What was fermented was wisely mixed so that it purged the water and diluted the intoxicating capability. This sermon is from the Lord’s Day pulpit ministry of R.C. "If you accept his message, if you accept Me as your Messiah, if you accept the kingdom that I bring, he will have fulfilled that Elijah prophecy." Matthew 11:11 records Jesus saying, "Truly,” or verily, or amen with solemnity and emphasis I say to you, “Among those born of women, there has not arisen anyone greater than John." What higher calling than that, to be the instrument by which God produces conversion? Donate Now; Automatic Giving; Legacy Giving; Ways to Give; Unleashing God’s Truth, One Verse at a Time Since 1969; Subscribe & More ) .) And so he... No man had ever had that privilege, no man had ever had that honor, no man had ever been at that level of greatness in terms of human calling. He was going to the top level. Hang on. Guest. We have yet to see it unfold in the text of Luke and already our hearts are exhilarated by this greatness and challenged by the calling in our own lives to the great spiritual joy of being in Your kingdom, which is a greater greatness than anything human. Over in verse 67 his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied. There were two Old Testament words which he would have known very well for wine. It comes from a verb meaning "to be drunk." He's going to get people ready for Messiah's arrival. The mission, passion and purpose of Ligonier Ministries is to proclaim the holiness of God Wine was used in that society, it was used, remember in John 2 at a wedding. Not only that, do we not have the privilege of being filled with the Spirit of God? Before the Lord came into the world He would send His messenger. This is not unusual in some special unfolding of God's purposes. He had no formal education. I give you that because it's a technical term for “conversion.” There are going to be a lot of conversions under his ministry. John's greatness is not spiritual. Number one, his greatness evidences itself in his personal character, his personal character. I read to you this morning John 1 verse 6, "There came a man sent from God whose name was John. Chapter 23, of course, even a further warning, verse 20, "Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine." Could he be greater than Elijah taken to heaven in a chariot? And are we not continually enjoined in the New Testament to be being kept filled with the Spirit? And it rejects drunkenness and a love for drinking. You also will remember he finished his priestly duty and went home and the miracle occurred. Jeremiah, the great prophet, chapter 1 verse 4, "The Word of the Lord came to me saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you and before you were born, I separated you. Now that leaves room for another thought: What if they don't believe, because they didn't. Literally he was going to be used by God to bring about conversions so you would have a group of people ready for the Messiah's arrival. He will be great in the sight of the Lord. This again is the strongest possible way to express sovereign election, God's sovereign elective choice of John to salvation and to sanctification and to service. And it is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.". They wanted the feeling and the pleasure of drunkenness. We've been given the ministry of reconciliation. As well as the outside, though, look at the inside, verse 15, and it's the inside that made the outside possible. And in the midst of his excitement wanted to give her anything and she asked for the head of John on a platter. "You will go on before the Lord to prepare His way." He's going to preach, calling people to convert, calling Israelites, sons of Israel back to the Lord their God, back from their disobedience, back from their apostasy, back from their rebellion, back from their love of iniquity, back from their self-righteousness. And there are judgments pronounced on drunkards. In fact, if he happened to be drunk and he was doing his priestly duty, God had said he might die. He will go as a forerunner before Him. The Bible teaches life begins at conception and here is a life capable of being controlled and dominated by the Holy Spirit before it’s ever coming into this world, before birth. Why? Yayin refers to fermented wine. I mean, if you go down there and you've gotten yourself in an inebriated situation, you could lose your life, offering some kind of strange fire to the Lord because you're in a drunken condition, doing something that was not appropriate to the ceremonies that were prescribed by God, treating God with such diffidence...or indifference, as to be inebriated when you come into His holy presence. So the question is, is John Elijah? Now it says, verse 17, that he came as a forerunner before the Messiah in the spirit and power of Elijah. That's the statement Jesus made. But in God's eyes, he was great. Luke 7:28, we're right back where we started. The answer comes in chapter 7 later on. Our Lord’s great tribute to John the Baptist. So it may be...we could say, "Well John didn't drink wine or strong drink cause he was just going to take the high ground. So God provided that as a beverage, grape juice. And Jesus says, "If you believe the message, if you believe the gospel, if you believe Me, he will fulfill that Elijah prophecy. This is a beverage designed for one purpose and that is to help you lose your self-control, undiluted fermented beverages from fruit or grain, such as whiskeys and beers, consumed for the purpose of intoxication because they wanted to get drunk.