Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Evil Spirit of Alcohol

Four people died in the crash pictured above
Before I came to know Christ, I was a heavy drinker, which the Bible calls a drunkard. I began drinking alcohol at age thirteen, taking shots of hard liquor from my parents' liquor cabinet and drinking beer with my friends. At that young, tender age I learned what it was like to be lying on the ground drunk. I became hooked and continued abusing alcohol until I came to know the Lord at age nineteen. Even before I was of legal drinking age, I would go to parties and thought it was fun to drink to the point of intoxication. Later when I joined the Army, I went to clubs, bars, and taverns to drink. All throughout those years from age thirteen to nineteen, I smoked marijuana as well, and often did so while drinking alcohol.

But I found that the good feelings I experienced while I was drunk or high always came to an end, and usually with very unpleasant side effects. Plenty of times I drank to the point of vomiting, and I was well acquainted with headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and other disgusting symptoms my body experienced during the hang over period when my body came down from intoxication.

When I repented of my sin and gave my life to Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior on February 13, 1986, He delivered me from alcohol and drugs, as well as cigarettes, which I had started smoking at age twelve. I did not go through any twelve step program. The Truth set me free by the power of the Holy Spirit. When He did, I came to know the true joy that only Jesus can give. It's a lasting joy that remains in your heart all the time, and does not depend on some artificial substance. It's not like the momentary lift that alcohol or drugs bring. It's far more wonderful that that! It's also pure and holy, and it doesn't damage your body or your mind. You don't need a twelve step program to get delivered from alcohol, you need twelve steps to the altar to genuinely repent of your sin. You need to be delivered from evil spirits.

Alcohol is evil and there is an evil spirit associated with it. It has enslaved and ruined the lives of countless millions of people. Anyone with a bit of common sense should be able to see, by the bad fruit produced by alcohol consumption, that it's not of God. But drinking has become widely accepted among Christians, whom David Wilkerson once called "sipping saints".  And later in my walk with God, I became one of them. While I still understood that drunkenness was sin, I thought it was permissible for a Christian to drink a glass of wine or beer with dinner, or on other occasions. However, as I have plainly shown in my article, Alcohol and Cigarettes -- Ten Divine Revelations, both Scripture and divine revelation teach us that alcohol leads people down to hell and should be avoided like the plague. As Wilkerson said, "It's time all drinking Christians were challenged! It's time for the Holy Spirit to expose the looseness, the slaphappy 'anything goes' attitude." [1]

Alcoholic Drinks of Bible Times Contrasted with Modern Ones
Drinking alcohol for recreation has no place in the life of a disciple of Christ. To prove my point, let's take a moment to contrast the modern alcoholic drinks of today with the wine and strong drink in Biblical times. The following are some key points to understand:

1. Distillation was not discovered until around 1500 A.D. That is the process whereby the alcohol is boiled out of wine or other fermented liquids. The vapors from the boiling alcohol are captured and then turned back into liquid form, which has a stronger concentration of alcohol than the original liquid that was boiled. Therefore, in Bible times, since they did not yet have distillation, strong drink and unmixed wine had lower alcohol content by volume than the distilled liquors available today (spirits like brandy, vodka, gin, whiskey, etc).  Natural fermentation does not produce a higher alcohol content than 20%, since yeast cannot ferment any further at that level. [3]

2. Since wine today typically has 9 to 11% alcohol, and can be as high as 20% alcohol, you should not drink it. "Brandy contains 15 to 20% alcohol, so that's out! Hard liquor has 40 to 50% alcohol (80 to 100 proof), and that is obviously excluded!" [2]

3. Wine in biblical times was diluted to stretch it out and make it last longer. There are various views on what the common dilution ratio was, with some ancient documents saying it could have been as high as 20 to 1, but I do not want  to speculate on that. Even a dilution ratio of 3-to-1 would obviously produce a lower alcohol content in the wine. In fact, any dilution at all would lower the alcohol content by volume.

Now let's connect the three key points I've just made. The fact is that a higher alcohol content than 20% was not possible during Bible times, due to the absence of a distillation process.  And the Bible still warned against the dangers of wine and strong drink (Pro 20:1; 23:20-21,29-35; 31:4-6). We might assume that strong drink had an alcohol content of 12-20%, since it was stronger than wine, which had a lower alcohol content. Therefore, since we have drinks available today with 20-50% alcohol, these are much more potent and dangerous than even the strong drink referred to in the Bible. It's the devil's poison!

John Wesley Preached Against Alcohol
John Wesley preached against drinking alcohol during the eighteenth century, which you will see if you read his "Word to a Drunkard," and the Methodists who followed his teachings were also against it [4]. They did not even want to use wine for the purpose of taking communion (i.e., the Lord's Supper). Therefore, in 1869, Dr. Thomas Bramwell Welch decided to create non-alcoholic communion juice for the Methodists, by using Louis Pasteur’s innovative new technique called pasteurization. "He boiled the bottles of grape juice, which not only helped preserve the juice, but also killed all of the yeast in the bottles. This prevented fermentation, so the drinks would not be alcoholic." [5]. That's how Welch's grape juice was invented. Many churches today still use grape juice for communion, rather than wine, which is a wise choice.

Some people consider John Wesley's teachings too strict.  But a sister named Victoire Afangbedzi from Togo received a divine revelation in which she saw John Wesley in heaven, and he told her to tell all the Methodist people on earth to return to the Word of holiness. He told her to ask them to go back to the old way, to preach holiness. He said, "If they don't want to preach holiness, they will never see Jesus." The Lord told her that John Wesley preached holiness on earth, and that when he died he went to heaven. She saw his mansion there.

In fact, a Korean pastor named Yong Park, also saw John Wesley's mansion in heaven, when he died a wretched death in the hospital in 1987. He came back to life afterward and said that Wesley has one of the four tallest homes in heaven, which I have written about in my article called The Four Tallest Homes in Heaven. Wesley was a great holiness preacher, who upheld the faithful Word of God, and others like Victoire Afangbedzi and Yong Park have seen evidence that the Lord was pleased with his earthly ministry. We need more preachers today who will do the same.

Scriptures about Alcohol and Drunkenness
Here are just a few Scriptures about the use and abuse of alcohol:

"Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Gal 5:19-21)

"And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit," (Eph 5:18)

The apostle Paul wrote: “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor 6:9-11)

"Woe to you who make your neighbors drink, Who mix in your venom even to make them drunk So as to look on their nakedness!" (Hab 2:15)

"Harlotry, wine and new wine take away the understanding." (Hos 4:11)

"Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise." (Pro 20:1)

"Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat; For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe one with rags." (Pro 23:20-21)

"It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Or for rulers to desire strong drink, For they will drink and forget what is decreed, And pervert the rights of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to him whose life is bitter." (Pro 31:4-6)

"Woe to those who rise early in the morning that they may pursue strong drink, Who stay up late in the evening that wine may inflame them!" (Isa 5:11)

"Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine And valiant men in mixing strong drink," (Isa 5:22)

"And these also reel with wine and stagger from strong drink: The priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, They are confused by wine, they stagger from strong drink; They reel while having visions, They totter when rendering judgment. For all the tables are full of filthy vomit, without a single clean place." (Isa 28:7-8)

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long over wine, Those who go to taste mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it goes down smoothly; At the last it bites like a serpent And stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things And your mind will utter perverse things. And you will be like one who lies down in the middle of the sea, Or like one who lies down on the top of a mast. "They struck me, but I did not become ill; They beat me, but I did not know it. When shall I awake? I will seek another drink." (Pro 23:29-35)

A Perpetual Statute for Priests About Alcohol
The LORD then spoke to Aaron, saying, ‘Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you will not die--it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations-- and so as to make a distinction between the holy and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean, and so as to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them through Moses.’" (Lev 10:8-11; cf. Eph 5:18).

The New Priesthood of Believers
"But you are a chosen race, A royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of god; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."  (1Pe 2:9-10; cf. Ex 19:5-6)

The New Temple
"Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1Co 3:16)

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." (1Co 6:19-20)

Also see Joel 1:5; Amos 4:1-2.

Dealing with Denial
One of the most common characteristics of an addiction is denial, whereby the person denies they have a problem. You might be thinking, "I'm not addicted" or "I only drink in moderation." You might say, "I could quit drinking any time I like" or "It's not a sin, as long as I am not falling down on the ground." If you are a sipping saint, and you don't believe it's a sin, then I want to challenge you to fast from alcohol for a few weeks.  You could try fasting from it for three to six weeks and ask the Lord during that time what He thinks about drinking alcohol. Ask the Lord to expose anything in your life that is hidden that must go. If you are unable to complete the fast, then you know you are addicted.

As Wesley said, "O repent! See and feel what a wretch you are. Pray to God, to convince you in your inmost soul. How often have you crucified the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame! Pray that you may know yourself, inwardly and outwardly, all sin, all guilt, all helplessness. Then cry out, 'Thou Son of David, have mercy upon me! Thou lamb of God, take away my sins! Grant me thy peace. Justify the ungodly. O bring me to the blood of sprinkling, that I may go and sin no more, that I may love much, having had so much forgiven!'" [4]

Putting it All Together
To sum it up, I am speaking from experience when I say that alcohol is evil and ruins people's lives. Wine, beer, and liquor are a trap of the devil to take you down to hell. This is evident when you take into account the whole of Scripture with respect to alcohol, and the Lord is once again warning us about this through divine revelations as I documented in my previous article, Alcohol and Cigarettes -- Ten Divine Revelations. I am well aware how addictive alcohol and drugs are, but I know first hand the power of God is great enough to break that bondage.

Please don’t make the mistake that because you are under grace, you are free to drink alcohol casually. Alcohol is evil and you are not free to do evil. If you are a sipping saint, I do not speak in anger or judgment on you, but only love. The Word of God will judge you on that great day. And all these Scriptures I have just cited will judge you. "Unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Lk 13:5). However, if you will accept the Truth that I am giving you, you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.

Resources:
[1] Sipping Saints, by David Wilkerson
[2] Seven Good Reasons Christians Should Not Drink, by David L. Brown, pastor, Ph.D.
[3] Distilled Beverage, Wikipedia.
[4] Word to a Drunkard, by John Wesley
[5] Welch’s Grape Juice Started Out as a Substitute for Sacramental Wine.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Most other Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, unless otherwise noted.

Author's note: Please prayerfully listen to sister Victoire Afangbedzi's testimony, and use the Testimony Review Process adopted by this blog, as you decide for yourself whether the Lord has spoken to her.  For issues and concerns, each person must confirm with the Lord, whether something is valid or not.

I strongly recommend reading Wesley's Word to a Drunkard. I also recommend reading my articles, The Truth Set Me Free!, Alcohol and Cigarettes -- Ten Divine Revelations, Demonology 101, Angelica Zambrano Hell and Heaven, and Australian Pastor Raised from the Dead, as well as the articles available through the Home page of this blog.  You may access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

3 comments:

  1. What about some products that could contain alcohol? For instance, I was once having pudding when my mom told me that she put vanilla in the pudding, which contains alcohol. It reads, "Vanilla bean extractives in water and alcohol." Could even the slightest hints of alcohol be sinful? Where is the borderline? Thank you brother Len, I was just curious about this and didn't know how to respond to this case. I wouldn't know what the Lord would specifically say about such a case.

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  2. Dear RJR, thanks for your question. Since I have never seen anyone get drunk on pudding, I think it is probably safe. I would not advise anyone to ingest vanilla extract directly though in large quantities. We personally do not use that product or other products with alcohol, except for perhaps mouthwash, which is not ingested.

    One more important point is this. All foods are sanctified by the Word of God and prayer, so the key is to give thanks to God for the food you eat, and ask Him to purify it, removing anything evil the devil has put on it, before you eat it. See 1 Tim 4:5 and Mk 7:14-23.

    If you are preparing your own food, then you can choose like we do to leave out the alcohol, if you wish, and use other flavorings. Does that help?
    Shalom!

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