“Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God.” — 2 Cor. 1:21
There are five beautiful emblems of the Holy Spirit: wind, water, fire, dove and oil.
The Spirit, as wind, revives and imparts life.
The Spirit, as water, washes, nourishes and causes the fruits and graces of the Spirit to mature.
The Spirit, as fire, penetrates, softens, melts, cleanses, molds, refines and sweetens one’s manners and disposition.
The Spirit, as a dove, reproduces all the Christ-like traits and tempers, and gives one a loving, winning personality, and puts a softness in the eyes and a heavenly expression in the countenance.
The Spirit, as oil, lubricates, unctionizes, and causes all the powers of the soul to move with ease and liberty. Now, when the Holy Spirit is compared to oil, it always means an advanced stage; it means the Comforter as a Guide, Teacher, and Revealer.
Let us notice the ingredients that went into this holy ointment which represents the Holy Spirit in His different operations in a purified believer:
I. The myrrh, which was noted for its healing virtues and power of extracting soreness from a wound, typifies the anointing of the Spirit, which takes out all soreness from the soul. The heart, in which the Comforter dwells, can receive all sorts of injuries and unkind treatment without getting sore or sour. The Spirit acts like a lubricating oil, and counteracts all soreness from the soul.
II. The sweet cinnamon was noted for its hot, spicy, penetrating fire. How true this is of the fiery baptism of the Spirit, which melts and mellows and produces a Divine heat through all the interior organs!
III. The sweet calamus, noted for its sweet, spicy perfume, is typical of the sweetness and fragrance of the Spirit. A holiness that does not produce fragrance is lacking in something or is pitched on the wrong key.
IV. The cassia was noted for its nourishing qualities. The Holy Spirit not only takes out all the pangs and soreness from the inner faculties, but nourishes and strengthens all the graces of the soul.
V. The olive oil was used as a medicine; especially was it excellent in loosening up stiff joints. How beautifully this typifies the Holy Spirit in softening and liberating all the mental and spiritual faculties! It takes all the stiffness out of one’s manners and voice, and brings out all the latent capabilities of the soul; it stirs up and brings out dormant gifts which we never dreamed we had.
This holy ointment was very costly. It cost the Author of salvation His own life’s blood the agony of Gethsemane, the cruel mockery of the judgment hall, and five bleeding wounds of Calvary – to give us the Holy Ghost.
It must not be counterfeited. There are many counterfeits today for the Holy Ghost. Thus human culture, fine music, elocution, pathos, oratory, with stirred emotions, have been used to imitate the Holy Ghost. But all these are like a tame candle beside the blazing, shining sun in comparison to the Holy Ghost.
This holy oil was not to be put upon a stranger. The word “stranger” here has reference to the unsaved who are strangers to God. Jesus said, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter . . . whom the world cannot receive.” That means that the Holy Ghost as an indwelling companion cannot be received only on the conditions that one has been born again. The Holy Ghost can only dwell in a heart that has been emptied and has a capacity for Him.
“Upon man’s flesh this anointing oil shall not be poured.” “Flesh” here means the carnal mind, which the Apostle says is “not subject to the law of God.” The word “flesh” in the New Testament has a two-fold meaning; sometimes it means the flesh on our bones, which we will have as long as we live, and which is not sinful within itself. Another term is sarx, Greek, which means the fleshly, fallen nature, which is to be destroyed and put off. From this we learn that no one receives the anointing of the Holy Spirit in His fullness, only on the condition of cleansing and heart purity.
Millions are ready to receive the Spirit, providing there is no smashing of idols and no death to carnality. Tens of thousands of preachers are willing to seek and receive gifts of the Spirit (which are external), but they are not ready to die to the self-life in order to be sanctified wholly. Heaven’s order is: first, purity; then unction and power.
This anointing, we are told, was “that they might minister unto the Lord.” Even the Master never went forth into public ministry until He received the heavenly anointing at the Jordan. The disciples were strictly commanded not to depart until they be endued with power from on high. Woe unto the man or woman that goes out as a missionary or preacher without first tarrying! Oh, how easy it is to preach with the anointing! The brain works with an ease and swiftness; the words drip with unction and power. The mistake of the past has been the substituting titles, degrees and culture for the baptism of the Holy Ghost, who alone can make preachers.