Most of you have seen this phenomena occur in the charismatic churches. This is where you see pastors or ministers laying hands on people, usually on their foreheads, and then they fall backwards.
The charismatics have named this phenomena as being “Slain in the Spirit.” Some people call it “Falling in the Spirit” or “Resting in the Spirit.”
Is this a real phenomenon? If it is – is it really God operating through the power of the Holy Spirit, or is it demonic spirits trying to masquerade as the power of Holy Spirit coming onto someone? There are many Christians and Christian groups who are really attacking this phenomena.
I will go ahead and give you the main Scripture verses where this phenomena is coming from. I will then give you some of the main arguments of those Christians who are against this phenomena, and I will then end this article with my own personal opinion as to why I think this phenomena is a true manifestation from the Lord.
The Scripture Verses
Here are the main verses from Scripture showing people falling to the ground whenever God would manifest His presence to different people. The first verse is from the Original King James Version of the Bible, the rest are from the New King James Version.
- “… that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:14)
- Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Then when He said to them. “I am He,” – they drew back and fell to the ground.” (John 18:6)
- “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.” (Revelation 1:17)
- “And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.” But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” (Matthew 17:6)
- “And as he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:3-4)
- “So I arose and went out into the plain, and behold, the glory of the Lord stood there, like the glory which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face.” (Ezekiel 3:23)
- “Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face.” (Numbers 22:31)
- “And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. It was like the appearance of the vision which I saw – like the vision which I saw when I came to destroy the city. The visions were like the vision which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face.” (Ezekiel 43:2-3)
- “Then He brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple; so I looked, and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord; and I fell on my face.” (Ezekiel 44:4)
Now I will give you some of the arguments being made by those who are against this phenomena, and then some of my own arguments as to why I believe this a real manifestation from the Lord.
Arguments Against Being Slain in the Spirit
The Christians who argue against this phenomena really being from the Lord base their arguments on the following reasons:
- Every time people fell when the presence of God would manifest, they would always fall on their faces, not fall backward.
- Nowhere in the Bible do the prophets, the apostles, or Jesus Himself ever lay hands on someone and then the power of God comes through their hands to knock them backward.
- The only time people fell in the presence of God was when God was rendering some type of judgment.
Now to some arguments that will counter some of the above arguments if you should ever need them in any kind of debate.
Arguments For Being Slain in the Spirit
I will take each one of the above arguments and see if I can give you an opposing point of view in order to try and defend this phenomena as being from the Lord.
1. The First Argument – people always falling face down rather than falling backwards. Granted, 5 of the above 9 verses specifically state that these people had fallen on their faces rather than falling backward.
However, the other 4 verses say they simply “fell to the ground,” or that they “could not stand” when the presence of God would manifest.
Who is to say that when these people fell to the ground, they could not have been falling backwards. These verses do not say if they fell forward or backward, so I believe this means they could have fallen either way – thus showing that there was the possibility of falling backwards when the presence of God would manifest.
The first verse says that the priests “could not stand” when the manifest presence of God would enter into the temple. Again, they could have easily as been falling backwards as well as falling forward.
Since Scripture does not specifically say in which direction they were falling, I believe we are on safe ground making the assumption that these 4 other verses give us the possibility of people falling backwards whenever the presence of God would manifest.
2. The Second Argument – stating that at no time did Jesus or the apostles ever lay hands on people causing them fall backwards.
Though I could not find any actual Scripture verses that did show this phenomena occurring as it does today by the laying on of hands, I feel the key argument for the possibility of this phenomena occurring is the following argument:
Sometimes when the presence of God would manifest like described in the above verses, people did fall to the ground. No question about it. However, there were other times God would manifest His presence and people would not fall to the ground.
This thus was a manifestation that was completely controlled by God. He, and He alone, would decide when people would get knocked to the ground and when they would not whenever He would manifest His presence.
I think the key point to really grab a hold of is that this phenomena can occur when God does decide to manifest His presence in this particular way. And sometimes God will manifest His presence through the hands of a pastor or minister.
And if He does decide to manifest His presence through the hands of a minister, then I believe it is only logical to conclude that God can knock people down to the ground like He did back in the Bible days if He should choose to do so.
There is no question that the manifest presence of God is coming through a pastor or minister when hands are being laid on someone for a healing. The manifest presence and power of God will literally flow through the hands of the pastor or minister and flow right into the person’s body, and then the Holy Spirit Himself will do the healing once inside the person’s body.
If “healing power” can come through a minister’s hands, then why not “knockdown power?”
God can either knock someone over with a direct hit Himself, or through the hands of someone who is operating under His anointing at any given moment. I believe God can and does go either way with this particular manifestation.
3. The Third Argument – God only knocked people down when rendering some type of judgment on them. Look closely at the above 9 verses.
It was only on the apostle Paul that God was rendering judgment on when He knocked him to the ground. The others were priests of the temple, prophets like Ezekiel and John the Revelator, or the apostles themselves. None of them were under any kind of direct judgment when this phenomena was occurring.
In part 2 on Being Slain in the Spirit, I conclude and give you my opinion why I believe this is a true manifestation from the Lord