Derek Prince - How Can We Impart The Spirit Of God
Now, the next purpose for which laying on of hands was appropriate is for the imparting of the gift of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 8 we read, first of all how Philip went to a city of Samaria and preached Christ attested by miracles and signs, and all the people in the city who believed, were baptized. So they were saved because Jesus said: He who believes and is baptized shall be saved. But, the apostles were not content because they knew there was something missing. So in Acts 18:14 it says: Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for as yet He had fallen upon none of them, they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
So that is again, as I pointed out yesterday, a very clear indication that it’s possible to be saved without having, in this sense received the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit there is spoken of as falling upon them. What I call immersion from above, a Niagara Falls immersion. Verse 17 says: Then they, the apostles, laid hands on them and they, the believers, received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw that through the laying on of hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, Give me this power. You see, it says there through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given. And in the next chapter after Saul had had his encounter with Jesus on the Damascus Road while he was there in a house in Damascus, unable to see fasting for three days, Ananias, a mere disciple, not an apostle not a prophet, just a disciple, received directions from the Lord to go to the house where Saul was, lay hands on him and pray for him. It says he laid hands on him and his sight came. He received the Holy Spirit and he was baptized.
So, understand the laying on of hands is not limited merely to people with a special ministry. In the context of God’s will any person can be directed to lay hands on someone else. Ruth reminded me while we were sitting in the office. This is really a rather unusual story. We were in Kona in Hawaii and I’d been very sick. I was still far from recovered. We were walking down the main street and a man ran up to us came up to us, and said, Will you pray for me? I’m sick. I said, What’s the matter with you? He said, I was electrocuted. If you know what that means, I mean, he received a full charge he was an electrician. His shoulders were paralyzed. He couldn’t raise his hands higher than that. So, I was rather reluctant to do it, in a way, but he was persistent.
So we stopped in the middle of the street right outside a restaurant and we prayed. Ruth laid her hands on his shoulders. The next day in the devotions at Youth With A Mission he put his hands right up above his head. He had experienced a miracle through the laying on of hands. Later on he came to see us when we were ministering in Arizona and he told us that he had been to a doctor for a check up. The doctor said, I’ve examined your shoulders there’s no way possible that you could ever get your arms above your head. Well, that’s just a little example of what the laying on of hands will do. Again, in Ephesus. We’ve looked at this before in another context. Paul found certain disciples there but they were only disciples of John the Baptist. Paul explained the gospel to them, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus and when Paul laid his hands on them they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
So, laying on of hands is a very scriptural way to transmit the power of the Holy Spirit. Actually, there are five main examples in the New Testament and it’s interesting. In two cases, on the Day of Pentecost and in the house of Cornelius, it just came sovereignly from God. In the other three cases, that’s in Samaria with Saul of Tarsus and in Ephesus, it was transmitted through the laying on of hands. So, it’s a question of how God leads. I’ve had the privilege of leading, literally thousands of people into the baptism in the Holy Spirit. My particular strength is to get people to believe that if they seek the Lord, they’ll receive. I do lay hands on people but not usually. And I can say by the grace of God I’ve seen thousands of people receive direct from the Lord. We’ll go on now.