The Anointing of the Believer


John Hoole – October 25, 2009






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For the past two weeks we have been investigating what the Bible teaches about “The Anointing.”  There are a few areas where we need to review what was said last week.  This will help set the stage for further examination of this topic.


We have seen that in the Old Testament there were three different types of anointing. 

First was the anointing of the priests.


Leviticus 8:12 NKJV


12     And he [Moses] poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron's head and anointed him, to consecrate [sanctify] him.


                   Moses does the same for Aaron’s sons.


Second, there was the anointing of the kings.


1 Samuel 16:13 NKJV


13     Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.


                   Notice that upon being anointed with oil, the Holy Spirit comes upon David.


Third, there was the anointing of the prophets.


1 Kings 19:16 NKJV


16     Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.


In the New Testament, we noted that Christ is the “Anointed One.”  That is what the name “Christ” means.  Jesus is our prophet, priest and king, and as such was anointed, for He was the total fulfillment of all such people in the Old Testament.


Luke 4:18-19 NKJV


18     "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,  To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

19     To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." 


Acts 10:38 NKJV


38     …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.


Everything that Christ did as recorded in the Bible was done by the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit.




Let’s quickly look at the definition and description of the anointing.  We highlighted them last week.  Let’s review them again.


I read somewhere in the last couple of weeks that the anointing is like jumping into a deep pool of water.  When you come out, everywhere you go gets wet.  The anointing is like being covered with perfumed oil, and wherever you go the aroma of the anointing follows.


Let me give a few comments that might define what the anointing is – at least in part.  The anointing of the Holy Spirit enables you to do what you cannot do in your own strength.  Anointing, as described in the Bible, can be defined as: “God on flesh doing those things that flesh cannot do.”


The anointing of the Spirit is not the same as the gifts of the Spirit.  The anointing will make one’s gifts operate more fluently or effectively.  God has given every believer one or more gifts for service, as well as the anointing to allow those gifts to function with greater ease.  The anointing becomes active when serving the Lord.


Another things we need to understand about the anointing is that it is holy.  God’s anointing on you and me must be treated with respect.  Jesus paid the ultimate price just so that we could continue His work and ministry in the earth.  And the anointing is available 24-hours, 7-days each week.  When the anointing is in operation, it manifests with a divine purpose.






1 John 2:20 NKJV


20     But you have an anointing from the Holy One,…. 


The anointing is not just for a few spiritual giants.  Nor is it for  a few privileged individuals. We are the Bride of Christ, and His anointing is upon all of us.  That includes you, me, and everyone else who claims the name of Jesus.


God anointed Jesus of Nazareth.  And now, He has given that anointing to each of us.  1 John 2:27 reads:  “the anointing which you have received from HIM abides in you.”  Our anointing flows out of Christ’s anointing, and we receive it only from Him.  “Of His fullness we have all received.”John 1:16.  It is Christ who has anointed us.


Every person who is a child of God has the Holy Spirit within them.  Every believer can exercise their anointing by the power of that Holy Spirit within them.  If you are a child of God, there is an anointing for everything you are called to do.  That is true no matter how great or how small the task is.  That is why the apostle Paul could say, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”  To say it with emphasis: “I can do all thing through the Anointed One, and His anointing strengthens me.”


I want to take a closer look at the context in which we find the two Passages we just read in First John.  What is the context or setting in which verses 20 and 27 are found.  Let’s read the entire paragraph in this second chapter of 1 John, which begins with verse 18 through the end of the chapter.


1 John 2:18-29  NKJV

18     Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.

19     They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

20     But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 

21     I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

22     Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

23     Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

24     Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

25     And this is the promise that He has promised us — eternal life.

26     These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.

27     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.

28     And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.

29     If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.


When the apostle John wrote his letter we call 1st John, he was writing it to combat a heresy that was making inroads into the church.  The life of John was prolonged to a very late age.  And we see the wisdom and goodness of God in prolonging his life, because he was able to stand against the errors and heresies which began to occur.  He is writing this book somewhere around 90 A.D., and he was probably living in Ephesus at the time.  Shortly thereafter John is sent in exile to the Island of Patmos, where he writes the Book of Revelation.  But in this first epistle, he was writing against a group of people called the Gnostics.  He wanted to make sure the teachings of this heretical sect were not allowed to take root in the church.


The word “Gnosticism” comes from the word “Gnosis,”  which is a Greek word for “knowledge.”  It means the Gnostics knew God by knowing certain secret things about Him.  Gnosticism taught that one’s salvation is based on obtaining the needed knowledge secrets.  There is no such thing as sin in Gnosticism.  You only come to God and receive His anointing only through this secret knowledge.


They also believed that Jesus was not brought into this world by a divine act of the Holy Spirit.  And they believed that Jesus was only human until his baptism in Jordan, at which time “The Christ” came into Jesus.  They also preached that “The Christ” left Jesus prior to the crucifixion, therefore, the death of Jesus was not a divine act to provide remission of sins.


Sometimes Gnosticism is called Docetism, which is from a Greek word that means “it seems” or “it appears.”  They were saying that Jesus only seemed to have a body - He didn’t literally have one -- and thus they were doing away with the beautiful doctrine of the incarnation and along with it the meaning of the crucifixion and the resurrection.  The Gnostics taught that only the knowledge gained by their secret method allowed them to discern true from false teachings.


The apostle John, in the first chapter of this Book, establishes his credibility.  He says he had personally been with Jesus – he saw him with his own eyes, and he had actually touched the Savior [1 John 1:1].


At the beginning of chapter 2, John establishes that people, including believers, can sin.  Sin is real, but that we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One.  If we do sin, all we need to do is confess it to Him, and He will cleanse us from our sins.


And to make it clear, John tells them why he is writing to them.  He does this just prior to the passage in chapter 2 that we are considering.  And John addresses each false statement of the Gnostics, point by point.  Listen to it as I read beginning with verse 12 of chapter 2.  And notice how he addresses three groups of people among the congregation:


•  Little children

•  Young men

•  Fathers


1 John 2:12-14 NKJV


12     I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake.

13     I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father.

14     I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.


Point by point in these verses, the apostle John addresses the heresies of the Gnostics.  Yes, we are sinners, but those in the church have been forgiven for Christ’s name sake.  They had known Jesus from the beginning of their receipt of the gospel, and they don’t need some secret knowledge to obtain salvation.  There is a wicked one, but they had overcome him because they knew God the Father.  He says they are strong and the Word of God, not some secret knowledge, abides in them.  And, because of that Word, they have overcome the wicked one.


The apostle then speaks to them of the Antichrist.  He had taught them about that evil person who will come during the future Tribulation, but wanted them to know these Gnostic seducers and heretics are antichrist as well, and that there are many who have already crept into the world.


But the apostle doesn’t stop there.  He infers, “How did it come to be different with you?”  How is it you didn’t fall for the heresies taught by the Gnostics?  What has preserved you faithful when others have proved unfaithful?  What has kept you still leaning on and looking unto their crucified Immanuel, when others have trampled on his blood and turned after idols?  Was it their own wisdom, their own ability, their own righteousness, their own strength?  NO!  Not so!  And that brings us to verse 20


“But you have an unction – an anointing – from the Holy One.”  That is what has kept you faithful.  “You little children, you young men, you fathers, you have an unction from God.


Now I want to focus on verses 20 through 27, but you now have the setting of these verses.  Beginning with verse 20, let’s analyze the first phrase.  You have an anointing from the Holy One.  Whatever John is talking about here is for “YOU.”




First of all, the immediate people being addressed by John are believers.  Quite possibly, he was writing late in his life to the believers in the city of Ephesus.


What is being promises here is only applicable to believers.  God has provided that every child of His has access to the blessed anointing of the Holy Spirit.  This is not for the world.  In his Gospel, the apostle John wrote that of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said: “Whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him, but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” [John 14:17 NKJV]


In Psalm 23:5, we are told that the shepherd “anoints our head with oil.”  It is very plain from the beginning of this Psalm, the Psalmist is saying that only the sheep that belongs to this shepherd is anointed.  This promise is for God’s sheep only.


Every believer is anointed by God.  This is not something that is conferred only upon those we consider great men and women of God.  This is not just for pastors, or evangelists or prophets.  It is the privilege of every saint.  It is not needful for any of God’s children to go through life undernourished, un-anointed and under-watered.  Our Savior-Shepherd has prepared for us a feast of fat things, if we will only come, eat and drink.


Now, back to our phrase in 1 John 2:20You have an anointing from the Holy One.  What is it you have received.  It is a special endowment.  And this endowment – this anointing – comes from the Holy One.  John is saying that this anointing of the Holy Spirit comes from God.


Let’s look at verse 20 again, and add the last half of the verse.


1 John 2:20 NKJV


20     But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things


It is the anointing of the Holy Spirit that has kept them from being seduced.  By that anointing you already know what those heretics say can only be obtained by secret and special knowledge.  That doesn’t mean these believers knew all gospel mysteries.  They may not have obtained a degree in theology, but by the anointing, they have a clearer view of the things of God than the heretics.  But they did know things profitable, all things needful, as the apostle Peter says: “All things that pertain unto life and godliness”  [2 Peter 1:3].



We can know all these things by virtue of the anointing of the Spirit of God.  We don’t need these enlightened people who have some secret knowledge only they can know.  And the apostle John continues this thought in the verses that follow.  After having told them why he was writing to them, he now says this in 1 John 2:21 NKJV.


21     I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.


It is the anointing of God that opens our eyes to the truth contained in His word.  It is the anointing of the Holy Spirit that illuminates Scripture to you so that you see and understand things you have never seen and understood before.  It is that anointing that that stands in faith and refuses to give in to the lies of the enemy.  You know better than to accept the lie of the enemy that tells you God’s Word is no longer relevant.


In the next verse – Verse 22 – the apostle John reveals how the devil will seduce them and us.


1 John 2:22 NKJV


22     Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.


This hits hard at the Gnostics that claimed Jesus was not The Christ.  Anyone that does so is antichrist.  And they will also deny the Father and the Son.


And then, in Verse 23, he adds:


         “Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either, but he who acknowledges the Son also has the Father.”


The word, “denies,” means to contradict, disavow, or reject.  Whoever rejects the Son rejects the Father also.


1 John 2:24-25 NKJV


24     Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

25     And this is the promise that He has promised us — eternal life.


From the very beginning of the Church, Jesus knew that there would be distortions of the truth would come along soon.


In 1 Timothy 4:1-2 (NKJV), we read:


1       Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,

2       speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,


The apostle John says that there will be deceivers that will seduce the believers.  But they are to let that which they had heard from the beginning abide in them.


In the next verse – Verse 26 – John warn them once again about false teachers.  “These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.”  If they have the anointing, and they did, there will be a check in your spirit.


A moment ago, we read 1 John 2:27, but I didn’t read all of it.  Let’s read it all now.


1 John 2:27 NIV


27     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.


John brings them back to the vital benefit of the anointing.  And he says that the anointing they have received is still in them.


I want to make it clear that the second phrase of this verse – “You do not need anyone to teach you…” – DOES NOT put me out of business as a Bible teacher.  Nor does it mean that those who are anointed need not be taught the Word of God.  Neither does it mean that those in the first century Church didn’t need to be taught.  I have taken you through these verses  to indicate what is the benefit of the anointing.  And that by that anointing, they knew all thing profitable, and that which led to life and godliness.




I believe I need to mention some things that are not the anointing.  The anointing is not just being slain in the Spirit.  The anointing is not just chill bumps going up and down your arms and neck.  The anointing is not just a warm fuzzy feeling.


The anointing is not jumping up and down and yelling while a preacher preaches.  I have nothing against any of these physical manifestation, as I have taught in the past, but they alone don’t guarantee that the person is anointed.  The anointing is never for showboating or for parading.  It’s not to make us look good – its to make Him look good.


The anointing is not some kind of emotional pleasure.  The anointing comes into activity when we are serving our Lord.  David did not feel anointed in any particular sense, but when he faced Goliath his anointing became apparent.  Samson became strong only when he went into action for God.  It is then, according to Judges 14:6, when the Spirit of God came upon him.  A strong man does not feel his strength when he is sitting down – but only when he exerts himself.




You probably have heard the saying, “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone.”  Well, the Lord want us to be so full of His Spirit that His anointing will not rest just on the surface.  Rather, the oil of the Holy Spirit’s anointing should soak us “clear to the bone.”  We should be like Holy Spirit sponges, so saturated with the anointing that wherever we go we will give off the sweet fragrance of the Holy Spirit.  The Life of the Old Testament prophet Elisha serves as a great illustration of this kind of Holy Spirit anointing.


2 Kings 13:20-21 NKJV


20     Then Elisha died, and they buried him. And the raiding bands from Moab invaded the land in the spring of the year.

21     So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet.


Elisha, the prophetic successor to Elijah, was filled “clear to the bone” with the anointing of the Spirit.  The anointing so permeated Elisha that it remained on his bones even after his death.  In the same way, the Lord wants to fill and permeate each of us so He can perform great things our lives.  It is not by any works of righteousness that we do or any special merit or standing we have, but by the Lord’s anointing.  As the prophet Zechariah wrote, “It’s not by might or by power, but by His Spirit.”


2 Corinthians 1:20-22 NIV


20     For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God.

21     Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us,

22     set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.


Now, where do we go from here.  First of all, I want you to know there is an anointing available for you.   If you are a child of God, you already have an anointing resident within you.


It is time for miracles to once again transform the church.  It is time for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to flow from those who have been anointed.  It is time for you to allow Jesus once again to be the baptizer in the Holy Spirit.  It is time for you and I to abide in God’s word and allow His word to abide in, and flow out of us.


It is time for you and me to confess with our mouth what we believe in our heart, that God’s word for miracles is just as valid as His word for salvation.  It is time to take “religion” out of the body of Christ and replace it with unwavering faith in God’s word and all His promises.  It is time to take the Word of God out into the world to the lost and dying and allow God to confirm that word with signs and wonders following.  It is time for you and me to be what God has called us to be.  And you are not going to be able to do that in your own power.  You and I must do it under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.