“My Blood, Father!” How Do We Understand Such Words?
April 16, 2010 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

Recently, I decided to do a search for “Father, my blood” on the EG White estate website and got 10 hits. Until I get the 2 references below resolved, Jesus appears to be requesting something from the Father and getting a response

of which would not take place if both of them were on the same page???? Also, I think it is apparent that JESUS is talking to the Father not Satan.

Maybe you have already covered this ground, to your satisfaction, with the forensic crowd taking hits at you. I do not sense that these have been covered in your SS class. Personally, at face value or explicitly… I cannot harmonize with your explanation. Are we supposed to chalk all of this up to prophet error/immaturity?

#5 – The Majesty of Heaven is standing before the Father, pleading, My blood, my blood; spare the sinner a little longer for my sake. What are you doing for him while he is pleading? Seeking your pleasure, following in the ways of folly, corruption, sin, and iniquity; and yet he is pleading his blood before the throne of his Father! Oh! can you not be entreated to come? We entreat you to come. Come now, just as you are. Come, turn and live. Come to the Burden-bearer. {RH, April 19, 1870 par. 14}

#8 – When we sin against God, there is a disposition to fall behind Jesus a day’s journey; we seek to separate from His company because it is distasteful, for every ray of light from His divine presence points to the sin of which we have been guilty. Satan exults over the sins which he has induced souls to commit, and he makes the most of all these failures and sins. He rehearses them to the angels of God, and taunts them with these weaknesses and failures. He is in every sense an accuser of the brethren, and exults over every sin and wrong which God’s people are beguiled to commit. You, Brother V, have been engaged in this same work to quite an extent. You have taken what appeared to you like wrongs, weaknesses, and errors in the ranks of Sabbathkeeping Adventists, and have brought them to the notice of the enemies of our faith who were warring against that company unto whom angels of heaven were ministering, and whose cause Jesus, their Advocate, was pleading before His Father. He cries, “Spare them, Father, spare them, they are the purchase of My blood,” and lifts to His Father His wounded hands. You have been guilty before God of a great sin. You have been taking advantage of those things which grieve, which bring anguish upon the people of God as they see some of their numbers unconsecrated and frequently overcome by Satan. Instead of aiding these erring souls to get right, you have triumphantly made their errors conspicuous to those who hated them because they professed to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. You have made it very hard for those who were engaged in the work of saving the erring, hunting up the lost sheep of the house of Israel. {2T 106.1}

Yes, I have explored these quotes many times and have come to a satisfactory understanding. What do you understand them to mean? When you consider these texts, are you simultaneously holding in your mind the other texts of Scripture and commentary by EGW? Such as when Jesus said, “if you’ve seen me you seen the Father” (John 14:9), “I will not pray the Father for you because the Father loves you Himself” (John 16:26), and:

“Had God the Father come to our world and dwelt among us, humbling Himself, veiling His glory, that humanity might look upon Him, the history that we have of the life of Christ would not have been changed… In every act of Jesus, in every lesson of His instruction, we are to see and hear and recognize God. In sight, in hearing, in effect, it is the voice and movements of the Father.” – That I May Know Him, pg 338?

Are all of these passages and many more like it true? If so then what impact do they have on understanding the passages you have cited? Do they rule out certain interpretations in order to bring harmony to all the texts? Do we eliminate the idea that one member of the Godhead is actually pleading to the other member of the Godhead for the purpose of influencing Him to be loving and kind? Or do we ignore the texts and statements I have included above? Do we realize that the statements you have cited are highly symbolic and being spoken to specific individuals for a specific purpose?

When a prophet speaks to a certain audience, does the prophet ever use symbolic language, hyperbole, or speak in a language the audience will be impacted by in order to elicit a redemptive response?

Consider Macaiah in 1 Kings 22:

Micaiah continued, ‘Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the host of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. 20 And the Lord said, “Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?” One suggested this, and another that. 21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, “I will entice him.” 22 “By what means?” the Lord asked. “I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,” he said. “You will succeed in enticing him,” said the Lord. “Go and do it.” 23 So now the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.’

Why did the prophet speak this way? Should we understand this literally? Should we believe that God is using His power to make His creatures into liars? Or do we understand that Micaiah was speaking to a king with a certain preconceived idea about God. Micaiah was trying to get Ahab to understand that the other prophets were lying. What God concept did Ahab hold? One in which God was a loving, kind, and gentle being like Jesus who would leave His children free to make their own choices? Or a god concept that was “powerful” and that “caused” things to happen and if it happened then it must be “god’s doing?”

How would Ahab hear Micaiah if Micaiah told the truth that God left people free to lie and be influenced by evil beings, that God wasn’t actively doing it?

When King Saul fell on his own sword and committed suicide how was it understood? How did the “inspired writer” record it?

Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance, 14 and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse. 1 Chron 10:13, 14.

How do we understand this inspired writing? Do we conclude God sent angels for force Saul down upon his sword?

So, when we read inspiration, what attitude are we to have?

In the passages you cited, the context reveals EGW is speaking to spiritual children, individuals that Hebrews 5 would say are not acquainted with righteousness. They don’t understand the realities of God’s kingdom. So, just like Micaiah speaking to Ahab, EGW uses highly symbolic language to communicate a truth, “you are failing to appreciate all Christ is doing to save you, repent and be saved.” She met her audience where they were to turn them from self destruction.

Is Jesus in heaven squeezing His hands and pumping out and offering His red and white corpuscles, plasma, and platelets to the Father? Is the Father in heaven influenced by blood? Or is the blood symbolic? Of what? When Jesus said in John 6 unless we eat His flesh and drink His blood we have no part with Him, was he speaking cannibalism? And where did Jesus say the blood was to be applied, to the Father or within the sinner? The scripture says:

The life of the animal is in the blood, Lev 17:11

And EGW says:

The leaven of truth works a change in the whole man, making the coarse refined, the rough gentle, the selfish generous. By it the impure are cleansed, washed in the blood of the Lamb. – Christ’s Object Lessons, pg. 102.

The blood is symbolic of the truth Jesus brought and the perfect life He developed. Does God need “truth” offered to Him? Is God confused on some aspect of truth? Does God need a perfect human life “offered” to Him in order to get God to be kind, loving, forgiving etc? Or, did “God so love the world that HE GAVE His only begotten Son” (John 3:16)?

We are the ones in need of the “blood of Christ,” which is the truth about God that wins to trust. And then, in trust, we receive via the Holy Spirit the life of Christ reproduced within. Passages as you have cited are means of reaching persons with certain misunderstandings and turning them around so they may enter into the truth and light about God, again like Micaiah and Ahab.

There are multiple other reasons why the passages you cited are not to be understood as communicating a difference in attitude or character amongst the Godhead. They are not to be understood as communicating that one member of the Godhead needs to influence another member to be kind, gracious and forgiving. But I will cite only one more reason, quoted from my previous blog ‘Christ’s “Effectual Plea” – To Whom Is He Pleading? October 9, 2009:

Finally, the three members of the Godhead take different roles or functions. The Father acts as the source of all that is good. The Son is the medium, mediator, advocate, conduit, agent through which the Father reveals Himself or acts and the Holy Spirit is the actualizer or applier of what the Father and Son have achieved. Thus God was in the Son reconciling the world to Himself (2Cor 5:19). Jesus’ work on earth was the acting out of the Father’s heart. His completed mission and victory over sin are applied to the lives of believers by the work of the Holy Spirit. So, with this understanding we realize what Christ meant when He said, “I do nothing of myself.” Christ takes from the Father to fulfill all the Father’s purposes for His universe. In this sense we can see Christ turning to the Father, not to persuade the Father to be kind, but to receive the fullness of the Father’s purpose of love for His creation and carry that purpose out in meaningful action!

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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and an international speaker. He served as president of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain.
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