The Anointing of the Holy Spirit
by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
(Chapter 7 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Meet The Holy Spirit)
Perhaps no doctrine concerning the Holy Spirit has been more misunderstood than that of the anointing of the Spirit. This doctrine has been associated with the fulness of the Spirit. There is, however, a difference between the two.
There were three different types of anointing in the Old Testament. First was the anointing of the priests. Leviticus 8:12, "And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him, to sanctify him." It is noteworthy that this anointing took place only one time for each priest.
Second, there was the anointing of the kings. I Samuel 16:13, "Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah." This anointing was likewise a one-time ritual.
Third, there was the anointing of the prophets. I Kings 19:16, "And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel- meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room." Again, it took place only one time for each prophet.
Since our Lord Jesus was a priest and king and prophet, then He was anointed. Luke 4:18, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised." Acts 4:27, "For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, Whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together." Acts 10:38, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: Who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the Devil; for God was with Him." Notice in Luke 4:18 the words, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He HATH anointed Me." It had already been done. Now compare this one-time anointing to Ephesians 5:18, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit."" The words, "be filled," here are in the durative or linear which means "be being filled" or "be filled and be filled and be filled and be filled." Notice the fulness of the Holy Spirit is a durative doctrine, whereas the doctrine of the anointing is an aorist or a one-time anointing. That is, one time for each job or each responsibility. Notice the words in Acts 4:27, "hast anointed." Notice the past tense and then in Acts 10:38 we have the word "anointed." Once again, this is the past tense.
Therefore, the anointing of the Holy Spirit was and is like the anointing of a king or a priest or a prophet. When one was chosen to be a priest, he was anointed with oil, symbolic of the Holy Spirit coming upon him and giving him power, wisdom and ability for the task set before him. The same was true when a king was anointed and when a prophet was anointed. This leads us to some conclusions.
1. The anointing was done upon the accepting of a new responsibility. When a Christian accepts a new responsibility, he should be anointed by the Holy Spirit for that task. When a pastor is called to a new church or when a Christian is chosen to be a Sunday school teacher, a choir member, a choir director, a departmental superintendent or an usher, he should be anointed by the Holy Spirit. Any new task to which a child of God is chosen and any new responsibility that God has given to him is so important that the Holy Spirit should anoint him upon the assumption of his new responsibility. Likewise, as the Christian ministers and continues to fulfill the work to which God has called him, he should constantly be being filled with the Spirit. However, the doctrine of being filled should not be mistaken for the doctrine of the anointing.
2. This anointing was appropriation; it equipped one for a task. When God calls, He qualifies, He equips and He prepares. When a Christian is called to a new responsibility, he needs to be equipped. Hence, he needs to be anointed by the Holy Spirit as God appropriates to him what he needs to fulfill his new calling and equips him for that calling.
3. The Christian simply yields himself to the Spirit for this anointing. Hemay, upon being given a new ministry, go along with God and yield himself and surrender his will and present himself for the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Have you been called to a new task? Is there a new charge given you? Then choose several hours. Get alone with God. Plead with Him to equip you or anoint you for the task to which God has called you. This should be done by a new parent, a new bride, a new groom, a new pastor, a new song director, a new choir director, a new Sunday school teacher, a new bus captain,, a new usher, a new choir member, a new deacon a new evangelist. This anointing will not take the place of the fulness of the Spirit. After the king or the priest or the prophet was anointed by God, he still from time to time was filled with the Holy Spirit, as we are admonished by the apostle to be "being filled" with the Spirit.
4. This anointing is, in a sense, God giving His mind to the task. It is a little private ordination service. It is a private inauguration. It is a private installation service.
I have pastored five churches. At the beginning of each pastorate I have gotten alone with God for hours, and in some cases, for days, and asked God to anoint me and equip me for the task ahead.
A perfect illustration of this truth is shown in the life of a dear pastor friend. He had just assumed a new pastorate. It was his first. He came to the nationwide Pastors' School at the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. His life was transformed. As he and his wife and another couple drove their rented car back to the airport they came to the Hammond city limit sign. They stopped, got out of the car, made an altar of the city limit sign yielded themselves to the Holy Spirit of God to be used of Him to build a great work in Florida. This was anointing time. God did anoint him. This did not take the place of the need to be filled again and again with the Holy Spirit, But in some wonderful way God equipped him at this little inauguration service beside a road with the Hammond city limit sign as an altar. In a marvelous way, God will give His mind to a task as a Christian yields himself for equipping, for anointing and yes, for sanctifying.
This anointing could be called "sanctifying" or "being set apart for a task." The nation of Israel faced an impossible task. Three million people with no food, no water, no homes and no jobs had to march across a dangerous wilderness toward a land they had never seen. God told them to sanctify themselves. Exodus 19:10, "And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes."
When this little nation stood before the Jordan River facing the land of heathen nations, each to become their enemy and each larger than theirs, again God told His people to sanctify themselves. Joshua 3:5, "And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: For to morrow the lord will do wonders among you."
When that nation came to Ai, again they had a task before them; again they needed to be sanctified. Joshua 7:13, "Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow: for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you." When those people had endured terrible apostasy under King Ahaz, God raised up another to sanctify themselves. II Chronicles 29:5, "And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place."
Another apostasy came under Amanasseh and Amon, but God raised up another king named Josiah. Again he told the people that before revival could come they would have to sanctify themselves. II Chronicles 35:6, "So kill the Passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren, that they may do according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses."
Blessed believer, aren't you weary of laboring in the energy of the flesh?? Aren't you tired of going through the motions of serving God without having been anointed for the task that is yours? Tiptoe into the woods somewhere. Drive away from civilization for awhile. Spend some hour with God. Tell Him that the task is bigger than you and the responsibility is too great for the flesh. Ask Him to anoint you, to sanctify you, to equip you, to inaugurate you for the job ahead. Ask Him for His mind as you serve. Ask Him to appropriate to you what you need.
Have you recently been chosen for a new responsibility? Begin this responsibility by finding a quiet place and having a little private ordination service between you and God. Ask God to lay His hands upon you and to anoint you for the task ahead. Then day by day, beg for His power, plead for His fulness and walk in the Spirit.
Remember that the anointing of the priest took place at the beginning of his ministry, the anointing of the king took place at the beginning of his reign and the anointing of the prophet took place at the beginning of his work. Perhaps no human bands will place olive oil on your brow (though this is certainly not out of order), but at such a time of surrender the hand of God could take His Holy Spirit and equip you for a task for which by nature you are not equipped.
Even now, place a marker in this book, walk or drive to a place where you can get alone with God. Sanctify yourself; set yourself apart; yield yourself to the Holy Spirit for His anointing. The rest is up to Him. Believe that He does it. No doubt, He will!
An old country preacher was heard praying, "Lord, give me the unction. Lord, give me the unction. Lord, give me the unction." Someone who overheard the prayer said, "Reverend, what is the unction?" The old preacher, through tears, cried, "I don't know what it is, but I know what it ain't." Perhaps we do not know all that the anointing is, but far too many of us know "what it ain't." Lord, give us the unction!
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