I used to know a woman who was born into a satanic ritual abuse family, which intermarried among the groups and purposely infiltrated churches. Her arranged marriage was with a man who pretended to be a pastor, while they performed rituals in the church basement at night.
When I say that there is witchcraft in the church, that is the kind of imagery that comes up in our hearts. But that is not what I'm talking about. Witchcraft can come in many forms, some of which we can find ourselves innocently performing by practicing superstitious ways of relating to God himself.
For example, when Christians "plead the blood" as if it were some mantra that is spoken magically over a situation the real meaning of "the blood" gets lost and replaced with empty ritual. There was a teaching a number of years ago that people should "plead the blood" over their difficult circumstances, over their wayward families, and as a protection from harm.
But "the blood" is not a talisman to rub or a mantra to speak as if saying it activates wonder powers, angels and the activity of God! It is not the horse-shoe of God.
"The blood" is not a magical formula. "The blood" is a message for you.
The Life is in the Blood?
Moses wrote in Leviticus 17:11, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."
HOW we understand this is important. First of all, well-meaning Christians have turned to science and mystical mania to say that there was something special about the blood of Jesus, that the cells themselves were infused with power. They are missing the point. He isn't saying that the life of God is supernaturally infused into the bloodstream. He is saying that blood is what keeps you alive. The life of the flesh is in the fact that you have blood running through your veins. When the blood is spilled, or emptied, then one dies. That's all it means. It is a symbol of death to have blood spilled.
Secondly, the blood makes atonement FOR the soul. It doesn't move God to change his mind about us, because God demonstrated his love for us in what while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. God loved us before the foundations of the world. God loved us first. Rather, the blood is a message for the benefit of our souls.
Hebrews 12:24, "And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel."
The blood of Abel cried out for vengeance from the ground. It spoke, so to speak. The blood of Jesus speaks too. It speaks mercy. Not to God, appealing to God to have mercy because he is an angry deity that must be appeased by blood-shed. The blood is a message to humanity that speaks from the "mercy seat" to us saying that "even though you kill me, my response is 'Father forgive them, they know not what they do'!" It is a message giving us faith to approach him without fear.
Finally, by misinterpreting "the life is in the blood", we miss the power of the gospel. There is no power in a dead man on a cross. Dead men don't save anybody. The power of the gospel is in the resurrection. Jesus' died representing, including us in his death (2 Cor. 5:14). But it is that Jesus is make alive, and resurrected and ascended that saves us! Paul said if we are reconciled by his death, how much more are we saved by his life (Rom 5:10)!
The "power, power, wonder working power" is not in the blood, but in the resurrection: 1 Peter 1:3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope THROUGH the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!" (For a great article on this click here!)
Yea, but... what about the testimonies?
But aren't there testimonies of people who "pled the blood" over their home or circumstance? I'll accept the stories as true, for the sake of argument. So why does it sometimes "work" to "plead the blood"?
Do you remember the story of the woman with the issue of blood? Nowhere in scripture does it teach that if a person were to touch the hem of Jesus' garment, they would be healed. BUT that was HER belief. Jesus could just as easily called her name, commanded the sickness to go, laid hands on her, or any number of creative means for the flow of the Father's power. But in her heart she believed that if she could just touch his garment, she would be healed. You know the story. She pressed through the crowd and touched him and without even knowing who it was, power flowed out of him and healed her.
So sometimes someone can "plead the blood" (or any other number of things) and EITHER:
1. When the person meets their own criteria, THEN they have an expectancy and openness of heart through which to receive. They create their own criteria when when it will happen and then believe it fully.
2. Good things were going to happen to/for them anyway and they connect dots that associate the answer with their formula.
The problem is that this kind of mentality ends up creating all kinds of superstition because they mistakenly connect the wrong dots together as to why something happened. One could read the story of the woman with the issue of blood and start a hem-grabbing ministry!
3. God in his love and mercy blesses us in our ignorance. We are children after all, and he "humors" us out of love, not because of a formula.
Finally, brothers and sisters (be careful, when Paul said that he preached on for another 2 chapters in some places, lol), our penchant for formulas just reveals that we don't understand the simplicity of the Gospel. It is finished. God is already motivated. His promises are already yes. His heart is amen. There are no hoops to jump through or secret prayer techniques to get God to act on your behalf. Stand in the truth of his love and his promises with confidence. Ask and you shall receive.
For a great article on Propitiation go to AM I Safe With God or is He a Terrorist Too?
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