A Powerful People. 30. 22-33

In this passage we have firstly the holy compound, vv. 22-25; secondly the anointing of the tabernacle, vv 26-29; thirdly the anointing of the priestly house, v. 30, and finally the warning regarding any counterfeit and the putting of it upon “man’s flesh”, vv. 31-33. We can link this with “by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body”, 1 Cor. 12. 13, and “he … hath anointed us”, 2 Cor. 1. 21.

1. The Anointing Oil, vv. 22 25

Undoubtably the holy compound speaks of the graces of the Lord Jesus Christ, fully and perfectly manifested in the power of the Spirit of God: “therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia”, Psa. 45. 7, 8; “whom thou hast anointed”. Acts 4. 27; “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power”, 10. 38; “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me. because he hath anointed me”, Luke 4. 18. The holy compound, therefore, would bring before us the graces of the Lord Jesus Christ, perfectly and fully manifested in the power of the Spirit of God However, the power of the Spirit of God should also be experienced by every child of God. This is what is implied by the title “a powerful people” We notice that everything that was anointed with the holy compound was holy - set apart for God. Every priest was anointed, and thus set apart (or God. The power of the Spirit of God in our lives ever sets us apart to and for God. It is only when we allow the Spirit of God to control our lives that we experience His power. That which was perfectly manifested in Christ should be increasingly developed in our lives by the Spirit.

2. The Anointing of the Tabernacle, vv. 26-29

Here the holy compound is used in relation to the dwelling place of God Primarily, we have suggested that Christ is the One who answers to the anointing oil. The title “Christ’’, meaning “the Anointed”, is used almost exclusively of the Lord Jesus Christ. We judge, however, that there is one occasion at least where it is used in relation to the Church dispen-sational. By the Church dispensational, we mean every child of God from the day of Pentecost to the rapture - the Church which is His body. Eph 1. 22, 23. We judge that this is the case in 1 Corinthians 12. 12, 13, Where the apostle goes on to speak of the one body. That is why the apostle continues in 1 Corinthians 12 to speak of the local assembly as being body-like - using the figure of a human body to describe the local assembly. What is true of the dispensational should find expression in the local. There are different phrases used in the New Testament for local assemblies, assemblies of God, assemblies of Christ, assemblies of the saints. The expression assemblies of God, 1 Thess 2. 14, brings before us the sovereign claim of God to each local assembly. The expression assemblies of Christ, Rom. 16. 16, reveals the supreme Lordship of Christ in each local assembly. The assemblies of the saints would suggest the saintly character manifested by each local assembly in the power of the Spirit of God. Saintly character can only be manifested in the power of the Spirit, and it is only in this power that the assembly can be claimed for God. Thus God will dwell in the midst of a people who know the power of the Spirit of God in reproducing the graces of Christ in them. The local assembly should be a place where these graces are displayed - a place where there is a concentration of spiritual power.

3. The Anointing of the Priests, v. 30

Three times we have reference to the anointing of saints in this dispensation: “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God”, 2 Cor. 1. 21; “ye have an unction (anointing) from the Holy One, and ye know all things”, 1 John 2. 20; “the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you all things”, v. 27. Looking carefully at this, in relation to the anointing we see that there is knowledge imparted. This knowledge of what is genuine should find expression in the lives of the saints. As individual believers we need to give expression to the truth, and to know the power of the Spirit in our lives reproducing the features of Christ for the pleasure of God. If that were true individually, then collectively the assembly would be a concentration of spiritual power - every member of the assembly controlled by the Spirit of God. We need to be emptied of self in order to be completely controlled by the Spirit. Remember that the kind of people in the midst of whom God will dwell will be an anointed people, a people who know something of the truth of the anointing oil - that which sets apart for God.

Apart from necessities easily listed, we should regulate our home and business lives in such a way that we can be at all the gatherings of the assembly, and in such a way that they enhance the testimony of the assembly. It is the mind of God that His people be gathered together and controlled by the Spirit. If we view the local assembly as that which is precious to God, and as that which should be under the control of the Spirit, then we will regulate every department of our lives accordingly.

4. The Restrictions, vv. 31 33 The anointing oil was to have no counterfeit and no misuse.

  1. No counterfeit. In Acts 5. 1, 2 Ananias and Sapphira claimed that they brought what was the whole of what they had received, whereas in fact it was only part. They were seeking to get the same praise as the likes of Barnabas, but they were not prepared to pay the same price. Others did it out of devotion and in the power of the Spirit, but Ananias and Sapphira sought to counterfeit what others had done. We know the consequences. It is so possible for us to do things that are the product of the flesh, yet we try to give the impression that they are done in the power of the Spirit Let us be on our guard against counterfeit.
  2. No misuse. It was not to be poured on man’s flesh. The flesh can never be set apart for God. There is to be no “fair show in the flesh”, Gal. 6. 12, and we are not to make “provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof”, Rom. 13. 14. The flesh may be educated, refined or religious, but it always remains flesh and is of no value at all in the things of God. The anointing oil was never to be placed on a stranger. Link this with Acts 8. 9-24, Simon the sorcerer. An unbeliever - however good or religious - can never be set apart for the service of God, can never be sanctified. Only those who are saved can know the power of God in their lives and service.

The people in the midst of whom God will dwell will be a people set apart to. and for, God - a people in the good of the anointing, a powerful people.

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