THE WORD



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   THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CHRIST       1) Repent from dead works
     2) Faith towards God
     3) Laying on of hands
     4) Doctrine of baptisms
     5) Eternal judgment
     6) Resurrection of the dead

   7 Pillars of KNOWLEDGE
     1) True nature of salvation
     2) The Jews: God's chosen seed
     3) Fruits and fellowship
     4) Gifts of the Spirit
     5) Our part of the cross
     6) Eternal Judgment
     7) The Rapture


       6)Brotherly Kindness









Faith for the gift of ‘Laying on of Hands’

                                                                                           by Steve Gagnon


The "laying on of hands" is a common practice among ministering Christians that has been seen and experienced by many believers down through the Church age and by countless thousands in our generation. This practice of laying one's hands upon another person and praying for them is declared in Hebrews 6.2 to be one of the "principles of the doctrine of Christ", a fundamental for all born-again believers.  "Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment". As a principle doctrine of Christ this "laying on of hands" should therefore be taught and encouraged in every fellowship where serious believers gather to worship the Lord and be washed by the pure water of the word.


Not our power

The power of God does not lie within our hands in the sense that our flesh is what brings about the works of God. Rather it is our asking in the authoritative name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Ghost, so that our prayers are heard and God's mighty power is manifest among us. Our laying on of hands is an outward sign of our act of faith that we are a vessel of prayer through which God pours out his Spirit to do His awesome works. The apostle, Paul, instructs us through his letter to Timothy to "Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure." 1 Tim.­5:22  It is the gift of discernment that we ought to rely on to make sure the Holy Ghost is prompting us to lay hands on someone. It is very important that we consider God's perfect timing when we desire to lay hands on an individual and pray.


The Old Testament set the precedent

Even in the Old Testament there are accounts of the laying on of hands. Many of the accounts pertain to the placing of the hands on the head of the animal that was going to be sacrificed as an offering to the Lord and there is one interesting account of the Levites being an offering of the children of Israel.


 "And thou shalt bring the Levites before the tabernacle of the congregation: and thou shalt gather the whole assembly of the children of Israel together: And thou shalt bring the Levites before the LORD: and the children of Israel shall put their hands upon the Levites: And Aaron shall offer the Levites before the LORD for an offering of the children of Israel, that they may execute the service of the LORD. And the Levites shall lay their hands upon the heads of the bullocks: and thou shalt offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, unto the LORD, to make an atonement for the Levites. And thou shalt set the Levites before Aaron, and before his sons, and offer them for an offering unto the LORD. Thus shalt thou separate the Levites from among the children of Israel: and the Levites shall be mine." Num. 8:9-14


 There is also the story of Israel when he blessed the sons of Joseph and knowingly placed his right hand upon the younger of the two. "And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn. Gen 48:14 Scripture also tells us how God spoke to Moses and commanded him to anoint Joshua as the children of Israel's next leader.  "And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses." Deut. 34:9


Jesus laid hands on believers often

Search the Scriptures and you will discover that Jesus laid hands on people for a variety of reasons. Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead and blessed the children with the laying on of hands as we see in the following places.

  1. "And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them." Mark 6:5
  2. "Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them." Luke 4:40
  3. "He laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God." Luke 13:13
  4. "And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live...And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cu mi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise." Mark 5­:23,41
  5. "And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them."Mark 10:16

  1. Jesus even prophesied about believers in the church. He said: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." This prophecy by Jesus should build our faith that the practice of laying hands on the sick, whether physically or spiritually, has indeed received God's own stamp of approval. Mark 16:17-18


      The three main purposes of laying hands on believers are: Healing, Baptism of Holy Ghost and for Appointment. By looking into the word of God we find that there are many examples of people in the early church who layed hands on one another in prayer. There are mainly three kinds of examples for us to follow set forth by the apostles of the early church. The three purposes that hands were placed upon others in prayer were when the person was being prayed over for healing, or for the appointing of some to do God's work, or, in the most recorded occasions, hands were laid upon someone when they were being prayed over to receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

A scriptural example of healing accompanied by the laying on of hands is in the following account about Saul (Paul) in the book of Acts. After he was struck with blindness by the Lord along the road to Damascus and was brought into the House of Judas we are told; "And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized."Acts 9:9-12,17-18 This same Saul whom God later gave the new name of Paul also laid his hands upon some and prayed for their healing. "And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him." Acts 28:8

Then there are accounts of believers receiving the Baptism of the Holy Ghost with the laying on of hands. We already know Paul received healing from blindness and the Holy Ghost baptism in this way when Ananias laid hands on him and prayed, and we are told of these other accounts.  "Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost".(Acts 8:17) "And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied."( Acts 19:6) Paul wrote to Timothy in two letters and in both he mentions "the gift of God" which is within him (Timothy) and exhorts him not to neglect but to stir up that gift which was received by the "laying on of the hands".  "Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery." (I Timothy 4:14) "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands." 2 Tim. 1:6

The third purpose for the laying on of hands that has been shown to us through the Word is for the anointing of those who have been called by God to do His works. It is explained to us in the beginning of the sixth chapter of Acts that the Apostles needed to have seven men chosen to minister among the Grecian Jews in order to take care of a problem that arose and was causing murmurings among them. These men were chosen for their faith and for being full of the Holy Ghost. Scriptures tell us this about the seven men of "Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith." ­Acts 6:6-7 Another example is recorded in Acts concerning Saul and Barnabas. Hands were laid upon them when they were prayed over before they were sent out to preach the word of God. "And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away." Acts 13:3

So let those of us in the Church today remember the next time we feel led to lay our hands on someone in prayer that what we are doing has been happening among God's people for generations and that our physical act of faith is witnessed by those among us and by our Father in heaven who has also laid his hand upon us who are his children. His hand of judgment and His hand of mercy has been place upon us who have asked for and received the shed blood of Jesus Christ and the fire of the Holy Ghost.