juice would begin turning to wine having been acted upon by the yeast (which often represents sin in Scripture) left behind in the skin or bottle. This process would create gasses that would burst and destroy the skin or bottle. This process has a spiritual parallel in that the purity of the Holy Spirit can not inter ones vessel while they are still holding the remnants of sin in their heart less a little sin contaminate all that is pure. Therefore, we must become an entirely new creature in Christ to hold His pure and Holy Spirit, putting away the former things and being made conformed to the likeness of Christ.
“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.” – Mark 2:22
“Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven (yeast representing sin) leaveneth the whole lump.” – Galatians 5:7-9
Though there are many words that have been translated to the single word “wine” in scripture of varying meanings, when we look at particular scriptures that refer to the consumption of actual wine and alcoholic beverages we see a consistent theme of warnings to avoid it, and the falling into sin of those who failed to do so.
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” – Proverbs 20:1
“Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. 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.” – Proverbs 23:31-35
“Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart.” – Hosea 4:11
There are more scriptures against the drinking of alcohol then any other topic or sin bar-non. Yet those that would try to justify it are quick to say, “Jesus drank wine at the last supper, He even turned the water into wine at the marriage.” This is actually untrue and a simple word study can clear this misconception up. First off Jesus was a Rabbi, our High Priest, and it was forbidden for Priest to drink fermented drinks (Leviticus 10:9). Further more, the Last Supper was the Passover supper and the consumption of yeast in any form was forbidden by God during the pass over. In fact they weren’t even allowed to store yeast inside their homes for a full seven days during Passover. (Exodus 12:15) This is why the bread in the feast of unleavened bread was in fact, “unleavened“. Furthermore, the scriptures never said they drank “wine” at the last supper, it simply says that they drank of the “fruit of the vine“. In other words, grape juice. Because yeast had such a strong representation for sin in the Jewish culture, to imply that Christ’s blood was represented by a fermented drink containing yeast would imply that His blood contained sin. Which of course is not only untrue because we know that “He knew no sin“, for He was the “pure and spotless Lamb of God“, but it is for all intents and purposes, heresy that I dare say boarders on blasphemy.
When we look at the story of the water turning to wine we see that the original Greek word translated to wine here was “oinos“. The Septuagint records the Greek word “oinos” as a parallel to the Hebrew word “yayin” which was a generic word for any drink made from the juice of grapes.
Do not be deceived by those who wish to justify their sins and remain their-in where there is no victory. Though, the bible does specify certain medicinal uses for alcohol (such as a pain killer for those mortally wounded as they died), it does not condone drinking for pleasure in any form, but rather reproves it more times then any other action in scripture for it’s ability to lead one into sin.
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
“Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” – Galatians 5:21-25
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” – Ephesians 5:18
The world has tried very hard to mucky up the waters on this subject, but scripture is quite clear. You can either get unholy spirits from the liquor store or you can get the Holy Spirit from God, but you can’t get both. You can’t mix purity and holiness with corruption, decay, and sin, and not have all the good be corrupted by the bad, no matter how small an issue it may seem, because just a little leaven, leaveneth the whole lump. Instead strive to avoid even the appearance of evil that you not inter into temptation or be a stumbling block to others.
“Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.” – Matthew 9:17
“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.” – Romans 14:21
“Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:22-24