IN THE previous editions, we discussed how some pastors abuse the use of anointing oil, thereby denying Christians the best they must receive from God.
Last week, we specifically looked at the exhortation given by the apostle James to anoint the sick with oil in his epistle.
“Is anyone among you sick? 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. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven” (James 5:14-15).
In his recent teaching, Pastor Peter Collins Obeng, an anointed teacher of the Word of God, who lectures at the Rhema Bible Training College in Accra, said James' prescription given to the church to anoint the sick person with oil is not intended to be for medicinal purposes.
In his opinion, oil has medicinal qualities, but it can't heal every sickness or disease. Therefore, others whose conditions cannot be healed with oil will be denied healing. So, what is the purpose of anointing the sick with oil as it is being recommended by James?
The initiative which lies in the sick person sending for the elders in the church tells me this: the apostle James has those who are bedridden or cannot do anything for themselves in mind. Realize that the apostle further mentions that the Lord will raise the sick person up indicating obviously that the sick person might be bedridden or unable to walk on his own.
Anointing someone in such a situation with oil will positively do a lot of good to him. Once the sick is consciously aware that his body is being set apart for the operation of the Holy Spirit, it will rekindle his confidence in God and the expectation of his healing.
We must understand that it's according to one's faith to receive from God. So the faith of the sick needs to be released to activate the healing power of God. The Scriptures provide a clear relationship between the power of God and the manifestation of healing in Jesus' earthly ministry.
“Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And THE POWER of the Lord was present TO HEAL them…” (Luke 5:17).
“And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for POWER WENT OUT FROM HIM and HEALED THEM ALL” (Luke 6:19).
“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT AND WITH POWER, who went about doing good and HEALING ALL WHO WERE OPPRESSED BY THE DEVIL, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38).
In all these passages of Scriptures, we see that the determining factor between the power of God and healing of the sick is faith. This is why it's necessary for ministers to explain the purpose of anointing the sick with oil so that by faith, they can reach out to receive the healing power which God graciously provides to restore them.
Again, we have to teach the sick to trust God for the Spirit within them to restore life to their mortal bodies (Romans 8:11). In 2 Corinthian 1:21, the Bible says, “Now, He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God. Without doubt, the anointing we have received in Christ can be maintained and increased in our lives.”
But it cannot be maintained or increased because a pastor, prophet or an apostle poured oil on our heads or we anointed ourselves with oil. Honestly, if we can grow in the anointing this way by someone anointing us with oil, then it will be necessary for local churches to construct anointing oil pools for their members to swim or dive in for greater grace and power.
The practice of anointing believers with “holy anointing oil” in our anointing services has no scriptural basis. There is not a single example in the New Testament where believers were anointed with holy anointing oil or commanded to do so. This practice which is out of order has only produced spiritually slothful Christians.
Pastor Obeng, who is an author and founder of Grace Covenant Glory Fellowship in Tema, teaches that believers can only serve the Lord in the fervency or fire of the Spirit when pastors teach and encourage them to maintain and increase the anointing in their lives according to the truth of God's Word.
We should understand that God Himself anointed us with the Holy Spirit and power as He anointed Jesus Christ (Acts 10:38, 1 Cor. 1:21). And the anointing in our lives cannot be increased by any religious practice or ritual of another man. For the anointing in our lives to be maintained and increased, we must commit ourselves to walking in love, separating ourselves from the contamination of the world and consecrating ourselves wholly unto God.
The Bible school lecturer quotes God's servant, the late Kenneth E. Hagin, who wrote, “Ministers need to teach about consecration so people's hearts will be stirred to surrender everything to God and consecrate themselves wholly to follow God's plan for their lives.”
To be continued
By James Quansah