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The Anointing - 1 John 2:18-27

The gift of the Holy Spirit is given by the Lord Jesus to every believer for the sake of instructing us in all we need to know as His disciples.

1 John 2:18-27; 1 Samuel 2:2; Isaiah 54:5; Psalm 99:5; Jeremiah 51:5; John 6:66-69; Acts 3:13-14; Luke 1:35; John 14:15-17, 25-26; Romans 8:9; Acts 2:37-38;

Jun 22, 2014 12:00 AM

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[18] Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come.  Therefore we know that it is the last hour. [19] They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us.  But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. [20] But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.

[21] I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. [22] Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ?  This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. [23] No one who denies the Son has the Father.  Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. [24] Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you.  If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. [25] And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.

[26] I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. [27] But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you.  But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him. (1 John 2:18-27 ESV)

Today we come to a topic that is huge and oftentimes confusing to us.  When we discuss the Holy Spirit, we are dealing with a very broad subject.  We could talk about the Holy Spirit as the third Person of the Trinity and that He is God.  We could talk about the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  We could discuss what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit, or what Paul meant by being baptized in the Spirit.  John the Baptist said Jesus would baptize with fire and the Holy Spirit.  The book of Revelation talks about the Holy Spirit as the “seven spirits before the throne of God” (Rev 1:4, 3:1, 4:5, 5:6) or the sevenfold Spirit of God.

There are those who teach that Christians may possess the Holy Spirit but in order to be truly spiritual, one must be filled with the Spirit or baptized with the Spirit, and the evidence of that phenomenon is speaking in tongues.  Many books have addressed that issue alone.

But for our purposes, I want to have a narrower focus and try to understand what John is saying in 1 John 2, and particularly verses 20 and 27.  John is addressing the believers whom we believe are in the church in Ephesus.  He says many have left the church and denied the teaching of the gospel message, namely that Jesus is the Son of God and therefore He is God, in the flesh.  Those who have left the church over that issue are referred to as “antichrists”.  John says they have denied the Son and rejected Jesus as the Messiah.

But those who have remained in the church are being torn.  Those who left, those who are the apostates, want to convince those who have remained to follow them.  To listen to them.  The antichrists want to teach the believers the error of their way and correct their thinking.  They want to make unbelievers out of believers.  That is why John says in verse 20:

But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.

We want to ask three questions of this verse:

Q: Who is the Holy One?

Q: What is the anointing which the believers received?

Q: What knowledge is John talking about?

 

Jesus is the Holy One

When we read the phrase, “the Holy One”, that is a reference to one entity, one solitary person: THE Holy One.  That must be God.  Only God is holy.  The angels surrounding the throne in Isaiah’s vision cry, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.  The whole earth is full of His glory!”  “There is none holy like the Lord!” (1 Samuel 2:2)

 

For your maker is your husband,

The Lord of hosts is His name;

And the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,

The God of all the earth He is called. (Isaiah 54:5)

 

Exalt the Lord our God;

Worship at His footstool!

Holy is He! (Psalm 99:5)

 

For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken

by their God, the Lord of hosts,

but the land of the Chaldeans (i.e. Babylon) is full of guilt

Against the Holy One of Israel. (Jeremiah 51:5)

 

So the Old Testament speaks of God as holy, as the Holy One, and the Holy One of Israel.  But lets take a look at John’s gospel for a moment:

 

[66] After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. [67] So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” [68] Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, [69] and

we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.

(John 6:66-69 ESV)

The Jews believed God would send the Messiah and they referred to Him as “The Holy One of God”.  That is one of the names of Jesus.  In Acts 3, when Peter is preaching in the Temple in Jerusalem, he addresses the crowd and says to them,

[13] The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. [14] But

you denied the Holy and Righteous One,

and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, (Acts 3:13-14 ESV)

 

When Mary heard the angel speak to her and tell her she would give birth to the Son of God, she said, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

[35] And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore

the child to be born will be called holy

the Son of God. (Luke 1:35 ESV)

So when John says to the believers in Ephesus, you have been anointed by the Holy One, who is He talking about?  Peter and John and the apostles referred to the Lord Jesus as the Holy One. But the Bible says only God is holy!  That is true.  And Jesus is God.

So John is saying the Christians at Ephesus have been “anointed by the Holy One”, meaning they have been anointed by Jesus.  What is this anointing?

To anoint basically means to pour or smear something, usually oil or some type of ointment, on another object.  In the OT, priests were anointed for service with oil made specifically for that purpose.  It was somewhat equivalent to the ordination of pastors today.  Through this anointing, a man was set apart to God for priestly work by having oil poured upon his head.

Kings were also anointed and thereby crowned.  The anointing of a king was the coronation service of the ruler of the people.  And on one occasion, God commanded Elijah to anoint Elisha to be a prophet as his successor.

John says here that Jesus anointed the faithful brothers and sisters of the church.  Does that mean Jesus came and poured oil on their heads?  No, John is talking about the Holy Spirit.  Jesus promised He would send the Holy Spirit after He went to heaven.

[15] “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. [16] And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, [17] even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him.

You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

(John 14:15-17 ESV)

[25] “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. [26] But

the Helper, the Holy Spirit,

whom the Father will send in my name, he

will teach you all things and

bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:25-26 ESV)

[9] You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (Romans 8:9 ESV)

[37] Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” [38] And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:37-38 ESV)

Every person who repents and believes the Gospel is anointed by Jesus Christ with the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus is the one who anoints, and He anoints us with the Holy Spirit.

3.  What knowledge is John talking about?

[26] But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:25-26 ESV)

[26] I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. [27] But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him. (1 John 2:26-27 ESV)

We are dependent upon God for everything.  For our “daily bread” which simply represents every physical need we have.  We’re dependent upon Him for any and every spiritual need as well.  We are particularly dependent upon God to grant us wisdom and discernment to live rightly before Him in the world.  It is the Holy Spirit who first opens our eyes to the truth of the Gospel.  It is the Spirit of God who regenerates us and gives us spiritual life.  It is by means of the Holy Spirit whom the Lord Jesus gives to dwell in us, that we are able to recognize those who want to deceive us.

The Holy Spirit is perhaps the greatest gift God has given us in this life as Christians.  God dwells, not just with us or around us, but in us.  It is by means of the Spirit of Christ that Jesus can say, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”  The presence of the Holy Spirit within us is God’s own guarantee of our eternal life with Him.  And it is by the Spirit of God that we know everything necessary to understand the gospel message, repent of our sins, and believe in Jesus Christ.  We need no other teaching apart fromHis in order to become children of God.

There is much, much more that could be said about the Holy Spirit, and John will say more.  But for now, let’s rejoice in this most wonderful gift which God has given to us: Himself.


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