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Proponents of the Laughter Movement have justified their trance-like behaviour [in the Laughter Meetings] by calling this phenomenon "drunkenness in the spirit". This is a total and deliberate distortion of God's Word. The oft quoted verses are in Acts Chapter 2. Let us see what these verses mean....

Acts 2:4-6
4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.
6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. (NIV)

Verse 4 says that a crowd came together in bewilderment. Why? Because each one heard them speaking in his own language. The reason the disciples drew the attention of the crowd was because they were speaking in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance and not because they were behaving like drunkards.

Acts 2:11
11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs-- we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" (NIV)

The disciples were DECLARING THE WONDERS OF GOD IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES. Does this sound like the babbling of drunkards?

Acts 2:13
13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine." (NIV)

Notice that only SOME MADE FUN OF THEM. Matthew Henry the well-known Bible Commentator has this to say, "The scorn which some made of it who were natives of Judea and Jerusalem, probably the scribes and Pharisees and chief priests, who always resisted the Holy Ghost; they said, These men are full of new wine, or sweet wine; they have drunk too much this festival-time, v 13. And, if they called the Master of the house a wine-bibber, no marvel if they so call those of his house-hold." Matthew Henry's Commentary- Acts to Revelation, Hoddef and Stoughton 1975, page 9.

Acts 2:14-16
14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.
15 These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning!
16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: (NIV)

Peter categorically stated that they [he and the disciples] were not drunk (verse 15). If they were so-called `drunk in the Spirit' it would be his bounden duty to mention this to his accusers. The fact that he did not say so meant that they were not behaving like drunkards. Peter then goes on to give a very inspired sermon which resulted in 3000 being saved (verse 41). How can a man in a trance-like state or state of drunkenness give such a touching, God-inspired sermon?

You will also notice that in further instances of the disciples being filled with the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts, there was no more ACCUSATIONS of drunkenness. Go through the passages mentioned below.....

Acts 4:8
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! (NIV)

Acts 4:31
31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. (NIV)

Acts 13:9
9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, (NIV)

Acts 13:52
52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. (NIV) In fact, being filled with Spirit enabled the Disciples to speak and act boldly and not irrationally.

Eph 5:18
18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. (NIV)

Paul's admonition is Not to be drunk, but conversely to be filled with the Spirit. Being filled with ths Spirit is the opposite of being drunk! In many instances in the Bible, we are told to be sober See 1 Thess 5:6; 1 Thess 5:8; Titus 2:2; Titus 2:4; Titus 2:6; 1 Peter 1:13; 1 Peter 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8. Sober mindedness is also an essential quality of a leader (see 1 Ti 3:2; 1 Ti 3:11).
A person in a trance-like state with fluctuating levels of conciousness [as seen in the Laughter meetings] beomes an easy target for the enemy.

Another verse that is being used to justify "drunkenness in the spirit" is Jeremiah Chapter 23 verse 9....

Jer 23:9-11
9 Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones tremble. I am like a drunken man, like a man overcome by wine, because of the LORD and his holy words.
10 The land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land lies parched and the pastures in the desert are withered. The follow an evil course and use their power unjustly.
11 "Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness," declares the LORD. (NIV)

Here Jeremiah is expressing his horror at the false prophets not warning God's people, though iniquity so fearfully abounded. The `drunkenness' mentioned in the above verse symbolised God's judgement to be meted out on these prophets.

Jer 23:30-34
30 "Therefore," declares the LORD, "I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me.
31 Yes," declares the LORD, "I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, `The LORD declares.'
32 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams," declares the LORD. "They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least," declares the LORD.
33 "When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, `What is the oracle of the LORD?' say to them, `What oracle? I will forsake you, declares the LORD.'
34 If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, `This is the oracle of the LORD,' I WILL PUNISH that man and his household. (NIV) Emphasis mine


Isa 63:6
6 I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I MADE THEM DRUNK and poured their blood on the ground." (NIV) Emphasis Mine

In the above verse you will see that God sends drunkenness as a form of Judgement.

2 Tim 3:1-4
1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.
2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,
4 treacherous, rash, conceited, LOVERS OF PLEASURE rather than lovers of God-- (NIV) Emphasis Mine

The World is creeping into the church today. Self-gratification is rapidly becoming a hall-mark of God's People. In some churches today, the WORSHIP is being worshipped rather than the Creator of true worship. Instead of uplifting God in their worship, they uplift their emotions and work themselves into a highly charged emotional state culminating in crying, laughter and other such outbursts. Verse 4 above says clearly that men will become lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Self-gratification opens the door for evil spirits to work. `Drunkenness in the spirit' is ONE SUCH OPEN DOOR!

Isa 29:9-10
9 Pause and wonder! Blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with intoxicating drink.
10 For the LORD has poured out on you the SPIRIT OF DEEP SLEEP, and has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets; and He has covered your heads, namely, the seers. (NKJ) Emphasis Mine


Drunkenness is a state of self-indulgence and self-gratification from an alcoholic spirit.
Drunkenness in the spirit is a form of self-indulgence and gratification from an evil spirit.

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Last Updated: Wednesday, 06 March, 1996


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