Larry Taylor - The Blood of Christ - Buttonwillow I Convention - May 2004

My thoughts during our conventions in the Philippines have been on the blood of Christ.  Since I came here to Buttonwillow, my thoughts have still been on the blood of Christ.  The blood does two things: it's the cleansing agent and the quickening agent. It's the cleansing and the quickening, life giving agent.  You cannot separate these two aspects of the effect of the blood.  It makes us clean.  It gives us life.  I think the first two things I come to convention, often yearning for, are these two things, to be made clean and to receive that life, that eternal life. The first creation of man, Adam and Eve, God created them.  We see what God was wanting to teach man from the very beginning. He was wanting to teach Adam and Eve the vitalness, the importance of blood.  That's why the fig leaves were not accepted.  The fig leaves had no blood in them.  But that animal that was the covering - the reason it was accepted for their covering was because there was blood in the sacrifice.  So God was teaching Adam and Eve from the very beginning, the sacrifice that is the only acceptable sacrifice is when there is blood in it.


 

They had two boys, Cain and Abel.  Those two sons - they both sacrificed, didn't they?  These two sons - God was teaching us right from the very beginning, there is flesh first of all, and then there is spirit, second of all.  The sacrifice of flesh, Cain, was not accepted, but the sacrifice of spirit, Abel, was accepted.  Why was Cain's sacrifice not accepted?  There was no blood in it.  He was a farmer, he was a tiller of the ground.  He was a tiller of the ground and to me that perfectly describes my flesh.  It just seems like with our human nature, it's constantly stirring one thing or another.  It's a tiller. Constantly, if it's not one thing when we're young, our little human nature is beginning to stir us up and we want our own little will.  It's going to be no different when people get older.  It's going to be another beating around, stirring up the ground, because that's Cain.  He was a tiller - and that's the flesh.  Why was Abel's sacrifice accepted?  It was because there was blood in it.  It tells us he was a keeper, he was a feeder, and that's a great description of the spirit.  The spirit is the thing that will feed, but the flesh is just something that just tills and stirs up. The thing that really satisfies is that which is of the spirit.  He sacrificed one of those sheep that he had been keeping - the blood of a sheep, the blood of the Lamb.  So God was teaching back from the two sons that were born, it's blood that is acceptable, the blood of the Lamb.  So God was teaching right from the beginning of creation the importance of blood. The only sacrifice that is accepted is that blood.

 


In the Old Testament, God instructed Moses how to build the tabernacle; later on in Solomon's day, there was the temple. The first thing they saw through the gate - the entrance into the court yard of this tabernacle and the temple - the first thing when they would come near this holy tabernacle, this holy temple, the first thing they would see as they entered through the gate - what was it?  - the altar whereon they were putting the animal sacrifices. The first thing people saw was sacrifice and blood.  The horns that were on the corners of the altar was where the blood from the sacrifices was sprinkled.  Power, there is power in blood.

 


Life-giving.  When people come near God's kingdom today, what do people see? Why do people often back off, retract from the way of God?  The first thing they see is sacrifice.  And, Oh, we yearn that they will continue to see sacrifice, and we yearn that they would not be shrinking from their own, but that they would see that there is blood of the Lamb that's given approval.  And that they would realize that that's my focus.  And that they wouldn't draw back but that they would be drawn deeper in, to enter in through the gate  and get beyond the sacrifice to see the cleansing of the laver, and the bread inside, the incense inside, and the covenant inside, everything beyond the altar of sacrifice.  It's when we come to Christ and we see beyond all that He has done for us, we realize how rich, how deep God has made us.


 

Jesus said, “Except you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you have no life in you.”  Why is religion that only focuses on the blood, why is it dead?   Why is faith that just has faith in the blood of Christ, and not in the flesh of Christ, why is it dead?  Why does it not produce something that is alive?  Or, if we put all of our confidence in the flesh of Jesus, in other words, His words and His footsteps and His actions, if we put all our confidence just in that and not also in the blood, why would that be dead?  I think we were all impressed when we were little kids and went by a car accident, or something, and we heard, “That person bled to death!  They died because they bled to death,” what happened?  We all know that our human body without blood in it, what happens.  It's dead, isn't it?  What happens to blood when it's not in a body?  Blood has to be in the body and the body has to have blood.  There is no separating those two.  If you separate the two, what happens?  Death…and that's why, in the religious world, faith is dead - because you must mingle; you cannot separate.  It's like I said earlier in the meeting, you have resins, you have these epoxy resins; there is the resin and there is the hardener and if you leave them separated, and stir around the two, and if you don't mix them together, it has no effect; it does not catalyze.  It is the same thing with the blood and the flesh of Christ; you cannot separate the two; they must go together for there to be life.  If they are separated, death is the result, but when there is the two together, there's life.

 


I was talking to one who was in the work in Korea.  Some of you folks would remember her.  Now she's not able for the work, and she is doing kidney dialysis, working in a hospital there in Korea.  I was there in Korea when some of my thoughts were about the blood, and so I just asked her a little bit about it since I know it's her daily work - keeping dialysis machines and helping patients with blood problems.  So I asked her, “How many hours does it take, when you have one of your patients come in, to purify the blood; how many hours does it take to pull off the blood from the body, run it through the machine, filter the blood and put it back?”  She says, “Well, it depends on how big the person is.  If they are a little person, or if they are a big person, it differs.  It depends on how big the body is.  Normally it's about 4 or 5 hours to cycle and purify the blood.”  I got to thinking, 4 or 5 hours for this machine to purify the blood.  To take a bath, how long does it take you?  Four or 5 minutes, isn't it?  Something like that, maybe a little bit longer depending on how hot or cold the water is and what the temperature is like.  But it has helped me to realize regarding the cleansing outside of our body - the cleansing agent, it's water, isn't it?  It isn't blood.  We don't use blood to cleanse the outside of our body, but we use water.  It only takes 4 or 5 minutes at any one time. But what's the cleaning agent in our body?  It's blood.  Who's the head?  Christ.  Who's the body?  His church.  The cleansing agent is the blood of Christ.  The cleansing of the body - it's a life giving work, but it's not a fast work.  When we begin to feel the work of God in our life, it's easy to clean the outside things first.

 


We had some new folks responding in the mission I left; the sisters will carry it on.  It's easy to deal with the outside things, but I just felt, with time and the spirit of God, the blood of Christ will help it cleanse the spirit and the heart and the mind as it flows through the body, and that's the beautiful thing about the blood of Christ.  In every blood transfusion people are afraid, “Am I now getting blood that has some disease in it?  Is this blood pure?”  We don't have to worry about the blood of Christ; not one sin tainted that blood; it's 100% pure blood.  When we let it flow in us, it will give us life and it will cleanse us, but it's not a fast work; it must circulate; it must affect all parts.  Tom Fredgren is a good example right now in his experience, how blood is life giving.  I haven't had a chance to see Tom yet, but every time I've heard that he's had a blood transfusion, he was revived.  Life giving - pure blood is life giving.  When we allow this blood of Christ, this pure unspotted blood, to effect our mind, our heart, our spirit, it's cleansing; it helps to purify.  It's quickening; it's life-giving.

 


I love thinking of Jesus, where He is the head, and the body.  With Jesus - a hopeful situation. The blood of Christ first of all, flowing in the body, in the body of Christ.  But it was when He was on the cross that the blood began to flow out of the body and affect the earth.  Actually, it was before the cross; that experience of Calvary - that was when the blood began to flow out of the body of Christ and affect the earth.  First of all, they beat Him on His back, and of course we know it flowed from His head, His hands and His feet, and His side.  And the earth that was there, it was affected by the blood.  But first of all, where did the blood affect?  First of all, before it flowed out of the body of Christ, first of all it flowed IN the body of Christ.  Christ is the head and the church is the body, and here it was, affecting the body.  We are thankful today, that is still where, first of all, the blood of Christ flows, keeping alive the body, circulating to every member of the body of Christ in the church, helping to keep alive.  We all know that as we get a little bit older and less mobile and so forth, we can't jump around; we just realize that it's time to get up and get moving.  You can just feel the blood flowing again.  You get moving, and you can just feel it invigorate again.  That's what God wants to give us these days together as we allow that blood of Christ to just affect us and quicken us again, make us alive.  Feel that new touch, that new living connection with the head again, with Christ.  We just feel that response to the head.  I have often been amazed, when wounded, noticing often that the head is one of the most vital, the quickest, (I don't know how to put it in medical terminology) it bleeds the greatest, it seems like.  When you get a cut on your head, it just bleeds rapidly and often very strongly.

 


And I like this about Christ, that the blood flowed out from the head, and that it just goes to every part of the body.  We know what blood does when a person has a stroke.  A man in our field had a blood clot.  Some surgery was performed and he had little stroke symptoms.  It just helped me to realize the vitalness of the flow of the blood.  It's vital in the head.  It affects every member.   We're thankful, aren't we, that we don't have to worry about Christ having a stroke and causing some members of the church to becoming immobile, or ineffective.  From Christ, there is that pure flow; there is no blockage on His part; there is no cholesterol on His part to restrict the flow.  His influence reaches each one of us in the body, so that we can be an effective member, useful in His body.

 


At the Passover feast in Egypt, a lamb was brought into their house.  They got acquainted with the lamb.  They had this little lamb four days.  That's what God wants us to do, get acquainted with the Lamb - get to where that killing of the lamb is more costly, more precious.  I have a cousin in Montana, farmers; she had 4-H cows.  Every year at the County fair she would sell her little calf for a yearling calf, and because the cow, or one of these calves had become her best buddy, Oh, she would cry every year when the time came.  It was hard to see her little calf go.  They weren't slaughtering it; it just went off to some other farm.  It was the sacrifice, because she got to love that little calf.  And that's why they had that little lamb in their house four days before they killed it.  The more we can get acquainted with the precious, friendly, warm, comfort of Christ, then when we consider Him, what He was willing for in His death, Oh, it makes it more dear.  We realize the cost and the preciousness of it.  They took the blood of that Passover lamb and they put it on the door posts of the door, so that the first thing when anyone entered in, any one that went by the house, and the Lord passed over that night, the first thing that was seen was the blood.  The first thing when they came to the tabernacle or the temple, the first thing they saw was sacrifice, the blood.  Here at the Passover in Egypt, the first thing they saw was the door posts; it was the blood of the lamb.  When we go into Sunday morning meeting, I yearn that the first thing I would see would be those emblems, reminding me of the sacrifice.


 

I won't forget a gentleman who got in contact with the Gospel in the Philippines, and now he is living here in California.  The first Sunday morning meeting that he went to, he had not been familiar with the way of God, it was all new to him.  But once he had the privilege finally to go to his first Sunday morning meeting, he had been a religious man, and of course very warm, friendly gentleman.  He walked into the Sunday morning meeting, and everyone was sitting quietly there.  He was going around to everyone, shaking hands, and, “How are you folks this morning?”  He realized these people aren't really responding to my friendliness, so he just thought, “This is different,” and he just eventually found himself a place and sat down.  He noticed that the rest of the meeting was different.  We had a chance to see him later on and we said to him, "Jim, when you come into a home where there is a dead body, what is your spirit?  What's your feeling when you come to where there is a dead body?  Do you come in real friendly and jovially, touching everything?  No, you come in sober, don't you?"


 

I've been amazed in the Philippines seeing how much even a drunk man is stricken by death.  In the Philippines, like in Mexico, the body is usually placed in the living room of the home.  My companion and I, these last five years, had a year we called the year of the death.  We helped with 25 funerals of some of our friends there that year, so we were at a lot of funerals.  Like in America, usually the workers just have one service and it is over, but we usually have 2, or 3, or 4, for one person and so we get a chance to preach the Gospel to these people in the home of the dead.  I have just noticed that here we are; we come into these homes and there's a soberness.  It doesn't matter even if there is excitement going on outside, when we come into the home, by the body, there is death.  And that is one of the reasons why, when we come into a Sunday morning meeting, we are coming in to where there is the Christ, the body, the One that died for me.  So that brings soberness to that gathering because there is that death.


 

But then there is a mixed feeling; there is a duel feeling in our Sunday morning meeting, isn't there because of the death, soberness.  But because of the resurrected life, gathering the first day of the week, that new life, there's rejoicing.  So we have the soberness and the rejoicing, mingled on one occasion, and that's what makes that gathering around those emblems, to be reminded of Him, so precious and so dear.  And as a result of that, Jim, now is looking at the Sunday morning meeting as a whole different privilege.  Oh, that we would first of all when we come into that little Sunday morning meeting, oh, that we would see the blood as it is poured out, and with the blood that life.  The reason why you cannot take the blood of Christ and use it is because it was not the blood of Christ until it had lived in His body, in His life.  The blood of Christ had to be lived in His body first of all before it became that pure, unspotted blood of Christ.  And that's why there is no separating; you cannot separate the one from the other, like Jesus said, “Except ye eat my flesh and drink my blood ye have no life in you.”  But when we feed on the flesh and that blood, then there is life in us.

 


When Jesus was walking towards Calvary, the blood flowed first of all from His back.  It seems that the blood flowed first of all from His back.  And what did God make the back of man for?  It doesn't matter what nation it's in, when you carry a load, you never see anybody carry a load on their front side; it's always on the back side.  That's what we have with this blood of Christ, through that blood that flowed from His back.  That was the first place it flowed.  It was to help bear the burden of our sin.  We see that they put a crown of thorns on His head, smote Him with a reed, the blood flowing from His mind. That's what God wants us to do, first of all see the burden bearer for our sins, and then He wants us to change our thinking.  To me, it becomes more and more wonderful as we live from country to country, different culture to culture.  Every culture thinks different, but that's the beauty I love when it comes to this influence of the Christ; it brings a united thinking, a united mind, one mind, one spirit, one body, so even though our backgrounds and our food and our clothing can be so different, but yet that one mind, that one body, one spirit.  And that's a mighty thing, because it brings that influence from the mind of Christ.

 


This crown, this crown of thorns they put upon Him was in mockery. And so it is with this thinking of Christ, having the mind of Christ; there will be reproach to think like that, to think and function like that, there will be reproach. That crown wasn't saying, "Yes, He is indeed the king of the Jews.:  No.  It was all mockery.  That was a reproach thing, and with this blood of Christ, as it affects our minds, there will always be reproach to think like that, to function like that.

 


He had the privilege of bearing His cross.  I like this man of Cyrene; he bore it, this man from Egypt.  There at Calvary, the hands and the feet and the side, all that earth was affected on the way to the cross and the cross experience. The blood of Christ first of all influences the body, the church.  We are thankful that God still wants to reach out beyond His body, His church, to affect the earth, to help people feel the influence of that blood upon them, so they will be attracted to the foot of the cross; they'll be drawn to the cross.  We are thankful, that as the Gospel continues to spread out in so many parts of this creation of God that we see that there are others still being affected.  They were just in an earth experience before.  There was no life there; there is no fruit from their experience, just earth, just ground, like Cain, a tiller of the ground.  But then the blood, dripping upon it, influencing it, there was a response.  That is what God is wanting for us to do, to allow this cleansing agent to flow through us.  To me, this is a miracle.  The medical world, I believe, is learning more and more of the wonderfulness of the miracle of blood to the human body.  They are just constantly learning, seeing the power of that blood that gives life.  I think that with us, being a part of the body of Christ, we realize that there is so much.  We are not grasping the full miracle of the power and influence of the blood of Christ that cleanses us, and quickens us, gives us life.  As we keep connected to the head, respond to the head, the flow of blood from the head, from Christ can flow out to every member of the body.  I just pray that as we sit together here in our days together at convention, all that there is left, the connection with the head, the Christ, be very alive.

 


Often we hear about these big arteries, don't we?  I'm not sure, but I think they are the ones that carry the biggest flow to the head.  If they get blocked, it's life threatening.  We are thankful that He wants an open flow, no blockage, no hindrance, no restriction of this flow from Christ, from the head - an open flow so that we can receive that cleansing, that pure blood flowing through us, as we come with some black spots and some little spiritual viruses and fungus and here God, by the power of the blood of Christ, that pure blood, can help to clean us and purify us and make the body alive again.