“The Church of Pentecost believes that the use of oil in the Old Testament symbolises the Holy Spirit. Therefore, in as much as the Holy Spirit has been poured upon all believers, the use of oil either for divine healing or ordination is of no special value.
Consequently, as a result of the many cases of the abuse of the use of oil, including the sale of it, The Church of Pentecost discourages the use of oil,” the Chairman of the Church, Apostle Professor Opoku Onyinah, has said.
Giving his keynote address at the 2017 November Heads’ Meeting of the Church, currently underway at the Pentecost Convention Centre (PCC), Gomoa Fetteh, near Kasoa, on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, Apostle Prof. Opoku Onyinah who touched on “Divine Healing” explained that the mention of anointing oil in James 5:14-16 brings another aspect of healing that has been understood from various perspectives.
He said based on James’ instruction to his Jewish congregation to anoint the sick person with oil, many people use oil a lot in praying for the healing of the sick or ordination of officers.
“First, it must be understood that James was speaking to Jewish Christians. He addressed his audience, ‘James a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings (James 1:1),’” he pointed out.
Apostle Professor Opoku Onyinah
He indicated that oil was used for many purposes among the Jews. In the Old Testament, it was used for the ordination of the priests, kings and prophets (Leviticus 8; 1 Samuel 10, 16; 1 Kings 19:15-17). It was also used in the dedication of the tabernacle and all its utensils (Leviticus 8). Thus, it was used to anoint objects and set them apart for the use of God. In all of these, he stated, the anointing symbolises the presence of the Holy Spirit.
The President of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) also said that oil was used in the East as a means of healing of diseases.
“It is said that the custom of anointing the sick prevails in the East; it is believed to have some medicinal and healing purposes. For this reason, many people carry oil along in their travels. This is pictured in the story of the Good Samaritan, where he poured oil and wine on the victim’s wounds (Luke 10:34).
“However, in the healing ministry of Jesus, He never anointed the sick with oil. The apostles used oil once when Jesus sent them to go and preach (Mark 6:13). Since Jesus was not practising that, it could be that the apostles did this, from their Jewish background. After the death and resurrection of Christ, we did not see the apostles who were with our Lord Jesus anointing the sick with oil for healing purposes.
“Against this backdrop, we can only guess why James advised his fellow Jewish elders to anoint the sick with oil. The brother of Jesus, who had become his apostle, certainly knew that the use of oil was a symbolic act of the Holy Spirit.
“However, he might have felt that the symbolic use of oil could bring the hope of restoration and strengthen the Christians who were sick in the presence of church elders. In any case, it should be remembered that this appeared once after the death of Christ and therefore must not be overused, so as to let people put their faith in oil which only serves as a symbolic act of the Holy Spirit,” he expounded.