Wisdom and Discernment

“When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: and put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.  Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.  Labor not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.  Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.  Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.  The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.”  Proverbs 23:1-8  (KJB)

Wisdom and Discernment – Proverbs 23:1-35

Verses 1 – 3; 6 – 8 —  Be alert and aware when people in places of authority and power invite you to their table.  The discerning one will be sickened by what the powerful is or was trying to do.

Verses 4 – 5 —  The wise and discerning will not make seeking wealth and riches their life pursuit.

“Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.
Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless: for their Redeemer is mighty; He shall plead their cause with thee.   Proverbs 23:9-11

Verse 9 —  The wise will know when to be silent around the foolish individual.  Remember the words of Jesus “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Matthew 7:6).

Verses 10 – 11 —  (Prov. 22:28;  Deut 15:9)  Further confirms this teaching.  In these verses, however, there is reference to orphans.  Someone seizing the land of an orphan or orphans will have the Redeemer defend the orphan against the land grabber.

“Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.
Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.  Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.  Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.  Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.  For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.
Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.”  Proverbs 23:12-19

Verses 12 – 16, 19 —  It is good to teach others [our children] to pursue instruction and knowledge.  The Bible does teach corporal punishment (vv. 13-14).  There is rejoicing within parents when their child is a success in life; especially in Christian parents when they see their child following the LORD.

Verses 17 – 18  —  The Christian discerner should make godliness the prime search and pursuit of his/her life.  The Christian has no right to envy “sinners”.  If the Christian is living for God and His Son Jesus Christ the sinner will desire Christ too.

“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.
Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.
Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.
My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways. For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.  She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.
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 color 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 23:20-35

Verses 20 – 26 —  Wise words from parents guide children in life, living righteously; education, labor; learning truth and its value.  Children also learn from the example of parents (v. 26).

Verses 27 – 35  — In a world with the rebellious, feel good, party attitude, “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die”; the wisdom of God warns of the perils of licentious (unrestrained by law or general morality; lawless; immoral), rebellious, iniquitous living.

Love Does No Wrong to One’s Neighbor

“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet;’ and if any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’  Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”  Romans 13:8-14  (KJB)

References: Galations 3:27, 5:14; Exodus 20:13-17; 1 Corinthians 15:34; Ephesians 5:14

Christmas Day 240

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to always live my life for Jesus Christ to be a good, godly, unwavering, Biblical Christian; and I want all those who name the name of Jesus Christ to get on our knees, before we open our mouths, move our tongues, flap our lips, or write with pen and paper or computer; repent of our sins; and find what God the LORD expects of us; and then do it with all our hearts and minds.

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:11-14 (KJV)

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:33-34

Pride, Liquor, and Injustice

Six ‘Woes’ have been announced against the wicked. And, that is the wicked of Judah. These are woes against the people who have proclaimed themselves to be the ‘People of God’.

The fifth and the sixth we will look at together in this commentary of woes. There has been one ‘woe’ already announced against them for their seeking after ‘Wine and strong drink’ (v. 11), that was the second one. These latter two seem to be dealing with men of influence; men who make judgments. These are people in the courts or some position of authority. The fifth one basically deals with “Pride” which leads to a fall. Whether it is the common man or woman, or a person of influence makes no difference when it comes to ‘Pride’; God hates it.

There is an arrogance which Isaiah is speaking to. Boasting of their drinking, as though it is some heroic thing. It seems to be that way in American society these days. There is an arrogance toward alcoholic drink. If you do not imbibe in the poison you cannot be up with things. It is as though a man is no man unless he downs a beer, or maybe a case or two a week, and maybe in some instances a case per day. I hope that would be rare, but fear that it is not.

“Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!” Isaiah 5:21-23 (KJV)

“Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight! Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of his right!” Isaiah 5:21-23 (ESV).

Pride will not only be the fall of individuals who exalt themselves against the will and Word of God, but it will also be the fall of any nation who allows it to continue unabated. It is pride and arrogance which causes men and women to exalt their own opinions over that of God. It is also pride and arrogance which will allow men to accept bribes in order to give the one with the money power over those who have none.

These arrogant fools were taking material gain, and depriving the innocent of their right to justice. Do you ever wonder, “Are these things done in the great nation of the United States of America?” You and I both know that it is. The liquor industry pays big dollars in taxes into our government. They also have a lot of political power with the men and women of Congress, the Senate, and all the national powers. May God forgive our wickedness. There is more bribery than that though, where individual judges, and other rulers have taken and are taking bribes so the wealthy can have their way.

May God forgive a nation that gives more rights to those who have and acquit the guilty because of wealth, but condemn the innocent who have no wealth.

There is a much better and a clear way, and that is with a sober mind and heart for God.  Leadership by liquor is devastation, and quickly brings homes, communities, and countries to the gutter.  The better way is the filling of the Spirit of God, and is accessible through faith in Jesus Christ, His death on the cross, His burial, and bodily resurrection.  Call on His name, believing, and you will be saved; then walk in His Spirit.

Earlier I wrote “…when it comes to ‘Pride’; God hates it”. I know that because He says He does. In Proverbs 6:16-19 there are seven things listed which God hates, and it seems that these seven things are a small example of all the things that God hates. The very first on the list is, “A proud look”. A proud look is basically being full of one’s self, needing no one (especially God), or nothing else. Pride will be our own undoing, unless we fall on our knees in full surrender to the God who made all things. Jesus Christ His Son is the only way to fully acknowledge Him.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Evidences Of The Filling Of The Spirit

PURPOSE: To show that  by the Christian’s yielding control of life to the Holy Spirit that Christian is filled with the Spirit, making life more heavenly on earth.

OUTLINE OF EPHESIANS 5:18 THROUGH CHAPTER 6: 9:

I.  BE CONTROLLED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD (vv. 18-20).

II.  SPIRIT CONTROLLED LIVING IS A LIFE OF SUBMISSION (vv. 21-24).

III.  SPIRIT CONTROLLED HUSBANDS LOVE THEIR WIVES SACRIFICIALLY (vv. 25-33).

IV.  SPIRIT CONTROLLED CHILDREN OBEY THEIR PARENTS (vv. 6:1-4).

V.  SPIRIT CONTROLLED CHRISTIANS PRACTICE THEIR GOD GIVE VOCATION (6:5-9).

BE CONTROLLED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD (vv. 18-20).  From the beginning we must understand that every born again individual is indwelt by the Spirit of God.  He inhabits your body along with your spirit that has been born anew in Christ Jesus.

Most of us have witnessed the activities of a drunk who was mad drunk by drinking by alcoholic beverage or some other drug legal or illegal.  The man or woman now drunk has become boisterous, knows no fear, will do things they would not normally do when they were sober.  The individual made drunk by this foreign substance, is controlled by another substance which has robbed him of self control.

Paul knew what the excess of wine did to people.  I know what the excess of wine does to people, as I am sure you do as well.  Most drunks believe they can drive, maybe even fly, or do anything.  Paul uses the likeness here in a somewhat analogous way.  Drunks (for the most part) become drunk willingly and by drinking what they know will inebriate them.  The Holy Spirit filled believer becomes Spirit filled willingly.  The drunk knows no fear.  The Spirit filled believer is not fearful.  The drunk does things he/she would not normally do, if sober.  The Spirit filled Christian does things he/she would not normally do, such as one on one witnessing, preaching, serving others, teaching, giving, loving, and living with the fruits of the Spirit (Galations 5:22-23) more practical things.

Now here is wheree this analogy breaks down.  The drunk has no self control, while the power of the Holy Spirit, in the Spirit filled Christian, gives each Christian self control.

In verses 19-20 (Colossians 3:15-17) we begin seeing what the life of the Spirit filled person is like.  He/She is in an attitude of worship.  He is at peace with God in his heart, always praising God.  Always a song in the heart and on the lips.  The Spirit filled/controlled Christian will have their lives filled with song and singing.  Always thankful, for all things, and identified in the Lord Jesus.

SPIRIT CONTROLLED LIVING IS A LIFE OF SUBMISSION (vv. 21-24).  Further evidence of Spirit controlled living is submission to one another.  Submission in this event is recognizing God ordained positions and being subject to those who are in those positions as God has designed and led.  For the man; a woman is far superior to the man at being a woman, and all that God has designed for her to be and do.  For the woman; the man is far superior to the woman at being a man, and all that God has designed for him to be and do.  Therefore, there is cause for us to submit to one another.

As members of the Body of Christ [the Church] our Lord and Savior, we are to be first submissive to Him, and if we are genuinely submitted to Hom we will also be to one another.  We will be accountable to each other in our walk with Christ.  When a brother or sister in Christ submits to another Christian it is motivation for Christian living unseen any other way.  We submit one to one, all to one, and one to all.  Husband to wife, wife to husband, and children to parents and parents to children; of course remembering that God has placed some in positions of authority.

Wives are to submit to their husbands [in the Lord] because God ordained it so in the order of creation (1 Timothy 2:11-13).  It was from Adam’s side which God created woman to be his helper.  Believe me ladies; we men need a lot of help. 8)  She is to submit to her husband as to the Lord and for His sake.

The husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church…  The head is what keeps the rest functioning properly.  Without direction, vision and leadership from the head the collective body will fail.

In every organization, business, military endeavor, church and home there must be a head who will lead the way.  If all try to lead you have chaos.  Now, we understand as human beings, leadership that is dictatorial is not responsible leadership.  The head, in human affairs, will listen to advice and counsel from others, and make decisions accordingly.

Wives and their husbands should be able to sit down together and make plans and talk things through.  Generals who listen to good advice from privates would be wise Generals indeed.  In many cases it may be that listening to Privates, is part of the reason they made the promotion of General.

The husband is a wise husband, and wise head who will listen to his wife.  The husband as head of the wife and analogous to Christ should also see the picture of sacrifice.  Christ gave Himself for the Church.  If the husband is willing to sacrifice his life for his wife she will have no problem being submissive to him.

SPIRIT CONTROLLED HUSBANDS LOVE THEIR WIVES SACRIFICIALLY (vv. 25-33).  Holy Spirit filled husbands love their wives sacrificially.

As Jesus gave Himself for the Church in order to have a glorious bride the Spirit filled husband voluntarily gives himself to and for his wife.  She is a special and precious treasure.  He will see her as an extension of himself, a partner, a friend, a helper for life.  He cares for her well being; physically, financially and spiritually.  He loves her as he loves himself.  A man will give up almost anything to do what he wants to do – what he REALLY wants to do.  If the husband really loves his wife he will give up anything to show her that love.  Jesus gave up the glory of heaven for a time to show He loves His bride.

No longer under the care of his parents he loves his wife and becomes one with her for the rest  of their lives.  There is no one else by her that he sacrifices for, not even himself.  If husbands want reverence from their wives we must first love them sacrificially, and do so at the expense of our own comfort, pride, and well being.

Here is some other sacrifices husbands can make for their wife’s benefit:

  1. That favorite football team that’s playing the same time your wife wants you to go shopping with her; what will you do?
  2. Her favorite TV show is on the same time as yours; what will you do?
  3. Your home from work for the day, there are things you could be doing that you enjoy, the wife is working, and there are dirty clothes to be washed, and dishes in the kitchen sink; do you wait for her to come home and do them? or will you do them? instead of what you want to do?

The above mentioned things are not giving your life, but merely giving up your wants for what would be good for her.

SPIRIT CONTROLLED CHILDREN OBEY THEIR PARENTS (vv. 6:1-4).  Obedient children are a blessing to any home.  Children who love our Lord, and are Spirit filled are obedient and hold their parents in honor and respect.

The Christian home should reflect the likeness of Jesus.  Even though He is the Creator of the world He subjected Himself to Joseph and Mary in honor and obedience.  Children who are born again and are controlled by God’s Spirit are an excellent testimony of God’s power to change lives.  Children who live solely for self are not subject to anyone, not even God.  It is a sure sign, that if a child is disobedient and disrespectful to their parents, they are in the same condition with God.

The same can be said of the father who is abusive to his children, and neglects to hear their cries and hurts.  If the father provokes his children, or does not sacrificially love their mother, he is not Spirit filled or controlled.  The Spirit filled – controlled – father teaches, encourages, without downgrading his children.

The care and encouragement in the Lord is what our children need.

Living as Spirit filled Christians is about as close to heaven as we will come in this world; at least until Jesus Comes and makes all things right.  Our God has equipped us, and given us His Spirit to help us in the endeavor of living holy lives.  It is only possible as we yield our selfishness to the control and influence of His Spirit.  Yielding will bring harmony to the church, marriages, parents, and children, and in all realms of living.

The only way to Spirit filled/controlled living is through faith in Jesus Christ and His death, burial and resurrection.

SPIRIT CONTROLLED CHRISTIANS PRACTICE THEIR GOD GIVE VOCATION (6:5-9).  Remember the Submission part; about submitting yourselves to one another in the fear of God… (v. 21).  It is for the place where we are employed as well; or the place where we employ employees – as owners or boss.  When we see ourselves as the servants of Jesus Christ it will not matter what our job, but in the power of God’s Spirit will do our job “as unto the Lord.“

The word servant used here is a reference to “slaves”.  Slavery was a dominant institution during the time of Paul’s writing.  According to some the word is used in referring to involuntary or voluntary slavery.  If this means “slave”, then how can it apply to Twenty first century America?  It applies in the factories, grocery stores, farms, churches, families, government offices, Law offices, Court buildings, Police headquarters, Fire stations, Ambulance services, Hospitals, Highway/Road departments, etc., thus, everyone is an employee somewhere.  An employee must appear at work at a set time, leaves at a set time, is paid on a set day, and must work according to the employers policies; or be fired.  When you are working for someone other than yourself, you are serving someone.  In what is called service oriented businesses; even if you are “working for yourself” you are still serving others.  You may not like the term, but you are a servant to that employment – a slave.

You can talk to just about any one who works for someone else and they will often begin telling you all, or at least some of the problems of their employer.  There are a lot of people who are dissatisfied with their place of employment.  It seems to be human nature to complain, however, it is not God’s nature.

Be obedient… unto Christ (v. 5), could form the entire sentence.  Even when the boss seems to be messing up, if we are to be faithful, Spirit filled Christians we comply with his directions – as long as his directions are not immoral, or physically harmful, and/or violate your conscience.

Spirit filled Christians are different in their labor than are the rest of the laborers.  Where others complain and slack off in their work the Spirit controlled believer is thankful, and works his/her best.  Her single purpose being to glorify Jesus Christ.

The very fact that more is said in these verse cold show who the majority of Christians were in this church.  These words to encourage them in their labor.  It is Jesus for whom we labor.  The Scriptures say nothing of a division of secular and sacred.  For the Spirit filled Christian all things are done, as unto Christ.

The Spirit filled Christian employee will not serve with eyeservice; seeking the approval of the boss only when he is watching.  This term eyeservice implies only doing the work; and maybe even with a little more effort; when being watched.  Many people who are of the world work one way when no one is watching and a completely other way when they know they are being watched.  To please the boss (while he is watching) could mean a promotion, they think.

It is the will of God that Christians do their work heartily as the servants of Christ .  The work of the Christian is not to please men, but to glorify their Lord.  Those Christians who do their work unto the Lord will recrive eternal rewards from Christ (Colossians 3:24).  This is not unto salvation but rewards which glorify our Lord.

Doing a job cheerfully can be contagious.  Others see you working, and enjoying the work of your Lord, and it begins to rub off on others.  What kind of witness is it to be sour and complaining about low pay, no benefits, poor work environment, and whatever other complaints there are?  I heard Elisabeth Elliot say, “If you aren’t doing the work you like, then, like the work you do.”  We  can only learn to like it by seeing that  our true Master is our lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Verse 8 is the link to what has just been said.  If  there is anyone who has doubt that this idea of servanthood is not relevant for our day, Paul includes, “Whether he be bond or free”.  In other wards the principles given are for all Christians, and for all ages.

When we go to a place for employment we are subjecting ourselves to their rule of practice and operation.  We voluntarily become a bond-slave to our employer with the understanding we are being  paid for what we do, and at an agreed upon wage.  However, if we expect to be paid, the employer expects good work.

The good work that Christian employee does, along with a joyful and giving attitude, is a witness to everyone around, including the boss.  God promises reward to those who serve the Lord in this way.

When it is said and done we are all bond-slaves to someone or something.  There are some who are slaves to sin and obey its every craving and desire.  The Christian, however, is free from sin, and is a bond-slave to Christ, because he was redeemed with the purchase price of the shed blood of Jesus (Romans 6:14-18).

The Christianity part does not lay on the employee alone; that is the responsibility of every Christian employee and employer.  We look now at the duties of the Christian employer, Business owner, Supervisor, Boss; let’s also keep in mind 5:21, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”  We are all subjects of Christ.

The “master”  is to do service to the servant, “as unto the Lord”.  Paying a wage that enables the servant to have a life supporting his family and providing for their health needs.  This is speaking of the Christian employer.

For the “master” he is to do it as a servant of Christ.  Not beating, nor threatening, but encouraging.  The “master” realizing that he too has a Master “in heaven”.

The Master in heaven has no “respect of persons”, but every one of His children are equal in His sight; receiving from Him according to their need.  The master/employer should  treat his employees equally according to their needs and abilities.

When Christians are filled with the Spirit they will be the best employees an employer can find, for they see that they are servants.  Servants not of their employer, but of Christ, who is Master over all.

The Christian [Spirit controlled] employer will give the best of care to his employees, because he realizes he has a Master, and when the employees are respected and blessed by their employer they will give more of themselves without complaining.

Wouldn’t it be great if employers were always on the look out for Christian employees because every Christian  who cam to work for them was a hard and joyous worker?

Wouldn’t it be great if the Christian employer was gracious and took care of his employees, and his employees loved him and because of his generosity worked their best for him?

We give evidences of the filling of the Spirit of God by these things which the apostle has written.  Husbands and wives submitting to one another, respecting one another’s place filled by God;  Children loving and respecting their parents, obeying them and parents filled with the Spirit correcting their children with love;  Servants/Employees be submitted to their bosses; Christian employers/bosses/business owners submitted to the servant.  As Christians we must remember we are to be submitted one to another.  See the other as better than ourselves and seek others well being.  This is a practicing, active, living Christianity.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Pleasure Party of Destruction

The second “Woe” Isaiah mentions is toward those who live in a party mentality most of the time. They love their beer, wine, and hard liquor; and drugs of choice. They live for the time they can lose their mind or minds to feeling nothing. They want to lose control, and be out of control.

Even when these “Hearty Partiers” are sober they are living for the moment they can let it all go. Personally, I have never been able to understand why anyone wants to lose it all. All their money. All their purity. All their senses. All their ability to be in control of themselves – They have worked in factories, offices, different business forms, and under someone else’s control, yet they want to lose control through these drunken parties. No sense.

The New Living Translation (NLT) calls this word “Destruction”. In verse eleven of Isaiah 5 we are told, “Destruction is certain for you who get up early to begin long drinking bouts that last late into the night.” Just the mere act of getting drunk is going to lead to destruction; the destruction of your life and maybe someone else’s.

Many of the children of Judah in Isaiah’s day were living in a ‘party mode’. The land was wealthy. They were wealthy. They had it made. Nothing could happen to “God’s people”. After-all they had God’s assurance that He would never leave them or forsake them. “We have it made in the shade”, and “Who is this prophet anyway, that he should go around telling us what to do?” “We are God’s people. We are free to do as we please, as long as it does not violate our consciences.” So much for consciences.

These, had their music, and Isaiah calls it “Lovely music” (v. 12, NLT), “…But they do not regard the work of the LORD, nor consider the work of His hands” (NKJV). One thing is abundantly clear in this “Woe”, and that is; that it is calling for the destruction, through captivity of God’s people as a nation. They had forsaken God for their pleasures. DOES ANY OF THIS SOUND EVEN REMOTELY FAMILIAR?

We have professing Christian people being advocates for the drinking of alcoholic beverage. “Well! the Bible does not have any provisions forbidding it”, “There is nowhere that Scriptures say, ‘Thou shalt not drink beverage alcohol”. Just because it does not out and out forbid it is no reason to defend it. I could use that same argument for slavery, abortion, polygamy; there is nowhere the Bible that forbids those either. They are definitely forbidden by principle and the teachings written in Scriptures. One of those principles could be seen here in this text. If you are for godly things, and the things of God, then you will not drink, because you know that one can lead to more, which can lead to drunkenness.

Isaiah’s words are written for the future when he writes, “Therefore my people have gone into captivity…”. They will in one hundred plus years go into captivity by Babylon. They are presently in captivity to their pleasures and lusts, and Isaiah says, “Because they have no knowledge”. Hosea the prophet wrote, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…”, and previous to that he wrote, “There is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land” (Hosea 4:6a, 1b NKJV). Why is it that Judah has no knowledge. They have so gotten into comfort, their pleasures, their wealth, their material possessions that God is only secondary. They will give God some notice if it fits into their schedule.

When you lose your knowledge of God; it is because you have gotten away from Him, forsaken Him, His Word, and prayer and worship of Him.

Hear what the prophet writes according to the NLT in verse 14, “The grave is licking its chops in anticipation of Jerusalem, this delicious morsel. Her great and lowly will be swallowed up, with all her drunken crowds. In that day the arrogant will be brought down to the dust; the proud will be humbled. But the LORD Almighty is exalted by His justice. The holiness of God is displayed by his righteousness. In those days flocks will feed among the ruins; lambs and kids will pasture there”

In the United States of America we have a major problem with people departing from God for their pleasures, and still keeping God in the equation. God tells us quite clearly that there is destruction, “Woe” in doing that. If you want to have a clean heart, clear mind, and be in control there is nothing like turning your whole life over to the LORD who died and rose again for you. His name is Jesus. This Jesus Christ is the one who will judge you in these matters.

“Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them! And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands. Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled: But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness. Then shall the lambs feed after their manner, and the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers eat.” Isaiah 5:11-17 (KJV)

-Tim A. Blankenship

Newsletters On Alcohol and the Christian

The following is from the October edition of the Barry County Southern Baptist Association’s Newsletter.  Brother Jerry Williams is our Director of Missions, and he introduces David Baker.  Read and hear these important words that Christians of the day need very greatly to heed.

A NOTE FROM YOUR DOM

I recently received a Newsletter from FBC of Belton, MO where Bro. David Baker is pastor. I would like to share with you his article entitled, “Should a Christian Drink Alcoholic Beverages?”

He writes, “Strong drink? What does the Bible actually say? The reason the issue of alcoholic drinks or beverages being appropriate for the Christian is even debated, is that most of our pastors, theologians, and other Christian leaders simply do not understand the Biblical text.

We have several problems that have led to a clear misunderstanding of the text. The first, our seminaries and Bible schools, have not required that our young pastors are adequately trained in Biblical languages. Second, many our most renowned theological commentators on the text entered into this debate with a clear bias, they were imbibing or were looking for an excuse to continue using alcohol as a beverage. As a result, they interpreted the text in error. Third, the approach of many pastors and scholars to hermeneutics have been flawed by a lack of textual and historical knowledge. Fourth, we have allowed the trends of our modern culture to affect our practical application of the text. Fifth, we greatly underestimate the power of sin.

Many pastors are guilty of accepting popular ideas about the Bible, particularly presuppositions, which upon a more objective analysis of the text, are simply not true. In my own case, after undergraduate studies in classical Greek, and nearly four years in Biblical Greek, I came to the conclusion that we must examine the text as it is, not with the intent of establishing cultural acceptance. It was my good fortune to study under one of the finest Greek scholars ever produced in Baptist life, certainly not a Biblical conservative, but a brilliant teacher. I have also been fortunate in becoming acquainted some of our current Greek and Hebrew scholars, particularly with the work of the late Stephen Reynolds. Dr. Reynolds earned his Ph.D. in Biblical and oriental languages at Princeton University where he studied under the teaching of Henry Gehman, Phillip Hitti, and Harold Bendes. He also worked in the field of Biblical archaeology under Dr. William Albright. He is known for his articles in Baker’s Dictionary of Ethics which is edited by Dr. Carl F. H. Henry. Dr. Reynolds published the most exhaustive study on this subject I have seen in 2003 called The Biblical Approach to Alcohol. This book was a project of the Lorine L. Reynolds Foundation, a foundation committed to issues of Biblical translation.

Stephen Reynolds says, “The fact is there is no evidence anywhere that Jesus ever drank a single drop of alcohol.” He goes on to examine every Biblical text with a rigorously objective hermeneutic, and draws the conclusion that the Biblical evidence overwhelmingly supports the position of total abstinence from alcohol beverages. He also notes the historic bias of many theologians on this issue, and he comments concerning his own exegesis, “I am, however, rather confident that they cannot be proved contrary to sound rules…” After years of my own study on this issue, and after carefully examining Dr. Reynolds work and conclusions, I am deeply convinced that the only consistently Biblical position on the matter of beverage alcohol, is total abstinence. This is the position that I hold without apology, and expound consistently.

Baptists have historically held to the position of total abstinence. While I am aware that there are those who deny that more ancient Baptists held to this position, my own study indicates that the earliest Baptists in North America were amazingly consistent in their opposition to the sale and use of intoxicating drink. Even without the knowledge available to us today of the Biblical languages, our forefathers saw the terrible toll of alcohol on the culture, and condemned it for practical reasons. We should at least have this much common sense. I have listened to the arguments favoring the use of alcohol patiently. I am not convinced. I believe the text, rightfully interpreted, is clear. If there are those who hold otherwise, I shall say with John Huss, “Mighty is the truth, and it will prevail.” David Baker

I too believe and practice total abstinence and am totally convinced that it is the Biblical position.

I stand with Bro. Baker and will continue to preach against the use of drinking alcoholic beverages.

Bro. Jerry-DOM

Let me end by asking this question as a matter to provoke some serious thought.  There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of testimonies of former drunks, and alcoholics and social drinkers who upon coming to faith in Jesus Christ immediately turn away from alcoholic beverages; it puzzles me greatly and makes me wonder seriously why some Christians and Christian preachers want to say “It is okay to drink beverage alcohol”.  How can you do that?  How is it right when those who have come out of it have given it up, and see the evils of it?

If you can stand in the pulpit and tell people “God doesn’t hold you guilty for drinking alcoholic beverages”, and someone in your congregation ends up an alcoholic or a drunk, and they kill someone while driving drunk; are you guiltless?

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Drink Offering Empty Hope

You can’t tell it by the commercials or to listen to some news commentators or morning show hosts, but there is a drink which seems to be the beverage of celebrities, and those famous and those not so famous, even the infamous. There seems to be a power it holds over those who relish its mystique, its smoothness, its seeming beauty and flow.

Commercials make it look as though it is the best looking, most successful, and most life enjoying people who party with the drink, and they seem Oh so happy. My question to that is: If you are happy why do you need the drug of alcohol? Why does one need the alcohol when life is at is best? The answer to that is: You don’t.

Contrary to what many Christian leaders are saying there is much in the Bible that will give wisdom concerning the avoidance of beverage alcohol. Some would say well there are medicinal qualities in Red Wine, and there is plenty of evidence from scientific studies, that shows that the red grape, and red grape juice has the very same medicinal qualities as Red Wine without the alcohol. The alcohol is a means of false hope, and false courage.

Hear what the writer of Proverbs says concerning the beverage alcohol of wine –

“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. 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 23:29-35 (KJV)

Remember I realize that there is no Scripture which says to us, “Thou shalt not drink beverage alcohol”, or anything similar to that, however, there is plenty of practical evidence to show us the evils of drinking the beverage. I have given that to you previously in the drunkenness of Noah, and Lot. I have also shown you that God has commended a family for never putting alcoholic beverage to their mouths (Jeremiah 35), but you will find no such commendation for any who drink that with an empty hope. Since the Bible does not specifically forbid drinking beverage alcohol, then maybe we can use that argument for a lot of other things as well. Let’s justify abortion, by saying, “The Bible doesn’t say, ‘Thou shalt not commit abortion”. The individual who is for abortion could rationalize and say, ‘Well then, since this is not a person, not an individual, then I can rid myself of it”. The man who wants to have more than one wife can rationalize, “Since the Bible doesn’t forbid polygmy, then I can have all the wives I want”. The man who wants to view pornography can rationalize the same way, since “The Bible does not say…” Some have argued and say, “These are strawmen”, very well then the argument for rationalizing the drinking of beverage alcohol is strawman thinking as well.

Notice what the writer of Proverbs says about the affects it has on the drinker of the woes; The ones who “tarry long at the wine have woes, sorrows, contentions, babblings, wounds without cause (probably caused by stumbling, falling, etc.), and red eyes. The alcohol controls their lives, their thinking, and their health. How can we as Christians sit and justify the Beverage with false hopes when we see so many teens who are killed by it, and their parents killed by it. It is foolish for the Christian to argue over the “right to drink”, and call it legalism when we should be opposed to all that is directly harmful to the human race.

When the soft wine is not enough the wine drinker usually will go after the stronger drink; the mixed wine. The phrase “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth its color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.” is speaking clearly of alcoholic beverage. It is clearly said, “Look not thou upon the wine…” Does that mean if you close your eyes before you drink then that is okay? Don’t kid yourself. It means don’t drink it. How much clearer can it get. This is speaking of the wine when it has turned alcoholic.

Notice the results of the one who passes by these verses, ignores God’s warnings, and the consequences they suffer: 1) It bites like a serpent – the serpent is sneaky, beautifully deceitful, and poisonous and will kill; 2) It causes eyes that were not lustful before to become lustful, and a man can find himself with a strange woman, not his wife; 3) language one has never spoke will come from the mouth, because they have a perceived courage they never had, and can even find themselves cursing and blaspheming God; 4) One will find themselves unable to stand, it would be similar to a man who is out on the open sea for the first time in rushing, rising and falling waves, and sickness sets in; 5) will have the marks of being beaten senseless yet not have felt it; and 6) senselessly seek to do it again.

What is the point of drinking beverage alcohol? It is popular, it seems to offer prestige, it seems to offer power. With the exception of “popular” the other two are just outright lies of deception. The man or woman who refuses to drink alcoholic beverage is the one who holds the real power. They have the power to say no to the crowd. They will be admired for their strength and courage. Now that would really be prestige, and prestige worth having.

The wisdom of God is DON’T DRINK beverage alcohol. Drink the water of life that flows from Jesus Christ Himself.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Perils of Friendship With the World (2)

“Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19:24-26 (KJV)

With Lot and what there is of his family safe in Zoar the LORD sends down the rain of fire and brimstone. This brimstone could refer to sulfur which will itself burn, with an unseen flame. It could refer to several different flammable substances. The picture we are given seems to be that of falling substance from the skies. It was in the form of visible flames, and hot, with hard substance as well forming a crushing effect as it hit the cities, and the lands, of the plain. No living person would want to remain in that kind of tragic environment. It would mean certain death.

Some have located the previous area of the cities of Sodom on the Southern end of the Dead Sea. The area is evidently under water. That would actually mean that the judgment was what formed the Dead Sea, or at least a portion of it. According to some archaeological people these cities were destroyed by volcanic eruption or something along that line of thought. It seems that no one wants to acknowledge that God judges sin and rebellion.

The Bible says, and this is our final authority, “Then the LORD rained upon Sodom…” When will those who profess the name of Jesus begin to realize that God still judges sin. When we live in a profligate nation, where sin is more a joke than a problem, and we start seeing tragedies of all sorts begin, surely that should make us wonder. It seems that when sin is on the increase, and mocked at, and promoted as being a normal part of life, then earthquakes will increase, wild storms of wind, and rain continue to increase, but the “scientist” will tell us these are only natural phenomena and is due to today’s popular event called “global warming”. Whether we want to admit it or not all these things are due to sin in the first place; from the sin of Adam and Eve to our sins today; we all stand guilty before God. It is only His hand that keeps this world from flying apart, and when these things begin happening; it is due to His hand gradually being removed. Gradually being removed so as to warn us, and turn our hearts toward Him.

There was not much warning for the cities of Sodom, except what Lot provided for his sons-in-law. The people of Sodom and the plains had the testimony of creation, ie., the stars, the sun and the moon, the singing birds, and all flying fowl. As the Psalmist wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1). They had the witness of Lot and his family, though it may have been a weak one; he was still a witness, which can be used against them. Lot was evidently afflicted by the sins of this city, “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:” 2 Peter 2:7. We can see that Lot did have a hatred for the sins of his culture. Remember how he sought to protect the visitors from harm by the people of the city.

God so hated the sins of Sodom and cities of the plain that He destroyed all the inhabitants of those cities. They were polluted by immorality, and they were full of themselves, as we saw in Ezekiel 16:49-50. When people get too full of themselves they have no room for God, and God, according to His Word is a jealous God; no matter what Oprah thinks. Nothing much grows where these cities once stood.

One woman has been immortalized by Jesus in a far different way than anyone would want to be. Her name was lost with Lot and His daughters, because we don’t know it. God had warned Lot, his wife, and their two daughters, “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee…”, and it was after they were all safely in Zoar, the city that was protected because of Lot’s plea with the visitors, that the judgment fell upon their city. For whatever reason she “looked back”, and became a “Pillar of salt”. Jesus refers to Lot’s wife in the Gospel of Luke: “Remember Lot’s wife.” (17:32). It is not mentioned why she looked back, and I don’t think we can go far wrong in bringing some things to light concerning her backwards look. First of all, her heart was still in Sodom; maybe it could be daughters who never came with them, the sons-in-law, and maybe grandchildren. Secondly, her heart could have still been there because of the power and popularity she and Lot had in the city, and she just couldn’t leave that behind. A third thing, could have been their wealth; by this time, the years they had spent there they could have achieved much material gains, gold, silver, jewels, precious garments, and the lifestyle they lived was comfortable; she was leaving it all behind. Remember Jesus’s words, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:21. Someone has said of Lot’s wife, “She became in death, what she never was in life. Salt.” The warning of Lot’s wife stands for all time to all who will cherish the physical and material over the Word and will of God.

“And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD: And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.” Genesis 19:27-29 (KJV)

The morning of Lot’s deliverance, and at about the time of the destruction of the cities, Abraham got up early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood with the LORD probably just the day before, and looked toward the direction of Lot’s location; the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and he saw the smoke billowing up through the air and the sky. I am sure Abraham’s heart must have sped up and skipped, and practically stopped. There were surely tears in his eyes knowing the hundreds, thousands of human lives that were given in judgment that day. Abraham surely believed that Lot and his family, or at least some of them had been spared; he was trusting the LORD for that matter and God would not fail.

Is there anything wrong with godly people grieving over the loss of human life even when it is known to be the judgment of God? It would seem to me to be ungodly not to grieve. Though “God is angry with the wicked everyday” (Psalm 7:11); He does not desire to destroy them but to save them. Hear the prophet Ezekiel: “Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways and live?” (18:23), and once more, “For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and and live ye.” (18:32). It seems quite clear that God grieves in the judgment too. We can rejoice in that God is glorified in the judgment of sin. We can rejoice when justice is carried out, and God is glorified. We must remember this world and this life is not about us; it is, however about Almighty God, and His glory.

“And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: Come, et us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.” Genesis 19:30-38 (KJV)

 

Zoar was a city of the plains which was spared from the judgment of God. To those in “science” who would proclaim that “This was just a volcanic eruption” would have a hard time explaining how this city was kept from the judgment, and it is just a short distance from the Southern end of the Dead Sea. God’s grace is truly sufficient.

Why Lot feared dwelling in Zoar we are not told. It does tell us that he was fearful there, so he went and lived in a cave. Maybe he was fearful because the people there thought Lot was responsible for the deaths of so many, or at least he may have thought they were thinking that, and fled for his life. We often do not realize it but fear has a very crippling and disabling affect on us. It causes us to flee when nothing pursues us. The writer of Proverbs wrote, “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” (28:1). When our hearts are not with God, that is usually when we are fearful. That is our weakest time, and that is when we flee. To what we have no idea, we just must flee, and it is most likely into more fearful surroundings, and into sin.

We would surely mostly admit that a cave would not be as comfortable as a home in a city. There is much evidence of what happens when we start living with fear. The people of the city of Zoar may have despised Lot, thinking that he was responsible for the demise of the other cities, and maybe accusing him of that, and he may have had just a paranoia thinking such things. Even though he was delivered to this city by God he grows in fear. Fear in the heart shouts loudly and clearly that things are not right with you and God. When you are in the Spirit of God, walking with Him, and doing His will there is no fear, but rather “peace, love, joy…”. John the apostle tells us, “Perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4:18), and we need to know that when we have the proper fear of God, there is no need to fear anything else.

This fear led him to withdraw from the city. Some of the fear may have been that God would destroy this city too. If that be true then Lot’s faith is certainly wavering, and he is gravely in doubt. God had brought him here and saved this city from destruction, why would he now destroy it? He went to a cave with his two daughters. The daughters determined that they needed to have babies, if their race of people were to continue. They devised a plot of getting Lot drunk, getting him in their beds or them into his. Lot may have not noticed the special treatment, the wine, the excess, because he was hurting from the death of his wife, and most of all he was fearful. Fear mixed with sorrow are two of the strongest emotions that can ruin and take control of our thinking. They can get us to the place of amusements; and it would do us good to do a word study here. The word “Muse” means “thought” or “thinking”. When you add the “a” to a word it usually means basically “No”. When you put these two together you have the meaning of “No thinking” or “No thought”. Amusement is usually for the purpose of taking our minds off of problems, and thus that is what has happened to Lot. From Lot we should learn how our fear, our emotions, and our amusements can so easily detract us from the direction and path of holiness, and righteous living in Christ our Lord and Savior.

There is a lot to be said for sobriety, and sober thinking. Without it you end up with fathers having incestual relationships with daughters, mothers having incestual relationships with sons, cars careening out of control killing an innocent family driving down the highway, on their way to grandma’s house. Without sober thinking you will have step fathers raping and killing their step daughters, and /or their sons. There is really no limit to what evil can come from drunkenness. As a result of this debauchery Lot fathers two of his own grandchildren. One of them is Moab which becomes a nation which hates Israel, desires to curse Israel, hires a false prophet to do so, brings immorality into Israel and a plague ensues (Numbers 22-25). The other son/grandson born to Lot by his younger daughter is named Ben-ammi and these are the Ammonites which also hated Israel. But, then, these were only personal choices; no one was hurt by them were they??? Think again.

Moses, in his writing the Pentateuch wrote, “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). I think he knew what he was writing.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Wine is a Mocker…

Wine is a Mocker…

“Let’s go and have a drink”, says one friend to another, as they are departing from their workplace. Most times, in the like scenario, of course, this term “drink” is used in reference to the alcoholic version of various drinks. When we live in a world where there are thousands of people killed on our highways each year due to too much alcoholic drinking, the damage it does to families, the work place, medical care, and individual lives why is it even tolerated by civil countries and the laws of our land?

It is not just tolerated, but it is indulged in, and made to appear glamorous, by even those who don’t drink the brews, and wines. How can a alcoholic drink be indulged in by those who don’t drink? When it is not spoken out against. When it is laughed at. When it is seen as a means to the ending of our miseries, or laughingly referred to as medicinal.

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” Proverbs 20:1 (KJV)

It is sad to admit, there are however, many people, even professing Christians who have been deceived by the venom of alcohol. Those who refuse to speak against the evils of alcoholic drink, and the debauchery, and vile living that comes from the lives of the people who are ruled by the beverage of choice for many “law abiding” adults. There is an element of Christianity even defending the “right to drink”, and that “The Bible says nothing against drinking of alcoholic beverage”. NO! There is no direct commandment to avoid alcoholic beverage in the Bible, but to use that as a right to do so is foolish thinking.

There are several things not named in the Bible that should definitely be avoided by Christians, and pastors and preachers should be speaking against. For example; there is pornography – the vile and evil use of the bodies of others to make pictures and films of people in the acts of things that should be kept in private. There is also the act of abortion – the murderous act of killing the innocent human baby before they are ever born. There is slavery, are we going to advocate slavery because the Bible tells us how to treat those who are enslaved to us? I would hope not. Someone will probably start crying out, “That is straw men,” so be it, it is based on principles of Scripture. Are you going to burn them, because they wreak havoc on your excuses for alcoholic drink?

Let’s look at the verse of this topic. Proverbs 20:1 warns us clearly of wine being a mocker. Strong’s gives us the meaning of the word mocker in Hebrew to be;

  • H3887 – lûts loots A primitive root; properly to make mouths at, that is, to scoff; hence (from the effort to pronounce a foreign language) to interpret, or (generally) intercede: – ambassador, have in derision, interpreter, make a mock, mocker, scorn (-er, -ful), teacher”. In looking at this meaning it would seem to me that alcoholic wine, [that is the meaning of the word “wine” in this verse]; makes a mockery out of whatever it touches.
  • “Wine” – “H3196: yayin yah’-yin From an unused root meaning to effervesce; wine (as fermented); by implication intoxication: – banqueting, wine, wine [-bibber].If one is not a fool when one drinks the beverage, they will soon be one, especially should they allow the beverage to take control. The wisest choice is to refuse to drink something, or use anything that could take over your mind and body. When you do not touch and drink the beverage alcohol you can never become drunk.Mockery is the act of treating with contempt or ridicule; to defy; to delude; to mimic in sport or derision. Isn’t there enough problems within Christianity today without adding one more item to our shamefulness.

    The verse above also tells us that “Strong drink is raging”.

     

    • “Strong drink” = “H7941

    • shêkâr; shay-kawr’; From H7937; an intoxicant, that is, intensely alcoholic liquor: – strong drink, + drunkard, strong wine.”
    • H7937 – shâkar; shaw-kar’; A primitive root; to become tipsy; in a qualified sense, to satiate with a stimulating drink or (figuratively) influence. (Superlative of H8248.): – (be filled with) drink (abundantly), (be, make) drunk (-en), be merry. [Superlative of H8248.]The purposeful making and distribution of strong alcohol for the very purpose of drunkenness. When people are under the influence of beverage alcohol they are not in control. Men and women under the influence will say and do things they would not normally say or do. Otherwise “good men” or “good women” can be turned into violent, immoral, raging, animalistic creatures they would not otherwise be. It is no wonder that wine is a mocker… 

        • “Raging” = “H1993

          hâmâh; haw-maw’; A primitive root (compare H1949); to make a loud sound (like English “hum”); by implication to be in great commotion or tumult, to rage, war, moan, clamor: – clamorous, concourse, cry aloud, be disquieted, loud, mourn, be moved, make a noise, rage, roar, sound, be troubled, make in tumult, tumultuous, be in an uproar.

        Since the book of Proverbs is a book of wisdom it seems that these two items, “Wine” and “Strong drink” cannot be associated with wisdom. How can one be wise in even taking a drink of something that might cause drunkenness which is directly forbidden by Scripture? Someone has brought the issue of sexual relations between a husband and a wife into the argument of beverage alcohol. The statement going something like this, “God gave the sexual union between a husband and wife for both pro-creation, and pleasure. If one enjoys sexual relations too much does that mean it is evil?” Asking the question, at least in the way I phrase it seems almost ludicrous, and to compare the two is ludicrous. We have been commanded to pro-create, and to enjoy our spouses, but there is no commandment to enjoy wine. Some even go to Jesus’s turning “water into wine” of John chapter two; His very first miracle; and argue that if Jesus turned water into wine, then it must be okay. I am not going to discuss that right now, however I will add this; if the wine is a mocker according to Old Testament Scripture, and it is wrong to “Look on the wine when it moveth itself aright in the cup…” (Proverbs 23:31), then, how could Jesus violate Scripture by making alcoholic beverage? A violation of His own Word is what He would be doing. He does not violate His Word.Surely in an age of undisciplined behavior in children, youth and adults we as Christians need to say, and cry boldly that beverage alcohol is evil, and there is no place for it in the lives of Christian people. One more thought before I close. Why is it when a man or woman who has been an alcoholic and a drunk, when they receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior will turn away from and put away all alcoholic beverages? Yet, so called Christian leaders argue for moderation. Where is the leadership in that? Surely “Wine is a mocker” and is mocking Christianity right now; and “Strong drink is raging”; and those influenced by it are fighting against all that is good and godly, and espousing evil, as it is allowed into the homes of the deceived.

        It seems that the devil is surely laughing at the moderation of the moderates who argue for freedom of beverages. May God help us to believe the Word of the LORD, and shun all that is evil and that wreaks evil in the lives of our leaders, and the people.

        -Tim A. Blankenship

        God’s Commendation of Temperance

        God’s Commendation of Temperance

        In the past two articles on this series dealing with beverage alcohol we have looked at some negative role models concerning alcoholic beverage. In this article I turn to a positive action by a whole family, and God’s commendation for thier refusal to drink.

        This family is the family called Rechabites found in Jeremiah 35. This whole chapter deals with this family and makes the point of asking Judah why they do not obey God’s words, as Jonadab’s family has followed his commandments concerning wine and not abiding in one place.

        The end of this chapter reads:

        “And Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts and done according to all that he commanded you, therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me forever’” Jeremiah 35:18-19 (NKJV).

        Yes, I know that part of this commendation is on their also following Jonadab’s commandment to be nomadic in their living. There is yet that commendation for refraining from the usage of wine or alcoholic beverage. The point I want to make here is that God is commending them.

        When one begins to drink beverage alcohol he/she is placing themselves in the place of temptation. Who will be there to keep them from getting drunk? Who will be there to let them know when too much is too much?

        Yes, I also know in reading this chapter in Jeremiah’s prophecy that God is stressing the point of obedience to Him. If men can obey their father like the Rechabites have why is it that the people of Judah cannot obey the commandments of the LORD?

        Some will see this as a very weak argument. Maybe it is, but you get the point. If there is no word of commendation for the drinking of beverage alcohol, and there is commendation for temperance concerning beverage alcohol, by God Himself, then, which is the best Biblical alternative?

        -Tim A. Blankenship

        Lot’s Drunkenness

        Lot’s Inebriation

        In this study of beverage alcohol and its usage I have given you one example of its bad usage; and now I give you another. As I stated in an earlier post, there is more evidence against the usage of beverage alcohol than there is commending the use of it in the Scriptures.

        The nephew of Abraham [Lot], and his family have been delivered from the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, as God has rained down judgment upon a vile and wicked people. The only thing that has saved Lot and his family is the wonder grace of Almighty God. Lot’s wife never made it, because she turned and looked back toward the city despising the warning of the angels not to do so. She has turned into a pillar of salt.

        Now the daughters of Lot conspire together to sleep with their father, because they possibly believe that there are no men left, and that they will never bear children unless they do this vile deed. Their conspiracy is to get their father drunk on wine, the elder daughter sleeping with her father the first night, and the younger the second night. Read Genesis 19:32-38.

        “Lot departed from Zoar and lived in the mountains along with his two daughters, because he was afraid to live in Zoar. Instead, he and his two daughters lived in a cave. Then the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man in the land to sleep with us [as is] the custom of all the land. Come, let’s get our father to drink wine so that we can sleep with him and preserve our father’s line.” So they got their father to drink wine that night, and the firstborn came and slept with her father; he did not know when she lay down or when she got up. The next day the firstborn said to the younger, “Look, I slept with my father last night. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight so you can go sleep with him and we can preserve our father’s line.” That night they again got their father to drink wine, and the younger went and slept with him; he did not know when she lay down or when she got up. So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. The firstborn gave birth to a son and named him Moab. He is the father of the Moabites of today. The younger also gave birth to a son, and she named him Ben-ammi. He is the father of the Ammonites of today.” Genesis 19:30-38 (HCSB)

        This man Lot would have never agreed to sleep with his daughters if his mind would have been clear to make the judgment. It was not. Lot was surely grieving for his wife, and the alcohol in the wine was surely having a numbing effect on his hurt and pain he was feeling, but that is still no excuse for his drunkenness. This act by Lot, or these acts by Lot and his daughters were acts against God and mankind. How? The sons that were born to Lot became trouble for the people of Abraham; a throne in their sides. One drunken act, or two in this case resulted in the moral failure of a nation –

        “While Israel was staying in Acacia Grove, the people began to have sexual relations with the women of Moab. The women invited them to the sacrifices for their gods, and the people ate and bowed in worship to their gods. So Israel aligned itself with Baal of Peor, and the Lord’s anger burned against Israel. The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of the people and execute them in broad daylight before the Lord so that His burning anger may turn away from Israel.” So Moses told Israel’s judges, “Kill each of the men who aligned themselves with Baal of Peor.” An Israelite man came bringing a Midianite woman to his relatives in the sight of Moses and the whole Israelite community while they were weeping at the entrance to the tent of meeting. When Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw [this] , he got up from the assembly, took a spear in his hand, followed the Israelite man into the tent, and drove it through both the Israelite man and the woman—through her belly. Then the plague on the Israelites was stopped, but those who died in the plague numbered 24,000.” Numbers 25:1-9 (HCSB)

        You might take that drink thinking, “Oh, one drink is not going to hurt me, or anyone else.” You may be in control as you take that drink, but somewhere, you surrender your will to the will of the drink. Then, the power of the spirits take over. At what point does this happen? Does anyone know? If they believe they know, are they sure? I don’t know, and I really don’t think anyone does, except the Almighty. Do you want to surrender your mind, your body to the control of a substance which will ruin your life, your family life, and the lives of others who know and don’t know you? When you don’t know where drunkenness takes place, why even take that first sip or drink, if that might be even the slightest possibility of drunkenness?

        Christians, we are to be sober in our thinking. That is, we are to have a clear mind and able always to make clear decisions. I don’t know about the rest of you reading this, but I have a hard enough time making clear and godly decisions without drinking any alcoholic beverage. I sure do not need any help from alcoholic beverage to numb my thinking.

        We are to always be “sober” as Christians. In the epistle of First Peter is written, “Be sober” (1 Peter 1:13; 5:8), and I know this is speaking of a spiritual mind, but can we be sober spiritually if we are not sober physically? Not in my thinking. Every drunk I have ever spoken with knows all there is to know about God, Jesus, salvation, and living, but none of these are having an influence or changing affect in their lives.

        Can any Christian honestly say that even one drink of wine at a meal has absolutely no influence in their thinking, and thinking soberly, clearly, and godly thoughts? It seems to me, that even one drink can influence one’s thought processes in the negative, not the positive. If so, then, would that not be sin against God?

        In this I am an advocate for Christians to have a clear and sober mind. Think on Christ Jesus. We do not need the mind numbing affects of beverage alcohol. Remember what happened to Lot.

        As a fallen race we have problems enough; and as being redeemed through faith in Jesus Christ what place has alcoholic beverage for those who have the New Wine in Him? It seems to me that the Christian who chooses to drink the wines of men, has so little faith in the one who desires to fill us with Himself. With Jesus we will have clear and sober minds, clean hearts, and good deeds.

        -Tim A. Blankenship

        Noah The Farmer; The Vineyard and the Wine

        Noah The Farmer; The Vineyard, and His Wine

        Anyone who would approach the study of beverage alcohol from a Biblical perspective, and would say that alcoholic beverage is not even referred to would be naive at the least and deceptive at the most. I am not going to approach it from either perspective. There is alcoholic wine in the Bible, and it was abused by godly people. Was it ever used properly? That may be an answer we will get to sometime later in these studies, conclusions, or essays.

        The title suggest something to us of Noah. Noah of the ark, who built the ark designed by God. Noah; who found grace in the eyes of the LORD. Noah; who “walked with God”. Noah; who was used by God to save humankind from destruction.

        In this post and future ones I make it no secret, my agenda is to try and persuade Christians against the use of beverage alcohol. This first post gives us a Bible example of the folly of drinking alcohol.

        Hear the example of Noah from God’s Word:

        “And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent.” Genesis 9:20 (NKJV).

        Let me say here that there is nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with grapes and grape juice. Vineyards produce grapes, and with some effort from men, they will produce grape juice; and then, with some aging the juice will ferment and become alcoholic naturally with its sugars.

        Drunkenness is clearly rebuked, and condemned by Scripture. Noah sinned by his drunkenness. Did he know that this fruit of the vine had become alcoholic, and lead to becoming drunk? Quite possibly. We learn from Noah, that even the best of juices need to be drank in moderation. Even water should be drank in moderation. The reason I bring that up is; just a several months ago, in 2007, a woman in the State of California, entered a contest seeing who could drink the most water the quickest, she won, and she died. The autopsy said she died of “Water intoxication”. Even with this though there was no harm that came to others.

        In Noah’s case harm did come to others. He brought shame on His family. He brought a curse upon his grandson, and his heirs. Noah brought shame to himself.

        “And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.” Genesis 9:21-23 (NKJV).

        Surely you can see by Noah’s drunkenness, that if you never take up the habit of drinking the wine [any beverage alcohol] you will never get drunk. You will not bring this embarrassment into your family. You will not get in a car and harm other people on the highways, and roads of our land. You will not bring shame to your name, at least in this fashion.

        There are many physicians which tell us that there are medicinal qualities in wine, and more in certain kinds of wine. One of my own doctors, after he had told me that my good cholesterol number was too low, and I asked him how to improve it told me, “Drinking a little wine would be one place to start”. For me that was completely out of the picture. I have heard the studies, which have told us that the pure fruit of the vine is just as good for those benefits, and I enjoy my daily glass of red grape juice. Grapejuice does have all the medicinal qualities that wine does. There is scientific evidence which proves it. And the juice does it without alcohol. There are no health qualities in beverage alcohol. That is no excuse for drinking, and taking the chance of getting drunk. The only medicinal use I could think of for alcohol is for cuts and bruises, and maybe for dulling of the senses when a minor surgery or something would be done without any other anesthetic available.

        Look what happened to Noah; sure he had every right to enjoy the fruits of his labor. He evidently had purposely made the wine; then he proceeded to drink the wine and very much over did himself, and became drunkened by the alcohol, then he did something he would not in his normal state of mind done. He uncovered himself openly in his tent. The thing about the drinking of anything alcoholic is that you never know how much it will take to cause you to lose your moral decision making process. How can a Christian in a society which is driven by alcohol stand in their church, or any Christian setting and argue and defend the drinking of beverage alcohol? I say “society which is driven by alcohol” because when a news channel for two years in a row on “Derby Day” gives a recipe on the making of a “mint Julip” or something like that – which is a purly strong alcoholic drink – and they live as though it is just a dream drinking the beverages; it is surely a society driven by alcohol. Many of the commercials on television and in Newspapers, and magazines are from the alcohol industry.

        Noah did not have the pressure of society to cause him to drink to drunkenness; and preachers today scream legalism when other preachers, teachers or myself tell us it is a matter of calling to righteous and holy living and protecting the name of Christ. The more the preachers speak of silence from the Scriptures concerning beverage alcohol, the more the numbers of alcoholics and drunks will increase. Whether we want to accept it or not, our silence is our approval. Your people, old and the young especially, are waiting to hear from you. Give them the facts, give them the pictures, give them the warnings from God’s Word, and trust God to work. If you are God’s man in the pulpit you have that responsibility. If you don’t you may start finding your people’s moral compasses failing; or even your own.

        I pray this will make you think before you drink. You may not be able to think afterwards.

        -Tim A. Blankenship

        The Preacher in Power With God

        The Man in the Wilderness

        “And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.” Matthew 11:7-19 (KJV)

        Jesus makes a declaration about the prophet who showed the way to Himself. Jesus’s word is that John was a prophet who stood, and was not swayed by the tide of public, or popular opinion. The “Reed” spoken of by Jesus was native to the country, and was easily bent in every slight breeze. He would not bend to the winds of conformity of the flesh. He would not win any elections. He would not even allow his name to be submitted to any office.

        John was not a man who would attend the social events of the season (v. 8). He was not out to win any popularity contest. The people would not have gone to the wilderness to seek the finely dressed. He dressed in “camel’s hair” very similar to Elijah’s apparel. Not the garment of a popular individual, or one seeking popularity.

        A prophet of great esteem, that esteem was from the Lord, not men. To be esteemed “the greatest” by the King Himself is certainly the highest of honors. The esteem of man is useless in eternal matters. Because John was the herald of a new covenant, a better way, those in the new are counted greater. John is counted only as a friend of the Bridegroom. Those in the new covenant are the Bride of the Bridegroom.

        The people to whom John preached, and to whom Jesus preached were mostly a people who committed a Dereliction of duty. They heard the voice, but the words were of none effect. The nation neglected to heed the message of the prophet (v. 12). Their opinions were on equal ground with the Word of God. Their attitude was, “We will have the kingdom in our own way”. They hated the prophet and this eventually showed up in their hatred for the King. It seems that the message of all the prophets were despised by the nation (v. 13). John’s message is on equal footing with that of Elijah, Isaiah, and Jeremiah to Malachi. His persecution was on equal footing as well. Here are some similarities. 1) John was fearless before Herod – Elijah was fearless before Jezebel’s prophets; 2) John was locked in prison – Jeremiah was put in a pit; 3) John lost his head – Isaiah was probably sawn in two. John preached against the adultery of Herod; as pointed out earlier (14:1-12).

        John would have been the one “In the spirit and power of Elijah” if he would have been received (vv. 14-15; Luke 1:16-17). His ministry would have been to turn the hearts of the people back to God. This was accomplished in a small way. There is yet to come another “In the spirit and power of Elijah” who will accomplish his task (Revelation 11:1-14). The message of the prophet is one people must hear and take heed.

        This generation of people was likened to spoiled, uncooperative children (vv. 16-17). Likened to children playing wedding game, then others come into the picture, and declare they want to play the funeral game instead. They want to mourn at a time for rejoicing. They want to rejoice at the wrong time and weep at the time of rejoicing. John’s message was one that the Messiah has come, and the people refused to hear it, tearing their garments in grief. When it was declared to them the time for mourning, then they were rejoicing. There is a whole lot of that in the world of 2008.

        It seems the religious leaders had no desire for hearing the truth of God’s message from His prophet John. When they did not want to hear they set out to find fault. The prophet because of his “self-control”, lack of fleshly desires, sometimes loud, and “rude” preaching is accused of being demon possessed. Jesus, because He sits and dines with “tax collectors and sinners” is accused of gluttony and drunkenness. By these accusations they are only endeavoring to cover their own sins that have been exposed for what they really are.

        Truth always bears fruit. Lies also bear fruit, but none worth having. Truth reveals the good, and exposes the bad. The children of complainers and accusers continue complaining, accusing lives – to eternal condemnation. The children of wisdom are drawn to the Savior. If Jesus and John were the way of these accusations, then, why are lives changed by faith in Jesus. The resurrected, changed life is evidence that the claims of Jesus and John are true and not the claims of the complainants.

        -by Tim A. Blankenship

        The Curse of Beverage Alcohol

        A SHAMED GLORY

        “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!  Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD’S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory.  For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.” Habakkuk 2:15-17 (KJV).

        This whole prophetic message seems to be presented in song. The prophet has been angry because in his way of thinking God is letting evil go, and not doing anything with it. He is firstly upset because he sees the evil of “God’s people”, then when God tells him that punitive judgment is coming for God’s people in the form of the ruthless, evil Babylonian kingdom, he begins questioning God’s wisdom in the matter. I do not know about you, but I see where the prophet is coming from.

        There are some who tend to believe that since this is only a song, then the words are not literal, but are allegorical, or poetic imagery. I could see it as an analogy; at least in some of the words that are presented. The definition of “analogy” is, “Inference that if two or more things agree in some respects they will probably agree in others” MIRRIAM/WEBSTER DICTIONARY.

        The picture given here is of the Babylonian horde persuading their neighbors to come along and aid them. They woo them with big promises of treasures, wealth, and great popularity with their people, etc. They become “intoxicated” by the thoughts and dreams of the bounty; then when the battles were fought and they head home their help leaves with less than they entered the battles with. Babylon leaders made great promise, then, take all for themselves.

        There is still a lesson of the evils of alcoholic beverage here. A woe is pronounced upon the people who purposely sell beverage alcohol, knowing they will buy it, drink it, get drunk, then, not even know what their day or evening was like.

        We live in a day when there must be a policy of abstinence from beverage alcohol. For some reason people are enticed by beverage alcohol, even from a young age. It is advertised as the way of getting the pretty girls, the handsome guys, and having a great time. When the party is eventually over they will be left without anything to show for it, except decay and death. It is an evil in our society which has and is poisoning our lives, killing our children, and mothers and fathers. Beverage alcohol has been and is a source of physical abuse between spouses; husbands abusing their wives; wives abusing their husbands, and all due to this poison that kills and does so legally. Both parents when inebriated have been known to abuse their children. We certainly know the numbers of deaths from accidents on the highways due to beverage alcohol. There is cost associated with lost time at work. Costs in health care due to beverage alcohol. Why is it worth having around? Unless of course it is because some profit at the expense of the dead man on the road.

        The judgment of God fell on Babylon because of their arrogance, in particular of the king. They had stripped the forest, frightened the wild animals, and all for the sake of taking the lives of men, and for the sake of gain. That dish would be returned upon them and with their own entrails.

        ANALOGY? You could say that, but it makes a good point. There are those who argue, and I believe without merit, that the Bible says nothing against the drinking of beverage alcohol. Here are some references. Proverbs 20:1; 23:29:-35; 31:1-9. Then, here is a good illustration of the blessing of God on those who choose to be temperate Jeremiah 35:1-19.

        In a culture, such as ours here in the United States of America it seems quite foolish to be defending the use and abuse of beverage alcohol. What is there to guarantee that you will never become drunk? There is only one answer. Do not take a drink of beverage alcohol. Drunkenness can also come about by doing drugs. That too, should not be tolerated by Christian America.

        “Well, I only drink a glass of wine with my evening meal”, that would mean you keep it in a closet or some place in your home. You have children seeing you drink. What will guarantee they will not become an alcoholic or drunk? If you do not have the poison in your home, and if they never see you take a drink, they will be less likely to begin the process toward alcoholism and drunkenness.

        The message of Habakkuk is a “Woe” to those who put it to their neighbor’s lips, that they might look upon their nakedness. The analogy being; taking advantage of their neighbor for personal gain. The literal rendering is “Don’t sell alcoholic beverage or disperse it in any manner“. God help those who do not follow God’s Word.

        I know there are arguments and debate all around these references, but I just trust what the verses say. Unless we want the judgment of the Babylonians on us we who profess Christ as our Savior better begin living a life of temperance. Others are watching you. The best way to avoid becoming an alcoholic is to never take a drink of beverage alcohol. Let us, especially not take part in causing others to become drunken and alcoholic. Let us rather show them the New Wine of Jesus.

        -by Tim A. Blankenship

        Baptists and Beverage Alcohol

        There is an age old controversy in Christianity waging over the issue of beverage alcohol.  Is it proper or allowable for Christians to drink socially, as long as they do not get drunk?  Does Scripture say anything against the drinking of beverage alcohol?  These are questions that are being asked by many Christians, and even Baptists Christians.

        For many years Baptists have been known to be “Tea-totalers”.  Personally, I do not think that to be a bad thing.  In recent months and years the idea of Baptists being temperant concerning beverage alcohol has come into question.  It has been a source of controversy at the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting and recently at the Missouri Baptist Convention’s annual meeting.

        To my point of view it has become a question due to the fact that many younger pastors are saying that the Bible says nothing against a social drink of beverage alcohol.  There are several of us, young and old, who disagree with that assessment.  There is example after example in Scripture of the danger or the drink.  In articles I have written at Fire and Hammer I have written of two examples.  The first is of Noah who having come off the ark, grows a vineyard, drinks too heavily of its fruit, and becomes drunkened by it, and brings a curse on a member of the family.  The second is of Lot, after being delivered with his two daughters from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, is given wine to make him drunk, by his daughers for the purpose of incestual impregnation; another evidence of moral decay, and Lot goes along by allowing himself to become drunk.

        There are also verses which argue against the drink of beverage alcohol.  For example Proverbs 20:1; 23:29-35; and 31:1-6.  Every time these verses are presented the one’s who are in favor of “License” or “Freedom in Christ” as they want to call it, will run circles around these and do everything they can to explain them away.  There are also some New Testament Scriptures concerning a “sound mind” which needs to be taken into consideration concerning beverage alcohol (Ephesians 5:18; 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 Peter 1:13).  At what point does one become drunk?  At what point does the alcohol begin to take your mind?  Does anyone know the answer to these questions?  If the answer to these questions cannot be known, then, in my thinking that is another reason to remain abstinent from beverage alcohol.

        I will agree with my brother in Christ David Tolliver who is the Interim Executive Director of the Missouri Baptist Convention; that there is no place in the Bible that says, “Thou shalt not drink beverage alcohol”, however, there are many which speak of its dangers.  It is my conviction when the Bible doesn’t say “Thou shalt not…”, but our tradition says “Let’s not…”, then, I will stand with the tradition rather than try to allow loose living and morality.  That is where this debate over the alcohol issue will lead us if we lower our standards.

        Do we want to lower our standards to allow a few to come in?  I choose to remain faithful to the Bible and the tradition which does not allow loose living.  This is not a matter of salvation, but of sanctification and holiness.

        edited the links given above on Noah and Lot because of the deletion of THE WATCHMAN’S TRUMPET. 01/09/10

        T.A.