Now we are going to read some scriptures and look at the dynamic power of holiness. The anointing of holiness. Holiness is not only moral goodness, which is what we think of when we talk about holiness. Of course, moral goodness is part if holiness, but that is really righteousness. Holiness is what God is. To say that God is good is an understatement. That is of course true, but for God to be holy is much more than for him to be good. Whenever a holy God comes there is power, there is action, there is transformation and there is glory.
2. In the previous section we looked at the prompting of the Spirit and the discernment of the Spirit. Let’s look at two more verses.
John 7 v. 37-39
“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ” If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
I don’t believe Jesus is talking about being born-again. I don’t believe Jesus is talking about being sealed in the Holy Spirit. Jesus is speaking about the result of the mighty on-coming of the Holy Spirit. “That whosoever believes in Him…” – the result of that faith and openness will be a movement of divine reality from God’s being to my being, and out of my being like a river of living water into the lives of many people in the power of God. That’s anointing! It goes on “…by this He meant the Spirit who those who believed were later to receive.” Up to that time the Spirit had not been given since Jesus had not yet been glorified, exactly in line with the teaching in Acts. Today Jesus is seated at the right hand of God continually receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit and making the promise real. In every generation He is pouring out the living water of the Holy Spirit. “He shall sprinkle many nations” Amen?
The second scripture is found in I Cor. 15 right in the middle of the discussion about the resurrection of the dead. I am not going to talk about that, but it deals first with the resurrection of Jesus and then with the general resurrection of believers. Right in the middle of that Paul gives us this tremendous principle;
I Cor. 15 v. 45
“If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.”
I want you to see the contrast, and the thing that makes the difference is the anointing of the Holy Spirit of God. “The first Adam became a living being” That is what God made Adam. The Hebrew word is ‘Nephesh‘ and is translated in the King James as “a living soul”. There was nothing wrong with that because God created Adam to take sovereignty and to exercise government and as a living soul to be in communion with God. But then in came sin and, having been made a living being in that sense, he fell from being a living being in that sense to being a living being in our sense. Today the world is full of people who are no more than living beings: they eat, drink, relate, work, have ambitions, do all these things and then they die. That is the enigma. Since Adam, he became the progenitor of the sons of disobedience. Adam was the first man and the Adamic race became marked with sin and spiritual infirmity and so the overflow of God was no-longer experienced in the spirit and they lived in a closed context cut-off from their creator.
That was until Jesus came. “The second Adam to the fight and to the rescue came.” The Second, the Last Adam: the Man from Heaven was not a living being but a life-giving Spirit. Is that not tremendous? Everywhere Jesus went the power flowed out of Him. Everyone that Jesus touched felt the power and the authority of God. Everywhere that Jesus went the glory of God came through His being so powerfully that when they went to the mount of transfiguration they couldn’t bare the sight of it. And what was intensified on top of the mountain was actually only the intensification of what was subterranean in Jesus to other people in their unbelief. Jesus was no different on the top of the mountain to when He was at the bottom of it. All that happened at the top is that there was nothing to stop the glory being displayed. No unbelief, no nothing. Just God. He did it in the sight of those who needed to see it, and John later says;
“We saw His glory..”
His glory was there. Some people say that He laid His glory by, and maybe He did, but maybe He laid-by His own personal place in Glory, but He did not lay-by the presence of God. That presence of God did not come from His own Sonship, but from the in-dwelling power of the Holy Spirit. On earth, the glory, the power, the effectiveness and the overflow of the anointing of Jesus did not come because He was the Son of God from all eternity. It came because He came as a man and was baptised in the Holy Spirit in the River Jordan. The heavens opened and the effective in-filling of the power of God and the anointing of God came on Jesus and the attributes of God were released in this man. There on the Mountain of Transfiguration God drew-back the curtain and let Peter, James and John see it. John, an old man of over ninety years of age, the last of the apostles to die, remembered the power of it as he wrote his gospel on the island of Patmos and said;
“We beheld His glory, glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and of truth.”
That is the anointing of God. John so caught the vision and so opened his heart to that anointing that he became one of the first generation of whom it became true;
“He who believes in me, out of him will flow rivers of living water.”
The challenge to everyone of us here is whether we are going to be living beings or life-giving spirits. What God wants in the body of Jesus Christ today are not people who are summed-up religiously or charismatically, but who are life-giving spirits with the anointed revival power of God flowing from our hearts in the name of Jesus as we open our hearts and receive from the throne of God the very promise of the Father which filled Jesus first and then was given to Jesus to distribute into the hearts of those who are willing.
However, there is a difference between Jesus and You and me. John says in his gospel;
“This is the one to whom God gave the Spirit in full measure.”
There was no sin in Jesus – He was not living under the dictates of the old nature. He lived under the prompting of the Spirit of God. He did not judge by what He saw with His eyes or what He heard with His ears (Isaiah 11). He had the discernment of the Holy Spirit. There was nothing in Him – no guile. The words He used of Nathaniel were more true of Himself;
“an Israelite in whom there is no guile”
There was no viciousness, no maliciousness, no self-centredness, nothing that would corrupt the flow of the pure water of God. He had received the Spirit in full measure. You and I know that we have received the Spirit in part. That is not the Holy Spirit’s fault because when He comes to us He does not find a pure vessel, does not find an un-damaged jar, does not find something completely empty. Jesus emptied Himself so that God could fill Him completely. We are full of all sorts of rubbish, so we are only filled in part. Only Jesus seemed to know how to utterly empty Himself to be completely filled.
We need to make it our ambition to be more filled. D.L.Moody said;
“Yes I was filled with the Spirit, but I leak.”
The trouble in not that we leak, but that we are only half-full to start with, so it is no-wonder we empty so quickly! The anointing came into Jesus, the anointing came into us and we received it in measure. There is a daily struggle whether I am going to live in the power of my old life or whether I am going to be open to the power of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. I am not just talking about sin here – I know my sin and I defy any Christian to tell me that they do not know their sin. We also need to know our failure, which is slightly different from sin. I am talking of failure, that which is weakness and so we do not achieve what we want. We need to know these two things before we go on to talking complex things about the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It is important that we are conscious of our sin and conscious of our weakness, not so that it engulfs us, but so that it takes us to the place of brokenness where we recognise that we cannot do it. Some charismatic teaching says that we are all getting purer and purer, that we should never confess any weakness, but that is not true. The Bible says;
“If any man says he is without sin, he is a liar and the truth is not in him….”
I think people who think they are perfect are far away from anointing. It is the people who broken in spirit. That doesn’t mean that you are all broken-up and hurt. That is what we do to each-other. God wants to break you. Why? To restore you. I am too old to have had a Lego set, but inevitably you got to the very last bit before realising that none of it really fits together. So what do you do?” You break it up and start again. If you didn’t break it up would you ever rebuild it? Of course not. We need to understand that God allows us to be broken – not to be sent into oblivion, but so that He can clean the bits up and put them back together in the way He meant them to be.
These are the secrets of the anointing. We are not to tell the Lord we want more and more power – it is dependency, humility of spirit, and brokenness before God that is needed. We need the hand of God upon us to take us to that place of brokenness.
II Cor. 4 v. 7
“We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
This is the struggle between the old nature and the anointing. Part of what we are seeking is that God will continually help us to overcome the dictates of the old nature and follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit so that we will know more and more anointing. I am not talking about taking meetings, although we need the anointing there of course and if you cannot get it there, I don’t know where you will get the anointing. I am talking about life. We all need the anointing in life so that we know the right thing to do and how to do the right thing. One thing I notice about Jesus is that every word and action was appropriate. Even when He got mad with the Pharisees it was right. That is the anointing, and what the Bible calls “a word in season”. We need words in season, attitudes in season, actions in season and thoughts in season.