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INTRODUCTION

Anointing of the Holy Spirit empowers believers and enables them to do exploits. We often hear the phrase that God does not look for our ability but for our availability. This is true a hundred percent. However, it is only half the story. The other half is that when we avail ourselves to Him, He puts into us His ability to do His work. The impartation of His ability into our lives to do His work is called ‘the anointing’.

All through the Bible, we read about God calling and anointing people to do his work. Aaron and his sons were anointed to the priesthood (Exodus 30:30; Leviticus 8:12). Moses had an anointing of God’s Spirit upon him (Numbers 11:17). Joshua had the anointing imparted upon him through the laying on of hands (Deuteronomy 34:9). Saul was anointed to be king (1 Samuel 10:1). David was anointed to be king (1 Samuel 16:13). Jesus was anointed to manifest His Messiahship (Acts 10:38).

A study of each man of God in the Bible would reveal very clearly that God expects every one He uses to receive of His anointing whether the work is that of a workmanlike Bezaleel, a deacon’s ministry in the church or an apostle like Paul (Exodus 31:2,3; Acts 6:3; 2 Corinthians 1:21). On the other hand, every work done by men without the anointing has been rejected by God. Saul, who was anointed only as a king, was rejected by God when he offered the burnt offering because he was not anointed as a priest (1 Samuel 13:9-14). King Uzziah also tried to be a priest and judgement fell on him because he did not carry the priestly anointing (2 Chronicles 26:18).

DEFINING THE ANOINTING

The Manifestation of the Anointing

We can define and understand the anointing by watching its manifested work upon the lives of those it comes upon. Bezaleel and Aholiab received special skill in metalwork, jewellery and embroidery (Exodus 31:1-6). Note how God attributes their ability, and those with them, to His anointing (Exodus 31:6). Moses and the seventy elders received special ability to govern and lead Israel (Numbers 11:16, 17, 25). Joshua received special wisdom (Deuteronomy 34:9). David’s special ability as a mighty soldier and warrior came from the anointing upon his life (2 Samuel 22:33-35). It was not a natural ability but it was a supernatural impartation that trained his hands for war and his arms to bend a bow of bronze.

Elijah and Elisha received the power to work miracles through the anointing upon their lives (2 Kings 2:9, 14). Daniel received supernatural understanding and wisdom through the anointing upon his life (Daniel 5:11). Jesus began His miracle ministry after receiving the anointing upon His life (Acts 10:38).

The Need for God’s Anointing

If the church of Jesus Christ today would seek to do His work by His anointing, we could turn this world upside down and right side up for Jesus. In fact Jesus made it imperative for His Church to receive His anointing before they went out to minister (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-9). When His church was persecuted, they prayed for a greater anointing of boldness and received it! (Acts 4:29-31). The anointing imparted was so great that even the house shook.

The world cannot be evangelized without the power and anointing of God. Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you shall receive power to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8). Paul said that the Gentiles were obedient to the gospel through the mighty signs and wonders God did through him by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:19). It was after Paul’s and Barnabas’ testimonies of God’s power working among the Gentiles confirming the gospel that settled the issue of the Gentiles in the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:12,13).

Products of Anointing

Jesus Himself told the Jews that if He did not do the works He did among them, they were not obligated to believe in Him (John 10:37). However, having seen the works He did, He told them that at least they should believe in Him because of the works (John 10:38).

To His own disciples, Jesus said that if they had difficulty believing in His union with the Father, they still should do it for the sake of the works themselves (John 14:11). How important the works of Jesus were in His ministry! And to think that all His works resulted from His being anointed by the Father! (Acts 10:38). Surely, the anointing is an important factor to consider!

The anointing of the Holy Spirit always produces power. The word ‘power’ which is associated with the anointing comes from the Greek word ‘dunamis’ which means ‘ability’. God’s ability is imparted through the anointing. Therefore we conclude by defining the anointing as the enablement or impartation of God’s ability upon an available and yielded vessel to fulfil and carry out His will and His work. This enablement and impartation will help those who have received it to do supernatural work even though they remain natural beings.

The anointing in itself is of a heavenly materiality. It is a spiritual substance which inherently contains God’s power. Like electricity it can be stored. The anointing in Paul’s hands was transmitted and stored in handkerchiefs and aprons (Acts 19:11, 12). Elisha’s anointing was still stored in his dead bones. There was enough stored power to raise a man from the dead (2 Kings 13:21). It can be transferred and imparted through the laying on of hands or cloth (Deuteronomy 34:9; 2 Timothy 1:6; 2 Kings 2:13, 14).

The Anointing can be measured

God told Moses that He would take the Spirit that was upon him and put the same anointing upon the seventy elders (Numbers 11:17). Here is an example of a man having a great anointing of the Holy Spirit, and a part of the power being taken from him by the Lord, to be divided and used to anoint seventy others (Numbers 11:25). The anointing can be measured. In fact it was said of Jesus by John that He had the Spirit upon Him without measure (John 3:34). The word ‘measure’ being used here implies that the anointing had been given in measures to people before but now was given without measure to our Lord Jesus Christ.

THE BELIEVER’S ANOINTING IN THE PENTECOSTAL

Brief Overview

There are three areas of anointing: the believer’s anointing, the ministerial anointing and the corporate anointing. The believer’s anointing is the anointing within an individual. The ministerial anointing is the anointing upon an individual and the corporate anointing is the anointing upon a gathering of believers.

The believer’s anointing is the primary anointing. By this anointing all other manifestations of the anointing are judged. 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 not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him – 1 John 2: 27

In fact I would say that the believer’s anointing is the most important anointing of all. All other anointings are built about and around this anointing. This anointing was not in manifestation in the Old Testament. It is a special anointing available only to New Testament saints.

The Importance of the Believer’s Anointing

It also works within the believer producing the Christlike character and all the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23). About 95% of all God’s leading of His people is through the inward witness, the anointing within. Even those called to the five-fold ministries are led 95% of the time by the inward witness.

Just because we are called to be apostles or prophets does not mean that we sit around waiting for a spectacular vision or manifestation to lead us. We are not living in the Old Covenant. We are living in the New Covenant. The primary way by which God leads His people today is by the anointing within.

In fact the spectacular manifestations of the anointing upon have to be checked by the anointing within. The devil can give dreams, visions, impressions, or thoughts which are not from the Holy Spirit. The realm of the spectacular is subject to counterfeit. However, one manifestation that the enemy cannot counterfeit is the anointing within because it is inside our spirits. We should thus flow in the ministerial anointing using the anointing within as a steering wheel.

The relationship of the Anointing to the glory of God

The anointing of God is the tangible manifestation of God’s power while the glory of God is the manifestation of God’s person and attributes. Both are manifestations. Both are touchable. Both have degrees or levels of manifestation. Both are of a heavenly materiality. Both are manifested together inseparably, just as God’s attributes and power are inseparable parts of His being. The manifestation of the anointing of God is in direct proportion to the manifestation of the glory of God.

When Moses asked to see God’s glory, God showed His divine attributes of mercy, grace, longsuffering, goodness and truth (Exodus 33:18; 34:6). God covered Moses with His hand and showed the back parts of His glory (Exodus 33: 22, 23). There is a direct relationship between the glory of God and the attributes of God; the attributes of love and mercy. To move in the glory of God is to move in love and mercy.

Moving in love and power

We should learn to move in the realm of God’s glory just as we learn to move in the anointing. We should learn to develop in glory as we develop in the anointing. We have to develop the ‘love’ side as we do the gifts’ side. Paul told the Corinthians to develop in the ‘love’ side so that the gifts present in them may edify, i.e. be more powerfully beneficial; otherwise, it amounts to wasted effort (1 Corinthians 13). It is like having firewood without the fire.

However, some develop in the ‘love’ side but have no understanding of how the gifts operate or manifest. They would fit Paul’s description of those ignorant of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1). It is like having the potential for igniting a fire but not having any firewood.

On the other hand, when we develop both sides together, we discover that there are many realms and degrees in the development of both together. We could have a stick on fire, a camp fire, a bonfire or a forest fire. There are many degrees and realms of moving in the glory of God and the anointing of God. The development of the glory of God in our lives would ultimately have to do with the alignment and tuning of our nature and attributes with the nature and attributes of God. Attributes of love, mercy, graciousness, truth, etc.

ABUSE OF ANOINTING

Falling Under the Anointing 

As we look into the subject of falling under the power, let us consider some fallacies first. Johann Melchizedek Peter said that he met an evangelist from India who had a common occurrence of these phenomenona in his ministry. Out of interest, he asked him his thoughts on why some fell under the power. Then he replied that those who fell had something wrong with them, thus they fell. Another evangelist also replied to same question that those who fell were more yielded and sensitive to God while those who did not were resisting.

In the above two cases we see that two people used by the same Lord Jesus Christ came to two different and contrasting conclusions on the same phenomenona. How is that possible? Both love the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet one said that there is something wrong when you fall; while the other said that there is something wrong when you stand. Both made the mistake of basing their doctrines and conclusions on experience and not on Scripture.

Scriptural explanations for falling

Upon studying the Scriptures, we can make the following conclusions on falling under the power.

  1. It is a side effect of the manifestation of God’s glory (2 Chronicles 5:14; Exodus 40:34, 35). God’s glory is tangible. Moses who had seen God’s glory could not physically enter the Tabernacle when God’s glory filled it in fullness. When Paul saw the glory of Jesus, he was struck down to the ground (Acts 9:3, 4; 22:6,7).
  2. There is no Scriptural basis for establishing the spirituality of the individual by whether he falls under the power of the Holy Spirit or not. Holy men like Daniel fell under the power of the Holy Spirit (Daniel 10:7-9). Obedient prophets like Ezekiel have been slain under the power of the Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 1:28b). At the same time, evil men have been slain under the power of the Holy Spirit (John 18:5,6). The people who came to capture Jesus were evil men motivated by the devil.
  3. Not all who fell under the power of the Holy Spirit were changed or transformed in their lives. The men who came to capture Jesus were slain under the power when Jesus answered them but they remained unchanged in the evil pursuit to crucify Jesus (John 18:6:12).
  4. There are those who received a special blessing and transformation. Paul received his call and his life was totally transformed after his Damascus experience (Acts 26:12-19). His life was motivated by the heavenly vision he saw in Damascus. Adam was put under the power in order for God to create a woman out from his rib (Genesis 2:21-22).

Discerning the purpose of an anointing

We must concentrate on the purpose of the anointing. Sometimes I have sensed a heavy anointing rest upon me. At that time, I knew that whoever I prayed for or called out would fall. I could just line them up and blow on them. But the Lord has taught me instead to wait on Him and listen to what He wants to do with that anointing and not what I want to do to establish myself. If we channel it properly at that time, we would see instant miracles. At such times, I have yielded to His instructions and have seen marvellous instant miracles. Now isn’t that better than just making people fall under the power? Remember the purpose that the Son of God is manifested is to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). The manifestation of the anointing is to destroy the works of the devil.

Areas of Abuse of Anointing

Some Pentecostal pastors abuse the anointing of the Holy Spirit in the following areas, which have subsequently made it difficult to discern the true anointing and the fake anointing, except after some time lag. Five areas of abuse and camouflage are:

  1. in the area of casting out demons where they discuss with demons rather than cast them out out rightly according to scriptures.
  2. Speaking in new tongues, where many make noise and some force their members to speak. In some wired cases, some teach their members how to speak in tongue.
  3. Authority over serpents when preaching the gospel
  4. Immunity to poison when we are preaching the gospel which lead to vomiting of substances n many congregations which are acclaimed to be poisonous substance.
  5. Recovery of the sick through laying on of hands which some fake in the name of performing miracles because they are seeking members in their churches.

The world cannot be evangelized without the power and anointing of God. Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you shall receive power to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8). Paul said that the Gentiles were obedient to the gospel through the mighty signs and wonders God did through him by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:19). It was after Paul’s and Barnabas’ testimonies of God’s power working among the Gentiles confirming the gospel that settled the issue of the Gentiles in the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:12,13).

CONCLUSION

The anointing that God puts on His servants is such a precious commodity that God expects consecration from His vessel before He puts it upon them. Aaron was told that the anointing he received was so holy that he could not leave the tabernacle for seven days or he would die (Leviticus 8:33-35). When a sad event happened in his family, he was not even allowed to cry! (Leviticus 10:6). The anointing is holy!

Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, died because they abused the anointing by offering a strange fire (Leviticus 10:1, 2). It probably had something to do with their drunken conduct because immediately after that God warned Aaron and his sons not to drink wine or intoxicating drink (Leviticus 10:9).

The anointing that God places on His vessels is so holy that God warned others against touching His anointed ones (1 Chronicles 16:22). God takes no pleasure in those who disrespect His anointing upon His vessels. Miriam learnt it the hard way (Numbers 12:1-10). It is one sure way of making God angry.

God watches closely over His servants because of His vested interest upon them – the anointing of the Holy Spirit, a most precious substance and holy heavenly commodity. However, abuse always leads to destruction. In AG, anointing and the anointed is sacred and respected. AG negates the abuse of anointing by their pastors. I believe that they should speak up in the PFN to stop the areas of abuse.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Anderson A. An introduction to Pentecostalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2004.

Ellwood, Robert S. and Harry B. Partin. Religious and Spiritual Groups in Modern America, Second edition, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1988.

Feeney, James H. “The Purposes of the Anointing of the Holy Spirit.” Pentecostal Sermon Central.

Hyles, Jack. “The Anointing Of The Holy Spirit.” Meet The Holy Spirit, Chapter 7. Jesus is savior Books, 2004.

Johann Melchizedek Peter. The Anointing of the Holy Spirit. Australia: Johann Ministries. 2014.

Klemp, Harold. The Secret Teachings, Crystal, Minnesota: IWP. Mentions Kirpal Singh. 1989.

Klemp, Sri Harold. “A Spiritual Exercise to Try.Eckankar Journal. 1996.

Lane, David Christopher, The Making of a Spiritual Movement: The Untold Story of Paul Twitchell and Eckankar, Del Mar, California: Del Mar Press, 1990.

 

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