Question: The Bible only asks people not to become drunken, but it does not ask people to abstain from drinking. Furthermore, Jesus changed water into wine, and He Himself also drank wine (Matt. 11:19). Should Christians try their best to abstain from drinking, or can they drink? Actually, in the church today some even drink wine openly. What should we do?
Answer: It is true that the Bible has not asked people to abstain from drinking. The New Testament commandment is to not be drunk with wine (Eph. 5:18). It is permissible to drink a little, but the concern is that a little may become a lot. As to what the Lord Jesus changed the water into, it was new wine. I myself do not drink wine, but neither do I abstain from wine, that is, from the cooking wine. If there is a drunkard in the church, he should be excommunicated (1 Cor. 5:9-13). Concerning this matter, we should follow 1 Corinthians 8:13.
THE DATE OF JESUS’ CRUCIFIXION
Question: I heard that a great American Bible expositor found out through his research that the Lord’s death indeed occurred in A.D. 30, on Wednesday, April 5th, from 9 o’clock in the morning to 6 o’clock in the afternoon. Yet now the church always commemorates the Lord’s death on Fridays. Furthermore, according to John 19:31 it should clearly be Friday. However, since John 20:1 says that on the first day of the week (that is Sunday), early in the morning while it was yet dark, they could not find Jesus in the tomb, I think He must have resurrected about midnight. If it was really on Friday, then the Lord Jesus died on that day in the late afternoon, and I think it must have been late at night when He was buried in the tomb. According to this calculation, how could the Lord have been in the tomb three days and three nights? Actually, it was only one day and one and a half nights. Which of these two dates is the correct one?
Answer: The idea that the Lord Jesus died on Friday is from the Roman Catholic Church. The saints who believe in the Bible have already denied this. But what a shame that the average person is still defenseless under the lasting effect of this poison. As far as the idea of a Wednesday death is concerned, Bible expositors from many countries also have this thought, but this would put the Lord Jesus in the heart of the earth for more than three days and three nights. The word of the Bible is the most reliable. Let us look at the Bible’s own testimony. Matthew 12:40 says, "So will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights." And 16:21 says, He will "on the third day be raised." Putting these two verses together, we know that the three days and three nights the Lord Jesus spoke about are not absolute. Rather, they refer to the third day. Luke 24 says that on the day of His resurrection the Lord Jesus met two disciples while they were on the way to Emmaus. As they talked about the death of the Lord Jesus, the disciples said, "Today is the third day since these things were done" (KJV). "Today" is the resurrection day. The Lord Jesus was resurrected the third day after He died. This is what Luke 24:21 says. The Lord Jesus was resurrected on the first day (Sunday) of the seven days. Three days ago was the fifth day of the seven days, which is our Thursday. The Lord Jesus died on Thursday. Hence, there is no contradiction between "the third day" and the word concerning three days and three nights. Part of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday constitute three days; and Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday night constitute three nights. There also is no conflict between "After three days He will rise" (Mark 9:31) and "on the third day be raised." In 1 Kings 12:5 the king told the people to depart "for three days." Verse 12 says that according to the king’s word they came back "the third day." Therefore, according to the biblical reckoning, "the third day" equals "after three days." The Bible does not command us to keep the so-called Good Friday or "Easter." These are just worldly pretenses to entertain the flesh, and they are altogether unprofitable for the spiritual life. The Bible only commands us to remember the Lord at His supper (1 Cor. 11:24-25).
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 07: The Christian (5), Chapter 16, by Watchman Nee)