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Doctrine of Unpardonable Sin

July 21, 2010

DOCTRINE OF THE UNPARDONABLE SIN
or

(KJV) Blasphemy Against The Holy Spirit

Text:  Matthew 12:22-37

Parallel Passages:  Mark 3:20-30

Mark 3:20-21
20    And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.
21    And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself. (KJV)

Introduction

A.    Note the following things:

1.    The idea of “blasphemy against the Holy Ghost” comes from Matthew 12:31.  (KJV)

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.   (KJV)

2.    The idea of “unforgivable sin” also comes from Matthew 12:31.  (KJV)

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.   (KJV)

3.    The reasoning goes like this:

a.    If something is unforgivable, it is unforgivable because it must be sinful.

b.    Therefore, since “blasphemy against the Holy Ghost” is unforgivable, it is “unforgivable” because it must be sinful.

4.    Add to your understanding the fact that the word “unpardonable” is not used in the Bible (KJV, NAS, NIV, or TLB), and yet, there is much talk among Christians about an “unpardonable sin.”

5.    If the word “unpardonable” is not found in the Bible, from where does the idea of “unpardonable sin” come?

6.    The word “unpardonable” is viewed as a synonym for “unforgivable.”

7.    Therefore, it is concluded that if “blasphemy against the Holy Ghost” is unforgivable (Matthew 12:31), then, “blasphemy against the Holy Ghost” is “unpardonable” because the words “unforgivable” and “unpardonable” are viewed as synonymous terms.

B.    The logic is this:

If A = B,
and C = A,
then C = B,
because B = A.

Illustration:

If A (unforgivable) = B (unpardonable),
and C (blasphemy against the Holy Ghost) = A (unforgivable),
then C (blasphemy against the Holy Ghost) = B (unpardonable)
because B (unpardonable) and A (unforgivable) are = terms.

C.    The issue in this study is to show why “blasphemy against the Holy Ghost” or “the unpardonable sin” cannot be committed today.

D.    To draw this conclusion, one must consider both the circumstances and the action of the people that caused Jesus to label the action of this people “blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.”

Matthew 12:22-37

12:22    Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. (KJV)

12:22    Then there was brought to Him a demon-possessed man {who was} blind and dumb, and He healed him, so that the dumb man spoke and saw. (NAS)
12:22    Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. (NIV)
12:22    Then a demon-possessed man– he was both blind and unable to talk– was brought to Jesus, and Jesus healed him so that he could both speak and see. (TLB)

First set of facts:  We have a man who is blind, cannot speak (dumb), and is possessed by a demon.
Second set of facts:  Jesus, who is the God-Man, cast the demon out of this man (stated in verse 24), caused him to be able to see, and caused him to be able to speak.

Note:  Casting out the demon, causing this man to see, and causing this man to speak was the result of a manifestation of supernatural power and is referred to as signs, wonders, and miracles.

12:23    And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? (KJV)

12:23    And all the multitudes were amazed, and {began} to say, “This {man} cannot be the Son of David, can he?” (NAS)
12:23    All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” (NIV)
12:23    The crowd was amazed. “Maybe Jesus is the Messiah!” they exclaimed. (TLB)

1.    The phrase “Son of David” is a phrase used by the Jews for the “Messiah of Israel.”

2.    The common people had begun to question whether or not this Jesus might really be their long awaited Messiah.  (This is not clear in the KJV, but I think the NAS, NIV, and TLB make this idea very clear.)

12:24    But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. (KJV)

12:24    But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.” (NAS)
12:24    But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” (NIV)
12:24    But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle they said, “He can cast out demons because he is Satan, king of devils.” (TLB)

1.    The Pharisees’ reaction makes very clear the normal religious reaction to any spiritual matter.

2.    Here, the Pharisees’ reaction represents the reaction of religious people throughout every generation of history.

3.    Mark it down.  If we, as a church, ever do anything spiritual, the religious crowd will always question the validity of the intention.

4.    Here, the Pharisees’ reaction was after-the-fact.

Principle:  Religious people will question spiritual matters before and after-the-fact.  Before-the-fact, they will say things like “It can’t be done,” or “It shouldn’t be done,” but after-the-fact they will lie about what really took place.

5.    The Pharisees were not denying that a supernatural work had taken place.  They were attributing the power to Satan, rather than God.

12:25    And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: (KJV)

12:25    And knowing their thoughts He said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself shall not stand. (NAS)
12:25    Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. (NIV)
12:25    Jesus knew their thoughts and replied, “A divided kingdom ends in ruin. A city or home divided against itself cannot stand. (TLB)

1.    This verse says, “And Jesus knew their thoughts, . . . .”  This refers to the omniscience of God the Son.

2.    The words kingdom, city, and house imply people who make up that kingdom, city, or house.

3.    For a kingdom, city or house to be “divided against itself” means that the people who make up that kingdom, city, or house hold two different viewpoints and work against each other with the result that the kingdom, city, or house is destroyed.

4.    The fact that people don’t think, today, is not new.  The Pharisees didn’t think either.

Can you imagine Satan trying to build his own kingdom while at the same time not allowing demons to be a part of it?  That’s what the Pharisees were suggesting!  They said that Jesus had cast out a demon by the power of the Devil.

12:26    And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? (KJV)

12:26    “And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand? (NAS)
12:26    If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? (NIV)
12:26    And if Satan is casting out Satan, he is fighting himself and destroying his own kingdom. (TLB)

1.    Jesus continues His refutation of the irrational thinking of the Pharisees.

2.    If Satan casts out Satan, the kingdom of Satan self-destructs, and self-destruction of the kingdom one seeks to build makes no sense.

3.    Application:  If your goal is to build, and you  constantly tear down what you seek to build, the process of tearing down makes no sense.

4.    Principle:  Do not be afraid to point out irrational thinking.  And while you may not become popular for doing so, it is not wrong to do so.  Christians are not in a popularity contest when popularity is earned at the expense of truth.

12:27    And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. (KJV)

12:27    “And if I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? Consequently they shall be your judges. (NAS)
12:27    And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. (NIV)
12:27    And if, as you claim, I am casting out demons by invoking the powers of Satan, then what power do your own people use when they cast them out? Let them answer your accusation! (TLB)

1.    Jesus implies that associates of the Pharisees claimed the power of exorcism, and certainly the Pharisees would not attribute the power of their associates to Satan, hence, different causes for a similar result.  For example:

A.    The Pharisee associates cast out demon by the power of the Holy Spirit.

B.    Jesus casts out demon by the power of Satan.

2.    therefore they shall be your judges. (KJV)

A.    This statement implies that some of the exorcisms performed by the associates of the Pharisees were valid and accomplished in the power of the Holy Spirit.

B.    How then will the Pharisees be judged by the associates of the Pharisees?

C.    In this case, similar results (demons cast out) cannot be attributed to different causes (the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of Satan).

1.    If Jesus cast out demons by the power of Satan, so the power of the Pharisees’ associates must also be attributed to the power of Satan.

2.    The Pharisees’ associates would criticize the Pharisees for saying that their power was from Satan, and this criticism is what Jesus calls “judging the Pharisees.”

3.    The Pharisees will not allow this to happen, that is, they would not indicate that their associates cast out demons by the power of Satan.

3.    Jesus wins the argument by pointing out that the reasoning of the Pharisees is irrational.

12:28    But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. (KJV)

12:28    “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. (NAS)
12:28    But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. (NIV)
12:28    But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you. (TLB)

1.    Jesus indicates that He had cast out the demon by the power of the Holy Spirit.

2.    Implication:  You are looking at your Messiah for whom you have long awaited.

3.    And by the way:  This further implies that casting out the demon and healing this man of blindness and an inability to speak was “a sign” of Messiahship and that the kingdom had come to Israel.  The motivation of Jesus was not to heal this man just to heal him, but to heal him to confirm that He was the Messiah of Israel come to establish the long awaited kingdom.

12:29    Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. (KJV)

12:29    “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. (NAS)
12:29    “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house. (NIV)
12:29    One cannot rob Satan’s kingdom without first binding Satan. Only then can his demons be cast out! (TLB)

1.    This verse describes the ministry of Jesus:

A.    Jesus enters the strong man’s house:  Satan’s domain.

B.    Jesus spoils Satan’s goods:  demons are Satan’s goods and Jesus casting them out is called “spoiling Satan’s goods.”

2.    To “bind the strong man” implies Jesus’ superiority over Satan.

3.    Jesus is trying to tell the Pharisees that because He had cast out a demon, He was superior to Satan.

12:30    He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. (KJV)

12:30    “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters. (NAS)
12:30    “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. (NIV)
12:30    Anyone who isn’t helping me is harming me. (TLB)

1.    Stop right here!  THINK!  THINK!  THINK!

2.    Joining Jesus is the issue.  It’s not enough that a person doesn’t bad mouth Jesus.  He says that if you haven’t joined Him, you are against Him.

3.    There is no neutrality with Jesus. you are either with Him, or against Him!

4.    Christianity is a personal matter — not a family matter, not a corporate matter, but a personal matter.

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. (KJV)

12:31    “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. (NAS)
12:31    And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. (NIV)
12:31    “Even blasphemy against me or any other sin can be forgiven– all except one: speaking against the Holy Spirit shall never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come. (TLB)

1.    Things forgivable:

A.    All manner of sin.

B.    All manner of blasphemy (with one exception).

2.    Things unforgivable:  blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.

12:32    And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. (KJV)

12:32    “And whoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age, or in the {age} to come. (NAS)
12:32    Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. (NIV)

1.    Things forgivable:  speaking a word (blasphemy) against the Son of man (Jesus).

2.    Things unforgivable:  speaking (blasphemy) against the Holy Spirit.

Blasphemy
(Unger’s Bible Handbook)

There are two general forms of blasphemy:

1.    Attributing some evil to God, or denying Him some good which we should attribute to Him.

Leviticus  4:11  And the Israelitish woman’s son blasphemed the name of the LORD, and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan:)   (KJV)

Romans 2:24  For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.  (KJV)

2.    Giving the attributes of God to a creature — which form of blasphemy the Jews charged upon Jesus.

Luke 5:21  And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?  (KJV)

Matthew 26:65  Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.  (KJV)

John 10:36  Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?  (KJV)

The Jews, from ancient times, have interpreted the command . . .

Leviticus 24:16  And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.  (KJV)

. . . as prohibiting the utterance of the name Jehovah, reading for it Adonai or Elohim.

Ryrie’s Study Bible (NAS) p. 1465 (footnote Matthew 12:31)

blasphemy against the Spirit:  Technically, according to the scribes, blasphemy involved direct and explicit abuse of the divine name.  [My comment:  This is speaking the name of God, as indicated above.]  Jesus here teaches that it may also be the reviling (abusing) of God by attributing the (Holy) Spirit’s work to Satan.  [My comment: This is what the Pharisees did to Jesus.]  The special circumstances involved in this blasphemy cannot be duplicated today.

Did you hear that?  Ryrie says, “The special circumstances involved in this blasphemy cannot be duplicated today.”

This means that if the circumstances cannot be duplicated, today, a person living in the Post-Canon period of the Church Age cannot commit blasphemy of the Holy Ghost.

L.S. Chafer’s, Systematic Theology, Volume 7, p. 48
(concerning Mark 3:28-30)

For want of attention to all that is involved in these and other related Scriptures, there has been a most injurious application on the part of preachers, especially evangelists, of these very Scriptures to the present age.  [My comment:  By “want of attention,” Chafer means failure to rightly divide the Word of truth, that is, failure to make dispensational distinction. We live in the Church Age.  This took place in the Age of Israel.]

First, it should be noted that this sin against the Holy Spirit consisted in asserting that Christ’s works, which were wrought by the Holy Spirit, were accomplished on the contrary by Satan.

[My comment:  Failure to acknowledge this will result in a distorted interpretation every time.]

Such a setting, could not be found now since Christ is not in the world as He was then, . . .

[My comment:  Did you hear that?  Chafer says that since it was Jesus who cast out the demon, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit cannot occur, today, because the circumstances cannot be duplicated since Jesus is not physically present, today.]

. . . nor is He undertaking in the same way to do works by the Holy Spirit.

[My comment:  Chafer says the plan has changed for the Church Age.  Chafer says that God is not working in the same way in the Church Age.]

It is therefore impossible for this particular sin to be committed today.

[My comment: That’s pretty clear isn’t it?  Chafer says that blasphemy of the Holy Ghost cannot be committed today!]

[My comment:  These would be fighting words to the modern-day charismatics who are “casting out demons,” “slaying people in the Spirit,” “healing the sick,” etc., by the power of the Holy Spirit.]

To say that attributing works that men may be doing in the power of the Spirit to Satan is the same offense is to go utterly beyond what is written.  [My comment:  Suppose you and I would be critical of Benny Hinn and say that he was slaying people in the power of the devil.  The charismatic world might say to us, “You have committed blasphemy of the Holy Ghost because Benny Hinn is slaying people in the Spirit by the power of the Holy Spirit and you have attributed his power to the devil.  Chafer says that the charismatics would be wrong because Benny Hinn isn’t Jesus.]

The possibility of this particular sin being committed ceased with Christ’s removal from the earth.

[My comment: That’s pretty clear isn’t it?]

[Chafer is, now, going to give another reason why blasphemy of the Holy Spirit cannot be committed, today.] But even more emphatically it is to be declared that the so-called unpardonable sin cannot be present where there is a “whosoever will” gospel being preached, else reservations must be made to the effect that a “whosoever will” gospel must except those who have committed an unpardonable sin.

[My comment:  Chafer is saying that if blasphemy of the Holy Spirit could be committed, today, the Gospel would be of no value to the man who had already committed blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.  John 3:16 would have to read, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him from among those who have not committed blasphemy against the Holy Ghost . . .”]

Every invitation and promise related to the salvation of lost men would have to carry those same restrictions if there were an unpardonable sin.  [My comment:  The gospel would be restricted to those who had not committed blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.]

The promises and invitations would then be addressed to those only who have not so sinned.  [My comment: The key word is “SO” sinned.]

[My comment:  Chafer says, . . .]  That no such condition is ever imposed in any grace relationship of the present need not be argued.  [My comment:  “the present” means “the post-canon period of the Church Age.”]

In attempting to project an unpardonable sin into this age [my comment:  the post-canon period of the Church Age], men [ my comment:  today’s preachers and others ] have seized upon almost any serious evil [my comment:  suicide, divorce, etc.] as the unpardonable sin, but always without Biblical support.  [my comment:  That’s pretty clear isn’t it?]

Often Hebrews 6:4-9; 10:26-29; and 1 John 5:16 have been referred to as added Scripture bearing upon supposedly unpardonable sin.

Hebrews 6:4-9
4    For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
5    and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
6    and {then} have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame.
7    For ground that drinks the rain which often falls upon it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God;
8    but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.
9    But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. (NAS)

Hebrews 10:26-29
26    For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27    but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.
28    Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on {the testimony of} two or three witnesses.
29    How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? (NAS)

1 John 5:16  If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not {leading} to death, he shall ask and {God} will for him give life to those who commit sin not {leading} to death. There is a sin {leading} to death; I do not say that he should make request for this. (NAS)

These passages, however, though deeply serious in their import, bear no relation to an unpardonable sin.

When considering the subject of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, it may well be noted that, quite beyond human explanation, men do not swear in the name of the Third Person.  From this fact it may be concluded that there is now and ever has been a peculiar sanctity belonging to the Holy Spirit.  His very name and title implies this.

A Commentary on Matthew, by John Broadus, p. 272

The conditions, then, under which this unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Spirit of God is committed, are (1) that there shall be a work manifestly supernatural, unmistakably the work of God and not of man, and (2) that one shall, in determined and malignant  opposition, insultingly ascribe to Satan this which be knows to be the work of God.

Now, are these conditions ever fulfilled, except in the age of miracles?  Can any other divine work, as, for instance, the conversion of a friend, or a general revival of spirituality, be so unquestionably and unmistakably the work of God, that a person ascribing it to Satan is guilty, not merely of sin, but of that flagrant and deeply malignant blasphemy against God which is unpardonable?  This is the question to be decided ; and it can hardly be decided in the affirmative.  As miracle continued throughout the Apostolic age, this blasphemy against the Spirit may very naturally be understood to be meant by that “sin unto death” which John implies (1 John 5:16) cannot be forgiven.  Indeed, we seem compelled so to understand it, since our Lord here says that the blasphemy against the Spirit is the only form of sin that will not be forgiven.  The current phrase, “the sin against the Holy Ghost,” is not found in Scripture, and has been formed by combining John’s expression with the passage before us.  And the familiar idea of “sinning away one’s day of grace” ought not to be confounded with the blasphemy here spoken of.  It has already been remarked that this blasphemy does not at all refer to the gracious work of the Spirit in calling and regenerating, but manifestly and simply to his miraculous work.  Through neglect of this distinction, persons often pass from speaking of blasphemy against the Spirit to discussing what is called “resisting the Spirit,” without being aware that these are quite different things.  Even. the passage in 1 John cannot refer to a person who has resisted the Spirit till his influences are withdrawn, for no one else could decide that a man was in that condition, while the apostle intimates that the “sin unto death” can be definitely known to others, since he will not say that one who has committed it shall be prayed for. — Heb. 6:4-8 and 10:26ff; relate to the sin of apostasy, and are therefore quite distinct from the blasphemy against the Spirit, though often confounded with it.

The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, p. 950

“Many explain this sin  as the attributing of the miraculous works of the Spirit to Satanic power (cf. Mark 3:29-30), and see no possibility of its being committed today (so Chafer, Broadus, Gaebelein).  Others, however, regard the accusation of the Pharisees as being symptomatic, and not the sin itself.  The following verses point to the corrupt heart as the cause of the sin.  The particular function of the Spirit is to bring conviction and repentance, and make men receptive to the invitation of Christ.  Hence hearts that hate God and blaspheme Christ (I Tim 1:13) may yet be convicted and brought to repentance by the Spirit.  But he who rejects every overture of the Spirit removes himself from the only force that can lead him to forgiveness (John 3:36).  That such a settled state can be reached in this life is clearly implied by the passage.  The Old Testament describes these as sinning “with a high band” (Numbers 15:30, ASV); for them no atonement was possible.  Men cannot read hearts, and thus cannot judge when others have reached such a state.  The real possibility of this sin does not weaken the gospel invitation, “Whosoever will,” for by its very nature such will have no willingness to accept.  As for the Pharisees of Jesus’ audience, it s not stated whether or not they had fully committed this sin, but the warning is clear.  Their considerable instruction made their responsibility great; their, previous hostility showed their determined unbelief.

The Following Reasoning Shows Why
Blasphemy Against the Holy Ghost Cannot Be Committed Today?

1.    The viewpoint is not an isolated viewpoint:

A.    The following men hold this viewpoint:  Chafer, Ryrie, Broadus, Gaebelein, and Thieme.

B.    The following writers acknowledge the existence of this viewpoint:  Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

2.    Following Ryrie’s reasoning:  The special circumstances involved in this blasphemy cannot be duplicated today, therefore, it cannot be committed, today.

3.    Following Chafer’s reasoning:

A.    Since Christ performed the miracle, the circumstance cannot be duplicated, today, because Christ is not physically present in the world, today.

B.    God the Father’s post-canon Church Age plan is not the same as His plan during the public ministry of Christ, therefore, ruling out the possibility of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost being committed, today.

C.    To say that the Holy Spirit empowered works of modern-day men is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is to interpret beyond what is written.  (The filling WITH the Spirit that unlished the power to produce miracles is not available to believers in the same way, today, therefore, ruling out the possibility of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost being committed, today.)

D.    The possibility of this particular sin being committed ceased with Christ’s removal from the earth.

4.    An argument is not won by comparing apples and oranges.

A.    Principle:  If apples are not oranges, then apples cannot be oranges and oranges cannot be apples.

B.    Application:  If the Holy Spirit worked in one way during the Age of Israel and another during the Church Age, then the manner in which He worked in the Age of Israel cannot be used as a guide during the Church Age, otherwise you are comparing apples to oranges.

C.    Another application:  It is to compare apples to oranges if a comparison is made between the pre-salvation ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of an unbeliever with the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus Christ during His public ministry.