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Once someone invited me to attend a public meeting he had arranged, and later he asked me what I thought of it. In this meeting that lasted several hours, there was band after band that came from different places and sang many songs accompanied by electric guitars and drums, there was someone who came on stage exhorting people to give generously for the expenses of the meeting, and there was someone who spoke for a few minutes about how God wanted to bless people. Between the bands the MC spoke excitedly about the anointing that was present there. I told my friend that it was a time of entertainment for the people but that hardly anyone was likely to have been 'blessed'! He was shocked and asked me what I thought was wrong. I told him that it was only truth that would set people free, and it was by preaching the truth from the Bible that we could bless people (Jn.8:31,32;1Co.1:23,24).
Does God give His anointing so that we can experience excitement? Some find excitement in rhythmic singing, clapping hands, 'dancing in the Spirit', etc. Some find it exciting to fall backwards on the stage, some in blabbering senseless sounds, and some in narrating about exciting things they have seen!
When the Holy Spirit genuinely touches us there will be excitement too. He may also enable some people to speak in unknown tongues. But is excitement the mark of the Spirit?
When Jesus came with the anointing of the Spirit, it was to bring freedom to people in various types of bondage (Lk.4:18,19). When we preach the word of God now under the anointing of the Spirit, there is conviction of sin (not judgment) in people's hearts (Jn.16:8), and it causes them to repent (Ac.11:18) and to be set free from bondage (Jn.8:36). That is the mark of the true anointing. It may happen silently or with emotions, but lives get changed. It is so different from the 'anointing' that is distributed nowadays by the entertainment experts!
The apostle John spoke about the anointing in connection with discerning the spirit of the Antichrist. This deceitful spirit was working in those days, and much more in these days. John points out that this true anointing is characterised by truth, in contrast to lies which is one of the marks of the Antichrist (1Jn.2:20-22). If we have this anointing, we would be able to sense when some preacher is bringing a false teaching, that something is wrong, even if we can't figure out immediately what exactly is wrong (vv.23,24). Even in those days there were many 'antichrists' (v.18), who were apparently bringing heresies into the churches.
In these last days there are many Bible teachers who are bringing false teachings and many more teachers who are influenced by such teachings. The most common false teachings are the 'health and wealth gospel', the 'word of faith' teaching and 'hyper grace'. Let us seek an anointing from God, not for getting excited, but so that we can know the truth and be set free more and more.