God is calling us back to get under the anointing. May we unfurl our banner in the twenty-first century and may it say the same thing it said in Zechariah 4:6, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” May we reiterate the words of the prophets that were emphasized by Jesus—”the zeal of thine house bath eaten me up.”
By T. F. Tenney
Winston Churchill said, “History, with its flickering lamp, stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its themes, to revive its echoes, and to kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days.” So be it, Sir Winston. Now comes the question: As we are looking to the past, what has made the Pentecostal movement different from all other contemporary religious movements? I could speak of the Word, of truth, of organization, or personalities, and many other things. All of these would have validity. But you can have form without fire. You can have truth without the torch. You can have organization without passion. There is nothing any more unpalatable than dry truth. One thing that has been the hallmark of success for the Pentecostal movement has been the anointing of the Holy Spirit. This is something we must never lose.
What is the purpose of the anointing? Isaiah 61:1-3 describes it well. He said, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me.” The counter-question immediately comes—why? The answer is clarion: “because the LORD hath anointed me.” He then proceeded to give the purpose of the anointing, and the purpose is always for others.
“[He] hath anointed me to preach good tidings . . . To whom? “the meek”—that’s others. “To bind up the brokenhearted”—that’s others. “To proclaim liberty to the captives”—that’s others. “Opening of the prison to them that are bound”—that’s others. On and on I could go. The anointing is never something I enjoy. It is for others.
The Book of Exodus placed a curse upon a man who used the sacred anointing oil, dedicated to the Tabernacle, for himself. It was always something given for the benefit of others. It was never something to simply be enjoyed by self. The prophet said it well, It is only the anointing that breaks the yoke. The anointing adds power to truth.
There is no doubt that God anoints individuals to fulfill His purpose. Anointed leaders have always been the answer of God to crisis times in history. We must never lose it and always contend for it. I do not worry that my church will carry on as a society. We have enough denominational loyalty to hold us together as a movement. As I have often said, the machinery can clank on long after the oil has drained out. If we lose the anointing oil, we’ll not be the first denomination to bleach in the boneyard of what used to be.
- Richard Niebuhr wrote a book entitled The Social Sources of Denominationalism. In this book he made an interesting observation: “Rarely does a second generation hold the convictions it has inherited with the fervor equal to that of its fathers, who fashioned their conviction in the heat of conflict and at the risk of martyrdom.”
How do we convey to the coming generation the movement that God in His gracious love has given us? How do they inherit vineyards they have not planted and houses they have not built? Can convictions be inherited? Traditions can—but not convictions. Opinions can—but not convictions. You will change your opinion, but you will die for your conviction.