The Anointing of the Holt Spirit

1.    Introduction

v  What does having an anointing of the Holy Spirit mean?

v  Do some Christians have this anointing while others do not? 

v  What does the Bible say about the anointing of the Holy Spirit?

Why the Word Anointing?

The Old Testament is full of references about being anointed but it speaks about being anointed with oil which is symbolic of having God’s special blessing or commission. 

Oil is also symbolic of the Holy Spirit or someone being empowered or enabled by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not an anointing but is the Third Person of the Trinity.  The Holy Spirit is actually God the Holy Spirit.

When someone was anointed with oil in the Old Testament, they were declared to be

set apart or consecrated for holy use by God (Lev 8:30  And Moses took of the upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his sons' garments with him; and sanctified Aaron, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him.

Num 4:16  And to the office of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest pertaineth the oil for the light, and the sweet incense, and the daily meat offering, and the anointing oil, and the oversight of all the tabernacle, and of all that therein is, in the sanctuary, and in the vessels thereof.).


 When someone was anointed by this oil, it was called the “holy, anointing oil” (Exodus 30:32-3); three times in fact which is representative of the Trinity. Did this anointing point to something that was to occur in the New Testament?


2.    Explaining the term Anointing

1Jn 2:20  But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.

1Jn 2:27  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 Greek translation of the word “anointing” from the text above means:

Χρίσμα chrisma- Derived from the word “Chrio”


to smear or rub with oil- that is, (figuratively) the special endowment (chrism) of the Holy Spirit: - anointing, unction.

The verb relates to 2 nouns

v  Chrisma – meaning anointing

v  Christos – meaning Anointed one



All objects were anointed with Holy anointing Oil specifically manufactured with unique formula and whatever would touch the anointed object was also affected.

God said to Moses:

Exo 30:29  And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy.


In the OT The anointing oil foreshadowed the Holy Spirit’s anointing in the new testament.

Mar 6:56  And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.

Similar thing happened in the OT after the death of the anointed man of God - Elisha

2Ki 13:20  And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.

2Ki 13:21  And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.

This is the power of the anointing we are talking about.


v  The Chrisma anointing

This is a Metaphor for bestowal of:

i.              The Holy Spirit

ii.            Divine Presence

iii.           Special Favour

iv.           Divine commission


3.    Types of Anointing

There are several references to anointing in the Hebrew Scriptures or the OT. It speaks of being anointed with oil as symbolic of having God’s special

·         Favour

·         Blessing

·         commission

Lev 8:30  And Moses took of the anointing oil, and of the blood which was upon the altar, and sprinkled it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his sons' garments with him; and sanctified Aaron, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him.


Anointing with oil became a symbol of

·         protection

·         Blessing and

·         Healing


There are several types of anointing in the scriptures which include:


              i.        Anointing as a social custom

a.    For personal Cleaning

Anointing with oil was used for personal grooming and cleaning. Eg advising Ruth to prepare well to meet Boaz for the first time.( Ruth 3:3, Amos 6:6)

 Rth 3:3  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.


Jesus also advices cleanliness during fasting

Mat 6:17  But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;


b.      guests were anointed as a mark of honour.
Joh 12:3  Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

(Luke 7:36-39, 44-47)


c.    Corpses were also anointed as a preparation for burial. This was a common practice. (Mark 16: 1, Matt 26:6-12: John 19:38-40)

Mar 16:1  And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.


            ii.        Anointing of people for office

Certain classes of persons were chosen by God and anointed for ministry. With the physical and ceremonial anointing of such persons, they receive special divine enablement to carry out the function for which they were anointed.

a.    Priest were set apart and consecrated for divine service through anointing. Eg Aaron and his sons were anointed and ordained by Moses. (Ex. 28:41; 40: 12-15; Lev. 8:2,30).

b.    Kings received regal anointing. Samuel anointed Saul and David. I Sam.10:1, 9:16; 16:13

c.    Prophets were anointed to the prophetic office as was done to Elijah and Elisha (I kings 19:16).

1Ch 16:22  Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.


           iii.        Anointing People for other purposes

a.    Sick persons were anointed for healing.(Mark6:13,  James 5:14). It was believed that oil had medicinal value and was therefore used for that purpose.(Luke 10 34; Isaiah 1:6)

b.    Other people received the Holy Spirit for special skills to engaged in all kinds of craftsmanship.

Exo 31:1-6  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah:  And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,  And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.   And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee;


           iv.        Anointing of Religious Objects

Things and objects were anointed, set apart and consecrated for holy use in the performance of religious duties and ceremonies. Objects anointed with holy oil were consecrated and dedicated only to God.

Lev 8:10-11  And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them. And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all his vessels, both the laver and his foot, to sanctify them.


      With this anointing, where ever the tabernacle went ;

·         The power of God brought blessing

·         Enemies of God fled, and

Victory was won for the Israelites.