Section 10A .. The Contemporary Church
Slain In The Spirit

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‘Slain’... By What Spirit?
Part II

 Carol Brooks

PART I ...  Introduction & History. The Final Arbitrator - Regardless of spread and popularity the question we need to ask is whether or not there is a Biblical basis for being "Slain" or "Resting" In The Spirit? Examining the Proof Texts... Involuntarily Falling

YOU ARE HERE 001orange PART II ...  Is There A Biblical Basis For Resting In The Spirit, Shaking In The Spirit, Being Drunk In The Spirit, or for Holy Laughter

PART III ...Summary. The Warnings of Yesteryear. The Million Dollar Question.

PART IV... Comparing the Supposedly 'Christian' Phenomenon of 'Slain In The Spirit' with The Ancient Hindu Tradition of 'Awakening' Kundalini - the concentrated life force associated with the goddess Shakti.


Is There A Biblical Basis For "Shaking in The Spirit"?
In support of the physical phenomena that takes place at their meeting Bill Jackson says

Shaking is also common in our meetings and is one of the hardest phenomena to understand. The kinds of shaking vary greatly. Sometimes the shaking is accompanied by all sorts of bodily contortions; sometimes mild, sometimes almost violent. What, if any, biblical precedent is there? [01]

He then cites several Biblical passages including two that speak about inanimate objects shaking or trembling. Note: I have used the NASB, which is not the version Jackson has quoted. But, in this case, it makes no difference).

    The Lord reigns, let the peoples tremble; He is enthroned above the cherubim, let the earth shake! (Psalms 99:1 NASB)

    Tremble, O earth, before the Lord, Before the God of Jacob,  (Psalms 114:7 NASB)

    And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken (Gk. saleuo ), and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.  (Acts 4:31 NASB)

Typical of virtually all false teachers, Jackson went to the Scriptures looking for anything that might (with an extreme stretch of imagination) validate what he already decided to believe. In this case, he apparently searched the Scriptures for any mention of the words shake or tremble then, without thought or reason, used them to try and validate what goes on at these meetings. 

A modicum of common sense should tell us that when a non-living thing is said to "tremble", it is figurative language not meant to be taken literally.

However, Acts 4:31 is a little different. The Greek word saleuo can quite literally mean to shake, move, or agitate. Saleuo is used in Acts 16:26 when the walls of the prison in which Paul and Silas were being held in were literally shaken to the point all the doors opened.

On the other hand, Luke 21:26, Matthew 24:9 and Mark 13:25 use saleuo to speak of the day God will shake the powers of the heavens which is likely to be literal but may not be. Note however that saleuo is used in reference to men only three times, but never means a literal shaking.

    For David says of Him, 'I saw the Lord always in my presence; for He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken (Gk. saleuo). (Acts 2:25 NASB)

    But when the Jews of Thessalonica found out that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul in Berea also, they came there as well, agitating and stirring (Gk. saleuo up the crowds. (Acts 17:13 NASB)

    that you not be quickly shaken (Gk. saleuo) from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. (2 Thessalonians 2:2 NASB)

Mr. Jackson also cites other verses  in his article (the part of the verse he quotes is underlined)

    [6] His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult. (7) Now I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, while the men who were with me did not see the vision; nevertheless, a great dread (KJB quaking) fell on them, and they ran away to hide themselves.  (Daniel 10:6-7 NASB)

    [21] 'Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people, Who have eyes but do not see; Who have ears but do not hear.  (22) 'Do you not fear Me?' declares the Lord. 'Do you not tremble in My presence? (Jeremiah 5:21-22 NASB)

    [3] And his (the angel) appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.  (4) The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men.  (5) The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified." (Matthew 28:3-5 NASB)

    You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.  (James 2:19 NASB)

    I heard and my inward parts trembled, At the sound my lips quivered. Decay enters my bones, And in my place I tremble. Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress, For the people to arise who will invade us. (Habakkuk 3:16 NASB)

None of these examples can be used in support of convulsing on a church floor.

Every single time the Bible speaks of people trembling or quaking, it is in the context of being afraid just as the angel that appeared at the tomb terrified the guards. And do remember that although we commonly use the expression shaking with fear, we do not necessarily literally move. (Nor do we literally 'cry our eyes out' or 'quake in our boots'). In fact, the account in Matthew 28 says the guards became like dead men. As far as I know, dead men don't shake.

Jeremiah's Bones "Trembled"
The final verse quoted is Jeremiah 23:9, of which Jackson says

In speaking of his prophetic experience, Jeremiah says, "My heart is broken within me; all my bones tremble. I am like a drunken man overcome by wine because of the Lord and his holy words." This is a significant verse because Jeremiah is relating that what happened to him on at least one occasion involved a trembling/shaking of his bones. His wording seems to imply that he shook from the inside out. It would take a powerful force to cause his bones to quiver inside his body. The analogy to being overcome could also be a reference to being entranced by the coming of a prophetic word. This text is an answer to God's plea in Jer. 5:22.  [02]

Besides which, anyone choosing to use this passage as a Biblical precedent cannot pick and choose which of the prophet's words to take literally. Jeremiah mentioned two "symptoms".. A broken heart and trembling bones. So if we are take it that his bones were literally trembling, then we also have to assume that his heart was also literally broken. In which case, it was curtains for the young prophet. Similarly, in another verse Jackson quotes, the prophet Habakkuk speaks not only of "trembling" but of decay entering into his bones.

Jackson add that "This text is an answer to God's plea in Jeremiah 5:22.

A plea?

That was no plea. It was a clear threat - made evident by verse 29 that has the Lord asking the rhetorical question... 'Shall I not punish these people?' - 'On a nation such as this Shall I not avenge Myself?'

Finally, concerning James 2:19, if you wish to compare your actions with those of demons, well... that is entirely up to you.

Impartation Of Spiritual Gifts?
Bill Jackson also says

    "In the verses where the cause of shaking is mentioned, it has to do with holy fear. The shaking we are experiencing seems to be related more to prophetic ministry and impartation of spiritual gifts of which parallels can be seen in Fox's ministry.  [03]

When virtually every Biblical example of people or objects shaking is in the context of fear of the Lord, and there is not a single instance of anyone shaking in the context of "prophetic ministry" or an "impartation of spiritual gifts", then it is extremely deceptive and misleading to even hint at the latter.

Apart from a shoddy and superficial interpretation of the texts there is no basis for the shaking and bodily contortions seen in today's church meetings and so called revivals.

In fact, it is quite telling how the same extraordinary physical symptoms turn up in the most questionable places. In a book entitled 'Three Famous Occultists' (Dr. John Dee, Franz Anton Mesmer and Thomas Lake Harris) by a contemporary historian describes what happened at some of Mesmer's healing sessions.

    'Some are calm, tranquil and experience no effect. Others cough, spit, feel slight pains, local or general heat, and have sweatings. Others, again, are agitated and tormented with convulsions. These convulsions are remarkable in regard to the number affected with them, to their duration and force. They are preceded and followed by a state of languor or reverie' [04]

And that is not the only place these same phenomena are seen. Chapter four compares the supposedly 'Christian' phenomenon of 'Slain In The Spirit' with the ancient Hindu tradition of 'Awakening' Kundalini. Kundalini being the concentrated life force associated with the goddess Shakti.

Is There A Biblical Basis For "Trances"?
The New Testament twice speaks of someone falling into a trance. The first time is when Peter had a remarkable vision by which he learned that the Gospel would be extended to the Gentiles.

    But he became hungry and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he fell into a trance; (Acts 10:10 NASB)

In Acts 11:5 Peter tells the story to the apostles and brethren in Jerusalem. In his words

     ""I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object coming down like a great sheet lowered by four corners from the sky; and it came right down to me,  (Acts 11:5 NASB)

The second time was when Paul was warned by our Lord that the Jews in Jerusalem would not believe that he, who once persecuted them, had been converted.

    "It happened when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I fell into a trance, and I saw Him saying to me, 'Make haste, and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me.' (Acts 22:17-18 NASB)

Because, in modern usage, the word "trance" usually conjures up the idea of a hypnotic or cataleptic semiconscious state, I have to wonder if "trance" is a good translation of the Greek word ekstasis used in both instances.

Strong's defines the word as a" displacement of the mind". A contemporary dictionary defines trance as"Detachment from one's physical surroundings, as in contemplation or daydreaming" which, if you read the verses carefully, is pretty accurate - both Peter and Paul saw something - In other words, they had a vision.

 The word ekstasis occurs four other times (Mark 5:42, Luke 5:26, Acts 3:10) in the New Testament. On three occasions, people were said to be "amazed" or "astounded" at a miracle and, in Mark 16, the women were amazed when they entered Jesus' empty tomb only to encounter an angel who told them Jesus had risen.

Numbers 24:4: says

    The oracle of him who hears the words of God, Who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down (Heb. nâphal), yet having his eyes uncovered, (Numbers 24:4 NASB)

Unfortunately, the KJV translates this verse as "falling into a trance, but having his eyes open". As said by commentator Adam Clarke... "There is no indication in the Hebrew that he fell into a trance; these words are added by our translators, but they are not in the original". The only word used is nâphal which simply signifies falling, and is often used for religious prostration.

Is There A Biblical Basis For Being "Drunk In The Spirit"?
Bill Jackson also endeavors to justify being "drunk in the spirit" by saying the disciples were accused of being drunk on Pentecost because they had to have been acting like drunks. In his words,

    The text never says that they were but it is obviously inferred. They would not be accused of being drunk because they were speaking in different languages. They would have been accused of such because they were acting like drunks, i.e., laughing, falling, slurred speech by some, boldness through lack of restraint, etc. The analogy of the gift of the Spirit being "new wine" would lend itself to the connection. [05]

Unfortunately this is absolute nonsense. Read the verses in question...

    They were amazed (Gk. existemi) and astonished (Gk. thaumazo), saying, "Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? "And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? ... And they all continued in amazement (Gk. existemi) and great perplexity (Gk. diaporeo), saying to one another, "What does this mean?" (Acts 2:7-8, 12-13 NASB)

The meaning of all three Greek words is quite similar. Existemi and Thaumazo literally mean to be astounded or amazed. Diaporeo on the other hand means to be thoroughly nonplussed, be in doubt, be much perplexed. Robertson's word pictures says the word means "to be wholly at a loss".

And Luke does not leave us in the dark as to what had amazed them. Verse 7b tells us that their amazement and wonder is rooted in the fact that the disciples were speaking in native tongues of the crowd that the Galilean disciples themselves did not speak - a fact that the crowd was well aware of. Furthermore, V. 11  that says "we hear them speaking in our tongues the mighty works of God" means the hearers did not merely recognize the languages, but understood what the disciples were saying.

Two Groups
However it is readily apparent that there were two groups of people present that day...

The first group in the crowd, wholly at a loss to explain what was going on, were curious... wanting to know what was taking place. They asked themselves (and perhaps each other) what this could mean. However, the second group became rather hostile and instead of trying to find out what was behind it all, resorted to deriding the disciples, calling them drunk.

    And they all continued in amazement (Gk. existemi) and great perplexity (Gk. diaporeo) , saying to one another, "What does this mean?" But others were mocking and saying, "They are full of sweet wine." But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: "Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: (Acts 2:12-16 NASB)

The problem with Mr. Jackson's claim is that drunks are easily recognizable. If the disciples had actually been acting drunk (laughing, falling, slurring their speech, showing lack of restraint etc.) no one in the crowd would have been 'perplexed' by their conduct.  Drunks perplex no one.

On the other hand, people often mock or jeer at what they do not understand, what they do not believe, or what they have closed their minds to (in this case to the things of God). Group B were simply fore-runners of many millions of people to come.

Conclusion: The disciples did not exhibit any drunken behavior, therefore this passage cannot be used as an excuse for the excesses that take place in the so called church.

Ephesians 5:18

Jackson also writes.. (Emphasis Added)

    In a passage dealing with the Ephesians putting off their old carousing lifestyle, Paul exhorts them, "Do not get drunk on wine which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled (Greek present tense: "keep on being filled") with the Holy Spirit."

    Paul is contrasting carnal drunkenness with spiritual filling. Given the tense of the Greek verb, he appears to also be making an analogy as well as a contrast. Being filled with God's Spirit is similar to being drunk on wine. The difference is that the former is holy while the other is sinful. [06]

The passage he is referring to is one of several instructions Paul gave the Ephesians. Each instruction is made up of two parts - what they should refrain from versus what they should do. The following four instructions use the word allá, whereas the fifth (verse 11 is not shown here) uses a different Greek word. (All emphasis added)

    a.) and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but (Gk. allá) rather giving of thanks. (Ephesians 5:4 NASB)

    b.) Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but (Gk. allá) as wise, (Ephesians 5:15 NASB)

    c.) So then do not be foolish, but (Gk. allá) understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:17 NASB)

    d.) And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but (Gk. allá) be filled with the Spirit, (Ephesians 5:18 NASB)

Jackson says Paul "appears to also be making an analogy as well as a contrast". Analogy means 'a similarity in some respects between things that are otherwise dissimilar. For example an analogy can be drawn between a viral infection and the spread of ideas.

However, in Greek allá typically means a strong adversative (A word that expresses antithesis or opposition) conjunction. A tiny sample of the near 600 times allá is used in the New Testament demonstrates how it expresses antithesis or opposition.

     But He answered and said, "It is written, 'man shall not live on bread alone, but (Gk. allá) on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'"  (Matthew 4:4 NASB)

    "It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but (Gk. allá) what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man." (Matthew 15:11 NASB)

    not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but (Gk. allá) encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.  (Hebrews 10:25 NASB)

Finally,if Paul were making an analogy between carnal drunkenness and spiritual filling, then logically he had to be making an analogy between the the two parts of the other instructions. For example, being "foolish" would have to have something in common with "understand what the will of the Lord is".

It doesn't.

Is There A Biblical Basis For "Holy Laughter"?
"Holy" laughter is touted as a special spiritual experience.

The Toronto "Blessing"
was a worldwide spiritual movement within Pentecostal and Charismatic churches, named after the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church in Toronto, Canada, where the movement first hit the headlines in January 1994. A 1995 article in Newsweek said...

    On a recent weeknight in Toronto, 1,500 worshipers gathered in the Vineyard Christian Church and had a good laugh. It began when a dozen pilgrims from Oregon got up to introduce themselves and then began to fall to the floor, laughing uncontrollably. An hour later, the huge new church looked like a field hospital. Dozens of men and women of all ages were lying on the floor: some were jerking spasmodically; others closed their eyes in silent ecstasy. A middle-aged woman kicked off her pumps and began whooping and trilling in a delicate dance. Scores of others proclaimed deliverance from emotional and physical pains. "I've been living in my spirit," said a woman from Long Island, N.Y., still giggling after 20 minutes on the floor.

    These communal laugh-ins have been going on six nights a week, every week, for over a year at the charismatic congregation near Toronto's Pearson International Airport. In all, more than 100,000 people have experienced "the Toronto Blessing, " which believers interpret as an experience of the Holy Spirit much like the "speaking in tongues" mentioned in the New Testament. Hundreds of visiting pastors have taken the Blessing home to roughly 7,000 congregations in Hong Kong, Norway, South Africa and Australia, plus scores of churches in the United States. "It's a gusher of the Holy Spirit," says Pastor John Arnott of the Toronto Vineyard, who now travels around the world spreading the hilarity of the Lord. [07]

Note: Anyone who imagines the Toronto "blessing' came, functioned for a while, then faded away couldn't be more mistaken. (See The Toronto Deception

    Partners in Harvest, a movement born out of the "revival" at the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship in Toronto, Canada. They, say they are "A worldwide family of churches partnering to spread the fire of God's love, presence and healing throughout the nations." [08] Their website lists over 90 churches in the US alone and over 400 worldwide. [09].

    Catch The Fire is a family of churches and ministries worldwide that was birthed by the 1994 happenings in Toronto. They list near 30 churches in Canada, 12 in the US and about 17 in Europe.With about another 30 scattered around the globe. [10]

Catching the 'fire'? there is no question that they catch the fire. The question is whose fire? See Part 4

In his 1995 article entitled Holy Laughter or Strong Delusion, Warren Smith described some of what was taking place in the so called "laughing revival". He said he talked with several members of the San Francisco Vineyard congregation and

    was told how hundreds of people were getting "hit" with "revival" - how some people were getting so "soaked in the spirit" they would lose consciousness for up to several hours after falling to the ground with "holy" laughter. The Vineyard members described "holy" laughter unqualifiedly as "awesome" and definitely "the work of the Lord."

Within weeks, Smith says he caught a program on "holy" laughter on a local Christian TV station.

    The panel of guests were enthusiastically discussing "holy" laughter and endorsing it unquestioningly as a latter days "outpouring" of God's Holy Spirit. Comparing "holy" laughter to the "work" of the Spirit at Pentecost, they were convinced that "holy" laughter was completely authentic. They equated "holy" laughter with the biblical notion of joy. As far as they were concerned "holy" laughter was the "joy of the Lord." Scriptural references to joy were cited; testimonies were given; songs were sung; and by the end of the program I felt like I had just watched a one hour info-mercial on "holy" laughter. [11]

And here is an example. Rodney Howard Brown took holy laughter to the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church and to the Assemblies of God Brownsville Church in Pensacola. In this video he steps onto the stage around the 1:0 mark, closes the Bible, and begins with "Well go ahead and just take a drink now. The bar's open - go ahead and take a drink" He tells the considerable audience to just start off in the natural and they will end up in the Holy Ghost"

Also See Laughter as a "Spiritual" Experience in Hinduism and worship of the goddess. Both in Part 4

Laughter in The Bible
A search on the words laugh, laughter, laughed etc. in the Bible brings up some very interesting, but hardly surprising results.  The combined total number of results for all the words was a mere 34, of which only a paltry 6 were in the New Testament. However, breaking down how the words are used is even more revealing..

a) Six references are to either Abraham or Sarah laughing when God told them that they would have a child in their old age. Bill Jackson says that "John Wimber believes that laughter accompanies revivals because it represents God's sovereign activity to heal the barrenness of his people".

    Abraham fell on his face and laughed in Genesis 17:17 and Sarah laughed to herself when she heard God tell Abraham that  by that time next year she would have a son (Genesis 18:9–15). This is why when Isaac was born he was named "he laughs". Sarah specifically referred to this when she said "God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me."

    This 'laughter' was not an expression of mirth or amusement but joy at having a son and wonder at the power of the Lord in bringing this about when Abraham was seventy years old

b) At least 14, or almost one third of the total references, directly mention scornful or derisive laughter.

c) Four are in Ecclesiastes of which one clearly states that sorrow is better than laughter, another says there is time for laughter, and a third talks about the laughter of fools. A fourth says laughter is "madness". (Ecclesiastes 3:4, 2:2, 7:3, 7:6).

d) Proverbs 14:13 says "Even in laughter the heart may be in pain, And the end of joy may be grief", while Proverbs 29:9 says, "When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.  (Proverbs 29:9 NASB)"

e) Two are unrelated: "When she lifts herself on high, She laughs at the horse and his rider.  (Job 39:18 NASB)

    "He laughs at fear and is not dismayed; And he does not turn back from the sword.  (Job 39:22 NASB)

f) And, finally, three of the six New Testament verses actually warn against laughter (the three are scornful laughter).

    "Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.  (Luke 6:21 NASB)

    "Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. (Luke 6:25 NASB)

    Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.  (James 4:9 NASB)

In fact, only two verses speak of "Godly" laughter.

    "He will yet fill your mouth with laughter And your lips with shouting.  (Job 8:21 NASB)

    Then our mouth was filled with laughter And our tongue with joyful shouting; Then they said among the nations, "The Lord has done great things for them."  (Psalms 126:2 NASB)

I don't doubt that I have lost count but I am sure you get the picture. It certainly doesn't mean that God doesn't have a sense of humor or that people in the Bible never laughed, but simply that God did not choose to place much emphasis on laughter, which is often for the wrong reasons.


There is no Biblical basis for "laughing revivals". Certainly Jesus' words "woe unto you who laugh now!" do not bode well for those that participate in them. It doesn't mean that God doesn't have a sense of humor or that people in the Bible never laughed, but simply that the Bible emphasized "joy" far more often than it did laughter.

The two words have entirely different meanings. Any dictionary in the world will tell you that "joy" is happiness and while happiness can be expressed in laughter, it is not necessarily or even usually the case. One can be extremely happy without laughing out loud. Much to the contrary, we tend to smile far more often than we burst out laughing when we are happy, .

Thus it is incorrect and misleading to substitute the word 'laughter', when the Bible says 'joy'.

Continue on To Part 3 - Summary. The Warnings of Yesteryear. The Million Dollar Question. HERE

End Notes

[01] Bill Jackson. What In The World Is Happening To Us? http://www.evanwiggs.com/revival/manifest/holylaff.html

[02] ibid.

[03] ibid.

[04] Three Famous Occultists by G. M. Hort (Author), W. P. Swainson (Author) Publisher: Kessinger Publishing, LLC (September 10, 2010). Pg. 87

[05] Bill Jackson. What In The World Is Happening To Us? http://www.evanwiggs.com/revival/manifest/holylaff.html

[06] ibid.

[07] The Giggles Are For God by Kenneth L. Woodward. Newsweek Magazine. http://www.newsweek.com/giggles-are-god-185104

[08] https://www.partnersinharvest.org

[09] https://www.partnersinharvest.org/churches/

[10] https://catchthefire.com/churches

[11] Warren B Smith . Holy Laughter or Strong Delusion? (Published in the Fall 1994 issue of the SCP Newsl


Slain In The Spirit... Part I