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Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and The Day of Atonement

But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebub the ruler of the demons.”And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand.

“If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?  “If I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges.

“But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

“Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.   ” He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

” 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. Matthew 12:24-32

Blasphemy of the Spirit is known as the unpardonable or unforgivable sin. It is commonly defined as denying the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit which is to convict of sin:

“And when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”  John 16:8-17

If a person is not convicted concerning sin, and they do not believe in the finished atoning work that Christ accomplished on the cross, that person cannot be forgiven in time or eternity.

The sin of blasphemy of the Spirit has been defined as it relates to each individual and their personal rejection of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. But blasphemy of the Spirit must also be defined in the light of the historic and cultural circumstances as it related to the nation of Israel as a corporate entity. Jesus rebuked the people of Israel of his day corporately calling them “a wicked and adulterous generation” (Mt 12:39). Except for a called out remnant which stood in opposition to the religious leaders of the day, that generation was condemned for blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

“The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, someone greater than Jonah is here.

“The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, someone greater than Solomon is here.”  Matthew 12:41-42

Prior to this miracle that was attributed to demonic power by the Pharisees who had witnessed it, Jesus spoke plainly to the multitudes in Israel. The “Sermon on the Mount” was taught by Jesus so that the his disciples and the crowds would understand and put into practice moral and ethical living as opposed to traditions which focused on the “letter” and not the “spirit” of the Law. But after blaspheming the Spirit, Jesus taught by way of parables so that  “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand (Matthew 13:13b).  Jesus did not interpret his parables for the multitudes sake, but only his disciples were blessed with eyes to see and ears to hear.

At the First Advent, Jesus came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive Him (John 1:11). During the Church Age, there has been a remnant of Jews who have accepted Jesus as the Messiah (the Christ).

I say then, God has not  rejected His people, has He?  May it never be! For  I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

God  has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?

“Lord,  THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE.”

But what is the divine response to him? ” I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.”

In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. Romans 11:1-5

Israel’s rejection of Jesus resulted in the message of the gospel being preached to all nations in order to make Israel jealous.

I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they?  May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.

Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their  fulfillment be!

But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,  if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.  Romans 11:11-14

But the Word declares that there will be a future generation of Israel that will corporately and nationally receive Jesus as Messiah.

For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery–so that you will not be wise in your own estimation–that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the  fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,

“ THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION,

HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.”

” THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM,

WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.”  Romans 11:25-27

The salvation of Israel occurs after the full number of Gentiles has entered into the Kingdom of the Son. The salvation of Israel occurs after the Rapture.

For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?  Romans 11:15

The time period when the dead are raised to life, the resurrection of the righteous which occurs before the millennial reign of Christ on earth, is closely associated with Israel’s acceptance of Jesus as the Christ. How can the Rapture occur seven years before all Israel is saved (pretribulation theory), when their acceptance will be life from the dead?  Israel must first suffer through the time of Jacob’s trouble.

Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, But he shall be saved out of it. Jeremiah 30:7

All Israel will be saved, but only those who survive through the Great Tribulation. When the church is raptured at Rosh Hashanah, those who pierced Him see Christ in the air in his glorious splendor and He leaves with the resurrected saints. During the Ten Days of Awe, the LORD  pours out a spirit of grace and supplication the nation of Israel.

“And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

“I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.  Zechariah 12:10

The generation of Jesus’ day committed a corporate national sin. Blasphemy of the Spirit was not unintentional sin, but a sin of wickedness and rebellion. Traditional concepts of the ministry of the Messiah included an expectation that the Messiah would uniquely perform miracles greater than any of those of the true prophets. Spit was defiling. The rabbis believed that even the spittle of the Messiah would be virtuous.

They brought to Him one who was deaf and spoke with difficulty, and they implored Him to lay His hand on him.

Jesus took him aside from the crowd, by himself, and put His fingers into his ears, and after spitting, He touched his tongue with the saliva;

and looking up to heaven with a deep sigh, He said to him, “Ephphatha!” that is, “Be opened!”  Mark 7:32-34

The rabbis also believed that there would be three miracles that only the true Messiah could perform: healing a man blind from birth – believing that either the man or his parents had sinned, healing a Jew of leprosy – for it was recorded that only the Gentile Naaman had been cleansed miraculously, and exorcising a demon from a mute – for it is necessary to know the name of the demon in order to cast it out. After miraculously healing many of leprosy including ten men at once, nine of which were Jews (Luke 17:11-17), as well as healing a man blind from birth by his spittle (John 9:1-7),

Jesus  was brought a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute. Jesus healed this man so that the man could both talk and see.

All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David, ?”

But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of the demons, that this fellow drives out demons”  Matthew 12:23-24

Beelzebub was the lord of the flies. He was the ruler of filth and bodily waste. The Pharisees attributed the glorious works of God to Beelzebub and blasphemed the Holy Spirit. The people believed that Jesus might be the Son of David, the promised King Messiah. Jesus had attested to the fact that He indeed was God’s anointed by this  miraculous feat of healing a demon-possessed mute. The crowds turned to the Pharisees for an answer because the Pharisees were the religious authorities. The religious leaders of that day rejected Jesus as the Christ because of their pride and because of their compromise with the pagan Roman government.

Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. “If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”  John 11:47-48

That generation was condemned because of wickedness and rebellion. There is only one day a year on the Hebrew calendar when the high priest can offer sacrifices for both the sins of the nation as well as for intentional sin. Through the year, all sin and trespass offerings are for unintentional sin – not knowing the Law, sins committed in haste and weaknesses of the flesh. Adam knew God’s prohibition concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and he choose, by an act of his free will, to disobey. He rejected God’s Word. The nation of Israel during the time of Jesus’ ministry witnessed many signs and wonders that attested to the fact that Jesus was the Christ yet they choose to reject the Living Word.

“When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat.

“He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites – all their sins –  and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the desert in the care of a man appointed for the task.   Leviticus 16:20-21

On the Day of Atonement, Jesus will return to the earth to redeem Israel. The sins of the nation including wickedness and rebellion will be taken away. On that day, ungodliness will be removed from Jacob. It will be the year of Jubilee!

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