Touching God's anointed
Loyalty is a good thing if it is for the right purpose and
for truth. One certainly does not want to be loyal and find they have pledged
their allegiance to something that is false.
“He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD” (Proverbs 17:150
But for one to find out what is true or false they must look into matter and hear both sides before they make a final judgment. “The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge” (Proverbs 18:15).
In a time of catchy phrases and clichés', Christians can be no different. What does the Bible mean when it says not to touch God’s anointed? It’s not my opinion or yours that matters; but what God’s Word have to say about this that really counts? I certainly wish the people that repeat this phrase would read it in its context, 'the Lord's anointed', is a reference to the kings of the nation of Israel (1Sam. 12:3,5; 24:6,10; 26:9,11, 16,23; 2 Sam. 1:14,16; 19:21; Psalm 20:6; Lam. 4:20). The mention of prophets, is a reference to the patriarchs (Psalm 105:8-15; 1Chron. 16:15-22). It is used exclusively in the Old Testament.
Ps 105:11-15 Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the allotment of your inheritance,” When they were few in number, indeed very few, and strangers in it. When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people, “He permitted no one to do them wrong; yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes, Saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm.” Notice in this Scripture that God protected His anointed (who was Israel) and His prophets from the enemies of Israel to bring physical harm.
The first thing one should notice is that the word touch actually means physical harm. What it does not mean is saying something about another person publicly that is true. How do we know this? Because that's exactly what David did about Saul. It was David who said he would not harm God’s anointed, who was King Saul at the time but He spoke out publicly about him.
Not only David, but Samuel “touched God's anointed,” as he spoke out against the kings disobedience. God told Saul to “Smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not...” (1 Sam. 15:3). But instead, he spoke a half truth and “spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord...” (v.15). Samuel said it was rebellion like witchcraft and idolatry (v.24). Because he did not obey the Word of the Lord he would be removed being king. Saul admitted he feared the people and obeyed their voice. What a crucial thing to learn of Saul who was God's anointed.
In1 Sam.16:13-16 we find David who was shepherd boy was anointed before God took away Saul’s position. David refused to touch Saul physically but it didn’t stop him from telling everyone the truth about him publicly.
David not raising his hand to touch (harm physically) God’s anointed is used in 1 Sam.26:9,11,23. Look at 1 Sam.26:11: tells us that David would not stretch his hand out to touch him (harm him); instead he sneaked up and took Saul’s spear and water jug. In verse 15 David rebukes Abner for not guarding Saul and says he deserved to die. Saul hears the commotion and comes out, and David rebukes Saul before all his troops, asking why he is pursuing David’s life since he is innocent -- that the king has come out to seek a flea. Saul then repented for his rash behavior and called himself a fool. David returned Saul’s possessions and said, “For the Lord delivered you into my hand but I would not stretch out my hand against the Lord’s anointed.” Notice what this means, not to bring physical harm.
1 Samuel 24:10 “Look, this day your eyes have seen that the LORD delivered you today into my hand in the cave, and someone urged me to kill you. But my eye spared you, and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord's anointed.” “And David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him; for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord's anointed, and be guiltless?”(1 Sam. 26:9)
Saul was anointed as King over Israel he had a position of rulership that was soon to be over. Knowing he was next in line David refused to physically touch the king as God’s anointed and remove him from his position prematurely. It was God, not David who would remove Saul from his position (26:8-10).
We should notice an important part in this story, it was Saul who was pursuing David, hunting him down and trying to kill him. The Bible story has Saul whose position was threatened, pursuing to kill David who was innocent. Isn’t this what we see today? Those who are in a greater position of leadership going after people who are anointed that are challenging them in what they are saying and doing as wrong. From their position they have trained people to listen to them and willing to silence their challengers. They do this by going after them with Bible threats such as “don’t touch God’s anointed” or you are committing the “blasphemy the Holy Spirit” when you speak against another “man of God.” Ignoring the fact that blasphemy meant one is saying that Jesus’ miracles were done by an unclean spirit, not about questioning another mans alleged miracles. Those of the flesh are pursuing those who are of the Spirit, just as Saul did to David. Those who are following the Spirit of the Lord go to His Word to keep themselves in the truth no matter what the opposition may say.
It’s interesting that in Rev. 6:9 John writes “When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.” They were killed because they held to the Word against the opposition and so they became martyrs. Those who apostatize from the Word always hate those who keep it.
We find the story of Saul ends with David kept from the Battle that Saul and Jonathan lost their lives in, instead he fought the Amalakites. An Amalakite messenger came back with torn clothes and dust on his head showing he was in mourning, David inquired of him and he told David he killed Saul. “So David said to him, “How was it you were not afraid to put forth your hand to destroy the LORD's anointed?” Then David called one of the young men and said, “Go near, and execute him!” And he struck him so that he died. So David said to him, “Your blood is on your own head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, 'I have killed the LORD's anointed.’”(2 Sam 1:13-16) Again it is clear, to touch the anointed means to bring physical harm, most often death. But if you spiritualize it, it can mean anything you want. 2 Sam 1:17-19 David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, and ordered that the men of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the Book of Jashar): “Your glory, O Israel, lies slain on your heights. How the mighty have fallen!” Each time is about those who were killed. David did not relish the fact that God's anointed was apostate and met his end, he wept.
Since most of these so called anointed teachers that come under their follower’s protection teach the Word out of context, its not surprising that they would quote a verse of Scripture removed from its correct meaning for their own self- protection. Those who shout don’t touch God’s anointed think they are doing God’s work, but they rarely ever look at the facts presented. They listen to their teachers and do not want to hear the other side of the story. They cut themselves off from hearing the truth. And some, even when they are shown false teachings and prophecies do not care, but look to some personality who captured their loyalty. They become enemies of all reason, their own worst enemy. They do not realize they have been trained well, and like Pavlov’s dogs, react the same way each time. It's time to break free!
What are we supposed to do?
Its easy not to confront falsehood today, but it has become easy to confront those who point it out. How many people tell others not to touch the so-called anointed ever check out the claims from someone who has real concerns, and is trying to get them to read about it? I can tell you from experience, very few. Why is this? Because for the most part they can’t read the material, or should I be more specific and say, they are not allowed to. Again I ask why?
It was an apostle named Paul who called the Berean’s more noble than the others. For what reason? They looked to the Scripture to see if what Paul was teaching was accurate. Today those who protect their favorite teachers say don’t touch God’s anointed for doing this. Paul never said, “Touch not God’s anointed” or “do my prophets no harm”; you will never find an apostle teach this, nor is this found ONCE in the whole New Testament. I ask again why not? Paul was questioned, why didn’t he say this? The apostle Paul called those who checked out what he said as noble, meaning they were a better stock than the others. How noble are you? Do you go wherever the tide goes? Are you willing to take a stand for the truth of the Word of God despite what people say, or will you follow the rest of the sheep off the cliff.
To tell people not to search the Scriptures and expose false teaching as David exposed King Saul is to be touching God’s anointed. You are stopping people who have God’s anointed word from using it correctly! Even David later on in his ministry as King accepted rebuke and correction from Nathan the prophet. He did not say, “don’t touch God’s anointed” to protect himself, and neither should those who follow their leaders do the same.
Who are the anointed?
John 17:17 “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” Unless someone is speaking the word correctly they are not teaching the truth and it doesn’t matter if they call themselves anointed, or how big or successful a ministry they have, they are WRONG.
What do the anointed man and women of God act like? Do they stop you from going to check their teachings or anyone else’s by the Word? Of course not, Titus 1:9 “holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.”
No apostle ever said they were anointed, they did not speak in this manner; “don’t touch me I’m God’s anointed.” If someone is truly anointed, they would want to encourage the people to discern what is true and what is not. They would encourage people to pursue truth no matter where it would lead. They would love the sheep enough to protect them from falsehood and want to see them grow. They would allow the sheep to learn and think for themselves. The anointing, who is the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and someone who has the Spirit of Truth will never run from seeing error but will confront it when necessary. He will give someone the truth from the Word, subsequently leading us away from error.
We also need to ask the question who is anointed? The Bible tells us the whole body of Christ is, not just some certain people in the body. 2 Cor. 1:20-22 “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee”
Let me ask those who use the phrase “touch not God’s anointed”, do you believe that only a certain teacher is anointed or can you admit that the whole body is anointed? If so, stop using this Scripture from the Old Testament as if there are only certain people anointed, like prophets or kings. Are there only a certain few leaders who are the anointed of God? Use it correctly.
The New Testament view identifies the anointed as all those who have received Jesus into their hearts and baptized into the body (1 Corinthians 12:13). It is not a certain church or group of people who are supposed leaders over the Church like the kings or prophets in the Old Testament; the whole body of Christ is anointed. When someone insists for people not to say anything when they see something wrong, it is THEY that are coming against the anointed. For everyone shares the same anointing. Before one gives the standard cliché to protect a favorite teacher with “don’t touch my anointed” to someone who is searching what the Scripture actually says, you should think this through. It just may be that it is you who are touching the anointed Jesus, the author of truth, His Word.
The New Testament teaching is that all Christians have the same anointing, the same Holy Spirit. I Jn. 2:27 “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” How does he teach? By the Word of God, by this we know what is true and false. Prior to this John wrote “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth” (I Jn. 2:20-21). So if someone speaks something false about Christ (which is what John is concentrating on) or His word they are not speaking by the Spirit and not presenting truth. This is made simple enough for everyone to understand. John says they already know the truth; this was by being born again, by His teaching and the New Testament being circulated throughout the whole church.
We need to ask are they teaching the Bible from the Bible or are they teaching the Bible by another outside interpretation leading you into an experience, or possibly a spirit they think is the Holy Spirit? Doctrine keeps us in communion with Jesus. If they tell you to not bother with doctrine and all you need is love or an experience, run from this because it is a lie. The Bible states “Whosoever transgresses and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, HATH NOT GOD. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 John 1:9) “That you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:3). Where is the doctrine found? In the Scriptures of course.
Ps. 105:14-15 “He permitted no one to do them wrong; yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes, Saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm.” He permitted no one to do them wrong. Who is he? God. The whole people of Israel were appointed to be a kingdom of priests and kings unto God; they were set apart to his service, it was God who protected them from physical harm. We know this is the context because v.13 states they went from nation to another, from kingdom to another people.” Prophets and the kings of Israel did not care too much about what others said about them, but they did care about what the enemies said of God. In the same sense, those who are saying this phrase today: are you protecting God’s word or a person?
It is God who protects His anointed, “Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:6-7). “The LORD is their strength, and He is the saving refuge of His anointed” (Psalm 28:8). If you are anointed you don’t have to make threats, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isa. 26:3). Could these anointed men who threaten others be reacting in the flesh and not in His Spirit? Apparently so!
First: we are not to judge a man and his eternal destiny which is left up to God, but if we see their teachings as destructive, the Bible tells us to judge, it is a command. So if you are telling people not to judge by repeating the Scripture “touch not my anointed” you are telling them to be disobedient to God's command. That’s the clear and simple answer to this matter. So it has absolutely nothing to do with this cliché touch not my anointed. To hold to this shows ones immaturity in the Word.
Looking at the purpose of touch not God’s anointed, excludes the concept about judging. Most people who say don’t judge will go ahead and take apart everything someone presents as they explain that we are told to judge according to the Bible. For them to say don’t judge is a judgment in itself. But they cannot see the inconsistency in what they are actually doing.
It is the word of God that we use to Judge someone’s teaching and that is not My personal judgment, but God’s, so by obeying this we are doing EXACTLY what Jesus said, to JUDGE righteously. John 7:24 Jesus said: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment”, so we see Jesus did tell us to judge. Also if one examines Mt.7:1-5 in context they find that Jesus says if you have removed the same stumbling block from your eye and can clearly then go ahead and help your brother. 2nd it appears many have listened to men more than God, for the Bible scriptures that they are quoting need to read it in context. It is the self appointed leaders have trained people to think this way and by calling themselves anointed, they have made their followers go after people who say anything about them for their protection. The problem is evident; they can only quote a few certain verses that tell people not say anything about anyone.
Peter, Paul and John did a lot of judging the Biblical way. Every second epistle written is a judgment on false teaching explaining the truth by refuting the error. In 2 Timothy 2:17 he warns of the heresies of two men by name. Later in the same epistle (4:10), Paul judges by warning them about a man named Demas. Paul did a lot of judging and evaluating when it came to false teachers. Remember this is inspired by the Holy Spirit; therefore we have a mandate to judge false doctrine. In the epistle to the Hebrews 5:14 tells us that mature believers, those who are of “full age,” are those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern (judge) both good and evil.” It takes time to learn and grow in discernment; it is those who are babes, immature hold the position that we can’t judge. Think about it.
We are not to sit idly by when we see personal spiritual revelations change God’s Word. If men and women cannot hold to the core doctrines and instead make up new revelations or interpret the Scripture from their dreams, visions, visitations from angels or saints we are to point out this is unbiblical teaching. This is what the Bible says, “holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict” (Titus 1:9). It's not opinion, its not chasing down a certain person because of any dislike, its a Bible doctrine that we are to practice. Those who see the error are to remove themselves from those who teach it. “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them” (Rom 16:17). If you say you love the Lord lets see it by obeying Him on this matter.
God has given us objective truth to live by. He has not made the truth so vague and open ended that it becomes a matter of anyone’s interpretation, the bible is not an open-ended book. He has given us clear-cut instructions that are valid and applicable today. God gave us an objective means to know and walk with Him, by living out His written Word. The sheep hear the voice of the Shepherd found in the Word, not in new words that men claim God gave them. The sheep will be drawn to the Word if they have any questions. When someone says they are “anointed” or “led by the Spirit” but consistently teach contrary to the Word in its accurate context, you can be assured that they’re not being led by His Spirit delivering truth. This is especially important on the core doctrines. This of course does mean we must be able to teach perfectly every time. What I’m trying to convey is that it takes time to study, labor and gain spiritual understanding of the Word correctly, that is our goal. When someone distorts and butchers the word, changing or discarding its meaning, then we can safely assume they have not spent time in the word, they do not care, or should not be teaching . When it gets bad enough, harmful enough, its time to speak up to protect the babes, the immature and the naïve from eating poison food. The only alternative is to address the public of already circulated false teaching that is undermining foundational tenets of our faith. We are supposed to be our brother’s keeper, some are to watch over the Church. To ignore this is to have their blood on our hands (Acts 20:26), to warn them shows the same love and concern that Christ has. It's a matter of love and truth that people do the research to see if what is said is so.
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