RELATING THE WORK OF ANOINTING TO THE
WORK OF TRANSFORMATION
The works of transformation and anointing belong to one plan of redemption from one God. In keeping with our introductory observations about truth, these two realities are not coequal in importance, realm, or effect, yet each depends in some measure on the other. The transformation is source truth ministering foundational reality between the heart of God and the heart of man. It can stand alone but by itself is incomplete. The anointing is reflective truth ministering structural reality, providing creational context for the work of transformation. It cannot stand alone. If separated from serving transformational truth, it becomes its own misplaced source truth.
Though these two works are so essential to each other, their surface differences in operations and effects are so striking that it is very difficult to see how both works could come from the same Lord. If a believer partakes of only one of these works, he is likely to conclude that the other work and those marked by it cannot be of the Lord. Such faulty conclusion is today at the heart of a great divide in the Church over these realities.
The purpose of this chapter is to clearly define the relationship between the ministries of transformation and anointing, and to dispel the illusion of their contrariness. We begin by spotlighting and crystallizing their differences of nature and effect. This is followed by a broad view of God's redemptive plan to show how each work belongs to the same plan. After further observing Biblical illustrations of their relationship, we close our examination by discussing the practical outworking of these two ministries in our lives.
I. Contrasting the Distinctions
Both the transformation and anointing are spiritual ministries. They both have spiritual substance and both emanate from the heavenly realm. Beyond this, however, the similarity stops. As we line up the two realities side by side, we find an astounding contrast in their nature and in their effects. Our study begins with the contrast of their natures.
Consider just some of the immediately perceivable differences in how transformation and anointing operate. Whereas the transformation changes us from the inside out, the anointing touches us from the outside in. The cross begins in the inner man, but the anointing comes from beyond our new heart. The transformation speaks to our new unique, eternal identity in Christ. The anointing operates in the outer realms of natural personality, functioning through those elements of the human spirit common to all men.
The cross brings the heart from temporal orientation to the eternal Knowing of God. The work of the anointing brings impersonal realities from the eternal realm to bear on the temporal according to spiritual laws and principles.
Let's take a closer in depth look at these natural differences.
- Distinctives of Nature
The work of transformation centers on the inner man and the separation of our new identity to the Lord at the expense of all other relationships. Its ministry tends to emphasize the believer's "pure identity" in Christ without respect to positions of authority or titles of spiritual offices.1 The ministry of anointing, on the other hand, causes us to measure our identity and effectiveness for Christ by the extent of our relationship with the Church and our ability to relate to those outside the faith. It emphasizes the believer's "applied identity" according to function in the body of Christ, stressing the importance of corporate position.2
The work of the cross centers our awareness on the eternal destiny awaiting us in Christ. This is at the expense of care or concern for temporal matters and the affairs of daily life. It leads us to a heart separation from personal position and possessions to set our devotion on Christ. The anointing however draws our attention to the here-and-now. It inspires us with vision to bring God's power to the temporal world and apply His acts to the nitty-gritty of daily affairs. Anointing ministry gears us to circumstantial and relational changes on the surface of personality and possession.
The worship characterizing transformation ministry is quiet and meditative in approach to God. It is awestruck at His presence. But anointing-class worship is outward and uninhibitedly expressive. It is marked by loud singing, clapping, dancing, and shouts of joy. Transformation worship admires the Lord for His own beauty while anointing worship extols the Lord for His mighty acts in the earth. Really, what we call "praise and worship" answers to each of the works of anointing and transformation.
The hallmark of the life of transformation is suffering. This suffering is internal through the endurance of separation from the carnal nature. It is also external through the relational rejections and physical deprivations that result for obedience to the Lord. By contrast, except for the warfare anointing, the anointing ministry works to relieve suffering. It heals from inward pain, binding up the broken heart. It brings a spirit of joy and gladness, alleviating physical suffering through bodily healing and material prosperity. The anointing also brings relational prosperity and acceptance in the church under the anointing for favor and unity.
- Distinctives of Effect
As the natures of transformation and anointing are each played out in the lives of believers and churches, they effect differences in the practical outworking of faith. In its quest for perfection, the transformation process leads us into a spiritual obedience marked by individualism. Its emphasis on personal responsibility before the Lord inspires us to cut our own path in Christ according to the blueprint of His destiny planted within us. The anointing, meanwhile, with its corporalistic orientation engenders a sense of responsibility for ministry with respect to others. Functioning best in an open body context, anointing ministry finds fulfilment through its ability to touch visible society. Hence those marked most by its work have a sense of destiny tied to that of the larger body to whom they minister.
Highlighting our uniqueness in Christ, transformation ministry leads us to a place of perpetual solitude and withdrawal from activity as we ponder the eternal before us. It also leaves us content to effect only a small handful of faithful remnant believers or to mentor but one individual in the truth. By contrast, the work of anointing drives us to open, active engagement with the Church and society at its most visible levels. Finding its strength in the numbers of people it can reach with God's goodness, it puts us onto the front line of human existence through preaching, teaching, and working miracles.
The transformation leads us to separate from all men who retain impurity in their lives, and to present a clear testimony for righteousness by such separation.3 Transformation is not afraid to break with cultural or religious tradition to take its stand, nor cares for the offense its actions may create in those who believe not the truth. But anointing ministry emphasizes the testimony that comes by identifying with all men in order to bring the anointing's benefits to them.4 It actively seeks innovative ways by which it can reach men on their own level, sometimes even at the expense of personal principle to achieve a higher good.
In our relationship to spiritual authority, transformation and anointing also dictate differing senses of responsibility and accountability. Transformation ministry emphasizes the intrinsic authority we have through suffering which yields internal power for holy living. It accepts the outworking of the image of Christ as the only standard for manifest spiritual authority in the church. In charting one's personal course, the transformation depends primarily on direct, self-verifying revelation for direction from God5 and considers that word to be the supreme source of authority to which it is accountable.
In stark contrast, the body-oriented work of anointing emphasizes the secondary authority of gifts and offices with their distinctions of titles and positions. Authority is established by a recognition from those who already serve in positional authority, and obedience to the Lord is measured in terms of submission to body leadership. The ultimate test of authority is one's demonstration of power under the anointing. To determine personal and church direction, the anointing looks to the confirmation of direction through body ministry wherein prophetic and revelational gifts are displayed.6
Using the overall picture of the harvesting process, the ministry of transformation tends to be characterized by the digging, weed pulling, and hoeing aspects of spiritual life that speak of unrewarded faith in the present.7 The anointing ministry is marked by the more prosperous times of watering, reaping, and the harvesting of visible results of God's kingdom at work in the earth.8
How can two such radically different spiritual works relate together? More specifically, how is it possible that the work of anointing can serve the foundational work of transformation? It would seem from the above comparisons that the two works are totally opposed.
Indeed, this is the natural conclusion of most believers who are dedicated to the work of transformation. They deny the work of the anointing because they cannot see how it reinforces the work of transformation with its demands for self-denial, its focus on the eternal at the expense of the temporal, and its dedication to the unseen internal at the expense of the superficial. They know that human cooperation through repentance and obedience are absolute requisites to every step of progress in transformation. But these are not requisites to most present manifestations of the anointing which are often dispensed to and through multitudes of carnally minded believers. "How can the anointing serve the transformation when the anointing perpetually focuses us on the situations and needs of earthly life ? How can it possibly be from the Lord if it is not given according to obedience? "
The same questions from the opposite side are encountered by those whose primary experience in the Lord is rooted only in the work of the anointing. Those who have tasted of the powers of the world to come and seen God's free dispensing of those powers without regard to human worthiness do not see how the foundational concepts of the transformation apply to us today. "How can a good God who gives His gifts of anointing so freely possibly be the author of suffering in the life of the believer? How can any kind of sickness or tragedy possibly be in the will of God for any believer? When can division in the church over any truth ever be from the Lord or more precious to Him than unity? Seeing the goodness of the Lord, how can the concept of His being a Judge possibly be from the Spirit? What is all this fatalistic talk of 'letting go and letting God'?" So there exists a major gap in understanding between these works. Hence there is also a gap between those who relate to the Lord primarily through one or the other.
II. Twofold Plan of Redemption
The mystery of apparent contrariness between these saving works cannot be reconciled without understanding God's twofold plan of redemption. It is a plan that embraces not only the heart of man, but the earth itself. In the beginning, God created two very different types of creation. He spoke into existence a personal creation in the form of man, and He formed a material creation-- the earth and the surrounding universe. Both came from the same God. Yet the two were different. Man was made in God's image, imparted with God's own life, and able to commune with God in personal relationship. As such, he was the centerpiece of the creation. The rest of creation was made subject to him.
Though man was the focal point of creation, he was not made to exist without creation. Man was not made in a vacuum or planted in outer space but was given an environment. He was placed in the earth and planted in a garden. The purpose of the garden was to teach man about the mysteries of His Creator as well as to exercise him in the qualities of authoritative creatorship which God possessed. The creation was designed as the medium for developing man's seed form creative potential passed onto Him from the Lord.
This means Adam had a twofold relationship with God. On the primary (or source) level, he had direct fellowship with God through the life of God within him. This was relational. On the secondary (reflective) level, he had indirect relationship with God through interaction with the surrounding world. This was creational. By itself, the world had no self-sustaining importance. But as the means for developing man's knowing of His Creator, it was indispensable.
When man sinned, not only did he fall, but the creation fell with him. Man died and the creation died with him, coming under the curse. For this God instituted a twofold plan of redemption which continues to this day. The plan would mirror the original pattern of relationship set up between God, man and creation at the beginning.
First, parallel to man's original direct relationship with God, the plan of redemption would have a direct aspect ministering pointedly to the salvation of that relationship. Second, as man was originally designed to have relationship with creation for perfecting of His direct relationship to the Lord, so would His redemption also feature an indirect dimension where man would work out his direct salvation through wrestling with the creation and apprenticing God in creation's redemption.
These two dimensions of redemption answer to the two works of salvation we are studying. The foundational dimension is the redemption of man's direct relationship with God through Christ. This is the work of transformation. The secondary dimension is the redemption of man's indirect relationship with God through the creation leading to creation's redemption. This is the work of the anointing.
The priority of these works answers to God's priority for man's original walk with God. The work of transformation is foundational because it restores our source truth relationship with God. Apart from this nothing has any self-sustaining meaning or importance. In parallel second place, the work of anointing restores our reflective truth relationship with God through creation. The anointing provides us the "gardening tools" for working out our salvation through apprenticing God in creation's restoration. Of itself it is nothing. Yet as the means for leading us to knowing of the Father, it is indispensable to the work of transformation.
This shows us how the anointing and transformation ministries relate. As God did not create man in a vacuum, neither does He redeem us in a vacuum. As the earth was created to develop man's qualities of God's likeness, so God's redemption of earth through man's anointed interaction restores God's ruling qualities in man. It is all part of the total package of transformation.
The entire plan and process of redemption looks ahead to the time that man is glorified and the creation is fully liberated into perfection. It looks forward to the age when man is immortal in Christ Jesus, and the creation functions by the grace power of God's anointing instead of the laws of fallen nature. The anointing will be the medium of existence for all life in the world to come. It will be exercised through a fully redeemed people in whom is rediscovered the original plan for creation under the headship of Christ.
III. The Working Relationship Between Transformation and Anointing
Paul tells us that the gifts of the Spirit have been given explicitly for bringing us into the fullness of the image of Christ.9 Restated, the work of anointing has been given to support the work of transformation. How then does the anointing actually serve the work of transformation? What can we see that shows us how they relate?
A. A Training Ground for the Saints
First we must understand that today's anointing foreshadows the power by which life will be conducted in the next age. As such it has not been given to us today simply as a means of blessing the earth. It has been given to us for our training and exercise against the day we rule with Christ through these powers. The struggles we endure now over anointing ministry foreshadow our recovery of the complete dominion of the earth which was lost when Adam fell.
Just as we cannot rule with Christ without enduring the process that makes us like Him, neither will we exercise the powers of the next age unless we become exercised in using them now under His control. Paul says we are "co-laborers" with God.10 By our use of the anointing we share as actual apprentices to Christ in the earth's restoration . A disciple becomes like His master not only by sharing the master's experiences, but by learning how to use his tools. Thus, part of our own transformation is our sharing with Christ in the process of the earth's redemption through the tools of the anointing. Our need for practice in use of the anointing makes today's anointing essential to the transformation process.
B. Supplementing the Work of The Cross
Our training in use of the anointing not only prepares us to rule by it tomorrow, but contributes directly now to our own personal transformation process. Some of the anointing's properties help us endure the cross. They also help facilitate that work as well as directly contribute to it.
1. Lubricating the Transformation
First, the anointing with its properties of refreshing help serve as a balm to the personality undergoing great suffering. As oil relieves friction by lubrication, so the anointing acts as a supernatural lubricant that relieves some of the friction of the transformation process. Transformation is a very hard work. The cross is a painful, uncompromising instrument of death, cutting away our remaining carnal nature. The anointing comes to make our subjection to this process bearable.11
For instance, as the cross cuts out our love of money by requiring material sacrifice from us, the anointing comes to make provision for us. As our personalities undergo stress of persecution and misunderstanding for Christ's sake, the anointing offers us a balm of joy and gladness. It helps minimize and heal the effects of our inner wounds. The anointing gives us an oasis of the Lord's manifest Presence during the blasting process that prepares our hearts for His fullness. Pointing to that deeper indwelling ahead, the anointing gives us a flicker through the soul's dark night until the day star of His invasion fully arises in our hearts.
2. Breaking Strongholds
The power that "breaks every yoke,"12 the anointing also facilitates our transformation by opening up hidden recesses of the heart to the cross. Our remaining carnal nature is the host of many hidden mental and emotional strongholds from which we need release. These strongholds serve as great obstacles to the transformation process. Carnal natures of believers are oppressed, their bodies and minds inhabited by demonic forces from which the anointing can save them in conjunction with the cross.
Though the work of the cross is sufficient to eventually cast out all such hidden forces in its onward march toward complete dominion, the anointing is able to save great time, allowing us to mature more quickly. Without the anointing's deliverance, the transformation process would take much longer to uncover and crucify these deep areas. The deliverance anointing drives out demonic nests. Prophetic anointing illumines dark areas which God intends to confront. When we are oppressed and know not how to pray, the ability to pray in the Spirit through tongues lifts us above depression and the quagmire of negative forces to help strengthen our basic anchor rooted in His life. These are just some of the ways the anointing breaks hidden yokes on our lives to facilitate transformation.
3. Crucifying the Carnal Mind
Not only does the anointing help us endure and facilitate the cross, but it also actively contributes to the crucifixion of our carnal mind. With its sovereign operation and unpredictable results, the anointing functions beyond human reason and expectation. Its ways often put us into situations that are ridiculous to the carnal mind. Many of the recorded miracles of the Bible occurred in settings that seemed foolish to those involved. The anointing defies our sense of propriety, our understanding of what is possible, of what is good and bad, fair and unfair, and right and wrong.
Because of these things, the anointing is an instrument of death to the carnal mind. It can minister death to the carnal mind in ways that nothing else can. No matter how obedient and faithful we are to the transformation process in our own lives, there is always a hidden element of carnal understanding that seeks to grasp that process, explain it, measure it, and keep us in some control of what is happening to us. Our mind's own ability to grasp the transformation process stands in the way of that process.
The anointing deals with our controlling understanding of the cross by taking us out of control. For this reason alone, our willingness to engage the anointing with its seeming defiance of God's ways becomes vital to our progress in transformation. Our subjection to the anointing insures that we can never finally sit in the driver's seat of the process of transformation.
The applications cited above show us that, far from being contrary to transformation, the anointing is essential to it. When applied properly, the anointing supplements and facilitates the work of the cross and the Father's love. God's central will is for us to grow up into Christ's image through transformation. The anointing is our garden of labor for perfecting that transformation, not only by training us to redeem creation with Christ, but by directly ministering to our transformation as well.
IV. Where Transformation and Anointing Meet
Certain concepts and terms in Scripture have reference to either the work of transformation or the anointing depending on their context. These dual terms reveal the places where these works are closely entwined in Christian life. They also cause confusion concerning these works when misapplied. The use of the same term for different works often leads us to mistakenly interchange transformational and anointing attributes, proving devastating to theology and practice. In this section we will examine the key terms in Scripture where these works overlap and try to distinguish the properties clearly.
The word "faith" is used to describe invisible realities about both the transformation and the anointing. There is "transformation faith" and there is "anointing faith." The two are not the same and have different operations and results.
1. Transformation Faith
Transformation faith is "heart faith" and is a fruit of the Spirit.13 In the context of transformation, faith refers to the heart's apprehending of the Living God. It describes the unseen spiritual relationship that occurs through conviction for sin leading to surrender of the will which yields the birth and growth of new identity through interface with the indwelling Spirit. This interface results in obedience to the perceived will of God based in the intent to please God.
This faith is sometimes called "saving faith" and is described by Paul as the "faith that works by love."14 It works by love because it is tied to obedience, the evidence of love. The essence of this faith is its natural bent to obey God at the expense of every other opposing thought or natural perception. It is the word that describes the heart's perpetual invisible surrender to the Lord. This is the faith without which it is impossible to please God.15
Transformational faith is the faith tied to the concept of regeneration, obedience and love throughout the New Testament.16 It is in this context that the word "faith" is used in the overwhelming majority.
2. Anointing Faith
Anointing faith is "spirit faith," ie, it refers simply to interaction between human spirit and the Holy Spirit. It refers to the power of the Lord in a believer's spirit to interface with spiritual realities resulting in the Spirit's action that yields changes to natural reality. The essential element of anointing faith is spiritual perception processed apart from natural sense. But it is not necessarily related to the innermost state of a believer's heart or his relationship with God. It does not emanate from within the depths of new identity. This faith is simply the operation of the anointing with its qualities, characteristics, and powers through the human spirit.
Anointing faith is an operation which, once engaged by the human spirit, acts like a chemical reaction between Spirit and spirit to produce the natural results concerning which faith is expressed. It is a spiritual partnership for the affecting of visible and invisible realms. Anointing faith is described by Paul as the gift of faith. It is given in measured terms.17 This faith can work without respect to love and obedience.18 It is supplemental to transformation faith and is given to be exercised in subjection to it.
The ideal state is for a vibrant heart faith to be interacting with the aid of spirit faith to the highest level of exercise possible. We must have an active spirit faith in context and under the government of obedient heart faith. Yet the two are separate and one can be in operation without the other. Drawing the line between heart faith and spirit faith is sometimes difficult because when they are working together they are so intertwined. Yet distinguishing between them is imperative because the misconstruing of one for the other leads to bitter effects when they are not functioning together.
When heart faith assumes to have spirit faith, it leads to failed attempts to produce manifestations of spiritual power which only spirit faith can produce. It can otherwise lead to the conclusion that any further front-line earth-changing faith is unnecessary. When spirit faith assumes to embrace heart faith, it redefines righteousness in terms of obedience to spiritual laws that separates the heart from God. Faith becomes a commodity with which God's favor is purchased. The end of this assumption leads to damnation because a false system of invisible works substitutes for the righteousness of heart faith which alone assures salvation.19
B. Revelation Knowledge
Several words are used interchangeably throughout Scripture to refer to revelation knowledge. These include truth, light, sight and understanding. Like the concept of faith, revelation knowledge is related to both the works of transformation and anointing. Depending on its mode and context of use, revelation knowledge has very different properties.
1. Transformation Revelation
Transformation revelation is the revelation of Christ to the heart of man and the believer. A light which works salvation, this revelation is the imparting of the knowing of God to the human heart. Jesus has this usage in mind when He speaks of Himself as the "light of the world," "the truth," and when He defines eternal life as the "knowing of God."20 Jesus also has the transformational context in view when He describes His personal "manifesting" to the heart of the believer21 as well as when He refers to the believers themselves as light.22 Again, the transformational context is the favored meaning throughout the New Testament.
The transformational concept of light is always tied to moral choice that becomes determinative of greater or lesser relationship with the Lord. John refers to this light as an agent for the revealing of sin in the life so that it may be cleansed. This light is also equated with love, a fruit of the Spirit.23 It increases or decreases as the heart yields to or refuses its revelation.24 Transformational sight is the capacity for spiritual seeing linked to holiness which enables man to view the Lord.25 Both Paul and John state that some rudimentary degree of transformational light is planted in every human conscience. That light leaves every human without excuse before God whether or not he comes to receive the greater light through Scripture or preaching which leads to decisive regeneration.26
2. Anointing Revelation
Anointing revelation knowledge is not linked to moral choice or determinative of standing with God. It simply refers to the spiritual impartation of impersonal knowledge to the human spirit. This knowledge can be of either natural or heavenly content. Anointing for revelation pertains to the revealing of spiritual understanding outside the knowing of God which defines eternal life. John refers to this anointed knowledge when He says "you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things."27 This parallels the promise that the Holy Spirit will "guide you into all truth."28
Anointed revelation comes in many forms including dreams, visions, audible and inaudible voices, and visitations from angelic beings as well as the Lord Himself. It imparts knowledge which is accessory to the knowledge of Christ but it cannot save. It gives illumination of the Scriptures as well as understanding of previously unrevealed mysteries.
Paul makes the most mention of anointed revelation both by instruction and personal testimony. He links his knowledge and revelational experiences to his gifted office as an apostle.29 Several gifts of the Spirit including prophecy, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, tongues, and interpretation of tongues are types of secondary spiritual light. By itself, all knowledge of this class is profitless and results in pride.30 It is not permanent as is the eternal knowledge of God.31
Anointed revelation serves transformational revelation in the same way earthly knowledge facilitates everyday human relationship. Our ability to know others is extremely enhanced by our learning about them. For instance, a good professional will learn what he can about a prospective client before attempting to approach him for business. A suitor will learn what he can about a potential sweetheart before seeking to court her. Such knowledge becomes a point of contact that shows personal interest and so wins the heart.
Similarly, revelation about the Lord's acts and ways feeds our heart knowledge of Him. Revelational principles act as schoolmasters aiding our approach to the Lord until we gain entrance into the fuller relationship of heart knowledge to which each principle corresponds. Anointed revelation provides the ladder on which heart revelation can climb in its ascent into intimacy with the Father.
Nevertheless, like the concept of faith, it is critical to distinguish heart knowledge from spirit knowledge. Both forms of knowledge are spiritual, but there the likeness stops. All heart knowledge is spiritual, but most spiritual knowledge does not belong to the realm of the heart.
It is commonly assumed that the more spiritual knowledge or revelational experiences one has, the closer he must be to the Lord in heart. That this is not true is easily seen by the fact that an entire class of fallen beings exist who interact with God and His angels on a purely spiritual basis. Lucifer and all spirit beings aligned with him fall into this category. It is possible to have great spiritual knowledge about the Lord and not Know the Lord.
Spiritual knowledge leads us to heart knowledge of the Lord. But possession of it is no guarantee that it will lead us there. Possession of anointed revelation that does not lead to or support transformation revelation reaps great damnation. Outside the grace of knowing the Lord, all other knowledge is legal, and the end of all law is condemnation. Those who glory in anointed revelation fall into the age long heresy known as gnosticism, ie, the promotion of salvation through worship of spiritual knowledge.
While increased anointed knowledge proves nothing about our heart knowledge, increasing intimacy with God will unlock greater anointed revelation. As we are faithful to become transformed through what anointed knowledge we have, the more we are given. Anointed knowledge is important to our growth in heart revelation. For this reason we ought to desire more anointed revelation about the Lord.
Sometimes we mistakenly dismiss the value of anointed revelation once we discover the superiority of heart revelation. We must remember though that as long as we are mortal, we will always have some need for anointed revelation. We are still under the schoolmaster. We must humbly accept subjection to anointed revelation as well as throw off anointed revelation that has passed its time. Our transformational knowledge will fossilize if we succumb to the reverse pride of rejecting anointed revelation.
C. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Power
We have already learned that the baptism of the Spirit functions in dimensions that belong to both transformation and anointing. This baptism is the watershed event that unlocks the full powers of both these ministries in the lives of the saints. In the New Testament, this "receiving" of the Spirit is not so much discussed doctrinally as it is described by its occurrences.
When we look at the opening witness of this event in Acts 2, we see the demonstration of the powers of transformation and anointing. The baptism welled from within bringing the disciples into the fulness of the Father's love and power for holy living after the crisis surrounding the crucifixion. It also came from above with the anointing. This was demonstrated through empowerment for prophetic preaching, by the supernatural gift of tongues, and by the accompanying signs of tongues of fire and rushing wind.
1. Transformational Baptism
Coming from within to produce the full revelation of the Father's love, the baptism of the Spirit fulfilled Jesus' promise that He and the Father would make their dwelling in the disciples 32 and that the Spirit would flow from their inner being.33 It sanctified and empowered them for righteousness, bringing them into the place of full maturity with its victory over sin and a divided heart.
Throughout their tour with Jesus, the disciples were plagued by doubts, fears, divisions, and questionable motives. They believed in Jesus to the best of their ability, but were essentially unstable in their commitment. All of them except John fled the night of crucifixion. After the crucifixion, they remained in fear for their lives. Even after Jesus appeared to them, they were torn between serving the Lord and returning to their regular livelihood.
But after the great release of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, the disciples became the apostles. They were now men in the fullest sense. They walked with a new internal authority by which they became the leaders of the emerging church. All their teaching and preaching from that time forward centered in the transformation ministry of which they had become the first full partakers.
2. Anointing Baptism
As the baptism from above, the filling of the Holy Spirit yielded power for ministry together with supernatural gifts, signs, and wonders. This fulfilled Jesus' promise that the disciples would do the works He did.34 By this power the apostles went on to openly confront the world with the message of the cross.
The anointing's power was not new to the disciples. They had shared in it during Jesus' ministry even though they had not been fully transformed. The disciples were given power to heal the sick and cast out demons.35 Not having experienced the depths of transformation, the anointing became its own self-sustaining source of joy, something which Jesus discouraged.36 The desire of some to call fire down on enemies demonstrated their shortsightedness concerning the purpose of this power.37 We can reasonably surmise that, in their immaturity, the disciples' exposure to creationary power reinforced their earthbound concept of God's kingdom and their self-serving motives of personal greatness.
Once the anointing returned upon them through the baptism of the Spirit, it came into proper service as a means for supporting the ministry of transformation. Because the disciples partook of the Spirit's baptism in its fullness of both transformational and anointing power, the anointing came into right alignment. They knew now that the anointing's power was not its own end, but was given as testimony of the greater work into which they had also been baptized.
Although the Spirit's baptism in its entirety embraces both the works of transformation and anointing, it is possible to engage the baptism through only one dimension or the other. It is possible for those who receive it to do so only according to the qualities of transformation or anointing power. This is largely the state of the Church today. The overwhelming number of people professing to have received the baptism of the Spirit have experienced only the anointing part of that baptism. A smaller number have experienced the baptism only in terms of transformational sanctification and maturity. Very few have experienced both.
Because it is possible to experience only one side of the baptism or the other, much confusion abounds concerning its true nature. Each side can and does erroneously believe that they have experienced the complete essence of the baptism through the side known to them. In turn, they conclude that since the other side was not part of their experience, it therefore is either unnecessary to them or is not for today. They may also conclude that the side they have experienced automatically embraces the full extent of the realities belonging to the other mode.
This one-sided experience and perspective leads not only to impenetrable division in the Church, but to great personal spiritual deformity. If we partake only of the Spirit's transforming baptism, we are left with a self-oriented experience and preoccupation. Our experience grows rancid over time because it has no outflow to minister to others or power to challenge its own mental grasp of the transformation process. Without the unpredictable challenges of the anointing to keep us pressing forward, our sanctification soon stagnates into a dead doctrine.
If we only partake of the Spirit's anointing baptism, we are left with a superficial experience that becomes its own end for rejoicing instead of a feeder for our relationship with the Lord. We are found with a shallow unstable walk similar to that experienced by the disciples before Pentecost. Our vision of God's kingdom becomes earthbound and our motives for moving in the anointing's power are very mixed. Without experiencing the baptism of transformation, the baptism of anointing becomes a tool for competing with our true growth in Christ.*
V. Bible Types Relating the Anointing to the Transformation
A number of Scriptural types and illustrations help put the distinctives of the transformation and the anointing into proper perspective. These types reveal the necessity of both works for accomplishing God's total plan of redemption. They reinforce the truth that the transformation is the central redemptive work while the anointing provides a context for that work through ministry toward creation.
A. Fountains and Downpours
Underground water and rainfall are the two sources of water that supply life to the earth. Underground water is ever abiding. Deep, unmovable, and hidden, it provides the main source of water for life through springs and rivers. Wells are dug into this water and provide perpetual life no matter the season or whatever the landscape above. In the desert of mortal life, underground water is critical to ongoing survival. This typifies the work of transformation.
Rainfall, as we have studied, is a type of the anointing. It is seasonal, visible, and comes from above. As a temporary phenomenon, rainfall evaporates and must appear over and over to have a lingering effect. Rainfall is necessary to the outward vibrancy of plants and aids the surface fruitfulness which becomes food for others.
When we read about Noah's flood, we learn that the flood was produced when "all the fountains of the great deep [were] broken up, and the windows of heaven opened."38 Both underground springs and rainfall were necessary to producing this earth-covering flood. Habakkuk 2:14 tells us that one day the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. This flood of the knowledge of God is typified by Noah's flood. The two water sources of Noah's flood show us by type that both transformation and anointing are essential to envelop mankind with the full knowledge of the Lord prophesied by Habakkuk.
B. Seed and Rain
This picture, taken from the parable of the seeds,39 is similar to the first. Here, the work of transformation is typified by the growing seed which rises through the ground to bear fruit. This illustration does much to clarify the distinctions between the actual life revealed through the transformation and the life support that belongs to the anointing.
In His parables about growth and harvest, Jesus compares the seed to the word of God. The seed of the word answers to our actual new identity in Christ whereby we have been "born again by the word of God." 40 We are composed of God's word. His word is the substance of our life and our new identity. The transformation process is all about the growth and fruitfulness of this seed-word in the knowledge of Christ.
The rain which pictures the anointing causes our life to grow. The rain germinates our life, but is not our life. We need the rain to grow, but we are not made of rain. The rain facilitates who we are in Christ, causing our seed life to grow as it should and bear strong fruit. Without rain, we have little germination and what fruit we have is weak and sickly.
This shows us very clearly the relative functions and importance of transformation and anointing. The seed of transformation is foundational, the essence of who we are. The rain is secondary, necessary to our growth, but is not our essence. In the life of the Church, the downpour of anointing which germinates the seed of new identity occurs in the phenomena we call "revival." We will discuss revival more fully in the next section.
C. Wheat and Chaff/ Kernel and Husk
Staying with the picture describing transformation life as a seed, the anointing is also typified by chaff or husk surrounding a kernel of wheat or corn. Nourishment is found in the kernel. This is what we eat. This is what we are. Meanwhile the husk is also living, but is not what we eat. It supports and protects the developing kernel until it is ready for harvest. Covering up the hidden life of the kernel, the husk is the visible part we see and which faces the elements. Then, the husk or chaff is taken away allowing the fully matured, ripened kernel to be eaten.
So it is the more visible work of anointing protects the hidden work of transformation until the seed of Christ in us is completely developed. Then it is done away.41 The anointing is living in the sense that it is from the Lord. But it is not our Life nor what we eat. Nevertheless the work of anointing is critical to protecting the developing seed of new identity in us. Without the anointing, the tender embryo of new identity could not withstand the elements of earthly confrontation.
D. Bread and Oil
Another parallel picture is that of bread and oil. Bread speaks of the word of God, which is Christ, living in us. He is the One on whom we are to feed. He is our life.42 This speaks to our growth in the transformation process as we intake His life in exchange for the life we lose.
We already know that oil is the main type of the anointing. One of the
major uses of oil that we have
purposely overlooked until now is its use in cooking and in making of
bread. The manna that sustained
The importance of oil to bread is that it moistens the bread and gives it consistency. This pictures the importance of the anointing to mediating and moistening the hard work of transformation. Bread without oil is extremely dry, crumbly, and difficult to eat. Without the anointing, the work of transformation becomes unbearable. The anointing moistens and brings continual healing to us amid that work. Yet the nourishment is in the flour, not the oil. We do not eat oil or drink oil. The oil is a facilitating ingredient of that which gives the life.
E. Wind, Earthquake, and Fire and the Still, Small Voice
The Lord appeared to Elijah in two forms at a desert cave. The first three manifestations of wind, earthquake, and fire were one form. These displays were all outward in effect and the Scriptures are careful to note that the Lord was not in any of these manifestations. Finally, the Lord came to Elijah through a still, small voice. It was at the Voice that Elijah was brought to tremble. Here the Lord encountered Elijah's inner being.44
These two forms answer to the work of anointing and transformation. The anointing was the power behind the first three manifestations. Notice how these manifestations produced creational effects, yet the Lord was not in them. This shows us how the Lord's essence is not in the work of the anointing. He is not in what He does. Notably, Elijah was not impressed by these anointed visitations. Nevertheless, these manifestations attracted Elijah's attention and prepared him to listen to what he was about to hear.
The power of life transformation was behind the still small voice. The voice, as quiet as it was, reverberated off the caverns of Elijah's inner being. The voice could not be seen, but went straight to the heart. By this voice of God's inward transforming power we encounter the Living God. It was here that Elijah encountered the Reality of the Eternal One in his heart and was brought to tremble and hide his face. This is the voice that speaks first to conviction for sin in the inward parts and ends by calling the saints out of the grave to immortal life.45
F. The Sea and the Cloud
Paul tells us in I Corinthians 10:2 that
As an aside, debate has raged for hundreds of years pertaining to the modes of water baptism in the church. "Immersionists" draw their strength from the literal interpretation of the word "baptizo." The "effusionists" and "sprinklers" draw their strength from the context of actual Old Testament practice. But if we look closely, we can see that one mode pictures our baptism into the sea of transformation through death while the other pictures our baptism under the cloud of anointing from on high. As the Lord moves in this generation to reconcile our understanding of the transformation and anointing, we can expect a sign of this in which a reconciliation of understanding concerning water baptism is effected.
G. Abraham and Moses: Promises of Life and Laws of the Spirit
In Romans 4 and Galatians 3 and 4, Paul explains the relationship between
grace and law by explaining the relationship of God's promises to Abraham and
His laws to Moses. The promises given to Abraham were foundational while the
laws of Moses were added to supplement the promise. The period under the law
The same relationship is found between the works of transformation and anointing. The transformation answers to the promise of life given by grace to Abraham. That work is the actual fulfilment of Abraham's promise in this age. We who are transformed by grace are the children of Abraham.
The anointing answers to the laws of Moses given after the promise to lead to the time of perfection when the promise is fulfilled. As Christ's incarnation culminated the age of Moses to end the period of law, so will the Glorification of the saints culminate the Church Age under the anointing, coinciding with the return of Christ. As the law pointed to the perfection of the incarnation, the anointing points to the perfection of the glorification.
Today, the grace work of transformation is subject to the legal operations of the anointing until the perfection of glory is obtained. The anointing is a "schoolmaster." It's gifts are creation-focused instruments given for the discipline of the transformation process. As such, the anointing does not replace or change the supremacy of the hidden grace work of the cross.
The discipline of the anointing through the legal operations of the spirit realm is important. It serves the transformation by forcing the heart into confrontation with higher and higher orders of creational reality. These confrontations prepare the new man for rulership as he overcomes the fleshly taint exposed with each higher order of involvement. Without the anointing, the transformation process becomes stunted in its vision and definition for its outworking. Like an unexercised muscle, it stagnates and becomes ingrown. Hidden areas of the flesh never come to light which must die for us to display Christ's unhindered glory and share with Him in rulership.
But the anointing alone produces a refined spiritual legalism. Though it operates on a level of grace higher than natural law, it is still legal, bound to creational reality outside the knowledge of God. Subjection to the anointing apart from transformation produces religious conformity to spiritual laws and operations. It is a bondage to achieving temporal changes that works condemnation when the "laws of faith" fail to produce earthly results. Anointing-centered obedience produces "charismatic phariseeism." It yields a religion based on spiritual works that reinforces fleshly expectations instead of crucifying them. It strengthens the yoke on us that it has been commissioned to help destroy.
VI. The Nature of Revival
The greatest corporate witness to the relationship of anointing and transformation in the Church Age is the revival. Revival answers to the spiritual type which relates rainfall to seeds. The revival is the corporate manifestation of the Spirit's outpouring sent to germinate the seed of new identity. Through revival, a corporate crop is harvested to new birth, baptized into perfected love, and into further degrees of overcoming transformation.
In the narrow sense of the word, revival refers strictly to the falling of the Spirit's anointing upon the ground of the human heart. It is an anointing event. As such, it may fall upon any kind of ground, and does. If revival falls upon ground where no seed is or the ground is not ready for germination, then all it does is to bring up briers of fleshly enthusiasm, emotionalism, and hype.46 The sheer force of the Lord's anointed Presence also will subdue evil in the outer realms of men's spirits without permanently transforming them. Both of these occur whether or not the ground brings forth a permanent transformed fruit.
But in its fullest sense, Revival (with a capital "R"** ) is the falling of the anointing that brings forth a transformation harvest. When it does so, the true relationship between anointing and transformation becomes clearly visible. Genuine permanent conversion occurs en masse as well as transformation at all other levels.
Since the first Revival in Acts 2, the Church Age has seen numerous revivals, all with a variety of results depending on the nature of the ground upon which it fell. Since the 1500's revivals have been increasing in frequency and scope of transformation effect. A last Revival at the end of this age will produce the final transformation unto glorification described in Revelation 14:14-16.
VII. Coming in and Going Out: The Seasons of Transformation and Anointing
Revivals are uniquely timed events that reveal the full experience of transformation and anointing at the same time. But these times are rare. Because of the extremely opposite natures of most aspects of the work of the cross and the work of the anointing, we find that we otherwise move through a constant process of cycles or seasons in which the effects of one work or the other are more dominant in our experience.
The transformation is always pointing us to the life of Christ within while the anointing is always beckoning us to ministry among the situations of daily life. Because the transformation is always leading us inward to the intimacy of personal fellowship with Christ, its usual work is to lead us to lay down our involvements with life and ministry to seek the Lord in the place of privacy. The anointing however is ever leading us to take of our inner life and impart it to those around us, engaging men out in the open places amidst the noise and din of the temporal world.
The difference in the pull of mental focus between these two works is so opposite that it is necessary for us to oscillate in our experience between the two. This oscillation is pictured in the words of Jesus, "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture." Jesus is saying that entrance into His life will be characterized by a continual "coming in" and "going out."
The coming in, which is first, is a reference to our spiritual leaving of our outside world to find Christ in the hidden places of the heart. It is echoed in His own call to the disciples every time He said, "Come apart and rest awhile."47 This speaks to the direct call of transformation to forsake our awareness of the temporal and develop our perception of the eternal.
Going out refers to our moving from the place of intimacy to confront the outer world with the inner strength we have gained in intimacy. This is not a call to depart from our internal seeking of the Lord, but to expand it against the frontiers of mortal life by the anointing's power. As the meaning of advancing the kingdom of God, the call to "go out" is seen in Jesus last words to His followers, "Go and make disciples of all nations.... you will be my witnesses --to the end of the earth."48
Though the mental focus of each of these directions is opposite, the works are not contrary in purpose. The anointing's call to engage the world is not in competition with or at the expense of the inward call to enter the Lord's secret place of fellowship. Nor is it contrary to the work of the cross. True, the work of the cross perpetually calls us to lay down involvement with this life. But the call to go out also advances the work of the cross. This is because the flesh can grow as comfortable in the quiet place as it can in spending its energies engaging the world.
The flesh's natural habitat is the energy of the marketplace. But its ability to grow comfortable in the secret place renders it necessary for us to both come in and go out if we are to continue dying to it. By coming in, we die to the flesh that wants to be energized to serve in its own strength. By going out under the anointing, we die to the flesh that has become used to resting in the Lord's Presence. Here the anointing with its opposite focus to transformation actually promotes transformation.
Under the Holy Spirit's direction, we become subject to this seasonal coming in and going out. The Lord's first call is always to lay down the things of this life. But then the Lord calls us to engage the world in ministry. At the right time, the Lord leads us into whichever mode will most promote our transformation. The Lord knows when laying down involvement will save us and when to lay down any further will help the comfortable flesh. He knows when engaging in ministry will continue reinforcing our flesh and when it will challenge our comfortable flesh. For these things, the Spirit's convicting power is ever with our heart to lead us into the right mode at the right season. It is for us to listen to His truth and assume the correct place of death.
In light of the foregoing, the words of the Preacher from Ecclesiastes are most applicable in paraphrase when he said, "To everything there is a season:"
- a time to seek the Lord alone, and a time to minister
- a time to lose relationship for Christ's sake and a time to find new
- a time to cast off involvement with the Church and a time to take it up
by the Spirit's power
- a time to leave position and a time to answer the Spirit's call to lead
- a time to suffer the pains of internal crucifixion and a time to enjoy the
temporal healings and blessings of anointed prosperity
By remaining faithful to the work of transformation over this seasonal call in and out of anointed activity, we climb the ladder of the Son of Man step by step in our ascent to glory. The process oscillates back and forth in increasing refinement until its vibration hums to the pitch of God's trumpet calling us to "come up hither." On that day we will become permanently and forever changed. We will be able to function equally in the heavenly or earthly realms, ready to govern our inheritance out of the power of Christ's perfected image in us. This is the destiny of all who endure to the end the outworking of transformation and the anointing in their lives.
The redemptive works of transformation and anointing manifest themselves through very different qualities. Despite their apparent opposition, the work of the anointing complements the work of transformation. Our appreciation of the true relationship between these works begins in our understanding of man's original twofold relationship with God. As Adam had both a direct relationship with the Lord and an indirect relationship through the creation, so is God's redemption of this relationship twofold. The work of transformation is the redemption of our direct relationship with God. The work of the anointing is the redemption of our indirect relationship with the Lord through apprenticing Him in the restoration of creation.
As a supplement to the work of transformation, the work of anointing prepares saints for the day they rule creation with Christ by its powers. The anointing also aids the immediate work of transformation by 1) "lubricating" the hard work of the cross by its healing powers, 2) breaking strongholds to hasten the transformation's access to the whole personality, and 3) applying the cross to the carnal mind's control over the transformation process.
Three major Biblical concepts have meanings that overlap the properties of both works: faith, revelation knowledge, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Discerning the two types of properties behind each concept is vital for properly formed relationship with the Lord. Several other Bible types show the relationship between transformation and anointing. The manifest teamwork between transformation and anointing is seen corporately in times of Revival. However, because the properties of these works are otherwise so different in nature and focus, it is necessary for the Lord to lead us in a seasonal oscillating pattern between the outworking of them. Faithful endurance of this seasonal oscillation will bring us to glory.
[Chapter 5: TRANSFORMATION AND ANOINTING IN THE LIVES OF BIBLE
[Chapter 5: TRANSFORMATION AND ANOINTING IN THE LIVES OF BIBLE SAINTS ]
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Mt. 23:8-9
2. eg. I Cor. 9:1-2; II Cor. 10:12-11:6
3. Heb. 11:38;13:13
4. I Cor. 9:19-22
5. eg, Ac. 27:23-24; Jn. 12-49; Gal. 1:11-12; 2:2
6. eg, Ac. 15:25,28; I Cor. 14:29-31
7. eg, Heb. 11:36-38
8. eg, Heb. 11:32-35
9. Eph. 4:7-13
10. I Cor. 3:9
11. Consider the anointed visitations in I Ki. 19:5-8 and
12. Isa. 10:27-KJV
13. Gal. 5:22
14. Gal 5:6
15. Heb. 11:6
16. eg., Ac. 6:7; Rom. 1:5,17;3:25; I Th. 1:3; etc.
17. Rom. 12:6
18. I Cor. 13:2
19. Mt. 7:21-23
20. Jn. 8:12; 14:6; 17:3
21. Jn. 14:21,23
22. Mt. 5:14; Eph. 5:8-9
23. I Jn. 1:7; 2:10
24. Lk. 11:33-36; 8:16-18
25. Mt. 5:8; Heb. 12:14
27. I Jn. 2:20
28. Jn. 16:13
29. Eph. 3:1-5; II Cor. 11:5-6; 12:1-10
30. I Cor. 8:1; 13:2
31. I Cor; 13:8-10
32. Jn. 14:21,23
33. Jn. 7:38
34. Jn. 14:12
35. Mt. 10:1
36. Lk. 10:17-20
37. Lk. 9:51-56
38. Gen. 7:11
39. Mt. 13
40. I Pt. 1:23
41. I Cor. 13:8; Eph. 4:12-13
42. Jn. 6:26-59
43. Num. 11:8
44. I Ki. 19:11-13
45. Jn. 5:28-29
46. Heb. 6:7-8
47. Mk. 6:31
48. Mt. 28:19; Ac. 1:8
* We will examine the deficiencies of one-sided spiritual baptism more fully in chapter nine.
** Henceforth the capitalized word "Revival" will refer to all revival that primarily supports the work of transformation. The small case word will refer to all revival which predominantly displays or restores anointing ministry without producing a significant harvest of transformation ministry.
Merrimack, New Hampshire
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
Page updated December 3, 2010