The Anointing and the AntiChrist Spirit – Chap 7
I love this chapter. It was the anointing of the Holy Spirit that qualified and empowered Jesus for His ministry. Jesus’ character and knowledge were great but did not enable him to engaged in empowered ministry until his being anointed with the Holy Spirit at His Baptism. It’s the invasion of the Holy Spirit into the natural world that is the breakthrough of the kingdom of God. Just as the Spirit tore through the sky at Jesus’ baptism, so did the kingdom come near. I love how Bill Johnson explains that what the Lord meant by “at hand” is that the kingdom is “available right here. Grab it” (p.80). To deny the invasion of the Spirit is to assign and characterize the works of the Spirit as something not from God -even as something demonic (p. 80). There are many churches and theologians who do not want anything to do with God the Spirit!
Teaching in to an Encounter – Chap 8
As a consequence to Chapter 7, those who are a position of authority in churches must require of themselves that they are anointed with God’s Spirit. We must require of ourselves “to do, with power” (p.88). We cannot be content to just be information dispensers but we need to take on the mantle of being teaching who can do what they are teaching – and also teachings who bring others into encounters with the reality of what we are teaching and profess. Bill Johnson really comes against pastors, teachers, churches, denominations and seminary that only work in the rational and the natural mind. They are only purveyors of information – not knowledge (in the Hebrew sense) of knowing how to do. Bill Johnson argues at length that it is out of pride and spirit of religion that people use knowledge of scripture in order to keep others coming to them rather than to an encounter with God. In contrast, those who do require of themselves that they operate in Spirit power will need to take risks in order to move in power.
The Works of the Father – Chap 9
This chapter is sort of the fulfillment of what Bill Johnson advocations in chapter 8. “Doing with Power” requires knowing the Spirit and being a person where the Spirit abides in order to see the supernatural or spirit realm and being able to operate in it, that is, seeing and doing the works of the Father just as Jesus talked about. There is a marvelous section on page 100 where Pastor Bill brings some much need corrective balance to our seeking supernatural power. We should not be seeking the power for power’s sake, but we should be seeking the heart of God first, and then allow the power of God to flow as demonstrations of God’s love and compassion for the world. God’s love is not an add-on to power, but where the power comes from. Doing the works of Jesus and works of the Father are demonstrations of God’s love. In order to do this, we need to pursue the Lord with “reckless abandon”. Bill Johnson then provides things we can do as means to this end. 1) Prayer 2) Study of scripture (especially the gospels), 3) Read those who teach this, 4) Have those who have anointing to lay hands on you 5) Try to hang around others who have anointing and 6) Obedience.
Ah – hah Moment
I really did have any ah-had moments but enjoyed each of these chapters. It was refreshing to read again what I wrote in chapter 9, viz., that power grows out of love and it is not something you add on or doing along side of power.