The Riches OF GRACE

“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11

Robert W. Reed

February 2003



The Anointing


“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.”

I John 2:27


     According to our text, every believer has received the anointing. This anointing is called an unction from the Holy One in I John 2:20, “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” The anointing is simply the gift of the Holy Spirit that God has given to every Christian at conversion. The believers are God’s anointed. Even in the Old Testament, God refers to His chosen people as His anointed in Psalm 105:15, “Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” This anointing is our salvation, protection, and assurance. Praise the Lord, Amen.

     “Now he which stablisheth us with you in  Christ, and hath anointed us, is God.”  II Corinthians 1:21

     The word “anoint” is used many times in the Old Testament. To anoint is to pour upon or rub on oil. Ceremonially speaking, the anointing with oil signifies holiness. It means to set apart unto God, to make sacred, or to consecrate. To anoint someone or something symbolized an appointment to a special place, purpose, or office in the will of God. It symbolized the equipping for service as in I Samuel 10:1,9 and Isaiah 61:1. It also symbolized the bestowal of divine favor (Psalms 23:5, 92:10). The use of oil in Scriptures is symbolic of the Holy Spirit, that is, God’s presence and sanction.

     Before we consider “sacred anointing” in the Scriptures, let us first take a look at other uses for oil. In Psalms 104:15, God says, “And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.” There was the use of oil cosmetically, which often accompanied the bath. In Ruth 3:3, Naomi instructed Ruth to anoint herself with oil, “Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.” The anointing of the body with oil was a wide spread custom not only among the Hebrews, but also among the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. It was a part of daily life throughout the east as protection against the scorching sun and the dryness of the desert’s hot climate. According to Psalms 23:5, oil was an expression of joy. In Esther 2:12, oil for purification is mentioned. David, in II Samuel 12:20, anointed himself with oil for invigoration after fasting. The disuse of oil was a sign of grief and mourning (II Samuel 14:2, Daniel 10:3, and Matthew 6:17). Anointing with oil before burial was also a common practice in Bible times (John 12:1-8). The parable of the Good Samaritan shows that oil was used in healing in Luke 10:34. Please consider Isaiah 1:6 and Revelation 3:18 also. The anointing of oil was used in showing honor to a guest, (Luke 7:38-46). A good example of this is found in Psalms 23:5 where David is considered as an honored guest of the Lord, having his head anointed with oil. Again, in Matthew 6:17 it is associated with daily grooming. There was also the household use of oil for cooking and lighting. As we can clearly see, oil is used for many purposes.

     Now, let us consider sacred anointing in the Scriptures. There were people, places, and things anointed with oil. The person or thing anointed became Holy, that is separated unto the Lord (I Samuel 24:7). The anointing was an act of God (I Samuel 10:1). The first reference to anointing in the Bible was when Jacob poured oil upon a stone in Bethel consecrating the place to the Lord. In Exodus 30:30, Aaron and his sons were anointed with oil being separated unto God as priests (Leviticus 8:30, Psalms 133:1-3). The tabernacle with its vessels and furniture were anointed showing that they were separated for use to the Lord only. According to I Kings 19:16, prophets were anointed with oil to their office. Kings were also anointed before taking their position of ruling (I Samuel 10:1,6, I Samuel 16:12-13, II Samuel 1:14-15). It appears that even shields were anointed before war as in Isaiah 21:5. The Bible, in James 5:14, describes the anointing of the sick with oil, “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” I believe this to be olive oil and it is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. There is nothing magical or mysterious about the oil. It is only a symbol like water in baptism, or bread and juice in the Lord’s supper. There is no healing of the sick without the work of the Holy Spirit. When we anoint the sick person with oil, we are saying that we are depending on the presence of God in the matter. We, by faith, trust God in the area of physical healing as well as salvation.

     The Lord Jesus Christ is the anointed of God (Acts 10:38, Hebrews 1:9, Isaiah 61:1). Both words, “Messiah” and “Christ”, literally mean the anointed one. The word “Christ” is not the Messiah’s last name but His title, revealing who He is (the anointed one).

     The believer is “anointed” because the “anointed one” dwells in his heart (II Corinthians 1:21), “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God.” The anointing is the gift of the Holy Spirit which is received upon conversion. It is the Holy Spirit that reveals to a person that Jesus is indeed the true Messiah, the Son of God (Matthew 16:17). Again, this anointing reveals the truth to the Christian according to I John 2:20, “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” The word “unction” in this verse is the same as anointing in verse 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 believer has the Holy Spirit abiding within, and thereby has the ability to discern between truth and error. In I John 2:18-29, there is a clear distinction drawn between the saved and the lost. The reason I emphasize this is because there is a false anointing in the world. According to John 14:26, the Holy Spirit is called the Comforter, who teaches and guides us in all truth, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” The Comforter gives testimony to the believers pertaining to Jesus Christ (John 14:16-18,26, 15:26, 16:7-11,13, Romans 8:9,14,16, Ephesians 4:30). According to I Corinthians 2:4-16, it is only by God’s Spirit that we can understand the things of God. Under the old covenant, the Holy Spirit came upon people to enable them to perform certain tasks for the Lord, but under the new covenant, the Holy Spirit abides within every believer. The promise of the indwelling of God’s Spirit under the new covenant is clearly seen in Jeremiah 31:33 and Ezekiel 36:26-27. Only the Christian possesses the anointing (Holy Spirit) according to Romans 8:9, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”


Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”  Psalms 105:15



"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”  Acts 16:31



Victory Baptist Church

Pastor Robert W. Reed

14473 Bellingrath Road

P.O. Box 257

Coden, Alabama 36523

(251) 873-4422