Summary: Every Born-Again Christian has the anointing of God which provides the ability to have an intimate relationship with Him
The word “anointing” is one of the most misunderstood and misused words in the church. It is often taught as if the anointing is something that people can “feel” when the “anointing” is in the room. People go to “spiritual” teachers who have declared they have a special “anointing” and, therefore, have earned the exclusive right to become a kind of mediator between God and man in order to impart “power” and “fresh revelation” to others.
At one moment during His ministry on Earth, He was approached by the Disciples about the end of the world. They asked:
“when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.” (Matt 24:3-6 NIV)
Jesus told them that the primary sign that signified the end of the world was that many would come in His name claiming they were “anointed.”
The True Anointed One
Jesus did not start His earthly ministry until He was 30 years old. He entered a local synagogue, read a passage from the Book of Isaiah, and proclaimed;
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19 NIV)
The passage He read embodied the very essence of His ministry and defines the purpose of the anointing. Jesus was announcing that He was the “Anointed One” sent by the Father. He is the High Priest, and the anointing flows from His head over the body that is under His leadership.
The word “Christ” means anointed. It is the Greek word “Chiro” which is a translation of the Hebrew word “Mashach.” It is where the word “Messiah” comes from. Jesus is the “Christ, the Son of God.” (John 20:31 NIV)
The Hebrew word “Mashach” was used in religious rites, and means to actively rub or smear with oil, to paint, to cover over and make it a part of a person, to set apart or consecrate.
The Greek word “Chiro” also means to anoint, to cover over, to rub with oil. It is always used of rubbing or sprinkling with oil in a religious sense. The words for anointing used in Scripture primarily pertain to the sacred or divine, and to things (or persons) consecrated, or devoted to God.
The word “Christian” is also derived from “Chiro.” The followers of Jesus were first called Christians in Antioch as a form of mockery (See Acts 11:26). The term means “little anointed one.” That is what a person becomes when they are Born-Again. Christians are anointed and set apart at the moment of salvation and chosen by God to become holy as He is holy (See 1 Pet 1:16, 2:9).
There are two other words in the Bible that are translated “anointing.” The first is the Hebrew word “Shemen” which means liquid, such as olive oil, and was often perfumed. It signified the rich and lavish blessings of God.
Olive oil had a number of uses: it was burned for light (See Ex 25:6); as a medication (See Ezek 16:9); to anoint a future leader (See Ex 25:6; 2 Kings 9:6); as a sign of mourning (See 2 Sam 14:2); as well as rejoicing (See Ps 23:5), and for ritual cleansing (See Lev 14:17).
In the Old Testament, two primary elements were present in times of worship. They were blood and oil. The blood was for cleansing, and the oil was used for anointing.
The first instance of the use of oil was the anointing of the stone by Jacob (Gen 28:18; 35:14). This was designed to be a formal consecration of the stone for a sacred purpose. Under the Mosaic law, persons and things set apart for sacred purposes were anointed with the "holy anointing oil." (See Ex 30:23-25, 30-33).
In the Old Testament, the principle of anointing was revealed in the bestowal of supernatural ability on people through various methods and symbols. When a new High Priest or King was anointed in Israel, the prophet would take a horn full of oil and pour it over his head. The anointing oil flowed down the hair and beard then onto his garments, but it did not, nor could it, touch the flesh. The symbolism was that this person was "set apart" or consecrated, to be God’s vessel or instrument. They were now considered “holy” by God to spiritually qualified, divinely empowered for service, and separated for His use. Each of these “set apart” people were given specific roles in ministry (See Ex 30:29-30; 1 Sam 10:1, 6: King Saul. 1 Sam 16:13-14).