This week, we are continuing our look at our spiritual identity through a series I’ve entitled “In the Mirror.” In this series, we have been looking at various things that our spiritual mirror says that we are: We have seen that we are loved, we are His workmanship, we are chosen, we are holy, we are righteous, we are free, and most recently, we are healed. All of these being things we see when we look into the mirror of God’s Word.
So, let me quickly review what we’ve learned thus far: We have seen in this series where Paul said as we behold the truths of this New and Better Covenant, that we are changed into the same image from glory to glory (Second Corinthians 3:18). That means that just as Moses was physically affected when He beheld God on Mount Sinai when He gave the law to Him, we too will be affected by the glory of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. But we have learned that it’s going to take us climbing this mount and spending time in the presence of God like Moses did, letting Him speak these truths to our hearts and revealing to us who this mirror says that we are! Hallelujah!
So, you and I have learned that when we climb that mountain and get into the presence of God, He will reveal to us that:
1.I Am Loved
2.I Am His New Creation
3.I Am Chosen
4.I Am Holy
5.I Am Righteous
6.I Am Free
7.I Am Healed
So, let’s move on to something else that this mirror shows us that we are:
Now you have likely heard me say that you are anointed before in one of my messages, in one of the blessings that we say on Sunday’s, or just in casual conversation, but it is true—In Christ Jesus, you and I really are anointed! Just as much as we are righteous, chosen, loved, free, healed, etc. in Christ Jesus, you and I are anointed.
So, let’s look at some verses that verify this, shall we?
WHO IS THE ANOINTING?
Now there are some squirrely ideas in the Body of Christ regarding the anointing. A common misconception is that some are anointed, and some are not. There are those who preach, prophesy, or are used to work miracles, and then there is you. They are anointed and you are not. But that is simply not true! And while it is true in regard to whether one has received the Holy Spirit or not, it is not true that some Spirit-filled people are anointed and some are not. The truth is that everyone who has had the Holy Spirit poured out on them is anointed.
Let me take you to a couple of Scriptures that verifies this:
In First John 2:20, we are told we have an anointing from the Holy One. It doesn’t say that we hope to be anointed or we will be anointed by Him someday. No, it says that we all—every born-again, Spirit-baptized believer—have an anointing from the Holy One Himself (i.e. Jesus)! And in the context of First John chapter 2, the Holy Spirit is obviously the anointing being spoken of (See verse 27).
Now do you remember when Jesus said in Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to…” This means that Jesus was anointed for service unto His Father. Therefore, since we have been anointed with the same anointing that He was anointed with, then the same Spirit that He had, we have! Amen!
But notice here that we see the equivalent to being anointed is having the Spirit of the Lord upon us. Again, this quote from Isaiah 61:1 is saying that because He has anointed His Messiah, the Holy Spirit is upon Him. In other words, being anointed is having the Holy Spirit poured on us like the anointing oil was poured on the kings & priests. Thus, the reason we can see the Holy Spirit being what the anointing oil represents.
Also, do you remember when we studied the 23rd Psalm and saw how David said that “He anoints my head with oil” (See Psalm 23:5)? Well, when we looked at that, we saw that the good life that God wills for all of His children to live is the anointed life. In other words, like David, we all can declare that He anoints our heads with oil.
So, the anointing is not just some special thing bestowed upon certain individuals. No, the anointing is the person, presence, and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. That is why the Bible says that we who have received the Holy Spirit from the Holy One Himself are anointed.
So, the appropriate question then is not “What is the anointing?” The correct question is— “Who is the anointing?” because the anointing is not a thing, it is a Person, namely, the Third Person of the Godhead.
You see, the Holy Spirit is the “Anointing” whom God has poured out on us in such richness and extravagance! He is Who has filled these cups up and Who flows out of our bellies like rivers of living water!
ANOINTED FOR WHAT?
Now when one studies this idea of the “anointing” in the Old Testament, they can find some very interesting things:
In the Old Testament, we see various people and things being “anointed” with oil: Originally, it was used exclusively for the anointing of the priesthood as well as the articles of the Tabernacle (Exodus 30:26) and subsequently, the Temple in Jerusalem. However, it was used later to include the anointing of kings for their role (First Samuel 10:1). So, according to the Scriptures, the oil was used to anoint the kings, priests, and the articles of the Tabernacle.
But why was this done? Well, let’s begin answering this question by looking at what the Bible says was the purpose of the oil. In Leviticus 8:30, the anointing oil is referred to as having sanctifying power. In this verse, it is described how Moses was instructed to “anoint” the priesthood: “Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood which was on the altar, and sprinkled it on Aaron, on his garments, on his sons, and on the garments of his sons with him; and he consecrated Aaron, his garments, his sons, and the garments of his sons with him.” The word “consecrated” here literally means to dedicate, to set apart, and make holy. In other words, it essentially means to sanctify something or someone for some special purpose (Sounds a lot like we saw in this series about holiness, doesn’t it?). And in Exodus 29:7, we are told specifically how the oil was applied to Aaron and his sons. It says, “And you shall take the anointing oil, pour it on his head, and anoint him.”
So now we get some answers as to both how and why people were anointed with oil. It was to set them apart and consecrate them for their calling and purpose. And when it came to the Kings and High Priest, this occurred by pouring the oil on their heads—all of this being significant to the church today—because if we all have been anointed, then this is why—so we can be consecrated as His royal priesthood!
Did you know that we too have been made Kings and Priests unto our God? Revelations 1:6 says that Jesus has made us Kings and Priests to His God and Father! So, guess what that means? If we have been made kings and priests, then God must have anointed us too, right? Amen! Therefore, we are the ones anointed to be kings and priests in this new and better covenant (see First Peter 2:9)! Praise God, He has anointed us to be His heirs and His ministers!
Also, did you know that we are now the Temple and Tabernacle of God? For He does not dwell in temples made with hands, but now dwells in the temple of our bodies (see Acts 7:48 & 17:24). So again, if we are the Temple of God today, then we must be anointed by God! Therefore, we are anointed to be indwelt by Him. Glory!
But let’s look in more detail at this thing we just saw in the mirror—the truth that we are now God’s anointed kings and priests. There is a difference in both of these terms that illustrate to us what we are anointed for. We are “anointed” to be His children (those born [again] to be His kings) and we are “anointed” to serve Him (i.e. priests).
GOD’S PRIESTHOOD TODAY
Let’s first look at the fact that we are God’s anointed priesthood today:
You see, the Levitical priesthood were called to be the Lord’s ministers—those who served God for Israel. Therefore, I see this as symbolically showing us one of the purposes of the anointing—to minister on God’s behalf to the people.
More specifically, all throughout the Scriptures when we see someone being anointed with oil that is symbolic of the Holy Spirit being poured out on them to set free and deliver one from a particular bondage.
We see it used in the latter way in James 5:14-15 where the anointing with oil is seen as a method to bring healing and deliverance to the afflicted. This, of course, is not saying that there is inherent power in the oil itself to heal someone; rather, it is using oil as a contact point between the minister and the one receiving ministry. And since “oil” is symbolic of the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the anointing of the sick with oil is a symbol showing how it is the power of the Holy Spirit to set the captive free.
Now here is an interesting point: Regarding the New Testament usage of the word “anointed,” it comes from the Greek word chrio. This word was a medical term describing a physician pouring oil on his hands and then rubbing it into the body of the patient until the oil was transferred from the doctor’s hands deep into the skin of the patient. So, the word chrio has to do with “the hands” of the doctor as well as the oil itself. It describes God as being the Great Physician Who has the Holy Spirit as a type of oil on His hands, and once He has the Holy Spirit on His hands, He can’t wait to get His hands on the believer. Once He does, He begins to rub and rub until the believer is totally saturated (i.e. baptized) with the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, to be anointed with the Holy Ghost means to be totally saturated with the Holy Ghost. So, saying someone is “anointed” is another way of saying “God’s got His hand on them.” Amen! In fact, we see this phrase “the hand of the Lord” being upon someone used several times in the Old Testament, and it was accompanied with that person doing something supernatural.
Church, the hand of God is upon us! We are anointed—because of the baptism of the Holy Spirit! So, guess what our responsibility is…??? It is to put our anointed hands on people: Notice that the very last sign that Jesus said would follow those who believe in Mark 16:18 is: “and they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Church, ministering God’s healing power to the sick is part of what we have been delegated the authority to do in Jesus’ name. It is a sign that is supposed to follow those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ! And the truth is—if we have been called to do it, then we have been anointed to do it!
Now we know that the laying on of hands is considered one of the elementary, foundational principles of Christianity (see Hebrews 6:1-2)—which obviously includes more than just administering healing to the sick but also setting someone apart for ministry work among other things. But what is it about the laying on of hands that passes healing on to others? It is simple: it is the transference of the Holy Spirit who is upon us onto them. Amen!
But, saints, this is the lesson I want you to walk away with today: If we have been anointed to minister God’s healing through the laying on of hands, then healing is in our hands to give! Now I am making both a literal statement and a metaphorical statement—for while there is a literal transference of the healing power of God through our physical hands, we can see that healing is in our possession (i.e. hands) to give to the sick and infirmed. Amen!
We are all God’s priest’s today—not your pastor, not the evangelist, not the prophet. Every one of us who have received the Holy Spirit have been anointed to serve the Lord by doing exactly what we see in Luke 4:18-19 when Jesus proclaimed— “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
Yes, although this passage of Scripture is an obvious reference to Jesus Christ and prophesied of the Anointed One’s ministry, we know that the same Spirit that was upon Him is now upon us. On top of that, First John 4:17 says that “…as He is, so are we in this world”—meaning, we already are positionally representing Him now in this life and are called to practically represent Him in our works and conduct. That echoes John 14:12 which affirmatively declares that we are called to do the same works He did and even greater works!
BORN AGAIN TO BE KINGS
But the anointing is not just what we have to demonstrate God’s power and serve Him with; it is what shows our worth and value to God. I see this as the part of us being anointed to be kings.
If you recall in Psalm 23:5, David said, “He anoints my head with oil.” Now the context of this phrase in Psalm 23:5-6 is of a gracious host honoring his or her guests, and the original Hebrew language paints this same picture in this phrase.
You see, this word “anoints” is not the common word used for the anointing of a king or a priest. It is for this reason that the Hebrew word David used here is only translated “anoints” this one time in the original King James version. And the reason why it is not translated this way any other time is because this word literally describes “to make fat, to thrive or to prosper.”
It is used this way four times in the Book of Proverbs:
1. Proverbs 11:25 - “The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.”
2. Proverbs 13:4 - “The soul of a lazy man desires and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.”
3. Proverbs 15:30 - “The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and a good report makes the bones healthy.”
4. Proverbs 28:25 - “He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the Lord will be prospered.”
Therefore, based on this choice of words of David, we can clearly see that this describes an anointing all right, but not an anointing for regal or priestly duties. Rather, he was referring to the anointing of a guest at some prestigious banquet with oils and perfumes as a way of honoring them. Yes, the allusion is to the custom of anointing the head on festive occasions, as an indication of prosperity and honor. Therefore, as a whole, it is indicative of the divine favor, of prosperity, and of joy.
So, this oil that our most gracious and honorable Host (the Lord of Hosts, that is) anoints our head with is poured out in such a “full, thriving and prosperous” manner. In other words, He pours oil on our head so abundantly--thus the expression indicates an abundance of oil.
But this is what the regal, wealthy, and prestigious enjoy, and since we are the kings that the King of kings is King of, then we are to enjoy this blessed, good life.
Now as I was studying this verse in Psalms before, I was drawn to our one, very solid biblical example of how this occurs, and it is found in the Gospels: It reminds me of Mary’s anointing Jesus found in Matthew 26, Mark 14, & John 12. For the sake of time, I would like for us to focus in on Mark’s account of this event.
In Mark 14:3-9, we are told that this event transpired when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper. Now Mark just described her as a “woman,” but we know from John’s Gospel that this was Mary, the sister of Martha & Lazarus (see John 12:2-3).
Now in verse 3, we are told that Mary came with an “alabaster flask” (some translations call it a “box”). In short, “alabaster” was a stone commonly found in Israel. It was a hard stone resembling white marble So, the container Mary used to carry the perfumed oil was made of a white, marble-like substance. Ointment, oils and perfumes used to be put in vessels made of alabaster, which kept them pure and unspoiled. The boxes were often sealed with wax, to prevent the perfume from escaping. And we are told in John 12:3 that when Mary broke open her alabaster box, “the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” Alabaster was a strong enough substance to keep the oil or perfume completely contained until the time of its use.
Mark goes on to describe this alabaster flask as containing “a very costly oil of spikenard.” Now "spikenard" was a plant that only grew in the Himalaya mountains of India and Nepal. Therefore, Mary's fragrant oil of spikenard was a rare, imported product in Israel.
Now, how expensive was this spikenard contained in the alabaster flask? Well, we don’t have to speculate because in John 12:5, Judas evaluated that it could have been sold for “three hundred denarii." Now, in their day, one denarius was the wage for one day's labor. So, if Judas' estimate of the value of Mary's spikenard is correct, then it would have been worth close to someone's annual salary, equivalent to several tens of thousands of dollars today.
Other sources tell us that “spikenard’s” great cost stemmed from the fact that it had to be transported over 6,000 miles to reach Palestine, and depending on quality, it sold for as much as 400 denarii per pound (or $750 an ounce in modern purchasing equivalent). That made this that Mary used to anoint Jesus’ body even more valuable than gold!
In fact, this ointment was worth at least 2½ times more than the 30 pieces of silver that Judas received for betraying the Lord, which is obviously why Judas got so upset about it (see Mark 14:4-5 & Compare John 12:5). So, an interesting note regarding this is: this perfume was worth 2½ times what Judas thought Jesus was worth.
Judas’ negative reaction to this act of pure honor and worship is typical of many people’s reaction toward worship today. Judas and some of the other disciples evidently thought this was a waste, but that was only because they didn’t value Jesus as highly as Mary did. Selah.
You see, something’s value is only determined by what others are willing to pay for it. So, even though Judas and some of other disciples thought this was a waste does not mean that the Lord did. Mary obviously thought blessing and honoring Jesus was worth more than a year’s worth of wages and more than silver and gold. Amen! But I believe this reveals to us how much we are worth to Him as well!
Church, we are children of God! Therefore, we are anointed to be kings and rule in His stead! This is what the Holy Spirit living within us reflects to us! Glory!
SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED, I’M YOURS!
So, if the Holy Spirit is the anointing, then when we look in this mirror, we can see that we have the Holy Spirit and are anointed of God! And the good news gets even gooder—because if we have the Holy Spirit then we’ve got some other exceedingly great and precious promises!
Let’s turn over to Ephesians chapter one where we have been seeing many wonderful “In Christ” realities in the mirror of God’s Word:
As I’ve mentioned earlier in this series, Ephesians 1:3-14 is essentially one sentence in the original Greek language. And these verses contain many “In Him” realities that reveal to us our spiritual identity. Well, in the last couple of verses of this (what I like to call) “love sentence” Paul gives us some powerful truths.
Ephesians 1:13-14 say this— “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”
Here we see some specific things that the apostle Paul said happened when we received the Holy Spirit in our lives. Let’s look at them:
First of all, notice how in verse 14, Paul calls the Holy Spirit our “guarantee of our inheritance.” If you are using the older King James version, you will see how the word “earnest” is used. Now when we talk about the Holy Spirit being our “earnest,” we are not talking about Ernest from TV & the movies. You know what I mean, Vern? No, this word “earnest” is not a name but is where we get the term “earnest money” from. It describes a “deposit or down payment that is a pledge of giving more.” Thus the reason, we see it translated by the New King James translators as “guarantee.”
We see this same word used in Second Corinthians 5:1-5: Now in Second Corinthians 5:1-4, the apostle Paul describes our present life in these physical bodies versus the eternal life that we will have in our resurrected bodies. He uses the examples of dwelling in a tent versus dwelling in a home, as well as being naked versus being clothed. So, understanding that, when Paul says what he does in verse 5— “Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.”—we can see that it is God who has made all things ready for us to be both fully clothed with our glorified bodies and to have our permanent residence of resurrected bodies on that Great and Glorious Day. And what He did in the meantime was give us the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of what lies ahead.
Ephesians 1:14 says something similar: In it, Paul describes the Holy Spirit as “the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession…” Again, this is obviously talking about our inheritance of receiving the glorification of our physical bodies which were bought with a price.
Therefore, when the Holy Spirit is described as being our “guarantee,” Paul is saying in both of these passages that He is our “down payment or deposit.” Therefore, we can clearly see that He is God’s pledge that more of the same is on the way. This would be similar to how when a buyer of a house pays the deposit, it is understood that he intends to pay the balance. Therefore, the Holy Spirit gives us a little foretaste and a guarantee of the good things to come—that is, when we experience the fullness of our salvation and are glorified. In other words, the Holy Spirit gives us a little heaven on earth—a little taste of the glory; a sample of the resurrection power that is to come! Hallelujah!
Therefore, when we experience Him in fullness, we can get a little intoxicated, a little free, and a little happy. Those experiences are just God’s pledge of the ecstasy that awaits us in heaven. Amen? So, just imagine the most you have experienced God’s glorious presence in this life. Well, that was just a small “deposit” of what we are going to experience in the kingdom of God. This is why it is called (a future) redemption: the inheritance is already ours but still needs to be “redeemed,” like a check you have already received, but is only redeemed when it is presented to the bank.
But He not only is our guarantee of the bliss of heaven, but He is also our promise of the marriage between Jesus and His Bride. In fact, the Greek word that is translated “earnest” can also be used to describe “an engagement ring.” Now what is an engagement ring? It is the pledge of the man to not only marry the woman, but to give her his life and share with her all that he possesses. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is the engagement ring that the Bride of Christ has now until the marriage takes place at Jesus’ Second Coming when we will become joint-heirs of everything our Husband owns! Glory and praise to God!
Now speaking of rings, another description of the Holy Spirit is given to us by Paul in Ephesians 1:13: Alongside of the term “Earnest” is the word “Seal.” Again, Paul says that having believed, you and I were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.
We see this same term used in Second Corinthians 1:22 and Ephesians 4:30 that when we believed the gospel of our salvation, we were “sealed” with the Holy Spirit. And notice that in all three of these passages of Scripture, this “sealing” of the Holy Spirit is spoken of as having already taken place. This is important as it pertains to what this term means.
So, what does this mean to be “sealed”? In their days, a “seal” was made by the signet ring of a king or any kind of authority figure when they had important documents or contracts. After wax was poured on the crest of the rolled-up paper, the authority would stamp the spot of wax with his signet ring to “seal” it and to leave his symbol on it.
Therefore, this “sealing” describes four important things:
Therefore, the “seal” represents our identity and security, and it also teaches us of God’s ownership and promises. This is why our hope will not disappoint—because God has poured out the Holy Spirit in our lives, thereby confirming His love for us (Romans 5:5). His Spirit’s witness in us not only lets us know we are God’s children (see Romans 8:15-16), it also gives us little tastes of our eternal inheritance—that is, the redemption of our bodies (see Ephesians 1:13-14). Glory!
So, the Holy Spirit certainly is the mark of God’s grace in our lives—for He shows us that God has set His seal on us as He did with His Beloved Son, Jesus. He is our foretaste of God’s goodness that is to come as well. Praise God, that we have been baptized in the fire of the Holy Ghost and He is here to make these golden lampstands burn bright for God’s glory! Amen.
So, in conclusion, we have already been anointed—anointed to be His kings and priests. This means that we are anointed to reign as the King’s kids and we are anointed to serve the King as His ministers. In other words, we are set apart to be who we are and do what we do. And this anointing of the Holy Spirit shows our value and worth and declares the hope of glory we have before us! Amen and amen!