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In This Little Piggy Part I, I briefly examined marketing, promises of miracles, and the funds some of these New Apolostic Reformation (NAR) “ministries” collect. For example, Bethels School of Supernatural Ministry costs over 10k for the first two years. They promise you will embrace your royal identity and learn to walk in the authority and power of the King. If I had a gift from God to impart healing to others, I would be leaping from hospital to hospital, helping as many as possible. How is charging a fee to others for a supposed gift from God justifiable?

Is Impartation Biblical?

Bill Johnson claims to have had special revelations and prophetic words from God. His church has over 11,000 members, and they routinely promise discernment, fresh understandings, prophetic words, and healing. Not only for themselves, but the promise to become healers or prophets. Pivec wisely points out, “Thus, he redirects people’s attention away from Scripture (which is infallible) to his divinely channeled words (which he admits are fallible).1

Is impartation biblical? For example, can someone impart the gifts of healing, prophesy, words of knowledge, etc., to others? Several in my men’s group are moving in that direction after listening to Bill Johnson and Randy Clark.

Those in the (NAR) circles use several scriptures and events to support their views on healing, prophesy, words of knowledge, and impartation of gifts. Let’s examine several to see if they support the NAR view on gifts and gifting.

John 14:12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (NIV) is one that Bill Johnson, Randy Clark and others use to claim this generation of Christians will do greater miracles than Jesus.

Comparing Translations

Let’s look at some other translations of John 14:12

  • Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I am going to the Father. (NASB)
  • Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. (NKJV)
  • I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. (NLT)
  • I assure you: The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. (HCSB)

Notice all these translate the Greek word, erga as works. In fact, sixty of sixty-one versions cited on Bible Gateway, translate erga as works. The Living Bible is the only one that translates erga as miracles.2

The Passion Translation is another that translates erga as miracles, but Bible Gateway removed it two years ago. Many others have expressed concern about The Passion Translation, which I have written about before in Part I, Part II, and Part III. It is trendy in NAR circles, but it is not a translation; it is a paraphrase. Brian Simmons, the author of The Passion Translation, who has claimed to have visited Heaven’s Library, also adds the word “mighty” to the translation, further degrading an accurate translation.

NAR Miracles

Miracles are not the focus of John 14:12, but this is typical of those in the NAR circles. They take verses out of context and use them to suit their theology.

Current-day NAR apostles also claim that Romans 1:11 supports their belief that an apostle can impart gifts to his followers. Romans 1:11 reads, “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong.” The Greek word used for gift is charisma, and it is never used to express in a limited fashion of what one man can give to another, but rather the gift of God’s grace. In the New Testament, it is used 17 times, 16 by Paul and once by Peter. It is not used to express gifts of the Spirit, but gifts of God’s grace in general.

And Paul certainly does not plan on exploiting them for the gifts he wants to share. In other words, Paul does not expect something in return, certainly not money for his gifts to the Roman church. Paul wants to serve them, minister to them, and bless them without the expectation of personal enrichment.

Finally, if you read further in Romans 12:6-8 you will find they already had the gifts, so why would he want to impart gifts they already had?

Paul and Timothy

Another verse used by the NAR apostles is 1 Timothy 4:14. They imply when the elders laid their hands on Timothy, he received his gift or gifts. It is important to remember that God chooses our gifts and the timing of those gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:28-31 You should not expect to attend a conference and walk away with the gift of prophecy, healing, knowledge, or discernment. The NAR pastors, teachers, and apostles do not distribute those gifts; only God does. Despite this, Randy Clark wrote, “I have a growing conviction that most of the Grace of God that will ever be given to us, is already in the earth today. Rather than coming from heaven itself, into our prayer closets, it is passed along from person to person throughout the Body of Christ. This is called impartation.”3

In the verse, Paul reminds Timothy of his gift, but Paul does not say the gift was received because of the laying of hands by the elders. The word Paul used ‘through’ (the Greek word for through is dia) is in the genitive form, not accusative.4 The genitive form tells us the laying on of hands along with the prophecy did not cause the gift. Nor is Paul saying those actions were/are necessary for believers to receive gifts from the Holy Spirit. James 1:17

Just Because You Want it…

Timothy’s gift was not the result of a conference in South America with Randy Clark or a weekend summit at Bethel Church in Redding with Bill Johnson and Chris Vallotton. Paul credits Eunice and Lois (Timothy’s mom and grandmother) with building his Godly heritage and foundation, which enabled him to receive gifts from the Holy Spirit.

Could God use others to impart gifts to others? Certainly, but Scripture does not support this theology of activation and impartation. The current circle of NAR churches and self-proclaimed apostles are, at the very least, suspicious of their claims, teachings, and motives.

The idea that we can impart, activate, or awaken gifts is not taught in the New Testament. They are not powers Christians can learn; they are gifts from the Holy Spirit, and Paul is clear not everyone who may want a particular gift can have it. 1 Corinthians 12:11 Are all teachers? Are all prophets? Are all healers? 1 Corinthians 12:29-30

It took Jesus three years to disciple his followers and for them to receive their gifts from the Holy Spirit. It is foolish to think a weekend seminar for $95 will result in the ability to heal, prophesy, have great faith, or discern spirits.

This Little Piggy Cried Wee Wee Wee…Part II © 2024 by James Glazier is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 

  1. Pivec, Holly. Gievett, Douglas R. “Evaluating Bethel Teachings.” Reckless Christianity, Cascade Books, 2023, pg. 180 []
  2. Pivec, Holly. Gievett, Douglas R. “Evaluating Bethel Teachings.” Reckless Christianity, Cascade Books, 2023, pgs. 164-165 []
  3. Budiselic, Ervin. Biblical Institute, Zagreb, June 2011, pg. 249 https://hrcak.srce.hr/file/109009#:~:text=Impartation%20has%20to%20do%20with,the%20laying%20on%20of%20hands []
  4. Budiselic, Ervin. Biblical Institute, Zagreb, June 2011, pg. 258 https://hrcak.srce.hr/file/109009#:~:text=Impartation%20has%20to%20do%20with,the%20laying%20on%20of%20hands []

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