It is the way of the natural man to neglect the best of the gifts of God to settle for the least, and even believers tend to do this since they still carry their depraved nature in them. This seems to be the case of the Corinthian church; they were settling for the gifts of tongues, which was by far the least of the spiritual gifts, hence Paul told them: “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way” (1 Cor 12:31).
In our time there seems to be more and more men settling down for the use of the anointing oil, which is by far an outdated gift, and also very irrelevant to the saints today. God has given us something far better and superior than the anointing oil. We are not left as orphans in this world, nor have we been left defenceless in our war against sin, the flesh and the world. This article will show that God has given to his saints something better than the anointing oil.
While the Lord Jesus Christ tabernacled in the flesh among us, his disciples were never perplexed nor troubled; the thought of their vulnerability to the powers of darkness never entered into their hearts because they found a sure refuge in him. In Matthew 14:23-33 they witnessed him walk over the water and rescue them from the boisterious storm; in Mark 4:37-41 they witnessed him rebuke the wind and the sea and they yielded perfect obedience to him, such that they said with their own mouth, “What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
But when the Lord announced his coming departure, and how he would return back to the Father, they were perplexed and troubled, and for the first time, they felt their insecurity without him and wondered how they could be safe in the world again. It was this that made Christ give them the sure promise of sending them another Comforter who would abide with them forever … and he goes further to say, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:16-18). And upon the day of Pentecost, he came to them in the Person of the Holy Spirit, filling them to the brim for the task to which he had called them. And every child of God is not left comfortless, but is filled with the Holy Spirit as his comforter and guide.
It is a sense of insecurity that leads men to turn to diverse things for protection; things like the anointing oil, blessed clothes, anointed aprons (like the one used in the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Church) etc., were introduced into the worship of God on the ground that they had power and efficacy in themselves to heal and protect people from demonic attacks. We have witnessed these people tying a “blessed cloth” around some corners of their homes, believing the “blessed cloths” cold grant protection from demonic attacks; some of them sprinkle the oil around their business premises believing it would make them more prosperous, and that the oil would secure their businesses from falling. In all, it can be clearly seen that their chief purpose why men turn to the use of these superstitious materials is because they feel unsecured and vulnerable to the power of darkness. The Apostles of our Lord felt the same as well, when the Lord announced his departure to them; but the Lord never turned them to the use of these superstitious materials for their protection and security. He promised that his presence would still be with them in the Person of the Holy Spirit. And it is goodnews to know that every child of God has the Holy Spirit, because it is the Holy Spirit that makes men born again. Upon regeneration, he unites himself to the soul of the child of God, quickening him to a life of righteousness and true holiness, and giving them a new will to serve God and keep his commandments. As he unites himself with the soul of the child of God, he never departs, for it is a part of the Covenant of Grace, that God shall give us another Comforter, and that the Comforter, when he comes, shall abide with us forever (See John 14:16). Our first union with the Holy Spirit is at the time of regeneration, and the union which is established from thence last forever.
The idea of the Holy Spirit coming in today and going out tomorrow, leaving a once regenerated soul in a state of spiritual death, is nowhere to be found in the Holy Scriptures.
Apart from the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is given to be with us forever, God has also given us the name of his Son to be used in prayer, so that at the mention of the name of Jesus Christ, every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, of things on earth, and of things under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (See Phil 2:9-11).
The name of Jesus Christ is far superior to any power men might have thought resided in the anointing oil; and at the mention of it in faith, the child of God can be rest assured that he is in safe hands. It is an exalted name, for “God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.” If there has been some things which God exalted at one time or the other, the name of Jesus Christ has been far exalted above them. God once exalted the rod of Moses so that it wrought many wonders in Egypt (Exo 4:17); he exalted the ark of the covenant so that it parted the Jordan and made Israel victorious in battle (Josh 4:7; 6:11-16); and he exalted the bones of Elisha so that it could revive a corpse (2 Kings 13:20-21); yet the name of Jesus Christ has been exalted above these so that at the mention of it every knee shall bow (Phil 2:9-11).
Again, it is noteworthy that the other gifts which God gave in time past were specifically to certain individuals and specifically for a particular purpose; they were not given to be used by everyone; for example, the rod of Moses was specifically given to Moses, and it would not work for any other than Moses. For a proof of this, we adduce 2 Kings 4:29-31, where Elisha gave his miraculous staff to Gehazi his servant to raise the dead child, but there was neither voice nor hearing. The staff would work for Elisha alone, not for any other. But the gift of the exalted name of Jesus Christ is not restricted to any one individual, as was the rod and staff of the Old Testament Prophets, but is given to all the saints and body of Christ: every child of God can apply to it and receive the virtue that flows from thence. A new convert has as much right to use the name of Jesus Christ in prayer as the matured saint who has walked many years with the Lord. It is a gift to the body of Christ, and anyone within the household of faith can use the name of Jesus Christ in prayer. It is the best gift God has given to his church, though much neglected and has been replaced with superstitions like the anointing oil, blessed cloths, anointed aprons, etc.
Another thing which we consider to be a better than the anointing oil is the written word of God – the complete Scripture in our hands. It is a gift indeed that we could look into the written Scripture and see the mind of God revealed to us more clearly than the men of old had in their time when they had only some segments of it. In the Scriptures the lights shine so brightly that David said, “The entrance of thy words giveth light, it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psa 119:130).
Men turn to the use of superstitious things like the anointing oil and “blessed cloths” because they live in fear, and the only antidote to fear is faith. Now a true and living faith can only come from the word of God, “for faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:17).
It is only as we meditate on the written word of God that a living and vital faith is ingrained into us, so that we can confidently lean on God and his power and resist the fear of death and evil; but as much as ignorance on the word of God prevails, fears, lies and superstitions will gain more and more roots until it becomes very difficult to deal with. Bible prophecies revealed what God was going to do, but the prophecies and visions of the modern Charismatics reveals only what Satan is planning to do; hence, fear and bondage is the only result of it.
A young man planning to go into marriage would naturally have fear of falling into marriage with an odious woman; and this fear might lead him to begin to go from one prophet to another to know the mind of God concerning who and who would be the best wife for him. Some trust that their prophets would be able to tell them who their future companion would be; but after all this, they still fall into the ditch they were afraid of because their prophets saw nothing but lies and delusion.
But in the written word of God, we see the mind of God as to how we can have a peaceful and blessed marriage. Turning the pages of the Bible, I see it written, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers”, and so I know that marriage with an unbeliever would only create the hell I was afraid of; and in obedience to the written word, I know that I must seek out a believer for a wife. This solves the problem as to how a young man can have a blessed and blissful marriage. He does not need to run from pillar to post seeking a prophet to tell him the mind of God; the voice of an angel from heaven will never give him the direction he needs; but in the written Scripture, he sees the lights shining brightly for his feet.
The same would apply to a man intending to venture into a business. He does not yet know for sure what would be the outcome of the business: whether he would have gain or suffer loss. The fear of the unknown would naturally lead him to want to pry into the secret plans of God. And a situation where one delude man has been announced a great and anointed man of God who can see into the future, it becomes even very easy for him seek to him to know what the outcome of his business venture would be. The end, in most cases, is a sympathetic story of shame and defeat, as the predictions of the prophet never come to pass at all.
But the written word of God was there to have directed him, if only he had taken heed. God has warned us in his word that we are to submit all our business adventures to him, and be willing to say, “If the Lord wills …” (James 4:13-15). In all our business plans, we should know that only the will of the Lord will stand; and hence, we should be willing to submit to receive the outcome as God’s will. Once we are settled on this, we would immediately see that the inquiry after “prophets” and “anointed men of God” is but a needless and vain exercise.
We could on and on, showing the different situations and examples that leads men to want to pry into the future; but let the reader ponder over the few lines that have been written, and let him apply them to himself, and at once, he will see light, for we are persuaded that the things we have written are not contrary to the certain words of truth. The reader would at once perceive that in this short article, we have not laboured to exalt anything of man and his ability, but have invested all our labour to beat down the present trend of our generation, which only runs to exalt man and his “miraculous ability” and his so-called “spiritual gifts.” The Lord Jesus Christ, and his Holy Spirit shines forth brightly in this short article, for we have already shown that God has given to us something greater and far superior to the anointing oil, which are these:
The Holy Spirit as our present Comforter who would abide with us forever;
The exalted name of Jesus Christ, at the mention of which every knee shall bow, in heaven, on earth, and under the earth; and every tongue shall confess Christ as Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The written Scripture, in which the mind of God shines forth brightly, so that the seeking for prophets to help us pry into the “secret and unknown future” is but vanity and a vexation of spirit.
The gospel is to be freely preached to all, but never be imposed on any. Let the reader be like the Berean Christian (Acts 17:10-11); let him search his Scripture daily to see if these things are so, and let him reject or received it according to his judgement of Word of God. But on our part, we have found that God has given us something better than the anointing oil, and having applied ourselves to the far superior benefits found in Christ, we find the use of the anointing oil nothing more than blind ignorance and superstition; a waste of money and a perversion.