In Christendom, the doctrine of class system with respect to how church members and leaderships respond and interact with one another in ecclesiastical circles varies based on denominational levels and church politics concerning who is the anointed or the higher authority in the church ministry. In this light, this section of the thesis endeavors to delineate on this ecclesiastical issue in Christendom while explaining who is the anointed of God. The content of this section presents Jesus as the Anointed One of God as prophesied in scriptures and subsequently names the anointed New and Old Testament ministers with respect to their vocations to the called ministries and offices. It concludes designating laymen in the house of God also as the anointed that qualifies them to be priests unto God.
Jesus Prophesied As The Anointed One
There are prophetic utterances in the Bible that talk about the foreshadowing of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, the vicinity the Messiah would be born, which ethnicity the Messiah would come from, which ministry he would provide for humanity, and which pedigree he would come from.
With respect to the foreshadowing of the virgin birth, the prophet Isaiah prophesied between 701 and 618 BC and addressed the house of David while speaking about a virgin that would be pregnant with a child whose name would be called “Immanuel,” that signifies “God is with us.” This prophecy recorded in Isaiah 7:14 was fulfilled about 5 BC.
With relative to his consign of birth, the prophet Micah prophesied between 750 and 686 BC that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Mic 5:1–2). This prophecy was fulfilled about 5 BC. The New Testament books of Matthew and Luke name the town of Bethlehem as the place where the Messiah was born. Matt 2:1– 6 describes the birth place of the Messiah as the fulfillment of the prophecy made by Micah.
In Gen 49:10, Jacob blessed his twelve sons and he told his son Judah that they would be rulers; however, one of them would be ultimate in his ruling. It is recorded, “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his” (Gen 49:10 NIV). The birth of Jesus Christ occurred about 2000 years after the death of Jacob. Jesus’ line of ancestry can be traced back to the sons of Jacob recorded in Matt 1:1–16 and Luke 3:23–34.
With respect to the kind of services Jesus would offer to the nations, Isaiah prophesied about this between 701 and 681 BC as in Isa 11:1–10. Isaiah spoke about a ruler who would come from the descendant of Jesse. He would be the Patriarch of Israel’s King by the name David. He would rule with justice and true faith and consequently establish peace. The nature of this peace that is yet to come will cause antagonists to live in peaceful co-existence that is eschatological based on time frame. This prophecy was fulfilled about 2000 years ago; however, the eschatological section of the prophecy will have been fulfilled when Jesus returns to earth for the Second Advent.
Jeremiah prophesied that the Messiah would come from the lineage of King David (Jer. 23:5). He prophesied between 626 and 586 BC and this prediction came into fulfillment with reference to the birth of Jesus 2000 years ago; evidentially, the gospel of Matthew and Luke trace the genealogy of Jesus Christ to King David. Some scholars believe that the genealogy in Matthew is Jesus’ legal line through his adoptive Father, Joseph, and that the genealogy in Luke is Jesus’ bloodline through Mary.
Marinus explains and gives the clarification concerning the Messiah and the eschatological implications with relative to the terminology applied denoting expected deliverer who would come to bring liberty to the humankind. He explains divorcing the philosophical understanding of the terminology with reference to secular history infused with humanism and ideological influence that confuses and diverts the true meaning of the Messiah. He narrows the Messiah specifically to the Savior of the world. As stated above, the basic element in the expectations presents the idea that is eschatological based on the understanding and conviction that God will send the Deliverer to the nation of Israel to bring redemption to the world through his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension into heaven in order to empower the universal church through gifting to perpetuate the kingdom of God on planet earth (Eph 4:8–13). This eschatological expectation with respect to redemption of the human race was accomplished through blood covenant to fulfill the Old Covenant and to bring into the existence of the New Covenant. Prophet Jeremiah prophesied, ‘The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, declares the Lord“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor,or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me,from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more (Jer 31:31–34 NIV). As the result of the Old Covenant enactment and the establishment of the New, the new creation reality is birthed into sinners who come to Jesus Christ for the salvation of their souls (2 Cor 5:17). The acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior creates a new heart or spirit; as the result, the law that was powerless to save sinners becomes annulled and the new law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus becomes effective to control the believers on the daily walk with Christ (Rom 8:1–19). Jeremiah said that neither will a man tell his neighbor know the Lord for they all will know him through the power of the Holy Spirit who brings into effect the new creation reality accompanied by character development. This spiritual phenomenon divorces Christianity religiously as a religion, but rather as a relationship between God and mankind. Jesus was sent and anointed to bring salvation under the New Covenant. Jeremiah prophesied concerning the new order (Jer 31:31–34). Isaiah prophesied concerning his anointing (Isa 61:1–2). Luke confirmed the prophecy of his anointing as eyewitness (Luke 4:18). Jesus declared the prophecy when he entered in his hometown synagogue after the scroll of Isaiah was handled to him (Luke 4:18–20). Klen argues that despite of the Hebrew word appearing 39 times in the Old Testament scripture, it did not significantly refer to the technical term “Messiah,” that is known by both Judaism and Christianity; nevertheless, the children of Israel had an earnest expectation that a Deliverer was going to come one day. It is regrettable that they did not recognize the Deliverer upon his arrival despite of the numerous prophecies predicted by the prophets of antiquity. John writes, “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him”(John 1:9–1 NIV). At the onset of Jesus’ arrest, he was mishandled inhumanely by his countrymen. After having leveled numerous allegations against him, King Pilate interrogated which individual should he released (Matt 27:17)? The multitude responded, “Release Barabbas.” In response to their request, King Pilate recognized and confirmed that Jesus was the Messiah (Matt 27:22). The king had no other alternative, but to release the Messiah to them to be crucified.
The Anointed Old Testament Ministers
During the Old Testament era, the coronation ceremony was held in the honor of the priests in order to set them apart for the use of Jehovah by anointing them with oil. After the anointing, they were supernaturally empowered to carry out the mandate of Jehovah in the temple (Num 18:1–7). God instructed Aaron how services should be offered before Him and prohibiting non-Leviticus lineage to go to certain places in the temple; or else, the individual would die. In this passage of scriptures, the priest in the Old Testament is an individual who has been consecrated by the anointing oil and dedicated to offer sacrifices before God. He is God’s representative during the temple worship; therefore, he is obligated to preach, to teach, to lead, and to offer sacrifices before God on behalf of the children of Israel. It was commanded that the high priest enters annually to the Most Holy Place in the temple with animal as to offer blood sacrifice for sin (Heb 9:7); on the contrary, Jesus entered into the Most Holy Place with his own blood to atone for sin once for all (Heb 9:27). Simundson said that the priest is called to teach the torah and to tend the altar. The priest in the Old Testament era is contemporary to the Pastor of our time because they both preach and teach the word of God. They are different in term of sacrifices as the result of changes made to the new order (New Covenant). It appears that priest is not a title, but the works an individual does make him a priest. Prophets of antiquity had played a dual role to serve as both priests and prophets concomitantly.
The second personality anointed in the Jewish commonwealth was the prophet. He was consecrated to serve in the office of a prophet and to deliver God’s word to the children of Israel (1 Kgs 19:16). He was a mouthpiece for God. In Israel, there existed three categories of prophets. There were ecstatic prophets whose bodies, souls, and spirits were completely overtaken by the Holy Spirit and whose prophecies were oracles.
The second group of prophets in Israel was a cultic prophet. This system of prophecy was characterized by religious worship especially with reference to rites and ceremonies with great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing. This kind of prophecies or prophets was not unorthodox or ungodly with relative to gods, but it was related to how the worshipers bodily acted to relate to the deity during worship. The prophets in the Old Testament were anti-cultic (Mic 6:6–7; Amos 5:21–27; Hos 6:6; Isa 1:11–17). Vannoy clarifies that the relationship of the prophet to that of the cultic life was based on the assumption of outward forms of religious activity not actually cult in the sense. The third group of prophets in the Old Testament was the court prophet. The example of a court prophet was Nathan who confronted David of his sin with Bathsheba (2 Sam 7:2–17; 12:1–25). These groups of prophets were anointed as messengers sent to deliver God’s word to the kings and the people of Israel.
The third personality anointed in Israel to lead was the king. He was anointed purposely with the responsibilities to protect property, to protect the line of kingship or dynasty in Israel, and to secure the presence of God. He was the one listening to God and doing exactly what God wanted done in Israel; unfortunately, many of the kings who ruled Israel went into the sin of idolatry. King Solomon became idolatrous (1 Kgs 11:4; Exod 20:1–7; 2 Kgs 3:13–15) as well as King Asa (1 Kgs 15:9–24). With respect to the form of government, Israel was theocratic. The kings should have been the direct representative of God to the children of Israel to take care of God’s properties on earth.
The Anointed New Testament Ministers
The Five-Fold Ministry Gifts
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph 4:11–13 KJV). The titles of persons mentioned in the above scriptural passage are termed as the Five-Fold Ministry ministers given by Jesus to the church when he ascended into heaven. They are called God’s gifts and are necessary to prepare God’s people for the work of service so that the believers can reach in the unity of the faith and spiritual manhood and womanhood. Each of the above mentioned individuals is graciously anointed proportionally according to the service, the calling, and the office. These gifts in Greek are called domata (Eph 4:8).
The word apostles come from the Greek word, apostolos, meaning, and one who is sent on a mission to carry out certain duties. In this thesis, apostles are categorized in classes based on dispensations. They are as follows: The first class of an apostle commissioned was Jesus Christ (John 3:16–17). The second classes of apostles commissioned were the disciples of Christ whom he sent to preach the gospel (Matt 28: 18–20). The third class of apostles is one who laid down New Testament foundation. For example, Apostle Paul is among the third class of an apostle. The fourth class of apostles is the missionary sent oversea to do ministry’s work or an anointed individual who is operating in those gifts contemporary to the gifts seen in the book of Acts such as miracles, healing, and signs and wonders (Acts 2:43; 3:7–11). An apostle is a foundation layer who starts a Christian ministry and the individual is empowered and gifted with spiritual gifts. Example in the Bible is the Apostle Paul sent by God to the Gentiles (Acts 22:21). The gift of healing, miracles, sign and wonders, prophecy, and faith operate in the apostolic ministry (Heb 2:4). The word apostolos occurs 80 times in the Greek Bible. The second class of apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and they are typically classified as resurrection apostles.Scharf names Peter as an example of resurrection apostle.
The Greek word, prophetes, is an interpreter or forth-teller of the divine will of God. A prophet receives divine revelation from God and declares it to the contemporary audience the message is intended for. Prophets can operate in deliverance and healing ministries and at the identical point in time operate in the gift of prophecy (Acts 4:30; Luke 5:15; 10:1–9; 1 Cor 12:7–10a). The word prophetes occurred 146 times in the Greek Bible. Since the apostles operate in signs and wonders and prophets hear from God, deliver the message and operate in deliverance and healing, ecclesiastically, the church is built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets (Eph 2:20). These individuals are very significant to the edification and growth of the church ministry numerically and spiritually (Acts 2:14–42; 1 Cor 4:14). Prophets can serve in dual capacities based on the grace and the anointing (2 Thess 2:1–11). A prophet can operate in other ministries such as pastoral and teaching ministries based on the ability to function simultaneously. Mare writes that prophet can have the teacher’s ability to teach and to prophesy simultaneously. In this context, the relationship between the prophet and the teacher mentioned above is the ability to function as prophet and teacher concurrently. In the New Testament Church at Antioch, Christians served in dual capacities as prophets and teachers in tandem (Acts 13:1).
The Greek word, euaggelistes, means a bringer of good news especially a Christian who is called to share the gospel message and does so as a vocation. Evangelism entails and includes preaching the full message of Christ’s salvation.The individual anointed and called into the office of an evangelist, preaches with signs and wonders following. Philip the evangelist preached with signs and wonders following (Acts 6:1– 6; 8:1–40; 21:8). He is the evangelist mentioned in the book of Acts happened to have started a missionary evangelistic work in Samaria after the outbreak of persecution following on the death of Stephen. Evangelism is not a profession, but it is a desire an individual has to share the message of Christ’s salvation grace to sinners. Philip initially occupied a deacon position in the church. On the onset of persecution as Stephen was stoned under the command of Saul, he decided to move to the city of Samaria to promulgate the gospel message to the inhabitants of the city. During his spiritual adventurism in attacking the kingdom of darkness through the proclamation of the gospel message, signs and wonders accompanied the word of God. Many came to know Jesus Christ as the result of miracles settling the predicaments of mankind. An evangelist is anointed dynamically under the anointing empowerment of dunamis (Rom 1:16–18) to win souls for Christ. He is authoritatively anointed under the anointing empowerment of exousia to cast out evil spirits (Acts 16:16–18) and the evangelist is charismatically anointed under the anointing empowerment of charismato operate in spiritual gifts, to teach, and to preach the gospel with miracles or healing following (1Cor 12:1ff.). The mark of a called evangelist is sign and wonder.
The fourth ministry gift Jesus gave to the church is the pastor. The Greek word, poimén,signifies a shepherd, a feeder, a protector, and a caretaker of a flock of men. The pastor is called into the pastoral office to deal with church member’s problems in various domains (emotional or psychological, cognitive, social, or spiritual). In this light, the pastor should have some training in the area of counseling to enable him diagnose the member’s problems on the clinical level knowing that not all illnesses or emotional problems members have that may be spiritual, but some may be chemical or substance abuse or addiction. God heals all problems despite of their originations; however, the pastor should have knowledge in diverse issues (clinical, biblical, or spiritual) to enable him be efficient in the ministry. The pastor is also encouraged to seek spiritual gifts since God has given him the gift of grace to function in the office. The gift of grace is connected to the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Gal 5:22–23. The pastor is not only called to his local church to minister, but he is also called to the community of faith. His call to ministry obligates him to teach, to preach, and to minister sacrament. Pastoral leadership is not a profession, but it is a called graciously anointed with spiritual ability such as the gift of administration, government, leadership, teaching, and preaching. Ryan concludes that pastoral responsibility is to correct errors in the hermeneutical scene. Pastoral leadership is encouraged to be theologically and academically prepared to deal with theological controversies that affect ecclesiastical circles with relative to how individual responds to biblical teaching in systematic theology. For examples, the teaching on holiness, the existence of hell and heaven, prayer, and impartation are among others. Pastors should be prepared theologically to address and to answer questions from the community of faith and individual that interrogate them concerning such matters. This is how hermeneutical crisis can be approached in order to solve the existing problems that put the Christian community and the world vulnerable concerning doctrinal issues across a broad spectrum in the ecclesiastical or denominational circles.
The last Five-Fold ministry gifts Christ gave to the church is teaching. In the Greek, the word, teaching, is didaskalos that signifies instruction. In the Bible, Jesus was a Great Teacher, who taught with divine revelation. A teacher is gifted with the spiritual gift of teaching known as the didaskalos. As the result of the didaskalos, he is empowered supernaturally by the Holy Spirit to present biblical teaching based on meaning, context, and division with respect to individual understanding. The goal of the gift of teaching is to edify the body of Christ (Rom 12:6–8; 1 Cor 12:28; Eph 4:1–12). Stanley writes, “God gave spiritual gifts to edify His church. Paul instructed the church at Corinth to seek gifts that edify or build up Christ’s church, telling them that since they were eager to have spiritual gifts, they should try to excel in gifts that build up the church” (1 Cor 14:12)..
Inclusivism Of The Anointing
The Holy Spirit Indwelled
All believers are anointed due to the presence of the Holy Spirit they received when they accepted Jesus Christ (Rom 10:9–10). After the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, he promised his disciples the Holy Spirit whom the Father would send to be with them (Acts 1:1–8). On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down from heaven like a mighty rushing wind and filled the house where they were gathered and something like a cloven tongue of fire divided and sat on each of them and they began to speak in tongues as the Holy Spirit gave them the ability (Acts 2:1–4). In John 16:5–16, Jesus promised his disciples that the Holy Spirit would be with them forever. The Holy Spirit is the guide, the teacher, the counselor, and the seal of ownership that they belong to God. He is the guarantee of the believer’s inheritance and the shield of God’s power (1 Pet 1:3–5). Paul admonished the believers in Corinth that their bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and warned them concerning involving in sexual sin that destroys this temple (1 Cor 6:18–20). The church that is called ecclesia in Greek are the called Out Ones sanctified by the blood of the Lamb and marked in him with the seal, the promised Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13–14). The church is not a building, but it is people saved through the works of the Holy Spirit and built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Eph 2:19–22). The church is the dwelling place of God in the Spirit.All believers are anointed as the result of the presence of the Holy Spirit (Eph 2:19–22; 1: 13–14) and therefore become the temple of God (1 Cor 6:16–20) carrying God’s anointing (2 Cor 1:21–22). The virtue of the anointing on believers as the result of the Holy Spirit presence and enablement qualifies and designates them to be priests unto God.The priesthood ministry of believers is confirmed as the result of the declaration made by the Holy Spirit through Apostle Peter that believers are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that they may declare the praises of him who had called them out of darkness into his wonderful light (2 Pet 2:9). Lindquist comments that Jesus himself made “room for the gift” of ordinary, commoner priests, prophets, and kings. In conclusion, God has created a system of order in time past and the now by electing some to be priests, prophets, kings, apostles, evangelists, pastors and teachers during the Old and New Covenant dispensations; nevertheless, all believers before God are qualified to function in the priestly ministry and His anointing dedicated for spiritual empowerment.
Chapter 3 Summary
In biblical history in Israel, a deliverer was
promised as prophesied in the Hebrew scripture of the Old Testament. This
fulfillment of the promise became embodied when the virgin gave birth to a Son
named “Immanuel” that signifies God is with us. After the fulfillment of the
prediction, Jesus is named as the Messiah
in Hebrew or as Christos in Greek
that signifies the Anointed One. Prior to Jesus being anointed by the Holy
Spirit, the Old Testament theocratic government had practiced the anointing
ceremony as commanded by God. In this light, the priests, the prophets, and the
kings were anointed to serve in their various offices. After the dispensation
of the Old Covenant era, Jesus ushered the New Covenant through his death on
the cross in order to fulfill the Old Covenant that was powerless to save as
the result of the weakening of the sinful nature; therefore, he introduced the
Law of the Spirit in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1–16; Jer 31:31–34). After Jesus
having spent 33 years on planet early, he died, buried, resurrected, and
ascended into heaven. After his ascension into heaven, he gave gifts unto men
(Eph 4:8–11). These men include the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists,
the pastors, and the teachers. These men are anointed and placed over the New
Testament church ministry to edify the body of Christ. With the obedience of
these men to the call, souls are won to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and
these souls are integrated into the kingdom of God and become carriers of the
anointing making all believers to be partakers of the priesthood.
Jonge Marinus de, “Use of the Word ‘Anointed’ in the Time of Jesus,”NT 8, No. 2–4 (1966): 132–148.
Ralph Klein, “Christology and Incarnation: Fulfillment and Radical Reinterpretation of the Old Testament Prophets,”Ex A 7 (1991): 9–17.
Daniel J. Simundson, “Priest, Prophet, Wisdom Teacher: Old Testament Models of the Minister,” W & W 9, No. 4 (1989): 351–358.
William Most, “Old Testament Prophets,”n.p. [Cited 2 February 2017]. Online: https://www.ewtn.com/library/scriptur/isaiah.txt.
Robert Vannoy, “Foundation of Biblical Prophecy Online Class,”n.p. [Cited winter, 2007]. Online: http://www.vannoylib.ibri.org/2007-Found-Bib-Proph/ExpandedOutline/ExpOut-VII.pdf.
Peter H. Lau, “Leadership Roles of the Old Testament: King, Prophet, Priest, and Sage,” TO 38, No. 2 (2013): 253–254.
Alan Pateman, “Types of Apostles,”n.p. [Cited 26 February 2017]. Online: http://www.alanpatemanministries.blogspot.com/2011/04/types-of-apostles.
Greg R.Scharf, “Were The Apostles Expository Preaches Old Testament Exposition in the Book of Acts,”TJ 31, No. 1 (2010): 6–3.
Harold W. Mare, “Prophet and Teacher in the New Testament Period,” BES 9, No. 3 (1966): 139–148.
George Milligan, “Philip, the Evangelist,”n.p. [Cited 2 February 2017]. Online: http://biblehub.com/library/milligan/men_of_the_bible_some_lesser-known/philip_the_evangelist.htm.
“Study 6 Philip: Deacon and Evangelist,”n.p. [Cited 4 February 2017]. Online: http://www.wordsoflife.co.uk/bible-studies/study-6-philip-deacon-and-evangelist/.
Nathan V. A. Luong and Thomas G Westcott, “Coaching as a Model for Pastoral Leadership,” WW 35, No. 4 (2015): 349–357.
Ryan LaMothe, “Reflections on Pastoral Leadership in the Face of Cultural Communal Ruin,”JT20, No. 1 (2010): 1–21.
Jeff Carver, “The Spiritual Gift of Teaching,”n.p. [Cited 26 February 2017]. Online: https://spiritualgiftstest.com/spiritual-gift-teaching.
French L Arrington, “The Indwelling, Baptism, and Infilling with the Holy Spirit: A Differentiation of Terms,”P 3, No. 2 (1981): 1–10.
Charles Lindquist, “The Priesthood of All Believers: Making Room for the Gift,” MA 17, No. 1 (2009): 31–37.