It could be put in many other ways – Untying The Tragically Tied – Untwisting The Tightly Twisted – Undoing The Dreadfully Done – Disengaging The Wrongfully Engaged – Untangling The Terribly Tangled.
What then has happened that words such as those above have to be spoken or written? Simply put, they are the exact opposite of what is so often rightfully and necessarily spoken at marriage ceremonies. We all know the words of our Lord in Matthew 19:6 so well as they are enforced by pastors at weddings across the face of the earth. We know them just as well as we know Psalm 23:1. They are:
“WHAT GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER, LET NOT MAN PART ASUNDER.”
However, there are those times, and this is one of those times, that we need to speak the exactly antithetical but equally necessary and important words:
“WHAT GOD HAS PARTED ASUNDER, LET NOT MAN JOIN TOGETHER.”
“Do not be bound together with unbelievers, for what partnership
have righteousness with lawlessness, or what fellowship
has light with darkness?”
“Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer
in common with an unbeliever?”
“Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols….”
The principle of holy and unholy exclusivity is absolutely clear, and that is:
“THOSE THINGS AND PEOPLE THAT ESSENTIALLY AND
ANTITHETICALLY CLASH CANNOT AND MAY NOT
BE HARMONIZED OR UNITED.”
That is true in terms of friendships, marriages, religions, nations, species etc. For instance, crocodiles do not coexist very well, let alone cohabit with wildebeests. What you end up with in either case is the oxymoron of the “Uninvited Guest” with his head chopped off. Hear me, if you are uninvited and you show up anyway, you are not a guest but an intruder. Crocodiles and wildebeests don’t work well on the same guest list. Neither do Christian husbands and unchristian wives. Nor do godly and ungodly people. It won’t last, sort of like the equally oxymoronic “Limited Lifetime Guarantee.”
DRUNK IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
I have often wondered about how the Catholics, who are very strong in the Doctrine of Maryolatry, feel about a non-alcoholic drink being called “A Virgin Mary.” Of course, a “Virgin Mary” is the tame version of the alcoholic drink called “A Bloody Mary.” That has to at least be as degrading to Mary as someone sitting down to dinner at your table and remarking, “We had the same dinnerware in the army.”
I remember always having the strong sense of degradation when a person who receives the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” with speaking in tongues, or receives a special “Coming Upon of the Holy Spirit” is referred to as being:
“DRUNK IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.”
It is a phrase that is still used in my Pentecostal circles, and when I hear it, a spirit of great offense rises within me. Why? I think that it is more than obvious as to why, and that is the joining of the Holy Spirit to an evil spirit (which is why alcoholic drinks are called spirits). It suggests that the Holy Spirit somehow makes Christians drunk, and that the drunk is really not that unholy after all. You know, kind of like:
“STAGGERING AND BELCHING HOLINESS.”
I don’t mean to be sacrilegious here, but the world has so many stupid phrases, too many too count. I ran across the other day that sick phrase “Like a bat out of hell.” Come now, bats don’t live in Hell, they live in caves and belfries. Likewise, drunks don’t hang out in churches, they hang out in bars for crying out loud. To suggest otherwise could mean we do have too many bats in our belfry.
Therefore, let me quickly assure the non-Pentecostal readers of Whole Truth Help, nowhere in the Bible is the blessed Holy Spirit identified with or connected to anything as repulsive and tragic as drunkenness. And those who do connect them ought to be ashamed. It is the dumbest and the most damaging correlation that could have ever been adopted as a theological stand (or should we say a theological stumble).
When the first disciples of Jesus Christ were filled with the Holy Spirit for the purpose of receiving power (dunamis) to be effective witnesses for our Lord, they all spoke in other tongues (languages) that they had not learned. And when people in and around the area of the upper room heard them, they accused them of being inebriated, as they said mockingly about them in Acts 2:13,
“They are full of sweet wine.”
No they were not! They were full of the Holy Spirit, and while Booze comes from a Brewery or Winery, the Holy Spirit comes from Heaven. Pentecost and the filling with the Holy Spirit have nothing to do with some sort of Holy Spirit booze or being drunk. Nothing! How dare we connect the Holy Spirit to drunkenness which the Bible decries?
“For these men are not drunk, as you suppose….”
And they never were and never will be. The blessed Holy Spirit today fills believers, empowers them to be dynamite witnesses for Jesus, anoints for ministry, and gives gifts to the Body of Christ (Acts 2:38-39, I Corinthians 12:1-11). He is powerful and His gifts are strong. The church is not really the church without the Holy Spirit and His gifts. We desperately need the Holy Spirit, His power, His anointing, and His giftings.
Just a few Sundays ago in a Sunday morning service, a precious and meek brother who cannot even read spoke in the gift of tongues. I can assure you that he doesn’t drink, smoke, or cuss. He is also a powerful witness for His Savior. And it just so happened that morning that the Lord graciously used me to give the interpretation, which is not usual for me.
Afterwards, a very educated Doctor of Cardiology friend of ours from Slovakia who we had visiting us and who attended church with us that morning, said to me, “That man spoke in linguistically sound and structured Aramaic.” The Holy Spirit is so faithful to His Word. Amazing, but then what would you expect, for the Holy Spirit and His gifts are totally supernatural.
Back to the critically important point of the moment! Oh how ignorant, sacrilegious, and destructive we are in joining even suggestively the decent to the destructive, the holy to the hideous, and the sacred to the sordid.
Allow me to illustrate in this way. I have often winced when I hear news anchormen and women refer to battlefields as “Theaters of War.” Yes I know, Webster’s New Explorer Dictionary gives one definition among others of the noun “Theater” as “A Place of Enactment of Significant Events” i.e. war. That doesn’t mean that I have to like that definition or that use of the word. War is not a theater to me where the show must go on. What is the point? This:
“EVEN AS WAR TO ME WILL NEVER BE A THEATER
FOR THE BOMBED.”
“PENTECOST AND THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL NEVER
LOSING GOOD INHIBITIONS – CONQUERING BAD INHIBITIONS
Now it comes into even sharper focus how being “Drunk With Spirits” and “Being Filled With The Holy Spirit” are totally opposed and completely contradictory. Why so strongly stated? Because of those who over the years have made Ephesians 5:18 a statement of synonyms rather than the statement of antonyms that the text actually is. Here are Paul’s words,
“And do not be drunk with wine, for that is dissipation,
but be filled with the Spirit.”
You see, that text has been tragically twisted, in that this is where many have falsely taught that Paul is saying that to be filled with the Holy Spirit will have like stupefying and dissipating effects as being drunk on wine. Hence the phrase, “Drunk With The Spirit” being used sadly and blasphemously as being analogous to being filled with the Holy Spirit’s fullness. In other words, being filled with wine and filled with the Holy Spirit are used as synonymous in their effects. Leaving people with the totally erroneous impression that the keys to a powerful church are:
“THE LAMB’S BLOOD, THE SPIRIT’S BREW, AND
THE HOLY BIBLE.”
And this is exactly and tragically what is happening in charismania churches today, the seeds of which were sown over the years, and we are now reaping our own sick sowing and false teaching, only in ways that defy description. I wrote this article before I even heard of a man by the name of John Crowder, who speaks at Pentecostal/Charismania mega-churches and non-mega-churches all over the world. He is warmly welcomed, and people praise the Lord and lift hands to God while he speaks with great approval and appreciation.
Well then, what does he teach? For example, He calls people who are filled with the Holy Spirit:
The implication being that those who are HIGH ON THE HOLY SPIRIT are like drug or alcohol users and drinkers. If you will, the results will be the same. He called himself and the pastor of the church USERS. That is to say, fellow spiritual users high on God the Holy Spirit.
The Crowder said to the Lord:
“LORD GIVE US YOUR HEAVY, WEIGHTY, DRUNKEN GLORY.”
The implication being that when God pours out His heavy glory on us, we will be knocked over like drunks who fall over. Not only that, but if God the Holy Spirit breathes His drunken glory on us with His drunken glory breath, and we drink it in and breath His breath deep into us, we will get drunk like the Holy Spirit is drunk.
To help God the Holy Spirit fill us with His drunken glory, He sends us angels whom Crowder calls:
“FAT FRIAR TUCK BARTENDERS.”
These Angelic Bartenders pull on our legs and our arms to pull us down into our drunken, spiritual, stupor. If you will, to lead us into the realm of God’s drunken glory.
Then Crowder says:
“I USED TO HAVE THE GIFT OF TEACHING, BUT NOW I GET
STRUCK MUTE IN THE MIDDLE OF MY SERVICES.”
Disparaging the gift of teaching, which has now been replaced by something of a much higher sort, he constantly interrupts his speaking with what I take is his gift of a drunken tongues from the Holy Spirit as he says:
“OY, OY, OY, OY, GRRRRR (drunken growl).”
God Almighty, we can’t come down on John Crowder alone, but bear the shame that all of this has been happening for years on our watch. We are reaping what we have deceptively sowed in the lives of many generations by false teachings and practices.
Not too long ago, my dear Ruthie and I were celebrating our 50th Wedding Anniversary in Lexington, Kentucky at the World Equestrian Olympics. We attended a Pentecostal Church on Sunday morning only to hear the pastor preach the following, and I quote:
“AS A FELLOWSHIP WE DO NOT BASE OUR LIVES ON BIBLE
DOCTRINE OR KNOWLEDGE, BUT WE BASE OUR
LIVES ON EXPERIENCE.”
I am sure that the Apostles and the Prophets and Christ the Chief Cornerstone on whom we are built would find this most irritating and heretical. This is exactly the teaching that allows nuts in ecceliastical nuthouses to lead people astray, to blaspheme the Holy Spirit, and to bring shame on the Head of the Church, and upon the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Not to mention how it keeps and drives away people from the true Holy Spirit.
Listen now, the Lord hasn’t taken away the gift of teaching and preaching from me, for the Lord gifts and callings are without repentance. And this is what the Bible teaches:
“EPHESIANS 5:18 IS NOT A STATEMENT OF ANALOGIES, BUT
A DECLARATION OF ANTITHETICALS.”
Get a hold of this truth:
“THE HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM AND THE EARTHLY SPIRIT’S BREWERIES PRODUCE
RESULTS AS OPPOSITE AS HEAVEN IS FROM HELL.”
Let us put it as succinctly as Biblically possible:
“THE FULLNESS OF WINE MAKES US LOSE GOOD INHIBITIONS
THAT WE ALL SHOULD HAVE.”
“THE FULLNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT HELPS US TO OVERCOME
BAD INHIBTIONS THAT WE ALL SHOULD NOT HAVE.”
Let’s get much more specific here. Sobriety helps to inhibit (control) man’s physical functions and sinful nature while drunkenness turns them loose as a goose. Such ugly behaviors as wetting your pants (therefore the phrase “drunk pees his pants”), defecating in your drawers (therefore the phrase “drunk as a skunk” – smelling really bad), slobbering out vile language (therefore the phrase “cusses like a drunken sailor”), staggering down the sidewalk (therefore the phrase “three sheets to the wind”), passing out (therefore the phrase “dead drunk”), stumbling and knocking over things (therefore the phrase “blind drunk”), losing your temper and slugging your wife and children (therefore the phrase “drunken rage”), totally losing rational powers (therefore the word “stoned” – dumb as a rock”), and murdering a loved one or even a total stranger (therefore the phrase “drunken murder”).
All ncessary physical, moral, and conductual inhibitions are completely lost when a man is soused. Thus the Greek word that Paul uses in Ephesians 4:18 which the NASV translates “Dissipation” which means loss of control of morals and conduct. Why that total loss? This is why:
“BECAUSE THE VOICE OF SOUND REASON IS DROWNED, AND
THE SOBER COUNSEL OF CONSCIENCE AND
CONVICTION IS NUMBED.”
And, mind you, we have the dimwitted and blasphemous stupidity to degrade the Holy Spirit by having His name entangled with all of this sottish hell – DRUNK IN THE SPIRIT. Haven’t we learned anything about anything, so that we go on repeating and perpetuating the spiritual falsehood of our progenitors? Haven’t we observed any of the terrible implictions of being drunk. It all reminds me of the man who said:
“I WAS TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL FOR OBSERVATION, AND AFTER
A FEW DAYS I OBSERVED NOTHING, SO I LEFT.”
Now in Ephesians 5:18 comes the complete opposite to being drunk with wine and that is:
“But be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
One of the biggest BUTS in the Bible, and that is for sure. If we at all weakly mince words about the hugeness of this BUT, then even as the law enforcement agencies arrest people for DRUNK DRIVING, so we Pentecostals should be arrested for espousing DRUNK WORSHIPPING!
I have often wondered how Native Americans feel about the huge sculptured images of four foreign rulers who day after day stare at and down over the land of their ancestors. So too I have often wondered how we are viewed by the religious and non-religious alike as they see this image of the “Drunk Holy Spirit And His Drunk Worshippers” over the Pentecostal church.
Well then, here is the stark contrast stated again:
“WHILE THE UNHOLY SPIRIT’S FILLING TAKES AWAY ALL GOOD
INHIBITIONS, THE HOLY SPIRIT FILLING ENFORCES ALL
GOOD INHIBITIONS AND OVERCOMES
ALL BAD INHIBITIONS.”
You see, being full of the Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome bad inhibitions that keep us from being all that God demands that we be. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome inhibiting fear that prevents us from witnessing about the Lord Jesus Christ to our fellow man.
The Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome inhibiting doubt that keeps us from trusting the Lord for even the smallest things, let alone the great things that He can and will do.
The Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome inhibiting guilt that disallows us to truly rejoice in the God of our salvation.
The Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome inhibiting worry that causes us to cower before a threatening and uncertain future.
The Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome inhibiting selfishness that stops us from giving liberally of our substance to the Kingdom of God. We call it “The Spirit of Giving!”
The Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome inhibiting lust that prevents us from loving our husband and wives agapically. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
And so on and so on. Being filled with wine takes away all good inhibitioins while being filled with the Holy Spirit takes away all bad inhibitions. They are as opposite as Satan the devil and Michael the Archangel.
“EVERYTHING GOOD THAT THE FULLNESS OF ALCOHOLIC SPIRITS
WEAKEN WITHIN US, THE FULLNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
STRENGTHENS WITHIN US.”
And vice versa:
“EVERYTING BAD THAT THE FULLNESS OF ALCOHOL SPIRITS
STRENGTHEN WITHIN US, THE FULLNESS OF THE
HOLY SPIRIT WEAKENS WITHIN US.”
OUR INTERNAL WARFARE
We read in Galatians 5:17,
“For the flesh sets its desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit
against the flesh; for these are in opposition
to one another….”
This is not only stark contrast, this is fierce combat that goes on within us day by day and moment by moment. For you see, the flesh (Paul’s term for the old sinful nature of man) is in opposition to the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is in opposition to the flesh.
“THINGS THAT ARE COMPLETELY CONTRARY TO ONE ANOTHER
WILL INEVITABLY AND OF NECESSITY STRIVE
AGAINST EACH OTHER.”
“AS CHRISTIANS WE ARE NOT ON A BATTLEFIED, WE ARE A
BATTLEFIELD ON WHICH OPPOSING FORCES ARE
FIGHTING FOR SUPREMACY.
Now go back to Ephesians 5:18, and what the Apostle Paul is saying, taking it all together, is this:
“EVIL SPIRITS’ DRUNKENNESS WILL ALWAYS TURN THE TIDE
OF THE BATTLE WITHIN US IN FAVOR OF THE CARNAL,
BUT HOLY SPIRIT SOBRIETY WILL ALWAYS TURN
THE TIDE OF THE BATTLE WITHIN US IN
FAVOR OF THE SPIRITUAL.”
THE HOLY SPIRIT’S BIO
Christians are never made DRUNK IN OR BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. The Church is not an Ecclesiastical AAA for the spiritually drunk. Anything connected with or caused by drunkenness has absolutely nothing to do with the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit has nothing to do with it. Anything that resembles drunkenness, or what drunkenness does to drunks, the Holy Spirit has nothing to do with.
Christians have been REGENERATED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. Christians are being SANCTIFIED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT Christians are EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. Christians are BAPTIZED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT. Christians are FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. Christians are GIFTED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. But no Christian has ever been DRUNK IN OR MADE DRUNK BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. If anyone is drunk or acts like a drunk, it isn’t the Holy Spirit.
Let’s get more thorough and exact concerning The Holy Spirit’s Bio:
The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Holy and Heavenly Trinity, not some sort of earthly bartender.
The Holy Spirit came to be our Heavenly Helper, not our inebriator.
The Holy Spirit did not knock the wine-women-and-song prodigal son senseless, but He did sober him up and bring him to his senses.
The Holy Spirit does not make people lose control, but He came to give them self-control.
The Holy Spirit does not change sobriety into drunkenness, but He does change drunkenness into sobriety.
(I have personally witnessed the Holy Spirit bring a slammed-drunk to Jesus Christ and to instant sobriety, never to drink a drop of alcohol again. That’s the Holy Spirit I want to and must be filled with)
The Holy Spirit is not an earthly entertainer, but He is our heavenly and spiritual empowerer.
(Spirit-filled Christianity is not a feel-good fellowship, but much more to the point it is a disciplined army for Saving Private Ryan.)
The Holy Spirit did not come to make us holy rollers, but He did come to make us the holy-righteous.
The Holy Spirit did not come to make us drunken laughers, but He did come to make us apapic lovers.
The Holy Spirit did not come to make us euphoric drunks, but He did come to make us supernaturally equipped disciples.
Why is this so critically important? Suffice it to say that the Holy Spirit can do whatever in Heaven or on earth He jolly well pleases. I have no doubt that He can give believers ecstatic laughter, or knock people over when He so chooses for His purpose etc. It is the height of arrogance for us to tell the Holy Spirit that He can work in one way and not another. It is the height of arrogance for us to tell the Holy Spirit can use one type of person and not another. I too have been overcome by the Holy Spirit’s power and I was helpless to move while bathed in a peace such as I had never known before. It had absolutely nothing to do with being drunk.
First of all, it is terribly wrong to stylize the Holy Spirit as an Inebriator or a brewmaster. Second, it is terribly wrong to give people the impression that unless they fall over they are missing the true work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
Not so long ago I was invited by a very dear Methodist pastor to preach at Lenten Revival Services in a Methodist Church. The Holy Spirit was very present and powerful as He brought over 40 precious people to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. For that we live and are willing to die.
A few weeks later, a lady came up to me after the service in a Pentecostal church and asked me whether I was still preaching much. I simply noted that I had recently preached Revival Services at a Methodist church. With glee in her voice and smiles on her face, she immediately said to me, “Did the Holy Spirit knock people over.” I said, “No, but He did bring many to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.” At which point, the smile left her face, and she walked away.
I have had the experience of preaching in a revival service where the Holy Spirt was powerfully convicting folks of sin, righteousness, and judgement. The altar was filled with people on their knees literally crying out to God in repentance and confession. The pastor came to me and asked; “Don’t you think we should stand them up so they can fall under the power?” I said, “They are already under the power, and please don’t mess it up.“
You see, we have horrifically falsified the Holy Spirit’s identity in the church and in the world. How? In this way:
“BY OBSCURING THE PRIMARY AND NORMATIVE, AND BY
NORMATIVIZING THE SECONDARY.”
I appreciate right here the only seemingly unrelated story of the lesson that Lee Salk learned from his mother, Dora. As a young girl in Russia, Salk’s mother was driven from her home by Cossacks who burned her entire village to the ground. She fled for her life, hiding in hay wagons and huddling in ditches. Eventually she crossed the sea to America, crowded in a ship’s hold.
She was about 12 years old when she arrived in New York City in 1901, and she immediately went to work 16 hours a day in a sweatshop. She tried to go to school at night, but kept falling asleep over her books. Yet she never lost hope.
Even after she married and her three sons were born, there were still hard times, but she would not allow her family to give up. She urged Lee and his brothers to think about what they had, not what they didn’t have. She taught them that in hardship you develop a capacity to appreciate the beauty that exists in the simplest elements of life. The attitude that she conveyed to Lee Salk was this:
“ONLY WHEN IT GETS DARK ENOUGH CAN YOU
CLEARLY SEE THE STARS.”
The children of Israel were likened by the Lord to drunkards. (Isaiah 28:1-3) They were drunk on the sins of pride and self-complacency. So drunk they were, that therefore they could not see the darkness of their sins and their sinful condition. God had His ways of sobering them up by foreign invaders and a long, agonizing captivity.
Likewise, each one of us by nature is drunk on our sins of self-importance and self-sufficiency. We cannot in our drunken and prideful stupor see the blackness of our sinful state. So the Holy Spirit comes to sober us up and shock us into being able to see the dark night of sin that we are in. Oh my, does He ever, for:
“ONLY WHEN IT GETS DARK ENOUGH CAN YOU AND
I CLEARLY SEE THE SON.”
And then when we invite Him into our hearts:
“IN OUR DEEPEST DARKNESS, THE SON RISES TO OVERWHELM
THE DARKNESS FOREVER.”