“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is boisterous,
and whoever is deceived by it is not wise.”
From conversations with Preacher Clark in the 1970’s.
Sometimes, alcohol makes people act the way people act when they are under the power of the holy Spirit. Those drunk on the wine of heaven may stagger, shake, fall to the ground, shout and praise God, or a thousand other glorious things, all of them perfectly good and clean in God’s sight. On the day of Pentecost, when Jesus’ disciples first received the Spirit, they were overcome with joy and the power of God, and they spilled out into the street from the upper room where they had been staying. Some onlookers concluded, “They are full of new wine!” (Acts 2:13), but those onlookers were wrong. The disciples were indeed drunk, but not the way those onlookers supposed. Peter told them so:
14. Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice and declared to them, “Men of Judea, and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and pay attention to my words!
15. Contrary to what you think, these are not drunk, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
16. But this is that which was spoken through the prophet Joel:
17. ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.
18. In those days, I will even pour out my Spirit on my slaves, male and female, and they will prophesy.
Preacher Clark taught us that when God’s people are under the power of the Spirit, they are not imitating the drunks of earth. Rather, the drunks of earth are imitating, and so, mocking, the power of God when they are drunk. We need to look at it the right way. Instead of saints mocking worldly drunks, worldly drunks are mocking happy saints. And as we all know, “God is not mocked. For whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7). God will have the last laugh, and He will be laughing hard when He strikes the whole earth with such wrath that the earth itself “shall reel to and fro like a drunkard” (Isa. 24:20). On that day, who will be mocking who? God says this to those who mock Him now:
24. Because I have called, and you refused, I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded,
25. but you have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof,
26. I also will laugh at your calamity. I will mock when your fear comes,
27. when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction comes like a tornado, when distress and anguish come upon you.
Paul exhorted the saints not to be drunk with wine, but to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). He exhorted God’s children to participate in life, not to imitate it. The holy ghost can move our mortal bodies with its power, the power that will someday raise us from the grave. The world’s version of this is being drunk with earthly wine, but that only hastens the day that we enter into the grave; it can do nothing to get us out of it.
May God fill us with the kind of wine that thrills the soul with its purity and love, the holy “new wine” from heaven that flows from the throne of God and has filled thirsty souls with His righteousness, from the day of Pentecost until now.