Anointing. What is It?


 A follow up to “Do Calvinists Cast Out Demons?”

(Some of this is not original. I am proud to admit that I stole a few of the ideas from Mark Rutland. Of all the influences in my life, Dr. Mark Rutland ranks at the very top. No other single individual has even come close to shaping my view of who Jesus is, how to do ministry and the nature of the kingdom of God as much as he has. He is a voice that America desperately needs to hear.)

“Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them.” Luke 5:17

We hear this word “anointing”  bandied about quite often, especially among Pentecostals and Charismatics. I wonder though if many understand it at all? Oh, certainly there are those academics who can draft a precise, twenty-five word paragraph on the theological definition. This, however, is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about something textural.

Anointing, I know what it is until you ask me. I know when I’m anointed and when I’m not but if you ask me to explain it I am left rather speechless. I perhaps could do a better job at explaining what it isn’t.

On occasion, some will compliment me by saying, “Well, it’s about time we heard some really anointed preaching!” or “Man! Were you ever anointed!” This is nice affirmation but sometimes I just wonder if people (more precisely) Christians have any discernment whatsoever. They may be, as a group, the most bamboozled people on the planet. If a person just sweats a little or takes on an unusual, holy sounding inflection, like stretching out the word, “Tonnnnniiiightt-TTT” in some peculiar way then he or she must be anointed. If one can prance across the stage shouting content less gobbledygook and if they do it with enough gusto, wiping their brow and waving their hanky as they go, we are sold. Just pass the plate and we’ll turn our pockets inside out.

Christians are so gullible. Now, if one should try this out on the street corner the natural man (the man without the Spirit) will see through these antics like glass.

Just lately I have watched a YouTube video featuring a New Mystic by the name of John Crowder (not to be confused with David Crowder, the musician and song writer). Every so often he will close his eyes and go, “Yoh! Yoh, yoh, YOH, ah!” and this is somehow enough to give him credibility as an anointed prophet of the Most High. Or there is on the Inspiration Network, a Mike Murdoch who comes across as one having authority. He will squint his twinkling eyes like a car salesman just on the verge, tell you how God wants to bless you if you don’t withhold from Him and while he has you distracted, enamored, mesmerized, he will pick your pocket. Woody Guthrie once said, “Some men can rob you with a fountain pen.” With the starving millions of orphans, some people still don’t get it.

In saying this, I can predict what will happen. There will be some who immediately upon hearing this run into a monastic huddle  – the high walled and moat encircled enclave of Reform or cessassionist safety. They fall head long into the fortress of their books, their doctrines – and in hopes of avoiding false fire they are content to live with no fire at all. I have a word for those folks. What you have stuffed into your heads will never do what needs to be done. For proof look at the Christian landscape in America. We have grown obese with useless information.

I know what anointing is, don’t you?

It has been reported that fifty-seven percent of those claiming to be born-again have never experienced the presence of God or seen a miracle. Can you imagine?

On the other hand, there are others who have witnessed hundreds of miracles (the focus of power). Still, a majority like the Pharisee’s and teachers of the law, never once in their lifetimes have seen a miracle or been in the presence of God. They knew doctrine but did not know Him.

Though most are unadventurous and boring, I have gone to prayer meetings where God was so heavy in the midst that no one could speak, except to whisper, “God is here.”

There have been those times when we were no longer just singing songs, trying with all of our might to get excited (just bang those guitars a little harder and that should do it), but we became transported. Where? I dunno? Either we went up or something came down and there we experienced what could be only called, OTHER. The undeniable (albeit invisible) blanket of Shekinah glory enveloped the room.

I have often mechanically witnessed to folks out of obedience but there have been those times when there is a Spirit saturated unction and you knew that you were out of control and simply a conduit for the power of God. What is remarkable, they knew it too. This is when REAL, unforgettable, life transforming evangelism takes place. I wish that I could capture, bottle and sell it. I can recognize it but I can’t make it happen. This is authentically sovereign and I don’t understand how it all works.

Annointing. Does anyone else out there know of what I am talking about?

Or the time where for six months I went from prayer meeting to prayer meeting and came back home with the same ruptured disc and sciatica that caused me to only scoot from one chair to another, until that one morning in December when my friends Ann, Lauren, Aldo and Francesco prayed for me and like twice before, once with abscessed tonsils and another time with a cyst the size of quarter on the side of my face, it was gone in a heartbeat. Interestingly, in thirty-five years since being healed of tonsillitis it has never once re-occurred. I have not so much as have even had a case of scratchy throat. Now that’s Divine healing!

The “focus of power.” Does anyone out there know what I’m talking about?

This isn’t a Pentecostal thing. This is a Christian thing. This should be expected. We should have a God big enough to baffle us. This is what should separate us from the cynicism of secularism and the deadliness of theological rationalism, dispensationalism, Islam and make us at least somewhat competitive with animism and Voodoo.  

Speaking as one who has gone to seminary, you do not get this in a seminary or from reading stacks of books. It may occur as it did at Asbury in 1970. It might happen but it is not part of the curriculum. Matter of fact, a resisting and a quenching the Spirit, is a more probable expectation. It becomes one head talking to another. Someone once said, “We don’t really know if Christianity works. Only one person ever tried it and they crucified him.” One minute of  OTHER – Jesus among us (anointing) and we could shut the doors of every seminary in America. More takes place in five minutes than in one hundred years when Jesus shows up.  Oh, yes I know, “When two or more are gathered together in His name…”  but I am not talking about Him being here, I’m talking about Him being HERE – HERE  in manifest presence.

The truth about anointing…

Does anyone in their right mind REALLY want the anointing? In saying that we do, we are saying to God, “Here I am Lord, I am a blank piece of paper. Write on my life what you will.” This sounds good until God decides that, on this day or that,  He would prefer to scribble instead of paint a Correggio fresco.

The most anointed people did not drive luxury automobiles and live in ocean front mansions.  They lived on the run,  under the threat of death, in tiny, borrowed rooms, in caves, the wilderness, prisons and almost any other inconvenience that one can describe. The most anointed people in the New Testament, John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, Paul had their heads chopped off , were crucified or met with some other horrifying death. 

Authentic anointing brings one of two things – RIOT or REVIVAL and often both at the same time.


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