We often hear people refer to the minsters as being “God’s Anointed” and in fact they have been known to refer to themselves this way. Have you ever questioned this? Do you allow a minister to lord it over you because he is God’s Anointed? Do the ministers assume power to abuse with impunity because they believe themselves to be God’s Anointed?
What does it really mean to be God’s Anointed? In the Old Testament we read much about anointing. It actually means to “consecrate.” The outward method of anointing was to pour or smear oil on the person or object to be consecrated. There are a number of scriptures that pertain to Aaron and the priesthood being anointed. I’ll quote one here as an example, there are many verses pertaining to anointing, if you wish to look them up. www.blueletterbible.org is a very handy reference. Exodus 40:13 And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office. According to this, Aaron was qualified to minister once he had been annointed. He was allowed to function in his priestly role. But wait, what does the Bible say about Christians today? We are ALL kings and priests! Revelation 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Say, isn’t that good news? We are ALL kings and priests. We do not need to anoint a king or a priest to minister on our behalf in front of God. We may all come and bring our own sacrifice and enter the holy of holies where we can commune face to face with God! There is no longer a man standing in between!
1 Samuel 9:16 To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him [to be] captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me.
Here we see that Samuel anointed Saul to be king. Later he anointed David. What happened when these men were anointed by Samuel, who was a priest and a prophet of God? The Spirit of God came upon them. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was POURED OUT. This does not mean that he had never been in men before, but simply that he was not poured out on all men. A man had to be anointed and have hands laid on him by someone who already had God’s Spirit. It was a rare and precious gift. It was given to the men who were chosen to lead. In Psalm 51:11, David, after the realization of his sin, cried to God Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. David had been anointed and was filled with God’s Spirit. As we read the book of Psalms we see over and over how he loved the presence of God in his heart. God’s Spirit was necessary in those day if a man was going to lead the people, or to prophesy to them and warn them of what was to come. These things can be done under the power of the Holy Spirit.
When the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost, He became freely available to all who would repent and turn to God. This is the gift that God gives to his people, so that they may walk upright, know him intimately, communicate with him, he gives the gifts of wisdom and knowledge, prophecy, love and even the gift of tongues, which is not widely accepted today. Today we are all kings and priests and prophets. We are all God’s anointed.
What do you make of a minister who asks you to set him apart, give him a higher spiritual standing on the basis that he is God’s Anointed? A minister is to be a shepherd, a pastor. The word “pastor” means to be a companion, a special friend, a shepherd. It does not give one the right to rule over others and abuse without accountability. A pastor should lay down his life for his sheep. He should never ask them to lay theirs down for him, and yet, sadly, that is what so often happens. The ministers are often given special treatment. Sometimes their sins are dealt with privately, without the public humiliation that they ask of the sheep of the flock. People are afraid to speak ill of them, even when they are greatly out of line, for fear of speaking ill of God’s Anointed. Because of this there is very little accountability. They often feign a type of accountability, but it is only to one another, and certainly not to the congregation. A Holdeman minister is not accountable to his people. If members of the congregation have a concern about a minister, they had best keep it to themselves. If they question or wonder about the behavior of the ministers towards the congregation, they will be judged as insubmissive and rebellious and brought under discipline. You know it’s true.
I don’t mean to entirely minimize the idea of a special anointing. God may very well call a man to a special office and give him a special anointing to carry out that office. There may be times in any believer’s life when he is given a special anointing for a special circumstance. Often someone who ministers in song is able to touch the hearts of the people because of a special anointing that is upon him. If not for God’s special anointing, many sermons, writings, and hymns would be dull and uninspiring. It takes the anointing of God on a message for it to really touch our hearts and bring about change.
I don’t condemn the idea that a minister may have a special position and that we should show him respect. That goes without saying. But when he, or others on his behalf, begins to make assumptions about being special, being above being disciplined himself, being distant from the congregation, then we have to have a concern. We are ALL God’s Anointed. We are all prophets, priests and kings. God can speak to every one of us. He can give us a prophecy, a message, he can give us wisdom, knowledge and understanding. These things are not confined to the ministry. Try to stand up in church on Sunday morning and give a prophecy. See if they don’t grab you by the elbows and drag you towards the door. Tell them that God has given you a message and that the church must repent, starting with the ministry. See if your anointing holds out. See if they will hear your voice.