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Fukuoka, Japan
Christian blogger, KJV Bible apologist, legal researcher, teacher, learner, family man, writer, entrepreneur, born Jamaican, son of the soil, traveler... it's complicated. "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called]: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence." 1 Corinthians 1:25-29 (KJV)

This Blog

"I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works." ~ Psalm 9:1 (KJV). This blog contains and explains the truth of God's Word. The Epignosis of the Word of God is what every servant of God must teach.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Here is an excerpt from my July 2011 newsletter.

We must be obedient to God’s Word because it is a fact that believers can ‘fall away.’ The Greek word is PARAPIPTO, pronounced pä-rä-pē'p-tō. This is the only place in scripture that it is used.

When a believer falls away he/she slips aside and deviates from the right path. He/she slips aside and goes to error, slips aside and falls away and turns aside from Christ.

There are believers who fall away and it is impossible to renew them to repentance because in their own minds they crucify Christ once again and shame Him openly. The scripture says they do this by doing four things:

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” (Hebrews 6:4-6)

The statement “if they shall fall away,” in this scripture establishes beyond the shadow of doubt that believers can fall away. Furthermore, by saying that there are some who cannot be renewed to repentance if they fall away, the scripture implies there are some believers who fall away and can be renewed to repentance.

Falling away is slipping aside or deviating from the right path. It is something that believers choose to do therefore it is an act of their own will.

The scripture is very exhaustive here as it outlines the level of maturity of the believer who can fall away and never be renewed to repentance. According to scripture, those who cannot be renewed must have undergone four experiences:

• They must have been once enlightened.
• They must have tasted of the heavenly gift.
• They must have been made partakers of the Holy Ghost.
• They must have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come.

Please click THIS LINK to see the entire study, which goes into a detailed discussion about these four experiences. You will definitely be blessed.


Nikki Weatherford said...

I have to respectfully disagree with this. I have been pondering if for several days since I originally read this post, and I'm not sure that I can provide a solid rebuttal, so I'll just give you what I can. I feel like a reason people disagree with "once saved always saved" is because there are so many lost people who live like the world and claim to be saved. But that is a separate issue. Salvation is through grace alone, which tells me that there are no works involved in obtaining it, and there is no work to be done to lose it. Once you truly have it, as said in Hebrews 6 here, losing it would have to be a permanent thing. I feel like Paul is using that as an argument for the permanence of salvation, not the other way around. He's saying if you could lose your salvation, you would never be able to get it back, which is why there's no way you could lose it. All who call upon the name of the LORD will be saved. Everyone who confesses with his mouth and believes with his heart will be saved. Saying that it is possible to be permanently separated from God hugely limits His grace. Once truly saved we receive the Holy Spirit, we are justified and sanctified, and we becomes Sons of God and heirs with Christ, and I do not believe that this is something that can be undone. It can be mistaken, and people can believe they have it because they've said a prayer or walked an aisle, but it wasn't real and genuine. However, I absolutely 100% believe in once saved always saved. With that said, I respect your perspective and that you have a different stance than I do. It is never easy to present a controversial topic, but it is necessary in order to truly proclaim truth, so I appreciate your ever willingness to do that. You present your argument clearly and responsibly, and though I don't believe in "agree to disagree" we can certainly agree that we may never agree ;).

S. Morgan said...

Hi Nikki, thanks for commenting. :) I understand your position clearly because I wrestled with this for a long time. It is true that believers who live like the world give all believers a bad name. It is also true that salvation is by grace alone. I don't think we should agree that we may never agree though. It is possible that I may convince you. Smile.

I believe the crux of the issue is:

I. God offers all people salvation through grace. The offer of salvation and salvation itself are free and there is no work anyone can do to earn salvation. The scriptures are clear on this and I think you and I both agree on this as well.

Scenario 1: What happens when a person hears the message about salvation, feels the tug at the heart, and still refuses to accept Christ? What if they die without accepting Christ? The offer is still there, salvation is still an unmerited gift, but the person does not accept it and dies. That person never gets it.

Scenario 2: A person hears the message and accepts Christ but a few years later blasphemes against the Holy Spirit (the unpardonable sin). What then? The sin is unpardonable according to scripture. Does the person go to Hell when they die?

Scenario 3: A person hears the word, believes on Jesus, becomes born again, begins to study and learn and witness to others. Receives spiritual gifts with power from the Holy Spirit. Does things like cast out demons, speak in tongues, heal the sick by laying hands on them, gets revelation knowledge from God, etc.; what happens if that person experiences the four things listed in Hebrews 6, then falls away? This scripture would then apply to them. It would be impossible to renew them.

I believe it is about a choice. A person exercises free will and chooses to accept the free gift of salvation, and of their own volition can choose to denounce the Holy Spirit.

I heard a preacher say that Judas repented and went to heaven. I don't believe that because the Bible calls him the son of perdition. Judas was a traitor who was born for that purpose and he ended up killing himself after he betrayed Christ. His actions show us that he felt guilty and was overcome by guilt but never repented.

II. The scripture says sin separates us from God and it is only because of God's grace and mercy that we are not consumed. Grace and mercy are new every morning. But why does the book of revelations say that entire nations of people will be in Hell and will be eternally separated from our loving merciful God? It is because He will punish sin and rebellion. He is not only merciful and gracious, He is also just. He executes unimpeachable Justice. God gives people chance after chance because of His grace and mercy. What happens if they come to the end of their life and never turn away from unrighteousness? They will die having never claimed the free gift.

III. I believe God is merciful to everyone because Christ continuously makes intercession for ALL. But a born-again believer cannot continue in open rebellion to God. They will wither and be cut off like the branches of the vine that bear no fruit.

I hope you will think on these and comment when you have some time. I like your blog and your writing is awesome. God Bless You. :) .

Nikki Weatherford said...

You make valid points, but I still maintain that once filled with the Holy Spirit He will not leave you. I don't think the third scenario is possible, and I think that is what Paul is pointing out. I do not believe a person can be filled, be surrendered, and live their life for Christ, and then fall away to the point of separation. I believe people get burnt out, they "backslide", they fall out of fellowship, but I don't believe a spirit filled person can completely turn away. Even if they appear to have, we can't judge their hearts; we can't see the battle that is going on within them no matter how well they might hide it. You have definitely given me food for thought. It's important to be able to discuss differing views respectfully, because in the end it strengthens our faith.

S. Morgan said...

Thanks! I think I understand your position about the third scenario. Are you saying, if a person gets to that point in fellowship with God then they would not want to turn away or to do anything that would cause them to be separated?

I understand that people get burnt out and fall out of fellowship. I agree.

Remember that most of the letters by the Apostles were written to Christians (Jew and Gentile), and in them there are many cautions about falling away, as well as many about enduring in the faith to the end.

Also, I believe there is a marked difference between being sealed with the Holy Spirit and being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Sealing takes place immediately when the person becomes born-again. Filling usually takes place when the Lord commissions the person for the work of the kingdom.

I believe that the sealing is permanent (unless of course the individual blasphemes or gets to the Hebrew 6 stage). But the filling of the spirit is very different. The Holy Spirit comes and sometimes goes if the person does break fellowship and does not remain under the anointing.

I want to ask you: What is your belief on the Bible's teaching about apostates. Also the Bible uses the word "anathema" which means accursed, and applies it to believers; what is your take on that?

I agree that as Christians we must be able to discuss differing views respectfully. I also agree that it strengthens our faith. :)

Nikki Weatherford said...

As far as apostates, I cannot find that word anywhere in the new testament. Twice I see apostasia (Acts 21:21 and 2 Thessalonians 2:3) but neither is referring to a departure from Biblical faith. You'll have to give me a little more on that before I can respond I guess. I find anathema 6 times in the New Testament, but none of them seem relevant in regards to Believers. In Galatians it is a reference to false teachers, and 1 Corinthians 16:22 says "If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed." If I'm missing some or misinterpreting please correct me, but I don't see where these are being applied to believers. I believe that once we accept Christ and yield our lives to Him the Holy Spirit indwells us. This is a gift, promised to us by Christ: "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you." (John 14:16,17). I also believe there is a difference between sealing and filling, they are separate ministries of the Holy Spirit to the believer. Sealing (Ephesians 4:30) means we are protected from the entrance of any other entity and we are identified as joint heirs with Christ. This takes place immediately, as you said. Filling takes place only once the believer is yielded, then we are truly spirit-controlled. Whether we believe someone can lose their salvation or not, our response to those who seem to have fallen away should be the same; discipleship, encouragement, and outreach. Just because I believe someone's salvation is still intact, doesn't mean I won't eagerly and diligently work to restore them into fellowship. Salvation is hugely important, but our eternal life starts here and now. I'm enjoying this discussion. Thank you for this post, it has definitely gotten me to think outside of the box!

Nikki Weatherford said...

OK, I didn't address the unpardonable sin issue yet and I was pondering it all night. I'm having a hard time putting my thoughts into words here, so bear with me. There is absolutely no sin that will put a person outside of the reach of God's grace. I think that is evident by Jesus' words on the cross regarding the very men who tortured and murdered him: "And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” I can think of no sin worse than what was done to Jesus, and yet he wanted forgiveness for them. Let's look at Matthew 12: "Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men." One thing I always have to remember when reading scripture is that God's word does not contradict itself. Even when it seems to, understanding context will bring clarity. I have sought counsel from my pastor on this one, as he is the wisest person I know with regard to scripture, and I fully embrace his explanation of this. This verse in Matthew is saying all blasphemies will be forgiven (against God, against Jesus) but not blasphemy against the Spirit. The reason is, the Holy Spirit is the one who convicts us, and who indwells the believer. It is the Spirit that we are rejecting when we refuse to surrender our lives to Christ. Blasphemy against the Spirit is not a one time sin someone can commit, it is a permanent denial of Christ and refusal to accept his sacrifice and salvation. It is a permanent hardening of the heart by the individual, not a turning away by God. It's not unpardonable because God is unwilling to forgive it, but because the person will never repent and seek forgiveness. Never in this life will God choose to shut us out, but an unbeliever can choose to permanently shut on the Holy Spirit from his life. I believe there is nothing we can do that God is not willing to forgive, and I believe it because His words says it. "And the blood of Jesus His son cleanses us from ALL sin." (1 John 1:7) "“He made you alive with Him, having forgiven us ALL our transgressions.” Colossians 2:13 OK, I just needed to touch on that because though you mentioned it I hadn't addressed it in my other comments.

S. Morgan said...

I too am enjoying this discussion. You sent me digging Nikki. I needed to dig to ensure that we are rightly dividing. I agree with some things you said and I disagree with some. :)

We are in agreement about the sealing and filling of the Holy Spirit. Praise God! I also agree with you on: “Whether we believe someone can lose their salvation or not, our response to those who seem to have fallen away should be the same; discipleship, encouragement, and outreach.” I also agree that our eternal life starts here and now. :)

In law (my training was law) there is this thing called ‘legislative intent’. Simply put, it is what lawmakers had in mind when they pass a statute. In the study of the Bible there is what I call the 'God intent'. I guess we can refer to it as ‘context’. I always go to the Hebrew/Aramaic and Greek texts to get the God intent. :)

About Apostates and on being anathema
The word apostate is not in the KJV of the Bible; however, the teaching about apostasy is.

It is evident that the writer of the book of Hebrews is talking about real persons in real situations. The writer addresses believers who are 'brethren' and associates with them by usage of the words 'us', 'ourselves' and 'we' in Hebrews 10:10, 15, 19-26.

The scripture encourages believers to hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering (Hebrews 10:23). ‘Hold fast’ is translated from the Greek word katechō meaning possess and retain. ‘Without wavering’ comes from the Greek word aklinēs, which occurs only once in the Greek concordance of the entire KJV. It refers to not inclining, being firm and unmoved.

Hebrews 10:28-29 says that under the old covenant law-haters died without mercy. A comparison is made between those under the old and those under the new. It is asserted that one who breaks the new covenant by these four things is deserving of greater punishment. Hebrews 10:29 describes the apostate thoroughly as one who has done three things.

1. Trodden Christ under foot;
2. Counted the blood of the covenant an unholy thing even though he was sanctified by it; and,
3. Done despite to the Holy Spirit.

The scripture also affirms that believers can draw back and can draw back to perdition (Hebrews 10:38-39). The writer of Hebrews is addressing believers who were sanctified by the blood of the covenant, that is, the blood of Christ (v.29). This is further evidenced by verses 32-37 where the Hebrew Christians are exhorted to be patient, to continue in the faith and to endure.

Verse 38 begins with the phrase: “Now the just shall live by faith…” The just (dikaios in Greek) refers to people who have been justified or born again. The verse continues by drawing a contrast between justified people and justified people who draw back. Continued....

S. Morgan said...

What is interesting is there are two definitions of 'draw back' from two different Greek words in this scripture. The first ‘draw back’ (v.38) is translated from the Greek hypostellō, referring to a person who is timid and withdraws from something by hesitating to avow what they believe. The second ‘draw back’ (v.39) is translated from the Greek hypostolē, referring to a person who is timid but retreats stealthily. One is timid and withdraws by failing to do; the other is timid and withdraws but does so intentionally and secretly. No wonder the author of Hebrews says of the first, that there is no pleasure in them, but of the second that 'we' are not of them. The author still associates with the first albeit without taking pleasure in them but separates completely from the second and says they draw back to perdition.

WE are not of THEM who draw back to perdition. ‘Perdition’ comes from the Greek word apōleia meaning perish, ruin and utter destruction. This word is also used to describe the destruction of the beast in Revelation 17:8 & 11. This is further evidence that it means separation from all that is good.

It is clear in this scripture that WE (born-again believers) are to hold fast without wavering and we are NOT to draw back to “the destruction which consists in the loss of eternal life, eternal misery, and perdition” (Thayer’s lexicon on perdition). I believe this perdition can be equated with the state of being anathema because separation from God is akin to being cursed.

About Sin and Blasphemy
I agree with your statement: “God's word does not contradict itself. Even when it seems to, understanding context will bring clarity.” I do not agree with everything said here: “Blasphemy against the Spirit is not a one time sin someone can commit, it is a permanent denial of Christ and refusal to accept his sacrifice and salvation. It is a permanent hardening of the heart by the individual, not a turning away by God. It's not unpardonable because God is unwilling to forgive it, but because the person will never repent and seek forgiveness.” I specifically disagree with the statement: “It's not unpardonable because God is unwilling to forgive it, but because the person will never repent and seek forgiveness.

First let me say there are different types of blasphemy (Matt.12:31)! Blasphemy is translated from the Greek word blasphēmia, which refers specifically to slander, detraction, and injurious speech to another’s good name, as well as impious and reproachful speech to divine majesty. So blasphemies against man and Christ are different from blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Blasphemy against the spirit is therefore NOT “a permanent denial of Christ and refusal to accept his sacrifice and salvation.” It is specific slander and injurious speech directed towards the Holy Spirit.

Second, in this instance the context of the scripture indicates that Christ spoke verses 31 and 32 in response to the entire discourse in Matthew 12:9-24. In verse 23 the people asked: “…Is not this the son of David?” The word son in the Greek is huios, which refers to 3 things: son generally as the offspring of men, son of man describing the messiah, and son of God describing the born-again and Christ himself. The word is used in verses 8, 12, 32, and 40, by the people and by Jesus himself.

S. Morgan said...

There is no doubt that Christ’s actions and the usage of the word ‘son’ are what incensed the religious leaders. This is what led them to say that Jesus was casting out demons by Beelzebub’s power (v.24), a direct insult to the Holy Spirit. Christ then affirmed by whom He was casting out demons (v.28). Christ’s words were a caution to them. They could slander Him all they wanted and would be forgiven, but to speak slanderously and reproachfully against the Holy Spirit was/is unpardonable.

Usage of the word ALL
The word ALL is translated from the Greek pas, which refers individually to each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything and collectively to some of all types. C.H. Spurgeon has the best clarification of the usage in my opinion. He said:

"... 'The whole world is gone after him.' Did all the world go after Christ? 'Then went all Judea, and were baptized of him in Jordan.' Was all Judea, or all Jerusalem baptized in Jordan? 'Ye are of God, little children', and 'the whole world lieth in the wicked one.' Does 'the whole world' there mean everybody? If so, how was it, then, that there were some who were 'of God?' The words 'world' and 'all' are used in some seven or eight senses in Scripture; and it is very rarely that 'all' means all persons, taken individually. The words are generally used to signify that Christ has redeemed some of all sorts—some Jews, some Gentiles, some rich, some poor, and has not restricted his redemption to either Jew or Gentile." (Charles H. Spurgeon, Particular Redemption, A Sermon, 28 Feb 1858).

I believe when we are born-again ALL our pardonable sins are forgiven and there is one unpardonable sin that we must never commit. :)

Nikki Weatherford said...

So, if an unbeliever blasphemes the holy spirit, then later turns his life around and is repentant, he will not be forgiven? I have to say, that would take me out of the game here. I spent years running from God and hating everything about Him. I not only denied Him, but I cursed Him and His Spirit. But, I know I'm forgiven, and I know this because the Holy Spirit is in me. And I know that His residence in me is permanent, because there is nothing that can overpower Him. I've been trying to remember a certain verse and it's finally come to me: "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us." 1 John 2:19 This is the apostasy that is being warned against. Those who fall away were never truly saved. If someone comes to you having committed the "unpardonable sin", what do you tell them? If a believer has fallen away and turned from a life devoted to Christ to a life of sin and denial, but then comes back around years later, what do you tell them? They've lost their salvation and can never get it back? God's grace has limits? I don't believe that. You've made me think here, and really examine what I've held to be true for so long. I try to always approach discussions like this humbly, because I am not a biblical scholar well versed in the Greek or Hebrew text. I am not someone who can quote 100 scriptures off hand. I am a student, and I love to learn, but I know there are things that as I grow in the wisdom and knowledge of the Lord I'll realize I was wrong about. With that said, I am more certain than ever that once a person is truly saved, they will never lose it. I am thankful for people who can speak truth to one another without getting angry or offended, that is a key part of what's missing in Christianity today, so thank you for not holding back and not becoming defensive. :)

S. Morgan said...

Thanks for being transparent Nikki and thanks for a great discussion. Let me say that I accepted Christ when I was 12 years old but because of a rebellious streak, I left my parents' home when I was 15 and went off into the world. I'm sure the Holy Spirit cringed at all of the things I did in sin but here I am today, born-again, sealed and filled for the work of the kingdom, and blessed without room to receive it. Even though I don't know you personally, I don't believe you blasphemed the Holy Spirit when you were in rebellion against God. Please allow me to give more on this blasphemy issue.

In Matthew 12, it is obvious that the Religious leaders were not born again because they were against Jesus. When they began to say he was casting out demons by the devil's power they were calling the work of the Holy Spirit Satan's work. Notice Jesus did NOT say: "You have blasphemed the Holy Spirit therefore you are doomed to perdition!" What Jesus said was "Wherefore I say unto you..." He cautioned them that blaspheming the Holy Spirit was unpardonable.

The scripture gives us a principle here and throughout the Bible in other scriptures: no one can be held accountable for breaking any law before the existence of that law. The verse below is talking about the old covenant generally but the principle of it applies even to Christ's caution about blasphemy to the religious leaders.

"(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law." Romans 5:13 (KJV)

The word imputed is translated from the Greek ellogeō meaning to lay to one's charge or to set to one's account.


S. Morgan said...


With that said, lets look at some specific things about blasphemy. It is a fact that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is speaking evil of Him, railing against Him, Reviling Him, Defaming Him, Slandering Him, and insulting Him. I believe if someone does these against Him, they would have had to do it knowingly and maliciously as in Hebrews 6:4-9 and Hebrews 10:26-31. Now look at what the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:13 (KJV).

"And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief."


S. Morgan said...


When Paul was Saul he was the biggest persecutor of everything Christian. He himself said he was the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). We can only begin to imagine how much he blasphemed and whom he blasphemed, yet look at what he said. He received mercy because he blasphemed in ignorance and in unbelief.

This gives us more evidence that foreknowledge is a pre-requisite to blaspheming. This is why I do not believe that you blasphemed before you came to Christ or that I did after accepting Christ and going back into sin. We were both without knowledge, ignorant of the "law" of the New Covenant (I use the term lightly), and had not reached the maturity of the person described in Hebrews 6:4-9.

I'm looking forward to your unabashed analysis and discussion of this as well. :)

God bless you!

Nikki Weatherford said...

OK, are you saying that only born again believers can commit the unpardonable sin? And that is how one loses their salvation? If so, is there any other sin that causes someone to lose their salvation? And, supposing it is possible for someone who is Spirit-filled to blaspheme the Spirit, they would then be permanently separated from God, am I understanding right? I need to chew on that for a while. I'm going to do some study and pray on it before I respond, but please make sure I'm understanding you correctly. I also want to know what your understanding of being sealed by the Spirit is.

S. Morgan said...

1st Question: "OK, are you saying that only born again believers can commit the unpardonable sin? And that is how one loses their salvation?"

No, I'm NOT saying only born-again believers can commit the unpardonable sin. I'm saying it is possible that both saved and unsaved people can blaspheme the Holy Spirit, but, NOT when they are ignorant and unbelieving like Paul said he was.

The ignorance that the Apostle Paul speaks about in 1 Timothy 1:13 is translated from the Greek word agnoeō, meaning not knowing, not understanding and mistaken.
Unbelief in the same scripture is translated from apistia, which literally means faithless and without belief.

IF, at any time, people completely understand the consequence of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit, as in Matthew 12 when Jesus explained it to the religious leaders, and these people intentionally and maliciously do it, then and only then will they become permanently separated.

2nd Question: "If so, is there any other sin that causes someone to lose their salvation?"

There is! Hebrews 6:4-6 tells us 2 very evident things: 1. "falling away" makes it impossible to renew a born-again person to Christ; and, 2. a person who "falls away" must be a mature believer who: a. was enlightened; b. was born-again; c. was filled with the Holy Spirit; and, d. experienced the revealed Word of God and the powers (what we call miracles) of the age to come.

3rd Question: "And, supposing it is possible for someone who is Spirit-filled to blaspheme the Spirit, they would then be permanently separated from God, am I understanding right?"

IF this Holy Spirit filled person "blasphemes the Holy Spirit" OR is mature enough to "fall away" then s/he become Apostate and is permanently separated from God.

Remember the word PARAPIPTO in the original post? It comes from two root words: PARA and PIPTO. PARA means 'from, of at, by, besides, near' while PIPTO means 'to descend from a higher place to a lower; to fall under judgment, come under condemnation; to fail from participating in, miss a share in; to fall out, fall from i.e. shall perish or be lost; to perish, i.e come to an end, disappear, cease; and, to be removed from power by death'. This clearly establishes that falling away is spiritual death or separation from God.

This post is just an excerpt of the JULY 2011 issue of my newsletter. Blasphemy and Apostasy are explained in that issue. I also explained your final question, being sealed by the Spirit, under the heading PARTAKERS OF THE HOLY GHOST. I will email you a .pdf copy of that issue and highlight the paragraphs if you like.

God bless you.