Christ's Work was Finished at the Mercy Seat
By David J. Stewart
“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us... For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Hebrews 9:12,24).
Christ's work of redemption wasn't finished on the cross. 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 defines the Gospel as the DEATH, BURIAL and RESURRECTION of Jesus. When Jesus said “It is finished” (John 19:30) on the cross, He hadn't died, been buried or risen again. So His work of redemption could NOT have been finished on the cross.
So what did Jesus mean when He said it is finished? John 19:28, “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.” This is what was finished, i.e., all of the prophecies concerning Jesus up until that time. Jesus completed the prophecies with the statement, “I thirst” (Psalm 22:15).
Jesus work of redemption was finished at the Mercy Seat in Heaven. This is what Hebrews 9:12 and 9:24 teaches. Hebrews 9:12, “...BY HIS OWN BLOOD He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Amen! Jesus entered into the heavenly Holy Place on our behalf, with HIS BLOOD. It wasn't finished on the cross. Hebrews 9:12 and 9:24 tell us that Jesus, BY HIS OWN BLOOD, entered into the Holy Place “to appear in the presence of God for us.” This is where Christ's work of redemption was finished according to the plain statements of Scripture.
Dr. John MacArthur's Denies the Necessity of Jesus' Literal, Physical, Blood for Salvation
There is an inherent danger in believing that Christ's work was finished on the cross. Because many ministers today are teaching a bloodless theology, and in so doing trample underfoot the Son of God (Hebrews 10:29). The infamous Dr. John MacArthur teaches that Christ's death is all that is necessary to save sinners, and that Jesus' physical blood soaked into the ground at Calvary and stayed there. Millions of church pastors have followed MacArthur's demonic doctrine. MacArthur claims that Jesus' blood ONLY REPRESENTS Christ's death. John MacArthur denies that Jesus' literal, physical, blood has any saving power whatsoever. John MacArthur denies the redemptive power of Jesus' literal, physical, blood.
The April 1986 edition of Faith For The Family quotes MacArthur as saying in a 1976 article entitled, "Not His Bleeding But His Dying":
"It was His death that was efficacious . . . not His blood . . . Christ did not bleed to death. The shedding of blood had nothing to do with bleeding . . . it simply means death . . . Nothing in His human blood saves . . . It is not His blood that I love . . . it is Him. It is not His bleeding that saved me, but His dying." —Dr. John MacArthur
Mr. MacArthur is a heretic who states:
"It is not the actual liquid that cleanses us from our sins, but the work of redemption Christ accomplished in pouring it out." —Dr. John MacArthur
In MacArthur's Revised and Updated “Study Bible,” he avoids Exodus 12:13 like the Bubonic Plague... “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt” (King James Bible).
John MacArthur doesn't comment directly concerning this verse. It baffles me as to why any professed Gospel preacher would make light of the literal blood of Jesus Christ. MacArthur has nothing good to say about Jesus' physical blood, because he doesn't think it has any value in and of itself.
What good is a “Study Bible” that ignores the most important doctrine in the entire Bible? 1st Peter 1:18,19 tells us just how important the blood of Jesus is: “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
MacArthur's Deceitful, Confusing and Misleading Philosophies on the Blood of Christ
Deceitfully, in MacArthur's Revised and Updated Study Bible, he comments concerning 1st Peter 1:18,19 on page 1941:
“The price paid to a holy God was the shed blood of His own Son.”
SOURCE: The Revised and Updated edition of The MacArthur Study Bible, Thomas Nelson publishers, page 1941
Yet, to show you how deceitful MacArthur is, take a look at his comments concerning Hebrews 9:22 (i.e., "without shedding of blood there is no remission") on page 1912 of his Revised and Updated Study Bible:
“ 'Shedding of blood' refers to death.”
SOURCE: The Revised and Updated edition of The MacArthur Study Bible, Thomas Nelson publishers, page 1912
What a deceiver! If God meant “death,” then He would have said “death”; BUT God didn't, He said “shedding of blood.”
Christ's virgin birth, sinless life, vicarious death, burial and bodily resurrection all led up to the application of His precious blood to the Mercy Seat in Heaven. Everything was leading up to Christ's literal blood being applied in Heaven.
MacArthur denies this vehemently. Take at look at what MacArthur comments on page 1910 of his Revised and Updated Study Bible concerning Hebrews 9:12 (i.e., "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us"):
“A better translation would be 'through His own blood.' ... Nothing is said which would indicate that Christ carried His actual physical blood with Him into the heavenly sanctuary.”
SOURCE: The Revised and Updated edition of The MacArthur Study Bible, Thomas Nelson publishers, page 1910
MacArthur is very wrong. The Bible DOES indicate that Christ carried His physical blood with Him into the sanctuary. In fact, that is EXACTLY what Hebrews 9:12 states... “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
And as further evidence, Hebrews 9:21 and 24 state... “Moreover he [Moses] sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry ... For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.”
If you'll take the time to carefully read the entire chapter of Hebrews 9, you'll find the word “blood” mentioned 12 times. You'll also learn that the Old Testament tabernacle was a “figure” of the true Tabernacle in Heaven. Just as the Old Testament high priest was required to bring the lamb's literal, physical, shed BLOOD into the holy place and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat; so did Jesus Christ enter into the heavenly Holy Place with His own blood, and sprinkle it on the Mercy Seat. MacArthur is very wrong! Jesus needed to apply His shed blood to the Heavenly Mercy Seat; just as the Old Testament high priest was required to apply the slain lamb's blood, to the mercyseat in the earthly holy of holies.
1st Peter 1:18-19 teach, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Praise God! We were redeemed to God by the precious blood of Jesus! This is exactly what the Word of God proclaims! Anyone who claims that Jesus' literal, physical, blood is not necessary for salvation is a liar. Anyone who claims that there is no saving power to Jesus' physical blood is a spiritual fraud, an imposter in the house of God. From Abel's blood sacrifice in Genesis, to the saint's washed in the blood of the Lamb in Revelation, the Bible proclaims the precious literal and physical blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ!
Hebrews 9:12 in the KJB states, “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” MacArthur claims that the phrase “by his own blood” should have been translated “through his own blood.” Notice that God required the blood of animals UPON THE MERCY SEAT in the Old Testament. Leviticus 17:11 reads, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” The blood had to be applied.
Here are MacArthur's comments for Leviticus 17:11, i.e., the phrase “the life of the flesh is in the blood” . . .
"...the shedding of blood represents the shedding of life, i.e., death ... NT references to the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ are references to His death."
SOURCE: The Revised and Updated edition of The MacArthur Study Bible, Thomas Nelson publishers, page 178
There is NO such teaching in the Scriptures! John MacArthur has fabricated his own corrupt theology. Hebrews 9:6-7 state: “Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second [i.e., the holy of holies] went the high priest alone once every year, NOT WITHOUT BLOOD, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people.” How can Mr. MacArthur be so naive and unbiblical as to claim that Jesus' literal, physical, blood didn't need to be applied to the Mercy Seat in Heaven, in lieu of such overwhelming Scriptural evidence?
John MacArthur's entire “Study Bible” maliciously, but subtly, attacks the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Satan is subtle. 2nd Peter 2:1, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who PRIVILY shall bring in damnable heresies..." The word “privily” here means “taking pains to avoid being observed; to lead aside.” This is the nature of false prophets. They are used by Satan to mislead people, going through pains to avoid being detected. They are all ecumenical. They all pervert the Gospel message, requiring sinners to stop living in their sins to be saved (which MacArthur also teaches). But that's not what God says. Lordship Salvation is a backdoor approach to Works Salvation. Instead of requiring people to do good works to be saved as the Catholic Church does, Lordship Salvationists require people to stop living in sin to be saved. The result is the same—self righteousness.
Jesus' blood cleanses and washes our sins away (1st John 1:7). We read in Revelation 7:14, “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.”
Hebrews 9:12 says that Jesus appeared before God the Father “once” on our behalf, to pay our sin debt with His shed blood. Unlike the Old Testament high priest, who had to enter the holy place every year to atone for the sins of the people; Jesus only needed to appear once in the presence of the Father to take away for our sins.
By the way, the word “atonement” is only an Old Testament word, which means “to cover.” Jesus DIDN'T atone for our sins, He took them away forever by His own blood (Revelation 1:5). I do not critique pastors for using the term “atoned”; but it is not Biblically correct. The King James translators only mentioned the word “atonement” once in the New Testament (Romans 5:11), to show that we have “now received” the fulfillment of all those Old Testament sacrifices in Christ Jesus.
It Wasn't Finished at the Cross
I am not saying that a pastor is a fake to teach that Christ's work of redemption was finished at the cross. I am simply saying that such a teaching is NOT Biblically accurate. Many pastors simply don't know their Bible very well.
The danger is that many ministers today have disregarded the blood of the Savior... “who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29). Any minister who denies the efficacy (redeeming power) of Jesus' literal, physical, blood is a fake!!!
If Jesus had died on the cross and been buried; but never risen from the dead, then there could be no salvation. If Jesus had died, been buried and risen; but never entered into the Holy Place in Heaven to present Himself before the Father, BY HIS OWN BLOOD, then there could be no salvation. Everything that Jesus did on the cross was necessary to salvation; but it was not finished until He applied His literal, physical, blood in the presence of God the Father to the heavenly Mercy Seat.
Just as the Israelites needed to apply the lamb's blood to the top and side doorposts of their homes, so that the firstborn would live (Exodus 12:7-13); so did Jesus need to apply His blood to the Mercy Seat in Heaven, so that we could live.
May we all be as Biblically accurate as possible. Jesus' work of redemption was finished at the Mercy Seat in Heaven, when Jesus appeared in the presence of God the Father on our behalf, and applied His precious blood to the Mercy Seat.
The Chemistry Of The Blood