Under the Old Covenant, the Spirit had not yet been poured out on God’s people. Because the Seed had not yet been planted, they could only receive temporary coverage for their sins for one year at a time, through a special sacrificial offering of atonement. Likewise, God’s Spirit could only come upon certain persons for a set time. They could not receive the Spirit within them.
This temporary anointing was symbolized by the specially designed anointing oil used to anoint the priests and the temple utensils. The oil symbolized the Holy Spirit. Under the New Covenant, the anointing of God is the presence of God’s Spirit within us that brings supernatural power and ability from God.
There is an unusual incident that happens toward the end of the prophet Elijah’s first earthly ministry. I say first because he surprisingly shows up again at the start of the 7th Day. More on that later. Elijah and his apprentice, Elisha, are on their last journey together (2 Kings 2). Elisha and the other prophets-in-training know that Elijah is going to be taken shortly by God to Heaven, but Elisha doesn’t want to call attention to that fact.
Elijah instructs Elisha to stay behind as the elder prophet heads over to the River Jordan to cross it. The apprentice basically replies with a “No way, Jose.” When the two reach the swollen River Jordan, Elijah takes off his mantle (outer cloak). In those times, the mantle often signified one’s profession or status. Elijah smacks the water with it and the river parts so the two can cross over on dry ground.
Elijah turns to his apprentice, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha responds, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” So Elijah answers, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.”
Then it happened. As they continued on and talked, suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire and separated the two of them; Elijah went up by a whirlwind into Heaven. When Elisha sees this, he tears his clothes—perhaps in grief, perhaps in awe of the glorious sight, or perhaps a bit of both. The apprentice then picks up Elijah’s mantle that fell as the elder prophet was taken up. Elisha walks back to the swollen River Jordan and tests the waters. But not in the way you think. He strikes the waters with the mantle and cries out, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” And once again the waters divide so he can cross over on dry ground.
The Old Testament records that Elijah performed 8 miracles by the anointing of God. It also records that Elisha went on to perform 16 miracles—the double portion as requested.
The Chronos Lesson: Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God, “for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” The instruction is reminiscent of what Jesus spoke in the Sermon on the Mount. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Mt. 6:33).
God’s Kingdom is described as the Kingdom of Light and a Kingdom of His Beloved. So as we seek time with God, we can expect Him to reward us with the light of revelation and insight into the power of His love and grace under the New Covenant. This revelation from above empowers us to do the greater works that Jesus said we would do once He ascended to Heaven and the Holy Spirit was poured out on believers.
The anointing isn’t so much for us, although it blesses us when we allow the Holy Spirit to work through us. The anointing is for those around us. And it goes without saying that the world around us needs a touch from God! Dare to be bold in Christ!