In a church-age where I’ve seen “the anointing” almost idolized, substituted by charisma, and replaced in its true meaning by entertainment events, I consider this write-up to be a most important “first base” to utilizing God’s holy Anointing oil, which He’s “dispensed” for us by Holy Spirit’s intimate care. We should know, where we live with God!
Prayerfully, any reader’s comprehension of these spiritual and personal facts, will “take you on a journey” in your consciousness with Holy Spirit’s counsel, into “what made you who you are”; also instilling divine hope for “who you can be”, and something of the Way to “get there”. This is my abiding prayer for any reader of this write-up.
The primary function of The Anointing is to teach us truth-from-error and enable us to live in the truth ~1Jn. 2:20 cp v27.
Poetically, The Anointing is like the howling wind on the baron hilltops. It whistles at the stark, unbroken, unyielding objects in its way, moans over those baron, exposed places, all the while, never leaving the wastelands of this dwelling place but feeling deeply, its way over and through it all. This is the way God’s presence heals our hearts – like the winds of God’s care, sweeping over our barren hearts, to heal them and make them whole.
Always, the Holy Spirit “lusteth to envy” and is en-ravished with passionate compulsion – ~see Jms 4:5 – over the prophets, priests and kings whom He’s ordained – that’s you and I, according to ~1Pet. 2:9-10! He’s passionate, to make us like Jesus – even as Jesus lives: risen, exalted and glorified ~see 1Jn. 4:17; that we may be invigorated by His life, and live like Him.
According to Exodus 30:23-25, The Anointing Oil is made up with the use of ~4 spices and ~1 oil. Each of these spices and the oil, have extraction processes, which can also be likened to the Way God deals with our lives and makes His Anointing in our lives, effective.
As the great Apothecary – the master craftsman who mixes the oils and fragrances to make The Anointing oil – our Lord-Creator extracts the ingredients that will make up the True Anointing in our lives – “you have received an Anointing from the Holy One” ~1Jn. 2:27. He himself distills these ingredients in our lives, mixing them in their due proportions to make our lives faithful and fruitful representatives of The Anointed One, so that we resemble and represent the Messiah.
Prophets, priests and kings were anointed with The Anointing Oil, in the Old Testament, in order to commission them to their God ordained positions of leadership. This commissioning by the Anointing, often resulted in supernatural events taking place. Also, the articles and facilities used for worship – like the Tabernacle’s elements – were commissioned for holy use by the Anointing Oil. So too, our lives!
He extracts MYRRH from the wood of our stiff-necked, rebellious ways; taking the experiences of a lifetime, He forgives, healing the wounds but leaving the memories of the experiences. This hardness left in us, due to the attitude left after His forgiveness has had its effect – the attitude of “I experienced that, it hurt me, I took a long time to recover from it and I’m therefore never going back there to do it again in that same way”, He none-the-less values. Such an attitude left after the extraction process is “useful to Him for trade”: it enables us to empathize as those “who have been there and done that” with “those who are still there and are still doing that” communicating with them the forgiveness and healing we have received.
Myrrh is extracted – confession of sinfulness- but what is left: forgiven and forgiveness / the knowledge and ability to communicate divine forgiveness; is useful.
He extracts CINNAMON from the bark of all of our “cover-ups”. Anything we have learned to achieve in a worldly way, He cuts off so that we are enabled to learn to achieve the same successes in a godly way. This process of extraction takes a degree of scraping: the scraping of the bark. Our old ways of achieving what we perceive as success according to our own standards of judgment are scraped out of our behavior by the prohibition of success. In the process, the cover-ups and scams yield their precious oil as the behavior finds it’s godly alternative and renewed motivation. This is where you can be found to be “sailing ahead of the wind”: if you learn what the godly alternative and true motivations are before you come across the time of trial and proving – the lesson taught by God’s providence – then you’ll learn it a lot quicker when you get to the trial. This is the function of the Church, to teach these “in season” and that inspirationally. God cares for you, He wants to give His people foresight.
Cinnamon is extracted – worldly behavior – but the tree is left standing: new, godly behavior. Though bruised and recovering from the extraction process, it is tall and spreads wide, now becoming a sheltering place for others, not just a plant for its own prosperity.
He extracts SWEET CALAMUS by crushing the leaves of a reed-like grass. The reeds grow along streams and river banks which may be likened to the experiences of our lifetimes as we have learned to be established and grow socially ‘along the banks’ of all the flowing streams and rivers which have been our heart’s concerns. The waters of our concerns over people and their plights go whirling by whilst, due to our concerns for them and the activities we have been engaged in with them because of this, we have drawn up the nutrient of their streams and have grown with them. It is not until we are ‘plucked by the Apothecary’ from the banks of our familiar concerns in these realms that we realize that He sometimes wants to crush us.
Our concerns over such people and our experiences with them may have become our own, instead of those that He holds for them.
Yet the grass-reed is also a cane that produces sweetness. He is not out to destroy the sweetness, but to preserve it whilst harvesting the pleasing fragrance. The pleasing fragrance, pleasing to Him, is the crushing effect you have felt as a result of the cares, godly cares, you hold for the people ‘under your concern’. Your concern for them crushes you, but this same crushing you feel produces a pleasing fragrance of Christ through you to God. It just means that an ingredient of the anointing oil is in you and He wants to get it out and put it all together for you. He wants to show you who He’s made you to be.
The sweetness of Calamus is one thing, but its ginger flavor is quite another: this is not very nice on its own, so He’s not going to leave it on its own.
So the Calamus is harvested – there’s purpose in all those relationships after all: God’s purpose; and its oil is extracted – the extraction process leaves a funny taste in your mouth, but once you realize what it is, then it was worth it all. Our Creator has His own way of “plucking us” from the reedy river bank of our own experiences, placing us in unfamiliar surrounds, and working us into the person He’s made us to be, all-the-while. Please pray for His sight of this process and what it’s made you into – “you shall know the Truth and the truth shall set you free” ~Jesus.
He also extracts CASSIA OIL. This is also cinnamon-like but considered inferior to real cinnamon. I wonder why it was included in the recipe if it was considered inferior and only added the same fragrance anyway? Perhaps it was to demonstrate that it wasn’t inferior at all, but that it was only considered inferior.
There are many ‘under us’ whom we are tempted to consider inferior: it is only in the trial of loving and esteeming these ones as our equals that this fragrance is produced in our lives. It’s not “love your enemies”; it’s “what reward will you have, if you only love those who love you?”
Humility before your peers and those you want to impress is costly when associating with the ‘unlovely’ even the ‘unlovable’ when you’re being seen all the while to be befriending them: these ones whom your peers despise. But how will you “trade in the souls of men” within God’s kingdom if you are partial to men? Cassia oil was used for trade. Conversely, the fragrance of impartiality that such compassion for souls brings is pleasing to God but very perplexing to observing man.
So the cassia oil is extracted – fearing man/pleasing man – and its oil is used for trade: fearing God/pleasing God/being impartial towards men.
Finally, the last ingredient: OLIVE OIL. “The olive tree grew slowly and continued to bear fruit after reaching a great age. Before it died, new branches sprouted from its roots” ~Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary where I’ve been getting all these applications from!
You may or may not be familiar with the principle that states the truth: “the best fruit is only born in old age”. It’s a truth supported and explained by the Bible and all its historical characters. So many of these people, who were examples of godliness from the Bible, only became effective in “their ministries” – their service to men as unto God – in their latter years.
Therefore, don’t be anxious about how to please God! It takes a lifetime to learn how to! …and even then, it is most likely that you will only really glorify Him in your latter years and/or, God-and-you-willing, in death! I’m not “cursing you to a life of uselessness” but merely “assigning you to a lifetime of gracious, tender learning with patience for it”. Godliness, and God’s power that comes through proven character – proven character that is only formed by hope in trials – ~see Rom. 5:1-5; Jms. 1:2-4; 1Pet. 1:6-9 – takes time to develop.
The olive tree is “A fruit-bearing tree about six meters or 20 feet tall with a gnarled, twisted trunk, white flowers, and berries that ripen to a black color. Before it dies, new branches sprout from its roots”.
You may feel like you have very few roots, let alone any branches that have sprung from them. But all people have ‘offspring’ and concerns for ‘people under their care’.
Family is far more important to God than church. You may have many profound and deep concerns with those who are your offspring. They occupy your time. They take your every-waking-emotional hour and your sleepless nights as well. They fill your dreams for who you want them to be. They love you back even sometimes when you have failed to love them. But they are “springing from your roots”.
Where are your roots? Where did you sink your roots in, in those heavy dews of your relationships throughout your lifetime? Where did the “mists of time” find you when you were “sowing your wild oats”? What “howling wastelands” have these experiences left you with? And which ones of these is your Creator moaning over at present? More importantly, which ones does He have cause to be “whistling around” since He has found them to be an obstruction to those branches which are springing from your roots? He loves you, but when you begin to obstruct His plans for others, others whom He cares about too, He’s likely to get jealous for them.
It’s that “rushing, mighty wind again”. It’s designed to shake: shaking off what is shakable and only leaving what is unshakable. It’s easier to live with the unshakable things even though they’re unseen. The shakable ones are the fruit of ungodly relationships.
“The ripe fruit of the olive tree is enjoyed fresh or the green fruit is often pickled or made into a relish.” Had you been allowed to go on enjoying the ‘ripe fruit’ – self interest – you would have none left to enjoy in the lean times of the ‘out season’: olive relish/pickled olives! Whatever fruit is born from self-interest must die.
“The best oil was obtained from the green olive fruit. Of course, it’s unshakable. It was used as fuel for lamps, as anointing oil, as an article of commerce, and for dressing wounds.” God’s anointing – simply, His confirming presence – goes with the teachings that express relevant truth, timeless truth, His eternal truth: a word in season. This “best oil” came from crushing the fruit! Even the fruit that was borne from persevering under trial, and persevering to achieve godly relationships, still had to be crushed. It was the olive’s oil, not the olive itself that was important to the anointing, and especially to The One Great Apothecary, that He might get this “best oil” out of your life for the sake of the fragrance of the Great High Priest in your daily life.
“Olive trees were cultivated in groves or orchards. The most famous olive garden mentioned in the Bible is Gethsemane, meaning “oil press”.
This anointing is yours. The anointing of the Holy Spirit is in you and it teaches you according to the apostle John’s words in 1Jn2:27.
The “oil press” though, is your own Garden of Gethsemane experience: it was there that Jesus decided “not My will but Your will be done”. This cup that Jesus was longing to ‘pass from Him’ was the cup of suffering. Such experiences of our own decisions where we come to decide: “not my will but Yours be done”, are like a crushing experience, but they’re purposed by God to extract the True Anointing oil in our lives, that teaches us the truth about life.
Precious, haunting paradox! Our cup of suffering, that is, how we learn about God and His ways through the trials we experience just as Jesus “learned obedience through the things He suffered”, will never pass from us unless and until we are prepared to embrace it, live it out, go through it and learn from it. Hard road? This is the ‘width’, rather narrowness of the road that leads in from that “straight gate”, it’s the dimension also of the “narrow way” but it leads to life.
Suffering never made any Christian bitter, it only makes the true Christian better: not better than others but fit for walking with God and from here – or there! – on into eternity. Nothing, bar nothing can be as important as that: especially when God is who He turns out to be – the most compassionate and passionate lover, Whom you could ever meet, and the Wisest of all wisdom as your Counselor.
Not that suffering is meant to humble us. It’s meant to make us. Consider that the Father is preparing you for His Son, as His bride.
Would a bridegroom in his right mind go and intentionally berate, degrade, downplay and deride his chosen bride in her bridal chamber just prior to their wedding ceremony? No! He’d build her up, praise her – maybe adjust a few things – but make her goodness shine forth for all to see so he could boast of her when she appears with him. That’s my God. That’s my church. That’s His Son’s bride and the way He treats her: so dearly, so tenderly and in the truth of who He intends her to be: magnificent, overcoming, perfected and radiant with His love for her – truly valiant, openly vulnerable and yet secure, and scandalous to onlookers because she’s entirely secure in His love.
So, we are kings and priests, a royal priesthood and a holy nation, just like Aaron was priest to Israel, we too have been commissioned by God to bring unity.
“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil – the Anointing Oil – poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore” ~Psalm 133:1-3.
And just like our Great and Merciful High Priest prayed:
“My prayer is not for them alone – not just for the immediate disciples of His day- (but) I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world” ~John 17:20-24.
That sounds like the prospective husband, asking his fiance’s father for her hand in marriage!
“When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his disciples went into it” ~John 18:1.
Even though His disciples went to sleep in this olive grove, and that, in the hour of Jesus’ greatest trial and temptation, this is surely found to be the “secret place of the Most High” and “the shadow of the Almighty” where we can hide, find refuge and dwell forever – ~Psl. 91 – this place of surrender to the purpose and will of God for our suffering.
“Weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning” ~Psalm 30:5.
It took Jesus – the Holy One – just three days,
to ‘drink this cup’ of suffering and release
the Holy Anointing Oil that brings us
~untouchable intimacy in divine teaching,
so as we can live by the Truth,
~impenetrable and godly peace in all of life,
so as we can live godly lives “no matter what”,
~and irrevokable unity with God, by His Spirit,
so that we are convinced of eternal life’s divine destiny as our own personal destiny.
Surely, ~these three alone make us live, supernaturally!