Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

The Anointing: What It Is and How You Can Experience It

What is the anointing in the believers?Have you ever considered how you, as a believer in Christ, can discern what is divine reality in contrast to satanic deception? The answer is “the anointing.”

The Apostle John said,

“And as for you, the anointing  which you have received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone teach you, but as His anointing teaches you concerning all things and is true and is not a lie, and even as it has taught you, abide in Him.”  (1 John 2:27)

But what is the anointing that the believers have received from God that enables them to know the divine truth, or reality in order to abide in Him?

In this post, we’ll consider what is the anointing in the believers and how it teaches us and enables us to abide in God.

The anointing is God Himself moving and working within us.

In Practical Lessons on the Experience of Life, Witness Lee says,

“What is the inner anointing? Just as the inner life is God Himself within us as life, the inner anointing is God Himself moving, working, operating, and adding Himself within us.”  (p. 96)

On what basis can we say that the anointing is God Himself?

Quoting Isa 61:1, the Lord Jesus said in Luke 4:18,

 The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me…”

 In the Scriptures, the ointment typifies the Spirit of the Lord. The anointing ointment signifies the Triune God with all the elements of Christ’s person and work as its active ingredients.

When this divine ointment, God Himself, is moving, and working within us it becomes the anointing.

Where “in us” do we experience this anointing? Our spirit.

As we’ve mentioned previously, the Lord, as the life-giving Spirit, dwells in our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22). This is why we need to repeatedly turn to our spirit in prayer (Eph. 6:18) to contact Him.

Since Christ is God’s anointed One (Heb. 1:9), when we contact Him in our spirit, we get anointed. The simplest way I’ve found to contact the Lord to receive His anointing is to call on His name from deep within–“Lord Jesus! O Lord Jesus!”

 The anointing teaches us concerning all things.

The way God  teaches us concerning what is of Him is to repeatedly anoint us with Himself as divine “paint.”  Later in this same chapter Lee says,

 “By the mercy of the Lord, I want to impress you with this word: The anointing teaches you. The anointing is the teaching. If I can impress you with this, it will change your Christian life. God teaches not by a clear word, strictly speaking, but by anointing. If we say that God does teach by speaking, it must be that this speaking is actually the anointing.” (p. 102)

 So how can you apply this anointing in your Christian experience?

Whenever you turn to the Lord in prayer and inquire of Him saying, “Lord what do you want me to do in this situation?”—He responds by anointing you with more of Himself as the divine “paint.”

Footnote 5 on 1 John 2:27 in the Recovery Version says,

“It is not an outward teaching by words but an inward teaching by anointing, through our inner spiritual consciousness. This teaching by anointing adds the divine elements of the Trinity, which are the elements of the anointing compound Spirit, into our inner being. It is like the repeated painting of some article: the paint not only indicates the color, but also by coat upon coat being added, the elements of the paint are added to the thing painted. It is in this way that the Triune God is transfused, infused, and added into all the inward parts of our being that our inner man may grow in the divine life with the divine elements.”

So God’s response to your inquiries is to “paint” you with coat after coat of Himself. This is the best teaching. In this way, He teaches you and makes His intention known.

By God’s repeated applications of the anointing, He teaches concerning all things especially concerning what is the divine truth. This is the primary affect of God’s teaching by anointing us in 1 John 2. However, this can also be applied in all the small or large matters in our life including the clothes we wear or occupation we choose.

 God’s intention is to anoint us with Himself.

It is encouraging to see that God’s intention isn’t just for us to know what He wants and to try to do it. Rather, God intends to anoint our inner being, to “paint” us with coat after coat of Himself, until we simply express Him.

To me, this is very encouraging because when I feel that I can’t obey the Lord, I can keep coming to Him and inviting Him to anoint me with more of Himself.

You may want to pray,

 “Dear Lord, I open to you to receive more of your anointing today. Move and operate in Me. Apply more of Yourself to me as the divine paint until I’m fully one with You and express You.”

 God’s purpose with the anointing is that we may abide in Him.

It’s really important to realize that God’s purpose in anointing us is not merely our outward obedience but our inward abiding.

Read the ending of 1 John 2:27 once again,

 “…even as it [the anointing] has taught you, abide in Him.

 I’m afraid that even our success in obeying God’s commands outwardly might distract us from God’s purpose—our abiding in Him.

The first stanza of a hymn on the anointing expresses this purpose of God:

 Divine anointing in me dwelleth,
And it teaches me all things;
It ever leads me in the Lord to live
And to me His presence brings.

In summary, may we be deeply impressed with these four points:

  1. The anointing is simply God Himself moving and working within us.
  2. The anointing teaches us concerning all things, especially concerning what is the divine truth or reality.
  3. God’s intention is not  merely our outward obedience but it is to anoint us with Himself until we express Him from within.
  4. God’s purpose in anointing us is that we may abide in Him.

If you have appreciated something concerning this inward anointing, please take a moment to share it in a comment.

 References and Further Reading:


About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

7 Replies

  1. Hope to receive more about how I can be fully charged by God’s anointing.

  2. Lauralee McIntosh

    This explanation has truly help me because I knew that I feel this surge of life within and it brings a peace but few people could explain

    1. Tom Smith

      Glad the post helped you. The moving of the Spirit of life within us when we pray and fellowship with the Lord is a strong indication that we touching the Lord and his intention. We need to seek to remain with the Lord in this way so that He can continually “paint us” with Himself. In this way, we gain more of Him and spontaneously express Him. For more help on the anointing, I’d highly recommend chapter 8 of Practical Lesson on the Experience of Life by Witness Lee. You can read it online at ministrybooks.org.

  3. hushan ganga

    It’s the first time I saw this page, about anointing and I am so glad I did ,I feel blessed. I am a pastor and I will like to know more of the Lord. Thank you.

    1. Tom Smith

      I am glad you enjoyed the post on the anointing. If you would like to know more about this precious truth, I would recommend reading the following books by Witness Lee on this subject, all of which are freely available to read online at ministrybooks.org:

      1. Practical Lessons on the Experience of Life, Chapter 8.
      2. The Experience of Life, Chapter 7.
      3. The Life-study of 1 John, Message 24.

      Also, you can download a free PDF of the book, The Knowledge of Life at mass.ministrybooks.org. Chapter 11 on “the Inward Knowledge” also addresses this topic.

      Thank you for your confirming comment and may the Lord richly supply you and those whom you serve through this life-giving ministry of God’s word.

  4. Jan Pieterse

    Tom, Thank you for your blog. I have been seeking to understand what God has said to me and your blog has certainly helped me to gain a deeper understanding of what His anointing means. God is amazing!!!

    1. Tom Smith

      Glad you found our post “The Anointing: What it is and how to Experience it” helpful in gaining an understanding of what the Lord’s anointing means to us in our experience. It is good to realize that we can come to the Lord, in whatever condition we’re in. We can confess our failures, longings and even our inability to follow Him or obey His word. The more speak to Him in this way, the more He anoints us with Himself as the all-inclusive anointing ointment. In this way we gain more of His element, like a fresh coat of “divine paint.” By His repeated applications of anointing we come to know God’s will and we abide in Him. Thanks for the confirming comment.

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