The art of spiritual bloodletting

In the past when a person was sick the doctor used to come to the home and practice what was called bloodletting.  It was believed that the sickness was in the blood and by removing a portion of the blood this would relieve the sickness of the patient. 

Today we clinically understand this only further weakens the body’s ability to fight of the sickness.  Hence this practice is now looked at with ridicule and scorn and an act of the ignorant.  Our first president was a victim of this practice, when he died shortly after his bloodletting.

In essence the practice of bloodletting removed from the body what it needed to keep the body healthy.  It removed a portion of its ability to provide oxygen, water and nutrients to the cells.  It also removed white blood cells needed to fight the sickness.  This practice instead of doing the patient good actually did the patient harm.

In our spiritual lives we fight two types of sicknesses that are manifest in many ways within the church and in individuals of the church.  These two sicknesses are faithlessness and sin. 

Instead of helping the church by encouraging the natural process given by God in scripture to fight off these sicknesses, we instead do spiritual bloodletting.  We accomplish this by bleeding out of our spiritual veins those scriptures that are needed for our healing.

Take for instance what is written by Paul.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,[1]

We rejoice at what Christ has done for us.  In fact I would argue this is the real message of Easter.  That not only did Christ rise from the dead, so did we who put our hope in Him. 

The tragedy is however, we teach since we have been seated with Christ in the heavenly realms as present tense fact, there is no way a believer can now loose this position we have in Christ.

Now enters disobedience to Christ commands and faithlessness in the believer’s life.  Instead of letting scripture that was intended to lead the believer to eternal life, we now apply our practice of spiritual bloodletting.  We drain from the spiritual life those scriptures that warn of falling away from Christ.  We drain this spiritual blood as verses not intended for the believer, but intended instead for the unbeliever, or as a contrast of the impossible actions of a true believer. 

So let’s start bloodletting those verses that are for our spiritual health, our correction, reproofing and instruction.

It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.[2]

Even though we sit in the heavenly realms with Christ, scripture warns those sitting in the heavenly realms of falling away.  But to this we practice our art of spiritual bloodletting, by saying this is not speaking to the believer or what is possible for a believer to do.

If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.[3]

Christ Himself teaches that we are grafted into Him.  Is this any different than being raised with Him in the heavenly realms?  We either have a share in Him or we don’t.  So now sharing in Him as believers, we are warned by Christ Himself as believers not to become someone who falls away by not remaining in Him.  To this we practice our art of spiritual bloodletting.  This scripture we excuse away with a flood of other scripture we use to assure the faithless believer and disobedient disciple how secure they are in Christ now that we have come to share in Him.

By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.[4]

Our gospel teaches us that we are grafted into Christ and are raised with Him into the spiritual realms.  Yet we have those warnings found in scripture about falling away as believers to which we practice our art of spiritual bloodletting.  But the warning is for all to see and gain understanding from.  We can have the expectation and hope of salvation if, if, if, if, if, if, we hold firmly to the gospel we had preached to us and not receive it only to return to our past sins and faithlessness and live like the unbeliever.

This bothers those of us who preach smooth words to the disobedient believer they are forever secure in Christ.  Ignoring the very words of Christ and His Apostles we are like the false prophets of old

The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading.[5]

Yep this offends us.  But how much more do you think we offend the Son of God with our teaching that completely ignores His warnings to believes.

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.  Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?[6]

Let’s not stop at spiritual bloodletting to prove the doctrine of men.  Let’s not be satisfied with our efforts to silence the full counsel of God for our smooth words.  Let not our spiritual bloodletting be exposed as the false and misleading teachings of men that it is.  Let us disembowel scripture to prove our point that confession of faith is all we need to be saved.  Let us gut the living word of God and leave it a hollow shell for our hearers.  And we think those who crucified Christ were ignorant.  Look at what we do to Christ the Word incarnate.

For more on the warnings found in scripture for believes go to “My plead with the saints“.

[1] Eph 2:6

[2] Hebrews 6:4-6

[3] John 15:6

[4] I Corinthians 15:2

[5] Lamentations 2:14

[6] Hebrews 10:26-29

18 thoughts on “The art of spiritual bloodletting

  1. Good post. Amen. Sin is incredibly serious and dangerous business.

    Ro 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (‘FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS THAT ARE PAST….NOT FOR CONTINUING WILLFUL SIN)

    There is a place where we meet the Living Christ in the fellowship of His resurrection. In this place, I believe, we find sanctification….as we yield our bodies as Temples of God…as we allow His love to guide our hearts in power and in servitude. In this place we truly become a child of God. But the shallow teaching of eternal security is false doctrine. It is the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes…the thing God hates. The Nicolaitanes used Grace only a a covering for continuing sin.

    Again, good post. Thanks.

    Carolyn /

  2. So, at what time does someone “lose” there salvation? What is “knowingly” sinning? What if you were “knowingly” or even “unknowingly” sinning and the died in the middle of that sin? i.e. you were lying on you tax return about the amount you had received in cash…ps you had been lying about it for years. You keel over with a heart attack. Your in knowing…practicing…sin…did you lose your salvation ? If not…why? It meets the critira listed.

    • To me the question is like asking how much arsenic can we eat before we die of it. My post

      I deal with James opinion on the matter. He says it is impossible to sin.

      Here at The Gospel According to the Gospel we do not teach salvation at conversion, but as scripture teaches it, the hope of salvation when Christ returns. So the question really is at what point do people abandon their faith that could have saved them.
      I believe once we are saved we will be eternally secure as the Calvinist teach, but until one can shipwreck their own faith like Arminianism teaches.

  3. Ed said: So, at what time does someone “lose” there salvation?

    Judas’s blasphemy would be the best example of ‘when’ one loses salvation.

    Luke 22:3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. 4And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

    John 17: 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

    Ac 1:16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

    Ac 1:17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
    Ac 1:18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out
    Ac 1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishopric let another take.

    Heb 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
    5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
    6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    I knew a Sunday School teacher who began an affair with a co-worker. He went so far as to bring the woman to live in the home with his wife and five children. My dad knew the man and had seriously ‘warned’ him concerning the sinful behavior. Late one afternoon, the Sunday School teacher came into my dad’s driveway. Dad got into the car with the man. The man said, ‘Don’t pray for me anymore. God drew the line. I stepped over it.” The next afternoon the man was involved in a simple off-the-road accident involving the man’s vehicle only. He bumped his temple on the side window and immediately lost consciousness. He died a few days later…never having regained consciousness. Only God knows eternal things. And God is LONGSUFFERING toward us as we grow in Grace and Knowledge…and in the nurture and admonition of the Lord…to a man fully grown in the Lord. But there are those times when God clearly ‘draws the line.’ Romans the first chapter is one of the clearer discussions on bring ‘turned over to a reprobate mind.’

    Ro 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

    Ro 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    Ro 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

    Ro 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen

    Ro 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    Ro 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

    Ro 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

    Ro 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    A person who has ‘come to the knowledge of the truth’ KNOWS when they are committing sin. The conscious convicts them of wrong behavior. When the practice continues…the conscrous becomes ‘seared’ or ‘numb’ to the wrongness of the behavior.


    • I would say these are great examples of men who left the faith, they abandoned the hope held out in the gospel as Paul says. Please feel free to read some of my other material on my blog that points to the many scriptures that teaches of the hope of salvation and our being given it at Christ return.

  4. I agree whole heartedly that He brings salvation with Him at His return. Paul mentions ‘running the race’ to completion. ‘Churchianity’ seems to be taking the place of ‘Christianity’. The one and only Gospel is the one preached by Christ…’Repent…for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ The Kingdom of Heaven on earth is same as the Body of Christ. Walking in fellowship with Christ by way of His Spirit….to the end of our lives (He that endures to the end shall be saved) IS ‘Christianity.’ God is ‘growing’ me….’strengthening’ me…’transforming’ me ….more and more each day…into His likeness. And the more transformed I become…the more ‘nothing’ I become. I once desired to continue to stand before Bible Study classes and ‘teach’ the Word with fire in my heart. But those in my hearing…could not ‘hear’ me. If they were to come to the Truth, they would come to it the same way I did….by seeking….and studying the Word…and acknowledging the Holy Spirit as teacher. Through ‘spiritual discernment’….knowledge of Truth increases. Now…I am learning the POWER of Love. ‘Love never faileth.’ Now I am learning the POWER of ‘pray without ceasing.’ ‘Prayer’ is the sincere desire of the heart. The Holy Spirit searches the reins of the heart and goes to God with the ‘desire.’ My ‘desire’ is only ‘thy will be done.’ I can ask NOTHING but that…’thy will be done.’ I TRUST Him in ALL things. I have seen more MIRACLES…more broken lives being made whole…since I learned that, indeed, ‘the battle is the Lord’s.’ I now understand why David walked out before Goliath with only a shephers’s sling. David KNEW ‘the battle is the Lord’s.’ God, indeed, is our rock, shield, deliverer, fortress, and strength. I am learning what it means to ‘rest’ from labors…to ‘rest’ in God. At the time turbulence and struggle is increasing both in America and around the globe, I have total PEACE. Even the turblence and struggle is by the permission of our soveriegn God. He along ‘rules in the kingdom of men and sets over them the basest of men ..Dan 4:17.’

    I will continue to catch up on your previous posts. I find what I’ve seen so far to be very refreshing concerning the true Gospel. The rotten gospel apples have all but spoiled the whole barrel. But as a ‘little leaven leaveneth the whole lump’… does a little TRUE AND POWERFUL Gospel….go a long way.

    Carolyn /

  5. Dave, you are not answering the questions. you are stating, whether you mean to or not, that if a person sins (willful or not) then they have denied there faith and if they were to die, would not receive there “salvation”. So, the question stands! when do you lose your salvation, or better yet how do you lose your salvation? by sinning? You are actually preaching different than what Carolyn is talking about, because she references Judas…total denial…what you are stating is sin period. Either breaking the law has power over your salvation or it doesn’t. Does it?

  6. Is this:

    (Ezek 3:20-21 NIV) “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”

    Any different than this?

    (John 15:5-6 NIV) “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

    I never have understood why people want me to answer for the warning found in scripture. As if I can judge the heart of a man or at what particular amount of sin God will tolerate. But as for Moses, God didn’t tolerate as much from him as He did from the people. Maybe He will tolerate less from you than He will from me.

    Again, you can not loose what you never had. So in this case since there is a hope of salvation, they would have lost their hope.

    As far as needing total denial to loose ones hope of salvation, I do not see that in scripture.

    Jesus Himself speaking not of those on the wide path (total denial) but those on the narrow path (those who are not in total denial) says the following thing.

    (Luke 13:24 NIV) “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.

  7. Ed…concerning ‘sin’ and ‘losing’ salvation. According to scripture… only the ‘few’ will find the Way….so we are likely not talking about ‘losing’ salvation. As the host said…we can’t lose what we don’t have. But, rather, we likely are talking about ‘gaining’ salvation….after we have ‘run the race to win’….after we have ‘endured’ to the end….after we have ‘overcome’…after we are ‘holy (without holiness no man will see God). We become the Body of Christ ONLY if He ABIDES WITHIN us. Where He abides…there is NO sin. Sin separates us from fellowship with the Spirit of Christ. Light has NO fellowship with darkness.
    Scriptures CLEARLY mean …NO SIN! Each time we sin…we do so by CHOICE.

    1co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape.

    Ro 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

    Ro 6:20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

    Ro 6:21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for THE END OF THOSE THINGS IS DEATH.


  8. Bro, you know I love you, but you are still not answering the question. Let me try it a different way…What I’m hearing you say is that salvation, is contingent on sin. Is this what you are saying? A simple yes or no will do.

  9. No.
    Scripture teaches that salvation is contingent upon obedience. We can say the sinner’s prayer all we want, but if we do not obey Christ we have nothing. You can see this message in the gospel can’t you? Our confession of faith means nothing without fruit or works, what ever you want to call it.

    (James 2:19-20 NIV) You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless ?

  10. No Dave, scripture teaches that salvation is continget on faith. James states that out of faith obedince flows. Abraham didn’t have the law. He faith, produced obedience, which was credited as rightousness. My salvation is secure in that I know that “He who begin a good work will be faithful to complete it.” He completes it. 2 tim 2:14 ( there bouts) He is faithful even when we are not. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord…though he fall he will not be cast down. God was faithful to his covenant in spite of Irsreals disobedince. there disobedince brought the curses down on them and there pride in the letter of the caused many to miss the truth. It’s not me…it’s Jesus who keeps me till the end and presents me blameless. I don’t want to sin because I don’t want to activate the curse or submit to bondage again. I’ll try to find time to type more.

    PS…Jen found your Birthday present…be afraid..very afraid…wicked laugh following. :)…Reverand…

    • Ed you said, “He faith, produced obedience, which was credited as rightousness.” But what I find in scripture is different. You say scripture teaches his faith produced obedience and this resulted in credited righteousness. Yet I read in three different places that Abraham believed God and this was credited to him as righteousness.

      (Rom 4:3 NIV) What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

      (Gal 3:6 NIV) Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

      (James 2:23 NIV) And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.

      Then as James would say, he followed his faith had actions of obedience to follow. So we are credited righteousness when we believe and it is proved when we show it with our actions. Is this acceptable?

      Your comment, “He is faithful even when we are not,” is the most abused piece of scripture I know of.

      (2 Tim 2:11-13 NIV) Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

      We seem to forget if we disown Him He will disown us. Then we turn around and say we can be faithless and He will remain faithful to us. It doesn’t say that. He will remain faithful to Himself. He will remain faithful to His word. What did Israel discover in this matter? They discovered when they were faithless and disobedient that God did not disown Himself or His word for their sakes. He punished them. It is not appropriate application to use the verse in the way you do. Besides it goes directly against the teaching of Jesus.

      (John 15:6 NIV) If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

      This will be Jesus not disowning Himself and remaining faithful to Himself.

      You do believe all Christians are to remain or be cut off don’t you?

      On your last note. God save the queen! I was born Feb 31st.

  11. Another question for both Carolyn and Dave…Are you afraid that you may not “win” the prize or enter into the “eternal” reward?

    • Only if I prove to be a seed that wasn’t planted in good soil, or a tree that doesn’t produce fruit, or a lazy servant, or one who couldn’t give God a return on my investment, or I show my fellow servants no mercy, or I become a shepard that only feeds myself, or I shipwreck my faith, or I do not remain faithful until the end, etc.

  12. Ed…I am not ‘afraid’ I will not ‘win the prize.’ God, again, used natural things to reveal the spiritual. ‘Winning the prize’ is the language of ‘babes.’ It is God’s goo-goo-gaa-gaa…so to speak :smile:. There are no words in man language with which to describe either the ‘race’ or the ‘glory’ for the winners. Those things are only known as our spirit communicates with the Spirit of God…the Holy Spirit. Neither can I give understanding concerning how the ‘whole’ of the Gospel is to restore the descendents of God through Adam and Eve…back to the place of knowing only ‘good’…through encounter with the LIVING Christ. One can only have FAITH through the supernatural interaction with the Holy Spirit. FAITH is a FRUIT of the SPIRIT of GOD.

    Jas 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. FOLLOWING ARE REMINDERS OF THE FRUITS OF REAL ‘FAITH.’

    True FAITH is true BELIEF. FAITH is a verb.. a word meaning ACTION.

    Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

    Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God

    Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

    Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

    Heb 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;

    Heb 11:29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

    Heb 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

    Heb 11:33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

    Heb 11:34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

    JESUS IS THE WAY: Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    It is in encountering Christ, Son of the living God, through revelation by the Father… exactly as did Peter…that we are given the power to endure, overcome, and hope to the end for the salvation which He brings to us at His return. The ‘rock’ to which Christ referred to as the foundation for His church…is one-to-one fellowship between a man and God which accomplishes ‘holiness.’ FAITH is the foundation…the ROCK on which Christ’s church is built.

    The answer to your question is ‘Lu 1:50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

    What a timely question concerning GRACE, FAITH, and SIN.

    Carolyn /


  13. not forgotten. i’m enjoying this conversation. feel that i need to post better than on my phone. give me a wk and ck back.

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