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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : The Hands of Fire

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Areadymind
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Joined: 2009/5/15
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Pacific Ocean

 The Hands of Fire

“Lay hands suddenly on no man…” – 1 Timothy 1:22a

Sorrowfully, I remember watching this verse being disobeyed more times than I wish to recall. On occasion I have seen hands laid upon a new believer, and even upon more than a few ‘untested’ young men. The results have been disastrous in almost every case, and though I have no intention of guiding you through the trauma ward of my memories, I do have a desire to understand at least a portion of the council of God on this topic, in order to confer to others a preventative against future disobedience.

Leviticus starts by giving us an understanding of what this means. “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, if any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock. If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD. And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.” –Leviticus 1:2-4

If you notice here, the laying on of hands did not make the bullock a bullock. The laying on of hands was rather a confirmation that the bullock was one indeed, and without blemish. One way it could be worded, is that the Israelite whom did this was confirming that this was a worthy sacrifice. This bullock would then soon become a sacrifice ascending to God in flame at the hands of the priests.

In Acts chapter 13 the Holy Spirit said, “Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they (the church at Antioch) had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.” The parallel between the two passages I have drawn attention to is pristine. The Church at Antioch did not make Paul and Barnabas who they were, any more than the Israelite made the bullock a bullock. The Church at Antioch responded to what God the Holy Spirit had determined them (Paul and Barnabas) to be, which was, “workers whereunto He had called them.” The church does not make God’s giftings and callings without repentance, it only confirms them. We see in Galatians 1:15-18 that Paul says, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mothers womb and called me by his grace, and revealed his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood, neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter…” The Church at Antioch had no authority whatsoever in the calling of God upon Paul’s life. It could only affirm it.

Laying hands on a lay-about will not make them a bond slave. The laying on of hands will not turn a man given to appetite into a temptation resisting compassionate man of Godly authority. Laying hands on a man whom never leaves his house for fear of a lion roaming the streets will not give him the courage to charge the gates of Hell with the stalwart courage of William Booth.

Though it is true that a “gifting,” may and ought be imparted through the laying on of hands (1 Timothy 4:14) by the elders. It will not change the quality or character of a person. The laying on of hands will not drag Jesus out of heaven to procure his unrepentant calling upon a man. Neither will it produce godly character, or godly maturity. It can only recognize that which is, “unblemished.” Or in our case, “unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27)

I find it fascinating that Hebrews 6:1-2 says that the “laying on of hands,” is a “principle,” or beginning “Doctrine of Christ.” It is to be understood in Christian kindergarten, and yet this is so directly disobeyed, and un-apprehended. As a result I think it speaks profoundly as to the state of our maturity. If we cannot even grasp something as simple as this, I have deep concern for our direction and spiritual capacity as a body today. We have to stop being so utilitarian as Christians. We must stop offering to God un-worthy sacrifices. The book of Leviticus said to only lay hands on the best and most unblemished bull. The church today will lay hands on anything that moves and quivers and shows even a burp of life.


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Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2010/8/10 2:58Profile
mguldner
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Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860
Kansas

 Re: The Hands of Fire

Amen brother Jeremiah, It seems that we have moved from letting God call the shots to who has the degree or schooling. Schooling and Degrees will not produce Godly Living and Integrity. Thanks for posting yet another thing I will have to ponder as I look at the Word of God and see what it really says away from the influence of man made doctrines.

God Bless,
Matthew


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Matthew Guldner

 2010/8/10 3:46Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
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 Re: The Hands of Fire

by Areadymind on 2010/8/10 4:58:18
"If you notice here, the laying on of hands did not make the bullock a bullock. The laying on of hands was rather a confirmation that the bullock was one indeed, and without blemish. One way it could be worded, is that the Israelite whom did this was confirming that this was a worthy sacrifice. This bullock would then soon become a sacrifice ascending to God in flame at the hands of the priests."

I don't think 'worthiness' is the main element here. I think the main element is identification. You are right to say it doesn't confer bullock-ness on the creature but the examination for worthiness will have taken place before this.

the 'laying on of hands' can be part of God's transmission of life and gift but I still think the underlying theme is 'identification' and consequently 'authorisation'. In Acts 8:17; 9:17; 19:6 the 'laying on of hands' is part of their full initiation into Christ, but it is absent in Acts 2 in Jerusalem and in Acts 10 at Caesarea.

The context of 1Tim 5:22 seems to make it clear that Paul has some pattern of formal acknowledgment of function in mind. Remembering that 1Timothy is written to Timothy and, in a sense, we need to read it over his shoulder. The similarity between 1Timothy and Titus are illustrated in Paul's more specific instruction to Titus; "For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you—" Titus 1:5 NKJV

I think the act joining an apostolic delegate such as Timothy or Titus with those that God had equipped for oversight in each town is well illustrated by 'laying on of hands'. I think Paul is simply laying a gentle constraint on Timothy when he says this acts of identification and acknowledgment should not be performed without careful thought.


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Ron Bailey

 2010/8/10 5:08Profile
Areadymind
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 Re:

"I don't think 'worthiness' is the main element here. I think the main element is identification. You are right to say it doesn't confer bullock-ness on the creature but the examination for worthiness will have taken place before this."

I don't disagree. My choice of the word and theme of worthiness stems more from the bullock. Identification probably works better but would get the point across the same.

Thank you Ron.


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Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2010/8/10 9:46Profile
Areadymind
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Joined: 2009/5/15
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 Re:

"Schooling and Degrees will not produce Godly Living and Integrity."

It is not necessarily my intention to denigrate schooling (Although I completely understand where you are coming from Matthew), I mean, look here at this thread, you have one country bumpkin with no Christian education (me), being corrected by a brother whom has Christian collegiate background. I appreciate Ron's language skills, they can be an enormous benefit. Christian Education can be all around a large benefit as well, but it becomes unhealthy when it is the replacement for those whom have "been with the Lord." I would love to possess such skills with language, but for now all I have is the time I spend in God's presence, getting to know him through my bible and through my brothers and sisters.

I am sure that many have been recognized in an education system to have the Godly Character Jesus gave them. Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther, are just a few to name.

However, we cannot, we must not think that these peoples Godly character was a result of their education alone.

God makes his servants, and qualifies them on the basis of who He is even more primarily. Moses interaction with God at the burning bush is such a great example of this.


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Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2010/8/10 18:03Profile
mguldner
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Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860
Kansas

 Re:

Amen to that, I am not at all against schooling or Christian education but against the idea that some take that once they obtain a degree they have reached a new level of Godliness, that the type of degree they have equals their Godliness. I have been blessed many times by those that are highly educated and beyond me in knowledge. I am currently reading Jonathan Edward's sermons and from reading his life story he was a very educated individual but also a Man of God by lifestyle.


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Matthew Guldner

 2010/8/10 18:46Profile





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