There seems to be certain words or phrases which people in the Church act upon without understanding their true biblical definition, and one at the top of that list is most certainly “anointing”. It is interesting that one of the most misrepresented stories in Scripture by which the wrong concept of anointing is perpetuated is what took place between Elijah and Elisha. The incorrect application often say, “Elisha got a double anointing from Elijah” without paying attention to the text, which categorically states that what passed between them was “a double portion of your spirit” (Elijah’s spirit)—not an “anointing” of the Holy Spirit. Such a misunderstanding is cleared up in passages like this in the New Testament. And we will learn that misquotations like this of Scripture are the precise hallmarks of someone who has anything but a true anointing.

15Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

[Read v.15-17]

Q: What does the Bible mean when it employs the term “world” like this?

A: It is referring to the present order of things as opposed to the kingdom of Christ. Hence, it is always transient, worthless, evil and completely rooted in the flesh. It is designed to blind people to Christ and allow Satan to take the place of God.

3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. — 2 Corinthians 4:3-4


Q: What is the inherent conflict which is established here?

A: The “love of the world/things of the world” vs. the “love of the Father”.

Q: What does the world-system use to keep someone fixated on the world? What do they all have in common?

  1. “…the lust of the flesh” (v.16)

  2. “…the lust of the eyes” (v.16)

  3. “…the boastful pride of life” (v.16)

They are all rooted in lust.

Q: What, exactly, is lust?

A: According to these three aspects, it is an unhealthy fixation of the flesh, eyes, and/or pride. Instead of good or controlled desires, they are polluted—that is, tainted by sin. Worldly lust only wants to please, profit or honor one’s self.

Q: But what is the particular danger stated here which results from this pursuit of self?

A: We will fail to fulfill the will of God, and therefore suffer eternal consequences.

Application: Notice that biblical “love” for God is measured by obedience to His Word and ways, not by emotions or feelings for God, whereas “lust” for the world is completely rooted in emotions and feelings for one’s self.

15“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.— John 14:15

18Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. 20But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 21I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.

[Read v.18-23]

Q: How does John know that they “know the truth”?

A: Because that is the only way they could be in a right relationship with God.

Q: What is the pre-qualification in order to be able to discern antichrist figures?

A: It is the previous verses, where we can prove our authentic love for the Father not just by our obedience to His Word and ways, but our rejection of the world’s lust and pride.

Q: Having met that requirement, how will we then recognize these figures?

  1. They went out from us…” (v.19)—that is, they have left the fellowship of the Church.

  2. Such “denies Jesus is the Christ” (v.22)—that is, that He is the one and only Messiah.

  3. They are “liars” (v.22)—that is, holders of the opposite of God’s Word and ways.

Q: What are the three roles of the Godhead which are visited here?

  1. The Father can only be accessed through the Son. (v.23)

  2. The Son can only be accessed through confession (v.23)

  3. The Holy Spirit anoints those properly seeking the Father and Son. (v.20)

Q: Given the context to this point, what is the Holy Spirit working in us?

A: He is teaching us the truth.

Q: Since none of the gifts of the Spirit as recorded elsewhere in Scripture are listed, how do we know from this text that He accomplishes this with the Word of God?

26“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. — John 14:26


12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, — 1 Corinthians 2:12


Q: What is the anointing John is referring to? How is it visibly recognizable in our life?

A: It is God’s Word, for which we have a greater desire than for the world’s desires. This is the standard by which we can measure all things in the world, even those directly animated by Satan.

Application: The believer who is in an obedient relationship with God will be able to not just read but understand God’s Word as he is taught by the Spirit. It will become an inseparable part of him.

24As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.

[Read v.24-25]

Q: How is John reinforcing the working of the Word?

A: “…let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning”. (v.24)

17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. — Romans 10:17


Q: What exactly does “abide” mean?

A: It means “to remain” or “to dwell”. It’s the place you live, what in more modern times we would call a lifestyle.

Q: Again, how do we know that it is a lifestyle of abiding in God’s Word?

10“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. — John 15:10


Application: A Holy Spirit anointed believer, having come to faith by the Word, lives going forward by the Word. It becomes their lifestyle.

26These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. 27As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.

[Read v.26-27]

Q: So what is the goal of every form of deception?

A: To in some way derail, undermine, or outright refute God’s Word in our life.

Q: How does the text indicate this to us?

A: Because it is all about the difference between the truth and a lie.

Q: And what is confirmed for us yet again where the anointing of the Spirit is concerned?

A: His chief function is to teach “about all things”.

Application: A Holy spirit anointed believer can resist and avoid every deception when they allow the Holy Spirit to guide them by the Word.

28Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. 29If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.

Overall Application

There are many who falsely believe that to be “anointed by the Spirit” begins and ends with one of the spiritual gifts, when in fact those gifts, and the Holy Spirit anointing in all believers, begins and ends with God’s Word. When such an anointing is undertaken and put into practice, the gifts have the opportunity to be the most effective.