Scripture Clearly Denounces Wine and Strong Drink
Quite often, someone will phone in to Frances & Friends on SBN and raise the question about the wisdom of Christians drinking wine or alcohol. They often quote I Timothy 5:23 to support their argument in favor of drinking wine or strong drink, or they refer to John 2 where Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding at Cana. Many so-called believers are desiring permission from the pulpit to drink wine and other forms of strong drink.
The position of SBN, Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, and Jimmy Swaggart Bible College has never changed. Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, Pastor Donnie, and Pastor Gabe have always preached and taught that it is sinful, it is not wise, and it is rebellion for believers in Christ to be involved in any way with wine, beer, or strong drink. Brother Swaggart teaches that if ten beers will make a person drunk, then by drinking one beer, you are ten percent drunk. The same principle applies to whiskey or wine. In Colossians 2:21, Paul admonished, “Touch not; taste not; handle not.” I agree with Brother Swaggart and Saint Paul.
My dear old dad, who is in heaven now, was the Reverend James Ben Gray of the Bartlesville (Ramona) Oklahoma area. He was the second son of a well-known and successful rancher and farmer in Washington County—Mr. Thomas W. Gray. My dad was not raised in church, and by the age of eighteen had become a heavy drinker. He and his cousin, my dear Uncle Ed, learned how to make moonshine for resale. They did that many times and got into trouble with the law. In his teen years and in his twenties, my dad lived a very wild and wicked life, even though he was married. At the age of twenty-seven or twenty-eight, Dad’s first wife, Wilma, died giving birth to their fourth daughter, leaving him with four girls to raise by himself. His mom and others picked up the slack and got the girls into school. By now, he was living unhinged; he was actually homeless. He could not stop drinking and getting drunk. Sometimes he slept in a shack behind his brother’s house.
At about twenty-nine years of age, with his sister Mona’s (Cox) encouragement, he started attending the little country church about half a mile from his brother’s house where he stayed. It was and is called Happy Hill Church of God of the Apostolic Faith. It was and is an old-fashioned, Pentecostal, Trinitarian country church that preached the full gospel. He attended several Sundays and testified later that he “felt nothing.” His life was totally messed up. There he was, living behind his brother’s house in a chicken shack, others helping to care for his four daughters, and him bound, bruised, blind, and broken in life—my dad!
But, on a certain Sunday, while walking on the dirt road from the little church to his brother Winfred’s house, the awesome Holy Spirit fell on him. He fully knew it was God. At that moment, he surrendered his life to God and got saved. By the power of God, he was delivered from alcohol and completely delivered from cigarettes. He was soon baptized in the Holy Spirit and called to ministry, and for the next forty-five years he served the Lord as an evangelist, pastor, farmer, rancher, and carpenter.
At about the age of thirty, Dad married by mother, Faith, and they had ten children. I am the sixth child from his second wife, Faith. Out of all fourteen children, seven went into full-time ministry. At home or in the pulpit, I have heard my dad’s testimony about alcohol and drinking. He said it many times: “If you never take one drink, you will never be a drunkard like I used to be.” Dad strongly preached total abstinence. Dad’s testimony and God’s Word teaches total abstinence.
I have researched both the Old and New Testament and found nineteen verses of Scripture that clearly set forth the will of God as it relates to strong drink and wine. If you will carefully read these Scriptures and be open to the Holy Spirit, you will agree that it is God’s will for no one to ever drink wine or alcohol. If any believer will stay away from all forms of strong drink and wine, he or she will be better off in life and blessed by the Lord!
Here are those nineteen Scriptures that should be studied and followed:
1. “And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent” (Gen. 10:21).
2. “Do not drink wine nor strong drink, 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” (Lev. 10:9).
3. “And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot. Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink: that ye might know that I am the LORD your God” (Deut. 29:5-6).
4. “Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing” (Judg. 13:4).
5. “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Prov. 20:1).
6. “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted” (Prov. 31:4-5).
7. “Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!” (Isa. 5:11). “Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink” (Isa. 5:22).
8. “They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it” (Isa. 24:9).
9. “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank” (Dan. 1:8).
10. “And they gave him (Christ) to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not” (Mark 15:23).
11. “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15).
12. “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares” (Luke 21:34).
13. “When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now” (John 2:9-10). (This wine came from heaven and was safe to drink.)
14. “It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak” (Rom. 14:21).
15. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (I Cor. 6:9-10).
16. “Envyings, murders, drunkenness, 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” (Gal. 5:21).
17. “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18).
18. “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities” (I Tim. 5:23). (Saint Paul recommended this as some treatment of “medicine.”)
19. “For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre” (Titus 1:7).