A Very Serious Issue
Jesus said "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."
If your sin cannot be forgiven then there is only one conclusion - hell. God does not, and will not allow any unforgiven sin into heaven. Those who have blasphemed the Holy Spirit will never see heaven. Their eternal torment will be in the torments of darkness.
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is a very serious crime. In fact, it is the only thing that a person cannot find mercy for. It is the only sin that can never be taken back.
What is Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?
Jesus said, "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."
The word blasphemy here is a greek word (blasphēmia) which means, "speaking evil, slanderous, reproachful, railing, speech injurious to another's good name."
Let's look in the scriptures for further definition. The people were amazed at the miracles of Jesus. But the Pharisees said that Jesus has a demon, and that by the power of the devil he casts out demons. They spoke against the Holy Spirit by saying that the Spirit that Jesus operates by is demonic. They blasphemed the Holy Spirit by attributing the works of the Holy Spirit to the works of the devil. This is the context in which Jesus gave the grave warning.
Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is attributing the works of the Spirit of God to the works of the devil. In other words if you have ever judged the works of the Holy Spirit as the works of the Devil, you have blasphemed the Holy Spirit.
Examples of blaspheming the Holy Spirit:
If you said that a preacher operates by demonic spirits, when in fact that preacher operates by the Holy Spirit, then you have blasphemed the Holy Spirit.
If you have ever attributed the manifestations of the Holy Spirit to that of the devil you have blasphemed the Holy Spirit.
If you have ever attributed the works and/or manifestations of the Holy Spirit to the demonic then you have blasphemed the Holy Spirit.
What Blaspemy against the Holy Spirit is NOT
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is NOT blasphemy against Jesus. Jesus made this clear. He said that whoever blaspemes the Son of Man can be forgiven, but those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven.
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is NOT taking the Lord's name in vain.
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is NOT personal attacks against a minister of the gospel. But when you say that a minister operates by the devil or demonic forces, when in fact he operates by the Spirit of God then you have blaspemed the Holy Spirit.
Blaspemy against the Holy Spirit is NOT personal attacks against another human being.
Prelude to Untruthful Teachings
The church is plagued with untruthful teachings regarding blasphemy of the Holy Spirit; because most churches have become corrupted. The began as an on-fire, truth-bearing community and ended up to be nothing more than a nice religious social club. All too often pastors are under pressure by the church to please as many as possible, otherwise they could lose their job. They don't want to rock the boat. This sad position of the church has paved the way for "politically correct" teachings, and diplomatic practices which do NOT reflect the Lord Jesus they claim to serve. Jesus was not diplomatic in any way. He spoke the truth, confronted the religious leaders, calling them everything from stinking tombs, to sons of Satan. Jesus rocked the boat! He was very clear in his blessings to some, and his woes(curses) to others. The fear of man was far from Jesus. Needless to say, pastors are all too often try to be nice to everyone for fear they might lose their job, or start a schism within their church and "loose members"... poor pastors. The members are leaving anyway!
Therefore many Christ-less teachings have crept in, cloaked in diplomacy. Lets deal with a few of these teachings:
Untruthful Teaching #1 - If you worry about, you haven't done it
There is a teaching that says, "If you are worried about it, that proves that you have not done it. The ones that are doing it don't know or care." and "the despondent Christian who fears he has committed blasphemy against the Holy Spirit need not worry."
This watered-down teaching is based on NOTHING but politically correct answers, pussy-foot preachers, and wishful thinking.
Seeing that Jesus made it CLEAR that this sin is the most serious of all, why didn't he go on to comfort his disciples with this teaching? The answer is simple: Because it is not true. There are no exceptions, or comforting loop-holes in this rule. Jesus' teaching was simple and clear. His yes was yes, and His no, no. Anything other than that is of the devil. Some scholars like to add to scripture, speculate, and assume a lot of things that are not accurate or truthful to the scripture or the Spirit.
There is no evidence in scripture, or even in common sense that says that speaking evil about somebody doesn't mean you won't feel sorry about it later. If you blaspheme (revile, speak evil of) your friend, you most likely will feel sorry for it later. The same is true for those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Don't think that those whom Jesus condemned didn't feel sorry about it later - look at Judas. Don't think for a moment that those Pharisees whom Jesus charged with blasphemy of the Holy Spirit didn't worry about it later... only psychopaths don't have a conscience. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is not necessarily linked to psychopathic behaviour. Anybody can blaspheme the Holy Spirit. If they are told of their sin, then of course they will worry about it. But nobody can be forgiven of it.
There are even those who teach that Christians need not worry about this sin. This is a deception of Satan who knows the seriousness of this sin, and desires to damn your soul. One of Satan's schemes is to lull us to sleep saying, "It's alright. You don't have to worry about it. Jesus wasn't really serious. He didn't really mean that. He is not like that".
Don't fall for Satan's schemes. Don't allow him to sing you his "sweet" lullaby.
Untruthful Teaching #2 - Ignorance is Excused
This false teaching is based upon the assumption that the Pharisees knew what they were doing, that is why Jesus condemned them.
I must begin by clarifying that when I say, "Pharisees" I am not referring to all Pharisees strictly, because we know that not all of the Pharisees were Jesus enemies, though the vast majority were.
Like all religious leaders in every religion, the Pharisees were very well meaning people, who were well intentioned, honest people - just like most people believe about themselves, as far as humanly possible. If this were not a fact the chances of them climbing the religious and social ladders and reaching, and maintaining the "Pharisee" status would be very slim.
Let's build this from the ground up: The Pharisees were very well versed in the scriptures. They had many scriptural reasons to accuse Jesus of many things. As those who studied the Word of God, the Pharisees would be able to quote many Scriptures to "prove" that Jesus was a rebel, a law breaker, disobedient to God, a blasphemer, and a deceiver... among many other things. In fact, my former pastor said that he personally asked a Rabbi from Israel what he thought of Jesus. Even to this day they say that Jesus was a rebel, and a law (scripture) breaker. That is why very few Jews really know who Jesus is. They don't believe He is the Son of God, much less a messenger of God - in spite of their knowledge of the Hebrew Bible. This applies throughout the ages from the Pharisees of the NT, all the way down to today's Rabbis. As the scriptures say, the Jews have been blinded so that the Gentiles may come in.
Just like many high ranking religious leaders today, the Pharisees believed that they had a monopoly on God. Seeing that they were so highly respected in their field, and strict observers of the scripture (as Josephus said) there would be a natural tendency for them to think that they knew everything there was to know about God. They knew the Scriptures more than the rest. They possessed some of the highest titles in the religious world.
Lets get this straight: Jesus said the Pharisees were blind. They did not see the truth of the scripture. That is a fact. The Pharisees, based upon their blind interpretation of scripture, saw Jesus as a "deceiver", Sabbath breaker, one who does not conform to the scriptures, performing miracles that were far different then anything they saw in their "Bible", or even among their peers.
What's more - Jesus did MANY things that were not "biblical" as the Pharisees saw it.
What are they to think? They already "proved" that Jesus was "not of God", a sinful man, because he did not abide by the scriptures (as they saw it). The scriptures are rich with this fact - the Pharisees did not believe Jesus was a true man of God, much less the Son of God. That is very clear.
Here are a few reasons why the Pharisees thought Jesus was not of God. Remember, this list is not at all exhaustive. But here are a FEW of the many reasons that the Pharisees did not believe Jesus to be of God:
According to the Pharisees:
- Jesus broke the Sabbath. This is a HUGE SIN according to the scriptures! The scriptures declare over and over again that the Holy Sabbath is to be observed at all costs, and if anyone were to break it, seriously consequences would result, as God is not with them.
- Jesus, being a human (as they saw it), portrayed Himself to have the power to override/change/add to the scriptures at will. Jesus quoted the scriptures, and then added to it by saying, "BUT I say unto you...", thus changing the way the scriptures were taught and viewed. Note: He did not make it easier on the people by his teachings - He made it harder by making the law applicable not only to our physical actions, but also our spiritual actions.
- Jesus did not have any formal religious education as the Pharisees did.
- Jesus proved Himself to be a sinner by hanging out with sinners - a practice forbidden by scripture.
- Jesus performed many supernatural signs that was "not in the scriptures".
- Jesus blasphemed God by forgiving sins (Mark 2).
- Jesus blasphemed God by saying he was the Son of God.
They looked at Jesus as someone who is disobedient to the Word, a deceiver - teaching others to be disobedient, a blasphemer, a reveller, and one who performs great signs and wonders - supernatural feats that does not match anything found in the Hebrew Bible.
Is it any wonder why the Pharisees believed Jesus got his supernatural power from demonic powers? After all, they viewed Jesus as a sinner, and someone not in line with the scriptures, thus not in line with God.
They reasoned, like many religious leaders today, that if they don't see it in the Bible, and they don't see it among their religious peers, and they don't see it at the synagogue/church then it must not be of God - especially if one were to "disobey" the scriptures as much as Jesus did!
Did they really think Jesus had an evil spirit? ABSOLUTELY! Nobody who broke as much of the law of God, and who committed so much sin, and yet did so many miraculous signs and wonders can possibly have the Holy Spirit (so they thought).
Therefore anyone who would hang out with sinners (against the Holy Scriptures), break the Sabbath (against the Holy Scriptures), blaspheme God (against the Holy Scriptures), etc..etc..etc..etc... and perform great signs and wonders CERTAINLY had an evil spirit (so they thought). It's no wonder why the Pharisees honestly believed that.
Did the Pharisees know that Jesus was of God? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
"Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them." - Jhn 9:16 KJV
"And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? - Luk 5:21 KJV - obviously the Pharisees didn't believe in the divinity of Jesus or they wouldn't have accused him of blasphemy so many times.
The Pharisees were ignorant. Jesus made it clear that the Pharisees did not know God in spite of all their knowledge of the scriptures. Seeing that the Pharisees did not know God personally, then logically they could not properly discern what is and is not of God. They thought Jesus was a blaspheming sinner. In fact the scriptures are clear that it was blasphemy that ultimately was the "sin" that warrants death - blasphemy for saying he was the Son of God. Obviously they did not believe He was the Son of God. For if they knew they wouldn't have crucified Him. The scriptures are clear about this.
The Pharisees had no clue who Jesus was. This is also clear in the scripture. They didn't know they were nailing the Price of Glory to the cross! For Jesus Himself said, "Father, forgive them. They know NOT what they do".
The book of Acts clearly states that they condemned Jesus in ignorance, saying that if they knew what they were doing then they wouldn't have crucified the Lord of Glory.
The notion that the Pharisees knew that Jesus was indeed from God is based upon nothing but ignorance, speculation and assumption.
Bottom line: Blasphemy is Blasphemy whether you know what are doing or not. Jesus never said that it is the unforgivable sin, except...
Jesus upheld the great person, and power of the Holy Spirit; His Majesty, His Divinity, and His Reverence in the fear of the Lord without compromise.
In regards to the blasphemy of the HS, Jesus never made an exception - why should we?
Jesus said it was the unforgivable sin. Period. No exceptions.
This is not a game to play with using diplomatic theologies! The Holy Spirit is powerful. He is God. And it is a FEARFUL thing to fall into the hands of the living God
Untruthful Teaching #3 - Jesus Never Condemned the Pharisees to Hell
NOBODY with unforgiven sin will enter heaven. One sin on your record is as bad as breaking all. Can one unforgiven sin send you to hell for eternity? ABSOLUTELY! No doubt about it! Unforgiven means unforgiven. Period. Will not be forgiven means will not be forgiven. It doesn't take a genius to figure this one out!
Jesus said that this sin will not be forgiven, neither in this world, neither in the world to come - covering all ages, and all times without exception.
Can you imagine spending eternity in heaven with God, knowing that there is an unforgiven sin held against you? IMPOSSIBLE!
Heaven wouldn't be heaven if you had unforgiven sin. One offence that cannot be forgiven = separation from God = no peace, no joy = hell
Look at it this way: No true, and meaningful relationship can survive with unpardonable offences between the two parties.
A husband and a wife with an unpardonable offence between them can only mean one outcome - divorce.
In fact no relationship can survive with an unpardonable offence. Unpardonable offences between people can only result in one outcome - separation.
Likewise heaven is no place for someone with an unpardonable offence. Heaven would be hell knowing that you are living with a great and awesome God who holds a sin against you that will never be forgiven! Jesus said that those who have unforgiven sin will be handed over to the tormentors. In case you don't know what that means = hell.
I have spent 20 years not only pouring over the scriptures, but also studying the people who have died and come back to life. If in doubt about the scriptures regarding heaven and hell and eternity - ask those who have been there. Simple. Ask the first hand witnesses. I can go into MANY scriptures to prove to you that no unforgiven sin is allowed in heaven. That fact is clear from Genesis to Revelation.
But if you are still in doubt study the people who have been to hell and back.
Take for example Daniel Ekechukwu, a pastor from Africa. His life at home wasn't going too well. He just had an argument with his wife. He decided to go out for a drive to cool off. His breaks failed and he had a fatal car accident that killed him.
His wife heard about an evangelist who was coming to the area just before the funeral. He was dead body was already embalmed, with documents and witnesses to prove it. His wife asked the undertaker to release the body so she could take the body to church. He thought she was crazy. After she persisted, and persisted, the body was released. Several believers gathered around the dead, embalmed body and prayed. Daniel came back to life - completely healed. It is all on video. The look on Daniel's face when he came back to life is priceless!
But Daniel said that while he was dead two angels took him to heaven to show him around. Then they took him to hell. He said he saw a pastor in hell, in torment because he stole some money from the church, constantly screaming in torment day and night saying "I repent. I stole money from the church. I'll repay. I repent" but never finding any consolation. (side note: there are so many people who have died and saw pastors in hell - it is remarkable)
Then the angel told him that if the book of his life were to close, this (hell) would be his portion. He was shocked! He argued with the angel saying the he was a pastor, an evangelist, a preacher of the gospel, and filled with the Holy Spirit. But the angel said, "Yes, but you have not forgiven your wife - therefore God has not forgiven you! Hell would be your portion"
The moral of the story is that one unforgiven sin WILL send you to hell. This is totally in line with all of scripture. Therefore, unforgivable sin = eternal damnation - no two ways about it.
That is why is it SO IMPORTANT to 1. always forgive others, of all things, always!, and 2. Give the Most High God the highest respect, and NEVER blaspheme the HS!
What to do if you blaspemed the Holy Spirit.
Quite frankly, there is nothing you can do other than warn others not to do it
Think twice before you say that anything is demonic, or satanic. There are too many people who have damned their souls over the works and manifestations of the Holy Spirit by attributing it to the work of the devil. NEVER judge anything by outward appearance. NEVER throw a blanket judgment over anything. Many times there are exceptions to the rules. Remember that Satan is the master counterfeiter. Just because it looks similar on the outside doesn't mean that it is of the same source.
If you don't know the source, don't judge. If you don't know FOR SURE 100%, without an iota of doubt, then keep your mouth shut. It is not worth losing your soul over.
- My Personal Blog
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Christopher Enoch (author) on April 10, 2015:
If you want a nice, sweet little answer, I'd say, "hmmm, sounds good!".
But the truth is not always soft and easy. The way God looks at things is not the way we look at things. In our feeble human minds we think, well, if they didn't know they sinned, then it shouldn't be counted, and nobody and nothing should suffer because of it.
But in God's mind, intentional sin and unintentional sin are treated the same way. Consider how God's Word says that the children of Israel had to make atonement for unintentional sins as soon as they found out about it. It wasn't excused because it was done in ignorance.
Consider how Abimelech suffered greatly because of Abraham's wife, even though he didn't know it was Abraham's wife. I can give other examples, but I think you get the point.
Saying that "It's when you are aware and knowingly blaspheme the Holy Spirit, that it becomes an issue." is putting a lot of words in Jesus' mouth - words that He simply didn't say.
So to answer your question, I think we should take the scriptures for what they say. I think we should be VERY careful not to say anything that Jesus didn't say. Jesus' made a point-blank statement about blaspheming the Holy Spirit. He didn't add any ifs, ands, or buts. And I don't think we should either.
Stargrrl on April 10, 2015:
Can I argue that maybe Jesus was warning the Pharissees not to blaspheme the Holy Spirit, and that maybe because they didn't know, it was okay unless they did it again? If you're an unbeliever and you do it unknowingly, and then become Christian, I don't think God would hold it against you. It's if you are aware and knowingly blaspheme the Holy Spirit, that it becomes an issue. There are so many phonies out there that we are told to discern them and beware of demons masquerading as Angels, for Satan will disguise himself as an angel of light. What do you think?
Stargrrl on April 09, 2015:
Wow. Scary stuff.
viveresperando from A Place Where Nothing Is Real on April 08, 2011:
Very interesting take on the subject.