Subscribe via RSS Feed

The Johannine Anointing: Focusing on Truth


Unfortunately, Moon’s definition above blurs the distinction between the Lukan and the Johannine anointings, as Moon co-mingles the functions of the two anointings. In the opening quotation, note that Moon’s first three sentences refer to the classic Pentecostal anointing, whereas the last sentence refers to the “chrismatic,” i.e., Johannine, anointing: “And those ministered to are invested with a God-consciousness. …” (Although, even here, Moon writes as though this God-consciousness comes from the instrumentality of the anointed minister rather than from the chrisma of the Holy One, i.e., Jesus, cf. 1 John 2:20.)

The Johannine Anointing for Today’s Christian

Whereas the Lukan anointing is evidenced by external, mighty deeds of God for the performance of God’s will, the Johannine anointing is the quiet, inner witness of the Spirit, which certifies the truth of a teaching.

In the first century, John was writing to Spirit-endowed believers (3:24; 4:13) who were being seduced by super-spiritualists, whom some have identified as Gnostics; however, John identifies them as antichrists (such a one denies the Anointed One, the Christos, 2:22). Inasmuch as the chrisma serves to certify the truth of “all things” (2:27), false statements to the contrary would be anti-chrisma, making John’s “antichrist” identification both logical, rhetorically pleasing, and apropos. The common thread in the various branches of Gnosticism was and still is the Gnostic’s claim to greater and higher knowledge, usually of an esoteric and thus unverifiable origin and nature. The Gnostics of John’s day were denying the humanity and incarnation of Jesus. This eventually led to the denial of the efficacy of the atonement and the trinitarian concept of the godhead.3 The teachings of today’s super-spiritualists eventually deny the sovereignty of God, the Lordship of Christ, and the servanthood of the believer. These historic, biblical doctrines are denied by many teachers today who place man at the center with God in orbit around him.

Unfortunately, Pentecostal/charismatics, more than other Christians, have gravitated toward these unscriptural teachings. Therefore, a reminder of the Johannine anointing from Pentecostal/charismatic leaders would be in order. John reminded his readers of the teachings they received in the beginning; these were the truths in which they should continue (1 John 2:24). In the beginning, they had received an anointing, but some were discarding it and opening themselves up to seducing teachers. They left their beginning and no longer relied upon the Teacher or Paraclete (John 14:26) who, in fact, gave them their beginning through the teachings of the apostles (1:1-5a; 4:5-6).



Whereas the Lukan chrisma speaks of a usually visible manifestation of the Spirit, the Johannine chrisma is an inner witness to the truth of a teaching.

Though Luke and John both speak of a chrisma (Luke using its verb form), the contexts do not suggest a univocal usage of the term. Whereas the Lukan chrisma speaks of a usually visible manifestation of the Spirit, the Johannine chrisma is an inner witness to the truth of a teaching. The function of the Johannine anointing is to confirm these truths within the hearer, especially as they relate to Jesus (1 John 2:22-23; 4:1-3; 5:5-10; cf. John 14:26; 16:14-15). The text (1 John) seems to indicate that this function of the Spirit is operable in all believers who have been given the Spirit (3:24; 4:13).


Pin It
Page 2 of 3123

Tags: , , ,

Category: Biblical Studies, Winter 2005

About the Author: Robert W. Graves, M. A. (Literary Studies, Georgia State University), is the co-founder and president of The Foundation for Pentecostal Scholarship, Inc., a non-profit organization supporting Pentecostal scholarship through research grants. He is a Christian educator and a former faculty member of Southwestern Assemblies of God College in Waxahachie, Texas, and Kennesaw State University (adjunct). He edited and contributed to Strangers to Fire: When Tradition Trumps Scripture and is the author of Increasing Your Theological Vocabulary, Praying in the Spirit (1987 and Second Edition, 2017) and The Gospel According to Angels (Chosen Books, 1998).

  • Connect with

    Subscribe via Twitter Followers   Subscribe via Facebook Fans
  • Recent Comments

  • Featured Authors

    Amos Yong is Professor of Theology & Mission and director of the Center for Missiological Research at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena. His graduate education includes degree...

    Jelle Creemers: Theological Dialogue with Classical Pentecostals

    Antipas L. Harris, D.Min. (Boston University), S.T.M. (Yale University Divinity School), M.Div. (Emory University), is the president-dean of Jakes Divinity School and associate pasto...

    Invitation: Stories about transformation

    Craig S. Keener, Ph.D. (Duke University), is F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is author of many books<...

    Studies in Acts

    Daniel A. Brown, PhD, planted The Coastlands, a church near Santa Cruz, California, serving as Senior Pastor for 22 years. Daniel has authored four books and numerous articles, but h...

    Will I Still Be Me After Death?