“Why, what evil has this man done?” - Pilate
“Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.” (Mat 12:31-34)
An issue that believers sometimes find themselves grappling with has to do with what blasphemy against the Holy Spirit means, and if this ‘unpardonable‘ sin has a bearing on a believer.
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is one of the least understood of all Biblical teachings. Because of this it has been a cause of pain for the uninstructed child of God. This is especially true when a child of God ‘senses‘ that a thing being done in the name of Jesus, may not be of the Lord. But someone then warns him or her to be careful, ‘You might blaspheme the Holy Spirit.’
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is a demoniacal inspired sin. It has to do with Satan’s warfare against the Almighty God Himself. This is why Jesus spoke of a particular group of blasphemers as a, ‘brood of vipers.’
To help understand this element of Satanic warfare review these Scriptures: Gen3:15; Mat3:7; Mat12:34; Mat13:38,39; Mat23:33; John8:44; Rev2:9; Rev3:9.
Not a Christian Believer’s Sin
The short side of the story is that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not a believer’s sin. It has never been, not today, nor any other time. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
This sin comes from darkness. It comes out of a continual Satanic warfare against God Himself. It comes from a person who has actually aligned himself with Satan.
Jesus identified the source of Satanic blasphemy:
“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (Joh 8:44)
So, when the apostle Paul spoke of having been a blasphemer, he was not placing himself in the Satanic family. His blasphemy came from ignorance. Paul had a deep want to properly serve the God of Israel. This is not the case with the Satanic family.
“…even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief…” (1Ti 1:13)
It is good to know the difference between someone like Paul, who acted in ignorance, and those who have knowledge and have aligned themselves with Satan.
Now let’s talk about…
Open Defiance Against God
The sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit was placed at the front door of a certain element of the Jewish leadership during the time of Christ. It is this element that had been at war against God from the beginning. It goes along with this statement made by the Lord,
“Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them. So you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers; because it was they who killed them, and you build their tombs.
“For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will persecute, so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the house of God’, yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.” (Luk 11:47-51)
The term ‘generation‘ comes from two Greek words that suggest the idea of a multitude of contemporaries. Jesus is addressing a generation [class of people] who have continued doing the work of the devil from the beginning of time as we know it. This is why John the Baptist and Jesus spoke of this group as being a brood of vipers. Satan had found his place in Israel.
These people were not simply non believers. They were actively serving Satan. It is one thing to be an active agent and another to be caught in the chords of ignorance such as was Paul. It is important to keep these distinctions in mind.
Jesus warned that these seeds of Satan would always be present in the earth and could even be found in the church. The Lord explains this in the parable of the sower. Listen:
“Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away.
“But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
“And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them.
“‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘” (Mat 13:24-30)
Disallowing the Spirit of Messiah
Lets begin by examining a Scripture in its context. Jesus said,
“Everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God; but he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him.” (Luke 12:8-10)
Notice that it was the Spirit of the Lord God, resting upon Jesus that was being blasphemed. So the sin in reality was a direct affront against God Himself. The Holy Spirit has always been reckoned as the Spirit of the Almighty.
The point was that Jesus was doing things that only God Himself could do. He resurrected the dead. He opened blind eyes. He walked on water, multiplied loaves and fish, healed deformed bodies, cured lepers, and did all the things that the ancient sages said would be the signs of Messiah.
It is in this sense that the leadership was without excuse. The things that Jesus did, only God could do. To contribute the works of creation that Jesus did, to the devil, left no room for error on their part.
But pay close attention to the one who openly confesses Jesus. This person is placed out of the picture on the issue of blasphemy. Once again, this is not a believer’s sin.
Actually the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit has as much to do with Israel’s true calling as with anything else. We need more background for this. Notice how God brought a charge against those of Israel who turned from Him.
“In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, and He lifted them and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; therefore He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them.“ (Isa63:9,10)
Carry this over to Acts 7:51,52, where Stephen makes his defense against some of those who had Jesus crucified. He says,
“You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become.”
I hope that this gives you an idea on what the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is. It is an open defiance against God, and it is done with a degree of knowledge. The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the sin where Satan seeks to keep up his warfare against the Lord of glory.
Why is This Sin Unpardonable
What makes the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit unpardonable is that it actually aligns itself with Satan. It is very important to understand that this is a sin against knowledge. It is the antichrist spirit.
This level of blasphemy is a sin that blatantly denies and defies and defiles all the evidence of the work of the cross in Jesus Christ. It is a sin where one’s conscience can become seared. It is a sin against the Light of God. It is the sin of Antichrist. This is why Jesus said,
“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also.” (Joh 15:22-23)
Listen also to John:
“Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.” (1Jn 2:22-23)
The Lord very carefully lays this issue out. Note this language:
“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” (Joh 3:16-21)
Antichrist at work today
We need to change gears and talk about another issue other than blaspheming against the Holy Spirit.
There is no question that the antichrist spirit is in the world today. It manifests in many forms. One of its most belligerent forms is found in Talmudic or Rabbinic Judaism. When the temple was destroyed in 70 a.d., the Pharisees took on the mantle of Judaism, and set about to set up their authority over all Israel.
In their Talmudic writings the Lord Jesus is treated as a sorcerer and a deceiver.
This is how Jesus is treated in the Talmuds:
1) He and his disciples practiced sorcery and black magic, led Jews astray into idolatry, and were sponsored by foreign, gentile powers for the purpose of subverting Jewish worship (Sanhedrin 43a).
2) He was sexually immoral, worshipped statues of stone (a brick is mentioned), was cut off from the Jewish people for his wickedness, and refused to repent (Sanhedrin 107b; Sotah 47a).
3) He learned witchcraft in Egypt and, to perform miracles, used procedures that involved cutting his flesh, which is also explicitly banned in the Bible (Shabbos 104b).
Then it isn’t merely Orthodox Judaism that reveals an antichrist spirit. Islam is equally guilty but on a different measure. In Islam, Jesus is one of the five great prophets, that Mohammed is the greatest of all the prophets, even greater than Jesus.
Islam teaches that Jesus is not the Son of God, He did not die on the cross, and the cross has nothing to do with our salvation. And when Jesus comes again it is to turn the world to Islamic faith.
But all this is a subject to itself. I hope that my readers have a better understanding of what blaspheming against the Holy Spirit is really about.
Now for some good news. Both Jews and Muslims by the multiplied thousands are turning to Jesus Christ today. Why are they turning? Because of the power of the gospel.
Most people in Judaism and in Islam, do not know about the true Jesus. Any denial on their part comes largely from ignorance. This is why there is a great harvest at work in the world this very moment.
Listen to the story of an Arabian Muslim who is brought to Jesus. The dialog is in Arabic and underscored in English. (It is happening everywhere.)
In Christ always,