PLEADING THE BLOOD OF JESUS
by Jeff Hagan
Let me start by saying I was born and raised into a Pentecostal denomination. I am very grateful to have been raised by believing parents in a church environment and to have come to faith at a young age. With that said, as I've grown my differences with Pentecostalism have increased. But even as a child I can remember thinking some of what I was being taught didn't seem to make sense with what I had read in the bible.
However, I remained. I even graduated from one of their bible colleges. It was while studying at that very college I really became convinced there were large holes in their practices and theology. To their credit, they encouraged individual thinking. I even wrote one term paper on why speaking in tongues was NOT the initial, physical evidence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit and still received an A (97%).
Eventually the time came where I had to part ways and an outgrowth of that was eventually writing articles against many of their doctrines and practices. Where they departed from Scripture, I felt correction was needed.
In some instances the beliefs I dissect and counter are complete heresy. In other cases the topics are less serious (of course it's all serious). This article falls under the latter.
PLEADING THE BLOOD OF JESUS
Growing up I remember hearing prayers "pleading the blood of Jesus" over, or on, so many things it was remarkable. At the time I didn't give it much thought. In fact, I found myself praying the same phrase at times. However, I began to question whether the practice was biblical or not.
"Pleading the blood of Jesus" during prayer is a common teaching and practice in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles. When they speak of this they are referring to the practice of claiming the power of Jesus over any and every problem by "pleading the blood of Jesus over...." adding to the end of the phrase whatever they want (i e. sickness, thoughts, demons, wealth, job, family).
You might be surprised to discover that "pleading the blood of Jesus" has absolutely no clear basis in Scripture. There is not a single case in the bible of anyone ever "pleading the blood of Jesus." Often times those who practice this do so as if it's some sort of magical phrase somehow adding more power to their prayers.
"This teaching is born from a misguided view of prayer that prayer is a way of manipulating God to get what we want rather than praying for His will to be done. The whole Word of Faith movement, which teaches pleading the blood, is founded on the false teaching that faith is a force and that, if we pray with enough faith, God guarantees us health, wealth, and happiness."(1)
Often times to support their use of the term they point to the Passover to defend their practice. (Unfortunately, it's rather common for those within Pentecostalism to base doctrines on Old Testament examples). They claim that just as the blood of the Passover lamb protected the Israelites from the angel of death and led to their deliverance from slavery, so too the blood of Jesus can protect and deliver Christians today, if one “pleads” it.
In fact, let's look at the passage and see why their position is flawed.
Exodus 12:13 says: “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.”
As mentioned above, they argue that this “blood for protection” typifies the alleged “New Testament” practice of “pleading the blood of Jesus to receive protection.” However, Scripture does NOT say anything about Jews applying the blood to the door and then chanting, or verbally expressing, “I plead the blood on my door! Devil do not come in!” They did not do that because they applied the blood by faith and God took care of the rest. God would pass over them once He “SAW the blood” (]Exodus 12:13]). He was NOT interested in them “pleading the blood.” The very verse they claim to support their position actually weakens it—God was interested in SEEing the blood. Furthermore, there wasn't even a prayer for deliverance here; God had already promised them that He would deliver them.
Another passage they use in an attempt to support their practice is Leviticus 8:30. So, let's take a look: "And Moses took of the anointing oil, and of the blood which was upon the altar, and sprinkled it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his sons’ garments with him; and sanctified Aaron, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons’ garments with him.”
"This was the blood of consecration. Aaron and his sons were now divinely-appointed priests in the nation Israel. Where in the Bible did these priests 'plead the blood?' There is no such verse!"(2)
In my experience, the majority of the time those who plead the blood of Jesus do so in the context of seeking victory over demons. In their thinking "pleading the blood of Jesus" is a way of taking up the "authority of Christ over the spirit world and announcing to the forces of darkness that they are powerless. Some base this aspect of pleading the blood on Revelation 12:11, 'They triumphed over Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.'"(3)
But again, there is absolutely no example in the Bible of anyone “pleading the blood." The phrase "the blood of Christ in the New Testament is often used as a metonymy meaning 'the death of Christ.' The blood/death of Christ forgives our sin, reconciles us with God, guarantees our inheritance in heaven, etc."(4)
Should a Christian be aware of all that the blood/death of Christ has accomplished for us? Of course. Should a believer be thankful for the blood/death of Christ? Of course. Does a believer need to remind God of the blood/death of Christ every time they pray? No. At least not according to the Bible. Do the words “I plead the blood of Jesus” give our prayers some kind of boost? No, in fact, that’s more superstition than biblical prayer. Pleading the blood of Christ is not needed to defeat Satan because he has already been defeated. If we are born again, Satan has no power over us other than what God allows for His own purpose and glory. "We have already been 'delivered' (past tense) from the power of darkness and 'translated' (past tense) into the kingdom of God’s Son (Colossians 1:13). No need to continually plead the blood."(5)
The power is in the Word of God, not in our words. Satan is already defeated; we just rest, or trust, in the promise of ]Colossians 2:13-15]: “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” As Jesus Christ was victorious over Satan at Calvary, we are also victorious over Satan at Calvary. There is no chant or phrase involved; there is just complete reliance (faith, trust) on the “cross of Christ."
Instead of “pleading the blood of Jesus" for repeated protection or power, true believers should simply obey James 4:7, “Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” The Bible gives us numerous instructions regarding living victorious in Christ, and pleading the blood of Jesus is NOT one of them. We have been cleansed by the blood of Christ, and now he is our High Priest and mediator who “ALWAYS lives to make intercession” for us (Hebrews 7:25, emphasis added). As members of the flock of the Great Shepherd we are already under his protection; we simply need to live one day at a time trusting in him for what he has already promised and provided.
(1) "Is Pleading the Blood of Jesus Biblical?" at gotquestions.org.
(2) "Should We Plead the Blood of Jesus?" at
(3) see footnote #1.