John MacArthur is A Liberal Who Says
Jesus' Blood is Not On the Mercy Seat in Heaven!
by David J. Stewart | March 2014 | Updated November 2016
Hebrews 10:29, “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, 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?”
Certainly no two preachers agree on everything, but when a preacher is wrong on salvation, repentance and the blood of Christ, and teaches other ministers those heresies, a faithful man of God needs to cry aloud and expose that false prophet by proclaiming the Word of God. By God's grace, humbly, I am that faithful preacher! I don't enjoy exposing anyone, but I am compelled to contend for the Christian faith. MacArthur is a brilliant teacher in so many areas, but he really messes up on repentance and the blood, which is far beyond merely being a matter of semantics.
The Bible proclaims the importance and necessity of THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB from Genesis to Revelation; whereas, MacArthur tramples Christ's holy blood underfoot as if it were something unholy. The Greek word for “unholy” in Hebrews 10:29 (our text verse) is koinos and means “common, that is, shared by all.” It means regarding the blood of Jesus as nothing special, common. If the blood of Jesus dripped into the ground and stayed there, then it is no more special than a puddle of water or a spare tire in your garage. Although MacArthur states in one breath that Jesus' blood is “precious,” he then deceitfully states in another breath that Jesus' blood soaked into the ground at Calvary and remained there. According to MacArthur, Jesus' literal blood was never applied to the Mercy Seat in Heaven and has no saving-power in and of itself. The Bible strongly disagrees with Mr. MacArthur.
Pastor MacArthur teaches that it was the “pouring out” of Christ's blood that was significant, and not the physical blood itself. MacArthur teaches that the blood of Jesus is only precious in that it represents the death of Christ on the cross for our sins. However, if God meant “death” He would have said “death,” not “blood.” Revelation 1:5, “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.”
If the death of Jesus was what God meant (as Mr. MacArthur teaches repeatedly in his John MacArthur Study Bible — See Hebrews 9:12-24), then God would have used that word, but the Bible repeatedly teaches that our sins have been washed away BY JESUS' PRECIOUS BLOOD. 1st Peter 1:18-19, “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.” It is Jesus' literal, physical, precious, BLOOD THAT SAVES!!!
MacArthur says it was the pouring out of Christ's blood on the cross, and not the application of that blood in the presence of God on the heavenly Mercy Seat, that obtains man's redemption. That is unbiblical. The Bible calls John MacArthur a liar and false prophet, because the blood had to be applied in Heaven, just as the Old Testament high priest had to apply the lamb's blood once a year to the mercy seat in the earthly tabernacle.
The Death of the Passover Lamb Was NOT Enough
When the Lord was going to pass over Egypt and destroy the firstborn, he said to Moses and Aaron in Exodus 12:13...
“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.”
The death of the lamb wasn't enough, the blood had to be applied Mr. MacArthur. God wasn't looking for a dead lamb in the backyard. No, rather, God was looking for the APPLIED BLOOD on the doorposts and lintel (doorplate) above the door. The blood had to be applied. John MacArthur's entire ministry is flawed, and he is a false prophet, because he is WRONG on the most important Christian doctrine of all—Jesus precious literal liquid blood! No genuinely saved person would ever deny the redemptive power of Jesus' physical blood! The Bible plainly says that we are redeemed BY HIS OWN BLOOD...
“Neither by the blood of goats
and calves, but BY
HIS OWN BLOOD
in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” —Hebrews 9:12
It's The Blood Of Jesus!
Here's a letter that Dr. John MacArthur wrote to his constituents in 1988 in response to those who were trying to discredit him over this issue. The following are John MacArthur's own words...
I Believe in the Precious Blood
By Pastor John MacArthur
He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing. Hebrews 10:28-29
Dear Beloved Friend,
The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is holy and precious. The shedding of His blood in death was the price of atonement for our sins. As He literally poured out His blood in a sacrificial act, He sealed forever the New Covenant and purchased our redemption.
Those of you familiar with my teaching know that I have always believed and affirmed those things. For the past two or three years, however, I have been under attack by a small but vocal group of men who are eager to discredit my ministry. They have charged me with denying the blood of Christ and have called me a heretic in several nationally distributed publications.
My first response was to write many of those men privately, believing their attack on me grew from a misunderstanding. None of them had spoken to me personally before attacking me in print. Only a handful have yet replied to my letters. Still, I expected the public controversy to die away. My teaching is certainly no secret, and I knew that those who listen regularly to our radio broadcast would know I am a not teaching heresy.
Nevertheless, for nearly three years a small core of zealots have kept the issue swirling around every ministry I'm involved with. One man has literally made a career of going to any church in the country that will pay his way and giving a series of messages on the error of "MacArthurism." Recently, a couple of key radio stations dropped "Grace to You," not because of anything we taught on the broadcast, but because they did not want to continue to deal with the controversy being generated by rumormongers.
Over the past couple of years we have received thousands of letters from all over the country, ranging from those supporting our biblical view, to those who are confused, to some who blindly echo the accusation that we are trampling underfoot the blood of Christ. For the sake of all of them, and so that you can better understand what I have taught about the blood of Christ, let's look at three truths that I and all other genuine believers affirm about the blood of Jesus Christ.
1. Jesus' Blood Is the Basis of Redemption
Peter wrote, "Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [like] silver and gold . . .but with the precious blood of Christ" (1 Pet. 1:18-19, KJV). Scripture speaks of the blood of Christ nearly three times as often as it mentions the cross, and five times more often than it refers to the death of Christ. The word blood, therefore, is the chief term the New Testament uses to refer to the atonement.
Peter wrote that election is "unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 1:2). The "sprinkling of the blood" was what sealed the New Covenant (cf. Heb. 9:1-18). "Without shedding of blood is no remission" (v. 22). If Christ had not literally shed His blood in sacrifice for our sins, we could not have been saved.
This is one reason crucifixion was the means God ordained by which Christ should die: it was the most vivid, visible display of life being poured out as the price for sins.
Bloodshed was likewise God's design for nearly all Old Testament sacrifices. They were bled to death rather than clubbed, strangled, suffocated, or burnt. God designed that sacrificial death was to occur with blood loss, because "the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Lev. 17:11).
2. Jesus Shed His Literal Blood When He Died
The literal blood of Christ was violently shed at the crucifixion. Those who deny this truth or try to spiritualize the death of Christ are guilty of corrupting the gospel message. Jesus Christ bled and died in the fullest literal sense, and when He rose from the dead, he was literally resurrected. To deny the absolute reality of those truths is to nullify them (cf. 1 Cor. 15:14-17).
The meaning of the crucifixion, however, is not fully expressed in the bleeding alone. There was nothing supernatural in Jesus' blood that sanctified those it touched. Those who flogged Him might have been spattered with blood. Yet that literal application of Jesus' blood did nothing to purge their sins.
Had our Lord bled without dying, redemption would not have been accomplished. If the atonement had been stopped before the full wages of sin had been satisfied, Jesus' bloodshed would have been to no avail.
It is important to note also that though Christ shed His blood, Scripture does not say He bled to death; it teaches rather that He voluntarily yielded up His spirit (John 10:18). Yet even that physical death could not have bought redemption apart from His spiritual death, whereby He was separated from the Father (cf. Mat. 27:46).
3. Not Every Reference to Jesus' Blood Is Literal
Clearly, though Christ shed His literal blood, many references to the blood are not intended to be taken in the literal sense. A strictly literal interpretation cannot, for example, explain such passages as John 6:53-54: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."
It would be equally hard to explain how physical blood is meant in Matthew 27:25 ("His blood be on us, and on our children"); Acts 5:28 ("[You] intend to bring this man's blood upon us"); 18:6 ("Your blood be upon your own heads"); 20:26 ("I am innocent of the blood of all men"); and 1 Corinthians 10:16 ("The cup of blessing . . .is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?," KJV).
Clearly the word blood is often used to mean more than the literal red fluid. Thus it is that when Scripture speaks of the blood of Christ, it usually means much more than just the red and white corpuscles—it encompasses His death, the sacrifice for our sins, and all that is involved in the atonement.
Trying to make literal every reference to Christ's blood can lead to serious error. The Catholic doctrine known as transubstantiation, for example, teaches that communion wine is miraculously changed into the actual blood of Christ, and that those who partake of the elements in the mass literally fulfill the words of Jesus in John 6:54: "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."
Those who have attacked me seem to be espousing the same kind of mystical view of the blood that led the Catholic Church to embrace transubstantiation. They claim that the blood of Christ was never truly human. They insist on literalizing every New Testament reference to Jesus' blood. They teach that the physical blood of Christ was somehow preserved after the crucifixion and carried to heaven, where it is now literally applied to the soul of each Christian at salvation.
We are not saved by some mystical heavenly application of Jesus' literal blood. Nothing in Scripture indicates that the literal blood of Christ is preserved in heaven and applied to individual believers. When Scripture says we're redeemed by the blood (1 Pet. 1:18-19), it is not speaking of a bowl of blood in heaven. It means we're saved by Christ's sacrificial death.
In the same way, when Paul said he gloried in the cross (Gal. 6:14), he did not mean the literal wooden beams; he was speaking of all the elements of redeeming truth. Just as the cross is an expression that includes all of Christ's atoning work, so is the blood. It is not the actual liquid that cleanses us from our sins, but the work of redemption Christ accomplished in pouring it out. [emphasis added] That is not heresy; it is basic biblical truth.
If you've been troubled by these issues and you'd like to study them more in depth, please write to us. We'll send you free of charge a cassette tape containing virtually everything I've ever said about the blood of Christ. We've compiled this tape from nearly twenty years of messages given at Grace Community Church. We also have some written material that explains our position, which we will send you again at no charge.
I hope you'll be like the noble Bereans and study God's Word for yourself to see if these things are true. Please don't be influenced by careless charges of heresy.
Also, please pray for me. These attacks have been relentless, and I confess that at times it is discouraging. Yet I know one cannot be on the front lines without constant battles, and it is a privilege to suffer wrong for the Lord's sake (cf. 1 Pet. 4:19).
Thank you for your prayers and support. Please pray that God will protect us as we seek to minister His truth with boldness.
Yours in His Service,
John MacArthur Pastor-Teacher
Dr. MacArthur errantly states on his ministry's website that it is Christ's pouring out of His blood in death that is precious, and not the blood itself:
“I believe that what Peter said about the precious blood of Christ is true. His blood is precious because it was poured out in death for my sin and yours. And I would never deny that. But just in case someone poses that question to you, you can tell them that I believe in the blood of Christ.” [emphasis added]
What blasphemy!!! John MacArthur accuses Bob Jones university of starting a smear campaign against him; however, MacArthur's own words stand in testimony against him. My friend, this is not a personal witchhunt to discredit neither Dr. MacArthur or his ministry. It is likely, as evidenced by Dr. Gail Riplinger in her excellent book, “Hazardous Materials,” that Dr. MacArthur may have been influenced in his views on the blood by W.E. Vine, who also denied that Jesus' literal blood was sprinkled upon the heavenly Mercy Seat. Or it could have been the negative influence of Pastor R.B. Thieme Jr., who also errantly taught the same garbage as MacArthur, that is, Jesus blood was never applied to the heavenly Mercy Seat. These guys are all teaching doctrines of devils.
I've had several web visitors write me over the years, asking me to look at the following web link in lame defense of John MacArthur...
Ironically, the very article they attempt to justify John MacArthur's heresy on the blood with, condemns him! Phillip R. Johnson at Spurgeon.org (the article has been moved to Romans45.org) is defending a heretic that hasn't a theological leg to stand upon concerning this issue. MacArthur openly and plainly denies the efficacy of the literal, physical, blood of Jesus Christ. Here are the very words of John MacArthur, from the above quote (close to the bottom of his own letter):
“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
Phillip R. Johnson is as much a heretic as is John MacArthur, teaching that Jesus' literal blood is not on the heavenly Mercy Seat where the Bible says it is...
“Moreover, if the blood of Christ is in any sense "eternally preserved" in heaven, it would be in the glorified body of the risen Lord, not in a bowl or a vial where it is perpetually offered or literally applied to sinners in some way.” —Philip R. Johnson
In the Old Testament, the tabernacle highpriest was REQUIRED to APPLY the slain lamb's blood to the mercy seat in the holy of holies. Leviticus 16:15 states...
“Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat.” —Leviticus 16:15
The work of the Old Testament highpriest was a foreshadow of the redemptive work of our eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ. MacArthur and Johnson are unsaved liberal heretics, who arrogantly and sinfully deny the application of Christ's blood to the Mercy Seat in Heaven. The Bible plainly teaches that the atoning work of the Old Testament highpriest each year COULDN'T make “THE COMERS THEREUNTO PERFECT” ...
Hebrews 10:1, “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.”
Only Jesus' blood could make a permanent, eternal and once-and-for-all payment for our sins. Jesus went into the Holy Place in Heaven “BY HIS OWN BLOOD,” having obtained “ETERNAL REDEMPTION FOR US” ...
“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.” —Hebrews 9:12
Jesus literally and physically “sprinkled” His literal blood upon the Mercy Seat in the heavenly Holy Place...
Hebrews 12:24: “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”
Why does Jesus blood being sprinkled speak better things than Abel's blood sacrifice? It's because unlike Abel's blood sacrifice could not eternally wash away mankind's sins, but Jesus' literal blood DID wash away OUR SINS. Jesus physical blood HAD TO BE APPLIED to the Mercy Seat in Heaven in the presence of God the Father, just as the highpriest in the Old Testament was required to APPLY THE BLOOD to the Mercy Seat in the presence of God's Shekinah glory which dwelt between the two Cherubims.
It's Not The Shedding Of Jesus' Blood That Saves, But The 'SPRINKLING' Of That Shed Blood
The death of the lamb wasn't enough. The bleeding of the lamb wasn't enough. THE LAMB'S BLOOD HAD TO BE APPLIED!!!
Hebrews 10:1, “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.”
This has nothing to do with Bob Jones, or anyone else. This has to do with the heresy which John MacArthur, himself, teaches concerning the precious blood of Jesus Christ. The Word of God clearly states that it is the blood of Jesus Christ which saves us ...
“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” —Ephesians 2:13
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.” —Hebrews 10:19
In the Old Testament, when the 10th plague was upon Egypt, God had instructed Moses to warn the people to apply the BLOOD of a slain lamb to the doorway of their homes. If they didn't obey God, then the firstborn of that individual family would die. We read in Exodus 12:13 ...
“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.” —Exodus 12:13
Did you read what God said ... WHEN I SEE THE BLOOD!
If the family would have just killed the lamb (as MacArthur teaches); BUT, failed to APPLY the shed blood to the doorposts of the home, then the first born would have DIED! The blood had to be applied.
Likewise, in the Old Testament, the tabernacle Highpriest was REQUIRED to APPLY the slain lamb's blood to the mercy seat, in the holy of holies. Leviticus 16:15 states ...
“Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat.”
If the Highpriest killed the lamb; but, failed to apply the blood to the mercy seat, then the people's sin were NOT atoned for. Clearly, the blood had to be APPLIED.
“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, 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
The word “unholy” here means “common.” It means to treat the blood of Jesus as if it were a puddle of rain water, or a spare tire, or a milk carton, as if it were a common thing. John MacArthur is a heretic, who errantly teaches that Jesus' blood soaked into the dirt at Calvary and stayed there.
Yet, Dr. MacArthur plays with words to deceive others, saying that Jesus' blood was important, but only in the sense it represents Christ's death. That is wrong! If God meant death, He would have said death, but Hebrews 9:12 says that “BY HIS OWN BLOOD, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” He entered into the Holy Place in Heaven. Thus, Mr. MacArthur doesn't see the LITERAL LIQUID blood of Jesus as being “holy.” Hebrews 10:29 condemns him to Hellfire. I've informed local Baptist pastors of MacArthur's heresy on the blood, and they didn't know anything about it. They pass out MacArthur's Bible study materials after church services!!! When I warned them, they couldn't have cared less. What is wrong with pastors today? They are wicked!
In sharp contrast to Dr. John MacArthur's heresy, the Word of God declares that the blood of Jesus Christ, itself, is the actual “liquid” that washes our sins away forever...
1st Peter 1:18-19, “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...”
Who are you going to believe? John MacArthur? Or the incorruptible Word of God? MacArthur's defense of Himself puts his foot in his own mouth. He is subverted of himself. How dare anyone claim that Jesus' blood, itself, doesn't save, in lieu of 1st Peter 1:18-19. Why doesn't MacArthur just be honest and do the honorable thing, and admit he is terribly wrong concerning his doctrine on the blood of Jesus Christ. MacArthur is a modernist, and is woefully wrong on the most fundamental doctrine of the Christ faith—the blood of Jesus Christ!
“But BY HIS OWN BLOOD he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” —Hebrews 9:12
It's the Blood of Jesus!
Dr. R. B. Thieme, Jr. and John MacArthur... Heretics!
One of the best books I've ever read
concerning the blood
of Christ is THE CHEMISTRY OF THE BLOOD, by M.R. DeHaan, M.D.
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