Fogbo unit 17a
 
 BEWARE

of churches on the road to

APOSTASY  

Table of Content by Subject 

1. IDENTIFYING THE CHURCHES
2. OUR RESPONSIBILITIES 

Self test:

 
 
UNIT 17b The Deadly sin of Apostasy

All studies involve . . .

KEEPING THE CONTEXT OF THE THEMES AND PRINCIPLES INVOLVED, LET US LOOK AT SOME THEMES AND WORD STUDIES OF OUR TEXT: 

With the help of . . . .
    Strongs Exhaustive Concordance
    Greek English Interlinear New Testament
    Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary
    Mathew Henry's Commentary

Keeping in mind that I do not look to the writings of men, no mater how good their intentions may be, to straighten out the Word of God, but simply to see if they see what I see in it.   

Further more Scripture NEVER CONTRADICTS ITS SELF and true doctrine is always true to the nature and character of God as revealed in the Scriptures, and the life of Jesus Christ.  The Word of God stands above them all, as God is the same today as He was yesterday, Amen

MY PURPOSE IN WRITING THIS STUDY.  A LINE BY line STUDY OF HEBREWS WARNINGS AND EXHORTATIONS.

UNDERSTANDING the deadly sin of Apostasy  The bottom line is, its a mater of CHOICE.  CONCLUSION based on passages.  APOSTASY is a sin against the Holy Spirit. 

 

SELF TEST on Understanding the deadly sin of Apostasy

 1. Assignment: Look up all references given, and summarize them. We must remember that we were made to be in the image and likeness of God therefore, we are to take on His character and live by His standards and not ours or the worlds.

Remember, every true Biblical Doctrine is in harmony with the nature and character of God. See what you can learn of God's will. [His heart's desire for you]

In this unit we will look at what an Apostate church is, and its agenda. Take note there is a point in Apostasy when reached, it is a point of no return as history proves. Remember the Lord's warning: Gen.6:3 " And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years."  Consider: Isaiah 63:10 "But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them."  Consider: Acts 7:51 "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye."  Consider: Ephes. 4:30 "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption".  Consider: 1 Thes. 5:19 "Quench not the Spirit". Galatians 5:16-17 "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would."

 

Beware of Churches on the Road to Apostasy

 

IDENTIFYING THE CHURCHES ON THE ROAD TO APOSTASY  Apostasy is the result of leaving God's Word, and His pattern for His Church.  Apostasy is the result of a perverted gospel.  It can be a social gospel based on religious tradition and works or even legalism.  It can be a combination of them with true Biblical doctrines so as to reduce man's responsibilities to God. Substituting a religious life style, for a life changing relationship with Christ.  Only the true Gospel results in Christ-like Godly living in the will of God.

Responsibilities forsaken: Apostate "Pastors" are hirelings pleasing men rather than meeting the needs of the people to know God, and live for Him. "But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.  John 10:12-13

They feed the philosophy of the men, blending it with God's Word,and with the life style and preferences that people are willing to accept. "And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition."  Mark 7:9  

Consider: Mat. 15:2-3; Mark 7:9; Gal 4:3,9-10

Apostate Deacons' control clergy, no standards, accept false doctrines and teachers. "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;" 2 Thes. 3:6-7

Consider: 2 Pet. 2:1-3

Apostate Church members: follow men rather than the Lord. "And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:" Col. 2:4-10 

Consider: Rom. 16:17-18

Apostates Reject the word: accept and follow false doctrine. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2 Tim. 4:3 

Consider: 2 Tim. 4:14-15; Acts 5:29; 2 Pet. 2:1-3

Apostates always resist the Spirit: "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye."  Acts 7:51  

Consider: Isa.63:10; Acts 5:3; Heb.10:29

Apostates always love the world in place of God, they are pleasure seekers' "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia." 2 Tim. 4:10 

Consider: 2 Tim.3:1-6; 1 John 2:15-17

Apostates contrive against the Pastor'  "Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.  At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.   2 Tim. 4:14-17 

Apostates are loyal to their self appointed leader and denomination not to Christ.

Apostates have another government'  A democracy as opposed to a theocracy (people rule) in place of Christ. Ruling by an ecclesiastical hierarchy and denominational boards in place of Christ and His word.

Apostates Replace or reduce the would be under-shepherd, with the clergy, (pulpit thumpers) accountable to men rather than to Christ. They change the Word of God to the thinking of men.  In effect they are usurping God's throne, they have evicted Him from His church. "Ichabod" is over their door, the Glory of the Lord is departed. That church is now the habitation of Satan.
 

CHURCHES ARRIVING TO APOSTASY.  When its members agree to abandon God and His Word.

1. As the habitation of Satan it has........

The apostate church has another Jesus: "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." Jude 1:4 

Consider: 1 John 2:22-23, 4:3

The apostate church has another Spirit: "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." 1 John 4:1-3  

Consider: Acts 16:16-19; 1 Tim. 4:1-10; 1 John 4:6

The apostate church has another Gospel: "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." Gal. 1:6-8 

Consider: Gal. 5:7-12

2. BEWARE The apostate church has a false message:  "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him." 2 Cor. 11:3-4  [ ye might well bear with him = ye might hold yourself against him]

The apostate church has a false light: "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." 2 Cor. 11:13- 15  

The apostate church listens to, and follows, false prophets: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." MATH. 7:15-20  

Consider: Mat 24:23-26, 1 John 2:18

The apostate church is filled with false professors.  "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.   Math. 7:21-23  

3. The apostate church has two forms. 

OPEN: Outright abandonment of the historic Biblical Christian faith.

HIDDEN: Those that profess Biblical Christianity while embracing worldly secular humanism.  Compromising clear Biblical doctrine with error and false doctrine. Such churches may profess Biblical doctrine but fail to teach its' practice.

Both forms seek acceptance of the world through alliances with the world in the Ecumenical movement and the World Council of Churches.  Remember the warning: "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." Mat. 7:22-23 

Consider: 2 Cor. 6:14-18

REMEMBER OUR RESPONSIBILITIES TO THOSE IN APOSTATE CHURCHES   Our duty to the unsaved in a church fallen to apostasy is to give them the true gospel that they might be saved.  "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 Cor. 4:3-6  

Consider: Rom. 10:9-17; 2 Cor. 5:18-20

Our duty to the saved who are being influenced by the message of apostasy. "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself." Gal. 6:1-3 

Consider: Rom. 15:1-3

Keep in mind God's first desire is always restitution.  We should constantly pray for Satan and His demonic activity to be bound, and the eyes and hearts of the deceived to be opened to God's Word, and the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

They must understand Jesus said; not all that claim or preach and teach in His name are His. "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". Math. 7:21-23

Consider: Mark. 7:6; Titus 1:16

Reminding them of 2 Cor. 6:14-18 "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; .......[That is if they be in Christ, you give them the gospel, and plead with them to repent and be saved, they must make a choice ] .......as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."

They must be shown that the modern ecumenical movement is Spiritual Adultery. "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." James 4:4 

Consider: John 15:1-21; 1 John 1:3-2:6,15-17

Under-Shepherds must remember we are to protect the Lord's flock by exposing false prophets and teachers propagating the message of apostasy.  "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." Rom.16:17-18 

Consider: 2 Thes. 3:6, 14; Jude 11-13

Caution: Beware of those that quote a Scriptural truth, then use new words to define it, and back it up with human reasoning or another redefined passage.

Remember, no true Biblical Doctrine can be in conflict with any other Scriptural truth. [If need be see How to Study unit 1]  Consider the path taken by Israel and followed by the "Church". Let us remember buildings, intuitions, governments and nations do not leave God, it is the people who belong to them and make or chose leaders that do.

Think about this!

We Under-Shepherds must remember the Maccbaens: They were the "Fundamentalist" of their day but pride led them to become the Pharisees that Jesus rejected!

How many steps are there in going from sin of pride to apostasy? 


Let us remember buildings, intuitions, governments and nations do not leave God, it is the people who belong to them and make or choose leaders that do. 

What PATH will we Choose?  Consider: 2 Cor. 6:14-18 "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? [15] And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? [16] And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?" 

THE CHOICE IS OURS TO MAKE BASED ON THESE FACTS! " for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. [17] Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, [18] And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." 

   WHICH PATH WILL WE CHOOSE? 

                                       WHAT IS OUR DESTINY? 

                                                                     THE CHOICE IS OURS TO MAKE! 

 Let us not become an apostate!  "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."  Consider: Prov.16:18; Math. 26:33-34; Rom. 11:20; 1 Cor. 4:6-8; 8:2; Rev. 3:17-18

Self test: on Beware of Churches on the Road to Apostasy. These questions are more than an academic quiz, they help you think through the facts you have learned, so that you can form convictions as to the will of God for your life. Remember, meditation on God’s Word is the key to gaining wisdom, and only when it is applied in your life are you assured of being in the will of God and the place of His blessing

Things to Consider:
Q1. At what point is apostasy reached?
Q2. In what ways do the responsibilities of the apostate church government differ from God’s ordained pattern?
Q3. In what ways do the responsibilities of the apostate church leadership differ from God’s ordained pattern?
Q4. What is the agenda of the apostate church.
Q5. How can apostasy be avoided?
Q6. What is our responsibility to those on the road to apostasy?
 
You are now ready to study Understanding The Deadly Sin of Apostasy unit 17b

 
UNIT 17b

Understanding the Deadly Sin of Apostasy

BEWARE "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" 1 Peter 5:8

 

Syllabus for Understanding The Deadly Sin of Apostasy unit 17b

1. Assignment: Look up all references given, and summarize them. We must remember that we were made to be in the image and likeness of God, therefore, we are to take on His character and live by His standards and not ours or the worlds. Remember, every true Biblical Doctrine is in harmony with the nature and character of God. See what you can learn of God’s will. [His heart for you]

In this unit we will look at . . . . .

What Apostasy is. Take note history proves there is a point on the road to Apostasy when reached, it is a point of no return. Remember the Lord’s warning: Genesis 6:3 "And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years." Consider some other warnings of offending the Holy Spirit, moral sin can be forgiven. Acts 7:51 "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." Ephes. 4:30 "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption".1 Thes. 5:19 "Quench not the Spirit". Galatians 5:16-17 "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would."
 
Understanding the deadly sin of Apostasy  To understand apostasy we must have some understanding of the make up, and purpose of all mankind. [unit 2 the Study of Man pages 1 and 3] and [unit 4 The Sovereignty of God and the Free will of man.] as well as the principle of Yoking unit 6 m.  Remember: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:"  That image is triune in nature, [unit 2 the Study of the Godhead.] 

Therefore, God made man with a triune nature: a trichotomy [having three parts] 

The body being the physical material, the dust of the ground, that makes up the residence in which the soul lives. The body is a temporary structure to accomplish the will of the soul.

The Soul being the real man having Intellect, Emotion, and Will.  Intellect: God gave man the ability to think, to reason the purpose of his actions.  Emotions: to motivate our actions.   Will: to enable us to chose our actions.

Notice the importance of the Intellect and Emotions give us reasons for our actions but it is the Will that makes the choices, and carries them out. The body is responsible for carrying out the will of the Soul, the soul is responsible for carrying out the will of God. The Spirit of God gave the Soul its life.

Keep in mind God made mankind for.....  His FELLOWSHIP. "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." 1 Cor. 1:9  

Keep in mind God made mankind for.....His PLEASURE  "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." Rev. 4:11

Keep in mind God made mankind for.....His GLORY  "Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him." Isaiah 43:7  God knew that for man to have such a relationship with Him, based on His character, He would have to make man with a free will. Man could then choose to love and serve Him, not just because He was his creator, but for what God is as a person, for His loving and caring for him, and meeting his needs.  Consider, how God made the Heaven and Earth as an environment for man, planted a garden to provide all of man's needs, and even gave him a wife.  Beyond all that, the earth was the place for man to live and fellowship with God.  God revealed His glory to them as they walked and talked with Him in the garden of Eden. God was their friend and they were His.  What a beautiful relationship that must have been.  What joy it must have brought to God's heart, but not for long.

Read: Gen. Chapters 2-3  Man failed God through disobedience.  Man used his Free Will to oppose the will of God.  Man chose the fellowship of his wife above his wonderful and glorious God, who created him to be in His image and likeness and for His fellowship.  Man choose to serve himself instead of God and lost the image likeness of God when God's Spirit departed from him.

The result was spiritual death, and man’s fellowship with God was broken. (Gen. 2:16-17, 3:1-6) How that must have broken the heart of God who was seeking a friend, a man after His own heart.  All through the ages we have chosen to live our lives apart from God, in the image of our own making. Having fellowship with the world in place of God, just as our father Adam did. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," Rom. 3 :23 



It is important to notice while the saved man now has the Spirit of Christ (the New Man) he also still has the spirit of Satan which is at war with the new man.  Man now has a choice between following the Spirit or Satan. There is a constant war between the flesh and the Spirit. That is the spiritual battle of the saved. (if needed review Units 10-12)

GOD GAVE MAN A FREE WILL, and God has never invaded that free will, or made it inoperative, that man was not accountable for his actions.  While man has a Free Will, his will can never take him out from under the authority and judgment of his sovereign God. "For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods. 10Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. 11Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. 12Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness." Psalm 97:9-12 

Consider: Romans 8:28; 2 Cor. 5:10

What is Apostasy?  Apostasy is an act of the will of believers, in departing from the one true and living God and the Gospel of their salvation through Jesus Christ. That is the goal and agenda of Satan for every soul that is born into the family of God, from the garden of Eden unto today.

The Apostle Paul warned the Colossian Christians of this.  "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled: 22In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;" Col.1:12-23 

Notice: All the promises and assurance of the benefits of having put their faith in the Gospel of Christ is contingent on their not leaving that hope in the gospel. Vs. 23

Consider, the following exhortations to believers, given by Christ and the apostles, to exercise their free will and to keep their faith in Him and His Word.

Consider Matthew 24:13 "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."

"ENDURE"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "hupomeno, Greek 5278, from Greek 5259 (hupo) and Greek 3306 (meno); to stay under (behind), i.e. remain; figurative to undergo, i.e. bear (trials), have fortitude, persevere :- abide, endure, (take) patient (-ly), suffer, tarry behind"

"END"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "telos, Greek 5056, from a primary tello (to set out for a definite point or goal); properly the point aimed at as a limit, i.e. (by implication) the conclusion of an act or state (termination [literal, figurative or indefinite], result [immediate, ultimate or prophetic], purpose); specially an impost or levy (as paid) :- + continual, custom, end (-ing), finally, uttermost.

Compare Greek 5411 (phoros). Greek English Interlinear New Testament: " 1BUT 2THE ONE HAVING ENDURED TO [THE] END, THIS ONE WILL BE SAVED."

Mathew Henry’s Commentary: "He that endures to the end, shall be saved. (1.) It is comfortable to those who wish well to the cause of Christ in general, that, though many are offended, yet some shall endure to the end. When we see so many drawing back, we are ready to fear that the cause of Christ will sink for want of supporters, and his name be left and forgotten for want of some to make profession of it; but even at this time there is a remnant according to the election of grace, Romans 11:5. It is spoken of the same time that this prophecy has reference to; a remnant who are not of them that draw back unto perdition, but believe and persevere to the saving of the soul; they endure to the end, to the end of their lives, to the end of their present state of probation, or to the end of these suffering trying times, to the last encounter, though they should be called to resist unto blood. (2.) It is comfortable to those who do thus endure to the end, and suffer for their constancy, that they shall be saved. Perseverance wins the crown, through free grace, and shall wear it. They shall be saved: perhaps they may be delivered out of their troubles, and comfortably survive them in this world; but it is eternal salvation that is here intended. They that endure to the end of their days, shall then receive the end of their faith and hope, even the salvation of their souls, 1 Peter 1:9; Romans 2:7; Rev. 3:20. The crown of glory will make amends for all; and a believing regard to that will enable us to choose rather to die at a stake with the persecuted, than to live in a palace with the persecutors."
Consider Luke 8:13-15 "They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 14And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. 15But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience."

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: 13. " THE ONES 1NOW UPON THE ROCK WHO WHEN THEY HEAR, WITH JOY THEY RECEIVE THE WORD, AND THESE 4A ROOT 2NOT 1DO 3HAVE, WHO FOR A WHILE BELIEVE AND IN A TIME OF TESTING THEY FALL AWAY. : 14. 2THE ONE 1NOW IN THE THORNS HAVING FALLEN, THESE ARE THE ONES HAVING HEARD, AND BY [THE] ANXIETIES AND RICHES AND PLEASURES OF LIFE [WHILE] GOING ALONG THEY ARE CHOKED AND 2NOT 1DO 3BRING FRUIT TO MATURITY. : 15. 2THE ONE 1NOW IN THE GOOD SOIL, THESE ARE [THOSE] WHO WITH 4HEART 1AN HONEST 2AND 3GOOD HAVING HEARD, THE WORD RETAIN AND BEAR FRUIT WITH PATIENCE."

"FALL"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance "aphistemi, Greek 868, from Greek 575 (apo) and Greek 2476 (histemi); to remove, i.e. (active) instigate to revolt; usually (reflexive) to desist, desert, etc. :- depart, draw (fall) away, refrain, withdraw self."

Mathew Henry's Commentary: " These for awhile believe a little while; their profession promises something, but in time of temptation they fall away from their good beginnings. Whether the temptation arises from the smiles or the frowns, of the world, they are easily overcome by it. (6.) The pleasures of this life are as dangerous and mischievous thorns to choke the good seed of the word as any other. This is added here (Luke 8:14), which was not in the other evangelists. Those that are not entangled in the cares of this life, nor inveigled with the deceitfulness of riches, but boast that they are dead to them, may yet be kept from heaven by an affected indolence, and the love of ease and pleasure. The delights of sense may ruin the soul, even lawful delights, indulged, and too much delighted in. (7.) It is not enough that the fruit be brought forth, but it must be brought to perfection, it must be fully ripened. If it be not, it is as if there was no fruit at all brought forth; for that which in Matthew and Mark is said to be unfruitful is the same that here is said to bring forth none to perfection. For factum non dicitur quod non perseverat—perseverance is necessary to the perfection of a work. (8.) The good ground, which brings forth good fruit, is an honest and good heart, well disposed to receive instruction and commandment (Luke 8:15); a heart free from sinful pollutions, and firmly fixed for God and duty, an upright heart, a tender heart, and a heart that trembles at the word, is an honest and good heart, which, having heard the word, understands it (so it is in Matthew), receives it (so it is in Mark), and keeps it (so it is here), as the soil not only receives, but keeps, the seed; and the stomach not only receives, but keeps, the food or physic.(9.) Where the word is well kept there is fruit brought forth with patience. This also is added here. There must be both bearing patience and waiting patience; patience to suffer the tribulation and persecution which may arise because of the word; patience to continue to the end in well-doing. (10.) In consideration of all this, we ought to take heed how we hear (Luke 8:18); take heed of those things that will hinder our profiting by the word we hear, watch over our hearts in hearing, and take heed lest they betray us; take heed lest we hear carelessly and slightly, lest, upon any account, we entertain prejudice against the word we hear; and take heed to the frame of our spirits after we have heard the word, lest we lose what we have gained."  Consider John 8:30-32 "As he spake these words, many believed on him. 31Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

"IF"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "ean, Greek 1437,from Greek 1487 (ei) and Greek 302 (an); a conditional particle; in case that, provided, etc.; often used in connection with other particles to denote indefiniteness or uncertainty :- before, but, except, (and) if, (if) so, (what-, whither-) soever, though, when (-soever), whether (or), to whom, [who-] so (-ever). See Greek 3361 (me)."

"Continue"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "meno, Greek 3306, a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy) :- abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), × thine own.

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: "30. 3THESE THINGS 1[AS] HE 2IS (WAS) SAYING, ANY BELIEVED IN HIM. 31. WAS SAYING THEREFORE JESUS TO THE 2HAVING BELIEVED 3IN HIM 1JEWS, IF YOU° REMAIN IN THE WORD OF ME, TRULY DISCIPLES OF ME YOU° ARE 32 AND YOU° WILL KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH WILL FREE YOU° "

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary: "Then said Jesus to those Jews who believed, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed, The impression produced by the last words of our Lord may have become visible by some decisive movement, and here He takes advantage of it to press on them "continuance" in the faith, since then only were they His real disciples (compare John 15:3-8), and then should they experimentally "know the truth," and "by the truth be made (spiritually) free."

Mathew Henry's Commentary: The character of a true disciple of Christ: "If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed."  When they believed on him, as the great prophet, they gave up themselves to be his disciples. Now, at their entrance into his school, he lays down this for a settled rule, that he would own none for his disciples but those that continued in his word. [1.] It is implied that there are many who profess themselves Christ’s disciples who are not his disciples indeed, but only in show and name. [2.] It highly concerns those that are not strong in faith to see to it that they be sound in the faith, that, though not disciples of the highest form, they are nevertheless disciples indeed. [3.] Those who seem willing to be Christ’s disciples ought to be told that they had as good never come to him, unless they come with a resolution by his grace to abide by him. Let those who have thoughts of covenanting with Christ have no thoughts of reserving a power of revocation. Children are sent to school, and bound apprentices, only for a few years; but those only are Christ’s who are willing to be bound to him for the term of life. [4.] Those only that continue in Christ’s word shall be accepted as his disciples indeed, that adhere to his word in every instance without partiality, and abide by it to the end without apostasy."

Consider John 15:1-6 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4Abide in me, and I in you . As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."

"ABIDE"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "meno, Greek 3306, a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy) :- abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), × thine own"

Greek English Interlinear New Testament "1. I AM THE VINE, THE TRUE ONE, AND THE FATHER OF ME THE VINE DRESSER IS. 2. EVERY BRANCH IN ME NOT BEARING FRUIT HE TAKES IT, AND EVERY [BRANCH] - 2FRUIT 2FRUIT 1MUCH IT MAY BEAR. 3 ALREADY YOU° 2CLEAN1ARE BECAUSE OF THE WORD WHICH I HAVE TO YOU°; 4. REMAIN IN ME, AND I IN YOU°. AS THE BRANCH 2NOT 1IS 3ABLE 5FRUIT 4TO BEAR FROM ITSELF UNLESS« IT REMAINS ON THE VINE, SO NEITHER YOU° UNLESS « IN ME YOU° REMAIN. 5. I AM THE VINE, YOU° [ARE] THE BRANCHES. THE ONE REMAINING IN ME AND I IN HIM THIS ONE BEARS 2FRUIT 1MUCH, BECAUSE APART FROM ME 2NOT 1YOU° ARE 3ABLE TO DO ANYTHING. 6. UNLESS « SOMEONE REMAINSIN ME, HE WAS (IS) CAST OUT AS THE BRANCH AND WAS (IS) DRIED UP AND THEY GATHER THEM AND INTO THE FIRE THEY THROW [THEM] AND THEY ARE BURNED."

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary: "1. I am the true vine—of whom the vine of nature is but a shadow. My Father is the husbandman—the great Proprietor of the vineyard, the Lord of the spiritual kingdom. (It is surely unnecessary to point out the claim to supreme divinity involved in this). 2. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit . . . every branch that beareth fruit—As in a fruit tree, some branches may be fruitful, others quite barren, according as there is a vital connection between the branch and the stock, or no vital connection; so the disciples of Christ may be spiritually fruitful or the reverse, according as they are vitally and spiritually connected with Christ, or but externally and mechanically attached to Him. The fruitless He "taketh away" (see on John 15:6); the fruitful He "purgeth" (cleanseth, pruneth)—stripping it, as the husbandman does, of what is rank (Mark 4:19), "that it may bring forth more fruit"; a process often painful, but no less needful and beneficial than in the natural husbandry. 3. Now—rather, "Already." ye are clean through—by reason of. the word I have spoken to you—already in a purified, fruitful condition, in consequence of the long action upon them of that searching "word" which was "as a refiner's fire" (Malachi 3:2-3). 4. Abide in me, and I in you; as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, &c.—As all spiritual fruitfulness had been ascribed to the mutual inhabitation, and living, active interpenetration (so to speak) of Christ and His disciples, so here the keeping up of this vital connection is made essential to continued fruitfulness. 5. without me—apart, or vitally disconnected from Me. ye can do nothing—spiritually, acceptably. 6. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch . . . withered . . . cast into the fire . . . burned—The one proper use of the vine is to bear fruit; failing this, it is good for one other thing—fuel. (See Ezekiel 15:1-5). How awfully striking the figure, in this view of it!"

Mathew Henry's Commentary: "The doom of the unfruitful (John 15:2): They are taken away. (John 15:4): Abide in me, and I in you. Note, It is the great concern of all Christ’s disciples constantly to keep up a dependence upon Christ and communion with him, habitually to adhere to him, and actually to derive supplies from him. Those that are come to Christ must abide in him: "Abide in me, by faith; and I in you, by my Spirit; abide in me, and then fear not but I will abide in you;" for the communion between Christ and believers never fails on his side. We must abide in Christ's word by a regard to it, and it in us as a light to our feet. We must abide in Christ’s merit as our righteousness and plea, and it in us as our support and comfort. . . . .6 The fatal consequences of forsaking Christ (John 15:6): If any man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch. This is a description of the fearful state of hypocrites that are not in Christ, and of apostates that abide not in Christ. [1.] They are cast forth as dry and withered branches, which are plucked off because they cumber the tree. It is just that those should have no benefit by Christ who think they have no need of him; and that those who reject him should be rejected by him. Those that abide not in Christ shall be abandoned by him; they are left to themselves, to fall into scandalous sin, and then are justly cast out of the communion of the faithful. [2.] They are withered, as a branch broken off from the tree. Those that abide not in Christ, though they may flourish awhile in a plausible, at least a passable profession, yet in a little time wither and come to nothing. Their parts and gifts wither; their zeal and devotion wither; their credit and reputation wither; their hopes and comforts wither, Job 8:11-13. Note, Those that bear no fruit, after while will bear no leaves. How soon is that fig-tree withered away which Christ has cursed! [3.] Men gather them. Satan’s agents and emissaries pick them up, and make an easy prey of them. Those that fall off from Christ presently fall in with sinners; and the sheep that wander from Christ’s fold, the devil stands ready to seize them for himself. When the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, an evil spirit possessed him. [4.] They cast them into the fire, that is, they are cast into the fire; and those who seduce them and draw them to sin do in effect cast them there; for they make them children of hell. Fire is the fittest place for withered branches, for they are good for nothing else, Ezekiel 15:2-4. [5.] They are burned; this follows of course, but it is here added very emphatically, and makes the threatening very terrible. They will not be consumed in a moment, like thorns under a pot (Eccles. 7:6), but kaietai, they are burning for ever in a fire, which not only cannot be quenched, but will never spend itself. This comes of quitting Christ, this is the end of barren trees. Apostates are twice dead (Jude 12), and when it is said, They are cast into the fire and are burned, it speaks as if they were twice damned."

Consider Acts 11:23 "Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord."

"CLEAVE":  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "proskollao, Greek 4347, Strong’s proskollao, from Greek 4314 (pros) and Greek 2853 (kollao); to glue to, i.e. (figurative) to adhere :- cleave, join (self)."

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: " WHO HAVING COME AND HAVING SEEN THE GRACE- -OF GOD, REJOICED AND WAS ENCOURAGING EVERYONE - 2DEVOTED- 3OF HEART 1TO REMAIN TO THE LORD,"

Mathew Henry’s Commentary: "1. To cleave to the Lord. Note, Those that have turned to the Lord are concerned to cleave unto the Lord, not to fall off from following him, not to flag and tire in following him. To cleave to the Lord Jesus is to live a life of dependence upon him and devotedness to him: not only to hold him fast, but to hold fast by him, to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. [2.] To cleave to him with purpose of heart, with an intelligent, firm, and deliberate resolution, founded upon good grounds, and fixed upon that foundation, Psalm 108:1. It is to bind our souls with a bond to be the Lord’s, and to say as Ruth, Entreat me not to leave him, or to return from following after him."

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary: "23. when he had seen the grace of God—in the new converts. was glad—owned and rejoiced in it at once as divine, though they were uncircumcised. exhorted them all that with purpose of heart—as opposed to a hasty and fickle discipleship. they would cleave unto the Lord—the Lord Jesus."
 
Consider Acts 14:22 "Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God."

Confirming   Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: peripateo, Greek 4043from Greek 4012 (peri) and Greek 3961 (pateo); to tread all around, i.e. walk at large (especially as proof of ability); figurative to live, deport oneself, follow (as a companion or votary) :- go, be occupied with, walk (about).Exhorting Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: parakaleo, Greek 3870, from Greek 3844 (para) and Greek 2564 (kaleo); to call near, i.e. invite, invoke (by imploration, hortation or consolation) :- beseech, call for, (be of good) comfort, desire, (give) exhort (-ation), entreat, pray.Continue Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "emmeno, Greek 1696, from Greek 1722 (en) and Greek 3306 (meno); to stay in the same place, i.e. (figurative) to persevere :- continue."

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: "STRENGTHENING THE SOULS OF THE DISCIPLES, ENCOURAGING [THEM] TO REMAIN IN THE FAITH AND THAT THROUGH MANY TRIBULATIONS IT IS NECESSARY [FOR] US TO ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM-OF GOD."

Mathew Henry's Commentary: "They were allured, by the prospect of preferment, to stick to the traditions of their fathers; they are frightened with the danger of swimming against the stream.  All this tempts them to think of making a retreat in time; but the apostles come and tell them that this is the true grace of God wherein they stand, and therefore they must stand to it that there is no danger like that of losing their part in Christ, no advantage like that of keeping their hold of him; that, whatever their trials may be, they shall have strength from Christ to pass through them; and, whatever their losses may be, they shall be abundantly recompensed. And this confirms the souls of the disciples; it fortifies their pious resolutions, in the strength of Christ, to adhere to Christ whatever it may cost them. Note, [1.] Those that are converted need to be confirmed; those that are planted need to be rooted. Ministers' work is to establish saints as well as to awaken sinners.  To retain is sometimes as difficult as to acquire. Those that were instructed in the truth must know the certainty of the things in which they have been instructed; and those that are resolved must be fixed in their resolutions. [2.] True confirmation is confirmation of the soul; it is not binding the body by severe penalties on apostates, but binding the soul. The best ministers can do this only by pressing those things which are proper to bind the soul; it is the grace of God, and nothing less, that can effectually confirm the souls of the disciples, and prevent their apostasy."
 
Consider: Romans 2:7 " To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:" 

"Seek"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "zeteo, Greek 2212,of uncertain affinity; to seek (literal or figurative); specially (by Hebrew) to worship (God), or (in a bad sense) to plot (against life) :- be (go) about, desire, endeavour, enquire (for), require, (× will) seek (after, for, means). Compare Greek 4441 (punthanomai)."

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: "TO THE ONES ON ONE HAND BY ENDURANCE 2WORK 1OF (IN) GOOD 4GLORY 5AND 6HONOR 7AND 8INCORRUPTIBILITY 3SEEKING, LIFE ETERNAL"

Mathew Henry's Commentary: "The product of his favour. He will render to such eternal life. Heaven is life, eternal life, and it is the reward of those that patiently continue in well-doing; and it is called (Romans 2:10) glory, honour, and peace. Those that seek for glory and honour (Romans 2:7) shall have them. Those that seek for the vain glory and honour of this world often miss of them, and are disappointed; but those that seek for immortal glory and honour shall have them, and not only glory and honour, but peace. Worldly glory and honour are commonly attended with trouble; but heavenly glory and honour have peace with them, undisturbed "
 
Consider 1 Thes. 3:5  "For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain".

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: "THEREFORE« I ALSO NO LONGER EARING [IT] SENT [TIMOTHY] SO AS- TO KNOW THE FAITH OF YOU°, LEST SOMEHOW 3TEMPTED 4YOU° 1THE 2TEMPTING ONE AND IN VAIN BECAME THE LABOR OF US.

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary: "to know—to learn the state of your faith, whether it stood the trial (Col. 4:8). lest . . . have tempted . . . and . . . be—The indicative is used in the former sentence, the subjunctive in the latter. Translate therefore, "To know . . . whether haply the tempter have tempted you (the indicative implying that he supposed such was the case), and lest (in that case) our labor may prove to be in vain" (compare Galatians 4:11). Our labor in preaching would in that case be vain, so far as ye are concerned, but not as concerns us in so far as we have sincerely labored (Isaiah 49:4; 1 Cor. 3:8)."

Mathew Henry's Commentary: "The apostle was afraid lest by any means the tempter had tempted them, 1 Thes. 3:5. The devil is a subtle and unwearied tempter, who seeks an opportunity to beguile and destroy us, and takes all advantages against us, both in a time of prosperity and adversity; and he has often been successful in his attacks upon persons under afflictions. He has often prejudiced the minds of men against religion on account of the sufferings its professors are exposed to. We have reason therefore to be jealous over ourselves and others, lest we be ensnared by him. (2.) The consequence the apostle feared was lest his labour should be in vain. And thus it would have been, if the tempter had tempted them, and prevailed against them, to move them from the faith. They would have lost what they had wrought, and the apostle would have lost what he laboured for."
 
Consider Hebrews 3:6 "But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end."

"IF"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "ean, Greek 1437,from Greek 1487 (ei) and Greek 302 (an); a conditional particle; in case that, provided, etc.; often used in connection with other particles to denote indefiniteness or uncertainty :- before, but, except, (and) if, (if) so, (what-, whither-) soever, though, when (-soever), whether (or), to whom, [who-] so (-ever). See Greek 3361 (me)." Hold Fast Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "katecho, Greek 2722,from Greek 2596 (kata) and Greek 2192 (echo); to hold down (fast), in various applications (literal or figurative) :- have, hold (fast), keep (in memory), let, × make toward, possess, retain, seize on, stay, take, withhold." Confidence Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "parrhesia, Greek 3954, from Greek 3956 (pas) and a derivative of Greek 4483 (rheo); all out-spokenness, i.e. frankness, bluntness, publicity; by implication assurance :- bold (× -ly, -ness, -ness of speech), confidence, × freely, × openly, × plainly (-ness).

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: " 2CHRIST 1BUT AS A SON OVER THE HOUSE OF HIM [WAS FAITHFUL]; WHOSE HOUSE 2ARE 1WE, IF INDEED THE CONFIDENCE AND THE BOAST OF THE HOPE WE MAY KEEP HOLD OF."

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary: "6.But Christ—was and is faithful (Hebrews 3:2). as a son over his own house—rather, "over His (God's, Hebrews 3:4) house"; and therefore, as the inference from His being one with God, over His own house. So Hebrews 10:21, "having an High Priest over the house of God." Christ enters His Father's house as the Master [over it], but Moses as a servant [in it, Hebrews 3:2, 5] [Chrysostom]. An ambassador in the absence of the king is very distinguished—in the presence of the king he falls back into the multitude [Bengel]. whose house are we—Paul and his Hebrew readers. One old manuscript, with Vulgate and Lucifer, reads, "which house"; but the weightiest manuscripts support English Version reading. the rejoicing—rather, "the matter of rejoicing." of the hope—"of our hope." Since all our good things lie in hopes, we ought so to hold fast our hopes as already to rejoice, as though our hopes were realized [Chrysostom]. firm unto the end —omitted in Lucifer and Ambrose, and in one oldest manuscript, but supported by most oldest manuscripts."

Mathew Henry's Commentary: " (Hebrews 3:6). Whose house we are: each of us personally, as we are the temples of the Holy Ghost, and Christ dwells in us by faith; all of us jointly, as we are united by the bonds of graces, truths, ordinances, gospel discipline, and devotions. [2.] With a characteristic description of those persons who constitute this house: "If we hold fast the confidence, and the rejoicing of the hope, firmly to the end; that is, if we maintain a bold and open profession of the truths of the gospel, upon which our hopes of grace and glory are built, and live upon and up to those hopes, so as to have a holy rejoicing in them, which shall abide firm to the end, notwithstanding all that we may meet with in so doing." So that you see there must not only be a setting out well in the ways of Christ, but a stedfastness and perseverance therein unto the end. We have here a direction what those must do who would partake of the dignity and privileges of the household of Christ. First, They must take the truths of the gospel into their heads and hearts. Secondly, They must build their hopes of happiness upon those truths. Thirdly, They must make an open profession of those truths. Fourthly, They must live so up to them as to keep their evidences clear, that they may rejoice in hope, and then they must in all persevere to the end. In a word, they must walk closely, consistently, courageously, and constantly, in the faith and practice of the gospel, that their Master, when he comes, may own and approve them."
 
Consider Hebrews 3:14 "For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;"

"IF"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "ean, Greek 1437,from Greek 1487 (ei) and Greek 302 (an); a conditional particle; in case that, provided, etc.; often used in connection with other particles to denote indefiniteness or uncertainty :- before, but, except, (and) if, (if) so, (what-, whither-) soever, though, when (-soever), whether (or), to whom, [who-] so (-ever). See Greek 3361 (me)."

"Partakers"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "metochos, Greek 3353, from Greek 3348 (metecho); participant, i.e. (as noun) a sharer; by implication an associate :- fellow, partaker, partner."

"Hold"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: Greek 2722, "katecho, from Greek 2596 (kata) and Greek 2192 (echo); to hold down (fast), in various applications (literal or figurative) :- have, hold (fast), keep (in memory), let, × make toward, possess, retain, seize on, stay, take, withhold." Steadfast Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "bebaios, Greek 949,from the base of Greek 939 (basis) (through the idea of basality); stable (literal or figurative) :- firm, of force, stedfast, sure."End Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: telos, Greek 5056, from a primary tello (to set out for a definite point or goal); properly the point aimed at as a limit, i.e. (by implication) the conclusion of an act or state (termination [literal, figurative or indefinite], result [immediate, ultimate or prophetic], purpose); specially an impost or levy (as paid) :- + continual, custom, end (-ing), finally, uttermost. Compare Greek 5411 (phoros).

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: " 3PARTNERS 1FOR -4OF CHRIST 2WE HAVE BECOME, IF INDEED THE BEGINNING OF THE CONVICTION UNTIL [THE] END 2FIRM 1WE MAY HOLD "

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary:"2. Take heed—to be joined with "wherefore," Hebrews 3:7. lest there be—Greek (indicative), "lest there shall be"; lest there be, as I fear there is; implying that it is not merely a possible contingency, but that there is ground for thinking it will be so. in any—"in any one of you." Not merely ought all in general be on their guard, but they ought to be so concerned for the safety of each one member, as not to suffer any one to perish through their negligence [Calvin]. heart—The heart is not to be trusted. Compare Hebrews 3:10, "They do always err in their heart." unbelief—faithlessness. Christ is faithful; therefore, saith Paul to the Hebrews, we ought not to be faithless as our fathers were under Moses. departing—apostatizing. The opposite of "come unto" Him (Hebrews 4:16). God punishes such apostates in kind. He departs from them —the worst of woes. the living God—real: the distinctive characteristic of the God of Israel, not like the lifeless gods of the heathen; therefore One whose threats are awful realities. To apostatize from Christ is to apostatize from the living God (Hebrews 2:3)."

Mathew Henry's Commentary: "for we are made partakers," &c., being a parenthesis. "It entirely depends on yourselves that the invitation of the ninety-fifth Psalm be not a mere invitation, but also an actual enjoyment." Alford translates, "Since (that is, 'for') it is said," &c., regarding Hebrews 3:15 as a proof that we must "hold . . . confidence . . . unto the end," in order to be "partakers of Christ."
 
Consider Hebrews 4:14 "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession."

"Hold"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: krateo, Greek 2902, from Greek 2904 (kratos); to use strength, i.e. seize or retain (literal or figurative) :- hold (by, fast), keep, lay hand (hold) on, obtain, retain, take (by).

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: " 2[SINCE] HAVING 1THEREFORE4HIGH PRIEST 3A GREAT HAVING GONE THROUGH THE HEAVENS, JESUS, THE SON - OF GOD, LET US HOLD FIRMLY TO THE CONFESSION."

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary: "14. Seeing then—Having, therefore; resuming Hebrews 2:17. great—as being "the Son of God, higher than the heavens" (Hebrews 7:26): the archetype and antitype of the legal high priest. passed into the heavens—rather, "passed through the heavens," namely, those which come between us and God, the aerial heaven, and that above the latter containing the heavenly bodies, the sun, moon, &c. These heavens were the veil which our High Priest passed through into the heaven of heavens, the immediate presence of God, just as the Levitical high priest passed through the veil into the Holy of Holies. Neither Moses, nor even Joshua, could bring us into this rest, but Jesus, as our Forerunner, already spiritually, and hereafter in actual presence, body, soul, and spirit, brings His people into the heavenly rest. Jesus—the antitypical Joshua (Hebrews 4:8). hold fast—the opposite of "let slip" (Hebrews 2:1); and "fall away" (Hebrews 6:6). As the genitive follows, the literally, sense is, "Let us take hold of our profession," that is, of the faith and hope which are subjects of our profession and confession. The accusative follows when the sense is "hold fast" [Tittmann]."

Mathew Henry's Commentary: "[1.] What kind of high priest Christ is (Hebrews 4:14): Seeing we have such a high priest; that is, First, A great high priest, much greater than Aaron, or any of the priests of his order. The high priests under the law were accounted great and venerable person; but they were but faint types and shadows of Christ. The greatness of our high priest is set forth, 1. By his having passed into the heavens. The high priest under the law, once a year, went out of the people's sight within the veil, into the holiest of all, where were the sacred signals of the presence of God; but Christ once for all has passed into the heavens, to take the government of all upon him, to send the Spirit to prepare a place for his people, and to make intercession for them. Christ executed one part of his priesthood on earth, in dying for us; the other he executes in heaven, by pleading the cause, and presenting the offerings, of his people.

2. The greatness of Christ is set forth by his name, Jesus—a physician and a Saviour, and one of a divine nature, the Son of God by eternal generation; and therefore having divine perfection, able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by him. Secondly, He is not only a great, but a gracious high priest, merciful, compassionate, and sympathizing with his people: We have not a high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, Hebrews 4:15. Though he is so great, and so far above us, yet he is very kind, and tenderly concerned for us. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities in such a manner as none else can be; for he was himself tried with all the afflictions and troubles that are incident to our nature in its fallen state: and this not only that he might be able to satisfy for us, but to sympathize with us. But then,

3. He is a sinless high priest: He was in all things tempted as we are, yet without sin. He was tempted by Satan, but he came off without sin. We seldom meet with temptations but they give us some shock. We are apt to give back, though we do not yield; but our great high priest came off clear in his encounter with the devil, who could neither find any sin in him nor fix any stain upon him. He was tried severely by the Father. It pleased the Lord to bruise him; and yet he sinned not, either in thought, word, or deed. He had done no violence, neither was there any deceit in his mouth. He was holy, harmless, and undefiled; and such a high priest became us. Having thus told us what a one our high priest is, the apostle proceeds to show us, [2.] How we should demean ourselves towards him. First, Let us hold fast our profession of faith in him, Hebrews 4:14. Let us never deny him, never be ashamed of him before men. Let us hold fast the enlightening doctrines of Christianity in our heads, the enlivening principles of it in our hearts, the open profession of it in our lips, and our practical and universal subjection to it in our lives. Observe here, 1. We ought to be possessed of the doctrines, principles, and practice, of the Christian life. 2. When we are so, we may be in danger of losing our hold, from the corruption of our hearts, the temptations of Satan, and the allurements of this evil world. 3. The excellency of the high priest of our profession would make our apostasy from him most heinous and inexcusable; it would be the greatest folly and the basest ingratitude. 4. Christians must not only set our well, but they must hold out: those who endure to the end will be saved, and none but they."
 
Consider Hebrews 10:38-39 "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul"

"IF"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "ean, Greek 1437,rom Greek 1487 (ei) and Greek 302 (an); a conditional particle; in case that, provided, etc.; often used in connection with other particles to denote indefiniteness or uncertainty :- before, but, except, (and) if, (if) so, (what-, whither-) soever, though, when (-soever), whether (or), to whom, [who-] so (-ever). See Greek 3361 (me)."Draw Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "hupostello, Greek 5288, hupostello,; from Greek 5259 (hupo) and Greek 4724 (stello); to withhold under (out of sight), i.e. (reflexive) to cower or shrink, (figurative) to conceal (reserve) :- draw (keep) back, shun, withdraw."  Perdition Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: " apoleia, Greek 684, from a presumed derivative of Greek 622 (apollumi); ruin or loss (physical, spiritual or eternal) :- damnable (-nation), destruction, die, perdition, × perish, pernicious ways, waste."

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: " 2WE 1BUT 4NOT 3ARE OF [THOSE] SHRINKING BACK TOWARD DESTRUCTION BUT OF FAITH TOWARD [THE] PRESERVING OF [THE] SOUL".

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary: 38. just—The oldest manuscripts and Vulgate read, "my just man." God is the speaker: "He who is just in My sight." Bengel translates, "The just shall live by my faith": answering to the Hebrew, Habakkuk 2:4; literally, "the just shall live by the faith of Him," namely, Christ, the final subject of "the vision," who "will not lie," that is, disappoint. Here not merely the first beginning, as in Galatians 3:11, but the continuance, of the spiritual life of the justified man is referred to, as opposed to declension and apostasy. As the justified man receives his first spiritual life by faith, so it is by faith that he shall continue to live (Luke 4:4). The faith meant here is that fully developed living trust in the unseen (Hebrews 11:1) Saviour, which can keep men steadfast amidst persecutions and temptations (Hebrews 10:34-36). but—Greek, "and." if any man draw back—So the Greek admits: though it might also be translated, as Alford approves, "if he (the just man) draw back." Even so, it would not disprove the final perseverance of saints. For "the just man" in this latter clause would mean one seemingly, and in part really, though not savingly, "just" or justified: as in Ezekiel 18:24, 26. In the Hebrew, this latter half of the verse stands first, and is, "Behold, his soul which is lifted up, is not upright in him." Habakkuk states the cause of drawing back: a soul lifted up, and in self-inflated unbelief setting itself up against God. Paul, by the Spirit, states the effect, it draws back. Also, what in Habakkuk is, "His soul is not upright in him," is in Paul, "My soul shall have no pleasure in him." Habakkuk states the cause, Paul the effect: He who is not right in his own soul, does not stand right with God; God has no pleasure in him. Bengel translates Habakkuk, "His soul is not upright in respect to him," namely, Christ, the subject of "the vision," that is, Christ has no pleasure in him (compare Hebrews 12:25). Every flower in spring is not a fruit in autumn. 39. A Pauline elegant turning-off from denunciatory warnings to charitable hopes of his readers (Romans 8:12). saving of the soul—literally, "acquisition (or obtaining) of the soul." The kindred Greek verb is applied to Christ's acquiring the Church as the purchase of His blood (Acts 20:28). If we acquire or obtain our soul's salvation, it is through Him who has obtained it for us by His bloodshedding. "The unbelieving man loses his soul: for not being God's, neither is he his own [compare Matthew 16:26, with Luke 9:25]: faith saves the soul by linking it to God" [Delitzsch in Alford]."

Mathew Henry's Commentary: "He presses them to perseverance, by telling them that this is their distinguishing character and will be their happiness; whereas apostasy is the reproach, and will be the ruin, of all who are guilty of it (Hebrews 10:38-39): Now the just shall live by faith, etc. (1.) It is the honourable character of just men that in times of the greatest affliction they can live by faith; they can live upon the assured persuasion they have of the truth of God’s promises. Faith puts life and vigour into them. They can trust God, and live upon him, and wait his time: and, as their faith maintains their spiritual life now, it shall be crowned with eternal life hereafter. (2.) Apostasy is the mark and the brand of those in whom God takes no pleasure; and it is a cause of God’s severe displeasure and anger. God never was pleased with the formal profession and external duties and services of such as do not persevere. He saw the hypocrisy of their hearts then; and he is greatly provoked when their formality in religion ends in an open apostasy from religion. He beholds them with great displeasure; they are an offence to him. (3.) The apostle concludes with declaring his good hope concerning himself and these Hebrews, that they should not forfeit the character and happiness of the just, and fall under the brand and misery of the wicked (Hebrews 10:39): But we are not, etc.; as if he had said, "I hope we are not of those who draw back. I hope that you and I, who have met with great trials already, and have been supported under them by the grace of God strengthening our faith, shall not be at any time left to ourselves to draw back to perdition; but that God will still keep us by his mighty power through faith unto salvation." Observe, [1.] Professors may go a great way, and after all draw back; and this drawing back from God is drawing on to perdition: the further we depart from God the nearer we approach to ruin. [2.] Those who have been kept faithful in great trials for the time past have reason to hope that the same grace will be sufficient to help them still to live by faith, till they receive the end of their faith and patience, even the salvation of their souls. If we live by faith, and die in faith, our souls will be safe for ever."
 
Consider 1 Peter 1:5 "Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."

"KEPT"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "phroureo, Greek 5432, Strongs Exhaustive Concordance phroureo, from a compound of Greek 4253 (pro) and Greek 3708 (horao); to be a watcher in advance, i.e. to mount guard as a sentinel (post spies at gates); figurative to hem in, protect :- keep (with a garrison). Compare Greek 5083 (tereo)".

"Power " Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "dunamis, Greek 1411, dunamis,; from Greek 1410 (dunamai); force (literal or figurative); specially miraculous power (usually by implication a miracle itself) :- ability, abundance, meaning, might (-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle (-s), power, strength, violence, might (wonderful) work."

"Through"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "dia, Greek 1223, a primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; through (in very wide applications, local, causal or occasional) :- after, always, among, at, to avoid, because of (that), briefly, by, for (cause)...fore, from, in, by occasion of, of, by reason of, for sake, that, thereby, therefore, × though, through (-out), to, wherefore, with (-in). In composition it retains the same general import. unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."

"FAITH"   Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "pistis, Greek 4102, from Greek 3982 (peitho); persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstract constancy in such profession; by extensive the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself :- assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity." Here we have the absolute assurance of eternal security of all who have their faith in Christ, resulting in their union with Him.

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: " THE ONES IN (BY) [THE] POWER OF GOD BEING GUARDED THROUGH FAITH FOR A SALVATION READY TO BE REVEALED IN 2TIME"

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary: "5. kept—Greek, "who are being guarded." He answers the objection, Of what use is it that salvation is "reserved" for us in heaven, as in a calm secure haven, when we are tossed in the world as on a troubled sea in the midst of a thousand wrecks? [Calvin]. As the inheritance is "kept" (1 Peter 1:4) safely for the far distant "heirs," so must they be "guarded" in their persons so as to be sure of reaching it. Neither shall it be wanting to them, nor they to it. "We are guarded in the world as our inheritance is kept in heaven." This defines the "you" of 1 Peter 1:4. The inheritance, remember, belongs only to those who "endure unto the end," being "guarded" by, or in "the power of God, through faith." Contrast Luke 8:13. God Himself is our sole guarding power. "It is His power which saves us from our enemies. It is His long-suffering which saves us from ourselves" [Bengel]. Jude 1, "preserved in Christ Jesus"; Phil. 1:6; Phil. 4:7, "keep"; Greek, "guard," as here. This guarding is effected, on the part of God, by His "power," the efficient cause; on the part of man, "through faith," the effective means. by—Greek, "in." The believer lives spiritually in God, and in virtue of His power, and God lives in him. "In" marks that the cause is inherent in the means, working organically through them with living influence, so that the means, in so far as the cause works organically through them, exist also in the cause. The power of God which guards the believer is no external force working upon him from without with mechanical necessity, but the spiritual power of God in which he lives, and with whose Spirit he is clothed. It comes down on, and then dwells in him, even as he is in it [Steiger]. Let none flatter himself he is being guarded by the power of God unto salvation, if he be not walking by faith. Neither speculative knowledge and reason, nor works of seeming charity, will avail, severed from faith. It is through faith that salvation is both received and kept. unto salvation—the final end of the new birth. "Salvation," not merely accomplished for us in title by Christ, and made over to us on our believing, but actually manifested, and finally completed. ready to be revealed—When Christ shall be revealed, it shall be revealed. The preparations for it are being made now, and began when Christ came: "All things are now ready"; the salvation is already accomplished, and only waits the Lord's time to be manifested: He "is ready to judge." last time—the last day, closing the day of grace; the day of judgment, of redemption, of the restitution of all things, and of perdition of the ungodly."
 
Consider Rev. 2:10 "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."

"FEAR"   Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "phobeo, Greek 5399, from Greek 5401 (phobos); to frighten, i.e. (passive) to be alarmed; by analogy to be in awe of, i.e. revere :- be (+ sore) afraid, fear (exceedingly), reverence." 

"None "  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "medeis, Greek 3367, including the irregular feminine medemia, may-dem-ee'-ah, and the neuter meden, may-den'; from Greek 3361 (me) and Greek 1520 (heis); not even one (man, woman, thing) :- any (man, thing), no (man), none, not (at all, any man, a whit), nothing, + without delay."

"FAITHFUL"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: " pistos, Greek 4103, object trustworthy; subject trustful :- believe (-ing, -r), faithful (-ly), sure, true."

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: " 2NOT AT ALL 1FEAR THE THINGS YOU ARE ABOUT TO SUFFER. BEHOLD 3IS ABOUT 4TO CAST 1THE 2DEVIL [SOME] OF YOU° INTO PRISON THAT YOU MAY BE TESTED AND YOU WILL HAVE AFFLICTION 2DAYS 1TEN BE FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH, AND I WILL GIVE YOU THE CROWN-OF LIFE."

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary: "10. Fear none, &c.—the oldest manuscripts read, "Fear not those things," &c. "The Captain of our salvation never keeps back what those who faithfully witness for Him may have to bear for His name's sake; never entices recruits by the promise they shall find all things easy and pleasant there" [Trench]. devil—"the accuser." He acted, through Jewish accusers against Christ and His people. The conflict of the latter was not with mere flesh and blood, but with the rulers of the darkness of this world. tried—with temptation by "the devil." The same event is often both a temptation from the devil, and a trial from God—God sifting and winnowing the man to separate his chaff from his wheat, the devil sifting him in the hope that nothing but chaff will be found in him [Trench]. ten days—not the ten persecutions from Nero to Diocletian. Lyra explains ten years on the year-day principle. The shortness of the duration of the persecution is evidently made the ground of consolation. The time of trial shall be short, the duration of your joy shall be for ever. Compare the use of "ten days" for a short time, Genesis 24:55; Numbers 11:19. Ten is the number of the world powers hostile to the Church; compare the ten horns of the beast, Rev. 13:1. unto death—so as even to endure death for My sake. crown of life— James 1:12; 2 Tim. 4:8, "crown of righteousness"; 1 Peter 5:4, "crown of glory." The crown is the garland, the mark of a conqueror, or of one rejoicing, or at a feast; but diadem is the mark of a king."

Mathew Henry's Commentary: "He foreknows the future trials of his people, and forewarns them of them, and fore-arms them against them. (1.) He forewarns them of future trials: The devil shall cast some of you into prison, and you shall have tribulation, Rev. 2:10. The people of God must look for a series and succession of troubles in this world, and their troubles usually rise higher. They had been impoverished by their tribulations before; now they must be imprisoned. Observe, It is the devil that stirs up his instruments, wicked men, to persecute the people of God; tyrants and persecutors are the devil’s tools, though they gratify their own sinful malignity, and know not that they are actuated by a diabolical malice. (2.) Christ fore-arms them against these approaching troubles, [1.] By his counsel: Fear none of these things. This is not only a word of command, but of efficacy, no, only forbidding slavish fear, but subduing it and furnishing the soul with strength and courage. [2.] By showing them how their sufferings would be alleviated and limited. First, They should not be universal. It would be some of them, not all, who should be cast into prison, those who were best able to bear it and might expect to be visited and comforted by the rest. Secondly, They were not to be perpetual, but for a set time, and a short time: Ten days. It should not be everlasting tribulation, the time should be shortened for the elect’s sake. Thirdly, It should be to try them, not to destroy them, that their faith, and patience, and courage, might be proved and improved, and be found to honour and glory. [3.] By proposing and promising a glorious reward to their fidelity: Be thou faithful to death, and I will give thee a crown of life. Observe, First, The sureness of the reward: I will give thee. He has said it that is able to do it; and he has undertaken that he will do it. They shall have the reward from his own hand, and none of their enemies shall be able to wrest it out of his hand, or to pull it from their heads. Secondly, The suitableness of it. 1. A crown, to reward their poverty, their fidelity, and their conflict. 2. A crown of life, to reward those who are faithful even unto death, who are faithful till they die, and who part with life itself in fidelity to Christ. The life so worn out in his service, or laid down in his cause, shall be rewarded with another and a much better life that shall be eternal."

The bottom line is, its a mater of CHOICE  The Scriptures make it abundantly clear that the free will of man is always operative, both before and after being born into the family of God. 

THAT ALL THE PROMISES OF LIFE WITH CHRIST ARE BASED ON CONTINUING FAITH IN CHRIST.  Keeping in mind: faith does not have its origin in mankind. Consider Ephes. 2:8-10 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

"Grace"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "charis, Greek 5485, from Greek 5463 (chairo); graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude) :- acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy)".

"Saved"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "sozo, Greek 4982, from a primary sos (contracted for obsolete saos, "safe"); to save, i.e. deliver or protect (literal or figurative) :- heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole."  Through Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "dia, Greek 1223, a primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; through (in very wide applications, local, causal or occasional) :- after, always, among, at, to avoid, because of (that), briefly, by, for (cause)...fore, from, in, by occasion of, of, by reason of, for sake, that, thereby, therefore, × though, through (-out), to, wherefore, with (-in). In composition it retains the same general import."

"FAITH"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "pistis, Greek 4102, from Greek 3982 (peitho); persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstract constancy in such profession; by extensive the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself :- assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity."

"GIFT"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "doron, Greek 1435, a present; specially a sacrifice :- gift, offering."  Good Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "agathos, Greek 18, a primary word; "good" (in any sense, often as noun) :- benefit, good (-s, things), well. Compare Greek 2570 (kalos)".

"WORKS"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "ergon, Greek 2041, from a primary (but obsolete) ergo (to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication an act :- deed, doing, labour, work." Ordained Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "proetoimazo, Greek 4282, from Greek 4253 (pro) and Greek 2090 (hetoimazo); to fit up in advance (literal or figurative) :- ordain before, prepare afore."

"WALK"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "peripateo, Greek 4043, from Greek 4012 (peri) and Greek 3961 (pateo); to tread all around, i.e. walk at large (especially as proof of ability); figurative to live, deport oneself, follow (as a companion or votary) :- go, be occupied with, walk (about)."

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: "8 -FOR BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED« THROUGH FAITH; AND THIS NOT OF YOUR [SELVES], [IT IS] GOD’S-GIFT, 9NOT OF WORKS, LEST «ANYONE SHOULD BOAST. 103HIS 1FOR 2WE ARE4MASTERPIECE,HAVING BEEN CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS FOR 2WORKS 1GOOD WHICH 2PREVIOUSLY PREPARED THAT IN THEM WE SHOULD WALK. "

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary: " 8. For—illustrating "the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness." Translate as in Ephes. 2:5, "Ye are in a saved state."through faith—the effect of the power of Christ's resurrection (Ephes. 1:19-20; Phil. 3:10) whereby we are "raised together" with Him (Ephes. 2:6; Col. 2:12). Some of the oldest manuscripts read, "through your (literally, 'the') faith." The instrument or mean of salvation on the part of the person saved; Christ alone is the meritorious agent. and that—namely, the act of believing, or "faith." "Of yourselves" stands in opposition to, "it is the gift of God" (Phil. 1:29). "That which I have said, 'through faith,' I do not wish to be understood so as if I excepted faith itself from grace" [Estius]. "God justifies the believing man, not for the worthiness of his belief, but for the worthiness of Him in whom he believes" [Hooker]. The initiation, as well as the increase, of faith, is from the Spirit of God, not only by an external proposal of the word, but by internal illumination in the soul [Pearson]. Yet "faith" cometh by the means which man must avail himself of, namely, "hearing the word of God" (Romans 10:17), and prayer (Luke 11:13), though the blessing is wholly of God (1 Cor. 3:6-7). 9. Not of works—This clause stands in contrast to "by grace," as is confirmed by Romans 4:4-5; Romans 11:6. lest—rather, as Greek, "that no man should boast" (Romans 3:27; Romans 4:2). 10. workmanship—literally, "a thing of His making"; "handiwork." Here the spiritual creation, not the physical, is referred to (Ephes. 2:8-9). created—having been created (Ephes. 4:24; Psalm 102:18; Isaiah 43:21; 2 Cor. 5:5, 17). unto good works—"for good works." "Good works" cannot be performed until we are new "created unto" them. Paul never calls the works of the law "good works." We are not saved by, but created unto, good works. before ordained—Greek, "before made ready" (compare John 5:36). God marks out for each in His purposes beforehand, the particular good works, and the time and way which tie sees best. God both makes ready by His providence the opportunities for the works, and makes us ready for their performance (John 15:16; 2 Tim. 2:21). that we should walk in them—not "be saved" by them. Works do not justify, but the justified man works (Galatians 5:22-25)."

What is the ordained work of God that we are to walk in?  Consider John 6:28-29 "Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."

"WORK"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "ergon, from a primary (but obsolete) ergo (to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication an act :- deed, doing, labour, work" Believe Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "pisteuo, Greek 4100, from Greek 4102 (pistis); to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication to entrust (especially one's spiritual well-being to Christ) :- believe (-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with."

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: "28 THEY SAID THEREFORE TOHIM, WHAT MAY WE DO THAT WE MAY WORK THE WORKS OF GOD.- 29 ANSWERED-JESUS AND SAID TO THEM, THIS IS THE WORK-OF GOD, THAT YOU° MAY BELIEVE IN [HIM] WHOM 2SENT 1THAT ONE."

CONCLUSION: Faith in the Lord and His Word is a gift that must be RECEIVED, KEPT, or DISCARDED, as an option of the receivers free will to do so.

Keep in mind the words BELIEVE, FAITH, LOVE are only word tools, defined not by dictionaries, and languages but by acts of life.

Notice the following promises of God are only for those who exercise their free will demonstrating their faith in the Lord. "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 15If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." John 14:14-17

Again, this promise of God is only to those who exercise their free will demonstrating their faith in the Lord. "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30I and my Father are one." John 10:27-30

"That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." Ephes. 1:12-14

The Holy Spirit is the Earnest [the down payment] guaranteeing those who trust in Christ will be redeemed and be in heaven with the Lord.

The Apostle Paul shares his confidence in the faithfulness of the Lord, to perform the work initiated, when Timothy exercised his free will in trusting the Lord. "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 5For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; 6Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: 7Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. 8For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. 9And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God." Philip. 1:3-11  Notice: Paul's confidence is in the good work God begun in their growing in their new life in Christ. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Cor. 5:17

Again, the Apostle calls on Timothy to exercise his free will in choosing to hold fast to the same confidence in the Lord. "When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. 6Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 8Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: 11Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 13Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us." 2 Tim. 1:5-14

Notice: The context here is Paul's confidence that the Lord was able to keep him from failing in his commitment to preach the gospel through the enabling power of the Holy Ghost. Then he tells Timothy to chose to Hold fast to the same confidence.

 Again, we hear Paul’ exhortation to that saving faith is a ongoing act of the free will in choosing to let Christ be their life. "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." Col. 3:1-4  Consider: Gal. 2:20

CONCLUSION: THE PROMISE OF LIFE IN CHRIST AND ETERNAL SECURITY, ARE THE REWARD OF A LIVING FAITH.

The Apostle Paul's warning of the consequences of using our free will to turn from God given faith in the Gospel of Christ is clear and emphatic.  Hebrews 6:4-6 "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, 5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6If 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." Paul makes it clear apostasy is renunciation of what they had, let us look at the context:

1 The overall context of the entire Letter to the Hebrews:
Two main themes are noticed and both are involved in our text.

(a) Doctrine: (1:1-10:18), Essentials of Faith in Christ as our redeemer and High Priest for acceptance by Christ and eternal security.

(b) Practical Application: (10:19-13:25). It may be regarded as supplementary exhortation to the Epistles to the Romans and Galatians, and as an inspired commentary on the book of Leviticus.

2 There are major Principles that must be kept equally in context: 

(a) That of the Doctrine of Saving Grace: Salvation is by faith and faith alone in Christ as God, and the work of redemption through his shed blood.

(b) That of the Doctrine of Sanctifying Grace: Christ is the only and sufficient mediator between God and man, to whom we can go for forgiveness and cleansing from moral sin.

Principles violated by Apostates are as follows.

(c) The Principle, of Sovereignty God's right as the only one true living God and creator. ( review this in unit 4 if necessary )    

(d) The Principle, of the Free Will of man his ability to choose his own actions.  ( review this in unit 4 if necessary )    

(e) One must choose between putting his faith in keeping the laws given under the Old testament economy, or putting his faith in the Work of Christ and Christ alone.

(f) Man must choose to keep his God given faith in Christ, to have the benefits of Christ, and His promises to those whose faith is in Him.

(g) The Principle of Yoking: an act of the free will to be walked. abiding in Christ. ( review this in unit 6 if necessary )

(h) The Principle, of FAITH and SECURITY Our profession of faith must be ratified by God's standard of faith, resulting in His promise of our security. ( review this in unit 6 if necessary )

Keep in mind: God gave all mankind a free will, and God has never invaded that free will, or made it inoperative, that everybody is accountable for their actions.

KEEPING THE CONTEXT OF THE THEMES AND PRINCIPLES INVOLVED LET US LOOK AT SOME WORD STUDIES OF OUR TEXT:

With the help of . . . .
Strongs Exhaustive Concordance
Greek English Interlinear New Testament
Mathew Henry’s Commentary
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary

Our text: Hebrews 6:4-6 "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, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 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."

LET US NOW CONSIDER OUR TEXT LINE BY LINE  .Hebrews 6:4 "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,"

"For it is impossible " IMPOSSIBLE   Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "adunatos, Greek 102, Greek 1 (a) (as a negative particle) and Greek 1415 (dunatos); unable, i.e. weak (literal or figurative); passive impossible :- could not do, impossible, impotent, not possible, weak."

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: "  2[IT IS] IMPOSSIBLE FOR FOR  for those who were once enlightened,"

"ENLIGHTENED" Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "photizo, Greek 5461,from Greek 5457 (phos); to shed rays, i.e. to shine or (transitive) to brighten up (literal or figurative) :- enlighten, illuminate, (bring to, give) light, make to see."

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: "THE ONES ONCE HAVING BEEN ENLIGHTENED, " "and have tasted"

"TASTED"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "geuomai, Greek 1089, a primary verb; to taste; by implication to eat; figurative to experience (good or ill) :- eat, taste." "The heavenly gift"; Christ given by the Father, as a consequence of their faith, resulting from the drawing of the Father."But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" John 1:12 "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:44  

" MADE"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "ginomai, Greek 1096, a prolonged and middle form of a primary verb; to cause to be ("gen"-erate), i.e. (reflexive) to become (come into being), used with great latitude (literal, figurative, intensive, etc.) :- arise, be assembled, be (-come, -fall, -have self), be brought (to pass), (be) come (to pass), continue, be divided, draw, be ended, fall, be finished, follow, be found, be fulfilled, + God forbid, grow, happen, have, be kept, be made, be married, be ordained to be, partake, pass, be performed, be published, require, seem, be showed, × soon as it was, sound, be taken, be turned, use, wax, will, would, be wrought"

" made partakers of the Holy Ghost,"

"PARTAKERS"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "metochos, Greek 3353, metochos, met'-okh-os; from Greek 3348 (metecho); participant, i.e. (as noun) a sharer; by implication an associate :- fellow, partaker, partner."

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: 2PARTNERS 1HAVING BECOME
Partners = Pronominal Adjective "If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." John 14:15-17 "This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" Galatians 3:2 "For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;" Hebrews 3:14
 
Hebrews 6:5 "And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come," "And have tasted the good Word of God,

"TASTED'  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "geuomai, Greek 1089, geuomai, ghyoo'-om-ahee; a primary verb; to taste; by implication to eat; figurative to experience (good or ill) :- eat, taste."

"WORD"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: Greek 4487, "rhema, from Greek 4483 (rheo); an utterance (individual, collective or special); by implication a matter or topic (especially of narration, command or dispute); with a negative naught whatever :- + evil, + nothing, saying, word." "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:26 "For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say." Luke 12:12

"and the powers of the world to come,"

"POWERS"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "dunamis, Greek 1411, from Greek 1410 (dunamai); force (literal or figurative); specially miraculous power (usually by implication a miracle itself) :- ability, abundance, meaning, might (-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle (-s), power, strength, violence, might (wonderful) work."WORLD Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "aion, Greek 165, by implication the world; specially (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future) :- age, course, eternal, (for) ever (-more), [n-]ever, (beginning of the, while the) world (began, without end)."

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: 6[THE POWERS 5AND OF THE COMING AGE
 
Hebrews 6:6 "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."

"If they shall fall away," IF Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "ean, Greek 1437,from Greek 1487 (ei) and Greek 302 (an); a conditional particle; in case that, provided, etc.; often used in connection with other particles to denote indefiniteness or uncertainty :- before, but, except, (and) if, (if) so, (what-, whither-) soever, though, when (-soever), whether (or), to whom, [who-] so (-ever). See Greek 3361 (me)."

"FALL"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance. "parapipto, Greek 3895, parapipto, par-ap-ip'-to; from Greek 3844 (para) and Greek 4098 (pipto); to fall aside, i.e. (figurative) TO APOSTATIZE :- fall away."

Keep in mind you cannot fall away from what you do not already have.
 
"to renew them again unto repentance;"

"TO RENEW"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "anakainizo, Greek 340, anakainizo, an-ak-ahee-nid'-zo; from Greek 303 (ana) and a derivative of Greek 2537 (kainos); to restore :- renew.

" REPENTANCE'  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "metanoia, Greek 3341, metanoia, met-an'-oy-ah; from Greek 3340 (metanoeo); (subject) compunction (for guilt, including reformation); by implication reversal (of [another's] decision) :- repentance."

"AGAIN"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "parapipto, Adverb palin, Greek 3825, palin, pal'-in; probably from the same as Greek 3823 (pale) (through the idea of oscillatory repetition); (adverb) anew, i.e. (of place) back, (of time) once more, or (conjecture) furthermore or on the other hand :- again."

"seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."

"CRUCIFYING, AFRESH"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "anastauroo , Greek 388, from Greek 303 (ana) and Greek 4717 (stauroo); to recrucify (figurative) :- crucify afresh."

"and put him to an open shame "

"SHAME"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "paradeigmatizo, Greek 3856, paradeigmatizo, par-ad-igue-mat-id'-zo; from Greek 3844 (para) and Greek 1165 (deigmatizo); to show alongside (the public), i.e. expose to infamy :- make a public example, put to an open shame."

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: "AND HAVING FALLEN AWAY,2AGAIN 1TO RENEW TO REPENTANCE, CRUCIFYING TO THEMSELVES THE SON- OF GOD AND HOLDING [HIM] UP TO CONTEMPT."

Something to think about:  Very few so called plans or tracts on salvation have anything to say on repentance. Is it because they know few people accept personal responsibility, therefore thy will likely get a negative response?

APOSTASY is a sin against the Holy Spirit because it was through the agency of the Holy Spirit we received the faith to believe the Gospel and be saved. Consider: 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?"

"DESPITE"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "enubrizo, Greek 1796, from Greek 1722 (en) and Greek 5195 (hubrizo); to insult :- do despite unto." Consider: Matthew 12:31-32 "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. 32And 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."

BLASPHEMY  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "blasphemia, Greek 988,from Greek 989 (blasphemos); vilification (especially against God) :- blasphemy, evil speaking, railing.

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: 31 THEREFORE,« I SAY TO YOU°, EVERY SIN AND LASPHEMY WILL BE FORGIVEN-MEN,-BUT 2THE 3SPIRIT 1BLASPHEMY [AGAINST] 5NOT 4WILL 6BE FORGIVEN. 32 AND WHOEVER« SPEAKS A WORD AGAINST THE SON IT WILL BE FORGIVEN HIM. BUT WHOEVER« «SPEAKS AGAINST- 3SPIRIT 1THE 2HOLY, 5NOT 4IT WILL 6BE FORGIVEN HIM NEITHER IN THIS -AGE NOR IN THE ONE COMING.

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary: "31. Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men—The word "blasphemy" properly signifies "detraction," or "slander." In the New Testament it is applied, as it is here, to vituperation directed against God as well as against men; and in this sense it is to be understood as an aggravated form of sin. Well, says our Lord, all sin—whether in its ordinary or its more aggravated forms—shall find forgiveness with God. Accordingly, in Mark (Mark 3:28) the language is still stronger: "All sin shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme." There is no sin whatever, it seems, of which it may be said. "That is not a pardonable sin." This glorious assurance is not to be limited by what follows; but, on the contrary, what follows is to be explained by this. but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32. 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—In Mark the language is awfully strong, "hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation"—or rather, according to what appears to be the preferable though very unusual reading, "in danger of eternal guilt"—a guilt which he will underlie for ever. Mark has the important addition (Mark 3:30), "Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit." (See on Matthew 10:25). What, then, is this sin against the Holy Ghost—the unpardonable sin? One thing is clear: Its unpardonableness cannot arise from anything in the nature of sin itself; for that would be a naked contradiction to the emphatic declaration of Matthew 12:31, that all manner of sin is pardonable. And what is this but the fundamental truth of the Gospel? (See Acts 13:38-39; Romans 3:22, 24; 1 John 1:7, &c.). Then, again when it is said (Matthew 12:32), that to speak against or blaspheme the Son of man is pardonable, but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is not pardonable, it is not to be conceived that this arises from any greater sanctity in the one blessed Person than the other. These remarks so narrow the question that the true sense of our Lord's words seem to disclose themselves at once. It is a contrast between slandering "the Son of man" in His veiled condition and unfinished work—which might be done "ignorantly, in unbelief" (1 Tim. 1:13), and slandering the same blessed Person after the blaze of glory which the Holy Ghost was soon to throw around His claims, and in the full knowledge of all that. This would be to slander Him with eyes open, or to do it "presumptuously." To blaspheme Christ in the former condition—when even the apostles stumbled at many things—left them still open to conviction on fuller light: but to blaspheme Him in the latter condition would be to hate the light the clearer it became, and resolutely to shut it out; which, of course, precludes salvation. (See on Hebrews 10:26-29). The Pharisees had not as yet done this; but in charging Jesus with being in league with hell they were displaying beforehand a malignant determination to shut their eyes to all evidence, and so, bordering upon, and in spirit committing, the unpardonable sin.

Mathew Henry’s Commentary: "1. Blasphemous words against the Holy Ghost are the worst kind of tongue-sins, and unpardonable, Matthew 12:31-32. (1.) Here is a gracious assurance of the pardon of all sin upon gospel terms: this Christ says to us, and it is a comfortable saying, that the greatness of sin shall be no bar to our acceptance with God, if we truly repent and believe the gospel: All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men. Though the sin has been as scarlet and crimson (Isaiah 1:18), though ever so heinous in its nature, ever so much aggravated by its circumstances, and ever so often repeated, though it reach up to the heavens, yet with the Lord there is mercy, that reacheth beyond the heavens; mercy will be extended even to blasphemy, a sin immediately touching God’s name and honour. Paul obtained mercy, who had been a blasphemer, 1 Tim. 1:13. Well may we say, Who is a God like unto thee, pardoning iniquity? Micah 7:18. Even words spoken against the Son of man shall be forgiven; as theirs were who reviled him at his death, many of whom repented and found mercy. Christ herein has set an example to all the sons of men, to be ready to forgive words spoken against them: I, as a deaf man, heard not. Observe, They shall be forgiven unto men, not to devils; this is love to the whole world of mankind, above the world of fallen angels, that all sin is pardonable to them. (2.) Here is an exception of the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which is here declared to be the only unpardonable sin. See here, [1.] What this sin; it is speaking against the Holy Ghost. See what malignity there is in tongue-sins, when the only unpardonable sin is so. But Jesus knew their thoughts, Matthew 12:25. It is not all speaking against the person or essence of the Holy Ghost, or some of his more private operations, or merely the resisting of his internal working in the sinner himself, that is here meant; for who then should be saved? It is adjudged in our law, that an act of indemnity shall always be construed in favour of that grace and clemency which is the intention of the act; and therefore the exceptions in the act are not to be extended further than needs must. The gospel is an act of indemnity; none are excepted by name, nor any by description, but those only that blaspheme the Holy Ghost; which therefore must be construed in the narrowest sense: all presuming sinners are effectually cut off by the conditions of the indemnity, faith and repentance; and therefore the other exceptions must not be stretched far: and this blasphemy is excepted, not for any defect of mercy in God or merit in Christ, but because it inevitably leaves the sinner in infidelity and impenitency. We have reason to think that none are guilty of this sin, who believe that Christ is the Son of God, and sincerely desire to have part in his merit and mercy: and those who fear they have committed this sin, give a good sign that they have not. The learned Dr. Whitby very well observes, that Christ speaks not of what should be (Mark 3:28; Luke 12:10); Whosoever shall blaspheme. As for those who blasphemed Christ when he was here upon earth, and called him a Winebibber, a Deceiver, a Blasphemer, and the like, they had some colour of excuse, because of the meanness of his appearance, and the prejudices of the nation against him; and the proof of his divine mission was not perfected till after his ascension; and therefore, upon their repentance, they shall be pardoned: and it is hoped that they may be convinced by the pouring out of the Spirit, as many of them were, who had been his betrayers and murderers. But if, when the Holy Ghost is given, in his inward gifts of revelation, speaking with tongues, and the like, such as were the distributions of the Spirit among the apostles, if they continue to blaspheme the Spirit likewise, as an evil spirit, there is no hope of them that they will ever be brought to believe in Christ; for First, Those gifts of the Holy Ghost in the apostles were the last proof that God designed to make use of for the confirming of the gospel, and were still kept in reserve, when other methods preceded. Secondly, This was the most powerful evidence, and more apt to convince than miracles themselves. Thirdly, Those therefore who blaspheme this dispensation of the Spirit, cannot possibly be brought to believe in Christ; those who shall impute them to a collusion with Satan, as the Pharisees did the miracles, what can convince them? This is such a strong hold of infidelity as a man can never be beaten out of, and is therefore unpardonable, because hereby repentance is hid from the sinner’s eyes. [2.] What the sentence is that is passed upon it; It shall not be forgiven, neither in this world, nor in the world to come. As in the then present state of the Jewish church, there was no sacrifice of expiation for the soul that sinned presumptuously; so neither under the dispensation of gospel grace, which is often in scripture called the world to come, shall there be any pardon to such as tread underfoot the blood of the covenant, and do despite to the Spirit of grace: there is no cure for a sin so directly against the remedy. It was a rule in our old law, No sanctuary for sacrilege. Or, It shall be forgiven neither now, in the sinner’s own conscience, nor in the great day, when the pardon shall be published. Or, this is a sin that exposes the sinner both to temporal and eternal punishment, both to present wrath and the wrath to come." In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 2 Thes. 1:8-9 "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 2 Peter 2:20-21 "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29Of 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? 30For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Hebrews 10:26-31

Consider 1 John 5:16-21 "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. 17All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. 18We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. 19And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. 20And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. 21Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen."

"KEEP"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "phulasso, Greek 5442 probably from Greek 5443 (phule) through the idea of isolation; to watch, i.e. be on guard (literal or figurative); by implication to preserve, obey, avoid :- beware, keep (self), observe, save. Compare Greek 5083 (tereo)."

"YOURSELVES"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "heautou, Greek 1438, (including all the other cases); from a reflexive pronoun otherwise obsolete and the generic (dative or accusative) of Greek 846 (autos); him- (her-, it-, them-, also [in conjunction with the personal pronoun of the other persons] my-, thy-, our-, your-) self (selves), etc. :- alone, her (own, -self), (he) himself, his (own), itself, one (to) another, our (thine) own (-selves), + that she had, their (own, own selves), (of) them (-selves), they, thyself, you, your (own, own conceits, own selves, -selves)."

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: "16 IF ANYONE SEES THE BROTHER OF HIM SINNING A SIN NOT [LEADING] TO DEATH, HE WILL ASK AND HE WILL GIVE TO HIM LIFE, TO THE ONES SINNING NOT [LEADING] TO DEATH .THERE IS A SIN [LEADING] TO DEATH; NOT CONCERNING THAT [SIN] DO I SAY THAT YOU SHOULD ASK. 17 EVERY UNRIGHTEOUSNESS 2SIN 1IS, AND THERE IS SIN NOT [LEADING] TO DEATH 18 WE KNOW THAT EVERYONE «HAVING BEEN BORN OF-GOD 2NOT 1DOES 3CONTINUALLY SIN, BUT THE ONE HAVING BEEN BORN OF- GOD KEEPS HIM AND THE EVIL ONE 2NOT 1DOES 3TOUCH HIM. 19 WE KNOW THAT OF- 1WHOLE IN THE EVIL ONE LIES. 20 2WE KNOW 1AND THAT THE SON- OF GOD HAS COME AND HAS GIVEN US UNDERSTANDING THAT WE MAY KNOW THE TRUE ONE, AND WE ARE IN THE TRUE ONE, [EVEN] IN THE SON OF HIM, JESUS CHRIST. THIS ONE IS THE TRUE GOD AND 2LIFE  1ETERNAL. 21 LITTLE CHILDREN, KEEP YOURSELVES FROM -IDOLS."

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary: "16. If any . . . see—on any particular occasion; Greek aorist. his brother—a fellow Christian. sin a sin—in the act of sinning, and continuing in the sin: present. not unto death—provided that it is not unto death. he shall give—The asker shall be the means, by his intercessory prayer, of God giving life to the sinning brother. Kindly reproof ought to accompany his intercessions. Life was in process of being forfeited by the sinning brother when the believer's intercession obtained its restoration. for them—resuming the proviso put forth in the beginning of the verse. "Provided that the sin is not unto death." "Shall give life," I say, to, that is, obtain life "for (in the case of) them that sin not unto death." I do not say that he shall pray for it—The Greek for "pray" means a request as of one on an equality, or at least on terms of familiarity, with him from whom the favor is sought. "The Christian intercessor for his brethren, John declares, shall not assume the authority which would be implied in making request for a sinner who has sinned the sin unto death (1 Samuel 15:35; 1 Samuel 16:1; Mark 3:29), that it might be forgiven him" [Trench, Greek Synonyms of the New Testament]. Compare Deut. 3:26. Greek "ask" implies the humble petition of an inferior; so that our Lord never uses it, but always uses (Greek) "request." Martha, from ignorance, once uses "ask" in His case (John 11:22). "Asking" for a brother sinning not unto death, is a humble petition in consonance with God's will. To "request" for a sin unto death [intercede, as it were, authoritatively for it, as though we were more merciful than God] would savor of presumption; prescribing to God in a matter which lies out of the bounds of our brotherly yearning (because one sinning unto death would thereby be demonstrated not to be, nor ever to have been, truly a brother, 1 John 2:19), how He shall inflict and withhold His righteous judgments. Jesus Himself intercedes, not for the world which hardens itself in unbelief, but for those given to Him out of the world. 17. "Every unrighteousness (even that of believers, compare 1 John 1:9; 1 John 3:4. Every coming short of right) is sin"; (but) not every sin is the sin unto death. and there is a sin not unto death—in the case of which, therefore, believers may intercede. Death and life stand in correlative opposition (1 John 5:11-13). The sin unto death must be one tending "towards" (so the Greek), and so resulting in, death. Alford makes it to be an appreciable ACT of sin, namely, the denying Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of God (in contrast to confess this truth, 1 John 5:1, 5), 1 John 2:19, 22; 1 John 4:2-3; 1 John 5:10. Such wilful deniers of Christ are not to be received into one's house, or wished "God speed." Still, I think with Bengel, not merely the act, but also the state of apostasy accompanying the act, is included—a "state of soul in which faith, love, and hope, in short, the new life, is extinguished. The chief commandment is faith and love. Therefore, the chief sin is that by which faith and love are destroyed. In the former case is life; in the latter, death. As long as it is not evident (see on 1 John 5:16, on 'see') that it is a sin unto death, it is lawful to pray. But when it is deliberate rejection of grace, and the man puts from him life thereby, how can others procure for him life?" Contrast James 5:14-18. Compare Matthew 12:31-32 as to the wilful rejection of Christ, and resistance to the Holy Ghost's plain testimony to Him as the divine Messiah. Jesus, on the cross, pleaded only for those who knew not what they were doing in crucifying Him, not for those wilfully resisting grace and knowledge. If we pray for the impenitent, it must be with humble reference of the matter to God's will, not with the intercessory request which we should offer for a brother when erring. 18. (1 John 3:9.) We know—Thrice repeated emphatically, to enforce the three truths which the words preface, as matters of the brethren's joint experimental knowledge. This 1 John 5:18 warns against abusing 1 John 5:16-17, as warranting carnal security. whosoever—Greek, "every one who." Not only advanced believers, but every one who is born again, "sinneth not ."he that is begotten—Greek aorist, "has been (once for all in past time) begotten of God"; in the beginning of the verse it is perfect. "Is begotten," or "born," as a continuing state keepeth himself—The Vulgate translates, "The having been begotten of God keepeth him" (so one of the oldest manuscripts reads): so Alford. Literally, "He having been begotten of God (nominative pendent), it (the divine generation implied in the nominative) keepeth him." So 1 John 3:9, "His seed remaineth in him." Still, in English Version reading, God's working by His Spirit inwardly, and man's working under the power of that Spirit as a responsible agent, is what often occurs elsewhere. That God must keep us, if we are to keep ourselves from evil, is certain. Compare John 17:15 especially with this verse. that wicked one toucheth him not—so as to hurt him. In so far as he realizes his regeneration-life, the prince of this world hath nothing in him to fasten his deadly temptations on, as in Christ's own case. His divine regeneration has severed once for all his connection with the prince of this world. 19. world lieth in wickedness—rather, "lieth in the wicked one," as the Greek is translated in 1 John 5:18; 1 John 2:13-14; compare 1 John 4:4; John 17:14-15. The world lieth in the power of, and abiding in, the wicked one, as the resting-place and lord of his slaves; compare "abideth in death," 1 John 3:14; contrast 1 John 5:20, "we are in Him that is true." While the believer has been delivered out of his power, the whole world lieth helpless and motionless still in it, just as it was; including the wise, great, respectable, and all who are not by vital union in Christ. 20. Summary of our Christian privileges. is come—is present, having come. "He is here—all is full of Him—His incarnation, work, and abiding presence, is to us a living fact" [Alford]. given us an understanding—Christ's, office is to give the inner spiritual understanding to discern the things of God. that we may know—Some oldest manuscripts read, "(so) that we know." him that is true—God, as opposed to every kind of idol or false god (1 John 5:21). Jesus, by virtue of His oneness with God, is also "He that is true" (Rev. 3:7). even—"we are in the true" God, by virtue of being "in His Son Jesus Christ." This is the true God—"This Jesus Christ (the last-named Person) is the true God" (identifying Him thus with the Father in His attribute, "the only true God," John 17:3, primarily attributed to the Father). and eternal life—predicated of the Son of God; Alford wrongly says, He was the life, but not eternal life. The Father is indeed eternal life as its source, but the Son also is that eternal life manifested, as the very passage (1 John 1:2) which Alford quotes, proves against him. Compare also 1 John 5:11, 13. Plainly it is as the Mediator of eternal life to us that Christ is here contemplated. The Greek is, "The true God and eternal life is this" Jesus Christ, that is, In believing in Him we believe in the true God, and have eternal life. The Son is called "He that is true," Rev. 3:7, as here. This naturally prepares the way for warning against false gods (1 John 5:21). Jesus Christ is the only "express image of God's person" which is sanctioned, the only true visible manifestation of God. All other representations of God are forbidden as idols. Thus the Epistle closes as it began (1 John 1:1-2).21. Affectionate parting caution. from idols—Christians were then everywhere surrounded by idolaters, with whom it was impossible to avoid intercourse. Hence the need of being on their guard against any even indirect compromise or act of communion with idolatry. Some at Pergamos, in the region whence John wrote, fell into the snare of eating things sacrificed to idols. The moment we cease to abide "in Him that is true (by abiding) in Jesus Christ," we become part of "the world that lieth in the wicked one," given up to spiritual, if not in all places literal, idolatry (Ephes. 5:5; Col. 3:5)."

Mathew Henry’s Commentary: "Then there are sins which, by divine constitution, are unto death; and that either death corporal or spiritual and evangelical. First, Such as are, or may be, to death corporal. Such may the sins be either of gross hypocrites, as Ananias and Sapphira, or, for aught we know, of sincere Christian brethren, as when the apostle says of the offending members of the church of Corinth, For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep, 1 Cor. 11:30. There may be sin unto corporal death among those who may not be condemned with the world. Such sin, I said, is, or may be, to corporal death. The divine penal constitution in the gospel does not positively and peremptorily threaten death to the more visible sins of the members of Christ, but only some gospel-chastisement; for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth, Hebrews 12:6. There is room left for divine wisdom or goodness, or even gospel severity, to determine how far the chastisement or the scourge shall proceed. And we cannot say but that sometimes it may (in terrorem—for warning to others) proceed even to death. Then, Secondly, There are sins which, by divine constitution, are unto death spiritual and evangelical, that is, are inconsistent with spiritual and evangelical life, with spiritual life in the soul and with an evangelical right to life above. Such are total impenitence and unbelief for the present. Final impenitence and unbelief are infallibly to death eternal, as also a blaspheming of the Spirit of God in the testimony that he has given to Christ and his gospel, and a total apostasy from the light and convictive evidence of the truth of the Christian religion. These are sins involving the guilt of everlasting death.

Then comes,"Our examination of Hebrews 6:4-6 "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, 5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6If 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."

This makes it amply clear that those saved by faith have the responsibility of using and guarding their free will to remain faithful to Christ. Lest they be drawn away from their faith in Christ, committing the deadly sin of apostasy.

BEWARE OF THOSE THAT WOULD LEAD YOU INTO APOSTASY  Col. 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."

SPOIL  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "sulagogeo, Greek 4812, from the base of Greek 4813 (sulao) and (the reduplicated form of) Greek 71 (ago); to lead away as booty, i.e. (figurative) seduce :- spoil."

PHILOSOPHY  Human secular thought. Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "philosophia, Greek 5385, from Greek 5386 (philosophos); "philosophy", i.e. (special) Jewish sophistry :- philosophy."

VAIN  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "kenos, Greek 2756, apparently a primary word; empty (literal or figurative) :- empty, (in) vain."

DECEIT  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "apate, Greek 539, from Greek 538 (apatao); delusion :- deceit (-ful, -fulness), deceivableness (-ving)."

TRADITION  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "paradosis, Greek 3862, from Greek 3860 (paradidomi); transmission, i.e. (concrete) a precept; specially the Jewish traditionary law :- ordinance, tradition."

RUDIMENTS  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "stoicheion, Greek 4747, neuter of a presumed derivative of the base of Greek 4748 (stoicheo); something orderly in arrangement, i.e. (by implication) a serial (basal, fundamental, initial) constituent (literal), proposition (figurative) :- element, principle, rudiment."

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: " 8 BEWARE LEST 2ANYONE [OF]3YOU° 1THERE BE -BEING TAKEN CAPTIVE THROUGH- PHILOSOPHY AND EMPTY DECEIT ACCORDING TO THE TRADITIO -OF MEN, ACCORDING TO THE ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF THE WORLD AND NOT ACCORDING TO CHRIST; 9 BECAUSE IN HIM DWELLS ALL THE FULLNESS OF THE GODHEAD BODILY, 10 AND YOU° ARE 2IN 3HIM 1HAVING BEEN MADE FULL, WHO IS THE HEAD OF ALL RULE AND AUTHORITY."

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary: "8. Translate, "Beware (literally, 'Look' well) lest there shall be (as I fear there is: the Greek indicative expresses this) any man (pointing to some known emissary of evil, Galatians 1:7) leading you away as his spoil (not merely gaining spoil out of you, but making yourselves his spoil) through (by means of) his philosophy," &c. The apostle does not condemn all philosophy, but "the philosophy" (so Greek) of the Judaic-oriental heretics at Colosse, which afterwards was developed into Gnosticism. You, who may have "the riches of full assurance" and "the treasures of wisdom," should not suffer yourselves to be led away as a spoil by empty, deceitful philosophy: "riches" are contrasted with spoil; "full" with "vain," or empty (Col. 2:2-3, 9).after—"according to." tradition of men—opposed to, "the fulness of the Godhead." Applied to Rabbinical traditions, Mark 7:8. When men could not make revelation even seem to tell about deep mysteries which they were curious to pry into, they brought in human philosophy and pretended traditions to help it, as if one should bring a lamp to the sundial to find the hour [Cauations for Times, p. 85]. The false teachers boasted of a higher wisdom in theory, transmitted by tradition among the initiated; in practice they enjoined asceticism, as though matter and the body were the sources of evil. Phrygia (in which was Colosse) had a propensity for the mystical and magical, which appeared in their worship of Cybele and subsequent Montanism [Neander].rudiments of the world—(See on Galatians 4:3). "The rudiments" or elementary lessons "of the (outward) world," such as legal ordinances; our Judaic childhood's lessons (Col. 2:11, 16, 20; Galatians 4:1-3). But Neander, "the elements of the world," in the sense, what is earthly, carnal and outward, not "the rudiments of religion," in Judaism and heathenism. not after Christ—"Their" boasted higher "philosophy" is but human tradition, and a cleaving to the carnal and worldly, and not to Christ. Though acknowledging Christ nominally, in spirit they by their doctrine deny Him." 9. For—"Because." Their "philosophy" (Col. 2:8) is not "after Christ," as all true philosophy is, everything which comes not from, and tends not to, Him, being a delusion; "For in Him (alone) dwelleth" as in a temple, &c. the fulness— (Col. 1:19; John 14:10). of the Godhead—The Greek (theotes) means the essence and nature of the Godhead, not merely the divine perfections and attributes of Divinity (Greek, "theiotes"). He, as man, was not merely God-like, but in the fullest sense, God. bodily—not merely as before His incarnation, but now "bodily in Him" as the incarnate word (John 1:14, 18). Believers, by union with Him, partake of His fulness of the divine nature (John 1:16; 2 Peter 1:4; see on Ephes. 3:19)."10. And—And therefore; and so. Translate in the Greek order, "Ye are in Him (by virtue of union with Him) filled full" of all that you need (John 1:16). Believers receive of the divine unction which flows down from their Divine Head and High Priest (Psalm 133:2). He is full of the "fulness" itself; we, filled from Him. Paul implies, Therefore ye Colossians need no supplementary sources of grace, such as the false teachers dream of. Christ is "the Head of all rule and authority" (so the Greek), Ephes. 1:10; He, therefore, alone, not these subject "authorities" also, is to be adored (Col. 2:18)."

Beware: Keep what you have in Christ. Col. 2:6-7, 9-10 "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. . . . . . 9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:"

"WALK"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: peripateo, Greek 4043, from Greek 4012 (peri) and Greek 3961 (pateo); to tread all around, i.e. walk at large (especially as proof of ability); figurative to live, deport oneself, follow (as a companion or votary) :- go, be occupied with, walk (about).

This is a personal responsibility of the saved to use their free will to do so, with the following results for doing so.

"ROOTED"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "rhizoo, Greek 4492, from Greek 4491 (rhiza); to root (figurative become stable) :- root."

ESTABLISHED Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "bebaioo, Greek 950, from Greek 949 (bebaios); to stabilitate (figurative) :- confirm, (e-) establish."
Col. 9-10 "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:"

"COMPLETE"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "pleroo, Greek 4137, from Greek 4134 (pleres); to make replete, i.e. (literal) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (figurative) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc. :- accomplish, × after, (be) complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfil, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply."

Greek English Interlinear New Testament: "6 AS THEREFORE YOU° RECEIVED- CHRIST JESUS THE LORD, IN HIM WALK, 7HAVING BEEN ROOTED AND BEING BUILT UP IN HIM AND BEING FIRMLY FOUNDED IN THE FAITH AS YOU° WERE TAUGHT, ABOUNDING IN THANKSGIVING. . . . . 9 BECAUSE IN HIM DWELLS ALL THE FULLNESS OF THE GODHEAD BODILY, 10 AND YOU° ARE 2IN 3HIM 1HAVING BEEN MADE FULL, WHO IS THE HEAD OF ALL RULE ND AUTHORITY."

Consider the context of 1 John 2:18-23 All are cautioned against false doctrine and apostasy that infiltrate the church. "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. 20But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 22Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also." "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." 1 John 4:3

Every man is an antichrist, who denies the Person, or any of the offices of Christ; and in denying the Son, he denies the Father also. The great and most hurtful lies that the father of lies spreads in the world, usually are falsehoods and errors relating to the person of Christ. The unction from the Holy One, that is the Holy Spirit, manifest the Lordship of Christ, his work of atonement, and the new-creating work of the Holy Ghost. 

Those who deny the Godhead of Christ, or His atonement, and the new-creating work of the Holy Ghost identify themselves as the antichrist, or one of his followers. 

Let us expose them for what they are and expel them from our midst. With the knowledge that seducers would rise in the Christian world, we are to warn those who come into the family of God, to keep them from being seduced to leave the faith.

Consider Paul's warning to the Colossian Church not to follow the god's of this world. Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 

Consider Paul's letter to Timothy. "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;" 1 Tim. 4:1 Consider Paul's letter to the Colossian Christians. "If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;" Col. 1:23

"IF"  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: "ean, Greek 1437,from Greek 1487 (ei) and Greek 302 (an); a conditional particle; in case that, provided, etc.; often used in connection with other particles to denote indefiniteness or uncertainty :- before, but, except, (and) if, (if) so, (what-, whither-) soever, though, when (-soever), whether (or), to whom, [who-] so (-ever). See Greek 3361 (me)."
 
HOW DID GOD DEAL WITH HIS COVENant PEOPLE THAT TURNED THEIR FAITH FROM HIM IN THE PAST?  Numbers 14:22-37 "Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; 23Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: 24But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. 25(Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) To morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea. 26And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 27How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. 28Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: 29Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, 30Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. 31But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. 32But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. 33And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. 34After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. 35I the Lord have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die. 36And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, 37Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the Lord." Numbers 15:30 "But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people." Numbers 26:64-65 "But among these there was not a man of them whom Moses and Aaron the priest numbered, when they numbered the children of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai. 65For the Lord had said of them, They shall surely die in the wilderness. And there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.""For indeed the hand of the Lord was against them, to destroy them from among the host, until they were consumed. 16So it came to pass, when all the men of war were consumed and dead from among the people," Deut. 2:15-16 "If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them." 1 Samuel 2:25  "Therefore he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness: "Psalm 106:26 Consider, the relevance of how God dealt with those that turned their faith from Him in the past to the church today. 1 Cor. 10:1-12 "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." "For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it." Hebrews 3:16-4:2 "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." "I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not." Jude 1:5

Paul's warning of the coming Apostasy in and of the Church. 1 Tim. 4:1 "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"

Satan's agenda has not changed from the garden of Eden to this present time, his goal is to turn the faith of mankind from the one true and living God to the doctrine of devils. Consider the messengers of the new age movement that has taken many souls down the road to apostasy, as well as other "Cults That Take the Name Christian" [in unit 1] "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." 2 Cor. 11:13-15

Satan's work of drawing the church into apostasy is accelerating as we draw near to the end of the church age. "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness". 2 Thes. 2:3-12

Beware of the deadly sin of apostasy. Remember, the agenda of Satan has not changed, from the garden of Eden to the day of his demise, it will be to take as many as he can from faith in the one true living God.

In the light of Satan's programs to accomplish this evil endeavor through churches that take the name Christian, on their way to, or already having become apostate. Beware of them.

STAY AWAY from those in the New Age movement as they open the door to spiritism, occult and witchcraft, all of which are tools of Satan to lead people from their faith in Christ and His Word.  TV and the Internet offer many enticements to open the minds of believers in Christ and His Word to the lies of Satan, through spiritism, occult and witchcraft

BEWARE of what you watch.  Game rooms [arcades] are another place of enticements to open the minds of believers in Christ and His Word to the lies of Satan, BEWARE of what you play with.  One of the most convincing tools of Satan to destroy faith in Christ, and the Bible, is the "Discovery Channel" with its pseudo scientific so called facts, presented by atheistic men and woman with convincing titles and degrees.
 
I bring this investigation into God's Word to your attention out of fear of the Lord.  Consider: Ezekiel 33:1-9 "Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 2Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: 3If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; 4Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. 6But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. 7So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. 8When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 9Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul."

The principle the Lord taught here is clear and applicable to the under-shepherds of the flock of God today, as well as, all evangelist and missionaries of which I am one, therefore I set God's warning before you.

By the way, every father is an under-shepherd of his family and accountable to the Lord as such.  Be alert to what your family minds are exposed to. It is something to think about, pray about, and act upon.

 
Self test: on Understanding the deadly sin of Apostasy Unit 14b

These questions are more than an academic quiz, they help you think through the facts you have learned, so that you can form convictions as to the will of God for your life. Remember meditation on God's Word is the key to gaining wisdom, and only when it is applied in your life are you assured of being in the will of God and the place of His blessing.

Things to consider:
Q 1. What is apostasy?
Q 2. Can moral sin separate you from the family of God?
Q 3.What are some of the ways Satan uses to lead a person or church into apostasy?
Q 4. What principles applied protect one from committing apostasy?
Q 5. What principles are violated that result in apostasy?
Q 6. What obligation do we have to those who are being influenced by apostates?
Q 7. Can one return from apostasy? If not why not?
 
You are now ready to study 18 Dispensations & Future events.
 
May your decisions bring you the promise Romans 8:28 “ And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”   
Your friend in Christ Warren T. Smith

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