John Gavazzoni
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The Gavazzonis'

The Anointing
By John Gavazzoni

The following are two replies that I gave to a brother who raised some questions re: the subject of the anointing of the Holy Spirit, its nature, meaning and purpose during an internet discussion.

Here's my take on the meaning of anointing brother. I first presented this view as a guest speaker at a small Foursquare Church---of a more charismatic than classical Pentecostal flavor—and could not help but notice that the young, and very dear, without-guile pastor, listened very intently with a look on his face of a mixture of bewilderment and intense interest.

Comparing Jesus affirmation of His ministry at its outset in Nazareth---an affirmation of His ministry based upon His Father's affirmation of His identity at His baptism by John the Baptist---- with the apostle John's explanation of "the anointing which ye have received from the Holy One" in his first epistle, I think that it becomes clear that the understanding of the anointing within the general "full gospel" community, is rather crude and quite lacking in insight.

Note that Jesus' affirmation was of a two-fold nature, that of the Spirit of the Lord being UPON Him, BECAUSE God had ANOINTED Him. We have to understand the distinction between those aspects of the dynamic of the Spirit at work, i.e., that which pertains to the essence of His relationship as the Son of His Father, and His empowerment as the Christ to fulfill the desire of the heart of the Father.

The "upon" factor speaks of His empowerment, whereas the "anointed" factor relates to Him being given to "know" as His Father knows. St. John explains the anointing quite specifically as the knowing that we all have as believers, which Paul speaks of as having the mind of Christ.

In the eonian life of our Lord, those two aspects operated in a perfect blend and balance, whereas with us, at least to some degree, there is not that perfect blend and balance as we're still living in the "in-part" dimension. I have observed how some ministers of the Lord excel in the understanding that comes from the anointing, whereas others have a more pronounced empowerment of communication.

The empowerment factor has to do with our message being communicated to others with great penetrating impact, whereas the anointing factor pertains to the content of the message. I suppose I could dare to say that it is rather rare to find both factors, content and impact, operating at a high level of co-ordination. I could cite many examples of servants of the Lord having a great measure of empowerment while suffering from a deprivation, and distortion of true content, and vice-versa

A classic example of the former would be the ministry of William Branham. With several other brethren, I had the opportunity to have some close fellowship with Ern Baxter who traveled with Branham for an extended period Ern still, many years later spoke of the experience with a note of wonderment at the amazing operation of the gift of knowledge and gift of discerning of spirits, plus a gift of healing that operated through that simple man.

YET, the content of Branham's message was seriously flawed, and as the years went on, that situation worsened until many of his "convictions"---what he claimed to "know" as revelation from God--- became an embarrassment to anyone with any degree of biblical grounding I know of no one, except those who are very opposed to admitting that the day of miracles is not past, who came away from a Branham meeting without being profoundly impressed with the genuineness of the miraculous element at work in his ministry.

The correction for such an anomaly lies of course in one's relationship with others as members of the body of Christ, so that the mind of Christ, which is primarily the possession of the whole body, brings true understanding to each member as we are properly related to one another, with Christ as our Head.

I'm of the firm opinion that most of what is called the anointing today is nothing more than the same kind of "charisma" that entertainers exude. It is disgustingly soulish, ego-centered, and ego-building. Without a doubt, emotions are involved where there is the operation of the anointing with empowerment, but there's that slippery slope whereby soon a similarity of emotion is substituted for the anointing, and the average Christian doesn't know the difference.

* * * * * * *

You're going in the direction of my "drift" brother. A little adjustment here re: your comments. If you can keep this in mind, it will become clearer to you: The anointing teaches, the enduement empowers. One is a matter of life, the other a matter of communicating that life.

The anointing teaches us re: God's relationship with us in Christ, leading to us, in turn to lovingly relate to Jesus and the Father in Spirit and in Truth, The anointing is all about relationship and understanding that relationship, and out from that essential gift, we, by the baptism of the Holy are empowered to communicate the message of God's relationship to mankind in His Son: ("Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued (clothed) with POWER from on high.") (*Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come UPON you, and you shall be my witnesses......."

In biblical parlance, "upon" is about power. The Holy Spirit would come upon the prophets of old to speak the truth powerfully, yet they understood very little of the full meaning which "the Spirit of Christ in them" caused them to speak forth.

It's very normative of the New Covenant believer that these dimensions come together into one full dynamic. The anointing pertains to the intimate, experiential knowledge of the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent (Jn. 17:3), whereas the enduement, that empowering clothing of the Spirit gives us the divine ability to communicate the same to others. Normally, the one should lead to the other, and both are aspects of the same gift of the Spirit. There seems to be a definite distinction between Jesus' giving the Spirit by His BREATH to be their LIFE, and the subsequent experience of the POWER of that life coming as "a mighty WIND."

The reception of the Spirit is not complete until both aspects operate in the life of the believer. In apostolic thinking, the experience of both was equated to the receiving of the Spirit. We receive Him as life, and go on to know the power of that life to affect others.

The anointing does not DIRECTLY pertain to the ability to communicate Him to others; the anointing pertains directly to being given the communion-knowledge of Him who is our Message. To repeat, the anointing teaches, the enduement empowers.

The anointing is the first issue of importance in respect to the Spirit's indwelling. It pertains to us being given to share in the communion between the Father and the Son known as the communion of the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote of this as pertaining to the need to be filled with the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the (intimate) KNOWLEDGE of Him, as opposed to his teaching re: empowerment for gifts of service.

Let's take Peter for example: He was mightily empowered to deliver the message of the gospel upon having been filled with the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, He was empowered to impact his audience in such a way as to "turn them from darkness to light," yet even as he spoke---judging from his problems re: how to relate to the Gentiles---he lacked an understanding of the fullest implications of his own message Such understanding only comes by what John called "the anointing which teaches you all things," or maybe the better translation; "the anointing that teaches you all."

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