Jesus’ Rebuke to the Pharisees
1. The Pharisees’ Judgment on Jesus
(Mak 3:21-22) And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself. And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He has Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casts he out devils.
2. Jesus’ Rebuke to the Pharisees
(Mat 12:31-32) Why I say to you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven to men. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
(Mat 23:13-15) But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore you shall receive the greater damnation. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
There are two separate passages above—let’s first take a look at the first one: The Pharisees’ Judgment on Jesus.
In the Bible, the Pharisees’ appraisal of Jesus Himself and the things that He did was: “they said, He is beside himself. … He has Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casts he out devils” (Mak 3:21-22). The scribes’ and Pharisees’ judgment of the Lord Jesus wasn’t parroting things or imagining out of thin air—it was their conclusion of the Lord Jesus from what they saw and heard of His actions. Although their conclusion was ostensibly made in the name of justice and appeared to people as if it were well-founded, the arrogance with which they judged the Lord Jesus was difficult for even them to contain. The frenzied energy of their hatred for the Lord Jesus exposed their own wild ambitions and their evil satanic countenances, as well as their malevolent nature of resisting God. These things they said in their judgment of the Lord Jesus were driven by their wild ambitions, jealousy, and the ugly and malevolent nature of their hostility toward God and the truth. They did not investigate the source of the Lord Jesus’ actions, nor did they investigate the essence of what He said or did. But they blindly, impatiently, crazily, and with deliberate malice attacked and discredited what He had done. This was even to the point of indiscriminately discrediting His Spirit, that is, the Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit. This is what they meant when they said “He is beside himself,” “Beelzebub and the prince of the devils.” That is to say, they said the Spirit of God was Beelzebub and the prince of the devils. They characterized the work of the flesh God’s Spirit clothed in as madness. They not only blasphemed God’s Spirit as Beelzebub and the prince of the devils, but they condemned God’s work. They condemned and blasphemed the Lord Jesus Christ. The essence of their resistance and blasphemy of God was entirely the same as the essence of Satan and the devil’s resistance and blasphemy of God. They not only represented corrupt humans, but even more they were the embodiment of Satan. They were a channel for Satan amongst mankind, and they were the accomplices and messengers of Satan. The essence of their blasphemy and their denigration of the Lord Jesus Christ was their struggle with God for status, their contest with God, their unending testing of God. The essence of their resistance to God and their attitude of hostility toward Him, as well as their words and their thoughts directly blasphemed and angered God’s Spirit. Thus, God determined a reasonable judgment of what they said and did, and determined their deeds to be the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This sin is unforgivable in both this world and the hereafter, just as the following scripture passage says: “the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven to men” and “whoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” Today, let’s talk about the true meaning of these words from God “it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” That is demystifying how God fulfills the words “it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”
Everything that we’ve talked about is related to God’s disposition, and His attitude toward people, matters, and things. Naturally, the two passages above are no exception. Did you notice anything in these two passages of scripture? Some people say they see God’s anger. Some people say they see the side of God’s disposition that does not tolerate mankind’s offense, and that if people do something that is blasphemous to God, they will not gain His forgiveness. Despite the fact that people see and perceive God’s anger and intolerance of mankind’s offense in these two passages, they still don’t truly understand His attitude. These two passages contain an implication of God’s true attitude and approach toward those who blaspheme and anger Him. This passage in the scripture holds the true meaning of His attitude and approach: “whoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” When people blaspheme God, when they anger Him, He issues a verdict, and this verdict is His final outcome. It is described this way in the Bible: “Why I say to you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven to men” (Mat 12:31), and “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” (Mat 23:13). However, is it recorded in the Bible what the outcome was with those scribes and Pharisees, as well as those people who said He was mad after the Lord Jesus said these things? Is it recorded if they suffered any punishment? It is certain that there wasn’t. Saying here that there “wasn’t” isn’t that it wasn’t recorded, but in fact there was no outcome that could be seen with human eyes. This “wasn’t” elucidates an issue, that is, God’s attitude and principles for handling certain things. God’s treatment of people who blaspheme or resist Him, or even those who malign Him—people who intentionally attack, malign, and curse Him—He does not turn a blind eye or a deaf ear. He has a clear attitude toward them. He despises these people, and in His heart He condemns them. He even openly declares the outcome for them, so that people know that He has a clear attitude toward those who blaspheme Him, and so that they know how He will determine their outcome. However, after God said these things, people still could rarely see the truth of how God would handle those people, and they could not understand the principles behind God’s outcome, His verdict for them. That is to say, mankind cannot see the particular attitude and methods God has for handling them. This has to do with God’s principles for doing things. God uses the advent of facts to deal with the evil behavior of some people. That is, He does not announce their sin and does not determine their outcome, but He directly uses the advent of facts to allow them to be punished, to get their due retribution. When these facts happen, it is people’s flesh that suffers punishment; it is all something that can be seen with human eyes. When dealing with some people’s evil behavior, God just curses them with words, but at the same time, God’s anger comes upon them, and the punishment they receive may be something people cannot see, but this type of outcome may be even more serious than the outcomes that people can see of being punished or being killed. This is because under the circumstances that God has determined not to save this type of person, to no longer show mercy or have tolerance for them, to provide them with no more opportunities, the attitude that He takes toward them is to put them aside. What is the meaning of “put aside”? The meaning of this term on its own is to put something to one side, to no longer pay attention to it. Here, when God “puts aside,” there are two different explanations of its meaning: The first explanation is that He has given that person’s life, that person’s everything over to Satan to deal with. God would no longer be responsible and He would no longer manage it. Whether that person were mad, or stupid, and whether in life or in death, or if they descended into hell for their punishment, it would have nothing to do with God. That would mean that that creature would have no relation to the Creator. The second explanation is that God has determined that He Himself wants to do something with this person, with His own hands. It is possible that He will utilize this kind of person’s service, or that He will utilize this kind of person as a foil. It’s possible that He will have a special way of dealing with this type of person, a special way of treating them—just like Paul. This is the principle and attitude in God’s heart of how He has determined to deal with this kind of person. So when people resist God, and malign and blaspheme Him, if they aggravate His disposition, or if they reach God’s bottom line, the consequences are unthinkable. The most severe consequence is that God hands their lives and their everything over to Satan, once and for all. They will not be forgiven for all of eternity. This means that this person has become food in Satan’s mouth, a toy in its hand, and from then on God has nothing to do with them. Can you imagine what kind of misery it was when Satan tempted Job? Under the condition that Satan was not permitted to harm Job’s life, Job still suffered greatly. And isn’t it even more difficult to imagine the ravages of Satan a person would be subjected to who has been completely handed over to Satan, who is completely within Satan’s grasp, who has completely lost God’s care and mercy, who is no longer under the Creator’s rule, who has been stripped of the right to worship Him, and the right to be a creature under God’s rule, whose relationship with the Lord of creation has been completely cut off? Satan’s persecution of Job was something that could be seen with human eyes, but if God hands over a person’s life to Satan, its consequence will be something that no one can imagine. It’s just like some people being reborn as a cow, or a donkey, or some people being taken over, possessed by unclean, evil spirits, and so on. This is the outcome, the end of some people who are handed over to Satan by God. From the outside, it looks like those people who ridiculed, maligned, condemned, and blasphemed the Lord Jesus did not suffer any consequences. However, the truth is that God has an attitude for dealing with everything. He may not use clear language to tell people the outcome of how He deals with every type of person. Sometimes He does not speak directly, but He does things directly. That He does not speak about it doesn’t mean there isn’t an outcome—it is possible that the outcome is even more serious. From appearances, it seems God does not speak to some people to reveal His attitude; in fact, God has not wanted to pay them any mind for a long time. He does not want to see them anymore. Because of the things they have done, their behavior, because of their nature and their essence, God only wants them to disappear from His sight, wants to hand them over directly to Satan, to give their spirit, soul, and body to Satan, to allow Satan to do whatever it wants. It is clear to what extent God hates them, to what extent He is disgusted by them. If a person angers God to the point that God doesn’t even want to see them again, that He will completely give up on them, to the point that God doesn’t even want to deal with them Himself—if it gets to the point that He will hand them over to Satan for it to do as it will, to allow Satan to control, consume, and treat them in any way—this person is thoroughly finished. Their right to be a human has been permanently revoked, and their right as a creature has come to an end. Isn’t this the most serious punishment?
All of this above is a complete explanation of the words: “it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come,” and it is also a simple commentary on these scripture passages. I think you have an understanding of it now!
Now let’s read the scripture passages below.
from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh