THE LAYING ON OF HANDS: YOU DESERVE GOD’S BEST, DON’T SETTLE FOR LESS
In this series, we have discussed regulations regarding the holy anointing oil, the prayer of faith that heals the sick, the scriptural way to maintain and increase the anointing, and the act of impartation.
In the second part of the series, l pointed out the significance of anointing the sick with oil. Well, l want to add a few things to this before l get into the concluding part of the series.
Throughout the Bible, God has been the healer of His covenant people by the operation of His Spirit. He led the Israelites out of Egypt and all of them WERE HEALTHY AND STRONG (Psalm 105:37). Moreover, God revealed Himself to Israel in the wilderness as Jehovah Rapha — the LORD who heals. God healed all their diseases and sicknesses whenever they kept the covenant. And He has never ceased to be the healer.
In Christ’s earthly ministry, He demonstrated the Father’s heart to us and healed all kinds of disease and sickness. And in His redemptive work, Christ purchased healing for us which the Holy Spirit makes it real to us.
We may anoint the sick with oil and pray over them as recommended by Apostle James in his epistle as one of the means that God heals the sick (James 5:14). But our faith mustn’t be in the oil or the tangible substance used as a symbol. Like how the elements of bread and wine are used in the holy communion, our faith should be directed towards the redemptive work of Christ, the significance of the broken body and the shed blood of Jesus, and not to the elements.
The sick must, therefore, release his faith for the healing power of God which the oil symbolizes. l can’t imagine how anyone may think that the fact that the Apostle mentioned oil in James 5:14 meant that he was prescribing oil for the sick because of its medicinal value.
How can oil with its medicinal value heal a cancer patient, or anyone with an incurable disease instantly even if church elders anoint or bath him with it? It’s the operation of the healing power of God that heals the sick (Luke 5:17; Acts 10:38). The application of the oil is only meant for the sick to release His faith. It’s never a mixture of a little of God’s healing power and a portion of oil that heals the sick.
Now, in the concluding part of the series, l want to discuss the significance of the laying on of hands which is one of the six fundamental principles of the doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ listed in Hebrews 6:1–2.
We need to get this clear in our hearts and minds that the laying on of hands will work for us if only we believe in it. Without faith, the laying on of hands will be merely a ritual. But Christians won’t have faith in this doctrine unless we teach and practice it among them.
AND THROUGH THE HANDS OF THE APOSTLES many signs and wonders were done among the people.
Notice through the hands of the Apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. The Bible doesn’t say, “Through the “holy anointing oil” many signs and wonders were done.” It’s clearly stated that through the hands of the Apostles. The laying on of hands is what God has ordained for the Church. Anointing believers with “holy anointing oil” isn’t one of the fundamental principles of the doctrine of Christ.
We may belittle the abilities, the power, the majesty, the excellency, and the glory that we carry as God’s Temple. But as we grow in the consciousness of the greater One in us, the power of the Godhead that has taken residence in us, the anointing within and upon us, we will begin to have faith not in ourselves, but in His gracious acts, and lay hands on seekers as we’re divinely equipped to do, and as and when the Spirit leads.
We need to know that through the practice of the laying on of hands, God’s power is transmitted by faith through us to the seekers. It’s interesting to note that throughout the Gospel, Jesus never prayed for the sick when He laid hands on them. However, power or virtue was released from Him to the seekers. Also, most of those who requested hands to be laid on them or on their sick folks never asked Jesus to pray for them. They only asked for hands to be laid on them. The simple reason is, they had faith in the laying on of hands — Mark 5:22-23; 7:32-35.
Sadly, we have a generation of ministers and believers whose faith is in the so-called “holy anointing oil” and not in what God has ordained and prescribed for the Church, THE LAYING ON OF HANDS.
Truth is, laying of hands is a theme that runs through the entire Bible. But l want us to consider some practices of this doctrine revealed to us in the New Testament.
1) ln the New Testament, there is not a single scripture that reveals to us that believers were consecrated into service by being anointed with “holy anointing oil,” or they were commanded to do so. In every instance, hands were laid on them by faith in the Name of the Lord– Acts 6:6; 13:2-3.
2) Jesus laid hands on the sick in His earthly ministry. The saints also laid hands on the sick in obedience to what the Lord commanded (see Acts 8:12,17: Acts 28:8,9). It’s clearly stated in Mark 16:18 that believers WILL LAY HANDS ON THE SICK AND THEY SHALL RECOVER. Therefore, every believer can lay hands on the sick.
3) One scriptural method where seekers received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in most cases as recorded in the Book of Acts was the laying on of hands — Acts 8:12,17; 9:17-18;19:6.
4) The laying on of hands was employed by church leaders in the impartation of gifts and other blessings. Impartation was never done with “holy anointing oil.” Mighty things occur when ministers lay hands on those who in the faith receive the impartation — 1Timothy 4:14; 2Timothy 1:6. Romans 1:11-12.
The Bible has a great deal to say about the doctrine of the laying on of hands. Surprisingly, many ministers and Christians don’t see the significance of this scriptural doctrine and practice.
It’s necessary for us to find out how God has graced us in this area of the laying on of hands. For instance, Peter and John were used by God to minister the Holy Spirit baptism to believers through the laying on of hands. That was why they were sent to Samaria to minister the Holy Spirit baptism to Philip’s converts–Acts 8:14-18. Though Philip was mightily used of God in Samaria, this was one he wasn’t equipped to do.
Again, we shouldn’t practice the laying on of hands anyhow so that it doesn’t become meaningless and merely a religious practice.
I believe it will greatly help the Church to teach the fundamental principles of the doctrine of Christ as the foundations for believers, and if possible practice them. Sad to mention, our teachings are “hanging” without any doctrinal foundations.
Thankfully, we can provide God’s best to sons and daughters of the Father through sound teachings and practices. God has ordained the laying on of hands for the Church to heal the sick, impart blessings, gifts, and abilities to others, to consecrate the saints for service, and NOT anointing them with “holy anointing oil.”
— Peter Collins Obeng