Holy Drunkenness

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.” (Acts 2:1-13)

There is such a thing as getting “drunk” with the Spirit of God. This is not a worldly drunkeness, however, but one which is produced by the infilling, or baptism, of the Holy Spirit. More than this, this type of “drunkeness” can occur on more than one occasion — it does not have to be a one time occurence. There is an account of this type of “drunkeness,” which is recorded for us in the book of Acts, as follows:

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each one of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them”. (Acts 2:1-4)

A short while later, and in response to this genuine “move of God’s Spirit” (as does still happen today, by the way), the apostle Peter replied to certain individuals, “These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: `In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy”. (Acts 2:15-18)

Evidently, what happened on the day of Pentecost appeared as worldly drunkeness to certain individuals. Why? Evidently, one of the main reasons was because the speech of these individuals had suddenly changed. Drunk people often do speak differently than when they are not “under the influence.” So, too, these people were under an influence of a different kind! They, too, were speaking differently. They were speaking in tongues, as the Scripture says. Some people simply wrote it off, saying, “They must be drunk!” But that is because they could not understand what these “drunk” people were saying — not because what these “drunk” people were saying was not valid!

The “accusers,” in this case, took this extraordinary “move of God’s Holy Spirit” as a sign that something was wrong. They simply didn’t understand it. And so, too, my dear friends, I would like to bring you to the conclusion of today’s message. Be extra careful about prejudging any particular situation — especially a move of God — in which you and I may both be inclined to write off as “mere drunkness” or “foolishness” on the part of those involved (they, my friends, are the fortunate ones, because they have been chosen to receive the blessing while we stand back and attempt to judge it!). Do not despise speaking in tongues or anything that appears foolish. If it is foolish (to God, not to men) — you can be sure that God can and will bring that to light (eventually). But we don’t have to engage ourselves in feeling insecure about the matter. Jump in, why not, and — like the apostles of old (whom we say we admire) — begin to get your feet wet and “get involved, why don’t you?” in these “moves of God” that are beginning to sweep our nations!