Unusual Manifestations of the Holy Spirit

By Michael Christian

Have you ever experienced that deep relaxing feeling at the end of a long day when you finally lie down in the bed and sigh, “Ahhhh.” That can happen in the altar when you are being prayed for. As the power of the Holy Spirit touches you, you relax so completely that you can no longer stand up, and you fall to the ground under the power of God.

This can be confusing, but it is Biblical. In the following passages are examples of the patriarch Abraham, the priests, the prophets, and the disciples falling in the presence of God. Don’t be concerned—it’s a God thing!

(Click below to view the video sermon.)

Falling under the power (presence) of God

  • Genesis 17:1–3 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying:
  • 2 Chronicles 5:13–14 indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever,” that the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering [lit. could not stand to minister] because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God.
  • Ezekiel 3:23 So I arose and went out into the plain, and behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, like the glory which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face.
  • Daniel 8:17 So he [Gabriel] came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, “Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.”
  • Daniel 10:8–9 Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength. Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground.
  • Matthew 17:5–6 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.
  • John 18:6 Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
  • Acts 9:3–4 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
  • Revelation 1:17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.”

Unable to Move

  • 1 Samuel 19:24 And he [King Saul] also stripped off his clothes and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Therefore they say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”
  • Matthew 28:4 And the guards shook for fear of him [the angel], and became like dead men.

Trembling, Shaking

  • Daniel 10:7
  • Jeremiah 5:22 trembling
  • Jeremiah 23:9 shaking and drunkenness
  • Habakkuk 3:16 trembling and lips quivering
  • Psalms 99:1 Let the peoples tremble!
  • Matthew 28:4
  • Mark 5:33, 16:8
  • Acts 9:6, 7:32

Such manifestations were common among the early “Quakers” and “Shakers”


  • Jeremiah 23:9
  • Acts 2:13,15: The disciples acted in such a way they were accused of being drunk.
  • Ephesians 5:18: Don’t be drunk with wine but be filled and intoxicated with the Spirit.


  • 2 Chronicles 34:27 weeping before the Lord
  • Isaiah 38:3 Hezekiah wept
  • Ezra 10:1 Ezra and the people wept
  • Nehemiah 8:9 The people wept when they heard the Word.

Loud Voice

  • Luke 1:42, 17:15, 19:37


  • Genesis 17:15-17, 18:11-15, 21:3: Abraham and Sarah laughed at the goodness of God, and named their son Isaac, which means Laughter.
  • Proverbs 15:13,15, 17:22
  • John 15:11, 16:24, 17:13 Jesus promised fullness of joy
  • Psalm 126:1-3 “our mouth was filled with laughter”

How Do We Know if it is God?

  • We go to the Bible, the Word of God, our manual and guidebook for all things.
  • We see the good fruit brought forth in the lives of those who were prayed for.
  • Were things done in the name of Jesus in the context of a Christian Church to exalt Jesus Christ, and no other?
  • Discover if these things are consistent with the history of revivals in the Christian Church. (See end of this article.)

Manifestations of the Holy Spirit throughout History

Historically, these same manifestations, especially divine healing, accompanied the early Church for centuries after Christ, and were recorded by the early Church Fathers. These signs were seen in the ministry of various Roman Catholic saints, the Waldenses of the twelfth century, and in Protestants such as Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney, John Wesley, Count Zinzendorf, Maria Woodworth-Etter, and many others.

Under the ministry of Jonathan Edwards in 1740-1742 (the Great Awakening), there are reports of people lying in trances for 24 hours, later stating that they had gone to heaven. There were outcries, fainting, and apparent convulsions. Peoples’ bodies were overcome by the power of God. During the ministry of Charles Finney, at times the entire congregation would “fall out” in the presence of the Holy Spirit. In the last half of the nineteenth century, Evangelist Maria Woodworth-Etter frequently would go into trances on the platform where she was preaching, seemingly frozen, all her bodily functions being suspended, sometimes for hours. Early in the twentieth century, the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues were restored to the Church, as the Holy Spirit confirms the Word with signs following (Mark 16:20). These things simply point to the fact that Jesus Christ is “the same, yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

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