MODERATOR WRITES: From the beginning of this List in 1996, there has not been a more insightful or thought-provoking writer that we have published than Bryan Hupperts. I want to make an announcement about some of Bryan's collected writings in a few weeks, but in the meantime we will be publishing some old classics of his from the early days that you may not have seen - beginning with the article below, which was first published in September 1999. "The Knock-Off Anointing" -by Bryan Hupperts. There is a very special designer perfume made in by a chemical manufacturer in the USA. This perfume costs $5000 per half-once vial. It is incredibly expensive and extremely rare. There are only 2000 vials manufactured every year. What makes this concoction so desirable is the way it interacts with a woman's pheromones. The chemicals in this perfume blend with her unique body chemistry to produce a fragrance unlike anyone else's. The perfume becomes uniquely hers. You can go to any drug store and find a similar perfume for $1.99 a spray bottle. While this knock off imitation is very close to the original, it is only an imitation. It smells the same on every woman who wears it. The signs on the perfume counter boast that is just like the real thing - but easily affordable, yet it is only a cheap imitation. There is nothing uniquely distinguishing to its scent. The plain truth is that it's only toilet water boasting to be alluring perfume. The Bible has much to say in the area of anointing. Jesus began his public ministry by announcing the kind of anointing on his life. Luke 4: 18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed." Jesus had an anointing that, like the designer perfume, was uniquely his. It was also incredibly expensive and extremely rare. Acts 10:38 "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him." The anointing Jesus had from the Father enabled his to wage successful spiritual warfare and deliver people from sickness, disease, and captivity from the devil. Indeed, the anointing is given to break yokes of bondage. God said that when something is touched by the anointing oil, it is holy unto the Lord. Exodus 30: 25, 31 "You shall make of these a sacred anointing oil blended as by the perfumer; a holy anointing oil it shall be." "And you shall say to the people of Israel, 'This shall be my holy anointing oil throughout your generations.'" God gave a curious command regarding this specially blended anointing oil. Exodus 30: 32, 33 "It shall not be poured upon the bodies of ordinary men, and you shall make no other like it in 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." The Lord commanded that his special blend of perfume (anointing oil) should never be imitated. He warned that he would cut off anyone who dared to make a cheap knock off of it to use as perfume. This oil was a wonderful fragrance and the temptation would be to make a little "for personal use" and use it for "personal" perfume - and the anointing oil was to NEVER touch the flesh! The church is full of knock-off anointing. The anointings given by God are all unique to the life and vision of the individual that God has called to serve him. How many John Wimber wannabes are parading around imitating his unique ministry? Or Billy Graham, John Stott, Michael W. Smith, Joni Erickson Tada, Jack Hayford, or the pick someone you admire and insert their name here? God has a unique anointing for the life of every believer that will bless, accentuate, their consecrate to the purposes of God. So many ministries are settling for knock-off anointings, cheap imitations of the real thing. The real anointing is "incredibly expensive and extremely rare" and it costs you your life to obtain it from God. So few pay the full price to have the genuine anointing from God on their lives - so they settle for some cheap imitation brand name. The cheap imitation brand names get on the "church market" when people begin to merchandise the anointing for profit and begin to raise up people like themselves instead of nurturing people who will simply follow Jesus. We have lots of brand names today in the church market: Vineyard, Assembly of God, 1st Baptist, Nazarene, Campus Crusade for Christ. The list seems endless - and I love all of these people! God doesn't call us to find a comfortable ready made anointing oil and then slap it on - he calls us to find Himself, and once we have sought for him with all of our hearts, He himself will then anoint us for the unique ministry He has for us: unique, unlike any other. Beloved, have you settled for a knock-off anointing, or have you paid the full price of consecration to have the real thing? Is that holy oil on you, or a cheap imitation of the real thing? -Bryan Hupperts © 1999 SheepTrax Ministries.