And they went out...and they anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.” Mark 6:12-13
Essential oil history
Scripture mentions 33 species of essential oils. Each has a significant meaning and can be applied to our life, encouraging unity and relationship with the Lord.
God is not a God of random chance, and the Bible does not specifically describe something in detail unless there is deep significance and meaning to the reference. Much confusion has developed in the Church because of the application of various aromatic oils in the use of New Age practices. Counterfeits of potentially beneficial uses of Biblical anointing oils will invariably arise, and it is important to understand the true potential uses of anointing oils.
Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of plant-derived, aromatic essential oils, often used in massage, beauty and skin products. Combining the use and meaning of each essential oil in anointing and prayer,under the guidance of the Holy Spirit can enhance our faith and revelation of Jesus.
The significance of oils
There are no mystical healing properties or powers in the oil themselves, and they should never be the focus of faith, but a symbolic reminder of God’s healing power through the Holy Spirit. However understanding the deeper meaning of specific oils like frankincense, myrrh, and spikenard can richly enhance our walk of faith similar to understanding any Biblical symbolism and truth.
Due to laboratory research, we now know something about the chemistry and action of plant fragrances, which come from the unique and mysterious aromatic liquids hidden in various parts of plants - their leaves, petals, roots, seeds, bark, stem and even fruit.
What are the oils used for?
Typically, essential oils are light to the touch and evaporate slowly, releasing their aromas into the air. Their function in nature is to keep plants healthy, free of infection, to repel harmful insects, and to communicate to each other, to insects, to animals and to us! Essential oils also have an effect on our immune systems, muscle, internal organs, skin, and even our emotions.
The power of smell must never be underestimated. It is one of many powerful tools the Holy Spirit will use to begin the healing process of memories hidden deep into the subconscious.
“The word ‘anoint’ according to Harper’s Bible Dictionary means to cover, rub, or smear the head or body with oil. A commonly used word for anoint was ‘misach’, similar to the English word ‘massage’ both in meaning and pronunciation”.
The Old Testament is full of examples of specific oils used in specific ways and understanding more about why God mentioned a particular oil in particular circumstance reveals incredible truth about His character and moves us to greater worship and intimacy with our King. Why did Aaron anoint the instruments in the tabernacle? Why did Esther anoint herself with Myrrh for six months prior to presenting herself before King Ahasuerus? Why did God give a specific recipe for certain oils in certain places (Exodus 30:22-25; Psalms 45:7-8)?
Anointing oil in Scripture
These truths should not be ignored or relegated to the Old Testament, but rather one should understand all of God’s Word and His truth. In the New Testament as well oils are mentioned at various times, such as gifts (frankincense and myrrh) at Jesus’ birth, and spikenard used by Mary prior to Jesus’ death, and Jesus being anointed with myrrh and aloe at his burial. Investigating the deeper meaning of why God chose these specific oils can enriched one’s understanding of Scripture.
Important things to remember
In Luke 4 Jesus quotes the Old Testament and applies the passage to His mission on earth: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor, He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captive and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Is this not the mandate of the Church? Are not we under this same anointing? Are we (the Body of Christ) not to do the work Jesus did in greater measure?
The Lord spoke to me about bringing a new understanding into the beauty industry concerning Biblical oils. I felt the Lord’s desire for His fragrance of love to go forth in places beyond the Church. My hope is that a greater understanding of Biblical oils will reveal Jesus and His love and grace to you.
By- Naomi Sheneberger