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CLICK HERE FOR MORE MATERIAL ON DR. MACARTHUR AND THE BLOOD



DRIVE THE VULTURES FROM THE SACRIFICE!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord's Day Morning, July 17, 2005
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

“And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram [Abraham] drove them away” (Genesis 15:11).  

The doctrine of Christ crucified is always in my mind.  As the Roman soldier in Pompeii stood faithfully at his post, not running away as the volcanic lava of Mount Vesuvius came burning its way through the city, destroying all in its path, said great Spurgeon, “so do I stand true to the truth of the atonement, even if the church[es are] being buried beneath the boiling mud showers of modern heresy. Everything else can wait, but this one truth [Christ crucified] must be proclaimed with a voice of thunder.  Others can preach [whatever they wish], but as for this pulpit, it shall always resound with the [bloody sacrifice for our sins by Jesus Christ]” (C. H. Spurgeon, “The Blood Shed for Many,” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications, 1974 reprint, volume XXXIII, p. 374).  

“God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14).  

Some may preach on a “purpose driven life.”  Others may perpetually preach on “possibility thinking.”  Yet others may speak often on popular psychological themes, or on Bible prophecy.  But I must not follow them in this, for I have been called by God to speak on one great theme: 

“Christ died for our sins” (I Corinthians 15:3).

Abraham was called to a duty much like mine.  He was told to take a bloody sacrifice and offer it unto the Lord.  This sacrifice was a type and symbol of our Saviour, who was to come. 

That man Abraham obeyed the command of God, laying the pieces of the slaughtered animal sacrifice in proper order, and then waiting for God to reveal Himself.  But Abraham’s solitary vigil was disturbed by foul birds.  When the sacrificial cow was slain and ready for God, vultures, that had not been seen before, suddenly appeared, as if by magic.  They flew toward the sacrifice from every part of the sky, and circled over the dead bodies.  These and other flesh eating birds are the scavengers of warm countries, and do not let any dead flesh remain uneaten long. 

These filthy flesh eating birds came down in fluttering droves to eat up the sacrifice, and suck up the blood, that had been prepared for God alone.  Abraham stayed, however, to defend the sacrifice when these ravenous birds came down to eat it.  

“And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, [Abraham] drove them away”
      (Genesis 15:11).  

We may learn a great deal from Abraham’s action that will help us in this day of apostasy and unbelief, “when the churches are being buried beneath the boiling mud showers of modern heresy.”  For the bloody carcase is a type of Christ, and Abraham is a picture of the man of God, whose goal is to protect the sacrifice of Jesus from Satanic forces.  Let us be as zealous as Abraham in protecting the sacrifice!   

“And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, [Abraham] drove them away”
      (Genesis 15:11).  

The point of the sacrifice under attack today is the Saviour’s precious Blood.  Back in 1938, that well known liberal scalawag, Harry Emerson Fosdick said,

The blood of Christ [was] carried over from primitive concepts…and even yet semimagical ideas concerning the potency of the blood are woven into some Christian hymns, sermons, prayers (Harry Emerson Fosdick, D.D., A Guide to Understanding the Bible, Harper, 1938, page 230). 

In that day, the liberal Nels Ferre said, “The blood of Jesus has no more power to cleanse from sin than the blood of a chicken.” 

Our forefathers fought against those false teachings.  In the 1920’s and 1930’s, they drove away those vultures from the bloody sacrifice.  But the ravenous birds have come back again in our time.  Today they pluck away at the Blood of the sacrifice by saying things like this: 

“Blood is used as a substitute for death” (John MacArthur, D.D., The MacArthur Study Bible, Word, 1997, note on Hebrews 9:14).  

“It was not Jesus’ physical blood that saves us” (John MacArthur, D.D., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary on Hebrews, Moody, 1983, p. 237). 

“We need to keep in mind that the blood was a symbol…Christ’s own physical blood, in itself, does not cleanse from sin” (ibid.). 

My friend, we are not cleansed by a “symbol.”  We are cleansed by the real, physical Blood of Jesus!  The Bible makes that very plain. 

“The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7).  

“Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Revelation 1:5). 

Like the patriarch Abraham, we must drive the vultures away from the bloody sacrifice of our Lord! 

“And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, [Abraham] drove them away”
      (Genesis 15:11).  

Don’t let them come down to devour the Body of Christ, sacrificed by God to atone for our sins!  Don’t let them come down to suck up the Blood of Christ, for “The blood of Jesus Christ…cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7).  We need to have our sins atoned for by His death.  But we also need our sins cleansed by His Blood!  These are two distinct things and they must both be true if we are to be faithful to Christ’s gospel.  

“This is my body, which is broken for you” (I Corinthians 11:24). 

“This cup is the new testament in my blood” (I Corinthians 11:25).

“Which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

Away, you vultures! Get away from the Body! Away, you vultures! Get away from the Blood of Jesus Christ!

“And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, [Abraham] drove them away”
      (Genesis 15:11).  

I will give three ways by which we can drive those foul birds away from the Body and Blood of our Lord.  We have no time to look at all the Bible verses referring to the Blood of Christ, but we can look at three of them, in the Book of Revelation, which show that Jesus’ Blood is still available to us.  

I.   First, the Blood of Christ was available sixty years after the crucifixion.

Turn first to Revelation 1:4-5.  Let us stand and read these two verses aloud. 

“John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Revelation 1:4-5).

You may be seated.   

I know that the NASV translates this as “released us,” instead of “washed us.”  I believe this to be an incorrect translation.  I favor the KJV.  But that is not the point I want to bring out here.  Either way, whether it is “washed” or “released,” these verses show that the Blood of Christ still exists to take away sins.  Whether by washing us from them, or by releasing us from them, the Blood is still available, and has not perished, according to these verses.  Why do I say that?  Well, look back at verse four.  Who is John writing to?  He is writing to “the seven churches which are in Asia.”  And he is writing in about 96 A.D.  This means he wrote about sixty years or more after Christ was crucified.  Sixty-some years after the crucifixion John tells the people in these seven churches that the Blood of Christ has taken away their sins!  Very few, only a mere handful, of the people in those seven churches were believers when Christ was crucified.  Most of them had not even been born!  And yet the Apostle says,

“Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Revelation 1:5).  

Nearly all of these people were cleansed from their sins by Christ’s Blood long after it was shed on the Cross!  This shows us that Christ’s Blood was still available and still effective to cleanse from sin long after our Lord was crucified.  Let those who think that Christ’s Blood “ran into the dirt and perished” take note of this!  The Blood of Jesus was still available more than sixty years after the crucifixion!  

“And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, [Abraham] drove them away”
      (Genesis 15:11).  

Drive the vultures away with Revelation 1:4-5!  The Blood of Christ was available sixty-some years after the crucifixion – and it is still available to cleanse your sin today! 

II.  Second, the Blood of Christ will be available in the future Tribulation. 

Please turn to Revelation 7:13-14.  Let us stand and read these two verses aloud. 

“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” (Revelation 7:13-14).

You may be seated. 

I am an unashamed pretribulationist, but even a preterist, who puts these things back in the first century, must admit that these verses do not give reference to the very time of crucifixion.  Even a preterist must say that these verses refer to a time after the crucifixion – showing that the Blood of Christ was still available after our Lord was slain.  But we have no time, nor any inclination, to deal with preterism here.  We hold these verses as a description of the Great Tribulation – in the future.  Even then, in that future time, those who trust in Christ will be cleansed by the ever-available, ever incorruptible Blood of Christ! 

“These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14).

The Blood of Jesus will still be there to cleanse them in the Tribulation – in the future!  It is ever-living, incorruptible Blood!   

“And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, [Abraham] drove them away”
      (Genesis 15:11).  

Drive the vultures away with Revelation 7:14!  The Blood of Jesus Christ will still wash sins away in the future!  And it is available now as well, to cleanse your sin today! 

III. Third, the Blood of Christ will be available at the Second Coming of our Lord.

Please turn to Revelation 19:11-13.  Let us stand and read these three verses aloud. 

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God” (Revelation 19:11-13).

You may be seated. 

Some say that the Blood on Christ’s garments is from the Battle of Armageddon, but this is not possible. That battle will not begin until verse 15.  No, Christ bursts out of Heaven with clothing “dipped in blood” at the moment of His Second Coming!  Where did this Blood come from that stains Christ’s clothing in Heaven, before He comes again?

Dr. MacArthur says that His garments have “been stained with the blood of his enemies” (The MacArthur Study Bible, note on Revelation 19:13).  But that is not possible!  The blood of Christ’s enemies could not have been in Heaven when His vesture was “dipped in blood.”  He will burst from Heaven with bloody garments – but the blood cannot be from His enemies.  Concerning Heaven, we read, “There shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth” (Revelation 21:27).  There will be no “enemy” blood there in Heaven to stain His clothing before the Second Coming!  No, the only Blood that His clothing could have been “dipped” in was His own Blood!  There was no “enemy” blood there to do the job. 

Dr. MacArthur says that somehow the blood of Christ’s enemies got into Heaven to stain His garments!  That cannot be!  Nothing that “defileth” can enter Heaven! (Revelation 21:27).  No, we cannot agree with MacArthur.  We stand with great Spurgeon who said,   

Looking at him still, John saw one thing more, namely, his vesture.  He says that his [garment] was dipped in blood.  Oh, but this is the grandest thought about our Master…That he is ever a red man wearing his bloody garment…As the blood is the life, so is his blood life to us – the life of the gospel, the life of our hopes: and…Whenever he goes out to conquer it is with…this vesture dipped in blood.  Oh, preach him, ye servants, preach him in his blood-red vesture.  Ye shall never see souls saved if ye portray him in any other kind of coat (C. H. Spurgeon, “The Rider on the White Horse,” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications, 1972 reprint, volume XXV, pp. 21-22). 

Behold, “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” descends from Heaven with a garment “dipped” in His own blood! (John 1:29; Revelation 19:13).  If there were no other verse in all the Bible to show that Jesus’ Blood exists, even now in Heaven, Revelation 19:13 would be more than enough!  His garment is “dipped” in His own Blood in Heaven before the Second Coming! 

Oh Christ, with Thy Bloody garment, Thou art our only hope and our only salvation!  Let us come with our sins, and be made “white in the blood of the lamb” (Revelation 7:14).

“And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, [Abraham] drove them away”
      (Genesis 15:11).  

Drive the vultures away with Revelation 19:13!  The Blood of Jesus Christ is even now in Heaven.  His vesture will be dipped in it there.  And His Blood is there to cleanse every sinner even now. 

We drive away the vultures from the bloody sacrifice with Revelation 1:5, with Revelation 7:14, and especially with Revelation 19:13.  Why do we so vehemently attack those foul birds with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God?  I know not why others may do so, but I do it because my very life depends on the crucified Body and precious Blood of Jesus.  When a man’s life is at stake, he will fight like one who is drowning to save it.  I know that I will drown in the fiery wrath of God without the Blood of Christ.  I know that I will drown in the Lake of Fire prepared for the Devil and his angels without that Blood to wash away my sins.  I know I will never get to Heaven without it.  I will never again see my precious Mother there without that saving fluid, given to “sprinkle many nations” (Isaiah 52:15).  I know that I will never walk on Heaven’s golden streets unless my sins are washed away in Jesus’ cleansing, holy Blood. 

Therefore I will fight like Abraham to keep the unclean birds from devouring that Blood, as well as that Body!  When Satan comes to make me doubt its effectiveness, and pluck the hope it gives me from my heart, I will fling in his infernal face those powerful swords of Scripture from the Book of Revelation.  When I am confronted with the “boiling mud showers of modern heresy,” as Spurgeon called them, I will not hear, nor will I yield.  I will cling to the ever-living Blood of Christ which is my only hope for salvation, my only hope for peace with God!

And when I stand in this pulpit and look at the faces of those who are lost – the many faces of young people brought from pagan homes to our church each Sunday – I will fight to give them the same hope that I cling to – the Holy, ever-living Blood of the Son of God.  The Satanic demon-vultures will come to whisper in their ears, “There is no blood!  It ran into the earth and perished.”  The messengers of Satan will give them books and tape recordings that attack the Blood.  You precious young people must be protected from the “boiling mud showers of modern heresy” or you will never find peace with God through Jesus’ Blood.  My heart cries out, “Up, Hymers, contend for the Blood with Father Abraham.”  For without Christ’s Blood there is no salvation for any child or lonely youth who has come here this morning seeking Jesus.  For the sake of these lost young people in our midst, I must fall upon those scavenger birds with all the ferocious holy zeal of Father Abraham! 

Hear me now and I am finished.  The vultures may say, “There was a fountain filled with blood.”  Do not believe them!  “There is a fountain filled with Blood!”  Proclaim it loud and clear throughout the streets of this dark and dying city.  Sing it with me now, as we close this service.  Let us stand and sing it from memory. 

There is a fountain filled with blood, Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains:
Lose all their guilty stains, Lose all their guilty stains,
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains.
   
(“There Is a Fountain” by William Cowper, 1731-1800).

Come to Christ.  Believe on Him now.  Be washed clean from every sin by His sanctifying Blood.  Throw yourself at the feet of Jesus, and He will wash away all stains from sin in His most Holy and most precious Blood.  May God grant that you will come to Him for cleansing – and the sooner the better!  Amen.  

 
CLICK HERE FOR MORE MATERIAL ON DR. MACARTHUR AND THE BLOOD

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: I Corinthians 11:23-26.

Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:  “There Is a Fountain” (by William Cowper, 1731-1800)

   

THE OUTLINE OF

DRIVE THE VULTURES FROM THE SACRIFICE!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram [Abraham] drove them away” (Genesis 15:11).  

(Galatians 6:14; I Corinthians 15:3; I John 1:7; Revelation 1:5; 
I Corinthians 11:24-25; Matthew 26:28)

I.   The Blood of Christ was available sixty years after the crucifixion, 
Revelation 1:4-5. 

II.  The Blood of Christ will be available in the future Tribulation, 
Revelation 7:13-14.   

III. The Blood of Christ will be available at the Second Coming of our Lord, 
Revelation 19:11-13; 21:27; John 1:29; Isaiah 52:15.