Impartation is both receiving and giving. We are speaking to the ability to give unto others that which God has given to us; either sovereignly or through other anointed vessels (messengers) of God.
The Greek word for impartation is “metadidomi”, meaning:
- To give over (i.e., share: give, impart) (Strong’s);
- To give a share of (Young’s);
- To share in association with anyone (i.e., impart, communicate) (Bullinger’s);
- To communicate (information, etc.); relate;
- To give or bestow (something) (Collins)
Other words we can use to help bring a clearer meaning are: “transmit, pass on, confer and transfer”.
There are two main ways by which impartation happens to us:
1. From God Himself
A sovereign, divine impartation that enables us to do what we’ve not been able to do before. In Numbers 11 we read that the burden of Leadership was becoming too heavy on Moses’ life. When he cried out to God about this, God’s response was to get Moses to gather together 70 men of the Elders of Israel”.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with you. And I will come down and talk with you there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon you, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you bear it not yourself alone” (Numbers 11:16-17, KJV).
God promised to take of the spirit that was upon Moses and impart or put it upon the 70 elders, so they could carry the burden that Moses was carrying.
God divinely imparted of the spirit from Moses to the 70 Elders. When that happened they began to prophesy – something they had never done before. That impartation enabled them to take on greater responsibility to support Moses, to minister to the people and to release the Holy Spirit out of their lives to bless others in a more powerful way. There was a transferring from one to another, so the one receiving could function much more like the one doing the imparting or transferring.
2. By anointed men or women laying hands on others:
God, in His great desire to see us blessed and equipped for His service, has provided various ways and means of impacting our lives. One of those ways is the Ministry of Impartation through the laying on of hands by mature, recognized Leaders. The gifting of the apostle is key in this area. So many things in the Scripture come from Apostolic impartation through the laying on of hands. The more I look into the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul, the more I see his heart to give away from himself those things God had placed within him. He lived to see others effectively trained in matters of God; in matters of the Holy Spirit ministry. For example, look at the heart he carried when he said . . .
“For I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” (Romans 1:11-12, NIV).
Paul’s desire was to help others to rise in effective ministry through all that God had given to him. He learned that he could pass on through impartation blessings and giftings of God.
Impartation has to do with the giving and receiving of spiritual gifts, blessings, healing, baptism in the Holy Spirit, etc., for the work of the ministry. It is the transference of these “gifts” from one man or woman of God to another, especially through the laying on of hands. There is an invisible flowing of spiritual ability from one to the other. That invisible flowing goes from the spirit and heart of the imparter through the arms and hands into the spirit and heart of the one having hands laid on them.
Let’s consider five areas of impartation:
1. For Blessings
A. Isaac to Jacob Concerning Marriage:
“And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged (“commanded” – Wilson’s) him, and said unto him, You shall not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father: and take you a wife from there of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. And God Almighty bless you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, that you may become a multitude of people; And give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your seed (“offspring”) with you; that you may inherit the land …which God gave unto Abraham” (Genesis 28-1-4, KJV).
Here we see Isaac imparting the Abrahamic blessing to Jacob, on the condition that he marry the right girl! As we follow through on the lives of Jacob and Esau (his brother), we can clearly see that Jacob experienced a far greater blessing than Esau did. Esau chose to disobey and rebel against his parents and God, and lived out a miserable existence (Genesis 26:34-35; Hebrews 12:14-17).
B. Israel (Jacob) Blessing Joseph and His Sons:
As Israel neared the end of his life, he blessed Joseph and his sons; Ephraim and Manasseh:
“And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands wittingly (“expertly, skillfully, with good success, understandingly” – Strong’s); for Manasseh was the firstborn. And he blessed Joseph, and said, ‘God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God Who fed me all my life long unto this day, The angel who redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.’
And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head.
And Joseph said unto his father, ‘Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put your right hand upon his head.’ And his father refused, and said, ‘I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.’ And he blessed them that day, saying, ‘In you shall Israel bless, saying, God shall make you as Ephraim and Manasseh:’ and he did set Ephraim before Manasseh” (Genesis 48:14-20, KJV).
Here we see Jacob passing on through impartation the Abrahamic covenant of blessing. His prophetic insight also enabled him to know that the younger son of Joseph would be greater than the firstborn.
The laying on of hands was so important that Joseph tried to change his father’s hands upon the heads of his sons. But Israel knew what he was doing and blessed accordingly.
C. Jesus to children:
“And they kept bringing young children to Him (Jesus) that He might touch them; and the disciples were reproving them [for it]. But when Jesus saw [it], He was indignant and pained, and said to them, ‘Allow the children to come to Me – do not forbid or prevent or hinder them – for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive and accept and welcome the kingdom of God as a little child [does], positively shall not enter it at all.’ And He took [the children up one by one] in His arms and (fervently invoked a) blessing, placing His hands upon them” (Mark 10:13-16, AMP). See also Matthew 19:13-15.
Jesus loved imparting blessings into children. Today, He still loves to impart His blessings into the lives of His children – small and big!
2. For Baptism in the Holy Spirit
A. The Samaritan Believers:
The Samaritan believers (converted through the ministry of Philip) received the Holy Spirit as a result of Apostles Peter and John laying hands on them:
“When the apostles back in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God’s message, they sent down Peter and John. As soon as they arrived, they began praying for these new Christians to receive the Holy Spirit, for as yet He had not come upon any of them. For they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw this – that the Holy Spirit was given when the apostles placed their hands upon people’s heads – he offered money to buy this power (Greek word is “exousia” meaning “delegated authority”). ‘Let me have this power too,’ he exclaimed, ‘so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!’ But Peter replied, ‘Your money perish with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought!'” (Acts 8:14-20, TLB).
Peter and John imparted the power of the Holy Spirit to those new believers through the laying on of hands. That caused something to be clearly seen by Simon the sorcerer, so much so he wanted to buy the power! He was rebuked for his evil thinking. The things of God cannot be bought! There was a demonstration of power as the hands of the apostles released the impartation into the new believers.
B. Saul of Tarsus:
When Saul was converted on the road to Damascus by a sovereign and divine intervention of God, he was instructed by Jesus to go to Damascus and wait for one Ananias to come and lay hands on him to receive his physical sight back and to be filled with the Holy Spirit:
“And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, Who appeared unto you in the way as you came, has sent me, that you might receive your sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and he arose, and was baptized … And straightaway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God” (Acts 9:17-20, KJV).
As a result of Ananias’ obedience to God and laying his hands on Saul, there was an impartation of the Holy Spirit from him to Saul. Saul was strengthened to proclaim Christ in a way that amazed all who heard him. True impartation strengthens us for God’s work.
C. The Twelve Believers at Ephesus:
Paul at Ephesus was not only able to instruct believers into a deeper revelation of understanding, but also to impart through the laying on of hands something of that deeper dimension. After they were water baptized, he laid hands on them. The result:
“And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied” (Acts 19:1-7, KJV).
Through impartation by the laying on of hands, those believers were released into a dynamic new dimension of the Holy Spirit, including the gift of prophecy.
3. For Spiritual Gifts:
The Apostle Paul’s desire to see people released into ministries through the Holy Spirit gifts is further shown in his exhortation to Timothy:
“Neglect not (or “don’t be careless about”) the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery (“board of elders”).
Meditate (“to care for, take care for anything, so as to be able to perform it”) upon these things: give yourself wholly to them; that your profiting may appear to all” (1 Timothy 4:14-15, KJV).
“Be sure to use the abilities God has given you through His prophets when the elders of the church laid their hands upon your head. Put these abilities to work; throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone may notice your improvement and progress.
Keep a close watch on all you do and think. Stay true to what is right and God will bless you and use you to help others” (1 Timothy 4:14-16, TLB).
An impartation was given through the laying on of hands.
“Wherefore I put you in remembrance that you stir up (“rekindle, fan into flame”) the gift of God, which is in you by the putting on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6, KJV).
Paul was encouraging Timothy not to forget those times of impartation he experienced when hands were laid on him.
Nor should we!
4. For Service:
A. The Seven Deacons:
In Acts 6 we discover the early Church ran into some problems regarding relationships and the threatening of unity. The decision was made to appoint seven deacons to care for the widows day by day. Those seven men had to have a testimony of honesty, be full of the Holy Spirit, and wisdom. Once the men were chosen the apostles gathered round them:
” … and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the Word of God increased (“to give increase, cause to grow, enlarge” – Bullinger’s); and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
And Stephen (one of the seven), full of faith and power (Greek is “dunamis” meaning “natural capability, inherent power; capability of anything; ability to perform anything; then, absolutely, not merely power capable of action, but power in action” – Bullinger’s) did great wonders and miracles among the people” (Acts 6:1-8, KJV).
Again, we see something happened in the realm of the Spirit when the apostles laid hands on those seven deacons; there was a noticeable impact as a result of impartation – souls saved, signs, wonders and miracles.
B. Moses Handing Leadership to Joshua:
When Moses’ time on this earth was about to conclude, his concern was to know who to pass the baton of Leadership on to:
“Moses said to the Lord, ‘May the Lord, the God of the spirits of all mankind, appoint a man over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the Lord’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.’ So the Lord said to Moses, ‘Take Joshua, son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay your hand on him. Have him stand before Eleazar the priest and the entire assembly and commission him in their presence. Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him. He is to stand before Eleazar the priest, who will obtain decisions for him by enquiring of the Urim (“lights, revelation”) before the Lord. At his command he and the entire community of the Israelites will go out and at his command they will come in.’ Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and had him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole assembly. Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him, as the Lord instructed through Moses” (Numbers 27:15-23, NIV).
The KJV uses the word “honor” instead of “authority” and is translated as follows:
- “beauty, brilliancy” (Young’s);
- “grandeur (i.e. an imposing form and appearance): beauty, comeliness, excellency, glorious, glory, honor, majesty” (Strong’s);
- “any good quality or endowment for which a person is admired, honored, praised”(Wilson’s);
- “1. personal integrity; allegiance to moral principles. 2. fame or glory. 3. great respect, regard, esteem …” (Collins).
God instructed Moses to set Joshua aside, to lay hands on him and impart some of his authority (honor) so Joshua could better lead Israel. That impartation caused the Israelites to respond to and obey Joshua’s Leadership. The impartation gave Joshua a spiritual credibility that the people responded to.
In Deuteronomy 34:9 we read of Joshua receiving an impartation of wisdom from the hands and heart of Moses:
“And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened (“listened”) unto him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses.”
Joshua received more wisdom for Leadership as a result of that impartation from the hands of Moses.
5. For the Healing Ministry:
The subject of divine healing has long been a difficult and conflicting one in certain parts of the Body of Christ. Yet when we look to the Scriptures we discover it should be a normal part of Christian life and ministry.
A. The Ministry of Jesus:
Jesus gave us the teaching and command that healing is “the children’s bread” (Matthew 15:26; Mark 7:27). Jesus Himself led by example:
“When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying His hands on each one, He healed them. Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, You are the Son of God!” (Luke 4:40-41, NIV).
Jesus imparted health and healing through the laying on of hands.
“And He (Jesus) came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of His disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him, and to be healed of their diseases: And they that were vexed (“harassed”) with unclean spirits: and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him: for there went virtue (Greek is “dunamis” meaning “power, power capable of anything”) out of Him, and healed them all” (Luke 6:17-19, KJV).
Here we see an impartation from Jesus to the sick as a result of their “making contact” with Him. The power of God went out of Him into them.
The same principle applies in the account of the woman with the issue of blood:
“And a woman, having an issue of blood twelve years, who had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind Him (Jesus), and touched the border of His garment: and immediately her issue of blood stopped.
And Jesus said, Who touched Me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with Him said, ‘Master, the multitude throng You and press You, and You say, Who touched Me?’ And Jesus said, ‘Somebody has touched Me: for I perceive (“to perceive, observe, obtain a knowledge of, or perceive insight into” – Bullinger’s) that virtue (“dunamis”) is gone out of Me.’
And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before Him, she declared unto Him before all the people for what cause she had touched Him, and how she was healed immediately.
And He said unto her, ‘Daughter, be of good comfort: your faith has made you whole; go in peace'” (Luke 8:43-48, KJV). See also Luke 13:10-13.
B. Jesus Taught His Disciples:
“And when He (Jesus) had called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power(Greek is “exousia” meaning “delegated authority”) against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease” (Matthew 10:1, KJV). See also Mark 3:13-15.
Jesus gave to His disciples what He had. That is impartation from one to another – delegated spiritual authority. He did it also to the seventy in Luke 10:1-9.
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16:17-18, KJV).
C. His Disciples Did It:
After Paul’s experience of being shipwrecked at sea, he was washed ashore on to the island of Melita. Not only did he survive being bitten by a deadly snake, he took the initiative and prayed for the chief man’s sick father:
“His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured” (Acts 28:1-10, NIV). See also Acts 3:1-13; Acts 5:12-16 (Peter’s shadow became a point or instrument of impartation); Acts 19:11-12 (handkerchiefs and Paul’s hands imparted healing to many).
God, in His desire to have us equipped to bless, impact, touch and heal our generation for His glory, has given to us the Ministry of Impartation; that “extra” dimension that enables us to function in a much greater way in the supernatural. We can prepare ourselves naturally, but He has provided a means whereby we are empowered spiritually by impartation from those who carry a recognized ministry and anointing in the Holy Spirit.
At Life Fest, there is a coming together of a plethora of ministers identified in all 5 of the ascension gifts. God’s heart is that each of us receive an impartation in the areas mentioned, so we can, in-turn, not only function in them, but learn to know how to impart them to others.
Credit: “The Ministry of Impartation”, Rodney W. Francis
The Gospel Faith Messenger
PO Box 57
Paraparaumu 5254, New Zealand