474. The Blessing Of Being Anointed By God. (Part 2 of 4). Why The Dispensation Of The Holy Spirit May Differ In The New Testament Era From That In The Old Testament Era. 

In the previous article, we looked at the total list of occurrences of the words “anoint” or “anointing” in the New Testament. But it might be helpful to examine, before examining them in more detail, what differences might exist between the dispensation of the Holy Spirit in Old Testament times and what we find in the New Testament era. 

The Old Testament Dispensation of the Holy Spirit

In the Old Testament, prophets, priests and kings and others were anointed to signify their being set apart for the tasks God had prepared for them to do. They were given the gift of the Holy Spirit to help equip them for their ministry. However, the Spirit could be withdrawn as King Saul discovered, due to his disobedience, 1Sam 16:14 “Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the LORD tormented him”. 

When King David sinned against Bathsheba he pleaded with God not to withdraw His Holy Spirit from Him, “Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.”  Psalm 51:11. God didn’t remove His Spirit from David. David repented, confessed his sin and turned back to God. 

We see that the dispensation of the Holy Spirit would be different in the New Testament. In the following ways.

  • The Spirit would be poured out on all the believing people of God, not just upon a select few as in the Old Testament era. As Joel prophesied, the Holy Spirit would be poured out on all who believed whether old or young, male or female, whether slave or free. [NOTE 1]. Peter saw the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost as a fulfilment of that prophecy. “But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:“And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.” Acts 2:16-18. 
  • The gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit would mark them out as belonging to the people of God,  Romans 8:14, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” AND Rom 8:9  “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” The people of God possessed the Holy Spirit. Unbelievers did not!
  • The Holy Spirit would not be withdrawn as in the Old Testament era. God’s people would be “sealed” by the Holy Spirit. Eph 1:13 “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” AND Eph 4:30 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” AND  2 Cor 1:21 “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” Sealing denotes permanence and ownership by God! Sealed by Him, by His Spirit, for Him, forever!
  • Jesus fulfilled the prophecies about the Messiah and the messianic roles in the Old Testament. That is seen specially in Luke 4 where Jesus saw Himself as fulfilling the prophecy in Isaiah 61. [NOTE 2].  In Luke 4:16- 20 we read that Jesus read from this passage in the synagogue in Nazareth and then proclaimed, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” This was a claim to be the long-promised Messiah. As Paul wrote in 2 Cor 1:21 “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” 
  • In brief, JESUS IS THE ANOINTED ONE, fulfilling in Himself all the shadows or prototypes of His ministry in the Old Testament. 

He is THE PROPHET in a way no other prophet could fulfil the role. 

He is THE PRIEST who offered the only one true sacrifice for sin in offering Himself. 

He is THE KING with everything in heaven and on earth under His over-riding rule.  He is the One who is now able to baptise those who trust in Him with the Holy Spirit, in what Paul and John described as their anointing. 

  • Therefore we cannot just take the mention of anointing in the Old Testament and try to impose its meaning on the concept of anointing in the New Testament. The reason is that THE ANOINTED ONE, Jesus has come and has fulfilled all the prophecies about anointing in the Old Testament. That is why there is probably so little mention of anointing in the New Testament. The SUBSTANCE [the ANOINTED ONE] has come in Jesus. He is THE CHRISTOS, THE MESSIAH, THE ANOINTED ONE. The shadows fade. Fulfilled! By THE CHRISTOS! The Anointed One. Who Anoints His People with the Holy Spirit!

In the next article, we will look at an analysis of all the verses on “anointing” in the New Testament as relating to believers.



[NOTE 1]  Joel 2:28-29.  “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 29 Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.”   

[NOTE 2]. Isaiah 61, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favour, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.”

Blog No. 474 posted on Wednesday 05 April 2023

About Jim Holbeck

Once an Industrial Chemist working for the Queensland Government but later an Anglican minister in Brisbane, Armidale and Sydney. Last position for eighteen years before retirement in 2006 was as the Leader of the Healing Ministry at St Andrew's Cathedral Sydney.
This entry was posted in BIBLE PASSAGE OUTLINES, Bible verses. Comments, Creation, Evangelism, Faithfulness, Forgiveness, Glorification, Healing, Holy Spirit, Justification, Mental Health, New Covenant, Prayer, Salvation, Sanctification, TOPICS and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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