Animation is not anointing

‘Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is the divine power known as the Great Power.” They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic.’  Acts 8:9-11
A number of years ago people started taking notice of a man in Nigeria who called himself ‘the anointed man of God’. I heard of him when a couple from my congregation told me that they were going to Lagos to receive ministry for healing. The husband was suffering from a debilitating wasting disease and the wife’s brother had full blown aids.

I made some enquires, scanned the internet, and viewed a video that someone gave me. What I discovered distressed me considerably. The ‘anointed man of God’ showed every indication of being anything but what he claimed to be. The video showed him contorting into weird animistic postures and appearing to strike down people with a gesture or even a look. He mesmerised and confused, bamboozled and bluffed, and claimed great healings and miracles. I counselled the two not to receive ministry from this man but they went anyway.

The one with aids came back to South Africa and got retested only to find that his condition had not changed. He contacted the ‘anointed man’ in Lagos and was told to come back and to testify to the crowds there that he had been healed. This act of ‘faith’ would heal him, he was told. He flew back to Lagos and testified to his ‘healing’. A few months later he died. I saw his brother in law just the other day. His disease has progressed and he definitely is not healed in any way.

In the days of Acts, Simon the magician claimed to be someone great and amazed the people with his skills and occult powers. He was animated, for sure, but not anointed of God. So too in our day, there are people who claim what Simon Magus claimed, and behave as he did. If it is not the faith healers of the Philippians performing psychic surgery, then it is the ‘prophet’ of Lagos working his magic under the power of water spirits and other animistic influences.

The anointing of God is real but the counterfeit is not always obvious at first. We need to be very discerning in these days. The apostle John wrote, ‘test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world’. (1 John 4:1-2). This was true of his day and it is true of our day. In times of revival genuinely anointed men and women of God arise to lead the church into the mighty presence of God. Unfortunately, in times of revival there are also the frauds and the false who try to lead the people of God into error. But don’t despair. Perverse as this may sound, it is sometimes the presence of the counterfeit that highlights the authentic. When God is doing something real then be sure that the devil will attempt to distract and distort. When we see hell-fire flickering in the darkness, look more earnestly for the true fire of revival, for it is probably near at hand.

Christopher Peppler

Christopher Peppler



5 thoughts on “Animation is not anointing”

  1. Jose de Carvalho

    Interesting that some claim to heal just like Jesus did. Jesus healed instantly!
    I wonder why healers do not go into hospitals and cure the sick where the results can be verified.


  2. Hi Jose. Of course for all those who are fakes there are those who really do minister healing in Jesus name… and some do that in hospital situations. Actually, I don’t think there is any other way to minister healing other than as Jesus did, and I contend that if we had the same degree of Holy Spirit anointing He had then we too would effect instant healings in His name and to His glory.

  3. Chris
    There are so manny believers that are not interested in big name healing ministries, but are interested in healing like Jesus did. How do those aquire the same Holy Spirit healing anoiting Jesus hadd.

  4. Hi Chris,

    I am curious as to what is your impression of someone like Todd Bentley (the Lakeland Revival)?

    I certainly believe in divine healing and the workings of the Spirit, but it does bother me that some who exhibit great anointing of the Spirit seem to have problems in their lives. There are some interesting biblical examples here:
    -Samson: after spending the night with a prostitute, the Spirit came upon him and he tore the gate off the city in question (Gath?)
    -Judas: all 12 disciples were sent off into Israel to preach and heal (Matt 10) – this must include Judas! (who of course had all sorts of problems). In more cynical mood, I might wonder if he tried to exploit his gift of healing by demanding money from those he healed (any parallels here with anyone from the TBN crowd?!).
    -The Corinthians exhibited great workings of the Spirit, yet in the midst of great carnality, climaxing in the incestuous individual of chapter 5.

    I suppose the lesson here is that God can work through anyone, regardless: this is a sign of God’s sovereignty, not that person’s righteousness. In this regard the grace and sovereign choice of God does astound me.
    It must be noted, however, that both Samson and Judas paid a heavy price for not honouring the great gift that had been entrusted them. As someone once said: who God gives His gifts to is His business; but how we respond (in terms of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives) is our business.
    -In this regard, the question may be asked: how do we distinguish between the outright fraud (Simon Magus of Acts 8), and the man of God ‘with problems’, who may ultimately fall as a result of the authentic gift he has, but which he is abusing?

  5. Hi Greg. You ask what my impression of Todd Bentley is? Kicking a lady in the face and talking to an angel with a Buddhist name gives a clue or two. I classify him as a ‘Simon Magus’. You raise an interesting point in your observation that ‘gifts’ do not always correlate with ‘fruit’. My view is that the Holy Spirit fills those who ask with power from on high and it is then up to the ‘anointed’ individual how to use this power. However, if it is not used to the glory of God under the guidance of the Holy Spirit then God will not replenish the anointing. This explains why some genuine healings and miracles can occur even when the minister’s life is not ‘holy’. It also explains why some ministers resort to ‘smoke and mirrors’ to appear to be operating in the supernatural when the anointing dissipates. I have tried to cover this whole concept as best I can in my book ‘Prayer, Power, and Proclamation’ . Kindest regards.

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About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar.

If you would like to read my testimony to Jesus then click HERE.