Tied Hands

There has been much talk against the police here of late. They have been attacked on every level and especially politically. The President of the United States believes that the attire of the police is too intimidating. Even more local politicians have basically all but blamed police officers for things that have gone wrong in communities across the country. Consider, for instance, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake who told the police to stand down during the Freddy Gray riots. She then suggested that the police were not doing their jobs when the fact is their hands were tied behind their backs by the mayor.

Since those tragic riots the murder rate in Baltimore has sky-rocketed. Officers are concerned about doing their jobs because they don’t want false charges brought upon them. Now, it has yet to be made public what actually caused the death of Mr. Gray. This, however, has not stopped the mayor and others from coming down on the officers with the full force of their offices. The police have been maligned to such an extent that if they do their jobs they are wrong and if they don’t they are just as wrong. Well, who can work under such circumstances as that? No wonder murder has gone up! And, still citizens say the police are in the way too much and when criminals take over they are called upon them to return. But, why would they with tied hands?

People being moved by false emotions are no new thing. I recall working as a substitute teacher in Fort Smith, Arkansas. There, at the time, was much talk about the use of red pens to grade papers. Even more the idea of telling a child he provided a wrong answer was gaining ground among some. This, as it were, caused the child to have his feelings hurt or was feeling intimidated upon by reason of the red pen marks or bad grades. By extension the teachers’ hands, in some cases, were tied because they were not allowed to properly assess the progress of the students which inevitably led to failure of the one whose feelings were hurt. Hence, when the hands of authority figures are tied then comes the failure of those who should heed the sage advice of those authority figures.

Tied hands not only cause problems in the public sphere but also in the church. We have come to a time when preachers are not “allowed” to preach the Gospel. To call sin sin is to be a bigot in this day and age. There is now a “feel good” gospel this is permeating the thoughts of some while others simply want their Sunday fix without being told how to live outside the church. This has resulted in the preachers’ hands being tied. Some want the full churches and want people to feel comfortable in church so there is often no cry against sin. This has created a double standard in the church which has poured into the streets where right is wrong and wrong has become right.

This is how the “hands” of Christ have been tied. All too often there is no standard of holiness presented by those who are to lead the way. Also, the way many “Christians” dress pulls away from the standards of holiness. Even so, the preaching of Christ has nearly been nullified to the extent that many see no need to have Christ as Lord and Saviour. They see no reason to bow to the One who can give them eternal life because insofar as they are concerned life is this fading time on earth. Therefore, when one sees no reason to honour the Holy One the redemptive hands of the Redeemer are tied so that He cannot pull sinners from darkness.

Romans 8:34 reads, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” This intercession is not for those who choose not Christ rather it is for those that love Him and His appearing. When this happens our enemy makes accusations for us. However, because Christ makes intercession, much like an attorney for his clients, He can only represent those that have “hired” Him. Those who do not fall under the redemptive arm of Christ have tied the hands of Christ so that there is no defense for them. There is no salvation because deliverance has not been sought. The only end that can be had is death and destruction much like what is taking place in Baltimore. When the hands of authority are tied there can be no good end.

Do you have the hands of Christ tied? Are you willing to let Christ in so that he can plead your case or will you continue to live a destructive life wherein death is the only clear outcome? Please make a decision to untie the hands of Christ so that you can live a life of total victory.

He Didn’t Have to Do It

The story has been told time and time again. It would take little effort to examine the incarnation of Christ from an academic viewpoint. However, academia is not the reason for the incarnation. In fact, the only reason for Christ laying aside some of His attributes was because love was the impetus for the sacrifice. Love looked through the annals of time and realized that without the redemptive work of an incarnate Christ, man would be forever dammed.

Pardon my imagination. I am sure that a conversation took place in Heaven. The Father and the Son with the Holy Spirit engaged in a discussion centered on finalizing the plan of salvation. The Old Testament paved the way with multiple foreshadows of how the plan of salvation would play out. The time was ripe and the season ready for the Son of man to humbly present himself. And, so the Son of God took on the flesh of man and walked the earth. For the last three of His thirty-three years Christ worked tirelessly to restore the broken relationship between God and man. He sought to put to rest the consequences of sin. This is a work He didn’t have to do yet He saw reason for salvation.

At this juncture to rehearse the story Good Friday might serve to bore some while encourage others. To talk about the mock trials and the thorn of crowns would cause some to weep and others to repent. The fact of the Via Dolorosa might consider some to look at their own sorrows, or even consider the fact the Christ did not have to suffer unjust lashings. He did not have to suffer the lies and embarrassments of a false declaration of guilt. No, Jesus did not have to suffer at the hands of the man over whom He held ultimate authority. Still, nothing was to stop the King of kings from fulfilling the will of the Father.

No, Emanuel did not have to suffer the cross. He could have avoided the nails. The thirst He suffered showed that the God-man suffered as a man; yet, His determination to redeem man was born from the God He was. This Jesus, the One betrayed with a kiss, could have called ten thousand angels to come to His defense – but He stayed on the cross. His blood dripped from His torn and broken body. He refused to come down. The mission was not accomplished so He could not come down. He stayed on the cross because He sought to please His Father as He worked to heal man. The Saviour after much anguish, after considerable pain, and untold humiliation chose to bow his head and die. He died so that man would not have to die in sin. The death of the Anointed One meant that there would no longer be a separation between God and man as the Blood of the Saviour was now available to wash away the sin of the world.

The story, however, does not end at the cross. No, the story is just to begin and cannot be contained in the words of this essay. The torn veil says much. The darkened sky and earthquake was more than one soldier could take. Yea, the centurion indicated that this One on the cross must have been the Son of God. And, then there were those dead lovers of God that were freed from the grave. The confrontation of our Lord and Saviour with the enemy would have made headlines today. Death was not able to keep Him. The grave could not hold Him. The keys to death, Hell, and the grave were snatched from the hand of Satan. The victory had been won!

O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? Christ did get up from the grave. He held the victory then and holds it now. Now He sits on the right hand of the Father interceding for you and me all because He wanted to restore that broken relationship. All He asks is that we follow His perfect example.

If Christ has not risen in your heart now is the time. Do not put it off until tomorrow as tomorrow may be too late. Don’t, I beg you, let it be said to late; let the Lord in. Now is the time of salvation. Now is the time to let Christ rise in you!

It’s in the Blood

I first taught this lesson several years ago in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The time passed since this particular lesson was originally taught has no bearing on the continuing significance of the all powerful blood of Jesus. It is my hope that these lesson notes provides the catalysis for proper application of the blood as well as an understanding of this most powerful medium of salvation.

It’s in the Blood

Prepared for:

Springs of Refreshing Fellowship Church
1932 Gwynn Oak Ave
Baltimore, MD 21207

30 January 2014

Pastour: Bishop Johnny C. Carrington, Sr.

Prepared by: Eld. William James Carter, The 1st

© Copy Write 2014

It’s in the Blood

When you consider the Scriptures there is much talk about blood. This is discussion about the spilling of blood as concerning the taking of life and there is talk of blood lines when considering the lineage of people. Most importantly, there is much talk about blood in respect to the covering of and washing away of sin.

So, to clearly understand what all this blood talk is about there must be an understanding of what the purpose of blood is. Blood, as we know, is the sustainer of life. Leviticus 17:11 is clear evidence of this fact. It reads in part (For the life of the flesh is in the blood…) without out this precious fluid life would cease to be. Blood is also unique in that it is one of the few fluids that once spilled leaves a stain that is not easily removed.

If anyone has ever watched any police investigative shows one of the first things that one would notice is the constant mention of blood. It is the constant search of blood that is paramount, particularly in the event of a homicide. This being the case, there are some instances wherein a suspect might attempt to clean the blood with such agents as bleach and ammonia. This attempt to clean is futile because the blood leaves a stain that can not be cleaned. And so, detectives are often able to solve crimes by reason of the blood-stained scene.

Blood, according to Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, is the red fluid circulating in the body that takes nourishment to the body parts and carries away waste. But to fully understand blood one must delve just a little deeper into the science of it to get a clear picture of the power of this life-sustaining matter.

Now, blood has a number of characteristics. Firstly, blood, in general is called whole blood. It is a living tissue that circulates through the heart, arteries, veins, and capillaries carrying nourishment, electrolytes, hormones, vitamins, antibodies, heat, and oxygen to the body’s tissues. So, when God breathed life into man in Genesis 2:7, not only was man’s spirit made to come to life but that it began the circulation of blood which sustained the life of the physical man. Thereby, God having breathed into man’s nostrils had two-fold meaning.

Under the microscope blood is shown to have several parts. One such part is the red blood cell. The red blood cell is the heaviest of the cells and is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. There are about one billion red blood cells for every two to three drops of blood.

It is noteworthy to mention that the human body holds about twelve pints of blood. I have no way of determining how many drops of blood are in one pint. But it is safe to say that one drop of the blood of Jesus is enough to bring life to about five hundred million to one billion people. And when this bloodline continues from generation to generation untold billions can receive life just from a drop of the blood of Jesus. This explains the numbers in Revelation 7:9-14 which reads:

After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice saying, SALVATION TO OUR GOD WHICH SITTETH UPON THE THRONE, AND UNTO THE LAMB. And all the angels stood round about the throne on their faces, and worshipped God. Saying, A-men’: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen’. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Keep in mind that these are not the only ones that will be standing with the Lamb. I Thessalonians 4:13-18 gives reason to celebrate by reason of the blood of Jesus.

But I would not to have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them which are sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Red blood cells are also continuously being produced in the bone marrow. The individual cells have a specific life span but once its job is done, the job is done. And because these red blood cells are renewed day by day the potential for life is infinite. This is why the Christian can look forward to everlasting life.

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood. While it has several functions, it is clear to see that the primary job of plasma is to regulate. Part of this regulation involves maintaining a satisfactory blood pressure and volume to supplying critical proteins for blood clotting and immunity. It also serves as the medium of exchange for vital minerals such as sodium and potassium, thus helping maintain a proper balance in the body, which is critical to cell function.

With this in mind, it is safe to say that the plasma holds it all together. It is instrumental in the necessary movement of minerals like as the blood of Christ is instrumental in the movement of sin from us as depicted in I John 1:7:

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.

So then, if this plasma, this blood of Christ regulates and maintains a proper balance of the minerals such a potassium and sodium in our bodies it is hard to understand why some of us persist in sin when we have declared that we have been washed in the Blood of the Lamb. If there was a washing in the Blood of the Lamb, and if the plasma regulates the blood, then perhaps the person claiming to have been washed was never washed. You see, once a thing is bleached the change in it is more than obvious.

Platelets are another part of the blood that have an invaluable function. The platelet is vital to life, because it helps prevent massive blood loss resulting from trauma, as well as blood vessel leakage that would otherwise occur in the course of normal, day-to-day activity. This is the sustaining part of the blood. It is the part of the blood that keeps us alive in Christ. The platelets are the part of the blood that lend credence to the forgiveness of sin, should we error. It is the platelets that allow repentance so that in the event of faltering we do not loose the righteousness of God. It is the redemption power that we so desperately need. Romans 3:23-25 says it like this:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.

The platelets also protect from harm that is not of the doing of the person. It protects from such trauma that is not self-inflicted but that occurs as a routine part of life. Such trauma could be a lie told, a scandalized name, the unexpected death of a loved one, an undeserved divorced, the lose of a job and a host of other things that are not sin but that has an effect on the life of the one washed in the blood. The platelets, then, can be said to have the keeping power.

White blood cells are responsible for protecting the body from invasion by foreign substances such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses. While in the bloodstream there are far fewer white blood cells than red blood cells. In fact, the ration would be 1:600, in favour of the red cells. This makes the white cells far more powerful than the red ones. But then, the job of the white cells is extraordinary.

White blood cells protect the Christian from invasions such as hopelessness, pain, and un-forgiveness. White blood cells attack disparity and loneliness. The disease of sin cannot compare to the protecting power of the white blood cells. The white blood cells are the overcoming power as described in Revelation 12:11 which says in part:

and they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb…

It is the white blood cells that fight off the infections of the corruption of this world. It is what gives strength to the Christian and, thus, is the reason we can cry redeemed, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.

Ephesians 1:7 talks about the redeeming power of the blood by saying:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.

The ninth chapter of Hebrews goes in some detail describing the work of the blood. Verses seven through eight A:

But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest…

Verse 11-15:

But Christ being come an high priest of things to com, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, He entered once in the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the New Testament that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

Hebrews 10:14 reads:

For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that
are sanctified.

If God Were a Peripheral God

If anyone knows anything about philosophy it is certain that Frederick Nietzsche’s idea of a “dead god” is either infamous or famous depending on one’s world view. Nietzsche’s dead god did not mean that our God was without life rather it was Nietzsche’s way of presenting the idea that God was not involved in His creation. It is much like the idea of Deism wherein it is believed that God created man and then pulled away from mankind with little to no involvement. This, by extension, would make God a peripheral God, an idea which must be challenged.
The fact of the matter is that God was involved with His creation from the time of the creation. The narrative in Genesis clearly shows that Adam and Eve enjoyed a relationship with God. Relationships are far from peripheral in that there needs to interaction between the parties involved in the relationship. With that God spent time with man until sin caused a breach in the relationship. In spite of the breach God continued to reach out to man to repair a broken relationship. God longed for the communion He once enjoyed with man so that from the time sin entered the camp God put in place a plan to restore that relationship. Peripheral thinking would lend one to believe that a peripheral God would not care about a broken relationship. Thus, if God were a peripheral God there would be no concern for what was lost.
There are many other scriptural examples of God working to restore broken relationships between himself and man. Take for instance the period of time when the Israelites were in bondage to the whims of the Egyptians. The people of God were not allowed to worship Him and desired to be in a place where they could worship without hindrance. God heard the desires of His people and worked diligently to bring His people out from the land of bondage into a state of freedom. With this in mind God chose Moses and gave him specific instructions as to what to do in order to deliver God’s people. It is not certain that a peripheral God would take the time and care to bring His people from a state of bondage into a state of freedom where worship of Him is not only allowed but also encouraged.
The multiple encounters of God in the Old Testament with His people clearly show that our God is not dead. That is to say that God is not separated from those that love Him rather multiple evidences show that God speaks to and works with not only those that love Him but also God reaches out to those who have not chosen to love Him. There is no more evidence of that then the text found in John 3:16-17 which reads:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
The fact of God sending His Son into a sinful world does not speak of One who is peripheral. In fact the converse is true. For instance, if God were a peripheral God there would be no concern for the sinful state of man. There would be no desire to restore the broken relationship. A peripheral God would not put the life of His Son into the hands of those that chose to forsake Him on every hand. Instead God with all His love looked down through the annals of time and saw a wretched people in need of deliverance. If God were a peripheral God salvation would be non-existent and all mankind would be dammed by reason of the first Adam.

Moreover if God were merely peripheral Jesus would not have sacrificed himself on the cross with the result of paving the way for man to accept Him, the one and only source of redemption. If God were a peripheral God the spilled blood of Jesus would be void thereby making His atoning work of none effect. If God were as suggested by Nietzsche the promise made by Jesus to never leave us nor forsake us would be a lie. Further His fulfilled promise to send the Holy Ghost to live in believers would be null. If God were a peripheral God then my life is not worth living. Yet because God is intimately involved in the lives of those that love Him I am awed that God is not a peripheral God.