Chapter V


The teaching of Scripture is that spirit is a divine substance which can come direct from Heaven, or be imparted by physical contact with one in whom the Spirit of God is. As such a substance it is capable of having a physical effect upon the material substance of which the world is composed; so that a house can be shaken by it, or a new eye formed.

It is also clear that spirit is subdivided into different types, even as light is composed of different colours. So that, when Jacob was blessing the sons of Joseph, it mattered which hand was placed upon which boy, since the blessings were different, and came through different hands. (Gen. 48:13-19.) So also the "divisions of spirit" of Heb. 2:4 refer to this difference; each separate kind of spirit carrying in itself the blessing that was to be given. The same thought is given in "the seven spirits of God" of Rev. 1:4.

The Laying on of Hands, i.e., physical contact—even of the whole body in the raising of the dead—was the usual way whereby spirit was imparted, though at times the unction was so great that even without actual contact those near a spirit-filled person would receive it. Even inanimate objects could be so impregnated with spirit as to convey it to a person at a distance. (Acts 8:18, 9:12-17, 5:15, 19:12, 20:10, Mt. 14:36, Mk. 5:27-30, II Kings 13:21, I Kings 17:21, II Kings 4:34-35.)

The following are typical of the blessings imparted by the Laying on of Hands:—

1. The Baptism in the Spirit and the Healing of the Body. (Acts 9:17, 8:18, 19:6, 28:8, Mk. 16:18.)

2. The spirit of Wisdom. (Deut. 34:9.)

3. An unspecified gift. (I Tim. 4:14, II Tim. 1:6.)

4. A future career. (Gen. 48:13-19.)

The impartation of spirit through the Laying on of Hands means that the blesser is the poorer and the blessed the richer for the transaction (Lk. 5:17, 6:12-19, 8:46), and therefore the blesser needs a continual refilling if he is to continue imparting.