“For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of fire which will consume the adversaries.”
The Greek word for willfully is “ekousios,” which means deliberately. And we answer who this refers to in the context. The writer has spent over nine chapters talking about believers in Jerusalem in 67 AD who were in a state of reversionism. Therefore, this is not a reference to unbelievers who received a Gospel message and rejected it. The writer even includes himself in the possible scenario of falling into a state of deliberately sinning. Furthermore, the ones he is writing to have received the knowledge of the truth.
So the writer was dealing with people who had believed in Christ, learned doctrine and continued to deliberately observe the rituals of the Mosaic Law. The writer is not talking about sins of ignorance, sins of omission or being overtaken by a fault in a moment of weakness. What these believers were guilty of was deliberately ignoring the doctrine they had learned and “trampling under foot” the grace of God. By deliberately rejecting the new covenant of grace secured for them at the Cross, they had set aside the sacrifice that Christ had made for their sins. Christ had become of “no effect” to them. (Galatians 5:4)
What remains for a believer in the state of reversionism is divine discipline. Divine discipline is the sum total of punitive action taken by the justice of God in grace to correct, to punish, to encourage, to train, and to motivate the believer’s free will toward the protocol plan of God. Therefore, divine discipline is distinguished from divine judgment, in that discipline is for believers only, but judgment is directed toward all categories of the human race and angels under certain circumstances. When believers get out of fellowship through sin, human good, or evil, we bring suffering on ourselves. If we do not use the most basic problem solving device of rebound, we will continue in a state of carnality, cosmic living, or reversionism. Carnality is a brief stay in the cosmic system; reversionism is a prolonged residence in the cosmic system. Only in time are we, members of the royal family of God, disciplined in the form of suffering.
Divine discipline must be distinguished from the law of volitional responsibility with its self-imposed, self-induced, and self- indulged forms of misery. Bad decisions not only destroy future options in life, but they result in tremendous misery manufactured by ourselves, for which we must take the responsibility. The resultant discomfort, misery, and unhappiness may last for a short or long period of time. If the believer persists in the three categories of the law of volitional responsibility, i.e., self-imposed, self-induced, and self- indulged misery, it is obvious that God will add to it if you do not come around through Rebound. Our personal sin originates from our free will. Though temptation may come from our sin nature, we make the decision to sin! All wrong decisions come from some form of arrogance or lust. While God is the source of divine discipline, man’s free will is the source of suffering under the law of volitional responsibility. God uses His sovereignty and His perfect judgment to know when it’s time to warn us that we are out of fellowship, and to bring us back to reality with varying categories of punishment. All divine discipline, except the sin unto death, is always designed to correct, to train, and to motivate. And divine discipline is always for our benefit.
“Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him Who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.’ And again, ‘It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.’”
To illustrate to his Jewish audience how God punishes sin, the writer of Hebrews turns to the Mosaic Law. His illustration is in regard to a believer in the Old Testament who deliberately ignored or defied the Law. Certain sins under the Mosaic Law were dealt with by the offering of a sacrifice. These sins generally fall into the category of sins of ignorance, sins of omission or sins of defilement. Just like the Rebound Technique for the Church Age believer, the believer under the Law had the sacrificial offering as a means of confessing their sins and being forgiven and cleansed. However, for deliberate and continual sin, there was a severe punishment under the Law of Moses, which was physical death. (Exodus 21:14)
Since the punishment for deliberate, willful sin against the Law of God was so severe, the writer asks the question, “How much greater the punishment do you think the person deserves who deliberately tramples under foot the Son of God and His sacrificial work on the Cross.” By returning to the rituals of the Law, these believers in Jerusalem were saying in effect that what Christ did on the Cross was not sufficient to satisfy the righteousness of God. And furthermore, these believers were insulting the grace of God by placing themselves under a system of works for experiential sanctification. They were believers, so they were sanctified (positional) but the writer was dealing with their daily spiritual lives (experiential).
Even though we possess the righteousness of God, we will not realize the full aspect of this until we receive a glorified body at the Rapture, which is ultimate sanctification. (I Corinthians 15:50-53) In the meantime, we still possess a sin nature, which tempts us to commit personal sins. It is our responsibility as Christians to learn and apply the Word of God and to control our sin nature. We can do this only through the power of the Holy Spirit. There is a war being waged within every believer. It is a battle to see who will control your soul. Each of us holds the key - it is called volition or free will. God did not make us robots. He gave us the freedom of choice. Let’s take a look at the scripture that relates to this war in our souls.
The Greek word for “walk” is “stoicheo,” which means to walk in a straight line or row. If we are “walking in the Spirit” our steps will align with His. In other words, we will allow the Holy Spirit to control “our steps.” Please remember that God is not an ogre waiting for us to fail so He can “zap” us. God loves us and wants only the best for us. Therefore, we should learn to love ourselves, which entails self-worth and self-respect. God in His grace is always there for us, even in times of our failure. Since God has compassion on us, we should have compassion on ourselves. Evaluate yourself, make the necessary corrections and move forward, one step at a time. But don’t spend time beating yourself up or condemning yourself because of some failure. (I John 1:6-10)
The desires of the flesh (sin nature) oppose the desires of God. They are contrary to one another. If you yield to one, it cancels the other. At any given moment, you are either 100% spiritual (controlled by the Holy Spirit) or you are 100% carnal (controlled by the sin nature). Remember, the Christian Way of Life is about making the right choices. If you are allowing the Holy Spirit to lead (guide) you, you are not under the control of the Law. Here we have a list of the works of the flesh, i.e. keeping the Law for spirituality. Let’s remember that these verses are talking about believers. Both overt sins and mental attitude sins are mentioned.
In Galatians 5 we have a list of the works of the Holy Spirit which can be produced in the life of the believer. Divine production is always a matter of right motivation, right power and right choices. All of these are produced by God the Holy Spirit, when He is allowed to control our thinking. Positional sanctification is clearly stated here. The person who belongs to Christ has crucified the flesh (sin nature). However, the believer still possesses a sin nature and still sins. So, this is an obvious reference to positional truth and it is only potential, experientially. Here we see experiential sanctification and application. Since we are positionally “in Christ,” we are to strive to make our daily experience align with our position in Christ!
Back to Hebrews 10:30, Vengeance is mine refers to the three categories of divine discipline administered to the out-of-fellowship believer: 1) Warning discipline 2) Intensive discipline 3) Dying discipline.
Revelation 3:20 says that Jesus Christ “stands at the door and knocks” [opportunity for rebound], and He keeps knocking [warning discipline]. If anyone [believers out of fellowship] hears My voice [motivation to Rebound from warning discipline], and He opens the door [Rebound], I will enter and commune with him [restoration to fellowship], and He with me [back in the divine power system].” In this stage, the believer has not been out of fellowship long enough to have lost too much doctrine. Therefore, the recovery of the divine power system simply means a continuation of his advance. Warning discipline hurts enough so that you become alert to the fact that something’s wrong in your life. So the opportunity for Rebound means that the purpose of warning discipline is to motivate you to do so. You hurt so much that you finally remember I John 1:9.
Intensive discipline comes as a result of wrong thinking and wrong motivation, all of which results in wrong actions. Revelation 3:19 says, “Those whom I love [believers], I reprimand [warning discipline] and I punish [intensive discipline]; therefore, be zealous [motivation from either warning or intensive discipline] and Rebound.” Job 5:17-18 says, “Behold, happy is the man whom the Lord reproves [warning discipline], and do not despise the discipline [intensive discipline] from the Lord. God provides many wonderful logistical grace blessings we may not regard as blessings, such as divine discipline in order to keep us on track. (Psalm 38:1-14)
At the point of dying discipline, God has already warned you and sent intensive discipline to get your attention. Now you are close to the “sin unto death.” I John 5:16 says, “There is a sin terminating unto death.” David was close to the sin unto death in Psalm 118:17-18, “I shall not die but live; I shall live and declare the works of the Lord. The Lord has disciplined me severely [intensive discipline], but He has not given me over to death [dying discipline].” David, at this point, was in a state of revisionism having committed a number of terrible sins, including adultery and murder. Adultery was committed with Bathsheba and he sent her husband to the front of the battle so he would be killed. When he finally rebounded and returned to fellowship with God, the sin unto death was avoided. Philippians 3:19 says, “Whose end of life is ruin [dying discipline], whose god is his emotions.” People who die this way are always ruled by their emotions. If they had a doctrinal thought, they forgot it years ago. Revelation 3:16 says, “Therefore, because you are lukewarm [carnal believer], neither cold [unbeliever], nor hot [believer in God’s power system], I am about to vomit you out of My mouth [administration of the sin unto death].” All three categories of divine discipline are found in I Corinthians 11:30-31; the context is believers out of fellowship with God, in a state of reversionism making a mockery of the ritual of communion by turning it into a time of eating and drinking to the point of gluttony and drunkenness. It says, “For this cause, many are weak [warning discipline], and sick [intensive discipline], and a number sleep [sin unto death]. But if we would judge ourselves [Rebound], we should not be judged.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God holds very true at this point in the life of a believer.
Divine discipline is the action taken by the justice of God in grace to correct, to punish, to encourage, to train, and to motivate the believer’s free will toward the protocol plan of God. Therefore, divine discipline is distinguished from divine judgment, in that discipline is for believers only, but judgment is directed toward all categories of the human race and angels under certain circumstances. When believers get out of fellowship through sin, we bring suffering on ourselves. If we do not use the most basic problem solving device of Rebound, we will continue in a state of carnality or reversionism. Carnality is a brief stay in the cosmic system of Satan; reversionism is a prolonged residence in the cosmic system of Satan.
Bad decisions not only destroy future options in life, but they result in tremendous misery manufactured by ourselves, for which we must take the responsibility. The resultant discomfort, misery, and unhappiness may last for a short or long period of time. Punishment from God often follows the failure to Rebound from our sins. All sin originates from our free will. Though temptation comes from the sin nature, we make the decision to sin! All wrong decisions come from some form of arrogance or lust. While God is the source of divine discipline, man’s free will is the source of suffering. God uses His sovereignty and His perfect judgment to know when it’s time to warn us that we are out of fellowship, and to bring us back to reality with varying categories of punishment. All divine discipline is for the purpose of correcting, training, and motivating a believer.