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Bizarre Church Behaviour
 
Many attempts have been made to explain the strange behaviour that sometimes occurs, in otherwise normal people, during times of Christian revival. These explanations range from hypnotic effects to divine intervention and even to demonic possession.
     In Western church history this kind of behaviour has occurred under the preaching of –
John Wesley, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney, Evan Roberts, and some modern Pentecostal and Charismatic preachers.
Jonathan
Edwards wisely wrote in the early eighteenth century –
'A work is not to be judged of by any effects on the bodies of men; such as tears, trembling, groans, loud outcries, agonies of body, or the failing of bodily strength ... 
... some have been in a kind of ecstasy, wherein they have been carried beyond themselves, and have had their minds transported into a train of strong and pleasing imaginations, and a kind of visions, as though they were rapt up even to heaven and there saw glorious sights.
... Nor are many errors in judgment, and some delusions of Satan intermixed with the work, any argument that the work in general is not of the Spirit of God.' (The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God, 1741).
See:
falling as a blessing?
 
These words of Jonathan Edwards need to be taken very seriously by modern church leaders before hastening to any conclusion.
 
Now, hear this word!
The Bible teaches us about a very strange incident in Israel's history when their king Saul was actively seeking to murder David. David, Samuel the prophet and writer of Israel's monarchical constitution (1 Samuel 10:25), and his associated prophets, were prophesying together at Naioth in the district of Ramah. Prophesying together? Did that not simply mean inspired preaching?
No, it never has.
 
The
word 'prophesy' in our Old Testament is נבא (nâbâ) which means 'inspired speech' and nothing more, which could be in song, in worship, in addressing people, or in any other situation when the human voice is directly inspired by God. Our book of Psalms is a recorded collection of this kind of inspired speech. The Bible's description of this collective prophesying at Naioth was undoubtedly of inspired worship, particularly in view of the persons involved.
Now comes the reason for this report being preserved for our instruction.
 
 
King Saul sent his officers to Naioth to arrest David, three times, and each time they were unable to do it because they began prophesying as they approached the physical locality of the inspired vocal-worship of Samuel's group. In this situation, it was not something which these officers could voluntarily stop. Eventually, King Saul in frustration came himself to take David captive.
 
  "And he [Saul] went there to Naioth in Ramah. And the Spirit of God came upon him also,
and as he went he prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah. And he too stripped off his clothes,
and he too prophesied before Samuel and lay naked all that day and all that night.
Thus it is said, 'Is Saul also among the prophets?'."
1 Samuel 19:23-24
Saul's
murderous heart was not changed. He had not repented. His body was simply overpowered by the presence of God as the Spirit of God's presence rested upon the physical assembly of Samuel, David, and the prophets while they worshipped. What did he prophesy? We don't know but the text gives us a clue. He tore his clothes and "lay naked all that day and all that night". Why? In the cultural expression of that time, it was his body-language for grief, grief He caused God and Samuel (1 Samuel 16:1).
 
 
So, falling down, and even prophesying, is not a sign that God is pleased with that person, it merely represents a physical encounter with the power of God's presence and nothing more.
 
'Delusions of Satan'  
It is
therefore in the light of this revelation in Holy Scripture that we should understand church services where the anointing of the Spirit of God is present and persons begin barking like dogs or roaring like lions – for the presence of the Spirit of God is the presence of the Spirit of Truth and unconscious demonic contaminations and other corruptions are likely to become exposed, sometimes violently, depending on the depth of contamination and its length of duration.
See:
Demon 'Possession'
 
The sad thing is that some, in hankering after signs of the supernatural have turned this exposure of a corrupted consciousness, such as barking or roaring, into a sign of God's approval. How bizarre is that!
 

Meeting Dynamics Laughter in Church falling down


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