Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Matthew 12:32

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Neither in this world, neither in the world to come - Though I follow the common translation, yet I am fully satisfied the meaning of the words is, neither in this dispensation, (viz. the Jewish), nor in that which is to come, viz. the Christian. הבא עולם olam ha -ba, the world to come, is a constant phrase for the times of the Messiah in the Jewish writers. See below. The sin here spoken of by our Lord ranks high in the catalogue of presumptuous sins, for which there was no forgiveness under the Mosaic dispensation. See Numbers 15:30, Numbers 15:31; Numbers 35:31; Leviticus 20:10; 1 Samuel 2:25. When our Lord says that such a sin hath no forgiveness, is he not to be understood as meaning that the crime shall be punished under the Christian dispensation as it was under the Jewish, viz. by the destruction of the body? And is not this the same mentioned 1 John 1:7, called there the sin unto death; i.e. a sin that was to be punished by the death of the body, while mercy might be extended to the soul? The punishment for presumptuous sins, under the Jewish law, to which our Lord evidently alludes, certainly did not extend to the damnation of the soul, though the body was destroyed: therefore I think that, though there was no such forgiveness to be extended to this crime as to absolve the man from the punishment of temporal death, yet, on repentance, mercy might be extended to the soul; and every sin may be repented of under the Gospel dispensation.

Dr. Lightfoot has sufficiently vindicated this passage from all false interpretation. "They that endeavor hence to prove the remission of some sins after death, seem little to understand to what Christ had respect when he spake these words. Weigh well this common and, most known doctrine of the Jewish schools, and judge.

"He that transgresses an affirmative precept, if he presently repent, is not moved until the Lord pardon him; and of such it is said, Be ye converted, O back sliding children! and I will heal your backslidings. He that transgresses a negative precept, and repents, his repentance suspends judgment, and the day of expiation expiates him; as it is said, This day shall all your uncleannesses be expiated to you. He that transgresses to cutting off (by the stroke of God) or to death by the Sanhedrin, and repents, repentance and the day of expiation do suspend judgment, and the strokes that are laid upon him wipe off sin, as it is said, And I will visit their transgression with a rod, and their iniquity with scourges. But he by whom the name of God is profaned (or blasphemed) repentance is of no avail to him to suspend judgment, nor the day of expiation to expiate it, nor scourges (or corrections inflicted) to wipe it off, but all suspend judgment, and death wipes it off. Thus the Babylonian Gemara writes; but the Jerusalem thus: Repentance and the day of expiation expiate as to the third part, and corrections as to the third part, and death wipes it off, as it is said, And your iniquities shall not be expiated to you until ye die: behold, we learn that death wipes off. Note this, which Christ contradicts, concerning blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. It shall not be forgiven, saith he, neither in this world, nor in the world to come; that is, neither before death, nor, as you dream, by death. Jerus. Sanhed. fol. 37. and Bab. Yoma, fol. 86.

"In the world to come. - Some phrases were received into common use, by which, in common speech, they opposed the heresy of the Sadducees, who denied immortality, Of that sort were הבא עולם olam ha -ba, Αιων ὁ μελλων, The world to come. עדן גן gan aden, Παραδεισος, paradise: הנום גו gei hinnom, Γεεννα, hell, etc.

"At the end of all the prayers in the temple (as we observed before) they said עולם עד ad olam, for ever. But when the heretics (i.e. the Sadducees) brake in, and said there was No Age but one, then it was appointed to be said for ever and ever. העולם ועד העולם מן min ha -olam, vead ha -olam . Bab. Beracoth, fol. 54. This distinction of הזה עולם olam hazeh, this world, and of הבא עולם olam ha -ba, the world to come, you may find almost in every page of the rabbins.

"The Lord recompense thee a good reward for this thy good work in this world, and let thy reward be perfected in the world to come. Targum on Ruth.

"It (that is, the history of the creation and of the Bible) therefore begins with the letter ב beth, (in the word ברישית bereshith ), because two worlds were created, this world and a world to come. Baal Turim.

"The world to come hints two things especially, (of which see Rambam, in Sanhed. cap. ii. Chelek). I. The times of the Messiah: 'Be mindful of the day wherein thou camest out of Egypt, all the days of thy life: the wise men say, by the days of thy life is intimated this world: by all the days of thy life, the days of the Messiah are superinduced.' In this sense the apostle seems to speak, Hebrews 2:5; Hebrews 6:5. II. The state after death: thus Rab. Tancum, The world to come, is when a man has departed out of this world."

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Here is a gracious assurance of the pardon of all sin upon gospel terms. Christ herein has set an example to the sons of men, to be ready to forgive words spoken against them. But humble and conscientious believers, at times are tempted to think they have committed the unpardonable sin, while those who have come the nearest to it, seldom have any fear about it. We may be sure that those who indeed repent and believe the gospel, have not committed this sin, or any other of the same kind; for repentance and faith are the special gifts of God, which he would not bestow on any man, if he were determined never to pardon him; and those who fear they have committed this sin, give a good sign that they have not. The trembling, contrite sinner, has the witness in himself that this is not his case.
Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 321-7

This chapter is based on Matthew 12:22-50; Mark 3:20-35.

The sons of Joseph were far from being in sympathy with Jesus in His work. The reports that reached them in regard to His life and labors filled them with astonishment and dismay. They heard that He devoted entire nights to prayer, that through the day He was thronged by great companies of people, and did not give Himself time so much as to eat. His friends felt that He was wearing Himself out by His incessant labor; they were unable to account for His attitude toward the Pharisees, and there were some who feared that His reason was becoming unsettled. DA 321.1

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 1, 142-3

It would be surprising if there were not some, who, not being well-balanced in mind, have spoken and acted indiscreetly; for whenever and wherever the Lord works in giving a genuine blessing, a counterfeit is also revealed, in order to make of none effect the true work of God. Therefore we need to be exceedingly careful, and walk humbly before God, that we may have spiritual eyesalve that we may distinguish the working of the Holy Spirit of God from the working of that spirit that would bring in wild license and fanaticism. “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20). Those who are really beholding Christ will be changed into His image, even by the Spirit of the Lord, and will grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit of God will inspire men with love and purity; and refinement will be manifest in their characters. 1SM 142.1

But because some have misappropriated the rich blessing of heaven, shall others deny that Jesus, the Saviour of the world, has passed through our churches, and that to bless? Let not doubt and unbelief question this; for in so doing, you are treading on dangerous ground. God has given the Holy Spirit to those who have opened the door of their hearts to receive the heavenly gift. But let them not yield to the temptation afterward to believe that they have been deceived. Let them not say, “Because I feel darkness, and am oppressed with doubt, and never saw Satan's power so manifest as now, therefore I was mistaken.” I warn you to be careful. Sow not one expression of doubt. God has wrought for you, bringing sound doctrines of truth into actual contact with the heart. Blessing was given you, that it might produce fruit in sound practices and upright character. 1SM 142.2

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5 (EGW), 1092-3

How to Wear the Yoke—Take hold of the arm of God, and say, “I am nothing, and Thou art everything. Thou hast said, ‘Without me ye can do nothing.’ Now, Lord, I must have Thee abiding in me, that I may abide in Thee.” Then advance step by step, by living faith abiding in Jesus Christ. This is wearing His yoke, the yoke of obedience (Manuscript 85, 1901). 5BC 1092.1

Wearing the yoke with Christ, means to work in His lines, to be a copartner with Him in His sufferings and toils for lost humanity. It means to be a wise instructor of souls. We shall be what we are willing to be made by Christ in these precious hours of probation. We shall be the sort of a vessel that we allow ourselves to be molded into. We must unite with God in the molding and fashioning work, having our wills submitted to the divine will (Letter 71, 1895). 5BC 1092.2

30. Easy Yoke Does Not Give Life of Ease—The Lord calls His yoke easy, and His burden light. Yet that yoke will not give us a life of ease and freedom and selfish indulgence. The life of Christ was one of self-sacrifice and self-denial at every step; and with consistent, Christlike tenderness and love, His true follower will walk in the footsteps of the Master; and as he advances in this life, he will become more and more inspired with the spirit and life of Christ (The Signs of the Times, April 16, 1912, reprinted from The Signs of the Times, July 22, 1897). 5BC 1092.3

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 434

But there is a disposition on the part of many teachers not to be thorough in religious education. They are satisfied with a half-hearted service themselves, serving the Lord only to escape the punishment of sin. Their half-heartedness affects their teaching. The experience that they do not desire for themselves, they are not anxious to see their pupils gain. That which has been given them in blessing has been cast aside as a dangerous element. The offered visits of the Holy Spirit are met with the words of Felix to Paul, “Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” Other blessings they desire; but that which God is more willing to give than a father to give good gifts to his children; that Holy Spirit, which is offered abundantly according to the infinite fullness of God, and which, if received, would bring all other blessings in its train,—what words shall I use sufficiently to express what has been [done] with reference to it? The heavenly messenger has been repulsed by the determined will. “Thus far shalt Thou go with my students, but no farther. We need no enthusiasm in our school, no excitement. We are much better satisfied to work with the students ourselves.” It is thus that despite has been done to God's gracious messenger, the Holy Spirit. FE 434.1

Are not the teachers in our schools in danger of blasphemy, of charging the Holy Spirit of God with being a deceiving power, and leading into fanaticism. Where are the educators that choose the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field, or the cold, flowing waters that come from another place, instead of the murky waters of the valley? A succession of showers from the living waters has come to you at Battle Creek. Each shower was a consecrated inflowing of divine influence; but you did not recognize it as such. Instead of drinking copiously of the streams of salvation, so freely offered through the influence of the Holy Spirit, you turned to common sewers, and tried to satisfy your soul-thirst with the polluted waters of human science. The result has been parched hearts in the school and in the church. Those who are satisfied with little spirituality have gone far in unfitting themselves to appreciate the deep movings of the Spirit of God. But I hope the teachers have not yet passed the line where they are given over to hardness of heart and blindness of mind. If they are again visited by the Holy Spirit, I hope they will not call righteousness sin, and sin righteousness. FE 434.2

There is need of heart conversions among the teachers. A genuine change of thoughts and methods of teaching is required to place them where they will have a personal relation to a living Saviour. It is one thing to assent to the Spirit's work in conversion, and another thing to accept that Spirit's agency as a reprover, calling to repentance. It is necessary that both teachers and students not only assent to truth, but have a deep, practical knowledge of the operations of the Spirit. Its cautions are given because of the unbelief of those who profess to be Christians. God will come near to the students because they are misled by the educators in whom they put confidence; but both teachers and students need to be able to recognize the voice of the Shepherd. FE 435.1

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 405

God works by the manifestation of His Spirit to reprove and convict the sinner; and if the Spirit's work is finally rejected, there is no more that God can do for the soul. The last resource of divine mercy has been employed. The transgressor has cut himself off from God, and sin has no remedy to cure itself. There is no reserved power by which God can work to convict and convert the sinner. “Let him alone” (Hosea 4:17) is the divine command. Then “there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” Hebrews 10:26, 27. PP 405.1

Read in context »
More Comments