In the letters to Timothy, Paul gave clear instructions about the structure and the behaviour of the church. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul instructed him, to lay hands suddenly on no man. But what did Paul mean by that? Because Jesus commanded His disciples, to lay hands on the sick and that they would recover. Therefore does the Word contradict Itself? No, the Word doesn’t contradict Itself, and shall never contradicts Itself. Because the Word is the Truth, and therefore reliable and trustworthy. The Word doesn’t lie. But we should read the scriptures in the right context. As I wrote before, the Bible is a spiritual guide, for born again believers, who have become a spiritual new creation.
When the spirit of a person is not raised from the death yet, by the baptism with the Holy Spirit, the person will not be able to comprehend or understand the Word of God. Because of the fact that the person will not be able to comprehend or understand the Word of God, he/she shall find contradictions in the Word. Now, let’s have a look at what Paul meant, when he commanded Timothy to not lay hands suddenly on no man.
Lay hands on someone
Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure (1 Tim 5:22)
When we read this verse in the context, then we can conclude, that this verse has nothing to do with the laying on of hands on someone, who is ill. Because as I wrote before, Jesus commanded His followers, to lay hands on the sick. Due to the fact that Paul walked after the Spirit in obedience to the Word, he would never contradict the Word, but confirm the Word.
But Paul didn’t speak about the sick, but he spoke about an elder, who had committed a sin, which was confirmed by two or three witnesses. In the next blogpost I will discuss this matter.
When Paul instructed Timothy to not lay hands on someone too hasty, he meant, that Timothy should not be too hasty to:
- Ordain or appoint a believer as elder in the congregation
- Re-ordain or reinstate an elder, who had committed sin
A person was ordained by the laying on of hands
Someone was ordained in ministry, and put into position, through the custom of laying on of hands. We also read this in the Book of Acts:
And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them (Acts 6:5-6)
As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away (Acts 13:2-3)
Timothy was not allowed to reinstate a sinning elder too hasty, by the laying on of hands. He had to be sure, that the person was profitable to function as an elder, and to be an example and spiritual leader to the believers.
Timothy had to be sure, that a person was godly, full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and walked according to the Word. An elder had to live a holy life and be an example to the believers. An elder was not allowed to walk in rebellion towards God, which means that the elder was not allowed to walk in sin. Because how can an ambassador of the Kingdom of God walk at the same time in the kingdom of darkness and represent the latter one, by sinning?
If Timothy would appoint a sinning person as elder or reinstate a sinning elder, then Timothy would also become a partaker of sin.
This spiritual rule applied to the church then, but it still applies to Today’s ministry. Sin means rebellion towards God and His Word. When you become born again, you are redeemed from your sinful rebellious nature, who always resists and rebels against the Word of God. Therefore if you really have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus, then you won’t rebel anymore.
Love God above all
When you become born again, you won’t rebel against the Word, but submit yourself to the Word of God and obey Him. Because you don’t want to do anything that displeases Him, or defile, damage, or hurt the Kingdom of God.
All you want to do, is to please Him and exalt Him! That’s the desire of the new heart of the new creation. Now, if you want to please and exalt Him, then you will be obedient to His will; His commandments.
You will do, what He wants you to do and what He has commanded you to do.
A regeneration means to be set apart by God. Although you live in this world, you don’t belong to this world.
You belong to Jesus and the Father, and therefore you should do what He says, and not do what the world (the devil) says. You obey the person, you believe and love.
Living a holy life?
How could Timothy tell, if someone was leading a holy life? There were two ways to judge if someone was leading a holy and sanctified life:
- By the discernment of spirits, through the Holy Spirit
- By looking at the fruit of a person’s life (including family life)
Sometimes someone can be very pious in his/her appearance and act religiously correct in front of people, but as soon as there are no people around and when no one is looking, the person can do things in secret, that go against the will of God. The person can live some kind of double
hidden life. In this case, only the Holy Spirit can reveal the works and therefore the heart of the person. He can tell you, if this person is really that pious, as he presents himself.
God is omnipotent and sees everything
God is omnipotent. He sees everything! Nothing is hidden for Him. He will reveal every dark hidden place in someone’s life. When a person thinks, that God doesn’t see, what (s)he is doing, only proves that this person doesn’t know God nor the Word; Jesus.
The Holy Spirit knows what’s inside a person’t heart and He alone can reveal those things, which are hidden from man’s natural eyes. That’s why we need the Holy Spirit in our lives, and obey Him, so that we will have spiritual eyes, and be able to discern the spirits.
Walking after the flesh
When someone is ordained in ministry and sins, it shows that the sinning person doesn’t walk after the Spirit, but after the flesh. Because if a person walks after the Spirit, (s)he shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh, which leads to sin.
Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh (Gal 5:16 KJV)
An evil heart of unbelief
Beside proving, that the person walks after the flesh, it shows that there is evil in the heart of the person. Because it is written:
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man (Mar 7:21-23)
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin (Heb 3:12-14)
A minister has responsibilities towards God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the believers. A minister should therefore live a holy life. Because if a minister doesn’t live a holy life and in secret commit sin, than the whole congregation will become a partaker of his/her sin.
Besides that, if a minister is living in sin, it proves that the devil has authority over his/her life, and the minister is a slave of the devil, instead of a slave of Christ.
Keep the church; the body of Jesus Christ clean
Timothy was a gatekeeper of the church; the body of Christ. His task was to keep the church; the body of Christ, clean and holy, and to prevent the body being defiled. That’s why Paul instructed him to lay hands suddenly on no man; to not (re)ordain or reinstate someone too quickly in ministry.
Paul knew, that there would be a big chance, that after a while, the person would do it again, and fall back into the same sin, commit another sin.
The cross means saying farewell to the flesh; the sinful rebellious nature, that cannot submit to the will of God.
What does this mean for Today’s church?
What Paul commanded Timothy to do, still applies to Today’s ministry. In Today’s ministry, leaders should not be too hasty to lay hands, and re-ordain or reinstate someone, who committed sin or is still walking in sin. Nor should leaders be too hasty to ordain someone in ministry, who is a new convert. Let the new convert first of all mature spiritually. Let him/her do the things that Jesus has commanded every believer to do, and that’s to preach the gospel; the Word, lay hands of the sick, cast out demons etc.
Nowadays, there are many leaders in ministry, who fall into sin. In some cases, the person will be dismissed and removed from ministry, for a short period of time. The sinning leader, confesses his/her sins, or blame it on someone else, and in no time, the leader will be reinstated.
Especially when the person is an acquaintance, friend, or family member of the pastor, elders, leaders of the ministry etc.
But this is not the way the Word commanded us, to deal with a sinning elder or other leaders in ministry.
In this age people deal so easily with sin. Many times sins are being condoned, accepted, and considered normal. Why? Because many believers say: “We all sin”, “We life in a different time now”, “We must love and not condemn” etc. But these are all lies from the devil! And because of these lies, there are only a handful believers, who are longing for a sanctified and holy life in Jesus Christ.
Fall back into the same sin
Believers sin, repent, continue with their lives, and in no time, they fall back into the same old sin. There is often no true remorse anymore, because otherwise, the believer wouldn’t fall back into the same sin again and again.
Beside that, the cause of sin, is not being acknowledged nor recognised by many (carnal) believers, because the root of sin is spiritual and not carnal. That’s why people fall back into the same old sin over and over again. The unclean spirit, who lives in a person and leads the person to sin is not being tackled (cast out). The carnal believer will try to overcome sin out of the flesh, but he/she will never succeed.
If there is sin present in the leadership of the church, how much more will sin be present in the lives of the believers?
What is sin?
As I wrote before, sin means rebellion against the Word of God; His will. It means that you won’t follow up His words, and that you adjust and change His Word to your will, lusts and desires. In other words, the Word of God is being changed, twisted and adjusted to the will, lusts and desires of man.
When you realise this, you can conclude that many leaders, and churches, are walking in sin, and therefore they walk in rebellion against God.
They think they please Him, but in reality they are pleasing and serving the devil, by denying the Word and by adjusting and changing the Word to the knowledge of this world and to the will, desire and lusts of man.
Many churches are no longer founded on the Word, but on the knowledge of this world, and upon their own opinions, findings, and experiences. But worldly knowledge and own opinions, findings, and experiences, don’t make the truth. Only the Word is and will always remains the Truth.
‘Be the salt of the earth’