The Chemistry Of The Blood

“The life Is In The Blood” —Leviticus 17:11

Martin R. DeHaan, M.D. (1891-1965)


"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." —Hebrews 9:13-14

The whole plan of redemption rests upon the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. In a previous message, we pointed out that the blood is the only tissue which is unlimited in its movement within the body. Almost all other body tissues are fixed, such as muscle, bone, nerve, fat, and skin. They remain where they are. The blood is the only tissue which is not fixed but circulates throughout the body to every living cell. There are other fluid products of the body, such as saliva and gastric juices, tears and bile, but these are not tissues, but secretions and are not parts of the body but byproducts of that body. The blood alone is the liquid tissue that can reach every single cell in the body and, therefore unites all the members with the head and the individual members as well.


Man has learned a great deal about this blood since the discovery of the microscope and the development of blood chemistry, and while much is still a mystery, we quite thoroughly understand its physical structure. The normal human body with its five pints of blood is wholly dependent upon the circulation of this fluid for its life for the "life of the flesh is in the blood thereof." Simply stated the blood consists of a liquid vehicle, called the plasma, a colorless liquid in which are suspended the various cellular elements and in which are found in solution a great many chemical compounds. The solid part of the blood consists mainly of three kinds of cells. These are called platelets, thin transparent cells whose function is still quite obscure. Then there are the red cells or erythrocytes, in the concentration of about 5,000,000 per cubic millimeter. These are the cells which carry the fuel to the tissues in the form of combined oxygen and gives the blood its red color. Then there are the white cells or leukocytes, of which there are several kinds, which have to do particularly with the defenses of the body in combating infection. Then there are the other elements in solution which provide for the clotting of the blood when an artery or vein is severed, and the antigents and antibodies to prevent disease, as well as various salts and elements of lesser interest.


A good deal is known concerning the red and the white cells, since they are the more easily studied. The red cells or erythrocytes are minute disc-shaped cells with their mysterious hemoglobin, an iron compound which has an affinity for oxygen, the fuel of the body. These red cells traveling through the lungs come in contact with the oxygen in the air we breathe and unite loosely with it to form oxy-hemoglobin and in that form they carry it to all cells and there discharge its little cargo to the cell, providing it with its vital oxygen for combustion and heat. Then the blood picks up the waste products of tissues, the carbon dioxide, and the ashes of tissue metabolism, which we may well call “the cell garbage,” and discharges this through the kidneys, the skin, the bowels and lungs and then refills with a load of precious oxygen and goes through the whole cycle again, taking about twenty-three seconds for one trip around. The food is carried to the tissues by the blood and in the same vehicle the “garbage” is carried off, and yet there is never any contamination, so perfectly has the great Creator made us. Imagine today our city produce dealers today delivering our foods unpackaged in the same truck in which they haul the garbage. Here is something in which our health departments to wonder at.


As essential then as the blood is to our bodies, so essential is the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ to the body of Christ. It too is fluid so that it can reach every single member of that body no matter how far those members may be removed the one from the other. Just as the blood supplies the food elements for nourishment and life, and then carries off the waste products and poisons due to cell metabolism, so too the Lord Jesus Christ is to every believer the only source of life, the only support and sustenance of life but also the One who keeps cleansing us day by day, so that our eternal life is really ETERNAL, for the "blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing flood?
Are YOU washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless, are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Here is indeed a marvel of divine chemistry. In Revelation we read that the saints of God had washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb. Think of it. Washing in blood and becoming white. Try and wash your robes in the blood of a man and see what color they are. It is impossible to wash clothes white in human blood, but God’s chemical laboratory of redemption has found a way to wash away all filth and stain and wonder of wonders it is by washing in the BLOOD of the Lamb. His sinless, supernatural blood alone can do that.


Now besides the red cells in the bloods plasma, we mentioned the white cells, scientifically called leukocytes.  They are called “white cells” because they are pale or white in appearance, while the red cells, of course, are not. These white cells are somewhat larger than the red cells but much less in number. They normally occur in the concentration of about four thousand to seven thousand per cubic millimeter, while you remember the red cells have a count of from four to five million. However, the number of these white cells may be very, very rapidly increased in cases of emergency. The seven thousand normal count may be called the regular “standing army” of the blood stream. When an infection occurs anywhere in the body and the body is attacked by an enemy “army” of germs, the news is flashed back to the “camp” where the white cells are manufactured and immediately the organ turns out a greatly increased number of these white cells and rushes them over to the point of infection.  We might well call this “Conscription of the white army,” in times of emergency. The number of white cells is doubled and then trebled, for the white cells are the “soldiers” of the body. They have the strange power to kill germs and engulf them. So when you prick your finger and a little infection starts, you soon notice a swelling around the wound. This is caused by blood being rushed to the area carrying these little “soldiers,” the white cells. These white cells surround the point of infection completely and lay siege to the bacteria causing the trouble. Millions of “soldiers” are killed and are gathered to one place, where they form what is commonly called “pus.”

So now the battle is turning and the wound which at first was red and angry and swollen now comes to a head. It has been successfully surrounded and finally the pimple bursts and the pus is expelled. The pus consists of serum and dead “soldiers,” millions of the white cells which gave their lives in the battle for the body, together with countless numbers of germs partly digested by the white cells.

When the “dead” in the form of pus have been expelled, the blood and other white cells come in, clean up the “battlefield” and build new tissues until all is healed, and nothing but a scar remains. The number of white cell “soldiers” during all this time has been greatly increased but now the battle is over and they return to their normal peacetime number. This is the reason the doctor takes a little of your blood out of your finger for a blood count when he suspects infection anywhere. In doubtful cases of appendicitis he takes a drop of blood and examines it. If the white cells are greatly increased and the “army” is being “conscripted” as indicated by the increasing number of little white “soldiers,” he knows pretty sure that there is an attack by infection being made upon the body somewhere. Surely in the light of all this we can appreciate the words of David when he said, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made."


What the blood in our bodies does for us in times of danger and attack, the PRECIOUS BLOOD of the Lord Jesus Christ does for each and every believer. Right in this connection I must quote a passage from Revelation 12.

"And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, WHICH ACCUSED THEM BEFORE OUR GOD DAY AND NIGHT. AND THEY OVERCAME HIM BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB and by the word of their testimony."  —Revelation 12:10-11

They overcame him (Satan) BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB. Now this hath its interpretation, of course to the nation of Israel in the tribulation, but it applies just as well to us today. Satan is the accuser of the brethren. He brings charges against us before God and to be sure there are plenty of charges to be made. But when He comes before God to accuse us there is One there, even our Great HIGH PRIEST, the Lamb of God, and all He needs to do is to point to the blood that was shed for us and it is enough.

Sometimes Satan also comes to accuse us. He points out our sins and failures and we see our shortcomings and the sins of the flesh and he says, “Are you a Christian? Are you saved? You don't look like a Christian.” The result is that often we go down and are defeated when we look at ourselves and our sins. We begin to doubt our salvation and question our redemption. How can we overcome this enemy? How can we overcome this enemy? How shall we meet this infection? There is only one answer: "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb."

I see no good in myself, even less than the Devil sees. I have no hope in myself and have no confidence in the flesh. Then I plead the blood. I look to Calvary and point to Him who there died for me and shed His blood for me and the light breaks through. I see that it is not my goodness nor the awful mountain of my sins, but it all depends on His blood. The blood fights for me. It is the army of “white cells” in the blood of Christ which puts the enemy to flight. I acknowledge my sin, I do not deny it and then I claim the promise,

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS." —1 John 1:9

"If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." —1 John 1:7

"They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb." —Revelation 12:11


We have time for just a word about a few other elements in the blood. In the blood are not only these cells and the clouting elements but science has discovered in the blood the ANTIBODIES or ANTITOXINS. These are elements which PREVENT INFECTIONS. The white cells fight infection when it occurs, but the ANTIBODIES prevent the infection from getting a foothold. Their nature of these elements is not fully understood, but we know clearly that except for these disease-preventing elements we would soon perish. An interesting angle is presented when you remember that these antibodies are produced in response to infection. That is, while these bodies which prevent a certain disease may be absent in the blood, AFTER THE PERSON HAS HAD THE DISEASE ONCE, these bodies have been produced in a large amount, and thus prevent the patient from contracting the same disease twice. Some of those antibodies last for life, as in the case of smallpox, scarlet fever and other diseases. Once you have had an attack of these, you will never get it again. Others are only temporary, giving immunity only for a time, so that after a certain period of time the same disease may be contracted again. The thing to notice is this: The body once attacked by disease builds up immunity so that it will not be attacked by that disease again. This immunity is in the blood.


What a lesson in the blood of Christ there is here for every believer in Him!  Even after we have been saved we are still open to the attacks of the world, the flesh and the Devil. Even after being born again we all to often fall prey to temptation and go down. The characteristic of the Christian who fails is that he seeks the cleansing of the blood of Christ and thereafter pleads the blood of Christ and guards against a repetition of the thing that once brought him down. He does not fall into the same sin again and again, for each experience builds up an immunity against that sin.

The difference between the sinner and the saint is NOT that the saint never SINS but the difference is this:  the saint HATES his sin and pleads the blood of Christ, while the sinner loves his sin and goes back into it. The saint is like a sheep. It may fall in the mud hole, but it is not comfortable there, and will bleat until the shepherd lifts her out, and thereafter will avoid that mud hole by ten rods. The sinner is like a pig. It goes about looking for slime pits and when it finds one it slides in with a grunt of glee and will squeal vehement objections if you try to pull it out and no sooner is it out than it will return to the slime pit again.

The saint may FALL into Sin but he will never remain there and he will be unhappy while in it. Oh Christian, do not despair if you have failed. Our precious Lord knew when He came to die for you what a failure you would be. He knew how hard it would be to remain undefiled in this old world which is “no friend to Grace”. He knew the pitfalls in the way and the deceitfulness of the flesh, and so when He died to save you, He also shed His blood to cleanse you, for He caused John to write:

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." —1 John 1:8-9

My friend, it will do you no good to deny your sins. God says if you do that you are only deceiving YOURSELF and nobody else. Your only hope is CONFESSING your sin, and then He sends the “army” of “white cells” of the precious blood of Christ to cleanse you. Then TRUST Him to keep you from Sin through that same precious blood which, in addition to the “white cells” of fighting and cleansing, also contains the ANTITOXIN against further sinning. Do not despair today as you think of how you have failed, but flee to Him who shed His PRECIOUS BLOOD for your salvation, your cleansing and your KEEPING.



Edifying Quotes by Martin R. DeHaan, M.D.

"Before an individual can be saved, he must first learn that he cannot save himself."

"We need not all agree, but if we disagree, let us not be disagreeable in our disagreements."

"Be on guard against any tampering with the Word, whether disguised as a search for truth, or a scholarly attempt at apparently hidden meanings; and beware of the confusion created by the senseless rash of new versions, translations, editions, and improvements upon the tried and tested Bible of our fathers and grandfathers."

"The true Church preaches REGENERATION; not reformation, not education, not legislation, but regeneration."


"Let me repeat that no greater curse has ever afflicted the Church of Jesus Christ than the curse of spiritualizing Scripture, that is, making Scripture mean something other than its literal meaning... Instead of spiritualizing, it is 'demonizing' of the Scriptures, for if any 'spirit' has anything to do with that school of Scripture interpretation it must be an 'evil spirit.' 

No, the Scriptures were not given to us to confuse us but rather to instruct us.  Certainly God intends that we should believe His Word with all simplicity.  A thousand years means a thousand years; a wolf means a wolf; a lion means a lion.  If you read your Bible that way, a child can understand it."

SOURCE: THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS, pg. 82,83; by M.R. DeHaan; 1944; ISBN: 0-8254-2483-6