Drugs And Drinking:
What Do The Scriptures Really Teach?

Part I

II Timothy 3:1-4 -
1. Know this also: that in the last days perilous times will come.
2. For men will be lovers of themselves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3. Without natural affection, trucebreakers; without a truce, unforgiving, false accusers, WITHOUT SELF-CONTROL, brutal, despisers of those who are righteous,
4. Traitors; betrayers, headstrong, arrogant, LOVERS OF PLEASURE MORE THAN LOVERS OF GOD.

At this time we are in THE LAST DAYS, and this prophecy has truly come to pass. Much of today's SOCIETY is highly engrossed in PLEASING THEMSELVES! One of the TOOLS USED IN TODAY'S SOCIETY to please themselves is DRUGS!

Reading from The Mind, by Richard M. Restak, M.D., Bantam Books, 1988, pages 105-107, we find this information about the use of drugs.

Throughout history human beings have been conducting an uncontrolled experiment on the mind. They have used, and often abused, substances capable of acting on the brain to produce pleasure so overwhelming that the mind is wholly concentrated on attaining this pleasure. It becomes the motivating force in their lives - more important than food, companionship. . .safety, even life itself.

This drug taking is found worldwide. It exists in every culture. The drugs may be alcohol, which can be distilled from a wide variety of substances; cocaine, whose source is the coca leaf; marijuana, hashish, and related substances derived from cannabis, a hemp plant; and the opiates, from the poppy, which have morphine-like properties, and include opium, morphine, and heroin. Today, in addition to these naturally occurring substances, there are a wide variety of synthetic drugs - among them prescription seditives, barbiturates, amphetamines, and mood-altering medications such as tranquilizers - whose potential for abuse is also often exploited.

When we talk about the potential for abuse, we mean that a substance has the capacity to induce dependence in those who use it, whatever their need may be; the intense pleasure these substances arouse, or the blocking out of a reality the user finds frightening, disturbing, or in some other way unendurable. Some authorities make a distinction between psychological and physical dependence. Psychological dependence is a form of obsessive behavior whose objective is the attainment of pleasure or the avoidance of unpleasantness. . .

Physical dependence, which technically is termed addiction, occurs when the brain itself becomes biochemically changed because of the continuing consumption of a drug. Tolerance develops, causing the user to need increasing amounts of the drug for it to have its customary effect. Because of these biochemical changes in brain function, an abrupt stopping of the drug causes acute physical and mental symptoms, the withdrawal syndrome.

But whether or not there are changes in the brain, dependence so persistent and consuming that individuals organize their lives so as to sustain the behavior can properly be called addiction. Dr. Richard Miller, the director of a drug treatment program in Sacramento, California, says, "Of all the drugs and the compulsive behaviors that I have seen in the past twenty-five years, be it cocaine, heroin, alcohol. . . .all have one common thread. That is the covering up, or the masking, or the unwilingness on the part of the human being to confront and be with his or her human feelings.

Addiction to drugs is the most visible and shattering of all forms because it threatens the fabric of society itself. All too often, the risks - whether the anguish of the withdrawal syndrome or a drug's harmful or even potentially fatal consequences - do not matter to the addict. The drive to secure the drug is overwhelming. Abuse of addicting drugs has become epidemic in recent years, at appalling cost not only to the individuals whose lives (and the lives of those close to them) have been shattered by drugs, but to the civility and very structure of the social order.

The following article, from USA Today Magazine, Volume 117, November 1988, page 8, tells us about the cost of drug abuse to both individuals and society as a whole.

The $110,000,000,000 Problem: Drugs

America's love affair with illegal drugs is costing a fortune in death, addiction, and lost productivity - and it's getting worse each year. According to Federal statistics, the U. S. population smokes, snorts, inhales, injects, and swallows more than $110,000,000,000 in illegal drugs annually.

America has the highest level of teenage drug abuse of any industrialized nation in the world. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the average age of the first drug use is 13. One-third of children ages 12 to 17 (6,200,000 children) already have experienced with drugs. Sixteen percent still use marijuana. Twenty percent of high school seniors have tried cocaine or crack, its powerfully addictive derivative. The Weekly Reader reports that nearly one-third of our fourth graders are being pressured to try alcohol and marijuana.

In school or not, drugs are definitely big business - bigger, in fact, than the American automotive industry. In 1986, over $1,000,000 in cash and tangible assets (not including drugs) was seized each day by the Drug Enforcement Administration - more than $373,000,000 per year.

The financial impact on American business and government is even more staggering. Drug abuse added nearly $1,000,000,000 to the nation's health care bill in 1987. The nation's manufacturing facilities, government services, and other business operations lost more than $60,000,000,000 in productivity in 1987 as employees worked under the influence of illegal drugs. Of all crime in the U.S., 60-70% is drug related. In California alone, the economic inpact of drug abuse on the state's taxpayers is estimated at more than $17,600,000,000 annually. Other states report similar costs.

Millions of people, today and throughout history, have abused drugs and alcohol in an endless SEARCH FOR PLEASURE. The main reason worldly societies rely on these types of drugs is to ESCAPE the harsh realities of this sin-sick world.

The questions that the Called Out Ones of God must ask are: What does Yahweh say in The Holy Scriptures concerning the use of RECREATIONAL, MIND-STUPORING DRUGS, and the use of ALCOHOL, to the point of INTOXICATION? Notice Yahweh's words to the Children of Israel.

Leviticus 18:1-5 -
1. And God spoke to Moses, saying:
2. Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, I am the Lord your God.
3. After the doings of the land of Egypt where you dwelt, shall you not do; and after the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, shall you not do; NEITHER SHALL YOU WALK IN THEIR ORDINANCES.
4. You shall observe and do My judgments, and KEEP MY ORDINANCES, to walk in them. I am Yahweh.
5. You must therefore keep My statutes, and My judgments, which, if a man does, he will live through them, I am Yahweh.

The word ordinances in the previous verse is #2708 in Strong's Hebrew Dictionary, chuqqah and means: appointed, custom, or manner.

Yahweh makes it plain to us that we are not to follow the ordinances of any nation of people which are contrary to His Law. as Yahweh's called out people, we must NOT JUDGE OUR LIVES BY THE LAWS OR CUSTOMS OF THE WORLD. We must judge our lives according to the Laws of God just as Jesus Christ said in Matthew 4:4, if we desire life. The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 6:23 that "the wages of SIN IS DEATH." Knowing the "the wages of SIN IS DEATH, we must come to a complete understanding of what sin actually is.

What Is Sin?

Yahweh inspired Paul to write in:
II Timothy 3:16-17 -
16 All Scripture that is given through INSPIRATION OF GOD is profitable for DOCTRINE, for REPROOF, for CORRECTION, for INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS:
17 That the man of God may become perfect, THOROUGHLY FURNISHED FOR EVERY RIGHTEOUS WORK.

In effect, God inspired Paul to say that He furnishes us with a PERFECT EXAMPLE of what sin is and what sin is not. So, by studying the Scriptures, we can come to a Full Understanding of what is righteous and wrong. Therefore, there will be no doubt about "what" pleases God - Whom we Worship and Obey. Yahweh tells us in:
Proverbs 14:12 -

If we "believe" the Scriptures, then we can believe, just by reading the previous Scriptures, that we cannot decide for ourselves what is right or what is wrong. We should believe the Scriptures for they are the WORDS OF LIFE - OR DEATH, depending on whether we choose to Obey or Disobey God - Who Alone can give Life.

God has given us, through these Scriptures, the PERFECT WAY OF LIFE. If everyone lives by God's Way there would be Perfect Peace upon this Planet at this very time.

Some people "think" their "way" is better than God's Way. Other people who have MORE UNDERSTANDING can see instantly that "their way" would bring hurt to themselves and to others.

Yahweh, having MORE UNDERSTANDING ABOVE ALL OTHERS, has given a Perfect Way which brings hurt to none, but rather joy and peace for those who follow in His Way. Yahweh tell us in:
1 John 3:4 -
Whoever commits sin, transgresses also te Law; for SIN IS THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW.

The Transgression of God's Law, SIN, is the thing which brings hurt to you and everyone around you. The Transgression of Yehwah's Law, SIN, is what BRINGS ETERNAL DEATH, unless one repents of SIN and is forgiven by Yahweh. The Transgression of God's Law, SIN, is "what" we need to recognize; and we CAN if we know God's Scriptures! We are told in:
James 2:10-11 -
11 For He Who said: Do not commit adultery, also said: Do not murder. Now if you do not commit adultery, yet you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the Law.

Yahweh's Laws, Statutes, and Judgments are found principally in the FIRST FIVE BOOKS of the Bible - known as THE TORAH. The word Torah means Instruction or Law. The Ten Commandments are a CONDENSED OUTLINE of God's Plan of Law. If we break any one of God's Laws then we are guilty of having BROKEN THEM ALL! Jesus said in:
Matthew 19:17 -

God inspired Paul to write in Romans 7:7 that he would not have known what sin is except for God's Law, which made sin very clear.

If the apostle Paul would not even have known what sin was without having God's Laws to guide him, how much MORE we need the Scriptures to guide us in our quest for Eternal Life. Since only the Scriptures guide us to Truth and Life, then we need to SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES to see what they say about the use of DRUGS AND ALCOHOL.

The Use Of Recreational Drugs

The use of drugs by mankind is by no means a new practice. God was well aware of DRUG USE in the lands of Egypt and Canaan. God warned His people:
Deuteronomy 29:16-20 -
16 You yourselves know how we lived in the land of Egypt, and how we passed through the countries on the way here.
17 You saw the abomination of gods among them - gods of wood, stone, silver, and gold; elohim and teraphim,
18 I solemnly entreat you to enter into the covenant and oath, for fear that there may be among you a man, woman, clan, or tribe this day whose heart would turn away from God our Father, to go and worship the gods (elohim) of those nations; for fear there should be among you A ROOT THAT BRINGS FORTH GALL AND WORMWOOD - poison and bitterness: the consequences of practicing godworship (the worship of elohim and teraphim).
19 I solemnly entreat you to enter into the covenant and oath, so it will never come to pass, when that one hears the words of this curse, that he can congratulate and delude himself in his heart, and erroneously think: I will have peace and safety, even though I persist in going my own way. *GOD WILL HOLD ALL OF HIS SINS AGAINST HIM; HE HAS ACTED; SINNED, PRESUMPTUOUSLY, HE IS AS A DRUNKARD TOTALLY OUT OF CONTROL.
20 God will never be willing to spare him, for God shall break forth in a destructive fire, and His jealousy will burn against that man! ALL THE CURSES WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK WILL FALL UPON HIM, AND GOD WILL BLOT OUT HIS NAME FROM UNDER HEAVEN.

The first thing I want you to notice is the phrase "gall and wormwood." Most people in the world today read over these words without ever realizing the meanings they possess.

The word gall is translated from the Hebrew word rowsh which is listed as word #7219 in Strong's Hebrew Dictionary and means:

7219. ro'sh. roshe; or
rowsh (Deut. 32:32), roshe; appar.
the same as 7218; a poisonous plant, prob.
the poppy (from it's conspicuous head); gen. poison
(even of serpents); - gall, hemlock, poison, venom.

The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, by Benjamin Davidson, page 671, gives us this information about the word rowsh.

- VIII. a poisonous plant; accord-
ing to some, hemlock; others, colocynth.
Genenius, the poppy, whence opium;
and then for poison in general.

The word wormwood is translated from the Hebrew word la'anah which is listed as word #3939 in Strong's Hebrew Dictionary, and means:

3939. la'anah, lah-an-aw'; from the unused root
supposed to mean to curse; wormwood (regarded as
poisonous, and therefore accursed
): - hemlock, worm-

Gesenius' Hebrew Lexicon, on page 440, gives us this information about the Hebrew word la'anah:

an unused root. Arab. to curse. Hence -
fem. wormwood, Jer. 9:14; 23:15; Lam.
3:15, 19; Prov. 5:4; this herb is perhaps so called
as being noxious
(see the root) and poisonous (comp.
Deut. 29:17); as bitter herbs were commonly so
regarded by the Hebrews (compare Heb.12:13).

What few people in this world never realize is that the Hebrew words translated GALL AND WORMWOOD describes the plant sources of chemicals which cause the users to LOSE CONTROL OF THEIR MENTAL FACULTIES.

Most of the known substances that are abused as recreational drugs have their etymology in the words gall and wormwood.

We read earlier that thr Hebrew word rowsh, translated gall, refers directly to the opium poppy. Reading from Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary Of The English Language, Unabridged, Second Edition, copyright 1968, by The Word Publishing Company, we find that opium is:

o'pi.um, n. [L. opium; Gr. opiom, from opos, veg-
etable juice.] a narcotic drug prepared from
the juice of the unripened seed capsules of the
opium poppy; it contains such alkaloids as mor-
phine, codeine
, and papaverine, and is used
as an intoxicant
and medicinally to relieve pain
and produce sleep. A full dose is intoxicating
and exhilarating, but its effects are danger-
ous and fatal if taken in large quantities
. It
is heavy, of a dense texture, of a brownish-
yellow color, has a faint smell, and its taste
is bitter and acrid.

Notice characteristics given in this definition of OPIUM. It is described as an INTOXICATING NARCOTIC DRUG. Now notice the meanings of these two words from Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, copyright 1987, by Merriam-Webster Incorporated.

nar-cot-ic \nar-kat-ik \ n [ME narkotik. fr. MF narcotique, fr. nar-
, adj., fr. MI. narcoticus, fr. Gk narkotikos. fr. narkown to be-
numb. fr. narke numbness - more at SNARE] (14c) 1 a: a drug (as
opium) that in moderate doses dulls the senses, relieves pain, and in-
duces profound sleep but in excessive doses causes stupor, coma, or
b: a drug (as marijuana or LSD) subject to restriction
similar to that of the addictive narcotics whether in fact physiologically
addictive and narcotic or not 2: something that soothes, relieves, or
Narcotic adj (1601) 1 a: having the properties of or yeilding a nar-
cotic b: including mental lethargy: SOPORIFEROUS 2: of, induced by,
or concerned with narcotics 3: of, involving, or intended for narcotic
addicts - nar-cot-i-cal-ly \-i-k (e-)ie \adv

in-tox-i-cate \-se-kat \vi-cat-ed; -cat-ing [MI, intoxicatus pp. of intox-
, fr. I. in- + toxicum poison - more at TOXIC] (15c) 1: POISON 2
a: to excite or stupify by alcohol or a drug esp. to the point where
physical and mental control is markedly dimished
b: to excite or
elate to the point of enthusiasm or frenzy (intoxicated with joy)
in-tox-i-cat-ed \-se-kat-ed \adj (1576): affected by or as if by alcohol -
in-tox-i-cat-ed-ly \-kat-ed-le \ adv
in-tox-i-cat-tion \in-tak-se-ka-shen \ n (15c) 1: an abnormal state that
is essentially a poisoning (intestinal ~) 2 a: the condition of being
drunk: INEBRIATION b: a strong excitement or elation

So we see that the GALL AND WORMWOODspoken of in Deuteronomy 29:18 is referring to the wide range of substances used recreationally by those of this world which dull a person's senses and CAUSE LOSS OF PHYSICAL AND MENTAL CONTROl.

Besides opium, there are many other substances both natural and synthetic that are used recreationally by those of this world. The Holy Scriptures do not specifically name such substances as LSD, COCAINE, PCP, MARIJUANA, OR HEROIN. But it does give us the meanings of GALL AND WORMWOOD, the description of the effects of these substances on the human mind. These substances, regardless of what specific or legal classification they fall under, when used recreationally, are taken solely for the MIND ALTERING effect they produce.

Listed below are just a few of the many drugs that are commonly used in today's society. Keep in mind that in this search for pleasure, NEW DRUGS OR DERIVATIVES OF OLD DRUGS are developed or introduced every day.

Commonly, under the heading of NARCOTICS, are listed:

Opium: a yellow to dark brown, addicting, narcotic drug prepared from the juice of the unripened seed capsules of the opium poppy: it contains such alkaloids as morphine, codeine, and papaverine, and is used as an intoxicant and medicinally to relieve pain and produce sleep.

Morphine: (Greek Morpheus Gr. Mythology the God of Dreams, son of Hypos. . .The God of Sleep) A bitter, white or colorless, crystalline alkaloid, derived from opium and used in medicines to relieve pain.

Codeine: (Greek [kodeia - a poppy head]) An alkaloid, derived from opium and resembling morphine, but milder in its action and less habit forming; used for the relief of pain and in cough medicines.

Heroin: [fr. Heroin, a trademark] (1898): a strongly physiologically addictive narcotic that is made by acetylation of but is more potent than morphine and that is prohibited for medical use in the U.S. but is used illicitly for its euphoric effects.

Under the classification of DEPRESSANTS are chemicals which have a sedative effect. Among these are BARBITURATES which produce effects of SLURRED SPEECH, DISORIENTATION AND DRUNKEN BEHAVIOR.

Methaqualone (Slang-Quaaludes): A white, crystalline powder used in the form of its hydrochloride salt as a sedative and hypnotic.

Valium: A colorless, crystalline compound, useful in the symptomatic relief of psychoneurotic states manifested by tension, anxiety, apprehension, fatigue, depressive sympyoms or agitation.

Narcotics, sedatives, pain killers, tranquilizers and sleeping pills all have potential for abuse. These chemicals can affect the THOUGHT CONTROLS of one's MIND. The use of these chemicals for the sake of pleasure or escaping reality is SIN. Please be aware, however, that the use of medication for a GENUINE MEDICAL CONDITION, is acceptable to God.

Can you now begin to see GALL AND WORMWOOD in Deuteronomy 29:18 is speaking of the wrongful use of these drugs? And there are more. Among the drugs listed as STIMULANTS are included:

Cocaine: A bitter, crystalline Alkaloid that is obtained from coca leaves and was once used as a local anesthetic, can result in physiological and psychological dependence, and produces intoxication. A highly addictive derivative of cocaine known as CRACK has recently received a great deal of media attention because of its devastating effects on its users' lives.

Amphetamines: A white, crystalline compound used as stimulants for the central nervous system. A drug used to overcome mental depression, fatigue, etc., and to lessen the appetite in dieting.

Methamphetamine: An amine used in the form of its crystalline hydrochloride as a stimulant for the central nervous system and in the treatment of obesity.

These powerful stimulants of the central nervous system speed up the heartrate, adrenal production, and brain-body functions. Many believe these drugs to be a help and a blessing to their lives and decide to "prescribe" them to themselves. But these drugs are highly PHYSICALLY ADDICTIVE. The brain itself becomes BIOCHEMICALLY CHANGED by the use of these drugs. Tolerance develops, causing the user to increase the dosage in order to receive the intended effect. Stopping the drug use causes acute PHYSICAL AND MENTAL SYMPTOMS. The normal, energetic person is then unable to function without the "dose" of their drug. This dose becomes their one quest. Rather than seeking God with all their hearts - they now must seek the drug their bodies now "REQUIRE" in order to energize their apathetic bodies.

Several other drugs are classified as HALLUCINOGENS, substances that produce hallucinations. Notice the definitions of the following words.

hal-lu-ci-nate \ha-lus-n-at \ vb -nat-ed; -nat-ing [L hallucinatus, pp. of
hallucinari, allucinari
to prate, dream. fr. Gk alyein to be distressed, to
wander] vt (1822) 1: to affect with visions or imaginary perceptions
2: to perceive or experience as an hallucination ~ vt: to have halluci-
nations - hal-lu-ci-na-tor \-nat-er\n
hal-lu-ci-na-tion \ha-lus-n-a-shen\ n (1629) 1 a: perception of objects with no reality usu. arising from disorder of the nervous system or in response to drugs (as LSD) b: the object of an hallucinatory perception 2: a completely unfounded or mistaken impression or notion: DELUSION

When one is hallucinating, one is definitely not in complete control of one's mind. Drugs which are classified as hallucinogens include:

LSD: [lsergic acid diethylamide.] a chemical compound extracted from ergot alkaloids, used in the study of schizophrenia and other mental disorders and as a psychedelic drug: it produces hallucinations, delusions, etc. resembling those occurring in a psychotic state.

Mescaline: An hallucinatory, crystalline alkaloid that is the chief active principle in mescal buttons.

Psilocybin (Slang: Magic Mushrooms): An hallucinogenic drug obtained from a Mexican fungus and various other mushrooms.

Phencyclidine Hydrochloride or PCP: A chemical used experimentally some years ago as an anesthetic for humans, but discontinued because of adverse reactions. At the present time the FDA allows it to be used as a tranquilizer for animals only. PCP, know as Angel Dust on the streets, is a mind-destroying chemical with such adverse reactioins that the Reader's Digest was compelled to write an article warning of its hazards to our young people.

Hemp: a tall asiatic plant of the hemp family, a substance such as marijuana, hashish, etc., is made from the leaves and flowers of this plant.

Marijuana: Its dried leaves and flowers, smoked, especially in the form of cigarettes, for euphoric effects! Euphoric: a feeling of vigor, well-being, or high spirits.

Hashish: A drug formed from the resin contained in the flowering tops of Idian Hemp, chewed or smoked for its intoxicating and euphoric effects.

Marijuana and its related substances, have long been proclaimed harmless by its users. However, The Executive Health Report, October 1977, page 8, gives us this information about the so-called "harmless"drug marijuana.

David Powelson, M.D., formerly chief of psy-
chiatry, Cowell Hospital, University of California,
Berkeley, at one time advocated legalizing the use
of Marijuana. Later, after more evidence was avail-
able, he wrote: "I now believe that marijuana is
the most dangerous drug
we must contend with: 1.
Its early use is beguiling. The user is given an
illusion of feeling good; he cannot sense the dete-
rioration of his mental and physiological processes.
2. Its continued use leads to delusional thinking.
After one to three years of continuous use, the
pathological forms of thinking begin to take over
the thought process."

The word, ASSASSIN, is derived from the Arabic word HASHSHASHIN which means HASHISH USER. The Hashshashin were members of a secret sect of Moslems who killed Christians during the Crusades supposedly while under the influence of hashish. Are we really to believe that a drug that can lead one to MURDER is really harmless?

The drugs listed here are those most commonly used for recreational purposes, providing escape from reality while ALTERING ONE'S JUDGMENT AND UNDERSTANDING.
Deuteronomy 29:18-19 -

18 . . .for fear there should be among you a root that brings forth GALL AND WORMWOOD. . .
19 . . .so it never will come to pass, when that one HEARS THE WORDS OF THIS CURSE, THAT HE CAN CONGRATULATE AND DELUDE HIMSELF IN HIS HEART. . .

Yahweh is concerned that we hear and obey Him at all times. Yahweh knows that if the human body consumes the chemicals previously listed in order to escape reality or for pleasures sake, then that human may very well say to himself, "I will be secure, even though I persist in going my own way."

Those who use these drugs for their OWN PLEASURE go against God and His Word. Please keep in mind that God does not condemn all drugs. But as we just read in God's Law the illicit use of drugs for a recreational or mind altering use is condemned!
Deuteronomy 32:31-33 -
31 For thier rock is not as our Rock! Our enemies have even conceded this!
32 For their vines are vines of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah. THIER GRAPES ARE THE GRAPES OF GALL; poison of godworship (the worship of elohim), their CLUSTERS ARE FILLED WITH BITTERNESS; bitterness of idolatry: godworship ( the worship of elohim).
33 Their WINE IS THE DRAGON'S POISON, and the cruel venom of asps.

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