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By John W. White
Hebrews 10:26-31 "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27. But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29. Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30. For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
"WE": The personal pronoun "We" includes the author and those to whom he is writing. This warning is to the saved that have been weaned from the milk of the Word.
"SIN": This word is a present active plural participle. The present tense indicates that this sin is practiced.
"WILFULLY": The word "willful" carries the same meaning and attitude of an elder in 1 Peter 5:1-2 "The elders which are among you I exhort,... 2. Feed the flock ..., taking the oversight... willingly; ... of a ready mind;" An elder takes the oversight of a flock because it is the right thing to do. The willful sin is a sin that one believes is the right thing to do and that he has the right to do. The willful sin is sin(s) practiced by those who are lawless. This is lawlessness!
"AFTER": For there to be "No more sacrifice for sins" a certain level of knowledge and maturity must be attained through study of the scriptures. Hebrews 5:14 "..Strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." The warning is to those who have attained to this level of maturity. Hebrews 5:13 "For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe."
"KNOWLEDGE": The word "knowledge" is the Greek word ejpi>gnwsiv. This word is a compound word having the preposition ejpi> "upon," and the noun gnw~vis "relatively high knowledge." A description of the knowledge of the truth is found in Hebrews 6:4-5 "...Those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5. And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world [age] to come," The children of Israel tasted the fruit of the land as proof that what God said about the land was true. Numbers 13:27 "...We came unto the land ..., and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it." Ten spies caused Israel to despise and blaspheme the Word of God when in Numbers 13:32 "...they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel..." Israel repented in Numbers 14:40-41 "Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned. 41. "...Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper." Israel sinned wilfully at Kadesh and spent the next forty years dying in the wilderness without mercy. When a child of God matures in the meat of the word there is a greater accountability for what has been learned. Luke 12:48 "...Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required..." Numbers 20:12 "And the LORD spake unto Moses ... ye believed me not, to sanctify me ... therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them." One act of disobedience disqualified Moses from entering the land of Canaan.
"THE TRUTH": In verse 29 there are three areas of knowledge that is more than the milk of the Word. These are "The Son of God," "The blood of the covenant," and "The spirit of grace." Revelation 21:7 "He that overcometh (spirit of grace) shall inherit (blood of the covenant) all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son (Son of God)." The deeper knowledge of the truth is like salt Matthew 5:13 "...if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot (same word found in Hebrews 10:30) of men." Salt that is savory is valuable. When salt has lost it saltiness then it is good for nothing, therefore it is cast out, and trodden under foot. When a child of God becomes lawless, the value of being an overcomer, having an inheritance, and being proclaimed a son of God drops so low that he can walk on them.
"NO MORE SACRIFICE FOR SINS": Under the law of Moses there were sins that a child of God could commit and be forgiven by a sacrifice or offering; and there were other sins that required the death penalty. The presumptuous sin in Numbers 15:30 required death by stoning. There was not a sacrifice or offering that could be offered to spare the life of the guilty person and restore him back in the camp and fellowship. Eli, the priest, honored his sons more than the Lord and Eli was judged in 1 Samuel 3:14 "And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever." Hebrews 9:22 "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." "Almost all" means there are some things that are not cleansed with blood, yet without the shedding of blood there is no deliverance and liberty for the child of God. Not all of the sins of the saved will be forgiven until after there is a new heaven and a new earth. Matthew 12:32 "... whosoever speaketh against (blasphemes) the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world [aijw>n, age], neither in the world to come [present active, the one coming]."
Remember the warning in Matthew 6:15 "But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." also in 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins..." Unconfessed sins will not put you out of the family of God but it will break your fellowship with God. The children of Israel in the Old Testament are saved, yet God still remembers their sins and iniquities (ajnomi>a) to this day. It is not until the nation of Israel is raised from their graves and brought into the land that the Lord will say in Hebrews 10:16,17 "...I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds ...; Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."
In the Old Testament, those who sinned presumptuous despised the Word of the Lord and died without mercy under the law of Moses. Numbers 15:31 "Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, ...that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him." Under the law of Moses there was no sacrifice that would cleanse a child of God from the presumptuous sin. Isaiah 5:24 "Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel." The presumptuous sin and the willful sin is the sin of lawlessness. You cannot live a lawless life and expect to stand justified in his presence.
The warning of this passage is to believers and not to the lost as shown in verse 30 "The Lord shall judge his people." This passage is a warning to the children of God to avoid the willful sin at all cost. The warning is given by the phrases: "I will recompense, saith the Lord;" "Vengeance belongeth unto me;" "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God;" "A certain fearful looking for of judgment;" "Sorer punishment;" and "Without mercy." For a child of God to sin willfully and defiantly will bring severe judgment and indignation from God. Keep in mind that once you are a child of God, you are always a child of God. That cannot change. Another thing to keep in mind is that this warning is given to those who can become guilty of the willful sin.
Hebrews 10:29 "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" Physical death was the sentence for those who sinned presumptuously under the Law of Moses. In the New Testament physical death is not to be feared because of Philippians 1:21 "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." The cursing and the blessing is clear in Proverbs 13:13 "Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded." To be destroyed in the age to come is to be feared. The age that is coming is the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. Matthew 16:25, 27 "For whosoever will save his life shall lose [ajpo>llumi, perish, future tense] it... 27. For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works."
Those that are lawless will be denied an entrance into the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew 7:21 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will (this is obedience and not lawlessness) of my Father which is in heaven." 23 "And then will I profess unto them (that were not doing the will of the Father), I never knew (He knew they were lawless) you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity [ajnomi>a, lawless]." Matthew 13:41-43 "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend [skandali>zw, scandalize], and them which do iniquity [ajnomi>a, lawless]; 42. And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." This judgment is of the saved at the end of the church age, and before the millennial reign of Christ. The judgment of the lost takes place after the millennium at the Great White Throne Judgment. Revelation 20:11. Luke 13:28 "There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out." John 3:3 "..., Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." If you do the will of the Father you can enter into, participate in the Kingdom of God, otherwise you are cast out.
Just as a child of God can go from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord, 2 Corinthians 3:18 "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." he can also go from lawlessness unto lawlessness Romans 6:18-19 "Being then made free from [the] sin, ye became the servants of [the] righteousness. 19. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity [ajnomi>a, lawless unto iniquity [ajnomi>a, lawless; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness." The phrase "The sin" is defined in 1 John 3:4 "Whosoever committeth [the] sin transgresseth also the law [ajnomi>a,, lawlessness: for [the] sin is the transgression of the law [ajnomi>a, lawlessness]" From the NASB 1 John 3:4 "Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness." The definite article "The" is before the words "Sin" and "lawlessness." The sin is defined as lawlessness.
Hebrews 10:27 "But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries." The fiery indignation is the lake of fire.
"SUFFER LOSS": 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 "Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by [dia>, through] fire." Matthew 3:11 "... He shall baptize you with [ejn, in] the Holy Ghost, and with fire:" Both "Holy Ghost" and "fire" are the objects of a single preposition "in" therefore both are to be taken literally. Revelation 2:11 "... He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death [the lake of fire]."
If you practice the willful sin ,lawlessness, you will be cut off, perish, and 1 Corinthians 3:15 "He shall suffer loss: but ... saved; yet so as through fire." What you lose is not your salvation, but the reward of your inheritance which includes riches, and positions of honor and glory in the coming kingdom of Jesus Christ.
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