KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
studies in end-time revelation
THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
THE ANOINTING OF THE PRIESTHOOD
"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).
Under Old Testament economy, 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. 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. 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.
The oil used in the Holy Anointing Oil could not be just any oil; 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 on 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)
THE INGREDIENTS OF THE ANOINTING
The Holy Anointing Oil was the final product of the perfumer. The spices of which the anointing oil was made, are called "principle," standing at the head of the most esteemed perfumes. The oil was to be skilfully mingled with them; a holy ointment; an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary; a holy anointing oil. The fragrance of the spices was to be evenly diffused through the whole bin of olive oil, so that no one perfume took precedence above another; but the oil sent forth the fragrance of all alike. As kings and priests, we too, are to be anointed with the Holy Anointing Oil to be able to serve the Lord acceptably. When we enter into His presence we are perfumed with ointment blended together with the ingredients of HIS ATTRIBUTES that have been inworked into our lives. These are the qualities that are acceptable to God of which myrrh, sweet calamus, cinnamon, cassia and olive oil speak, gathered through months and years of walking with the Lord.
This surpassingly precious perfume presents to us the unmeasured and unmeasurable perfections of Christ inwrought in our lives. So mixed and mingled are these that the attributes and graces that dwell in the Christ, the beauties and excellencies that are concentrated in His adorable Person, and fulfilled now in the elect members of His body, are without limit. Naught save the infinite mind of our Father could scan the infinite perfections of the Royal Priesthood filled with all the fullness of Christ; and as the ages roll along their course toward the ultimate consummation of God's wonderful purpose, those glorious perfections will ever be unfolding themselves in the view of the whole creation from the lowest hell unto the highest heaven. Ever and anon, as some fresh beam of light shall burst forth from that corporate Son of divine glory, the courts of heaven above, and the wide fields of creation beneath, shall resound with thrilling Alleluias to Him who was, who is, and who ever shall be beautiful in His appearing, wonderful in al] His ways, marvelous in His salvation - the glorious Creator, Redeemer and King of all!
The apothecary listened very carefully to the instructions given by Moses. The formula must not vary. For the Holy Oil the apothecary began with five hundred shekels more than two gallons - of pure myrrh of the finest quality obtainable. Myrrh is not only fragrant, but it is bitter; the bitterness is an emblem of suffering. Ah - we thought the anointing was all glory, billows of joy and power like gigantic ocean waves sweeping through our souls, bringing spiritual ecstasy and power to preach like Peter and do exploits like Paul. 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 death; through participation with Him in the bitterness of partaking with Him in His bitterness we put on the fragrance of His life and attributes.
Myrrh is ever the symbol for death. Closely connected with Christ's life, death and burial, are the precious oils and costly, fragrant spices. He alone received gifts of fragrant oil and spices. The anointings He received at the hands of the women who loved Him with a surpassing love, appeared to have been more precious to Him than all else that was done for Him while He was on earth. The odor of the costly spikenard, with which Mary of Bethany anointed Him, filled the whole house; and no doubt, remained upon Him until He lay in the tomb; for the perfume of those rare and precious oils was most penetrating, and lingered for years. As He was led away to the judgment hall, the fragrance of this oil, which had been poured upon Him unto His burial, sent forth from His person clouds like incense. I wonder if that odor reminded the priests of the continual incense How blind they were that they did not perceive that He who stood before them was the Heavenly Incense of God!
Sons of God, how is it with you and me? Do we have the fragrance of the anointing upon us when we stand in man's judgment hall? Does this unearthly perfume linger upon us when we are ridiculed and persecuted? When God brings to us a cross upon which we may put away some unworthy thing, does our perfume go forth, or do we repine? When we take up our cross and go up to the place of death, have we been anointed for the burial? Does this anointing go forth in a cloud of perfume that hides the cross and our suffering from all who behold us? After the death of Jesus, the women, who had loved and followed Him on earth, brought one hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes to the tomb. With what grief did' they take that precious body and wind about it the white linen cloths! With what untold' tenderness did they lay it way in the bed of fragrant spices! Identified with HIS DEATH! Ah, this is what it means to be the anointed priest of God.
In the Song of Solomon the King, beautiful type of God's corporate Son, Head and body, exclaims, "Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me up to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense" (S. of S. 4:6). The "Mountain of Myrrh" is a figure of the death of the Son of God, while the "Hill of Frankincense" bespeaks of His resurrection life, for frankincense was uniquely the fragrance of the Most Holy Place, the incorruptible realm of God. Beloved, THE CROSS IS THE MOUNTAIN OF MYRRH. Do you desire to walk before God and men as the anointed priest? Then you must go up to the Mountain of Myrrh, the cross, and offer your body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, and take up your cross and so partake in the death of Christ, that your whole life is filled with His manifested attributes. God would have us remember that the cross is a MOUNTAIN OF MYRRH. It is not just a small amount of myrrh, but a great and eternal mountain of this costly perfume. How many times we go up to the cross with our self-life as if it were mountains of grief and regret, of suffering and sighing, of ruin and loss, and not a sweet and priceless fragrance unto God. How often when we take up our cross to go after Jesus, we follow Him moaning and repining at every step. All the fragrance of this precious hill is lost when we go up reluctantly and grudgingly, or withholding something from death. Oh! let us go up with joy unspeakable and full of glory, exulting that we have been counted worthy to suffer and to follow in His footsteps, and that to us it has been granted to die to the vain spirit of this world, to the carnality, childishness and abomination of the wretched religious systems, and to our own fleshly minds, ambitions, desires and ways, to be made gloriously alive unto God and exquisitely conformed to the image of His beloved Son.
It is not enough to make an occasional trip up to the cross, for death must become a mountain to us, we must go there to stay until the day breaks and the shadows all flee away. It bespeaks a STATE OF BEING. To BE DEAD is a STATE OF BEING. We must abide in the Lord's death. Today, many zealous Christians have the wrong concept. They believe they must fast, weep, pray, and wait on the Lord in order to die. That is all good, but it is not death. To tarry at an altar is easy; to pray for a week is easy; even to fast for a month is easy; but to stay at the Mountain of Myrrh for a lifetime is not easy. We could all fast and pray for a long time without any sleep, but to stay in the Lord's death means that we so absolutely DIE to the flesh, the world and the devil that we simply ARE DEAD. It is only then that the day breaks eternal and the shadows of this earthly realm forever flee away. Let us open ourselves before the Lord. I do believe that we all have the sense that our Day is not yet fully broken. We all realize that there are still some haunting shadows of limitation, fear, lack of understanding and fleshliness about us. No matter how much we say that we are the elect sons of God, sons of Light, sons of the Day, kings and priests of the Most High, there is still the sense that we are not clearly in the Day. As long as we have such a realization we will spontaneously say, "UNTIL the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me up to the Mountain of Myrrh, and to the Hill of Frankincense."
The more one abides in the light, the more one recognizes darkness. The more perfect one is, the more conscious one becomes of imperfections. So likewise, the more mature a saint becomes, the more he will sense his immaturity. The more alive unto God a believer becomes, the more aware he will be of death that remains. The further one walks onward in God, the greater seems to be the need for cleansing, purging, and purifying. The more he receives praise of the Lord, the more he feels the sky of spiritual life has not yet come into fullest glow. Many who have come forth from the dank tombs of religion to follow on to know the Lord, feel as if they are wandering in somewhat of a wilderness. What then are these to do?. Before the perfect light of the fullness of sonship to God can dawn and all shadows flee away, we must go to the Mountain of Myrrh and to the Hill of Frankincense and THERE ABIDE UNTIL the day breaks and the shadows flee away. But one is always reluctant to leave the present ground of attainment and reach out further for still higher things. But we must hasten to the Mountain of Myrrh and the Hill of Frankincense and literally steep ourselves in these rich odors. We must abide until all the old life, the old religiousness and the old self-hood has been so renounced and so completely yielded to Him that He will find nothing of the old creation. Then! the Day will break, there will spring up within HIS RESURRECTION LIFE, a transcendent overcoming power, a perfected degree of spiritual perception, vital union between soul and spirit and the fresh and abundant out-flowing of His life as rivers of living water. Until the Day break! We all have such a longing deep within. This is a turn, and this is the Lords moving and working within us. So we must learn to abide in the Lord's death and in His resurrection until the Day breaks and all the shadows flee away.
Cinnamon for the Holy Oil had to be the choicest that the merchants could offer. Only the superior product from faraway Ceylon, or its equal, was acceptable. It must be sweet, with not a trace of bitterness. For the oil must be from the inner bark of cinnamon trees, carefully selected, dried in the sun, then beaten into a fine powder, two hundred and fifty shekel's worth, almost nine pounds. This product was the delight of kings and of the beautiful ladies of the court, so the selective buyer might well have waited for weeks and even months for cinnamon of the right quality to become available. It is interesting to note that sweet cinnamon was used only as a perfume. Praise God, this is fulfilled IN US as the apostle has said, "But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph - as trophies of Christ's victory - and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere. For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ which exhales unto God, discernible alike among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing" (II Cor. 2:14-15, Amplified).
There is a beautiful mystery here, however. The sweetness of the sweet cinnamon came from the bark of a small evergreen which had flowers with a disagreeable odor. Sweetness - in the midst of disagreeableness! Sweetness in the presence of unpleasantness, distastefulness, offensiveness and nastiness! The question follows - Can you stay sweet in the midst of trouble, affliction, adversity, pain, frustration, persecution and suffering? Suffering is the dealings and processings of God whereby sons are brought to perfection. "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. Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience through the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him" (Heb. 2:10; 5:8-9).
Ah, to be sweet IN THE PROCESS! God told Ezekiel to breathe upon the dry bones that they might live, but I've met some people who have halitosis in the spirit. Bad breath! Dog breath. Swamp breath. Dragon mouth. God sent something their way custom-designed to help them, and they reacted instead of acting; rather than yielding under the dealing hand of God and responding in meekness, they became upset and angry, pouted and sat under a miff-bush. Perhaps you say' "You don't know what a place I am in, what people are doing to me, my husband is unsaved, and I have all these problems and trials." No wonder! With the kind of Lord you're demonstrating, I don't blame your husband one bit! Oh - for sweetness in the midst of distastefulness and disagreeableness. It is my conviction that the sweet cinnamon is the Holy Spirit of Love of which Paul so eloquently writes, saying, "Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy; is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited - arrogant and inflated with pride; it is not rude, and does not act unbecomingly. Love does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it - pays no attention to a suffered wrong. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are faceless under all circumstances and it endures everything without weakening" (ICor. 13:4-7, Amplified).
Sweet Calamus was an easy ingredient to find for the Holy Oil. It came from ginger grass that grew in abundance in Egypt. The women would pull up huge quantities of it to obtain the roots, which they would weave into screens for their windows and verandas. When the grass was thoroughly dried by the hot desert sun, its fragrance seemed to improve, producing a pleasant and sweet aroma. Beaten into small particles and mixed with an equal part of cinnamon, it produced a perfectly balanced, fragrant blend.
Calamus is from a Hebrew word meaning TO STAND UPRIGHT. It is translated "stalk" in Gen. 41:5,22; as "branch" (of the candlestick) in Ex. 25:31-36; as "reed" in I Kings 14: 15; as "balance" in Isa. 46:6; and as "a measuring rod" in Eze. 40:3. This reed scents the air while it is growing and when it is cut down, dried, and powdered, it is used as an ingredient in one of the richest perfumes. Standing upright speaks of righteousness. There is a beauty, a fragrance about a life which is lived out in the righteousness of God! Many highly acclaimed ministries have gone down the tubes during the last thirty years because they sought the POWER of the Kingdom of God apart from the RIGHTEOUSNESS of the Kingdom. "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness..." They were great preachers, great orators, great pulpiteers, had powerful gifts of God operating in their lives, with charisma dripping off their fingertips. Hundreds and thousands of followers thronged to their meetings wherever they were. I have seen these same men "sell" prophecies for $20.00 and sell prayer cloths for $100.00. I have seen them fall into adultery, and the uncleanness of "free love" and wife-swapping. I have beheld them lifted up in the vanity of worldly pride, flashing expensive diamonds and boasting about their expensive suits, cars and homes. I have even heard them swear and curse from the pulpit. I have known them to be bound by alcoholism and sunken into the filthiness of homosexuality. I witnessed them bilk audiences out of thousands of dollars in one night's meeting by the use of brazen lies and every sordid trick. I have seen their lives fall apart and their ministries self-destruct.
You ask, "How can such things be?" I will tell you! Men have asked for and have graciously received an anointing of Kingdom power, and have gone forth to do exploits in His name. But in the great majority of cases they neither asked for, nor sought for, nor did they receive, the corresponding righteousness of the Kingdom. To possess power without righteousness is a blueprint for tragedy. It means that men will do the works of God, but cannot live the life of God. They possess power without character. Such will honor God for a season with their mighty works, but just as surely as the pig will return to his wallowing, and the dog to his vomit, just that certain is it that these will ultimately bring shame and reproach upon the name of the Lord by their unrighteous conduct.
But those whom God anoints as members of the Royal Priesthood are anointed with the exhilarating fragrance of sweet calamus - that which STANDS UPRIGHT in the righteousness of God. These priests will not go out with power to heal the sick, cast out devils, and do signs and wonders, but with no power to be honest,- pure, and holy. You won't have to worry about them swindling you out of your money, or seducing your wife, or being caught in some homosexual act, or lying, cheating, deceiving, or swelling up with pride and pompousness like a frog, or building another Tower of Babel around their ministry. God won't do it that way this time! These son-priests are anointed with calamus and exude the precious fragrance of the purity and holiness of the nature of God. Praise His name!
The perfumer required five hundred shekels of cassia. This was a very popular product of merchants from Tyrus (Eze. 27:19). The oriental women and men would perfume their garments with cassia, so that the air about them was laden with the delicate fragrance. Like cinnamon, it came from the bark of a tree, a tropical evergreen tree which grew in abundance in many areas of the then known world. Long incisions were made in the tree trunk or branches. As the bark dried it would peel off from the tree and roll itself into tubes of varying lengths and diameters. Huge bundles of these tubes were piled upon the backs of the camels in every caravan that passed through the land of Palestine. The cassia tubes were then beaten to a fine powder to blend well with the other ingredients of the ointment. When Aaron and his sons were installed into the priestly office, they were anointed with the holy fragrance of cassia and the perfume permeated their priestly garments. This perfume was ever upon him and his sons. Even the least movement of a priest whose garments were thus anointed, sent out sweet odors; and he walked in a cloud of perfumed air. But God had something far more glorious in mind than merely creating an exquisite aroma to delight the nostrils of men.
Cassia grows at high altitudes and has purple flowers, typifying royalty or the kingly nature. How significant, therefore, that the perfume of this plant was worn upon the GARMENTS! A person's position or state of being can often be told by his clothing. A white uniform indicates a nurse, the blue uniform identifies the policeman on his beat, the black robe identifies the judge in the court room, filthy or torn garments are a sign of poverty, and royal robes are a sign of royal estate. The first occurrence of the word robe in the Bible is in Ex. 28:4 and 31. "And these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a ROBE, and a broidered coat, and a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto Me in the priest's office...and thou shalt make the ROBE OF THE EPHOD all of blue." The Hebrew word is subsequently translated "robe" in I Sam. 24:4, I Chron. 15:27, Job 29:14, and Eze. 26:16, in which cases it specifies a garment worn by a prince or a king. From all these uses of the word it can be seen that the robe of the ephod was a garment of special dignity - A ROBE OF OFFICE - which gave a KINGLY CHARACTER to the High Priest. No material was specified for the High Priest's robe, but the color only, blue. It was the work of a weaver, Bazaleel and Aholiab having been filled with wisdom of heart to execute the fabric. This robe embodied the color of the heavens; it was all of blue. All the priests, the sons of Aaron, wore white linen garments, representing the manifested righteousness of God. The High Priest also wore the white linen garment when he entered into the Most Holy Place to make atonement on the day of atonement. But upon finishing that work, He then adorned himself with the garments of glory and beauty, these garments of glory and beauty typifying the glory, honor and incorruption of His resurrection life and power. Chief among the garments of glory and beauty is the robe. It represents the princely glory of our resurrected and exalted High Priest, who is typified by Aaron and pre-figured by Melchizedek, whose name means KING OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
There is an interesting passage in Isa. 61:10. "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He bath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He bath covered me with ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments..." A message is filling my heart today and with it there is an unspeakable longing that the heart of every saint of God be turned to seek earnestly to be covered completely with the robe of righteousness of the Son of God. I speak the truth when I tell you that there is a great difference between a garment and a robe. The garment of salvation is that which the Lord has already purchased for us and is freely bestowed as we turn to Him in faith as Saviour; but the robe of righteousness is set before us to be diligently sought after and seized as a prize.
The priestly robe is a garment of POSITION, DIGNITY, HONOR AND SPLENDOR. It identifies the priest and reveals the one with the priestly nature. Jesus Christ is vested with this robe and its glory, and so we read of Him: "Being designated and recognized and saluted by God as High Priest after the Order of Melchizedek" (Heb. 5:10, Amplified). The dazzling glory of this great truth is that the Melchizedekian Priesthood is the priesthood of THE KING OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. King of Righteousness - means HIS RULERSHIP in our lives, as His will replaces our will, His thoughts replace our thoughts, His ways replace our ways, His nature replaces our nature, and HIS LIFE becomes the sphere of all our living and moving and being, filling up our life with His dominion, His throne established in us, where He rules and reigns in righteousness within His temple, which temple we are.
The robe of righteousness is worn by the King of righteousness, Head and body. It is uniquely the garment of the Melchizedekian Order. It is the garment of the Royal Priesthood. It bespeaks the kingly nature which is also priestly, and the priestly nature which is likewise kingly. How appropriate, then, that this garment is anointed with cassia! Cassia is from a Hebrew word meaning "to stoop, bend, or bow low." It bears the purple blossoms of royalty and kingship, but stoops ever so low to touch the earth. Phil. 2:6-8 says of Jesus: "Although He existed in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a BOND-SERVANT, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." Jesus was the most humble of all men. He was no super-duper, elite, holier-than -thou, country club Son of God! He came from the heart of God and STOOPED SO LOW that He touched the lowest hell with the grace and redeeming power of the Father.
As I have pointed out earlier in this series, we have a dual roll to fill in the Kingdom; we are not only to be kings, we are also to be priests. We are not only to bear purple blossoms, but we are to perfume the garments of priesthood. It is a lofty position to which we are called, and for which we are being prepared. Sonship, yes. Kings and priests, yes. But why equipped with such power and glory? TO SERVE! For it is written, "Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, and MY SERVANT, whom I have chosen" (Isa. 43:10). As kings we reign, as priests we serve, and we REIGN BY SERVING! The one who serves the people well as a priest is the one who will also reign well as a king. "They shall be PRIESTS...and they shall REIGN." Though we are called to become His kings with authority over all, yet our inner attitude must be that of a servant, that we might freely minister, loving, touching, doing good, healing, reconciling, restoring with mercy and love. Not only must we stand in the regal splendor of the purple blossoms of kingly authority, but we must be willing to be cut down and ground into powder to become the FRAGRANCE OF PRIESTLY BLESSING.
As I have studied and meditated upon this, I have received a new vision and apprehension of all there is in Him, hence all there is for us. We are commanded to put on Jesus Christ; and as He becomes our garment, as He clothes us more and more, His perfumes will be more and more perceptible to those about us. We hardly realize how ill-smelling our own attributes are, and how many flies have gotten into the oil which the great Perfumer has commenced to put within us, until we have drawn close enough to Him to discern the fragrance of His pure oils. It is when we smell the goodly fragrance of His humility, that we begin to detect the offensive odor of our pride. It is when the sweetness of His purity and holiness, His submission to God's will, His love and longsuffering, breaks in upon us, that we smell the vile odors of our flesh, our stiffneckedness and willfulness, our lack of love and our shortsuffering. It is when we smell the perfume of His patience and forgiveness toward us, that we get the real offensive odor of our impatience and unforgiving spirit toward one another. It is always the odor of His attributes that we need the most, which smells the sweetest, and which we desire the most ardently; those that are the opposite of our weak places. If we are beset with pride, no attribute of Jesus appears so beautiful as His humility. We think it is the loveliest and most desirable because we need it the most. And so it is with every other need in our lives.
THE OLIVE OIL
One by one the various ingredients, each with its special fragrance, were brought together. All were now ready to be blended with pure olive oil that had been carefully kept in jars sealed with beeswax. The oil was obtained from the best of the fully ripened olives that had been beaten (Ex. 27:20-21), then strained through a finely woven basket and allowed to settle until the oil could be decanted off in absolutely pure form to be stored in earthen containers. Oil was used in food and in ointments, but its primary use was for illumination and thus was considered to be a type of the Holy Spirit. The same olive oil, pure and beaten, that gave light to the lamp in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle, was used in the Holy Anointing Oil poured upon the head of Aaron and his sons!
Just as the oil was needed to light the lamp, so we need the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds in the Word of God. Without the Spirit our minds are carnal and dead, and the Word does not shine. One writer tells us that to light the lamp means to cause the lamp to rise up. This is quite significant, for many times when we read the written Word the words rise up and give light to the understanding!
How does the Word give illumination to the mind and heart? It is only by the Spirit, the oil. And the oil today is in our spirit. Whenever we come apart to read or study the Word, we must exercise our spirit. Then, in our spirit the pure olive oil will supply an energy, effecting an internal combustion that will cause the Word to rise up and give us light. This is inward light, inner illumination which springs from the depth of the spirit, giving enlightenment to the mind. When we read the Word by exercising only our mentality and natural reasoning and understanding, it does not give light. The carnal mind is a great and horrible darkness. Reading the Word by exercising our carnal mentality will lead to every kind of law, bondage, tradition, ritual, ceremony, static creed, and all the external forms of the Babylonian religious systems. But if we exercise our spirit to contact the Word, immediately we sense that inner action of divine enlightenment and spiritual perception rising up within from our spirit. In that instant we are enabled to see beyond the literal statements of the dead letter of the outer form of the Word and the Word becomes the living Word within us by the Spirit. It is through the indwelling Spirit as the pure olive oil that we have the light. The Word will be enlightened in a spiritual dimension and will give us LIGHT!
Ah, it is the beaten and pure olive oil that gives the light. Is not the Holy Spirit pure? The Holy Spirit is most certainly pure, but our spirit is not so pure! You say, "But in my regenerated spirit I am pure; it is my soul which is still mixed and defiled." What, then, does Paul mean when he exhorts the saints in Corinth, "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all FILTHINESS OF THE FLESH A-N-D S-P-I-R-I-T, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (II Cor. 7:1). The spirit realm is not a pure realm, for there are foul and wicked spirits as well as holy and righteous | spirits, both in the heavenlies and the earthlies. Although our spirit has been quickened, made alive unto God, there is still a PROCESS OF PERFECTION in the area of our spirit in order to PERFECT HOLINESS in the fear of God. The Bible speaks of those among God's people who have a sad spirit, a hasty spirit, a wounded spirit, a haughty spirit, an erring spirit, etc. And we all know what unspeakable havoc has at times been wrought by immature spirits - babes in Christ - spiritual childishness! The Church systems are today filled and overflowing with these! Yes, precious friend of mine, our spirit has to be beaten and purified, as with the pure olive oil. This is the work of the cross. In typology, Christ is the olive. When He was beaten and pressed on the cross, the pure oil, that is, the Holy Spirit poured out of Him. "Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being MADE PERFECT, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him; called of God an High Priest after the Order of Melchizedek" (Heb. 5:8-10).
It is the same with every member of the Royal Priesthood. You and I need to be purified; we need to be beaten and pressed. Many times when we read a passage of Scripture our understanding is unfruitful, it speaks nothing to us, there is simply no light. There is no light until one day God places His hand of dealing upon us and so orders our circumstances that we are brought under a certain kind of pressure. Under this pressure we turn to the same Word and suddenly it gives the light. We need to be purified, and we must be beaten and pressed. How we need the pressures, the trials and the testings! Oh, we must have the dealing hand of God! Under pressure and bruising we turn to the Lord in a deeper, more intense way, and the Spirit moves mightily on our behalf to guide, comfort, encourage, rebuke, teach, correct, counsel, reveal, instruct, develop, strengthen and perfect. In all this the Spirit operates and we are enlightened; the lamp is lit for us under its enlightening. Under this enlightening, we will have the utterance to express something which issues out of Christ as the sweet incense unto God. There will come the expression of His grace and glory and power in our walk. Then not only will we be blessed, but God will be satisfied, and men will be touched by God. THIS IS THE PRIESTLY ANOINTING.
UPON NO FLESH
"Upon man's FLESH shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you" (Ex. 30:32).
This Holy Anointing Oil was not to be poured upon man's flesh. It was poured on Aaron's HEAD after the mitre and holy crown had been placed on him. Although the Aaronic priesthood was in reality a priesthood in the flesh, for Aaron was "taken from among men," yet there is a mysterious intimation of another priesthood given in this precept, which was not to be in the flesh, but in the reality of the Spirit and after the power of an endless life. Flesh, human flesh, is sinful and corrupt beyond explanation. There can be no congeniality between it and the graces of the Holy Spirit. The flesh must ever war against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh, they cannot agree together. And as the Word of God says, "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Rom. 8:9). In the flesh there dwelleth no good thing. No one therefore can have the Holy Spirit, unless he be born of the Spirit, a new creature in Christ Jesus. It is only as connected with the New Man, as being part of the New Creation, that we can know anything of the nature and power of the Holy Ghost.
The holy anointing cannot be connected with man or man's works in the flesh. It is the Spirit of another Man, the last Adam, the High Priest of the Melchizedekian Order, the Man at God's right hand. It is not given to add something to man after the flesh to improve him, but on the ground that that man is entirely set aside. It is not given to bless or to quicken or to increase or to glorify or to sanctify or to make holy the actions or works of men after the flesh. God will not, and cannot, ANOINT FLESH! It is so easy to miss this point! We see in the Bible that before the apostle Paul was converted, he served God with zeal. "I am verily a man which am a Jew, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day" (Acts 22:3). At that time, though within him he had not received the life of God, he could serve God outwardly by his own soulish excitement and fleshly strength in a very zealous manner. This shows us that zealously serving God is WHOLLY UNRELATED TO THE ANOINTING. Feverish religious activity does not indicate one iota the call of God or the condition of a person's spiritual life. Oh, brethren! how we need to watch this. All that is not of the Spirit IS OF THE FLESH.
I can tell you of a truth that most of the "power" in the modern "revival meeting" is nothing at all but soul power - flesh! Have you not noticed yourself that in many revival meetings and church services a kind of atmosphere is first created to make the people feel warm and excited? A chorus is repeated again and again to warm up the audience. The people are urged to "get into the spirit" of the-meeting. Some stirring testimonies are given. Special music is sung. When the atmosphere is thoroughly heated up, the preacher will then stand up and preach. He has various strategies ready to stimulate and maneuver the people. If he does his job skillfully he can anticipate a large "altar call". These are methods and tactics, but they are not the power of the Holy Spirit! Many preachers today think they have power; but they are merely employing psychological soul power to influence people. Many have become self-made experts on the use of psychology in manipulating people. Babylon's Bible Schools offer a course for ministerial students called homiletics. Homiletics is the art of writing and preaching sermons. The sad truth is that the vast majority of religious activities are just that - an "art". You can go to school and LEARN HOW TO DO IT! How to prepare sermons. How to stand behind the pulpit. How to speak persuasively. How to use gestures. How to tell jokes. How to build the sermon. How to bring it to a climax. How to stir the people and skillfully bring them to the point of response. This all seems so desirable - so GOOD! But I do not hesitate to tell you that you can master these very same psychological techniques, apply them in the business world, and sell VACUUM CLEANERS! The fact is, most all salesmen use these same proven procedures of presentation, sentimentalism and pressure to sell insurance, automobiles, real estate and thousands of other items daily! No "anointing" is connected with what they do. All that is required is some good human personality mixed with proven sales techniques and one can persuade people to buy almost anything! These are means and methods, but they are not the power nor work of the Holy Spirit. In the Kingdom of God they are F-L-E-S-H! How prone we are to consider a person possessing unusual talent, dynamic personality, and great natural ability, reasoning with the carnal mind that with such talent and qualities, why, if God could just get hold of him and USE ALL THIS ABILITY in the service of the Lord, what mighty things he could accomplish for the Kingdom of God! Oh, yes, we can always locate some good flesh for God to anoint! And in our haste to pour God's Holy Anointing Oil upon man's flesh, we forget that "Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God bath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God bath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, bath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that NO FLESH SHOULD GLORY IN HIS PRESENCE" (I Cor. 1:26-28).
A brother shared the following experience which is so familiar to many who read these lines. "I remember visiting a Church which allowed the visiting ministries to take up their own offerings. On this particular occasion a servant of God and his wife were conducting the special meetings. There was no denying that the hand of God was resting upon the brother. He was quiet, deep and had a heavily anointed prophetic ministry. However, his wife's anointing was somewhat different. Very different. She was loud-voiced and boisterous. The worship, praise, singing, prayers and prophecy seemed to be anointed, during her ministry. Then suddenly she announced, 'Now we are going to take up the offering.' Apparently she noticed the look on the faces of the people. Perhaps they resented this intrusion into the worship of the Lord. She then said, 'You say, Why are we doing this in the midst of the anointing? Well, we can turn that on any time we want to.' Need I say more? This is a favorite trick. Get the people 'high' on the Lord, or all worked up with the leader's self-anointing, and then while the tide is high make a plea for money. God in the past has allowed man to go on in his own way. The days are coming however, when He will no longer tolerate those who try to manipulate His Spirit for their own profit. Sooner for some, and later for others, but they will be judged severely" - end quote. Such practices are abomination to God because He has commanded that His Holy Anointing Oil not be "poured upon MAN'S FLESH."
Then there is a solemn warning against compounding any oil like unto the Holy Anointing Oil. No imitation was to be made of it, "neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you. Whosoever compoundeth any like it, shall be cut off from his people" (Ex. 30:32-33). I am afraid there is a great deal which is simply an imitation of the Spirit of Christ - man in the flesh restrained and cultivated, and led to adopt manners and deportment which look very like the fruit of the Spirit of Christ. There are all kinds of imitations of the heavenly perfumes and precious attributes of Christ; but all that anybody puts on which are imitation of the real Christ, will never look nor smell like Him. We may put on the human humility but it is no more like the humility of Jesus Christ than anything else that is human is like God. We may put on longsuffering unto stoicism, but it is no more like the longsuffering of Christ than any human attribute is like an attribute of God. We may put on human sweetness and attractiveness, which may seem fragrant to those who cannot discern the difference; but none of these are any more like the fragrance of Christ than the odor of ill-smelling weeds is like the pure fragrance of the lily of the valley.
The finest fruits that ever grew in nature's fields, in their highest state of cultivation - the most amiable traits which the natural man can exhibit - must be utterly disowned in the sanctuary of God. There must be no counterfeit in the Spirit's work; all must be of the Spirit - wholly, really of the Spirit. Moreover, that which is of the Spirit must not be attributed to man. What a great danger there is among even God's elect saints, of assuming to be guided by and acting under the power and direction of the Holy Spirit, when they are only indulging their own self-will or self-conceit. How glibly we hear the statement repeated again and again, "The LORD told me...GOD said to me... The SPIRIT said..." this and that and the other. And it is remarkable how often the Lord changes His mind. Many times brethren tell me how the Lord has told them to do this or that, or to go here or there, and before the week is past the Lord has revised His plans land has now directed them in another path. Nonsense! We should not profess to be prompted or led by the Lord, my brethren, unless we have indeed received a clear and true and settled word from Him. Methinks that a lot of folk think they have a hot-line to heaven, and don't know that someone else has tapped in on their line!
Some time ago I was in a meeting where the saints have an "open pulpit" with liberty for each member of the body to move in ministry as moved by the Spirit. A young and zealous Pentecostal evangelist was present, and, taking advantage of the open pulpit, got up and ministered his highly emotion message, at the conclusion of which he pressed the people to come forward for him to minister to their needs. One dear sister, with a physical condition, went forward and presented herself to the young evangelist, whereupon he immediately motioned for one of the brothers to come and stand behind her. He proceeded to pray for her, shaking his finger sharply in her face three times, shouting each time, "In JESUS' name!" Then he forcefully slapped her on the forehead, jerking her body backward, whereupon she at once "fell out" under the "power". She lay on the floor for a couple minutes, then arose and returned to her seat. I saw at once what was happening! This was not the Spirit nor the power of God in operation! It was pure mesmerism, a psychologically induced experience. It came from human exercise, not an enduement of power from God. It was an IMITATION of the Holy Anointing Oil!
As soon as the next person went forward to be ministered to I stood and quickly walked to the front to help minister. When the evangelist shook his finger in this brother's face and jolted him backward with a slap on the forehead, I had already placed my hand on the small of his back, gently exerting enough pressure to stabilize him. I continued this procedure through the rest of the personal ministry and, needless to say, NO ONE ELSE FELL! If the Holy Spirit would have been knocking those people down there would not have been enough strength in my body to keep them from falling! I have witnessed this fleshly technique, with variations, time and time again in Pentecostal and Charismatic meetings. It is a very old trick. You see, most Spirit-filled Christians DESIRE supernatural experiences. This is natural, and not necessarily to be despised. However, when you know that people are actually WANTING and LONGING to experience the sensational, in this case "falling under the power," the first step in making them fall by the use of hypnotic suggestion is to CALL SOMEONE UP TO STAND BEHIND THEM while you pray for them. This gives the people the sense that if they should fall, someone is there to catch them and break the fall. Furthermore, by deliberately positioning the person behind them you have now psychologically SUGGESTED to their mind that they WILL FALL, so that they are either consciously or subconsciously, EXPECTING to fall! All that is needed at this point is the INCENTIVE to fall. The young evangelist supplied the incentive when he shook his finger in her face, repeatedly shouting, "in JESUS' name!" and then slapping her on the forehead, shoving her backward - and she reacted exactly as she had been CONDITIONED to react - she FELL! We had a word of wisdom in the old-time Pentecostal movement and it is still just as true today as it was then. We said that if someone fell prostrate under the power of God he would NOT get hurt; and if he fell, but not under the power of God, then HE OUGHT TO GET HURT. Its very simple, beloved; remove the carpet and don't supply anyone to catch them, and you will soon learn how many are anointed, and how many have MIXED THEIR OWN OIL!
How we praise God today for the Royal Priesthood which HE is preparing in the earth, whom HE is teaching HIS precepts and HIS ways; purging, processing and refining, perfecting and anointing, to exhibit the precious effects of His grace and glory. May my reader experience the power of this anointing! May he know the value of having "an unction from the Holy One," and of being "sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise." Nothing is of any value in the divine estimation save that which connects itself immediately with the great High Priest of the heavens, and whosoever is so connected can receive the Holy Anointing.
J. PRESTON EBY
P O BOX 371240
El Paso Texas
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The Royal Priesthood