Excerpts from

The Transformation and the Anointing:

Reconciling God's Two Great Works of Salvation on the Earth Today




I. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit: The Sanctifying Infusion


          This great event where meet the cutting off of sin's root  and the Father's victorious  invasion  into the believer's heart is also called the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The infilling of the Spirit resulting from inward death is the reality to which water baptism points. To be baptized with the Spirit means that we have been baptized into the full experience of Christ's death within us.1  At the same time,  the Spirit  is released as the rivers of life which enable the bearing of mature fruit from our tree of life.2  His  coming brings our spiritual life into the place  of abundance Jesus promised.3


          Inasmuch as the Spirit proceeds from the Son and the Father,4 the giving of the Spirit is what accomplishes the sanctifying invasion of the Father and Son and bears Their Presence into our souls.  The promise of the abiding of the Father and Son with us is linked to the promise of the coming of the Spirit.5  Their coming through His coming  is the reward for the endurance of  sufferings over the obedience on which Their  coming  depends.6


          The baptism of the Holy Spirit is fundamentally  part of the work of transformation.  It is a sanctifying event. It is the watershed event that, when received in context of the transformational process, spells the turn in our destiny from relating to the Lord as a slave to relating to Him as a son.  His coming witnesses that the Lord has gained the capital city of our soul and now has effectual dominion over the rest of us. His resurrection life now replenishes our soul over the loss of natural life force we have allowed Him to bleed from us. 


          Through the baptism of the Spirit we begin to experience sonship and become definitively led by Him.7  We sense release from legal religious thinking whereby we have tried to prove our faithfulness to the Lord by keeping rules and principles.8   We have clear guidance into all truth, freed from the morass of clamoring thoughts and weighty senses of obligation left over from our legal nature.9 Our reference point for all Truth is now clearly indwelling. It is no longer subject to our efforts to discern right from wrong decisions concerning our obedience. Permeated by experiential love, we are now able to live under the simplicity of the law of love, the one true law of grace to which we are subject.10 Our love is now made mature or perfect;11  free from the fear associated with legal obedience.




II. The Anointing in the Life of the Believer: The  Baptism and Gifts of the Spirit


          While the work of transformation and the work of the anointing are very distinct in their properties and effects, they are very intertwined. From the very point of regeneration when we receive our new identity in Christ, there is some anointing present at work helping to further the work of transformation. This is pictured by the initial anointing of the tabernacle with oil the first day it was set up.12


          The manifestations of anointing at conversion vary. Some receive immediate healing or deliverance from lifelong oppressions. Some  receive an impartation of  revelation or else encounter the Lord through dreams or visions that lead them to the Lord.  It would seem that all receive some degree of illumination of Scripture. Many notice very little other particular evidence of anointing at their conversion. Nevertheless, every believer receives some basic degree of anointing for guidance and instruction by the Spirit's leading from the beginning of new life.13


          A. Baptism of the Holy Spirit


          It is not however until  the baptism of the Holy Spirit that the anointing becomes a full, activated part of the believer's development in Christ. In the last chapter, we noted that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is related to the work of transformation as that key moment in spiritual life when the Father breaks through to fully inhabit His saints, gaining in them a place of certain maturity. It  follows  a measure of sanctifying work when inward dying yields to the resurrection life of Christ bursting forth from within. This soul invasion is pictured by the invasion of the tabernacle by the cloud of glory after it was initially anointed.14


          But the baptism of the Spirit is also the moment at which the pouring dimension of the Spirit comes about, accessing the believer to the various expressions of anointing ministry.  This full  anointing comes on the wings of the habitation of God so that the glory of God's love breaks forth with power for supernatural ministry. The record of that first baptismal experience in Acts 2 becomes  the central account for showing us this outpouring. All the great works of the Spirit seen in  the book of Acts originate from this event. The baptism of the Spirit was accessed not only by the apostles, but by all believers so that to all was given some capacity for receiving and in turn ministering the work of the anointing.


          B. The Gifts of the Spirit


          The primary manifestation of the anointing  proceeding  from the baptism of the Spirit  is the ministry of spiritual gifts. These giftings or endowments are appointed spiritual ministries given to facilitate the main work of the cross in our lives. Paul states that God has sovereignly bestowed spiritual gifts and gifted offices to the Church for bringing us into the full image of Christ.15   Following is a list of the various gifts and gifted offices unique to the New Testament work of the anointing:


          Gifts (Rom. 12: 6-8; I Cor. 12:8-10; 28-13:3)                                     


          giving to others                word of wisdom              discernment of spirits

          serving                            word of knowledge          different kinds of tongues

          ability to help                   healing                                       human

          mercy                              prophecy                                   angelic

          teaching                           miracles                           interpretation of tongues 

          exhortation                       faith                                 understanding of mysteries       




          Gifted Offices  (I Cor. 12:28-29; Eph. 4:11)


          Apostles      Prophets      Teachers      Pastors          Evangelists



          - Sovereignty and Faith


          The operation of spiritual gifts is subject to a mysterious interplay between sovereign appointment and human faith with desire. On one hand we are told that the gifts are given by sovereign appointment of God.16  On the other we are told to desire certain gifts by faith and to stir up what gifts we do have.17  In some cases, God imparts gifts without any human desire or faith expressed for them. In other cases, faith and desire are stirred by the Lord for the obtaining of gifts.


          Any gift or calling for which God imparts faith and desire can be obtained. Yet all is of the Lord. In some cases, gifts are received on first desire and attempt  at  expression. In other cases, a process of faith must be endured with unsuccessful attempts at expression before gifts may be released. This is especially true of the gifted offices which usually require extensive preparation before they can be successfully inaugurated. Some gifts can only be released once certain barriers of unbelief are removed while others come despite remaining barriers. Some gifts come by personal waiting on the Lord. Others come via impartation by another believer already functioning in that gift.


          The inconclusive number of variables pertaining to the release of anointing assures that no gifts are able to be appropriated by sheer human will, and what gifts are obtained through faith-desire remain under the Lord's sovereign control because it is the Lord's faith within us seeking them. Therefore, wherever we find desire within us, it is simply for us to ask, and where necessary, to keep on asking, and then to receive  according to the grace of God given us. But it is in the hand of God to actually give the gift.18


          - Other Characteristics


          The manifestation of spiritual gifts is marked by the other characteristics common to the anointing throughout Scripture and evidenced today. The gifts minister within the confines of the temporal, external  world. Our possession of the anointing does not transform us or others permanently even though the anointing is given to aid that work.


          Though it comes from God, the anointing is not the same as the knowledge of God which brings eternal life. It does not convert the heart in terms of eternal communion with the Living God even though it operates in and through the spiritual dimension of human personality. The effects of the gifts remain limited to creation  and the outer realms of personality. They wear out and need replenishing. Paul tells us that the expressions of the gifts as we know them will come to an end.19


          The gifts are also bestowed without certain respect to one's degree of progress in transformation. Some gifts are given only after a certain depth of sanctification is obtained making one fit for the stewarding of that particular anointing. But more often than not, the gifts come upon those who are immature and retain even known sin in their lives. Today, most recipients of the baptism of the Holy Spirit receive only the impartation of anointing without having obtained the mature breakthrough of the Father's  sanctifying  love.


          We remember the promise that the Spirit would fall on all flesh. This means that, as in the Old Testament, anointed giftings may fall on unworthy men who abuse their display for their own ends. Though the gifts are essential tools for facilitating the process of transformation, their display is no guarantee that transformation is being or has been accomplished in anyone touched by them or through whom they are ministered.



III. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Power


          We have already learned that the baptism of the Spirit functions in dimensions that belong to both transformation and anointing. This baptism  is the watershed event that unlocks the full powers of both these ministries  in the lives of the saints.  In the New Testament, this "receiving" of the Spirit is not so much discussed  doctrinally as  it is described by its occurrences.


          When we look at the opening witness of this event in Acts 2, we see the demonstration of the powers of transformation and  anointing. The baptism  welled from within bringing the disciples into the fulness of the Father's love and power for holy living after the crisis surrounding the crucifixion. It also came from above with the anointing. This was  demonstrated through empowerment for prophetic preaching, by the supernatural gift of tongues, and by the accompanying signs of tongues of fire and rushing wind.


               1. Transformational Baptism


          Coming from within to produce the full revelation of the Father's love,  the baptism of the Spirit fulfilled Jesus' promise that He and the Father would make their dwelling in the disciples 20  and that the Spirit would flow from their inner being.21 It sanctified and empowered them for righteousness, bringing them into the place of full maturity with its victory over sin and a divided heart.


          Throughout their tour with Jesus, the disciples were plagued by doubts, fears, divisions, and questionable motives. They believed in Jesus to the best of their ability, but were essentially unstable in their commitment. All of them except John fled the night of crucifixion. After the crucifixion, they remained in fear for their lives. Even after Jesus appeared to them, they were torn between serving the Lord and returning to their regular livelihood.


          But after the great release of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, the disciples became the apostles. They were nowmen in the fullest sense. They walked with a new internal authority by which they became the leaders of the emerging church. All their teaching and preaching from that time forward centered in the transformation ministry of which they had become the first full partakers.


               2. Anointing Baptism


          As the baptism from above, the filling of the Holy Spirit yielded power for ministry together with supernatural gifts, signs, and wonders. This  fulfilled Jesus' promise that the disciples would do the works He did.22  By this power the apostles went on to openly confront the world with the message of the cross.


          The anointing's power was not new to the disciples. They had shared in it during Jesus' ministry  even though they had not been fully transformed. The disciples were given power to heal the sick and cast out demons.23  Not having experienced the depths of transformation, the anointing became its own self-sustaining source of joy, something which Jesus discouraged.24   The desire of some to call fire down on enemies demonstrated their shortsightedness concerning the purpose of this power.25  We can reasonably surmise that, in their immaturity, the disciples' exposure to creationary power reinforced their earthbound concept of God's kingdom and their self-serving motives of personal greatness.


          Once the anointing returned upon them through the baptism of the Spirit, it came into proper service as a means for supporting the ministry of transformation. Because the disciples partook of the Spirit's baptism in its fullness of both transformational and anointing power, the  anointing came into right alignment.  They knew now that the anointing's power was not its own end, but was given as testimony of the greater work into which they had also been baptized.




          Although the Spirit's baptism in its entirety  embraces both the works of transformation and anointing, it is possible to engage the baptism through only one dimension or the other. It is possible for those who receive it to do so only according to the qualities of transformation or anointing power. This is largely the state of the Church today. The overwhelming number of people professing to have received the baptism of the Spirit have experienced only the anointing part of that baptism. A smaller number have experienced the baptism only in terms of transformational sanctification and maturity. Very few have experienced both.


          Because it is possible to experience only one side of the baptism or the other, much confusion abounds concerning its true nature. Each side can and does erroneously believe that they have experienced the complete essence of the baptism through the side known to them. In turn,  they conclude that since the other side was not part of their experience, it therefore is either unnecessary to them or is not for today. They may also conclude that the side they have experienced automatically embraces the full extent of the realities belonging to the other mode.


          This one-sided experience and perspective leads not only to impenetrable division in the Church, but to great personal spiritual deformity. If we partake only of the Spirit's transforming baptism, we are left with a self-oriented experience and preoccupation. Our experience  grows rancid over time because it has no outflow to minister to others or power to challenge its own mental grasp of the transformation process.  Without the unpredictable challenges of the anointing to keep us pressing forward, our sanctification soon stagnates into a dead doctrine.


          If we only partake of the Spirit's anointing baptism, we are left with a superficial experience that becomes its own end for rejoicing instead of a feeder for our relationship with the Lord. We are found with a shallow unstable walk similar to that experienced by the disciples before Pentecost. Our vision of God's kingdom becomes earthbound and our motives for moving in the anointing's power are very mixed. Without experiencing the baptism of transformation, the baptism of anointing becomes a tool for competing with our true growth in Christ.


For More Testimony and Teaching on the Nature of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, see:


A New and Living Way by Leland Earls









1.    Rom. 6:3-7; Col. 2:11-12

2.    Jn. 7:37-39; Ps. 1:3; Rev 21:1-2

3.    Jn. 10:10

4.    Jn. 15:26-27

5.    Jn. 14:16-17, 21, 23

6.    Jn 16:6-15,20-27

7.    Rom. 8:14-15

8.    Gal. 5:18

9.    Jn. 16:13-15

10.    Rom. 13:10; Gal. 5:14; Jms. 2:8,12; I Jn. 3:11-24; 4:7-13

11.    I Jn. 4:12,16-18

12.    Ex.40:9-11

13.    I Jn. 2:20-27

14.    Ex. 40:34

15.    I Cor. 12:11; Eph. 4:13

16.    I Cor. 12:11

17.    I Cor. 14:1,5; II Tim. 1:6

18.    Lk. 11:5-13

19.    I Cor. 13:8-12



20.    Jn. 14:21,23

21.    Jn. 7:38

22.    Jn. 14:12

23.    Mt. 10:1

24.    Lk. 10:17-20

25.    Lk. 9:51-56






Chris Anderson
Merrimack, New Hampshire

First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship




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