Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink.
Russian arms designer General Mikhail Kalashnikov is famous for the gun named after him, the AK-47. He introduces another one of his products that is not alien to his native Russia - Vodka. Russia has one of the highest alcohol related death rates on the planet
There has been an increase of alcohol related deaths in recent times where many individuals are getting liver and lung disease.
There was a perfectly good reason why God totally forbade the prophets and ordained Levitical priests from drinking any alcoholic beverages when they performed their duties of intercession as well as being teachers to the whole nation of the children of Israel.
And the Lord spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statutue for ever throughout your generations: and that ye put difference between unclean and clean; and that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statues which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.
But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
A text which many people use to justify the drinking of alcoholic beverages is a misunderstood text which has not been read in its context. The Holy Scriptures gives a divine method on how to study the context of the passages of the Holy scriptures, 'line upon line, line upon line' (Isa. 28:10), by 'comparing spiritual things with spiritual' (I Cor. 2:13) and when that method is followed it will not lead to error or a 'private interpretation'.
Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
Proverbs 31:6, 7
It is clear from reading that passage that in the ancient world 'alcohol' was like an 'aspirin, nurofen or morphine, that was used to deaden the pain when someone was suffering from very deep distress as well as certain narcotic herbs (Matth. 27:34), but that was only to be used in specific circumstances and if the two preceding verses above are read, you will see that alcohol is forbidden by God, especially by those who are in leadership positions.
It is not for kings, O Lemmuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
Proverbs 31:4, 5
The New Testament has the same principle as the Old, for God does not change (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8), but many people misapply and misinterpret two very key texts. When Jesus turned water into wine, He did not turn the natural water into alcohol or 'strong drink', for that will make the rest of the Holy Scriptures and its principles contradictory.
So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.
Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.
1 Timothy 5:23
Unlike the Old Testament that distinguishes between alcoholic or fermented wine 'yayin' and the natural fresh grape juice wine 'teerosh', in the New Testament, the Greek word "oinos," is translated "wine", which may be either fermented or unfermented but if we carefully analyse the context, the disciples were not encouraging the saints to partake in alcohol. As God is not 'the author of confusion' (I Cor. 14:33), He will not condemn alcohol in the Old Testament (Prov. 20:1) and then sanction it in the New.
When Papal Babylon' global poisonous, bewitching doctrine and its influence on the hearts of men is foretold in the book of Revelation, its false teachings and the numbing effect it has on the inhabitants of the earth is compared to people drunk with alcohol.
... and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
How often does the smell of grape juice, even in over indulgence of it comes out of the pores. Alcohol when consumed (more so excessively) is secreted out of the pores and gives off a very unappealing bad odour.
When a man/woman is stopped for drink and driving if he/she blows into the breathalyser and is over the limit, it can measure how much alcohol is in the body by the measure of their breath.
Why did God make such a strong rebuke to those who partake in alcoholic beverages? Was he hindering us from having a quick buzz? No. He is protecting us from damaging our brain cells. While there are many Christians who will try to use many counter arguments to justify their secret vice, recent enlightenment has shown otherwise.
Recent studies undertaken by scientists have shown that even mild-to-moderate drinking (more so excessively), can adversely affect cognitive functioning that can lead to damaged liver cells and can also cause damaged brain cells.
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.
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.
Proverbs 23:31, 32
'Alcohol is the single most significant cause of liver disease throughout the Western world, accounting for between 40% and 80% of cases of cirrhosis in different countries. In general, deaths from alcoholic liver disease in each country correlate with the consumption of alcohol per head of population, although additional factors can influence this trend. Various studies have estimated that between 20% and 30% of lifelong alcoholics will develop significant liver disease. Alcohol-induced liver disease forms a broad spectrum, from the relatively benign fatty liver disease to the development of alcoholic hepatitis. This condition may develop acutely with no preceding clinical features and in some patients progresses to death. It has an immediate morality of between 30% and 60%. An estimated 20% of heavy drinkers develop progressive liver fibrosis, which can eventually lead to alcoholic cirrhosis, typically after a period of 10-20 years of heavy indulgence.' (1)
'Scientists have identified the precise molecular mechanism leading to the breakdown of the body's natural defences that protect DNA against damage from excessive alcohol in the bloodstream. They believe the results demonstrate that binge drinking causes a build-up of toxins within the body, causing irreversible genetic damage, which may explain the phenomenon known as foetal-alcohol syndrome when babies of mothers who drink during pregnancy are born with congenital learning problems.
The study was based on genetically-modified mice, but the scientists involved said the findings are applicable to humans and represent a sea-change in the understanding of how alcohol causes long-term physical damage to the body.
The study, published in the journal Nature, found that a breakdown product of alcohol, called acetaldehyde, is the toxin that damages the DNA molecule within the cells if it is not effectively neutralised by two natural defence mechanisms. The first layer removes acetaldehyde with specialised enzymes while the second repairs the DNA damage that the toxin causes.' (2)
The council from heaven is to drink the natural unfermented juice from the grapes, it has healing properties which fermented alcoholic wine hasn't.
Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sake, that I may not destroy it.
Source: (1) Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics by Roger Walker and Cate Whittlesea p.217; (2) THE INDEPENDENT, Thursday, 7 July 2011