The Apple Of God's Eye

August 6, 2009

Should Christians Use Wine Or Grape Juice At Passover?

Should Christians use wine or grape juice at Passover? This question can get somewhat controversial if people don’t properly look to the Bible for their explanation. The ‘fruit of the vine’ Jesus gave His disciples was fermented wine, not grape juice. Grape juice could be made only in the autumn, and could not be preserved until spring. It was either fermented into wine, or else made into a heavy syrup that was used as a sweetener. This definitely was not grape juice or syrup! In Jesus’ day, the Jews used only fermented wine at the Passover.

The Bible nowhere condemns the drinking of alcoholic beverages — only their abuse. If we obey Jesus’ command – ‘This do…in remembrance of me’ (I Cor. 11:25) –we will drink a very small amount of wine once each year at the Passover service in remembrance of Christ’s shed blood.

May 18, 2009

Was Christ A Long Haired Nazarite?

Jesus was not a Nazarite.

Some have been misled by an erroneous interpretation of Matthew 2:23:

“And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.”

Many have concluded that this prophecy had to be a written prophecy recorded somewhere in the Old Testament. This is an unfounded assumption.

Since they could not find anything in the Old Testament about Nazarenes, they guessed that some similar word must have been intended. Using this erroneous reasoning, they went one step further in their folly and assumed that this scripture was referring to the LAWS (NOT prophecy ) about Nazarites.

Notice that the prophecy said that Christ would be called a NazarENE, not a NazarITE. A NazarENE is one who lives in Nazareth; and a NazarITE is one who has a nazarite vow, which is described in Numbers 6. Many Bible students have been confused by the similarity of these two words, although they are not at all related in their meanings. They are just as unrelated in meaning as some of our English words of today that have similar sounds, such as “encumber” and “cucumber.”

Christ was a Nazarene, a man from Nazareth. He was not a long-haired Nazarite. A Nazarite was forbidden to drink wine, but Christ drank wine on numerous occasions. Either He was never a Nazarite — or He broke His vows!

The prophecy — that the Saviour would be called a Nazarene — was not “written” in the Scriptures. Matthew says it was “spoken by the prophets.” It was a universally recognized ORAL prophecy that was authoritatively preserved from generation to generation by the priests. It became a WRITTEN prophecy only in New Testament times.

One verse, however, contains an interesting play on words — Isaiah 11:1. The word “branch” here is from the Hebrew “nezer.” This word is very similar to the Hebrew word for “Nazarene.” Perhaps the Jews at that time understood this verse to refer to someone from Nazareth.

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