The Anointing of God

By David Cox

This is a workbook which I will add to it from time to time, and accumulate studies on what is the anointing of God.


1. Definition of “the anointing of God”

The Messiah or Christ is “the Anointed One”

Isaiah 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

In a very real sense, the anointed one refers to the Christ of God, the special one who is designated to be the Saviour. When preachers presumed to be “the anointed one” or “the anointed of God”, we must immediately be careful, because whatever calling or authority given to us doesn’t approach that special work Jesus the Christ has.

The concept behind anointing is a little difficult to pin down for most people. It has to do with an official ceremony by which a representative of God (again “anointed”) is given the task to officially and publicly “give” or “officially announce” that a certain person has a certain ministry before God, and because of this, has officially given authority with his “commission” to execute officially that ministry.

Anointing, therefore, is most clearly seen in the Old Testament when God anointed men to be kings over Israel or prophets before God. These are officially “given” ministries which God lays upon men (there is a willingness to accept the official “job” or ministry on the part of the person receiving the anointing).

What does it matter if someone is anointed by God or not?

Perhaps many people would take the attitude, “What does it matter if a person in anointed by God or not before he ministers?” This basically is a consequence of our modern culture in which there is a great disdain and disrespect of all authority, which came come very strongly in 1960”s hippies rebellion. As such, people began rejecting any authority over their own lives. The church has not been immune to this cultural phenomena, and the movements against officially established NT precedents like a formal or traditional church building, services, environment, etc, has been wholesale rejected. Likewise, the officially called, prepared, and installed ministers of God is now “out of vogue”, and we consider the everybody can do anything concept as the most biblical. Even the concepts of Pastor and deacons are being challenged.

But God does not approve of anybody doing anything. When the ark of the covenant was lost and then Israel recaptured it, we see what happened when the common people start gazing into the holy things of God, and they dropped dead. Although there may be a lot to be said for the universal priesthood of all believers, there is still the principles and precedents of God which we see in the Bible, that God wants an official recognition and calling given and accepted before a person can ministry in an official and correct way before God. This is totally the explanation of Jesus’ water baptism by John at the beginning of his ministry, and that parallels our own water baptism before ministering before God, and it is the concept behind a minister’s ordination, when hands are laid upon a person new to a particular calling, function, or ministry.

While many will minimize the need for these things today, they are part of the precedent which Scriptures lay as the form for correct ministry before God, and it should not be passed over lightly. Satan desires that there is no such “officialness” to be done before a minister begins ministering, and basically the concept of everybody does what is right in his own eyes is exactly what Satan wants accepted as the norm so that he can slip his own wolves in sheep’s clothing into the work of God.

Therefore we should understand that an anointing is basically founded in a minister’s ordination. This is where a group of ordained ministers (already recognized in their doctrine and practice as biblical) examines the doctrine and life of a minister before he officially enters into his God called ministry.

All the Redeemed are Anointed, especially God’s Ministers

If we understand that only those official appointed by God (ministers anointed to minister before Him) are allowed in God’s presence, then we come to understand the importance of “the anointing”. Without an officially recognized (by God) anointing, then one is a rebel, and his presence before God will be accepted. Therefore God has placed the ministry of mediators into the mix, and in the Old Testament, only an officially anointed priest could intercede before God and man. This was a picture or preliminary situation until the one, single Great mediator and high priest could be accepted and placed in that role.

The great mediator and high priest is of course Jesus Christ, but even in His case, being God, this position and ministry was not official until he died on the cross, and God’s official recognition of his worthiness and calling and location by the Trinity into this Great Anointing, (literally, this is what “Christ” or “Messiah” means, the anointed one) did not happen until the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

Now, with Christ as our high priest, we (all the redeemed) too have the anointing of Christ and can serve God in a similar type of priesthood as they did in the Old Testament.

So in a certain sense, all the redeemed are the anointed of God (Rev 1:6; 5:10), and this is reflected in the “boldness” with which we can enter into the presence of God both as His beloved children (result of an adoption because of Christ’s work), and because of our priesthood (Heb 4:14-16). The concept of “anointed one” is one that is specially called out for a special service, as well as carrying an endowment of special authority from God to authoritatively “DO THAT MINISTRY.” Here we should understand the work of the Lord as being focused on (1) salvation-evangelism-anouncing the gospel, and (2) edification of the saints through spirit-filled principled teaching. This is the ministry God’s anointed does.

The “Election” of God

What Calvinism has brought to this matter is that Calvinists teach that election is exclusively for salvation. Election comes from the same meaning of “to select” or selection, and it means a choosing by God in some matter. While Calvinism well defines the being chosen (election or predestination) and the not being chosen (election to perdition, or simply perdition), they have muddied the waters of God’s teaching by excluding any non-salvation element from the Bibe concept of election. God also elects (between his redeemed) some to some kinds of service, and others to other kinds of service, and God himself uses the idea of a body (which are members are part of the body), and some are chosen from more usefulness than others (a hand versus a foot), and some to more prominence that others (a nose or a face is more visual and “beautiful” to the eye than a knee).

To understand the definition of “anointing” then, we need to understand that anointing means a setting aside or consecration of a thing for a special use. This assigning of a use or task (a ministry) by God is officially done and started by a ceremony whereby the person being called into that ministry is anointed with oil, and this is a pouring or smearing of oil for the purpose. Even this oil is “holy” oil, which means it was specially prepared (Exod 30:22-25) and guarded after its creation for just this use. The Israelites were prohibited from even owning these elements used in the holy oil, except for the priests who made it and kept it. Any “common” or “profane” use of this oil was strictly disciplined, because this disrepect of the consecrated by God was an abomination before God (Exod 30:32-33; Levi 10:7, 21:11-12; Eze 23:41). (See Steve Van Nattan’s article for more).

2. The Error of Claiming to be “the Anointed of God”

Is anointing the same as Divine Power?

In a sense, the two seem to go together. God gives a commission (power and authority) at the same time, but the concepts are distint. God gives a mission or a thing to do with the divine acceptance to do it in the name of God, or on the behalf of God (authority). Likewise God never leaves his ministers with a spiritual task to do, and no wherewithal to perform that task. God’s endows his ministers with spiritual gifts to complete their work for Him.

But at the same time, miracles and healings are not in the front focus of the work of God, but rather the Gospel and salvation independent of miracle seekers. Christ would not always do miracles when he was asked to, so why? Because Christ understood that the miracles and healings during his time of giving the gospel and effecting the gospel (His death and resurrection on the Cross) was necessary and correct in the will of God. Afterwards, there was a residual effect of the same upon his Apostles, but even during their lifetime, all this stopped.

It stopped not because of their lack of faith, nor because of their sins, but because God’s purpose for these miraculous things had ended, and the truth of the Gospel had to be carried forward on faith, and not on miraculous events surrounding the presentation and explanation of the Gospel.

Charismatic ministers want to presume that if there are no miracles, it is not of God. This serves Satan’s purposes well in that it would put the authentication of a message not on how well it adheres to the inspired word of God, but rather on how many miracles, and how great the miracles are. We examine Moises against the magicians of Egypt, and we see this dynamic play out. Who had the biggest miracle? But notice that all these were plagues that damaged the people and country of Egypt, and very quickly Pharaoh and the magicians stopped the copying because it was damaging to their own selves.

The issue became one of “their hardened heart” against the Word and commands of God. Miracles seekers are unfortunately disoriented to presume miraculous power equates with right or goodness. When that satanic supernatural power was confronted with divine supernatural power that beat it, then might no longer makes right. Pharaoh and the Egyptians were bested by a more powerful God, and the game changes, and they refused even though God’s man showed greater power that what they could do. Their rebellion at that point is not longer justified by “the Egyptians have a greater and more powerful god“, but rather, simply “we refuse to hear your God, no matter if he is greater or not.”

So when the talk of power comes right down to it, that is not the issue at all. These people and this concept is not about who has the greatest miraculous power, but rather the issue is direct disobedience and trying to justify a shift from the authority of God to some other authority, because the other authority has spiritual supernatural power.

The crowds followed Jesus to see the miracles of bread and eat the food, but that did not validate Jesus’ teachings to them. They still refused the spiritual commands to do their own will, using the supernatural simply as a distraction in the whole thing. They are “miracle seekers”, and as such, the miracles they seek didn’t reinforce the divine authority behind the message. They quickly ignored the content of the message of the divinely commissioned servant, focused on the miracles, and did what they wanted anyway. They used God and His men and their ministries to simply entertain them for a while.

3. Teachings of False Prophets on the Anointing

Benny Hinn’s concept of Anointing as Illustrative of the Error

Benny Hinn claims that he has the anointing of God, and his understanding and use of “anointing” is equivalent to “having the power of God on his ministry”. He says, “The anointing is the power of God.” ((Hinn, Benny. The Anointing. Nashville: Thomas Nelson. 1992. 74.)) Hinn and other Charismatics presume that the anointing of God (which in many biblical cases was accompanied with spiritual power, miracles, healings, etc) is always going to have the connection or presence of these “signs of power.” Even Paul, towards the end of his ministry experienced the waning of God’s power in the church, which is not necessary a reflection upon unspiritualness or disobedience by the ministers of his day, but simply that the time and purpose of God for special miraclous manifestations was drawing to a close. Paul could not even heal his own infirmities, and God told him to stop asking for that miraculous relief, and accept it as “a thorn in the flesh” that he was going to carry to the grave with him.

Modern Anointing as Impunity from Examination

In modern Christianity, the concept of being “anointed” is something different. Rather than doing the work of God, and therefore the minister has the anointing of God, and should be respected in his ministry, today’s modern Christainity is filled with false prophets who hide behind “the anointing of God.” The great difference between a good minister’s true anointing, and a wolf’s claim of the anointing is the use that each makes of this recognition of being “anointed”. The good minister of God justifies all he does with the Word of God, never dissuading any examination of his doctrine, ministry, practice, nor personal life “because he is anointed.” Rather he wishes others to respect the word of God, and the message of the Bible that he promotes and preaches. To the good minister, others recognize his anointing in the sense that they will repent and change at God’s message in his mouth.

The false prophet has a different agenda, because he wants others to unquestioningly obedience to him, submit to him, and never consider calling him to any accountability, especially in cases of his personal testimony or financial accountability. He wants his “anointing” to be respected in the sense that he is impugned from any kind of guilt, wrongdoing, or in any way being held accountable for his actions, words, or doctrine.

1John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would [no doubt] have continued with us: but [they went out], that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. 20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [(but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also]. 24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, [even] eternal life. 26These [things] have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. 27 But 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. 28And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

2Jn 1:7-11

1Tim 6:11

For actual teachings of these false prophets

  • Binny Hinn’s “The Anointing


The Anointing: Bible and Fiction
by Shawn Paul Sauve 1996

The Anointing by Dean & Laura VanDruff, 1996
Who is really anointed?

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