Hebrew Roots/The original foundation/Function
THE PURPOSE OF LAYING ON HANDS
The laying on of hands has many functions, not least important, that of ministering blessing, peace and comfort to others. It is a foundation stone of Yahweh's House in that many ministries are dependent upon it. The following are some of the main usages of it --
1. To minister healing 2. For the ministration of signs and wonders 3. For the impartation of the Baptism of the Spirit 4. To impart spiritual gifts
1. TO MINISTER HEALING The practice of laying on hands was very prominent in the old covenant for healing and it's use was continued in the new order. Naaman expected this in his healing from leprosy 2 Kings 5:11 Y'shua practiced it in His ministry - "all they that had any sick with various diseases brought them unto Him; and He laid hands on every one of them, and healed them." Luke 4:40 Also in Matthew 8:3; 9:18; 20:34 Mark 1:41; 5:23; 6: 5; 7:32; 8:23,24
He said that other believers would also do this. "They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover" Mark 16:18 The apostles and other disciples followed this example "And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentry: Paul went in unto him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him." Acts 28: 8
2. TO MINISTER SIGNS AND WONDERS "And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people" Acts 5:12
"Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands." Acts 14: 3
"Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul" Acts 19:11
3. TO MINISTER THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT The baptism of the Holy Spirit operated through Baptism in water upon repentance, but on some occasions in the establishment of the early Assembly, it was imparted through the laying on of hands.
These occasions were - i. To Paul after his conversion on the Damascus road, Ananias came and prayed for healing and for him to receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 9:17
ii. Paul to Timothy “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands." 2 Timothy 1:6
iii. To the Samaritans in Acts 8 who had already believed through Phillip's preaching and ministry of the gifts of the Spirit. The eldership of the Jerusalem council came down to establish and authorise their entrance into the kingdom (Acts 8:18) - Simon saw that through the laying on of hands the Holy Spirit was given.
iv. To the Ephesians who had already been baptised unto John's baptism, Paul therefore laid hands on them to complete their spiritual experience. Acts 19:11
4. TO IMPART SPIRITUAL GIFTS "For I long to see you, that I may impart some spiritual gift, so that you may be established" Romans 1:11 It was the established practice to "impart spiritual gifts" by the laying on of hands and the accompanying prophetic word.
Timothy is one example that is recorded who received his gifting by the laying on of hands and prophecy of the eldership, most probably that of Ephesus. "stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands" 2 Timothy 1: 6 This word 'through' or 'by' conveys the idea of being a channel in the Greek language.
In the Syriac Peshitta which antedates the oldest copies which we have of the new covenant scriptures, and which is the sister dialect of the Aramaic language spoken by the disciples, the particular preposition (through) was a compound form literally meaning "with the hand of". All through the Syriac Peshitta, this word is used in the idea of a channel of impartation. (This was the version used by the early assemblies). This concept of the hand being a channel of impartation was so strong that it affected the language of that era.
The gifts were imparted together with the ministry of prophecy, as Paul refers to in 1 Timothy 4:14 "by prophecy, with the laying on of hands" The word 'with' here is 'meta' in Greek and conveys the idea of association between prophecy and the laying on of hands. One was in conjunction with the other. Thus the gift was imparted through the both avenues of ministry.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR IMPARTARTION OF GIFTS
The ministration of laying on of hands is for every believer - "These signs shall follow them that believe .. .. they shall lay hands on the sick .. " Mark 16:17-18
All believes are called to be priests and exercise their priestly ministry to Yahweh but there are requirements for them to be able to minister in the Spirit. They need to be --
1. Set Apart Being a kingdom of priests in the new covenant, we exercise all the privileges of the priests of the old order.
In the Levitical system, the priests exercised this ministry in the sacrificial system firstly by being consecrated and then they operated in their ministry provided they were in a state of ceremonial cleanliness. If they were defiled, they were not to minister. (Exodus 29:10; Leviticus 16:21; 1: 4; 3:2; - Numbers 19:20-22)
This same principle applies for us, we are to consecrated to His service, so that in our worship of Him and ministry to the people, we will be able to "lift up holy hands without wrath and doubting" 1 Timothy 2: 8 We are to be a holy priesthood, set apart for His service - 1 Peter 2: 5, 9-12
"But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honour and some for dishonour. Therefore if anyone cleanse himself from the latter, he will be vessel for honour, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work." 2 Timothy 2:20-21
2. Spirit-filled Y'shua said, "He who believes in Me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water. But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive, .. .. " John 7:38,39
"understand what the will of the Lord is. .. .. be filled with the Spirit" Ephesians 5:18, 19
To impart from the Spirit, you must be abiding in the Vine so that the sap of that vine is flowing through you. If you, as the branch are withered, the flow of the life is also dried up. You need to be in right relationship and be full of the blessing of Yahweh, to have an abundance to give out to others. Your vessel needs to be kept full to overflowing, to allow the rivers of living water to flow through in ministration to others. John 15: 1-8
3. Filled with Faith in the Word "Let the word of Messiah dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalm and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your heart to Yahweh. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Y'shua, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Colossians 3:16-17
Our life needs to be centered in the Word, so that everything we do is Word-based and Word-filled.
If all of our thinking and motivation is based on the Word, we will be prepared for the situations that come and have the necessary faith to minister in His Name.
"So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17
"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it will be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so will you be My disciples" John 15: 7, 8
4. Be Anointed Anointing for a specific task depends on one's own anointing and spiritual status. The anointing on our lives can be increased by prayer, fasting and waiting upon Yahweh.
All believers may lay hands on one another and pray for various needs to be met, but there is always a greater deposit of the anointing in areas where one has personally overcome or been ministered to. Greater authority is exercised over the works of darkness through personal victory. Y'shua is an example of this, He healed all who were oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38). Our anointing may be limited in its effectiveness.
FUNCTION OF THE ELDERSHIP
Giftings for ministry within the Body are imparted by the anointed eldership of apostles and prophets. It is a transference of the anointing that rests on one to another, as with Paul to Timothy, according to the measure of growth of the developing ministry and at the direction of the Holy Spirit. For instance, Paul exhorted Timothy to do the work of an evangelist, but he was in training by Yahweh to fill a pastoral role (2 Timothy 4: 5).
See also Numbers 27:18-23 where Moses lays hands on Joshua for his ordination, and, "Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands on him: " Deuteronomy 34: 9
The ministry of the presbytery via the laying on of hands and the prophetic word, establishes ministries in a local body in their area of function and gives the needed validation to those ministries, thus bringing order. It assists the individual members to know their place in the Body, giving confirmation of their function and direction for further development, as they heed the prophetic word given through the eldership.
"When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive and gave gifts to men," .. .. for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Messiah" Ephesians 4: 8, 12
When Y'shua triumphed over the enemy, He led his hosts captive and gained back from him the original divine mandate which was given to Adam of priestly dominion (Colossians 2:15). The governmental positions which Satan usurped are now dispensed to His Body through the appointed offices of leadership which He has ordained as gifts for the edification and growth of His Body to it's full maturity wherein it can assume it's calling to rule and to reign with Him. Revelation 5: 8-10
Therefore it is one of the foundation stones of the House of Yahweh after Baptisms, in the ongoing process of establishing the believer in particular, and the Body as a whole.
"Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Y'shua the Messiah being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit." Ephesians 2:19-22
Thus this ministry of the laying on of hands is foundational in the growth of the Body, as it is through this ordinance that the ministries established by Messiah, that of the Apostle and Prophet in particular, impart the necessary grace for the edification of the rest of the Body to come to its fulfillment in Messiah. Ephesians 4: 7-16
"If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of Yahweh. If anyone ministers, let him do it with the ability which Yahweh supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Y'shua the Messiah" 1 Peter 4:11