“Falling Under the Power”
Let us take a sober look at the phenomenon of "Falling under the Power" from a Biblical perspective. Please read all of it before making a judgment of it’s merits.
To begin with, it is essential for us to mention two important points. The first point to note is that the phrase "slain in the Spirit" is not Scriptural at all- in other words, it cannot be found anywhere in the Bible. It is a man-made term to describe a modern phenomena of the charismatic movement. Secondly, the phenomenon of "falling under the power" is an experience that never occurred in the ministries of our Lord Jesus or that of the New Testament Apostles. It is simply not seen in the New Testament. Neither is there an explicit or implicit statement anywhere in the Bible, which says that a person can "fall down backwards" when anointed of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps it would be wise at this stage to examine some Scriptures pertaining to the "falling down experience" to help our readers form a conclusion for themselves in the light of Scripture – God’s Word, which is our pattern and example in all things pertaining to life and this walk of salvation.
Let us begin with the following passages from the Gospel of Luke....
Luke 5:3-5 “And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net." In verse 4 the Lord Jesus is telling Peter to put out into deep water to catch some fish. Peter was a professional fisherman who made his living fishing and here was a non-fisherman, a `novice' telling him how to catch fish. To make matters worse, Peter had not caught anything `professionally' after working hard the whole night. But at the Word of the Lord, Peter agreed to let down the nets- an example of simple faith being exercised (upon the Word of God). Notice that Peter called Jesus "Master" and not "Lord" at this stage.
Luke 5:6-7 “And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.” Have you come across fishermen with such a big catch of fish that their nets began to break and their boats began to sink? If a fisherman's boat begins to sink, it is more likely to have a hole at its bottom rather than such an overwhelming catch of fish. And Peter knew it was a miracle, outside all capability of man.
Luke 5:8 “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord." Notice in verse 8 that Simon Peter, after seeing the miraculous catch of fish, FELL AT THE KNEES OF JESUS. That is as in the Old Testament, all the times when in God’s presence men fell on their face in worship, not their back before God. Peter fell because of his "sinfulness" at the presence of an awesome and Holy, miracle-working God. Unlike verse 5, Peter now calls Jesus `LORD'.
Luke 5:9-11 “For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.” Notice that there was a change in the lives of Simon and his partners after the miraculous catch (and the "falling down" experience). Anywhere in Scripture that the power and anointing of God touches a man, he is changed (like Jacob of old) or he is dead. The true touch of God changes a person and they are never the same! Today I have witnessed many people who have “fallen down under the power” and got up to lead the same unholy lives and only become more self-righteous and think they are spiritual, while living fleshly lives, deceiving themselves.
Here are some more Scriptures to see how men fell before God’s presence in the Bible....
Gen 17:3 “And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,”
Josh 5:14 “And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?"
Judg 13:20 “For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground.”
2 Chr 20:18 “And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD.”
Ezek 1:28 “As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.”
Ezek 3:23 “Then I arose, and went forth into the plain: and, behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar: and I fell on my face.”
Ezek 44:4 “Then brought he me the way of the north gate before the house: and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD: and I fell upon my face.”
Acts 9:4 “And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”
Did you notice the common denominator in all of the verses above with the so-called "falling down experience" in Scripture? The common denominator is this- man's sinfulness (see Isaiah 6:5) and reverential fear in the presence of a Holy and Awesome God and they fell on their faces, not their backsides. Here are two more examples of reverential fear (and falling down).........
Matt 17:5-6 “While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.”
Rev 1:17 “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:”
There are also several other points to note regarding the Biblical "falling down" as seen in the verses mentioned above.
1 The "falling down" is a voluntary act on man's part.
2 The "falling down" experiences were not mediated through a third party. In other words, nobody had the chance to push anybody down.
3 The "falling down" is always face downwards, not face upwards. The only instance of people falling backwards in the New Testament was in John Chapter 18 when the enemies of Jesus came to arrest him in the Garden of Gethsemane and were confronted with the majesty of His "I AM".
John 18:6-7 “As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.”
Two more instances of "falling down" need be mentioned. In these two instances the "falling down" were associated with deep sleep.
Gen 15:12-13 “And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;”
Dan 10:9 “Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.”
Dan 10:14-15 “Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days. And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.”
Notice from the above verses that the "falling down" experience and deep sleep were preludes to great prophetic revelations regarding the Nation of Israel. The experiences were only peculiar to Abram and Daniel. The Bible never mentions "falling down" and deep sleep as a general experiential principle."
May the Word of God speak to your hearts and may His Word drive you back to the Truth.......only God's Truth can set a person free from deception....
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
I will add to the above some personal experiences that will make another point. “Falling Down” is either the result of being pushed, which I have seen and experienced personally, or it is because of “another spirit” which I will call a “charismatic spirit”. It is a religious spirit that used the pride of men and causes them to want to experience this so they can show or prove that they are as spiritual as others, as in spiritual competition.
Example One: Back in 1981 I attended a meeting as a stranger in a church I had never been and no one knew me. Though I grew up and was converted in the A/G and attended A/G Bible College back in 1967-1970, I had never attended a meeting before where people “fell under the power.” I was Pentecostal, been Baptized in the Holy Spirit, experienced divine healing and many other things, but not his phenomena I had only heard about.
After the meeting, people were going forward to be prayed for and I went to the front to talk to the one who was praying for people and I got asked to join him since there were so many people so they could form two lines and be prayed for. I said I had never been a part of such a thing. I was told, don’t worry, just lay hands on them and pray for them and everything else will just follow naturally. So, he told the people to form a second line in front of me. I was about 5 feet to his right. Now remember, this man didn’t know me from Adam, where I was from, who I was or anything about me. From the first person that I prayed for, they all began “falling out” just as those did whom he was praying for. I was quite taken by it all and didn’t understand it at all. I never felt anything or sensed anything; I just was doing what I was asked. I left wondering what it was all about and why it worked as it did.
In my own ministry that never happened, not to this day! In my ministry, the only thing that has happened is that which follows scripture. Example: I prayed for a young man who had homosexual involvement. As I did, the power of God came upon him and he fell to his knees in repentance. Afterward he told me that although he grew up a preachers kid and had been in church all his life, he had never experience or felt the power of God like then and that when it came upon him, he couldn’t stand on his feet, all the strength went from his legs and he felt to his knees. In all my ministry, those touched by the power of God only have gone on their knees or their faces before God, never on their backs!
Example Two: In the churches and ministries which I have been associated with for all these years, that has also not been a phenomena, though there has been deliverance from demons, divine healing of everything from cancer to malaria, TB to typhoid, the crippled walk and the leper cleansed, but not “falling out under the power”. I see no purpose or reason for it nor a Biblical basis or example of it.
A pastor friend of mine in India had some other pastors that we knew in Singapore through an evangelist friend of ours, though had not personally met, only talked to by phone and letter tell him of how people there “fell down under the power” when they prayed for them. These pastors from Singapore wanted to go visit the churches in India and have meetings there and said that when they came they would pray for the people so that he could see this is operation. He said okay but didn’t believe it would work in the Indian churches. We are talking about Pentecostal churches who had know the power of God and all the gifts of the Spirit in operation, just not this “falling down” experience.
The pastors came from Singapore to India and were taken to a number of churches in several cities, from Calcutta to Visag and in no church there did the people “fall down”, not even one person in one church. They didn’t know about this phenomenon in advance, they had not seen it on TV and nobody was primed in their spirit or emotions to believe that this is something spiritual or that if you are spiritual this will happen and it didn’t! WHY? People they met had been delivered from alcohol, drugs, being prostitutes, Hindu priests and every sort of evil by the power of God, filled with the Holy Spirit, experienced divine healing and seen miracles, but not one of these people “fell down under the power” in the churches pastured by ministers I know and have ministered with in five trips to India.
I have know and ministered with a modern day apostle with all 9 gifts of the Spirit in operation and a real modern day prophet, not like most of these self-called prophets on TBN in America that most see and know about. All the miracles of the New Testament being repeated, even raising of the dead more than once! Real prophets, who have made many prophecies, specific and direct prophecies, with exact dates they would be fulfilled, months into the future that told the people, now write this down, so when it happens you will know that God has spoken to you. A prophet that could tell you your past, present and future, of anyone who stood before him. And not one has ever been wrong. That is the sign of a true prophet. And none of these men every experienced this "falling down" personally or thought it necessary or of any benefit or scriptural. They knew the power of God, but not this nonsense where people “fall down” and get up the same as they were, just more full of a religious spirit.
I have made my point in scripture and a few diverse examples. Anytime our experiences, our dreams or visions or our prophecies are outside scriptural guidelines and examples there is something wrong and it is NOT with God’s Word which is the basis of our life and faith and practice in all things. We are to follow the examples of Scripture and that which is in Scripture as our basis and yardstick of what is acceptable and what is not, what is truly God and what is not! My experience can never be equal to the Word of God! NEVER! Nor can it be contradictory to scripture or outside of a scriptural basis and be right.
Furthermore, there have been many more unscriptural phenomena involved in this "falling down" in churches. Along with it has been everything from "blowing" on people for them to fall down, yelling "fire" at them or something else - to a married lady falling on top of a married man (not her husband) and the minister say, "leave them alone. God did it, so I'm not going to interfere." I personally have witnessed this nonsense. That is NOT God and anyone who thinks it is - is deceived or just wilfully deceiving themselves!! On the day of Pentecost there was the fire of the Holy Spirit for they were baptized with the "Holy Ghost and with fire" just as John the Baptist spoke that Jesus would do concerning those who came to Him! What was the result! Boldness to preach the name of Jesus in the face of persecution and souls being converted and brought into the kingdom.
Another thing that deeply troubles me is seeing people who have not yet repented of their sins and been born again, supposedly being "slain under the power." That is totally and absolutely unscriptural and impossible. Recently a big TV minister had a man with a demonic tatoo on his arm come up and he prayed for him everal times and he fell down each time. Then when asked what it would cost to have the tatoo removed, he replied that he didn't want to have it removed, he liked it. The minister shrugged and told the crowd, he doesn't want to remove it. He didn't want to be delivered or turn his life over to Jesus and make Him Lord and Savior. His demonic tatoo was more important to him that Jesus. If God knows mens hearts and God knows if an man is repentant or not, saved or not, then surely the Holy Spirit knows a holy vessel from an unholy one. Come on folks, lets wake up. It is not surprising that this same ministers doctrine is as corrupt as it can be. He even wrote a book about the Holy Spirit and then when challenged by many about it having unscriptural statements, rewrote and republished the book and said he wasn't a theologian but would have some look over any future books before it is published because he is only a preacher. Give me a break. If he is so full of the Holy Spirit and led of the Holy Spirit and his experiences and all that was in the book came from the Holy Spirit and was of God, then it would not be doctrinally incorrect. The Holy Spirit doesn't give experiences and revelations or sermons that are doctrinally incorrect. And I sure don't believe that the bread (wafer for them) and wine become the body and blood of Jesus, that's Roman Catholicism, yet that is his doctrine and I have that on video! Yet his ministry is full of the supernatural and miracles. Something doens't add up church of God!