Slain In The Spirit
By Phil Scovell
The subject of being slain in the Holy Spirit came up on a
mailing list I own called EChurch. It started with focusing on
Benny Hinn's ministry since nearly everyone he prays for falls
down and was said to have been slain in the Spirit. Some
preachers have even taken up just blowing on people and they
fall. If you have watched any Christian TV at all, you probably
don't need any examples.
What you are about to read is my opinion. Many believe
there is no biblical justification for such an experience. As a
Baptist, I was always taught that experience certainly wasn't of
God and if it isn't in the Bible, well, then, forget it; it's
wrong. You can decide for yourself if the Bible describes
anything close to being slain in the Holy Spirit.
Let me make some other comments about the topic of being
slain in the Holy Spirit. Is it Biblical? Well, I don't know.
Let's ask John the disciple in the opening verses of the book of
Revelation and see what he thinks when he found himself suddenly
confronted with the holiness of God's presence. Let's ask Jesus,
who, after agonizing in prayer in the garden just before he was
arrested to be crucified, was approached by a band of armed men.
Jesus spoke and asked them a simple question and they all hit the
deck as if a hurricane just blew in. Odd. Let's ask some other
men of God such as king David, who was so caught up in the
presence of God, that the Bible says he danced naked and leaped
and whirled around in the air. Yes, he was later criticized for
his behavior by an ungodly wife. I know some say he still had
his underwear on but even so, that in itself would be a little
strange if you ask me. I mean, I have gotten pretty carried away
as I worshipped the Lord but I've never stripped down to my
underwear, leaped into the air, and whirled around like a top.
I've never even rolled on the floor. I did whistle last Sunday
morning during our worship time I was so happy in the Lord and I
can whistle through my fingers so loud, it will make your ears
hurt. I guess that is a little unorthodox but I was fully
dressed at the time.
I love the story of the prophet Balaam and his talking
donkey, too. Read it for yourself. When Balaam, the prophet,
was in God's presence, he fell flat on his face and begged for
his life. Then we have Paul. He was knocked plum off his horse
and went stone blind from God's presence. Maybe we should ask
people like Abraham and Moses and Joshua and King Saul, samuel
the prophet, and of course we can't leave out Job and how they
reacted when they found themselves in God's presence. Then
there's Jeremiah, Jonah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Elijah, and Elisha who
all had pretty weird spiritual experiences when finding
themselves in God's eternal holy presence. I wonder if that's
what happened to old Enoch, the seventh from Adam. After all, he
didn't die so I wonder if he just walked right into God's holy
presence and was not for God took him. Just speculation, I know.
How about some pretty unusual experiences others have had in
the presence of the Almighty God? I mean, read Leviticus chapter
10 about Nadab and Abihu when they violated the presence of God's
holiness in the temple and instantly died. Now, that'll make you
think twice about wanting to be in God's presence any time soon.
Then there is the grand daddy of them all when it comes to
the demonstration of the presence of God. The Virgin Mary. I
mean, she got pregnant. If that one doesn't make you stop and
think about the power of God's presence, nothing will.
Now, I know that John MacArthur and Hank Hanegraaff think
all this sort of thing died out with the last apostle, whoever he
was, but I often wonder if they are reading the same Bible I am.
I haven't found one verse that even remotely suggests that God's
miracles and power and God's holiness has somehow diminished or
weakened since the world began but maybe they are correct in
teaching all this ceased with the last apostle, whoever he was,
or ceased when the Bible came into existence. I still have a
problem with some interpretations of this, I must admit. After
all, I have read the stories of Charles Finny who more than once
reported that people by the hundreds would literally fall out of
the pews flat on the floor as he preached. I read one account
where Charles Finny was taking a guided tour through a saw mill
in the town where he was preaching for several weeks. He walked
passed an open door and as he did, a man working in there fell to
the floor and began crying out for God to save his sinful soul.
the employee did not even know Finny was in the building. Was
that God or Charles Finny's presence the man sensed. I wonder.
John Wesley reported in his writings that often 20,000 people
would attend the outdoor meetings. Many would climb the trees so
they could get a better view of Wesley as he preached. Wesley
requested they would come down out of the trees because people
were falling to the ground as he preached due to the presence and
power of God's Word. Of course, if you have ever read anything
about D L Moodey, R A torrey, Harry Ironside, or George Muler,
you know they all had very similar experiences when confronted
with the presence of the Lord in prayer. I've just mentioned a
few; there are plenty more.
I remember the first time, as I prayed in the basement of my
home some twenty years ago, the presence of the Lord entered my
room and was so strong, I could not stand but lay on the floor
and worshipped the Lord in His holiness. I have seen my wife,
more than once, fall right out of her chair on to the floor when
people prayed for her because she said the presence of the Lord
was so intense, she couldn't stay seated.
I know as fundamentalists, we all want at least one Bible
verse to prove what we say we believe is true but we don't always
get that one verse, do we. I mean, the word "trinity" never
appears anywhere in the Bible but we all believe in the trinity.
The word rapture is an unscriptural word which cannot be
documented within the pages of God's Word without using other
passages to prove it. Yet most people believe in a rapture of
the church. The word "Sunday school" does not appear in the
Bible and isn't taught but a lot of people believe you should be
in Sunday school. Wednesday night meetings and Sunday night
meetings aren't mentioned in the Bible but many good Christians
believe in them both. You cannot find any passage of Scripture
that gives us license to construct huge multi million dollar
church buildings just for services but we do it in the name of
the Lord. We have even created whole denominations, complete
with voting and elections of leaders, national annual
conventions, appointed men and women to different departments of
ministry, and then there are the financial requirements that all
the member churches associated to that denomination are required
to send to the home office. Where is that in the Bible? Yet, we
do it and never give it a second thought. We have radio and TV
ministries who siphon literally hundreds of millions of dollars
away from local New Testament churches every month and call it
Biblical and God led and God ordained. We create para-church
ministries by the hundreds and then expect the local churches to
carry the financial load so they can reach people for Christ. I
really wonder how much of the bible we actually believe. Yes, I
believe that we need to expose people who are creating aspects of
ministry and bring them into accountability and that includes
Benny Hinn and a whole bunch of others such as Bill McCartney and
the Promise Keepers. Now, see. Those are fighting words to
some. Do we really believe that everything we do as a Christian
as a Bible verse that backs us up? Let's back up a little.
Remember the argument, well, the Bible doesn't talk about
smoking. Need I continue?
I challenge anybody anywhere to call me anything other than
a fundamentalist. Go and read all the doctrinal things I have
written on my website and then let's talk. Shoot, I was such a
fundamentalist separatist once upon a time, I did not own a TV
because I felt it was sin and I refused to allow my wife to wear
slacks because it was unholy. Additionally, as a youth pastor, I
refused to allow any of the teenage girls to wear slacks at any
of our functions and they didn't either. The girls came to me,
actually it was their parents, and asked me to prove from the
Bible why their daughters could not wear slacks. We sat up a
time and I preached a 45 minute message with more Scriptures than
you could shake a stick at. No body in that church challenged me
and all their daughters came to our youth functions and never
wore slacks once. You know what? I was dead wrong, too, but I
proved my case from the Bible and all these fundamental Bible
preaching people believed me. So what do we do? We take God's
Word and get on our knees and ask God to show us His truth.
There are some standards and we all know what those are.
They concern salvation, the blood of Christ, his bodily
resurrection, his return, the virgin birth, His sinless nature,
His deity, the inerrancy of the Scriptures and a few others but
you know them as well as I do.
Benny Hinn, I believe, has sadly been misled, along with
many others. Do people get saved at his meetings? I hope so.
Do people get healed? I hope so. Will I support him? You
couldn't pay me to go to one of his meetings. Do I believe
people can be overwhelmed by the presence and power of God? If
you don't, then you must be one of those who believe all of this
died out hundreds of years ago and that God does not manifest
Himself in such ways any longer. My fear is that today we have
limited God by our unbelief. The Benny Hinns will die out on
their own eventually but the power of God won't. I'm seeking His
power just like you are. Should we question such ministries and
practices? The key word here is practices. The answer is
absolutely. If we have doubt, there is probably a good reason
but if someone can take God's Word and show you the truth, will
you then believe and admit you were wrong? Frankly, 20 years
ago, I would not have believed I could speak in tongues, pray in
the Holy Spirit, and be healed of anything. I believe apostles
and prophets died out at the end of the first century. I did not
believe in miracles until one day, as a traveling Baptist
evangelist, my wife and I laid our hands on our little boy who
was burning up with fever in the middle of the night. He was so
hot, you could hardly stand to touch him. We were in a tiny
town. We were afraid so we laid hands on him and we both prayed.
We felt his temperature drop within seconds until he finally felt
normal and we all three went to sleep. That is one story of
dozens I could tell. Do I always get healed? No, of course not
because I don't always believe God as I should.
Years ago I lay in my bed praying late one night. I did not
believe in speaking in tongues either. I was asking God
questions about prayer and that still small voice spoke to me and
said, "Phil, there will come a time in your life when I will
answer every prayer you pray to me." I felt like Sarah because I
laughed. Me? Not me. A few months later I suddenly realized it
would happen just as He said. Can I find that in the Bible? No
not so as I could convinced Brother Hanagraaf or Brother
Macarthur. But I believe it in my heart. Do you have to be
slain in the Spirit? No more than you have to speak in tongues.
You have to be save, though, to go to Heaven and that's a Bible
End Of Document
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