False Anointing

When God commanded Moses concerning the holy anointing oil, He gave him very careful instructions: "It shall not be poured on man's flesh; nor shall you make any other like it, according to its composition. It is holy, and it shall be holy to you. Whoever compounds any like it, or whoever puts any of it on an outsider, shall be cut off from his people" (Exo 30:32-33).

The holy oil of anointing must be genuine. Anyone imitating it, or putting it on flesh, or on a stranger "will be cut off" from the people of God. Similar warnings are given repeatedly. Nadab and Abihu were legitimate priests; but when they offered strange fire before the Lord, they were cut off (Lev 10:1-2).

Take Heed

Paul warns us Christians to take heed to such OT examples. "But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (1Cor 10:5-12).

False Anointed Ones

The word christ means anointed one, and the Lord Jesus solemnly warned against false Christs. "Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, I am the Christ, and will deceive many....For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand" (Mt 24:4-5; 24-25).

Spirit of Error

Much of modern religion may well be operating under false anointings. To attract people to religious gatherings and to keep the offerings coming in, there is no end to the gimmicks that are used.

One such device is false teaching. Error is not innocuous - it is a powerful spiritual force. The devil is "the father of lies," and he comes "to steal, to kill, and to destroy." The truth sets us free-error imprisons us. Error binds us to the devil the truth joins us to God.

Greater in Number

Prophets of error far outnumber the heralds of truth. Ahab's 400 prophets were under a mighty anointing, and they all predicted victory for Ahab. Talk about the "prosperity gospel"-that 400 Club really put on a good show. They had a mighty anointing upon them; only one problem-their anointing came from a lying spirit. And they did not even know it. Like a foolish fish, Ahab gobbled it up hook, line, and sinker, just like many who are being duped today. King Ahab was cut off (2 Chr 18).

Deceitfulness of Sin

How could Ahab be so readily deceived? Easy; there was sin in his life. When you meddle with religion with sin in your life, you're a candidate for deception. When we are not filled with the Holy Spirit of God, we become an easy target for other spirits. Micaiah stood alone against 400 false prophets, and Elijah battled against 850 (1Ki 18). The percentage of the true against the false may be about the same today.

Deceived by Lust

"Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted by God; for God does not...tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren" (Jms 1:13-16).

Love of the World

Another reason many are deceived is because the basic root desires of their lives are misdirected. "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come" (1Jn 2:15-18).

Just as the devil tried to entice Jesus with the glories of this world, even so today many ministers and churches are enticing gullible souls by teaching them to use their "faith" to claim the things of this world. The "god of this world" has a mighty anointing by which he is deceiving the nations, and his special target is the church.

"Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called" (1Tm 6: 9-12).

Spirit of Holiness

Above all else, the Spirit of God is the Spirit of Holiness. "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (Jn 4:24). The Spirit of Truth is none other than the Spirit of Holiness. The anointing of the Spirit of Truth is powerful to sanctify and save-the anointing of the spirit of error is powerful to defile and damn. The Spirit of Holiness alone can open our understanding and lead us into all truth (Jn 16:13). Truth and Holiness are inseparable. The fact that the hidden sins of so many modern prosperity preachers are being discovered should alert their followers that they are ministering under a false anointing. "Some men's sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some other men follow later" (1Tim 5:24).

Free Indeed

Christ came to His own, to the people of God, to those who had the Word of God and worshiped in the Temple of God. To those who believed in Him, He said: "If you abide in My word.you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." They retorted that they were not in bondage. Christ answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you want to do.when he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God" (Jn 8:31-47).

Big Time Religion

If religion could save, the world would have been saved many times over by now. Probably the greatest religion the world has ever known is Roman Catholicism. It has prospered in wealth and power beyond calculation. Its headquarters, the Vatican, is an independent nation, but it has set up and removed many kings of other nations. How many millions of saints she has martyred will not be known until Judgment Day.

For one example: in the middle of the last century, the Catholic church owned 35% of all the land in Mexico. Benito Juárez campaigned for schools for the Mexican people; but the church fought against him, because its control is stronger where there is ignorance and superstition. The church was on the losing end of a bitter civil war, and the new government confiscated all church lands. Some of the church's institutions have been turned into museums where the filth of her horrible abominations and immoralities can be seen by all. Yet still she enslaves the souls of vast millions there and around the world.

The Mother of Harlots

A graphic description is given of Catholicism in Revelations where she is called the mother of harlots. That means she has many daughter churches that, although not as famous, great, or rich as she, are nevertheless also hovels of deceptive spirits.

"Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication….The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: 'Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth.' I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement. And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth" (Rev 17).

Take Heed

The Lord gave repeated warnings that we ourselves are responsible to avoid being deceived. "Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ' (anointed one) and will deceive many. For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (Mat 24). The apostles also warned the church repeatedly. "Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple" (Rom 16:17-18).

"Evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them" (2Tm 3:13-14).

"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1Jn 4:1-4).

"These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity-for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred commandment that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: 'A dog returns to its vomit,' and, 'A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud'" (2Pt  2:17-22 NIV).

Deceiving Ourselves

Not only are we in danger of being deceived by prophets and preachers whose abilities and talents are from an anointing other than the Spirit of holiness, but self-deception is an even more prevalent danger. We cannot continue long in the truth with sin in our lives or with the love of the world motivating our desires. "Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says" (Jms 1:21-22 NIV). Multitudes today frequent Gospel meetings and enjoy hearing the Word of God, but they do not allow the Word to work out into their daily living.

"They come to you in crowds as if they were really ready to listen. They sit in front of you as if they were My people and hear your words, but they will not obey them. With their mouths they tell Me they love Me, but their hearts desire their selfish profits. To your people you are nothing more than a singer who sings love songs and has a beautiful voice and plays a musical instrument well. They hear your words, but they will not obey them" (Ezek 33:31-32 NCV).

"God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1Jn 1:5-7).

"Jesus said, You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you" (Jn 12:35 NIV).

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