Jesus experienced two specific works by the Holy Spirit: Conception and
Anointing. Conception occurred in the womb of the Virgin Mary and
Anointing during His baptism in the river Jordan. One without the other would
have left His mission incomplete. Jesus' conception by the Spirit was for the
purpose of His incarnation, the Cross, and redemption: The angel explained
this to Mary, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the
Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born
will be called the Son of God.’" Luke 1:35. In calming Joseph’s fears about
Mary’s pregnancy, the same angel said, "She will bring forth a Son, and you
shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins."
Matthew 1:21. The Holy Spirit's work of conception in the Virgin prepared
Jesus for the cross and redemption.
The second took place in the Jordan during baptism when the Holy Spirit, as a
"Dove" came upon Him. This "Anointing" by the Spirit equipped Him for
miraculous, public ministry. He explained this in His first sermon in Nazareth
when He said,"The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed
Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the
brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to
the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the
acceptable year of the LORD." Luke 4:18-19. Prior to His anointing by the
Spirit, Jesus healed no sickness, cast out no demon, performed no miracle.
That changed immediately with the Spirit’s descent upon Him.
To be thorough students of the Word, our knowledge must be theologically
confirmed with both aspects of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in Jesus. Conception
equipped Him for the Cross and Redemption; Anointing equipped Him for the
miraculously endowed works of the gospel. Not only so, but we must realize
that the Holy Spirit has more purpose with us than just our new-
birth/conception. We too urgently need His anointing.
1. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit: Luke 1:35. "And the angel
answered and said to Mary, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the
power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who
is to be born will be called the Son of God."
2. Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit. John 1:32-33: "John bore witness,
saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He
remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with
water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending , and remaining
on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' Jesus later explained to
the synagogue in Nazareth, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has
anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor." Luke 4:18. "Anointing" and
ministry are inseparably connected.
Had Herod succeeded in killing Jesus at age two, Matthew 2:16, His blood
would have been just as efficacious for the redemption of mankind as it was
31 years later. As an infant, conceived by the Holy Spirit, He was fully the
Son of God when Mary gave Him birth; death by the Herodian sword or the
Roman Cross would have made no difference. But, an additional work of the
Holy Spirit was necessary before the benefit of His blood could be applied to
mankind. As with Moses in Egypt, killing the Passover Lamb and putting its
blood in the basin did not deliver Israel. The blood had to be applied to the
doorpost of each person being saved. Without the application of the blood, the
Israelite’s firstborn would have died with the Egyptians. Identically for us, the
blood of Jesus must be applied personally to each one being saved. It is this
which necessitated the Holy Spirit’s second work in Jesus. By that, I refer to
the anointing that came upon Him in the Jordan and which initiated His public
ministry. Prior to the Spirit’s descent at His baptism, Jesus healed no one,
performed no miracle, preached no "Gospel of the Kingdom." That abruptly
changed when the Holy Spirit came upon Him.
3. The first disciples also experienced the new birth-conception by the Holy
Spirit. The new birth: John 20:21-22. "So Jesus said to them again, Peace to
you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you. And when He had said this,
He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.‘" The
Resurrection now being historic fact and the New Birth having been
available with the New Covenant's arrival, these are among the first to
officially witness the end of the Law and the introduction of the Reign of
4. The disciples’ anointing: Acts 1:5,8. Jesus said, "John truly baptized with
water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from
now" ..."But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon
you; you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,
and to the end of the earth."
Acts 2:1-4. "When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with
one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of
a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each
of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with
other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
5. The Samaritans experienced the new birth-conception and anointing by the
Holy Spirit. Their new birth: Acts 8:12. "But when the Samaritans believed
Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name
of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized."
6. The Samaritans anointing. Acts 8:14-17. "Now when the apostles who were
at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter
and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they
might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them.
They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid
hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit."
7. Saul of Tarsus experienced the new birth-conception and anointing by the
Holy Spirit. Saul’s new birth: Acts 9:3-5. "As Saul journeyed he came near
Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell
to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you
persecuting Me?" And he said, "Who are You, Lord?" Then the Lord said, "I
am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the
8. Saul’s anointing. Acts 9:17-18. "And Ananias went his way and entered the
house; and laying his hands on him he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus,
who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may
receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Immediately there fell
from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he
arose and was baptized."
9. Cornelius, the Gentile, experiences the new birth and anointing by the Holy
Spirit. Cornelius’ new birth: Acts 10:1-2. "There was a certain man in
Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian
Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who
gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always." Acts 10:4.
"So the angel said to him, Your prayers and your alms have come up for a
memorial before God."
10. Cornelius and his household anointed. Acts 10:44-47: "While Peter was
still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the
word ... And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many
as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on
the Gentiles also ... For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.
Then Peter answered, Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be
baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have."
11. Believers in Ephesus have been born again but not received the anointing.
Acts 19:1-2. "Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus.
And finding some disciples, he said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit
when you believed?’ So they said to him,’We have not so much as heard
whether there is a Holy Spirit.’
12. The Ephesian believers receive the Holy Spirit’s anointing. Acts 19:6:
"When Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and
they spoke with tongues and prophesied."
JESUS OFFERS THE HOLY SPIRIT’S ANOINTING
13. Luke 11:13. "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your
children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to
those who ask Him!"
14. John 7:37-39. "On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and
cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who
believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of
living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing
in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus
was not yet glorified."
BELIEVERS ARE PROVIDED WITH ADDITIONAL "FILLINGS" OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Acts 4:31. "When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled
together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they
spoke the word of God with boldness."
Acts 4:8. "Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit ..."
Acts 13:52."The disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit."
Ephesians 5:18. "Do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be
filled with the Spirit."
Ephesians 3:19. "Know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you
may be filled with all the fullness of God."
IN TYPOLOGY, ISRAEL EXPERIENCED DUAL BAPTISMS
1 Corinthians 10:1-4. "Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware
that all our fathers were under the cloud , all passed through the sea, all were
baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food,
and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock
that followed them, and that Rock was Christ."
"Baptism in the cloud" corresponds to baptism in the Spirit.
"Baptism in the sea" corresponds to baptism in water.
It was for a very necessary reason that Jesus told His disciples to wait in
Jerusalem until they were "endued with power from on high." Luke 24:49.
Like His own, their ministry was not to begin until the Holy Spirit had
equipped them. Their salvation was a past-consideration. Anointing was not.
Identically so with us, the all-important question for those born-again does not
regard their new birth. Rather, it is precisely stated in Paul's question to the
Ephesian believers, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit (baptism) when you
believed?" Acts 19:2. If you study this passage carefully it becomes obvious
that Paul knew these men were genuine believers. His concern for them rested
wholly upon their very obvious lack of spiritual power. This points out the fact
that regeneration alone does not equip us for ministry. Baptism in the Spirit
The original disciples preached with Jesus for several years before receiving
their personal anointing. So may we. But the difference before and after with
them was the same difference that "turned the world upside down". Acts 17:6.
After Pentecost, with the winds of the Holy Spirit within them, they covered
the earth with the message of Jesus. Historians estimate that within fifty-six
years following Pentecost the gospel had been preached throughout the
Roman Empire and much of the Far East. The "anointing" made the
difference. In the year 64 a.d., the city of Rome experienced a horrific fire. The
Emperor, Nero, falsely accused the Christians for the destruction. This was a
brief 31 years after the Resurrection. Please observe that in that short period
Christianity had exploded over the Roman Empire. How did it happen so
fast? The first-century disciples had experienced the Holy Spirit's baptism!
Signs! Wonders! Miracles, accompanied their preaching! Can we expect to
need less? The answer is obvious. How does one receive the anointing? Jesus
said, " ... your Heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask
Him." Ask, friend, ask!
Words we need in our spiritual vocabulary:
1. The Greek title "Christos" (Christ) means "Anointed One." This is the
exact equivalent of "Messiah" in Hebrew.
2. "Chrisma" means "the anointing".
3. "Charisma" (with another "a" in the spelling) means "effects of the
anointing", or more explicitly, "Gifts of the Holy Spirit". I Corinthians 12.
4. "Charis" is the Greek word for "grace" and is translated that way numerous
times in the New Testament. In some scriptural instances, "gifts of the
Spirit," may more accurately be translated "grace gifts." To claim that
spiritual gifts passed away is to claim that a vital part of grace has also
vanished. Not so! Never!
THE HOLY SPIRIT'S DUAL WORK IN JESUS–AND US..
At Pentecost the Holy Spirit anointed the second Body of Christ, the Church. I
Corinthians 12:27. Jesus’ specific instruction to the disciples was "Wait for
the promise of the Father ...You will be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many
days from now ... You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon
you." Acts 1:4-8. The 120 disciples were already born-again before Pentecost;
that work of the Holy Spirit in them was complete. But not so in the Holy
Spirit’s anointing them for miraculous ministry and the evangelizing of the
world. Without the anointing of God’s power upon them individually and
corporately the gospel could not be presented to the "ends of the earth". The
Holy Spirit’s provision for "getting the blood out of the basin" and onto the
people occurred in two distinct events:
1. The anointing of Jesus in the Jordan.
2. The anointing of the disciples in the Upper Room.
In referring to the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Himself in the Jordan, Jesus
said, :"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to
preach the gospel ... " Luke 4:16-20. Whether Christ or us, kingdom-
preaching is inseparably connected to anointing. The words "Christ" and
"Christian"--from the Greek word chrios–are not designations of the new birth
but of the anointing. Information about the gospel may be learned
academically but the actual ministry of the gospel can be rendered only by the
Holy Spirit. The difference between preaching and lecturing is the presence or
absence of the anointing. Tragically, there is much Christian "lecturing" in our
day. Paul explained the difference, "Our sufficiency is of God who has made
us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for
the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." II Corinthians 3:5-7. The Apostle’s
statement is unmistakable: Without the Holy Spirit’s illumination, preaching
that relies solely on the letter of the New Testament produces death.
Observe how "anointing" and ministry are inseparably connected. Jesus'
conception by the Holy Spirit was for the purpose of His incarnation and
redemption. His anointing by the Holy Spirit was for " ... Healing the broken
hearted, preaching deliverance to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind,
and setting at liberty those who are bruised." To be thorough students of the
Word, we must make this distinction carefully. These two works of the Spirit
in Jesus’ experience are distinctive; one does not replace the other, and both
were essential for the completion of redemption. Prior to the anointing, Jesus
preached no message, healed no sickness, performed no miracle. When the
anointing came that inactivity immediately changed
I am fully persuaded that Jesus’ cry from the cross, My God! My God! Why
have You forsaken Me?!," occurred because the anointing of the Spirit had
lifted from Him. His incarnation as the Son of God remained unchanged but
the Holy Spirit’s work of anointing was finished. Jesus’ gospel ministry was
now complete. It is my opinion that if the Comforter had remained with Him
He could not have died. As the ultimate scapegoat, Jesus had to be abandoned
by the Father and the Spirit. But the abandonment was not negative for the
Holy Spirit; He lifted from Jesus in anticipation of coming upon the new body
of Christ–the Church–in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost. Acts 2. The
effect of the Holy Spirit’s descent on the disciples was as explosive as it had
been with Jesus. Immediately, they "went everywhere preaching the word."
Historians estimate that within fifty-six years following Pentecost the gospel
had been preached throughout the Roman world and much of the Far East.
The "anointing" made the difference. There is reliable evidence that the
Apostle Thomas reached India, establishing churches. If the first-century
disciples needed the Holy Spirit's baptism, can we expect to need less? The
answer is obvious. This points out the Bible truth that regeneration alone does
not equip us for the spiritual work of ministry. Thankfully, every believer can
quote Scripture--that is wonderful--but the gospel of the Kingdom is much,
much, more than a mere presentation of Bible facts. In varying ways, this
Kingdom-gospel is confirmed with "signs following". Mark 16:17. Baptism
and anointing in the Spirit opens the way for this to be done. Through the
impartation of this holy power, the Spirit and the Bride simultaneously say
"come." Revelation 22:17. In the intent of God, this is the only gospel;
ageless, unchanged, eternally the same. It is the vocal, audible, declaration of
Jesus’ atonement, accompanied by the Holy Spirit’s anointing, which draws
into itself all the spiritual and physical benefits of Kingdom power. Any
lessor gospel is insubordination to the Kingdom. The purpose of the Holy
Spirit’s anointing is to empower redeemed men and women with Kingdom
authority to preach that gospel with all its original, miraculous manifestations.
The modern church lacks miraculous power because it has wrongly assumed
preaching the gospel requires nothing more that the presentation of Bible
facts. Absolutely, this is not so! Seminaries, Bible Schools, wonderful as they
are, can only impart academic knowledge. We receive them directly from
Jesus as the baptizer in the Holy Spirit or we do not get them at all. John
1:33. A pastor can have a dozen University Degrees on his office wall and
still be disqualified from providing genuine New Testament ministry. Paul
learned Scripture at the feet of Gamaliel but said, "What things were gain to
me, these I have counted loss for Christ." Philippians 3:7. He explained his
true qualification for ministry to the Church in Galatia: "I went up by
revelation and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the
Gentiles." 2:2. Note the language that he "went up", and experienced
"revelation." He further said, "The gospel which was preached by me is not
according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it
came through the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1:11,12.His "going up" and
experiencing "revelation" challenged hearers with an irresistible authority that
went far beyond his merely quoting Scripture. Paul verified the presence of
this power when he wrote of things Christ accomplished in him "in word and
deed ... in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so
that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the
gospel of Christ." Romans 15:18-19. Paul equated "fully preaching the
gospel" with "mighty signs and wonders by the power of the Spirit of God."
So it was then. So it is now.
In the exact pattern of other New Testament disciples Paul experienced two
encounters with the Holy Spirit: The first on the Damascus road when he was
born-again; the second in the Damascus room when Ananias laid-hands on
him, filling him with the Holy Spirit. The first prepared Paul for Heaven; the
second prepared him for power-endued gospel ministry. Without the second,
the first would have been inadequate for preaching. Observe that this is an
exact parallel of the Holy Spirit’s work in Jesus: First, birth by the Holy Spirit.
Secondly, empowering by the Holy Spirit. And this is the same two-step
pattern intended for us: Regeneration and baptism by the Spirit. This was the
identical pattern of the original disciples: On the day of the resurrection Jesus
breathed into them saying, "Receive the Holy Spirit." John 20:22. This was
the moment of their new birth. Their anointing at Pentecost occurred 40 days
When Peter preached to the household of Cornelius, "The Holy Spirit fell on
all them who heard the word," Acts 10:44-45. Today, as then, the empowered
gospel can invade the physical realm, reconnect it to the spiritual by changing
natural circumstances into supernatural manifestations. Peter’s presence as a
messenger of the Kingdom was essential but the man himself was not the
source of power--it was the Holy Spirit’s anointing upon him. Then, as now,
the Holy Spirit anoints preaching that honors Jesus. "For our gospel came not
unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit ..." 1
Thessalonians 1:5. I say this to the glory of God but there have been times
when the anointing of the Holy Spirit was so strong on me that people whom I
approached in hotel lobbies, malls, parking lots, restaurants, wherever I
happened to be, dropped to the ground under the power of God. And God did
not seem to care what the public thought. He simply met needs wherever He
encountered them. As with Philip’s preaching in Samaria, these people rose
from that encounter experiencing "great joy." Acts 8:8.
Anointed preaching which penetrates the heart is able to destroy evil, bring
light into darkness, pull down demonic strongholds, transform fallen humanity
into Christ’s image and bring men to salvation. The proof of the gospel is the
"mighty signs and wonders" which accompany it. Where there are no "signs"
there is no full gospel. The point is this: Bible literature remains only that until
the voice of the Holy Spirit speaks through it. Fully presented, the gospel
produces the same results today as it did in the first century. How do we
achieve that release of power? Receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit! Jesus
said, "I send upon you the promise of the Father." Acts 1:4. "You shall receive
power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to
Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
Someone asks, "Is this gift of the Spirit intended for our day?" Jesus answered
that question when He said to the first disciples, "Go therefore and make
disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the
Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have
commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:19-20. Jesus was emphatic. His instruction, "teach them all
things," referring specifically to the church at the "end of the age" is
unmistakably clear. He expected the 21st century church is to be taught
precisely what He taught the first century church. There is no such thing as an
Apostolic Church and a post-Apostolic Church.! There is simply the "Church"
with "One Lord, one faith, one baptism." Ephesians 4:5. We can either
believe Jesus or men’s doctrines of denial. We cannot believe both.
In contrast to the provision of Jesus, much of the modern church is sincerely
religious but spiritually powerless. Nor is my own ministry yet where God and
I want it to be--my daily prayer is that "I will come to visions and revelations
of the Lord ..." II Corinthians 12:1. The promise of Scripture is that "Young
men shall see visions, old men shall dream dreams." Acts 2:17. In 1948 my
ministry began suddenly–unexpectedly--when God encountered me with a
life-changing vision. Nearly 60 years later, at age 75, I am hungry for more
and still determined to press deeper into the realms of the Spirit.
Question: Why do those supporting the "cessation" theory claim God removed
the Holy Spirit’s power from the gospel? Answer: To justify the absence of
miracles and acquit itself of failure, the modern church has blamed God for
the power’s disappearance. But hear what Paul said about such a change: "I
marvel that you are so soon removed from him who called you into the grace
of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some who
trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an
angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have
preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again,
If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let
him be accursed." Galatians 1:6-10. How could language possibly be more
plain? I know not! Quoting Paul, I will be so bold as to say that any "gospel"
which claims to be different from the original is a humanized gospel. Scripture
severely warns against our preaching "another gospel." In the sight of God
there is only one, the original Gospel of the Kingdom presented by His Son.
Latin America is now experiencing that incredible gospel. In 1900 it is
estimated that there were less than 50,000 evangelicals in the whole of Latin
America. Today the number is in excess of 100,000,000. Most of that
phenomenal growth has occurred in the past 55 years. How did it happen? At
mid-century, a Spirit-baptized evangelist, Tommy Hicks, an American,
preached in Argentina, the Holy Spirit fell in Pentecost-power, and the flame
ignited. A Reformation greater than Luther saw has taken place. While other
nations are in blazing revival why is not the Church in North America
experiencing "first century" power? I can give you a one-word answer:
Unbelief. Much of current Christianity is bereft of the Holy Spirit’s "signs and
wonders" Jesus promised and in their place has substituted an alluring-but
soulish–imitation. The greatest problem in the North American Church is its
creation of a"denominationalized" gospel which has been re-designed to
accommodate dozens of public opinions. In many cases, truth that does not fit
local preference is carefully disqualified. We have replaced the "Gospel of the
Kingdom" with a cultural gospel in which religious hierarchies are
comfortable--the "Kingdom" Gospel has been subtly replaced. The Church in
North America needs to wake up! While it is fighting against spiritual gifts
and weekly closing scores of churches other parts of the world are thriving.
The good news from other nations is this: With a world-wide Christian
population of two billion, more than 500,000,000 disciples of Jesus now
acknowledge the Holy Spirit’s gifts and power.
How does one receive the anointing? Jesus said, "Your Heavenly Father will
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him." Luke 11:13. Ask, friend, ask! If
you have not done so, stop your foolish arguing and receive it! Your Christian
walk will be transformed!