|Topical Bible Study||June 1961|
The Holy Spirit Series—Lesson III
Anointed by the Spirit
THE Scriptures testify clearly that Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit. (Acts 4:27; 10:38) We are also informed by the Apostles Paul and John that the followers of Jesus are anointed by the Holy Spirit. (II Cor. 1:21; I John 2:27) This is another function of the power of God on behalf of Jesus and his disciples. Here also is the use of another illustration to help us understand more fully what the ministry of the Holy Spirit means to us as Christians.
The scriptural background of the word anointing was the divinely instituted ceremony by which Israel’s kings and priests were installed in office, the principal part of which was the pouring of anointing oil upon the head. It was the official designation to office, signifying that the one thus anointed was authorized to serve.*
* “The Atonement Between God and Man,” page 281.
Jesus and his followers constitute the priesthood of the Gospel and Millennial Ages, and they are also authorized to reign as kings. These, however, are not anointed with oil, but by the Holy Spirit. This anointing came upon Jesus at the time of his baptism, constituting him the Anointed One, the sent and authorized of God, which is the meaning of the word Christ. Jesus recognized the meaning of his anointing. (Luke 4:14-19; Isa. 61:1-3) The anointing of the Holy Spirit also empowered Jesus to heal the sick and raise the dead.
The psalmist suggests that the anointing oil ran down from the head of the high priest upon his body, and that this pointed forward to a oneness of the anointed class. (Ps. 133:1-3) It is evident that in the antitype the anointing of the Spirit reached the body members of The Christ at Pentecost, when it was “shed forth” upon the waiting disciples by the glorified Head. (Acts 2:33) Thus the followers of Jesus receive their anointing of the Spirit from him and as a result of having been accepted into The Christ company, the true church.—I John 2:27
In our last lesson it was observed that the coming of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus at Jordan, and upon his disciples at Pentecost, is scripturally indicated to have been a baptism of the Spirit. Now we see that it was also an anointing, each of these illustrations conveying to us its own lesson of what was accomplished by the Heavenly Father by that one outpouring of his holy power upon Jesus, and later upon his church.
Each consecrated follower of the Master throughout the age, when accepted into the body of Christ, has come under this anointing. All in this position have the authority of God to proclaim the glad tidings of the kingdom. One of the functions of the Holy Spirit in this age is to instruct the Lord’s people, through the Word, to be witnesses for Jesus by proclaiming the glad tidings. (Matt. 28:19,20; Acts 1:8) The anointing constitutes them the light of the world.—Matt. 5:14-16
As we have seen, the anointing of the Spirit empowered Jesus to heal the sick and raise the dead, which he did on a small scale at his first advent. This aspect of the anointing will become manifested world-wide when Jesus and his true church, as the authorized of God, are dispensing the blessings of the messianic kingdom. Then all the sick will be healed and all the dead awakened.—Mark 3:14,15; John 5:28,29; 14:12; Rev. 21:4
What texts of Scripture teach plainly that Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit, and that his followers also receive of this anointing?
What is signified by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, as indicated by the scriptural background of this illustration?
How is the anointing of the Holy Spirit related to the title Christ?
Explain the thought suggested in Psalm 133.
Does the fact that Jesus at Jordan, and his disciples at Pentecost, were both baptized and anointed by God’s power imply that there were two outpourings of the Holy Spirit?
How have individual disciples of Christ since Pentecost received the anointing of the Holy Spirit?
Does the authority and power of the Spirit’s anointing of Jesus and his church carry over to their work of the Millennial Age?
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT THOUGHTS
The one giving of the Holy Spirit to Jesus at Jordan, and to the church at Pentecost, accomplished both baptism and anointing, the anointing signifying authority and power to perform the works of the Father embodied in his plan of redemption.