I left off with Peter and John laying hands on already born again believers to receive the “baptism” of the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:17. Verse 18 continues: “Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.
Although Simon had just witnessed many miraculous wonders and been born again, he was seduced by the power of imparting the Holy Spirit and the deceptive idea that he could become very rich with that power! He actually tried to bribe them to give him the same power and Peter denounces him!
But, it seems to be true that the power to impart the Holy Spirit was not limited to Peter and John. They were, apparently gifted with that power and Philip must not have been. Otherwise, Philip would have been doing that when he evangelized. (Making an obvious assumption)
The point is that “laying on hands” to impart the Holy Spirit was available then and there is no reason to believe that it is not available now.
Paul exhorted Timothy in 2 Tim.1- “I am reminded of your sincere faith…. 6For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands”
Apparently whatever gift Paul is referring too (evangelism, apostleship?) it was given (from the Holy Spirit) through Paul laying hands on him.
I am reminded of one of the first times I experienced the Holy Spirit very tangibly move on me in prophecy. I have it recorded in my journal as 12/8/2014 but, I remember it very well.
I was up early Sunday morning, seeking the Lord. At that time, I did not “wait on the Lord” and didn’t have a very good prayer life but, only knew how to “find” him by study and in the Scriptures. That morning, I was reading Bill Johnson’s “Hosting the Presence” and suddenly I found myself weeping uncontrollably for no apparent reason! I was reading the chapter about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and suddenly was absolutely convinced that I had to talk to our church leaders, Jeff and Jake. I was convinced that God wanted to pour out His Spirit on people at Threshold by laying on of hands.
I had no rational reason to cry and I wasn’t upset. It was not that kind of weeping. It was more like I felt an emotion that I couldn’t express and weeping was all I could do.
I also had no rational reason to think that God wanted people to lay hands and pray for the Holy Spirit because in the 3 months that we had faithfully attended there, that had never happened or been mentioned.But, I had this faith that I couldn’t explain and on our long drive to church later that morning; I remember telling my wife that I was convinced I had to talk to Jake and Jeff about laying hands to impart the Holy Spirit. I remember saying that I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to lay hands too or if I was going to have hands layed on me but, I knew I had to talk to them!
Well, we walked in to church a little early and both Jake and Jeff were standing there talking to each other. I could have seized the moment but, instead I was concerned about how ridiculous that would look. After all, they hardly knew me and I had no history of prophecy. Instead, I told Jake that I wanted to talk to him later that week on the phone. Sigh…
I didn’t know it but, Jake was teaching that week on the Holy Spirit for the first time since we attended. Specifically, the baptism of the Holy Spirit from “laying on off hands”! Because Jake had just attended a Global Awakening conference and someone there had layed hands on him, imparting the gift of imparting the Holy Spirit! He felt lead to share this with us that Sunday and without having any idea of all this; I wimped out on prophesying to him and Jeff and increasing everyone’s level of faith!
What can I say, except…”Father, please reconcile it! I know that you are more than able to completely redeem it because you already have through the finished work of Jesus!”
I messed up but, it doesn’t matter because I have cast that care on Him. I learned my lesson and no longer listen to fearful doubts but, prophecy in faith and more than once I have been completely wrong! (but that’s another story) The really interesting part to me is that God totally confirmed prophecy and imparting the Holy Spirit to me that day in the way He orchestrated all of the circumstances!
I am not a functioning prophet. I don’t even claim to be a prophet in training, although I may be…only the Lord knows. I just know that prophecy is one of many incredible and FUN gifts of the Holy Spirit that the Lord wants us too enjoy and give Him all the glory!
I don’t really know if “laying on of hands” is a specific gift or if it is just available for every believer to operate in and release whatever gift or gifting that they carry but, I have absolutely no doubt that it is also one of the many amazing ways that God still operates!