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Monday, 1 February 2010

Is It Sin To Touch The Lord's Anointed? What Does Bible Say?

Whenever a criticism is made against any recognised Christian leader the cry goes out "do not touch the Lord's anointed"! They quote from 1 Chron 16:22  and from 1 Samuel 26:9. Both passages are taken in isolation, well out of context (ie, they are not read in conjunction with the surrounding verses, passage, chapter, book and whole bible).

For example if we look at the above verses in context: 1 Chron 16:20-22 says "they wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another. He allowed no man to oppress them; for their sake he rebuked kings: "Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm."

The whole passage and chapter is referring to the nation ISRAEL: ALL the people of that Nation as the anointed ones!

Then 1 Sam 26 (whole chapter) and subsequent chapters show the context was about David having a chance to kill King Saul and so free himself from his greatest enemy. David's decision not to kill King Saul was because God had anointed Saul to be king, so killing him would be to kill the king God had chosen. It is not referring to God's prophets (as the Lord's anointed) in this case.

There are no specific verses in the whole Bible that teach that prophets could not be challenged. In fact God told the people (through Moses) to check whether a prophet is true or false, ie to challenge them. Can we use the last isolated example (about King Saul) to allow any so-called Christian leader to say and do whatever they want to do, unchallenged?  Should we really use the example of King David to let them do this?  I will now answer those questions as follows:

 The important thing to do is ALWAYS compare scripture with scripture and get everything in the whole bible context. Jesus warned us to beware of false prophets, Paul told us to weigh up what is said, John said do not believe every spirit but test the spirits (the driving force behind the word) to see whether they be of God. Paul warned the ephesians that wolves would soon come into the church to ravage the flock. If you read throughout the letters of Paul, Peter and John plus the teachings of  Jesus you will find many warnings against false teaching and how to recognise it and what to do when it happens. Revelation says to come out of Babylon etc.

Clearly we are told it is okay to expose false teachers. Besides, who determines the Lord's anointed?  Just because someone has emerged as a leader  does not mean that he/she is anointed. Jesus said not every one who says "Lord, Lord" belongs to God or who works miracles belongs to God. Paul was criticised by the Corinthian church but Paul never said that they should not touch the Lord's anointed. In fact the mark of a real leader (like Paul) was his humility and brokenness. He may have defended himself but never showed anger at the criticism but showed compassion and tenderness and never threatened them not to criticise him.

In David's situation it was talking about killing Saul. When we criticise a so called christian teacher (who is deceiving his followers with distorted  teaching) we are not killing them physically we are simply exposing the false teaching according to what the bible tells us to do. In fact many times even in the Old testament God's prophets criticised the kings of Israel and Judah because the kings were leading God's people into sin. In fact John the Baptist was beheaded for such criticism

Come on ......... let's get real and not let deceivers lead our beloved brothers and sisters into sin or a false road because we are afraid to "touch the Lord's anointed". These people are NOT the Lord's anointed, they are wolves in sheep's clothing.

Regarding fruit.  Many say God is blessing these so-called christian leaders because of the multitudes joining the church and the (superficial) fruit that follows. Jesus said wide is the gate that leads to death and many follow that road but narrow is the gate that leads to life and FEW there are that find it. Numbers do not necessarily mean that God is blessing. Real fruit shows strong disciples who follow the true way and display the characteristics of Jesus in their lives and stand upon the Word of God as their standard of their lives, not superficial believers who are self obsessed with seeking one experience after another.


Wary said...

Using the ‘cliché’ ‘touch not my anointed’, is a prime example of EISEGESES ‘reading into’ Scripture what is not there, to support mans ideas.

We must practice EXEGESES which is ‘taking out’ of Scripture exactly what GOD is saying about HIS business, not ours.

Please see this article.

Touch not my anointed!
I challenge all who say this phrase to read this whole article through prayerfully and with an open mind and heart.

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 has 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.

Read more at this link.

Anonymous said...

Look at I Tim. 5: 19 it says not to take an accusation or some evil
comment about an elder in the church without first having the witnes
of two and three people saying it is true. The elder here can be a
pastor or worker in the church. This is reviewed by the church board or congregation.

John Chingford said...

Hi Anonymous

Please always consider the context of a verse.

Therefore, I will answer your comment by considering the context and its application.

Paul was writing to Timothy about Timothy's own local assembly.

It is referring to a local church situation, where probably everybody knows one another well. It is not referring to the global church situation.

It is specifically dealing with the local assembly because it is only a close knit fellowship which can exercise discipline properly.

As Jesus stated in Matthew 18:15-17 correcting a brother should first be done discreetly and then brought before that local assembly. The same with an elder, but because he is an elder even more caution should be taken.

These things are possible to do if everyone knows the elder well enough.

What about prophets and global church leaders who are impossible to be contacted in the same way? IT IS a different situation. If they are teaching heresy, they cannot be disciplined in the same way, because we are not part of their church or organisationm and are powerless to do so.

It is impossible in our/their situation to practice 1 Tim 5:19, but because of the global media they are infecting multi millions of people. So what do we do?

We ARE told to watch out for false prophets and false teachers. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1

As I stated in the article, it is NOT touching the Lord’s anointed by simply exposing their heresies or false teachings or exposing their ecumenical motives. We are not physically killing them, just protecting our brothers and sisters from the FALSE prophets.

We are not saying anything against local pastors but against those who are known by thousands or millions, who are well known global speakers, who are spreading their leaven everywhere – not just in the local assembly.

John Chingford said...

Actually most of these public figures have already been approached personally by concerned believers (who know them well) and by discernment ministries according to the scriptures. These discernment ministries and others have ALREADY done the spade work and are NOW exposing these leaders because these leaders HAVE NOT repented.

My blog just simply reports what these ministries are saying which is based on HARD evidence.

John Chingford said...

Regarding naming names. The NT from Acts through to Revelation has cases where specific false brethren names are listed. Paul tells us that he even opposed Peter for his hypocrisy over something Peter did. Why would Paul do such a thing? I guess because no-one (even Peter) is allowed to go unchallenged!

You can find the details in Galatians 2:11-13:

"When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray".

See how easily it is for false practice, hypocrisy or false teaching to spread? This is why it MUST be exposed!

Anonymous said...


Your first text is not in Chron it is Ps 105v15..... check it out...

Great article...
In the Master's service

John Chingford said...

Thanks Anonymous for Psalm 105:15. You are correct that the exact same text appears there. However, 1 Chronicles 16:22 ALSO states the same words. Both state the exact same thing and both are referring to the whole of Israel. It is referring to the people of God, not just the prophets and is not referring to mere criticism but to their physical safety.