fter service one morning, I was standing around talking to a few friends when a woman approached me. Moments before, she had just finished preaching at our church. She was the guest preacher that morning and was known in church circles as a prophet.
If you have been in the church long enough you have come across prophets or prophetic people. Because I grew up charismatic, I remember prophets being all around our church growing up. Most of them prophesied things in our church that were negative and as a bystander, I couldn’t relate to a lot of what they were saying. In fact, most of the prophets were people I feared because I didn’t want them to read my mail.
However, when this prophet came up to me I was at a different stage of my life. Having already been through seminary, plus serving as a youth pastor and worship pastor, by then I had a deep appreciation for prophetic people and prophets. In Scripture, God has used prophets dating all the way back to Genesis.
When she did tap on my shoulder, she said the following words, “It’s time for some of my anointing to come on your life.”
Well, I wish I could tell you that she laid hands on me and I had a supernatural encounter with God, but that didn’t happen. In fact, I rejected her invitation. Up until that point, I had never heard of a person imparting spiritual gifts. So, out fearing the unknown I politely rejected her offer. After years of studying the subject, though, I can honestly say I was completely wrong in rejecting that invitation. Here is why.
Impartation Definition and Meaning
What do you think of when you hear the word impartation? I think it sounds a little odd to be honest. Over the years, though, I have learned that God will hide some of the most powerful encounters with His Word behind in the oddest places, so only those who are after the total truth will be hungry enough to find it.
If the word impartation gives you the creeps, let’s think of it another way. Did you know that in Brazil, the best translation for our English word “impartation” is the phrase “transference of the anointing”. This is incredible to me because if you look throughout the Bible, that’s exactly what impartation is. Impartation is the transference of the anointing from one person to another.
Impartation in the Bible
There are many examples of impartation both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Let’s look at a few examples.
“16 So the Lord said to Moses: “Gather to Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tabernacle of meeting, that they may stand there with you. 17 Then I will come down and talk with you there. I will take of the Spirit that is upon you and will put the same upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you may not bear it yourself alone.” (Numbers 11:16,17)
This passage of Scripture reveals God’s heart for anointing. It is to expedite God’s work because He desires for all people to be saved. In this example, Moses was growing weary of the complaints of the Israel and needed leaders that could manage some of the load. God took some of the Spirit upon Moses and imparted it to the seventy leaders present.
Imparation can also take place by the laying on of hands. We see this in Deuteronomy 34:9 when “Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him.”
Perhaps the most famous impartation in the Old Testament took place between Elijiah and Elisha. 2 Kings 2:9-15 tells of Elijah’s anointing being transferred to his disciple Elisha. Elisha cried out for a “double portion” of Elijah’s anointing and it came to pass. If you would like to read more about this, read our posts here.
In the New Testament, we see impartation being used for ordination. Paul, encouraging Timothy writes in Timothy 4:14 “ Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.
Timothy received his spiritual gifts and ordination through imparation by the laying on of hands.
What is Impartation?
Today, we have learned that there is much precedent for Impartation in the Bible. Impartation, put simply, is the transfer of one person’s anointing to another individual for the ministering and effectiveness of the gospel.
Are there any requirements for impartation? How does one receive an impartation? These are questions that we will soon cover, but today - be encouraged that God want you to feel empowered to anoint and be anointed for the Gospel.