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Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014

Under the Influence Part One: Holy Spirit vs intoxicating spirits

Posted Wednesday, November 9, 2011, at 4:52 PM

Ephesians 5:18

"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

advertise, is


One drink and you lose your Temperance. Your restraint



For God and Country

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Thankyou Gordon for those very insightful words. So True! May God bless you as you live a holy life under the Influence of God's Holy Spirit! O Loerd, help me to live such a life described above!

-- Posted by swift on Tue, Nov 15, 2011, at 3:31 PM

Ever notice toxic is in the word intoxicating? Intoxicating spirits are poison to the soul. The excesses of alcohol are well documented. But intoxicating spirits are not limited to the bottle.

Secret fantasies, forbidden fruit

Dangerous seeds are taking root

Pleasant to the eyes, poison to the soul

Weeds and thorns are beginning to grow

Those are the opening lines to a poem called Innocent Porn which addresses the damage pornography does to a marriage.

How many christian men proudly wear their sobriety badge for all the world to see while under the the influence of the intoxicating spirit of pornography?

"If it feels good don't do it" and I've done a lot

Recalling the good times consequences forgot

Remembering the pleasure from when I was in sin

Secretly desiring to go back and do it again

But I am a christian and this is the cross I bear

Staying away from old friends I don't go anywhere

Those things I once treasured have been taken away

And I hope they will stay gone if I continue to pray

The words above are the opening lines to a poem, If It Feels Good..., in response to a young woman's refreshing honesty and coming to the conclusion, "If it feels good don't do it."

How many young (and not so young) christians struggle to survive instead of thrive because of the intoxicating spirit of "lost treasure". Remember Jesus said, "Where your treasure is there will your heart be also." A treasure is anything in your life you refuse to let go of.

That person who wronged you and you can't forgive...treasure.

Those lips that secretly damage and destroy others...treasure.

If only I could still ______ (fill in the blank) and be a christian...treasure.

The picture I have in mind is being stranded alone on a small raft in the middle of the ocean with a few belongings you managed to salvage. A large ships pulls alongside and Jesus reaches for you. You try to hand Him your stuff and He says, "No, leave it. I am saving you not your stuff." How do you respond?

Struggling with unfairness when she did nothing wrong

She is stuck in a place where she does not belong

Imprisoned by emotions that she tries to understand

Her spirit cannot pay the ransom her ego demands

The above words are from a poem called Her Journey written for a friend who got blindsided by divorce.

How many women suffer under the intoxicating spirit of "love gone wrong"? Suffering the toxic effects of betrayal, abuse, codependancy, whatever form or disguise these spirits wear.

Acts 1:4(NIV) On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.

Thankfully, sanctification like salvation is received not achieved. It is a gift. And a promise.

Notice what Jesus did not say in Acts 1:4. He did not say find a better church. He said stay where you are. What a bunch of losers and cowards was in Jerusalem First Church. Every day revivals walk out the door of churches because people who are spiritual (in their eyes) feel _________ (whatever). Is it the Holy Spirit or intoxicating spirits?

In Psalm 23 is green pastures and still waters but also the valley of the shadow of death and a table with enemies present. Those led by the Spirit follow the Shepherd. Those led by intoxicating spirits enjoy the benefits and avoid discomfort.

I think too often we are like children and Christmas presents. We have our lists of what we want. We work to get on the nice list not the naughty list. And we politely say thank-you for clothing and keep opening seeking the "good stuff". But long after we have played the latest spiritual toy to come along and have lost interest in that thing we just had to have a few months earlier that coat of many colors keeps us warm during a cold spell.

The Holy Spirit comforts, teaches, counsels. Not to make us spiritual but holy. Holy simply means whole.

I know in the King James version the phrase being made whole means to be healed. Many were made whole by being touched by Jesus. Some reached out to touch Him and were made whole.

So, Richard, I guess I will conclude with this thought...

Will I be under the influence of intoxicating spirits or will I be in touch with Jesus? One will make me spiritual. One will make me holy.


-- Posted by apureheart on Mon, Nov 14, 2011, at 6:50 PM

You see from the above comment by Billy Joe and the addition by June that Prohibition and Holiness are in agreement!

-- Posted by swift on Sat, Nov 12, 2011, at 10:41 AM

One of the great casualties of alcoholic drinks is the ability to see the needs of others and to fill those needs for them. Under alcohol, we focus more on ourselves than on others.

Under the Holy Spirit we tend to focus on our needs in the proper way to fill them. We also focus our eyes on others to preserve them. We love our neighbors as ourselves and do unto other as we would have them do unto us.

Billy Joe Parker

Georgia Prohibition

-- Posted by Billy Joe Parker on Thu, Nov 10, 2011, at 7:47 PM

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Richard D. Swift
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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.