James, Part 12: Anointing with Oil
James 5:14-15 NIV Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.
Mark 6:13 NIV They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
Here is a provision for Divine Healing.
Whatever the cause for the sickness may be, James tells you what to do.
The sick should call for the spiritual leadership of the church and ask for prayer.
James says prayer will bring healing in that person’s body.
James gives a method for praying.
Anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.
The word “to Anoint” comes from one Hebrew and two different Greek words. The word “to anoint,” ἐπιχρίω [epi chrío], refers to the sacred anointing with oil.
Epi means upon, and chrío means “to rub,” “to stroke,” with oils, “to smear,” “to anoint,” John 9:6, 11 (Jesus made mud and rubbed it into the man’s eyes).
The Old Testament מָשַׁח (mā·šǎḥ): is a smear on, spread on, or pour on anointing, (Genesis 31:13; Exodus 29:7; Exodus 29:29; 1 Samuel 9:16; 15:1).
The word for anointing with oil, ἀλείφω [aleipho /al·i·fo/], James 5:14; Mark 6:13.
Aleipho is a general term for an anointing of any kind.
In James 5:14 and in Mark 6:13 the meaning is uncertain to some.
Some scholars indicate that this is a mingling of medicine and God.
Anoint with the oil as in a ceremonial fashion and rub as a medical ointment.
The attempt is to diminish this anointing with oil to the application of medicine, combined with prayer.
Although there is nothing wrong with that activity, it removes much of the emphasis of the Divine intervention in bringing the healing.
What is the purpose in Mark 6:13 and James 5:14 using the word [aleipho /al·i·fo/] anointing?
Why did the sacred writer use aleipho /al·i·fo/ the synonym for epi chrio?
It appears that the מָשַׁח (mā•šǎḥ) or epi chrio anointing had become a ceremonial anointing. It appears the efficacious value of the sacred anointing that was instituted in the Old Testament had lost its value. (Efficacious- marked by qualities giving the power to produce an intended effect. Producing or capable of producing an intede result.)
Let’s look at the different kinds of anointing in the Scripture.
First, let’s consider the sacred anointing with oil.
The Biblical anointing is much greater than skin care.
Exodus 29:7 NASB95 “Then you shall take the anointing oil and pour it on his head and anoint him.
Exodus 30:22-25 (NLT) Then the Lord said to Moses, “Collect choice spices—12 ½ pounds of pure myrrh, 6 ¼ pounds each of cinnamon and of sweet cane, 12 ½ pounds of cassia, and one gallon of olive oil. Blend these ingredients into a holy anointing oil.
The holy anointing oil was both effective and efficacious (possessed power or properties to achieve a desired purpose).
God separated this blend of oil and fragrance for a sacred purpose. It was not to be commonly used.
Its purpose was never intended as a skin care, or medicine.
It was only used in religious and ceremonial anointing. It was set aside for the work of God.
God determined the times and places this oil was to be used.
This special holy anointing oil was only to be used in ordination and dedication.
In addition to the cleansing with blood, the anointing with this holy anointing oil sanctified to make holy.
There was always an initial application of the blood from the sacrifice and then the anointing oil.
The blood cleansed, the oil separated and empowered.
So much power was represented in this process that anyone who touched those things became holy.
Notice the anointing with oil in Leviticus 8.
What did Moses anoint with this oil?
What was the affect of the anointing?
Moses took Aaron and his sons and their garments and anointed them.
He also took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it.
He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head.
He sprinkled Aaron and his sons with the anointing oil and some of the blood which was on the altar.
Everything the oil touched was set apart for God.
The Law made provision for anointing those who were to be cleansed.
In Leviticus 14 the priest was to take some of the blood of the trespass offering and put some on the right ear, the right thumb, and big toe of his right foot. After the blood was applied he was to sprinkle the oil seven times on those areas, then he poured the remainder of the oil on his head.
God established a particular pattern for anointing with oil.
The Bible refers to a different kind of anointing that transcends and surpasses the external mā•šǎḥ or epi chrio anointing.
The Greek word χρίω [chrio] is a “Sacred Anointing.”
This word is only used in relation to a sacred anointing.
From the word chrio comes the word Christos. Christos gives the determination that Christ is the Anointed One.
Jesus Christ is the Anointed One of God, (Luke 4:18; Acts 18; Acts 4:27; Acts 10:30; Hebrews 1:9).
In 2 Corinthians 1:20-22 this Anointing applies to the believer.
2 Corinthians 1:20-22 (NKJV)
For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
We have an anointing from God.
That anointing is connected to Christ.
In the Old Testament the anointing oil consecrated people and things as holy to the Lord.
The anointing with the sacred oil was poured on people and things.
This anointing proceeded downward.
In the New Testament believers, the re-born ones have an anointing from the Holy One.
That anointing “separates us unto God.”
As with the mā•šǎḥ or epi chrio and the aleipho /al·i·fo/, the anointing is a process.
To truly understand what is to happen in the New Testament we must understand the process in the Old Testament.
What is the process of the anointing?
In the Old Testament God separated (anointed) Moses in His presence, which then followed a pattern that God established.
Moses applied the oil of anointing upon Aaron and others after the blood of atonement had been sprinkled.
After that, the Priests were the anointed of God.
These who were anointed applied the anointing oil on others.
Any other individual in the Old Testament who was anointed was separated by God after a similar pattern.
When we jump over into the New Testament the blood of Christ is offered as atonement and then Holy Spirit is given.
In the New Testament, Jesus said He would pray the Father to send the Holy Spirit upon believers.
The basis for the miracle of healing is Elders of the Church anointing with oil and praying the prayer of faith. (James 5:14-15)
They are operating from an anointing of the Holy Spirit.
The oil of the anointing represents the Holy Spirit.
The oil poured out represents the presence of the Holy Spirit upon.
The oil is poured out upon and used by the spiritual leader who anoints.
The Anointing from God is much more than the physical oil that was poured on the head or rubbed into the skin.
The anointing within must precede the anointing with oil.
God’s power and Spirit accompanies the (epi chrio or aleipho /al•i•fo/) anointing with oil.
When the anointing of the Holy Spirit accompanies the anointing with oil miracles and healings occur.
The Holy Spirit anointing enables and equips.
This Holy Anointing gives the ability to work the works of power.
In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit rested on Jesus Christ without limit.
Jesus the Christ held a dual position.
He was the atonement, the blood of the covering.
He functioned as the Priest who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.
From a position of power Jesus distributed an anointing for His disciples and the church to work in the power of the Holy Spirit.
First comes the atonement.
Then comes the anointing.
Jesus, (the atonement) said He would pray the Father and He would send the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is given at the discretion of the Father upon those who have been cleansed by the blood of the Son.
The Anointing of God produces a special unction, or power.
The Anointing of God is given to accomplish a special task.
This is a specific Anointing.
This anointing of the Holy Spirit that is purely divine.
The physical anointing must operate from a basis of Holy Spirit power.
When the woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus, He said that virtue had gone out of His body.
The Anointing that was upon Him came upon her.
The word virtue is also translated, power and unction.
When she touched Jesus, power ushered from Him into the woman who was sick.
No oil was poured upon the woman, but the power of the Holy Spirit, which was in Christ, came upon her.
The power of the Holy Spirit produced the healing.
Some translations say that power came out of Him when they touched His clothes.
That virtue or power is related to the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
When we anoint with oil we depend on God doing something supernatural.
The anointing with oil does not produce power.
The power is the result of the Holy Spirit’s activity.
The anointing with oil is associated with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God.
The anointing with oil is best understood when it points to the person and work of the Holy Spirit.
James simply says to call for the Elders of the church, anoint with oil, and pray the prayer of faith and the Lord will raise them up.
James 5:14–15 (NKJV)
14Is anyone among you sick? 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.
15And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
The individual and faithful action of anointing with oil is in anticipation and expectation of the faithful action of God the Holy Spirit to complete the work.
Anointing with oil and praying the prayer of faith, demonstrates total dependence on Holy Spirit to bring the healing.