Whenever a post like this goes public, I’m usually only a few hours away from a slew of family phone calls and text messages commanding me not to “touch the Lord’s anointed” lest I experience an array of divine judgments. This type of charismatic gag order resembles more of a mafia mentality than the heart of ministry for Christ.
Sadly, it’s often erroneously taught that no matter what sins a man commits, or the false doctrines that he teaches, you are not allowed to “touch him”; usually implying that you aren’t allowed to say anything about his errors. The apparent reason given is because the “anointing” can come upon that man in spite of his doctrinal flaws, or God can “anoint” his office (apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher, evangelist) and that man can step into that office and function as God’s anointed vessel at any time. Sound confusing? It’s supposed to be so people will be deceived.
Benny Hinn offers an entire explanation using his own special interpretation at a recent conference in Nigeria with fellow multimillionaire Chris Oyakhilome. Be advised, it’s a long, mind-numbing service so you need only start watching around the hour and a half mark if you’re interested. He even claims that it’s possible to be “anointed” for ministry and be involved in witchcraft at the 1:35:56 mark. The greatest of all his revelations is that you should not touch any one in an anointed office, even if they “are a devil.” The goal of this type of teaching is to ensure that you and I be very scared to speak the truth. If you haven’t already, you need to pray for the thousands of Nigerian leaders that are being fed this poison in the video.
When it comes to fearing a verified false teacher’s threat for “touching the Lord’s anointed” we do well to remember Christ’s words to the twelve in Matthew 10:26-28 when He declares,
“Therefore, do not fear them, for is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim on the rooftops. And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
The disciples had a job to do and it didn’t matter what the cost would be, the true gospel was worth it. The church today also has a job to do, and no matter what false deterrents are taught to keep people silent, the Truth will win the war in the end. The Bible says so (Revelation 19:11-16).
It’s probably safe to say that millions of Christians across the globe are told every year not to “touch the Lord’s anointed” when they challenge unbiblical teaching in their church or call out the greedy hermeneutics during a TBN Praise-a-Thon.
But why should Christians have to fear divine judgment for wanting to see sheep rescued from wolves? They absolutely shouldn’t! We need integrity in our pulpits. We need men of biblical truth filling radio stations, podcasts, and television programs. God’s people should accept nothing less than 1 Timothy 3:1-7 pastors and teachers who preach the truth and live the truth. The people of God should have nothing to fear.
So what does the command to “not touch the Lord’s anointed” actually mean?
For starters, systematic theologians are going have to put up with the fact that we are even entertaining the notion of reading church-age heretics into the context of these passages which are about monarchial kings and prophets in the Old Testament. I sympathize with you, while also keeping in mind that this approach is by design so we can see just how ridiculous it is when modern day deceivers twist these passages in order to place burdens on the church-age followers they deceive.
Basing our interpretation on scripture alone, and not the mystical revelation of any self-acclaimed prophet, here are three things we know the Bible actually says when it comes to, “Touch not the Lord’s anointed, do My prophets no harm”:
- No One Should Kill Anointed Kings/Prophets or Commit a Violent Act Against Them
David made this topic famous because he didn’t kill Saul! He quoted God saying, “Do not touch my anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm” (Psalms 105:15). In 1 Samuel 24:10-11 when David had the chance to kill Saul (and some would say rightfully so) he cries out to Saul, “Behold, this day your eyes have seen that the LORD had given you today into my hand in the cave, and some said to kill you, but my eye had pity on you; and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the LORD’S anointed.’”
This command, and the many other similar passages surrounding the situation with David and Saul had to do with David (or his men) not killing Saul – the Lord’s anointed king. Modern day prosperity preachers and fake healers can attempt to turn this into a timeless principle or make it about calling out their teaching, but it’s laughably wrong. It makes no sense and has no power when they use it against anyone speaking the truth about their errors.
To be clear, according to the passages listed above, no one is allowed to kill or commit a physically violent act against an anointed monarchial king of Israel or a verified prophet from the Old Testament.
Now, if a word of faith preacher could come up with a way to become either of those in 2017, he’d really be in business.
- It’s Permissible to Call Out a Wicked Leader and Not Experience Divine Judgement
If the curses of a charismatic “apostle” were true, David should have died on the spot or contracted some cancerous disease when he spoke harsh words concerning Saul. How dare he reference Saul as “wicked” in 1 Samuel 24:12-15? Aren’t such critical words comparable to touching God’s anointed? Not remotely when you apply proper interpretation to a passage of Scripture.
- No One Should Fear Inaccurate Prophets (or “Prophets”)
This is where the rubber meets the road. If a prosperity “prophet” ignores context and throws out Old Testament commands to control people, they better be prepared to face the fact that they’re missing a big indictment on their ministry in Deuteronomy. God’s standard for a prophet ends the debate. In fact, my prayer is that Uncle Benny, The Revival Alliance, and countless other prophets for profit would stop using this phrase to scare people silent and admit that they’ve been astronomically wrong on too many their own prophecies to be concerned with judgment falling on others. Why would they even want to use an Old Testament reference that refers to themselves as a prophet or anointed leader when so much is on the line? Clearly Che Ahn, Bill Johnson and the gang in Lakeland weren’t very “anointed” when they prophesied over Todd Bentley as he was having an affair while they commissioned him. Where was all their power and revelation then?
And obviously the homosexual community wasn’t destroyed by fire in 1994 or 1995 and Jesus didn’t get caught on video in Kenya. But didn’t “God speak” in all of these situations?
We’re talking about real divine judgment for those who falsely prophecy, falsely teach, and travel the globe saying, “Thus sayeth the Lord.” If that doesn’t put the fear of God in a man, I don’t know what will. God does not take lightly false teaching or false prophets (Jude 11-13).
What the Bible actually teaches on this topic does not remotely prohibit a Christian from pointing out the unbiblical theology of a false teacher who is not a king or true prophet.
Deuteronomy 18:20-22 – But the prophet who shall speak a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he shall speak in the name of other gods, he shall die. And you will say in your heart, “How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken? “When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.”
Always remember, a Major League Baseball player may get into the Hall of Fame for batting .300, but anyone claiming to be a prophet lands themselves in the Hall of Shame for the same average. If God speaking, how could it ever be inaccurate?
Stand up for truth Christian. God has spoken through His word. You have nothing to be afraid of.
[Contributed by Costi Hinn]