This remains a difficult thread, I think. As a statistical sample it is defective in that we are only likely to hear evidence from those who have survived, and yet each reference tends to make the phenomenon legitimate.
I don't think this has any of the characteristics of prostrations recorded at times of revival. There the emphasis was God-consciousness and a sense of overwhelming unworthiness. In the modern phenomena we have convulsions, spasticity and a focus on the event that doesn't sound at all healthy to me.
I have moved in these circles and am not afraid of these events, but I would never seek them. Nor would I visit a place where they are 'likely' to happen. I have also seen the phenomenon used to manipulate crowds and individuals.
Bible teachers are often asked their views of such events. I used to say I can't help you with this, I'm a Bible teacher and the Bible has nothing to say on the topic. Superficially there are New Testament precedents but in the New Testament the phenomenon seems to be associated with evil spirits leaving rather than by a Holy Spirit arriving.
God is God, and He may do as He wishes. The dangers arise with the theology. When we try to systematise the event, or find the means to reproduce it we have moved into speculative theology, rather than Bible teaching.
My recommendation,for the survivors, would be to actively press on with God, laying no lasting importance to the event. Self-forgetfulness is a healthy trait in the growing soul. Move on, reach out to God, do not seek for a repitition, centre everything on Christ. Make love your aim. Today is the day of salvation, not yesterday.
| 2005/1/10 3:22||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
Very, very well said. Amen.
| 2005/1/10 8:18||Profile|
| Signs, wonders and divers miracles...|
Brothers and sisters, this post is in response to some personal conversations I have had with some brothers and is not at all an attack on anyone, so please take no offense. As brother Ron said, this is a very difficult subject and emotions are likely to run high if we are not cautious.
To begin, let us be exceedingly careful when we refer to anything that may have the Holy Spirit involved in it. I say, may have because, for those who have never experienced this phenomena it is probably the best you can say.
Let us remember that Balaam prophesied and he was not an Israelite nor was he voluntarily in Gods will and yet the Holy Spirit still used him. Saul prophesied when he was at the brink of mental collapse and consumed with jealousy and the Holy Spirit still used him. Samson slept with prostitutes (definitely against Gods will) and was still endued with the Holy Ghost power.
Again, Matthew 7:21-23 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Without a doubt, prophesying is the highest order of spiritual gifts and yet one can prophesy in the name of the Lord and still not be right with God. If I were to make a human assessment, I would say that such a person is demon possessed, but such an assessment borders on blasphemy
To attribute the works of the Holy Ghost to the Devil is blasphemy. I can see easily why many spiritual phenomena have a bad report due to the conduct of people who perform them or are exercised in them but this still does not mean that they are not of God. Remember, Mark 9:39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
Concerning those who are slain in the Spirit. Let us examine the three examples we have from the members of this forum starting with that of Brother Jeff. What was the effect of the phenomena on his friend? He began to testify about the Lord to man, some of whom may never have heard anything real about God. The brother is undoubtedly of good repute because if it causes even the likes of Brother Jeff to question the meaning of such things means that he is not some fruitcake. The testimony of a sound person of good repute is very potent! Imagine Jeffs friend was your close friend, brother or son, whom you know well, and you know such a thing has never happened to him. It is not so easy to dismiss this as being a fake or the works of Satan
it will probably cause you to seek out God a little more fervently. Who can be against that?
Although this phenomenon in itself is not fruitful, it is for a sign. The person who experiences this, all of a sudden has a very real God and he is compelled to seek him out and to talk of him more openly. Some individuals have ministries, which carry this as a sign (not that this is the only sign). Signs verify things for those of little faith, and even them who are mature in Christ are greatly encouraged by a sign. It excites the human condition and motivates discussions and research about, who this God really is.
This is not to say that the men and women with signs in their ministry are infallible but it does indicate a few things. Firstly, perhaps the person is in fact walking very close to God. Secondly, the person may have been walking very close to God at some point but has backslidden to some extent but has retained the sign (Samson was backslidden but retained his Holy Ghost strength). Lastly and perhaps most seriously, the person is completely evil and is using the power of Satan to deceive Gods Children.
Signs, wonders and miracles in themselves are not Christ but, let us remember dear siblings, we ALL are the body of Christ. Just as you cannot express your personality through your eye alone, Christ cannot express himself through only a few members. How great would it be if all members were unified? The problem we have is that, as soon as we receive a little manifestation of Christ, be it in wisdom, knowledge, preaching, healing or tongues etc
we want to break of and start a new denomination and we become divided against each other. We cannot stand like this. We have had 2000 years of proof that any one ministry by itself cannot evangelize the world. I sense myself drifting of into another topic so Ill stop here for now.
James Gabriel Gondai Dziya
| 2005/1/10 9:30||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Signs, wonders and divers miracles...|
Came back to put this in a different section but it seems to fit here. Before that though, still must state that largely this is overwrought with just plain nonsense as it is 'practiced'. One of the areas not really dealt with here is the issue of very similiar 'phenomenon' in occult practice's.
Not really attempting anything other than to be sober minded about all of this. Would have to side with Ron's earlier comments in the broader sense, exceptions naturally expected, but don't find they validate anything as far as the so called 'phenomenon' is concerned. More reasoning here; [url=http://www.letusreason.org/Pent14%20.htm]SLAIN IN THE SPIRIT[/url]
But as it relates to your thought's, this did seem to find a niche;
Christian Quotation of the Day
January 10, 2005
"The 'outsider' who knows nothing of the mixture of tradition, conviction, honest difference, and hidden resentment, that lies behind the divisions of the Christian Church sees clearly the advantage of a united Christian front and cannot see why the Churches cannot 'get together'. The problem is doubtless complicated, for there are many honest differences held with equal
sincerity, but it is only made insoluble because the different denominations are (possibly
unconsciously) imagining God to be Roman or Anglican or Baptist or Methodist or Presbyterian or what have you. If they could see beyond their little inadequate god, and glimpse the reality of God, they might even laugh a little and perhaps
weep a little. The result would be a unity that actually does transcend differences, instead of ignoring them with public politeness and private contempt.
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), Your God is Too Small 
Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
-- Romans 15:5-7 (KJV)
| 2005/1/10 10:18||Profile|
| Re: Signs, wonders and divers miracles...|
1. Although this phenomenon in itself is not fruitful, it is for a sign.
2. The person who experiences this, all of a sudden has a very real God and he is compelled to seek him out and to talk of him more openly.
3. Some individuals have ministries, which carry this as a sign (not that this is the only sign).
4. Signs verify things for those of little faith, and even them who are mature in Christ are greatly encouraged by a sign.
5. It excites the human condition and motivates discussions and research about, who this God really is.
I am not wanting to attack anything you have said in this post, but I want to point out that this paragraph is the area of difficulty. I have taken the liberty of dividing your paragraph into 5 separate statements. Speaking from a Biblical point of view the difficulty is that not one of these statements has a Biblical basis. Each statement is a statement of speculative theology. They represent your personal conviction, and you have a right to that as do we all. But ultimately, unless we can find some biblical basis for a discussion, the result is one person who says 'I think this' and another who says 'I think that'. I don't think we are questioning each others integrity here, but just asking 'why do you believe this (or that)?'
In one sense any systematising of biblical truth is speculative. It is a kind of 'best fit' hypothesis. Some may not like that phrase but I am not using it in a accusatory way. The Bible makes propositional statements; God is love. This is not speculative theology but good sound 'Biblical Theology'; of course its not nearly so exiciting or likely to cause interesting threads on SI. :-D Our differences are very seldom to do with Biblical Theology.
The problem comes when we try to explain, defy or defend something which is not expressly dealt with in the scripture. viz 'being slain in the spirit'. This is the term used to describe a physical phenomenon in which a person is rendered prone. But there is not a single instance of scripture where we can dogmatically say 'this is that'. So we are immediately into speculation.
The kind of questions we are asking include.1. Is it truly scriptural?
2. Is it contrary to scripture?
3. Is it consistent with scripture?Then there another list of questions...1. What kind of persons receive this experience?
2. What kind of persons deliver this experience?
3. What are the after effects of this experience?
4. Ought we to seek this kind of experience?The second lot of questions are heavily influenced by our character, our history, our Christian background and experience.
You may have noticed in my posts that I try really hard to use Biblical terms because they have biblical definitions. I try to avoid psychological terms like will, and self, because they have no biblical definition. It can be a helpful discipline to look at extra-biblical phenomena and ask 'what is the biblical term for this?'. When the answer is 'there isn't a biblical term for this' I begin to get uncomfortable.
The difference between 'speculative theology' and 'Jake's theology' is only one of degree.
| 2005/1/10 11:29||Profile|
| The burden of proof?|
Sir, I really enjoyed your quote by J. B. Phillips! I almost feel like opening a new thread for this is where my heart truly is
As for the article I read it and I must say that the writer brought some very good points. If anyone is reading this thread that particular article is well worth a read (it does not feel as long as it looks). It is my opinion however that the article was somewhat unbalanced and that the writer had an obvious bias. It seems as if his article is mainly based in the observations, he has made from mainstream evangelists, some of whom have misrepresented many aspects of the normal Christian life.
I have to agree with you, that to actively seek out this phenomena is neither biblical nor does it have a display of Godly wisdom. The things he has described, that is, the promoting of this as a practice is quite unacceptable. Deeds without a higher purpose are meaningless empty works but still, I would not be quite so quick as to say that this is fake (as the writer of the article alludes). You may not lightly do works in the name of the Lord and get away with it. Apart from that, I hope that the testimonies of the members of this forum mean something (in the mouth of two or three witnesses)
It seems that everyone that has written in this thread has more or less the same opinion. We all agree that this does exist but we also agree that overall the practice of the phenomena does not edify anyone and has led many astray.
On another note, those who have heard the testimony of Mr. Campbell on one of his sermons (Young Donald Mcphail prays) in the compilations section may recall him speaking of another phenomenon. The people on his left hand side had the hands raised toward heaven and the people on his right were all slumped on top of each other in a trans
in the Spirit. This is very unusual (although I do not dispute or doubt it for one moment); if one of our modern evangelists reported this what biblical scriptures would he have to his defense? (None) Would it be acceptable? (No) Perhaps we need to reexamine our points of reference. Man can do nothing except it be given him from heaven, especially when he does so in the name of the Lord but still, some have erred in their execution of that which they have been given in good faith. Many shall say in that day Lord, Lord
James Gabriel Gondai Dziya
| 2005/1/10 12:10||Profile|
| Iron sharpens iron|
Well Sir, iron sharpens iron
That was indeed speculative, although I would not term it theology; it was just one mans observations. They can be disputed (I do not like that word) easily by another mans observations. I just wanted to draw attention to the effect it had on one particular brother whose case we are taking as a study based on the fact that we are undoubtedly short of any bible reference that say anything that is either for or against what we speak of particularly. Anything we say with reference with to scriptures on this subject will have to have a human opinion or allusion to make it valid for this subject. Many phenomena are reported in revivals and none of them are questioned even though they lack biblical basis but we all use our God-given wisdom and judge based on the facts. What I was attempting to do was to present a set of facts so as to separate the incident from its effects. When we observe the effects of incident, we can use our God-given wisdom to judge the truth it. My standpoint too was bias, I neglected the fact that there are those who hold the truth in unrighteousness and the effects of this are altogether different. I think they have been adequately outlined in the article linked to us by Brother Mike. I guess the question that remains is, are we at liberty to exercise any judgment or discernment based purely on our God-given conscious and the Holy Ghost bearing us witness?
James Gabriel Gondai Dziya
| 2005/1/10 12:36||Profile|
| Brother Ron|
This post has moved rather quickly and I'm on lunch. Hence a quick post.
Ron, I agree with your advice earlier in this thread. In fact, it revealed a self-seeking (i.e. selfish) attitude in my own heart when I sought these type of "deeper experiences" with God that I have to repent of.
| 2005/1/10 14:06||Profile|
| Re: Slayed by the Spirit?|
About a month ago I preached at my Church, and had a pretty powerful altar-call. We ended up having altar-service for about 2 hours after the sermon. During this time, one person got saved, several were filled with the Spirit, and about 10 or so were "slain" in the Spirit, some, multiple times. Though I am very much Pentecostal, I am often careful with this slain in the Spirit stuff. Some would say it is not found in the Bible, therefore, it is to be rejected. However, I believe the Scriptures permit "unusual" manifestations to occur, such as the miracles God did through Paul with aprons, or with Peter's shadow.
During the altar service I had some personal doubts about the people who were slain, sometimes in apparently goofy looking ways, and was thinking that perhaps people were just being emotional. Most of the slain were amongst the youth. However, over the next week I would see some fruit from the lives of the people who were slain that did not give me any doubt that they had a geniune encounter with God in what occured. For example, one brother reported that while he was slain, that God told him to give up cigarretes. Since then, that brother has not smoked once. A week later one of our teens who never says anything during church stood up to powerfully testify of God's grace towards him.
So, is every instance of slain in the Spirit of God? Probably not. Most of it is probably just emotionallism of some sort. However, I have no doubt from what I've seen that sometimes it might be of God. I've never personally experienced it, though I've had some encounters with God that caused me to experience something like it.
| 2005/1/10 15:01||Profile|
Thankyou again, all of you.
Today, during lunch a number of brothers at UCLA got together to discuss this event. As I read through these posts, it is like a rerun. Many of the the responses of the brothers there echo the responses here.
As for my brother who had the experience, first, he led two people to the Lord this weekend.
Secondly, he was preaching at me this morning. The things he had prayed for specifically were: " The Scriptures testify of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Lord, I want to know this baptism." As my friend continued, the things he said reminded me of the conversion experiences one reads about of Wesley. Before, he was powerless, after he was a witness used by God to start the Methodist church.
As I began this thread, remember I said I was discipling him. Now he is discipling me. He keeps talking about the simple faith. And I know in my heart, I have not submitted to my Lord 100%. I see a simple man before me with demonstration of power. I have known a thousand Christians in my eight years of walking with God, none like this man.
| 2005/1/10 20:48||Profile|