Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Holy Spirit as the Holy Anointing Oil.

Before I begin this next set of notes from Dr Ern Baxter on this most precious of subjects (continuing my series on the Holy Spirit), I have found that particular quote that I cited in my post on "First Love" from Dr R T Kendall's book; "The Sensitivity of the Spirit" - with particular reference to the need to return to the place where you lost that special Presence of God. He used the example of Mary and Joseph losing the boy Jesus as his text - Luke 2:43-44. He wrote:

"These passages show that the special Presence of God can be withdrawn and yet the people who have been experiencing that same Presence feel nothing when it happens. This shows the painless way that I can lose the anointing. I can displease the Lord and feel nothing ... However Jesus stayed behind but "they were unaware of it". In other words, they sincerely thought that Jesus was right there with them. Why? They presumed that He would adjust to them. They did not see a need of adjusting to Him. But He chose to stay behind ...

Why is this account important for us? ... If discover that we have moved ahead of God and have left Him behind, we must go back looking for Him ... Once we have lost God's special Presence, we can only find Him by initially returning to the place where we lost Him. By "place" I do not necessarily mean a literal physical place - as in a building or a geographical location. I mean (1) recalling what it was like when He was conciously present. (2) remembering the circumstances that may have contributed to His staying behind and (3) reassessing and repenting of the self-justifying ways we proceeeded thinking He was in our company. We find Him eventually by discovering where He is and coming to terms with what He is doing. Joseph and Mary had to go back to Jerusalem - where they lost Jesus, where they finally find Him and saw what He was up to".

Now over to Dr Ern Baxter ...

The Holy Anointing Oil - Part 1.

Establishing the Symbol.

- 2 Corinthians 1:21 - "Now He which establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath ANOINTED us is God".

1. The Preparation of the Anointing Oil. - (Exodus 30:22-25).

i) The Spices to be the Best - "Principal spices" (v23).

The word here rendered "principal" is elsewhere rendered "excellent" (Psalm 141:5), "head" (Psalm 23:5), "Top" (Psalm 72:16), "beginning" (Psalm 119:160) and "chief" (Psalm 137:6). As the characteristics and graces of the Holy Spirit are infinitely excellent, so the spices used to make the anointing oil must be the very best.

ii) "Pure myrhh".

The Hebrew word "deror" here translated "pure" is everywhere else translated "liberty" (Leviticus 25:20, Isaiah 61:1, Jeremiah 34:8, 15:17, Exodus 46:17). Rotherham translates it "self-flowing myrhh". The word "pure" or "self flowing" is most significant. Myrhh is obtained in two was - by making an incision in the tree, or by the gum which exuded from it. It is was the latter which was used, because of its purity and because it came freely from the tree without the act of man. Myrhh in its various scriptural uses indicates an ATTRACTIVE FRAGRANCE. Thus we see that "self flowing myrhh" speaks of the liberating and delivering ability of the Holy Spirit (Psalm 51:12, 2 Corinthians 3:17).

iii) "Sweet Cinnamon".

The word "cinnamon" comes from a root meaning "to stand upright". This indicates the infinite truthfulness of the Spirit. He is "the spirit of TRUTH" (John 16:13). Thus we have a delightful progression of thought, as we see the "free spirit" giving "liberty" and then imparting as the spirit of truth that enables "to stand upright".

iv) "Sweet Calamus".

"Calamus" is elsewhere translated "stalk", "branch". Here we have the Holy Spirit as the Source and Sustainer of Life. Thus He is called the "Spirit of Life (Romans 8:2).

v) "Cassia".

"Cassia" means to "bow down, to stoop, to cleave". Here is symbolized the humble, meek and considerate characteristics of the Holy Spirit as evidenced through the Christian in "Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance" (Galatians 5:22-23).

vi) "Olive Oil".

All these delightful and excellent spices were to be added to about six quarts of "olive oil" and when properly mixed it became a "holy ointment". The oil olive formed the base of the ointment. The oil was obtained by bruising the olive, and may very well suggest that the Holy Spirit in His entire character as known by and made available to man is the blessed "consequence" of the "bruising" of our Lord Jesus on the Cross of Calvary. Thus we are constantly reminded that all the delightful benefits of the Holy Spirit's work in us come from the agonies and willing sufferings of our Saviour.

vii) "Shekel".

The various ingrediants were to be measured according to the "shekel of the sanctuary". No earthly standard of measurement must be used. The various characteristics and graces of the Holy Spirit are divinely apportioned. In Him there is perfect balance of character. The composition when completed was called the holy anointing oil (Exodus 30:31) because of the sacred use to which it was devoted and it typifies the Holy Spirit in the holiness of His caracter as He equips believers for the service of God.

Next: The Purpose of the Anointing Oil.


Hobbes said...

Nice post, although R.T. Kendall's use of the Mary, Joseph and Jesus story was really poor. Taking Scripture analogically is very dangerous. I could take another passage of Scripture, and interpret it analogically, to prove exactly the opposite of what Kendall was trying to prove.

In fact, I found that whole book a disappointment on this point. There was very little interaction with Scripture, except on an anlogical level.

However, I do take Kendall's point (more or less). But, not his hermeneutic. Yuk.

Baxter's Boy said...

Hey Hobbes, thanks for the comment. I've been enjoying your site for a while now! Good to hear from you.

It's a fair point about Kendall's use of various texts. I've read a number of reviews of some of his books that would share your concerns. One in particular was by Iain Murray in Banner of Truth reviewing Kendall's biography.

I think the challenge is to always, no matter what be faithful to what the text is saying and no matter how good your message - if the text doesn't say it, then don't use it!

Anonymous said...

Well, you guys are right. Those who sat under Kendall's ministry in Westminster Chapel and took him seriously got really confused and eventually fell away from God's love and faithfulness. Kendall very cleverly sneaks away from the text. His members would of been better off not to have him preach and distort the hermeneutics. I believe even public reading of scripture would be better than listening to RT Kendall who manages to twist and pervert one's beholding of our great and faithful God. Those who know him personally also know that he is a hypocrite and is only kind in the public eye.