The Five-Fold Levels of the Anointing
Ezekiel 47:1-10 & 2 Corinthians. 3:17-18
Be Continually Filled
Every born-again, Spirit-filled child if God has the anointing upon their life. However, each individual is responsible for keeping and increasing the level of anointing. That is why some walk in a greater anointing than others. The Word teaches Christians to be filled and continually filled with God’s Spirit, thus ensuring a fresh outflow of the anointing (Eph. 5:18). It should be noted that after the outpouring of the Holy Ghost recorded in Acts 2, the disciples experienced another outpouring soon afterwards. (Acts 4:31)
The Five-Fold Levels of Ezekiel
Ezekiel’s prophecy gives believers a clear picture of how the level of God’s presence and power can increase in the lives of His people. Water, streams and rivers often refer to the presence and flow of God’s Spirit. The highest attainable level of God’s anointing is represented by the waters which flow from God’s throne to individuals, groups or nations, and is often referred to as the sea. Wherever these water go, they bring healing and life to the needy. Spirit-filled believers have rivers of living water flowing from their innermost being. Because they are the New Testament temple of the Holy Spirit, they are the source of God’s river. Ezekiel gives a clear description of a five-fold level of the anointing upon every Spirit-filled believer.
Here Ezekiel watched the waters flow from the temple of God. Many believers do not have the full revelation that they are the source of Life, because they are the temple of God’s Spirit. So instead of activating the life-source that resides within them, they become mere spectators of God’s power. They watch how others flow with the anointing.
This represents people who know the way but are unwilling to take the first step of commitment.
Many believers only desire a shallow experience with God. Although they are saved and Spirit-filled, they seldom go beyond that point and live a carnal existence. They are not in a position to affect anyone around them with the Gospel. To them, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a once-off experience. Thereafter, they seldom desire spiritual gifts and spiritual anointing.
The knee deep level of the anointing is not much greater than the ankle deep experience. However, it does indicate a deeper experience with God. The knee represents prayer and could indicate a loyalty to the things of God, but at the same time they dare not wander deeper in the unknown realm of what God has for them.
The waist often refers to influence. This type of believer is active in the things of God and interacts with others around them. They may even have an active role in the local Church. They love the Lord and are somewhat involved in the activities of the ministry.
But it does indicate an unwillingness to give everything. The waist measures half of the body length, indicating a half-hearted approach to full surrender. This is the point where is Jesus refers to those who are lukewarm (Rev. 3:16) and also those who must make a choice to either submit everything to God or everything to the world ( Matt. 6:24).
This represents the believer who lives by faith and does not make decisions according to outward appearances, but has absolute faith in the voice of the Word and the Spirit. These believers are those who produce fruit, who are led by the Spirit (Rom. 8:14) and are not influenced by the flesh or natural surroundings. They are a blessing to others, bringing light, hope, joy and healing to those who are yoked in bondage.
They produce Kingdom fruit in their Christian walk and experience a breakthrough relationship with the Holy Spirit.
- Fresh Oil the Key to Growth
A key to growing in the Spirit is to ensure an acceptable Level with fresh oil ( Ps. 92:10).
God told Moses that the anointing oil had to be fresh (Num. 11:8). King David asserts that the anointing of fresh oil upon his life will ensure the defeat of his enemies (Ps. 92:10-12). The same principle applies to the New Testament anointing of the Holy Spirit. Believers who wish to be effective need to receive a fresh outpouring of God’s anointing upon them (Acts 4:31).
The Five-Fold Levels of Anointing on King David
From the anointing performed upon David by Samuel the prophet (1 Sam. 6:1-13), David grew in his anointing and resultant authority and influence.
- Anointing to Kill the Lion and the Bear
After the first anointing, which took place among his brothers, David killed a lion and a bear. God first tests believers with small things before they are promoted (Luke 16:10).
- Anointing to Defeat Goliath
After his success in killing the lion and the bear, David overcame a supernatural battle by killing Goliath. If he had not exercised his Godly anointing by killing the lion and the bear, he would not have had the courage to face Goliath (1 Sam. 17:34). No one took the challenge of this Philistine, including King Saul. This brought about promotion and soon David was eating with King Saul and ministering to him.
- Anointing to Lead an Army
David's time in Saul's court developed him further. Evading murderous threats and actions was an experience new to the shepherd boy turned court minstrel. When personal elevation is due to God-given victories, a spirit of jealousy can be released from those who once had the anointing and who came to know the value of what they had only after they had lost it.
Pursued by a jealous King Saul, David fled to the cave of Adullam,
where his family joined him along with a number who were distressed, in debt, or discontented. After many years of struggling to survive, during which he refused to kill Saul, David faced his greatest test to stay alive as well as to stay free of bitterness.
The anointed upon his life kept him from harm by the thousands of soldiers in Saul’s army, who were in hot pursuit of him every day.
But at the same time, he moved in the favour and power of God when he pursued the Amalekites and recovered everything and everyone that had been taken. David progressed beyond his first anointing - from shepherd boy to national hero; from the leader of 400 rebels to a warrior able to recover quickly from grief and win back more than he had lost. Along the way, David remained true to God's promise that he would fulfill his divine purpose and Israel and refusing to fight King Saul, even though he had the full mandate to rule when the prophet Samuel poured oil on his head.
Soon after, King Saul and three of his sons died in a fight with the Philistines and David's life as a fugitive came suddenly to an end. Leading the distressed debt-ridden and the discontent misfits into a 400-strong fighting force developed David even more. Mastering the temptation to kill Saul when the opportunity presented itself did likewise. Defeating discouragement at Ziklag (1 Sam. 30:1), which was a far greater giant than Goliath, was David's final, first-level step. His days as a hated, hunted fugitive were at last over.
Although anointed king by the prophet Samuel, David's initial development in the anointing took place while hiding from Saul. On learning of the king's death, David asked the Lord for direction and was guided to Hebron which was a town belonging to Judah, his own tribe.
Then the men of Judah came to David and they anointed David king over the house of Judah (2 Sam. 2:4).
Although David was no longer a king without a kingdom, his reign was to be a limited, tribal one for the next seven years. Judah was much smaller than the kingdom God had promised him. To David, however, a portion of the kingdom was better than no kingdom at all. After having kept his family and 400 others safe while being hunted in the wilderness, he could keep safe his family and his followers in the territory of his own tribe.
King David reigned for 40 years, from the age of 30 until the age of 70. The waiting period from first to final recognition was at least 20 years. Those were years spent developing in the anointing.
However, this new level of responsibility brought change. Instead of random skirmishes, there was a long war between the dynasties of Saul and David. (2 Sam. 3:1) But as David grew stronger and stronger, the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker because David's house had an anointed king.
Saul's dynasty died with Ishbosheth. All the tribes of Israel came to David after the death of Saul’s son, Ishbosheth and recognised his right to rule, and swore loyalty to him. Acknowledging his past leadership and faithfulness to Saul, they also remembered that, through the prophet Samuel, God had long before chosen him as their rightful king (2 Sam. 5:3).
In just 20 years, David had developed in the anointing, from potential king to nominal king to actual king. He had grown from shepherd to warrior to ruler. He had been recognized by his family, his tribe and his nation.
It is possible to begin ministry as a person with potential, winning small but important victories - as David did over the bear and the lion - without continuing to develop in the anointing. It is important to go beyond the initial empowerment (Acts 2:4) and develop a continuous relationship and intimacy with the Holy Spirit.
God’s anointed followers can and should develop in the anointing by degrees. Experiences in the anointing are progressive and steps to higher levels. David's first steps were the killing of a lion and a bear, and led him to the next level, the conquest of Goliath. Israel's inability to face the giant Philistine was the result of the nation's longtime failure to deal with its fears (Num. 13:33).
Many of David's actions portrayed those of the coming, greater Son of David, Jesus Christ. David's victory over Goliath portrayed Christ's victory over Satan. Since David was a prophet, much of what he said and did was prophetic (Acts 2:25-31). David was anointed three times - the second, among his tribe, and the third, among his nation, confirming the first, which had been among his family. Each was a further, and wider, recognition of David's right to rule.
Although he was anointed five times, David did not have five anointings! The Bible speaks of "the anointing" which is singular in meaning. However, the gifts are plural. One anointing but many expressions.
Level of the Anointing upon Jesus
Jesus functioned and flowed in the anointing. Obviously, Jesus was flowing according to the will of God. He also determined how much anointing to flow in at a particular time and place. Sometimes when God tells Him to flow in a sign, He will demonstrate a sign. In Mark 5, when the woman with the issue of blood for twelve years touched His garment, the anointing flowed out of Him and healed her. Jesus knew that the anointing had flowed through His life. He knew how the anointing came upon His life and how the anointing can flow out of Him.
Jesus acknowledged God’s anointing upon Him (Luke 4:18). He was announcing it. He was telling it to the people using Scriptures from the prophet Isaiah that the anointing was upon His life for the people. It is for the people to exercise their faith, believe it, and then receive the anointing of God into their lives.
In the same manner when people are not sensitive to the anointing of God, they would not know what it is like when it is present.
Levels of the Anointing upon Believers
- Measure Upon Measure
Believers must learn to be sensitive to the anointing. God anointed Jesus without measure. However, He gives the anointing by measures to His own. The anointing upon the lives of Christians is increased measure upon measure, as they grow and prove their faithfulness to the anointing.
The fullest potential of the anointing is the anointing without measure which is the same as the anointing upon Jesus’ life. The potential is there, but can only be attained through effective growth.
- Without Measure
Believers will do greater works than what Jesus did (Jn. 14:12). This implies that now the Holy Spirit is sent without measure. The Holy Spirit has been sent in Acts 2 as prophesied without measure. He is now pouring out on all flesh. The potential is there for people to reach into that measureless anointing that Jesus had. Some people have moved in their respective office to a realm quite close to that. As they move into the anointing, they must move exactly as God shows them. No more and no less.
There have been men and women who have moved into levels of anointing close to the level of Jesus Christ in the office God has called them. Every minister called by God should aspire to reach into that anointing without measure.
- A Deposit First
However there are principles to move into that measureless anointing. All start with a measure of anointing God placed on our lives. God does not give an anointing without measure immediately. There must be testing; there must be proving and there must be faithfulness shown.
God will give a deposit of anointing upon a believer’s life up to a certain level. As they are faithful in it and function effectively in it, then God gives another measure. Then at that greater measure God will tests their faithfulness.
The Corinthians had the gifts of God but they were not operating them perfectly. This shows us that the operation and perfection of the gift depend on us not on God. Paul never question that the gifts that the Corinthians had were not from God. He acknowledged that they were from God but he wrote that he would show them a more perfect way to operate those gifts. The operation and perfection of a gift depends on us not on God. It is our responsibility.
- The Anointing is Measured
The anointing can be measured. The anointing enables one to do the works of Jesus. The anointing can be increased. Just as believers grow from faith to faith, from glory to glory, and from grace to grace, so do they also grow in the level of anointing in their lives.
In addition, the Holy Spirit is received in measures. The amount and the level of anointing that operates in a believer can be measured. There are different degrees, different measures of the anointing.
Factors Affecting the Level of the Anointing in a Meeting.
When the anointing upon is not functional upon a Christian’s life, it will be lifted off. It will not be present all the time.
The anointing functions according to the will of God as the Spirit wills. It depends on the will of God whether God wants to manifest supernaturally at that moment in time or not. If there is no need for the anointing to manifest then the anointing will not manifest.
The anointing comes only when there is a need for it. It depends on the will of God to manifest the anointing although the fullest potential is available.
The level of the anointing will vary according to a believer’s preparedness. Sometimes, Christians are more prepared than at other times. Sometimes they may be able to spend time waiting on God more than other times. It is important to spend time in fellowship and intimacy with God in order to build up a preparedness to move when the Spirit moves. By being prepared, Christians are more able to tap into the full measure of the anointing upon their life.
There is a price to pay in anointed ministry, such as waiting upon the Lord, praying, fasting, studying the Word and seeking the mind of the Spirit. There are sacrifices that have to be made in order to walk in God’s fullness. Preparedness affects the anointing of God upon an individual’s life. When God places a call upon a person, he expects total submission. This almost always means turning off the voice of the flesh. Jesus said that He sanctified Himself for the purpose of anointed ministry (Jn. 17). He consecrated Himself because He had such a high mission for the sheep. He gave Himself entirely to the Lord.
When people are expectant, there is the potential to operate at a higher level. Jesus could do no mighty works in His own city, because the people there did not receive Him. They were offended at Him and that stopped the flow of God’s anointing (Matt. 13:58).
Many people were healed when the expectancy was high and the power of God was present to heal them (Luke 5:17). Some people pay a high price to receive their miracle. They may have to push through the crowd like the woman with the issue of blood (Matt. 5:25). Or they may have to shout to draw attention to their plight (Matt. 20:30). Some may have traveled long distances with the hope of receiving a touch from God.