They were not drunk as you suppose!
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.
sophron safe (sound) in mind, in self-control of ones desires, impulses, and senses. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is self-control (Gr. egreitei), not the lack of it which is what we see when people claim they are “drunk in the spirit”. To find yourself rolling on the on the floor or staggering is to lose self-control. You cannot claim this activity is from God when there is no biblical precedent. Being filled with the Spirit gives us Godly results, not makes us act as the world. To defend such a position shows a lack of Bible knowledge and maturity in the faith.
The Spirit already indwells the believer. What they are doing is depending on something external to gain influence, to have them act drunk- out of control. Besides having no biblical precedence. If this means one is filled with the spirit then not acting like this means you are not filled with the Spirit.
Does an experience not mentioned in the Scripture override what is mentioned? This is not God doing a new thing because He would be contradicting what He wrote about the activity of the Spirit. That we are to have the mind of Christ- which I do not see anywhere acting in such a foolish manner.
Does the world see anything different in us if we are acting drunk like they do? How can the life of Christ be exhibited if we act this way? People who drink continually are called alcoholics, what should we call those in the church?
1 Pet 1:13-14: “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance.” Certainly drunkenness would be a former lust, why act like your carnal? If you are not aware Peter then explains what will take place “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”(1 Pet. 5:8). You will be on the dinner menu of the adversary. You can’t be vigilant when drunk.
It says this in the Old Testament with some very specific descriptions we should pay attention to: “All you beasts of the field, come to devour, all you beasts in the forest. His watchmen are blind, they are all ignorant; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yes, they are greedy dogs which never have enough. And they are shepherds who cannot understand; they all look to their own way, every one for his own gain, from his own territory. “Come,” one says, “I will bring wine, and we will fill ourselves with intoxicating drink; tomorrow will be as today, and much more abundant.” (Isa. 56:9-12)
Priests were forbidden from drinking wine when performing their priestly duties: Leviticus 10:8-11. How can God approve of acting drunk in the house of worship? This is not something new. Paul tells us to learn from the Old Testament examples. Isaiah 29:9-12, states,
“Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not
with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the LORD hath poured out
upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and
your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you
as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned,
saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: and
the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray
thee: and he saith, I am not learned.”
The Scripture also describes this as a judgment on those who refuse the counsel of the word. They cannot understand the words any longer because of this experience has closed their spiritual understanding. “For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes”
The Church is using this experience incorrectly, claiming it is part of the
last days “revival”, yet they do not understand what it actually means- God has
poured out on those a “spirit of deep sleep”. While millions of professing
Christians are “drunk in the Spirit”, they are dancing and singing about the
“NEW THING” that the Lord is doing, they are actually SLEEPING, totally unaware
and unprepared for what is coming upon the earth because of the wrath of God.
Rom. 13:11-14: “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. “Paul writing about the day of the Lord 1Thess. 5:7-8: ‘For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.” In other words be clothed with the word which is our armor.
Luke 12:45: “But if that servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,' and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk”
Perilous and terrible times are now upon us; Jesus is soon to return! We are
to be watching, be sober. We read those who have lost hope in his coming become
like the world. Awake, out of the slumbering state! If you act as a drunkard,
the lost of this world will scoff at you!
It get even worse with those who have pushed the envelope..
One toke over the line – with those who claim to be smoking Jesus and giving themselves permission to act like complete imbeciles should not be attractive to anyone who REALLY knows the Lord and is being taught of the Spirit. Avoid those who teach contrary to the doctrine (Rom.16:17)
It should be obvious that should not seek these types of experiences, we should avoid those who offer them by the laying on of hands or those who want to incapacitate the assembly.
1 Thess. 5:6-7: “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.” Bering drunk makes one tired, and will fall asleep. Asleep at the very time we need to be awake.