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More from Dr. J. Rodman Williams

What are the pros and cons of "slaying in the Spirit?"

By Dr. J. Rodman Williams

The following questions were asked by visitors to The answer is provided by Dr. J. Rodman Williams, theology professor at Regent University's School of Divinity.

I have been hearing a lot about "slaying in the Spirit." I have heard both sides, pros and cons, of its validity. Are there any scriptures on this subject and what are your thoughts?

I prefer the language of "falling in the Spirit." The biblical illustration that stands out is Revelation 1:10 where John says he was "in the Spirit on the Lord's day" and after recounting a vision of Jesus says, "When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man" (verse 17). Falling in the Spirit may genuinely happen when one senses the glory of the Lord.

I have been saved for about 8 months. I believe in tongues and all other spiritual gifts. I have been told that speaking in tongues is a sign of being filled with the Holy Spirit. I have not had the experience of tongues. What exactly must be done to be filled?

To be filled with the Holy Spirit requires a total yielding to God. The disciples at Pentecost who were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues (Acts 2:4) had been in prayer for ten days as they more and more yielded themselves to the Lord. The length in time, however, is not important but only the surrender of everything including the tongue. Sometimes the laying on of hands, as Paul did to some Ephesian disciples in Acts 19:6, helps in receiving the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. (For more on yielding, see Renewal Theology 2, pages 302-305.).

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