Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
It is written in Ephesians 5:18 "Be ye not drunken with wine wherein is excess, but be ye filled with the Spirit." This verse is so often times misunderstood and taken out of context. There is a filling of the Holy Spirit that I have known and is biblical. I have been "slain in the Spirit" before, but not like some people on YouTube (I'll get to that in a minute). I have at times prayed so long that the Spirit came upon me so powerfully that I have not been able to stand. God isn't tame. He's unpredictable, and He can do amazing things. Now, here's the deal. THE VAST MAJORITY OF SPIRITUAL MANIFESTATIONS THAT YOU SEE ARE FALSE. The Holy Spirit did not cause it. If you read of great men of God in the past who the Lord mightily used in (genuine) revivals, you will read of strange and unusual manifestations of the Holy Spirit. However, even though these things that happened were "strange" they were always biblical. And this is what that means: Jesus said "When He comes (speaking of the Holy Spirit) He will convince the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement." Often times if you read about genuine moves of God, you'll read of people so mightily overwhelmed by the conviction of sin that they cried out for mercy, or in some cases physically trembled in the presence of the Holy Ghost. That's "strange" but it's biblical. Those kind of things I'm certain will happen in the future revival that will sweep across the world, and I believe that they can happen whensoever the Lord chooses to cause it to. However, nowadays people want miracles, signs and wonders more than they want God Himself. So, the devil has come with lying signs, wonders, and false miracles. There are people who laugh uncontrollably and say that the Holy Spirit caused it. There are people who act like they're drunken, slither around and hiss like snakes, bark like dogs, meow like cats, levitate, spontaneously convulse etc. When an unclean spirit comes upon them. I basically said all of that to say this. The vast majority of what you see is wrong. For example, The "Fire Tunnel" at Bethel Church is false. They claim healings, miracles, prophecy, and all kinds of stuff but IT'S NOT THE HOLY GHOST! There are ministries like theirs but you won't be able to know the real from the fake unless you know God intimately for yourself. By the way, I'm not a cessationist. I know that the gifts and the power of the Spirit is still available. I have a gift of prophecy myself, and whenever the Lord, in His sovereignty tells me to, I prophesy to someone or to a group. I just came out of services last weekend wherein the Spirit came upon us and everybody was on their faces weeping and repenting and speaking praises to the Lord. The only way to know the difference between the real and the fake is to 1. Know the Bible 2. Know God for yourself Knowing God isn't simply being born again. There is a difference between being born and growing up. In order to mature, give yourself to prayer and Bible study. Spend hours a day with Him. Pray. Fast. Read. Meditate. Remove distractions from your life, get alone, and get to know Him in the Word and upon your knees. If you're close to Him, you will immediately be able to discern the true from the fake. The Spirit won't leave you without knowledge. He is your teacher, and He will lead you and guide you into all truth. You won't always be able to come to ebible. There may arise a situation when you need discernment on the spot. Be intoxicated with His love, and be drunken in the Spirit...and you won't look anything like what you see on YouTube. You'll be intoxicated with God, and you'll be the most sober person around, with a joy unspeakable, and a peace that passeth all understanding. God bless you!
My opinion comes from a personal anecdote that I believe explains what Acts is talking about. Years ago, I attended a friend’s engagement party. We had s blast. We laughed and danced and had a great time. It was all very G rated on my end (and most others), but alcohol had been served. I, for one, abstained. However, in the weeks leading up to the wedding, my friend’s future in laws asked if her fun, drunk friend would be at the wedding. She was confused. They described me down to what I was wearing. She knew they were talking about me, and she told them, “She was completely sober.” They were so confused because I was having such a good time, was unhindered by what people thought about me, just dancing and singing and having a great time. I think the disciples might’ve been filled with such joy and were just living unhindered (not stumbling around and slurring their speech) and weren’t afraid of what the crowd was thinking. They were just worshipping, talking, shearing, celebrating, etc., full of the Spirit, and it looked foreign to others. The world (even back then) thinks that alcohol is needed in order to have a “good time” but Christians should be having the most (godly) fun of all! After all, we have the most joyous and creative God in our lives. Secondly, I think it is important to recognize that God can manifest His presence HOWEVER He wants. In the Bible, He burned in a bush. I’m sure there were people who claimed Moses was lying about that. Isaiah ran around naked, David danced before then ark, Jesus put mud in someone’s eye. None of those things had precedence and would’ve made people uncomfortable. I think you need to use discernment when you encounter “odd” things in the name of the Holy Spirit. If you’re offended because you are uncomfortable, ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you. If you’re offended because the behavior goes against God’s Word or character, move along. I would go as far to say that those who are acting drunk are false teachers or non-Christians. I think immaturity is more like it. I wouldn’t call out any ministries or churches and say they are wrong. People sometimes get it wrong and mess up. Thank God for grace.
I am reading a book by Raniero Cantalamessa called "Sober Intoxication of the Spirit" which revolves around Acts 2:15 and Ephesians 5:18-20. Peter preaching to the crowd after the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, said "These are not drunk, as you suppose" (Acts 2:15). We tend to overlook Peter's opening words to the crowd that first Pentecost morning, to our own peril. His denial of drunkenness in the wake of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit should stop us in our tracks. What was going on here? How did the apostles experience the Holy Spirit? What was he teaching them? How was he empowering them? What does this scene in the streets of Jerusalem mean for us today? This spiritual "intoxication" is an infilling - through the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, and the action of God - that purifies us of sin, renews the heart and enlightens the mind. As St. Augustine said of the Spirit, "He found you empty and he filled you. I like this kind of intoxication. The Spirit of God is both drink and light."
Having witnessed this first hand and listened to the preachers who peddle this experience as coming from God, I can humbly state that this phenomenon of 'being drunk in the spirit" is the work of the devil and pushed by false preachers. The other aspect to this is 'laughing in the spirit." These heresies are usually seen at the same time. In my opinion, a right thinking Christian, especially one who has read and considered the Bible, would know that these displays are not biblical or from God. Yes, we can be filled with the Spirit of God as the Holy Spirit is God. However, these manifestations of drunkenness and uncontrollable laughter do not come from the Spirit of God; the opposite is in fact what is displayed. The Spirit of God, who resides within us, is a gentle and quiet presence. Galatians 5:16-26 is very clear about what the manifestation will be. 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another. Two words used in the passage quoted above are drunkenness and self control. Therefore being "drunk in the spirit" and "laughing in the spirit" would never be fruits that we as Christians would ever display if we are truly filled with the Spirit.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.