WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT ANOINTING IS FOR
By Rodney W. Francis
The fourth Chapter of St. Luke's Gospel sets before us some wonderful, yet challenging truth concerning the Holy Spirit at work in Jesus - the same Holy Spirit Who now lives in all those who "have been endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:49 ). Right from the first verse we see Jesus being led of the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit before He was led into a head-on encounter with His (and mankind's) archrival. How interesting that it was the Holy Spirit Who led Jesus into a confrontation with Satan! But that confrontation was vital to what was to follow. That encounter with the devil was all about the power of God's spoken and written Word versus the present, personal, kingdom-building power and desire of the enemy. The winner of that combat would determine the future of Jesus, His power and authority, His ministry and the destiny of humanity. How grateful we should be that Jesus did not succumb to the temptations of Satan. Instead He defeated him by declaring the Word of God. Verse 14 tells us Jesus returned "in the power ("dunamis" meaning "power capable of anything") of the Spirit." Something very definite happened in Jesus as a result of the wilderness experience.
Jesus came back from the wilderness victorious! Have we come out of our wilderness yet, or are we still "being tempted of the devil'"??
After the wilderness, Jesus returned to His home town of Nazareth and on the Sabbath day He went to the synagogue. There He was handed the book of the Prophet Isaiah. He stood up to read. He spoke some very profound words. He spoke of the fulfilling of the words of Isaiah 61:1-4 . He gave the people the essence of what the Gospel, the Word of God, the will of God, the heart of God, and the commission of God is all about! He declared:
"The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind; to send forth delivered those who are oppressed - who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed and broken down by calamity; To proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord - the day when salvation and the free favours of God profusely abound. Then He rolled up the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were gazing (attentively) at Him. And He began to speak to them: Today this Scripture has been fulfilled while you are present and hearing" (Luke 4:18-21 , AMP.).
Jesus made it very clear that the Holy Spirit had anointed His life for a specific purpose. That specific purpose can be divided into seven areas of outworking:
Take a good look at these seven points. The Spirit of the Lord anointed Jesus to effectively minister healing to people: spiritually, emotionally and physically.
1. To "preach the Gospel to the poor" is a proclamation that the Gospel carries privileges, advantages and answers to those who are poor. "Poor" in this verse means "crouching, cringing in the manner of beggars; hence, begging, beggarly, poor ... living on the alms ("charitable donations" - Collins Dictionary) of others, having nothing at all" (Bullinger's Lexicon & Concordance to the New Testament). The Holy Spirit anointing provides answers to those who are needy. Those answers come as the Gospel (God's Good News) is proclaimed to the people by Holy Spirit-filled believers. Outside of the benefits of the Gospel and the born-again experience in Jesus Christ, all humanity is "poor". The Gospel preached gives hope and answers for the healing of humanity: spirit, soul and body. It is the message of wholeness.
2. To "heal the broken-hearted" means to minister effectively to those whose lives have been "shattered; rubbed together as to the heart" (Bullinger's). To be "shattered" means to be "1. broken into many small pieces. 2. impaired or destroyed: i.e. his nerves were shattered by the torture. 3. to be dumbfounded or thoroughly upset" (Collins Dictionary). We tend to use the word "shattered" when referring to broken windscreens on motor vehicles. It speaks of a major splintering and breaking. The anointing of the Holy Spirit enables people to be tenderly and marvelously put back together again; sufficiently healed so as to be able to put the brokenness behind us and get on to fulfil the purposes of God for our lives. Nothing else can do that.
3. To "preach deliverance to the captives" is all about taking authority over powers, circumstances, habits, situations that prevent people from being free. The word"deliverance" means "a letting go, a sending forth; dismission, a setting free as from captivity, or as from sins, hence, remission, pardon" (Bullinger's). "Captives" is a word that is linked with war: "being taken captive by the spear and being held as a prisoner of war" (Bullinger's & Strong's Concordance). Clearly the ministry of the preaching of the Gospel (through the anointing of the Holy Spirit) is to capture the captives and set them free from the enemy, bondage, habits; whatever has made them a prisoner. They need to be recovered, set free and healed to get on with life to the glory of God!
4. To bring "recovery of sight to the blind" is self-explanatory. Whether you apply it physically or spiritually, it is still a great healing. Jesus demonstrated that the Gospel is very much for the healing of the physically blind as it is for the spiritually blind. "Recovery" is "restoration" (Strong's); it is "1. the act or process of recovering, especially from sickness, a shock, or a setback; recuperation. 2. restoration to a former or better condition. 3. the regaining of something lost" (Collins). In the context of the usage of the word it is clearly speaking of the restoration of one's eyesight back to its original condition (or even better)!
5. The anointing of the Holy Spirit is also "to set at liberty them that are bruised." It is speaking of freedom for those who have been "crushed, broken down or into pieces" (Bullinger's). One translation quotes it: "that the downtrodden shall be freed from their oppressors" (tlb). It represents the bringing forth of new freedoms, no longer being bound by oppressors of any kind. Jesus came to set us free! Sin, sickness, disease and evil spirits are all oppressors of the human race! We are failing the anointing if we are not giving freedom to others.
6. Jesus preached these truths as "the acceptable year of the Lord." This is the day of God's favour! It is the time of God's release to those who are sick (spiritually and physically). The same Holy Spirit anointing is available today for the believers in the Word of God to take hold of and minister to others who are desperately in need of being set free. The Gospel according to Luke Four did not pass away after Jesus left this earth. He sent the Holy Spirit anointing to those who would wait until they were "endued with power from on high"(Luke 24:49 ; Acts 1:4 , 8). We either accept the truth of God's "acceptable year" Word, or we deny it (through unbelief of it and hardness of our own heart). May the Holy Spirit grant us more revelation of the truth that is in Jesus the Living Word!
7. "This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears." Jesus was anointed to fulfil the Scriptures. How did He fulfil the Scriptures? How could Jesus make such a statement? Who was this Man Who could publicly read Scriptures over 700 years old and say, "This day(today!) this Scripture is fulfilled in your ears"? Jesus could say that because He had won the right in the wilderness when He defeated Satan with the Word. The power of the Holy Spirit in a person was greater than the temptations of the devil!
We, too, in the Holy Spirit anointing, have power and authority - but we don't always know it! Nor do we act upon it like we should. The promises and power of the Word of God are not mere theories. They are the authority in Heaven and on Earth! And hereinlies the challenge we Christians have. This is what the anointing is for! The Church of this 21st century will not survive without the "dunamis" power of God alive and working through the believers of the Word of God. There is no substitute. We do God's Word and the people a disservice when we fail to proclaim the Gospel according to Luke Four.
So, what's our problem? Are we still battling it out with the devil in the wilderness? Has he got us bluffed? Blinded? Are his temptations still tempting? Until we settle that issue of who we are, and what we have through the Holy Spirit anointing, we will not rise to use the authority of that anointing in the seven areas He has been sent to us for.
This is the day for the believers to arise ... to declare the Gospel ... the only Gospel that works ... and demonstrate to an unbelieving, humanistic generation that the God of the Bible is alive and well in 2006 and beyond! The anointing is not for us to keep to ourselves - it is to be released out of our "innermost being" to a sick and sinful generation, to make them whole to the glory of Jesus Christ. Christianity is not about theories; it is about knowing and releasing the anointing of God out of our lives to benefit others.
The choice is ours! Through the Word of God and the anointing of the Holy Spirit we can exercise a power and authority that no other can demonstrate nor compete with. God has called us and anointed us for that purpose. What will it be?