Whenever I read these words that the Lord Jesus said to curse the Pharisees, “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites” (Matthew 23:13), and “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” (Matthew 12:31-32), though I knew that it is because the Pharisees’ actions and deeds drew the ire of God and made God hate them to the extreme that God pronounced such curses upon them, I was still confused: Since God detested the Pharisees so much, why isn’t it recorded in the Bible how He punished them? And how is the saying of God “it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come” fulfilled? This made me feel confused all the time.
Several days ago, a good friend of mine whom I hadn’t seen for a long time gave me a spiritual book which revealed the truth behind this problem. It says: “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. … 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 … 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?” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III”). From these words I understood that as for those who intentionally attack, malign, and blaspheme God, God punishes them in different ways: For some, God uses the advent of facts to punish them, which can be seen with human eyes. For example, Judas, who sold out the Lord, died with his body bursting open, which was God’s punishment that could be seen by people at that time. For others, God curses them with words, and His anger comes upon them. The attitude He takes toward them is to put them aside, and this kind of punishment is more serious than the punishment of the advent of facts. There are two possible ways that God may use to deal with these people: One is that, God hands over their spirit, soul, and body to Satan, allowing Satan to control, trample, consume and toy with them in any way. For example, some people become stupid or mad after being possessed by evil spirits, and their bodies can be trampled and ruined by evil spirits at will; moreover, once they die, their souls will go to hell for their punishment, and they will never be reincarnated. The other is that, God Himself wants do something with this kind of person, perhaps using them to serve His work—just like Paul. In the beginning, Paul blasphemed, maligned, and condemned the Lord Jesus, and wantonly arrested His disciples, and then he was smitten by the great light and his eyes were blinded. After his falling to the ground and being conquered by the Lord, he carried out missionary work and rendered service to the Lord. This is the special way of treating Paul. From God’s words, we can see that God has principles for handling people who blaspheme and malign Him; He does not turn a deaf ear or a blind eye but has a specific way of treating them. From the outside, it looks like the Pharisees who ridiculed, maligned, condemned and blasphemed the Lord Jesus, despite being cursed by God, did not suffer any consequences; however, the truth is that God’s attitude toward them was very clear: The sin of blaspheming God shall not be forgiven, neither in this world, nor in the world to come. Their right to be a human had been revoked by God and they had absolutely nothing to do with the Creator. Such punishment is unbearable to anyone. Under the condition that Satan was not permitted to have Job’s life, Job still suffered great pain and torture when being harmed by Satan. If a person who blasphemes God is completely handed over to Satan without God’s care and protection, it’s difficult to imagine how miserable his outcome will be. Thus it can be seen that the punishment suffered by the Pharisees was more serious than the punishment that can be seen. Now I finally understand how God fulfills the words “it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”
Besides, God’s condemnations and curses against the Pharisees made me feel that His righteous and majestic disposition is really tolerant of no offense. That the Pharisees, serving God yet defying and condemning God incarnate, were punished and cursed by God is a warning to me and also a bitter lesson I should learn. Back in the days when the Lord Jesus preached and did His work, He expressed many truths, displayed many miracles, and gave people abundant grace. The Lord Jesus’ words and work shook the foundations of Judaism and even shocked the whole Jewish state; many people followed the Lord Jesus. However, when those chief priests, scribes and the Pharisees serving God in the temple saw this, hatred grew in their hearts. They knew that if the Lord Jesus continued to do His work, all the followers in Judaism would follow Him, and then Judaism would collapse. Therefore, for the sake of protecting their own status and livelihoods, they furiously fabricated rumors, condemned and framed the Lord Jesus, doing all they could to block believers from following the Lord Jesus. They clearly knew that the Lord Jesus’ words have authority and power, yet due to their truth-hating nature and irreverence against God, they treated the Lord Jesus as an ordinary human as they pleased, judged what the Lord Jesus said as blasphemy, and blasphemed the Lord by saying that He had Beelzebub and casted out devils by the prince of the devils. Eventually, they colluded with the Roman government to crucify the Lord Jesus on the cross—committed a heinous crime. The Pharisees, while longing for the coming of Messiah, forsook, maligned and blasphemed the Lord Jesus’ work, which well deserves our rumination. For we are living in the end of the last days and are facing the return of the Lord Jesus. I just wonder: When the Lord Jesus comes back to do His work, can we truly recognize Him? The Bible says, “Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counselor has taught him?” (Isaiah 40:13). God’s work is inscrutable to us, and He will not carry out His work according to our conceptions and imaginations. When the returned Lord’s work and words conflict with our conceptions and imaginations, can we promise that we will not make arbitrary judgments or speak words of blaspheming and maligning God? Can we truly guarantee that we will not walk the path of the Pharisees? Then, how should we treat the work and words of the returned Lord Jesus so as to obtain His praise? I can’t help but think of the words in the Bible, “He that keeps his mouth keeps his life: but he that opens wide his lips shall have destruction” (Proverbs 13:3), and the Lord Jesus’ word “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).
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