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Friday, October 20

Wine, Deception, and Jesus -- Truth Exposed!

"A must-read for exposing all professing Christians to the age-old deception that has divided God's People from Him for way too long!" --Keith, Brenda, and the TTM Team

We all face challenges in pursuing the process of "becoming one" with God our Father. If you haven't yet, be aware, you will have opportunities for compromise presented to you along the way. Much like Esau gave up his entire birthright to his brother, Jacob, in return for a piece of bread, a bowl of beans, and something to drink, we all have times in our lives when we're enticed away from our own, personal inheritance in Christ, only to yield to the temptation to pursue idols, or little "g" gods, instead of remaining faithful to The One and Only Living God of the Universe. You know who and what the idols often are: relationships with the wrong people; selfish pursuit of prominence in the eyes of those around us; escapisms like doing drugs, shopping, watching pornography or TV, alcohol addictions, etc. No matter how long we have been a Christian, we can never discount the spirits of temptation trying anything and everything they can to lure us away from God, to lure us into the jaws of compromising situations; situations whose "reward" is always death or separation from God. This is, after all, the true definition of death itself! "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death (James 1:14)."
           As Christians, it is of the utmost importance that we understand what sin really is. When most people hear the word "sin" mentioned, their first thought or impression is usually substance abuse, illicit sex, murder, stealing, and the like. It really goes so much deeper than that! Although those offenses are referred to as sins, they are only referred to as such because of their individual or collective abilities to, if committed, drive a wedge between us and God. I like to call "sin" what it really is, anything that separates us from our Heavenly Father! It really is that simple! If we truly cherish God and want to grow in our relationship with Him, we must learn that temptation is Satan's primary weapon in the war to lure us away from God.

           So... how does drinking alcohol separate us from God? Alcohol is a poison in that it kills whatever it touches. The word "toxic" means poisonous, and that is the center of the word "inTOXICation." When a person drinks a beverage that contains alcohol, the poison will inflict damage on the brain and other major organs. If consumed in enough quantity, the person will become disoriented, along with losing self control, and even consciousness. All of this is contrary to maintaining God consciousness. You may ask, "What's the big deal? I don't drink that much." Do you really think God approves of poisoning your body, even just a little? For the believer, the Scripture calls their body the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Poisoning your own body is called defiling the Temple of the Holy Spirit. "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)." "If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are (1 Corinthians 3:17)."

           During the time when Jesus physically walked the earth, they had no safe way of purifying their drinking water. Because of this, they relied heavily on fruit juice as their primary means of safe and nourishing hydration. They also had no way of refrigerating or preserving juices that had been derived from their fruit harvest. When they would extract the fresh juice from the fruit, they would store it in small leather sacks called wine skins. This "fresh" juice was referred to as "wine." This is where many people in the Church today have been and are being terribly deceived. In Christ's day, the best wine was always the freshest fruit juice. For example, the first miracle that Jesus performed was actually turning water into wine or fresh fruit juice. Here is how John recorded the event:

           Jesus said it this way, "And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus said unto him, They have no wine. Jesus said unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother said unto the servants, Whatsoever he said unto you, do it. And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. (A firkin was about nine gallons.) Jesus said unto them, Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. (All told there were about 162 gallons.) And he said to them, Draw out now, and give it to the governor of the feast. And they gave it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And said to him, Every man at the beginning (when the feast starts) doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now (John 2:1-10)."

           In other words, the governor of the feast was totally amazed at the fact that the juice was so fresh! It was as if it had just been picked and squeezed all within that same hour, when in a matter of speaking it had been! Society back then was for the most part very moral and would never even think of bringing strong drink or "the old stuff" to such a sacred event. That would have been a terrible insult to all in attendance, a show of disrespect! Believe it or not, anyone who drank "old wine" or fermented drink was viewed by society much like we view someone who eats out of a dumpster.

           On the other hand, it is not like that today! In our present culture, things have become so turned around that wine is the name given to fruit juice that has gone bad through the process of fermentation. It is this fermentation process that produces the alcohol in it. It is of the utmost importance that we realize that there were varying stages of fermentation. In other words, each week that the wine (juice) sat in the bottles it would ferment more and more. Due to the lack of refrigeration, the fermentation process literally began taking place during the first week that the juice was stored in the wine skins. The time that it took to ferment was in great part determined by the temperature at which it was stored. Because the fruit harvest was done in the warmer part of the season, the wine skins would have naturally been stored in warm conditions. The longer the fruit juice sat in warm environments, the stronger or more fermented it became.

           That is why the word "wine" was a blanket term used to describe the juice from the time it had been freshly squeezed throughout each of its various stages of fermentation. For instance, wine (juice) that was three weeks old, would have developed a little bite to it; wine that was seven weeks old would have a bigger bite; and so on. Once it had come to full age, however, it was not to be consumed. When it reached that point, it was no longer referred to as wine, but was referred to as strong or fermented drink, and was to be thrown out! "Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it gives his color in the cup, when it moves itself aright. At the last (meaning when it has fermented) it bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder (Proverbs 23:31-32)." That scripture was a warning to stay away from the juice once it had sat around too long and had fermented or "gone bad."

           Unless you are on your deathbed, the Bible does not, never has, and never will condone the consumption of strong or fermented drink for the purpose of becoming, even in the slightest bit, mentally impaired! As a matter of fact, the only place in the scriptures where the consumption of strong or fermented drink was justifiably permitted at all was in Proverbs 31:6 where King Lemuel had recited a prophecy that his mother taught him. He said, "Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts." The heavyhearted were never permitted to drink strong or fermented drink; only the dying were! And that was simply for the purpose of relieving them of any pain they might suffer in the final days before they expired.

           Strong or fermented drink was never intended to be used for any other reason! Can you see how Satan has been able to take advantage of the Church's lack of knowledge concerning the consumption of alcoholic beverages? By keeping this a "gray" issue as he has, he has been able to corral untold millions of churchgoers into a lukewarm life of compromise, hence destroying any ability they might have to conduct a pure and close personal relationship with God. "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shall be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children (Hosea 4:6)."

            It is time to wake up and realize that this is simply another ploy of our enemy to separate God's people from God and all of the wonderful things that He has waiting for them. "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise (Proverbs 20:1)." "But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble [in] judgment (Isaiah 28:7)." Compromise in any form will always serve to ultimately cost us in our pursuit of becoming one with God! Whether it is alcohol, the abuse of street or prescription drugs, food, television, or anything else, Satan is constantly working to get his foot in the door of our lives to ultimately impair our ability to hear the voice of our loving Heavenly Father.

           "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God (Ephesians 5:15-21)." "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:1-2)."

YES... Jesus Did Drink WINE;

           We must come to the place in our hearts where we know without a shadow of a doubt that, "There is nobody or nothing worth our relationship with Jesus Christ!"

Stay clear-minded and self-controlled y'all!
Keith, Brenda and The TTM Team

             Pray this prayer, RELAX, and watch what God will do...
           "Dear Father God, in the precious Name of Jesus Christ, the King of kings and the Lord of all lords, I lay my life at Your Feet. I come before You, confessing that I am a sinner, and I ask for You to forgive me of all my sins - those that I know I have committed, as well as those that I am not even aware of.  I ask that You come into my heart and be my Lord. I lay my life, and everything in it, at Your Feet, and ask that You please take me and begin to change me to be like YOU. I ask that You redeem the time that has passed, and allow me the opportunity to become exactly what You have predestined me to be, from before the foundation of the earth. I commit my life to You now, and thank You for receiving me as Your own. In the wonderful Name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, I pray, Amen."  And AMEN!!!

            WELCOME HOME!

            We want to congratulate you for making the greatest decision that you'll ever make! By accepting Jesus Christ, or rededicating your life to Him, as your personal Lord and Savior, you have begun the wonder-full process of being grafted into the family of God, and we welcome you "Home" to God's Family. We would also like to invite you to contact us so that we can send you information that will help you begin growing in your relationship and daily walk with God. We would encourage you to begin attending a Holy-Spirit-filled, Bible-believing church right away.

            Begin reading The Holy Bible daily, whether you understand it or not. Always remember, God's written Word in The Holy Bible is like no other book that has ever been written! When we rendezvous with The Person of The Holy Spirit as we read what God has written there, it becomes stored in our heart for The Holy Spirit to access it to bring to our remembrance.  You will find that the Scriptures will become applicable to whatever you are going through, at any given time!

            There are wonderful Bible teachers on television and on the radio that can, especially early in your walk with God, help you to begin receiving good teaching, and encouragement, right away. Although very informative, these programs are never to be a substitute for close relationships with people who love and serve God. At times, the transformation process that you have now begun will be difficult, and you will be tempted to go back to your old ways of living your old life. It will be during times like these that hanging out with strong Christian friends and mentors will be crucially important. There really IS strength in numbers!

            To help you grow in your journey to, as Jesus prayed in the garden, become *one* with our Father in Heaven, we have teaching resources that, if taken to heart, will help lead you INto ONEness with Christ Jesus. We have books, music CDs, customized individual teachings, blogs, podcasts, Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn messages, and videos you can take advantage of simply by contacting us. We would like to be among the first to welcome you into the Family of God... right where you "belong", now and always! (Selah)

            And remember, no matter what, Keep PRESSIN' IN...  learnin', and growin' *with* our Lord and Savior.  You might consider using our book  LETTERS FROM THE FRONT, the special collection of keys to defeating hindrances that have kept many of God's servants from walking with the confidence and authority that Jesus Christ died to give us! Twelve life-changing teaching chapters:

Sin Makes Ya Stewpit!
The Cart's Before the Horse
The Crisis of Eroding Integrity
The Fruit's on the End of the Limb
Too Quick to Compromise
The Rarest of All Breeds!
Please...Stop Stinkin'
Three Keys to God-Pleasing Faith
Let It Go
Understanding the Fear of The Lord
Into the Secret Place
Give to Give

  To help you further your fight to victory through the battles that confront every one of us in these turbulent times we live in, get your copy of our book, " LETTERS FROM THE FRONT." In this collection of 12 letters written from the front lines of battle fought in the spiritual, natural, and theater of the mind, Keith's Scripture messages will build your faith and help you reach God's full potential for your life.
available at
TowardTheMark online.

We pray God uses this message, and all of our resources, to fan the flame in your heart for Christ Jesus, His wonder-full Ways, and His Plan and Purpose for you in this life. If you have any questions about our work, or if you would like to make a special tax-deductible donation, place a special order for any of our books, magazines, or CDs, or to share a testimony or prayer request with us, please  e-mail us. Also feel free to write a letter and mail it to TOWARD THE MARK, P.O. Box 1152, Yorktown, VA 23692-1152.
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Your friends and servants in Christ,

To Show GOD BIG in a World that Sees Him small… 
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