These Are Not Drunk As You Suppose
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.
15 “For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.
16 “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.
18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.
21 And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.’
Before I begin, I need to be real with you up front. I am about to preach a sermon that is downright Pentecostal and you might think “Wow, I didn’t know Jonathan was a holy rolling charismaniac”
but I am not. I have never spoken in tongues, I have never prophesied, and I have never clucked like a chicken or barked like a dog but sometimes when we see abuses or extremes we can tend to over correct.
If when you are listening to me and you are wondering where the balance is be patient, Stick with me and you’ll see it.
The truth is the Holy Spirit is critical to our Christian walk and if we shy away from the Holy Spirit because we are nervous or uneasy when He is manifested through spiritual gifts or through strange signs and utterances then we might be depriving ourselves of the key to our victory.
The bulk of this passage is a promise that God gave to the prophet Joel about the coming age of the Spirit, which is this church age that started on the day of Pentecost and it continues to this day. This is talking about now.
There are two characteristic of this new age. First anyone who calls one the name of the Lord will be saved. Salvation is available to anyone, not a select group of people like the Jews or elite individuals who happen to impress God enough to earn their way in. Anyone can be saved no matter their lineage, age, sex, or ability. One only has to be humble enough call on the name of Jesus for salvation.
Second this is the age where anyone can be filled with the Spirit of God. Before in the Old Testament this was an honor reserved for only those individuals who had a special calling. It was the exception not the rule. Now anyone can be filled with the Holy Spirit. Again lineage, age, sex, ability don’t factor in.
The only requirement is faith in Jesus Christ and a desire to receive the Holy Spirit. There are two things that we can look forward to the Spirit providing for us in this new age, power to be a witness and power to walk in holiness.
This passage highlights the supernatural power that the Holy Spirit will give the saints to be witnesses. Miracles will accompany the saints as we see from the last chapter of Mark
[Mar 16:17-18 NKJV] 17 “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
And remember that in chapter 1 of Acts Jesus said
[Act 1:8 NKJV] 8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Jesus also said in
[Jhn 14:12 NKJV] 12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater [works] than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
This is a reference to when the Holy Spirit would come and empower the Saints with the same power than Jesus operated in.
But the Spirit gives us more than the power to experience the miraculous He also gives us the power to live in holiness
[Eze 36:25-27 NKJV] 25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do [them].
This remedies the problem with the Old covenant. God gave them good laws but they were incapable of living up to that holy standard. Now the Spirit will cause us to walk in God’s statues.
So again the Holy Spirit allows us to miraculously experience God and be his witnesses but the Spirit enables us to behave like Christians should.
In the previous verses of this chapter we see that the Apostles and those with them were filled with the Holy Spirit
and when that encounter happened, they began to speak in other tongues, which means, they spoke in other languages.
Pastor Crystal preached a message on this last Wednesday and I would encourage you to listen to it if you haven’t.
From the first part of this chapter and in other places in scripture, we see that speaking in tongues is a legitimate manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit
but what is interesting is that immediately after the very first time people ever spoke in tongues, presumably, people scoffed.
If we were to examine our day and age in light of this scripture, we would find that exactly nothing has changed since then.
People still ridicule Christians for speaking in tongues. Even other Christians mock Christians for speaking in tongues but this is true of more than just speaking in tongues,
any time the Holy Spirit is seen to be moving and working there are scoffers.
Something I have noticed is that drunken people act weird. When people get drunk their speech changes, their mood changes, their mannerism change, they shed their inhibitions and become embolden
The overall sense of their drunken state is that they are acting strange and different but not in a good way. The have lost their sense of shame
Well to be perfectly frank, this is a parallel for being filled with the Spirit. The scripture says in Eph 5:18 “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit”
The Holy Spirit will change your speech. People will listen to you talk and think you’re a zealot and a weirdo? He will change your moods and mannerisms; He will break through your inhibitions and embolden you.
You will be strange. You will be different. This can be very scary thing because we are still clinging to a sense of our own dignity and we don’t want to look like a doofus.
And don’t fool yourself, we all have a sense of dignity that we don’t want infringed. You may not recognize it in yourself because more than likely you assume that you have just the right amount of dignity. not too much and not too little.
That is why the upper crust rich man with an over developed sense of dignity puts you off nearly as much as the drunk bum who is soaked in pee and passed out at the bus stop.
The rich person has too much and the drunk has too little but you have just the right amount.
But the truth is we all have a sense of pride and we don’t enjoy embarrassment however, you might very well look like a fool following the Holy Spirit’s lead but the scripture says that God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise.
If you want everything that God has for you, you might have to look foolish, but are you willing? What a game changer, what a transformation the Holy Spirit can bring if you are willing.
The truth is the Holy Spirit is critical to our Christian walk and if we shy away from the Holy Spirit because we are nervous and uneasy when He is manifested through spiritual gifts or strange utterances then we might be depriving ourselves of the key to our victory.
I can hear the objections ringing in my ears though. Are you saying I need to roll around on the floor and bark like a dog?
and my question is are you willing to roll around on the floor and bark like a dog if that was what God wanted you to do
and if not, why… why not?
If that was, hypothetically, what you needed to do to receive the Holy Spirit and enter into the Spirit filled, victorious Christian life would you let God humble you in that way?
Now I’m pretty darn certain that God doesn’t want you to bark like a dog for him but are you willing to weep in front of people or ask for prayer for that really embarrassing thing or lift your hands to the Lord in worship?
Sometimes we struggle to come to the alter in a room full of understanding Christians because we are so worried about our sense of dignity and if we will look silly.
For this reason any time things of the Spirit come up people instantly seize up and become insecure. Some people, Christians included, look at the strange things that happen in charismatic churches and they take that as proof that they are false teachers promoting a false gospel with counterfeit gifts because in their minds the Holy Spirit would never do this or never do that.
But the tests I see in scripture for detecting a false teacher or prophet do not include a weirdness clause. It doesn’t say if something strikes you as strange or out of the ordinary then it is not of God rather it says that the way to spot a false teacher is by his teachings and by his character.
Does his teachings line up with the revealed word of God? Is his character godly? Can somebody be odd and have good character and good teaching?
Sure they can, take Pastor Matt for example. Strangeness is not proof that whatever is happening is not of God.
Look at Ezekiel 4:1 -7
“1 Now, son of man, take a block of clay, put it in front of you and draw the city of Jerusalem on it. 2 Then lay siege to it: Erect siege works against it, build a ramp up to it, set up camps against it and put battering rams around it. 3 Then take an iron pan, place it as an iron wall between you and the city and turn your face toward it. It will be under siege, and you shall besiege it. This will be a sign to the people of Israel. 4 “Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the people of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side. 5 I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin of the people of Israel. 6 “After you have finished this, lie down again, this time on your right side, and bear the sin of the people of Judah. I have assigned you 40 days, a day for each year. 7 Turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem and with bared arm prophesy against her.
This isn’t the only weird things God asked people to do. He asked Noah to build an ark on dry land in a preparation for a worldwide flood.
He asked Peter to pull money out of a fish’s mouth.
He told Ezekiel to preach to the wind and the mountains and to dead people! Imagine if I erected a pulpit in the local graveyard and started preaching to the dead there. You would think I had lost it.
He told Joshua to march around a city and blow trumpets instead of attacking it.
Jesus himself spit into dirt to make mud and smeared that mud onto a blind man’s face. Imagine if you came to me for prayer and I did that
All of these things are weird and there is even more weirdness in the Bible. The weirdness of these things is not proof that these acts were not of God.
We have to be careful to not act like Michal who saw her husband King David dancing wildly before the Ark and the scriptures say she despised him in her heart. Let’s look at that Story
[2Sa 6:16-17, 20-23 NKJV] 16 Now as the ark of the LORD came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart. 17 So they brought the ark of the LORD, and set it in its place in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. … 20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” 21 So David said to Michal, “[It was] before the LORD, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel. Therefore I will play [music] before the LORD. 22 “And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight. But as for the maidservants of whom you have spoken, by them I will be held in honor.” 23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.
If we mock or resist the things of the Spirit then we are going to be barren. Gal 5 says that the fruit of the Spirit is and 1 Corinthians lists the gifts of the Spirit but if we push the Holy Spirit away can we expect the fruits of Spirit or the gifts of the Spirit?
We have all seen churches like this. They are so resistant to Spirit of God that they are dead and barren
I want nothing to do with a form of Christianity that neglects so crucial an element to our own spiritual development. Such an expression is weak and impotent, dead and barren.
There is a flip side to all of this though. Some people think that the weirder they act the more Holy Spirit they have but weirdness is not necessarily proof of the Holy Spirit either.
It’s true that sometimes the Holy Spirit requires us to do things that stretch us and make us feel uncomfortable but some people seem to think that the weirder they act the more Holy Spirit they have.
This isn’t true either. If Ezekiel laid on his side for over a year without God telling him to do so he was no more led by the Spirit than anyone else.
Also some think that weirdness is more important than obeying the scriptures and I do not agree. The Holy Spirit isn’t going to facilitate you acting in defiance to the word of God
and why would He? He wrote it! The Holy Spirit doesn’t speak with a forked tongue telling you in Scripture to do one thing all the while urging you individually to do the opposite
That means when the scripture says to not rattle off in tongues in the middle of service without an interpretation you ought not to do that
When the scriptures say the Spirit is subject to the prophet that means you can wait for a more opportune time to give that word rather than interrupt a Pastor in the middle of his sermon.
When the scripture says to do everything decently and in order maybe that means don’t act out of control where it disrupts the larger thing that the Holy Spirit is trying to do.
That means when the scripture says to not believe every spirit but to test the spirit to see whether they are of God then maybe we should weigh any word we hear against the scripture to see if it lines up
To sum up
[1Co 14:1 ESV] 1 Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.
We ought to be open and excited that this is the age where God is willing to give you the Holy Spirit.
We shouldn’t be cynics despising prophecy and the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit we should embrace them and seek them. That is what the Bible says to do.