When Is a Prophet Anointed?
In the life of prophets, to be anointed of the Holy Spirit could come in at any time in their lives, starting even at birth. For example, John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit when he was in his mother’s womb. “… He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15). John was dedicated to God from the very beginning of his life.
It was possible for the Holy Spirit to “fill” John from birth because the Spirit had first filled his mother, Elizabeth. “And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:41).
On a general spectrum, a prophet, as any person, gets anointed by the Holy Spirit at conversion (justification) or at the moment when he accepts the Lord Jesus, repents of his sin, and follows God in obedience. As he yields daily to God (sanctification), the Lord will pour more of Himself into His servant the prophet to reflect God’s glory.
Both justification and sanctification are received by faith in the promises of God: “That the blessing of Abraham may come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:14). The Bible repeatedly asserts that the Holy Spirit cannot dwell with those who are disobedient. “And we are his witnesses of these things and so also is the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him” (Acts 5:32).
The disciples of Christ were anointed by the Holy Spirit during the ministry of Jesus, and received the Holy Spirit more strongly and assuredly at Pentecost, directly before undertaking the world’s evangelism. Jesus said to them, “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Thus, the purpose of being filled with the Holy Spirit is to qualify the receiver to be a witness for God.
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In His service,