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  Photo by Ty Unruh

Photo by Ty Unruh

The Laying on of Hands

The laying on of hands is one of the elementary principles of Christ found in Hebrews 6:1-2. Many believers in the church do not practice this spiritual truth, because they do not have a proper understanding of its significance. There are other believers who practice the laying on of hands without understanding the Biblical foundation of this doctrine. This teaching will lay a level foundation on the subject. 

When a believer lays hands on someone and prays or prophecies; a transference of anointing takes place. The laying on of hands can be used to release spiritual blessing, commission into ministry, impart an anointing or gifting, impart the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and to bring physical or emotional healing.

Releasing Spiritual Blessing

One of the first times that the laying on of hands is recorded in the Bible is when Jacob prays for his grandchildren in Genesis 48:12-20. Jacob laid his hands on the heads of two of his grandchildren and prayed for them. Jacob spoke prophetically over his grandchildren and blessed them. When Jacob did this, a transference of anointing took place. A spiritual impartation or blessing flowed from Jacob to his grandchildren.  

Commissioning into Leadership

Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses. (Deuteronomy 34:9 NKJV)

Moses' time of leading the people had ended, and the Lord had appointed Joshua to take Moses' seat of leadership. Moses laid hands on Joshua and imparted the spirit of wisdom to him. A portion of leadership authority that rested on Moses was also transferred to Joshua, so the people would heed him as they heeded Moses. 

Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. (Acts 13:1-3 NKJV)

Paul and Barnabas were called as apostles, but were only functioning as a teacher and a prophet at Antioch. When the Holy Spirit was ready to release them into apostolic ministry, He had the other leaders lay hands on them and commission them.

Imparting an Anointing or Gifting

For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established— (Romans 1:11 NKJV)

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. (II Timothy 1:6 NKJV)

Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. (1 Timothy 4:14 KJV)

These scriptures make it apparent that spiritual gifts may be imparted. Some of the spiritual gifts are listed in 1 Corinthians 12:1-11.

Baptism of the Holy Spirit

One of the ways that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is released, is through the laying on of hands.

When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. (Acts 19:5-6 KJV)

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. (Acts 8:14-17 KJV)

Healing the Sick

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:15-18 NKJV)

Jesus says that laying hands on the sick and the sick recovering, will happen in the lives of those who believe. This scripture does not apply to those believers who choose not to believe the words of Jesus, or explain the scripture away by their human reasoning.

When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. (Luke 4:40 NKJV)

Jesus healed the sick by the laying on of hands. He told His first disciples to heal the sick. He then told His first disciples to go make other disciples, and teach them to obey all that He commanded His first disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). Discipleship and obeying the commands of Christ were never intended to cease.

And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him. (Acts 28:8 NKJV)

Conclusion

The laying on of hands is a powerful Biblical truth. Believers who exercise the truths in the Bible will lead a more fulling spiritual life on this earth. Every spiritual truth believed, and walked in by faith; will bring a believer closer to The Truth Himself. If we ignore or reject Biblical truths, it will hurt our relationship with the Lord. We can set how far we will go with God. However God has no limits to how far we can go with Him. Just ask Enoch.