[ back to Doctrine of Faith

One Brother Writes:
<< the concept of laying on of hands was brought up. I would like to hear your opinion on verses like, do not be hasty in the laying on of hands. I have seen the powerful impact of the laying on of hands and have done so freely. When I came upon this type of verse I became cautious but I have yet to fully understand this type of verse. I assume that it is due to the spiritual implications of touching someone. Perhaps trying to exceed your spiritual area of authority like the sons of Skeva. I have felt the Holy Spirit hold me back from laying on hands for people who were heavily demonized. >>

My Reply:

c. Laying On of Hands
Laying on of Hands is and IMPORTANT PART of our Christian Faith. Laying on of hands was done by holy men to commission and grant authority to others over the congregation of Israel (or the Body of Christ) (Num. 27:18-23). Laying on of Hands was practiced by Jesus when He healed the sick (Mark 5:23), and this authority and POWER to lay hands on the sick and to see them recover was granted, transferred, signed over, awarded, and given to EVERY Believer to use in Jesus' Mighty Name!!! The laying on of hands was also used to impart spiritual gifts (1 Tim. 4:14)

The Scripture that you are referring to is 1 Timothy 5:22. I believe that God can mean for us to beware of more than just one aspect of why we should not lay hands on others prematurely. The New Living Translation translates that verse, "Never be in a hurry about appointing an Elder," but I do strongly agree with your understanding and experience, "I assume that it is due to the spiritual implications of touching someone. Perhaps trying to exceed your spiritual area of authority like the sons of Skeva. I have felt the Holy Spirit hold me back from laying on hands for people who were heavily demonized." 

The New American Standard Bible translates this verse, "Do not lay hands upon anyone {too} hastily and thus share {responsibility for} the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin."; in which, the appointing of an Elder prematurely could mean that you share responsibility for the sins of others, if that Elder has sin issues that have not yet been dealt with and overcome, as they will most surely affect the spiritual condition of those you have appointed them to be overseers of.

1 Timothy 5:17-25 PP10 (from Matthew Henry's Commentary) III. Concerning the ordination of ministers (v. 22): Lay hands suddenly on no man; it seems to be meant of the ordaining of men to the office of the ministry, which ought not to be done rashly and inconsiderately, and before due trial made of their gifts and graces, their abilities and qualifications for it. Some understand it of absolution: "Be not too hasty in laying hands on any; remit not the censure of the church to any, till time be first taken for the proof of their sincerity in their repentance, neither be partakers of other men's sins, implying that those who are too easy in remitting the censures of the church encourage others in the sins which are thus connived at, and make themselves thereby guilty." 

The New King James version translates that verse, "Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure." You are right in saying that there are spiritual implications of touching someone. If you lay hands on someone who is immature in the faith, who is not able to resist or stand against the demons you are about to cast out of them, then they will return to that person with demons 7 times worse, and you will only worsen that person's spiritual condition. Sometimes it is better NOT TO CAST the devil out, but to allow the Believer to mature in the Word of God so that they can overcome that area of demonic influence in their lives AS THEY BUILD STRENGTH and gain the character (or godly self-discipline) necessary to keep the demons out.

It is a well know fact that the greater spiritual implication of touching someone is that spirits most definitely TRANSFER. In 1 Corinthians chapter 5, Paul commanded the Corinthian church to "remove this man from your fellowship," and in verses 6-7 the Apostle says, "how terrible that you should boast about your spirituality, and yet you let this sort of thing go on. Don't you realize that if even one person is allowed to go on sinning, soon all will be affected? Remove this wicked person from among you so that you can stay pure." You are right in saying that you should not try "to exceed your spiritual area of authority like the sons of Skeva." It appears that God has given you great wisdom in the use of the ordinance of laying on hands. Paul goes on to say that if you lay hands on others prematurely, you can become a "partaker of other men's sins," meaning that those spirits that it is not time for you to cast out may transfer their wickedness and sinful desires onto you. Paul further exhorts Timothy to keep himself pure in that same verse, inferring that premature laying on of hands can contribute to his own ungodliness through the transference of evil spirits, especially if the Anointing to do it is not there. 

You said, "I have felt the Holy Spirit hold me back from laying on hands for people who were heavily demonized." It is wise for you to strictly obey his leading, as it is the Anointing that breaks every yoke of bondage AT THE RIGHT TIME, and not hastily or prematurely, but at the appointed time that the Father has decided for you to minister that deliverance.

The Scriptures also stated that Jesus laid hands on the children and blessed them. Often times, I will lay hands on my own children and impart spiritual blessings to them. It is at these times that the holiness that is within your own spirit can be transferred onto them, empowering them through your spirit in the Holy Ghost to become more like Christ. The good things you see in yourself, you have the divine authority to impart to and give to others. The things you have freely received, even those things you may freely give to others. In 2 Timothy 1:6 the Apostle Paul told Timothy to "stir up the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands." Paul also stated in verse 7 that through this laying on of hands he did not have to be timid in using this Gift, because with the Gift came the spirit "of power and of love and of a sound mind." So God gave Timothy, through the hands of Paul, not only a Spiritual Gift, but also the spiritual Grace and equipment necessary to operate in that Gift adequately, even as He has done for You, Brother Ken, however God made you aware of that Gift that is in you!!!

[ back to Doctrine of Faith