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Comprehensive Bible Study: Anointing Oil, Spices, Meat Offerings, & Their Spiritual Implications

The goal of this blog post is to study the biblical uses of olive oil, spices and the different ordinances God had the Israelites follow. As well as break down their spiritual meanings for us in Christ today. Lets get started!

Different Olive Oils in Scripture

The bible mentions four specific types of olive oil but for the sake of brevity and relevance to today's topic, we'll only address the most mentioned, regular oil and anointing oil. So, what was the difference between anointing oil, and regular oil?

Facts about regular olive oil in the old testament:

  • Made of pure olive oil, and the Israelites were commanded to bring this into the temple, Exo. 27:20

  • Purpose was to keep the candles in the temple lit, Lev. 24:3-4

What does olive oil represent in the bible?

The Israelites were commanded to provide regular olive oil, meaning it's something they already possessed. In the same way, us in Christ have been given the first level of anointing by the Holy Spirit, 1 John 2:27 "...the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you...". This is known as the salvation anointing, because the Holy Spirit seals you for salvation, Ephesians 1:13 " were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise"

What does a lamp represent in the bible?

The lamp that contains the oil is the Word of God, Psa. 119:105 "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." And we read in Mat. 25 the parable of the wise virgins and the foolish virgins. The foolish virgins had no oil in their lamps, but the wise virgins took oil with them for their lamps. When the foolish virgin's lamps ran out, they wanted the oil from the wise virgins, but the wise virgins rebuked them and said, (Mat. 25:9) "Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves."

What does the lamp and oil represent in the bible?

The oil is the power of the Holy Spirit, and these foolish virgins were absent of it. The lamp is the word of God, when you're spending time reading God's word, there is a temptation to go in deeper than you can handle. Oil in a lamp slows down the rate the flame burns, and in the same way the Holy Spirit works in seasons to mold you according to the word of God. The combination of being filled with the Word of God, and the power of the Holy Spirit, directs your steps and stops you from getting burnt out in your walk.

Getting more of the Holy Spirit!

So how do you get more oil? You buy it! The wise virgins told the foolish virgins to get their oil from "them that sell, and buy for yourselves". Faith is a real currency in the spirit, and Romans 10:17 "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." No minister, no brother, no sister, no person can give you their oil, you need to make the spiritual investment of faith and purchase belief in the Word of God for yourself. And to those who have the oil, don't give it away. The falling away from the faith is coming to the body of Christ, and you can't get caught up in other peoples problems. This is what it means to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling in Philippians 2:12. We are on the narrow road, if someone choses to fall away in the faith we can only be a warning sign to them, we can't chase them. Not long ago I was trying to minister to an individual and the Holy Spirit told me "don't chase after those running to hell, warn them and keep running your race"

Facts about anointing oil

  • Made of regular oil, with spices added into it, Exo. 25:6

  • Purpose:

    • Anoints the minister, (Aaron's head, Exo. 29:7)

    • Hallows the minister along with the blood, Exo. 29:21

    • Anoints the tabernacle & vessels, Exo. 40:9

    • Anoints food offerings, Lev. 2:4

    • What stops the minister from being killed in God's presence, Lev. 10:7

    • Heals the sick, Mark 6:13

    • Removes burdens & yokes, Isaiah 10:27

What's the difference between oil and anointing oil in the bible?

Regular oil is transformed into anointing oil by adding spices. So what makes the spices so important? If you remember from our teaching on Tuesday, we addressed how spices in scripture represent different conversational topics in prayer. Psa. 141:2 "Let my prayer be set before You as incense..." The incense mentioned in this psalm are spices that were burned before the Lord in the Old Testament, but the correlation between prayer and incense is deeper than this.

Scripture mentions several different types of spices that were used, and just like talking to God, there is an endless amount of topics you can talk to God about. 1 Corinthians 10:23 says, "...all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not." in other words, just because you can, doesn't mean you should and we have to apply this same attitude to prayer. Ecclesiastes 5:2 "Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few." God's word makes it clear, although we've been given full access to God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we have to acknowledge who we're talking to.

Through the eyes of revelation, The Old Testament sacrifices gives us a clear picture of these edifying conversations God wants to have with us.

Different Offerings, incents, and spices in the Old Testament

Where spices were put in the tabernacle?

The incense were put in front of the testimony, and the testimony was the two tables God gave Moses to put in the ark of the covenant. In Exodus 31:18, God's word describes these tablets as "two tablets of the testimony". The tablets of the testimony and the whole Word of God testifies of Jesus Christ as Lord and savior, John 5:39 (NIV) "You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,"

We see this in 1 Kings 10:2, the qeeen of Sheba asking Solomon every question she had in her heart and brings him a large amount of spices and precious jewels. In Mark 16 & Luke 24:5 where the Marys & Salome ask where Jesus' body is, while also carrying spices. So it's clear spices in scripture represent conversation and questions, but what do the individual spices mean?

What do frankincense, myrrh, & gold represent in the bible?

In Mat. 2:10-11, We read about the wise men looking for Jesus Christ. When they found Him, they gave him gold, frankincense & myrrh. Their frankincense represented great joy, as they were filled with joy when they saw the star pointing them to Jesus. Their myrrh represented the act of worshipping God in his presence, as they worshipped Jesus. 1 Peter 1:7 Tells us our faith is worth more than gold when we are found giving God praise, glory and honor at Christ's appearance.

These wise men were looking searching the scriptures and diligently sought Christ in faith. They were led by a star to the exact location of Jesus Christ and gave God praise, glory and honor when they found him. They were in faith looking for God and God rewarded them, their trial of faith was tried and they passed. Their faith was worth more than gold, and this was symbolized as one of the gifts they gave Jesus.

In Leviticus 5:11 we read about sin offerings and specifies, sin offerings didn't get oil or frankincense on them because it is a sin offering. Knowing now how frankincense & myrrh represent joy & worship, we can see why the sin offerings were void of them. Sin offerings were offered when the Israelites sinned against God. For us today, Jesus has already paid for our sin on the cross. In prayer, God doesn't want us to get stuck on the sins of the past. More than that, God's forgotten our sins! Isa. 43:25 "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." Imagine trying to talk to someone and you have NO MEMORY of what their talking about! But what specifically does God not want to talk about?

Swearing, touching unclean things, speaking evil, sinning unknowingly, unknowingly swearing an oath, infidelity (the times you cheated on God or others, Num. 5:15). God only wants you to confess it & repent, Lev. 5:5, 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Once you've confessed the sin and turned away from it, have faith and don't bring it back up!

What do meat offerings represent in the Old Testament?

("Meat offerings" is mentioned 123 times in scripture) Meat Offerings are all about the flesh offering of Jesus Christ's body on the cross. Meat offerings are the most holy of the offerings to God (Lev. 2:3 "And the remnant of the meat offering shall be Aaron's and his sons': it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the Lord"). For us in Christ today, we are called to carry our cross and offer our lives as a living sacrifice to God's will, Rom. 12:1 "...present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."

Why did meat offerings have salt on them?

Lev. 2:13 makes it clear meat offerings were supposed to contain salt on them. Salt in scripture represents wisdom of the Word of God through the Holy Spirit. In Matthew 5:13 Jesus says we are the salt of the earth, and if we "have lost his savour" we lose our saltiness we are no good. This phrase used in Matthew 5:13 is greek for, mōrainō; which means "become fool". We can see how losing the wisdom of God makes you a fool, but what is God's wisdom? Proverbs 9:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

What does unleavened bread symbolize in the bible?

In Lev. 2:4 God commands the Israelites to offer unleavened cakes, but what does unleavened bread represent? Unleavened bread represents good doctrine, Matthew 16:6 "Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." Right before Jesus says this, the Pharisees and Sadducees were trying to tempt Jesus to give them a sign from heaven. Jesus rebukes them sharply, and tells them, "there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas" in other words, Jesus told them to repent for their wickedness. Religion is a nasty spirit, and it's built on pride & vanity. The Pharisees and Sadducees were trying to challenge Jesus to get him to respond in pride, so he can "prove he's God", but that's not how it works! Doctrine is important and scripture reminds us of this in several places, most notably in 2 John 1:10 "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:"

What does honey represent in scripture?

1 Samuel 14 Jonathan (Saul's son) eats honey from the ground and his eyes become enlightened. In Ephesians 1:17-18, Paul writes that his hope is for the church of Ephesians to have their "eyes of understanding" enlightened through the "spirit of wisdom and revelation". Receiving wisdom from God enlightens your eyes of understanding, because (1 John 1:5) "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." This is even symbolized in the old testament when Jonathan eats honey off the ground and his eyes become enlightened (1 Samuel 14:27 "... his eyes were enlightened").

So if honey represents honey, why does God not want honey to be put on the meat offerings, in Lev. 2:11? For two reasons, first is scientific. Honey when heated can become poisonousness in large quantities, and the Levites would eat the burnt offerings (I cover this in more detail here) but when God gives you revelation, don't question him about the validity of it!

Why did the meat offerings have frankincense on them?

Meat offerings were supposed to have frankincense (Lev. 2:15) which is symbolic of the flesh of Jesus Christ that was broken to pay for all our sin on the cross.

In the tabernacle of the congregation, the show bread is in 2 rows of 6 on the table before the Lord with frankincense on it (Lev. 24:7) 6+6 = the 66 books of the bible testifying of Jesus Christ like the frankincense on the bread. The meat offering being the flesh of Jesus is now consumed as we take communion, Mat. 26:26 "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body." It's this partaking of Christ's flesh and blood that makes us holy! Lev. 6:27 "Whatsoever shall touch the flesh thereof shall be holy..."

What does cinnamon and aloe represent in the bible?

The harlot is the topic of scripture in Proverbs 7. She catches a man and flatters him with her words. It lists the incense she has laid out on her bed, Pro. 7:17 "I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon." Remembering that the myrrh represents worship, we can see how and the aloes represents questions.

Nicodemus brought myrrh and aloe to Jesus Christ in John 3. Nicodemus knew that Jesus came from God (John 3:2) and asked him 2 questions. Receiving God's answers are health to your body, Pro. 4:20-22 just like the aloe tree has healing properties, God's answers to our questions brings literal and spiritual healing. The only thing left on a harlots bed is cinnamon, which is intimacy. This is apparent because the only thing left this harlot would talk about on her bed is intimacy.

What does spikenard symbolize in the bible?

Spikenard represents repentance. In the Song of Solomon, Chapter 1:12 "While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof." Solomon's spouse (who represents the bride of Christ) has the scent of spikenard at the dining table, and Mary took a pound of spikenard and anointed Jesus' head and feet with the alabaster box full of it in John 12. Notice how Judas manifested, true repentance makes self-righteousness show up. (Judas was thinking of what money could do for the people, rather than what Christ offers to the world. His focus was on the outward appearance).


There is plenty more on the topic of spices, but the breakdown above give us plenty to take into our prayer closet with confidence!

Are you in the trial of your faith? Let your faith become gold by presenting to God your frankincense and myrrh, which is joyfulness and worship. Cover yourself in the salt & honey of wisdom and revelation found in the word of God through the revelation of the Holy Spirit. Fill your prayer closet with the aloes of questions and the cinnamon of intimacy. And most importantly, fill your alabaster box with the spikenard of repentance.

Any time and any place a we can give God joy, worship, praise, intimacy, questions, repentance, and receive wisdom and revelation in the bible. It's these attitude and conversational topics that turns our regular oil into anointing oil. 1 John 3:22 "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight." 1 John 5:14 "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:"

Please feel free to share this study! Check out the last bible study on angelic tongue and it's relevance today!

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