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CONTENTS I. The Holy Spirit II. Symbols and Shadows of III. The Holy Anointing Oil
the Holy Spirit
The Anointing of Kings, Priests and Prophets (Part 1) The Anointing of Kings, Priests and Prophets (Part II) VI. The Anointing of Kings, Priests and Prophets (Part III) VII. Jesus as King, Priest and Prophet VIII. The Anointing in David IX. The Anointing of the Shield X. The Anointed Cherub XI. The Working of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament Church XII. Sanctification through the Holy Spirit XIII. The Spirit of Service - An Important Requisite for Fresh Unction of the Spirit XIV. Breaking of the Yoke-An important Purpose of the Anointing XV. The Anointing in servants of God XVI. Blessings of the Anointing 1 Dwelling in unity 2 A Radiant Life 3 Healing 4 A Life of Joy 5 A Life subject to Reproof and Correction 6 Abundant Grace 7 A Life of Prayer Epilogue ******
Many thousands all over the world are being anointed with the Holy Spirit in these last days according to the promise of God. The experience of being anointed with the Holy Spirit for the first time with the evidence of speaking in other tongues is called the ‘baptism in the Holy Spirit’, by which we are baptized into the Body of Christ, the Church (I Cor.12:13). Before His ascension, Jesus commanded His disciples to tarry in the city of Jerusalem for the ‘promise of the Father’. This promise of the Father is the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts.1:4,5). On the day of Pentecost, ten days after Jesus' ascension, the disciples and others, about a hundred and twenty in number, who waited in the upper room according to the commandment of the Lord were baptized in the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts.2:1-4). After this initial experience we are anointed again and again with new infillings or unctions of the Spirit, so that we may grow in the Spirit, and that the Holy Spirit may fulfil various purposes in and through us. Though the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity has been at work in the Old and in the New Testament days, the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a unique experience of the New Testament period, whereby the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us (Jn.14:16,17). In the Old Testament days the Holy Spirit only dwelt ‘with’ a chosen few among the elders, prophets, priests, judges and kings, in order that they might fulfil a particular ministry. It is only in the New Testament days that we enjoy the privilege of having the Holy Spirit dwelling ‘in’ us. We, in this dispensation of grace, have been called to live according to a law which is higher than that of the Old Testament times. This is possible only by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit works mightily in every area of the lives of those who are Spirit-baptized,
so that at the end, they might attain Christ-like perfection. This book, which is a detailed study on the anointing of the Holy Spirit, is written with the hope that it will give the readers an insight into the working of the Holy Spirit, the manifold purposes of the anointing and the fulness of life and blessings we receive through a Spirit-filled life. May the Lord bless the reading of this book and may it prove to be of help to all those who ardently await the imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ. ********
THE HOLY SPIRIT
Before we can proceed with a detailed study on the anointing, it is necessary to have a fair knowledge of the Holy Spirit Himself from Whom proceed the unctions of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the third Person in the Godhead and is distinct from the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit has been at work since the creation of the world, "... the earth was without form, and void-. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Gen.l:l,2). When the generations of Adam had departed from their Creator, letting sin corrupt their thoughts and destroy their soul, the Spirit of God was striving with them in their conscience, trying to persuade them to return to the Lord. The Lord said, "My spirit shall not always strive with man" (Gen.6:3). Yet, in the various dispensations, the Spirit of God did not forsake man altogether. When He found a man whose spirit would be submissive to Him, the Spirit of God would come upon him and reveal His power and wisdom. The Greek term PARAKLETOS, used for the Holy Spirit by the apostle John, is translated 'Comforter' or 'Advocate', signifying One Who is 'called alongside' to give help and advice, particularly to the defence. The Attributes of the Holy Spirit : 1. He is a Person : The personal pronoun 'He' is used when reference is made to the Holy Spirit. Also, personal acts are ascribed to Him (Jn.l6:13, 14; Acts 13:2). Since He is a Person, (i) He can be grieved (Eph.4:30). (ii) He can be sinned against (Mk3:28,29). (iii) He reveals, searches and knows (I Cor. 2:10,11). (iv) He evaluates situations (Acts 15:28). (v) He inflicts punishments (Acts 5:3-5,9,0). 2. He is God: He is specifically called God (Acts 5:3,4; II Cor.3:17). (i) He is the Spirit of truth (Jn.l6:13). (ii) He is eternal (Heb.9:14). (iii) He is omnipresent (Psa.l39:7-10). (iv) He is omnipotent (Lk.l.-35; Rom.8:ll; 15:19;Eph.l:19,20). (v) He is omniscient (I Cor.2:10; lsa.ll:2). (vi) He is life (Rom.8:2). (vii) His name is also called upon, along with that of the Father and the Son, when water baptism is administered (Matt.28:19). viii) He is one with the Father and the Son in the administration of the Church (I Cor.l2:46; Acts 13:2). (ix) His words and His works are considered the words and works of God (Gen.l:l,2,26; Job 33:4;Acts 28:25-27; Heb.3:7-ll). The Holy Spirit has specific functions in the Trinity of God and they are manifold. Some of them are : (i) He is equal in His creative powers with the Father and the Son (Job 33:4; Gen.l:26).
(ii) Though the Holy Spirit is invisible, the ministry or work of the Holy Spirit is visibly manifest In the Church. His work is never to call attention to Himself, but to glorify the Father and .the Son (Jn.l6:13-15). (iii) He exists as the Priest of the most high God (Heb.7:1315;9:14). (iv) He guides and teaches (Jn.l6:13,15). (v) He convicts the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment (Jn.l6:7-ll). (vi) He regenerates (Jn.3:5). (vii) He prays and intercedes (Rom.8:26,27). (viii) He comforts (Jn.l4:16). (ix) He renews (Tit.3:5). (x) He testifies about the Lord Jesus (Jn.l5:26; Acts 5:32). (xi) He is the Inspirer of the Scriptures (11Tim.3:16; II Pet. 1:20,21). (xii) He appoints and directs His ministers to places where He wills (Acts 20:28; 13:2). (xiii) He possesses the same power of resurrection as the Father and the Son in the Godhead (Rom.8:ll,23; I Pet.3:18). (xiv) The Holy Spirit works in the believers and in the servants of God in the Church. After His resurrection, the Lord Jesus handed over all the responsibility concerning the Church, to the Holy Spirit and it. is through the Holy Spirit that He thereafter expresses Himself to the Church (Jn.l4:16; 16:13; Acts 1:2). The Holy Spirit communicates Himself as a presence and power to the individual, mediating to him forgiveness of sin and new birth. His presence in the believer constitutes a seal, a guarantee of the final salvation (Eph.l:13;4:30), and an initiation into the Body of Christ (ICor.12;13). In the believer's daily life, the Holy Spirit is the Source of virtues (Gal.5:22,23) and the Dynamic for a life pleasing unto God (Rom.8; Gal.5:16), and the One Who equips for service (Rom.l2:4-8; I Cor.l2:7-ll; Eph.4:7). He nourishes and purifies his whole personality, knitting him into the fellowship of the saints. Finally, at the resurrection or transformation of the body, He brings him to the fulness of eternal life. ******
SYMBOLS AND SHADOWS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is typified by certain symbols and shadows in the Word of God. We shall study a few of them here. 1. WIND : The wind is often a symbol or shadow of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:2,4). God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (Gen.2:7). The Holy Spirit is the very life of God and is able to produce life (Job 27:3). Job says, "The Spirit of God hath made me and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life" (33:4). Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost" (Jn.20:22). On the day of Pentecost, the Church was formed when the Holy Spirit came down like a "rushing mighty wind" on the one hundred and twenty who waited in the upper chamber. Those who are born of the Spirit are like the wind, for, the operation of the Spirit can be felt and not seen (Jn.3:8). When the prophet Ezekiel prophesied to the dry bones, there was a noise and a shaking and the bones came together and the sinews and the flesh came upon them and the skin covered them. When he called upon the four winds to breathe life into the slain, and prophesied, breath came into them and they lived and stood upon their feet, an exceeding great army (Ezek.37:510,14). Similarly, in the New Testament period every individual in whom the "breath of God" enters or one who is baptized by the Holy Spirit, becomes a member of the Body of Christ which is the Church(I Cor.l2:13). He should be found united with the apostles in their doctrines, in fellowship with the saints, in breaking of bread and in prayers (Acts 2:42). The four winds mentioned above are symbolic of the working of the Holy Spirit in leading
us into deeper experiences: (a] North wind (S.S.4:16) : In the Holy Land where Solomon lived, the north wind was cool and refreshing, bringing rain. The north wind brings the continual showers of blessing in the garden of the New Testament Church. As it blows, the "sweet savour (fragrance) of Christ", through prayer and praise, emanates from the Church into all the world (II Cor.2:14,15). This `fragrance' is the example of a Spirit-anointed life. (b] South wind (Job 37:9, 17; Lk.l2:55) : The south wind brings the heat and warmth, which are required for fruits to ripen. As we grow spiritually, we have to pass through a "dry" experience, but it is then that the inner man feels the need for sanctification, for a closer walk with God, a life in which the fruit of the Spirit is manifested. These fruits mentioned in Galatians 5:22,23 are being formed in us by the working of His mighty power. By the fire of the Holy Spirit, the gifts in us also have to be stirred up. Saints of God should be fervent in their spiritual life (II Tim.l:6; Rev.3:15,16; Rom.l2:ll). (c] Eastwind (Exo.l4:21) : The east wind being strong, divided the waters of the Red Sea. The wind has also the power of destruction (Jer.l8:17). Similarly, when the Holy Spirit or the 'excellency of power' works in us mightily, the wicked, backsliding spirits that work in our life are scattered and destroyed. Therefore, we need to surrender to the working of the Spirit in our lives continually, so that the Holy Spirit may make us strong and help us destroy the enemy powers (Rom.8:13; lsa.59:19). [d] West wind (Exo.l0:19) : A mighty strong west wind was sent to take away the locusts which came as a plague upon Egypt. Locusts have the nature of destroying vegetation and the locusts mentioned in Revelation 9:3,5 have the power to sting like scorpions. In like manner, we may have natures which cause grief and pain to others. Even as the locusts were taken away by the west wind, when the Holy Spirit comes, all our harmful and destructive natures which are detrimental to the growth of the inner man are removed and destroyed and we are filled with comfort, peace and consolation. 2. RIVER : Mention is made of a river for the first time in the Bible in Genesis 2:10. It branched into four tributaries. This river is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit and its four heads denote the varied operations of the Holy Spirit in our life. Jesus invited all who are thirsty to drink of Him and promised "rivers of living water" for all those who believed on Him (Jn.7:37-39). The living water denotes the Holy Spirit Whose presence brings all the blessings of eternal life an endless supply indeed. The water flowing from the house of God as mentioned in Ezekiel 47:1,9, produces life. The water of the river rises in four stages until it becomes abundant (vs.3-5). Jesus said that He had come to give life and that abundantly (Jn.l0:10). The apostle John saw the river of the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from God's throne (Rev.22:l). The rivers seen by prophet Ezekiel and by St John brought healing where each flowed (Ezek. 47:9-12; Rev.22:l-3). 3. RAIN : 'Rain' is a term used in the Scriptures to express the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:23,28; Zech. 10:1;Hos.6:3; Jam.5:7). The Holy Spirit rains righteousness in the Church (Heb.7:l,2; Hos.l0:12; Jn.l6:8,10). Therefore, we need the heavenly rain of the Holy Spirit, both former and latter, to make us holy and precious unto God. With the latter rain of the Holy Spirit, there comes an abundance of joyful and fruitful experiences of corn, wine, oil and fruits. 4. DEW : The Lord promises to be "dew unto Israel" (Hos.l4:5). The dew denotes the Lord's favour upon His people (Prov.l9:12). It is a source of freshness. It is nature's provision for renewing the face of the earth. It falls at night and without it the vegetation would suffer. It is this great value of the dew which is so often recognized in the Scriptures. It is used as the symbol of spiritual refreshing. Just as nature is bathed in dew, so, the Lord renews His people. In Titus 3:5, the same thought of spiritual refreshing is connected with the ministry of the Holy Spirit "renewing of the
Holy Ghost". The dew is also a favourite emblem in Scripture for richness and fertility (Gen.27:28; Deut.32:2; 33:13). In Proverbs 3:20, the formation of dew is ascribed to the omniscience and the power of the Lord. In Micah 5:7, the Lord says that Israel shall be as dew from the Lord. This prophecy will be literally fulfilled during the Millennium. If this is to be true of Israel, how much more should we, the Spirit-baptized people of the New Testament, receive God's favour and be filled with the Spirit of grace! We are called to be in fellowship with one another, and it is the Spirit that brings about this unity (Psa.133). Dew brings fragrance and adds beauty to flowers (Hos.l4:5,6). It enriches the sweetness in fruits and helps in the flourishing growth of crops and grain. All these are experiences which have to be reflected in those that have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. 5. SNOW : The Holy Spirit is also compared to snow characterizing the work of purification and sanctification done by the Holy Spirit (Lam.4:7; II Tim.2:21). It also speaks of the comforting Word of God (lsa.55:10,ll). The Spirit-baptized people of God who have been sanctified by the Holy Spirit will be a source of comfort and consolation to their leaders and to all those who are in distress and need, for, words of comfort and grace proceed from them (Prov.25:13; Col.4:6). 6. FIRE: On the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended on the hundred and twenty in the upper chamber, there appeared "cloven tongues of fire" that rested upon each of them (Acts 2:3). John the Baptist, while speaking about the Lord Jesus says, "he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire" (Matt.3:ll). Love is compared to fire. 'Many waters cannot quench love' (S.S.8:7). The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom.5:5). The 'waters' that try to quench this fire are 'temptations' that come against the love of God. If the fire of God's love burns vehemently in our hearts, these waters cannot quench it. Fire has the quality of purifying. Gold is purified by fire (Mal.3:2,3). Even so our body, soul and spirit are purified or sanctified by the fire of the Holy Spirit (Rom.l5:16). 7. DOVE : After being baptized in water, the Lord Jesus came out of the water and the Spirit rested on Him in the form of a dove (Matt.3:16). The dove, by nature, is gentle and always returns to its resting place, unless it has been hurt i.e. grieved. Even so, we are exhorted : "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption" (Eph.4:30). We can grieve the Holy Spirit by "resisting" Him (Acts 7:51) and also by "quenching" Him (I Thess.5:19) that is, by disobeying His dictates. The Holy Spirit has come into us that He might lead us on to perfection. When we grieve Him, we limit His working in us. But when we obey the law of the Spirit by walking after Him perfectly. He leads us on to perfection. 8. WINE : In Song of Solomon 1:2, we find the Bride telling her Beloved that His love is better than wine. It is this love of God which has been shed abroad in our hearts by the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Rom.5:5). When on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out for the first time, on the one hundred and twenty, the onlookers mistook them to be drunk with "new wine" (Acts 2:13). The Lord promises His people a "new heart" and a "new spirit" (Ezek.ll:19; 18:31; 36:26). This 'new spirit' signifies the Holy Spirit. The Shulamite says, "He hath brought me to the banqueting house" (S.S.2:4). This banqueting house is the "wine house" or the New Testament Church which should experience the operation of the Holy Spirit. St. Paul admonished the Ephesian believers not to be drunk with wine (literal) but to be "filled with the Spirit" (wine of the Holy Spirit) (Eph.5:18). The filling of the Spirit brings a
believer's life into absolute control, when his life is yielded to Christ. Wine makes glad the heart of man and gives him temporary relief from earthly sorrows and cares (Psa.l04:15; Judg. 9:13). But the wine of the Holy Spirit helps man rejoice in the eternal pleasures of God. 9. SEAL : Even as a document is sealed until the time of opening, the believer who receives the Holy Spirit is sealed unto the day of redemption or the final salvation (Eph.l :13; 11Cor.l:22). 10. OIL : In the Old Testament period, the most important use of oil was for the anointing of priests, kings and prophets. Aaron was anointed with the anointing oil to be priest (Lev.8:12). David was anointed with the anointing oil to be king (Psa.89:20). There is only one instance in the Word of God, of a prophet being anointed (I Kgs.l9:16). By the baptism in the Holy Spirit, we are made kings and priests (Rev.l:6). The baptism in the Holy Spirit is only the initial experience of all believers. Hence it is commanded that the people of God be filled with the Spirit and keep receiving fresh unctions of the Spirit. Given below is an outline of symbols and shadows of the Holy Spirit, discussed in detail in this chapter and in various parts of this book. The following list also includes certain experiences resulting from the anointing. In each of the following, four aspects stand out prominently. 1. RIVER FROM THE GARDEN OF EDEN (Gen.2:10-14) parting into four heads :Pison -great effusion Gihon -Valley of Grace Hiddekel -sharp voice Euphrates -fruitful 2.RIVER FROM THE TEMPLE (Ezek47:3-5) Waters up to the 'ankles' - walk in love / in the Spirit (Eph.5:l,2) Waters up to the 'knees' - prayer life (Rom.8:26; Dan.6:10) Waters up to the loins' - service (Lk.l2:35;Mk.l0:45) Waters to 'swim in' - fulness of Christ (Rom.8:37). 3. RIVER IN THE CITY (Psa.46:4) River of God's pleasures - (Psa.36:8) River of Peace - (Isa.66:12) River of Righteousness - (Isa.48:18) River of Knowledge - (Isa.11:9) 4. WATER IN FOUR PLACES (lsa.41:18) Rivers in high places' - Consecration Fountains in the midst of 'valleys' - humility Pools in the 'wilderness' - faith life Springs in the 'dry land' - joy only in the Lord 5. RIVER FROM THE THRONE (Rev.22:l) Having: Life (Rev.22:l) Clearness - (Rev.22:l) Power - (Ezek.1:24; Rev.1:15;14:2)
6. ANOINTING OIL (Exo.30:22-25) Principal spices mingled with olive oil Myrrh - prayer Cinnamon - power in the inner man Sweet calamus - humility Cassia - purging 7. INCENSE (Exo.30:34) Stacte - supplication Onycha - prayer Galbanum - intercession Frankincense - praising and thanksgiving 8. ANOINTING IN THE TABERNACLE Upon the vessels in the three places and upon the ministers Most Holy Place -(Exo.30:26) Holy Place -(Exo.30:27) Outer Court -(Exo.30:28) Aaron and his sons -(Exo.30:30) 9. RAIN : (Joel 2:19,22,24) Bringing in Wine - Joel.l:10 -12) Oil Corn " Fruits " 10. FOUR THINGS 'NEW New heart (Ezek.l8:31) New spirit (Ezek.l8:31) New Covenant (Jer.31:31) New fruit (Ezek.47:12) 11. WIND FROM FOUR DIRECTIONS (Ezek.37:9) East wind - (Jer.l8:17; Job 27:21) West wind - (Exo.l0:19) North wind - (S.S.4:16; Job 37:9; Prov.25:23) South wind - (S.S.4:16; Job 37:17) 12. FORMATION OF THE BODY AND A REVIVAL BY THE WIND' (Ezek.ch.37) Bone - life, doctrines Sinews - fellowship Flesh - grace and truth Skin - prayer
THE HOLY ANOINTING OIL
AS we studied earlier, oil signifies the anointing of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament days, sacred oil was poured on the head as a rite of consecration. There was a belief that this
imparted to the person anointed, a special endowment of Jehovah. Ingredients of the Oil : God commanded Moses to make the anointing oil using various spices such as myrrh, sweet cinnamon, sweet calamus and cassia along with olive oil (Exo.30: 23-25). Myrrh : It is a bitter, aromatic substance that exudes from the bark of the tree Balsamodendron opobalsamum, when pierced. The bitter nature shows a life of suffering suffering that is endured for the sake of righteousness and one's consecration. Esther 2:12 mentions a six-month purification that Esther went through with the 'oil of myrrh'. This could be interpreted as the suffering that God permits in our life for our sanctification. The Shulamite says, "A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me" (S.S.1:13). Every Spirit-baptized child of God will have to endure sufferings for the sake of righteousness and consecration. We will have to go through the bitter experiences of misunderstanding, hatred, shame and reproach from our own brethren in accordance with His will. Physically too, according to the will of God, we may have to go through periods of darkness like Job. He lost everything, but he manifested his love for God, by holding fast his integrity till the end. In his trial of faith, his confession was, "... When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold" (23:10). In spite of his unbearable suffering, he was filled with hope and said, "I know that my redeemer liveth... though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God" (19:25,26). Like Joseph who forgave his brethren who did him evil and nourished them in time of famine, we must overcome all bitter experiences through the anointing of love. We must pray for those who do us evil and should not harbour bitterness in our hearts. Like the Shulamite, we should go to the 'mountain of myrrh' and the 'hill of frankincense' (S.S.4:6). Here the 'mountain of myrrh' signifies a life of prayer and the 'hill of frankincense' signifies a life of thanksgiving. In other words, we should have a continual life of prayer and thanksgiving. Myrrh signifies, in particular, a life of prayer that emanates from a heart that is broken and sore through trials, reproaches, tribulation, affliction and persecution. This is discussed in detail in the chapter on a life of prayer. In ancient days myrrh was used in embalming. This could spiritually denote our bodies being preserved from corruption through the anointing which is in us. Sweet Cinnamon : It is obtained from the bark of the cinnamon tree, Cinnamomum zeylanicum. It was sought for embalming in Egypt, and for its fragrance in Mediaeval Europe. Its bark is stripped in summer, when abundant sap permits easy pealing. This shows the anointing leading us on to the experience of having strength in the inner man. Ephesians 3:16 says, 'To be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man". Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day (II Cor.4:16). When St. Paul says, "I die daily", (ICor.l5:31) he speaks of the death in the 'self that dominates the inner man. When one remains in the death of Christ, his inner man is renewed through the Holy Spirit. We have to continue in this experience day by day and be renewed after the image of Him Who created us in righteousness and true holiness (Eph.4:24), and thereby grow to be a perfect man. Being strengthened in the inner man means being strengthened in faith, hope and love. As we are strengthened in our inner man, we will be strengthened in faith (IIThess.l;.3) faith that God is able to fulfil His promises. Similarly, we are strengthened in the hope that we will enter within the veil and obtain the very glory of God (Rom.l5:13). The anointing also helps us to get rooted, grounded and settled in love and helps us to comprehend together with the saints the breadth, length, depth and height of His love (Eph.3:16-18). There are trials for faith, sufferings for hope and temptations for love. While going through these experiences, if we are shaken, our strength is small (Prov.24:10). But if we are strengthened in our inner man by His Spirit, we will be able to stand as bold as a lion (Prov.28:l) and emerge as overcomers. On the other hand, if we murmur and complain, we will lose the anointing, and thereby become weak in the inner man.
Sweet Calamus (Calamus acorus) : It is the sweet sedge or sweet flag, a marshy plant that flourishes on the banks of all the streams and lakes of the Jordan valley. Spiritually, sweet calamus which grows in the valley speaks of the humility of Jesus. In John 16:15 Jesus says, "... he (Holy Spirit) shall take of mine 'and shall shew it unto you". Therefere, the Holy Spirit will teach us the humility of the Lord Jesus Christ. The anointing of the Holy Spirit will continually rest upon those who are humble. In Isaiah 63:14, we read that God leads His people into the valley so that His people might rest in Him. 'Valley' here speaks of a life of humility. Therefore, when we are humble, we will be able to experience a divine rest through the Spirit of God. The Lord assures us of His promise, "... inquietness and in confidence shall be your strength" (lsa.30:15). Thus the anointing leads us to rest in Him when we put on the humility of Jesus. Cassia : It is a popular purgative consisting of the leaves of Cassia acutifolia or Cassia angustifolia. This speaks of a life of sanctification. The Old Testament priests were anointed with the holy anointing oil and they became holy (Exo.30:30; 40:13-15). The priests were expected to remain within the sanctuary and keep themselves from defilement. In the New Testament period, we find that we have to purge our conscience from dead works to serve the living God (Heb.9:14). We must remember that we have been separated for this cause, for which the anointing is upon us. The anointing that is in us teaches us to preserve this life of sanctification and separation and continually abide therein. We have to learn to keep our conscience in all purity through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, through the Word of God and through the Holy Spirit, in order to live a victorious life. In Isaiah chapter 6, we find Isaiah crying unto the Lord about his uncleanness. A live coal, which is a type of the anointing, was then brought from the altar and it sanctified him. Therefore we read, "Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged" (V.7). After that Isaiah 'had visions of the glory of God in the temple. When we thus purge ourselves from all kinds of defilements such as breaking of our consecration, murmuring, doubting, having carnal ties, harbouring distinctions of caste and language etc., we are made vessels unto honour, meet for the Master's use, through the anointing. Olive Oil : It speaks of the joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom.l4:17). In preparing the holy anointing oil of the Old Testament, all the four afore-said ingredients were mixed with the olive oil for its preservation. Therefore, each of the above- mentioned spiritual experiences should be seen in the life of a Spirit-baptized child of God, together with the joy in the Holy Ghost. In conclusion, we understand that as myrrh was mixed with olive oil to make the anointing oil, a life of prayer and a life of suffering for the sake of righteousness should both be experienced with joy (II Cor.8:2; I Pet.4:13,14). In like manner, we have to preserve the experience of being strengthened in faith, hope and love in our inner man, with joy, even as sweet cinnamon was mingled with olive oil (Col.l:ll). We should be able to joyfully tread the valley of humility in order to always rest in Him, as understood from the mixing of sweet calamus with the olive oil to make the holy anointing oil. Finally, as cassia is mingled with olive oil, we have to preserve our joy during the process of sanctification (I Pet.l:2,7,8). The Use of the Holy Oil ; God asked Moses to anoint Aaron and sanctify him that he might minister unto the Lord in the priest's office (Exo.40:13). His sons also had to be anointed with the anointing oil to minister unto the Lord. This anointing made the Aaronic priesthood an everlasting one throughout their generations (Exo.40:15). Moses also anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein and sanctified them (Exo.40:9). "To anoint" spiritually means 'to separate' or 'to consecrate'. The anointing oil was holy and was called the 'holy anointing oil' (Exo.30:25) and it was used to sanctify (Lev.8:10-12). It could not be used for any other purpose. Only when the instruments in the tabernacle are anointed with the anointing oil do they become 'most holy' (Exo.30:26-29) and it is by the anointing that they are 'set apart' or 'dedicated' for the Lord's service. This signifies that
everyone in the house of God is anointed, separated and consecrated for the ministry. Just as every vessel finds a use in the tabernacle, every Spirit-baptized child of God has a ministry in the Church (lsa.52:11; IITim.2:20,21). Every work in the house of God is a good or righteous work. Aaron and his sons could minister in the tabernacle only after they were anointed, implying thereby that there is no ministry without the anointing (Acts 1:8; Lk.24:49). But it is necessary for each Spirit-baptized child of God to make sure his calling and election. St. Peter exhorts : "Give diligence to make your calling and election sure" (II Pet. 1:10). Trials and temptations help us to confirm our calling and we need to always have a revelation about the high calling wherewith we have been called of God. The vessels of ministry in the tabernacle depict the divine character or the life of Jesus in a type for example, the altar and the laver. The altar depicts the sacrificial life of Jesus. The brazen laver signifies water baptism, whereby we become partakers of Christ's death and burial. The vessels in the tabernacle signify all the Spirit-baptized children of God too who gradually attain the character of Jesus in their lives. Therefore, the anointing helps us to be delivered from the nature of the old man and it forms the character of Jesus in our inner man. The anointing oil is not to be poured on the flesh. Therefore, the priest had to first put on the holy garments before being anointed (Exo.29:29; 30:30-32). In water baptism, we put on Christ and by faith we become the sons of God (Gal.3:26,27). Then God baptizes us with the Holy Spirit whereby our fleshly mind is removed. All distinctions of caste, creed and nationality are removed and we are made one in Christ Jesus (Gal.3:28). If we are thus Christ's, then are we Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise, Christ Himself being the first seed of this promise (Gal.3:29,16). Hereby, we have the mind of Christ i,e. the wisdom of God (I Cor.2:7,16), the character of Christ i.e. obedience, humility etc. - (Phil. 2:5-8) and the mind to suffer as Christ did (I Pet.4:l). Thus, by being filled with the anointing repeatedly, we are led from victory to victory (II Cor. 2:14). *******
THE ANOINTING OF KINGS, PRIESTS AND PROPHETS
In the Old Testament period, kings, priests and prophets were anointed with the anointing oil for their respective offices. No one individual among them could hold all three offices at the same time. As a sign of royalty, kings were anointed and clothed in purple. Purple signifies 'Righteousness'. It is written that "the throne is established in righteousness" (Prov.l6:12). A king is one who rules, and he must rule justly for his nation to be exalted (Prov.l4:34). The high priest was anointed for his office. He was to serve the Lord in holiness with the mitre which had the plate of pure gold bearing the engraving "Holiness unto the Lord" (Exo.28:36-38; Lev.8:9). The life of a high priest was always associated with worship and service, blessing the people, standing before the Lord and offering sacrifices. The Old Testament records only one instance where a prophet was anointed to his office (I Kgs.l9:16). The life of a prophet was fraught with sufferings, for, he was called to reveal to God's people, the mind of God. For this cause he was reproached, persecuted and even stoned to death or slain with the sword. All the above three offices are found in the triune God. God the Father is a Prophet. His prophetical utterance after the fall of Adam and Eve as recorded in Genesis 3:15, finds fulfilment in Galatians 4:4. God, the Son as a King, has the authority to rule, and He rules in righteousness. "Righteousness is the habitation of his throne" (Psa.97:2) and as a righteous Judge, He "executes righteous judgments" (Psa.99:4). God, the Holy Spirit is the Priest Who officiated at the sacrifice of the only begotten Son of the Father (Heb.9:14). He is holy and teaches us how we should worship God in holiness and righteousness (Lk.l:75), in spirit and in truth (Jn.4:24) and serve Him in grace (mercy) and godly
fear (Psa.5:7). Though we have in particular discussed the Father as a Prophet, the Son as a King and the Holy Spirit as a Priest, each of these offices is found in each of the three Persons of the Godhead. Anointing of kings : For one to be anointed long' in the Old Testament, fresh oil was needed (Psa.92:10). In the New Testament, one needs fresh unctions of the Holy Spirit every day, to reign in life. This helps in having God's plan and will fulfilled in one's life. That which is mentioned in Psalm 92:10, was fulfilled literally in David's life and prophetically in Jesus (Psa.89:20; 45:7) and spiritually, it is being fulfilled in the lives of the saints of the New Testament period (Rev.l:5,6). One purpose of a king's anointing is to fight the battles of God (I Sam.25:28) and yet another, to reveal the character of God (Psa.l7:15). An instance in point is David fighting God's battles in two ways. Firstly, he overcame the enemies of Israel by the power of God, as vividly described in II Samuel ch.8. Secondly, it was by his divine characterstics such as humility (Psa.l31:2) and love for his enemies (Psa.l09:4,5) that David overcame his seven enemies within Israel, viz., Saul (I Sam.l9:l; 24:2), Absalom (II Sam.l5:10-13), Shimei (IISam.l6:5-12), Doeg (I Sam. 22:9,10), Nabal (I Sam. 25:10,11), Ahithophel (II Sam. 15:12) and Joab (II Sam.3:39). The anointing in the heart or soul of man can help him imbibe God's character (Col.3:1214). Jesus said that he who has seen Him has seen the Father (Jn. 14:9). During His life on the earth, He revealed the perfect character of the Father, namely, love, compassion, mercy, zeal etc. (lsa.42;l). As spiritual kings we are anointed to fight against wicked spirits, some of which, as a type, are mentioned in Psalm 50:16-22. God hates the abominations mentioned in Proverbs 6:16-19. We, the anointed children of God should also hate them. The power of the anointing promises us the victory. We are made 'kings' by the anointing, and are thus made worthy to receive certain blessings. We become the inheritance of God (Deut.4:20). We become heirs of a good land, even Canaan (Deut.4:21), which in the New Testament is New Jerusalem and Zion. Every day we have to possess more of this land through the anointing. When the Israelites of old lost their kingdom i.e. their inheritance, the joy of their heart ceased (Lam.5:15). The joy derived through the anointing by the "oil of gladness" can be preserved only when we hate wickedness and love God and His righteousness (Psa.45:7). The anointing of a king enables one to receive a kingdom, a throne, a crown and a sceptre. This was fulfilled literally in the Old Testament times and is now being fulfilled spiritually in the New Testament times. Kingdom : By the anointing, we receive a kingdom (Mk.9:l; Lk.l2:32). In the New Testament, the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. The kingdom of God is not in word, but in power (I Cor. 4:20). God's kingdom (divine character and power of God) is established in our hearts by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Throne : The throne of God shows ruling or an overcoming life. The throne must be established in righteousness (Prov.l6:12; 25:5). Only after we learn to rule over our own spirit (Prov.25:28), can grace reign through righteousness in us (Rom.5:21). One's throne can be subject to destruction by several spirits. They must be overcome if the throne is to be established (Prov.25:5). 1. The spirit of Adonijah : This can be referred to as a) carnal mindedness (I Kgs.2:15-17), which is death. To be spiritually minded is life and peace. Therefore, one must overcome this carnal mind by new unctions of the Spirit. b) the spirit of self-exaltation or pride (IKgs.l:5). This is the spirit of the antichrist (II Thess.2:4). Adonijah exalted himself to be king. The pride of beauty, the pride of one's own race, the pride of one's place of nativity, the pride of capability and the pride of grace bestowed upon
one, must be destroyed. One can overcome these by the spirit of humility, even the spirit of Christ (Phil.2:5-8). c) spirits that work against the plan of God (I Kgs.l:9,10,29,30). For example, the plan of God made Solomon king. Although Adonijah knew of this plan, he went against it. Therefore, one must not be deceived by such spirits. 2. The spirit of Abiathar (IKgs.l:7,19,25) : This could be called the spirit of division which makes one lose the anointing. To overcome this, unity must be maintained with the saints of God by the fulness of God's love given through the anointing. 3. The spirit of Joab (II Sam. 3:30) : This signifies the spirit of hatred and revenge which can be overthrown by continuous infillings of His divine love. 4. The spirit of Shimei (IISam.l6:5-7) : This indicates the spirit of wickedness that prevents prayer for enemies. It is said to be the spirit of cursing instead of blessing. This can be overcome by the divine love poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Crown and Sceptre : The crown and sceptre, in general, show royal authority. Jesus gave authority over all evil powers, sickness, curse and death to those who followed Him (Matt.l0:10; Lk.9:l). Through the anointing we receive the glory of God. This glory is said to be the crown (lsa.28:5). In Leviticus 21:12 also, we read of the 'crown of the anointing' of the high priest. The servants of God ought to preserve this anointing to reign as the glory of the Church. When the Spirit of God is upon us, the glory of God preserves us. God was the glory and protection of Israel. Thus Israel got victory over her enemies (Psa.24:7,8; Zech.2:5). When the Spirit of God is upon us, the glory of God gives us victory over our enemies. When the crown is lost, everything is lost (II Sam.l:10; Lam.5:16). Even as the kingdom is established in righteousness, the sceptre is also preserved through righteousness (Psa.45:6; Heb.l:8). The crowns mentioned in the New Testament are the crown of life (Jam.l:12), the crown of righteousness (II Tim.4:8) and the crown of glory (I Pet.5:4). We should not give room to sin lest we lose our crown. Let us therefore, take heed to hold fast our crown (Rev.3:ll). The anointing in us must be preserved that we may as kings, continually maintain the kingdom, throne, crown and sceptre, given to us of God. The Lord is the saving strength of His anointed (Psa.28:8). This can be experienced in our lives when we give our strength and glory to the Lord (Psa.29:l,ll). The glory of God needed to protect us and the strength of God required to resist the enemy, while we live on this earth as kings, is granted to us by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. This reign, as kings, will then be continued into the Millennium, and subsequently, into the coming eternity (Rev.20:6; 22:5). *********
THE ANOINTING OF KINGS, PRIESTS AND PROPHETS
Anointing of priests : God brought the Israelites out of Egypt and after they crossed the Red Sea, they were brought to the foot of Mount Sinai under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. It was here that God chose the tribe of Levi from which the priests and the high priest were chosen to minister among His redeemed ones. Before beginning their priestly office, they had to wash themselves, put on their priestly garments and be anointed with the holy anointing oil (Exo.40:12-15; Lev.8:6-13). This proves that there is no ministry without the anointing. The purpose of the anointed ministries performed by anointed ministers is to lead people to excellent glory (II Cor.3:7-9). The anointing of the high priest is a special one, called the 'crown of the anointing oil' and he was the representative of the people to God and also their intercessor.
When David speaks of the anointing, he says that "it is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments" (Psa.l33:2). Aaron's anointing is a shadow and a type of the anointing that is upon those who are being led to Zion. To preserve and continue in the "crown of the anointing", Aaron had to observe many laws and statutes and lead a life of separation (Lev.21:10-14). Even so, in the New Testament, to preserve the anointing in us, we have to observe the spiritual laws and lead a life of separation (II Cor.6: 14-18; I Cor.3:16,17). Some of the important ministries performed by the high priest and the priests were : 1. To keep the charge of the tabernacle (Num.l8:l-5). 2. To offer sacrifices (Lev.9:22). 3. To burn sweet incense (Exo.30:7). 4. To light the lamps (Exo.30:8). 5. To make atonement for the unclean (Lev.l4:19,20). 6. To make atonement for the whole of Israel (Lev.l6:32). 7. To teach laws and statutes (Lev.l0:8,ll; Mal.2:7). 8. To set the shewbread (Lev.24:5,8,9). 9. To bear the ark of the covenant (Deut.l0:8; Josh.3:6). 10.To differentiate between the holy and the unholy (Lev.l0:10). 11. To bless the people (Lev.9:22; Num.6:23-26). 12. To blow the trumpet on various occasions (Num.l0:8). All these ministries were reflected in Jesus : 1. He kept all those who were given Him (Jn.l7:12). 2. By His sacrifice He became a sweet smelling savour (Eph.5:2). 3. He prayed with strong crying and tears and offered up supplications unto Him that was able to save Him from death (Heb.5:7). 4. He is the Light of the world (Jn.l:9; 8:12). 5. He cleansed lepers (Matt.8:l-4; Lk.l7:ll-19). 6. He made atonement for our sins (Rom.3:25; I Jn.2:l). 7. Christ is the end of the law to everyone who believes in Him (Rom.l0:4). 8. He became the Bread of life for us (Jn.6:35,48). 9. Christ wanted those whom the Father had given Him to be with Him and to partake of His ministry (Mk.3:14). 10. He was separate from sinners (Heb.7:26). 11. He blessed all those who came to Him and He went about doing good (Acts 10:38). 12. He called all people to be gathered unto Him (Matt.ll:28). Though the anointing of the high priest of the Old Testament enabled him to perform all these blessed ministries and he alone went into the most holy place, one day in a year, these ministries could only lead the people to glory and were not sufficient to take them to the Most Holy Place or to excellent glory (II Cor.3:7-ll). But once Jesus entered within the veil through His death and resurrection. He opened a new and a living way for all the Spirit-baptized people to follow Him within the veil (Heb.l0:19,20). Therefore, the "able ministers" of the New Testament (II Cor.3:6) who lead the anointed children of God to enter into the Holiest, are in need of an excellent anointing to perform a better and a much more glorious ministry (Heb.8:6; II Cor.3:9,10). Anointing of prophets : Apart from the anointed kings and priests, there was yet another group called 'prophets' who ministered to the people of Israel. They were God's representatives to the people, revealing His counsel to them and thereby building up their hope, and comforting them in their distress. Though man had fallen, we see some among men having the spirit of prophecy. But the
prophetical ministry began with Samuel. However, there is only one instance recorded in the Word of God where a prophet was anointed. God commanded Elijah "to anoint" Elisha to the office of a prophet in his place (I Kgs.l9:16). Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah's spirit, and as an evidence to this, Elijah's mantle fell on Elisha (II Kgs.2:9,13). With the power of this double-fold anointing upon him, he was able to perform twice as many miracles as Elijah. To do a powerful ministry, we need the gifts of power, such as the gift of faith, the gift of working of miracles and the gifts of healing (I Cor.l2:9,10). In comparison with the life of a king and priest, a prophet needs more faith and wisdom for his life and ministry. Prophets like Isaiah gave more importance to the ministry of instilling hope in people through their prophecies, than to performing miracles. *******
THE ANOINTING OF KINGS, PRIESTS AND PROPHETS
(Part III) The three offices cease in the Old Testament : Although the kings, priests and prophets of the Old Testament had the anointing, many among them were unfaithful in abiding by the laws of God. The office of a king ceased with the last king of Judah, namely Jehoiachin. With Malachi, ended the prophetical office but the priestly office continued in a form. Notwithstanding, when the high priest rent his garment during the trial of Jesus (Matt.26:65; Lev.21:10), the priestly office also came to an end. All these three offices in the Old Testament were not fulfilled to perfection. Owing to the backsliding and the life of pleasure lived by the kings, priests and prophets, they were defiled and God gave them over to their enemies. Thus the ministry of the anointed kings, priests and prophets ceased literally amidst the children of Israel in accordance with the prophecy in Hosea 3:4. “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim”. Kings (Ezek.19:1-9; Mic.3:1-3; Zeph.3:3). Priests (Ezek.22:26; Jer.23:11; Mal.2:7,8). Prophets (Jer.23:9,11,14; Zeph.3:4). Although they failed in God’s plan being fulfilled in their lives, the plan of God was not frustrated. In fulfilment of Old Testament prophecies, Jesus as the Anointed One is made King (Psa.2:6), Priest (Psa.2:7; Heb. 5:5,6) and Prophet (Psa.2:2). The three offices in the New Testament : In the New Testament this excellent and glorious ministry bearing all the three offices began with Jesus and it continues in every anointed child of God. Jesus was anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power and He went about doing good (Acts 10:38). Even so the anointing works in us and helps us perform these three offices (Rom.5:19; 15:16; Phil.1:29). In these New Testament times, those who are saved become kings and priests by the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Rev.1:5,6). We have been anointed like the prophets also. One who has the testimony of Jesus has the spirit of prophecy (Rev.19:10). Even as our prophet Jesus went through much suffering, we who are His followers have to tread in His footsteps, for, it is by much tribulation that we can enter into the kingdom of God (I Pet.2:21; 4:1; Acts 14:22). Nevertheless, this life of suffering will come to an end when we depart from this world or at Jesus’ appearing. If we learn to rule our spirit (Prov.16:32) and discipline our life while on the earth, we shall reign as kings in the coming kingdom. We must learn to offer up our body as a living sacrifice, keep our body, soul and spirit blameless in holiness, and serve the Lord with fear and trembling. Then shall we be the priests of God eternally in His kingdom. Obedience is an essential characteristic in order to maintain or preserve this anointing to do an effectual ministry (I Pet.1:2). The beauty of our ministry lies in our surrendering entirely to the leading of the Spirit, thus dying to our own desires and will. As we obey the Lord and the leaders appointed by Him, it is imputed unto us for righteousness. Obedience is the fruit of righteousness and coupled with humility, it works out for us a life that is rich with the blessings of
God (Phil.1:11; 2:8; Psa.45:7). And in the eternity to come, we shall continue to serve Him as priests, and to reign with Him as kings forevermore. In comparison with the Old Testament offices of king, priest and prophet, the Lord Jesus stands unique, for in Him are found all the three offices. Prophets like Isaiah and Zechariah prophesied of Jesus as King (Isa.9:6,7; Zech.9:9). David prophesied of Him as the High Priest (Psa.110:4; Heb.5:6). Moses foretelling about Jesus, said that God would raise for the Israelites 'a Prophet from among their brethren like unto himself' (Deut.18:18;Acts 3:22). The gifts that the wise men brought for Jesus are a type of the offices He held. ‘Gold’ denotes ‘royalty’. Jesus entered Jerusalem as a king. Though the Lord Jesus is King and Lord of all the earth, the world is now in the hands of the devil. But in the Millennium, Jesus will reign as King of kings and rule the world in righteousness (Jn.12:13-15; Rev.19:16). Gold also depicts ‘faith’. To reign in righteousness, one must go on from faith to faith (Rom.1:17; 5:21; Prov.25:5). ‘Frankincense’ stands for maintaining an effectual life of prayer by preserving one’s holiness (Rev.8:3,4). Thus it reflects the priestly life that Jesus lived while on the earth. On two occasions, He entered the temple and cleansed it, which only a priest could do (Matt.21:12; Jn.2:15). By His resurrection, Jesus proved to be the Son of God with power (Rom.1:4), and being made a High Priest according to the order of Melchisedec, He entered into the Most Holy Place (Heb.4:14; 5:5,6,10; 9:24; 6:19,20). As a High Priest Who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities (Heb.4:15), and having entered within the veil, He is now interceding for us at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:33; Heb.7:25). ‘Myrrh’ shows a bitter life - a life of suffering which is mostly a prophet’s lot. Jesus endured suffering in the flesh. ‘He came unto His own but His own received Him not’ (Jn.1:11), and gave Him no honour. He was rejected by His people (Matt.13:57; 21:42) and finally He met with a cruel death. We too must be partakers of His sufferings (I Pet.4:1). In another sense, myrrh denotes the spirit of a prophet that is in every anointed child of God. Therefore everything of the world is bitter to him. Hence St. Paul declares, “The world is crucified unto me and I unto the world” (Gal.6:14). ******* CHAPTER VII
JESUS AS KING, PRIEST AND PROPHET
(Fulfilment of Old Testament Prophecies) The Lord Jesus Christ, according to the eternal plan of God, was “set up” or “separated” or “anointed” from everlasting, from the beginning, before the earth was (Prov.8:23). Even before Jesus Christ could come into the world, He was known as the ‘Messiah’, or the ‘Anointed One’. The Old Testament speaks about the ministry of Jesus Christ in three aspects — as King, Priest and Prophet. Jesus Himself said that it was mentioned concerning Him in the law of Moses and in the prophets and in the Psalms (Lk.24:44). In the books of Moses, we find prophecies which foretell the ministry of Jesus. The Patriarch Jacob foretold the coming of a King (Gen.49:10) and so did Balaam (Num.24:17). Moses himself foretold the work of Jesus as a Prophet Whom God would raise up to speak to mankind (Deut.18:15-19). Most specific Messianic prophecies cluster around the name of David. Psalm 2:6 refers to the anointed King in Zion. The Psalmist speaks of the Anointed One as the “holy one of Israel (is) our King” in Psalm 89:18. David also foresaw the ministry of the Anointed One after His resurrection, as of a High Priest after the order of Melchisedec, at the right hand of God the Father (110:4). The sufferings the Messiah would undergo as a Prophet while on the earth have been foretold by David in Psalm 22. Some of the prophets of Israel had glimpses of the coming Messiah. In Isaiah 11:2, we read of the anointing Jesus had in His mind. Isaiah 42:1 reveals the anointing in the soul of Jesus. Isaiah 61:1-3 portrays the ministry of Jesus as King, Priest and Prophet. Zechariah foretells the
work of the Messiah as Priest (6:13). Most Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus during His sojourn on this earth and after His resurrection. But there are yet others which will be fulfilled in the Millennium and in the Eternity to come. In Matthew 21:5-10, we read that Jesus entered Jerusalem as King, in fulfilment of Zechariah’s prophecy, and the people shouted saying, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David’. The anointing in Him enabled Him to be reckoned as King. But the literal fulfilment of the office or ministry of Jesus as King will be during the Millennium when He will reign on this earth in righteousness and peace. In the eternity to come, His throne will last for ever and ever. His saints will reign with Him and it will be an everlasting kingdom. The anointing in the Lord Jesus Christ also enabled Him to be reckoned as Priest, for, He was zealous for holiness. The apostles Matthew and John record how Jesus entered the temple and cleansed it of money changers and of them that sold and bought, just as only a priest could do (Matt.21:12,13; Jn.2:13-17), in fulfilment of David’s prophecy in Psalm 69:9. It is the duty of a priest to differentiate between the clean and the unclean, the holy and the unholy (Lev.10:10), and Jesus did this faithfully. However, the ministry or office of a priest after the order of Melchisedec was given to Him only after His resurrection. His earthly ministry having come to an end, when the Lord Jesus died and rose again, He was exalted to the right hand of the Father where He is now interceding for us as the great High Priest after the order of Melchisedec (Heb.7:17,25,26), in fulfilment of the prophecy stated in Psalm 110:4. He will continue this priestly ministry till all His enemies are made subject to Him and till the final enemy, that is, death, is conquered (I Cor.15:25,26). For the most part, the life that Jesus led while on the earth right from birth to death was full of suffering, which is the lot of a prophet. The anointing that was in Him enabled Him to minister in the office of a prophet in fulfilment of old time prophecies. A prophet is one who, by bringing the Word of God to the people, brings conviction in their hearts and kindles hope and comfort in them. In this capacity, Jesus is the greatest Prophet the world has ever known, for, He brought to mankind a message of conviction, hope and cheer, not only for this life but also for life beyond the grave. He went about preaching the Kingdom of God and repentance, and doing good, even as it was prophesied about Him (Isa.61:1-3). In Matthew 21:4-11, we read of Jesus riding an ass’s colt when He entered Jerusalem, in fulfilment of prophecy. This was the customary mode of conveyance for prophets in Israel. When His own people rejected Him and sent Him out of His own country, Jesus Himself said that a prophet is never accepted in his own country. Besides He endured untold suffering, humiliation, reproach, shame, and finally, an ignoble death at the hands of His own people. However, the anointing that was in Him was without measure (Jn.3:34) and He endured everything joyfully for the ‘joy’ set before Him. But the ministry of Jesus as a Prophet ceased with His sojourn on the earth. As prophesied in Psalm 45:7, He was anointed with the ‘oil of gladness’. He received this anointing because He loved righteousness and hated iniquity. Though despised, rejected, humiliated, buffeted and condemned to die a criminal’s death, Jesus never sorrowed, for the oil of gladness was upon Him. In the same manner, we who have been called to be partakers of Christ’s sufferings, should receive this oil of gladness which God gives to those who love righteousness and hate wickedness. When we receive this anointing, we can go through any path or circumstance, however hard and sorrowful, with joy. Christ dwells in the hearts of His Spirit-baptized children as the ‘hope of glory’ (Col.1:27). As the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon us, we must endure sufferings joyfully looking for that blessed hope of attaining the glory of God. The sufferings of our present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Rom.8:18). Our sufferings here are but ‘light afflictions’ when compared with the eternal glory (II Cor.4:17). If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him (II Tim.2:12). Jesus always did the will of the Father and this pleased the Father (Jn.8:29) Who therefore put His Spirit upon Him and that without measure (Matt.12:18; Jn.3:34). “Those who are in the
flesh cannot please God” (Rom.8:8). Though Jesus was in this physical body, there was nothing carnal in Him, and He always did those things which pleased the Father. This is why sin, sickness, the world, the devil, death and hell could have no power over Him. He prevailed over all these powers, rose again from the dead and is alive for evermore by the Power that worked in Him mightily. Even so, when we allow the Spirit of God to take over the reins of our life, and be filled with the anointing, no power on earth can prevail against us. Such overcomers will reign in life through righteousness unto eternal life by the Lord Jesus and will be kept by the power of God unto that day when they will be transformed and will reign with the Lord Jesus, their Victor, for evermore. *******
THE ANOINTING IN DAVID
Of those anointed of God in the Old Testament times, for their various offices, David stands as an outstanding example. His anointing was unique among the Old Testament kings (Psa.89:20,29) in the sense that he was anointed thrice and the blessings of God were promised to him as “the sure mercies of David” (Psa.89:1,28-37; Isa.55:3; Acts 13:34). He maintained his kingship till the end. Let us now see the purpose of God in anointing David thrice. Saul, the first king of Israel turned out to be a proud and disobedient king. The Lord therefore repented for having made Saul king. Consequently, the Lord looked for “a man after his own heart” and found David to be the apt one to be captain over His people Israel (I Sam.13:14). At that time, David, the son of Jesse was a young lad tending his father’s flock in the wilderness (I Sam.16:11; Psa.78:70). God had provided Himself a king from among the sons of Jesse and therefore He sent His prophet Samuel who anointed David in the midst of his brethren. From that day forward the Spirit of the Lord came upon David (I Sam.16:13). Though David was young, he became mighty by the anointing (I Sam.16:18). I Samuel chapter 17 recounts his mighty deeds of slaying a lion and a bear and also the much dreaded enemy of the Israelites, Goliath, the champion of the Philistines. Psalm 18 is a song of praise in which David extols God for all that He had been to him. As the anointed one of God, he proved that God was with him in every step of life as his Saving Strength and Shield (Psa.20:6; 28:8; 89:20). The Lord anointing David for the first time could be compared to the anointing in the New Testament that is able to transform our character. In the New Testament times we can become mighty inwardly, through the anointing, to the extent God's character is formed in our life. The Spirit of God was with David at all times. People were able to see this through the beautiful character displayed by David on various occasions. The Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and an evil spirit troubled him (I Sam.16:14). He knew that David was anointed to be king in his place and out of envy, he sought to kill David (I Sam.18:9-11; 19:9,10; 23:14,15). But David behaved himself wisely wherever he went. Saul was afraid of him because he knew that God was with him (I Sam. 18:5,12,14; Psa.101:2). Though Saul sought to slay him, David would not lift his hand against Saul (I Sam. ch. 24 & 26). When David left his palace for the wilderness, Shimei cursed him on the way and cast stones at him and his servants. However, David did not use his strength to retaliate but bore it all patiently (II Sam.16:5-14). Consequently, Shimei met the king when he returned to his palace and begged his pardon (II Sam. 19:16-23). His own son, Absalom, conspired and rose against him but David commanded his men to deal gently with him (II Sam.18:5). However, God brought an end to his wicked son (II Sam.18:915). The anointing that was upon David made him humble himself always. It is this beautiful trait which enabled him to say, “Surely I have behaved and quieted myself as a child that is weaned of his mother; my soul is even as a weaned child” (Psa.131:2). The overall purpose of God in anointing us with His Holy Spirit is to make us like Him. The Lord God said, “Ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Lev.11:45). The Lord Jesus too
said, “ Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt.5:48). The standard of perfection of character set out for us in the New Testament times is that of Christ (Eph.4:13). Christ Himself taught such valuable lessons in character, particularly in Matthew chapters 5,6,&7. We have to live the beautiful life of Christ by forgiving our enemies, praying for them and blessing them. It is a life of harbouring no ill-will and bitterness, of nursing no revenge, and of being willing to be wronged and to suffer for well-doing as Christ did (I Pet.2:20; 3:14,1618). The perfection in character is not attained in a day, but is formed in us over the years through the paths in which God leads us, as in the case of David. But the Spirit of glory Who rests upon us keeps supplying abundant grace to endure the trials and temptations, the reproaches and shame and the hardship and suffering, that shape our character into His likeness (II Cor.3:18; I Pet.4:14). One of the remarkable qualities that adorned David was his constant, intimate fellowship with the Lord in spite of his taxing royal duties. This in turn, enabled him to resort to God to know His will and to do accordingly, by the Spirit of God that was upon him. Numerous are the instances when he turned to the Lord for help, guidance or deliverance when he had to go up to cities, to battle etc. (I Sam.23:2-4; 9-12; 30:7,8; II Sam.2:1; 5:19,23). We the Spirit-baptized children of God are called to know and to do the perfect will of God (Rom.12:2). When we resort to the Holy Spirit constantly, the anointing helps us to discern the perfect will of God and to do accordingly (I Jn.2:27). As we continue to abide in the anointing, He teaches us how we could imbibe the character of Christ (Jn.16:13,14). When David was reproved for his sin by Nathan the prophet, he wept bitterly and with deep remorse he repented of his sin, and returned to the Lord. Did not David himself say, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit : a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” (Psa.51:17) ? Though David’s sin was grievous in the sight of God, God could not forsake him or cast him away because of his sincere and penitent heart. David knew the value of the Spirit of God with him and pleaded with God saying "Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me" (Psa.51:11). After the death of Saul, David did not rush to occupy the throne though he knew well that he was anointed to be the next occupant of the throne. He did not rejoice, but rather, lamented the death of his enemy and enquired of the Lord about the next step he was to take. The Lord counselled him to go to Hebron. Accordingly, he went to Hebron and there he was anointed king over the house of Judah. This was the second time he was anointed (II Sam.2:1,4). Hebron is a type of death and burial, for, it was here that Sarah, Abraham, Isaac, Rebekah and many of the fore-fathers were buried. Spiritually we have to die daily to the old man (I Cor.15:31). i.e., we have to remain in the death of Christ. We receive this experience first at water baptism. Only those who remain in the death of Christ and put off the old man and his deeds (Col.3:9) will have a continual fellowship with God through the anointing. The purpose in David being anointed the second time was to fight the battles of the Lord. Abigail testifies to this fact (I Sam.25:28). David ascended the throne at a time when Israel was besieged by enemies and he had to fight and overthrow them. On the other hand, David also had to fight his personal enemies. But his words prove his confidence in the Lord : “Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight” (Psa.144:1). He was able to subdue and prevail over those who rose against him, for the Lord gave him the necks of his enemies Psa.18:39,40,48,50). Chapter 8 of II Samuel recounts David’s victory over the Philistines, the Moabites, the Syrians, the Ammonites and the Edomites. Spiritually, the anointing equips us to fight and overcome our enemies on two fronts, that is, the enemies in our personal life and the enemies which rise against the Church. It is said that he who has clean hands will be stronger and stronger (Job 17:9). David was one who continually cleansed his life (Psa.26:6; 73:1,13). David therefore waxed stronger and stronger while the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker (II Sam.3:1). Even so, when we abide in the anointing, it does a deep work of sanctification in us. We will keep putting off or mortifying the natures pertaining to the old man (Eph.4:22,23; 5:11; Col.3:5-9). Thereby, the new man becomes stronger and stronger by the Spirit of God (Eph.3:16), whereas the old man becomes weaker and weaker. The Church as a whole has to battle against a host of spiritual wickedness (spirits) in
heavenly places which wrestle with her day and night (Eph.6:12). Girded with the armour of light, we have to unite ourselves as one man, and fight these evil powers (Rom.13:12; Eph.6:10-18). David was anointed king the third time in Hebron (II Sam. 5:3). The purpose for which he was anointed this time could be understood as for capturing Zion and Jerusalem. Soon after the anointing, David set out to capture Zion. But he was hindered by the Jebusites who discouraged him saying, “Except ye take away the blind and the lame thou shalt not come in hither” (II Sam.5:6). Nevertheless, David overcame the blind and the lame, smote the Jebusites and went into the stronghold of Zion through the gutter and captured Zion, and made it the city of kings. Only after this did he reign over all Israel (II Sam.5:5-8). When we continue our close walk with God in Hebron, the anointing abounds in us to help us capture Zion and Jerusalem. We have enemies preventing us from taking the stronghold of Zion. The spirit of discouragement is the first enemy that blocks our pathway to Zion. However, the anointing in us strengthens us not only to fight off discouragement but also to strengthen the brethren and to encourage one another (Isa.41:6,7; Acts 18:23; I Thess.5:14). Spiritually, the ‘blind’ are those who have lost their vision of Zion and Jerusalem. They have allowed their hearts to become hardened to deeper truths. Thereafter, they are no more spiritual but their spiritual vision being blinded, they become carnal. But the anointing opens blinded eyes and breaks hardened hearts. When yielded to the Spirit of God entirely, He can renew our spirit, body and soul (Eph.4:23; Rom.8:11; I Cor.15:45; I Pet.1:22), prove to us the perfect will of God (Rom.12:2) and open our blinded eyes to envision the things God has prepared for us. Therefore, he who is spiritual and has the mind of Christ will discern all things whether they be spiritual or not (I Cor.2:9-15). The ‘lame’ spiritually denote those who do not walk or grow in their spiritual life but remain carnal and are in darkness (Prov.26:7; I Jn.2:11). We are called to walk in love, to walk as children of light, to walk in faith and to walk after the Spirit (Eph.5:2,8; II Cor.5:7; Rom.8:1). Such will be blessed by the anointing to defeat all the enemies of Zion and Jerusalem and to possess Zion and Jerusalem. The way to Zion is the way up the gutter and David was able to go up that way because the Lord was with him. So it is with us - the pathway to Zion is not easy but fraught with reproach, shame, humiliation, rejection etc. which we can overcome by the anointing of the Holy Spirit and thereafter inherit Zion. The Psalmist speaks of being anointed with ‘fresh oil’ (Psa.92:10). David had this experience and so he had the courage to say, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; ... thou anointest my head with oil” (Psa.23:4,5). The Spirit of God Who was with him helped him prevail over his enemies. He took diligent care to see that the Spirit of God departed not from him. As a result, his name was ‘much set by’ (I Sam.18:30) and he saw prosperity all the days of his life. In the same manner, we who have yielded ourselves to the Holy Spirit will be led by Him and will continue to receive fresh unctions of the Spirit to endure sufferings joyfully (I Pet. 4:13,14). The anointing helps us subdue and prevail over our enemies (II Cor.10:4,5). As the anointing abides in us, the Holy Spirit makes our life a praise, to the glory of God (Eph.1:5,6; II Cor.2:14,15). Finally, on that glorious day, we shall see in ourselves His likeness which has been wrought in us by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. *******
THE ANOINTING OF THE SHIELD
The ‘anointing of the shield’ spiritually implies that the Triune God Who comes to make His abode in us through the baptism in the Holy Spirit becomes our strength, defence and help. It also signifies the ‘shield of faith’ which is given us to ward off the enemy onslaughts. In the Old Testament times, it was believed that before princes went out to war, they had to anoint their shield with oil. “... watch in the watchtower, ... arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield” (Isa.21:5).
In his lamentation for Saul who was slain by a Gentile, David mourns thus: “... the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil”(II Sam.1:21). When Saul was anointed as the first king of Israel, he was very humble but as days went by, he became proud and disobedient to the Word of God, thereby failing to be ‘Israel’ or ‘holiness unto the Lord’ (Jer.2:3). He began to do things contrary to the will of God. Consequently, the Lord rejected him and chose a man after His own heart to be king over His people Israel (I Sam.13:13,14; 15:26; Acts 13:22) and anointed him. Saul reigned over Israel for forty years. But his life did not please God in that he did not allow the anointing to work in him. Therefore, an evil spirit troubled him (I Sam.16:14). The Lord spoke to him no more through dreams, or by Urim or by prophets (I Sam.28:6). Though his shield may have been anointed literally, he died at the hands of the uncircumcised enemy because the Lord Who had been his defence was no more with him. The shield is a defensive weapon of war. God has provided every soldier on the spiritual battle field with various weapons and one among them is the ‘shield of faith’ (Eph.6:16). Before the disciples could set out to proclaim the gospel, the Lord Jesus commanded them to tarry in Jerusalem till they were ‘endued with power from on high’ (Lk.24:49). Subsequently, after they received this heavenly power, they were able to perform mighty signs and wonders by faith and they went about confirming the souls of the disciples and exhorting them to continue in the faith (Acts 2:43; 14:22). Apostle Paul prayed that the Ephesian Church “be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man”, that Christ may dwell in their hearts by faith (3:16,17). By the baptism in the Holy Spirit, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit have come into us and made their abode in us, making us kings and priests and becoming our Defence, Help and Protection (Deut.33:29; Psa.33:20; 59:11; 84:9,11; Rev.1:6). Since our battle is not with “flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph.6:12), it is essential for us to be girded with the spiritual armour of God by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. These weapons are mighty through God to the pulling down of the devil’s strongholds (II Cor. 10:4,5). Through the anointing the Lord becomes our strength. "... he is the saving strength of his anointed" (Psa.28:8). Now our faith, which increases through the anointing must be kept in a good and pure conscience (I Tim.3:9). If our good conscience is lost, we make a shipwreck of our faith (I Tim.1:19) thus rendering our shield of faith ineffective, and God Who is our defence departs from us. Thereby, we become vulnerable to the attack of the enemy. A good conscience can be maintained only by waiting for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in every little matter and obeying Him. When every aspect of our life comes under the anointing, we cannot sin against God but rather we will be subject to His will and be able to subdue and overcome the wicked powers. Therefore, we ought to give diligence to be frequently filled with the anointing. The Psalmist says, “His truth shall be thy shield and buckler" (91:4). The ‘truth’ mentioned here refers to the deeper truths, the apostolic doctrines or the ‘faith’ which was once (and for ever) delivered to the saints (Jude 3). This ‘truth’ is a shield to us. God Who is the God of truth (Deut.32:4) has in this age, revealed these deeper truths to His holy apostles and prophets by the Holy Spirit. These truths which were hidden in the past have now come down to us as a heritage. We have received salvation from our sins by believing the truth (II Thess.2:13). The truth has set us free from the bondage of sin. The apostle of love states, “when the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth” (Jn.16:13) for, He will shew us about Christ Who is Himself the Truth and from Whom proceed all truths. He also says that we should abide in the anointing to be taught the truth by the anointing (I Jn.2:27). Let us not err concerning the truth as Hymenaeus and Philetus did and thereby ‘overthrow the faith’ of others (II Tim.2:17,18). We should not resist the truth as Jannes and Jambres did and become reprobates concerning the faith (II Tim.3:8); neither should we turn our ears away from the truth to hearken to fables (II Tim.4:4). It is through the knowledge of the truth that we grow from faith to faith. We must remain stedfast in the truth and contend for it till the end of our life (Jude 3). Then we will be kept by the truth
(Prov.4:4-6). Like Saul, let us not be proud, but at all times, remember our former estate from whence the Lord has lifted us and anointed us. Let us take heed always like David to keep humble and contrite and to turn to the Lord for His guidance in every matter, and be a people after His own heart, doing all His will. Let us keep our faith stedfast in the face of enemy onslaughts and press forward, unwavering, in the might of the anointing, for, the Lord God is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. ****** CHAPTER X
THE ANOINTED CHERUB
In every dispensation, whether during the Old Testament days or the New Testament period, the ministry is given through the anointing. We have already considered how Aaron and his sons, the priests and also the vessels or instruments of the tabernacle were anointed with the holy anointing oil (Exo.40:15; 30:26-29). The priests were anointed with a specific purpose to fulfil their respective ministries effectively. This implies that there is no ministry without the anointing. The anointing oil was holy and could not be made use of for any other purpose. Hence, those who were anointed were ‘separated’ or ‘dedicated’ or ‘set apart’ to carry out the will of God in the respective ministries appointed to them. That is the reason why the Lord said in Numbers 18:7, that “ the stranger that cometh nigh (to do this ministry) shall be put to death”. In the dispensation of angels, there were four groups of angels — thrones, dominions, principalities and powers (Col.1:16). They were anointed to carry out their work in their set offices. Among them, the anointed cherub was created full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. He was covered with every precious stone and was set to cover the holy mountain of God and to walk up and down in the midst of the stones of fire (Ezek.28:12-16). Here the ‘mountain’ refers to a ‘kingdom’ (Rev.17:9-12). When he is referred to as the anointed cherub it means that he was ‘separated’ or ‘set apart’ to do the will of God in his own capacity. In other words, he was appointed by God to protect and guard the angelic kingdom. Where there is a kingdom, it also follows that there will be power, authority and dominion. The cherub was endowed with all these but later, his heart was lifted up with pride because of his extra-ordinary beauty and wisdom. He therefore fell, and was not able to continue doing the will of God. This fallen angel is the fallen spirit that entered into the fallen kingdom of Tyre (Ezek.28:12). Satan, who is the head of fallen spirits, will give his power, seat and authority to the beast, the Antichrist, who will unleash a reign of terror in this world during the Tribulation period. But God will remove his power, seat and authority from him and the dominion and kingdom under the whole heaven will be given to the saints who will rule this earth in the Millennium (Dan.7:26,27). Finally, all rule, power and authority will be delivered to the Father when the eternity to come shall be ushered in (I Cor.15:24). Unlike the anointed cherub, we find some in the kingdom of men who fulfilled the purpose of God for which they were anointed. Two such examples are David and Cyrus. God anointed David to be king over Israel, because He found him to be a man after His own heart (I Sam.13:14). David served his own generation by the will of God (Acts 13:36), thereby accomplishing the plan that God had purposed in him. This is why the Lord testified of him that he was a man after His own heart who fulfilled all His will (Acts 13:22). The Lord calls Cyrus ‘His anointed’ that he might carry out His plan (Isa.45:1) to build the temple. Cyrus proclaimed a decree and stirred the hearts of the people to repair and build the temple at Jerusalem (Ezra 1:1-6). Therefore did the Lord testify of him, that he would perform all His pleasure and build Jerusalem and the temple (Isa.44:28). Just as every vessel finds use in the tabernacle, every Spirit-baptized child of God has a ministry to do in the Church (II Tim. 2:20,21). It is the baptism in the Holy Spirit that ‘consecrates’ us or ‘sets us apart’ for service (Acts 1:8). In a sense, every Spirit-baptized child of God is a servant of God and therefore every individual must take heed to maintain a spirit of service and be faithful and willing to serve the Lord according to the purpose and calling with
which one is called. Then the Lord will send fresh unctions of the Spirit, that our service may be more effective and the same anointing will exalt us to the very throne of God. Let us take heed therefore, to perfect our life and to fulfil the ministry that is entrusted to us that having done all, we may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God (Col.4:12,17). ********
THE WORKING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH The New Testament Church was formed when the Holy Spirit was shed forth on the day of Pentecost after Jesus’ ascension. Jesus Christ gave the responsibility concerning the Church to the Holy Spirit and it is through the Holy Spirit that He thereafter expressed Himself to the Church. The Holy Spirit alone Who is the Comforter, can lead the Church into all truth, for He is the Spirit of truth (Jn.14:16; 16:13). Vast and manifold are the purposes for which the Holy Spirit is given to the Church and some of them are enumerated below. 1.The Holy Spirit baptizes us into one body : St. Paul says, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (I Cor.12:13). It is through the baptism in the Holy Spirit that the Body of Christ which is the Church is formed. The Holy Spirit unites the Spirit-baptized believers with Christ, the risen and glorified Head (Eph.1:22,23; 5:23). Every kind of distinction - national, social, linguistic or caste - is destroyed at water baptism (Gal.3:27,28). On the day of Pentecost, the one hundred and twenty who received the baptism in the Holy Spirit were baptized into one body - to live and to serve God in the Spirit. At the baptism in the Holy Spirit, one enters into a vital fellowship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Jn.14:16,20). Thenceforth, the Body of Christ, the Church receives its nourishment and guidance from the Head by the Spirit (Col.2:19; Eph.4:16). Just as every member in a body has its respective function, every member of the Church has his or her part to perform (I Cor.12:12-27). The unity among the saints that is augmented by the Holy Spirit leads to the perfect unity of the faith (through doctrines) and of the knowledge of Jesus (through consecration) (Eph.4:13). 2.The Holy Spirit manifests His wisdom and power through the Church : The Holy Spirit manifests Himself in the Church through the operation of the gifts of the Spirit (I Cor.12:7-11). These gifts which are revealed in us to make us Christ-like, can be divided into two groups, revealing the two aspects of Christ, namely, the power of God and the wisdom of God (I Cor.1:24). The Spirit-baptized people should “be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might” (Eph.6:10). We are called to be kings and priests (Rev.1:6). A king should have power, and this power is the power of his kingdom. In the same manner, we receive the power of the Kingdom of God (I Cor.4:20). The hidden wisdom of God concerns the plan of the Church (I Cor.2:7) which was in the mind of God before the world was created, and it is now revealed unto the holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit through the word of wisdom (Eph.3:4,5). Wisdom and knowledge are given as gifts of the Spirit to the apostles and prophets to build the Church. Wisdom is the revelation of the mind of the Father concerning the Church, which He had, even before the foundation of the world. Knowledge is what Christ did for the Church according to the mind of the Father. These are given to the apostles and prophets by the Spirit. That is why it is written that the Church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Eph.2:20). Wisdom and power work both in the persons who have the gifts, and also in the others in the fellowship, that is, both subjectively and objectively. Thus, by the operation of gifts in the Church, the Holy Spirit helps the Church grow in power and in wisdom. 3. Through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, we are made the temple of God both individually and collectively : The ark of God of the Old Testament times first of all symbolizes Christ. Secondly, it symbolizes every Spirit-baptized child of God, and collectively, the Church where God dwells. In the Old Testament period, the triune God dwelt in the earthly tabernacle, but now dwells in us, the
temples not made with hands (Jn.14:16,17; Acts 7:48; I Cor.3:16; 6:19). In the New Testament period, after we are saved from the dominion of sin at salvation, and from the nature of sin at water baptism, we receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit and become the entire possession of the Holy Spirit. We thus become the glorious resting place of God (Isa.11:10; 28:12). 4.The Holy Spirit enables us to enter into the Kingdom of God (Jn.3:5; Col.1:13) : The Kingdom of God is not in word but in power(I Cor.4:20). The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom.14:17). We ourselves become the Kingdom of God when the Spirit of God comes into us (Matt. 12:28). The wisdom and power of God are manifest in the Kingdom of God. When this Kingdom comes into us, we are refreshed spiritually (Isa.28:11; Acts 3:19-24). At present we enjoy all the blessings of the Kingdom of God spiritually, but we will literally inherit the kingdom of God in the eternity to come. 5.The Holy Spirit brings us into Christ : When one is brought into Christ by baptism in the Holy Spirit (Jn.14:16,20), he becomes a new creature, for, old things are passed away (II Cor. 5:17). There is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus makes us free from the law of sin and death (Rom.8:1,2). It is only in Christ that we are made worthy to inherit the promises of God (Eph.3:6). Only those in Christ can be prepared for the rapture. “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven ... and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive ... shall be caught up together with them ...” (I Thess.4:16,17). Only those in Christ can lead an overcoming life. “Now thanks be unto God who always causeth us to triumph in Christ Jesus ...” (II Cor.2:14). 6.The Holy Spirit makes us the sons of God : The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are His sons (Rom.8:16). When we receive the Holy Spirit, we are elevated from the position of children of God to the sons of God (Gal.4:57). And as sons of God, we should be led by the Spirit (Rom.8:14). To bring many sons unto glory, Christ the Captain of our salvation went through sufferings (Heb.2:10). If we are to attain His very glory as His own sons, we too must partake of His sufferings. For this, the Holy Spirit, Who is the Spirit of glory rests upon us (I Pet.4:13,14). Though spiritually we are now the sons of God, we shall literally become the sons of God when we attain the adoption or the final salvation which is the redemption of the body, at Christ’s appearing (Rom.8:15,19-23). 7.The Holy Spirit grants us power to be witnesses of Jesus Christ : Only after we are endued with the mighty power of the Holy Spirit can we be witnesses to Jesus in all parts of the world (Acts 1:8). This power must be renewed from time to time through fervent prayer and waiting on the Lord. In Acts chapter 4 we read about the multitude who earnestly prayed at the time of persecution, and in verse 33 we read that “with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.” 8. The Holy Spirit comforts us : The Holy Spirit is called the “Comforter” (Jn.16:7). The Lord Jesus had been with the disciples for three years and a half as a Source of comfort and inspiration. After He was taken away from them, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they were comforted even as the Lord promised them (Jn.14:16,18). We read that the churches had ‘rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied’ (Acts 9:31). 9. The Holy Spirit strengthens the inner man : We need to be strengthened with might by the Spirit in the inner man (Eph.3:16). Firstly, we need the strength in the inner man because we have to encounter trials and conflicts according to our spiritual growth and endure them and remain stedfast till the end. What cannot be done by our own strength and wisdom, can be done by the power of the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit of the Lord strengthens our inner man, there is a willingness to suffer. Writing to the Colossians, St.Paul says that he was praying for them that they might be “strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness” (1:11). This strength is derived from the Holy Spirit.
Secondly, we must be strong in the inner man to resist the devil and to overcome him. Since our battle is not with flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual wickedness in high places, we are exhorted to put on the whole armour of God that we might be able to withstand the wiles of the devil. For this, St.Paul says that we must be “strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Eph.6:10). 10. The Holy Spirit helps us destroy the works of the flesh and He sanctifies us : Romans 8:13 states : “If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die : but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live”. Formerly we had yielded the members of our body as servants to uncleanness and iniquity, and as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin. After the baptism in the Holy Spirit, we put to death the habits of the body by yielding our members to God as instruments of righteousness. Sanctification by the Spirit is the sanctification that comes through the working of the Holy Spirit. God has chosen us unto salvation through the sanctification of the Spirit (II Thess. 2:13; I Pet.1:2). 11. The Holy Spirit takes us from glory to glory : In the Old Testament times, the most holy place in the tabernacle was filled with the Shekinah glory (Exo.40:34; Lev.9:23). When Solomon had finished building the temple and had offered many sacrifices, the fire of the Lord fell and burnt the sacrifices to ashes; and the glory of the Lord filled the house (II Chron.7:1). Similarly, when we offer ourselves as a burnt offering, meat offering and as a peace offering unto the Lord, the fire of the Holy Spirit will burn us to ashes on the one hand and on the other, He will grant us His glory as He is the Spirit of glory. In the book of Ezekiel, we read of how the glory of God departed from the temple, because of the abominations found in the sanctuary (8:6; 10:4,18,19; 11:22,23). If we remove from our lives all that is abominable in the sight of God, the glory of God will rest upon us. When we go through trials, persecutions, reproaches and shame, if we bear them all without murmuring and disputing, the glory of God will rest upon us (Phil.2:14-18; I Pet.4:13). The sufferings we endure are nothing compared to the glory that is to be revealed (Rom.8:18; II Cor.4:16,17). God has shined in our hearts that we might obtain the light of the knowledge of the glory of God which shines on Jesus’ face (II Cor.4:6). At the baptism of the Holy Spirit, Christ comes to dwell in us as the “hope of glory” (Col.1:27). Jesus submitted His body to do the will of His Father so that everything written in the volume of the book concerning Him might be fulfilled. This is why all the promises of God in Christ are yea and in Him, Amen (II Cor.1:20). Even so, as we keep submitting our body to do the will of God revealed through the Word of God, the Holy Spirit Who is the Spirit of glory will rest upon us until step by step, our vile body is transformed into a glorious one (Phil.3:21). The Holy Spirit keeps transforming us from glory to glory into the very image and likeness of Christ, to the extent we yield ourselves to His transforming power. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Cor.3:18). This transformation brings us to the very character image of Jesus Christ. This is also mentioned in Romans 8:29,30. 12. The Holy Spirit makes us effectual prayer warriors and intercessors : We need the incessant infilling of the Spirit to strive in prayer (Eph.6:18). “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities : for we know not what we should pray for as we ought : but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Rom.8:26). In this connection, St. Paul clearly states that the Spirit prays in us and for us, for, due to manifold cares we may not know how we should pray, or what we should pray for. The Holy Spirit, praying through us, lifts our burdens, quickens our Spirit and helps us to pray together with Him. This is called “praying in the Holy Ghost” (Jude 20). By the baptism in the Holy Spirit, we become the incense altar (Rev.8:4). The intercession made by the Spirit is not only for ourselves but also for the Church of God and for those in authority in the world (I Tim.2:1,2). 13. The Holy Spirit reveals the truth to us : The truth is revealed to us from the Word of God by the Holy Spirit (I Jn.2:27). As the
Spirit of truth, He guides us personally in the way we ought to go (Jn.16:13). He reveals the hidden mysteries to us (I Cor.2:9-11). The Holy Spirit reveals God’s mind to us by the operation of the nine gifts in the Church of God (I Cor.12:8-11). Thus the Church is edified by the working of the excellent gifts of the Spirit (I Cor.14:12). 14. The Holy Spirit enables us to worship God in the Spirit : A Spirit-baptized child of God is able to bring his spirit under the control of the Holy Spirit, Who enables him to come into God’s presence. While speaking to the Samaritan woman, Jesus said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (Jn.4:24). Writing to the Philippians, St. Paul says, “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (3:3). Since the Holy Spirit has been given us to present us perfect and blameless before God’s throne, we need to be subject to His leading and take heed that we grieve not the Holy Spirit (Eph.4:30). We should also take care not to quench the Spirit (I Thess.5:19), not to resist Him (Acts 7:51), not to lie to Him (Acts 5:3), or tempt Him (Acts 5:9) lest He depart from us and turn to be our enemy as He did to Israel of old (Isa.63:10). The manifold functions of the Holy Spirit will continue, until the Church, the Bride of Christ is made spotlessly pure, sanctified by the Holy Spirit and made ready for the second coming of the Lord Jesus (Eph.4:13; I Thess.4:16,17). *******
SANCTIFICATION THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT
We need to be sanctified by the blood of Jesus and by the Word of God to receive sanctification by the Holy Spirit. Sanctification by the Blood (Heb.13:12) : In Leviticus 8:23 we read of Moses anointing the tip of Aaron’s right ear, the thumb of his right hand and the great toe of his right foot with the blood of the ram of consecration. The ear speaks of inclining our ears to hear the Word and voice of God, for which they need to be circumcised (Acts 7:51; Psa.45:10) for otherwise, the ears would be dull of hearing (Matt.13:15). As we hear the Word of God being taught, it brings healing and health (Psa.107:20). We need to have the “ear of a servant” (Isa.42:18-20; 50:4). This implies that our ears should be consecrated to hear and obey our Master’s bidding. “Right hand” speaks of “strength”. The ‘thumb’ of this right hand must also be consecrated to help and serve others. “Toe” implies the right kind of walk that we ought to have — that is, walking in the light of the Lord (Isa.2:3,5), walking uprightly (Psa.84:11), walking in the newness of life (Rom.6:4), walking in love (Eph.5:2) etc. With all our members thus consecrated totally, we are sanctified and made ready to receive “fresh oil” (Psa.92:10) or the “fresh” unctions of the Spirit. Sanctification by the Word (or the washing of water) : In the Old Testament days, the priests had to wash themselves before beginning their day’s ministry, for which purpose a brazen laver with water was kept in the court of the tabernacle. Water denotes the Word of God which sanctifies us (Eph.5:26). In John 17:17, the Lord Jesus prays, “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth”. We should not walk or live contrary to the Word of God lest we be judged by the same Word (Jn.12:48). But living and building up our lives in accordance with the Word of God will help us be sanctified by the anointing oil or the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Sanctification by the Holy Spirit : As we are sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ and by the Word of God, we receive new unctions of the Holy Spirit and are sanctified by the Spirit. In his epistle to the Romans, St. Paul writes that the offering up of the Gentiles is made acceptable being sanctified by the Holy Spirit (15:16). When Jesus Christ was in the world, He told His disciples that when He, the Spirit of truth (Holy Spirit) would come, He would guide them into all truth. The Holy Spirit receives from Christ and reveals Him to those who are Spirit-baptized (Jn.16:13,14). This is a revelation of the
character of the Lord Jesus Christ which we must put on in the inner man. As we continue to yield to the Holy Spirit and obey His guidance, we begin to grow in the divine character of the Lord Jesus, being transformed from glory to glory (II Cor.3:18). Such an experience of putting off the old man and putting on the new man, who is created in the image of Him that created him (Eph.4:22-24), is called sanctification by the Spirit. ******** CHAPTER XIII
THE SPIRIT OF SERVICE
An important requisite for fresh unctions of the Spirit In Psalm 89:20, God says concerning David, “I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him”. He was thrice anointed to be king over Israel (I Sam.16:12,13; II Sam.2:4; 5:3), and yet God calls him His servant, a man after His own heart, who will perform all His will (Psa.89:20; Acts 13:22). Even when young David was a shepherd over his father’s flocks, God had known his heart and his spirit of yielding to God’s plan and seeking God’s help in every aspect of his life. We find God anointing such a David in the midst of his brethren (I Sam.16:13). Just as a servant is subject to his master and does all things at his bidding, David grew up to fit into God’s plan. We find a beautiful example of a servant in Joshua, Moses’ minister. It is recorded of him that he departed not out of the tabernacle (Exo.33:11) but remained as a faithful servant waiting patiently for forty days and forty nights at the foot of Mount Sinai when Moses had gone up the mount to receive the commandments. He was set apart to be a leader who could lead the people of God triumphantly into their land of inheritance (Num.27:18,19). (In certain other translations the term to ‘set up’ in Proverbs 8:23 is rendered as ‘to anoint’). Joshua being set before the priest and before the congregation shows his being set apart, or anointed. This anointing helped him to remain faithful till the end. We also read of another remarkable servant who waited upon his master in all faithfulness. This is Elisha who began his ministry by pouring water on the hands of Elijah (II Kgs.3:11). Refusing to leave his master’s side, he accompanied him until Elijah was caught up by a whirlwind to heaven (II Kgs.2:1-11). Following his master faithfully till the end, he was able to receive a double portion of the spirit that was upon his master Elijah (II Kgs. 2:9-12). This unction helped him to minister perfectly in his time, according to the mind of God. Outshining all other examples is our Lord Jesus Who came into the world “not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt.20:28). God the Father Himself testified about Jesus "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him..." (Isa.42:1). As Jesus had the spirit of a servant in Him, we find that the Father had not given “the Spirit by measure unto him” (Jn.3:34). The Father loved Him and gave all things into His hands (Jn.3:35). Every Spirit-baptized child of God is, in a sense, a servant of the Lord. Therefore, everyone must take heed to maintain the spirit of service and be faithful and willing in ministering to the Lord, according to the anointing received. Then the Lord will send fresh unctions of His Spirit that our service may be more effective, and the same anointing will also exalt us to the very throne of God. ********
BREAKING OF THE YOKE
An important purpose of the Anointing Isaiah 10:27 reads : “And it shall come to pass in that day that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing”. From the Scriptures we understand that there are two kinds of yokes : (i) the yoke of sin (bondage) (ii) the yoke of Jesus (liberty). God does not want us to be under the yoke of sin. A man
living in sin is a servant of sin (Jn.8:34). The children of Israel were in bondage in Egypt. But God redeemed them by the blood of the paschal lamb that they might come under His yoke. “I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright” (Lev.26:13). Spiritually, this speaks of our being delivered from the yoke of bondage to sin, in order to be yoked with Christ, to serve Him without fear, in holiness and in righteousness all the days of our life (Lk.1:74,75). Jesus Himself says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden (yoke of bondage), and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt.11:28-30). As we obey the Word of God further in water baptism, our members which were once instruments of unrighteousness are yielded to God to be servants to righteousness and holiness (Rom.6:13,19). To help us live this life, God has given us the baptism of the Holy Spirit. As we get a new infilling of the Spirit everyday, we are able to put off or remove any nature or character in us that displeases God (Gal.5:1; Eph.4:22-32). The Lord Jesus Christ was One upon Whom the yoke was never laid. This is typified in the red heifer mentioned in Numbers 19:2. “Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke”. Jesus was sinless — He did no sin, He knew no sin and in Him is no sin (I Pet.2:22; II Cor.5:21; I Jn.3:5). Israel of old was a nation that was greatly oppressed by the Assyrians in the later years. The yoke of the Assyrians came down heavily upon them. It was at such a time that God spoke to them through the prophet, as we have already read in Isaiah 10:27. We who are delivered from the yoke of bondage and are brought under the yoke of Jesus, experience the spiritual fulfilment of Isaiah 10:27. We who were once delivered from the yoke of bondage are not to be brought under the same yoke again because the anointing shall break the yoke. This is what St. Paul means by saying, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father” (Rom.8:15). The yoke of the Assyrian can also be called the spirit of the antichrist which will work in all its strength during the Tribulation period. But it is already at work now (I Jn.4:3). It tries to oppress the Spirit-baptized people and enslave them by their own unsanctified natures. Let us resist these spirits and overcome them by the anointing. It is the anointing that unites people of various castes, creeds and nations into one body, the Body of Christ, the Church (I Cor.12:13). We are exhorted not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers but to maintain a life of separation (II Cor. 6:14-18). When we who are yoked together with Jesus become united together with the saints also, continue in their fellowship, and wait upon God, His anointing strengthens us mightily in the inner man. Youth is a stage when one is strong enough to bear heavy burdens. “It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth” (Lam.3:27). Physically, though one may be old or weak, the anointing can make him fresh and young in the spirit and he is able to bear the yoke with Jesus. Like the eagle waits and renews its strength, waiting upon God can bring about a thorough transformation in us (Psa.103:5; Isa.40:31). A fresh anointing helps us to bear the yoke of Jesus, to minister unto God and to serve Him. Thus, the anointing of the Holy Spirit breaks the yoke of bondage and enables us to be brought under the yoke of Jesus.
********** CHAPTER XV
THE ANOINTING IN SERVANTS OF GOD
After the instruments of the tabernacle were anointed, they were reckoned to be most holy. For worship to begin in the tabernacle, these anointed vessels were necessary. But if the high priest and the priests are not anointed to perform their ministry in the tabernacle, the anointing of the instruments of the tabernacle will be of no value. The ministry of anointing in the tabernacle is completed only when the high priest is anointed for his office. Therefore, the anointing of the high priest for his office in the tabernacle is called “the crown of the anointing”.
The Crown of the Anointing Oil : In Exodus chapter 29, we read of the consecration of the priests to minister to the Lord in their office. They are washed with water and clothed with their garments. The high priest is clothed with the robe, the ephod, the breast plate and the curious girdle of the ephod (v.5). In verses 6 and 7, we read that finally the mitre is placed on his head and the holy crown upon the mitre and then the anointing oil is poured upon him and he is anointed for this ministry. In Exodus 39:30, we read that this holy crown of pure gold had a writing upon it like the engravings of a signet, “Holiness unto the Lord”. From this we understand that the high priest has to remind himself that the purpose of his separation is to be ‘holiness unto the Lord’ (Lev.8:9,10). The Hebrew rendering of the word ‘crown’ is ‘nezer’ which means ‘separation’ or ‘consecration’. So the crown of the anointing oil is the consecration or the separation of the high priest that he might be 'holiness to the Lord' and through his ministry the whole congregation is made holy unto the Lord. This anointing shall rest upon him as long as he obeys the laws and ordinances concerning him. In Leviticus chapter 21, we read of the laws and ordinances touching the priest in the tabernacle. He is to obey each law that he may not defile himself and the congregation through his defilement, nor profane the name of his God and the sanctuary of his God. “Neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the crown of the anointing oil of his God is upon him” (Lev.21:12). This is the purpose of the anointing. It was expected of the high priest and the priests that they obey all the laws and statutes. In the New Testament experience, every Spirit-baptized child of God should realize that he has been anointed and separated with a purpose that through this anointing he may preserve his life in holiness. We have been separated or consecrated by God for this purpose. We have to obey all the spiritual laws perfectly. The apostle James, in his epistle, explains the high standard that is expected of a child of God in the New Testament period. We are called to obey the law not according to the letter, but in the Spirit. We are called by the holy name of the Lord as God’s own people and if we transgress, the name of the Lord is blasphemed. Therefore, James the apostle, exhorts us to obey all the laws, for if, we offend in one, we offend in all. "If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, ... ye do well. But if ... ye commit sin, (ye) are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (Jam.2:8-10). Obedience is a very important trait of character required to preserve this anointing. Only when we obey the guidance of the Spirit will we be able to fulfil the divine purpose of God concerning us that is revealed through the anointing. If we disobey, we will not be able to discern the guidance of the Spirit in our life. If we continue to disobey the Spirit, at length we may even lose the anointing and deserve the judgment of God. Let us therefore be warned always to obey the guidance of the Spirit and the leaders whom the Lord has placed above us, that this 'crown of the anointing oil' might be upon us. Priesthood according to the order of Aaron in the Old Testament: “And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office : for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations” (Exo.40:15). This priesthood after the order of Aaron in the Old Testament period is a type of the priesthood in the New Testament. In a way, it was fulfilled in the Old Testament in Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron. In other words, his zeal for the Lord won him ‘the covenant of an everlasting priesthood’ from God (Num.25:11-13). Prophetically, this priesthood was fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ. Spiritually, the Old Testament priesthood is a type of the New Testament ministry. It was by the anointing that Aaron and his sons received the priesthood but their priesthood ceased with their death (Heb.7:23). But the Lord Jesus Christ died and rose again and established an eternal priesthood after the order of Melchisedec. Even though the priests of the Old Testament days could not continue for ever in their ministry, they had to keep the law of truth and equity to preserve their anointing and for its effect to be revealed in their life and ministry (Mal.2:5-7). But they broke the law and as a result they lost the anointing and the priesthood ceased; yet it continued as a Jewish tradition.
According to the law of the Old Testament, the high priest should not rend his garments (Lev.21:10). But at the trial of Jesus, Caiphas the high priest accused Jesus of blasphemy and rent his garments (Matt.26:65). With this incident therefore, the priesthood came to an end. God rejected the Old Testament ministry because they failed to keep the law, but they continued as priests in the name of Jewish tradition and custom. Perfection of the people was not possible by the Levitical priesthood, because the priests themselves were imperfect by reason of their infirmity. So they had to offer sacrifices daily for themselves. They were not able to bring the people to the perfection that was needful to enter within the veil (Heb.7:11,19). This priesthood which has ceased during the New Testament times, will continue during the Millennium for only those who are in their physical body (Ezek.40:45,46; 44:15,23). Since the Levitical priesthood did not take people to perfection in that it could not take them within the veil, God introduced the priesthood after the order of Melchisedec in the New Testament period. Before we proceed to discuss the priesthood after the order of Melchisedec, it is very important that we clearly understand who Melchisedec is. Melchisedec : We first read of Melchisedec in Genesis 14:18. When Abraham was returning from the slaughter of the kings, Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, met him with bread and wine. He blessed Abraham in the name of the most high God, and the latter gave Him tithes of all the spoils of war. In the epistle to the Hebrews, we again read of Melchisedec. Hebrews 7:1-3 explains clearly who Melchisedec is. ‘For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, ... first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually”. Let us consider the above verses step by step and find out who this Melchisedec is. Some try to explain that He is a heathen king of a certain kingdom called Salem. This cannot be so, for, Melchisedec is the Priest of the most high God. The divine characterstics of this King are peace and righteousness. Therefore, He cannot be a heathen king of a literal kingdom, for, righteousness and peace are the divine traits of God. Since Abraham gave him tithes of all things, He should have been greater and better than Abraham in every way. “Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils ... without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better” (Heb.7:4-7). He is not a human being with human limitations such as, beginning of days, end of life etc. He is a Priest Who abides so continually and is not subject to death. Hence, it is evident that He is neither an ordinary human being nor a heathen king. Some say that He is one of the angels. This is not true because the angels are also created beings but Melchisedec has no beginning of days. Since He is not a man, or an angel, some think that He is either God the Father or God the Son. He is the Priest of the most high God (the Father) and “like unto the Son of God”. Therefore, He is neither God the Father, nor God the Son. But if Melchisedec be a person, and yet not an angel or man, or God the Father, or God the Son, who else can He be other than the Holy Spirit? Therefore Melchisedec is none other than the third Person of the blessed Trinity, God the Holy Spirit. Priesthood after the order of Melchisedec in the New Testament : We have considered that the purpose of God in ordaining a priesthood is to take people to perfection, thereby making them worthy to enter into the ‘Holy of Holies’, the Most Holy Place. Since the Old Testament priesthood failed in this, God ordained a new order called the order of Melchisedec in the New Testament. Although our Lord Jesus Christ is the Almighty God and is called the everlasting Father and was set up (anointed) in the former eternity before the foundation of the world (Prov.8:23), when He became a man, He had to die and rise again; He had to be perfected as a High Priest to enter into the Most Holy Place, the very presence of God (Psa.110:1,4), also referred to as “far above all heavens” in Ephesians 4:10. When the Lord Jesus Christ became the High Priest of our profession after the order (or similitude) of Melchisedec, by
this everlasting anointing, He gave us eternal salvation that we might be presented faultless before the throne of God (Heb.5:8,9). This priesthood that was initiated in Jesus will not be from one generation to another since Jesus is eternal and will not see death, even as Melchisedec is eternal. Since Christ is alive forevermore, He was made a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec, after the “power of an endless life” (Heb.7:15-17). By His resurrection from the dead by the spirit of holiness, the Lord Jesus Christ was declared to be the Son of God with power (Rom.1:4). When He ascended on high to present Himself before God the Father, He was accepted as the Son of God. “For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated (perfected), forevermore” (Heb.7:28). According to this verse, the perfect Son was made a Priest forever. When Christ was anointed to be King in Zion and a Priest, He received an “unchangeable priesthood” (Heb.7:24). Thereby, He received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit and gave it to men. Today, millions of people who have repented of their sins and have taken the correct water baptism, have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. By the baptism in the Holy Spirit, we also are made kings and priests unto God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev.1:5,6). Though all Spirit-baptized people of God are, in a way, kings and priests in general, the Lord separates, in particular, a group of people from among them, from all castes, nations and creeds, to serve Him i.e., to continue the priesthood after the order of Melchisedec in the New Testament period. This ministry that they now do on the earth shall continue even into eternity. Christ is the great High Priest (Heb.4:14) and we are priests. In the Old Testament period, the priests were anointed with oil but in the New Testament priesthood, since the priests are anointed by the Holy Spirit, theirs is an eternal ministry. Let us now consider the anointing in the servants of God of the New Testament period which is for the perfection of both their life and ministry. In this New Testament period, these priests are anointed for a perfection in their life and in the lives of others through their perfect ministry. Anointing in servants of God for perfection in life and ministry : To be a priest after the order of Melchisedec, Christ, our Lord, was both anointed and consecrated. Priests who follow this order, should have the same consecration. Jesus said, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Lk.9:58). He had dedicated Himself to do the perfect will of God.“... a body hast thou prepared me ... Lo, I come to do thy will, O God” (Heb.10:5,9). The sons of Aaron were anointed even as their father was anointed. Jesus is our Father and we are His sons. Even so, we become the sons of God by the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Rom.8:14-17), the same Spirit with which Christ, our everlasting Father was anointed. Those sons of God who become true servants of God after the order of Melchisedec must detach themselves from all earthly ties and carnal attachments through consecration (Mk.10:29,30; Lk.14:26,27,33). When they dedicate or consecrate themselves after the order of Melchisedec (even as Melchisedec remained consecrated), the anointing from Zion will come upon them to help them live a higher life and to do a more excellent ministry than the anointed believers of the New Testament. The purpose of such a consecration on the part of a servant of God is two-fold. (a) To follow the Master: To ‘follow’ means to identify oneself with the life and sufferings of the Master. It is here that one gains the excellency of the knowledge of the Lord (Phil.3:8). The purpose of such a life is to be perfect even as He is perfect. So faith life should be the normal life of a servant of God. He should have nothing to call his own in the world. “The just shall live by faith” (Rom.1:17). (b) To prepare the Church for the coming of the Lord or “to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Col.1:28). Such a higher life and ministry is essential to bring the anointed group of people to the perfection of the Most Holy Place or to enter within the veil. To maintain this anointing for an effectual life and ministry, servants of God should cultivate the following traits of character :
1. Like the Lord Jesus, servants of God should be obedient. Only those who are humble can obey. Obedience to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and to the saints, helps us grow in righteousness (Phil.2:8; Heb.5:8; Rom.5:19). 2. They must have the mind of Christ, that is, unity and fellowship among the brethren, and unity in turn, with the Triune God (Jn.17:21). 3. They must have the spirit of Jesus to do the will of the Father — to subdue or bring into captivity their imaginations and thoughts to the obedience of Christ (Heb.10:5-7; II Cor. 10:5). 4. They must have a life of separation like Jesus Who was “separate from sinners” (Heb.7:26; II Cor.6:14-16). 5. Like Christ, they must have the mind to suffer (I Pet.4:1), for, it is by much tribulation that they must enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22). Trials and sufferings make one cease from sin and be strengthened. 6. They must have a zeal for holiness and the things of God like Jesus (Jn.2:13-17). It is this zeal which worked in Phinehas (Num.25:11-13). This zeal finally becomes a consuming zeal. Of the Lord Jesus it is written, “The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up” (Jn.2:17; Rev.3:19). 7. Like Jesus they must maintain a life of continual prayer and praise, to keep up their personal fellowship with God to preserve the anointing (Matt.14:23; Lk.5:16; Eph.5:18-20). Just as Levi was in the loins of Abraham when he gave tithes to Melchisedec, spiritually we were in the loins of the Lord Jesus when He became a High Priest after the order of Melchisedec (Heb.7:8-11). As the Captain of our salvation, He was made perfect through sufferings to bring many sons to glory and He learnt obedience by the things which He suffered (Heb.2:10; 5:8-11). Therefore, in order to be made perfect, we too have to go through sufferings. We have to attain perfection in character while here on earth itself, but our service to God will continue even in eternity. The Holy Spirit has come within us and made us priests unto God (Jn.14:16,20; Rev.1:6). According to Hebrews 7:3, He “abideth a priest continually”. Therefore, in the eternity to come, He will abide a High Priest forever through us. Jesus Himself is the law and therefore, we must preserve the law of obedience for which He is our Pattern. When one is perfected in character by the anointing, he becomes eligible to serve in New Jerusalem and Zion forever. It is an endless, unchangeable priesthood, in which death cannot separate us from service to God.
******** CHAPTER XVI
BLESSINGS OF THE ANOINTING
“But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil” says the Psalmist (92:10). This anointing with oil is a shadow of the anointing of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament period which helps us to be partakers of the following blessings : 1.Dwelling in unity (Psa.133:1,2) 2.A radiant life (Psa.104:15) 3.Healing (Jer.8:22) 4.A life of joy (Isa.61:3) 5.A life subject to reproof and correction (Psa.141:5) 6.Abundant grace (Zech.4:12; 12:10) 7.A life of prayer (Zech.4:12; 12:10; Exo.30:23-25). 1. DWELLING IN UNITY A life lived in unity is as precious ointment and it is able to break any yoke that keeps us under bondage. The preacher says, “Two are better than one” and “a three-fold cord is not easily broken” (Eccl.4:9,12). According to His promise, Jesus Himself is in the midst of those who are gathered together in His name (Matt.18:20). Therefore, to build up our lives as Zion and New Jerusalem, a life of unity is indispensable. Ever since man fell into sin, we find that the unity and fellowship between God and man, and the peace existing among men, and between man and other creatures were lost. And ever
since, down through the ages it has been but chaos and confusion, strife and division among men. But with the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus on Calvary, enmity was slain and man was reconciled to God, and “the middle wall of partition” between the Jews and the Gentiles was broken down. With the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, we find the unity which was lost ages ago, being restored; the Jews and Gentiles, bond and free being made one and baptized into one body and made to drink into one Spirit (I Cor.12:13). It is the baptism in the Holy Spirit alone which knits us into one body — the Body of Christ, which is the Church. We understand that on the day we receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit come and make their abode in us or in other words, we become the habitation of the Triune God (Jn.14:16,20; I Cor. 3:16,17; 6:19,20). Unity is the mystery of the will of God, according to which, God the Father purposed to “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth; even in him” (Eph.1:9,10). Jesus, while here on the earth, prayed for the unity of His disciples and for their being one with Him and His Father (Jn.17:21-23), even as He and the Father are one from the former eternity (Isa.48:16). “And now I am no more in the world but these are in the world and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are one” (Jn.17:11). Jesus also preached unity (Jn.14:23; 15:4,5;). Jesus was also slain for the purpose of unity (Eph.2:13-17). This unity of the brethren in God (Jn.17:11,21-23) is one of the purposes of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The anointing with oil in the Old Testament as mentioned in Psalm 133, is a shadow of this. One aspect of this unity is the mystery concerning Christ and the Church, that is, the relationship between Christ and the Church, which as a type, is found between a man and his wife, and is referred to by St. Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians (5:23-33). Just as a man is joined unto his wife and they two are one flesh, “he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” (I Cor.6:17) for the Spirit of God dwelleth in him and with him (Jn.14:17). It is to bring the Church to Christ-like perfection, by doing the will of God, that the Lord appoints apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers in the Church. “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, ... Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph.4:11-13). Here we find the effect or fruit of perfection, that is, we will all come unto A PERFECT MAN. There will be a perfect unity among the saints according to the plan of God. Without true and dedicated servants, God cannot bring the Church to this perfection, because, in order to come to this state, the believers have to be taught with all wisdom, be warned and persuaded — “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Col.1:28). This teaching is the teaching of all the counsel of God which brings the Church to the unity of the faith (doctrine) (Eph.4:13). Note what the apostle says : “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). So “all the counsel of God” is needed for one to become perfect or to reach “the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil.3:14). To attain the ‘mark’ of perfection (Matt.5:48), one must be made perfect in love (I Jn.4:12), in faith (Jam.2:22), in holiness (II Cor.7:1) and in doing the will of God (Col.4:12). The Lord Jesus was found perfect in these aspects, for He accomplished the perfect will of God. When we are made perfect in love, we are accepted of God and this in turn, gives us boldness to stand before God on the day of judgment. Perfect love helps us to overcome the fear to stand before God (I Jn.4:17,18). A man is justified by his works of faith (Rom.5:1; I Thess.1:3). Faith without works is dead (Jam.2:26). Although Christ died for us, our faith on the risen Lord alone justifies us (I Cor.15:17; Rom.4:24,25). By the works of faith, the things unseen are brought to reality. It is by the works of faith, that faith is made perfect (Jam.2:21,22). We should perfect holiness in the fear of God (II Cor.7:1). To perfect holiness we need to maintain peace with God and man (I Thess.5:23). We should go on to perfection in doing the whole will of God. Christ says, “Lo, I come to
do thy will, O God” (Heb.10:9). This is the perfection that our Lord attained as a man. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation ...” (Heb.5:8,9). God commands blessings and life forevermore where hearts are knit together in love, speaking the same things and being perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment (Psa.133:1-3; Col.2:2; I Cor.1:10). “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me,” said Jesus in His prayer (Jn.17:23). Perfect love brings perfect unity. "Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together", sings David (Psa.122:3). We who are Spirit-baptized are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Corner Stone; in Whom all the building fitly framed together. grows unto a holy temple in the Lord, for a habitation of God through the Spirit (Eph.2:19-22). We ought to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, forbearing one another in love. ‘Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity !’ Though David sang so in the Spirit, its perfect fulfilment is possible only through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, to maintain unity with God and with one another in Him, we need fresh unctions of the Holy Spirit continually. 2. A RADIANT LIFE Another blessing that follows the anointing is a radiant life. Be it sorrow or joy, the state of one’s heart is reflected in the face. As oil makes one’s face shine, the anointing too makes one’s face radiant — “Wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine” (Psa.104:15). In Proverbs 4:18, Solomon says, “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day”. To press forward in our spiritual life until the day of Christ, we need the repeated infillings of the anointing every day in our lives. We ought to shine forth in our life and in our ministry until the perfect day, i.e., the day of Christ. Radiance in life : Our character is the light that makes our life radiant. Jesus says, “I am the light of the world” and this Light shines in darkness (Jn. 8:12; 1:5). Concerning Him, Isaiah prophesies, “The people which sat in darkness saw great light” (9:2). “For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (II Cor.4:6). We get this light through the baptism in the Holy Spirit Who is called “The Spirit of glory”. They that love the Lord are as the sun that goeth forth in his might (Judg.5:31). We must have a knowledge of the glory of God which will help us count everything as loss and dung (Phil.3:8), and this will make our life radiant. Divine character is formed not by an emotional life, but by the anointing. St. Paul clearly affirms in I Corinthians 13:1-3 that we can speak in tongues, prophesy, give our bodies to be burned, and yet not be transformed in our inner man. Transformation in life is wrought only by the anointing. Jesus, the Son of God, had no place to lay His head while on this earth. Even when the devil displayed the glory of the world, He stood firm in His consecration. In like manner, when Abraham returned from the slaughter of the kings, the king of Sodom met him and offered him the goods. But Abraham, having received a revelation of the God of glory (Acts 7:2) rejected the offer and stood firm in his consecration (Gen.14:21-23). As a result God said, “I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward” (Gen.15:1). It is the knowledge of Jesus Christ which helps us reflect in our lives, the glory of God given to us by the Spirit of glory. We are called to follow in the footsteps of our Master Jesus Who led a life of consecration. Then will we be able to shine in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (Phil.2:14,15). The radiancy of our life is also dependent on our close communion with the Lord. Of the Lord Jesus we read, that when He went up a mountain to pray, “As he prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered” (Lk.9:29). Moses’ face shone because of the close fellowship he had with God on mount Sinai (Exo.34:29,30). Moses had to wear a veil upon his face while he spoke
to the people because they could not look upon the brightness of his face (Exo.34:33,35). If this was the glory of the Old Testament period, how much greater will be the glory in the New Testament period ! Servants of God need a still greater glory to be able to behold the face of the Father. Concerning this, John the Divine writes, “His servants shall serve him and they shall see his face” (Rev.22:4,5). God has been faithful in doing His part to help us attain this excellent glory which He has ordained for man even before the foundation of the world (I Cor.2:7). He has bestowed upon us His immeasurable grace for this purpose. But it is we, who on our part need faith to receive and personally experience the glory that Adam lost and from there to grow to perfection. Hereby, it is inferred that it is the grace of God coupled with our faith that is needed to perfect this work in us. God has given us His Son Jesus Who is the Lord of glory. He has also given us the Spirit of glory, the glorious gospel, a glorious ministry and ministers to make our life radiant. We shall now consider them one by one. The Lord of glory : To make us glorious, God has given us His Son Jesus Who is the Lord of glory (I Cor.2:8). God revealed Himself as the God of glory to Abraham (Acts 7:2). On seeing the God of glory, he forsook all his worldly glories and followed Him. Therefore, we ought to keep the vision of the glory of God always before us (II Thess.2:14). The glory of the Father is in Jesus (Heb.1:3). In particular, the servants of God, who are ordained unto Zion, should receive the glory of the Father through Christ. Only then can the glory from them be radiated to Jerusalem. Zion is the glory of New Jerusalem. Hence, the glory of the congregation depends on the glorious life and ministry of the servant of God leading it. The Spirit of glory : God has given us the Spirit of glory (I Pet.4:14). This is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit could not come to the world until Jesus was glorified (Jn.7:39). We receive a glorious power (Col.1:11) or the Spirit of glory when we receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The glorious gospel : God has given us the gospel of glory (II Cor.4:4) which is the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24) whereby we obtain the glory of God (II Thess.2:14). This gospel is the doctrine of Christ which reveals the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face (character) of the Lord Jesus Christ (Heb.6:1; II Jn.9; Jn.7:16). To take Spirit-baptized people to glory, the doctrine of Christ is indispensable, for, it is this doctrine of Christ which helps the Church towards edification and the obtaining of the glory of God. The glorious ministry : God has also given us a glorious ministry (II Cor.3:6-11). The glory of the ministration of the Spirit and the ministration of righteousness exceeds the glory of the ministration of the Old Testament period. The Old Testament glory was seen on the face of Moses as he came down from the mount Sinai. But on the mount of transfiguration, the glory of Jesus was exceeding great and incomparable with the glory of Moses (Lk.9:30,31; Matt.17:2). Through our ministry of glory in the house of glory, others should be able to receive glory. We should not minister death to others by our ministry. To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. This glorious ministry is the ministry of righteousness. The glorious ministers : This glorious ministry can be done only by those dwelling in glory. As mentioned in II Corinthians 3:6, they are the ‘able’ or glorious ministers of the New Testament. His servants are flames of fire, says the Psalmist (Psa.104:4; Heb.1:7). Saints dwell in light, and so the ministers of God should abide in God’s glory. These ministers are given by God to the Church (I Cor.12:28; Eph.4:8-11). The Holy Spirit has made them overseers over the flock of God (Acts 20:28). Though God has thus made these provisions for our attaining His glory, we on our part, have to suffer with Jesus according to His will in order to attain this excellent glory (Rom.8:18). “Our light affliction” works for us “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” .(II Cor.4:17). “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind; for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin” (I Pet.4:1). When we suffer with Him we must not murmur or complain, for if we do, we will lose this glory and our hearts will not become transparent and clear as crystal. When we go through sufferings joyfully, God will give us grace to endure them patiently and thus be made perfect, stablished, strengthened and settled in Him (I Pet.5:10). Christ Jesus too came down to this world to suffer for us in the
flesh and help us attain this excellent glory. God has given us the Spirit of glory that we might be partakers of Christ’s sufferings, for, if we suffer with Him, we shall also be glorified with Him (I Pet.4:13,14; Rom.8:17). Radiance in ministry : After His resurrection, Jesus commanded His disciples to tarry in Jerusalem, until they be “endued with power from on high” (Lk.24:49). Accordingly, when the Holy Spirit came upon them on the day of Pentecost, these unlearned men who had once been timid and unbelieving, now preached the Word with authority and performed wonders and miracles. Their fame spread abroad and many believed. Thus they shone as lights unto the world. In the holy place of the Mosaic tabernacle, it was the candlestick, which is a shadow of the New Testament Church, that gave light. The five offices which are given by Christ as gifts to the Church should, with the help of the eight ministries and the nine spiritual gifts, shine in the Church. With the baptism in the Holy Spirit, we not only speak in tongues as a sign but also receive the gifts of the Spirit. There are nine such gifts which are given for the benefit of the Church, i.e., for the building up of the believer in character and in power (I Cor.12:8-11). These nine gifts operating in the Church help to edify the Church, to make her ready for the coming of the Lord. These gifts can be divided into two groups revealing the two aspects of Christ, namely, the Power of God and the Wisdom of God. “But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (I Cor.1:24). So, by the gifts of the Spirit, the power of God and the wisdom of God are revealed in us to make us Christ-like. We have to be built up in power and wisdom in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are called to be kings and priests. “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever, Amen” (Rev.1:6). A king should have power, and this power is the power of his kingdom. In the same manner, we receive the power of the kingdom of God. “For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power” (I Cor.4:20). St. Paul says, “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Eph.6:10) Power also speaks of the authority of the saints. The wisdom of God mentioned in this context speaks of the character of God or the divine nature. Power and wisdom work both in the persons who have the gifts, and also in the others in the fellowship. So gifts of power and wisdom should operate in the Church, to make the Church grow in power and wisdom. Thus we find that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is indispensable for both our life and our ministry. As we receive fresh unctions of the Spirit repeatedly, and grow in our consecration and in our communion with God, we are changed from glory to glory till we behold our Lord Jesus face to face. 3. HEALING Healing is another important blessing that proceeds from the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The Psalmist says, “I shall be anointed with fresh oil” (Psa.92:10). ‘Oil’ also typifies healing (Jer.8:22; 46:11). Healing is part of the New Testament ministry and was included in the mission of Jesus, for He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives; and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Lk.4:18,19). Healing was an important ministry right from the period of Conscience. The prophets of the Old Testament prayed for the sick and healed them and even raised the dead. Healing is performed as a miracle amidst both the heathen and the people of God. The healing miracles performed among the heathen are to make them believe in a living God, to prove His power and excellency. But before God works miracles and wonders in the midst of His people, He expects sanctification in them to a certain extent. Before God could perform a miracle at the river Jordan, He wanted the children of Israel to be sanctified as they had been defiled,
hearkening to the erroneous doctrine of Balaam (Josh.3:5; Num. ch. 25; Rev.2:14). Physical healing is dependent on healing in the soul. David cried to the Lord for healing in his soul, and the Lord healed him (Psa.30:2; 41:4). When our heart is clean and upright before the Lord, He will hear our prayer and heal us. Though Abimelech was a heathen, he was a man of integrity and one who feared God. Seeing his heart, God kept him from sinning and wrought healing in his family. In the New Testament times, because healing in the body is the result of healing in the soul, a work of sanctification has to be done by the Holy Spirit, before healing can set in. Our heart is purified and sanctified by the anointing which in turn results in our healing. As exhorted in James 5:16 we need to confess our faults to one another and pray for one another in order that we may be healed. We need to cry to the Lord for healing. When Isaac entreated the Lord for his wife Rebekah, the Lord heard him and healed her of her barrenness (Gen.25:21). The Lord heard the cry of Hezekiah and healed him of his boil (Isa.38:2-5,9; II Kgs.20:5). We also read of how Jesus healed the sick. “.... God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power : who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Acts 10:38). On one occasion, by the power of the anointing in Him, a woman with an issue of blood for twelve years was healed when she touched the hem of His garment. This power of God, was always present with Him through the anointing, to heal all manner of sickness and diseases. In the apostolic times, after they were anointed with the Holy Spirit, the sick were healed even through the handkerchiefs carried by St. Paul and by the shadow of St. Peter overshadowing them as he passed by (Acts 19:12; 5:15). God performs healing as one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit to manifest His power and glory. Since the time of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, healing occurs in connection with the functioning of the Holy Spirit. “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Rom.8:11). Following are some of the reasons why we should stand for divine healing : 1. Divine Healing is one of the promises of God : The Israelites were delivered from the bondage of Egypt by the slaying of the paschal lamb but when they came to Marah, by making the bitter waters sweet, God gave them another revelation of Himself — “I am the Lord that healeth thee” (Exo.15:26). God also gave them a promise that He would bless their bread and their water and take away sickness from among them (Exo.23:25). In Jeremiah 33:6, the Lord promises, “I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them : and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth”. When people of God turn from their wicked ways, humble themselves and seek the Lord, He promises to heal the land (II Chron.7:14). Every promise is dependent on a condition. We must fulfil the conditions first if the promise is to be fulfilled in our lives. Just as the children of Israel trusted in God for all their needs in their journey through the wilderness, even so we should trust in God for all our needs including healing and health. 2. Healing is a blessing granted through the atoning death of Jesus : When the first man sinned and ate the forbidden fruit, he came under bondage to curse, sickness and death. For mankind to be redeemed from the penalty of death, a price had to be paid, or a sacrifice had to be offered. John the Baptist pointed out Jesus as “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (Jn.1:29). Jesus became the sin offering for a sinful humanity (Isa.53:10). He became a curse for us (Gal.3:13). In Deuteronomy chapter 28 we read about both blessings and curses. Those who do not live up to the laws and commandments of God are subject to curse. Sickness is mentioned there as one such curse. The sicknesses mentioned in the long list there, fall upon the accursed. Through the atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ, man is delivered from sin, sickness, curse and death. Since the Lord Jesus was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, chastised for our peace and scourged for our healing, we are delivered from the curse of sin and sickness (Isa.53:4,5), i.e., we are redeemed from our sins by His blood and by His stripes we are
healed (I Pet.1:18,19; 2:24). The Hebrew word used for the word “healed” in Isaiah 53:5 refers to ‘physical’ or ‘bodily’ healing, the meaning of which is rendered as ‘mend’, ‘cure’ etc. This is performed by God, the Healer — ‘Jehovah-Ropheca’. When the rebellious and gainsaying Israelites were bitten by fiery serpents in the wilderness, God told Moses to make a serpent of brass and to set it upon a pole, so that they may look upon it and be healed (Num.21:10). Our Lord referred to this episode as a type of His own crucifixion (Jn.3:14,15). From this we understand that the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus on Calvary was for the healing of our body also. 3. Healing is ‘children’s bread’ : When the woman of Canaan pleaded with the Lord to heal her daughter, He replied, “It is not meet to take the children’s bread and to cast it to dogs” (Mk.7:27; Matt.15:26). Jesus referred to healing as 'children’s bread' here. We who are saved and redeemed by His precious blood are His children. As His children, we have every right to claim healing for our body. 4. Healing is a sign that follows them that believe : Mark 16:17,18 offers a list of wonders done through those who believe. One of them is healing by the laying on of hands. In the Old Testament period balm was made from the spices in Gilead which was noted for its physicians. Gilead is a type of the Church in the New Testament period and Jesus, the Balm of Gilead (Jer.46:11; 8:22) is our Physician. His name is as “Ointment poured forth” (S.S.1:3). So faith in His name brings healing in the body. 5. Healing is one of the operations of the Spirit : In the Mosaic tabernacle, the olive oil that was poured into the lamps on the candlestick (Lev.24:2; Exo.27:20), making it shine and give light in the holy place, is a type of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Olive oil has properties of healing. Similarly, when the oil of the Holy Spirit is poured into our hearts, we find healing, which is one of the operations of the Spirit, working in our body. When Jesus healed “every sickness and every disease among the people” (Matt.9:35), we find that it was the power of God that did it. In the Scoffield version, in Luke 5:17 we read that “the power of the Lord was present for Him to heal them”. This power of God was the anointing of the Holy Spirit that was upon Jesus, for we read that Jesus Christ Himself said, quoting Isaiah’s prophecy, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Isa.61:1; Lk.4:18,19). 6. Healing is one of the gifts of the Spirit : In the Church there are diversities of gifts, but they all proceed from the Holy Spirit. One among the nine gifts imparted to the Church is “gifts of healing” (I Cor.12:9). Note that the word ‘gifts’ is in the plural. Some people have special gifts for the healing of specific diseases. This gift works by the power of the Spirit of God. 7. Healing is part of the gospel and the apostolic doctrine : Christ commanded the disciples to heal the sick and to raise the dead (Matt.10:8; Lk.9:1,2). Therefore, healing the sick forms part of the gospel and hence, it is a step in redemption. If we do not preach healing, we are not preaching the whole counsel of God. Apostle James speaks of praying for the sick (5:13-15). From this we infer that healing, as part of the gospel, was taught, preached and practised by the apostles during the first century. Not only our soul, but our body too must be sanctified to meet the Lord at His coming (I Thess.5:23). It is only through the baptism in the Holy Spirit that this mortal body is made ready to put on immortality. 4. A LIFE OF JOY One of the signs that mark a Spirit-baptized child of God is his joy in the Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on about a hundred and twenty who waited in the upper chamber, they expressed an ecstatic joy which was mistaken by the onlookers for intoxication with new wine (Acts 2:!3). “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but
righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost”, reads Romans 14:17. When a person is baptized in the Holy Spirit, he is immersed in the Holy Spirit, while the Holy Spirit fills him to overflowing with His joy, power and glory. Waiting on the Lord and renewing the anointing of the Holy Spirit from time to time through fervent prayer, enables us to preserve our joy which is a blessing of the Holy Spirit. God anointed David the shepherd boy with the oil of gladness above his fellows, because he loved righteousness and hated wickedness (Psa.45:7). This implies that, in order to receive the oil of joy or gladness, one must hate iniquity and love righteousness. The righteous Lord loves the righteousness of His people and righteousness is the habitation of His throne (Psa.11:7; 97:2). He leads those who love righteousness in the path of righteousness which tends to life (Psa.23:3; Prov.12:28). Christian life is a life of joy right from the primary step of being born again. Of this experience, the prophet Isaiah says : “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation” (12:3). Jesus compared this experience to a well of water springing up in our hearts unto everlasting life (Jn.4:14). A step further leads us to the joy derived at water baptism. This was evidenced in the eunuch who went his way rejoicing after being baptized in water by Philip (Acts 8:39). The Word of God brings joy to its readers as has been expressed by the prophet Jeremiah, who found the Word and ate it and it became the joy and rejoicing of his heart (15:16). David too rejoiced in the Word as one who finds great spoil (Psa.119:162). But the joy of the Holy Spirit surpasses all other joys. It is an overflowing experience of the love of God which is compared to rivers of living water overflowing from our hearts (Jn.7:38) and we drink of God’s river of pleasures (Psa.36:8). This joy in us abounds as we receive fresh unctions from time to time. The oil of joy which is the anointing of the Holy Spirit is essential both for our life and for our ministry. Christian life is not easy-going. St. Paul asserts that those who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (II Tim.3:12). The believers of the first century Church had to endure severe persecutions at the hands of their own people. But the oil of joy that they received, enabled them to preserve their joy in the Holy Spirit even in the midst of suffering. They were so filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit that they rejoiced to be counted worthy to suffer shame for their Lord (Acts 5:41). Their fervent prayers offered with one accord did not cease with the day of Pentecost, but continued even through the most trying times. When threatened and persecuted by Jewish authorities, they got together and prayed; they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and the place where they were gathered was shaken (Acts 4:23-31). In this manner, when they prayed filled in the Spirit, they were able to keep their joy in the Lord even when persecuted. The secret of victorious Christian living lies in the joy that a Spirit-baptized child of God has in the Spirit. St. Paul exhorts the Philippian believers repeatedly to rejoice in Christ (Phil.2:18; 4:4). He testifies that the Thessalonian Church became followers of the apostles and of the Lord, having received the Word in much affliction with joy in the Holy Ghost (I Thess.1:6). He encourages them to “rejoice evermore” (I Thess.5:16). St. Paul records the abundance of the joy of the Macedonian Church in their great trial of affliction and how it led them to being liberal in ministering to the saints in need (II Cor.8:1-4). As regards the ministry, whether we do a spiritual or a physical ministry, we must do it willingly and joyfully. Any ministry done without the joy of the Holy Spirit has no reward from the Lord. Isaiah 61:3 makes mention of the oil of joy that is given to those who mourn in Zion. Those who minister unto the Lord should not do it with murmuring, complaining or disputing, lest they lose their joy. Those who minister with joy become a crown of rejoicing and a comfort to the saints (Phil.2:14-17; 4:1; I Thess.2:19). Zion is the joy of the whole earth (Psa.48:2) and so is Jerusalem (Lam.2:15). Servants of God and believers who comprise the Church should turn out to be the joy of the whole earth. Prophet Isaiah states : “The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and
everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (35:10). Those in Zion and Jerusalem are anointed with the oil of gladness to offer sacrifices of joy (Psa.27:6). We ought to live our life and accomplish our ministry with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then shall the blessing of the anointing abide in us. To preserve the oil of gladness in our life, we have to maintain our conscience pure and good (Heb.10:22; 9:14; I Pet. 3:21). The joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh.8:10). When this joy is preserved in times of trials, we on go from strength to strength and reach Zion (Psa.84:5-7). Therefore, we must renew our joy in the Holy Ghost frequently and preserve our joy in the midst of sorrow and pain. Sorrow and suffering are only for “a night” but “joy cometh in the morning” (Psa.30:5). When our Lord shall appear, there will be no more sorrow or crying, neither pain nor groaning, but we shall rejoice with Him evermore. 5. A LIFE SUBJECT TO REPROOF AND CORRECTION Yet another blessing accorded us through the anointing of the Holy Spirit is a life subject to reproof, rebuke, correction, chastening and instruction needed for the moulding of our character into the image of the Son of God. The Psalmist rightly calls reproof an “excellent oil” (Psa.141:5). To attain the likeness of the Son, a life that is wholly surrendered to the working of the Holy Spirit for the transformation of character is essential. For our inner man to be nurtured and to grow to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, this “excellent oil” is a pre-requisite. Here we would do well to refer to the admonition of St. Paul to Timothy : “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness : That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (II Tim.3:16,17). The Lord rebukes those whom He loves (Rev.3:19). The rebuke of the Lord is intended for our good. It is a sharp condemnation of sin or evil, so that one might realize the seriousness of the error committed and abstain from repeating it. In short, one is rebuked so that his eyes of understanding might be enlightened. It is not easy to accept such rebuke and it may even grieve us but considering the glorious end which is the transformation of character, it ought to be taken joyfully. In II Timothy 4:2, St. Paul tells Timothy to rebuke and exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine. To Titus, he says that he must rebuke the people of God sharply, that they may be sound in the faith (1:13). A wise man will love to be rebuked, but not a scorner (Prov.9:8). Jesus Himself said, “If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him” (Lk.17:3). “Open rebuke is better than secret love”, reads Proverbs 27:5. The exhortation given to Timothy is that he should rebuke “them that sin” before all, that others also may fear (I Tim.5:20). Corrections will not prove to be of any benefit to the scorner and the foolish, but the righteous who want to preserve the anointing will take correction as an excellent oil on their heads. David accepted correction but Saul did not. Those with the spirit of pride, will reject correction. Through the prophet Jeremiah, God says that the children of Israel did not receive correction (2:30; 5:3). The Lord wields the rod of correction on those whom He loves (Prov.3:12; 22:15). Israel did not obey the voice of the Lord and did not receive correction. She did not trust in Him and draw near to her God (Zeph.3:2). So she was rejected, owing to her unsanctified nature (Jer.6:30; 7:28). The writer to the Hebrews says that those who do not accept correction are bastards. The Lord corrects and chastens those whom He loves (12:6-8). Therefore, happy is the man whom God corrects and chastens ((Job 5:17; Psa.94:12,13). Let us not despise the chastening of the Lord, neither be weary when we are corrected by Him (Prov.3:11). The anointing and the grace of God will abide on those who yield themselves to be corrected by God and the saints. The righteous God Who knows our thoughts, words and deeds, expects us His children to work out His righteousness. When we fail to satisfy the demands of His righteousness in our life, He reproves us. When we are thus reproved, we get to understand the unrighteous aspects of our life and do away with them. By yielding ourselves to Him further, He helps us work out His righteousness. He that hearkens to reproof is wise. "The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among
the wise" (Prov.15:31), but he who hates reproof is brutish and shall die (Prov.12:1; 15:10). A wise reprover is as an ornament of gold upon an obedient ear (Prov.25:12) but a scorner will not love him who reproves him. Herod was very angry with John the Baptist when he was reproved for all the evils he had done. If we surrender ourselves to be reproved, we will gradually but certainly be moulded to be conformed to His likeness. When we get accustomed to hearing God’s voice and being led by Him constantly, we will be able to tread the paths of trials victoriously, for the Holy Spirit Himself equips us sufficiently with grace and strength. God leads us through them all with His instructions and teaches us how to emerge victorious. Regarding the Comforter or the Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus says, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” (Jn.16:13). The Apostle of love also reminds us saying "...ye have an unction from the Holy One ... the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him” (I Jn.2:20,27). These being the end times, we who are running the last lap of our race, need to be instructed in all aspects touching the work of transformation that has to be wrought in us. He who refuses instruction despises his own soul. Fools despise and hate instruction, and poverty and shame shall be to them. God’s Word tells us that we should buy the truth, and also wisdom, instruction and understanding (Prov.23:23). To fear the Lord is the instruction of wisdom. The Lord teaches us out of His law (Psa.94:12). The Holy Spirit reproves the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (Jn.16:7,8). If we should not be condemned with the world we should endure chastening, as sons. If we are without chastisement, we shall not be sons. Let us be in subjection to our heavenly Father Who reproves and chastens us for our profit that we might be partakers of His holiness. By doing so, we yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness (Heb.12:10,11). The great work of transformation still remains to be perfected in us in the short span of time kept before us. Let us therefore surrender our lives to the absolute control and working of the anointing in us that the Lord might hasten the work of grace in us. 6. ABUNDANT GRACE ‘Grace’ is one of the many beautiful attributes of the Triune God. God the Father is called “the God of all grace” (I Pet. 5:10). St.John says of Jesus, the Son of God that He was “full of grace” (1:14). And the Holy Spirit is also referred to as the “Spirit of grace” (Heb.10:29). Another blessing received by the anointing of the Holy Spirit Who is the Spirit of grace is abundant grace, symbolized by the golden oil (Zech.4:12). The Old Testament saints sang praises of the grace of God. King David esteemed grace better than life and says, “Thy lovingkindness (grace) is better than life” (Psa.63:3). From Zechariah 4:7 we understand that Zerubbabel and Joshua deeply felt the need for grace to help them build the temple. If grace was counted so precious for the building of the earthly temple made with hands, how much more essential it is for the building of the spiritual temple not made with hands, namely, Zion and New Jerusalem. A life of grace commences at salvation. Grace was first made manifest with the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ (II Tim.1:9,10; Tit.2:11). When a sinner repents and accepts the Lord Jesus, the grace he experiences is the forgiveness of sins. Thereafter, at every subsequent step, when he obeys the truth, he receives grace. When one obeys the truth of water baptism, which is the counsel of God, the Word of God imparts grace to live this sublime life, as it is the Word of His grace. And at the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Spirit of grace), grace enters into us and we into grace. “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (Rom.5:17). Firstly, by faith we have access into the grace of God (Rom.5:2). Secondly, we stand in this grace (I Pet.5:12; Rev.12:1) and thirdly, we grow in grace gradually until we receive the
fulness of His grace. St. Peter exhorts us to “grow in grace” (II Pet.3:18). This growth takes place as we obey the Word of God and receive fresh unctions of the Holy Spirit. The experience of receiving a fresh anointing of the Spirit of grace must be maintained daily in order to grow in grace. Let us consider the other aspects of the grace of God. In Titus 2:11-13, we read that the grace of God teaches us. As we get filled with the anointing everyday, it teaches us (I Jn.2:27). We are taught to deny ungodliness, and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present evil world. When we thus yield ourselves to be taught of the Spirit and to obey His guidance, we will grow in grace. This enables us to look for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. St. Paul had much to say about the grace of God which he experienced. He confessed, “By the grace of God I am what I am” (I Cor.15:10). The foremost work of the grace of God in his life was to make him a pattern to others (I Tim.1:16). It is the transforming grace that worked out a change in his life. Therefore, he had nothing to boast about. Referring to his ministry, he says that the grace of God enabled him to labour more than others — “... I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (I Cor.15:10). The grace to labour in the ministry helped him suffer more than all. When we yield our members as members of righteousness to the Spirit of grace, day by day, grace will rule in us (Rom.5:21). This is the grace that reigns. The fruit of such a life is holiness which helps us reign in eternal life (Rom.6:22). “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (II Cor.8:9). St. Paul states that grace had been given to him by the power of the anointing making him a minister, to preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ (Eph. 3:7,8). The servants of God are by grace made empty like Naomi and suffer the loss of all things in order to prepare ‘Ruth’, the Bride of Christ through the gospel of the grace of God and the power that works in them mightily through the anointing. To have the anointing of the Spirit of grace in us every day, we have to take a certain spiritual stand and continue therein. (i) We must remain in the death of Christ, i.e., we must be dead to sin (Rom.6:1,2), to the world (Gal.6:14), and to self (Gal.2:20). Those who are dead to these alone can live in or grow in grace because these are the enemies of grace. When sin is allowed to enter into our life, it will cause us to gradually lose grace. (ii) In the past we had yielded our members as servants to uncleanness and to iniquity. Now our old man is crucified with Him that the body of sin might be destroyed, that we should not serve sin any more and we are buried with Him by baptism into His death. Now that grace may abound in our lives, we should yield our members as servants to righteousness and holiness (Rom.6:4,6,19). (iii) When we look back on our former life, and consider how God saved us and brought us to this higher life and the fellowship of the saints, we cannot but thank and praise Him for all His mercies toward us. When we practise a life of praising and thanksgiving, the Lord will not give us over to a reprobate mind but His grace will abound toward us (Rom.1:21,28; II Cor.4:15). (iv) We should always commit ourselves to the Word of His grace (Acts 20:32). Those who delight themselves in the Word of God and meditate on it day and night and observe to do all things that are written therein, receive grace which makes their lives prosperous (Josh.1:8; Psa.1:2,3). (v) God has given us the ministry of grace, so that, the manifold grace of God might be made manifest through us. Hence, we should be faithful as good stewards of God (Eph. 3:7-11; I Pet.4:10). The ‘exceeding abundant grace’ that God has given us should minister grace in others through our words and deeds (I Tim.1:14; Eph.4:29). The God of Israel says that He is “dew” unto Israel (Prov.19:12; Hos.14:5). To us who are the spiritual Israel, the Spirit of grace is like dew in our lives that we might be a source of refreshing and comfort to others and help them build up their lives.
(vi) We should always remain humble to receive and preserve the oil of the Spirit of grace. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (Jam.4:6; I Pet.5:5). Humility and obedience go together. To receive more and more of the grace of God in our lives, we should obey the guidance of the Spirit. We should not resist, quench or grieve the Spirit of God (Acts 7:51; I Thess.5:19; Eph.4:30). (vii) When God leads us through the wilderness, we receive His grace when we go through it without murmuring and complaining. We read about Israel that they received grace in the wilderness (Jer.31:2). Both in the Old and the New Testament periods, there were some who received grace but frustrated it. But concerning our life and ministry we should be able to confess like St. Paul, “His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain” (I Cor. 15:10; II Cor.6:1), “I do not frustrate the grace of God” (Gal.2:21). In every dispensation, people of God received grace to carry out the work entrusted to them. But some among them “turned the grace of God into lasciviousness” (Jude 4). In the epistle of St. Jude we read of three groups of people and of three persons who frustrated the grace of God. The three groups are the following : (i) Angels (Jude 6) : Angels were given their habitation. It can be understood as the grace given to them though this grace is not the same as that of the New Testament period. Since some of them did not keep it, now they are kept under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. (ii) People of Sodom and Gomorrah (Jude 7) : The grace of God that was upon the inhabitants of this city can be understood from all the material blessings they enjoyed (Ezek.16:49). They should have been grateful to God and should have used these blessings for the glory of God. Instead, they indulged in sinful pleasures. Therefore, God gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts (Rom.1:24). (iii) Redeemed Israel (Jude 5) : They signify the Spirit-baptized people of the New Testament period. The children of Israel received the grace of God in different ways. One such important experience was receiving manna from heaven. They failed to realize the greatness of this grace (manna) and esteemed it lightly. They, in turn, murmured and complained and as a result they were destroyed in the wilderness by the destroyer (Num.11:6,33,34; I Cor.10:10). The three persons who frustrated the grace of God are the following (Jude 11): (i) Cain : He was the firstborn of Adam. Being the firstborn was a type of the grace of God in his life. He was moved with the spirit of envy and jealousy and murdered his own brother. Therefore he lost the privilege and blessings of the firstborn. (ii) Korah : The grace of God that was upon his life was to sing. But the spirit of rebellion entered him and he resisted Moses, by which he lost his grace and perished. (iii) Balaam : The grace of God was upon him to the extent of seeing the vision of the Almighty, and hearing the words of God, and he longed to die the death of the righteous (Num.23:10; 24:24). Such a man lost that grace of God, being overtaken by covetousness which was the cause of his destruction. All that happened to the people of the Old Testament is for our admonition. If we allow the evil spirits that worked in their lives to work in us, we too will lose the grace of God. We who have been called by grace (Gal.1:15), should take heed that we do not do “despite to the Spirit of grace” by sinning wilfully after having received the knowledge of the truth (Heb.10:26,29); neither should we fall from grace (Gal.5:4). If we do, we will not be able to receive the grace that is to be revealed at the appearing of the Lord Jesus (I Pet.1:13). When the Lord Jesus Christ first appeared on this earth, grace which was able to transform our lives was made manifest. As we surrender to the Spirit of grace and are filled with the anointing everyday, we are made perfect by this grace which will enable us to be transformed at the coming of Christ. 7. A LIFE OF PRAYER One more purpose of the anointing is to help people of God maintain a constant life of prayer. The spirit of prayer which the anointing imparts to us is typified by the golden oil
(Zech.4:12; 12:10) and the holy anointing oil (Exo.30:23-25) in the Old Testament times. God commanded Moses to make the anointing oil using various spices. One of these spices was myrrh which signifies a life of prayer. Myrrh is a bitter, aromatic substance that exudes from the bark of the tree Balsamodendron opobalsamum, when pierced. In ancient days, it was used in embalming and bodies of the dead were thus preserved from decaying. Spiritually, myrrh signifies not simply a life of prayer, but prayer that emanates from a heart that is broken and sore through trials, reproaches, tribulation, affliction and persecution. We find an instance of this kind of prayer in the life of Hannah, where she cried unto the Lord when provoked by her adversary. The Scripture records that the Lord remembered her (I Sam.1:19). Every Spirit-baptized child of God will have to endure sufferings for the sake of righteousness and consecration. We will have to go through bitter experiences of misunderstanding, hatred, shame, reproach and rejection from our own brethren in accordance with God’s will. At such times we must pray for those who do us evil and not harbour bitterness in our hearts. Like the Shulamite we must go to the ‘mountain of myrrh’ and to the ‘hill of frankincense’ (S.S.4:6). In other words, we should have a continual life of prayer and thanksgiving. In the tabernacle, any vessel of ministry that was anointed with the holy anointing oil was most holy (Exo.30:29,30). One of them is the altar of incense which signifies ‘prayer life’. The ingredients, i.e., the sweet spices used in the compounding of the incense in the Old Testament, namely, stacte, onycha, galbanum and frankincense (Exo.30:34), can be compared to the four aspects of prayer - supplication, prayer, intercession and giving of thanks respectively (I Tim.2:1). The life of every anointed child of God should become like the altar of incense where one’s heart is poured out in prayer to God. Like the smoke of incense, the spirit of supplication and of intercession should help us lift up our hearts to Him. Those who preserve their life in holiness, can grow in their prayer life. The Lord Jesus is our pattern for a life of prayer. His prayer life is best portrayed in the gospels. St. Luke, who reveals the Lord Jesus as a Man in his gospel, highlights His prayer-life more than all other gospel writers (5:16; 6:12; 9:18,28,29; 11:1-4; 22:32; 23:34). Jesus prayed at all the great moments of His life. After being baptized, when the Lord Jesus came out of the water, He prayed. The heavens were opened and the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove (Matt.3:16,17). He prayed when choosing His apostles (Lk.6:12,13), while performing miracles (Lk.9:16; Jn.6:23), and at the time of His transfiguration (Lk.9:28,29). St.John records of Jesus making supplication to the Father in His ‘high-priestly’ prayer before departing from the world (ch.17). Knowing that Peter would fail in his hour of trial, He interceded for him (Lk. 22:32). Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane (Lk.22:39-46), interceded for the soldiers who crucified Him (Lk.23:34) and finally He prayed before He died (Lk.23:46). We also read of several occasions when He gave thanks unto the Father (Lk.10:21; Jn.11:41). The anointing which was in Him was without measure (Jn.3:34). This enabled Him to have an intimate fellowship with the Father through a deep life of prayer, and strengthened Him to minister to the needs of the people throughout the day. Very often He slipped away from the crowd and even from the disciples, and frequented the mount of Olives to be alone in communion with the Father (Lk.5:16; 6:12; 21:37). In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit Himself teaches those who are in subjection to His guidance, to pray. When the Holy Spirit begins to pray from within us, He makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered and He also enables us to make intercession for saints according to the will of God (Rom.8:26,27). Such a life of prayer will help us be transformed into the image of His Son. The anointing worked mightily in St. Paul. Thereby he was able to discern the need of the Churches he visited, and he strove for them in prayer accordingly. For instance, though the Ephesian believers were spiritually seated in heavenly places by the baptism in the Holy Spirit they could not understand deeper truths. Therefore, St.Paul prayed that their eyes of understanding might be enlightened (Eph.1:16-18; 3:14-19). When the Holy Spirit urges us to pray, if we do not yield to Him and if we give up our prayer life, we who are the ‘house of prayer’ will become a ‘den of thieves’.
To pray fervently in the Spirit and to receive answers to our prayers, we need to note the following : (i) If we regard iniquity in our heart the Lord will not hear us (Psa.66:18). The anointing oil and the incense are most holy. So to have an effectual prayer life and to retain the anointing, the first requisite will be to sanctify ourselves from all iniquity, even in our thoughts and conscience. (ii) If the spirit of disobedience is in us, our prayer will not be answered (Deut.1:43-45) and the anointing will not continue in us. We must always humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and obey the promptings of the Spirit. (iii) The spirit of prayer will not work if the spirit of rebellion is found in us (Prov.1:2428). We must not resist the leading of God and the leaders He has appointed over us (Rom.13:1,2). (iv) We cannot lead a hypocritical life and expect our prayers to be answered (Matt.23:13,14; Isa.1:13-15). (v) When we give in to the spirit of backsliding, or turn to our old ways, the Spirit of God Who is like ‘dew’ will favour us no more. In other words, He will hide His face from us and will not hear us (Isa.59:1-3; Jer.7:9-16). (vi) When we turn away our ears from hearing the law of the Lord, our prayers become an abomination to the Lord (Prov.28:9). When we hearken to His commandments and keep them, He is pleased with us (Jn.14:21; I Jn.3:22). (vii) The spirit of despising and ignoring the poor will make the Lord ignore our plea to Him (Prov.21:13). We must pity the poor, give alms and do righteous works. (viii) If one harbours an unforgiving spirit, the Lord will not hearken to him (Matt.6:14,15; 18:35). The Lord Jesus prayed for His tormentors and forgave them. Similarly, we must have the spirit of forgiving and reconciliation, always endeavouring to make peace (Matt.5:9,23-25; Acts 7:60). (ix) Unbelief is a terrible sin and it makes one depart from the living God (Mk.11:24;Heb.3:12,19; Heb.11:6; Jam.1:5-7). The children of Israel could not enter into their land of rest because of unbelief. (x) Selfishness is another spirit which hinders the Lord from hearkening to our prayers (Jam.4:3). (xi) When we ask anything according to our own will, the Lord will not hearken to us (I Jn.5:14,15). (xii) The spirit of slumber overtakes those who have yielded themselves to it (Isa.29:10). To pray effectively, we need to resist this spirit and be watchful and sober (I Thess.5:6). Only then will our inner man be found ready at our Lord’s appearing. To prevent these spirits from prevailing over us, we must be continually given to praising and prayer; whether in affliction or in want, we must learn to praise God. We read of the children of Israel that they murmured in their tents (Psa. 106:25). When we go through trials, we must not murmur or complain in our hearts (Phil.2:14) but praise God. Then the grace of God will overshadow us. When we thus build up the gates of praise, God who dwells in the midst of praises will be glorified. The God of glory will dwell in us and become our defence (Zech.2:5). The gospels and the epistles exhort us to watch and pray. We need to watch and pray to overcome temptations, to escape the terrible times to come and to be made worthy to stand before the Son of man (Mk.13:33-37; Lk.21:36). We who are waiting for the redemption of our body must groan and travail in the Spirit (Rom.8:22,23,26). With the anointing of the spirit of prayer, let us pour out our hearts to the Lord that Christ may be formed in us and that we may become the manchild who is caught up to the throne of God (Rev.12:5). EPILOGUE From our study thus far we clearly understand that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for those who desire to be caught up at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The mighty working of the Holy Spirit in our spirit, soul and body is needed to prepare us for that great day. The power of the anointing working in our mind or spirit leads us into divine wisdom
by which we are able to know the will of God concerning our lives (Isa.11:1,2; I Cor. 2:6,7,10,11; I Sam. 18:14,15,30). The anointing working in the heart or soul forms divine character in us (Isa. 42:1,2; Col.3:12-14). The power of the Holy Spirit working in our body enables us to do the will of God and fulfil a divine ministry also according to His will (II Cor. 3:6; Isa. 61:1,2) Only those who are perfected in Christ Jesus can be caught up at His coming. Knowing that the day is at hand, let us take heed to be filled with the power of the Spirit, until we be made ready, spotlessly pure, sanctified by the Holy Spirit, for the glorious appearing of our dear Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. “And the Spirit and the Bride say, “Come – And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17; Jn. 7:38,39; Rev.21:6,7). ******
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