THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST

by D. M. Panton



Chapter Three

THE BLOOD AND THE LEAVEN

An Old Testament type, of exquisite clearness and beauty, now reveals God’s dual truth on the very threshold of all Redemption. A zoologist, it is said, if he be given but a single bone of an animal, can reconstruct the entire anatomy to which the bone belongs: so one sure clue is sufficient to explain a type: and, in the Blood and the Leaven, three explicit clues are given by the Holy Spirit, so as to put all beyond doubt. "Our passover also hath been sacrificed, even Christ " - therefore the lamb’s blood typifies Christ’s blood: "wherefore let us keep the feast " - therefore the Church age, the Seven Days between Advent and Advent, is the antitype of the Feast of Unleavened Bread: "not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness" - the leaven, therefore, is sin - "but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (1 Cor. 5:8). No type could be clearer or surer.

Jehovah’s first command was the putting of the Blood upon the House. "They shall take of the blood, and put it on the two side posts and on the lintel, upon the houses wherein they shall eat" the lamb (Ex. 12:7). The Destroying Angel sought out every house, for every house held sinners; but he lowered his sword, and passed, wherever he saw the blood. "When I see the blood, I will pass over you." Why? Because death had already crossed the threshold: the Lamb had perished in the place of the firstborn. But into every other house the Angel entered. The moment Christ’s blood rises up between my soul and Jehovah, it is "the beginning of months" to my soul: it is regeneration, the begetting of a new and divine life: in that moment, when I have consciously appropriated Calvary, I leave the world, in spirit, and start travelling home to God. "Even the selfsame day all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. it is a night to be much observed unto the Lord for bringing them out of the land of Egypt." The pilgrim life starts with the putting on of the blood.

Jehovah’s second command was the putting forth of the Leaven from the House. "Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day " - that is, from the moment of conversion - " ye shall put away leaven out of your houses." Israel started the pilgrim life with sufficient sweet dough to last them the whole Seven Days: the old, sour dough - all discoverable sin - was to be left in Egypt: and so urgent is Jehovah that He nine times commands the putting forth of the leaven. Paul is no less urgent. "It is actually reported that there is fornication among you. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out the old leaven" (1 Cor. 5:1,7).

Here then is God’s dual truth exquisitely revealed. The putting on of the Blood - Justification; the putting out of the Leaven - Sanctification: the putting on of the Blood - Christ’s work for us; the putting out of the Leaven - the Spirit’s work in us. Now observe. There is no command to put out the Leaven before putting on the Blood. The Lamb, it is true, must be eaten with unleavened bread (ver. 8); the heart must turn from all sin in the act of appropriating Christ: but we are not to attempt to cleanse the House from Leaven before it is presented to God for the Blood.

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come.

"Being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him" (Rom. 5:9).

But the completed work of Justification immediately introduces the complementary work of Sanctification; and only when the Blood is on the door have we power to put forth the Leaven. "Work out your own salvation " - the Leaven put forth - " with fear and trembling; for it is God which worketh in you" (Phil. 2:12) - the Holy Spirit is now in the House. Jehovah does not say that the presence of Leaven in the House proves that there is no Blood on the door: on the contrary, the constant peril of known or discoverable, but unexpelled, leaven is assumed as the peril of every house. We cannot be too passive under the Blood: we cannot be too active in purging out the Leaven. "My sins slew my Saviour: now I must slay my sins."

Both these Divine commands involve grave consequences. The Israelite or Egyptian who refused or neglected to apply the Blood, perished: he perished at the hand of God: he perished in Egypt: he perished lost. "We all " - that remain in Egypt - " be dead men" (Ex. 12:33). Even if his house were comparatively pure of leaven, the Destroying Angel destroyed. Nor can the disobedient disciple escape unscathed. The Israelite under the Blood who refused or neglected to expel the Leaven, was cut off (ver. 15): not, it is true, in Egypt: nor was he cut off by the Angel: nor was he cut off from God, but from Israel :(that is, he fell an excommunicated pilgrim, on the right side of the Blood, and on his way to God. It is not eternal destruction. So, for excommunication, Paul quotes the actual terms of severance from Israel : - " put away the wicked man from among yourselves" (1 Cor. 5:13; Deut. 24:7), to be handed over to Satan "for the destruction of the flesh," but for ultimate salvation - " that his spirit may be saved." His salvation is assured. But the disciple who (like the incestuous Corinthian) stretches privilege so as to cloak sin must meet a stern disillusionment at the Judgment Seat of Christ: no appeal then to the Blood will deliver the Leaven-eater from his judgment.

Put on the Blood: O my soul, purge out the Leaven! A traveler once watched a carpenter in Nazareth search his house for leaven. Girding himself up, he turned every board, opened every drawer, swept every cupboard; till suddenly, with a cry of horror, he started back. A workman had left some old bread in a small canvas bag. Solemnly and anxiously the carpenter laid hold of it with two pieces of wood - not with his fingers - and, carrying it to the fire, dropped bag and all into the flames. "LET US CLEANSE OURSELVES FROM ALL DEFILEMENT OF FLESH AND SPIRIT, PERFECTING HOLINESS IN THE FEAR OF GOD" (2 Cor. 7:1).

Seekers of Christ Seekers of Christ Seekers of Christ Seekers of Christ Seekers of Christ

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:13, NASB)