Glorifying God through Prayer and Worship
Living a Life that totally Glorifies God
Did Jesus drink and make fermented wine?
Unfortunately this is one of those subjects that has been misunderstood by the church at large. For it seems that there are those who try to make scripture read in such a way as to say that drinking any alcoholic beverage is wrong. They even declare that the wine that Jesus made was only grape juice. And of course, this is not scriptural. I do believe that these same people are sincere in their faith and mean well, for wine and other alcoholic beverages have caused many problems. But to twist scripture in such a way as to fit our own theological view is wrong also. So, let us see what God's word does say on this subject.
First of all, getting drunk is a sin. And if it’s abused to the point of one being a drunkard (one who continually gets intoxicated), it can keep that person from entering the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). However, that does not mean that you throw the baby out with the bathwater. We should not demonize something just because there are those that abuse it. Anything can be abused. And whatever you do abuse, you can be sure that you're committing a sin. And the reason should be clear. If what you do causes you to be unfruitful and even harmful, then you are being counterproductive. Jesus said if any branch in me does not bear fruit then it is removed. Also, He goes on to say that the will of the Father is that you bear much fruit (John 15).
So, we can see from what was just mentioned that whatever causes you to be unfruitful causes you to sin. This would include excessive drinking, wrongful sexual activity, watching ungodly movies, or anything else that’s counterproductive. You may already know that there are warnings in the bible concerning sexual misconduct. Now does that mean we are to refrain from it all together? I firmly believe sexual misbehavior has caused more harm within the family structure than anything else on this earth. It has been used to violate woman, young children, men, as well as animals, and is the cause of many deceases as well. But again, should we throw it out and encourage everyone to become celibate? Of course not. So why would we do that with wine or any other alcoholic drinks?
So in conclusion, enjoying a glass of wine or a bottle of beer is not a sin as long as you refrain from getting drunk. Jesus Himself admits to drinking fermented wine as well as the gospel of John declaring that He made it at the wedding in Cana of Galilee (Matthew 11:19, John 2:1-11). Now I have to admit, drinking is not for everyone. There are those who may feel the need to refrain from alcohol for whatever reason. But that’s their choice, and their choice should not be pushed on others who have the liberty to do so. Nor should anyone put the pressure on an individual to make them drink when they feel uncomfortable about it.
Now let’s consider some scripture on this matter:
Are all the gifts of the Spirit available today?
There are those who say that the “gifts of the Spirit” ceased when the Bible (the Canon of Scriptures) was completed. Again, this is not true and amounts to bad scripture twisting. For they say that the passage which says: “when that which is perfect is come” is referring to the completion of the bible. I do believe that those who hold to this view are trying to find an excuse for the church’s lacking to step out in faith and practice these Spiritual gifts. So, having said that, lets examine the scriptures and see what it has to say.
Are you more Holy if you practice Celibacy?
There are those in the church who view that one must practice celibacy in order to be a spiritual leader in a church. This practice of celibacy was enforced by those in the early church that viewed sex as base and looked down on those who could not refrain from it. We can read this from the writings of such notables as Tertullian, Ambrose, and Jerome, all of whom believed that, even within marriage, intercourse necessarily involved sin. This attitude toward marital intimacy, which dominated the church for more than ten centuries, inevitably led to the glorification of virginity and celibacy. (see: www.ligonier.org/blog/sex-in-marriage) However, as we can see from scripture, this practice of forbidding marriage within the clergy is demonic and destructive. I say this because look at the harm that has occurred in the Catholic Church regarding sexual misconducts. I do believe God allowed this to happen to expose their teaching of heresy concerning marriage within the clergy. The unfortunate thing is however, many innocent lives have been marred through this, and yet do we see any changes in their views today. If celibacy is to be practiced, it has to be by choice and not required or enforced. Let's face it, not all have this gift. (For more info regarding sexual intimacy, see article: Sex Unveiled.
The Laws of Divorce
This seems to be one of those laws that is ignored not only by non-Christians, but by Christians as well. And that’s sad because it’s a serious commandment that is part of the Ten Commandments of God. Are you surprised? Well, you shouldn’t be if you're a serious student of the bible. For Jesus said: “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:9 NKJV) Wow, did we just grasp what was said here? First of all, if a man gets rid of his wife to replace her for another (for reasons other than an act of adultery), then he is committing adultery. Secondly, if any woman who is divorced from her husband marries another man, then she is committing adultery as well as the one who is marrying her. This is true even if she was not at fault for the divorce in the first place. And let’s remember how serious this commandment is, for the scripture says that those who practice adultery will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. You see, God is trying to make a very important point here and that is "He Hates Divorce."
But yet again, we see even Christians men and woman doing this. And why? Isn't it because we don’t take the words of Jesus seriously? Yet, we can go around trying one way or another to find some loop-hole or a justifiable way get around this. However, I’m convinced that no teacher, preacher or angel from heaven can condone or change this statement that Jesus made, whether a couple got married before or after they became Christians. Anything that’s contrary to what Jesus said would only be by scripture twisting at its worst. And let’s consider Paul’s own words which he written to the church: But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8 NKJV)
Now having said all that, I do believe for those of you who have done this evil deed, if you would turn and repent, God will forgive you. Now does that mean you will have to give each other up? I would have to tell you yes, of course! For if you confess your sins for the wrong that you did and yet continue in that sin, then you’re not really sorry for what you did and your sin remains. Your living a life of adultery by remaining together, so the only way to free yourselves from this sin is through a divorce (which Jesus himself gave you permission to do if there’s adultery involved, which in this case there is). For even in the book of 1 Esdras chapter 8-9 the Jews were compelled to give up their foreign wife's they had wrongfully married. This was in keeping with the law and to turn away the wrath of the LORD from coming upon them.
Now I know this may not be popular with you ladies, but there is no scripture in God's word that ever allows a woman to divorce her husband, not even if she finds out he has another woman on the side. For we can see from Jesus statement that he is referring only to the woman being divorced for fornication, and not the man. This is true because we can see from scripture itself that God never condemns a man from having an additional wife. So, for this cause or any other, a woman never has the right for a divorce. Also, we must remember that Jesus said the sin of adultery was getting rid of one’s wife (perhaps because of his dislike for her) and replacing her for another. God hates divorce as was mentioned before (see: Malachi 2:13-16 Sept.). However, the bible does say that a woman who departs from her husband (no divorce being involved, but perhaps to flee an abusive husband) must remain unmarried or be reconciled back to her husband. So again, there is no exceptions allowed for her to divorce him whatsoever. Any pastor or teacher who says anything contrary to this truth, is adding lies to God's word. And don't just take my word for it, but search God's word for yourselves and pray that the Holy Spirit would open your eyes to his truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32 NKJV)
Scripture Reference and Notes:
Having more than one Wife
(No, I'm not a Mormon)
This is another topic that can cause great debate, not only within the church, but outside of it as well. Well, to be strait forward and honest in this, there is no scriptures or laws that prohibit a man from having more than one wife except for those who hold a leadership position in the church (for this can be a distraction to his ministry - 1 Timothy 3:2). Now this being said, I don’t believe that we men should all rush out and start looking for another wife to add to the one we have, for we must first determine our role and position in the church. For God may be calling you to be part of a leadership position in a church, or He wants to send you out into the mission field. And again, we know from scripture that those who are called into the ministry, can't have more than one wife because he would be preoccupied trying to please them and thus, his ministry would lack. And let's remember that once you marry a woman, you are bound to her (or them) for the rest of your life. (see God Hates Divorce)
Now for some clarification. Jesus did say if a man divorces his wife and marries another, that he would be committing adultery (which is dishonoring a marriage). But one must remember that adultery is not that act of adding a wife to the one you already have, but it’s getting rid of the wife you don't want and replacing her for another. So, in a nutshell, adultery is the act of being unfaithful and showing dishonor to the woman whom you’ve vowed to keep and take care of. Its kind a like trading her in for a new model. What an insult this would be. But on the other hand, adding a wife to the one you already have isn't an act of adultery because there's no divorce involved. Again, don't take my word for it but do you own studying on this. And watch out for those who try to appease others by scripture twisting. The truth is the truth.
Adultery is “dishonoring a marriage” ether by: (a) a man dumping his wife for another (b) a woman dumping her husband for another (c) a man having sex with another man’s wife. But Jesus never says that a man is “dishonoring a marriage” by adding a second wife to his marriage. It was practiced in the Old Testament without any indications of it being a sin. However, we find in the New Testament only one prohibition to having more than one wife and that would be for the Elders and Overseers of the Church. For we are told that they are to be the husband of one wife to avoid being over distracted from their duties: “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach”….. (1 Timothy 3:2), “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you-- if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. (Titus 1:5-6)
WHAT'S GOOD FOR THE GOOSE IS NOT GOOD FOR THE GANDER
There may be those women who say that this is unfair, and why can’t we women have more than one husband also? What's good for the goose should be good for the gander also, right? Well one must consider the facts. If a man has three wives and they all conceive by him, you can be sure who the father is and who the mother is. On the contrary, if a woman has three men and they all lay with her during the month and she conceives, who’s the father? In this kind of situation, you can only have confusion and even contention. It would not be good for the woman or the men involved (or even the child). Also, on a more medical note, when a woman has multiple male partners, it confuses her body on recognizing who to conceive from. This could cause problems such as miscarriages and even venereal disease. God designed a woman to have only one male partner. This way there would be no confusion on who the child belongs two.
I do know however, if one desires to be in the ministry, he needs to be married to only one wife. Also, there were great men such as Isaac, Noah and Moses who all had only one wife. So again, I’m not encouraging men everywhere to start adding wives to their marriage, but I’m simply stating the facts of God’s scriptures which does not condemn a man if he chooses to (in case he does want to add to the one he has). (For more info on this see: Sex Unveiled on this website)
Scripture Reference and Notes:
Pray that all would comprehend God's truth
Did Jesus make and drank fermented wine, are Spiritual gifts for today? All these and other questions are answered in Misconceptions by the Church?