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They Were Not Drunk As You Suppose! – Part 1
Oftentimes the Pentecostal/charismatic faddish experiences wane only to surface again with renewed vigor and influence. Take for example drunk in the Spirit (the close cousin of being slain in the spirit). This was first widely promoted by a man from S. Africa, Rodney Howard- Browne that Benny Hinn promoted at his meeting. It was then brought to Toronto then to Brownsville and spread everywhere as a spiritual virus with no inoculation.
Looking back at the experiences that have become part of the “open church” should immunize us against accepting practices that go further than the Biblical parameters allowed. Often the same aberrant practices come back with even greater intensity when they are permitted again.
Lets look at the Scripture they use- Acts 2 where it says they were drunk in the Spirit. Well not exactly, if one wants to make a paraphrase and distort the words they can come up with this interpretation. It actually says that it was the mockers who said they were drunk. Acts 2:11-13 (after listing the many languages spoken)
“ — we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”
Who are these mockers- those who did not understand the spiritual gift that was being exercised.
Many Pentecostals and Charismatics believe drunk in the spirit is related to the “Baptism in the Holy Ghost with the initial evidence being the Speaking in Tongues,” but they have received MORE than speaking with other Tongues! The Scripture says it was their speaking in tongues that had the mockers say they were drunk, so how does this fit in with their apologetic?
Vv.14-16 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. “For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel.”
Peter specifically says they are NOT drunk. On this clarification alone the issue of being drunk at Pentecost should be settled. But for those who shape their lives by experiences, this is not enough to persuade them it is wrong. So let’s look at what the Scripture says in addressing this.
The Bible is explicit that we are not to be drunk with wine but filled with the Spirit. Not drunk with the Spirit either. What’s the difference? Drunk, has the intention of being out of control while being filled with the Spirit means one is “in control” It is to be sober and have all their faculties at work, not dulled or slurred. So the Bible is against being drunk both physically and spiritually.
Some may say, this is not real wine but spiritual. Fine, can you find this in the Scripture? Can you point to anywhere in a church service where this is displayed. Did the apostles teach it in the epistles? If not then you are out of options.
Eph 5:17-18: “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit”
To be filled with the Spirit means we are under the control of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit does not have us act like this.
It was Kings and leaders (such as judges), that were to abstain from drinking because it could dull their senses and affect their judgment. Proverbs 31-4-5: being in leadership requires one to be of sound judgment, to be ready to minister. Which means they should stay away from being intoxicated.
For leaders Paul gives the qualifications and it is having the fruit of the Spirit shown in their lives. To Titus he gives the criteria (1:7-8) “not given to wine, not violent, …sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled” Titus 2:2 “that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience” This is referring to the Fruit of the Spirit. Titus 2:3 even “the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, … not given to much wine”
To Timothy (1 Tim. 3:2-3) to be “temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, …not given to wine, not violent, …but gentle, (1 Tim. 3:8 Likewise deacons). The Bible commands us to be sober.
We are expected to be Temperate & Sober Minded = nephalios, to be aware or to be wineless.
Till next week,
Rev. Dr. Robert L. Harrison, PhD