Two Profound Basics
As you proceed toward your anointing of the Holy Spirit, dear Christian, I want to discuss two basic doctrines that are so profound as to shake the entire planet, indeed the entire universe. They address
repentance and the blood of Christ, which, of course, go hand in glove.
Repentance is the first step toward receiving the anointing, no matter what the level at which you stand. Now, I can hear the voices of protest: “But I’ve
repented; I’m born again!” To the fact that you’re born again, I say, “Hallelujah!” To the thought that repentance is therefore behind you and no longer an issue, I say, “No way!”
Let me begin by calling up Acts 2:38, which follows Peter’s remarkable sermon to the unbelievers in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. The power of the
Holy Spirit had fallen on one hundred and twenty Jesus-followers and this miracle was being manifested in various ways, especially in the empowerment of
Peter’s preaching. The Bible says that the listeners were “cut to the heart” by the message and asked, “What can we do?” Peter replied: Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call. “Repent and be baptized,” he said. Now look at the verse that has been so pivotal in my teaching about the anointing of the Holy Spirit: “Ye shall receive power,after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me . . . unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8 KJV).
So we have the promise of power after the coming of the Spirit upon us. Spirit. Anointing. Power. And they come after repentance. And what’s it for? To be “witnesses unto Me.” That’s important. You receive the power to tell people
about Jesus Christ. You will not tell the world what you are like, how great you have become, what a miserable sinner you were. No, you will tell them about your great High Priest, about your great King, about your wonderful Savior whose name is Jesus. You will tell what He can do with a life that’s empty.
I can hear the rumbles again: “What do you mean?.Isn’t the power given so I can tell my experiences, my testimony?”
No, the Holy Spirit does not glorify what you have been through. He brings Jesus to the center. He shows the world what Jesus has gone through to get You to
heaven, not what you have gone through to get there. You shall be witnesses to me”—to who Jesus is, what Jesus has done, what Jesus has said, what Jesus has promised. I have made all the crazy mistakes, beloved. I do not speak only about others. Before my encounter with real life and real power in Pittsburgh eighteen years ago, I attended churches that were so noisy and wild that they obviously thought noise was power. Everybody had a tambourine. They apparently thought tambourines brought the Holy Ghost. All I found was that I was dying on the vine; I had no life within me. I would stand in church and squeeze the back of the pew so hard that the blood would stop flowing in my fingers. Every Sunday I would go to the altar and weep and beg God for the power that I saw promised in the Bible. I had everybody who had anything laying hands on me. I’d stay in my room, playing the tambourine and trying every formula, reading every book and hearing every broadcast.I knew the promises of power, and I knew they had to be mine. Today I know they’re not only mine, but also my children’s. And the key is repentance. It puts you on the road to great fire and you will reach the destination God intends.
What Does It Mean?
So what does repentance mean? Let’s start with what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean to go to the altar, shed a few tears, say,”I’m sorry, Lord,” and go out to
do the same thing. Repentance is a daily experience. And it’s a supernatural experience, not something you can
humanly accomplish by yourself. It’s a gift of the Holy Spirit. Repentance rests on “whoever confesses and forsakes them [his sins] will have mercy” (Prov.28:13). That’s the true meaning—not only confessing,but also forsaking. Have nothing to do with it any more. You get on your knees and you say, “Lord, never again,” and you don’t walk out until the thing is dealt with. Until it is dealt with, you will not receive the Holy Spirit, and you will dry on the vine. There are far too many Christians sitting in their sanctuaries, dying on the vine for lack of life and power. They say, “But I’ve got faith.” Faith? When the gift of God comes—the Spirit—He will give life to that faith. Furthermore, this matter of faith has been talked about, misunderstood, and abused for far too long.People have cried for faith, faith, faith until they’ve blown it to pieces. They have so misused and misinterpreted the doctrine that they have completely messed themselves up—and thousands of others too. Faith, as I’ve just said, is a gift from God, gladly given and kept alive by the Spirit. As for repentance, which is the first step to the anointing of the Holy Spirit, it must occur in every sinful action of your life, even in simple things—repenting if you haven’t prayed, repenting if you haven’t read the Word, repenting if you have neglected the Lord, repenting if you have lightly treated the awesome gift of the presence on your life, repenting if you have removed Jesus from your conversation. Any of these sins show you are empty and dead, or at least on the way there. They disappoint the only One who counts. And there are much worse ones, which you know as well as I. They’re more direct, often gross,sometimes vile. And naturally they must be dealt with, and quickly. How do you do it? You go to God and you say ‘Lord, give me a repentant heart.” Like David, you say, “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” You say,”The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart.” You say, “Forgive me, Lord, for seeking the things of this world.” You say, “Forgive me, Lord, for leaving my first love.” You say, “Forgive me, Lord, for being so lukewarm.” You say, “Take not Your Holy Spirit from me.”You must receive the power of the Spirit daily to battle with the flesh in repentance. For it is a daily battle: “No, no, no, no” to the enemy; “yes, yes, yes,yes” to God. Good friends, we must say to the church—to ourselves—”Get back, get back to repentance with a true heart.” We must start living the kind of life that is crucified with Christ daily, for if we do, we won’t be able to keep the Holy Spirit away. We won’t even have to ask Him to fill us.Now, hear me on one more major point. God does not want His people sitting around crying all the time.That is not repentance. He wants us to be sensitive to our sins, to deal with them immediately, and to get on with lives of joy in the power of God.
Repentance. Presence. Anointing. Service. Joy.
What Makes It Work?
As you move toward your anointing of the Holy Spirit, I want to write briefly about a fact that stands behind everything we’re talking about, especially the first step of repentance.
In the Bible, pointing toward the first coming of the Messiah, the prophet Zechariah says: “As for you also,because of the blood of your covenant, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit” (Zech. 9:11).
God, talking about His people, is saying that the blood of Christ, the blood of the new covenant, will set them free. And the sad fact is that many people have
no clue as to how they can and should apply the blood to their lives and receive the liberty of repentance and all the truths of the faith. Many are still bound. Demons harass them. Sickness has hit them and their children. Confusion is
destroying their peace. It should not be so. The Bible teaches us that the
shed blood of Jesus Christ causes six things to occur in our lives in opposition to the turmoil striking so much
of the church:
• Ephesians 1:7 says, “In Him we have redemption through His blood.” We are redeemed by His blood. Redeemed from what? From the kingdom of darkness, the kingdom of Satan, who for now
is allowed to rule the world. Christ knowingly “shed” His blood, not accidentally “spilled” it, and redeemed (a marketplace word) us. You can look Satan in the eye and tell him he
has no control over you, for you were legally bought back. You see, God and Satan both know you were legally bought back, but do you know it? When attacked by the enemy, you do not need to cry out, “Oh, God, help me!” You can legally
say, “Devil, get your filthy hands off me.”
• Ephesians 1:7 goes on to say, “[In Him we have through His blood] the forgiveness of sins…” We were forgiven by the blood of Christ. Now forgiveness does not deal with buying back anything, but it deals with what you did as a sinner. God redeems you and then forgets everything you did, which means looking at you and saying you never did anything wrong. He forgets your “sins,” which are the things you thought about, and your “iniquities,” which are the acts of the thoughts.
In fact, Isaiah 38:17 speaks of God’s casting all our sins behind His back. And when God throws, they keep flying forever.
• First John 1:7 says, if we walk in the light, “the blood of Jesus Christ… cleanses us from all sin.” Please note the present tense of the action: cleanses. It is a now experience. Forgiveness deals with what you did; cleansing deals with what you’re doing. Think of it. The blood of Christ redeems and saves you at a point in time, forgives everything you’ve done in past years, hours, and minutes; and cleanses your very thoughts and acts right
now. If you repent, bingo, the thing you’re thinking that instant is cleansed. There is tremendous power in the blood.
• Romans 5:9 says, “Having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” Justification,
which has been accomplished by His blood, deals with your future—the wrath, which is to come. It’s a
startling statement, but if you’re justified,
anything you will do from now on is taken care of. Obviously, that needs explanation, since someone by now is already saying, “Well now, if I’m justified I can go sin tomorrow and God will take care of it. Why not live it up, etc., etc.?” The fact is, if you decide knowingly and willingly—that’s the pivotal phrase—if you decide knowingly and willingly to sin, your justification flies out the window. Willful sinning, knowingly and intentionally, is not of God. There is no more place for repentance. Simply said, your continued justification is dependent upon obedience, and obedience, you will remember, is the way to the anointing. Sin committed in weakness or ignorance or by accident is not the same as the former.
• Colossians 1:20 says, “And by Him to reconcile all things to Himself . . . having made peace through the blood of His cross.” God has reconciled you to Himself and there is peace between Him and you. He has brought you back and restored fellowship with the Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit. In its fullest sense, reconciliation here means “one with God.” You may say, “I sure don’t see it.” Be patient. The Bible says we’re being changed from glory to glory; you’ll get there. For now you’re there by faith, but you’ll get there by experience. And faith
• First Peter 1:2 says: “[To the pilgrims,] elect according to foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” As hard as it may be to fathom, the Bible says you have been sanctified by the blood.Now sanctification is tied directly to the anointing. The anointing will not come without sanctification, for sanctification means “set apart.”Recall the account in Leviticus 14 of the leper who stays outside the camp. It says the priest goes outside the camp, takes the blood, dips hyssop in the blood, sprinkles the leper seven times, and the leper is cleansed from leprosy. After this, the leper comes into the camp, and the priest takes blood, the same blood he sprinkled him with earlier, and applies it to the cleansed leper’s ear, thumb, and toe. Now this is important: ear, thought life; thumb, work life; and toe, everyday walk life. The priest then puts the oil on his ear, thumb, and toe and pours a handful over the cleansed leper’s head. This is the fullness of the anointing: thought life, work life, and walk life. The significance of this is that so many of us, even after we’re cleansed and inside the camp, don’t recognize the extra protection that is ours for all of life, not simply “church life.” The devil can and does hit our thought life, our work life, and our daily walk through life. I, for example, apply the blood on my wife, children, home, cars, everything. The blood on these aspects of life, if applied, protects them. The oil sanctifies them. Now hear me on this: The blood precedes the oil. The Lord will never anoint you with the Holy Spirit until you apply the blood to your life—all of your life. A great evangelist named Mary Woodworth Etter would apply the blood on an entire congregation, and the power of God would fall in a miraculous way. The Spirit answers the blood. Just Do It
How do you and I cover ourselves with the blood? Romans 3:25 ( KJV ) gives us three keys: “[Christ Jesus,] whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” The first key is knowledge. We must know what the blood has done. No one can apply it if he is ignorant about it. We must study it, learn it, know it. What did the blood do, and what will it now do? The second key is faith in what we know. Let faith arise in our hearts. How can we apply the blood unless we believe what we are saying? The third key is declaration by faith of what we know. To declare means to speak out loud. If I know it and believe it, then I will speak it—not as though by magic or superstitiously, but by faith in God, who never lies. It comes out quite simply: “It is written that through the blood of Jesus, I have forgiveness of sins. I am forgiven. It is written that I have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. I have been bought back. It is written that I can apply the blood of Christ to my thought life, my work life, and my everyday walk life. I apply the blood and all of my life is protected.” It Touches All There Is The power of the blood is truly without ending. We find that in just one of the sixty-six books of the Bible the blood of Christ has
• destroyed Satan—Hebrews 2:14
• destroyed the fear of death—Hebrews 2:15
• purged your conscience—Hebrews 9:14
• cleansed heaven—Hebrews 9:23
• given boldness—Hebrews 10:19
• promised perfection—Hebrews 13:20
• guaranteed the second coming—Hebrews 9:28
And now, my friends, you must take steps to maintain and retain the anointing that has or is being
given to you, as you will now see.