Is falling out in church scriptural? A friend of mine called me not too long ago and asked me this question. He had just read something that explained that people "falling out under the power" or being "slain in the spirit" was not in the scriptures. The article stated that there are no examples in the scripture where we see ministers laying hands and people falling out. Having witnessed this occurrence, my friend called me to ask if this was indeed true.
I grew up at Bible Gospel Center where every service had some manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Whether it was a healing line, prophecy, tongues with interpretation, something transpired in every one of our services. And most of the churches that we visited in our area had similar experience. People being prayed over and falling out was a normal sight.
I remember when my father had Rodney Howard-Browne minister at our church. He was from Africa. Even though we were not familiar with him and his ministry there was an excitement leading up to the service. I watched in awe as Rodney demonstrated the power of God. He would wave his hand and rows of people would fall out. He would have different ones hold hands and he would touch the first person and the whole chain of ten or more people would fall and could not get up. I watched as the usher would try to help people up and they too would fall out.
I've seen this level of displays of power many times throughout my life. It was very normal with Kenneth Hagin, Sr. as well as Benny Hinn's ministry. It was actually a Benny Hinn experience that gave me some insight into how this works.
My cousin, Andrae Rainey called me after attending a Benny Hinn service. During the service Benny asked for all preacher kids to come forward so that he could pray over them. My cousin went up for prayer and had decided no matter what he would not fall. He told me as he stepped onto the platform he felt something grab the back of his collar and pull him to the ground. Every effort to avoid falling proved futile. Being familiar with angels, Andrae explained to me that it was an angel responsible for pulling him down and then pinning him to the floor. He was not able to get up until he was released by the angel.
Why would God do something like this? Knocking people to the floor and pinning them seems like a lot. One reason this display of power occurs is because God is at work. It's no different than a doctor putting you under and performing surgery. God comes to heal His people of both physical spiritual and emotional ailments. Another reason is when God shows up on that level it is hard, if not impossible to stand in His presence. He is the creator and every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that He exists and He is Lord. I tend to think of it as God showing off. And this reason is also our scriptural reference of people falling out under the power of God.
Jesus was in the garden when Judas and the men came to take Jesus to be crucified. The scriptures says that Jesus asked them who they were looking for...
John 18:3 Judas then, having received a band [of men] and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.
John 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?
John 18:5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am [he]. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
John 18:6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am [he], they went backward, and fell to the ground. In verse 6 where it says, "they fell to the ground," "they" refers to a band of men and officers from the chief priest and the Pharisees. That's three groups of men present. That was no small number of people. Notice the scripture says that they went backward and then fell to the ground. It sounds very much like the experience my cousin described to me. Now I guess the question was were there angels present when this groups came to take Jesus.
Notice what Jesus said to Peter who had just cut off a mans ear in his effort to prevent this group from taking Jesus.
Matthew 26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
Matthew 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
I don't believe Jesus was just talking. But he in fact was fully aware of the Angels that were present. And I don't believe Jesus randomly selected this number but knew there were twelve legions of angels in the garden. However, Jesus willfully submitted to the will and plan of God and allowed himself to be taken away to be crucified.
The power of God is absolutely real. And the bible is filled with the many manifestations of His power. Psalm 106:8 ...he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.
To be very honest, I'm more afraid when I go into a church and there is no display of God's power.