PTB2-23c: Understanding Bible part 3 of 3.

Completing The book of I Corinthians.

8-5:  Extra-Biblical Revelations and the Anointing.

Mark Lowry likes to joke about the different denominations, and how the Pentecostals or charismatics–whichever one you chose to call them, but you know the group of which I speak–have miracles and the Baptists and many other denominations do not.  From this same group has come many other extra-biblical revelations like the Gospel of Prosperity, pleading the blood of Jesus, special protection for the family, and on and on; and at bottom to this extensive problem is not something new, rather something old and superficial that has been revived, and which at heart is nothing less than the teachings of men substituted for the Revelations through the Apostles and Prophets.  While these Pentecostals and others famous on TV would not want to admit this or hear it, they have placed themselves in the same category of extrabiblical revelations as the Roman Catholics–where the Pope can speak revelations, the Mormons–where the President every time he speaks is speaking revelation, not to mention the other four Bibles that Joseph Smith gave through revelations with the help of an angel from the other side, the Church of Scientology has their revelations.  It is true that when Jesus gave the great commission of “believe and be baptized”, He told the Apostles that God would bless their preaching to believers with signs:  those signs being the casting out of devils, the speaking of new languages, an immunity to poison of serpents or deadly drinks, and that the sick will be healed.  However, just like with Jesus in His preaching and healing ministry, these miracle-signs were exactly that, signs but not the message itself; and the signs were a blessing for God that the message also came from God.  None of these accompanying miracle-signs were ever meant to be the message itself.  If you listen to many of the charismatics today, you will find that the extra-biblical message of “anointing” has taken the place of the message of the cross of Jesus.  This very large group recognizing where their bread, and greed, is buttered have subtle developed an extra-biblical message they know to be popular centered around the concept and man-made teachings of the “anointing”.

     This teaching of men is more subtle in that the word “anointing” is actually mentioned in the Bible.  Let us quickly take a look at the places in the NT where the word is used, providing some faithful exegesis of the Scriptures in the context, rather than doing as the charismatic teachers do, take a word or verse and go everywhere teachings.  This is also called “isogesis” which is reading meaning into the Scriptures.  Of course the most famous usage of all is by Jesus as recorded in Luke 4:18 which ironically when you consider today’s usages like they are as efforts to solicit money, was an anointing from God in order that Jesus could preach the gospel to the poor.  {These charismatics seek to fleece the poor, and to gain from the rich, while at the same time glorying in how God has blessed them with the prosperity gained from the poor and the rich.  Surely they must remind you of the scribes about whom Jesus said they make long prayers for the widows in order to gain the little money they have.  And this gives us a clue as to what we will try to develop in this chapter on I Cor and the one to follow on II Cor, how these contemporary movement of the charismatics is a revival of old practices, from both the Jews and the Greeks where the Jews seek a sign and the Greeks seek wisdom.  Admittedly, there has been some evolution of these twin methods from Satan and the world in that the contemporary charismatics–and indeed all who seek the status of an apostle or prophet with extra-biblical revelations…these contemporary extra-biblical revelationists have subtle developed for personal profit and status, a compromise message of both signs and wisdom.}

“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor…”  (Luke 4:18)

And we know when and how this Spirit of the LORD descended on Christ in a special way at the water baptism by John the Baptist in order for Jesus at age 30 to be empowered to start His ministry.  It was an exception ministry, especially to preach the gospel to the poor, and it required special empowerment from God; however, you must recall that this special anointing had only started with the Spirit descending in the form of a dove, it still required fasting for 40 days and nights and victory in battle over Satan.  {By the way, the Spirit of God could have descended quietly and unseen, the invisible and secret being more the province of the Holy Spirit like God the Father, but the visibility of the dove was a sign for John the Baptist and other disciples and would-be disciples.  God the Father then reinforced His blessings on Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God by giving a personal testimony that “This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.”}  If these extra-biblical advocates want to identify with the anointing of Jesus, where is the dove; and if they want to simulate the historical event of the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first day of Pentecost after the Ascension, where are the cloven tongues and the sound of the rushing and mighty wind.  I know how they try to simulate the speaking in tongues which in the great commission, in the sending out of the twelves, in the sending out of many other disciples, in that day of Pentecost, and in subsequent NT practices, were real language; as one young Afro-American friend overheard a well-known charismatic preacher teaching a young convert how to speak in an unknown tongue, not at all a real language, by first speaking slowly a few designated syllables then speeding up on the incantation.  And the artificial nature of most of these charismatic behaviors is something we must face up to.  Along with the usage of the magic word “anointing”, not at all like the anointing of the NT, they will convince you of how they are in revival; and if you do not see that revival, they will then remind you that you are in it!  Brethren, this is nothing more than the old practice condemned by Isaiah, reinforced by Jesus, and reiterated by Paul when he was faced with the same problem in the church at Corinth, the age-old problem among God’s people of honor for God with the lips and mouth, in worship and praise, while the hearts are far away from God.  With their heart outside of the worship place, somewhere on things or status or prosperity or greed, they have simulated the emotions of the heart with God by a waving of arms, shouting, jumping, and many other artificial gyrations, not to be confused with the real worship of God. 

     The central message of the Old Testament Writing Prophets is the same, as I try to make clear in volume 5 of the LEARN CHRIST commentaries, “The Message of the Writing Prophets”.  While they are many messages in the prophets like the Gospel, the resurrection, the Living God, and Righteousness, the most common message of all the Writing Prophets {the majors, minors, and David} is summarized as follows. God’s people are not acting like God’s people.  God is honored with lips and mouth in worship and praise, but the heart of the people of God is far away from God.  They come into their large temples dedicated to God, and they say like in Jeremiah, “We are Safe”.  We are in God’s house and God’s country:  we are safe, secure, and comfortable.  Like a “den of thieves” referenced to by Jeremiah and quoted by Jesus, they live like they want to all weak, robbing the poor and committing spiritual adultery toward God, then on worship day, they come saying as long as we have these buildings, this community, and this country, we are okay.  But God says, the Prophets consistently told us, He has already leveled a judgement of disaster on them, in some cases for their redemption and in other cases terminal; and that disaster depending on which Prophet is sometimes captivity, other times natural disaster, and always the disaster of blindness to the truth.  God’s people come to see artificially as reality and realties as artificial.  They are blind to truth; but the saddest disaster of all is that they are unaware of that blindness.  The false prophets and false teachers encourage them that they have peace, revival, and correctness of answers while in reality they find it impossible to be converted and saved.  {However, you can read about this in volume 5, and there will be so additional references in the following chapters since Paul constantly quotes from the OT Prophets for support and in order to explain what even his own people, while being custodians of the Scriptures, did not come to understand.} Now, we quickly look at the other NT references to “anointing”:  in Matthew 6:17 with advice from Jesus on how to fast so as not to attract attention to yourself (the opposite of what most charismatics desire} by anointing your head with hair oil in order to properly comb it; in Luke 6:13 many sick were anointed with oil and many demons cast out as the twelve were sent out by twos to preach the gospel of repentance {Jesus Himself gave them a special power over unclean spirits, Jesus urged them to keep their money-belts empty, and to cast out demons-do you see any of these miracle-workers casting out demons, and perhaps it is because as Jesus said that Satan can not cast our Satan, and indeed some will sell you that anointed oil for a profit?}, and don’t you begin to get the picture that all of this message of anointing is for personal profit, also of the Gospel of Prosperity; in Mark 16:1 the attempt to anoint the Risen body of Jesus had a very practical purpose of preservation as was the custom in that day, also of embalming in this day; in Luke 7:38 when the woman of sin and in the house of a Pharisee {how bad!} first washed the feet of Jesus with tears, wiped them with her hair {all that she could do and with a act of repentance and adoration}, kissed the feet of Jesus and anointed them {also a local custom of washing feet with a little relish of adoration}, and perhaps we could come closer to accepting the extra-biblical revelations of these charismatics if we actually saw in their anointings more adoration for Jesus than for themselves and their gain; in John 11:1,2 the Apostle John reminds us that the woman who anointed the feet of Jesus was Mary, she had made the town of Bethany famous for Bible readers where also Lazarus and Mary’s sister Martha lives; in John 12:3 where Jesus came back to Bethany, Mary did it again, anointing the feet of Jesus with a very costly oil and wiping with her hair {you don’t see any of these leaders doing that, rather they want you to anoint them}, and Jesus told Judas to leave her alone because of the cost, for she has purchased this costly ointment for her burial {which can you most carefully identify these advocates of anointing with, Jesus and Mary or with Judas}; in James 5:14, the Apostle James calls for church leaders when called by the sick, to get out there in their homes, pray over them and anoint them with oil for the purpose of healing {these are costly acts, the cost of travel to homes and the cost of the oil, which would be too much overhead and much more difficult than simply anointing at a distance over radio or TV, and by the way we must add her how if the prayer of these church leaders {elders} is really a prayer of faith, the sick will be healed, God will raise them up, and sins will be forgiven them}; in Revelation 3:18 the lukewarm church of Laodicea was given a message from the Ascended Christ and through the Apostle John “to anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see”, perhaps the kind of anointing that these charismatics should practice to see the Revelations already in the Bible so that they will not find a necessity to generate their own, and likewise this might be a cure for the blindness among God’s people of which the OT Prophets often spoke, also Jesus reiterated, and Paul said would be a characteristic of God’s people during the Falling Away as the people of God became intolerant of sound doctrine; in John 9:6 Jesus with spit and dirt anointed the eyes of the man blind from birth, and when Jesus found him again, leading Him to faith after the anointment {by the way it is here that Jesus said He has come into the world for judgment, a judgment already hanging over the head of most of the Jews and especially the religious leaders, a judgment to make some see and to make others blind (9:39); in Acts 4:27 as the first church at Jerusalem heard of the miracles of preservation and healing from the Apostle Peter and other apostles, the whole church spoke of how God had anointed His holy servant Jesus, and further identified this anointing as a matter of to win victory against all the opposition of the time, and I think what our brethren have done, if we may graciously call them brethren rather than leaders of the tares, is confuse the anointing of Jesus with what happened after the prayer of the whole church and of faith–(1) a plea was made for God to stretch out His hand and heal, (2) for signs and wonders to be done by God through the name of Jesus, (3) after the fervent and righteousness prayer of faith of the whole church, the place of assembly was shaken {have you seen any real shaking from God other than the vibration caused by jumping up and down and loud music}, (4) they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, this comes closest to a real anointing and was of the whole church; and (5) the real result of this anointing if we can press the meaning of the word a little was to speak “the word of God with boldness”, not with boldness to generate some new word or words from God in order to gain distinction and prove that you and your group have THE MESSAGE and THE ANSWER.  {By the way we are not in any way trying to deny that Jesus and the Apostles had a special anointing from God, perhaps much like the anointing from the charismatics which is hard to define, an anointing that included the giving of Revelations through the Word of God and also miracles; but we are set against giving that power and wisdom to all of those who claim it on TV, where it is obvious that their primary goal is profit, and we don’t even know who commissioned and called them in the first place unless it was another loony charismatic.  Popularity and numbers is not a good sign in this day and time when we are obviously well into the Falling Away.  Popularity is a sign now of those teachers of itching ears who are heaped up by church members who reject sound doctrine and seek out and heap up teachers and preachers who will feed their desires (II Timothy 4:3,4)}.

In Acts 10:38 the anointing of Jesus by God is clear as (1) an anointing with the Holy Spirit and with power {wouldn’t they wish and claim it for themselves}; (2) an anointing on Jesus from God in order to go about doing good; (3) an anointing of Jesus from God in order to heal all of those who are oppressed by the devil {this rather than presently an almost total absence for obvious reasons, would be a good emphasis for specific anointing to rescue people from the devil}; (4) and the “for God was with Him” of Acts 10:38 is one of the best single phrase definitions of what the Bible truly means of an anointing stolen by the charismatics and with attempts to apply to themselves, it is a proof that God is on the side of Jesus–we just must doubt because of their subversion in status, fellowship, and profit that God is similarly on the side of these “revelators” and miracle workers.

We know that God is still healing in response to the prayer of faith, that prayer of faith coming from the individual in need of healing.  Jesus when He healed said that He was continuing to do the works of God that He had seen God do which means, bottom line, that Jesus saw God the Father heal many times, and therefore He continued to heal.  However, God chose to do these things in secret even as Jesus asked the healed to keep it secret.  God likes to heal like He asks us to pray, in the closet and in secret.  And even as Jesus used spit and dirt as a medium of anointing for healing, why is it a strange thing that God increasing in history used the healing of medical doctors, at least as far as they can go; and why is it consider a strange think that God uses language training in schools, even as Paul so acquired the ability in many tongues in schooling, to speak the Gospel to all the nations; and likewise why should be considered so a strange think that the Holy Spirit quietly comes in and on individuals as part of the one baptism that comes immediately with the believing and the 9 month new birth.

We must look at two on “anointed” from the Apostle Paul before we proceed in I Cor and with the 14 letters from the Apostle Paul.  In II Corinthians 1:21, which we will come to in more detail in the next chapter, it is in the first chapter and in these verses of which 21 is a part, “and has anointed us is God”, as though Paul who making a reminder of the uniqueness of the “us” of the same verse as elaborated on in the Wisdom from God of I Corinthians before he gets into Apostolic revelations of “The Ministry” in II Corinthians.  The “we” and “us” which we must discuss more in the next chapter is obviously as listed in the previous verse of 1:19 is the Apostle Paul, the evangelist Silvanus, and the evangelist Timothy; and to say that this are anointed is another way of saying what we have previously covered from Ephesians, that it is the Ascended Christ who gives the gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, those gifts being different for each office, as Paul will discuss in I Cor and II Cor, and that a pastor, teacher, or evangelist, who have the gifts of illumination, since he does not have the gift of revelation is not to do the work of an Apostle.  And on a very positive note we should add in the total context how God establishes the “us” with the “you”, the designated leaders chosen by Christ with the believers.  He {God} (1) seals both leaders and believers, (2) God gives both the designated leaders and the believers the Spirit {the Spirit is no unique gift of the loudmouth or gifted}, and (3) that Spirit is a guarantee in both the heart of the designated leaders and the designated believers.  Amen, Amen, and Amen.

8-6:  The Wise, the Miracle-seekers, and the Wind-Bags.

Although we have a long ways to go, much further than chapter 2, to do justice to I Cor, we will have to continue that in the next chapter, since we have been making special effort to present I Cor even as all the letters of Paul in the total context of the NT, the context of the OT Prophets, and in the context of the environment where we live in this day and time, an environment which demands the treatment from I Cor 1:18-25 of the “wise”, the miracle seekers–it was the Jews in the time of Jesus but is the charismatics today, and the windbags.  Perhaps I should try to define windbags as those loud mouths with the gift of gab who attempt to convince you that they have the answer or the solution.  In the secular world, people like Opry Winfree and Rush Limbaugh have capitalized with the windbag approach on the present popularity of windbag ship.  During my college days it was Joe McCarthy who had all the answers, but they became unpopular; and for a while in American thought, it was the person with a little humility in most fields except for one field where he could prove competence that was the accepted authority.  In those days, just before the advent of the windbag period in American history, it was an authority of demonstrated wisdom, of education and training; whereas today it is an authority of who can speak the loudest and to the most people and the longest.  The emphasis has gone from knowledge to the lip and mouth.

“Now, Talk is the principle product of the world:  it comes out of loudspeakers, after dinner speakers, and just plain windbags.  It is spoken in every language known to man and especially women.  Everyone agrees that there is too much of it, but how do you get less without doing more.”

And as these many heaped up Bible teachers and preachers {they have many names for themselves like apostles and prophetess and so on} came hardly been blamed for witnessing how in the society environment of America, it was popular to both be a wind bag and to have all the answers.  Further, as the social and religious phenomena itself of the Falling Away should testify to you, they were assisted by thousands of church members who (1) would no longer endure sound doctrine, (2) who encouraged them by heaping up such teachers to themselves, and making them popular, and

(3) who wanted out of their own desires to tickle their ears and to comfort their hearts.  So what did we get?  Among many other itching ears teachings amassed in the last few years, we have gotten “how to live the good life now?”, we have received from loud mouths with sufficient Bible knowledge or proof of any Bible training or commission to do so the “living of the everyday life”, and the living of the extraordinary life–in each case they want you to be like them, God forbid, as they are your examples for how to live those kinds of lives; and let us not leave out the anointers and the advocates of the Gospel of Prosperity.  You know if we had no other proofs of the Falling Away than the two following, it should be sufficient: (1) the silence from pulpits and on radio and TV about the Falling Away, and (2) the phenomena we see know of a numberless, like the sands of the sea, multitude of varied Bible teachers with novel things to say, which I hope are a resounding sound to some of you, like a noted improperly struck on a public organ.

That brings me to the “wise” and the miracle-seekers of I Corinthians 1:18-25. The Wind-Bags I have coined to describe the contemporary teachers of itching ears teachings.  You will notice that in most cases if not all they claim to have “the message” and “the answer”.  You see this is the reason that you do not hear today from the churches or from other popular Bible teachers about the Falling Away. How in the world can they admit that they are leaders in the falling away, and leaders in the sense that they have more to fall away from since they have seen the works of God longer, and still make the claim before you that they have the answer and that they have the message.  Recently in Dallas Texas, by perhaps the largest church in the Metroplex and no doubt one with 23,000 of the largest churches in the SBC, the announcement was made of a campaign for 50 million dollars in order to build a satellite church in Frisco.  Not a mission with a separate pastor and not to number into the 30,000 in order to exceed Lakewood Church in Houston and Bellevue in Memphis, but rather in their own words that “more people may hear the message”.

Prestonwood church members and leader seek after wisdom like the Greeks, showing pride in their PhDs and Th.Ds. and status and large buildings of stone like the Temple in Jerusalem:  the charismatics seek after signs, they want and fake miracles in order to prove that they are the very elect of God.  Both wisdom, signs, and wind are used to convince large groups, where popularity is evident, that they are the elect of God and to comfort them as their use their own desires as a standard for what should be preached.

I know it sounds trite, but it is still the Word of God, to repeat with Paul, the following–

“but we preach Christ crucified…Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”  (I Corinthians 1:23-25)

We in this continued studied on I Corinthians, then II Corinthians, and further into the 14 letters of the Apostle Paul, always in the total context of the other Apostles, Jesus, and the Prophets will look carefully at this (1) foolishness of God, gong far beyond wisdom and miracles, and (2) this weakness of God which goes far beyond the itching ears of the wind bags.

“Remember My Bonds”: Life and Letters of the Apostle Paul (12 Volumes of the Expanded Learn Christ Commentaries) Paperback – July 25, 2020

by Jerry McMichael (Author)

And as usual you are welcome to free download this message/Bible study from SunGrist at https://sungrist.org/PTB2-23cUnderstandingBiblepart3.pdf .

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