This is a topic that I have long had an issue about – ever since my own experiences of it in my 20s when I was involved with a pentecostal church and on through to this last decade of the infamous Toronto Blessing et al. Even at that time when I was “pushed into” a lineup to “receive it” I wasn’t comfortable in the least, but like everyone else got felled unexpectedly by whatever force it was. But I can’t say I felt that I was in the presence of God – really felt nothing of any great note but certainly found myself somewhat rooted to the floor for a time.
Long left that church but over the years have had many times when I’ve been in churches that practice this teaching and the more I watch and hear, as well as the more tuned in I’ve become to the True Spirit of the Lord the more I recognise it is deception at its best and Satan once more pulling people away from the Lord as he makes them put all the emphasis on feelings and experiences rather than in the Word.
I have argued many times with my Pentecostal “family” about this issue yet few really take the time to truly research it – preferring to trust their own subjective feelings over anything in scripture and if you do push them to justify it they’ll always refer to about the only 1 instance in scripture (John 18:6 – see below) where the soldiers fell down backwards. Other instances often cited such as Matthew 17: 5-7 (” And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. “) actually again, just confirm my point below. And note – the disciples fell themselves – they didn’t have someone praying them down to the ground and they were afraid – not raptured (as I’ve heard some state they felt while lying on the floor)!
My major point is that apart from the fact that nowhere in scripture is it ever said that you have to receive the “Baptism” of the Holy Spirit to finalise your redemption or better your relationship with the Lord, equally nowhere in scripture is it said that we should give the Holy Spirit all the emphasis and put Him first in the Trinity. Yet that’s exactly what this whole phenomenon is about – you look at the likes of Benny Hinn – the ultimate “slayer” and it’s all he’s interested in – how many people can he floor just by looking at them or waving his coat about. He loves the power he thinks he has in being able to direct the spirit wherever he wills! And you absolutely cannot do that with the Holy Spirit of the Lord for He is beholden to NO man but Jesus! But even for those ordinary people who are told this is something they should desire, seek after and use to strenghten their walk with the Lord I would say this:
Search the scriptures – do a word search in ESword or any other bible software, and see if you can find anywhere – apart from that one instance in John (see below) where those who were faced with the Lord or met an angel or whom the Holy Spirit may indeed have appeared to who fell down BACKWARDS!!!! Every single person not only fell forwards, but they didn’t then end up in some sort of glorified stupor unable to maintain their composure or speak coherently. Instead they were absolutely aware of Who it was they were in the presence of, recognised their sinful state before Him and were face down in the ground worshiping Him. And it was always for a specific purpose – usually to worship – not to make them feel good or in any way deepen their faith just for the sake of it.
1Cor 14:25 And so the secrets of his heart become revealed. And so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.
Falling backwards is a sign of being under Judgement – check it out!
Isa 28:13 “But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.”
John 18:6 “As soon then as he had said unto them, I am HE, they went backward, and fell to the ground.”
Personally I think that very verse is speaking straight into this whole issue for those who allow themselves to be deceived by it then go on to accept many other doctrinal errors and heresies sinking themselves further into deception until they can no longer even see the Truth let alone desire it.
Apostasy is rife amongst our churches at the moment and practices such as this provoke many to seek more and more experiences over faith responses – many have testified how they only go to church sometimes in order to “get a blessing” or be “touched by the spirit” etc. Let me tell you plainly – there is only one spirit who benefits from all of this and he ain’t concerned about your eternal judgement – even if you’re a Christian you are still going to be judged and you may lose out heavily through your adherence to such errant doctrine because it’s idolatry – you’re placing your need for experience led faith above the faith required to truly serve the Lord. Please at least research this concept yourself, and then repent and reject it and instead wait on the Holy Spirit to work in your life quietly rather than exuberantly – His sole purpose is not to provide you with some tangible feeling of His Presence but rather to teach you what you need to know to better serve the Lord and to reveal Him to you, not Himself.
May the Lord truly protect His flock from the wolves within in these turbulent end times.