Eloquence & The Anointing

He sounded GREAT. His words changed the lives of all who heard him. Calling him an effective speaker would be an understatement.

His reach was not limited to the immediate listeners surrounding him. EVERYONE knew about him. All the people were astounded. He would amaze them with what he said. The best way to describe the average person’s reaction to him was: wonder. They *wondered* at him.

Am I describing Jesus? … No.
A popular Christian preacher? … No.
A politician, perhaps? … Sort of, but not a current one.
Ladies & Gentlemen, I just described the Antichrist!




"Wonder"-Speaking


“… And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

The Antichrist wreaks a great deal of havoc in the end times. He is, in essence, the devil incarnate. And the devil's character traits are not to be desired:

(1) He is a liar – in fact, the first lie ever recorded by scripture was spoken by him (to Eve, in the Garden).

(2) He is a deceiver – he is repeatedly described as “deceiving the nations”.

(3) He is "the tempter" – temptation is a specialty of his, going all the way back to The Garden of Eden. He even tried to tempt Jesus during a period of fasting!

So I ask you: HOW could anyone read all of this in The Bible about the devil tempting and deceiving and lying, yet still give into his devices during the end times? How could anyone be deceived by The Antichrist if the Word of God has explicitly, repeatedly warned them?

The answer is complicated.

You see, we are vulnerable to a specific type of temptation: temptation that *sounds* nice. The manner in which something is spoken. The voice behind the words. If the phrasing and inflection is just right, we can be suckers.

Secular salesmen use that knowledge to move you in advertisements, making you buy something that you don’t necessarily want.

Worldly politicians use rhetorical manipulations to make you think they are decent, caring people – just so they can get your votes.

But there is another group which uses such tactics: false preachers!

The Oratory of False Preachers

I would venture to guess that almost any Christian reading this blog has on some occasion heard a false preacher. You've walked away from a church service, got home, and thought to yourself: "WAIT a minute - what did that guy just say? WHAT exactly did he just preach !?!"  And as you repeat the speaker's words back to yourself, you slowly realize that nearly ALL of the evening's message was false teaching & doctrinally incorrect.

But how can a false preacher even be invited into a church's pulpit? How do they garner the respect that places them in such a powerful position?

It's actually quite common, and it starts with how we measure preachers' pulpit performance.

I have (sadly) attended MANY church meetings in which people’s entire opinion of the sermon was based upon the eloquence of the oratory – the good diction and clear voice of the speaker.

As long as he punched those words just so … Knew how to be quiet or high volume appropriately … Understood how to pull you in & keep your attention without offending you … This is the smooth-talker’s fundamental bag of tricks.

Now prove to me where Jesus talked like that.

Jesus on Public Speaking

Our Lord actually got a whip and chased out an entire collection of bankers working in the temple, yelling at them all on the way out.

He once told a rich man that it was “easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24).

Running off the wealthiest and most financially able members would seem to spell disaster to a modern church, yet Jesus routinely did this. This would not qualify as good oratory, yet it is what Jesus did. And he didn't stop there.

He gave a sermon on communion in John 6 that ran off over 5,000 people. All he had left after this basically were his original 12 disciples.

He spoke in manners that nearly got him stoned to death on several occasions.

He offended all kinds of people, calling the highest-ranking religious leaders of His day "serpents", “hypocrites”, and even telling them they were not bound for Heaven.

I'm not writing all this to imply that Jesus was a bad speaker, but I do implore us not to let the unwritten rules of public speaking be the sole measuring stick for preaching.

Is the Anointing eloquent?

The question itself is interesting, because most of the men God used in scripture were noticeably ineloquent.

 - Moses told God: "I am slow of speech".
 - While Jesus was on trial for His life, Peter stood around a fire cursing - not the best example for a future preacher.
 - Amos the Prophet once told his critics, "I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit ..." (Amos 7:14-15). He was a farmer, not some great orator, and God made him a prophet!

Can a sermon be eloquent and wrong? Most assuredly. Popular modern Christianity is filled with examples of beautiful, false messages.

Can a sermon be ineloquent and anointed? Definitely. I have been in services where the preacher may not have sounded pretty, but the message was a direct answer-to-prayer in God. He wasn't eloquent, but he was spot-on!

Now, don't misunderstand me: a sermon can also be eloquent AND anointed, just as it can be ineloquent and not-anointed.

Bottom-line, let us not use the eloquence or ineloquence of a preacher to judge the anointing. Let us FEEL after The Spirit, and let The Holy Ghost prick our hearts to discern the Truth or error.

May it not be the beauty of the speech, but the beauty of The Spirit.

I close with the words of the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 2:4-5):

"And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."

Comments

  1. Psalm 141:3, "Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips." And, one of my personal favorites, "My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer." Psalm 45:1

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