The Anointing Breaks the Yoke
John Hoole – November 1, 2009
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Over the past three lessons, we have investigated what the Bible says about “The Anointing.” We have looked at the Old Testament pattern of anointing Kings , Priests and Prophets. In the New Testament, we examined the anointing that rested upon Jesus. We noted that the words, “Messiah” and “Christ,” both mean “The Anointed One.” In our last lesson, we looked more deeply at the anointing resting on all believers. But we also saw that there are specific anointing for particular tasks God gives us.
Today, we will examine the affect of the Holy Spirit in breaking the yoke of bondage. There is one specific verse in the Old Testament that tells us the anointing helps break that yoke. But there are many Passages telling us we need not be bound by anything Satan throws at us. And God, through the Holy Spirit, can free us and those we love, from these hindering forces, whether they be habits that grip us, or obstacles put in our path by our enemy.
As I was thinking about this lesson, I was reminded about a story I heard not long ago. There was this middle-aged man who was a Pastor having a Doctor of Ministry degree. He went to a family reunion, and his three brothers were also there. One was a brain surgeon, another was an eye doctor and the other was a dentist. A teenage girl asked the pastor’s grown daughter who her father was. She said Doctor Brown. So the young teenager said, “Oh, your dad is the one they named the new hospital.”
No, the daughter said – that’s my uncle the brain doctor. When your brain is sick, you need my uncle the brain doctor. And when your eyes are weak, you need my uncle the eye doctor. And when your tooth aches, you need my uncle the tooth doctor. But when your spirit is down and your heart is broken or you soul needs to be saved, then you need my daddy, God’s doctor. He’s the everything doctor, and the everything doctor can only do his work by being anointed by God.
I want to begin our lesson by looking at what is probably the most well-known Passage with regard to the anointing breaking the yoke – Isaiah 10:27.
Isaiah 10:27 NKJV
27 It shall come to pass in that day that his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing.
To help us more fully understand this passage, let’s look at its setting and context. Isaiah was one of the major prophets in the Old Testament. He began his ministry near the end of the reign of King Uzziah. He continued his ministry as a prophet through the reign of Kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Assyria was growing as a world power, but Isaiah was growing in the grace of God.
So when Isaiah speaks, we should listen – he tells us much about The Anointed One.
Isaiah, in chapter 20, was prophesying against the Nation of Judah. Remember, the nation of Israel had divided into two kingdom, the Northern Kingdom, called Israel, made up of 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel. Judah was the Southern Kingdom and made up of two of the tribes – Judah and Benjamin. And the capital of the Southern Kingdom was Jerusalem.
By the time we get to Chapter 10, Isaiah had already prophesied about the coming judgment on Judah. He had already written about the day of the Lord in Chapter 2. Isaiah had written about the parable of the vineyard in Chapter 5. He had already written about the destruction of Israel (Northern Kingdom) by Assyria (Ch. 8). Isaiah had written about the sign of Immanuel, the Messiah, in Chapter 9.
And now, here in Chapter 10, verse 20, Isaiah wrote about a “remnant” of Israel that would return after Assyria destroyed it.
Verse 20 (NKJV) reads:
20 And it shall come to pass in that day that the remnant of Israel, and such as have escaped of the house of Jacob, will never again depend on him who defeated them, but will depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
This is some of the best of news. While God will not turn away from judging Israel, He always has His hand extended. Even as God is about to send judgment, He is extending His hands of mercy. God says that Assyria is being used by God to be the rod of His anger. Israel had sinned so badly that God was willing to send a sinful Gentile nation in to destroy it. God was willing to allow the Assyrians to bring Israel down, but God would never allow his people to be destroyed forever. Even in God’s judgment He will show mercy. David, in one of his Psalms, said, “judgment is for a little while, but his mercy endures forever. God always has a remnant that will call upon their God.
God knows how to take care of you and me. God knows how to bring you out. God knows how to save you. God knows how to fight your battle. God knows how to deliver you.
In Verse 24, Isaiah speaks the word of the Lord to the people of his day.
He says, “Do not be afraid of the Assyrians, who beat you with a rod and lift up a club against you as Egypt did.”
This is a very important and encouraging statement. It doesn’t mentioned the breaking of a yoke of bondage in this verse. But it is a definite reminder of what Moses wrote in Leviticus about Egypt.
Leviticus 26:13 NKJV
13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves; I have broken the bands of your yoke and made you walk upright.
In this case, as well as that of Isaiah 10:27, a yoke is figurative of bondage and affliction. The removal and breaking of the yoke is used in a metaphorical sense that signifies Israel’s freedom from Egyptian slavery and following God. The “yoke” and “bands” refers to the slavery in Egypt that Yahweh freed Israel from.
God, through the prophet Isaiah, was telling the Israelites that this tyranny by the Assyrians will end, and they will no longer be bowed down under their yoke.
Verse 25 continues His word to His people about their enemies. “For yet a very little while and the indignation will cease, as will My anger in their destruction.” He uses the phrase, “yet a very little while…”. That tells me that no matter what we face it is temporary. I may not fully understand your problem, but Jesus does, and whatever they are, they are temporary when submitted to Him. They can change when the “Anointed One” comes on the scene.
Verse 26 tells us what God is going to do with the enemies of Israel. All of this is laying the foundation for what He says in Verse 27. I am going to jump over Verse 27 for a moment, so we can see the context following it.
In verses 28 through 32, we find a list of proper names – names of 12 villages or cities. If you try to find them on a map, most are to the northeast of Jerusalem. Some commentaries say Isaiah is having a prophetic vision of the route to be taken by Assyria. It is a vivid description of the advance by the army of Assyria.
And it appears they meet no hindrance or resistance until they reach NOB. Nob is the last of the 12 villages named, and lies just outside the walls of Jerusalem. Then and only then does this army find resistance. In verses 33 & 34, God says this Assyrian army is like trees, but they will be toppled and humbled. The Assyrians will advance no further.
Now, let’s look more closely at verse 27, and read it again.
Isaiah 10:27 NKJV
27 It shall come to pass in that day that his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing.
This is one of those verses that might have you scratching your head as you investigate the Hebrew to help you know what it is saying. The Hebrew word that is translated, “anointing” in the King James and New King James has a number of seemingly dissimilar meanings. Let’s read this verse in the NIV.
Isaiah 10:27 NIV
27 In that day their burden will be lifted from your shoulders, their yoke from your neck; the yoke will be broken because you have grown so fat.
The New American (NAS) is similar:
27 So it will be in that day, that his burden will be removed from your shoulders and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be broken because of fatness.
Neither this translation nor the NIV mention the “anointing.”
The Hebrew word used in this verse has more than one possible meaning. We have words like that in our English as well. Let me explain how this Hebrew word is translated elsewhere in the Bible. I looked at all 193 verses where this Hebrew word is used. And I looked at each verse in multiple translations. Here is what I found.
Now, back to Isaiah 10:27. Some would say using this verse for the teaching of the anointing breaks the yoke is quite a stretch. But, of all the possible translations just mentioned, using the word, “anointing” seems to be the most understandable.
I think that translating this Hebrew word as “anointing” is as valid as any of the others. But let me relate the statement made by a well-known commentary that thinks “fatness” is the best translation. If you have studied multiple commentaries, or if you attended a Bible School, you will probably have heard of the “Keil & Delitzsch Commentary.” Let me quote this commentary’s take on this verse.
“…the yoke, like the burden, will be taken away from Israel; that yoke itself will snap from the pressure of his fat strong neck against it……”
In other words, God will strengthen the Israelites, and the yoke that Assyria tries to put on them will not fit. They will try to put their yoke upon you but it will break because of the strength in your necks. In any case, regardless of what translation is used, God says He will make sure the yoke of bondage will be broken or lifted.
This is exactly what is said a few chapters later.
Isaiah 14:25 NKJV
25 … I will break the Assyrian in My land, and on My mountains tread him underfoot. Then his yoke shall be removed from them, and his burden removed from their shoulders.
On many occasions, God’s deliverance of Israel from their enemies is likened unto the removal of a yoke.
Nahum 1:13 (NKJV) speaks of all Israel’s enemies with a general statement.
13 For now I will break off his yoke from you, and burst your bonds apart."
Jeremiah 5:5 NKJV
5 I will go to the great men and speak to them, for they have known the way of the Lord, the judgment of their God. But these have altogether broken the yoke and burst the bonds.
Isaiah 10:27 is not the only verse in the Bible that speaks of the anointing breaking the yoke of bondage. In our lesson last week, I mentioned that our anointing flows out of the anointing of Christ.
1 John 2:27 tells us “the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you,…”
You are familiar with the passage from Isaiah that Jesus read in the synagogue in Nazareth. You find this event in Luke 4.
Luke 4:18-19 NKJV
18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."
In these two verses, six things are mentioned as the result of the anointing of Christ. Three of them have to do with breaking bondages.
Now we have been given the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We can be agents of God to bring freedom and liberty to people. 1John 2:20 – “YOU have an anointing from the Holy One.” The Spirit of the Lord has anointed you to bring deliverance, release and freedom to those bound and held captive by the wiles of the devil.
But it is not only our unsaved friends that are held captive. It is happening with unprecedented frequency within the church.
Revelation 12:12 (NKJV) says:
12 …Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time."
The church is under an all-out-attack from the powers of darkness. We are like Israel was in relation to Assyria. We have allowed the devil to put yokes on us. We have allowed him to lead us around. Many have been under his yoke and have been seeking to be free from it.
What kinds of yoke has the devil tried to place on you and me?
“For it shall come to pass in that day, says the LORD of host, that I will break his yoke from your neck, and will burst your bonds;…”
It is the anointing or the divine enablement of God manifesting Himself on our behalf that breaks the yoke. It is that divine flow of the Holy Spirit that will break that yoke in our lives.
If the church ever recognizes this concept, we will give the prince of darkness – the devil – fits. In the past, if the devil could hinder just a handful of people, he could halt a whole revival move. What would happen if the entire Body of Christ took on the anointing and broke away from the yokes that have been placed around their necks?
The devil is doing all he can to destroy God’s people, or to discourage them in their work for the Lord. The enemy will shout in your ear that you will never make it. You don’t have what it takes to live for Jesus. And he knows how to use the Word of God against you, by twisting it to make us believe what he wants us to believe.
No! We don’t have what it takes to live for Christ with our own power. We will never make it on our own. But, praise the Lord, we have the same Holy Spirit anointing as Christ had. We don’t have to let the devil trample all over us, because we have the power in the anointing that will break every fetter. He has come to deliver us from fear, from doubt and from oppression.
Galatians 5:1 (NKJV) says:
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
I am sure that most of you feel as I do – it is time for us to take the upper hand through the power that God gives us to overcome every hindrance brought against us. But we will never succeed in our own strength. We have to stop fighting our own battles with our puny strength. We must have the strength God provides.
Zechariah 4:6 (NKJV) says it’s…
6 … 'Not by [our] might nor by [our] power, but by My Spirit,' Says the Lord of hosts.
Whether we like it or not, we are in a battle with an unseen enemy. The devil has declared an all-out war on the Church. He is out to sift you and cause you to stumble in any way he can. Our real enemy is not the visible people we see around us.
Ephesians 6:12 NKJV
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
WHEN THE APOSTLE PAUL USES THESE TERMS, WHAT IS HE DESCRIBING?
When Paul uses terms like “principalities” and “powers,” he is not talking about human organizations or governments. Whatever these are, they are not made up of “flesh and blood.” What we have described is the hierarchy of Satan’s demonic empire. He has ranks within his demons – his evil warriors.
The ultimate “empire of evil” is an unseen one. Sinister forces of unspeakable strength and terror lurk behind the chaotic, brutal and inhumane action on this planet. They are called, as we have just read, and in other places:
There is a sinister, evil army with which we struggle. We can live in the victory of Christ's cross today. We can live triumphantly in His victory. The Holy Spirit has been given to us to fight these sinister enemies of our souls. He indwells every believer. Every Christian is a soldier at war.
2 Timothy 2:3-4
3. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
Catch this statement. The Holy Spirit alone is able to turn the Word of God into a sword. Ephesians 6:17 calls it “the sword of the Spirit.”
Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
A biblical understanding of spiritual warfare begins at the end and not at the beginning. The reason for this is that it is ever important to keep our focus on Christ and not on the power of the Enemy. Satan has no rightful authority over any believer. He is a usurper and a trespasser on God’s earth.
Why we need to go to the end is because it is there that we find the ultimate fate of Satan and his demons. The lake of fire was created for the devil and his fallen angels. The heart of spiritual warfare is this – the battle has already been won. We must understand and remember that we fight on the foundation of a victory already won.
We are not dualists who believe that God and the devil are equals who are struggling for the control of men and women. Satan does not coexist with God. The powers of darkness were conquered at the Cross.
Colossians 2:15 NKJV
15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
Most of us see in the Cross the sacrifice of Christ for our forgiveness. We see the ultimate example of unconditional love. We see the demonstration of God’s love to us. All of this is certainly true, but there is a truth about what took place on the cross that some do not see. It was a cosmic spiritual war that was waged that day.
Calvary was the culmination of all of Satan’s hatred of Jesus. Satan tried to kill Jesus at His birth, using King Herod as his pawn. He tempted Jesus in the Judean wilderness to stray from the Father’s plan. He set before the Lord the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. He tempted Jesus’ body, soul and spirit. And Jesus defeated Satan with the Word of God. We should be clear that one of the reasons Jesus came to the earth was to do battle with Satan.
1 John 3:8 NKJV
8 …For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
Jesus saw our world as bound, blind, brokenhearted, and bruised. He saw the disastrous effects of Satan’s control. Throughout His ministry He confronted the forces of hell and cast them out. Jesus is still setting captives free. He is still opening spiritually blind eyes. Jesus saw the destructive work of Satan and did something about it.
Shortly before the Cross, Jesus said;
“Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out” [John 12:31].
Let's take a look at Genesis 3:15.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.
WHAT IS THIS VERSE TALKING ABOUT?
In this verse, we have God announcing the ultimate triumph right from the beginning. God is speaking to the serpent, the deceiving devil, in this verse. He says there will be a wounded man's heel and a crushed serpent's head. Satan's defeat is to come through a Man. This was God's message that a battle was to take place. It took place on Calvary's cross. Satan vented his anger on the Son of God. Christ died for our sins to destroy Satan's demand for our souls. Satan held the power of death. But, praise God, in Hebrews 2:4 teaches the glorious truth why Christ suffered.
“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He [Christ] Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.”
Like the prophet’s words to Israel and King Jehoshaphat, “the battle is not yours, but God’s.” By ourselves, we are not strong enough to win a fight with the devil. But with God, all things are possible.
Again, it is the anointing that breaks the yoke. Human wisdom cannot heal emotional wounds. Human knowledge cannot set free those who are spiritually bound. Traditions and church rituals can’t cast out demonic spirits. Human whit cannot restore those who have emotional bruises.
However, the anointing that was on Jesus can heal all those who have been oppressed of the devil.
“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 [Acts 10:38].
And the anointing did not cease when Jesus ascended into Heaven. Joel prophesied concerning the anointing:
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit” [Joel 2:28-29].
Note, please, the expression “all flesh” which means that it is available to all Believers.
No mountain is too great for God to remove. No valley too deep that we cannot be rescued and restored. No situation so bad that God cannot reach into it and turn it to His glory and our good. The anointing that breaks the yoke speaks of God’s blessing. He is able to rescue us and restore to us even what the enemy has taken.
Let me reiterate once again: We must remember that we fight on the foundation of a victory already won.
We can, through the power of the holy Spirit, not relinquish our freedom to enslavement of any kind – worry, fear, anger, resentment, lust, greed or any besetting sin.
I AM FREE BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB AND THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Jesus stated that the only means of freedom was through Him.
John 8:36 - NKJV
Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
The only source of deliverance from bondage is Jesus Christ. According to Colossians 1:13, all people are born in the domain of darkness. But through faith in Jesus Christ, we are delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of Jesus Christ - the kingdom of light.