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ANSWER:   The origin of anointing began with shepherds anointing the heads of their sheep with oil as a way to repel bugs and insects, keeping them out of the nose, ears, and eyes of the sheep.  This soon took on the custom and meaning of anointing someone for blessing or empowerment for a specific role.

King Saul, even though he was a terrible king, had been anointed by the Lord to be Israel’s first king.  David acknowledged this in 1 Samuel 24:4-6 which says, “And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the LORD said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe privily.  And it came to pass afterward, that David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt. And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD’S anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.”  Although he was a wicked leader, the Lord had put Saul in office to fulfill His own purposes.  Saul was anointed to be king.

The Old Testament priests, from the tribe of Levi, were anointed to serve as priests among the nation of Israel as we read in Leviticus 4:16, “And the priest that is anointed shall bring of the bullock’s blood to the tabernacle of the congregation.”

The Lord Jesus Christ, as the obedient Son was anointed of God as we read in Psalms 45:6-7, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”  The Lord Jesus speaks of His anointing in Luke 4:18-19 where we read, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

The Apostle Peter spoke of the Lord’s anointing in Acts 10:38 where he said, “…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”

We can see there were several men marked out in the Old Testament of being God’s anointed ones.  Christ Himself is truly God’s anointed.  What about today, who is anointed today?  Let me make this very clear: if you have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, you have been appointed, or anointed, for a particular position and service for the Lord.  Let’s read 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”  This shows the reality that every single believer has been ordained of the Lord and has been given the Holy Spirit.  1 John 2:20 says that, “…ye have an unction from the Holy One.”  The word ‘unction’ is the same as the word ‘anointed.’  The Apostle John goes on to say in 1 John 2:27, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you.”  Today, some speak as if there were only a few of God’s anointed servants.  In truth, we are all anointed.

Who are the anointed priests today?  All believers are priests!  Does that sound foreign to you?  Let’s read 1 Peter 2:5, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”  Along with that, let’s read 1 Peter 2:9, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”  Every believer in the Lord has been made part of a holy and royal priesthood.  Our holy priesthood is to equip us to truly offer spiritual sacrifices to the Lord, which is worship.  Our royal priesthood is to equip us to be a witness for the Lord, declaring His marvelous person and works to others.

My dear fellow believers, may we all realize the anointing, or appointing that we have from the Lord.  May we all be faithful to exercise our priestly services in worshiping and serving our blessed savior.