Is there any biblical basis for believers to choose to abstain totally from drinking alcohol today? An application to believers today of two OT passages about divine prohibitions of drinking by certain people in certain places shows why choosing total abstinence from drinking alcohol is biblical.
Priests Were Prohibited from Drinking Alcohol in the Tabernacle and Will Be in the Millennial Temple
God demanded that Aaron and his sons who were priests in OT Israel could not drink any alcohol whenever they would enter into the tabernacle of the congregation:
Leviticus 10:8 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, 9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: 10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; 11 And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.
God will also make the same demand of those who will serve as priests in the millennial temple:
Ezekiel 44:21 Neither shall any priest drink wine, when they enter into the inner court.
To understand how these passages have profound relevance to believers’ choosing to abstaining totally from alcohol today, we must bring to bear on our understanding not only what these passages teach us but also what the NT teaches is true of every believer.
NT Priests Who Choose to Abstain from Drinking Alcohol in Their Temples
Whereas only some of the people in Israel were priests, the NT teaches that every believer is a priest (1 Pet. 2:5; Rev. 1:6). Moreover, every believer’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19), which was not the case with the OT priests in Israel.
Arguing from the lesser to the greater in applying what God has revealed about His prohibiting priests from drinking alcohol within the tabernacle and the millennial temple to the truth that every NT believer is a priest whose body is the temple of the Spirit, it is biblical for NT believers to choose to abstain totally from drinking alcohol today.