Slain in the Spirit?

What exactly is Slain in the Spirit anyway?
Let me explain as best I can.  Primarily a person who is Slain in the Spirit is someone who is being prayed for and they say the power of the Holy Spirit comes over them and they fall to the floor.  Most of the time they lay prostate and quiet but there are times when they may fall to the floor and flop around, growl, writhe, or numerous other things.  These people claim they are under control of the Holy Spirit and that they can do nothing about what is happening. Others claim that they sometimes come under control of the Holy Spirit and they begin to dance, shout, cry out loud, act drunk, fall around and other actions. I will say that the majority of the people I have witnessed "Slain in the Spirit" lay on the floor prostate, usually until the end of the service.

Is being Slain in the Spirit Scriptural?
That is a question that has been ask for many years.  There is an ongoing debate within the church realm and outside the church as well.  I have been around the Pentecostal circles for many years now and am quite familiar with the "Slain in the Spirit" activities.  I hope this article will answer some much needed questions for believers and unbelievers alike.  

Pentecostal churches whether denominationally affiliated or non-denominational tend to agree that one can be Slain in the Spirit and it is a natural occurrence that is Biblically based.  Secular persons tend to believe that anyone who is Slain in the Spirit is either crazy or possessed by a demon of some sort.  Let us take a look at the Bible to see what it says about being Slain in the Spirit.

Biblical References to the Holy Spirit:
...and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanshipto devise skilful works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
and in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, Exodus 31:3-5

And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,  Luke 1:67

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders, Acts 4:8

And when they had prayed, the place was shaken wherein they were gathered together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spake the word of God with boldness.  Acts 4:31

And Ananias departed, and entered into the house; and laying his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, [even] Jesus, who appeared unto thee in the way which thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mayest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit. And straightway there fell from his eyes as it were scales, and he received his sight; and he arose and was baptized; Acts 9:17,18

But Saul, who is also [called] Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fastened his eyes on him, and said, O full of all guile and all villany, thou son of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? Acts 13:9,10

And the disciples were filled with joy with the Holy Spirit. Acts 13:52

And be not drunken with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit; speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; subjecting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ.         Ephesians 5:18-21

Now if you will notice, all the above Scriptures that deal with the Holy Spirit all have a common trait.  There is order to what is happening.  There is no confusion.  There is no evidence of one just laying on the floor or ground doing nothing. 

In Exodus, he was filled with the Spirit of God (which is the Holy Spirit) giving him wisdom, understand, and knowledge in all manner of workmanship so that he could do a good job.
In Luke, Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, not a hint of just laying around but actively doing something to Glorify God.
In Acts 4:8, Peter was filled and began to preach a sermon.
In Acts 4:31, it says they were filled and began to speak the Word of God with Boldness, not lay on the ground mesmerized.
In Acts 9:17,18, we see that Ananias spoke to Saul (who's name was changed to Paul), and Saul became filled and he arose and was baptized.  He was already down but instantly came upright, not falling prostate on the floor.
In Acts 13:9,10, we see that Saul (Paul) was filled with the Spirit and he began to preach to him. Another example of Holy work not prostate like the dead.
In Acts 13:52, we notice the disciples were filled with joy with the Holy Spirit, not quiet and prostate on the floor but full of joy.
In Ephesians 5:18-21 we notice that we are to be filled with the Spirit, and treat each other to Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual songs, singing and making a melody with your heart to the Lord and to subject ourselves to one another in the fear of the Lord.

So it would seem that according to the Bible, the Holy Spirit is to be an uplifting in our lives.  He will lift us up, anoint us with a boldness to speak of the Lord and His righteousness. We already know from Scripture that God is not the author of confusion. 1 Corinthians 14:33. Now knowing this and agreeing that the Lord is not the author of confusion, one has to question if the confusing topic of being Slain in the Spirit is Scriptural or not.  But let us look a bit further. 

Advocates of the practice claim there is Scriptural warrant for being Slain in the Spirit.  But does this claim hold up? Let's see what the Bible references that are used to support being Slain in the Spirit have to say.

2 Chronicles 5:14 is about when the Ark was brought to the completed Temple. During the service, right before Solomon spoke, "the Lord's house was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not minister because the Glory of the Lord filled the Temple of God".

Matthew 17:6 refers to the Transfiguration, where God showed the three disciples what the significance of the Law and the Prophets were: that Jesus was greater, as the living fulfillment of them. It explains that the disciples were terrified and fell to the ground.

Matthew 28:4 is about the guards at Jesus' tomb, where they were apparently paralyzed by fear when the angel appeared, sitting on the rolled-away stone.

John 18:6 refers to the action of the Roman soldiers when they came to arrest Him. When they heard him identify himself, they backed up and fell to the ground.

Acts 9:4-8 refers to Paul's Damascus Road experience, where Saul was blinded by light from heaven and fell to the ground.

Revelation 1:17 references John, the writer of the Book of Revelation, speaking of the vision which gave him the messages to the churches in Asia Minor. John when seeing this, fell at His feet "like a dead man". Then, Christ laid His hand on him, to calm his fears.

You will notice that not one of the above Scripture Verses have anything to actually do with being "Slain in the Spirit".  Every verse deals with a different matter completely. There is no comparison to what happened in 2 Chronicles and what is happening today.  In  2 Chronicles there was a cloud which appeared. Nothing to do with anyone praying over someone or laying of hands on anyone and they then being slain. Matthew 17 says the disciples were terrified and fell to the ground.  Nothing about anyone praying for them or laying on of hands and slaying them.  Matthew 28 is about a couple guards who fell to the ground because
as it says in the verse:
"And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men."  In other words the appearance of an Angel almost scared them to death.  this is quite contrary to being Slain in the Spirit as today's people claim.  John 18 actually talks about how the guards when realizing who Jesus actually was, basically backed up and fell to the ground, but they were able to answer His next question.  They were not prostate or incoherent. Acts 9 shows nothing about being prayed for or laying on of hands, it actually says the light from Heaven blinded him and he fell to the ground.  I imagine if I was suddenly blinded by a bright light from Heaven, I would probably fall down also. Revelation 1 has nothing to do with praying for anyone or laying on of hands, it is about John seeing Jesus from Heaven and the awesomeness of it all made him fall down like a dead man.

So actually the ones who use these verses for confirmation of the use of being Slain by the Spirit are actually being deceived because these verses as we have just shown, have nothing to do with that.  Of course if we want to believe something bad enough, we can always come up with a Scripture verse and manipulate it around to fit our wants and wishes.  Justification only has to make sense to the one wishing it to.  We tend to justify a lot of things that are just not true.

I searched the Bible for references to being Slain in the Spirit and I came up with nothing, nada, none, zip, zero.  What does that tell me about the validity of the claim that being Slain in the Spirit is Biblical?  It tells me that there is no Biblical support for that activity. 

Now let me explain something.  I honestly believe that the majority of the people who experience being Slain in the Spirit, are genuinely honest in the actions.  Not all mind you but most.  The reason I say this is because I have known some of these people personally and they were so honest, faithful and loved the Lord so much.  I think the problem comes from these people being taught this activity all their lives and know no different.  I believe they "feel" so excited and when this feeling comes over them, they just act in the way that they think is normal.  A lot of preachers have even claimed that they believe a lot of people who fall down do so because they come to the altar thinking they are supposed to do so.  Even one of such questionable validity as Benny Hinn has said this. 

I believe the Holy Spirit is to lift us up.  Give us help.  Be a comforter.  Be our Spiritual Helpmeet so to speak.  Not to throw us down and make us unconscious or make us to jump around like a looney bin shouting and acting like a nut.  I am not saying that these activities are of Satan, I am saying that they are of man.  Naturally Satan will use man's wants and wishes to get his way.  When Satan knows a person thinks this way, he will naturally tell this person that this is exactly what they should believe.  He will tell that person they are right on and that person will think the confirmation came from God when it came from Satan instead.  A common mistake in many peoples lives as Satan is such a deceiver and he is GOOD AT IT.  Do not think for one second that Satan will not work on a Blood Bought Christian and deceive him.  Actually, Satan will attack the believer more than the unbeliever.  Remember he even tempted our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ!  He doesn't have to convince the unbeliever of much, he already has them eating out of his hand.

Once again, I hope this article has helped you to understand the Biblical stance for being Slain in the Spirit. Pray for  those on both sides of the argument that the Lord would work with both parties to understand what He would have us to know as to the truth.

Rev. Bob Wise