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HERE FOR MORE MATERIAL ON DR. MACARTHUR AND THE BLOOD
A sermon preached on Lord's Day Evening, August 14, 2005
"Neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption"
I attended a liberal Southern Baptist seminary for three years, where I earned a Master of Divinity degree. Then I attended an even more liberal United Presbyterian seminary, where I earned a Doctor of Ministry. All the way through these seminaries I continued to believe that the Bible is literally true. Nothing I was taught changed my mind in the slightest. I learned to trust the Word of God rather than the rationalism of man.
Now it is clear in Psalm 16:10, quoted in Greek in Acts 2:27, that God did not allow Jesus "to see corruption." Those are clear, plain Bible verses. The liberals who taught in those two seminaries I attended hated it when I gave verses like that to show that Christ rose physically from the dead.
Today I see the same reaction from some like MacArthur, who claim to be conservative Bible believers. They just can't be corrected by Scripture. It is perfectly clear from Psalm 16:10 and Acts 2:27 that the Body and Blood of Christ are incorruptible. The Bible says so,
"Neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption" (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:27).
These verses are then backed up by I Peter 1:18. That verse plainly and clearly contrasts perishable things with the Blood of Christ. The English Standard Version translates it,
"Not with perishable things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ" (I Peter 1:18).
I am only giving the ESV as a sample, to underscore this great truth. I very seldom quote any translation but the KJV. And yet the English Standard Version makes it quite clear, doesn't it?
"Not with perishable things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ" (I Peter 1:18 ESV).
What is so difficult to understand about that? It's clear and plain on the page. It's clear in the King James Bible and it's clear in the English Standard Version - the precious Blood of Christ is not a "perishable thing."
"Not with perishable things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ."
Clear. Plain. Simple. Easy to understand. But hated by those who reject the Bible on this point! Make no mistake here, they have the same reaction to the Word of God that the liberals had in those seminaries I attended. They cannot be persuaded by the Word of God.
Yet we are supposed to accept men like MacArthur and Thieme as fellow conservatives. I'm sorry, I can't do that. I learned to spot a Bible rejector long ago in those seminaries. I can't unlearn what I learned there. If a man rejects the Bible, even if he is in the conservative "camp," I know that his mind works like a liberal on this point.
Now, the Bible plainly teaches in Psalm 16:10, Acts 2:27 and I Peter 1:18 that the Body and Blood of Jesus are incorruptible. That's plain, clear, simple. But it is hated by those who reject the Bible. That's their problem. We know that God did not allow His
"Holy One to see corruption" (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:27).
We know that we were redeemed
"Not with perishable things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ" (I Peter 1:18 ESV).
That's why we should defend Dr. M. R. DeHaan. Oh, I know he made a couple of biological mistakes in his message, "The Chemistry of the Blood." He went to medical school - but that was about a hundred years ago now. Sure, he made a couple of old-fashioned medical blunders. And I also know that he wrote that essay in very simple language, and oversimplified some things. But the basic message was right on target!
Yet Dr. DeHaan's little forty-page essay is greatly hated by so-called conservative "progressives" like Dr. MacArthur. DeHaan's essay was written back in 1943, yet they regularly attack it as though it were a threat to them today! This is a strange reaction indeed. Most people have forgotten all about Dr. DeHaan. He died back in 1965. His books are largely forgotten. The main thing that keeps his name alive is the "progressive's" reaction and condemnation of "The Chemistry of the Blood" (Zondervan, 1943). How does an all-but-forgotten, sixty-two-year-old essay harm them? How does it confuse people? Who does it hurt? Yet men like Dr. MacArthur hurl fiery darts at it continually. I can only explain their reaction by quoting Dr. DeHaan himself.
Satan hates the blood and will do anything to get rid of that power of the blood of Christ! (M. R. DeHaan, M.D., The Chemistry of the Blood, Zondervan, 1981 reprint, p. 28).
That's the only answer I can come up with! It seems to me they would let it drop if they weren't spiritually fouled up!
The overall message of "The Chemistry of the Blood" is perfectly sound, perfectly Scriptural, and really quite helpful. Dr. DeHaan had a wonderful way of taking complex subjects and making them simple and interesting. He was like a master Sunday School teacher. That's why millions of people used to listen to him on the radio between 1930 and 1965. I heard him in person for five nights back in 1963 at the Church of the Open Door, when Dr. J. Vernon McGee was pastor there. DeHaan was absolutely unique. I can still hear his rough, gravelly voice in my head. He was a wonderful old Bible teacher, and the basic message of "The Chemistry of the Blood" was exactly what we need to hear in this day of weak preaching and apostasy.
One of the things these "progressives" hate about Dr. DeHaan's essay is what he said about Christ's Blood being in a "golden chalice" in Heaven. My, how they cluck and carry on about that! They say it's a Roman Catholic doctrine, that it is superstitious, that Christ's Blood couldn't be in a "golden chalice" in Heaven! But it is very foolish to compare Dr. DeHaan to a Catholic. He was hardly that! He was from a Dutch Reformed background, which he left because he believed the Scofield Study Bible (cf. M. R. DeHaan: The Man and His Message, James R. Adair, Zondervan, 1969).
But let us look very carefully at what Dr. DeHaan actually said.
Perhaps there is a golden chalice in heaven where every drop of the precious blood is still in existence, just as pure, just as potent, just as fresh as two thousand years ago (M. R. DeHaan, M.D., The Chemistry of the Blood, Zondervan, 1981 reprint, page 28).
All he said was, "perhaps there is a golden chalice." What's wrong with that? There is certainly a great deal of gold in Heaven. The Book of Revelation tells us that Christ has a "golden crown" (Revelation 14:14). The New Jerusalem is "pure gold" (Revelation 21:18). The Bible tells us of many things in Heaven made of gold, including a "golden censer" and a "golden altar which was before the throne" (Revelation 8:3). Revelation even speaks of "golden vials" ("golden bowls," NASV). So, what's the problem? Since the Bible plainly tells us there are golden vials or bowls there, what's wrong with Dr. DeHaan saying, "Perhaps there is a golden chalice in heaven" with Christ's Blood in it? The very streets of the Heavenly city are made of "pure gold" (Revelation 21:21). The Heavenly city is measured by "a golden reed" (Revelation 21:15).
Take a concordance and look up the words "gold," "pure gold" and "golden" and you will see how often gold appears in Heaven. Why, then, is Dr. DeHaan wrong to say, "Perhaps there is a golden chalice" there with Christ's Blood in it? That is no more implausible than the "golden bowls" or "golden censer" that are spoken of in the Bible. We do not know about everything in Heaven.
"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (I Corinthians 2:9).
With golden streets, and golden buildings, and golden crowns, and golden candlesticks, and a golden reed, and golden bowls, it is indeed possible that "perhaps there is a golden chalice where every drop of the precious blood is still in existence."
I do not know if such a "golden chalice" exists - and neither did Dr. DeHaan! That's why he said, "perhaps." We only know for sure what the Bible reveals. When the Bible doesn't reveal it, we can only say, with Dr. DeHaan, "perhaps." But my question to his critics is this - how do you know he is wrong? What proof do you have from the Scriptures that there isn't such a chalice there? Since you have no proof from Scripture that he is wrong, let him alone on this point. To keep bringing up a "golden bowl," and charging him with Catholicism for even suggesting it, is only a red herring, an argument from false logic, to throw the undiscerning reader off from Dr. DeHaan's main point, which was,
The blood has been shed - the incorruptible, eternal, divine, sinless, overcoming, precious blood. It availed then, and it avails now; and throughout all eternity it shall never lose its power (DeHaan, ibid.).
If Christ's Blood is not "incorruptible," then it must be "corruptible." Chapter and verse, please. Where does the Bible say it is corruptible? You must prove by Scripture that it is corruptible. We give you Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:27; and I Peter 1:18 to show it is incorruptible. What verses do you have to show it is corruptible? Chapter and verse, please. If you can't come up with any, be wise enough to drop the matter. Dr. DeHaan called the Blood, "eternal" - again, chapter and verse to show that it is not eternal, please. The Bible tells us that the "eternal Spirit" purges our consciences even now with "the blood of Christ." How can we today be purged in our consciences by Blood that is not also eternal? Are you saying that the eternal Spirit purges our consciences with Blood that doesn't exist? You have a problem there. Prove by the Scriptures that the Blood is not eternal. I'd like to see chapter and verse on this. Dr. DeHaan called it "divine." Chapter and verse, please, to show that it is not divine. We offer Acts 20:28, which says, "The church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." So, that verse calls it God's own blood. Chapter and verse, please, to disprove that the Blood did not come from the God-man, Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man. If you say Christ's Blood was not divine, are you rejecting the divinity of Christ? That is a very serious error indeed, the heresy of Nestorianism. Again, Dr. DeHaan said that Christ's Blood is "sinless." Was he wrong? The alternative is that it was "sinful blood." If you believe that you are in deep trouble theologically and Biblically. There was no sin in Christ. The Bible says that Christ "knew no sin" (II Corinthians 5:21). If you believe His Blood had sin, it contradicts God's Word. Chapter and verse, please, if you want to prove that Christ's Blood was sinful. Then, Dr. DeHaan called the Lord's Blood "overcoming" blood. That's a plain teaching of the Bible.
"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb"
If Dr. DeHaan is wrong, and it is not "overcoming" blood, let's see how you prove that by Scripture. Chapter and verse, please. Finally, Dr. DeHaan called it "precious blood." How can you deny that? It will be very hard for you to do that, since it is specifically called "the precious blood of Christ" in I Peter 1:19.
No, a fair minded and spiritual man is forced by Scripture to agree with Dr. M. R. DeHaan that the Blood of Christ is "incorruptible, eternal, divine, sinless, overcoming, precious blood. It availed then, and it avails now; and throughout all eternity it shall never lose its power" (ibid.). That is very simply what the Bible teaches. Thank God Dr. DeHaan made it so very clear to us!
I conclude this defence of Dr. DeHaan's view with this quotation from him,
Listen, blood is mentioned in the Bible Seven Hundred Times from Genesis to Revelation, and when we visualize the redeemed throng in heaven, described in the book of Revelation, we hear them singing, not about their goodness, not about how they have kept the law and been faithful, but this is their song: "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood" (Revelation 1:5).
That will preach - because it is the truth, plainly written on the page of Scripture.
The attacks on Dr. DeHaan's view of Christ's eternal Blood come from three dark and devilish forces,
1. First, rationalism, the idea that grew up in the Enlightenment that the mind of man must be able to understand every subject rationally or it is not true. You cannot come to the Bible that way. You must come to it with a humble heart and believe the plain words of Scripture, whether your rational mind understands everything or not. This is called "faith," and "without faith it is impossible to please him" (Hebrews 11:6).
2. Second, decisionism. This is the second source of the devilish attack on Christ's eternal Blood. Decisionism has played up the work of man (synergism) to such a degree, that the Blood has come to seem unnecessary in the minds of many - just an embarrassment. The Blood of Christ seems unnecessary to those who are caught up in the errors of decisionism. Man can make a decision to save himself, so why does he need the Blood? But we say with Spurgeon, "The life of Christianity is in the blood," not in human decisions. Many have made a "decision" with no thought of the Blood. I often say, "A man who has no Blood in his testimony is not likely to have any in his doctrine." I think that is the problem with men like Thieme and MacArthur, who attack Dr. DeHaan's essay.
3. Third, apostasy. The great apostasy that surrounds us is another devilish source of unbelief in the eternal Blood of the Saviour. Spurgeon said that the churches were being thrown into "the boiling mudpots of apostasy." It began in his day and is even worse today. The churches are rife with apostasy. That makes it easier for a man to find some apostate on the Blood who agrees with him.
But we stand with spiritual men of old, like Dr. DeHaan, Chrysostom, Calvin, Matthew Poole, Stephen Charnock, John Bengel, von Zinzendorf, the two Wesleys, James A. Haldane. Charles Spurgeon, Isaac Watts, R. A. Torrey, J. Vernon McGee, Lewis Sperry Chafer, W. A. Criswell, John R. Rice, and so many other men with a deep spiritual understanding of the Scriptures, who said, from across the centuries, that Dr. DeHaan was right on the main point of his essay. Please stand and sing "Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness" by Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf, translated into English by John Wesley, the great evangelist of the First Great Awakening. Please sing the third stanza.
Lord, I believe Thy precious blood, Which at the mercy seat of God,
Forever doth for sinners plead, For me, e'en for my soul was shed.
("Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness"
by Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf, 1700-1760).
Now sing the fourth stanza of Charles Wesley's "O For a Thousand Tongues."
He breaks the power of canceled sin, He sets the prisoner free.
His blood can make the foulest clean, His blood availed for me.
("O For a Thousand Tongues" by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).
Now sing the chorus of Lewis Jones' hymn,
There is power, power, wonder working power In the blood of the Lamb,
There is power, power, wonder working power In the precious blood of the Lamb.
("There Is Power in the Blood" by Lewis Jones, 1899).
And, finally, sing the first stanza of "There Is a Fountain."
There is a fountain filled with blood, Drawn from Emmanuel'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).
Those hymns, so popular across the centuries, clearly show that millions of people have agreed in their hearts with Dr. M. R. DeHaan on Christ's eternal Blood - and not with the modern skeptics!
If you are still unsaved, come to Christ. He died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sin. He rose physically from the dead, and is alive right now up in Heaven. Come to Him by faith and He will save you! He will cleanse your sin from God's record with His everlasting Blood!
(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Matthew 26:27-29.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
"Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness"
(by Count Nicholas Zinzendorf, 1700-1760;
translated by John Wesley, 1703-1791).
THE OUTLINE OF
A DEFENCE OF DR. M. R. DeHAAN
"Neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption"
(I Peter 1:18; Revelation 14:14; 21:18; 8:3; 21:21, 15;