This is a video from "worldslastchance" © from YouTube and it most-accurately illustrates the below article that I have written. The caption accompanying the video reads: "Pentecostals & charismatic Christians believe that being baptized with the holy Spirit should be displayed by practices that do not agree with the Bible, as the video is about to show."
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him." - 2 Corinthians 11:3,4 KJV
Now, I already know that I am going to have pastors, ministers and so-called evangelists calling me on the carpet concerning this next statement that I am about to make. But before you start tearing down my character and questioning what spirit I am operating under, you better check the biblical references for support of this particular article. Then ask yourself what spirit are you operating under if you are in full support and favor of the next heresy that I am about to illustrate.
I know that most of you - who are familiar with the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement, are familiar with the practice, where the "Spirit" is said to come upon someone with such force and strength they can no longer stand under their own power, and call this being, "slain in the spirit." Personally, after having seen and experienced this practice, when I was a member of the Church Of God In Christ, I no longer hold to it as being either legitimate or scriptural. In fact, it's a bunch of baloney...
There is absolutely No scripture anywhere that mentions the church or individual believers being slain in the spirit! In the 66 books of the Bible, there is not one instance of a man or woman ministering this experience to someone else, people! No prayer lines to receive the experience! NO PUSHERS! NO CATCHERS! What? Jesus is not recorded as ever ministering this in the Gospels! Anywhere! This never occured in the biblically recorded ministries of the great apostles Peter and Paul - or of any other apostles, either! Period! And before some, so-called, Charimatic "theologian" drops a whining comment below, the instances of falling down in the New Testament have no similarity whatsoever with the "spirit slaying" phenomenon that is part of the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement. There was no spastic jerking. There was no "Holy Spirit glue" which kept someone from rising. There was no laughter connected with the falling. There was no repetition of the falling. There was no teaching on falling, for crying out loud! There was no people queuing up in lines waiting to fall! There was no repetitive choruses preparing people for mystical experiences. There was no one yelling "Fire!" and "More, Lord!" In the New Testament, there was no "laying on of hands" preceding the falling down. In fact, there was no human instrumentality whatsoever in any of the instances of falling in the Bible. In the Bible, those who fell, fell before the Lord, not man! Paul fell before Jesus. John on the Island of Patmos fell before the glorious Lord Jesus. No man pushed them...no man prayed for them...no one stood behind to catch them. In Revelation 1:17-19, John fell before the resurrected, glorified Jesus. Jesus got John right UP and got him busy writing down the Revelation. John was lucid, alert, awake. Jesus didn't leave John lying down on the ground.
But, try as I have to try to convince die-hard Charismatics of the above declarations, they still are not convinced. It is pure stupidity when you have Charismatic apologists presuming to compare their childish and hysterical experiences with the Divine revelations outlined in the Holy Scriptures. They can compare their ridiculous behavior with the guards at the Garden of Gethsemane, the guards at the tomb and Paul's Damascus road encounter all they want to. But, these people just fell down before the true God (without contortions, and certainly without laughter), whereas these pitiful pseudo-Christians are merely reacting to the presence of an invading spirit, and are worshipping only themselves. If these "charismatic" experiences are religious experiences at all, then they are pagan religious experiences! Another point that I want to make, is the fact that these people that they are using as examples to validate their experiences were unbelievers, including the Apostle Paul who was known as Saul at the time. Only in his case is there any hint of a redemptive work being done. The closest thing in the Bible to the experience being practiced today is the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5. They were "slain in the Spirit" for lying. They never got up to testify of their euphoric feelings.
Search the Scriptures. Open up your Bibles and use them for something besides a coaster for your coffee mug or an attractive ornament for your dining room table! Again and again (in the Bible), people fell down before the Lord, not man; usually face forward; often voluntarily; and usually to worship!
- 2 Chronicles 20:18 - "Jehosphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people...fell down in worship before the Lord."
- Ezekiel 3:23-24 - "...The glory of the Lord was standing there...and I fell facedown. Then the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet." The Spirit lifted him up from the ground, rather than knocking him down to the ground!
- 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 - "...Convinced that he is a sinner...So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, 'God is really among you.'" This equals conviction of sin and a voluntary prostration before God, still in full control of his faculties.
The common denominator was: whether volountary or involuntary falling, it was before God, not man.
And even though I mentioned the fact that in the Bible people fell down before the Lord in worship and usually face forward, the fact of the matter is that the direction of the fall neither validates nor negates the current craze. One woman concluded after a discussion on the issue that falling forward made the difference between the true and the false experience. That's not true either. She has fallen into the current trap of assuming that since there is an imitation there must be a real. You can counterfeit a $5 dollar bill, but you can't counterfeit a $3 dollar bill. You have to create one. And while we're on this topic, let me mention that it does not matter how long a person "stays down." Again, undiscerning Christians have tried to create a standard for judging the valid and invalid experiences.
Listen, if - in the Bible -the common denominator was that this falling down was before God and not man, then what in Sam's Hill is going on in these charimatic and Pentecostal churches?! Well, it appears that attention is being drawn to the minister; then to the person "slain." Man is being lifted up instead of Christ! Anything that draws attention to the instrument rather than the Master must be suspect! The Word says that the Holy Spirit will testify of Christ and point men to Him. It is also interesting to note that in all the accounts the proponents cite from history and Scripture, not one time is the "power" channeled through an intermediary - no middle man! But in today's Charismatic circles, God "moves" through a man or woman to accomplish this feat. I've often wondered how the "channel" is able to stand such a surge of power through his spirit that will flatten hundreds of people at one time and never affect him and generally not his catchers.
There are obviously many phonies who are trying to capitalize on the gullibility of believers. I have been in services and have seen evidence on unedited video tapes that many who are "slain" are, in fact, pushed down, muscled down or pulled down by "catchers."
Listen, the only people I know of that were "slain" by God in the New Testament, are Ananias and his wife Sapphira, who lied to Him about the amount of money held back from property they sold for voluntary contribution to the church. The context of their literal slaying is not good!
The irony of this practice that I have witnessed more times than I care to admit, is that it smacks of fanaticism, ingnorance of Scripture, and thrill seeking to replace servanthood! Quite often, the men and women that use the church pulpit to propagate this bizarre new phenomena dubbed, "the renewal movement," are charlatans using the spiritual starvation of charismatics to capitalize on pseudo-evangelistic techniques, such as being "slain in the spirit."
It sickens me...this disgusting abuse of ministerial power to lead God's people down the path of spiritual bankruptcy, in order to line their greedy pockets with the offerings taken after they perform their spiritual mumbo-jumbo. What's even more sad is the fact that the charismatic churches and its members actually WANT these kind of antics and believe such showmanship is so-called "proof" that God is moving in their midst. Whatever.
Why do they have assigned "catchers" to break the fall of the person upon whom the "spirit" suddenly falls with such power they can no longer stand upright? Quite simply, it is their insurance against those whose backs and hips would surely be broken, and who would sue the pants off any preacher that practiced something so obviously wreckless.
It happened! A New York woman has been awarded a civil judgment of $80,000 dollars. In a religious service she was "slain in the Spirit," and, during the ordeal, broke her arm! When the "power from on high" hit her, a minister pushed her backwards. The attendant who was appointed to catch did not; she suffered injury and sued. The church was required to pay damages. And get this: THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS NAMED IN THE LITIGATION!
Falling, catching, being slain, and slaying....it is all a mockery of the true Gospel message! It's an indicator of a backslidden and lukewarm church that is so much like that of Laodicea described in the Book of Revelation, who say that they are spiritually "rich" and yet they are poor, miserable, blind and naked.
It's rank foolishness that is bordering on blasphemy! I am constantly amazed by the lack of discernment and accompanying gullibility of the average Christian and even some "leaders" today.
God is sovereign and if He chooses to move upon a person in this way that is His right. But an examination of Scripture, as I have stated before, clearly shows that there is no evidence for such an experience. There is no record in the Bible of anyone falling under the power of the Spirit when the apostles, or the Lord Himself, prayed for them or laid hands on them. Who was more full of the Holy Ghost than Jesus, the Son of God?
It borders on BLASPHEMY, in my opinion, for anyone to claim to have an anointing with power beyond that which Christ Himself had. Yet, such claims are being made frequently. And while I am at it, how can anyone be so puffed up by his own sense of spirituality that be believes that he can merely BREATHE (BLOW) on someone and they will receive His anointing and the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Jesus Christ breathed on the apostles the evening of His resurrection and said, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost" but they didn't "fall out." The baptism of the Holy Ghost is not something that can be passed on by breathing on or laying hands on someone. Jesus is still the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. He has not given that honored position to mankind and certainly not to any one man.
Some of you will say, "What's the harm? If it makes people feel more spiritual or closer to God why not let them indulge in their little fantasy?" It is just that kind of attitude that has led to a terrible deception in the church today. This "anything goes" attitude not only opens the church to demonic influences but also lets the spirits of men reign where only the Spirit of God (the Spirit of Truth) should reign.
To tolerate unbiblical practices in the church is to say that the truth of God's Word can be altered to fit our needs and desires. To say that God's ways are not separate and unique from all others is to deny the truth of His Word. That cannot be allowed.
One cannot but admire sincerity in devoted religious people. But the fact of the matter is that sincerity, apart from a knowledge of truth, does not avail (cf. Acts 23:1; 26:9; Romans 1:2). The Holy Spirit does not subdue people and make them do things over which they have no control. In a letter to the Corinthian church, in discussing the operation of the Holy Spirit in connection with supernatural gifts, Paul wrote that "the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets" (1 Corinthians 14:32).
The Holy Spirit will not overpower a person and thrown them to the ground, or render them helpless as someone else pushes them backwards.
It is a tragedy of no small consequence that many honest people are so duped with reference to the operation of the Holy Spirit. Miracles are not being formed today. No one is being "slain in the Spirit." The dead are not being raised, bones are not being miraculously mended, and no one is speaking in languages never learned.
I believe that the "slaying in the Spirit" experience feeds sensationalism. In other words, it reflects Jesus' judgment on people who seek after signs and miracles rather than seek God. "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of Jonah" (Matthew 12:39).
Jesus was emphasizing the cross. He wants His servants to preach the forgiveness of sins that has been made available through His shed blood on the cross. This is the gospel by which people shall have the gift of salvation and eternal life.
Sensational experiences like slaying in the Spirit cannot save people.
I realize that what has been written contradicts much of what has become widely accepted as normal and acceptable in the Charismatic and Pentecostal churches today. But I believe with all my heart that we must look to the Scriptures alone for the precedents, examples and limits of spiritual experiences.
Spiritual experiences that cannot be honestly justified by God's Holy Word should be suspect and certainly not sought after.
Larry Thomas, President, Amazing Grace Ministries; article taken frm The Inkhorn
Wayne Jackson, She Was Slain in the Spirit; Christian Courier, 27 May 2002