THREE PRECIOUS GIFTS
When the Lord Jesus returned to heaven, He left us three incredibly important things: The Spirit, the Water, and the Blood. "And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree as one." 1 Jn. 5:8. Although most Pentecostal-type churches today give only lip service to the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is still the power of God and the revealer of truth to mankind. He still gives power to cast out devils, speak in new tongues and heal the sick. Mk. 16:17:18.
"Water" often refers to the Holy Spirit; but it also speaks of the true Word of God. "That He might sanctify and cleanse it (the church) with the washing of water by the word." Eph. 5:26. (Parenthesis mine) One of the names of our Lord Jesus Christ is "The Word of God." Rev. 19:13. At the same time, the Holy Spirit is referred to as the Spirit of Jesus Christ in Philippians 1:19. The two are so intertwined and united that they are one. They cannot be separated.
THE BLOOD OF JESUS
Much attention is paid by the saints to the Holy Spirit and the Word (at least superficially) but seemingly not enough on the blood of Jesus. Yet, the Bible puts great emphasis on the blood from the very beginning. "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them." Gen. 3:21. Some innocent animal(s) had to die and shed blood in order to provide coats of skin to cover Adam and Eve. The word "cover" in the Hebrew, is also the word "atone." Before sin entered the world, there was no need for blood to atone. (No, I'm not saying that Adam and Eve repented and were forgiven and went to heaven.)
In the very next chapter, Genesis 4, blood is mentioned once again. Cain killed his brother, Abel. "And He (God) said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto Me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand." Gen. 4:10-11. (Parenthesis mine)
Detractors of Christianity often call the Bible a bloody book and a book of blood with derogatory intent. But it is true, for good reason. Only blood can atone for our sins. Lev. 17:11. Therefore, the blood deserves much respect, attention and reverence from all saints. Respect for blood was commanded in Genesis 9:4 when God forbade the eating or drinking of blood. This prohibition was carried on throughout Judaism and then Christianity until this day. Lev. 17:12; Ac. 15:20. In the Old Testament, God accepted the blood of sheep, goats, turtle doves and bullocks for the sin sacrifices made in the temple. Only blood could satisfy and mollify God because He knew that one day, the blood of His only-begotten Son, Jesus, would be shed for the sins of the world. Blood is very important to mankind. There is no other way to heaven but through the blood of Jesus.
The wages of sin is death (Ro. 6:23) and no one but Jesus could pay the price in order to free us from sin and death. The blood of Jesus is so important that God put much emphasis on blood so that we would never forget.
THE LIFE IS IN THE BLOOD
Scientists can create artificial organs such as the heart and machines that can do the work of the kidneys (dialysis), but they cannot create whole blood. They can synthesize plasma, the liquid in which corpuscles float and reach all parts of the body, but they cannot create living corpuscles. The life is in the blood and no man can create life. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: . . . For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof." Lev. 17:11, 14. The life of Jesus is in His blood.
The blood sanctifies and cleanses. In Exodus 29:20, God commanded that a ram (male sheep) be used as a sin offering. Immediately thereafter, a second ram was to be killed and the blood placed "upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about." The blood on the altar was sprinkled on Aaron and his garments and then upon his sons and their garments. Also, Lev. 8:22-24. Only then could Aaron and his sons come into the holy place.
Even before Jesus was born in the flesh, the Lord knew what awful pain and suffering His Son would have to undergo on the cross to pay for the sins of His people. The sin offering of blood in Moses' day would bring that incredible act of love to the Father's remembrance, even before Calvary happened, and the Father's heart would melt and compel Him to forgive. If thinking of Jesus' suffering and dying on the cross brings tears to your eyes, imagine how it affected the Father whenever He saw the blood of animals offered as sin sacrifices.
Placing the blood of the sacrifice on the great toe of the right foot, the right thumb and the tip of the right ear was also ordered by God for the cleansing of lepers. Lev. 14:2, 14-17. Why the blood? and why on the right big toe, thumb and ear? It was because Jesus would shed His blood on the cross one day and take upon Himself all of our afflictions and infirmities. Mt. 8:17; Is. 53:5; 1 Pet. 2:24. Today, He sits at the right hand of the Father. Ac. 2:34; Ac. 7:55; Ro. 8:34. By His stripes we were healed. The blood that flowed from the stripes that so cruelly ripped his flesh and the blood that gushed from His side when the soldier pierced His side, and from Head, hands and feet, became our sin sacrifice to the Father. The blood of Jesus takes away our afflictions and infirmities, even today and forever more.
THE BLOOD DEFEATS DEATH
One of the most significant signposts ever devised by God to foretell the coming of Jesus is found in Exodus 12. We all know it as the day of Passover when Moses was instructed to tell Pharaoh that the first born of all creatures in Egypt would die if Pharaoh refused to let God's people go. God instructed Moses to have each Hebrew household take a male lamb or goat less than a year old and without blemish and shall kill it in the evening. Ex. 12:3, 5, 6. The Lord went on to say, "And 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. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it." Ex. 12:7-8. "And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire." Ex. 12:8, 10.
That night, God would pass over Egypt and cause all the firstborn to die; but "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." Ex. 12:13. "(T)he 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." Ex. 12:23. The blood of the Lamb on the two side posts and top post (lintel) of the door turned death away. Even more so does the blood of Jesus Christ turn death away today.
JESUS, OUR PASSOVER LAMB
When Jesus came to earth in the flesh, He became the Passover Lamb that turns away death. In John 6:54-58, the Lord Jesus said,
Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is meat indeed and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
On the day of Passover, the Israelites were instructed to eat every part of the lamb that had been sacrificed. We too must "eat" or partake of all of Him, to accept the whole truth, not just the parts we want - not just the blessings, but the trials and the sufferings and the tests too. We are to be like Him.
We must take all of Jesus and believe all that He says (in the Bible which is the Word of God), and eat or take into us all of Him so that death will pass over. When we became born again of the Spirit, it was only an earnest deposit. The rest, or all of Him, comes over time as we grow into spiritual maturity into the image of Jesus Christ. We are to run the race to perfection, as the apostle Paul put it. 1 Co. 9:24-27; Phil. 3:4-17. Without the Holy Spirit of Jesus in us, we cannot get to the starting line, much less run the race. When the Holy Spirit is given to us and as we speak in new tongues, we begin the race to perfection in Jesus Christ. That is our inheritance. Ro. 8:29. We are to pursue and "eat" all of Him so that the destroyer must pass over.
John 6:54-58 above, is a spiritual truth and a hard saying. Many of His disciples murmured "and went back, and walked no more with Him" because of it. Jn. 6:61, 66. They did not understand. So it is today. Many Christians have gone back to the old covenant under the laws given to Moses and walk no more with Jesus. They may attend church regularly, but they do not walk with Him. They do not understand the spiritual significance of eating His flesh and drinking His blood. Most don't even believe in the Holy Spirit or the importance of "eating" all of His flesh and "drinking" all of His blood.
Holy Communion or the Lord's Supper is symbolic, but has a spiritual significance far beyond what the natural or carnal mind can perceive. However, it is not the physical ritual in church once a month that matters. It is the changing of our heart and nature that God is after. We are to be like Him.
THE HOLY SPIRIT AGREES W ITH THE BLOOD
Sometimes, as I teach or preach some truth in the Bible, I can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit even as I speak. Sometimes, my knees almost buckle and the hair on my neck and arms rise, or people in the audience feel as if it is raining in the room. A few times, angels appeared and someone in the congregation sees them. That's because the Holy Spirit agrees with the rhema word.
We have often taught that whenever you feel spiritually dry and have not felt the presence of God for a time, start praying the blood of Jesus and quote every scripture you can that speaks of His blood. You will invariably start to feel the presence of God. The Holy Spirit agrees with the blood and He cannot help but come to show His agreement.
If the Holy Spirit agrees with the blood and manifests Himself when the blood is prayed or scriptures on the blood are read aloud, how much more will the Holy Spirit manifest Himself in your daily life when the blood is remembered every day.
A MEMORIAL FOREVER
We are to respect His blood; nay, embrace it, love it, use it and have faith in the blood. Ro. 3:25. Blood is precious to God. Even in the New Testament, we are commanded to abstain from eating blood. Ac. 15:20.
There is always blood in heaven to remind the Father that His Son, Jesus, paid the price for our sins with His body and blood, and all the suffering He endured. Revelation 4:6 says, ".... and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain . . . ." The word "Lamb" is spelled with a capital "L." There is blood on the Lamb. The body and blood that was shed for you and me stands before the throne of God in heaven now and forever.
If the Father and all in heaven are reminded continually of the body and blood of Jesus, how more should we on earth have His body and blood on our minds constantly?
We often read the passage given by pastors everywhere whenever Holy Communion or The Lord's Supper, or Holy Eucharist is celebrated:
That the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread: 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.
I believe that the Lord wants us to remember His body and blood each and every time we eat and drink, and not merely once a month when Holy Communion is on the church calendar. If all in heaven are reminded of the body and blood of Jesus constantly, and we are citizens of the kingdom of heaven, it is of utmost importance that the body and blood of Jesus be on our minds and hearts constantly. It is the Lord's sacrifice on the cross that unites each of us in heaven and on earth.
In Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Moses instructed the people of Israel:
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
Did you know that in Judaism, faithful followers literally bind strips on their arms (seven times) containing scriptures from the Torah, and strap a tiny leather book (actually two books) containing scriptures on the top of their foreheads during morning prayer and some all day long? This is to remind them constantly of God's commandments and words. (Called Tefilin or phylacteries.) How more so should we remember His body and blood.
No, I am not trying to create a new doctrine or denomination or cult. I am merely pointing out that the body and blood of our Savior should be on our hearts and minds constantly, maybe as often as we partake of a meal. "(T)his 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." 1 Co. 11:25. Could it be that our remembrance of what He did for us on the cross should be as often as whenever we partake of a meal? After all, God commanded His people in the days of Moses to bind His words around their hand, put them as frontlets between their eyes and write them upon the posts and gates of their houses.