• By Pastor Boffey
  • on Saturday, January 28, 2017
(Psalms 23:5) Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. (All word definitions from Oxford English Dictionary) In what may be the best known psalm, David here considers the anointing of his head with oil one of his blessings. It was a sign of fullness and favor and assumed to be a proper way of receiving a good guest (LUK 7:46). To anoint means, “1. To smear or rub over (medicinally or cosmetically) with oil or unguent; to oil, grease, apply ointment to. To anoint the body, etc. 2. spec. To apply or pour on oil, etc., as a religious ceremony: a. at baptism, or on consecration to an office, as those of priest or sovereign. ” Unguent means “An ointment or salve.” Our Lord Jesus Christ was so virtuous that He could make an ointment out of His own spit and clay to anoint a blind man's eyes (JOH 9:6-11). The dictionary goes on to show that anoint also means, “To moisten or rub a surface with any substance. Hence ironically: To beat soundly, to ‘baste.’ (In the north they say humorously ‘to anoint with the sap of a hazel rod.’).” I am all in favor of richly anointing whiny children. Things make less noise when they are properly oiled. In Scripture, anointing with oil was not only for cosmetic or medicinal purposes. As the dictionary shows, it was used to consecrate someone to a high office. In Moses' Law, there were three offices for which there was anointing: prophet (1KI 19:16), priest (EXO 28:41) and king (1SAM 15:1). Sometimes a man could hold more than one office but no man could be both priest and king. King Uzziah was sorely judged for assuming priestly duties (2CH 26:16-21). The only Person authorized to hold all three offices is Jesus Christ Who is the promised Prophet (ACT 3:19-23) and a King-Priest after the order of Melchisedec (HEB 6:20; HEB 7:1-2). NOTE: Jesus has not broken Moses' Law by holding all three offices. He was born a king (LUK 1:30-33; MAT 2:1-2), but He was not crowned King or put on the throne until after He had put away the Old Testament by His death under a New Testament. By virtue of His resurrection He now sits on David's throne (ACT 2:29-36) being crowned with glory and honour (HEB 2:9) with righteousness as His royal sceptre (HEB 1:8). Jesus Christ is truly and supremely God's anointed. David in prophecy called Him the LORD's anointed: (Psa 2:1) Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? (Psa 2:2) The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, When the Apostle Peter applied David's prophecy to the Lord Jesus, we read: (Act 4:25) Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? (Act 4:26) The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. By comparing these texts, we see that God's anointed is God's Christ. It is not just that Jesus is the only one to hold the three anointed offices that makes Him especially God's anointed. It is that God Himself anointed Him, not with olive oil but with His Spirit. When Jesus was baptized, “...the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him...” (LUK 3:21-22). MAT 3:16 says, “...the Spirit of God descending...” Peter later described, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power...” (ACT 10:38). Jesus affirmed this anointing from God with the Spirit in His first public message: (Luk 4:18) The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath 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, Isaiah had also prophesied of Christ in many places. In the following text, Isaiah saw His anointing: (Isa 11:1) And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: (Isa 11:2) And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; Here were listed the spirits of: the LORD, wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear of the LORD (seven, the biblical number of fullness). Thus, we read of Christ as “...he that hath the seven Spirits of God...” (REV 3:1). This is symbolic of the fullness of the Spirit of God which Christ had. John the Baptist said of Christ, “...God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him” (JOH 3:34). Others had portions of the Spirit's endowments measured unto them but Christ had all. The Father had yet another anointing in store for Christ. Though He should minister and die in this world as “...a man of sorrows...” (ISA 53:3), yet for His obedience unto death (PHIL 2:8), God would raise Him to exaltation in the world above, saying: (Heb 1:9) Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. It was for that joy set before Him that He endured the cross (HEB 12:2). Anointed with the Spirit on earth and anointed with the oil of gladness in heaven as King and Priest forever. When Peter spoke of Christ's anointing in ACT 10:38, he noted that He “...went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” In furtherance of this, Christ empowered His disciples to perform great miracles as proof that their gospel message was valid: (Mar 6:7) And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; (Mar 6:12) And they went out, and preached that men should repent. (Mar 6:13) And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them. James later mentions this anointing with oil for healing: (Jam 5:14) 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: (Jam 5:15) 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. Notice the certainty of healing here. It was not a matter of their efforts only enhancing the possibility of recovery; no, they “...shall save the sick...” These are the only New Testament texts connecting physical healing and anointing with oil. Thus, we conclude that James is referring to that miracle-working power which accompanied the early N.T. church as it provided Israel all the proof needed that the promised Prophet had indeed come, “God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles...” (HEB 2:3-4). Those special miracles were, according to the prophecy of MIC 7:14-20, to benefit Israel “According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt...” (MIC 7:15), that is, for 40 years, as Stephen testified: (Act 7:36) He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. As God had shown Israel miracles for forty years under Moses' rule, so He showed them miracles for forty years again under Christ's rule, beginning with Jesus' changing of water into wine shortly after His baptism at about 30 years of age (LUK 3:22-23): “This beginning of miracles...” (JOH 2:11). With the completion of the New Testament Scripture, and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. signifying the end of God's tolerance with national Israel, there was no more need for those special gifts. Thus, it appears that as that early N.T. era was nearing its close, the gifts were waning: Paul had to leave Trophimus at Miletum sick (2TI 4:20) and instructed Timothy to use a little wine for his ailments (1TI 5:23), etc. Anointing someone with oil as an ointment may have medicinal benefit (and the therapeutic value of essential oils is gaining recognition by the medical community), prayer can indeed avail much (JAM 5:16), and God can still work a miracle if He so wills but saints no longer can command healing as was done in the First Century. There is, however, a valuable anointing oil that saints can give and receive: it is when we lovingly correct one another: (Psa 141:5) Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.

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The Cincinnati Church is an historic baptist church located in Cincinnati, OH.