to Validate Slaying in the
Those that practice
slaying in the Spirit often quote Bible verses to validate their claim that this phenomenal experience is scriptural. I shall go through their favorite verses and see whether or not it is so.
When God made a promise to Abraham "a deep sleep fell upon
Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him." (Gen. 15:12) "Then
Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: 'As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father
of many nations." (Gen. 17:1-4)
deep sleep is not "slaying in the Spirit." When Abraham "fell
on his face" God was talking with him. It
was a posture of worship to show total submission and humility (Ref. Lev. 9:24; Num. 22:31).
Falling on the face is the opposite posture of falling backwards with the face looking up as is the case of people
who are slain in the Spirit.
When Joshua met the Commander of the Army of the LORD he "fell
on his face to the earth and worshiped," and said to Him, 'What does my Lord say to His servant." (Jos.
was not slain in the Spirit. He was worshiping God who came to him as the Commander. His face was to the earth and not to the sky as in the case of people who are slain
in the Spirit. Joshua was fully conscious of all his faculties when he "fell
on his face to the earth and worshiped."
There is a description of God's glory filling the newly-completed Temple. "The
priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the House of God."
(2 Chr. 5:13-14). When the prophet
Ezekiel saw "the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD," he fell on his
face and heard the voice of God speaking to him. (Ezek. 1:26-28)
was not slain in the Spirit but was overwhelmed by the heavenly vision and in awe of the "glory of the
LORD." He wrote: "So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice
of One speaking." (Ezek. 1:28) In
his other visions of the glory of God Ezekiel also fell on his face (Ezek. 43:1-5; 44:4)
Daniel saw the vision of a heavenly messenger.
He wrote: "Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I
was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground" (Dan. 10:7-9)
mind was alert and clear while he was in a deep sleep with his face to the ground. This
is a prostrated posture of worship not the slaying in the Spirit.
The Apostles at the Mountain of Transfiguration
At the Mountain of Transfiguration Peter, James and John saw the Lord Jesus Christ
appearing with Moses and Elijah. They also heard the voice of God saying: "This
is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!' And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid."
three disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ were not slain in the Spirit but were frightened by what they saw and heard. They did not fall backwards but "fell
on their faces".
The Betrayal of Jesus Christ
"Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief
priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus
therefore knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, 'Whom are you seeking?' They answered Him, 'Jesus of Nazareth.' Jesus said to them,
'I am He.' And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Then -when He said
to them, 'I am He.' - they drew back and fell to the ground." (Jn. 18:3-6)
Of all the examples shown so far this is the only one that resembles the description of slaying in the Spirit. This is the only incident in the Bible in which the people "drew
back and fell to the ground." Although the people fell backwards they did not become unconscious because the following
verse suggests that they were fully aware of what they were doing. It must be
noted that all those that fell backwards were enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ. From
this study we can see that the people of God fell forward with face towards the ground and the enemy of God fell backward
with their face looking up.
Paul's Damascus Road Experience
"And as he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him
from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, 'Saul,
Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" (Acts 9:3-4)
Although the narrative does not state whether Paul fell forward or backward yet there are indications he was not thrown
down by some external force. He probably voluntarily or instinctively fell to
the ground with face down by himself because of the bright light. Paul described
his experience as "a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed
with me." (Acts 26:13) In that situation Paul
would have fallen with his face toward the ground to shield his eyes from the bright light.
If he had fallen backward he would have injured himself and would require someone to help him get up. The narrative states: "Then Saul arose from the ground, . . ." (Acts
9:8) Paul got up from the ground by himself
to show that he fell forward and not backward.
Examples from Revelations
There are several examples of the postures of people worshiping the One True God.
"And when I saw Him, 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." (Rev. 1:17)
"And all the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures,
and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God." (Rev. 7:11)
"And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their
faces and worshiped God.” (Rev. 11:16)
"And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped
God who sat on the throne, saying, 'Amen! Alleluia!” (Rev. 19:4)
"And I fell at his feet to worship him.
But he said to me, 'See that you did not do that! I am your fellow servant,
and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Rev.
The descriptions "fell at His feet", "fell on their faces", "fell down and worshiped God", "fell
at his feet to worship him" can only mean falling forward with the face down. It is a posture of honoring and worshiping the One True God. There is absolutely nothing to suggest that it is slaying in the Spirit.
We have exhausted all the Bible verses that might lend support to the practice of
slaying in the Spirit. There is no indication this practice is scriptural. The Bible states: "To
the Law and to the Testimony! If they do not speak according to this Word, it
is because there is no light in them." (Isa. 8:20) This is the conclusion. What should
we do? "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle, which
all concern things which perish with the using - according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, neglect of the
body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh." (Col. 2:21-23)
May God bless you