"To testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24
**PUBLISHED AS A MISSION PROJECT OF PILGRIMS HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH**
March 1, 1993
THE BLESSEDNESS OF THE FIRST RESURRECTION
By Wayne Camp
"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. this is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with him a thousand years."
As most of our readers know, I do not write a great deal about end-time events. In my early ministry I preached and wrote of those events much more than I do now. I could lay out things in the exact order in which they would occur. I could paint you a clear picture of the judgment seat of Christ, the marriage of the Lamb and his bride, the white throne judgment, the 1000 year reign, and the new heavens and earth. At least 50% of the students in my first year class at the Seminary were brilliant authorities and discerning experts on eschatology though most of us did not know the word existed at that time. Many free periods were spent in minute analysis of these subjects.
In the last 10 or 15 years I seem to have had some kind of mental relapse, and confess that I am not nearly as sharp on eschatology as I was in those wonderful years back then. I feel that I have advanced in every other field of Biblical knowledge, except this one, in the last few years. Why I have gained ground every where else and have regressed in my understanding of end-time order and events, I simply cannot explain.
But, do not take my reluctance to write and preach on these matters as evidence that I do not believe they are important and wonderful to contemplate. Included in the great work of salvation as purposed by God, purchased by Jesus Christ, and applied by the Holy Spirit, is our glorification, and that is accomplished at the time of our resurrection.
Our text declares that there is a FIRST RESURRECTION. The fact that there is a first clearly implies that there is at least a SECOND RESURRECTION. Now a first resurrection could imply that there are several, resurrections, but it certainly implies there is at least a second resurrection. It is the first resurrection that I wish to call to your attention in this message.
THE PRECIOUS PRIVILEGES
OF THOSE IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION
There are at least three blessings which those in the first resurrection will be privileged to enjoy. I want to call your attention to these.
The saved will have precedence over the lost in the resurrection from the dead. There are two resurrections set forth in the text. These two resurrections are 1000 literal years apart if the text is to be taken literally. I believe they are literal years, but, suppose they are not and the 1000 years simply indicate a long period of time. It still indicates that there is a separation of the two resurrections by a long period of time, be it a thousand years or more. The first resurrection is specifically designated as the resurrection of the saints. "Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming" (I Cor. 15:23). At his second coming the man Christ Jesus will raise up all those who have died trusting him as Saviour. Yes, it will be the Man Christ Jesus who will raise up the saints at his coming. Note what Paul says in a previous verse. "For since by man came death, by MAN came also the resurrection of the dead" (I Cor. 15:21). It was the man Christ Jesus who shed his human blood on the cross. It was the man Christ Jesus whose human soul was made an offering for sin. And, it is the man Christ Jesus by whom we will be raised from the dead in the that glorious first resurrection.
In this resurrection, death will be swallowed up in victory. "Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory" (I Cor. 15:54). There is no way that the lost could be included in this resurrection. There will be no victory for them in their resurrection. All in this resurrection will have victory over death. Those in the second resurrection will be tormented in the second death. This is not their resurrection. This is the resurrection of the saints.
"Blessed and holy" they are for they are in the first resurrection and over them the first death no longer has any power and the second death can never have any power over them. The first resurrection is the resurrection of those who have died with their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They sleep in Jesus and he will bring their souls from glory with him. They will then be reunited with their bodies which he will raise up from the grave and glorify. Those saints which are still alive at his coming will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye and will be caught up together with the resurrected saints to meet the Lord in the air. From that day forward we will forever be with him where ever he is. We will be with him then, we will be with him when he reigns on this earth for a wonderful thousand years. When all things are made new, and time shall be no more, in the ages of the ages we will be with him where he is beholding his glory as he sits on his throne in his everlasting dominion. I am glad I am assured by his marvelous saving and keeping power that I will be in the first resurrection, either as a resurrected or a raptured saint (I Thes. 4:13-17).
In the event that I have not made it perfectly clear, the first resurrection will precede the resurrection of the damned by a period of 1,000 years. Look again at our text. ". . . and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." I believe the first resurrection is a literal, bodily resurrection of the saints. I believe the second resurrection is a literal, bodily resurrection of the damned. If the first resurrection is a literal resurrection and the second resurrection is a literal resurrection, I see no ground or reason to not believe that the 1,000 years separating them is a literal thousand years.
It is obvious that the second resurrection is literal. The inspired apostle goes on to say, "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them . . . ." (v-13). The language here clearly indicates that at least some of those in this resurrection are raised bodily. When the sea gives up the dead that are in it, surely it is their bodies.
If I take the position that the first resurrection is regeneration, then I must take the position that the second resurrection is also regeneration. The word translated lived in each case is translated from the same Greek word. It is in exactly the same form in both places. "They lived (ezasan) and reigned . . . " "The rest of the dead lived (ezasan) not again . . The word is not only spelled the same in the Greek, it has identically the same diacritical markings. Of the statement concerning the saints living and reigning, John Gill said, ". . . 'and they lived;' meaning not spiritually, for so they did before, and whilst they bore their testimony to Christ, and against antichrist, and previous to their death; nor in their successors, for it would not be just and reasonable that they should be beheaded for their witness of Christ and his word and others should live and reign with Christ in their room and stead; nor is this to be understood of their living in their souls, for so they live in their separate state; the soul never dies; God is not the God of the dead, but of the living: but the sense is, that they lived corporeally; their souls lived in their bodies, their bodies being raised again and reunited to their souls, their whole persons lived; or the souls of them that were beheaded lived; that is, their bodies lived again, the soul being sometimes put for the body, Psa. 16:10, and this is called the first resurrection." Again Gill says, "This resurrection is not meant of a resurrection from the death of sin to a life of grace; though the work of grace and conversion is sometimes so represented, it cannot be designed here; for such a resurrection the above witnesses and worshippers were partakers of before their sufferings, and which was antecedently necessary to their witness and worship; besides, this resurrection was future in John's time, and was what was to be done at once, and was peculiar to the commencement of the thousand years; whereas the spiritual resurrection was before his time, and has been ever since the beginning, and is successive in all ages, and not affixed to any one period of time, though there may be more instances of it in one age than another; nor is this every called the first resurrection."
Gill goes on to say of the rest of the dead, "Meaning not the dead saints, for they'll be all raised together, but the wicked dead; and not them as morally or spiritually, but as corporeally dead: these lived not again until the thousand years were finished; so that there will be such an exact term of years between the resurrection of the saints and the resurrection of the wicked . . for the wicked dead will not be raised with the saints at Christ's coming, and the wicked living will be destroyed in the conflagration of the world, and neither of them shall live again until the end of these years."
In the beginning of this point I said the saved have precedence over the lost in the resurrection. It is obvious that there is at least a thousand years difference in the time of the two resurrections. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection.
In this first resurrection Christ will change the vile body of those whom he raises up and will fashion them like unto his glorious body (Phil. 3:20-21). We look for him to come from heaven and raise us up in his likeness. Oh, the blessedness of being in the first resurrection.
Jesus clearly distinguishes between the two resurrections in an answer to the Sadducees concerning the resurrection (Lu. 20:27-36). I will not give the passage due to the length of it but there are two portions that are very pertinent to our discussion. He speaks of the saints as "they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead . . . ." Obviously, he is speaking of the resurrection of the saints here, as opposed to the resurrection of the damned. Our worthiness to obtain that world and the resurrection from the dead lies in the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the next verse he specifies that it is "the children of God" who are also the "children of the resurrection."
Jesus also refers to this resurrection of the children of God as the resurrection of the just. "Thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just" (Lu. 14:14).
Paul refers to some who will obtain a "better resurrection" (Heb. 10:35). I have no doubt that some of the saved will have a better resurrection than others due to faithfulness in God's service. The Bible teaches that some will receive a full rewards and some will suffer loss. This is probably something of what Paul had in mind in this verse. On the other hand, there is no doubt that the first resurrection will be far better than the second.
Jesus also spoke of the fact that some would come forth in the resurrection unto life while others would be raised in the resurrection of the damned. (Jn. 5:29) Others, he said, will come forth unto the resurrection of damnation. So, there is a resurrection unto life; there is also a resurrection unto damnation. This fits in so well with the theme of Rev. 20:4-6. The first resurrection is the resurrection unto life. The rest of the dead who live not again until the end of the thousand years are in the resurrection of damnation.
This first resurrection will also involve the rapture of the living saints. "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (I Cor. 15:51-52). There is no doubt that this first resurrection involves also the changing of the bodies of the living saved. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thes. 4:16-17). No wonder John would write, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection." To use a term coined by someone, "Whether we take the cloud route or the clod route" it will be a blessed thing to be in the first resurrection.
Another blessed privilege of those who are in the first resurrection is that the second death has no power over them. "On such the second death hath no power" (Rev. 20:6). Those in this resurrection will have victory of death and the grave and the second death is powerless to ever hurt them. The second death is the lake of fire. ". . . the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." There is absolutely no way that one of those in the first resurrection will ever end up in the torments of the lake of fire which is the second death. Only the lost, those who have never trusted Jesus Christ as Saviour will ever need to fear the second death. At the cross Jesus endured its pain and suffering in behalf of his people. Our sins were laid on him and he paid a price in suffering that we could not pay if we spent ten eternities in the lake of fire. The only way that one of those who trust Christ could ever be hurt of the second death is if God would render null and void all that Christ has ever done for the salvation of his people. That will never be done for God was fully satisfied and totally propitiated for the sins of the elect at Calvary. All those who were given to Christ in the covenant of grace will surely come to Christ and not one will ever be cast out (Jn. 6:37). Since we will never be cast out, there is no way we could ever be hurt of the second death.
The third blessed privilege of those in the first resurrection is to live and reign with Christ for 1000 years. As I have said before, the reign will be preceded and followed by literal resurrections, the first of the saved and the second of the unsaved. This assures me that what happens between these two literal resurrections should also be taken literally. Now if someone could prove conclusively that the first resurrection is not literal, I would listen to him try to show that the 1000 years is not literal. If someone could show that the second resurrection mentioned in the text is not a literal resurrection, then that would lend some validity to the argument that the 1000 years is not literal. If the two resurrections are real, literal resurrections, it seems that it is logical to conclude that the 1000 years is also real and literal.
I believe that there is other evidence that there will be a literal reign of Christ on the earth. David wrote, "For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth. Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke basically the same words as David and the time when the meek would inherit the earth was still future. "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth" (Mat. 5:5).
The meek had not inherited the earth by the end of the ministry of Christ or surely he would not have been crucified. Follow the Apostle Paul through his missionary journeys and see the times he is beaten, jailed and mistreated. There is no evidence that the meek had inherited the earth during his ministry. Look to the island of Patmos where John has been exiled because of his testimony for Jesus Christ. Surely this exile would not have occurred if the meek had inherited the earth then. Consider the dark ages. The days when 50,000,000 martyrs were slain because of their stand for the truth. Had the meek inherited the earth then? The meek have been hounded, persecuted, imprisoned, impaled on stakes and set fire, and endured all manner of persecution on this earth. At this very time in history crime is rampant, drugs and alcohol are rampant, unborn children are being murdered by the hundreds every day, homosexuals are having a hey day, and sexual promiscuity is raging. Does it appear to any reader that the meek have inherited the earth?
But, Dear Reader, we will! Yes, we will inherit the earth. The prophets said we would. Our Lord Jesus Christ said we would. We will! We surely will! When Christ showed to John the things which shall be hereafter, John saw that those in the first resurrection "lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." In that wonderful song which is recorded in Rev. 5:9-10 it is said, "And we shall reign on the earth." As heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ we shall inherit the earth and reign thereon. When will this begin? After the first resurrection. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection."
If the rapture and first resurrection were to occur today, would you be ready? I pray that every reader has blessed assurance that the blessed privileges of the first resurrection will be yours to enjoy. There is but one way they can be yours. You must know Jesus as your Saviour. Have you believed on him for everlasting life? Have you committed your eternal destiny to his keeping? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? If not, can you now trust him? Will you now trust him?
WAYNE CAMP AIN'T A-MILLENNIAL
I usually, for the most part, ignore rumors. Often, when one is started, the attempt to answer it is looked upon as an admission that there is some substance to it. However, I am going to make an exception.
Word has come to me from one source that it has been told that Wayne Camp is an A-millennialist. IT AIN'T SO! Drunk or sober, I have never preached or taught anything but the PRE-MILLENNIAL return of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. I say I have never taught it drunk because I have never been drunk. I have never taught it sober because I have never believed the post-millennial view of the return of Jesus Christ. I have never believed the a-millennial view of the return of Jesus Christ. I have never believed the pan-millennial view of the return of Jesus Christ. I am a pre-millennialist from the top of my head to the sole of my feet.
Now, I am not writing this to bash my brethren who differ with me on eschatology. I am writing it to correct a falsehood, and to glorify our blessed Lord and Sovereign, Jesus Christ.
I interpret Rev. 20:4-6 literally. I believe that when Christ comes for his saints they will be caught up to meet him in the air. When he comes to the earth and sets his feet upon this earth again, his saints will come with him. I believe he will reign for a literal 1,000 years upon this earth and we will reign with him. At the end of the 1,000 years there will be a renovation of the first and second heaven and of the earth. This will be accomplished by judgmental fire.
After this, there will be new heavens and a new earth and time will be no more. When we've been there ten thousand years, we've no less days to sing God's praise than when we first began.
Anyone who peddles the idea that Wayne Camp is an a-millennialist is either mean or green, as a Campbellite would say. He either knows better, but is simply mean enough to peddle a lie in an effort to hurt, or he is ignorant of the truth and has not bothered to ask Wayne Camp what his position is.
CURRENT LORDSHIP OF CHRIST: YES!!
Having said emphatically, absolutely, unequivocally, and forcefully, that I am a pre- millennialist, let me say that I do believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, he is King, he is ruling, right now, both in the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. God raised him up from the dead "to sit on his throne" (Acts 2:30). Even during his earthly ministry, Nathanael, without correction from the Lord Jesus Christ, declared, "Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel" (Jn. 1:49). Peter said, "God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36). "Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour" (Acts 5:31).
God has put all things under the feet, the authority, the rule of Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:22). This was not a prophetic statement. Paul was speaking of the time in which he wrote. God had delivered all authority in heaven and in earth into the hands of the Son (Matt. 28:18-20. Jesus Christ is not waiting to be King of kings; he is King of kings. Jesus Christ is not waiting to be Lord of lords; he is Lord of lords. God has highly exalted him and given him a name that is above every name. God has given him authority over all other authority. Jesus Christ is now doing his will in the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth and none can stay his hand. He works all things after the counsel of his own will. He is in the heavens and does as he pleases. He does as he pleases in heaven, in the earth, in the sea, and in all deep places.
That he is now Lord and King, that he is now ruling and controlling all things so fully that even the wrath of man is caused to praise him, does not preclude or prevent him from coming to this earth, bodily and visibly, and ruling for a glorious thousand years.
Therefore, I say to any who want to circulate something, "Go and tell all whom you would that Wayne Camp preaches that Jesus Christ is now on the throne. Tell them that Wayne Camp believes that the king's heart is in the hand of the King and he turns it whithersoever he will. Tell them that Wayne Camp believes that Jesus Christ is, Is, IS, now Lord, Master, King omnipotent and that he reigns."
When old Pontius Pilate wrote the inscription, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews," he wrote truth. When we read that he is highly exalted and raised up from the dead to sit on his throne we read truth. Let us proclaim it.
I am so glad that some liar started the rumor on me because it gave me another occasion to lift up my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, as the Sovereign ruler of the universe, now and forever. He is King and Ruler now. He will be King and Ruler during the millennium, the 1,000 year reign, and he will be King and Ruler eternally. In him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead, and if there were ever a time that any body or any thing ruled other than the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, that person or thing would dethrone him and would himself of itself be God. But, Praise be to our omnipotent, triune God, nothing has ever or will ever rule above him.
So, go tell it on the mountains, over the hills and every where that Jesus Christ reigns now, he will reign on the earth for 1,000 years, and he will reign forever. His dominion is an everlasting dominion.óWayne Campó
ELDER EARL SMITH RETIRES
My long time friend and brother in the ministry, Bro. Earl Smith has resigned the Portland Baptist Church of Plumerville, Arkansas, where he had been pastor since April 14, 1957. The resignation was effective February 1, 1993. The church has called Bro. Lindy Davis of Washington, IL, as pastor. He planned to be on the field by the first Sunday in February and I understand he has made it.
Bro. Smith is not retiring from preaching. He will continue to preach in conferences and meetings when and where the Lord opens the door. I am sure he will be available to fill the pulpit for other pastors when needed. Bro. Smith's phone number and mailing address will remain the same it has been for years. His mailing address is: P. O. Box 44, Plumerville, AR 72127. His phone number is (501) 354-4100. We wish Bro. Smith many more years of service on a less demanding schedule.óWayne Campó
Editor's Note: Since the account of Bro. Smith's retirement was announced, he has returned to pastoral work. (This is being posted to the WWW on June 12, 2000)
WHY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST IS POWERFUL
By Wayne Camp
In recent issues I have written on the blood of Christ. In November I wrote of the human blood of Jesus Christ. Then, in the February issue, I wrote of the preciousness of the blood of Christ. Now, I come before you to set forth some reasons WHY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST IS POWERFUL.
Down through the ages many gallons of blood were shed in the sacrifices offered up by the people of God. In none of that blood and in all of that blood combined, there was not the power that was in the blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Men have shed their blood, but no blood, be it the blood of men or beast, no blood could equal in power the blood of Jesus Christ. So I propose to set forth some of the reasons the blood of Christ is powerful.
THE BLOOD OF CHRIST IS POWERFUL BECAUSE IT IS THE BLOOD OF GOD'S APPOINTED SACRIFICIAL LAMB
Before there was ever a mountain on earth, yea, even before the earth was created, God appointed Jesus Christ to be the Person of the Godhead who would come into the earth, live, suffer, shed his blood, and die, to make atonement for those given to him in the covenant of grace. Peter affirms that he is the spotless Lamb who was "foreordained before the foundation of the world" (I Pet. 1:18-20).
He is the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" and there has never been a time when his blood was without the power to save. His blood was not actually shed until the human family was at least 4,000 years old. But, because of the Divine ordination of his suffering and shedding his blood, it was as though it was already shed. I have said and have heard others say, "Men were saved on the credit before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ." The very fact that God had purposed and ordained that his blood be shed was enough for it to have the power to save even before he came and actually died.
I am reminded of those familiar and wonderful words of John the Baptist. "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." The fact that he designated him as the Lamb indicated that he would be sacrificed for sin. The fact that he was designated as the Lamb of God is further evidence that he was the divinely appointed Lamb. And then, he proclaims the marvelous power of Christ to take away sin. Such powerful blood that was shed when the sinless Son of God died on Golgotha!
He was the Lamb whom God sent into the world and given authority over all flesh so that he could and would give eternal life to as many as the Father had given to him. He said the Father had given him power over all flesh that he should give eternal life to as many as the Father had given to him. The most stubborn thing in the world is the fleshly nature of man. God gave Christ power over all flesh in order that and for the purpose that he give eternal life to all whom the Father had given him. No flesh can resist his power to give eternal life to those given to him by the Father. Yes, my dear reader, there is power in the blood of Jesus Christ to give eternal life to every one of his people. "For he shall save his people from their sins."
THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST IS POWERFUL BECAUSE IT IS THE BLOOD OF GOD'S SPOTLESS LAMB
The blood of a sinner could never take away sin. I say this because the blood of a sinner could never have the power to take away sin. But, the man Christ Jesus was without spot or blemish when he shed his blood. No other sacrifice was ever so spotless and so without blemish. He was the impeccable Lamb. Not only was he without sin; he was incapable of sin because of the union of the Divine nature with the human nature.
While our Lord knew about sin and would die for sin, he was so without sin that Paul declares he "knew no sin." (II Cor. 5:21). It was not even within his nature to sin. Satan had no place to work in his nature to entice him to sin. He never new a sinful thought. He never entertained feelings of covetousness. He never lusted after nor even desired that which was sinful. "He did no sin" (I Pet. 2:22). He committed no act of violence, according to Isa. 53:9.
When Jesus was being taunted by the religious leaders of Israel, he was so assured of his perfect record that he asked, "Which of you convinceth me of sin" (Jn. 8:46). If there had been any flaw in his character or any waywardness in his conduct you can be assured they would have found it. They always listened to him with a critical ear and watch him with critical eyes. When they sought to convict and crucify him they had to employ professional liars to bring a charge against him.
Even the most godly saint of God is so sinful that he must sometimes cry out as Paul and say, "O wretched man that I am." He is compelled, in all honesty to say, "When I want to do good, evil is present with me." Not so with our blessed Lord and powerful Saviour, Jesus Christ. We might deceive ourselves and say we have no sin. We might even deceive others for a while and make them think we live without sin. But, sooner or later the truth will reveal itself and we will be revealed as guilty of sin, and that often. This was never true of our Lord. He never sinned and no one could convince him of sin.
As to human nature (not sin nature) "it behooved him to made like unto his brethren" in all things (Heb. 2:17). And "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers (sharers) of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same" (Heb. 2:14). He was "in all points tempted (tested) like as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15). This one who was God incarnate in human flesh and blood was "holy, harmless, and undefiled," and was therefore qualified to offer up his powerful blood for the cleansing of our awful sins. Such powerful blood never flowed in the veins of another man.
THE BLOOD OF CHRIST IS POWERFUL BECAUSE OF THE UNION OF THE HUMAN NATURE AND THE DIVINE NATURE IN THE ONE PERSON, THE MAN JESUS CHRIST
"Great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh." Now, Jesus was not two persons. He was one person. But, the two complete and distinct natures (Divine and human) were hypostatically united in the one person. "In the beginning was the word . . . and the word was God . . . and the word was made flesh" (Jn. 1:1, 14).
Even though the blood of Christ was human blood, it drew its efficacy from the Divine nature with which the human nature was united. I like the way Spurgeon said it. "The blood that Jesus shed was Godlike blood. It was the blood of man, for he was man like ourselves; but the divinity was so allied with the manhood, that the blood derived its efficacy from it."
A. W. Pink wrote, "It was the theantropic (Divine-human) constitution of his person which qualified him for his mediation, for as the God-man nothing could be too difficult for him to effect or too great for him to accomplish" (The Doctrine of Reconciliation, P. 61). When God laid the work of redemption upon the Lord Jesus Christ he truly "laid help upon one that is mighty" (Psa. 89:19). His blood is powerful blood because he is one who is mighty in a way that no other man could ever be.
THE BLOOD OF CHRIST IS POWERFUL BECAUSE IT IS SHED BLOOD
Regardless of its mighty power, the blood of Christ could not cleanse from sin if it still flowed in the veins of Jesus Christ. It must be shed blood if it takes away sin. "This is my blood . . . which is shed for many" (Matt. 26:28). "Without shedding of blood is no remission" (Heb. 9:22). See how vital the shedding of the sacrificial blood is to the remission of sins. Without his blood being shed Christ could have saved no one. It is not enough that such powerful blood flowed in his veins. That blood must be shed if there is to be remission.
Let us cast our mental tents back to Egypt for a moment. It is the day of the first Passover. Here is a man who has chosen out of his flock a fully qualified lamb. It is without blemish. It is a male of the first year. He put it up on the appointed day. Now, it is time to slay the lamb, according to God's instruction. But, this man says, "That lamb's blood will do me just as much good flowing in his veins as it will sprinkled on my door posts and lintels. I will just tie the lamb to the door latch and the blood will be there, the only very minor difference will be that it is still in the lamb's veins. The problem is simple. God said he would see the blood on the doorposts and lintels and would Passover them. He did not say the blood, where ever it was would do the job. It must be shed blood, sprinkled blood.
Did the blood of Christ meet the qualifications of shed blood, sprinkled blood? YES! ABSOLUTELY, YES! He shed his blood on the cross. He gave his blood up for the remission of sin. He is the door and his blood was sprinkled over his body in his sufferings. He is the mercy seat and his body was sprinkled with his own blood at Calvary. Only as SHED BLOOD could it cleans from sin.
I realize that I said earlier that men have been saved by the blood of Christ since the foundation of the world. And, you may be thinking, "If shed blood is the only blood that can wash away sin, how could the blood of Christ cleanse sinners long before it was shed at Calvary. The answer is simple, though marvelous. God, from the foundation of the world looked at his people in "the lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8). Since he had foreordained the death of Christ he could deal with his blood as though it had already been shed. That must be the case for "without shedding of blood is no remission."
THE BLOOD OF CHRIST IS POWERFUL BECAUSE IT IS ACCEPTED BLOOD
There are numerous evidences that the blood of Christ is accepted blood. God raised him up from the dead because it was not possible that he should be held in the grips of death. The very fact that God raised him up is evidence that he accepted his work of redemption and his precious, powerful blood for the remission of sins.
That he ascended into heaven is evidence that his blood had been accepted at Calvary. God had seen the travail of his soul and was satisfied with his work. He was "taken up into heaven." This indicates that there was a power outside himself that was operating in his ascension. Though he could have ascended of his own power, he was taken up. The Father, no doubt, took him up.
He now appears in the presence of God for us. He ever lives and makes intercession for us. His very presence in glory is evidence that God accepted his blood and sufferings on our behalf.
The eternal redemption which he has obtained is evidence that God has accepted the blood of Christ. It is so powerful that by it he was able to secure the eternal, everlasting redemption of every one of his chosen people. Not one for whom he obtained eternal redemption will ever be lost in the lake of fire. Not one will ever face the wrath to come. Not one will cry out in torments. Not one who comes to him will ever be lost again. For, believing reader, when he shed his blood at Calvary, he obtained eternal redemption for us.
Have you ever wondered how many times those priests of Israel offered up sacrifices. Every year on the day of redemption they must make that sacrifice again. It was repeated over and over. Not so with the sacrifice of the blood of Christ. It was so powerful that by one offering it put away sin forever. Never again would there be the necessity of a sacrifice for sin. One time he shed his blood. One time he offered it up to God. One time satisfied every demand of Divine justice. One time he met ever requisite of God's holy law. Yes, there is real power in the blood of Jesus Christ.
May I suggest also, that every promise that he will come again and receive his saints unto himself is evidence that his blood was accepted by the Father. "I will come again," he faithfully promised. He will come and will not tarry. He will come in power and great glory. There would be no ground or reason for such promises if his blood was not accepted. For if his blood was not accepted we are yet in our sins and are men most miserable.
Through the inspired writers of the New Testament the Holy Spirit has born witness to the acceptance of the blood of Jesus Christ. All those things we have cited such as the eternal redemption he has obtained by his once for all sacrifice of his blood are the Holy Spirit's testimony to the acceptance of the blood of Jesus.
Bouquets and Brickbats
PHILIPPINES: Bro. Marty Hoffman included some issues of the "GRACE PROCLAMATOR AND PROMULGATOR" where you discussed the answers to my questions. I understand from your issues that Jesus Christ did not promise "Paper Chain Succession" but rather "Church Perpetuity" and that church authority is not legislative but executive. I fully believe that your stand is biblical and that these have made us more aware of the nature of church authority.
The issue regarding the Bride of Christ was really a blessing unto us because our stand that only faithful members of Christ's churches will be included in the Bride has been strengthened. In fact, this was the topic in our Doctrine Class that caused the doubling of our church's attendance and offerings.
I really thank God because he made a way for us to receive you paper and has given us the opportunity to know more about the faith that was once delivered unto the saints. It is in this respect that I ask your church to include us in your mailing list. Our church will use your publication in our Sunday School, Doctrine Class, Bible Institute, and it will serve as a reference in our library. Please consider it as an extension of your ministry in the Philippines.
By the way Pastor, we were organized as an independent local church only in August, 1991, and therefore we could not still contribute for the printing costs. Nevertheless, I believe that God will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. To God be the Glory in every local New Testament Baptist Church world without end.
FLORIDA: May God bless you and the church. We appreciate the paper very much.
OKLAHOMA: Your paper is a real blessing to me and my family.
ARKANSAS: Please find enclosed a check for TGP&P paper. I haven't received one since Sept. 1. If you have back issues I would like to have them. I miss getting these papers very much.
TENNESSEE: Could you please add these names to the mailing list for the paper. I would love for them to receive and read all the great truths of Sovereign grace which you publish in TGP&P.
OREGON: We are writing to you concerning the paper (The Grace Proclamator). Bro.________________ told us about the paper. If it is possible we would like to receive the paper--Is it printed every month? We will send the money as soon as we hear if you will send it to us.
We are a small church here in Springfield but do have wonderful services. We do not have a pastor at this present time. We surely do need the prayers of God's chosen people. We look forward to hearing from you.
KENTUCKY: I wanted you to know that the message published "The Blood of Jesus Christ" was a great blessing to me. I have preached these things for a long time but never have been able to put it into an exposition as this. I have been criticized for saying that the Bible does not speak of "Pure Blood" but "Precious Blood." If there is such a thing as "PURE BLOOD," then I know that the Lord had it but as you said, His blood was human blood. Since it came forth from a body without sin, and since the wages of sin is death, and since the LIFE OF HIS FLESH WAS HIS BLOOD, then Jesus could have lived eternally in the body he was born with since he was born without sin and lived without sin. that made His life eternal and when he shed His blood he gave his eternal life since the blood was his life. Lev. 17:14 the blood of it is for the life thereof. The emphasis that the Bible puts on the blood is that it is precious. I Pet. 1:18-20; Psa. 49:7-8.
I have asked many preachers this question,: "When Adam sinned, did his blood change?" No, it did not. But Adam's nature changed. His love, will, desire, etc. all changed. He was a sinner and thus the blood that flowed through his veins could have life to his body as long as his body lived. But when Adam sinned he died spiritually and began to die physically. His blood was worthless after the death of Adam. This is why that the blood was always to be poured out and never to drink of it. Yet John 6 says we must drink of the blood of Jesus (by faith).
The message exalted the Lord as a man. God has exalted Him as a man in Phil. 2:9 and given him a name above every name (Jesus was his name as a man.) He, as a man condemned sin IN THE FLESH. Rom. 8:3. As a man he PLEASED NOT HIMSELF. Rom. 15:3. But always did his father's will. When he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane he said, "NOT MY WILL, BUT THY WILL BE DONE." He was all man and all God. some of the things that I believe about the Lord's Supper is because of the very teaching you set forth in your article. His blood was PRECIOUS. So precious that he purchased his elect with his blood. (We are redeemed by the BLOOD, but it had to come from a body without sin.
Thanks again for the message. May the Lord bless you in your stand for him. I heard of your church burning and the loss of all your books, etc. But the Lord knows about these things and nothing happens by accident.
When you publish the message of the "Precious Blood" I will be looking forward to receiving it.
OHIO: God bless you Brother for standing faithfully in your adversity. Loosing a library of a lifetime and perhaps your Bible too would be the worst for me.
We appreciate the "GRACE PROCLAMATOR AND PROMULGATOR". Very good articles.
Hope to see you at some Bible conference somewhere.
OKLAHOMA: I appreciate your good article on Christmas. You dealt factually and concisely with the issues, yet in a spirit which should encourage study, rather than to incite anger. For most of my ministry, I have used the season for an occasion to point out the heathenism, traditional error, and violence to the word of God, that evolves around the "Holiday".
It is sad that many "Christians" form more opinions from "Nativity scenes" than from the Word of God. It seems a good season to proclaim the virgin birth of Christ, and to systematically deny the error which traditionally enshrouds the day. You did a good job of that.
I always appreciate your paper. Keep up the good work.
LOUISIANA: I wanted to write and tell you how much your ministry in our church at Grace Bible Baptist Church and your newspaper has meant to me. My wife also appreciates your articles in the paper. I am sorry to hear about your loss at your church and the death of the firemen.
WEST VIRGINIA: I had never given the matter [of Christ's blood] a moments thought--until I heard a godly Methodist, repeat, Methodist minister declare THAT THERE WAS NOT ONE DROP OF MARY'S BLOOD in the veins of our Lord! He saw, and I see that in the genealogy of Mary, traced backwards, there was "bad" blood present at time in that line.
We know from a study of those genealogies that some unsavory characteristics were indeed present in times past--and this saintly old minister was to insist that the bloodline of Mary, humanly speaking, could not be considered as free of any taint. Hence NOT ONE DROP of Mary's blood was in Jesus' veins.
Now I know and your know that such a condition and situation is impossible. And as the good minister pointed out, SO IS A VIRGIN BIRTH IMPOSSIBLE in the human realm. But our great and sovereign God the Father encountered no problems nor difficulties in having His beloved Son to be conceived in the human body of a virgin. As W. A. Byus was so adamant and dogmatic in declaring, A God who can cause to be conceived and born of Mary the virgin, a holy child, would see no barrier in keeping Mary's bloodstream apart from her holy offspring, although manifested in the flesh.
So good brother, while I was decidedly Arminian at the time of my being saved, and remained one for a number of years, I was never a Catholic. Hence I see no immaculacy in Mary, the woman--only in the conception free from original sin. And apart from that conception I feel that I can safely say that the bloodline of Mary, the woman, was tainted by original sin. And as for Jesus' need of Mary's blood in order to "make him a complete human, I got lost in such reasoning, Hebrews 2:14 notwithstanding.
In closing, remember my opening statements in regards the differing opinions of honest and sincere believers--and see this as in no wise being a "BRICKBAT." But simply as my way of preferring to look upon that precious blood of our sovereign Lord.
EDITORS NOTE: I hope this brother will go back and read the message on the blood of Christ being human blood again. Somehow he has read into it that I was teaching that Jesus received his blood from Mary. I certainly did not say that. In fact, I gave scientific and medical evidence that the child gets its blood from neither of its parents, but its blood is manufactured in the yolk sac and then by the baby itself. I showed that the blood of the mother never (unless there is some kind of abnormal circumstance) enters the child. I never suggested that Jesus ever had any "need of Mary's blood in order to 'make him a complete human'." In fact, I said, "I determined to investigate the matter and was surprised to learn the child does not get its blood from its father or its mother. And, contrary to popular opinion, not even the blood type is always given by the Father. You want evidence? Here it is." Again I wrote, "Let me repeat one more time, the baby gets its blood from neither parent. It has blood that is uniquely its own . . . The blood of Jesus Christ was uniquely his own blood, not the blood of his Heavenly Father nor the blood of his earthly mother, Mary." In summing up the scientific and medical evidence I presented, I wrote, "In short, the conceived embryo receives no blood from either parent, only the genes which determine the type of its blood. Its first blood is manufactured in the yolk sac which is formed in the placenta after conception. Then, in the latter part of the third week, or the early part of the fourth week, the heart begins to beat and blood is manufactured by the liver from the second until about the fifth month. About the fifth month of pregnancy, the bones and bone marrow of the baby are developed enough that the blood is then manufactured in the bone marrow, as it is the rest of the person's life."
I did say that the sin nature does not run in the blood. The brother said, "I feel I can safely say that the bloodline of Mary, the woman, was tainted by original sin." The only way this could "safely" be said is if it is clearly taught in Scripture. I would like to see some Scripture that suggests in any way that the blood of man is tainted (or not tainted for that matter) by original sin. The sin nature is not transmitted through the blood for the blood is not transmitted to the child by either parent. Along this line I wrote, "Now, before someone misunderstand, one must not assume the sinful nature to have the complete human nature. Adam had a complete human nature, was fully and completely man, before he ever partook of the forbidden fruit plunging the race into ruin. Human nature and the sin nature are not synonymous. Nor, does the nature to sin flow in the blood. If it did, then the sin nature would not be passed from father to son for the father does not pass his blood to his son."
I apologize to our readers for this note, but it is apparent that this brother needs to RE-READ the message in the November, 1992, paper.
ANOTHER NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: In the February issue of the paper there was a query from a reader asking why I had not quoted Spurgeon in the November message on the blood of Christ. I explained that I had not found a statement by him in which he specifically said the blood of Christ was human blood. That has changed however. While perusing a sermon by Spurgeon recently, I came across this statement concerning the blood of Christ. "It was the blood of man, for he was man like ourselves; but the divinity was so allied with the manhood, that the blood derived efficacy from it."
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