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Having looked at the priestly anointing/the face of the ox as the foundational facet/”face” of the anointing of the Holy Spirit within the Body of Christ, we will now consider the next aspect of the anointing. As with the previous post, I will seek to sketch a picture of what an expression of the Body of Christ might look like that is faithfully embodying and expressing the prophetic anointing/the face of the eagle.
Prophetic anointing/The face of the eagle
- Wisdom and Revelation – The prophetic anointing, symbolized by the face of the eagle, is, first and foremost “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation.” (See Ephesians 1:17) An expression of the Body of Christ that is growing in the prophetic anointing will be preeminently marked by an ever-increasing revelation of God Himself and of spiritual wisdom concerning His purpose and will. It will not settle for mere head knowledge of God or His Word, but will continually be pressing in to know the Lord experientially “in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23) It will also not settle for human wisdom, traditions, or assumptions as to God’s will and ways for the assembly, but will ever be seeking to discern these through prayer and the wisdom/revelation that comes from above. In this process, the prophetic anointing will/may work through the following means:
- The Word of God – The prophetic anointing is ever resting upon the prophetic Scriptures and in an assembly where this aspect of the anointing is submitted to, the Word of God will be paramount in the discerning of God’s will and ways.
- Direct impartation – The prophetic anointing will also work through direct impartation of wisdom and revelation as the Holy Spirit leads God’s people into all truth. (John 14:26, 16:13, Ephesians 1:17, 1 John 2:27)
- Spiritual gifts – As the Holy Spirit is given His rightful place, the revelatory gifts of the Spirit, such as prophecy, the word of knowledge, the word of wisdom, the discerning of spirits, and tongues/interpretation of tongues will, likewise, be given their rightful place for the edification of the saints. These will be exercised according to biblical guidelines so that all things are done “decently and in order.” (See 1 Corinthians 12:7-10; 14:26-40)
- Prophetic song – Not only will the priestly anointing be manifestly resting upon the regular songs that are sung, but His prophetic anointing may also birth spontaneous/new songs that express what He is presently speaking, revealing, and seeking to do in the midst of His people.
- Prophetic counsel – Wisdom and revelation may also come by the prophetic anointing working through the mutual counsel and collective input of the members as the mind of the Lord is sought together in the Holy Spirit. (See 1 Corinthians 2:16) God may also raise up within or bring in from the outside Ephesians 4-type prophets to provide prophetic counsel, guidance, and equipping/training to further supply prophetic impartation and discernment to the assembly.
- Christ-centeredness – “…the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10) The prophetic anointing will ever be “Jesus-centered” (i.e. “Christ-centered”) in its operation. An expression of the ekklesia that is embodying and expressing the prophetic anointing will, likewise, ever be “Christ-centered” in all of its life, ministry, and witness. Jesus Christ Himself will be given the place of preeminence in all things within the assembly, even as He is in God’s eternal purpose (Colossians 1:18). There will, subsequently, be an ever-increasing unveiling of His Divine Person, His all-encompassing, all-sufficient work, His sovereign headship, and His on-going priestly, prophetic, and kingly ministries as the Spirit of God takes the things of Christ and makes them known to the ekklesia. (John 16:14)
- Holiness – The prophetic anointing is eminently concerned with holiness and conformity to God’s character, heart, mind, will, and emotions. It is precise and exacting while at the same time mixed with enabling grace and power. An expression of the ekklesia that is operating under the prophetic anointing will, likewise, be eminently concerned with both personal and collective holiness. This pursuit of holiness will be from the inside out and will carry with it a willingness for deep personal and corporate humility, self-examination, and repentance.
- Prophetic wrestling and refinement – The prophetic anointing is ever contrary to the will and ways of the world and the sinful flesh. Within the church, it is especially in opposition to the fallen ways of man-centered, man-pleasing, man-dominated religion. Therefore, it is ever striving and wrestling with that which is according to the world and the flesh to bring the ekklesia into alignment with and conformity to God’s heavenly and holy will and ways. This constitutes an ongoing refining process that is immanently costly and inherently unpopular but, ultimately, secures the fullest favor and blessing of the Lord within a local expression of the Body of Christ. (e.g. Revelation 2-3)
- The burden of the Lord – The prophetic anointing further carries with it the burden of the Lord. It imparts to God’s people the weightiness of His heart for some aspect of His purpose in relation to His people and/or the world. This is often specific within each expression of the ekklesia and constitutes a mandate from the Lord that needs to be faithfully stewarded in Spirit-led prayer, ministry, and action. Properly understood, however, this burden is always in keeping with “the spirit of prophecy” (“i.e. the testimony of Jesus”), and so is ever Christ-centered in its essence and fullness and where properly stewarded, will never become an “eccentric”, imbalanced burden or focus that detracts or distracts from the centrality, supremacy and all-sufficiency of Christ in all things.
- Prophetic embodiment and witness – The highest expression of the prophetic anointing is found when the wisdom and revelation of God become so inwrought within a specific vessel that the vessel itself becomes a prophetic sign and witness of God’s heart and mind to both the seen and unseen realms. When the prophetic anointing is fully submitted to and substantively embodied within an assembly of God’s people, the corporate vessel itself becomes a prophetic sign and witness of God’s heavenly will and ways to that which is around it. This will carry with it reproach and rejection (in both the secular and religious world) on the one hand, but also great grace and divine favor on the other.
This, then, is a brief sketch of the characteristics of an expression of the Body of Christ where the prophetic anointing, the “face of the eagle”, is embodied and manifested. These are the dynamics and distinctives of the Holy Spirit’s work that we ought to be collectively pursuing and pressing into as those called to be a prophetic expression of “the anointed Body of the Anointed One.”
As essential and significant as the prophetic anointing is, however, it should also be understood as not being an end in and of itself, but transitional to the next facet/”face” of the anointing: the kingly anointing/the face of the lion. We will consider the practical expression of that aspect in the next post of this collection.
Audio Reboot (#thecorporatechrist) [First seven posts in collection in mp3 playlist and with original post links.]
Four Faces in the Mirror (#thecorporatechrist)
Progressing in the Anointing (#thecorporatechrist)
The Anointed Body of the Anointed One: Priestly Anointing (#thecorporatechrist)