The Holy Spirit is not given for your enjoyment
but for your employment.
The Holy Spirit is not given for your enjoyment
but for your employment.
William Andrew Dillard
here is my question about the bible: In Matthew 12:30:32, it is
stated by Jesus, “… anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit
will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come”.
Is this because the heart is hardened and no repair can be
Also, another discussion came up around this when someone asked if these passages covered the Jews and their beliefs. I expressed a bit of knowledge that indeed the Jews believed in the spirit, but stopped at that point knowing the rejection of Christ is THE issue. However, then I recalled a Conversation with a former pastor whom once answered one of my questions about the Holy Spirit as it involved the American Indians and Irish pagans. He said both had believed in the Holy Spirit. Christ’s coming to us changed everything with respect to sacrifices of all sorts of bloody ways and so I THINK I understand, however…. Verse 32: “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will beforgiven, …”
Sooooo, does this verse indeed forgive those who do not believe in Christ but do believe in the Holy Spirit? Deep stuff, huh?
indeed, it is deep stuff, but so very important that it be dealt with
and understood as much as Bible study and submission to God will
allow us to understand it. My answer will not be short, but hopefully
it will be helpful. The concluding sentence of your inquiry hits at
the heart of the matter as to who then may be saved? And by necessary
Let me state the scope of salvation. Man is a threefold creature made in the similitude of his triune Creator. He is a reasoning intellect after the similitude of the Father; a spiritual entity after the similitude of the Holy Spirit; a physical reality after the similitude of the Son. When Adam failed in the Garden of Eden, sin invaded all three aspects of his being, and it became an intricate part of his species. Consequently, all three aspects of his being must be ultimately saved, and the Bible speaks to these different parts of man’s make-up both in terms of sin and salvation. If this concept were better understood, a lot of biblical mystery would immediately dissolve. This is very much an understanding germane to the topic at hand.
The beginning of any person’s salvation is the salvation of the spirit. In repentance and faith in God, man’s spirit is sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption, Eph. 4:30. Although tied to a body and mind subject to sin, that saved spirit can no longer sin, I John 3:9, because it is cleansed and sealed by the Holy Spirit of God; hence, security of the believer. Beyond this experience, the saved person is given the opportunity to learn of God and His Word; to grow in knowledge and grace. This process is referred to as the salvation of the mind-life. The mind-life is referenced in the scriptures by the term “soul” Greek “psyche” which means “conscious life” as is resident in the intellect. While the mind is being saved (transformed) in discipleship, the salvation of the body cannot, and will not occur until the resurrection. At that point the total man will stand in total salvation and be like his glorious Savior.
Now, referencing man’s spirit, Spirit salvation has always been the same since Adam’s sin to the present time, and will be until the dissolution of the present heavens and earth. It is the salvation of the mind-life that is the main burden of the Bible, and to that end are the changing processes of various covenants. The provider of that salvation is Jesus and His finished work on the Cross of Golgotha. As it was not necessary for people in Old Testament times to know the name of Jesus in order to be saved, but was provided His salvation through faith; so it continues to be. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I do have my doubts about any who would claim to possess the salvation provided by Jesus and at the same time reject the provided knowledge of Jesus. But I rest assured that nature itself bears witness day to day and night to night sufficient for all men in every generation to perceive the presence of their Creator and humble themselves before Him, Psalm 19:1-3. I do note that this thinking would not be universally accepted, but so be it. Now, with this much information as a platform from which to proceed, the scriptures under question are considered.
there should be a consideration of Jesus’ words from the viewpoint
of different translation of the scriptures. The KJV reads: He that is
not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me
scattereth abroad. Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and
blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the
Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a
word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever
speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him,
neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” Matthew
The next scripture reference of similar statements is Mark3:28-30. “Verily I say unto you, all sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: but he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.”
Finally, Luke 12:8-10 relate a kindred statement: “Also I say unto you, whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the son of man also confess before the angels of God; but he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God. And whosoever shall speak a work against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him, but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.”
Most translations I have consulted vary little including The New International Version, The New American Standard Translation, The Amplified Bible, etc. In Matthew 12:30, Goodspeed in his American Translation states, “and anyone who does not join me in gathering, scatters.” The New Testament in Basic English says, “And he who does not take part with me in getting people together is driving them away.”
In Matthew 12:31, “Wherefore I say unto you….” Is rendered “which leads me to say this” in The Four Gospels by C. H. Rieu, and “For that reason I warned you” in the New Testament: A New Translation of Olaf M. Norlie.
In the last part of Matthew 12:32, “neither in this world, neither in the world to come” is rendered “neither in this age nor in the one being about to come” in the Greek text.
In Mark 3:29, “…but is in danger of eternal damnation” is rendered “but is guilty of an eternal sin” in The American Standard Version; “he has to answer for an enduring sin” in The Twentieth Century New Testament, and “but is guilty of an everlasting sin” in the Greek text.
the heart of the matter should be considered from a word study
viewpoint. The one word that presents difficulty in this statement is
the word “blaspheme.” Literally translated it means “speak
hurtfully.” The greatest hurt one may do to the Holy Spirit is to
refuse its leading, and to use one’s influence to cause others to
do the same. Jesus pleaded that though men would not believe Him,
they should believe His works. John 10:38. In other places He said
that past generations would arise and condemn that one because they
would have repented if they had seen His works. So, seeing and
believing the works is underscored. Now, the work of the Holy Spirit
has always been to convict men of their lost condition, and to lead
them to trust in God from the time of Adam’s sin, but the work of
the Spirit in the New Testament age is to accompany the Lord’s
Church as the Comforter/Teacher in the stead of Jesus, and to lead
men to a state of spiritual maturity which will win for them a place
of ruling with Christ in the age that is about to happen. This is
accomplished by believing and following The Faith once delivered to
the saints, as set forth in the New Testament.
THIRD, the context of these verses must also be considered. In Matthew Twelve, Jesus is talking to some Pharisees. In Mark, He is addressing some Scribes, and in Luke, He is talking to His disciples. Yet, in all three instances it is clear that what is being said is being said for the benefit of His disciples who were present. It is also important to bear in mind what Jesus did not say. He did not accuse these men of being lost sinners. They were in fact religious men who trusted in God, but were so steeped in generations of traditions that they were having great difficulty accepting the simple, but profoundly authoritative teachings of Jesus. Today, we like to say that God’s plan of salvation is profoundly simple, but that learning the truth of the scriptures is a slow process, and sometimes difficult. For that reason, it is harmonious to believe that saved people are in various manners of churches today, even though those churches may deny fundamental truths about God’s Word.
in an attempt to summarize and apply the preceding, let it be stated
that the specific work of the Holy Spirit that is peculiar to this
age is the leading of saved men into a full knowledge of God’s New
Testament truth. To deny those great truths, and hence to lead others
to do the same is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. This is why Hebrews
10:26-27 says, “For if we sin (err in acknowledging and following
the truth) willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the
truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain
fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall
devour the adversaries.” Then the example of saved people dying who
despised and ignored Moses’ law is given with a warning that it
will be worse for those who ignore and deny the New Testament
Additionally, how will this affect those who are guilty of this sin? Perhaps Matthew 7:22 illustrates it best. “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast our devils: and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them I never knew (was never in an approving relationship with) you: depart from me ye that work iniquity (work religiously, but without regard to the rules of my word).” “In that day” is the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. It begins with a rapture and resurrection of the saved. These people are not lost people, but saved people who have worked fervently and religiously, but outside the guiding work of the Holy Spirit, and led others to do the same. They are expecting the reward of the saints to rule with Christ in the Millennium, but are denied that reward because of their works. “Though a man strive for mastery yet is he not crowned except he strive lawfully,” 2 Tim. 2:5. It is only if we identify and suffer with Him that we shall reign with Him, 2 Tim 2:12
It appears that the failure of these saved people to accept Holy Spirit leadership in the arena of the faith once delivered to the saints, refusing scriptural baptism and New Testament church fellowship, have blasphemed the Holy Spirit and are denied the reward of the saints in the Millennium. It further appears that this failure and sin will mark them in the heaven age as they apparently shall be among the nations of them that are saved that walk in the light of the New Jerusalem, but are denied a p lace in it that the saints shall enjoy. Note Revelation 21:24-2:15.
Finally, (have I said that already) in our day universalism has all but taken over in the realm of “Christianity” Spirit salvation is all that most preach and they err in teaching that spirit salvation will bring to one all the eternal reward that God has to give anyone. Such simply is not so!
It is common for most unstudied ministers to simply say that the sin of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit cannot be committed by saved people; that it is the sin of unbelief in Jesus as Savior which will in fact condemn one to an everlasting hellfire. How sad.
Hellfire is never under consideration in these verses. Obviously, if one does not trust in Jesus, he is eternally lost at death. But this warning is to the saved to submit to the work of the Holy Spirit in learning, living and sharing the truth of God in this age of grace. Eternal reward is based on the work of faith which can only be understood and accomplished as one is submissive to Holy Spirit leadership in the faith once delivered to the saints. To reject this is to blaspheme. And what other word, work, or force could possibly lead one to know and accept God’s truth if the Holy Spirit is rejected? NONE!
This answer is very long. It had to be. If one does not understand the background, then understanding the meaning of these passages of scripture is impossible. Deep stuff, huh? Indeed! I am sure that by the very nature of its depth that possibly more questions have arisen than have been answered. Feel free to follow up on points of further questioning. With this much done, future answers may not need to be nearly so long.
Could all of this have been summarized into a very few brief statements? Yes, if the background information were well understood. So, now, let’s see:
People can be saved without an historical knowledge of Jesus, even
though all salvation is provided of God on the basis of the finished
work of Jesus.
2. What is the work of the Holy Spirit as a stand-in for Jesus in this age? In addition of leading men to spirit salvation, as always, it is to support, teach, and facilitate belief in the New Testament fully.
3. What happens if men, even saved men deny New Testament teachings and incorporate their own distorted views? They blaspheme the Holy Spirit.
4. Will that be forgiven them? No! Once life is lived in this world, it is what we have made it, and there will be loss of reward and difference in people throughout eternity.
5. So, who commits the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? Lost men, but they are hell bound anyway. Saved men who will not yield to the harmonious teachings of the New Testament.
6. Will they then go to hell? No, not if they have ever been saved. But they will suffer loss, even as described in I Cor. 3, “saved yet so as by fire.”
Now how simple is that?!
The same sermon that
comforts the afflicted
can afflict the comfortable.
The Holy Spirit never leaves a surrendered vessel unfilled or unused. – Adrian Rogers
Holy Spirit leads you, but He never drives you.
YE ARE COME TO WHAT?
William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
“But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” Heb 12:22-24.
There is much to glean from these verses of scripture. They center on the contrast between the law, and the church as expressed by “church of the firstborn.” Here, the Old Testament world of shadows and symbols, and the New Testament world of realities come together in a most thrilling way.
It begins in the Hebrews’ exodus from Egypt. God purchased to Himself the firstborn by the blood of the Passover Lamb. He emphatically proclaimed to the Hebrews that the firstfruits of man, beast, the field, etc. belonged to Him, and such must be yielded to Him or redeemed with fair price. Soon a census was taken and the tribe of Levi almost matched in number the total of firstborn saved from death by the blood. Whereupon, God traded the firstborn back to the Hebrews for the entire tribe of Levi who would produce the priests and minister about holy things. It is important to connect the dots here. The Old Testament priests then became representative of the firstborn ones from Egypt.
The Levitical priesthood was destined to cease, giving way to another priesthood, and another high priest after the order of Melchizedec Who would serve the covenant people of God without end. He, of course, is Jesus. Who is THE FIRST BORN from the dead among many brethren.
When the New High Priest fulfilled every jot and title of the Mosaic Law, He redeemed His people of covenant out from under the Old and into the New. The expression of the New Covenant among men is the New Testament Church (purchased with holy blood) and the pillar and ground of the truth. Soon after the empowerment of the church by the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, gentiles were added as it grew by leaps and bounds under the missionary efforts of the Apostle Paul and others. The people of this New Covenant are called the “Israel of God,” Gal. 6:16. Moreover, Peter calls them “a royal priesthood.” I Peter 2:9. Consequently, the writer of Hebrews emphasizes that we are no longer under the law. We have not come to Mt. Sinai, but to Mt. Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem . . . To the church of the firstborn…. But while we have this blessed status and enjoy the understanding and spiritual maturity it affords us, there is much greater personal responsibility regarding personal submission to the instructions of Christ Jesus, our eternal high priest. We must not turn away from Him Who has spoken to us. We must learn to worship and serve God acceptably. While it is sweet to enjoy our relationship with Him as our Loving Heavenly Father, we must hear the following verses as well, and know that our God is indeed a consuming fire.
The church of the firstborn! What a lofty position to which we have been elevated in Christ Jesus!
Acts chapter 2 can give us great insights on the work of the Holy Spirit. What took place in the upper room has an explosion of thoughts about what took place. One area of mistaken thoughts is that this was when the Holy Spirit indwelt each individual believer and sealed then unto the day of redemption. Very simply a mistaken thought about the work of the Holy Spirit will throw everything else out of kilter. John 14:15-21 is the promise of the Comforter, not the indwelling seal unto redemption. He is called the Spirit of Truth. He is sent in the name of Jesus. We are given a list of things that the Holy Spirit will do in leading the Church. He will teach the Church. He will teach the Church all things and bring the ability to remember things. If your memory is working, you will remember reading that there were times after this that the apostles remembered things that they were told by Jesus would happen.
John 16:7 emphasizes the need of the Comforter. Why? Jesus is not personally with the Church to lead and teach. Let us carry on with the work of the Holy Spirit. Our polished speech, charisma, or exotic intelligence is not what draws people to Jesus. It is the Holy Spirit that reprove the world of sin and of righteousness’ and of judgment.
Acts 2:4 – “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. I count about 15 different languages spoken on this day. This is not the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at the point of salvation. This is the empowering of the Church and the Church members. This is totally different from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Notice the question that was asked the apostles and Peter, what shall we do? The question was not what shall we do to be saved? Notice the answer, Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost. Notice this statement, he was sent to jail for stealing a car. Was he sent to jail so that he could steal that car? Or rather because he stole a car. Repent and be baptized for (because of ) remission of sins. After baptism and Church membership the gift of the Holy Spirit is given.
Oh yes, verse 41 says that about three thousand souls were added to them and this took place after baptism.
William Andrew Dillard
THE SAVIOR OF HIS PEOPLE
The Holy Spirit used the apostle Paul to say in one place, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11.
It is also most interesting to note that the angel of God delivered the name of Mary’s child to Joseph, saying: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21.
“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, There’s Just Something About That Name” the songwriter penned. Indeed, there is much, so much about that marvelous name. It is Hebrew in origin. In fact, it is the same as the name “Joshua,” and means “Jehovah is salvation.” The Old Testament Joshua, a type of Jesus (The embodiment of Jehovah) led the covenant people of God into the Promised Land through conquest and rule. Jesus will do the same as He leads His people into the fulfillment of promise of the millennial reign through conquest and rule with a rod of iron.
However, the angel declared the primary reason for the name is that He would save His people from their sins. Far beyond the new birth (saving from Adamic sin) that is universally offered, it is the saving of HIS people from THEIR SINS. John explained that “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” I John 1:8. But the wonderful truth is that Jesus is able to save them to the uttermost who come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Heb. 7:25. Therefore, John went on to say, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9. What a Savior! He saves us! He keeps us! He forgives us! He blesses us!“…and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.”
Act 4:1 And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, 2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide. 4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, 6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, 9 If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; 10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
What a wonderful passage of scripture. Within these passages are several important points for us to consider.
1. The importance of telling others that Jesus has risen from the dead after paying for the sins of man. There was a two fold result that came of telling others of Jesus resurrection.
a. It angered the legalists. When I use the term legalist, I use it in reference to man’s plan of salvation by adding the law to grace. Notice who was offended. The priests, the captain of the temple and the Sadducees. These were all trying to bind the people to the law as a means of getting to heaven. Legalism has everything to do with how we are saved and nothing to do with our obedience after salvation.
b. The second result was, five thousand were saved. What a glorious event. We are thrilled to the marrow when one is saved and rightly so. If we were to have 10 or 20 respond to an invitation, we would never quit bragging about it.
2. The kindred (vs. 5-7) of the high priest were gathered together and gave an opportunity to witness by the apostles. The question was, by what power or name have you done this. An open ended question such as this deserves an answer. Oh that we could have such an invitation to witness. Wait! We have that invitation each and every day. As we live a life that is saturated in the love of God and His Word, He prepares, for us, opportunity to witness. We must open our eyes to the opportunities around us and see what the has prepared. How often we fail to recognize the opportunities to reach others for the Lord because our eye is not on the prize but on the things of this world.
3. Take special notice of verse 8 and what happens to Peter. “ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost.” The plan of salvation as revealed in John 3:16, speaks of security when it says “everlasting life.” I believe that John 3:16 is salvation complete. Everlasting life speaks of security. That security comes from the sealing of the Holy Spirit. 2Co_1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. Eph_1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Eph_4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. This gives us two points to consider.
a. When did this indwelling of the Spirit take place? Matthew 10:20 speaks of it before the day of Pentecost. Romans 8:9 speaks of the Spirit of God dwelling in us. It says, “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of God or the Spirit of Christ, a person is not saved. Based upon this for one to say the Old Testament Saints were not indwelt by the Holy Spirit is to say there are two plans of salvation. One for the Old Testament Saints and one for the New Testament Saints. It also indicates that Old Testament Saints could lose their salvation. We enjoy the Sealing of the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption. They did not. Without this seal there would be the possibility of losing ones salvation. There are scriptures in the Old Testament that speak of the Holy Spirit within a person but look at
1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
This leads me to believe that Peter being saved and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not being referred to in verse 8. When the Church is gathered in the upper room and baptized in the Holy Spirit as a Church in not being referred to here. I contend that this extra measure of grace is the Holy Spirit in power, enabling Peter with boldness to address this assembly. This happened in the Old Testament. Men that were saved and the Holy Spirit indwelling them were empowered to do great and mighty things when the Holy Spirit comes upon them.
b. The last thought I would like to leave you with is: The law of God, the doctrine of Christ is much more important than any law man with a corrupt and debauched mind can create. We should always choose God’s law above any other. He created us. His Son died for us. The Holy Spirit seals us. Our love for what God has done should enable us to stand in the dark days of trial.