“Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm” (1 Chronicles 16:22 and Psalm 105:15). Is this Scripture saying that we aren’t allowed to question religious leaders and hold them accountable to God’s word, and if we do, we’re “touching God’s anointed” and something bad will happen to us?
The historical context behind 1 Chronicles 16:22 shows that “Touch not mine anointed, and do My prophets no harm” is part of a thanksgiving song that king David wrote after Israel won a war against the Philistines. Israel’s victory inspired king David to reflect on the many times that God protected Israel from being destroyed by their enemies.
The Hebrew word that David used for “touch” means to physically strike someone. King David was warning anyone who would dare inflict physical violence against Israel and God’s prophets. He wasn’t saying that we aren’t allowed to question religious leaders and hold them accountable to God’s word.
The widespread attitude that no one is allowed to question, correct, or expose religious leaders is false, idolatrous, dangerous, and contrary to the word of God. All throughout Scripture, God sent believers (such as Moses, Nathan, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Elijah, Elisha, and many others) to question, rebuke, and expose religious leaders in Israel.
The New Testament is full of examples of believers publicly rebuking and exposing false prophets, and warning believers to stay away from false teachers (see Matthew 3:7-10; Matthew 23, Matthew 24:11; John 10:1; John 10:12-13; Acts 17:11; Acts 20:28-30; 2 Corinthians 11:2-4; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Galatians 1:6-9; Galatians 2:11-14; 1 Timothy 1:3-4; 2 Timothy 3:1-9; 2 Timothy 4:3; Titus 1:10-14; 2 Peter 2; 1 John 2:18-23; 1 John 4:1-6; Jude; Revelations 2:2)
The Lord expects us to hold one another accountable and protect each other from spiritual harm by questioning, correcting, and (if need be) exposing religious leaders. We do this out of love for God, His word, and His people.
The belief that religious leaders are somehow exempt from accountability mainly stems from idolatry (the worship of men), Biblical illiteracy, an inflated view of leadership, and an unbiblical perspective of accountability.
The truth is that no one — no matter one’s title, position, or status — is above being questioned, corrected, and exposed if need be. Everyone is capable of falling into sin and error, therefore everyone is subject to being questioned and held accountable.
In Matthew 24:4-5, Jesus warned us that many false prophets would come in His name saying “I am the Christ” (which means “I am the anointed one”) and lead many people astray. This prophecy is being fulfilled today. Many false shepherds have come in Jesus’ name claiming to be “God’s anointed” when in fact, their fruit speaks to the contrary. This is why it is so important to discern the fruit of religious leaders who hide behind “touch not God’s anointed” to silence believers and dodge accountability (Matthew 7:15-20; 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22; Ezekiel 44:23; Malachi 3:18; 1 John 4:1).
The only leaders who don’t want you to question them and hold them accountable are false shepherds. They’re afraid of being exposed and losing followers, because their followers provide them with wealth, power, position, and a platform to influence the public. Beware of leaders who get defensive and angry when questioned and corrected. A hostile response is a sign of pride and guilt.
Who is “God’s anointed” anyway? Just because someone has a title, wealth, talent, a large following, and performs signs and wonders doesn’t mean they’re anointed. False prophets have all of the above, but they aren’t anointed (Exodus 8:7; Matthew 24:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelations 13:11-15).
The evidence of the anointing is the fruit of the Spirit, which is godly character (Galatians 5:22-23). But if someone consistently produces bad fruit (the works of the flesh listed in Galatians 5:19-21), there is no reason to believe that person is anointed or of God (1 John 3:4-10). A good tree cannot bear bad fruit.
The greatest example of what it means to be anointed is Jesus Christ. The term Christ/Messiah actually means “The Anointed One.” Jesus alone has the anointing or Holy Spirit without measure (John 3:34; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:9). He is more anointed than anyone else by virtue of His Divinity. Yet He didn’t walk around threatening people into silence with “Touch not God’s anointed!” and brag about how anointed He is. He demonstrated His anointing by serving others in humility as a bondservant (Luke 4:16-19; John 13:1-17; Philippians 2:5-8).
Serving others in humility is the mind of Christ. But where is this humility among religious leaders who pull rank and shout “touch not God’s anointed!”? Such leaders refuse to be accountable to God’s people and have a spirit of rebellion, which is witchcraft. They misuse and abuse the Scriptures to intimidate believers into silence and evade correction.
Religious leaders do not have a “special anointing” that places them on a higher level than other believers, or grants them immunity from being questioned, corrected, and exposed. All believers stand on equal-footing before the Cross of Christ and share in the same anointing or Holy Spirit.
In the kingdoms of men, leaders are not subject to ordinary citizens, and they use their position, influence, wealth, connections and create loopholes in the law to evade accountability. But in the Kingdom of God, we are to be different from the world and mutually accountable to one another and God’s word. There are no big “i’s” and little “you’s” in the body of Christ. A leader who power-postures and speaks and behaves as if he is not one of the sheep is a wolf.
Saints, don’t let anyone attempt to threaten you and muzzle your mouth by twisting Scripture. Empty threats of “God punishing you” for speaking the truth about religious leaders are nothing but vain curses that shall not alight. No weapon formed against you shall prosper.
There is no need to walk on eggshells and be afraid to question religious leaders and call out those who are living in sin and teaching false doctrine. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of love, power, and a sound mind. The righteous are as bold as a lion, not cowardly lions. In this age of apostasy, we must have a spiritual backbone to speak the truth in love, in season and out of season, whether anyone wants to hear it or not (2 Timothy 4:2-5).
22 thoughts on “Touch Not God’s Anointed”
Well said Evelyn…God bless!
i agree with you to a degree on this. But there are some very wonderful spirtual fathers. But the term has been used so loosely as to not have value these days. You are NOT a father without having a spritual relationship and fellowship with those who you would call sons or daughters. 1Cr 4:15
For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
Sister, you DO seem to have a way of getting right to the core of the real problems in today’s institutional church, and putting it into terms that sometimes one wants to laugh……., (at least before crying)….because these guys are serious! One could almost envision them wearing a sandwich board to the pulpit announcing they are “not to be touched”. All too many of the organized church pastors are so high up on their own pedestal, it surely must be hard to breathe, the air is so thin up there. If folks would get a little key word search on “Pastors”, they would soon find God didn’t have very much good to say about them. And in the NT, the pastor was NOT to be THE key player in their assemblies. But rather a servant overseer, which, by the way, I can’t find a place where being pastor was to be a paid position, much less, an exalted one.
The exaltation of “the pastor” is idolatry, and the same mindset/behavior we see from the Israelites in 1 Samuel 8. In the New Testament, we don’t see this exaltation of “the pastor” but rather, we see an exaltation of Jesus Christ. By the way some people act today, you would think John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He gave us PASTORS to rule over us, indoctrinate us into tithing, etc”
Another great work. May God continue to bless you!
Hi Evelyn, your teachings are very inspiring and brings great revelation! My husband and I were also disfellowshipped and excommunicated. At this moment I am sooooooo thankful! We often in our past church song and danced to a song called “Freedom”. I had no idea what it was to be free until their dismissal. Glory to God and thanks to Him for rescuing us.
Appreciate you and praying for you!
Glory to Jesus Christ! His Word is truly inspiring, revealing, and liberating. It’s not fun to be disfellowshiped and excommunicated, but God brings us to a place where we can see that it was a BLESSING to be ejected from churchianity. I often say that second to being born-again, the best experience of my life was being “kicked out” of the Harlot church. I will be emailing you soon. God bless and thank you for your prayers!~
Have you found a group to gather with yet? I am currently seeking something in Northwest Indiana or South suburbs of Chicago.
My husband and I are still getting settled in a new area, but we would love to fellowship with saints in our area — all in God’s timing and will. We trust that He will connect us to like-minded Believers in our area in due time.
Hi Evelyn..you were one of the first voices I heard talk about spiritual absue and the info you provided helped me leave a spiritually abusive institution about 7 months ago. I’m still trying to figure out what I learned that was true and what I learned that was false…so what is your understanding of the whole ‘father in the gospel’ preaching that’s going around? I came across 1 cor 4:15 which seems like it could support this movement. I would very much appreciate your insight. God bless, sis.
I’m beyond happy to hear that God has delivered you from a spiritually abusive institution. It’s common after leaving a false church to sort through doctrines, concepts, and practices. This is a normal part of the healing process.
As far as the “spiritual fathering” concept, it’s false and unbiblical. In Matthew 23, Jesus said to call no man on earth our “Father.” He wasn’t forbidding us from calling our biological fathers “father.” He was referring to calling a man our SPIRITUAL father, because we only have ONE Spiritual Father in Heaven. Religious leaders love to find loopholes to get around Jesus direct commandments, so they take Scriptures from Paul’s letters out of context and twist them to justify their desire to lord it over God’s flock. All Scripture is inspired by God, so one cannot use the apostolic letters to usurp or come against Jesus direct commandments.
Now, let’s deal with 1 Corinthians 4:15. Paul was speaking to Believers that he shared the Gospel with in Corinth. He compared his relationship to them as a father nurturing his children. He had a very closeknit relationship with them and took care of them the way a father takes care of his children. Now let’s compare Paul’s relationship with the Believers at Corinth to the CEO/employee-MASTER/slave relationship that today’s religious leaders have with their followers . . . . hopefully you can see that there is NO comparison between the 2. Paul gave up everything and was willing to be imprisoned and die for the Believers at Corinth. Today’s religious leaders have no such devoted, loving, sacrificial, closeknit relationship with their congregants. They don’t even know half of their congregant’s names, where they live, their struggles, weaknesses, and needs (financial, emotional, physical, etc). Many members of institutional-churches don’t even feel comfortable calling their leaders by their first name, they feel like they have to address them by their title(s) — so how is that a father/son relationship? So how can these leaders think that they are qualified to be called spiritual fathers when there is no personal relationship being cultivated? It’s silly when you think about it really.
Furthermore, when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 4:15, he wasn’t creating a “spiritual fathering” doctrine, and it wasn’t his intent for anyone else to take his letters to create a false doctrine. Peter wrote about people who don’t understand Paul’s letters and twist them to mean something different. Our standard for doctrine and conduct is Jesus Christ. He is the ultimate person that we look to in spiritual matters. And He said “call no man on earth your Spiritual Father”
Thank you for taking the time to respond. I definitely understand your point..my pastor was into that whole ‘father in the gospel’ thing but couldn’t remember my first name after 9 years!
After I read that I sighed. If after 9 years someone doesn’t know your name, that’s sad. It just shows that this “spiritual fathering” movement is phony. It’s about leaders wanting lordship over others, and not a real personal relationship with other Believers. Another thing I just realized is, many of these leaders haven’t ‘begotten’ anyone through the Gospel. Most of the people who follow them were already ‘Christians’ before they even met or joined their institutions. So how in the world are they ‘spiritual fathers’ to people that they didn’t beget? You know what I mean?
I think that’s what was so devastating for me and my husband is that we were gave our lives to the Lord at this man’s church..so we did look to him as a father figure. I remember thinking that he didn’t like me because he would ignore me and show favoritism to other members that I was ‘friends’ with. It felt very intentional. I now believe that he was manipulating me by purposely ignoring me…it kept me working harder for his approval. It was such an unhealthy situation. I have been unable to even communicate with members that were considered ‘friends’ because they defend this man no matter what… He is very good at guilting people into pledging loyalty to him. We also gave about $60k in the process and are now in
debt and struggling….following the teachings of Leroy Thompson instead of Jesus Christ. But thank God our eyes have been opened and we are healing from this abuse.
Thank you for letting me share our story 🙂
Wow! Thank you so much for sharing just that tid bit of your experience (because I’m sure there’s so much more you could say about what you went through & witnessed there). False guilt & shaming are often used in abusive churches, to emotionally manipulate people and dominate their mind. I hate that you went through that, but I’m beyond happy that your eyes have been opened.
Hi Evelyn! base on these two teachings on your blog, what is “strange fire” today compare to the two priests nadab and Abitha ? blessings!
Amen Rob, Nadab and Abitha are a fitting comparison for what’s going on today.
Hi Evelyn! where did you get that picture from, the bride of christ? looks like home to me , where I was born newfoundland, canada God bless!
Hey Rob = ) I got the photo from google images. I typed in “Bride of Christ.” It’s a beautiful photo.
Awesome commentary as usual sister. Continue to glorify Christ in all you do.
Thank you sis!
Wonderful article Evelyn! blessings!
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