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The Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • September 13, In the year of our Lord, 2015

  1. What Is Your Opinion of Jesus? 
    1. Lunatic?
    2. Liar?
    3. Lord?
      1. Some acknowledge His Lordship, but
      2. do not obey Him.
    4. These four reactions are revealed in Mark 3.7–30.
      1. 3.7–10 the multitudes seemed to believe He was the Lord.
      2. 3.11–12 unclean spirits acknowledged His Lordship, but disobeyed Him.
      3. 3.13–21 His friends believed He was temporarily a lunatic.
      4. 3.22 the scribes believed He was a liar.
  2. The Charge Against Jesus, “He Has Beelzebub” 
    1. Who was Beelzebub?

      2 Now Ahaziah fell through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria, and was injured; so he sent messengers and said to them, “Go, inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this injury” (2Ki 1.2).

      1. Centuries later the Jews had come to use the name for Satan,

        24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons” (Matt 12.24).

        23 So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables. “How can Satan cast out Satan?” (Mark 3.23).

    2. They made this charge against Jesus,
      1. not being able to deny His miracles,
      2. so they attributed the power to Satan.
        1. Why would they attribute the power to Satan
        2. rather than just acknowledge that Jesus was the Son of God?
      3. Do you understand what they were calling the Holy Spirit?
        1. The Holy Spirit is the epitome of holiness.
        2. Satan is the epitome of evil.
          1. The Pharisees could not have been more inaccurate.
          2. Someone might say
            1. that the Pharisees just did not know who or what
            2. was working through Jesus, or
            3. that they honestly believed He was a fraud.
        3. The Scriptures listed below
          1. will show that logically,
          2. Jesus could only do miracles by the power of the Spirit of God.
            1. If not, what is the possible explanation?
            2. Jesus will show in Mark 3.23–27
              1. that Satan certainly would not cast himself out.
              2. Satan is evil, but he knows that would be stupid.
            3. Are there any other options, other than these two?
              1. Jesus worked by the power of Satan;
              2. or Jesus worked by the power of God.
    3. Consider these passages:

      36 “But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me” (John 5.36).

      20 And many of them said, “He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?” 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” (John 10.20–21).

      25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me” (John 10.25).

      37 “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe {NU-Text reads understand.} that the Father is in Me, and I in Him” (John 10.37–38).

      10 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves” (John 14.10–11).

      1. There is just no other way to explain the miracles of Jesus
      2. other than the fact that God was truly working through Jesus.
  3. The Reasoning of Jesus (Mark 3.23–27) 
    1. In Mark 3 Jesus argued that Satan would not fight against himself,

      23 So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables. “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end” (Mark 3.23–26).

      1. Why would Satan not fight against himself?
      2. Satan is both wicked and highly intelligent.
    2. Mark 3.27 shows the motive of Jesus,

      27 “No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house” (Mark 3.27).

      1. Why was Jesus casting demons out of people?
      2. What is the house?
      3. Who is the strong man?
  4. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Mark 3.28–30) 
    1. In Matthew 12, Jesus made a powerful argument that destroyed the charge,

      27 “And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matt 12.27–28).

      1. Jesus made a counter charge.
        1. If demons can only be cast out by the power of Satan,
        2. then the Pharisees condemn their own sons,
          1. implying that some of their sons
          2. were disciples of Jesus.
      2. Knowing they would not want to condemn their own sons,
        1. the alternative is that Jesus operated by the Spirit of God.
        2. This meant that the kingdom of God was among them.
          1. It meant that Jesus was God-approved, but
          2. they were condemning Jesus.
      3. Jesus has impaled them on the horns of a dilemma.
        1. They either condemn their sons; or
        2. they approve of Jesus;
          1. neither of which they wanted to do, but
          2. they had no choice.
    2. Mark 3.28 – All sins and blasphemies are forgivable.

      28 “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter” (Mark 3.28).

      1. All sins are forgivable,
      2. provided there is repentance.
        1. First John 5 states
        2. that any sin from which we do not repent will not be forgiven,

          16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death (1Jo 5.16–17).
    3. Mark 3.29 – Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not forgivable,

      29 “…but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation” (Mark 3.29).

      1. Compare Matthew 12,

        32 “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matt 12.32).
      2. Hebrews 10 warns against insulting the Spirit,

        29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” {Deuteronomy 32.35} says the Lord. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” {Deuteronomy 32.36} 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb 10.29–31).

        1. Insulting the Spirit and blaspheming the Spirit
        2. seem to be similar, if not identical.
    4. What blaspheming the Holy Spirit is.
      1. To blaspheme is to speak evil of something or someone sacred.
      2. Thus speaking evil of the Sacred Spirit.
      3. Mark 3 gives an inspired commentary
        1. on why Jesus charged the Pharisees with blaspheming the Spirit,

          30 because they said, “He has an unclean spirit” (Mark 3.30).
        2. They credited the work of the Holy Spirit to the devil.
          1. What greater sin could there be?
          2. It led them to crucifying Christ!
          3. It led them to reject the new covenant.
          4. Therefore, in that state they could not be forgiven.
  5. Why Is It Unforgivable? 
    1. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit manifests a depraved state of heart.
      1. Matthew 12 shows what Jesus spoke after speaking of this blasphemy.
      2. He informed us why a person would commit this sin,

        33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. 34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt 12.33–37).
    2. The Spirit’s work climaxes God’s declaration of His Son.
      1. One may reject Jesus initially, but
      2. later be persuaded by the Spirit’s testimony.
        1. We read John 10.20–21, 25, 37–38; 14.11 earlier,
          1. which argued that the Spirit testified
          2. through the works of Jesus, as in Mark 3.
        2. According to John 15,
          1. the apostles would record the Spirit’s testimony,

            26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning” (John 15.26–27).
          2. That occurred with the writing of the complete New Testament.
        3. If these things do not persuade a person, what will?
      3. Such a person is beyond saving until they come to the Spirit’s testimony.
    3. Blaspheming the Spirit is not only rejecting His testimony, for
      1. many people reject the testimony of the Spirit without blaspheming, but
      2. it is equating the Holy Spirit with Satan.
    4. People who blaspheme the Spirit will not come to the Lord.
      1. 2Ch 15.2
      2. 2Ch 36.15–16
      3. Pro 1.24–33
      4. Jer 7.16–20
      5. Jer 11.14
      6. Jer 13.23
      7. Jer 14.11
      8. John 12.39
      9. Rom 1.28
      10. Eph 4.19
      11. 2Th 2.10–12
      12. 1Ti 4.2
      13. Heb 6.2–6
      14. Heb 10.26–29
      15. 2Pe 2.14
        1. One who has gone this far has not blasphemed the Holy Spirit, but
        2. those who have blasphemed the Spirit have gone this far.