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At the younger levels of understanding, as I have taught previously, the ‘laying on of hands’ refers to the anointing and confirmation of a person’s ministry position, taken from the comments in Paul’s letters to Timothy:  Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.[1]  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]  That somehow, the laying on of hands activated, transmitted and passed on the gift or the anointing for a person’s ministry.

It is also taken to mean in the context of what Jesus said, “They will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”[3]  The miracle of the lame beggar at the temple gate called Beautiful certainly records that Peter spoke to the beggar and then taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.[4]  And finally, Paul’s warning to Timothy:  Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others.  Keep yourself pure.[5]

When Paul wrote this for Timothy, he was not speaking about laying hands on the sick or even of unbelievers and of sons of the devil, for the Lord had said, “They will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all.”[6]  What Paul was warning about was not to transfer and pass on his gift too hastily to those who were preaching false doctrines and do not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to Godly teaching,[7] for the Lord also commanded us, “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs.”[8]  Sometimes, we who live in the age of abundant pearls, even though they are still expensive, do not understand the real value of a pearl.  Until cultured pearls came along, it took hundreds to thousands of oysters before you found a pearl, and even then pearls represented extraordinary wealth and value and were hard to find.

So as elect of the Holy Spirit, who will be or have been and are being baptised into the Holy Spirit and His Name, we must look at ‘the laying on of hands’ in the context of maturity.  Certainly, have no fear in laying hands on the sick or the unsaved, even if they are full of serpents, as no harm can come to you, although I do not think dancing with rattle snakes is needed to prove that you are a believer.  Being like Paul who was bitten by a viper whilst looking for firewood, yet did not die, is sufficient.  If we were to use Paul’s conduct on Malta as a parable, then it would mean that as you and I search for spiritual firewood, looking for the teaching/ministry that would help us become a living sacrifice, we can pick up someone else’s teaching and be bitten by the serpent that hides there, but like Paul, we can shake it off without harm and God will turn it into a sign to vindicate us.

So, have no superstitions about laying on of hands to minister to those in need of healing, deliverance or who need the gift and anointing of the Holy Spirit to be deposited in them to help them begin their own journey.  As you are to distinguish between the common and the holy things, so likewise, you must recognise that there are gifts that are ‘common’ and are for use for a common purpose, such as healing, prophecy, faith, and so on.  There are no restraints upon you to give these away freely.

Our gospels of glory, opera, justice, peace, freedom, beauty and awe can be given freely to all.  The restored command “listen to Him (Jesus)” is for the common purpose and the common good, and as such, there are no restraints on what you can do with them and who you can pass them onto.  Likewise, you are free to sample the teachings and doctrines of others, pick them up, and if there is a serpent there, no harm will come to you and you do not lose your salvation.

However, for you, the teaching of “laying on of hands” refers to the Holies of the Holy, not just the pearls of great worth, which are in the Kingdom of Heaven, and which the Lord has said are not to be given to swine, but taking care not to lay hands too hastily means to exercise caution concerning the Holiest of the Holies, for when you are baptised into the Holy Spirit you are now searching out the Holy Spirit, and you are exploring the Holy Spirit, not the Holy Spirit searching you out.  You will find such great treasures in the Holy Spirit to an extent that the words of our brother Paul should serve as our guide.  I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third Heaven.  Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows.  And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—was caught up to Paradise.  He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.[9]

Learn to keep it close to you until the Holy Spirit gives you permission to tell.  Indeed, each of you will find your own pearls of great value as you lay your hands on the word of the Lord and put it into practice to search out the Holy Spirit, who you are now also in—Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Be circumspect as the elect as to what you put your hands to and also in the context not of transmitting and passing on the sacred and valuable treasures about the Holy Spirit that you have learned.  But also be very circumspect as to the tasks and work that you lay your hands upon to participate in.

Remember Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God,” to the man who said, “I will follow You, Lord, but first let me go back and say good bye to my family.”[10]  Do not take on lightly any work the Holy Spirit offers you, but having taken it on, do not stop until He tells you to stop, even if it means translating you away as He did to Phillip.[11]  It was the Holy Spirit who told Phillip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”  And it was the Holy Spirit who, when they came up out of the water …suddenly took Philip away.  Has anyone here seen why the Holy Spirit took Phillip away suddenly?  Because Phillip baptised the Ethiopian eunuch in water when the man confessed his faith that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, instead of speaking to him of the baptism in fire and the Holy Spirit, as Phillip himself was.  Water baptism is observed because Jesus said, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness,”[12] but the baptism of fire and the Holy Spirit offered by Jesus must be and can be done first, as the Holy Spirit showed Peter with Cornelius and his family.  After all, a man is declared righteous already by faith and the water adds nothing to his righteousness that is now in Christ Jesus, for when Jesus was baptised in the waters of the Jordan, we were all baptised in that same water with Him.  However, baptism of fire and the Holy Spirit is something Jesus does for all who believe in Him.  So the Lord the Spirit, removed Phillip immediately.  If you have not heard the Holy Spirit tell you to stop, don’t stop even if the others are telling you to, assuming you recognise His voice and also assuming you have the humility to repent when you make a mistake.  There is nothing wrong in sticking stubbornly to what the Holy Spirit told you to do, and there is nothing wrong in sticking stubbornly to what you believe the Holy Spirit told you to do either, and allow time to prove you right or wrong.  As long as you have the humility to repent if in error, and your motive was love—love of God, love of your fellow disciples and love of your enemies, even love of yourself.

Thus, there is needed for each of you and expected of each of you now, a certain degree of stubbornness whereby you have laid your hands on the work of the Holy Spirit and you have searched Him out because you are baptised into Him, so that it is not just Him living in you, but you are living in Him, so that where He is, you are, and here is a BIG hint… see if you can catch this… WHERE YOU ARE, HE IS…

The attitude that you must have in the laying on of hands to the plow, which the Holy Spirit gives you – to the work the Holy Spirit gives you, must be like Eleazar who took his stand with David and he stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword.[13]  Likewise, you must now see yourself as hands to the plow until your hands are frozen to the plow or until the Holy Spirit says, “Stop,” or you are translated away on the day of the Lord to where He is.  “I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.”[14]  For remember, on that day when He arrives, “Men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.  And He will send His angels and gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the Earth to the ends of the Heavens.”[15]  Jesus’ disciples asked, “Where, Lord?” and He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”[16]  They will be taken to where the battle against the Lord had been taking place at Armageddon, where an angel standing in the sun, cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great.”[17]

See yourself laying hands on the Holy Spirit and His work, and refusing to let go as if your hands are frozen to Him, as if your hands are stuck to the sword, that is the Sword of the Spirit, the word of God.  Having ensured you are not like the man who needs to clear up family business first, then you are to be careful that you do not dissipate your energy into tasks that do not add to the shortening of days and the preparation of this earth for Jesus’ return.

As such, any work that not only continues the preaching of the gospel of Jesus, but also ensures that the “days of distress”[18] will commence on time and be shortened are good works of the Holy Spirit.  Your mindset must be that of a person who is preparing for the Millennial Reign and New Jerusalem and beyond.  Any work that can prepare you for that is worthwhile, and any work that does not prepare you for that is best left alone.

Being alone and ready, writing, saying and highlighting your word may be at times preferable to fitting in with brothers and sisters for a crusade to preach the gospel unless there is an opportunity for you to restore the command.[19]  All opportunities to practise the power both of this age and the age to come is worthwhile.  All work of seeking out disciples or making of disciples is worthwhile.  Test their suitability by giving them the command and the work to highlight.  Give them a few weeks to see if they have selected their seed.  If not, leave them.  Should they follow, let them follow, but do not slow down for them.  Remember that the Lord has warned us through Daniel, “And many who are not sincere will join them.”[20] 

Do not fear that you will be those who “will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered… Some of the wise will stumble,”[21] for a man on his face cannot fall, fire cannot be burned, a prisoner cannot be captured, a sword cannot fall by the sword and those whose treasures are in the Kingdom of Heaven cannot be plundered.  For if you truly come to know the Holy Spirit as well as you know the Father and the Son, you have come to that place where you are one of “the people who know their God and will firmly resist him [the anti-Christ].”  “Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves,”[22] but be able to see as clearly as an eagle as well, and see what you are laying your hands upon and see whether it has any value to that which is of the Holy Spirit.

Those of you who are complete in your training and hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit and recognising His voice can lay hands on others and give them the gift, just as Paul did to Timothy, and you can also fan into flames those who have received the gift of being the Lord’s elect.  But where the gift has been ignored and buried by the altars of dead works that men from James have put on them, if Paul had a god-almighty fight with the men from James, how much more will we?  Except that Paul had to fight alone… we do not and we now have on our side TIME.

It is time, time to lay our hands on the plow of the Holy Spirit and break up the furlough ground.  A plough going through a field can find a treasure buried in a field faster than a shovel digging holes.  Indeed, in ordinary life, many great archaeological treasures have been discovered because of a farmer and his humble plough!  It is TIME to “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unploughed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until He comes and showers righteousness on you.”[23]

The plow of the Holy Spirit will take you into new ground, never ploughed before…  Ground that may have been destined to be ploughed, but was not… and ground that has been left unploughed until now.  As such, be prepared to explore new territory in the Lord, for you are privileged to explore not only the Father and the Son into whom you had been baptised, but now to explore the Holy Spirit and His Name into whom you can now be baptised because you have fulfilled the Law of Life, which flowed from the Law of God, that you may discover for yourself the real meaning of the Law of the Spirit of Life that sets you free from sin and death.[24]

What is truly the Law of the Spirit of life?  Here is a clue, it is only ever mentioned once by the original elect of the Holy Spirit who stayed his ground, Paul.  The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.[25]

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”[26]                         


 

[1] 1 Timothy 4:14

[2] 2 Timothy 1:6

[3] Mark 16:18b

[4] Acts 3:7 (2-7)

[5] 1 Timothy 5:22

[6] Mark 16:18a

[7] 1 Timothy 6:3

[8] Matthew 7:6

[9] 2 Corinthians 12:2-4

[10] Luke 9: 62, 61

[11] Acts 8:29-39

[12] Matthew 3:15

[13] 2 Samuel 23:9-10

[14] Luke 17:34-35

[15] Mark 13:26-27

[16] Luke 17:37

[17] Revelation 19:17-18

[18] Mark 13:19

[19] Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35

[20] Daniel 11:34 (32-35)

[21] Daniel 11:33,35

[22] Matthew 10:16

[23] Hosea 10:12

[24] Romans 8:1-2

[25] Deuteronomy 29:29

[26] Revelation 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22

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