“Slain in the spirit” is a strange phrase.  The person is not slain but merely knocked over onto his back.  The question is — what spirit?   It certainly has nothing whatsoever to do with the Holy Spirit.  No such thing is ever mentioned in the Bible.

Being “slain in the spirit” is a phrase used within charismatic Christianity.   It describes a religious behavior in which an individual falls to the floor.  This usually happens during an event they perceive as a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit, often associated with the practice of laying on of hands. (Wikipedia)

Charlatans such as Benny Hinn love to put on a show.  Hinn might scream a word such as “fire” and people drop to the ground. He might wave his jacket at them and they drop. This is sheer nonsense and certainly has no basis in Scripture.

There is no evidence that slain in the spirit was ever used by Jesus or the apostles, and there are no Bible passages that discuss this phenomena. There are no “rules for slaying” that one would find for speaking in tongues, etc.  This is an entirely unbiblical process.

I (Dee) have been to see hypnotists.  They use the tools of hypnosis to get people to fall over and, in general to make fools of themselves.

The nutjobs of the word of faith movement use this as a sort of game; they love to have control over very suggestible people.  They utilize the tools of the hypnotist to effect such a response.  People like Hinn appear to enjoy having power to cause people to fall, using it to glorify their own “power” which is absolutely ridiculous.

Many videos have been made of this event.  It is obvious that people check for catchers before they fall.  They are often seen adjusting their clothing once on the ground.

People are suggestible.  If they believe they can be slain, they will be slain.  These individuals are likely Biblical illiterates who may not even understand they are basing their faith on sheer emotionalism.

I believe that Hinn and others realize what they are doing and know that it is simply a trick.  They all must know that they are not healing people since they have do not have one shred of evidence of a miraculous healing and have been known to falsify evidence.  They are charlatans who use stupid and gullible people to further their own fortunes.

When we look at Scripture, what do we find?  We do not see any of this practiced or even hinted in the Scripture. When the Spirit came upon Jesus at His baptism, He came up out of the water — He didn’t collapse and sink down!  The Lord Jesus had power to heal even the worst cases of disease, blindness and crippled limbs, and yet no one whom Jesus ever touched fell over “slain.”  Nor do we find Peter or John touching people and causing them to fall over.  They did not ask other disciples to stand behind those they were going to lay hands on, to catch them as they toppled backward by the power.  The New Testament has no people lining up waiting for the “anointing” to be passed on from another, not even the Apostles.  Can you picture any of the Apostles running up to people and slapping them on the forehead, or lining people up to be slain?  No soft music or repetitive choruses were sung to set an atmosphere for the anointing to fall.  No one yelled repetitive phrases like, “Fire!” or “touch” or “More, Lord!”  So where does this all come from?

Those who advocate this practice need to consider what they are really attributing to the Holy Spirit.  There is no Biblical precedent for being “slain in the Spirit” as we see practiced today.

Jesus is the baptizer, who anoints with the Holy Spirit.  The power comes only from Christ.  Just what are people receiving through this experience?  Do these displays of power become the convincing proof of God’s presence?  John 10:41-42 records, “Then many came to Him and said, ‘John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true.’ And many believed in Him there.” John convinced the people without a display of miracles. It was the truth that converted them and made them into followers. It is by knowing the truth (the Word) that keeps people following faithfully, not displays of power. We don’t need to be slain “in the Spirit”, but cut “by the Spirit,” the Word (John 6:63; Hebrews 4:12).  One way is by expositional preaching the other is offered by experience.  One comes by the Word that is objective, that teaches and convicts through the Holy Spirit, the other is subjective, by a person touching you or imparting a power. The Word is Biblical, the other is not.

The Old Testament has many examples of saints who fell to the ground. In Genesis 15:12-18 when Abraham was put to sleep horror and great darkness fell upon him, but it was not pleasant. This was a special event signifying God’s covenant with Abraham as God told about his offspring’s future. This act was not repeated for any of his descendents. Notice the passage indicates that the experience was not enjoyable. Genesis 17:3 Abraham falls on his face, but this does not describe an involuntary act of being slain in the Spirit as some claim. Abraham fell face forward toward the ground on his own accord, in reverence, in an act of fully conscious worship.

Scriptures used to validate this as Biblical are:

Gen.15, 17:1-3; Josh.5:13-15; Ez.1:28,43;1-5, 44:4; Mt.17:5-6; Rev.1:7, 7:11, 11:16-17; Acts 9.

Many fell backwards in Scripture, but it was not a blessing! In 1 Samuel 4:18: Eli fell off his seat backwards on hearing of the death of his sons and the capture of the Ark and he died. Isaiah 28:13 the prophet speaks of God’s Word sent to refresh, but if not heard it became a judgment “that they may go and stumble backward, and be broken.” In all these examples it is a judgment, not a blessing! In 1 Samuel 28:20 we read of Saul immediately collapsing “full length” on the ground upon hearing of his impending death from Samuel after consulting the witch of Endor.

2 Chronicles 5, describes God’s glory filling the newly completed Temple. It says, “The priests could not continue ministering … for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God” (v.14). This cannot be made into a normative occurrence for today’s Church, as many have tried to do. This was a celebration because the temple was completed, the ark was brought in and Solomon had the priests assemble inside the most holy place. Inside the glory manifested physically as cloud in a contained place, the rest of Israel was still standing outside. In 2 Chronicles 7:2 and I Kings 8:11 the priests could not enter the temple or perform the priestly duties of the LORD because the temple was filled with the glory of the LORD.

In Ezekiel 1:28 and 2:1 the prophet is overwhelmed by the vision he saw and falls forward in worship. Those who are holy fall forward in conscious submission to God’s Holy presence. They do not become dazed and confused, as in some spirit services today. Those who are enemies fall backward when confronted with God’s true power. Philippians 2 says every knee will bow. Those who are conscious of who they serve bow forward, willingly and fully conscious. Those who fall backward overwhelmed, show a lack of submission, and rebellion.

Daniel, in 10:4-11 encountered a powerful angel and said, “I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale, and I was helpless… I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground.” Daniel fell on his face; he fell forward. This was not without purpose. Daniel, a prophet, was receiving revelation that would become Scripture. Since in the Old Testament those who were affected in this manner were not born again, indwelt permanently by the Holy Spirit, this experience cannot be used as normative for the Church today. When John saw Jesus glorified in heaven (Revelation 1:17) he describes that, ‘“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.” John was overcome with fear; he did not recognize Him as the Jesus He knew on earth.

What about Saul on the road to Damascus in Acts 9?  Those who promote the “slain in the Spirit” phenomenon cite Saul’s encounter with the appearance of the Lord on the road to Damascus in Acts 9:3-4 for Biblical support. Saul was an unbeliever on his way to his next extermination. He was knocked to the ground by a light (the Sheckinah glory) and he had a revelation of Christ. When Saul fell, no one touched him and no one was there to catch him. The Scripture doesn’t actually say how he fell, but the Greek language seems to indicate he went to the ground on his own volition. Jesus does not appear to be the source of Paul’s falling to the ground, Jesus did not allow Paul to remain on the ground, but told him to “arise and go into Damascus.” Remember Saul was unsaved at the time, so this does not provide any justification for regarding it as a model for believers to practice today. He was consciously carrying on a conversation with the Lord. In Acts 26:14 Paul, recalling the event, states all who were with him saw the light and fell to the ground, but only he heard the voice (Acts 22:9). This was an extreme measure designed to get Paul’s attention, as he was on his way to kill Christians. The others with Paul who also fell were unbelievers and stayed in their unbelieving state. Therefore, this incident involving falling to the ground (being slain by the Spirit) cannot be used to support the idea that it is a spiritual blessing, as commonly said today.

In examples from either the Old Testament or the New, the men affected did not have a permanent indwelling of the Spirit. When the soldiers came to arrest Jesus, in John 18:4-6 He reveals His power in a unique way. He identified himself to the soldiers who were arresting him and they “drew back and fell to the ground.” Jesus first revealed Himself by saying His divine name, “I Am,” making it clear who it is they came for. When He identified Himself to them, they fell to the ground in judgment. These pagan sinners did fall — backwards. They did not experience revelation or receive an anointing, or conversion, they got right back up and arrested Jesus. There was no change in them; they were still enemies of Jesus. Also, none of Jesus’ followers fell down during the arrest. Certainly none of this represents a pattern for the Church. Those who practice the artful ritual of being “slain in the Spirit” today deny or ignore these Biblical facts in order to embrace an experience that is not endorsed in the whole New Testament.

This is even stated in the Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic movements “There is no mention of the Spirit here (Jn.18:1-6) and John portrays no relationship between Spirit and power and Jesus. The text remains enigmatic, especially since John offers neither explanation for, nor effect of their fall.

Those who are in rebellion to God seem to fall backward in Scripture. This just may be a sign today, not as a blessing but to show that these people are not submitting to His Word; so it is a sign of judgment. The idea that God is doing a “new thing” is without any biblical precedent. Their attempt to justify and defend this practice is by going to texts from the Old Testament. and yanking them out of their context and background. Trying to use the few incidents in Acts one cannot make them normative for the Church (believers) today.

The power is suppose to get people up not put them down and out. At the gate Beautiful Peter said to the blind man, “silver and gold I have none, but in the name of Jesus, RISE UP and walk.” Most of these new anointed dispensers of power can’t say the same because silver and gold they have abundantly. The power of God got people up, those who were thrown to the ground shaking and having convulsions were not possessed by the Holy Spirit but often demon-possessed in need of deliverance. They were not reacting from receiving God’s power they were in need of God’s power for it to stop.

Mesmer could actually be considered the father of slain in the Spirit except that he was plainly an occultist. Mesmer claimed to have discovered what he dubbed as animal magnetism. Having an interest in ESP and doing a doctoral study on astrology, He took a scientific approach on reaching spiritual contacts and trances through animal magnetism (universal fluid). “What he discovered was an activation of strange powers in man that would help him gain insights into cosmic truths hidden from most of humanity by a veil of ignorance.”

He had written in his doctoral dissertation and repeated in a series of writings, the hoary fallacies could be shown to have essential truth within in them when interpreted scientifically-Astrology, alchemy, Oneiromancy (divination by dreams), divination. He then explained it through animal magnetism. Others who were also influenced by Mesmer were Samuel Hanneman founder of Homeopathy (New age medicine). Phineas B.Quimby who was also a mesmerist, he first attributed the power to Spirits for the use of this unknown energy but later said it was the mind. He healed Mary baker Eddy through this power who then became the founder of Christian Science a mind science Cult.

Helena Blavatsky the mediumistic founder of theosophy read Mesmer’s works which gave her a working foundation in mysticism. The evolution of this method went from calling it occult power to hypnosis. When looked at carefully there the differences are hardly noticeable. John Weldon in his book Psychic Forces and occult Shockrecords on pg. 255  “In fact, no occult phenomenon found in Mesmerism is lacking in hypnosis.”…It appears that, in essence modern hypnotism is mesmerism. Martin Ebon, fairly well respected as an occult authority, even connects the two: “The Mesmeric, or hypnotic, trance bears a close resemblance to the mediumistic trance.” Mesmers activity could hardly be distinguished from what is transpiring in some of the charismatic wing of the Church today. “Mesmer marched about majestically in a pale lilac robe, passing his hands over patients’ bodies or touching them with a long iron wand. The results varied. Some patients felt nothing at all, some felt as if insects were crawling over them, others were seized with hysterical laughter, convulsions or fits of hiccups. Some went into raving delirium, which was called “the crises” and was considered extremely healthful” (R. Cavendish, the magical arts RKP 1984 pg.180). What was described is people feeling good, uplifted, felt a release and had a sense of well being from the experience. Mesmer could actually be considered the father of modern “slain in the Spirit” experience, except that he was plainly an occultist. Imagine…the same conduct and results coming from non-Christians!  Hmmm…



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    This is a very interesting topic, I am not aware of anyone that was healed by Jesus being “Slain In The Spirit”.
    They seemed to get up, or walk away after being healed of all kinds of diseases. Even the woman who was healed from her blood disease kept on moving and talked to Jesus. No falling over from her healing.
    Even the thief on the cross did not fall of the cross when Jesus told him that he would be in paradise with Jesus that day.
    I think the Charlatans such as Benny Hinn have a gimick that people seem to be falling over.

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    I believe these people are in a hypnotic state when they are “slain the the spirit”.

    Did you see this YouTube video we included in an earlier post – “Bedlam in the Word of Faith” crowd? Here’s the link:

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    Thanks, I just watched the video. In a way it is very upsetting to see just how corrupt the power of God is being co-oped by a very evil individual. All for his personal gain.
    It is good to know that Jesus tells us that God will not be mocked. Also, we know the Jesus is in control of the world and is over Satin since He rose from the grave. Benny will be getting his due judgment.
    I feel for those who are weak in faith and are used as pawns to support the evil Mr. Benny Hill. The members of the Family of God, us that are saved should boldly confront this person in the appropriate manner. We can remember what Jesus called the leaders of the Temple.

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    One of the reasons I’m compelled to blog about these matters is because the spirit within me is deeply disturbed when innocent people are misled and then betrayed because of greed and/or a lust for power. That goes for the prosperity pimps, the Calvinistas, and any other “so-called” Christian leaders with the wrong motives.

    Let’s fervently pray that God’s truth will be revealed to those who have been deceived by wolves in sheep’s clothing.