Archive Tag:Addictions

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.

 

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

Are You Struggling With Addiction (s)? 

Although a churchgoing Christian,  for many years I had secret addictions, sex and primarily, drugs.  What I have learned is that instead of depending on my own power , I learned to be filled (continually as Ephesians 5:18 teaches) with the power of The Holy Spirit.  That is where I found my Victory.  Halleluyah! It was not until I finally admitted defeat and began to humbly walk with the True and Living God,  the Creator of heaven and earth and all living things,  that I began to experience freedom.  I know without a doubt that there are many others like myself who are struggling with addiction;  perhaps drugs,  perhaps gambling,  perhaps sex or even abuse.  Take it from me hope is available.  Call on Jesus.  Yes,  you may need rehab but consider it a blessing,  a start to your freedom..  Might I suggest that you also confide in someone you trust (I confided in Pastor Chuck Smith) and use a facility that is led by Christ.  I pray this will bless you. Don’t beat yourself up.  Besides,  God Almighty already knows.  Nothing is hidden from Him.  He loves and values you.  You are His treasure !