Thursday, November 7, 2019

Anointed by the Holy Spirit

Most of us know that Jesus Christ was anointed by God, but we may not fully understand what that means. Let's take a look at this in Scripture to better understand what it means to be anointed.


Anointing the Kings of Israel 
First we'll begin with a little bit of historical background on the practice of anointing. Normally in Israel, when God appointed a man to be their king, then they anointed him, which consisted of pouring sacred, aromatic oil over his head or entire body. Anointing people originally came from the Hebrew practice used to anoint Aaron as high priest, which was later followed to anoint their kings, such as when Samuel the prophet anointed Saul as king.

"Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul's head and kissed him, saying, 'Has not the LORD anointed you ruler over his inheritance?' " (1Sa 10:1)

After removing Saul, because of his disobedience, God made David their king, but He began by initially having Samuel anoint him with oil while Saul was still reigning in Israel.

"The LORD said to Samuel, 'How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.' " (1Sa 16:1)

Once the Lord indicated to Samuel that Jesse's son David was to become king, "Then the LORD said, 'Rise and anoint him; this is the one.' So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah." (1Sa 16:12-13)

Notice how once David was anointed by the prophet at God's command, then from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David. It was immediately after David was anointed as king that he defeated Goliath the giant single-handedly by the power of God. There was a direct connection between Samuel anointing David with oil, and the Spirit of the Lord coming upon David powerfully. The anointing with oil was the physical act and the Spirit of God coming upon him was the spiritual act. There is always a link between what happens in the physical and spiritual realms, as I have written about in my article called The Link Between Two Realms.

Another example was when God had Jehu anointed as king.

"The prophet Elisha summoned a man from the company of the prophets and said to him, 'Tuck your cloak into your belt, take this flask of olive oil with you and go to Ramoth Gilead. When you get there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi...Then take the flask and pour the oil on his head and declare, "This is what the LORD says: I anoint you king over Israel." Then open the door and run; don't delay!'" (2Ki 9:1-3)

The prophet did what Elisha told him to do and found Jehu.

"Jehu got up and went into the house [with him]. Then the prophet poured the oil on Jehu's head and declared, 'This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: "I anoint you king over the LORD's people Israel."'" (2Ki 9:6)

Notice that the Lord God said to Jehu, "I anoint you king." While the prophet anointed him with oil, God anointed Him in the spirit.

Afterward the men that Jehu had been meeting with asked him what the prophet said to him in the house.

"Jehu said, 'Here is what he told me: "This is what the LORD says: I anoint you king over Israel." ' They quickly took their cloaks and spread them under him on the bare steps. Then they blew the trumpet and shouted, 'Jehu is king!' " (2Ki 9:12b-13).

Afterward, Jehu went on to do great exploits for God. It was he who destroyed the whole house of evil King Ahab his master. It was through Jehu that God avenged the blood of His servants the prophets and the blood of all the Lord's servants shed by Jezebel. The Lord used Jehu to cut off from Ahab every last male descendant in Israel in a single event, except for one of them, whom he killed separately. It was Jehu who had Ahab's wicked wife Jezebel assassinated (2Ki 9:7-10), and later had all the prophets of Baal killed in a single event (2Ki 10:19-29). Certainly he was anointed by God to do all of this through the power of the Spirit.

God Anointed Jesus
Just as God anointed Aaron the high priest, and kings like Saul, David, and Jehu, He also anointed Jesus of Nazareth. The apostle Peter said:

"You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." (Act 10:38, NASB).

Peter taught that God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power, and this is how He "went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil." When Jesus healed all who were oppressed by the devil, He did so through the power of the Holy Spirit, which indicated that God was with Him. Jesus Himself said that the Lord had anointed Him:

"He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 'The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.' Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, 'Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.'" (Luk 4:16-21).

When Jesus made this declaration at the onset of His public ministry, He read the passage from the prophet Isaiah's sixty first chapter, which had been fulfilled in Him. In short, by reading that passage, Jesus was proclaiming: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me." The reason the Spirit of the Lord was on Jesus was that the Spirit had anointed Him. In other words, the direct result of the Spirit anointing Jesus was that the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him.

The anointing of the Holy Spirit always results in the Spirit of the Lord being upon a person. Moreover, just as happened with David, when a person is anointed and the Spirit comes upon him powerfully, he then goes about doing mighty deeds for God. In the case of Jesus, as I have already said, "He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil."

Jesus was anointed by the Spirit at His baptism when the Spirit came upon Him and remained upon Him.

"When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: 'You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.'" (Luk 3:21-22)

That was the moment when the Spirit of the Lord anointed Him, as He proclaimed later in the synagogue in Nazareth. After He was anointed, He was driven into the wilderness by the Spirit, where He was tempted by the devil for forty days while fasting from all food. Through the power of the Spirit and the Word, He overcame every temptation. After that time, Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit (Luk 4:14a). Thus we see that the Spirit was upon Him in power after He was  anointed, just like what happened to David.

Jesus was also anointed with actual oil, but this came later on, shortly before His crucifixion, when a woman named Mary anointed him with very expensive ointment, which He said was to prepare for His burial (Matthew 26:6–13; Mark 14:3–9; Luke 7:36–50; John 12:1–8).

Because Jesus was anointed by the Spirit, He was called the anointed One (Ac 4:6), or the Messiah, which comes from the Hebrew word Maschiah, meaning "anointed One." The English Word "Christ" comes from the Greek word Christos, which is a translation of the Hebrew word Maschiah.

There were many prophecies about Christ all throughout the Old Testament Scriptures, as I have written about in my article Yeshua Ha'Maschiah in the Tanakh. Many of those refer to Him as the Messiah, which is usually translated as the Lord's "anointed One" or "Anointed" in English (e.g., Ps 2:2; 1Sa 2:35; Psa 89:38, 51; 132:17; Dan 9:25-26). But He is also referred to in other passages by different titles as well, such as "the Branch" (Isa 4:2; Zec 3:8; Zec 6:12), "My Firstborn," (Ps 89:27), and "My Servant" (1Ki 11:36; 2Ki 19:34; 20:6; Psa 89:3, 20; Isa 22:20; 41:8-9; 42:1, 19; 43:10; 44:1-2, 21; 49:3, 6; 52:13; Eze 34:23-24; 37:24-25; Hag 2:23; Zec 3:8).

There are many other titles for Him, but let's just focus for a moment at that last one, "My Servant." As you can see from the Scriptures I have referenced above, it is used extensively throughout Scripture, especially in Isaiah, who wrote the Servant songs (also called the Servant poems or the Songs of the Suffering Servant). These are four songs, which include Isaiah 42:1-4; Isaiah 49:1-6; Isaiah 50:4-7; and Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12. I want to call your attention to one particular verse in the opening line of Isaiah's first Servant song, which says:

"Here is My Servant, whom I uphold, My chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on Him, and He will bring justice to the nations." (Isa 42:1)

This verse is clearly referring to the Lord's anointed Servant, who is the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ. I specifically want to call your attention to the way that God says, in the context of speaking about His Servant, "I will put my Spirit on Him..." This is a key aspect of being anointed by God. When God put His Spirit on His Servant Jesus, He anointed Him with the Spirit, as it says later in Isaiah's prophecy:

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners..." (Isa 61:1)

In this verse the Lord clearly says that the reason the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him was that He had anointed Him. And for what purpose was He anointed? He was anointed to serve, since He was the Lord's Servant. In what ways did the Spirit anoint Him to serve? He anointed Jesus to proclaim good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. Keep that in mind as we now look at how this same "anointing to serve" applies to the disciples of the Lord's Servant.

Anointed Disciples of Christ 
We get the word Christian from the word Christ, which I have already explained means Anointed One. At Antioch the disciples of Jesus Christ were first called Christians (Acts 11:26), which in Greek is Christianos. The disciples of Christ are supposed to follow in His steps, since He has given us an example to do so (1 Pe 2:21). That means that just as He was anointed by the Spirit, we must be anointed by the Spirit. Just as the Spirit came upon Him and remained upon Him, we must ask for and allow the Spirit to come upon us and remain upon us. Only those on whom the Spirit comes and remains are anointed. This is the true biblical meaning of being anointed, as we have seen from Scripture.

This is what happened to the first disciples on the day of Pentecost, just as Jesus had promised that they would receive power when the Spirit would come upon them (Ac 1:8; 2:4). And as I pointed out in my article Holy Spirit Baptism, the same thing happened to all subsequent disciples who received the baptism with the Holy Spirit. They all received power when the Spirit came upon them. Therefore, the baptism with the Holy Spirit is the event whereby the Holy Spirit anoints a person, coming upon him just as the sacred oil would be poured upon a person in the traditional sense, and remaining upon him in such a way that he receives power in his personal life. This anointing of the Spirit enables every anointed disciple to proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God, and to comfort all who mourn. It enables the disciple who receives it to do the works that Jesus did, and even greater works than these, just as He promised to all who believe in Him (Jn 14:12). This is what it means to receive power to be His witnesses when the Spirit of the Lord comes upon you, as Jesus promised us in Acts 1:8.

The apostle Paul wrote about the anointing saying: "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." (2 Cor. 1:21b-22)

The apostle John wrote about this anointing by saying: "But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth." (1Jn 2:20)

This teaches us that those who have received the baptism with the Holy Spirit have an anointing from the Holy One, and through that anointing we know the truth, because the Spirit of Truth always guides us into all truth (Jn 16:13). John further added:

"As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him." (1Jn 2:27).

This means the anointing that we receive from the Holy Spirit, which is a real anointing, remains in us and teaches us about all things.

Closing Words
Just as the priests, kings, and prophets of Israel that were appointed by God were anointed with oil, so the Lord's Servant Jesus was anointed by the Spirit of the Lord to serve with supernatural power. That meant that the Spirit was on Him and remained upon Him. In the same manner, every disciple must receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit, so that he may be anointed by the Spirit, receiving supernatural power to serve and to be a witness for Christ. Each one of us needs to have the Spirit of the Lord come upon us and remain on us, in order to live an empowered life. If you have never received that anointing, then I encourage you to seek it today from the Lord, who gives the Spirit without limit.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible NIV, copyright Zondervan, used by permission. "Anointed" image may be subject to copyright, used according to Fair Use Act for non-profit educational and commentary purposes only.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the other posts in this blog available through the Main Directory for this blog at Home, such as Baptized with the SpiritSupernatural Power for All DisciplesHoly Fire Baptism, The Spirit Without LimitThe Gift of Speaking in TonguesThe New WineGifts and Fruit of the Spirit: What's the Difference?, and The Bodily Form of the Holy Spirit. You may also enjoy By the Spirit of God Alone and Coronation of Christ as King. You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

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