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Posts tagged ‘blood’

When Is The Blood Applied?

There is an ongoing debate among some apostolics concerning the question of when the blood is applied to a believer. Many assert that the blood is applied solely at water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. Careful study of the scripture, however, reveals that while baptism represents the initial natural or physical application of the blood, it is not the only application of the blood. For if anything at all is certain about the lesson of Old Testament typology it is that the blood is applied to the believer in atonement just as surely as it is applied in redemption.

When the Children of Israel were in Egypt, the blood of the Passover lamb was applied to the doorposts and lintel of each of their houses. This was the act of divine redemption, whereby the people of God were redeemed out of the bondage of Egypt. Notice that before the blood of the lamb could be applied it had to be shed – i.e., the lamb had to be slain. It should also be noted that the work was not finished simply by applying the blood to the doorposts and lintel of the house. The completion of the natural application (man’s job) merely set the stage for the spiritual application (God’s job), in which the Spirit of God worked actively “passing over” every blood-marked dwelling to deliver the house from the avenging work of the Death Angel – thereby causing it to avoid the house and not destroy its firstborn occupant.

After leaving Egypt, the Children of Israel were then a redeemed people, even though they did not immediately take possession of the Promised Land (as a result of their unbelief). However, God made a covenant with them and gave to them His Laws, which made provision for a structured place of worship and sacrifice (the Tabernacle) as well as a ministry to oversee and serve in it (the Priesthood). All these provisions were made for a redeemed people partly so that when they were estranged from God because of their sins they could once again be brought back into oneness with him through the atoning work of the blood of the covenant, which ultimately was to be sprinkled upon the lid of the Ark of the Covenant – the Mercy Seat – in the Holy of Holies by the High Priest once a year every year on the Day of Atonement.

Christ was our Passover—“Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world!” As sinners, we were redeemed out of the world by His blood when we repented (crucified with Christ), were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (buried with Christ), and received the gift of the Holy Ghost (risen with Christ). This is the awesome process of New Testament redemption: the innocent Lamb shed its blood, dying at the hands of those whose own sins had condemned them to death; the blood of the slain Lamb is applied to the house of the condemned; and in glorious victory the risen Lamb frees the house from the looming threat of imminent death and destruction.

However, Christ’s blood also answers to the blood of atonement, and furthermore, He who was the Lamb of God is also now our High Priest, ever living to make intercession for the redeemed saints with His own blood. Indeed, John tells us that the blood of Jesus “cleanseth” us from our sin in a continual and perpetual work of atonement.

So we see that as sinners, the blood of redemption was initially applied when we were converted or born again of the water and the spirit – per Acts 2:38. As saints, the blood of atonement (“blood of sprinkling”) is subsequently applied continually to us as members of the Body of Christ by our fellowship (“communion”) with the saints walking in the light (which represents the Truth preached from the blood-sprinkled Word of God) – per 1 John 1:7.

 

 

Pastor Tim D. Cormier
18 August, 2004

(C) Copyright held by Tim D. Cormier. This document may not be reproduced in whole or in part, except for personal use, without the express written permission of the author.

The Passover

 

Exodus 12

3Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:

7And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.

8And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

11And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’s passover.

12For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.

13And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

23For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.

26And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service?

27That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’s passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.

 

Just a few thoughts about the Passover….

  1. The LORD went to a great deal of ‘trouble’ to deliver the nation of Israel from Egypt. It is clear from this and other events in the Bible that the greater the significance of the spiritual truth being conveyed, the greater the pains that were taken to convey it symbolically. The specific means by which the LORD chose to deliver His OT People from Egypt teach us specific things about the means by which the LORD chose to deliver His NT People.
  2. The symbolic Passover elements of a pure lamb being slain, its blood being applied to each dwelling and the removal of leaven from each dwelling all have rather obvious spiritual applications in the NT Plan of Salvation.
  3. In order to deliver the nation of Israel from Egypt, the LORD delivered each individual house from the destroyer that visited death upon the nation of Egypt that night. The ultimate aim was corporate or national deliverance, but it was achieved personally and individually.
  4. The historical context of the word “Passover” is sometimes misunderstood. The Hebrew word pesach as a noun denotes the original deliverance event and the yearly commemoration of it; as a verb (“pass over”), it denotes the actions of the LORD passing over or leaping over each blood-stained doorway and preventing the destroyer from entering the house. These symbols foretold Repentance, Water Baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost.
  5. The Passover was not – as is often represented in the popular religious media – an act of the LORD making a detour around each of the ritually protected households of Israel as He went through the land executing judgment; rather, the Passover was a deliberate act of personal deliverance at the doorway of each house that was in compliance with the LORD’s commandments – in which the LORD personally prevented the destroyer (labeled by some as the Angel of Death) from entering that house and slaying the firstborn as it traveled through the land of Egypt executing judgment.
  6. The Passover deliverance was but the first stage of Israel’s journey to the Promised Land as a Redeemed People. After they left Egypt, the Lord began to give them His Laws, an anointed priesthood, and a divinely appointed place of worship. These things were never mentioned while Israel was in Egypt. After the Passover, these became part and parcel of the covenant between God and Israel.
  7. The Passover is to be distinguished from the Atonement in that God used the Passover to deliver His People when they were in bondage, while the Atonement was given to a Redeemed people as the means of bringing them back into oneness with their Redeemer whenever they became estranged from Him by sin. At Calvary, Jesus Christ was our Passover – the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world – as well as the Sin Offering of Atonement; since Pentecost, He is our High Priest and continually makes intercession for us.

 

Rev. Tim D. Cormier

(C) Copyright held by Tim D. Cormier. This document may not be reproduced in whole or in part, except for personal use, without the express written permission of the author.

What Happened To The Blood?

The Communion service is one of the sacraments of the New Testament church. In it we fulfil Christ’s command to eat his flesh and drink his blood by partaking of the symbolic elements of unleavened bread (which represents the sinless body of Christ) and the fruit of the vine (which represents the sinless blood of Christ). Among Apostolics, there is virtually universal agreement that the element used to represent the body of Christ must be unleavened bread. But there is much debate and division over the element used to represent the blood of Christ—wine or grape juice, even though it is universally agreed that the element used must be unleavened (because that which is leavened is generally recognized to represent that which is sinful in nature).

Since the process by which an element is leavened is known in the scientific community as “fermentation” (be it bread or wine), it seems to make the most sense to use grape juice as the element to represent the blood as opposed to wine, since wine is grape juice that has been leavened or fermented. However, there are some very good and noble men—some that are recognized to be spiritual giants—who use wine for Communion. (Of course, the opposite is also true: some of the greatest men in our movement use grape juice for Communion.) Therefore, it is very unwise to suggest that those who happen to disagree with my beliefs on this subject are not saved (because “they aren’t taking Communion if they aren’t using what I use”). I believe that if a preacher sincerely believes that wine is unleavened and uses it in the Communion because he believes that, then he is taking Communion and will be saved just as much as those who are taking grape juice for Communion.

My problem with using wine for Communion is this: the natural state of the fruit of the vine is unfermented. To argue otherwise is logically irresponsible. When flour and water are mixed with other ingredients of bread, this mixture is unleavened, because it has not had time to ferment. Left alone for a few days, the dough sours (or spoils) due to the very natural process of fermentation; when it is baked after it has fermented, it is leavened bread. The same set of events transpires in grape juice to produce wine, which, I maintain, is leavened, because it has undergone the process of fermentation—the same process which produced leavened bread from the unleavened lump of dough. Hence, unleavened bread is bread baked from unfermented dough, and unleavened fruit of the vine is unfermented grape juice.

However, for the sake of my precious brethren who do not agree with me, but who vigorously maintain that alchoholic wine must be used as the symbol of the blood in the Communion service, I have spent many hours laboring in and studying the Word of God to discover any possible way that my reasoning could be flawed, or my logic fallacious. And for the sake of this discussion, I will ignore the inconsistency between insisting upon unleavened bread while using what I consider to be leavened wine for the Communion. I have come to realize that those who use wine for Communion do not deny that it is fermented; but they deny that fermentation is the process of leavening.

With this in mind, and remembering that the fruit of the vine represents the shed blood of Jesus Christ, my question is this: What happened to the blood of Jesus after it was shed that produced in it the effect that fermentation produces in grape juice? It is a matter of scientific fact that unfermented grape juice contains no alcohol; but those who use wine for the Communion make much of the fact of the power of wine (implying the intoxicating effects of the alcohol in it) and how it best represents the power of the blood of Jesus. Was the blood somehow different a few days after it was shed than it was immediately when it was shed? Was it not efficacious immediately? Or did it “see corruption”? We are told by the Scripture that his flesh saw no corruption (another word for leavening). Does this only apply to his body, or does it not also apply to his blood?

If unfermented grape juice is unfit to represent the blood of Jesus, then something in the spiritual realm had to have happened to the blood of Jesus after it was shed to correspond to the process of fermentation, by which unfermented grape juice is transformed into wine. This “event” is foreign to Scripture, and has no place in Apostolic theology; nor does it have a typical counterpart in the tabernacle ritual of the Old Testament. There is nothing in the Word to suggest that the blood of Jesus was not “precious” the instant it was shed—or even before it was shed, while it still flowed in our Savior’s veins. Indeed, the sinless life our Savior lived is what gave to his blood power to cleanse us from our sins. And though corruption and evil were all around him, yet he knew no sin; in the same manner, the elements of corruption may be all around the grape, but as long as it remains inviolate and the corruption does not penetrate the skin, the juice remains pure—uncontaminated and unleavened—and fit to be squeezed for use as the fruit of the vine, symbolic of the blood of Jesus.

To assert that freshly squeezed grape juice has no power (as a symbol of the blood) is the equivalent of asserting that the blood of Jesus had no power when it was shed. This is totally bizarre to my way of thinking. What power was in the water that was used to mix with the ashes of a red heifer? Or should the question not be, what made the water efficacious? You see, efficacy is a result of complicity with the commandments of God, not merely what something is made of. God’s ordinance, when administered by the high priest, empowered the water and ashes of the heifer to sanctify to the cleansing of the flesh. The same power is vested in grape juice when it is taken as the symbol of the blood of Jesus in the Communion. We don’t need to find the most potent alcoholic wine when administering the sacrament of communion in order to “force” the power to be in the blood any more than we need to find the cleanest, purest water in which to administer the sacrament of baptism in order to ensure the most effective cleansing from sin!

Rev Tim D. Cormier
02/25/1999

(C) Copyright held by Tim D. Cormier. This document may not be reproduced in whole or in part, except for personal use, without the express written permission of the author.

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