Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2. of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. Hebrews 6: 1-2 NASB
Remember as we discuss this topic it is about our path to Christian maturity and now we come to the laying of hands.
You want to get blessed don’t you??
Throughout my life I have worked very hard to get the approval from… somebody. I guess it started with my mother. If I worked hard enough performing acts to make her proud, then one day she would be pleased with me. Of course there was my father, who initiated me, but not in the manner I yearned or needed. We all have a vision of what our life should have been and it’s always romantically tragic. I played my part, the rebellious teenager and while I was all those things I strove to be the best at whatever I did. I always yearned for approval from anyone.
While I never heard the words I was looking for, I remained a perfectionist with a severe inferiority complex. I never felt worthy enough to stand up for myself, I never learned how to protect myself. I struggled to survive; Always the chameleon, always changing to be accepted wherever I was.
It was not forthcoming at home, then I would get it at school. With good grades I would get the attention from those around me. That would be the proof I needed that I was somebody, just like Steve Martin in the movie, The Jerk.
As I grew older, a good looking girlfriend would inspire people would think highly of me. Her adoration provided the acknowledgement I hungered for. In the military my quest continued:
Twice Distinguished Graduate;
Soldier of the Month;
2nd Place Soldier of the Year (yikes that stung), and;
the list goes on.
Then as the drug scene took off; the best drugs, the best parties, all of these things I used to fill the void in my spirit to PROVE that I was special enough to be around.
When we got right down to it, I would do almost anything not to be alone. I needed people around me so I could suck the life out of them and affirm I was OK. As many of you know, that lead to serial monogamy. I discussed this many times and having paid attention you have noticed that my fear of being alone was the motivation for many of my destructive habits. If you do not deal with root or core issues in your life, regardless of your intentions, the wreckage of your past (that cancerous, sore and demonic strongholds) will influence every decision you make, even while in the Service of the Most High.
Even though I was still somewhat self-destructive, God started getting through to me, as I placed myself in the company of others who were grounded in Christ. I was still looking for a feeling to fill the void like the drugs, relationships and AA/Al Anon meetings did, but at least I was filling the void with religious practices, worship, playing the guitar. However I still had a deep desire to have someone say, “Look at Roland, he has his religious act together. He goes to church, volunteers, prays with the pastor on Sunday morning etcetera, etcetera, etcetera,….” (The King and I)
It was a faith built on the approval of others, not a desire to be alone with God. I was looking for “it” out there somewhere and “it” was always just out of reach.
A couple of years later, a man whom I did not know, had a deliverance conference at our church which dealt with those strongholds. They asked for a volunteer for an afternoon exercise, never missing an opportunity to be in the spotlight, I jumped up. That moment, whatever purpose I wanted to use it for, God used it to get my attention in the most loving way. As I stood up in front of everyone, the speaker looked at me and proceeded to read my spirit’s mail.
Holy Spirit must have fallen upon this man as he grabbed my shoulders and said, “You were never blessed by your father.” Retelling this story to my wife, who was present, she reminded me that this man also said that I was stuck in the third trimester, knowing that I may not have been wanted, so spiritually I never left the birth canal. He proceeded to pull me through to choose life and proceeded to bless a forty year old man as if I had just entered adulthood, in the service of our Lord.
The bestowing of blessings was given to children, disciples and petitioners. This was not to be taken lightly, remember Isaac, Esau and Jacob. Esau traded his blessing away; and Jacob honored his brother’s wish and made sure he got it. The Bestowing of Blessings as an act of love, goes back all the way to the beginning, is a tradition that has been lost to the church.
A complete stranger saw through the façade of my life and blessed me, as a son transitioning into adulthood. No one had ever blessed me like that before that I can remember. I had always felt cursed, followed by a black cloud I had to outrun.
U2 step aside, I found what I had been looking for. A truth revealed in my heart.
But what about those cancerous strongholds of our past that prevent us from fulfilling God’s destiny for our lives, Many of us subconsciously believe they can be removed through good works. We can’t:
run fast or far enough;
work long enough;
scrub hard enough; or
attend enough conferences,
to find an earthly physician to relieve the pain.
We need to face it. At some point we need to be able to fulfill God’s destiny just like Jesus did. We need the courage to invite Christ and Holy Spirit into our heart to reveal it. We have to place our own pain on the altar and give it God and stop holding on to it like an idol.
We are not only forgiven, but cleansed inside and out. When we willingly expose our hidden pain, the path to purity will be revealed. And cleansed by the blood of the lamb, we will truly be free indeed.
The promise is, if we can place the past in the past, we will not regret the past nor need to shut the door on it. We will be able to walk with the scars of our life, just as Jesus did upon His resurrection.
Hear this, Jesus after facing the pain of the sin of the world, carried only scars on his resurrected body, this is where we are headed. Satan will use any means to stop us in that goal, by keeping resentment and hidden strongholds firmly anchored in us.
It was after this blessing that my heart was open to the possibility that I needed to face the root cause of my bitterness and stop treating the symptoms. I had to believe that I could slay the dragons of my past, with the blood of the Lamb. We worked with Fields of Harvest Ministry, who have guided us since the day of my blessing. The have mentored us, cried with us, and with their compassionate guidance; taught us how to break free from the strongholds that kept us stagnant for so long by calling on our Savior. It was there we learned to call on Christ and Holy Spirit to illuminate the truth and terminate power these strongholds once held over us. There was no magic bullet, it was prayer and revelation.
Maturing does not happen because we want it to, it happens when…we’re willing to.
Moving on, think about this, Jesus never dictated to God. He listened, then walked in obedience. So when He sent the disciples out, He ordained them through the conferring of the Spirit to heal the sick, to cast out demons and raise the dead. The conferring of the spirit has been happening since Moses.
9 Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the Lord had commanded Moses. Deuteronomy 34:9
25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again. Number 11:25
13 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. Act 13:1-3
In all of these instances they were told by the Lord to ordinate them through the laying of hands. We know they all had an intimate relationship with the Father. But why then did Paul warned Timothy, 1 Timothy 5:22: Do not be hasty in the laying of hands.
If you are laying hands for Christ why would there be a warning tied to it, if the outcome we want will raise someone up?
D. Thomas Lancaster tells us in Elementary Principles-Six Fundamental Principles of Ancient Jewish Christianity. Baptizing was not enough, referencing Acts 8.
In Acts 8:16-17 Philip had immersed the Samaritans but not until Peter showed up and laid hands on them where they baptized in the Spirit.
Peter realized something was missing when he got to Samaria. They all had a good message, but he did not sense the Spirit in them. What it comes to is, the laying of hands was used after baptism to invite Holy Spirit in.
There was a caution given to us many may have overlooked. The sorcerer Simon who was baptized in the name of Jesus, HAD A LOVE FOR JESUS, once he saw the gifts after the impartation of Holy Spirit he wanted that too and wanted to pay for that power.
18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. Acts 8:18-23
Simon is no different than any of us. Just as there is a maturing process for a Christian, there is also an spoiling process where Satan can hijack us. If we are filled with the Holy Spirit, the fruit we produce will always be ripe, however, if we do not protect the root system from contaminants, our fruit will spoil from the inside out.
Remember how I discussed early that after my blessing, I was open to the possibility to expose my hidden root of bitterness. We see, that cleaning the spiritual wreckage of the past, did not occur to Simon. He was not a new creation in Christ. He fell under the religious theory of “Once saved always saved.” He was frolicking about, happy his past sins were forgiven, until the truth was revealed to him. Peter was able to spot the cancerous stronghold inside of him.
23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”
In this example Simon wanted the blessing of God’s power and was willing to do whatever ever he could finagle to get it.
That dark something in him was triggered that was willing to perform a work of God through ill-gotten means. I believe based on the text, Simon had good intentions, but that did not stop Peter from confronting Him.
But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. Acts 8:20-22
But what happens when you are baptized, you’re on fire for the Lord, the church you belong to can’t deal with such vigor. You begin to look for affirmation to let you know you are on the right path even though it might differ from those around you. You seek to be blessed or ordained by a man. Just like Simon did with Peter, many seek with Holy abandon for the privilege to be blessed or an impartation to taste the spiritual power, we see manifested in others.
- What happens when we look to a person whom you think is a man of God to give you a word?
- What if we want to be a healer and impart our anointing wherever we may go?
We want to heal, bless and impart so bad we look for signs of confirmation. We want to speed up the process, because there is world out there that needs saving. We begin to force solutions and start cutting deals with men when God is not answering your soul’s desire in our timeframe. We only want to help God out, because obviously He is busy and we can trusted.
We want to perform a work or see a work so bad for Christ it pains us. Please! Lord give us a sign. Bless me Lord.
It’s at this stage of HOLY DESPERATION, that we can become side-tracked and stop seeking the truth. We could be fooled by signs, wonders in a quest to see them. You are actually in a very dangerous position, your heart is not right in the sight of God.
- It is here that many will say “… we did all these things in your name Lord” and the door will be shut.
- It is here that we operate in the name of our Lord with our own power.
- It is here the spiritual fornication takes place.
- It is here that many will slip into witchcraft and not even realize it.
Yes! God wants to heal everyone; prayer in this area should never be discouraged. However, if you want to be the person delivering the healing, it won’t happen, unless God wants to heal. The moment we say “I”, it would be for your glory, not God’s during our moment of HOLY DESPERATION.
Your faith would be like Peter’s, as he said he would never deny Jesus. He believed thist, but he had something in him that Satan exposed.
If you profess God’s healing publicly but doubt it in private. Stop! Work on your relationship with God, so your words will have weight and diminish Satan’s power to instill doubt. Peter’s relationship with Jesus was not solidified until he was humbled as Jesus asked him three times if he loved Him.
Faith based on feelings and knowledge, finds many slipping into religious witchcraft and not even realize it while trying to fulfill a holy act with the best of intentions.
But what is witchcraft? It means the practice of, and belief in, magical skills and abilities that are able to be exercised independently of any defined social group. When a Christian says the word witchcraft there seems to be a stigma around it. To speak of it is almost like foolishness, you don’t know what you are talking about. That happens out there not in here, not in church or our Christian circles. If I saw it I would recognize it.
A recent article by an ex-witch saved by Christ says:
Hidden magic, astrology, supernatural powers or agencies, also known as the occult, has slithered its way into society with little fanfare. Just as terrifying is how many in today’s culture consider the elements of witchcraft practically mundane….
“When each time they do witchcraft they are inviting in demon spirits. Each spirit brings something in with it to connect them within your person. This could be false beliefs or sickness or addiction, etc. More importantly, it causes you to feel that you have tapped in to a power, which you have. The power of the demonic (aka the occult or witchcraft). You feel the power in some way or another. It may be a high, a surge, a force and “awakening” or something similar. This feeling is incredibly satisfying to our senses and fleshly ways and it creates a desire within us to continue doing it.”
She points out that most Disney movies, program children to want to cast spells and have magical powers especially the movie Frozen. Vampires are romanticized to desire yearning to have situations bow to our will. It is ingrained in us that if we can’t get our way life is over. Oh if I could only have a hidden power out there that we can tap into so no one will get the upper hand over us.
That is always the way it is. WE WANT OURS FIRST, THEN IF WE ARE UP TO IT WE WILL GIVE THE LEFT OVERS. This is what this is about.
Satan is very good at deception. If you do not have an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit and your faith or relationship is based on book knowledge, sensationalism and thought provoking words that inspire mystical visions; we are in trouble.
If we are trying to reach for the heavenly stars, a world where faith is born of something based on the fantastic ask yourself this, how is it glorifying God?
Satan will always place an apple in front of you. Mysticism in a Christian sense says it is OK. When we are always reaching and trying to find a new answer, we will not have the discernment needed to identify witchcraft in the craftiest of facades.
I fell for this myself on my quest to find “THE ANSWER”. There just had to be more than what was written in the bible. Oh how the mysteries tickled my ears, I was always on the verge of some spiritual fantasy, where if I could only escape this world then I wouldn’t have to face it. I was introduced to writings that opened the world of possibility where I could be more than I was. The people at normal church had hurt me before and even kicked me out, they just didn’t get it.
This new tone explained reasonably why the world was and how God didn’t want us the way we were but more. We just needed to tap into the spiritual power that is available to all just like the Bible said. We just needed these other extra biblical books to discover what was hidden from us in the Bible. We need these other Gospels that the formal church denounce as heresy, but they revealed truths the church tried to keep from us.
We have to read the sign posts God left for us, the stars, mysteries of the spiritual realm. We would do all this under the guise of Christian Mysticism. Publically it would be for the good of mankind, but privately, oh if I could just get my way, just a little.
I followed the meditation practices, I opened my mind to the possibilities. It would be fun. Then one morning, while my heartbeat propelled my body, I saw a spirit realm and I shuddered with fear. I was in a place I should not have gone. It was no longer groovy. I knew I had gone somewhere God did not approve and I knew that my heart was not right in the sight of God.
I only wanted more of God, that is what I told myself. This was white magic, used for the good of the people. Just like all Disney movies but with the word Christian attached to it. That had to be acceptable if the ends justify the means. Just like a white lie, we don’t intend to hurt just shield someone from having to deal with hard truth. Sounds like the a political platform.
I have heard many folks say, “Hey, the new agers only perverted what God provided to begin with. We can use it. Oops bad theology, we are told that the fallen angels provided much of the hidden knowledge to men and not God. We know from Genesis 6:4 that the fallen angels impregnated the women. Enoch, whom Christ and Paul refer, spoke of this and how they disobeyed God’s prime directive, do not interfere. So, how do you know which is which, no pun intended.
Who are you going to believe me or someone who will tell you it is OK with the proper attitude. Just a thought.
BUT in Christian circles, that we all come in contact with:
- We might unknowingly look for shortcuts to spiritual enlightenment, where angels are sought for guidance, oils used to enhance instead of anoint, incenses set the stage for spiritual awareness and talismans of the religious kind are used for protection.
- We are told that the new age movement stole these practices and are only reclaiming them and Satan has perverted them Well how do you know these are not the hidden mysteries the fallen angels shared with man and you want to reclaim in a righteous sense.
- Prayers are requests for certain outcomes that suit you and not the Kingdom of God. This is where common practices found throughout Bible are misused and perverted for personal gain.
- This is where the half-truths are wrapped in lies while wanting everything God can offer. Where the Word of God is enhanced, embellished and the ceremony of blessing and offerings becomes a ritual to Idolize.
- Where we are told that if we give to this ministry or that ministry we will fall under their covering. You would want that right?
- Buy these books as this ridiculously low price and you will be blessed by what is contained within its pages?
- You too can become a Prophet just read this book. You can order it online.
- We are told to trade into this word or that word one dollar at a time.
○ I saw a picture in a post recently at a conference where all this money was on the floor. People had thrown money down at the feet of the speakers as they spoke. People were trading, so they could gleam from the words spoken to them and they were inspired. This picture of self-proclaimed prophets standing on a floor covered in money was supposed to convey how to trade into the word of God. I only saw money honoring men.
○ Strippers also know how to get the dollar bills out of the hands of their patrons.
You want to trade into this don’t you. You want to see more heavenly places right? Well if you do, you need to trade into it. (Think about the arrogance this possesses, the spiritual pride it requires to tell a whole group if you don’t do this or follow my example you will be left empty handed).
I have been in these sorts of meetings and it made my skin crawl once I had time to digest it all. I found myself feeling guilty for not participating, questioning myself, maybe I don’t know the Bible after all and then in desperation throwing money on the floor at the feet of men, just in case I am wrong.
You should honor these men and trade into them, as I was told. Hoping what they said was true, not realizing that I might have just traded something in my life that gave permission to Satan to fulfil on His terms, if it was not more than sensationalized preaching stretching the truth to fit another version of the Gospel.
All of these things I have listed are areas where left to our devices, we to can usurp the Will of God in our lives. We need to be wise as serpents, as Paul said. Only a relationship with Holy Spirit will keep us in the wares. I might say this a few more times until it sinks in. It wasn’t until I started praying for edification with Holy Spirit that I started to hear Holy Spirit, the whisper, the calm, the peaceful guidance that I never experienced before. Today I am hearing more than I ever heard.
It isn’t a knee jerk reaction it is an understanding that Wisdom comes from a Fear of the Lord not the sensationalizing of all my senses.
- What will you pay for access, to have hands laid on you, to be blessed in hope the void will be filled inside of you?
- To have an impartation from someone or fall in their shadow.
- You won’t get something unless you give something.
- And many will use the book of Micah to tempt people to test God while throwing money at them.
I was at a conference at a very mainstream church, on August 8, 2008. One of the promising evangelical prophets was there and everyone was in a state of anxious anticipation. Surrounded by yes men. His number one said, “Please form a line around the auditorium and the Prophet X will come by and lay hands on you. BUT this is only open to those who had sown into the ministry.”
You won’t get something unless you give something!!!!!
Does that represent a merciful God?
Wow, is that a God you want?
To be Continued
God loves you, I love and there is nothing you can do about it.