Monday, November 2, 2009

HANDS... the LAYING ON of....

HOLY HANDS
...for praying, for ministering,
for blessing, for worship...
Furthermore,
where does "laying on of hands" come in ?
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Is this use of our hands in accordance with Scripture?
Is it in accordance with the SPIRIT of GOD?
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The laying of on hands is found in only a few Scriptures. If one walks into many churches nowadays, one will find the "laying on of hands" going on with familiarity and ease... with everybody jumping into "doing" this. Is it in keeping with the WORD+ of GOD, both in Spirit and in Writing?
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Let's look at the Scriptures pertaining to the laying on of hands and evaluate: is it being done as the WORD+ of GOD teaches us to do it?
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But before we begin with Scriptures, let me share about three separate incidences of laying on of hands.
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The first one occurred in a conservative Anabaptist church. A church family was preparing to leave on a missionary journey. At the end of the church service, the congregation was called to "lay hands on the family" and pray. So, the men, women, and children of the congregation gathered around the family and did that. Later, the sisters were summoned to a Sunday School room and, after a time of sharing by a visiting sister, they laid hands on her and prayed.
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The second incident was in an evangelical Baptist church... one known for being on fire for GOD... and a similar situation occurred. Men, women, and children laid hands on the couple going forth on the missionary trip and prayed for them.
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The third incident happened in a small charismatic prayer meeting in a pastor's home, where, after a time of sharing, a lady was encircled for prayer. The pastor called for the sisters to come forward and lay hands on the lady during the prayer. So... we did.
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Was all that... or any of that... Scriptural? In other words, were these seemingly well-meaning activities which were sanctioned by the pastors and leaders of 3 very different church groups done IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE WORD+ of GOD ?
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Now that we have started with the examples of the activities of current day Christians, let us return to the TRUE PLACE where we ALWAYS should start: with the WORD+ of GOD.... written for our benefit, for:
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All Scripture is given by inspiration of GOD, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in RIGHTEOUSNESS: that the man of GOD may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (Written by the Apostle Paul to Timothy... 2 Timothy 3:16,17)
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The first passage in Scripture is found in Acts 8:17-19 ~
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Then laid they (Peter and John) their hands on them (the new Samaritan believers) , and they received they HOLY GHOST. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the Apostles' hands the HOLY GHOST was given , he offered them money, saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the HOLY GHOST.
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~ ~ ~ So we see here that the Apostles laid hands on the new believers and prayed for them (see verse 15) and the new believers received the HOLY SPIRIT. That is, the church leaders in authority did the laying on of hands and the result was the baptism of the HOLY SPIRIT.
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~~ The second passage is found in I Timothy 4:14, where the Apostle Paul is speaking to Timothy with words of advice ~~
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Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
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Here we see that a Spiritual gift was bestowed upon Timothy. It came through the means of prophecy at the time of the laying on of hands. The hands-laying was those of the presbytery, or ordained eldership, the brothers appointed to be in charge.
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~ ~ ~ In the third passage, which is found in Hebrews 6:2, we have the Apostle admonishing the Brethren, saying they should be ready for MEAT but instead, they are in need of being re-taught as babes that need MILK. He says:
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Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of CHRIST, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward GOD, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
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In other words, the Apostle is saying let us not do again... over and over... the primary, beginning things of a Christian's walk. He is not saying let's stop these things totally, but let us not make these things the SUM TOTAL of Christianity. For, it is not the totality.
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But rather, let us GO ON towards maturity, REALLY picking up one's cross and following CHRIST as HE+ instructed us to do... to bring forth that good fruit which the Husbandman (The FATHER) is looking for... to decrease so that CHRIST+ would increase in our lives.
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~ ~ ~ ~ Also, in I Timothy 5:22, the Apostle is instructing Timothy in the order of the Church. He says:
Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.
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~ ~ ~ ~ ~ The last Scriptural passage I found was in Acts 13:1-3 where Saul and Barnabus were separated out by the HOLY SPIRIT for their work. The Prophets and Teachers in the Antioch Church ministered to the LORD and fasted. Then the HOLY SPIRIT spoke to them about Saul and Barnabus.
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And when they (the prophets and teachers, all ordained brothers of the church) had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them (Saul and Barnabus), they sent them away.
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Now, to return to our topic:
Is laying on of hands Scriptural?
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YES... if it is done the same way as it was done in Scripture.
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By whom was it done?
The Apostles, prophets, or elders
( the brothers ordained to lead the church)
did the laying on of hands.
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Nowhere in Scripture is laying on of hands done by the congregation at large, the brothers and sisters in a prayer group, the unordained brothers, any of the sisters, or the children. It was considered a very serious thing to transfer very serious anointing and authority upon the one being prayed for.
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If we want The LORD'S blessing
then we must do it HIS+ way;
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HE+ is not obliged to honor
strange fire on the altar.
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In fact, HE+ loathes
the disregard of HIS+ Word.
(See Levitucus 10:1)
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O LORD GOD, FATHER of all mercies, help us to do Thy Work Thy way, so that it will be acceptable unto THEE. Deliver us from being out-of-order before Thy Majesty. Alert us when we are moving in opposition or in ignorance to Thy Holy Word. Awake in us a desire for pureness and holiness when we come before Thee. Help us to turn away from following the crowd in practices that are not sanctioned by Thy HOLY SPIRIT. Keep us from presumptuous sin. This we ask through Thy Great Mercies, in the name of Thy SON+ JESUS CHRIST, our LORD. Amen.
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