2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
“Today’s teaching of the anointing oil as the power of God is a perversion of the gospel of Christ, because it leaves people in the bondage to another god.”
That was the introduction of an article inserted by “Gracious Anointing Ministries” in one of the Zimbabwean local tabloid years ago.
Though neither an ardent scholar nor theologian, I felt like to add and respond, and try to add balance to the article.
Just from that introduction one is made to believe that the anointing of oil is now null and void.
Though it sounds very true, there is an element of compromise in that assertion, for it undermines the authority and inspiration by which that teaching, as contained in James is written.
I will agree with the writer in the sense that we ought not to rest our faith on the bottle of oil, water or piece of cloth.
Our faith must be in God, taking what His word says and applying it in our everyday life.
By giving us their point of information that James was the first epistle to be written, the writer want us to buy in his own theological interpretation of a very contentious issue which even theologians of today still grapple to come to conclusion.
Thus by merely dismissing James as a shallow Jewish centric epistle-my interpretation of the writers statement, “…the first letter to be written and was directed to the Jews who knew about oil and also James spoke about law not grace. So he was still progressing revelation.”
The writer undermines the power of the Holy Ghost that inspired the writer of the epistle of James as one who had not fully understood Christianity, and as one who having received the Holy Ghost had no full revelation of it.
We can drag on and on about the theoretical part of it.
But I would like to believe that it still very true and in accordance in scripture to anoint a sick person with oil when you pray for them. Why? Because scripture says so.
Such a linear approach I am assuming in this matter is to guard of such people who by theological understanding and cuningness want to take away from the Bible what is supposed to remain therein.
As the writer rightfully picked the example of the brazen serpent used by Moses, the problem was no longer the serpent itself, but the people who couldn’t set aside their eyes off the brazen serpent.
But remember that same brazen serpent can represent Christ, in symbolism, how He was raised on the cross and all that sets their eyes on Him can be saved.
The problem is not anointing with oil or water when you pray for the sick. No! The problem is the commercialization and bulk manufacturing of that oil in the aim of profiteering Religious empires that are sprouting today.
The problem is not the practice, if done in accordance and solemnest of the scripture, nothing wrong would have been done. Just as the writer accepts that Saul-Paul was anointed by the laying of hands without oil, why doesn’t the writer accept that it is right to anoint with oil and pray for the sick?
As I said above, all I want is to bring balance to the issue.
By proclaiming that it is wrong and not the gospel of Christ to anoint sick people with oil when you pray for them, I am made to believe that the writer is saying James was totally wrong in all his doctrine. Why? How can a teaching of someone still progressing in revelation be partially true and partially false or rather out dated?
Remember, as the scripture says, it is not the oil that heals, but it is the prayer of faith that will heal the sick.
I am, taught that I you believe all things are possible. Regardless of the channel one uses. Such is the simplicity of God’s Word. That is why someone who “believes” in n’angas and traditional healers can be healed. What heals them is not the n’anga but the faith that they have in that n’anga or in the methods that the n’anga uses.
I will echo the writer’s sentiments “Do not move around with the oil, the oil is a symbol. Be filled with the Holy Ghost”
True and factual, the devil has put in our way in these end times little gods, creeds and dogmas that people are holding tight to, whilst removing our eyes from Christ.
Allow me to say as human beings we believe much a material things that we want to hold on as a sign of assurance that all is gong to be well. That human nature is what we often fail prey to, because that’s not the way God really wants to use to communicate with us.
We forget of Abraham, whom we confess to be our father of faith, that he believed God even though the womb of Sarah was dead that he was gong to receive a son of promise. He didn’t have anything to hold on to, but just the Word (of mouth) of God. Yet today we have the Word in print (Bible) and we have great testimonies.
Thus I say to the writer, true, people are losing focus on the right way, which is believing in Christ and are now focusing on the tangible things which ought to help them look to Christ.
But yet we stay have to accommodate those of little faith, that want to be anointed of the oil whilst being prayed for.
The duty is now on preachers, to rightfully divide the word of God, neither by theology nor to serve the itching eyes of people today but to stand upright and balance the scripture.
Its high time preachers leave the obsession of preaching using large words and explaining Greek or Roman words in trying to confuse or enlighten people. Be like Christ, the common people understood him, yet it confounded the learned and heady high-minded of that day.
The danger of today is that it’s the heady and high-minded that are occupying the pulpit and throwing people into delusion, having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.
We are now worried of people who are depending on their education to explain scriptures rather than on the Holy Spirit.
With all due respect to this GREAT NATION AND THE WORLD let me say.
If thou understandeth not the Word of God, its better to repeat what it sayeth of itself rather than fall into the trap of removing what it says because thou feeleth it does not fit thee. (If you don’t understand the Word of God, it is better just to repeat what it says than fall into the trap of removing or adding on what it says because you feel it does not fit your doctrine.)
There is danger in adding and removing from the scripture.
Revelation 22:19 (KJV)
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
2nd Peter 1 (KJV)
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.