Friends, I do not need to remind you that we live in a serious world today. We realize that if some country carelessly uses the hydrogen bomb, it will be fatal for all of us. We are afraid, as the bombs and intercontinental missiles get bigger and bigger, that some day, some place, somebody will get a little careless and push the wrong button and the world will go up in smoke. I quote from Sir Phillip Gibbs, “Scientists today are filled with grave anxieties about the near future and predict dark things. They are afraid of the powers in men’s hands.”
Another statesman says: “The heart of the nations is sick with FEAR. Statesmen... are terror stricken and perplexed.”
You will recall that Jesus Christ said “men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming.” Luke 21:26.
Men surely could make a fatal mistake in the handling of exploding atoms. Many people do not realize that 400 years before the birth of Christ in Bethlehem, God prophesied through His prophet Joel the atom bomb in the time of the end. It would be one of the signs of the end. Speaking of the last days when God is going to pour out His spirit upon the world, Joel said, “And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.” Joel 2:30.
I want you to think a moment about the words “pillars of smoke.” What does that mean? We have surely seen since 1945 a terrible destruction that comes by fire with great pillars of smoke. The original Bible, of course, was not written in English. Most of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek. I found it very interesting that the Hebrew word for “pillars of smoke” was “timroth.” And the Hebrew lexicon (the Hebrew dictionary) tells us what the Hebrew word “timroth” means. Gesenius’ Lexicon is considered to be one of the most authoritative and one of the best that has ever been published. It was written about a hundred years ago by that great Hebrew scholar, Gesenius. Now remember that Gesenius didn’t live in our day. He had never seen an atom bomb, or its explosion, or the pillar of smoke! Remember also that the prophet Joel was describing something that he had seen in vision and was using the best language he could in his day to describe it. And this Hebrew scholar Gesenius wrote down in the Hebrew dictionary over 100 years ago for this word “Timroth” that it means “a pillar or column of smoke that spreads out at the top like a palm tree.”
Isn’t it amazing? Written down over 100 years ago as the correct meaning of the word “Timroth”—the word Joel used to describe the last days over 400 years before Christ was born in Bethlehem. He was describing a pillar or column of smoke that spreads out at the top like a palm tree. How amazingly clear God used the prophet Joel to predict the last days of the earth—that there would be in the hands of men the atom bomb power with the capabilities of dealing a fatal, stunning blow to the history of man. And yet as fatal as this could be to mankind, I am thinking of a fatal mistake with far more serious consequences than this. Man could die in an atomic explosion and still have the hope of coming up to live again at the second coming of Christ on the resurrection morning, if his name was in the Book of Life. But what if his name was not in the Book of Life? What if he had willful sins that were not pardoned? What if he had committed the UNPARDONABLE SIN? And came up in the resurrection of the wicked at the end of the 1000 years, only to face the judgment of God and die the second death. Surely this would be the most fatal mistake a man could make. And the Bible says this is the “FATAL MISTAKE THAT WILL SEND MILLIONS TO DOOM.”
In Matthew 12:30,31, Jesus warns of the unpardonable sin, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” Please notice that one is all the way with Jesus or else he is against him. There is no neutral ground; there is no half-way mark. Oh, I wish we could realize that. Jesus says, “A man is either for me and goes all the way with me, or else he is actually scattering away from the truth.” Then He goes on to say, “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.” What a statement! Jesus says, all kinds of sin can be forgiven, but there is one that cannot be forgiven and that is sinning against the Holy Spirit. The individual who keeps on pushing off, and pushing off and fighting off the Holy Spirit, by and by there comes the hour when God can do nothing more for him and the Holy Spirit ceases to work and leaves him forever.
In order to understand how men commit the sin against the Holy Spirit, it is necessary that we understand the work of the Holy Spirit. As it says in John 16:7,8, “I tell you the truth,. . .it is expedient for you that I go. If I go, I will send you the Comforter.” Jesus could be in only one place at one time after He took the form of man, the likeness of human flesh. But when He ascended to heaven, He sent the Spirit in a special way to be present with them and He could be all over the world at one time. “And when he is come, he will”—now notice, “reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment, . . . when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.” John 16:8,13. So the work of the Holy Spirit is to guide men in an understanding of the Word of God, to guide men in the search for truth. To guide men, to condemn and to convict of sin. That is the work of the Holy Spirit.
Now I would like to ask, through what does the Spirit speak? I find that some people say, well, the Spirit speaks to me through impressions and dreams, or, I have visions, etc. But generally speaking, friends, there is one avenue through which the Holy Spirit speaks and that we find referred to in 2 Peter 1:19, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place.” Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth.” John 17:17. It is not enough to read the Bible; it is not enough to believe the Bible. There is only one thing that counts and that is that we “take heed.” “For prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21. Who was guiding Isaiah when he wrote these prophecies?—the Holy Spirit or the Holy Ghost. Who was guiding Daniel as he wrote those prophecies? Who was guiding Peter and Paul as they wrote? Oh, my friend, bear that in mind, the whole Bible was dictated and directed by the Holy Spirit. When an individual disregards or rejects one part of the Bible, he is resisting the Holy Spirit. It is absolutely fatal for an individual to disregard one portion of the Word of God and discard it.
Oh, I wish that men could realize that. There is no hope in the world of a modernist being saved unless he repents. A man sits in judgment upon the Word of God and picks out this part and picks out that part, will not accept this and will not accept that, and takes his finite, human judgment and sets it up above the wisdom of God and the writings of the Holy Spirit. There is no hope in the world of that individual being saved. A man cannot sin against the Holy Spirit and be saved. It cannot be done. The Bible is God’s Book, from Genesis to Revelation, dictated by His Holy Spirit. It is God’s Holy Book, and when a man disregards or rejects a portion of that Word, he is fighting against the Holy Spirit. And, remember, my friend, for that, there is no forgiveness. This book was given by the Holy Spirit; those men did not write their own opinion. They wrote as they were directed by the Holy Spirit of God and it is fatal to reject or neglect a single portion of that sacred that Holy Word.
There is another thing that I think we ought to mention. The Holy Spirit, when He speaks to a man today, is going to agree 100% with what He said to Peter and Paul and Isaiah. Isn’t that right? I wish we would keep that thought in mind. It’s very important. I find people who claim to have visions. They claim to have had special revelations. If they are from God, they will agree 100% with the written Word. The Holy Spirit gave this Book—the Bible. Back there holy men of God wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is not going to reveal to a man down here in this day something contrary to what He gave in the written Word. So when individuals come to me and tell me of marvelous experiences which they have had, wonderful visions and all of that, but contrary to the written Word of God, I know, my friend, that is not the power of light. It is from the powers of darkness. And the Bible says, “Try the Spirits,” or “test the Spirits, for many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1.
Jesus warned us about our saying we are saved and yet we are unwilling to follow His pattern, His truth, His commandments. He said we can say Lord, Lord,—even sing in the church choir or teach Sunday School and be lost, if we are not willing to follow Him all the way. Matthew 7:21-24. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
It is a fearful thing to think that individuals will discard part of the Bible, and yet men do. Christ, in all of His preaching called to witness the sacred Word of God, so that men would be without excuse in the judgment day. For everything that He taught was based upon the Word of God—the writings of the prophets.
John 9:41, “Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind,ye should have no sin; but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.” It is not counted to man as sin when he has been disobeying in honest ignorance. When a man has known no different,that will be forgiven. Paul says, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.” Acts 17:30.
But when He gives the light in His mercy and in His love, when He trusts the light to a man, then, my friend, He expects that individual to follow it. For it says in James 4:17, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” It was not sin last week. It was not sin a month ago. Why? The light of truth had not shone into that individual’s life. But once the light comes, once it shines upon his pathway and a man sees, Jesus says that from that time on, he becomes accountable to heaven.
Be listening next week as we continue studying the awesome truths in God’s word and A Fatal Mistake – Part 2 of 3.
Until next week, Jesus said in John 5:39, “Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me”. Even so, Come Lord Jesus.