Blasphemeth Against the Holy Ghost?

Matthew 12:31 “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.”

Luke 12:10 “And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.”

Trinitarian’s Objection: If the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Christ are the same as how non-trinitarians claim then how is it that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost is not forgiven but speaking against Christ shall be forgiven? How can one be forgiven and not the other if they are the same person?

First of all, “speaking a word against” Christ is not the same thing as “blasphemy” and we ought to rightly understand the difference between the two.

What does it mean to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit? Does this mean that there are certain grievous sins that cannot be forgiven?

Let’s take a look at what the Inspired Testimonies had to say about blaspheme against the Holy Ghost:

“No one need look upon the sin against the Holy Ghost as something mysterious and indefinable. The sin against the Holy Ghost is the sin of persistent refusal to respond to the invitation to repent.” {RH June 29, 1897, par. 9}

Whatever the sin, if the soul repents and believes, the guilt is washed away in the blood of Christ; but he who rejects the work of the Holy Spirit is placing himself where repentance and faith cannot come to him. It is by the Spirit that God works upon the heart; when men willfully reject the Spirit, and declare it to be from Satan, they cut off the channel by which God can communicate with them. When the Spirit is finally rejected, there is no more that God can do for the soul…. AG 215.2

Note: The blaspheming against the Holy Spirit has to do with “persistent refusal to respond to the invitation to repent” and persistent rejection of the work of the Holy Spirit in the way of convicting the person of his sin. However the grievous a person’s sin may be, if he repents and confesses, he is forgiven. We can all claim the promise, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) But if the person rejects the very avenue in which he may come to repentance, then consequently, any sin that is not repented of nor confessed cannot be forgiven.

“By rejecting the light that was shining upon them, by refusing to examine the evidence to see whether the messages were from heaventhe Pharisees sinned against the Holy Ghost. Christ, the world’s Redeemer, was in the world. “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not…. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” The VOICE OF HIS SPIRIT CAME TO THEM, saying, “This is the Son of God; believe on him.” But turning their faces from the light, they refused to listen, choosing, instead, to cultivate their unbelief. Thus the light which, if received, would have been to them a savor of life unto life, rejected, became a savor of death unto death,—death to spirituality. {RH July 27, 1897}

“Satan had caused the Jews to rebel against God BY REFUSING TO RECEIVE HIS SON, and by staining their hands with His most precious blood. NO MATTER HOW POWERFUL THE EVIDENCE NOW PRODUCED THAT JESUS WAS THE SON OF GOD, the Redeemer of the world, THEY HAD MURDERED HIM, AND WOULD NOT RECEIVE ANY EVIDENCE IN HIS FAVOR. As when the Holy Spirit through Stephen declared the mighty evidence of Jesus’ being the Son of God, THEY STOPPED THEIR EARS LEST THEY SHOULD BE CONVINCED.” {EW 208.3}

Ellen G. White describes the sin of the Pharisees as “refusing to examine the evidence to see whether the messages were from heaven,” namely, their refusal to acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God and this constituted them having sinned against the Holy Ghost. For three and a half years, Jesus demonstrated all the evidence that He was indeed the Son of God and ”The voice of his [Christ’s] Spirit came to them, saying, “This is the Son of God; believe on him” (this was the pleading of the Spirit of Christ , aka the Holy Spirit, convicting their heart) but they refused to hear His message, which ultimately sealed their fate.

We’re told elsewhere that “WHILE JESUS MINISTERS IN THE SANCTUARY ABOVE, HE IS STILL BY HIS SPIRIT THE MINISTER OF THE CHURCH ON EARTH. He is withdrawn from the eye of sense, but HIS PARTING PROMISE IS FULFILLED, “LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAY, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20. While He delegates His power to inferior ministers, HIS ENERGIZING PRESENCE IS STILL WITH HIS CHURCH. {DA 166.2} and that it is the “HOLY SPIRIT OF CHRIST, WORKING UPON THE HEART, WILL YIELD IN THE LIFE A CONVERTING INFLUENCE UPON OTHERS.…” {RH May 7, 1908, par. 1} {AG 325.2} {OFC 252.2}

2 Peter 3:5 “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:”

On the day of Pentecost when people heard the truth from the disciples, “they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37)

Acts 2:38-41 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost…Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”

But as for the Jewish religious leaders, after hearing the truth from the disciples, they “were cut to the heart.” (Act 5:33) but instead of repenting, they “took counsel to slay them.”

“We shall have false sentiments to meet. Never, never can we afford to place confidence in human greatness as some have done, looking to man as the angels in heaven looked to the rebellious Lucifer, and thus FINALLY LOSING THE SENSE OF THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST AND GOD.” {Lt280-1904}

To speak against Christ

Let’s consider an inspired commentary on speaking against

“Christ was not warring against finite men, but against principalities and powers, against spiritual wickedness in high places. He tells His hearers that all manner of sin and blasphemy may be forgiven if done in ignorance. In their great blindness they might speak words of insult and derision against the Son of man, and yet be within the boundary of mercy. But when the power and Spirit of God rested upon His messengers, they were on holy ground. To ignore the Spirit of God, to charge it with being the spirit of the devil, placed them in a position where God had no power to reach their souls. No power in any of God’s provisions to correct the erring can reach them…. 5BC 1092.7
To speak against Christ, charging His work to satanic agencies, and attributing the manifestations of the Spirit to fanaticism, is not of itself a damning sin, but the spirit that leads men to make these assertions places them in a position of stubborn resistance, where they cannot see spiritual light…. 5BC 1092.8
They think they are following sound reason, but they are following another leader. They have placed themselves under the control of a power which in their blindness they are wholly ignorant of. They have resisted the only Spirit that could lead them, enlighten them, save them. They are following in the path of guilt for which there can be no forgiveness, in this life or in the life to come. Not that any degree of guilt would exhaust the mercy of God, but because pride and persistent stubbornness leads them to do despite to the Spirit of God, to occupy a place where no manifestation of the Spirit can convince them of their error. They will not yield their stubborn wills. 5BC 1092.9

Here we see that “To speak against Christ” is not the same thing as blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. We are told that “To speak against Christ in it of itself is not a damning sin,” but that the “spirit that leads men to make these assertions places them in a position of stubborn resistance,” whereby, if persistent, would lead men to reject the work of the Holy Spirit and consequently blaspheme the Holy Ghost. Thus it is evident that the work of the Holy Spirit is to reach the human souls, to recognize their sinful conditions and their need of a Savior… but the person would surely grieve away or blaspheme against the Holy Spirit if he continues to persistently reject the conviction or refuse to humbly examine the light that is presented before him then there is no remaining avenue in which God can reach him and thus the person no longer response to the call to repentance.

“Speaking a word against” therefore can refer to a mistake, an act of denial or rebellion, or saying something wrong against Christ or regarding Christ, perhaps in a moment of weakness.

Consider Peter’s denial of Jesus just before the cock crowed three times (Luke 22:54-62). Peter “spoke a word against the the Son of man” and yet we know that Peter was forgiven because later “Peter went out, and wept bitterly” for he was convicted of his wrong doing; he did not grieve away the Holy Spirit or to say it in another way, he did not blaspheme against the Holy Spirit.

Flawed Premise to be arguing from

Going back to the original Trinitarian objection… If speaking a “word against the Son” is really the same thing as blaspheming against the Holy Ghost, then the Trinitarians would do well to consider its flawed premise they are arguing from.

If there really are three persons/beings, assuming each member is understood as an entirely separate individual (as how Trinitarians claim), then according to this verse—Luke 12:10 (and even more so, in light of trinitarians’ incorrect inferences of what it means), how is it that the Father and Son will forgive me if I blaspheme against them, but not the Holy Spirit? Why are they more loving and forgiving than the Holy Spirit?

The SDA church teaches today that there are three coequal divine persons/beings that make up the Triune Godhead. The word they mostly use is actually “person” but in many cases, they obfuscate the meaning of “persons” and “beings.”

Furthermore, each of the member of the Trinity are supposed to be of one in mind, character, and purpose.

But if this is true, how is it that the two divine beings, the Father and Son, might forgive blasphemy against them, but the third divine being, the Holy Spirit will not?

We have here one serious counter-example, showing that these (assumably) three divine beings are not one in all things, at least where blasphemy against them individually is concerned. To me, I would say that is a serious problem, and an awkward initial position to be arguing from.

If your initial premises are flawed, chances are very good that whatever conclusions or arguments you make, based on the faulty premises, will also be flawed.

Moreover some Trinitarians believe that because non-trinitarians reject the trinity doctrine, they equate the rejection of trinity as rejecting the Holy Spirit and therefore they accuse the non-trinitarians for blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

Basically, the bases of the argument is that if you don’t believe about the Holy Spirit as HOW it’s defined by the church’s definition then you are blaspheming the Holy Spirit… I don’t agree with this premise and I don’t believe you can find scriptural bases for this argument.

That said, if the evidence is presented before an honest enquirer and if he or she prayerfully examines the evidence and follows according to the dictates of his/her own conscience (which may very well be contrary to the church’s dogma), I would say that the person is being true to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and therefore is not blaspheming the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, if a person is unwilling to examine the plain evidence (as it may be the case for some trinitarians) and if he/she persistently refuses to acknowledge the truth simply because it is contrary to what the church teaches (or because of pride, fear of losing influence/income, etc), as were the case with the Pharisees of Jesus’ days, then they are the guilty party, not the people who are honestly following their conscience.

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