Who Is Allowed To Use Anointing Oil?
I have heard this question so many times. Who is allowed to use Anointing Oil? I have always replied to this question with the answer that everyone is allowed to use it, and I still stand by this answer. In fact, I have found so much more proof about this, while studying this topic. The personal use of Anointing Oil was a common use throughout the whole Old Testament and throughout the whole New Testament. It was a common use among the people of Israel, and later also among the Christians of the first Churches. The personal use of Anointing Oil can be found in these Bible verses.
Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.
And wine that makes glad the heart of man, Oil to make his face shine, and bread which strengthens man’s heart.
Let your garments always be white, and let your head lack no oil.
But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face
All the way through the Old Testament to the New Testament, common people used Anointing Oil to Anoint themselves. In Matthew, even Jesus told His disciples to do so. Why did He tell them that? As a religious act during fasting? Absolutely not. Anointing yourself was such a common use, that all people walked around with their faces Anointed. The thing was that the Pharisees and Scribes loved to show that they were fasting, in order to receive the honor of man. They did so by putting on a sad face and by not Anointing themselves. When you didn’t Anoint yourself in these times, you really stood out and the people could see that something was going on with you. It was also a common use that you didn’t Anoint yourself during times of fasting, so it wasn’t a strange thing to do. The Pharisees and Scribes did it in order to make it visible to the people that they were fasting. To show everyone how religious they behaved. Jesus dealt with this issue, by saying that when you are fasting, that you need to do that for our Father in heaven and not to be seen by man. Thus He commanded His disciples to act as they always did, when they were fasting. In other words, they needed to wash their faces, as they always did, and they needed to Anoint their heads, as they always did. By doing so, they looked exactly like anyone else, without anyone noticing that they were fasting. Jesus added this promise to it:
And your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
The lack of Anointing was also a sign of mourning. When something terrible happened, like when someone died, then the family friends did not Anoint themselves. Everyone in their environment could see that they were in a season of mourning, by the lack of oil on their heads. Such can be seen in the following Bible verses.
And Joab sent to Tekoa and brought from there a wise woman, and said to her, “Please pretend to be a mourner, and put on mourning apparel; do not anoint yourself with oil, but act like a woman who has been mourning a long time for the dead.
2 Samuel 14:2
I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
This can also be found in the story of king David. After he had committed adultery with Bathsheba, she became pregnant and bore a son. David was then visited by the prophet Nathan, who confronted him with his sin, for which David was clearly blinded. Nathan used a parable and God opened David’s eyes for his sin. He immediately pleaded guilty with the words: “I have sinned against the Lord.” As a result of his attitude towards the sin, meaning his confession of pleading guilty, his life was spared by the Lord. But in those days the sacrifice of Jesus had not yet taken place, so the verdict was that his child would die, the child he had with Bathsheba. David was devastated. The child became ill and David started to plead with God for the child. He fasted and lay on the ground all night. This went on for seven days, during which he refused to eat. At the end of the seven days, the Word of the Lord came to pass and the child died. Basically he had already mourned for the child’s death. But when the child had died, he saw that there was nothing more that he could do and he ended his time of mourning. As you can see in the next verse, he did so by washing himself and by anointing himself.
So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate.
2 Samuel 12:20
By anointing himself, he showed to everyone that his time of mourning was over. It was the sign of restoration to his normal condition, emotionally and physically. Not anointing yourself is not only a sign of mourning, it is also a sign of being cursed. How? The opposite, anointing yourself, was and is a sign of the blessing and favor of God upon your life. The lack of blessing and favor is therefore a sign of a curse. This is also mentioned in Deuteronomy, where the results of a curse were mentioned.
You shall have olive trees throughout all your territory, but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil; for your olives shall drop off.
So whenever people anointed themselves, it was a prophetic act and a sign that they were doing well, while the lack of anointing showed they were mourning and felt cursed, which some were because of their disobedience to the Word of God. Once the mourning was over, or once repentance and restoration had taken place, the use of Anointing Oil was resumed. When Jesus sent out His disciples, He gave them clear instructions on what to do.
So they went out and preached that people should repent. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.
They prayed for the sick and Anointed them with oil. Keep in mind that Anointing Oil was only used after it was determined that someone was healed, not while they were still sick. So what the disciples did was an act of faith, a prophetic act of declaring that their prayer was heard and that their words, spoken on behalf of Jesus, already had come to pass. They anointed the sick in faith, believing that it was already done, even before there were visible signs. And because of that faith, the sick were healed.
Although it sometimes may seem that way, Jesus Christ was in no way a rebel in the time that He walked on earth. Some may have considered Him a rebel, but the only thing He stood up against were the religious and political spirits. The people who acted from these spirits were addressed by Jesus as hypocrites. But other than that, He never stood up against the Word of God in any way. He always obeyed the Scriptures in every detail. Jesus Christ was and is the role model for every Christian, for every disciple. He showed the people what the Christian life (meaning the “Anointed Life”) was like, by living it, then by telling and encouraging His followers to do the same. So when He told His disciples to Anoint themselves when they were fasting, as they always did, it can only mean that He did the exact same thing. Otherwise He would have been a hypocrite, which He is clearly not. Jesus and all His disciples, all His followers, used Anointing Oil on a daily basis, for personal use and to Anoint others.
The common personal use of Anointing Oil among Christians continued throughout the whole New Testament, in all Jewish Christian Churches and in all the Gentile Christian Churches. In the early Churches, all people brought their Anointing Oil with them to the Church services. During the service, a blessing was spoken over the Anointing Oil, after which people took it back home again, for their personal daily use. This common personal use continued until the ninth century. Around that time, the Church rituals and Church rules arose and the common personal use of Anointing Oil became less and less, until the personal use vanished completely in the ninth century. Instead, the Anointing Oil was only to be used by the Church leaders. We’re talking about the early Catholic Church. The Catholic Church had established defined Anointing rites, and only for the Anointing of the sick people. What a loss. All of this took place before the Great Schism and way before the reformation. By the time those events took place, most people didn’t even know about the meaning of the Anointing and the Anointing Oil, than except for the Anointing of the sick.
After the Great Schism, and a century before the Reformation, it even became worse. From that moment the Church leaders decided that the Anointing was no longer for the sick, but only for those who were about to die. So if you were sick, you had to wait until you were dying, before one of the Church leaders was even willing to come and Anoint you. After all, Church rules and Church rituals went before the Bible in that time. In some Churches that is still the case.
Then the Reformation took place and all sorts of denominations started to grow. I couldn’t really find much of the history of the use of Anointing Oil in all of the denominations, but given the fact that most denominations still only use the Anointing for the sick, tells a lot. There are even many Churches who don’t use Anointing Oil at all anymore. Nowadays it is mostly because of a lack of knowledge. In the sixties of the twentieth century, the Catholic Church came back on their decision in regard to the Anointing of the sick, and decided that from that moment, all the sick should be Anointed again, according to the Scriptures. From that moment the people no longer had to wait until they were about to die. However, in the majority of the Churches and denominations, the personal common use of Anointing Oil has never been restored. Again, it is a great loss for the Church.
So many people have been blinded by the tangle of Church rules and Church rituals, which are manmade and were never commanded by the Lord. There is only one safe place in this world, and that is in the Word of God. Church rules or Church rituals will never offer you any form of security. Go back to the basic, go back to the Word of God itself. Let the Word of God decide what is true and what isn’t.
As for the use of Anointing Oil and the Anointing, the Word is clear. To make it easy for you, I have even included every Bible verse that speaks about the Anointing, the Anointing Oil, the Olive Trees and the Olives, at the end of this book. In that way you don’t have to assume, you don’t have to blindly accept this as the truth, but you can see for yourself and test it. To me, Jesus is my role model. He is the blueprint of what true Christianity should be like. If He, His disciples and all the first Churches, were using Anointing Oil for personal use, on a daily basis, then so do I. Jesus Christ is my Master. I follow His example. And I encourage you to do the same.