The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

Spiritual Drunkenness Part 2–Be Sober

Be Sober

In the previous post, I shared Scriptures that both condemned drunkenness and revealed that spiritual drunkenness is a judgment sent by God on the disobedient. Now I would like to examine the Scriptures that command us to be sober, and examine 2 “proof texts” used by false teachers who peddle the evil spirit of drunkenness. All Scriptures are in the KJV version.

Amazingly, the phrase “be sober” (or its equivalent) appears 12 times in the New Testament! For simplicity, I have included only the parts of the verses which apply to our study, but I encourage you to look up the verses in your Bible or Bible program.

Scriptures Commanding Sobriety

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. I Thess. 5:6-8

A bishop then must be…sober, of good behaviour…I Tim. 3:4

Even so must their wives be grave…sober…I Tim. 3:11

For a bishop must be blameless…sober…holy, temperate; holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. Titus 1:7-9

Note: the teachers peddling spiritual drunkenness are neither holy and temperate, nor are they holding fast the faithful word and sound doctrine.

That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith…Titus 2:2

The aged women likewise [sober like the aged men], that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness…Titus 2:3

That they [the aged women] may teach the young women to be sober…Titus 2:4

Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. Titus 2:6

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. Titus 2:11-12

Note: The grace of God that brings salvation teaches that we should live soberly! To be given to a drunken state–regardless of how it is achieved–is to follow worldly lusts.

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. I Peter 1:13

Note: Those who are not sober minded are not “girding up the loins” of their minds. Their minds are open and vulnerable to attack!

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. I Peter 4:7

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. I Peter 5:8

This is a command with a terrible consequence for disobedience! My friend, if you refuse to be sober minded, the devil is going to devour you. These words of warning are from the Lord for our good.

The command to be sober has gone out to the bishop, the bishop’s wife, the aged men, the aged women, the young women, and the young men! That’s EVERYONE! Are you going to obey the Word of God, or are you going to obey some staggering teacher who is clearly in rebellion against God and desires to defile you as well?

Examining the Scriptures The Drunkards Twist

First, we must have a close look at Acts 2:1-18.

1And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place…

4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

5And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

6Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

7And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

8And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

9Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

10Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

11Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

12And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

13Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

14But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

15For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

16But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

17And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

18And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.

First, I would like you to observe that when the men spoke with other tongues, there were people present who understood their words in their own languages (vs. 6). In fact, they heard them speaking the wonderful works of God (vs. 11).

Second, observe that the ones who accused these men of being drunk were mockers (vs. 13). Mockers are not known for speaking truth.

Third, observe that Peter did not use this occasion to teach the crowd that a new way to get drunk had been given by the Lord. He did not say, “No longer do you have to buy wine; now you can get drunk spiritually–come, get some!” In fact, Peter quickly corrected the false accusation with, “These are NOT drunken”! (vs. 15) Can it be any clearer? They were not drunk!

If one reads to the end of the chapter, one can see that Peter used this miracle to point to Jesus–Jesus had been crucified by sinners, raised up by God, and now it was the crowd’s responsibility to repent and believe the gospel! Nowhere did Peter teach that spiritual drunkenness had occurred.

Next, let’s look at Ephesians 5:18.

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.

This verse is often used to say that instead of being drunk with wine, we should be drunk with the Holy Spirit. I submit to you that being “filled” with the Holy Spirit is NOT the same as being “drunk.” The Christian is commanded to be sober; therefore he must be filled with the Spirit and sober at the same time. The term “drunk” should NEVER be used in conjunction with any work of the Holy Spirit, who always promotes sobriety and holiness. Let’s examine the immediate context to see what Paul meant by being “filled with the Spirit.”

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Eph. 5:18-21

So we see that those who are filled with the Spirit will build themselves and one another up with Psalms/spiritual songs, they will abound with thankfulness to God, and they will submit to one another in the fear of God. If you continue reading, Paul goes on to talk about loving one another. Being filled with the Spirit produces love for God and men.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Gal. 5:22-23

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Romans 14:17

The Holy Spirit empowers hope (Rom. 15:13), gives joy (Acts 13:52), empowers witnessing (Acts 1:8), encourages speaking the Word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31), comforts those who have the fear of the Lord (Acts 9:31), sanctifies (Romans 15:16), and teaches (I Cor. 2:13). Nowhere does the Holy Ghost, who is first of all HOLY, cause or condone the sin of drunkenness.

There are mockers among us telling us to get drunk spiritually. They are blind leaders of the blind. They claim spiritual drunkenness is a “higher plane” or “something deeper” to be sought after. They are like the serpent in the garden telling Eve that she can have more knowledge than God has allowed. Had Eve been at her husband’s side and submitted to the Word of God ALREADY given, she would not have been deceived. And if the church would remain glued to the side of Jesus (her husband) and be submitted to the Word of God ALREADY given, she also would reject this evil “drunk in the spirit” doctrine, seeing it for what it really is–the same old serpent offering the same old bait on the same old hook.

Be not deceived. The Lord has already commanded, “BE SOBER!”

God bless you.

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