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Section 10A .. The Contemporary Church
Smorgasbord of Fictitious Doctrine

 

003white  Section 10A The Contemporary Church   >      Smorgasbord of Fictitious Doctrine   >    The Anointing 

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The "Anointing"

Carol Brooks

 "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many. (Matthew 24:4-5)

Introduction
Who and what was consecrated/anointed in the Bible
Summary

"Touch Not Mine Anointed"
One more in a long line of verses hopelessly wrenched from their context

Anointed Objects
Does Acts 19:11-12 provide an example for what they do anointed prayer cloths?

  Signs of the Times
Why So Many are Now Calling Themselves "Anointed"?


Introduction:
The word 'anointed' is so terribly overused term in the Pentecostal and Charismatic arenas that it would be difficult to find a charismatic/evangelical service/program/tract/book that is not liberally sprinkled with the term. At various times charismatic preachers, who often describe the anointing as feeling heat or something like electricity, claim to be 'under' the anointing, can 'feel' the anointing  in the room or come over them personally. Many of them also claim that the anointing is a tangible, heavenly material that can be transmitted or transferred.

In his book Good morning Holy Spirit, Benny Hinn says...

    "suddenly my little body was caught up in an incredible sensation that can only be described as "electric." It felt as if someone had plugged me into a wired socket. There was a numbness that felt like needles-a million of them- rushing through my body." [1]

Taking this one step further, claims to be able to throw or blow the anointing at people, who then proceed to physically fall over. (See Slain in What Spirit?) He tells macabre tales of visiting the graves of the late faith healers Kathryn Kuhlman and Aimee Semple McPherson, where he is said to have felt an "incredible" anointing. In his words

    "I trembled when I visited Aimee's tomb. I was shaking all over. God's power came all over me. ... I believe the anointing has lingered over Aimee's body." [02 ] 

And he never gives up. To date he says he feels so strongly about "anointing oil as a point of contact for faith in God's healing and miracle power" that he has managed to "acquire a number of bottles of anointing oil from the Holy Land" that he wants to send to his "precious" partners. He adds that he has prayed over thousands of these bottles and "the anointing has been so strong." Suggested minimum gift of $5. [03]

Carol Wimber, wife of the late John Wimber founder of the Vineyard Church, describes the chaos of people falling on the floor, after they invited a young man to speak at their church. She says (Emphasis Added) See Overview of the Toronto Blessing'

    I got up and started stepping over bodies and putting my hand next to them. I could feel the power, like heat or electricity, radiating off their bodies" [04]

Rob and Glenda Rufus are the senior pastor couple of City Church International in Hong Kong. In a transcript of the final session from the 2011 Grace and Glory Conference in the Philippines, Rob Rufus says that God

    ".. wants us to see that the anointing can be transferred. The anointing is transferable, transmittable and tangible. The anointing of God is like supernatural electricity. The anointing of God is like heavenly materiality - it is real. You can feel the anointing. You can feel it on your hands and you can feel it on your face. You can feel it leaving your body and going into someone else's body. [05]

Virtually all references to the anointing speak of it as a commodity - that can be passed from one person to another (often after money has changed hands).  According to many evangelicals anything can be 'anointed', including services, speakers, preachers, music, television programs, prayer cloths, swords, web sites, oil, cornmeal, red thread etc. etc.

In fact, although there are more versions of the "anointing" than Baskin-Robbins has ice cream, there is no precise definition as to what this "anointing" is and how it can be acquired or imparted.


Is This Biblical?

All of which brings us to $64,000 question - Is our understanding of the anointing in line with the Scriptures? And when someone calls themselves 'anointed', how can we know that they are what they say they are? If we simply believe what they say, we would also have to accept the claims of all cult leaders.

Unfortunately much of the Christian world today is convinced by the supposed 'miraculous signs' that so many charismatics seem to perform. The two most common ones are 1) many in their audience may be 'slain in the spirit'. 2) It is not uncommon for some often claim they have been healed of some form of physical ailment.

Neither of these are foolproof reasons for accepting anyone or anything as 'anointed'.

    Miraculous signs and wonders are not confined to the Christian church. Satan can and does pull off quite a few of his own (See Revelation 13:13-14. 16:13-14). In fact, one of the most dangerous mistakes made in the church is assuming that God must be present because miracles are performed.) See The Second Most Dangerous Mistake Any Christian Can Make

    Hindu gurus have long transmitting power through Shaktipat or 'Divine Touch' with many of their followers falling over as a result. See comparing the supposedly 'christian' phenomenon of slain in the spirit with the ancient Hindu tradition of Kundalini HERE

The only, and I mean only, true test of the spiritual is to see what the Scriptures say on the subject. In this case we need to take an in-depth look at what, according to the Scriptures, the words anointing or anointed mean, how they are used in both Old and New Testaments, and who the anointed ones in the Bible were.

Only after we are armed with this knowledge, can we possibly be in a position to decide whether the claims of so many modern day Charismatics are built on fact or fairy dust.


Varied Uses of Oil In Ancient Times
Anointing is generally associated with smearing or pouring oil onto something or someone.

There were certainly many common uses for (possibly perfumed) oil in Biblical times. Oil was apparently used to soften wounds (Isaiah 1:6) and as an act of worship (Luke 7:36 - 50). The bodies of the dead were sometimes 'anointed' - wrapped in aromatics to preserve them from putrefaction. While Jesus was reclining at the table in Simon the leper's home, a woman broke an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard and poured it over His head. When people present claimed that the expensive oil had been wasted, Jesus told them that she had anointed His body beforehand for the burial. (Mark 14:2-8 NASB)

However, there was another and more important use for oil. It was also used on someone or something to consecrate or set it apart for a particular purpose. Thus the Hebrew word mâshach that means to rub with oil also, by implication, means to consecrate. Mâshîyach (a derivative) is translated into the English adjective 'anointed' and thus means a consecrated person or thing. Mishchâh is almost always clubbed with the word 'oil' . Ex. 'anointing oil'.


Holy Anointing Oil
When the nation got to Sinai, Moses was given instructions regarding the construction of the tabernacle, mercy seat, the altar and all the furnishings, the garments of the priest, the sacrifices etc.

Included among these instructions was the precise formula to make 'holy anointing oil" which was a base of olive oil mixed with certain proportions of myrrh, cinnamon, cassia, fragrant cane etc. Under penalty of being cut off from the people, the Jews were strictly forbidden from reproducing the exact formula for personal use. (Exodus 30:31-33)

And there was good reason for this.

The 'Holy Anointing Oil' was used solely to consecrate various objects and people to the service of the Lord. This included the tent of meeting, the ark, the altars of incense and burnt offering, the laver (the bronze basin wherein the priests washed their hands and feet before approaching the altar) etc. See Numbers 7:1. The same oil was also used to consecrate Aaron and his Sons to the service of the Lord.

    "Then you shall take some of the blood that is on the altar and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and on his garments and on his sons and on his sons' garments with him; so he and his garments shall be consecrated, as well as his sons and his sons' garments with him. (Exodus 29:21 NASB)


The Patriarchs
While there is no evidence that oil was literally used on the Patriarchs, they were called "anointed" because they were consecrated to God...  set apart for His specific purpose.

    "Do not touch My anointed (Heb. mâshîyach) ones, and do My prophets no harm." (Psalms 105:15 NASB)

Oil was also used to anoint the kings of Israel and the prophet Elisha. Although we are not told specifically, it was very likely that the same special oil was pressed into service.

The Prophet Elisha:

    Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint (Heb. mâshach) king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint (Heb. mâshach) as prophet in your place.  (1 Kings 19:16 NASB)

Various Kings Anointing a king was equivalent to crowning him, thus many of the kings of Israel were anointed...

    David: So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the Lord said, "Arise, anoint him; for this is he." Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed (Heb. mâshach) him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. (1 Samuel 16:12-13 NASB)

    Solomon: Zadok the priest then took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed  (Heb. mâshach)  Solomon. Then they blew the trumpet, and all the people said, "Long live King Solomon!" (1 Kings 1:39 NASB) Also See 1 Chronicles 29:22

    Saul: "About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint  (Heb. mâshach) him to be prince over My people Israel; and he will deliver My people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have regarded My people, because their cry has come to Me." (1 Samuel 9:16 NASB. Also see 10:1; 15:1)

    Jehu (2 Kings 9:1-3), Hazael (1 Kings 19:15), Joash (2 Kings 11:12 and 2 Chronicles 23:11), Jehoahaz (2 Kings 23:30), Zedekiah (Lamentations 4:20),

    Even Cyrus was called the Lord's anointed (Isaiah 45:1).

Note however, that the Bible makes absolutely NO mention of any preachers and teachers being "anointed".

The New Testament
Jesus was anointed as Prophet, High Priest and King. Note: Although Jesus was never literally anointed, God had "set him apart" to be the prophet, priest, and King of his people.

    The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed (Heb. mâshach) me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners;  (Isaiah 61:1 NASB)

 Using the Greek word Chrio, the New testament tells us that Jesus was anointed or set apart for a special purpose. 

    "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,  because He anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. he has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, (Luke 4:18 NASB)

    "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, (Acts 4:27 NASB)

    "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed (Gk. chrio) Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.  (Acts 10:38 NASB)

    "You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed (Gk. chrio) you with the oil of gladness above your companions."  (Hebrews 1:9 NASB)

Chrio is used one last time in reference to all Christians as being set apart to the service of God.

    Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed (Gk. chrio) us is God,  (2 Corinthians 1:21 NASB)

Although Charismatic teachers have made the anointing a separate power that God bestows on people, the New Testament is clear... all believers are anointed - set apart or consecrated to God which, by the way, is the definition of 'holy'. This effectively eliminates the idea that a few special persons who have the anointing are more gifted than other believers, or have special 'powers' that others do not have.

See What is Holiness?
While holiness certainly implies goodness, the core meaning of holiness is not "good", but "set apart" and therefore, good.


In Summary
If one were to look up every instance of the word anoint / anointing etc. a few facts should become very clear

1) The Bible never once says, or even implies, that the anointing is a supernatural power given to human by which they are able to perform miracles.

2) The Bible never once says, or even implies, that anyone can transmit the anointing by any means, including the laying on of hands.

    While it is true that Acts 19 tells us that when Paul laid hands on some believers from Ephesus the Spirit came upon them, the account does not say a word about the Spirit coming through Paul's hands. The Scriptures are clear... God sends the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:12) which means laying hands on someone was/is equivalent to a prayer that God would do so. In some cases it is asking God to impart some kind of blessing on the person, such as healing them.

3) The Bible never once says, or even implies, that anyone can get, keep, lose, or increase the anointing.

4) The Bible never has Jesus or any of the apostles teaching anyone how to obtain the anointing.

5) The Bible never once says, or even implies, that there is any such thing as a double or triple portion of the anointing.

    (Note: Elisha did not ask for a double portion of Elijah's anointing, but for a double portion of his spirit. The words are totally different in Hebrew. As said by David Guzik in his commentary

    The idea of a double portion was not to ask for twice as much as Elijah had, but to ask for the portion that went to the firstborn son, as in Deuteronomy 21:17. Elisha asked for the right to be regarded as the successor of Elijah, as his firstborn son in regard to ministry. Yet Elisha had already been designated as Elijah's successor (1 Kings 19:19). This was a request for the spiritual power to fulfill the calling he already received.

    It is worthwhile to consider if this was generally a good or a bad thing. Normally we don't think of one person inheriting the ministry of another. The relation between Elijah and Elisha - and God's apparent blessing on their ministries - shows that at least sometimes God intends one person to inherit the ministry of another.

However, the problem is that a large portion of the church today is a thrill seeking lot, obsessed with signs and wonders. They have forgotten that that the Bible tells us that the period of time close to the end of the age will see a rise in false prophets who perform miracles, prophesy, and cast out demons in Jesus' name (Matthew 7:22-23; 24:11-13, 24; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).


"Touch Not Mine Anointed"
Anyone who has attended an authoritarian, fundamentalist, or even a charismatic church is very likely to have heard one or another version of the phrase

    "Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm." found in 1 Chronicles 16:22 and Psalm 105:15.

This very ominous sounding warning is often issued to those who would challenging the leader's authority and/or oppose their unscriptural doctrines and practices. For example, Benny Hinn, who took it further than most, once said

    "Be careful! Your little ones may suffer because of your stupidity. Now I'm pointing my finger today, with the mighty power of God on me, and I speak. ... And your children will suffer. If you care for your kids, stop attacking Benny Hinn” (World Charismatic Conference, Aug. 7, 1992).

    You cannot win attacking the servants of the Lord, no matter who they are or what they've done ...if the anointing ever comes upon a man, don't touch that man, even if he turns away from God, and serves the devil, Don't touch him. You are in deep, serious danger.” [06]

And, since this phrase comes straight out of the Bible, many seem to believe that questioning the man behind the pulpit would bring the wrath of Almighty God hurtling down on their heads. Few realize that these verses have been hopelessly wrenched from their context. 


Psalm 105 was talking about the Patriarchs.

Psalm 105 speaks about the everlasting covenant, God made with Abraham, swore to Isaac, then confirmed to Jacob for a statute (Vs. 9-10) . The covenant stated that He would give them the land of Canaan as the portion of their inheritance (Vs. 11).

This in spite of the fact that they were very few in number and were yet wandering about from nation to nation - from one kingdom to another people. (Vs. 12- 13). Additionally, God "permitted no man to oppress them, And He reproved kings for their sakes" (Vs. 14) saying "Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm." (Vs. 15)

Abraham was called a prophet in Genesis 20:7. While there is no evidence that oil was literally used on the Patriarchs, they were called "anointed" because they were consecrated to God... set apart for His specific purpose.

Verse 15 has to be read as part of the story being narrated. The anointed ones in this case were the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who were obviously 'set aside' for a specific purpose and therefore protected. Kings were even reproved for their sakes.  

Read in context, 1 Chronicles 16:22 says exactly the same thing..


The Word "Touch" means Physical Contact.

The word translated touch is the Hebrew nâga that means to touch - lay ones hand upon (for any purpose). While nâga is sometimes translated as as reach or arrive, most of the time it indicates physical contact. However, it never means verbal  opposition..

    but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch (Gr. nâga) it, or you will die.'" (Genesis 3:3 NASB)

    So Abimelech charged all the people, saying, "He who touches (Gr. nâga) this man or his wife shall surely be put to death." (Genesis 26:11 NASB)

    "You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, 'Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch (Gr. nâga) the border of it; whoever touches (Gr. nâga)  the mountain shall surely be put to death. (Exodus 19:12 NASB)

    'You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch (Gr. nâga) their carcasses; they are unclean to you. (Leviticus 11:8 NASB)

    And behold, one who resembled a human being was touching (Gr. nâga) my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke and said to him who was standing before me, "O my lord, as a result of the vision anguish has come upon me, and I have retained no strength. (Daniel 10:16 NASB)

And there one another point to consider -

The Lord's Anointed Were Often Rebuked By Others.

    Saul was anointed by God as king over the people commanded by God to "strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; '"...” (1 Samuel 15:3), Saul disobeyed by sparing "the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord...” (Vs. 15). Samuel wasted no time in publicly denouncing Saul's disobedience, telling him that "rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft" (Vs. 23), and that God had rejected him as king.

    David was anointed king of Israel. Yet, when he had Uriah the Hittite killed so that he could marry Bathsheba, Uriah's wife with whom he had had an affair, the prophet Nathan had no qualms reproving David and pronouncing God's judgment on the king. (See 2 Samuel 12).

    Apollos, was called a man "mighty in the scriptures" (Acts 18:24), and tells us that he was speaking out boldly in the synagogue (Vs. 26). But Apollos, being only familiar with John's baptism, was obviously off base in some respects because, as verse 26 goes on to say, "when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately".

    Peter was the apostle to whom the keys to the kingdom were given (Matthew 16:19), yet Paul did not hesitate to confront him to his face when he was clearly in the wrong. (Galatians 2:11-21)

None of the men mentioned above set themselves on pedestals of untouchability, nor did they curse those who endeavored to correct them, much less threaten their children.

No Christian has such unquestionable authority that they are above having their doctrines, teachings, or actions questioned. Much to the contrary, Paul applauded the Bereans and called them "noble" for checking Scripture to see if what they were being taught was true. It is a tragedy that so many that have forgotten James' warnings, when he said

    Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. (James 3:1 NASB)


Anointed Objects
While, by now, it should be more than obvious that the only anointed objects in the Scriptures were those that were set apart and used exclusively in the service of God in the temple. Yet, according to many evangelicals anything can be 'anointed', including services, speakers, preachers, music, television programs, prayer cloths, swords, web sites, oil, cornmeal, red thread etc.

A few years ago it seems that everyone in the charismatic world were, among many other things, peddling "anointed" prayer cloths in exchange for donations. Kathleen Riley, a self described Bible teacher, author, healing ministry and worship leader, says ....

    Prayer cloths are used for the purpose of the salvation of loved ones, healings, deliverance from oppression and evil spirits, and for other situations requiring a miracle from God... When the cloth is anointed and prayed over, it becomes a carrier of the anointing and contains healing virtue. The prayer cloth is not just symbolic of God's power, but there is a tangible transferable energy of the Holy Spirit that is released to the recipient of the cloth. [07]

While few ministries are doing this now, there are a some that are still hanging in there. At the time of writing (February 2018) Morris Cerullo's blue anointed prayer cloths were $5.00 apiece. [08] OR, for $20.00 you can get a "Real Faith Package" that includes a book on healing, Anointing Oil, Frankincense, Myrrh and a prayer cloth.

I have no idea how much he charges, if anything, but Don Stewart sends out "Green Prosperity Prayer Handkerchiefs" about which they say

Don Stewart lays his hands on the Green Prosperity Prayer Handkerchiefs and prays over them. As soon as possible the handkerchief is sent to you. Just as with the Apostle Paul, there have been many great testimonies of the miracles of healing, prosperity and spiritual miracles from people who have used the Green Prosperity Prayer Handkerchief. [09]

 Acts 19:11-12
And how did this practice come about? Most will trot out the incident mentioned in Acts 19:11-12 that they claim sanctions and provides an example for what they do. In fact, the 'anointed' trinkets and pieces of cloth people can order or buy, and send in to be prayed over, are vast elaborations on two lines in Acts. The relevant verses read...

     "God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out. (Acts 19:11-12 NASB) 

For example, Rod Parsley's web site explains that Paul (Emphasis Added)

    ...touched handkerchiefs and aprons that were brought to him, and diseases left people and evil spirits went out of them. As people touched the transferable anointing God placed on the cloth, they were healed. A simple piece of cloth can work in the same way for you! [10]

Considering that Paul was a blue-collar worker who made tents, his "apron" was probably something he wore when he worked. 

There are several points to be noted about this account in Acts...


Facts Regarding The Miracles of Acts 19
Contrary to what Parsley says, Luke says absolutely nothing about aprons and handkerchiefs being brought to Paul or that the apostle himself sent out the aprons. The text simply says these object were "carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out. ". We are not told who carried them.  Nor is there a single recorded incident of any object being carried from any of the other apostles to the sick.

There is absolutely no record of Paul praying over his aprons and handkerchiefs. Nothing in the text says the aprons and handkerchiefs were 'anointed' in any way. In fact, the New Testament does not record a single object that was anointed.

Also pay close attention to the fact that the text does not say that when the aprons etc. were carried from Paul's body to the sick some, or even many, were healed. It says "the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out". All who received Paul's clothes were healed. And this is hardly surprising considering that the Bible terms these "extraordinary" miracles.

Based on the many signs and wonders that were taking place, the very superstitious people of the time believed that even Peter's shadow would heal the sick. However, the text is not clear as to whether people on whom Peter's shadow fell, were healed

    At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon's portico. But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem. And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number, to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. (Acts 5:12-15 NASB)

And, do we seriously imagine that miracles termed "extraordinary" in the NT, can be so common place today?

The Reason For The NT Many Miracles - Compassion AND Authentication
There is no magic in aprons, handkerchiefs, or people's shadows. What took place in Acts 19 was simply an extraordinary display of God's power that had a very specific purpose. God was using some amazing signs and wonders to confirm, not only His truth, but the messengers as well.

While there is no question that many of Jesus' miracles were based on His compassion for people..."He saw a great multitude and felt compassion for them, and healed their sick." (Matthew 14:14) Many, if not most, of Jesus' miracles were performed to authenticate His person and mission, as He Himself said, and Peter later testified to

    "But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish--the very works that I do--testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.  (John 5:36  NASB)

    "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know-- (Acts 2:22 NASB)

This pattern was continued by the early apostles.

On the day of Pentecost three thousand who heard Peter speaking in different dialects came to faith. Acts 2:43 says 'Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles".

    When Peter and John went to the temple at the hour of prayer, they healed a man who had been lame from his mother's womb (Acts 3:1-8.) The astonished people were told by the apostles that it was not by their own power they had healed the man, but through the power of Jesus of Nazareth, whom they had crucified, Vs. 9-16. The apostles were subsequently jailed (Acts 4:3), but "many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand". (Acts 4:4  NASB)

Similarly, when the Samaritans "believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, many of them were baptized (Acts 8:12  NASB) However, just a few verses earlier we are told that this was, at least, partially due to the fact that they were witness to some signs and wonders.

    Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them. The crowds with one accord were giving attention to what was said by Philip, as they heard and saw the signs which he was performing. For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed. So there was much rejoicing in that city. (Acts 8:5-8 NASB)

When Peter raised Dorcas from the dead, 'It became known all over Joppa, and many believed in the Lord". (Acts 9:42) And as far as Paul's apron miracles were concerned, verse 20 tells us that the word of the Lord both grew "mightily" and prevailed.

In short, virtually all the miracles recorded in the book of Acts, was followed by a statement that many who saw or heard of the miracle believed.

In fact, note what happened when some con men tried to cash in on the miracles that were taking place.

Sons of Sceva
The seven sons of Sceva, the local priest, were called wandering Jewish exorcists. These seven brothers, who had no connection to Paul or Christianity, had obviously heard the stories, and decided to capitalize on the miracles that were taking place. They took it upon themselves to ".... call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth".

Well, that didn't get them very far. That the spirit wasn't fooled is evident by his response... "I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?". The man who was possessed then proceeded to beat up all seven men and throw them out of the house naked and bleeding.

This story not only affords some wry amusement, but served as a very stern warning... Imposters are neither tolerated nor effective.

However, although it did not go very well from the brothers point of view, the incident had interesting side effects. People were awestruck by the fact that the demons knew of Jesus, and that His power could not be treated as a commodity ... something useful that could be turned to advantage merely by invoking His name. The end result that even more people began to fear the true God, and magnify Jesus' name.  (Acts 19:17-18)

Why then do we think that we can control the power of God by means of a

The fact that an entire industry has sprung up around prayer cloths and anointing oil is a sad commentary on capitalism -  and our paucity of Biblical knowledge.

Does any of this mean that miracles no longer happen today, or that God cannot or will not, bypass crass commercialism and heal a person of faith?

Certainly not! See Cessationism


Why Are So Many Now Calling Themselves "Anointed"?
But the question remains as to why in recent years there has been an explosion of preachers running around calling themselves "anointed". 

There is an answer.. and it is not a very palatable one.

Matthew 24 relates how one of the disciples, apparently taken with the splendor of the temple, commented on it's size and beauty and the immensity of the building's stones from which it was constructed. At which Jesus made a dire prophecy that the time was coming when not one stone would be left still standing on another.

Some of the disciples then asked Jesus in private when this would come to pass, and when the end of the age would come (24:3). Jesus did not immediately answer the question - His first words were a warning

    And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you. "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many. (Matthew 24:4-5 NASB)

If we think about it, this really doesn't happen very often. There has of course, been the occasional lunatic who called himself "The Christ", or even "Jesus Christ". Most of these claimants were nutty as a fruitcake and certainly didn't gather much of a following. But these have been few and far between, and do not come close to fulfilling Jesus' prophecy that clearly states that many will claim to be the Christ.

What we need to bear in mind is that 'Christ' is not a name, but a title.

The word Christos is the Greek translation of the Hebrew mashiach - 'messiah' or 'anointed one'. At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus stood up to read in the the synagogue, and the book of Isaiah was handed to Him. He opened to book to where Isaiah wrote...

    The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed (mâshach) me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; (Isaiah 61:1] 

However, Jesus used the Greek chrio in place of Isaiah's mâshach

    The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he anointed (chrio) me to preach good tidings to the poor: He hath sent me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovering of sight to the blind, To set at liberty them that are bruised, (Luke 4:18]

However, when the English translators came across Christos in the New Testament they did not translate the word, but transliterated it. This simply means that a word in one language is written using the alphabet of another. Thus the Greek Christos became Christ and antichristos (an-tee'-khris-tos) became antichrist.

In summary, Jesus answered a direct question about what signs would signify the end of the world with a warning that 'Many would come in His name claiming they were 'anointed'.

Here we are at the end of days... 

See The Signs of The Times   and    The Antichrist

Endnotes
[01] Benny Hinn. Good morning Holy Spirit, Thomas Nelson Inc, May 7, 1997 Pg. 21

[02] Double Portion Anointing, Part #3, Orlando Christian Center, April 7, 1991. From the series, Holy Ghost Invasion. TV# 309. As quoted in Benny Hinn's Romance with Necromancy Pt.2. Let Us Reason Ministries. http://www.letusreason.org/Pent28.htm

[03] Benny Hinn Ministries. Anointing Oil of the Holy Land. https://www.bennyhinn.org/shop/prayer-2/anointing-oil-of-the-holy-land/

[04] Hank Hanegraaff. Counterfeit Revival. Page 217. Publisher... W Pub Group (June 1997)

[05] Rob Rufus Blog - Grace and Glory!!- "The Flow of the Anointing" The final session from: "Grace and Glory Conference - the Philippines" 2011. Posted by Dan Bowen. http://robrufus.blogspot.com/2011/06/rob-rufus-flow-of-anointing.html

[06] Walter Kambulow. I Am The Enemy Of? https://walthope.wordpress.com/tag/dan-strader/

[07] Kathleen Riley. Anointed Prayer Cloths. Posted Sunday, August 8, 2010.

[08] Morris Cerullo World Evangelism. Anointed Prayer Cloths. https://mcwe.com/store/miracle-prayer-cloth-blue/

[09] Don Stewart Association. http://www.donstewartassociation.org/Prayer_Cloth.html

[10] Rod Parsley. What is a Prayer Cloth? Why is November 10th Significant? Copyright © 2014 • Breakthrough with Rod Parsley.
 https://www.rodparsley.com/prayercloth2013/about

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