Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Should We Use Anointing Oil While Appointing Ministers?

Are We Supposed To Use Anointing Oil To Heal The Sick And To Ordain Ministers In Churches?

Question : Are we supposed to use anointing oil to heal the sick and to ordain ministers in Churches.

Answer : Greetings to you in Jesus wonderful name!

It is a good question that we need to get in to the Word of God to find the appropriate answer.

The word in Hebrew for anointing is 'mishchah' and in Greek is 'chrisma', which in both language actually means 'anointing, anointed, ointment, anointing, unction.' But mainly through out the Scripture the Bible mainly speaks anointing as the symbolic representation of the coming, working and staying of the Holy Spirit, for which literal symbolic oil has been used by prophets to anoint and appoint the leaders of both the religious and political areas of the nation of Israel and the leaders by the apostles in the Church (1 Kings 19:16; 1 Tim 4:14). The word 'ordain' in English means 'make (someone) a priest or minister; confer holy orders on, order (something) officially.'

These words with minor adjustments are used in various places of the Bible literally, symbolically and metaphorically.

Usually God calls a person in to ministry and if they respond to the call of God, automatically the anointing of the Holy Spirit will start to work upon them to fulfill the ministry that God has planned for them.

Prophets such as Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel were called to do His service -- to serve Him -- there is no record or account of any of them having been anointed by any human agency or "hands" being laid upon them.

Abraham was personally called by God and as he responded to it, God blessed him more and more with His Spirit (Gen 12:1-4; Gal 3:14).

God selected and appointed Moses to lead His people out of Egypt, and to perform awesome miracles of plagues, at the burning bush he was called, ordained by Him (Exod 3:4-9, 10).

God revealed Himself to Samuel through the word of the Lord (1 Sam 3:7-8, 10-15, 17), when Samuel grew the Lord was with Him to let none of his words fall to the ground (1 Sam 3:19), automatically all Israel came to understand that Samuel had been established and confirmed as a prophet of the Lord (1 Samuel 3:20-21; 4:1).

Isaiah was called by God to become His servant, as he came forward in the vision to respond to the call, he was ordained and sent forth as God's mouth piece to the nation of Israel (Isa 6:1-7, 8, 9, 11).

God "ordained" Jeremiah as a prophet to the nations by APPOINTING him at the right time, after which he became God's messenger and mouthpiece to speak His Holy Word to the nation of Israel (Jer 1:4-10).

Ezekiel received the Word of the Lord in a vision of God and was thereafter commissioned to speak it to the children of Israel as the mouth piece and messenger of God (Ezek 1:1, 3; 2:1-4).

Daniel accepted the call of God for his life, and God in response poured out His Spirit and Wisdom to understand dreams and visions for him to become a eligible prophet and mouth piece of His (Dan 1:8, 9, 17, 20; Num 12:6).

John the Baptist was called and trained by God in the wilderness, and then sent fort to speak as the last of His mouth piece to speak his words and turn people towards the Son of God who is the Messiah Jesus (Matt 3:1, 4; 11:7-11, 13-14; Mark 1:1-6, 7-8; Luke 7:28; John 1:19-28).

It is not just in the Old Testament times, in the New Testament times, Jesus prayed to God to handpick and choose the 12 men to become apostles of the Lamb initially whom God chose beforehand (Luke 6:12-16; Rev 21:14). When a person was called by Jesus and he responded to his call, they became God's mouthpiece in training under Jesus' ministry (Matt 8:22; Matt 4:18-22; 9:9; Luke 5:8-11; Mark 3:14; John 1:43, 51; 2:2; 15:16). Even when Peter the chief apostle among the 12 found out later that Judas has become a traitor to betray Jesus and lose the apostleship to die hanging himself, yet Peter under the inspiration very carefully cast lots and picked another choice of God to replace Judas and continue in that anointed ministry (Acts 1:15-20, 24-25; Prov 16:33). As the lot fell on Matthias, he was numbered automatically with the eleven apostles and nobody laid hands on him to ordain him because it was God's choice to induce the right person of the same generation who was already trained by the Jesus and the Spirit of God to continue in this awesome apostolic ministry (Acts 1:21-23, 26).

Not only with the twelve, again Jesus chose 70 more disciples and sent them to preach, do miracles and tell people that the kingdom of God has already come to this earth through Jesus the King (Luke 10:1, 2-9, 17-20, 21).

Paul the apostle who acted as the enemy of the Church to persecute it, was chosen and called by God in a miraculous direct way which made him do a instant turn in the other direction to become a chosen messenger of God for the time to come in the Church (Acts 9:1-9, 10-19, 20-22). Nobody ever ordained him in to ministry except the supernatural encounter of God and was trained by Him in Arabian desert for some time (Gal 1:1, 11-12, 15), after three years when he returned to Jerusalem and continued in ministry the apostles were still finding it hard to trust Paul as he was a former enemy of the Church who was now proclaiming Jesus as His apostle, only later they accepted his genuine apostleship towards Gentiles (1 Cor 15:8-9; 2 Cor 12:11-12; Gal 1:22-24; 2:7, 8-9, 11, 14).

In other words, God calls whom He has already chosen, He equips them with the Holy Spirit anointing to empower them to fulfill His call for their lives to get fulfilled. No human agency is required for God to call a person and set him as His mouth piece or his messenger to speak His Word.

Yet we see again and again, once a particular ministry of a prophet or apostle has been set and used by God, if it continues for the succeeding generation after him, then He uses that same person who was used by Him in the past as His mouthpiece or messenger to ordain the next generation after him for that ministry to continue for the Glory of God. This does not mean that the prophet or apostle or a messenger of God can choose a person of his choice and put him in ministry after him, he can only recognize the person whom God has already chosen after him and train him to put him in to ministry through ordaining him by anointing him with oil and laying on of hands. Usually before laying on of hands, symbolically the messenger of God will dip their hands in to oil to say before all people, that the Holy Spirit who has used his hands thus far, now will go from his hand to the person whom He is ordaining officially as his successor to continue in that ministry of God.

We see this laying on of hands and pouring of the anointing oil in the following cases where these ministries were carried out under the dominant call of the sole ministry of these prophets in the Old Testament and apostles in the New Testament times.

Moses trained Joshua and laid hands on him to transfer the anointing of the Spirit and publicly ordained him before the people whom he was going to lead (Deut 34:9; 32:44; Num 27:18-19, 20, 22-23).

Moses also inaugurated the priestly ministry of Aaron and his sons by anointing them with anointing oil and also making special garments for them to wear specially for this purpose of ministering inside the tabernacle, to symbolically make them understand that a special Spirit of God has been poured on them by the Lord to represent people before God and God before people (Exo 30:22-25; 39:1; 40:12-15; Lev.8:12). The same special anointing oil was used to anoint the tabernacles and everything in it (Exo 40:9), including the altar and laver (Exo 40:10), to make these priests understand that they are treading in a Holy ground of God and they are specially separated for this ministry which no other person is allowed to do.

Also in the same way we see prophet Samuel anoint and inaugurate both Saul and after that David to become Kings (1 Sam.9:16-17; 10:1, 5-6; 16:12-13, 14). In the same way established priests and prophets later anointed to ordain and appoint Kings like Solomon, etc...after him in succession in this ministry (1 Kings 1:34).

Elijah the prophet was instructed to anoint his successor as directed by the Lord and he chose Elijah and trained him in the prophetic ministry, God also directed Elijah to anoint Hazael as king over Syria and Jehu as king over Israel (1 Kings 19:15-16). But Elijah threw his mantle on Elisha, he came after him and seeing the demonstration of the mighty works of his master, he by faith wanted a double portion of the anointing of Elijah which was impossible for him to do since he cannot give something he does not have, so under a supernatural word of faith and wisdom released from Elijah, Elisha received the double portion of anointing as he saw Elijah taken up to heaven at the last moment of time (2 Kings 2:9-10, 11-12, 13, 15).

Since Elijah concentrated to build his successor by faith, he delayed to anoint Hazael as king of Syria, but when Elisha rose up to be a mighty prophet, he released the word of faith and wisdom again to Hazael and it got fulfilled (2 Kings 8:9-15). I believe since Elisha knew that Hazael was going to torment and destroy Israel in the future, he disobeyed God's direct word to anoint him and therefore because of it he died of sickness later after sometime (2 Kings 13:14, 19-21). The prophets of Israel were so prejudiced against Gentile people, like Elisha and Jonah though they were great men of God, yet when God wanted to bless the enemy they disobeyed God and thus received the result of disobedience in their lives (Matt 5:44-48). But as for Jehu, Elisha sends the sons of the prophets to anoint him as king over Israel (2 Kings 9:1-13). From this we know that the very act of anointing is not something to be taken lightly as a ordination tradition that is optional to consider but rather is something which God commands and expects people to obey, even when man fails to do it, God faithfully according to his plan and purpose starts to anoint people spiritually and fulfill his blue print for them by their faith in His Word. So the anointed Word of faith that is released over people is not an end in itself, but the anointing with literal oil that accompanies the Word of faith and Wisdom is as important as the other, we should always understand that the full obedience to the Word of God is better than partial obedience which actually becomes disobedience.

We then see the twelve apostles choose seven men of good reputation who were full of Holy Spirit and wisdom, and then appointed them as overseer over the business of the Church by laying their hands on them, then we see that the word of God spread and the disciples multiplied greatly, so much so that even the great many priests became obedient to the faith (Acts 6:2-3, 5-6, 7).

The same thing happened when the eldership of prophets and teachers in the Church at Antioch were fasting and praying, ministering to the Lord, God told them to separate Barnabas and Saul for the apostolic work which He has called them to do, thus they as a elders, laid their hands on them and sent them away after which both officially began to operate in the gift of apostleship towards the Gentiles in their ministry (Acts 13:1-3).

We then see Paul and the elders of Ephesus laying hands on Timothy and giving prophecy about his future ministry and ordinating him before the Church to make him carry on the work that God has planned for his life (1 Tim 1:3, 18; 4:14). Then again we see Paul warning Timothy not to ordain any elder in the Church through laying on of his hands, unless they are experienced and have reputation with the Church and not a novice (1 Tim 5:22; 3:6).

So thus we know, many churches today practice a custom of having senior ministers and team of elders "ordain" others to the ministry by "laying on of hands," and sometimes also accompanied by "anointing" with oil -- meaning olive oil, coconut oil, etc symbolically like in the Old Testament times of anointing. Some churches also "raise" a minister in "rank" or in to the greater calling of the Lord for them by a similar "ordination service" involving laying on of hands to let these men in to either evangelist ministry or apostleship ministry or teaching ministry or prophetic ministry as we have seen above. All these thing have a Scriptural reasons for Churches doing things like these.

We read in Ephesians, "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting" (Ephesians 4:11-14, NKJV).

Yet we see that these 5-fold ministers are only small percentage within the Church to equip the Church, when the ministry grows and the next generation continues with the practice of the gift of God's grace through faith as explained in Rom 12:3-8 and in the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit as explained in 1 Cor 12:7-11, the most important thing in such a apostolic ministry of the New Testament Church pattern is to appoint the team of elders in each Church and make it self sufficient to run with only minimum spiritual support from the founding main Church (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5; Rev 1:19-20; 2:1-2, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14). The churches which has not followed this pattern of the New Testament to ordain elders in each Church to run it independently, have again and again made the Church ministry to come to an end with scattering of souls because of not appointing and raising the next generation of elders to make the Church run independently. Those who have appointed people in Church by election and not by Divine direction, or have given patronage to the children of the eldership of the Church to take over it as though it is their property and family business, have again and again destroyed the Church in times past and in the present time it has been happening and it will also happen in the future too if the Lord delays his coming.

Finally coming to your specific question, should we use oil in ministering to the sick? I would say we should use oil in ministering to the sick as much as possible because that is the way Jesus taught his twelve disciples initially to practice faith by symbolically rubbing oil on the head of the sick (Mark 6:7-9, 12-13). Every great healing ministry must have all started wiht basic and then move on higher in to the realm of faith. And also we see apostle James clearly instructing the sick people in the Church to go to the elders of the Church and ask them to anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord Jesus to release their faith in God through this symbolic act of anointing them with oil, so that the elders prayer of faith will heal the sick one by the Lord raising the sick even if the sick has committed some sins it would be forgiven because of their authority to let go of these sins (James 5:14-15; John 20:23). Oil was applied to the sick generally for cooling the body, and also to wounds for faster healing (Psalm 109:18; Isaiah 1:6). As oil refreshes the body to gladden it and will make the face of human to shine, hence figuratively it is used as the "oil of gladness" in the Bible to describe the joy that our soul feels when the anointing of the Holy Spirit refreshes our body and soul through using our spirit (Psalm 45:7; Heb 1:9). Anointing was also an act of hospitality (Luke 7:38, 46). It was the custom of the Jews in like manner to anoint themselves with oil, as a means of refreshing or invigorating their bodies (Deut 28:40; Ruth 3:3; 2 Sam 14:2; Psalm 104:15, etc.). This custom is continued among the Arabians to the present day.

Why not freely use oil when oil has such great benefit spiritually and physically for all the people whom we pray for?

But when we are in a situation where we do not have oil at hand to anoint people or a lot of people are waiting to be prayed, by faith we can freely lay hands on the sick and expect them to be healed as it is not a sin to pray for sick without anointing them with oil (Mark 16:17-18). The anointing prayer for the sick is not a command to be obeyed but rather a good principle to be practiced so that we can freely flow with the healing anointing and get used to move in it easily by faith so that later on even we can do without it.

Should we use oil to anoint while ordaining ministers in the Churches?

I have dealt this topic thoroughly above, so we know the act of anointing was significant of consecration to a holy or sacred use; hence the anointing of the high priest (Exo 29:29; Lev 4:3) and of the sacred vessels (Ex 30:26). The high priest and the king are thus called "the anointed", the expected Messiah or the Deliverer is called as 'The Anointed One' (Lev 4:3, 5, 16; Lev 6:20; Psalm 132:10; Psalm 2:2; Dan 9:25,26). Jesus of Nazareth is this anointed One (John 1:41; Acts 9:22; Acts 17:2, 3; Acts 18:5, 28), the Messiah of the Old Testament. Anointing a king was equivalent to crowning him (1 Sam 16:13; 2 Sam 2:4, etc.). Sometimes even prophets as in the case of Elisha were instructed by the Lord to be anointed (1 Kings 19:16; 1 Chron 16:22; Psalm 105:15).

So what can we learn from all these above? While appointing elders, I do not see specific anointing with oil used in the New Testament even hinted one time, but as Christians we always look to the Old Testament to learn symbolism and carry on these things as a pattern which even the Lord values many times seeing our faith. But using oil while ordaining might not have spiritual value even one bit, but it has great symbolic value. So I believe you can freely use oil in ordination, so that a royal and priestly pattern can be carried on in the Church as we are royal priests of the Lord in the New Testament (1 Peter 2:9; Rev 5:10).

Again using oil while ordinating people as leaders in the Church there are no rules to keep, but using oil is a good principle to be followed especially under the subjective direction of the Holy Spirit and for the rich symbolism in general, even if we ordain just laying on the hands it is not wrong and the purpose of the symbolism is also done through it itself and I believe that it why no where in the New Testament this is specifically referred literally during appointment of eldership or ordination. It is used only metaphorically in the NT; by metonym, where instead of the direct reference of the name Holy Spirit the symbolism of anointing from the Holy one which is unction or anointing was used (1 John 2:20, 27). Thus we can just lay hands and ordain or appoint an elder, this is more than enough for the requirement of the act, but a little more flavor, toppings and tasty nuts can be added to the ceremony of it if we can use oil as symbolism to express the message of truth behind it.

Much Blessings.....


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