Thus far in our examination of Hebrews 6:4-6 we have determined that those,
1) Who were once enlighten
2) Who have tasted the heavenly gift
3) Who have become partakers of the Holy Spirit
4) Who have tasted the good word of God
5) Who have tasted the powers of the age to come
…Were in fact those who were truly consecrated believers, i.e. those fully justified from all things, begotten again through the Holy Spirit to a new nature. Therefore our texts could have nothing whatsoever to do with either the worldly or the mere nominal or professing Christian.
Let us continue.
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlighten and who have tasted the heavenly gift and who have become partakers of the Holy Spirit and who have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, IF THEY FALL AWAY to renew THEM again unto repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put him to an open shame.”
First of all, let us all apply our God given ability to reason, and establish one for certain fact, to which all must agree on; no one could fall, lest at first they had been previously lifted up, and in order to be lifted up from the mire of sin and death (i.e. justified from the original condemnation which is upon all men, the Adamic curse) one must have at first believed in the forgiveness of sins which comes through Jesus Christ our Lord, for as the scriptures so state, we are justified by our faith (Rom 5:1) Those who possess no faith could not fall from that which they had never been lifted up to in the first place.
So what does this statement, “if they shall fall away” imply in respects to those with whom we have been discussing? Why cannot they be renewed again? And what does crucifying again the Son of God imply? How does this bring shame to him?
The falling away of such, the Apostle says, would mean that they could never be renewed again. Why? Because they have had their share of the blessing of Christ. Christ’s death was to bring a blessing–and only one– to every member of Adam’s race–one full blessing, a complete blessing, such a blessing as will enable every member of the race–if he will, when he understands it-to come fully and completely into harmony with God and thus to have eternal life. But after he has received his full blessing and then has rejected it, there is no hope in his case. He can never justify himself. He has had the merit of Christ (justification) and has repudiated it. There is no hope of renewing such a one, says the Apostle. The fate of such would not, of course, be eternal torment, but rather eternal destruction’, extinction of being–the Second Death.
In Heb 10:26-29 the apostle explains the matter further,
First of all note closely from the preceding verses exactly to whom the Apostle was here addressing, (Verses 19 and 20), he was specifically addressing those brethren who had come into the body through a “new and living way” which our Lord had consecrated for us, a way into the “Most Holy” as prospective members of the antitypical High Priest, i.e. the Royal Priesthood. Speaking to these he states thusly,
“For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which shall devour the adversaries. A man that hath set at naught Moses law died without compassion on [the word of] two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, think ye, shall he be judged worthy, who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God (insulted, brought to shame), and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing (by open sin or a denial of the value of the “blood of the covenant.”), and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace (the spirit of truth)?”
Now the question may still linger in some minds as to what exactly constitutes “the knowledge of the truth”, and thus upon denial of this truth, what constitutes the sin unto death? Is it possible for any except the spirit-begotten to commit the sin unto death?
We answer that sin unto death is a sin against light and knowledge. No man can sin the sin unto death unless he has knowledge. It is not a sin of ignorance; it is a willful, intentional sin against light, and therefore is called a sin against the Holy Spirit, a sin against the Spirit of Truth. Now then, is it possible for any except the spirit-begotten to commit the sin unto death?
NO, only those who have been truly begotten of the Holy Spirit, and are therefore thus able to come to an accurate (truthful) understanding of God’s Word and Plan, bear the responsibility which comes with possession of such great knowledge; neither the worldly nor the mere professing Christian, (nominal Christian) share this responsibility, because neither possesses the spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit, therefore neither has yet to have been brought to the truth.
They are not only unable to see (accept) the “deep things” of God, but even amongst those professing to be Christians very few are able to even comprehend the “milk of the word”, able to grasp the “first principles” of truth, to see clearly without the errors and false teachings propagated by men and devils blinding them and therefore to that extent they are not held responsible.
The responsibilities are only with those who have tasted the heavenly gift and who have become partakers of the Holy Spirit and who have tasted the good word (the truth, the perfect Word, an accurate knowledge) of God and the powers of the age to come, (Heb 6:4, 5) these therefore know the truth, and are held responsible for this enlightenment, these only could sin the sin unto death, whereas no others could.
Well now, some one might query: Just how much knowledge is necessary before we could commit this sin unto death?
We answer, to our understanding it would not require a great deal of knowledge. The Apostle simply says that if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth. What kind of truth did he mean?
Did he mean the knowledge of chronology? No, for then all of those who went before us would not have had knowledge enough to go into the second death, because they did not know as much about chronology as we do today.
Did he mean those who understood the parallels between the dispensations, Jewish and Gospel? No, because plenty of people have never known anything about these parallel dispensations. Did he mean only those who know about the Jubilee? No, for plenty of Christians lived and died without knowing about the Jubilee.
What does it mean then, what kind of truth and how much truth must we have? We believe it is not the quantity of knowledge, which one possesses which makes one accountable, but rather the quality or type of knowledge understood.
The truth referred to, then dear brethren is that even grander truth, which Christians have had all during the Gospel age; for instance, the great truth that, “God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” That is the great truth, and those who have believed that great truth, AND in whom it has exercised the proper power, have been turned from sin to righteousness, and from darkness to light.
Here is the truth that would sanctify (set-apart). Now, then, if any have come to this clear knowledge of the truth of God’s love, and of God’s requirement of righteousness, and of our Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior, he has come to a responsible position. Note carefully that when we speak of those possessing this truth we speak of those who have been properly exercised by it, many may possess this truth (i.e. have knowledge it) of whom it has little or no effect upon their lives, as was indicated by our Lord in the “Parable of the Sower”
I believe those who have been properly exercised refers specifically to those who have not received the grace of GOD in vain (2 Cor 6:1)
“God’s grace as freely bestowed upon those who have come to a knowledge of the redemption which is in Christ Jesus our Lord is the grace of the forgiveness of sins, of justification through faith; and the very object of this grace is that we be exercised by it, to permit or qualify us to become living sacrifices, acceptable to God’s altar through the great sacrifice of our Redeemer.”
Now would any question as to whether or not the world has fully grasped (comprehended) this knowledge, this truth?
Although it is true that many within the world have heard various Christian hymns, which speak of the grace of God, and have heard about theology, the world could not be held responsible to this degree. Most of what they have heard, if anything has been nothing more than the ramblings of preachers, or of what the scriptures refer to as the “vain babblings of men”, errors, false teachings and etc. They have not comprehended the (TRUE) Word of God; they have not fully comprehended the provision God has made for our sins, nor for our reconciliation with Him, therefore the world could not commit this sin unto death. And likewise the vast majority of professing Christians could do so neither, having never been begotten of the truth, the Lord’s spirit, they like the world remain in darkness. “Darkness covers the earth–gross darkness the heathen [the worldly].” (Isa 60:2) “The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not,” (2 Cor 4:4) and as for the rest the nominal professing believers he (The god of this world ) has substituted darkness for light, error for truth in order to deceive and confuse, thus casting doubt on the testimony of God as a whole.
Bear in mind that a mere profession of faith or belief does not a true Christian make, a true Christian is one who has been exercised (quicken, Rom 8:11) by the truth unto obedience and service. The majority of professing Christians are Christians in name only, i.e. nominal Christians, thus the term, “Tares”, imitation wheat, imitation Christians, “possessing a form (and outward appearance) of godliness, but denying its power…” (2 Tim 3:5) This form of godliness has spread to such an extent that much of the whole world is styled Christendom–Christ’s Kingdom. Outwardly they profess to be Christians, but inwardly they are skeptics of the word, covetous, extortionate, and unjust.
A true Christian is not one who merely professes with his mouth that he is a Christians, but one who believes with his heart, as in distinction with the mere professor, as our Lord so states, “These people draw near me with their mouths and honor me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from me.”(It is not sufficient enough that we make a mere profession to be his people, but it is important that this profession proceed from the heart, for the “Lord looks upon the heart.” 1 Sam 16:7), and their fear (so-called reverence) is taught by the precepts of men (human traditions, false doctrines, the beliefs of men, and/or institutions of men).” Isa 29:13.
The threat of eternal torment as the wages of sin is one of these “fears” taught of men, it is held to be a necessity in order to restrain men from vices, and to inspire them to virtue and morality and thus to secure their admission to heaven when they die, all anyone has to do is to take a look around him and he can see how utterly this “precept of men” has felled in its purpose. The fear taught through the precepts of men is a false kind of fear, because it has substituted the “doctrines of devils” for the precious things of God. This type of bondage of fear can never hold the penitent nor draw him near to the Lord; only love is capable of doing this.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses practice a similar type of “fear” the only difference is that rather than consigning the un-repentant, the non-believer (that is the non-believer in what they teach) to eternal torment they simply consign them to second death. Fear is the tool of the Devil and those who would follow in his example.
But now as to the true Christian, the “wheat” class, those who have come to an accurate knowledge of the truth, those once enlightened, who have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the age to come—the restitution powers; those who were made partakers of these in that they were justified by faith, who have experienced this justification by faith, the power of the world to come, and who now enjoy it in advance of the world—and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, these are the only ones that might sin the sin unto death.