by Betty Miller
The sacrifice of Jesus’ life on the cross paid the price for the sins of all mankind. His spilled blood and torn flesh bring life to those who accept Him as Saviour. It is a great mystery as to why His innocent life was required as a sacrifice for your sins and mine. We cannot intellectually understand the vicarious suffering (passion) of the Lord, nor why this was the plan through which salvation would come. Those religions, however, that do not accept the atoning work of Jesus Christ have become “bloodless” theologies without power. As the Scripture says in Hebrews 9:22, “…without shedding of blood is no remission.”
Early in my Christian walk, the Lord gave me a beautiful analogy of what the blood of Jesus does for us. This was especially meaningful to me coming from a medical background. As a former laboratory technician, one of my primary duties in the lab was to examine and analyze patients’ blood samples. The revelation the Lord gave me makes a comparison between human blood and the blood of Jesus. The function of human blood in the body is to keep it healthy and alive. The same is true of the blood of Jesus. His blood keeps the body of Christ healthy and alive.
Another of the main functions of the blood in the human body is to facilitate cleansing of the system. This is also one of the main purposes the blood of Jesus does for us. As members of the body of Christ, we are in need of cleansing when we come to the Lord. This cleansing process is an ongoing operation, as we walk in the Lord, so that we will remain free from sin.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:7-9
The blood in the human body brings carbon dioxide to the lungs to be exhaled and exchanged for the oxygen needed for the body. This is done through the action of the heart beat that pumps the blood through arteries to the entire system. The veins are the blood vessels that return the blood to the heart and lungs, while the arteries carry it back to the body. The majority of people from whom I would take blood samples with a needle and syringe would comment on how dark their blood was as I removed it. I would always explain that the blood was taken from a vein. Consequently, it was full of impurities and depleted of oxygen. Therefore it was dark since it lacked oxygen that gives blood its bright red color. In accidents in which a blood vessel has been severed, one can determine whether it is a vein or artery by the color of the blood and by the flow at the point of injury. If an artery has been severed, it will be bright red and spurting out with each beat of the heart; a severed vein will ooze dark red (blackish in color) blood.
Jesus’ Blood Cleanses
Just as the body needs cleansing, we also need that cleansing work in our spirits and souls. When the Holy Spirit points out sin to us, we need to repent and confess that sin so that we can be cleansed of it. The above Scripture says that if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we will be in fellowship one with another. As Christians, if we have broken fellowship with any member in the body of Christ, one or both of us will be walking in darkness and sin. God never divides and separates His body. We should always strive to walk in peace and harmony with all of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Of course, if there are those who refuse to fellowship with us, then we must leave them in the hands of the Lord and pray for them. However, we should be very sure that there is nothing at our end of the relationship that is preventing fellowship, lest we be guilty of “walking in the dark.”
If there are those who are rebellious and refuse to “walk in the light,” then the church leadership should seek the Lord as to how to handle the problem. Perhaps the Lord would have the fellowship fast and pray for those individuals. The Spirit of Christ always seeks to reconcile any division. He requires those that are strong to bear the burdens of those that are weak. The Lord would have those that are mature to pray for and love those that are immature. If those involved in conflict would put on the nature of Christ during those times, the Lord would bring forth victory each time.
We are not to defend our position, but are to trust God to defend us even if we have been unduly wronged. Fighting back with words and hostile feelings only compounds the problem. We must ask for God’s grace and love for those who oppose us. We must recognize it is the enemy at work against our marriages, homes, friendships and churches. Dependence upon God and His tools is the only way for our victory to come. If we are to be cleansed and purged by the Lord, we must yield completely to Him and His working in conflicting situations.
If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee from youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. 2 Timothy 2:21-26
Not only does the blood of Jesus bring cleansing to the body, but the Scripture says in Hebrews 9:14 that it will “…purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” The Lord desires that all the evil in our hearts and minds and consciences be purged so that we can have the mind of Christ. This cleansing process is accomplished by applying the Word of God to our lives. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you (John 15:3). By fellowshipping with the Word (Jesus) and reading the Word (the Bible), we shall be made clean. The more of His Word that we know and apply, the cleaner our vessel shall be. The Word of God cleanses and the blood of Jesus cleanses. When Jesus offered up His blood, He did it so that you and I could become clean, holy vessels.
Life Is in the Blood
The blood of Jesus also brings life to us, just as the blood in the physical body carries the life. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat (Genesis 9:4). Those who do not know the Lord Jesus are dead and have no life in them. Also, those who refuse to accept Christ will never have any life in them.
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you… He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. John 6:53, 56
Anything that is not life is not from the Lord. Death and sickness are the enemies of man. “Jesus said, The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
If we do not accept the life of Christ, eternal death will result. Just as life leaves when the blood flows out of the natural body, so it is true with those who have not the divine flow within their veins.
Sin Requires Shedding of Blood
Under the Old Testament law, the penalty for men’s sins (that were not punishable by death) was the sacrifice of an animal’s life. The shedding of blood was required to atone for their sin. We might wonder why such a terrible thing was required by God. Why were innocent little lambs and doves slain and their blood sprinkled on the altar? Perhaps we can understand this if we place ourselves in the situation of being instructed to kill an animal for telling a lie or committing some other sin. When one must kill an innocent animal because of his sin, it illustrates the awfulness of sin. God wanted man to understand that when he sinned, it meant death for something or someone.
If we were still under the Old Testament law today, we would be required to take a little lamb and kill it for our sins. This would be difficult for most of us because we would cringe at the thought of slaying anything innocent. The Lord wanted us to realize that the penalty of sin would cause a life to be taken. When people had to take a little dove and bring it to be slain upon an altar as an offering for their sins, the impact of sin became real to them. Sin always requires a sacrifice.
Today, we have the Spirit of God that cleanses us from our sins as we confess them. Jesus was the lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and His death and shed blood paid the price for sin once and for all. No longer does an animal need to be offered for our sins.
In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:6-9
Jesus’ Blood Gives Health and Strength
Another function of the human blood is its capacity to bring healing to the physical body. Human blood is composed of more than just red blood cells. In fact, over half (55 percent) of our blood is not red at all. It is a clear liquid, known as plasma, that is 92 percent water. The other 8 percent includes many essential substances necessary to keep our bodies healthy. These are proteins, hormones, vitamins, enzymes and salts. Should the body become ill, the blood alters its normals to adjust and promote healing. The white blood cells (leucocytes) are the body’s first line of defense against bacterial invaders. When bacteria enter the body, white blood cells are produced in great numbers. They travel to the infection and engulf the invaders. The blood of Jesus spiritually does the same for the body of Christ. When Satan invades, the Holy Spirit stands ready to come to our aid and bring the needed healing. The Lord desires that we walk in divine health. If we stay in close communion with Him, we will find our spiritual man will not become sick and depleted, needing continual healing. Satan tries to drain us of our spiritual strength and weaken us to the point where we have no resistance against His attacks. Staying in the flow of God’s Spirit prevents this, as we then have His strength to overcome and walk victoriously.
The natural body becomes weak when proper diet and rest are neglected. This results in a condition commonly referred to as “tired blood.” The medical name for this is “anemia,” and it is due to the lack of iron in the red blood cells. The iron compound in the red blood cells is medically termed “hemoglobin.” When this is low, the body becomes weary and fatigued. The blood carries this compound to all parts of the body to bring strength. We, as Christians, are admonished to “…be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10). Weakness is just another attack of the devil. We are to be strong in our spirits, souls, and bodies.
Christians should not be spineless individuals, but strong in their witness for the Lord. Timidity and shyness can be overcome through Jesus by asking Him for His holy boldness. Many people suffer needlessly, unable to speak the things in their hearts, because of fear and timidity. Jesus wants them free. We are to be strong people, not weak individuals. Physically, we can also call upon the Lord to strengthen us when we are weary. We are not to walk in weakness but in the Lord’s strength. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees (Isaiah 35:3). Weakness is another area in which we must resist and learn to claim the Lord’s strength. Of course, if we have been abusing our bodies, we need to correct our habits and get the proper rest and diet. However, if we have been doing this, sometimes the problem is a spiritual one and needs to be dealt with through prayer. When we are about the Lord’s business, He gives us the energy and vitality to accomplish those things that require our attention.
We must remember that when we give our lives to the Lord, all that we do becomes His business. We do not have to serve the Lord in the capacity of a minister to be in His service and claim His power. Average people become more than average when they become children of God. What is normal for the children of this world is not normal for the body of Christ. We have our values messed up because we have not looked to God’s Word for our “norm” or standard. It is not normal for a Christian to be weak, fearful, depressed, grieved, or sick. These things are abnormal for God’s people. However, so many of God’s people have accepted the world’s standards that they are walking far below their privileges.
Another thing that can cause people to be weak and sickly is for them to take the communion of the Lord without first examining themselves to see if any sin is present in their lives.
And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 1 Corinthians 11:24-30
The taking of communion is one of the church sacraments that represents the spiritual communion with our Lord. The reason we are to examine ourselves before we take the wine and the bread is so that there is nothing in our hearts that would prevent our communion with God. If we do not have the proper relationship with members of the Lord’s body, then we cannot have a proper relationship with God.
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. 1 John 4:20-21
If we have been taking of Christ’s blood (abiding in His Spirit) and eating his flesh (assimilating His Word), then we will have blessed communion with the Father. We shall walk in health and strength for they are the Lord’s blessing and promise. When we do not walk in the Lord we find our spiritual body becomes unhealthy, and we begin to have problems.
There is a blood disease called leukemia that attacks some people. This occurs when the white blood cells begin to multiply too rapidly. Under normal conditions man has only around 5,000 white blood cells for every 5,000,000 red blood cells per cubic millimeter of blood. When this condition changes drastically, it indicates sickness in the body. The disease of leukemia is caused by runaway cells that are cancerous and in rebellion. When we become rebellious toward God, we cause the same condition to occur in our spiritual lives. We find that spiritual cancer will eat away our life. We must ask the Lord to deliver us from all rebellion and submit to His will in order to remain healthy. The Bible says in 1 Samuel 15:23: “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubborness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee…” We must yield to the Lord to remain spiritually and physically healthy. The Lord will minister to us the things we need to stay in proper spiritual condition.
Fed Through the Blood
Another purpose of the blood is to distribute the needed nutrients to all parts of the body. Because of what Jesus’ blood purchased for us, we also receive spiritual nutrients. The plasma of the blood carries the proteins, hormones, vitamins, enzymes and salts throughout the body. God feeds us through the Word by quickening (making alive) the right word to us. If we have need of comfort, He will show us the Scriptures in His Word that bring comfort. And, because the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, He will bring that to our spirits. When we are submitted to Him, we will be fed the proper word so that we may grow in Him. If we are not submitted, we can become imbalanced in our spiritual lives. The same is true in the physical body. If diabetes is present, too much blood sugar is produced and the body suffers because of this condition. The written Word of God must be balanced by the Spirit of God. The letter of the law will kill and bring death, but the Spirit brings life. 2 Corinthians 3:6 says, “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”
When we get out of balance, we become spiritually ill. We must continually rely on Jesus to bring us the truth and the life. In the spiritual as well as the natural, we must not only have the proper diet, but the proper exercise also. Just knowing the Word is not enough; we must apply the Word for it to work. Many people become spiritual gluttons as they listen to good teachings over and over, but they do not apply the truth to their own lives. We must use what we hear. We are instructed not only to be hearers of the Word, but doers of the Word.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Romans 10:17
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22
By applying the blood of Jesus to our lives, we shall have His life.
Protection Through the Blood
Protection is another benefit of the blood. This does not mean that if we chant “the blood of Jesus” repeatedly we will not be harmed. Some people have made a fetish of Jesus’ blood by pleading the blood over themselves, over their houses, and sprinkling the blood here and there. It is not the chanting of “the blood of Jesus” that brings protection, but rather faith in what the blood of Jesus has done for us. Expressions such as “the devil cannot cross the blood line” are futile unless one’s faith is in the protection secured by the shed blood of Jesus on Calvary. It is what is behind the blood, not the mere speaking of the blood that brings protection. Of course, we can voice our faith in Jesus’ blood, and as we do so there is power in those words. We should, however, understand that mere speaking is not sufficient unless our words are backed by real faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
A beautiful type of this is found in Exodus 12:13: “And 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.”
When the Lord sent the plague to destroy the Egyptians because of their refusal to release Israel, He instructed His people to slay a lamb and place the blood on the upper and side doorposts of their houses, so that the death angel would not come into that house. Because they had faith in God and obeyed His command, all that were in those houses were spared.
Blood Covenant For Your Household
Today, our faith in the Lord’s blood can bring salvation to our households too. If we have unsaved loved ones, we must remember to claim their souls and believe for their salvation, just as the first Passover was followed in Egypt. It was “a lamb for a house.” One member of that household sprinkled the blood on the door and all beneath the roof were safe, for God’s covenant was with them. That covenant is still good today.
Rahab is another beautiful type of the Lord saving an entire family by one woman’s faith. By faith, Rahab put out the scarlet thread, which is a type of the blood of Christ, and saved all of her family (Joshua 2:18).
In the New Testament we also find an account of the Philippian jailer who cried out, …what must I do to be saved? Paul replied, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:30-31). Our families are promised redemption if we believe. The angel promised Cornelius that Peter would tell him words whereby he and all his house should be saved. “Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved” (Acts 11:14).
What are the conditions we must meet in order to make this “Blood Covenant” effective for our loved ones? First, we must consecrate our lives fully to God. Then we must take the matter to the Lord and put in a definite claim for the salvation of our kindred. As we claim them, let the Spirit of God lead in how we are to pray for each of them. Some are led “with strong crying and tears” (travail), others by fasting since it will break Satan’s hold. For some a steady faith applied for their souls will bring them into the kingdom. If we are claiming our children, remember we must first “…bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). We must lay a good foundation by teaching them God’s Word. If the children are grown and we have failed to do this because we were not walking in God’s light at the time, we need to repent and ask God in His mercy to save them. We should not allow Satan to condemn us after we have repented, but trust the Lord to redeem those lost years. He is able, no matter how deep in sin those rebellious children have become.
Next, we must leave our loved ones in the hands of the Lord and trust Him to bring them in. We must not allow doubt and unbelief to plague us as we are trusting Jesus to bring them to salvation and deliverance. We must never fear that the Lord will bring evil upon them to save them. Our prayers of mercy, forgiveness and protection will keep them safe until they respond to the Holy Spirit. ”No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44).
Another very important step is to bind Satan away from our loved ones. We must command the devil to release their hearts, minds, emotions and wills. We must exercise our spiritual authority over the enemy for their souls. After we have done these things, then we must stand firm and believe God through “thick and thin” until they come to Him. Our faith will not fail as long as we look to God for the answer. If they seem to go farther away from God after we have claimed them, we must keep our eyes off them and firmly fixed on the God of the Covenant, believing and praising Him for their salvation.
Here is a sample prayer that will give us an idea how to pray for loved ones who are lost:
“Father, I come believing that Your Word is true; I am claiming each and every member of my family for the kingdom of God. Lord, I ask that You forgive their sins and be merciful to them. Lord, keep Your hand over them and protect them from the enemy until they come to You. Father, ‘woo and draw’ them by Your Holy Spirit and convict them of their sins. Send them the right people to testify to them. Send the Word to them so that they will hear of Your love and grace. Now Lord, I speak to Satan and command him to loose his hold on their minds, hearts, wills and emotions. I declare he is a defeated foe in their lives and their souls are now claimed for the Lord. Lord, I trust You to deal with each of them in Your mercy, and believe that You will do a quick work in their lives. By faith I now believe they are in the family of God. Amen.”
Now we must trust the goodness of God to lead them to repentance. Never believe Satan’s lies that it might take a tragedy to get them to believe. Satan would like to destroy them with a tragedy so that they will never be saved. The work of the Holy Spirit and the goodness of God is what saves people, not tragedies. ”Or despiseth thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Romans 2:4).
Overcoming Satan Through The Blood
We can overcome Satan in our lives and the lives of our loved ones by claiming the atoning work of Christ and His blood shed for us. Revelation 12:11 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.”
Our faith in what the blood of Jesus does for us will bring us the victory. We are never to walk in condemnation, but in the righteousness of Christ. When we are “born again,” we then have Christ’s righteousness, so “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). We can boldly come before the Lord washed clean in the blood of Jesus. We can have not only sweet fellowship, but also access to the power and authority of Christ. We can now speak the Word and it will come to pass because we ask in the name of Jesus. Revelation 12:11 says, “And they overcame him (the devil)… by the word of their testimony”. This does not mean our individual testimonies of what the Lord has done for us, but rather our testimony of the Word of God. As we speak the words of the Old and New Testaments, we overcome the devil. God’s Word will overcome any situation. We must allow the Word of the Lord to abide in us so that we can speak it forth and overcome. “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7).
The last part of this verse in Revelation 12:11 says, “…and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Faith in the blood of Jesus, the Lamb, and speaking the Word of God are not enough to get the victory over Satan. We must also lay down our lives to the degree that we would be willing to die for Christ’s sake. If we do not have this kind of commitment, then somewhere along the way we shall fail, no matter how strong we are in faith or the Word. A total commitment is required if we are to be an overcomer. A half-hearted commitment will fail us. We must be willing to go anywhere, do anything, and give up anything for the cause of Christ. Some of us have never been overcomers in the lesser issues of life, yet are claiming big things for God. The way to get the victory is to daily crucify our flesh and obey the Lord in the little things, then we will be able to overcome in bigger realms.
We may think we have made a total commitment and have crucified our flesh. However, a good check to see if we have “died to self” would be to read the following:
“Dying to Self”
When you are purposely set aside, rejected, forgotten, and hurt with the insult of oversight — but your spirit sings because you are being counted worthy to suffer for Christ, that is “Dying to Self.” When your advice is disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and all manner of evil is spoken against you, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but take it all with patient, loving silence, that is “dying to self.” When you do not allow any disorder, irregularity or arrogance to come against your peace, when you are face to face with filth, waste, stupidity or spiritual pride, and endure it as Jesus endured it, that is “dying to self.” When you are content with the location you live, the climate, the society, the solitude of the “backside of the desert,” and are willing to have your plans changed or interrupted by the will of God at any moment, that is “dying to self.” When you never care to have others know of your good works, and never refer to yourself in conversation, or even care to have anyone commend you, when you truly love to be the unknown, that is “dying to self.” When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met, and can honestly rejoice with him in the Spirit, and feel no envy, nor question God as to why your own needs are not being met, that is “dying to self.” When you can receive correction and reproof, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up in your heart, that is “dying to self.”
Are you “dead to self?” At this hour, the Holy Spirit would bring us to the cross.
Dying to the flesh means making choices, dying to our ways and living to the Lord’s ways. The power of man’s will can either make him an overcomer or send him to hell. If we set our will with the will of God, we can become that overcomer. We are promised many blessings as we follow the Lord, and on the other side of the coin there are curses for going our own way. We must choose. Isaiah 1:19-20 says, “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” The Lord wants to heal us, bless us and make us whole. The choice is ours. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
God is always looking for a willing mind and a perfect heart. He wants to use those who qualify, even as He used the great men and women of the Bible. We must choose and obey, even as Solomon did when he built the temple.
And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever. Take heed now; for the Lord hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it. 1 Chronicles 28:9-10
Healing of the spirit, soul and body always begins with the choice to follow Jesus and the subsequent choices to continue to walk with Him. To receive complete wholeness, we must make a complete commitment, even as our Lord spoke the greatest commandment of God.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:37-40