Mystery of Spiritual Blood Transfusion:
Truth of Soul Salvation
(click HERE for the Study Version)
After thirty-five short years in the faith, I remain amazed by the “open secret” of the ongoing Christian life—and equally amazed by our ignorance of it as born again believers. Living out of this secret is the key to holiness, true discipleship and the fulfilment of personal destiny in Christ. Without understanding it, we are hindered from ever becoming more than carnal spiritual babes.
The ”secret” is really not a secret at all. It is not complicated. Nor is it hidden in scripture as if in a code. It’s in plain view. It’s not even a secret to church history. Various teachers have expounded it over the generations.
Yet, even though we’ve been given the Spirit to “guide us into all truth,” this cardinal truth is hardly taught anywhere. At best, we get close to it occasionally through some of our deeper worship songs. But otherwise, it appears to be so widely unknown—if only because, with our cooperation, satan has successfully blinded us to it throughout this age.
Today, let’s take a few minutes to just lay it out again in its simple yet critical beauty.
All born-again believers already understand how the blood of Christ paid the price for our sins. This is called justification. Most believers also understand how the blood of Christ allows us to keep appealing for forgiveness after we are born again. This is ongoing justification: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us our sins….”
John finishes this statement by saying, “and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” But few believers have any idea of the role Christ’s blood plays in literally “cleansing” us from unrighteousness. Few understand at all the ministry of the blood after new birth to deliver from the actual power of sin through what the Bible calls the “salvation of the soul.” Yet it is the core truth of our continuing faith in Christ.
The Three Parts of Man
Let’s start by re-illumining a couple of darkened concepts. First, there are three parts to the human make-up. Man has a body, a soul and a spirit. The most common misbelief regarding these is that the soul and the spirit are identical. This is not true. They are separate. And unless you can understand they are distinct, you can never grasp the open secret of the Christian life.
We all know what the body is. This needs no explanation. Opposite to this is the spirit. The spirit is our inmost part distinctly responsive and responsible to the life of God, who is Spirit. It is by our spirits that we receive the knowledge of God. The spirit is the seat of our real identity.
In between the spirit and body is the soul. The soul is the life force that drives the body. It comprises our natural powers of emotion, thought and determination as experienced through the body. The soul is attuned to what the body hears, sees, tastes, smells and feels.
Most importantly, the Bible tells us that the life force of our souls is found in our blood:
“The life of the flesh is in the blood.”
The Hebrew word translated here as life [nephesh] means the soul. It literally reads: “The soul of the flesh is in the blood.” The soul’s indwelling of our bloodstream is vital to understand.
Three Phases of Salvation
The second darkened concept regards our salvation. Just as we are comprised of three parts, so are there three phases to our salvation, one for each part. There is the salvation of the spirit, the salvation of the soul, and the salvation of the body.
The salvation of the spirit is also called regeneration or new birth. It is where we get the term “born again.”
At new birth, our dead spirit is made alive. We receive a “new spirit,” including the Holy Spirit. Our original identity tied to our dead spirit is abolished. We receive a new identity, directly lineaged in the heavenly Father. Christ becomes our “eldest Brother.”
Through regeneration, we become children of God, with the further power to become the sons of God (to be discussed). We become someone we never were before, possessing Christ’s eternal life, a life that can never die again any more than the Father who birthed us can die.
The salvation of the soul is also called sanctification (also holiness). This salvation is separate from the salvation of the spirit and actively occurs throughout the duration of mortal life between the time of new birth and salvation of the body. The salvation of the soul is the centerpiece of New Testament doctrine concerning the believer. It is the open secret of the Christian life—at once plainly visible in Scripture, yet the most obscured of all practical spiritual truth.
Sanctification is chiefly obscured by equating soul salvation with salvation of the spirit as a past-completed act. For generations we have spoken of “the day the Lord saved my soul” as an alternate way to say “the day I was born again.” This is erroneous. In the New Testament, soul salvation is an ongoing process past new birth, is yet to be obtained, and can still be lost with grave consequences!
The obscuring of sanctification as a separate and conditional phase of our salvation has cut the heart out of our understanding of why we need to continue in Christ after new birth—robbing us of a key incentive for abandoning our lives to His authority as disciples. As the centerpiece of present-tense salvation and this article, we’ll come back to the issues of soul salvation and the ongoing redemption of our blood’s life force.
The final salvation of the body is called glorification. This phase is the crowning end of new birth and soul salvation. And its awarding has yet to occur. The apostles tell us glorification will be awarded more or less corporately, and will be keyed to the Lord’s physical return.
The Role of Christ's Blood in Washing the Believer's Soul
When we were born again, the Lord forgave our sins, regenerated our spirits to life in Him, and replaced our identity in Adam. Christ's blood purchased all these things. For the most part, this is where our understanding of the blood stops. But forgiveness (including ongoing forgiveness) and new birth is not the only saving work accomplished by Christ's blood. The blood plays an active role in every phase of our salvation—including soul salvation.
After new birth, Christ's blood ministers with His Word to cleanse the soul's natural life force coursing through our blood. Though we've been regenerated, our blood life is still racked with sin energy, infested with demonic strongholds and bound to old identities (soul ties) linked to a dead unredeemed body. Think of a dirty house whose tenant has been evicted. The house may now have a new (born-again) tenant, but the inside of it still has to be cleaned out.
So it is, the filthy interior soul life in our blood must be expunged and replaced. The Bible likens our soul interior to a "garment" that may yet be spotted. It describes it as a "robe" believers have that must be "made white."
How is it made white? Through washing in the blood of the Lamb.
For what purpose? To be "made ready" for union with Christ.
Again, this washing does not happen at conversion. This is way past our initial "washing of regeneration." Regeneration does not "make us ready" for marriage to Christ. This washing of robes is our continuing "cleansing from all unrighteousness" through the washing of our souls.
The Spirit's Ministry of the Blood of Christ
The applying of Christ's blood to our souls is by the Holy Spirit. In the last 100+ years, we've heard a lot about the "Spirit-filled life." We've heard about spiritual gifts and manifestations. We've heard about anointing. We've heard about water, latter rain and oil. But we have heard virtually nothing (nada, zilch) about the Spirit's ongoing work of cleansing our souls through the blood. We've not learned how that spirit water must be turned to spirit wine!
Marvelous as His gifts are, the chief ministry of the Holy Spirit in the spirit-saved believer is the sanctifying of the soul. His major is on presently saving us from the power of sin and the remaining dead spirit identity connections in Adam. All His other ministries to the church—gifts, anointings, etc.—are secondary to this and meant to support this vital work in the believer.
How then does the Spirit accomplish this great sanctification? Ah, this brings us to the heart of the secret! In short, the Spirit ministers a divine Blood Transfusion in us—flushing out the sinful natural life force of our bloodstream and re-infusing it with the sinless eternal Life-giving blood of Christ. Let's study this out now in careful detail….
Draining Out Our Blood (The Literal "Emptying" of Self)
The New Testament uses the pictures of death, sacrifice and crucifixion to explain the process of soul salvation. As disciples, we are repeatedly told to "deny self and lose our life [lit. soul]," to "crucify the flesh," to "put to death the deeds of the body," to "die daily," and to offer ourselves as "living sacrifices." These word pictures all have one thing in common. They enjoin us into a reality of sharing Christ's death in an active present tense way.
But there is a literalness to these words that escapes us. These are not just "concepts" we are to "agree with." They are reality to be engaged in our souls, a reality carried out by the subterranean work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit wills to execute a literal crucifixion of the soul life within our human bloodstream, creating in us a daily loss of more and more of this native life force.
To effect this ministry, the Spirit requires our submission after the manner that Christ submitted His life to the Father. The Spirit coaxes us toward complete, unconditional and continuous surrender of our soul's willpower, desires and thought-energy to God while maintaining a steadfast gaze of heart upon the Lord. This submission is the number one meaning of conformity to Christ's image and is the hallmark evidence of true discipleship.
As we say "yes" to the Spirit's leading in this, clashes between our will and divine Will surface requiring our surrender. As we cry "Uncle!" a real bloodletting takes place—not a physical bloodletting (except in cases of physical persecution and hardship)—but a literal draining of soul life force out of our bloodstream. This draining occurs by the crushing pressures and tribulations of mind, emotion and body we endure through our continuous surrender. Our souls suffer.
Soul suffering is indispensable to sanctification. Peter says those who suffer for Christ "cease from sin." This is because the power of sin is in our soul life. As we willingly endure the emotional and mental costs associated with the letting of natural soul life, the power of sin to dominate and manifest through us is also drained out.
Drinking In the Blood of Christ (The True "Filling" of the Spirit)
But there is a flip side to having our soul life drained out (thank God!). And that is to receive the resurrection Life of Christ in its place. The same Spirit that crucifies our soul life replenishes us with Christ's own Life.
But of what is that Spirit life comprised? Is it only water? Or oil? No. Just as the life of our souls is in our blood, the Life of Christ is in His Blood. When the Spirit reinfuses us with the Life of Christ, He infuses us with the very blood of Christ! The Blood by which we are forgiven and regenerated is the same Blood whose force sanctifies and replenishes our souls.
Thus a literal transfusion of Life forces occurs—a divine Blood Transfusion, if you will. The sinful force of one blood (ours) is drained out, replaced with the pure Force of the Savior's blood.
This transfusion explains the mystery of Jesus' exhortation to drink His blood. He wasn't speaking metaphorically, but literally. But the literalness of this is to our souls, not our physical mouths. So much of what the Lord taught was geared to the ongoing salvation of our souls. This includes his word to drink His Blood.
Receiving the Blood of Christ into our souls is what enables us to live the truly "Spirit-filled" life. The Spirit-filled life is not just about anointing. That's the Spirit-covered life. The Spirit-filled life is really the Blood-filled life. It is the life in which sinful energy is bled out of our bloodstream and refilled by Christ's sinless Life—free from sin, filled with the fullness of the Love of the Father.
"Fruits" of the Divine Transfusion
The reinfusing of our souls with new Life out of crucified emptiness causes us to become real partakers of David's words from Psalm 23, "He restores my soul." As Christ's blood-Life takes over our souls, many wonderful things happen:
First, we are rejuvenated with the Life that already proved able to perfectly obey the Father. By drinking Christ's blood, we are enabled to live out of the same power of righteousness that He did. It's the same blood with the same indwelling power! By it, we are able to fulfil all the Father's Will. We are delivered from living under the tyranny of our own soul energy. We enter into a restfulness that is inherent in the power of His divine energy within us.
Second, our souls are able to increasingly experience God's pure indwelling. Our minds are able to clearly think His thoughts. Our emotions are able to feel and fully express His emotions. We are able to experience the fullness of His satisfying Love. This is reality Christianity. It is experiential. It is emotional—divinely emotional under the Spirit's control. It is not a head-trip.
Third, our sense of identity relative to Christ and the world is purged. We increasingly lose our sense of natural identity in earthly lineage, including family line, social status, national alignment, even race and gender. Our sense of identity in Christ now flourishes. We come to see ourselves more and more in Christ alone and in His people reborn of His identity.
Fourth, demonic powers and sickness are increasingly denied lodging in us. Think of it. Jesus' soul was completely free from demons and His body free from sickness—all because of His sinless Blood. The devil had "nothing in Him." As His Blood becomes ours, it is to become no less with us! Afflictions may continue for our remaining purging and testing, but spiritual liberty, divine health and sound mindedness should become the increasing rule of our lives.
These results are the sweet fruits of soul salvation. Understand that everything the Lord and the apostles say about spiritual fruit refers to soul salvation. The "fruit of the Spirit" and the results of soul salvation are one and the same. The fruit of the spirit on the vine of Christ is the wine of the spirit on which we are to "be drunk." The converting of the Spirit's energy into saved soul life through Blood transfusion is the turning of the Spirit's water into Spirit-wine.
The Seasons of Soul Salvation
The fruit of divine Blood Transfusion comes to us in both sudden and gradual ways. It "bursts forth" as a sudden soul-transforming breakthrough in our union with Christ—just as on the Day of Pentecost. It also comes by way of ongoing gradual increase throughout our mortal lives. In all cases, we gain actual lasting impartations of the final salvation of soul awaiting us.
As lasting as these impartations are, it's vital to note that the fruits of soul salvation come to us between seasons of increased soul emptying. Soul salvation is a process of cycles—seasons of dying and seasons of increased life replacing what is bled ("pruned") out of us. These cycles continue throughout mortal life.
Yet the fruit of each cycle is lasting and permanent—as long as we preserve it by keeping our heart's gaze centered ("abiding") in the Lord. It can't be taken from us. Each cycle lays a platform for the next cycle. Each reinfusion with Christ's Blood crowns our losses with a deeper union with Him. Our souls are more strengthened, stabilized, and settled—permeated with His fullness toward our next round of sacrifice and still deeper union.
Soul Salvation: Maturing in Sonship Toward Glorification
What we call spiritual "growth" and "maturity" is about the salvation of the soul. For most of us, the idea of spiritual growth has no real reference point in salvation. It's just a "good thing" we all know should happen as we read our Bibles and pray, evidenced "somehow" (?) by more Christlikeness in us. But spiritual growth is about Blood Transfusion. We grow into Christ's image because our blood becomes delivered from sin and reinfused with His very power of character.
John says when we first receive Christ, we are given power to become the offspring of God. This has meaning beyond the initial concept of becoming His children through new birth. It ultimately refers to our power to be finally openly "placed" as sons through glorification. Hebrews says Christ brings many sons (not children) to glory. This display of sonship is the result of our growth, demonstrating our soul's final salvation (purification) from the carnal identities and bondages of this life.
The concepts of spiritual growth, spiritual harvest, and displayed sonship are together tied to soul salvation. At new birth (spirit salvation), our new spiritual seed is germinated. Throughout soul salvation, as we partake faithfully of the Blood transfusion, our "stalk" grows up through the ground and into the air. We are "sons-in-progress." At glorification, our bodies are harvested, our sonship is declared—displaying the soul salvation that has been accomplished in us.
As our souls are increasingly saved through Christ's Blood, our bodies become prepared for the glory of overcoming death. This is the incredible and beautiful hope before us, a hope we should be actively engaging. You see, the body is subject to death only because it is riddled with sin. But as our physical bloodstream is increasingly cleansed from natural soul-life and its sin energy, death has a diminishing basis for holding our bodies captive to the grave.
Continued long enough, Blood transfusion must lead to glorification! The last enemy of our bodies—death itself—must be cast out. After 2,000 years, we have yet to see soul salvation sufficiently developed in the church to outrun the physical death process. But the time where Christ's Life in us will finally overtake physical death is at hand. Soon, a first generation harvest of total salvation—spirit, soul and body—children made sons—will appear on earth with the Lord.
The Missing Message of the Cross
It's difficult to overstate the importance of soul salvation, the consequences for failing to submit to its process, and the dire condition of the church regarding it, including the "Spirit-filled" church. As familiar as the story of redemption is—so familiar that large populations of born-again believers exist in many countries—very few have any grasp of its application to our souls after conversion and its centrality to our destiny.
This article relays the essence of what Paul called the "message of the cross." His letters to the believers focus on the present-tense action of the cross of Christ in the life of the believer. Yet even back then, Paul observed how maligned that message was among his own converts. It remains just as clouded and ignored now.
Today, every possible doctrine about Christian life is available to believers—except the core doctrine of soul salvation through the Blood of Christ. You can hear about initial salvation (regeneration), evangelism toward the lost, Biblical "principles" for living, church government, contemporary issues and politics, faith, finances, "kingdom revelation," the end times, worship, prophecy, intercession, revival—even intimacy with Christ.
But you can hear almost none of this otherwise useful teaching in context of God's central active purpose to save the soul of the believer. There's virtually no knowledge about the life-for-life transfusion of the Blood of Christ, how that process is key to our final outcome in glory, or how fundamental it is to all other teaching—including our love for the Lord.
- Sad Irony of the "Spirit-Filled" Age
As noted before, the real time anointing power of the Holy Spirit has been evident in a special way for over 100 years now. This activation has been the story of the century. The Spirit's anointing was meant to be ministered together with His work of Divine Blood Transfusion, not in place of it. It was designed to service the discipling process toward glorification.
But amazingly, the "Spirit-Filled" Age—with all its illuminated revelation and power displays—has largely proven a farce. Comparatively little soul salvation has been effected as a result of the anointing. The Spirit-Filled label has not borne witness to the fruitfulness of true discipleship, but more to the sprouting of briars and thorns.
The anointing has itself been hijacked by unsurrendered ministers, producing grotesque caricatures of spiritual reality. "Water, water everywhere, but not a drop [of Blood] to drink." Vain earthly prophesies and obtuse "revelational" teaching abound—leading our souls nowhere, keeping us imprisoned to the latent power of our sins and immaturities.
The Imperative of Soul Salvation: the Judgment Seat of Christ
The call to soul salvation through discipleship is a two-edged sword. That's because failure to obtain sanctification will not only deprive us of the prize of reigning with Christ. It will also subject us to severe consequences under divine displeasure. Contrary to popular teaching, the incentives for obtaining soul salvation are not only positive, but negative.
Whether we like it or not, we are bought with a price and are not our own. The Lord electingly loved us first, making a unilateral covenant with us. We neither "chose" to "accept" Christ nor brought anything to the covenantal table. We were slaves to satan and He bought us as slaves off the open market. (That's the meaning of "redemption.")
In redeeming us as slaves, the Lord made a sovereign investment of blood in us. And for that investment there is an expected return. And if that return is not met, there will be consequences. For this reason, a judgment seat awaits all reborn believers, not just unbelievers.
At the judgment seat, we will give account for how well we allowed the Lord to perfect His investment in our souls through the divine Transfusion. In spurring believers on to full salvation, all the apostles are clearly motivated by a holy fear of this coming judgment. So to remain oblivious to the Spirit's call to soul salvation is to court certain peril.
It's imperative we know this—the salvation of every believer's soul is to be proven by fire. There will be great loss on the part of many "half-saved" believers at that time as their unconverted soul-life is burned away. All who evaded the divine Transfusion process in order to preserve their soul life now will lose it then—setting back their progress toward final sonship in ways now incalculable to us! So the Lord asks, "What price will you put on the losing of your soul then?"
- Fear Transformed to Confidence
I can't begin to know what this judgment will be like. What I do know is that a holy fear of this judgment is vital to perfecting soul salvation. The knowledge of coming judgment is necessary to goad us to stick out the demands of the transfusion. It is the beginning of our knowledge of the Lord.
But as we are perfected under awareness of judgment, our soul is actually made "judgment proof"—"fireproofed"—against the day of judgment. The bleeding off and reinfusing of our souls by the blood is also the "burning off" and transforming of our souls by God's glory. This glory is the same fire we'll face when we appear for trial before His gaze.
Because the fire reconstituting us now is the same fire we will face then, we will be able to pass through that fire to stand unscathed before the throne. By knowing this, our holy fear of judgment is itself transformed into perfected confidence that we will be able to stand the Day of Judgment. Such confidence is yet one more fruit of our transfusing union with Him.
My purpose today has been to illuminate the plain reality of the second, present stage of salvation of born again believers. If you've never seen this before, then ponder and "drink deeply" of these things. If you have never consecrated your newborn life to this process—even if you've been in "anointed" ministry for 50 years—start now and let the Spirit begin truly saving your soul. Maximize your potential and minimize your loss as much as possible before you meet Him to give account for His investment in your reconstruction.
And if per chance you have broken through into this journey, and you've been persevering in this salvation for some time, then let me encourage you to keep going!! Don't give up "the blessed hope." Don't quit. Don't faint, no matter how many years are left to us in this….
In due season, we shall reap the prize of the heavenly calling, if we faint not!
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created August 28, 2007