2 Corinthians 2:14 says that God, through us, is spreading everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ. What does it mean to be the aroma of Christ in the world? This fascinating study of anointing oil in the Scriptures and its representation of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. A teaching CD on this subject and a special Exodus 30 blend of anointing oil are also available as companions to this ARM Resource.
Gary Moore, and his wife Sally, have served as ambassadors for Holy Spirit empowered renewal to the Body of Christ (particularly in the United Methodist Church) since 1982. Gary is recognized as an anointed teacher, author and leader with a passion to ignite a fire in the hearts of people so that they might walk in their full potential as followers of Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit. His anointing also includes being a leader to leaders and a minister to ministers. He is actively involved in encouraging and mentoring next generation leaders.
It was many years ago, shortly after Sally and I had experienced the saving grace of Jesus Christ and began the journey as “born of the Spirit” Christians.13 It was on a Friday; I had a day off and was home from work, when I received a call from a friend and brother in Christ. Fred was frantic. He told me that he and Nell were supposed to leave in two (2) hours to participate as team members on a Lay Witness Mission and Nell was covered from head to toe in a horrible, itching, rash.
Fred and Nell were in a small group with us and we were learning to pray for and with each other – for everything. So, naturally, I told him that we would pray, but that didn’t seem to be enough for him.
“I want you to come over”, he said, “anoint her with oil, and pray for her to be healed, just like they did in the early church.”
I had no idea what he was talking about and he couldn’t remember where the scripture was (They were new Spirit-filled Christians as well, but not as new as we were.) I agreed to come over and pray with her and he agreed to look for the scripture.
When I arrived, Fred held up his Bible and exclaimed, “I found it!” As I looked at Nell, he began to read the passage to me. He was right, she looked miserable! Her face and neck and extremities were covered in a bright red rash. Fred read from James 5:14-15, “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.”
I was certain that they had made a mistake by calling me, but was willing to be used as an instrument of the Lord. I asked, “So what kind of oil do you use?” They weren’t sure, so I suggested “3 in 1 oil” which was commonly used for sewing machines. I figured it would be better than Motor Oil. Actually, I thought “3 in 1” sounded pretty spiritual. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any “3 in 1 oil.”
As it turned out, the only oil they had was a wide mouth jar of cooking oil that Nell kept in the refrigerator.
We knelt and prayed, asking the Lord to bless our obedience to the scripture in James 5, to bless this ordinary oil and for the Holy Spirit to use it as an instrument through which God’s healing mercy might flow. Having never witnessed anyone being anointed and prayed over for healing, I didn’t have a clue what was the “proper procedure” for anointing. I didn’t know that the proper protocol was to place a little oil on your finger and then smear it on a person’s forehead in the shape of a cross, anointing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Instead, I stuck my hand down into the bottle of cold oil and as I continued to pray, smeared it all over one side of her face. I dipped my hand again and smeared the other side. Another dip and I smeared her forehead and neck. Another dip to smear each of her arms and hands, followed by her ankles and feet.
I’ll have to say that after using most of the oil in the bottle to smear the uncovered parts of her body, she was properly anointed, and so was I as the oil ran down my arm each time I dipped my hand and then raised my arm to smear the oil on her. Needless to say, when I finished anointing her, we were both an oily mess!
When I felt that I was finished, I said, “Amen!” Nothing visible had happened, other than she had some relief from the itching as a result of the soothing effect of the cold oil on her skin. I left for home so they could finish getting ready for their Lay Witness Mission.
After I got home, Fred called. He exclaimed, “God healed her!” “Praise the Lord”, he continued, “The rash and itching is totally gone!”
And although Nell wasn’t sure that there was enough soap in the world to wash off the oily residue from her skin, they left for their ministry weekend with quite a testimony of God’s healing grace.
That was my first experience in anointing with oil for healing. Humorous as it was, it gave me a visual that left a lasting impression. It was a literal smearing with oil that I have never forgotten.
I also learned that when we are sick, if we will pray for each other, we may be healed. During the past three decades, the healing ministry has been recovered to the global church and there are many healing services that are offered in United Methodist resources.