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     You’ve seen it on television. You may have seen it in person. It may have happened to you.
    In many “charismatic” congregations and “revival” meetings worldwide, men, women, and even children are falling backward. Is this “slain in the Spirit,” as some would call it, something from Yahweh?
    People falling backward, shaking around uncontrollably, vacant zombie-like stares gripping laughter.  If you’ve never seen it, let me tell you, it’s something to behold. Let’s look at and focus on the falling backward aspect of all this.
    You’d think that if this “falling backward” was something from our Creator, then you’d find it is encouraged in the Bible. But in fact, you’ll find just the opposite in Scripture. So, what’s up or, in this case, what’s going down?

Giving Reverence to Others
     People in ancient Biblical times had a custom of bowing forward to others whom they regarded worthy of reverence.  Depending on the person and degree of reverence given, the bowing was anywhere from a nodding gesture to falling forward on one’s hands and knees. We find an account of this type of worship/reverence in Acts 10:25-26:
    And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, “Stand up; I myself also am a man,” (The King James Version 1900 used throughout.)
    In Revelation 22:8, we read, And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, “See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship Yahweh.”
    It is clear in Scripture that we are to worship Yahweh. We’re strictly admonished not to bow down or worship other deities (Exod. 20:5; Lev. 26:1; Deut. 5:9; Josh. 23:7; 2 Kings 17:35), which would include not calling upon their names (Deut. 12:3; Psa. 16:4; Hos. 2:16-17). (Read our YAIY Quick Study Sheet: “Calling on Titles Alone?”)

Worshipping our Creator: Past, Present, and Future
     When we come before Yahweh, our Creator, we are to come before Him humbly and obediently. Oh come let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before Yahweh our Maker, Psalm 95:6.
    When Moses and Aaron were having problems with the people in the wilderness after being brought out of Egypt, they both went into the tabernacle and fell forward to seek Yahweh.
    And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of Yahweh appeared unto them, Numbers 20:6. Nothing about falling backward here, but indeed falling forward. They fell forward, not so fast that they hurt themselves, but in a manner that was done quickly and without delay.
    Moses and Aaron also fell forward instantly when Yahweh said He would destroy the people in the camp (Num. 16:22) because they were complaining against Moses and Aaron, Yahweh’s anointed (Num. 16:12-14).
    Abram, before he was called Abraham, was another of whom we have a record, that he knew to fall forward out of reverence toward Yahweh.
And Abram fell on his face: and Yahweh talked with him, saying, “As for Me, behold, My Covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations,” Genesis 17:3-4.
    It is foretold that 24 elders will also fall on their faces in the worship of Yahweh.
    And the twenty-four elders, which sat before Yahweh on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped Yahweh, Revelation 11:16. Read earlier in Revelation 7:11, the angels along with the elders also fall forward.
        Besides the past and future, there is, of course, the present. Yahshua the Messiah, was always setting the right example for us so that we might do the things today that He did then.
        In a time of great grief, before His death, Yahshua went to Yahweh in prayer. Yahshua went forward in worship, not backwards. And He went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him, Mark 14:35.

“Things” Going Forward
     We read in Philippians 2:10, That at the Name of Yahshua every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth. This Scripture is figuratively speaking of angelic beings (in heaven), you and I (on earth), and the dead not yet resurrected (under the earth). No actual “things,” per se.
    But there are “things” that we see in the Scriptures that are falling forward. We read in Numbers 8:2, Speak unto Aaron, and say unto him, “When thou lightest the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light over against the candlestick.”  In other words, the light was to fall or go forward.
    Remember the walls of Jericho? Now the interesting thing about the walls falling flat is the way the walls were built. One has to understand that these are not like the walls we typically have today.  According to The Bible Reader Companion, by Lawrence O. Richards, “The rugged walls of Jericho featured a stone base 11 feet high, topped by 35 feet of smooth stone sloping upward at 35 degrees to join the towering main walls.”
    This means the walls had a slide of sorts to fall down, the wall fell down flat, but it also fell forward. We read in the book Joshua that Yahweh’s people were told to shout on the 7th day. The 7th day mentioned here, may not have been the Sabbath day. But whatever the day was, Yahweh made the walls fall flat (Josh 6:20). The city was utterly destroyed that day, allowing Joshua and the people admittance into the city, via the crumbled mud bricks from the main towering walls.
    Archeological proof of this occurrence can be found in many sources. One such source is Mysteries of the Bible (, an online Biblically-focused archeological website.  
    Concerning the walls of Jericho, Mysteries of the Bible says, “Careful removal of the debris of ages has revealed the remains in Jericho of walls that are tilted forward, deeply fissured and dislocated. In all likelihood, these are the ramparts that collapsed.”    

The Bigger They are, The Harder They Fall … Forward
     The Philistines thought that by stealing the ark of Yahweh, they would be getting the upper hand on the Israelites. What they did get into was a lot of trouble.  
    Let’s just read a small portion of the story in 1 Samuel 5:2-4:
    When the Philistines took the Ark of Yahweh, they brought It into the house of Dagon, and set It by Dagon. And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the Ark of Yahweh. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the Ark of Yahweh; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him.
     This spooked the Philistines, and along with the plagues they received, they were more than happy to return the ark to the Israelites.
    But of all the historical events in Scripture, we find the story of David and Goliath one of the most memorable. This is where a young David, destined to become a great king of Israel, was confronted with this giant chief warrior of the Philistines. It would be more correct to say that this “small in stature, but big in heart” David confronted him!
    One thing you may have never considered is the fact that this giant fell forward, along with the stone that embedded itself into his forehead. We read, And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth, 1 Samuel 17:49. Symbolically, you could say that Goliath fell forward not only to the future king David, but also to all of Israel and Yahweh Himself.

Accidents Do Happen
    Yahweh didn’t leave falling backward out of Scripture completely. We are told that falling backward can kill you! Just look at the story of Eli when he found out that the ark had been taken from Israel.
        And it came to pass, when he made mention of the Ark of Yahweh, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died,1 Samuel 4:18. This was an accident evidently, as it is indicated that he was old and heavy-set and nearly blind.
       Another accident happened when Judas led the officers and other men to Yahshua. When Yahshua made Himself known to them, they were startled and fell backward (John 18:6). 

Falling Backward: Something Not to Do!
     We find an admonition in the Bible not to fall back into our old sinful ways. Isaiah 1:4, says, Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken Yahweh, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. 
        Yahweh can become quite infuriated with us if we are found falling backward. He may use it to discipline us so that we repent and change course to go forward again.
        But the word of Yahweh was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken, Isaiah 28:13.
        Isaiah prophesied that the Assyrians would lay siege on Jerusalem because even the priests were parading around drunk and were lax in observing Yahweh’s commandments. There is an indication that they were beginning to believe the false “once saved, always saved” ideology (Isa. 28:15). They were beginning to think that they could do whatever they wanted and still be protected (Jer. 7:10). But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward, Jeremiah 7:24.

     Yahweh is not pleased when we go backward, He would much rather see us go forward.
      We all stumble at times and do things we shouldn’t. Sometimes we receive immediate judgment, like Lot’s wife (Gen. 19:26). She disobeyed by looking back; she would have lived if she had kept looking forward.  
      We need to keep looking forward. If we’re traveling forward on the straight and narrow path, when we stumble, we’ll at least be stumbling and falling forward toward Him, which is far better than stumbling and falling backward away from Him. 
      If you feel Yahweh isn’t close to you, ask yourself, “Who moved?” And then fall forward in worship to Him, it will certainly put you closer to Him, once again.

-Elder David Brett

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