preached Christ unto them." But Philip was not an evangelist then. The apostles had laid hands on him and he was set into the office of deacon first.
Later, in the 21st chapter of Acts, we read that Luke and Paul and their company went down to Caesarea and were in the house of "Philip the evangelist. " When God began to raise up ministries, He made an evangelist out of Philip.
It takes time to develop ministries. You may get saved — and even baptized in the Holy Spirit — today, and the call of God may be on you to be a pastor, but you can't start pastoring tomorrow, dear friends. You're not ready for it. You'll have to be prepared for it.
So start out to obey God, whether you're in the ministry or not, and God will promote you and use you in a greater way. If you, like Philip, learn to be faithful wherever you are, God may see fit to move you on. If He does, fine. If He doesn't, just stay faithful where you are. He'll not be able to use you if you're not faithful.
In the Early Church, because there was a lack of ministries, they would appoint an elder ("an older person") over a particular flock. Out of these elders God developed pastors or overseers.
It is certainly unscriptural to take a layman who has no anointing upon him and put him in the office of an elder or make him overseer of a congregation. He doesn't have the anointing to do it. He only has an anointing like any other believer.
So we see that the bishop, overseer, or elder is the same office: the pastoral office.
Who has the oversight of the flock? The shepherd does. What does "shepherd" mean? The Greek word translated
The Anointing To Pastor 57
"shepherd" is translated "pastor." Who, then, would oversee the flock? The shepherd would. Jesus is called by Peter ''the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls" (1 Peter 2:25).
And in First Peter 5:4 we read, "And when the CHIEF SHEPHERD shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."
Jesus is the Great Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd, of all God's sheep. Jesus has under shepherds. A pastor is an under shepherd. A pastor is a shepherd of God's sheep.
God calls and equips men to shepherd, or pastor, a flock.
* * * * *
Many would say, "Let's get back to the Acts of the Apostles. Let's get back to the Early Church. Let's do things like they did."
Yes, saith the Spirit of God, have the same experience they did — walk in the same light they did — but if you walk in the same church government they walked in, you'll be a baby church and a baby Christian with no spiritual growth.
But you have grown and you have developed Therefore, rise up and walk in the light of the Word of God for today.
Enjoy the full flow of the Spirit of God, and the anointing of God will rest upon thee; and the anointing of God will flow through thee; and the anointing of God will be UPON MEN as they stand in the place of ministry.
And so shall the entire Church be edified and the work of God shall be wrought.
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What I Learned as a Pastor
I don't know a lot about the anointing of the pastor, even though I pastored about 12 years.
You might say, "Well, you pastored — you ought to know."
I would have to reply, "That wasn't my office."
I did function in that office temporarily as God permitted me to, but I didn't have the anointing to pastor. It's a different anointing. It's the same Spirit, but it's a different anointing.
I recognize it on people, and I'm blessed by it, but I don't have it and never did have it. Thank God for the pastor. Thank God for the pastoral office. It's a marvelous anointing and blessing of God. It's amazing how the anointing — the Spirit of God — comes upon a person to stand in the office of pastor.
Some claim to be pastors. If you're called of God to pastor, the anointing is going to be there to pastor.
There's more to pastoring than preaching, however. The anointing is not there all the time to preach. If it were, a fellow would preach himself to death. But the anointing will come on you when you come to the pulpit to preach.
Paul wrote to Timothy, a young pastor, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15).
I learned a lot during the time God permitted me to pastor. I think every pastor ought to be forced out on the field to evangelize or be in field ministry for at least two years. Then he'd know how to entertain evangelists and
The Anointing To Pastor 59
On the other hand, I think evangelists ought to be forced into pastoring at least two years. Then they wouldn't say a lot of things they say sometimes.
After about 10 years of pastoral work, I shut myself up in my church and prayed and fasted for days. I said, "Lord, why am I so dissatisfied? The church is growing. We've got all the money we need. We have the best parsonage we've ever lived in. We've got the best of everything.
"People are getting saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, and healed in our services. From the natural standpoint, we have every reason in the world to be satisfied — but I'm not satisfied. Something is not right."
I kept seeking God. One day as I was praying around the altar, God said, "The reason is, I never did call you to pastor to begin with. That's not your calling. That's not your office."
Did you know there are a lot of people in the wrong office? And it's dangerous — really dangerous — to intrude into another office.
Ministering in the Wrong Office
In Old Testament days, if you intruded into another office, you fell dead instantly. Two fellows intruded into the Holy Place and fell dead instantly, for example.
In these days of grace — thank God for grace — you can get by with it longer, but you can't get by with it forever. Sooner or later, as the Bible says, if you don't judge yourself, you'll have to be judged so you won't be condemned with the world:
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1 CORINTHIANS 11:31,32
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be
But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord,
that we should not be condemned with the world.
Through my 50 years in the ministry, I've known mighty men of God — and I mean mighty men — who were anointed by the Holy Spirit to function in such offices as prophet and evangelist, with the working of miracles, gifts of healings, and the gift of special faith manifested through them. Some of them ought to be alive still today, but they're dead because they tried to function — and had no anointing to function — over in another office.
If they had stayed in their own office, they wouldn't have died prematurely. You can add to or diminish the anointing. The anointing they had diminished.
One day Gordon Lindsay, founder of Christ for the Nations, and I were discussing one of the outstanding ministers who had died — one who had stood at the forefront of the Healing Revival. We were all in the Voice of Healing organization at one time.
God had told me two years before that this minister was going to die — and he died exactly when the Lord said he would.
Somebody asked me, "Why didn't you go tell him?"
The Lord didn't tell me to tell him. In fact, the witness of my spirit was, "Leave him alone. Don't say a word to him." But because Brother Lindsay was closer to the man, the Holy Spirit told him four times to go tell him, "You're going to die." Brother Lindsay, too, saw that he wouldn't listen, so he just kept quiet about it.
He had dealt with the minister earlier on this subject,
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pleading with him, "Why don't you function where God wants you and manifest the gift that God's given you. Stay there. Don't try to get over here in this other ministry."
The man would try to teach. He wasn't a teacher. That wasn't his calling. He had no unction, no anointing, to teach, and he would create confusion instead of blessing.
He answered Brother Lindsay, "Yeah, but I want to teach."
Don't be a teacher just because you want to be one! Have the call and the anointing of God to do it, or else leave it alone. And if the anointing's there to preach, don't try to teach. Don't try to stand in an office unless the anointing and the call are there.
"Yeah, but..." the man said, "I want to." And the man died. He ought to still be alive. He could have been a great blessing.
I've seen marvelous ministries like his ruined and the Church robbed of the blessings she ought to have had because people didn't minister under their anointing. You can spread yourself so thin in different ministries that you get very little anointing on any of them.
That's one reason I stay over where the Lord called me, whether I'm preaching or teaching. It doesn't make any difference what I'm teaching on or where I start out — I wind up preaching on faith and healing. Just as soon as I get on those subjects, I'm gone. I could start preaching on the anti-Christ and wind up preaching on faith and healing.
God may lead you to speak on different subjects at certain times, especially if you're a pastor. He never called me to pastor, although I did function there for a while,
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and thank God for it. It was a learning period, but it still wasn't my calling.
Back in 1948, somebody came along mightily used of God and anointed to minister healing. A pastor friend told me, "Brother Hagin, you could do that. The same anointing that's on him is on you."
I hadn't thought a thing about such a ministry; I was still pastoring.
My friend said, "When you preach for me and get on the subject of healing or faith, it's just like a dog on a rabbit's trail. You just take off!"
That was because God was going to anoint me to do what He had called me to do. If I had persisted in doing something else, like pastoring, the anointing wouldn't be there and I would have diminished the overall anointing upon my life and ministry.
I preached my farewell sermon at my last pastorate the first Sunday of February 1949.
When the Lord appeared to me in that first vision in 1950 in the Rockwall, Texas, tent meeting, He said, among other things, "When you left your last church, at that time you entered into the first phase of your ministry."
At that time I had already been in the ministry 15 years (from 1934 to 1949). Twelve years of it had been in pastoral work. The rest had been in evangelistic work. And I'm not an evangelist either — that's not my calling. (That's the reason the anointing to preach won't come on me very often.)
So when the Lord said I had entered into the first phase of my ministry when I left my last church, I argued with Him about it. (Ananias argued with Him, too, over going to pray for Saul of Tarsus.)
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I said, "Lord, that can't be so. You mean I preached 15 years in the ministry and never even got into the first phase of the ministry You have for me?"
He said, "That's exactly right."
Then He said something we all need to think about. He said, "Many ministers live and die and never even get into the first phase of the ministry I have for them. Not always, but many times that's the reason they die young or in middle life and don't live their full length of time out."
If you're not in God's best, you can't claim God's best. If you're not in God's perfect will, you can't claim His perfect provision. We need to know that and find our place.
Often God will let you serve nearly anywhere during a period of training. But the time will come that you need to get on your knees and find your place.
Here's where we miss it: Instead of doing this, we think, Well, I'm in the ministry — I'm working for God — and we find our own place. But you can die working for God!
You must ask yourself, "What did He call me to do? What does He want me to do?"
Oh, I never want to do something just because / want to do it. I want to obey God.
Well, the anointing came on me to teach, so I began to teach. I didn't have any anointing then to stand in the office of the prophet, although I prophesied.
Chapter 9 The Anointing of the Prophet
Jesus had all of the anointings combined to stand in all of the offices.
Paul, writing to Timothy, said concerning his own ministry, "I am appointed a PREACHER, and an APOSTLE, and a TEACHER to the Gentiles" (2 Tim. 1:11). We know from Acts 13 that Paul also stood in the office of prophet.
We know that Paul stood in the office of prophet because he had visions and revelations. A prophet is one who has visions and revelations, among other things. All of the Gospel Paul learned he learned that way.
Some of us, like Paul, stand in more than one office. Often we'll weave in and out of these offices.
Thank God I had the anointing to preach and then the anointing to teach. I continued to preach and teach. I spoke in tongues and prophesied, but I never stood in the office of prophet until 1952.1 know exactly when I entered into the ministry of the prophet.
I don't have the anointing of the apostle or the pastor — I never have had them — but I recognize those anointings on others.
It is important to notice that there is a difference between: (1) standing in the office of a prophet, and (2) the simple gift of prophecy.
Every Spirit-filled believer could prophesy and could know something about the anointing to prophesy. The Bible teaches that: "For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted'7(1 Cor. 14:31).
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The simple gift of prophecy is speaking to men to edification, exhortation, and comfort. A good testimony, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the simple gift of prophecy. So you see, just prophesying doesn't make you a prophet! It's the Spirit within you who anoints you to prophesy, yet there is also an anointing or ministry gift to stand in the office of a prophet.
Thank God for the anointing of the prophet. Oh, I love it! Often, sitting on the platform before I take the service to teach, I suddenly sense that prophetic anointing — the office of the prophet — moving upon me. I recognize what it is.
It's a different anointing. It's deeper — much deeper — than the anointing just to prophesy. It's the same anointing, because it's the same Spirit, but it's multiplied about a hundredfold.
I have found that the anointing can be stronger or it can be weaker, as we will see in the story of Elisha and Elijah, the two Old Testament prophets.
If I were controlling things, I'd prophesy in every service, but that may not be what God wants in every service.
The first time I experienced this overwhelming anointing to prophesy was in January 1964 in Phoenix, Arizona. I was there to be one of the speakers at the Full Gospel Business Men's Convention.
After the closing session, Brother and Sister Darrell Hon, their son Barry, and my wife and I went to a nearby restaurant to get something to eat. Before we ordered, the Spirit of God suddenly came on me. I recognized it as the spirit of prophecy — a better term is "the spirit of the prophet."
I said to our party, "Let's go somewhere where we can
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pray." We went to our motel room, sat down, and prayed a while. The anointing had broken a little by our getting up and leaving the restaurant, but by praying it returned.
For two hours I sat there and prophesied. I'd never prophesied that long in my life. Brother Hon wrote it down, for we didn't have a tape recorder with us. He got most of it.
I've never had an experience exactly like this. I've had two similar experiences since then, but not with the same measure of anointing.
It seemed as if I were sitting beside myself on the edge of that bed. It seemed as if there were two of me. I was listening with my physical ears to what this fellow sitting beside me said.
It seemed to me that I had nothing whatsoever to do with what he was saying. It seemed as if I were completely taken over by the Spirit of God. Once I began to yield to the Spirit, it was the easiest thing in the world.
For two hours the Lord took us through the years 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, and 1968: five years. He told us what was going to happen in Vietnam, and He told us what was going to happen with our government.
He also told us that a man who stood in the forefront of the ministry would be taken. I still have the prophecy as Brother Hon took it down.
It reads, "Satan shall destroy his life. His soul shall be saved and his work shall follow him. Ere 1966 shall come, he shall be gone." It happened. It wasn't God's full plan or full purpose for him, but nonetheless it happened.
I experienced a similar overwhelming anointing on April 30,1980, while teaching at our Prayer and Healing School on the RHEMA campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (It
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happens to me sometimes in preaching, but more often in teaching.)
Let me show you something about the prophet's ministry. I don't operate there all the time, but neither did Elijah and Elisha.
Suddenly while teaching the Word (I'm a teacher so I can operate in that office all the time), I moved over into this other area. Right in front of me, with my eyes wide open, I had what I call a "mini-vision."
As if it had literally happened, I saw a young woman standing in the aisle. I saw myself point to her and say, "Be healed in the Name of Jesus!" I saw her go over backwards.
I saw men standing in both aisles, so I stopped and acted that out, too. (I frequently act out these mini-visions.) I said to them, "Stand in the aisle. Be healed in the Name of Jesus!"
That's the only time I've ever done that. I don't know if I'll ever do it again or not, but I will if the Lord says to. In fact, He didn't say to then; I just saw it in the mini-vision. Both men went over backwards. I simply acted out that mini-vision — or so I thought.
When you have faith to move into the realm of the Spirit and obey Him, He'll take you on. If He showed you everything before you moved, you would not be walking by faith, you'd be walking by sight, and that would not please Him. So you'll never know everything.
But if you'll have the faith to step out when the Spirit moves, He'll move you and you'll minister in the depth of the Spirit that you've never ministered in before; and the anointing of God shall not only come upon you and rest, but the anointing of God will be made manifest
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I remembered that first part of the mini-vision and would tell it. I don't mean I was unconscious of what happened next, but you can get off in the realm of the Spirit until you're so conscious of spiritual things that you don't even realize natural things.
(Now, you can fall into a trance, but I didn't fall into a trance on that occasion. I've fallen into a trance several times and have had visions. When you fall into a trance, your physical senses are suspended. You don't know where you are at the moment.)
Our staff asked me, "Brother Hagin, why don't you ever tell all of that story?"
I said, "Is there more to tell?"
"Yes," they said. "You leave that woman lying back there in the aisle."
"Well, wasn't that the end of it?"
"No," they said. "That's part of it, but it didn't end there."
I asked them to tell me what happened, for I had no knowledge of the rest of the story.
They said, "After you acted that part out, you called the woman up to the front, and we never saw you act that way before.
"You jumped off the platform and grabbed the woman like a cat grabbing a mouse. You laid one hand on her stomach and one hand on her back, shook her, cast three devils out of her — fear, death, and disease — and commanded her to be healed. She fell to the floor the second time and lay there until 6 p.m."
When she went back to the doctor, he couldn't find a trace of cancer. It had all disappeared. The woman was
70 Understanding the Anointing
completely healed of cancer. Her testimony appeared in the December 1981 issue of our magazine, The Word of Faith. The woman and her husband later moved to Tulsa and attended RHEMA Bible Training Center in preparation for the ministry.
After my staff told me what happened, I had only the faintest recollection of it — it was like a dream to me. It seemed as if I had been taken over by the Spirit of God. (You have to be willing to be used and you have to yield to Him.)
I've also been preaching when the anointing to stand in the office of prophet suddenly came on me (it already was on me to preach). I don't control this anointing — God does.
Once while preaching I suddenly was standing on a street corner miles away. I could hear the sound of my voice continuing to preach, but I don't know to this day a single word of what I said, because I was standing on that street corner.
I saw a mini-vision of a woman from my congregation walking down the street. I saw a man pull up to the curb in his automobile and sound the horn. The woman got in the car and they drove out in the country. I was sitting in the back seat. They committed adultery.
Suddenly I was conscious of being behind the pulpit again. I saw that woman sitting before me in the congregation. Now, God didn't show that incident to me to reveal if in front of everybody. In fact, I never said a word to anybody. He showed it to me in order to restore her — to get her back in fellowship with God.
Again, while preaching down in Alabama, the anointing suddenly came on me and I saw a mini-vision of two
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women having a fight. Down the street and about a block away I saw a church. Across the top I saw the name of it.
The two women tore each other's clothes off. One finally got loose and ran away. The other went down to a little white frame house that stood beside the church.
I was standing out in the yard with her, and I could see the outline of a man standing in the doorway. He hooked the screen door when he saw her.
She cursed him because he wouldn't agree that she was right in beating up that other woman. She threatened to come through the screen and whip him, too. He was ready to shut the door when she finally left.
And then I was back in the service, and there she stood in front of me in the prayer line, wanting to be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
I said, "You're not going to get baptized with the Holy Spirit until you get things straightened up." I talked to her about what I had seen.
The Full Gospel pastor of that church didn't understand that kind of a move of the Spirit. You see, many churches believe in the gifts of the Spirit on paper, but not in action.
When I told him what I had seen in the Spirit, he admitted he was the man who was standing in the doorway. The fight I had seen had actually happened.
Now I'll share with you another way the Holy Spirit moves with me sometimes, but not often. I "see" myself go down the aisles and lay hands on some of the people.
As I act this out and walk by people, it's just like a magnet draws me to them. When it does, I stop and minister to them. Thank God for the anointing!
have the Holy Ghost on me 10 minutes than to own the world with a fence around it." He was speaking about the anointing to minister.
As the Spirit Wills
I want you to notice something about the anointing of the prophet. Sometimes people think that if you're in a certain office, such as the office of the prophet, you stand in it all the time.
These people miss it because they fail to read what the Bible says, and they try to perform when the anointing's not there. They get in the flesh, prophesy, and do an injustice to the work of God. Or they seem to think that because you stand in the office of the prophet, you go around handing out revelations all the time.
I know one man, bless his heart, who has the anointing of God upon him, because supernatural things happen through his ministry — there's no doubt about it — but because he thinks he's called to the office of the prophet, he thinks he has to function in it all the time!
I remember the first time I met him. Within 30 minutes he must have given me 12 "words" from the Lord, and not one of them was correct. They didn't amount to the proverbial hill of beans.
I stand sometimes in the office of prophet, and some people think I stand in it all the time. They'll even lie to try to get through to me.
We were speaking out of town once and were awakened at 4 o'clock in the morning. We were told we had an emergency long distance call. We thought one of our relatives had died or something.
Instead there was some woman on the other end of the
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line (sometimes it's a man). This one said, "Brother Hagin, I hated to do that, but it's the only way I could get through to you." (That's flat out lying.)
"You know," she continued, "I was praying and I thought I'd see if I could get hold of you. I thought maybe you'd have a word for me."
I wanted to say, "I have!" but I didn't have enough nerve to give it to her.
People think you can just turn it off and on as you want, but it is as the Spirit wills. Yes, the anointing is there potentially, but it's not in manifestation constantly! As you prepare, study, and yield to the Spirit of God, the anointing will be there to function in that office, but you don't stand in your office all the time.
Stop and think about that. If your office is the office of a teacher, and you functioned in that office all the time, you'd be teaching 24 hours a day, and you'd never stop until you died!
You really couldn't bear to stand in the office of a prophet 24 hours a day, even though the call might be there and the potential anointing might be there. The human body cannot contain that degree of spiritual power over a long period of time, as we will see in Chapter 14.
Jesus called Himself a prophet in the fourth chapter of Luke's Gospel, and He used an illustration that His Jewish audience knew well from the Old Covenant: the story of the Prophet Elijah, who was sent to the widow's house in Sarepta during a famine.
There the working of miracles was manifested through Elijah: The oil cruse kept giving out oil, and the meal barrel kept giving out meal (1 Kings 17:16). But Elijah couldn't go into anybody else's house in Israel and do that unless
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the Lord told him to.
Next Jesus related that there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha (Luke 4:27), but none of them was healed, even though Elisha had a reputation of having a healing ministry.
We know that because of what the little Israeli maid said when she found out that her master, Naaman, had leprosy: "Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy" (2 Kings 5:3).
Not one leper in Israel was healed, only Naaman from Syria — yet Elisha was standing in the office of the prophet!
Remember, we don't control the anointing. We must learn to flow with the Spirit. We must learn to minister under the anointing. I love that anointing!
Elijah was anointed by the Holy Spirit to stand in the office of prophet, but Elisha had twice the measure of that anointing — a double portion — to stand in that office. Therefore, we can see that one could be more anointed than others in the same office.
Music Enhances the Anointing
We need to understand the role music plays in affecting the prophet's ministry. The third chapter of Second Kings gives us an example from the ministry of the Prophet Elisha.
In Old Testament times, only the prophet, priest, and king were anointed by the Spirit to stand in those three offices. Otherwise, people didn't have the anointing of the Spirit of God on them unless God especially called them.
Therefore, if they needed to inquire of the Lord con-
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cerning some matter, they had to inquire through the prophet. (The prophet's ministry is different during this present dispensation.)
An enemy had come against the nation of Israel, which was divided at the time. Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, was conferring with two other kings — Jehoram, king of Israel, and the king of Edom, both of whom had forsaken God and were backslid.
Jehoshaphat asked, "Is there not here a prophet of the Lord, that we may enquire of the Lord by him?" (v. 11). One of the servants of the king of Israel mentioned Elisha, so the three kings went to him.