Anointing with Oil
Anointing individuals and other things with oil is mentioned over 170 times throughout the biblical narrative. Anointing was performed before the great flood, during the lives of Israel's patriarchs, during national Israel's establishment and subsequent history, during Christ's ministry, and during the early church.
There are two types of anointing oil shown in the biblical record: an anointing oil which is holy and one which is not. Both of these are shown to be necessary in the process of achieving a specific result.
It is important to review some of the biblical accounts of people and things that were anointed before the advent of Christ, in order to understand the reason Christ instructed his twelve disciples and the seventy other men he sent to proclaim the Kingdom of God to anoint people while healing them. Understanding why Christ gave the instruction to anoint those being healed reveals why the apostle James said to anoint the sick as a part of the healing ritual:
"Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him" (Jms.5:14-15 KJV).
This section will touch on various accounts and aspects of anointing with oil and show that anointing with oil is not a meaningless ritual, but has profound meaning and is an important ritual as it relates to the elect during this gospel age of salvation. Additionally, this section will show that the anointing oil is a medium through which the power of the holy spirit flows to cause an effect in the physical realm.
Methuselah Anointed King
No biblical account of anointing individuals or objects is recorded before the great flood; however, the Book of Jasher which is mentioned in the Bible as a historical record does record that, after Enoch died, all the kings of the earth took Enoch's son Methuselah and anointed him to rule over them in his father's place:
"And all the days that Enoch lived upon earth, were three hundred and sixty-five years. And when Enoch had ascended into heaven, all the kings of the earth rose and took Methuselah his son and anointed him, and they caused him to reign over them in the place of his father" (Jasher 4:1-2).
Methuselah being anointed king reveals that anointing individuals in order to establish them in a position of authority and power was a common practice before the great flood.
Jacob Anoints A Stone
Genesis, chapter 28 contains the account of Isaac sending his son Jacob to his brother-in-law Laban to marry one of his daughters. During the journey, Jacob dreams of a ladder reaching into heaven upon which God's angels are ascending and descending. In the dream, Jacob sees the Creator God standing above the ladder telling him that he is going to give the land on which he is lying to him and his descendants. The Creator then promises many other blessings to him, his descendants, and all people through his descendants.
The narrative tells us that, after Jacob's dream, he rose early in the morning, poured oil on top of the stone on which he laid his head that night and called that place Bethel (i.e., the house of God):
"And Jacob awoke out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillow, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil on the top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that you shall give me I will surely give the tenth to you" (Gen.28:16-22 KJV Para.).
This record does not tell us anything about the composition of the oil Jacob poured on the stone or why he had this oil with him. It only tells us he performed this ritual, named the place Bethel, made a vow, and set up a stone as a memorial to mark the place where the Creator spoke with him.
The second account of Jacob anointing a stone with oil is in Genesis 35:1-15. In this account, the Creator sends Jacob to Bethel to build an altar. God appears to Jacob, speaks to him, and restates the promises he previously made while Jacob was on his journey to Laben (See Genesis chapter 28). In verses 14-15 of this second account, Jacob pours a drink offering and oil on a stone and calls the place Bethel.
The accounts in Genesis, chapters 28 and 35 indicate that a worship system dedicated to the Creator existed at that time, specific rituals were practiced, and Jacob was in the habit of making offerings to God and having oil with him in order to perform an anointing ritual.
The pouring of a drink offering and oil on the stone was a significant act, which established a memorial of an event and sealed a commitment to perform certain acts.
There are many beliefs, opinions, speculations, and traditions about the source and composition of the anointing oil used by individuals before the great flood and by the patriarchs of Israel; however, no credible documentation can be found to verify the source or composition of these oils.
Whatever these oils were, their source, or how they were prepared is not relevant to the practice of anointing for healing within the congregations of the elect during this gospel age; otherwise, this information would be documented in the biblical record. However, the fact that an anointing ritual was practiced anciently among God's chosen people establishes that anointing for healing as set forth by the apostle James is a continuance of an acceptable practice.
THE HOLY ANOINTING OIL
In preparation to establish national Israel as a holy nation, Moses was given many instructions, some of which concerned the preparation of oils and fragrances to be used in God's worship system and in service to him.
Some of these oils and fragrances were to be used to establish the tabernacle as a holy place and men from the tribe of Levi as a priesthood, as well as to perform certain rituals within and outside of the tabernacle:
"Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them" (Ex.25:6-8 KJV).
Although the King James translation of verse 6 is not an accurate translation of the Masoretic text, it does accurately convey that the Israelites were to supply oils to be used for a sacred purpose. The spices, the oils, and the amount of each which was to used in the preparation of the holy anointing oil is revealed in Exodus 30:22-24:
"Moreover the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Take you also to you principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin" (Ex.30:22-24 KJV).
Although the ingredients and their amounts are specified, the formula for blending these materials is not revealed; however, the instruction to make the holy anointing oil after the art of the apothecary tells us that this oil was to be carefully prepared using a specific blending process:
"And you shall make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil" (Ex.30:25 KJV). See also Ex.37:29.
The first instance of the English word ointment in verse 25 is translated from the Hebrew word mishchah, derived from the Hebrew word mashach, which means to rub with oil, i.e., to anoint; by implication, to consecrate; also to paint. This tells us that this oil is to be used in ritual anointing.
The second instance of the English word ointment in verse 25 is translated from the Hebrew word roqach, which means an aromatic. This tells us that the oil is to have an aromatic aroma, but does not tell us what it smelled like. The English word oil in verse 25 is translated from the Hebrew word sheme, which can mean grease, especially liquid (as from the olive, often perfumed); figuratively, richness:
The wording of verse 25 reveals that this aromatic anointing oil was unique in composition and that, once made, it either became holy due to its formulation or the quality/essence of holiness was bestowed on it by the Creator.
Exodus 30:31-32 reveals that the holy anointing oil was to be kept from generation to generation and it was not to be applied to a person's body:
"And you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying, This shall be an holy anointing oil to me throughout your generations. Upon man's flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall you make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy to you" (Ex.30:31-32 KJV).
The holy anointing oil was only prepared one time by Moses. It was never to be prepared again by anyone as noted in Exodus 30:33. Because this oil was only to be made once and was to be kept from generation to generation it would never go rancid, always remain fresh, and replenish itself in its container as it was used.
The English words man's and flesh in verse 32 are translated from the Hebrew words adam and basar. In the context of verse 32, the word adam means a human being (i.e., an individual or mankind). Basar can also mean the body of a person or the body's genitalia.
The prohibition against applying the holy anointing oil to a person's flesh does not mean that this oil cannot be applied to a person; otherwise, the oil would be of no use for anointing people and would contradict the Creator's instructions to anoint Aaron and the priesthood with it. See Ex.29:7,21; 30:30. The holy oil is only to be applied to individuals authorized to receive it and in the manner and for the purpose specified by the Creator.
Verse 33 warns that any person who makes an oil using the ingredients revealed to Moses or applies the holy anointing oil to a person who is not authorized to receive it will be severely punished:
"Whosoever compounds any like it, or whosoever puts any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people" (Ex.30:33 KJV).
There are many opinions as to exactly what was to happen to a person who made an oil similar to the holy anointing oil and when this punishment was to be carried out. What is clear, however, is that this is an extremely serious warning—the English phrase cut off is translated from the Hebrew word karath, which in this context means to cut (off, down or asunder); by implication, to destroy.
The scriptures clearly show that everything holy belongs to God. The holy anointing oil which the Creator required Moses to prepare did not belong to the Israelites; this oil was God's property. It was to be stored in the tabernacle under the care of the priesthood (Num.4:16) and was to be used in the manner and for the purpose that he decreed.
Psalm 89 shows the oil used to anoint David as being holy and in a prophecy against Jerusalem, the Creator reprimands its inhabitants for misusing the things he had given them and using his holy anointing oil to worship false gods (Ezk.16:18). The Creator also reprimanded the Houses of Israel and Judah for sacrificing their children to false gods and placing his holy oil and holy incense before these gods (Ezk.23:37-41). See also Ezk.16:1-20.
The scriptures clearly show that, when a holy person or a holy thing belongs to God, a high degree of respect and care must be shown to that which is holy in order to not defile that which is holy, lest one suffer serious consequences.
People and Things to Anoint
The Creator told Moses to take blood from the altar and the holy anointing oil and sprinkle them on Aaron and his sons, their clothing which was to be used in their priestly service, the tabernacle, and everything to be used in the tabernacle. The following are a few of the many instructions given to Moses about what to anoint with the holy oil and the effect of this anointing:
"And you shall take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him" (Ex.29:21 KJV). See also Lev.8:30.
The biblical record shows that the Sovereign God, the Creator God who became Christ, and their loyal spirit-servants are holy. Moreover, the scriptures also tell us that a person or a thing which is to interact with the God family must also be holy; therefore, the blood from the altar and the anointing oil were holy.
The English phrase shall be hallowed in verse 21 is translated from the Hebrew word qadash; a primitive root, to be (causatively, make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally). The use of the word qadash in verse 21 tells us that the sprinkling of the holy blood and the holy anointing oil on Aaron, his sons, and their clothing was not just a symbolic act.
The sprinkling of the blood and oil were the agents used to cleanse these men and their clothing of all physical impurity and to bestow a holy quality of existence to these men and their clothing, thus making them and their clothing acceptable to serve the Creator as priests in the tabernacle. Moreover, the holy blood symbolized setting their sin aside and the establishment of a blood covenant between the Creator, Aaron as high priest, and Aaron's sons who were to officiate as priests. See Ex.40: 15.
Although Christ's holy sacrificial blood is not mentioned in the apostle James' healing instructions, the symbolic and real cleansing effect of Christ's blood can easily be understood and appreciated in the context of forgiveness of sin in verses 15 and 16 of this healing ritual:
"And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise them up; and even if sins are committed, they shall be forgiven. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous avails much" (Jms.5:15-16 KJV Para.).
Cleansing for Holy Use
The Hebrew word qadash, which means to be clean is often translated into English as hallow, sanctify, and sanctified. The use of the word qadash in these scriptures documents the cleansing effect of the holy anointing oil when applied to objects as noted in the following instructions:
"And you shall take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle, and all that is therein, and shall hallow [Heb. qadash] it, and all the vessels thereof: and it shall be holy. And you shall anoint the altar of the burnt offering, and all his vessels, and sanctify [Heb. qadash] the altar: and it shall be an altar most holy. And you shall anoint the laver and his foot, and sanctify [Heb. qadash] it" (Ex.40:9-11 KJV).
Verses 9-11 show that the tabernacle and everything contained in it were to be anointed with the holy oil for the purpose of cleansing them for holy use.
"And you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation and wash them with water" (Ex.40: 12 KJV). See also Ex.29:4.
In preparation to have the blood from the altar and the holy anointing oil applied to them, it was necessary for Aaron and his sons to wash themselves. The washing was symbolic of a cleansing before being anointed with the holy oil which bestowed a holy state of existence on them.
Perhaps this cleaning is also prophetic and symbolic of the washing away of sin in the baptismal waters before one receives the holy spirit through which one is made holy and is transformed into one of the Sovereign Father's earthly children.
"And you shall put on Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister to me in the priest's office. And you shall bring his sons, and clothe them with coats: And you shall anoint them, as you did anoint their father, that they may minister to me in the priest's office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations" (Ex.40:13-15 KJV).
According to verse 15, the anointing of Aaron's descendants established them as a priesthood as long as Israelites exist on earth and there is a nation and a temple in which to officiate and practice the sacrificial system. See Jer.33:17-22, Ezk.44:14-16.
Anointing Oil Poured
The first biblical record of an anointing oil being poured on anything is in the book of Genesis where Jacob pours oil on a stone in order to establish a memorial of an event and seal a commitment to perform certain acts. (See Gen.28:16-22: 35:1-15). The following references of the high priests and kings having oil poured on their heads during the anointing ritual came after Jacob poured oil on the stone.
The High Priest
"And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them. And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all his vessels, both the laver and his foot, to sanctify them. And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him, to sanctify him" (Lev.8:10-12 KJV). See also Lev.21:10-12.
King David reveals there was a large quantity of the holy anointing oil poured on Aaron during the anointing ritual in which a holy state was bestowed on him and he was established as high priest:
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment on the head, that ran down on the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore" (Psa.133:1-3 KJV).
The Book of Numbers contains the law pertaining to the cities of refuge to which a person who killed someone accidentally could escape and be safe from those who sought to kill them as an act of revenge. This account seems to indicate that each high priest that came after Aaron should also to be anointed with the holy anointing oil:
"But if he thrust him suddenly without enmity, or have cast upon him any thing without laying of wait, Or with any stone, wherewith a man may die, seeing him not, and cast it upon him, that he die, and was not his enemy, neither sought his harm: Then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the revenger of blood according to these judgments: And the congregation shall deliver the slayer out of the hand of the revenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to the city of his refuge, whither he was fled: and he shall abide in it to the death of the high priest, which was anointed with the holy oil" (Num.35:22-25 KJV).
The kingship and its sanctification was to be passed from generation to generation without anointing each successive king, unless the Creator determined to change the lineage of the kings. This happened when Saul was rejected as king and David was then anointed king. It also happened when the rightful successor to the throne was in question, as in the case of David's sons Solomon and Adonijah. See 1.Kings, chapters 1 and 2.
The biblical record shows that anointing oil was poured on the heads of four Israelitish kings in order to establish their authority and position of rulership. Although oil was poured on the heads of all these individuals, the same type of oil was not used in every case. The holy anointing oil was used in some cases, whereas an oil which was not considered holy was used in other cases. This seems to indicate that the kings anointed with the holy oil were selected and established for a sacred purpose, but the kings anointed with the non-holy oil were selected for a profane purpose.
Saul Anointed King
The biblical narrative reveals that Saul who was of the tribe of Benjamin understood the prophecy foretelling that the monarchy of national Israel would perpetually come from the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10); therefore, he did not want to be anointed king over Israel. Although Saul did not want to be king, God chose him to temporarily fill this position. Because Samuel also understood this prophecy, he anointed Saul from a vial of oil (1.Sam.10:1), which was different from the horn of oil used to anoint David and Solomon:
"Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord has anointed you to be captain over his inheritance?" (1.Sam.10:1 KJV).
The English words vial and oil are translated from the Hebrew words pak and shemen, which respectively mean a flask and liquid (especially from the olive, often perfumed).
David Anointed King
The biblical record reveals that David was of the tribe of Judah through which all the legitimate kings of Israel were to come. Therefore, when Samuel was told to anoint David as Saul's replacement, he was told to use a different anointing oil from the one used to anoint Saul:
"And the Lord said to Samuel, How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill your horn with oil, and go, I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons" (1.Sam.16:1 KJV).
Here, the English word horn is translated from the Hebrew word qeren, which is a derivative of qaran; which means to push or gore. Qeren means a horn; by implication, a flask resembling an elephant's tooth/tusk. The use of the word qeren also indicates that the container and the oil used to anoint David were different from what was used to anoint Saul.
"Then Samuel took the horn [Hebrew, qeren] of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah" (1.Sam.16:13 KJV).
Emphases on the horn of oil in 1.Samuel shows a distinction between the oil used to anoint Saul and the one used to anoint David. Moreover, the Creator God inspired the writer of Psalm 89 to record that he had anointed David with his holy oil, which confirms that Saul and David were anointed with different oils:
"I have found David my servant; with holy oil I have anointed him: With whom my hand shall be established: my arm also shall strengthen him" (Psa.89:20-21 KJV Para.).
Solomon Anointed King
Near the end of David's life, he called Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and gave them instructions about the transfer of his kingship to Solomon. See 1.Kgs.1:28-40.
Although Solomon was not entitled to the throne as a firstborn son, the Creator had chosen him to succeed David and rule Israel. See 1.Kgs.1:11-17; 1.Chron.28:1-6. Therefore, it was necessary to anoint Solomon with the holy anointing oil to show that this change in Israel's dynastic lineage to rule Israel was decreed by the Creator:
"So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David's mule, and brought him to Gihon. And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon" (1.Kgs.1:38-39 KJV).
The mention of Zadok taking the horn of oil out of the tabernacle further documents that this oil was the holy anointing oil which was to be kept from generation to generation and used in the manner and for purposes designated by the Creator. This is the same holy oil Moses prepared, the same oil with which he anointed Aaron as high priest, and the same oil with which Samuel anointed David.
Hazael and Jehu Anointed Kings
The Creator told the prophet Elijah to anoint Hazael to be king over Syria and Jehu to be king over the house of Israel (both for the purpose of removing King Ahab and his lineage as rulers of Israel). Additionally, Elijah was to anoint Elisha as his replacement (1.Kgs.19:15-17).
After Elijah's departure in a chariot of fire (2.Kgs.2:1-15), Elisha subsequently carried out the Creator's instructions to Elijah when he met with Hazael (2.Kgs.8:7-15) and sent a son of the prophets to anoint Jehu. In this account, the prophet's son poured oil on the head of Jehu from a vial of oil (as was done to Saul), but not from the horn of holy oil stored in the tabernacle.
"And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said to him, Gird up your loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead: And when you come there, look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber; Then take the box of oil [Heb. pak shemen a vial of oil] and pour it on his head, and say, This says the Lord, I have anointed you king over Israel" (2.Kgs.9:1-3 KJV).
Pouring the Oil
The following are two facts to keep in mind when applying anointing oil to the elect for healing as instructed by the apostle James:
- A large quantity of the holy anointing oil was poured on the head of Aaron to anoint him as high priest.
- The method for anointing the high priests and kings was to pour the oil on the head.
The pouring of a large amount of anointing oil on the heads of the high priests and the kings of Israel rather than sprinkling or dabbing it on, seems to indicate that the spiritual or physical attribute, office, function, or responsibility given to these individuals is given to them without limitations.
Comments and Assumptions:
The biblical record shows the Sovereign God to be a god of law and that certain laws exist which govern the interaction between the physical and spirit realms that must be adhered to in order to accomplish a specific result.
Although there are many symbolic reasons for anointing with oil, the primary reason, other than symbolism, for this ritual seems to concern a law which makes it possible within specific circumstances to initiate an action in the spirit realm to accomplish a specific result in the physical realm.
The following are several symbolic meanings and tangible results obtained through anointing with oil before the advent of Christ:
- Establishing a memorial of an event and confirming a commitment to perform certain acts. Gen.28:16-22; 35:1-15.
- Separating the common from the profane and elevating that which is anointed with holy oil to the sphere of the sacred (Ex.40:9-11).
- Establishing and confirming a person to a position of authority and power as a high priest or king (Lev.8:10-12, 1.Sam.16:1, 10-13).
- Establishing a person or thing for a holy purpose (Ex.29:21; 40:9-13).
- Establishing a perpetual agreement (Ex.40:13-15).
When the holy anointing oil was applied to a person or an object for the purpose of conferring a holy state of existence, it seems logical that contact with the holy oil was the medium and the point of transfer through which the holy condition was initiated and perfected.
It also seems clear from the scriptures that, when a person was anointed with the holy anointing oil for the purpose of appointing them to a sacred position of authority, function, or responsibility, that person was given certain abilities necessary for them to carry out their duties. See Deut.17,8-11; 1.Sam.16:13; 1.Kgs.4:29-34.
ANOINTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Before a person is anointed with the holy spirit, they are just like any other human. But, when a person receives this anointing, he or she is transformed into a new and different person. See Rom.8:5-14; 2.Cor.5: 17; Heb.12:22-24.
The anointing of the holy spirit is an extremely important life changing event for each person God the Father accepts and transforms into one of his earthly children. However, there is much confusion as to exactly what this anointing means and what it does for a person.
The words anointed and anointing in English translations of the Textus Receptus of the New Testament which refer to Christ and the Father's earthy children being anointed or having an anointing of the holy spirit are translated from the Greek word chrio, which means to smear or rub with oil, i.e., (by implication) to consecrate/ordain to an office or religious service.
Before a person is authorized to use the holy spirit's power and its various functions, they must first establish a covenant relationship with God the Father. This relationship is established through receiving the holy spirit from him, which transforms and consecrates/ordains a person into their new life as one of his earthly children.
Jesus Anointed with the Holy Spirit
The anointing of Jesus was much different from being anointed with the holy oil by a prophet or priest of national Israel. During the gospel age, which began with the birth of Jesus, the Father himself anoints individuals in order to confer to them a holy state of existence and appoint them to a sacred position of authority, function, and responsibility.
Luke records that, one Sabbath when Jesus was reading from the scroll in the synagogue at Nazareth, he said the following about his heavenly Father's spirit being on him, his being anointed (i.e., consecrated/ordained) to preach the gospel, and other reasons he was sent to earth:
"The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say to them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears" (Lk.4: 18-21 KJV). See also Isa.61:1-3.
After being questioned by the high priest and others about who gave them the power to work miracles and the authority to preach the things they did, Peter and John met with several of the elect and told them what had happened. After this, they all spoke of King David's prophetic psalm, which discusses the Sovereign God consecrating/ordaining his son Jesus to his ministry of reconciliation (2.Cor.5:17-19; Heb.2:16-17):
"And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, you are God, which has made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of your servant David has said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against your holy child Jesus, whom you have anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatever your hand and your counsel determined before to be done" (Acts 4:24-28 KJV Para.). See also Psa.2:1-2: 83:1-5.
While the apostle Peter was speaking to the centurion Cornelius, he said the following about Christ being anointed with the holy spirit and with power:
"Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that fears him, and works righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, you know, which was published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God [God the Father] anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy spirit and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him" (Acts 10:34-38 KJV). See also Jn.3:34.
Through the application of his holy spirit, the Sovereign Father conferred to Jesus sonship on earth and in his kingdom, the authority and responsibility to preach his good news message, and power to do all manner of supernatural works.
The Sovereign Father's anointing of Jesus through the power of his holy spirit not only ordained him to his sacred task but also conferred to him all of the spiritual qualities and power necessary for him to carry out his task and remain holy.
The Elect Anointed and Sealed
Some people believe that the holy anointing oil has been found, while other people believe it may still be hidden somewhere on earth. Whether or not this oil has been found or is still hidden, the original purpose for this oil has passed. Moreover, the existence of a holy anointing oil is not necessary for the carrying out of the functions and responsibilities of the elect during the gospel age of salvation; otherwise, a holy oil would be available for use.
In order to show why it is not necessary for there to be a holy anointing oil in the possession of the elders within the Father's earthly family during the gospel age, it must be understood that the agreement the Sovereign Father makes with his earthly children is different in many ways from the one the Creator God made with national Israel.
Under the agreement with national Israel, there was a need for a holy anointing oil to confer a holy state of existence on people and objects in order to allow interaction between the Creator and the Israelites on an ongoing basis.
Under the agreement the Sovereign Father makes with his earthly children, a holy anointing oil is not necessary, because the Father's holy spirit contains the very essence of his being and the power through which he makes, sustains, and controls all things that exist. Additionally, the Father himself anoints (i.e., imparts) his holy spirit and its attributes directly to an individual, just as he did to Christ, thereby making the elect holy and removing the necessity for the existence of a holy anointing oil.
According to the apostle Paul, the Sovereign Father himself anoints the elect to establish them in Christ. Moreover, the Father places his personal seal on each of those he anoints with his holy spirit:
"Now he which establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, is God [i.e., the Sovereign God]; Who has also sealed us, and given the earnest of the spirit in our hearts" (2.Cor.1:21-22 KJV). See also Eph.1:11-14.
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers. And grieve not the holy spirit of God, whereby you are sealed to the day of redemption" (Eph.4:29-30 KJV).
The English word sealed in the above verses is translated from the Greek word sphragizo, which means to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation. The use of this Greek word documents that the Father places his personal seal of security on each of the elect in order to preserve them for the day of redemption. See Rom.8: 10-11; 1.Cor.15:52-54; Eph.1:12-14.
The apostle John wrote the following about the Father's anointing remaining an intrinsic part of a person and that this anointing of the holy spirit gives a person the ability to learn things pertaining to his realm of existence:
"These things have I written to you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which you have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in him" (1.Jn.2:26-27 KJV). See also Jn.14:25-26; 16:12-14.
The following are several things that take place the instant the Sovereign Father anoints a person with his holy spirit:
- An eternal agreement is made between the Sovereign Father and the recipient of his holy spirit (Heb.13:20-21).
- The recipient of the holy spirit is transformed into a new and holy creation as one of the Father's earthly children (2.Cor.5:17; Gal.6:15; Eph.4:24).
- The recipient of the holy spirit is given the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind [i.e., self-control] (2.Tim.1:6-7).
- The Father's law is placed within the recipient's mind, thereby making it an integral part of their thought process (Heb.8:1-12: Jer.31:33).
A Holy People
During this gospel age, the conditions under which the application of the holy anointing oil was necessary anciently does not exist. The Sovereign Father's earthly children neither have a need for an oil through which a holy state of existence is conferred nor a need to be established as a king or a priest, because they are already holy. Notice what the apostle Peter writes about the holy condition of the Sovereign Father's earthly children:
"Therefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby: If in fact you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as to a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ" (1.Pet.2:1-5 KJV Para).
"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a purchased people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy" (1.Pet.2:9-10 KJV Para.). See also Rev.5:1-10.
The Sovereign Father's earthly children are a royal priesthood who are holy. Moreover, they are his earthly temples in which his spirit resides (1.Cor.3:16-17). Therefore, they do not need a specially formulated holy anointing oil in order to consecrate, dedicate, or establish them or anything closely associated with them as holy. Moreover, a holy anointing oil is not necessary for them to demonstrate their authority or fulfill their functions and responsibilities as a king-priest in the Father's earthly family.
The anointing oil to be used for the performance of the healing ritual within a congregation of believers is holy by virtue of it being used for a holy purpose by the Father's earthly priesthood.
The biblical record shows that both kings and priests were anointed with oil. All members of the Father's earthly family of believers are kings and priests (i.e., a royal line of priests) See 1.Pet.2:9; Rev.1:4-6; 5:6-10. Because the eldership are also kings and priests, they are authorized to anoint the elect with oil through the authority of Christ as set forth by the apostle James (Jms.5:14). Moreover, the elect are authorized to have anointing oil applied to them by virtue of their also being kings and priests.
The holy anointing oil was applied to a person or an object for the purpose of conferring a holy state of existence. Therefore, it seems logical that the oil is a point of contact and the medium through which a holy condition is initiated and perfected. Moreover, it also seems logical that, when an elder anoints one of the elect who has requested healing, this act provides the conduit through which the power of the holy spirit flows to effect the healing.
How much anointing oil is to be applied when anointing a person for healing and what method should be used to apply the oil? The biblical accounts show a large amount of oil being poured on the head of the person being anointed; therefore, pouring a large amount of anointing oil on the person requesting healing would follow the biblical examples.
No account is recorded of Jesus anointing individuals with oil. Moreover, it is not specifically stated in the scriptures that Jesus instructed his disciples to anoint individuals with oil for healing. However, it is apparent that he did instruct them to do this, because this is what these men did as they went about proclaiming the Kingdom of God and healing people:
"And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;. . . And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them" (Mk.6:7;12-13 KJV). See also Matt.10:1,5-8; Lk.9: 1-6; 10:1-17.
The English words anointed and oil in verse 13 are translated from the Greek words aleipho and elaion, which respectively mean to oil (perfume) and olive oil.
The biblical record reveals few details about what Jesus told his disciples to do concerning the church before and after his death and resurrection. Perhaps Jesus instructed these men to continue the anointing ritual for healing within his Father's earthly family of believers, but not for those outside his family of believers.
What is clear is that no biblical account shows the apostles or other elders of the early church anointing anyone with oil other than the elect, as set forth by the apostle James. Whether or not Jesus gave an instruction to anoint the elect as a part of a healing ritual, this ritual was mandated by the apostle James and is to be observed by the elect.
Why Anoint with Oil?
Why did the apostle James instruct the elders to pray over the elect and to anoint them with oil? Just because James said to do it would be enough of an answer if we were living during the apostles' lifetime, because we would know what they knew. However, we are centuries removed from that time and must search for an answer to this question if we want to obey with understanding.
In order to gain insight into why James included anointing with oil in his instructions, we must revisit one of the logical reasons that Jesus instructed his twelve disciples and the seventy other men to anoint people when they healed them.
As Jesus went about proclaiming the Kingdom of God, he told people that his heavenly Father had sent him with this message (i.e., he was the Sovereign God's personal representative). Therefore, there was a need for him to validate his claim. See Jn.6:34-40; 7:29-33;12:44-50.
The prophets and the high priests of Israel were the only ones authorized by the Creator to anoint individuals with oil. The biblical record shows prophets delegated authority to other men to anoint on their behalf. Therefore, Jesus instructing the men he sent to proclaim the Kingdom of God to anoint people in the process of healing them was evidence that he had been sent from the Sovereign God and had the authority to delegate his authority just like the prophets of Israel who were the Creator's earthly representatives.
James was Jesus' brother (Gal.1:19) and the head of the Jerusalem council of elders (Acts 15:1-22) with the authority to issue binding mandates for the eldership and the elect to follow. His instruction validated his and the eldership's authority to represent God the Father and Jesus Christ to the elect.
Liquids Used for a Holy Purpose
Blood, oil, water, and wine are four liquids which the biblical record shows as being used for a sacred purpose in worshiping and serving God. Moreover, these liquids are shown as elements through which God symbolically reveals his plan for mankind and through which supernatural works are manifested.
Although there are many symbolic meanings and tangible results obtained through the ritual use of an anointing oil recorded in the Bible, the following which pertain to anointing the sick as instructed by the apostle James:
- The ritual is a confirmation of the Father's commitment to heal a person who faithfully follows the apostle James' instructions for healing and believes they will be healed.
- The anointing oil is a medium through which the cleansing and healing power of the holy spirit is conferred to the person requesting healing.
"Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him" (Jms.5:14-15 KJV).
By B.L. Cocherell b8w16-8