The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Spirit blasphemy - unpardonable sin


#101

The comment wasn’t my remark, but a quote of someone else who is also a universalist & was referring to merely the “surface meaning”. I posted it asking questions related to the aorist remark, rather than any conclusions concerning final destiny (universalism or otherwise). BTW, there is tons of material in this thread showing that the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit passages fail to refute universalism. Also Jason Pratt has argued from Mk.3:28 that they can be interpreted in support of universalism.


#102

Isn’t it mental gymnastics to not go with the surface reading?


#103

I think, for a question this serious, every effort needs to be made to get a correct understanding. I would not characterize it as ‘mental gymnastics’ to ask for understanding, really.
Unless we try to twist it to fit our objectives.


#104

The surface meaning, as in superficial based on English mis-translations cloned by the pro ECT biased endless hell club boys? Or the original Greek as read by early church universalists, who at times were many (if not a vast majority) in number?


#105

A few thoughts on all of this, late in the day, perhaps. First, I believe it is important not to draw conclusions without taking context into consideration.

Jesus did all His miracles through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. We know that from many scriptures. (I have no idea who Jack Cottrell is).

Jack Cottrell: Scripture says that Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit” (Luke 4:1). To what end? What were the purpose and result of such filling? All agree that its main purpose, after the pattern of the Spirit’s OT work, was to empower Jesus for his ministry, or to equip him with those gifts necessary to fulfill his mission. In this respect the difference between Jesus’ filling and the filling of OT leaders thus was not qualitative but quantitative. This seems to be confirmed by John 3:34, “For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure.” The key statement is the latter part of the verse, “for God gives the Spirit without limit” (NIV). The KJV translates it thus: “for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him,” i.e., unto Jesus. The words “unto him” are not in the original; but the “preferable” understanding is as the KJV has it, that “the Father gives the Spirit to the Son without measure” (Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John, 1971:246-247).
What does this mean? Abraham Kuyper says it means that the Holy Spirit endowed Christ’s “human nature with the glorious gifts, powers, and faculties of which that nature is susceptible.” And in terms of John 3:34, “he lacked nothing, possessed all; not by virtue of His divine nature, which can not receive anything, being the eternal fulness itself, but by virtue of His human nature, which was endowed with such glorious gifts by the Holy Spirit” (The Work of the Holy Spirit, 1966:94-95). I agree: the purpose for Christ’s being filled with the Holy Spirit was the empowerment of his human nature for his mission.
Jesus’ ministry was characterized and energized by “the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14; see Acts 10:38). This relates especially to his kingly ministry, i.e., to his role as the Messianic King who came to establish his authority over all things. This has particular relevance to his purpose of overthrowing the devil’s usurped dominion and establishing his own eternal kingdom in its place (Acts 26:18; Col. 1:13).
The Holy Spirit’s role in Christ’s kingly mission is clearly stated in reference to Christ’s work of casting out demons, something he did throughout his ministry. On one occasion he cast out a demon that was causing a man to be blind and mute (Matt. 12:22). His enemies accused him of doing so by the power of Beelzebul, i.e., Satan (vv. 23-24). Jesus refutes this charge (vv. 25-27) and then declares, “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (v. 28). This is in effect exactly what he was claiming to be doing; he was binding the strong man (the devil) and was plundering his domain (v. 29). In doing so he was fulfilling that part of the Isaiah 61 prophecy for which the Spirit of the Lord had anointed him, “to set free those who are oppressed” (Luke 4:18b).
Jesus says he is doing this “by the Spirit of God.” In Luke 11:20 he says the same thing, only here he says he is casting out demons “by the finger of God.” In the OT “the finger of God” is a symbol of his mighty power (Exod. 8:19; 31:18; Ps 8:3); here it is a symbol of “the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14). As Dale Moody says, “The Spirit came to Jesus . . . at his baptism to enable him to invade the demon-infested dominion of Satan and deliver those in bondage” (Spirit of the Living God, 1968:36). Also, “By the power of the Holy Spirit poured out on him after his baptism, Jesus bound the Strong One, Satan, so now his underlings are unable to stand before the Stronger One, Jesus” (ibid., 40). When Jesus shared his Spirit-given power over Satan’s kingdom with his disciples, he shared their joy in seeing people delivered from Satan’s clutches (Luke 10:17-21). “At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit,” Luke says (v. 21).
Can we assume that this same “power of the Spirit” that energized Jesus to cast out demons was the source of his power to perform miracles in general? This is inferred by many. Building upon Matt. 12:28, R. A. Torrey says, “Jesus Christ wrought His miracles here on earth in the power of the Holy Spirit” (The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit, 1910:260). Edwin Palmer reasons the same way. Beginning with Matthew 12:28 he says, “Here again, we see clearly that at times Jesus performed miracles, not by the Father nor because he as man received supernatural power from the second Person of the Trinity, but because the Holy Spirit had given him the gift to do so” (The Person and Ministry of the Holy Spirit, 1974:71). “It was the Holy Spirit who was really the author of those miracles, even if they were done through Jesus”.

So this incident took place during the time period of Jesus’ earthly ministry. He was being accused of performing miracles by being given power, not by the Holy Spirit, but by Beelzebub/Satan/the Devil. It was a very specific incident although no doubt His other miracles were also ascribed to having been performed by the power of the Spirit.

How does this impact our understanding of an unpardonable sin? I don’t know yet, but I think the whole context has a lot to do with how we figure it out in light of the rest of scripture.


#106

Let’s say a criminal whose punishment according to God’s law of justice is to be stoned to death & he “shall not be pardoned” (i.e. “not be let off” the hook for this crime’s punishment), so the people stone him to death. Just because the criminal was “not pardoned” (let off) from the due punishment of stoning and his crime was, in that sense, “unpardonable”, that does not mean Love Omnipotent, i.e. God, ceased to love him or was incapable of - forgiving - the criminal for his - sin - postmortem if he confessed & repented.

Compare these verses in Numbers 15 which some commentaries have linked to the Spirit blasphemy Synoptic passages in the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark & Luke:

27 Also if one person sins unintentionally, then he shall offer a one year old female goat for a sin offering. 28 The priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the person who goes astray when he sins unintentionally, making atonement for him that he may be pardoned. 30 But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. 31‘Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him.’” (Numbers 15:27-31)

Moreover, the one who blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him. The alien as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death. (Leviticus 24:16)

Luke 12:10 And everyone who shall be declaring a word against the Son of Man, it shall be pardoned him, yet the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit shall not be pardoned.

Luke 12:10 does not say what the penalty for blasphemy is that will “not be pardoned”. Compare the Old Testament passages above, where the penalty was death. Likewise when Ananias & Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit, they died physically (Acts 5):

But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit…why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. 5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost… Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. 10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost (Acts 5:3-6, 9-10).

Compare also the following, which refer to death as the penalty:

If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. (1 John 5:16)

28 A man that hath set at nought Moses’ law dieth without compassion on the word of two or three witnesses: 29 of how much sorer punishment, think ye, shall he be judged worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:28-29)

1 Cor.11:27 Therefore whoever should eat the bread or should drink the cup of the Lord unworthily will be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.
28 But let a man examine himself, and in this manner let him eat of the bread, and let him drink of the cup.
29 For the one eating and drinking not discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.
30 Because of this, many are weak and sick among you, and many are fallen asleep.

2 Chr.16:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, despising His words and scoffing at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD against His people was stirred up beyond remedy.
17 So He brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans, who put their choice young men to the sword in the sanctuary, sparing neither young men nor young women, neither elderly nor infirm. God gave them all into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar.

And revealed it hath been in mine ears, By Jehovah of Hosts: Not pardoned is this iniquity to you, Till ye die, said the Lord, Jehovah of Hosts. (Isaiah 22:14)

20 "Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. (Isaiah 65:20)

What is the consequence that will not be pardoned (or “let off”) for blaspheming the Holy Spirit? Could it be death, whether in “this age or in the age to come” (Mt.12:32), e.g. the millennium? Perhaps an imminent or immediate death, and or divinely sanctioned capital punishment. A death that ends their opportunity for salvation by grace in their mortal life & ships them off to corrective punishment, such as in a place the rich man (Luke 16:19-31) went to? For as long as it takes.

Is Love Omnipotent incapable of forgiving any sin or loving any sinner?

Are these sins (of apostasy & blasphemy) forgivable:

1 Tim.1:19 holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and thereby shipwrecked their faith. 20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme

TDNT is “one of the most widely-used and well-respected theological dictionaries ever created”. It says re the remedy for blasphemy of the Holy Spirit:

“It denotes the conscious and wicked rejection of the saving power and grace of God towards man. Only the man who sets himself against forgiveness is excluded from it. In such cases the only remedy is to deliver up to Satan that he may learn not to blaspheme (1 Tim 1:20)” (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, TDNT, ed. Kittel, Vol.1, p.624, by Beyer).


#107

I think apostasy is. See James 5:19-20.


#108

The following 2 posts are from Christianforums.com

[QUOTE=“BNR32FAN, post: 73453046, member: 401065”]
“And every one who shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Spirit it shall not be forgiven.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭12:10‬

Luke gives a crystal clear example. The words aiṓn and aiṓnios are not even present in this example. Simply put blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. [/QUOTE]

What is the consequence that will not be pardoned (or “let off”, Lk.12:10) for blaspheming the Holy Spirit? Luke 12:10 doesn’t say. Could it be death, whether in “this age or in the age to come” (Mt.12:32), e.g. the millennium? Perhaps an imminent or immediate death, and or divinely sanctioned capital punishment. A death that ends their opportunity for salvation by grace in their mortal life & ships them off to corrective punishment, such as in a place the rich man (Luke 16:19-31) went to? For as long as it takes. Consider the following passages of Scripture where death is the penalty for blasphemy that the blasphemers were not pardoned from:

27 Also if one person sins unintentionally, then he shall offer a one year old female goat for a sin offering. 28 The priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the person who goes astray when he sins unintentionally, making atonement for him that he may be forgiven. 29 You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the sons of Israel and for the alien who sojourns among them. 30 But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. 31‘Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him.’” (Numbers 15:27-31)

Moreover, the one who blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him. The alien as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death. (Leviticus 24:16)

28 A man that hath set at nought Moses’ law dieth without compassion on the word of two or three witnesses: 29 of how much sorer punishment, think ye, shall he be judged worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:28-29)

Compare also these Scripture passages referring to death as the penalty that was not pardoned:

But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit…why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. 5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost… Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. 10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost (Acts 5:3-6, 9-10).

If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. (1 John 5:16)

But the LORD of hosts revealed Himself to me, “Surely this iniquity shall not be pardoned you Until you die,” says the Lord GOD of hosts. (Isaiah 22:14)

20 "Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. (Isaiah 65:20)

Let’s say a criminal whose punishment according to God’s law of justice is to be stoned to death & he “shall not be pardoned” (i.e. “not be let off” the hook for this crime’s punishment), so the people stone him to death. Just because the criminal was “not pardoned” (let off) from the due punishment of stoning and his crime was, in that sense, “unpardonable”, that does not mean Love Omnipotent, i.e. God, ceased to love him or was incapable of - forgiving - the criminal for his - sin - postmortem if he confessed & repented.

Compare these verses in Numbers 15 which some commentaries have linked to the Spirit blasphemy Synoptic passages in the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark & Luke:

27 Also if one person sins unintentionally, then he shall offer a one year old female goat for a sin offering. 28 The priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the person who goes astray when he sins unintentionally, making atonement for him that he may be pardoned. 30 But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. 31‘Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him.’” (Numbers 15:27-31)

Moreover, the one who blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him. The alien as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death. (Leviticus 24:16)

Luke 12:10 And everyone who shall be declaring a word against the Son of Man, it shall be pardoned him, yet the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit shall not be pardoned.

Luke 12:10 does not say what the penalty for blasphemy is that will “not be pardoned”.

Compare the Old Testament passages above, where the penalty was death. Likewise when Ananias & Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit, they died physically (Acts 5):

But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit…why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. 5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost… Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. 10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost (Acts 5:3-6, 9-10).

Compare also the following, which refer to death as the penalty:

If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. (1 John 5:16)

28 A man that hath set at nought Moses’ law dieth without compassion on the word of two or three witnesses: 29 of how much sorer punishment, think ye, shall he be judged worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:28-29)

2 Chr.16:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, despising His words and scoffing at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD against His people was stirred up beyond remedy.
17 So He brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans, who put their choice young men to the sword in the sanctuary, sparing neither young men nor young women, neither elderly nor infirm. God gave them all into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar.

And revealed it hath been in mine ears, By Jehovah of Hosts: Not pardoned is this iniquity to you, Till ye die, said the Lord, Jehovah of Hosts. (Isaiah 22:14)

20 "Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. (Isaiah 65:20)

What is the consequence that will not be pardoned (or “let off”) for blaspheming the Holy Spirit? Could it be death, whether in “this age or in the age to come” (Mt.12:32), e.g. the millennium? Perhaps an imminent or immediate death, and or divinely sanctioned capital punishment. A death that ends their opportunity for salvation by grace in their mortal life & ships them off to corrective punishment, such as in a place the rich man (Luke 16:19-31) went to? For as long as it takes.

Why would a mother not love her son who received “life imprisonment”, was “not pardoned” by the governor, served his full sentence & was released from prison after 20 years? If his crime were “unpardonable” according to justice, he was released after serving the punishment for it, and still could be forgiven by his mother & those he harmed.

God is love. Does He cease being love so He can be the opposite of love, i.e. a sadistic monster infinitely worse than Hitler, Bin Laden & Satan combined?

1 Cor.15:27 For “He has put in subjection all under His feet.” But when it may be said that all has been put in subjection, it is evident that the One having put in subjection all to Him is excepted.

So there is only one exception to “all” to be “put…under his feet”. Then God will be “in” “all”, hence universal salvation:

1 Cor.15:28 And when all shall be subjected unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all under him, that God may be all in all.


#109

[QUOTE=“BNR32FAN, post: 73458052, member: 401065”]Luke says it won’t be forgiven.
[/QUOTE]

The Greek word for “forgiven” has a number of different meanings. It is used of Satan in regards to Jesus in Matthew 4:11. If you translate it as “forgive” there then you get a reading of “the devil did FORGIVE Him”.

Here are various meanings given for the Greek word, APHIEMI (Strongs #863):

“Usage: (a) I send away, (b) I let go, release, permit to depart, © I remit, forgive, (d) I permit, suffer.” https://biblehub.com/greek/863.htm

Remit: “to cancel or refrain from inflicting // remit the penalty”
.https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/remit
Remit: “cancel or refrain from exacting or inflicting (a debt or punishment).”
“An example of remit is to pardon someone…”

So according to Luke 12:10 there is one sin for which a person won’t be “let go” or “released” or “remitted”, “pardoned”, etc… What he will not be “let go” of, or not “released” from, or not “remitted” or “pardoned” of, is not stated in Lk.12:10.

Therefore to conclude that such a sin will result in never ending punishment & the person can never be saved is to read something into the verse which is not stated. Consequently Lk.12:10 fails as a “proof text” against Biblical universalism. It’s just that simple.

Also my previous post to you made a case, with the support of Scriptures, as to what the consequences for committing this particular sin are. They remain unchallenged.

[QUOTE=“BNR32FAN, post: 73458052, member: 401065”]
Mark says it won’t be forgiven in this world or the next. [/QUOTE]

Perhaps you meant Matthew. But Matthew 12:31-32 does not use the Greek word for “world”, which is KOSMOS, but a form of the Greek word AION, meaning “age” or eon".

Those who commit the sin of Spirit blasphemy won’t be “let off” or “released” or “remitted” from the due penalty or consequence for that sin. That consequence is what I detailed in my previous post to you, namely a “death” that sends people to “hell” until they are saved. That penalty or consequence for Spirit blasphemy will not only apply in this “age” but also in the millennial age to come:

Isa.65:20 Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.

[QUOTE=“BNR32FAN, post: 73458052, member: 401065”]
So death from this world obviously doesn’t pay for this sin if it is not forgiven in the next world. [/QUOTE]

Lk.12:10 & Mt.12:31-32 say nothing about anyone “pay[ing] for this sin”. The verse isn’t talking about being “forgiven” for this sin, but of a person who commits the sin not being “let go” or “released”, which implies some consequences or penalty. What those consequences are, or what that penalty is, is not stated.

As my previous post showed, certain blasphemers in the Scriptures suffered death, either by stoning, or by other means. Whether or not they could ever be “forgiven” by God is not stated. But they were not to be “pardoned” or “let go” or “released” from the consequences or penalty which was required, e.g. being stoned to death.

We shouldn’t ignore the Biblical context & references to blasphemy & the consequence of death when interpreting Jesus’ words in Lk.12:10. He was speaking to Jews whose Scriptures were the Old Testament.


#110

“When Jesus speaks of pardoning or forgiving a sin, he has in mind something utterly different from an attitude of forgiveness, which in God never ceases; he has in mind instead a release from some obligation, or a canceling of some debt, or a setting aside of some prescribed punishment. It is very close to our idea of forgiving a debt or pardoning a criminal. If a debt is unforgiven, then it must be paid; and once it is paid, it no longer exists. Similarly, if a criminal is unpardoned, then the criminal must serve his or her sentence; and once the sentence is served, there is no longer any need for a pardon. An unforgivable or unpardonable sin, therefore, need not be an uncorrectable sin at all; it is simply one that God cannot deal with adequately in the absence of an appropriate punishment.”

“…when Jesus speaks of forgiveness in the present context, he has in mind, as we noted above, the canceling of some obligation, debt, or prescribed punishment.”

Tom Talbott

http://www.willamette.edu/~ttalbott/unpardon.htm