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"I am a follower of the Shepherd's Chapel and have learned from their teachings...what is the unforgivable sin?"


----- Original Message -----
From: Name Withheld
To: Paul Stringini
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 10:56 AM
Subject: The unforgivable sin!
I am a follower of the Shepherd's Chapel and have learned from their teachings. I must say he has great insight on the Word that I would have never found. I want the recipient to understand, I don't care for any bashing of Gods workers and don't care for putting down anyone, especially the men and women teaching the bible from God the creator of heaven and earth as their mission to present the truth. My question is: what is the unforgivable sin? Where can one find scriptures to research?
Thank you for your help,
Name Withheld

My First Response:

----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Stringini
To: Name Withheld
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 2:39 PM
Subject: Re: The unforgivable sin!
Name Withheld,
Thanks for writing.  Since I have taken time to write, I pray you will also take time to carefully read that which I have written.
Jesus taught that "the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men." 
The bible never mentions an "unforgivable sin"  The bible says that it SHALL not be forgiven, not that it CAN not be forgiven.
For some reason some people have trouble either understanding and/or accepting the basic idea of "blasphemy against the Holy Ghost." 
"Blaspheme" simply means to speak against with contempt.  That is the definition of blasphemy. 
So, to "blaspheme the Holy Ghost" means to speak contemptuously against the Holy Spirit.  Simple. 
In the Gospels several examples of this are given:

Matthew 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.
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: 26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.
28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
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.
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.
This passage is very clear, and very simple.  All controversies concerning this idea (blasphemy of the Holy Spirit) arise from persons who do not submit themselves to the simple teachings of the bible. The message of Christ is this: Those who said that Christ had cast out devils by the Devil had either committed or were close to committing an unforgivable offense: he called it blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
I will provide you every scripture where the blasphemy that shall never be forgiven is mentioned, and I pray you will see that the pattern is clear. 
Mark 3:28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:
29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: 
Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.
The word "because" links verse 30 to verses 28 and 29 in a "cause and effect" relationship.  This passage makes it clear exactly what Jesus was referring to when he mentioned the blasphemy that shall never be forgiven.  He mentioned blasphemy of the Holy Spirit  BECAUSE they said he had an unclean spirit.  Therefore, saying that Jesus had and unclean spirit is either close to or actually blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.  (Jesus warning in these passages never makes it absolutely clear whether he was merely cautioning them or positively condemning them).
Matthew 12 and Mark 3 are very clear as to the nature of the blasphemy, however,  in Luke 12 Jesus mentions the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost,  but it is not mentioned in the context of  anyone saying he cast out devils by the devil or that himself had a devil.
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.
Matthew and Mark explain what Jesus was meant by Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, but the Luke does not.  But as I said before, "blasphemy"  means to speak against with contempt, so it is not really necessary to seek some other definition of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
Luke is the passage some teachers use to try to suggest that blasphemy means something else.  When those teachers teach Matthew 12 and Mark 3 they will always take the student over to Luke in order to make a different claim about this clearly defined sin. What they do is suggest that the following verses (Luke 12:11&12)  do a better job explaining the "unpardonable sin" than the verses found in Matthew or Mark.   
This is the context of Luke 12:10, in Luke there is no explanation given specifying the precise nature of the blasphemy but in Matthew and Mark we have a very clear picture.
Luke 12:6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God:
9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.
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.
11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:
12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.
This "unpardonable sin" is called "Blasphemy" but what some teachers describe is not blasphemy, it is rejection.  And that is not the same thing.  That is not teaching the bible but corrupting the word of God to suit their own personal interpretations.  You were wise to ask after the scriptures, the most elementary examination of ALL the pertinent scriptures is the best way to understand this sin.  Listen closely to Gods word.
You may find good fruit in my bible studies  all are free I don't talk about other teachers in them.
I'm sorry that my activities against my former teacher are displeasing to you.   They are not very pleasing to me either.  And I certainly would that it was otherwise.  But it becomes unavoidable when opinions vary sharply. The bible calls us to mark people whom we see doing contrary to the doctrine taught by Christ and his Apostles
Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Of course, it is a matter of opinion which one is causing division and offenses against the doctrine, fair enough.  My point is that I have to do what I'm doing, because the bible commands it.  I kept silence for many years (Ten years), I kept old Chapel friends, I got donations,  but it was actually hatred that kept me silent, because I knew that false doctrine was being taught and I loved my own comfort and reputation more than my brethren.
Leviticus 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
If you see someone teaching things that you know are false, the only thing that keeps you silent is hate.  We keep silent because we love ourselves and other peoples opinions of us, more than we love them, and more than we want to see them set right.  I just want you to know that I have suffered more earthly loss than gain for the sake of what I believe is the absolute truth in Christ.  And I would certainly do it again.  Because doctrine matters.
1Timothy4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
Titus 2:7 In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
Good teachers do not spread corrupt doctrine.  You tell a tree by its fruit.
2Timothy 2:17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
Most teachers today preach the same thing.  The teach that the dead have already ascended into heaven.  Truth is fallen.  False doctrine is called heresy and it is a grave sin:
Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Heresy itself will cause people to fail to inherit the kingdom of God.  So don't let anyone lie to you and tell you that a little corrupt doctrine is acceptable before God. 
1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
I do not trash people.  I just point out trash.
Paul Stringini

Emailer's First Reply:

----- Original Message -----
From: Name Withheld
To: Paul Stringini
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2011 10:19 AM
Subject: Re: The unforgivable sin!
Thank you for the time you spent in answering my question. I want you to know that I do appreciate it. I will study and reference the information you provided and search for wisdom on this topic. I find myself trying to learn insight on the bible and seems like with all the interpretations and religions with their own agenda, it makes it challenging for someone like me to have confidence in the truth. Again, thank you for responding to my email.
Name Withheld

My Second Response:

----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Stringini
To: Name Withheld
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2011 3:56 PM
Subject: Re: The unforgivable sin!
It is my pleasure, I definitely sympathize with your situation.  There are so many voices in the world.  And most of those voices make sense to a good number of people.  Jesus said to "take heed how ye hear."  I pray that the way I am hearing God's word is correct. I pray, and do everything in my power to make sure I'm hearing clearly.     I promise you this, the gospel is simple.  The way we hear God and men is important. 
Don't let men disarm you with confidence tactics.  Just because I tell you not to trust me, don't let that disarm you, so that you place your trust in me.  Just because I tell you to, "check me out," that doesn't mean that you should assume you don't need to.  Never settle for what they give you to prove their point.  Selective use of evidence is a commonly used tactic.  They prove their points with their choice verses.  That is why I try to make sure what I teach squares with all the verses. Of course, it takes some time to get familiar with all the verses and it seems like so many teachers become corrupted along the way.
Don't let all the darkness discourage you.  God is hiding in the darkness and will reveal himself to you if you continue to seek him.
Exodus 20:21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.
 II Chronicles 6:1 Then said Solomon, The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.
God is light and dwells in light, but man can only see darkness.
If I can be of further assistance, I will try to be of service.
Paul Stringini

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