The Christian's Anointing

  (1 John 2:20 NKJV) But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.

(1 John 2:27 NKJV) But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.

(2 Corinthians 1:21-22 NKJV) Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, {22} who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

(Revelation 3:18 NKJV) "I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

There are 19 references to anointing in the New Testament. Four refer to anointing the sick. Four refer to the spiritual anointing that was on Jesus. Two refer to anointing as an ordinary Jewish custom. Five refer to the anointing of Jesus feet or His anointing for burial. The remaining four refer to the spiritual anointing that is on Christians and they are the verses shown above.

These verses show that the main purpose of the Christian's anointing is to help us to know God better. Both references in 1 John refer to knowledge and the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit, the Corinthians reference is to us being established in God, the reference in Revelation to spiritual perception. There is no implication that we ordinarily have to seek this particular anointing, it is something that all Christians have (1 John 2:20,27). It is part of the deposit of the Holy Spirit in our lives and comes as part of our salvation. (2 Corinthians 1:21,22)

This is consistent with other Scriptures that outline the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit.(John 14:26 NKJV) "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (1 Corinthians 2:10-12 NKJV) But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. {11} For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. {12} Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. "These verses show us that the Holy Spirit takes the things of God and reveals them to Christians so they can understand what a wonderful salvation they have. The anointing helps us to see what we have received in Jesus.

The anointing brings us knowledge which helps us to see. Just as a bird-watcher who knows about birds sees more happening in the woods than someone who is ignorant of ornithology the Christian who knows the things of God sees more and learns more from life. A continuous loop of learning is formed. The anointing opens our eyes that we may see, we then learn under the anointing and see even better which brings even more knowledge and so on. As Jesus said(Matthew 25:29 NKJV) 'For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.On the other hand unbelief results in lack of actual experience of the things of God and the gradual loss of knowledge so that the Christian loses the ability to see and spiritual darkness descends. The final sentence is"I am about to spit you out of my mouth.". If we are not learning the things of God for ourselves and finding that more and more is being given to us then we are sliding backwards and in danger of judgement.

A rather grim passage of warning in Hebrews tells us what is involved in being enlightened..(Hebrews 6:4-6 NKJV) For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, {5} and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, {6} if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.The enlightened Christian whose eyes have been opened by the Holy Spirit is a "taster" of the things of God. Tasting is experiential knowledge. Unlike seeing or hearing which can be done at a distance or even touching which can be "at arm's length" tasting involves immediate personal knowledge where you come close to, experience, and even take in some of the things of God. The anointing brings us into contact with the Holy Spirit, the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come. The person who wishes to continue in the anointing must taste the things of God and approve them. They must "eat" and "drink". They must not refuse what they now know for certain to be good. Most people do not think that the things of God are bad. They just think the things of the world are better. If we are to keep our spiritual eyes open we must highly value the things of God and gain an eternal perspective on the things of this world. Just before he wrote about the anointing the apostle John said(1 John 2:15-17 NIV) Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. {16} For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. {17} The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

What had gone wrong with the Laodecian church - so wrong that they needed an anointing of their spiritual eyes"and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see."? They were blind! Jesus says to them...(Revelation 3:17 NKJV) "Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'; and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked;"Their love of the world had made them blind to the things of God. They needed a new anointing if they were to understand even basic spiritual truths. Why do some Third World Christians seem to "see" the truths of God so much more clearly than we tend to? Why are so many Western Christians riddled with doubt? Why are our churches filled with sexual immorality, greed and apathy? Perhaps because we have not paid due attention to our anointing that helps us see. Perhaps because we think we know when we don't know at all. We receive from men but never directly for ourselves from God. If you think that you may not be seeing the things of your salvation clearly then ask Jesus to show you how to walk and live in the anointing you have already received. Ask Him to send the Holy Spirit to open your spiritual eyes. Lets go get some eye salve from Jesus!

Opening our spiritual eyes

Paul sees prayer as a vital weapon in developing our spiritual perception and "applying the eye salve" so that we can see the things of God most clearly.(Ephesians 1:17-20 NIV) I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. {18} I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, {19} and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, {20} which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,Though the Ephesians were undoubtedly Christians they still needed the eyes of their heart to be enlightened. This awakening is different to the awakening that occurs at conversion. This is not an awakening to sin but an awakening to hope. Look at what Paul says we will see when our eyes are order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, {19} and his incomparably great power for us who believe.Only saved people can know these sorts of truths. The anointing opens our eyes to the amazing goodness and immense power of God. I can testify that I am still learning about just how good and how powerful Jesus Christ is.

It is obviously God's will that we grow in the knowledge of Jesus. He has sent us His precious Holy Spirit to enable it. However it is far from automatic. We need to value and seek after truth. However He has promised to be abundant and generous to those who seek Him..(Matthew 7:7-11 NIV) "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. {8} For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. {9} "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? {10} Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? {11} If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Therefor the depths of the knowledge of God - the fruit of the anointing will be best found by those who diligently pursue it in faith. Thus the anointing requires a zealous obsession in those on whom it dwells. The cure for the Laodecian church was a renewal of zeal and right direction in their pursuit of God.(Revelation 3:19 NKJV) "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

Finally, receptiveness to the anointing is essential for its proper operation in our lives. We are to welcome Jesus work in us instead of resisting Him or locking Him out.(Matthew 10:14 NIV) If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.This receptiveness needs to be a deep internal work as the parable of the four soils shows(Matthew 13:23 NIV) But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."Spiritual things need to be received with an open-hearted faith(Mark 10:15 NIV) I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."Thus Jesus exhorted the Laodecian church to again become receptive to His ministry in their midst(Revelation 3:20 NIV) Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.Thus we need to open doors in our hearts to receive what to us is new revelation through the anointing. We must be open to being astonished and surprised by God for He is not predictable and His truths do not fit the traditions of this world. I am not suggesting that we be blown around be every wind of doctrine but rather that we be open to new truth springing forth from the word of God. It must be scripturally based. But as Luther said "There is yet more light to break forth from the Word of God".

Summary and Conclusion

All Christians have been given an anointing from God so that we may know the things that are of God. This anointing teaches us all things and is responsible for opening our spiritual eyes. Disregarding the anointing out of a preference for the things of the world is an insidious trap that leads to spiritual blindness and rejection by God. If we have headed in this direction we need to quickly repent. We can walk in the fullness of God's anointing power by prayer, by zealous pursuit of the knowledge of God and by receiving Him deeply into our hearts like a little child.

© Copyright Asian Internet Bible Institute 1997


Contact Asian Internet Bible Institute

Find out how to become a Christian.

Back Home


Copyright Asian Internet Bible Institute 1995-1999 For permission to use articles in your ministry e-mail the editor (John Edmiston at