Anointed By God
I want to read to you the 23rd Psalm.
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul, He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Thou hast anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
In all the things that are mentioned in that Psalm, we see one theme, illustrated over and over again. And that theme is, the providence of God. We see the sustenance of God, in providing everything that we need, and we see the protection of God. It’s really summed up quite well in the last part of verse 5, with these words; “Thou hast anointed my head with oil, my cup runneth over.”
You can imagine what it means for your cup to run over, can’t you? It’s a figurative phrase, isn’t it? Doesn’t it basically mean that God blesses you so much, and that He provides so much for you, that you’re simply full, and even overfull with blessings from God. I can’t hold any more blessings, they’re already running over! That’s easy enough to understand, right?
But do you know what it means for God to have “anointed my head with oil”? That’s another figurative phrase, just like “my cup runneth over”. The literal meaning of the Hebrew word “anointed”, means.. “to be fat, to grow fat, or to be fattened”. So then, what would that mean figuratively? To have been fattened, and to have grown fat from the Lord? How does the Lord “make you grow fat”? He does it by blessing you abundantly. By filling you up, to the point that you’ve become “fat” with blessings.
“Thou hast anointed my head with oil.” Do you know what one of the meanings of the word “oil” is? It means “fat”. A lot of natural oils come from the fat of animals. And “Olive oil” is basically the “fat” of the olive.
When it says in Psalm 23, that the Lord has “anointed my head with oil”, it means that God has “fattened us” with the “fat” of His blessings. Oil was always considered to be an ointment to treat sickness and disease. So then “ointment” is another one of the meanings of the word “oil”. And it can also mean “fertile” and “lavish”. Don’t all those words fit in with the idea of blessings from God? The lavishness, and the fertileness and the ointment of God’s blessings. We’re made fat with the fat from God!
Here’s some verses where that word is translated “fat”, instead of “annointed”.
Deuteronomy 31:20 says; “..And they have eaten, and are satisfied, and have become fat..”
Proverbs 11:25 says; “The generous man will be prosperous”. The KJ says; “..shall be made fat”.
Proverbs 13:4 says; “The soul of the diligent is made fat.”
Proverbs 15:30 says; “Good news puts fat on the bones.” Remember Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones, in Ezekiel chapter 37? God took old dead dry bones, and He made them alive again, and He put “fat” on them. He made them come alive with His blessings.
There’s another way in which the word is also used though. Listen to this verse, and see if you can figure out the connection. Numbers 4:13 says; “Then they shall take away the ASHES from the alter..” What does the word “ashes” have to do with prospering and being made fat? The answer to that, is that most of the meat from the animals that were sacrificed, was used for food. And it was the fat portions that were left to be completely burned up. Therefore the ashes that were removed from the alter, were from the parts of the animal that had consisted of the “fat” of the animal.
Now there’s still one more way that the word is used in the old testament, and that’s in Psalm 20, verse 3, where it says; “May He remember all your meal offerings, and find your burnt offering acceptable.” “Acceptable” is the word used here. To be “accepted” by God, means.. to be “anointed” by God.
In the new testament, There are several words which are translated “anoint”, or “annointed”. But one of those words is sometimes used to mean.. “to appoint, or to consecrate”. This seems to go along with that old testament meaning of being “accepted” by God. If God appoints someone, or consecrates them to do a specific work, then that person would be “acceptable” to God, as the one whom He has chosen for the work.
For example; Jesus said in Luke 4:18; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.” In other words, God has appointed, and consecrated, and accepted Jesus as the one to preach the gospel to the poor. Jesus goes on to say, in this same verse, “He has SENT Me, to proclaim release to the captives..” God chose Jesus for the job; He accepted Him, and appointed Him, and consecrated Him, and sent Hm. God “anointed” Jesus.
Here’s another example; Hebrews 1:9; This is speaking about Jesus again; “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated lawlessness, therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee, with the oil of gladness, above Thy companions.” Once again, Jesus has been chosen by God, and accepted by God, because He loved righteousness. Therefore God “anointed” Jesus as the Christ! Peter said in Acts 2:36; “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain, that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified!”
What kind of oil did God use to anoint Jesus? He used the “oil of gladness”. In other words, with the fat and the ointment, of delight and exultation, and joy! That’s what “gladness” means. Acts 2:33 says that Jesus had been “exalted to the right hand of God!” He was made both Lord and Christ, “with the oil of gladness”.
Are we, as Christians, “anointed by God”? Paul wrote, in 2 Corinthians 1:21 & 22; “Now He who establishes us, with you in Christ, and anointed us, is God. Who also sealed us and gave us, the Spirit within our hearts, as a pledge.” God establishes us in Christ, and anoints us. That’s just like saying that God makes us stand firm, on solid ground, in Christ, and that he consecrates us to the work of a Christian. We stand in the gospel, 1 Corinthians 15:1. And we stand in God’s grace, Romans 5:2.
God has established us. That word also means.. “to ratify and confirm”. 2 Corinthians 1:22 said that God “sealed us, and gave us the Spirit within us, as a pledge”. Remember how being “sealed” means that we are marked for God’s own possession? So when we understand the meanings of the words, and of the phrases that God has used, we can then understand the meaning of what it means, to be “anointed by God”.
God has established us, and made us to stand on solid ground in Christ. And He has appointed us and accepted us, as His children, and as “ambassadors for Christ”, as Paul puts it in 2 Corinthians 5, verse 20. And He’s done this because of our obedience to His word. Because we were willing to allow His Spirit to dwell within us, through our obedience, God has therefore used that Spirit within us, to denote His ownership over us, and to also use that Spirit as a down-payment toward eternal life.
That is what it means to be “anointed by God”. It’s not referring to some miraculous gift that God has given to us. And it’s not directly referring to the Spirit dwelling within us. But rather, being “anointed by God”, is referring to the fact that God has chosen us, and accepted us, and consecrated us, BECAUSE we made the choice to allow His Spirit to dwell in us.
Pentecostals, and those of similar beliefs, think that unless you’ve been given some miraculous gift from the Holy Spirit, that you haven’t been “anointed” by the Holy Spirit, and that you can’t experience the full blessings of being a Christian. As a matter of fact, they think that you haven’t really been fully accepted by God.
But when you study the scriptures, and when you study the true meaning of the words and phrases that the scriptures use, you see that being anointed by God has nothing to do with anything miraculous. It means that you HAVE been accepted by God! It means that God has chosen you out of the world.
It’s like what Jesus said in John 15:19; “..But because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you OUT of the world..”
In Acts 10:38, speaking of Jesus, the scriptures do specifically say, that “God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power..” Jesus, just like all of us, was both physical and spiritual. But the very Spirit of Jesus, was the Spirit of God. So then it’s no wonder that the scriptures say that “God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit”, because the Spirit BEGAT Jesus!
But nowhere in the scriptures, does it say that Christians are anointed with the Holy Spirit. The scriptures use the phrase “filled with the Holy Spirit” to denote that someone has been given miraculous power from God. But only select people in new testament times, were “filled with the Holy Spirit”. On the other hand, ALL Christians have “been anointed by God”, because God has “accepted” all Christians, and “consecrated” all Christians, within the body of Christ.
“Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:27.
Here’s another verse that we should address; 1 John 2:27. “As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you. And you have no need for anyone to teach you, indeed the anointing teaches you about all things, and is true, and is not a lie. And just as it has taught you, abide in Him.”
Now again, people seem to be obsessed with finding something miraculous here too. But the bible has been clear, that to be “anointed by God”, is to have been accepted, and appointed, and consecrated to a specific position. And that position is to be a child of God, a member of the body, and an ambassador of Christ, for the purpose of preaching His word. And this acceptance by God, has been conditioned upon our obedience to His word, and by having the Spirit of His word dwelling in us. When we fulfill those conditions, then in the words of Jesus, He has “chosen us out of the world”.
So then, our anointing is God’s acceptance of us because of His word dwelling in us. Now that verse in 1 John 2:27 says; “The anointing which you received, abides in you..” Meaning that His Spirit does abide in us. And the verse says; “..You have no need for anyone to teach you, indeed the anointing teaches you about ALL things..”
Listen to what 2 Peter 1, verse 3 says; “Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything, pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
We have no need to be taught by anyone, because the word has already taught us. Peter says we’ve been taught, “through the TRUE knowledge of Him who called us..” And John says; “..the anointing teaches you all things, and is TRUE..”
And then John says; “..and just as it has taught you, abide in Him”. And it was also John who said in 2 John verse 9; “..the one who abides in the teaching, has both the Father and the Son.”
We are anointed by God, BECAUSE of the Spirit that dwells in us. The “anointing” isn’t a miraculous “gift of the Spirit”, but rather it’s our consecration by God, BECAUSE of the “Spirit within us”.
One last verse; James 5:14. “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, having anointed him with oil, in the name of the Lord.” Is this talking about something miraculous? Is the anointing with oil, going to miraculously heal the one who is sick?
Actually, the very next verse tells us that it’s not the anointing that heals anyone, but it is the prayer that accomplishes the healing. Listen to verse 15; “And the prayer of faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.”
Verse 16 says; “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
These verses are not talking about physical sickness, but rather, they are talking about spiritual sickness. It’s the same usage of the word “sick”, as in 1 Corinthians 11:29 & 30. These verses are talking about the Lord’s supper. Listen; “For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not discern the body rightly.” Remember how verse 27 warned us not to partake of the Lord’s supper in an “unworthy manner”? If we do partake in an “unworthy manner”, we’ll be “guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.”
So Paul says, if we don’t “discern the Lord’s body”, that we’ll be judged by God, and then he says in verse 30; “For this reason, many among you are weak and sickly, (that word “weak” is the same word used by James when he said; “Is any among you sick”.
It says in James 5:13; “Is anyone among you suffering? (that could be any kind of suffering; Physical suffering, or suffering through circumstances) So then, “Is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any among you cheerful? Let him sing praises.” And in verse 14, it says; “Is any among you sick?” (or weak spiritually) “Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray in his behalf, anointing him with oil, in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will restore the one who is sick.” (spiritually sick)
The word in this verse, that is translated “anointed”, is a word that is specifically used to denote either anointing done for medicinal purposes, or anointing done for the purpose of showing Homage to someone. Such as when Mary “anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair..” John 11, verse 2.
So then, that’s what the anointing in James chapter 5 is all about. Nothing miraculous going on there.
And there’s nothing miraculous going on, when we are “established and anointed by God”, as it says in 2 Corinthians 1:21.
Nothing miraculous to the anointing of 1 John 2:27, when the Spirit within us “teaches us all things.”
I hope that this helps you understand, how all the false doctrines about Christians being “anointed with the Holy Spirit”, are contradictory to what the bible actually teaches.
We are “anointed by God” when He accepts us, and establishes us in His kingdom, as the result of our obedience to His word.
There’s nothing mysterious about God’s word is there? It just takes a little study, and a lot of faith. But to help you along, take the time required, to learn the meaning of the words and phrases, that God has used in the bible.