Where Did the Oil Go?

I was invited to lead a Saturday morning consecration service at an African American church in northeastern Washington, D.C. The church meets inside a converted small colonial white house perched on a street corner across from a local market. This is an established working class neighborhood surrounded by government housing projects. The pastor and the congregation are spirit filled and have a deep hunger for their Hebraic roots.

The annual consecration service is set up to ordain and promote church leadership. Clergy attire is the standard; black suites, black buttoned shirts, and white clergy collars. I have been invited to this church for many years; leading Passover Seders, and providing Hebraic rooted teachings.

The pastor instructed one of her elders to fill a Ram’s horn with olive oil. The horn incorporated a silver bladder that could hold about two cups of oil. It was filled until it overflowed and then was placed on a small alter table at the front of the church.

We opened the service with worship, and then moved into a time of teaching on sanctification. The core of the message was based on second Chronicles. Four simple actions that should represent the life of every Christian set apart onto the Lord, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, pray, seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways” (2 Chronicles 7:14, NKJV).[i]

I have taught this message before, but this time seemed to resonate differently. The congregants were weepy and teary eyed. It was as if every word was penetrating and washing their hearts.

At the end of the teaching the pastor handed me the horn of oil and instructed me to anoint several leaders in the congregation. I pulled the plug from the horn, turned it over and shook it but nothing came out. Where did the oil go I thought? I quickly grabbed a small bottle of Kings Oil from my bag and anointed the leaders.

After the service, the pastor and I spoke about the oil. We searched the table where the horn was sitting, but it was dry. We then realized the Lord had performed something both powerful and miraculous. The Lord took the oil as a symbolic offering. But what did it represent?

While eating lunch in another room, one of the elders went back into the sanctuary and approached the alter. She knelt down and prayed. Then, immediately as she broke into tears, she felt the hand of God lift her up and cradle her in His arms, rocking her back and forth like a little child.

Driving home that afternoon, the Lord spoke to me of what had transpired. He said, “These people have sought me with their whole heart. They have desired to know the deeper things hidden in their Hebraic roots, these which are of me. I have grafted them back into the root that supports them. It is from this root that the oil of the Holy Spirit flows. And it is from this oil that all the gifts of the spirit operate.”

What the Lord shared with me was significant. In the predominately gentile church we often seek the gifts of the spirit, but the church has rejected and even separated herself from her roots. Because of His grace we see His gifts in small measure. But the Lord desires to reconnect His bride to her roots so that she may flow in the fullness of the gifts, and power of the Holy Spirit. This is the order: the grafting back to the Hebraic root must come first, and then the gifts of the spirit with all signs and wonders will follow.


[i] All Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Bible (NKJV) unless otherwise noted, Thomas Nelson Inc., 1982.