The Sin Against the Holy Spirit

God will forgive all sin – even the most vile and gravest of sins – but there is one sin that God will not and cannot forgive, and that is the sin against the Holy Spirit – what is called the Unforgivable Sin. We need to know what that sin is, and whether we have yet committed that sin or not.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9


“Whatever the sin, if the soul repents and believes, the guilt is washed away in the blood of Christ.” Desire of Ages 322

“No sin can be committed by man for which satisfaction has not been met on Calvary.” 6 Bible Commentary 1071


“God does forgive sins and that fully. There are no sins He will not forgive in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the sinner’s only hope, and if he rests here in sincere faith, he is sure of pardon and that full and free. There is only one channel and that is accessible to all, and through that channel a rich and abundant forgiveness awaits the penitent, contrite soul and the darkest sins are forgiven.” Bible Commentary Volume 7 913


And yet Jesus said there is one sin that cannot be forgiven:-

“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. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” Matthew 12:31,32

“And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.” Luke 12:10

“If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” 1 John 5:16

This text of Scripture is obviously referring to the sin against the Holy Spirit, spoken of by Jesus.

“The sin of grieving the Holy Spirit of God and walking contrary to Him has cost many a one the loss of his soul.” Faith and Works 17

“He who rejects the work of the Holy Spirit is placing himself where repentance and faith cannot come to him….When the Spirit is finally rejected, there is no more that God can do for the soul.” Desire of Ages 321,322

We need to ask ourselves the 3 questions:- What is the sin against the Holy Spirit? How can I know whether I have committed the unpardonable sin? How can I be sure never to commit the unpardonable sin?

“I have never been given the testimony to bear to any one, ‘You have committed the unpardonable sin.’ God never told any one to say to a fellow being, ‘You have committed the unpardonable sin.'” Review and Herald July 30 1901

“We do not say to [others], because they have made mistakes, ‘You have committed the unpardonable sin.'” Review and Herald July 30 1901

“Every step of rejection of Christ is a step toward the rejection of the goodness of salvation, AND TOWARD THE SIN AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT. It is evident that not one who stands under the banner of Jesus Christ, who serves Him as a faithful soldier, has committed this sin. The sin against the Holy Ghost is not confined to any one period of time, or limited to any one generation. The Jewish nation who rejected Christ committed the unpardonable sin, but by taking the same course that they took in refusing the invitation of mercy, we may commit the same error. You offer insult to the Prince of life, and put Him to an open shame before the synagogue of Satan. ‘We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.’ You should not delay one day. The peril is too great. You may lose your life. Satan is watching every opportunity in order that he may destroy both soul and body; but Jesus is ready to pardon ALL your sins, and to make you a child of God, an heir of heaven.” Youth’s Instructor August 8 1895

“No one need look upon the sin against the Holy Ghost as something mysterious and indefinable. The sin against the Holy Ghost is the sin of persistent refusal to respond to the invitation to repent.” Bible Commentary Vol 5 1093

“It is by the Spirit that God works upon the heart. When men willfully reject the Spirit, and declare It to be from Satan, they cut off the channel by which God can communicate with them. When the Spirit is finally rejected, there is no more that God can do for the soul.” Desire of Ages 321,322

“You ask if you have committed the sin which has no forgiveness in this life or in the life to come. I answer: I do not see the slightest evidence that this is the case. What constitutes the sin against the Holy Ghost? It is willfully attributing to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit. For example, suppose that one is a witness of the special work of the Spirit of God. He has convincing evidence that the work is in harmony with the Scriptures, and the Spirit witnesses with his spirit that it is of God. Afterward, however, he falls under temptation; pride, self-sufficiency, or some other evil trait, controls him; and rejecting all the evidence of its divine character, he declares that that which he had before acknowledged to be the power of the Holy Spirit was the power of Satan. It is through the medium of His Spirit that God works upon the human heart; and when men willfully reject the Spirit and declare it to be from Satan, they cut off the channel by which God can communicate with them. By denying the evidence which God has been pleased to give them, they shut out the light which had been shining in their hearts, and as the result they are left in darkness. Thus the words of Christ are verified: ‘If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!’ For a time, persons who have committed this sin may appear to be children of God; but when circumstances arise to develop character and show what manner of spirit they are of, it will be found that they are on the enemy’s ground, standing under his black banner.” Testimonies Volume Five 634

“The Pharisees attributed to satanic agencies the holy power of God, manifested in the works of Christ. Thus the Pharisees sinned against the Holy Ghost. Stubborn, sullen, iron-hearted, they determined to close their eyes to all evidence, and thus they committed the unpardonable sin.” Review and Herald January 18 1898


“BEWARE OF PROCRASTINATION. Do not put off the work of forsaking your sins and seeking purity of heart through Jesus. Here is where thousands upon thousands have erred to their eternal loss….There is a terrible danger – a danger not sufficiently understood – in delaying to yield to the pleading voice of God’s Holy Spirit, in choosing to live in sin; for such this delay really is. Sin, however small it may be esteemed, can be indulged in only at the peril of infinite loss. What we do not overcome, will overcome us and work out our destruction.” Steps to Christ 32,33

“The soul that refuses to listen to the invitations of mercy from day to day can soon listen to the most urgent appeals without an emotion stirring his soul.” Testimonies Volume Five 134


“When Satan is permitted to control the mind that will not be ruled by Jehovah, he will lead it according to his will, until the man who is thus in his power becomes an efficient agent to carry out his designs. So bitter is the enmity of the great originator of sin against the purposes of God, so terrible is his power for evil, that when men disconnect from God, Satan influences them, and their minds are brought more and more into subjection, until they cast off the fear of God, and the respect of men, and become bold and avowed enemies of God and of His people.” Bible Commentary Vol. 2 1019

“God’s children are always being tested in the furnace of affliction. If they endure the first trial, it is not necessary for them to pass through a similar ordeal the second time; but if they fail, the trial is brought to them again and again, each time being still more trying and severe. Thus opportunity after opportunity is placed before them of gaining the victory and proving themselves true to God. But if they continue to manifest rebellion, God is compelled at last to remove His Spirit and light from them.” Bible Commentary Vol. 4 1146

“In rejecting Christ the Jewish people committed the unpardonable sin; and by refusing the invitation of mercy, we may commit the same error. We offer insult to the Prince of life, and put Him to shame before the synagogue of Satan and before the heavenly universe when we refuse to listen to His delegated messengers, and instead listen to the agents of Satan, who would draw the soul away from Christ. So long as one does this, he can find no hope or pardon, and he will finally lose all desire to be reconciled to God.” Desire of Ages 324,325

“Now I tell you God will not be trifled with. God is a jealous God, and when He manifests His power as He has manifested it, it is very nigh unto the sin against the Holy Ghost to disbelieve it. The revealings of God’s power have not had any effect to move and to stir persons from their position of doubting and unbelief.” Manuscript Releases Volume Four 434

“All who have anything to do with God’s work..are required to observe habits of strict temperance, to keep soul, body, and spirit under the protecting shield of God. Never tempt the Spirit of God. This has often led to the sin against the Holy Ghost, which has no forgiveness in this life nor in the life to come. Bear in mind that we shall reap that which we sow, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Those who sow to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption.” Review and Herald February 27 1900

“The sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit does not lie in any sudden word or deed; it is the firm, determined resistance of truth and evidence.” Bible Commentary Vol 5 1093

“The impressions of the Holy Spirit if disregarded today, will not be as strong tomorrow.” Desire of Ages 490

“I will address these lines to those who have had light, those who have had privileges, those who have had warnings and entreaties, who have made no determined effort to yield themselves in full surrender to God. I would warn you to fear lest you sin against the Holy Ghost, and be left to your own course, sunk in moral lethargy, and never obtain forgiveness. Why allow yourselves to be longer educated in the school of Satan, and pursue a course of action that will make repentance and reformation impossible? Why resist the overtures of mercy? WHY SAY, ‘LET ME ALONE,’ UNTIL GOD SHALL BE COMPELLED TO GIVE YOU YOUR DESIRE, SINCE YOU WILL HAVE IT SO? Those who resist the Spirit of God think that they will repent at some future day, when they get ready to take a decided step toward reformation; but repentance will then be beyond their power. According to the light and privileges given will be the darkness of those who refuse to walk in the light while they have the light.” Review and Herald June 29 1897

“And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he [Paul] reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” Acts 24:24,25

“A ray of light from heaven had been permitted to shine upon Felix, when Paul reasoned with him concerning righteousness, temperance, and a judgment to come. That was his heaven-sent opportunity to see and to forsake his sins. But he said to the messenger of God, ‘Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.’ HE HAD SLIGHTED HIS LAST OFFER OF MERCY. NEVER WAS HE TO RECEIVE ANOTHER CALL FROM GOD.” Acts of the Apostles 427

“‘Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season I will call for thee?’ Is the opportunity ever to come when we can leave sin any more easily than at the present moment? Is the time coming when we can take hold of the truth any more easily than now?” Review and Herald April 12 1879

“Often Satan presents his temptations under the guise of goodness. Beware that you yield not to them. One violation of straight-forward truthfulness prepares the way for the second violation, and wrongs are repeated until the heart of unbelief becomes hardened, and the conscience loses its sensitiveness.” Review and Herald January 7 1904


“Every additional evidence of the power of God that the Egyptian monarch resisted, carried him on to a stronger and more persistent defiance of God. Thus the work went on, finite man warring against the expressed will of an infinite God. This case is a clear illustration of the sin against the Holy Ghost. ‘Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.’ Gradually the Lord withdrew His Spirit. Removing His restraining power, He gave the king into the hands of the worst of all tyrants – self.” Bible Commentary Vol. 1 1100


“It is true that men sometimes become ashamed of their sinful ways, and give up some of their evil habits, before they are conscious that they are being drawn to Christ. But whenever they make an effort to reform, from a sincere desire to do right, it is the power of Christ that is drawing them.” Steps to Christ 27

“The closer you come to Jesus, the more faulty you will appear in your own eyes; for your vision will be clearer, and your imperfections will be seen in broad and distinct contrast to His perfect nature. But do not be discouraged. This is evidence that Satan’s delusions have lost their power; that the vivifying influence of the Spirit of God is arousing you, and your indifference and unconcern are passing away.” Our High Calling 27

“Have you a sense of want in your soul? Do you hunger and thirst after righteousness? Then this is an evidence that Christ has wrought upon your heart, and created this sense of need in your soul, in order that He may be sought unto to do for you, through the endowment of the Holy Spirit, those things which it is impossible for you to do for yourself.” Signs of the Times November 7 1892

“All the longing after a better life is from Christ, and is an evidence that He is drawing you to Himself and that you are responding to His drawing power.” Selected Messages Book 3 198

“Christ is the source of every right impulse. He is the only one that can implant in the heart enmity against sin. Every desire for truth and purity, every conviction of our own sinfulness, is an evidence that His Spirit is moving upon our hearts.” Steps to Christ 26

“Every longing awakened in the soul to return to God is but the tender pleading of His Spirit, wooing, entreating, drawing the wanderer to his Father’s heart of love.” Testimonies Volume Five 632,633

“If we have a deep, growing experience in heavenly things, we walk with the Lord, as did Enoch. Instead of consenting to the propositions of Satan, there is most earnest prayer for the heavenly anointing, that we may distinguish the right, the heaven born, from the common.” Testimonies to Ministers 338,339

“There are those who have known the pardoning love of Christ and who really desire to be children of God, yet they realize that their character is imperfect, their life faulty, and they are ready to doubt whether their hearts have been renewed by the Holy Spirit. To such I would say, Do not draw back in despair. We shall often have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus because of our shortcomings and mistakes, but we are not to be discouraged. Even if we are overcome by the enemy, we are not cast off, not forsaken and rejected of God.” Steps to Christ 64



“The Spirit invites you today. Come with your whole heart to Jesus. Repent of your sins, make confession to God, forsake all iniquity, and you may appropriate to yourself all His promises. ‘Look unto Me, and be ye saved,’ is His gracious invitation.” Testimonies Volume Five 634

“QUENCH NOT THE SPIRIT” 1 Thessalonians 5:19

“We cannot know how much we owe to Christ for the peace and protection which we enjoy. It is the restraining power of God that prevents mankind from passing fully under the control of Satan. The disobedient and unthankful have great reason for gratitude for God’s mercy and long-suffering in holding in check the cruel, malignant power of the evil one. But when men pass the limits of divine forbearance, that restraint is removed. God does not stand toward the sinner as an executioner of the sentence against transgression; but He leaves the rejecters of His mercy to themselves, to reap that which they have sown. EVERY RAY OF LIGHT REJECTED, EVERY WARNING DESPISED OR UNHEEDED, EVERY PASSION INDULGED, EVERY TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW OF GOD, IS A SEED SOWN WHICH YIELDS ITS UNFAILING HARVEST. The Spirit of God, persistently resisted, is at last withdrawn from the sinner, and then there is left no power to control the evil passions of the soul, and no protection from the malice and enmity of Satan. The destruction of Jerusalem is a fearful and solemn warning to all who are trifling with the offers of divine grace and resisting the pleadings of divine mercy.” Great Controversy 36

“Those who resist the Holy Spirit of God, and provoke Him to depart, know not to what lengths Satan will lead them….When the Holy Spirit departs from the human agents, they will do those things which they once viewed in a correct light. They will follow step by step in the footsteps of Satan. Who then can strive with them to any purpose?….These souls have Satan close beside them to misconstrue the words spoken, and bring them to their understanding in a perverted light. They are misinterpreted by them; for when the Spirit of God is grieved away, every appeal made through the Lord’s servants is meaningless to them. They will misconstrue every word. They will laugh and turn into ridicule the most solemn words of Scripture, which, if they were not bewitched by satanic agencies, would make them tremble. Every appeal made to those who are in need of help is in vain. They will not hear a word of reproof or counsel. They despise all the entreaties of the Spirit, and disobey the commandments of God which they have once vindicated and exalted. Well may the words of the apostle come home to such souls, ‘Who hath bewitched you that ye should not obey the truth?’ They have followed the counsel of their own heart until truth is no more truth to them.” Manuscript Releases Volume Four 359,360

“The Lord brings His erring children over the same ground again and again; but if they continually fail to heed the admonitions of His Spirit, if they fail to reform on every point where they have erred, He will finally leave them to their own weakness.” Testimonies Volume Nine 182

“And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30

“When men..despise the warnings which God in mercy sends them, His Spirit after a time ceases to arouse conviction in their hearts. God gives light to be cherished and obeyed, not to be despised and rejected. The light which He sends becomes darkness to those who disregard it. When the Spirit of God ceases to impress the truth upon the hearts of men, all hearing is vain, and all preaching also is vain.” Spirit of Prophecy Volume Four 232

“In the days of Noah the Spirit of God was so long and stubbornly rejected that it ceased to strive with men. Thus will it be, prior to the end of the world. WHEN THE GOSPEL FALLS ON CLOSED EARS, WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT CEASES TO IMPRINT THE TRUTH UPON THE HEART, PREACHING AND HEARING WILL ALIKE BE IN VAIN. ARE WE NOT FAST APPROACHING THIS STATE OF THINGS?” Signs of the Times February 16 1882

“My brethren and sisters, will you take heed to the Word of the Lord? Will you listen to His rebuke? If, after men in positions of responsibility have been warned and reproved by the Lord, they continue to follow their own way, affliction will come upon them. God chastens them, giving them opportunity after opportunity to repent. If they utterly refuse to repent, and are determined to listen to the sophistries of the enemy, they are left to their own course of action, and will surely perish in their sins; for God will not be trifled with. Sufficient light and evidence will be given to every soul. If men are overcome by the enemy, it will be because they have hardened their hearts, refusing to listen to the voice of God. Will men hear the Word of the Lord, or will they, through yielding to temptation, refuse to hear until it becomes impossible for them to discern between good and evil?” Series B, No 2, p 20

“He who has once yielded to temptation will yield more readily the second time. Every repetition of the sin lessens his power of resistance, blinds his eyes, and stifles conviction. Every seed of indulgence sown will bear fruit. God works no miracle to prevent the harvest. ‘Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.’ Galatians 6:7. He who manifests an infidel hardihood, a stolid indifference to divine truth, is but reaping the harvest of that which he has himself sown. It is thus that multitudes come to listen with stoical indifference to the truths that once stirred their very souls. They sowed neglect and resistance to the truth, and such is the harvest which they reap. Those who are quieting a guilty conscience with the thought that they can change a course of evil when they choose, that they can trifle with the invitations of mercy, and yet be again and again impressed, take this course at their peril. They think that after casting all their influence on the side of the great rebel, in a moment of utmost extremity, when danger compasses them about, they will change leaders. But this is not so easily done. The experience, the education, the discipline of a life of sinful indulgence, has so thoroughly moulded the character that they cannot then receive the image of Jesus. Had no light shone upon their pathway, the case would have been different. Mercy might interpose, and give them an opportunity to accept her overtures; BUT AFTER LIGHT HAS BEEN LONG REJECTED AND DESPISED, IT WILL BE FINALLY WITHDRAWN.” Patriarchs and Prophets 268,269

“He who deliberately stifles his convictions of duty because it interferes with his inclinations will finally lose the power to distinguish between truth and error. The understanding becomes darkened, the conscience callous, the heart hardened, and the soul is separated from God.” Great Controversy 378

“Sanctification is a daily work. Let none deceive themselves with the belief that God will pardon and bless them while they are trampling upon one of His requirements. The willful commission of a known sin silences the witnessing voice of the Spirit, and separates the soul from God. Whatever may be the ecstasies of religious feeling, Jesus cannot abide in the heart that disregards the divine Law. God will honour those only who honour Him.” Messages To Young People 114

“Have decision, fortitude, steadiness of purpose, which will not be swerved to the right or left by circumstances – or you will be easily ensnared and taken captive by Satan at his will….It is the steady purpose, the untiring effort, that will gain the victory at last. It is he who endureth to the end that shall be saved.” Testimonies Volume Two 101,102

“The will is the governing power in the nature of man, the power of decision, or choice. Every human being possessed of reason has power to choose the right. In every experience of life, God’s word to us is, ‘Choose you this day whom ye will serve.’ Joshua 24:15. Everyone may place his will on the side of the will of God, may choose to obey Him.” Education 289

“As God’s agents you are to yield yourselves to Him, that He may plan and direct and fight the battle for you, with your co-operation. The Prince of Life is at the head of His work. He is to be with you in your daily battle with self….Then why not trust Him? WHY NOT COMMIT THE KEEPING OF YOUR SOUL UNTO GOD, AS UNTO A FAITHFUL CREATOR?” 2 Bible Commentary 994,995

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

“Your only happiness is found in submitting yourself to God.” Manuscript Releases Volume Twenty-one 255

“Beware how you neglect secret prayer and a study of God’s Word. These are your weapons against him who is striving to hinder your progress heavenward. The first neglect of prayer and Bible study makes easier the second neglect. The first resistance to the Spirit’s pleading prepares the way for the second resistance. Thus the heart is hardened, and the conscience seared. ON THE OTHER HAND, EVERY RESISTANCE OF TEMPTATION MAKES RESISTANCE MORE EASY. EVERY DENIAL OF SELF MAKES SELF-DENIAL EASIER. EVERY VICTORY GAINED PREPARES THE WAY FOR A FRESH VICTORY. EACH RESISTANCE OF TEMPTATION, EACH SELF-DENIAL, EACH TRIUMPH OVER SIN, IS A SEED SOWN UNTO ETERNAL LIFE. EVERY UNSELFISH ACTION GIVES NEW STRENGTH TO SPIRITUALITY. NO ONE CAN TRY TO BE LIKE CHRIST WITHOUT GROWING MORE NOBLE AND MORE TRUE.” Messages to Young People 96,97

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Posted on 22/02/2011, in Short Studies, The Holy Spirit. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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