JESUS CHRIST had set for the example for all things. He set for us the fact that we would do best to follow in his very footsteps (1 Peter 2:21). “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever—never changing at all, but always being the same! Jesus has never changed and will NOT change! He would still be living the same life that he led when he was first on the earth!
Notice then his example in John 2:1-11. Here is an account of how Jesus had taken the water and turned it into wine. If you will look up the very meaning of the word “firkin” (v.6), you are going to find that this amounted to many gallons of wine!
Further, you will find that this was NOT grape juice as most people and religions would claim, but that it rather was REAL WINE! There was nothing about it that shows that it was just nothing more than a simple juice—but that it was real wine indeed!
The account is very clear. It simply shows to us that as to the Jewish custom, they were having real wine at the wedding feast, and they ran out. Jesus knew that and so he helped them by taking water and turning it into wine. More than likely too, since it was a time of rejoicing, there was probably at least several hundred people there.
So, taking the water and turning it into wine—he was turning it into real, fermented wine. They would never have said to the bridegroom “Thou hast kept the good wine until now”—if Jesus never had provided just simple grape juice, which they would have regarded as a mere inferior drink for this occasion.
Further, we find that the original Greek word used here is oinos, and it always means the fermented juice of the grape—nothing else and nothing less! It is then obvious from that word that it is truly real wine!
Jesus was here, carrying out the very principle that he had given through Solomon: “A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry”—Eccl. 10:19. If properly used, wine is an aid to relaxing and affability at a special occasion.
But, to be “merry” is not being “drunk”—which God’s very Word strongly condemns (1 Corinthians 6:10).
However, those who are against wine and any alcohol at all would object saying that “But how do you know that the original Hebrew and Greek words mean fermented wine?” After all, historians point out that the wine used was nothing more than molasses—that this grape drink was non-alcoholic and that it was just the ordinary drink of the people in the days of Christ.”
Well, we are now presenting to you the very truth regarding that false idea! We are going to present to you the biblical truth that drinking is okay, provided that we do not become drunk from it!
There are thirteen original Hebrew and Greek words that are translated “wine” in the English Bible. How can we thus know which ones really mean fermented wine? Well, to answer that, we need to first understand that we should not go to those such as Aristotle. We need to go right to the Bible itself and then we will see the real answer—for the precious truth is hidden in your own Bible and that is therefore where we need to go to find the answer.
When we compare the usages in the Bible, the scriptural meaning of wine will then become much defined for us.
One of the original Hebrew words for wine is yayin. This word is first used in Genesis 9:21 where we find that Noah “drank of the wine and was drunken.” This wine caused Noah to become drunk and thus, was this just grape juice or molasses? Common sense would rule out that if Noah got drunk from it, then obviously he would not have been drinking grape juice or molasses!
As I have already pointed out, in the New Testament, one original Greek word that is translated into wine is oinos. Proof that it is alcohol is given in the story concerning the Good Samaritan. Remember that the Samaritan poured oil and wine on the wounds of the man (Luke 10:34), showing to us that the wine had enough alcohol in it that it was a good antiseptic. Would you pour just grape juice on a wound? No you wouldn’t, but rather, you would take alcohol if you had it and pour it on the wound.
The Greek word oinos is further used when we read in John 2 concerning Jesus turning the water into wine! This word is then used over in Ephesians 5:18 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess.”
Paul instructed Timothy about the medicinal and health value of wine when he told Timothy that “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.”—1 Timothy 5:23.
Also, the Greek word is oinos—fermented wine and thus, showing us here that it was NOT grape juice! For grape juice has been proven not to be beneficial medicinal wise, but it has sugar I it that can raise blood sugars and it is therefore not as beneficial as wine can be.
There are many examples in the Old Testament where God’s people used wine in a proper way and with the blessings of God. Perhaps the most significant one is given of Melchizedek in Genesis 14:18 (Melchizedek is possibly Jesus Christ!)
Melchizedek had brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.” This thus seems to be a type of the observance that is later referred to as Passover—which many have mistakenly named the “Lord’s Supper” today.
God Himself gave wine to Abraham—the father of the faithful! Again, the Hebrew word proves that it was fermented wine and not grape juice! The original word, if you will recall, is yayin—and always refers to FERMENTED WINE!
This very same Hebrew word is used in Amos 9:14 thus, showing that when Christ frees our people from captivity after he returns and brings them to the land of Palestine, they are going to be planting “vineyards, and drink the wine thereof.”
So, Jesus Christ—who is always the same—is going to be blessing the people with good food and wine in the 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth!
In times anciently, it was impossible to preserve grape juice. Except for just a short season, the “fruit of the vine” was either made into a thick molasses or into wine. You can check the Hastings’ Bible Dictionary for the full proof of this!
Some are very confused by certain texts which appear to be condemning wine, but in reality, they only condemn the WRONG use of alcoholic beverages.
We find one such passage in Proverbs 20:1 which tells us that “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”
To really read it, you first find that wine cause those who get drunk to be mockers and that they are deceived because they are drunk and thus, they are not wise and they are not as appropriate as God would want them to be.
Yes, God’s way is moderation and temperate—not prohibition as many would consider being! We find some religions who view it as something that is to be avoided with all costs!
Again, Proverbs 23:29-32 is also misquoted because all it is doing is warning those who “tarry long” at wine. Of course! One who “tarries long” at wine is a “winebibber” or in modern terms, it would be the same as an “alcoholic” because they are always drinking too much and getting drunk.
Such excessive use of wine or any alcoholic beverage is only naturally going to be bringing harm to the person who is involved and on others around them. Therefore, it is truly breaking the spirit of God’s Law and is sin. But, this is no condemnation at all against eh moderate, sensible use of wine, following after the very example of Jesus Christ.
The latter part of that passage then warns us to not “look” upon wine when it is “red” when it “moveth itself aright.”
Other words, we are being told that we should be looking upon anything in lust! It is a sin to look upon things in “lust” and to lust after it because that is where we end up getting into trouble. When it is referring to the “red” and the “moveth itself” is referring to the fact that it is in the process of being fermented and that it is before it is fully fermented. And if at this time, you “lust” or “look” on it so as to finally drink it before it is finished, then more than likely, you are going to become very ill and could even die from it because it was not ready.
Today, the term “red” is often used to apply it to wine which is in the middle of being fermented. Again, this has nothing to do with the proper use of fully aged wine—whether red or white.
There are many other texts which some people will want to argue about. But, the true principle is very clear to any honest person who wants to see the truth. All you need to do is look clearly at the examples that are given in the scriptures.
Drunkenness and alcoholism are indeed breaking God’s Law and are therefore sin—which the result of is death (Romans 6:23) and no drunkard can get into God’s Kingdom (Galatians 5:21).
But, on the other hand, wine has been blessed by God. It can help one to relax at a meal or rejoice during social times, and it can also help to build one’s blood and health—as Paul had taught Timothy—it can be very beneficial for the belly. It is a thing which glorifies God when it is used properly ad in the right way.
Also, it is true that real moderation means drinking far less than do many who call themselves “moderate drinkers” today. Overindulgence in alcohol is not to be done. Alcoholism is growing and it is a real problem. We ask that if you are going to drink, drink responsibly and remember, drink in such a way that it will be a blessing and not a curse or a problem for life. Drink ever so lightly.