“Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.” Proverbs 23:29-30
Traditional church teaching has in the past led me to believe this passage is only about one thing, the effects of earthly drunkenness. And I am not here to dispute that fact. In fact I have experienced this firsthand, and countless times, and in more than just one season of my life. So I am here to tell anybody who has any doubts, the above laundry list of “symptoms” is exactly what you get when you experience earthly intoxication.
So with that being said, the purpose of this teaching is to move out of spiritual elementary school and into maturity, the place where we can see and know the deep things of God’s heart and mind!
However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”- the things God has prepared for those who love him-these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches ALL things, even the “deep” things of God. II Corinthians 2:9-10
Over the years I have learned the following truth:
If there is something happening in this kingdom of appearances, then there is a parallel happening in the invisible Kingdom of His Dear Son!
Is it possible at this stage of spiritual maturity that the focus of this passage is about more than just the effects of earthly drunkenness? Hopefully at this level of maturity we are no longer focusing on Christian behavior, but have in fact moved beyond outward issues such as behavior, into the core reasons for our being here? Is it possible this passage is about something more than just the status quo teaching, something much more powerful… something we have not even looked into in times past?
Who has woe, who has sorrow, who has strife?
This to me sounds like a lot of believers who, not knowing or understanding their ordained place of rest, are still trying to “do” something for God in order to gain His love or acceptance! (Hebrews 3:7-4:11)
Sincere brothers and sisters who sincerely love God, but believe their life is still their own, and their purpose for being is to do a work… for God!
Jesus said “I only do what I see my Father doing!” (John 5:19)
Who was the One doing, and more importantly who is the One NOW… doing the work IN us?
For it is God who is at work within us, both to will and to do of His good pleasure! Philippians 2:13
And notice it doesn’t say it is me and God, but rather Him IN me!
The lie of all lies is that we live a separated existence apart from God! It is in fact the original lie and you can find it in Genesis chapter 3!
You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be “like” God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5
The serpent basically said, if you “do” then you will become… “like” God! And instead of becoming God, humanity inherited the ability to be “like” God. So much so, they could also see both good and evil… just “like” God! And what we all ended up with is a complete departure from the truth of seeing God as the All IN ALL, while being forced to settle for the hellish “mixed” bowls of wine! The “mixed” bowls which cause us to experience the same laundry list of symptoms as someone who drinks too much alcohol! And the reason we do is because we still believe and cling to the original lie, which is the lie of God… and! Not only have we believed it, but we have also adopted it, and in adopting it, we have embraced it to the point of making a graven image out of it! And today we serve and worship “it” and call “it” God! Is it any wonder why the prophet proclaimed the following?
Has a nation ever changed its gods (yet they are not gods at all). But my people have exchanged their Glory for worthless idols. Be appalled at this, O heavens, and shudder with great horror,” declares the LORD. My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me, the (One) Fountain of Living waters, and have dug (by their own strength) their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Jeremiah 2:11-13
They may not hold water but they do hold “to” something! What they hold to, is the bowls of “mixed” wine, the false belief that we are here to work FOR God! What they hold to, is a conditional and performance based perception of God which is as far from the truth as east is from west!
It is time for the people of God to stop trying to be good (why callest me thou good?) and stop trying to be godly, and while we are at it, stop trying to be “like” Christ! There is only One who can be like Christ and that is Christ Himself! It is only Christ who can live the Christian Life!
We are here to proclaim one message, the same message men and women have died for down through time, which is Christ IN us and as us! We are here (Christ IN us) to open the eyes of the blind, and lead them to the God who loves them without any performance based strings attached! We are here to proclaim the eternal Sabbath Rest for the people of God… and the mystery kept hidden from ages and past generations, but NOW revealed to us. (Colossians 1:26)
We are here to proclaim the Real Jesus, the Manna which neither we, nor our fathers (in the faith) before us have known. (Deuteronomy 8:16)
Which is by the way… Christ IN you!
IN Him, there is no “mixture” of any kind! There is no separation, deviation, division, denomination, or condemnation! He is our only hope of Glory!
Jesus is the pure Wine, the All IN All who fills everything in every way! And if He is the Vine, He is also the New Wine!
And unless (or until) the Body of Christ finally comes to the place of forsaking all, and like Peter, and eats of His body and drinks of His blood (the New Wine) then we can also have no part IN Him! Unless we move from an external “arm’s length” relationship with Him, into the internal, “open and laid bare” place that He desires, we will forever see ourselves as a house divided!
So let’s move away from vain religious forms of godliness that have no power! Let’s proclaim our absolute and total abandonment to Christ as our Life! And in doing so, let’s once and for all leave behind the bowls of “mixed” wine, and enter into the ordained place of Rest which God has proclaimed that some must enter IN by faith! (Hebrews 4:6)
And not by our limited human faith, which isn’t faith at all, but by the unlimited expanse… which is the faith “of” the Son of God! (Galatians 2:20 KJV)
Bowls of “mixed” wine?
Yes, but NOW redefined as the “different gospel” of separation and division, doctrines of men that cause us to see more than God. And in our seeing more than Him, we are forced to see and believe the things that are not real, just like someone who is thoroughly intoxicated.
Foreigner… one of my favorite classic rock bands from the 70’s, had a hit song that sums up where most are today in their relationship with God! Their top selling song, titled “Double Vision” describes what people experience when they drink way too much alcohol.
When we walk in separation, and a duality which still sees God as being the distant God “up there” we have no other choice but to walk in a form of that same “Double Vision!”
Let’s look at what James has to say about it;
“But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a “double-minded” man, and “unstable” in all he does. James 1:7-8
Unstable IN all he does? Sounds to me like a symptom of earthly drunkenness, much like those described in the above Proverbs 23 passage?
“Anyone who listens to the Word but does not (allow the Spirit to) do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. James 1:24
He “forgets” what he looks like? Sound like yet another symptom of earthly drunkenness doesn’t it?
And I haven’t even covered the whole Proverbs 23 list.
What about the bruises, complaints, and bloodshot eyes? Are these just more of the “sufferings” experienced by the believer who continues to sample the “mixed” bowls of wine, which we know now as the “mixed” message of Grace plus law? The “not-so-good-news” of the “different” gospel? (II Corinthians 11:4, Galatians 1:6)
And finally Jesus Himself has something to say about “Double Vision.” And about seeing more than One, which is really what this “mixed wine” teaching is all about.
No one can serve” two” masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. (or God and anything else for that matter) Mathew 6:24
The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is “single”, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is “evil” (or double) thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is IN thee be not darkness. Luke 11:34-35
All of the above passages have to do with seeing more than God, or sampling bowls of “mixed” wine. So, since we NOW know the truth, let us commit to seeing… Only God Only NOW… IN all things.
What’s more, God promises to bring the needed clarity so we can see just exactly as He sees.
“All of us who are mature should take such a view of things, and if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear, only let us live up to what we have already attained.” Philippians 3:15-16
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