Scripture Reading: I John 2:20; 27
This morning I want to share about the anointing, and more specifically on ‘Tomorrow’s Anointing’. I read this portion of scripture in one of my morning devotion and I felt led to share this with you. What can we learn about the anointing?
(1) Literal Meaning of ‘Anointing’
The word ‘unction’ used in I John 2:20 is translated ‘anointing’ in the NIV version. Then in verse 27, twice in the same verse, the word ‘anointing’ is mentioned again. If you go to a classical dictionary, I must say you will be shocked and disappointed with the definition. To ‘anoint’ is to ‘smear on’. It means to take an ointment and smear it on’. It is like when you take a medicated petrolatum (semi-solid mixture of hydrocarbons that is used as a topical ointment for its skin healing) and put it on your chest at night; you are anointing yourself, you are smearing it on. It also was used by the Church when someone was sick, when you smear the person with olive oil.
‘Charisma’ is the Greek word for ‘anointing’. That is what charisma means. Vernon McGee checked with Dr. R. C. Trench and Dr Marvin Vincent, two outstanding Greek scholars, and they also have come up with the same meaning. Charisma means ‘to smear’ on. Well, we are reminded of how Prophet Samuel would take a horn of oil, most probably, olive oil and pour it on Saul or David when he was asked to anoint them. Prophet Samuel had definitely smeared the two men with the horn of oil. I mean you don’t just let drips of oil slowly trickle onto the head but abundance of oil, equivalent to smearing them. It is said that Chrism oil is used to anoint Roman Catholics at baptism, confirmation, and ordination, as well as at many other church ceremonies. Most of you have Catholic background and therefore I believe that you are familiar with Chrism oil. Chrism is a consecrated ointment consisting of a mixture of oil and balsam.
(2) Spiritual Meaning of ‘Anointing’
But what does this mean for us today as believers? Back in the Old Testament, by the command of God, the Israelites priests were anointed with oil. That anointing indicated in a physical way that they were specially endued by the Holy Spirit to perform a certain function.
I have a very strong impression that God is going to anoint a great number of people in this church; and that anointing is for a task and to fulfill God’s purpose for this world. That is what the anointing here means for us today. ‘But the anointing when ye received of him’-that is, you and I have an anointing of God. When you are saved, one of the things which the Spirit of God does for you is that He anoints you. He anoints you to understand the divine truth which you could not understand before.
The anointing refers to the Holy Spirit in each believer’s life. That anointing remains in true believers. That anointing implies a personal life-giving relationship between the believer and the Holy Spirit. A relationship has begun between the anointed and the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s anointing is real. John is not saying that teachers are not essential, but he is saying something that is important for God’s children today. ‘But the anointing which you have received of him’, referred to as the ‘unction of the Holy Spirit’, the ‘anointing of the Holy Spirit’, is to teach us. One of the Holy Spirit’s ministries is to teach us. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says ‘the natural man recevieth not the things of the Spirit of God, because they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But Paul wrote earlier in 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit. This is the anointing of the Holy Spirit for a believer.
During the Encounter Weekend, Sis Paulynne was saying that some of you, while at the altar, were given messages from God. I believed that. And I encouraged that person to be so well versed with the Word of God. This is one reason we encourage folks to get into the Word of God and to study it.
(3) Characteristics Of The Anointing
C.H Dodd has a long passage about the interpretation of the word ‘Charisma’. He quoted from Hippolytus a document in which reference is made to an initiation by anointing into some esoteric (mysterious) secrecy. It signifies an initiation. When you are anointed, you are initiated. He then concludes that the ‘chrism’ where we get the chrism oil is to confer the knowledge of God. When you are anointed, you are conferred the knowledge of God. It means we are given the revelation of God as communicated to us. In the anointing the Holy Spirit will abide with us forever and we possess knowledge by the Holy Spirit’s direct illumination. But it is more than just being given the knowledge of the Word. The Word ‘Charismatic’, which is derived from the word ‘Charisma’, actually means ‘gifts’. The word ‘charis’ is ‘grace’. It means that all gifts are charismatic and all gifts are freely given by the gracious God. Tongues, prophecy, Word of knowledge, working of miracles, mountain moving faith, healing, and visions are all manifestations of the anointing.
Pastor Lily said that during the encounter weekend, she suddenly had this mountain moving faith, which she has not experienced before in her entire life. That is a new anointing. Some in the Encounter said that they saw clouds. That is gift of vision. When we talk about the Charismatic movement, the first gift commonly referred to is tongues. Many of you during the Encounter began to speak in tongues which you have never spoken before. It is an anointing and its gift at that present time was tongues. For Saul when he was anointed, his first sign was prophesying. In 1 Samuel 10:1 it says ‘Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance.’ And 1 Samuel 10:10 says ‘And when they came thither to the hill, a company of prophets met him; and the spirit of God came upon him (Saul) and he prophesied among them’.
You see when God anoint you, it is for a purpose, to make you captain over his inheritance or God’s people. There is always a gift that accompanies the anointing. For Saul it was prophesying. Pastor Lily was saying that some of you when you were anointed at the encounter, your whole body was shaking when you were prophesying. Bible commentators said that Saul’s prophesying most likely involved praise to God through both prophetic utterance and songs inspired by the Holy Spirit. Pastor Lily believes in singing in tongues. That is another charismatic gift. It is said that when the anointing comes, it is called ‘the glory’. This is because the presence of God is so powerful that it is characterized by shouts of joy, people waving their handkerchiefs, clapping with inexpressible happiness. It is noisy. That is why people call it noisyrenes. It may bring great joy –when people laugh, shout, or fall to the floor having lack of strength.
Let me share with you the anointing of R. T. Kendall. He said ‘I was a student at Threvecca Nazarenee College. I was driving in my car when the glory of the Lord filled the car. I felt that surge of the Spirit go into my chest like liquid fire. I had to turn off the radio and prayed for the rest of the journey. I had an extreme heaviness in my chest and stomach but had no idea at the time that God was at work. I felt the opposite. God seemed a thousand miles away. All of a sudden, I saw the Lord Jesus interceding for me at God’s right hand. It was powerful, almost overwhelming. The next thing I remember was hearing the voices of the Son and the Father, which issued in the sweetest peace and rest of soul. It was incredible. It was even physical – that I felt the warmth of the Spirit in my chest.
(4) The Anointed One
The word for ‘anointed ones’ is ‘christoi’. There is a powerful song that brings out its meaning, when it calls out ‘chrisoi’. It means the anointed one. I know that we think of Christ as the anointed one. But do you know that Samuel said the same thing to Saul and David; that they are the anointed one. It means you have or possessed a special anointing from God and that anointing gave you all the knowledge and discernment of the truth. We have ‘an anointing from the Holy One’. When Jesus, the Messiah, came as promised he was anointed with the Holy Spirit. I have said that I believe that John 7:37-38 is one of the end times prophecy for the last days; concerning those who thirst and come to Jesus, that rivers of living water will flow out from them. I also believe that Isaiah 61:1 is an end times commandment and prophetic messages ready to be fulfilled for those that believed. Isaiah 61:1 and Acts 10:38 are words of God intended to be fulfilled in our days; ‘The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD hath anointed me to preach the good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.’ When you are anointed, you will be greatly used to bring inner healing, break strong bondages and vices, release joy and peace to souls. John wrote of Christians being anointed. It has become commonplace to label certain preachers, songs, worship services, or sermons as ‘anointed’. That usually means the person somehow evokes or facilitates an awareness of God’s power or presence.
To anoint also means to consecrate or set apart for a special purpose. In the last days the Spirit of God is anointing every believer for a task. In the anointing you are asked to give up something to fulfill the calling. The things that you are required to give up may be alright with another Christian and not with you. I believe that God doesn’t want my family to drink wine if we truly want the anointing. I just read Amos 2:11-12 when God says ‘And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus; O ye children of Israel? Saith the LORD. But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink, and commanded the prophets, saying, “Prophesy not”.
(5) Yesterday’s Anointing
There is such a thing as yesterday’s anointing. Should the anointing lift and the glory fade away, there are always those who sadly won’t admit to this withdrawal of the Spirit. Then they work it up, creating the shouting and manifestations that become pale imitation. Once this happen, the glory becomes yesterday’s anointing in two ways.
Firstly, God may not necessarily want His glory to be manifested in precisely the same way as it had been unveiled in a previous time. This church has been trained to be loud and noisy when it is at the altar. We thought that my speaking in tongues loudly, me included, there is the power of the Holy Spirit. We are afraid of silence at the altar. But that could be yesterday’s anointing. God works in different ways. Yesterday’s anointing was real enough, but it was for yesterday. Secondly, those who ‘work it up’ are trying to keep yesterday’s anointing alive and the flesh becomes all too obvious. Why does anointing end? I want to speak honestly here. Many of us have yesterday’s anointing. Oh yes, we were on fire for God. We were fulfilling God’s purpose. But no more today. We had yesterday’s anointing. I also speak to myself. I don’t want yesterday’s anointing.
Last evening I was having fellowship with one of Sister Madeline Justas’s brother-in-law. He was born again around 2005. But he is filled with excitement for God. He was telling me about he always wanting to share the gospel to an unbeliever. He was also telling me about many experiences he had with God and how God deliver him. I can sense the fire in him.
Many of us used to be like that. Then it became yesterday’s anointing. Why? Why does the anointing end? There are two reasons. First we grieve the Spirit. The chief way we grieve the Spirit seems to be bitterness. Because right after Paul said, ‘And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption’, he added, ‘Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as in Christ God forgave you’. (Eph 4:31-32) I do know that in my own case that when bitterness and an unforgiving spirit crept in, the powerful sense of God’s presence subsided.
Unconsciously many of us have allowed unforgiveness, bitterness to cause us to become yesterday’s anointing. We are bitter with people, government, family members, the church, the neighbors and even God.
Saul was the best example of yesterday’s anointing. He grieved the Holy Spirit. He was anointed definitely. But it became yesterday’s anointing. And he never get right with God. He became jealous, envious, and bitter with David until and evil spirit troubled him continually.
But the second reason is the sovereignty of God. He chooses to stay for a while. It is for a season. There is a period of silence. I call that the silence year. God allows us to go through the silence years but we must press in to receive tomorrow’s anointing. It is to lead you to become tomorrow’s men and women for tomorrow’s anointing. God knows we had yesterday’s anointing. But he wants us to be tomorrow’s men and women for tomorrow’s anointing. The pain is that you have to wait. Sometimes much longer than you thought. The preparation is hard, God having to mold and shape you for your usefulness at the proper time. I do not know how to explain to you. But I feel that God is molding and shaping me. Oh I do know how rebellious, wild, stubborn, like a wild ass, I am. Many times I cried out. “How long, O Lord? You cried as David in Psalms 13:1 ‘How long will thou forget me O LORD? For ever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me?’ God seemed like a thousand miles away. I am never quite prepared for the rigid discipline God puts me through for the calling he has destined for us.
A man or woman with tomorrow’s anointing always needs further preparation. The same experience can happen to you. The pain of being tomorrow’s men and women for tomorrow’s anointing largely comes from the degree of courage required with the job. What I am trying to say is that we are never quite up to the job until we have tomorrow’s anointing. God knows you had yesterday’s anointing. God knows you can never be tomorrow’s men and women for tomorrow’s anointing without the discipline. 2 Corinthians 2:16 says ‘Who is equal to such a task?’
What are the qualities that God is looking for? We may well feel like Gideon. The Lord addressed him as a mighty warrior’. His response: ‘How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family’. Moses said ‘O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue. What are the characteristic of today’s men and women for tomorrow’s anointing? Look at Saul. Look at what he said in 1 Samuel 9:21 ‘Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest tribes of Israel? And my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin?’ Of all the twelve tribes of Israel, the tribe of Benjamin is the smallest tribe. Saul’s family is the least of all the families of the tribes of Benjamin. Look at David. Jesse, the father of David made seven of his sons to pass through Samuel and concerning David, Jesse said ‘Oh he is the youngest and he keep sheep. David is ruddy (tan, sunburn). His complexion is darker because of outdoor life taking care of sheep.
The men and women that God is looking for tomorrow’s anointing comes from very lowly background. They are commoner. Very unbecoming, insecure and even inferior. They feel they are not eloquent. I think one of the biggest churches in Singapore is under Joseph Prince, New Creation Church. It has at least 20,000 members. Joseph Prince has a daughter. One day one of Joseph Prince’s best friends was talking to Joseph Prince’s daughter. He said, ‘Do you know that your father, during school days, when he talk, he will stutter; and he goes like this; tat ta ta ta. But today when the anointing came, I think he is one of the most eloquent speakers I heard. I never hear of ta ta ta ta. I believe that one of the transformations that will come upon people is God loosing the tongues of those people whom he has anointed. Some of you I have to be honest with you. When you talk, I cannot understand what you are saying. You need the anointing to loose the tongue.
(6) Moving From Yesterday’s Anointing to Tomorrow’s Anointing
God was powerfully at work in men like Luther and Calvin in the sixteen century. He was powerfully at work in men like Wesley and Whitefield in the eighteenth century. But the manifestation of His glory or we call it the anointing was quite different between the two eras. Then we also learn from the beginning of the twenty century, there was the anointing of the Pentecost, 1900s. Then in the 1930s to the 50s there was the healing anointing. In the 1960s and 70s there was the charismatic anointing. Then it was followed by the teaching anointing. We must recognize that yesterday’s anointing was momentous. When God turned Saul into another man it was momentous, and when Saul prophesied it was momentous. They said, ‘Is Saul also among the prophet? It was a wonderful moment in Israel and a pivotal moment for Saul.
But often what is momentous doesn’t last. No matter how you put it, it was yesterday’s anointing. I personally believe we are entering into another anointing era. We must not look at yesterday’s anointing. Pastor Lily and I must not even look at the Rodney Howard Browne’s anointing. The manifestations will be different. The way God brings about the new anointing will also be different. I personally believe that this anointing is the Spirit of Elijah’s anointing. Before the first coming of Jesus Christ, God sent John the Baptist to prepare the coming of Jesus Christ. Six month before the birth of Christ, Elizabeth was found with child. Elizabeth would give birth to John the Baptist. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit when he was in the mother’s womb. He was to prepare the first coming of Jesus Christ. Before Jesus begins his ministry, John the Baptist was a voice crying in the wilderness, preparing the way for the coming of Jesus Christ. I want to say that before Jesus’ second coming, God will sent Moses and Elijah back on earth and more specially to call the nation of Israel back to God. But what about the church? The nation of Israel had Moses and Elijah. How about the church? And the church is not located in one country, Israel. Today the churches are over at least 200 countries. Before the church of Jesus Christ is taken up to heaven, God will pour out the Spirit of Elijah’s anointing upon many to prepare the church for the rapture. The church is located everywhere in the world. Therefore God will put the anointing of Elijah, or the Spirit of Elijah upon many hearts and souls to prepare for the second coming of Christ. We must forget about the yesterday’s anointing.
God is looking for today’s man and woman for tomorrow’s anointing. Samuel is a type of today’s servant of Christ on the lookout for tomorrow’s servant. ‘So God 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’. Samuel had to break with yesterday’s anointing and yesterday’s man, whom God had discovered and put in power, and at the same time find and anoint tomorrow’s man.
Yesterday’s man endures the pain of irrelevance, having known what it was to be used of God. And yet if he thinks he is still under the same anointing he once had, he still suffers by knowing in his heart of hearts that he is struggling with great effort to convince himself and others that he is still on the cutting edge of what God is doing today. But deep in his heart he knows he is yesterday’s man. But you don’t have to remain yesterday’s man. You must be honest with God and repent. The pain of being tomorrow’s man or woman is that you have to wait – sometimes much longer than you thought. The preparation is hard, God having to mold and shape you for your usefulness at the proper time. ‘How long, O Lord’ you cry as David did. We are never quite prepared for the rigid discipline God puts us through for the calling he has destined for us. But David did became tomorrow’s man for tomorrow’s anointing
(7) The Purpose of Tomorrow’s Anointing
When the Samuel said to David ‘the Lord anointed, the purpose of David’s anointing was firstly to dedicate him to God for the special tasks in which he was called and secondly to impart to him enabling grace and gifts for his God appointed task. The LORD’s anointed became a common term. Thirdly he is changed into another man. God changed David’s inner disposition through his anointing by the Holy Spirit. The change was not unconditional or permanent, but something that could be maintained only by obedience to God. God also changed David’s heart. David possessed many God given endowments to help him serve God in a righteous manner. He had a changed heart, an empowering by the Holy Spirit, a strong body, a humble attitude.
What kind of anointing are you having today? Yesterday’s anointing or tomorrow’s anointing? Let’s move away from yesterday’s anointing and ask God for tomorrow’s anointing so that we can fulfill the last day purpose of God for our era.
SERMON OF PAS TOH NEE.Preached AT EFC on May 8, 2011