We have already read some scriptures about anointing as appropriate to Jesus. It would be good just for a minute to read some scriptures appropriate to us as believers. There are only a few in scripture, but we will read them. I am not necessarily going to expound them; I want to draw your attention to the dynamic of them. I’m going to include some scriptures that don’t use the word “anointing”, but are definitely about the anointing. One of which is particularly exciting.
We talked about the nature of the anointing; the anointing of holiness etc. Now I want to talk about some principles of the anointing and about what it means operationally.
2 Corinthians 1 v. 18-22
But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No”. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was nor “Yes” and “No”, but in him it has always been “Yes”. For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
There are 3 distinctive statements there. Three distinctive elements of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Holy Spirit comes as one person – there is only one Holy Spirit. You can’t divide Him, but when He comes He affects different things, different elements and different levels. Here are some of them;
1. He brings an anointing.
Of course, if we are in Christ, we are in ‘The Anointed One’ and that is where you get the anointing from. Some think you get your anointing from the Holy Spirit – you get your anointing through the Holy Spirit, but you get it from Christ. If you want to be theological, the Holy Spirit is the messenger of the anointing, not the source. There is a lot of stuff going around about the Holy Spirit, and of course I agree with some of it, but some of it amounts to a Charismatic unitarianism. John V. Taylor, the old bishop of Winchester, described the Holy Spirit as the “Go-between-God”. He is the bringer of things. Christ is the source of the anointing. Peter said; “You are the Christ”. He is made both Lord and Christ in this sermon. “He is Christ the Lord”. The word “Christos” means ‘Messiah, the anointed one who anoints others.’ Chapter 4 of Ephesians is full of the anointing.
Ephesians 4 v. 10-13
He who ascended is also He who descended. He is ascended high above all things that he might give gifts to men. He gives some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
He is pouring out the Holy Spirit and the anointing comes from Him. He has received
from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and He sends the Holy Spirit, the bringer of the anointing. I think it is important to labour that a bit because sometimes we get confused and it is important to see how it hangs together. This comes right from the throne and from the ministry of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.
So, it’s God who anointed us.
You stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, He set His seal on our hearts as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come.
That wonderful word “Arabon” in Greek used modernly speaking of a woman’s engagement ring. It is a word of certainty, not of doubt – it is a guarantee of what is to come.
Before we get off that subject, the Lord once showed me a picture of a megaphone which was like two horns which you used to get sound from both sides. What the Holy Spirit gave me was a picture of one intake and one outlet, with Jesus Christ in the middle. All God’s promises to you become collected and become “Yes!” in Christ. They are substantiated and made definite in Christ. He is the context of their reality. The “Yes!” and “Amen!” come out of the megaphone in us because we are living by faith; living in the anointing and receiving what is from Christ in the Spirit. Out from us comes the “Amen!” in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Anyway, back to the first text.
He has anointed us…
Some people say that every Christian has an anointing in Christ, and of course it reminds us of that, but the fact of the matter is that it takes the activity of the Holy Spirit in practical senses to make that real.
The other place where the word “anointing” is used in relation to believers is in relation to the truth, to discernment of the truth.
I John 2 v. 18-22
Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.
As you go out examine your motives for going out, because it could just be that you fall into the category that John is describing. We make a great song and dance about new churches, but let’s make sure it comes in the anointing of truth and revelation and not just out of a bitter spirit or even out of heresy. In the times in which we are living there is every chance that that which you are leaving is in the state that John is talking about, but let’s make sure that that is true and we are taking positive steps and not reactive steps. Let’s make sure we are taking anointed steps and not just fleshly steps. Let’s make sure we are in the revelation once delivered to the saints and not just dancing on a pinhead of doctrine. It is very dangerous to found a fellowship on a pinhead of emphasis. A church should be founded on the whole counsel of God; on the foundation and pillar of the truth. It is important to know that because there are fellowships and churches and even denominations that have been around for centuries that were founded on a pinhead or on one aspect of the truth. It may have been an aspect that God was wanting to recover, but the fact is that when you are making a whole movement dance on one pinhead you are in imbalance from the start. This has a lot to do with anointing as we need anointed leadership who know the truth. We need “workmen who are not ashamed and who rightly divide the Word of truth”. We need people who are able to give a reason for the hope that is within them. None of this comes through dead study – it is an anointed revelation of God which we can then act on.
We need to be careful that in our own personal life our action is not reaction. Revelation is not reaction. There is a difference between the words “response” and “reaction”. The word “reaction” is basically a negative word. It is something that is done in a crisis, something that just bounces off something that has already happened. The word “response” is basically a positive word, and revelation and response go together. There may be reaction under conviction which is much more reactive in a sense because when the immediate work of the Holy Spirit comes in it causes us to urgently react without considering too many things. It’s a kind of knee-jerk reaction to the touch of God. However discipleship is not based on reaction, nor is it based on conviction. Discipleship is based on response, the heart-principle of which is obedience. In the principle and in the practise of your ministry your leadership need to know the difference between the two.
You will never be free from reaction, because it is a totally authentic response which sometimes keeps us out of danger. When you are driving your car you don’t sit and respond and put it all together and work it out. You’ll be dead if you do that. What you instinctively do is react and your reaction is governed by some in-built training. It is important that reaction should not be left undisciplined. The anointing of the Spirit teaches us how to react and how our reaction is governed to some discipline. We all react, but our reaction has to be linked to some pre-conditioning by God. In other words, when we have been in a situation before, we know how to control the reaction, what it is about and what to do. It is not all to do with temper, bile and emotion – these are bad things to run on (and each one of us does so). Reaction in itself is not bad provided that it is linked to certain control mechanisms in the spirit, such as; experience of God; understanding of the situation etc..
Frequently reaction is connected to urgent action. If you don’t have a reaction, an urgent action, you will not get yourself out of trouble or prevent yourself getting into trouble. These are two big things we need to be able to do in life and ministry because the devil is always trying to lay traps for you, and you have got to know how to react instantaneously i n the spirit so that you keep out of trouble. Urgent action is required but your reaction must be tied spiritually to certain in-built spiritual disciplines. If it is just wild, undisciplined, linked only to your emotions or temper you will be in real trouble. Quite frequently the Holy Spirit gives you an anointing to react quickly and do the right thing. But that is never the heart of progressive maturity. It is a panic button and you need to know where it is so that you can hit it immediately you need it. Somewhere inside you there is a Holy Spirit touchpoint, and as God teaches you how to react, you will know where to hit the button.
Stable discipleship, leadership and ministry is not reactive, but responsive. The trigger to reaction is circumstances that demand it. The trigger that causes reaction is usually something within circumstances. The trigger to response is not circumstances, but revelation. That is where the anointing of the Spirit comes in. Note that there will be circumstances, people, moods, urgencies – they are all there in the package and we could spend our time reacting to each one of them because they all trigger a reaction. The man or woman of God has got to stand above reaction in the anointing of the Spirit into response so that we can look at this package that would normally trigger reaction, so that we can receive a “plus-factor” into the situation which is the anointing of God that brings revelation and shows us what God would do so that we can respond in a cool sense to it.