• The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:18-19).
  • Tuesday, 26 March 2013

    Anointing Versus Life
    Dear Christian Friend, did you know that there is a difference between having the anointing of God and possessing the nature of God? Are you aware that most believers today cannot tell the difference between the two? What about you? Do you know the difference? If not, please take a few moments to read this pamphlet.

    The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised...
    Luke 4:18

    That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
    Acts 10:37-38

    Our Lord Jesus was the Christ (anointed) of God. He said the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him. He was given the Spirit and the power of the Spirit without measure so He could fulfil the ministry God had ordained for Him.

    Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God.
    II. Corinthians 1:21
    God also anoints us. He anoints us with the same anointing Jesus had. But unlike Jesus, we are not given that anointing without measure because it would destroy us. Jesus was given the anointing without measure because He could handle it. By the time He came to John at the River Jordan He had been conformed to the image of His Father. His character and personality had been tempered and shaped so that having the limitless power of God would not hurt Him.
    Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
    Hebrews 1:9
    We can see the two issues of character and anointing in this verse. Jesus loved righteousness and hated iniquity. These qualities are the nature of the Father—He loves righteousness and hates iniquity. Jesus submitted to the dealings of His Father and allowed the Father to conform Him to His very image. Therefore, the Father anointed Him above all men. But that anointing, whether limited or unlimited, is not the nature and character of God. It is the power of God.

    Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:
    II. Corinthians 1:1

    Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
    Galatians 1:1

    Paul was anointed. He knew that he was called to be an apostle—apostles being one of the gift ministries—and he was faithful to this ministry. He could say to those to whom he had been ministering: "I am pure from the blood of all men...I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God...[for] by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears" (Acts 20:26-27). But Paul knew there was a difference between being anointed by God and having the nature of God worked in his life. He mentions this distinction is several places.
    One such place is in First Corinthians 12, wherehe speaks of spiritual gifts and ministries, explaining their proper function in the assemblies. In verse 11 he says the Spirit divides to every man severally (or, individually) as he wills.
    But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
    I. Corinthians 12:31 - 13:3
    After explaining spiritual gifts to the Corinthians, Paul makes an astounding statement. He says, YET I SHOW YOU A MORE EXCELLENT WAY. There is something beyond being anointed, something beyond being endowed with gifts and ministries. The anointing is not the goal. The goal is the more excellent. Paul then goes on to explain what the more excellent way is. The more excellent way is charity (or love), which is the nature and character of God.
    There is an vast difference between having the gifts of the Spirit and having the fruit of the Spirit. Gifts and anointing are manifestations of God’s power. Fruit is a manifestation of God’s life. The gifts of the Spirit can be given to anyone at any time...instantly. But the fruit of the Spirit is quite another matter.
    God’s character can never be poured out on an individual like the anointing. Fruit cannot be ascribed to our account. It cannot cover us like imputed righteousness. Producing spiritual fruit takes time, just as producing natural fruit takes time. It is a process that requires growth and change. It only comes as a result of suffering, self-denial, testing, and judgment.
    Paul goes on to explain that if believers do not move past the realm of gifts and anointing, if they do not begin to move in the more excellent way, then the anointing they have received will have been wasted. The anointing is a gift, given freely to whoever God chooses, any time He chooses. Life must beproduced. It is the consequence of labor. We must co-labor with the Spirit as He conforms us to the image of Jesus. It is one thing to be anointed, it is quite another thing to be conformed.
    Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
    I. Corinthians 13:4-7
    Paul distinguishes between the anointing—which includes all the various manifestations, offices and operations of the Spirit—and the life of God. Yet, he is not setting them in opposition, implying that we should seek either one or the other. He is simply telling us that to have the one without the other will not profit us in the end. Indeed, the one is given to produce the other.
    Do you realize the implications of what Paul is saying? He is saying that it is possible to have all kinds of spiritual gifts or move in a powerful anointing, yet be devoid of the life of God! It is possible to be a preacher and not have life. It is possible to be an apostle or an elder and not have it. We can be an evangelist, a prophet, a miracle-worker, or a healer and not have it.
    Christians need to realize that the anointing is not the nature of God. Spiritual power is not the nature of God. Gifts and ministries are not the nature of God—and having them does not mean we have been transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. Being anointed does not equal being changed! We can be faithful to a ministry or an anointing God has given us, yet in the end, miss the more excellent way.
    Listen to the apostle’s words again, and let the reality of what he is saying sink down into your heart: though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity [God’s nature], I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity [God’s nature], it profiteth me nothing.
    Should we forsake the anointing and renounce the operations of the Spirit? No. Paul was not saying that the anointing is wrong. All he is telling us is that the anointing is not the goal. The goal is to be conformed to the image of God. The goal is to possess the fulness of His life. The anointing is not life, it is merely one of the tools God uses to produce life. Equating the two is a mistake. Gifts and anointing are to function in collaboration with the transforming work of the Spirit. To assume that when we move in them we are moving in the life of God is a miscalculation. Yes, they serve an important purpose. Yes they and are spiritually profitable—but only so far as they cause us to pursue the nature of God.
    The anointing comes on us from outside. It is the manifestation of someone else, not us. We are just a vessel. The vessel upon whom the anointing (gift) comes does not necessarily have to be walking in actual righteousness (bearing fruit) in order to be anointed because it is not the vessel who is being manifested. It is the Holy Spirit. But the indwelling life of God is another matter. Life is not someone else acting through us regardless of our spiritual condition. Life has to come from within us. It has to be our actions, springing from our new nature. Life is the result of a righteous moral condition.
    If we have allowed God to make us holy in experience we will have life to manifest. If we have not allowed God to do that work there will be no life present to manifest. There may be gifts, there may be an anointing, there may be ministry, but there won’t be life. the anointing is not life. The anointing is to help produce life.
    The difference between life (fruit) and anointing (gifts) is like the difference between the baubles we hang on a Christmas Tree and the life that made the tree grow and produce fruit. God can hang any kind of gift, ministry, or anointing (even the most spectacular) on any kind of tree He wants to, any time He chooses. The tree doesn’t have much to say in the matter. All it has to do is learn how to exercise the gift because the "manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal...[and] all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will" (I. Cor. 12:7,11).
    God distributes manifestations of Himself (His Spirit) to every man as He wills. The present condition of the individual has nothing to do with God’s decision. This is why our anointing, no matter how outstanding, should never puff us up. The very best gifts can be hung on an ugly tree. The issue is not what kind of gift or anointing we have been given, but what kind of tree are we?
    This is what Paul was trying to get across to the Corinthians. He was saying, listen people, you have all kinds of marvelous gifts working in the assembly; you are moving under a powerful anointing, but you yourselves are ugly because you are moving in the nature of the old man not the nature of the new man. Stop focusing on gifts and power and start concentrating on spiritual growth; for if you don’t allow God to make you new creations, the anointing He has poured out on you will have been wasted. The Spirit was given in order to change you and bring you forth in God’s image.
    Not only are gifts and anointing not the goal, they are really only temporary provisions. One day God is going to withdraw them. He will remove all the baubles and trinkets that have decorated us and made us attractive. Then it will be revealed to all creation just what kind of trees we have allowed Him to make us.
    Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
    I. Corinthians 13:8-10
    Prophesies, tongues, knowledge, apostles, prophets, and all other gifts are going to fail; they are going to cease; they are going to vanish. They are not the perfect thing. Nor are they the more excellent way. They are only temporary provisions—tools God has provided in order to help us become new creations. One of these days the Father is going to have a crop of sons who have been fully conformed to His image and likeness. When that day comes friend, He will put away the tools!
    Can you even begin to grasp the implications of this truth? Can you begin to see what this will mean for those who’s lives have been totally wrapped up in their anointing, in their gifts, but who ignored the work of transformation that produces the character of God in their lives? They are going to be devastated in that hour.
    Many Christians spend their whole lives running after the anointing, after ministers who have (or claim to have) the anointing. Multitudes more are willing to travel thousands of miles to experience the power of God for a few hours. Yet you couldn’t pay these people to enter the process of transformation that produces the life of God in them.
    Why are so many Christians willing to travel so far and pay so much, just to experience God’s power? It is because we have become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. (II. Tim. 3:4) Experiencing the power and the anointing of God are pleasurable events. Pleasure-loving Christians thrive on these kinds of experiences, and they get addicted to them quickly, especially when they become physically stimulating.

    When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
    I. Corinthians 13:11-13
    When I was a child I spoke as a child, thought as a child and played with childish things, said Paul. But when I became a man I put those childish things away. Is Paul saying that gifts and the anointing are childish things? Not exactly. The childish things are not the things themselves, but our attitude towards them. Putting away childish things means putting away our fascination with the anointing. To put away childish things is to stop being engrossed in gifts and ministries, to become un-addicted to external blessings and religious experiences.
    Natural children want to play and are enamored with gifts. But when they become adults they (should) lose their fascination with gifts and having fun. Under normal circumstances their focus will shift to the more serious issues of life.
    It is the same way with spiritual children and adults. Feeling a powerful anointing is enjoyable. Having a powerful anointing on your life is even better. It gives us pleasure and satisfaction, not only because we enjoy helping people, but because we enjoy even more all the attention and glory we get as a result. Everyone wants to be around the guy who moves in a powerful anointing. Everywhere he goes he is treated like a king. He is respected by everyone, and even worshiped. People want to hear him talk; they want to hear his wisdom and his opinions. He always has opportunity to minister.
    In stark contrast, the process which produces the nature of God in our life is very un-enjoyable. In order to grow spiritually we have to follow Jesus down a bloody trail of emotional pain, hardship, self-denial, persecution, and rejection. Like the Master, we are required to make ourselves of no reputation. We have to learn to keep our mouths shut, only saying what God wants said. We have to learn to be still, going only where the Spirit bids us to go. We have to learn to minister according to God’s will and His timing, not according to our own desire to do good, or our own assessment of the needs of those we meet. We have to embrace a life of cross-carrying obedience, even unto death.
    Receiving the anointing doesn’t cost us anything. Obtaining the life of God costs us everything. When we begin to understand the difference between anointing and life we can see why Paul told the Corinthians to get their focus off the external anointing and get it on the internal life the Spirit wanted to bring forth in them. To move in the anointing is enjoyable. To be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ is not. It requires suffering and death.
    Multitudes of believers spend their whole Christian lives reveling in gifts and the anointing. They never allow God to change them. They are headed for a very rude awakening because after a life-time of glorying in their anointing, gifts and ministries, God will withdraw these things and demand to know what kind of tree have they allowed Him to make them. He will ask: what have you done with My anointing?
    In that hour multitudes of Christians are going to be shattered. They will be left spiritually naked and confused. They will wander about in a spiritual daze, not knowing what happened or what to do.
    But none of these things [Paul’s chains and tribulations] move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
    NKJV.Acts 20:24
    Marking the difference between ones anointing and ones transformation was not just a doctrine with Paul. It was a reality he lived in. In Acts he said he did not count his life dear to himself so that he could achieve two things. He wanted to finish the ministry God had entrusted to him, and he wanted to finish his personal race.
    But I do it all [become all things to all men when preaching the gospel] because of the rewards promised by the Good News, so that I may share in them along with the others who come to trust. Don't you know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one wins the prize? So then, run to win! Now every athlete in training submits himself to strict discipline, and he does it just to win a laurel wreath that will soon wither away. But we do it to win a crown that will last forever...Accordingly, I don't run aimlessly but straight for the finish line; I don't shadow box but try to make every punch count. I treat my body hard and make it my slave so that, after proclaiming the Good News to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
    Jewish New Testament
    I . Corinthians 9:23-27
    Finishing a ministry most of us can relate to. But finishing a race? What was the race Paul was running? What was he determined to win? That race was his full transformation into the image of Jesus. His apostolic ministry was his anointing, it was his gift. His race was another matter entirely. He had fully seized the gift; he had not yet fully seized the prize. He was in a race to obtain that prize.
    That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
    Webster’s Dictionary says "apprehend" means, to understand, to take hold of, to seize, to take hold of mentally, to perceive, to take or grasp.A gift is something given; a prize is something taken by force, earned, or captured. We can be totally faithful to a ministry God has given, and at the same time, not even be in the race for the prize of the high calling! Paul knew this. That is why he said in Philippians that he had not yet apprehended the thing for which he was apprehended. He was following after, laboring to win the prize.
    Paul said he had to attain what he was after. He had to labor to win the race. He never taught that he, or anyone else for that matter, would win this race automatically "by grace." He never even hinted that we would hit that mark regardless of our obedience. In fact, he taught just the opposite! He said he buffeted his body and brought it into subjection to the Spirit, lest after having fulfilled his ordained ministry he might be disqualified from his ordained destiny.
    In Philippians he said he was seeking to apprehend the destiny for which he was apprehended of Christ Jesus. God had a plan for his life. He had a course laid out for him from before the foundation of the world. In His mercy, God laid hold of Saul the Pharisee and showed him that destiny. Paul was then responsible to lay hold of that destiny by yielding to the chastening, transforming work of the Holy Spirit.
    Knowing this, he encourages us to run our race the same way he ran his—lawfully and well. He knew that even though he was faithful to an earthly ministry, he had to run a good race to win the prize. We must do the same. He knew there was the possibility of losing the race. We too must realize that there is that possibility.
    But the wonderful part of this truth is, though God gives gifts severally as He will, He is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). We may not all have the same anointing as Paul, we may never be able to duplicate his ministry, but we can all run the same race he ran and win the same prize he won! Like him, we have been apprehended by God to attain something, and like him, we can apprehend that thing.
    Why have so many believers missed the heart of the apostle Paul’s message? Why is it that the vast majority of believers today have no idea what the "high calling" is? It is as plain as the nose on your face that Paul was seeking to attain something he had not yet attained to during all his years of ministering.
    When he penned Philippians he was already saved, already gifted, already an international ministry. For years he had planted churches and nurtured the body of Christ. He was already one of God’s mighty men, already a spiritual veteran. He had already been shown revelations so sensational he was not even allowed to share them with the rest of the Church. He already had vast experience in the deep things of God and did more to further the Kingdom of God than any other individual in that era, except for the Lord Jesus Himself.
    Yet for all his vast experience, near the end of his life he was still laboring to receive a prize, still seeking to apprehend something, still pressing towards something he called the high calling. Why can’t Christians see that the "prize" Paul was striving for had nothing to do with the anointing or the ministry he received? I often wonder what is going through the average Christian’s mind as they read Paul’s words. Having ears they cannot hear. How sad!
    Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.
    Philippians 3:8
    Paul said he was trying to "win" Christ! Think about that statement, friend. The greatest apostle of all time was trying to win Christ. What did he mean? How do we win Christ? Is he talking about winning the forgiveness of Christ? Can’t be; he already had that by faith. Is he talking about winning thejustification of Christ? Can’t be; he already had that by faith. Is he talking about winning the imputed righteousness of Christ? Can’t be; he already had that by faith. What then was he was trying to win?
    He was trying to win the image of Christ! He was seeking to attain full transformation into His likeness. The great cry of his heart and the thing that motivated him in everything he did was, "that I might know Him." I want to know Jesus so intimately, so fully, that I am changed into His very likeness. Once again, transformation is not an endowment bestowed by unmerited favor (grace). It’s a reward obtained by obedience.
    Full transformation into the image of Christ is the goal of the Christian race. It is the finish line that God wants us all to cross—not after we die and go to heaven, but in this life. So few believers realize that transformation must be apprehended while we are alive in the flesh, and that it can only be apprehended by obedience and suffering.
    This is our time to run the race and win Christ. But in order to win we must co-operate with the Holy Spirit. We must surrender our lives to Him one-hundred percent. If we do, He will begin to lead us into a crucified life.

    And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections [passions] and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
    Galatians 5:24-25

    For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
    Romans 8:13
    If we, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body we will come into more of the life of Jesus. This requires an act on our part. We must make ourselves of no reputation. We must deny ourselves when our flesh cries out to be spoiled and pampered. We must accept rigorous discipline and keep our body under subjection to the Spirit of God in our new man.
    For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
    Romans 8:14

    Mortify [put to death] therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate [unnatural] affection, evil concupiscence [desires], and covetousness, which is idolatry.
    Colossians 3:5
    As we are led by the Spirit to put our members that sin to death, the actual character of God begins to come forth in us. Paul knew this. That is why he said, I die daily. (I. Cor. 5:31) Putting to death the old, Adamic nature allows the new nature of Christ to come forth in us. This is also why he said we must be made conformable unto His death.
    Being born again and filled with the Spirit does not win us Christ. Being anointed with gifts and ministries does not win us Christ. Acquiring all knowledge and learning all mysteries does not equal running a good race. Casting out devils will never earn us the prize. Being a great soul winner will never cause us to hit that mark. We have to die in order to have Christ come forth. Jesus said, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. (John 12:24) He was speaking of His own death of course. But we can apply the same principle to ourselves. If we, through the Spirit, put our flesh life to death, we will bear much fruit. But if we do not die, we (our flesh natures) will abide alone.
    He also said, he that loveth his life shall lose it, and he that hateth his life, in this world, shall keep it unto life eternal. (John 12:25) We are to put off the old man with his deeds and put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him. (Col. 3:9-10) This is all part of coming to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. It is the race each of us must run if we want to hit the mark.
    Not knowing the difference between anointing and life not only hinders us from hitting the mark and obtaining the prize—as if this wasn’t bad enough!—it also puts us in a vulnerable position regarding the delusions all around us. Jesus warned us that the end of this age will be marked by incredible deception, both inside and outside the Church. He warned us that these deceptions would be overpowering and so close to the truth, everyone except the elect would be deceived.
    Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
    Matthew 7:15-20

    Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
    Matthew 24:23-26
    Jesus predicted the coming of false prophets and told us that they would look like sheep. But though a wolf can make himself look exactly like a sheep, he can never be a sheep. As long as he has the nature of a wolf he will always be a wolf. No amount of external transformation can change what he is on the inside. This is why Jesus told us to look past all the external appearances and manifestations, to look past all the gifts and the anointing, and discern what kind of fruit is coming forth from the individual.
    Satan is a fallen cherub who has great power. Jesus overcame Him at Calvary but he remains the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2.2). In addition, God is going to give him great authority at the end of this age (Rev. 13:6-7). He will be given the power to duplicate and counterfeit every kind of supernatural experience and miracle. He will even be allowed to replicate the anointing. There is only one thing Satan will never be able to counterfeit—the nature of God. This is the fruit Jesus told us to look for.
    Speaking of these days, Jesus said false Christs would appear. Most of us automatically think of false prophets when we read this passage. But Jesus was talking about something much deeper. Why do people run after false prophets? Because they are seeking the anointing. They only follow men because these men have the power of God.
    The Greek term "christos" (khris-tos'), from which we get the English term "Christ," simply means "anointed." It comes from the Greek root-word "chrio"(khree'-o), which means, "to smear or rub with oil; by implication, to consecrate to an office or religious service."
    The term Christ has become synonymous with Jesus, God’s Messiah. So when we read that "false Christs" will come, we think of someone claiming to be God’s Messiah. But this was not what the Lord was referring to primarily. He is talking about the anointing. He is warning us that in the last days men will come into the Church possessing a very real anointing and power. But that anointing and power will not have originated with God. This is what He meant when he said they would come in "sheep’s clothing." The sheep’s clothing will be the anointing that cloaks them.
    Jesus said, "if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not." He also said, "if they shall say unto you, behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not." What did He mean? Was He merely telling us that in the latter days there will be a bunch of religious kooks running around saying they are the Messiah? No! It is much more serious than we imagine.
    When He said not to run to and fro looking for Christ, He is talking about the anointing. He is warning us not to chase after gifts, ministries, or supernatural experiences because a day is coming when Satan will produce a counterfeit anointing that will both look and feel like the real thing. An hour is coming when counterfeit gifts will look like real gifts, when counterfeit ministries will look like real ministries, when counterfeit signs and wonders will look like real signs and wonders.
    There is coming a time when only those who have the life of Messiah worked in them will be able to tell the difference between the true and the false. Unfortunately, most of God’s people will not be in that secret place of the Most High. They will have spent their whole lives running after ministers, after gifts, and after external blessings and experiences. They will not have allowed God to do that deep work of crucifixion that is so necessary. They will not be able to tell the difference between anointing and life. They will continue to think, as they do now, that the anointing is life. They will not be in a place to recognize when Satan’s counterfeit anointing begins to replace God’s true anointing.
    The power of Satan will be greatly increased in the last days. He will be allowed to fill the churches with people who are ministering under his false anointing (Christ). Many will come in Jesus’ name and say, I am anointed (Christ). I am anointed to preach and prophesy. I am anointed to receive and transmit revelations. I am anointed to show great signs and wonders. They will say the Lord anointed them and sent them to minister to the house of God. Because they will look exactly like sheep and possess a real anointing, the majority of believers will end up following them.

    The Lord warned us and told us to be alert. Is anybody listening? The wolves who are coming today are extremely dangerous people! They move in an anointing that looks and feels like the real thing. They are not Mormons or Humanists or Jehovah’s Witnesses or Satan worshipers or fly-by-night charlatans with smoke and mirrors. None of these things would fool God’s people. They look exactly like sheep. They look just like Baptists; they look just like Pentecostals; they look just like Charismatics. They carry a real anointing that overwhelms all who come into their presence. These people have real power. They preach wonderful sermons and prophesy, they receive great revelations and heal the sick. They talk about revival in the vernacular of whatever religious group they operate in—all in the name of Jesus. But the anointing, power, and presence that covers them is not from God; it is a counterfeit! This is why it is so essential that we get our attention off of gifts, off of ministries, off of sensual religious experiences and supernatural manifestations.
    God is lifting His anointing off the self-centered, pleasure-seeking, Western churches. At the same time, He has granted great power and authority to Satan, who is even now producing perfect counterfeits of the things of God. Those who continue to run after the anointing, after external blessings and manifestations, are going to be deceived.
    We must get our lives focused on being changed internally. We need to fix our eyes upon the transforming work of the Spirit in our lives. We need to yield to that work more than ever so the life and character of Almighty God will come forth in us. That life is the only thing Satan will never be able to duplicate. That life is the only thing that is eternal. It will never pass away because it is the more excellent way.
    The only safe place to be in this hour is hidden in the life of God. So let us not be like the foolish virgins who had beautiful lamps (anointing) but were caught off-guard and had no oil (life). Let us be faithful stewards and use the talents (gifts) God has given us to bring Him increase (His image in us). Let us not remain spiritual children our whole lives, lest we find out too late just how foolish we were.Selah.

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