Blasphemy Against The Holy Spirit

December 6, 2016

Friends,
2 Chron. 36:15 says that the LORD sent word to the people of Judah “again and again, because He had pity on His people and on His dwelling place.” And how did God send them word? He did so “through His messengers.” (Same verse) This IS very often how God speaks to people, particularly if they have turned a calloused ear to His voice in creation, circumstances, or Scripture. Indeed, He sends other people to speak to them and relay His words to them.

True, we now have the completed written Word, but the Jews also already had, by the time referenced in 2 Chron. ch. 36, plenty of God’s written Word. They could compare God’s written Word with the words another person uttered as from the Lord, and this is what we are to do. Having the Holy Spirit and the written Word of God, we possess all that is adequate in responding appropriately to messengers claiming to speak in God’s name. Certainly after fervent prayer, we should have no excuse to not discern the Source/source of the words.

But mocking the words of messengers? This is dangerous, and rejecting a “word” should never be done flippantly. The “word” may not be from God, but, it just may be. We’d best be humble enough to discern carefully and prayerfully. Let’s not forget that God used a donkey to speak His words to a reckless prophet. (Num. ch. 22) Moreover, there are several instances we can read of in Scripture where God used not only someone not considered a prophet, but even the heathen to declare His words to others. An example of the latter can be seen right there in 2 Chron., this time in chapter 35. It tells us that Josiah, who was actually a godly king, would not heed the words of Neco, king of Egypt, who advised him not to join the quarrel at the Euphrates. (v. 20-22) As verse 22b says, “He [Josiah] would not listen to what Neco had said at God’s command but went to fight him…” Yes, Neco, at God’s command, had warned Josiah to stay out of the battle, but Josiah didn’t listen and so went to his death. (v. 22-24) Let’s take note that even though Neco claimed God was with him, and did prophesy that God would destroy Josiah if he entered the battle, there actually is no indication that this Egyptian king was a worshipper of Yahweh. How much more so then should we recognize that a “word from the Lord” given by a Christ-follower is to be given special, sober attention.

But what do so many people do, particularly if they consider themselves Bible-teachers themselves? They reject the “word”, and even show contempt toward the messenger. This is what “all the leaders of the priests and the people” (2 Chron. 36:14) did right before they were devastated (slaughtered or exiled) by the Babylonians –which happened by the decree of the Lord. (v. 16-21) Verse 16 is a terrifying warning, and it follows the verse I began this post with about the Lord sending His word again and again through His messengers, for it (v. 16) says, “But they mocked God’s messengers, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against His people and there was no remedy.” No remedy. Is this not terrifying concerning anyone who would do the same?

Has anyone engaged in this type of unwise attitude? Does anyone think that they could have possibly attributed the words of the Lord, given through a person, as coming from “another spirit”? Claiming a message is of “another spirit” pretty much equates with saying the source is an evil spirit. Thus the person has just declared that the words, being not from the Holy Spirit, are coming from a counterfeit spirit / a spirit from the evil side. Is making such a judgement call not something we should be extremely cautious about? I would think so, especially considering what Jesus warns of in Mark 3:28,29, saying, “I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.” And verse 30 makes the warning very clear: “He said this because they were saying, ‘He has an evil spirit.'”

Let’s look carefully at the whole of Mark ch. 3, for we can read that it was the teachers of the law who, after seeing and hearing of the miracles of Jesus and of His messengers, stated that Jesus was able to do such things because He was possessed by the prince of demons. It was because of this accusation, that Jesus gave the warning about blaspheming the Holy Spirit. A parallel passage is found in Mt. ch. 12, while in ch. 10 we read that Jesus, after giving His disciples / messengers spiritual authority and instructions, promised them that their words, as His ambassadors, would not be their own, but instead be “the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (v. 20) A few statements later, Jesus then informs His messengers that if the Master is called Beelzebub, his servants will also likely be called such. (v. 25)

This being the case, then, what about the ones from whom the blasphemy comes? Likely Mt. 18:6 applies where Jesus warns that it would be better that a person have a large milestone tied around his neck and be thrown into the sea than for that person to cause one of God’s humble and honorable children to stumble –to falter in faith or commit some other sin.

Yes, it would be better to be drowned in the sea than to associate an evil spirit with a message actually coming from the Holy Spirit. Because for committing such a sin, there is no forgiveness –ever.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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