Slain In The Spirit

                                   By Phil Scovell

                                     Introduction


               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
          fact.

                            End Of Document
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