Reading #64 – Functions of the Spirit – Part 3

The Anointing of God

The intuition of which we have been speaking is exactly the locus where occurs the anointing that teaches: “you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all know. . . But the anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him” (1 John 2.20, 27). This portion of Scripture informs us quite lucidly where and how the anointing of the Holy Spirit teaches us.

But before we delve into this passage may we first explain the meaning of “knowing” and “understanding.” We usually do not make a distinction between these two words; in spiritual matters, however, the difference between them is incalculable: the spirit “knows” while the mind “understands.” A believer “knows” the things of God by the intuition of his spirit. Strictly speaking, the mind can merely “understand”; it can never “know.” Knowing is the work of intuition; understanding, the task of the mind. The Holy Spirit enables our spirit to know; our spirit instructs the mind to understand. It may appear difficult to distinguish these two in the abstract, but they are as disparate as wheat from weed in experience. So ignorant are modern believers in their quest to know the thought of the Holy Spirit that they do not even realize how to distinguish “knowing” from “understanding.”

Is it not true that we frequently experience this indescribable sense within us which makes us know whether or not to do a certain thing? We may say we know the mind of the Holy Spirit in our spirit. Nevertheless our mind may still fail to understand what the meaning of it all is. In spiritual matters it is possible for us to know without understanding it. Are there not times when, reaching our wit’s end, we receive the teaching of the Holy Spirit in our spirit and jubilantly shout “I know it!”? And are there not times when our mind receives light and understands what the Holy Spirit has meant long after we have obeyed and acted on what He has expressed in our intuition? Do we not at that moment exclaim “Now I understand it”? These experiences show us that we “know” God’s thought in our spirit’s intuition but “understand” His guidance in the mind of our soul.

The Apostle John speaks of the operation of intuition when he asserts that the anointing of the Lord, Who dwells in the believer, shall instruct him in all things and enable him to know all so that he has no need for anyone to teach him. The Lord gives the Holy Spirit to every saint in order that He may dwell in him and lead him into all truth. How does He lead? Through the intuition. He unfolds His mind in the believer’s spirit. Intuition possesses the inherent ability to discern His movement and its meaning. Just as the mind instructs us in mundane affairs,, so intuition teaches us in spiritual affairs. Anointing in the original signifies “applying ointment.” This suggests how the Holy Spirit teaches and speaks in man’s spirit. He does not speak thunderously from heaven nor does He cast the believer to the ground by an irresistible force. Rather does He work very quietly in one’s spirit to impress something upon our intuition. In the same way that a man’s body feels soothed when ointment is applied, so our spirit gently senses the anointing of the Holy Spirit. When intuition is aware of something, the spirit is apprehending what He is saying.

To perform God’s will a Christian need simply heed the direction of his intuition. There is no necessity to ask others, nor even to ask himself. The Anointing teaches him concerning everything. Not once will the Anointing leave him nor permit him to choose independently. Any who wish to walk after the spirit ought to recognize this. Our responsibility is none other than to accept instruction from the Anointing. We need not decide our own way; indeed, He will not allow us so to do. Whatever is not of the leading of the Anointing is but our doing. The Anointing functions independently; He does not require our help. He expresses His mind independently of our mind’s searching or our emotion’s agitating. The Anointing operates in mans spirit to enable intuition to know His thought.

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