Alcohol: To drink or not to drink

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Yep.  I am going there.  

Someone (a believer) came to a friends office today and he wanted to know if it was ok to pay tithes from his business of alcoholic sales, (PUB).
Ok. Since he asked… 
Best way to answer this question is by asking what does the Bible teach us? 
 Sadly, many are deceived and do not rightly divide the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15) nor study to show themselves approved. 
 Many think because they see others consuming alcohol that it’s ok… many wrongly assume that because Jesus ‘turned water into wine’ at the wedding feast in Cana, (John 2:1-11) that Jesus must have consumed alcoholic wine.
Most are not realizing the word ‘wine’ was used 231 times in the King James Translation or that in the Old Testament there were three Hebrew words translated as ‘wine’ (Yawin- INTOXICATING FERMENTED JUICE, used 141 times- of which 71 times meant ‘FRESH GRAPE JUICE FROM THE VINE, 70 times meant FERMENTED), another word is TIROSH- meaning UNFERMENTED FRESH GRAPE JUICE, no alcoholic content at all.
In fact, Lamentations 2:11-12 states mothers gave TIROSH WINE to infants and babies!!!) 
The third word was SHAKAR/SHEKA- meaning STRONG DRINK, INTENSELY ALCOHOLIC AND INTOXICATING (Numbers 28:7) 
In the New Testament ‘wine’ translated from the Greek into our language that we speak. The word wine is used for both fermented and unfermented drink there are two Greek words for the word wine in the new testament . 
 OINOS- generic wine-either fermented or unfermented. 
Matthews 9:17 is an example, Ephesians 5:18 gives a fermented example. 
The other word is GLEUKOS. Which means sweet wine fresh juice from the vine illustrated in acts 2:13.  
The content of the Bible script reveals the type of wine as well as the original root word so I go back to my point:

If a tree is known by its fruit, what fruit does alcoholic wine bring? Is it godly fruit or fruit from the enemy? 

This is extremely important subject as the deceiver the enemy Satan the father of all lies has deceived and lied to so many people including Christians.  
Deep down the conscious of the individual knows inherently what is right and what is wrong-but they will try to justify their actions to do what they know it’s wrong and try to tell themselves that it is right. 
John 10:10 says “the thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy.” But Christ says “I come to give life more abundantly.”  
Ask yourself ” does grape juice kill? does grape juice steal from families and destroy families and steal and destroy and kill lives?   
-OR-
Does alcohol do this? 
Matthew 12:33 ”

“A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad.”  
So, consider alcohol as a tree: what is its fruit? That’s how you will know- according to the Bible.
For further study, 
Habakkuk 2:15 “woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk” (the word woe is a strong warning- take note!!!)
God will not bless the tithes of one who obtained sinfully.
Proverbs 20:1 “wine (oinus- fermented) is a mocker and beer is a brawler; whoever is let astray by them is not wise”
Proverbs 22:10 “Drive out the mocker and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended”
Read also Matthew 9:17, mark 2:21-22; Proverbs 23:20; Proverbs 23:29-33.
Also- if we are born again believers and followers of Jesus Christ, whose body is it?  


The Bible states:
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
Food for thought.   

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Blood Covenant… let’s go there.

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Good morning! God woke me up at 5:15am this morning with the thoughts of the blood covenant that takes place between God and us through Christ, and that also takes place within a godly marriage.  
I firmly believe this reminder is not only for myself, (I thank God for my help mate of 32 years and best friend of 37 years, Doug Roundy!!!) but for someone else out there who may need a word of encouragement! If that’s you- then set aside time to read this in its entirety, grab your coffee and your bible- and dig in!!!


A gift from God is worth fighting for. Trust me- Satan is doing everything he can to tear apart all the blessings we are entitled to in the blood covenant! We need to show him who we are in Christ and fight back for what’s rightfully ours!!!
Many of us in the USA DO NOT understand the depth of blood covenant… It’s not really talked about in the USA as it is in most other countries… As a child, I remember friends becoming ‘blood partners’ by pricking their pinkies and bringing them together mixing the blood with pinky promises… But I don’t really remember growing up hearing about the biblical side to what blood covenant truly means and how it relates to a marriage and how that marriage relates to God in our relationship with Him.
A marriage in Gods eyes is different than two people who love each other and choose to live together.  
It’s not just a committed relationship, because people can love each other outside of marriage and be committed to one another.
Marriage in Gods eyes is a covenant relationship, and is spiritual. It goes beyond the physical relationship. It’s giving up ones place of self and becoming one. And being one in Christ, made righteous because of being in Christ. 

A marriage in Gods eyes is a foretaste of Christ’s relationship with the Church, which is the bride of Christ. A marriage in Gods eyes is an eternal blood covenant between two parties-just as our covenant is with God!
We have cut a NEW blood covenant with God, and this means it’s the closest, most enduring, most solemn and most sacred of all contracts. We do the same thing in a spiritual marriage-a blood covenant absolutely cannot be broken. 
When you enter into blood covenant with someone, you promise to give them your life, your love, and your protection forever… Till death do you part. God says this in Malachi 2:14/Proverbs 2:17.
The spiritual ramifications of cutting a blood covenant is deep, biblical, and irreversible. There’s 9 steps, which I’ll highlite but encourage individual study:
#1 exchanging of coat/robe (1 Samuel 18:1-4)- the robe represents the person: “I’m giving you all myself. My total being in my life, I pledge to you.”
#2 exchanging of belts (1 Samuel 18:1-4)- the belt holds the armor together- and weapons: dagger, bow & arrow, sword-symbolizing giving all of your strength and pledging all of your support and protection to each other: 

“here is my strength in all my ability to fight. If anybody attacks you there also attacking me. Your battles are my battles and mine are yours. I will fight with you, I will help defend you and I will protect you.”
#3 cut the covenant (Genesis 15:1-9; Jeremiah 34:18-19). In biblical covenant when it’s cut an animal is split down the middle in two, then each half is laid and the two parties stand between the two bloody halves, walking through them making a figure 8 and then stopping to face each other. It’s very solemn and sacred and means:

“we are dying to ourselves, giving up the rights to our own life and beginning a new walk with our covenant partner onto death.” Then each part points to the bloody animal cut in two saying 

“God do so to me and more if I ever try to break this covenant. Just split me down the middle and feed me to the vultures because I tried to break the most sacred of all covenants.”
#4 raise right arm & mix blood (Isaiah 62:8) standing before one another raising right arms you cut palms bringing them together and blood intermingles, swearing allegiance to each other. As blood intermingles you are believing your lives are intermingling and becoming one life, because blood is our life, so intermingling blood is to intermingle life. Putting off old nature and putting on the new nature of a blood covenant partner to truly becoming one.
#5 exchanging of names (Genesis 17:5,15; 32:18). Standing before one another with the blood intermingling names are exchanged you’re saying:

 ”I take your last name as part of my name when you take my last name as part of your name”
#6 make a scar. (Isaiah 49:16) The next step is rubbing blood together and making a scar as a permanent testimony to the covenant. The scar bears witness to the covenant that’s been made and is always there to remind us of covenant responsibilities to each other, a guarantee of the covenant. If anyone tries to harm us, all we have to do is raise out the right arm and show the scar which represents in saying: “there’s more to me than meets the eye if you’re coming after me you’re also going to have to fight my blood covenant partner and you don’t know how big he is. So what are you going to do? Are you going to take your chances are back off?” This scar seals and testifies the covenant. (I love this part!!! While during Bible school when this was taught, to me I’ve visualized our physical hands being the hands connected to the body of Christ and Christ, His hands are nail scarred because of what He endured at the cross, so symbolically, when we raise our hands in praise,we are showing Satan the nail scarred hands which testifies of the covenant we are in with Jesus Christ!)
#7 give covenant terms (Genesis 31:52-53; 21:23; Joshua 9). Then we stand before witnesses and give the terms of the covenant saying: “all of my assets are yours. All my money, on my property and all my possessions are yours. If you need any of them you don’t ever have to ask just come and get it what’s mine is yours and what yours is mine”
#8. Eat memorial meal. (Genesis 26:28-30; 31:44-54) then a memorial meal and share to complete the covenant union. In place of the animal and blood, we have bread and wine. In the Bible, wine is called blood of the grapes (see Genesis 49:11). It represents our own life blood- since Christ blood was pure, this one must be unfermented and also pure, thus; fresh picked grapes squeezed into juice, unfermented. The bread represents our flesh. Taking a loaf of bread and breaking it in two, feeding to one another saying “this is symbolic of my body and I’m now putting it in you.” (This is where the wedding cake custom came from!) Then, serving each of the juice and saying “this is symbolic of my life blood which is now your blood-symbolically I’m in you and you’re in me-we are now one together with a new nature”
#9 plant a memorial (Genesis 21:27-33; 31:44-54) leaving a memorial to the covenant is so that it can always be remembered. This is done by planting a tree that’s been sprinkled with the blood of an animal. The blood sprinkled tree along with the scar will always be a testimony of the covenant symbolizing the end of the ceremony and recognition of being friends. In Bible times one did not use the word friend as loosely as we do today – only become friends after cutting the covenant; and in the covenant, all children- even unborn ones- are included in the covenant.
Read about the covenant cut between David and Jonathan, beginning 1 Samuel 18:1-9…and then later of David with Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 4; 2 Samuel 9)!   
After all the hardship between David and Jonathan and wrong thinking on Jonathan’s part passed onto his family, David tells Mephibosheth “I know you don’t understand and I know you don’t deserve it and there’s nothing you can do to earn a make up for all of your thoughts and actions against me. You could serve me 1000 years and never make it up but this has nothing to do with you. You see this scar my hand? I’m not doing this because of you. I’m doing this because I have sworn by my own blood and entered into an everlasting covenant with your father. This scar in the palm of my hand is the guarantee and seal of the covenant. And here are the terms of that covenant. I will restore all your land. I will bless you. I will forgive your past wrongs against me. My house is your house and you will live here at this place I will be a father to you and I got to use my own son. This scar is the testimony and witness to my covenant with you.”
Wow. Can you see yourself in any of this?
Imagine being Mephibosheth… 
Perhaps some of you are in a marriage like this and you resonate with how he is feeling. After everything he did, he can’t believe it m-but he must make a choice: either enter the covenant with David, or go back into the desert. It doesn’t sound like much of a choice does it? The man he’s hated all of his life and misunderstood, he must now love with all of his life. He must now become one with this man he ran away from, of whom he was afraid. He must swallow his pride, and humble himself, he must admit he was wrong and turn his back on all of his old ways of thinking about David. All of his old friends will ridicule him, make fun of him, and call him a weakling for giving into David. They would say that he didn’t have enough guts to die and be done with it is his choice, his free will- it cannot be forced on him…but he chose to enter the covenant with David and immediately all the things David promised took place in all of his descendants were a blast because they two were in the same covenant.
So if you’re still with me and reading all of this you’re probably wondering “what does this have to do with my relationship with God or my marriage?”
In this Biblical account David represents God. God loves His creation with all of His heart and He wants to show us His mercy and kindness… He wants to take us out of the desert, in the wilderness of life, and adopt us into His own family… to be His own children… to sit at the table with Him, and to live in the mansion He’s prepared for us…but unfortunately we’re still in the family of Solomon and Jonathan. We’re rebellious and want to do our own things, and we don’t want anybody telling us what to do-especially God . Or our spouses.
Ouch.
There are times when our spouse just plain out infuriates us. We must recognize that they are not perfect and neither are we. 
The more we choose to dwell on the problems, (and let’s face it- every relationship has them- LIFE has them!) the bigger the problems will grow in our minds, and the bigger the distance will grow between us.  
Just like when we do wrong against God, we feel inferior and condemned, unworthy of His love and mercy, undeserving of compassion and forgiveness. (Remember where these thoughts come from- not from God!) 
But God will reply “My child you still don’t understand. I know you don’t deserve it, and can’t make up for your thoughts and actions against Me. You could serve me 1000 years and never make it up; but this has nothing to do with your deserving it.  
I’m doing this because I’ve sworn by My blood-My own blood and entered into an everlasting covenant with Myself on your behalf through Jesus. The nail scars in His hands are the guarantee and seal of the covenant and you were there- you were in Me when I gave my life for you and now I want to give my life to you.”
When we entered our God Marriage with our spouse, we entered a blood covenant with them. A sacred, lasting covenant ’till death do us part.’ There are going to be times when we won’t feel like staying in the relationship. (the enemy will make sure of that!)
There are going to be times when the other does something against us that hurts our feelings or makes us angry, because we’re human and not perfect. But the One Who has bound us together in blood covenant is perfect.  
When we step out of ourselves, and step into Christ, everything, every perspective, changes.  
This goes for ALL relationships.
This is something that goes far beyond our own understanding or reasoning of the our natural minds.  
In and of ourselves, none is perfect. We are all flawed. We all have issues.
Our biggest problem is ourself. Our biggest answer is our God.
The devil will capitalize on our flesh, on our thoughts- knowing that we know we aren’t perfect- and rather than have us focus on OUR problems, he will have us (if we let him) focus on our SPOUSES problems. Or whoever else beside ourself.
The more we dwell there- the more we focus on these thoughts, the bigger their problem grows in our minds, and a wedge is formed, separating the ‘one’ God put together into two again, and then thoughts of wanting to give up form., and, like unattended weeds, will begin to choke the life out of relationships.
DONT SETTLE. Don’t listen to Satan, the deceiver and father of all lies!
Renew your minds to Gods Word, which is truth!!! Apply what you read. Gods Word works!!!
I want to encourage Christian marriages to be mindful of the COVENANT of our God-kind of marriage. It’s DIFFERENT than the worlds marriage, it’s different than other committed relationships.  
The ‘perfect’ part of marriage has nothing to do with us-the man or the wife, but everything to do with the Christ, who is in each of the two, drawing them into one.

Love never gives up, never quits, always perseveres, and keeps going to the end, depending on one another and on the God within to keep the covenant strong. God bless❣
(Covenant terms taken from the book  “The miracle of the scarlet thread”)