By Eric Carlson on October 24, 2022
In the body of believers today there is a lot of misunderstanding and confusion regarding the term anointing and what it means. The term anointed is misused, misunderstood, and used out of context by most believers today including myself.
What does it mean to be “anointed?” Anointing has various uses associated with it. Those various uses, understandings and applications are bound together in that each involves the application of Olive Oil being rubbed on the person or object being anointed. Anointing is a consecration; to be set aside.
Anointing in the Tanach is the setting aside of something or someone such as the Temple implements or Aaron and his sons as High Priests. Anointing scripturally means to be consecrated for a holy or sacred use unto God, the devoting or setting apart of anything or anyone to the worship or service of Adonai. Anointing is performed by rubbing sacred Olive Oil on the person or item (smearing with the hands). Anointing in true biblical context is that the object or person being anointed are being sanctified for service unto God.” The Hebrew term “mashiach” means anointed one and refers to Yeshua the Messiah, in the Greek its “chrio” which is the root word of Christo which means anointed one in Greek, or in English: “Christ”.
Yeshua was anointed by God for service unto God. I Samuel 16 records David being chosen as the next king by Samuel who anointed David with that special Olive Oil from a horn (exactly the same way Saul was anointed by Samuel). It didn’t mean David was King then, it meant he was consecrated, set aside for this service unto God as King of Israel. In Leviticus all the components of the Tabernacle where anointed, set apart for service unto God by Oil, then purified by the blood!
The oil used to signify that someone or something is consecrated or set aside was a special oil made of ingredients proscribed by God.
Exodus 30:22-32. ADONAI said to Moshe, 23 Take the best spices – 500 shekels of myrrh [121/2 pounds], half this amount (250 shekels) of aromatic cinnamon [61/4 pounds], 250 shekels of aromatic cane, 24 500 shekels of cassia (use the sanctuary standard), and one gallon of olive oil – 25 and make them into a holy anointing oil; blend it and perfume it as would an expert perfume-maker; it will be a holy anointing oil. 26 Use it to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark for the testimony, 27 the table and all its utensils, the menorah and all its utensils, the incense altar, 28 the altar for burnt offerings and all its utensils, and the basin with its base. 29 You are to consecrate them – they will be especially holy, and whatever touches them will be holy. 30 Then you are to anoint Aharon and his sons – you are to consecrate them to serve me in the office of cohen. 31 “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘This is to be a holy anointing oil for me through all your generations. 32 It is not to be used for anointing a person’s body; and you are not to make any like it, with the same composition of ingredients – it is holy, and you are to treat it as holy.
To use this oil for any other purpose was considered an abomination to God. I want to pause here for to clear up some common, widespread mistakes I commonly hear among the greater body. An anointing means your set apart for service unto the Holy One of Israel. Often individuals have come to me and say: “Rabbi, you’re operating under a new anointing, or your anointing has increased, or there is a change in your anointing”. It’s common to confuse the anointing with the power of the Ruach HaKodesh and God’s Glory, the Shekinah. Either I’m anointed by God to be a Rabbi or I’m not. The anointing can’t increase or decrease, its simply anointed or it’s not. Anointing is mentioned only twice in the Brit Chadesha in Mark 6:13 and in James 5:14. They both speak specifically about anointing with Olive Oil!
Mark 6:13 – And they cast out many demons and healed many sick people, anointing them with olive oil.
James 5:14 – Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.
I know this is very subtle, but authority and its source are very important in fulfilling our destiny within the Kingdom of God. This is performed through S’mikhah, the laying on of hands or ordination.
Scripture relates that Moses ordained Joshua by placing his hands on him, thereby transferring a portion of his spirit to Joshua (Num. 27:22, 23; Deut. 34:9). Moses also ordained the 70 elders who assisted him in governing the people (Num. 11:16–17, 24–25).
Here’s a thought to ponder. The elders ordained by Moses ordained their successors, who in turn ordained theirs and so on and so on so that there exists an unbroken chain of ordination from Moses on through time to the period of the Second Temple and Yeshua! (Maim. Yad, Sanh. 4:2)
Joshua and those seventy elders were set apart, then S’mikhah was performed-the actual spirit that was resting upon Moses-notice it doesn’t say anointing, it’s the Spirit, the power of God, a literal part of Moses Spirit was transferred from him to each of the Seventy then to Joshua. This is where they received the authority and ability to carry out their task. Their power was increased. So if someone states, Rabbi you’re more anointed than before it’s really not the anointing but the presence or Spirit of the Lord that’s changed. Elisha asked only one thing from Elijah:
II Kings 2:9. After they had crossed, Eliyahu said to Elisha, “Tell me what I can do for you before I am taken away from you.” Elisha said, “Please! Let a double share of your spirit be on me!”
Paul does the same with Timothy:
II Timothy 1:6. For this reason, I am reminding you to fan the flame of God’s gift, which you received through s’mikhah from me.
Yeshua’s source of power and authority (which came from God) was challenged by people:
Matthew 21:23. He went into the Temple area; and as he was teaching, the head cohanim and the elders of the people approached him and demanded, “What s’mikhah do you have that authorizes you to do these things? And who gave you this s’mikhah?”
Again, the anointing doesn’t change, it’s the presence and power of God that increases. An extremely powerful period of worship really isn’t anointed as much as it is infused with the power and glory of Adonai through the Holy Spirit.
So where am I going with this. Let’s look at King Saul, who is anointed by Samuel with oil to become Israel’s first king. But Saul falters, because of disobedience God will dethrone Saul. David, Saul’s successor, is also anointed with oil by Samuel to become the next King. Years after being anointed David assumes the throne and becomes King. David, in a rare period of peace in his palace ponders the building of a house for God. Nathan, the prophet of God is given a word for David concerning the building of this palace and a great insight to King Saul and what was removed from him:
II Samuel 7:12-15. When your days come to an end and you sleep with your ancestors, I will establish one of your descendants to succeed you, one of your own flesh and blood; and I will set up his rulership. 13 He will build a house for my name, and I will establish his royal throne forever. 14 I will be a father for him, and he will be a son for me. If he does something wrong, I will punish him with a rod and blows, just as everyone gets punished; 15 nevertheless, my grace will not leave him, as I took it away from Sha’ul, whom I removed from before you.
Here we see a powerful and profound revelation. The anointing did not depart from Saul, he carries the anointing to be king until death. What departed from Saul was God’s grace, the presence of God, His Spirit, His Glory. The verse doesn’t say the anointing was taken from Saul, it was God’s grace, His presence, His Spirit that’s removed.
Now we see this followed through with David. Even though a young David is anointed to replace Saul as King in I Samuel 16, David awaits the timing of the Lord to ascend to his rightful place on the throne of Israel. David doesn’t kill Saul even though Saul mercilessly persecutes David and seeks to kill him. Saul, who is anointed by God, consecrated, set apart to be King is not touched by David because of God’s anointing:
I Samuel 24:10. Here, today you have seen with your own eyes that ADONAI put you in my power there in the cave. Some of my men said I should kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I won’t raise my hand against my lord, because he is ADONAI’s anointed.
As the Psalmist stated:
Psalm 105:15. “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.”
So we see scripturally that the anointing is not a power itself; it is the means of process through which someone or something is consecrated, set aside for service unto Adonai! It allows the Holy Spirit to operate through people through people to fulfill their divine calling. The anointing is permanent, the Holy Spirit will only operate through one who is anointed! Understanding your own personal anointing allows you to fulfill God’s call and purpose in your life. May the Lord God of Israel bless you and keep you! Shalom!