Austin-Sparks Divine Anointing

Austin-Sparks Divine Anointing

Austin-Sparks work on the Divine Anointing deals with the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, and his vocation as well as being holy anointing oil, and grace.

Table of Contents

Chapters 2, 4 & 5 are transcripts of messages given in 1958 and can be listened to in the audio section. We do not have the audio for chapters 1 & 3, but the unpublished written transcripts of these chapters were edited and supplied by the Golden Candlestick Trust.

The Divine Anointing

by T. Austin-Sparks

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – The Promise of the Father
Chapter 2 – The Holy Spirit Within
Chapter 3 – The Holy Anointing Oil
Chapter 4 – Vocation
Chapter 5 – The Gospel of Grace.

Sample Chapter (Part of it)

Chapter 2 – The Holy Spirit Within

Continuing in the way of our earlier meditation, we will read this evening from the gospel by Luke, chapter 3, verses 21 and 22: “Now it came to pass, when all the people were baptized, that, Jesus also having been baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form, as a dove, upon Him, and a voice came out of heaven, Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased”.

Chapter 4: “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness during forty days, being tempted of the devil. And He did eat nothing in those days. When they were completed He hungered. The devil said unto Him, ‘If Thou art the Son of God, command this stone that it become a loaf.’ And Jesus answered unto him, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’ And he led Him up, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. The devil said unto Him: ‘To thee will I give all this authority and the glory of them, for it hath been delivered unto me and to whomsoever I will, I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship before me, it will all be thine.’ Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.’ He led Him to Jerusalem and left Him on the pinnacle of the temple and said unto him, ‘If Thou art the Son of God, cast Thyself down from from hence; for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning thee, to guard thee: and, On their hands they shall bear thee up, lest haply thou dash thy foot against a stone’. Jesus answering said unto him, ‘It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’ When the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from Him for a season. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirt into Galilee. The fame went out concerning Him through all the regions round about.” Verse 18: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me”.

So we continue our consideration as we trust with the Lord’s help, this matter of the Divine anointing. Jesus spent six weeks in the wilderness fasting. We are not told what He was doing all through those more than one thousand hours. While no doubt much of the time was spent in prayer, there must have been much thought, meditation, and adjustment to what was involved in that anointing. We might spend a little while in trying to get inside of that tremendously significant event and time; surmising perhaps, deducing… and I think we shall not be far from the truth in the conclusions to which we may come.

We begin by recognising that there was a background consciousness in Christ of being here in this world as a Man of destiny – as one with whom tremendous issues were bound up in the purpose and counsels of God. He had a peculiar sense in Him of His relationship with God as His Father that had been with Him, it seems, from at least boyhood. And there was in Him a Spirit of purpose, of a mission, and, as I have said, of destiny; a tremendous destiny. Strange and uncommon forces had been at work in His spirit through His life, an urge and an urgency, a deep-down sense of mighty things being bound up with His being in this world. That was the background consciousness of this particular time in the wilderness.

Then there arrived the day when He knew in His spirit, by the same urge and constraint, that a crisic step had to be taken. That movement of the Spirit sent Him to the Jordan. Undoubtedly He was being guided by the Spirit in His movements, for one reason, because those movements so exactly corresponded with many Scriptures of the Old Testament which had to be fulfilled. His movements had in them many prophecies. We know how Matthew was able to discern that. How frequently Matthew said: “that the Scripture might be fulfilled… that the Scripture might be fulfilled… it was written in the Scriptures”. And here he is, so to speak, marking off, ticking off the Scriptures that were being fulfilled in these various movements, and activities, and utterances of the Lord Jesus. For we are quite on safe ground when we say that the Spirit who had given those Scriptures was guiding Him into those Scriptures for their fulfillment, and that His movements were all according to plan, all according to the programme, all according to the Word. Here in the wilderness it comes out so clearly that it is the Word that is governing. He is moving in accordance with the Word, the fulfilment of the Scriptures.

In that consciousness of this day having arrived to take the great, precipitate step, He went to Jordan, brushed aside John’s demure and insisted upon being baptized. This had as its main context the Cross; there’s no doubt about it, baptism implied the great context of the Cross. So that, undoubtedly with that larger context of the background consciousness, the fulfillment of the Word of God, obedient to it in every step and movement, and in this capitulation to what His baptism implied and involved – the Cross, the Cross… all its significance, undoubtedly, with that full, comprehensive, and deep-meaning context, the Holy Spirit came upon Him. It was heaven’s attesting and seal. And then what might we have expected immediately? Well, whatever we should have expected, the next thing is not according to our expectation at all; it’s the wilderness. All that was a background; mighty consciousness of destiny and mission, absolute and meticulous obedience to the Word, and a complete, undeniable capitulation to the way of God. Heaven answers that. The Spirit breaks through the cleft heaven, and comes upon Him. With all that: the wilderness. The wilderness… that’s not what you expect. You’ve gone as far as that; you’ve got all that as your foundation, you don’t expect the next thing to be the wilderness. Whether you expect it or not, very often it is. And now He is in the wilderness.

And what we note here is:

The Focal Point of Satan’s Attack.

Satan focused his attack upon the question of sonship – there’s no mistaking that. Varying his methods and his means of attack, coming along different lines, the one, the one thing that is present every time is: “If Thou be the Son…”. “If what was said there at Jordan were true… if Thou be the Son…” that’s the focal point of every kind of satanic attack. Make no mistake about that, what he’s after; that’s the thing that matters. But, when we have said that, it is not just the fact of Sonship that satan is attacking. It is the significance of Sonship – what Sonship implies, signifies and involves. What sonship involved and implied: personal and family inheritance, and heirship! That consciousness of the Lord Jesus was a consciousness which was not just a feeling, just a sense; it was a mighty knowledge, a mighty intelligence. Read later and you have a phrase like this: “Jesus, knowing that His hour was come and that the Father had delivered all things into His hands”. And that, “All these things will I give thee” – all things. All things!

Paul, with that amazing revelation and insight, tells us the full story of the counsels of God from eternity, “to sum up all things in Christ”. “By Him, through Him, unto Him were all things created.” That’s the Word. Sonship, yes, what it implies for Himself personally, as the Heir of all things: “Whom He appointed heir of all things”. But not only for Himself, but for this Family which we were speaking of this afternoon, this Family which God by Christ as Father was reconstituting, this Divine family, the family of which the Word quite definitely says: “Ye are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ” – we! This inheritance, this heirship which is signified by that word “Son” – that, that’s the focal point. It is not just the position, or the office, or the title, it’s what this is going to lead to, if in some way it is not subverted. It’s tremendous!

And that is why that was made the focal point; it carried with it no less an issue than world dominion and universal authority. Notice that satan used that word: “All this authority…”. The last word of the risen Lord is: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and in earth.” Now, that’s the involvement here; yes, dominion over this world, and universal authority, as vested in Sonship. That meant an immediate and direct challenge to the prince of this world. Sonship meant that, and always means that. Therefore, therefore the Son must be tripped up somehow! He must be, in some way, ensnared. Here we are.Well, let us leave it there for a moment, and go back to Jordan. The Jordan meant that that, that destiny, that destiny for Himself, and for His fellow-heirs, and all this Divinely intended purpose, was only to be reached by way of the Cross. That’s what Jordan meant. And He knew it, and accepted it, and was committed to it, but that was no small committal. That way, that way He knew quite well, in all its meaning and implications, that way in its spiritual and moral significance, would be the most devastating way to His humanity. It would mean that His soul would be “exceeding sorrowful, even unto death”. It would mean that He would be in a great anguish, “sweating, as it were, great drops of blood down to the ground”. It would lead to being “forsaken of God” for one terrible, unmanning, eternal moment – a moment like an awful eternity in despair and outer darkness. That was involved: He was human, He was a man, and He could shrink… shrink from all that and cry, cry out of His humanity: “Is there no way out? Is there no other way? Oh, that it might not be necessary… that this cup might pass from Me.” Not going back upon His commitment, but the awful battle of that commitment, and all that it involved now in full force breaking upon Him. The baptism meant that! The great end would only be reached along that line, by the way of the Cross.

Was that what He was fighting out in the wilderness? Was it? Was that the great battle that brought Him to physical and mental exhaustion, over those many, many long-drawn-out hours of day and night? Was that it? Was He facing it all? If we are right in our surmise that it was that, then, then we can understand the diabolical and cruel attack of the enemy: “There is another way… You need not go that way; You can have it all without the cross!” Are we right? I feel that that uncovers the whole thing.

Yes, that was the battle, that was the meaning of the wilderness. Satan was saying in other ways and words: “It need not be! There are other ways for you to reach Your end, and realise Your destiny. Use Your Divine power to save Yourself!” That was a sting of the serpent, wasn’t it, when He was actually on the cross: “Save Thyself!” From beginning to end of this great, great conflict it is: “The way, the way out, the way through, is ‘Save Yourself’, You need not go that way!” Or, do something to make an impression on men, by some trick: “Cast Thyself down! Suddenly appear among the crowd as out from Heaven. Make a tremendous impression – You will capture them! You will not have to argue that You came from heaven; there it is! Patent!” Or, failing that, “Cede to me some right of world-dominion; acknowledge me as the prince of this world, and come alongside of me in my government of this world. You’ll get it all!” And all that in the hour of physical exhaustion and weakness. You have only got to know something of a tremendously exhausting time, over some soul, over some spiritual interest, over some tremendous emergency in the things of God, and be at the point of fainting with weariness, to know how cruel and diabolical the devil can be – and so it was – “Well, you can have it all without the Cross…” that’s the point, “You need not go that way”. What, what a value he gave to the Cross, if that is what he meant! So, I think the meaning of it all is divulged.

He won! He won that fundamental battle. Although the time will come when its desperate and terrible reality will break upon Him again, the foundation of His victory is laid in the wilderness. He will be able to say in the day of the most terrible ordeal: “The prince of this world cometh to Me, but hath nothing in Me”; “That was settled in the wilderness, I got through all that then. I accepted the Cross in principle and meaning then.” He won the fundamental battle and came from the wilderness, strengthened by the Spirit and by angels.

Now what do we come to? No wonder there was such authority in His steps, in His Spirit, and in His ministry. You see, the whole issue, dear friends, is that of authority.

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