Oil had been used symbolically since at least the times of the patriarchs. In Genesis 28:18, 22 (also: Ge 31:13; 35:14) Jacob poured oil on a stone which had been his pillow during a vision of God. In this way he acknowledged that the place was filled with God’s presence. Elsewhere in the Bible the “anointing” with oil is used as a symbol of receiving the Holy Spirit (1Sa 16:13; Ac 10:38; 2Co 1:21, 22; 1Jn 2:20, 27). Priests, prophets and kings were “anointed” with oil (Ex 40:15; 1Sa 16:13; 1Ki 19:15, 16) to signify that God had set them in a special place or function, equipped them for His service, and empowered them by placing His Spirit on them (Douglas, J.D, ed., The New Bible Dictionary, Erdmans, 1962, on “anointing,” p 39). The word “anointed” means to apply an “ointment” or oil-based solution to a person or object. When used this way the oil represents the presence of the Holy Spirit coming upon and remaining on the person or object. In order to provide a special anointing oil for the priests and tabernacle the Lord instructed that aromatic oils from certain spices be mixed into a gallon of olive oil. This would produce a lovely smelling oil that left a lingering fragrance. His recipe called for four spices: myrrh is a scented resin from a desert shrub; cinnamon is a brown spice we are familiar with today; and cane and cassia are scented spices from India. If the recipe meant 50 pounds of dry powdered spices were added to a gallon of olive oil the result would have been a thick paste. So when the reference is made in verse 25 to a “perfume mixture” we are being told that a perfumer boiled the sweet-smelling essences out of this amount of spices and mixed the perfume into the olive oil. The tent, all its articles of furniture and utensils, along with Aaron and his sons were to be anointed with this special perfumed oil. This action invited the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit and set apart those people and objects as “holy” (Ex 40:9-15, Lev 8:10-12).
A. What happens when God “anoints” a church?
God Himself is tangibly present and evidently at work.
B. What brings this “anointing”?
- Believing: asking based on promise
- Persevering: praying until He answers
- Humble: no reliance on the “flesh”
- No hidden sin (Jos 6:17-19; 7:1, 11-13)
- What I do in private affects the spiritual community I’m part of
- This doesn’t mean everyone has to be perfect: a) God focuses on the church, not the visitors; b) Confession & repentance release His power
- Ephesians 5:3-7
- No bitterness or judgmentalism
- Ephesians 4:1-6; 30-32
- Psalm 133
4. Transformed individuals
- New birth
- Baptism with the Holy Spirit
C. What steps can we take to receive a greater anointing for our church?
1. Prayer meeting (7:00-8:30 on Thursdays)
2. Life Transformation Groups, pastoral appointment, regular confession
3. Seek out reconciliation, resolve matters quickly, refuse mental assaults that attempt to stir up past offenses, don’t stop gathering together with other believers
4. Receive the new birth, be baptized in water and receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit
1) Describe the time in your life when you saw God most powerfully at work.
2) What step is God asking you to take to help our church receive more of the Holy Spirit?