Disclosing Prophecies; Inspiring Hope for the Endtime Robert D. Pace It begins with deception—mass, unbridled deception! It is the infamous Endtime caveat that prevails above all others. In total, Christ... Read more →
My text is from the last book of the Bible—Revelation 12. The word Revelation means unveiling. For the most part, Revelation unveils the Endtime drama we call the Great Tribulation. It discloses a time when the world will suffer unequalled wrath after 6000 years of disobedience to God’s Law. The Apostle John wrote the Revelation on the Isle of Patmos. Patmos is where the Romans exiled criminals. It was a horrible place too, because its terrain was rocky and cavernous and surrounded by the tempest of the Mediterranean Sea. But John had done no wrong! He was guilty only of preaching the Gospel of Christ. If you visited Patmos today the tour guides would point out the cave where the apostle sought refuge.
John missed meals, shivered in the night air, and mingled with men bankrupt of morals and mercy. That’s why he said in Revelation 1:9, “I am your brother and fellow companion in tribulation.” He identified with hardship. John was supremely qualified to record the terrors of Revelation.
But halfway through it all—in chapter 12—something happened. Something arrested his attention. The peels of thunder, bowls of wrath, and trumpets of judgment faded. The fury of the Four Horsemen, the Beast, and even the Great Dragon that deceived the nations seemed to pale.
John captured a glimpse of Heaven’s glorious throne and all he could see was the Lamb of God “slain from the foundation of the world.” And seeing nobody but Christ, he understood the key to man’s triumph over tribulation. He understood the secret to man’s victory over evil. And with a voice that transcended the waters of the Mediterranean, he shouted: “They overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.”
Saints of God, the Blood of Jesus Christ provides our victory over every enemy! It is the seal and security of our salvation! And it should never be far away from our confession. I want you to notice John’s phraseology because it’s no coincidence that he connected Christ’s Blood and our verbal confession to our victory in life. “They overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.”
There is an unquestionable connection between our words and how we handle life. God wants our confession to coincide with the convictions of of our heart. And today, I’m asking that you make the Blood of Jesus Christ a verbal profession of your Faith. I’m asking you to make a proclamation that your life is completely covered by the Blood of Jesus Christ.
(Illustration) Sometime back I talked with a well-meaning minister from a mainline denomination. During the conversation he mentioned that Pentecostals overemphasized the Blood. I’m unsure which part of Scripture he thought underemphasized the Blood—the Old or the New Testament? The Old Testament refers to the Blood a mere 314 times, and the New Testament only mentions it about 100 times. Over 400 references to blood are enough to convince me of punctuating it!
(Definition) How many here have heard the expression, “Plead the Blood of Jesus”? You won’t find that phrase in Scripture, but it is not contrary to Scripture. Here’s what it means: “Pleading the Blood of Jesus” is a verbal declaration sent to nullify Satan’s work and enforce Christ’s dominion. It announces Christ’s authority over anything that stands before you! And Satan doesn’t want to hear you “plead the Blood.”
(Question) Think about something. If you could get a truthful answer out of the “father of lies” and ask him, “Was it an accomplishment or mistake to crucify the Lord?” what do you think his answer would be? When you remind Satan of ripping into Christ’s Body with a whip and piercing his body with nails, thorns, and a spear and drawing that precious Blood, you are forcing him to recount the worst mistake he ever made.
There is a reason I entitled the message, The Five-fold Provision of Christ’s Blood. It’s because He spilled His Blood from five bodily places at His crucifixion. He bled from His back, head, hands, feet, and side. Each of these wounded areas symbolizes an area of our life that Christ promises to protect and bless.
(Transition) First, consider the Blood-provision from Christ’s back.
When Christ went to Calvary Pilate lashed His back with 39 stripes. Isaiah 53 says, “He was pierced for our transgression; He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we were healed.”
I want to be quick to say, ‘I don’t know why all people aren’t healed when they seek for it.’ It’s a mystery nobody may unravel until we stand before Heaven’s throne. But the fact remains, Jesus Christ does heal! The God that created us can repair us! In fact, it was mandatory that man’s Redeemer and Messiah appear as the healer! Let me show you why. Beginning in Old Testament God revealed Himself as man’s Healer. One of the compound names He used to identify Himself was Jehovah-Rapha—“God our Healer.” He then made the pledge in Exodus 15:26, “I am the Lord your God who heals you,” and throughout the Old Testament He healed. For the prophesied Messiah to be equal with the Father, He had to duplicate the healing works of Jehovah from the Old Testament! And He did. Jesus healed the sick everywhere He travelled. Acts 10:38 says, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil.”
Jesus didn’t heal the sick to attract crowds or impress unbelievers. He healed to establish His claim to be Almighty God. His miracles declared He was Emmanuel—“God in the flesh.”
This helps us understand why Jesus dealt with John the Baptist as He did just before John was beheaded. Maybe you remember the story of John’s last days and how he languished in prison. John was the “forerunner” that the Old Testament said would prepare the way for Christ. But once John completed his mission to announce Christ’s arrival he was incarcerated and his ministry was terminated. The Bible says John sat in prison questioning whether Jesus was truly the Messiah. Wouldn’t the Christ of undiminished deity rescue John and return him to his work? That didn’t happen. So John sent a disciple to Jesus asking whether He was the Messiah or was He yet to appear?
Notice Christ’s course of action. He stopped what He was doing, marched into the crowds, and healed scores of people. Then, without promising any hope of release from prison, Jesus sent back a messenger saying, ‘“[Go tell John] the lame walk, the blind see, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them.” How do those words console or convince John of anything? What’s compassionate about that? But there is an amazing disclosure hidden in Christ’s actions. When John’s disciple brought back the report of grand miracles transforming the infirmed, what do you suppose John thought? John instantly remembered his own prophecy to the crowds: “He [Jesus] must increase and I [John] must decrease.” Our loving Lord had taken time to heal scores of people and then return that word to John so he would understand his own prophecy had been fulfilled. Thus, Christ would be exalted and John would remain imprisoned. And this report was all the consolation John needed to be assured that Jesus was who He claimed to be—the Son of God!
And the healing name of Jesus Christ still declares His Lordship! Jesus is “the same yesterday and today and forever” and His healing power is still available. The God that created us can repair us. How many here have been healed by the power of Christ? [Pause.] That testifies to the Sovereign Lordship of Jesus Christ. “By His stripes you were healed.” Praise God!
(Transition) The second provision I want to discuss is the blessing secured through the Bloodletting from Christ’s head.
John 19:2 says the soldiers crucifying Him “twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head.” When they did, the thorns pierced Christ’s brow and forced Blood from His head. That Blood provides Believers with soundness of mind. It assures us that we can have victory in our thought life.
(Example) Shortly after I entered the full-time ministry someone asked me where Satan primarily attacked Christians. I instantly answered, “In the mind.” I have never doubted that. Satan relentlessly attacks the mind. He attacks while you’re awake and asleep. He attacks with tormenting thoughts, bizarre dreams, panic attacks, flashbacks, and fear. The Apostle Paul even said that Satan creates strongholds in the mind. If you can think it; Satan will attack it!
(Illustration) I’ve honestly heard horror stories of Satan’s relentless attacks on the mind. I ministered to a Christian lady whose mind was incessantly flooded with vile and repulsive words. You would have never guessed Satan would attack her like this because it didn’t closely resemble her demeanor. She was a wonderful Christian lady, but that didn’t matter to the devil. He hurled an unrelenting mental onslaught at her. It wasn’t quick, but she eventually subdued that temptation.
But there was something different about Christ’s thinking. He never entertained one vile affection! For thirty-three years He cogitated without Satan ever polluting His mind. And because Christ conquered the vulnerability of human thinking we can use His Blood to repel Satan’s attacks there too! 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
(Application) There may be some here that need to reclaim your peace of mind. Confess the Blood! Say, “Satan, the Blood of Jesus Christ resists your assault against my mind. Go!” The Blood of Christ will “Let the peace of God guard your heart” and mind.
(Transition) We’ve discussed the Blood-provision from Christ’s back and head; now let’s discuss its provision from His hands.
The Bible uses the imagery of hands to represent our enterprising. That means the Blood flowing from Christ’s nailed-scarred hands secures blessing for our labors.
There is an interesting Scripture in John 15:16. Jesus turned to His disciples and said, “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain.” Some versions use the word “ordained” instead of “appointed.” They read, God has “ordained you to bear fruit.” Regardless of which translation you use, the word appointed/ ordained means this: “Christ made a choice for you.” And the choice was so important that He made it from the foundation of the world in Genesis 1:28 when He spoke to Adam. God said, “Be (1) fruitful and (2) increase in number; (3) fill the earth and (4) subdue it. (5) Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
There is no ambiguity there. You don’t have to pray about whether God wants to bless you because He already made that choice for you. He’s waiting for you to accept His offer and claim His blessing. You have the legal right to lift your hands toward Heaven and declare that the Blood of Jesus blesses your labors.
This doesn’t mean you won’t have tough times. Everyone goes through seasons of drought and transition. You might even go through a season of prolonged adversity that delays the fruit of your labors. It’s just part of life. In fact, plowing, persevering, struggling, and waiting are all part of God’s process!
(Illustration) I read the story of a Scottish discus thrower from the 1800’s. The Scotsman had never even seen a discus but, being a strong, athletic man, he determined he would compete in the Olympics and make a name for himself. He found an Encyclopedia that described a discus and from that diagram constructed his own solid iron disc. For one year he practiced and labored to match the world record, but despite all his efforts he never came close. You can imagine his disappointment as he practiced. But when the Olympics arrived a year later he traveled to England for the competition anyway. When he arrived at the field of play he was handed an official discus and he couldn’t believe his eyes! It was wooden! He had misread the diagram in that Encyclopedia. An Olympic discus was made of wood with only a rim of iron. The disc he had practiced with weighed nearly four times more than those of his challengers. History shows that He stepped into the box and threw that thing like a Frisbee. He set a world record, which none of his competitors came close to matching, and returned home the Champion.
God knows how to make adversity work for your good. And many times He forces you into hardship! It’s because struggle prepares you for your “moment.” There was never a time when that Scot’s training was not blessed. And because he persevered on the practice field; God made him a champion on the Olympic Field. You see, your hands are blessed even when you’re training.
(Application) No matter where you are in life—whether you’re employed or unemployed; in training or reigning; retired or retreading—you can put your hands into the nail-scarred hands of Christ and declare that His blessing enriches your endeavors.
(Transition) Do you believe God really wants to bless your labors? I want you to look at an example from Genesis 49 that describes God’s willingness to bless your labors. It occurs in the context of Jacob pronouncing his blessing upon his 12 sons.
He turned to his highly favored son Joseph and said, “Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall” (49:22). I love this passage of Scripture because it carries a wondrous sense of mystery. What do you think it means to be “a fruitful vine . . . near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall”? As I have parsed this passage here is how I interpret its mystery: God promised to take Joseph and make him so productive, that his fruitfulness not only provided for those living inside the context of his life, but Joseph’s fruitfulness branched out, scaled the walls, and blessed people outside the context of his life—those on the other side of the wall.
Is that what you want? It’s what I have desired. I want the fruitfulness of Joseph that grants blessing to those inside the walls of my life, but then branches out over the wall and reaches those far away—those whom I don’t even know—who can also partake of God’s goodness.
(Illustration) Let me share a personal testimony as it relates to Genesis 49:22. For years, I prayed this verse and claimed God’s promise of being a “fruitful vine” like Joseph. Back in 2003 the Lord prompted me to launch the website PulpitToday.org. It’s a website that resources Pastors and Teachers of the Christian Faith with sermons, teaching, apologetics, and devotionals. And it has had millions of hits. For over a year now, Pulpit Today has reached an average of 110 countries a month! Genesis 49:22 has literally come to pass in my life. In some small way, the messages God has given me have touched those inside the context of my life, and they have crossed over the walls and reached the farthest parts of the world!
Psalm 92:12 says “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; (13) planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. (14) They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.” Folks, God wants you to claim fruitfulness! It’s not something you have to wonder whether God wants for you. It’s the will of God! Christ “chose you, and appointed you to . . . bear fruit.” And note that the vine of Joseph was rooted by a “spring of water.” Springs of water aren’t necessarily dependent on rain. They effervesce from waters beneath the earth. So it doesn’t matter if there is a draught; God can still make you fruitful!
(Transition) Fourth, let’s discuss the Blood-provision from Christ’s feet.
The Blood spilled from Christ’s pierced feet offers power to walk in victory. The Lord didn’t send His Son to the agonies of the Cross and offer the glories of redemption for you to live in defeat! He wants your going-forth to be blessed from dawn till dusk!
There’s an interesting passage that deals with the application of Blood upon the Old Testament Priests. In Leviticus 8:23 God commanded the Priests to be sprinkled with blood on their right ear, right thumb, and right toe. The purpose of this is clear. God wanted the entire welfare of the Priests blessed and guarded. Today, the New Testament teaches “the priesthood of all believers,” not just a select group of people. Every Christian here is a Priest of Christ and He wants you living in victory! The “father of lies” is living up to his name when he insists that defeat is your “lot in life,” or that “things will never change,” or that “you will never make it.”
James 4:7 says, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” That word “resist” is not passive; it’s aggressive. Here’s what I used to think the word “resist” meant. I thought it meant to simply “hold your ground.” I thought it meant to remain unmovable when Satan plowed into you. But that’s not what it means. The Greek word for “resist” doesn’t mean to “hold your ground.” It means “to oppose, charge after, and knock down.” You’re not just ready to get struck; you’re ready to strike!
(Example) Imagine yourself as offensive lineman for an NFL team. Your opponent is a 6’6,” 290-pound defensive end. You’re at the line of scrimmage waiting for the snap of the ball. Here’s what you don’t do. You don’t block your opponent by waiting for him to charge at you. Because you know when the ball will be snapped, your duty is to charge forward first. You don’t wait for your opponent to strike. That’s what it means to resist.
When it comes to resisting the devil, you need to get down in your spiritual 3-point stance and declare you are (1) Blood-washed, (2) Word-filled, and (3) Spirit-empowered and then charge forward in the name of Christ. Now that’s what James meant when he said, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you”!
Remember something: The Blood of Jesus Christ never encounters a fiercer foe! It’s never outmatched! And you have Covenant authority to resist the powers of darkness and command victory through Christ’s Blood. Jesus said, “I give you power to tread upon serpents, scorpions, and all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm you” (Luke 10:19).
(Transition) Fifth, the Blood-provision from Christ’s side.
The spear that split open the flow of Blood from Christ’s side washes away our sins and provides for our eternal salvation. It makes us sons and daughters of God.
The book of Leviticus says that life bubbles from the circulatory system. It’s impossible for the physical body to live without blood. It’s also impossible to live eternally without the flow of Christ’s holy Blood. That’s why Hebrews says, “without the shedding of Blood there is no remission of sins.” When God spoke to the ancient Prophets about salvation they understood the Hebrew word for salvation had an enormous meaning. They knew it not only included freedom from sin; it included deliverance from ill, evil, and all manner of bondage. They knew their salvation ultimately promised them passage into the presence and refuge of God Himself. The Blood of Jesus covers every area of our life! Nothing is left outside His Covenant-care for us.
Recall the Great Covenants of Scripture. They are the Covenants of Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Christ. These Covenants provided protection, blessing, and salvation. And something significant is attached to each one of these Covenants. It’s an element that sanctions the Covenants and becomes their Official Seal. It’s the presence of blood. God used the Seal of Blood to guarantee and effectuate His promises. It’s what Hebrews 9:18 means when it says “the New Covenant was not put into effect without the Blood.” The Blood empowers the Covenant! It’s what gives the Covenant its power over whatever stands contrary to it.
Now it becomes evident why Christ shed His Blood at Calvary. His Blood guarantees every promise of the Bible. The Blood speaks in our behalf. It’s the Blood that heals our sickness, gives us peace, blesses our labor, guides our path, and pardons our sin. That’s what John the Revelator meant when he said, “they overcame [Satan] by the Blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.” The Blood overcomes! And that’s why we should confess the Seal of the Covenant. The Lord wants us declaring the power of His Blood over every area of our lives.
Do you see the importance of blood in the Bible? The great Covenants of the Bible were authorized and sealed by it. The only way Israel could enjoy the blessings of their Old Testament Covenant was through the shedding of blood. Year after year the priests made a fresh application of the blood as the Jews gathered to worship God. And every blessing of the New Testament depends on the presence of Blood; but not the blood of bulls and goats! This New Covenant of Grace has been sealed by the sacred and holy Blood of Jesus Christ! And that precious Blood will never lose its power. That’s what Hebrews 12:24 means when it says “The Blood still speaks”! Do you understand that? Christ’s Blood is alive! It’s effectual; it’s incontestable; and it’s guarding every area of your life. Christ’s Blood “still speaks” for you. And if His Blood is speaking in your behalf you should agree with that testimony and confess its five-fold blessing over you.
I want you to make a faith-filled declaration of Christ’s Blood over your life right now. Declare this with me:
Every area of my life resides under the living Blood of Jesus.
The Blood from His back heals me.
The Blood from His brow gives me peace of mind.
The Blood from His hands blesses my enterprising.
The Blood from His feet sanctions my path.
And the Blood from His side forgives my sins.
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