The Bible’s View on Drinking Alcohol/Wine. Should Christians?

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Different people will give you their different perspectives on alcohol. Even when you ask for a Biblical standpoint people may hear different answers but there is only one true answer. Is alcohol something born again believers should indulge in or abstain from?

The Bible’s view on drinking alcohol/wine. Should Christians? The Bible states that a king, a prince and a priest should not drink alcohol. Scripture also states that Jesus has made born again believers/Christians, kings and priests unto God. Therefore God said they should not drink alcohol. (Revelations 1:5-6, Ezekial 44:21, Isaiah 28:7-8, Proverbs 31:3-8)

Alcohol is a very sensitive subject for certain people. Some people, when they look for answers only look for an answer that corresponds to what they want to be true. Anything else that contradicts that would be considered false or misinterpreted in their own eyes. The good news is the Word of God is here to teach, guide, and correct our perspectives. Our perspective needs to shift to line up with the Bible and not the other way around. In this article, I’m going to specifically go over the Bible’s/God’s perspective about drinking alcohol. Please note this is not to condemn anyone. It’s just to clear up what the scripture says out of love on the subject. Specifically for people who genuinely want to know what scripture states.

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Should A Born Again Believer Drink Alcohol?

I’ve heard different people answer this question in different types of ways throughout my life. The reality is they can’t all be correct because one explanation often contradicted the other. Which answer lines up the closest with God or what exactly does God say cause He is never wrong.

My Old Carnal Way Of Thinking About Alcohol

Before I was born again I loved to drink alcohol and get drunk. Simply because of the effect it gave me. I could care less what it tasted like I just wanted to get tipsy and have that effect cause it felt good at the time. That being said I had a bias towards it.

Later in life when I got born again through Jesus Christ I wondered about alcohol. Partly because I heard different Christian perspectives on the subject. Some might say it’s ok to drink alcohol while others might say it wasn’t ok. Some might say it’s ok to drink but only if you don’t get drunk. There were so many different perspectives but whose was the one that lined up with the Bible the most? I wasn’t exactly sure what the scripture said myself so I didn’t know who to believe. The only way I’d know for sure was if I began searching the scriptures and see what the Bible said for myself.

My answer to this question back then is different than what it is today. Back then I would have said it’s ok to drink alcohol as long as you don’t get drunk. I basically went with the most relevant Christian viewpoint that I heard that best fit the bias I wanted. This was pretty much based on my feelings and emotions. Also maybe a scripture or two taken out of context. Basically I wanted to carry over this part of my past carnal life and bring it into the new but something deep down kept nudging me as if I was missing something. I would jump to anything I could possibly use to justify my old bias. I wanted to hear other Christians agree with it also because that would help me feel better about alcohol overall.

The truth is when God began trying to teach me more directly about alcohol through the Bible I intentionally would try to avoid it. I recall getting to the specific verses that would talk about alcohol or being drunk and immediately flip the page or move on to the next subject. Sound familiar?

I didn’t truly want to find out for myself what the scripture said at that specific moment. I wasn’t sure if God would say it’s ok or not and correct my way of thinking about alcohol. So I thought the best thing to do was avoid it. I know, I know, it wasn’t a good approach! Thank God He was patient with me. God ultimately showed me mercy and grace, especially during that time! He didn’t give up on me but kept on nudging me in the right direction and teaching me on the subject!

  • Psalms 86:15 (KJV)  But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
  • Nehemiah 9:16-17 (KJV)  But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments,  17  And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.
  • Lamentations 3:21-22 (KJV)  This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.  22  It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

God Said Kings, Princes, And Priests Shouldn't Drink Alcohol?

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When someone gets born again they know that they are now saved through Jesus and that God loves them. They may think God sees them now as part of the family or a disciple which is true. However, as we grow God continually unravels the truth about who we are through the price Jesus paid for us.

Did you know if you’re born again through Jesus Christ you’re also considered a king, priest and even a prince in God’s eyes?

  • Revelation 1:5-6 (KJV)  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,  6  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
  • Revelation 5:10 (KJV)  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
  • Romans 5:17 (KJV)  For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
  • Revelation 2:26-27 (KJV)  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:  27  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
  • 1 Corinthians 4:8 (KJV)  Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.
  • Matthew 24:45-47 (KJV)  Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?  46  Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.  47  Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.

Kings and princes basically live through a time period where they are considered ruling and reigning in life. That’s one of the ways that God sees us once we are born again. People probably already know what a king or a priest is considered by definition but I just want to clarify the meaning of a prince. The original Hebrew word for princes is razan. So what’s the meaning?

  • Razan according to the Strong’s definition means A primitive root; probably to be heavy, that is, (figuratively) honorable: – prince, ruler.

According to the Strong’s definition, another word for a prince is a ruler. Above are some verses which show this viewpoint from God towards born again believers. The perspective that God sees us now as kings or princes aka rulers.

When you read those scriptures above do you see it say that Jesus has now made us kings? Do you see it say that Jesus has made us princes and has called us to rule/reign? If you said no ask yourself and God why? Maybe its because you don’t feel like it? Maybe you don’t want the responsibility that comes with the title? Regardless, the scriptures above are not going to change because it’s the truth.

If you agree with those verses above you can now begin to see scripture from God’s perspective concerning you through Jesus Christ in this truth. When we read scripture now we can read it through the filter that God sees born again believers as kings and princes. He chose it to be that way and it’s a gift He has given us. We didn’t pay for it, it’s free. We didn’t earn the title by our own works but we received what Jesus sowed for us. Knowing this the Bible specifically states that a king or prince should not drink wine/alcohol. When I found this out it really got me thinking and excited at the same time cause I’ve never heard this before!

  • Proverbs 31:4-8 (KJV)  It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:  5  Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.  6  Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.  7  Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.  8  Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.
  • Ecclesiastes 10:17 (KJV)  Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!
  • Leviticus 19:15 (KJV)  Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

It’s clear/direct in this verse saying kings and princes SHOULD NOT drink alcohol. Obviously, some natural kings and princes still drank alcohol throughout the Bible. That just means they weren’t listening to God’s wisdom on the subject for one reason or another. Maybe they never heard or just chose to not follow God? Maybe they heard and thought of the term king/prince differently than God so they didn’t receive it. However, scripture specifically says they shouldn’t drink wine or strong drink.

Otherwise, if they do drink they will forget the word of God and pervert the rights/justice of the afflicted according to God. They would now try to help the people in need but would be doing it from a perverted place of confusion. Basically they wouldn’t be judging in righteousness. Which ultimately won’t help those people in need since their viewpoint on alcohol was now perverted.

When you read that scripture above what do you see? Do you see it saying kings and princes should not drink wine? Do you believe this is only referring to what the world would call a natural king or prince/ruler? Do you believe this applies to who God/Jesus calls a king or prince now? If you said no then ask yourself and God why? Maybe it’s because the title comes with an instruction that says they should not drink alcohol or wine? Be honest with yourself and with God because the verses above are never going to change but your perspective of those verses can change.

God wants us to be sober-minded so we aren’t fooled or tricked with an unhealthy perspective. Also so we can help people in need from a pure heart through Jesus Christ. If we are fooled and try to help another based on what we think to be true apart from scripture. Then the other person may get fooled too. Jesus is our example and He wants to be an example through you and me.

  • 1 Peter 5:2-11 (KJV)  Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;  3  Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.  4  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.  5  Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.  6  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:  7  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.  8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.  10  But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.  11  To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

In Proverbs 31:4-8, it even goes on about people who do drink alcohol. It talks about giving a strong/alcoholic drink to those ready to die. These people drink when they have a heavy heart/feel bitter. These people drink to forget their poverty. It also says to forget their misery which means stress, worry, pain or troubles. We all know that Jesus is the answer to all these things and not an intoxicating drink. Jesus is our helper and peace.

  • Isaiah 9:6-7 (KJV)  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  7  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Some people may simply read Proverbs 31:4-8 and think it doesn’t apply to them because they are not considered a king or prince/ruler in the eyes of the world. However, God doesn’t see the same way according to the world. In the eyes of God, this is how He sees you if you’re a born again believer. God considers you exactly the way the Bible says it through Jesus Christ! In God’s eyes your now considered a king and a prince/ruler! You’re now called to rule and reign in life!

  • 1 Corinthians 4:8 (KJV)  Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.

Should A Priest Drink Alcohol?

That’s not the only way God sees people that are born again. According to scripture, we are also considered priests according to God.

  • Revelation 1:6 (KJV)  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
  • Revelation 5:10 (KJV)  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
  • 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
  • Revelation 20:6 (KJV)  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

When you read the scripture above what do you see? Has God made you a priest? Are you considered a royal priesthood? Did God say you shall be priests of God and of Christ? If you said no ask yourself and God why? Maybe it’s because of a specific thought that keeps coming to your mind? Maybe it’s because society only calls you a priest if your behind a pulpit or ordained by a church? Maybe it’s because you never saw or read those scriptures before. All I’m asking is for you to be real with yourself, God and the scripture. If you still aren’t sure, take these verses back to God and ask Him if He truly sees you as a priest in His eyes. Spoiler alert! He does!

If you agree with those scriptures above that says you’re a priest. Then the next few verses will reveal a different meaning that you may have not seen before. So whats being seen as a priest according to God have to do with alcohol? Let’s take a look at some scriptures.

  • Isaiah 28:7 (KJV)  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.
  • Ezekiel 44:21 (KJV)  Neither shall any priest drink wine, when they enter into the inner court.
  • Matthew 27:51 (KJV)  And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
  • Mark 15:38 (KJV)  And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.
  • Luke 23:45 (KJV)  And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
  • Hebrews 10:19-22 (KJV)  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,  20  By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;  21  And having an high priest over the house of God;  22  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
  • Ephesians 2:6 (KJV)  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Ezekiel states that a priest should not drink wine when they enter the inner court. The inner court was considered a very holy place and back in the day if a priest entered unworthily they would die. However, I got some good news to share! The Bible says that Jesus Christ tore the very veil that separated us from entering into the holiest place. That flesh which was torn was His flesh. All because of the amazing love and joy which He saw, that was you! By doing this the scripture states we now have boldness and confidence to enter into the inner court through Jesus. It actually says He made us sit with Him in heavenly places right now in Christ Jesus!

This takes us back to what Ezekiel said about a priest not drinking wine when they enter the inner court. So since we are considered priests and made to sit in heavenly places then doesn’t that imply we shouldn’t drink wine/alcohol?

Although God gave this instruction about alcohol to priests there were still some who disobeyed. In Isaiah 28:7, He talks about these priests and prophets being in error. It specifically says they were messing up because of drinking alcohol/wine. What’s interesting is they still had visions and judgments when drinking alcohol but it wasn’t from God. It was visions and judgment that they themself thought was true but God had to correct them. God let them know it wasn’t lining up according to His Word and was perverted.

Do you believe a priest should drink alcohol/wine when entering the inner court? Do you believe we can enter the holiest place with boldness because Jesus tore the veil that is His flesh? Do you believe you’re sitting in the inner court or heavenly places with Christ Jesus right now? If you said no then why not? Perhaps a thought popped in that said well did God really mean that or maybe it’s a misinterpretation? Maybe a thought came saying did God really say that your sitting in heavenly places and you’re in the inner court right now because you’re on earth?

If you had any of those thoughts. Just recall how the serpent spoke to Adam and Eve. Take those thoughts to the Word of God and see if it lines up with it or not. Be honest with yourself and God and ask Him to make the scriptures become real in your life!

  • Genesis 3:1 (KJV)  Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

I know this might be a tough truth to swallow but its what God says. Everything God says is the truth even when it goes against feelings, thoughts, or even the world’s perspective. He wouldn’t say it in the Bible for no reason. God sees us according to how He says in the Bible no if’s and’s or but’s about it. God sees us as kings, princes/rulers, and priests. So our perspective needs to line up with what He said and not what the serpent said. Remember the scriptures above state that God also said a king, prince and a ruler should not drink alcohol/wine.

Now that we got that out in the open let’s take a deeper dive in scripture concerning the word wine and alcohol.

Different Types Of Wine In The Old Testament

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When we read the Bible in certain translations we come across certain English words that have two or more different Greek/Hebrew words in the original text. They sometimes use one English word throughout scripture for the multiple different Greek or Hebrew words that have a different meaning. If we don’t read the original words and their meaning. Then things can begin to be misrepresented or interpreted.

Let me explain so things are a little clearer. When the English word wine is used in the old testament there are different verses that have different Hebrew words. Each of these Hebrew words have different meanings. One Hebrew word is yayin and the other is tiyrosh but both are considered “wine” in English. Do you know the difference between the two?

Here is an example of the English word “wine” which is the Hebrew word yayin in one context of scripture and tiyrosh in the other.

  • Proverbs 23:29-35 (KJV)  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 [yayin]; 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.
  • Psalms 4:6-8 (KJV)  There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.  7  Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine [tiyrosh] increased.  8  I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

When these two verses are read side by side the context seems drastically different. Although both are mentioned as “wine” in the KJV.

In Proverbs 23:29-35 wine is referring to the Hebrew word yayin.

  • Yayin according to the Strong’s definition means to effervescewine (as fermented); by implication intoxication: – banqueting, wine, wine [-bibber].
  • In other words, this is more commonly known as fermented wine or alcoholic wine. A wine that can get you drunk.

Verse 31 says to not even look upon this type of wine. Why? Let’s look at some characteristics of this type of wine.

  • This alcoholic wine bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. This type of wine is bitter and has a “bite” to it going down. Also after drinking it will take a toll on the body. (Hangover)
  • People who drink this alcoholic wine have redness of the eyes.
  • People who drink this alcoholic wine begin to see strange women or things. In other words, when sober people may have some standards set for what they’re attracted to. However, when you drink this alcoholic wine those standards drop and they’re more open to being attracted to things they previously weren’t. The person’s judgment becomes perverted or more susceptible to things of the flesh.
  • This alcoholic wine will cause people’s hearts to utter perverse things. Basically you will begin to think and believe perverse or twisted things.
  • People who drink this alcoholic wine will be like one lying down in the middle of the sea or lying on top of a mast. This can mean being unsteady, dizzy, or vulnerable to disaster.
  • People who drink this alcoholic wine will say who stricken me or beat me cause they didn’t feel the initial punch. When people wake up after getting drunk they have a hangover as if they were physically beaten up.
  • People who drink this alcoholic wine will typically seek it again. Even after all the negative above things have happened.

This type of wine is alcoholic also known as fermented. The scripture advises staying away from this type of “mixed” wine. Verse 31 says it like this, “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.”

In Psalms 4:6-8 wine is referring to the Hebrew word tiryosh.

  • Tiryosh according to the Strong’s definition means in the sense of expulsionmust or fresh grape juice (as just squeezed out); by implication (rarely) fermented wine: – (new, sweet) wine.
  • In other words, this is more commonly known as unfermented wine or non-alcoholic aka grape juice.

In this context of scripture its in reference to God’s goodness. About how God has put gladness in his heart. He references another time he was glad when God caused their corn and wine to increase. He goes on to speak of God causing him to lay down in peace and sleep well. Also about how God causes him to dwell in safety.

This type of wine is referring to grape juice and God is ok with people drinking that.

Yayin (Wine) and Tiryosh (Wine) are not the only types of wine/alcohol in the Old Testament. There also is another type “wine” mentioned called Shekar. So what is the Strong’s Definition for Shekar?

Shekar is only mentioned one time in the Old Testament as “Wine” as far as I’m aware. It’s usually referenced as “Strong Drink” in multiple different places. So what’s this word mean?

  • Shekar according to the Strong’s definition means an intoxicant, that is, intensely alcoholic liquor: – strong drink, + drunkard, strong wine.
  • In other words, this is more commonly known as a strong fermented beverage or alcoholic drink. This can be a variety of different alcoholic drinks such as vodka, gin, rum, tequila, etc. This also can be in reference to a very strong alcoholic wine.

Here are some verses using the Hebrew word Shekar.

  • Proverbs 20:1 (KJV)  Wine [yayin] is a mocker, strong drink [shekar] is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
  • Micah 2:10-11 (KJV)  Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.  11  If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine [yayin] and of strong drink [shekar]; he shall even be the prophet of this people.
  • Isaiah 28:7-8 (KJV)  But they also have erred through wine [yayin], and through strong drink [shekar] are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink [shekar], they are swallowed up of wine [yayin], they are out of the way through strong drink [shekar]; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.  8  For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.

Since God thought this was important enough to go into the Bible we should find it important enough to read and hear His wisdom concerning it. It’s clear here that this strong drink aka Shekar is not something believers should be deceived by. The word of God states those who are deceived by alcoholic wine [yayin]/strong drink [shekar] are not wise. Scripture goes on to say that it will destroy you to believe the people who lie about it and claim its ok. The Bible states even if its a “priest” or a “prophet” who drinks this, that they are in error and their vision and judgment is incorrect!

Do you believe a man walking in the spirit and falsehood, who lies and prophesy concerning alcohol by saying its ok is correct? Do you trust the vision/judgment of the priest or prophet who err because of alcohol? Do you believe alcohol is a mocker and whoever is deceived because of it, is not wise? Do you agree with what the scriptures say above? Do you believe your feelings and emotions know more about the subject of alcohol than God’s Word/Scripture? If you don’t believe those scriptures above why not? Take those verses and ask God to reveal to you His wisdom concerning it! Rely on God and trust in Him to lead you and guide you to the truth about this.

What’s interesting with this word Shekar (Strong Alcoholic Drink) is that it’s very close to another similar Hebrew word called Shakar. So whats Shakar mean?

  • Shakar according to the Strong’s definition means to become tipsy; in a qualified sense, to satiate with a stimulating drink or (figuratively) influence. (Superlative of H8248.): – (be filled with) drink (abundantly), (be, make) drunk (-en), be merry.
  • In other words, this is more commonly known as getting tipsy/drunk from an alcoholic drink. It’s also used in some instances to be merry, not necessarily due to a drink or alcohol.

If you drink Shekar (Strong Alcohol) you get Shakar (Drunk/Tipsy)! Let’s take a look at some verses with Shakar.

  • Jeremiah 25:27-29 (KJV)  Therefore thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Drink ye, and be drunken [shakar], and spue, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you.  28  And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ye shall certainly drink.  29  For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts.
  • Jeremiah 48:25-26 (KJV)  The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken, saith the LORD.  26  Make ye him drunken [shakar]: for he magnified himself against the LORD: Moab also shall wallow in his vomit, and he also shall be in derision. 
  • Jeremiah 51:6-9 (KJV)  Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD’S vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence.  7  Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD’S hand, that made all the earth drunken [shakar]: the nations have drunken of her wine [yayin]; therefore the nations are mad.  8  Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.  9  We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.
  • Lamentations 4:21-22 (KJV)  Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through unto thee: thou shalt be drunken [shakar], and shalt make thyself naked.  22  The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; he will no more carry thee away into captivity: he will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom; he will discover thy sins.
  • Habakkuk 2:15-16 (KJV)  Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken [shakar] also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!  16  Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD’S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory.

As you can see from above these are dealing with getting drunk as the topic. God’s stance is clearly not ok with it. The good news is that’s part of the reason why Jesus came. We are the joy that was set before Him! He wants to help us in all areas of our lives even with a victory over alcohol! He came to set us free from sins and overcome it by the blood of the lamb!

  • Hebrews 12:1-2 (KJV)  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
  • Revelation 12:11 (KJV)  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

More Verses On Fermented Wine/Alcohol AKA Yayin/Shekar In The Old Testament

Here are some more verses about yayin aka fermented wine (Alcoholic) in the Old Testament.

  • Isaiah 24:9-11 (KJV)  They shall not drink wine [yayin] with a song; strong drink [shekar] shall be bitter to them that drink it.  10  The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in.  11  There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone.
  • Proverbs 20:1 (KJV)  Wine [yayin] is a mocker, strong drink [shekar] is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
  • Leviticus 10:9-11 (KJV)  Do not drink wine [yayin] nor strong drink [shekar], thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:  10  And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;  11  And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.
  • Judges 13:4 (KJV)  Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine [yayin] nor strong drink [shekar], and eat not any unclean thing:
  • Judges 13:7 (KJV)  But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine [yayin] nor strong drink [shekar], neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.
  • Judges 13:14 (KJV)  She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine [yayin] or strong drink [shekar], nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.
  • Proverbs 31:4-9 (KJV)  It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine [yayin]; nor for princes strong drink [shekar]:  5  Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.  6  Give strong drink [shekar] unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.  7  Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.  8  Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.  9  Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
  • Isaiah 24:9-11 (KJV)  They shall not drink wine [yayin] with a song; strong drink [shekar] shall be bitter to them that drink it.  10  The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in.  11  There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone.
  • Isaiah 28:7-8 (KJV)  But they also have erred through wine [yayin], and through strong drink [shekar] are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink [shekar], they are swallowed up of wine [yayin], they are out of the way through strong drink [shekar]; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.  8  For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.
  • Isaiah 56:10-12 (KJV)  His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.  11  Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.  12  Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine [yayin], and we will fill ourselves with strong drink [shekar]; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.
  • Micah 2:10-11 (KJV)  Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.  11  If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine [yayin] and of strong drink [shekar]; he shall even be the prophet of this people.

The verses above about alcohol/wine are clear in their context. It’s pretty straight forward that it’s not wise to drink this alcohol. I put some of the scriptures above so you can see and read them yourself. Not just take my word for it. I want you to see the verses! Some verses talk about drinking alcohol in error. Some verses warn us so we are not fooled even if a “prophet” or someone “walking in the spirit” saying it’s ok to drink alcohol. He gives us these verses so if they are giving a different message/vision because they drank alcohol we are not fooled. Don’t be fooled by the world or any other message that does not line up with the Bible!

More Verses On Unfermented Wine/Grapejuice AKA Tiryosh In The Old Testament

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When wine is mentioned in the Old Testament it wasn’t all referring to alcohol. Sometimes it’s referring to fresh grape juice! Here are some more verses about tiyrosh aka unfermented wine (Non-Alcoholic or Grapejuice) in the Old Testament.

  • Isaiah 65:8 (KJV)  Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine [tiyrosh] is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all.
  • Zechariah 9:17 (KJV)  For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine [tiyrosh] the maids.
  • Psalms 4:6-8 (KJV)  There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.  7  Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine [tiyrosh] increased.  8  I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
  • Genesis 27:28-29 (KJV)  Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine [tiyrosh]:  29  Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.
  • Deuteronomy 11:11-14 (KJV)  But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven:  12  A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.  13  And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,  14  That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine [tiyrosh], and thine oil.
  • Deuteronomy 14:23 (KJV)  And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine [tiyrosh], and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always.
  • Joel 2:19 (KJV)  Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine [tiyrosh], and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen:

In these verses, the context with the word wine (tiyrosh) is totally different from its counterparts wine (yayin) and strong drink (shekar). Here the verses are in a totally different tone and light. It talks about God basically blessing the people and part of that blessing is with more wine (tiyrosh) which is grape juice! These verses referencing grape juice has God’s stamp of approval attached to it! This was something we are given by God to enjoy. Go get some grapes and freshly squeezed grape juice today. Enjoy part of the blessing from the Lord!

One Verse Which Has Both Yayin (Alcoholic Wine) And Tiyrosh (Non-Alcoholic Wine AKA Grape Juice)

There is one verse I came across that does reference both types of wine. Yayin which is fermented/alcoholic and Tiyrosh which is unfermented/non-alcoholic aka grape juice.

  • Micah 6:15 (KJV)  Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine [tiyrosh], but shalt not drink wine [yayin].

Now that we have gone over the Old Testament in regards to alcohol and have a better understanding. Let’s take a look at the New Testament in reference to wine.

New Testament Wine

When we get to the New Testament in the Bible the word “wine” isn’t as clearly defined as it was in the Old Testament. We are going to go over these different types of “wine” so we can be clear. There are two Greek words used for “wine” which are gleukos and oinos.

Oinos is used more often than gluekos but the definition is vaguer. Gluekos is used less often and the definition in the original Strong’s/Thayers combines the one word with both meanings of alcoholic and non-alcoholic. However, both definitions of oinos and gluekos seem to include both aspects of wine. It doesn’t seem to separate the word from alcoholic or non-alcoholic as the Old Testament does. Knowing how God spoke about the two types of wine in the Old Testament will help us understand what is being used in the New Testament. We need to critically think according to scripture to decipher its usage!

That being said the scripture says Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. We also know that Jesus is The Word made flesh. So, therefore, we know that The Word of God is the same yesterday today and forever! So what we learned in the Old Testament on this subject is a good shadow of things in which we can learn/reference to in the New Testament.

  • Hebrews 13:8 (KJV)  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
  • John 1:14 (KJV)  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Now let’s get into this!

Wine (Gleukos) In The New Testament

This word for wine is used only 1 time in the New Testament as far as I’m aware. The original Greek word is called gleukos. So what is the definition for this word?

  • Gleukos according to the Strong’s definition means Akin to G1099sweet wine, that is, (properly) must (fresh juice), but used of the more saccharine (and therefore highly inebriating) fermented wine: – new wine.
  • Gleukos according to the Thayer’s definition means the sweet juice pressed the grape, sweet wine
  • In other words, this can be a sweet non-alcoholic type of wine aka fresh grape juice or an alcoholic type of wine which is highly inebriating.

The scripture where this word shows up is Acts 2:13. What’s interesting is why this word is mentioned here in the first place. Basically in the context where this is used the disciples/other followers of Jesus were in the upper room and were filled with the Holy Ghost. They began to speak in other tounges. When some people in the world saw this they thought the disciples/followers of Jesus were drunk on this type of alcoholic wine. The disciples were not drunk on wine, they were filled with the Holy Spirit. The disciples must have looked drunk and certain people responded in a way that supposed they really were or thought they were drunk on highly intoxicating wine.

  • Acts 2:3-4 (KJV)  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
  • Acts 2:6-8 (KJV)  Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.  7  And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?  8  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
  • Acts 2:11-13 (KJV)  Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.  12  And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?  13  Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine [gleukos].
  • Acts 2:14-15 (KJV)  But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:  15  For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

Even though they were not drunk from an alcoholic wine/drink that didn’t stop some people in the world from accusing them that they were drunk from that type of alcoholic wine. In scripture, there are places where God would show a sign/wonder and some would believe it came from Him. While others would reject that it came from God and would allow their carnal way of thinking to try to logically explain what happened apart from God. Some people here basically don’t give glory to God for the sign.

Wine (Oinos) In The New Testament

This word for wine is used more often in the New Testament. The original Greek word is called oinos. So what is the definition for this word?

  • Oinos according to the Strong’s definition: a primary word (or perhaps of Hebrew origin [H3196]); “wine” (literally or figuratively): – wine.
  • Oinos according to the Thayer’s definition: Wine or metaphorically fiery wine of God’s wrath.

Oinos has a straight forward general definition. It doesn’t clarify how it’s used in specific verses. Whether it’s considered an alcoholic/fermented context or non-alcoholic/unfermented context. It’s just called wine. Now we have to use the Word/Bible to decipher which type it’s referring to. In some cases, it can also be used metaphorically or figuratively as well.

Let’s use the understanding of God’s standpoint on alcoholic/fermented wine (yayin) and unfermented/non-alcoholic wine aka grape juice (tiyrosh) in the Old Testament. We can use what we have learned from there to help understand the word wine (oinos) in the New Testament since it can mean either or.

Here are some verses using the word wine [oinos] and some explanations concerning it.

  • Romans 14:21 (KJV)  It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine [oinos], nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

This portion of scripture is in reference to what may cause a brother to stumble. It clearly states here that it’s good to not eat flesh or drink wine. It could also be said like this, the right thing to do is not drink wine or eat meat if your around a brother who will stumble. I believe this wine is talking about grape juice here but you’re probably wondering how could grape juice cause someone to stumble? If a person used to be an alcoholic and struggles with wine the slightest thing may trigger a feeling for them to want some. For example, if they saw someone with an alcoholic beverage or smelled alcohol, they may go drink some and stumble. Alcoholic wine used to be grape juice until it was fermented. Let me give you another example.

I recall talking to someone who wasn’t necessarily born again but had a gambling problem. He no longer has the addiction to gamble but what he told me was interesting. He goes to some meetings like aa meetings but for people who had gambling issues. He stated now he doesn’t partake in anything relevant basically and stays away from it so he doesn’t go back to gambling like he used to. What I didn’t know was from his perspective he wouldn’t partake in arcade-type locations/events where you win tickets and get a prize of your choice after playing the game. This was because the theme resembled too much like the real thing of gambling. So he wouldn’t go near it cause it would make him go gamble for real. Just like this analogy, a person may struggle with alcohol so much that they stay away from wine aka grape juice altogether because the theme is to relevant to them of the fermented version of wine. So a person drinking grape juice around them may not seem like a problem in your eyes. However, to them, just the color of it may trigger them to want fermented wine or something like that.

Verses People Use That Want To Drink Alcohol

  • John 2:9-10 (KJV)  When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine [oinos], and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,  10  And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine [oinos]; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine [oinos] until now.
  • John 4:46 (KJV)  So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine [oinos]. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.

The water that Jesus turned to wine was not alcoholic or fermented wine like yayin. This was actually unfermented wine aka grape juice like tiyrosh. If Jesus turned this wine into fermented wine then He would be causing them to stumble. Notice the governor called this good wine. We also know what God called tiyrosh good wine in the Old Testament. This wine was a sweet good tasting grape juice.

  • Ephesians 5:18 (KJV)  And be not drunk with wine [oinos], wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

It’s not correct to say that we can drink alcohol as long as we don’t get drunk. It’s correct to say we shouldn’t drink alcohol at all because believers are considered priests and kings from God’s perspective. However, we can get filled with the Spirit instead. (See Revelations 1:5-6, Ezekial 44:21, Isaiah 28:7-8, Proverbs 31:3-9, Leviticus 10:9, Proverbs 20:1, Micah 2:11)

  • 1 Timothy 3:8 (KJV)  Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine [oinos], not greedy of filthy lucre;
  • Titus 2:3 (KJV)  The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

The ISV translation words it like this, “addicted to alcohol” instead of “much wine”.

  • 1 Timothy 5:23 (KJV)  Drink no longer water, but use a little wine [oinos], for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.

This was not in reference to fermented or alcoholic wine but was unfermented/non-alcohlic wine aka grape juice. Similar to the Tiyrosh (wine) in Old Testament. From what we read earlier Paul isn’t going to tell a brother something that will cause them to stumble. This situation is no different.

More Info About Wine In The New Testament

Here is another interesting situation considering wine with Jesus.

  • Mark 15:23 (KJV)  And they gave him to drink wine [oinos] mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.

Ever wonder why Jesus didn’t drink this wine? When Jesus was on the cross they tried to give him mixed wine or alcoholic wine but He didn’t receive it or drink. We also know Jesus never sinned. Could this have been one of Satan’s last attempt to try to tempt Jesus and try to cause him to sin?

Remember the scripture says that a king and priest should not drink alcohol. Jesus was considered the King of kings and our high priest. (See Revelations 17:14, Revelations 19:16, Hebrews 3:1, Hebrews 4:13, Hebrews 6:20, Proverbs 23:30-32, Ezekiel 44:21, Isaiah 28:7-8, Proverbs 31:3-8)

Let’s look at another scripture about the disciple John.

  • Luke 1:15 (KJV)  For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine [oinos] nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.

This verse clearly talks about John not consuming alcoholic wine or alcoholic drinks. The question is would God have a double standard for John alone? Of course not because God is not a respecter of person. Everyone is considered on the same playing field. Can you imagine God saying it’s ok for you to drink alcohol but not that person? It’s ok for you to murder but not that person? It’s ok for you to commit adultery or fornicate but not that person? It just doesn’t make sense Biblically and sounds silly when you put it that way. Sin and the attributes of sin are real so we must address it the way that God tells us to. That’s through Jesus Christ and believing/following Him. He is our example of how we are supposed to live on earth. (See Acts 10:34-35, James 2:1,4, Hebrews 13:8, John 1:14, Isaiah 55:11)

  • Matthew 9:17 (KJV)  Neither do men put new wine [oinos] into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine [oinos] runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine [oinos] into new bottles, and both are preserved.
  • Luke 5:37-39 (KJV)  And no man putteth new wine [oinos] into old bottles; else the new wine [oinos] will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.  38  But new wine [oinos] must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.  39  No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.

This verse can also be used in a figurative or metaphorical sense. However, I do find it interesting what Jesus states in verse 39 from a natural standpoint. The world’s viewpoint would typically say the longer the wine is fermented or older the older it is the better. They would agree that the old wine is considered of higher value. Now let’s take that info and apply it with the parable above.

The old wine can represent fermented/alcoholic wine. The new wine can represent freshly squeezed grape juice. The old wineskins can represent our old way of living before Jesus Christ. One aspect of this can include drinking alcohol and getting drunk. The new wineskins can represent our new way of living now through Jesus Christ by being filled with the Holy Spirit and can include drinking grape juice.

I know with me personally, I didn’t want to give up alcohol at first either until God taught me through scripture the truth concerning it. I wasn’t actively drinking alcohol at this time but I took the stance of being able to drink alcohol as long as they didn’t get drunk. (Remember No man also having desired the old wine straightaway desire the new.) When I became born again God taught me through the Bible that believers shouldn’t drink alcohol at all. When you become born again you can’t put old wine (The old lifestyle of living before Jesus Christ) in a new wineskin (The born again believer) or both will perish. However, you can put new wine (The new way of living life through Jesus Christ) in a new wineskin (The born again believer) and both will be preserved.

In other words, when you come to Jesus, He changes your identity/lifestyle from the old way of living to the new way of living through Jesus Christ. The old and new lifestyle has many subjects we can talk about but in this case, I’m just focusing on one aspect which is concerning alcohol.

Now I desire the true new wine through the blood of Jesus that comes from God. Now I’m filled with His Spirit which is way better. The good news is Jesus Christ is here to help us by the Holy Spirit! He helped me and want’s to help others as well!

  • Ephesians 5:18 (KJV)  And be not drunk with wine [oinos], wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
  • Romans 14:16-18 (KJV)  Let not then your good be evil spoken of:  17  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.  18  For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (KJV)  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  19  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

So remember that old way of living and that old perspective of life has now been changed through Jesus. We have a new perspective on life and how we live now which is reconciled through Jesus Christ. This includes our old perspective of wine/alcohol passing away and our new perspective in terms of alcohol or wine has now changed to line up with the word of God. We don’t carry over the old wine to the new wineskin because the new wineskin isn’t built to hold the old wine.

Here is another mention of the word wine (oinos) in scripture.

  • Revelation 18:1-3 (KJV)  And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.  2  And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.  3  For all nations have drunk of the wine [oinos] of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

I’m adding this verse above cause God told me to. It does use the word wine as well. He didn’t tell me to explain it so, read it and take back to God then search for the full meaning. Ask him for the full interpretation and use it as a point of reference to explore more scripture concerning this.

Strong Drink (Sikera) In The New Testament

Strong Drink is the Greek word sikera. It’s only used once in the New Testament. What exactly is the meaning of this word?

  • Sikera according to the Strong’s definition: Of Hebrew origin [H7941]; an intoxicant, that is, intensely fermented liquor: – strong drink.
  • Sikera according to the Thayer’s definition: strong drink, an intoxicating beverage, different from wine; it was a artificial product, made of a mixture of sweet ingredients, whether derived from grain and vegetables, or from the juice of fruits (dates), or a decoction of honey

What is the verse sikera is used in?

  • Luke 1:15 (KJV)  For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine [oinos] nor strong drink [sikera]; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.

This verse is referring to John the Baptist. An angel delivered the message that he wouldn’t partake in drinking alcohol. The context of this verse is clearly speaking of fermented alcoholic wine or other types of alcoholic mixed drinks. If God said John wouldn’t drink alcohol then why would the standard be different for other believers? Scripture states God is not a respecter of persons so what is required from John would also be required of others. The reality is we need to listen and hear what Jesus said and not be swayed by what we feel or what another voice may say. We need to follow God’s word because His word will never fail or change.

  • Acts 10:34-35 (KJV)  Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:  35  But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
  • James 2:1 (KJV)  My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
  • James 2:4 (KJV)  Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
  • Malachi 3:6 (KJV)  For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
  • Isaiah 40:8 (KJV)  The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

The truth is whether a person is rich or poor, young or old, or even a different color, God is not a respecter of persons. If we think that God is a respecter of persons and treat certain people in different regards. Instead of all on the same playing field. Then we are considered partial and become judges of evil thoughts.

Basically what I’m trying to say is the standard isn’t going to change based on the person or individual. God’s word can never change and from what we have discovered throughout the Bible is that God clearly says don’t drink alcohol.

Being Drunk In The New Testament

So now that we have read about verses concerning drinking alcohol what does it say about being drunk in the New Testament?

One Greek word is paroinos. This word is only used twice in the New Testament so what exactly is the meaning of this word?

  • Paroinos according to the Strong’s definition: From G3844 and G3631; staying near wine, that is, tippling (a toper): – given to wine.
  • Paroinos according to the Thayer’s definition:  given to wine, drunken

Here are the scriptures where paroinos is used in context.

  • 1 Timothy 3:1-3 (KJV)  This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.  2  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;  3  Not given to wine [Paroinos], no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
  • Titus 1:7-9 (KJV)  For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine [Paroinos], no striker, not given to filthy lucre;  8  But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;  9  Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Pretty straight forward here. I’ll point out one thing though. If it’s a good work to desire the office of a bishop who is instructed to not be drunk but be sober. Then wouldn’t it also be considered a good work for everyone else that follows that desire/instruction? This is a good desire to have. Why would some people rather not have this type of desire or good work?

Another Greek word is oinophlugia This word is only used in one verse in the New Testament. What exactly does it mean?

  • Oinophlugia according to the Strong’s definition: From G3631 and a form of the base of G5397; an overflow (or surplus) of wine, that is, vinolency (drunkenness): – excess of wine.
  • Oinophlugia according to the Thayer’s definition: drunkenness

Here is the scripture using oinophlugia in context.

  • 1 Peter 4:1-7 (KJV)  Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;  2  That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.  3  For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine [Oinophlugia], revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:  4  Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:  5  Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.  6  For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.  7  But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

Another Greek word is methe. This word is only used three times in the New Testament. What exactly does it mean?

  • Methe according to the Strong’s definition: Apparently a primary word; an intoxicant, that is, (by implication) intoxication: – drunkenness.
  • Methe according to the Thayer’s definition: Intoxication or  drunkenness.

Here are the verses using methe in context.

  • Galatians 5:19-21 (KJV)  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  20  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  21  Envyings, murders, drunkenness [Methe], revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
  • Romans 13:11-14 (KJV)  And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.  12  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.  13  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness [Methe], not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.  14  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
  • Luke 21:34-36 (KJV)  And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness [Methe], and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.  35  For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.  36  Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

God's Wisdom Concerning Alcohol

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Let’s have a reverence for God and trust Him. Let’s listen to His wisdom on the subject of alcohol. Not the world’s wisdom on the subject or the way that seems right to a man. If someone sides with the wisdom of man over the wisdom of God the only person getting fooled is that someone. If the scripture is our foundation for true wisdom then we can trust God to give us understanding. Knowing this we need to read the scripture based on what God says and not what feelings or emotions the carnal mind might try to tell us.

  • Proverbs 30:5-6 (KJV)  Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.  6  Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
  • Proverbs 1:7 (KJV)  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
  • Job 28:27-28 (KJV)  Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out.  28  And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
  • Psalms 111:9-10 (KJV)  He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.  10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
  • Proverbs 9:8-12 (KJV)  Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.  9  Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.  10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.  11  For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.  12  If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.

Once a person gets understanding then they can stand on the Word of God. They can overcome/depart from alcohol through Jesus Christ and how He paid a price to set us free.

Identity Concerning Alcohol

If you’re a born again believer who has struggled with drinking alcohol don’t be discouraged. I forgive you and God forgives you too. Now He wants to help you with a clear conscience so you walk in victory over this lie that has tried to keep you bound. Now that you know where God stands specifically on the subject you can believe and take a stand according to what He said.

You can now walk in victory by faith in what Jesus did for you. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. God has already begun writing faith upon your heart whether you notice it or not. He wants you to know that He loves you and cares for you greatly. All He wants you to do is believe and what He said about you now.

Scripture states that you are now a new creature in Christ Jesus. The old you who struggled with getting drunk and drinking alcohol is no longer alive. Now begin to think and believe that the old carnal you is dead. You are no longer filled with the sin-nature but are filled with God’s Spirit.

  • Romans 6:6-14 (KJV)  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  7  For he that is dead is freed from sin.  8  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  9  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  10  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  11  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  12  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  13  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  14  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

The new you is alive unto God through Jesus Christ. He has already set you free whether it feels like it or not. Think of it like this, can a literal dead person/body move or in this case drink alcohol? Can the dead body be tempted like it use to be? No, because he is dead lol. It doesn’t matter if the dead body is in a bar or someone comes over to it and says, “hey would you like some vodka.” The body isn’t going to respond to it because it’s dead. It no longer functions the way it used to. The same goes for you now. Your dead to that old way of life so you no longer respond to it like you use to.

The verses above are important to overcome. You must trust God’s Word more than any thought that pops in your head. The Word of God is the very thing that will decipher which thought came from Him concerning you and which one didn’t. Choose to allow the Bible to be the filter of your mind and if it doesn’t fit then don’t put it on or wear it.

  • Hebrews 4:12 (KJV)  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.

In other words, if a thought comes telling you “I want some beer” then it’s not God or you! It’s a stranger’s voice so don’t fall for it. Just do what Jesus did and speak out loud what is written about you in the Bible, “The old me who struggled with beer is dead so he can’t hear you. Jesus has the victory and He lives in me so I have the victory.” Easy Peasy, it’s just that simple so believe! Jesus didn’t make it complicated.

  • Matthew 4:3-4 (KJV)  And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.  4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
  • John 10:1-5 (KJV)  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.  2  But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.  3  To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.  4  And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.  5  And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

Any voice that comes from a thought or person concerning you. Must line up with what the scripture now says about you through Jesus Christ. If it doesn’t line up then it holds no value or weight in terms of being true. I say this because a feeling will come and thought will arise to try to see if you really believe what the Word says. Don’t worry about it though. Just know that feelings, words, thoughts, what people say or any other voice that doesn’t agree with God about you aren’t true.

God is perfect in weakness so if you feel weak then that just means God is strong on your behalf. Just stand on the Word and trust Him. Choose to think about what God said is true and receive that because the truth will set you free through Jesus Christ!

  • 2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV)  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
  • Ephesians 6:13 (KJV)  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
  • John 8:31-32 (KJV)  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;  32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Now you got the truth so choose to stand on it. Remember believe and speak only what God says. Just like you put on clothes each day choose to put on only what God says about you! Share this with someone who may need it. If you’re not a believer and just stumbled on this article out of curiosity I would consider rethinking that. Maybe what brought you here wasn’t you but was actually God trying to knock on your heart or get your attention. Think about that. I love you all and be encouraged!

Bible Scripture Reference

  • The Bible’s View on Drinking Alcohol/Wine. Should Christians?
    • Revelations 1:5-6
    • Ezekial 44:21
    • Isaiah 28:7-8
    • Proverbs 31:3-8
    • Should A Born Again Believer Drink Alcohol?
      • My Old Carnal Way Of Thinking About Alcohol
        • Psalms 86:15
        • Nehemiah 9:16-17
        • Lamentations 3:21-22
      • God Said Kings, Princes, And Priests Shouldn’t Drink Alcohol?
        • Revelation 1:5-6
        • Revelation 5:10
        • Romans 5:17
        • Revelation 2:26-27
        • 1 Corinthians 4:8
        • Matthew 24:45-47
        • Proverbs 31:4-8
        • Ecclesiastes 10:17
        • Leviticus 19:15
        • 1 Peter 5:2-11
        • Isaiah 9:6-7
        • 1 Corinthians 4:8
      • Should A Priest Drink Alcohol?
        • Revelation 1:6
        • Revelation 5:10
        • 1 Peter 2:9
        • Revelation 20:6
        • Isaiah 28:7
        • Ezekiel 44:21
        • Matthew 27:51
        • Mark 15:38
        • Luke 23:45
        • Hebrews 10:19-22
        • Ephesians 2:6
        • Genesis 3:1
    • Different Types Of Wine In The Old Testament
      • Proverbs 23:29-35
      • Psalms 4:6-8
      • Proverbs 20:1
      • Micah 2:10-11
      • Isaiah 28:7-8
      • Jeremiah 25:27-29
      • Jeremiah 48:25-26
      • Jeremiah 51:6-9
      • Lamentations 4:21-22
      • Habakkuk 2:15-16
      • Hebrews 12:1-2
      • Revelation 12:11
      • More Verses On Fermented Wine/Alcohol AKA Yayin/Shekar In The Old Testament
        • Isaiah 24:9-11
        • Proverbs 20:1
        • Leviticus 10:9-11
        • Judges 13:4
        • Judges 13:7
        • Judges 13:14
        • Proverbs 31:4-9
        • Isaiah 24:9-11
        • Isaiah 28:7-8
        • Isaiah 56:10-12
        • Micah 2:10-11
      • More Verses On Unfermented Wine/Grapejuice AKA Tiryosh In The Old Testament
        • Isaiah 65:8
        • Zechariah 9:17
        • Psalms 4:6-8
        • Genesis 27:28-29
        • Deuteronomy 11:11-14
        • Deuteronomy 14:23
        • Joel 2:19
      • One Verse Which Has Both Yayin (Alcoholic Wine) And Tiyrosh (Non-Alcoholic Wine AKA Grape Juice)
        • Micah 6:15
    • New Testament Wine
      • Hebrews 13:8
      • John 1:14
      • Wine (Gleukos) In The New Testament
        • Acts 2:3-4
        • Acts 2:6-8
        • Acts 2:11-13
        • Acts 2:14-15
      • Wine (Oinos) In The New Testament
        • Romans 14:21
        • Verses People Use That Want To Drink Alcohol
          • John 2:9-10
          • John 4:46
          • Ephesians 5:18 
          • 1 Timothy 3:8
          • Titus 2:3
          • 1 Timothy 5:23
          • Mark 15:23
          • Revelations 17:14
          • Revelations 19:16
          • Hebrews 3:1
          • Hebrews 4:13
          • Hebrews 6:20
          • Proverbs 23:30-32
          • Ezekiel 44:21
          • Isaiah 28:7-8
          • Proverbs 31:3-8
          • Luke 1:15
          • Acts 10:34-35
          • James 2:1,4
          • Hebrews 13:8
          • John 1:14
          • Isaiah 55:11
          • Matthew 9:17
          • Luke 5:37-39
          • Ephesians 5:18
          • Romans 14:16-18
          • 2 Corinthians 5:17-19
          • Revelation 18:1-3
        • Strong Drink (Sikera) In The New Testament
          • Luke 1:15
          • Acts 10:34-35
          • James 2:1
          • James 2:4
          • Malachi 3:6 
          • Isaiah 40:8
      • Being Drunk In The New Testament
        • 1 Timothy 3:1-3
        • Titus 1:7-9
        • 1 Peter 4:1-7
        • Galatians 5:19-21
        • Romans 13:11-14
        • Luke 21:34-36
      • Verses About Wine That People Use To Justify Drinking Alcohol
      • God’s Wisdom Concerning Alcohol
        • Proverbs 30:5-6
        • Proverbs 1:7
        • Job 28:27-28
        • Psalms 111:9-10
        • Proverbs 9:8-12
    • Identity Concerning Alcohol
      • Romans 6:6-14
      • Hebrews 4:12
      • Matthew 4:3-4 
      • John 10:1-5
      • 2 Corinthians 12:9
      • Ephesians 6:13
      • John 8:31-32

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