THE HOLY ANOINTING OIL
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
I have several thoughts regarding the typical anointing oil which I desire to have your opinion on. They have been very faith-inspiring to myself, and so I desire to impart them to others, but hesitate to do so before laying them before you.
In Ex. 30:23we read God's instructions to Moses regarding the holy anointing oil, as follows: "Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh 500 shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even 250 shekels, and of sweet calamus 250 shekels (v. 24), and of cassia 500 shekels after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of olive oil an hin."
Notice here it reads "principal spices," in contrast to v. 34, same chapter, where it reads "sweet spices" used in the incense or holy perfume. So these principal spices would represent principal things which would go to make up the anointing which we receive to become priests and kings with Christ.
As far as I know the meanings of these spices are in no way significant, but compared with other Bible verses we may see their significance. In Ex. 31:2-5we have Bezaleel, referred to as the builder of the tabernacle, a type of Christ. His ancestry is typical of the existence of Christ on the various planes he has lived. Bezaleel was son of Uri, he in turn son of Hur, and he in turn a son of Judah. Now Judah means praised; so was Christ praised in his prehuman existence, referring to the glory he possessed with the Father before the world was. Hur, the next offspring, is representative of Christ's humiliation; as the word Hur means grave, so Christ humbled himself even unto death, yea, to the ignominious death of the cross, down into the grave. From there he came forth with the right to life for every human being, and is the Light of the world, as Uri signifies light; and now he is the shadow of the Almighty, the robe of righteousness provided by God for us, as signified in the word Bezaleel, "shadow of the Almighty."
V. 4says that this Bezaleel could devise cunning works to work in gold (the divine nature) and in silver (the spirit nature--Great Company) and in brass (the perfect human nature), showing Christ can complete work in all the planes of existence. V. 5, And in the cutting of stones (polishing the jewels), to set them [R4093 : page 349] (as the Father pleases), and in the carving of timber (the fallen race) to make all manner of workmanship (as restitution will produce for the race). This verse shows the present condition of the race and the Church, the unfinished material. Verse 2, referring to this Bezaleel, says, "And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and in understanding, and in knowledge and in all manner of workmanship." This is the typical anointing of Bezaleel; and the antitypical anointing of Christ recorded in Isa. 11:2contains the identical component parts as that of Bezaleel, viz.: "The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord." The only difference in the two verses is in respect to the terms "counsel and might" and "workmanship," but both embody the same idea, i.e., deputyship and ability, or how to go about a matter and the ability to accomplish the same. These three verses parallel as follows:
EXODUS 30:23EXODUS 31:3ISAIAH 11:2
HOLY ANOINTING OIL BEZALEEL CHRIST
Filled with the Spirit of Lord rest
In the above parallel we find knowledge parallel with calamus and understanding with cinnamon, and of each a like quantity is prescribed, even 250 shekels. So we would also expect in our anointing from above to find our knowledge and understanding equal--that is we would have the understanding of all the knowledge received of God, so that seeing we might discern and hearing we might understand.
For example, we read in the Scriptures that Christ is a corresponding price for our sins. Now, if we fear Jehovah we have that knowledge, for the fear of God is the beginning of knowledge. (Prov. 1:7.) When we see how that Christ became a perfect fleshly man and was an exact counterpart of Adam and gave up his life for Adam's, we see, or understanding tells us, how he is a cover for our sins. So knowledge from God is accompanied by its equal of understanding, and this is how we have become established in the faith. If God gives us knowledge he also gives us a test on that knowledge, and fortifies it with the understanding thereof.
Myrrh, which represents and is parallel with wisdom, is equal in amount with calamus and cinnamon combined, 500 shekels of myrrh and 250 shekels each of calamus and cinnamon. So we find God in the anointing also gives wisdom equal to our knowledge and understanding combined. Wisdom is knowing what to do. To illustrate: Knowledge tells us that God loves his only begotten Son; understanding tells us it was on account of his cheerful obedience even unto death that the Father took such delight in him; wisdom then draws the inference, that if we would also be well pleasing to the Father we must do as Jesus did, follow in his steps, get our minds into the same frame as Jesus had his, for if this mind is not in us which was also in Jesus, we are not pleasing to the Father. Again, the knowledge that Jesus died for our sins brings responsibility, and the understanding of the ransom brings added responsibility, and our responsibility is equal to what we see we ought to do, or our wisdom.
Workmanship may also be translated deputyship, but never means work or labor. It has the two ideas embodied in itself that are expressed in its parallel in Isa. 11:2, viz., counsel and might. Counsel here means advice, or how to do a thing; might here means the ability to perform. Now, cassia, which represents [R4093 : page 350] workmanship or counsel and might, amounted to 500 shekels, the same as myrrh, which represented wisdom, or knowing what to do. So God, after showing us our responsibility or what we should do, accompanies it with an equal amount of advice or information how to do it, and also enough ability to perform what is expected of us. All that is expected of us is to will--a full consecration to the Lord and his service--and all the rest he will supply in knowledge, understanding: knowledge of what we should do and ability and information how to do it. With more than this he cannot anoint us.
This mixture of oil and spices was well ground together, so that each drop of oil contained the four spices in the same proportion as the whole mass; so each drop of anointing we receive that comes down from above has all its constituents in the proper proportion. God gives no knowledge except for a purpose, and establishes our faith by giving the understanding thereof, then shows us what that knowledge is for, by showing us what is expected of us, and also gives us the advice and ability needed for the accomplishment thereof, and we must make active consecration to complete the Lord's will.
Chap. 30, v. 32, in Rotherham's translation reads, "And according to the proportions thereof shall ye not make any like it; holy is it." V. 33, "Whosoever compoundeth any like [according to the proportions thereof] shall be cut off from among his people." This would show us that after the same proportions thereof no other anointing would be allowed. So we might expect many imitation anointing oils, using the same ingredients, but not in the same proportions as the true anointing oil, having knowledge and understanding equal and balanced, and these in turn accompanied by their equal of wisdom and counsel and might. Some imitations may be so close that only God could tell the difference; hence these are false brethren.
In Eccl. 9:10we read, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do with thy might; for there is no work nor device nor knowledge nor wisdom in the grave whither thou goest." The word translated device here is translated reason and account in Eccl. 7, verses 25 and 27, respectively. All three words are closely related to understanding and are the results of understanding. Solomon here uses these four--wisdom, knowledge, device (or understanding) and works (result of workmanship) --to show that the absence of these produces physical death, or is the sign of physical death, and conversely their presence signifies physical life. So if we have been anointed with spiritual wisdom, understanding, knowledge and workmanship, or counsel and might, and are in a state of activity in our consecration, we will have spiritual wisdom, spiritual knowledge, and our understanding and counsel will give us spiritual device, so we will know how to form character and bring forth spiritual fruits, and our spiritual might received from God will be the power to bring about our spiritual works. If we possess these we will be spiritually alive, and if not we will be dead in trespasses and sins. Paul, in Col. 1:9,10, prays that the saints may be filled with the knowledge of his will, in all spiritual wisdom and spiritual understanding--being fruitful in every good work and walking worthy of the Lord--these very same four again.
These four produce the fruits of the Spirit, therefore they are the principal spices. The odor emanating from such a typically anointed one is symbolical of the fruits of the Spirit we show forth--the more anointing the more fruits; and surely it is desirable to be in the presence of one so antitypically anointed.
The oil being olive illustrates something divine and is representative of the divine power and supervision used in the anointing of the antitypical priesthood. The oil was the means of distributing the spices over the body, and each drop carried the four spices in the same relative proportion as that of the whole mass. So whatever amount of anointing a member in Christ receives from the Head, it has its constituents of knowledge, etc., in their proper relative proportions. The oil may be the Bible, which carries all these four elements of the anointing to us, God's power being used in connection therewith in anointing us.
Hoping I have not wearied or bothered you, dear brother, but not wanting to have it for myself, I considered it my duty to communicate this to you. I have hesitated much in writing to you, but have done as I considered it my duty. Thanking you for all the blessing received from you and asking an interest in your prayers that I may remain in Christ to the end,
Your brother in Christ, M. E. RIEMER--Mo.