A Conspiracy Against John MacArthur?

by David J. Stewart

       I think not. Pastor John MacArthur is irrefutably one of the most popular religious teachers in the world. Dr. MacArthur has some very good materials and does an excellent job exposing the fake Charismatic and Tongues Movement, the evils of alcohol, and other Biblical subjects. In fact, many of his presentations are truly admirable. I have nothing personal against John MacArthur, sincerely.

Albeit, as a born-again Christian and an Independent Fundamental Baptist who believes the Bible literally, I have to expose MacArthur as a false teacher on the issue of the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

MacArthur teaches (as you will read in a moment) that every mention of Christ's “blood” in the Bible is merely a metonym (a word that denotes one thing but refers to a related thing) for Christ's death. The Bible NEVER teaches that anywhere!!! If the Lord meant death, then He would have said death. John 14:2, “...if it were not so, I would have told you...” MacArthur claims that God used the word “blood” merely to express the violent nature of Christ's death, and that “blood” does NOT refer to the blood itself in any way...

Well, it is very clear. "The wages of sin is death." The price was death, somebody had to die. And Jesus did. "In whom we have redemption through His blood." Christ's blood, Jesus' blood. And let me say this to you again; this is simply a metonym for His death. Jesus couldn't just cut Himself and bleed on somebody and redeem them. This is simply a way of saying that He poured out His life, you see. Speaking of a sacrificial, substitutionary, violent death for sin. It's ... it's just a way of saying it. The point is ‑ a life poured out. It implies substitution.

SOURCE: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/1904_Redemption-Through-His-Blood?q=blood

Tragically, some false prophets (such as Robert Thieme Jr. and John MacArthur), teach that Jesus' physical blood soaked into the ground at Calvary, and Jesus never took His literal blood into the Holy Place in Heaven. Dr. MacArthur believes instead that Jesus' blood is only important and precious in that it merely REPRESENTS the substitutionary death of Christ, and was not literally applied to the heavenly Mercy Seat.

In defense of the Scriptures, I need only point out that it was not enough for the Old Testament highpriest to kill the lamb; but the literal, physical, blood of that slain lamb absolutely had to be APPLIED TO THE MERCY SEAT IN THE HOLY PLACE. If the blood wasn't applied, then the sins of the people weren't atoned for. The Old Testament highpriest foreshadowed Jesus Christ, our eternal High Priest in Heaven (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 4:15).

Further evidence of the necessity of Christ's blood applied to the Mercy Seat in Heaven is witnessed in Exodus 12:13. When the Lord came upon Egypt during the 10th plague, the Lord said 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 Lord DIDN'T say, “when I see the dead lamb”; but rather, “WHEN I SEE THE BLOOD.” To no surprise, John MacArthur avoids exodus 12:13 in his Bible Commentary and sermons, because this Scripture irrefutably exposes his doctrinal errors. It wasn't enough to cut the lamb's throat in the backyard and let the blood soak into the ground. How does MacArthur explain away this truth? The Bible proclaims the truth that the lamb's blood needed to be applied... AND THE LAMB'S BLOOD NEEDED TO BE APPLIED.

MacArthur argues that when Jesus said “It is finished” on the cross that redemption was complete. But let me remind you that when Jesus spoke those words, He hadn't died, been buried, nor risen yet. So obviously the Gospel wasn't complete. What Jesus did mean by it “Is finished” is that all of the prophecies concerning Him had been fulfilled up to that point. Jesus had just fulfilled the last Messianic prophecy by saying “I thirst.” This fact is evidenced by John 19:28, “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.” In John 19:30 Jesus said “It is finished,” having just said “I thirst” to complete all of the Messianic prophecies concerning Himself. That is what Jesus truly meant when He stated, “It is finished.”

MacArthur is wrong to say that Jesus' blood merely soaked into the ground at Calvary. It is very subtle and deceiving for MacArthur to call Jesus' blood “precious,” while denying it's literal value. That's like Catholics who say they love Jesus, but bow and hail to Mary instead. That's like Jehovah's Witnesses saying they love Jesus, while totally denying His deity and Godhead. That's like saying you love your mother, while leaving her to rot in a nursing home and never visiting her. To say that Jesus' blood is precious, while claiming it merely refers to Christ's death is 100% contradictory. The Bible plainly states in Hebrews 9:12, “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 Bible doesn't mean what it says; but that “by his own blood” merely refers to “by his own death.” MacArthur is wrong, wrong, wrong!!!

What MacArthur is really saying then is that Jesus DEATH is precious, dear, and important to him (and ONLY Jesus' death, because he adamantly claims that blood only means death as a metonym). That's exactly what MacArthur claims. If blood is merely a “METONYM” (and that's the very word he uses), then how can MacArthur claim to have any affection, love, or feelings for Christ's blood? In his mind Christ's blood does not exist, because it only refers to Christ's death (a metonym). MacArthur contradicts himself 100%!!! The TRUTH is that blood means blood, and death means death in the Bible.

Dr. John MacArthur subtly misleads his followers concerning the blood of Jesus. MacArthur starts by saying a mouthful of wonderful things concerning the blood of Jesus; but then (as you will see in the quotes to follow) he denies the physical, literal, application of Christ's blood to the Mercy Seat in Heaven...

Now let me say at the very outset, that we would never treat the blood of Christ as unclean. We would never trample under foot the Son of God and His saving work. We, with Peter, affirm the blood of Christ is precious. The shedding of that blood in death was the price of our sins paid by Christ. And He literally poured out His blood in a sacrificial offering of His life, and in so doing, sealed forever the new covenant and purchased our redemption by paying the price for sin. The blood of Christ becomes then a very important theme in the New Testament. The blood of Christ, as a term or a phrase, is mentioned at least 30 times in the New Testament. It is mentioned nearly three times as often as the cross of Christ is mentioned. And five times as often as the death of Christ is mentioned. And I believe that the reason the blood of Christ becomes the most common term to describe His sacrificial atoning death is because of its vivid, violent overtones. The word blood then is the chief term used in the New Testament to refer to the atoning work of Christ.

SOURCE:  http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/90-28_The-Precious-Blood-Part-1

Mr. MacArthur alleges some type of conspiracy against him...

We have answered literally thousands of pieces of mail on this. We have been removed from radio stations because of this. There are people traveling around the country speaking against me on this very subject, who do not, by the way, understand, either what I believe or what the Bible properly teaches. But for some reason we are the focal point of this new attack. And in order to assist you, because I believe that some of you are perhaps having to face this...I was talking to Paul Wright who has just come from Eastern Europe to be here and he says it is an issue in Ireland, where our church and my ministry is being attacked on this very subject.

SOURCE: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/90-28_The-Precious-Blood-Part-1

But here is THE TRUTH about what MacArthur believes and teaches about the blood of Jesus, and why so many Christians are doctrinally at odds with him...

But I do not believe that it was the blood of God and I do not believe that it is eternally collected and carried into heaven.

SOURCE: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/90-28_The-Precious-Blood-Part-1

There is no conspiracy against John MacArthur in my opinion. No one at Bob Jones University, nor anywhere else are out to ridicule nor discredit him concerning the blood of Jesus. MacArthur states that their ministry has received thousands of pieces of negative mail on this issue, and he has been removed from numerous radio stations, and alleges that the reason is mysteriously unknown why he and his ministry are “the focal point of this new attack.”

As you just read, MacArthur denies that Jesus had God the Father's blood flowing in His veins. If not God's, then whose? Jesus was born of a Virgin (Matthew 1:23). Of course Jesus had God's blood!!!

In John 20:17 Jesus said to Mary Magdalene, “touch me not.” John 20:17, “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” The corrupt New International Version (NIV) which John MacArthur and other Modernists use says, “Do not hold onto me” (as if Jesus were a helium balloon that needed to float away and Mary was weighing Him down). That is ridiculous to claim that Jesus told Mary to let go of Him so He could float away. That's not what the King James Bible says at all. The Bible says that Jesus told Mary not to touch Him, because He needed to ascend unto the Father. There was a REASON for why Jesus needed to ascend into Heaven (to enter BY HIS OWN BLOOD into the heavenly Holy Place (Hebrews 9:12). Jesus came back afterwards and appeared to over 500 literal people (1st Corinthians 15:6).

If Jesus didn't need to apply His blood in Heaven, then He could have just went straight to the disciples. If as MacArthur claims, Jesus work of redemption did not require anything more than dying, then why did Jesus have to leave to go unto the Father in Heaven? The answer is not something that we need to speculate, for the Bible tells us in Hebrews 9:12 and 9:24 exactly what Jesus did... He entered into God the Father's presence on our behalf, BY HIS OWN BLOOD; where Christ's work of redemption was finished ONCE for all time, and for all humanity.

Please read Pastor M.R. DeHaan's, THE CHEMISTRY OF THE BLOOD.

Yet consider the following quote from Dr. MacArthur and I will tell you exactly why I “earnestly contend for the faith” against his unbiblical teachings on the blood...

The blood of Christ is precious blood and He shed His blood in paying the price for our sins. But I do not believe that it was the blood of God and I do not believe that it is eternally collected and carried into heaven. And there it continues to be poured out to atone for sin.

In fact, what I'm gonna tell you about that very thing next week is shocking. If you believe that, that is shocking. If you really believe that, in my judgment, you are akin to the Roman Catholic doctrine of the perpetual sacrifice of Christ, where He is killed again in every mass. And you're attacking the once for all sacrifice.

SOURCE: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/90-28_The-Precious-Blood-Part-1

MacArthur subtly tries to combine the belief of fundamentalist Christians that Jesus applied His literal blood to the Mercy Seat in the heavenly Holy Place, with the Roman Catholic heresy that Jesus' work of redemption wasn't completed. Let me say that John MacArthur is sneaky and misleading on this issue. You must separate the two issues. The Bible teaches that Christ's work of redemption was done ONCE and for all. I am 100% against the Roman Catholic doctrine of Mass (which errantly teaches that Jesus is freshly crucified each and every time Catholics partake of the Eucharist). I am also 100% against the Seventh Day Adventist doctrine of Investigative Judgment (their errant belief that Jesus entered into the heavenly Holy Place in 1844 and is still finishing His work of redemption). Both of these heresies are lies of Satan.

The Bible is abundantly clear in the Old Testament that the Lord was looking specifically for the lamb's blood in Exodus 12:13. The Lord said,WHEN I SEE THE BLOOD, I will pass over you.” The Passover wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for the literal, physical, blood of the spotless, male, slain lamb being APPLIED to the doorposts of the home.

Like R.B. Thieme Jr., MacArthur is intellectually arrogant and proud in my opinion, refusing to admit that he was wrong in his earlier teachings decades ago. Some of the biggest false prophets in the world are also coincidentally some of the most educated. I sincerely believe that MacArthur knows he is wrong but won't admit it. That is merely my opinion, for he has gone to great lengths in an attempt to justify his errant teachings on the blood, grasping for straws. MacArthur claims that fundamentalist Christians like myself are espousing Catholic doctrine, and are ignorant concerning the Scriptures, and have jumped on a bandwagon conspiracy started against him decades ago. I speak from MacArthur's exact quotes, and not from anything I have heard through-the-grapevine concerning his teachings. I just gave you exactly what he errantly teaches, i.e., that Jesus DIDN'T apply His physical blood to the heavenly Mercy Seat. MacArthur states, “But I do not believe that it was the blood of God and I do not believe that it is eternally collected and carried into heaven.[1]

The Bible plainly states in Hebrews 9:12, “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 Bible doesn't mean what it says; but that “by his own blood” merely refers to “by his own death.” MacArthur is wrong. John MacArthur has written hundreds of pages of defense on his behalf, that has successfully led most churchgoers into the land of confusion on where he really stands on the blood of Christ. When people hear MacArthur saying that Jesus' blood is important and precious, they are suckered in and deceived by him; but THE TRUTH is that he denies the necessity of the physical blood sacrifice in Heaven.

I do not use the word “atonement” for good reason, for it is an Old Testament term. The word is mentioned once in Romans 5:11 (King James Bible) to make a connection between the Old and New Testaments. The word means “to cover,” which was all the blood of bulls and goats could do. But Jesus' blood did more than cover our sins; Jesus' precious, physical, literal, blood washed our sins away ONCE and for all time and people (1st John 1:7; 1st Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 1:5; Hebrews 9:12, 22-24).

It is a big issue, and not merely a matter of semantics. It is as important as was the blood of the Old Testament lamb. If you agree with Dr. MacArthur, then you are also saying that God would have tolerated a highpriest in the Old Testament entering into the Holy Place in the Tabernacle without the lamb's blood. For such a transgression God would have killed the highpriest for desecrating the Holy Place. The lamb's blood was not an option. Leviticus 17:11, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you UPON THE ALTER to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” What a Scripture!!! Yet MacArthur says Christ's blood soaked into the ground. Do you really think it is a trifle matter to God?

John MacArthur will try to lead you to believe that he is the target of a smear campaign against him, but read for yourself again, from a different quote, where MacArthur denies the efficacy (power) of Christ's physical, literal, blood...

Well, it is very clear. "The wages of sin is death." The price was death, somebody had to die. And Jesus did. "In whom we have redemption through His blood." Christ's blood, Jesus' blood. And let me say this to you again; this is simply a metonym for His death. Jesus couldn't just cut Himself and bleed on somebody and redeem them. This is simply a way of saying that He poured out His life, you see. Speaking of a sacrificial, substitutionary, violent death for sin. It's ... it's just a way of saying it. The point is ‑ a life poured out. It implies substitution.

SOURCE: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/1904_Redemption-Through-His-Blood?q=blood

Here MacArthur plainly states that when the Bible mentions Christ's “blood,” it is only a metonym (a word that denotes one thing but refers to a related thing) for Christ's death. The Bible NEVER teaches that anywhere!!!

Let me remind you that John MacArthur is an admitted staunch 5-point Calvinist and believes the heresy of Limited Atonement (the errant belief that Jesus only paid for the sins of Christians and not the whole world). All 5-points of Calvinism are of the Devil, as was John Calvin.

Again, I have nothing personally against Pastor MacArthur. I am not preaching against his teachings because I heard something from somebody who started an attack against him. I am going strictly by his own quotes, which I have provided in this article. There are many more such quotes throughout his books, sermons, and website. Most of MacArthur's teachings are excellent, but that makes him even more dangerous as a professes Bible-scholar, because he is wrong on salvation (and that makes him wrong on everything). Jehovah's Witnesses have many excellent teachings too about sin and the world, but they are wrong on salvation and the person of Christ as well.

I also disagree with John MacArthur on the heresy of Lordship Salvation that he teaches, and on his heretical Calvinistic teaching of predestination; but these are other issues for another day. All I ask is that you SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES (John 5:39) and you'll find for yourself that there's nothing more important in all the Bible than the literal, physical, blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. 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.” Only a blind man (like John MacArthur and R.B. Thieme Jr.) would dare claim that the word blood here only refers to Jesus' substitutionary death.

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