I teach realised redemption for all from a full-preterist view of eschatology, but I am not a cessationist. Many preterist’s are cessationist believing that the gifts of the Holy Spirit ended with the destruction of Jerusalem, the resurrection and catching away of the believers in 70 AD.
Nevertheless the seed of the word of God was sown in the generations that outlived those believers. Eventually in the late first century into the second century new believers began to multiply again, and the movement picked up momentum. The argument that the gifts of the Spirit ceased at the time of the last apostle or at the AD 70 event is not confirmed by history. It is just the opposite. The witness of the early church fathers demonstrates that there has never been a cessation of the gifts. One or a handful of testimonies could be dismissed as misinformation from misguided passionate people, but the overwhelming plethora of evidence creates a strong case for the continuance of those gifts. Many of the Church fathers throughout history such as Theodore of Mopsuestia, St. Augustine of Hippo, St. John Chrysostom, Clement, Origen, Mosheim, Irenaeus, Justyn Martyr, Martin Luther all tell of miracles and healings in their writings.
Hebrews 6:5 KJV
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come.
The age to come for the writer of Hebrews was the age that was about to begin. We know the book of Hebrews was written only briefly before the 70 AD destruction. The word “to come” is from the Greek word “Mello” meaning; about to, as in about to happen anytime now. The Apostles and Christians who lived between 30 AD and 70 AD experienced a foretaste of Powers of God of the age that was about to begin after 70 AD. This new age (not an esoteric new age) would be the age of the Kingdom of God of which Jesus foretold that it was near. It is the age of grace as opposed to the age of the law of Moses. This new age of the Kingdom of God is what we are under and will forever increase. It makes absolutely no sense to claim the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the power of God would not operate after 70 AD, no.. Of the INCREASE of his government [kingdom] and peace there will be no end.” (Is. 9:7).
Let’s continue to look at the scriptures studying the subject of the Gifts, Anointing, Power and working of the Holy Spirit. Different organised church groups of our time have been privileged to have had the examples of men and women who knew something about the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The list is much longer of course but here are a few of the names of the last two centuries; John Alexander Dowie, William Branham, A.A. Allen, Aimee Semple McPherson, Kathryn Kuhlman, Smith Wigglesworth, John G Lake, T.L. Osborne, Oral Roberts, Kenneth E. Hagin Sr, Rodney Howard Browne and many, many more. Each have been very influential in teaching Christians about the move, working and gifts of the Spirit. I’m so grateful that these pioneers had the courage to trust God in the face criticism and opposition from mainstream “acceptable” Christianity.
Much of today’s teaching in local churches around the world however is still tainted by a very legalistic theology in the overall interpretation of scripture. I focussed on taking scriptures which have commonly been used in teaching on this subject but often turned into religious clichés over the last few decades or so. This material has been developed first because of what I’ve observed as a rise of scepticism and apathy concerning the Holy Spirit and the Power of God. Secondly to help believers to become established in a New Testament Grace based understanding of this ministry of the Holy Spirit. Ultimately the goal is to help you become a more able vessel for the Holy Spirit to use you.
The Last Great Revival?
I do not refer to a “round the corner, swift coming last great revival or move of God”. For the last 30+ years I have heard the messages, sermons and preachers proclaim that God is going to move like never before in these last days. First, the “Last days” were the last days of the Sinaitic Covenant in the first century and the last day ended when the Temple in Jerusalem was burned to the ground. Secondly, if we are to wait for God to move, we can wait a very long time. That’s because God has done His bit. He is waiting for us to move. History shows that every time a believer took God at His Word and acted upon it then God was able to confirm His Word with signs, miracles, and wonders. A mighty move of God in the earth is much dependent upon us acting by faith in what Christ has already accomplished. Then we release the power of God. That’s when we will witness a mighty move of God.
I believe the waves of the Spirit sweeping through the Church will progressively increase and become more powerful as time goes on, no matter how many decades and centuries it will take. Some moves will be stronger than others. It depends on how people yield and learn to flow with the Holy Spirit. It is largely dependent upon people standing upon the Word of God and taking steps of faith. Times of revival and dry seasons are not dependent upon what mood God is in or some random decision He might make. There may have been perceived “dry seasons” but that is all it is. Your perception. People are getting healed and delivered and miracles are happening in different parts of the world as you read this material. Then there is the annoying phenomenon where the Holy Spirit is moving in a meeting. Things begin to pick up and people are getting touched, some are receiving healing, some are crying, some are laughing, some are praising and worshiping God, then suddenly,…the Pastor gets up and because he hasn’t got a clue what to do, he feels the need to say something. That preacher then acknowledges that God is moving and announces that people should come forward to confess their sins. What!? Aaargh. By doing so that Pastor just threw a wet blanket over the meeting and stopped the flow and moving of the Holy Spirit. Not because the Holy Spirit is fragile, He is not. It’s because the people were being set free, and the announcement of having to come forward to confess sins quickly put the people back into a legalistic self-righteous mentality. I have seen this happen so many times. Once we yield to the the Holy Spirit and allow Him to move, we must continue to let Him move, and perhaps shut up, only until He prompts us to speak. If He prompts you to speak it’s likely to be under the anointing and some of the utterance gifts, like prophecy, the speaking in tongues, or interpretation of tongues, could be expressed. Until then let Him Move!
There is always somebody somewhere in the world who’s receiving a healing miracle. There’s always some evangelist who’s seeing the crowds accepting the Gospel and getting filled with the Holy Spirit. There’s always some local Church somewhere experiencing a mighty invasion of the glorious presence of God to the point that ministers can’t even stay on their feet. (2 Chronicles 5:14-6:1 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God. KJV) There are always believers somewhere who are used of God to introduce the miraculous and supernatural power of God to the world. If people are taught of the working God’s Spirit things will pick up. As a result of good teaching around this subject, you won’t hear about a move of God in some remote place in the world. You won’t have Christians from all over the world travelling to that place to try and catch that move. There won’t be the odd sporadic outburst of glory. Whether in this generation or those to follow there is an increase on the rise. A mighty wave is picking up momentum which is formed by the concentration of many “smaller” waves and will overshadow previous moves of God. May I even add that due to the last two years of awakening of the population across the world in response to the pandemic and other crisis’ situations, it appears to me that the world is about to experience God like we have never seen in history seen.
In 1995 I heard Br. Kenneth E. Hagin testify in a meeting at Rhema Bible Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. He said that the Lord spoke to him and said: “There is a move of the Spirit, if you don’t teach my people, it will be lost to this generation”. In his last years he did what he could to emphasize that move of the Spirit. What validity is there to skepticism and unbelief when the results are no move of the Holy Spirit, no healing’s, no miracles, and ultimately mechanical religion with no heart.
When the Spirit moves, let Him move!
Note: In this study the words anointing, gifts, the Holy Spirit and the Power of God are often used interchangeably.
What is the anointing?
The Anointing, the Unction, and the Ointment: The KJV uses these different words, but they are one and the same thing. In the O.T. the anointing- oil was specially prepared oil for use in the tabernacle and temple. All the elements in the temple were consecrated by this oil. The dictionary explains the word “consecrate” as meaning: to set apart or to dedicate to the service of a deity. This anointing oil symbolises the Holy Spirit and the Power of God. In the days of the Sinaitic Covenant it was usually the Prophet, Priest and King who were consecrated with this oil for the work unto which they were called. In this consecration ritual a lot of this special oil was poured over their head and would of course then drip down and cover the rest of the body and soak their clothing.
Psalm 133:2 KJV
2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments.
The Hebrew word for “anoint” is: Mashach, which means: to rub with oil, by implication – to consecrate, it also means to paint, and the Greek word is: Chrio, which means: to smear or rub with oil, i.e. to consecrate to an office for religious service.
The King, the Priest and the Prophet were not just set apart for their work of service. They were empowered and or inspired by the Holy Spirit to do this work.
The ritual of being anointed symbolized two things then:
1. To be consecrated and set apart as a vessel unto God, the Holy Spirit to be used by Him for a work of service.
2. To be empowered and or inspired by the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit would work and perform His mighty deeds through them.
All of those who were anointed in the Old Testament were in fact a type of the Christ who would come and be anointed by Yahweh.
Luke 4:17-18 NKJV
17 And He (Jesus) was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 18 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me.
Then read: Acts 10:38 KJV
38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost (one) and with power (two): who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
The New Covenant no longer requires that specially prepared anointing oil. Even though oil was sometimes used by the first generation of Christians to pray for the sick, (James 5:13-14) it is was not a requirement as it was under the Law of Moses.
The anointing oil as it was especially prepared under the Sinaitic Covenant was a type pointing to the anointing with the Holy Spirit and power that came on Jesus. That anointing on Jesus is the antitype and the real thing of what was foreshadowed in the anointing oil. But there is still a pouring and smearing on. God poured and smeared on to Jesus that anointing of the Holy Spirit and Power.
The anointing on Jesus is made up of
1. The Holy Spirit who is a person. He is the third person of the Holy Trinity, co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and God the Son, fully and completely God.
2. Power is impersonal and like electrical power on Earth heaven’s power functions when the conditions are right.
Jesus of Nazareth is like saying Patrick from Amsterdam (put your name and town in there if you like). This is referring to Jesus’ humanity. You see, even though Jesus was and is the second person of the Godhead made man, He did not do the things He did, such as healing miracles as God. He ministered as a man anointed by God. Through this picture God is saying to us that we can do the same works Jesus did (John 14:12) when operating under His anointing.
An in between note for a different study about how Jesus in His humanity was the Son of God. He obtained revelation from the Tanakh about His identity as the Son of Yahweh and His right standing position with the Father. It is on that foundation that the anointing could powerfully operate through His life. Today many Christians are filled with the Holy Spirit and all of them have access to the power of God. However, if they are not established in their identity in Christ they will struggle in operating in the gifts and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Unction, Ointment, Anointing, say what?
Psalm 133:2 KJV
2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
The word “Ointment” is used 27 times in the King James Translation of the Bible. As unfamiliar we may be with this word it simply has the same meaning as the word “Anointing”.
1 John 2:20 KJV
20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
Why this verse says “unction” I don’t know. The word “an” is not found in the Greek manuscript and unction again means the same as the word anointing in the verse below.
1 John 2:27 KJV
27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
The words anointing and unction in the two different verses above are one and the same Greek word: Chrisma and means; an unguent or smearing, i.e. (figuratively) the special endowment (“chrism”) of the Holy Spirit.
The context in which the words “THE Anointing” and the “SAME Anointing” is used in verse 1 John 2:20 and 2:27 indicates that this Anointing or Unction is only one of a kind. In other words, there are not many anointing’s, there is only one type of anointing, which THE anointing which we received of Jesus. The same anointing that is on Jesus is the same anointing we received.
Acts 2:33 KJV
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
At the baptism of Jesus in the river Jordan the Holy Spirit descended upon Him. From then on, He was empowered to perform His Ministry. When Jesus ascended to the Father to sit at His right hand, He poured out the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Jesus poured forth THE one and only anointing that was upon Him to be received by all believers.
Jesus is the channel through and by whom all blessings and anointing flow
In the Old Testament there are many insights into the anointing, the Gifts, and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit and His Power, clearly leading up to the revelation of “Jesus THE Anointed One”, in the New Testament.
The word “Christ” is the Greek for the Anointed One, and the word “Messiah” is Hebrew for the Anointed One.
Let’s look again at: Psalms 133:1-3 KJV
1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious ointment (anointing) upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
This Old Testament Psalm describes the rite of the anointing of the High Priest, which is a type and a shadow of what we have in the New Testament. Jesus is the Great High Priest of the New Covenant. He is the head of the Church which is His body of which each believer is a member. The anointing that was on Jesus and eternally will be upon Him flows from Him down to every member of His body, that is to every believer.
Miracle working power
Remember the anointing on our Lord Jesus the Christ is made up out of the Holy Spirit and the Power of God. There is something here we ought to know about this second element of the anointing. I’m talking about the power.
Luke 10:18-20 KJV
18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
The first word power of which Jesus said He has given His disciples is translated here from the Greek word “Exousia”, which also means: authority, Jurisdiction, Right and literally power. But then the word power from Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power… comes from the Greek word: Dunamis which means: miracle working power.
You see it has been said that the power that Jesus gave us is really authority. This is sort of true. It is really Jesus’ authority, and He gives us access to it. But this power He gave us is also literal power as in force or energy. His dunamis or dynamic power has authority over all other kinds of powers. It is superior to the powers or energies of this world. It is more powerful than nuclear energy! It is an actual heavenly force or energy!
Our King James Bible actually uses the word “virtue” in the verses below to describe this power.
Mark 5:24-34 KJV
24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him. 25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, 26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, 27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. 28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. 29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? 31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. 34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
I don’t know why the word “virtue” was used here but this word is the same Greek word “dunamis” translated as power in Acts 10:38. Jesus could feel this power flow out of Him when the woman touched Him.
Referring to Luke 10:19 where Jesus said that He gave us power… over all the power of the enemy; this power of the enemy is also from the Greek word “dunamis”. The serpents and scorpions is symbolical language for demonic spirits who can also release some kind of dark power. Those who have been deeply involved in witchcraft know that there is such a thing as a demonic anointing. This demonic anointing is a combination of the influence of demons and this dark power or energy. This energy is not electrical or physical. It is a spiritual power. Just like God’s anointing is a heavenly substance which brings healing and deliverance so is this dark power a spiritual substance. It is a perversion of some kind which can be imagined as a semi fluid tar. This dark power can be used to cause many sicknesses and illnesses. It was January of the year 1988, when I had an encounter with Jesus. I attended a local Pentecostal Church. After the elders had prayed for me for a while, I closed my eyes, and I could see a hand reaching out from heaven into the back of my head. The hand removed a black blob of tar looking substance from of the back of my brain. Then hand disappeared holding the tar looking substance, and I felt light in my head afterwards.
However, Jesus said that He has given us a far more superior power by which we can tread upon all (not just some) of the dunamis-power of the enemy. We don’t only have authority, we can let this holy heavenly power of God flow out of us and it will totally consume the power of the enemy. The power of God will heal the sick and drive sickness out. If evil spirits are present, they will flee for they are seriously petrified of this power from Heaven.
This power also worked in the Apostle Paul’s life.
Acts 19:11-12 KJV
11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.
Br. Kenneth E. Hagin Sr., in his book: “Understanding the Anointing” explains that this power was actually “stored” in cloth and so taken to the sick. When the material then touched the sick person that power was transferred into their body and they were healed and any evil spirits present left them.
I know from experience that this works. In many of our meetings we have prayed for sick people who were not at the meeting, but we laid hands on handkerchiefs and shawls which were taken to them with many very good results.
In this world where we hear of pandemics and other threatening hazards attacking the people’s health we are called upon to dig even deeper into the well of God’s saving grace to heal the sick, and perform miracles. In the following articles we will discuss more rich material on this topic.