An Uncomfortable Truth? – Believers or Quenchers II

Jesus, who was, is, and ever will be  God, did not use His own divine power and authority during His life and ministry on earth.

He ministered and lived as a flesh and blood man, anointed by the Holy Spirit and in complete obedience to the will of the Father.

After He ascended back to heaven, He sent the same Holy Spirit that had empowered His own ministry to enable believers to do the same works (and greater) as those He had done.

Many try hard to undermine this “uncomfortable truth” because it contradicts their powerless theologies and they do their best to discredit those who have accepted it. Often they will make questionable charges against those they oppose, accusing them of heresies, such as the denial of Jesus’ divinity.

However, if there is any “denial of divinity at work”, it was in Jesus denying Himself the option of exercising His own divine rights and abilities, electing to submit to His Father and the Holy Spirit so He could perfectly identify with us in all ways and in all temptations, with the exception of committing sin.

When people deny the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit and His gifts in the church today, they then have the need to “explain” away all claims of that ministry being done by professing believers. They are therefore quick to attribute it all to Satan, and level accusations of heresy, potentially stepping into the dangerous territory of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit.

Scripture makes it very clear, to those willing to believe the Bible instead of traditions they’ve been taught, that the Holy Spirit did not withdraw His gifts and ministry with the death of the apostles. Those gifts have never been withdrawn from the church and are no less needed today than they were in the early church era.

There seem to be two opposing, extreme camps. The deniers who do whatever they can to denigrate and accuse, versus those who get up to a lot of extra-biblical activities, supposedly “in the name of Jesus”.
I suspect that both categories could very well fall under the following warning given by Jesus, if an activity is not in scripture, or at least consistent with scripture, it is almost certainly NOT the Father’s will:

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers! (Matt 7) NIV

Are those who are so openly antagonistic to Spiritual gifts in general so confident of their own stance that they KNOW they are doing the will of the Father?

Are they so sure that THEY will not be counted among those Jesus didn’t know, because they are NOT actually doing his will with their heresy-hunting? Are their pronouncements not a form of “prophecy”? Claiming to be words representing God’s judgements?
Did Jesus commission His church to go into the all the world and expose heretics?

I’d also like to point out that those that Jesus did not know, were not necessarily doing deeds through demonic empowerment. They only CLAIM to have prophesied, driven out demons, and performed miracles. The likelihood of demonic spiritual empowerment seems unlikely when the name of Jesus was being used, although demonic deception in the mind of those doing the deeds is most likely, making them believe their own claims, rather than them actually performing the miraculous.

The above warning from Jesus ought to be balanced by another.
Where the one already cited relates to people DOING things that were NOT sanctioned by God, there is another related to doing nothing, where a servant chose to bury what his master had given him rather than use it as intended.

The church has been given a gift: the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit who empowered Jesus and His ministry. If we choose to ignore the gift, or bury it through denial,  how can we expect to avoid the fate of the servant who out of fear buried his Masters bag of gold instead of putting it to use as he was required, especially when Jesus instructed His disciples not to leave Jerusalem until the gift was given to equip them to be His witnesses throughout the world. Are later generations superior to the apostles and early church and able to be His witnesses without the empowerment and gifts of His Spirit?

…throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (matt 25) NIV

Ted Cruz: “‘Anointed’ to Bring About ‘End Time Transfer of Wealth’”

The details in the article referenced below show there is more than dodgy far-right political ideology driving the Ted Cruz camp.

Its theology is arguably FAR more disturbing.

Once again, during this campaign season in America, the doctrines of Dominionism held by diverse segments of the evangelical world have taken front and center stage. The leaven of the 7 mountain teaching continues to percolate throughout the entire political process.

Six years ago Dr. Orrel Steinkamp and the Discernment Research Group wrote a series of articles about the rapid assimilation of Dominionist teachers/preachers into the American political process. We warned that certain formerly obscure groups – Mike Bickle’s International House of Prayer (IHOP) and C. Peter Wagner’s New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) with their Latter Rain cult roots – were mainstreaming their theology into the political process via large-scale media events, an orchestrated youth movement, and even entering the machinations of political campaigns. All of this was being fueled by prominent voices in the Christian Right promoting the 7 mountain strategy of building the kingdom of God on earth, starting with turning America into a “Christian” nation.

(My emphasis in the last sentence above – Tim)

TRUSTED

cruz

 

 

7 Mountains Hit the Campaign Trail
Here is a very brief overview of the current situation. There is a YouTube video of the 7 mountain beliefs and “transfer of wealth” teachings of “apostle” Rafael Cruz, father of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz who is running for president. In Bruce Wilson’s Oct. 17, 2013 article titled “Ted Cruz’s Father Suggested His Son Is ‘Anointed’ to Bring About ‘End Time Transfer of Wealth’

(Again, my emphasis in the last phrase above – Tim)

ANOINTED

 

see complete article here:
http://herescope.blogspot.com.au/2016/02/7-mountain-politics-and-theology.html

NEITHER

Thanks to my friend Roger for bringing this article to my attention.

Rejecting the Spirit = Rejecting Christ

Some Cessationists have supported their stance by saying that Charismatics/Pentecostals are “Spirit-centred” instead of “Christ-centred”. Apart from this NOT being scriptural evidence for their theology*, can anyone truly be “Christ centred” if they create a division between Christ and the Spirit as if there’s a possibility of an either/or situation? As if anyone can be Christ centred without giving the Holy Spirit the recognition given to Him by Jesus?

I am wondering why Jesus said this:

“…everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”

Why can speaking against Jesus be forgiven but not blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?
What kind of importance does JESUS place on the Holy Spirit in that statement?

If we reject the Spirit and His continuing work (including His gifts) then aren’t we also rejecting the Jesus who promised to send the Spirit as well as rejecting the Father who sends Him in Jesus’ name?

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* Whether Spiritual gifts continue to be valid or not should not be determined through judgement of the actions or beliefs of any group. The validity of ALL doctrinal viewpoints should be determined through reference to the scriptures.

Jesus the Baptist

The attack* on Spiritual gifts is part of a bigger picture – an attack on the Holy Spirit Himself. I’ve been noting how much importance that the NT gives to the role of the Holy Spirit within the believer, and yet that importance is barely recognised.

It seems significant that one of the first things said about the adult Jesus was John the Baptist’s statement:

“I have baptised you with water, but He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit

The fact that this simple statement is referenced so many times (in Matt 3, Mark 1, Luke 3, John 1, Acts 1, and Acts 11) and linked with the events at Pentecost and what happened to Cornelius, should encourage us to think about the relevance to believers today. And also make us wonder why the majority of the church ignores or tries to repudiate what is described.

So what does the NT say about the Holy Spirit and His relationship with believers? There are far too many references to go into in a blog post, but here are a few examples from the gospels and Acts.

1) Jesus will baptise believers in the Holy Spirit (Matt 3, Mark 1, Luke 3, John 1:33. Acts 1, Acts 11)
2) He is given by the Father to those who ask (Luke 11)
3) He is the Helper, sent by the Father in Jesus’ name (John 14)
4) He provides power enabling believers to be witnesses for Jesus (Acts 1)
5) He is poured out by Jesus and fills believers, resulting in clear evidence of that filling (including tongues, praise and prophecy (Acts 2, 10 and 19))
6) He is a gift given to those who repent and are baptised in the name of Jesus. (Acts 2)
7) He gives boldness to speak the word of God (Acts 4)
8) He is given to those who obey God (Acts 5)
9) He is received through prayer (Acts 8)
10) Jesus was anointed with the Spirit and power, and went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil and Paul was filled with the Spirit (Acts 9 and 10)
11) He is poured out “even on the Gentiles” (Acts 10)
12) Believers have not necessarily received the Holy Spirit (Acts 19)[refer again to points 2, 8 and 9 above for posssible reasons]

I wonder how relevant these things have been to our own Christian lives – or are they things we’ve never considered?

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See previous post.
* I see this attack comes from two camps. The cessationists who deny the present day validity of the gifts, and also the unbiblical excesses of sections of Pentecostal/Charismatic groups that give cessationists their entire argument against the gifts.

Coincidence? – NO!

In Matthew 24 there are recorded warnings from Jesus predicting the rise of false prophets and false Christs in the days preceding His return.

Surely it is no coincidence that two of the most common terms used by some of the most questionable elements of  “the church” are “prophetic” and “anointing”. I have written elsewhere* of the relationship between the words anointing and Christ (the latter meaning “anointed one”).

So I advise, whenever those words are in frequent use, be extra cautious.

 

 

* https://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/category/anointing/

ANOINTED: With What and For what?

Below are two (unedited) articles I wrote over four years ago.
I wrote them to address the problems I saw associated with the use of the terms “anointing” and “anointed” by many Pentecostal/Charismatic believers.

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Article 1

Considering the great emphasis and prominence being given to “anointing” in charismanic circles today, I had look at all of the NT references to “anointing” or “being anointed” to see how current beliefs and practices align with scripture.

Consider these questions as you read the list.

Do any of the very FEW New Testament references to believers being anointed resemble the MANY references of anointing being thrown around today? Does it seem like the NT gives as much prominence to “anointing” as the present church is giving?

Do these references even indicate that there is any additional anointing to receive than the one we already have?

Do any of these references indicate that some believers are more anointed than others or that they can have a different anointing than other believers?

Is there any indication at all in the NT that there are different types of anointing that can be received – as is preached by certain prominent people in the “church” today?

Please see my additional comments below the list.

LITERAL ANOINTING WITH OIL, OINTMENT ETC. (12 references)

(Mat 6:17) But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,

(Mar 6:13) And they cast out many demons, and anointed many who were sick with oil, and healed them.

(Mar 14:8) She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for the burying.

(Mar 16:1) And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James and Salome, had bought sweet spices so that they might come and anoint Him.

(Luk 7:38) And she stood behind Him, weeping at His feet, and she began to wash His feet with tears and wipe them with the hair of her head. And she ardently kissed His feet and anointed them with the ointment.

(Luk 7:46) You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with ointment.

(Joh 9:6) And when He had spoken these things, He spat on the ground and made clay from the spittle. And He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.

(Joh 9:11) He answered and said, A man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, Go to the pool of Siloam and wash. And going and washing, I received sight.

(Joh 11:2) (And it was that Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)

(Joh 12:3) Then Mary took a pound of ointment of pure spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.

(Jas 5:14) Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.

(Rev 3:18) I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified by fire, so that you may be rich; and white clothing, so that you may be clothed, and so that the shame of your nakedness does not appear. And anoint your eyes with eye salve, so that you may see.

JESUS ANOINTED (4 references)

(Luk 4:18) “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me; because of this He has anointed Me to proclaim the Gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and new sight to the blind, to set at liberty those having been crushed,

(Act 4:27) For truly, against Your holy child Jesus, whom You have anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the nations, and the people of Israel, were gathered together

(Act 10:38) how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and He went about doing good, and healing all those who were oppressed by the Devil, for God was with Him.

(Heb 1:9) You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity, therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows.”

ANOINTING AND THE BELIEVER (3 references)

(2Co 1:21) But He confirming us and anointing us with you in Christ is God.

(1Jn 2:20) But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.

(1Jn 2:27) But the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true and no lie, and as He has taught you, abide in Him.

The anointing we are able to receive is given by GOD and is not passed on or given haphazardly by any human or angelic agency.
There are two New Testament that seem to contradict that statement but I think it would be wrong to associate them with the actions of some well known preachers today, who present themselves as being a type of “anointing distribution agency”.

The first of these references is:

Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who, coming down, prayed concerning them in order that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not yet fallen upon any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of Christ Jesus. Then they laid hands upon them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
(Act 8:14-17)

The abusers of “the anointing” could very well use that reference to justify what they are doing. However, I see a vast difference between the practices and claims of the “anointing imparters” and this example from scripture. This clearly states that it is the Holy Spirit, a person of the Godhead that is received. And in naming Him there is an emphasis on HOLINESS. Any resulting experience would therefore be consistent with His holy character.
Contrast this with the impersonal idea of AN anointing or several anointings.

The other reference is:

Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. (1Tim. 4:14)

We need to recognise in this verse that Paul is not describing the impartation of an “anointing” – I understand that term (with regard to the believer) is reserved specifically to describe the impartation of the Holy Spirit by God. I would also note that the anointing of prophets, priests and kings with oil was ALWAYS applied to the head and flowed down from the head. Jesus is our head and the anointing can only flow to us from him.

Additionally, it was the eldership that did the laying on of hands. This needs to be read in the context of what Paul also says about the qualifications needed for eldership and contrast them with the “superstar” preachers propagating their own “anointings”. Genuine elders have accountability to those they serve. They are accessible enough to have the fruit of their lives and ministries assessed. They are NOT inaccessible superstar preachers who are separated from their audience by their celebrity status.

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Article 2
The church today idolises the “anointed” Christian Superstar. These Superstars can be individual big name preachers, or they can be well known centres of “REVIVAL” or “REFRESHING”. Many Christians put a lot of faith in these Superstars and invest significant quantities of time and money in seeking the anointed ministry they offer.

I have to confess I was one of those seekers. I’d run from conference to conference; from speaker to speaker, and I’d buy as many of the tapes and books I could afford (I admit the “tapes” reference probably shows my age!). However, looking back with honesty, I can see that I never received what I was led to expect – because my expectations were misdirected. Not only was I being careless by running here and there to seek an imparted blessing from God, I was being disobedient!
It is now clear to me that chasing after “anointed” ministers, or groups that claim to be spreading “the anointing”, is the VERY thing that Jesus warned believers against in Matthew 24:23-26

Then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ! Or, There! Do not believe it.
For false Christs (anointed ones) and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders; so much so that, if it were possible, they would deceive even the elect. Behold, I have told you beforehand.
Therefore if they shall say to you, Behold, He is in the desert! Do not go out. Behold, He is in the secret rooms! Do not believe it.

Taking into account that the title “Christ” means anointed one, how many of these big name preachers are claiming to be specially anointed? So when we rush off to places because the anointed ones are there… we have ignored Jesus’ warning and we have opened ourselves to deception.

When we rush off to conferences to hear their imported “anointed” guest preachers (usually at a price of course) – or to any other place where “anointed” ministers are advertised we are disobeying Jesus’ SPECIFIC and clear warning and opening ourselves to deception. We don’t need to chase the anointing – in fact we are warned and commanded not to do so.
The term “anointing” is used in scripture ONLY to refer to the anointing of believers with the Holy Spirit (or a literal anointing with oil as a type of the Holy Spirit). There are NO alternative anointings in scripture and no anointings by any other name. I suggest great suspicion be shown when you hear of any specifically named anointing (for example “warrior anointing”). I can not see scripture supporting such a thing. The same goes for individuals who claim they have a special anointing not shared by others.

As Christians we are no less anointed than any other Christian no matter how famous or high profile they may be. If you are in Christ “the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true and no lie, and as He has taught you, abide in Him.” (1 Jn 2:27)
God’s anointing isn’t increased according to the level of celebrity someone attains, neither does it increase according to the amount of TV air time they have. We do not need to seek the “anointing” of other people. Instead we turn to the source of the “anointing” – our Heavenly Father, through the Lord Jesus Christ.