1 Chron 16:15-22 Ps. 105:11-15
Remember His covenant forever, the word which He commanded for a thousand generations, the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac, and confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel for an everlasting covenant, Saying, ‘To you I will give the land of Canaan as the allotment of your inheritance,’ when you were few in number, indeed very few, and strangers in it. When they went from one nation to another, and from one kingdom to another people, He permitted no man to do them wrong; Yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes, Saying, ‘Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm.’
The False Teaching
Truth is hard to swallow when your belly is full of the narratives false teachers have sold to you. Today I hear this quote more often than I care to say. This phrase, “touch not my anointed,” is used to say you should never criticize anything a pastor (i.e. General Overseer, Arch-Bishop, Founders, Deacons, Elders, Apostles, Evangelists, etc.) says or does or God will make you pay for it. You would think that Church leadership would teach their people the meaning of “context.” More often than not, this phrase is taught to their congregants as a protection that allows them to continue to teach deception and to keep their flamboyancy unchallenged by their followers. Rather than discuss the issues with open Bible to prove or disprove, they sling this and a host of other scriptures at you again to intimidate, discredit you, shame you, and accuse you of being divisive.
It is also used by church leadership as an attempt to exploit the fears of others by suggesting they possess a special anointing. This plays out well in the charismatic movement as the mantra “touch not my anointed” is quoted as a means of maintaining control over the members of their assembly. It is an abuse of the plain meaning of the Word of God in order to manipulate others and keep them in line. It is also an attempt to justify a sort of special entitlement for oneself which misses the point of Jesus’ teaching about servant leadership.
“But Jesus called them to Himself and said, You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you, but whoever desires to become great among you let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave, just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His live a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28
Jesus’ Apostles took this to heart as Peter states; “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly, nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” 1 Peter 5:2-3
One should notice that the word “touch” actually means physical harm. It does not mean that we are not to speak out and or challenge another person whether it be a preacher or a Christian publically. Open rebuke is better than secret love. Besides, much of what we are seeing today are those who are in a greater position of leadership going after people who are anointed that are challenging them in what they teach and doing as wrong. They are simply trying to silence their challengers. Those who apostatize from the Word of God always hate those who keep it (Rev. 6:9). It is also a sorry attempt of people who quote this phrase out of context for their own self-protection and that of their beloved false teacher.
In context ‘the Lord’s anointed’, is a reference to the Nation of Israel as they journeyed from Egypt to the promised land. The mention of prophets is a reference to the patriarchs and this phrase is used exclusively in the Old Testament.
Psalms 105:11-15 says, “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the allotment of your inheritance, when they were few in number, indeed very few, and strangers in it. When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people, He permitted no one to do them wrong, yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes, Saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm.” The context shows God protected upon His anointed people (Israel) and His prophets preventing any enemies of Israel to bring physical harm.
In doing the Lord’s anointed no harm there is no greater example in Scripture than what David did to Saul. It was David who said he would not harm God’s anointed, who at the time was King Saul however, he did speak out publicly about him. This is true even though God had already rejected Saul as the king of Israel. In 1 Samuel 16:13-16 we see that David was anointed before God taking away Saul’s position as king. In 1 Samuel 26:11 we see were David would not stretch his hand out to touch Saul but instead he snuck up and took Saul’s spear and water jug. David rebukes Abner for not guarding Saul then rebukes Saul before all his troops. David returned Saul’s possessions and said, “For the Lord delivered you into my hand but I would not stretch out my hand against the Lord’s anointed.” Again, in context this means physical harm.
The dangers and pit falls of being deceived
Opinions mean nothing in light of the truth of God’s Word….and using the “touch not the anointed” verse does not apply when questioning someone’s teaching or doctrine, want to know why? “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.” 1 John 2:20-21 You see, ALL who are called in Christ in the New Testament are the Anointed of the Lord.” Nowhere in Scripture does it show preachers possessing a special anointing.
Pastor’s and leadership often place themselves above others as an untouchable super spiritual. Rather than teach and grow the sheep into maturity and true discernment of the word, they will shut down anyone who dare questions or objects to something they’re teaching. Throwing this verse around saying you’ll be cursed or worse, if you speak out against them. The crazy thing is that we have seen this used by other sheep to beat other sheep. Speak out against someone’s favorite spiritual leader and you will get this slammed over your head. Rather than consider or even look at the spiritual leader being in error or teaching falsely they use this scripture to try and silence those bringing the accusation. One thing is very clear, they have learned well from their leaders. Sadly, they have learned error and false teaching. The same applies to the rest of the verse “do my prophets no harm” clearly we are just dumb sheep and by no means is it our place to question the prophecies of someone claiming this office. However, looking at the present day “prophetic movement” we find that those who lay claim to the gifting have also re-wrote the guidelines for present day prophets. God has never changed His criteria for prophets. Yet the new rules on the prophecies of today are that they are Partial, Progressive and Conditional. Partial in that not everything being “prophesied “over you may be complete. Progressive meaning it may take time to unfold and they don’t date set (they usually get in trouble when the date comes and goes and nothing happens) also that way if it doesn’t happen for decades…it’s still progressive or unfolding. Then we have the conditional which is my favorite. Upon your decisions and actions depends whether the prophecy given you will develop or for that matter happen at all. Kind of like works based salvation only in prophecy form. Again you are given the responsibility of making it happen. Funny how scriptures state otherwise. God never breaks his covenants or goes against His word with us and that includes the prophecies that truly come from Him. Prime example is of course Samson, he more than broke every vow, his life was pretty much a mess, he certainly didn’t work for it did he?
The real danger more often than not, is this kind of teaching promotes infighting, and the body of Christ becomes guilty of biting and devouring one another (Gal. 5:15). This teaching is divisive, as is all false doctrine and never promotes the kindness and unity Christ intended for the Church.