God's Good Gifts
The best way to enjoy them is as God intended.
By Ellen G. White
Jesus Christ is the originator of all missionary work done in our world. He worked miracles to heal the sick, but He never worked a miracle in His own behalf. His first noted miracle was performed at a marriage feast in Cana, when He turned water into wine. . . .
By this miracle Christ wished to teach that unfermented wine is far preferable to fermented wine. Christ never created fermented wine. The wine made on this occasion was exactly like the wine that comes fresh from the cluster. Christ knew the influence of fermented wine, and by giving them pure, unfermented wine, He showed them the only safe way in which to use grape juice.1
I have a few acres of land that, when I purchased it, was set out to wine grapes; but I will not sell one pound of these grapes to any winery. The money I should get for them would increase my income; but rather than aid the cause of intemperance by allowing them to be converted into wine, I would let them decay upon the vines. . . .
Gifts of God
Apples and grapes are God’s gifts; they may be put to excellent use as healthful articles of food, or they may be abused by being put to a wrong use. . . . We stand before the world as reformers; let us give no occasion for … unbelievers to reproach our faith. Said Christ: “Ye are the salt of the earth,” “the light of the world.” Let us show that our hearts and consciences are under the transforming influence of divine grace, and that our lives are governed by the pure principles of the law of God, even though these principles may require the sacrifice of temporal interests.2
It is not safe, by any means, for some to have wine or cider in the house. They have inherited an appetite for stimulants, which Satan is continually soliciting them to indulge. . . . A professor of religion who loves these stimulants, and accustoms himself to their use, never grows in grace. . . .
No Laughing Matter
Many, as they read this, will laugh at the warning of danger. They will say, “Surely the little wine or cider that I use cannot hurt me.” Satan has marked such as his prey; he leads them on step by step, and they perceive it not until the chains of habit and appetite are too strong to be broken. We see the power that appetite for strong drink has over men; we see how many of all professions and of heavy responsibilities, men of exalted station, of eminent talents, of great attainments, of fine feeling, of strong nerves, and of high reasoning powers, sacrifice everything for the indulgence of appetite. . . .
Let all who profess to believe the truth for this time, and to be reformers, act in accordance with their faith. . . . We are to be followers of Christ, to set our hearts and our influence against every evil practice. How should we feel in the day when God’s judgments are poured out, to meet men who have become drunkards through our influence? We are living in the antitypical day of atonement, and our cases must soon come in review before God. How shall we stand in the courts of Heaven, if our course of action has encouraged the use of stimulants that pervert reason, and are destructive of virtue, purity, and the love of God?3
1 Christ Triumphant, p. 230.
2 Temperance, pp. 99-101.
3 Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Mar. 25, 1884.
Adventists believe that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry.