In His Name
By Tricia Tillin
Have you ever been given a recommendation - perhaps to a some kind of commercial enterprise, hairdresser, accountant, lawyer, or whatever - and the person who gave you the advice says to you "Mention my name - they know me there. Say that I sent you."
In effect, your friend is saying "go IN MY NAME!"
When you call forth the name of your friend, in any introduction, you are trusting in the goodwill, honour, respect and power that that person has.
If a policeman, even an off-duty policeman, encounters a criminal in the act of robbing a bank or breaking into a house, he will arrest and detain him. He does so, not as a private individual, but IN THE NAME OF THE LAW. The power that a police officer has doesn't come from himself, but from the institutions, laws, organisations and governments that set up the laws of our land. He is merely acting as a representative of that legal institution.
We do not come in our own name
As Christians, we do all "in the Name of Christ". We do nothing in our own names - for we in our natural state as weak, fallen human beings have nothing to draw upon, except that which is imputed to us in the Lord.
If we do preach the gospel, reach out a helping hand, pray for healing, or do anything concerning the Kingdom of God - we do so not as ourselves, but as a member and representative of the Body of Christ on earth. THAT is what gives us authority as Christians, NOT our own natural powers.
"As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen". (1 Pet 4:10-11 NKJ)
So much we know and understand.
In My Name
Now I want you to take a look at this verse of scripture, where Jesus is telling his followers what will happen in the last days, shortly before the judgement, and his Return:
"For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. (Matt 24:5)
Does something strike you as odd about that verse? Until recently, something important in the words of our Lord just escaped me. He said that those deceivers who appear on earth shortly before his Coming, will come IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
Now, many scholars have argued away the verse about false Christs as referring to cults, cult leaders, new-age gurus, false messiahs who should be in the nuthouse - anything but Christians!
But I ask you this. Do cult leaders and new-age "messiahs" like Maitreya truly come "in My Name"? They may PRETEND to do so - but is that what Jesus meant?
In the light of the scriptures, looking at the Lord's use of this phrase in general, I cannot believe that he meant anything but "christian" deceivers! If you search for the phrase "in my name" in the gospels you will discover that every single use refers to genuine Christian ministry, not cult activity or pretense.
Christians PRAY "in my name"; they minister "in my name", they preach and do good works "in my name" - using the authority, power, strength, glory, reputation and teachings of Jesus Christ as their reference point and source.
Thus, when false christs come along, "in my name" I expect them to do so as practising Christians, in the churches - not as some pseudo-christian cult or occultic/new-age society.
"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand. (Mark 13:22-23)
That perhaps makes you sit back on your haunches and think. I'm not laying down any new doctrine or trying to be provocative. I'm just speaking about my personal conviction, from the Word of God, that we have missed an important pointer to the "false christs" of today.
Are we still sitting waiting for this prophecy to be fulfilled? Are we still waiting for a "false Messiah" or a number of such characters, to appear on the public scene? That may be a dangerous position to take - a position that excludes the Church from deception, and overlooks the false teachers of today as at least a partial fulfilment of prophecy!
These verses are not talking about The Antichrist. They are warning us of deceivers, false teachers and false prophets - people who are sent by the devil to lead Christians down the wrong path. Such deceivers are spoken of many times in scripture, and almost without exception they are WITHIN THE PROFESSING CHURCH, not outside it!
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgement has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. (2 Pet 2:1-3)
The Falsely Anointed Ones
Firstly, what does it mean, this phrase "false christs". The Greek wording is "pseudochristos", from two words "pseudes" (untrue, i.e. erroneous, deceitful, wicked: false, liar) and "christos" meaning anointed. Jesus Christ had the title "Christ" - because he is The Anointed One. God anointed him as Priest, Prophet and King - this is the only real use of the anointing oil of scripture!
"And you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'This shall be a holy anointing oil to Me throughout your generations. It shall not be poured on man's flesh; nor shall you make any other like it, according to its composition. It is holy, and it shall be holy to you. Whoever compounds any like it, or whoever puts any of it on an outsider, shall be cut off from his people". (Exod 30:31-33 )
PRIESTLY ANOINTING Exod 28:41 "So you shall put them on Aaron your brother and on his sons with him. You shall anoint them, consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister to Me as priests.
KINGLY ANOINTING 1 Sam 15:1 Samuel also said to Saul, "The LORD sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the LORD. AND I King 1:34 "There let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel; and blow the horn, and say, 'Long live King Solomon!'
PROPHET'S ANOINTING I King 19:16 "Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.
Now that the Messiah has come, as fulfilment of the prophecies, God the Father has given him the Name above all names, and he has been given the high position as Prophet, Priest and King over the household of God.
We no longer have kings to rule over us; we no longer have to rely on priests to do atoning rituals on our behalf; we no longer have to go to prophets in order to hear and know the word of God. ALL ministry - service in the Church, prophecy, healing, teaching, leadership - is done IN AND THROUGH the Head, not as individuals. ( See for example Eph 4:11-16 and 1 Cor 12:4-11 ).
The anointing of God flows down the robe of Christ, and those who are truly joined to Him, in His Body, one spirit with him, partake of, and minister in, the anointing of the Son of God - simply because of their oneness with Christ, not in and of themselves.
What God will and commands, receives his anointing. What man conceives, wills and does has NO anointing!
Anybody, therefore, who acts and wills and ministers and preaches that which is not expressly the doctrine and will of God, has no anointing of God.
Anyone who acts on his own behalf, out of his own emotions, will, desires and powers, is out of line with the Head and not acting as a member of the Body. He does not have the anointing of God upon what he says and does (however much he may claim it). The only power source he can tap into is that of another spirit, the spirit of the false christ, the Lucifer who is the "light-bearer" of false wisdom.
Nonetheless, such false teachers CLAIM to have an anointing. They come and teach "in the Name of Christ". They even claim they ARE the Anointed! Since no-one is The Anointed except Jesus Christ the Son of God, to claim to be "The Anointed of God" is to reveal their identity as FALSE CHRISTS.
Fear Not Their Threats!
How many times have you come up against the accusation that, in disagreeing with your leaders, you are "touching the Lord's anointed"?
They make you cower in fear, teaching you that they are The Anointed, and to disagree with their heresies is to court disaster and death!
If indeed they were true believers, they would be no more or less anointed than you are, as a fellow believer. Secondly, if they are preaching falsehood, not biblically sound doctrine, they are NOT anointed of God.
But if they are preaching and teaching in the Name of Christ, without his authority, outside of his will - then they are the FALSE CHRISTS AND FALSE PROPHETS about which Jesus warned us!
False christs means "falsely anointed ones". What better description could there be for those who exalt themselves to positions of leadership in the Body and take advantage of the flock, bleeding them of money, tying them up in laws and bondages, filling them with fears, teaching them to obey evil spirits...
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works". (2 Cor 11:13-15)
Dominionists are Taking Over
Christ is the Head of the Body. A false christ therefore will seek to take headship over the Body. He will try to dominate, manipulate, influence and rule over the Body, or the part of it at his disposal.
False christs (and ultimately THE false christ, the Man of Sin) are the "Nicolaitan" or dominionist rulers, the deeds of which God says HE HATES! Did you know God hates things?
- "But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate." (Rev 2:6)
- "Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. (Rev 2:15)
Why is the dominionist likened to the "Nicolaitan?". It is a play on words. Nicolaitan is composed of NICO= Victor or Conqueror and LAOS (from which we get the Laity)=the people. Thus a Nicolaitan is one who rules over the common people - a Dominionist!
The most notable feature of the Roman Catholic Church is its use of a Priestly class who rule over the people. This was recognised to be unbiblical eventually, due to the Protestant Reformation, BUT its use was never quite abolished, even in non-Roman churches.
Now, we have a whole new class of "priests" who style themselves "apostles" and "prophets" and "teachers" but whose aim is to rule over, influence and control the people. They exert dominion power and authority, in the Name of Christ, but they are far from Godly ministers. They are not servants of all, but lords of all - arrogant, men-serving, lovers of flattery, self-exalting, beyond correction, vainglorious and abusive to those underneath them.
These are a whole new breed of Nicolaitans, and the Lord HATES their deeds. He will bring them to justice, and expose everything they have been plotting and planning. But in the meanwhile, he forewarns us to be on our guard against such false christs, and to understand that in the last days these people will arise, in order to deceive - if possible - even the very elect.
Do not bow the knee to these men! Do not give up your godly inheritance for a "mess of pottage",
because no earthly thrill or power is worth giving up your hope of salvation.
"And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you." (Gal 2:4-5)
"Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds". (2 John 9-11)
© 1995-2013 Tricia Tillin of Banner Ministries. All rights reserved. Cross+Word Website: http://www.banner.org.uk/ This document is the property of its author and is not to be displayed on other websites, redistributed, sold, reprinted, or reproduced in printed in any other format without permission. Websites may link to this article, if they provide proper title and author information. One copy may be downloaded, stored and/or printed for personal research. All spelling and phraseology is UK English.