Today in some circles, servants of God and believers are coveting what they call “the anointing” through which they can minister to others in supernatural ways. The motivation behind this is taken completely from the Old Testament. In the New Testament there is no such “anointing” available to us to minister to others.
The only instances of “the anointing” upon believers in the New Testament are found in 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 and in 1 John 2:20 & 27. In the first, “the anointing” refers to the Lord’s seal of ownership on every believer in Jesus Christ. In the second, the anointing teaches us—meaning all believers—about all things and enables us to know the truth. There is absolutely no mention of “the anointing” on New Testament believers to minister to others in some supernatural fashion.
There are, however, instances of an “anointing” in the Old Testament which enabled Israelites kings to lead their people to victory over their enemies, and by which priests and prophets ministered to God’s people. This anointing, however, is limited strictly to the Old Testament. Anointed kings, priests, and prophets in the Old Testament were all shadows and types all of which have now been fulfilled in our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only One in the New Testament who is anointed to save, to heal, and to make whole.
What happens when New Testament believers seek after an anointing to minister to others—found only in the Old Testament?
Do so at your own risk…
Let us look at some prominent anointed figures in the Old Testament: King Saul, King David, and King Solomon. All three started out well leading the Israelites, witnessing great victories and blessings from the Lord. David and Solomon were also personally intimate with the Lord. But eventually all three fell into sin near the end of their lives, displeasing the Lord. How could this be?
Now let’s look at the cherub Lucifer who—unlike us human beings—was created absolutely perfect. He was anointed by God. What happened to him?
Ezekiel 28:15 You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, 14 You were the anointed cherub that covers, and I had put you in the holy height of God where you were; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. …17 Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; (MKJV)
Lucifer became proud. He wanted to be God. And he fell. Now we know him as Satan.
“How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:12-15)
Amazingly, even the perfect creature Lucifer could not resist the pride that comes from being anointed. Similarly, Saul, David, and Solomon were unable to resist the pride that comes from being anointed by God such that everything they set their hand to do was fruitful and successful. They began to take God for granted. They ended up no longer fearing God and so eventually sinned against Him.
Could it be that the Old Testament “anointing” to minister to others as coveted by some servants of God today is not meant for imperfect, fallible human beings? Could it be that it is reserved for Deity alone—the Lord Jesus Christ?
That is exactly what we see taught in the New Testament: Our Lord Jesus Christ is the only one in New Testament scripture who is anointed to save, to heal, to make whole, to restore, and to preserve. Let us therefore think twice about coveting this anointing—perhaps it is not meant for us.
Scripture teaches that we have already been given supernatural power and authority over disease and demons to be used in proclaiming the kingdom of God very fruitfully to the lost (Luke 9:1-2; Luke 10:9), as well as the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12) to edify and minister very effectively to God’s people. We do not need to covet “the anointing.” But if you choose to, do so at your own risk.