Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we shall begin to consider the holy anointing oil. This oil is a compound of four spices blended with oil. The first thing we need to see is the position of this ointment in the divine record in Exodus. We need to find out why it is revealed at the end of chapter thirty. If we understand the position of the ointment, then we shall know the relationship between it and the tabernacle.
The book of Exodus begins with God’s chosen people suffering as slaves in Egypt. Eventually, the children of Israel made a great exodus from that condition of slavery, crossed the Red Sea, came into the wilderness, and enjoyed God’s provision. Even while they were in Egypt, they enjoyed the Passover. They also experienced God’s mighty salvation, for God delivered them out of Egypt and rescued them from the strong hand of Pharaoh and his army. In the wilderness God’s people tasted the heavenly food, the manna, and also drank living water out of the cleft rock. By God’s mercy they experienced many miracles.
The children of Israel were brought to Mount Sinai, where they stayed for probably ten months or more. At Mount Sinai they received the revelation from God that He wanted them to build a tabernacle for Him to have a dwelling place on earth. Furthermore, through this tabernacle God could have the best communion, the best fellowship, with His people. Therefore, at Mount Sinai God gave Moses the heavenly design of the tabernacle.
Beginning with chapter twenty-five of Exodus, we have a detailed description of the tabernacle and all its furniture and utensils. This record is completed at the end of chapter twenty-seven. Then in chapter twenty-eight the divine revelation comes to the matter of the priests. First we have a record of the clothing of the priests. Then in chapter twenty-nine God reveals what kind of food the priests should eat. This chapter shows how the priests are sanctified and filled with the riches of the things required by God. Therefore, by the end of Exodus 29 the priests are ready.
In chapter thirty we first have the incense altar and then the census for the divine draft to form God’s army. In foregoing messages we have pointed out why the draft for the formation of God’s army follows the description of the incense altar. The reason is that the incense altar is the motivating factor for God’s move, and God’s move requires an army. The army must fight for God’s move so that the way is clear for God to go on.
In Exodus 30 we also have the laver, which was not far from the entrance of the tabernacle. Before entering the tabernacle to serve God, the priests had to wash their hands and feet in the laver.
Following the description of the laver, we have the record concerning the holy anointing oil, the compound ointment. This ointment sanctified the priests, the tabernacle, and all the furniture and utensils. In other words, there was the need for the tabernacle, the furniture, the utensils, and also the priests to be anointed with this oil. Before the end of chapter thirty, the time was not right for God to speak of the anointing oil. Now we can understand why the record of the anointing oil is found toward the end of chapter thirty.
God’s revelation is progressive. It proceeds step by step and even section by section. In Egypt the children of Israel enjoyed the Passover lamb. In the wilderness they enjoyed the manna and the water from the rock.
Many Christians know the Passover lamb, the heavenly manna, and the living water. A number of hymns have been written on the Passover, the manna, and the living water. However, many Christians have never read a book or listened to a message on the compound ointment.
Recently I looked into what others had to say regarding the compound ointment in Exodus 30. In his Synopsis J. N. Darby has only a short word on the ointment and the incense. In his notes on the Pentateuch, C. H. Mackintosh says that in the holy anointing oil “we discern a type of the varied graces of the Holy Ghost, which were found, in all their divine fullness, in Christ.” But he does not tell us what these graces are. The writing of C. A. Coates on Exodus 30 shows a great improvement. With respect to the ointment, he uses the term the Spirit of Christ many times. Few writers use this expression; most speak of the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, or even the Holy Ghost. Furthermore, Coates speaks of “the Spirit of the Man of God’s pleasure” and also of “the Spirit of another Man—even of the Man who is at God’s right hand.” This indicates that Coates saw that the Spirit of Christ is not only the Spirit of God, but also the Spirit of another Man. Concerning the four spices, Coates says that they “represent all those features of grace which were so perfectly blended and harmonized in the Spirit of Christ.” Coates realized something concerning the blending of the spices with the olive oil. Four kinds of spices were compounded with the olive oil to make the ointment.
The anointing oil in Exodus 30 certainly signifies one of the deeper truths in the Bible. I am concerned that some among us have not yet realized much concerning this deeper truth. Therefore, we need to know the significance of the compound ointment.
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