Some say it’s a manifestation of the Holy Spirit and a gift from God. Others say it’s demonic activity. Here’s what the Bible says.

Holy Laughter is an un­con­trol­lable laughter that comes upon a Chris­ti­an which can last for minutes to even hours. The source of the laughter is un­known, mean­ing, there is noth­ing of amuse­ment or funny hap­pen­ing at that the mo­ment the laughter starts.

This “Holy Laughter” is said to bring about a eu­phor­ic feel­ing dur­ing or af­ter­ward. Some say it’s a mani­fest­a­tion of the Holy Spir­it and a gift from God. Oth­er say it’s a de­mon­ic mani­fest­a­tion.

After much study and dis­cern­ment through the Holy Spir­it, I would agree with the lat­ter that this phe­nomen­on, while seem­ingly harm­less, is not God’s do­ing but an evil spir­it at work.

The explanations given by those who defend and promote these experiences say things like:

“It’s the joy of the Lord bub­bling up and over­flow­ing in the form of laughter.”

“It’s an ex­pres­sion of joy be­cause the per­son,” [some­how], “over­came the dev­il.”

What the bible says

In the 29 ref­er­ences to laughter found in the bible, not once is it ever im­plied that joy (which is a fruit of the Holy Spir­it) can be ex­pressed in un­con­trol­lable laughter. Laugh­ing be­cause you’re full of joy is one thing, un­con­trol­lable laughter is an­oth­er thing. And that is the cent­ral piece of this phe­nomen­on. In all these cases there is a lack of con­trol and/or con­fu­sion.

We know that God doesn’t bring about con­fu­sion to his people (1 Cor 14:33) and his Spir­it gives us self-con­trol (Gal 5:22-23). It’s also im­port­ant to note that God gives a list of at least 9 mani­fest­a­tions of the Holy Spir­it in first Cor­inthi­ans 12:7-10 but not once is un­con­trol­lable laughter lis­ted.

The Job pas­sage

Till he [God] fill thy mouth with laugh­ing, and thy lips with re­joicing. (Job 8:21)

The Job pas­sage is used to sug­gest that Holy Laughter is le­git­im­ate, but when you read the verse in con­text of the whole chapter, it’s simply speak­ing of how Job might re­spond if God vin­dic­ated him from any wrong do­ing which his friend, Bildad, was ac­cus­ing him of.

In this case, Job would be filled with laughter and joy be­cause God vin­dic­ated him, and you could say that God made it hap­pen, but that wouldn’t be ac­cur­ate. God would simply be the cause of the laughter be­cause God was the one that changed the cir­cum­stances for Job which would lead to his emo­tion­al re­sponse of laughter. Even in this hy­po­thet­ic­al case, Job could chose to cry in­stead.

I’m not say­ing that God isn’t the cause for a vari­ety of ex­pres­sions. God can do a lot of things in our lives that could lead us to cry, weep, dance or laugh, but he doesn’t make us ex­press it in any cer­tain way. We chose to ex­press ourselves based on our hu­man­ity and per­son­al­ity; and laughter is al­ways a res­ult of a spe­cif­ic situ­ation wheth­er funny or con­tempt­ible.

Holy Laughter hap­pens for no reas­on—there is no evid­ence of what’s funny present, either in the mind or in the phys­ic­al, there­fore is should be ques­tioned.

If you don’t know what you’re laugh­ing at, or you can’t eas­ily stop, this is a prob­lem.

Blas­phemy or test­ing the spir­its?

Any­time a dis­cern­ing be­liev­er ques­tions de­mon­ic activ­ity that is at­trib­uted to the Holy Spir­it, they’re ac­cused of blas­phem­ing the Holy Spir­it. But God says to test the spir­its.

Be­loved, be­lieve not every spir­it, but try [test] the spir­its wheth­er they are of God: be­cause many false proph­ets are gone out in­to the world (1 John 4:1).

God also gives us the gift of dis­cern­ment of spir­its (1 Cor 12:7-10) in which a per­son can tell if he or she is deal­ing with Je­sus, the Holy Spir­it, God the Fath­er, Satan, a good or fallen an­gel, a de­mon spir­it or a man spir­it. God wouldn’t give us a “spir­it de­tect­or” and tell us to test the spir­its if this would lead to blas­phemy. There­fore test­ing and dis­cern­ment is not blas­phemy. Let’s look at what Je­sus said:

22 And the scribes which came down from Jer­u­s­alem said, He hath Beelze­bub, and by the prince of the dev­ils casteth he out dev­ils. 23 And he called them un­to him, and said un­to them in par­ables, How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 And if a king­dom be di­vided against it­self, that king­dom can­not stand. 25 And if a house be di­vided against it­self, that house can­not stand. 26 And if Satan rise up against him­self, and be di­vided, he can­not stand, but hath an end. 27 No man can enter in­to a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, ex­cept he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. 28 Ver­ily I say un­to you, All sins shall be for­giv­en un­to the sons of men, and blas­phemies where­with so­ever they shall blas­pheme: 29 But he that shall blas­pheme against the Holy Ghost hath nev­er for­give­ness, but is in danger of etern­al dam­na­tion: 30 Be­cause they said, He hath an un­clean spir­it (Mark 3:28-30).

Com­mit­ting the un­par­don­able sin can only be done in one way: If you know for cer­tain in your heart, with veri­fi­able proof, that the works per­formed through a man or wo­man of God is the Holy Spir­it but you lie in­stead and pro­claim that it’s the dev­il—this is how you blas­pheme the Holy Spir­it and this is what the Phar­isees did.

Many of those who ac­cept this ex­per­i­ence as holy haven’t genu­inely tested these spir­its. They are de­ceived, na­ive, and lack dis­cern­ment. I be­lieve the primary reas­on they give it a pass is be­cause it makes them feel good. Eu­phor­ic pleas­ur­able feel­ings aren’t something one gives up eas­ily and they can be­come ad­dict­ive just like drugs. I think these people as­sume that, if it feels good, it must be from God, but we know that’s not al­ways true.

God has giv­en us a mul­ti­tude of tools to test the spir­its with (the gift of dis­cern­ing of spir­its, the bible, and the fruit) be­cause he knows we war with an ad­versary that is highly de­cept­ive and God doesn’t want us to be ig­nor­ant of his devices (2 Cor 2:11). So nev­er let a per­son si­lence your dis­cern­ment by ac­cus­ing you of blas­phemy.

Laughter Yoga

My con­tin­ued re­search has shown that there is a prac­tice in Yoga called “Laughter Yoga” in which the guru lead­er in­duces laughter in the par­ti­cipants. It’s brings about a eu­phor­ic feel­ing, but it’s not from God. Could this same spir­it in Yoga be the same one at work in the Church? I be­lieve so.

I also found a pas­tor by the name of Rod­ney Howard Browne who went to Africa and re­turned with this holy Laughter that he trans­ferred to his church and from there he spawned a move­ment.

Stay­ing bound

I heard of one broth­er’s sal­va­tion testi­mony where Holy Laughter came over him after the sal­va­tion pray­er. He didn’t know why he was laugh­ing so hard, nor did the Chris­ti­ans who were round about in pray­er for him.

I be­lieve this, now pas­tor, was genu­inely con­ver­ted on that day and filled with the Holy Ghost, but that un­clean spir­it was not cas­ted out which made it­self known through laughter. Un­for­tu­nately, the oth­er Chris­ti­ans around him were ig­nor­ant of Satan’s devices, hav­ing no clue as to how to deal with something so seem­ingly harm­less as laughter. This pas­tor today de­fends this ex­per­i­ence as something from the Holy Spir­it.

I per­son­ally re­mem­ber when I first re­ceived the gift of tongues. The dev­il was right there telling me that I was mum­bling and should stop speak­ing this edi­fy­ing lan­guage. I men­tion my ex­per­i­ence with the gift of tongues be­cause the dev­il is present even when God is dis­trib­ut­ing presents. So don’t think for a minute that when the Holy Spir­it is be­ing dis­trib­uted, that the dev­il isn’t there.

How many times have you heard of, or saw someone be­ing prayed over to be con­ver­ted, and the demons in them began to mani­fest? It’s usu­ally a vi­ol­ent event, but we look at un­con­trol­lable laughter as harm­less, and we give it a pass.

This is what’s hap­pen­ing to some people at con­ver­sion. Not only are they NOT get­ting de­livered from evil spir­its, they’re de­ceived in­to be­liev­ing that this de­mon­ic­ally ma­nip­u­lated laughter is a gift from God! So while they should be grow­ing in free­dom, they stay in bond­age while be­liev­ing they’re free.

Mock­ing God through his own people

Why are demons mak­ing people laugh un­con­trol­lably? I be­lieve the an­swer is found in the bible. In the 29 ref­er­ences to laughter found in the King James ver­sion, 21 of them refer to mock­ery. Mock­ery is teas­ing and con­temp­tu­ous lan­guage or be­ha­vi­or dir­ec­ted at a par­tic­u­lar per­son or thing; ri­dicule; de­ri­sion, jeer­ing, sneer­ing, con­tempt, scorn, scoff­ing, teas­ing, taunt­ing, sar­casm.

Here are those 21 ref­er­ences (you can hov­er over each to re­view them): Gen 17:17; 18:12-13,15; 21:6; 2 Kings 19:21; 2 Chr 30:10; Neh 2:19; Job 9:23, 12:4, 22:19; Psalms 2:4 (God); Psalms 22:7, 37:13 (God); Psalms 52:6, 59:8 (God); Psalms 80:6; Pro­verbs 1:26 (God); Isa 37:22; Ezekiel 23:32; Mat­thew 9:24, 5:40.

It’s a fact that Satan and his demons hate God and hu­man­ity. They can’t touch God, but they can mock him through his own cre­ation. While Chris­ti­ans may think they’re laugh­ing at the dev­il through this Holy Laughter, I be­lieve the dev­il is laugh­ing at them and God us­ing their own vo­cal cords to do it.

When this hap­pens in the church, it’s a clear mani­fest­a­tion that demons in­hab­it the hu­man ves­sel. The next step should be to cast them out, but all too of­ten the cha­ris­mat­ic think­ing has been per­ver­ted to ac­cept this phe­nomen­on as nor­mal ex­pres­sions of the Holy Spir­it. What a de­cep­tion!

There are broth­ers and sis­ters I know who con­tin­ue to ex­plain away these de­mon­ic mani­fest­a­tions as ex­traordin­ary joy from the Holy Spir­it. In one video, I wit­nessed a wo­man laugh loudly and un­con­trol­lably for 16 minutes straight and even­tu­ally the preach­er had to stop preach­ing not only be­cause of her but oth­er weird mani­fest­a­tions. She in­ter­rup­ted the en­tire ser­vice and the pas­tor nev­er re­buked or cas­ted out the spir­it in her. Why? Be­cause the pas­tor has been se­duced and de­ceived to be­lieve that this was the Holy Spir­it.

I’ve been told that the Kunda­lini spir­it doesn’t come un­less you prac­tice their re­li­gion or par­take in it. My re­sponse to that was: What rule is that? You don’t have to prac­tice Yoga or Hinduism to get the wrong spir­it. Demons gets in through sin, bad fel­low­ship, open door­ways in the wrong en­vir­on­ment, ig­nor­ance and a lack of dis­cern­ment.

God will not al­ways shield ig­nor­ant be­liev­ers from the dev­il’s devices. He tells us to test the spir­its and be informed (2 Cor 2:11). In these last days we can’t af­ford to be deceived. I can as­sure you that this Holy Laughter phe­nomen­on is not of God but of Satan.

Next, I will talk about how to avoid all forms of deception.

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1 Comment

  1. This explanation was what I needed and suspected myself. I agree on all here and am glad that I never partok in any yogaclass when I felt curious about it, before I became a Christian.