The Exodus Anointing Oil

Throughout the last years I have heard so many people say that they believe that the use of Anointing Oil is prohibited, or at least limited to the Anointing of the sick. Some say this based on the things that God said about the Holy Anointing Oil. Others use the oil so freely, that they believe that every composition or recipe can be used for every purpose. It is always good and wise to know what the Word of God actually says about something.

When it comes to Holy Oil, the Bible makes mention of two recipes. The first is the recipe of the Holy Anointing Oil, which was liquid, the other is the recipe of the Holy Incense, which was most likely also made with oil, but less liquid and like a more solid substance. Both recipes were and are considered holy and most holy. Both recipes come with a serious warning, so the fact that many people are very careful in regard to the use of this Anointing Oil is very suitable. 

The recipe of Holy Anointing Oil

Also take for yourself quality spices—five hundred shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much sweet-smelling cinnamon (two hundred and fifty shekels), two hundred and fifty shekels of sweet-smelling cane, five hundred shekels of cassia, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and a hin of olive oil.
Exodus 30:23-24

The recipe of the Holy Incense

Take sweet spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, and pure frankincense with these sweet spices; there shall be equal amounts of each.
Exodus 30:34

These are the recipes that are never to be used again. But to conclude that God is talking about the use of Anointing Oil in general is a mistake. That was not what He said. Some assume that when they use Anointing Oil, or an Anointing Oil containing any of the fragrances mentioned, that the curse of God will become effective in their life. This is not true either. 

In regard to the Holy Anointing Oil, God said: “This shall be a holy anointing oil to Me throughout your generations. It shall not be poured on man’s flesh; nor shall you make any other like it, according to its composition. It is holy, and it shall be holy to you. Whoever compounds any like it, or whoever puts any of it on an outsider, shall be cut off from his people.” (Exodus 30:31-33)

Here God says that the existing Holy Anointing Oil may never be used on man’s flesh. That leaves room for the Anointing of items and/or garments, but not for human beings. That is assuming that this Anointing Oil (that was made at that moment) still exists somewhere, which I dare not to say. If it does, it is most likely not accessible to any of us, so that solves that problem. The other thing God says is that this Anointing Oil is never to be made again, but notice that God adds something very important to it: “according to its composition”. In other words, you may make Anointing Oil with any of the separate ingredients of the Holy Anointing Oil, but never in the exact same recipe that was used for the Holy Anointing Oil. He who does that anyway, shall be cut off from his people. And yes, that is a curse that will become effective for anyone who does that. So it is very justified to be cautious on this area. 

In regard to the Holy Incense, God said: “It shall be most holy to you. But as for the incense which you shall make, you shall not make any for yourselves, according to its composition. It shall be to you holy for the Lord. Whoever makes any like it, to smell it, he shall be cut off from his people.” (Exodus 30: 36-37).

Here it even goes a step further. He who makes this recipe, even if it’s only to smell it, shall be cut off from his people. The Holy Anointing Oil is called ‘holy’, but the Holy Incense is called ‘Most Holy’. No matter what kind of product you want to make, when you use this recipe as your fragrance, the curse will become effective immediately. This is talking about the fragrance alone. So there are two recipes that are not to be made again, not just one. 

Some believe that the use of these recipes is justified and that nothing will happen to them, because Jesus became a curse and carried all the consequences of it at the cross. While it is true that Jesus dealt with each and every curse, it only applies to those who are in line with the Word of God. Doing something that goes against the will of God is always considered a sin. Just like you can’t commit adultery or murder without facing the consequences in the natural and in the spiritual, it is also impossible to violate this law without facing the consequences. Forgiveness is only for those who admit with their mouths and in their hearts that they have committed a sin and are in need of forgiveness, not for those who use the grace of God as an excuse to freely commit sins. 

Sometimes the fear of making mistakes or to commit sin becomes so big, that we rather choose for a ‘safe path’, then to explore any more of what God has to offer. We tend to look for security and safety by staying away from the things we don’t understand. Yes, there is such a thing as the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom. But the fear of making mistakes is not a part of that fear. Fear of making mistakes is a bad counselor. The only real security can be found in the Word of God. That is the place where you can be really safe. 

Not using Anointing Oil, out of fear of violating God’s commandments from Exodus 30, is like not praying, because you might pray a prayer that is not according to His will. It is like not believing, because you might believe wrong. In those cases, we get stuck in legalism. The power behind legalism will always prevent you from doing things for the Lord, from the fear of doing it wrong. That doesn’t make us safe or free, it makes us a spiritual prisoner. True safety and freedom can be found in our Lord and Messiah, Jesus Christ, for He is the Living Word. And His promise to us still stands today:

If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 8:31-32

What is the key? Abide in His Word. If you’re not sure if something is right, abide in His Word. If you’re not sure what to do next, abide in His Word. Open the Word of God, search for the answers. Then you can know for sure. Our first question should always be: “What does the Word of God have to say about this situation?”. It most certainly shouldn’t be what someone else has to say about it. Sure, you can listen to the advice of people, but never accept any of that advice as the truth, until you are able to confirm it from the Word of God. That is including this study. 

As for the use of Anointing Oil, you can find clear answers in the Bible. In the Bible verses I’ve just given you, you can see that the Exodus Anointing Oil and Holy Incense are specific recipes. The Word does not say “Thou shall not use Anointing Oil”, it says “Don’t use these recipes”. The book of Exodus also does not put any restrictions on who is allowed to use Anointing Oil. It puts restrictions on who is allowed to use the Holy Anointing Oil and the Holy Incense, that was made for that time and for the service in the Tabernacle. It also puts restrictions on producing those same recipes again. But each and every other recipe for Anointing Oil and fragrances are still free to use. The question of who is allowed to use all these other Anointing Oils will be answered later on in this study. That answer may surprise you.