The Law of the Anointing--Part 2
Jan 26, 2008
To be anointed is to be enchristed. The word "Christ" simply means an anointed one. So why is it that Jesus was called "The Christ"? There is no record that He was ever physically anointed with oil upon His head. Even John the Baptist did not anoint Him with oil, but only with water.
Of course, baptism, as established in the Old Testament, was done by sprinkling or pouring. Hebrews 9:10 speaks of "divers washings" (KJV), or "various washings" (NASB). The Greek term used in this verse is baptismos, or baptisms. The Pharisees chided Jesus' disciples, who did not "baptize" their hands before eating (Mark 7:3, 4). It was traditional to pour water over their hands to purify them (ritualistically) before eating, as well as to sprinkle cups and pots and copper vessels.
This was an anointing of water. The sons of Aaron were sprinkled with purifying water (Lev. 8:7), and those who had been healed of leprosy were to be sprinkled seven times with water (Lev. 14:7). In fact, it was by this law that Naaman, the Syrian general, was cleansed of his leprosy (2 Kings 5:10) by following Elisha's instructions.
There was also an anointing of blood. In Exodus 29:1 Moses sprinkled Aaron and his sons with blood, which authorized them to sprinkle blood upon the altar. Ex. 24:8 says,
"So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, 'Behold, the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words'."
The third type of anointing was using oil. The holy anointing oil was a special formulation to be used by Aaron and the priests. There is no reason to think that Samuel anointed David with that oil, or that Elijah anointed Hazael king of Syria (1 Kings 19:15), with anything other than ordinary olive oil. We have also seen how frankincense was used in the meal offerings and on the Table of Showbread (or the Bread of Presence). This is a type of anointing oil that signifies the fullness of the Spirit which brings the bodily change at the Feast of Tabernacles.
We might also mention a fourth baptism--the baptism of fire--which John mentioned in Matt. 3:11, "He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." This was primarily a reference to the baptism of the Holy Spirit that began in Acts 2:3, when the "tongues of fire" came upon them in the upper room.
The baptism of fire is primarily a baptism into Pentecost. We see it prophesied on that first Pentecostal day when God came down as fire upon Mount Sinai and spoke to everyone in their own language. No doubt the mixed multitude among them all heard the voice of God that day in their own language. However, the people refused to draw near to God (the consuming Fire), and so they withdrew from the Pentecostal baptism of fire that was offered to them (Ex. 20:21).
The baptism of fire has to do with the "fiery law" that God gave at Sinai (Deut. 33:2). The purpose of Pentecost is to hear the law spoken by the voice of God, and to have it written upon the tables of our hearts. That "fire" consumes "the flesh" in order that we might be transformed into His image.
Thus, when Hebrews 6:2 speaks of "the doctrine of baptisms" in the plural, it is not a misstatement. And yet, all the baptisms of Scripture are ultimately "one baptism" (Eph. 4:5). Even as there are many parts in Christ's body, there is ultimately only one body, as Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 12:12-14. So also is it with baptism.
Baptism imparts the Holy Spirit in different ways and in varying measures. But the ultimate goal is the baptism with oil, which signifies more than just the presence of the Holy Spirit. It has to do with authority as well.
Jesus had three occasions where He was "baptized," not necessarily with physical instruments. Each occasion, though, is marked by the divine pronouncement: "Thou art My beloved Son." The first was when he was baptized with water (Matt. 3:17).
The second was on Mount Hermon when He was transfigured (Matt. 17:5). At that point He began to reveal to the disciples that He would have to "suffer at their hands" (vs. 12), even as John the Baptist had suffered. In other words, He was speaking of the baptism of blood. This was to fulfill the law in Ex. 29:21, which said that Aaron and his garments were to be sprinkled with blood. In other words, it was a prophetic requirement that to be a true High Priest, one must be willing to die for sins of the people.
The third occasion was at Christ's ascension to the right hand of God, for after speaking of how Christ "sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high," we read in Heb. 1:5,
"For to which of the angels did He ever say, 'Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee'? And again, 'I will be a Father to Him, and He shall be a Son to Me'?"
Jesus set the pattern for all of us, for the body goes where the Head goes, even though the body is always subordinate. As His body, He "raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6). In other words, because He is enthroned in heaven, and we are His body, we too are seated with Him and in Him.
This has yet to be worked out in application. There are some who think that if we just "believe this enough," it will be so. They think that if they can just work up enough faith, then they will instantly have the full authority of Christ on His throne in heaven. But in practice, this is not faith, but positive thinking. Faith is not genuine without believing EVERY WORD that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4).
If we want to have the full authority of Christ, we must follow in His footsteps. These three baptisms represent Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. These also represent levels of spiritual maturity. Even as we would not give the car keys to a three-year-old, so also does Christ not give the keys of the Kingdom to those who remain in the realm of Passover.
Pentecost is a time when Christ begins to give certain levels of spiritual authority to his teen-age children. It is a time of learning and on-the-job training. There is much trial and error. Many mistakes are made, and the abuse of spiritual gifts is rampant. But to those who overcome, those who truly mature in Christ and seek the will of the Father above their own wills, the final gift of the placement of sons (huiothesia) is given. These are the ones who can be trusted with the keys of the Kingdom.
These are the overcomers mentioned in the message to the seven churches of Rev. 2 and 3. These are also the faithful servants Jesus referenced in Luke 12:42-44, of whom it is said, "Truly I say to you, that He will put him in charge of all His possessions."
By contrast, those servants (Pentecostals) who "beat the servants" by abusing those entrusted to their care will receive either few or many lashes, according to their knowledge of God's will. Such beatings include beating money out of the people and defrauding them with promises of wealth if they will just give their wealth to the leader. Those multi-millionaire preachers who care only about accumulating wealth for themselves and for their own comfort, while others groan in poverty, are the ones who will receive many lashes. If they are truly justified by faith, they will be "saved yet so as through fire" (1 Cor. 3:15). But they will not receive that final anointing of the overcomers, for they proved they could not be entrusted with authority to rule in Christ's throne.
To be a priest of God (Rev. 20:6), one must be sprinkled with blood. One must identify with His death and bear some portion of it as it seems good to the Father. This is the heart of true intercession, which is a major function of priesthood.
This is the final part of a series titled "The Law of the Anointing." To view all parts, click the link below.