God Said Man Said

The Curse of Alcohol

Years ago while working in the prison ministry, I met a man named Victor. Victor was an alcoholic and was incarcerated as a result of deeds spawned by his bondage. Victor had all the necessary tools to succeed in life, but in his approximate 60 years, success was absent. Poor Victorís life was wasted, and many other lives affected. Family members, friends, loved ones, employers, tax payers, and more, were directly damaged by his actions. I asked Victor when he became an alcoholic and he said, ďMy first drink.Ē Moderation didnít work for Victor.
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The Curse of Alcohol

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Hebrews 4:12-13:

12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

13  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

“The Word of God is quick, and powerful…”  That word quick means “alive,” as in the term, “the quick and the dead.”  God’s Word is not printer’s ink and paper but it is His living Spirit.  In this Word that discerns our entire being, the obedient find light, life, direction, and eternal life in Christ Jesus.  Have you embraced this living Word?  Revelation 19:13 speaks of Christ:

And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Jesus Christ is the Word of God and in Him is life everlasting.  Have you been born again—born a second time?  Are you ready to live for the very first time?  Are you ready to have your sin and shame obliterated and forgotten by God, the judge and creator of all men?  Then today is your day of salvation.  Today can be your birth date of record.  Click onto “Further With Jesus” for immediate entry into the Kingdom of God.  NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, Proverbs 23:29-35:

29  Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?

30  They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.

31  Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

32  At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

33  Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.

34  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.

35  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.

GOD SAID, Habakkuk 2:15:

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!

GOD SAID, Proverbs 20:1:

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

MAN SAID: A little moderation, a little bit of wine, a little bit of beer, a little whiskey, marijuana, cocaine, etc.—and Jesus made wine, didn’t He?

Now THE RECORD.  This is the eighth article on GodSaidManSaid that deals with the subject of wine—fermented and unfermented—as well as all alcoholic beverages.  At the end of this feature we will list them for your perusal.

All 427 features on GodSaidManSaid can now be downloaded to your MP3 player, and of course, there is no charge.  Get set up for the weekly podcast.

When God condemns an action, wise men and women take heed.  Years ago while working in the prison ministry, I met a man named Victor.  Victor was an alcoholic and was incarcerated as a result of deeds spawned by his bondage.  Victor had all the necessary tools to succeed in life, but in his approximate 60 years, success was absent.  Poor Victor’s life was wasted, and many other lives affected.  Family members, friends, loved ones, employers, tax payers, etc., were directly damaged by his actions.  I asked Victor when he became an alcoholic and he said, “My first drink.”  Moderation didn’t work for Victor.

This article will quickly review a few points from past features, but a visit to the listed subjects will be needed to more thoroughly research the subject.

The following statistics are several years old.  They’re taken from the GodSaidManSaid feature, “Sowing and Reaping:”

According to the Greater Dallas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, alcohol contributes to more than 100,000 deaths annually in the US, with 18% of Americans experiencing alcohol abuse or alcohol dependency sometime in their lives.  The National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse reports an annual 500,000 alcohol-related injuries, 600,000 assaults, 70,000 sexual assaults, and that 14 million Americans are addicted.  If we were to extrapolate global populations using U.S. statistics (and I’m confident the global percentages are higher), the number of annual deaths related to alcohol would be 2.2 million, 11 million injuries, 13.2 million assaults, and 1.54 million sexual assaults.  Those who will experience alcohol abuse or alcohol dependency in their lifetime would number about 1,170,000,000, and this is really the tip of the iceberg.  Now consider the colossal harm to the family unit, the broken homes, damaged children, psychological illnesses, huge financial cost, etc.  [End of quote]

Another terrible devastation caused by alcohol is the effect it has on the unborn in the mother’s womb.  It is called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  It can be caused by a mother drinking as little as one alcoholic beverage during pregnancy.  It is the number one cause of birth defects and renders its children with IQs 13 to 16 points lower than their non-affected counterparts.  Many cases of mental retardation are the result of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Drinking kills neurons, causes cancer, destroys livers, damages the ability to discern between right and wrong, etc.  Surely it is an Armageddon of its own.

The following excerpts are from “Alcohol and Christians (Part Two):”

In the early 1900s, evangelical churches across America stood united in their opposition to all alcoholic beverages and applied major pressure on the US Congress for the purpose of passing the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States on July 16, 1919.  Prior to prohibition, the term “Christian Wedding” meant that it was free of all alcohol, and of course, Christ-centered.   This amendment outlawed the manufacturing, sales, and transportation of alcoholic beverages.  This law was repealed in 1933.

Bootlegging caused a law enforcement nightmare.  But, just in case you think prohibition was an utter failure, consider the following data found on an op-ed page from around 20 years ago (Note that some of the data reflects dated numbers.):

During the Prohibition Era (1919-1933)...

1) Crime decreased 54 percent.

2) The death rate due to liquor decreased 43 percent.

3) Ninety-seven of the 98 Keely Alcoholic Clinics closed for lack of patients.

4) Insanity decreased 66 percent.

5) All 60 Neil Cure Clinics closed for lack of patients afflicted with alcoholism.

During The Post-Prohibition Era…

1) Drunkenness shortly increased 350 percent.

2) Crime spiraled till it is now rampant.

3) Some 50 percent of all traffic accidents are alcohol-related.

4) There are 10 million alcoholics today.

5) Of this number, 3.5 million are 14-17 years of age.

Current numbers, of course, are sizably different.

From the repeal of prohibition until today, huge numbers of evangelical churches have capitulated to the lust-driven social pressures, just as they have done in regard to permitting paganism, feminism, etc., in their churches.  It is obvious why the Word of God declares that judgment must first begin at the house of God.   The term “Christian Wedding” used to mean two Christians united together in Christ, and on occasion free from all alcohol.  [End of quote]

It’s ludicrous—man’s criticism: “What kind of God would cause such sorrow, sickness, and death?—when God directly commands man to abstain from the hurtful deeds of the flesh.  Who then is responsible for all the dead bodies?

Brother David Wilkerson’s research on the wine issue adds solid historic information to this subject.  It must be noted that wine by Biblical definition is either fermented or unfermented juice of the grape.  Past GodSaidManSaid features establish this finding with chapter and verse.  The following excerpts are from Wilkerson’s 1978 book, Sipping Saints:

The word “juice” does not appear in the New Testament and only once in the Old.  All fruit of the vine was called wine, whether it was fermented or not.  There are thirteen different words used in the Bible which are interpreted as wine, nine in Hebrew and Chaldee, and four in Greek.  Two of the common words in Greek were “oinos” and “oinon.”  These Greek words correspond to “yayin” or “yain” in Hebrew, “vinun” in Latin, and “wine” in English. 

According to Professor Samuel Lee (Cambridge University), the root of the Greek word in Hebrew is “yain” or wine.  The word does not refer only to intoxicating liquor made by fermentation, but more so, to a thick, unintoxicating syrup or jam produced by boiling to make it storable.  They stored this thick substance in skin bottles.

The grape syrup was stored in new wineskins to prevent fermentation.  It was referred to as “new wine.”  Old wineskins induced fermentation, just as improper canning procedures today can cause decay.  This thick syrup was similar to our grape jellies and could be squeezed out of the skin bottles onto bread or dissolved in water, to be reconstituted as a very desirable grape drink.  This process is described in the Hebrew Bible by Solomon and among Roman writers by Pliny.  [End of quote]

Jesus addresses the fermentation issue concerning bottles in Matthew 9:17:

Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

The distinction between fermented and unfermented wine is cited by ancient writers.  Again from Wilkerson’s Sipping Saints:

Even classical writers spoke of unitoxicating “wine.”  Horace, in 65 B.C., says: “Here you quaff under a shade, cups of unintoxicating wine – this day sacred in the revolving year, remove the cork fastened with pitch from the jar which was set to fumigate…  Take my Macaenas – all clamor and passion be far away.”

Drinking was referred to “without passion.”  Plutarch, in 60 A.D., writes: “That filtered wine neither inflames the brain nor infects the mind and the passions, and is much more pleasant to drink.”

Aristotle says of sweet wine called “glukus” that it would not intoxicate, and the wine of Arcadia was so thick it was necessary to scrape it from the skin bottles in which it was stored and dissolve the scrapings in water.

Virgil, in 70 B.C., says: “Or of sweet ‘must’ boils down the luscious juice.”

Homer, in his Odyssey, Book IX, tells us that Ulysses took in his boat a goat skin of sweet, black wine, and that before it was drunk, it was diluted with twenty parts of water.  [Being thick, it required water to prepare it for drinking.]

Varro speaks of “gathering wine;” Cato of “hanging wine;” Ovid, “And scarce can the grapes contain the wine they have therein.”  Columella and other writers who were contemporaries with the apostles inform us that in Italy and Greece, it was common to boil the wines [which, of course, they would not have done if the alcoholic content was desired].

Archbishop Potter, born A.D. 161, in his Grecian Antiquities, Edinburgh edition, 1813, vol. ii, p. 360, says, “The Lacedaemonians used to boil their wines upon the fire till the fire was consumed; then after four years were expired, began to drink them.”  He refers to Demoncritus, a celebrated philosopher, who traveled across the greater part of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and who died in 361 B.C., also to Palladius, a Greek physician, as making a similar statement.  These ancient authorities called the boiled juice of the grape “wine.”

“The Mishna states that the Jews were in the habit of using boiled wine.” – Kitto, vol. ii, p. 477.

W.G. Brown, who traveled extensively in Africa, Egypt, and Syria from 1792 to 1798, states, “The wines of Syria are most of them prepared by boiling immediately after they are expressed from the grape, till they are considerably reduced in quantity, when they were put into jars or large bottles and preserved for use.  There is reason to believe that this mode of boiling was a general practice among the ancients.”

Caspar Neuman, M.D., Professor of Chemistry, Berlin, 1759, says: “It is observable that when sweet juices are boiled down to a thick consistency, they not only do not ferment in that state, but are not easily brought into fermentation when diluted with as much water as they had lost in the evaporation, or even with the very individual water that exhaled from them.”  Nott, Lond. Ed., p. 81.

Cyrus Redding, in his History of Modern Wines, says: “On Mount Lebanon, at Kesroan, good wines are made, but they are for the most part ‘vins cuit’ (boiled wines).  The wine is preserved in jars.” – Kitto, ii. 956.

Leiber, who visited Crete in 1817, says: “When the Venetians were masters of the island, great quantities of wine were produced at Rettimo and Candia, and it was made by boiling in large coppers, as I myself observed.”—Nott.  [End of quote]

Concerning boiling the juice, Wilkerson weighs in with the following:

It is an unchangeable law of nature that vinous fermentation requires temperatures between 50 degrees and 75 degrees F.  Fermentation in climates above 75 degrees F would be acetous (vinegar-like).  Fermentation may be prevented by boiling, by filtration, by excluding air, and by adding sulphur.  Grape juice boils at 212 degrees F; alcohol evaporates at 170 degrees F – which is 42 degrees F below the boiling point – the object of boiling being to preserve the sweetness of the juice.

Columella, and other contemporary writers with the apostles, recorded that, “In Sicily and Greece, it was common to boil their wines.” –Dr. Nott.

Horace, born B.C. 65, said, “There is no wine sweeter to drink than Lesbian; that it was like nectar, and more resembled ambrosia than wine; that it was perfectly harmless and would not produce intoxication.”

I am convinced, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that Jesus turned water into new, sweet wine—unfermented.  It was the same kind of sweet, unintoxicating wine that is still produced today in many southern Asian and European countries.

Captain Treat, in 1545, wrote: “When on the south coast of Italy last Christmas, I inquired particularly about the wines in common use, and I found that those esteemed the best were sweet and nonintoxicating.  The boiled juice of the grape is in common use in Sicily.  From inquiries, I found that unfermented wines were esteemed  the most.  It was drunk mixed with water.” —Dr. Lee’s Works, vol. ii, p. 144.  [End of quote]

Much noise has been sounded concerning the benefits of wine-drinking (meaning fermented wine).  Mostly, the reporters failed to mention that unfermented wine (purple grape juice) delivers the same benefit.  Neither have you heard as much noise about the medical world’s backtracking on their original proclaimation.

The following paragraphs from GodSaidManSaid’s “Wine II” address these issues:

The following excerpt is from the publication Better Nutrition:

Solid research indicates phytonutrients in the wine, not the alcohol, are the awesome antioxidant workers.  Red wine and its non-alcoholic equal, purple grape juice, are brimming with the antioxidants resveratrol, grapeseed anthocyanidins, quercitin, ellagic acid, phenolic flavonoids, and epicatechin.  Purple grape juice is, perhaps, the most powerful antioxidant on earth, having demonstrated the highest ORAC rating of more than 40 fruits, vegetables, and juices tested in the lab! [End of quote]

Now the latest research is in and it’s not good news for consumers of alcoholic beverages.  The following excerpts are from a report citing the latest research concerning alcohol consumption.  “Cancel Happy Hour: Alcohol Shrinks Brain” was the title of the report.  It reads:

Dec. 5, 2003—Forget that cabernet at dinner; at happy hour—just say no.  For middle-aged people, drinking alcohol in moderate amounts actually causes the brain to slightly deteriorate, a new study shows.

What’s more, you get no protection from stroke—which runs contrary to previous studies that show moderate alcohol intake is associated with some protection against it.

A new study, published in this month’s issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association also delves into this issue of drinking alcohol and brain shrinkage.  Previous studies have linked heavy drinking with brain deterioration as well as stroke.

But this is the first to show that even moderate drinking (seven to 14 drinks a week)—causes the same sort of brain atrophy and it occurs as early as in middle age, so writes researcher Jingzhong Ding, PhD, an epidemiologist with the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.  [End of quote]

The following article concerning alcohol, by Arthur Agatston, MD, is from the December 2008 issue of Prevention magazine:

They call me complaining of palpitations, one of the symptoms of what’s known as “holiday heart.”

That term describes the abnormal heart rhythms than can be triggered by even modest amounts of a seasonal staple, alcohol.  If you haven’t experienced them before, these arrhythmias, which feel like little flutters in your chest, can be scary.  Fortunately, as most of my holiday-heart patients find out, symptoms vanish as the alcohol leaves the body.

But there is one type of arrhythmia, called atrial fibrillation, that is not harmless.  It can be precipitated by an excessive amount of alcohol—four or more drinks a day for several days—and it requires medical attention.  During AF, the two upper chambers of the heart quiver instead of beat in rhythm.  The heart also beats inappropriately fast, and its rate can increase to a high level with minimal exertion.  You’ll also likely feel dizzy, short of breath, and fatigued.

The greatest danger of AF is a blood clot, which occurs when the problem is sustained and usually when there is underlying heart disease.  This clot could migrate from the heart to the brain and cause a stroke, which is why if you have palpitations that don’t stop (and particularly if you have some of the symptoms described above), you should call your doctor, who may suggest that you go to the ER for treatment.  [End of quote]

The following short paragraphs are from the fall 2008 issue of b•Well, a publication of the Cleveland Clinic:

Since researchers found a link between red wine and a reduced risk of heart disease, many women have been enjoying a glass a day.  However, women should weigh the benefits and risks for themselves after the surprising finding that all types of alcohol, including wine, increase a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer.

“The fact that drinking wine increases the chances of developing breast cancer is a modifiable and probably hugely underestimated risk factor for women,” says Holly Smedira, MD, a medical breast specialist in Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Specialized Women’s Health.

The study found that consuming one to two alcoholic beverages (one glass of wine equals 5 oz.) each day raises a woman’s risk of breast cancer by 10 percent.  The risk of breast cancer jumps to 30 percent when women have three or more drinks per day.  [End of quote]

Finally, this breaking news from AP, February 24, 2009 titled, “More Evidence Links Alcohol, Cancer In Women:”

WASHINGTON—A study of nearly 1.3 million British women offers yet more evidence that moderate alcohol consumption increases the risk of a handful of cancers.  British researchers surveyed middle-aged women at breast cancer screening clinics about their drinking habits, and tracked their health for seven years.

Each extra drink per day increased the risk of breast, rectal and liver cancer, University of Oxford researchers reported Tuesday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The type of alcohol—wine, beer or liquor—didn't matter.

For an individual woman, the overall alcohol risk is small. In developed countries, about 118 of every 1,000 women develop any of these cancers, and each extra daily drink added 11 breast cancers and four of the other types to that rate, the study found.

But population-wide, 13 percent of those cancers in Britain may be attributable to alcohol, the researchers concluded.

Moderate alcohol use has long been thought to be heart-healthy, something the new research doesn't address but that prompts repeated debate about safe levels.  [End of quote]

GOD SAID, Proverbs 23:29-32:

29  Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?

30  They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.

31  Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

32  At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

MAN SAID: A little moderation, a little bit of wine, a little bit of beer, a little whiskey, marijuana, cocaine, etc.—and Jesus made wine, didn’t He?

Now THE RECORD.

Now you have THE RECORD.

 

Related Articles:

Alcohol and Christians

Alcohol and Christians (Part Two)

Sowing and Reaping

The Secret of Self-Destruction

The Wages of Sin — Part Four — Conclusion

Whore's Forehead

Wine

Wine II

 

 

References:

Authorized King James Version

Agatston, A., MD, “Eat, Drink, But Be Wary,” Prevention, 12/2008, p33

“More Evidence Links Alcohol, Cancer In Women,” AP, 2/24/2009

“To Drink or Not to Drink,” b•Well, Cleveland Clinic Publications, Fall 2008, p4

Wilkerson, D., Sipping Saints, Wilkerson Trust Publications, 1978, pp18-21,23-24

 

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