| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 13 - Page 44 of 159 Index | Zoom | |
"After seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you and perform My
good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place."
The miraculous gifts of the "Acts" were foretastes of the age to come. It will be seen
that a great place is occupied in this list by the Holy Spirit and His gifts. This we find is
likewise true of Hebrews. There, as we find in Heb. 10:, the punishment that followed
the violation of the law of Moses is small when compared with that which shall follow
the despising of the Holy Spirit's witness of Christ:--
"How shall we escape if we neglect . . . . . which at the first began to be spoken by the
Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him, God also bearing them witness
both with signs and wonders and with divers miracles and distributions of holy spirit
according to His own will? For unto the angels hath He not subjected the world to come
whereof we speak" (Heb. 2: 3-5).
One quotation from Heb. 10: we now include, as bearing out the strong emphasis
placed upon the Holy Spirit here--"and done despite unto the Spirit of grace"
(Heb. 10: 29).
This falling away which occupies so large a place in Hebrews is variously referred to
as "letting slip", "neglecting", "hardening hearts as in the provocation", "lest any fall
after the same example of unbelief", "forsaking the assembling of selves together",
"sinning willfully after full knowledge", "drawing back unto perdition". The falling
away was after enlightenment and partaking of holy spirit, and herein lies the extreme
danger. This aspect of teaching in Hebrews is but the application to the Hebrews of the
teaching of the Lord given in Matt. 12: 31, 32:--
"All sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men, but blasphemy of the Spirit shall
NOT BE FORGIVEN. And whoever may speak a word against the Son of man it shall
be forgiven him: but whoever may speak against the Holy Spirit, it will in no wise be
forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in the coming one."
Here is the sore punishment awaiting those who after having all the confirmation of
the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven, and after having embraced the witness and
having become partakers of the Spirit's gifts, fall away. They echo the fatal words of
Num. 14:, appointing themselves a Captain to return to Egypt. The more one penetrates
into the structure and atmosphere of Hebrews, the more marked the gracious distinctions
of the dispensation of the mystery become. Let us try the things that differ and approve
those things that are more excellent, at the same time learning from these other records
the essential need for growth in grace.