Danger of wrong Teachings – Laying on of Hands
But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi," says the Lord Almighty
They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm 1 Tim 1:7 NIV
When we teach what the bible never commanded we actually mislead the children of God and scripture is not silent about God’s displeasure over this. We don’t have to teach people from our views or past experiences or the opinion one great servant of God. The reason we are given the bible is to forestall such occurrences, yet many of us neglect the bible.
In continuing our discussion, we come to a very serious problem that is placing many believers in confusion – Laying on of Hands.
I was a guest preacher in a church and during prayer for the congregation, I beckoned on my host to step down and join me in praying for the people, but he refused. I thought he was having health challenges but I was later to discover that I was teaching something he felt was not TRUTH. One thing I do everywhere I minister is to maintain my emphasis from the bible. So in the cause of the program I taught expensively for five days from the bible. Somehow, this servant of God had closed his mind and was not willing to accept anything different from what he believed. I did not get the signal when he was bragging about great men of God he called his mentors.
The point was that I did not even know what God was using me to do until the members of the church began to give testimonies. This servant of God had boxed his members in with errors which he persuaded them to believe as the only and whole truth.
One would think that the subject of controversy was something very deep; it is LAYING ON OF HANDS. I would not need to mention this here if not for the ugly experience I had only yesterday. A woman had traveled from a distant part of Port Harcourt to see me for prayer. She spent much time asking questions and seeking direction from the Lord. When it was time to pray for her, I noticed that she drew back when I made to lay hand on her. She had been taught that she could contract evil spirits if a pastor laid hand on her during prayers. I was not offended because I have seen that several times but that meant I cut the prayers short and asked her to go and come back another time. Two can’t pray together and have result unless they agreed.
It is true that one can catch evil spirits if the wrong person laid hands on you, but the question should be, why did it happen? Did it happen because the Holy Spirit is not out to protect his own or because the seeker has not set out to seek the Lord but solution to her problem? Without being distracted by this question, let us see what the bible says about LAYING ON OF HANDS
Ten kinds of PAYING ON OF HANDS as taught by the bible
a. For ordination – 1Tim5:22. This is actually the place these teachers teach out of context; they believe that the bible tells us not to lay hands on people otherwise we could contract their sins or they transfer their demons to us. I am still surprised that in this age of many different versions of scripture bible teaches still work in this error. Well, why won’t they, when many of them still believe that God never authorized any other version outside King James Version, hence they refuse to crosscheck other versions for clarity. But we “worldly” Christians will look at versions for clarity -
Never be in a hurry about appointing a church leader. Do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. NLT
Don't appoint people to church leadership positions too hastily. If a person is involved in some serious sins, you don't want to become an unwitting accomplice. In any event, keep a close check on yourself. THE MESSAGE
This particular scripture is very specific to ordination or call to a place of leadership. It is not that King James version is wrong but that those who read did not understand
Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure KJV
b. For healing – Not only are we encouraged to lay hands on people for healing in Mark 16:18 but Jesus did so
When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity. Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath Luke 13:12-14 NIV
c. For exorcism which is commonly called DELIVERANCE. Jesus laid hands on people for healing and to drive out demons
When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. 41 Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, "You are the Son of God!" But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ. Lk 4:40-41 NIV
d. For infilling with the Holy Spirit – Apostles Peter and Paul laid hands on Christians for infilling of the Holy Spirit.
Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:17 NIV
When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied Acts 19:6 NIV
e. To commission for a new assignment – The Apostles laid hands on people given a new assignment who were ordained before
This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them Acts 6:5-6NIV
f. Impartation of spiritual gifts –
Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you 1 Tim 4:14NIV
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2 Tim 1:6 NIV
g. Transfer of authority - Moses transferred his authority to Joshua through laying on of hands
Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses Deut 34:9 NIV
h. Transfer of office. The above scripture can hold this too but they have different meanings; some one can transfer his authority on a person he sends on assignment for a particular purpose in a given time without giving up the office. Moses transferred his authority and office at this given time
i. Transfer of blessings –
But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim's head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh's head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn. Then he blessed Joseph and said,….. Gen 48:14-15NIV
j. Transfer of sin –
"'If the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, he must bring to the Lord a young bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he has committed. He is to present the bull at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting before the Lord. He is to lay his hand on its head and slaughter it before the Lord. Lev 4:3-4 NIV
It is obvious from the above scriptures that the only instance the bible warns us on laying on of hands is in the area of calling people to places of leadership. Unfortunately, this is the place Christian leaders do with laxity; we put people in places of leadership without caution hence the many confusing activities in the Body of Christ.
(To be continued)
Emma your brother @PNUR