OUR AMAZING ANOINTING:
THE HOLY SPIRIT
In his first epistle John wrote
As for you, the anointing (to chrisma) which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. (1 John 2:27)
NLT paraphrase - But you have received the Holy Spirit, and He lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what He teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as He has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.
TLB paraphrase - But you have received the Holy Spirit, and He lives within you, in your hearts, so that you don’t need anyone to teach you what is right. For He teaches you all things, and He is the Truth, and no liar; and so, just as He has said, you must live in Christ, never to depart from Him.
John had just declared that "you have an anointing (KJV = "unction") from the Holy One, and you all know." (1 John 2:20-see discussion) Most expositors agree that this anointing refers to the Holy Spirit that every believer received (Romans 8:9-note) at the moment of regeneration by the self-same Spirit (Titus 3:5-6-note) Later in his first epistle John clearly spoke of the Holy Spirit adding that "the one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And we know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit Whom He has given us." (1 John 3:24-note) "By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit." (1 John 4:13-note)
AN ANOINTING, A SEALING
AND A PLEDGE
Paul writing to the saints at Corinth explained that
Now He who establishes us with you in Christ (means "Anointed One - See also Messiah - Anointed One) and anointed (chrio) us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge." (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
Kent Hughes observes that the sense of Paul's declaration that God has "anointed us” is brought out in "the original (Greek text which) features a beautiful play on words that goes something like “God … christed us Christward,” indicating that he has made us Christ’s people, a messianic community." (Preaching the Word)
Charles Simeon comments that all believers are "anointed with a heavenly unction—It is the communication of the Holy Spirit that first enables them to believe in Christ (1 John 2:20-note); but, as the lamps in the sanctuary, they have daily supplies of the holy oil. By means of these they obtain more abundant knowledge and grace (Isaiah 2:2,3-note), and are progressively renewed after the image of their God (2Cor 4:16-note).
Jamieson observes that in view of our having been anointed by the Spirit our lives can be "a sweet savor of Christ" (2 Corinthians 2:15) to everyone we meet (cp the composition of the anointing oil in Ex 25:6!). Before God anointed us, our lives were "as filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6KJV), but now the Spirit "manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place." (2 Cor 2:14) Dearly beloved, in view of our having been anointed with the "sweetness" of the Spirit of Christ, is your life giving off this sweet aroma of Him every place you go? Every believer can achieve this potential because we have all received His anointing!
Wilhelmus a Brakel adds these thoughts about the Old Testament practice of anointing - In those times and places, rather than using a fragrant powder for one’s hair as we do, they used fragrant oils which, by way of the apothecary’s art, were created as a very choice mixture whereby all its fragrance was derived from mixing a small quantity of ingredients together, creating a quintam essentium. This oil would be sprinkled in the hair in small quantities in order to make one’s appearance presentable, and by the loveliness of the fragrance to make oneself desirable in the presence of others. The Lord had commanded to make a special oil from various fragrant spices according to the art of the apothecary (Ex. 30:25). No one was permitted either to imitate this or to sprinkle with this ointment, the violation of this injunction resulting in being cut off from his people (Ex. 30:32–33). With this oil Aaron and his sons were anointed to minister in the priest’s office (vs. 30). Prophets, as well as kings (1 Sam. 10:1; 16:13), were anointed with this oil (1 Ki. 19:16).
ANOINTED WITH PRIVILEGE
AND POWER FOR SERVICE
Alexander Maclaren commenting on 2 Corinthians 1:22 explains that
THERE are three strong metaphors in this and the preceding verse (2 Cor 1:21)—‘anointing,’ ‘sealing,’ and ‘giving the earnest’—all of which find their reality in the same divine act. These three metaphors all refer to the same subject, and what that subject is sufficiently explained in the last of them. The ‘earnest’ consists of ‘the Spirit in our hearts,’ and the same explanation might have been appended to both the preceding clauses, for the ‘anointing’ is the anointing of the Spirit, and the ‘seal’ is the seal of the Spirit. Further, these three metaphors all refer to one and the same act. They are not three things, but three aspects of one thing, just as a sunbeam might be regarded either as the source of warmth, or of light, or of chemical action. So the one gift of the one Spirit, ‘anoints,’ ‘seals,’ and is the ‘earnest.’ Further, these three metaphors all declare a universal prerogative of Christians. Every man that loves Jesus Christ has the Spirit in the measure of his faith, ‘and if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His.’....from beginning to end of Scripture, ‘anointing’ is taken as the symbol of the communication of a true divine influence. The oil poured on the head of prophet, priest, and king was but the expression of the communication to the recipient of a divine influence which fitted him as well as designated him, for the office that he filled. And although it is aside from my present purpose, I may just, in a sentence, point to the felicity of the emblem. The flowing oil smooths the surface upon which it is spread, supples the limbs, and is nutritive and illuminating; thus giving an appropriate emblem of the secret, silent, quickening, nourishing, enlightening influences of that Spirit which God gives to all His sons.... On you in a measure the same Spirit rests which dwelt without measure in Him (Christ) (John 3:34). The chief of Christ’s gifts to the Church is the gift of His Own life (John 11:25, 1 John 5:11-note, Colossians 3:4-note). All His brethren are anointed with the oil that was poured upon His head, even as the oil upon Aaron’s locks percolated to the very skirts of his garments. Being anointed with the anointing which was on Him (Isaiah 61:1,2, Luke 4:18, 19, Acts 10:38, Hebrews 1:9-note), all His people may claim an identity of nature, may hope for an identity of destiny, and are bound to a prolongation of part of His function and a similarity of character. (Beloved, you may want to read that description of yourself AGAIN!) (Read the Full sermon)
Friberg points out that the verb anoint is the Greek verb chrio which "figuratively in the NT, (speaks) of God's activity in appointing someone to an office, function, or privilege; appoint, assign, give a task." Perhaps you feel God has no desire to use you or can't use you because of your past or even some present failure. If you are thinking this way, then ponder the truth of your Amazing Anointing, which is clearly associated with God's desire for you to enter into and fulfill His divine purpose for your life (Your life does have a purpose!). Beloved, if you are believer in Jesus Christ you have been anointed with an office (you are a priest - 1 Peter 2:9-note, foreshadowed in the OT anointing of Aaron in Lev 8:12-see note on the Hebrew verb "mashach"), a function (e.g., even if you feel you cannot do anything else, as a priest you are able to intercede for others! This is no small thing!) and privilege (as one anointed to be a priest, you have continual access to the throne of God, Hebrews 4:16-note, Hebrews 10:19-22-note). Do not buy adversary's lie (John 8:44, Rev 12:10-note), that you have blown it so bad that your life has no meaningful purpose. If you are a true believer and your return and confess and repent (1 John 1:9-note), you are in fellowship with the Lord God Almighty because "the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7-note) and you can confidently enter into your role as one of His privileged priests. Let me encourage you to get a notebook and begin to write down people's names for whom you can intercede. Eternity will be different for them and for you. As E. M. Bounds said "Prayer is far-reaching in its influence and worldwide in its effects. It affects all men, affects them everywhere, and affects them in all things. It touches man's interest in time and eternity. It lays hold upon God and moves Him to interfere in the affairs of earth. It moves the angels to minister to men in this life. It restrains and defeats the devil in his schemes to ruin man. Prayer goes everywhere and lays its hand upon everything." Do you believe that beloved? It is true, not because of who you were, but because of who you are, a natural man or woman with a supernatural anointing with the Spirit of the Living God!
If you need more encouragement to practice your privileged anointing read C H Spurgeon's thoughts on our purpose as anointed priests of the Most High God:
What wonders it has wrought! Intercessory prayer has stayed plagues (Ex 7-11). Intercessory prayer has healed diseases. We know it did in the early church. It has restored withered limbs. Intercessory prayer has raised the dead (1 Kings 17:1-24). As to how many souls intercessory prayer has instrumentally saved, recording angel, you can tell! Eternity, you shall reveal! There is nothing which intercessory prayer cannot do.
William MacDonald reiterates that "the anointing" refers to the Spirit's "qualifying, empowering, and teaching" us.
J Vernon McGee adds that "This ministry of the Holy Spirit is very important. He doesn’t give you a mail-order degree, nor does this knowledge come in a gift-wrapped box. You have the Holy Spirit to teach you, Christian friend, and He alone can open the Word of God to you. That is the reason this is a miracle Book. The Lord Jesus said to His own men, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth …” (John 16:12–13). He wants to guide you into all truth." (Thru the Bible)
JESUS OUR EXAMPLE:
ANOINTED WITH THE SPIRIT AND POWER
Adrian Rogers explains a truth of vital importance we must all clearly understand regarding our anointing with the Holy Spirit - And I don't think it is an exaggeration to say that if you really grasp this truth, it is truth which can radically impact your Christian life and ministry!
Jesus Christ did all that He did in the power and the anointing of the Holy Ghost (read Luke 3:21, 22, 4:1,2, 14, 18). His ministry was under the anointing oil (Ed: the "oil of the Spirit"). The light that Jesus gave forth was the light of the Spirit burning in Jesus' life....Now, you say, "Why is that so important?" Because Jesus Christ is our example (1 Peter 2:12-note, 1 John 2:6-note), and Jesus Christ is our pattern (1 Corinthians 11:1). Now, look....in Acts 10:38—and here we read "how God anointed..."—that means, "poured out the oil of the Holy Spirit"—"how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power (dunamis): Who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." God the Father anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit; and, therefore, Jesus' ministry was in, and through, and by the Spirit..... look, for a moment, in the Gospel of Luke. And, it's so crystal clear. Now, just stay with me and pay very much attention, because when you get the import of what I'm about to say, it will really bless your heart, unless your blesser is missing. Luke 3:21, 22...Here is Jesus Christ—not receiving the Spirit; but here is Jesus Christ being anointed by the Spirit for power, for ministry (cp Luke 4:14). And so, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jesus. And, Hebrews says, "Thou art anointed with the oil of gladness above thy fellows" (Hebrews 1:9-note). You see, the central shaft was the highest of all. Jesus Christ was perfectly filled with the Spirit. None of us are. But, "Jesus Christ was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows"—that is, "His brethren." Here is Jesus, the very pinnacle; and, here God has poured the holy oil out—the Holy Spirit—upon the Lord Jesus Christ. And, that's why Jesus was such a light (John 8:12)—because Jesus was burning the oil of the Holy Spirit. Now, watch—you're in Luke 3:21-23. Now, look in Luke 4:1: "And Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness" (Luke 4:1). Here, Jesus is now filled with the Spirit. Here's Jesus being led by the Spirit. Notice in Luke 4:4: "And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee" (Luke 4:14). Jesus went to face the devil under the leadership of the Spirit. Jesus defeated the devil and came out of that temptation experience in the power of the Holy Spirit. Notice, in Luke 4:18, Jesus stood in the synagogue and opened the Word of God, and this is what Jesus read from the Word of God—listen to it: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel" (Luke 4:18). Not only did Jesus face the devil in the power of the Holy Spirit; Jesus preached in the power of the Holy Spirit. And, how did Jesus Christ come forth out of the grave? The Bible tells us—and we won't turn to this—but in Hebrews 9:14, that Jesus, by the Spirit, "offered himself" (Hebrews 9:14-note). And then—that is, Jesus died in the power (dunamis) of the Holy Spirit—and then, we find out that, in Romans 8, Jesus Christ was raised by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11-note). All of Jesus' ministry was in the power of the Holy Spirit. Now understand, Jesus is God. But, when Jesus came to this earth, He became Man (cp Php 2:6-8-note). And, as Man, Jesus received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, just like I must and just like you must. Now, if Jesus had come to Earth and behaved as God, He couldn't be my example. If Jesus had gone into the wilderness and, as God, defeated the devil, He could never have been my example....when Jesus performed His ministry—now, watch—Jesus never "pulled rank" on us! Jesus never did something that you and I don't have the privilege and the prerogative (and the power) to do! Jesus never said, "Well, I'm going to use my prerogatives as Deity and defeat Satan." Jesus said, "I'll depend upon the same power that Adrian Rogers must depend upon in Memphis, Tennessee—the Holy Spirit." You see, both the central shaft and the branches all burn from the same oil (Ed: Referring to the oil supplying the Menorah - picture). And, that oil represents the Holy Spirit. God anointed Jesus with the Holy Ghost and with power; and, Jesus, through the Holy Ghost, went about doing good—or, the Holy Spirit....This is the way that Jesus Christ did His work—in the power of the Holy Spirit. And, what a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful lesson it is to me, that the very same power that Jesus Christ used in His life is available to me. And, the very thing that caused Jesus to be a bright and shining light, and caused Jesus to be the light of the world, causes me to be the light of the world (Mt 5:16-note, Php 2:15-note). The very same force that energized Jesus and gave Him life can energize me and give me life—the very same force that caused Jesus to be fruitful can cause me to be fruitful, as long as I abide in the vine and receive the oil. What a wonderful, wonderful lesson! This is the lesson that... On the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out, there sat upon every man's head what? Cloven tongues of fire (Acts 2:3KJV). You see, the Lord, when He poured out the oil, He lit the fire! That's what it's all about—that's what it's all about: that we are to be light of the world. We are those six branches, now unified with that one central branch, making perfection. And so, all I have to do, friend, is to abide and shine; all I have to do is abide and bear fruit. You never saw a lamp trying to burn; it just burns. You never saw a branch trying to bear fruit; it just bears fruit, when it abides in the vine. Jesus said, "You abide in me, and I in you, and then you're going to bring forth much fruit" (John 15:7). Now, you see, if this had been a candle, the candle will burn itself out in a while. And. the candle gives of its own substance, but the lampstand burns the oil. Say, don't you think that it's about time you started burning the oil and stop trying to be a candle? You see, you'll not make nearly so much smoke, and you'll burn a whole lot longer. And, what a beautiful fire it will be, when you stop burning the wick, and start burning the oil. The oil is the Holy Spirit.
- The Holy Spirit - discusses the role of the Spirit in Jesus' life giving us an Example to follow
- A Spirit Filled Church - discusses the power source for the church
Warren Wiersbe on every believer's Amazing Anointing:
All Christians have been anointed by the Spirit (2 Cor. 1:21). In the Old Testament, the only persons who were anointed by God were prophets (1 Kings 19:16), priests (Ex. 28:41), and kings (1 Sam. 15:1). Their anointing equipped them for service....A New Testament Christian is anointed, not with literal oil, but by the Spirit of God—an anointing that sets him apart for his ministry as one of God’s priests (1 Peter 2:5, 9).....As we yield to the Spirit, He enables us to serve God and to live godly lives. He gives us the special spiritual discernment that we need to serve God acceptably (1 John 2:20, 27)....The Spirit is our Teacher; it is He Who enables us to detect truth and error and to remain (“abide”) in Christ. He is our protection against ignorance, deception, and untruth. (Bible Exposition Commentary)
O to be like Thee! Lord, I am coming
Now to receive the anointing divine;
All that I am and have I am bringing --
Lord, from this moment all shall be Thine.
John Piper explains anointing - Acts 10:38 says that Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit. And 1 John 4:13 says that God has given us of his Spirit. So the anointing referred to in 1Jn 2:20 (see note) and 1 Jn 2:27 is probably the pouring of the Holy Spirit into our hearts when we are born again. So we can go back and rephrase 1Jn 2:20 like this: “You have the Holy Spirit from God in you and so you know the truth.” And 1Jn 2:27 would go like this: “The Holy Spirit which you received from God abides in you and so you have no need that any one should teach you. That is, you don’t need these progressive prophets who claim to add new information about Christ beyond the truth you heard at the beginning.” What is plain from these two verses is that without the Holy Spirit we would not know the truth. Knowing the truth about Christ is a gift of the Holy Spirit. (1 John 2:18-27 Let What You Heard Abide in You)
As one saint succinctly said "Whom God appoints he anoints."
Vance Havner in his straight-forward style once said that "Without the anointing of the Holy Spirit the preacher may storm, the teacher may strive, the Christian worker may sweat, but all to no avail."
Robert Morgan has a devotional comment on 1 John 2:27 - One evening a couple of years ago I had a vivid dream. In this dream I was scheduled to speak at a chapel service, and I was late. The students were singing hymns waiting for me. As I arrived, I noticed that I'd forgotten my Bible; so on the way to the platform, I borrowed one from a professor in the audience. But when I got to the pulpit to open it, it suddenly became a moldy, stale loaf of bread. The recollection of that dream bothered me. "Lord," I prayed, "may I never stand in your pulpit with a dry, moldy, stale message. May my messages from You always be fresh." After thirty years in ministry, I know my messages will only be fresh if they cycle through my heart in a personal way. I have to sit at the feet of Jesus, listen to His Word, and get His food for my own soul. In the Upper Room, Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would tutor us in the Scriptures if we would prayerfully, quietly, diligently study them in His presence (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13). Remembering those words, the apostle John later wrote that the Spirit's anointing "teaches you about all things." It's amazing what fresh insights come as we pour over the Bible for our own nourishment. Only then will our words be fresh and hot, made from scratch and straight from the oven, ready to feed hungry hearts.
A E Brooke writes that the words an anointing "are not aimless. They serve to close the subject, and in connection with what follows to account for the brevity of his treatment of it. The writer has only to call to their remembrance the essential features of their own faith, and the grave issues raised by the anti-christian teaching. The chrism (anointing) which they have received will enable them to do the rest for themselves. They are in possession of all that is necessary for self-defense, if they use the power which has been given to them (A critical and exegetical commentary)
Spurgeon the "Prince of Preachers" once said "If I have preached without the Holy Spirit I have preached in vain. If I have gone to my prayer chamber, no matter how earnest I desired to be, I have prayed in vain unless the Spirit of God has been upon me. This anointing is the Christian’s supreme need!...I wonder how long we might beat our brains before we could plainly put into words what is meant by preaching with unction. Yet he who preaches knows its presence, and he who hears soon detects its absence."
Leonard Ravenhill adds that "I would sooner expect a frog to sit down and play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata than expect to see some of the slick preachers of this hour preach with an anointing that would cause godly fear among the people....Unction is God’s knighthood for the soldier-preacher who has wrestled in prayer and gained the victory....We are tired of men in soft raiment and softer speech who use rivers of words with but a spoonful of unction."
Father, thank You for Your Spirit--
Fill us with His love and power;
Change us into Christ's own image
Day by day and hour by hour.
The Father gave the Spirit to make us like His Son
J C Philpot has a note on 1 John 2:27 - Have you ever had a solitary drop of this holy anointing oil fall upon your heart? One drop, if it be but a drop, will sanctify you forever to the service of God. There was not much of the holy anointing oil used for the service of the tabernacle, when we consider the size and quantity of what had to be consecrated, for Moses had to anoint therewith the whole of the tabernacle of the congregation, as well as all the vessels, with all their various accessories. When he went through the sacred work, he touched one vessel after another with a drop of oil; for one drop sanctified the vessel to the service of the tabernacle. There was no repetition of the consecration needed; it abode. So if you ever had a drop of God's love shed abroad in your heart--a drop of the anointing to teach you the truth as it is in Jesus; a drop to penetrate, to soften, to heal, to feed and give light, life, and power to your soul--you have the unction from the Holy One; you know all things which are for your salvation, and by that same holy oil you have been sanctified and made meet for an eternal inheritance. - (J. C. Philpot. Daily Portions).
In light of the truth that our bodies are a temple of the Living God (1 Cor 6:19, 20), Spiros Zodhiates makes an interesting comment related to anointing - "After a temple was built, it was consecrated, set apart for God's use and service. If we look at the accounts of such consecrations in Scripture, we see that the temple first had to be purified from pollution by blood and fire, through an atoning sacrifice. Then there was the idea of full surrender of the building and its contents to the service of the one God, followed by an anointing with oil to signify the touch of God's Holy Spirit."
Robert Neighbour on the need for the Spirit - Unless saints know their anointing, they are helpless as babes in doing the will of God. The work of God can only be made powerful through the Spirit of God. "Ye shall receive power, the Holy Ghost coming upon you," was the promise of the Father. Alas, how many churches there are to-day whose only knowledge of the Holy Spirit, is a theoretical knowledge. From the pastor down through the whole membership, there seems to be no Spirit-endued witnesses to the faith. It certainly pays to halt the work until there is a conscious manifestation of the Spirit's working. Service rendered in the energy of the flesh is a fruitless service. The minister himself needs far more than the best that a theological training can give him; he needs far more than oratorical gifts; far more than literary accomplishments; he needs to have his heart and lips touched with a live coal from off God's altar. The young man or young woman who is in preparation for any phase of Christian work, needs more than schools and colleges can impart. In order to be used of God, one must be set on fire by the Spirit of God. "Power belongeth unto God." (Psalm 62:11KJV) It is "by My Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts." (Zechariah 4:6) Stephen was a mighty witness, because he was a man full "of faith and power." (Acts 6:8) The early Church was told to look out from among themselves, men "filled with the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:4, 4:8, 4:31, 9:17, 13:9) Our churches and our mission stations at home and abroad need to demand as their first prerequisite, that those who serve them are people who have heard of the Holy Ghost and who have been "endued with power from on high." (Luke 24:49) The factory may be splendidly equipped, but of what use is it all, unless there is power to turn the wheels? The train may stand on the track with every comfort that modern ingenuity can provide, but of what value is it unless the fire is under the boiler, and the power is at hand to run the train?
Octavius Winslow discusses the many benefits to the believer of the holy anointing - "The Lord's anointed" is the expressive and appropriate designation of all the Lord's people. This anointing it is that marks them as a "chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people." (1 Peter 2:9) It is the Lord's peculiar mark upon those who distinguishes and designates them as His own. All who are strangers to this anointing are strangers to the grace of God and the calling of the Holy Spirit. There may be much spiritual light in the judgment, and even an open profession of religion before the world, added to which there shall be something of Jehu's "zeal for the Lord;" (2 Kings 10:16) and yet that anointing of the Holy Spirit be still lacking, apart from which all intellectual illumination, and outward profession, and party zeal, pass for nothing with a heart searching God (cp the "nothing" of John 15:5). As the proper signification of the endeared name, Christ, is anointed (See also Messiah - Anointed One), so the true signification of the honored appellation, Christian, points us to the anointing, of which all who have union with Christ personally share. I believe the remark to be as solemn as it is true, that eternity will only fully unfold the amount of evil that has sprung from calling those Christians who call themselves Christians, without any valid title to the high, holy, and distinguished appellation. How imperfectly are men in general aware of the deep, the significant, the spiritual import of the term! They think not, they know not, that a Christian is one who partakes, in His renewing, sanctifying grace, of that same Divine Holy Spirit with which Christ was anointed of the Father for His great work (Acts 10:38). The effects of this anointing are what might be expected from a cause so glorious. It beautifies the soul. It is that anointing spoken of by the Psalmist: "And oil to make his face to shine." (Psalm 104:15KJV) Therefore it is called the "beauties of holiness." (Psalm 110:3KJV) How does a man's face shine- how is his countenance lit up- when the joy of the Lord is his strength (Nehemiah 8:10), when the spirit of adoption is in his soul (Ro 8:15KJV - note KJV capitalizes "Spirit"), when the love of God is shed abroad in his heart (Romans 5:5)! It gladdens too. Therefore it is called the "oil of joy" (Isaiah 61:3KJV) and "the oil of gladness." (Psalm 45:7KJV) It causes the heart to sing in its deep sorrows, imparts the "garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness," (Isaiah 61:3KJV) and fills the soul with the glory of that "kingdom (which) is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Romans 14:17) Another effect springing from this anointing is the deep teaching it imparts- "You have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things." Such are some of the effects of this holy anointing. It beautifies, gladdens, and teaches. (Daily Walking with God)
As for you - John presents a striking contrast with those who deceive (1 John 2:26-note)! John reminds them of the resource God has given them to contend earnestly for the faith. A E Brooke adds that "The position of "you" () is significant. The readers must meet the attempts to lead them astray by efforts on their own part. Warning and exhortation are of no avail without their active response (Ed: That's a wise word for all of us!). (A critical and exegetical commentary)
The anointing - Most interpreters agree that anointing is a reference to their reception of the Holy Spirit. (Jn 14:26, 16:13) and His teaching (illuminating) ministry which guides believers into an understanding of spiritual truth.
Hiebert - "John's assertion in the latter part of the verse that "the same anointing teaches you" makes clear that the anointing is a Person (with power), not merely an impersonal power." Hiebert also makes an interesting comment that 1Jn 2:27 is a "long and grammatically difficult sentence." We will discuss these grammatical issues only minimally. For more discussion see one of the commentaries recommended above.
The Holy Spirit's ministry of guiding and teaching is often described by the term illumination.
ILLUMINATION - A theological term used to express the manner in which the Holy Spirit makes clear to man the Word of God, whether preached or in written form. Without an illumination of the Holy Scriptures, no man can understand God’s divine, infallible revelation because spiritual things are only spiritually—i.e., by the aid of the Holy Spirit—understood or discerned (1 Cor 2:11–14; Jn 16:13). Therefore Paul prayed that the “eyes” of our hearts might be enlightened (Eph 1:18). The Bible in its original text is the inspired, infallible Word of God. Inspiration therefore describes the work of the Spirit in the authors of the Scriptures and the Scriptures themselves; illumination, the means by which the Scriptures are made clear to the reader. (The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia)
D L Moody has a quip related to the Spirit's illuminating ministry - “The Bible without the Holy Spirit is a sun-dial by moonlight”
C H Spurgeon - The "Illuminated" Bible - You may read the Bible continuously and yet never learn anything by it, unless it is illuminated by the Spirit. Then the words shine forth like stars. Then the book seems made of gold leaf; every single letter glitters like a diamond. Oh! it is a blessed thing to read an "illuminated Bible" lit up by the radiance of the Holy Spirit. Have you read the Bible, and yet have your eyes been unenlightened? Go and say, "O Lord, illuminate it; shine upon it; for I cannot read it to profit, unless You enlighten me." Blind men may read the Bible with their fingers, but blind souls cannot. We need a light to read the Bible by; there is no reading it in the dark.
Steven Cole adds this caveat - The Spirit always works in conjunction with the Word. He does not give direct revelation today on a par with Scripture. The false teachers were claiming to have direct revelations from the Spirit, but their teaching contradicted the Word. If you get some “insight” that you think came from God, but it does not line up with God’s Word (interpreted properly in context), your “insight” is not from the Holy Spirit! Or, if someone says to you, “The Lord told me…” be careful! Sometimes they will even use a verse of Scripture, but invariably it is taken out of context. The Holy Spirit always leads us to the Word and to a deeper understanding of the supremacy and all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ.
John Piper asks "How does the anointing of the Spirit enable the saints to know the truth and protect them from deception? 1Jn 2:24 is the key. What it shows is that the truth which the Holy Spirit enables us to know is a truth that is delivered in the preaching of the apostles. “Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father.” Twice in that verse John stresses that the truth that should remain in them is truth that came to them through the ear at the beginning of their Christian walk: “what you heard from the beginning … what you heard from the beginning!” This was the preaching of the apostles. So John is not saying that the anointing of the Spirit enables us to know the truth of Christ by giving additional information beyond what they heard from the beginning. On the contrary John is intent on telling them they have enough revelation in what they heard from the beginning. He does not want to set them off in pursuit of something new. Remember 1Jn 2:7-note, “Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard.” In other words John makes effort to avoid the saying that what the church needs is new revelation. It does not. It needs to let the original apostolic teaching about Christ abide in them. The Word Tests the Spirit - 2 John 9 warns about the danger of progressiveness and newness in the doctrine of Christ: “Any one who goes ahead [progresses] and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God; he who abides in the doctrine has both the Father and the Son.” So the opposite of abiding in what you have heard from the beginning is to “go ahead” to new revelations and secret knowledge offered by Mohammed and Charles Russell and Joseph Smith and Mary Baker Eddy and Jim Jones and Sun Moon and an ever larger stream of antichrists in this last hour of deception. The Holy Spirit does not expand the apostolic teaching of Christ. On the contrary, the Word tests the Spirit. 1 John 4:2 says, “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus has come in the flesh is of God.” The Spirit agrees with the apostolic doctrine or it is not the Spirit of God. This is why we reject the teaching of Mr. Moon. Not because we can boast of different revelations from the Spirit, but because his claim does not square with the faith once for all delivered to the saints in the teaching of the apostles. So the work of the Holy Spirit is not to take us beyond the teaching of the apostles. It is to help us accept and abide in that teaching. It helps us grow in our understanding of that teaching. It strengthens our power to practice that teaching. It increases our confidence in the truth of that teaching. But it does not change the teaching. It does not expand on the teaching. (1 John 2:18-27 Let What You Heard Abide in You)
Scriptures Related to Illumination:
- Ask for illumination - Psalm 119:18-note "Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Thy law. "
- Jesus provides illumination on the Scriptures. Luke 24:45 "Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures"
- The Holy Spirit will bring illumination. John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." (While this was a promise given specifically to the 11 disciples, in principle it is applicable to all disciples.")
- Pray for illumination Ephesians 1:16-19-note - (I) do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might
- Scriptures pierce and illuminate - Hebrews 4:12-note For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Anointing (5545)(chrisma from chrio = to daub, smear, anoint with oil, root of the word Christos = Christ or Messiah) is a noun which literally means what has been spread on, such as an ointment. Chrisma is "that with which the anointing is performed — the unguent or ointment." (Vincent)
Have received (2983)(lambano from root lab- = actively lay hold of) means to take or grasp. Since all believers have received (aorist tense = past completed action) the anointing, they have no need to seek for it. On the other hand, they do have a responsibility (a need if you will) to see that the anointing is fully functional in them (cp 1 Jn 2:28).
When did they receive the anointing? When they were born again. Every believer has received the Holy Spirit (see Ro 8:9, 1 Cor 12:13). As noted above Paul writes "Now He Who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, Who also sealed us and gave [us] the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge." (2 Cor 1:21-22)
Candlish explains that this anointing is permanent —
“it (Ed: ultimately not an it but a He) abides in you.” This anointing is not a fitful emotion or wayward impulse, a rapture of excitement, alternating perhaps with deep depression. The anointing partakes more of the nature of a calm, constant, settled conviction. Frames, feelings, fancies, are all fluctuating; they are like the surface waters of the ocean, agitated by every wind. But this inward anointing is far down in the still depths beneath. It “abides in us;” the same always in its own inherent stillness and strength, amid whatever tossing its contact with the upper air may cause. Through tears and cries, as well as smiles and laughter, it abides in us the same; as it did in him who “rejoiced in the Spirit,” and who also “groaned in the Spirit.” “With our groanings which cannot be uttered,” the anointing Spirit, abiding in us, “makes intercession for us;” and our joy, like Christ’s, is “in the Holy Ghost.” This unction then is not to be confounded with our own varying moods of mind, or the varying impressions made on us by external circumstances. This anointing is something far more stable. It gives a certain firm and fixed apprehension of divine things and persons, which various vicissitudes (fluctuations of our state or our conditions) can scarcely interrupt or weaken, and cannot destroy. There may be more or less of the vivid sense of this anointing, at different seasons and in different circumstances; the signs of it may be more or less clearly discernible, and the hold we have of it in our consciousness may be more or less strong. Nevertheless the anointing “abides in us;” keeping God and eternity still before us as realities, in our sorest trials and darkest hours; causing us, as we fall back upon it, like David in his recovery from doubting despondency, to exclaim:—“I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High” (Ps. 77:10). (1 John 2:26-28 The Guileless Spirit, through the Abiding Messianic Unction)
Kistemaker - Countless individuals gain a knowledge of salvation through the reading of Scripture. Guided by the Holy Spirit, they are led to Jesus Christ and accept him in faith. After they accept Christ as their Savior, they are baptized in the name of the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Yet before their baptism, when they first came to conversion, they already experienced the anointing of the Spirit. (Exposition of James and the Epistles of John)
From Him - From God, with most commentators interpreting this as a reference to Jesus Christ. In Luke 22:49 Jesus affirms "behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father (referring to the Holy Spirit at the Pentecost) upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." In John 14:16 Jesus declares "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever." So while from Him may refer to Jesus, it is clear that the Father is also intimately involved in sending the Holy Spirit.
Abides in you (meno) - John says the anointing (the Spirit) continually (meno is in the present tense) remains (takes up permanent residence, makes Himself at home) in them, continually equipping them to be able to stand firm against those who are trying to deceive them. "That equipment assures victory as they appropriate it in the experiences of daily life." (Hiebert)
Wuest emphasizes the permanence of the Spirit's abiding in believers - David could pray, “Take not thy Holy Spirit from me” (Ps 51:11-note), since the Spirit came upon an individual in Old Testament times for the period of that person’s ministry, and left him when that ministry was over, without affecting his salvation. But in New Testament times, the Spirit is in the believer to stay.
As Jesus explained to His disciples the Holy Spirit will be with believers forever (Jn 14:16).
Recall that meno is one of John's favorite verbs in this letter - 1 John 2:6, 10, 14, 17, 19, 24, 27-28; 3:6, 9, 14f, 17, 24; 4:12-13, 15-16.
No need of anyone to teach you - John is not saying we don't need teachers. John's letter is a teaching! And the Bible continually calls for Spirit filled teachers of the saints (F F Bruce adds that “ the ministry of teaching must be exercised by men who themselves share the ‘anointing’ of which John speaks, men who remain in the fellowship of the Spirit.”) See NT emphasis on teaching = Mt 28:20, Acts 13:1, 19:9, 2:42, 1Cor 12:28, Eph 4:11, Col 3:16, 1Ti 4:11, 2Ti 1:11, 2:2, 2:24 (cp Jesus' words to Peter to tend the sheep -- Jn 21:15-17 -- you feed them by teaching them the pure milk of the word, solid meat! ) Remember also the context of this statement is deceivers trying to cause them to stray from the truth and in that setting we may not always have a teacher at hand, but we do always have the "Teacher", the Spirit (Jn 14:26, cp 1Cor 2:10-13) and if we are abiding in Him, in fellowship with Him, filled with Him, He will guide us into all the truth (Jn 16:13). The teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit is often referred to as illumination (in contrast to revelation), that is, His "illumination" shines light on His "revelation" (Word of God) so that we might understand its spiritual truths. The Spirit gives us the spiritual capacity to appreciate and appropriate God's truth which is already revealed (in His Word).
John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
1Cor 2:10 For to us God revealed [them] through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the [thoughts] of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the [thoughts] of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual [thoughts] with spiritual [words.]
John 16:13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
W E Vine on No need of anyone to teach you - this does not suggest that they were without the need of teaching, but rather that with the divine power given to them to detect false teachers they were able to refuse their teachings. The ascended Lord has given spiritual gifts in the church, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers and these are for the building up of the body of Christ (Eph. 4:11, 12-note); but the apostle’s point here is that believers are able by the Spirit’s power to be secure against all deceits of the enemy. Human instrumentality was never intended to take the place of dependence upon God; yet, on the other hand, young believers are to be free from that fanaticism which refuses the help of spiritual gifts in the church. (Collected writings)
Kistemaker - “Believers do not have to consult learned professors of theology before they can accept God’s truth; in the sight of God, clergy and laity are the same; the Holy Spirit is the teacher of every believer, without distinction.” (Exposition of James and the Epistles of John; Baker)
Hiebert adds "The apostle's words must be understood in the light of the context; he "is dealing not with the accumulation of the knowledge of the truth, but with the detection of the truth." John here has in mind the teachings of the Gnostics who claimed to possess an enlightenment which rose higher than the revelation in Christ proclaimed by the apostles. Because the Holy Spirit indwells the true believer and enables him to discern heretical error, he has no need for some cult leader to initiate him into additional secret "knowledge" or professed spiritual insights."
ILLUSTRATION OF LISTENING TO THE SPIRIT - Years ago Dr. H. A. Ironside related that one day while on the streets of Los Angeles he came across a street preacher vigorously preaching to a considerable audience around him. As he listened he soon recognized that the speaker was expounding the heretical views of a well-known cult. As he surveyed the audience he noticed a black man on the other side of the crowd attentively following the preaching. Occasionally the trace of a smile appeared on his face. Dr. Ironside felt sorry for the man being misled by the cult-preacher. When the preacher was finished Dr. Ironside made his way to the man he had watched, and, striking up a conversation, asked him, "And what did you think of what the preacher said?" His reply was, "Well, he sure did tell us, didn't he?" "Yes, he surely did," Dr. Ironside agreed, "but what did you think of what he preached?" With a smile the man looked at him and replied, "I sure couldn't answer him, but all the while he was preaching there was something inside me saying, 'It's a lie, it's a lie, it's a lie.' " The Holy Spirit was teaching that Christian brother that he did not need a cult teacher to lead him into the truth of God. So John assures his readers that they do not need the Gnostic teachers to teach them "new and deeper spiritual insights." As long as we listen to the voice of the Spirit, we will continue (abide) in Him. The many voices coming at us from without need to be tested by the voice of the Spirit within us.
The conjunction and (kai) (no need of anyone to teach) "adds the result" (Hiebert) While and may seem to be a simple conjunction, it behooves the Bible student (2Ti 2:15) to be diligent to observe this conjunction, asking what is being coupled together?
A W Pink explains no need of anyone to teach this way - "Some ignorant souls who fail to understand the sense have been misled by its sound. Certain fanatics suppose it means that the Christian is independent of all preachers, and therefore have contended for the exclusion of oral ministry from the churches. Now it is obvious that John wrote not to promote a spirit of presumption and unwillingness to be taught by others--his own example contradicted any such idea, for he was often engaged in instructing these very persons. Nor was there any inconsistency between his statement and his practice. He taught the disciples and they were grateful and much edified. Yet supposing him to be withdrawn from them and his pen silenced, it did not follow that they must remain ignorant. The Spirit would teach them, by him (John) and without him as He pleased. The child of God, with the Bible in his hand and the Holy Spirit in his heart, is capable of all spiritual knowledge. Whereas Divine teaching does not supersede (cause to be set aside) ministerial instruction, it does surpass (exceeds) the same." (1 John 2:27)
Steven Cole explains no need of anyone to teach this way - John means that they do not need the elite gnosis of the false teachers to let them in on God’s “secret truth.” Rather, every Christian has the indwelling Holy Spirit to enable him or her to understand and interpret Scripture. When the Spirit applies the word of the gospel to the soul, we receive it, not as the word of man, but of God (1Th 2:13). Through the Word, the Holy Spirit reveals to us the riches that God has prepared for us (1 Cor. 2:9-12). This is the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. You do not need an elite order of clergymen to give you the official interpretation of biblical truth, especially of the gospel. Read the Word for yourself, in dependence on the indwelling Holy Spirit. (1 John 2:24-27 Avoiding Spiritual Deception)
Wuest - in the case of saints who are subjected to the teaching of Modernism, their court of appeal and refuge is the instruction of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God.
Teach (1321)(didasko) means to provide instruction (with the idea of systematic teaching or training) in a formal or informal setting and focuses "on content, with the purpose of discovering the truth-contrary to the forums so popular among Greeks, where discussion and the bantering about of various ideas and opinions was the primary concern (see Acts 17:21)." (MacArthur) Didasko was used in secular Greek to describe a choir director who trains a choir over a long period of rehearsals until they are able to perform.
But (alla) - John draws a strong contrast.
His anointing teaches you about all things - The Spirit guides us into "all that you need to know." In context this anointing is especially operative in discerning spiritual truth from error. The phrase "all things" does not mean that John claiming we can attain omniscience!
TEACHING & TEACHER
And is true and is not a lie - What is true? Strictly speaking this would seem to refer to His anointing (the Holy Spirit), but in context also speaks of the character of what the Spirit teaches - it is truth and not a lie. In short, both the Teacher and His teaching are reliable for He is the Spirit of Truth (Jn 14:17, Jn 15:26, Jn 16:13)!
John MacArthur writes that "If God is true (cf. 2 Chr. 15:3; Jer. 10:10; John 17:3; 1 Thess. 1:9) and Christ is the truth (cf. John 14:6), so is the Holy Spirit (cf. 5:6; John 15:26; 16:17)." (MacArthur Study Bible)
Westcott notes that in context the anointing, "the gift of the Spirit, is now identified with the results of the gift. The Spirit is the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17); and His teaching is true, and admits no element of falsehood (1Jn 2:21)." (1 John 2 Commentary)
Candlish - This anointing "carries with it, and in it, an assurance not to be called in question or shaken; an assurance, one may say, infallibly sure." (1 John 2:26-28 The Guileless Spirit, through the Abiding Messianic Unction)
Gary Burge - There are true and false anointings, true and false spiritual experiences. An anointing that leads to error, that misrepresents Christ—an anointing that detracts from “what was from the beginning”—may be no anointing at all. It may in fact be a falsehood (lie). Thus John will not permit anyone to say that the Spirit inspires rival theological points of view. Only one inspiration comes from the Spirit of God—the anointing that affirms the church’s historic beliefs in Jesus Christ. Again, as in 1Jn 2:24, inspiration must forever be judged at the bar of historical revelation. Any that cannot pass must be deemed untrue. (The NIV Application Commentary)
Vine explains that the phrase "the anointing teaches you about all things," confirms, in a positive way, what has just been put negatively (you have no need for anyone to teach you). Again, the Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of truth” (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13); for that reason the anointing is true. That the anointing “is not a lie” is not a mere repetition of the statement that it is true. It sets in more vivid contrast the falsehoods of the errorists. They are not mere promulgators of speculative theories, they are liars (see 1Jn 2:22); they are directly antagonistic to the truth. On the contrary, an essential feature of the anointing is the impartation of truth. The effect of the work of the Spirit is consistent with His character. He imparts truth because He is true. (Ibid)
Steven Cole - Jesus also called the Holy Spirit “the Spirit of truth” (John 14:17), which is behind John’s words here, that He “is true and is not a lie.” This means that the truth of the gospel is not a subjective matter of personal interpretation. It is not something that I see one way and you see it another way, but both ways are right. Rather, it is objectively, absolutely true in every culture and every age. You must believe it to be saved and any contradiction of the gospel is a lie. (1 John 2:24-27 Avoiding Spiritual Deception (Part 2))
True (227)(alethes) describes that which is manifest, that which is unconcealed, that which conforms to reality and thus is genuine, that which is in accordance with facts, that which is real (authentic, not imaginary).
Lie (falsehood) (5579)(pseudos from pseudomai = to lie) is that which is false (untrue, not according to truth or fact). It is a statement that made with the intention of deceiving or defrauding. Lies are not only the spoken words but also actions (1Jn 1:6-note - verb pseudomai).
Lies and falsehood are the chief trademarks of God’s enemies. The anointing, the Spirit of truth, is the "antidote" for such lies for in Him and His teaching there is no lie or falsehood.
Warren Wiersbe reminds us that "it is important that you be able to detect the counterfeit and separate the teachings of Christ from the false teachings of antichrist. How does a believer do this? By depending on the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Each believer has experienced the anointing (the unction, 1 John 2:20-note) of the Spirit, and it is the Spirit who teaches him truth (John 14:17; 15:26). False teachers are not led by the Spirit of Truth; they are led by the spirit of error (1 John 4:3, 6-note). (Bible Exposition Commentary. Volume 2, Page 500)
Just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. - The Amplified version has "so you must abide in (live in, never depart from) Him [being rooted in Him, knit to Him], just as [His anointing] has taught you [to do]." Without meaning to sound too mystical, John's readers and we also need to learn to listen to the voice of the Spirit within, instead of listening to the voices without!
Abide (Some see this verb as present imperative but others see it as present indicative) in Him - John calls for his readers to continually live at home in Christ, which in context means that they make themselves at home, so to speak, in the true teaching. Dear anointed one, are you abiding in Jesus, resting in Him, relying on Him to live this supernatural life we have been granted in Him?
Kistemaker - God provides His Spirit to teach the believer all things necessary for salvation, but God also expects the Christian to remain in Christ so that he may have constant fellowship with the Father and the Son (cp 1Jn 2:24). (Exposition of James and the Epistles of John; Baker)
John MacArthur - In response to such deceivers, the task of the genuine believer is to “walk in the truth,” i.e., persevere in faithfulness and sound doctrine (see 1 Jn 2:20-21; 2 John 1:4; 3 John 1:4). (MacArthur Study Bible)
Steven Cole sees "abide in Him" as a reference to the Holy Spirit (others like Kistemaker above see in Him a reference to Jesus which the context probably does favor. However to some extent it is a moot point because the Spirit is called the Spirit of Christ, Ro 8:9, 1Pe 1:11, and the Spirit of Jesus Christ, Acts 16:7, Phil 1:19). Cole says "The Spirit abides in you, but you also must abide in the Spirit. John says that the anointing abides in you, but the last part of the verse should be a command, “abide in Him.” John uses “abide” five times in 1 Jn 2:24, 27. As we’ve seen, it is his term for fellowship, or for maintaining a warm, close relationship with the Lord. Let the Holy Spirit be at home in every area of your life, and you be at home in every area of His Word. Don’t keep any secret closets locked away from Him. Give Him entrance to every nook and cranny of your thoughts and emotions. To live closely and openly before the Holy Spirit in His Word is the best safeguard against spiritual deception."
Ironside - They were not to be dependent on human wisdom, for they had the Word of God opened to them by the Holy Spirit. This then is the comfort, stay, and protection of God’s little children. They may not know very much, but they know Christ. They have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them, and they have the Word of God to instruct them. May we all learn to value what God has graciously committed to us. (1 John 2 - Ironside's Notes on Selected Books)
John Piper provides an excellent summary of this section -
In this long text there are only two imperatives. One is in 1Jn 2:24: “Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you.” And the other is in 1Jn 2:27 at the end: “As his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in Him.” Let the Word abide in you! Abide in the Spirit! I can’t help but recall a similar pair of admonitions in Paul’s letters: Colossians 3:16 (note), “Let the word of Christ dwell (present imperative) in you richly, as you…sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Ephesians 5:18-19 (note), “Be filled (present imperative) with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, always and for everything giving thanks.” “Let the word dwell in you!” is like John’s “Let the word abide in you!” “Be filled with the Spirit!” is like John’s “Abide in the Spirit!” (Ed: See my analysis of the striking parallels in these two sections of Paul's writings = FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT -- RICHLY INDWELT BY THE WORD - preceptaustin) This will be my prayer for all of you as Noël and I minister in Liberia and Cameroon for the next six weeks—that the Word abide in you and that you abide in the Spirit. That you love the Word, and continue to come Sunday after to worship in the truth. That you be filled with the anointing of God and continue to come Sunday after Sunday to worship in the Spirit. For the Lord seeks those who will worship him in Spirit and in truth (Jn 4:24). Guard yourselves from the deceiver and the antichrist. Love the Word, live in the Word, pray the Word, Memorize the Word And before every sentence lay yourself wide open to whatever the Spirit wants to do with you by the Word. “If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he has promised us, eternal life.” AMEN. (1 John 2:18-27 Let What You Heard Abide in You) (Bolding and color added for emphasis)
Westcott - Impatience drives men to look without for the guidance which in due time will be recognized within (Ed: Referring to the anointing, the Holy Spirit). Such impatience is the opposite to the steadfastness of the Christian.
I Howard Marshall sums up 1 John 2:27 - The antidote to falling into false ideas of the Christian faith is to be found in holding fast to the initial statement of Christian truth given in the apostolic witness, as this is confirmed in our hearts by the anointing given by the Spirit. It cannot be otherwise with a religion based on a historical, once-for-all revelation. Granted that the Lord has yet more light to break forth from his Word, it is nevertheless from the Word that new understanding issues, and any new doctrine which is not in harmony with the Word is self-condemned. (The New International Commentary on the New Testament)
E.M. Bounds is right when he says, "What the Church needs today is not more machinery or more novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use— men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men—men of prayer."
What a Difference an Infusion of Power Makes! - Wade C. Graber, a Baptist pastor, said that years ago he was in school, driving fifty-eight miles round trip every day for his classes. He was getting up early and going to bed late, and he was also employed on a part-time basis in a ministry. One morning, he said, during his time alone with God, his tired eyes read Ephesians 3:16. “The instant I finished reading this verse, I experienced an ‘infusion.’ It was electrical... I was immediately empowered, energized, and invigorated by the indwelling Spirit.” Many years have passed since then, but Graber wrote, “I continue to quote Ephesians 3:16 on multiple occasions. The electric physical sensation is not always experienced, but the strengthening ministry of the Spirit still occurs in my times of need.” (Wade C. Graber, The Mission of the Holy Spirit , 2010)
Jesus said about the people of His day, "You are mistaken (Greek = planao) because you do not know the Scriptures or the power (Greek = dunamis) of God." (Mark 12:24) Are you mistaken dear child of God? Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to a true knowledge of the Holy Spirit.
Rob Morgan in his discussion of how "The Holy Spirit Works through Us" tells a story that literally changed the course of Billy Graham's ministry - ....In our Christian work and in our personal ministry, it is the Holy Spirit Who works through us. Jesus told the disciples in Acts 1:8: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses….” If you ever want to pursue an interesting personal Bible study, just read the book of Acts and underline or highlight every reference to the Holy Spirit. You could make a strong case that the book of the Acts of the Apostles ought to be called the Acts of the Holy Spirit.
In the book, The Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham, Harold Myra and Marshall Shelly said that when Billy Graham was a young man he accepted every speaking engagement that came his way, and he was full of passion as he preached the Gospel and invited people to receive Christ as their Savior. But there was still something missing, and he knew that his personal charisma was not enough to fulfill the calling of God on his life. During a preaching mission to the British Isles, he met a young Welsh evangelist named Stephen Olford who had the spiritual qualities that Billy longed to have. (Ed note: Graham called him "the man who most influenced my ministry.") One day Billy listened as Olford preached on the subject of being filled with the Holy Spirit. “You’ve spoken of something that I don’t have,” said Billy. I want the fullness of the Holy spirit in my life, too.” Olford agreed to set two days aside during Billy’s campaign. During the day the two men talked and at night the paused long enough for Billy to preach. In a small stone hotel, Olford led Billy step by step through the Bible verses on the power of the Holy Spirit. The first night when Billy preached, Olford thought that his sermon was ordinary and not particularly effective. The next day Olford continued the instruction, telling Billy that he must be broken like the apostle Paul, letting God turn him inside out. Olford shared his own testimony, and Billy’s eyes filled with tears. “Stephen, I see it,” he said, “That’s what I want. That’s what I need in my life.” They knelt, and Billy poured out his heart in a prayer of total dedication to the Lord. And finally he said, “My heart is so flooded with the Holy Spirit! I have it! (Ed: Better "I have Him") I’m filled. This is a turning point in my life.” The two men went on to the meeting where Billy was to preach and for reasons known only to God, the place which was only moderately filled the night before was packed to the door. When Billy gave the invitation, practically the entire crowd rushed forward. And it was, indeed, a turning point in his ministry. Now we’re obviously not all evangelists like that, but we all need the power and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and the work that we do for Christ is nothing except the work that Jesus Christ Himself is doing through us. My grandfather ran a waterwheel beside a small creek in Roan Mountain, Tennessee. He ground corn into cornmeal for his own family and for others. The water hit the wheel, and that turned the mechanism that did the work. It would have been very difficult work if my grandfather had tried to turn that wheel in his own power. But it was the power of the perpetually flowing water that turned the wheel and produced the results.
You say, how do I experience the fullness and the power of the Holy Spirit?
- Confess and turn from all of your sins, including those sins that so easily beset you.
- Open every part of your life to Him in full yieldedness and surrender.
- Pray and ask God for His fullness.
- rust Him to do as He has promised
There’s an old hymn that puts this in the form of a prayer:
Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.
Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Until my heart is pure,
Until with thee I will Thy will
To do and to endure.
Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Till I am wholly Thine.
Till all this earthly part of me
Glows with Thy fire divine
D L Moody and His Anointing - (Caveat: The following devotional story is included as it speaks of "anointing" however I have to confess that I am not sure that I fully understand what happened in D L Moody's life, except that the after-effects were clearly dramatic and irrefutable! So read this devotional with a spiritual "grain of salt" so to speak)
Moody's Motivator - "Auntie" Sarah Cooke: Her prayers changed Moody's ministry - "Few persons in Chicago were better known in certain religious circles than she, for she was continuously going to the missions, street meetings, conventions, camps, conferences, lectures and every kind of religious gathering within her reach. She was the living personification of aggressive evangelism, instant in season and out of season, ever exhorting sinners to flee the wrath of God and urging believers to plunge in the fountain of cleansing." So quotes a memorial article (Moody Monthly, September 1921) for "Auntie Cooke." She arrived in Chicago in 1868—in her words, "a perfect stranger"—but it didn't take her long to become involved in God's work, helping the YMCA on Madison Street. She attended Moody's church when he was young. Cooke described him years later as a " 'diamond in the rough'—most truly, with the one desire to do good burning through everything, his very earnestness moving people, but withal such a lack in his teachings of the divine unction and power." During a St. Charles camp meeting in 1871, she felt burdened for Moody-he needed an anointing of power from the Holy Spirit. She and her friend, Mrs. Hawxhurst, who usually sat on the front row, told Moody they were praying for him to be baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire. Moody was unsure this was a need; nevertheless, he asked the two ladies to meet with him in Farwell Hall every Friday afternoon to discuss this matter and pray. Apparently his hunger increased. Cooke reports that on the Friday before the Great Chicago Fire, "Mr. Moody's agony was so great that he rolled on the floor and in the midst of many tears and groans cried to God to be baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire." Following the fire, Moody went to New York shortly thereafter to raise funds for the rebuilding of the church and YMCA building. In New York, while walking down Wall Street, the young preacher finally received the spiritual blessing they had prayed for. Moody felt such a sense of the Holy Spirit's filling that he cried, "Hold, Lord, it is enough!" "I went to preaching again," Moody testified. "The sermons were not different; I did not present any new truths, and yet hundreds were converted. I would not now be placed back where I was before that blessed experience if you should give me all the world." Auntie Cooke continued in vigorous service and died in Chicago in 1921. —"Dwight Moody," Christian History, no. 25.
Adrian Rogers has some similar comments on the nature of our anointing - The anointing of God is a special touch for a specific task, when there's something you need to do, when there's a witnessing you need to do, when there's a song that you need to sing, when there's a sermon you need to give, when there's something for which you need that special touch of God, you need to pray, Oh God, anoint me. The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, for He hath anointed me to preach, He hath anointed me to sing, He hath anointed me to witness..... Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit from His childhood, but He was anointed with the Spirit when His ministry began. What is the anointing? The anointing is a special touch for a specific task. And, if you have a specific task to do—to preach, to sing, to witness—then pray, "O God, I know, Lord, that you dwell in me. Now Lord, fill me. Take every part. And, O God, anoint me. Anoint me, O God. Let that unction, that power, be on me." (Rogers then gives an Illustration)
In a country church, a preacher asked a deacon to dismiss everyone in prayer. The deacon prayed, and in the midst of that prayer, he said, "Lord, unctionize our pastor. Unctionize our pastor." And, the pastor didn't exactly like that prayer. He met the old deacon at the church door, and he said, "Deacon, that was a good prayer that you prayed, but you asked God to unctionize me." Then he said, "What does that word unctionize mean?" The deacon said, "Reverend, I ain't sure what it does mean; but whatever it means, you ain't got it." Friend, whatever it means, I want it. I want that anointing in my heart and in my life.
Rogers said "I had rather die than to be sentenced to preach without the anointing in my life."
Rogers tells the following personal story - When I was a young man, God called me to preach. I was amazed that God called me to preach—I really was. I had no idea that God could use me as a preacher or speaker of any kind. Matter of fact, when I was in a Sunday School class, and there were, to my recollection, five other people in that classroom... I was a boy in high school, and the teacher of that class—or, maybe I was in junior high school. I think I was in junior high school—and the teacher of that class said, "We're going to ask Adrian to pray." That embarrassed me. I didn't know what to say. I didn't know how to pray out loud. I stammered for a while, and I said, "I'm sorry, you'll have to get somebody else. I can't do it." The very thought of even uttering a prayer in a little classroom like that—it intimidated me. Then, I went off to high school, and our pastor said, "God has a plan for everybody's life. You need to find God's plan for your life." And, he said, "The way to find God's plan for you life is to tell God you'll do anything God wants you to do." And, I said, "God, anything You want me to do, I'll do." And, I don't know how the germ got in my heart and mind that God might want me to preach, because my dad was not a preacher, my grandparents were not preachers, my brothers were not preachers, my uncles were not preachers—that God might want me to be a preacher. There's a germ that got down in there, and I don't know who, or what, put it there. But, I began to ask God, "God, do You want me to preach?" And then, after a while, it seemed as though the Holy Spirit was nodding yes. And, I said, "Lord, I think You might want me to be a preacher." And, I'd continue to pray. And, after a while, it was like this: "Lord, if You don't want me to preach, You'd better let me know." And then, after a while, it was, "Lord, I know that You've laid Your hand upon me to preach the gospel." And, I went forward and made a commitment. And, I said, "Here I am. I am answering the call. I commit myself—I surrender myself—to God's calling upon my life to preach the gospel." I've never looked back. I've never doubted my call to preach. On some Monday mornings, I've wondered about it some, but I never doubted it—thought about how I might get out of it, and figured I couldn't get out of it—but that's a little facetious. People talk about "fighting the call to preach." I am so glad that God has given me the privilege—the glorious privilege—of preaching the gospel, and then, the super-glorious privilege of being the pastor of such a wonderful, wonderful church as this. But, God laid His hand on me. I was in high school. I was not a speaker. I didn't know much about the Bible. I didn't know anything about all of the necessities and the accoutrements of the ministry. I knew how to play football—about the only sport I was much good at. I went out on the football field, on a summer night—like the summer nights we're having now—to pray, to seek the face of God, by myself, at night, under the stars, in South Florida, in West Palm Beach, and walked up and down on that football field, and began to pray, and say, "God, I want You to use me. Lord, I want You to speak through me." And then, I got on my knees out there, on a football field, and prayed. Somehow, I felt that I needed to humble myself more; and so, I stretched out on the grass, spread my hands out like that, and put my head, and said, "O God, I want You to anoint my life. I want You to use me." And, that didn't seem humble enough. And, I took a finger, and made a hole in the dirt for my nose to go in. I put my nose down in that hole till the dirt began to come up my nostrils. I said, "God, I'm as low as I know how to get. I want You to use me. I want You to anoint my life." And, I can't explain all that happened. I didn't see a vision. I didn't speak in strange languages. But, God's Holy Spirit came upon me, and God anointed my life. And, I'm sure that, by pride, I've taken that commitment off the altar, and had to put it back on many times; but, if I've learned anything, I've learned that God will bless us, if we'll get low enough, if we'll get humble enough.
"Anointing" and Revival - In spiritual awakenings, the Holy Spirit works in powerful, mysterious ways to draw large numbers of people to Christ. Lewis Drummond notes, “A spiritual awakening always soars on the wings of the word.”12 Whereas sermons may have been preached before with little or no effect, when the Holy Spirit begins to move powerfully among people, an authority comes to the sermons, not from the orators but from the Spirit who anoints them. Duncan Campbell witnessed many people converted to Christ during the revival in the Hebrides. But Campbell said: “I never spoke to a single person in that village in an endeavor to help them find the Savior! We just left them to God and God did it! That is why you haven't a single backslider in that whole community. Oh, my dear people, when God does a work, He does it well!”
When revival occurs, people are filled with the Holy Spirit. Preaching becomes powerful when anointed by the Spirit. Duncan Campbell declared that after he experienced personal revival, he would preach sermons he had delivered before, but now they were characterized by divine power. The congregation can sing the same songs, yet now they are invigorated by the Spirit, and the times of corporate worship are characterized by joy and the presence of God's Spirit.
John Livingston was asked to preach at a large gathering at the Kirk of Shotts on June 21, 1630, during a special Communion service because the original speaker took ill. Livingston saw the great throng of people and knew there were more experienced pastors and orators in the audience, so he seriously contemplated fleeing the scene rather than embarrass anyone. He later confessed, “Considering my unworthiness and weakness and this multitude and expectations of the people…I was consulting with myself to have stolen away somewhere and declined that day's preaching.”4 Yet the Holy Spirit assured him that he was God's appointed messenger for that day. Livingston preached from Ezekiel 36:25-26, and five hundred people were converted.5 The reluctant preacher discovered that, when it comes to delivering a message from God, what matters is not how important you are but how anointed you are.
Ray Stedman's Devotional on 1 John 2:26-27 - The Teaching Spirit – I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 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. (1 John 2:26-27).
The emphasis in these verses is on the words “as it has taught you.” What the Spirit has taught you, not what He has taught the other fellow. After the resurrection, Jesus said to Peter, “Feed my sheep.” And Peter turned and looked at John and said, “Lord, what about him?” Do you remember what Jesus said? “That is none of your business. You follow me. What I teach this man to do is for him to know. What I have said for you to do, that is for you to do” (John 21:15-22).
This is an intensely personal thing. What you have learned from the word of the Spirit, through the intermediacy of human teachers, is to be the ground of your actions. But your activity must always be based on the conviction of what has come home to you. In other words, you walk by faith in the Word of God as God has taught it to you and not by what you have learned by tradition. Tradition has, historically, been one of the most deadly foes of the church and has held people back from advancement in their spiritual life.
Any time you condition people to take their truth secondhand through some other individual, some line of authorities standing in succession above them, you have conditioned them to respond immediately to falsehood as well if it starts from the top. That is why hierarchies go astray so quickly and so easily. No, in the Christian life, all truth is intensely personal and comes directly to you from the Holy Spirit.
That means you do not need to have a scholar interpreting the Word of God for you. You can be grateful for scholars, you can read their helpful comments, and the Lord will use them to teach you something, but you are not dependent upon them. You have no need that any person teach you at that level, for the Holy Spirit can instruct you. We must be open, of course, to hear all that others have to say. Charles Spurgeon once said, “I do not understand those men who have such a high opinion of what the Holy Spirit says to them, and such a low opinion of what he says to anyone else.” We must remember that the Spirit of God does speak through other people, as well as through us. But, finally, we must act only on what the Lord has said to us. That is what made it possible for Martin Luther to stand alone before the emperor, with all the assembled dignitaries of state and church arrayed in opposition to him, and to say, “Here I stand! I can do no other, God help me.” He was listening to the voice of the Spirit to him.
Now this obedience is absolutely necessary because it is only on this basis that you can “abide in him,” and that is where fruitfulness comes from. You cannot go another's route, you cannot live another's spiritual life for him or her or force him or her to go your route either. You are to open the Word, pour over it, listen to the Holy Spirit in it, listen to others as the Holy Spirit has taught them, and then, faced with this entire array of external testimony, obey that which the Spirit confirms to your heart is the truth. John says when you do that, you will abide in Him.
Father, thank You for this amazing phenomenon of a teaching Spirit within me. Make me willing to hear, having eyes to see and ears to hear. Let it penetrate to that depth of spirit by which I shall understand and grasp these amazing riches in Christ Jesus.
Life Application: The Holy Spirit is our personal teacher as we spend time in the Word of God. Are we open to listening to the Spirit of Christ in our brothers and sisters also?
A Special Anointing - Our seven-year-old daughter Lacie is used to seeing her handyman father repair items around the house. On several occasions she has observed him spray WD-40 on rusty objects to lubricate them. One day Lacie was attempting to put on a pair of jeans. However the snap was giving her trouble. Spotting a touch of rust on the snap, she called out, "Mom, I think it needs some of that WWJD (click discussion) on it."