Gary: Here is this week’s question: We have an individual in our Bible study who is fond of many of the Word-Faith teachers they feature on TBN. Many of us tried to share our concerns with her, but her comeback was that these were God’s anointed, and we were not to touch the Lord’s anointed. I think she’s off there, but it brings up the whole issue of correction and how we should go about it. What counsel can you give me?
Tom: Well, the scripture does say—I’m looking at Psalm:105:15, saying, “Touch not Mine anointed and do My prophets no harm.” Can you take that beyond physical harm?
Dave: Well, Tom, it always means not to harm them physically. And this begins back in 1 Samuel when David is being pursued by Saul. And David and his men are hiding in a cave, and Saul comes in to take a nap, and David’s men say, “The Lord has delivered him into your hands. Kill him! Smite him!” And David says, “God forbid that I should touch the Lord’s anointed.” And by “touching the Lord’s anointed,” obviously he means to kill him.
Then, on another occasion, a deep sleep comes from the Lord on Saul and his men, and David and Abishai, I think it was, one of his nephews, they sneak into the camp and Abishai says, “I’ll just smite him once,” you know, “I’ll pin him right to the ground with my speak. He’s finished.” David again says, “God forbid that I should touch the anointed of the Lord.”
But he does steal Saul’s spear and his canteen, apparently. And then, when David and Abishai get on the other side of a ravine, up high on a cliff, then David calls to him. He awakens Saul and his host, and he says, “Why are you pursuing me? What have I done?”
So David does not touch the Lord’s anointed, which means he does not harm him. On the other hand, he rebukes him before David’s men and before all of Saul’s men. So these men are using…they’re twisting that scripture, using it improperly to avoid being corrected. No, we need correction. David gave Saul correction. That is not what it means, “Touch not the Lord’s anointed.” It means you don’t harm him.
Now, furthermore, Tom, why are they the Lord’s anointed? Well, if they’re really Christians…
Tom: They’re self-anointed, I’m afraid.
Dave: Well, it could be. But if they’re a real Christian, every Christian has an anointing, 1 John 2 says. So, no one can say, “I’m anointed and you’re not anointed.” We believe in the priesthood of all believers. So they can’t Lord it over others and say that they are anointed and other Christians are not. Every Christian—that’s what “Christ” means; that’s the Greek for “Messiah,” which means “the Anointed One,” which means, if we’re Christian, Christ is living in us, then we have an anointing also.
So, they’re wrong on that count as well, claiming some special anointing.
Tom: Dave, help me with this, but I’m thinking of Psalm:41:5. The scripture says, “Let the righteous smite me. It shall be a kindness. Let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil.” I mean, there is an anointing of another kind, that the Word of God says this is good for us. This is something that would not only keep us on the right track with what God wants but be an encouragement to us. So, …
Dave: Repeatedly in Proverbs, Solomon says, “Reprove a wise man and he will be yet wiser.” That a wise man wants to be reproved; he wants to have someone, if he is an heir, it’s a blessing! It’s a kindness for someone to point out the error, and when you point out error, you are doing an act of kindness. It’s much easier, Tom, not to say anything. It’s easier just to go along and pat somebody on the back… You know, I’ve been an employer. I’ve had hundreds of employees. And I can tell you that an employee that I don’t feel that there’s any hope for, you fire them. But if you feel this person has real potential, and they’re willing to learn, then you take time to correct. And we should be willing to be corrected by the Lord, by His Word, and by His servants. And to suggest that it is an attack when you are trying to bring sound biblical correction, that’s a strange attitude to have.
And, anyone out there, if anything we say on this program is not according to the Word of God, we’re saying, “Search the scriptures daily, check us out.” Check everyone out. That’s all we want you to do is check every teacher out from the Bible and see whether they’re biblical or not, and if not, correct us.
Tom: Right. And it’s our heart to do it in the way that the Lord would have us do it. I’m reading from 2 Timothy:2:24, and it says, “And the servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men.” There is a way, an approach to doing this, that God wants, and this is what we have to do: “Apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those who oppose themselves, if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth, and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil who are taken captive by him at his will.”
So this is our heart. We want to do not only what God says, but we want to do it in the way that He says we’re to do it.
Dave: Second Timothy 4: Paul says to Timothy, “Preach the Word.” How do you do it? “Reprove, rebuke…” this is what Paul says to Timothy. This is how you preach the Word. “Reprove, rebuke, exhort,” and then, just as those verses you were quoting says, he says, “with all longsuffering and doctrine.” Sound doctrine from the Bible is the only correction. That’s our standard. But we have to do it with longsuffering. There are many things that you and I don’t understand yet. Maybe someday we will learn. There are many things that we understand now that we didn’t understand ten years ago. So, as we try to bring correction from the Word of God, ourselves being opened to correction from the Word of God, we have to do it with gentleness and longsuffering, but with sound doctrine.