In my last post, I wrote about how modern popular healers like to accentuate, augment, focus on, and direct audience to wheelchairs. The reason wheelchairs are so important is because wheelchairs provide the image of healing even when nothing major is happening on stage with the person who brought the chair. Visuals help sell healing. Jesus used visuals, he straightened backs and arms. Modern popular healers can’t do that because it would take a miracle, so they revert to other visuals that do not demonstrate any physical healing of a body. I think wheelchairs are the best visual replacement for the real thing, but coming in at the number two visual demonstration is slaying people in the spirit.
Even though thousands of healers use this for effect, no one is as good as Benny Hinn. Benny Hinn has developed this skill better than anyone else.
A BRIEF HISTORY
-Slaying in the Spirit was common during the 19th and 20th Century revivals in both Great Britain and in the U.S.
-In the 1960s, Pentecostals and Charismatics popularized the practice.
-In the 1980s John Wimber likewise continued the practice for the Vineyard movement. Most Christian Healers in the West practice slaying in the Spirit, especially some of the bigger names such as Kathryn Kuhlman, Todd Bentley, and Benny Hinn. I don’t know of anyone who slays people more than Benny Hinn, so I will use him as the prime example for my studies.
HOW IT WORKS
If you spend time watching Benny Hinn slay people, you should notice that no one goes down if they don’t hear, feel or see something. If someone’s eyes are closed and Benny waves his hands at them, as long as they don’t feel or hear Benny say something, they will feel no power whatsoever and they will not go down. This suggests that there is no power coming from Benny, but rather, it is all in the minds of the people who go down.
In the mid 1970s I saw and listened to Dr. Yonghi Cho (he was the pastor of the largest church in the world – Seoul, South Korea). As Dr. Cho talked and performed healing, he complained about all these Americans falling down on the ground when he prayed for them. He had never seen that in Korea at that time. If no one goes down in Korea, but do in the States, it tells me that slaying has nothing to do with the power of God moving through Dr. Cho, but it all had to do with the Americans who fell because they expected to fall. Again, this confirms that slaying power does not come from the slayer, but from the minds of the slain.
Check out the power of Chi on YouTube and you will find Chi masters slaying their students with the power of Chi. Students are unable to hit or reach their masters because the Chi force is so strong that it knocks the students down. In one of the videos a kick boxer who is not a the Chi master’s student challenges the Chi master and as the master throws his energy toward the kick boxer, the kick boxer easily and repeatedly beats the master because he was unaffected by the master’s Chi power. Like healers slaying people, the power of the Chi master did not come from the him or from Chi itself, but only from the minds of his followers.
I am not going to pretend to know that much about the brain, but I do know this: there are parts of the brain that can override the body’s system in unusual ways. Hypnotists work with this, as do Chi masters and faith healers. Hypnotists know something is going on in the brain, but can’t see it, neither do they explain it very well. Chi masters call this Chi force, but it is not a real force. Faith healers call it God, but it is only in the minds of those who believe it is the power of God. All of these are simply the brain’s response to expectation and the voice of an authority. This part of the brain works deep within us – deep enough behind the scenes to keep us from seeing what takes place, and because we don’t know or understand that our brains are doing all this. Because all we see is people falling to the ground, we look for whatever makes most sense, and what makes most sense in the context of faith healing is that it is to power of God. To add to this conclusion, healers tell their audiences over and over that it is the power of God. But in reality, God is not doing it; each person’s brain is doing it, responding to their expectations, and the voice of some authority.
Expectation is powerful and can throw a person to the ground. Even if one fights it, he/she can still go down because some part of the brain overrides any fighting. I fought it under Kathryn Kuhlman’s hand but I still went down. At the time, I wanted only to make sure it was real and that I was not being pushed down. At the time, I thought that I had control over my mind and what it did to me. But despite all of my battles, down deep I still believed that Kathryn Kuhlman was legit, and every word she spoke to me that night was straight from God. I trusted her authority even in my questioning. When I went down, it felt awesome and I tried to lift up my hands to praise God, but could not lift them up. In the end, the expectation of going down was strong enough.
IS EVERYONE VULNERABLE TO BEING SLAIN?
Not everybody goes down. And not everyone gets hypnotized by hypnotists, even when they want to be hypnotized. In one of Hinn’s crusade, a young woman came forward to be prayed for and to receive the “power of God,” but she didn’t go down when he tried to put her down. When Benny saw that remained standing, he accused the young Christian woman of “grieving the Holy Spirit.” When others did not go down, Benny fished around, asking what church they went to, or if they even went to church. He was trying to find out if they were Christians because they didn’t fall down under his great power.
This further emphasizes that it has nothing to do with Benny and everything to do with the person, for if it was the power of God, then how could unbelievers stand up so well against God’s power. Unbelieving soldiers fell back when arresting Jesus and if that really was the power of God and not something else, then that would show a huge difference between Jesus and Benny. Benny’s power is limited to those who expect to be slain.
JESUS AND THE SOLDIERS
“When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.” (John 18:6)
Before Jesus was arrested, when soldiers heard that the person they were looking for was in front of them, the soldiers drew back and fell to the ground. The Bible says nothing more about this. Jesus was with a group of men and as far as the soldiers could tell, Jesus and his group were ready for a fight. From the soldiers’ point of view, Jesus and his group posed a very real physical threat. Remember also that Peter tried to kill one of them with a sword, so they really did pose a threat.
There are several possible reasons they fell to the ground and the Bible is not clear why they fell to the ground.
- It could be part of a military maneuver, but this seems unlikely because no one fights well on the ground.
- They may have stepped back to get out of the range of swords like Peter’s and stumbled on something.
- Knowing Jesus had powers, they may have believed Jesus held special powers to slay them, so they went to the ground to protect themselves in anticipation of some curse.
- It may have been the power of God temporarily disarming them.
If I interpret this event as a slaying in the spirit,
- I am reading into the Bible from the limited experience and knowledge that I have, and the only thing I can think of is slaying in the Spirit, just like Benny Hinn does.
- They were unbelievers there to arrest Jesus, torture him, mock him, and kill him – they were not followers of Jesus.
- They were not followers of Jesus, so if they fell under the power of God, their unbelief did not keep them from being slain.
- In all of Jesus’ ministry, and in all of the Bible, no person was ever slain in the spirit while being healed.
Benny Hinn has been relying more and more on slaying people as his primary visual. He still likes wheelchairs and sometimes he will line the stage with empty wheelchairs for effect, but more than anything he loves to push people down, wave them down, or put people on the ground with a yell such as, “Power!” or “Holy Ghost!”
Hinn’s followers love this visual and believe that God is throwing people to the ground as a sign of healing. As a visual, it is impressive, but it is more like a hypnotist’s show than anything relating to real healing that lasts. A hypnotist entertains as does Benny Hinn. A stage hypnotist leads people to do silly things, but there is no deception involved. People who get hypnotized know what they are in for. Benny gives people hope of being healed that will almost always fail in the end.
Being slain is a pleasant experience. I have experienced it. But it only lasts for a few minutes. Personally, I would rather be healed.