KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
studies in end-time revelation
THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
THE ANOINTING OF THE PRIESTHOOD
"And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the Tabernacle of the congregation...then shalt thou take the ANOINTING OIL, and pour it upon his head, and ANOINT HIM. And thou shalt ANOINT AARON AND HIS SONS, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto Me in the priest's office" (Ex. 29:4,7; 30:30).
Under the law, the anointing was the ceremony by which the priests were installed in their service. They were anointed to their office with a peculiar ointment, called the "Holy Anointing Oil". Of old, three classes were anointed with the Holy Anointing Oil -prophets, priests and kings. With it Moses anointed Aaron and his sons and all the priests who came after them. With it Samuel anointed Saul to be the leader in Israel, and David to be their king. In fact, David was anointed three times, first in the midst of his brethren in the hidden obscurity of his home in Bethlehem (I Sam. 16:3,13), then by the men of Judah, over the house of Judah (II Sam. 2:4,7), and seven years and six months later, over all Israel, by the elders of Israel (II Sam. 5:3,17). The classic example of the anointing of a prophet is Elisha, who received a double portion of Elijah's spirit (anointing) when he was parted from him in a chariot of fire.
Because of being anointed with the Holy Anointing Oil, the High Priest was called "the anointed" (Lev. 4:3,5,16; 6:22), the same as later for the anointed kings of Israel (I Sam. 24:6,10; 269-11; Lam. 4:20). Christ (meaning "the anointed") was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power (Acts 10:38) and fulfills all three functions. He is the prophet like unto Moses. He is the promised son of David, the King of Israel. He is a High Priest for the ages according to the Order of Melchizedek.
If we would honor God or man, we must do it by the anointing. This simply means that if we would fulfill the will of God and the ministry of God, if we would minister unto God and touch and bless men, we must do it by the Holy Spirit. We must be a man filled with the Spirit, an olive tree, a son of oil. We can never minister as the Lord's priest apart from the life of the Holy Spirit. The soundest advice I can give anyone desiring the priesthood is: MAKE SURE YOU ARE ANOINTED! You will never stand and speak with authority in the name of Jesus, or do the works of God, unless you are anointed. Men rant and rave and stomp and clap and shout and dance about and say that that is the anointing. Not so! The anointing has nothing whatever to do with physical motions or volume. It has to do with authority by the presence of God in our lives. There is a great difference between noise and the power of God. We can put on a soulish clap, sing an empty song, march the Jericho March, and go through endless religious exercises, and never be touched by the anointing. Many do these things thinking they will bring the blessing. Believe me when I say - THEY WON'T! Oh, yes, there is a place for shouting, for music, for dancing, for making a joyful noise or a noise full of joy - but THIS IS NOT THE ANOINTING. We must never forget that!
Moses anointed Aaron and his sons. Moses was the mediator of the Old Covenant (Gal. 3:19). The mediator of the New Covenant is Jesus, so when you read of all that Moses performed on behalf of the Levitical priests in the books of Exodus and Leviticus, put Jesus in Moses' place and you will receive understanding of what Jesus is doing in our lives to bring us to the Melchizedek Priesthood. It was Moses who anointed the priests of the Old Covenant, and it is Jesus who anoints the priests of the New Covenant!
THE ART OF THE APOTHECARY
"Moreover the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take thou also unto thee principle spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, and of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an bin: and thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after THE ART OF THE APOTHECARY: it shall be an HOLY ANOINTING OIL. And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto Me in the priest's office" (Ex. 30:22-30).
The term "apothecary" means a druggist, pharmacist or perfumer. The art of compounding medicines and perfumes traces its origin to the beginning of civilization. The first apothecaries were busy preparing fragrances for the gods of their various cultures and often these heathen priests were also the druggists. In addition they acted as physicians, using their ointments and herbal compounds to heal the sick. The most ancient empire known to history was the Egyptian Empire. The science of perfumery and medicine is traceable to the world of the Egyptians. When the tomb of King Tutankhamen was opened, the fragrance of the incense pervaded the room from the vases buried with the king, though the liquid contents had evaporated long milleniums before. Like many other customs familiar to the culture of the West, the art of perfumery and medicine was adopted by us from the East. The art of compounding unguents and fragrant ointments originated in the Orient where sweet-scented spices and herbs were extensively used, not only in temple ritual, but in common every-day life as well. The breast of the Sphinx of Egypt carries an inlaid tablet depicting a Pharaoh, probably of a dynasty contemporary with the time of Moses, offering incense and oil. By that time the priests had become the official perfumers and the formulas were kept a well-guarded secret. The Scriptures describe a number of the ointments used in the ancient world and most of the ingredients enumerated therein have been discovered by scientific analysis of mummies and relics found in ancient tombs. Skilled artisans from the various nations of the East had developed the science of compounding spices in various ways, sometimes crushing them beneath the wheels of a heavy cart or chariot, in order to produce the fine fragrant powders.
To be an apothecary was considered a high honor and was indeed a prestigious occupation. Blending the incenses and anointing oils and medicines would require materials from the uttermost parts of the earth. But more than that, it required the rare skill of one highly trained, with unique apparatus, to prepare the powders and blend the oils so as to obtain just the right fragrance to please the nostrils of a king, or to be acceptable to the gods; or the precise formula to heal the sicknesses of the people. The art of the apothecary was not an easy one. Moses was learned in all the arts of the Egyptians and through his knowledge others came to know these secrets as well. In the instructions for preparing the Holy Anointing Oil, however, none of the Egyptian formulas were used. Moses did not employ the wisdom of Egypt, but received the formula from the Lord Himself who is the revealer of secrets. From the prophet Isaiah we learn that the Almighty is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working and wisdom cometh from the Lord of Hosts (Isa. 28:29,
"And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship. And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee... the cloths of service, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest's office, and the ANOINTING OIL, and sweet incense for the Holy Place: according to all that I have commanded thee shall they do" (Ex. 31:1-6, 10-11).
To men like Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise-hearted man in whom the Lord had put wisdom and understanding, was given the ability to perform all manner of work to build the Tabernacle with all its furnishings, to make the priest's garments for beauty and glory, to compound the incense for use on the altars and the anointing oil for the priests. The equipment as well as the methods and ingredients had to conform to God's standards. A specific rod of the right shape and weight was to be used to pound the spices into powder. The proportioning of the various ingredients also had to be exact, both by weight and by measure. The oil they were to use could not be just any oil at hand; it must be pure olive oil. The formula had to be followed precisely, and, beside all this, use of the finished product was limited to the purposes designated by the Lord. Those privileged ones who would be anointed therewith would be holy, dedicated to the service of the Lord, sacred persons, a people with a purpose, priests of the Most High God! What a high value God places upon the anointing! How wonderful it is! Keeping the Holy Anointing Oil sealed up in a container was not in God's plan. The anointing oil must be POURED PROFUSELY UPON AARON AND HIS SONS! The fragrance must be spread abroad by the Royal Priesthood! Under the New Covenant the sons of God are being formed into the heavenly priesthood after the Order of Melchizedek, and what a thrill it is to be the means of spreading the fragrance of Christ throughout the world! "But thanks be unto God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph, and THROUGH US SPREADS THE FRAGRANCE of...HIM everywhere!" (II Cor. 2:14, RSV).
THE FRAGRANCE OF THE HOLY OINTMENT
"Ye have an UNCTION from the Holy One and ye know all things." "The ANOINTING which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same ANOINTING teacheth you of all things and is truth and is no lie, and even as it bath taught you, ye shall abide in Him" (I Jn. 2:20,27).
The meaning of UNCTION (and its Greek original CHARISMA) is smoothness, oiliness, lubrication. From custom the word carried with it also the thought of fragrance, perfume. How beautifully and forcefully this word represents the nature and characteristics of those who come under this antitypical anointing - holiness, gentleness, patience, goodness, knowledge, wisdom, joy, peace, kindness, power, - love! What a sweet, pure perfume does this anointing of the Holy Spirit of God bring with it to all who receive it! However ungainly or coarse or crude or ignorant the outer man, the earthen vessel, how speedily it partakes of the sweetening and purifying influence of the treasure of the new heart, the new mind, the new will, the new spirit, the new man within - anointed with the Holy Spirit and brought into harmony with the DIVINE NATURE.
As the precious ointment was lavishly poured upon the head of the priest, it ran down upon his beard and then on to his garments, even down to the very skirts of the garment. Thus the garment would be laden with the rich odor of the ointment so that wherever the anointed one went, the fragrance would follow along with him. God gave perfume a wonderful place in the ministry of the priesthood! All the perfume in the Holy Anointing Oil pointed to the Spirit of Jesus Christ. That oil, which could not be put upon human flesh, neither could they make any like unto it, showed forth the graces and glory of Jesus Christ as the only perfume in heaven above or in earth beneath. It pointed to Christ as the only One acceptable unto God. That oil, which was made of aromatic spices beaten small, symbolized the fragrance of God's firstborn Son, the anointed One, in whom He was always well pleased. He is the source and fountain of all the fragrance in heaven and upon earth.
It was Mary of Bethany who sat at the feet of the Lord, and she it was who broke the alabaster box to pour the fragrant ointment upon His head and feet; and when her ointment was outpoured upon Him, the whole house and all that was therein basked in the fragrance of the Christ's anointing. A Penney represented the wages of a day when Jesus was on earth, but Mary lavished three hundred pennies' worth of ointment upon Him, the labor of a whole year poured upon His blessed head, first because she loved Him for who she knew Him to be and, secondly, to anoint Him for the burial her spirit perceived was soon to come. And He said, "She bath done what she could; she bath anointed My body beforehand for My burial." Thus it was when the alabaster box of His body, which contained this precious perfume of heaven's nature, was broken; the oil and fragrance flowed out, filling heaven and earth. It was when His body was broken, when His flesh was rent, that heaven's perfume was released to fill the universe of God. He opened up a new and living way into the Most Holy Place, pouring out His fragrant life on behalf of Adam's race; and the fragrance from the redemption which He brought to mankind, still flows and flows and flows. When He shed His blood, when He rose again, when He ascended on High, when He became High Priest of the Melchizedekian Order, when He rushed down from the throne of the Father in mighty spirit power on the day of Pentecost we hear Him say to the members of the Royal Priesthood, "Mine oils are shine; and I would have this fragrance ever upon thee that others, through thee, may know that Mine oils have a goodly fragrance. My garments smell of myrrh, aloes and cassia, and I would have all thy garments smell of myrrh, aloes and cassia."
When the High Priest, who, with the Holy Anointing Oil upon him, had been ministering before God in the Most Holy Place, came out and passed among the congregation of Israel, the fragrance of that holy oil enveloped him. No oil like unto this could be made by any man or be put upon any flesh; it could be only upon those who ministered before God, and only upon them did this holy perfume linger and ascend before God. So with those who enter in to the Holiest of all, who dwell in union with the High Priest of their profession and minister before the presence of God; His oils are upon them, His likeness and fragrance surround and emanate from them; and all who come near know that they have been abiding in the presence of the Lord. Do you long to be fragrant, dear child of God? Hasten to Him whose oils have a goodly fragrance; call upon Him whose Name is as oil poured forth; put off all the attributes and weaknesses of self, and put Him on. Put Him on! Draw away from the spirit of this world and separate yourself from the | multitude of things that would occupy your time, contaminate your mind, fray your nerves, agitate your emotions, and sap your strength. Clothe thyself in Him, let God forevermore hide thee away in Him. Then shall those about thee smell such fragrance as has never before been discerned upon thee; and they shall know that HIS OILS have a goodly fragrance, and that HIS OILS are upon thee!
We are commanded to put on Jesus Christ; and as He becomes our garment, as He clothe us more and more, His anointing will be more and more perceptible to those about us. How fragrant the priests were! Their garments and their bodies were perfumed with the costly spices and oil, so that the air about them was laden with delicate fragrance like the odors of a thousand flowers. Even the least movement of one whose person was thus perfumed, sent out sweet odors; and he walked in a cloud of perfumed air. Oh, what God is teaching us! The mystery of it! So should it be with us! Our walk and carriage, our appearance and manner of speech, our attitudes and expressions, the least movement in our lives, should be surrounded and permeated with the precious spiritual perfume of HIS NATURE AND CHARACTER, HIS GLORY AND POWER, HIS WISDOM, WILL, AND WAYS. Oh, how our hearts long that, even in our most common movements and actions, in the nitty-gritty of everyday living, under the pressures and problems of job, family, and relationships, the Christlife shall be discerned. As we put Him on, and His garments, and His oils, we are hidden away in this divine priestly garment, under this holy anointing of His priestly life, and we emit the fragrance of Christ, praise His name. IT IS THE ANOINTING THAT MAKES US PRIESTS!
THE PRICE OF THE ANOINTING
All who desire to be prepared for the coming manifestation of the sons of God must realize that such preparation is costly and expensive. In a day when we have become accustomed to discounts and cut-rate sales, we must accept the fact that the oil of God IS NOT CHEAP. Some time ago I read an article about the perfume industry of Gras, France where flowers grow in abundance. All genuine perfume is taken from thousands of flowers. In December and January the roses bloom there and they make perfume, not from synthetic concoctions but from real flowers. Large tracts of land are given altogether to the raising of flowers. Rose buds are collected early in the morning while the dew is still on them. Once the flower opens some of the perfume evaporates, so they want the bud. The oil for the perfume is extracted from the petals by one of two methods, distillation and enfleurage. In distillation the petals are boiled in water, turning the essential oil into a gas. This gas is caught in another container and cooled, when it again becomes a liquid. In enfleurage, the petals are placed on glass trays and covered with fat, which absorbs the essential oil. To recover the oil from the fat, it is mixed with alcohol and heated. The essential oil dissolves in the alcohol and rises to the top of the container, where it can be skimmed off. Extracting essential oils is a very tricky and delicate job, and it cannot be done on a mass-production basis. THIS IS THE PRINCIPLE REASON FOR THE VERY HIGH COST OF FINE PERFUMES. Essence of perfume! How few people know anything about it.
You can buy perfume in the 5 & 10 store for a dollar a bottle. But that is a cheap concoction. Real perfume is something else. You say in France, "How much is this bottle of perfume?" The lady may say, "One hundred dollars." What's the difference? Its real. It costs something! It takes 9,000 rosebuds to make one pound of Essence of Roses. The rose pickers must go out early in the morning and pick the buds. The dew must still be on the roses. They get the greatest yield of perfume from roses picked before sunrise. Think of it.
When the Lord explained to Moses the plans for the Tabernacle, He went into much detail about what was to be involved in making the special Holy Anointing Oil for use by the priests. Needless to say, this anointing oil was not in what you would call an affordable price range. In fact, if we were to calculate in American dollars the cost of mixing such a mixture, we would find it to be priceless. And this oil was never in danger of being devalued - the price was set "according to the shekel of the sanctuary." Monetary values fluctuate every day across the globe, BUT THE PRICE OF GOD'S ANOINTING WILL NEVER CHANGE. What, then, is the price we must pay for this oil? And where must we go to get it?
The priestly anointing, the graces and glories of HIS DIVINE NATURE, the wonderful mind of Christ, the superior wisdom, the incorruptible life, the great spiritual power and all the other equipping that is necessary to carry out God's purposes in these last days cannot be purchased with money. There is not a currency on earth that will buy it - nor is there enough gold or silver locked in the bank vaults or buried beneath the earth. It is a priceless commodity that can be secured only by the man or woman who is willing to spend all of his or her life - all his time, his energy, his devotion - in seeking after God. All who treasure the beautiful hope of sonship must ask themselves these questions: Is seeking God the most valuable and rewarding thing in all my life? Is my most prized ambition to lay hold on Him, no matter what energy I must expend in doing so? Can I say with the Psalmist, "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God...my soul followeth hard after Thee" (Ps. 42:1-2; 63:8).
As one has written, "While Israel was shouting and dancing around a golden calf that could neither see nor hear, touch, taste nor smell, a mindless nothing that could neither walk nor understand, and while they shouted and acclaimed, 'These be thy gods, O Israel, that brought you up out of Egypt,' there was one man who was meeting with Jehovah Himself, beholding His glory and speaking to Him face to face. And verily, I tell you it is true that even in our day amid the lukewarmness, the temporal riches and satisfaction with the increase in goods, and the multiplication of proselytes to the religious systems there is a remnant who is separating itself from these abominations. They are obeying the urgent, almost terrifying command of God, 'Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partaker of her sins nor receive of her plagues.' These elect people are living by the same faith that flourished in the heart of Abel. They are walking with God as Enoch in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. They are becoming friends of God' as Abraham. They, like David, are men and women after God's own heart, and because they are thus walking with God with such devotion, they, like Moses, are coming to know Him face to face.
"Oh, brethren, beloved of God, may we cease our urgent plea with a reference to that beloved apostle, Paul, a man who knew the acts of God as few men had ever done, - for it is written, 'By the hands of Paul God wrought special miracles.' Yea, His whole life was a miracle. But now hear him pray as he comes nearer to the end of his earthly journey! He does not pray for more power. He does not plead for more converts. He does not lay hold of God for greater miracles. He does not glory in past accomplishment nor dwell upon the wonders of his life for even a moment; but his prayer rends the heavens and reaches the heart of God as he prays, 'THAT I MAY KNOW HIM and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.' That I MAY K-N-O-W HIM! That is the important thing in all ages. Moses knew God face to face. He was no pet or favorite, for our God is no respecter of persons. He is calling out a people in our day, the age of lukewarm, self-satisfied Laodicea. To them He is saying, 'If any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with Me.' And may I with all reverence add that this shall be a meeting FACE TO FACE" - The Page.
Oh, His presence! Do you smell it? The rose pickers must go out early in the morning to pick the buds. The dew must still be on the roses. They get the greatest yield of perfume from roses picked before sunrise. Furthermore, the higher the altitude in which the roses grow, the greater the yield of perfume. Ah, beloved, let us arise early with the pickers and go out with them. Let us rise before the dawn and climb the heights of the mountain of God to gather the precious oil. A new day of life and light and love is soon to break upon the face of the whole earth, the sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings, and the desire of all nations shall come as the holy King Priests of Melchizedek's Order arise in the earth to take the reins of government, bringing an end to the long and dreadful night of misrule, sin, sorrow, ignorance, bondage and death. Of our Lord and Leader it was written, "And a great while before day He arose and went out into a mountain to pray." And I do not hesitate to tell you that in this dark hour, just before the dawn of that more glorious age of the manifestation of the sons of God, there is a remnant who is arising early in the morning before sunrise while the whole world and the church are still fast asleep, to gather the costly ingredients for the NEW ANOINTING that shall break the yoke and bring blessed deliverance to the countless billions of captives held prisoners by sin, Satan and death.
Seeking God is expensive because He is the most valuable thing in the universe. In the end it will cost you every thing you have. And all that you are. Oh, that I may KNOW HIM! Not just in a measure, but in His fullness. Have you counted the cost to so know Him, dear one? The price we might pay to so know Him by spending hours in prayer, or hours in His Word, or hours lying prostrate at His blessed feet is nothing compared to the glory that is to be revealed in us when we are filled with His fullness. It is as we seek Him and tarry long in His presence that He pours the flask of oil upon our heads in abundance, and all the character, wisdom, power and glory we need to change our world. It is as we gaze into His face in the light that the Spirit brings, that His presence comes to rest upon us in fullest measure, so that all about can see His glory. Is there any price too great to pay to seek and find the riches of the glory and the power hidden in His presence? Dare we not spend all that we have to buy this treasure? If we truly want to be prepared for the next great move of God in the earth - the manifestation of the sons of God - we must put aside every other interest and every other desire that would try to lure us away from undistracted devotion to Him.
Ah - it is not the great things in our lives that cause us to miss the mark the most. When we are faced with something formidable, we know that it must be overcome; and we draw upon the grace and power, which are in the Lord, to do this. It is the little things that we do not think amount to anything which are going to stop us from arriving at the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ. It may be along the lines of habits, words, attitudes, emotions, old natural ways, which have been with us for years and are at variance with the priestly nature; and which are so a part of ourselves that we are hardly conscious that they are there. We must take these little foxes, seize them and hold them fast, and exercise dominion over them until they are brought to death and eradicated out of our lives once for all.
The apostle admonishes, "But now ye also PUT OFF these; anger, wrath, malice, filthy communication out of your mouth" (Col. 3:8). PUT OFF - meaning lay aside, put away, seize hold of and put off - these instructions were not written to the ungodly, but to those who are believers, following on to know the Lord in deeper measures. The more obvious sins were dealt with long ago, and no one teaches SONS that they must not murder, rape, rob banks, get drunk, visit massage parlors, bow down to idols, etc. By regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost we have been washed and made partakers of the divine nature and as the inner Christ-life takes hold of our being there is no inclination to practice these grosser sins of the flesh. But now, what about the more subtle defilements - little resentments, inner agitations, ill-feelings, bitterness, criticisms, hurt because people will not receive your revelation or message, because they disagree with you, shun you, spread false rumors about you, disappoint you. All these are UNPRIESTLY attributes. Oh, yes! God is making ready a people for the FULL AND TOTAL AND COMPLETE MANIFESTATION OF HIMSELF, and the plowshares of the Spirit are probing deeper and deeper, and tearing up and exposing more and more stones and roots and clods than we ever thought heretofore.
One might soar high on the sweet wine of revelation and understand all mysteries of how the saints of the Most High shall take the Kingdom, how they shall conquer death, how they shall judge the world and angels in that blest age to come, how they shall rule and reign upon His throne and deliver the groaning creation, and this is all truth, for it is a pure vision which shall be fulfilled. But I cannot be too forceful in my effort to show you that long before man is ever to be a participator in such marvelous realities, he will have been thoroughly dealt with by the hand of God, the self-life being abased before the Lord, every rock of pride and every root of self-ascendancy purged out, so that our only desire will be to see the LORD glorified. Before ever we share His throne we will have learned quite well what the Spirit meant when He inspired the man of wisdom to pen these words: "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city" (Prov. 16:32).
Yes, there is a PRICE on the PRIESTHOOD ANOINTING! If we find that our minds are set on thoughts of pleasure, on certain selfish ambitions, or on worldly interests, we must be honest and admit that we have not esteemed and valued God above all else. That should immediately arrest us with concern, and bring us to repentance. We can then chase away the little foxes, and get on with our whole-hearted pursuit of God. Jesus told a parable that vividly warns us about placing value on other things above Himself and His Kingdom: "A certain man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is ready now.' But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, 'I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.' And another one said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.' And another one said, 'I have married a wife and for that reason I cannot come"' (Lk. 14:16-20).
The parable goes on to say that, because of the guests' excuses, the host became angry and said, "...NONE OF THOSE MEN WHO WERE INVITED SHALL TASTE OF MY DINNER!" (vs. 24). Will this be the case when the heavens are opened and the glory of God's Royal Priesthood breaks out upon the world? Will many saints be excluded from the glory and blessing of that hour because they placed personal interests and the things of this world above that of seeking and desiring to KNOW GOD? Notice that two of the three who gave excuses had PURCHASED SOMETHING. They placed more value on those things than on being in His presence. If we are not diligent to heed Jesus' warning, the CARES OF THIS LIFE can exclude us from being used by God in the coming manifestation of His power. THIS IS THE PRICE OF THE PRIESTLY ANOINTINGI
THE INGREDIENTS OF THE ANOINTING
"Moreover the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take thou also unto thee principle spices, of pure myrrh...and of sweet cinnamon...and of sweet calamus...and of cassia... and of olive oil...and thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil" (Ex. 30:22-25).
The apothecary listens very carefully to the instructions given by Moses. The formula must not vary. For the Holy Oil the apothecary begins with five hundred shekels more than two gallons of pure myrrh of the finest quality obtainable. The myrrh that the Ishmaelite caravan carried down into Egypt (Gen. 37:25) was a gum, much like maple sap, which came from the stem of a low, thorny, ragged tree, that grows in Arabia and Eastern Africa. Myrrh is not only fragrant, but it is bitter; the bitterness is an emblem of suffering. And never forget, precious friend of mine, JESUS IS THE PRIEST WHO IS GOING TO MIX THIS THING IN YOU! Fragrant and bitter - you will never be anointed unless you know some bitterness. The "faith" crowd, the "word" crowd, the "prosperity" crowd who want only the blessings will never be anointed priests of the Lord. The fragrant and bitter myrrh sets forth our participation with Him in the bitterness of partaking with Him in His death; through which bitterness we put on the fragrance of His life and attributes. The purest form of this precious spice is obtained by piercing the bark of the tree or shrub, and from these wounds flow the resinous gum that is so fragrant and costly In Christ's humiliation upon earth, and when He was pierced upon the cross, the myrrh of His eternal work flowed forth. From five bleeding wounds flowed the fragrant, bitter myrrh that fills heaven and earth. All the spices on earth would fail to set forth a faint shadow of the perfume that the Christ gathered while upon earth, and carried with Him up to the Father.
The first ingredient in the anointing is the fragrant but BITTER myrrh. Ah, we thought the anointing was all glory, billows of joy and power like gigantic ocean waves sweeping through our souls, producing spiritual exuberance and power to preach like Peter and do exploits like Paul. The failure to understand this first principle of the anointing must be laid at the door of those blind leaders of the blind who have foolishly taught God's precious people that, after a sinner comes to Christ, all will be sunshine and rose from that day forward. Henceforth he will walk the glory road, asking for anything he wants and receiving it immediately, forever free from pain and sickness and problems and needs, and should he die at any moment he will stride right through the pearly gates into his mansion in heaven Let all who think that the Christian life is peace, power and plenty be warned that anyone who imagines that he can be a victorious son of God without fighting fierce and bloody battles is unlearned and ignorant of the ways of God to say the least.
All across the land today, alas, we hear the radio and television preachers convincing vast multitudes of naive and gullible babes in Christ that the saints of God should have the best of everything. They should have instant healing, the most lucrative businesses, the finest homes, the most prestigious positions, the most expensive cars, the finest clothes and freedom from want of any kind. Why, they will even bless our billfolds for ten dollars and assure us that, if we will give them one hundred dollars, we will get one thousand in returns Then, wonder of wonders, after these highly favored saints have lived their lives in ease and luxury, they will fly away to heaven at last with nothing to do and all eternity to do it in. And if the great and terrible tribulation should come while they are still on earth, they will be immediately evacuated by way of rapture to spend seven years sitting on a cloud with Jesus eating pork chops or some other such foolishness. Let all who teach these fairy tales and preposterous absurdities hear the voice of the eternal Spirit of Truth ringing clear above all other voices, saying, "In the world ye SHALL HAVE TRIBULATION: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." I hear Him warn His beloved saints in these awesome words, "Yea, and A-L-L that live godly in Christ Jesus SHALL SUFFER PERSECUTION." To all who would reign with Him upon His throne He says, "IF WE SUFFER, we shall also reign with Him." To those who seek the glory and power of the Kingdom of God He declares, "We must through MUCH TRIBULATION enter into the Kingdom of God." And again, "And not only so, but we GLORY IN TRIBULATIONS also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience..."
One well-known television preacher was recently bombarding the air waves with the tearful complaint that he was being "persecuted" by the press. And what was the cause of his persecution? Why bless your heart, the press had discovered that while pleading a financial emergency and making impassioned appeals on his show for millions of dollars to keep his work from collapsing, he was, at the same time, secretly purchasing an elaborate beach house in California and Rolls Royce and Mercedes automobiles for his personal use at a cost of almost a half million dollars, not to mention the expensive furs and diamonds accumulated by his Jezebel wife. Persecution indeed! I am making no mistake when I tell you that this man was not being persecuted for righteousness' sake, nor for the Kingdom of God - rather, he was being persecuted for foolishness' sake, and that is stating it kindly. Such know nothing at all about the conformation to the image of Christ that comes only by the correcting and transforming ministry of suffering, persecution, tribulation, trial and testing.
The shallow Christians and the hireling ministry of the apostate church system know absolutely nothing about the divine principle of the refining, purifying fires of suffering. As long as men's eyes are blinded to the great and glorious purposes of God for His sons in the ages to come, they will always remain ignorant of the supernal blessings of their sufferings with Christ. If Christians are deluded by the popular but erroneous notion that they have been saved to escape this old sin-cursed world and spend eternity shouting and dancing up and down Hallelujah Boulevard to the rapturous music of harps and the fluttering of angel's wings, then indeed there would be little purpose in suffering during this present time at all, for even if saints were no worse off for their suffering, they would be no better either. But when the Father through His matchless grace reveals to the child of God that it is His Master Plan for the ages to come to effect a universal reconciliation, restitution and restoration through the agency of a royal race of kings and priests who through trial, suffering, and fierce tribulation have come to the image of Jesus Christ, to reign and work with Him in the plenitude of His wisdom, the fullness of His understanding, the perfection of His holiness, the infiniteness of His love, the beauty of His justice and the omnipotence of His power, every son having the mind of God, discerning all things, knowing all things and having the perfect nature, character and ability to carry out the intricate and infinite will of God, then all our tribulation is freighted with vital significance. Among that perfect, omnipotent Royal Priesthood there will be no carnal minds, no fleshly actions, no selfish desires, no self-serving, no weakness, no limitation, no flaws of character, no mistakes, no dissensions, no disobedience; but with justice and wisdom and righteousness and love and power shall they rule the nations, and ultimately the vastnesses of the unbounded heavens until all things everywhere are subdued unto Christ and Christ shall present a perfect Kingdom to the Father.
Now since such glories are in store for the Royal Priesthood, can any man longer question why our all-wise heavenly Father should take such pains to bring His sons to perfection? None knows better than He exactly what is needed to transform His sons from corrupt and carnal creatures of the dust to beings of divine understanding and heavenly glory. I have often said that I have strong confidence in the ability of my heavenly Father to bring me to perfection and maturity as a son of God. My Father is a great son-raiser. He was a colossal success with His firstborn! Anyone who can raise a son like Jesus Christ knows exactly what He is doing and can surely handle you and me, my precious brother and sister. "...we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect THROUGH SUFFERINGS...wherefore God also bath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth" (Heb. 2:9-10; Phil. 2:9-10).
Beholding the glory of Jesus Christ we can understand why the Lord takes such infinite care to bring all His sons to perfection. Would you dare to imagine that any of the presidents, prime ministers, senators or members of the parliaments of this present world system would be found fit candidates to straighten out the mess this world is in, bringing an end to crime, poverty, ignorance, fear, deceit, greed, war, broken homes and hearts sickness, pain and death, restoring all into God again? Ah - the ages to come will be given into the hands of God's choicest sons - saints fully developed, perfected through suffering, matured through trial, proven through testing, far beyond the reach of corruption and decay, far above the realm of greed and selfishness, or any such thing.
One of the fundamental laws of creation is that an OPPOSING FORCE is necessary for growth, and to produce strength, stamina, and endurance. Any living thing that grows up without any opposition is weak and powerless. God's NEW CREATION must be strong and powerful, and any thing that desires to be strong, or anyone, must wrestle with a force that is contrary to them. Any man who wants to develop muscular power to be strong, must spend weeks and months and years in vigorous training doing heavy exercises, lifting heavy weights, using the opposing force of gravity to develop his strength. A man who wants to be a great wrestler, doesn't just wrestle when he is in the ring. At his training center he has his wrestling partners with whom he wrestles by the hour. If he didn't do this he would be weak and powerless in the ring.
A boxer has his punching bags and sparring partners, with whom he spends hours every day. Those opposing forces are indispensable to develop strength. A plant that grows in a greenhouse sheltered from the winds and rains, pampered day after day, may grow large, but is inherently weak, and if suddenly exposed to the elements will wither and die. But a plant that is constantly exposed to the fierce winds and pounding rains, burning heat and chilling cold, is strong and not easily destroyed.
So it is with us as human beings. One who grows up in a sheltered environment, who is pampered all his life, grows up a weak, spineless individual. ADVERSITY builds strength of character. If we were never exposed to trials and tribulation, we would grow up weak indeed! The more we are exposed to ADVERSE circumstances, the more we have to wrestle with our environment, the more we are CHALLENGED by the world around us, the stronger we become. Those pitiful Christians who want to be raptured away before the big bad Antichrist shows up know nothing of this. And I prophesy that they will be among the first to collapse when real trouble comes. Saints, IF WE WOULD BE THE SONS OF THE MOST HIGH we must be STRONG in the Lord and in the power of His might! Our Father wants us to be strong, so He has wisely given us wrestling partners to wrestle with, so we will become strong. There are opposing forces (thank God for them!) that we must constantly battle against. Some of these adverse things are the principalities and powers in the heavenlies. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12). Could a beast-government, a mark of the beast, or an Antichrist be any more of a fierce foe than these? The prosperity and blessing folk are always talking about a POSITIVE message, the power of POSITIVE thinking, or POSITIVE faith, or possibility thinking, or some such idea. Haven't they heard that to have even enough power in a battery to run an automobile you must have BOTH A POSITIVE AND A NEGATIVE? Positive without negative produces no power at all! There is a great and magnificent future ahead for the sons of God, and a great work our Father has for us to do in the ages to come, and He is preparing us and making us ready for the high and holy place He has for us. Can we not see that ALL THE OPPOSING FORCES WE NOW ENCOUNTER are working together for our good - to develop the strength, character, wisdom, and power we must acquire? Through the valley of death into the realm of life and joy is God's way to sonship, and the secret of "glorying in tribulation" is to UNDERSTAND the eternal purpose of trial and the grand and glorious end.
Oh - blessed myrrh! Beautiful anointing! The time will come when the sweet fragrance of the Spirit of Christ will be everywhere in the reconciled universe. No selfishness left, no hatred, no variance, no warring, no emulation, no back-biting, no SIN! Every one and everything in the universe of bliss will come under the anointing. What pleasure for God! What peace and love and unity throughout the whole vast scene pervaded by the perfume of the holy anointing!
We should direct our thoughts to yet another consideration. The fragrance of the Holy Anointing Oil improved with age. The nature of the oil didn't improve, but the fragrance did. As we surrender our all to the Lord, submitting to His dealing hand, absorbing into our lives all the choicest elements of His sanctifying grace, when our product has aged, fully ripened, matured and carefully blended, it is an ointment fit for the head of a priest of the Most High God.
Myrrh has the word "pure" attached to it in the formula for the oil. The word here rendered "pure," is literally, "free-flowing," a term which is explained by the fact that the best myrrh is said to flow out spontaneously, or freely from the bark, while that of inferior quality oozes out only when the bark is marked with deep incisions. Pure or free-flowing myrrh means that when bitter, cutting experiences come your way, in spite of all the pain and pressure you are flowing freely, emitting the fragrance of Jesus. Myrrh is bitterness, the bitterness of suffering and death, but it speaks just as eloquently of the spontaneous flow of HIS LIFE. Can you still flow even though you pass through the valley of the shadow of death? Can you still flow when all hell breaks loose, your whole world is turned upside down, and naught but tragedy, sorrow and bitterness stalk your path? If you can, then YOU'RE ANOINTED Anointed with HIS grace and glory! Anointed with the fragrance of HIS life!
Once the myrrh is gathered only as it is crushed and pierced, does its fragrance go forth; and it is not easy to yield to the crushing and the piercing process. This, truly, is bitter, though it yields fragrance in the peaceable fruits of righteousness. As we meet Him in this hidden place, He reveals to us that the slain Lamb must have a slain body; and we hear His voice calling us to join that redeemed company who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. We hear Him calling us to be willing to suffer the loss of all things that we may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and become conformed to His death. Herein lies the folly of those who preach temporal blessings and financial prosperity and "something GOOD is going to happen to you" all the time. They want the OLIVE OIL (holy Spirit) without the MYRRH! They seek the CROWN without the CROSS! They want to REIGN without first having been perfected through suffering. They have a PARTIAL ANOINTING that may do in the shallows of the Charismatic move, but it will never in a million years produce the ROYAL PRIESTHOOD.
J. PRESTON EBY
P O BOX 371240
El Paso Texas
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The Royal Priesthood