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When I think of an "anointing" I primarily think of a prophet marking a person off as king in the same way that Samuel anointed David:

KJV 1 Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

However, priests were also anointed, even before there were kings:

KJV Leviticus 8:12 And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him, to sanctify him.

In Acts 10 Peter says that God anointed Jesus "with the Holy Ghost and with power":

KJV Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

That appears to be a reference to this event:

KJV Matthew 3:15 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

However, I don't see any oil involved. Was John "anointing" Jesus, sans oil? Or is the idea that holy spirit was the true anointing substance of which oil was only a type?

And was Jesus being anointed as king of Israel? To my knowledge Jesus never became king because the leaders refused to have him as their king (as they had refused YHVH from being their king), Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed and the people forfeited, at least for the time being the kingdom:

[Mat 21:33-46 KJV] 33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: 34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. 35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. 37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. 38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. 39 And they caught him, and cast [him] out of the vineyard, and slew [him]. 40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? 41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out [his] vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. 42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. 45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. 46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

But very little is made of Jesus as priest in the gospels which are centered around the arrival of the kingdom of God.

Or was he just "anointed" with power ala Acts 1:

KJV Acts 1:8 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 Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. with no reference to the kingdom or priesthood?

In other words, what does Peter mean when he says that God "anointed" Jesus?

Possibly relevant:

NIV 1 John 2:20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.[some manuscripts: "know all things"]

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Acts 10:38 itself holds the key: "with the Holy Ghost and with power." This means it wasn't with oil, and so not associated with either a Kingly or Priestly anointing specifically. (Anointing in general doesn't have to refer to these.)

Psalm 45:6-7 also indicates that the gladness is the anointing (this is certainly the sense in which I have always understand the 'anoint him with the oil of gladness'—that gladness is spoken of as an oil which God is then said to anoint with).

This is similar to language such as 'clothe with power,' or even:

Job 39:19 (KJV) Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?

Just as anointing symbolizes God-ordained authority in priestly and royal initiations, so God bears witness to the ministry and right to teach and exercise authority of Jesus by anointing Him by His Spirit at its beginning.

  • Thank you. My own view was overly pedantic. – Ruminator Nov 15 '18 at 0:27
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Or is the idea that holy spirit was the true anointing substance of which oil was only a type?

Indeed. The anointing of Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit by God the Father is an allusion to Psa. 45:6–7 wherein David describes God [the Father] anointing God [the Son] with the “oil of gladness”:

6 O’ God, your throne is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a right scepter. 7 You loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore, O’ God, your God anointed you with the oil of gladness more than your companions.

The LXX translates the Hebrew by the Greek ἔλαιον ἀγαλλιάσεω (elaion agalliaseō). The Greek word ἀγαλλιάσεω is declined from the lemma ἀγαλλίασις. The Holy Spirit is referred to as “oil” because it is used to anoint; moreover, it is the oil of “gladness” because its anointing produces gladness (ἀγαλλίασις) in the believer. Earlier, in Acts 2, the apostle Peter exhorted the unbelievers,

38 Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Those who received his word were baptized, likewise receiving the Holy Spirit, and that same Holy Spirit produced in them gladness. Hence, it is written,

46 And they, continuing daily in one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, ate their food with gladness (ἀγαλλιάσει) and simplicity of heart,

Augustine explained why Jesus of Nazareth was called “Christ,” making reference to the same Psalms:2

Who is there, no matter how slow, but must here recognize Christ whom we preach, and in whom we believe, if he hears that He is God, whose throne is forever and ever, and that He is anointed by God, as God indeed anoints, not with a visible, but with a spiritual and intelligible chrism? For who is so untaught in this religion, or so deaf to its far and wide spread fame, as not to know that Christ is named from this chrism, that is, from this anointing?

Quis non hic Christum, quem praedicamus et in quem credimus, quamlibet sit tardus, agnoscat, cum audiat Deum, cuius sedes est in saecula saeculorum, et unctum a Deo, utique sicut unguit Deus, non visibili, sed spiritali atque intellegibili chrismate? Quis enim tam rudis est in hac religione vel tam surdus adversus eius famam longe lateque diffusam, ut Christum a chrismate, hoc est ab unctione appellatum esse non noverit?

Another question:

And was Jesus being anointed as king of Israel?

Yes, he was, but not king of “Israel according to the flesh” (ὁ Ἰσραὴλ κατὰ σάρκα),3 but rather, king of Israel according to the spirit (ὁ Ἰσραὴλ κατὰ πνεῦμα),4 the “Israel of God.”5

The Early Church Fathers noticed such a distinction. Augustine wrote,6

Therefore, this spiritual Israel is distinguished from that carnal Israel (which is of one nation) by newness of grace, not by nobility of descent, and by mind, not by race.

Hic ergo Israel spiritalis ab illo Israele carnali, qui est unius gentis, novitate gratiae, non nobilitate patriae, et mente non gente distinguitur.

Likewise, in his Homily on 1 Corinthians, concerning 1 Cor. 10:18, John Chrysostom wrote,7

“Behold Israel according to the flesh: have not those who eat the sacrifices communion with the altar?” Again, from the old covenant he leads them to this point also. For because they were far beneath the greatness of the things which had been spoken, he persuades them both from former things and from those to which they were accustomed. And he well says well, “according to the flesh,” as though they themselves were according to the Spirit.

Βλέπετε τὸν Ἰσραὴλ κατὰ σάρκα· οὐχ οἱ ἐσθίοντες τὰς θυσίας κοινωνοὶ τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου εἰσί; Πάλιν ἀπὸ τῆς Παλαιᾶς καὶ εἰς τοῦτο ἐνάγει. Ἐπειδὴ γὰρ πολὺ τοῦ μεγέθους τῶν λεχθέντων ἦσαν ταπεινότεροι, καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν προτέρων αὐτοὺς καὶ συνήθων πείθει. Καὶ καλῶς, Κατὰ σάρκα, φησὶν, ὡς αὐτῶν κατὰ πνεῦμα ὄντων.


Footnotes

1 Psa. 45:6–7 (KJV)
2 Book 17, Ch. 16, p. 549
3 1 Cor. 10:18
4 The apostle Paul’s explicit mention of an “Israel according to the flesh,” or carnal Israel, implies the existence of an antithetical Israel according to the spirit, or spiritual Israel. Jesus of Nazareth explicitly stated that “my kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). As his kingdom is not of this world, neither is his people Israel; rather, they are spiritual.
5 Gal. 6:16
6 Book 3, Ch. 34, §49, p. 85
7 Homily 24, Ch. 2, p. 201

References

Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis. “De Civitate Dei.” Patrologiæ Cursus Completus: Series Prima. Ed. Migne, Jacques Paul. Vol. 41. Petit-Montrouge: Imprimerie Catholique, 1845.

Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis. “De Doctrina Christiana.” Patrologiæ Cursus Completus: Series Prima. Ed. Migne, Jacques Paul. Vol. 34. Petit-Montrouge: Imprimerie Catholique, 1845.

John Chrysostom (Ἰωάννης ὁ Χρυσόστομος). “ὉΜΙΛΊΑ ΚΔʹ.” Patrologiæ Cursus Completus: Series Græca Prior. Ed. Migne, Jacques Paul. Vol. 61. Petit-Montrouge: Imprimerie Catholique, 1862.

  • What Greek text are you quoting that reads "ὁ Ἰσραὴλ κατὰ πνεῦμα"? – Ruminator Oct 26 '18 at 20:16
  • If I'm not mistaken, "oil of gladness" is not the anointing of kings or priests but rather of celebration. People would smear it on their bodies presumably like a deodorant and on their faces for whatever reason. The expensive Nard that was poured on Jesus' head would, I believe, in the context properly called an "oil of gladness". That Jesus spent his last week smelling profusely of Nard would not have gone unnoticed. It has an irony to it. – Ruminator Oct 26 '18 at 20:41
  • @Ruminator-Who said I was quoting a text? – Der Übermensch Oct 26 '18 at 21:53
  • Well please eliminate the footnote as it is misleading. Thanks. – Ruminator Oct 26 '18 at 21:54
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    @Ruminator-Consider reading the footnote. Footnotes do not indicate quotations. Quotation marks indicate quotations. – Der Übermensch Oct 26 '18 at 22:11
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As I understand it, God's anointing of Jesus as referred to in Acts 10:38 is a reinterpretation of his baptism, as portrayed in Matthew 3:15, and is specifically a messianic anointing (i.e. an anointing denoting him as the Messiah).

Here is Gill's exposition of this text:

to be baptized of him. It may reasonably be inquired what should be Christ's view in desiring to be baptized; it could not be to take away original or actual sin, since he had neither; nor has baptism any such efficacy to do this, in those who have either or both: but, it was to show his approbation of John's baptism, and to bear a testimony of it, that it was from heaven; and also that he himself might receive a testimony both from heaven, and from John, that he was the Son of God and true Messiah, before he entered upon his public ministry, into which he was in some measure initiated and installed hereby; and moreover, to set an example to his followers, and thereby engage their attention and subjection to this ordinance; and, in a word, as he himself says, to fulfill all righteousness.

Though I probably wouldn't be overly dogmatic about this theory, it seems to work the best for me, especially since the word Messiah/Christ literally means 'the anointed one' in the autographs (המשיח ha mashiac "the anointed one", and Χριστός cristos being the Greek translation of this concept). It would thus seem to me that this anointing Jesus received was specifically as God's chosen messiah, which also would explain why it is completely unlike any other anointing we see portrayed in the rest of scripture (kingly, prophetic, or priestly), omitting the oil as well as the normal protocol (as you noted in your question).

I would also add, on a christological note (though it may not be completely pertinent to your question), that his anointing did not make him the messiah, but was the public denotation of a role that he already possessed, as noted by John the Baptists comments about the same event, in the Gospel of John

15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and[b] is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. 19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders[c] in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”[d] 24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 “I baptize with[e] water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” 28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing. 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”[f] NIV

Thematically speaking, the idea of publicly denoting or naming Jesus as Messiah through this anointing/baptism (even though by John's account he already was the messiah even before his appearance) would seem to fit, as we later see a repetition of the same theme in Paul when he talks about Jesus's divine son ship. First calling him the Son of God (Romans 1:3) and then immediately stating that it was Jesus's resurrection that demonstrated publicly this son ship in verse 4.

Romans 1:3-4 concerning his Son who was a descendant of David with reference to the flesh, who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. NET

The operative concept here being the same, and based on our understanding of the use of the term ὁρισθέντος horisthentos

Hope this helps contribute to the discussion :)

  • When you say "as messiah" do you mean something other than "the promised Davidic king"? – Ruminator Oct 26 '18 at 16:24
  • In other words, was he being anointed as the king of Israel? – Ruminator Oct 26 '18 at 16:52
  • His role as Messiah, as I understand it, goes well beyond being king of Israel. I have to admit that after posting my response I ruminated myself about the meaning of the word and the redundancy of my argument, but I think it hold up if we understand the Messiah as being more than just a king - but instead the savior of humanity. – Theodore Rein Jedlicka Nov 14 '18 at 23:36
  • As far as I can tell, the theme of the Messiah as a promised savior for humanity predates the existence of the kingdom of Israel or the Davidic line; his role as Messiah would include being king of Israel but is certainly not limited to that - that was part of the problem that Jesus had with Israel when he came - they saw him as a nationalistic savior and not the savior of everyone. As a reference I think of Genesis 3:15 and the traditional interpretation that it refers to Jesus - but feel free to take my ideas with a grain of salt, I'm here to learn like everyone else :) – Theodore Rein Jedlicka Nov 14 '18 at 23:46
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In understanding Acts 10:38 about the anointing of Jesus with the Holy Spirit, recall Smith's Bible dictionary which explains the practice of anointing very well.

  1. Ordinary . Anointing the body or head with oil was a common practice with the Jews, as with other Oriental nations. (28:40; Ruth 3:3; Micah 6:15) Anointing the head with oil or ointment seems also to have been a mark of respect sometimes paid by a host to his guests. (Luke 7:46) and Psal 23:5
  2. Official . It was a rite of inauguration into each of the three typical offices of the Jewish commonwealth. a. Prophets were occasionally anointed to their office, (1 Kings 19:16) and were called messiahs, or anointed. (1 Chronicles 16:22; Psalms 105:15) b. Priests, at the first institution of the Levitical priesthood, were all anointed to their offices, (Exodus 40:15; Numbers 3:3) but afterwards anointing seems to have been specially reserved for the high priest, (Exodus 29:29; Leviticus 16:32) so that "the priest that is anointed," (Leviticus 4:3) is generally thought to mean the high priest. c. Kings. Anointing was the principal and divinely-appointed ceremony in the inauguration of the Jewish Kings. (1 Samuel 9:16; 10:1; 1 Kings 1:34,39) The rite was sometimes performed more than once. David was thrice anointed. d. Inanimate objects also were anointed with oil, in token of their being set apart for religious service. Thus Jacob anointed a pillar at Bethel. ((Genesis 31:13; Exodus 30:26-28)
  3. Ecclesiastical . Anointing with oil is prescribed by St. James to be used for the recovery of the sick. (James 5:14) Analogous to this is the anointing with oil practiced by the twelve. (Mark 6:13) II. SPIRITUAL.--
  4. In the Old Testament a Deliverer is promised under the title of Messiah, or Anointed, (Psalms 2:2; Daniel 9:25,26) and the nature of his anointing is described to be spiritual, with the Holy Ghost. (Isaiah 61:1) see Luke 4:18 In the New Testament Jesus of Nazareth is shown to be the Messiah, or Christ or Anointed, of the Old Testament, (John 1:41; Acts 9:22; 17:2,3; 18:4,28) and the historical fact of his being anointed with the Holy Ghost is asserted and recorded. (John 1:32,33; Acts 4:27; 10:38) Christ was anointed as prophet priest and king.
  5. Spiritual anointing with the Holy Ghost is conferred also upon Christians by God. (2 Corinthians 1:21) " Anointing "expresses the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit upon Christians who are priests and kings unto God.

Therefore, Jesus Christ, whose name means, "Jehovah Saves, the anointed one" was prophet priest and king. His anointing occurred at His baptism (without oil but with water, both of which are well-known symbols of the Holy Spirit Matt 25:1-13, John 7:27-39, Matt 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, Acts 1:5, 2:38, 8:12-16, 10:47, 48, 11:16, 19:4, 5) and were fulfilled as follows:

  • Jesus was certainly a prophet - the Gospels are filled with His many prophecies such as Matt 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.
  • Jesus is declared our High Priest Heb 6:20, 7:28, 10:12, etc
  • Jesus was both the rightful king of Israel as the genealogy of Matt 1 explains; but far more importantly, Jesus is King of King and Lord of Lords 1 Tim 6:15, Rev 19:16.

Thus, Jesus is asserted by the NT to be the preeminent and most important person for the Christian. The NT goes further - anyone who does not believe that Jesus is the anointed Messiah is a liar and antichrist 1 John 2:22.

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You are correct in linking Peter's description of Jesus's anointing "with the Holy Spirit and with power" to Jesus's baptism by John the baptizer.

Reasoning logically we can safely assume that if kings and priests (both then and now) experienced a ceremonial investiture, which is defined as a "formal ceremony of conferring the authority and symbols of a high office," how much more would the King of kings, Lord of lords, and "priest of the Most High God" be entitled to, and worthy of, an investiture (see 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14; 19:16; Hebrews 7:1 ff.).

That investiture was enacted in three installments and will yet be enacted in a fourth installment:

In Eternity Past

I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, "Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee" (Psalm 2:7 KJV; cf. Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5; 5:5).

The writer to the Hebrews, in keeping with his theme of the superiority of Christ to the Old Covenant, paints a word picture of what transpired in eternity past, when the eternal Father turned, as it were, to the eternal Son and said,

Son, today is the day I present you to the angelic hosts, whom we have created. They will worship you for reasons they do not quite understand yet, and they will minister to you as they minister to me.

One day, however, I will create image bearers who, unlike the angels, will worship you and me for saving them from themselves, since they will--as Satan and his legions did--rebel against me.

Then, in the fullness of time, I will honor your request for me to send you to earth to make right the wrong which Lucifer committed and which my human image bearers will perpetuate. You will empty yourself of many of your divine prerogatives by becoming fully human, because only as a flesh-and-blood human being will you be able to atone for the sins of my image bearers and make reconciliation between them and me possible.

Granted, I have used my sanctified imagination in describing something which is likely indescribable. Yet the investiture of the Son as Prophet, Priest, and King occurred in the eternal counsels of God, before the foundations of the earth were laid and before sentient creatures were created, celestial creatures first, and terrestrial creatures second.

In Space and Time, ca. September, 25 AD

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3:16-17).

When Jesus insisted John baptize him, Jesus did not do so as an act of repentance, for he had nothing of which to repent. He did so as a way to indicate to John, to assorted witnesses, and to his Father that in three short years, he would be baptized into a very real death in keeping with his primary purpose of coming to earth: To seek and to save and redeem lost sinners by dying in their place (see Matthew 20:22-23). As in eternity past, when the Father presented his Son to the angelic hosts (Jesus's “coming out,” as it were), the Father was also present at his Son's baptism, giving Jesus his imprimatur to all Jesus would say and do during his three years of public ministry, a ministry that would culminate in his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.

While God's words to the Son in Psalm address him simply as “Son,” at Jesus's baptism the voice from heaven adds the words “This is my Son” the words whom I love and with him I am well pleased (in all three Synoptics; Matthew 3, Mark 1, and Luke 3).

Notice the prominence of the presence of the Holy Spirit at Jesus's baptism. The Gospels tell us that the Holy Spirit of God descended from heaven and alighted on Jesus in the form of a dove. They tell us Jesus was not only led of the Holy Spirit into the wilderness (or desert), but Mark tells us that the Spirit sent (or as the NET Bible puts it, drove) Jesus out into the desert, and Luke tells us that after Jesus's baptism Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit.”

For the next three years, Jesus's ministry to the world would be primarily as a prophet, and as such his followers described him as “a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people” (see Luke 24:19 NASB). His mighty words and deeds were no doubt made possible by his utter dependence on his Father and on the anointing and induement of the Holy Spirit of God.

In Space and Time, ca. April, 27 AD

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothese became as white as the light. . . . While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him” (Matthew 17:1, 2, and 5 NIV; cf. Mark 9:2-8 and Luke 9:28-36a).

Notice that this investiture involved Jesus's clothing (vestments!?) which the Synoptics record “shone like the sun,” “became white as the light,” “became dazzling white,” and became “as bright as a flash of lightning.” Again, the Father re-confirms his pleasure in and his love for the Son, but he adds the words, directed to the inner circle of Peter, James, and John, “Listen to him” (i.e., Jesus).

Leading up to Calvary, Jesus's words would become increasingly important and significant, since his time on earth was quickly coming to an end, yet his disciples failed to listen, really listen.

Several times Jesus predicted his death at the hands of the elders, chief priests, and scribes (Mark 8:31; 10:33; Luke 9:22), but not until after his resurrection were the disciples able to understand the import of what Jesus had predicted (see Luke 24:44-49 in particular).

In space and time, date as yet unknown

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords (Revelation 19:12-16, my bolding).

In keeping with the theme of investiture, I draw attention to the role vesture played in Jesus's appearance, as the apostle John described him, as one whose “eyes were as a flame of fire”; whose head was crowned with “many crowns” (mere earthly potentates require but one crown!); whose vesture was dipped in blood; whose name was “The Word of God”; and in whose train were the armies of heaven seated upon “white horses.”

I also draw attention to the name which appeared on both his vesture and his thigh, and that name was “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords.”

Quite obviously, Jesus's role in the fearsome Day of the Lord is that of a conquering warrior-king whose task is to “smite the nations” and “rule them with a rod of iron.” Once that task is completed, “the kingdom (or kingdoms) of this world will have become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15 NASB).

Concluding Thoughts

In conclusion, one might be tempted to say that Jesus's first anointing (or investiture) in heaven was a precursor to all three of Jesus's roles as prophet, priest, and king. As for the anointing at his baptism, we could say it constituted his anointing as a prophet. As for his anointing as priest, we could say that that occurred on the Mount of Transfiguration, where again the voice of God announced his love for, and his pleasure in, his Son, and then told Jesus's inner circle to “Listen to him” (Matthew 17:5).

The investiture of Jesus as a conquering warrior-king will occur one day yet future, after which Jesus will defeat his enemies, making them a footstool for his feet (Psalm 110:1; Luke 20:43; Acts 2:35; Hebrews 1:13 and 10:13).

  • In eternity past, when the Father presented his Son to the angelic hosts . . . Where do you get that from scripture, please ? – Nigel J Oct 27 '18 at 1:31
  • My words: "Granted, I have used my sanctified imagination in describing something which is likely indescribable." This scenario, however, is not merely a flight of fancy. A careful reading of every passage in the Bible regarding angels, but particularly Job 38:1-7, will underscore the importance of angelic beings in their worship of YHWH, but also in the administration and furtherance of the kingdom of God on earth. Although the un-fallen angels are not recipients of the gift of salvation, they--acording to 1 Peter--long to look into it (1:12). In fact, a close reading of Hebrews Chapters 1& 2 – rhetorician Oct 27 '18 at 17:37
  • paints for us a scene in heaven in which the Son is being anointed by the Father for the roles he will assume in space and time; namely, the roles of prophet, priest, and king. The angels, who are not eternal but are created beings (as are we humans) are told by God to worship the Son. In such a short space I cannot go into further detail. I will suggest, however, that we hermeneutists need to give a wide berth to what the biblical writers describe events in eternity past. A sanctified imagination in and of itself is not reliable, but after a lifetime of studying the Bible, one would – rhetorician Oct 27 '18 at 17:47
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    Angelic beings are created. And they are associated with creation. They are not divinely eternal. – Nigel J Oct 27 '18 at 17:48
  • hope that at least some of the pieces (so to speak) which God gave us in his word concerning eternity past might just fall into place. To be sure, only eternity will tell whether my sanctified imagination was even close to the truth in this regard. Don – rhetorician Oct 27 '18 at 17:49

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