Denying God

(Chapter 6)

Fred R. Coulter—August 10, 2002

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We have been talking about the things concerning the unpardonable sin and let's just review that so that we understand that the unpardonable sin is a very pre-meditated thing. The unpardonable sin is a deliberate, willful choice and rejection of God the Father and Jesus Christ, and the repudiation of the forgiveness of sins and the gift of salvation through Jesus' sacrifice and His blood! That's after the five steps of having known:

  • being enlightened; once enlightened
  • obtaining the heavenly gift
  • partaker of the Holy Spirit
  • tasted of the Word of God
  • powers of the world to come

It's not a light thing, and it's not a happenstance thing. (from handout):

The unpardonable sin is a deliberate calculated renunciation of God. It is not an accidental sin, nor a sin under temptation, nor a sin through weakness. The unpardonable sin is a knowing, determined, calculated, premeditated, willful decision and choice arrived at by rejecting ay pangs of conscience, leading of the Holy Spirit, pleadings of the Word of God, or ministers and brethren. It is a willful determination to reject the gift of repentance, and hostile contempt for the commandments of God, the Spirit of God, a willful repudiation of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His blood for the forgiveness of sin and the salvation of God. Those who have committed the unpardonable sin have no regrets, no sorrow and no conscience that they have turned their backs on God the Father and Jesus Christ, and the Word of God. It is impossible to renew them to repentance; it is impossible for the Holy Spirit to move them to repentance, for others to move them to repentance or to move themselves to repentance. They have seared their consciences with a hot iron and there is no power—human or Divine—that is able, or has the ability to renew them to repentance.

  • Their choice is final!
  • Their judgment is final!
  • God's judgment against them is final!

As we went through the different Greek words that have been used in the book of Hebrews, meaning:

  • to expose to public humiliation
  • rebel
  • rebellion
  • drift away, fall away
  • to carry away
  • being listless

There is no other repentance than that provided through Jesus Christ. There is no salvation apart from the purification for sins accomplished by the Divine Son in the final period of God's redemptive activity, The impossibility, which is used—'adunatou/adunaton'—absolutely [an impossibility], and without qualification in Heb. 6:4 expresses an impossibility because the apostate repudiates the only basis upon which repentance can be extended. "To repudiate Christ is to embrace the impossible" (Word Biblical Commentary)

That's why the Laodiceans have not committed the unpardonable sin. That's why most of those in Thyatira did not commit the unpardonable sin. That's why when God deals with a person that He will bring circumstances upon them that if they have drifted away or if they have fallen away somewhat—

  • they haven't rejected God
  • they haven't rebelled
  • they haven't rejected the commandments of God
  • they haven't rejected the sacrifice of Jesus Christ

—they, just because of following their own human nature and sin, have become what we would call backsliders. Backsliders can recover.

Let's see how they recover. Backsliders have not committed the unpardonable sin. 1 Cor. 3 tells us about what is discussed there in Heb. 6 about all the things that you go through for conversion, etc. Here Paul is also warning them in this particular situation; then we will see a similarity between this and what follows in Heb. 6.

1-Corinthians 3:10: "As a wise architect, according to the grace of God that was given to me, I have laid the foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each one take heed how he builds upon it." There are two warnings here:

  • to the ministers—because Paul said 'as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another is building upon it'—Apollos. The one laying the foundation has to be very careful how he's doing it, too. That it is by:
  • Truth
  • the Word the God
  • the Spirit of God

so that it's right and correct

  • to each one—each of the brethren has to build on that foundation him/herself. It can be laid. Christ is the One Who leads you, gives you the understanding, gives you the tasting of the Word of God—the heavenly gift—and all those things that we have covered

How you build upon there then becomes the important thing.

Verse 11: "For no one is able to lay any other foundation besides that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ." This ties in with:

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, 'I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.'"

There's no other way to eternal life! It is Jesus Christ or nothing at all. That's what's going to cause the problems in the future between the Church of God and the world.

Worldly Christianity is becoming more and more pagan, and, in fact, they call it the 'neo-paganism.' It is becoming more and more infiltrated with witchcraft through the likes of Harry Potter and actual infiltration of witches, etc. If you have the Trinity Channel, just turn it on and watch it; it's nothing but emotionalism, nothing to do with salvation, growing in grace and knowledge. It has nothing to do with growing in Christian character. It is only an experience, an emotion, and you get it amplified if you send lots of money to the preacher.

The only way is through Christ and the only way is His way, because He said, "I am the Way"—no other way; "…the Truth…"—no other truth; there's no such thing as Christian truth, Jewish truth, Catholic truth, Orthodox truth, Islamic truth, Hindu truth, Buddha truth, Confucius truth. There's only ONE TRUTH—that's Christ! And He is "…the Life…"—because no one can receive eternal life any other way! I don't know if that would help stop the suicide bombers over in Palestine or not, but they think they're going to heaven if they blow themselves up.

Read 1-Cor. 13—you can give your body to be burned, or you can give your body to be blown, or you can give your body to be ground up, or you can whatever, and if you don't have the love of God and love Jesus Christ it's of no avail! That's why the only foundation is Jesus Christ.

Verse 12 tells us how we are to build, and we will see a parallel between this and Heb. 6:

Verse 12:12: "Now, if anyone builds upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones…" Those are things, which are valuable, improved with trial, pressure, fire and heat. That's what God wants us to do.

The other three are very interesting: "…wood, hay or stubble" (v 12). You have the Three Little Pigs fairytale. Stubble is very interesting. If they get too much stubble in a silo it gets to hot and it can blow up—spontaneous combustion! Hay goes almost as quickly. Wood may take a little longer.

You look at some of those hot coals of a forest fire as they're all burning. And, of course, what they did is they let all the bramble grow, the underbrush grow. They didn't take care of it because those who 'love trees' must let them grow. They really hate trees because in the final analysis, after they've let them grow, because they weren't maintained they burn up anyway. We're going to see trees, vines and so forth were made to be pruned, were made to be taken care of so they produce more. But wood, hay and stubble is all burned up.

Now, if a person has not committed the unpardonable sin—he just has flimsy Christian character—there's still hope for him.

Verse 13: "The work of each one shall be manifested… [God is going to try them] …for the day of trial will declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire… [and that is any day that you have to stand for the Truth] …and the fire shall prove what kind of work each one's is."

That was literally true in the case of William Tyndale, and in the case of those who taught their children to recite the 23rd Psalm and 'the Lord's prayer' in English. They were burned at the stake.

Verse 14: "If the work that anyone has built… [on the foundation] …endures, he shall receive a reward." Please understand that a reward is in addition to the gift of salvation. A reward is something that you work for. A reward is something that you can earn. But you cannot have the reward unless you have eternal life, and you cannot earn eternal life; God has to give that to you. That's why he puts it in this way.

Verse 15: "If the work of anyone is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet, as through fire." That's what is the important thing! If you had wood, hay and stubble as your Christian building, but you haven't repudiated Christ, you will still receive salvation. You will lose reward. Exactly how God is going to do this I don't know, because God is the One Who's going to judge.

What we need to do is do exactly like the Apostle Paul said here; this is how we have to do it, v 16 "Don't you understand that you are God's temple, and that the Spirit of God is dwelling in you?"

God desires that more than He does a temple or a tabernacle. He wants to dwell in you through the power of the Holy Spirit so that you can become, at the resurrection, a spiritual child of God. That's what God desires. When we keep this in mind and we understand it and we realize that we have the Holy Spirit and we then stir up the Spirit of God. If we find ourselves building with hay and stubble clear it out yourself and start building with gold, silver and precious stones. Always remember this:

  • As long as there's life, there is hope!
  • As long as there is repentance, there is renewal!
  • As long as there is repentance, there is forgiveness!

God is able to redeem you out of those circumstances, though you have not exercised the Spirit of God in a way that you should have. Or we can use the classic case of the Laodiceans today. They had to come to the point that Christ had to 'spit them out of His mouth.' That was their trial so they would wake up to the fact that they need to be zealous. They are in a repentable condition—aren't they? They'd have to be, otherwise Christ would not tell them to repent. We need to understand that. The Laodiceans have not committed the unpardonable sin! They have just been sloppy builders.

In many cases they've been like what you used to see years ago. In Idaho we used to see quite a few of them. They would get their land and the first thing they would do is excavate for the basement. Then they would pour the foundation for the basement and everything and they would have a little stairwell going down into the basement and then put a temporary roof on the basement, because they were going to build the house the next year. Twenty years later that temporary roof is still there, and anybody that drives by knows that they haven't finished that house and it's been well over 20 years.

It's the same way, the Laodiceans have been living in the basement and they have the temporary roof and they haven't finished the house. God spits them out so they will have to build. That's why you have to understand you are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you.

Now then, here's a warning, it can go too far, v 17: "If anyone defiles the temple of God, God shall destroy him…" You defile the temple of God by rejecting God, by repudiating God. What he's doing, he's giving a warning! You've got this building, a trial is going to come, if you're not close to God it's going to burn up, and then where will you be? If you continue that way then you defile the temple of God and God will destroy you.

Hebrews 6:6: "If they have fallen away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing that they are crucifying the Son of God for themselves…" It's a very interesting verb here; it's a middle voice verb. They are doing this to themselves; God is not doing it to them.

"…and are publicly holding Him in contempt" (v 6). This happened just before the fall of Jerusalem when the rebellion took place.

Since Christ didn't return when a lot of people figured that He would return, then the Jews beginning in 66A.D. decided to take it upon themselves to get out from underneath the Roman domination. A lot of the zealots whom James said believed in the Lord, renounced Christ, renounced His sacrifice, went back to the animal sacrifices and the temple worship, and threw their support to those who were rebelling against Rome. So, it was quite a thing that happened!

There is another way that you can repudiate Christ and hold Him in public contempt. That has to do with the wrong Passover observance. Let me just mention here, though the Catholics are blinded and the Protestants are blinded, nevertheless, if someone leaves the Church of God—having been enlightened, having these things of being illuminated and receiving the Holy Spirit and the Word of God and so forth—deliberately rejects and goes back into the Catholic Church and participate in the Eucharist… You are dealing with priests who claim they have the power to command God to come into the bread so that the very body of Christ and the blood is in the bread. And every time they perform the Eucharist they are sacrificing Christ again and again and again. Whereas, He died once! And that's why we keep the Passover once a year in the proper manner.

All of those who are Catholics need to think of this: Did that same priest, with those same hands, who gives you the bread—and if you're able to take the wine—just molest one of the boys in the backroom before Mass? Something to think about! The truth is the Catholics, in their religion and belief, are so far from God that are so convinced that they believe that they are really the church. It's like the thing that is said: Lies told over and over again, and enough people believe it and it's reinforced over generations, when someone comes along and tells the truth, they'll be considered a raving manic and a lunatic.

Those are the ways that you can reject God and hold Him in public contempt! You can also do so by just renouncing Christ. We had one man do that temporarily. He saw the folly of what he was doing after about three years. But when he did, he took some brethren with him. The brethren who followed him made their own choices to do so. That's why we are to prove all things so that those things won't happen.

Let's see some ways in which we can deny. Denying Christ is not quite as bad as rejecting. It's serious! But not as bad as rejecting! Remember when Peter said, 'Lord, we're not going to let this happen to You. I would go to the death and go to prison with You and I would never deny You.' Christ said, 'Peter, you're going to deny Me three times before the cock crows.' And he did! But he repented! So denying—unrepented of—would, of course, then lead to rejection. But there are times when people can do that. Denying then becomes something that can bring you to the threshold of the unpardonable sin.

When we analyze what Peter did, he denied three times in word. Did he deny Christ in works? No! He repented before he went out and did the works of denial. We can see the difference there.

Titus 1:9: "Holding steadfastly to the faithful Word… [anyone who is an elder; that really includes anyone who hears the Word of God] …according to the teachings of Jesus Christ, so that he may be able both to encourage with sound doctrine…"

The Word of God has to be known, it has to be sound doctrine, not frivolous thought, not ideas and things that come into the mind as important and replace the Word of God.

"…with sound doctrine, and to convict those who are gainsayers" (v 9)—not convince; you're not going to convince a gainsayer. How did Jesus do it?

Remember they brought the woman caught in adultery. They said, 'Moses says that this person ought to be killed.' Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground. I think what He probably wrote there was, where is the man? That would be very simple, because you can't commit adultery by yourself.

  • Has anybody ever committed adultery by himself? No! or herself? No!
  • How did they get her anyway?
  • Which one of the Pharisees enticed her?
  • How did they catch her in the very act and not catch the man?

So, I think He wrote, where is the man?

What Christ did to convict the gainsayers was He made them face the fact of proper judgment that they didn't bring the man. What happened? Each one, beginning with the oldest, left. And then standing in the middle of the crowd was Jesus and the woman. Jesus looked up at the woman and said, 'Does any man accuse you?' She said, 'No man, Lord.' He said, 'Go and sin no more.' I think that may have also convicted the conscience of that woman, too, as well as the conscience of those men. It can be done that way. You can convict them. Some you can't! Some you can't stop!

Verse 10: "For there are many rebellious and vain talkers and deceivers, especially those from the circumcision party, whose mouths must be stopped…" (vs 10-11).

Every once in a while I get a letter—it happened quite often with the sermon series Why God Hates Religion—and I tell you what, if you can't figure out why God hates religion then you need to go back to the sandbox and start all over again, because religion is a substitute of man's way or God's way, using the name of God and claiming the promises of God and yet, retaining all of the carnality and stupidity of human nature. If you don't believe that, witness all of the religions in the world. Then I also get letters which ask why all of this refuting and debunking, like the sermon series on Was Jesus God? going through and refuting the writings of these men. Why? Should we just let it go by? Have a nice day, and you don't answer back and you don't show what the Truth is? Have you defended the Word of God? No! Have you stopped their mouths? No! That what they were to do.

Verse 11: "Whose mouths must be stopped; who are subverting whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of selfish gain. One from among them, even one of their own prophets, said, 'Cretans are always liars, and evil, wild beasts, and lazy gluttons.' This testimony is true. For this reason you must rebuke them severely… [there comes a time when there has to be sharp rebuke] …that they may be sound in the faith" (vs 11-13).
That's the whole purpose of it. The purpose is not to get up there and attack people and intimidate them and put them down. It's to show them that they need to change their ways.

Here's what happens; this is why God called the Apostle Paul, v 14: "Not paying attention to Jewish myths…" If you think that Protestantism and Catholicism is pagan, you don't have a clue concerning Judaism. One of the worst things that ever happened in the Church of God—when it was in its heyday—is this: 'The Jews are just like us.' They are just waiting for the Messiah to come. They are not like us! Their religion is pagan, steeped in superstition and the their Talmud is full of hatred, and vindictive and vitriolics against Jesus Christ—which they have printed and is an open repudiation of Christ. How many are blinded so they are not held accountable, I don't know. But either way, I wouldn't want to be in their shoes.

That's why we should not have, "…and commandments of men, which turn away from the Truth" (v 14).

We have been invaded with sacred names, prayer shawls, praise dancing—just to name a few—15th Passover, 6th of Sivan Pentecost. Going through the whole Code of Jewish Law shows you all the commandments of men; of do this, do that, and do the other thing; and don't do this, don't do that, and don't do the other thing. All of those things as is described in the introduction to the Code of Jewish Law are designed to keep the people so busy trying to remember what they are supposed to do that they don't have time to think for themselves on what they need to do. God expects us:

  • to use His Spirit to think
  • to use His Word to reason

Verse 15: "To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; rather, both their minds and consciences are defiled." When it's that way, that your mind and conscience are defiled, you undoubtedly have committed the unpardonable sin.

Verse 16: "They personally profess to know God…" We're talking about Jews in this particular case. We can do the same thing with any other religion today, too, but they have not necessarily rejected God, they have just never gotten out of paganism. The Jews in Jesus' day are in an entirely different category. Christ was there in person. The apostles were there in person. They knew!

Verse 16: "They personally profess to know God, but in their works they deny Him, being abominable and disobedient, and reprobate unto every good work."

So, when the denial reaches beyond the mental denial, as Peter did, into the actionable denial that you repudiate Christ. Denial is one of the steps that leads to it! What happens when you deny Christ? There is something else that happens. There comes a point when Christ gives up on that person, because they have reached a point of:

  • no hope
  • no repentance
  • no remorse
  • no sorrow
  • no pangs of conscience, because they have defiled it

2-Timothy 2:12: "If we endure, we shall also reign together with Him; if we deny Him, He will also deny us." How many times will you read some of these parables in the Gospels, and Jesus would say, 'I never knew you'?

Verse 13: "If we are unfaithful, He remains faithful—He cannot deny Himself" (vs 12-13)—because He is.

I want to cover this point and make sure we understand thoroughly concerning the unpardonable sin. So that we realize the severity of it, but we also need to understand and realize that when brethren are loving God and serving Him, regardless if they're building 'wood, hay and stubble,' they still haven't committed the unpardonable sin. Therefore, if there's to be any correction or exhortation given to them, then they should be exhorted for the sins that they are doing and not threatened with the unpardonable sin in a blanket statement to put a guilt trip on people, to put them in fear! Do you understand the difference between it?

If you've been backsliding, you haven't committed the unpardonable sin. But you better repent of your backsliding or you may get to that point!

Matthew 10:32: "Now then, whoever shall confess Me before men, that one will I also confess before My Father Who is in heaven. But whoever shall deny Me before men, that one will I also deny before My Father, Who is in heaven" (vs 32-33).

Then He wanted to make sure that you would understand that this is going to be under great duress and pressure when it comes.

Let's look at it this way: If you've never had a trial, if you never had difficulty, if you've never had any of those things come along and all you were was just blessed and blessed and blessed and kept from everything, you would have no occasion to deny anything, and if you did, you would be almost insane. He wants you to know that it's going to be under duress.

Verse 34: "Do not think that I have come to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man at variance against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's enemies shall be those of his own household. The one who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and the one who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And the one who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me" (vs 34-38).

So, when you come to that denial it's going to be under pressure! It's going to be under duress! He wants you to understand it.

Then He says, v 39: "The one who has found his life shall lose it, and the one who has lost his life for My sake shall find it." If you try to relieve the pressure against you by denying Christ, then He's going to deny you.

Just stop and think for a minute: William Tyndale was hauled before the court. He was interrogated for 18 months, I believe, before he was finally burned at the stake. He could have well-reasoned in his mind—which would have been good human rational thinking—I'm not going to change these guys anyway. He wasn't! I need to finish the translating of the Old Testament, so I'm going to go ahead and placate them with the answers that they want so I will be released, so I can do the translating to finish the Old Testament. He didn't do it! And when he prayed, the last words were: O God, open the eyes of the king of England—which was Henry VIII. There's a big guy to try and move. How are you going to open his eyes? '

It was also brought out that in history there was a woman who was temporarily Queen of England before Mary Queen of Scots—who was 'Bloody Mary'—and her name was Lady Jane Grey. She was reading the Bible—probably a translation by William Tyndale—and she rejected the Catholic faith and the prelates were after her to renounce Christ. They were after her day and night and she lost her hair and everything, but she didn't renounce Christ. Finally, she was beheaded and the Mary, Queen of Scots—Bloody Mary—took over and had a terrible, bloody reign, when the Catholics came back to England again.

Then when Mary, Queen of Scots died, Elizabeth—the daughter of Anne Boleyn who was the second wife Henry VIII—became Queen of England. And you might get the video and watch that because that's a very interesting video. There are a few risqué places in it, but that's the nature of some movies today, even though they're historical. It is really quite something, and you can see that the 'lord protector' for Queen Elizabeth had to be sent by God to do the things that were done. I think you'll find it very interesting that especially when you see the final counsel by the pope and his cardinals to decide on assassinating Elizabeth, the pope said in a very low voice: 'God will bless this assassination.' How Elizabeth was protected and how those things were done was really quite something!

Today they want to have everybody in such a accepting and ecumenical and politically correct society, that you accept anything, you stand for nothing and you go along with everything. Denying the name of Christ is something that really needs to be considered.

Let's see another way how you can deny God, and that is by hardened sin; tat you just set your mind to sin in such a way that you do not care, and in such a way that you relish it.

Jeremiah 17:1: "The sin of Judah is engraved with a pen of iron, with the point of a diamond; it is carved upon the tablet of their heart and upon the horns of your altars." In other words, right into the religious fabric of Judah. I tell you what, that really is quite a thing when you go back and consider that.

Let's see another way that you deny Christ. This would be very good for all ministers to read, especially those on the Trinity Channel. A lot of the things that are perceived on television do not show you the truth behind what is happening. The truth behind all of this is to come out with a one-world acceptable Christianity. That's what Simon Magus wanted to do. He wanted to combine Christ and the paganism that he had and still have the Holy Spirit.

Now, let's look at this man, Acts 8:9: "But there was a certain man named Simon, who had from earlier times been practicing sorcery… [witchcraft] …in the city and astounding the nation of Samaria, proclaiming himself to be some great one. To him they had all given heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, 'This man is the great power of God'" (vs 9-10).

That's exactly what they're saying of the pope, because what you are reading here, this Simon was probably the one whom you could call the first pope of the Roman Catholic Church, though the Roman Catholic Church was not formed for about 300 years later. He had all the practices that they had.

Verse 11: "Now, they were giving heed to him because he had for a long time bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip, who was preaching the Gospel—the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ—they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself also believed…" (vs 11-13). Professed that he believed, because obviously he did not believe because he hadn't repented.

  • Can you have a belief without repentance? Yes! The demons believe there's one God, and tremble! No repentance!
  • Can a human being have a profession without repentance? Yes!
  • Can he have a baptism without receiving the Holy Spirit? Yes!

Simon himself believed "…and after being baptized, he steadfastly continued with Philip; and as he beheld the signs and great works of power that were being done, he was amazed" (v 13).

Isn't it interesting, this reminds me of the hovering of the false prophet, the attempt of infiltration by Satan the devil, the usurpation of the Church of God by false apostles.

Verse 14: "Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God…" We might add that Simon was baptized; they knew something wasn't right and God did something very important because of that. He did not give the Holy Spirit! The apostles came down and straightened out the situation. I'm sure that Philip learned from his mistake. Would you not think that it would be a mistake to just go out and baptize John Paul II because he said he believed in Jesus Christ? Yes, indeed! That's what we're up against here.

Verse 14: "Now, when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent Peter and John to them; Who, after coming down to Samaria, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for as yet it had not fallen upon any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given by the laying on of the hands of the apostles, he offered them money" (vs 14-18).

This is in here for everyone to learn the lesson that God has not given to the leadership of the Church of God that which is going to give them the power to merchandise brethren. He's not given that! God does not want the brethren merchandised. Of course, Simon would sell the Holy Spirit. Just like they sell masses, and sell indulgences, and sell forgiveness. That's merchandising! That's why he wanted it.

Verse 19: "Saying, 'Give this authority to me also, so that on whomever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit.'" This was such a critical thing. Notice Peter's answer, this is really a vehement answer:

Verse 20: "But Peter said to him, 'May your money be destroyed with you because you thought that the gift of God might be purchased with money.'"

Today this is likened unto the saying, 'Go to hell! You and your money' to the theological place of ever-burning! That's is where this kind of attitude would go! Whether Simon committed the unpardonable sin or not, I don't know, because he never repented, so we can conclude that he didn't. But he certainly was used of Satan to lead a lot of people astray.

Peter says, v 21: "You have neither part nor lot in this matter… [apostleship] …for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this your wickedness, and beseech God, if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you; for I perceive that you are in the gall of bitterness and the bondage of unrighteousness" (vs 21-23).

Ultimately, if that is not repented of even in the second resurrection, it is the unpardonable sin!

Verse 24: "But Simon answered and said, 'You beseech the Lord on my behalf… [no, you've got to pray to the Lord yourself] …so that none of those things which you have spoken may come upon me.'" So, we have the example there.

Let's see how that infiltrated into the Church and the problems that it caused in the Church. Let's see why the warnings are given. God gives plenty of warnings before a person comes to the point of committing the unpardonable sin. He calls to repentance before a person commits the unpardonable sin. That's why we have the message to the seven churches here in Rev. 2 & 3. He warns them of their mistakes and calls them to repentance.

The Church at Ephesus

Revelation 2:4: "Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love." There's the admonition. There's the exposing of the sin so they can repent.

Verse 5: "Therefore, remember from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the first works… [If they didn't go back and do the first works, what happens?] …for if you do not, I will come to you quickly; and I will remove your lampstand out of its place unless you repent." So, God always gives a warning! He gives a call to repentance!

The Church at Pergamos

Because they have the doctrines of the Nicolaitans and teaching of eating the things sacrificed unto idols and commit fornications.

Revelation 2:16: "Repent! For if you do not repent, I will come to you quickly, and will make war against them with the sword of My mouth." That is not talking about the second return of Christ. Can God come upon you at any time? Yes! He can come upon you with judgment, trial, and to fight against them.

Here the Truth of God is so important not only to God and the brethren, but to Christ, that if it is not in His Church He is not going to fight against His own Church. That's how important that this really becomes.

Church at Thyatira

We come over here to the Church that really fell into the depths of it because they had Jezebel the prophetess. Let's see where the point comes of no return. We see part of it here. Actually, He has more things to say against the Church at Thyatira and Pergamos than any of the other churches.

Revelation 2:20: "But I have a few things against you, because you allow the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce My servants into committing fornication and eating things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her fornication…" (vs 20-21)—spiritual as well; and because this Jezebel is the harlot woman of Rev. 17. Jezebel was the daughter of the priest of Baal, and she married Ahab, king of Israel. That's the whole historical background for this.

"…and eating things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent…" (vs 20-21). Again, God always gives space to repent. So, when God gives space to repent, accept it; don't go back on it.

"…but she did not repent. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their works. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am He Who searches the reins and hearts; and I will give to each of you according to your works" (vs 21-23). They're right at the edge. Right absolutely at the edge!

Here He explains why, v 24: "But to you I say, and to the rest who are in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine…" So, you can follow false doctrine to eternal death.

"…and who have not known the depths of Satan…" (v 24). If you get into Satan-worship: repudiation of the Word of God, accepting of the false teachings, accepting of the teachings of Jezebel—which are the teachings of Satan the devil and Baalim—and you get into the "…depths of Satan worship…" you commit the unpardonable sin! That's a warning!

"…as they speak; I will not cast upon you any other burden" (v 24). These things did impact and affect the Church.

We have two things that are important, He says to Pergamos, v 13: "I know your works and where you dwell, where the throne of Satan is… [living in the middle of a satanic world] …but you are holding fast My name, and did not deny My faith…"

Very important! You can live in the midst of evil all around you, and if you hold fast the name of Christ and do not deny the faith, then you'll receive salvation.

Church at Philadelphia

Revelation 3:8: "I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, and no one has the power to shut it because you have a little strength, and have kept My Word, and have not denied My name."

Very important! If we follow what is said here in v 8, then we will be building gold, silver and precious stone and we will not be building with wood, hay and stubble and we will not be building things up to the point of denying Christ.

Let's look at one last thing. When the unpardonable sin and the rejection of the Holy Spirit has occurred, there is no forgiveness, there is no repentance now or when you're resurrected.

Matthew 12:22: "Then was brought to Him one who was possessed by a demon, blind and dumb; and He healed him, so that the one who had been blind and dumb both spoke and saw."

The traditions of the Jews, even in Judaism, says that when the Messiah comes He will make the blind to see and the dumb to speak. We have it both in this one person. They saw this done. The religious leaders saw this done! This becomes important.

Verse 23: "And the multitudes were all amazed, and said, 'Is this the Son of David?'" Who is what? The Messiah! If the Messiah comes, then the religious leaders lose all their power. When Christ returns you can well bet that all the religious leaders are going to lose their power. I did a sermon series Why God Hates Religion and I asked the question: When Christ returns, which religion will He retain in the Millennium? None!

Verse 24: "But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, 'This Man does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, prince of the demons.' But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said to them, 'Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand'" (vs 24-25). That is a truism, absolutely true!

Verse 26: "And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then shall his kingdom stand?'"

The truth is, Satan is only able to unite his kingdom at various sporadic times. His house is divided against itself and the power and principalities are fighting and arguing against each other as to who is going to control what. There is a truism here. It appears at times united, but it's really divided.

Verse 27: "And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? On account of this, they shall be your judges. But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you" (vs 27-28). The action of God, and this is by the power of the Holy Spirit from God the Father.

Verse 29: "Or how is anyone able to enter into the house of a strong man and plunder his goods, if he does not first bind the strong man? And then he will plunder his house." That's literally what Christ did to Satan, who, in this case is the strongman.

Then He gives a warning, v 30: "The one who is not with Me is against Me, and the one who does not gather with Me scatters…. [that's a truism that will always be] …Because of this, I say to you… [this is very important to understand]…every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men" (vs 30-31).

That's why it's so very difficult to commit the unpardonable sin and why it is such a premeditated thing.

"…except the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; that shall not be forgiven to men'" (v 31). Because:

  • you're rejecting God
  • you're rejecting what the Holy Spirit is doing
  • you're rejecting Christ
  • you're repudiating the works of God

There is no forgiveness for that! What you are doing, you are repudiating and rejecting God the Father, the Sovereign of the universe! If you do that, on what grounds do you ever expect to have eternal life? It cannot be!

Verse 32: "And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him…" That's something! That's a broad blanket of forgiveness.

"…but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age nor in the coming age" (v 32).

It has to be so premeditated that there is no hope, because premeditation is so final, and the resolve is so vicious, and the hatred is so intense. I don't know anyone that is in the Church of God who has come close to committing the unpardonable sin. I don't know about those who have left the Church of God and have gone out to go with the religions of the world and accept the world, deny the Truth and things like this. I don't know how many have come to the point of just building wood, hay and stubble or how many have come to the point of rejecting the Holy Spirit of God or not. God makes that judgment. That's why we need to understand how powerful it is to commit the unpardonable sin.

How is your Spiritual Garden?

Hebrews 6:7: "For the ground that soaks up rain coming often upon it, and also produces useful plants for those for whom it is tilled, receives a blessing from God. But that which brings forth thorns and thistles is rejected and near to being cursed, the end of which is for burning" (vs 7-8).

It says here "…near to being cursed…" Not totally yet, but near! "…the end of which is for burning" if it continues that way.

Let's look at some good spiritual plants. We're part of that spiritual Vine and that Vine is Christ. Notice how Jesus brings about almost very similar in wording to what we just read in Heb. 6. In this we're going to look at several things, which talks about the analogy of growing good things, and then growing weeds and thistles.

John 15:1: "I AM the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman. He takes away every branch in Me that does not bear fruit…" (vs 1-2). If you come to the point that your works are so bad that:

  • you don't have any wood
  • you don't have any hay
  • you don't have any stubble
  • you don't have any faith

God the Father is the One Who does the pruning Himself. He's the One Who gets rid of the dead wood. Which also helps answer this question:

If a person is disfellowshiped from an organized body of believers, and he is disfellowshiped unjustly—with false charges and things which are not true—God the Father has not removed that person. He or she is separated from evil! There's a difference. Only God the Father can take a person out and qualify them for the branches to be burned. No edict by a man can do that!

  • the pope can't do it
  • a minister can't do it
  • a priest can't do it
  • only God the Father does it!

That's what Christ said!

Verse 2: "He takes away every branch in Me that does not bear fruit; but He cleanses each one that bears fruit, in order that it may bear more fruit."

That's why we have trials! We're going to see what happens when you just let things grow. You can let them grow, and we'll see what happens then. When you have a trial or a difficulty, understand that it's so you can bring forth more fruit. You can bring forth more of the fruits of God's Spirit. That's the produce that we are producing—right. Yes! We're not producing grapes. We're not producing figs. Although you have a parallel and an analogy there.

"…that it may bear more fruit." Isn't that true when you see a well-kept vineyard where they maintain it, take care of the ground, take care of the vines. Especially as that vineyard gets older—and you can tell how old it is by how thick that the trunk of the vine is—because they prune it every year. Sometimes you will see them six or eight inches thick; you know that is a good plant, and that will produce great wine. But when you see these vineyards all laid out and they prune them and they trim them, and they know exactly how to do it so it will produce the most grapes; then that will produce the best wine. Whereas, when you look at one that isn't taken care of, you get nothing out of it. You get a lot of branches growing everywhere. But remember, branches are not fruit. God wants fruit!

Verse 3: "You are already clean through the Word that I have spoken to you." Always remember that, brethren. Whenever you repent, you are clean! Those are the words that Christ has spoken and 'every sin and blaspheme against the Son will be forgiven.'

Remember, this was given on the Passover night. It is the Passover which year-to-year, taken in the proper manner, keeps us abiding in Christ, and we've seen how many times when people quit keeping the Passover, they quit dwelling in Christ, and that's what the word abide means: to dwell or live in Christ! It happens!

Here's our responsibility; notice how He puts it, v 4: "Dwell in Me… [we have to make the choice to continue dwelling in Christ] …and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, but only if it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you are dwelling in Me. I am the vine, and you are the branches…." (vs 4-5).

Very interesting; very simple and profound. Does the branch bear the vine? or Does the vine bear the branch? The vine bears the branch! Therefore, everything we do has to come from Christ! You stop and think about this: Remember how the Apostle Paul said, 'Shall the thing say to its maker, what are you making?' A lot of people do that by saying, 'God, I've got a better way of doing it.' NO! You can have no better way of doing it than God's way; that's the best way of doing it!

There's something about a branch that does not abide in the vine, v 5: "I am the vine, and you are the branches. The one who is dwelling in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; because apart from Me you can do nothing." What we can understand is this, just look at it this way:

Those of you who live up here in Napa wine country, with all these vineyards around, every year there is a new crop. So, we can look at it this way: In our lives, every year, we have to be producing the fruit. We can liken that with starting out with the Passover, because what do we do? We take the bread and wine—which is keeping us in the New Covenant, renewing us in the New Covenant—and then produce more fruit that year and come back to the Passover again! Of course, we can go through the whole thing of all of the Holy Days and see how those things fit in it, too.

A branch of itself, cutoff remaining away from the vine cannot produce anything. You may be able to take that vine put it in some water and maybe start growing a new plant. We're not saying that's what's going to happen here. For example: you cannot take a branch and cut it off and go put it in the water of Protestantism. You cannot go ahead and develop a new plant that way; it won't happen! These kinds are not going to be the transplantable vines that are cut that you can make a new plant out of them. You've got to stay in the vine of Christ.

Verse 6. "If anyone does not dwell in Me, he is cast out as a branch… [Who's the one who takes it away? The Father!] …and is dried up…" That's what happens. I suppose you can cut a branch and before it loses its sap you can graft it back in. I suppose you could and it would survive! But it would take a while for everything to heal up and for everything to begin flowing again into that branch. But unless that is done, if it is cutoff and removed by God the Father then it's withered

"…and men gather them…" (v 6). In this case it's the angels that gather the wicked to throw them into the Lake of Fire.

"…and cast them into a fire, and they are burned" (v 6). So that you will not be despaired and think that 'Oh boy, this is a tough saying.' Well, it is, but it's also easy. Because Jesus said, 'My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.' Here's the guarantee that that won't happen to you:

Verse 7: "If you dwell in Me… [notice that the condition is on us] …and My words dwell in you, you shall ask whatever you desire, and it shall come to pass for you." There's the guarantee! Stay in Christ!

Verse 8: "In this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be My disciples. As the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; live in My love" (vs 8-9). That's how you stay in the Vine! Continue in the love of God. And 'this is the love of God that you keep His commandments'

He says right here, v 10: "If you keep My commandments, you shall live in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and live in His love."

The most important fruit; the fruit of love is the most important thing. And if you truly, truly have the love of God and keep His commandments, there is no way that you're going to commit the unpardonable sin. It is not going to happen! You don't need to worry about it!

Verse 11: "These things I have spoken to you, in order that My joy may dwell in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment: that you love one another, as I have loved you" (vs 11-12). Not only from God to you, but from you to God and back to the brethren.

Verse 13: "No one has greater love than this: that one lay down his life for his friends"—what Christ did for us. This puts us in the same category as Abraham who was called 'a friend of God.'

Verse 14: "You are My friends… [if someone says, 'I'm a friend of God,' here's a qualification]: …if you do whatever I command you."

Are you doing everything that Jesus said? If you're not doing everything that Jesus said, then you can't be a friend. You may not necessarily be an enemy, but you may be an acquaintance. To be a friend is an entirely different thing. I'm sure there are a lot of people who are out there who are acquainted with Christ; they've heard the name of Christ, but they're not a friend of Christ.

Verse 15: "No longer do I call you servants, because the servant does not know what his master is doing. But I have called you friends because I have made known to you all the things that I have heard from My Father. You yourselves did not choose Me, but I have personally chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go forth and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; so that whatever you shall ask the Father in My name, He may give you" (vs 15-16).

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • 1 Corinthians 3:10-11
  • John 14:6
  • 1-Corinthians 3:12-17
  • Hebrews 6:6
  • Titus 1:9-16
  • 2 Timothy 2:12-13
  • Matthew 10:32-39
  • Jeremiah 17:1
  • Acts 8:9-24
  • Revelation 2:4-5, 16, 20-24, 13
  • Revelation 3:8
  • Matthew 12:22-32
  • Hebrews 6:7-8
  • John 15:1-16

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

    • 1 Corinthians 13
    • Revelation 17

Also referenced:

Books:

  • Word Biblical Commentary
  • Code of Jewish Law by Solomon Ganzfried & Hymn Goldin

Sermon Series:

  • Why God Hates Religion
  • Was Jesus God?

FRC: bo
Transcribed: 4-24-11
Reformatted/Corrected: January/2017

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