And concerning the dead, that they rise: have you not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spoke unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: you therefore do greatly err. (Mark 12:26-27 KJ2000)
Ever since men have read about Elisha getting the mantle that was on Elijah, they have been trying to lay claim the anointing that was on some great man of God before he dies. Leonard Ravenhill once said, “I get calls from all over the world, everyone wants my anointing and mantle… but nobody wants my sackcloth and ashes.” When two of the disciples of Jesus asked that they might sit at His right hand and at His left in the Kingdom of God, Jesus said, “You know not what you ask. Are you able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” Jesus drank the cup of suffering and He was baptized in the death of the cross. If He had not, He would never have been able to overcome death and the grave for all of us and give us His Life. Jesus was tempted to just set up an earthly kingdom with Him as its head and to avoid the cross, yet He knew there was no comfortable short cut and was (and is) obedient to His Father to the very end. Satan also tempted Eve to get on a fast track to be “like God” by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and her act brought all manner of sin, suffering and death into the world… everything that God is NOT. Watch out for those evil seducers in the church that offer you an easier way to spiritual success other than the cross of Christ.
The latest twist to getting on the “fast track” to get a powerful anointing in Pentecostal circles is to go lie on the grave of a famous evangelist or miracle worker and “suck up” the anointing that was on them when they died. (The picture above is a young lady lying on the grave of Alexander Dowie.) They call it “Grave Sucking.” Never mind that there is nothing in the scriptures that point to this practice. The only “fast track” to walking in the anointing of the Spirit is death– death to self, that old Adamic nature in us– and being born anew of the Spirit of God. We will know success in God’s kingdom only as we are cut off from that old Adam, grafted into Christ, abide in Him as the True Vine, and allow HIM to produce HIS fruit through us by His Life and not our own. Paul made it clear that the gifts of the Spirit are given as HE wills and not according to our wishes. All we can do is abide IN the Son and rest while He brings forth the fruit the Father wants.
P.T. Barnum, the famous circus entrepreneur said, “There is a SUCKER born every day.” How apropos. It seems that at the rate deception is taking hold in the churches (prosperity teaching, church growth techniques, seeking worldly success, etc.), a sucker must be born every minute! At least one local church leader laid face down on John G. Lake’s grave in nearby Spokane, Washington so he could pull up Lake’s healing anointing to himself. Well, we saw no healing miracles happen by the ministry of this man. All he did was pull up death. Shortly thereafter, his daughter was killed in a car wreck on the front lawn of the house next door and his wife died of cancer about three years later. He since has moved out of the area and who know what death has followed him as he continues to follow and teach these deceptions to Christians!
Paul warned the elders of the Ephesian church that men would rise up in the church and teach all manner of lies contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He said, “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.” (Acts 20:29-31 RSVA) That is right, within the church men rise up and start teaching perverse things to gain a following. This was unheard of in the infant church. Church elders and leaders only worked to unite the saints with Christ as their Head and never to themselves, always pointing them to Jesus Christ as their sufficiency in all things. The apostles had no disciples and Paul rebuked the Corinthians for thinking in those terms.
“For you are yet carnal: for while there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are you not carnal, and walk as men? For while one says, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are you not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom you believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that plants anything, neither he that waters; but God that gives the increase… All things are yours and you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s” (1 Corinthians 3:3-2)
The perversity of false teachers, false prophets and false apostles and their teachings is accelerating in these last days and they are gleaning followers after themselves to make merchandise of them. Peter warned it would happen as well saying, “But there were false prophets among the people, as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly put forward wrong teachings for your destruction, even turning away from the Lord who gave himself for them; whose destruction will come quickly, and they themselves will be the cause of it. And a great number will go with them in their evil ways, through whom the true way will have a bad name. And in their desire for profit they will come to you with words of deceit, like traders doing business in souls: whose punishment has been ready for a long time and their destruction is watching for them” (2 Peter 2:1-3 BBE – emphasis added). Going to the seminars these men put on can be very expensive to your pocket book as well as your soul.
The tares are being gathered together in God’s field and bound in bundles for the end time judgment even as we watch these “believers” gather around false teachers that appeal to the perversity in their own hearts. We are watching the great apostasy (the great falling away) spoken of by Paul in action. This is NOT a time to go chasing after men, but rather a time to draw close to God. Remember Jesus’ warning, “For false Christs [false anointings] and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Lo, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Lo, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; if they say, ‘Lo, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it” (Matthew 24:24-26 RSVA).
Paul warned us of this great deception of our times.
“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 KJV – emphasis added)
This is no time to be playing games with God! The Wicked One is being let loose with his lying spirits to cover the earth. Men are being bundled into false religions, false churches, false political causes, and false philosophies all over the world. Why are people so easily deceived? Because they take pleasure in unrighteousness. It is a heart matter. What is it that tickles your pleasure zone? God is letting men chose who they will follow as they are offered whatever gives them pleasure. They follow what is in their own hearts and as a result they are being bound to these false teachers like bundles of tares. If the love of the Truth, Jesus Christ, is in our hearts we have a love for HIS voice and not the voice of thieves, robbers, strangers and hirelings. His sheep hear His voice and they follow Him. If we do not take up our crosses and follow Jesus, we will keep making room for that fallen adamic nature in us to manifest and follow deceivers who speak to the lusts of our hearts. Jesus’ sheep are being separated from the deceiver’s goats right before our eyes as are the wise virgins from foolish virgins.
Jeremiah wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10 KJ2000). It is high time that the saints of God woke up and started praying as David did, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalms 139:23-24 KJ2000).
“I am the one who corrects and disciplines everyone I love. Be diligent and turn from your indifference… Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches.” (Revelation 3:19-22 NLT)