“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things… …But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” – 1 John 2:20, 27
In the Old Testament, there were three offices that required anointing: Prophet, Priest, and King. Without the anointing, a person was not permitted to serve in any of those capacities. If someone tried to operate in one of those capacities without the anointing, it always resulted in judgment.
It’s interesting to note that Jesus is the fulfillment of all three of these offices.
When Aaron and his sons were anointed in Leviticus 8, it set them in order to operate in the ministry of the priesthood. That anointing was precious, and the oil mixture used for that anointing was not to be made by anyone else or used for any common purpose on penalty of death! It was sacred for consecration to the priesthood and to all the items used by the priesthood for their work (Exodus 30:22-33).
When one of Aaron’s descendants was anointed for the ministry, that anointing was highly valued.
Although the anointing of the oil itself was outward, there were spiritual implications attached to that oil that was with them for the rest of their lives. The oil eventually dried or washed off or faded away. But the authority that the anointing gave them was empowerment for a lifetime. They were marked by God, set apart and empowered for a purpose.
When the prophet Samuel anointed the first king, Saul, everyone knew what that anointing meant. It gave him authority to rule all of Israel. It was a symbol that he had been chosen by God and set apart for his task as king. When the same prophet anointed David in 1 Samuel 16, all present knew exactly what was happening. I often wonder what was going through David’s heart and mind as the anointing oil was running down his young face onto his clothing.
Those who carried that anointing were required to live a life worthy of that calling. Those who carried the anointing but lived any way they desired brought guilt upon themselves. Remember the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phineas? They carried the anointing for the priesthood upon them. But theyt used their God-given place of leadership and authority to rape women, steal offerings, and exercise manipulative control for self-gain. They did not live a life worthy of the anointing, and God killed them both in one day because of it! They didn’t value the anointing that they carried and they didn’t live a life worthy of their calling.
Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, the anointing that comes from God is no longer limited to a select few. We could take time to talk about the priesthood of all believers, the prophetic nature of the Church, and the fact that we will serve as kings under Jesus, but that is a whole other discussion! (1 Peter 2:5, Revelation 1:6, 5:10 to give you a few verses to start with.)
When John in the New Testament says to his hearers, “You have an anointing from the Holy One” – that is a powerful statement!
First, consider the source. Aaron’s anointing was precious, but it was given by the hand of Moses. Our anointing comes straight from Jesus Himself! Think of it! God has personally anointed you with His own hand. If Aaron’s anointing was powerful, how much more powerful is yours?!
Second, this anointing is for a purpose. God gives the anointing to people to empower them to accomplish a specific task. The anointing comes from the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus has given to us. In the case of the church, the anointing is given to carry out the Great Commission and to finish the task of world evangelism! We have been empowered to carry the gospel to the four corners of the world!
A couple of days ago, I was just leaving to go for a prayer walk in my city when my neighbor out working in her yard caught my attention. I felt led by the Holy Spirit to go over and start talking with her. She is not a believer. She began immediately to open up to me about her property, how she was getting too old to take care of it, how she has lived there from childhood and her parents even both died in that house! She then told me that her shoulder was giving her so much pain that she could hardly work.
Friend, in case you didn’t see it, this is what’s called an open door! So I asked her if I could pray for her shoulder and while I was praying, she wept and wept as God was touching her heart.
This is the release of the anointing that God has given me to minister to the people around me!
She didn’t get saved (yet!) and I don’t even know if she was healed. But a door was opened up to me and I walked through it!
The anointing hasn’t been given to me so that I feel goosebumps during singing! It’s been given to me to accomplish a specific task!
Now the anointing does more in my life than empowering for acts of service. In fact, the context of 1 John 2 is the context of keeping ourselves from deception and false teaching. Read the whole section of 1 John 2. You will see that deception towards God’s children is driven by the spirit of antichrist. Notice that it’s not the spirit of antiJesus. “Christ” means “anointed one.” You could almost say “anti-anointing.” Deception in the church almost always leads a person towards ineffectiveness in their walk with God because it strips them of the anointing in their lives. Deception moves you away from the things that feed God moving in you and through you.
Here’s an example: one of the greatest deceptions in Christianity today is that you don’t need a church family. So there are a myriad of people right now that wholeheartedly believe in Jesus but are just drifting on their own without a church home, and they are convinced that they are in the center of God’s will for their lives. But it is in the context of a healthy church life that people are most effective in their Christian living! In healthy church life, you receive the encouragement, nourishment, and inspiration to become everything God wants you to be! And so, by believing the deception, the effectiveness in the world is neutralized.
But God’s anointing in my life alerts me to deception. When red flags go off in my spirit while listening to wrong teaching or while I’m in a conversation with a brother or sister that is off-base, that is the anointing at work in me, protecting me from error!
You see, this anointing is given for a purpose! We don’t have time to list all the purposes here, but you see two of those purposes clearly: world evangelism and guidance into Truth!
Thirdly, the anointing that we have received is precious, and we ought to consider it so.
Hophni and Phineas blasphemed the very anointing God had given to them. No wonder Paul says things like “walk worthy of the calling with which you were called” (Ephesians 4:1). We have been given a priceless gift! We’ve been given the anointing of the Holy Spirit!
We want to live in such as a way as to honor that anointing and grow up in it, that it may become powerful and effective, reaching full fruit in our lives.
People that consider the anointing precious live their lives differently. Just as Aaron couldn’t do whatever he wanted, neither do we. We dare not nullify the anointing by watching and doing whatever we want to do. We carry the anointing!
Those who don’t consider the things that God has given to us as precious will live common lives. But those who realize that they’ve been set apart by God will live uncommon lives. We are not our own. We have been purchased with the shed blood of Jesus Christ. We carry the anointing of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We are not the same as the world. We are different!
Fourthly, we can trust in the anointing. It is a powerful thing! It will work in you and through you!
John was saying to his listeners – you don’t have to be afraid of deception! Yes, be on your guard, but listen! You can trust the Holy Spirit in your lives! If you will yield to Him, this anointing upon you that is from God will do its work both in you and through you! You will have everything you need for the task at hand!
So don’t be afraid to walk out your faith before others. Don’t be afraid to open your mouths. Be ready for action! You might not feel powerful, but the anointing on you is powerful!
And that leads us to the final point: This anointing is received and released by faith!
I love it when I can feel God’s presence and His power! Those moments are wonderful! But I don’t operate in the anointing by feeling. I operate in the anointing by faith.
I must believe. I take action when I have opportunities presented to me not because I feel strong enough in myself, but because I simply believe that this anointing that I have from Jesus is strong enough! And guess what? It is! It is true, and it is not a lie. The anointing is real. It is strong. And if you are a believer in Jesus Christ and are pursuing the things of God, this anointing abides in you!