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Answers to Correspondents.
No. 21.--K.J.M., SMARDEN.
"If Timothy's ministry depended on his `not neglecting', `remembering',
and `stirring up' the gift given by the laying on of hands, how can others
expect to be successful ministers without it? . . . . The gifts of
Corinthians are subject to various interpretations; but that there are
Christian men (not so-called, but whose lives abound in Him) who exercise
the gift of healing at the present day, one cannot deny. Prophecy or
ministers equally therefore are not the works of evil spirits or demons.
These are the verses I want to understand clearly:--
I Tim. 1: 18. `This charge. . . . according to the prophecies which
went before on thee.'
By the laying on of hands.
`Prophecies' (I Cor. 13: 8-10). Given by the Spirit.
I Tim. 4: 14. `Neglect not. . . . by prophecy, with the laying of the
hands of the presbytery' (elders). N.B.--Prophecy. Laying on of hands.
II Tim. 1: 6.--`Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up
the gift of God. . . . putting on of my hands.' N.B.--Gift of God. My
II Tim. 1: 14.--`That good thing which was committed unto thee.'
? Not by Paul.
? By the Holy Spirit, and the laying on of hands."
In seeking to be as helpful as possible in answering your questions, we will first
examine the subject of the laying on of hands.
The laying on of hands.--We meet with this practice in the opening book of the N.T.
Matt. 9: 18 says, "My daughter is even now dead, but come and lay thy hand upon her
and she shall live". Here, not merely healing, but life from the dead is the result. In
Matt. 19: 15 the Lord lays His hands upon the little children, evidently an outward sign
of blessing well known at the time (see verse 13). Mark 6: 5 speaks of the laying on of
hands for healing, and 16: 18 includes this among the signs that should follow the
preaching of the gospel as commissioned to the apostles. Acts 6: 5, 6 shows the laying
on of hands in the appointment of Stephen and the others. That this laying on of the
apostles' hands did not necessarily impart any added spiritual power may be inferred
from verse 3, where the men selected were to be "full of spirit and wisdom", where the
word "spirit" refers to the "gifts", not the "Giver". The same is not the case with the next
reference (Acts 8: 17), for it is definitely said that holy spirit was given them by the
laying on of the apostles' hands, that it was to confer this that they went to them (15), and
that an unsaved man could see that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the spirit
was given (18). Acts 13: 3 however is not in the same category; Barnabas and Saul had