Home Church Community

Statement of Beliefs

Contact Us

Search Our Site

Bible Study Resource

Printer Friendly Version

Particulars of Christianity:
310 Pentecostalism,
the Charismatic
and Faith Movements

The Anointing and Being Under Authority (Part 2)

Specific Doctrines of the Charismatic Movement/Faith Movement
Kenotic Theology
The Anointing and Being Under Authority (Part 1)
The Anointing and Being Under Authority (Part 2)
Sickness and Healing (Part 1)
Sickness and Healing (Part 2)
Prayer, Asking and Receiving (Part 1)
Prayer, Asking and Receiving (Part 2)
Christians and Material Wealth (Part 1)
Christians and Material Wealth (Part 2)
Christians and Material Wealth (Part 3)
The "Rhema" and "Logos" Word (Part 1)
The "Rhema" and "Logos" Word (Part 2)
Those Who Speak in Tongues Necessarily Understand Themselves

Section 1 | Section 2 | Section 3 | Section 4
| Section 5

Before we conclude with this doctrine, we see that far from preventing us from criticizing, the Old Testament actually requires us to examine the evidence when we hear reports that a prophet is misleading God's people.

Deuteronomy 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. 5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee...12 If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying, 13 Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known; 14 Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you; 15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.

In this passage in Deuteronomy we see that if a prophet arises and teachers things that contradict God's Word, he is not to be obeyed or followed even if he is performing actual miraculous signs. This passage also instructs God's people search out the report of false teaching and to compare the message of those who claim to be prophets to the existing Word of God. If the message of the prophet does not line up with God's Word, then it is absolutely required that God's people reject them and speak out against them. In the Old Testament, they were even supposed to kill such a prophet, which tells us that prophets who speak contrary to the Word of God are not even physically protected by the warning, "Touch not mine anointed." But, in the New Testament, of course, execution was replaced by excommunication (See 2 John 1:7-11 and John's instructions regarding false teachers.)

Concerning the system of anointing, proponents of this Faith Movement doctrine often point to Psalms 133 for support their teaching that God works through a system of anointing that flows down from Jesus Christ onto the leaders and pastor and then down onto the lay people.

Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

This is a very short Psalm. It does speak of Aaron being anointed as a priest and that event is compared to how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity. But this Psalm says nothing about anyone other than Aaron being anointed and in the Psalm the oil on Aaron runs down onto his own beard and clothes. There is nothing in the context of this Psalm that would indicate that Aaron's beard and clothes symbolize pastors and lay people. You have to insert that preconceived idea into the text when the text says nothing about it. Therefore, this passage doesn't support any teaching about a system of anointing, that the anointing flows from Jesus to the leaders to God's people, or that the anointing is necessary to succeed at God's plan for your life. In short, this text does not support the Faith Movement doctrine concerning the anointing at all.

Now, we turn our attention to the issue of whether or not Christians need to be "under a leader's authority." The first thing we need to establish right away is that Christians are not in need of any intermediary between them and God.

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. 3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul instructs the Corinthians to follow his example. But he also clearly tells them that he is not their "head" nor is any other minister or leader of God's people. Instead, Paul tells them "the head of every man is Christ." Therefore, from this passage we can start to see that the purpose of leadership is to lead by example. The purpose of leadership in the church is NOT that lay people have some intermediary "head" between them and Christ Jesus.

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

In 1 Timothy 2, Paul is even clearer. There is no intermediary between God and a man except for Jesus Christ. Christians do not need to have another man over them in order to have access to God. We have full access to God through Jesus Christ directly and anyone who claims that we need to submit to them in order to receive from God is making themselves another intermediary besides Jesus Christ.

1 John 2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. 26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

What is so significant about this passage in 1 John 2 is that he specifically mentions the concept of the "anointing." First we note that twice in verse 24 John tells his audience to remain in what they have heard from the beginning. This tells us that John is talking about the teaching of the Apostles. Those John is writing to needed abide in the Apostles' teaching.

Then in verse 26, John says he is writing these things about remaining in the Apostles' teaching because of other teachers that were trying to seduce his readers away from the Apostles' teaching. And notice what appeals these other teachers were making. In verse 27, John tells his audience that they themselves have an anointing and this anointing teaches them all things, which results in the fact that they do not need for anyone else to teach them. In fact, at the end of verse 27, John connects the fact that they do not need anyone else to teach them back to his instruction for them to remain in the Apostles' teaching. The conclusion is that according to John each member of his audience has an anointing on themselves that prevents them from needing others to teach them so long as they remain in what the Apostles' taught from the beginning.

And of course, the anointing John is talking about here is not some vague or mysterious substance of force. It is the Holy Spirit. Compare verse 27 above with what John says in chapter 16 of his Gospel.

1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

The anointing that John is talking about is the Holy Spirit, which we all have equal access to. We don't need to submit ourselves to some leader in order to have the Holy Spirit come onto our lives and we don't receive the Holy Spirit by having the Holy Spirit flow off of some leader and onto us. It is the Holy Spirit who enabled the Apostles to understand the scriptures as Jesus explained them. It is the Holy Spirit who empowered the apostles to preach the Gospel according to Acts 1:4, 8. And it is the Holy Spirit who inspired the writing of the scriptures in order to keep us from error.

And we will see that this pattern is always the case in the New Testament where leaders are in view. Christians who have and remain in the doctrine of the Apostles are not in need of others to teach them. In the Church, the only purpose for leaders is to be examples and to teach sound doctrine.

1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach.

2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

2 Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient.

Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; 9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Teaching was the purpose of leadership. Not passing on the anointing. When the New Testament spoke of submitting to leaders, it was talking about submitting to their teaching. This was in order to prevent people from drifting off into their own ideas and away from the teaching of the Apostles. This is evident particularly from 2 Timothy 2:2 above where Paul tells us that the teaching which must be taught is not just whatever the leader happens to believe and teach. Instead, it must be the very same teaching that the Apostles passed on. Submitting to teachers was for the purpose of maintaining Apostolic doctrine. Teachers who don't submit to or teach the Apostles' doctrine have no right or basis to ask people to submit to them.

1 Peter 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Here in 1 Peter 5, Peter tells the elders to "feed the flock," which is a metaphorical New Testament reference to teaching the Word of God, which is the bread of life. Peter also specifically tells them that their leadership is not a matter of the authority to command, but a matter of being examples, just as Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 11:1. Peter also specifically states that leadership in the Church is not to be a means of making money. This is the meaning of the phrase "not for filthy lucre." And additionally, Peter also tells them that their leadership is a matter of having a ready mind, which again refers to their ability to teach and defend sound doctrine.

It is clear that submission to elders is for the purpose of preserving sound doctrine. Not for the purpose of receiving from God by being under someone else's authority or receiving the anointing. In fact, Peter not only states that the young should submit to the elder but that all should subject themselves humbly to the others. This demonstrates that while we ought to submit to the teaching of those who teach sound doctrine from the Apostles, this rule is not so strictly one-sided that they should not listen to and submit to the rest of us when necessary, particularly for the sake of being open-minded and teachable where doctrine is concerned. For, no man is infallible and even teachers make mistakes, make oversights, and can lack information in some areas.

And Paul has these same ideas in mind when he writes the following in Hebrews 13.

Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. 8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. 9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein...17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Often verse 17 is viewed in isolation from the rest of chapter 13. But verse 7-9 are about the same topic, which is the topic of the leaders who rule in the churches. Notice that in verse 7 we find that Paul is not just talking about anyone who claims to be a leader. Instead, he is specifically talking about leaders who "have spoken the Word of God to them." This doesn't just mean these leaders read passages out of the Bible. It is a reference back to the very same notion that we've already seen. It is a reference back to the notion of teaching the doctrine handed down by the Apostles.

And verses 8 and 9 confirm this. From verses 8 and 9 we know that Paul is talking about leaders who have passed on the teaching of the Apostles because he states 2 things. First, he states that Jesus Christ is forever the same. This implies that Jesus Christ's teachings will remain the same as well. And second, he states that his audience should not be carried away with diverse and strange doctrines. This also reinforces that when Paul saying in verse 17, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves," he is talking about submitting to leaders for the purpose of preserving sound doctrine. And because this is the case, this passage cannot be used as support the idea that we should submit ourselves to anyone who teaches things that deviate from the sound doctrine of the Apostles.

And of course, absolutely none of these passages about submission to leaders say anything about a need to "be under authority" in order to receive from God or about receiving the anointing that is flowing from Jesus down onto that leader.

But more importantly, we know from other New Testament passages that Christian men were allowed to question and probe the teaching of their leaders.

1 Corinthians 10:15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

1 Timothy 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

1 Corinthians 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge...34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. 36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? 37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

From these passages above, not only does Paul tell his audience to judge what he is saying as an apostle (1 Corinthians 10:15), but he also tells them that they should judge the words of the prophets (1 Corinthians 14:29). But even more importantly, in 1 Timothy 2 and 1 Corinthians 14, Paul specifically states that women are not to speak up in church but they must ask questions at home. The clear implication is that these rules applied only to women and by contrast men were allowed to speak in church and to ask questions of the speaker. Men were not required to learn in silence and "with all subjection" as women were. So, far from "touching God's anointed" if we question or contest a leader's teaching, we're actually doing exactly what was permitted in the New Testament. We should not believe everything we hear just because someone claims to be a teacher or leader, especially now that we are so far removed from the time when the Apostles taught and so there are so many diverse doctrines in the modern Church.

In conclusion, not only is there no Biblical support for the Faith Movement's doctrine about the anointing, but this doctrine actually contradicts clear Biblical teaching. However, it should be stated that we also feel that this concept that pastors are anointed flows directly out of the doctrine that pastors have a calling. For more information on that issue, please visit our articles on about "Ministers, Pastors, and the Calling" in the Church Ethic section of our In Depth Studies.