Beware of the “Anointed Ones”
While this was not intended to be an exhaustive study on the matter of the “Messiah,” “Christ,” or “anointed ones,” it soon became apparent that it would be rather involved. I still don’t intend to do an exhaustive study on this, but I want to focus rather on how the term “anointed one” as it relates to false “anointed ones.”
In the Old Testament the Hebrew word “mashiyach” refers to priests (Lev 4:3,5,16), kings (1 Sam. 24:6,10), the Messiah (Ps. 2:2), and even to the whole Hebrew nation (1 Chr. 16:22; Ps. 105:15). This Hebrew word “mashiyach” occurs in the following passages: Leviticus 4:3,5,16; 6:22; 1 Samuel 2:10,35; 12:3,5; 16:6; 24:6 (2x),10; 26:9,11,16,23; 2 Samuel 1:14,16,21; 19:21; 22:51; 23:1; 1 Chronicles 16:22; 2 Chronicles 6:42; Psalm 2:2; 18:50; 20:6; 28:8; 84:9; 89:39,51; 105:15; 132:10,17; Isaiah 45:1; Lamentations 4:20; and Habakkuk 3:13.
In the New Testament the Greek word “christos” is used hundreds of times to refer to Jesus Christ, but it is also used of false “christs” (Matt. 24:5,23,24; Mark 13:21,22; the word is implied in Mark 13:6 and Luke 21:8), in John the Baptist’s denial that he was the Christ (John 1:20,25; 3:28), and with the preposition “anti” to refer to antichrists, (1 John 2:18,22; 4:3; 2 John verse 7) and to the Antichrist (1 John 2:18).
This brings me to the issue on which I wish to focus—false “Christs,” or false “anointed ones.” Everywhere we turn these days we see preachers, teachers, and other “Christian” leaders claiming to have an “apostolic,” “prophetic,” or “healing” anointing, and an increasing number of them are bringing in other supposed “anointings.”
Christians are being led to believe they must go to this “prophetic” convention, that “healing” service, or that “apostolic” conference to get something from God. Many of these people, especially those who go to the “healing services,” are absolutely desperate for help, and they are convinced that if they can just get to that event they will be healed. It is true that God can and does heal, and He may even heal at an event held by some gospel hukster because God honors His word and the faith of His people in spite of the flawed vessels preaching His word. However, that does not excuse those false “anointed ones” who make merchandise of God’s people for their own unethical and immoral gain.
Matthew 24:5, 23, 24 says, “5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many…. 23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” NKJV
Mark 13:6, 21, 22 says, “6 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many…. 21 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it. 22 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” NKJV
Coupled with this information about false christs or false anointed ones is the warning or admonition not to be deceived. The warning occurs four times in Matthew 24 and several times in Mark 13 as well. Today many professing believers are being deceived by false anointed ones, false prophets, and false teachers. These false ones are slick and undermine the authority of the Bible and sound doctrine in many ways. A lot of conservative Bible believing Christians are aware of the problems with the liberal emerging church and social justice preachers who are trying to bring in “the kingdom of God” through their leftist social justice efforts, and now that movement is spreading throughout Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Charismatic churches. However, many are falling for the false teachings of those who have been, at least in the past, more conservative in their theology. People are being deceived by the prosperity gospel, teaching that God wants everyone wealthy and healthy, and if you’re poor and sick there must be sin in your life. That is another form of legalism. Many of these false teachers have become part of a conservative movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). They are attempting to bring in the kingdom of God by taking over the “7 Mountains” or “7 Spheres” of culture. Rather than focusing on liberal social justice programs, they believe they will “Christianize” the world (http://www.apologeticsindex.org/794-new-apostolic-reformation-2, https://bereanresearch.org/dominionism-nar/). This teaching is also called Kingdom Now, Reconstructionism and Dominionism among other names. It is the old teaching of Post Millennialism with a new face and varying degrees of intensity. But basically it teaches that the church will so influence the cultures of the world that Jesus will need to return to govern the kingdom the church has established for Him. As I look at church history and the current state of the church, I’d say we haven’t made much progress in taking over the “7 mountains” of culture (Education, Religion, Family, Business, Government/Military, Arts/Entertainment, Media). In fact, we’ve lost a lot of ground in the last 30 years, and especially in the last 3 years.
Now a lot of teachers in mainstream Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Charismatics circles are calling into question the historicity of the events recorded in the Bible, such as the creation account, the existence of Adam and Eve, Noah’s flood, the Exodus, David and Goliath, and other events. Here’s a link to just one example of this: (http://0352182.netsolhost.com/PREACHING%20ROCKETAndy%20Stanley%20creation%20-%20YouTube.mp4). This teacher has gone further off the deep end since that was recorded a few years ago.
Another false teaching gaining popularity is that all religions worship the same “god.” That is especially common when people are talking about Islam. They will say that the Yahweh of the Bible is the Allah of the Koran. That is a lie. The Allah of the Koran is likely Satan in the Bible, but he certainly isn’t Yahweh God. Brian Houston of Hillsong flatly stated that Muslims and Christians serve the same God. To the best of my knowledge he has never corrected or retracted this as a misspoken thought (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0M2T9gYOH4). Rick Warren calls Muslims his “brothers” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3uPGzTN8mI). And the Chrislam movement is spreading throughout the church (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnV0Oe-WMdg).
When I hear teachers or preachers on television or radio claiming to be “God’s anointed,” my heresy antenna goes way up because I have learned through life they are usually preparing the hearers to receive some false teaching—some lie that promotes their heretical agenda. But too many people listen to these preachers with an open mind rather than an open Bible. We need to start being Bereans again. Acts 17:10-12 says, “Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men” (NKJV). If the Apostle Paul commended these people for searching the scriptures to see if what he said was true, then how much more should we be checking out what teachers tell us now?
We need to get back to the Bible, and stop being deceived by all these false teachers, with their false teachings (study the Bible rather than someone’s book or study guide about the Bible), their books, DVD’s, and CD’s. It’s time we get to know the Jesus Christ of the Bible, rather than chasing supposed “christs” or “anointed ones” all over the country, the internet, the Christian television and radio networks, iTunes, and the Christian bookstores. I’m not saying there aren’t some very good and valid materials for Christians to use and learn more about the Bible, but we do need to be very careful because there are many false teachers and their numbers and influence are increasing. Two of most dangerous places for a Christian, especially an immature one, these days is a Christian bookstore, and watching a Christian television network. In fact, William Paul Young, author of the theological abomination called “The Shack” has his own show on TBN called “Restoring the Shack” (https://www.tbn.org/search?s=the+shack&=Apply). The only reason a program like this can exist on a “Christian” television network is because there are so many biblically illiterate professing “Christians.” To paraphrase an old Sherlock Holmes line, The game is afoot, and the game is deception! Do NOT be deceived!