In calling into question something he had previously said, I was touching God's anointed? How is it that in the asking of a simple question, I had become God's enemy? How did this brother view himself? And how did he arrive at such conclusions? How did he come to see himself as the recipient of an anointing that set him apart from the rest of God's children? How did these anointed ones come to be defined by such a special anointing--an anointing that makes them incapable of erring?

This mentality is clearly a holdover from the papacy. Pius IX (1846-78) gave it to us. The papacy was loosing power, but she would not go down without a fight. This was the birth of "ultramontanism," a movement to argue the right of the papacy to rule globally. It is clear that Pius IX saw that the quickest way to win this argument was to declare an edict stating that, as God's delegated authority, he cannot be wrong. Since this religious system cannot withstand the eye of scrutiny, he also declared that the origin and ceremonies of the papal church could not be called into question either. Case closed. By taking the Old Testament anointing of kings and mixing it with their own definition of priesthood, which was an amalgamation of the old Levitical priesthood, the pagan priesthood, and the autocratic government of the Roman state, they came up with the divine right of kings and clergy to rule.

Considering man's desire for conquest, due to the fall, should we be surprised that when given 1900 years to do so, he should devise an elaborate, systematic, and yes, lest I forget, Biblical justification of his divine right and responsibility to rule? The counsels of bishops and kings concluded that to challenge them and their pronouncements is to assault heaven itself, since they are "God's anointed." History records the long and sordid story of the folly of such men. Kings have subdued and controlled entire nations through their train of puppet cardinals and bishops. And the lie that frightened the masses into compliance is the lie that God would have it so, and the fear of displeasing God in displeasing "His anointed." The lie that God Himself had raised them up as the redeemer, benefactor, the friend of the people.

Jesus was clear on this. In fact, He was emphatic. "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But you shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that does serve" (Luke 22:25-26).

Now benefactor was a title of honor, conferred on those who had done their country a service. It means a friend of the people. The cruel joke is that they exercise dominion and authority under the guise of being the friend of the people. They suffer all those sorrowful kingly duties and benefits, just for the people. They became king just so they could help the people. Makes you want to cry, doesn't it? What a noble way to lay down your life! Oh what venerable sacrifice of one's own desires and interests. Eat your heart out, Sister Teresa.

But the real test comes when the people touch their crowns, and then the heads of the ones they claim to serve will roll. Then the true kingly motivations surface. I tell you most assuredly that I have witnessed this same scenario in the institution called "the church" many times. They were just there to serve the people. Oh, they loved them so much. If the little people touched their throne, or in some way treated them in an un-kingly manner, they responded with such treachery as has not been seen since the Herodian dynasty. The offenders were treated in a manner tantamount to execution. They were verbally executed or banished to the outer realm. They were called heretics. And in the proud tradition of Diotrephes they were thrown out of the church (3 John 9-10).

When it comes to government over God's children, we must remember that the idea of an anointed king was man's choice, not God's. The true nature of that choice was to reject the rule of God, opting for the kind of government wielded over the nations. "...Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations" (1 Samuel 8:5). God warned the people of Israel of the consequences of the kind of leadership they chose. And when reduced to few words God's warning to them was, "He (King Saul) will take what is yours and give it to himself" (see 1 Samuel 8:4-22). This is the nature of kings, to take what belongs to God and his children and give it to themselves. They do all of this under the guise of being friends of the people, as though it was their divine right. There are many such Saul-like kings reigning the traditional church today. They take the ministry from the body of Christ, and sit them in neat little rows staring at the backs of each other's heads. They resist God's sovereignty over the believers individually by functioning as intermediaries between God and His children. They claim to hear God's voice for the whole church, and in this way they take the guidance of the Holy Spirit from the believers. They replace Holy Spirit guidance with their counsel--and all this without a twinge of conscience. Why? It is simple. They believe this to be their divine right. They have been anointed in the tradition of Saul, with an authority like that of the kings of the nations. Accordingly they see themselves as God's anointed, and in their minds they stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Who Are the true Anointed Ones?

I believe that God does have anointed ones, and that very few in our day are afraid to touch them. Acts 2:17 speaks of the anointing of these servants. Those regarding whom Joel had prophesied that God would anoint with His Spirit, and they would prophesy, see visions and dreams. Who are these anointed priest and prophets? They are the all Flesh of Acts 2:17. They are sons, daughters, the young, and elderly. They are the entire community of Christ. God has poured out His Spirit upon all flesh, not a select caste of super-saints referred to as Ministers, Pastors, Elders, etc. "Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams." The anointing that was once poured out on a select few is now poured out on all flesh. This new priesthood consists of all the saints of God.

These are the ones Peter referred to when he wrote, "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9). There is a new priesthood, the priesthood of all believers, and this priesthood represents a better covenant. Under this covenant, God puts His laws into our minds, and writes them in our hearts. Under this covenant there is no need for mediators to say, "Know the Lord." Why? For all shall know Him, from the least to the greatest (see Hebrews 8:10-11). All shall enter beyond the rent veil into the presence of God. They shall be taught of God there. In this new covenant, they "shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother," for all shall know firsthand through the anointing of the Spirit that God has poured upon them.

According to the author of Hebrews, the old, first covenant "had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary" (Hebrews 9:1). However, this new priesthood is not concerned with earthly sanctuaries and ceremonies. They minister beyond the veil in the heavenly tabernacle, which the lord has pitched, and not man (Hebrews 8:2). They function in the realities of heaven, not in the shadow realm of religion. (see Hebrews 9:1-) This new priesthood are also the lively stones that are built up into a spiritual house. They are collectively both the holy priesthood and temple of the Lord. This priesthood "offers up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 2:5).

John said regarding God's anointed, "But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.... But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him" (John.2:20-21, 27).

The word anointing here refers to the inaugural ceremony for priests. It was the ceremony where the Old Testament priests were anointed with oil, which represents the Holy Spirit. It speaks of being set aside for divine service. The gift of the Holy Spirit is the anointing of Priests, and that anointing was poured out upon all in this new royal priesthood. In the new covenant there was a change of the priesthood, from the Levitical priesthood to that royal priesthood, after the order of Melchisedec (Hebrews 7:11).

The so-called anointed that stand in a kingly hierarchic authority do not hesitate to touch God's true anointed ones--the royal priesthood. Their brash and meddling hands have stoned the prophets, and have subjected the true anointed priesthood to the worst torture imaginable--those intolerable weekly sit-a-thons they refer to as the "service."

David saw the entire nation of Israel to be God's anointed.

When they [Israel] went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people; He [God] suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes; Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. (Psalm 105:13-15)

David , the anointed king of Israel, saw in a prophetic glance the whole of Israel as God's anointed. David had a heart after God, which expressed itself in his incessant desire to make God king. It was David's passion to restore the rule of God. It was expressed in his life, words, and songs. "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King" (Psalm 48:2). The great King to whom David refers is not David, but God. When he brought up the ark with singing and dancing, David knew he was bringing the true King of Zion through those gates. He was overcome with joy, he could not hold still; he leapt before the ark with all of his might. David knew that an earthly king was not God's original intention, so he gladly discarded his kingly robes and crown to dance in only a loincloth before his King--the great King. David had a heart after God, not God's crown. Oh that God's children were as zealous for the reign of God today!

God reluctantly anointed a king, but he gladly anointed a kingdom of priests. In fact God first expressed this desire right after Israel passed through the Red Sea, long before they entered the land. "And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words, which you shall speak unto the children of Israel" (Exodus 19:6). This is the exact scripture to which Peter refers in 1Peter 2:9. God would finally realize His plan for a royal priesthood, and a holy nation, in the priesthood of all believers.

These are the anointed of God. They have no need for intermediary teachers. Now I must ask, why is no one terrified to touch God's anointed? Why don't they hesitate to cast a murderous glance toward the prophetic community of God--that holy nation? Why do they gag and bind them to the pew?

I say to all that contend for the supposed right of kings and clergy to rule over God's heritage, Touch not God's anointed, and do his prophets no harm. God has poured out His Spirit on these, and has anointed them for service as priests so that each of them might go forth serving God, declaring His glory. In coming into His presence, and standing in His glory, their very faces will radiate Him. This is the heritage of the servant of the Lord. It is their right and responsibility as priests. All may come into His presence.

All are His priests. All are His anointed. Touch not God's anointed. Do not consign them to passivity. Do not supplant their priestly roles. Do not silence them through liturgy and sermonizing. Do not disrespect them by supposing that they are in need of any intermediary other than the one true mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). Although they may not look like it, these peculiar people are priests. Don't let their common appearance fool you; they are not your average garden-variety priests. They are royal priests. They are the priests and children of the King of kings. These are noble creatures called to true greatness. They are empowered from on high. Why would they need a teacher, for they can come right into the presence of God? They have an anointing that teaches them. God himself teaches them. Now God is calling for the true anointed ones to rise from the pew to power.

Suddenly I am overcome with an overwhelming desire to say, "Don't touch God's anointed!"

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