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Revelation 14 – Wine and Other Things

Brief Ideas: The Three Angel’s Messages speak about wine.


The intoxicating effect of that wine represents how irrational
people become when they are angry. So it is called “wine of
wrath.” There are two types of wine. First, the world becomes
angry because they are confused by the wine of Rome’s false
doctrines. Last of all, the world is enraged to a mad fury as it
suffers the wrath of God. Jesus suffered this wrath and drank
the cup of woe.

The judgment is a bad time to be drunk – either literally or


figuratively. Kings and Priests never have been permitted to
drink. And as we are a royal priesthood, we should abstain
from alcoholic beverages.

Wines of Wrath

Babylon in Revelation 14 (like Babylon in Daniel 5) makes all nations drink


wine. The nations are drunk. And they are drunk at a very dangerous time to
be drunk. They are intoxicated while their cases are heard in the court of
heaven.

The metaphor of intoxication is used to describe the effect of false doctrines


on the behavior of men. They adopt the most foolish plans, pursue the most
hopeless ventures, and fruitlessly oppose the most sensible counsel.

Is 28:7 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. . . .9
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to
understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn
from the breasts.

Is 29:9 Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are
drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. 10
For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and
hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he
covered. 11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a
book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying,
Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: 12 And
the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I
pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me
with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed
their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the
precept of men: 14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a
marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a
wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the
understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

In the prophecies of Isaiah above men who are not taught doctrine by God
are confused. They err “in judgment.” Their eyes have been closed. They can
not understand the revelations of prophecy (and it seems that the Bible
refers to the books of Daniel and Revelation) and though they claim to
worship God, their worship is vain.

That makes them sound like the men that say “Lord, Lord” and who are
accused of being lawless and ignorant of their Savior.

God does a “marvelous” thing to these – he deprives their thought-leaders of


sense. This sounds like the sending of “strong delusion” mentioned in 2
Thessalonians 2.

When Babylon makes everyone confused by her false doctrines she does it
with the assistance of the civil power. She makes “all nations” drink. This
manipulations of “all” people sounds like the issue over the mark of the
beast in Revelation 13.

It is the justice of God that she who makes others drink will be forced to drink
“the cup of the wine” of God’s fierce wrath.

Re 14:8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is


fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine
of the wrath of her fornication.
Re 16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities
of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before
God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

And it is a fact that when the inhabitants of the earth allow themselves to be
“made drunk” with Babylon’s state-power, they doom themselves to being
forced to drink down the judgments that come on that state-power.

Re 17:2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication,
and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine
of her fornication.
Re 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine 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.
Re 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which
is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he
shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy
angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

The wine of the wrath of God is freshly squeezed. That makes it what we
would call grape juice. It is the shedding of blood and it is illustrated by a
wine-press that is trodden by Jesus, staining his white garments red.

Re 14:19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and
gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of
the wrath of God.
Re 14:20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood
came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space
of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
Re 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he
should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and
he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Isa 63:3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there
was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample
them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments,
and I will stain all my raiment.

Wine in the Bible

Bible-believing Christians have long taught what is obvious in the passages


just quoted, namely that wine in the Bible often refers to the unfermented
juice of the grape.

The grape vine acts as a purifier, allowing grape juice to be a healthful


source of water where other water supplies are polluted. So Paul urged
Timothy to stop using the local water and to drink a little juice for his
stomach’s sake.

But not all wine in scripture is pure juice. The wine of Babylon, for example,
makes men “drunk.” And kings and priests are both forbidden to drink
intoxicating wine for the same reason: It would compromise their ability to
teach and judge correctly.

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. Pr 31:4-5.

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: 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. Le 10:9-11

Healthy living is a means to clearer perceptions of duty and morality. The


sluggishness of the blood and the cloudiness of the brain have much to do
with one's ability to weigh right and wrong. This is why alcoholic beverages
were forbidden to kings and priests. This is why Jesus refused an intoxicating
pain killer when on the cross.

They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had
tasted thereof, he would not drink. Mt 27:34

And as Adventists are the priests of the earth (meaning that we, like the
priests of old, have been given the job of teaching God’s law to the world as
in Malachi 2:7), it stands to reason that Seventh-day Adventists should not
drink.

A Command to Buy Strong Drink

One passage of the Old Testament seems to unmistakably point to


fermented drink. And this passage is an injunction on spending tithe money.
Men were commanded to buy what they wanted and among the suggested
items was alcoholic drink.

De 14:26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul
lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or
for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the
LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,

Now be it known that the items in this list have some things in common.
They were items that were to be acquired in the temple city (De 14:25) for
and by those that lived a long distance from that city. More than that, these
items were purchased in connection with the harvest festivals, and so by
extension, with the services at the national feasts. And while some of these
items were intended to be eaten as fellowship meals with the Levites (who
were paid from the tithe) and with the poor, the strong drink couldn’t be for
the Levites to drink.

And there is evidence1 that it was rather intended that the tithe-purchased
items would be used in the thank-offerings and sacrificial services of the
sanctuary. Was strong drink used in those services? Yes, it was poured on
the ground.
1
I am not certain that I understand Deuteronomy 14 aright. It may be that the articles were
for general consumption and that in view of their need for further education. But as De 29:6
in this article indicates, I do not think this is so.
Num 28:6 It is a continual burnt offering, which was ordained in mount
Sinai for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD. 7 And
the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one
lamb: in the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured
unto the LORD for a drink offering. 8 And the other lamb shalt thou
offer at even: as the meat offering of the morning, and as the drink
offering thereof, thou shalt offer it, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet
savour unto the LORD.

And this pouring represented the blood of Jesus bearing the sins of the world.
Jesus drank the cup of the wrath of God for us. And that is why those that do
not accept His gift for them have to drink it themselves.

When Israel had been some years practicing the sanctuary services en route
to Canaan, they had not, during that time, been drinking strong drink. This is
another evidence that the strong drink purchased in Deuteronomy 14 was
not for consumption.

De 29:6 Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or


strong drink: that ye might know that I am the LORD your God.

And it is another metaphorical evidence also that the body of people


preparing for Christ’s Coming and the heavenly Canaan ought not to be
drinking.

Intoxication Sometimes Acceptable

I was recently out of my mind. I submitted to have a narcotic fed into my


veins via an I.V. A short time later a physician and his attending nurses did a
procedure that the physician assures me would have been very painful had I
not been drugged.

Medicinal use of strong drink to curb terminal pain is commended in


scripture. Today we use morphine or other substances not available in
ancient Palestine.

Alcohol is also permitted, in scripture, to those who are depressed.

Pr 31:6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine
unto those that be of heavy hearts.

But before you go buy your self a keg of beer remember that Christians are
the royal priesthood. We also have access to a Comforter. We have been
granted wisdom and power so as to be able to resolve many of the issues
that face, and have been given strength to bear-up under the others.
Christians don’t need the escape of drink.

But neither should they refuse the privilege of using such a substance to
those that know not our Savior and who thus have no real way to resolve
many of their problems.

Conclusion

You don’t want to be drinking in the end of time. You don’t want to drink the
wine that represents the confusion caused by the Union of Church and State,
the “wine” of “fornication.” Neither do you want to drink the “wine” of the
wrath of God. Neither do you want to violate your holy and peculiar
responsibilities as a priest of the Most High God.

You do, however, want to take part in Communion, partaking of the “pure
blood of the grape.” Deu 32:14. Such a beverage commemorates a most
precious gift that still cleans the church today. It is the “new wine” that is
found “in the cluster” and, according to the prophet, “a blessing is in it.” Is
65:8.

It is old fermented wine that Babylon distributes in their communion table. In


light of the part Babylon plays in Revelation, that makes a lot of sense.