THE ANOINTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 says, “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” Turn also to the book of I John 2: 18-20. In verse 20 Paul addressing Christians as little children said, “And you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.” In verse 27 of that chapter we read. “And as for you, the anointing which you have received of him abides in you.” In 2 Cor. 1 and
I John 2 the anointing of the Holy Spirit is mentioned three times. In this message we shall examine the anointing of the Holy Spirit as it applies to Christians.
We begin by considering the meaning of the word “anointing” as it was used in the Jewish religion. Anointing the head with a holy unction or oil was a rite of inauguration into each of the three offices of the Jewish religion. Priests, especially the High Priest, at the first institution of the priesthood were all anointed before they could serve in their offices. Anointing was also the principal and divinely-appointed ceremony in the inauguration of Jewish kings. Sometimes prophets too were anointed with oil as a mark of God's divine appointment. Also, anything and everything used in the Tabernacle and Temple worship were anointed, signifying they are set aside or sanctified for the religious worship of Jehovah. The anointing of Kings and Priests signified the blessings, gifts, and the influences the Holy Spirit would exert on their lives. The anointing of the articles used in worship were declared holy by the Holy Spirit and divinely authorized. Under the Christian religion the word “anointing” for the most part is used only in a spiritual sense. It does appear that there was a literal anointing with oil when an act of miraculous divine healing was taking place. This is mentioned in James 5:13. There is no other mention of literally anointing with oil in the New Testament. It is probable that this use of oil called attention to the miraculous healing and signified that the Holy Spirit was exerting miraculous healing as a result of the prayers of the Elders. The anointing of the Holy Spirit was used spiritually in both the Jewish and Christian religion. The Old Testament contained many prophecies of the coming of a great man who was to be ruler and king in Israel. The name given to this Great One was Messiah. This is a Hebrew word. When it translated into Greek it became the word Xristos. Xristos anglicized is spelled Christ. The word Christ is really a Greek word. The Greek words Xristos or Christ literally mean “Anointed.” The words Messiah, Christ and anointed all mean the same thing. Thus the coming great One of prophecy was to be a man anointed by God, as was Saul, David and Solomon. God made that man the Anointed 0ne by the Holy Spirit when He anointed Jesus at His baptism. But no literal oil was used.
The anointing of Jesus by the Holy Spirit with great power was signified by a dove landing on the head of Jesus. No oil was used to anoint Him; it was a spiritual anointing, symbolized by the dove. It would appear that God did all anointing in both Old and New Testament by the Holy Spirit the third person in the Godhead. 2 Cor. 1:21 and I John 2:20,27 clearly teach that all Christians have been anointed by the Holy Spirit. They are not anointed literally with oil as in olden times but they are anointed in a spiritual manner. We are anointed to serve as a kingdom of priests to God(Rev. 1:6). In I John 2:18 says, “Little children.” This is a reference to all Christians and not just to the apostles and some Christians who were miraculously endowed. Then he said, “Little children you have an anointing from the Holy One. The anointing which you received of Him abides in you and you do not need that anyone teach you.” The meaning is that Christians do not need for anyone to teach them because the Holy Spirit is their teacher. He has anointed them with inspired knowledge. We know all things that God wants us to know about Christ and true religion because the Holy Spirit has revealed them to us, and He dwells in us. What then specifically is the anointing of the Holy Spirit? John tells us in I John 2: 20, “You have an anointing from the Holy One and you know all things.” This does not mean universal knowledge, but knowledge of the subject John was warning them about. Some Christians fell away from the truth, and followed false teachers who rejected the truth that Jesus was both God and man, that He was the Messiah and that He was God in the flesh. Thus true Christians know all things they need to know about the Divine nature of Christ. The teachings received from the Holy Spirit enables us to know what we are supposed to know? Whatever the anointing is, it gives us knowledge. “We know all things” about Christ. In the verses preceding he said there are many antichrists. “They went out from us but they were not of us.” This clearly indicates they had been true disciples once but they left the church. An anitchrist is literally one who is against Christ, who rejects and opposes God's anointed one, Jesus Christ. All who worship with a religious group who reject the Trinity and that Jesus was a Divine Being in heaven before He came to earth are all antichrists. There were many antichrists in the first century who were formerly faithful Christians but became apostates and were causing havoc in the church, teaching false religious doctrines contrary to the teachings of the apostles. False teachers who came from the bosom of the church were teaching false doctrines designed to lead faithful Christians astray. Our protection against all antichrists is the anointing we have received from the Holy Spirit that gives us complete knowledge of true religion.
However, the only thing we have received from the Holy Spirit that could protect us from all the false doctrines and beliefs in divided Christendom and other teachings of error is the divine revelation of the New Covenant, now committed to writing in the 27 books of he New Testament. The Holy Spirit has brought our minds into contact with divine truth. It was first given to the apostles and prophets and through them and the writers of the New Testament to all Christians True Christians receive the same divine truth the apostles received by supernatural revelation. What once they had, we now have. John teaches the same truth in I John 2:27, “ As for you, the anointing which you received of Him abides in you, and you need not that anyone teach you; but as his anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true and is no lie, and even as it taught you, you abide in him.” The anointing is something the Holy Spirit teaches us; it is true and is no lie and it abides in us. The complete revelation of the New Testament is the one and only thing the Holy Spirit has taught us and it abides in true Christians. God's word exhorts us to be filled with the Spirit, and the more of His revealed word we have in our hearts the more of the Holy Spirit we have in our hearts. Romans 8:11 says, “If the Spirit of Him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodies through His Spirit that dwells in you.
The final question is, since the Holy Spirit is invisible and communicates with us only through the written word of God, how can we possibly know that He dwells in us? We must not take it for granted. John has revealed one important way we can tell. If we are led away from the church by antichrist teachers of any form, who disagree with the doctrines of Christ and the teachings of the New Testament, then we can know that the Holy Spirit is not dwelling in our hearts. Some other teacher or teachers are dwelling our hearts and directing our lives. All teachers today who disagree with the Bible must be branded as antichrists. The anointing we have received from the Spirit protects us from all antichrist teachings and beliefs. There is an absolute way we can be certain that the Holy Spirit dwells within Christians.. Galatians 5:22-24 says, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control; against such there is no law. And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and lusts thereof.” This is the only outward evidence we have that the Holy Spirit is dwelling in our lives. If He is dwelling in our hearts, He produces this kind of a life. Finally, it is very important that we understand that the Christians to whom John wrote in I John 2 lived in the miraculous age of the church, but no one has lived in he miraculous age of the church since the end of the first century A.D. Those Christians to whom John wrote did not have the 27 books of the New Testament to learn all the truth they needed to know. The books of the New Testament were still in process of being written They were anointed in a somewhat different way than we are anointed today. We do not live in a miraculous age. Miracles ceased when the last apostle died who alone could impart miraculous gifts. To compensate for the absence of a complete written revelation of the Christian religion, the Holy Spirit anointed prophets and teachers by supernatural inspiration who could teach the early Christians miraculously by word of mouth. In every congregation in the first century there were prophets and teachers who could transmit truth directly f rom heaven by word of mouth. There were twelve miraculous gifts that all Churches of Christ had in the first century to compensate for the absence of a completed written revelation. Prophets received their supernatural teaching ability and knowledge from the hand of one of the apostles. Therefore the anointing of Christians in I John 2 is a reference to the supernatural gifts that still remained on earth when the book of I John was written. They had inspired teachers among them who protected them against all antichrists We no longer have such inspired teachers in the world to day; today we receive the same blessing of divine knowledge and truth from the inspired writings of he New Testament. When we have an understanding of the New Testament, it can be said we know all things we are supposed to know about the Christian religion. We can identify all antichrists by their rejection of any teachings in the New Testament. When we have an understanding of the New Testament, the word of God revealed by the inspired apostles, no antichrist teachers can deceive us. The Holy Spirit now anoints Christians not miraculously but naturally by the study of the 27 books of the New Testament. Christian cannot be anointed in any other way. Consider what I say, and the Lord give you understanding.