The Unforgivable Blasphemy: the Pharisees & Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor as Exemplars

He that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness.”  Mark 3:29

The doctrine of the Holy Trinity defines the One God in three Persons, God the Father, God the Son Incarnate and God the Holy Spirit—the one true, personal Triune God Who spoke all things of creation, seen (material) and unseen (time, space, life, spirit, law) ex nilo, meaning from nothing. The second Person, Jesus Christ the Son, perfectly fulfills the Law and Prophets from the pre-flood world to our own and is God incarnate (John 1:1), the Truth, the Way and the Life, for life and salvation are only of the living Triune God and no other.

The Holy Spirit is associated with the Triune God’s divine actions, such as creation, judgment, miracles, prophecy, cleansing, sanctioning, and justifying: Matthew 16:17, Mark 12:36, Luke 1:67, John 16:13, John 14:26, 1 Tim. 4:1,  Romans 8:9-11. (The Holy Spirit and the Trinity,
Before proceeding, we must clearly understand what the unforgivable blasphemy is not.

To begin, Scripture reveals that the One God in three Persons knows your spirit (mind, will, conscience) better than anyone, including yourself:

God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us.” (Acts 15:8; also 1 Chronicles 29:17; Jeremiah 11:20; John 2: 24-25; Psalms 44:21, 139:1-2)
This means for example that if at one time,  like C.S. Lewis after the death of his wife, you felt great anger against the Holy Spirit after the death of a loved one and accused Him of causing you to suffer, leading you (like Lewis) to turn away from Him for a time, Jesus’s Blood nevertheless atones for you because God Who knows your spirit knows you, like Lewis, really love Him and that you didn’t mean it. (Acts 13:39).

Respected Christian theologian Dr. F.F. Bruce elaborates,

“…Speaking against the Son of man might be due to a failure to recognize Him for what He is. So Paul recalls how in his pre-Christian days he thought it his duty to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. But if, having seen the light on the Damascus road, he had deliberately closed his eyes to it and kicked out against the goad which was directing him into the true path, that would have been the sin against the Holy Spirit.....The Holy Spirit persuades and enables men to accept Christ and enjoy the saving benefits of the gospel (John 16:8; 1 Cor. 2:14; Acts 7:51), but if anyone refuses to submit to the Spirit’s gracious constraint, preferring to call good evil and evil good, how can the gospel avail for him? The deliberate refusal of the grace of God is the one sin which by its very nature is irremediable.” (F.F. Bruce, Answers to Questions, 1973, pp. 46-47;

For all who humbly repent of their sins and confess with their mouth,

“....Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)

Now to the unforgivable blasphemy:

Anyone who rejects the Holy Spirit’s convicting influence and does not repent will not be forgiven, ‘neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Matthew 12:32” (Ray Comfort, “The Unpardonable Sin,” The Evidence Bible, 2001, ibid)

 “And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” (Matthew 12:31-34)

Jesus regards blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as permanently rejecting His identity (Matthew 12:18) as attested by the Spirit's works (12:28). (Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary, New Testament, 1993, p. 80)

By “blaspheming” the Holy Spirit, Jesus refers to all unrepentant sinners who deny the divine authority and activity of the Holy Spirit by which they reject His identity. This also applies to those who refuse the prodding of the Holy Spirit to believe the Gospel and repent of their sin:

"For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins." (Hebrews 10:29). 

The sin of the Pharisees (Mark 3:30) was clearly against the Holy Spirit.  Long had they watched and listened to  Jesus Christ. They observed him doing undeniable and powerful miracles that were clear evidence of power supplied by God to raise people from the dead and release others from obvious suffering and demonic infestation and possession.

However, in their pride, suspicion, doubt, and envy the Pharisees had so firmly set their hearts against accepting Jesus as the Messiah that they rejected the obvious truth before them and perversely twisted it in their publicly stated attribution of the power supplied by God to the most ultimately evil being in the universe. In other words, they called the Holy Spirit of God the unclean spirit of Satan and in effect, charged Jesus Christ of being a sorcerer in league with Satan.

Today the power supplied by God is routinely attributed to evolution by science-worshipping atheist humanists and certain theologians who in effect make Jesus Christ into a charlatan.

As Augustine said, "quoddam dictum, quaedam blasphemia," meaning their blasphemy consisted, not of words spoken rashly or ignorantly, but of murderous words spoken maliciously in order to destroy Christ.

Dr. Henry Morris clarifies the true nature of the Pharisees’ sin:

The unforgivable sin of speaking against the Holy Spirit has been interpreted in various ways, but the true meaning cannot contradict other Scripture. It is unequivocally clear that the one unforgivable sin is permanently rejecting Christ (John 3:18; 3:36). Thus, speaking against the Holy Spirit is equivalent to rejecting Christ with such finality that no future repentance is possible. ‘My spirit shall not always strive with man,’ God said long ago. Genesis 6:3."

"…In the context of this particular passage (Matthew 12: 22-32), Jesus had performed a great miracle of creation, involving both healing and casting out a demon, but the Pharisees rejected this clear witness of the Holy Spirit. Instead they attributed His powers to Satan, thus demonstrating an attitude permanently resistant to the Spirit, and to the deity and saving Gospel of Christ.” (Henry M. Morris, The Defender’s Study Bible, 1995)

While envious men might cruelly slander and destroy the spiritual virtues of a servant of Christ and be very near the unpardonable sin, it is not the man that makes the difference but the source of the blasphemy.  If the source is ignorance, misconception, or ill-informed prejudice, then blasphemy is equally pardonable with other sins.  But if the source be malice rooted in envy and hatred of Truth then the sin is not against the servant of Christ but against the Holy Spirit who inspires him. 

 Using the Pharisees as an example, Jesus Christ speaks of a spirit (mind, will, conscience) so proud, rebellious, depraved and unrepentant that it refuses to listen to anything the Holy Spirit tells it.  Instead, it chooses to remain forever in unbelief and is even capable of accusing the Son of having Satan in Himself. Such a spirit is guilty of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit:
But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed” (Romans 2:5).
Hebrews 6:4-6 exemplifies the blasphemy of conceptual murderers of the Holy Triune God beginning with Nimrod and much later Karl Marx, the father of the devilish Communist Manifesto, Freud and Nietzsche together with intellectually arrogant apostatizing priests:

"Having ceased to be a minister of Christ, he who is represented by this star becomes the minister of the devil; and lets loose the powers of hell against the churches of Christ."  (Concise Commentary, Matthew Henry)

It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”  (Hebrews 6:4)
In his youth Karl Marx professed to be a Christian.  In his work, “The Union of the Faithful with Christ,” we read,

Through love of Christ we turn our hearts at the same time toward our brethren who are inwardly bound to us and for whom He gave Himself in sacrifice.”  (Marx & Satan, Richard Wurmbrand, p. 11)
In his thesis, “Considerations of a Young Man on Choosing His Career,” Marx writes that Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for all men and He is the Ideal toward which all men strive:
“…and who shall dare contradict such claims?  If we have chosen the position in which we can accomplish the most for Him, then we can never be crushed by burdens, because they are only sacrifices made for the sake of all.”  (ibid, p. 11)
Marx began life as a self-professed Christian but shortly after receiving his graduation certificate he rejected the leading of the Holy Spirit, thus a new, darkly frightening Marx began to emerge.
In his poem, “Invocation of One in Despair, ” he declared his intention to avenge himself against the “One who rules above…”  Like his father the devil Marx brazenly states:
“I shall build my throne high overhead…” (ibid, p. 12)
Marx’s boast sounds much like Lucifer’s:

I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.” (Isaiah 14:13)
Like Satan, Marx now dreamt of ruining the world created by the Triune God:
Then I will be able to walk triumphantly, Like a god, through the ruins of their kingdom.  Every word of mine is fire and action.  My breast is equal to that of the Creator.” (Quoted in Deutsche Tagespost, West Germany, Dec. 1982)
In the poem called “The Player,” Marx confesses that a dark spiritual transformation, or counter-conversion has occurred:

The hellish vapors rise and fill the brain, Till I go mad and my heart is utterly changed. See this sword?  The prince of darkness Sold it to me. For me he beats the time and gives the signs. Ever more boldly I play the dance of death.” (ibid, Wurmbrand, p. 15)

Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor

In Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel, "The Brothers Karamazov," (1879-1880) the Grand Inquisitor is an important part of the novel because the character represents one of the most important endowments of the fallen human psyche: moral freedom in the face of good and evil.   In particular, the Grand Inquisitor symbolizes the principle of pride, negation and rebellion in mortal men such Hegel, Karl Marx, Nietzsche, and the evolutionary pantheist Teilhard de Chardin, who though not the actual devil are of like mind with him. 

The Grand Inquisitor is a conscious swindler, a heartless Big Liar who knows that the Triune God of Revelation exists, yet perversely chooses to rebel against God as revealed through Jesus Christ despite that he knows his own life is by the grace of the Triune God of life.

Marx's rebellion was against the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  In the twisted manner of the Pharisees, Marx accuses the Triune God of being evil personified even as he perversely lauds Satan as the liberator of man.   Thus he declares war against the Triune God and the world created by Him and in his poem, "The Pale Maiden"  admits that he has willfully opted for Hell:

"Thus heaven I've forfeited; I know it full well; My soul, once true to God; I am chosen for hell." (Marx & Satan, Richard Wurmbrand, p. 22)

Marx's devilish comrade in arms, Mikhail Bakunin, celebrates the Evil One as the satanic revolt against divine authority,

"Socialists recognize each other by the words, "In the name of the one to whom a great wrong has been done....Satan (is) the eternal rebel, the first freethinker and the emancipator of worlds." (Mikhail Bakunin, comrade of Marx, ibid, p. 27)

The Satanic revolt, like orthodox Christian faith is a movement of spirit having its taproot and energy in Satan, the father of lies, hate and envy; the author of heresy, rebellion, occult science (i.e., evolution) and secret gnosis. As Lucifer Satan is the seething energy of evolution, the angel of evolution and the 'god' sought within by Mystery initiates from the pre-flood world to our own.

 When in his rebellion against the Triune God Marx found himself compelled to negate the central conclusion of the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo because of his desire to establish that instead of man created in the spiritual image of God,  man “owes his existence (only) to man” and by extension, that the entire history of the world is the creation of man, he virtually recapitulated Thomas Aquinas’ argument for the existence of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Political Apocalypse, Ellis Sandoz, pp. 113-114)
Marx first admits that man can only consider himself independent when he,
“…owes his existence to himself.  A man who lives by the grace of another regards himself as a dependent being.  But if I live completely by the grace of another...I owe him not only the maintenance of my life, but if he has, moreover, created my life (then) he is the source of my life.  When it is not of my own creation, my life has necessarily a source of this kind outside of it.  The creation is therefore an idea very difficult to dislodge from popular consciousness.” (ibid)
From this intellectual exercise Marx correctly concludes that the idea that nature and man are not created but rather conscious products of evolution over billions of years is incomprehensible because it “contradicts everything tangible in practical life.”
Marx knows that the Triune God of Revelation exists, so he chooses to will himself to ‘know God does not exist’ and boldly prohibits the asking of questions pertaining to Gods’ existence. To even ask if God exists and if He spoke creation into existence becomes wholly unreasonable, hence reasonable men do not ask such questions.  

Being of one mind with the devil, the Grand Inquisitor (Marx) suggests that in order to affirm that man is god, the denial of the existence of the God of Revelation has in the past been necessary, thus to further his swindle, he asserts antitheism rather than atheism, which is merely a negation of God that nevertheless postulates the existence of man through this negation.  

For the Inquisitor, the prudent course is to flatly deny the existence of the God of Revelation and creation ex nihilo and enforce this dictate by way of terroristic psychological bullying and if need be by murder.  Terrorize believers into groveling submission, and even better, accommodation, by way of destruction of their spiritual virtues via harsh scorn, cruel ridicule, slander and charges of insanity.  

The Inquisitor also knows that if men are deprived of the living God of Revelation they will worship something else.  Thus the Inquisitor proffers the natural religion of scientific socialism and dialectical materialism (evolutionary theory). 

But when later on Darwin published his own theory, the Inquisitor immediately perceived its' philosophical materialist implications.  The idea that humans evolved by chance and natural selection from primordial water or lifeless chemicals lay the axe at the very foundation of the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo and provided the "scientific" framework to support the economic infrastructure on which Marx could build his godless communist utopia:

"...the biggest thing going for Darwinism was that it finally broke the tyranny in which Christianity had held the minds of men for so many centuries." (F. Hoyle and C. Wickramasinghe, "Evolution From Space," 1983, pp. xiii-xxii, 81 and 145)

 In this light we can see that Hebrews 6:4-6 refers not only to the Pharisees but to an individual such as Marx, who by the leading of the Holy Spirit had tasted the goodness of the word of God, but now willfully chooses to renounce his faith, close his heart to the Holy Spirit and with malice aforethought, willfully lead unwitting sheep to their destruction.

Such a heart is a darkened soul so thoroughly hardened and unrepentant–and in the case of Marx severely demonically infested–that it not only declares war against God but goes so far as to prohibit questions about His existence and His creation and perversely actively seeks the loss of salvation for others.  Having willfully rejected physical resurrection in eternal paradise, the world made completely anew, it wants no others to have it either.
It is too late for such a soul for God has declared He will not forgive blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31), thus such a soul will not be brought back to repentance.  By its’ own decision it decided in favor of hell– outer darkness—for all eternity:

It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).

 However, with the exception of the unforgivable sin,

"....there is nothing in the category of human offenses that is beyond the reach of divine forgiveness. 'Although your sins be like scarlet, they shall be white as snow,' is the ancient promise given by God to men; 'though they be like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18)  This is not to be an encouragement to sin, but rather as an inducement to repentance. If the sinner truly repents, imploring God’s forgiveness for Jesus’ sake; if he accepts him as Saviour and endeavors, with divine help, to live thereafter a Christian life, he will not only be forgiven, but will be kept from falling back into sin. This is the teaching of the Gospel, and it is exemplified in innumerable cases today. We have many instances everywhere of great sinners who have forsaken their evil ways and who are now living the new life, sustained by divine power....There is no punishment for sins that are forgiven. ‘Jesus paid it all.’” (Bible Answers for 1000 Difficult Questions,

As each person has but one life in which to get things right with the Holy Triune God, it is critically important that he or she confess and repent of their sins and seek,

“...the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6)

@Linda Kimball