477. The Blessing Of Being Anointed By God. But Who Are The  Anointed? (Part 4 of 4).  Some Possible Conclusions. 

WE come now to draw some possible conclusions from the 3 previous articles in this series humbly recognising that I, like every other believer, can get spiritual truths out of perspective. 

That can happen when we become enamoured by the teaching and practice of those who seem to be make things happen, when our own lives [and ministry] don’t seem to bear that same “fruit.”

It is all too easy for us to become part of “group think” when we delve deeply into the writings of those we have come to admire and we continue to avidly read the reports of what is happening in their lives and ministries. Nothing wrong with that, unless those “admired folk” disparage others who do not see things in the same way. No one person has all the truth, nor has any particular movement. That’s why we need to look closely at the Biblical text and also be open to be instructed by the interpretations of others who are also interested in gaining a deeper and more faithful understanding of the text. 

It would appear from the previous articles that the words I quoted at the beginning of this series appear to me to be true. I add to them in the following list, of possible conclusions based on all the articles.

  • Every believer is anointed by God with the Holy Spirit to indwell them, to impart the life of God in and through them. 
  • A believer cannot become more anointed than before. Anointing by God [chriō, χρίω], refers to a once for all sovereign act of God when He imparts the gift of the Holy Spirit to those who open themselves to Him in faith and repentance. 
  • No believer is more anointed than another believer. There are no degrees of anointing.  
  • A human is either anointed by God or is not, meaning believers possess the Spirit of God and unbelievers do not.
  • Failing to recognise the difference between the Old Testament and New Testament concepts of the term “anointing” may bring confusion to believers today. One cannot, for example, ask for a double-anointing of the Spirit in the same way Elisha asked of Elijah. [NOTE 1]. The New Testament concept of anointing makes no provision at all for that to happen. 
  • There is a danger in seeing some believers as more anointed than others. It could lead to arrogance and pride in those who see themselves in this way as the “Lord’s anointed” or as more anointed than others.
  • It could also lead to some immature believers embarking on a never-ending journey to receive more and more “anointings” of the Holy Spirit in their desire to please and serve God. 
  • Better rather, for believers to believe what God has said in His word about anointing and to ask God to continue filling them with the Holy Spirit with whom they have already been anointed and sealed. 
  • God’s word indicates there is one “anointing” for each individual believer.  However, praise God there are many possibilities of being filled with His Holy Spirit over and over again in one’s desire to love Him and serve Him unreservedly, to His glory! As Paul wrote in Ephesians 5, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:18-21.  [“Keep on being filled” is an accurate translation of the Greek verb in the present continuous passive Imperative.]
  • Praise God that every believer can know they were once -for -all anointed and sealed with His Spirit! But they are commanded to keep on being filled with the Spirit. This filling is not to be viewed as a drenching from without but as a release of the Spirit from within. As Jesus taught in John 7:38 “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”  John commented on this, “Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7:38-39. 
  • This seems to be the way in which Paul saw the indwelling Spirit as being the source of Christian agape love. He wrote in Romans 5:5, “and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out [NOTE 2] within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (NASB). 

Why then do some writers and speakers use terms such as these, which I have come across over recent years? Terms such as 

  • “heavy anointing’. Nothing in the New Testament to indicate such an occurrence. 
  • “double anointing.” Nothing in the New Testament to indicate such an occurrence
  • “passing on the anointing.” Sorry! It is the Lord who anoints individuals with His Holy Spirit. No other person has the authority or ability to do so. [We can anoint people with oil for healing but as we saw in a previous article in this series, that is described by a different New Testament word.]
  • “lying on the grave to absorb the anointing of a former saint.” If the Lord is the only One who can anoint with the Spirit, then what they are absorbing is certainly not the Holy Spirit! They may be gaining inspiration by being in close proximity to the human remains of a great servant of God from time past, but that is far different from ‘absorbing an anointing’. 
  • a sermon or a time of worship being described as “really anointed”. We have seen that the term ‘anointing’ refers to the gift of the Holy Spirit being poured out by the Lord on individuals who believe. Material things and human productions such as passionate preaching and singing beautifully to the Lord, can never be said to be anointed in biblical terms. The singing may be produced by a person who was anointed by the Lord at their conversion, but the singing is not anointed. It may give us great pleasure listening to beautiful singing but we can also derive great joy as a young singer nervously leads worship for the first time, whose notes in their nervousness, are not pure. We are blessed by their obvious willingness to lovingly serve the Lord to His glory.
  • “growing in the anointing.” One cannot grow in something that cannot grow. As we have seen before, anointing is the sovereign act of God when He gives individuals the gift of the Holy Spirit as they put their trust in Him.  He doesn’t keep on withdrawing the Spirit and then anointing individuals over and over again with increasing strength. No, He anoints them once at conversion and seals them at that same time with His Spirit. 

My concern is that I don’t see any justification for using these terms such as “anoint”, “anointed”, “anointing,” in the New Testament in the way I have described above.  For that reason, I see it as a dangerous and misleading emphasis in today’s Christian church. It may be that many folk have simply picked up the lingo of the day and have not yet checked the scriptural backing for those expressions. My prayer is that [if I am right in what I have written] they will go back to the Scriptures and begin to use those terms in the way the New Testament prescribes and not as they are used widely today.

A note of caution. What do you do when you hear someone using the term ”anointed” in a way that is not biblical? Hopefully you might be able to correct their wrong understanding by pointing to the truth of Bible verses on the topic, but doing it in a loving way and at an appropriate time and place. But we need to understand that God loves His people and wants the very best for them. He understands the words we pray but He also knows the motivation behind our words. That is why His answers to our prayers are often so much greater than we ever imagined they might be. 

What He is answering is the deep desire behind our inadequate words, a desire prompted by His indwelling Spirit in our hearts. As St Paul wrote, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26,27. God, the heart-searcher hears the words of our prayers but also what the Spirit is praying through them as they express their God-given desires in inadequate words. The Spirit’s words are in accord with the will of God and are answered in fulfilment of His will. God’s power is always greater than our ability to even imagine, as St Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:20, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” It may be that in the providence of God, those who are praying for a double anointing of the Spirit for example, are richly blessed by God, not because of the accuracy of their prayers, but because He was responding to their God-given desire to love Him and to see His kingdom extended.


  • [NOTE 1].  2Kings 2:9 ‘When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.”’
  • [NOTE 2]. “Poured out within our hearts.” The word for “poured out” [ekcheō; ἐκχέω] is a verb in Perfect tense indicating a past action with a present abiding result. The Holy Spirit with whom the believer is permanently sealed, is the instrument through whom God’s love is poured out within the believer’s heart. He is the reservoir through whom God’s divine agape love can flow out through the believer’s heart to touch the lives of others. It is the release of the fruit of the indwelling Spirit which is able to be manifest through believers’ lives. God’s love is the release of what exists within the believer [in the person of the Holy Spirit]. It is not another endowment from without.  

Blog No.477 posted on Tuesday 11 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 anointing, BIBLE PASSAGE OUTLINES, Bible verses. Comments, Evangelism, Faithfulness, Glorification, Healing, Holy Spirit, Justification, Mental Health, New Covenant, Prayer, Salvation, Sanctification, TOPICS and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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