In the service associated with the tabernacle and
later the temple
there were numerous instruments or vessels that were
used to carry out
the worship service. According to 1 Sam. 21:5, 1
Kings 8:4, 1 Chron.
22:19, and 2 Chron 5:5 these vessels are called holy
vessels. Since the
word, holy, means separate or set apart, these
vessels were set apart
for use in the service of the tabernacle or temple
and thus called holy
Holy vessels used in
the service of the tabernacle included the
1. Tongs and snuff
dishes for the candlestick (Ex. 25:38).
2. Pans, shovels,
basins, flesh hooks, and fire pans for the brazen
altar (Ex. 27:3).
3. Dishes, spoons,
covers, and bowls for the table (Ex. 25:29).
4. Bowls of the candlestick (Ex. 25:33).
5. Censors and vessels
for the pure oil olive for the lamps (Ex.
6. Vessels for the
anointing oil (Ex. 30:23 25).
7. Vessels for sweet
incense (Ex. 30:34).
8. Earthen vessel for
bird sacrifice (Lev. 14:5).
9. Earthen vessel to
contain holy water that caused the curse (Num.
10. Vessel for water
of purification (Num. 19:17).
11. Vessels for the
shew bread (1 Sam. 21:5).
These vessels were
designed and prepared for specific uses and were not
to be used otherwise. When a wicked Babylonian king
decided to use some
of these vessels as party vessels, God tried him and
destroyed him for
this wicked use of the holy vessels (Dan. Chapter
Similar to the old
testament tabernacle service the new testament
service has holy vessels and instruments. The
vessels and instruments
are the Lord's people. According to Romans 9 the
Lord's people are
described as vessels of honor and vessels of mercy:
1. Rom. 9:21 "Hath not
the potter power over the clay, of the same
lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto
2. Rom. 9:23, 24 "And
that he might make known the riches of his
glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore
prepared unto glory,
even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only,
but also of the
Thus we conclude that
it is the Lord who is the potter and he hath made
us vessels of honor and hath before prepared us unto
glory and as such
has poured out his mercy into us as vessels of
According to Rom.
6:12, 13 we are to yield our bodies as instruments
righteousness in the service of God: "Let not sin
therefore reign in
your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the
lusts thereof. Neither
yield ye your members as instruments of
unrighteousness unto sin: but
yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive
from the dead, and
your members as instruments of righteousness unto
Paul warns us not to
pollute our vessels in 1 Thes. 4:3 7: "For this is
the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye
should abstain from
fornication: that every one of you should know how
to possess his vessel
in sanctification and honor; not in the lust of
concupiscence, even as
the Gentiles which know not God: that no man go
beyond and defraud his
brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the
avenger of all such,
as we have forewarned you and testified."
God has made us
vessels of honor and vessels of mercy. We are to
prepare ourselves for the service of God as we read
in II Tim. 2:20, 21:
"But in a great house there are not only vessels of
gold and of silver,
but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor and
some to dishonor.
If a man therefore purge himself from these, he
shall be a vessel unto
honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master's use,
and prepared unto
every good work." Thus we have a responsibility to
purge ourselves from
unrighteous or sinful activities and to sanctify or
set ourselves apart
to the service of God to be used as it pleases him.
Furthermore we are
to prepare ourselves unto every good work."
We will not all be
used of God in the exact same way as the Lord told
Ananias concerning Saul of Tarsus, "Go thy way: for
he is a chosen
vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles,
and kings, and the
children of Israel: for I will shew him how great
things he must suffer
for my name's sake." Now Paul was one of the few
that was chosen of God
to be a vessel known as an apostle. A few others
were vessels known as
prophets. Likewise, other gospel ministers are
chosen of God to preach
his gospel to the people of God. But God has given
gifts to his people
according to his grace (Rom. 12:6) and dividing to
every man severally
as he will (1 Cor. 12:11). Thus each of his children
are vessels to be
used by the Master. What a great treasure God has
given us that we
might be holy vessels in his service. Thus we should
remember that "we
have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the
excellence of the power
may be of God, and not of us."
God promised Israel in the wilderness that "Now
therefore, if you will
obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye
shall be a peculiar
treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth
is mine: and ye
shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy
nation" (Ex. 19:5,
6). God chose Aaron and his sons to make up the
priesthood for the
children of Israel. The priesthood consisted of
Aaron as the high
priest and his sons as the priests. The office of
the high priest
passed to one of the male descendants of Aaron who
qualifications as given by the Lord.
To be a priest a man
had to be a male descendant of Aaron. To serve in
the office of a priest he had to be anointed
according to Ex. 28:41:
"And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and
his sons with him;
and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and
sanctify them, that they
may minister unto me in the priest's office." In
addition, the priest
had to be washed: "And Aaron and his sons thou shalt
bring unto the door
of the tabernacle of the congregation, and thou
shalt wash them with
water" (Ex. 29:4). Furthermore, to minister in the
priest office the
priest had to be clothed with the holy garments:
"And thou shalt bring
his sons and put coats upon them. And thou shalt
gird them with
girdles, Aaron and his sons, and put the bonnets on
them..." (Ex. 29:8,
9). Also the priest had to be consecrated to serve
in his office (Ex.
The primary function
of the priest was to minister in the offerings and
sacrifices of the people. There were seven principle
which the priest ministered:
1. Sin or trespass
2. Burnt offering.
3. Peace offering.
4. Heave offering.
5. Wave offering.
6. Meat offering.
7. Drink offering.
These sacrifices or
offerings are detailed in the book of Leviticus.
Similar to the sons of Aaron serving as priests
under the old covenant,
there is likewise a new testament priesthood:
1. 1 Pet. 2:5 "Ye
also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual
house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual
to God by Jesus Christ."
2. 1 Pet. 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
These to whom Peter was writing were said to be the
"elect" of God.
The "elect" are identified in Eph. 1:4, 5 as being
chosen in Christ
before the foundation of the world...to the adoption
of children. Thus
all the elect are the children of their high priest,
According to 1 John
2:20: "But ye have an unction (anointing) from the
Holy One, and ye know all things." Also 1 John 2:27
this anointing of the elect of God: "But the
anointing which ye have
received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that
any man teach you:
but as the same anointing teaches you of all
things..." Thus as the old
testament priests were anointed, so are the elect
The elect are also
washed as we read in Rev. 1:5, 6, "Unto him that
loved us and washed us from our sins in his own
blood, and hath made us
kings and priests unto God and his Father..." Also
Titus 3:5 reads,
"not by works of righteousness which we have done,
but according to his
mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration,
and renewing of the
Furthermore the elect
are clothed with holy garments as we read in Rev.
7:9, "After this I beheld, and lo, a great
multitude, which no man could
number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people,
and tongues, stood
before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with
white robes, and
palms in their hands..."
In addition, as the
old testament priests were consecrated or
sanctified, so are the elect of God as we read in
Heb. 10:12 14, "But
this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for
sins for ever, sat down
on the right hand of God: From henceforth expecting
till his enemies be
made his footstool. For by one offering he hath
perfected for ever them
that are sanctified."
In summation, the new
testament priests are the children of their high
priest, are anointed by the Holy One, washed from
their sins by Jesus
Christ and the washing of regeneration, clothed with
Holy garments of
Jesus righteousness, and consecrated by the atoning
sacrifice of Christ.
In comparison to the old testament priests who
ministered in the
priest's office by offering animal sacrifices, the
new testament priests
are to offer spiritual sacrifices.
There are seven
spiritual sacrifices set forth for us in the
1. Sacrifice of a
broken spirit Ps. 51:17.
2. Sacrifice of righteousness Ps. 4:5.
3. Sacrifice of joy Ps. 27:6.
4. Sacrifice of thanksgiving Ps. 107:22.
5. Sacrifice of communicating to the needs of others
6. Sacrifice of faith Phil. 2:17.
7. Sacrifice of doing good Heb. 13:16.
Now all of these
spiritual sacrifices can be summed up in Rom. 12:1:
beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of
God, that ye present
your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable
unto God, which is your
In conclusion, as the
elect of God and the priests of God we each have
the privilege of offering up the above spiritual
sacrifices to the honor
and glory of Him who hath made us kings and priests
Holy Anointing Oil
Under the old covenant of worship there were many
things that were
1. Aaron and his sons
2. The tabernacle, the
ark of the covenant, the table of shew bread
and his vessels, the altar of incense, the altar of
burnt offering with
all his vessels, and the laver and his foot Ex.
Thus the tabernacle,
furniture of the tabernacle, all of the vessels, as
well as those who ministered in the tabernacle
service were anointed.
The purpose of the anointing is set forth for us in
Exodus 40:9 15:
"And thou shalt take the anointing oil, and anoint
the tabernacle and
all that is therein, and shall hallow it, and all
the vessels thereof:
and it shall be holy. And thou shalt anoint the
laver and his foot, and
sanctify it. And thou shalt bring Aaron and his
sons...And thou shalt
put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him,
and sanctify him; that
he may minister unto me in the priest's office. And
thou shalt bring
his sons...and thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst
father, that they may minister unto me in the
priest's office: for their
anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood
generations." Thus the anointing was designed to
sanctify or make holy
that which was anointed. The priests had to be
anointed before they
could serve in the priest's office and the vessels
had to be anointed
before they could be used in the service of the
In addition to the
tabernacle service and the priests who served
therein, those who served in the office of king had
to be anointed.
Saul was anointed as the first king over Israel (1
Sam. 15:1), then
David (1 Sam. 16:12), then Solomon (1 Kings 1:39),
and so on. Thus to
serve in the office of priest or in the office of
king a person had to
first be sanctified (made holy) by being anointed.
The oil used to anoint
was to be a unique compound. It was to be used
for anointing only: Ex. 30:32, "Upon man's flesh
shall it not be poured,
neither shall ye make any other like it, after the
composition of it: it
is holy, and it shall be holy unto you." In Ex.
30:25 it is called an
holy anointing oil. Thus "common" use was strictly
Now in this new
testament age we have a better anointing that was
present under the old covenant. The word, "Christ"
comes from the
Greek, "Christos," meaning "the anointed one." Jesus
is our High Priest
after the order of Melchizedec (Heb. 6:20) and he is
our King being
"King of kings and Lord of lords" (Rev. 19:16). Thus
being both the
High Priest over the house of God and the King
sitting upon the throne
of David in an everlasting kingdom it was necessary
that Jesus be
anointed so that he could serve in those offices.
The following three
verses of scripture prove that Jesus was anointed by
the Holy Spirit:
1. Lk. 4:18 "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 broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the
recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty
them that are
2. Acts 4:27 "For of a
truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom
thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate,
with the Gentiles,
and the people of Israel were gathered together."
3. Acts 10:38 "How 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."
From the above we
gather that the Holy Spirit did the anointing and
the anointing oil! Thus thru the anointing of God
Jesus is both our
holy High Priest and holy King.
In similar fashion we
see the new testament priesthood are anointed of
God as well. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth and
said, "Now he
which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath
anointed us, is God." ikewise, in 1 John 2:20 we read, "Now ye have an
unction from the Holy
One, and ye know all things." Moreover, 1 John 2:27
reads, "But the
anointing which ye have received of him abideth in
you, and ye need not
that any man teach you: but as the same anointing
teacheth you of all
things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it
hath taught you, ye
shall abide in him." Again we may conclude that it
is the Holy Spirit
that anoints us so that we are made kings and
priests unto God (Rev.
The anointing by the
Holy Spirit is the new or spiritual birth. In
similitude to Jesus being conceived in the womb of
the virgin by the
overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, so we as the elect
of God are born of
the Holy seed by the quickening power of the Holy
Spirit and thus become
spiritual in the inner man. Having been born of the
Spirit we are able
to offer spiritual sacrifices as priests of God and
to reign in the
dominion God has given us as kings. In conclusion
the anointing of the
Holy Spirit in the miraculous work of the new birth
has made us saints
(hagios=holy), enabling us to minister in the
offices of priest and
king. May all praise and glory be given to God.