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July 19, 2014
Biblical Understanding of "Anointing"
By Anthony Wade
Correcting the abuse in the church today of the word "anointing."
I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie--just as it has taught you, abide in him. - 1John 2: 26-27 (ESV)
And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. - Mark 13: 5-6 (KJV)
One of the complaints regarding the Gnostics was their insistence that God becomes revealed to us through experience. A most insidious lie of the devil because the enemy knows that he can manipulate our experiences. He can manipulate our feelings. When it comes to the Word of God however, the devil has no playground. There is the truth of God and the lies of the enemy. Black and white. No "experiential" middle ground to muddy the waters. That is why you see so many false teachers and prophets today claim divine revelation - which means their own alleged personal experience of God. Because they know what they teach can be refuted biblically but no one can contradict their "experience." Which is why it is even more necessary to wield the sword of the Spirit when dealing with people that claim divine revelation. The test is simple. If their divine revelation/teaching does not match up with the Word of God then it was not divine. It was either a lie or demonic.
Amidst this turn towards experiential Christianity we see the false prophetic paradigm flourish. Christians pursuing the experience of being "prophesied over" as opposed to reading their Bible and having God speak directly to them through His Word. This desire is just more of the itching ears syndrome the Bible warns us about. That is because the false prophet never "prophesies" anything negative or challenging and the Bible is a two edged sword that cuts us to the heart of our sin. This is nothing new beloved:
I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord. - Jeremiah 23: 25-28 (KJV)
These are some powerful verses for the false dreamers out there calling themselves prophets! You have a dream? Go ahead and tell it. You have My Word - speak it faithfully. For what is chaff to wheat? Awesome. Keep your experience which is as worthless as chaff! I'll stick to the eternal Word of God!
Within these false movements there is an increase in lingo that confuses the Body of Christ. It sounds Scriptural. It has origins in the Word. But it is being perverted now and needs to be corrected. One such word is "anointing." We all know the word. The word is biblical. It comes from the process of pouring oil on the head, such as was done with King Saul and then King David. It also can be rubbed in as usual during a time of healing. David referred to Saul as God's anointed. So there is no question of the authenticity of the term. The problem is now how it is being used. I have seen it used to drive a wedge of superiority between the average congregant and the leader. That they are the chosen anointed of God and you are the miserable serf that is bound to follow them and bow down to their "authority." I have heard it used to describe gifted preachers - "my pastor is so anointed." I have heard it used to describe entire churches - "the anointing is flowing in that building." I have heard it mangled to deflect any criticism of a leader - "touch not God's anointed!" I have heard it abused to infer that you can transfer it to others or have it transferred to you. Renowned heretic Bill Johnson believes you can visit the dead and suck up some residual anointing from grave! I have heard the unbiblical notion that you can have a double portion of the anointing. Or that you need a fresh anointing. Or that someone operates under a new anointing. All of this is nonsense. Let us turn to the key verses today.
The first set of Scriptures from 1John teaches us that we are all the anointed! Your pastor may have a different calling than you but not a different anointing. He may be a better speaker than you but not a better anointing. He may be superior to you in biblical knowledge but he does not possess a superior anointing. Why? Because the anointing we all have received, which abides in us, is the Holy Spirit:
Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, "I believed, and so I spoke," we also believe, and so we also speak, - 2Corinthians 4: 13 (ESV)
You cannot have a double portion of the Holy Spirit. You never would need a fresh portion of the Holy Spirit - as if He goes stale! I certainly would never want a new spirit because then by default it would demonic. Do not fall for the false authority paradigm so many operate under. The pastoral role is first a servant. The role of every Christian is supposed to be servanthood in humility.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. - Philippians 2: 3 (ESV)
Count others as more significant than you. Beloved if you are following someone who lords themselves over you then you need to run as fast as you can. Do not follow someone feeding you a line about their "apostolic authority" or more concerned about "rebellion" than they are the Gospel. You have the anointing beloved and look what 1John teaches us it is for! It protects us from those who seek to deceive us! The Spirit of God leads us into all truth so we will know when we are being lied to! So we can say no to the false prophets and false teachers of this age! Look at the next set of key verses from the Gospel of Mark. We are to take heed lest any man deceive us! We read this and think "well no one has claimed to be Jesus." That is not what this verse says! It says many shall come in the name of Jesus saying "I am Christ." The word Christ means - anointed one! So what our Lord is warning us about here is that many will come under the banner of Jesus Christ and tell us that they are anointed. That they are "Christos."
They shall deceive many and already have. They continue to deceive many because people do not realize the power of their own anointing. God has given us His Word which will reveal all lies and false claims. He has given us His Spirit - His anointing - so we can be led into the truth of His Word. But that is what we must pursue. Not this experiential, Gnostic perversion of Christianity we see out there today. Led by these false apostles, wannabe prophets, and ministers who are more concerned about telling you why they are better than you than they are with presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then when you have the temerity to point out the truth about the Bible they label you as rebellious or divisive. They claim a supernatural divine revelation from God to brush aside any questions about the unbiblical nature of their teachings. The Bible teaches us that it is false teaching the cause the division in the body, not correctly rebuking what and who is false. There is only one Spirit and thus only one anointing. If you are saved today then you share in that wonderful anointing. Use it today. Let it lead you into all truth in His Word and protect you from the wolves in sheep pen today.