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Under the Influence Part One: Holy Spirit vs intoxicating spiritsPosted Wednesday, November 9, 2011, at 4:52 PM
"And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;"
In this verse of Paul's letter to the Ephesians, we are given a commandment to avoid "wine wherein is excess". The phrase in quotation marks means intoxicating wine. There are two kinds of wine in the Bible: fermented or intoxicating wine and unfermented which is grape juice. To better understand the difference, I've copied and pasted an exerpt from "WINE IN THE BIBLE: A BIBLICAL STUDY ON THE USE OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES A PREVIEW OF WINE IN THE BIBLE" by Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D., Andrews University
["Wine" in Biblical Perspective. Building on the conclusions reached in Chapter 2, I proceeded in Chapter 3 to examine the reasons for the Biblical approval and disapproval of wine. What I found is that the positive references to "wine" have to do with unfermented and unintoxicating grape juice. Because of its natural and nourishing properties, grape juice was fittingly used to represent the divine blessing of material prosperity (Gen 27:28; 49:10-11; Deut 33:28), the blessing of the messianic age (Joel 2:18-19; Jer 31:10-12; Amos 9:13, 14), the free offer of God's saving grace (Is 55:1), the wholesome joy God offers to His people (Ps 104:14-15; 4:7), and the acknowledgment of God through the use of grape juice as tithe, offerings and libations (Num 18:12; Deut 14:23; Ex 29:40; Lev 23:13).
On the other hand, the negative references to "wine" have to do with fermented and intoxicating wine. Some of the reasons Scripture condemns the use of alcoholic beverages are that they distort the perception of reality (Is 28:7; Prov 23:33); they impair the capacity to make responsible decisions (Lev 10:9-11); they weaken moral sensitivities and inhibitions (Gen 9:21; 19:32; Hab 2:15; Is 5:11-12); they cause physical sickness (Prov 23:20-21; Hos 7:5; Is 19:14; Ps 60:3); and they disqualify for both civil and religious service (Prov 31:4-5; Lev 10:9-11; Ezek 44:23; 1 Tim 3:2-3; Titus 1:7-8).]
We are aware of what being "under the influence" of alcohol or spirits causes. The above paragraph from Dr. Bacchiocchi's article details the effects of such intoxicating spirits.
Paul's second command in this verse is to "be filled with the Spirit". Well, I know I'd rather be "under the influence" of the Holy Spirit than of intoxicating spirits!
In the Book of Acts, Chapter 2, we have the report of what happened to the 120 disciples in the upper room on Pentecost Sunday. They had been told by Christ to wait and tarry until they were filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:3-8).
After the disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost, some onlookers mockingly accused them of being drunk with fermented wine (Acts 2:13). Bold Peter immediately preached a stern sermon denying drunkeness and claiming this great event as a fulfillment of the Prophet Joel's words in Joel 2:28-32. Well, here are some of the symptoms of being "under the influence" of the Holy Spirit:
1. Purity: Peter, referring to the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the household of Cornelius (Acts 10:44-46), told the early Church Council in Jersualem, "And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith." (Acts 15:8,9) The Fire of the Holy Ghost cleanses the believer's heart of inbred sin ( called sin nature, carnal mind, original sin, the flesh, the old man).
2. Power: In Acts 1:8, Jesus promised His disciples they would "receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." This Power would first of all give them the ability to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ everywhere to everybody! It would also give them boldness to speak. "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:31) One who walks under the influence of the Holy Spirit has power to not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-21) and the power to manifest the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-26).
3. Praise: Acts 16 tells about Paul and Silas being put in prison in at Philipi. They sang praises under the influence of the Holy Spirit. In a dirty prison cell! We are told to sing in the Spirit (1st Corinthians 14:15; Ephesians 5:19; and Colossians 3:16). When the saints of God worship under the influence of the Holy Spirit, they will praise God!
4. Perfect Love: A sanctified wholly believer manifests Perfect Love under the influence of the Holy Spirit. 1st Corinthians, chapter 12 gives a list of gifts bestowed by the Holy Spirit on believers who are under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Chapter 12 closes with, "But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way." That "more excellent way" is the gift of Perfect Love called Charity in the 13th chapter. The entire Chapter 13 gives us a detailed picture of what Perfect Love does. In verses 1-3 tell us that without Perfect Love, tongues, prophecy, faith, and giving are worthless. In verse 13, we are told that Perfect Love is greater than faith and hope.
Well, I'd rather be "under the influence" of the Holy Spirit than to be "under the influence" of intoxicating spirits. You won't suffer a "hangover" from being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Yours for Radical Holiness and Prohibition,
Richard D. Swift
Saturday, June 12
I recieved an email from a Prohibitionist, Prohibition National Committee Vice-Chair, June Griffin with a small but very important addition:
The Scripture states that the fruit of the Spirit of the Lord is
Temperance. Restraint is strengthened.
The fruit of their spirits, (wine and spirits, as they
One drink and you lose your Temperance. Your restraint
For God and Country
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My wife Susan (Sue) and I have lived in Soddard County since September of '96. We both graduated from Bible Missionary Institute, our denomination's small four year Bible college in Rock Island, Illinois. I was born and raised in Pomona, California while my wife was raised in Monmouth, Illinois. I am an ordained minister in the Bible Missionary Church. We attend and are members of the Dexter Bible Missionary Church. I've been employed by Tyson Foods for 14 years. My wife is a CNA. I've always been conservative in my political views and have always been active in politics and the Pro-Life movement. My politics have not always been Republican. From 2003-2009 I was vice-chairman of the Prohibition National Committee, the steering arm of the Prohibition Party. In '09, I joined the Constitution Party of Missouri. But, I've been attending the GOP rallys and club meetings since last year and have been campaigning for certain Republican candidates since we moved to this area. I'm on the SEMO Life Chain Committee.