Comment To Blog Post, “From Caution To Clarity”

Yesterday I was asked by my wife to check out an article from the Huffington Post titled, The False Promise of the Prosperity Gospel: Why I Called Out Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer by Pastor Rick.  Though I don’t follow of Joel Osteen or Joyce Meyer, I was disturbed by much of the Pastor Rick’s views presented in the article.

In order to get a better understanding of Rick’s views, I visited his blog,  I read the post, “From Caution To Clarity” and I couldn’t take it anymore.  I was more appalled by the support of some of the commenters.  I felt it necessary to leave a comment.  In order to properly respond to this article and not drive anyone crazy in scrolling down another lengthy comment, I have decided to post my comment here.  Pastor Rick, I hope you have the time to read this.  I appreciate your openness and am okay if you are unable to agree with my comments below.  However, some things just need to be said.

Rick, you need more clarity before you caution.  I agree that going to the scriptures is key for discernment.  However, the scriptures without anointing is error.  What does the Bible say?

[1John 2:20-21, 27 NASB] 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. … 27 As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.

You wrote:

NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT.  Pastors and teachers are either true or false.  They are not anointed.

Anyone who claims an anointing is ascribing to themselves and their words something that is never uniquely ascribed to any disciple, apostle or New Testament author.

And then you quoted 1 John 2:27, which would contradict your statements above.  It was disturbing to see that your references to passages of scriptures were not used with anointing to substantiate your case.

The Greek word for “anointing” in 1 John 2:20, 27 is “charisma”.  Here is a definition from the Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words as it relates to the use of “charisma”:

The passage teaches that the gift of the Holy Spirit is the all-efficient means of enabling believers to possess a knowledge of the truth.

Therefore, having the scriptures is not enough.  The Holy Spirit (His anointing) is also necessary.  If the scriptures alone were enough, then Jesus would not have spent as much time as He did rebuking the Pharisees and Sadducees.

[John 5:38-40 NASB] 38 “You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent. 39 “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; 40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.

 [Matthew 16:13-17 NASB] 13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

Does this mean that there was no anointing in receiving the truth or revelation?  Scripture without anointing could lead to inaccurate conclusions.

[1Cr 12:1, 4-7 NKJV] 1 Now concerning spiritual [gifts], brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: … 4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit [of all]:

Anointing is the Holy Spirit and His work/activities in and through us.  Acts 10 is an account of Peter the Apostle sharing the Gospel with the gentiles at Cornelius (the centurion) home.

[Acts 10:38 NKJV] 38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

It is evident in this passage that the Holy Spirit was the anointing that empowered Jesus to do good and bring healing.  It is also acknowledged that while Peter was preaching, the Holy Spirit came with anointing upon the gentiles to “enable” them to speak in tongues.

[Acts 10:44-46 NKJV] 44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. 

Rick, for you to say: Anyone who claims an anointing is ascribing to themselves and their words something that is never uniquely ascribed to any disciple, apostle or New Testament author, is not accurate and may have been a misrepresentation of what you meant to say.  I agree there are some that are out there that are preaching for their own exaltation.    The Apostle Paul dealt with that during his ministry,

[Phl 1:15-18 NKJV] 15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. 18 What then? Only [that] in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.

You also wrote:

It would seem that they wanted to believe the Gospel, but would not allow themselves to believe until the Gospel message was validated by Scripture.  That is staggering.  They were actually commended for with holding belief until verification.

In the pursuit to be careful and discerning, I believe there are some misconceptions on what it means to be like the Bereans.  I’ve noticed this pattern among those who perceive the Gospel as focusing on preaching the accuracy of scripture knowledge only.  I’ve heard them use terms like, “that’s on” or “that’s off”.  They consider themselves to be noble-minded Bereans who are quick to reject everything in scripture that doesn’t line up with their inexperience.  Paul the Apostle said,

[1Corinthians 2:4 NKJV] 4 And my speech and my preaching [were] not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,

[1Thessalonians 1:5 ESV] 5 because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.

For a better understanding of “more noble-minded” Acts 17:10-12, it is important to read Acts 17:1-9 to find out what happened in Thessalonica and how it compares or differ to the experience in Berea.

  1. As was his custom, Paul entered the Jewish synagogue when entering both cities (Acts 17:1-2, 10)
  2. Paul proclaimed the message that Jesus is the Messiah in both cities (Acts 17:3, 11)
  3. Many Jews and Greeks believed the message they heard in both cities (Acts 17:4, 12)
  4. A riot broke out in both cities due to opposition to the message (Acts 17:5-9, 13)
  5. It was a group of jealous Jews from Thessalonica that instigated the riot in both cities (Acts 17:5, 13)

The contrast is not between the believing Jews and Greeks in Thessalonica and the believing Jews and Greeks in Berea.  The contrast is not because the Bereans were so excited about what the heard and believed that they wanted to look it up in the scriptures for themselves.  The contrast is between the response of the jealous Jews and the response of the believing Jews and Greeks.

If you read Acts 17:11, the Bereans received the message with great eagerness.

[Act 17:11 NIV] 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

The great eagerness and excitement of the Good News provoked the enthusiastic desire to examine the scriptures as it should for all believers.  Remember, the Jews and Greeks in the synagogue at Berea who, like the Jews and Greeks in Thessalonica and Athens were not familiar with “The Way” which proclaimed Jesus of Nazareth, as the Messiah sent from God.  When they first heard the message from Paul, they probably initially reacted the same way as the group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers in Athens

[Act 17:20 NIV] 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.”

But after much reasoning of the scriptures, in accordance to the anointing of the Holy Spirit, many came to believe in Thessalonica, Berea, and eventually Athens.

[Act 17:32-34 NIV] 32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.

When it is all said and done, the church is experiencing the same issues it had when it began after the death and resurrection of Christ.  There are some who receive the truth.  There are some who reject the truth.  There are some who oppose the truth.  There some who prostitute a lie as the truth.  And there are some who think they can live and preach the truth without the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” [2Ti 2:19 NKJV]

[2Ti 2:14-17 NIV] 14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,

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