And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume XI, Number 31 June 29, 2008
In this issue:
The apostle John wrote, “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.” And again, “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 Jno. 2:20, 27)
What is this “anointing” John says Christians have from God? Does it have any bearing and application for you and me?
Those who assert miraculous gifts and powers of the Holy Spirit in this modern age claim an “anointing” that has been popularized by Benny Hinn and similar purveyors of prophetic powers in our time.
“Anointing” in the New Testament is from the Greek word chrisma, to rub, smear; “an unguent or smearing, that is, (figuratively) the special endowment (“chrism”) of the Holy Spirit,” (Strong’s Greek Dictionary). To help us understand how Hinn and the Charismatic movement use this word, consider Hinn’s description of his personal anointing when he was 11 years old. He reports that
“suddenly my little body was caught up in an incredible sensation that can only be described as ‘electric.’ It felt as if someone had plugged me into a wired socket. There was a numbness that felt like needles – a million of them – rushing through my body.” (Good Morning Holy Spirit, p. 22, Cited in “The New Anointing”, Let Us Reason Ministries, letusreason.org/Pent40.htm)
On the Larry King Show Hinn described the anointing he experiences, preaches and promotes:
“Now here we are, human beings you know, made out of dust and God will touch the body with His power. It’s just like touching electricity, you know. It could throw you. It could also kill you if there’s too much of it…I grew up in the Catholic schools, so I was religious, but really not a Christian like I am now. Then while asleep my body filled up with like electricity, just like somebody plugged me into a socket and I froze. I just couldn’t, I, I could not move. And then appeared the Lord. [He] Smiled at me, did not say a word. He was wearing a white robe.” (Ibid.)
Like many other “experiences” claiming a divine source there is no Bible basis for his claims. The time of miracles has ended (1 Cor. 13:8-10). He experienced something, but it was not the Holy Spirit! Lying wonders and unrighteous deception are the work of Satan and attend those who do not believe and love the truth of Christ, the gospel (2 Ths. 2:9-12). We are warned to withdraw from “men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain” (1 Tim. 6:5).
Rejecting the errors of the Charismatic movement we are still left to arrive at a scriptural understanding of the “anointing” of 1 John 2:20, 27. Perhaps it will help to briefly review the practice of anointing from the Bible.
The ordinary use of oil to anoint the body was a practice of daily toilet in the ancient East (Ruth 3:3; 2 Sam. 12:20). To anoint with oil brought refreshment and was a mark of hospitality (Psa. 104:15; Lk. 7:46). People were also anointed with oil for health benefits (Mk. 6:13; Lk. 10:34).
The religious use of oil is mentioned often in the Old Testament. Sacred things were anointed with holy oil, such as the tabernacle and its furnishings: “You shall consecrate them, that they may be most holy; whatever touches them must be holy” (Exo. 30:29, 22-29, 31-33). Thus, anointing identified a consecrated, holy use of these things.
People were also anointed in the Old Testament: 1) Priests (Exo. 30:30; 40:13-15; Lev. 8:12, 30), thus consecrated to serve before God on behalf of the people; 2) Prophets (1 Kgs. 19:16; Psa. 105:15), thus appointed to be God’s inspired spokesmen; and 3) Kings (1 Sam. 9:15-16; 10:1; 16:1, 12-13; 2 Kgs. 9:6). To anoint a person was to designate holiness and being set apart to a divinely assigned work.
The most notable figure to be anointed is Christ (“the anointed one”, Psa. 2:2; Isa. 61:1; Jno. 1:41). Appointed by God, Jesus Christ was designated and set apart for his holy work as High Priest, Prophet and King.
Just as the holy anointing oil was the outward display of God’s appointment in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit and power signified the anointing of Christ: “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38). Isaiah prophesied of the “Spirit of the Lord” being upon the Messiah “because he has anointed me to preach the gospel…to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty…” and Jesus claimed its fulfillment in his words and works (Lk. 4:18-21; Isa. 61:1-2).
His anointing “with the Holy Spirit and with power” identified Christ and set him apart to the work he was given to accomplish (see Lk. 3:22; Jno. 1:29-34; 5:36-37). Jesus did not obtain his power from the Holy Spirit. Rather, it was the presence of the Holy Spirit and power with Jesus that showed him to be the anointed one, the Christ (see Jno. 5:36-37; Lk. 5:17).
The pressing question is whether the apostle John was telling Christians that we have been anointed with the Holy Spirit and power today like Jesus. That is the claim of present-day charismatics. Is Benny Hinn right? The answer is “no.” Then, what is our anointing?
The apostle John had just warned Christians not to love the world and to be aware that “many antichrists” had come (1 Jno. 2:15-18). These false prophets and teachers claimed to be anointed (approved and assigned) by God, but their manifest objection to the apostolic truth exposed their deception and their opposition to Christ (1 Jno. 2:19; see 4:1-6).
In contrast to those who are against Christ in their words and deeds, Christians “have an anointing from the Holy One” so that we “know all things” (1 Jno. 2:20). We have been designated as holy, consecrated and set apart through the gospel we have believed and obeyed. “Sanctify them by Your truth; Your word is truth…And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth” (Jno. 17:17, 19). This prayer on behalf of the apostles finds appropriate application to every disciple: “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jno. 8:31-32).
Knowledge of the truth of Christ was sufficient to expose and resist the antichrists in John’s day (“you know all things”, 1 Jno. 2:20). It still is. The Gnostic deceivers were offering secret knowledge that contradicted the apostolic truth “you heard from the beginning” (1 Jno. 2:26, 24, 21-23). Only by abiding in the revealed truth of Christ would they “abide in the Son and in the Father” (1 Jno. 2:24). The same remains true for us today.
The anointing in 1 John 2:27 (1) Comes from God, (2) Abides in you, (3) Is absolute, rendering all other sources of knowledge unnecessary, (4) Teaches us concerning all things and is true, and (5) Has taught us. This is not the person of the Holy Spirit, it is what the Holy Spirit gives us – the word of truth, the gospel of Christ (Jno. 16:13).
We have been anointed with truth – the gospel that the Holy Spirit has given us by his power. By the truth we are identified as God’s people and appointed by him to serve him in holiness. Truth (1) Comes from God and sanctifies us (Jno. 17:17), (2) Abides in us (1 Jno. 2:14), (3) Is absolute (Jno. 14:6), (4) Teaches us all things (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3-4), and (5) Must be received and obeyed in order to abide in God (2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Jno. 2:3-6).
Christians are anointed with truth and by it we abide in the Son and the Father (1 Jno. 2:24). Those who deny Jesus Christ are not anointed with truth (1 Jno. 2:21-23). We must continue to abide in truth in order to enjoy the eternal life promised us in the Son (1 Jno. 2:24-25).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Matthew 4:12-25
1. The mission of
Christ: Serve, sacrifice, seek and save (Matt. 20:28; Lk. 19:10).
I. CHRIST’S WORK OF TEACHING BEGINS, Matt. 4:12-25.
A. The Place:
Galilee (Fulfilled Prophecy), Matt. 4:12-16, 23; Isa. 9:1-2; Jno. 1:4-5, 9
In Algeria two men went on trial Wednesday charged with illegally promoting their Protestant faith:
“They are charged with praying in a building that had not been granted a religious permit by authorities and are also accused of trying to spread the Christian faith among Muslims, the court said.”
“Algeria’s constitution allows freedom of worship. But a 2006 law strictly regulates how religions other than Islam can be practiced.” (“Christians on trial in Algeria for spreading faith”, by Aomar Ouali, AP Writer, breitbart.com)
In Canada in 2007 the Human Rights Panel of Alberta ruled that Rev. Stephen Boission and Concerned Christian Coalition were guilty of hate speech for a letter to the editor in the Red Deer newspaper (written in 2002) in which he objected to the homosexual agenda as “wicked”.
In Oklahoma earlier this year State Representative Sally Kern came under fire when a recording of her speech to a group of supporters was made public in which she said the “homosexual agenda is destroying this nation.” She also said, “according to God's word, that is not the right kind of lifestyle. It has deadly consequences for those people involved in it.” She has refused to retract her statements and rejects the characterization of her language as “hate speech.”
These three events illustrate how real and pressing the opposition is against those who will stand up and speak the truth revealed in God’s word (2 Tim. 4:1-5; Eph. 4:15).
Now consider a fourth example: in some churches of Christ preachers are forbidden to identify by name those who teach false doctrine among us. Why? We are told to do so is not the loving way to address the brother and the problem of error. (Is that not another way of saying to do so is “hate speech”?) Does this mean Paul did not love Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Tim. 2:16-18)? Did John hate Diotrephes (3 Jno. 9)? We must “hate evil” like God does (Amos 5:15, 21)! Remember, God inspired Paul and John.
Persecution for speaking the truth comes from without and from within (Acts 20:29). When opposition rises against the truth will we say with the apostles, “We cannot but speak” (Acts 4:20)? Or will we relent to the pressure (both in and out of the church), remain silent, and lose our souls?
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 05/26/2013
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA