The Blood Of Jesus: What Does It Signify? (Part 2)
Following the release of this sermon in our April – June 2005 edition (Volume 3 No. 5), we have been receiving several inquiries from readers on the meaning of some other Bible texts commonly cited by those who believe in invoking the blood of Jesus, hence the release of Part 2 of this sermon. In the first publication of this topic we stated that the importance of the shed blood of Christ lies in the fact that it was the means God used to cleanse man from sin following the fall of Adam at the garden of Eden. However, it was pointed out that the blood of Jesus is not a person or being anyone should pray to. Rather, it is the Almighty God Jehovah and His Son Jesus Christ, that we should call upon in time of need. – Joel 2:32 Jeremiah 33:2, 3; Psalm 50:14,15; Isaiah 45:22; 12:2; Proverbs 18:10.
Moreover St. Paul explains in Philippians 2:9-11 that God Almighty had highly exalted Jesus Christ “and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”. This makes it abundantly clear that it is the name of Jesus Christ, who is the mediator between God and men, not his blood, that worshippers of God should hold in reverence or call on from time to time. – 1 Timothy 2:5,6; John 14:6,13, 14; 15:16.
Some Misunderstood Texts
Evidently, Jesus Christ is the One who died for mankind and through whom the sheep of God will get salvation. But as stated earlier, many professed Christians today believe that the shed blood of Jesus is a powerful tool that ensures protection and deliverance.
The advocates of pleading the blood of Jesus cite the statement of Christ in Luke 10:19 to wit, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” This assurance is similar to what Christ told the apostles before his ascension, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:17,18) God still guides and protects His ministers as they do the work, but the power to do miracles and speak in tongues has ceased. (1 Corinthians 13:8) God Almighty does miracles Himself through Jesus Christ and no longer through human agents. (Malachi 4:2; Jeremiah 33:6) Those who go about today gathering the sick and disabled, claiming they have the power to do miracles for them, are not sent by God. (Matthew 7:22, 23) Our Lord Jesus Christ made it clear that miracle-working would be the stock-in-trade of false prophets as a sign of the Last Days. He said, “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” – Matthew 24:11, 24. See also Revelation 16:13,14.
Another text being cited by those who believe in calling on the blood of Jesus is Revelation chapter 12 verse 11. This is part of the declaration by the angel when the devil was cast down from heaven. It says: “And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” The meaning of this text could be better understood by reading from verse 10 which says: “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” Thus, verse 11 flows from verse 10 in which the angels where expressing their joy at satan’s expulsion from heaven, marking the setting-up of God’s Kingdom in heaven.
When the angel stated that “…they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony” it is important to know that the pronouns “they” and “their” in the text refer to servants of God, from the time of old to the Christian era, whom satan, before he was cast out of heaven was constantly misrepresenting before God Almighty. (Job 1:6-11; 2:3) Revelation 19:10 explains the “testimony” spoken of in Revelation 12:11 to be the word of God, the truth – “the spirit of prophecy”. See also Revelation 22:8, 9.
The next point to address is to explain what the Bible means by the expression, “…they overcame him by the blood of the lamb…” It should be understood that Jesus Christ died for the people of God on earth, the church, the first class of whom are the saints. (Hebrews 12:23) It is our Lord Jesus Christ who overcame the devil by reason of his blood which he shed for sinful mankind. What Revelation 12:11 is saying is that the servants of God (the brethren of the angels) were able to ultimately gain victory over the devil “by the blood of the lamb”, that is, by virtue of or on the strength of Christ’s ransom sacrifice by which he triumphed over death and is now able to destroy “him that had the power of death, that is, the devil”. – Hebrews 2:14.
As stated earlier, Jesus Christ was sent to this earth to redeem the human race by shedding his blood, thereby affording man the opportunity to live forever. (Matthew 26:28) Revelation 12:11 therefore does not mean that we should be calling on the blood of the lamb in order to overcome our difficulties but that the servants of God (the brethren of the angels) gained salvation by exercising strong faith in Jesus Christ whose ransom sacrifice gave them life and formed the essence of their ministry on earth. In other words, the fear of death never deterred them from proclaiming the truth to the world. It is the servants of God therefore “who loved not their lives unto the death”. It should be understood that the idea of death is limited to the earthly realm. (Revelation 2:10. See also Psalm 50:5; 1 Corinthians 15:57; 1 John 5:4-5.
God Almighty and Jesus Christ
We must reiterate the fact that, it is by exercising implicit faith in Jehovah the Almighty God through Jesus Christ – not in his blood – that anyone can get salvation. (John 17:3; Isaiah 26:3,4; Jeremiah 33:2,3; Philippians 2:9-11) St. Paul stated that the builder of a house has more honour than the house. (Hebrews 3:3, 4)
Joel the prophet wrote under the inspiration of God: “And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered…” (Joel 2:32. See also Romans 10:13; 2 Chronicles 7:14) Moreover, St. Paul exhorted: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2) .And Christ enjoined his apostles thus: “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the father may be glorified in the son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” – John 14:13, 14.
We pray God to give the understanding of His word to His sheep so that they may be delivered from the evil devices of the devil to serve Him acceptably through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.