Recently, I received a teaching tape in the mail of a pastor who does not believe in the laying on of hands for impartation of spiritual gifts.
He taught that when the Bible refers to Paul imparting some spiritual gift, that it was a miss-translation and that the word impartation, according to the Greek, should be replaced with the word share.
To me it makes no difference when differentiation of a single Greek word vary in meaning as long the context of what is being said remains the same. When translating a single Greek word, the translation must remain consistent with other biblical truths.
In the case of impartation of spiritual gifts or the sharing of spiritual gifts, what difference does it make if the results are the same?
When we share, we impart.
Something of God is transferred.
The Bible is full of stories that involve impartation. Sometimes it is through the laying on of hands. It could be anointing with oil, Peters shadow, Paul’s blessed handkerchiefs, Elijah lying on a dead boy or the hem of Jesus’ garment.
The Bible calls us the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Everywhere you go you impart light, and as salt you impart a preserving influence on the earth. Jesus said, "Freely you have received so freely give."
Peter had something to give when he said to the lame man "Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee."
He had something to impart: the healing virtue of Jesus Christ.
Paul admonished Timothy to stir up the gift that was in him by the putting on of Paul’s hands. A spiritual gift was imparted from Paul to Timothy by the Holy Ghost.
God does not need man in order to work a miracle of healing or to impart some spiritual gift but he does choose to use men and women to administer those gifts and callings.
David did not become the king of Israel until Samuel anointed him to be the king.
In Numbers 11, God took of the Spirit that was upon Moses and put it upon the seventy. It was God who initiated it. Every good and perfect gift comes from him. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
When we preach the gospel, God gives the increase. Only God can heal, and save, and anoint. When we preach truth, we impart truth. When we lay hands on the sick, we impart the healing virtue that only God can give but he uses ordinary people to do it.
God could speak with or without prophets but he has chosen to speak through his prophets that have been (as the scripture says) "since the world began."
God has always used people to minister to people, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Teachers teach the word of God but only God can give the increase.
I have heard people say, "If God wants to save me, he’ll save me."
No, you must respond to his invitation. Others say. "If God wants me to speak in tongues I’ll speak in tongue."
Or, "If God has something to say to me he’s got my number, I don’t need some prophet."
If you become so religious that you cannot receive anyone who has a word from the Lord for you, you will most likely develop a deaf ear and all you will hear is yourself.
You will begin to follow your own preconceived notions that stem from nothing more that your own opinions. You might even begin to doubt the scriptures, because after all, they were written by man.
Always keep in mind that God uses people to reach people.
The scripture says, "How will they hear without a preacher?"
The devil says, why go to church, you don’t need a preacher; you can stay home and hear God for yourself, or just watch it on TV.
Speaking in tongues is weird and not for someone as sophisticated as you; anyway you have seen too many counterfeits to seek that gift; plus it’s to one - someone else, not you.
Why even be a Christian, look at all those hypocrites out there. You don’t need to call the elders of the church to anoint you with oil and pray over you for healing, after all, they can’t impart anything.
Satan is a liar and the father of lies.
He will always question the miracle of divine providence and will use any excuse he can to get you to stop seeking after the supernatural things of God. He attacks the supernatural move of God’s Spirit and attempts to take the miracle out of the miraculous.
If you are a born again, Spirit filled Christian, you cannot help but to impart what you have.
A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Rivers of living water will flow out of you to others. Jesus taught us that when we enter a house, we should let our peace rest upon it (impartation) but if they reject you, let your peace return to you and shake the dust off your feet.
Simon the sorcerer offered Peter money when he saw how Peter was used by God to impart the gift of the Holy Ghost. He said give me this power so that I too can lay hands on people to receive the Holy Ghost. Acts 8:18, "And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money."
When Paul came to Ephesus, he found certain disciples that he laid hands on to impart spiritual gifts.
First and foremost, the gift of the Holy Ghost and then (as the Spirit divides severally as he wills) tongues and prophecy.
Read it for yourself. Acts 19:6 "And when Paul had laid hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them and they spake with tongues, and prophesied." IMPARTATION Paul had the gift of the Holy Ghost, the gift of tongues, and the gift of prophecy. What he had he was also able to give, share, or impart. Jesus said, "Freely you have received, freely give."
The Lord said to Ananias in a vision that Saul had seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hands on him that he might be receive his sight. Ananias then went to Saul and said, "Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 9:17).
Paul’s healing, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost were given as a direct result of impartation through the laying on of hands, then Paul went out, in his ministry, and did the same. Could God have healed Saul and given him the gift of the Holy Ghost (gifts of the Spirit) without Ananias?
Of course he could have, but the scripture clearly shows us that God chose to share / impart both healing and this gift of his Spirit through the laying on of mans hands. Saul, became Paul the apostle who later wrote two thirds of the New Testament.
God gave the increase.
We cannot go around by our own will and expect to impart anything from God. We preach salvation, but we are powerless to save anyone.
It’s the same way with any of the gifts that comes from God, weather it be the gift of salvation, the filling of God’s Spirit, or any other good and perfect gift. It must come from God according to his divine providence.
Jesus said, "No man can come to me except the Father draws him."
God is willing that none should perish, and that all would come to the knowledge of the truth, but unfortunately many will still go to hell.
It is also true with impartation. God is willing to give gifts to man, but in our religious endeavor to reach him, many times, we completely miss him.
This has got to be one of the most misunderstood teachings in the Body of Christ today.
Few Churches get beyond just the teaching of the Word of God. They have a tendency to want to steer clear of spiritual exercise.
Always the teaching of the Word of God should be coupled with spiritual exercise.
"Too much of the Word alone and you dry up.
Too much of the Spirit alone and you blow up.
A balance of each and you grow up."
I got that saying from Pastor Romaine of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa CA.
He was essentially letting me know, politely, that what I was telling him, in our conversation, about Calvary setting aside spiritual exercise in favor of only teaching the Bible was something that was not exactly a good thing.
To be bored or proud?
Or to be balanced and alive in the things of Christ.
Examine your own heart and see if you have been getting balance or if you have been imbalanced.
Sitting year after year with only teaching of the Word can get quite boring.
Or being in an environment where there is no teaching of the Word and only spiritual exercises can get annoyingly crazy.
Mobiles work because they are in a delicate balance.
If any element of a mobile gets out of balance the whole thing collapses and stops functioning.
The Word and the Spirit together are perfection of balance.
Then things happen that are exciting and enlivening.
When I was a young man I witnessed Lonnie Frisbee on the pulpit of Calvary Chapel with the Word of God opened in his hand as he taught us from the Word.
And he exercised his spiritual gifts in Christ unrestricted.
It was such a balance that the church began to grow leaps and bounds.
None of us could wait for the next service it was so wonderfully exciting!
People were getting saved and healed.
Demons were being cast out.
Our Christian family was increasing with each service.
Never have I been in such balance like those particular services in the early days of Calvary Chapel.
Over the years, as the church grew, imbalance started to take place and I personally got very bored indeed.
Some have suggested that counselors had decided that the church could reach a greater segment of society if they backed off of spiritual exercise and only taught the Word of God.
They threw the baby out with the bath water!
Even though I did learn the Word of God and had the foundation of the Word instilled in my life. Which of course is a very good thing. The pastor was indeed an excellent teacher of the Word.
I remained until I was told, "If you don't like the way things are here perhaps you should leave and go start your own church."
Because I was painfully aware of the imbalance and said as much.
I went out to the Mojave desert and started "The Desert Ministry."
Leading men of God in the things of God with perfect balance, the Word and the Spirit.
We had a terrific time with the Lord for over thirty years out there in the desert places.
A church needs to have balance.There is never a time when imbalance is or can be justified. Beware of imbalance like the plague!