Christ Did Not Wait To Get To Heaven to Become Our Priest—Already a Priest as He Died on Earth

Hebrews 7: 17 For it is witnessed of him,

“You are a priest forever,
after the order of Melchizedek.”
18 For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.

20 And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, 21 but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him:

“The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind,
‘You are a priest forever.’”
22 This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.

23 The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost[ those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he DID THIS ONCE FOR ALL WHEN HE OFFERED UP HIMSELF. 28 For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who HAS BEEN MADE perfect forever.

The closing verses of Hebrews chapter 7 supply a conclusive demonstration that Christ was priest and exercised the priestly office, while He was here on earth, and which He is now continuing to do in heaven. First, the description given of Him as “High Priest” in Hebrews 7:26 has no pertinency whatever if it  does not treat of what He was here upon earth. Take the expression, “undefiled”—what is there in heaven to defile? Nothing whatever· But understanding it to describe one of Christ’s perfections while He was here in the world, it is full of significance.

Rightly did George Smeaton declare, “Hebrews 7:26, 27 show Christ on earth, as both Priest and Sacrifice. The ‘such’ of verse 26 refers not back to verses 1-25, but to verse 27, The qualifications described, holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, are descriptive of what He was here on earth when brought into contact with sin and sinners”.

Again, mark well the expression, “made higher than the heavens” in Hebrews 7:26. Who was? The first part of the verse tells us:–our “High Priest”! Note also that the last clause of verse 27, “this He did once, when He offered up Himself”. In what specific character is Christ there viewed? Why, as “High Priest”. As we are told in Hebrews 2:17, “He was a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation (Greek) for the sins of the people”, and as Romans 3:25 plainly declares, He made propitiation AT THE CROSS. So again, in Hebrews 4:14 we read, “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest that is passed into the heavens”.

HE DID NOT ENTER HEAVEN TO BECOME A PRIEST. Christ was “Priest” when He “passed into the heavens”.

There is no excuse whatever for a mistake at this point, and our only reason for laboring it is that many who have boasted so loudly of their orthodoxy have systematically denied it. That Christ’s sacrifice was a priestly one is clear from Ephesians 5:2, “Christ . . . hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God”: not only as a “sacrifice” but as “an offering”, and none offered to God the sacrifices of Israel save the priests.

That Christ did not become Priest after He entered into heaven is also unequivocally established by Hebrews 9:11, 12, “But Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands . . . by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, HAVING OBTAINED eternal redemption for us”. Therefore we say that they who teach Christ became priest after His ascension are unconsciously or consciously, ignorantly or maliciously, corrupting the Truth of God and denying one of the most cardinal articles of our holy faith.

A W Pink

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24 Comments on “Christ Did Not Wait To Get To Heaven to Become Our Priest—Already a Priest as He Died on Earth”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    Smeaton—two questions canvassed by theological writers demand an answer: 1. Was the Lord Jesus in reality a priest on earth? and, 2. Was He acting as a priest on the cross, and previously? We answer: The entire epistle affirms both. But from the days of the first Socinians to our own time, many attempts have been made to establish this on two grounds: first, that the term priest, as applied to Christ, is metaphorical; next, that His priesthood began with His exaltation, and not before. These views tend to overthrow the vicarious sacrifice of the cross.

    1. The allegation that Christ is called a priest metaphorically, without being a true and proper priest, is easily answered, if we admit -that biblical terms and analogies must be taken in their natural meaning. When we find a regular comparison between Christ’s priesthood and the Aaronic high priesthood, in regard to qualifications, the necessary call by God, and sympathy to be exercised (Heb. v. 1-7), it is preposterous to allege that all this is compatible with the supposition of a mere metaphor.

    2. The allegation that His priesthood began not on earth, but at His ascension, has only to be placed in the light of this epistle to be fully refuted. Its entire teaching proves that He acted as a priest during His whole humiliation, and that His death was a sacrifice (Ephesians. v. 2 ; Hebrews. ii. 1 7, v. 7).. a. The high priest under the law was not first constituted a priest when he entered the holiest of all: he had already, in his capacity as high priest, slain the sacrifice, the blood of which was carried within the veil. And, in like manner, Christ was already a priest when He gave Himself for His people. It was not, and could not be, a new sacrifice within the veil, when one part, and the principal part of it, was performed previous to His entry.

    b. The passages which make mention of Christ’s one oblation, or of His offering Himself once, are conclusive as to the fact of His being a priest on earth; for that word once cannot be understood of what is done in heaven. It must refer to His death as a historic fact, completed and finished here below. It is against all reason to affirm that the sacrifice was offered once, if it still continues. Nor does the epistle stop there: the analogy instituted between the fact that it was appointed to all men once to die, and the one atoning death of Christ (ix. 27), leaves us in no doubt that we must view that sacrifice as completed on the cross.

    c. The priestly sacrifice which Christ offered is emphatically described as coincident with the Lord’s death. The clearest proof of this is furnished in this epistle (Hebrews 9: 26), when it is noticed that the Lord was under no necessity to offer Himself often, like the Jewish high priest, who had to offer a new sacrifice with every annual return of the great day of atonement, and enter with the blood of others. It declares that to offer Himself often would have been equivalent to a repeated suffering on the part of Christ; and therefore there can be no more conclusive proof that Christ was a priest on earth, and that His sacrifice was consummated by His death during His humiliation.

  2. markmcculley Says:

    animal sacrifices for temporary unintended sins, having to be repeated, and then there was the last final one of them, they gave up on those sacrifices…. But you and I know of another sacrifice in history, done by a priest on earth, only the one time the first time the final time, and that sacrifice secured final (lasting and complete) permanent redemption. Jesus is still interceding above for us, Jesus is still indwelling us below but Jesus is done redeeming, seated after that one sacrifice, having got done.

  3. markmcculley Says:

    Lee Irons God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect (Heb. 11:39-40).
    That verb made perfect is vitally important. In Greek it is teleioō. Along with the
    noun form, teleiōsis, it is a key theological term that occurs in Hebrews about a dozen times. It is central to understanding why the Old Testament sacrificial system was inadequate. Heb. 10:1 puts it this way: “For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near” (cp. Heb. 7:11, 19) In these contexts, it is crucial that we not think in terms of moral perfection.5 This is clear when we realize that the term is used of Christ. For example, Heb. 2:10 says that Christ was made perfect through sufferings. And it cannot be said of Christ that he ever was morally imperfect

    http://www.upper-register.com/papers/atonement_leviticus.pdf

  4. markmcculley Says:

    in the garden, God came and left, came and left, present and absent
    Hebrews 9—came to earth from heaven, stayed a long time, 30 years plus
    then “came to heaven from earth”
    next time, comes without sin, to be Him with us, not us going up for us to be with Him
    but Rick Warren says—the world is not our final home. This explains why we experience difficulty and sorrow on earth.” Purpose Driven, p 49
    or maybe the cause was God’s purpose to ordain sin, and maybe Romans 8 teaches the redemption of earth

  5. markmcculley Says:

    http://theaquilareport.com/eternal-patriarchy-the-council-on-biblical-manhood-and-womanhood-says-you-bet/

    p169, Wittmer—I don’t know whether the Brandenburg Concertos or the Sistine Chapel will make it through to the new earth. It doesn’t matter. I expect both Bach and Michelangelo to be there, with nothing but TIME to create new and better works

    Isaiah 65: They shall not labor in vain
    or bear children for calamity,
    for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the Lord,
    and their descendants with them.
    24 Before they call I will answer;
    while they are yet speaking I will hear.
    25 The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;
    the lion shall eat straw like the ox,
    and DUST shall be the serpent’s food.
    They shall not hurt or destroy
    in all my holy mountain,”
    says the Lord.

    Romans 16: 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

    25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long AGES 26 but has NOW been disclosed

  6. markmcculley Says:

    http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/eq/2000-1_057.pdf

    the incarnation is not the earthly sacrifice of the priest, contrary to the Torrances

    Donald Macleod—It was no part of the work of Christ to make God love us, The very fact of his being on earth at all was proof of the divine love. The business of the atonement, therefore, was to propitiate the God who already loves us: to lay the foundation for an advocacy directed towards him specifically as Father
    (1 John 2: 1). God unequivocally requires such propitiation,
    but in the last analysis God also provides the propitiation and God even becomes the propitiation. The whole cost of our redemption is borne by the triune God. In that sense, the atonement is a transaction entirely internal to the trinity. But by virtue of the incarnation, it is also external. It takes place not in heaven, but on Calvary; not in eternity, but on Good Friday, p 71

    Torrance is surprised (p. 96) that Rutherford did not regard
    the death of Christ as the cause of the love of God, but as its
    consequence. He should not have been surprised. Rutherford’s view was universal among Scottish divines, if only because all felt the force of John 3:16, ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son’. The love came first and the sacrifice followed

  7. markmcculley Says:

    Psalm 24:3
    Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place?
    Psalm 68:18
    You ascended on high, leading a host of captives in your train and receiving gifts among men, even among the rebellious, that the Lord God may dwell there.
    John 1:51
    And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
    John 3:13
    No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.
    John 6:62
    What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
    Acts 2:34
    For David did not ascend into the heavens
    Romans 10: 6 But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim).

  8. markmcculley Says:

    http://dbts.edu/blog/a-new-and-legitimate-way-david-moffitts-reading-of-hebrews/ Moffitt’s thesis, while nicely argued, is nevertheless untenable, primarily for two reasons. First, Moffitt’s understanding of Jesus’ priesthood is reductionistic. Moffitt forces precision where Hebrews simply will not allow it. Hebrews—however frustratingly—never gives us a clear idea when Jesus became a high priest. While it could suggest that Jesus’ priesthood began only after his resurrection (Heb 7:16) or only once Jesus entered heaven (Heb 8:4), it could also suggest that Jesus’ crucifixion—his voluntary death—was itself a priestly act. After all, while one might, with Moffitt, separate sacrificial slaughter from atonement, no one—especially anyone familiar with the Day-of-Atonement ritual—would suggest only the latter was a priestly activity (see, e.g., Lev 16:11, 15). Second, Moffitt’s understanding of atonement is reductionistic. Whether or not sacrificial slaughter—death—is less central to atonement than the presentation of blood/life can presently remain an open question. Neither Hebrews nor the OT, however, will allow death to function simply as the preparation for atonement, which is to say, as simply the preparation for the atoning manipulation of blood in God’s presence. This sort of conclusion would make nonsense of those instances in the OT where atonement is secured by death alone, without any reference to the Levitical cult, much less to the ritual manipulation of blood (see, e.g., Exod 32:30–32; Num 25:13; 35:33; Deut 21:1–9; 2 Sam 21:3ff. et al.) or, related, to those cultic contexts which accent the atoning value of some ritual element other than manipulation (see, e.g., Lev 1:4; 4:26). Moffitt’s reading, moreover, is also out of step with a more traditional and, arguably, convincing reading of Lev 17:11, which emphasizes death—life given in the place of another’s life—rather than life released and, therefore, available for atoning purgation. Much the same, in fact, could be said for Hebrews, which stubbornly refuses to view Jesus’ death as simply preparatory for and, thus, “peripheral” to atonement (cf. p. 276). Rather, it is Jesus’ death itself that restores humanity’s lost glory (“because he suffered death,” Heb 2:9), frees humans from the devil’s grip (“by his death,” Heb 2:14), and provides the forgiveness necessary for the inauguration/mediation of the new covenant (“now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from…sins,” Heb 9:15; et al.). None of this, of course, requires a metaphorical reading of Jesus’ archetypical blood ritual, which is to say, none of this undercuts Moffitt’s more fundamental point about the literal nature of the Day-of-Atonement antitype. What does, however, is Hebrews’ one explicit reference to Jesus’ resurrection in 13:20. There the author says that Jesus was raised because of the efficacy of his covenant-inaugurating—and, thus, atonement-securing—death (“through the blood of the eternal covenant”). In other words, Jesus’ death—his blood—had atoning virtue prior to his resurrection and, thus, prior to the moment at the center of Moffitt’s thesis.

  9. markmcculley Says:

    e did not ascend with Jesus to make the offering in heaven. Why not? Because Jesus finished his offering (death) on earth. The death of Jesus is a replacement for us, a punishment in our place, Him dying instead of us, not Him taking us with him into death. Death is not a mere preliminary to the resurrection, because the resurrection is the reward of the death. Romans 4:25 died because of our sins, raised because of our justification

  10. markmcculley Says:

    Gary Long – For if the atonement of Christ falls under the category of His priesthood, it is impossible for it to be impersonal, indefinite, unlimited; for the priesthood is not. In order to its very construction, it pre requires personal relation; and the same must be true of the atonement, unless the atonement transpires outside the limits and actings and conditions of the priesthood. The priesthood is “for men”, and “for sins”. Not for mankind in the general, but “for men”, particular men. And not for sins in the general, but “for sins”, particular sins. The personal relation of the priest is a relation to particular persons, with special reference to their particular sins; or, more briefly, it is a relation to these persons considered as sinners. A general reference or relation is out of the question.
    Definite Atonement, page 29

  11. markmcculley Says:

    John Donne–Christ bled not a drop the less at the last for having bled at his circumcision before. There was nothing more free, more voluntary, more spontaneous than the death of Christ. e died voluntarily; but yet when we consider the contract that had passed between his Father and him, there was , a kind of necessity upon him:—all this Christ ought to suffer. And when shall we date this obligation,? When shall we say that began? Certainly this decree by which Christ was to suffer all this was an eternal decree. What liberty soever we can conceive in Christ to die or not to die; this necessity of dying, this decree is as eternal as that liberty; and yet how small a matter made he of this necessity and this dying?

    His Father calls it but a bruise, and but a bruising of his heel (the serpent shall bruise his heel), He Himself calls it a baptism— I have a baptism to be baptized with,379 and he was in pain till it was accomplished,. The HolySpirit calls it joy (for the joy which was set before him he endured the cross),380 which was not only a joy of his reward after his passion, but a joy that filled him even in the midst of his dying. When Christ calls his death a cup, think of David,, I will take the cup of salvation.

    Moses and Elijah talked with Christ in the transfiguration—of his death, which was to be accomplished at Jerusalem, The word is his Exodus. Moses, who in his exodus had prefigured this issue of our Lord, and in passing Israel out of Egypt through the Red Sea, had foretold in that actual prophecy…

    Luke 9: 30 Suddenly, two men were talking with Him—Moses and Elijah. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of His death, which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem.

    John 3: 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up

    John 12: 32 As for Me, if I am LIFTED UP from the earth I will draw all people to Myself.” 33 He said this to signify what kind of death He was about to die. 34 Then the crowd replied to Him, “We have heard from the scripture that the Messiah will remain forever. So how can You say, ‘The Son of Man MUST be LIFTED up’?Who is this Son of Man?”

  12. markmcculley Says:

    John Owen on Hebrews 9:12 — The idea that Christ brought His own material blood into heaven is .contrary to the analogy of faith, and destructive of the true nature of the oblation of Christ, and inconsistent with the dignity of his person. This some have invented, to maintain a comparison in that wherein is none intended. The design of the apostle is only to declare by virtue of what he entered as a priest into the holy place. And this was by virtue of his own blood when it was shed, when he offered himself unto God. This was that which laid the foundation of, and gave him right unto the administration of his priestly office in heaven.

    Herman Bavinck—:The author of this letter nowhere says that Christ entered heaven with his blood, the way the Old Testament high priest on the great Day of Atonement entered the holy of holies with blood to sprinkle it on and before the mercy seat. He only says that Christ once for all entered the sanctuary through his blood (9:12). He did not take with him the blood that was shed on the cross to sprinkle it in the heavenly sanctuary, thereby to bring about atonement. But by means of his blood, on the basis of the sacrifice made on the cross, he secured for himself the right to enter heaven to appear in God’s presence on our behalf.

    In the Old Testament, after the sacrifice had been brought, the high priest still had to take some of the blood, enter the holy of holies with it, and offer it for both his own and his people’s misdeeds. But that was still a part of the imperfect system of the Old Testament. This showed that the way into the sanctuary had not yet been disclosed so long as the first tabernacle was still standing (9:7-8). This, however, did not apply to Christ. He brought a unique and perfect sacrifice on the cross. he did not take his blood with him to heaven to offer it there, but through the tent of his own body and the curtain of his flesh (9:11; 10:20), he entered once for all into the true sanctuary and to that end received the right and the power by his own blood that he had shed on the cross (9:12). His blood had that power because it was his own, because through the eternal Spirit he offered himself to God without blemish (9:14). That blood, had been shed only once, and that sacrifice had taken place only once at a specific moment in time; yet this event was not—like the sacrificial cult of the Old Testament—temporary, passing, transient. Christ was high priest already on earth (7:27; 9:11, 14, 25, 28; 10:10; 13:12), but he was that not in the way of Aaron’s high priesthood, but according to the order of Melchizedek, eternal and unchanging. It is for this reason, however, that the Letter to the Hebrews so strongly stresses Christ’s entry into the true sanctuary. He entered it by the power of his own blood, not to sacrifice himself again in a different manner, for he did that once for all, and by that sacrifice acquired all the benefits (9:26-28; 10:12, 14; etc.).


  13. Christ’s sacrifice was FINISHED when He died, Christ’s sacrifice was DONE before He rose again and then ascended back to heaven

    Donald Macleod, Christ Crucified, IVP, 2014—Human nature after the cross remains as it was before the cross. If Christ healed our humanity by taking our humanity, then Christ was crucified by the very nature he had healed…. According to Torrance, Christ condemned sin by saying no to the flesh and living a life of perfect faith, worship and obedience. But this would mean that the condemnation of sin did not take place on the cross, but in the daily life of Christ. But Romans 8:3 says that it not Jesus but God the Father who condemns sin in the flesh. While it was indeed in the flesh of his Son that God condemned sin but it was not only in his Son as incarnate, but in his Son as a sin-offering.. God condemned sin by passing judgement on his Son.


  14. before the throne of God above
    I have a strong and perfect plea

    I know that while in heaven He SITS
    nobody will tell me to leave there
    because I am never going to be there
    except by identification with Him who SITS there

    Only the one who descended from there
    has ascended back over there above
    i am not going up
    He who rose and sits bove is coming down

    It was not the immortal soul of the Savour which went up there
    my Savour died here, made satisfaction here
    my Savour was priest here, finished His death here
    my Savour rose from the dead here
    all that done before ascending there above

    You can’t see Him, but He’s sitting there above
    and now because of what He did here
    He has a righteousness He earned here
    not only righteousness as the Person who always was
    but the finished righteousness of His death

    One with Him I can and have died
    One with Him I have died the death which satisfies God’s law
    and now my life is hid with Christ on High
    until Christ comes back here below

    God brings everything together in Him who sits
    both things in heaven and things on earth united and new
    and He who rose and who now sits above will come down
    to live with us
    when in this ruined age my flesh shall fail
    and mortal life cease
    I shall not go up above behind the veil
    but sleep until He who rose and now sits above come back to earth
    and after Jesus the risen one has come back ten thousand years
    we will still have no less days to sing God’s praise
    than the first day He comes back
    or than we have already right now

    Hebrews 2: 5 For He has not subjected to angels the world to come that we are talking about…. For in subjecting everything to him, He left NOTHING that is not subject to him. As it is, we do not yet see everything subjected to him. 9 But we do see Jesus—made lower than the angels for a short time….crowned with glory and honor because of His death.

  15. markmcculley Says:

    http://www.cprf.co.uk/articles/blood.htm#.VtshFvkrKM8

    ev. D. A. Waite, pastor of “Bible For Today Baptist Church,” Collingswood, New Jersey, has made this doctrine of the blood part of the Articles of Faith for his church, even updating them in November 1997 “to meet present-day threats to the Faith”:

    We believe that the doctrine of the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is of great importance in the Bible; that Christ’s Blood has been under attack in centuries past as well as in recent decades by modernist apostates, Mary Baker Eddy, R. B. Thieme, Jr., John MacArthur, Jr., and others; that Christ’s Blood is not a mere figure of speech or “metonym” to be equal to “death”; that Old Testament sacrifices had two distinct parts: (1) the death of the sacrifice; and (2) the application of the blood of the sacrifice; that death was not sufficient, but the blood had to be applied properly … that some of Christ’s Blood was taken by Him to heaven and placed on the heavenly mercy seatthus cleansing the heavenly tabernacle (Hebrews 9:12-14, 18-24; 10:19-22); that Christ’s Blood is now in heaven as the “Blood of sprinkling” (Hebrews 12:22-24); that Christ’s Blood gives us boldness and access to the holiest in heaven (Hebrews 10:19); that Christ’s Blood makes us perfect in every good work to do His will (Hebrews 13:21); and that Christ’s Blood overcomes Satan.5

    Waite is a rank Arminian and is premillennial dispensationalist in his eschatology.6 Interestingly, he defines justification as a declaration of God that the believer is righteous upon the basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ and this is bestowed “solely through faith in the Redeemer’s incorruptible shed Blood.”7 It would appear that to Waite, at least, this doctrine of the blood is vital. Notice too that John MacArthur, Jr., is classified with “Christian science” cultist Mary Baker Eddy as a “modernist apostate” because he disagrees with Waite on this point. We will have occasion to examine the Fundamentalists’ controversy with MacArthur later.

    Do Fundamentalists view Christ’s blood as human or divine? Ian Paisley writes, “His Blood is divineBlood as opposed to human blood.”8 That is an amazing statement. If the blood of Jesus is divine, it must have the attributes of divinity. It must, to quote the Westminster Shorter Catechism, be “infinite, eternal and unchangeable in its being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth” (A. 4). Clearly, Christ’s blood does not possess these qualities.

    Not all Fundamentalists agree with Paisley’s assertion that Christ’s blood is divine, not human. Dr. J. Hymers, Jr., of Baptist Tabernacle, Los Angeles, California writes,

    Everyone I know of teaches that Jesus is the God-man. Jesus was both human and divine. His Blood, therefore, was both human and divine Blood. That’s the position of every credible fundamentalist on earth today.9

    Where does that leave Paisley‘s credibility as a Fundamentalist with his view of Christ’s divine blood? Furthermore, if so-called “credible Fundamentalists” had been present at the Council of Chalcedon (451) and had expressed the opinion that Christ’s blood was divine and not human (Paisley) or both human and divine (Hymers), they would have been condemned as heretics, as we shall see.

    Paisley,10 Hymers11 and Waite12 teach that Christ’s blood is in heaven as a distinct entity from His resurrected body, having been sprinkled on the heavenly mercy seat. Rev. John Greer of Ballymena Free Presbyterian Church and Dr. Alan Cairns of Faith Free Presbyterian Church, Greenville, South Carolina, both ministers of Ian Paisley’s Free Presbyterian Church, hold a different view. Cairns writes,

    The fact that Christ’s blood may be spoken of metaphorically for His death has led some evangelicals to downplay or even deny the redemptive virtue of the actual blood of Christ. They do not scruple to say that Christ’s blood perished in the dust of Palestine … this is dangerous and without biblical warrant … the incorruptibility of Christ’s body means that it was supernaturally raised from the dead (Acts 2:27, 31-32). There is no Biblical reason to deny that the incorruptibility of Christ’s blood means that it was raised along with His body … if the blood of Christ was preserved and raised incorruptible with His body we would expect it to be in His body.13

    In a sermon entitled “The Blood of the Godman” (2002), Rev. Greer argues for this position:

    … the blood of Christ is sinless.14 You see the whole humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ is a sinless humanity … Since the blood belongs to His sinless humanity, that means that His blood is incorruptible and His blood is indestructible … No part of the real humanity of Christ could ever see corruption;15 that includes the blood … [in contrast to] the awful teaching of some that the Lord’s precious blood perished in the dust of Palestine … and I’m not talking about Liberals, I’m talking about men who say they’re evangelical … there are evangelical groups that teach that horrendous idea … the Resurrection necessarily took place because the humanity of Christ could not see corruption … the blood of the Lamb, being part of that humanity neither saw corruption nor destruction but was actually resurrected along with the body. There’s the simple answer as to what happened the blood. The blood was raised again … Where is the blood now? Well, the answer’s very simple. It’s in heaven … We often speak of the blood-stained mercy seat where Jesus answers prayer, have you never stopped to think (because, you know, all these hymns are not correct. I need to say that) … there’s no mercy seat in heaven, there’s no altar in heaven. Christ has fulfilled all those things … Christ is our mercy seat … if we accept that doleful, morbid heresy that the blood perished, then my dear friend, lovely gospel verses lose their meaning … thank God that the blood lives on in the body of our glorified Christ.16

    It ought to be pointed out at this juncture that when David writes of Christ in Psalm 16:10, “Neitherwilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption” (quoted by Peter in Acts 2:27), the Holy Ghost does not mean that he Messiah’s body is indestructible. The fact that the text says “neither wilt thousuffer” implies that, left to itself, Christ’s body would have decayed. Christ had a real human nature. Christ’s real human nature would have gone the way of all human nature, if the Triune God had not ensured that Christ did not see corruption.

    Its Implications

    If Christ did not have human blood, His complete human nature is denied. Disagreeing with Paisley, who, as we have seen, teaches that Christ had divine, not human, blood,17 Greer and Cairns recognise the danger of denying Christ‘s humanity. For example, Cairns warns of this:

    On the other hand, it [i.e., Christ’s blood] must not be deified. It belongs to Christ’s humanity, not His deity … we must never forget that in the incarnation there was no confusion of natures. Christ’s deity was not humanized nor His humanity deified.18

    Greer gives a similar warning to his congregation. In the aforementioned sermon, he says,

    The humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ had a beginning. Now that may shock you, but it won’t shock you when you think about it … His humanity began in the incarnation through the virgin birth … the Holy Spirit took of the substance of Mary’s womb and He created the sinless humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ … there are evangelical preachers who will tell you that the Lord’s humanity was brought down from heaven and planted in the womb of the Virgin Mary and that is absolutely wrong. That would mean that He would have what they call a heavenly humanity, but that wouldn’t be our humanity.19

    Such warnings are to be welcomed. However, can this view of the incorruptible, indestructible blood (even if it is not divine, or divine and human, blood) really fit with Christ’s true and complete humanity? Consider the function of the blood in the human body. Blood is that fluid which carries oxygen (from the lungs to the tissues) and nutrients (from the digestive system to the tissues) and waste products (from the tissues to the liver, kidneys and lungs) around the body. Human blood is a very complex substance consisting of plasma (a pale yellow mixture of water, proteins and salts), blood cells (red and white) and platelets. That is only a very simple explanation and that barely scratches the surface of the composition and function of blood. Truly we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14)! Blood cells die typically every few months and are regenerated by the liver and bone marrow. If Christ had incorruptible blood, did His blood corpuscles need to be regenerated regularly? Did His blood (being pure and untainted, as this teaching goes) need to be cleansed in His kidneys and liver? If not, He did not have a human liver, human kidneys, human bone marrow or even human lungs. Surely an indestructible humanity is not our humanity either. That would make Him a superman! In contrast, orthodox Christianity teaches that Christ had a weakened human nature. As the man of sorrows (Isa. 53:3), He experienced the infirmities of our flesh (Heb. 4:15). He knew what it was to be weary, hungry, thirsty and in pain. If it is denied that Christ’s blood had the properties of normal human blood, it is impossible to confess His true and complete humanity.

    How much of Christ’s blood has been preserved? Alan Cairns leaves no doubt where he stands:

    When I speak of the blood of Christ, I mean Christ’s blood literally, not figuratively or mystically. When I speak of the blood of Christ, I mean all of His blood, including every drop He ever shed, from His circumcision at eight days old to His crucifixion. All the blood of Christ is precious blood. All the blood of Christ is atoning blood. But, pre-eminently, when I speak of the blood of Christ, I have in mind the “blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:20). The whole of Scripture is taken up with this theme.20

    The first recorded instance of Christ bleeding was as an eight day old at His circumcision (Luke 2:21). This blood too must be precious; this blood must also have been preserved according to Cairns, for, he continues, “when the blood of Christ was shed, it did not congeal and disappear into the dust of the ground.”21 As mentioned above, human blood is constantly being regenerated: the cells are regenerated in the bone marrow and the liquid (plasma) is replaced when fluid is excreted by the kidneys and water and nutrients are taken in by the digestive system. In a life-time, a human being goes through a staggering amount of blood. Was it all preserved? Are we to imagine a huge vat (containing thousands of litres) of Christ’s blood in heaven?22 If we accept the explanation of Cairns and Greer that Christ’s blood was resurrected and returned to His body—and yet not one drop was lost—how can all the blood from Christ’s infancy to His death, when aged approximately thirty-three, fit into His body again? If not all was resurrected with and in His body, are we to imagine the resurrected and glorified Christ with some of His blood in His body and the remaining blood in a vial?

    If all of Christ’s sinless humanity has been preserved, what about Christ’s skin cells, His hair and other bodily fluids (such as sweat)? Human beings shed billions of skin cells in a lifetime. This makes up the majority of the dust in our homes (Gen. 3:19). If Christ had an incorruptible human nature, why have not all His skin cells and shed hair follicles, including those plucked when He was shamefully treated by the soldiers (Isa. 50:6), been preserved? All our sweat comes from our blood. Sweating, part of the human body’s cooling system, is one of the functions of the skin. We secrete water and salts which come from the plasma in our bloodstream. Christ would certainly have perspired as He worked as a carpenter or during a day preaching in Israel (Gen. 3:19). Are we to believe that all this sweat has been preserved? Of course not! There is no need. Why should Christ’s literal blood be any different?

    Hymers argues that there could be a bowl of Christ’s blood in heaven, since Scripture teaches that there are “seven golden vials full of the wrath of God” (Rev. 15:7) there.23 However, wrath is not a liquid which can be stored in a literal bowl. Wrath is the attitude of God in His holiness against sin; it is not a physical substance. God does not literally “pour” wrath! The things pictured in the book of Revelation are “signified” as signs (Rev. 1:1). How a supposedly educated man could utter such absurdities is beyond belief!

    If Christ’s blood is divine, it must be worshipped. Indeed, Alan Cairns—who wants us to avoid deifying the Lord’s humanity—is nevertheless bold to write,

    Undoubtedly, the blood of Christ is the most precious thing in heaven, earth or hell. There are sound Biblical reasons for so esteeming the blood of Christ … Nothing thrills the heart of a child of God more than to think upon the precious blood of Christ. Even eternity will not exhaust our praise for the shed blood of the Lamb.24

    • markmcculley Says:

      Hebrews 9: 18 Even the first covenant was inaugurated with blood. 19 For when every command had been proclaimed by Moses to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, along with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll itself and all the people, 20 saying, This is the blood of THE COVENANT that God has commanded for you. 21 In the same way, he sprinkled the tabernacle and all the articles of worship with blood. 22 According to the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

      THE COVENANT in this text is
      1. the first covenant
      2. the covenant given through Moses
      3. the covenant is commanded
      4. soul is blood, and without blood poured out (not merely ceremonially but unto death), no covenant is ratified

      Hebrews 9: 12 He entered the most holy place once for all, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, having obtained permanent redemption.

      1. Christ as a priest on earth by His death on earth (soul. blood poured out) was also the sacrifice that satisfied God’s wrath in order to worship God
      2. It’s not Christ in one place and Christ holding His blood (separate in another place)
      3. Christ and His blood are in the same location, both priest and sacrifice at the same time and place
      4. Christ is still human, now spiritual body resurrected and ascended, not a gnostic ghost

      Philippians 3: 20 our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body

      John 14: 3 If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will COME BACK and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you will be also. 4 You know the way to where I am going.”

      We are here where Jesus is coming. When Jesus comes back to earth , we will also be on earth and be where Jesus is.

      john 14: 30 I will not talk with you much longer, because the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over Me. 31 On the contrary, I am going away in order that the world know that I love the Father. Just as the Father commanded Me, so I do

  16. markmcculley Says:

    not only did God the Son raise Himself from the dead
    but God the Son stays alive when you eat Him

    that’s what more than half of those who profess to be Christians believe

    it’s not that this is “too much to believe”

    it’s that the Bible does not teach it

    was God the Son in his living body before He died handing out another living body?

    that’s not incarnation, that’s docetism

    it’s not me asking “what would be the point of eating God the Son while He’s still living”
    it’s that the Bible does not teach it
    if that makes me a biblicist and a rationalist and a modernist, I don’t care

    God the Son offered Himself in death once for all time, not to us but to God

    yes, I believe in the unfinished work of God the Son
    His present intercession and His future coming to earth to raise the justified from the dead

    but the real humanity of God the Son is now seated in heaven
    neither the deity or the humanity of God the Son is seated in my stomach

  17. markmcculley Says:

    In John 14:1, Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” Where was Jesus going to do this?

    Answer: the cross on earth on which Jesus was lifted up and died.

    Luke 9: 27 I tell you the truth: There are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.” 28 About eight days after these words, Jesus took along Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 As Jesus was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became dazzling white.30 Suddenly, two men were talking with Jesus—Moses and Elijah. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of His DEPARTURE (his death), which Jesus was about to ACCOMPLISH in Jerusalem.
    The glory of Christ’s death, not only of His resurrection
    the “departure” is not His ascension or His resurrection
    John 12: 32 As for Me, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to Myself.” 33 Jesus said this to signify what kind of DEATH He was about to die. 34 Then the crowd replied to Jesus, “We have heard from the scripture that the Messiah will remain forever. So how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? 35 Jesus answered, “The light will be with you only a little longer

  18. markmcculley Says:

    N T Wright has adopted a different view which connects the logic of the Day of Atonement with cleansing and purgation, not covering or punishment (though for that matter, he thinks covering didn’t imply punishment either). On this view, the death of the sacrifice is ancillary to the all-important releasing of the blood which the priest manipulates in the Day of Atonement ceremony. This blood symbolizes the power of life which cleanses. So death is necessary to the release blood, but isn’t central to its meaning in that sense (329).

    The idea is that through idolatry, humans become sinful, their sins leads to and bring the pollution of death. But death is contrary to God who is the source of life and is a defilement of God’s holy Temple. This defilement accumulates throughout the year around the people, the land, and the sanctuary. In order to enter the Presence of God, then, “the sacrificial blood is the sign of God-given life, a life more powerful than death, a life therefore that purifies both sanctuary and worshipper. Cleansing thus enables meeting” (334). Jesus is the place where God and man, heaven and earth, meet, and this is enabled by his cleansing blood.

    https://derekzrishmawy.com/2017/01/10/n-t-wrights-assault-on-moralistic-platonic-paganism-a-review/

  19. markmcculley Says:

    How many Deaths did Christ Die? , by J C Settlemoir, in The Grace Proclamator and Promulgator, July 2016

    Some people say that Jesus died spiritually before he died physically. They say Christ died TWO DEATHS. John Calvin, “If Christ had died only one death, it would have been ineffectual”.

    B H Carrol—“Physical death is the separation of the soul from the body, and spiritual death is the separation of the soul from God. So just before that darkness passed away, Christ died the spiritual death”,

    The first question we ask when men tell us that Jesus died spiritually, is, where is the Scripture which teaches this? Just saying it does not make it so.

    Scripture tells us when Christ died. Daniel 9:26 says that the Messiah will be CUT OFF from life. This cutting off occurred only once. Christ only died once. I Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all time, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God.

    Scripture does not speak of Christ’s deaths.
    Hebrews 10: 5
    You prepared a body for Me.
    6 You did not delight
    in whole burnt offerings and sin offerings.
    7 Then I said, “See—
    it is written about Me
    in the volume of the scroll—
    I have come to do Your will, God!”
    8 After He says above, You did not want or delight in sacrifices and offerings, whole burnt offerings and sin offerings (which are offered according to the law), 9 He then says, See, I have come to do Your will, He takes away the first to establish the second. 10 By this will of God, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all time

    If Christ Died Spiritually Before He Yielded up His Spirit, Then His Sacrifice was not Acceptable. Philippians 2: 8 He was obedient to death. Christ could not be obedient in a swoon. Was Christ obedient all the Way? If so, Christ did not die before His death.

    (mark–Of course there are many who teach that Christ’s death is not His righteousness or His obedience. They teach that Christ’s vicarious law keeping was His righteousness, and that the death (or deaths) were only for the purpose of remission or getting back to neutral).

    II Timothy 1:10 Christ abolished death by His death, not by two deaths. This was accomplished by Christ’s physical death on the cross. Christ never prayed to be saved from ‘spiritual death”. Christ prayed to be resurrected from physical death.

    The veil of the temple was rent only once and that was when Christ died.

    At the Mount of Transfiguration, Christ’s physical death was the topic of discussion. He took along Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. Luke 9: 29 As He was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became dazzling white. 30 Suddenly, two men were talking with Him—Moses and Elijah. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of His DEATH which He was about to ACCOMPLISH in Jerusalem.

    If Christ died spiritually, then Christ Needed to be Regenerated


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