THE ANOINTING OINTMENT
One of the Old Testament pictures that helps us to understand the mysterious abstraction of the Spirit is the anointing ointment, described in Exodus 30:23-25. It is this passage that is referred to in 1 John 2:27, the New Testament verse on the anointing. To understand the anointing we must understand this ointment. Notice that it is compound; that is, it is made up of different elements chemically combined into one unit. This signifies that the Spirit of God is compounded of several elements.
Here is a list of the spices which were added to the hin of oil representing the Spirit. The quantity and the meaning are also given.
SPICES IN THE ANOINTING OINTMENT
The one hin of oil is compounded with these four spices so that it becomes a compound ointment. It is clear in the Bible (Psa. 45:7; Isa. 61:1) that oil represents the Holy Spirit. With what is the Holy Spirit compounded? These spices indicate that it is with the death and resurrection of Christ.
If you notice the measure of the spices, you will see that by combining the middle two spices there are three units of five hundred shekels each. All three units are in the one hin of oil. Together they form a picture of the Triune God. Why is the second unit of five hundred shekels divided into two? This reminds us that the second One of the Triune God was split on the cross.
When was the Spirit of God compounded with these spices of death and resurrection? In John 7:39 we are told “the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” There was surely the Spirit of God before this time, but not the compound Spirit. It was after the death and resurrection of Christ that the Spirit was compounded.
We abide in Christ according to the teaching of the anointing. This anointing is the moving and working of the compound Spirit. His teaching reflects Himself and is also compounded with Christ’s death and resurrection.
When 1 John 2:27 says the anointing “teacheth you of all things,” it implies that the anointing is related to the Bible. Without laying a firm foundation in God’s Word, you have no way to interpret what the anointing is speaking to you. This Word outside us is always one with the Spirit inside us. And the Spirit within always echoes the Word without. When the Word gets into us, the Word becomes the Spirit. When the Spirit is spoken out from us, He becomes the Word. How can we get the Word that is outside us into us? By praying. The writings of godly men down through the ages all attest to the value of the prayerful reading of the Word. We must stay with the Word till it becomes the Spirit through our spiritual breathing, that is, our prayerful reading, of it.
TAKING CHRIST IN THROUGH THE WORD
All that the Father is and does is embodied in the Son, who in turn is embodied in the Word. Whenever you touch the Bible in a sincere way, with some exercise of the spirit, you touch Christ, as well as life, light, and the Spirit, for these abstract, mysterious verities are all embodied in the solid Word. Now do you see the importance of having the habit of regularly getting into the Word? Even if you have no consciousness of touching the very Christ and all He is, that is what will be happening. The prayerful, regular reading of the Word will make a tremendous difference in your life. You will never regret being legal about reading the Word, but you will surely regret being loose in your daily living.
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)