Is Being “Slain In The Spirit” Biblical?

Is Being “Slain In The Spirit” Biblical? January 9, 2019

Have you heard someone say, they were slain in the Spirit? What does this mean? Is it from Scripture?

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is not a force or a power of God, but God Himself as the Third Person in the Trinity, as there is also God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit, but why is the Holy Spirit called “the Holy Spirit?” Why isn’t He called “the Spirit of God,” or as He is sometimes referred to, the “Spirit?” Why shouldn’t it be God the Holy Father and God the Holy Son since the Holy Spirit is also God? Both the Father and the Son are also without sin, and therefore holy. I believe it is because the Holy Spirit helps us to live holier lives than we could without Him. He convicts us when we have sinned; He prompts us to do something good for someone when we would not otherwise do it; and He helps us pray when we don’t even know what to say. He makes us holier in our thinking, living, and speech. Although we are made righteous by Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:21), the Holy Spirit is our Counselor and helps us to know what to say and when to say it. All Three Persons of the Trinity are holy, but it is the Holy Spirit that quickened us to new life (Eph 2:1-2), and gives us the power to choose the right. He abides in us to make us more holy.

Led by the Spirit

There are phrases like walking in the Spirit (Gal 5:16-25), praying in the Spirit (Eph 6:18), having the power of the Spirit (Acts 1:8), being led by the Spirit (Gal 5:18), and being filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18), but I know nothing of being slain in the Spirit. I know we can grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:19), but that’s usually from sin, but we know that every child of God has the Holy Spirit living in them (1 Cor 2:12, 6:19), so the only thing that’s been slain is the old man (hopefully), although he does like to come back to life at times. There are many cases where people had an encounter with an angel of God or God Himself and they fainted and fell to the ground as though dead (Num 22:31; 2 Chron 5:14; Ezk 3:23, 43:2-3, 44:4; Matt 17:6; John 18:6; Acts 9:3-4; Rev 1:17), but this was not being slain the Spirit. It had nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. It had to do with their encounter with God or an angel of God which would cause anyone to fall on their face! That is not an act of the Spirit but a human reaction to the holiness of God or His holy angels.

Slain in the Spirit

The most frequent occurrence of being “slain in the Spirit” might be when a preacher or evangelist touches a person and that causes them to be “slain in the Spirit.” It’s also been referred to as “falling in the Spirit” or “resting in the Spirit,” because many who are supposedly “slain,” fall to the floor. They might be “resting” to the point that they look dead. When someone is touched by some minister, the person they touched might start shaking all over and begin to lose control of their body. Some may even fall to the ground and appear as dead, but my question is this: Is this a real supernatural work of God, or is it the work of demonic spirits? Only God knows, but I couldn’t find this particular phrase (slain in the Spirit) being used in the Bible, nor could I find any such occurrences of the same thing or similar things happening in the Bible, and I searched many different translations. It just doesn’t appear that this happened in the New Testament church. A few fell as though dead in the presence of God or an angel, but some actually did die, like Ananias Sapphira (Acts 5) who lied to the Holy Spirit.


I haven’t even mentioned being “drunk in the Spirit,” because it’s obviously unbiblical. The Bible tells us to be sober minded and not be drunk with wine, but never does the Bible say to be “drunk in the Spirit.” Some were accused of being drunk after they spoke in many different languages (Acts 2:13), but the Apostle Peter corrects them, so being “drunk in the Spirit” is not biblical but of human origin. If you see or experience someone being “slain in the Spirt,” you know that it can only come from one of two sources. One may be from the God of heaven Who can do as He pleases, but the other may be from demonic influences. Only God knows, but the absence of such occurrences in the Biblical record leads me to believe that the vast majority of these things are not the normative, and they are not found in the Bible, therefore, they are not from God. They do not glorify God, but often they glorify the minister who is slaying someone in the Spirit. To me, that’s very problematic. God gives His Spirit to those who obey Him and He is the One Who initiates the Spirits indwelling of a person, so the minister cannot think that He can dispense the potent powers of the Holy Spirit, or dispense the Holy Spirit Himself at his whim or command. That’s spiritual arrogance. That is what God Himself does. This is reserved for Him and Him alone, and He does it as He wills, not the minister commands.

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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  • Matthew 22:37

    This is a confusing subject. To say being slain in the spirit is demonic or unbiblical is possibly too quick an answer because Christians know there are false counterfeits. Why wouldn’t there be here as well?

    Christians worship in spirit and truth. The Bible is the truth but is it the Spirit? No, it is counsel and revelation from God given spiritually through people by divine inspiration.

    I have never been slain in the Spirit but know better than to discount it lightly. I heard a pastor say once that as a small naughty boy who used to crawl under the pews to steal money from the church ladies’ purses that he witnessed many of the women falling down slain in the spirit. There were no catchers and they were falling on concrete floors. So he knew the phenomena was real. People don’t risk falling on concrete if they are faking.

    But you also have reports of evil spiritual phenomena like the Kundalini spirit or Toronto blessing being imparted to people as they show in a video entitled “Kundalini Warning” on youtube.

    Since there are 2 sides to every story don’t just assume. Really think about it and research the Bible and observe people.

    How can someone without the experience of being slain in the Spirit really judge the experience of another person accurately?

    Book knowledge is not always heart knowledge or experiential knowledge so how can you use it to rule out another’s experience? All feelings aren’t necessarily evil though people’s feelings can be misleading at times so we use the Bible as a guide.

    Why is there a difference betweeen faith and an unbeliever’s knowledge of the Bible if faith is not supernatural and the spiritual gift of God?

    How many times do you intellectually wrestle with unbelievers only to find they have head knowledge of the scriptures but not heart knowledge and have distorted key things.

    If God can heal someone through the laying on of hands then why can’t He slay someone in the Spirit? He resurrected Jesus from the dead.

    Think for yourself on the scriptures. Some things are genuine mysteries to be pondered and not to be intellectualized away easily. Why classify something as unbiblical or demonic so quickly. It is more honest for one to say that he doesn’t know for sure.

    I may read Charisma magazine on this topic further because I want to get it from the mouths of those who experience such things not dismiss them like a skeptic without experience off of assumption.

    I really don’t think all Charismatics are fakers or overly emotional though some may be. Some might have stronger faith than most.

    • Joanna McKethan

      The title of the article told your viewpoint. Instead of the formulation, it might have been more open-minded to say, Does being slain in the Spirit happen in the Bible? I’m not up to an article on this, but I would pose the notion of the power of God, the supernatural power of God being great, and the Holy Spirit being the member of the Godhead who is currently on earth. I recall the soldiers who tried to take Jesus falling down, and I’m sure there are more instances. There’s His power in casting demons out of person and into the pigs. What you are really asking is, how susceptible am I spiritually to the Holy Spirit? How may I respond to the Holy Spirit? How active is the Holy Spirit today, and how do we quench the Spirit? What is the normative way of experiencing the Holy Spirit within a church body? We are also editing the worthwhile-ness of being down on the ground in the Spirit, and think all of God’s work must be consciously framed and stated. The Holy Spirit always gives witness to Jesus, so that is the main marker, or fencepost in the sand, theologically. With as much demonic power out and about today, I venture we really need more of the Holy Spirit’s power, supernaturally, not less. Can your priorities go awry? Yes. Can you get into bragging about experiences and immorality, too? Corinthians. This is the final part of God’s plan until He sends Jesus back to get us, so I wouldn’t be throwing His supernatural power away. Yes, His power was shown in correction, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be shown in edification, I don’t think. Bless.

      • Jack Wellman

        Thank you my friend.

    • Pudwink

      Thank you, Matthew 22 for a rather objective position on this experience. I suppose I am not objective, but I am very much a critical thinker and have related to Jesus for over fifty years. A few comments. I have NEVER been ” slain in the Spririt” nor never fallen down as a result of someone laying hands on me. Nonetheless, others beside me fell upon hard floors, ground (tent meetings), and other flooring. Over thirty years ago I was a pastor for five years in the Assemblies of God, and was licensed with this body of believers. We have been in many evangelistic meetings, and seen others with this experience over the last four decades. I have been married to the same woman for 45 years, and know her well. She has had this experience once in her sixty-four years, and it was very real per her report to me. Had she been pushed over by the preacher, he would have been confronted by me after the service. As to the biblical or unbiblical character of this phrase and experience. I enjoin you to read Mr. Thompson’s and NorrinRadd’s, et al comments. I watched a Christian television program lately and found myself very blessed, perhaps influenced by the Holy Spirit. That is, I was drawn to God, and although via digital format, a real experience of God. I do not find anywhere in the bible the word or description of being influenced by a television program. Was my experience therefore unbiblical. I think not. I think others have articulated the hermeneutical issues much better than I with Rev. Wellman’s article. I would leave with my brethren this final thought. We will likely spend eternity with many of the people we find ourselves differing with in theology and bible interpretations. We should attempt to exhibit love toward others that is indeed from the Spirit of Jesus. I hope that Patheos will give additional time to the Pentecostal, Brethren as well as other denominational experiences in and of God.

      • Matthew 22:37

        Thank you for your response. I was able to observe a few people slain in the spirit once but did not know them personally to ask for more details but being slain in the Spirit is not the only phenomena people report. Some people claim a baptism of the holy spirit. I know a person claiming such who claims to have fallen down in that baptism and spoke in a foreign language that she does not even know. Nearby though there were a few believers who were fluent in the language she spoke in and understood her every word. This is when she believes she received the baptism of the holy spirit. This lady has a very loving heart towards all people and many, many good works in the community and across her lifetime so who am I to question her experience?

        What is the feeling of peace one experiences when one prays if not coming into the presence of God?

        Why do Quakers sit around in rooms silently in fellowship awaiting a presence if it is not unobtainable in this lifetime?

        Sometimes I think there is entirely too much talk from human viewpoints in this world and not nearly enough quiet seeking.

        We should all be trying to get more peace and the presence of God in our lives and leave off arguing and trying to control things so much. We might be cutting ourselves off from God when we use the Bible to confirm our own thinking rather than leave ourselves open to Him. People talk way too much to God and should try listening silently to Him for a change.

        Talking too much can be a sign of deep seated anxiety according to psychiatrists. Talkaholics sometimes suffer from anxiety issues but if you can stop talking and trying to control everything all the time and just trust God then I believe you will experience God’s peace more. Human beings tend to be self obsessed and want to control more than they can or should. Make sure that someone else doesn’t rob you of your peace and don’t allow them to diminish your relationship with God.

        Seriously imo Christians allow other Christians too much latitude in determining doctrine, etc. To the point they allow the overly doctrinaire to dictate to them what to think.

        But we all need our peace and our relationship and God may express Himself differently to each one of us for His own reasons.

        No man alive can tell you everything that God thinks so why do we let them beat us over the head with a Bible. Learn it for yourself and work on your own relationship with God then you are really thinking for yourself, too, and I think God respects that.

        I share this quote with a lot of people these days because I really do believe God holds the whole world in His hand. People used to know that in ancient times better than today because women like Hannah used to appeal to God for children. People used to appeal to God for a lot of things but you have to get into a right relationship and standing before God first and that is what Jesus came to give us all. A right standing before God.

        Anyways, here is the quote I like from I.D. Willaimson’s The Nature of Salvation:

        I may remark, in passing, that GOD is the Savior of no more than he saves or will save. If ten men are in danger of upsetting a boat, and I go out to save them, you could not call me the savior of ten, unless I saved them. If you saw me launch out for their relief, and knew perfectly well that I would save them, you could with propriety call me the savior of the ten, even before the work was actually done. But if it should turn out, in the end, that I should save but five, then it would prove, that you were mistaken in saying that I was the savior of the ten. So here, God is not the Savior of a soul more than he actually saves. True, that work is not yet accomplished. But the apostle knew that he had engaged in the work, and that he could not fail of success, and therefore he called him the Savior of all men. But should it turn out, in the end, that God should save but a part, then would it be proved that the apostle was wrong, when he called him the “Savior of all men.”

        I know it is said, that God OFFERS salvation to all, but it should be remembered that an OFFER of salvation is one thing, and SALVATION ITSELF is another. If I offer to save a man who is drowning, THAT does not save him, neither does it make me his savior from death. God may offer salvation to man, but that does not save him, neither does it make God his Savior. He is the Savior only of as many as he saves. Should any man dispute this, I ask him to go forward to the future world, and as he looks down into that dismal hell, in which he believes, and beholds the multitude of its hopeless inhabitants, let him tell me, if he will, in what sense God is their Savior? It matters not what may have been OFFERED them, what have they RECEIVED? is the question on which your answer must depend. I care not what MEANS may have been put in operation for their salvation. If these means were not EFFECTUAL, and they are not saved, then God is not their SAVIOR, and the apostle labored and suffered reproach for a trust, that was vain and futile in the extreme. – end quote

        Everyone in the world suffers from spiritual blindness to some degree and God gave the Bible to help relieve some of that blindness but don’t use it to cut off or attack other people’s relationship. Don’t think you can act as a monitor of that relationship either. I think being slain in the spirit may be evidence of a better relationship with God not a false one.

        So why are some Christians attacking the stronger believers? Seek to be a true disciple and a stronger one yourself and try to honor God with every one of your words and your deeds.

        Sorry for being so longwinded but evangelism is relationship building and we all have to have a care for our own relationships and what we counsel others on them.

        Have a blessed day!

        • “Why do Quakers sit around in rooms silently in fellowship awaiting a presence if it is not unobtainable in this lifetime?”

          Many Quakers believe that God will presence himself with them, if they sit in the silence and await the presence. But Quakers differ considerably on how they interpret this presence. Some are Christian Quakers (Liberal as well as Evangelical), others are Buddhist or inspired by Buddhist writings and still others are non theists including atheists. All usually experience some presence.

          Atheist Quakers would say that there is no way to distinguish between a supposed presence of God and one’s subjective personal feelings. So if they all usually experience some presence, would you attribute them all as usually experiencing God, even if they are atheists?

          • Jack Wellman

            Your last question is a good one. And unfortunately, one that we may never know, but your points are well taken sir. Someday, His presence will be know, but not by sitting silently (Rev 1:7).

          • Matthew 22:37

            I no longer debate or discuss religion with firm skeptics, agnostics or unbelievers. Only with genuine seekers.

            Have a nice day!

          • Pudwink

            My brother, if we are not to be a witness and discuss with the agnostic or unbeliever and skeptic, are we not all men most miserable? Imho, this is our purpose for life and living as a Christian. Silence is golden. Perhaps Nontheist Quakers might fit better eh? I have only known deeply devoted Quakers who followed Jesus in simplicity and worked very hard. Perhaps there are those who segregate their beliefs from some of the practices of the Quaker faith. idk.

          • Matthew 22:37

            You have to use your discernment on who you talk to. Jesus Christ himself at times refused to answer some people. Jesus said said his followers would be persecuted but he never said to invite it especially from people with angry sentiments who have repeatedly expressed them against believers in no uncertain terms. Arthur and pud have both chosen to call believers mentally unstable so what is their real purpose in dialoging with believers anonymously on an internet site? Yes, it is anonymous because you cannot guarantee that anyone except the blogger isn’t using an alias even if he uses what appears to be a real name.

            Once you tell me you are an atheist then you have represented yourself as a person who’s mind is made up on certain questions.

            We can look for the people who are open or have never expressed evil sentiments toward believers. Then we don’t waste our precious time here on Earth.

            New Living Translation
            Matthew 7:6
            “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

            I have had the wisdom of the above statement validated many times by people claiming to want to argue but who’s self control then degenerated into insults if I engaged them so I now obey Christ’s counsel on this.

            11 And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.”


            shake dust off feet Question: “What does it mean to shake the dust off your feet?”

            Answer: The command to “shake the dust off your feet” appears only four times in the New Testament. In each case the command is spoken by Jesus to His disciples when He sent them out two by two (Matthew 10:14; Luke 9:5). In Mark 6:11 Jesus says, “And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” In the Matthew 10 account, Jesus clarifies His meaning: “Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town” (verse 15).

            Shaking the dust off one’s feet conveys the same idea as our modern phrase “I wash my hands of it.” Shaking the dust off the feet is a symbolic indication that one has done all that can be done in a situation and therefore carries no further responsibility for it. In the scriptural examples, Jesus was telling His disciples that they were to preach the gospel to everyone. Where they were received with joy, they should stay and teach. But where their message was rejected, they had no further responsibility. They were free to walk away with a clear conscience, knowing they had done all they could do. Shaking the dust off their feet was, in effect, saying that those who rejected God’s truth would not be allowed to hinder the furtherance of the gospel. Even the dust of those cities that rejected the Lord was an abomination and would not be allowed to cling to the feet of God’s messengers.

            Embedded within this symbolic gesture was the implication that God also saw the dust-shaking and would judge people accordingly. There was a spiritual significance to a disciple of Jesus shaking the dust off his feet. It was a statement of finality about people who had been given the truth and who had rejected it. On their first missionary journey, Paul and Barnabas put Jesus’ words into practice. They had been preaching in Pisidian Antioch, but some of the Jewish leaders of that city stirred up persecution against the missionaries and had them expelled from the region. “So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium” (Acts 13:51). Antioch may not have welcomed the gospel as they should have, but that didn’t keep the message from spreading to other areas. Paul and Barnabas had done all they were sent to do, and the responsibility was now on the shoulders of those in Antioch. The apostles had proclaimed truth boldly. Some had accepted it eagerly; some had rejected it with violence. The apostles were not responsible for the Antiochians’ level of acceptance, only for their own obedience to God.

            There are situations in our lives where God calls us to stand firm, proclaim truth, and give patient testimony. Sometimes we need to continue until we see the results of that testimony. Other times God gives us the freedom to move on. We figuratively “shake the dust off our feet” when, under the Holy Spirit’s direction, we surrender those people to the Lord and emotionally let go. We have the freedom then to move into the next phase of ministry. Jesus’ instruction to “shake the dust off our feet” reminds us that we are only responsible for our obedience to God, not for the results of that obedience.-end quote

            I have encountered so much ill will and mockery and false stereotyping by atheists of Christians that I now realize what Jesus said should be applied. What good is wisdom if you don’t apply it?

            We are not their only recourse either.

            They can opt to genuinely seek for themselves just like anyone can. God rewards seeking not obdurate behavior that attempts to place false burdens on believers. We are told to carry God’s message. Not to delay telling the truth for people determined to attempt to delay or destroy that message. A lot of people need Jesus in this world and a Christian needs to be redeeming the time not wasting it on the obdurate playing the world’s word or philosophical games.

            Peace Be With You!

          • Unlike you, I use my real name. By the way, I don’t call all believers “mentally unstable”, only some. You don’t mind telling lies for Jesus, do you by exaggerating what is said. The bible refers to this as bearing false witness.

            Don’t confuse asking rational questions or for evidence for your statements as comments “degenerating into insults”. You seem to be very thin skinned.

          • Pudwink

            Take in the whole counsel of the word of God when taking a position of a specific issue with another. Your tag/label name speaks to loving the Lord God with all your heart soul mind and strength …and Matthew 22:38-40 follow with the second is like unto the first command…love thy neighbor as thyself. Check out the context for shaking the dust off their feet, the original apostles visiting many cities with limited time to share in each city. I don’t take this as a mandate to reject others with differing positions, whether believers or not. I cannot find anywhere where John indicates he is an atheist. Can you direct me to that quote from Mr. Arthur? Please advise. BTW I am not mentally unstable and counsel folks with instability with emotions due to brain trauma for over 15 years. Shall we all take a deep breath and get back to discussion? Paul Remski dob 3 /15 /1953 live in Pensacola Florida. Come visit for prayer and discussion if you like.

          • Matthew 22:37

            I believe I have taken in the whole counsel of God. Have a great day!

          • To clarify my position.

            If I rely on rational and empirical grounds for God’s existence, I tend to think that there is insufficient evidence to believe in the existence of the Christian God. I tend towards agnosticism, though I call myself an atheist. However, I think that it is possible that a God of compassion, healing-mercy and loving-kindness exists and such a view of God is best expressed in the life and death of the lowly suffering servant, Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee. However the story of Jesus seems to have mythological elements to it, so I am not sure how much is meant to be literal.

            That Matthew 22 thinks that I am an atheist, this does not mean that my position on atheism is fixed. I kind of follow the God of compassion, healing-mercy and loving-kindness that I see revealed in Jesus and aim (though often fail) to be kind to others.

            I have studied theology at one of Australia’s leading theological institutions. I am aware of Evangelical, Neo-orthodox and Liberal theological positions so I am not entirely ignorant of what theologians teach.

            My major problem is how do we deal with the texts of terror and the texts of horror that we find in the bible. e.g. The slaughter of little children and babies for what their parents have done wrong. Greg Boyd (The Charismatic, Anabaptist and Evangelical theological scholar) is one who has tried to handle this problem in his two volume work: The Crucifixion of the Warrior God). I am not sure that he is entirely successful, but he does admit that the texts of terror need to be dealt with. Greg views God as being a pacifist and that God is supremely revealed in Jesus of Nazareth and in the cross of Jesus.

            I hope that this helps to clarify my position, at least a little. And by the way, I was once a Charismatic Evangelical Christian who was pushed out of the church by the fearful gate keepers who harassed me so much that I eventually quit.

            They harassed me over adopting Karl Barth’s view of Scripture. Yet while they held to strict Evangelical views of the bible, they were tending towards Charismatic heresies of the New Apostolic Reformation. At least Karl Barth had a Christocentric bible-based theology which many of these persecutors lacked. I was accused of heresy that they attributed to Barth, yet it was obvious that these same folk had not taken the time to read any of Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics.

          • Pudwink

            And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek Him…. Hebrews 11:6 John you indicate… ” That Matthew 22 thinks that I am an atheist, this does not mean that my
            position on atheism is fixed. I kind of follow the God of compassion,
            healing-mercy and loving-kindness that I see revealed in Jesus and aim
            (though often fail) to be kind to others.” If any man or woman is to follow Jesus, he/she must take up their cross daily (die to self) and follow Christ Himself…paraphrase.

          • Matthew 22:37

            FYI, I was just validated again yesterday in my belief that one should desist in discussing religion or scriptures with confirmed unbelievers. Someone (most likely Arthur) spammed my post to delete it from the thread.

            Many of them aren’t genuine truth seekers which I believe requires a genuine change of heart. They are merely interested in controlling the discussion and forcing their beliefs on believers while they pretend tolerance.

            But tolerance is a lower standard then genuine brotherly love.

            How do you teach the higher standard to people who refuse to acknowledge God with reverence?

            You can’t because reverence (the fear of the Lord) for God is the beginning of wisdom and you don’t debate someone into an attitude change.

            I am no longer sitting around reading blasphemy to please people who refuse to treat God with the love, respect and glory that is His due.

            Their attitude is their problem. They need an attitude adjustment from God but they’ll have to pray for that for themselves.

            Right now they lack the earnest deposit of the Holy Spirit which in my eyes disqualifies them from attempting to lead discussions on religion.

            But if you want to let the spiritually blind guides lead you that is up to you.

            I submit to God, Jesus and the Leading of the Spirit exclusively and not to the inferior reasoning of men.

            I have seen too many godly men make mistakes so why let an ungodly man think he can get the upperhand?

            He can’t and I am honest enough to tell him the truth without flattering his ego.

            They don’t need their egos flattered. They need to repent. How does flattering their ego do that?

            Humility is the absence of ego. A Christian is suppose to make an absolute surrender to God and die to self daily.

            Have a blessed day. I have already discussed with and debated several hundred atheists so I feel I know what I am talking about. They really will attack you. Several dozen of them over the years have attacked me personally and attempted to undermine my freedom of speech over the years while they refused to be re-educated on the scriptures. They have refused to see God’s perspective and want to put Him firmly in the wrong.

            So why listen to them?

            Joshua and David did not listen to blasphemers. Joshua stepped on their necks before they could communicate evil to him. David beat the blaspheming giant Goliath.

            Some people have no respect for others but only want to communicate evil while others do it unconsciously unaware of God’s standard.

            But you can choose to separate yourself from evil. If you cannot overcome it in others you can refuse to join it in it’s nonsense.

            May His grace abound to you!

          • Pudwink

            I am most curious. What denomination or dogma do you align yourself with Matthew 22?

          • Pudwink

            Matthew 22 do you spam a post and thereby delete threads? What proof do you have that Mr. Arthur was the perp? Kindly advise on these two questions. Thank you.

          • Matthew 22:37

            It was a post in reply to him. It is the second time it has happened in a post to him. I think there is a button to report spam or other things inside the profile page.

            Does not matter. It is time to leave anyway.

            I am a believer in Christian universal reconciliation but there are not many interested in correcting the false doctrine of eternal torment.

            Few Christians seem to research it and very few atheists do either. Since judgment starts with the House of God you would think Christians would check out the doctrine on the afterlife more carefully.

            At one time I thought atheists would when told of the doctrinal error but so far they don’t seem to. They would rather fault find with God than really know Him.

            So really no need to post here. Typical Christian and atheist reactions. People start to feel confident when they think they know the whole truth so they stop checking. Probably they don’t want anything to upset their confidence or change things but such an attitude is not truth seeking. The truth is radical and changes things but people fear change or seem too lazy to put the work in and don’t question key doctrines enough. They assume they were taught right on every point.

            But isn’t it better to receive a doctrinal correction now than later?

          • I didn’t spam you. Perhaps, it was you who made an error in posting by pressing the wrong button. Please post your reply. I am eager to receive it, so that I can respond to anything you say that is factually wrong or is an exaggeration of the Christian position that most top flight Christian scholars don’t hold to.

          • Matthew 22:37

            Well thank you for clarifying. But I won’t repost as it was a bit too strongly worded. Plus I am breaking the posting habit. I spend too much time on the computer which is not healthy.

            Peace Be With You!

          • Pudwink

            i have thoroughly researched sheol, hades and ghenna. i took a college course on the warnings of Jesus himself…He spoke unambiguously on the subject. Try to think along these lines Matthew 22: 1) hypothetically, your loved one is savagely beaten to the edge of her life; a trial before a judge is agreed to as the perpetrator is arrested. His DNA is all over the crime scene and two credible eye witnesses testify against the perp. After little defense offered by the perpetrator’s attorneys the case decision goes to the judge’s chambers. The ruling: not guilty.
            You are beside yourself as your loved one did not see justice administered. This is very much akin to a universalist’s position. There is no eternal consequence for missing the mark.Points 2 et al if you are still around. God is all loving and all just. Universalism makes a mockery of the blood of Jesus,and His sacrifice for our sin…. more later….

          • Matthew 22:37

            Well I would say who ever taught you did not research well enough into it.

            Sheol means grave. Why should a translator opt for hell if sheol means grave?

            Aion in Greek does not mean eternal either. The mistake got enshrined in the Latin Vulgate when they substituted the Latin aeternum for aion. But aion is a time of limited duration.

            Thomas Allin and John Wesley Hanson and many others explain the keyword translation errors.

            Some universalists say those who don’t receive Christ will face the Lake of Fire for purification. As far as I know no one can determine the amount of pain one goes through in the Lake.

            I have gotten to the point of not even wanting to talk to Christians on the false hell doctrine any more because they are so deceived yet so sure on this point.

            I.D. Williamson is dead right. You don’t give Jesus the title Savior of All Men if he hasn’t saved all men or doesn’t intend to do it.

            That is one of Jesus’ divine titles as given in the divine word.

            Google and read the essay “Aion-Aionios” by John Wesley Hanson. Though there are many more to read correcting the false afterlife doctrine.

            Someone inside the early church has changed key word meanings then the error got broadly inculcated and communicated like it is the truth. Many universal reconciliationists believe eternal torment came from paganism. Some students of early church history claim that eternal torment was used by rulers and governments to try and control the masses.

            The Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man has been interpreted to support eternal torment but parables are figurative. Not literal.

            I would read Seth Tipton’s on this. The Bible is suppose to be interpreted from spiritual to spiritual not spiritual to literal. Paul said so. So why do we have this literal torment being crammed down our throats?

            You just logicized above to justify unjust punishment. In the Old Testament God was proportionate in His punishments. Adam and Eve were never warned of a potential hellfire for any of their descendents.

            There are many more inconsistencies when you start to question and delve and stop accepting mainstream Christianity’s version of the afterlife as accurate.

            Read Creation’s Jubilee by Stephen E. Jones or The Sacred Secrets of the Sovereignty of God by James W. Bruggemann.

            God’s throne is surrounded by fire. The law is fiery in God’s hand. God appeared in the burning bush. So fire is spiritual sometimes and not always literal in the Bible.

            What is God’s character?

            Is it God’s intent to save people or not?

            How can an imperfect man’s will be honored by God or stop His omnipotent will?

            It is too bad Christianity has been riddled with so much doctrinal error for so long but we will all see when every knee bows some day.

            You want to be Berean. Then check your teachers by checking the doctrinal flaws, language mistranslations and historical facts that the universalists point out.

            Have a blessed day!

          • Pudwink

            Sheol, OT reference to grave. Hades and Gehenna are NT words for hell with the latter the final resting place of the wicked dead derived from a place of perpetual burning like a city dump {ge hinnom where human sacrifices to the Ammonite god Molech} Matt, have you studied Jesus’s teachings on the matter? Examine: Matthew 5:22,29,30; 10:28, 18:9 23:15,33; Mark 9: 43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5; 16:23; James 3:6; II Peter 2:4 and following through vs. 10; Matt: I assume you read the scriptures; I now assume you do not believe the Word is infallible and a guide for your life and behavior. Let’s reductio ad absurdum with an example of an individual who commits repeated behaviors of rape, slander, malice, murder and mahem and dishonor for his parents, without repentance in this life. Let us assume he has heard the authentic gospel, the one found in the synoptic gospels which you deny. The fact that your belief system says God will wink at his behavior and will deny the only means to his reconciliation to God, the Blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus’s blood, speaks volumes to your confusion. Your belief system is a travesty, and it is difficult for you to take up discussion on this point due to your arrogance, and fear of learning something that your theology professors never taught you. What you were taught in Australia my dear acquaintance, is no more than liberal theology that leaves you hopeless. You must adopt universalism for you have no other hope. When I attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York I had such a professor, and he also denied the authority and authenticity of scripture. Yet he wore holy robes, and a collar to distinguish himself as a man of God. Study what Jesus had to say to the scribes and pharisees within the Gospels. I wish your mythical belief system founded on spurious analysis of errors in the scriptures were true. Needless-to-say, it is no more than a wish dream. I say this with respect to your dignity as a volitional human being. May God’s revelation be yours.

          • Matthew 22:37

            Oh well. I see they spammed my long post again. Too long to recap.
            Universalism is an ancient doctrine.

            Not liberal theology though some liberal theologians may believe it today.

          • Hi Pudwink,

            I don’t think that Matt 22:37 is an Australian, nor do I think that she has studied at any seminary. I am Australian and I studied at one of Australia’s leading theological institutions.

            I think that you are correct on what you say that Jesus taught. Matt.22:37 is a lady who is an Evangelical who believes in universalism. This is a minority position among Evangelicals. Talbot is one such Evangelical who holds it.

            As you know, I am not an Evangelical. I hope that universalism is true, if God exists. If God is a personal, relational and social being whose nature is unconditional, others-centred, self-giving, community-forming and life-affirming compassion, healing-mercy and loving-kindness, I cannot see how such a person would burn people forever in a horrid place called hell.

            Creative Love Theism (sometimes called Open Theism) believes that God is compassionate. This is his nature. All the classical attributes of God are re-thought in the light of God’s nature e.g. God’s omnipotence is not naked power but the power of unconditional love that is supremely expressed in the light of the lowly suffering-servant Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.

            God’s holiness is not an other worldly holiness that cannot look upon sin, because Jesus represented God’s holiness as a this-worldly separateness unto God that stooped down to be with sinners and outcasts showing his love to them.

            Also, God’s wrath is but for a season, his mercy endures forever. God’s mercy and grace triumphed over the evil that human beings did to Jesus when they nailed him to his cross at Calvary. And this victory was sealed by what Christians believe was the resurrection of Jesus. As Karl Barth put it, ‘Jesus is Victor’. Jesus died for the sin of the whole world. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them. This may suggest universalism. God is the saviour of all human beings, especially those who believe. And, as an Evangelical, I think Matthew 22:37 is arguing somewhat along these lines.

            Now, if God does not exist then it is futile to believe in everlasting torment in hell. And if he does exist, then maybe it is inconsistent with God’s nature as eternal love.

          • Matthew 22:37

            You did not research as thoroughly as some people. If you did you would know to learn ancient Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic.

            Christianity is a revealed religion. As such the meaning of each and every word of the Bible must be protected and translated accurately.

            The fact that so few Christians know the ancient languages and that people can be caused to collude around false interpretations through deception or because of a fear of man or an excessively false fear of God implanted in them through false doctrinal interpretations should make everyone seek to know the truth a lot more than they do.

            So please do not promote this false hell doctrine any further in this world. Without checking the text for translation errors you are unqualified to speak authoritatively on it and you could be held liable by God later for dispensing a false gospel.

            That school you attended may have passed down a false gospel. They didn’t practice what they preached in Martin Luther’s day did they and Luther attended a theology school.

            We will all be judged by God on every word and deed. So check the translation errors.

          • Matthew 22:37

            Btw, if you think the Bible can’t be mistranslated then you are wrong.

            The Jehovah Witnesses deliberately changed the Word of God in their New World Translation version to make it match what their founder said.

            Thomas Jefferson rewrote the Bible and so did Adolph Hitler though most don’t know this.

            A keyword mistranslation can be of huge significance.

            Have a blessed day! I hope the Spirit moves you to investigate further.

          • Matthew 22:37

            Don’t bother responding to me now that you went all psycho and condemning towards me.

            You have misinterpreted and misrepresented everything I said.

            AND you did not research those keyword mistranslations.

            Go read your New Testament. The Gospel is the ministry of reconciliation.

            How many people do you think you will help reconcile to God by spreading terror over love and trust?

            You’re not so Christ minded spreading a torture and fear doctrine to people.

            So I am not discussing further with you.

            You could have read chapters 16 and 17 on the God’s Plan for All site but instead you assumed you had everything right.

            God bless! Done here.

          • Matthew 22:37

            Matthew 25:46, Young’s Literal Translation

            46 And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during.’

            If Hanson is too tedious to read try: Chapter 17 – Translations of Owlam, Aion, and Aionios on the God’s Plan for All site.

          • I did not spam or even try to spam anyone’s post. I don’t even know how to do it. It’s against my ethics to spam anyone. But Matthew 22 makes it up. It doesn’t matter to her, if she tells lies for Jesus, by stating that it was most probably me who did this, without providing any real evidence.

          • Matthew 22:37

            You click the poster’s name. It brings up the profile page and you click the 3 dots. Then click report
            user and select spam.

            It just happened again today on my post to John Arthur. So it could be him or someone else but that is a big coincidence don’t you think. 3 posts all to Arthur.

            I consider myself to be a non-denominational Christian universal reconciliationist. I spent time around several Christian denominations, observing them and their beliefs, attitudes and actions.

            Then spent some time comparing Arminianism and Calvinism.

            Then discovered the Sovereignty of God idea which I believe is better than Arminianism or Calvinism.

            Arminianism over relies on the over emphasis of free will doctrine which came from Greek philosophy and is not as scripturally accurate as the sovereignty of God doctrine that can be found in the Bible is. A lot of Christian theologians dabbled in Greek philosophy at one time like Augustine and started to put human unbelievers explanations ahead of God’s more accurate one as found in the scriptures. They read Plato and Plato was not a Christian believer.

            Calvinism is only right on two or three of it’s five points.

            To understand some things about why free will is wrong read Creation’s Jubilee.

            To understand the Sovereignty of God read Bruggemann’s The Sacred Secrets of the Sovereignty of God.

            Both of those works give the scriptural explanations with the verses.

            Free will has possibly become so accepted a doctrine because it is used to defend and shore up eternal torment doctrine which is a false doctrine.

            I guess it comes down to who you thinks will is stronger. Man or God’s.

            If you accept Greek philosophical rationalizations then you place man’s will ahead of God’s will placing billions of people into fiery hell in your belief system.

            Check it out yourself. The Bible has not yet been translated into all languages here on Earth. Some of these bible translation groups say there are still hundreds or thousands of languages for it to be translated into.

            So did God’s grace cover them or not?

            The eternal torment believers juxtapose justice against mercy equally. But the Bible says mercy is over all God’s works. People are God’s works.

            God sat on the mercy seat over the Ark of the Covenant. His mind is merciful. Justice is a component of his nature. His justice is tempered by mercy.

          • I didn’t spam any of your posts. Why would I want to spam you? I often don’t agree with you, but that is no reason to spam anyone. It’s against my ethics to spam anyone and I don’t even know how to do it.

          • I did not spam you. I don’t even know how to do this. So why are you bearing false witness against me? (You claimed it was most probably me. This is a false claim.) Doesn’t Jesus really matter to you?

          • Pudwink

            Well written and delineated position 22. I have not seen the obdurate posturing that you attribute to John Arthur. I do not throw all alleged atheists or agnostics into one bailiwick. i tend to fall on the side of mercy and grace with most folks I attempt to engage. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to bring conviction, conversion and / or consternation with my verbal witness. I am obligated to pray for my figurative or literal enemies. I guess we must agree to disagree. Thank you.

          • Matthew 22:37

            Of course, I prayed for them.

            I tried to re-educate them round the clock at one point for many years to no avail.

            All they wanted was debate.

            Not to know God’s perspective.

            Leaving now. To find a new thing to do. I finally learned not to cast the pearls before swine but to look for people with the teachable spirit.

            Not everyone is teachable sometimes Christians even lack a teachable spirit.

            Peace Be With You!

          • All Quakers, theist as well as non theist, hold to the Quaker values of simplicity, peace, integrity, community and equality.

          • Pudwink

            My bad 22 on not seeing John’s post on his agnostic position; on his clarification post you will see he was once involved with a charismatic Christian church. That makes him a seeker at very least, and a condition of engagement. From your posts, I read that he should pray for himself, and that you are clearly not praying for him.. Too personal? Jesus says earlier in Matthew 5 as follows in KJV:
            [44] But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse
            you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which
            despitefully use you, and persecute you;

            [45] That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
            [46] For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Peace and reconciliation to you Brother

        • George Fox believed was an early Christian Quaker who believed that “there is that of God in every human being”. By sitting in the silence and listening, he believed that God would presence himself with that person. So I suppose that you might claim that an atheist who sits in the silence and feels this presence meets God, even if he/she does not attribute this presence to God. So what do you do with a Pentecostal or Charismatic Christian who claims to have been “slain in the Spirit” or baptized in the Spirit who remains an atheist? Are they secret followers of Jesus? Or can we say that, in these cases (including that of atheist and agnostic Quakers), their experiences are spurious? What is your point of view?

          • Pudwink

            We are made in the image of God whether we are believers or not. The Westminster Shorter Catechism’s definition of God is merely an enumeration of his attributes: “God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.”
            John, you are spirit, soul and body.(Read Watchman Nee’s work The Spiritual Man) You will live eternally with God or without Him. Your essential personality will rarely change. You exhibit wisdom in many spheres of life. You espouse to be a just man. You have aspects of goodness and aspire to being true to self and others. You / we are made in the image of God. i presume this was what Mr. Fox referenced in your quote but I am not familiar with this brother*s writings. Much wisdom to you.

          • You can find George Fox’s journal, letters and doctrines in detail on

          • If you wish to study George Fox’s writings, Hall Worthington’s early Quaker website has George Fox’s journal, his letters and doctrines on it. Peace and well-being be to you!

        • Pudwink

          Forgive my confusion after reading most of your posts. Are you not a universalist? What is the term evangelism doing in your writing accept that you have chosen to define it as relationship building. J. Mack Stiles defines an Amplified Bible version of evangelism as follows: ” Evangelism is teaching (heralding, proclaiming, preaching) the
          gospel (the message from God that leads us to salvation) with the aim
          (hope, desire, goal) to persuade (convince, convert). I am not picking on you Matt but what is the purpose of an individual that holds to universalism, if in fact there is no need to persuade a person from a literal or figurative gehenna / separation from God.

          • Matthew 22:37

            The penalty for sin is death not hell.

            A Christian is defined here:

            Testing the Spirits
            4 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

            I don’t think believing in hell or not makes one a Christian. But you should be sound on interpreting doctrine.

            But a universalist in this day and age is a bit like being a salmon swimming against the current.

            At one time I accepted hell doctrine at face value but not after reading all the universal reconciliationists.

            I am very orthodoxically inclined but I do not believe hell doctrine any more. The universalists make better cases in scripture than the eternal tormentists or the annihilationists do.

            Christians are really at the mercy of the translators and tradition. Too bad not many of us are raised and trained in the ancient languages. I think eternal torment would have been exposed as false doctrine a long time ago.

            Many of the early church fathers are universalists.Universalism was never voted down in a church council either.

            The Emperor Justinian declared against universalism in the 6th century. The church didn’t. It is likely that imposing a fear doctrine on the masses was a political maneuver and practice of pagan rulers that made it’s way into Catholicism.

            This is a hard subject to do online. That’s why I always mention sites and books and articles with more details so people can put the pieces together.

          • Two modern Evangelicals who hold to universalism are Talbot and Derek Flood. Derek writes at his blog called the Rebel God. He is a pacifist, leans towards Anabaptist theology and is Charismatic. Where he would likely differ from you is that he believes that the bible is multi-vocal with its different voices on many topics but that Jesus is the supreme voice of God. Maybe, you should study him as well as the other universalists that you have been reading.

          • Isn’t the doctrine of hell barbarism? After all, why would any compassionate person want to see others suffer forever? Surely, if God exists then if he has an eternal torture chamber he is not worthy of worship. Atheist humanism is a much preferred position to the eternal hell doctrine of most Christians. The hell doctrine creates a religion of fear, not a religion of compassion, healing-mercy and loving-kindness.

            The problem for Christians is that Jesus seems to teach hell (Gehenna). Eternal (or age-long) punishment is the same duration as eternal (age-long) life. The same Greek word is used of both states. You seem to want to limit punishment to age-long but not eternal whereas you seem to want to have age long and eternal life.

            Why not make kindness your religion? It needs no churches, synagogues, mosques or temples to be kind to those we meet on life’s journey. It needs no holy books, nor any religious gurus to interpret them. You could be an atheist humanist or an agnostic or a believer in some religion, but it doesn’t take religion of any kind to be kind to others.

          • Matthew 22:37

            Oh they spammed my reply to you again.

            Aren’t all people in a sense false teachers? They are because nobody can know it all or interpret the Word of God with 100 percent accuracy.

            The only thing that could keep you from being a false teacher I believe is the orientation of your heart.

            Too bad they spammed that post. It had a lot of info in it.

            Have to go now. I have a major doctrine to research and my health doesn’t permit me to engage in battles of wills with people any more if I ever should have.

            Only God knows it all and never lies. So ask Him your questions. It is hard sifting through the errors of men to locate truth. Though some people are more accurate than others after spending a lot of time with Him.

            Just be careful because people project and some people may project their evil heart orientations towards you from all sorts of misguided analysis and reasons both public and private.

            Sometimes you need to separate yourself from the pack and think for yourself cf. Psalm 1.

          • I am sorry that someone spammed you, but it was not me. I am interested in your response as I do not think that any loving person could truly believe that a compassionate God would torture any person, let alone torture them forever. The hell doctrine is an abomination.

          • Matthew 22:37

            Well I think when your focus is on Jesus and what he has done for you which is essentially taking the cross for you so your sins can be forgiven and you can enter into a wonderful afterlife then I think you don’t always think of the awfulness of a literal torment and what it implies. I think people were simpler and fewer people sat around philosophizing so they did not catch the doctrinal error. Most people did not know Latin or how to read and write so they weren’t checking their Bible for doctrinal errors. They took what the Catholic Church taught without questioning it. Universal education in the West was quite late. I know people weren’t universally educated in the U.S. until the early 1900s.

            Augustine was the early powerful advocate of eternal torment and he did not know Koine Greek. Dante came along and wrote Dante’s Inferno to help popularize and inculcate this punishment idea borrowed from the Roman Empire further into people’s minds.

            If you check the Aion-Aionios essay by John Wesley Hanson or Thomas Allin’s assessment or Concordant Publishings you will see aion is a time period of limited duration. But Jerome equated aion in Greek with aeternum in Latin erroneously and no one corrected it. Instead they enshrined the errors of the Latin Vulgate for 1400 years.

            Check these verses: 1 Corinthians 15:22, John 5:28-29, Lamentations 3:31-33, 1 Timothy 4:10, 1 Cor. 15:25-28 and Psalm 136:26. That is just a small sample of the many verses endorsing universal reconciliation.

            For a quick look up on the verses google “5 Reasons Universal Salvation Must Be True” on youtube and go read what Dr. Ken R. Vincent has to say about Church History, Tamerlane and the Nestorians. There was a significant Christian population at one time in the Middle East stretching towards Asia that was wiped out by the Mongol Muslim ruler Tamerlane.

            History hides a lot of facts. We seem to hear the same historical facts over and over but there is a lot of history that is obscure.

            I don’t know why anyone would condemn the God of the Old Testament without looking at the deviant sexual and worship practices of the ancient pagan peoples surrounding the Israelites. I would have to do more research into it but I believe the Israelites were more advanced morally and spiritually than other groups around them. Their diet is still endorsed today as healthy by medical doctors, they buried their dead unlike the Amalekites, they did not engage in human sacrifice which was a worldwide practice at that time, they knew not to touch a dead body, their law actually protected women by insisting that they receive a writ of divorcement so that no one could come back later and accuse them of adultery, etc.

            Most people aren’t aware that Deuteronomy 20 says to offer peace before making war.

            10 “When you draw near to a city to fight against it, offer terms of peace to it.

            At Jericho they knew God was with Israel. Rahab knew what had happened at the Red Sea Crossing but they chose not to make peace.

            I find people attacking the Old Testament today never seem to have bothered to defend the God of the Bible by researching into anything. Imagine they were on trial for their lives or the public’s good opinion yet no one ever bothered to investigate a thing to keep them from being judged and condemned.

            Infanticide was a worldwide practice. Judeo-Christian values put an end to it. They have records of the Vikings practicing gender selective infanticide way up until the 6th or 7th century. Today in many non-Christian countries they still have a lot of sex trafficing and in China today they still practice gender selective abortion because of the government’s one child policy to control population and because there is a huge cultural preference for male children.

            I read the history book “Jews, God and History” and Israel about a hundred years before the birth of Christ were the first nation to have a nationwide universal system of education decreed by one of it’s queens. That fact alone puts them educationally and progressively ahead of every other country in existence at the time. So I don’t know why everyone wants to accuse them of barbarism today. Relative to us today they may seem barbarous but not relative to other nations of their time.

            Read Jeremiah 9. God says he wasn’t in favor of sacrificing children in a fire.

            You can argue interpretations of the Bible all day long but interpretations do not control word meaning. Interpretation is based on word meaning.

            Plus you cannot change the actual meaning of a word at the time of usage unless someone doesn’t know to check it or that the meaning was changed.

            That is why people should be told of the keyword translation errors in the Bible.

          • Well, I agree that the focus for Christians should be on Jesus since he is supposed to be the supreme revelation of God to humanity.

            But I’d put my focus on being kind to others, even though I often fail. If we could just get around Jesus believing in hell, there might be a way forward. The Jesus of the Gospels, in most of the Gospel passages, seems so kind and compassionate that it seems hard to believe that he would teach the abomination and barbaric concept of eternal torture.

            If God is love and this is his nature, then I cannot see how eternal torture would be anything that he would approve of.

            Have a good day!

          • Matthew 22:37

            I made a typo below. Should have cited Jeremiah 19:5 not Jeremiah 9.

            New International Version

            1This is what the Lord says: “Go and buy a clay jar from a potter. Take along some of the elders of the people and of the priests 2and go out to the Valley of Ben Hinnom, near the entrance of the Potsherd Gate. There proclaim the words I tell you, 3and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah and people of Jerusalem. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Listen! I am going to bring a disaster on this place that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. 4For they have forsaken me and made this a place of foreign gods; they have burned incense in it to gods that neither they nor their ancestors nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent. 5They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind. 6So beware, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when people will no longer call this place Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.

          • Well I agree that no loving person would burn their children in fire and, if a God of compassion exists then, I cannot see how such a person would command such horrid deeds. Yet when the children of Israel landed in Canaan, didn’t Joshua and his troops not only kill little children and babies of the Canaanites with the sword, they also burned these cities to the ground. And why are we required to believe that God commanded the murder of little children, just for the sake of holding to an erroneous doctrine of the inerrancy of the bible in the (now missing) original manuscripts?

          • Matthew 22:37

            Research it for yourself.

          • I always do. Unlike you, I don’t cut and paste from other websites. Why do you do this? You are not researching for your self, but I am. So why are you telling me to do something which you steadfastly refuse to do , yourself?

          • Matthew 22:37

            I am putting you on block after this.

            There is no reason for me to entertain unbelievers negative attitudes towards God at all because I don’t share them or find them enlightening or encouraging.

            God knows things a person can never know.

            And if that wasn’t enough Christ is the image of God and always obeyed God showing the utmost reverence for Him. Also Christ was with God before the Creation so no one knows God better than him.

            Christ is worthy of honor and Christ honored God. He also understood the Torah better than anyone.

            So his example of reverence for God can be relied upon as a good example to follow in one’s own attitude towards God.

            I see no good in your question. Just an attempt to tear down a believer’s faith by asking duplicitous questions.

            But Christ’s example reins supreme.

          • If God exists, he knows things that no-one knows, but that doesn’t mean that you know, does it? And if God doesn’t exist, then he knows nothing. If you can’t establish the existence of God, then how do you know that the bible is his supposed word when it appears that many passages have been written by bloodthirsty savages who created god in their own likeness?

          • Does this mean that Jesus approved the slaughter of little children and babies? Surely, the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain say NO, don’t they? So which Jesus are you following? The violent Jihadi Jesus of the literal interpretation of the OT who backs the Warrior God of the OT or the peaceful Jesus of most of the Gospels! ? And which Spirit of Jesus “slays them in the Spirit”?

          • Matthew 22:37

            You lack the requisite reverence for God for me to talk with you further.

            Read Romans 1.

            Suppression of God might have affected your mental capacity to understand.

            Pray on it.

            If you have crowded God out of your own head by fault finding Him then you have no light in your mind.

            How great is that darkness!

            I no longer read the detractors of God.

            Life is better that way and I get to stay in His light.

            May His Grace Abound To You!

          • I am not the one who detracts from God. You are! Your concept of God is so barbaric, no rational person could accept it. You are trying to tell me that someone who ordered the Israelis to murder little children and babies is worthy of worship. You must be joking!

            No compassionate and caring person would ever command anyone to murder little children and babies. This concept of God is a delusion which is in the bible. So he/she could not exist! If a God of compassion and kindness exists, he couldn’t be your God. The bible God is a figment of human imagination.

          • I don’t ask duplicitous questions. Is the reason that you call them such because you cannot answer them, rationally? I am not trying to tear down your faith. This is a figment of your imagination. What I am doing is looking at how much you claim to know and what real evidence you can offer to support your claims.

          • Matthew 22:37

            The scriptural cites outlining the 3 afterlife positions: universalism, eternal torment and annihilationism are laid side by side on in an article entitled “The salvation of all, when should it be taught?” by Joseph E. Kirk.

            If you want to examine them.

            1 Timothy 4:9-11, NASB
            “Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation. For to this end we labor and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, Who is THE SAVIOUR OF ALL MEN, specially of them that believe. THESE THINGS COMMAND AND TEACH.”

            Have a blessed day!

    • Pudwink

      The false counterfeit is a preacher pressing on your forehead so hard that you either fall or step backwards. I have been in dozens of meetings where this behavior has ensued. Nonetheless, I believe that some preachers have actually been anointed by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that this experience can be very real. For my wife of 45 years it was very real on one occasion. I am saddened to see that there are indeed counterfeits to this experience. Having been licensed for a few years by the AG in NY, I have also seen individuals act as catchers, and I have always declined their services. This makes a mockery of God I believe. If the Holy Spirit is knocking me down, He will certainly catch me. Peace.

  • You are right, Jack! Nowhere in the bible does it even talk about being “slain in the Spirit”. Isn’t the fruit of the Spirit meant to be an indicator of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a disciple of Jesus? If Christians are relying on being “slain in the Spirit” as an indicator of their spiritual growth, then the biblical witness points nowhere to this.

    Too many Pentecostals and Charismatics are giving priority to their so-called religious experiences, that for all practical purposes, these seem to be more important than the biblical witness to them. This ends up being a denial of the sufficiency of the Scriptures.

    “Demons” are non-literal mythical beings that represent evil performed by humans and the evil “powers” that influence the social structures or patterned relationships that people enter into to meet their perceived as well as their fundamental needs.

    Some of this “slaying in the Spirit” is probably “demonic”. The question is: does being “slain in the Spirit” produce compassion, healing-mercy and loving-kindness towards others or not? If a person who is “slain in the Spirit” becomes pre-occupied with their own religious experience, and fails to show love to others, then are they not being influenced by evil? Jack, you wisely do not attribute this experience to God or to the “demonic”. If these people love others more than before their experience, then maybe we can attribute this goodness to their experience but maybe not. Maybe it is something else which has caused them to love others more.

    • Jack Wellman

      Well said Mr. Arthur.

      • Pudwink

        Pastor Wellman and Bro. Arthur: Rev. Wellman writes: “…..the vast majority of these things are not the normative, and they are not found in the Bible, therefore, they are not from God.” As to whether these “things” are found in scripture can be debated thoroughly. Since, iyho, they are not from God, ergo…they are from the flesh, or some other source, then at very least you should say which. I’d love to know whether my beloved of 45 years is demonized as she had a very real experience of being “slain” in the Spirit There is no crucifixion brothers. As a youth I was raised in a Baptist church, I sought the explanation of I Corinthians 12 and began to eagerly desire spiritual gifts. After seeking in earnest, I was anointed by a missionary to India, and I spoke in an unknown tongue. I continue to speak in an unknown tongue in my prayer closet in my sixties. The purpose of the glossolalia is in your prayer closet to reach out to God for the edification of the believer; the purpose and intention of God within the church is tongues AND the interpretation of tongues (in a known language) for the edification of body of Christ. Speaking in an unknown tongue was not the norm for me as I was a critical thinker and Bausch Lomb science award winner in high school. I write these things to indicate that God minus the supernatural is not natural. If we favor only that which is normative we will find that fighting the good fight of faith an unruly task indeed. Many blessing on your authorship, writings and discovery in Jesus.

        I Corinthians 14: 1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.

        I Corinthians 12: 1. Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. {NIV}

  • Jack Wellman appears to have no or little experience with the anointing of the Spirit. He confuses the anointing, which is divine power, with the Spirit, the third member of the Trinity. A good biblical example showing the difference is when a recently deceased body was thrown onto the bones of the prophet Elisha and there was still sufficient anointing present to bring the person back to life (2 Kings 13:21).

    I am a pentecostal and I do not use the term “slain in the Spirit” but prefer the descriptive “falling under the power of the Spirit”. The anointing can be transferred by the laying on of hands. The anointing can do such things as heal sickness, remove demonic spirits, and overcome a person so that they fall over. Some people are more susceptible than others. There are biblical examples of people falling to the ground (Mt 17:6-7; Jn 18:6; Acts 9:4; Rev 1:17). The good fruit of prayer ministry, which may include falling over, speaks for itself. Jesus commissioned his disciples to do and teach what he had taught them (Mt 28:20), and this included healing the sick and casting out demons. If people fall over under the power of god, so be it. Of course, the falling over should not be seen as affirming the credentials of the minister.

    • “Jack Wellman appears to have no or little experience of the anointing of the Spirit. He confuses the anointing, which is divine power, with the Spirit, the third member of the Trinity.”

      Doesn’t the NT say that the anointing comes from the Spirit? Jesus’ Nazareth Manifesto says this:

      “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Luke 4″18-20, ESV)

      This “divine power” is said to come from the Spirit of God. It is a reading from Isaiah which Jesus read in the synagogue and which he said was fulfilled in their hearing. As far as I am aware, Jack does not deny this.

      Doesn’t Acts 1:8 say also this? “You (the disciples) will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…”

      So I am confused about what you mean when you talk of “divine power”. Is God’s power, naked power or the power of unconditional, others-centred, self-giving, community-forming and life-affirming compassion, healing-mercy and loving-kindness that we see in the lowly suffering servant, Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee whose crucifixion and alleged resurrection are seen as signs of the triumph of grace over sin and as supreme symbols of suffering love. Isn’t this what divine “power” is about?

  • Cindy Westfall

    You have established that the terminology “slain by the Spirit” is not in the Bible. Well done. Of course virtually all Christians use terminology that’s not in the Bible. With this line of argument, I could say that “personal devotions” are not biblical. On the other hand, if we want to go to the Bible to see if there might be parallel phenomena among the saints and prophets, you will find that “falling down as one dead” in the presence of God, an angel or some vision occurs a significant number of times in the Old and New Testament–it occurs with some frequency in the book of Revelation in the context of heavenly worship. When I saw that, I stopped calling the phenomena unbiblical, but I certainly have questions about seeking it out or making it a priority.

    • Pudwink

      Well stated and written.

  • NorrinRadd

    This is largely a matter of hermeneutical presuppositions and choice of definitions. If we define “Biblical” to mean “anything directly endorsed in Scripture” and “unbiblical” to mean “anything directly discouraged in Scripture,” then being “slain in the Spirit” is one of many things neither “Biblical” nor “unbiblical.”

    As such, I tend to think it should be neither sought nor denounced in general terms, but each occurrence of it should be evaluated on its own merits.

    I realize the theatrics and loose (at best) theology of preachers such as Benny Hinn can cast quite an unfavorable light on the phenomenon, but FWIW, well-regarded scholars such as Craig Keener and Ben Witherington are generally welcoming toward it.

  • Chuck Troupe

    Hello and God bless you all. Very interesting article. It is true that the term, “slain in the Spirit,” or “falling under the power of the Spirit,” (and Etc.) do not appear in the Bible. But please consider that fact that there are many man-made terms that most of us use all the time that do not “appear” in the Bible. The word, “Trinity” is one, and the term “Millenium” is another, and yet another is the term, “Rapture.” There are a lot of words, expressions, and terms that are not to be found in the Bible … but they describe things tha are found in the Bible.

    Those of you that have said they could not find anything in the Bibe that even resembled such a thing, makes me wonder if some of you have either skipped over some of the Bible, or perhaps just forgotten what happened in the Book of II Chronicles.

    Please consider II Chronicles chapter 5, verses 13-14. Do you think maybe that experience might give us more than adaquate reason to at least consider the possibility that the presense of the Holy Spirit could still cause such a thing to happen to Believers? Can anyone honestly say that it isn’t (at least) possible?

    13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord;

    14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.

    I, for one, would more than welcome a visit from the Holy Spirit like that. As Christians, I know He indwells us, but He can (and does) fill us and re-fill us, again and again … according to our needing and our asking.

  • tovlogos

    Amen, Jack — excellent piece… The Spirit is core and something I focus on regularly in my ministry.
    I will pass this on.

  • It is my understanding that you are an Evangelical Christian. Evangelicals hold to the supreme authority of the Jesus of the NT for all matters of theology, ethics, praxis and experience. Evangelicals also believe in the reliability of the bible as a witness to Jesus Christ and , although they claim that all scripture is God-breathed, they tend to give priority to the NT over the OT when the two apparently seem to conflict.

    Pentecostals and Charismatics often say that they, too, are Evangelicals. This is true of most Classical Pentecostals and some Charismatics.. But many modern Pentecostals and Charismatics are departing from Evangelicalism in droves while still trying to claim that they are evangelicals. For example many have adopted “latter rain” heresies, Word of faith/Prosperity Theology dogma and practices and the heresies of the New Apostolic Reformation movement.

    Evangelicals also believe in the sufficiency of the Scriptures for all matters of faith, theology, ethics, praxis and experiences. Some Pentecostals and Charismatics accept this, but many do not. Personal experiences and so-called private revelations, according to evangelicals, must be subordinated to the Scriptures. I can’t find clear evidence in the NT (contextually interpreted by leading Evangelical scholars) that experiences like being “slain in the Spirit” or the so-called “Toronto Blessing” are normative for the Christian church today.

    One of your respondents claimed that the Toronto Blessing is not from God but being slain in the Spirit might be. How can you tell? Pentecostals and Charismatics who claim the Toronto Blessing say that they subjectively feel that it is from God, the same as those claiming to be Slain in the Spirit. But subjective experiences are not, in themselves, indicators that God is at work.

  • I’m a bit sceptical of someone outside charismatic circles addressing the topic–particularly those who conclude it is demonic. As far as Scripture, there are a number of OT passages such as Saul’s experience with the prophets and standing in the presence of divine messengers, but admittedly there is no exact example in the NT–at least using “slain in the Spirit”. I have stood in a line wishing for that experience with no success despite others on either side having it. The main thing I find reported is a sense of peace and relaxation as well as remaining conscious of what is going on around them. Hard to find fault with that experience.

    • Matthew 22:37

      Yes. It is a very important topical study but unfortunately people can’t even get their minds around their own spiritual blindness much less attempt a study on being slain in the spirit.

      The blindest people keep trying to engage in a battle of wills with the less spiritually blind some times. All the time oblivious to the fact that sin deepens spiritual blindness and spiritual blindness contributes to sin.

      The believer should never argue with a confirmed unbeliever because why would you argue with someone determined to stay in sin which deepens spiritual blindness.

      We all need to focus our minds on Jesus more and obeying him then we stay freer of the sin and spiritual blindness.

      An interesting one to listen to is David Grabbe’s “Spiritual Blindness: Choosing A Curse” over on the Church of the Great God’s website.

      You can’t argue with people determined to continue in spiritual blindness in sin. Too many of them will turn and rend you.

      The spiritual blindness of the unbelievers is illustrated by their own argumentativeness. They should have let Jesus teach them how to improve their spiritual sight but they prefer questioning and denying his existence.

      Spiritual blindness is due in part to human motivational problems. Be sure none of these unbelievers who like to argue and tear down the Gospels doesn’t over involve you in their own unresearched motivational problems. If they aren’t concerned enough to deal with their own spiritual motivational problems then why should you allow them access to meddle with you and attempt to argue you into seeing nothing along with them.

      Obedience is very important. There always has been a connection between obedience and seeing God’s truth and disobedience and being unable to see it.

      Thanks for reading. God Bless.

      • What does a “study of being slain in the Spirit” mean? I hope that you are not suggesting that people’s experiences should trump the bible, Christocentrically and contextually interpreted.

        If being “slain in the Spirit” was meant to be an experience normative for the church, why isn’t this taught in the NT? Although there may be some occurrences of people “falling backwards” in the NT, it is not always indicative of Christian behaviour e.g. The soldiers “fell backwards” when they came to arrest Jesus. These soldiers didn’t become Christians but they did arrest Jesus.

        I’ve had a few Pentecostals claiming that this episode of the soldiers “falling backwards” as biblical evidence for being “slain in the Spirit”. This is just ridiculous exegesis. Of course we don’t really know that they actually “fell backwards”, because the Greek used here may simply mean that the “drew backwards”.

      • Did you know that many Pentecostals who have experienced being “slain” or have experienced “speaking in tongues” are now atheists? Some of these are former pastors who have joined the “clergy project”.

    • I see your point of view , but I am very hesitant to follow, what appears to me to be a mystical model of alleged divine experiences.

      Why can’t non-Charismatic Christians address this topic adequately? Isn’t the bible, Christocentrically and contextually interpreted, meant to be the Evangelical’s supreme authority in all matters of theology, ethics, praxis and religious experiences? And doesn’t this also apply to both Charismatic/Pentecostal Evangelicals as well as non Charismatic Evangelicals?

      Now it is true that religious experiences may influence the way the bible is interpreted. But ought not Evangelicals, of all stripes, hold to the sufficiency of the biblical witness to Jesus Christ. Here is where, in my opinion, many Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians are led astray. For too many, personal experiences seem to trump the bible, though this may not be their intention.

      I am not saying that these experiences are necessarily “demonic”, though some may be. I interpret references to the “demonic” to mean those non-literal evil forces that may influence human behaviour. For example, the “principalities and powers” may refer to evil which resides in the social structures or patterned human relationships that influence human behaviour. Of course, as an atheist, I don’t believe that there is any empirical evidence to support the existence of literal demons. Jesus was both a product of his times as well as being, on some issues, far ahead of his times.

      If God does exist, then I believe that Jesus best models what it means to follow God. He called his disciples to love God through loving other human beings and this included loving one’s enemies. He said to his disciples, “Be compassionate as your father who is in heaven is compassionate, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked” (Luke Ch.6).

    • Jack Wellman

      Thank you Mr. Schultz. I did attend a Pentecostal Church for about 2 years before I moved to Kansas, and so I am not exactly an “outsider” as you think, but putting experience over Scripture is a slipperly slope.

      • I agree that putting experience over Scripture is bad. Yet I am reminded of an article by J G Vos where he said thet things permitted by Scripture should be permitted, things forbidden should be forbidden and anything else falls under “things indifferent” and the church should make no rules about them. If you were in an assembly where being slain in the spirit is put high up then I agree with you, however I would be slow to issue a blanket condemnation of something that personal. And I agree that some of the “Scriptural” defense is a case of an answer looking for a verse.

        • Jack Wellman

          Thank you sir.

        • Pudwink

          Very well stated.

        • pud

          Right! Don’t use your brain, reason or any critical faculties…just “believe” a deranged ancient book!

    • pud

      You just need to be even more gullible then you too can have the “spirit”

    • Jack Wellman

      Well said Mr. Schultz. I liked your two concluding sentences. Spot on sir.