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This month's teaching : Repentance

What is Oil?

Previously, I wrote of the time when Mary anointed Jesus with oil. Now I want to bring out just what that oil really is. The good Samaritan had oil for healing. The five wise virgins had oil for light. Elijah had oil to anoint those chosen for the position of priest. Samuel used oil to anoint a young lad, destined to be king. Oil was poured upon the head of Aaron as he became the high priest. Anointing with oil was the transitional act in sanctifying the tabernacle, as well as people with specific callings. Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron, were not allowed to grieve over their brother’s death because they were anointed with oil. Leviticus 10:7 And ye shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: for the anointing oil of the Lord is upon you… The oil of God is the fear of the Lord. What is this oil?

In my studies concerning the subject and meaning of oil, it has become apparent that oil relates to an active aspiration of strength from the sweet currents of heaven within the once twisted, unbelieving heart. Oil and strength are like our two feet. Both functioning together will carry out the achievement of purposes in our natural life. The oil of joy is the instrument that serves the wholesomeness of God’s blessings to one’s self and others. Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness… The joy of the Lord is my strength. The oil of joy is healing, light, reserve, fullness, restoration. The oil which flows through joy drives away heaviness, darkness, and despair. This oil must openly flow from the well in our lives to generate joyful endurance, strength, valor, and courage. Joy is most fully experienced when it is released by expression through thanksgiving and demonstration of inspiration toward God and man.

When we seal up this potential flow of oil and joy because of fear and disappointment, we can become a curse to others and even curse ourselves. God spoke to Israel and declared what would happen if they continued complaining and focusing on their problems. ‘You will work the work with your hands and many things you will do to prosper, but prospering will be hidden from you. Fruit trees, olive trees, vineyards, sons, daughters—you will have all of these, but you will not enjoy them. You will plant much seed and see little harvest. You will not prosper in the garden of God because you have no oil of gladness.’ Deuteronomy 28:47 because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things.

We must understand that oil is not circumstantial, but reserve. There was a widow whose husband had been a God-fearing prophet. Now she was left with an unpayable debt. She was threatened with losing her two sons as payment for the debt. At her request, Elisha came to her house and asked her what she had. She confessed that she had nothing except one thing which you cannot eat. It was only her last little bit of something; one pot of oil! At the prophet’s command, they borrowed all the available pots and many vessels from the neighborhood and set them behind closed doors. The woman started pouring her oil into another pot, and it would not stop! All the vessels were now filled, and it still would not stop. They didn’t have enough vessels to contain the heavenly oil. She was now debt-free and overflowing.

It all started with the hidden little pot of oil being poured forth. There is so much power in that last little pot of oil—it is where it all starts again. It is only the oil on the head of Jehu that can recklessly drive out and destroy Jezebel from her position.

What are we doing with our God-given oil? Let us pour it forth to anoint other lives. Let the joy of our heart burst forth into thanksgiving and praise to our God and to His people. At times our hearts are too heavy in despair to expel its hopelessness. But whilst amid these infirmities we must at once yield our self-pity to find joy, and they will be driven away like a cloud in the morning. These difficulties are not easy to counter in the midst of the struggle, but they can be turned into powerful victories. This brings the sweetest fragrance of hope when all seems diminished. The act of pouring out the sweetness of heavenly oil upon another is contained in the power of salvation within all saints! Your last pot of oil poured forth is your first pot of oil, even if it is borrowed. Hallelujah!

The Ministry of Mary

Scores of people always surrounded Jesus wherever He went. No matter the location, they would be there waiting for Him for numerous reasons. Many needed healing—they were healed. Many needed teaching—they were teachable. Many looked for fault—they found none. Many were lying in wait to latch onto a wrong word for which they could criticize Him—they did. Even in faultlessness, the Son of God was constantly criticized in all that He did, and all that He said. Out of all these people around Jesus, there was only one of whom He declared this: that throughout the world, wherever the gospel was preached, she would be remembered. Something happened in the little town of Bethany while Jesus was there. Jesus gave a command that everywhere the gospel would be preached, there must also be told this account, as a memorial. The anointing poured out by a woman upon Jesus that day was for all the death Jesus would experience at the conclusion of His life.

What happened that solemn evening on the hillside in Bethany? A spiritual woman saw a king through the eyes of pain and rejection. She saw a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, and poured her gift upon Him. This king suffered a different pain than many complain about today. It was a spiritual pain, because of the power of the Holy Spirit that rested within Him. It is far beyond me to imagine how man could be so evil and so against the Son of God! They imagined evil in Him, He was lied against, ridiculed, despised, forsaken, rejected, and we esteemed Him not. Nothing has changed to this day. The pure and holy, and those filled with the Holy Spirit, suffer in the same manner in our day. Is there anyone in our day that might have the same ministry hidden within themselves that Mary had in the days of Jesus?

Mary aimed her life at accepting Christ in His entire ministry. Today’s Mary still ministers to Jesus in this way through the people of God. There are many true servants of Christ who are rejected and despised because of the power of Jesus within them. Mary found one of the greatest ministries to Jesus that one can have. She ministered to Him with anointing. It was precious and aromatic. The smell filled the room in the presence of Jesus. She blessed the feet that carried Him and His ministry to so many places with anointing oil of spikenard, which was very costly. She not only accepted His feet but also blessed them and anointed them. She caused His head, where all His senses functioned, to smell precious and clean. Mary approved Jesus in all that He did. She anointed His walk by anointing his feet with precious oil. Contrastively, the enemy always tries to blemish the head of Jesus, and make His feet smell bad.

How can this precious ministry function in our day? The Lord revealed this truth to me several years ago and placed upon my heart the desire to be a Mary. There are organizations by the thousands that minister to the poor and even to those who reject Christ. Millions and millions of dollars are channeled into these types of ministries every year. But where are those that minister to the ones that are hated, despised, and rejected because they are carriers of the power of Jesus? Many organizations are rich because of the poor.

Mary found a ministry that will never be taken away from her. She poured out her life upon Christ in blessing and acceptance. We meet unusual people in whom we can sense the power of Jesus. Their effectiveness is obvious. They endure much conflict, and they are despised, rejected, and constantly ridiculed. The anointing of Mary will bless these people in their walk and their talk. Luke 10:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Notice how Judas was inflamed with indignation over Mary’s anointing and called it a waste. He said that this precious anointing should have been sold and given to the poor. Jesus rebuffed him, saying that the poor are always present, but truly those that have Jesus are not always with us.

We need the ministry of Mary! The contrast between Judas and Mary is very troubling and evident. Yes, Judas was a leader, but he obviously never received discipleship. Mary was the one with precious oil, which Judas criticized only after it was poured out upon Jesus. Mary gave all she had to anoint Jesus. My spiritual friend, may you discover that precious oil in your life which blesses Jesus. May you honor Christ with acceptance, encouragement, blessing, joy, and love! May you be the one who is bold to bless, anoint, and accept the Christ you can see in a brother or sister despised and forsaken because of the Jesus within them. Hallelujah!

Read the account: Mark 14:3-9.

Children of Light

God is light, and in Him is found no variation. Jesus said He was the light; now he says ye are the light of the world. The substance found within a spiritual person is that of a heavenly realm and must be maintained in order to remain a valuable asset within the kingdom of God. Children of Light do not mingle with darkness because light drives out darkness even by its physical nature. As we face the future before us, we will see the ever-present surmounting elements, designed to buckle the knees of the Children of Light. Most often these things appear as real enemies set out to engage us. But wait, enemies of darkness must not cause us to stumble; we overcome them through the light within! God’s children are relentless in faith and are called by the name—Children of Light. The Children of Light are a great danger to the kingdom of darkness. Darkness can never overcome us because we walk in the light. Darkness is completely powerless when light is present. This week I was greatly reminded of this truth, as I witnessed a great deliverance in the life of a troubled youth who was encumbered with horrible darkness. There is a mystery that I observe among professing Christians—Why are so many not walking in the light? Is the light perhaps misunderstood?

Mathew 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. The enemy always seeks to entrap us with suggestions that contradict that which is truth. This tends to capture the focus of one eye thus causing confusion, and where there is confusion, there is every evil work. Single-eyed perception means two eyes focused on one object. If the enemy can cause us to turn one eye in distraction upon his diversion, then he succeeds in shadowing and confusing what God is speaking to our spirit.

True light is not imagination, (by which some become ensnared in confusion). Light is bright, clear, uses no imagination, and it is pure, without agendas of preconception. It presents clear answers and truth. True light casts away doubt. John 12:36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. There are areas and situations on which God has given us light; it is clear and pure, and we are to believe this light that is of truth and unquestionable. Let us not confuse light with traditions or agendas. The light we have received of Him is pure and brilliant, and we are to believe that light. True Children of Light believe in the light and are therefore so-named. This truth sets us free.

There are many murky things that we’re inclined to latch onto, but they are not light. This subtle work of the enemy does not shed light upon our path, and it also does not drive away darkness. Anything that does not drive away darkness is not true light. When we do not have a single eye of focus with both of our eyes on one object, our path becomes darkened, and the natural man’s imagination reigns as king. When our imagination is in control, we are prey to deception, believing anything that makes remote sense. This is exactly what happened to Adam and Eve. Their eyes were no longer single after hearing the serpent’s suggestion. It made perfect sense in their reasoning. They fell from unity with God simply by reasoning. It darkened their minds and they became victims of focus-confusion through the subtilty of Satan.

This same strategy, used by the enemy in the Garden of Eden, is duplicated now against the Children of Light. Ephesians 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: When our minds are darkened, we become separated from the life of God. This is one reason there are so many powerless people in the church of our day. Lifeless Christianity is a prevailing problem among today’s congregations. People with darkened minds have heavy blindness upon their heart like a veil that cannot be penetrated. It is called, ‘the strength of the flesh’. This condition produces an environment of strong delusion and darkness where people believe almost anything that is not true light. It influences chaotic imaginations and is profusely used by the enemy against God’s true children.

There are distractions that the enemy dispenses to gain the attention of God’s children, and once one eye is locked on them, we fall under this category of great confusion. It opens the flood gates of worry and imagination working to depress the mind and overtake anything of peace that we once knew. The mind then latches onto this entrapment as the heart becomes dark with abundance of feelings that are destructive in every category. Our victory is turning our focus to that which we know in peace, joy, love, and power in the Holy Ghost. We must refrain from hearing and seeing with double vision. Both our eyes again turn to what God calls light, and we retain the stature of Christ’s redemption which we know so well. Hallelujah!!!

Discipled

Discipleship—what do I know about it? Is it something I attain to? We are living at the close of the age, a time when the church will face a great dilemma. People are turning away from understanding concerning the importance of having the mind of Christ. This dilemma is a mystery of iniquity, working through the avenue of rebellion when one deems his own preferences more important than true discipleship and spiritual reconciliation within one’s spiritual character. This is the partiality of self-willed vagabonds and drifters; they drink from their own table the lightness of mere milk, or even less than that. The hard things they have not learned. Things such as giving up, admitting wrong, surrendering offenses and many childish immaturities they have never resolved. I have come to a place in my position of leadership, where I will not allow anyone to speak in the congregation that is not under the consistent ministry of a shepherd. What I typically find in these wanderers is an untamed character that lives on its own premises of self-trust, despising the ones who possess qualities they admire. This yields results of individuality that are extremely harmful in the kingdom of God. In the book of Jude, we are given the complete description of these wandering stars. These often live off diets of easily digested milk, because it suits their own agenda.

Milk comes from the same source as the meat. Am I a Christian that has gone through life barely tasting meat? Have I become offended by those who dive into deeper depths of revelation and truth? There is a deeper well that most are not willing to pursue by conformity to God’s way. As true people of deeper faith, we can never take the thief’s route and steal into the fold without entering through the door. Many people will glean their sustenance almost entirely from others that have been led into deeper depths by their love for God, and obedience through the Holy Spirit. John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. V.2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. V.3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. V.4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
The true sheep will never fear unless the shepherd is the one that says, ‘wolf!’. There are other voices that cry wolf, but you can only trust the true shepherd. One of the clear signs of a true shepherd is that he calls his sheep by name. What does this mean? He knows them from walking with them for years through the many incidents they face.

There is a desperate need within the heart of every true saint to be transformed by the power of God on a continual basis in ways that are severe and extreme to the natural state of man. This seems easy until there arises the detested word—submission. The word submission suggests the humbling of one’s self in ways beyond what is easy. It is the surrender taking one from pride to humility, that Jesus requires for His children. This transformation of one’s character is what points to the true spiritual person, or the remains of a carnal man. A man will never be used by God if he cannot walk in submission to the one God places over him. It might appear differently at first, but true results are lasting. Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls.

Many professors of Christ have no understanding of this truth. My experience in being a shepherd is quite extensive. I have rarely heard the request to be discipled in over 30 years of ministry. We live in a time when discipleship has become a gigantic problem because the age of rebellion has spilled over into Christianity. There are many who could become useful in the kingdom, but instead they become offended in small matters, and the result is simple—God will choose to not use them. How many times have I stood before a situation in someone’s life, but could not touch it because their carnal mind would turn to offense. If God is not using us, the reason is quite simple, and we must question: am I teachable? Am I a carrier of offences and what have I proven in this? Have I experienced true, holy submission to man and God? Do I honor and respect in all situations?

May this become a central part of your life, else God will continue to look for other people to use, and you will continue in uselessness. 1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.