The Lord promised to send a Helper to guide us into all truth (John 16.13). The Bible says that we have received an indwelling anointing from Christ, a presence of the Lord that teaches us concerning all things.
But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him (1 John 2.27).
This passage of Scripture is not an argument against the ministry of teaching. There is a solid scriptural foundation for the teaching ministry. It was Christ Himself who gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Eph 4.11). True teaching ministry is driven by the same teaching anointing of the Holy Spirit.
But only the Spirit is able to bring true revelation to the human heart. The apostle Paul writes about the spirit of wisdom and revelation which gives us knowledge of the Lord (Eph 1.17). We must come to Him to have life (John 5.40). There is an anointing available to every believer that teaches concerning all things. The Holy Spirit in our hearts is not speechless but He speaks and reveals the things of God.
Our problem is that we have the tendency to disconnect His holy anointing and replace it with intellectual reasoning. The mind is an excellent instrument when it is subordinate to the Spirit. The analytical and creative capacity of the human brain is a great gift from the Lord. But the mind was never intended to be our ruler. We were created to be driven by our hearts in obedience to the Spirit of God. King Solomon wrote:
Trust the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3.5-6).
The human heart is created to abide in the Lord and impart His power and wisdom to the mind. As spirit beings we are made to live in an everlasting relationship with our Creator. Sin entered the world and raised a wall of separation between man and God, but Christ has redeemed us at the cross. Through Him we have access by one Spirit to the Father (Eph 2.18).
We make a great mistake when we neglect the teaching anointing of the Holy Spirit. Too often our understanding and decisions are based on fear or human reasoning rather than the leading of the Spirit. The Lord wants to give us His knowledge and understanding, but in fear of losing control, we often cling to our own understanding and the traditions we know so well.
The Lord will not destroy all traditions or give us weird revelations that contradict sound doctrine and the Bible. But our understanding of the Bible may be more influenced by human reasoning and traditions than by the Spirit of God. To see clearly, we need to be set free by the Lord. Tradition and theological knowledge may blur our vision or even make us blind to the real appearance of Christ. Nobody knew the Biblical prophecies better than the Pharisees, and they knew exactly were the Messiah was to be born. But when Jesus appeared, their minds were set on human traditions and a theology that made them exclude the Son of God as their Messiah.
Fear of leaving our zone of comfort may silence the tiny teaching voice of God in our spirits. Of course the Lord will never contradict the Bible. But our understanding of the Scriptures may be severely restricted by deeply ingrained prejudices concerning spiritual matters.
By making theology an academic subject, we do this at the risk of silencing the voice of the Spirit for the benefit of intellectual ventures. Persistent search for better understanding of the Scriptures is of great value, but studies of spiritual matters must be done in fellowship with the One who is Spirit. The Bible says:
Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life (Proverbs 4.23).
The mind is important, but the heart is of even greater importance. The issues of life spring from the heart and colours everything in our existence. The Lord lives in our hearts and wants to reveal Himself in us. The teaching anointing abides in our inner being and can be released when we become diligent to keep and give priority to the heart.
This anointing is like a fire in our spirit that gives light to the Scriptures and life to our conscience. Jesus said that anyone who wills to do the will of God, shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or not (John 7.17). When the Lord speaks through human vessels, the teaching anointing will confirm the authenticity of the message. The same anointing will turn on a red light in our spirit when the teaching is not born in the heart of God.
By paying attention to the signals of the Spirit, we may learn to distinguish the voice of the Lord. Intellectual knowledge will not be sufficient to protect us from delusion. The world is filled with doctrines that lead people away from the Lord, but the teaching anointing will confirm if a doctrine is of God. When we learn to take heed of this anointing, the Lord will lead us into all truth. The anointing is available to all believers. We should all search the Scriptures in fellowship with the Lord.
Those who are called to a teaching ministry need to seek this anointing even more. Much that is called “teaching ministry” is more “parrot ministry” than a genuine revelation of the teaching anointing of God. Merely reproducing the teaching of books and tapes or imitating other ministries may at best be encouraging and give intellectual understanding, but it will never impart the presence of the Lord as our Teacher. True ministry is driven by the Spirit of God and will reveal Him. The real teaching ministry is driven by the teaching anointing of the Lord and will be confirmed by the same anointing in the hearts of the listeners.
The Lord wants to reveal Himself. The teaching anointing of the Spirit is given us to see Him clearly. Vision is a product of this anointing. We all need to see, and leaders should be able to increase the vision of the church by their anointed ministry. Jesus said: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?” (Luke 6.39). The Pharisees called themselves spiritual leaders, but they had no vision of the Lord. Lacking vision, they could not lead the blind to the Lord, and they did all fall into the ditch. We are not better than the Pharisees when we try to lead the people of God independent of the Holy Spirit. We need the anointing to see the Lord, and we must be anointed to impart vision to the church.
The Lord does not want us to be neither parrots nor Pharisees. We need to discover the teaching anointing in our hearts and listen to the teaching voice of the Lord. He will take the words of the Bible and make them come alive in our spirit. And He will anoint the words of His servants when we seek Him as the only source of true ministry. His church has been suffering under the burden of earthly minded ministry and the yoke of human activities that have displaced the presence of the Lord. But the anointing oil is available when we seek Him.
It shall come to pass in that day
That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder,
And his yoke from your neck,
And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil (Isaiah 10.27).
Sven Weum 2002