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Author Topic: Hebrews 6:1-6. Those who fell away!  (Read 275 times)

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Hebrews 6:1-6. Those who fell away!
« on: October 11, 2017, 08:48:26 PM »

A friend from Church asked for an interpretation of this passage:

"Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. 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, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 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." -- Heb 6:1-6 KJV

I interpreted that to be referring to the first century Christians who had received the awesome powers of the Holy Spirit, as foretold in Micah 7:15, and then fell away, perhaps by abusing or rejecting those powers.

Please share your insights.

Thanks,

Dan


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FaithIsKey

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Re: Hebrews 6:1-6. Those who fell away!
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2017, 10:45:54 AM »


I interpreted that to be referring to the first century Christians who had received the awesome powers of the Holy Spirit, as foretold in Micah 7:15, and then fell away, perhaps by abusing or rejecting those powers.

Please share your insights.


Thank you for the invite, Dan.

Warnings against "falling away" seem to be commonplace in the epistles, even in those of Christ to the Christian churches in Asia:

"But I have this against you (Ephesus), that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent." -- Rev 2:4-5 ESV

"But I have a few things against you (Pergamum): you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth." -- Rev 2:14-16 ESV

"But I have this against you (Thyatira), that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. Only hold fast what you have until I come." -- Rev 2:20-25 ESV

"And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. 'I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.'" -- Rev 3:1-3 ESV

''I know your works (Laodicea): you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent." -- Rev 3:15-19 ESV


It certainly appears there was a lot of falling away in those Churches, one of which Paul addressed directly (Ephesus), and in which, according to the King James translators, Timothy was ordained as bishop:

"The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen. [The second [epistle] unto Timotheus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Ephesians, was written from Rome, when Paul was brought before Nero the second time.]" -- 2Tim 4:22 KJV


As mentioned, warnings against "falling away" are prevalent in other epistles. When reading these, assume you cannot "fall away" from something you never possessed:

"You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace." -- Gal 5:4 ESV

"But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your 'yes' be yes and your 'no' be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation." -- Jas 5:12 ESV

"Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall." -- 2Pet 1:10 ESV

"Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace." -- 2Pet 3:14 ESV

"You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability." -- 2Pet 3:17 ESV

There were many, many more, so much so that the primary purpose of the epistles appears to have been attempts to keep the early Christians from falling away.


Christ also foretold during his ministry that there would be a "falling away":

"Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another." -- Mat 24:9-10 ESV


I, like you, Dan, believe the falling away occurred among the first century Christians, primarily due to time statements (e.g., "this generation", "not taste of death", etc.) and the consistent expressions of imminence for the (first) judgment.

Faith



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LXXResearcher

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Re: Hebrews 6:1-6. Those who fell away!
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2017, 12:16:13 PM »


Warnings against "falling away" seem to be commonplace in the epistles . . .

"You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace." -- Gal 5:4 ESV


Nice post, Faith.  I would like to add that Paul began his epistle to the Galatians with this serious reprimand:

"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 KJV

He later identified the instigators as Judaizers:

"O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" -- Gal 3:1-2 KJV

"For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:" -- Gal 3:10-13 KJV

His audience appeared to be to the Jews within the Church -- those who would be the prime targets of the Judaizers:

"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." -- Gal 3:24 KJV

"Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." -- Gal 4:3-5 KJV

In another epistle, Paul seem to be saying the adoption was promised only to the Israelites, rather than to all Christians:

"Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;" -- Rom 9:4 KJV


Whatever the case, I too believe Hebrews 6 was referring to the first-century Israelites -- the elect -- who fell away.

LXX

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LXXResearcher

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Re: Hebrews 6:1-6. Those who fell away!
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2017, 12:43:20 PM »


Christ also foretold during his ministry that there would be a "falling away":

"Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another." -- Mat 24:9-10 ESV


I didn't catch this the first time, but the "you" in that passage are the disciples:

"Then they will deliver you, disciples up to tribulation and put you, disciples to death, and you, disciples will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another." -- Mat 24:9-10 ESV

LXX

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Rev20

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Re: Hebrews 6:1-6. Those who fell away!
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2017, 05:37:20 PM »


I interpreted that to be referring to the first century Christians who had received the awesome powers of the Holy Spirit, as foretold in Micah 7:15, and then fell away, perhaps by abusing or rejecting those powers.


Thanks, Dan, this is a great subject.  Faith and LXX have already mentioned most everything I could contribute, but I will provide some additional scriptural support for their statements. 

Paul stated this to Timothy:

"Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you. You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes." -- 2Tim 1:14-15 NASB

Paul preached the gospel, so all the churches in Asia, including "the seven", had turned away from the gospel by the time Paul wrote the 2nd epistle.


Peter wrote to the scattered tribes, including those in the churches of Asia and Galatia, with both admonishment and warning:

"Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation." -- 1Pet 2:11-12 NASB

"For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you; but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead." -- 1Pet 4:3-5 NASB

"Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;" -- 1Pet 4:15 NASB


In his second epistle, Peter explicitly said there would be a falling away, with a reference to the doctrine of Balaam mentioned in the epistle to the church at Pergamum:

"But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep." -- 2Pet 2:1-3 NASB

"But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you, having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;" -- 2Pet 2:12-15 NASB


However, it is in this statement that Peter solidifies the doctrine of Hebrews 6 with an identical statement, context-wise:

"For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, 'A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT,' and, 'A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.'" -- 2Pet 2:20-22 NASB

Jesus made a similar statement in a parable:

"Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. "Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came'; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. "Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation." -- Mat 12:43-45 NASB


Therefore, we can reasonably assume the denominational doctrine of "once saved, always saved" has no support in these passages, and must be found elsewhere, if it even exists.

Rev
 :)

« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 05:44:12 PM by Rev20 »
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Dallas

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Re: Hebrews 6:1-6. Those who fell away!
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2017, 06:54:44 PM »


Jesus made a similar statement in a parable:

"Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. "Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came'; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. "Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation." -- Mat 12:43-45 NASB


I don't have much to add, except that Jesus also predicted backsliding in the Parable of the Sower:

"When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside." -- Mat 13:19 NKJV

"But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles." -- Mat 13:20-21 NKJV

"Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful." -- Mat 13:22 NKJV

Another is found in the Wedding Parable:

"But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, "Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, "Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 'For many are called, but few are chosen.'" -- Mat 22:11-14 NKJV

He was an invited guest who arrived at the wedding party without an appropriate garment. I believe the "garment" he lacked was the garment of righteousness:

"Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints." -- Rev 19:7-8 NKJV

"And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses." -- Rev 19:14 NKJV

Dallas

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Ron Black

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Re: Hebrews 6:1-6. Those who fell away!
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2017, 08:26:32 PM »

I have been wondering about this.  Thank you.
Ron

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Re: Hebrews 6:1-6. Those who fell away!
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2017, 08:31:05 PM »


I have been wondering about this.  Thank you.
Ron


Welcome to the forum, Ron!
Dan
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