Anointing with Oil

Salluz

Well-Known Member
What is the function for believers now of annointing someone with oil? What type of oil should be used? I'm thinking of James 5:14

14 Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. (HCSB)

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 (KJV)

The HCSB says olive oil here, but the KJV and others just say oil. Besides the mechanics of it, I would also like to explore the why, if anyone has more information.

I know during old testament times kings were anointed before their service, and that Jesus was called the Anointed One in places like Dan 9. What other functions did annointing with oil have? Which carry over to today like in James? I have heard of annointing missionaries before sending them off; is there biblical basis for annointing someone at the start of a ministry? Who can do the annointing? (I'd guess only those considered elders in the Church, given what James says)

Exodus 30 is also brought to mind as I'm gathering my thoughts on this:

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, 23 “Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant calamus, 24 500 shekels of cassia—all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin of olive oil. 25 Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil. 26 Then use it to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law, 27 the table and all its articles, the lampstand and its accessories, the altar of incense, 28 the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. 29 You shall consecrate them so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy.

The purpose of annointing something with that blend of fragrances in olive oil was to make whatever it annointed considered holy. Is it the same for believers now? But that seems unnecessary to me because believers are already set apart for God's purposes, so there has to be more to it than just that.

In a logistic sense, can we use the same blend of oil they used for the temple to annoint believers for healing or whatever other purpose today? It was also olive oil, just with fragrances added.

I'm excited to hear what other information/insight people have here
 

Jan51

Well-Known Member
Here’s what I have read. Oil in that day was considered medicinal; the word used here for "anoint" is not speaking of the sacred anointing associated with the Holy Spirit; it is speaking of the common use of oil, being rubbed on the body. So, pray, ask for prayer, use whatever medicine is available.
 

chaser

Well-Known Member
Here is what GotQuestions has to say https://www.gotquestions.org/anointing-oil.html
What does the Bible say about anointing oil?
Question: "What does the Bible say about anointing oil?"

Answer: Anointing oil, mentioned 20 times in Scripture, was used in the Old Testament for pouring on the head of the high priest and his descendants and sprinkling the tabernacle and its furnishings to mark them as holy and set apart to the Lord (Exodus 25:6; Leviticus 8:30; Numbers 4:16). Three times it is called the "holy, anointing oil," and the Jews were strictly forbidden from reproducing it for personal use (Exodus 30:32-33). The recipe for anointing oil is found in Exodus 30:23-24; it contained myrrh, cinnamon and other natural ingredients. There is no indication that the oil or the ingredients had any supernatural power. Rather, the strictness of the guidelines for creating the oil was a test of the obedience of the Israelites and a demonstration of the absolute holiness of God.

Only five New Testament passages refer to the practice of anointing with oil, and none of them offer an explanation for its use. We can draw our conclusions from context. In Matthew 6:17 Jesus mentions the everyday practice of anointing oneself with oil. In Mark 6:13 the disciples anoint the sick and heal them. In Mark 14:3–9 Mary anoints Jesus’ feet as an act of worship. In James 5:14 the church elders anoint the sick with oil for healing. In Hebrews 1:8–9 God says to Christ as He returns triumphantly to heaven, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever,” and God anoints Jesus “with the oil of gladness.”

Should Christians use anointing oil today? There is nothing in Scripture that commands or even suggests that we should use similar oil today, but neither is there anything to forbid it. Oil is often used as a symbol for the Holy Spirit in the Bible as in the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). Christians have the Spirit who leads us into all truth and “anoints” us continually with His grace and comfort. “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth” (1 John 2:20).
 

cheeky200386

Well-Known Member
I've wondered this myself. I was a part of a prayer group where the leader would walk around anointing our foreheads with oil and saying we should do this to bless spaces like our cars and homes. That seemed more like a superstitious use and remained skeptical. I have since stopped going to that church. I still have my bottle of anointing oil they gave me and have considered throwing it away. I just pray about issues without it. I'm curious what others say. The Bible didn't indicate to use it like these women were.
 

JSTyler

Well-Known Member
I've wondered this myself. I was a part of a prayer group where the leader would walk around anointing our foreheads with oil and saying we should do this to bless spaces like our cars and homes. That seemed more like a superstitious use and remained skeptical. I have since stopped going to that church. I still have my bottle of anointing oil they gave me and have considered throwing it away. I just pray about issues without it. I'm curious what others say. The Bible didn't indicate to use it like these women were.
I think you'd have been a great Berean back in the day and as such are a modern day one even now. What you describe certainly does have the stench of superstition.
 

aldanielle

Well-Known Member
I personally pray every night and anoint my room. I have found peace in this and it has become a part of my process. I had someone tell me to do it at a prayer retreat last year and I’ve just done it ever since.
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
Oil represents a picture of the Holy Spirit. It is not a talisman or a magic potion. It is symbolic. I do often anoint people when I pray for healing, according to Scripture; but I do so understanding the symbolism. I think anointing objects and spaces verges on superstition. But that is merely my own feeling. so, having said that, I am NOT going to criticize a brother or sister who does it, for Romans 14:1-13 is brought to my mind:

" 1 Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. 2 One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. 3 The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5 One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. 7 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. 10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written, 'AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.' 12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way."​

Aldanielle, I would consider what others have said, but not let it disturb me. I think the principle Paul gives in Colossians 2:16-17 should be a comfort to you:

"Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. "​

I would suggest that this principle applies to ANYTHING we may do to honor God in our own way. If you feel peace with God in how you choose to live for Him, then do it. If there is anything displeasing to Him, HE will let you know. :hug
 

aldanielle

Well-Known Member
Oil represents a picture of the Holy Spirit. It is not a talisman or a magic potion. It is symbolic. I do often anoint people when I pray for healing, according to Scripture; but I do so understanding the symbolism. I think anointing objects and spaces verges on superstition. But that is merely my own feeling. so, having said that, I am NOT going to criticize a brother or sister who does it, for Romans 14:1-13 is brought to my mind:

" 1 Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. 2 One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. 3 The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5 One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. 7 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. 10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written, 'AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.' 12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way."​

Aldanielle, I would consider what others have said, but not let it disturb me. I think the principle Paul gives in Colossians 2:16-17 should be a comfort to you:

"Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. "​

I would suggest that this principle applies to ANYTHING we may do to honor God in our own way. If you feel peace with God in how you choose to live for Him, then do it. If there is anything displeasing to Him, HE will let you know. :hug
I definitely don’t feel any lack of peace doing it. A house I had lived in bad terrible “energy” and everyone said it was haunted. You could feel the presence of the enemy there. I had been told to anoint the house and anoint my things. I don’t think anything anyone has said here is disturbing at all. I don’t think God minds my anointing at all. It’s just an extra tool to my prayer in a way. Thank you for your response!
 

JSTyler

Well-Known Member
I definitely don’t feel any lack of peace doing it. A house I had lived in bad terrible “energy” and everyone said it was haunted. You could feel the presence of the enemy there. I had been told to anoint the house and anoint my things. I don’t think anything anyone has said here is disturbing at all. I don’t think God minds my anointing at all. It’s just an extra tool to my prayer in a way. Thank you for your response!
We lived in an upper apartment of an old plantation house. We were in the section of the house that was designated as the slaves quarters back in the bad old days. There was something very wrong about the place...we can tell some stories, very uncomfortable stories. What was going on there was real and not something we encouraged or invoked. There were two other apartments in the same house plus the owners dwelling section. The other two apartments had some turnover and were eventually occupied by Christian tenants. The troublesome occurrences definitely lessened by degrees with the presence of other Christ followers but never completely ceased. We decided that our best course of action was to trust in God's ultimate protection while we lived there and also went on to host many Bible studies.

If there was something demonic going on, they/it certainly had a LOT of God's Word to deal with. In retrospect, maybe an anointing with oil, in the right spirit and understanding could have made a difference.
 

aldanielle

Well-Known Member
We lived in an upper apartment of an old plantation house. We were in the section of the house that was designated as the slaves quarters back in the bad old days. There was something very wrong about the place...we can tell some stories, very uncomfortable stories. What was going on there was real and not something we encouraged or invoked. There were two other apartments in the same house plus the owners dwelling section. The other two apartments had some turnover and were eventually occupied by Christian tenants. The troublesome occurrences definitely lessened by degrees with the presence of other Christ followers but never completely ceased. We decided that our best course of action was to trust in God's ultimate protection while we lived there and also went on to host many Bible studies.

If there was something demonic going on, they/it certainly had a LOT of God's Word to deal with. In retrospect, maybe an anointing with oil, in the right spirit and understanding could have made a difference.
I hate that you have experienced it also! I’m glad that you stayed in the word and hosted Bible studies! That is powerful. I always say scriptures out loud when I am feeling something demonic or exacerbated warfare. I found a great prayer and used the oil to pray over the house and it definitely made a huge difference. Now, anytime I move or occupy a new place I always anoint it before I move and bless it in the name of Jesus. It’s a powerful tool!
 

Lookingup83

Well-Known Member
I never really placed a lot of stock into using oil until my home came under demonic attack. I was praying the spirit go but it lingered. Perhaps using the oil in my home did nothing, and perhaps it helped strengthen prayers or confidence...I cannot say. I was at my wits end to get rid of this thing, and it did go soon after.
 

Wings

Member
What is the function for believers now of anointing someone with oil? What type of oil should be used? I'm thinking of James 5:14

14 Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. (HCSB)

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 (KJV)

The HCSB says olive oil here, but the KJV and others just say oil. Besides the mechanics of it, I would also like to explore the why, if anyone has more information.

I know during old testament times kings were anointed before their service, and that Jesus was called the Anointed One in places like Dan 9. What other functions did anointing with oil have? Which carry over to today like in James? I have heard of anointing missionaries before sending them off; is there biblical basis for anointing someone at the start of a ministry? Who can do the anointing? (I'd guess only those considered elders in the Church, given what James says)

Exodus 30 is also brought to mind as I'm gathering my thoughts on this:

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, 23 “Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant calamus, 24 500 shekels of cassia—all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin of olive oil. 25 Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil. 26 Then use it to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law, 27 the table and all its articles, the lampstand and its accessories, the altar of incense, 28 the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. 29 You shall consecrate them so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy.

The purpose of anointing something with that blend of fragrances in olive oil was to make whatever it anointed considered holy. Is it the same for believers now? But that seems unnecessary to me because believers are already set apart for God's purposes, so there has to be more to it than just that.

In a logistic sense, can we use the same blend of oil they used for the temple to anoint believers for healing or whatever other purpose today? It was also olive oil, just with fragrances added.

I'm excited to hear what other information/insight people have here
Hello @Salluz,

I have not had reason to consider this matter, for it has never been part of my experience, but I will do so now.

* In Exodus 30:22-38 that you have referenced, the anointing oil was closely guarded in regard to it's composition, and it's use. It was to be used as an anointing oil 'unto Me' (i.e., God Himself), throughout their generations (verse 31) to set apart people and things unto God for His service. It was not to be poured upon man's flesh (verse 32). It was holy unto the children of Israel exclusively, and was not to be used on anyone of another race (verse 33) . The penalty for disobeying these charges, was severe: ,resulting in the guilty person being 'cut-off' from his People.

* James 5:14 is a verse you have also referred to as an example of anointing with oil. The word, 'anointing' in this verse is, G218 (aleipho) = anoint. When considering this verse, I believe that notice should be taken of just who James was writing to (James 1:1), in the light of the exclusive nature of the anointing oil and it's usage.

* 1 John 2:27, is the other reference you have given, and looking up the word translated, 'anointing', I see that it differs from that used in James 5:14: it is G5545 (chrisma) which is used figuratively of the endowment of the Holy Spirit. This anointing I believe was exclusively an Acts period experience, for this word is not used by Paul; it is used here, by John, and in verse 20 of that same chapter, but translated, 'unction', these are in fact the only two usages of this word, except for the verb (chrio) which is used in 2 Corinthians 1:21, and translated anointed. Elsewhere it is always used of the Lord Himself (i.e., Luke 4:18; Acts 4:27; Acts 10:38 and Hebrew 1:9) . It is the word from which Christos is formed.

* Anointing is not mentioned in the later prison epistles of Paul that contain the administration of the revelation of God revealed to Him while in prison at the end of the Acts period, which is of vital importance to us in this dispensation. So, I cannot see that it has any relevance in the Church which is the Body of Christ of which Paul was Divinely made Steward. (Ephesians 3:9)

* That is all I can contribute I'm afraid, but if I find out more I shall come back.

Thank you
In Christ Jesus
our risen and glorified
Saviour, Lord and Head.
Chris
 
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