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Is being slain in the Spirit biblical?



Question: "Is being slain in the Spirit biblical?"

Answer:
The idea of being “slain in the Spirit” is when a minister lays hands on someone, and that person collapses to the floor, supposedly being overcome in the power of the Spirit. Those who practice "slaying in the Spirit" use Bible passages that talk about people becoming "as dead" (Revelation 1:17) or of falling upon their faces (Ezekiel 1:28; Daniel 8:17-18; Daniel 10:7-9). However, there are a number of contrasts between this biblical "falling on one's face" and the practice of "being slain in the Spirit."

1. The biblical falling down was a result of a person's reaction to what he saw in a vision or that was beyond ordinary happenings, such as at the transfiguration of Christ (Matthew 17:6). In the unbiblical practice of "being slain," the person responds to another’s "touch" or to the motion of the speaker's arm.

2. The biblical instances were few and far between, such that they occurred only rarely in the lives of but a few. In the "being slain" phenomenon, falling down is a weekly event in their churches and an experience that happens to many.

3. In the biblical instances, the people fall upon their faces in awe at either what they see or Whom they see. In the "slain in the Spirit" counterfeit, they fall backwards, either in response to the wave of the speaker's arm or as a result of a church leader's touch (or push in some cases).

We are not claiming that all examples of being "slain in the Spirit" are fakes or responses to a touch or push. Many people experience an energy or a force that causes them to fall back. However, we find no Biblical basis for this concept. Yes, there may be some energy or force involved, but if so, it is very likely not of God, and not the result of the working of the Holy Spirit.

It is unfortunate that people look to such bizarre counterfeits that produce no spiritual fruit, rather than pursuing the practical fruit which the Spirit gives us for the purpose of glorifying Christ with our lives (Galatians 5:22-23). Being filled with the Spirit is not evidenced by such counterfeits, but by a life that overflows with the Word of God such that the Word spills over in spiritual songs and thanksgiving to God. May Ephesians 5:18-20 and Galatians 5:22-23 so picture our lives!

Recommended Resource: Charismatic Chaos by John MacArthur and Counterfeit Revival by Hank Hanegraaff.


Related Topics:

How can I recognize a false teacher / false prophet?

Are the miraculous gifts of the Spirit for today?

What is the gift of speaking in tongues?

What is the Toronto blessing?

Who is the Holy Spirit?



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Is being slain in the Spirit biblical?