Thursday, December 20, 2012



When we confessed Christ as our Lord, we received the spirit of God. In Old Testament and Gospel times, this privilege was reserved for those hand-picked by God to carry out a specific work, for which supernatural ability and/or supernatural knowledge would be required. Today, those of us who are born again of God's spirit are members in particular of the body of Christ. Each of us has a function to carry out in that body which requires an open line of communication with God and with Christ, and access to the power of God through Christ. God has provided for this need by means of the spirit of His son, which He has placed in us. In Old Testament times, the giving of the spirit of God to an individual was symbolized by the pouring of holy anointing oil upon the individual's head. For this reason, a person who had received the spirit of God was said to have been "anointed" by God, and the spirit of God upon that person was sometimes referred to as "the anointing."
The scriptures have much to say about the spirit of God, and how it works in a person's life, that is simple, clear, and straightforward, for those who choose to look. So long as we walk in the light given by the written Word of God concerning the spirit of God, there is little chance that we will err.
Recently a new way of looking at the spirit of God, or "the anointing," has become popular. Proponents of this method begin by pointing out, correctly, that "Christ" is not Jesus' last name, but a title, Messiah, meaning "The Anointed One." Now the term "Messiah," is carefully defined in the Old Testament, but the proponents of this method do not restrict themselves to painting a portrait of the Messianic office from Old Testament scripture on the subject. Instead, they zero in on the word "Anointing", and use it to shed new light on the office of the Messiah. From there, they go on redefine the Anointed One's anointing in the life of a believer.
I want to deal in this study with a particular portion of this argument. Isaiah 10:27 has been used by many as the source for their definition of the anointing:
10:27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.
From this passage, the anointing, both on Christ and on the believer, has been defined as "the burden removing, yoke destroying power of God." Kenneth Copeland explained in his article "Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled":
"Jesus is the Christ. The Greek word Christ means the Anointed One. And since Isaiah 10:27 tells us that the yoke of the devil is destroyed by the anointing, we don't have to run scared when the devil comes against us, our loved ones or our nation. We can put him to flight with the blood of the Lamb, the Word of our testimony and the yoke-destroying anointing of Christ Himself!"
This interpretation seems to be reinforced by the fact that I John 3:38 does indeed tell us that Jesus, the son of God, was manifested in order to destroy the devil's works.
1 John 3:8
3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
But is this what this Isaiah 10:27 is talking about? Who is being delivered in this verse? Who and what are they being delivered from? And what is meant in this particular verse by "the anointing"?
The first clue we have are the words "in that day" in Isaiah 10:27. These words indicate that this is a specific prophecy about a specific situation, which was to be fulfilled at a particular time. We need to look outside this verse and examine the context to determine what specifically is being prophesied here.
Isaiah 10:5-7 gives us our next clue.
10:5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.
10:6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
10:7 Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.
The nation whose yoke is being referred to is Assyria. The nation of Judah is under his yoke. II Kings 18 gives us some background on the situation described here. The king of Judah at this time was Hezekiah.
2 Kings 18:1-8.
1 Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, [that] Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of {Judah} began to reign.
2 Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also [was] Abi, the daughter of Zachariah.
3 And he did [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did.
4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.
5 He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor [any] that were before him.
6 For he clave to the LORD, [and] departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses.
7 And the LORD was with him; [and] he prospered whithersoever he went forth: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not.
8 He smote the Philistines, [even] unto Gaza, and the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
God blessed Judah because of its godly king. But for the Northern Kingdom, Israel, the time for God's judgment had come.
2 Kings 18:9-12.
9 And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Hezekiah, which [was] the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, [that] Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it.
10 And at the end of three years they took it: [even] in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that [is] the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken.
11 And the king of Assyria did carry away Israel unto Assyria, and put them in Halah and in Habor [by] the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes:
12 Because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed his covenant, [and] all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and would not hear [them], nor do [them].
A few years later, the king of Assyria turned his attention to Judah.
2 Kings 18:13-16.
13 Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them.
14 And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have offended; return from me: that which thou puttest on me will I bear. And the king of Assyria appointed unto Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold.
15 And Hezekiah gave [him] all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king's house.
16 At that time did Hezekiah cut off [the gold from] the doors of the temple of the LORD, and [from] the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.
Hezekiah agreed to pay tribute to the king of Assyria, but that was not enough. The king of Assyria had something very different in mind.
2 Kings 18:17-25, 31-35.
17 And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which [is] in the highway of the fuller's field.
18 And when they had called to the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which [was] over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder.
19 And Rabshakeh said unto them, Speak ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence [is] this wherein thou trustest?
20 Thou sayest, (but [they are but] vain words,) [I have] counsel and strength for the war. Now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me?
21 Now, behold, thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed, [even] upon Egypt, on which if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so [is] Pharaoh king of Egypt unto all that trust on him.
22 But if ye say unto me, We trust in the LORD our God: [is] not that he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and hath said to Judah and Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem?
23 Now therefore, I pray thee, give pledges to my lord the king of Assyria, and I will deliver thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them.
24 How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
25 Am I now come up without the LORD against this place to destroy it? The LORD said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.
31 Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make [an agreement] with me by a present, and come out to me, and [then] eat ye every man of his own vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his cistern:
32 Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil olive and of honey, that ye may live, and not die: and hearken not unto Hezekiah, when he persuadeth you, saying, The LORD will deliver us.
33 Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered at all his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
34 Where [are] the gods of Hamath, and of Arpad? where [are] the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah? have they delivered Samaria out of mine hand?
35 Who [are] they among all the gods of the countries, that have delivered their country out of mine hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of mine hand?
Judah was not only under the yoke of the Assyrians; they were about to be destroyed as a nation, taken from the Promised Land and moved to some other part of the Assyrian Empire. Hezekiah knew that he and Judah did not have the military strength to defend themselves against the Assyrians. However, his trust was not in his military, but in the Lord. In the face of impossible odds, Hezekiah went to the Lord in prayer.
2 Kings 19:14-19.
14 And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.
15 And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest [between] the cherubims, thou art the God, [even] thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth.
16 LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God.
17 Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands,
18 And have cast their gods into the fire: for they [were] no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.
19 Now therefore, O LORD our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou [art] the LORD God, [even] thou only.
It was at this dark moment that God answered Hezekiah by way of Isaiah the prophet.
2 Kings 19:20-22, 27-28, 31-34.
20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, [That] which thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard.
21 This [is] the word that the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The virgin the daughter of Zion hath despised thee, [and] laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.
22 Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted [thy] voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? [even] against the Holy [One] of Israel.
27 But I know thy abode, and thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy rage against me.
28 Because thy rage against me and thy tumult is come up into mine ears, therefore I will put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest.
31 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the LORD [of hosts] shall do this.
32 Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it.
33 By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD.
34 For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.
God made to Hezekiah what seemed at the time to be an impossible promise. He not only promised to defend Judah; He promised that the enemy would not fire so much as an arrow into the city, and promised also to send the Assyrian king back the same way he had come.
Isaiah 10 is set in this context, and sheds further light on God's promise to deliver Judah.
Isaiah 10:24-27.
24 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.
25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.
26 And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt.
27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.
Here God enlarged upon His promise. Not only would God deliver Judah; He was going to deliver on the scale He had done against Midian in the days of Gideon, when 135,000 enemy soldiers were slaughtered in battle. These were welcome words to a besieged people, but they seemed to be divorced from reality. Jerusalem was surrounded. Hezekiah and his people were trapped, with no way out.
But God was as good as His word.
2 Kings 19:35-37.
35 And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they [were] all dead corpses.
36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.
37 And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.
God delivered Judah with a mighty slaughter, on a scale even greater than in Gideon's battle. In one night God removed the Assyrian burden from off Judah's shoulder, and the Assyrian yoke from off Judah's neck. The prophecy given in Isaiah 10:27 was mightily fulfilled.
But what was "the anointing" mentioned in this verse?
Isaiah 10:27 said that the burden would be taken away and the yoke would be destroyed "because of the anointing." Those who used this verse to define the anointing read this verse as if it said, "by means of the anointing" instead of "because of the anointing." We can readily see the problem with this interpretation if we ask ourselves who the anointed individual or individuals were by whom god wrought this deliverance. The answer is, by no one. He did not use an anointed man or woman. Instead, He sent an angel among the enemy to destroy them. Thus, the deliverance in Isaiah 10:27 was clearly not "by means of the anointing," but rather, "for the sake of the anointing.
At this point we need to ask: What did God give as His reason for saving Judah from destruction? The answer is found in Isaiah 37:35.
35 For I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.
God gives two reasons in this verse for defending Jerusalem:
For His Own sake, and
For the sake of His servant, David.
In the latter reason we have our link with "the anointing" in Isaiah 10:27. David was the anointed of the Lord referred to in this verse. In Psalm 89 we see the promise that God made to David, and the reason for God's defense of Jerusalem under Hezekiah.
Psalm 89:20.
20 I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him:
21 With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him.
22 The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him.
23 And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him.
24 But my faithfulness and my mercy [shall be] with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted.
25 I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers.
26 He shall cry unto me, Thou [art] my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.
27 Also I will make him [my] firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.
28 My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him.
29 His seed also will I make [to endure] for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.
30 If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments;
31 If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments;
32 Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.
33 Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.
34 My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.
35 Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David.
36 His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.
37 It shall be established for ever as the moon, and [as] a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.
There is actually a dual reference here. This prophecy is speaking primarily of David; but parts of it are not literally applicable to David. In particular, David was never made "[God's] firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth." That title belongs to Jesus Christ, the Anointed One of God. God's promise in Psalm 89 refers back in time to David, and forward in time to the Messiah, Jesus.
This is not the only occasion on which God preserved Judah for the sake of David. We find another instance in II Kings 8.
II Kings 8:16-19.
8:16 And in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat [being] then king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign.
8:17 Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
8:18 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab: for the daughter of Ahab was his wife: and he did evil in the sight of the LORD.
8:19 Yet the LORD would not destroy Judah for David his servant's sake, as he promised him to give him alway a light, [and] to his children.
The "anointing" in Isaiah 10:27 has nothing to do with the power of God being manifested in the life of a man or a woman to bring deliverance to His people. There are many instances in the Old Testament where this is the case. This is not one of them. In this instance, God Himself was the Deliverer, without help from Hezekiah, Isaiah, or anyone else. Here, "the anointing" has to do with the promise God made to David, and His purposes for the future in Christ. Isaiah 10:27 is not about how God delivered Israel, but why.
Isaiah 10:27 cannot validly be used as the definition of "the anointing" that Christ was given by God, or "the anointing" that we have been given by Christ. The burden in this passage was not removed, and the yoke was not destroyed, by the anointing, but by God through the work of an angel. We need to look to other scriptures for our definition of the anointing, and leave Isaiah 10:27 to be understood in the light of its own context.

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