TABLE OF CONTENTS
RECONCILING THE MINISTRIES OF
TRANSFORMATION AND ANOINTING
"But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." I Cor. 1:24
The book of Revelation reveals that the generation which receives the Lord's coming will be marked by the complete works of transformation and the anointing. This combining of the Inner Word and the Spirit will yield their harvesting to the Lord through glorification. In the preceding three chapters we have followed the restoring of transformation and anointing after 1730 only to discover that since the period of 1870-1915, a wall has been built preventing anyone who receives of one work from embracing the other.
To this day, two mutually exclusive camps exist in the worldwide body of Christ, each having been immunized against the other. At the heart of division is a stronghold rooted in opposing natures of jewish and greek unbelief. In one group, the anointing has fed the unbelief and idolatry of a sign-seeking mindset. In the other, the work of transformation has been mortified through natural self-controlling wisdom.
In order for a fully mature generation of saints to come forth and receive the Son of Man, this wall must be scaled and abolished. A very limited number of saints have already begun overcoming the wall. They are daring to reach out beyond the unbelieving confines of their original heritage to complete their salvation. Yet the wall itself remains as a looming giant preventing the Church from entrance into glory.
At this hour a hungry, readied body of saints is waiting to learn how and why they need the opposite work to finish their redemption. Those who have partaken of transformation reality want to believe and function in pentecostal realities. But, in light of what they have seen, they need decisive proof that they can have the anointing without abandoning transformation truth. Those raised in the Pentecostal-Charismatic church know they need something more lasting than the anointing on which to build their experience. Yet they don't want the name-only brand of transformation marked by criticism, bitterness, and cultural reclusiveness that mocks their anointing.
This chapter is both an expose and a prophetic challenge to those with ears to hear. It is an expose of both sides of the incomplete Church, examining the price of failure to receive either the work of anointing or transformation. It is a prophetic challenge to all with hearts ready to hear what they need to fill in the gaps of their salvation. More than just a summons to the waiting flocks of these camps, this chapter is also a last call to leadership who yet have hope of repenting and crossing the divide. It is a call to leaders who have excused their own deficiencies while dissuading their flocks from exploring the "other side," yet their own consciences remain restless.
We cannot be reconciled with truth we feel we have no need of. Before we will seek out what we need, we must be convinced of our own deficiency and respond to it in honesty. This chapter begins the road to reconciliation by exposing the lack that transformation and anointing ministries each have without the other.
If you are an "anointing-based" saint who flows in all the spiritual gifts, but are tired of filling your spiritual hunger with the husks of the anointing and you loathe the hype and superficiality of most Charismatic fellowship, the first section of this chapter is for you. If you are a "Transformationist" steeped in the realities of the cross, but your anointingless knowledge of the Father's love has long since shriveled into a lifeless doctrine, the second half of this study speaks to you.
This first section addresses the overwhelming majority of saints who relate to the Lord primarily through the power of the anointing. It includes all who trace their roots to the Holiness-Pentecostal Movement of the 1890's, the Pentecostal Movement of 1906, the Latter Rain Movement of the 1950's, or any one of the mushrooming corporate Charismatic waves since 1960 found across all denominations. In short, this is written to all whose reference point for spirituality begins with a baptism of the Holy Spirit defined by tongues or any other anointed sign.
For 100 years, this House of Anointing has been severed from the foundation of transformation, giving birth to several generations of saints who are largely ignorant of any internal transformation reality past conversion. There are some who know about the truths of the cross. Yet they write it out of the script of their lives, paying mere lip service to inward holiness and self-denial as doctrines. The remainder fear to submit themselves to the cross, and shun all transformation-centered concepts such as suffering and self-denial.
- The Root Deception
These attitudes reflect a root mutual deception which lies at the heart of both the houses of anointing and transformation. This deception is the belief that because transformation and anointing both originate with the Lord, they automatically embrace each other's results and purposes.
We remember that both the transformation and anointing are spiritual works which minister to separate realities. The transformation ministers to the eternal matters of the heart. The anointing brings the creationary powers of the next world to bear on present earthly reality. When either work becomes divorced from the other to become esteemed in its own right, we confuse their elements and believe that one embodies the other. This deception nourishes the mindset to which we are already captive. Which work we ultimately champion is the work to which our hidden stronghold is most naturally attuned.
The House of Anointing is ruled by the sign-seeking mindset. This stronghold is naturally attuned to the anointing. As champions of the anointing, Pentecostal-Charismatic believers are subject to the root deception which automatically attributes all the elements of the transformation to the anointing. Today's advocates of anointing-centered ministry believe they either have all they need of the transformation, or else the transformation is rendered unnecessary by the anointing which is superior.
From this deception proceed two powerful lies which cause anointing-centered ministries to bear sickly and poisonous fruit. First, we assume that our capacity to function under the anointing proves that we are a spiritually righteous people. Second, we think that because the anointing's origin is spiritual, the focus of our ministry must necessarily be spiritual.
The end of these lies is a polluted spiritual identity and idolatry conducted in the name of the Lord. Because the anointing's ministry is creation-centered, devotion to the anointing leads to the worship of the creation. Today, the preponderant majority of anointing-based ministries, churches, and movements are corrupted by these deceptions. This section will review key elements about the anointing that we learned at the beginning. From this we will forcefully expose the nature of the lies and fruit associated with the sign-seeking mentality of this house.
A. Sovereign Unmerited Favor of the Anointing
All who believe that the anointing assumes operation of the transformation believe that possessing the anointing is proof of personal righteousness and of God's pleasure with a man, ministry, or movement. But our review of the properties governing the anointing shows this to be false. We find that the anointing is given by God without merit to accomplish certain ends. The anointing falls upon all flesh without distinction. As rain, it falls on the just and the unjust. In the Old Testament, the anointing fell on spiritual men like David, carnal and disobedient men like Saul, heathen men like Hazael and Balaam, and even on animals like Balaam's donkey.
All this means that the anointing's presence says nothing about the true state of righteousness of the vessel bearing it. At the judgment seat, Christ makes very clear that many will come to Him offering anointed works as proof of their spiritual state. Yet He will deny them entrance to the kingdom as workers of iniquity. Though performed on the wings of angels, these works will be seen as the works of Cain.
Nevertheless, those raised under the anointing-based moves of God have perpetually mistaken anointed ministry as proof of spiritual standing with God. As this deception has proceeded, ministries have used the anointing to excuse known sin of the grossest order simply because the anointing remained with them while they were sinning. For decades, Pentecostal and Charismatic churches have watched the rise and fall of ministers whose lives prove that anointing does not equal transformation. Yet this persistent deception continues leading to the mistaken first exaltations of unproven ministries followed by their eventual collapse.
Under this lie, anointing-based believers have never learned to search beneath the surface of anointing to verify spiritual fruit in the lives of those they follow. They have only been taught to equate the gift to heal, prophesy, or produce some earth-shaking manifestation with proof of righteousness. Additionally, they have been instructed to never question the fruit of anointed ministry according to the misapplied Scripture, "touch not mine anointed" (Ps. 105:15).
Not only are Pentecostal believers unable to prove the fruit of the ministry they follow, but they never learn to overcome their own carnal nature. Instead, they learn to use the anointing to cover it over. When sin arises in the heart, the solution is to "pray more in the Spirit," "get another word from the Lord," or "claim by faith" victory over sin because we are the "righteousness of God in Christ." Yet no anointed work or confession of a spiritual reality can substitute for the cross' work upon natural life force. Believers remain defeated in lifelong struggle with the same sins.
So it is the perpetual legacy of the anointing restoration is one of multitudes who never gain victory over inward sin, never gain entrance into the genuine maturity of the Father's love, and forever remain under a blanket of guilt. No amount of confessing or preaching on "there is therefore now no condemnation" is able to assuage this guilt. Churches remain dogged by high rates of adultery, divorce, and other sins which have been so long excused they are accepted as the norm of Christian experience. All is sealed with the cliche, "Jesus just accepts me for who I am."
In most streams of the House of Anointing, the work of the cross is simply ignored. But in more popular streams like the Faith-Prosperity Movement, the equating of anointing with true righteousness is so strong that there is active teaching against the work of the cross. Concepts of conviction for sin, suffering for Christ, and self-denial are freely belittled. The possibility of martyrdom is unthinkable. Any kind of conviction for sin or prophetic preaching against sin is equated with "condemnation."
Instead of confronting the real power of sin, many faith teachers treat it as a figment of the imagination. At the same time, they teach that our new identity in Christ means we are "little gods" composed of His essence, hence equal with Him. Ignoring that we are sons by adoption, and bypassing the developing of sonship through suffering obedience, they proclaim that confession of one's godhood is all that is necessary to walk in victory over the "lying symptoms of sin which are not real."
B. The External Temporality of the Anointing
The second lie which envelops the House of Anointing assumes that, because the anointing is spiritual in origin, the focus of its ministry impacts eternal reality. Yet we remember that, not only is the anointing sovereignly bestowed, but its focus is centered on and its results are conditioned by the temporal creation. The anointing heals bodies that will yet perish. It prophesies of things to happen which will yet be forgotten in a later age. It brings the miraculous to bear upon earthly situations all of which will pass away. The effects of the anointing only point to an age to come while aiding the present ministry of transformation.
Nevertheless, those subject to the sign-seeking mindset mistake the anointing's effects for the eternal reality wrought by the cross. Yet because its effects are temporal, devotion to the anointing actually creates a needs-based focus rooted in the fleeting inadequacies of mortal life. Those who follow the anointing become entrenched, entangled, and ensnared by the things of present reality. They lose sight of the true eternal issues in their efforts to affect the here-and-now through the Lord's power.
As anointing-based believers, we show very little awareness or anticipation of eternity. Our ministry thrives on a tunnel-vision set on the latest issue of momentary crisis-- the latest need for healing, for finances, for relational repair, for circumstantial change, or for political change. We spin our efforts praying to change things that have no lasting purpose past the moment of need. We magnify the ephemeral realities of this life to a place that totally consumes our attention and cripples our ability to grow in the Knowledge of God. Thus we remain unprepared for life in the eternal realm.
This preoccupation with the earthly appears on two levels. In the healing and faith wing of the anointing, it occurs on the level of personal or church need. Believers and churches draw upon the anointing to take them from financial crisis to financial crisis. They are unable to rest in the eternal security of God's provision through knowing Him who owns all. On a different level, believers in the later corporate Charismatic moves of Kingdom-Now, Warfare Intercession, and the Prophetic Movement are consumed with changing the moral climate and governmental structure of temporal cities and nations. Yet without root in the eternal work of transformation, their vision serves only to preserve present carnal life.
The motives of the untransformed who call on God to receive financial miracles or to turn the moral climate of cities are traced to the temporal desire to lead a self-satisfied life in this world. Those who commit themselves to such temporal vision become slaves to it. Anointed churches are marked by feverish involvement ("activation") that results in burnout and the dissolution of family relationships. The faithful are continually spurred on with emotionally charged hype to "take over the land for God." But the wind, earthquake and fire pass away without the true wick of transformation on which to burn. Inside, the hearts of faithful ministers, activists, and protesters remain hollow, unsatisfied without the waters of eternal life and rest in the Lord.
C. Identity Confusion and Pollution
One of the outstanding spiritual calamities of building the anointing on its own sand has been its application in reinforcing natural identity. By mistaking the temporal effects of the anointing for transformation, the vision for personal and corporate identity in anointing-based churches has been deeply confused and polluted. Because the work of anointing generally has positive effects, because its presence is assumed to prove one's righteousness, and because it falls upon all men, those who live by it have no reason to believe they must separate from the intrinsic identity they share with the descendants of Adam. Instead, they see the anointing as the means of baptizing nations and false churches into the same righteousness they believe themselves to already have.
The work of transformation begins by calling us out as a people marked by no other name than that of the Lord Jesus Christ. That call to new identity and the process of its purification requires inward - and to a certain extent outward- separation from the world. Such separation is carried out at the expense of fraternity with earthly society. This means giving up the world's inherited family, national, and racial identities, and its acquired social, political, and occupational identities. Separation is also carried out at the expense of relationship to false brethren and churches who flagrantly pollute the simplicity of the gospel of Christ through worship of laws, sacraments, days, traditions, and additional gods. All separation incurs persecution and rejection from the world at large for its peculiarity.
But the effect of those who have the anointing without this foundation is to use it for reaffirming earthly identities. This results in dilution of true Christian identity and the immunizing of the world against the hard gospel of transformation. The anointing has become a substitute for separation that amplifies the trap of trying to become all things to all men without first becoming unlike them through purification. With each new unfolding manifestation of the anointing, this confusion increases.
- False National Destinies
Identity confusion is an especially common element undergirding all the late Charismatic movements, especially Kingdom Now, Warfare-Intercession, and the Prophetic Movement. Most major proponents of these movements are rooted in a vision that misappropriates the anointing to "Christianize" fleshly bodies of nations and people groups. Transformation teaches us that the adamic identity is put to death in Christ such that in Him is "neither Jew nor Greek, barbarian nor Scythian." But many in the current corporate moves now preach on various "national destinies," envisioning the preserving of mankind's racial and national identities in Adam as an offering to the Lord.
Instead of calling men to
"save themselves from a perverse generation" and warning of coming judgment, many in the
Intercession Movement teach that God has a "special plan" for the nations, one
that says nothing to them about losing their identity to enter the true
kingdom. Other Christian political
movements related to Kingdom Now
seek to "christianize"
In similar vein, the current Prophetic Movement's emphasis on rulership and "taking the land for God" is focused on the externals of temporal society and government, not on conquering the human soul through transformed identity. In some extreme Latter Rain quarters, this anointing of adamic identity is used to define an eternal transformation that believes all men will eventually be saved and there is no final difference between sheep and goats. Some have gone so far to teach that even the archdeceiver satan will eventually be redeemed.
- False Spiritual Unity
Another fruit of identity pollution occurs where the anointing is used to promote a unity among churches and movements that has no base in genuine transformation. When the anointing falls on those who worship saints, statues, and other false gods, as well as others who have no seed of eternal life, those deceived by the anointing believe they have a basis for unity with these. In reality, the actual basis of this unity is the commonality of the sign-seeking mindset these groups share.
Even where all ministries involved have the genuine seed of new identity through the true gospel, the anointing only gives a veneer of unity to ministries whose hearts are not marked by the transparent brokenness upon which lasting unity can alone be built. The veneer looks good, but has no depth. When the anointing dissipates, so does the unity.
Without the work of the cross to sever us from adamic identity, all preaching on unity and national destiny is deceived. Genuine transformation first calls us to lose all sense of identity in this life, including our artificial religious identities with their sectarian names and Nicolaitan titles. All sense of identity in race, sex, nationality, including "spiritual tribalism," must go. This must happen before we can reach out in true unity to the body of Christ or reach out to the world with the promise of true destiny in Christ. We are to be a singularly peculiar people unlike any in the earth, bearing a unique image in Jesus Christ. Only from this platform can we minister the temporary anointing that leads to man's permanent healing through obtaining the Lord's new name (Rev. 3:12).
D. Anointing-Sponsored Idolatry
When we boil it all down, the above fruits of anointing-centered ministry are summed in one word: idolatry. This is hard to swallow, but it is the absolute truth. Idolatry is the replacing of the Creator by the creation. Spiritual idolatry occurs when spiritual tools given to lead us back to the Creator keep us bound in devotion to the creation. The anointing is a creation-centered ministry. When it is severed from the ministry of inward transformation and esteemed in its own right, the objects of its ministry become the objects of our devotion. Thus the anointing becomes the sponsor of idolatry.
It was Jesus who said "an evil generation seeks for a sign" (Lk. 11:29). For 100 years, the identifying and seeking of the baptism of the Holy Spirit as an anointing-centered event rooted in a sign has provided the platform for strengthening the evil of the jewish sign-seeking mindset in believers. By establishing a sign as the evidence and proof of the baptism of the Spirit, the true evidence of a transformed life has been bypassed, and the mindset of idolatry permanently established in its place.
To this day, we have been perpetually divorced from entering the Lord's true heart through the relentless idolizing of His acts. We follow signs, wonders, and miracles. We exalt the anointing and everything and everyone it touches or is ministered through. Severed from transformation salvation, the moves of the anointing represent the largest idolatrous enterprise known in Church history.
E. Inability to Permanently Change the Earth
Under the anointing's sponsorship, the overall 20th century church has
reinforced worship of temporal reality, trying to make present life into something it cannot
nor ever will be. When the
anointing becomes subverted from its purpose of ministering to the eternal, the
changes it makes on the earth remain superficial and hence do not last. The irony here is that the professed
goal of all anointing-based movements has been to bring lasting change to the
earth for the good of the
Psalms 11:3 says, "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" The story of the anointing restoration has largely been that of a house built on sand without foundation. Therefore the righteous have been able to do little to bring lasting transformation to their societies.
Consider the record. Never has the Church seen more display of miraculous power and less ability to convert the world. With each passing generation, the power of anointing intensifies-- so much so that anointed believers now serve on the very forefront of society, prophesying to kings and rulers about the destinies of their countries. Yet the actual lasting change made in the hearts of men is less than ever.
Instead, the work of anointing is inoculating men against transformation. As the apostle says, "On account of you, the gospel is blasphemed." The Church of the Anointing is more a cause of mocking, scorn, and derision than of fear and respect. Churches are filled with multitudes of anointed believers and pastors who speak in tongues, prophesy, and heal, yet have little victory over the sins that plague lost mankind. Their hearts are consumed with the affairs of this life, ensnared in the same circumstances that arrest all men.
The airwaves are filled with media evangelists who have reduced the anointing to the level of a market commodity. Many of these have been downed by hidden lusts and sexual perversions for which their anointed teachings offered no cure. Churches glued together by the anointing suffer from the fickleness of uncommitted members motivated by what the anointing can do for them and what they can achieve with its use. Yet these same members leave once offended over any situation that forces them to take up the cross in true relationship. Such a testimony has contributed to society's lawlessness, not challenged it!
F. The Anointing Is Still Authentic
It is indeed ironic that the house of the Lord with its ability to touch the earth through the anointing has effected so little permanent change. Yet the failure of the anointing ministry to be grounded in transformation does not mean the ministry has not been authentic. When Jesus spoke about the house built on sand, He did not question the authenticity of the house itself. When he labeled as workers of iniquity those who used the anointing as evidence of their righteousness, he did not challenge the validity of their works.
The House of Anointing's failure to build upon the transformation does not deny the validity of the house. Most of the actual anointed ministry has been genuine. People have been healed, have prophesied and wrought great feats by the thousands and hundreds of thousands. Despite the flawed contexts of carnality, immorality, doctrinal imbalances, and other dishonorable features attributable to the vessels of the anointing, God's Spirit has worked through them.
Those who stand outside the house and see its missing foundation tend to dismiss the entire house as "not of God." This is a great stumblingblock to many, but especially to those who have tasted the genuine wine of transformation. The lack of transformation behind the anointing movements makes it easy to dismiss the entire move as false in origin. But no. We must hurtle this stumblingblock, boldly affirming that God's Spirit has indeed rained upon His people in these last days.
G. The Coming Collapse
Though the House of Anointing is authentic, without foundation in the cross, it is destined to fall. Both Jesus and Paul refer to the testing and fall of the house of the Lord (Mt. 7:24-27; I Cor. 3:10-15.) The house Jesus speaks of falls because it is not built on the foundation of transformation. The house spoken of by Paul collapses because it is built with combustible materials that cannot stand the test of fire. The "gold" and "precious metal" that passes the test refers to the work of transformation. The "wood, hay, and stubble" pictures carnally activated anointing ministry.
These illustrations tell us that the increasing wind and fire of God's Spirit is to become so great that eventually, only those whose lives and churches are built according to the work of transformation will be able to stand it. There is indeed a remnant minority in the House of Anointing who will stand at that day. But all the untransformed believers, ministries and churches in this house will eventually find themselves destroyed by its intensity: "Who may abide in the day of His appearing, for He is like a refiner's fire.... Without holiness no man shall [be able to stand to] see the Lord" (Mal. 3:2; Heb. 12:14).
- The Inflated House of Cards
A tragic irony is soon to appear in which the House of Anointing will be disqualified from participating in the final outpouring of which it has prophesied. With each restoration of anointing, the ministry has grown further from its true foundation. Like a house of cards it has been built impressively higher and higher until finally, one card will expose its utter flimsiness and the entire deck will collapse. There will yet come one final restoration of anointing that will bring down the entire house.
Using another analogy, the 20th century anointing has become as an
inflated currency no longer backed by the precious metal it once represented. A prophetic parallel
actually exists between the inflationary economy of the
Gold speaks of transformation. At the same time that gold was being
questioned as the standard of
- The Necessity of Submitting to Transformation Discipline
Entrance into transformation is an absolute requisite if those of us from the House of Anointing hope to withstand the nearing tidal wave of Spirit that will try the substance of our salvation. We must awake from our stuporous deception-- our "Spirit-sponsored" commitment to identity with this world, and our blindness to true righteousness. A call is now going forth to all who can hear-- a preparatory trumpet to give the descendants of this house the opportunity to open their souls to the work of the cross and bring eternal value to the ministry with which they have been entrusted.
II. "And Also to the Greek:" A Foundation With No House
This section speaks to all believers who trace their spiritual lineage to the restoration of transformation reality laid between the time of the Pietists and the sprouts of Latter Rain "sonship." From the entirety of this heritage, there are three main streams. First are the remnants of the Holiness and Keswick ministries formed from the great 19th century Revivals. This includes all Holiness, Wesleyan, and Methodist bodies that still affirm entire sanctification and all bodies of Keswick descent who teach the Deeper Life experience.
Second are the many isolated churches and individuals of mystic persuasion whom the Lord has taken "from scratch" to discover the depths of the cross without anyone else to help them. Some of these have been reached by the writings of past authors such as Madame Guyon, A.W Tozer, Watchman Nee, and Andrew Murray. Hearing the call of the prophet, these "unparented" transformation disciples have left whatever churches they may have known to that time, and set out to minister in the "wilderness" to whoever might listen.
Finally are those saints who
by upbringing or happenstance
partook of the "sonship"
emphasis from the 1950's
Latter Rain Movement. Scattered throughout
The numbers who relate to the Lord primarily through the work of the cross are much smaller than those who relate to Him through the anointing. The inward journey of transformation is far more difficult to endure and its costs are far higher. As well, the work is more highly opposed by the enemy and the obstacles raised against it are formidable. Moreover, what emphasis the cross has received passed its peak over a century ago. For all these reasons, fewer believers today have their first encounter with the Lord through the work of transformation or ever even hear of it.
Among all transformation disciples, a wide array of attitudes exists toward the anointing . These range from simple ignorance, to fear, to secret disdain, to open hostility. In some quarters, the anointing is acknowledged in theory only, or else practiced on a very restricted basis. Whichever the attitude, its effect is the same: the saints are prohibited or discouraged from building a house upon their foundation. Remaining devoted to the work of the cross, transformation saints continue to build, rebuild, and then repeatedly polish their foundation. Yet because they reject the current front-line anointing, their foundation stagnates, failing to fulfil the Lord's purpose for them in the earth.
A. The Deceptions
Where the House of Anointing has been mired in devotion to the anointing through its sign-seeking mindset, the House of Transformation has rejected the anointing through its stronghold of greek-minded self-control. This has led it to the opposite premise in which Transformationists measure the anointing by the transformation. They assume that all the anointing one needs is already covered in the experience of the cross and the love of the Father. From this premise, their stronghold has been fed through its own set of lies. In this section, we will prosecute with equal vigor the nature and results of these deceptions in the lives of the transformation champions who oppose the anointing.
The Premise: Possession of transformation experience assumes
possession of all anointing.
Today, most transformation disciples trace their origin to the 19th century Holiness and Keswick movements. On first glance, the disdain these believers show toward the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements would lead us to believe they are entirely against the work of anointing. Yet in the next breath, these believers glory in the stories of the past Revivals by which their movements were born, Revivals conducted by the power of the anointing!
Such doublemindedness is the firstfruit of the false assumption that possession of the transformation equals possession of all the anointing there is to have. Believers descended from historic transformation movements accept the manifestations of common or even supernatural anointing available at the birth of their movement because they believe those manifestations were inherent in that movement. But they reject whatever contemporary manifestations are occurring today outside their circle of influence.
This inconsistent unbelief has produced a bizarre historic spectrum along which varying degrees of anointing are accepted and rejected. Any group, for example, of 1875 Keswick descent will only acknowledge the common anointing for the power to preach or the hearing of God's voice as an "inner impression." Some 1905-vintage "third blessing" groups will acknowledge the supernatural anointing for gifts of tongues, healing, and perhaps an isolated prophecy. Still further, 1950 "sonship" proponents will even accept the prophetic and apostolic offices. Yet the earlier of these reject the latter and none will accept today's great corporate expressions of these anointings.
That the anointing is not inherent in the transformation is exposed however by the record and the fruit of today's groups. Those who glory in the past anointing fail to realize that the success of the original movements to which they look back depended on the current anointing of that day. Without the current anointing of 1880, the Holiness Movement would have gone nowhere. Likewise, the 1949 sonship message depended on the anointing of 1949 for its spread.
The anointing was not inherent in any of these transformation movements but was God's sovereign gift at that time to prosper each transformation restoration. As the 20th century outpourings moved on past the work of 19th century transformation, the Holiness and Keswick fathers made the same fatal assumption their descendants still promote. Believing their transformation experience to embrace all valid anointing, they rejected the further outpouring of the anointing. Thus it left them, and their movements died.
Because they still look back, transformation descendants have even lost what anointings their fathers had. Today's meetings are a wilted resemblance of movements once burning with the fire of common anointing. They are marked by atmospheres ranging from inert to oppressed, featuring dry teaching on a theoretical experience into which few have entered. In some groups exists weighty oppression based on legalized principles of holiness. Among them is little emotional joy or expression of any sort. A spirit of control and inhibition forbids free expression of "Christ in us, the hope of glory."
Correspondingly, the effect of today's Transformationists on their surroundings is negligible. In sonship groups, anointed revelation abounds on the implications of unique identity in Christ and the goal of glorification-- yet it spreads nowhere nor even makes the changes it calls for in its own people. Tending toward a strict inward, isolated preoccupation with their own importance, transformation descendants have little evangelistic impact on their surroundings.
All this shows us that the anointing is a separate, necessary work to transformation which we cannot assume we have just because we have experienced the cross. Oil runs out! It must be replenished if transformation is to go forward. The oil of 1880 is gone. The oil of 1906 is gone. The oil of 1949 is gone. We must have today's oil if we are to see in the night.
This is the warning to the foolish virgins. It is also the warning of Lk. 8:18, "Take heed how you hear... to him that has not shall be taken that which he seems to have." If we want our love for Christ to burn once more, we must come out from our deceptive assumption about "possessing all anointing," and embrace today's anointing. We must recognize the separateness of these works and their need for each other with all their respective fruits and manifestations.
Devotion to the premise we have just studied is fed by the following lies:
Deception #1: The anointing is unnecessary to those undergoing transformation. At best, it is a crutch for those who have yet to discover the deeper truths of the cross and the Father's love.
This deception often belongs to those who have entered the work of the cross independently of the historic transformation churches and have otherwise never had any exposure to the work of anointing. It further includes many who began their journey strictly in the House of Anointing, but upon discovering transformation, proceeded to throw out that house as a totally false work because of its failure to teach on the cross.
Those who think of the anointing as a crutch tend to have a perfectionist nature. Recognizing the strictly temporal nature of the anointing and knowing the eternal substance of the internal call, these seek to head straight for perfection without having to pass through any of the operations of the Holy Spirit's giftings or callings. Their idea is that the gifts and callings may be "o.k." for those who still fall short of pursuing only the Lord, but they are a mark of immaturity.
Having seen the utter abuse of these gifts and functions in the House of Anointing, perfectionist followers of the Lord deny the means appointed for reaching the goal. They proceed to exclude not only all gifts and offices, but all body-life and earth-related involvement as well. This usually leads to a course of personal spiritual oblivion, or to joining with others to form a cult. Such groups often dwell in a mode of revelational interchange that is so "deep" and "spiritual" it has no relevance.
Attempting to live out their relationship with the Lord without the anointing or any relationship to the creation, perfectionists develop an opposite inward idolatry to that of the House of Anointing. They come to esteem the death process itself as the focus of worship. The concepts of death and of the cross replace Jesus Himself as the center of devotion. From here, their worship degenerates into an internal mysticism that constantly analyzes thoughts, feelings, and the inner workings of the soul. It precludes a true gazing on the Lord, producing a depressive self-gazing masquerading as spirituality.
Denying the work of the anointing is to actually deny part of the process that leads to genuine transformation. God intended man to tend a garden as a means of knowing Him. After man fell, He intended man to interact with the earthly for working out relationship with Himself. The anointing is a further dimension of that outworking which the process of transformation must encounter. True transformation cannot continue where the anointing is not engaged for grappling with the realities of present earthly life.
Perfectionist believers are so far ahead of the cloud that they can bring no redemption to others. For these, perfectionism and/or the hope of glorification becomes its own end. This occurs for example in sonship streams where many have made erroneous claims to having already become the "manifest sons of God." Perfectionists mistakenly believe they can enter the promised land themselves... so they end up frying in the foredesert, isolated from the protection of the cloud and the pillar-- the marks of the anointing.
Deception #2: Whatever true anointing remains to be given to the Church will only be given to believers who have received the work of transformation in their lives. Anyone else claiming to have the anointing is a false minister with a false anointing.
This deception is largely owned by transformation disciples who secretly long to taste of the anointing, but are offended by those who can lay claim to supernatural ministry while obviously lacking the work of the cross. Multitudes of sincere believers who have known the depths of cross-bearing discipleship have waited at the sidelines to see some glimpse of transformation in the lives of the anointed that might justify their own plunge into that realm.
Despite the offense, however, a deception remains upon these waiting saints. In our expansive study, we have seen that the anointing is a gift without merit. The rain of the Spirit falls on the just and unjust. On some it brings up fruit, on others thorns whose end is destruction (Heb. 6:7-8). The Lord heals, prospers, prophesies, and ministers to and through the unworthy as well as the worthy.
Because the anointing is available to all without merit, our waiting to see it first properly displayed in others is exposed as a smoke screen. By saying we want to see the anointing operate in a "transformed" people before we will receive it, we are really saying that we will not receive a gift of God unless it comes in a certain package acceptable to us. That "package" is our own greek mindset with its appraisal of how the transformed life should acceptably manifest. This deception allows us to excuse ourselves from encountering anything that does not fit with our limited definition of transformation.
What ultimately keeps us from plunging into foreign realms of the
anointing is our fear of the unknown,
our inability to trust the Spirit to
keep us from deception, our pride
against being the focus of certain "ridiculous" manifestations of the anointing,
and our envy of those who display the
anointing without having paid our prices.
If this were not so, we
would not hesitate to accept any gift of God no matter who else in the world
pretended to manifest it-- whether tongues, or prophecy, or healing, or
whatever. But like Naaman who was at first too proud to wash in the dirty
B. Greek-Mindedness and Its Fruits
Ultimately, all the deceptions by which we reject some form of the anointing stem from our own mind's attempt to comprehend, catalog, document, and define the work of the cross as it occurs in our own lives. Everything we experience in that painful process passes through the filter of our own knowledge of good and evil to become held by our understanding of it. As the cross continues ministering to the many avenues of our souls, our "greek mind" uses its tracking of the process to remain in some sort of control of the work.
But our mind cannot track the anointing. Because of this, the anointing is God's means to kill this hidden stronghold. Only the anointing can apply the cross to inner areas of our mind that are past our mind's grasp of the transformation process itself! Through its foolishness and incomprehensibility the anointing takes us out of control, putting us to death in an area nothing else can.
So long as our minds can grasp the process of transformation, we are in control. When we are in control, we are not dead! To stay alive, our stronghold convinces us to reject the anointing ministry in the name of "protecting the truth of the cross" over which it has made itself guardian. But in rejecting the anointing, we are actually saying no to the cross in the deepest area we need it.
Once the process of transformation becomes confined by our knowledge of it, bitter fruit begins to sprout. These fruits poison our relationships and stunt any continued progress in real transformation. They are also the stumblingblocks that keep anointing-based saints from surrendering to the cross:
1. Personal and Corporate Legalism
Uncrucified knowledge of the work of the cross leads us quickly to develop codes of expected conduct based on our own transformational experiences. These codes may be personal and unspoken. For example, once we are led to forsake a certain pleasure, we may naturally conclude it to be "unlawful" or "unspiritual" for any Christian to ever again enjoy that pleasure. From that time on we will judge ourselves or others as guilty of sinning or lacking holiness if ever "caught" partaking of it.
Such personal codes develop into clearly outlined codes of corporate conduct by which a church judges its members, other churches and other movements. Because the law only works death, churches and fellowships built upon legalized principles of holiness engender bondage in their people and die. Such legalism poisoned the entire Holiness Movement, anchoring within it the stronghold of unbelief that disabled it from receiving the outpouring of tongues. Dead, joyless bondage is the legacy of these churches today.
2. Self-Preoccupational Analysis
The work of the cross is a very personal work dedicated to re-creating our identity in Christ's image. But when tracked by our understanding, the attention of our identity is removed from Christ onto the inner workings of the process. This self-preoccupation degenerates into morbid, critical analysis of every thought and motive to determine if we are "in the flesh" or "in the Spirit." It leads to heavy oppression under constant self-examination whereby we try to bear our own sins and "earn" our way out of guilt through meditation.
On the negative side, our analysis spreads to evaluating the inner spirituality of those around us. We secretly judge whether others are "in the flesh" or "in the Spirit." (In most cases, no one we ever judge is found to be "in the Spirit.") This judgment erects a silent wall that brings death to all our relationships in the body. On the positive side, our knowledge of good converts our experience of the Father's love into a self-centered event and then a legalized experience. Every restoration of transformation from Monasticism to the Keswick Movement was dogged by this focus on inner experience and its explanations.
3. Identity Worship and Pride
When tracked by our own knowledge, the process of transformation causes us to focus on the developing uniqueness of our new identity. We grow to esteem our uniqueness above the Lord in whom we are named. Accented by persecution, we come into a sense of elitism for our specialness, entertaining the "we are the chosen ones" syndrome with which Elijah also struggled (I Ki. 19:14).
Elitism leads us to secretly commend ourselves for the sufferings of obedience we have experienced which others have not. This pride exudes from us as a natural condescension toward anyone we perceive has not paid the same prices of faithfulness that we have. Entire churches and movements are built on such spiritual elitism.
4. Negative Critical Fellowship ("Anti-fellowship")
The work of transformation not only causes inner pain but is almost always accompanied by rejection and persecution from family, friends, and less obedient or mature churches. The knowledge of our sufferings at the hands of such people often becomes the catalyst for fellowship between those of like rejections who find each other in the Lord. The immediate joy and comfort of such fellowship quickly turns into a negative "anti-fellowship" where unity is based on who and what transformation saints oppose.
For these saints, the evils of their persecutors together with their own sufferings become the reference point for a critical commiseration which is called "fellowship." The atmosphere of these meetings is marked by a cloud of bitterness. Here, the faithful perpetually rehearse their pains for Christ before one another, rehashing the issues for which they were rejected and disfellowshipped from other churches.
Commiserating saints reject the healing anointings of joy and gladness given for binding up inner wounds. Toward believers who are experiencing an anointing of life and joy, they maintain an attitude of sour grapes, denying that such are experiencing anything real in the Lord. Joyful saints are dismissed because to the sour, joy and gladness are proofs that one obviously has not born the marks of the cross.
5. Isolation and Cultural Irrelevance
Separation from families, friends, and churches is a natural part of transformation. But the uncrucified knowledge of that separation leads transformation saints into a straight path of isolation that remains untempered by any balancing or corrective fellowship. Separation moves from a consequence of to a focus for practice. Groups that preach isolation-style transformation insulate themselves through a spirit of suspicion and mistrust of all on the outside who do not "bear the sufferings of Christ" with them.
This isolation becomes wedded to the spirit of elitism leading to the belief that "we alone are the faithful remnant of our region." In such groups, doctrines are often developed that redefine salvation in terms of specific sanctification experiences and/or practices associated with sanctification. The deception is so strong that an individual or a group may come to believe they alone are the true church of their generation or even of the entire Church Age.
Even for those who do not succumb to this extreme, the intense isolation prohibits any genuine ministry to the surrounding world. Caged in a fortress of defensive mentality, transformation disciples become confined to the original cultural context in which they first received the work of the Lord. Without the updated anointing to relate them to the ever-changing world, discipleship-based groups and churches become culturally irrelevant.
Today the land is scattered with the remnants of transformation movements who remain bound to the dress, customs, and technology of various yesteryears,-- some 30 or 40 years old, some 100, 200 or more years out of date. Other groups actually seek to insure isolation through altering their culture to imitate other peoples and eras they feel are more righteous. This is especially seen in fellowships that try to recreate Jewish culture and keep Old Testament rituals and customs.
6. Rational Asceticism and Stoicism
Uncrucified knowledge of self-denial logically carried out leads to ascetic practices and stoic attitudes that promote the negative consequences of transformation as ends to be emulated. In the extreme this leads to various forms of physical self-punishment. Those who practice this go beyond rejecting the creation-centered anointing to rejecting all creation as an evil from which no pleasure is to be afforded.
Ascetic saints seek to live out a mystical union with the Father without reference to any awareness of the surrounding material world or population. This focus on losing consciousness of the surrounding world mirrors buddhism. Those who mimic these acts of self-denial believe they are growing into the image of Christ. In reality, they come to mirror only the hard image of John the Baptist, Jeremiah, and other prophets whose lives did not reflect the graces of soul-healing brought by the anointing.
C. The Desperate Need For the Anointing
Not every individual or church that champions the work of transformation is characterized by these fruits in their extremes. Nevertheless the seeds of the mindset that produces them are planted in the soil of every true work of transformation from the start. Those seeds then bear the above fruits in some measure. All disciples which have not allowed themselves to enter into the "irrational" work of the anointing with its seeming inconsistencies remain at the mercy of their knowledge of good and evil. Only through surrender to the work of the anointing can we see the Lord crucify our control of the transformation process.
We also need the anointing for its soothing curative qualities to the soul. The anointing is the healing oil and wine by which God restores us from the effects of the cross. The anointing lifts our countenance through joy when we have no strength to be happy. The anointing eases our digestion of the bread of life which first works death. The anointing restores us to unity with others, enabling us to lose awareness of our negative experiences to focus upon their needs.
As transformation saints we need the anointing to build a house on our foundation which the Lord may inhabit. This house is the ministry of the saints, the body of Christ. It is all the saints, not just those who have grown to the same place we have in transformation maturity. By participating in this house we engage life's affairs in preparation for earthly rule with Christ. If now we fail to exercise the rule of inward transformation through anointed encounter with the earth, how shall we reign with Him over the earth then?
The error of the House of Anointing may be that it has built a house on no foundation. But the House of Transformation has built no house at all. It has only polished the foundation and continued to dig a whole in the earth beneath it-- down, ever downward. This is the meaning of the buried talent from the parable of the talents (Mt.25:24-30). A prophetic warning goes forth to all saints who have settled into their mystical/holiness/deeper life experience and theology:
"You have not reached the promised land nor will you except you enter into all the work of anointing God has restored to this day. It is for your life and health, and for that of the whole Church. Will you settle to die in the desert ahead of the cloud?"
III. Effecting the Reconciliation
God desires to remove the wall between the transformed church and the anointed church. He intends to remove the barrier between the foundational "hidden" church and the structural "visible" church, that he might make of two "one new body" (Eph. 2:14-18 paraphrased). A healthy tree has both a strong root system that taps into an underground water source and a strong branch system visible to all men. To this day, there have been two churches: a "root system" church with no outward trunk or branch life; and a "visible tree" church with no root system. The one bears no fruit. The other bears sickly fruit that poisons the earth's inhabitants.
This chapter appeals for the reconciliation of the these two churches. It is an appeal to churches and an appeal to individual saints. We must examine our personal life. As leaders, we must examine our oversight and directional vision of the local body of saints for which we are responsible. We have to look at ourselves honestly, ask tough questions, accept hard answers, and take clear action.
As individuals we must first ask, "Is my life characterized only by the anointing or by the work of transformation? Am I a slave to a jewish 'sign-seeking' mentality or to a greek mindset of self-controlled wisdom?" Depending on where we lie, we must ask ourselves questions from the appropriate end.
If my life is marked exclusively by transformation truth, and I look at myself as a faithful cross-bearing disciple of the Lord, I must ask myself,
-Where have I failed to acknowledge and receive the work of the anointing in my life? - Have I rejected tongues, prophecy, healings, miracles, and energized front-line ministry through a large visible body of saints?
-Where is my life stifled by my deceptive attitudes concerning the anointing? -Where have I scoffed at the anointing because it doesn't conform to my image of God's attitude toward sin and sinners?
- Is my life characterized by bitterness and criticism of those who have rejected me? - How have I belittled immature brethren who know only of the anointing? - Do I compare myself with those who have not paid the prices I have to follow the Lord? - Do I share what fellowship I have only with those who understand the deeper life truths God has worked in me?
- Where am I bound by asceticism, mysticism, stoicism, and even gnosticism? - Where have I replaced Christ with my self-preoccupational analysis of my own inner experience of Him? - Where have I rejected the anointing because I don't see how it can contribute to the process of transformation? - Where have I isolated myself and given into the secret pride that believes "I alone am left" to serve the Lord?
If my life is characterized primarily by the anointing and I count myself as one who is on the "cutting edge" of God's latest move, the questions are just as probing:
- Where have I failed to give up everything from this life for Christ? - To what secret idols do I cling? - What do I most fear the Lord will take from me if I truly consecrate myself to Him? - Where have I used my belief in His anointing to feed my devotion to self-gratification and idolatry of this world? - How have I used the anointing to hide from the Lord's deeper dealings with me?
- How have I polluted my Christian identity by using the anointing to reinforce my natural family, cultural, and religious identities? - Where have I been unwilling to part with cultural preferences and comforts? - Where have I yielded to the fear of men and peer pressure to conform to the traditional religious agenda? - How have I glorified the outward works of buildings, technology, and ministries of flesh that have come under the anointing?
- Where have I been a persecutor and maligner of those who dared to pay the prices and cut the ties I was afraid or unwilling to cut? - Where have I railed against cross-bearing prophets who offended my good senses, convicted me by their lifestyle, and dared to point out sin which I dismissed as "condemnation?" - Where have I rationalized the anointing as proof of God's approval of my life despite known sin?
- Where have I used the anointing to preserve my life in this world and make a name for myself? - How have I merchandised the anointing, using my gifts to obtain personal gain, influence, and profit? - Where have I scoffed at the teachings of suffering and self-denial because they don't fit my image of God's goodness?
These are the questions we must face as individuals. Those in leadership who serve as voices for the Church must answer the same questions on the corporate level and give a much more severe account. Leaders in both the houses of transformation and anointing will be held accountable for wherever they have served to maintain the wall between these two works of God.
IV. A Repentant Overcoming Remnant and a Fully Restored Baptism of the Spirit
In the final analysis, the ability to face the above questions and make the changes necessary depends on one thing: returning to our first love. Only by the power of love will we ultimately overcome the wall of our personal and corporate stronghold to partake of the other side and complete our salvation. This love is our love for the Lord manifested through overcoming love toward those who live under the bondage of the opposite stronghold.
For transformationists, it means the love that can go back to the place where we consciously chose to reject the Charismatics for their foolishness. It means saying "no" to the fear of losing the control over our own purging process that comes by submitting to all the anointing. For those devoted to the anointing, it means the love that will go back to that first unconditional surrender never made to the absolute Lordship of Christ and to His inward purging. It means saying "no" to following after any more signs, wonders and personalities.
For some the journey back to first love will be further than for others. For many, the journey is too far back, beyond recovery in this lifetime. Yet in the end, it is not a question of whether the wall will come down and the body be reconciled. It is not a question of whether there will be an overcoming remnant. It is only a question of who will leap the wall and join with others to break it down. Who will enter into reconciled relationship with those on the other side by first letting God complete the missing half of their spiritual walk? Who will humble themselves to recognize their need and actually "stoop" to receive ministry from those of the opposing side? Will you? Will I?
To date, no generation has developed the necessary love to overcome the stronghold of opposing mindsets yet blocking the Church's access to Christ's fullness and to glorification. But let us make no mistake. God will bring forth such a generation. The stars which converged, collided, and parted ways 100 years ago have completed another cycle. What was lost by the generation of 1870-1915 is about to be found. A new overcoming love in Christ is about to be entered that has never been pressed. Already the seeds planted by pioneering saints making this crossover are sprouting, soon to bring forth one new full harvest of the Father.
This dawning House of Love will not be without its sign. To this completed body will be released the baptism of "Spirit and fire" (Mt. 3:11). A single transforming anointed baptism bringing men into the full experiences of Jn. 7:37 and Acts 2 is ready to appear. It will deliver from the root of carnal nature and fully release into energized ministry of unhindered spiritual powers leading to final glory. As Noah's flood was produced by both rain and subterranean fountains, so this fully sanctifying, anointed baptism of Spirit will produce the complete earth-covering knowledge of the Lord prophesied by Habakkuk.
The separated houses of transformation and anointing as we have known them are about to disintegrate. Of these two a new generation fashioning one new body marked by one Spirit baptism is appearing. This is the household that will inherit all the kingdom promises. To this house the Lord Jesus will return to take up His glorified abode.
Where then will we appear at the erecting of this House? How shall we be found at the Lord's arrival? A voice and a call to repentance is going out to the Church never heard before. Can we hear it? Will we respond to it? To every reader the sound of the trumpet goes forth:
"Will you be part of the complete House of Anointed Transformation?
Are you able to be baptized with the full baptism of the Anointed Savior? "
[Chapter 10: THE
MILLENNIUM: A PREPARED EARTH FOR A GLORIFIED
] TABLE OF
[Chapter 10: THE MILLENNIUM: A PREPARED EARTH FOR A GLORIFIED PEOPLE ]
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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