Category Archives:Depression

Satan Loses Another Battle

Change is something we tend to fear and become anxious about because we do not feel in control of life. The good news is that God has a plan for your life, hope, a future, and to prosper. If we trust in God and allow the change to grow us to become more like Jesus Christ in how we respond and act, then we are promised that all things will work together for good for those who love Him and keep His commandments. Romans 8:28

This weekend we met a single mother of four children who are in foster care for the time being. We are elated and thankful to God  that with His leading,  we were able to her to get the help and support that she needs . She is a homeless, Christian woman struggling with addiction, depression, lack of self worth, and a need to escape domestic abuse. God has provided a roof over her head, a wonderful support group,  and hope for a productive future.

There is always hope.

If you struggle with addiction, abuse, depression, anxiety, fear and panic disorders, self-mutilation, suicidal thoughts and/or tendencies, or any of the other issues mentioned on this website, please reach out to us. You do not need to be in our home town to receive our help. We will do whatever we can to get you the help and support that you need.

Please email your story to us at outofseasonministries@outlook.com.

All names are kept anonymous.

All we ask is that you allow us to pray for you and help in any way we are able.

You are not alone. God desires to show you His love. I beg you to allow Him.

God already knows you are afraid. All He asks is that you step out in faith.

Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].

Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. Philippians 4:6-8

Death Has No Victory Over the Child of God

When a bee stings you, it leaves its stinger in you along with part of its abdomen and digestive tract, thus killing the bee.

The same is true when Jesus died on the cross. In his continuing hatred for God’s Son, Satan thought it a boundless idea to have Jesus betrayed, arrested, beaten, and then crucified on a Roman cross, a most barbaric way to die.  However, everything went as God had planned, and the sting of death defeated itself.

So where is the sting of death for the believer? It is ripped out because at the cross, Jesus took the stinger out of death. As Christians, we no longer need to fear death because our souls will live on forever with Christ. Halleluyah!

He will swallow up death [and abolish it] for all time.
And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
And He will take away the disgrace of His people from all the earth;
For the Lord has spoken.

Isaiah 25:8

Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol (the place of the dead)?
Shall I redeem them from death?
O death, where are your thorns?
O Sheol, where is your sting?
Compassion is hidden from My eyes [because of their failure to repent].

Hosea 13:14

And when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then the Scripture will be fulfilled that says, “Death is swallowed up in victory (vanquished forever). 55 O death, where is your victoryO death, where is your sting?”

 

1 Corinthians 15:54-55

Lose Yourself to Gain Yourself

And He (Jesus) was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me].

Luke 9:23

When I was dealing with discouragement and despair I noticed that it was because I was putting my focus and trust in everything else besides God. I was constantly dwelling on my problems and taking my eyes off of God.

Self-preoccupation is disorienting, because when we are looking at ourselves we are not looking to Jesus. and we are not looking at the road we are running on. The Bible states that Jesus is our example in Hebrews 12:1-2:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].

Note: Sometimes the public shame of the cross is overlooked when one thinks of the pain and agony inflicted by it, but in the Roman Empire crucifixion was a shameful and disgraceful way to die, a form of capital punishment from which Roman citizens were exempt; and in Roman comedy it was used in a curse: “Go to a bad cross!”

It is disappointing because we never find in ourselves what we are looking for. Therefore, it frequently leads to discouragement and despair. Ironically, we are often lured into self-centered introspection, which leads us into a vicious cycle of self-improvement efforts, self-indulgence, self-disillusionment, and new self-resolves.

When you do this that gives the devil an opportunity to tell lies such as God is not near you and He will not help you.

Please don’t listen to these lies. I found out what I was doing wrong and I went into prayer mode.

Take your eyes off the things of this world. Allow difficulty to bring you to your knees in prayer. Fight off those lies by crying for help. Trust in the Lord, not your circumstances.

The Bible states that Satan is a liar and deceiver. Follow:

Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack—rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone.] 1 Peter 5:8-9

The one who practices sin [separating himself from God, and offending Him by acts of disobedience, indifference, or rebellion] is of the devil [and takes his inner character and moral values from him, not God]; for the devil has sinned and violated God’s law from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8

Jesus tells us that if we are not of Him, we are of the devil:

He who is not with Me [once and for all on My side] is against Me; and he who does not[unequivocally] gather with Me scatters. Matthew 12:30

He who is not with Me [believing in Me as Lord and Savior] is against Me [there is no impartial position]; and he who does not gather with Me [assisting in My ministry], scatters. Luke 11:23

43 Why do you misunderstand what I am saying? It is because [your spiritual ears are deaf and] you are unable to hear [the truth of] My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and it is your will to practice the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar and the father of lies and half-truths. John 8:43-44

The key to overcoming despair is keeping your mind on the Lord, which will keep your mind at peace.

Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value]. Colossians 3:2

Take your eyes off the things of this world. Allow difficulty to bring you to your knees in prayer. Fight off those lies by crying for help. Trust in the Lord, not your circumstances.

But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness[His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. Matthew 6:33

Does Jesus Understand Your Pain?

Yes, He does!

Consider this direct prophecy of Jesus Christ from the book of Isaiah.; fulfilled in book of Matthew.

The Lord God has given Me [His Servant, Messiah] the tongue of disciples [as One who is taught],

That I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.

He awakens Me morning by morning,

He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple [as One who is taught].

5 The Lord God has opened My ear,

And I have not been rebellious

Nor have I turned back.

6 I turned My back to those who strike Me,

And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard;

I did not hide My face from insults and spitting.

7 For the Lord God helps Me,

Therefore, I have not been ashamed or humiliated.

Therefore, I have made My face like flint,

And I know that I shall not be put to shame. (Isaiah 50:4-7).

 

Here the Lord Jesus Christ is speaking as the servant, and as the obedient servant of the Father. You remember He said, “I came not to do My will but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 5:30). I do always those things that please the Father” (John 8:29). Here he said, “The Lord God hath opened my ear, I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.”

He submitted Himself to the Father’s will. It’s a beautiful picture of the submission of Jesus Christ unto the Father, even to the death of the cross.

We are told in the scripture that Pilate had Him scourged. Now the scourging was a beating of thirty-nine stripes laid across the back of a prisoner with a whip that they call the cat-of-nine-tails whip. It was a leather whip with little bits of cut glass and lead imbedded in it that would rip open the flesh. The purpose of the scourging was to elicit confessions.

A refusal to confess, each lick would be a little harder, again, to encourage confession. “And as the lamb before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth” (Isaiah 53:7). He said, “I gave my back to the smiters.” But He had no sins or crimes against man to confess. And Jesus was scourged by the Roman government. He received thirty-nine stripes, laid across His back.

We are told that they covered His face and they began to buffet Him. They began to hit Him. Now when you can see a blow coming, you have certain natural reflexes of fainting with that blow so that you more or less cushion the blow by an automatic reflex of pulling your head back as you see the blow coming. Our bodies are marvelously coordinated. So our minds have an automatic reflex action, even as you blink your eyes there is a certain pulling back reflex when you see a blow coming that cushions the blow. Otherwise, boxers would kill each other all the time in the ring. But you see how they are moving and you do that instinctively and automatically. Now they covered the face of Jesus so He could not see the blows coming. So that He could not instinctively pull back. So that the blows landed on His face with full force until they had beaten Him to the place where His face was so bloated and so marred, and along with them pulling our His beard by the fistful, His face was so distorted that you could not even recognize Him as a human being. (Isaiah 52:14).

26 So he set Barabbas free for them; but after having Jesus severely whipped (scourged), he handed Him over to be crucified. 27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium, and they gathered the whole Roman cohort around Him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet [b]robe on Him [as a king’s robe]. 29 And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and put a reed in His right hand [as a scepter]. Kneeling before Him, they ridiculed Him, saying, “Hail (rejoice), King of the Jews!” 30 They spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him repeatedly on the head. Matthew 27:26-30

 

Spitting is a sign in the oriental culture of total disdain and disgust. The Jews not only rejected Him, but they spit upon Him. ” I did not hide my face from their insults and spitting.”

“And as many as saw Him were astonished, shocked, and we hid as it were our faces from Him” (Isaiah 53:3). Jesus was not a pretty picture when He redeemed you from your sin. His face was a bloody, bloated mass, swollen and distorted beyond recognition. Covered with spit. His back laid open by the beating. A crown of thorns upon his head. And Pilate said, “Behold the man!” But you couldn’t even recognize that He was a man. And yet He did it. He endured it. He did not turn away. His ear was open. He submitted to the will of the Father because He loved you. “And who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross” Hebrews 12:2), even though He despised the spitting, even as you would. And the shame of the whole thing. He despised it; yet, He endured it because His love for you was stronger than anything else. And the joy of being able to wash you and redeem you and to cleanse you from all of your sins was the thing that kept Him going in that moment of disgrace and ignominy. How much He loved us. Oh, God, help us to respond to that love.

 

 

 

 

Trial of Our Faith

The afflictions of serious Christians are designed for the trial of their faith. God’s design in afflicting his people is their probation, not their destruction; their advantage, not their ruin: a trial, as the word signifies, is an experiment or search made upon a man, by some affliction, to prove the value and strength of his faith. This trial is made upon faith principally, rather than any other grace, because the trial of this is, in effect, the trial of all that is good in us

 

Rejoice in this, even though for a little while you may have to experience grief in various trials. Even gold is tested for genuineness by fire. The purpose of these trials is so that your trust’s genuineness, which is far more valuable than perishable gold, will be judged worthy of praise, glory and honor at the revealing of Yeshua the Messiah.

Without having seen him, you love him. Without seeing him now, but trusting in him, you continue to be full of joy that is glorious beyond words. And you are receiving what your trust is aiming at, namely, your deliverance.  1 Peter 1:6-9

The apostle grants they were in great affliction, and propounds several things in mitigation of their sorrows. 1. Every sound Christian has always something wherein he may greatly rejoice. Great rejoicing contains more than an inward placid serenity of mind or sensation of comfort; it will show itself in the countenance and conduct, but especially in praise and gratitude. 2. The chief joy of a good Christian arises from things spiritual and heavenly, from his relation to God and to heaven. In these every sound Christian greatly rejoices; his joy arises from his treasure, which consists of matters of great value, and the title to them is sure. 3. The best Christians, those who have reason greatly to rejoice, may yet be in great heaviness through manifold temptations. All sorts of adversities are temptations, or trials of faith, patience, and constancy. These seldom go singly, but are manifold, and come from different quarters, the effect of all which is great heaviness. As men, we are subject to sorrows, personal and domestic. As Christians, our duty to God obliges us to frequent sorrow: and our compassion towards the miserable, the dishonour done to God, the calamities of his church, and the destruction of mankind, from their own folly and from divine vengeance, raise, in a generous and pious mind, almost continual sorrow. I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart, Romans 9:2. 4. The afflictions and sorrows of good people are but for a little while, they are but for a season; though they may be smart, they are but short. Life itself is but for a little while, and the sorrows of it cannot survive it; the shortness of any affliction does much abate the heaviness of it. 5. Great heaviness is often necessary to a Christian’s good: If need be, you are in heaviness. God does not afflict his people willingly, but acts with judgment, in proportion to our needs. There is a conveniency and fitness, nay, an absolute necessity in the case, for so the expression signifies: it must be; therefore no man should be moved by these afflictions. For yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto, 1 Thessalonians 3:3. These troubles, that lie heavy, never come upon us but when we have need, and never stay any longer than needs must.

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Be Aware: Occult Symbolism that is Hidden in Plain Sight

Over thirty years ago I was involved with Menconi Ministries, an organization founded on keeping parents involved in their children’s lives. The purpose was to aid parents and grandparents in connecting communicating with their children and grandchildren so they could instill family values and lead them to Jesus. One of these ways was to be informed as to the music these children were listening to and to share with them the dangers of the modern day musicians. As most of you know, Lucifier, (Satan) was the Worship leader in Heaven. He  is now the worship leader of the Earth. Not of Christ Jesus, but to himself. This is a perfect example:

There are many symbolisms and occult references that stand out in the music culture today. From historical artifacts, to the music artists today, it seems the occult world has never really gone away, but in fact has become more flagrant and blatant. The problem is that many are unaware of the meanings behind what many consider to be just artistic entertainment that appeals to the senses with no real hidden meanings, or agendas behind them. There are many artists that promote their music through occult influence. The evidence that will be provided will show striking similarities with occult ideologies that are synonymous with many artists in the music industry.

Kanye West is a popular musical artist who promotes music and imagery with deep occult meaning, which is rooted in Freemasonry. The pictures presented will parallel historical pictures from ancient cultures to recent ones. There are too many similarities for it to be just coincidence. The music culture has aligned itself with something much more than just poetic lyrics and sounds, but is progressing into something much bigger that is symbolic of the veil that is thinning between the physical and spiritual realm. It is important to be aware of the occult agenda that is manifesting in greater force these days.

The representation of the pillars behind Kanye West are ubiquitous with many cultures as an entrance, or gateway which holds the key to power and enlightenment. Kanye West is pictured at the gateway as the chosen one to represent the hidden rulers of the world that reside behind him.

The ancient Egyptian god, or deity known as Horus was considered to be the Sky god, which represented the symbol of the single seeing eye. The one eye is the most well known in occult symbolism as the all-seeing-eye; the Great Seal of the United States originates from Horus

The symbolism of Horus is very important in Freemasonry. The path of the initiate, through the Masonic degrees, is described as the process by which the Eye of Horus is opened.

The pillared gateway is for the exclusive illuminated ones. Kanye West is wearing a Horus pendant, which has importance and significant meaning not only in ancient Egyptian culture, but in Freemasonry as well.

The horned females next to Kanye represent two goddesses ofancient Egypt, Isis and Hathor. Isis was the goddess of nature, magic, and motherhood. Hathor was the goddess of music, dance, and fertility. They are known as the protectors of the dead as they journey into the afterlife.

In the occult, the initiate symbolically dies and is reborn. Kanye West is standing under the sword of Damocales as part of a Masonic ritual to obtain the 33rd degree. The rite happens in public; the more there are witnesses, the more power is given. In a metaphorical sense, Kanye West kills off his former self and is reborn to receive power right in front of the eyes of the public audience.

 

Eight Ways Jesus Suffered for You

1. He was betrayed by His disciple Judas. Jesus’ pain was not just physical. Can you imagine the sorrow He felt when one of His own trusted friends became the ultimate traitor? We aren’t exactly sure how to calculate the modern value of 30 pieces of silver, but many scholars suggest about $950. All the pain Jesus endured on Good Friday began the night before, when Judas took blood money to have his Master arrested.

Think about it: There’s a bit of Judas in all of us, and we all betrayed Jesus to get our own way. Yet He chose to forgive us!

2. He was abandoned by His other followers. We often focus on Peter’s denial of Jesus. But the Scriptures remind us that all of Jesus’ disciples “left Him and fled” after His arrest (Mark 14:50, NASB). Jesus had to suffer alone. All the men He had taught and invested in for three and a half years abandoned Him in His hour of need.

Think about it: Jesus paid it all. He accomplished His work of redemption without our help. But He forgave us for our denials!

3. He carried the burden of the sins of the world. Jesus’ greatest agony didn’t start on the cross. It began at Gethsemane, where God laid on His Son the sins of the world. Jesus agonized so intensely in those moments that He sweat drops of blood (Luke 22:44). Scholars say He probably developed a condition known as hematidrosis, in which blood is emitted through the sweat glands because of intense stress.

Think about it: Your sin was transferred to Jesus’ account, and He bore the punishment you deserved!

4. He was falsely accused and rejected by Jewish leaders. Can you imagine the heartache Jesus experienced when the very people He was sent to save spat in His face, blindfolded Him, cursed Him and accused Him of blasphemy? The Sanhedrin set up a kangaroo court and sentenced the Son of God to death.

Think about it: Jesus did not open His mouth in self-defense when He was falsely accused. Now, when Satan accuses you, Jesus argues your case and declares you not guilty!

5. He was mocked and abused by Roman guards. After Pilate caved into pressure from the Jews, Roman soldiers flogged Jesus with a whip, drove a crown of thorns into His scalp, beat His head with sticks and mockingly pretended to worship Him. The flogging alone—which would have involved leather cords with pieces of lead or bone attached—would have drained much of Jesus’ blood.

Think about it: Jesus could have called on angels to stop His torture—but He chose to endure the pain because He loved us!

6. He was crucified between two thieves. We cannot even fathom the pain of crucifixion. Metal spikes were driven into Jesus’ hands and feet, and He had to slide His mangled body up against the wood of the cross in order to catch His breath. And because it was the habit of Romans to crucify criminals naked, Jesus endured the ultimate shame. What’s more, He hung on that crude cross next to two men who had been convicted of crimes—while He was completely innocent.

Think about it: We should have been on death row, not Jesus. But He took our place!

7. His body was pierced with a spear. Even after Jesus took His last breath, a soldier jabbed a spear up through the chest cavity—most likely to make sure Jesus was dead. John tells us that blood and water spilled out (John 19:34), evidence that the spear pierced the pericardium, the sac around the heart. Jesus’ heart was literally broken for us.

Think about it: Just as Adam’s side was opened to bring forth the first woman, Jesus’ side was opened to bring forth the church. His piercing produced a fountain of life for us!

8. He tasted death for all. This is the most horrible reality of the cross. Christ did not die metaphorically or symbolically. He died literally. The Son of God, who had never sinned—and who was least deserving of death—died so we could have life. His heart stopped beating, He stopped breathing and His spirit left Him. First Peter 3:18 says: “For Christ also died for sins once and for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God.”

Think about it: Because Jesus died in our place, we no longer have to die. Eternal life is His free gift to us!

This Easter season, ponder the steps the Savior took from Gethsemane to Golgotha. Look at His nail-pierced hands and feet. Take a careful survey of His wondrous cross, and thank Him for hanging there six hours for you.

 

Be Persistent

Preach the word [as an official messenger]; be ready when the time is right and even when it is not [keep your sense of urgency, whether the opportunity seems favorable or unfavorable, whether convenient or inconvenient, whether welcome or unwelcome]; correct [those who err in doctrine or behavior], warn [those who sin], exhort and encourage [those who are growing toward spiritual maturity], with inexhaustible patience and [faithful] teaching.

2 Timothy 4:2 AMP

Persist:

When it seems the anointing has run completely dry.

When it seems heaven has forgotten you’re alive.

When you feel uninspired. Tired. When you’ve been fired.

When your faith shows no results.

When your obedience has not paid off.

When your prayers seem like wasted breath.

When your bones feel dead–and so does the Word.

Persist. Jesus is on His way. Your anointing has not run dry. Heaven has nor forgotten you’re alive. You have not believed for nothing. The results of your faith will soon sprout from that fallow ground. Just a little more rain. Just a little more thunder. Your obedience will pay off. You have not wasted a single breath on prayer. There is still life in your bones and, child of God, there is still life in His Word. Persist!

Christians and Alcohol

Amazing Fact
According to Paul Harvey, tests show that after drinking three bottles of beer, there is an average of 13 percent net memory loss. After taking only small quantities of alcohol, trained typists were tested and their errors increased 40 percent. Only one ounce of alcohol increases the time required to make a decision by nearly 10 percent; hinders muscular reaction by 17 percent; increases errors due to lack of attention by 35 percent.
Is it biblically permissible for a Christian to drink alcohol? If so, how much?
This controversial subject has evoked many passionate opinions among Christians. Why? Is God’s Word silent or in any way unclear about alcohol?
I submit that the Bible is in no way ambiguous when it speaks on alcohol and how it relates to God’s followers. I hope the following study will assist you in forming your own biblically based conclusions on this important subject.

Two Opposing Camps
Among Christians, there are two primary camps of thought on this sensitive topic. The first group argues that Jesus Himself drank wine, and since a Christian is a follower of Christ, how can it be forbidden? And generally, they add with a moderate air: “but even so, drinking should not be done to excess.”
Then there is the other position: Alcohol is an addictive and destructive drug that no sincere Christian should use to any degree.
Of course, between these two diametrically opposed poles, there are countless variations of opinions. In fairness, I will state from the beginning that I am firmly in the unfermented camp! I believe that scriptural references to Jesus’ use of wine are of the grape juice variety.

What Is Alcohol?
Let’s begin with a definition. There are many forms of this compound called alcohol. However, there is no mistaking that all of them are classified as poisons—toxins to the human body. The alcohol found in beverages such as beer, wine, and brandy is ethanol (C2H5OH), a clear, highly flammable liquid that has a burning taste and a characteristic odor.

What happens when one consumes this type of alcohol? Well, death usually occurs if the concentration of ethanol in the bloodstream exceeds about five percent! But even for those who use it sparingly, immediate behavioral changes, impairment of vision and unconsciousness can occur at lower concentrations. That’s interesting, isn’t it? That’s exactly the same effect that other illicit drugs such as heroin, and even marijuana, have on those who use those substances. I doubt there are any Christian churches that would ordain the use of these drugs in even a casual social setting—or even to “calm the nerves” before bedtime. Is there any reason that alcohol should not be included in this list of drugs to avoid?

Two Types of Wine-Biblically Speaking
The word “wine” in the Bible sometimes refers to the new—or fresh juice of the grape; other times it is used to describe the aged or fermented product containing the drug alcohol. The translators never used the term “grape juice.” In the Hebrew text, the writers use different words to distinguish between the two. The word tîyrôsh is used for new unfermented wine, and yayin is generally used for fermented wine. However, in the New Testament, only one Greek word is used to describe both fermented and fresh grape juice: oinis . But this shouldn’t be a problem. By simply understanding the context of the word in a passage, the appropriate meaning will usually surface. So unless the passage says old or new wine (as in Matthew 9:17, Mark 2:22, and in Luke 5:37–39:And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new [fermenting] wine will [expand and] burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 39 And no one, after drinking old wine, wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is fine”), the context will often tell us what kind of grape juice is being described. Note: A skin was a bag made from the skin of an animal. New wine was always put in a new bag so that the bag would stretch as the wine continued to ferment, and then the bag would harden. An old bag would burst if new wine was put in it. Obviously, the new wine would be the fresh unfermented kind.
Additionally, from the Old Testament, in Isaiah 65:8, we read,

“This is what the Lord says,

“As the new wine is found in the cluster,
And one says, ‘Do not destroy it, for there is a blessing and benefit in it,’
So I will do for the sake of My servants
In order not to destroy all of them.

It is clear in both these passages that the new wine is simply grape juice.

Clarifying Confusing Verses
The whole of Scripture is clearly and adamantly against the consumption of alcohol, but human nature will look upon any textual ambiguity as a “loophole” to justify drinking alcohol.
An example of this reasoning is the wedding in Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine. “And when the headwaiter tasted the water which had turned into wine, not knowing where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew) he called the bridegroom, 10 and said to him, “Everyone else serves his best wine first, and when people have drunk (or have become intoxicated) freely, then he serves that which is not so good; but you have kept back the good wine until now!’” (John 2:9,10). Those who support the intake of alcohol suggest this must have been alcoholic wine—after all, it was a wedding, and every wedding has wine—right? But let’s pause to consider the implications. There were six pots for Jesus to fill, and each of those would hold 20 to 30 gallons. That’s up to 180 gallons of beverage!
Are we to believe that Jesus made 180 gallons of a destructive drug—enough to get every guest drunk and launch this new marriage with slurring lips and staggering feet? Indeed, He would have been acting against His own Word! Examples: Habakkuk 2:15 “Woe (judgment is coming) to you who make your neighbors drink,
Who mix in your venom to make them drunk
So that you may look at their nakedness!”
Luke 12:46:  the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut (a hyperbole for severe punishment short of execution) him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

Ephesians 5:18:  Do not get drunk with wine, for that is wickedness (corruption, stupidity), but be filled with the [Holy] Spirit and constantly guided by Him).

If we approach this passage relying on the whole of Scripture, we must surely come to the conclusion that Jesus made unfermented wine—and the governor of the feast complimented the groom on its pure quality. (John 2:4610: Jesus said to her, “4[Dear] woman, what is that to you and to Me? My time [to act and to be revealed] has not yet come. 6Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification (ceremonial washing), containing twenty or thirty gallons each. 10and said to him, “Everyone else serves his best wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then he serves that which is not so good; but you have kept back the good wine until now.

Whatever the Heart/Soul Desires
There are additional passages of Scripture that at first glance might lead a person to think drinking a little fermented wine in moderation might be biblically condoned. In the next few sections, we will address some of the verses that are sometimes construed to condone fermented wine, when in fact they do nothing of the sort.
 You may spend the money for anything your heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or [other] strong drink, or anything else you want. You shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household. Deuteronomy 14:26. The phrase “strong drink” is translated from the word shekar. A Shekar is condemned by Solomon as a “brawler” (Wine is a mocker, strong drink a riotous brawler; And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise. Proverbs 20:1). And Isaiah pronounces a woe upon those who “run after strong drink(shekar)” (Woe (judgment is coming) to those who rise early in the morning to pursue intoxicating drink, Who stay up late in the night till wine inflames them! Isaiah 5:11). Strong drink was also prohibited from the priests “(This prohibition may imply that intoxication precipitated the irreverent behavior that resulted in the death of Aaron’s two older sons)Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the Tent of Meeting, so that you will not die—it is a permanent statute throughout your generations— 10 and to make a distinction and recognize a difference between the holy (sacred) and the common (profane), and between the [ceremonially] unclean and the clean;11 and you are to teach the Israelites all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them through (Lit by the hand of) Moses.” Leviticus 10:9–11, and Nazarites as stated in Numbers 6:2–4: Say to the sons of Israel, ‘When a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, that is, one separated and dedicated to the Lordhe shall abstain from wine and strong drink; he shall drink no vinegar, whether made from wine or strong drink, nor shall he drink any grape juice nor eat fresh or dried grapes. All (Lit All the days of his consecration and so throughout) the time of his separation he shall not eat anything produced from the grapevine, from the seeds even to the skins and in Judges 13:3–5: And the Angel (“Angel” has been capitalized here to reflect the likelihood that it is God appearing in a visible form (see v 22 and note Gen 16:7) of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold, you are infertile and have no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son. Therefore, be careful not to drink wine or [any other] intoxicating drink, and do not eat anything [ceremonially] unclean. For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite (The rules and regulations for a Nazirite are stated in Numbers 6:2-21. Ordinarily a person would take the vow of a Nazirite for a limited period of time as a voluntary act of dedication to God, but Samson’s was a special, divinely-ordained case) [dedicated] to God from birth; and he shall begin to rescue Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”

So how could God so clearly condemn the use of “strong drink” in one place in the Bible, and yet approve of it in another place? Like the word yayin (“wine”), shekar is a generic term that could refer to either an alcoholic beverage, as noted above, or to a sweet, unfermented drink as is indicated in Isaiah 24:9: They do not drink wine with a song; Strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.

Shekar is defined by the Popular and Critical Bible Encyclopedia as: “Sweet Wine or Syrup. Shechar, luscious, saccharin drink or sweet syrup, especially sugar or honey of dates or of the palm-tree” or “Date or Palm Wine in its fresh and unfermented state.” In fact, “sugar” and “cider” are derivatives from shekar. Therefore, since shekar could mean either a sweet unfermented drink or an intoxicating drink, we must interpret the word according to the context of the verse. Would God encourage the use of tithe money to purchase a beverage that causes intoxication, health problems and diminishing of moral capacities? The only reasonable conclusion is that this verse is referring to the sweet palm-wine beverage in its fresh and unfermented state.

The Last Supper
Many argue that if Jesus partook of wine at the Last Supper, and even employed it as a symbol of His purifying blood, then how can drinking a little wine, even just casually, be erroneous? Indeed, the very seeds of the New Testament were watered with wine from the Last Supper. There is no arguing that Jesus used wine at the Last Supper, but it is a mistake to assume that the wine was of the fermented variety. 
28 for this is My blood of the [new and better] covenant, which [ratifies the agreement and] is being poured out for many [as a substitutionary atonement: By laying his hands on the head of the sacrifice the one offering the sacrifice identified himself with it and through its death it became an atonement or covering for his sin. Because the unblemished sacrifice “covered” his sin, it placed the one offering the sacrifice in a right relationship with God, just as later under the new covenant the perfection and sacrifice of Christ would cover (atone for) the imperfection and sin of those who identified with Him and accepted Him as Saviorfor the forgiveness of sins.29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom. Matthew 26:28–29. Indeed, here Jesus uses the new wine as a symbol of His new covenant with His people. Jesus also calls wine the “fruit of the vine.” However, after wine goes through the process of fermentation, it is no more the fruit of the vine than yogurt is the fruit of a cow.
Furthermore, we also know that the Passover meal was to be free from all forms of leaven ( Seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses; whoever eats what is leavened shall be cut off and excluded from [the atonement made for] the congregation of Israel, whether a stranger or native-born. Exodus 12:19). Fermentation is the identical process of leavening! If the bread was to be free from leaven, which is a type of sin, then we can be sure that the wine, a symbol of Jesus blood, used at the Last Supper would also be free from the poison of alcohol. The perfect, sinless blood of Jesus would never be symbolized by corrupt and putrefying old wine.
Jesus compared His pure teachings to wholesome new wine (Nor is new wine put into old [a]wineskins [that have lost their elasticity]; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the [fermenting] wine spills and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, so both are preserved. Matthew 9:17). Indeed, all corrupted doctrines are likened to the fermented wine of Babylon! Babylon was identified as a place “with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication” (she (Lit Babylon) with whom the kings of the earth have committed acts (figurative reference to cult worship practices and idolatry) of immorality, and the inhabitants of the earth have become intoxicated with the wine of her immorality. Revelation 17:2).

When Jesus hung parched on the cross, Roman soldiers offered him fermented wine mingled with myrrh. But as soon as Jesus tasted it and recognized it was fermented, He refused it. If Jesus refused this beverage even as His body was tormented with extraordinary thirst, why would He have drank wine normally (they offered Him wine mixed with gall (myrrh, a bitter-tasting narcotic) to drink; but after tasting it, He refused to drink it Matthew 27:34)? And more to the point, why then should we?

The Most Deadly Substance on Earth

Abraham Lincoln said, “Drink is a cancer in human society, eating out its vitals and threatening its destruction.” So much devastation is caused by alcohol in our community, on the roads and in homes, that this is hardly a bold or surprising statement. Indeed, even if the Bible were silent on the subject, the object lessons of devastation from a thousand years of history would still be crystal clear. But the scriptures say plenty.
Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause? Whose eyes are red and dim?
30 Those who linger long over wine, Those who go to taste mixed wine.
31 Do not look at wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the glass,
When it goes down smoothly.
32 At the last it bites like a serpent And stings like a viper.
33 Your [drunken] eyes will see strange thingsAnd your mind will utter perverse things [untrue things, twisted things].
34 And you will be [as unsteady] as one who lies down in the middle of the sea, And [as vulnerable to disaster] as one who lies down on the top of a ship’s mast, saying,
35 “They struck me, but I was not hurt! They beat me, but I did not feel it!
When will I wake up? I will seek more wine.”
(Proverb 23:29–35).
Is it a wonder that with a nation consumed by the false merriment of alcohol, it encourages consumption even to our youngest? There is strong evidence supporting widespread alcohol use and the surge of crime committed by young adults—and even children. (Did you know there are 3.3 million problem drinkers in America’s high schools alone?)
Today, they still teach “moderation” with alcohol, but history has shown that moderation with an addictive drug is impossible.

According to Zig Ziglar, authorities know that approximately one in sixteen people who ever take a social drink will become an alcoholic! Would you even step one foot on an airplane if you knew there was a one in 16 chance that it would crash and end your life? (Actually, the odds for a commercial airliner crashing are closer to one in a million—but even with those odds some people will not fly. Yet many of these same people will take a drink!)
Consider this other well-known fact: In the next 24 hours, alcohol will be responsible for nearly half of all…

  • … the homicides.
  • …the people who will die on the highway.
  • …the people who will be admitted to the hospital.
  • …the people who will be incarcerated in jail or prison.
  • …the people who will be arrested for domestic violence.
  • …the people who will be born with birth defects.

In addition, alcohol deserves a mention for being responsible for a quarter of all suicides.
It’s clear enough from these appalling statistics that any clear-thinking citizen, especially a Christian, would feel profound conviction to avoid a drug that accounts for a veritable tidal wave of misery to every culture it touches. If we truly love our brother and God, how can we defend drinking alcohol in any degree? Paul said he would neither eat flesh or drink wine or do anything that caused offense to a brother: “It is good [to do the right thing and] not eat meat or drink wine, or do anything that offends your brother and weakens him spiritually” Romans 14:21).

With so many alcoholics struggling to be saved from their addictions, we must never cause them to stumble again by being even slightly inconsistent in our example.
So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you. Come close to God [with a contrite heart] and He will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; and purify your [unfaithful] hearts, you double-minded [people]. James 4:7-8
Put simply: It lowers a Christian’s resolve to resist temptation. Why would any Christian want to make it easier for the devil to snare them? Many men and women have awaken after a night baptized by a few glasses of wine or bottles of beer to discover they have violated the Seventh Commandment and forever scarred their lives and reputations.
Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” John 8:36

Everyone Worships Something. Yes, I Said Everyone!

While I am NOT an expert in any of these areas, I have experienced many of them. By the grace of God I am an overcomer. It is a daily struggle but I trust in Him to get me through one day at a time. He has brought me through so much in my 58 years of life; He can and will do same for you if you will allow Him.

As a child, I led a normal life with the exception that I felt closer to my dad than my mom. At the age of 13 I discovered that my mom was not my birth mother. Truly it did not matter, as she always loved me as her own. My only regret is that my parents had not been honest with my step-brother (I call him brother to this day) and I sooner.

When I was a baby, 1-1/2 years old, my biological mother left my two half-brothers and I with my dad to be with another man. Granted I was too small to remember, but my half-brothers were older. After approximated six weeks following her departure, my dad took my two half-brothers to their maternal grandmother’s house a short distance away from where we lived. We were not to see one another until I was 19 years old.

My mom, the one who raised me, married my dad when I was 4 years old. She brought with her my brother with whom I was raised. We had a fairly normal life. We were a happy family. About two weeks before my 13th birthday I was caught shoplifting at our local mall. I had been shoplifting for close to two years by this time. Honestly, I was glad that I was caught. I knew right from wrong and it ate me up inside. You see God has created all of us with the need to worship. Who or what we choose to worship is our choice.  Praise and worship seems to be universal. Have you ever heard of an explorer finding a new tribe or culture that doesn’t worship? Worship is a natural instinct and a basic need for every person. A simple definition of worship is to regard with great devotion or to honor as a divine being. Take a second to think about what you are most devoted to in this life and ask yourself, “Is it worthy of my devotion; do I worship a divine being?”

We don’t all worship the same God, but everyone worships something or someone. Since we all worship, we should question the reason for this desire. The most logical conclusion is that we were created by a higher being for the very purpose of worship. Addiction is a worship problem.

The ongoing quest of man is to find answers to the fundamental questions of human origin, human nature, and human destiny. There is one book that has the answers to all these questions, including our questions about worship. The Bible is the wonderful and mysterious book that God has chosen as a way to communicate with us. God loves you and will not force you to love Him back. That’s genuine love.

The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17.

In the weeks to follow I will be sharing more of my journey thus far with you in hopes that God will touch your life and lead you to a relationship with Him. He never promises that we won’t go through trials and suffering, but if you are truly a child of God, He promises to get you through it. Jesus teaches us, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. I implore you to give Him chance. You will NEVER regret it.

Please feel free to contact me through this website, confidentially of course. I have added a ‘contact me’ page for this purpose.   I do not have all the answers, but I will do my best to get you any help you might need throughout this journey we call life. Blessings to you all.