The Anointing Makes the DifferenceMoreover the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 23 "Also take for yourself quality spices — five hundred shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much sweet-smelling cinnamon (two hundred and fifty shekels), two hundred and fifty shekels of sweet-smelling cane, 24 five hundred shekels of cassia, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and a hin of olive oil. 25 And you shall make from these a holy anointing oil, an ointment compounded according to the art of the perfumer. It shall be a holy anointing oil. 26 With it you shall anoint the tabernacle of meeting and the ark of the Testimony; 27 the table and all its utensils, the lampstand and its utensils, and the altar of incense; 28 the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the laver and its base. 29 You shall consecrate them, that they may be most holy; whatever touches them must be holy. 30 And you shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister to Me as priests. 31 "And you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'This shall be a holy anointing oil to Me throughout your generations. 32 It shall not be poured on man's flesh; nor shall you make any other like it, according to its composition. It is holy, and it shall be holy to you. 33 Whoever compounds any like it, or whoever puts any of it on an outsider, shall be cut off from his people.'"
Over the years of studying the Bible I’ve noticed that the concept of anointing is very important in Scripture. The first reference in the Bible to anointing is in Exodus 25:6 where the “anointing oil” is mentioned. In that text, the Lord tells Moses to collect an offering from the people, and in the list of things to collect from the people God includes spices and sweet incense for the anointing oil. Think about that for moment. The very first reference to anointing is in the context of taking an offering, and in fact, the offering would contain the substance out of which the anointing oil would be manufactured.
Has it ever occurred to any of us, that one of the keys to our anointing may be what we are putting into the offering? This isn’t the tithe we’re talking about here, but the offering. The anointing oil was created out of the offerings of the people.
I) ANOINTING IN THE BIBLE
The word translated “anointing” in Exodus 25:6 is from the Hebrew word mishchah (meesh-khaw'). The root word behind mishchah means to rub with oil, or to anoint. It implies a consecration that is affirmed and sealed by covering or painting the object or the person with the holy anointing oil.
The word “anoint” is used as an imperative of command 35 times in the New King James Version of the Bible. The word “anointing” occurs 27 times, and the word “anointed,” referring to a past act of anointing or to something or someone who has been anointed, is found 101 times. The Anointed is also used as a reference to the Messiah. Notice the similarity between the word Messiah and the Hebrew word mishchah. The word Messiah means, the Anointed One.
In the New Testament, in the Greek the word for anointing is chrio, and as you can tell, the title Christ implies anointing. In fact, Christ is simply the Greek equivalent to the Hebrew word Messiah. Jesus is the Anointed One. Jesus said of Himself, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He has anointed Me” (Luke 4:18).
The first time the word anoint is used in the Bible in reference to a person is in Exodus chapter 28, verse 41, where God tells Moses, “So you shall put them [the priestly garments] on Aaron your brother and on his sons with him. You shall anoint them, consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister to Me as priests.” In that verse the anointing is a prerequisite to serving God as a priest. He said, “You shall anoint them [that’s first], consecrate them [or fully and openly ordain them for this role], and sanctify them [or set them apart from the common and commit them exclusively to God], so that they may minister to Me as priests.”
Then in our text, God begins to tell Moses how this oil is to be made, and exactly what the ingredients will be, and precisely what measurement of each of the spices was to be in this oil. Furthermore, God tells Moses exactly what is to be anointed, and finally God affirms the sacredness of this anointing oil. This oil is not to be marketed or sold for any purpose other than for what God has ordained. This is much different from what we hear and see on so-called Christian television where oil is sold, spring water, prayer clothes, and such. God said that this is a holy anointing oil and it is not to marketed and sold for ungodly gain.
From the perspective of the New Testament, we understand that the anointing in the Old Testament was a type, a symbolic act that implied a deeper spiritual reality. The oil itself is symbolic of the Holy Spirit coming upon and covering a person with the power or the ability to carry out the ministry to which they had been anointed. In the Old Testament there were three types of people who were anointed, the priest, the prophet, and the king. Interestingly, Jesus functioned as God incarnate in all three of these roles. We know that the Bible refers to Jesus as the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is the Prince of Peace. We sing, “He’s who reigns for evermore. He’s my king to worship and adore. Oh I really love Him, there is none above, wonderful is He.”
Not only is He our King, but according to the writer of Hebrews, Jesus is our Chief Priest, our High Priest, and he is without equal, because unlike all other priests who had to first offer sacrifices for their own sins, Jesus knew no sin. He was in all point tempted like as we are, yet without sin. He is a Priest without parallel.
Jesus is King, and Priest, and He is also a prophet without equal. In Luke’s Gospel, 9:28-36, we find Jesus on the mountain with Peter, James and John. As seemed to often be the case, Jesus is praying, and the disciples are sleeping. The Bible tells us that as Jesus prayed, the veil of human flesh struggled to conceal the glory of the divinity that was the natural state of Jesus and “his raiment was white and glistering.”
There were two men who appeared with Jesus, these two men were considered the two greatest prophets in all of Judaism, Moses and Elijah. As Jesus was speaking with these two great prophets, Peter woke up and saw the glory of Jesus, and the two men that stood with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While Peter was speaking a cloud overshadowed them and a voice came from the cloud that said, “This is my beloved Son: hear Him.” And when the voice finished speaking, the only man left standing there was Jesus. Jesus is the prophet without parallel and God the Father said, “Hear Him.” Jesus is anointed as Prophet, Priest; and King.
II) ANOINTING IN THE LAW
THE SUBSTANCE OF THE ANOINTING OIL. Look at verses 23 through 25. Notice that Moses was to use the choice or quality spices. These spices weren’t easy to find or obtain. You didn’t just pick a dandelion and throw it into the oil and call it anointing oil. First, they were to use about 20 pounds of liquid myrrh, which comes from the stem of a short tree that grows in Arabia and East Africa. They were to gather pure myrrh, or liquid myrrh that resulted from natural ruptures in the bark of the tree. It was not to be the result of the manipulation of man, but the natural process of the tree.
The second spice was about 10 pounds of cinnamon and it comes from a tree growing in Ceylon and on islands of the Indian Ocean. It is the dried inner rind of the tree.
The third spice was about 10 pounds of sweet calamus, a fragrant cane whose root is used as a spice. It grows in Arabia and India.
The last spice is about 20 pounds of cassia. Cassia is the aromatic bark of a shrub which grows in various parts of the East.
Where did these spices come from? The people gave them to Moses in their offerings, but they received them from the Egyptians as they were walking out of Egypt. Their enemy had provided the ingredients for the anointing oil as they were marching out of captivity. Remember the Bible says that the Israelites spoiled, or plundered the Egyptians. They received jewels of gold and silver, garments, and also expensive spices.
May I suggest to you that can use your enemies to provide spice for your anointing. James said that the trying of our faith works patience, and he goes on to say that if we let patience have its perfect work, we shall be complete, lacking nothing (Ja. 1:2-4). Notice that all the spices of the anointing oil were sweet spices. Here’s the thing about persecution, it will either make us bitter or it will make us better. God can make all things work together for good, and make us better people even through our persecution and even after the attack of the enemy if we will let Him.
Finally, all these spices were to be combined with about six quarts of olive oil. So there were about 60 pounds of spices and two and half gallons of oil combined together according to the art of the apothecary. It is referred to as an ointment compound. It was thick and therefore was rubbed, or painted onto the object of anointing.
THE SUBJECTS OF THE ANOINTING OIL God was very specific concerning what was to be anointed. The tent of meeting was to be anointed, along with the Ark of the Covenant and all of the tables, lampstands, utensils, and altars. These items were to be set aside exclusively for worshipping God. Furthermore, no one who was unclean was to touch any of these items. For that reason, the priesthood must also be holy, consecrated and anointed. God told Moses, “You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister to Me as priests.” God expects His ministers to be anointed, consecrated and sanctified for unto Him.
This ointment was very fragrant and it has a unique odor. The worship experience in the tabernacle and later in the temple was multisensory. There were sights, sounds, and smells associated with worship. The odor of this anointing oil was so unique until the priest would not have to tell anyone he was anointed, they could tell by the smell that this was anointed man of God. He didn’t need to carry a business card, or put it on a billboard, or promote himself as God’s anointed, they would know by the unique fragrance.
We are told in Psalm 133:2 that the unity of the brethren “is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments.” After this ointment was put upon Aaron, the oil in the ointment would run down and cover his entire being, right down to the hem of his garment. In the New Testament Jesus is God’s anointed. He is anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power. It is for this reason that the woman with the issue of blood could say, “If I can but touch the hem of His garment, I know I shall be healed.” Jesus was dripping in anointing.
THE SACREDNESS OF THE ANOINTING OIL This anointing oil was to be used only as God prescribed. It was not for the general public to use. It was not be poured on just anyone, but only upon the priests and the items necessary for worshipping God. There weren’t even to make anything that was similar to it. There were to be no substitutes, no knock-offs, no generic brands, but this anointing oil was one of a kind, used for specific purposes, and if anyone tried to imitate it, or manufacture it on their own, then they were to be ostracized by the people of God. They were to be put out and cut off from any further fellowship with God’s people.
My friends, there is no substitute for genuine anointing. Fine facilities, educated preachers, a graded choir, and the latest in audio and video technology may alright, in their place, but there is no substitute for anointing.
III) ANOINTING IN THE BODY OF CHRIST
What does all of this have to do with the church today? It has much to do with us. To begin with, remember that the three roles that were anointed in the Old Testament were the priest, the prophet, and the king. Jesus was God’s anointed because Jesus was our prophet, High Priest, and King. But in 1 Peter 2:9 Peter writes to the church, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood , a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
Notice that phrase “royal priesthood.” That means that we are priests and king in the kingdom of God. There is only one King of kings, but we are the head and not the tail, we are above and not beneath, when it come to our relationship with this world. He has given us power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. Revelation 5:10 says that God has “made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth” (cf. also, Rev. 1:6). So, kings and priests were anointed, as were prophets. Not only does the Bible declare the priesthood of all believers, but it also teaches prophethood of all believers. Peter says that we are a “royal priesthood,” but then he goes on to say, “That you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness.” Proclamation is the role of the prophet. We have been called to go and tell, to speak forth His praises, to proclaim the good news. Jesus said, “And you shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). He’s promising us a prophet anointing to be proclaimers of the Good News.
What am I saying? I’m saying that the Body of Christ, the church, has been called to be prophet, priest, and king in this world, and Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to anoint us serve in these capacities. When you become a believer and begin to enter into your role as servants of the Most High God, God will provide the power, the anointing, the unction from the Holy One, to do whatever God has called you to do, or wherever He has called you to serve in the Body of Christ.
So what does this mean? It means that God has a special anointing for you. It’s not like any other anointing that the world can give. It isn’t something that can be duplicated, replicated, or imitated. When the anointing is real, there will be no doubt. The anointing makes the difference. The anointing breaks the yoke. The anointing liberates the people of God to do the work of God and to do it in the might and power of the Holy Spirit.
Are you ready for your anointing? Paul told Timothy, “Stir up the gift of God that is in you by the laying on of my hands.” In other word, “It’s time to stir up the anointing.” It’s time say, “I will not try to accomplish in the flesh, that which requires the Holy Spirit at work in me and through me.”
We read about the power of the Holy Spirit on Jesus, but Paul said, that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead shall also quicken our mortal bodies. Jesus said:
16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever — 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17, NKJV)Not only was Jesus anointed, but Jesus anointed the church. Not long before the crucifixion Jesus went the Mount of Olives to pray. Why the Mount of Olives? Because that was where the olives were crushed to make the oil. When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, on the Mount of Olives, praying, He felt the pressure of the of sins of the world upon His shoulders and He prayed until His sweat became, as it were, great drops of blood. What was happening? The olive was being crushed, so that we could be anointed.
God has an anointing for you, so that you can be prophet, priest, and king in this world, and we have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.