With the festive season up and coming, we would not expect any of our readers to be consuming any liquor, but there are plenty in our communities who will be. This editorial marks out the dangers of drunkenness and where it will eventually lead the slave to the liquor habit, plus we will discover drunkenness of another nature.
“And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.” – Gen 9:20-23
Obviously Noah became intoxicated from drinking fermented juice from his own vineyard and his sons were aware of it. Shem and Japheth decently and respectfully covered their father but Ham had obviously acted disrespectfully towards his father, as the following text indicates Noah was not happy with his son. “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.” – Gen 9:24
This verse is rich with lessons for us. The Bible says, Noah awoke from his wine. Using the principle of opposites, if he awoke from his wine, his condition before he awoke would have been asleep, in a stupor, or a state of unknown of the goings on about him. The Bible says Noah awoke from his wine.
Second point, it was only after he awoke from his wine that he knew what his youngest son had done to him in this state of sleep, or comatose unconsciousness, where Noah was not aware of anything. There was nothing beneficial or detrimental to him. He awoke from his wine, became aware of his surroundings and of what had happened to him, and it was after awakening that he was upset with his youngest son and not only Ham himself, but also his progeny of generations to follow. “And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.” – Gen 9:25
What ever it was that Ham did to his father, he did it while the father was intoxicated and Ham was not. If two fully drunk people injure each other, in the state of drunkenness, each one can claim ignorance. Each can claim they had no idea what they were doing. Many cases have been dismissed because the offending party was 'out of their mind' because of drunkenness, insanity or self-defence, etc.
Ham knew exactly what he was doing, because he was in control of his faculties, Noah was unaware entirely and so what we have is someone who was fully aware of his doings, inflicting his mischief upon someone who was in an unconscious state of mind.
Lot and His Daughters
This account of Noah is not the only one recorded in the Bible. “And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.” – Gen 19:30
This is in the escape of Lot from the hell-fire of Sodom and Gomorrah. Initially He went contrary to what God had recommended, asked to go to Zoar, the smallest of the five cities of the plain of Jordan. But after having gone to Zoar, he realised that God’s plan was always the best, so he subsequently followed God’s leading and went to the mountains.
Then we have the account of a rather sad story of impurity, but it again involves drunkenness. “And the first-born said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth.” – Gen 19:31
These daughters of Lot were now fully aware that Lot's descendants were completely obliterate, no longer in existence. What they are saying is that every one has been consumed in the blaze that burned up Sodom and Gomorrah in the cities of the plain, which may well have included Admah and Zeboiim, the cities of the plain. Zoar for a time was spared, but due for destruction. “...Bela, afterwards called Zoar was but a few miles from Sodom and like it, was corrupt and doomed to destruction.” – ref. Patriarchs and Prophets p.161.
These two daughters decided they wanted Lot's lineage to continue. Consequently the only man that could assist them in their quest was their father. All the other men were dead. It is amazing to the depth that sinners will go to get their desired achievements. These two young women, Lot's own daughters, that he was willing to give to the perverted men who were after the two angel visitors at Lot's home just previously, were obviously given up to depraved morals. They would go to the depths of incest to achieve their goals and desires.
The story goes on. Those girls knew their actions would have to be disguised, that open discussion would not be an option as they laid their plans. There were more sinister plans to carry out. “Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night: and the first-born went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the first-born said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.” – Gen 19:32-36
Lot's condition was similar to Noah. Both men in their inebriated state had lost consciousness and had no idea what their children were doing to them. We don't have a Bible record of what Ham did to his father, but it seems he saw his father in his naked state and did nothing about it apart from telling his brothers. In Lot's case, the record is very clear of what the girls did to him. Both girls were in the plot, the first night they made their father drunk with wine and the elder daughter lay with her father, the next night they did it again and the younger daughter lay with him. “And he perceived not when she lay down or when she arose.” –v:36
Spiritual Lessons For Us
So in this case, we have two women, two churches and they got the man drunk – the spiritual priestly figures. They had just come from Sodom and Gomorrah and the two boys, Moab and Benammi, were born from illicit practices of incest and fornication. They were conceived through mischief, and in drunkenness. The generations that followed which became nations were constant problems to God's true people.
“And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)” – 2 Peter 2:7,8
It would seem that Lot was in his heart a righteous man, but the world of his time had a strong influence upon his girls and in a period of turmoil in his life, perhaps an unknown contamination of his food, or whatever method his daughters used, he was tricked into fathering children with his daughters while he was drunk.
Again, we look at the perpetrators and the victim. Lot was drunk – his two daughters were not. To take advantage of a drunk person and to be charged with a deliberate wilful crime, the perpetrator must not be drunk, because drunkenness robs a person of control of the reasoning faculties. The parallel is about identical. Noah was drunk, his son was not. Lot was drunk, his two daughters were not.
Turn of the Tables
“And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” – Rev 17:6
This time a woman is drunk, but not in the physical sense of the use of fermented wine. This is a different drunkenness. John sees her drunk but not intoxicated with a loss of conciousness of her surroundings. This woman is drunk with power over the people she purports to be hers and hers to control and many who are drunk with power go to extremes. This condition is a spiritual drunkenness. But none-the-less, the results of receiving wine is the same, physically and spiritually. And they go to extremes in the exercise of that power.
“And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 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.” – Rev 17:1,2
Now we have people made drunk with wine. This drunkenness of the inhabitants in Revelation 17:2 is different from the drunken condition from the woman in verse 6. This woman knows exactly what she is doing when she made the inhabitants of the earth drunk.
Another look at verse 1, “And there came one of the seven angels ...l will shew thee the 'judgment'”. If a judgment is to be upon this woman, she must have been aware of right and wrong and of her crime, and been previously announced as guilty. A guilty announcement must precede the outpouring of judgment and for that announcement to be made, that person must first be charged with a wilful violation of a standard of right. Committing a crime in genuine ignorance does not bring the condemnation of God.
“Jesus said unto them (Pharisees), If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. – John 9: 41
“If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.” – John 15:22
Christ is telling these leaders that before He spoke the word of life, they were not accountable to be charged with sin, but having heard His words and rejecting His counsel, condemnation was upon them. God is so merciful that he does not denounce those who sin out of genuine ignorance, but we must define what genuine ignorance is.
Spirit of Prophecy strongly endorses this. “None will be condemned for not heeding light and knowledge that they never had, and they could not obtain. But many refuse to obey the truth that is presented to them by Christ's ambassadors, because they wish to conform to the world's standard, and the truth that has reached their understanding, the light that has shone in the soul, will condemn them in the judgment.
“Those who have an opportunity to hear the truth and yet take no pains to hear or understand it, thinking that if they do not hear they will not be accountable, will be judged guilty before God the same as if they had heard and rejected. There will be no excuse for those who choose to go in error when they might understand what is truth. In His sufferings and death Jesus has made atonement for all sins of ignorance, but there is no provision made for wilful blindness.
“ We shall not be held accountable for the light that has not reached our perception, but for that which we have resisted and refused. A man could not apprehend the truth which had never been presented to him, and therefore could not be condemned for light he had never had.”– Last Day Events, p.218
But now lets reason back
The very fact that the angel tells John, “I will show thee the judgment of the great whore,” is not showing him if there will be a sentence, or determining the whore's guilt, but the actual pouring out of the punishment, because judgment sometimes means the actual punishment.
This judgment in Revelation 17 is the judgment detailed in chapter 18. “Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.” So the judgment upon this woman, this whore, this harlot will be poured out because she has been judged as a criminal – knowingly “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.” – Rev 17:2
The result of consuming this wine brings the judgment and punishment upon the receiver. For the days in which we live in ourselves, this still applies. “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 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 whole scene of Revelation 17 involves the fermented, numbing, intoxicating wine both in regards to the woman and to those with whom she shares her cup. It is a very damning situation to be in. As with Noah and Lot being drunk, family members were held accountable for the wrong they did to both their fathers and a curse followed the indecency for the generations that followed. Wrong was punished with the wrath of God's judgment. The record has been held current from the time it was committed to our very day. Ham was cursed, (Genesis 9:18-27) and the progeny of the union of Lot and his daughters, the Ammonites and the Moabites, were a thorn in the side of Israel for generations.
Intoxicating liquor only leads to ruin. Be very careful not to put a draught near your lips. The one selling the cursed liquor to the consumer is placed under a very heavy responsibility, as also the one consuming it. Jesus Christ is the only answer for such temptation.
As we come to the close of this article, even if you, as the reader don’t touch this dangerous product, there may be family members or friends you know that may benefit from the words here printed. By partaking of its content, it gives a sense of heightened pleasure and elation for a short time, but ultimately it is a soul destroying vice that bites hard and leaves ruin to the drinker, plus the families affected. We leave you with this powerful thought.
“Those who frequent the saloons that are open to all who are foolish enough to tamper with the deadly evil they contain, are following the path that leads to eternal death. They are selling themselves, body, soul, and spirit, to Satan. Under the influence of the drink they take, they are led to do things from which, if they had not tasted the maddening drug, they would have shrunk in horror. When they are under the influence of the liquid poison, they are in Satan's control. He rules them, and they cooperate with him.
“The appetite that is indulged creates an inflammation in the stomach and in the brain. The victim has no control of himself. He may take the lives of his wife and children, or the life of a friend or neighbor, without knowing what he is doing.
“The one who sells the drunkard the liquid poison should be the one held responsible for the evil deeds that the drunkard commits under the influence of the fiery draught.
“ I have a message from the Lord for the tempted soul who has been under the control of Satan, but who is striving to break free. Go to the Lord for help. Go to those who you know love and fear God, and say, 'Take me under your care, for Satan tempts me fiercely. I have no power from the snare to go. Keep me with you every moment, until I have more strength to resist temptation.'
“To those who are working for such ones I would say, ‘Open the Bible before the tempted, struggling soul, and over and over again read to him the promises of the living God. Hold fast to him until he has given himself, body, soul, and spirit, to God. In the past he has been ruled over by Satan, but by prayer and faith rescue him from this cruel power. Place his hand in the hand of Christ. Again and again the poor victim will be almost overcome by the craving for strong drink, but do not let him go. Labor for him as a true medical missionary, and God will bless your efforts.’”
– Letter to Dr Kress; Manuscript 20, p.83