When Jesus came walking toward John the Baptist at the Jordan river, God opened John’s eyes to a vision from heaven. John could see the Spirit of God falling like a dove upon Jesus. This is what John had been waiting for. His mission was nearly complete. He could see the ‘Anointing’ of the Spirit descending upon this ordinary looking man from Nazareth.
No man smeared Jesus with oil, such as Priests, Kings and Prophets underwent in the Biblical process of empowerment for God’s service. No, God Himself was anointing Jesus with the heavenly oil of His Spirit. Further, God had His prophet John prepared and ready to announce to the world, “behold the lamb of God who takes away sin”.
The word Christ (maschiach) simply means ‘the Anointed one’. Until anointing occurs, no office or service of ministry can commence in the life of God’s instruments. Many seek the anointing and approval of men, but the approval and sealing that comes only from God is of better value. Even if sought, it cannot be earned. It’s God’s sovereign choice and will to anoint those previously ‘chosen vessels’ for the type of service He desires for them in His Kingdom.
Baptism, the Place of Anointing
First, it should be noted that Jesus did not perform one miracle until after His baptism. In fact, many have confused Jesus’ baptism with all kinds of doctrinal errors. No doubt, Jesus’ baptism is a foreshadowing of the ‘New Birth’ commissioning all New Testament believers. Any New Testament believers who followed were commissioned to go beyond Israel, even unto the uttermost parts of the world (Acts 1:8). Jesus restricted himself to Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem, the locations of the OT covenant.
John 3:5 KJV Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
How sad it is that many teach today that water baptism is not essential. What fools are teaching powerless Christianity, contaminated with philosophy and human hermeneutics!
Luke 7:30 KJV But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.
Paul would challenge these fools like he did the Jewish believers in Ephesus.
Acts 19:3-5 KJV And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
If you believe on Jesus, you must be water baptized in the name of Jesus. This is where anointing of the Spirit commences.
Anointing is UPON the believer, not WITHIN the believer.
Many believe that ‘the anointing’ is a manifestation of the ‘infilling’ of the Holy Spirit. But a simple test of logic refutes this idea. Here it is.
Was Jesus ‘filled with the Spirit’ before or after His baptism by John? If you say after, then explain these scriptures.
Luke 2:42-47 KJV And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. … 45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. 46 …they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
Acts 4:27 KJV For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
Clearly, Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit, without measure, and was ‘God manifest’ from birth. Thus we see Jesus’ baptism as the inauguration of His ministry and calling, the Anointing of the Spirit, His commissioning for a 3 1/2 year mission that ended with His death. This ‘falling of the dove’ is what made Him Christ, the Anointed one. The Spirit rested upon Him.
Luke 4:17-21 KJV And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written [Isa 61:1-2], 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set [apostello] at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
- Preach good news
- To Heal
- To Preach Deliverance
- To Set Apart and Send Out [apostello] for liberty from sin
- To preach Jubilee, the acceptable year of restoration
Clearly, anointing brings opposition but also, glory (fire, light) to the name of Jesus. As Jesus commenced an ‘anointed’ ministry, the signs, wonders, and miracles accompanied His authoritative preaching. This is the ‘testimony of anointing’.
In simplicity, anointing enables a believer to ‘hear the voice of God’ to perform the good works of God. The signs follow them that believe (listen, hear, obey, shema).
Aspects of Anointing Upon a Believer
Isaiah the prophet identifies the ‘anointing’ of God’s Spirit in it’s 3 dimensions, as it covered Jesus and believers who followed Him.
Isaiah 11:2 KJV And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
Notice that ‘the anointing’ is first described as revelatory before it is described in manifestation. That is, the anointing of God’s Spirit first instructs the man before it empowers the man. That is, one must HEAR before one is EMPOWERED.
At Qumran, the Old Testament Priests wrote about the anointing through the Spirit as ‘the Teacher of Righteousness’, Moreh Zadok (see Joel 2:23, latter rain). In the New Testament, John the Apostle called this anointing ‘the Spirit of Truth’ and also, ‘the Parakletos’, the one summoning and teaching helpers to serve others. Thus we know that ‘the anointing’ is provided to the called and separated ones who will need God’s help, intercession, testimony, courage, and presence in accomplishing the Great Commission of service.
- Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding
- Spirit of Counsel and Might
- Spirit of Knowledge and Fear of the Lord
* expounded from Isaiah 11:1-2
In the Old Testament, we also find that 3 offices required a smearing of oil, anointing.
Words that define Anointing
Chrisma – noun – an unguent or smearing, that is, (figuratively) the special endowment (“chrism”) of the Holy Spirit: – anointing, unction. Found 2x in the NT. One who has been smeared.
Chrio – verb – the idea of contact; to smear or rub with oil, that is, (by implication) to consecrate to an office or religious service: – anoint. From the word chraomai, to loan, to furnish what is needed. God does the smearing and the helping with what is needed. 8x in the NT.
Charisma – endowment, grace, free gifts. Imparted to another by the laying on of hands.
Chrism – myrrh, anointing oil. Ointment is the seal of the covenant baptism and enables God’s promises to the Christian who is anointed”.
Christos – Christ, an office and person, the anointed one of God. An office is a ministry of one who has been smeared with the anointing oil.
Christians – those who are anointed, of the family of Christ.
Anointing & Truth. Truth is Preserved by Remaining in the Body
We now are equipped to properly understand what John the Apostle wrote about the anointing. Read this passage of his letter very carefully and consider that the anointing of God’s Spirit begins at water baptism but is preserved by abiding in the body of Christ (John 15:5-7).
1 John 2:18-28 KJV … and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists…They went out from us…. But ye have an unction [chrisma, anointing] from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: … 24 Let that [truth] therefore abide in you [rest on you], which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you [understanding], ye also shall continue [with that knowledge of] in the Son, and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life [this knowledge is required for eternal life]. 26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you [lie to you]. 27 But the anointing [chrisma] which ye have received of him [imparted and smeared on you] abideth in you [Holy Spirit lives in you], and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing [chrisma] teacheth you of all things, and is truth [Spirit of truth], and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him [live in the body of Christ, Jesus]. And now, little children, abide in him [live in Jesus Christ, His body]; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
As the Apostle tells us, ‘Anointing for Truth’ is lost when believers leave the body of Christ. The Apostle doesn’t condone abuse and oppression of believers, but he instructs us that we must ‘discern the body of Christ’ (who is in it) and be part of it to retain the anointing.
I write this article to encourage all believers to find a way to ‘love’ and ‘reconcile’ as a cornerstone to be ‘the anointed ones’.
1/8/2014 Revised 7/20/2014