Which Oil Are We To Use?

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Which Oil Are We To Use?

[Posted January 17, 2023]

Hi E​___​_,

Thank you for your question about the ‘oil’ of James 5:14-15:

Jas 5:14  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
Jas 5:15  And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

You ask:

T​he subject box contains the question:

“Which ​o​il ​a​re ​w​e t​o ​u​se?”  (End Quote)

I appreciate this opportunity to tell you which ‘oil’ we should be using to anoint the sick in our time.

The short answer to the question in the subject box is​ -​ “the oil [of] the Word of God”:

Psa 107:20  He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

Here is what ‘oil’ signifies in scripture​:

Zec 4:1  And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep,
Zec 4:2  And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:
Zec 4:3  And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.
Zec 4:4  So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?
Zec 4:5  Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
Zec 4:6  Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

Zec 4:11  Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?
Zec 4:12  And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?
Zec 4:13  And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
Zec 4:14  Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.

These are “the two olive trees” referred to in Revelation 11 where they are called “​m​y two witnesses”:

Rev 11:3  And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Rev 11:4  These are the two olive trees [of Zechariah 4], and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

The number ‘two’ in its positive application signifies ‘witness’. Here is a link to a study on the scriptural meaning of the number ‘two’:

Significance of the Number Two

The short answer to your question about which oil was used is that the only oil mentioned as being used to anoint anyone in scripture is olive oil. The land of Canaan is called “a land of oil olive, and honey.”

Deu 8:8  A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey;

When King David said…

Psa 23:5  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

…He was speaking specifically of olive oil. It was common to anoint a special friend with olive oil to show respect to them in Christ’s day. Notice what Christ said to Simon, the Pharisee who had requested His presence at a dinner:

Luk 7:36  And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.
Luk 7:37  And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
Luk 7:38  And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
Luk 7:39  Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
Luk 7:40  And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
Luk 7:41  There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
Luk 7:42  And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
Luk 7:43  Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
Luk 7:44  And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
Luk 7:45  Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
Luk 7:46  My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
Luk 7:47  Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

Let me take this opportunity to point out that those who insist that James 5:14-15 should be observed today never insist that Luke 6:46 should be observed to day. What minister do you know who anoints your head with oil when he meets you?

The point I am making is that the entire time the Lord was on this earth, as well as the entire time covered by the book of the Acts ​o​f t​he ​a​postles, ​they​ were living in “the time of reformation” to which Christ alluded when, on the night of His apprehension by the Jews, after three and a half years of His ministry with His twelve apostles, He told them this great Truth:

Joh 16:12  I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

Many of these “many things [they could not yet] bear” were rituals like circumcision, baptisms, and anointing with physical oil. So this statement in James is made in “the time of reformation” of which the scriptures speak in:

Heb 9:10  Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

We all experience our own “time of reformation” even today, as we ever so gradually come to see the “many things [the Lord has] to say unto [us which we] cannot bear… until the time of [our] reformation.” Christ could not yet tell His disciples that the physical rituals to which they were so attached would soon lose all their significance. Even the rituals of circumcision and  baptisms would, in time, become obsolete and totally unnecessary, as was eventually revealed:

Rom 2:28  For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

He could not yet tell them that water baptism, which was also “outward in the flesh” would be replaced with “the washing of water by the word“:

Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Eph 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

These are the inspired words from the holy spirit via the pen of the apostle Paul concerning physical water baptism:

1Co 1:17  For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel [the “washing of water by the word”]: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

The circumcision that puts away and overcomes our flesh is not outward circumcision. It is the inward circumcision of our hearts that cuts  off and overcomes our flesh. In the same way outward water baptism does not cleanse us from our sins. It is “the washing of water by the Word which does “sanctify and cleanse” us.

It is not adding one word to the Word of God to realize that being outwardly anointed with oil in no way gives us the true anointing which heals us. This  is what heals us:

Psa 107:20  He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

Christ is t​he Word of God:

Joh 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2  The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Joh 1:4  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

There were events in Christ’s ministry which pointed to this “time of reformation” including the time that He healed the centurion’s servant without even touching him, let alone anointing him with oil:

Mat 8:5  And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
Mat 8:6  And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
Mat 8:7  And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
Mat 8:8  The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only [Psa 107:20], and my servant shall be healed. [“The Word” is the ‘oil’ of the word of Zechariah 4:12.]
Mat 8:9  For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
Mat 8:10  When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. [This centurion saw no need for his servant to be physically ‘anointed with oil’ to be healed. All he wanted was for Christ to “send His word and heal” his servant ​(Psa 107:20).​]

Mat 8:13  And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

It is the same today. There are few in the church who are given the faith to relinquish all the rituals to which they are so attached by their upbringing and church traditions, which are nothing more that “traditions of men” even if they were kept by the early church which was still offering blood sacrifices. Remember the apostles themselves were not even converted until the day of Pentecost. Look at what Christ said to Peter the night of His apprehension of the Jews. These words were spoken to Peter and all the apostles after spending three and a half years ministering with Christ:

Luk 22:31  And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
Luk 22:32  But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

This was the same night Christ told all His disciples:

Joh 16:12  I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

I will close with this… If we are going to insist that everything that was done in “the time of reformation,”  then we must resume offering blood sacrifices for our sins as the apostles themselves did in the book of Acts. It was the apostle James who asked the apostle Paul to pay for the offerings of four men who had a vow, and it was the apostle Paul who had agreed to the words of the letter to the Gentiles in Acts 15, who was more than willing to do so because he agreed ​(​for a​ time)​ to the conclusion of “us and the holy spirit” that the Gentiles did not need to keep the law of Moses, but the Jews were not yet able to bear that Truth:

Act 21:18  And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.
Act 21:19  And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.
Act 21:20  And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law [of Moses]:
Act 21:21  And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
Act 21:22  What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.
Act 21:23  Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
Act 21:24  Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with themthat they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.
Act 21:25  As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.
Act 21:26  Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.

This is all before the revelations of Paul’s prison epistles in which the Lord finally decided it was time to begin to show us some of the “many things [we] cannot bear” until He decides that it is time to begin to open our eyes and ears to the spiritual meaning of His spiritual words:

Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh [being ritually anointed] ​profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you [will anoint, cleanse and heal you spiritually], they are spirit, and they are life.

I pray you are given to bear these “many things” the Lord has said to us since the earliest days of the New Testament church.


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