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Movements, Revivals, and The Anointing
By David A. DePra
There have been many, "movements," in Christianity, especially over the last hundred years. We have the, "charismatic movement," and we have the, "dispensationalist movement," and a host of others. But often these movements take on a life of their own. They become the latest, "bandwagon," to hop on.
Of course, those who promote these movements will say, "This is what God is doing! He has put His anointing upon this ministry, or this move of the Spirit!" And once a statement like that is made, then the pressure is there to JOIN the movement, or financially support it. Indeed, in some cases we are even told that doing so will result in US being blessed by God with the same, "anointing," that is on the movement.
Now, upfront, we do need to acknowledge that it is entirely possible for God to begin doing something special in the church, or in the world. There can be revivals and there can be moves of the Holy Spirit. But when God moves like that, He always has, as His focus, Jesus Christ. The results are repentance, holiness, and for the Body of Christ, edification in Christ.
Read John 14-16. There you will find a record of what Jesus said the Holy Spirit would do when He came. Thus, if you want to know whether a movement, revival, or an, "anointing," of the Holy Spirit is of God, ask whether these things are the results. If they are not, then what is going on is NOT of God.
A Prime Example
Today there is a continual mantra among many who profess to be called of God to the effect that God has put His, "anointing," upon them. Rarely, however, is the validation for this supposed, "anointing," the words of Jesus from John 14-16, or any other part of the Bible. Instead, validation for being chosen of God, and, "anointed of God," is SIZE. If your ministry is large, has much money, many members, and most of the other people who have the same kind of success affirm you, then it is assumed that YOU ARE ANOINTED OF GOD.
Get that. Today SUCCESS is the test! And this can be somewhat persuasive! Sure. After all, if my ministry is big, it must have got that way because God’s blessing is upon it. If I have a mega church, it is because I have been faithful to God and He has anointed me. If I have a huge following, it is because God is with me. Right? Wrong. In fact, every one of these supposed signs that God is with a ministry has been the case many times over regarding cults, heretics, and false teachers. And yet the spirit of what they teach, and in some cases, all of what they teach, is error. The SPIRIT OF TRUTH isn’t in error. Their supposed success is not the result of any anointing that is of God.
Now, if the claims about having God’s anointing stopped there, it would be bad enough. But today, as never before, it is being taught that YOU can share in this, "anointing!" All you need to do is PARTNER with the ministry in question. To, "partner," means to GIVE MONEY, and yes, of course, pray. But mostly GIVE MONEY.
The idea that an anointing from God can be IMPARTED from one person to another is NOT in the Bible. But if I can convince you that I have an anointing that you need, well, that pretty much make you dependent upon me, doesn’t it? And that, of course, is the whole point.
I have actually heard this idea of the imparted anointing, or partnership in anointing, preached many times. Marilyn Hickey, a highly visible Word / Faith teacher, and someone I would definitely brand a false teacher, openly promises that if you send her money that, "you will tap into the anointing God has put upon this ministry." Here is a cut and paste directly from her website athttps://www.mhmin.org/donate/FCP2006.htm
SEE more ANSWERS
Do you want to rest assured that God
will answer your prayers?
Do you want to trust HIM to make a way out of even the most difficult circumstances?
What you're looking for may be found in two powerful words...
M i n i s t r y
P a r t n e r s h i p
As a partner, you activate a powerful SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLE in your life: the same power of God that is available to that ministry becomes available to YOU! You can literally share in the same anointing!
In Philippians 1, Paul explained how his partners "shared in the anointing" on his ministry. That's how partnership works. You supernaturally share in everyreward and blessing that rests on that ministry. As you make good things happen for others through ministry partnership, God will make good things happen for you!
We want to pass along to YOU the anointing that rests
on this ministry! I invite you to take advantage of the limitless possibilities
of partnership...by becoming our Faith Covenant Partner.
There's a specific PROMISE we are claiming in 2006 and it's especially applicable for our PARTNERS. It's a promise from Psalms 20:06, which says "The Lord saves His anointed... and answers from His Holy Heaven..." That's what we are claiming...that God crowns YOUR year with GOODNESS AND ABUNDANCE!
During a powerful prayer time with Oral Roberts, we laid hands on and released our faith for God to place a miracle partner anointing upon some special anointing oil.
prepared the oil for you to carry in a beautiful, gold-colored locket...allowing
you to bring a miracle partner anointing to everyone and everything you touch.
If you are ready for a greater anointing and more answers to prayer in 2006...prayerfully consider becoming our Ministry Partner today!
Not only is the promise to, "share the anointing," total heresy – and we will see more about this later – but maybe we ought to ask the question: What anointing do you want to share in? The anointing of error? My point is this: God does not promise to impart us with special blessings and a special anointing because we are donating to any ministry. But we have better be glad He does NOT. For if that were true, the principle would have to work both ways – donate to a ministry preaching error and you partake of THAT anointing!
I have not reproduced the above because I think all charismatics are represented by Marilyn Hickey. No. Neither have I done this to suggest that everyone on television is as guilty. Nor is it necessarily a bad thing to have a big ministry or a mega church. I have cut and past this appalling web page from Marilyn Hickey’s website because it is so representative of what is going on today, especially on Christian television.
The tragedy is, what Marilyn Hickey is doing does WORK – that is, it does work for HER. Christians are donating vast amounts to money to these ministries, often in response to these promises of an anointing. But it is here that we find the real reason WHY such ministries are so, "blessed." It is not because they have an, "anointing," of God given them. No. It is because they have the money of Christians given them! They promise you and I things from God if we send them money. And we fall for it.
Incredible. They say, "Give me money and God will bless you." And the proof they offer for God’s blessing is the very money you have given them! This works better than some pyramid schemes.
So what is the answer? Can we tap into an anointing of God by giving money to a ministry? Can we partner our way into God’s blessings? To partake of the anointing of God, must we join a movement, partner with a ministry, or hop on a religious bandwagon? Thank God, no.
THE Anointed One
There is only ONE movement of God. There is likewise only ONE anointing. And you don’t have to, "partner with a ministry," to receive it. That ONE movement and ONE anointing isn’t a THING or an IT. It is really a PERSON: Jesus Christ.
The name, "Christ," means, "anointed one." Thus, if Christ is in you – through the Holy Spirit -- you already have THE Anointing – because you are indwelt by THE ANOINTED ONE -- who is a Person.
This is easy to prove from scripture:
These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which you have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, you shall abide in him. (1 John 2:26-27)
John is not unclear about, "the anointing." He states directly that it is certain that if Christ is in you that you have THE ANOINTING. There is not the slightest suggestion here that you lack what you need. You do not need to partner with him, or any other ministry, to GET the anointing, or to get MORE of what you already have. Indeed, John is warning us against this VERY SUGGESTION. He says, "I have written unto you concerning them that seduce you."
One of the oft-repeated errors of the Christian church for the last two thousand years is the suggestion that the individual believer is NOT complete in Christ. Again and again, false teaching has arisen telling us that we are INCOMPLETE unless we join a church, partner with a movement, follow a certain leader, practice certain rules, or come under a certain authority. Today is no different. In short, the teaching is: "WE have what you need, and the only way you can receive it from US is by giving US money, coming under OUR authority, joining OUR ministry, or by dancing to the tune WE play."
This is heresy and an abomination in the eyes of God. Any Christian teacher who has been called by God, and who has come under the teaching of the Holy Spirit is certainly going to tell you what you need. But no teacher who is of God is going to make himself or herself the SOURCE of what you need. They are going to point to Jesus Christ as the source. And if the Christian church would come to see the value of such teaching, they would stop supporting these self-serving ministries, and begin supporting ministries that point people to Jesus Christ for everything.
This is exactly what John did – he pointed people to Christ. It wasn’t that John was against Christian teaching. Or that he thought it was of no value. Not at all, for John himself was teaching them. Yet WHAT DID John teach them? That the Holy Spirit in them was their ultimate teacher! In short, Holy Spirit inspired teaching will point each of us to Christ. In the end, all teaching that is of God will do this.
The Holy Spirit never makes people more and more reliant upon the human vessel through whom teaching comes. Never. The Holy Spirit will use teachers, but unto the end that the individuals become disciples of Jesus Christ who look to HIM – the Holy Spirit within – as their personal source of light and Truth.
Jesus said, "The Holy Spirit will teach you all things. The Comforter will guide you into all Truth." Here we see that the Anointing we already have through Christ is the ONE and ONLY that will break the yoke, and teach us all things. It is the height of arrogance and deception to suggest that Christian people do not already have this anointing IN THEM – but that they need to partner with my ministry to get it. Read again what I pasted from the Marilyn Hickey website. The promises she gives are huge – but you cannot have them unless you partner with her. Where is this possibility ever suggested in the Bible – with regards to ANY ministry?
The same principle applies to movements of the Holy Spirit which are REAL. When the Holy Spirit begins to move in the church, He points individuals to Jesus Christ. He doesn’t make the movement the THING – He does turn what He is going into something you must join, or tap into. No. Any movement which is of the Holy Spirit will never focus on the movement as a THING, but the movement itself will be about JESUS CHRIST.
Read the book of Acts. If ever there were a move of God, we read it there. And yet minutes after the disciples experienced the very first outpouring of the Holy Spirit in all of history, they were out there preaching about Jesus Christ. Preaching about the need to REPENT and BELIEVE. Preaching the good news of redemption for all. The Lord added daily to the church, but to grow the church was never the goal. To receive some special, "anointing," was never the goal. Jesus Christ was the goal. Christ in us is the anointing – the Holy Spirit is IN US! How much more do we need?
From the Marilyn Hickey website, we read, "During a powerful prayer time with Oral Roberts, we laid hands on and released our faith for God to place a miracle partner anointing upon some special anointing oil.We've prepared the oil for you to carry in a beautiful, gold-colored locket...allowing you to bring a miracle partner anointing to everyone and everything you touch." Let’s get real blunt: Is there ANY possibility that this is of God? The answer is NO. In fact, it is witchcraft. That’s right. It’s witchcraft to impart power and blessing through the means of an object. But if you read this advertisement, it sounds so wonderful and religious, doesn’t it? And thousands – some desperate for God – have fallen for it.
I realize there is an entire section of Christian people today who absolutely will not even discuss these things, because they think it is, "judging," or being negative. There are others who cannot imagine that deception of the kind I am suggesting could possibly be happening on this scale. But it is. Right now we are seeing apostasy.
We are commanded, "to test the spirits." It’s not a suggestion. It is a COMMAND – for our good. Why? Because it is God’s goal is for us to DISCERN. And while we are not to condemn people to hell, or decide what they deserve, it is impossible to know the Truth unless, at some point, you understand what the Truth is NOT. And in this day and age, that is becoming more and more vital. We are in the middle of apostasy. We need to test things by the Word of God.
Don’t think this Marilyn Hickey example is unique among television ministries. It is commonplace. So why do these things continue? They continue because Christian people are deceived. They WANT God’s blessing and so they finance these ministries. It comes down to that in the end. Stop the money and the ministry will die – it will die because it is NOT of God.
What makes such movements powerful and influential is that so many well-known ministries all affirm one another in the same errors. Surely, many think, all of these ministers cannot be wrong! Well, yes they can, and they ARE. Did you notice, for instance, that Oral Roberts has lent his name to Marilyn Hickey? Sure. That brings on board the bandwagon anyone who respects Oral Roberts as a man of God. It is Marilyn Hickey’s way of saying, "See, Oral Roberts agrees with me in this, so it must be of God."
But wait. What DOES define something as, "of God?" One thing: The measure of Christ. The value of ministry is found in the value of Christ produced. I am not talking here about WORDS, or religion about Christ. I am talking about the LIFE of Christ in us. How much of HIM is being produced, edified, and manifested?
Those who claim to have a, "special miracle anointing," upon them from God – that they can impart to others are not only themselves deceived – and I’m being generous – but they are deceivers. For if you claim this special anointing, you are claiming to be, "an anointed one." Let’s read what Jesus said about people that make such claims about themselves:
And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draws near: go ye not therefore after them. (Luke 21:8)
Jesus is not talking about people who will claim to BE HIM. No. The name, "Christ," means, "anointed one." So these are people who say, "I am God’s anointed one." And Jesus says, "Don’t follow them."
You will notice Jesus does not say, "Figure out which people who claim this anointing are for real, and avoid the others." No. He said that ANYONE claiming to be God’s specially anointed person, or ministry, is someone to be shunned. Why? Because there is NO special anointing that God puts on a ministry or person, which can be imparted to another person. There is only ONE ANOINTED ONE – Jesus Christ. And the measure of Christ in us is the measure of any anointing we possess.
And yet even then it is not an anointing we IMPART – especially in exchange for money. The only way I can see other people experience, "the anointing," is by bringing them to, and pointing them to, the Anointed One, Jesus Christ. The idea that people come under an anointing because they partner with me is equal to saying that I am the way to God’s blessing. No. Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
I would suggest that if Marilyn Hickey were truly concerned about people, and truly believed that her trinkets were able to convey God’s anointing, that she would send them out free of charge so that everyone could have the miracles promised – and then she would leave it to God to finance her ministry.
Movements in the Bible
There is only ONE, "movement," in the Bible. It is the same one that God started in Acts 2. God has only ONE purpose, ONE goal, and, if you will, ONE MOVEMENT: Jesus Christ IN US. Even the saving of souls comes down to that in the end – Christ in people.
Today we hear much about an end-time revival, or end-time movement. The Bible teaches nothing about end-time revival, but only about end-time apostasy. And yet there may be, within that apostasy, some revival – because heresy has a way of turning people to the Truth, if those people have hearts for God. So what about revival?
Frankly, I think that the bar has been so lowered in Christianity, and things have been so watered-down, that what we call REVIVAL really ought to be NORMAL. We say that revival is something God does to bring us back to life, or into a new thing. But that is the definition of Christianity itself – new life and new beginnings. Thus, revival is really nothing more than a restoration of what ought to have been normal. It is really not something new at all.
Once we see this, we see once again, that we don’t join a movement. We join a Person. And if the movement starts to stray outside of the Person, then we stay with the Person. Indeed, if we understood the purpose of revival, we would see that this is exactly what revival is supposed to do – focus us on the Person, not on a thing called revival.
If the Body of Christ would get into business with the Person of Jesus Christ, then movements and revivals would not be THINGS to join. They would simply be movements of the Holy Spirit that God undertakes to edify people in Christ.
God is after, not movements, but individual people in whom Christ dwells. God is not after a THING called revival. He is after a WITNESS in the form of CHRIST IN US. If God is able to salvage this out of some of the revivals that have occurred, then that is certainly to His credit and mercy.
Christ In Us
If you open your Bible to Acts, you will find that the apostles never started a movement. They never began a church, religion, or revival – even around the name of Jesus. Rather than begin something, they BECAME something. Rather than start the church, they BECAME the church. How? By receiving the Holy Spirit. It was through the baptism of the Holy Spirit on that Pentecost that the disciples were born again, became the church, and were finally indwelt by the life of the Risen Christ.
Again – rather than join something to get more of Christ, we need to join Christ – that is, open ourselves up to the fullness that we have already received through salvation. We are complete IN HIM. We simply need to discover Him. The Holy Spirit has come to reveal Him to us.
There is no movement of God, no revival of God, and no anointing of God, that is not found in the Person of Jesus Christ. Indeed, all movements and revivals – if they ARE of God – are going to teach this very Truth, and continually exhort us to find our sufficiency in Christ Himself. Christianity is CHRIST IN US. Christianity is not us joining a movement. This is what the Holy Spirit teaches, and this is what the Holy Spirit does.
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