foundation truth

Lesson 36 - ordination

The present-day visitation of God has made a reality of the ancient truth of “the Doctrine of the Laying on of Hands.”

WHAT IS THE DOCTRINE OF LAYING ON OF HANDS?

The laying on of hands is one of the foundation principles of the doctrine of Christ. Hebrews 6:2

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF LAYING ON OF HANDS?

It is a biblical method of conferring a divine blessing. The anointed hands become the channel, the vehicle, the bridge by which something is transferred or transmitted from one person to another. Three of the main words defining this ministry are:

  • Identification – Acts 13:2
  • Impartation – I Timothy 4:14
  • Confirmation – Acts 6:6-7, 9:17

IS THE DOCTRINE OF LAYING ON OF HANDS FOUND IN BOTH THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS?

Yes, the ministry of laying on of hands is found in both Old and New Testaments.

Old Testament

  • Under Levitical system. Exodus 29:10; Leviticus 1:4, 8:14, 16:21
  • For judgment. Deuteronomy 17:7
  • For blessing, ordination, and prophetic impartation. Genesis 48:14; Numbers 8:10; Leviticus 9:22
  • For the impartation of the spirit of wisdom. Numbers 27:18-23; Deuteronomy 34:9

New Testament

  • For healing the sick. Matthew 8:3, 15; Mark 6:5; 16:18; Acts 5:12; 14:3; 19:11
  • For blessing children. Matthew 19:13; Mark 10:16
  • For conferring the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:17-18; 9:17; 19:6
  • For blessing, ordination, prophetic impartation. Luke 24:50; Acts 6:6; 9:17

WHAT IS MEANT BY PROPHETIC IMPARTATION BY THE LAYING ON OF HANDS?

In the Old and New Testaments God used leadership ministry through the laying on of hands and prophecy to impart and confirm ministry and spiritual gifts. See Romans 1:11; I Timothy 1:18, 5:22; II Timothy 1:6, 14

Paul exhorts Timothy, “Do not neglect the gift that is in you which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. ” I Timothy 4:14

WHO IS A PRESBYTER?

A presbyter is a person with a leadership ministry in the Body of Christ. He is one of the ministry gifts listed in Ephesians 4:11 who “shepherds” or “oversees” the church. He is an elder in the church.

WHAT IS A PRESBYTERY?

A presbytery is a group of two or more presbyters or elders who are anointed by God with prophetic powers to confirm and impart God’s mind to the Body of Christ through the laying on of hands.

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN A PRESBYTERY SERVICE?

  • Proven eldership ministries (Prophecy must be judged, for it is not infallible.) I Corinthians 14:29
  • Prophetic utterance
  • Church gathering together
  • Fasting and prayer
  • Laying on of hands – Acts 13:1-4

WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CHURCH AND CANDIDATE?

Church

  • The entire church should be involved in prayer and fasting seeking the Lord.
  • An atmosphere of worship and faith must be maintained. Everyone present should be participants, not just spectators, and should keep a responsive attitude.

Candidate

  • Should be saved, water-baptized, Spirit-filled, and stable in his Christian walk.
  • Should be a committed member of the local church.

NOTE: It is important that laying on of hands be given only to those who are under the authority of the local church in order that the ministry and candidate may be safeguarded. I Timothy 5:22

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE LAYING ON OF HANDS AND PROPHECY?

  • They stimulate the whole church into seeking God in fasting and prayer, bringing dynamic results when done with the right motive.
  • They help to reveal the will of God for an individual by:
    • Confirmation of the person’s ministry in the Body of Christ.
    • Confirmation of the candidate.
    • Confirmation to the Pastor.
    • Confirmation to the congregation.
    • The impartation of spiritual gifts and graces. Romans 1:11; II Timothy 4:14
    • Giving special help or guidance by divine revelation.
    • Strengthening the person’s relationship to the local church.
    • Provision of a tremendous guide to the Pastor in further counseling.
  • Enabling the person to war a good warfare. I Timothy 1:18
  • In some cases, bringing liberation from bondage and deliverance from satanic power.
  • Revelation of special needs that need prayer.
  • Helping to develop confidence.
  • Helping to develop ministries.
  • Helping to reveal and emphasize the various ministries and functions of the Body. No Christian is complete without the rest of the body of Christ. I Corinthians 12:12
  • Helping to eliminate ineffective activity or ministry in the church brought about by congregational voting on the basis of “popularity” or “rotation.”
  • Lifting the enthusiasm of the whole church, which in turn affects its ministry to God, to the Body, and to the world.
  • An ordination service with the laying on of hands and prophecy by the Presbytery in the local church meets the individual’s cry and hunger for God in a healthy environment. By acting under the authority of the spiritual leadership of the local church, the Presbytery has a safeguard from those who seek spiritual experiences but are not in submission to spiritual authority.

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About the Author: Dr. Dale Yerton

Dr. Yerton serves as an overseer of a network of churches across the world. What began as a network of six church groups representing 500 churches in Mexico has grown into an international ministry. 

He and Evelyn, his wife over fifty years, live in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. They have two daughters: Lora–married to the Rev. Vince Farrell, pastors of Journey Church in Hopkinsville, Kentucky–and Kari—also of Hopkinsville–and are the proud grandparents of Emma and Bennett Farrell.

Dale Yerton